Links 11/1/2022: DragonFly 6.2.1 and Latte Dock 0.10.7

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.15.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.15.14 kernel.
        All users of the 5.15 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.15.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.15.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.91
      • Linux 5.4.171
      • Linux 4.19.225
      • Linux 4.14.262
      • Linux 4.9.297
      • Linux 4.4.299
      • New AMD P-State Driver Headlines The Power Management Updates For Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        The power management subsystem updates were sent out yesterday and already mainlined for the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel. Most notable with the power management changes for this new version of the Linux kernel is the introduction of the AMD P-State driver developed in cooperation with Valve for the Steam Deck but stands to help CPU/SoC power efficiency across Zen 2 and newer hardware.

        Linux PM/ACPI maintainer Rafael Wysocki of Intel sent in the power management updates yesterday to which Linus Torvalds has already merged them.

      • Linux 5.17 Adds Sensor Monitoring Support To Many More ASUS Motherboards – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.17 hardware monitoring “HWMON” subsystem updates include the new NZXT driver, new drivers to greatly expand sensor coverage on modern ASUS desktop motherboards, temperature monitoring for next-gen AMD Zen processors, and more.

        Guenter Roeck submitted the HWMON feature updates on Monday for the Linux 5.17 kernel. There is a lot of notable changes this cycle, especially on the desktop side. It’s been great seeing all the desktop-related hardware monitoring enhancements in recent versions of the Linux kernel, but unfortunate that most of it has been driven by the independent open-source community rather than the hardware vendors themselves.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon RADV Optimizations In Mesa 22.0 Improve PRIME/Hybrid GPU Performance – Phoronix

          While RADV is not AMD’s official Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems, for Mesa 22.0 they have contributed a set of optimizations to improve the “DRI_PRIME” performance for hybrid GPU setups such as the growing number of AMD powered notebooks with discrete graphics.

          More last minute feature work to land for Mesa 22.0 ahead of its imminent feature freeze are DRI_PRIME optimizations. These improvements by AMD engineer Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer are based on prior patches to the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

        • Intel Lands 20~40% Performance Optimization For Arc Graphics In Mesa 22.0 – Phoronix

          Intel’s pixel pipeline optimization work focused on speeding up DG2/Alchemist graphics cards with their open-source graphics driver has managed to land in Mesa 22.0.

          With Mesa 22.0 set to be branched this week that marks the feature freeze in preparation for releasing as stable in February, Intel managed to squeeze their Xe HP pixel pipeline optimization work into this next quarterly release. Getting this big optimization in Mesa 22.0 is important considering Intel continues to report that they will begin shipping Intel Arc discrete graphics later this quarter.

        • NVIDIA 510.39.01 Beta driver out for Linux | GamingOnLinux

          After silently launching the RTX 3080 12GB, NVIDIA has also today put out a brand new Beta driver for Linux with version 510.39.01 now available.

          The interesting part is, the changelog mentions quite a number of things that were added in previous driver releases like support for the GBM API. There’s also mentions of extensions that were added in previous stable releases too. It’s likely that this will be their new “Production Branch” driver that has pulled over lots of changes from their “New Feature Branch”.

        • NVIDIA 510.39.01 Linux Beta Brings Vulkan Dynamic Rendering, AV1 VDPAU Decode & More – Phoronix

          In addition to announcing the GeForce RTX 3080 12GB graphics card this morning, NVIDIA has published their first public beta of the new NVIDIA 510 Linux driver series.

          The NVIDIA 510.39.01 Linux beta driver is available today with a variety of fixes while a bulk of the updates are on the Vulkan driver side. There is Vulkan dynamic rendering support along with an assortment of other extensions previously only found in NVIDIA’s dedicated Vulkan beta builds.

          Besides all of the Vulkan updates, also exciting with the NVIDIA 510 series for Linux is adding AV1 decode support to their VDPAU driver to complement the existing NVDEC AV1 support for latest-generation RTX 30 series graphics cards.

          NVIDIA’s 510 Linux beta also has a ReBAR indicator, updated Linux kernel support, refined GBM API support, and other updates.

        • NVIDIA releases a 12GB GeForce RTX 3080 | GamingOnLinux

          For those of you with money to burn who want a new GPU, perhaps the latest from NVIDIA will catch your eye? They’ve introduced a new model of the GeForce RTX 3080. It’s a small but noticeable upgrade to the original, and only available to a select few partners right now

          The bump not only ups the memory from 10GB to 12GB but also goes from 8704 to 8960 CUDA Cores, and you’re also getting a memory bus jump from 320-bit to 384-bit. You’re going to need just a little bit more power for it too, as NVIDIA say it needs 350 watts compared with the 320 on the 10GB model.

        • DirectX 12 support is infiltrating Linux under the radar [Ed: That’s just Microsoft infiltrating Linux to undermine it]

          In the realm of PC gaming, there is an enormous industry push toward open-source graphics APIs like Vulkan. Performant, cross-platform software like Vulkan enables the incredible performance of games like Doom Eternal and allows low budget titles like Farming Simulator 22 to run on Mac OS X and Linux.

    • Applications

      • 3 Best Free Hard Disk Imaging Software

        The hard disk and partition imaging software take a snapshot of your hard disk so that you can restore your system at a later time to the exact same state the system was when you imaged the disk or partition.

        Data is probably the most important asset in today’s world. One of the worst fears of every computer user is what if the hard drive that has an enormous amount of valuable data in it corrupts suddenly? Losing files critical to your day-to-day work can be incredibly frustrating and damaging to your business.

        Unfortunately, you can never predict when your system might crash or get infected, and you lose your entire data to it. That is where the disk image software comes into the picture.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install and Use NMAP on Fedora 35 – NextGenTips

        Welcome to today’s topic where we will be talking about how to install Nmap on Fedora 35.

        Nmap (Network mapper) is a free and open-source software for network discovery and security auditing. It is also used for network inventory services, managing service upgrades, and monitoring hosts’ downtime.

        Nmap is designed for bigger networks but it can also work fine with standalone hosts. Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer called Zenmap, a flexible data transfer, redirection and a debugging tool called Ncat, a utility for comparing scan results called Ndiff, and a packet generation and response analysis tool called Nping.

      • Docker Exec Command – Tutorial with Examples – buildVirtual

        The Docker exec command is a very useful command for interacting with your running docker containers. When working with Docker you will likely have the need to access the shell or CLI of the docker containers you have deployed, which you can do using docker exec.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        Linux kernel 5.16 is out with many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new featured FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for games running Windows by utilizing Wine.

        Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16 Linux Kernel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How to Install Cockpit on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Manage your command line or graphical desktop Linux system remotely using browser by installing Cockpit on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or 20.04 Focal Fossa.

        Cockpit is a popular tool that comes with a web-based graphical interface for providing remote management for Linux users. RHEL based Linux distros out of the box offer this tool, and the user just need to access it. Where other users can install Cockpit directly using their system package manager.

        Well, Cockpit is open-source software and light in weight offers web GUI to manage Linux systems, beneficial especially to those who are running a command-line interface Linux such as CentOS and Ubuntu minimal servers. It helps advance users in quickly updating, enabling services, restarting the system, accessing Docker containers, Network, storage management, and all above the web-based terminal to issue commands remotely on a server.

      • An Introduction To Snowflake Data Warehouse – OSTechNix

        In this tutorial, we will be discussing what is Snowflake Data Warehouse, Snowflake architecture, how to create a free trail account for test drive, and finally how to access Snowflake WebUI.

      • Why Use Graphical User Interface For Version Control Git

        Git is the most popular tool for version management of files and applications. Git was developed to manage open-source software source codes primarily. Github is a widespread application today among all open source contributors and freelance developers. Though Git is mainly a CUI-based application, GUI also can be configured to work with Git. For new users, the Graphical user interface is a very good way to master the Git operations. If you are also one of them who is looking for a GUI solution for Git, I have a couple of options listed below.

      • The truth about Linux true and false commands | Network World

        True and false are common concepts in all forms of computing. They’re critical to Boolean logic after all, but did you know that true and false are also commands on Linux? Do you know how to use them?

        The simplest explanation is that the true command generates an exit code of 0 and that the false command generates an exit code of 1. This explanation, however, doesn’t provide much detail on how these commands can best be used.

        In this post, we’ll look at how the true and false commands work and how you might put them to use on the command line or in your scripts.

    • Games

      • Survival game Vintage Story gets another huge upgrade with improved combat | GamingOnLinux

        Vintage Story continues to impress with not just the rate they can churn out updates, but also how much they manage to stuff into each of them. The “Homesteading part 2 & Combat update” is out now, bringing some pretty fancy new features and so if you’ve been on the fence about it, perhaps it’s time to try it out if you’re after a different open-world survival experience. The price will also slightly increase soon.

      • Homesteading part 2 & Combat update, stable! (1.16.0)

        This is it community. v1.16 looks stable enough to me. There are still bugs, but I estimate there’s now less than in 1.15.10. This major update contains over 300 features, tweaks and fixes. It’s been quite a monumental task to get here. As always, it would not have been possible with the incredible amounts of feedback and bug reports by you, the community. I’m very grateful for your support, thank you so much!

      • Project Zomboid has big plans for 2022 and beyond, with NPCs on the way | GamingOnLinux

        After a great many years in Early Access, Project Zomboid has finally hit the big time with it regularly seeing multiple tens of thousands of players and they have some big plans. The latest release (Build 41) took a long time, as it reworked so much of the game but it’s done and they’re moving onto the next big chunk of features and it all sounds rather exciting.

        One big addition that has been talked about for years is the addition of NPCs, and they’re finally coming – for reals this time. They’ve split into different teams to work on different things, one team being focused on getting NPCs all hooked up and working.

      • Buck Up And Drive! is a retro-racing delight now on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Buck Up And Drive! is a fusion of classic retro endless racing with a few fun twists, like 1v1 car fighting mode. Previously only available via itch.io, it’s screeched over to Steam now too.

        Since we last wrote about it in the Summer of 2021, it’s added a bunch of new content for the full release too and it’s looking like it’s quite amusing. I grew up with racers like this on the Amiga, so it speaks to me quite personally. The developer is quite funny about it too, saying “There is time to explain, I just don’t wanna.”. Not really selling us on it but the trailer below speaks enough for itself I think.

      • Humble Bundle decides you need another launcher for parts of Humble Choice | GamingOnLinux

        Humble Bundle has announced changes are coming in February for Humble Choice, so let’s go over what they’re going to be doing.

        First up, they’re moving back towards how it started with Humble Monthly. There’s only going to be one single tier at $11.99 / £8.99 / €9.99 – with regional pricing and more regions supported, except if you’re on the Classic plan you continue to be billed in USD. The amount of games will fluctuate, and hopefully mean they will be better and you will get access to all of them.

        Humble said: “Our focus is to bring you maximum bang for your buck through an expertly curated mix of awesome games. The exact number of games might vary each month, but no matter what our scouts choose, our mission is to always bring you a ton of value that’s well worth the price of admission. And as always, you can skip a month whenever you want or cancel anytime.”

      • New Steam Games with Native Linux Clients – 2022-01-11 Edition – Boiling Steam

        Between 2022-01-04 and 2022-01-11 there were 17 new native Linux games released on Steam with Linux clients. For reference, during the same time, there were 197 games released for Windows on Steam, so the Linux versions represent about 8.6 % of total released titles.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFly 6.2.1 released

          DragonFly version 6.2.1 has been released. This version has hardware support for type-2 hypervisors with NVMM, an amdgpu driver, the experimental ability to remote-mount HAMMER2 volumes, and many other changes.

          The details of all commits between the 6.0 and 6.2 releases are available in the associated commit messages for 6.2.1. 6.2.0 was not released due to an error in tagging.

          Go to the 6.2 release page page for details on the release, and download via one of the mirrors.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Anaconda is getting a new suit – Fedora Community Blog

          It’s quite some time since we created the current GTK based UI for Anaconda: the OS installer for Fedora, RHEL, CentOS. For a long time we (the Anaconda team) were looking for possibilities to modernize and improve the user experience. In this post, we would like to explain what we are working on, and—most of all—inform you about what you can expect in the future.

          First, we need to express that we decided to share this information pretty early. We are currently at the stage where we have made the decisions. We have a ‘working prototype’ of the solution already available but don’t expect screenshots and demos yet!

        • Anaconda is getting a new suit (Fedora Community Blog) [LWN.net]

          The GTK-based Anaconda installer has long been used to set up Fedora, CentOS, and RHEL systems.

        • Run containers on Linux without sudo in Podman | Opensource.com

          Containers are an important part of modern computing, and as the infrastructure around containers evolves, new and better tools have started to surface. It used to be that you could run containers with just LXC, and then Docker gained popularity, and things started getting more complex. Eventually, we got the container management system we all deserved with Podman, a daemonless container engine that makes containers and pods easy to build, run, and manage.

          Containers interface directly with Linux kernel abilities like cgroups and namespaces, and they spawn lots of new processes within those namespaces. In short, running a container is literally running a Linux system inside a Linux system. From the operating system’s viewpoint, it looks very much like an administrative and privileged activity. Normal users don’t usually get to have free reign over system resources the way containers demand, so by default, root or sudo permissions are required to run Podman. However, that’s only the default setting, and it’s by no means the only setting available or intended. This article demonstrates how to configure your Linux system so that a normal user can run Podman without the use of sudo (“rootless”).

        • IT careers: 5 flourishing and 4 fading IT skills for 2022 | The Enterprisers Project

          There’s no dispute: An IT talent war is afoot. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of global technology leaders surveyed for IEEE’s Impact of Technology in 2022 and Beyond survey say recruiting technologists and filling open tech positions in the year ahead will be challenging.

          However, both the needs of the enterprise and the capabilities of the tech talent marketplace are a mixed bag. There are red-hot and lukewarm skills and a variety of enterprise technology requirements. Determining how best to match supply and demand has become as much art as science. This year, creating “micro career paths aligned to individual aspirations will be important,” says Yugal Joshi, a partner at Dallas, Texas-based strategic IT consultancy and research firm Everest Group.

          Understanding what capabilities are likely to be increasing in value and which are likely to decrease is also important, for both hiring managers and job candidates. Following are five flourishing ‒ and four fading ‒ IT skills for 2022.

        • IT leadership: 4 tips on achieving your goals in 2022 | The Enterprisers Project

          We made it through another topsy-turvy year. Many technology leaders are reflecting on some pretty massive achievements over the past two years ‒ from turning on a dime to pivot entire organizations to remote work to accelerating their digital transformation and driving business performance through collaborative, strategic efforts.

          Most of us feel like we’ve been running a marathon for the past two years. It’s not surprising that disengagement, burnout, and turnover are on the rise. But all signs point to more unpredictability ahead, and we need to make sure we and our teams have the mental and physical energy to not just tackle the next challenges but also keep an eye on what’s to come.

          As I was thinking about who could share some insights about how to help leaders kick things off on the right note this year, one name came to mind immediately. Rhonda Vetere is a technology executive whose CIO journey has spanned multiple industries and countries. Most recently CIO and EVP for global nutrition company Herbalife, she’s also an endurance athlete, a twice-published author, a board member, a mentor, and a change agent.

        • Red Hat and Temenos enable process automation for digital banking

          Today, banking software company and Red Hat partner, Temenos, announced the integration of Red Hat Process Automation Manager into the Temenos Infinity digital banking platform. This comes as a result of a long-standing collaboration between Red Hat and Temenos and our shared commitment in helping organizations navigate this new world of digital banking by leveraging cloud-native, open source solutions.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest: December 2021 | Red Hat Developer

          This Apache Kafka community report includes progress on Kafka 3.1.0, Kafka project milestones in 2021, and a look ahead to new features coming in 2022.

        • 5 design principles for microservices | Red Hat Developer

          The microservice-oriented application is a powerful model for large-scale software systems. Learn five key principles to implement one effectively.

      • Debian Family

        • ThinkPad AMD Debian

          After a hiatus of 6 years, it was nice to be back with the ThinkPad. This blog post briefly touches upon my impressions with the current generation ThinkPad T14 Gen2 AMD variant.

          The overall hardware support has been surprisingly decent. The MediaTek WiFi driver had some glitches but with Linux 5.15+, things have considerably improved. And I hope the trend will continue with forthcoming Linux releases. My previous device driver experience with MediaTek wasn’t good but I took the plunge, considering that in the worst scenario I’d have the option to swap the card.

          There’s a lot of marketing about Linux + Intel. But I took a jibe with Linux + AMD. There are glitches but nothing so far that has been a dealbreaker. If anything, I wish Lenovo/AMD would seriously work on the power/thermal issues.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Support Ends Next Week

          For those who haven’t looked at a calendar in a while, January 20th is next week. Assuming you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about upgrade paths or alternative distro choices.

          Released last April, Ubuntu 21.04 received nine months of support from release. From January 20 it will get nothing else. No further kernel patches, no critical security fixes, and no further app updates though the standard Ubuntu repos.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Year, New Privacy Protection for Firefox Focus on Android

            Have you ever signed up for a contest to win a big screen TV or a vacation to an exotic location? Or have you joined a big retailer loyalty program so you can save money? If you answered yes to either of these questions you may be exchanging your name, home address, email address, phone number and sometimes even your birthdate to companies who are building your profile with the information you freely provide. Companies use those profiles to help them make ads that are targeted at convincing you to purchase, like resurfacing an item you were shopping for. When you go online, there are similar tactics that work behind the scenes to gather information about you and your browsing behavior, and track you when you go from site to site.

            Mozilla has been leading the industry in privacy protections by putting our users first. Last year, we introduced one of our strongest privacy protections to date, Total Cookie Protection, to combat cross-site tracking, and we’re bringing it to Firefox Focus on Android, our simple, privacy by default companion app. Firefox Focus on Android will be the first Firefox mobile browser to have Total Cookie Protection. This will help mitigate the cross-site tracking where companies collect information about you like the sites you visit every day or the products you are searching for.

          • Firefox 96 improves noise cancellation on calls, bookmarks on Android, and more

            Firefox is one of the few web browsers left with a non-Chromium rendering engine engine, giving Mozilla the ability to try out new web features and low-level performance changes in a way that most other browsers can’t (without essentially becoming a fork, anyway). Firefox 95 rolled out last month with new security features and some macOS enhancements, and now Firefox 96 is officially available.

            Firefox 96 on desktop platforms (via TechDows) should be better than ever for video and audio calls, as Mozilla has “made significant improvements” to noise suppression, automatic gain control, and echo cancellation. Many communication platforms have their own noise cancellation technology, but if you happen to use a service that doesn’t, Firefox should at least help a little bit. Firefox also now uses the “Same-Site=lax” HTTP header by default when receiving data, which improves security.

      • Programming/Development

        • JavaScript developer screws over own popular npm packages • The Register

          Two popular open-source packages were recently sabotaged with mischievous commits, creating confusion among those using the software and exacerbating concerns about the fragility of the open-source software supply chain.

          The npm packages, faker.js and colors.js, were not hijacked by outsiders, as has been known to happen; rather their creator added code to the software libraries that made them malfunction.

          Three days ago, developer Marak Squires added a “new American flag module” to colors.js, a module to simplify printing colored text in the developer console. The new code printed the word “LIBERTY” multiple times and an ASCII-flag to the developer console and went into an endless loop.

          Six days ago, faker.js, used for generating fake data for API testing, also received an unexpected update: it removed the code, added the commit message “endgame,” and replaced the ReadMe file with the question, “What really happened with Aaron Swartz?”

        • Qbs 1.21 released

          The Qbs build tool version 1.21.0 is available.

          Qbs is a community-driven language-agnostic build automation system. It is fast and offers an easy-to-learn language based upon QML.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Haber-Bosch And The Greening Of Ammonia Production | Hackaday

        We here on Earth live at the bottom of an ocean of nitrogen. Nearly 80% of every breath we take is nitrogen, and the element is a vital component of the building blocks of life. Nitrogen is critical to the backbone of proteins that form the scaffold that life hangs on and that catalyze the myriad reactions in our cells, and the information needed to build these biopolymers is encoded in nucleic acids, themselves nitrogen-rich molecules.

        And yet, in its abundant gaseous form, nitrogen remains directly unavailable to higher life forms, unusably inert and unreactive. We must steal our vital supply of nitrogen from the few species that have learned the biochemical trick of turning atmospheric nitrogen into more reactive compounds like ammonia. Or at least until relatively recently, when a couple of particularly clever members of our species found a way to pull nitrogen from the air using a combination of chemistry and engineering now known as the Haber-Bosch process.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Avira is adding a crypto miner to its products as well [Ed: They tell you that malware will protect you from malware...]

          Et Tu, Avira? Ashwin reported last week that Norton was adding a new component, called Norton Crypto, to its security products. Norton Crypto is a crypto currency miner that will run when the system is detected as idle. It appears that Avira is doing the same.

        • Security

          • New KCodes NetUSB Bug Affect Millions of Routers from Different Vendors

            Cybersecurity researchers have detailed a high severity flaw in KCodes NetUSB component that’s integrated into millions of end-user router devices from Netgear, TP-Link, Tenda, EDiMAX, D-Link, and Western Digital, among others.

            KCodes NetUSB is a Linux kernel module that enables devices on a local network to provide USB-based services over IP. Printers, external hard drives, and flash drives plugged into a Linux-based embedded system (e.g., a router) are made available via the network using the driver.

          • Samba Releases Security Update | CISA

            The Samba Team has released a security update to address a vulnerability in multiple versions of Samba. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (clamav, vim, and wordpress), Mageia (ghostscript, osgi-core, apache-commons-compress, python-django, squashfs-tools, and suricata), openSUSE (libsndfile, net-snmp, and systemd), Oracle (httpd:2.4, kernel, and kernel-container), SUSE (libsndfile, libvirt, net-snmp, and systemd), and Ubuntu (exiv2, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-hwe-5.11, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.11, linux-raspi, linux-oem-5.13, and linux-oem-5.14).

          • ‘Fully Undetected’ SysJoker Backdoor Malware Targets Windows, Linux & macOS | Threatpost

            The malware establishes initial access on targeted machines, then waits for additional code to execute.

            A brand-new multiplatform malware, likely distributed via malicious npm packages, is spreading under the radar with Linux and Mac versions going fully undetected in VirusTotal, researchers warned.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • CISA, FBI, and NSA Release Cybersecurity Advisory on Russian Cyber Threats to U.S. Critical Infrastructure [Ed: That's politics instead of science (like studying the underlying security of stuff)]

        CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) have released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) that provides an overview of Russian state-sponsored cyber operations, including commonly observed tactics, techniques, and procedures. The CSA also provides detection actions, incident response guidance, and mitigations. CISA, the FBI, and NSA are releasing the joint CSA to help the cybersecurity community reduce the risk presented by Russian state-sponsored cyber threats.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • IFF assists Amina – who was targeted by the Bulli Bai App – in writing to the NCW and Telangana State Women Commission against the incident

        On 1st January 2022, we saw public outrage around an application titled “Bulli Bai” that was hosted on GitHub where pictures of around 100 Muslim women, sourced from their social media accounts, were put for ‘auction’. Muslim women were targeted due to their gender and religious identity. After much furore, some arrests have been made, and the investigation is still pending. One of the victims of this incident, with IFF’s assistance, wrote to the National Commission of Women, and the Telangana State Women Commission highlighting concerns about targeted harassment, and seeking their intervention in ensuring fair investigation. She also requested the Commissions to take steps to avoid such incidents from happening in the future.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • This John Deere Tractor Doesn’t Need a Driver

        While most autonomous vehicles are meant to travel over the highway, John Deere’s new 8R tractor shown at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show will likely only traverse fields and it will do so without a human at the wheel.

        The tractor is slated to be available to farmers in late 2022 and has six pairs of stereo cameras to generate a 360 degree view of obstacles. It also uses location technology, including GPS, to ensure it is where it is supposed to be with a claimed accuracy of 1 inch. You can see a video about the beast below.

        According to press releases, the company has been testing the technology for at least 3 years. It is controlled by — what else? — a smartphone app that can set it to its task and monitor it remotely, allowing the farmer to monitor and control the operation from anywhere. The company claims it can prepare 325 acres in 24 hours.

[Teaser] Microsoft’s Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley Digging His Own Grave by Strangulation

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Background: Arrest/Police Report for Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra Alex Graveley


Summary: Becoming an imposter of one’s own victim or evidence tampering is a very serious abuse; as we shall see some time soon, Microsoft’s biggest liability in GitHub (best friend of the CEO Nat Friedman) isn’t done digging his own grave yet

Microsoft Thinks It Owns Mesa (and Computer Games)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e77e3134aa5b9988072f2ae29694b916
Calling Out the Threat
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Microsoft keeps hijacking projects that compete against Windows, thinking that it is “Mister Linux” and “Mister Mesa”; Linux news sites should recognise this ongoing threat and cover it accordingly, not celebrating these attacks

Michael Larabel is a good person, but no person is perfect and over the years we’ve written about the twists and turns of his first baby, Phoronix [1, 2, 3], which is the means by which he makes a living for his wife and toddler. I don’t mean to sound too critical of Larabel, but it remains to be seen whether he can accept that Microsoft is definitely not a friend of Linux (not the same as the Linux Foundation) and should be treated accordingly. As someone put it hours ago in the comments: “Linux will benefit? If not, their patches shouldn’t be included in mesa [...] It’s mainly for Linux to begin with and most of the mesa code serves Linux. Their intentions are clearly bad, so mesa is becoming Microsoft sink.” (Slightly edited)

“As noted in the video above, some graphics (drivers) coders in the Linux world have openly complained about this WSL agenda, which not only messes with Mesa but also works against Linux’s interest.”It’s about Microsoft “Embracing and Extending” Mesa to promote Windows and DirectX. As noted in the video above, some graphics (drivers) coders in the Linux world have openly complained about this WSL agenda, which not only messes with Mesa but also works against Linux’s interest.

Microsoft loves Windows, not Linux. If Phoronix loves Linux, then it should adapt to the threat, which is now an inside threat.

A Soup of Buzzwords From Brussels (the European Commission)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 8e48a186bb1cfab6d4a7ab99da1d0094
Say Hello to Buzzwords
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Stop Calling Everything AI, Machine-Learning Pioneer Says - IEEE SpectrumSummary: The European Commission (EC) is very much guilty of what the man on the right recently bemoaned; European officials are shaping our policies based on misconceptions and nebulous terms, brought forth by multinational corporations, their media, and their lobbyists in the Brussels area; today we focus on a new consultation which sparingly uses the buzzwords “Hey Hi” and “IoT” (in almost every paragraph, on average)

THIS morning we belatedly published this relatively short post concerning a misguided or misframed consultation, which is probably well-meant (or well-meaning) but makes inherently flawed/false assumptions about the problem at hand (liability for harm and/or defects). The above video is a very short version of what would otherwise take several hours to cover (e.g. addressing pertinent questions). It’s repeatedly noted that the questions themselves are loaded, wrong, ill-advised, and potentially unhelpful. They compel us to believe that there’s this “magic” called “AI” and that it cannot be understood, governed, and nobody can be held accountable for computerised systems anymore. It’s a form of defeatism. Inducing a sense of helplessness.

In recent years we pointed out that the gross overuse of the term “AI” (which we’ve spun as “Hey Hi” for the sake of ridicule) is being exploited by patent maximalists. They want patents to be granted to computers and for patents to also cover computer programs (algorithms) by framing those programs as “AI”. This is really bad (both things) as it defies common sense, not just patent law or its raison d’être.

An associate of ours has studied the document and more or less agrees. “I’d say it’s more likely misframed,” he adds. “By this decade, more ought to know about what general-purpose computing is about, so there is not the excuse of it being novel. Same with machine learning, where the innovation was in the 1970s and 1980s, but the computing power didn’t catch up with the theory until the last decade or so.”

If one visits the page in question right now it says: “This survey has not yet been published or has already been unpublished in the meantime.”

We’ve chosen not to comment until it’s officially over (“EU Survey – Adapting liability rules to the digital age and Artificial Intelligence”).

As it states right there in the title, it’s all about “Artificial Intelligence” — a concept which is hardly defined or ill-defined.

“The sad situation in the world nowadays is that the politicians neither know anything at all about ICT nor know anyone they can turn to who will give then an honest answer” the associate adds. “Therefore it is important that I at least go through the motions of providing the feedback they have requested from EU citizens.” The text below concerns Directive 85/374/EEC on liability for defective products (more in [1, 2] and it mentions “AI” about 100 times in total:

2000 character(s) maximum for each of the following:

Question: What do you think is the appropriate approach for consumers to
claim compensation when damage is caused by a defective product bought
through an online marketplace and there is no EU-based producer or importer?

Question: Please elaborate on your answers or specify other grounds of
legal uncertainty regarding liability for damage caused by AI:

Question: Please elaborate on your answers. You may reflect in
particular on the recently proposed AI Act and on the complementary
roles played by liability rules and the other safety-related strands of
the Commission’s AI policy in ensuring trust in AI and promoting the
uptake of AI-enabled products and services:

Question: Please elaborate on your answers, in particular on whether
your assessment is different for AI-enabled products than for AI-enabled

Question: Please elaborate on your answers, in particular on whether
your assessment is different for AI-enabled products than for AI-enabled
services, as well as on other impacts of possible legal fragmentation

Question: Please elaborate on your answers and describe any other
measures you may find appropriate:

Question: Please elaborate on your answer, describe any other approaches
regarding strict liability you may find appropriate and/or indicate to
which specific AI-enabled products and services strict liability should

Question: Please elaborate on your answers, also taking into account the
interplay with the other strands of the Commission’s AI policy (in
particular the proposed AI Act). Please also describe any other measures
you may find appropriate:

Question: Please elaborate on your answer and specify if you would
prefer a different approach, e.g. an approach differentiating by area of
AI application:

Question: Are there any other issues that should be considered?


English EN
European Commission    EU Survey
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Adapting liability rules to the digital age and Artificial Intelligence

Fields marked with * are mandatory.


This public consultation aims to:

confirm the relevance of the issues identified by the 2018 evaluation of
the Product Liability Directive (e.g. how to apply the Directive to
products in the digital and circular economy), and gather information
and views on how to improve the Directive (Section I);

collect information on the need and possible ways to address issues
related specifically to damage caused by Artificial Intelligence
systems, which concerns both the Product Liability Directive and
national civil liability rules (Section II).

You can respond to both sections or just to Section I.  It is not
possible to respond only to Section II.

About you

* Question: Language of my contribution

* Question: I am giving my contribution as

* Question: First name

* Question: Surname

* Question: Email (this won't be published)

* Question: Country of origin.  Please add your country of origin, or
that of your organisation.

The Commission will publish all contributions to this public
consultation.  You can choose whether you would prefer to have your
details published or to remain anonymous when your contribution is
published.  For the purpose of transparency, the type of respondent (for
example, ‘business association, ‘consumer association’, ‘EU citizen’)
country of origin, organisation name and size, and its transparency
register number, are always published.  Your e-mail address will never
be published.  Opt in to select the privacy option that best suits you.
Privacy options default based on the type of respondent selected

* Question: I agree with the personal data protection provisions

Section I – Product Liability Directive

This section of the consultation concerns Council Directive 85/374/EEC
on liability for defective products (“Product Liability Directive”),
which applies to any product marketed in the European Economic Area (27
EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).  See also Section
II for more in-depth questions about the Directive and AI.

According to the Directive, if a defective product causes damage to
consumers, the producer must pay compensation. The injured party must
prove the product was defective, as well as the causal link between the
defect and the damage. But the injured party does not have to prove that
the producer was at fault or negligent (‘strict liability’). In certain
circumstances, producers are exempted from liability if they prove, e.g.
that the product’s defect was not discoverable based on the best
scientific knowledge at the time it was placed on the market.

Injured parties can claim compensation for death, personal injury as
well as property damage if the property is intended for private use and
the damage exceeds EUR 500. The injured party has 3 years to seek
compensation. In addition, the producer is freed from liability 10 years
after the date the product was put into circulation.

The Evaluation of the Directive in 2018 found that it was effective
overall, but difficult to apply to products in the digital and circular
economy because of its outdated concepts. The Commission’s 2020 Report
on Safety and Liability for AI, Internet of things (IoT) and robotics
also confirmed this.

The Evaluation also found that consumers faced obstacles to making
compensation claims, due to thresholds and time limits, and obstacles to
getting compensation, especially for complex products, due to the burden
of proof.

* Question: How familiar are you with the Directive?
    Answer: I have detailed knowledge of the Directive,
        its objectives, rules and application
    Answer: I am aware of the Directive and some of its contents
    Answer: I am not familiar with the Directive
    Answer: No opinion

Adapting the Directive to the digital age

Question: The Directive holds importers strictly liable for damage
caused by defective products when the producer is based outside the EU.
Nowadays online marketplaces enable consumers to buy products from
outside the EU without there being an importer.

Online marketplaces intermediate the sale of products between traders,
including those established outside the EU, and consumers. Typically,
they are not in contact with the products they intermediate and they
frequently intermediate trade between many sellers and consumers.

Under the current rules, online marketplaces are covered by a
conditional liability exemption (Article 14 of the e-Commerce
Directive). The new proposal for a Digital Services Act includes
obligations for online marketplaces to tackle illegal products online,
e.g. gathering information on the identity of traders using their
services. Moreover, the new proposal for a General Product Safety
Regulation includes provisions for online marketplaces to tackle the
sale of dangerous products online.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

The proposals for a Digital Services Act and General Product Safety
Regulation are sufficient to ensure consumer protection as regards
products bought through online marketplaces where there is no EU-based
producer or importer.
The Product Liability Directive needs to be adapted to ensure consumer
protection if damage is caused by defective products bought through
online marketplaces where there is no EU-based producer or importer.

Question: What do you think is the appropriate approach for consumers to
claim compensation when damage is caused by a defective product bought
through an online marketplace and there is no EU-based producer or importer?
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: Digital technologies may bring with them new risks and new
kinds of damage.

Regarding risks, it is not always clear whether cybersecurity
vulnerabilities can be considered a defect under the Directive,
particularly as cybersecurity risks evolve throughout a product’s lifetime.

Regarding damage, the Directive harmonises the rights of consumers to
claim compensation for physical injury and property damage, although it
lets each Member State decide itself whether to compensate for
non-material damage (e.g. privacy infringements, psychological harm).
National rules on non-material damage differ widely. At EU level both
material and non-material damage can be compensated under the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when a data controller or processor
infringes the GDPR, and the Environmental Liability Directive provides
for the liability of companies for environmental damage.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

Producers should potentially be held strictly liable for damages caused
as a result of failure to provide necessary security updates for smart
The Directive should harmonise the right of consumers to claim
compensation from producers who are not simultaneously data controllers
or processors, for privacy or data protection infringements (e.g. a leak
of personal data caused by a defect)

The Directive should harmonise the right of consumers to claim
compensation for damage to, or destruction of, data (e.g. data being
wiped from a hard drive even if there is no tangible damage)
The Directive should harmonise the right of consumers to claim
compensation for psychological harm (e.g. abusive robot in a care
setting, home-schooling robot)

Some products, whether digital or not, could also cause environmental
damage. The Directive should allow consumers to claim compensation for
environmental damage (e.g. caused by chemical products)
Coverage of other types of harm

Adapting the Directive to the circular economy

Question The Directive addresses defects present at the moment a product
is placed on the market. However, changes to products after they are
placed on the market are increasingly common, e.g. in the context of
circular economy business models.

The Evaluation of the Directive found that it was not always clear who
should be strictly liable when repaired, refurbished or remanufactured
products were defective and caused damage. It is worth noting here that
the Directive concerns the defectiveness of products and not the
defectiveness of services. So, a third-party repair that was poorly
carried out would not lead to the repairer being held liable under the
Directive, although remedies may be available under national law.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

Companies that remanufacture a product (e.g. restoring vehicle
components to original as-new condition) and place it back on the market
should be strictly liable for defects causing damage
Companies that refurbish a product (e.g. restoring functionality of a
used smartphone) and place it back on the market should be strictly
liable for defects causing damage

The manufacturer of a defective spare part added to a product (e.g. to a
washing machine) during a repair should be strictly liable for damage
caused by that spare part

Policy approach and impacts of adapting the Directive to the digital and
circular economy

Reducing obstacles to getting compensation

Question: The Evaluation of the Directive found that in some cases
consumers face significant difficulties in getting compensation for
damage caused by defective products.

In particular it found that difficulties in proving the defectiveness of
a product and proving that the product caused the damage accounted for
53% of rejected compensation claims. In particular, the technical
complexity of certain products (e.g. pharmaceuticals and emerging
digital technologies) could make it especially difficult and costly for
consumers to actually prove they were defective and that they caused the

To what extent do you think that the following types of product present
difficulties in terms of proving defectiveness and causality in the
event of damage? (See additional burden of proof question concerning AI
in Section II)
    To a very large extent
    To a large extent
    To a moderate extent
    To a small extent
    Not at all
    Don't know/no answer

All products

Technically complex products


AI-enabled products

IoT (Internet of Things) products
Question: Other types of product (please specify):
    (50 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 50 characters used.

Reducing obstacles to making claims

Question: The Evaluation of the Directive found that in some cases
consumers faced or could face significant difficulties in making
compensation claims for damage caused by defective products. The current
rules allow consumers to claim compensation for personal injury or
property damage. Time limits apply to all compensation claims and
several other limitations apply to compensation for property damage.

To what extent do the following features of the Directive create
obstacles to consumers making compensation claims?
    To a very large extent
    To a large extent
    To a moderate extent
    To a small extent
    Not at all
    Don't know/no answer

Producers are released from liability for death/personal injury 10 years
after placing the product on the market
Producers are released from liability for property damage 10 years after
placing the product on the market

Consumers have to start legal proceedings within 3 years of becoming
aware of the damage

Consumers can claim compensation only for damage to property worth more
than EUR 500

Consumers can claim compensation only for damage to property intended
and used for private purposes

Policy approach and impacts of reducing obstacles to getting
compensation and making claims

End of Section I on Product Liability Directive


In Section II of this consultation the problems linked to certain types
of Artificial Intelligence – which make it difficult to identify the
potentially liable person, to prove that person’s fault or to prove the
defect of a product and the causal link with the damage – are explored

Would you like to continue with Section II on Artificial Intelligence?
Continue with Section II on Artificial Intelligence
Close the questionnaire

Section II - Liability for AI


As a crucial enabling technology, AI can drive both products and
services. AI systems can either be provided with a physical product
(e.g. an autonomous delivery vehicle) or placed separately on the market.

To facilitate trust in and the roll-out of AI technologies, the
Commission is taking a staged approach. First, on 21 April 2021, it
proposed harmonised rules for development, placing on the market and use
of certain AI systems (AI Act). The AI Act contains obligations on
providers and users of AI systems, e.g. on human oversight, transparency
and information. In addition, the recent proposal for a Regulation on
Machinery Products (published together with the AI act) also covers new
risks originating from emerging technologies, including the integration
of AI systems into machinery.

However, safety legislation minimises but cannot fully exclude
accidents. The liability frameworks come into play where accidents
happen and damage is caused. Therefore, as a next step to complement the
recent initiatives aimed at improving the safety of products when they
are placed on the EU market, the Commission is considering a revision of
the liability framework.

In the White Paper on AI and the accompanying 2020 Report on Safety and
Liability, the Commission identified potential problems with liability
rules, stemming from the specific properties of certain AI systems.
These properties could make it difficult for injured parties to get
compensation based on the Product Liability Directive or national
fault-based rules. This is because in certain situations, the lack of
transparency (opacity) and explainability (complexity) as well as the
high degree of autonomy of some AI systems could make it difficult for
injured parties to prove a product is defective or to prove fault, and
to prove the causal link with the damage.

It may also be uncertain whether and to what extent national strict
liability regimes (e.g. for dangerous activities) will apply to the use
of AI-enabled products or services. National laws may change, and courts
may adapt their interpretation of the law, to address these potential
challenges. Regarding national liability rules and their application to
AI, these potential problems have been further explored in this recent

With this staged approach to AI, the Commission aims to provide the
legal certainty necessary for investment and, specifically with this
initiative, to ensure that victims of damage caused by AI-enabled
products and services have a similar level of protection to victims of
technologies that operate without AI. Therefore, this part of the
consultation is looking at all three pillars of the existing liability

The Product Liability Directive, for consumer claims against producers
of defective products. The injured party has to prove the product was
defective and the causal link between that defect and the damage. As
regards the Directive, the proposed questions build on the first section
of the consultation.

National fault-based liability rules: The injured party has to prove the
defendant’s fault (negligence or intent to harm) and a causal link
between that fault and the damage.

National strict liability regimes set by each Member State for
technologies or activities considered to pose an increased risk to
society (e.g. cars or construction activities). Strict liability means
that the relevant risk is assigned to someone irrespective of fault.
This is usually justified by the fact that the strictly liable
individual benefits from exposing the public to a risk.

In addition to this framework, the General Data Protection Regulation
(GDPR) gives anyone who has suffered material or non-material damage due
to an infringement of the Regulation the right to receive compensation
from the controller or processor.

Problems – general

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

There is uncertainty as to how the Product Liability Directive (i.e.
liability for defective products) applies to damage caused by AI
There is uncertainty as to whether and how liability rules under
national law apply to damage caused by AI

When AI operates with a high degree of autonomy, it could be difficult
to link the damage it caused to the actions or omissions of a human actor
In the case of AI that lacks transparency (opacity) and explainability
(complexity), it could be difficult for injured parties to prove that
the conditions of liability (such as fault, a defect, or causation) are
Because of AI’s specific characteristics, victims of damage caused by AI
may in certain cases be less protected than victims of damage that
didn’t involve AI

It is uncertain how national courts will address possible difficulties
of proof and liability gaps in relation to AI
Question: Please elaborate on your answers or specify other grounds of
legal uncertainty regarding liability for damage caused by AI:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

The lack of adaptation of the current liability framework to AI may
negatively affect trust in AI

The lack of adaptation of the current liability framework to AI may
negatively affect the uptake of AI-enabled products and services
Question: Please elaborate on your answers. You may reflect in
particular on the recently proposed AI Act and on the complementary
roles played by liability rules and the other safety-related strands of
the Commission’s AI policy in ensuring trust in AI and promoting the
uptake of AI-enabled products and services:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: If the current liability framework is not adapted, to what
extent do you expect the following problems to occur in relation to the
production, distribution or use of AI-enabled products or services, now
or in the foreseeable future? This question is primarily aimed at
businesses and business associations.

    To a very large extent
    To a large extent
    To a moderate extent
    To a small extent
    Not at all
    Don't know/no answer

Companies will face additional costs (e.g. legal information costs,
increased insurance costs)

Companies may defer or abandon certain investments in AI technologies
Companies may refrain from using AI when automating certain processes
Companies may limit their cross-border activities related to the
production, distribution or use of AI-enabled products or services
Higher prices of AI-enabled products and services
Insurers will increase risk-premiums due to a lack of predictability of
liability exposures

It will not be possible to insure some products/services
Negative impact on the roll-out of AI technologies in the internal market

Question: Please elaborate on your answers, in particular on whether
your assessment is different for AI-enabled products than for AI-enabled
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: With the growing number of AI-enabled products and services on
the market, Member States may adapt their respective liability regimes
to the specific challenges of AI, which could lead to increasing
differences between national liability rules. The Product Liability
Directive could also be interpreted in different ways by national courts
for damage caused by AI.

If Member States adapt liability rules for AI in a divergent way, or
national courts follow diverging interpretations of existing liability
rules, to what extent do you expect this to cause the following problems
in the EU? This question is primarily aimed at businesses and business

    To a very large extent
    To a large extent
    To a moderate extent
    To a small extent
    Not at all
    Don't know/no answer

Additional costs for companies (e.g. legal information costs, increased
insurance costs) when producing, distributing or using AI-equipped
products or services

Need for technological adaptations when providing AI-based cross-border

Need to adapt AI technologies, distribution models (e.g. sale versus
service provision) and cost management models in light of diverging
national liability rules

Companies may limit their cross-border activities related to the
production, distribution or use of AI-enabled products or services
Higher prices of AI-enabled products and services
Insurers will increase premiums due to more divergent liability exposures
Negative impact on the roll-out of AI technologies
Question: Please elaborate on your answers, in particular on whether
your assessment is different for AI-enabled products than for AI-enabled
services, as well as on other impacts of possible legal fragmentation
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Policy options

Question: Due to their specific characteristics, in particular their
lack of transparency and explainability (‘black box effect’) and their
high degree of autonomy, certain types of AI systems could challenge
existing liability rules.

The Commission is considering the policy measures, described in the
following questions, to ensure that victims of damage caused by these
specific types of AI systems are not left with less protection than
victims of damage caused by technologies that operate without AI. Such
measures would be based on existing approaches in national liability
regimes (e.g. alleviating the burden of proof for the injured party or
strict liability for the producer). They would also complement the
Commission’s other policy initiatives to ensure the safety of AI, such
as the recently proposed AI Act, and provide a safety net in the event
that an AI system causes damage.

Please note that the approaches to adapting the liability framework
presented below relate only to civil liability, not to state or criminal
liability. The proposed approaches focus on measures to ease the
victim’s burden of proof (see next question) as well as a possible
targeted harmonisation of strict liability and insurance solutions
(subsequent questions). They aim to help the victim recover damage more

Do you agree or disagree with the following approaches regarding the
burden of proof?  The answer options are not mutually exclusive.
Regarding the Product Liability Directive, the following approaches
build on the general options in the first part of this questionnaire.
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

The defendant (e.g. producer, user, service provider, operator) should
be obliged to disclose necessary technical information (e.g. log data)
to the injured party to enable the latter to prove the conditions of the
If the defendant refuses to disclose the information referred to in the
previous answer option, courts should infer that the conditions to be
proven by that information are fulfilled

Specifically for claims under the Product Liability Directive: if an
AI-enabled product clearly malfunctioned (e.g. driverless vehicle
swerving off the road despite no obstacles), courts should infer that it
was defective and caused the damage

If the provider of an AI system failed to comply with their safety or
other legal obligations to prevent harm (e.g. those proposed under the
proposed AI Act), courts should infer that the damage was caused due to
that person’s fault or that, for claims under the Product Liability
Directive, the AI system was defective

If the user of an AI system failed to comply with their safety or other
legal obligations to prevent harm (e.g. those proposed under the
proposed AI Act), courts should infer that the damage was caused by that
person’s fault
If, in a given case, it is necessary to establish how a complex and/or
opaque AI system (i.e. an AI system with limited transparency and
explainability) operates in order to substantiate a claim, the burden of
proof should be shifted from the victim to the defendant in that respect
Specifically for claims under the Product Liability Directive: if a
product integrating an AI system that continuously learns and adapts
while in operation causes damage, the producer should be liable
irrespective of defectiveness; the victim should have to prove only that
the product caused the damage
Certain types of opaque or highly autonomous AI systems should be
defined for which the burden of proof regarding fault and causation
should always be on the person responsible for that AI system (reversal
of burden of proof)
EU action to ease the victim’s burden of proof is not necessary or justified
Question: Please elaborate on your answers and describe any other
measures you may find appropriate:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: Separately from the strict liability of producers under the
Product Liability Directive, national laws provide for a wide range of
different strict liability schemes for the owner/user/operator. Strict
liability means that a certain risk of damage is assigned to a person
irrespective of fault.

A possible policy option at EU level could be to harmonise strict
liability (full or minimum), separately from the Product Liability
Directive, for damage caused by the operation of certain AI-enabled
products or the provision of certain AI-enabled services. This could
notably be considered in cases where the use of AI (e.g. in autonomous
vehicles and autonomous drones) exposes the public to the risk of damage
to important values like life, health and property. Where strict
liability rules already exist in a Member State, e.g. for cars, the EU
harmonisation would not lead to an additional strict liability regime.

Do you agree or disagree with the following approaches regarding
liability for operating AI-enabled products and providing AI-enabled
services creating a serious injury risk (e.g. life, health, property)
for the public?
    Strongly agree
    Neutral    Disagree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

Full harmonisation of strict liability for operating AI-enabled products
and providing AI-enabled services, limited to cases where these
activities pose serious injury risks to the public
Harmonisation of strict liability for the cases mentioned in the
previous option, but allowing Member States to maintain broader and/or
more far-reaching national strict liability schemes applicable to other
AI-enabled products and services

Strict liability for operating AI-enabled products and providing of
AI-enabled services should not be harmonised at EU level
Question: Please elaborate on your answer, describe any other approaches
regarding strict liability you may find appropriate and/or indicate to
which specific AI-enabled products and services strict liability should
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: The availability, uptake and economic effects of insurance
policies covering liability for damage are important factors in
assessing the impacts of the measures described in the previous
questions. Therefore, this question explores the role of (voluntary or
mandatory) insurance solutions in general terms.

The subsequent questions concern possible EU policy measures regarding
insurance. To what extent do you agree with the following statements?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

Parties subject to possible harmonised strict liability rules as
described in the previous question would likely be covered by (voluntary
or mandatory) insurance

In cases where possible facilitations of the burden of proof would apply
(as described in the question on approaches to burden of proof), the
potentially liable party would likely be covered by (voluntary or
mandatory) liability insurance

Insurance solutions (be they voluntary or mandatory) could limit the
costs of potential damage for the liable person to the insurance premium

Insurance solutions (be they voluntary or mandatory) could ensure that
the injured person receives compensation

Question: Please elaborate on your answers:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Question: Under many national strict liability schemes, the person
liable is required by law to take out insurance. A similar solution
could be chosen at EU level for damage caused by certain types of AI
systems that pose serious injury risks (e.g. life, health, property) to
the public.

Possible EU rules would ensure that existing insurance requirements are
not duplicated: if the operation of a certain product, such as motor
vehicles or drones, is already subject to mandatory insurance coverage,
using AI in such a product or service would not entail additional
insurance requirements.

Do you agree or disagree with the following approach on insurance for
the use of AI systems that poses a serious risk of injury to the public?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

A harmonised insurance obligation should be laid down at EU level, where
it does not exist yet, for using AI products and providing AI-based
services that pose a serious injury risk (e.g. life, health, property)
to the public

Question: Taking into account the description of various options
presented in the previous questions, please rank the following options
from 1 (like best) to 8 (like least)
1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8

Option 1: (Aside from measures to ease the burden of proof considered in
Section I) Amending the Product Liability Directive to ease the burden
on victims when proving an AI-enabled product was defective and caused
the damage
Option 2: Targeted harmonisation of national rules on proof, e.g. by
reversing the burden of proof under certain conditions, to ensure that
it is not excessively difficult for victims to prove, as appropriate,
fault and/or causation for damage caused by certain AI-enabled products
and services
Option 3: Harmonisation of liability irrespective of fault (‘strict
liability’) for operators of AI technologies that pose a serious injury
risk (e.g. life, health, property) to the public
Option 4: option 3 + mandatory liability insurance for operators subject
to strict liability

Option 5: option 1 + option 2
Option 6: option 1 + option 2 + option 3
Option 7: option 1 + option 2 + option 4
Option 8: No EU action. Outside the existing scope of the Product
Liability Directive, each Member State would be free to adapt liability
rules for AI if and as they see fit
Question: Please elaborate on your answers, also taking into account the
interplay with the other strands of the Commission’s AI policy (in
particular the proposed AI Act). Please also describe any other measures
you may find appropriate:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Types of compensable harm and admissibility of contractual liability waivers

Question: Aside from bodily injury or damage to physical objects, the
use of technology can cause other types of damage, such as immaterial
harm (e.g. pain and suffering). This is true not only for AI but also
for other potential sources of harm. Coverage for such damage differs
widely in Member States.

Do you agree or disagree with harmonising compensation for the following
types of harm (aside from bodily injury and property damage),
specifically for cases where using AI leads to harm? Please note that
this question does not concern the Product Liability Directive – a
question on the types of harm for which consumers can claim compensation
under this Directive can be found in Section I. The answer options are
not mutually exclusive.
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

Pure economic loss (e.g. loss of profit)
Loss of or damage to data (not covered by the GDPR) resulting in a
verifiable economic loss

Immaterial harm like pain and suffering, reputational damage or
psychological harm

Loss of or damage to data (not covered by the GDPR) not resulting in a
verifiable economic loss

All the types of harm mentioned above

Question: Please specify any other types of harm:
    (500 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 500 characters used.

Question: Sometimes the person who has suffered damage has a contract
with the person responsible. That contract may exclude or limit the
right to compensation. Some Member States consider it necessary to
prohibit or restrict all or certain such clauses. The Product Liability
Directive also does not let producers limit or exclude their liability
towards the injured person by contract.

If the liability of operators/users for damage caused by AI is
harmonised at EU level, do you agree or disagree with the following
approaches regarding contractual clauses excluding or limiting in
advance the victim’s right to compensation?
    Strongly agree
    Strongly disagree
    No opinion

The admissibility of contractual liability waivers should not be
addressed at all

Such contractual clauses should be prohibited vis-à-vis consumers
Such contractual clauses should be prohibited vis-à-vis consumers and
between businesses

The contractual exclusion or limitation of liability should be
prohibited only for certain types of harm (e.g. to life, body or health)
and/or for harm arising from gross negligence or intent
Question: Please elaborate on your answer and specify if you would
prefer a different approach, e.g. an approach differentiating by area of
AI application:
    (2000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 2000 characters used.

Additional information

Question: Are there any other issues that should be considered?
    (3000 character(s) maximum)
    0 out of 3000 characters used.

Question: You can upload relevant quantitative data, reports/studies and
position papers to support your views here:

     Only files of the type pdf,txt,doc,docx,odt,rtf are allowed

Question: Do you agree to the Commission contacting you for a possible

If you're human, leave this field blank

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EUSurvey is supported by the European Commission's ISA² programme, which
promotes interoperability solutions for European public administrations.

Whatever the European Commission comes up with at the end, we keep our hopes low in light of unbridled cronyism.

Links 11/1/2022: Btrfs Improvements and DXVK 1.9.3

Posted in News Roundup at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • My polyamorous relationship with operating systems: FreeBSD, openSUSE, Fedora & Co.

      Recently, I have posted blogs and articles about three operating systems (or rather OS families) I use, and now people ask which one is my “true” love. It’s not easy, but I guess, the best way to describe it is that both FreeBSD and openSUSE are true ones, and Fedora & Co. is a workplace affair  This is why I’m writing that it is a polyamorous relationship. Let me explain!

      My first ever opensource operating system was FreeBSD. I got an account on the faculty server in 1994, a FreeBSD 1.X system. A few months later, I got the task to install Linux and a year later I ended up using S.u.S.E. Linux on the second faculty server. Soon, I was running a couple of Linux and FreeBSD servers at the university and elsewhere as a part-time student job. SuSE Linux also became my desktop operating system. I have always liked state-of-the art hardware, and while I felt FreeBSD to be a lot more mature on the server-side, it did not play well on a desktop. 25+ years later, it is still the case…

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 260: A Retro-spective of Classic Linux Distros

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re going to talk about the Classics of the distro world. Then we’re going to discuss some updates to Audacity. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 159 – Late Night Linux

        A simple FOSS way to share your mouse and keyboard across multiple machines, and a handy command line tool to find duplicate files. Plus your predictions for 2022 including gaming, GNOME, Firefox, Raspberry Pi, and PipeWire.

      • Ask A KDE Dev Anything – TEST! – Kockatoo Tube

        Yo, come at me and ask me stuff! I’ll use this stream to check if things work or not.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.16 Released. This is What’s New

        Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 5.16 as the first stable Kernel release of the year 2022, improving storage, processor, ports and all modules. We wrap up the release in this post with download and installation guidelines.

      • Linux Garbage Collection Memory Corruption

        Linux suffers from a garbage collection memory corruption vulnerability by resurrecting a file reference through RCU.

      • Btrfs Seeing Nice Performance Improvements For Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        With the Btrfs file-system popularity ticking back up, that seems to be helping upstream enthusiasm and development efforts as with Linux 5.17 there is yet more exciting work.

        Btrfs for the Linux 5.17 kernel has prepared another round of performance optimizations on top of tuning found in prior kernel versions. There is also some new core features and never-ending work on code clean-ups and other underlying improvements.

        On the performance front for Btrfs with Linux 5.17 there is now less metadata needed for directory logging, which can mean directory deletion is now 20~40% faster.

      • Graphics Stack

        • DXVK 1.9.3 is out supporting DLSS, D3D9 improvements and more | GamingOnLinux

          DXVK, the Vulkan-based implementation of D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 for Wine / Proton has version 1.9.3 out now. This is what’s used in Steam Play Proton, to help get Windows games running nicely on Linux. It’s a bit of an uphill battle to get so many tens of thousands of games to work nicely, but DXVK shows just how powerful and flexible Vulkan is as an API.

          This release brings support for NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) for supported games, when used along with dxvk-nvapi. There’s also a bunch of optimizations and accuracy improvements for D3D9 that should help fix games like Red Orchestra 2, Dark Souls 2 (original version), Dog Fight 1942, Bayonetta, Rayman Origins, Guilty Gear Xrd and Richard Burns Rally.

        • DXVK 1.9.3 Released with Improvements for Black Mesa, Crysis 3, and Many Other Games

          DXVK 1.9.3 is here about four months after DXVK 1.9.2 to make the DLSS implementation work on supported games in combination with dxvk-nvapi, optimize the D3D9 shader constants for games using software vertex processing, and fix a DXGI issue causing games to fail to enter full-screen mode on some displays that don’t support low rates across all resolutions.

        • DXVK 1.9.3 Released With NVIDIA DLSS Integration, Many Game Fixes

          DXVK 1.9.3 is out as its first release of 2022 for implementing Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan for allowing Windows games to enjoy good performance when running atop Linux via Valve’s Steam Play.

          With DXVK 1.9.3 there is NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) support in place when used in conjunction with the DXVK-NVAPI component for implementing the NVIDIA NVAPI interface. DXVK-NVAPI usage supports DLSS both for Vulkan and via D3D11/D3D12 Windows games.

          DXVK 1.9.3 also brings optimized Direct3D 9 shader constants handling, D3D9 floating point emulation improvements, and a variety of fixes benefiting different games.

        • The importance of window to desktop file mapping – Nico’s blog

          Now that we established why it is important to map a window to a desktop file, how is it done?

          On Wayland the xdg-shell protocol, which is responsible for application windows, has builtin support for passing a desktop file name in form of set_app_id.

          On X11, it’s more complicated.

          For Qt applications the plasma-integration Qt Platform Theme sets a KDE-specific window property that contains the desktop file name. The task manager reads this property and handles it accordingly.

          GTK apps have a very similar window property, named _GTK_APPLICATION_ID. However, until now Plasma did not use this information at all! Beginning with Plasma 5.25 the task manager will take _GTK_APPLICATION_ID into account, which fixes matching Gedit and other apps.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: How To Bug

          I posted some fun fluff pieces last week to kick off the new year, but now it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

          Everyone knows adding features is just flipping on the enable button. Now it’s time to see some real work.

          If you don’t like real work, stop reading. Stop right now. Now.

          Alright, now that all the haters are gone, let’s put on our bisecting snorkels and dive in.

    • Applications

      • Modern Alternatives to Some of the Classic Linux Commands

        When you start learning Linux, you begin with a standard set of Linux commands that have been in existence since the UNIX days. As you grow old as a Linux user, you keep on mastering the same set of standard commands.

        But these standard, legacy commands were created several decades ago and while they do their intended jobs, their functionalities could be improved and the structure could be simplified.

      • 5 Best Free and Open Source Scala 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.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install QPrompt as an alternative to Teleprompter

        An outbreak of COVID-19 cases has changed the way of living life earlier, we used to go to our offices, colleges, schools, but now we shifted to a virtual environment.

        Now you attend your office meeting from the couch, children attending their school while taking a nap, and many untold stories of different domains.

        Whatever the situation is, you take the help of video to convey your thought, and It’s quite possible to make mistakes while shooting a video. And it’s quite embarrassing too.

        Qprompt is one of the teleprompter software available on all major platforms, including Android mobile, and most importantly, it is an open-source application.

      • The Zorin Appearance Tool

        The Zorin Appearance tool can mimic the desktop layout of proprietary operating systems, making it appealing to newcomers.

        Switching to Linux can be a bewildering experience for Windows and macOS users. To ease this transition, some distributions offer desktop environments that imitate proprietary ones. For example, ChaletOS, Linuxfx, and ReactOS all offer imitations of various versions of Windows, while elementary OS’s desktop is sometimes said to resemble that of ReactOS. Yet, no other distribution takes this approach as far as Zorin OS. Depending on the release version, Zorin OS offers as many as eight desktop layouts in its Zorin Appearance tool that loosely resemble those on everything from proprietary operating systems and mobile touchscreens to Ubuntu’s Unity. However, if you expect a full emulation of these operating systems, you may be disappointed.

        Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-derivative founded in 2009 by brothers Artyom and Kyrill Zorin and is currently based in Ireland. Zorin 16, the most recent version, comes in three editions: Core, a free version intended for modern computers; Lite, a free edition intended for “low-spec PCs up to 15 years old,” according to the download page; and Pro, which includes advanced productivity apps, costs $39, and can be installed for individuals with one license for multiple computers. All the versions default to a modified Xfce desktop with a minimalist modern appearance. However, the available settings range from elementary cosmetic control settings to unique controls over the applications that make up the desktop environment. On a virtual machine, you will need 35GB for installation, a high number which might well interfere with Zorin’s use on an older, small computer. In fact, while Zorin OS responds quickly while up and running, its boot and shutdown are notably sluggish.

      • Terraform Module Dependency – buildVirtual

        As of Terraform 0.13 you can create dependencies between your Terraform modules easily. Version 0.13 of Terraform has been available since August 2020, and introduced some enhancements to Terrafrom modules capability including count, depends_on and for_each functions. In this short article we will look at an example of how to use depends_on with Terraform modules.

        Terraform typically does a great job of understanding dependencies in your Terraform plans, however sometimes it is useful to manually configure a Terraform module dependency to ensure resources deploy in the expected order.

      • Linux Command: Passwd Usage

        All the user accounts need passwords to log in via the different operating systems many times. In the same way, we can update the password settings for passwords as we did for the user. Thus, the passwd command is known for making updates to the password in Linux. Henceforth, we will discuss the usages of the “passwd” command in Ubuntu 20.04 terminal. Let’s start with the terminal launch in Ubuntu 20.04 system. It would be done using the shortcut “Ctrl+Alt+T” in the Ubuntu 20.04 desktop. The terminal will be opened on your screen.

      • CUPS web interface fixed
      • How to Install Handbrake Video Transcoder 1.5.1 in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        The popular free open-source Handbrake video transcoder released version 1.5.0 a day ago and then 1.5.1 with quick fix. Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu / Linux Mint.

      • Linux Command: Usermod Usage

        Linux is a diverse operating system most known for its terminal commands. These commands are of a hundred types and usages. One of these Linux commands is the “Usermod” command. The usermod command can be used for performing a lot of things using flags. This command is specifically designed for Linux users to update and change anything regarding other users in their existing system. Within this guide today, you will see the different uses of the “Usermod” command in Ubuntu 20.04. Let’s have a new start with some of the usermod command examples to see those flags working. Let’s get started.

        Let’s start with the launch of a Ubuntu 20.04 console application. The shortcut key “Ctrl+Alt+T” will be used to launch it in our system quickly. To use the usermod command in Linux, we must use it in the terminal with sudo rights. For the use of sudo rights, you have to use the keyword “su” in the shell, as shown below. It will require your root account password and press Enter to do so. You will see that we will be able to work in a sudo terminal environment.

      • How to Install Cockpit on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        Cockpit is a free remote server manager that is lightweight and easy to use for GNU/Linux servers. Cockpit is a web-based graphical interface for servers intended for people new to Linux to the experts such as sysadmins. Cockpit makes Linux discoverable, allowing anyone using the software to perform tasks such as start containers, administer storage, configure networks, and inspect logs.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install or enable Cockpit on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server.

      • Install a Redis server on Debian 11 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, we will install a Redis server in Debian 11. For this, we will use the Debian repository that provides the most suitable way.

      • MySql Contains Podman -

        MySQL contains is a prominent open-source relational database administration system and one of the popular web server solutions. It stores and structures data in a meaningful and ensures easy accessibility. A container image is maintained by the community.

        Podman is a set of platform-as-a-service developments that support CI/CD development. It allows to develop and deploys applications inside virtual environments, called containers. Podman boots up an application with all its libraries and dependencies with a single image.

      • MySQL Database Commands Cheat Sheet for Linux

        Both MySQL and MariaDB are attributed as open-source relational database management systems (RDBMS). Since MySQL is broken down to either community or enterprise release.

        MariaDB became a drop-in replacement to parade all the structured query language (SQL) features offered by MySQL but at an open-source cost.

        So whether you are using MySQL Enterprise Edition, MySQL Community Edition, or MariaDB, this article is for you. By the end of your read, you should be comfortable with the use of the powerful structured query language mimicked by these RDBMS.

      • How to Install Fail2ban with Firewalld on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        Fail2ban is an intrusion prevention software framework that protects computer servers from primarily brute-force attacks, banning bad user agents, banning URL scanners, and much more. Fail2ban achieves this by reading access/error logs of your server or web applications. Fail2ban is coded in the python programming language.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to install Fail2ban on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server and some basic setup and tips.

      • How to Install ClamAV on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        ClamAV is an open-source and free antivirus software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses, trojans, malware, adware, rootkits, and other malicious threats. One of its primary uses of ClamAV is on mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner or used on file hosting servers to periodically scan to make sure files are clean, especially if the public can upload to the server.

        ClamAV supports multiple file formats (documents, executables, or archives), utilizes multi-thread scanner features, and receives updates for its signature database daily to sometimes numerous times per day for the latest protection.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and use ClamAV on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server.

      • How to Install MariaDB 10.6 on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source databases next to its originator MySQL. The original creators of MySQL developed MariaDB in response to fears that MySQL would suddenly become a paid service due to Oracle acquiring it in 2010. With its history of doing similar tactics, the developers behind MariaDB have promised to keep it open source and free from such fears as what has happened to MySQL.

        MariaDB has become just as popular as MySQL with developers, with advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, faster cache/indexes, storage engines, and features/extensions that you won’t find in MySQL.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MariaDB 10.6 on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server.

      • How to Install SQLite 3 on Fedora 35 – 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 Fedora 35 Workstation or Server.

      • It only takes minutes to set up a Git repository on Linux – TechRepublic

        If you need a quick code repository, you have everything you need with git and SSH. Jack Wallen shows you how it’s done.

      • Install Deepin Desktop Environment (UbuntuDDE) on POP OS

        In this tutorial, we learn the steps to install popular Deepin Dekstop- DEE on POP_OS 20.04 LTS or 21.04 Linux using the command terminal.

        Deepin is one of the most beautiful Linux distro based on the Debian operating system. However, there are many people who refrain themselves from using either because of its origin or slow repository. Hence, one of the best ways to experience its beauty is by installing the Deepin Desktop GUI on our existing POP_OS operating systems.

        Moreover, installing a new operating system is also cumbersome if you have already have set up applications you required on it. In such as scenario, installing an extra GUI apart from the default one will be a good idea.

        POP_OS comes with a popular Gnome desktop environment, however being a Linux distro, users are free to install any popular Linux GUI with few commands such as Cinnamon, XFCE, etc. However, unlike other GUI, the Deepin Linux desktop is not available through the default base repository of POPOS. Therefore, to get it we have to add a repo manually. And the best way is to use the package repo made available by UbuntuDDE, an Linux operating system based on Ubuntu and running with DDE.

      • 4 Ways to Install Discord client on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        In this tutorial, we learn the commands and steps to install GitHub alternative self-hosted GitLab on Ubuntu 20.04 Focalusing the terminal.

      • Install Gitlab on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal fossa Linux – Linux Shout

        GitLab is a version control system( VCS). It is based entirely on Git, a distributed versioning system that is made available as open-source software. Git is by far the most widely used VCS in the world. GitLab is not much different from GitHub, both web-based solutions are based on Git for managing the various repository created by developers. Anyone who is acquainted with GitHub would already know what is Gitlab, still, if you are not then it is an alternative to Github. It is a solution that was written by Ukrainian Dmitriy Zaporozhets in collaboration with Valery Sizov in 2011 using the programming language Ruby on Rails. After Microsoft took over GitHub in 2018, many users switch to GitLab to mitigate the monopoly of one platform.

        Being a version management platform the key task of GitLab is to save and document all changes to files done by developers and their source code to make them easily traceable at any time. Hence, GitLab including Github is more inclined and used by the programmers and developers to make things easy for them. Due to a version control system, several developers can work on the same project simultaneously. Know more about this platform’s history at Wikipedia.

      • How to Install Apache Cassandra on AlmaLinux / Rocky Linux 8

        Apache Cassandra is an open-source NoSQL distributed database management system. Cassandra can be scaled horizontally by adding more nodes across which data is replicated automatically. Nodes can be added or removed without any downtime. The nodes can be organized logically as a cluster or a ring and set up across multiple data centers to improve speed and reliability for high-performance applications.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Apache Cassandra on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux 8 OS. The commands for both the Operating systems will be identical unless specified otherwise.

      • How to Install LEMP Stack on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        LEMP is a collection of open-source software commonly used to serve web applications. The term LEMP is an acronym that represents the configuration of a Linux operating system with an Nginx (pronounced engine-x, hence the E in the acronym) web server, with site data stored in a MySQL or MariaDB database and dynamic content processed by PHP that is popularly used for hosting extensive websites due to its performance and scalability.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install LEMP (Nginx, MariaDB, PHP) on Fedora 35 Server or Workstation. The tutorial will install various version choices with Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP.

      • How to Install ModSecurity & OWASP Core Rule Set with Nginx on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        ModSecurity, often referred to as Modsec, is a free, open-source web application firewall (WAF). ModSecurity was created as a module for the Apache HTTP Server. However, since its early days, the WAF has grown and now covers an array of HyperText Transfer Protocol request and response filtering capabilities for various platforms such as Microsoft IIS, Nginx, and Apache.

        How the WAF works, the ModSecurity engine is deployed in front of the web application, allowing the engine to scan the incoming and outgoing HTTP connections. ModSecurity is most commonly used in conjunction with the OWASP Core Rule Set (CRS), an open-source set of rules written in ModSecurity’s SecRules language and is highly regarded among the security industry.

      • Freezing your Node.js dependencies with yarn.lock and –frozen-lockfile

        When Yarn introduced a lock file (similar to Gemfile.lock), it did it with an unexpected twist. If you need reproducible builds, yarn.lock is not enough.

        What is a lock file? Lock files ensure that the defined dependencies from files such as package.json get pinned to specific versions. This later ensures parity on developers’ workstations, CI, and production.

        Many people probably depend on Yarn doing the right thing and installing only the pinned versions from yarn.lock on yarn install. But, unfortunately, this is not the case…

        The default behavior of yarn install is that the yarn.lock file gets updated if there is any mismatch between package.json and yarn.lock. Weird, right?

        (In comparison, other package managers such as RubyGems would only ever look at lock files and install the pinned versions from there.)

      • How to Setup Varnish SSL Termination with Nginx Web server on Rocky Linux 8

        Varnish cache software does not support SSL/TLS by default. You need additional software to enable SSL/TLS support on Varnish.

        SSL Termination is a method to enable SSL/TLS on Varnish. You can use Hitch, Nginx, or Apache to enable SSL termination for the Varnish HTTP accelerator.

        SSL termination software will be running on the HTTPS port ’443′ and handles all HTTPS requests from clients. After that, all requests will be forwarded to the varnish cache software, then forward to the origin backend server.

      • How to find a domain’s authoritative nameservers

        To be able to tell which one is happening (do you need to make a change, or do you just need to wait?), you need to be able to find your domain’s authoritative nameserver and query it to see what records it has.

        But when I looked up how to find a domain’s authoritative nameserver online to see what advice was out there, I found a lot of conflicting answers. So here’s how I look up a domain’s authoritative nameserver when I want to be 100% sure I’m getting the right answer.

        In this example, we’re going to look up the authoritative nameserver for jvns.ca. There are 2 steps, and the hardest part is just knowing what line of dig’s output to use.

      • How to use Podman to get information about your containers | Enable Sysadmin

        Podman is a daemon-less engine for developing, managing, and running Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant containers. This is the second article in a series about using Podman based on things I do in my real work environment. In my previous article, I showed you how to start containers quickly and easily using the familiar interface of shell scripting.

        In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to get insight into running containers. If you want to follow along with this article, first run the shell scripts I used in the “Setting things up” section of the first article in this series.


        There are more options to explore in the podman ps and podman stats toolset. Try them out to familiarize yourself with the outputs. As you do, you’ll become comfortable with the commands, and you’ll be able to decide what suits your ongoing needs best.

        Podman is gaining more and more followers as a convenient and flexible tool for managing containers and images. Understanding how to use it for things such as listing running containers gives you an advantage in managing containers.

        In my next article, I’ll explore how to get your container’s external internet protocol (IP) address. Until then, you can learn more about Podman from 10 Podman guides to do more with containers in 2022, Top 10 container guides for sysadmins, and of course, Podman.io.

      • How to set up Laravel Bagisto with Nginx and PHP-FPM in Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        Bagisto is an easy to use, free and open source Laravel eCommerce platform to build your online shop in no time.

        In this guide we will learn how to configure Laravel Bagisto with Nginx and PHP-FPM with MariaDB as the data source.

      • How to install and Configure Mariadb 10 in Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure MariaDB in Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8.

        MariaDB is an open-source one of the most popular relational database management system (RDBMS) that is a highly compatible drop-in replacement of MySQL. It is built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness, and MariaDB Foundation ensures contributions will be accepted on technical merit.

        MariaDB was developed as a software fork of MySQL in 2009 in response to Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL. MariaDB intends to remain free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License. It is part of most cloud offerings and the default in most Linux distributions.

      • What is BusyBox in Linux? How to Use it?

        BusyBox is getting popular these days, specially among Docker users. Many Docker images use BusyBox to provide you with a minimal image.

        And this could leave many users confused specially if you take Linux commands for granted. You think ls, mv and other such commands are part of Linux, while the truth is that these commands are part of GNU Coreutils package and most Linux distributions have it preinstalled.

        GNU Coreutils is almost the de facto provider of various UNIX/Linux commands. Almost because there are always alternatives and BusyBox is one such alternative to GNU Coreutils.

      • This Tool Adds More Display Scaling Levels for Ubuntu Gnome on X | UbuntuHandbook

        As you may know, Gnome control center (aka settings) has “Fractional Scaling” option since Ubuntu 20.04, allows to change scaling level for HiDPI displays.

        By default, user may scale up to 125%, 150%, 175% and 200% to make Ubuntu (or other GNOME based Linux, such as Fedora) to be read easily. In this tutorial, I’m going to introduce “BetterScale”, a command line tool gives more scaling levels.

      • Most Simple Linux Commands With 10 Examples

        In this guide you are going to learn the most simple yet powerful Linux commands which every Linux system user should know. These commands are used over and over on your daily work.

        Below given the Tips & Tricks you are about to learn.

      • How To Manage Location Sharing on Your Android Device

        Suppose you’re looking for someone but not able to find him/her. You know the place where he/she is, but not the exact location. No worries, your Android can make things easy for you in situations like this. You just need to share the exact location from the person’s (you’re looking for) Android to your Android. By doing so, you can easily reach your exact destination. So, manage your Android location sharing and get things done pretty easily.

        Moreover, you can also manage your app location sharing access on your Android along with WiFi and Bluetooth scanning to detect the location automatically. Additionally, real-time location sharing, Google’s location history on/off, is also there for your convenience. So finding or hiding your location is not a big deal anymore.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • antiX-sid iso files available

          For those that like to live on the bleeding edge and build upwards from a small base, antiX has made available iso files based on Debian sid.

          We offer the following completely systemd-free and elogind-free flavours for both 32 and 64 bit architecture. User can download sysVinit or runit versions.

          antiX-core (c460MB) – no X, but should support most wireless (libdbus-1-3 is installed).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE-Dell Technologies partnership continues to shine with Joint Open Source Solutions | SUSE Communities

          More value. Less effort. Less worry. No lock-in.
          For more than 20 years now, these are the shared values of SUSE and our partners at Dell Technologies. We believe in our joint ventures, but we still want you to feel you have the final decision to love us, no questions asked. And that’s how the future should be because it will be widely distributed over sensors and machines, in the cloud, on-premise and at the edge, all with a strong open-source backbone.
          Together we continue to collaborate over platform integration, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support, and a solid compute foundation. We enable enterprises to deploy interoperable platforms for mission-critical computing and delivery IT services across your own blend of physical, virtual and cloud environments. And we base it all on SUSE Linux.

        • SA Power Networks focuses on sustainability with SUSE

          “We’re completing four full patching cycles a year with very few issues thanks to the reliability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.” Pino Lascala, Server Technical Engineer (Unix), SA Power Networks.

      • Librem

        • Secure and Cloud-Friendly Experience with Librem 14 and NextCloud

          If you are wondering how to be on the cloud with your Librem device, we recommend Nextcloud, the freedom-respecting online productivity platform that keeps you in control. Nextcloud allows you to upload, edit, and share documents and files. It also has calendering and advanced plugins.

        • 2021 Year in Review: Design – Purism

          This year, just like the previous years, the Purism design team has been focusing on improving the overall Librem products experience. We took this opportunity to contribute to some amazing upstream projects like Libadwaita for the world to benefit from those modern and respectful technologies. Our goal is to make each Librem product simple and usable by anyone, while remaining secure and respecting digital rights. We are also working on unifying the overall experience across the different devices by designing UIs and gestures that naturally adapt to different screen sizes and orientations. We want people using a Librem desktop or laptop computer to feel at home when using a Librem 5 and vice-versa.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Release Roundup #22.2: EasyOS 3.2, Linux Mint 20.3, Neptune 7.0, and More Releases – It’s FOSS News

          Linux Mint 20.3 is a point upgrade with several improvements and some new additions. You should also find a new application with this release to manage documents/ebooks.

          For more details, you should read our initial impressions and highlights on Linux Mint 20.3.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 717

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 717 for the week of January 2 – 8, 2022.

        • Release of Vanilla framework v3.0 | Ubuntu

          We’ve just released Vanilla v3.0 – a new major update to our CSS framework. It includes a few significant updates and improvements around spacing variables, responsive breakpoints, a new expanding search box and various updates to existing components. Important aspects of the release include dropping a noticeable chunk of deprecated styles and components and removing IE support.


          We’ve always put a lot of attention into making sure components in Vanilla are consistently spaced and that all text and block elements align properly to our baseline grid. To make it possible while keeping the framework flexible, we used to have quite a large number of spacing variables in our SCSS code. These were used to add various amounts of horizontal or vertical spacing to the elements.

          We also had separate variables for “inner” and “outer” spacing. These turned out to be confusing, as it wasn’t always clear for more complex components if the given space should be considered “inner” or “outer”. The other aspect that made Vanilla spacing complicated was the density multiplication factor that could be changed on a framework level. It affected some of the spacing variables (that we called “scaleable”), but not the others. It was not widely used and was the source of some confusion and bugs.

          For Vanilla 3.0 we decided to refactor the spacing variables and reduce the number of them. We did this by removing the separation of “inner” and “outer” spacing, merging different variables that share the same values and removing the density multiplier and all variables that it affected. We still kept separate variables for horizontal and vertical spacing (to make it clear which values should be used in given directions), but they all follow the same naming conventions. So, “small” horizontal spacing has the same value as “small” vertical one.

          Alongside this work, we also cleaned up and refactored some spacing related mappings.

          This allowed us to reduce the number of our main spacing variables from 20 to around 10 with much more clear and consistent naming.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Blog: Chrome 98 Beta: Color Gradient Vector Fonts, Region Capture Origin Trial, and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 98 is beta as of January 10, 2022. You can download the latest on Google.com for desktop or on Google Play Store on Android.

          • Google Rolls Chrome 98 Into Beta With COLRv1 Font Support – Phoronix

            Following last week’s release of Chrome 97, Google has promoted Chrome 98 to beta form.

            With Chrome 98 there are a variety of small additions but mostly developer-facing items. Some of the Chrome 98 beta highlights include:

            - COLRv1 color gradient vector fonts are supported as a new font format. These color fonts are made up of glpyhs with multiple colors in them such as for emoji, country flags, or multi-colored letters. More details on COLRv1 fonts via developer.chrome.com.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla launches study into Facebook data collection

            Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, is partnering with the nonprofit newsroom The Markup to launch a study that will analyze how Facebook tracks data for targeted ads and to tailor content recommendations for users.

            The study will use tools provided by Rally, a privacy-focused data sharing platform created by Mozilla in June, Mozilla announced Monday.

            Firefox users can opt into the “Facebook Pixel Hunt” study through Rally. The study will collect the data sent to Facebook pixels as users browse, the URLs of the web pages users browse, the time users spend browsing pages and the presence of Facebook login cookies in users’ browsers.

          • Mozilla and Linux Mint sign a partnership agreement

            Linux Mint, developer of the popular Linux distribution, and Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, have signed a partnership agreement.

            The Linux Mint team announced the partnership on the official blog. According to the information published there, the partnership is commercial and technical in nature.

            Some things will change for Linux Mint users who use Firefox as a browser on the system. Linux Mint shipped Firefox with a custom set of settings and configurations in the past, and most of these will be dropped to go back to the defaults.

          • Firefox 96 is Available to Download, This is What’s New – OMG! Ubuntu!

            Mozilla Firefox 96 is out.

            The first major update to the browser this year comes with a modest miscellany of improvements, plus a few Linux-specifics changes users may be interested to hear about.

            But we’ll start with something everyone: better security.

            Firefox 96 ships with the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax setting enabled by default. This, Mozilla say, “provides a solid first line of defense against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks”. Nice.

            Next, Mozilla says it made “significant improvements in noise-suppression and auto-gain-control as well as slight improvements in echo-cancellation to provide you with a better overall experience.” This relates to the browser’s built-in Media Capture and Streams API which is used in WebRTC.

          • Firefox 96 Yields Less Load On The Main Thread, WebP Encoder For Canvas – Phoronix

            Firefox 96.0 is officially shipping today as the first update of 2022 for this open-source web browser.

            Firefox 96.0 has “significantly” reduced the amount of load placed on the browser’s main thread and there is also “significant” improvements in noise suppression and auto-gain-control and improvements in echo cancellation. In addition to that performance work, there are also WebRTC improvements, an improved cookie policy to reduce the likelihood of Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks, video quality degradation fixes, and other fixes.

          • Linux Mint Partners with Mozilla to ‘Improve Firefox Experience’ – It’s FOSS News

            Linux Mint announced a partnership with Mozilla.

            Considering Linux Mint offers Firefox as the default web browser and continues to use Thunderbird as the email client, it sounds like a piece of good news.

            But, what exactly does the partnership affect? What are the changes that come with Firefox on Linux Mint?


            Linux Mint will be dropping its customizations and using the default configurations for the Firefox browser, identical to other operating systems or distributions.

            This should ensure that you get a uniform Firefox browsing experience, no matter the platform.

          • Updating to Firefox 96

            Yesterday we announced a new partnership with Mozilla and a transition to Mozilla default settings in Firefox 96. If you didn’t read this announcement yet, please visit https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=4244.

            Today, in preparation for Firefox 96 I want to make one more blog post, this time to talk specifically about technical details and to help people before, through and after the transition.

            Firefox 96 is out today but we’ll publish the update on Friday January 14th. This will give everyone a few days to read this post, prepare for the update and get an opportunity to ask questions and seek help before the transition.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Making Open Source economy more viable with dual license collectives

            Here is an idea that has been sitting in my mind for more than a year now, and I still think it might work. I finally decided to write it down, so people can tell me if it already has been tried or why is it bad. I almost never have any truly unique idea, so I bet someone will send me a link proving that I just suck at googling stuff. If you think it’s good – feel free to give it a try. After all, ideas are cheap and execution is where the value is.

      • Programming/Development

        • Setting Up a CI System Part 3: Provisioning Your CI Gateway

          In this article, we will further discuss the role of the CI gateway, and which steps we can take to simplify its deployment, maintenance, and disaster recovery.

          This work is sponsored by the Valve Corporation.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Advent Calendar: All the blogs posts of 2021
          • 2022.01/02 Perching? – Rakudo Weekly News

            Inspired by the mention of increased number of visitors to the 2021 Raku Advent Calendar (up 180% from 2020), and an article about the cycle of adoption of technology, Steve Roe created a Pull Request for the Raku’s Most Wanted list, which describes a plan to make the Raku Programming Language the tool of choice for the scientist / programmer that is hitting the limits of Python. Hopefully, a Python Perch for all the people working on this in the Rakudo Weekly News, will become a thing!

  • Leftovers

    • From the Market Mirage to Regional Communities: the Communitarian Vision of William Appleman Williams

      Friedman made that statement in 1982, even as the laissez-faire economic ideas that had seemed impossible through much of his career were coming to fruition. The new Reagan Administration was busy cutting government programs and regulations, while reducing taxes on corporations and the wealthy. “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” Reagan had proclaimed in his inaugural address. It was a sharp turn from previous decades. The 1930s Depression had deeply discredited free market economics. From the 1930s New Deal to the 1960s Great Society, expansion of government and its role in society had been the hallmark.

      But the 1970s saw the emergence of multiple crises. Oil prices skyrocketed, while inflation radiated throughout a stagnating economy. The old economic formulas no longer seemed to work. The ruling business and political classes were under severe challenge. Wealth inequality, always a major divide, reached a historically low point in the mid-1970s, while labor intensified its demands. The ideas of Freidman and other free market economists developed in the 1950s and ‘60s had already undergone a test run in Chile after the 1973 coup. Now the ruling classes of the U.S. were ready to implement them wholesale in the U.S., even as Margaret Thatcher brought them to the fore in the UK. Strictly speaking, the neoliberal revolution did not so much reduce government as the parts of government that benefitted ordinary people, while attacking labor and unleashing corporations from much of the regulatory framework created in previous decades. The trend continued through Republican and Democratic administrations.

    • ProPublica’s Year in Visual Journalism

      We at ProPublica often tell stories about vulnerable people who have been failed by powerful individuals and institutions. Through our visual journalism, we aim to help our readers connect with and contextualize these stories.

    • Hardware

      • A Simple EMF Detector And Electroscope You Can Make From Junk Box Parts | Hackaday

        Electromagnetic fields are everywhere, all around us. Some are generated naturally, but in vast majority of cases, it’s we humans that are generating them with artificial, electronic means. Everything from your mobile phone to the toaster will emit some sort of signal, be it intentional or not. So we think it only befits the general electronics-orientated hacker to have some way of sniffing around for these signals, so here is [Mirko Pavleski] with his take on a very simple pair of instruments to detect both static and dynamic electromagnetic fields.


        The first unit (a simple electroscope) uses a cascade of 2N2222 NPN bipolar transistors configured to give a high current gain, so any charge near the antenna will result in increasing currents in subsequent stages, finally illuminating the LED. Simple stuff.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Disability Rights Advocates Condemn CDC Director’s ‘Abhorrent’ Comments on Covid-19 Deaths

        Disability rights groups on Sunday were among those expressing horror at comments by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky regarding who is most likely to die from the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

        On “Good Morning America” Friday, Walensky shared what she said was “encouraging news” about the variant which is driving case numbers to record highs in the U.S., saying, “The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities.”

      • Why Doesn’t the Supreme Court Want Workers to Be As Safe From Covid as They Are?

        All the Supreme Court justices are vaccinated. The court, moreover, was an early adopter of remote working to keep the justices safe, and even as they’ve gone back to the court in person, they still require Covid testing of those who will argue in front of them. It would seem the nine people who can be removed from power only by death are taking the best available precautions to stay alive.

      • The Front Lines of Omicron

        This winter brings a bleak sense of déjà vu to the Boston-area ICU where I work. Once again, beds are increasingly occupied by critically ill patients with Covid-19. When I join Zoom calls with physicians from other hospitals to coordinate regional “load balancing” of ICU beds—exchanging patients between facilities to prevent overload—the tone is again tense.

      • Omicron Spike Is Straining Hospitals as Health Care Workers Leave the Profession
      • Congress Is Providing KN95s to Lawmakers. What About the Rest of Us?
      • ‘Good News for Seniors’: Becerra Orders Medicare to Reassess Premium Hike

        As the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that he was ordering a review of a planned 15% hike in the Medicare Part B premium for 2022, healthcare reform advocates stressed the need for Congress to pass a Build Back Better bill with a provision allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.

        “Pharma corporations cynically anticipate public anger at high launch prices and so plan for ‘voluntary’ price reductions.”

      • ‘What About the General Public?’: Members of Congress to Get KN95 Masks Amid Omicron Wave

        With Capitol Hill—like much of the United States—experiencing a major spike in Covid-19 cases, members of Congress and their offices are reportedly set to receive KN95 masks to help stem the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

        “There are unprecedented infections around the entire country! What about the general public?”

      • Breaking Point: Ed Yong Says Omicron Is Straining Hospitals & Schools Amid Vaccine Mandate Pushback

        The Omicron variant’s transmission rate is exponentially higher than Delta, leaving healthcare workers across the U.S. in dire straits. Waves of doctors, nurses and other health professionals are unionizing, and some have quit the profession over exploitative conditions. The staffing shortage has added on to the strains of increasing hospitalizations due to COVID-19, limited availability of necessary equipment and lack of federal support for preventative measures such as paid medical leave. “This is the cost of two years spent pushing prematurely for a return to normal,” says Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and science writer at The Atlantic. Yong also discusses the debate over keeping schools open during the COVID-19 surge, and challenges to President Biden’s vaccine mandates affecting nearly 100 million workers.

      • As Djokovic Leaves Australian Detention Hotel, Refugees Held There Urge World Not to Forget Them

        As an Australian judge allows unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic to be released from immigration detention amid controversy over his COVID vaccine exemption, we look at how his case has intensified international scrutiny over Australia’s inhumane treatment of refugees jailed in the same rundown hotel. “No one is telling us when we get out of this indefinite detention,” says Mehdi Ali, an Iranian refugee currently detained by the Australian government at the Park Hotel in Melbourne. We also speak with former Australian soccer player Craig Foster, who advocates for asylum seekers.

      • Calls for Paid Leave Grow as Workers Face ‘Vicious Cycle’: Their Jobs or Covid Safety

        As U.S. workers ill with Covid-19 during the Omicron surge face the stark choice of staying home without pay at the risk of losing their jobs or reporting to work and possibly infecting colleagues and customers, progressives on Monday renewed calls for the implementation of paid sick leave at the national level.

        “I thought I was doing the right thing by protecting my co-workers. Now I wish I just would’ve gone to work and not said anything.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Australian Government Reviews Its Encryption-Breaking Law, Says It’s Cool And Good

              The Australian government gave itself encryption-breaking powers at the end of 2018. The law went into effect January 2019. The beneficiaries of the law immediately swept in to reap the rewards. Demands for “exceptional access” required tech companies to break encryption upon request to hand over communications and data sought by law enforcement and security agencies.

            • Here Comes the Digital Markets Act, Important New Legislation From the EU Boosting Privacy and Interoperability

              Where the DSA is highly contentious, because of its desire to lay down what is illegal content online — something that touches on human rights such as freedom of speech — the DMA has a great deal of support across the political spectrum in Europe. The GAFAM group has long been regarded as too powerful, and even as a threat to European democracy; calls to clip the wings of these companies have been heard for years. The DMA aims to impose a number of wide-ranging restrictions on these digital giants, and if passed is likely to have a major impact on them not just in the EU, but globally.

            • Moxie Marlinspike has stepped down as CEO of Signal

              Founded in 2014, Signal has grown into one of the most trusted and robust apps for encrypted messaging. The service has more than 40 million monthly users and is regularly recommended in security guides. Established as a nonprofit, the company is not supported by advertising or app sales, instead relying on donations and a recently launched sustainer program.

            • The FCC’s still in a stalemate a year into Biden’s presidency

              After nearly a year into Joe Biden’s presidency, new pressure is mounting on the Senate to expeditiously confirm nominations for positions at two of the federal government’s top agencies with control over broadband and data privacy.

              In new statements issued on Monday, public interest groups Free Press Action and Fight for the Future called on the Senate Commerce Committee to fill the final seats at the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Both Gigi Sohn and Alvaro Bedoya, for the FCC and FTC, respectively, have finished their confirmation hearing processes, but neither nomination has received a final committee vote to set them up for floor confirmation.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Citing ‘Blatant Acts of Insurrection,’ NC Voters Petition to Bar Cawthorn From Seeking Reelection

        Citing U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s alleged participation in the January 6 coup attempt, a group of North Carolina voters on Monday submitted a legal challenge to prevent the Republican lawmaker from seeking reelection in 2022.

        “Cawthorn has engaged in blatant acts of insurrection. He must be held accountable for his actions which have threatened our democracy.”

      • Opinion | Killer Robots and the Laws We Need to Stop Them

        Here’s a scenario to consider: a military force has purchased a million cheap, disposable flying drones each the size of a deck of cards, each capable of carrying three grams of explosives—enough to kill a single person or, in a “shaped charge,” pierce a steel wall. They’ve been programmed to seek out and “engage” (kill) certain human beings, based on specific “signature” characteristics like carrying a weapon, say, or having a particular skin color. They fit in a single shipping container and can be deployed remotely. Once launched, they will fly and kill autonomously without any further human action.

      • Progressives Demand Biden End Sanctions to Avert Mass Starvation in Afghanistan

        Progressive U.S. lawmakers and human rights advocates are urging the Biden administration to immediately lift economic sanctions on Afghanistan that are fueling a humanitarian disaster and as famine threatens millions in the war-torn nation.

        “Afghanistan is facing an avalanche of hunger and destitution the likes of which I have never seen in my 20 plus years with the World Food Program.”

      • Lethal Robotic Weapons Systems Are on the Rise, But So Is the Fight to Stop Them
      • When Sidney Poitier Picked Up the Gun

        I was 15 in the summer of 1968, when it seemed everybody my age and older was out in the streets. Instead, I hunkered down and let the world’s rage, turbulence, and intensity come to me. I absorbed it all. And got so used to my hopes being dashed by the events of that summer that I expected disappointment each day as if it were a regular meal.

      • Nina Khrushcheva: Putin Could Be Kingmaker in Kazakhstan Power Struggle as Russia Helps Quell Protests

        Kazakhstan’s authoritarian President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has described last week’s protests as an attempted coup and defended his call for Russian-led troops into the country to put down the unrest. Demonstrations were triggered by a rise in fuel prices and widened to broader anti-government protests. Over 160 people were killed in the violence, including a 4-year-old girl, and thousands were detained. “The Russian troops will probably get out, but Tokayev, if he keeps power … probably will be somehow in debt of Putin, and Putin may have [the] position to decide, or help decide, certain moves in Kazakhstan,” says Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at The New School.

      • A grim year: Meduza’s Andrey Pertsev sums up the key developments in Russia’s domestic politics in 2021

        The year 2020 saw the death of public politics in Russia. To accommodate a plebiscite on amending the constitution, the authorities introduced a three-day voting period (leaving ballots unsupervised at polling stations overnight), as well as “mobile polling stations” (giving rise to the infamous “stump” voting). The official result was 67 percent turnout, with 78 percent of voters supporting the constitutional changes. 

      • Putin Unlikely to Invade Ukraine Despite Overheated U.S. Rhetoric, Says Khrushchev’s Great-Granddaughter

        U.S. and Russian officials are meeting today in Geneva as NATO calls on Russia to remove its troops from along the Ukrainian border. The Russian military has also mobilized soldiers to suppress protests in Kazakhstan. We go to Moscow to speak with Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at The New School, who says President Vladimir Putin is expanding Russia’s sphere of influence but will not invade Ukraine. “It’s not that he wants to take more territory. I think he wants to get heard,” says Khrushcheva.

      • ‘Reinforced concrete guarantees’ Here’s what the heads of the Russian and U.S. delegations said after today’s talks in Geneva

        On Monday, January 11, diplomats from Russia and the United States held a series of security talks in Geneva. Taking place against the backdrop of Russia massing troops along its border with Ukraine, the discussion centered around a set of draft security proposals that Moscow presented to the United States and NATO in December. Speaking to reporters after the talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman underscored that no concrete decisions have been made as of yet. Here are their comments to the press, in a nutshell. 

      • Denying the Inevitable: Why the West Refuses to Accept China’s Superpower Status

        To help us understand what this claim precisely means, the FT writer uses an analogy. “To use a sporting analogy, you can be an extremely gifted tennis player and genuinely want to be world champion, but still be unwilling to make the sacrifices to turn the dream into reality.”

        At least, in Rachman’s thinking, China is capable of being a political actor, though it remains incapable of vying for the superpower status, as it supposedly lacks ‘the will’ to make the required ‘sacrifices’.

      • The U.S. Makes a Mockery of Treaties and International Law

        This cudgel is now used most commonly against China and Russia. Oddly enough, whenever the United States asserts this “rules-based order” that China (and other “revisionist powers”/enemy states) are violating, the United States never seems to clarify which “rules” are being violated, but simply releases a miasma of generic accusation, leaving the stench of racism and xenophobia to do the rest.

        This is because there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the RBIO.

      • January 6th: From Standoff to Siege and Back Again

        As Western Watersheds Project and others said at the time, the siege of the Capitol was unprecedented but unsurprising. A former senior domestic terrorism analyst described it as “A straight line that you can draw” between Jan. 6, 2021 and the 2014 standoff at the Bundy Ranch. To those of us who have been watching the uprising of anti-government sentiment play out on public lands in the West, the trajectory was painfully clear. The same “Don’t Tread on Me” flags waving on the national mall had been flying from flagpoles in rural towns, and were trademarks of both the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 and the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville in 2014.

        The resistance to, and resentment of, the government’s nominal protection and management of federally-managed lands from private exploitation by grazing has been a ‘thing’ in the West since the Taylor Grazing Act took the public land out of the hands of the cattle industry. Though certainly not the only – or most extreme – example of white supremacists laying claim to lands that don’t belong to them, public lands ranchers and the January 6 insurrectionists have the same sense of entitlement about having the government run in accordance with their beliefs and for their benefit.

      • The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda
      • Opinion | Hey, Hey, USA! How Many Bombs Did You Drop Today?

        The Pentagon has finally published its first Airpower Summary since President Biden took office nearly a year ago. These monthly reports have been published since 2007 to document the number of bombs and missiles dropped by U.S.-led air forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria since 2004. But President Trump stopped publishing them after February 2020, shrouding continued U.S. bombing in secrecy.

      • More German state police forces introduce tasers for patrol police

        Four out of 16 federal states are now introducing electric pulse weapons across the board. The right-wing conservative police union DPolG has declared itself to be the mastermind and is sponsored by a manufacturer. Whether the officers will use less violence with the new weapons, as claimed, is questionable. Every year there are two deaths in Germany after being tasered

      • Anti-War Voices Denounce Knighting of Ex-PM Tony Blair

        Outrage continues to swell over the recent decision to give a knighthood to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was instrumental in the bloody U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, with anti-war campaigners in the U.K. gearing up for a protest later this year.

        “We will protest at this grotesque award in the name of the Iraqis, the Afghans, the families who lost soldiers, the refugees, and victims of these and subsequent wars.”

      • How Close Is Iran to Getting a Nuclear Weapon?

        There are a number of critical technological hurdles Tehran must surmount first to acquire a fully functioning nuclear weapons program. Iran must develop enough highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium to fuel one or more nuclear bomb; construct a nuclear warhead capable of housing the fissile nuclear fuel; and develop a ballistic missile system capable of delivering a nuclear explosive to its target. Finally, it needs to conduct a test to see if the explosive actually works.

      • The disturbing parallels between the 2020s and 1940s in the U.S.

        These “paradigms” have been for more than a year a regular subject of discussion between me and Jay Weixelbaum. He’s a writer and business historian who’s producing a streaming mini-series about the time a Nazi spy joined US businessmen to toast the fall of France in a Manhattan hotel while a Jewish FBI agent investigated.

        Jay’s project is called A Nazi on Wall Street. (You can donate to the cause here.) During our conversation, he explained why he believes we are moving into a new paradigm and how the choices made in the 1940s seem to mirror choices being made in the 2020s. We could have turned fully fascist back then. Let’s hope we don’t do that now.

    • Environment

      • NOAA Report Shows 310 Climate-Linked Disasters Cost US Over $2 Trillion Since 1980

        As new statistics published Monday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed the United States has sustained more than $2 trillion in damages wrought by over 300 weather and climate disasters since 1980, a leading economist specializing in equitable climate solutions reiterated the need for urgent action—starting with passing Democrats’ flagship Build Back Better Act—to mitigate the planetary emergency.  

        “Policymakers must take drastic actions to rein in global warming emissions across all sectors of the economy.”

      • Opinion | The Climate Crisis Is Clawing Back Progress We Made to Save the Puffins

        I stepped onto the battlefield of climate change, sidestepping carcass after carcass. In the grass were the remains of Arctic terns, common terns, and roseate terns. Along the boulders, researchers pointed out dead puffin chicks. As other climate war zones smolder with wildfire embers, are strewn with flattened homes, or marked by bleached coral, the signature of conflict on a seabird island in the Gulf of Maine is a maddening quietude.

      • Obsession: Climate Change Russian Roulette

        How about geo-engineering to reflect sunlight back into space, and cool the Earth? A friend asked: Is Dr. Ye Tao’s mirrors-on-the-ocean-surface scheme to reduce solar influx and thus reduce global warming reasonable? [2]

        My initial reaction: It’s like wearing a thicker helmet so you can keep playing Russian Roulette.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | The Fed Is Getting This Economy All Wrong

          Friday’s jobs report from the Department of Labor was a warning sign about the US economy. It should cause widespread concern about the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates to control inflation. And it should cause policymakers to rethink ending government supports such as extended unemployment insurance and the child tax credit. These will soon be needed to keep millions of families afloat.

        • We Need the Fossil Free Finance Act Now to Combat Wall Street’s Greenwashing
        • Fukushima Takes a Turn for the Worse

          The problems, issues, enormous danger, and ill timing of deconstruction of a nuclear disaster is always unexpectedly complicated by something new. That’s the nature of nuclear meltdowns, aka: China Syndrome debacles.

          As of today, TEPCO is suffering some very serious setbacks that have “impossible to deal with” written all over the issues.

        • Bakers: Expensive electricity will raise price of pastries

          Increased electricity bills are eating away at the stocks entrepreneurs have managed to save up during the coronavirus crisis. Bakeries say that rising energy, raw material and labor prices will eventually lead to higher product prices.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Vanishing Lines I Ski resort expansion is destroying our last living glaciers.
        • Cargo, With a Side of Hornets, Flies and Crabs
        • The Fish and Wildlife Service Must Reject Gianforte’s Political Grizzly Bear Petition

          The petition is not based upon the best scientific and commercial information available. In fact, its key provision of declaring the NCDE to be a genetically distinct population segment is devoid of any scientific backing or supporting data whatsoever and is not in accord with the Distinct Population Segment Policy. It is built entirely on numbers using questionable methods.

          Let’s be clear, the petition is a transparent political power grab and a vehicle to begin hunting of grizzly bears no matter the levels of other mortality sources. If delisted there WILL be hunting of grizzly bears with mortality exceeding sustainable levels. Forget science-based management. We can see the potential future of state management of grizzly bears by taking a look at the current wolf slaughter which has wiped out entire packs of Yellowstone wolves. By fencing bears into undersized recovery zones with a wall of mortality, the State is attempting to create distinct population segments through permanent isolation. The State’s plan allows for the NCDE grizzly population to fall more than 27% before remedial actions are even considered. That’s an invitation to the extinction vortex where rapid population decline cannot be reversed by management.

    • Finance

      • How To Destroy Innovation And Competition: Putting SHOP SAFE Act Into Innovation And Competition Act

        Last fall, we had three separate articles about the horrific problems of the SHOP SAFE Act — one by me, one by Cathy Gellis, and a massive one by Prof. Eric Goldman. The bill is extraordinarily bad, but it’s extraordinarily bad in a somewhat sneaky manner, which we’ll get to in a moment.

      • Worshiping Markets, Genuflecting to Grand Fortune
      • Think Big to Overcome Losing Big to Corporatism

        These bills included the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and environmental laws, the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for worker health and safety, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and worker pension protection, among others.

        Alas, Richard Nixon was the last Republican president to be afraid of liberals. When grade B actor Ronald Reagan flew into Washington, he opened all doors to Big Business. A cruel man with a smile, Reagan gave an actor’s cover to the greatest collapse into the corporate power pits in American history.

      • Knowledge of Build Back Better is Power

        A day after news broke that Manchin’s “no” was not necessarily final and defending the senator’s earlier blanket refusal, Fox News Contributor Deroy Murdock fired off a barrage of invective. He wrote that “BBB [Build Back Better] is … a Pandora’s box teeming with far-Left vipers and viruses.” These include “[u]niversal pre-kindergarten, all the better to brainwash children with critical race theory …,” and a smorgasbord of “socialist goodies,” such as “body spa treatments” and “a Great Lakes heavy icebreaker.”

        Hardworking preschool teachers make sure that the toddlers in their charge learn all sorts of skills. Crafts, story time, potty training, and naps are also big parts of the day, so there is no room for critical race theory, a subject mostly taught in universities. In addition, I do not recall my political science professor ever teaching us that massages and icebreakers are critical elements in forming repressive, authoritarian regimes, even those with a socialist veneer. If he had, we might have wondered if he was qualified for the job or was simply joking.

      • Inside the December Jobs Report: Unemployment Falls to 3.9 Percent; Wage Growth Remains Strong

        The unemployment rate fell another 0.3 percentage points in December, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent. This is lower than all but five months in the late 1990s boom and the period between May 2018 and the pandemic.

        At the same time, the establishment survey showed a weaker than expected increase in 199,000 jobs; although the prior two months figures were revised upward by a total of 141,000. With the upward revisions, the average growth for the last three months was 365,000.

      • Today in adulting: At nearly 38, I learned that dental insurance almost isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

        I have fairly good teeth, so I haven’t had dental insurance in 20 years.

        But my spouse has awful teeth and has a dental insurance plan through Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

        They pitch it as paying for 80% of minor work (extractions, fillings) and 50% of major (crowns, root canals, and dentures), but what I found out is that their plan and their paper Explanation of Benefits that you get in the mail is really deceptive.

        What actually will happen is a bunch of things like, the dentist charges $275 for a filling, but Blue Cross/Blue Shield has an “allowable amount”.

        Now, on HEALTH insurance, an allowable amount would mean that they gave you a network discount and then paid 80% of that.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Elizabeth Warren Demands Information on Fed Official’s Questionable Stock Trades
      • Opinion | The Murderous Corporate Psychopaths Who Never Go to Prison

        Alfred Ruf poisoned his wife as part of a scheme to get rich off her life insurance. So did Dr. Gregory “Brent” Dennis, who was looking at a $2 million payout. Joshua Hunsucker poisoned his wife for a mere $250K in life insurance money, $80,000 of which he used to buy a boat. David L. Pettis poisoned his wife for $150,000.

      • Manchin Filibuster Talks Like “Negotiating Via Etch A Sketch,” Dem Sources Say
      • Sanders Says Democrats Need ‘Major Course Correction’ to Prevent GOP Takeover

        Sen. Bernie Sanders said in an interview published Monday that too much of the Democratic Party has “turned its back on the working class” and is in need of a dramatic shift as central elements of its agenda—from voting rights to climate action to social spending—face possible collapse thanks to corporate-backed lawmakers.

        In the conversation with The Guardian, Sanders (I-Vt.)—a two-time contender for the Democratic presidential nomination and the current chair of the Senate Budget Committee—said the party must immediately undertake “a major course correction” if it hopes to advance its popular agenda, reverse its falling support among key constituencies, and prevent the increasingly authoritarian GOP from seizing power.

      • Who could ever have seen this coming?

        As I approached what I should write about early in 2022, I thought that I should write about something more “meta”. (No, not the metaverse or Facebook’s crappy new name!) This reminds me of something I saw before the holidays on Twitter about retiring NIH director Francis Collins, who irritated me so much that I almost broke my vow not to blog over the holidays. Fortunately, I didn’t, which allowed me to contemplate it more and my anger to recede. That doesn’t change my level of frustration; so here we go.

      • American Exception: Empire and the Deep State with Aaron Good and David Talbot – The Project Censored Show
      • North Carolina Voters Challenge Madison Cawthorn’s Candidacy
      • When Will David Brooks Admit That Conservatism Paved the Way for Trump?

        David Brooks is the prodigal son of the Democratic Party. As an undergrad at the University of Chicago in the early 1980s, he identified as a democratic socialist. But upon graduating he got caught up in the spirit of Reaganism, starting off as an intern for William F. Buckley Jr. Now, after more than three decades of being a formidable Republican advocate, Brooks is ready to return to the Democratic fold.

      • Attention, Democrats: The Constitution Trumps the Filibuster

        Four times during this past congressional session, Senate Republicans have blocked voting rights legislation. Democrats are currently trying to decide whether to use their shaky, one-vote majority to end or limit use of the filibuster in order to overcome Republican opposition and pass a voting rights reform bill. As usual, they are divided.

      • Opinion | Killing Build Back Better Could End Sinema and Manchin’s Careers: Lessons from 2010

        Holding the fate of Build Back Better (BBB) in their hands, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin should heed some lessons from 2010. When a small group of Democratic senators so delayed and weakened Obamacare that they cratered Obama’s initially massive support, they also helped end all their own political careers. 

      • Groups Tell Biden He’s Not Welcome in Georgia Without a ‘Finalized Voting Rights Plan’

        President Joe Biden is set to visit Atlanta on Tuesday to deliver a major speech on the state of voting rights in the U.S., but his planned visit has gotten a chilly reception from Georgia advocates who say they’re sick of lofty rhetoric and no action from Democratic leaders.

        In a joint statement ahead of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip, a coalition of advocacy groups including the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Georgia NAACP, and the Asian American Advocacy Fund said the president must bring with him “an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that will pass both chambers, not be stopped by the filibuster, and be signed into law.”

      • Steve Bannon Is Onto Something

        To Hersh, that’s not politics. It’s what he calls “political hobbyism.” And it’s close to a national pastime. “A third of Americans say they spend two hours or more each day on politics,” he writes. “Of these people, four out of five say that not one minute of that time is spent on any kind of real political work. It’s all TV news and podcasts and radio shows and social media and cheering and booing and complaining to friends and family.”

        Real political work, for Hersh, is the intentional, strategic accumulation of power in service of a defined end. It is action in service of change, not information in service of outrage. This distinction is on my mind because, like so many others, I’ve spent the week revisiting the attempted coup of Jan. 6, marinating in my fury toward the Republicans who put fealty toward Donald Trump above loyalty toward country and the few but pivotal Senate Democrats who are proving, day after day, that they think the filibuster more important than the franchise. Let me tell you, the tweets and columns I drafted in my head were searing.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Fox News has a Jan. 6 problem: Sean Hannity’s text messages make clear his complicity

        It’s impossible to know for sure what he meant by “January 6th happening the way he is being told” but according to a number of accounts this was when Trump’s henchmen were hatching their plot to have Republicans in Congress object to the electoral count and have Pence throw the election to the House of Representatives where Trump would win despite losing through legitimate means. In other words, the coup was being planned. And apparently, the White House counsel’s office knew it was illegal and was threatening to quit en masse over it, or at least that’s the suspicion based upon what Hannity was texting.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • SOPA Plus 10, reflections and continued work

        On January 18, 2012, the web went dark in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), two bills introduced into the United States House and Senate in the last quarter of 2011.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Immigration Reform Is Still Possible — With a Strong Social Movement
      • Opinion | “The White Negro”: Norman Mailer’s Essay 65 Years Later

        A 1957 essay by celebrated writer Norman Mailer called  “The White Negro” is getting a lot of renewed attention these days. According to a just-published article by journalist Michael Wolff in a site called The Ankler, Random House decided against publishing a collection of Mailer’s essays after a “junior staffer” complained about “The White Negro,” which was going to be included in the anthology.  According to Wolff, the staffer believed that the title was racist and that was enough for Random House to scuttle the project in order to avoid controversy. This quickly triggered a debate on social media over so-called “cancel culture.” Did the nation’s largest book publisher cancel the Mailer book over fears of being called racist?

      • Japanese Women Are Fighting Back Against Pervasive Sexism
      • Starbucks Workers in Chicago, Ohio and Oregon Join Unionization Efforts
      • A Free South

        In the 1960s, the Free Southern Theater, an organization founded by a group of activists with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), traveled to a church in a predominantly Black, rural corner of Mississippi. There they staged Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, an absurdist drama about characters conversing as they wait for someone who never arrives. The play may have seemed like a strange choice—who would imagine that Beckett might connect with rural Black Americans in the throes of the civil rights movement?—but it found at least one admirer in civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer. “I guess we know something about waiting, don’t we?” Hamer said from the audience.1

      • ‘Absolute Disgrace’: Maine’s Democratic Gov. Kills Bill to Allow Farmworkers to Unionize

        Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is under fire after vetoing a bill that would have allowed farmworkers in the state to unionize.

        The Maine Legislature passed a bill to give workers in agricultural industries the right to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. But in a move that labor reporter Kim Kelly called “an absolute disgrace,” Mills on Friday single-handedly prevented the proposal from becoming law.

      • Conservatives on Supreme Court Poised to Block Biden’s Vaccine and Mask Mandates
      • Joleen Nez: A Death in Custody

        On April 16, 2020, Officer Preston Panana walked up to Joleen Nez at the corner of Texas Street and Zuni Avenue in Albuquerque. Nez was living in a nearby encampment in a neighborhood known as the War Zone, along with dozens of other unhoused Native Americans. About six months pregnant with her fifth child, Nez, who is Navajo and Zia Pueblo, was getting her meals at the Albuquerque Indian Center, where she’d known some of the staff for years.

        Panana was with four other police officers when he heard Nez and a man arguing. As the two quarreled, the man set a paper cup and bowl down on the sidewalk, and Nez knocked them over. That’s when, as Panana wrote in the incident report, he advised her “to pick up her litter and of the consequences if she did not.”

      • Podcast Episode: Algorithms for a Just Future

        EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien joined Vinhcent to discuss our digital privacy and how U.S. laws haven’t kept up with safeguarding our rights when we go online. 

      • The Civil Rights Era on Screen: the Legacy of Sidney Poitier

        “He has carved for himself an imperishable niche in the annals of our nation’s history,” King told the audience of 2,000 delegates. “I consider him a friend. I consider him a great friend of humanity.”

        That man was Sidney Poitier.

      • Amazon shortens paid leave policy for employees infected with COVID-19

        Amazon is shortening its paid leave policy for employees infected with COVID-19 following the change in quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

        Amazon told all U.S. employees on Friday that paid leave for COVID-19 quarantine will be shortened from 10 days to seven days.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Cable TV Cord Cutting Continues To Set Records, Though Streaming TV Is Slowing Down Too

        For more than a decade, cable TV executives brushed aside the threat of cable TV “cord cutting” as either a nonexistent threat or a temporary phenomenon. Of course neither wound up being true, and consumer defections from the bloated, pricey traditional cable TV bundle continue to set records during the COVID crisis. Traditional cable TV providers saw a 6.2% drop in subscribers in the third quarter of 2021, an all time record. It’s particularly bad for traditional satellite TV providers, who saw a 12% dip in overall users during the same quarter.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • WarnerMedia Renews Comcast Carriage Deal, CNN Plus to Become Available on Xfinity Platforms

        As part of the extended agreement, Comcast will make CNN Plus, WarnerMedia’s upcoming subscription streaming platform, available on its Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and XClass TV platforms later in the year, following its first-quarter launch. This marks the first distribution deal set for the new streamer.

      • Canon ink is freaking out after shipping without crucial chips. Here’s how to fix it

        Canon is reporting that it has been forced to ship ink cartridges without chips that identify ink levels, leading to error messages when the cartridges are inserted. The company has published a workaround while it sorts the issue out.

        Canon reported that supply chain shortages have forced the printer manufacturer to ship consumable print cartridges without certain semiconductors inside them. Canon doesn’t describe exactly what these chips do, though a German support page (as discovered by TechRadar) says that they oversee “certain additional functions” such as toner level detection.

    • Monopolies

      • Antitrust Suit Alleges 16 Elite Universities Colluded to Limit Financial Aid

        Sixteen elite universities were sued in federal court late Sunday over an alleged price-fixing scheme in which plaintiffs say the schools formed a “cartel” to limit the amount of financial aid they would each offer to low- and middle-income prospective students—breaking antitrust laws.

        Five students who previously attended some of the universities filed the federal lawsuit in Illinois, arguing that in defiance of legislation passed in the 1990s, at least some of the schools take families’ financial needs into account when making admissions decisions. The schools in question are part of a group called the “568 Presidents Group,” which was formed after Ivy League schools were charged with price-fixing in 1991 and is supposed to admit students on a “need-blind” basis.

      • Trademarks

        • CBS Sued Over Portrayal of Torture Device on ‘Evil’

          At the beginning of the episode, a woman referenced the device by saying, “Oh right, the God Helmet,” to which a man responds, “Actually, that’s trademarked, so we’ve been asked not to call it that.”

          “There is clear and convincing evidence that Defendants CBS and KING did research for their episode because Defendants knew of the God Helmet, the way the helmet works, and the trademark,” the lawsuit reads. “Therefore Defendants knew the depictions and statements would create a false impression about Plaintiff’s device and trademark.”

      • Copyrights

        • Sculptor Of Pillar Of Shame Announces It’s Now Public Domain So That Anyone Can Make A Copy, As Chinese Authorities Seek To Destroy It

          Last fall we wrote about how Chinese officials were looking to remove the “Pillar of Shame,” a sculpture by artist Jens Galschiøt that commemorates China’s massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The sculpture was erected at the University of Hong Kong in 1997, and now that China has been wiping out every last bit of freedom in Hong Kong, the statue has been targeted as well. In our post last fall, we noted that (1) Galschiøt was threatening legal action if the statue is damaged, and (2) activists were making 3D scans of the sculpture so that it can be replicated.

        • Popcorn Time: The ‘Netflix of piracy’ is dead, developers announce

          Popcorn Time, a streaming service that was both beloved and hated as the “Netflix of piracy”, has been shut down.

          The tool gained vast popularity for the ease with which it allowed users to stream pirated films and TV shows for free. Unlike more complicated or risky services, users were able to easily access what they wanted to watch, with the ease of streaming content on Netflix.

        • No, Popcorn Time Is Not Dead … It’s Unkillable

          This led various publications including Bloomberg to declare that Popcorn Time, one of the most popular piracy services of all time, is dead and that this era of piracy is over. But it’s not that simple, and it’s silly to declare something that was designed to be unkillable as being “dead.” Just as the Pirate Bay has been “shut down” dozens of times but still exists in some version today, various versions of Popcorn Time are alive and well, and there’s no reason to think that it will ever die as long as the internet exists.

          This is because Popcorn Time is essentially just a BitTorrent client that has a video player built into it. BitTorrent is probably the best, earliest, most useful, and most enduring example of the decentralized internet that Web3 and cryptocurrency evangelists hope to achieve. In that sense, Popcorn Time is unkillable. Popcorn Time has “died” before and has come back, several times.

        • NFT art sales are booming. Just without some artists’ permission.

          But thanks to the explosion of the NFT art market, thieves have started stealing her work at a jaw-dropping rate. Last week, an unidentified user on OpenSea, the dominant marketplace for the burgeoning NFT art market, started putting tens of thousands of listings of her work, often duplicates, up for sale. Thirty-seven of them sold before she was able to convince the platform to take them down.

          “They just kept taking and remaking them as NFTs,” Trier said. “It’s so flagrant. And if it happens to me, it can happen to anyone.”

        • RIAA: Yout’s Attempt to Legitimize Stream-Ripping is ‘Wordplay’

          YouTube-ripping service Yout.com is suing the RIAA in an attempt to have its platform declared legal in the US. The case boils down to whether YouTube has meaningful technical protection measures and whether Yout circumvents them. According to the RIAA, there is no question that Yout.com is in the wrong and it characterizes any claims to the contrary as “wordplay”.

        • PrimeWire: Hollywood & Netflix Win Court Injunction to Disable Site Domains

          Early December, several Hollywood studios and Netflix teamed up under the banner of the MPA to sue PrimeWire, one of the longest-standing pirate streaming sites. After a hearing early this month, the court has now handed down an injunction designed to render the site inaccessible within a matter of days.

        • Talks At Google: Professor Michael Geist – Talks at Google
        • Twitter Asks Court To Reconsider Order To Unmask Anonymous Critic Of A Billionaire Over Questionable Copyright Claims

          On Friday we got around to posting an article about the very, very strange case of a shell company with almost no presence filing a DMCA 512(h) subpoena to Twitter seeking the identity of the person behind the @CallMeMoneyBags account, that has a history of mocking wealthy private equity bros. The subpoena came from an operation called Bayside Advisory, which registered the copyrights for a few images that MoneyBags had posted to the Twitter account, all typical social media photos, showing a young woman. The MoneyBags account implied that the woman in the photos was the mistress of a billionaire, Brian Sheth.

        • Olive Garden At It Again Enforcing Its IP Instead Of Letting Anyone Have Some Fun With Joke NFTs

          You all know about Olive Garden. It’s the chain of… oh, let’s just play along and call them Italian restaurants that have unlimited breadsticks and names of supposedly Italian offerings that appear to have gotten their names by inputting a bunch of Italian food words into a dilapidated AI program that combines them into a series of unholy dish-names. Sure, there’s “Shrimp Scampi”, but there is also “Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno” and “Lasagna Fritta”. I kid of course, but the chain and its parent company, Darden, have also found their way onto Techdirt in the past by being overly aggressive when it comes to trademark enforcement. For instance, Darden attempted to shut down the site allofgarden.com, which was dedicated to tongue in cheek reviews of the chain’s dishes. Darden later apologized for that, blaming some kind of legal bot that crawls for potential trademark infringements on the brand.

Microsoft GitHub, DRM Enforcer, Bans Free Software

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reproduced from Mobileread, as can be seen here:

Initially, I didn’t want create an account on this site and keep all discussion on GitHub (the fewer accounts one has, the easier it is to stay anonymous …), but I guess with the GitHub being gone, it’s about time to answer some of the questions here …

Maybe GitHub hasn’t been the best choice for a platform, but I didn’t expect there to be DMCA claims when there have been none over the recent years in Apprentice Harper’s repository. I guess, in the long term, I should move to another platform.

I received the first message from Github about the DMCA claim on January 4th in the late evening, with a time line of 24h to remove the “offending” content. Of course that deadline is rather short – I am obviously not using my “main” mail address for stuff like this, so I didn’t check this account every single day, and only found out the repository was blocked (some time on January 6th) when I checked this forum thread and saw the discussion on January 7th.

The GitHub FAQ states that when one misses the 1-day window to make requested changes, one can request an additional time of 1 day to perform the changes. I requested that by mail on January 7th, but so far the GitHub support hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Right now, I see the same page that you all see – repo unavailable due to DMCA. They could have at least given the repo owner access to update the code, but they didn’t.

Rather disturbing that they are allowed to block a repo after just one day of no response (they could have given me a notification on the Github page itself, in addition to the mail, then I would have seen it before the deadline was over …), and then don’t respond to the topic for multiple days, but maybe their support doesn’t work on weekends and they don’t consider stuff like this urgent now that the repo’s down and they did what they legally have to do …

The goal is to hopefully get Github to restore the repository once they finally read my mail, then remove the offending code from the repository, and have the plugin no longer contain the offending LCP code on Github to comply with the DMCA request.

The DMCA request mentions nothing about the difference between library books and bought books. The request states that the original repositories (apprentice harper and so on) are not part of the takedown – not because they have blocks for library books, but because they don’t support LCP at all. So I doubt adding a block for library books would have prevented this takedown (or, would be an acceptable solution to get the repository back). The guys behind LCP know how easy it is to edit Python code to remove such blocks, and I think with this plugin being the first public solution for LCP DRM removal, I guess they are more concerned with people knowing the algorithm, and they think that with a DMCA request for this repo they can remove that from the entire internet.

I don’t want to piss off GitHub (and Readium?) even more by now creating a new account or repository. Even though it’s probably fine as far as the DMCA goes (if there’s no LCP code in the new repo), it certainly violates Github TOS to just make a new repo when there’s a pending takedown. So I’m going to wait for the support to respond, which they are supposed to according to their own FAQ. If they don’t, I guess the plugin moves to another platform.

As for the other topics being discussed here in the last couple days:

- Someone mentioned that based on the description of LCP in the takedown notice, this DRM doesn’t sound so bad – maybe it doesn’t, but there’s one thing they are purposefully omitting in that description, and one they either deliberately or accidentally explained wrong. They are claiming that LCP is oh-so-open and doesn’t lock the user into a proprietary environment.
Yeah, LCP is not as proprietary as Adobe or Amazon, but it’s still proprietary. Yes, they have the source code available on their GitHub, but still require you to pay huge amounts for licenses if you want to use the code. A critical piece of source code for the project is missing on their Github, and you only get this code (with a very restrictive license) if you pay them. So, the code on the GitHub is useless, as if you forked it and built the code yourself, it wouldn’t work.
And the other thing they omitted is the fact that there’s (almost) no reader support. They claim the DRM doesn’t hurt content accessibility, it lets users share content with friends, and so on. But that’s only true if you’re reading on a phone or computer, or if you have a very new eReader from particular vendors.
If the codebase would have *really* been open-source (meaning, I take the source code, built it, and get a 1:1 100% identical binary to the one they give to users, without paying for a license), AND Readium had support on all eReaders, I doubt I would have deemed it necessary to add LCP support. The main reason I added this support was not to “crack” books and share them with the world, it was getting them to work on MY readers …

- The latest release of the plugin (10.0.2) does not yet support QT 6 / Calibre 6, but the latest commit on master already does. I doubt there’s many people that have that downloaded, with the repo now gone. Though, even if GitHub decides to block the repo permanently and I don’t find any other useful hosting, the plugin only required very small changes in two or three places that became apparent when reading the error messages, so it should be easy for others to fix that, if needed.

As noted in Mastodon: “RIAA showed that it was acceptable to use GitHub’s (legally mandated) DMCA process for DMCA section 1201… Any tool like this should probably self-host their code repository at this point… Can we please kill these anticircumvention laws? Maybe then we won’t need tools like DeDRM?”


IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 10, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:08 am by Needs Sunlight

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Misuse of Buzzwords Like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things to Dodge Liability

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hey Hi
Artificial Intelligence (Hey Hi) isn’t a valid excuse

Summary: Terms like “Artificial Intelligence” have long been used and misused to justify wrong “moderation” and various accidents (such as ‘driverless’ [sic] cars), but we can help European officials see through the façade and hold reckless companies accountable, in spite of all these disingenuous ‘legal hacks’ with loopholes they exploit/create (through lobbying)

The EU is conducting a survey about some buzzwords, hype waves, and other nonsense. But eventually it is about liability, it is about who to hold accountable. Today, rather than present the survey, we’ll focus on some background information.

The directive and supplementary information use terms such as “Artificial Intelligence” and “Internet of Things”, so you know it’s not about substance but nebulous concepts. From the main page: “REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE Report on the safety and liability implications of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotics…”

Well, robotics is a real thing, machine learning methods are a real thing (statistics for the most part, albeit formalised within frameworks or sets of methodologies), but “Hey Hi” (AI) and the rest of it suggests we’re dealing here not with technical people but politicians infatuated/brainwashed by marketing people and corporate lobbyists.

This other page says: “COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Evaluation of Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products Accompanying the document Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the Application of the Council Directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products (85/374/EEC)…”

This is about Directive 85/374/EEC, whose page says: “In 2020, the Commission published a report on the broader implications for, potential gaps in and orientations for, the liability and safety frameworks for artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotics…”

Of interest:

At this point in time, an associate has noted, “the goal would be to increase general awareness so that informed decisions can be made [...] rather than a call to action at this time it needs to be an awareness [campaign to] bring attention to four links just posted above. In the fourth link it is only part 3 which is relevant. [...] with the proper background knowledge it is an opportunity to nudge things the right direction, perhaps.”

“So we are left today with 100s of millions if idiot companies with their idiot bosses and frazzled employees sending attachments and having multiple, conflicting versions of the same document, and having lost messages (via Microsoft Exchange) to add on top of the normal stress.”
      –Techrights Associate
Putting aside buzzwords from EU officials, as the associate has worded it, “the questions in the survey are an attempt at addressing the problems even if they don’t know much about the software design underneath. One aspect which can be worthy of copious amounts of text would be the question of how much software is actually fit for purpose and what the protections people should have if they use it as advertised. Microsoft can’t have it both ways. They can’t both blame the victim at the same time as they are telling the victim that the software should be used in the way they are blaming the victim for using it in.”

“For example, they design interfaces to be clicked on and obfuscate a lot of important information, including metadata, while embedding scripts and such, advertising it all as desirable features. Yet when those features are (mis)used the user is blamed instead of the the vendor. Same for attachments. Furthermore the reason e-mail is used as a surrogate for file sharing is that Microsoft killed off Novell NetWare without either replacing the functionality or allowing the market to fill the vacuum. So we are left today with 100s of millions if idiot companies with their idiot bosses and frazzled employees sending attachments and having multiple, conflicting versions of the same document, and having lost messages (via Microsoft Exchange) to add on top of the normal stress.”

We shall follow up at a later time/date with suggestions of feedback for the EU. The above background can (or could) help prepare for a potent response, which we’ll do separately now that it’s over.

This debate as a whole concerns strict liability and with the consultation out of the way we have some critical words.

“Current regulations regarding product liability seem to focus around goods sold and explicitly exclude services,” our associate notes. “An increasing amount of software is tied or run on remote servers, putting them into a hybrid category. As these lean towards becoming services (e.g. Microsoft Office) how much of that is being done as a dodge from product liability regulations? Software is covered, technically, but ignored so far. Products, thus software, are covered in particularly when they are used as advertised. Therefore when Microsoft victims use Microsoft products as advertised and still get harmed, Microsoft is technically liable, even if the laws have not yet been enforced that way.” [1, 2]

“Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985, article 6.1 could be revisited in the context of proprietary software:”

Article 6

1. A product is defective when it does not provide the safety which a person is entitled to expect, taking all circumstances into account, including:

(a) the presentation of the product;
(b) the use to which it could reasonably be expected that the product would be put;
(c) the time when the product was put into circulation.

To conclude: “Microsoft should not be allowed to abuse Art. 7b to try to dodge; any holes that exist are there are the time of publication, public or not.”

We’ll probably say a lot more later today, possibly in a video.

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