The Future of Techrights

Posted in Site News at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just bear with us…

Summary: Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices

The title isn’t clickbait (I could think of much more click-worthy titles), it’s just a descriptive explanation, a concise one, of the subject to be tackled here.

Lately we’ve been having internal (albeit public, fully transparent, to be found in IRC logs) discussion about the future. We’re been observing the gradually-deteriorating state of the World Wide Web (just “Web” for short) and collapse of the media (as in journalism) — a subject we tackled hours ago. On Monday we had a complete breakdown of storage (meltdown of the whole OS) in the self-hosted (from home) Gemini capsule, IPFS and other essential services, but we recovered fully within less than a day owing to a good backup regime and Git (all the bits and pieces are there, version-controlled too), leaving us with both a hardware upgrade (twice as much storage) and an OS upgrade (Bullseye). We’ll improve our disaster recovery and contingencies strategy as a result of Monday’s incident, probably using a few “hot spares” and quasi-redundancy.

“To quell or calm down concerned readers (Mogz is among them), we are not leaving the Web!”Looking ahead at our crystal ball, we envision a move away from WordPress some time over the horizon. The trajectory of the project isn’t bad for some users, but we’re not among those users. I myself played a big role in the project in its earlier days (around 2004-2008), I’m among the first dozen users in WordPress.com (I was a beta tester), and I care for WordPress deeply. In fact, I maintain nearly a dozen WordPress sites. I’m not a big fan of more recent versions of WordPress, but that’s a matter of personal preferences if not an eccentric opinion. The direction the Web has taken puts us off more and more over time; we want to seek alternatives, even if they’re just optional. To quell or calm down concerned readers (Mogz is among them), we are not leaving the Web! We’re not leaving! It’ll be fully supported probably for decades to come (if we last decades more… or even a whole decade longer; decades is a huge amount of time in the context of technology).

“Last year we moved to Gemini, we took our IRC network ‘in-house’, and during the pandemic’s first year we also added bulletins, then IPFS and a bunch of other things.”In terms of our focus, we’re trying to produce only accurate and properly fact-checked material, both in short and long form (even memes are checked carefully for accuracy). We strive for quality, not quantity, and we try to produce original material of interest to the general population. We focus on issues we know well enough and we meticulously check blog posts for typos, too (unlike IRC; IRC is super-informal and we don’t do social control media, not in our capacity as a site anyway).

Last year we moved to Gemini, we took our IRC network ‘in-house’, and during the pandemic’s first year we also added bulletins, then IPFS and a bunch of other things. The site is no longer limited to just a Web site. It’s a lot bigger than that. The code we have in Git is a testament to that (we took that repository public only months ago).

“Software freedom remains our foremost priority.”We still have a lot to say and to show regarding GitHub/Microsoft, the EPO, and the FSF, which will soon announce its new chief (not Board). We heard speculations that it’ll be Greg Farough, but it’s just hearsay and we have no way to prove it. Richard Stallman suggested that a decision had been made already.

Software freedom remains our foremost priority. The fight against software patents is closely connected to that priority and we study angles that others barely touch, e.g. the devolution of cars. One of the best way to help us is to join us in IRC; not some “like” in social control media or even money. Our operating costs are as minimal as can be, but the scarcity is human effort. We want to get more people involved because the more of us work together, the greater the output (and impact) will be.

So, in short, the future of Techrights will hopefully revolve around expansion in terms of the number of people involved.

[Meme] UPC for CJEU

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law | Team UPC Has Spread a Dozen or So Fake News Headlines With Patently False Claims, Which It’s Unable and Unwilling to Justify

Let's start an illegal thing before we get caught
EPO participates in illegal activities, led by Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and Alexander Ramsay (yes, organised crime is thriving in Europe)

Summary: When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU

Links 20/1/2022: ‘Pluton’ Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Microsoft’s Pluton will be shut off by default • The Register

        PCs coming this year with Microsoft’s integrated Pluton security chip won’t be locked down to Windows 11, and users will have the option to install Linux and turn off the feature completely.

        The first PCs with Pluton chips and Windows 11 PCs were shown at CES earlier this month. Major PC chip makers, including Intel, AMD and Qualcomm are embedding the Pluton processor inside processors as a secure hardware layer to protect PCs.

        But Microsoft’s invasion at the hardware level has some users – especially in the open-source community – on high alert. The concern relates to the chip being a proprietary backdoor for Microsoft to take control of PCs and tying the hardware closely to Windows 11.

        AMD integrated Microsoft’s Pluton in Ryzen 6000 chips, which were introduced at CES earlier this month. AMD’s goal is to bring better security to PCs, but users can disable Pluton.

        “AMD respects user choice and, as is typical with many other security technologies, we provide the ability for a user to enable or disable Pluton based on their preferences in our reference BIOS,” an AMD spokeswoman told The Register.

        Pluton is a Windows security technology, but it does not restrict Linux installation, the spokeswoman said.

      • Can Linux steal the desktop PC crown from Windows? Experts weigh in.

        “The year of Linux” kind of, sort of comes every year, wherein a few more people give it a try, and enthusiasts continue to love it. It’s an OS that’s gotten better for gaming and one that’s made such an imprint on Windows Central that not all of us even bother much with Windows anymore.

        Heck, Germany (part of it, to be specific) is taking another stab at ditching Windows for Linux. Many tiny pieces of the global pie are abandoning Windows in favor of the freedom of Linux and the cost-cutting benefits it entails. The question is, regardless of merit, does it stand any sort of chance of eclipsing Windows’ PC market share in the short term or long term?

        That is the tantalizing question at the kernelled core of the great Linux debate, and it’s the one we reached out to analysts to hear their thoughts on.

      • Building A Silent Linux Desktop For 2022 With The Streacom DB4 Review – Phoronix

        The long time Phoronix reader, with an excellent long-term memory, may remember an odd article from back in August 2017 on buying a passively cooled computer. It tells the tale of the consumer who decided to buy a rather niche, fanless, therefore passively cooled computer.

        Well, that was been my computer for four and a half years. Even though the I7-7700T the article portrayed has served me well. It did start to show age a little. Especially as of late, it will sometimes spontaneously reboot. It does so very rarely, without prior warning and seemingly unprovoked. Its a bit of a nuisance.

        While I wrote that article in 2017 I had also come to learn of the existence of the Streacom DB4 The DB4, of all computer cases that allow for their innards to be passively cooled, has since always been the proverbial unattainable love to me: Stunning, exciting, exclusive and she knows it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel 5.16: A new release for a new year

        What’s more refreshing than a new kernel release to start a new year? 2021 was a year with all sorts of challenges, from fighting the pandemic to deep diving complex technical problems. In case you missed it, have a look at our Year in Review for a summary of the accomplishments made by our kernel team over the last year.

        With kernel 5.16 made available earlier this month, the community has once again produced a release full of great features, like improving memory management performance via folio’s API and better scheduler awareness of CPU topologies that share L2/L3 caches. You can read more about these, and other highlights, over at LWN (part1, part2) and at Kernel Newbies.

        More importantly, this latest release sees the culmination of two projects that had been in development for some time by our kernel team. Collaborans contributed both the new futex syscall and the new fanotify event, two new APIs which took long hours of research and cooperation with the kernel development community to come to fruition. It’s great to see the hard work of our kernel experts paying off!

      • AMD Preps for Zen 4: Different Types of Cores Now Supported in Linux | Tom’s Hardware

        Perhaps, a more intriguing innovation is a new Scalable Machine Check Architecture (SMCA) of some future AMD platforms that could use different types of SMCA and therefore cores.

        “Future AMD systems will have different bank type layouts between logical CPUs,” wrote Yazen Ghannam, an AMD engineer. “So having a single system-wide cache of the layout won’t be correct. […] Patch 1 adds new bank types and error descriptions used in future AMD systems. Patch 2 adjusts how SMCA bank information is cached.”

        So far, AMD has not announced a single hybrid processor that integrates different types of cores, though the company has never completely excluded such a possibility. Since AMD will have Zen 4 and Zen 4C cores next year, perhaps this is the time when the company might consider a CPU with both big and smaller cores. Alternatively, a new SMCA may indicate that Zen 4C will have a different machine check architecture than other Zen cores, which is why AMD needs to implement its support into Linux.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink 4ever

          After weeks of hunting for the latest rumors of jekstrand’s future job prospects, I’ve finally done it: zink now supports more extensions than any other OpenGL driver in Mesa.

          That’s right.

          Check it on mesamatrix if you don’t believe me.

          A couple days ago I merged support for the external memory extensions that I’d been putting off, and today we got sparse textures thanks to Qiang Yu at AMD doing 99% of the work to plumb the extensions through the rest of Mesa.

          There’s even another sparse texture extension, which I’ve already landed all the support for in zink, that should be enabled for the upcoming release.

        • Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan Now Offers Broader OpenGL Coverage Than RadeonSI, Intel – Phoronix

          When it comes to OpenGL extension support, the Zink generic OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation now has as robust coverage as core Mesa offers and what is implemented by the LLVMpipe software driver, RadeonSI Gallium3D, and the Intel i965 drivers.

          Zink has already offered OpenGL 4.6 support but now after recently adding some additional extensions that aren’t mandated by version 4.6, it is now on-par with the other drivers for the raw number of extensions exposed and exceeds the other drivers for non-core extensions.

          Zink along with core Mesa / LLVMpipe / RadeonSI / i965 are at 160 extensions exposed while being the set of open-source drivers supporting OpenGL 4.6.

        • Radeon AOMP 14.0-1 Released Along WIth New GPUOpen Tool Updates – Phoronix

          A handful of new AMD Radeon open-source GPU sofware releases were made today for developers.

          First up, AOMP 14.0-1 is out. AOMP is AMD’s downstream of LLVM/Clang targeting OpenMP offloading for Radeon GPUs. AOMP is one of several downstreams maintained at AMD and this one is all about carrying the latest Radeon OpenMP GPU offloading work until it is all upstreamed — or in other cases, patches that are experimental or not applicable for upstreaming.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 file and disk encryption tools for Linux | FOSS Linux

        Data security and privacy have never been more critical for individuals, businesses, and organizations. However, there is no one-fit-all solution for data privacy. One solution is to encrypt your data, files, or disk drive.

        Our article by Pulkit Chandak demonstrates some of the best ways to encrypt files in Linux. It illustrates reliable ways to encrypt files using GnuPG, ccrypt, 7-zip, VeraCrypt, and Tails OS. This article highlights more open source tools to create file vaults and encrypt and decrypt disk drives. It will also demonstrate how to create an encrypted file vault in a scenario where you do not want to encrypt your entire disk drive.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to find duplicate text in files with the uniq command on Linux

        You must have dealt with text files containing duplicate lines and words. The uniq tool is your best chance in Ubuntu where text files and redundant information are involved.

        In Ubuntu, the uniq command is used to show duplicate lines in a text file. If you wish to eliminate identical words or lines from a text file, this command can assist. Because the uniq command looks for unnecessary copies by matching neighbouring lines, it can only be used with sorted text files.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove duplicate text from text files using the uniq command. You will also learn the full capabilities and options that the uniq command provides.

      • How to Enable Basic Authentication on ELK Stack – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to enable basic authentication on ELK stack. Elastic/ELK stack supports user authentication. This enables it to restrict access to various resources within the cluster. To access these resources when authentication is enabled, a user has to prove their identity using username/passwords or other forms of identity depending on the authentication realm enabled.

      • How to install collectd and send metrics to Graphite/Statsd

        Collectd is a daemon which collects system and application performance metrics periodically and provides mechanisms to store the values in a variety of ways, in our case sending to Graphite. Collectd gathers metrics from various sources, e.g. the operating system, applications, log files and external devices, and stores this information or makes it available over the network. Those statistics can be used to monitor systems, find performance bottlenecks (i.e. performance analysis) and predict future system load (i.e. capacity planning). Or if you just want pretty graphs of your private server and are fed up with some homegrown solution you’re at the right place, too.

      • How to Setup Promtail, Grafana and Loki for free Log Management in Debian 11

        Grafana Loki is an open source log aggregation tool provided by the Grafana Labs. It is a horizontally scalable, highly available, multi-tenant log aggregation system inspired by Prometheus. It is designed to be very cost effective and easy to operate. It does not index the contents of the logs, but rather a set of labels for each log stream. This reduces the workload of processing and storing logs.

        Promtail is Loki’s log collector, which sends log tags to Grafana Loki for indexing.

      • How to Setup Central Logging Server with Rsyslog in Ubuntu 20.04 – Citizix

        Rsyslog is an open-source software utility used on UNIX and Unix-like computer systems for forwarding log messages in an IP network. It is an open-source utility for log processing. It permits the logging of data from different types of systems in a central repository. Rsyslog is a Syslog protocol with more extensions, features, and benefits.

        Rsyslog can deliver over one million messages per second to local destinations when limited processing is applied making it so powerful. By default, Linux uses the syslog daemon to record logs about how the system is running and then putting these logs into a central repository in: /var/log where we can examine and investigate them.
        In simple terms of meaning everything from kernel events to user actions is logged by Linux, allowing you to see al most any action performed on your pc or servers.

      • » so ext4 is good for notebooks & desktops & workstations, zfs is better on servers? | dwaves.de

        so, ext4 is good for notebooks & desktops & workstations (that do regular backups on a separate, external, then disconnected medium)

        is zfs “better” on/for servers?

      • How to Install Redmine Project Management Software on Rocky Linux 8

        Redmine is a free and open-source project management software and issue tracking tool. It is written using the Ruby on Rails framework and can be integrated with various version control systems. It includes a repository browser and diff viewer. It can be used to manage projects features per project wikis and forums, time tracking and role-based access control. It is cross-platform, cross-database and supports 49 languages.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Redmine on a Rocky Linux 8 based server.

      • A Guide to Non-Alphanumeric Characters

        Alphanumeric is a description of characters that is both letters and numbers. Typically you will see this term when setting a username on a website or elsewhere- when there is a restriction around the characters you are able to use. ‘1ffcs3rf1a’ is an example of a an alphanumeric string.

      • How to install the Vivaldi Browser on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Vivaldi Browser on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to Add Application Shortcuts to the Ubuntu Desktop

        Having app shortcuts on your desktop significantly decreases the time it takes to launch an app. Here’s how to add desktop shortcuts on Ubuntu.

        Unlike Windows, Ubuntu doesn’t automatically add desktop shortcuts for the apps you install. While this might not cause problems for experienced Linux users, those who come from Windows can find this behavior strange, provoking them to switch back to their old OS. After all, who wouldn’t want the convenience of launching their apps directly from the desktop—that’s what a desktop is for!

        In this guide, you’ll learn how to create and add application shortcuts to the Ubuntu desktop. Let’s delve right into it.

      • How to install BASTON by Txori on a Chromebook

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

      • Solve network fragmentation with MTU

        During the implementation of OpenStack workloads, a common issue is fragmentation throughout the network, causing unforeseen performance issues. Fragmentation is normally difficult to address because networks can get complex, so the path of packets can be hard to trace or predict.

      • Easy Way to Install Prime OS 2.0 on Ubuntu!

        Prime OS is an Android operating system for the desktop that you can use for video editing, games or other purposes. Currently, Prime OS version 2.01 which uses android 11, has been released in Beta. I feel that this OS Update is experiencing a lot of development.

      • How to install GhostBSD 22.01.12 – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install GhostBSD 22.01.12.

      • How to Encrypt Your Files in the Cloud Using Rclone

        Rclone is a wonderful tool. It is a simple script that allows you to manage your files over a number of cloud storage providers seamlessly. It has an intuitive command line interface and a powerful set of features that, among other things, allow you to migrate data from one cloud remote to the other, combine multiple cloud remotes with one another and transparently encrypt and decrypt data. This article focuses on the last point.

      • How Install Graphite and Graphite-Web on Linux with docker and systemd

        Graphite is a free open-source software tool that monitors and graphs numeric time-series data such as the performance of computer systems. Graphite monitoring provides operations teams with visibility on varying levels of granularity concerning the behavior and mannerisms of the systems and applications. This leads to error detection, resolution, and continuous improvement.

        Graphite stores numeric time-series data (metric, value, epoch timestamp) and renders graphs of this data on demand. A time-series is a sequence of observations taken sequentially in time. Time series analysis reveals trends and patterns associated with external factors and anomalies. With adequate graphing teams and enough time series data, it’s even possible to intuitively forecast future events.

      • How to install filezilla client on Rocky Linux 8 | AlmaLinux – Linux Shout

        FileZilla is a free FTP client that offers many convenient functions and is easy to use. Although it is popularly used on Windows systems, however being an open-source application it is also available for Linux systems. Here we learn the commands to install FileZilla Client on Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux 8.

        If you already have an FTP server, for example, on some hosting or cloud service, then easily upload and download the files using FTP/SFTP protocol with graphical clients such as FileZilla.

        Apart from this, the FileZilla client also supports working with multiple FTP servers and different operating systems. FileZilla allows you to connect to an FTP server even if you use a firewall or want to use a proxy server. If desired, the connection can also be secured with SSL. Aborted downloads can also be seamlessly resumed. And if the server is busy, you can still continue your downloads thanks to the keep-alive system.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Stable 7.0 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04 / Linux Mint 20

        After a year of development, Wine, the software for running Windows apps on Linux finally released new stable 7.0 version with over 9,100 individual changes.

        In Wine 7.0, most modules have been converted to PE format (Portable Executable, the Windows binary format) instead of ELF. This helps various copy protection schemes that check that the on-disk and in-memory contents of system modules are identical.

    • Games

      • Steering Wheel manager Oversteer expands supported wheels in 0.7.0 | GamingOnLinux

        Oversteer continues to be the best way to setup and configure Steering Wheels on Linux. Oversteer 0.7.0 is out now and expands support for more wheels. Since, like a lot of other special hardware, the original manufacturer doesn’t support Linux, community efforts like this are essential.

      • Stellaris 3.3 Unity gets a Beta available on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Paradox Interactive are gearing up ready for the next major update to their space strategy game Stellaris. A new opt-in Beta is available for the 3.3 Unity update.

        There’s still plenty of work to be done to finish the update with it still in active development, however this is your time to get in early and see what’s new and report any issues. Currently some new localization strings are only in English and there’s some placeholders but there’s a lot of new features and reworks.

      • Kitsune Tails gets an all-star voice cast | GamingOnLinux

        Kitsune Tails is an upcoming LGBTQ-focused retro story platformer from Kitsune Games and MidBoss, LLC. that’s due out later this year. Looks great for platformer fans and it’s going to have quite the voice cast.

        There’s what seems like a nice big mix of people getting involved with Kira Buckland (the voice of iconic NiEr: Automata protagonist 2B, Street Fighter V’s Falke, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean’s Jolynne Cujoh) plus Angela Tran (Genshin Impact, Lake, Summer in Mara), Katlyn Dannes (The Homework’s Revenge: Esther in Wonderland and Square Roots), Brent Mukai (Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Pokemon Masters) and more.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2 is generally available as of January 19, 2022.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • How to install Red Hat Satellite

          Red Hat Satellite is a powerful content management and provisioning tool that you can add to any Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription with the addition of a Smart Management subscription. With Red Hat Satellite you can curate specific content across multiple lifecycle environments throughout your entire RHEL environment whether it is on-prem, in the cloud or hybrid. In fact you can use Red Hat Satellite with your market-place instances of RHEL.

          In this multi-part tutorial we will cover how to provision RHEL VMs to a vSphere environment from Red Hat Satellite. We will focus on provisioning RHEL 8.3 VMs in one lifecycle environment, but you can easily adapt what you learn here to provision other RHEL versions.

          In part 1, I’m documenting the steps for a simple “lab” install of Satellite 6.9. The purpose of this setup is to give you a quick hands-on experience with Satellite. The lab infrastructure is deployed to a small vSphere 6.7 lab environment with three EXSi servers that have internet access for the installation.

        • Fedora Server 36 Could Make It Easier To Manage NFS & Samba File Sharing – Phoronix

          Red Hat with the Fedora community have been working for years now to make Cockpit very capable for a web-based interface for administering Linux servers. In addition to this year working on shifting their Anaconda installer to a web-based interface that makes use of Cockpit, from this web management portal they are wanting to make it easier to setup file sharing with NFS and Samba.

          A Fedora 36 change proposal has been submitted to ship a new Cockpit module to make file sharing with Samba and NFS easier. This new module would provide a graphical web interface for provisioning and maintenance of NFS and Samba shares that can complement the existing command-line based controls for NFS and Samba servers.

        • Emma Kidney: Fedora IoT Web Page – Initial Ideas

          Just an update on what I’ve been working on :) Click through to see my process and progress starting to create a web page mock-up for Fedora IoT as part of the Fedora Website Revamp!

          As part of the Fedora Website Revamp, I got tasked with creating a mock-up of the Fedora IoT web page. I reference the Fedora IoT logo a lot here. I was unable to locate high quality SVGs, so I just made some quick vectors as placeholders.

      • Debian Family

        • I’m Thinking About You Right Now!

          My sole role at Debian alongside my teammate, aided by our mentors, is to facilitate the Node.js 16 and Webpack 5 Transitioning. What exactly does that mean?

          Node.js 16, as of the time of this writing, is the active LTS release from the Node.js developers while Webpack 5 is also the current release from the Webpack developers. At Debian we have to work towards supporting these packages. Debian as an OS comes with a package manager coined Advanced Package Tool or simply APT on which command-line programs specific to Debian and it’s many-flavored distributions, apt, apt-get, apt-cache are based. This means before the conception of yarn and npm, the typical JavaScript developer’s package managers, apt has been. Debian unlike yarn and npm, ideally only supports one version of a software at any point in time and on edge cases may have to support an extra one as noted in this chat between my mentor and a member.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Google Open Source Programs Office: The business impact of open source

        Amanda Casari is an open source scientist with the Google Open Source Programs Office where she leads Google’s research and engineering work with Project OCEAN. Open source programs offices (OSPOs) are established in organizations as a means to centralize policies, strategies, and guidance, and to ensure common practices across complex teams working on open source projects. Amanda offers some structure for any organization working with open source that is considering starting an OSPO of their own.

      • Web Browsers

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice developer community – LibreOffice Development Blog

          Do you want to contribute to the LibreOffice development, but you don’t know enough about the LiberOffice code internals? Do you want to enhance the application or fix a bug in LibreOffice, but you don’t know how to do that? LibreOffice developer community can help you not only for at the beginning, but by helping you focus on the right aspect of the code. Reviewers will review your code that eventually will be part of the LibreOffice code!

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • ARPA2CM released – some CMake modules | [bobulate]

          One of the more broadly-useful things to come out of KDE Frameworks efforts is, in my opinion, the KDE Extra CMake Modules (ECM). Since KDE software nearly-universally uses CMake as (meta-)build system, a lot of common functionality is distilled into the ECM. It makes building KDE software more consistent and generally easier. Inspired by KDE ECM, let me present ARPA2CM, a conceptually-similar set of CMake modules for a different software stack.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RQuantLib 0.4.15: Regular Update

          A new release 0.4.15 of RQuantLib arrived at CRAN earlier today, and has been uploaded to Debian as well.

          QuantLib is a very comprehensice free/open-source library for quantitative finance; RQuantLib connects it to the R environment and language.

          The release of RQuantLib comes four months after the previous release, and brings a momitor update for the just-released QuantLib 1.2.5 version along with a few small cleanups to calendars and daycounters.

        • Python

          • Free Ways to Learn Python Today

            Python is one of the top programming languages in use today, and, along with JavaScript, it’s also considered as one of the easiest languages to learn.

            Python is a general-purpose language that is widely used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and conduct data analysis, according to Coursera. For example, data scientists and other data professionals frequently use Python “to conduct complex statistical calculations, create data visualizations, build machine learning algorithms, manipulate and analyze data, and complete other data-related tasks.” Entry-level software developers can also leverage Python skills to improve their job prospects and earn higher salaries.

  • Leftovers

    • Bringing The Power Of EDM To The Home Shop | Hackaday

      When you see something made from metal that seems like it would be impossible to manufacture, chances are good it was made with some variety of electrical discharge machining. EDM is the method of choice for hard-to-machine metals, high aspect ratio hole drilling, and precise surface finishes that let mating parts slip together with almost zero clearance. The trouble is, EDM is a bit fussy, and as a result hasn’t made many inroads to the home shop.

      [Action BOX] aims to change that with a DIY wire EDM machine. In wire EDM, a fine brass wire is used as an electrode to slowly erode metal in a dielectric bath. The wire is consumable, and has to constantly move from a supply spool through the workpiece and onto a takeup spool. Most of the build shown in the video below is concerned with the wire-handling mechanism, which is prototyped from 3D-printed parts and a heck of a lot of rollers and bearings. Maintaining the proper tension on the wire is critical, so a servo-controlled brake is fitted to the drivetrain, which itself is powered by a closed-loop stepper. Tension is measured by a pair of strain gauges and Arduinos, which control the position of the shaft brake servo and the speed of the motor on the takeup spool.

    • Hardware

      • Congratulations Winners Of The 555 Timer Contest! | Hackaday

        Far and away the favorite entry was the Giant 555 Timer by [Rudraksha Vegad]. Every one of our judges rated it in the top five, and it took top honors twice. On its face, this is a simple “giant 555 in a box” build, but have a look under the hood. Each sub-module that makes up the 555 — comparators, flip-flop, and amplifier — are made from salvaged discrete parts in actual breadboard fashion, soldered to brass nails hammered into wood. As an end product, it’s a nice piece of woodworking, but as a process of creation, it’s a masterwork in understanding the 555 at its deepest level. We should all make one!

        The Menorah555 is a simple design with some very nice tricks up its sleeve. Perhaps the cutest of which is pulling the central candle out and lighting the others with it — a trick that involves a supercapacitor and reed switches. Each of the candle lighting circuits, however, use a 555 timer both for its intended purpose of providing a timed power-on reset pulse, and another 555 is used as a simple flip-flop. It’s a slick design, and a great user interaction.

        The Cyclotone Mechanical Punk Console Sequencer is a rotating tower of circuit sculpture and noisemakers. This one looks great, is amazingly well documented in the video series, and uses a billion clever little tricks along the way. The 555’s role? Each of the four levels is the classic Atari Punk Console circuit.

      • Remoticon 2021 // Debra Ansell Connects PCB In Ways You Didn’t Expect | Hackaday

        “LEDs improve everything.” Words to live by. Most everything that Debra Ansell of [GeekMomProjects] makes is bright, bold, and blinky. But if you’re looking for a simple string of WS2812s, you’re barking up the wrong tree. In the last few years, Debra has been making larger and more complicated assemblies, and that has meant diving into the mechanical design of modular PCBs. In the process Debra has come up with some great techniques that you’ll be able to use in your own builds, which she shared with us in a presentation during the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon.

      • Setup Menu Uses Text Editor Hack | Hackaday

        Many embedded devices that require a setup menu will use a USB serial port which you connect to your favorite terminal emulator. But we recently encountered a generic USB knob that did setup using a text editor, like Notepad or even Vim (although that was a bit ugly). A company called iWit makes several kinds of USB knobs which end up in many such products.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Working overtime? Those extra hours might not be hurting your wellbeing after all – just don’t tell Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma

        Working too hard? Is that overtime making you feel like you’re caught in the vice-like jaws of burnout? Well, keep on carrying on because far from negatively impacting your well-being, it might actually be good for you if you love your job.

        Or so says research from the ESCP Business School by Argyro Avgoustaki, an associate professor of Management and Almudena Cañibano, an associate professor in Human Resources Management.

        The crucial distinction comes from the motivation behind why individuals put in those extra hours: whether it is due to an inner desire or external pressures from the higher ups.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Google sours on G Suite freeloaders, demands fee or flee • The Register

          Google has served eviction notices to its legacy G Suite squatters: the free service will no longer be available in four months and existing users can either pay for a Google Workspace subscription or export their data and take their not particularly valuable businesses elsewhere.

          “If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your services,” the company said in a recently revised support document. “The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting May 1, 2022.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • On DEI Research: Why the Linux Foundation? Why now? [Ed: Linux Foundation may struggle to justify its very own existence]

                The open source community is working on many simultaneous challenges, not the least of which is addressing vulnerabilities in the core of our projects, securing the software supply chain, and protecting it from threat actors. At the same time, community health is equally as important as the security and vitality of software code.

                We need to retain talented people to work on complex problems. While we work urgently on implementing security best practices such as increasing SBOM adoption to avoid another Log4J scenario, we can’t put the health of our communities on the open source back burner, either.

                Our communities are ultimately made up of people who contribute, have wants and needs, and have feelings and aspirations. So while having actionable data and metrics on the technical aspects of open source projects is key to understanding how they evolve and mature, the human experience within project communities also requires close examination.

        • Security

          • McAfee and FireEye rename themselves ‘Trellix’ • The Register

            Newly combined security outfits McAfee and FireEye have revealed a new name: “Trellix”.

            Readers may find the name familiar, as another tech company used the same name in the 1990s and early 2000s when it offered intranet and web published tools such as Trellix Web.

          • CISA Releases Final Version of Guidance: IPv6 Considerations for TIC 3.0

            CISA has released the final version of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Considerations for Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) 3.0. This guidance supports the federal government-wide deployment and use of the modernized network protocol. The final version includes feedback provided during the public comment period that ended in October 2021. See the fact sheet Response to Comments on Guidance: IPv6 Considerations for TIC 3.0 for a comprehensive analysis of comments received. This release is in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum 21-07, which entrusts CISA with enhancing the TIC program to support IPv6 implementation in federal IT systems.

          • The price for software security and maintainer burnout / OSI News & Updates [Ed: OSI fails to note NPM is Microsoft and GitHub banned a developer for doing what he wanted with his code. Microsoft is the ‘boss’ of OSI.]

            The price for software security and maintainer burnout

            2022 started reminding us that software security is a problem not only for open source packages. At the same time, “how to remunerate open source maintainers?” is a question with impossibly numerous answers: we need focus to find different solutions for different problems.

            Lots of security issues packed in a few weeks: December 2021 saw the Log4j package knocked down by a nasty bug. In January 2022 we witnessed an act of self-sabotation by a maintainer of two NPM packages. On New Year’s Day a bug in Microsoft Exchange ruined the celebrations for many system administrators. Very different scenarios that confirm how complex and fragile our IT infrastructure is. With open source software so popular, shipped in millions of software packages, the open source communities risk becoming a punching bag for problems it cannot necessarily solve.

          • ‘Now’ would be the right time to patch Ubuntu container hosts and ditch 21.04 thanks to heap buffer overflow bug

            The CVE-2022-0185 vulnerability in Ubuntu is severe enough that Red Hat is also advising immediate patching.

            The flaw allows a process inside a Linux user namespace to escape, which means it potentially affects any machine running containers.

            If you’re not running any containers, you can just disable the user-namespace functionality – both companies’ vulnerability descriptions describe how to do that on their respective distros. It affects RHEL (and derivatives) as well as Ubuntu 20.04, 21.04 and 21.10 – and presumably other distros, too.

            So it’s possibly a good thing that “Hirsute Hippo”, as Ubuntu 21.04 is nicknamed, just went end of life today (20 January 2022). If you have any 21.04 machines, it’s time to upgrade them now. That means 21.10 “Impish Indri” for the moment, until the next LTS release appears in April.

          • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7), Fedora (kernel, libreswan, nodejs, and wireshark), openSUSE (busybox, firefox, kernel, and python-numpy), Oracle (gegl, gegl04, httpd, java-17-openjdk, kernel, kernel-container, and libreswan), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, and libreswan), Slackware (wpa_supplicant), SUSE (busybox, firefox, htmldoc, kernel, kubevirt, virt-api-container, virt-controller-container, virt-handler-container, virt-launcher-container, virt-operator-container, openstack-monasca-agent, spark, spark-kit, zookeeper, and python-numpy), and Ubuntu (curl, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-azure-5.4, linux-bluefield, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.13, linux-oem-5.14, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.11, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, openvswitch, and qtsvg-opensource-src).

          • F5 Releases January 2022 Quarterly Security Notification
          • Drupal Releases Security Updates

            Drupal has released security updates to address vulnerabilities affecting Drupal 7, 9.2, and 9.3. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome

            Google has released Chrome version 97.0.4692.99 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

          • Cisco Releases Security Updates for Multiple Products | CISA

            Cisco has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in multiple Cisco products. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. For updates addressing lower severity vulnerabilities, see the Cisco Security Advisories page.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Journalists Are Under Threat in El Salvador. I Know Because I Was Targeted
            • Meta Should Make India Human Rights Impact Assessment Public, Say Rights Groups

              Facebook’s India HRIA (Human Rights Impact Assessment) report should be made public in line with the company’s responsibility to respect human rights, a group of 21 rights organisations demanded in a letter addressed to Miranda Simmons, Director of Human Rights at Meta.

              In November last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had inordinately delayed the release of the HRIA which was commissioned more than a year ago. External researchers who were involved in the report had raised concerns that Facebook was narrowing its scope, changing definitions, etc.

              Facebook has come under increased scrutiny, especially in India, after whistleblowers exposed the social media platform’s inaction on hate speech, among other issues.

            • Privacy is for paedophiles, UK government seems to be saying while spending £500k demonising online chat encryption

              The British government’s PR campaign to destroy popular support for end-to-end encryption on messaging platforms has kicked off, under the handle “No Place To Hide”, and it’s as broad as any previous attack on the safety-guaranteeing technology.

              Reported by us well in advance last year, the £500k campaign aims to destroy public support for end-to-end encryption (E2EE) as part of a wider strategy.

              That intends to make it easy for police workers and other public-sector snoopers to read the public’s online conversations without having to get prior permission or defeat privacy protections.

              Judging by videos earnestly distributed by organisations supporting it, the No Place To Hide campaign (being run by ad agency M&C Saatchi) is much wider than merely targeting Facebook Messenger as was previously thought.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Can Biden build the internet back better? – Access Now

        One year ago, during a raging pandemic in a deeply polarized country, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became President and Vice President of the United States. They were inaugurated only a few weeks after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was facilitated in part by the failure of social media platforms to deal effectively with calls for violent insurrection.

        Since then, a lot has happened. We’ve been tracking key digital rights developments in our 2021 U.S. tech policy tracker, which we are now sunsetting. The upshot: While digital rights activists and whistleblowers like Frances Haugen turned a global spotlight on the need to rein in Big Tech and better protect our rights, overall the Biden-Harris administration fell short of its promise in the first year.

        This blog walks you through the victories worth celebrating, and what more the administration needs to accomplish before 2024. We’re hopeful that more digital rights wins are headed our way, especially on issues that have global impact. We all deserve better.

      • Unpicking The Hype Around Web 3, What’s The Tech?

        The buzzword of the moment in the frothier portions of the technology press is inescapable: “Web 3”. This is a collective word for a new generation of decentralised online applications using blockchain technologies, and it follows on from a similar excitement in the mid-2000s surrounding so-called “Web 2” websites that broke away from the static pages of the early Internet.

        It’s very evident reading up on Web 3, that there is a huge quantity of hype involved in talking about this Next Big Thing. If this were April 1st it would be tempting to pen a lengthy piece sending up the coverage, but here in January that just won’t do. Instead it’s time to peer under the hype and attempt to discern what Web 3 really is from a technology standpoint. Sure, a Web 3 application uses blockchain technology, often reported breathlessly as “the Blockchain” as though there were only one, but how? What is the real technology beneath it all?

The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e05535269bcc244893e62c6146774b27
Linux and the Media
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Misinformation/disinformation in so-called ‘news’ sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems

OVER the past week, just as we forewarned 7 days ago, malicious tongues gave space and time to Microsoft proxies looking to smear “Linux”. Of course ZDNet participated in this FUD campaign, as we noted already in editorial comments (in Daily Links). While we see no need to link (give traffic) to Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD, fear-mongering, dramatisation) we need to talk about the underlying issue.

As we noted a week ago, the Microsoft-connected [1, 2] CrowdStrike is trying to sell some new products to “Linux” and in the process it helps Microsoft by viciously smearing “Linux” with media complicity. Journalism is replaced by PR/advertising. It is their new business model, in effect disqualifying them.

“We need to replace not only the media but also the Web. They’re both controlled by dishonest corporations.”On the upside, however, as I demonstrate in the video above, the media outlets they rely on are rapidly dying. Earlier today I studied the ZDNet ‘zeitgeist’ and came to the conclusion that this site “is gradually collapsing; it’s reducing staffing (which is good). If you go to their “Linux” section right now, page 1 spans about 5 weeks. 1-2 years ago it would span just 5 days. Lots of FUD and misinformation.”

Towards the end of the video I encourage people to explore Geminispace, which is a lot less noisy and has virtually no corporate presence (at all). It’s community-oriented, it’s secure, noise levels are very low, and it has ample support for many platforms/devices. We need to replace not only the media but also the Web. They’re both controlled by dishonest corporations. This isn’t an accident; this was their goal all along.

Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

Posted in News Roundup at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSDNow 438: Toolchain Adventures

        FreeBSD Foundation reviews 2021 activities, DragonflyBSD 6.2.1 is here, Lumina Desktop 1.6.2 available, toolchain adventures, The OpenBSD BASED Challenge Day 7, Bastille Template: AdGuard Home, setting up ZSH on FreeBSD and more.

      • Interview in Destination Linux

        I was recently interviewed for episode 261 of Destination Linux, and it was a blast!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16.2
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.16.2 kernel.
        All users of the 5.16 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.16.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.16.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.15.16
      • Linux 5.10.93
      • Linux 5.4.173
      • Intel’s Unaccepted Memory Support Updated For Substantially Faster Booting Of TDX VMs – Phoronix

        Way back in August Intel posted a set of Linux kernel patches for supporting “unaccepted memory” by the Linux kernel in preparation for next-generation Xeon processors and speeding up the boot time for guest virtual machines making use of Intel’s Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) security feature. Unaccepted memory support hasn’t yet made it to the mainline kernel but now a second iteration of the patches have been posted.

        UEFI 2.9 introduces the concept of memory acceptance and unaccepted memory. This makes it so guests need to “accept” memory before it can be allocated/used within the guest’s environment while the actual acceptance handling is depending upon the VM hypervisor. This memory acceptance is important for Intel TDX and AMD SEV-SNP to avoid the expensive memory acceptance at boot time for new VMs and to instead make it on-demand / as-needed. It’s also possible to be a security benefit in its own right by keeping the memory unaccepted until it’s actually going to be used.

      • Linux 5.17 Making It Easier To Build A Kernel With All The Shiny Debug Features – Phoronix

        Over the years the Linux kernel has picked up many different sanitizers, memory leak detectors, and other features for helping to diagnose and address deficiencies in the kernel. However, all of these debugging-optimized features aren’t centrally located that can make it difficult for system administrators and developers to spot these numerous features when configuring a kernel build manually. Now with Linux 5.17 that is changing.

        What is being done for Linux 5.17 is introducing debug.config as a default kernel build configuration that is optimized for debugging. The debug.config will enable by default various features like the Kernel Address Sanitizer, Undefined Behavior Sanitizer, KMemLeak, and many other kernel features added over time meant to assist in debugging or tracking down of kernel problems. Thus with one command there is an officially recommended kernel configuration with the many different debugging features enabled.

      • AMD SMCA Updates Land In Linux 5.17 For Future CPUs – Phoronix

        Last week I noted about EDAC changes in Linux 5.17 for future AMD CPUs. The “Error Detection and Correction” work included AMD adding RDDR5 / LRDDR5 support to their driver and new CPU model IDs that appear to be for Zen 4. Also working on next-gen AMD processor support in Linux 5.17 are recent SMCA changes.

        Back in early December I wrote about AMD volleying new SMCA driver changes for a new generation of AMD processors. Those changes are interesting for their Scalable Machine Check Architecture as it introduces the notion of having possibly different bank type layouts depending upon the logical CPU core. Thus the preparations are being made — and now merged in Linux 5.17 — for where the machine check architecture bank types/layout are different depending upon the particular CPU. The patches don’t provide AMD’s reasoning for this change but it’s possible for hybrid core designs or other reasons.

      • Tracking Linux Stable kernels with UEK

        Oracle Linux’s kernel has been built from a Linux Stable or Long Term Stable (LTS) release since its inception, but in the last few years we’ve moved even closer to the LTS model for the continuous uptake and delivery of bug fixes. Closely tracking LTS brings various advantages to Oracle Linux customers including faster delivery of security patches and close integration with upstream Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Use Telnet on Linux Systems

        Remote access to other operating system environments on an active network is not just a thing of the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. Telnet achieves the same functionality through TCP/IP protocol.

        With Telnet, you not only get to establish successful remote connections but also troubleshoot and test the system services that define the remote computing environment.

        For instance, we could check if a particular port is active/open/listening on the targeted remote system. It is worth noting that Telnet utilizes port 23 for its remote TCP connections.

      • Mount Google Drive Locally Using Rclone In Linux – OSTechNix

        This guide walks you through the steps to mount Google drive locally using Rclone and then backup files to google drive using Rclone in Linux operating systems. This guide has been officially tested on Manjaro Linux, but the steps are same for all Linux and Unix distributions.

        Before getting started, make sure you’ve installed Rclone on your Linux machine. The following link contains the Rclone installation steps for Linux and Unix operating systems.

      • How To Install Android Studio on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Android Studio on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Android Studio provides the fastest tools for building apps on every type of Android device and is currently the official Google Android IDE. Android Studio offers world-class code editing, performance tooling, debugging, a flexible build system, and an instant build/deployment of android applications thus helping accelerate the build process. It is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Chrome OS.

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

      • How to Upgrade MySQL on Ubuntu – ThisHosting.Rocks

        In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to upgrade/update MySQL to a newer version. This tutorial was written and tested for Ubuntu.

      • Grep Search in all Files and in all Directories

        The versatile grep command lets you perform search for a text in all the files and all the subdirectories of a directory. Here’s how to do that.

      • How to Install MySQL on CentOS (7, 8) – ThisHosting.Rocks

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install MySQL on CentOS. Step-by-step instructions on how to configure and install MySQL.

        Alternative recommended read: How to Install MySQL on Ubuntu.

      • Install the Cryostat Operator on Kubernetes from OperatorHub.io

        Cryostat is a container-native JVM application that provides a secure API for profiling and monitoring containers with JDK Flight Recorder (JFR). Among other features, Cryostat 2.0 introduced the Cryostat Operator, which is now available as part of the OperatorHub.io catalog. Using the Cryostat Operator is an easy way to install Cryostat in your existing Kubernetes environment. This article guides you through the installation procedure.

      • How to back your open source project’s stack | Opensource.com

        We’ve seen several cases in recent years where critical tools which are literally keeping the internet and the world of technology running are being maintained by a very small number of people, at times as a hobby rather than their full-time occupation. Sometimes this only comes to light when those people decide that enough is enough and either stop maintaining it or sell/transfer it to another organization to support.

        Tidelift recently reported that 46% of open source maintainers are not paid. Only 26% earn more than $1,000 from their maintenance work. The same survey also reported that around half felt demotivated, stressed, and undervalued because there was no recognition for the “thankless work” involved in maintaining these projects.

      • How to install Node Js on CentOS 8 Stream – NextGenTips

        In today’s guide, I am going to take you through the installation of node js on CentOS 8 Stream.

        Node.js is an open-source cross-platform, backend javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes javascript code outside of a web browser.

        A Node.js app runs in a single process, without creating a new thread for every request. It provides a set of asynchronous I/O primitives in its standard library that prevent javascript code from blocking and generally, libraries from node.js are written using non-blocking paradigms, making blocking behavior the exceptions rather than the norm.

      • How to install and Configure Kong API Gateway in Ubuntu 20.04

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install and configure Kong API Gateway. Also, we are going to understand what Kong API gateway is, what is an API?, have a looked at Kong API gateway pricing, and lastly, how Kong API gateway works. So let’s dive in.

    • Games

      • A whole bunch of games just got Steam Deck Verified | GamingOnLinux

        Seems Valve has now properly started verifying games ahead of the Steam Deck launch, with a bunch of titles now verified ready to play so let’s take a look. The list can be seen on SteamDB.

      • Reverse Engineering The SEGA Mega Drive | Hackaday

        With the widespread adoption of emulators, almost anyone can start playing video games from bygone eras. Some systems are even capable of supporting homebrew games, with several having active communities that are still creating new games even decades later. This ease of programming for non-PC platforms wasn’t always so easy, though. If you wanted to develop games on a now-antique console when it was still relatively new, you had to jump through a lot of hoops. [Tore] shows us how it would have been done with his Sega Mega Drive development kit that he built from scratch.

      • Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is out on Steam and runs well on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Want to get into a new card game? Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel just released on Steam from Konami Digital Entertainment and the great news is that it works out of the box with Steam Play Proton Experimental on Linux.

        A good thing too of course, as the more new releases that work right away the better the chances of more people using Linux – and it’s always good news for the upcoming Steam Deck too. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has already proven to be massively popular, with it being #4 on Steam’s top games by player count (a peak count of 164,465 playing!). Konami claim this is the “definitive edition of the competitive card game that has been evolving for over 20 years”.

      • Get a fresh up close and personal look at the Steam Deck with Hellish Quart | GamingOnLinux

        Want a really close view on the Steam Deck in action? Hellish Quart developer Kubold recently had a Steam Deck devkit delivered so they took a video.

        Can’t say I had heard of Hellish Quart until seeing the video either. It’s a physics based, realistic, 3D sword duelling game set in the 17th century and you know what? It looks like a huge amount of fun actually! Not only that, it appears to now work just fine with Steam Play Proton. The developer mentioned they will be updating the game to have controller glyphs for the moves list, which it will need to get Verified properly and it’s something that should benefit all gamepad players.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE announces new distro for those who miss the old CentOS: Liberty Linux

          Official details remain scant, but SUSE Liberty Linux is a new member of the growing tribe of CentOS Linux replacements. The new distro is a SUSE rebuild of CentOS 8, aimed at near-perfect RHEL 8 compatibility.

          Since Red Hat killed off CentOS Linux and replaced it with CentOS Stream, there’s been renewed activity in the world of drop-in RHEL replacements. Now a new entrant has joined AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, as SUSE enters the fray with its own rebuild of Red Hat’s freely-available source code.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 6 ways financial services leaders can enable innovation | The Enterprisers Project

          Innovation is key to any organization’s future success, but it’s especially true for financial services organizations. So why isn’t innovation happening faster? Is your firm at risk of being left behind?

          In the mid-2000s, I sat at a lunch-and-learn with an executive from a major social platform, who was asked about an up-and-coming competitor. The response was, in my opinion, short-sighted; it went something like this: “We aren’t concerned about them; it’s for college kids and people have profiles, photos, and big networks of friends on our site. They won’t want to start over somewhere else.”

          The executive was wrong about this – very, very wrong. The financial services industry is at a similar tipping point and technology-based innovation will lead the way.

          What advice would you give to business leaders in working with their technical leaders?
          What can you do about it? Ask yourself: Are your business leaders and technical leaders slowing you down? Is collaboration too hard? Is alignment out of sync? We often hear frustrations from Red Hat clients about just getting things done and hear statements such as “Why can’t IT just get me what I need?” or “The business team doesn’t listen.”

          We asked former financial services IT pros who now work for Red Hat for tips on how business leaders in financial services can work better with IT leaders – and get their needs met more quickly.

        • 8 fundamental Linux file-management commands for new users | Enable Sysadmin

          I’m a believer in the basics, and as a former technical instructor, I have a soft spot for folks who are new to Linux (and other platforms). I’ve written articles on the fundamentals, and I thought it was time to cover some basic file-manipulation commands.

          This article looks at day-to-day tasks such as copying, moving, renaming, creating, and deleting files and directories. Here are eight commands to make managing files easier.

        • Building better businesses: Announcing our Red Hat EMEA Digital Leaders 2021

          Life moves fast. Innovation moves faster. We’re all in a rush to keep up. Every now and then, it’s important to hit the pause button and reflect on achievements. Reflection isn’t just good for the soul. The accomplishments of others can be the gateway to our own progress. By taking inspiration and learnings from others, we can overcome organizational groupthink, draw on a more diverse pool of ideas and experiences, and shortcut our way to solutions and success.

          This is the thinking behind the Red Hat EMEA Digital Leaders Awards—a new program in association with Intel and IDC celebrating the best open source projects using Red Hat technology and services

          We received so many strong stories, from so many different countries and industries. When businesses apply open source solutions and working principles to their transformation projects, every KPI—profitability, cost savings, customer satisfaction, employee productivity and market share—is improved.

          It has been inspiring, and humbling, to see how Red Hat is helping to build better businesses, and a better world.

        • Integrate ISO 20022 payments messaging with CI/CD

          The financial industry is increasingly embracing International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 20022-based standards (MX messaging) to exchange messages for both payments and securities. Key benefits of MX messaging include its ability to capture richer data, flexibility, and machine-readable format. However, the older SWIFT MT message set is still deeply entrenched in the core systems and processes of the financial sector. This situation has created a growing demand for MT-MX conversion.

          In this article, I will show you one way to achieve MT to MX mapping on Red Hat OpenShift using the message transformation platform from Trace Financial, a Red Hat Independent Software Vendor (ISV), and Red Hat Fuse.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Outreachy Project “Mote” progress update

          I had heard Outreachy internship from one of my seniors who was sharing her experience in my college when I was in my second year. I decided to give it a shot with utmost dedication and learning after understanding how Outreachy can be a great learning experience – needed to excel in the IT industry. Outreachy helps people from under-represented groups and is a life-changing experience for a contributor. I feel happy now that I am working with amazing mentors who guide and motivate me at every step. This opportunity wouldn’t be possible without the support of my parents, friends, and mentors.
          I always have shared my knowledge and experience with beginners, and this is a chance for me to prove myself capable and then help other people contribute to Open Source. I am excited for the next 3 months of knowing community members and helping with the project.

          I am currently in week 5 of my Outreachy Internship and I must say it’s going great. Every day is a new learning experience for me with lots of new implementations, goals, and tasks. This keeps me motivated and afresh with the project.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) Reached End of Life, Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 Now

          Dubbed by Canonical as the “Hirsute Hippo,” Ubuntu 21.04 was released nine months ago, on April 22nd, 2021. It was the first Ubuntu release to use the next-generation Wayland display server by default for its Ubuntu Desktop flavor, which uses a modified version of the GNOME desktop environment.

          Ubuntu 21.04 didn’t make the plunge into the GNOME 40 desktop environment series due to its redesigned Activities Overview, but it did ship with support for GNOME 40 apps while being built on top of the older GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Reached End Of Life | Itsubuntu.com

          Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) as the release has now reached the end of life. Ubuntu 21.04 was released nine months ago, on April 22nd, 2021. If you’re still using Ubuntu 21.04, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to the latest Ubuntu operating system as Canonical will stop offering updates for Ubuntu 21.04 users.

        • Accessible by design: How we are designing for accessibility at Canonical

          In this blog post, I will talk about some of the most important considerations when it comes to building UIs that are accessible by design and how we are approaching this challenge at Canonical to continuously improve the accessibility of Vanilla, our open source design system and CSS framework.


          Hold on! Don’t leave the page yet, I promise this will get interesting.

          The boring part (at least for me) and the shallowest way of looking at compliance is legislation. Over the years, there have been different mandates or laws to enforce digital and non-digital accessibility, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act in the USA (1990) and in the European Union the European Accessibility Act, which will likely cause a stir. Starting in June 2025, a wide range of sectors, products and services must be accessible or companies will face legal repercussions from the European Commission. The good news is that up to now, regardless of the legislative body, the standard for compliance is always the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Webmin – A Web Based System Administration Tool for Linux

        Webmin is an open-source web-based system configuration tool for Linux system administration. With the help of this tool, we can manage internal system configuration such as setting up user accounts, disk quotas, services configuration like Apache, DNS, PHP, MySQL, file sharing, and much more.

        Webmin application is based on Perl module and it uses TCP port 10000 with OpenSSL library for communicating via browser.

      • ProtonMail Now Protects You From Email Tracking

        ProtonMail is an open-source email service that offers best-in-class privacy and security features. All of its client applications are open-source as well. You can use it for free and opt for premium upgrades if needed. Whether using it for free or with a subscription, ProtonMail has been an impressive option for privacy and open-source enthusiasts.

        In fact, we use it for our team. And, it has been a good service so far!

        Now, to make things better, ProtonMail announced a new feature that blocks hidden pixels in emails that often track your activity.

      • Workspace Organizer ‘Rambox 2.0′ Launches with a Revamped UI and New Features – It’s FOSS News

        The open-source workspace organizer, Rambox, has just received a fresh new update.

        If you’re not familiar with Rambox, it is basically an all-in-one app that combines numerous web apps and messaging services into one single application. In fact, we’ve previously reviewed its open-source community edition.

        The latest update has introduced significant changes to Rambox. Let’s take a look at all the new features that come packed with Rambox 2.0

      • Genode OS Planning For WireGuard, Mobile Usability With The PinePhone – Phoronix

        I’ve been writing about Genode OS for over a decade as one of the interesting original, open-source operating system frameworks that has taken novel approaches to many design elements and continues persevering with their efforts. For 2022 the project has yet more ambitious goals ahead.

        Over the course of 2021, Genode accomplished making use of more Linux driver code where possible, hardware-accelerated graphics are in better shape, and getting more code natively working on the platform such as the open-source Chromium web browser. Besides the Intel graphics in working shape, Genode OS also tackled web camera support, LTE data support, and other features in 2021.

      • Events

        • Linux App Summit 2022 will be held in Italy

          The Linux App Summit (LAS) of 2022 will be held in Rovereto, a picturesque city at the foot of the Italian Alps.

          Whether you are a company, journalist, developer, or user interested in the ever-growing Linux app ecosystem, LAS will have something for you. Scheduled for April, LAS 2022 will be a hybrid event, combining on-site and remote sessions, including talks, panels and Q&As.

          The call for papers will open soon, and the registrations shortly after.

          Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with Linux App Summit news.

        • Omicron Storm Cancels In-person ‘Spacewalk’ Event – Online Version Rescheduled

          With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreading across the country (and globe) like a fast moving storm, the folks at All Things Open have had to rethink their plans for presenting their free Spacewalk event as both an in-person and online hybrid event, and will now be offering the event online only.

          This led to some logistical difficulties for the event’s planners, since the original plan had been to livestream the event as it happened from the the Carolina Theater in downtown Durham, North Carolina. Long story short: the event originally scheduled for yesterday will now take place on Tuesday, January 25 at noon Eastern Time. Attendance is absolutely free, but a Zoom registration is required.

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • 3 Best Free and Open Source Swift 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.

      • Education

        • Security engineering course

          Although our course is designed for masters students and fourth-year undergrads in Edinburgh, we’re making the lectures available to everyone. I’ll link the rest of the videos in followups here, and eventually on the book’s web page.

      • Programming/Development

        • C your data structures with rellic-headergen

          Have you ever wondered how a compiler sees your data structures? Compiler Explorer may help you understand the relation between the source code and machine code, but it doesn’t provide as much support when it comes to the layout of your data. You might have heard about padding, alignment, and “plain old data types.” Perhaps you’ve even dabbled in emulating inheritance in C by embedding one structure in another. But could you guess the exact memory layout of all these types, without looking at the ABI reference for your platform or the source for your standard library?

        • Perl/Raku

          • DocKnot 7.01

            Continuing to flush out bugs in the recent changes to my static web site generator.

            I had missed some Unicode implications for how output from external programs was handled, and also missed Unicode decoding of the output from Pod::Thread, since Pod::Simple always encodes its output even if that output is to a scalar. I also missed an implication for how symlinks were handled in Path::Iterator::Rule, causing docknot spin to fail to copy files into the output tree that were symlinks in the input tree. Both of those bugs are fixed in this release.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”? Hardly

      By its very nature, the Senate, with two Senators from each state, gives more representation to the voters of sparsely populated rural states, clearly a lopsided minority representation, and I say this as a lifelong resident of rural Wisconsin.

      This vision of the Senate was bitterly debated by the framers of the Constitution, as only five of the original thirteen states supported a Senate so structured. And this was a time when the population ratio between the largest state and the smallest was 13 to 1. That ratio now stands at 68 to 1 and it is growing wider year by year.

    • Why the Volcanic Eruption in Tonga was so Violent

      The volcano is usually not much to look at. It consists of two small uninhabited islands, Hunga-Ha’apai and Hunga-Tonga, poking about 100m above sea level 65km north of Tonga’s capital Nuku‘alofa. But hiding below the waves is a massive volcano, around 1800m high and 20km wide.

    • I Am a Man
    • Major US airlines warn 5G expansion could cause ‘chaos’ for US flights

      The airlines warned the new C-Band 5G service set to begin on Wednesday could render a significant number of widebody aircraft unusable, “could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas” and cause “chaos” for U.S. flights.

    • AT&T begins 5G C-band rollout in limited number of metro areas

      Just one day before Verizon and AT&T’s scheduled 5G rollout on January 19th, major airlines warned against activating 5G towers for fear of “catastrophic disruption” to flights operating across the country. Air India, Emirates, Japan Airlines, and ANA canceled some of their flights in advance over concerns that the 5G expansion could interfere with radar altimeters that aircraft use to make low-visibility landings. Ahead of the rollout, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached an agreement with both carriers to create 50 buffer zones where AT&T and Verizon will shut off transmitters for six months near airports with high traffic volume and frequent low-visibility conditions.

    • Science

      • The squares are kinda Fibonacci-like

        I got a cute little surprise today. I was thinking: suppose someone gives you a large square integer and asks you to find the next larger square. You can’t really do any better than to extract the square root, add 1, and square the result. But if someone gives you two consecutive square numbers, you can find the next one with much less work. Say the two squares are !!b = n^2!! and !!a = n^2+2n+1!!, where !!n!! is unknown. Then you want to find !!n^2+4n+4!!, which is simply !!2a-b+2!!. No square rooting is required.

      • 3D printing’s next act: big metal objects

        A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

        Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

    • Education

      • Feature | Estonia’s English-language podcasts, all in the one place

        Some of these might have so far slipped below the radar for many potentially interested listeners, however. To help solve that issue, ERR News has drawn together a dozen of the current crop of podcasts of all types, all together in the same article for ease of reference.

        For a podcast to be listed it needed to meet three criteria: Be in English, be about Estonia and have had multiple episodes posted online within the last year or so.

    • Hardware

      • Samsung edges out Intel to take top spot in 2021 semiconductor sales

        South Korean giant Samsung Electronics became the globe’s top vendor of semiconductors in 2021, overtaking Intel for the first time since 2018 with a 31.6% rise in revenue to US$75.9 billion (A$105.2 billion), the technology analyst firm Gartner says.

      • When A Single Bit Was Enough, Into The Sound Of The ZX Spectrum | Hackaday

        It’s normal for a computer in 2022 to come with a fully-featured sound card containing a complete synthesizer as well as high-quality PCM sound recording and playback. It’s referred to as a sound card after the way the hardware first appeared in the world of PCs, but in fact it’s now considered so essential as to be a built-in part of most mainboards. There was a time when computers boasted considerably less impressive sound hardware, and among the chorus of SIDs and AY chips of the perhaps the least well-featured was the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Its one-bit sound, a single line on an I/O port, is the subject of a thorough investigation from [Forgotten Computer]. It’s a long video which we’ve placed below the break, but for those with an interest in 8-bit music it should make a for a fascinating watch.

        For Sir Clive Sinclair the 1-bit audio must have been welcome as it removed the need for an expensive sound chip and kept the Spectrum to its low price point, but on the face of it there was little more it could do than create simple beeps using Sinclair BASIC’s built-in BEEP command. The video gives us an in-depth look at how interleaving and PWM could be used to create much more complex sounds such as the illusion of multiple voices and even sampled sounds. In particular his technique of comparing the audio output with its corresponding pin on the Sinclair ULA shows the effect of the machine’s simple low-pass filter, though the music was often so close to the edge of what the interface could do that aliasing sounds are often very obvious.

      • Printing Your Own Exoskeleton | Hackaday

        While not quite in a cave, the idea of making your own exoskeleton with limited tools does have a Tony Stark esque vibe. [Andrew Piccinno] is a mechanical engineer pursuing the dream of 3D printing a full-body exoskeleton called 3X0. It’s a project he’s been ruminating on since college, but the work really began in earnest about five months ago. Unfortunately, there are too many pictures to include here, but check out his Instagram or makeprojects for more photos.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • WHO Chief Says Pandemic Is “Nowhere Near Over,” Warning About Vaccine Inequity
      • Vaccine Apartheid Means Pandemic ‘Nowhere Near Over’: WHO Chief

        The head of the World Health Organization on Tuesday implored countries not to let their guards down even as Omicron waves appear to have reached their peaks in parts of the globe, a trend that some nations have cited as a reason to lift public safety measures.

        During his weekly media briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced hope that “the worst of this latest wave is done with” but stressed that “no country is out of the woods yet” as infection rates remain at record levels around the world.

      • Fact-Checking, COVID-19 Misinformation, and the British Medical Journal

        The increasing volume of misinformation and urgent calls for better moderation have made processes like fact-checking—the practice that aims to assess the accuracy of reporting—integral to the way social media companies deal with the dissemination of content. But, a valid question persists: who should check facts? This is particularly pertinent when one considers how such checks can shape perceptions, encourage biases, and undermine longstanding, authoritative voices. Social media fact-checks currently come in different shapes and sizes; for instance, Facebook outsources the role to third party organizations to label misinformation, while Twitter’s internal practices determine which post will be flagged as misleading, disputed, or unverified.

        That Facebook relies on external fact-checkers is not in and of itself a problem – there is something appealing about Facebook relying on outside experts and not being the sole arbiter of truth. But Facebook vests a lot of authority in its fact-checkers and then mostly steps out of the way of any disputes that may arise around their decisions. This raises concerns about Facebook fulfilling its obligation to provide its users with adequate notice and appeals procedures when their content is moderated by its fact-checkers.

        According to Facebook, its fact-checkers may assign one of four labels to a post: “False,” “Partly False,” Altered,” or “Missing Context.”  The label is accompanied by a link to the fact-checker and a more detailed explanation of that decision. Each label triggers a different action from Facebook. Content rated either “False” or “Altered” is subject to a dramatic reduction in distribution and gets the strongest warning labels. Content rated “Partly False” also gets reduced distribution, but to a lesser degree than “False” or “Altered.” Content rated “Missing Context” is not typically subject to distribution reduction; rather Facebook surfaces more information from its fact-checking partners. But under its current temporary policy, Facebook will reduce distribution of posts about COVID-19 or vaccines marked as “Missing Context” by its fact-checkers.

      • Kidney Failure, Emergency Rooms and Medical Debt. The Unseen Costs of Food Poisoning.

        On a cloudy day in November 2019, family and friends gathered in Austin, Texas, to mourn the passing of Lovey Jean Carter.

        Carter, who had heart trouble and other ailments, had died at 67.

      • Why Pay Less? The US Strategy for Vaccinating the World
      • BoJo “Big Dog” Johnson, Distemper in the Time of Pandemic

        BoJo, during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) that day, also apologized for the leaked video, and said he was launching an investigation into whether lockdown rules had been broken by the Christmas party in question.

        Subsequent revelations about several other lockdown-breaching parties, at Downing Street and a number of government ministries, show BoJo’s declaration and apology to be entirely hypocritical.

      • Catching Up With Progressives, Biden to Provide N95s Nationwide

        Eighteen months after Sen. Bernie Sanders first introduced legislation to ensure everyone in the U.S. would receive face masks to protect against Covid-19, the White House on Wednesday followed public health guidance by announcing it will make N95s available for free nationwide.

        “It’s starting to work. Demand more. Demand better.”

      • Beyond Fauci: When Physicians are Victims

        One of the most famous cases concerns Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer. He was persecuted by the Catholic Church because his concept of the universe was in disagreement with the theological thinking of the times. He was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

        So far, Anthony Fauci has been luckier than that. Despite repeated attacks by the former U.S. President and his Republican allies, Fauci continues to have the full support of President Joe Biden and of the American scientific community.

      • Bank Blocks Donations Supporting Cuban Effort to Vaccinate World

        Progressive International recently asked for contributions so they can send a delegation to Havana next week to promote Cuba’s effort to vaccinate the world against Covid-19.

        But in an apparent genuflection to the illegal U.S. embargo against the island, Dutch multinational bank ING has blocked all donations supporting the trip, the group said Tuesday.

      • Rand Paul Abandons His Hippocratic Oath to Play Politics During a Pandemic

        Rand Paul is a doctor who became a politician. That should have made the senator from Kentucky a valuable voice during a pandemic. Instead, the ophthalmologist has abandoned any pretense of upholding the physician’s pledge to “lead my life, and practice my art, in uprightness and honor.” While Paul still claims to respect the Hippocratic oath, the Republican has failed at every turn to demonstrate his commitment to “hold myself aloof from wrong and from corruption.”

      • Learning From Decades of Public Health Failure

        One glaring revelation of the Covid-19 crisis is how ill-prepared the United States turned out to be for an unexpected national medical emergency. There are deep historical reasons for why our welfare state proved incapable of dealing with the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic—reasons that predate the Trump administration’s mismanagement. Decades of economic decision-making that prioritized a market-driven system ignored the kind of welfare distribution necessary to deal with the potential challenges of a large-scale crisis like Covid-19.1

      • Iowa Judge Upholds Ag-Gag Charge Brought Against Animal Rights Activist Hours Before Dismissing The Case

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

      • Iowa Judge Upholds Ag-Gag Charge Brought Against Animal Rights Activist Hours Before Dismissing The Case

        An Iowa judge upheld one of the state’s “ag-gag” laws in a case brought against an animal rights activist, hours before dismissing all charges.

        In Iowa, a person may be criminalized for “food operation trespass” if they enter or remain on the property of a factory farm “without the consent of a person who has real or apparent authority to allow the person to enter or remain on the property.”

      • Navigating the swamps of medical uncertainty, a personal anecdote

        I can’t find reliable data on this (and the irony of this is not lost on me), but somewhere between many dozens of thousands and many hundreds of thousands of meniscus surgeries are performed in the US alone every year. Millions are performed across the world.

        Yet the evidence seems to point towards these surgeries being ineffective, mildly harmful in the short run for markers like mobility and pain, significantly in the long run due to accelerating osteoarthrosis. In spite of this, orthopedic surgeons seem unaware and there are no guidelines recommending the avoidance of surgeries.

        In my limited reading of what guidelines I could find, all without exceptions recommend a treatment protocol for meniscus injury without citing any evidence about outcomes, let alone thinking about the chance of misdiagnosis or cases where I’d be wiser to wait for better technology or pursue less traditional methods.

        I for one am glad I had the scientific literacy, money, patience, and time to navigate the swamp of uncertainty and reach what I think could be a better outcome than the surgery. Alas, I am still far from certain the path I took was correct, but this is a story of navigating, not of setting anchor.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • IRS Will Soon Require Selfies for Online Access

          If you created an online account to manage your tax records with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), those login credentials will cease to work later this year. The agency says that by the summer of 2022, the only way to log in to irs.gov will be through ID.me, an online identity verification service that requires applicants to submit copies of bills and identity documents, as well as a live video feed of their faces via a mobile device.

        • Telework Here to Stay, But Devices Need Beefed Up Security

          The country has already been gripped by high-profile cyberattacks, including on software company SolarWinds, oil transport company Colonial Pipeline, and meat producer JBS USA.

        • Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

          It’s Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition, far topping the company’s $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016.

        • Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $US 70b

          Microsoft made big news when it bought Minecraft and when it bought Bethesda, but today’s news is a deal 10 times that. Microsoft has now announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for an eye-watering $US 70 billion. It makes Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company.

        • EXPLAINER: Microsoft’s Activision buy could shake up gaming

          Microsoft stunned the gaming industry when it announced this week it would buy game publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game company than Nintendo.

          Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, said the deal would be good for gamers and advance its ambitions for the metaverse — a vision for creating immersive virtual worlds for both work and play.

          But what does the deal really mean for the millions of people who play video games, either on consoles or their phones? And will it actually happen at a time of increased government scrutiny over giant mergers in the U.S. and elsewhere?

        • The video-game industry has metaverse ambitions, too

          The second prong of Epic’s strategy, besides “Fortnite” itself, is to sell pickaxes in a gold rush. Here it is in competition with Unity, a firm founded in Denmark in 2004 and which went public last year. Both firms sell sophisticated software “engines” that were originally designed to power video-games. Now they are touting them as pieces of general-purpose simulation software that they hope will become a common language in which 3D worlds are built, in the same way HTML underpins websites.

          They are already partway there. Games engines are finding uses outside the gaming business. Architectural firms, for instance, use them to build virtual versions of buildings to dazzle clients before construction. Some use them to help manage the build itself. A collaboration between Epic and Cesium, a startup that maps cities and landscapes, allows virtual copies of real cities such as Melbourne or Detroit to be dropped into Unreal, the engine that powers “Fortnite”.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The ‘core’ of data science: McKinsey donates Kedro to Linux

                Scottish-sounding management consultancy McKinsey has donated Kedro to the Linux Foundation.

                Build back in 2019, McKinsey launched Kedro as an open source software tool on GitHub for data scientists and data engineers.

                In terms of form and function, this technology is a library of code that can be used to create data and Machine Learning pipelines.

              • McKinsey donates open-source tool Kedro to the Linux Foundation
              • McKinsey donates machine learning pipeline tool Kedro to the Linux Foundation [Ed: “Donates” is the wrong word. Openwashing services aren’t charitable.]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit consortium that provides a vendor-neutral hub for open source projects. today announced that McKinsey’s QuantumBlack will donate Kedro, a machine learning pipeline tool, to the open source community. The Linux Foundation will maintain Kedro under Linux Foundation AI & Data (LF AI & Data), an umbrella organization founded in 2018 to bolster innovation in AI by supporting technical projects, developer communities, and companies.

                “We’re excited to welcome the Kedro project into LF AI & Data. It addresses the many challenges that exist in creating machine learning products today and it is a fantastic complement to our portfolio of hosted technical projects,” Ibrahim Haddad, executive director of LF AI & Data, said. “We look forward to working with the community to grow the project’s footprint and to create new collaboration opportunities with our members, hosted projects and the larger open-source community.”

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The UK Has A Voyeuristic New Propaganda Campaign Against Encryption

              Over the weekend, Rolling Stone reported on a new propaganda campaign the United Kingdom’s government is rolling out to try to turn public opinion against end-to-end encryption (E2EE). It’s the latest salvo in the UK’s decades-long war against encryption, which in the past has relied on censorious statements from the Home Office and legislation such as the Snooper’s Charter rather than ad campaigns. According to the report, the plans for the PR blitz (which is funded by UK taxpayers’ money) include “a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking ‘knowingly’ at the child as the glass fades to black.”

            • Athlete surveillance warnings cloud China’s Winter Olympics

              A growing number of Western nations and cybersecurity groups have issued digital surveillance warnings for next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, with some advising foreign athletes to leave personal phones and laptops at home.

            • Using Digital Data in Criminal Investigations: Where and How to Draw the Line?

              Even if such data can help solve crimes, should it be made available for that purpose? Though public safety is an important goal, how much of a modern citizen’s “digital footprint” should be available for criminal or other investigations? Should it matter whether citizens are aware their phone or car is monitoring them? What if they don’t have the freedom to opt out and stop the data collection, which would certainly be difficult if the technology was embedded in their bodies? When does access to that data begin to look less like police searching through someone’s belongings and more like forcing them to testify against themselves, something the Constitution provides specific protection against?

              The answers to these futuristic-sounding questions could have long-reaching effects—potentially creating disincentives for some capabilities to be built into new technologies or pushing criminals to use tools with built-in legal protection from police access. The answers won’t just affect the balance between individual rights and public safety. They will echo in the decisions people make about what technologies to use and influence inventive companies’ decisions about what new devices and features to create.

            • San Francisco Police Illegally Spying on Protesters

              Last summer, the San Francisco police illegally used surveillance cameras at the George Floyd protests.


              Tech billionaire Chris Larsen is on the side of the police. He thinks that the surveillance is a good thing, and wrote an op-ed defending it.

              I wouldn’t be writing about this at all except that Chris is a board member of EPIC, and used his EPIC affiliation in the op-ed to bolster his own credentials. (Bizarrely, he linked to an EPIC page that directly contradicts his position.) In his op-ed, he mischaracterized the EFF’s actions and the facts of the lawsuit. It’s a mess.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Anti-War Veterans Group Issues Its Own ‘Nuclear Posture Review’

        “What we need now is a ‘nuclear posture’ that enables us to reduce the real risk of nuclear confrontation through accidental launch or miscalculated escalation, and to accelerate a global reduction and rapid elimination of nuclear weapons.”

        “The U.S. nuclear posture is too important to be left to the cold warriors at the Pentagon.”

      • Jayapal, Lee Resolution Promotes More Peaceful US Foreign Policy

        Peace campaigners on Wednesday cheered a resolution introduced by progressive U.S. congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee calling for a new American foreign policy that centers nonviolent solutions and eschews militarism and bloated Pentagon spending.

        “It’s time to put diplomacy and peace over militarism and war.”

      • Oath Keepers Stored 30 Days of Supplies for January 6, Bracing for “Civil War”
      • Opinion | After a Year of Biden, Why Do We Still Have Trump’s Foreign Policy?

        President Biden and the Democrats were highly critical of President Trump’s foreign policy, so it was reasonable to expect that Biden would quickly remedy its worst impacts. As a senior member of the Obama administration, Biden surely needed no schooling on Obama’s diplomatic agreements with Cuba and Iran, both of which began to resolve long-standing foreign policy problems and provided models for the renewed emphasis on diplomacy that Biden was promising.

      • 14-Year-Old Indigenous Land Defender Killed in Colombia

        Outrage and demands for justice are growing after 14-year-old Breiner David Cucuñame was shot dead last Friday while on patrol with the Indigenous Guard, an unarmed collective that aims to protect their lands in Colombia, known globally for frequent murders of environmentalists.

        Fridays for Future MAPA—youth climate activists from the most affected people and areas—responded to the teenager’s death on Wednesday by tweeting the common phrase: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

      • How Do We Confront White Christian Nationalism?

        “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

      • Berlin-Kreuzberg: Social Democrats want to set up police station in left-wing scene district

        Against the opposition of their own party, the Berlin SPD interior senate wants to station police permanently at Berlin’s „Kotti“. However, the senate fears a „partly anti-police scene“. Therefore, the new building will be protected by permanent patrols and more video surveillance.

      • Opinion | Beware the Hawkish Pundits Pushing for War Over Ukraine

        With the United States and Russia in a standoff over NATO expansion and Russian troop deployments along the Ukrainian border, US corporate media outlets are demanding that Washington escalate the risk of a broader war while misleading their audiences about important aspects of the conflict.

      • ‘Allied Resolve’ begins Troops spotted near the border with Ukraine as Russian forces arrive in Belarus for joint military drills

        The “Allied Resolve” joint military exercises between Russia and Belarus are underway. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Wednesday, January 19, that Russian forces have begun to arrive in Belarus for the first phase of the maneuvers, which will last until February 9. The second phase will run from February 10–20. According to open-source reports, Russian troops and hardware have already been spotted within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the Belarusian border with Ukraine. Taking place against the backdrop of a flurry of diplomatic talks, the military exercises have further stoked international fears that Moscow is planning to launch an attack on Ukraine. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov insisted on Wednesday that the drills are not cause for concern.

      • Hong Kong democracy activist Edward Leung is released from prison

        Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, 30, who first used one of the most popular protest chants of the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations, was released from prison on Wednesday.

        Leung first used “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times” as a campaign slogan for a 2016 legislative election he was later banned from running in, due to his past advocacy for independence from China.

      • Chinese ambassador to France: Beijing has ‘not ruled out use of force’ against Taiwan

        FRANCE 24 spoke to Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to France. He insisted Beijing was prioritising “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, but said the Chinese authorities had “not ruled out the use of force” – not with the intention of targeting “the people of Taiwan”, but rather to dissuade “separatists in Taiwan” and certain “foreign forces”. The Chinese diplomat also said he was “sure” there would be no mass surge in Covid-19 cases during the Winter Olympics, which open in Beijing on February 4.

      • Newly Declassified Video Shows Botched U.S. Drone Strike That Killed 10 Afghan Civilians

        The strike was carried out as the military sought to take out ISIS-K, the extremist group that claimed responsibility for an Aug. 26 attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans outside the Kabul airport. President Biden vowed to take action against those responsible. “We will not forgive. We will not forget,” the president said. “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

      • Newly Declassified Video Shows U.S. Killing of 10 Civilians in Drone Strike

        Newly declassified surveillance footage provides additional insights about the final minutes and aftermath of a botched U.S. drone strike last year in Kabul, Afghanistan, showing how the military made a life-or-death decision based on imagery that was fuzzy, hard to interpret in real time and prone to confirmation bias.

        The strike on Aug. 29 killed 10 innocent people — including seven children — in a tragic blunder that punctuated the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

        The disclosure of the videos was a rare step by the U.S. military in any case of an airstrike that caused civilian casualties, and is the first time any footage from the Kabul strike has been seen publicly. The videos encompass about 25 minutes of silent footage from two drones — a military official said both were MQ-9 Reapers — showing the minutes before, during and after the strike.

      • Piracy drops to 18 year low

        “Vigorous action” by authorities is cited as one reason for last year seeing the lowest recorded level of piracy and armed robbery at sea in 18 years.

        Notwithstanding, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) urges seafarers to continue exercising caution and vigilance to ensure long term protection.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Telling Lies on an International Scale

        The mainstream media have been replete with stories of a new Tory “red meat” initiative of right wing policies. “Government sources” briefed the media that Liz Truss and Priti Patel were in talks with their counterparts in Ghana and Rwanda about setting up internment camps to receive asylum seekers deported from the UK.

    • Environment

      • Why Words Matter in the Fight Against Climate Change

        By Tara Lohan, The Revelator. This story originally appeared in The Revelator and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        Do we generate energy from windmills or wind turbines? Your answer could say a lot about your views on climate change, explains Genevieve Guenther.

      • 360+ Climate Groups to Biden: Phase Out Fossil Fuels on Public Lands

        More than 360 climate and rights groups filed a legal petition Thursday that calls on the Biden administration to utilize its executive authority to phase out federal oil and gas production on public lands and oceans.

        The groups say the petition offers a lifeline to the planet amid the climate crisis and a direct pathway to reverse President Joe Biden’s “catastrophic failure of climate leadership.”

      • 450+ Climate Scientists Demand PR Industry Drop Fossil Fuel Clients

        In a new letter stressing the need for an “immediate and rapid transition” away from planet-heating fuels, a group of over 450 scientists on Wednesday called on public relations and advertising agencies to no longer work with fossil fuel clients.

        “Greenwashing is a primary tactic in what I call the ‘New War’ on climate action and it must be called out for what it is—denial under another name.”

      • Energy

        • Why I Divested My Bank Account and You Should Too

          Why did I break up with BoA? It wasn’t the customer service or any inconvenience. If anything, I found that BoA went out of its way to offer consistent customer service, and to be maximally convenient. But as a young person demanding climate action, I couldn’t accept doing business any longer with what I learned is one of the world’s greatest financiers of fossil fuels and, by extension, climate and community destruction.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Population

        • Tracking Humans as a Migratory Species

          Throughout evolution, humans have been a migratory species plodding the earth. Human migration is rarely recreational; it is mainly necessity-driven. As such, human migration is no different from animal migration. Billions of animals engage in annual migration. Animals in search of food, better climate, mates, or in search of safety from predation, disease, and competition move away from their original habitats. Humans migrate for economic, physical, and religious survival for the most part. Modern migration acquires a more complicated motivation, including pursuing a higher standard of living, professional satisfaction, even existential adventure.

          Human migration is a permanent change of residence. It is not the same as nomadism or tourism, which humans also do as expressions of migratory genes. This study does not discuss migrant workers who migrate across borders for remunerated work.

    • Finance

      • The Peoples’ Money: Transitioning to a Steady State Economy

        A significant cause of the unjust inequalities of wealth found in our society is a simple mechanism which keeps it all going: the state-chartered monopoly power held by private banks to create money as debt, and to profit from it through the interest charged on their loans. Their ability to set interest rates (coordinated through central banks like the Fed) is a form of monopoly pricing; in this case, the pricing of money. The banking system–through its power to charge interest–is able to control the credit markets to its own benefit.

        Since the banking system has the power not just to set but to vary the interest rate, it has the power to adjust the value of money to maximize the return it gets from borrowers. HIgher rates make money scarcer and more valuable; lower rates make it more common and less valuable. Dollars which can be loaned out at a real 6% per year, for instance, are twice as valuable as dollars which can be loaned out at only a real 3% per year.

      • Serving More Than Food: Restaurant Co-Ops Put Economic Justice on the Table
      • Polling Finds 67 Percent of Voters Support Banning Congress From Stock Trading
      • Top 10 US Billionaires Got $1 Billion Richer Every Day of Pandemic

        The 10 wealthiest billionaires in the U.S. have added roughly $1 billion to their collective fortune every day—or around $12,600 per second—since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed millions of people across the globe and thrown countless lives into chaos.

        “The pandemic has been very good to American billionaires, especially the top 10.”

      • Welcome to Colorado: the Land of Oil Giants and Lilliputian Regulators

        Remember the old quip – Eternity is two people and a ham?  People in Colorado learned a new definition the eternity late last November:  Eternity is the dull, incessant drone of Governor Polis’s new million-dollar Commission taking public comment at a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, COGCC, rulemaking.  With the intensity one might expect of a two-year-old learning to ride a tricycle, the Commission dissected the meaning of the term ‘economic risk’ as it applies to the state’s oil industry.

        Who knew the term has such fluidity of meaning?  In the end, after days of back and forth, these highly paid, breathlessly bumbling amateur lexicographers turned the term into something as useless as campaign promises.

      • 100+ Ultra-Rich People Warn Fellow Elites: ‘It’s Taxes or Pitchforks’

        A group of more than 100 millionaires and billionaires on Wednesday presented fellow members of the global economic elite with a stark choice: “It’s taxes or pitchforks.”

        In an open letter published amid the corporate-dominated virtual Davos summit, 102 rich individuals—including such prominent figures as Disney heiress Abigail Disney and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer—warned that “history paints a pretty bleak picture of what the endgame of extremely unequal societies looks like.”

      • America’s New Class War

        Organized workers, often defying their timid union leadership, are on the march across the United States. Over four million workers, about 3% of the work force, mostly from accommodation and food services, healthcare and social assistance, transportation, housing, and utilities have walked away from jobs, rejecting poor pay along with punishing and risky working conditions. There is a growing consensus – 68 % in a recent Gallup poll with that number climbing to 77 % of those between the ages of 18 and 34 – that the only way left to alter the balance of power and force concessions from the ruling capitalist class is to mobilize and strike, although only 9 % of the U.S. work force is unionized. Forget the woke Democrats. This is a class war.

        The question, Karl Popper reminded us, is not how we get good people to rule. Most of those attracted to power, figures such as Joe Biden, are at best mediocre and many, such as Dick Cheney, Donald Trump, or Mike Pompeo, are venal. The question is, rather, how do we organize institutions to prevent incompetent or bad leaders from inflicting too much damage. How do we pit power against power?

      • Rentier Capitalism and Class Warfare in Kazakhstan

        The recent protests in oil-rich Kazakhstan have highlighted the devastating effects of rent extraction. The country’s largest sellers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including KazMunaiGas, Kazgermunai, CNPC-AktobeMunaiGas and Kazakhoil, have been accused by the government of increasing fuel prices by abusing their oligopoly power. When the state lifted its price cap on LPG at the start of 2022, the market price doubled within a couple of days. The impact was immediately felt by poor and vulnerable sections of Kazakhstani society, which relied on the commodity for heating and vehicles.

      • Is Europe’s Inflation Joe Biden’s Fault?

        We got some interesting news on inflation elsewhere today in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release of data on import prices. It turns out that the price of imports has been rising even faster than domestic prices, with inflation of 10.4 percent over the last year.

        A big part of this increase is higher energy prices, but the data do allow for an important comparison. BLS has a category for imports of manufactured goods from industrialized countries. This would be a wide range of items like cars, car parts, electronics, and other things we would import from Europe, Japan, Canada, and other wealthy countries. In other words, this is a cross-section of goods from countries we think of as similar to the United States.

      • Critics Warn Puerto Rico Debt Plan Will Lead to More Austerity

        Progressives and anti-austerity campaigners on Wednesday were wary of a federal judge’s ruling which wiped out 80% of Puerto Rico’s debt—the product of four years of negotiations between the U.S. territory’s government, creditors, and a fiscal control board that Puerto Ricans derisively call “la junta.”

        “Some believe the debt should’ve been cut down further… Others say the debt shouldn’t be paid by the Puerto Rican people without auditing it and holding those responsible accountable.”

      • Judge Approves Puerto Rico Debt Restructuring, But Unelected “Junta” Could Remain for Years Longer

        In a major development, a federal judge on Tuesday approved a plan to restructure Puerto Rico’s massive debt. The proposal was presented by the territory’s U.S.-imposed Fiscal Control Board, and it reduces the biggest portion of the island’s debt, about $33 billion, by some 80%. Last year, union leaders pressured the board to remove cuts to pension plans from the current version of the debt restructuring deal. Opponents of the agreement say it will only worsen Puerto Rico’s economic struggles. “In terms of whether it really resolves the financial crisis of Puerto Rico going forward, that remains to be seen,” says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, a close observer of Puerto Rican history and politics, who warns the unelected fiscal board could remain in charge of the island’s finances for years to come. “There’s some positives in this, but there’s a lot of uncertainty still to go.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Parents Sue Virginia Governor Over Executive Order Banning Local Mask Mandates
      • South Dakota Voters Sue Over Right-Wing Attack on Ballot Measures

        In an effort to protect South Dakota’s ballot measure process from a Republican-led assault, state residents on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against a proposed amendment they argue is a “classic example of logrolling” that violates the state constitution and imperils direct democracy.

        At issue is Amendment C, a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths supermajority to approve ballot measures—whether introduced through citizen initiative or by state lawmakers—that increase taxes or appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years of implementation.

      • Biden’s Wing of the Democratic Party Is Sinking His Presidency
      • Opinion | Voting Rights Fight Must Be Won to Conquer GOP ‘Big Lie’

        The moment of truth on voting rights has arrived.

      • Trump Revealed His New Electoral Strategy in Arizona, and It Is Horrifying
      • January 6 Committee Subpoenas Giuliani, Obtains Eric Trump’s Phone Records
      • Eric Trump Invoked 5th Amendment 500 Times During 6-Hour Deposition

        Former President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times over the course of a six-hour deposition to avoid answering questions as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ ongoing civil probe of the Trump Organization.

        “No one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them.”

      • Supreme Court Denies Trump Bid to Conceal Records From Jan. 6 Panel

        The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied former President Donald Trump’s attempt to block the release of White House records to a House of Representatives panel investigating last year’s deadly Capitol attack.

        The high court’s 8-1 decision—Justice Clarence Thomas dissented—clears the way for the National Archives to share over 700 documents with the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

      • Opinion | The Filibuster Is a Tool for Obstruction—Not Debate

        The website of the US Senate notes that the Senate has been a forum for free debate and the protection of political minorities. Here, the words has been is a key point.

      • Senate Dems Push to Bring Back “Talking Filibuster” in Pursuit of Voting Rights
      • Biden-Cheney or Trump-Greenwald?

        The above quote is lifted from a Thomas Friedman column in The New York Times which called for Joe Biden and Liz Cheney to unify together on a single Presidential ticket. The column also took a giant unrelated shit on Palestinians struggling for their basic right to exist.

        I don’t mind the idea of Biden and Cheney joining up. What’s the difference between them anyway? The question is on which side of the aisle? Friedman and the rest of the corporate press claims to hate fascism but they are ready to concede one of the political parties to it. If they are serious about defeating Trumpism they would be advocating for the Republicans to absorb Biden, not for the Democrats to absorb non-Trumpian Republicans, which leaves fascists with full control of one corporate party and completely alienates the voters in the other corporate party who never signed up for Biden, let alone Cheney.

      • Ted Cruz’s Pro-Corruption Case Gets Supreme Court Review

        The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case brought by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas that’s been described as “the latest attempt to dismantle federal campaign finance rules.”

        At issue in the case—Federal Election Commission (FEC) v. Ted Cruz for Senate—is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, and a $260,000 loan Cruz made to his Senate reelection campaign just ahead of the 2018 election.

      • The Myth of Bi-Partisan Necessity
      • Bipartisan Biden Builds Back Bupkis: Reflections on Biden’s Inauguration Anniversary

        Bipartisan Biden’s political strategy has been as reality-challenged as Trump’s 30,000 lies in office. It is not surprising that as Biden approached the January 20th anniversary of his inauguration a Quinnipiac Poll showed that Biden’s job approval is 33% and a 58% to 37% majority of Americans believe our democracy is in danger of collapsing.

        Progressive Democrats have been reality-challenged as well. Joe Biden, a lifelong neoliberal hawk, was always part of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party that has more votes in Congress than the progressive wing. But that did not stop Bernie Sanders from saying during the campaign that Biden would be the “most progressive president since FDR,” although the smart money on Wall Street didn’t buy that fantasy. Sanders co-opted progressive Democrats on to Sanders-Biden Unity Working Groups to develop Biden’s platform during the campaign, where Sanders’ progressive agenda began to be watered down.

      • Communist Party submits draft resolution to State Duma on raising issue of Russia recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’

        Russian lawmakers from the Communist Party (KPRF) have submitted to the State Duma for consideration a draft resolution that proposes sending a formal appeal to President Vladimir Putin “on the need to recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.”

      • First lady of Kuzbass Anna Tsivilyova is not only married to a regional governor. She’s also related to Putin and owns a major stake in one of Russia’s biggest coal companies.

        Anna Tsivilyova, the wife of the governor of Russia’s Kemerovo region, happens to be the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cousin, according to a new report from the investigative outlet Agentstvo. What’s more, according to the journalists’ findings, she and her husband acquired a major stake in one of Russia’s biggest coal companies thanks to the generosity of one of Putin’s oldest friends — billionaire Gennady Timchenko. Though the coal company, Kolmar, had financial troubles in the past, it has since been propped up by the Russian government. 

      • Ready for Another Game of Russian Roulette?

        In June of 1961, just three months after the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was defeated,  the United States began the deployment of fifteen Jupiter nuclear missiles to Turkey, which shared a border with the Soviet Union. Each missile, armed with a W49 1.4 megaton thermonuclear warhead, was equivalent to 175 Hiroshima bombs. With their fifteen-hundred-mile range, the missiles were capable of annihilating Moscow, Leningrad, and every major city and base in the Russian heartland. Each missile could incinerate Moscow in just sixteen minutes from launch, thus wildly raising the possibility of thermonuclear war caused by technological accident, human error, miscommunication, or preemptive attack.

        We didn’t hear about the Jupiter missiles and of course we didn’t hear anything about Operation Mongoose, the top-secret plan launched on November 1, 1961, to overthrow the government of Cuba through a systematic campaign of sabotage, coastal raids, assassinations, subversion leading to CIA-sponsored guerrilla warfare, and an eventual invasion by the U.S. military. The armed raids and sabotage succeeded in killing many Cubans and damaging the economy, which was hit much harder by the economic embargo announced in February. However, the assassination plots were foiled, and all attempts to develop an internal opposition failed. Many of the CIA agents and Cuban exiles who infiltrated the island by sea and air were captured, and quite a few of them talked, even on Cuban radio, about the plans for a new U.S. invasion, which was planned for October. Cuba requested military help from the Soviet Union, which by July was sending troops, air defense missiles, battlefield nuclear weapons, and medium-range ballistic missiles equivalent to the U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

      • RNC Renounces Broken Debate System It Helped Create

        The New York Times (1/13/21) broke the news that the Republican National Committee intends to require future GOP candidates for president to “sign a pledge not to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.”

      • Regards interactive computer services and social media censorship

        (A) “Censor” means any action taken to edit, alter, block, ban, delete, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, regulate, restrict, inhibit the publication or reproduction of, deny equal access or visibility to, suspend a right to post, or otherwise discriminate against expression. “Censor” includes the action of deplatforming a person. It also includes an action taken to inhibit or restrict an interactive computer service or a social media platform user’s ability to be viewed by or interact with another user of the platform.

      • Google, Apple list harmful consequences of anti-tech bills

        While the American Choice and Innovation Online Act would prevent platforms like Amazon, Apple, and Google from using their dominance to hamper other companies and competitors that use their platforms, the Open App Markets Act aims to promote competition on app stores.

      • Technical Perfection and Irrelevance

        “Every technology becomes technically perfect at the precise moment when it becomes irrelevant. – Marc Andreessen (h/t Elad Gil)”

        For a real life example, look no further than the history of sailing ships. In the decades after the steam ship was invented, there were more improvements to sailing ships than they had in the previous 300 years.

      • A severed cable almost brought down the British Empire

        Last year, cables linking underwater sensors capable of detecting submarines off the coast of northern Norway were cut. Now, an 800-mile long undersea fiber-optic line between Norway and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean has been severed. Although Russia has both the means and the motive, diplomats have been coy about openly assigning blame to avoid escalating the crisis.

        In peacetime, the cutting of undersea cables might be a nuisance, but the threat is real. Submarine cables enable the vast majority of [Internet] and telephonic communication. As of a decade ago, such cables carried 97 percent of all intercontinental data. Even in the age of satellites (which adversaries also have the ability to neutralize), chaos would ensue if communications suddenly went down.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Claiming the mantle of “reasonableness” by attacking even worse cranks

        This post started out by being just about Joe Mercola, which is amusing to me because I just wrote about Mercola the other day, specifically his brilliant grift in making all the content on his own website “ephemeral” (disappearing after 48 hours) and then moving it over to his Substack, where he charges his marks to access his “Censored Library.” On Monday, he apparently had decided that he wanted to seem “reasonable.” The way he went about it was hilarious in the extreme. In brief, Mercola made a big show of “conceding” that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, actually exists, contrasting his “reasonable” and “scientific” take with some of the cranks and quacks who, in addition to denying germ theory, deny outright that this coronavirus even exists, attributing COVID-19 to other things. (Mercola’s article might well be gone by not long after this posts; so I’ll quote liberally.) Then, late last night, I saw a post by someone who is not antivaccine but over the course of the pandemic has been rapidly descending into the realm of being a crank himself, Dr. Vinay Prasad, that very much did the same thing. (As evidence of this, three months ago I noted Dr. Prasad going full Godwin over pandemic public health interventions, likening them to incipient fascism.) I had to do a bit of last minute…surgery…to this post, expanding it to take a look at the parallel.

      • What Sweden can teach us about fighting fake news

        Sweden was already conducting important counter-disinformation work as part of its general effort to increase national resilience, building on a highly sophisticated Cold War system known as total defence that involved the armed forces, the wider government, the private sector and civilian volunteer organisations seamlessly working together to protect the country’s national security. The Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB, where psychological defence was located until the end of last year, monitored disinformation directed against Sweden and trained government agencies in how to handle it. In 2018, the MSB published the “If Crisis or War Comes” leaflet, which was sent to every household in the country and, among other things, instructed the public on how to find reliable information.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • DirecTV Finally Dumps OAN, Limiting The Conspiracy And Propaganda Channel’s Reach

        Back in October, reports emerged indicating that AT&T had not only funded much of the creation of the popular conspiracy and fantasy channel OAN, AT&T executives had actually come up with the original idea. The channel, which routinely traffics in false election fraud, COVID, and other right-wing conspiracy theories, had seen most of its reach come courtesy of a partnership with DirecTV. As of last week, DirecTV executives informed OAN it wouldn’t be having its contract renewed:

      • “Historic trial” in London of man accused of plotting to kill exiled Pakistani blogger

        In this trial, which could set an international precedent in the fight against impunity for crimes of violence against journalists living in exile, Muhammad Gohir Khan, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, is charged with “conspiring together with persons unknown” to murder Ahmad Waqass Goraya, a Pakistani journalist and blogger resident in the Netherlands.

        Goraya has been in hiding ever since the Dutch police warned him on 12 February 2021 of a serious threat to his life – a warning that came after Goraya had himself already told RSF that he was in danger. Khan is accused of taking a train from London to Amsterdam at that time, and renting a car in order to spy on Goraya’s home in Rotterdam, allegedly with the intent of murdering him.

      • Internet disruptions observed in Burkina Faso amid coup plot arrests

        Network data from NetBlocks and third-party traffic data confirm significant disruptions to [Internet] service in Burkina Faso from the afternoon of Monday 10 January 2022. The incident comes as authorities are reported to have made arrests related to an alleged coup plot.

      • Finland, EU condemn Pakistan for sentencing man to death on blasphemy charges

        Notably, on January 6 this year Bhatti was sentenced to death under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code although the convicted claims that he is innocent.

        Finland and EU Parliament both condemned the death sentence and said that they are concerned whether the sentence is justified and fair after the convict has already spent 10 years in jail.

        The letter questioned the Pakistani government if it allows the implementation of the death penalty even if the evidence is debatable.

      • Christian man jailed for blasphemy has life in prison commuted to the death penalty

        In 2017 he was sentenced to life in prison under the infamous article 295 C of the Pakistani Penal Code, for the “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet” as well as insulting the Prophet’s mother.

      • Pakistani Christian jailed for life for blasphemy is given death sentence

        The advocacy group Release International says that, in 2012, Mr Bhatti was gathering evidence about Christian persecution when he was accused of sending the defamatory texts. He has always said that the texts were sent from a phone that was not registered in his name.

      • NBC commentary teams to cover Beijing Olympics from US

        NBC has held the US broadcasting rights to the Olympics since 1988.

        In 2014, the broadcaster paid a mammoth $7.75 billion to the International Olympic Committee to extend its rights deal through the 2032 Olympics.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Local media editor is third journalist killed by Myanmar’s junta in less than a month

        Local news website editor Pu Tuidim became the third journalist to be killed in Myanmar in just over three weeks when he was abducted and murdered by government soldiers in the northwest of the country last weekend. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this barbaric murder of a reporter who tried to inform his fellow citizens about the fighting between armed rebels and the military junta.

      • Julian Assange — a thousand days in Belmarsh

        Alison Mason of the Julian Assange Defence Committee (JADC) reiterated those observations long made about the imprisonment at a gathering outside the Australian High Commission in London on that day. The WikiLeaks founder was wrongfully confined “for publishing the war crimes of the U.S. military leaked to him by whistleblower Chelsea Manning”.

      • Exclusive: Whistleblower Craig Murray Speaks Out After Being Imprisoned Over Blog Posts

        Murray had been called to testify in the ongoing Spanish criminal prosecution against former Undercover Global CEO David Morales. Morales allegedly oversaw the illegal spying of Assange’s private and privileged legal and other conversations, on behalf of the CIA, while he was in the Ecuador embassy. But he was unable to submit testimony because he was in prison.

        “I was being videotaped, and I presume I’d be giving some testimony as to the nature of my conversations with Julian, which we’re not legally privileged, but were still entirely private and under Spanish law and not entitled to be spied upon,” Murray explained. It is unclear if he will have another opportunity to testify in Spain.

        In addition to his work on whistleblowing and national security reporting, Murray intends to return to writing his biography of Lord George Murray, a general of the last Jacobite rebellion, as well as his blogging and social commentary more broadly.

      • Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh – OpEd

        The continued detention of Assange in Belmarsh remains a scandal of kaleidoscopic cruelty. It continues to imperil his frail health, further impaired by a stroke suffered in October last year and the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. It maintains a state of indefinite incarceration without bail, deputising the United Kingdom as committed gaolers for US interests. “Julian,” stated his fiancée Stella Moris, “is simply held at the request of the US government while they continue to abuse the US-UK extradition treaty for political ends.”

        A report drawn from unannounced visits to Belmarsh by the Chief Inspector of Prisons last July and August did not shine glorious light upon the institution. “The prison has not paid sufficient attention to the growing levels of self-harm and there was not enough oversight or care taken of prisoners of risk of suicide. Urgent action needed to be taken in this area to make sure that these prisoners were kept safe.”

      • Sixteen organisations reiterate their support for Carole Cadwalladr as she faces SLAPP trial

        The undersigned organisations reiterate their support for award-winning journalist and author, Carole Cadwalladr, who is facing a week-long defamation trial in London this week. Cadwalladr, who works for the Guardian Media Group in the UK, is being sued as an individual by millionaire businessman and political donor Arron Banks, best known for his role as co-founder of the 2016 Brexit campaign Leave.EU.

        Banks originally filed four claims against Cadwalladr in July 2019, two of which he dropped in January 2020 after the judge found them to be “far-fetched and divorced from the specific context in which those words were used”. The remaining claims relate to Cadwalladr’s 2019 TED Talk, “Facebook’s Role in Brexit – and the Threat to Democracy”, and a Twitter post linking to the TED Talk.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | America’s Class War: Organized Labor Is the Best Tool to Push Back Against the Rich

        There is one last hope for the United States. It does not lie in the ballot box. It lies in the union organizing and strikes by workers at Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Lyft, John Deere, Kellogg, the Special Metals plant in Huntington, West Virginia, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the Northwest Carpenters Union, Kroger, teachers in Chicago, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, fast-food workers, hundreds of nurses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

      • Black Americans Mostly Left Behind by Progress Since Dr. King’s Death

        Back then, over a half century ago, the wholesale racial integration required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act was just beginning to chip away at discrimination in education, jobs and public facilities. Black voters had only obtained legal protectionstwo years earlier, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act was about to become law.

        African-Americans were only beginning to move into neighborhoods, colleges and careers once reserved for whites only.

      • Lyft Makes Largest Donation in Massachusetts History to Keep Drivers Down

        As Massachusetts becomes the latest battleground state in the fight for gig worker rights, advocates on Wednesday accused Lyft of attempting to purchase a law by giving over $14 million to a committee pushing a ballot initiative to prevent app-based drivers from being classified as employees.

        “Remember when gig corporations bought a law in California for $200 million? They’re at it again––this time, in Massachusetts.”

      • Blaming the Victims—Not the System—for Bronx Fire Deaths

        Was it the space heater on the third floor? The open door on the 15th floor? The faulty fire alarms that went off frequently? The nonexistent sprinkler system? Colonel Mustard with the candlestick in the library?

      • The Hydra of Our Day

        To begin with pizza is to begin with the Hydra of our day.  In 2011 the comrades of Tahrir Square sent the comrades of Zuccotti Park not only a slice or two, but a whole pie.  Cairo and New York, great cities with vast proletarian resources, joined at last.  Signifying the world to come.  Long the bread basket in the world that’s passed, its grains now making the dough rising and spinning in nourishing outreach across seas and oceans.  Grains from the Nile, tomatoes from the Americas, fighting proletarians laughing with each other in the creative joy that surprises amidst the grief and misery of neoliberalism.

        Yet the ideas and the inspiration of protesters in Tahrir Square had arrived before the pizza, by various means and circuits, from Cairo to New York.  Occupiers in Zuccotti Park held signs that read “We are all Khaled Said,” whose brutal murder at the hands of police had fired the movement from below in Cairo.  More solidarity arrived in late October 2011 in the persons and voices of Egyptian activists Asmaa Mahfouz and Ahmed Maher, who led a protest march down the streets of lower Manhattan in which the occupiers chanted “Al shaab yurid isqat Wall Street.”

      • Florida Bill Would Ban History Lessons That Cause White Students “Discomfort”
      • Race Relations and the Natures of Our Beasts

        We will once again remember everything that MLK stood for — his dream of world domination by peace, brothers in arms linked to arms — and forget that the FBI once tried to torment him into suicide, and that, whatever he stood for on that Memphis balcony that fateful night, loads of salty crackers had a hoedown in the backwoods, way back where the still waters run deep. There’ll be no talk of Malcolm. No talk of the white devil at the crossroads who goes by the name of Pred Lending.

        And on Washington’s Birthday — now known as President’s Day — an apt change in recognition of the homogeneity and pasteurization of the vanilla milkshake handed out every four years — nicknamed the Lesser of Two Evils — you’re forced to drink, if white, and forced away from drinking by whites, if you’re Black, as if you were trying to imbibe the transubstantial blood and bread without confession or even conversion, jumpin’ like a Calaveras County leapfrog to the head of the line, all because you suffered longer. Boo-fuckin-hoo, they seem to cry, before they be-bop you blue again, fascist men in tights wearing George Floyd tees — beat you over the head with redacted copies of Huckleberry Finn.

      • Faith Leaders, Rights Groups to Biden: End Immigration Detention

        In a letter delivered to the White House on Wednesday, a coalition of 900 faith leaders and dozens of immigrant rights groups denounced President Joe Biden for expanding the use of immigrant detention and urged his administration to immediately invest in community-based alternatives and improve access to asylum.

        “We know effective community-based alternatives to detention exist.”

      • The Decline of Unions and the Ongoing Struggle for Workers’ Rights

        Even so, William Scheuerman argues in this new, groundbreaking book, U.S. unions are in deep trouble and, acting alone, they “cannot deliver a resurgent labor movement.”

        Scheuerman is well-qualified to deal with labor issues for, in addition to his academic credentials as professor emeritus of political science at SUNY/Oswego, he served as president of United University Professions (the largest higher education union in the United States) for 14 years and as president of the AFL-CIO’s National Labor College for another two.

      • In South Africa as in Palestine: Why We Must Protect the Legacy of Desmond Tutu

        Like other freedom and justice icons, Tutu did not merely coin the kind of language that helped many around the world rise in solidarity with the oppressed people of South Africa, who fought a most inspiring and costly war against colonialism, racism and apartheid. He was a leader, a fighter and a true engaged intellectual.

        It is quite convenient for many in corporate media to forget all of this about Tutu, the same way they deliberately rewrote the story of Nelson Mandela, as if the leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement was a pacifist, not a true warrior, in word and deed. Tutu is also depicted by some in the media as if he was merely a quotable man who helped in the ‘healing’ of the nation after the formal end of apartheid.

      • Angela Davis on Reissue of Her 1974 Autobiography, Her Editor Toni Morrison, Internationalism & More

        Activist and scholar Angela Davis has released a new edition of her 1974 autobiography, first published and edited by Toni Morrison nearly 50 years ago. The book details Davis’s remarkable early life, from growing up in a section of Birmingham, Alabama, known as Dynamite Hill due to the frequency of bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, to her work with the Black Panther Party and the U.S. Communist Party. It also follows her 16-month incarceration, during which she faced the death penalty and was eventually acquitted on all charges, which influenced Davis’s focus thereafter on transforming the criminal justice system and building a movement for abolition. The edition includes a new introduction, which links the racial justice uprisings and events of the past decade to her lifelong learnings and work. “What struck me was how much has changed,” says Davis, on her process of publishing the new edition. “Both how much has changed and how little has changed.”

      • Scholars Angela Davis, Gina Dent & Beth Richie on Why the World Needs “Abolition. Feminism. Now.”

        Abolitionist scholars Angela Davis, Beth Richie and Gina Dent discuss their new book, published Tuesday, titled “Abolition. Feminism. Now.” As abolition becomes increasingly mainstream following the racial justice uprisings of 2020, they argue feminism is at the root of the politics and practice of abolition, which they define as the elimination of carceral and interpersonal gender-based violence paired with social investments in more “opportunities for freedom” and safety within communities. The book, which was also co-authored by scholar and activist Erica Meiners, highlights feminist histories — particularly from queer, grassroots and women of color — that have been erased but are central to the movement. “We want to be able to imagine a world in which that violence has been reduced and eventually eradicated,” says Davis. “Abolition feminism is the perspective that allows us to move in that direction.”

      • Women barred from front seat of trucks in Ugandan city

        A traders association in northern Uganda has banned women from riding up front in trucks after deciding that short skirts and bare thighs could be distracting drivers and causing accidents.

        The order handed down in Lira city prohibits drivers from permitting “even their wives” in the front cabin of lorries.

        An association representing local traders and vendors said the decision banning female passengers was made in the name of safety.

      • Three Police Officers Charged in Fatal Shooting of Child Outside Football Game

        Three Pennsylvania police officers have been charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old girl outside a high school football game in August during which they fired a barrage of bullets after two teenagers began shooting, the authorities said.

      • The CEO who fired 900 employees over Zoom is coming back

        The CEO of Better.com, best known for firing 900 employees over Zoom just before Christmas, is coming back to work.

        Vishal Garg is returning to his “full-time duties” as CEO, according to a letter sent to employees Tuesday from the company’s board of directors. The letter noted that Garg used a leave of absence to “reflect on his leadership, reconnect with the values that make Better great and work closely with an executive coach.”

      • Linktree Is Kicking Many Sex Workers Off Its Site

        Multiple sex workers are reporting on social media that Linktree has banned them from the platform overnight.

        Linktree is a service that allows users to organize links to all of their social media accounts and platforms in one place. There are a lot of sites that offer the same service, but Linktree is one of the most popular.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Senegal must keep the internet accessible during elections

        Senegal safeguarded access to free, open, and secure internet and digital platforms during the country’s 2019 presidential elections, and today, the #KeepItOn coalition is urging authorities to uphold this legacy, and keep the population connected throughout local elections on January 23.

        “Senegal has shown the region how the internet can promote democracy and encourage civic participation during elections,” said Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now. “As the country heads to vote on January 23, we know authorities will prioritize freedom of expression, access to information, and avenues for communication through secure, accessible internet.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • John Deere Hit With Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Tractor Repair Monopoly

        A class action lawsuit filed in Chicago has accused John Deere of running an illegal repair monopoly. The lawsuit alleged that John Deere has used software locks and restricted access to repair documentation and tools, making it very difficult for farmers to fix their own agricultural equipment, a problem that Motherboard has documented for years and that lawmakers, the FTC, and even the Biden administration have acknowledged.

    • Monopolies

      • States’ 3rd Amended Antitrust Complaint Against Google Looks A Lot More Damning

        There are lots of different antitrust actions currently ongoing against Facebook and Google, with varying degrees of quality. From the beginning, the strongest one has been the lawsuit a bunch of states — lead by Texas — filed against Google. When it was filed, I noted that there were sections that were heavily redacted which had the potential to be pretty damning, but the redactions made it hard to tell. I also found some of the non-redacted bits questionable, as they suggested a complete misunderstanding of some aspects of the technology. Last Friday, Texas filed its third attempt at a complaint and it reveals a lot more about the stuff that was redacted in the earlier filings — and I’ll now say that this is the most serious, and the most damning, of all the antitrust lawsuits out there. How Google responds to the lawsuit will be extremely interesting and worth watching. Given the errors in the original filing, it’s possible that there are errors here too, but if what Texas is alleging in this latest version of the lawsuit are accurate, then Google should be in trouble.

      • What’s Really Behind the Microsoft-Activision Deal

        The problem holding back the metaverse right now is that tech giants haven’t been able to create a virtual space that is preferable to the real world to a critical mass of people . Despite the “opportunity” Covid and quarantines have created, most people are choosing to remain their real selves rather than digital representations. Most people want to go back out in public to a concert or show or bar, not experience one virtually while alone at home. Facebook (or Meta or Russian Troll Farm Simulator or whatever they’re calling themselves these days) is stuck merely talking about the metaverse, instead of profiting off it, because it has yet to devise a way to entice grandmas to create and maintain digital avatars just so they can share photos of the grandkids and spread vaccine misinformation.

        But Activision-Blizzard has already cracked the code on getting people to care about how they appear in online virtual spaces. Video games can provide the structured virtual activity that people do want to sit at home and experience while “interacting” with their friends. A company can bootstrap all sorts of metaverse-style transactions around the shared virtual experience of an online video game.

      • Microsoft muscles in on first wave of the metaverse

        US tech giant Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of Activision this week rocked the video game sector, but the deal may come to be remembered as the moment the metaverse went mainstream.

        The metaverse is theoretically the future of the [Internet], a 3D virtual world where people will be able to interact using sensors, lenses and other gadgets.

        But the metaverse does not yet exist and Microsoft’s use of the term to help explain the splurge did not go unquestioned.

      • Copyrights

        • The Holkham Bible Picture Book (ca. 1330) – The Public Domain Review

          This “Bible” selectively illustrates the Old and New Testaments, taking us from Genesis to Revelation in a series of 231 beautifully executed miniatures.

        • In the Internet Age, Copyright Law Does Far More Than Antitrust to Shape Competition

          There has been a notable, and long overdue flurry, of antitrust actions targeting Big Tech, launched by users, entrepreneurs, and governments alike. And in the US and abroad, policymakers are working to revamp our antitrust laws so they can be more effective at promoting user choice.

          These are positive developments, but this renewed focus on antitrust risks losing sight of another powerful legal lever: copyright. Because there’s copyrighted software in every digital device and online service we use, and because the internet is essentially a giant machine for copying digital data, copyright law is a major force that shapes technology and how we use it. That gives copyright law an enormous role in enabling or impeding competition.

          The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a case in point. It contains two main sections that have been controversial since they went into effect in 2000. The “anti-circumvention” provisions (sections 1201 et seq. of the Copyright Act) bar circumvention of access controls and technical protection measures. The “safe harbor” provisions (section 512) protect service providers who meet certain conditions from monetary damages for the infringing activities of their users and other third parties on the net.

        • 10 Years Ago the Feds Shut Down Megaupload

          A decade has passed since Megaupload’s servers were raided on behalf of the U.S. Government. On the same day, helicopters and police swarmed the estate of founder Kim Dotcom. The criminal enforcement action was supposed to put the larger-than-life Internet entrepreneur in the shadows, but the opposite happened.

        • OpenSubtitles Hacked, 7 Million Subscribers’ Details Leaked Online

          OpenSubtitles, one of the largest repositories of subtitle files on the internet, has been hacked. Founded in 2006, the site was reportedly hacked in August 2021 with the attacker obtaining the personal data of nearly seven million subscribers including email and IP addresses, usernames and passwords. The site alerted users yesterday after the hacker leaked the database online.

        • Demanding Progress: From Aaron Swartz To SOPA And Beyond

          It’s a great irony — and an awkward thing to admit — that I’m not sure if the organization of which I’m executive director, Demand Progress, would exist but for SOPA and PIPA (or really their progenitor, COICA).

        • SOPA Didn’t Die. It’s Just Lying In Wait.

          It would be nice if the public interest community and internet advocates won the SOPA fight because we had the best arguments. Instead, the bill died because of an overwhelming display of popular opposition. Americans from all walks of life urged Congress to reject the bill—and legislators listened.

        • PUBG Corp. At It Again: Sues Garena, Apple, And Google For Copyright Infringement Over ‘Free Fire’ App

          It’s funny sometimes how quickly a company can go from being known for making a great product to being known for being a litigious intellectual property bully. And if that doesn’t accurately describe the heel-turn pulled off by the folks behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, then I don’t know what does. To be clear, PUBG, as it’s lovingly referred to, was a groundbreaking video game. While the game didn’t invent the battle royale concept, it certainly ushered that genre into an era. And just like any breakthrough genres suddenly having success, that means others are going to start trying their own hands at the genre. While plenty of other entrants have gotten into the battle royale game, PUBG has fought battles with several of them, most notably Epic’s Fortnite title.

        • Join Our Game Jam In An Hour With The Help Of Story Synth

          Gaming Like It’s 1926: The Public Domain Game Jam

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:20 am by Needs Sunlight

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Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmZnZkCBXLzZg5rkewh3peFLzQ5xAZRm6HpjAvmtf39ELR

Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • How to Seamlessly Switch to Linux from Windows

      Windows costs money. Linux is free. Every year, thousands of people consider switching to Linux, but few make the change permanent. It isn’t simply because of apps, games, and a different file system.

      It’s because they weren’t properly prepared for switching operating systems. Moving to Linux isn’t difficult, but it requires preparation. Get it wrong, and you’ll be reinstalling – and putting up with – Windows all over again. But get it right, and you’ll never look back.

      Here’s everything you need to know about switching from Windows to Linux without ever worrying about going back.

    • How I made an Acer Aspire laptop useful again – Manila Bulletin

      A few days ago, I decided to tinker with an old Acer Aspire laptop in an attempt to make it useful again. It was running a previous version of Xubuntu, a lightweight Linux distribution, but nobody wantsed to use it because it was too damn slow. I could just imagine how it fares with Windows on it. I remember the time before I got my hands on those Linux installation diskettes, when I get frustrated with the way Windows crashes my desktop PC, and it was not a pleasant experience. This Acer Aspire, whilst it does not crash, it is too damn slow. Heck, my Raspberry Pi 4 is even faster! (Maybe because it is running Intel chips! Haha)

      Anyway, I decided to get an internal SSD drive to replace this uber-slow HDD. A 480GB Kingston SSD to replace a 500GB HDD is not much of a trade-off considering that it is not intended to be the main workstation (we have Macs for those). All it took was opening the bottom cover and replacing the HDD (I found out that there is still an empty memory slot, so that is the next upgrade, I guess).

      Next step was to decide which Linux distribution to install. I have read good reviews of Pop!_OS, Elementary OS and Zorin OS, and, of course, Ubuntu is still on my short list. Heck, I even thought of using the PC desktop version of Raspberry Pi OS! So I did download the installers for these distributions, with the exception of Elementary OS, which was taking too long to download, even on my 300Mbps connection!

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why Linux is Superior OS for College Students – Linux notes from DarkDuck

        The dilemma among college students about which is the superior OS among Linux, Windows or Mac is inevitable. On one hand, it’s about ease of usage, on the other – cost and security. We have used all of them to provide you with a detailed solution as to why Linux is as superior of an OS for college students.

      • How North Dakota Is More Like Windows than UNIX

        If your official name is YATES, you can’t (and presumably needn’t) file a petition to change it to Yates. “Petitioners have offered no authority or reasoned argument that there is any legal significance to the capitalization of their names.”

    • Server

      • The Original Author of NGINX Has Chosen to Step Back from the Company

        Igor Sysoev, the author of the most popular web server in the world, left the company to work on personal projects and spend more time with family and friends.

      • Mirantis brings secure registries to Kubernetes distros | ZDNet

        Mirantis Secure Registry, formerly Docker Trusted Registry, provides an enterprise-grade container registry solution. You can use this as a foundation to build a secure software supply chain. It does this by providing you with access to a container image registry that has enhanced levels of security beyond that of public registries. This, in turn, gives you more control over this critical part of their software supply chain.

        The comprehensive, built-in security enables users to verify and trust the automated operations and integration with Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to speed up application testing and delivery.

        You can use MSR alongside your other apps in any standard Kubernetes 1.20 and above distribution, via standard Helm techniques. While the new MSR is no longer integrated with Mirantis Kubernetes Engine (MKE) as it was earlier, it still runs as well as ever on MKE as it does with any other supported Kubernetes distribution.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 939

        Joel aint got no time for outlook! He is too busy working jenkins.

      • Going Linux #417 · A Tribute To Tom

        We remember former co-host, Tom with a re-broadcast of Tom at his best in episode 180, Listener Feedback and an interview with Jonathan Nadeau.

      • FLOSS Weekly 664: Tailscale – Avery Pennarun, VPN

        Avery Pennarun of Tailscale and much more, blows the minds of Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb on a can’t-miss show that explains how the best development is all “chickens and eggs.” Pennarun explains thatfree software and open source is the gifting nature of the former, and how startups succeed and fail at crossing chasms. All while touching on so much more that we now have a Part 2 of the discussion planned.

    • Kernel Space

      • VSTATUS, with or without SIGINFO [LWN.net]

        The Unix signal interface is complex and hard to work with; some developers have argued that its design is “unfixable”. So when Walt Drummond proposed increasing the number of signals that Linux systems could manage, eyebrows could be observed at increased altitude across the Internet. The proposed increase seems unlikely to happen, but the underlying goal — to support a decades-old feature from other operating systems — may yet become a reality.

        The kernel is able to support up to 64 different signal types, which seems like a fair number, but all 64 are taken, on some architectures at least. That makes it impossible to add new signal types to Linux. Drummond sought to address that problem by raising the limit to 1024, which would surely be enough for all time. Raising the limit requires making some subtle changes to the user-space API (putting a larger signal mask into the information passed to realtime signal handlers, for example) that have the possibility of breaking applications, which means that extra scrutiny would be required. But that, it seems, is what would be needed to be able to add more signals.

      • Fixing a corner case in asymmetric CPU packing [LWN.net]

        Linux supports processor architectures where CPUs in the same system might have different processing capacities; for example, the Arm big.LITTLE systems combine fast, power-hungry CPUs with slower, more efficient ones. Linux has also run for years on simultaneous multithreading (SMT) architectures, where one CPU executes multiple independent execution threads and is seen as if it were multiple cores. There are architectures that mix both approaches. A recent discussion on a patch set submitted by Ricardo Neri shows that, on these systems, the scheduler might distribute tasks in an inefficient way.

      • Some 5.16 kernel development statistics

        The 5.16 kernel was released on January 9, as expected. This development cycle incorporated 14,190 changesets from 1,988 developers; it was thus quite a bit busier than its predecessor, and fairly typical for recent kernel releases in general. A new release means that the time has come to have a look at where those changes came from.

        The 1,998 developers contributing to 5.16 was the second-highest number ever, with only 5.13 (with 2,062 developers) being higher. This time around, 296 developers contributed their first change to the kernel, which is at the high end of the typical range.

      • F2FS With Linux 5.17 Makes Some Performance Improvements – Phoronix

        F2FS as the Flash-Friendly File-System may not see too much use out of desktop Linux distributions at least as it concerns any easy/semi-endorsed root install option, but this file-system does continue maturing and seeing much use by enthusiasts and especially among the plethora of Android devices now supporting this flash-optimized file-system. With Linux 5.17, F2FS has some performance improvements and other fixes.

        F2FS lead developer and maintainer Jaegeuk Kim sent in the Flash-Friendly File-System updates on Tuesday. This cycle there is work for addressing performance issues in the checkpoint and direct I/O code. There is also improvements to the page cache management code used as part of the file-system compression support.

    • Applications

      • 10 Fun Linux Command-Line Programs You Should Try When Bored

        The Linux terminal is a powerful utility. You can use it to control the whole system, crafting and typing commands as you go about doing your everyday tasks. But it can quickly become overwhelming to keep staring at a command line and carry on with your work.

        Lucky for you, the terminal is also a source of fun. You can play around with commands, listen to music, and even play games. Although expecting a great deal of entertainment from a window full of commands would be carrying it too far, you can find utilities to bind some time when bored.

        Here are some fun and entertaining commands every Linux user should try at least once.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • CPU Isolation – A practical example – by SUSE Labs (part 5)
      • How to install Mantis bug tracker on Debian 11?

        Hello friends. In this post, you will learn how to install Mantis Bug Tracker on Debian 11.

      • How to try KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta on Fedora Kinoite

        On a classic Fedora system or on other disctributions you can try it with the repos listed on the KDE Wiki. Here is how to safely try it on Fedora Kinoite, using the packages for Fedora 35 made by Marc Deop, a member of the Fedora KDE SIG.

        The latest version of KDE Plasma is usually available in Fedora Rawhide (unfortunately not available right now) however rebasing the entire system to a development version involves a lot of uncertainty. Thus it is much safer to change only the KDE Plasma packages and frameworks while keeping a stable system as a base.

        As always, make sure to backup your data before trying out beta software that could result in the loss of your personal cat picture collection.

      • How to install Proton Bus Simulator on a Chromebook

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

      • How to Install and Configure Memcached on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure Memcached in Ubuntu 20.04.

        Memcached is an open source, distributed memory object caching system. The system caches data and objects in memory to minimize the frequency with which an external database or API must be accessed. This alleviates database load and speeds up dynamic Web applications. It offers a mature, scalable, open-source solution for delivering sub-millisecond response times making it useful as a cache or session store. Memcached is a popular choice for powering real-time applications in Web, Mobile Apps, Gaming, Ad-Tech, and E-Commerce.

      • How to Install Papirus Icon Theme on Ubuntu – OMG! Ubuntu!

        Changing the icon theme on Ubuntu is an easy way to give your desktop a new look and feel. In this post we show you how to install Papirus icons on Ubuntu from a PPA.

        Why use the Papirus icon set? Because it’s good — in fact, it’s one of the best icon themes for Ubuntu not to mention other Linux distros like Linux Mint, Zorin OS, and Manjaro. Thousands of users use this set, and several Linux distributions ship it as their default.

      • Joerg Jaspert: Funny CPU usage

        So at work we do have a munin server running, and one of the graphs we do for every system is a network statistics one with a resolution of 1 second. That’s a simple enough script to have, and it is working nicely – on 98% of our machines. You just don’t notice the data gatherer at all, so that we also have some other graphs done with a 1 second resolution. For some, this really helps.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3

          It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Linuxfx version 11.1.1103. This update releases several new features for the operating system. The system kernel has been updated to version 5.13, bringing better support for more modern hardware. System tools gained new translations: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, American and Portuguese is now supported for WxDesktop. Android support has been improved, now in addition to supporting opengl, we also release support for Vulkan (experimental). Finally, all system packages have been updated, including WxDesktop, Onlyoffice and many others. The image has been scaled down to fit on a DVD. Users of older versions will receive this update over the internet. New users can download the new image from our portal.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Liberty Linux Announced For Mixed Linux Environments

          SUSE today formally announced SUSE Liberty Linux as its support offering for mixed Linux environments within enterprises.

          SUSE Liberty Linux is their effort to simplify IT management and acknowledging that many organizations rely upon multiple enterprise Linux distributions depending upon the workload, hardware, and other factors.

        • The Success of ‘Open-hearted’ Partnerships in the Cloud | SUSE Communities

          The future is open — and it’s better together. At SUSE, we pride ourselves on our partnerships, and sometimes what we can achieve together surpasses even our greatest hopes. That’s what our award-winning, cloud-based, high-performance computing (HPC) partnership with UberCloud, Dassault Systèmes, and Google Cloud achieved, by enabling 3DT Holdings researchers to create an affordable, real-time heart surgery simulator for physicians to use when it matters most. This is an ongoing relationship with the Living Heart Project that we think is just the beginning of what this ground-breaking research can achieve — and the lives it can save.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Relocating Fedora’s RPM database [LWN.net]

          The deadlines for various kinds of Fedora 36 change proposals have mostly passed at this point, which led to something of a flurry of postings to the distribution’s devel mailing list over the last month. One of those, for a seemingly fairly innocuous relocation of the RPM database from /var to /usr, came in right at the buzzer for system-wide changes on December 29. There were, of course, other things going on around that time, holidays, vacations, and so forth, so the discussion was relatively muted until recently. Proponents have a number of reasons why they would like to see the move, but there is resistance, as well, that is due, at least in part, to the longstanding “tradition” of the location for the database.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • New Linux Kernel Vulnerability Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Systems, Update Now

          Discovered by William Liu and Jamie Hill-Daniel, the new security flaw (CVE-2022-0185) is an integer underflow vulnerability found in Linux kernel’s file system context functionality, which could allow an attacker to crash the system or run programs as an administrator.

          The security vulnerability affects all supported Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) systems running Linux kernel 5.13, Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) systems running Linux kernel 5.11, as well as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) systems running Linux kernel 5.4 LTS.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to build a career in open source in 2022

        The “Free” in FOSS has always been seen as “free of cost”, in turn being interpreted as of low quality and reliability. However, governments are realising that this is not the case, and are beginning to appreciate the “freedom” that comes with FOSS, in terms of source code availability, ease of modification, etc., she added.

        Open source has made huge inroads in networking (54%), database (53%), and security (52%). The open source services market comprises consulting services, implementation, support, maintenance and management services, and training services.

        The consulting service accounts for the largest share as many players are devising strategies to create awareness about Linux and other open-source operating systems for the developers, ResearchAndMarkets.com said.

        “The government has rolled out policies on open source software, aimed at quick open source adoption, lower cost of ownership of software projects, and long term, strategic control of e-governance solutions within India. The Ministry of Communication and IT rolled out Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India, Policy on Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications, and Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs),” Jaya said.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MongoDB vs. DynamoDB: What you need to know

          NoSQL databases have become more popular because of the need for more flexible backend solutions. These databases run applications that require a more flexible data structure than traditional structured databases can provide. Robust feature-rich NoSQL database platforms famous for NoSQL databases include MongoDB and DynamoDB.

          This article guide will compare these two databases to help you choose the right one for your project.

      • FSF

        • New year, new LibrePlanet: Register now to join us on March 19 and 20

          Over a thousand people participated online in the conference last year. Free software enthusiasts from around the world joined us in our live sessions. You can watch videos from the March 2021 conference — using only free software of course — on our MediaGoblin instance or on PeerTube. Also, you can now pre-order this year’s full-color LibrePlanet T-shirt in the FSF shop. If you order yours before the March 1, 2022, cutoff date, you will be able to wear it to the event.

        • LibrePlanet 2022: Living Liberation

          LibrePlanet is the annual conference hosted by the Free Software Foundation. LibrePlanet provides an opportunity for community activists, domain experts, and people seeking solutions for themselves to come together in order to discuss current issues in technology and ethics.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU FreeIPMI – News: FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released [Savannah]


            o Support –with-systemconfigdir build option.
            o Fix build issue on musl where putmsg/getmsg are not available.
            o Fix build issue when inb/outb are not available on some systems.
            o Fix static build issues with gcrypt.
            o Add conserver documentation in faq.
            o Minor documentation updates.

      • Programming/Development

        • 12 Free University Courses That Will Teach You How To Code

          University education can get expensive. Or perhaps you’re contemplating switching careers but don’t want to spend 3 years back in school. You don’t need a degree to get into programming.

        • Python

          • An outdated Python for openSUSE Leap [LWN.net]

            Enterprise distributions are famous for maintaining the same versions of software throughout their, normally five-year-plus, support windows. But many of the projects those distributions are based on have far shorter support periods; part of what the enterprise distributions sell is patching over those mismatches. But openSUSE Leap is not exactly an enterprise distribution, so some users are chafing under the restrictions that come from Leap being based on SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLE). In particular, shipping Python 3.6, which reached its end of life at the end of 2021, is seen as problematic for the upcoming Leap 15.4 release.


            OpenSUSE and SLE have generally been aligned over the years. In 2020, Leap and SLE grew even closer together. The build system and repositories between the two were shared starting with Leap 15.2, which corresponded to the second “service pack” (SP) of SLE (i.e. SLE 15-SP2). In 2021, with Leap 15.3 and SLE 15-SP3, the two distributions effectively merged, such that all of the base packages were shared between the two. To a first approximation, Leap is an openSUSE-branded version of SLE, much like what CentOS used to be for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          • Make Your Python CLI Tools Pop With Rich | Hackaday

            It seems as though more and more of the simple command-line tools and small scripts that used to be bash or small c programs are slowly turning into python programs. Of course, we will just have to wait and see if this ultimately turns out to be a good idea. But in the meantime, next time you’re revamping or writing a new tool, why not spice it up with Rich?

    • Standards/Consortia

      • WiFi 7 (802.11be) will support up to 40 Gbps links, real-time applications – CNX Software

        I still don’t own a WiFi 6 router, but MediaTek has already started to demonstrate WiFi 7 (802.11be) to customers with solutions based on upcoming Filogic 802.11be processors which deliver “super-fast speeds and low latency transmission” and provide a “true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications”.

        The company goes on to explain that Wi-Fi 7 relies on the same 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz frequencies as WiFi 6/6E, but can still provide 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, since WiFi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and support 4K QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology.

  • Leftovers

    • Drill Does Well In Double Duty As Well Drilling Drill | Hackaday

      There are a large number of methods commercially used to bore a hole into the ground for the sake of extracting drinking water, and the all require big loud equipment. But what if you just want a small well? Do you really have to call in the big guns? [The Working Group on Development Techniques] is a student association at the University of Twente in the Netherlands who shows in the video below the break that some simple homemade fixtures and a powerful hand drill are quite enough to do the job!

    • Hardware

      • Extreme Thermal Mods For 3D Printing Exotic Materials | Hackaday

        For general everyday use, there’s nothing wrong with the standard selection of plastics that most 3D printer filaments are available in. PLA, ABS, PETG — they’ve all got their place, and they’re all pretty easy to work with. But if you need to work with more exotic materials, you might need to go to extremes and modify an off-the-shelf printer for high-temperature work.

        For the team led by [Andreas Hagerup Birkelid] at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the standard menu of printer chow wasn’t up to the jobs they had in mind. They wanted to print using polyether ether ketone, or PEEK, a high-performance thermoplastic with useful mechanical and thermal properties, in addition to chemical resistance. Trouble is, the melting point of PEEK is a whopping 343°C (649°F), making it necessary to turn up the heat — a lot. A standard Creality CR-10 printer was upgraded to withstand not only the 500°C max temperature of the new hot end and 200° printed bed, but also to survive operating in what amounts to an oven — a balmy 135° in a chamber made from IKEA cabinets. That entailed replacing plastic parts with metal ones, upgrading belts, pulleys, and wires, and moving all the electronics outside the enclosure. Even the steppers got special treatment, with water cooling to keep their magnets from reaching the Curie point.

      • Trying Out The Revopoint POP 3D Portable Scanner – The DIY Life

        Today I’m going to be unboxing and trying out the POP 3D portable scanner, which Revopoint have sent to me to share with you. This is a handheld 3D scanner that Revopoint say can scan with an accuracy of within 0.3mm using dual infrared sensors and an RGB camera. The addition of the RGB camera means that you can capture RGB colour information for each data point and render full-colour 3D models.

      • Monowheel Mayhem: When Good Gyroscopic Precession Goes Bad | Hackaday

        Since the dawn of the age of the automobile, motorheads have been obsessed with using as few wheels as possible. Not satisfied with the prospect of being incompletely maimed by a motorcycle, the monocycle was born. Gracing the covers of Popular magazines and other periodicals, these futuristic wheels of doom have transfixed hackers of all kinds. [James Bruton] is one such hacker, and in the video below the break you can see his second iteration of a 3d printed monowheel.

        [James]’ wonderful monowheel is beautifully engineered. Bearing surfaces, gears, idlers, motors, and yes, twin gyroscopes are all contained within the circumference of the tire. The gyroscopes are actuated by a rather large servo, and are tied together by a gear that keeps their positions in sync. Their job is to keep the monowheel balanced at all times.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Finance

      • How Klaus Schwab Built a Billionaire Circus at Davos | Vanity Fair

        Klaus Schwab, the ringmaster of festivities at the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been known to tell underlings that he anticipates one day receiving a Nobel Peace Prize.

        In a surprise to no one else, Oslo has yet to ring.

        Schwab’s greatest accomplishment is decidedly entrepreneurial. He has developed the Forum from an earnest meeting of policy wonks into a glittering assembly of the world’s richest people. He has achieved this by ingratiating himself with those who wield power, and especially the billionaire class—a tribe known as Davos Man. Schwab has constructed a refuge for the outlandishly wealthy, an exclusive zone where they are free to pursue deals and sundry shenanigans while enjoying the cover of participating in a virtuous undertaking. Their mere presence in Davos at the Forum signals their empathy and sensitivity.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Finding Better Alternatives – Purism

        Rethinking Everything

        The past two years have been really disruptive to society as a whole. This disruption has caused people to take a fresh look at past choices. We are all making big changes. We are re-evaluating our values. We rethinking just about everything. What is truly important? Where and how do we live and work? How do we spend our time? We all have had to find multiple options that could work better for us in our context.

        Looking more broadly, these times have urged humanity to look beyond conventional options. Scientists looked at alternatives to the traditional vaccine to mass-produce, thanks to innovative bio-technology. Business leaders have had to look beyond mass-layoffs to renegotiate fixed wages and work. Humankind discovered the power of pandemic pods, micro-offices and tele-health. Finding alternatives has been the common thread.

        Providing Alternatives to Big Tech and Traditional Capitalism

        At Purism, we are continuing to grown and build a sustainable future. We are grateful to win the support of millions. Purism started as a Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) in 2014. “When I started Purism, I wanted to avoid toxic investment; I didn’t want to focus entirely on shareholder value.” says Founder, Todd Weaver.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Manager’s Amendment Shows AICOA Not Ready for Prime Time – Disruptive Competition Project

        Ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled markup of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) (S. 2992), a controversial bill to refashion U.S. digital markets in a more European mold, the bill’s sponsors have offered a proposed “manager’s amendment”. The proposed amendment acknowledges the key weaknesses in the bill, but does not meaningfully address them.

        The scattershot nature of the manager’s amendment underscores that the bill is not ready for prime time. The amendment leaves the bill even more overreaching in its breadth and scope than the underlying text. Rather than reform S. 2992, the manager’s amendment introduces ambiguity, imprecision, and potentially pulls other U.S. companies in scope.

        Broadly speaking, the most serious criticism of the bill has pertained to economic and national security, privacy and user security, forced interoperability with business users and other competitors, and the bill’s limitation on covered platforms to enforce their terms of service and moderate content. All of these concerns will ultimately hurt consumers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Roasting the Consumer Electronics Show’s ‘Worst’ Products – The New Stack

        The event’s host was activist/blogger/science fiction author Cory Doctorow, who promised the presentation would highlight “the hidden or maybe not-so-hidden and completely foreseeable failure modes of these gadgets — and what they say about the state of the industry today.”


        Byrne points out that Deere’s tractor was also the winner of an online poll for “worst in show.” And then Doctorow quipped dryly that “Last year John Deere took top honors in our Worst in Show. It’s good to see them back again with another strong showing in the Dystopia-Watch category here.”

        But he added on a more hopeful note, “It’s nice to see that the broad public is getting the message, that allowing one giant, union-busting profit-taking, rapacious, ag-tech company to corner the market on how we get our food — and then just turning them loose to do whatever they want with the machines that are necessary — is probably not the path we need to a better future.”

        Deere’s tractor led Doctorow to reiterate what he sees as another important principle for autonomous technology: that the person using a device should always be able to override a machine’s pre-programmed instructions. “There’s so much paternalism that says, ‘Well, what if you make a foolish decision with your autonomous car?’”

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