Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Security at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But GAFAM-led Web browsers throw nasty warnings at new visitors of ours (Techrights), in a site which has not outsourced "trust" to the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (imperialistic Pentagon contractors)

Botond's Gemini capsule: update

Botond's Gemini capsule on growth

Botond's Gemini capsule on cert trends

Botond's Gemini capsule on certs

Summary: As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats

[Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Juve turned from journalism to spamfarm/sewer in just a matter of years

UPC in 2021
Thank you, Amy, for your very spot-on and fact-checked ‘journalism’….

UPC in 2023
Oh. Now it’s 2023 again.

UPC! It's starting this year; Or the year after this year...
Wash, rinse, repeat. UPC has been coming "next year" since 2014 (at least).

Summary: Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC

Below (video): Wouter Pors on UPC (not The Onion; his own firm/employer published this)

EPO as the ‘Ministry of Truth’ of Team UPC and Special Interests

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7715b82b721856fdd1dd86485ad46c26
EPO Faking Everything
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The ‘Ministry of Truth’ of the patent world is turning the EPO’s Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography

EPO’s Web Site is a carnival/festival and "a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law", as we called it last month. On Tuesday/Wednesday these charlatans who edit the site tried to pass off the corrupt regime (warning: epo.org link) as a supporter of science/academia — to cite just one recent example (among many more!) and a week prior to it, as I show in the video above, the “Website updates” (warning: epo.org link) were all just “ads” for the UPC, in effect relaying a bunch of falsehoods to fake the initiation of UPC — something that will likely be challenged in court quite soon.

EPO panzerThe EPO’s Web site is for the patent litigation “sector”, which lives in a different planet and vainly disregards the European economy, European laws, and even European constitutions. In the video above I compare this to the BBC’s “COVID denier” mode (spreading misinformation while calling people to take more and more vaccine doses, under the false assumption COVID-19 as a problem has been resolved; there were over 100,000 new cases confirmed today).

Microsoft ‘Delighted’ by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Windows at 8:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published Tuesday:

Microsoft 'delighted' by Windows 11 usage, but what is it?


Summary: Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)

Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Juno Computers Launch Ubuntu-Powered Mars 15 Laptop with Up to AMD Ryzen 9, NVIDIA RTX 3070

        Featuring a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920x1080p) matte display with a whooping 240Hz refresh rate, the Mars 15 notebook is powered by AMD Ryzen 5000X family of desktop processors, namely the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X with 8 cores and 16 threads or the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X with 12 cores and 24 threads.

        Mars 15 is clearly designed for hardcore gamers as it also comes with powerful NVIDIA graphics cards, namely the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM. According to Juno Computers, all the video ports in the laptop are controlled by the NVIDIA GPU.

      • 5 Reasons Why Linux Distros Create Their Own Desktop Environments

        Many Linux distros have now started developing their own desktop environments. Why is this so? Let’s find out.

        Most of us don’t think of the desktop as something separate from the operating system. What you see on the screen—that is Windows or that is macOS. But on Linux, there is no one desktop. Instead, there are many.

        Most people stick with what comes by default, and a number of Linux distributors are opting to create their own desktop from scratch. elementary OS has Pantheon. Solus has Budgie. System76 has COSMIC. Nitrux Linux has Maui Shell. In the past, Ubuntu had Unity.

      • Unboxing Dell XPS 13 – openSUSE Tumbleweed alongside preinstalled Ubuntu

        I received a new laptop for work – a Dell XPS 13. Dell has been long famous for offering certain models with pre-installed Linux as a supported option, and opting for those is nice for moving some euros/dollars from certain PC desktop OS monopoly towards Linux desktop engineering costs. Notably Lenovo also offers Ubuntu and Fedora options on many models these days (like Carbon X1 and P15 Gen 2).


        Obviously a smooth, ready-to-rock Ubuntu installation is nice for most people already, but I need openSUSE, so after checking everything is fine with Ubuntu, I continued to install openSUSE Tumbleweed as a dual boot option. As I’m a funny little tinkerer, I obviously went with some special things

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Today Valve confirmed the Steam Deck’s official LAUNCH DATE (plus OTHER Deck news) – Invidious

        Yes, that’s right. Valve confirmed the Steam Deck’s release date. It’s February 25th, 2022. That’s just under a month away from the release of this video.

      • FLOSS Weekly 665: The Open Source Initiative – Stefano Maffulli, OSI

        Stefano Maffulli joins Jonathan Bennett and Simon Phipps on this episode of FLOSS Weekly. Phipps does double duty as guest as well as co-host. It’s all about the Open Source Initiative, the custodians of what exactly counts as Open Source. That may seem like a solved problem, but cloud computing, machine learning, and Standard Essential Patents present new challenges to face. We talk about these topics and more, so check it out!

      • Does The FSF Really Respect Your Freedom? – Invidious

        There see to be some legitimate concerns with how the FSF approaches microcode and firmware running on a secondary processor which does not respect your freedom and in many ways puts users in danger.

      • NO CLEVO? Starlabs Starbook Mk. V review – Invidious

        We’ve got a very special laptop running Linux out of the box: the StarLabs Starbook Mark 5. This one is pretty different from virtually every other manufacturer: it’s NOT using a clevo or tongfang chassis, it’s custom designed, aluminium, and it’s a pretty amazing ultrabook that really deserves an in depth look.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Adding a Host to Monitor to LibreNMS

        LibreNMS is a monitoring tool that supports auto-discovery with multiple protocols, including SNMP, ARP, OSPF, and BGP. To monitor operating systems, you can use the SNMP protocol, which is available on most OS, including Linux, Windows, and BSDs.

        There are three versions of SNMP Protocol, v1 and v2 which are secured with only a community password, and the protocol v3 which supports passwords for authentication and encryption. For the production environment, it’s recommended to use the SNMP protocol v3, which is more secure than v2 and v1.

        In this article, you will learn how to add hosts to the LibreNMS monitoring system using the SNMP protocol.

      • AWK Command Examples for Beginners / AWK Linux Tutorial

        Learning to use the AWK utility in Linux is a skill that most Linux users yearn to have. It can save you time and energy, as well as help you better understand the inner workings of your computer.

        While it may seem hard at first, you will become well-versed with this command-line utility with the right guide and frequent practice.

        Once you understand the AWK utility well, you will find it a necessary tool when working on your Linux Terminal.

      • How to Install Midori Browser on Ubuntu Linux – VITUX

        There are tons of browsers are out in the market catering different needs of diverse computing communities. One of them is the Midori browser that helps a unique range of users who thrive on the speed. Users who need a greater navigational speed and built-in browser shortcuts rely on Midori all the time.

      • How to Install InvoicePlane with Apache and Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on Debian 11

        InvoicePlane is a free, open-source, and self-hosted application for managing your quotes, invoices, clients, and payments. It is used by many organizations and freelancers to manage their payments and invoices. It offers custom templates, themes, and other tools that help you to increase the functionality of InvoicePlane. It also supports multiple languages and multiple payment providers such as Paypal, Stripe or even Bitcoin via Coinbase.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install InvoicePlane with Apache on Debian 11.

      • How to Install Apache Cassandra NoSQL Database on Debian 11 – VITUX

        Apache Cassandra is an open-source distributed database developed for cloud computing. It provides a highly available and scalable database service with no single point of failure and no manual tuning.

        Apache Cassandra is one of the most popular databases used in artificial intelligence to help create robots. With the ability to scale up quickly using commodity hardware, Cassandra could become one of the primary data storage systems that will power future robotic data management devices.

        Apache Cassandra is a NoSQL database. With the addition of the Apache Thrift interface, Cassandra can be used to store and manage data without the use of SQL, while allowing developers to use familiar application development protocols like REST and Thrift.

        Cassandra was primarily developed by Facebook engineer Prashant Malik. The database was named after the wife of a co-founder of Facebook, who died in a car accident in 2008. It is built on Google’s BigTable architecture, with support for distribution, replication, failure detection and load balancing using Apache ZooKeeper.

      • GNU Linux Debian – to swap or not to swap – that is the question – how to fix annoying startup boot dealying boot – message begin running scripts local-block mdadm no arrays found in config file or automatically
      • How to install MultiMC on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MultiMC 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 Synfig Studio on Zorin OS 16 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Synfig Studio on Zorin OS 16.

      • How to install deepin 20.4 – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install deepin 20.4.

      • Linux Fu: Bash Strings | Hackaday

        If you are a traditional programmer, using bash for scripting may seem limiting sometimes, but for certain tasks, bash can be very productive. It turns out, some of the limits of bash are really limits of older shells and people code to that to be compatible. Still other perceived issues are because some of the advanced functions in bash are arcane or confusing.

        Strings are a good example. You don’t think of bash as a string manipulation language, but it has many powerful ways to handle strings. In fact, it may have too many ways, since the functionality winds up in more than one place. Of course, you can also call out to programs, and sometimes it is just easier to make a call to an awk or Python script to do the heavy lifting.

      • Top Linux commands that every DevOps professional & student must know
      • How To Install WordPress on DigitalOcean with Sail – Konstantin Kovshenin

        Sail is a great and much more affordable alternative to traditional and managed WordPress hosting. It’s a free and open source CLI tool to provision and manage WordPress applications in the DigitalOcean cloud.

      • How to install Cluster Autoscaler on AWS EKS – Kernel Talks
      • Creating Identity provider for AWS EKS – Kernel Talks
      • How to configure kubectl for AWS EKS – Kernel Talks
      • How not to execve() | [bobulate]

        There is a local privilege escalation in Polkit (formerly PolicyKit, and used in plenty of places where privilege escalation is needed). It was found by Qualys, and carefully documented on the oss-sec mailing list. It has hit the mainstream media fairly hard, too – probably because it follows closely on unrelated log4j and faker.js issues in Open-Source-land. I’m not a security specialist by a long shot (not by at least 3 light-seconds, even), but let’s take a brief look at execve() in FreeBSD.

      • How to update existing documents in MongoDB | FOSS Linux

        MongoDB was first developed in 2007 by Dwight Merriman and Eliot Horowitz when they experienced scalability issues with relational databases while developing enterprise web applications at their company, known as DoubleClick. According to one of the developers, its name was derived from the word humongous to support the idea of processing a large amount of data.

      • Install Monitorix 3.14.0 On Ubuntu / Rocky Linux & Fedora | Tips On UNIX

        Monitorix is a free and Open-source, lightweight system monitoring tool designed to monitor services, system resources, and servers. It is similar to Zabbix, Nagios, and Cacti.

        This tutorial will be helpful for the users to install Monitorix 3.14.0 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 21.10, LinuxMint 20.3, Fedora 35, and Rocky Linux 8.

        Monitorix team released a new version 3.14.0 on January 18, 2022.

      • 8 ways to speed up your Ansible playbooks | Enable Sysadmin

        Ansible is a simple and powerful open source automation tool that can streamline many of your IT infrastructure operations. You can automate simple tasks like installing packages, or complex workflows such as deploying a clustered solution with multiple nodes or patching your operating system with many steps. Whether the workflows are simple or complex, you need to integrate appropriate optimization techniques into the Ansible playbook content.

        This article covers some of the major optimization methods available in Ansible for speeding up playbook execution.

      • Linux Foundation Certified 50% More IT Professionals in 2021, Helping to Address Industry-Wide Talent Shortage
      • Install Linux Kernel 5.16/5.17 on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

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

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

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16/5.17 Linux Kernel on Fedora 34/35 Server or Workstation using the Linux Vanilla third-party repository that is well known.

      • How to Install Nagios in Ubuntu 22.04/20.04 – Part 1

        Essential networking devices, network services, and applications need constant monitoring to lessen the troubleshooting complexities that many server administrators have to endure or overcome.

        One reputable tool for managing such networking footprints is Nagios. Its active monitoring functionality can detect network devices, services, and application faults on a server it is tasked to monitor. Once such faults are detected, the administrative user is notified of the underlying suspicious activity on the network.

        The machine that hosts Nagios should embrace a Server/Agent architecture for it to comfortably communicate with remote hosts that need constant monitoring.

        This Nagios network monitoring tool makes use of agents like Nagios Remote Plugin Executor for swift communication with remote hosts. Moreover, Nagios generates final reports from visually represented user interface logs.

      • How to install Portainer CE with Docker-Compose – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install Portainer CE with Docker-compose.

        Portainer is a free and open-source lightweight service delivery platform for containerized applications that can be used to manage Docker, Kubernetes, Docker swarm, etc. The application is simple to deploy and use. The application allows you to manage all your container services via smart GUIs or an extensive API, this makes the developers’ work easier.

        Portainer gives developers a chance to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot containerized applications without needing to deeply have experience with Kubernetes. This is awesome in my view.

        In this tutorial we are going to learn how to install Portainer inside a docker container, also we will learn the uses of Portainer, what are Portainer agents. Also, we need to understand about Portainer ports i.e which ports do Portainer uses to communicate with the world. So let’s dive in

        We have two editions of Portainer, the Portainer community edition which is free to use, and the Portainer Business Edition which requires one to purchase the license fee to use and has more features compared to the community edition.

    • Games

      • Gamebuntu 1.0 Released

        Are you a gamer or want to play the game and use Ubuntu then Gamebuntu is for you. Gamebuntu is an all-in-one app that makes it possible to play games with just a single click of installation.

        Meanwhile, Gamebuntu 1.0 has been released with a serious commitment to the gaming experience.

      • ‘Gamebuntu’ Make it Super Easy to Setup Your Ubuntu for Gaming | UbuntuHandbook

        Want to play some games in Ubuntu desktop? Gamebuntu is a new project to make life easier for beginners!

        Without searching for how to tutorials and struggling with Linux commands, Gamebuntu is an all-in-one app makes it possible to single click to install Steam, Heroic / Epic Game launcher, Minigalaxy GOG client, and/or Lutris game clients.

      • Steam Deck to Launch Officially on February 25th, 2022

        Announced in July 2021, Steam Deck promises to be a revolutionary gaming handheld powered by Valve’s SteamOS 3.0 operating system based on Arch Linux and featuring the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

        Initially planned for the end of 2021, Valve delayed their upcoming Steam Deck device for February 2022, but now the company has finally revealed the official release date as February 25th.

      • Windjammers 2 is out and it works perfectly on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        A little flying-disc on the go when you get your shiny Steam Deck? Windjammers 2 is out from Dotemu and it’s absolutely brilliant, although I am completely horrible at it.

      • Half-Life 2 getting a new UI in prep for Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Valve continue burning the midnight oil as it’s getting close to the Steam Deck launch now. Their classics continue getting updated, with Half-Life 2 getting a new UI.

        While they’ve already added Vulkan support to multiple older titles using DXVK-Native, it appears they’re now moving on to make more changes to help players on gamepads work with their games. It makes sense of course, since having their own games work great on the Steam Deck is a must.

      • Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is out, run it on Linux with one small change | GamingOnLinux

        Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem is out now as a partnership between Timelock Studio and Croteam. It can run rather well on Linux, although you do need a quick adjustment for Steam Play Proton.

        This is a much shorter and simpler game than previous entries, as it’s a sort-of standalone expansion that sits together with Serious Sam 4. Although, going in cold is not a big deal, since it’s mostly the usual mindless fast-paced shooting you would expect from a Serious Sam game. The game actually started off life from a modding team, who under guidance from Croteam, turned it into an official game in the series.


        It’s time again to use the fabulous ProtonDB to find out some cool stuff. Today, we can look at what are the most wanted games (by using the number of people submitting reports) for which the ratings are abysmal, as in 100% borked. And you end up with the Top 10 that follows. Let’s go from the least popular ones to the most popular ones – for each game we will also give you a quick comment about why it fails currently.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • antiX Linux 19.5 Release Brings Latest IceWM Desktop Environment

          antix 19.5 is based on Debian 10 “Buster” stable branch, with Linux kernel 4.9 LTS, Firefox ESR 91, and LibreOffice 7.0.4.

          antiX Linux is a lightweight desktop Linux distribution based on Debian for 32 and 64 bit Intel-AMD x86 compatible architectures and is fully systemd-free. Put simply, it is Debian without systemd.

          antiX Linux targeted to the very old hardware and systems. You need at least 256 MB RAM, and the installer needs a minimum 4.0 GB hard disk size. As you can see, if you are looking to revive your super-old hardware with Linux, then this might be the perfect distro.

          Coming after 8 months since antiX 19.4 release, this fifth point antiX 19.5 release brings usual Kernel updates, the latest Debian 10 “Buster” packages, and the respective application’s stable version. Let’s take a look in brief at what’s new in antiX 19.5.

      • Arch Family

        • EndeavourOS: Arch Linux Made Easy for Everyone

          If you don’t want to go through the complex installation process of Arch Linux, consider installing EndeavourOS, a user-friendly derivative of Arch.

          EndeavourOS is quickly becoming one of the most popular Arch-based Linux distributions available. It gives users the speed, power, and high level of choice that makes Arch Linux stand out without the somewhat difficult and often frustrating manual setup process.

          The sleek presentation and intuitive graphical interface make it easy for anyone to install EndeavourOS, one of the most advanced bleeding-edge Linux operating systems.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The state of Customer Experience at Red Hat: Product and documentation enhancements

          Have you ever wondered what happens when you submit feedback to Red Hat? The Red Hat Customer and Partner Experience team collects feedback through our net promoter score (NPS) survey, focus groups and events between customers and Red Hat engineers, and through several additional surveys that we use to better understand your experience as you engage with our products and services.

          Throughout 2021, the team collected and analyzed more than 15,000 survey responses, conducted a total of 15 virtual focus groups, events, and feedback sessions between our engineering teams and customers, and collected feedback from over 1,000 active users in our Red Hat Customer Portal Community.

        • Risk management: 4 key strategies | The Enterprisers Project

          Effectively mitigating risk is a growing challenge for business and IT leaders. Consider these tips on how to offset risk in 4 essential areas

        • Red Hat Developer roundup: Best of January 2022 | Red Hat Developer

          Don’t miss a thing! Here’s a roundup of new articles, tutorials, and more published this month on Red Hat Developer.

        • Fedora Magazine – Quarkus and Mutiny

          Quarkus is a foundation for building Java based applications; whether for the desktop, server or cloud. An excellent write up on usage can be found at https://fedoramagazine.org/using-the-quarkus-framework-on-fedora-silverblue-just-a-quick-look/. This article is primer for coding asynchronous processes using Quarkus and Mutiny.

          So what is Mutiny? Mutiny allows streaming of objects in an event driven flow. The stream might originate from a local process or something remote like a database. Mutiny streaming is accomplished by either a Uni or a Multi object. We are using the Uni to stream one object — a List containing many integers. A subscribe pattern initiates the stream.

          A traditional program is executed and results are returned before continuing. Mutiny can easily support non-blocking code to run processes concurrently. RxJava, ReactiveX and even native Java are alternatives. Mutiny is easy to use (the exposed API is minimal) and it is the default in many of the Quarkus extensions. The two extensions used are quarkus-mutiny and quarkus-vertx. Vert.x is the underlying framework wrapped by Quarkus. The Promise classes are supplied by quarkus-vertx. A promise returns a Uni stream when the process is complete. To get started, install a Java JDK and Maven.

        • Build a bootable JAR for cloud-ready microservices | Red Hat Developer

          Modernize an enterprise Java application for cloud deployment with Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Jakarta EE, and MicroProfile.

        • Why today’s cloud is built on containers | The Enterprisers Project

          Containers are the default way of packaging software in the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) executive Deepak Singh shares insights for IT leaders on smoothly running containers with its service and ecosystem partners

        • Automating network and Microsoft SQL Server configuration using RHEL System Roles [Ed: IBM priorities?]
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Attempt to shake down Linux users for Netfilter code use resolved | ZDNet

            Once upon a time in the 2000s and 2010s, Patrick McHardy was the chair of Linux’s Netfilter core development team. Netfilter is a Linux kernel utility that handles various network functions, such as facilitating Network Address Translation (NAT) and Linux’s IPTables firewall. All was fine. But, then it was discovered that McHardy had made millions of Euros from threatening over 50 companies with legal action for using “his” code. That will never happen again.

            McHardy was suspended from the Netfilter team in 2016. The Netfilter team released a document on how to deal with his attempts to extract money from vendors. This move by McHardy, who had been a leading Linux developer in the 2000s, came as a complete surprise at the time. Now, years later, the issue has finally been resolved.

      • Programming/Development

        • Job Description

          Fedora is a Linux operating system. The computers we have at home are similar it has an operating system called windows, Fedora is just another one like windows just with differnt features. the operating system tells the computer what to do when you move the mouse or press a key on the keyboard. e.t.c .

          So just like we have operating systems for phone like iphone and android, we also have different ones for computers like MacOS, Windows, Fedora Linux e.t.c.

          Now to do anything more with your computer you need to have aplications just like whatsapp and twitter on our phones, on the compter you can have web browser that lets you access youtube, whatsapp e.t.c. the process of adding new applications to your phone or computer is called installing.

          For this internship program i make lots of applications easy to install on the Fedora Linux operating system.

          I got this internship through Outreachy.


          Outreachy has vast list of projects to work on but i chose Fedora and i am loving the experience so far, and i am hoping even after the internship i will still be an active contributor to Fedora.

        • three courses on edX to develop open source – itsfoss.net

          The Linux Foundation has published three new courses on the platform edX with which their corresponding certificates can be obtained.

          For those who are lost, edX is a MOOC platform created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. It runs on its own platform technology, edX, which is published as open source on GitHub. It has a close relationship with The Linux Foundation and stands out for making courses related to Open Source technologies available.

        • Qt Developer Conference 2022, June 13th-15th, Berlin – KDAB

          We are very happy to announce that the Qt Developer Conference is back on track after having been postponed last September. Mark your calendars and save the date on 13th-15th June 2022. This will be our first in-person event since the pandemic started. Do not miss out on this wonderful experience!

  • Leftovers

    • Barnes & Barnes, Weird Al, Lego, TMNT: The State of Weird Nostalgia

      Last spring, we brought you Tedium′s version of a clip show for our 500-ish issue. In that issue, we did a few updates, curated a “best-of” celebration for that landmark issue of the newsletter (although in my head, Tedium is more of what I’ve always wanted a magazine to be). Recently, I found myself thinking about all the stories I wanted to do but just couldn’t manage to put together enough for a full-fledged Tedium piece. I originally planned to bring you a story about pressure washers—and I assure you it is coming—but time and fate just weren’t on my side to get that together in time. So, I turned my attention to some unfinished thoughts and ideas to flesh them out a little more. Today we’re bringing you a series of mini-pieces about topics that are interesting, but not quite enough to fill out an entire issue. Expect some music, thoughts about nostalgia, and perhaps an idea of what the future might hold.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • 12-Year-Old PolicyKit Local Privilege Escalation Flaw Now Patched in Major Linux Distros

            According to the researchers, the vulnerability (CVE-2021-4034) was discovered in PolicyKit’s pkexec tool, which incorrectly handled command-line arguments. This could lead to local privilege escalation, allowing any regular user in a GNU/Linux distribution to gain administrative privileges and run programs as an administrator (root).

            The good news is that most major GNU/Linux distributions already received patched versions of the Polkit package. At the moment of writing, Debian published patches for Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” and Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” systems, and Canonical published patches for all of its supported Ubuntu releases.

          • A Polkit Vulnerability Gives Root on All Major Linux Distros

            A 12-year-old security vulnerability has been disclosed in the Linux’s system utility Polkit that grants attackers root privileges.

            Previously called PolicyKit, Polkit manages system-wide privileges in Linux. It provides a mechanism for nonprivileged processes to safely interact with privileged processes and it’s installed by default in every major Linux distribution.

            Yesterday, researchers from Qualys published an advisory about a local privilege escalation vulnerability in the pkexec tool, that is installed as part of the Polkit. The pkexec tool, which is a command line tool, is used to define which authorized user can execute a program as another user.

          • A bug lurking for 12 years gives attackers root on every major Linux distro

            Linux users on Tuesday got a major dose of bad news—a 12-year-old vulnerability in a system tool called Polkit gives attackers unfettered root privileges on machines running any major distribution of the open source operating system.

          • Major Bug Grants Root For All Major Linux Distributions | Hackaday

            One of the major reasons behind choosing Linux as an operating system is that it’s much more secure than Windows. There are plenty of reasons for this including appropriate user permissions, installing software from trusted sources and, of course, the fact that most software for Linux including the Linux kernel itself is open source which allows anyone to review the code for vulnerabilities. This doesn’t mean that Linux is perfectly secure though, as researchers recently found a major bug found in most major Linux distributions that allows anyone to run code as the root user.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • EFF Asks Appeals Court to Find DMCA Provisions Unconstitutional – FOSS Force

          The Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to court. This is nothing new. EFF has been fighting selected aspects of the DMCA since before the act was passed in 1998.

          In this case, EFF is taking aim at provisions of the law that have in recent years become specifically problematic for the right-to-repair movement. These revolve around the DMCA’s Section 1201, which makes it illegal for users to find ways to bypass Digital Rights Management software to access copyrighted material, even when they legally own it.

          On January 12, EFF and co-counsel Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a district court decision in Green versus DOJ, which was a suit filed in 2016 by EFF challenging the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the DMCA on behalf of security researcher Matt Green and technologist Andrew “bunnie” Huang.

          According to EFF, both are pursuing projects that are not only beneficial to the public, but would be completely lawful if not for the DMCA’s anti-speech provisions, which EFF says violate the First Amendment.


          In some cases, even telling someone how to fix a problem is a criminal act, according to EFF.

          “Section 1201 makes it a federal crime for our clients, and others like them, to exercise their right to free expression by engaging in research, creating software, and publish their work,” EFF senior staff attorney Kit Walsh said in a statement. “This creates a censorship regime under the guise of copyright law that cannot be squared with the First Amendment.”

Don’t Fall for Microsoft’s Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum a65470ffecd44d127e6ee8d7b95f2448
Security Defeatism
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there’s nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)

EARLIER this month we published 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux and White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on ‘Open Source’ Security. The general theme in the media is, piggybacking the Apache bug from last month, Free software isn’t secure and there’s nothing to do about this because it’s all about money. This past week we saw some newer FUD, capitalising on a bug report concerning some Web-based panel and systemd. Those are not “Linux” issues per se, but Microsoft-friendly media calls everything “Linux” when it suits the negative image. Examples from the past week can be found here and here (we don’t want to link to them directly, giving liars traffic they do not deserve).

“Building perfectly secure systems is perfectly possible, but that typically involves stripping things down, going back to basics, just like in Gemini.”In the video above I explain what a recent conversation with Richard Stallman was like, after he had basically read this claim: “Do not be fooled into accepting false claims about “security updates”. It is perfectly possible to write software that is secure from the get-go. However, it is expensive to do that. It cuts into profit. Secure software can also protect its owner from the vendor. There is an unspoken conflict of interests in all discussions around cyber-security. Big companies ship insecure software not because they are stupid, but because they intend to. They are lazy, tight and dishonest.”

Building perfectly secure systems is perfectly possible, but that typically involves stripping things down, going back to basics, just like in Gemini. Sadly, projects such as GCC and Linux have become so unbelievably bloated (even LibreOffice would be shy) that no wonder they’re full of defects/bugs, some of which impacting security directly and indirectly.

“Exploit codes of the NSA sometimes leak out, causing chaos and shutting down whole hospitals which rely on Windows.”Can we do better than that? We can. In the video above I show some GNU programs (not “Linux commands” as pundits like to call them) and some of them from Stallman himself. These barely pose any security risks, until or unless they’re plugged into bloated Linux with a network stack and loads of firmware blobs, including some that are necessary for networking to work. Much can be done about this sordid mess and there are operating systems that pour money into studying the paths of execution almost exhaustively, compacting, refactoring, optimising and perfecting code instead of just throwing more and more code into a Git repository.

This ludicrous idea that everything in computers/computing isn’t secure and security is an impossibility (defeatism) overlooks the real issue, such as deliberate back doors in Microsoft’s product. Exploit codes of the NSA sometimes leak out, causing chaos and shutting down whole hospitals which rely on Windows. This is the sort of debate the White House should be focusing on, but it shies away from debating its astonishingly stupid demands for back doors. Rigged or stacked panels distract from facts and flawed, shoddy products have become the norm.

At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Site News at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e0d854508ad66405d5dba412c27716ac
Gemini Exceeds 2,000 Capsules
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won’t tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)

THIS day is important to us as we’ve anticipated it for a while now (we covered it yesterday and thought the milestone might be reached by the end of 2021, even as early as September). 2,000 does not mean 2,000 people; some capsules are directly used by many people (as noted in the links above), not just accessed by many people who don’t have their own capsule space. So how many actual users (as in people who access the thing) are there? It’s impossible to accurately measure that because of Web proxies/gateways, but probably millions of unique people have already accessed Gemini one way or another.

2,000 Known Gemini CapsulesAt the time of making this video I saw 1,998 and then 1,999 (as shown on the right), but these latest numbers (charted visually here) suggest we’ve finally ‘made it’… as in, we’ve exceeded the mentally-significant threshold, rising from 531 in January last year to over 2,000 this January. Incidentally, it’s not just Gemini. the number of Diaspora servers soared to almost 650 and hopefully the ‘original’ pod will find a new steward (as noted in the video above; it’s “work in progress”).

The video above shows 4 different Gemini clients, including Lagrange (shown in the image). We still use Agate for hosting. Lagrange’s developer has just “said goodbye to Agate as my server,” based on this new update, but later on he clarified that “Agate is great for serving static files, but my needs have outgrown it. My new server is able to run CGI scripts and integrated Python “apps” for dynamic content, and supports both Gemini and Titan.”

“Some teachers approach learners with tasks that utilise/leverage Gemini instead of Web “frameworks” and other unnecessary, cumbersome bloat.”Lagrange has experimented with a number of advanced client- and server-side features, such as uploads and content editing. Those are innovative ideas that comply with the existing specification, albeit they rely a bit on loose and undefined ends. We’ve long argued that Gemini would be highly suitable for Computer Science education and be a perfect fit for programming exercises not just for college students but also pupils in schools. Based on what we’ve seen and heard, this is already happening. Some teachers approach learners with tasks that utilise/leverage Gemini instead of Web “frameworks” and other unnecessary, cumbersome bloat.

“The simplicity of both the Gemini protocol and Gemtext are what makes it attractive for teaching,” an associate claimed some minutes ago in IRC, “for it allows the students to focus on the system.”

Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

    • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Celeron G6900 Benchmarks – Performance Of Intel’s $40~60 Alder Lake Processor Review

        At the top-end of Intel’s current Alder Lake line-up is the Core i9 12900K while at the opposite end is the Celeron G6900… The Celeron G6900 is a dual-core Alder Lake processor with a suggested customer price of $42~52 USD (though for the limited quantities available, I ended up paying $69). Curiosity got the best of me for seeing how well this lowest-end Alder Lake part performs under Ubuntu Linux.

        The Celeron G6900 launched this month along the likes of the Core i5 12400 for the expanded Alder Lake S line-up announced at CES. The Celeron G6900 is powered by two “Golden Cove” Performance cores but with Hyper Threading disabled, so it’s just a two core/thread processor and without any energy efficient Gracemont cores. The Celeron G6900 run at a 3.4GHz base frequency without any turbo capabilities. The Celeron G6900 has a 2.5MB L2 cache and 4MB smart cache. On the plus side, at least even ~$50 Celeron processors these days offer AVX2 support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install Brave Browser on elementary OS 6.0/6.1 – LinuxCapable

        Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. Brave is a privacy-focused internet browser that sets itself apart from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings.

        Brave claimed that its browser puts less strain on your computer’s performance than Google Chrome. Even with multiple tabs open at once, Brave uses less memory than Google Chrome, up to 66% less. Brave’s recent 2021-recap talked about how they passed 50 Million active users and grew 2x its previous size for a fifth year in a row which shows how popular the browser has become.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Brave Browser on elementary OS 6.

      • Using Ansible to install and configure docker In Rocky Linux 8/Alma Linux 8

        Docker is an open source containerization platform. It enables developers to package applications into containers—standardized executable components combining application source code with the operating system (OS) libraries and dependencies required to run that code in any environment.

        In this guide we will learn how to install docker using ansible on a Rocky Linux 8 instance.

      • Enable or Disable Automatic Login in Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        To secure our system we generally use password to login in to a Linux and other OS. However, if you are the only person who has access to your Linux system such as Debian 11 Bullseye then you can enable the autologin feature and here we will know how?

        Systems that are in offices or in insure location need to secure with a login “password”. That a user has to enter every time he or she want to access the files and other data residing in it. Well, this happens everytime when we start our computer or logout. It is actually a good thing but if you only work with the computer alone anyway, the repeated password entry is quite annoying. If you want to boot straight through to the desktop, you can log in automatically and switch off the password prompt when the system starts. Here we will show you how to do that in Debian based systems.

      • How to make Raspberry Pi a web server

        A web server is a computer which provides its service to other users that can be on your network or outside your network. A web server has the capability to run different software and it can easily store HTML docs, videos, images and other files that can be accessed from anywhere.

        If you are really passionate about creating a web server but you are finding difficulty in creating it then look for the steps in this article, which will help you in making your Raspberry Pi a web server.

      • Install NVIDIA 510 Drivers on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Fedora come with an NVIDIA driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for NVIDIA video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

        Historically, the Nouveau drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware.

        Currently, NVIDIA 510 Drivers are available to install, which bring many new features improvements to the very latest and existing supported graphic cards with better Linux Kernel support, ReBAR indicator, GBM API support, and much more.

      • Install NVIDIA 510 Drivers on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Debian come with an Nvidia driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

        Historically, the Nouveau drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware.

        Currently, NVIDIA 510 Drivers are available to install, which bring many new features improvements to the very latest and existing supported graphic cards with better Linux Kernel support, ReBAR indicator, GBM API support, and much more.

    • Games

      • The legendary classic Supaplex series comes to Linux on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Supaplex, a game originally released back in 1991 now has multiple modern versions available on Steam and it seems the developers have now added Linux support years later.

        Originally created as an extended clone of Boulder Dash, Supaplex is known for its difficulty. By modern standards, there’s probably far more exciting puzzle games to look for but as a good bit of nostalgia it seems to do the job just right.

      • The Blackwell Bundle brings all the adventures back to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Point and click adventure fans will be happy as the complete The Blackwell Bundle is now supported on Linux.

        Wadjet Eye Games went back and upgraded all entries in the series to either upgrade the existing version and fix Linux issues, re-add Linux support or add new Linux support. On top of that, each game in the series also had an update to fix other reported issues.

        “In the Blackwell Legacy, you are introduced to Rosangela as she meets Joey Mallone for the first time and is called upon to investigate a series of mysterious suicides at a local university. An enigmatic killer and a string of seemingly unconnected accidents set the background for Blackwell Unbound. Blackwell Convergence will have you investigating a film premiere that hides a bloody past. In Blackwell Deception you’ll investigate why the customers of various street psychics seem to die under very mysterious circumstances. And finally, in Blackwell Epiphany, you will find out the true reason why Rosa became a medium, and her ultimate destiny.”

      • Ahead of Dying Light 2, the original Dying Light gets a big event | GamingOnLinux

        You have to appreciate the effort Techland has put into supporting Dying Light, giving it new updates and events 7 years after release and now a fresh big event is live.

        Spike’s Story: Last Call follows the events after the death of a major antagonist but there’s plenty of bandits left to take care of. They’re flooding Harran in a frenzy and they’ve hit a survivor shelter, which has resulted in many more Virals in your way. Spike has organised a safe zone but many need help getting there. It’s time for you to step in and help as many as possible and for your efforts, you will get a special melee weapon — the Crankshaft. You’re not alone this time either, as a bunch of friendly survivors in special protection suits will be around to fight with you. Sounds like a Zombie-smashing good time.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • An Official Yaru Theme for Cinnamon? Oh Yes — Here’s What It Looks Like

          Technically it’s been in development for a while, but I was hesitant to try it out while it was still in a formative stage. Waiting paid off as it’s now considered ready for testing — so I decided to dive in, build it, and see how it fares!

          I built the Yaru Cinnamon theme on Linux Mint 20.3 to try it out. This means there will be some modest differences compared to using it on an Ubuntu install with the Cinnamon desktop installed (while installing the Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu is relatively easy, it’s not a 1:1 experience with Cinnamon on Linux Mint as Linux Mint is a collection of tech, of which Cinnamon is just one part).

    • Distributions

      • Meet GENODE, a framework to create Operating Systems

        Genode OS Framework is a toolkit for building highly secure special-purpose operating systems written in C++.

        It scales from embedded systems with as little as 4MB of memory to highly dynamic general-purpose workloads.

        Genode is based on a recursive system structure. Each program runs in a dedicated sandbox and is given only the access rights and features necessary for its specific purpose.

        Programs can create and manage sub-sandboxes with their own resources, forming hierarchies where policies can be applied at each level. The framework provides mechanisms to allow programs to communicate with each other and negotiate their resources, but only in strictly defined ways.

      • BSD

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • [Old] The Systemd debacle

          I’m late to write this, but perhaps better late than never (and truth be told, I’ve been neglecting this blog, largely because I prefer to be writing software than complaining about it, though I recently seem to have precious little time for either). If you’re reading this then you most likely already know about Systemd, the init-system-replacement-cum-kitchen-sink brainchild of Lennart Poettering and others (yes, they want me to call it “systemd”, but I’m averse, for some reason, to proper nouns beginning with lower-case letters; something to do with having had a moderately good education, I guess). Since its inception Systemd has gone on to become the primary, if not the only, choice of init system on a number of Linux distributions, and has more-or-less become a dependency of the Gnome desktop environment. You’ll also already be aware that not everyone is happy with this state of affairs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Gamebuntu 1.0 Launches with a Complete Redesign to Let You Install Only What You Need

          Gamebuntu developer Rudra Saraswat recently announced the new release, Gamebuntu 1.0, which comes with a complete redesign, both visual and internal, to let you install only the things you want or need for your Ubuntu gaming sessions rather than installing a bunch of packages to bloat your installation.

          As such, Gamebuntu now offers five main section where you can choose from amongst four game store launchers, including Steam, Heroic/Epic Games Launcher, Minigalaxy GOG client, and Lutris, as well as two kernels (a low-latency one and the Xanmod kernel).

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PiGear Nano – A Nano-ITX Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board with 7-30V DC input

        PiGeat Nano is an Nano-ITX carrier board for Raspberry Pi CM4 (Compute Module 4) designed for industrial applications with a -30°C to +80°C temperature range, 7 to 30V DC input, as well as RS232, RS485, and CAN bus interfaces.

        The board also features one Gigabit Ethernet port, one HDMI port, MIPI DSI and CSI display & camera interface, M.2 SSD storage, eight USB 3.0 ports, mini PCIe and SIM card sockets for 4G LTE cellular connectivity, and various digital input and output interfaces.

      • Creating better online multiple choice questions
      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Best apps to install on Raspberry Pi

          Raspberry Pi is undoubtedly an excellent little tool whose importance is rising with each coming day. An operating system is incomplete without the apps. Though there are tons of apps, for some users finding the best apps to install on Raspberry Pi is one of the critical issues.

          Raspberry Pi comes with some inbuilt apps, but these are default apps that are necessary for an operating system. People need different apps for different tasks and the default inbuilt apps cannot fulfill all their needs. You must need other apps for your Raspberry Pi to do other tasks like listening to music, watching movies, doing programming, etc.

          Most people do not have any specific knowledge about the best apps to install on Raspberry Pi, so this article will help them choose the best apps for their beloved Raspberry Pi desktop.

        • Best Browsers for Raspberry Pi

          No desktop or operating system is complete without a web browser. All web browsers are built to perform heavy-duty computations. Thus, finding the best browser on Raspberry Pi that suits your system requirements is considered difficult for most people.

          More people are interested in working on Raspberry Pi operating systems on a regular basis. However, their working hours are compromised due to their slow system performance. They do not have a supercomputer that can complete the task in a matter of hours. As a result, they are confused when it comes to determining the best browsers for the Raspberry Pi.

        • Best Lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi

          People are always stuck choosing the best option, which can provide them ease. The human mind is always confused with the advancement of technology. Due to hundreds of options available, they choose the one other people tell them to choose. They mostly rely on others without checking on the internet.

          Raspberry Pi is nowadays used in many sectors because it provides different applications in industries. People need to increase their working speed on Raspberry Pi, so they require applications that suit their hardware specifications. However, one of the significant challenges people face nowadays is the selection of the best lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi.

          Different options are available on the internet that can help people in many ways. However, selecting the best requires effort and time. If you feel confused and don’t have time to search which browser best fits you, don’t worry. Here I will tell you the best lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi, which you can select according to your requirements.

          The following are the list of some lightweight browsers for Raspberry Pi, which are the best fit to help you in increasing the web pages’ loading time and boosting the system performance.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How are open source and cloud computing compatible?

        It seems everyone is rushing to get their software on the cloud. The rapid growth of cloud computing has empowered hyperscaler cloud providers to market various technologies to feed the growing demand.

        Hyperscalers are now providing full-stack capabilities to increase their footprint and further lock-in customers, making the cloud seem more like a threat than an open communal space.

      • Open Source Video Converters for Linux [GUI and CLI]

        Video downloads are fun until they become unplayable. So, here’s the list of top open-source video converters to help your downloads stay relevant everywhere.

        Video conversion is not the best thing you want to do with a video, but it becomes unavoidable sometimes.

        For instance, you can only upload videos in selected formats on YouTube, Facebook, etc. Similarly, media players don’t play every other format in which you download or create videos.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to SAS JMP

        SAS Institute Inc. (“SAS”) is an American multinational developer of analytics software based in Cary, North Carolina. The company has around 14,000 employees.

        SAS started as a project at North Carolina State University to create a statistical analysis system used mainly by agricultural departments at universities in the late 1960s.

        SAS is the name of their software suite that can mine, alter, manage and retrieve data from a variety of sources and perform statistical analysis on it. It has more than 200 components covering areas including statistical analysis, econometrics and time series analysis, an interactive matrix language, data mining and much more.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • [Old] Twenty years on from Deep Blue vs Kasparov: how a chess match started the big data revolution

          Yet the reality was that Deep Blue’s victory was precisely because of its rigid, unhumanlike commitment to cold, hard logic in the face of Kasparov’s emotional behaviour. This wasn’t artificial (or real) intelligence that demonstrated our own creative style of thinking and learning, but the application of simple rules on a grand scale.

          What the match did do, however, was signal the start of a societal shift that is gaining increasing speed and influence today. The kind of vast data processing that Deep Blue relied on is now found in nearly every corner of our lives, from the financial systems that dominate the economy to online dating apps that try to find us the perfect partner. What started as student project, helped usher in the age of big data.

        • [Old] How IBM’s Deep Blue Beat World Champion Chess Player Garry Kasparov: The supercomputer could explore up to 200 million possible chess positions per second with its AI program

          According to Campbell, the team doubled the system’s speed by developing a new chess chip—one with the enhanced ability to evaluate positions the pawns can take. The new version of Deep Blue was able to search up to 200 million options per second, depending on the pawns’ position on the board. The researchers also increased the machine’s knowledge of the game by enabling the chess chip to recognize and evaluate chess concepts including positions and lines of attack. The chips could then search through the possibilities and figure out the best move.

        • We Taught Computers To Play Chess — And Then They Left Us Behind

          As I grew older, I grew fascinated with chess theory and studied diagrams of the intricate machine picked apart by countless tinkerers over hundreds of years. I would fall asleep reading the heavy reference book “Modern Chess Openings,” comforted and delighted by the fine- grained taxonomy and analysis of just the first few possible moves in a game, and the names they’d acquired — the Halloween Gambit, the Maróczy Bind, the Accelerated Dragon, the Hedgehog Defense.

        • [Older] FreeM History

          My mentor in computer programming and UNIX was Larry Landis, who got involved heavily in the M/MUMPS programming language ca. 1991. He hyped up the M language to me from 1991 forward, and first demonstrated FreeM to me in August 1998. In 2010, I incorporated my company, Coherent Logic Development, learned M, and began doing contract work in M through Larry’s company, Fourth Watch Software.

          Larry was the owner of FreeM’s SourceForge repository, which had not been touched in a number of years, following Fidelity National Information Services’ decision to release GT.M under a free software license. In August 2011, I downloaded the source code for FreeM and did enough work on it to get it running under modern GNU/Linux systems and posted it to the mumpster.org forums.

          In 2014, Larry gave me administrator access to the FreeM SourceForge repository and transferred maintainership of the project to me.

      • Programming/Development

        • Getting Started Guide of HTML – Introduction

          HTML acronym of Hypertext Markup Language is the backbone language behind each and every web page you see all over the internet to build the structure of the web pages. It is not a typical programming language rather a markup language as a set of specific instructions known as “tags” are used to construct the elements of a webpage.

        • Gstreamer packages compiled in OE

          Already have these compiled in OpenEmbedded…..

        • How to Embed Google Form in WordPress

          This brief tutorial shows step-by-step how to embed Google forms in WordPress.
          After reading this tutorial, you will know how to easily integrate Google forms within your WordPress content.

          To apply the instructions in this document, you will need a Google account to access Google forms. Part of the instructions focus on Google forms, while the second part takes place in the WordPress dashboard.

          All steps described in this article include screenshots to make it easy for any Google and WordPress user to apply them.

        • head tag explained | Metadata in HTML
        • Assignment Operators in JavaScript | Explained with Examples

          Assignment operators are a crucial part of computer programming that are used to allocate the value of the left operand to the right operand or in simple words assign values to variables. Assignment operators perform logical operations like, bitwise logical operations or operations on integral operands or boolean operations. Javascript makes use of multiple assignment operators. Here we have listed JavaScript assignment operators for you.

        • Arduino

          • What is INPUT_PULLUP in Arduino

            In Arduino, we have to define the behavior of the pins with the help of the pinMode() function that either pin should behave as an input or output. We can also define the behavior of the pin as an input_pullup, now the question that arises in mind is what this input_pullup does? The input_pullup adds built-in resistance to the electrical circuit.

            In this write-up, the utilization of the input_pullup has been explained with the help of an example.

          • How to use breadboard with Arduino

            We can read the analog voltage signals from the analog I/O pins of the Arduino board and this input is converted to the digital values using the ADC. In this write-up, we have demonstrated an example of reading analog voltage input and visualized the results on a serial monitor as well as a serial plotter.

          • How to read voltage in Arduino

            Read analog voltage is a technique by which we can read the analog signal of voltage from the analog I/O pins of Arduino. Analog signals are continuous signals which are varying with time like human sounds and AC(alternating current) voltage.

            In this write-up, we will discuss an example to explain how the analog voltage is read by the analogRead() function.

          • Character functions in Arduino

            The character functions in Arduino programming are used to perform operation of the character data types that are used in Arduino. These functions are used to determine what type of character is used either as a number or alphabet.

          • Arduino Input and Output functions

            To interface the Arduino board with different integrated chips, sensors, LEDs, and other peripherals different functions are used for the input and output. Similarly, to run the compiled code on the Arduino board these functions are also used. These input and output functions also define the inputs and outputs of the Arduino program.

          • Analog Read Serial Arduino

            Sometimes we have to take input of the analog values from the sensors such as to find out the temperature of the room, the input values are in analog. These values can be read by the Arduino from its specific pins and these values can be used for further use. But before understanding the analogRead(), we have to understand what is the analog value? The analog value always varies from negative infinity to positive infinity and it is not restricted to only 0 and 1 like the digital values.

            In the above discussion, we gave an example of room temperature, the room temperature can be 35 degrees or 10 degrees. It is not restricted that the room temperature should be 0 or 1. These types of values are known as analog values. In this write-up, the analogRead() function is explained in detail with the help of which we can take analog input values in Arduino.

        • C++

          • Std::move in C++

            To disregard or remove single or maybe more letters from the input buffer using the cin.ignore() method. Maybe we need to remove the undesirable buffer so that the next data is stored in the intended container rather than the preceding variable’s cache. For instance, we must provide a character array or string after inputting the cin command. Cin.ignore() in C++ is explained with examples in this article.

          • Cin.ignore() in C++

            To disregard or remove single or maybe more letters from the input buffer using the cin.ignore() method. Maybe we need to remove the undesirable buffer so that the next data is stored in the intended container rather than the preceding variable’s cache. For instance, we must provide a character array or string after inputting the cin command. As a result, we must empty the input buffer; else, the buffer of the preceding variable would be occupied. Because the cache of the preceding element lacks room to retain fresh data, hitting the “Enter” button just after the initial input ignores the container’s next input. Let’s start with the examples of the cin.ignore() function with the launch of new C++ files through the terminal shell. The file must be created through the touch instruction and the file’s name. Ubuntu’s “nano” editor has been used so far to open the file to edit.

        • Java

          • C++ vs. Java

            C++ and Java are popular programming languages used by developers and programmers. Each of these languages has its own advantages and disadvantages but before we begin to investigate the crucial differences between the aforementioned programming languages let’s first establish our basic understanding regarding the two.

          • Features of Java

            Java is a well-known high-level, server-side/backend, a class-based programming language that is easy to learn and understand. It is used in the distributed environment on the internet. The idea of java was based on creating a secure, easy-to-use, and portable programing language. This write-up will provide a detailed overview of Java features. So, let’s begin!

  • Leftovers

    • A Bold New Flavor of Tennessee Whiskey: Union-Made

      For those of us who appreciate the warm, smoky sting of a nice glass of the good stuff, Tennessee whiskey enjoys the same outsize reputation as Kentucky bourbon; there’s history in every sip, and even the not-so-good stuff ain’t that bad. The two tipples are closely related, historically, geographically, and chemically; a liquor connoisseur will tell you the main difference comes down to an extra step (the Tennessee version is filtered through sugar maple charcoal after it’s distilled, which imparts its characteristic smoothness). But there’s another key factor that differentiates the two iconically American spirits that—hopefully—will soon evaporate like an angel’s share.

    • Yet Another Really Dumb Lawsuit Filed Against Meta Because Some People Who Did A Bad Thing May Have Met On Facebook

      Everyone wants to blame internet companies for everything. A couple weeks back, a woman sued Meta over the death of her brother, claiming Facebook was to blame. This is the latest in a ridiculously long line of failed lawsuits that look to hold Facebook liable for the deaths of people, just because either the killers or people connected to them somehow communicated on social media. It’s like suing AT&T because two people plotting a crime spoke on the phone. These are nonsense lawsuits and they are nuisance lawsuits. This one is no different.

    • The Comics Cavalcade
    • American Gothic Horror
    • ‘The Assassination of Patrice Lumumba Is One of the Most Important Assassinations of the 20th Century’

      Janine Jackson interviewed Maurice Carney about the assassination of Patrice Lumumba for the January 21, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

    • A Few Last Words From Meat Loaf: In an Unpublished Interview, the Singer Reveals Secrets of ‘Bat Out of Hell’

      The song “Who Needs the Young” [finally released on “Braver Than We Are”] was originally going on “Bat Out of Hell.” And Todd (Rundgren, the producer) didn’t like it. And then he said, “Plus, you can’t put it on the record because we don’t have time.” Because we were dealing with vinyl, and vinyl, with a rock record, the maximum was like 49 and a half minutes, and we were almost 52. So they sped that record up by almost a minute and a half, because if not, you couldn’t get any volume. You could make a symphonic record 53 or 54 and still get some volume out of it, because there’s no drums and no electric guitars. So that’s how much we sped that record up. When “Two Out of Three” would come on the radio when it was a hit, man, I sounded like Alvin from the Chipmunks! It would come on the radio and I would turn it off. Usually people want to hear themselves on the radio, but “Two” would come on and I’d go, “Not gonna listen to that.” [He imitates the sound of his voice on the song, in a comically warbly way.] “Maybe we can talk all night…” I could walk out there and sing it live like that and sound just like the record, but I’d be a complete fool, because people wouldn’t believe a word of it. It drove me nuts. It still does to this day — obviously, you can tell.

    • Volkswagen and Bosch to collaborate on automated driving software

      The software and its component parts could later be used in other automakers’ vehicles, the statement said, without specifying when this could happen.

      The partnership is the second major collaboration announced so far this year by the two companies, which last week said they were setting up a joint venture by the end of this year to equip battery cell factories with machinery.

      The companies did not disclose how much they would invest in either partnership.

    • Science

      • Astronaut Says View From Above Reveals ‘Absolutely Fragile’ Planet Earth

        French astronaut Thomas Pesquet says the impacts of the climate emergency are clear from space—and worsening on his watch—and has expressed optimism that the kind of global cooperation that built the International Space Station can also be channeled to protect the planet he calls “an oasis in the cosmos.”

        “Through the portholes of the space station, we distinctly see Earth’s fragility.”

      • NASA’s new space telescope arrives at its destination after million-mile journey

        The James Webb Space Telescope has fired its thrusters and reached its orbital destination around a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from our planet, NASA said Monday, a key milestone on its mission to study cosmic history.

    • Hardware

      • Laser Z-Axis Table Comes Into Focus | Hackaday

        Laser cutters and 3D printers are game-changing tools to have in the workshop. They make rapid prototyping or repairs to existing projects a breeze as they can churn out new parts with high precision in a very short amount of time. The flip side of that, though, is that they can require quite a bit of maintenance. [Timo] has learned this lesson over his years-long saga owning a laser cutter, although he has attempted to remedy most of the problems on his own, this time by building a Z-axis table on his own rather than buying an expensive commercial offering.

      • Reverse Engineering: Trash Printer Gives Up Its Control Panel Secrets | Hackaday

        Many of us hardware-oriented types find it hard to walk past a lonely-looking discarded item of consumer electronics without thinking “If only I could lug that back to the car and take it home to play with” and [phooky] from NYC Resistor is no stranger to this sentiment. An old Epson WF-2540 inkjet printer was disassembled for its important ‘nutrients,’ you know, the good stuff like funky motors, encoders and switches. But what do you do with the control panel? After all, they’re usually very specific to the needs of the device they control, and don’t usually offer up much scope for reuse.

      • Better Car Hinges By 3D Printing | Hackaday

        We often use 3D printing to replicate items we might otherwise make with traditional machining methods. Fraunhofer’s new door hinge for a sports car takes a different tack: it tries to be better than the equivalent machined part. The company claims that the new part is half the cost and weighs 35% less than the normal hinge.

        Using tools in their 3D Spark software, the team analyzed different factors that led to manufacturing cost. Some of these were specific to the part while others were specific to the process. For example, orienting the part to minimize support and maximize the quantity that fit on the build surface.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • A Hegelian Case for Vaccine Mandates

        Wolff echoed a false claim that the unvaccinated are less likely to spread the virus. I don’t know where he got this information but it’s not true. Before even getting into the ‘science’ of it all simply take that the vaccines reduce the amount of time and the severity of the virus. If this is the case then in order for the virus not to be more contagious it would have to spread independently of both the severity of its infection and the time it infects an individual. I say this because Wolff accepted that the vaccine reduces these two factors, just not the third (contagiousness).

        Wolff was making a larger philosophical point here. Basically while the unvaccinated only oppose a risk to themselves for the most part it is therefore not our right to police them. Fair enough but we have to be honest about the dangers they pose to everyone, relatively speaking. I of course would agree that the far greater danger is the ruling class’s unwillingness to universally vaccinate the globe. This is a far more deadly practice than the middle class spreading propaganda against the vaccine.

      • Liberty Includes the Right to Possess and Consume Drugs

        But we also must never forget that America’s drug laws have helped to destroy the liberty of the American people. That’s because liberty necessarily entails the right to possess, distribute, and ingest anything you want, including dangerous and damaging drugs. Anyone who lives in a society that criminalizes such things cannot possibly be considered to be living in a free society.

        Consider alcohol and tobacco. They both can be damaging to one’s health. But liberty necessarily entails the right to drink booze and smoke cigarettes. Sure, people might approach a beer drinker and a smoker and warn him about how he’s harming himself, but no one has the right to initiate force, either directly or indirectly through the state, to stop someone from drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. 

      • Primetime Abortion Case Sources Lack Diversity

        Two cases the newly majority-conservative Supreme Court considered in December pose the greatest risk to Roe v. Wade in a generation. The people most in jeopardy of losing the right to end unwanted pregnancies are those without the means to travel outside of the 21 states poised to ban or severely limit abortions if Roe is overturned. But those were the people least likely to be featured on primetime news shows covering the cases. 

      • Washington Post Says Life Was Bleak for Workers on Eve of Pandemic
      • ‘The People of Flint Are Still Suffering’
      • EU Investigating Agribusiness Lobby Group Copa-Cogeca Over Potential Transparency Breach

        The European Union is investigating a powerful farming industry group which no longer officially declares its lobbying budget, DeSmog can reveal.

        Campaigners at transparency advocacy group Corporate Europe Observatory sparked the probe through a formal complaint to the EU last month, arguing that both parts of the European agricultural body Copa-Cogeca failed to provide accurate information on their activities.

      • South Carolina Lawmakers Propose Fines or Prison Time for Asking Vaccine Status
      • Covax, the UN-Backed Vaccine Initiative, Is Reportedly Out of Money
      • With Covax Out of Cash, Inadequacy of Vaccine Charity Model Further Exposed

        Since the first coronavirus vaccines were administered in late 2020, public health campaigners have been warning that trickles of charitable donations from rich countries to the developing world will never be enough to ensure equitable, worldwide access to the lifesaving shots.

        Now the vehicle through which many such donations have flowed—Covax—is reportedly out of money, a potential disaster for low-income countries that have come to depend on the United Nations-backed initiative.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Urges Biden to Expand At-Home Test Program for Multifamily Homes
      • AOC Leads Call for Improved At-Home Covid Test Program

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed Tuesday that she is leading three dozen House Democrats in urging the Biden administration to improve its distribution program for a billion free at-home Covid-19 tests to better serve large households and residents of multifamily units.

        “Our country can only be as safe from Covid as our most vulnerable communities are kept safe.”

      • In Purdue Pharma bankruptcy settlement, OxyContin’s many victims may receive nothing at all

        This also meant that victims’ interests were unevenly represented as well. Indeed, many of Purdue’s victims are nearly bankrupt themselves, after years of trying to pay for treatment, seek medical care for addiction, and burying family members. We are broken-hearted, with many of us mourning the deaths of our loved ones. We are waiting for the next overdose or batch of illicit fentanyl to kill off our friends. And we are saddled with the stigma of addiction, which prevents us from getting the help so many of us are dying for.

      • Howard Stern Urges Meat Loaf’s Family to Speak Out on COVID Vaccine After His Death

        Stern has used his SiriusXM radio show over the last several months to condemn anti-vaxxers. Speaking out about Meat Loaf’s death, Stern said this week (via Uproxx), “Poor Meat Loaf got sucked into some weird fucking cult. And somehow really believed that — he made a statement, ‘I’d rather die a free man than take that vaccine.’ And now he’s dead!”

      • The Tularosa Downwinders Have Waited 75 Years for Justice

        Although the US government knew about the danger posed by their bomb test, the residents of the area, most of whom are [email protected]/[email protected] with very long roots in the Tularosa Basin, were never told about the tests or informed about the risks to them, to their lands, or to their food and water supply. Residents found out only as they were awakened by a horrific blast that lit the early morning sky and experienced the subsequent radioactive white ash that fell over a 100-mile radius. Some said they thought it was “the end of the world!” Residents of the Basin and their way of life were forever changed. Their farm animals sickened and died from the contamination, warning the residents much like the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • A new Polkit vulnerability

            Qualys has announced the disclosure of a local-root vulnerability in Polkit. They are calling it “PwnKit” and have even provided a proof-of-concept video.

          • Linux system service bug gives root on all major distros, exploit released [Ed: Microsoft boosters are calling systemd "Linux"]

            A vulnerability in Polkit’s pkexec component identified as CVE-2021-4034 (PwnKit) is present in the default configuration of all major Linux distributions and can be exploited to gain full root privileges on the system, researchers warn today.

          • Linux vulnerability can be ‘easily exploited’ for local privilege escalation, researchers say | VentureBeat

            Researchers at security firm Qualys said a new Linux vulnerability, dubbed PwnKit, can be easily exploited for privilege escalation.

          • Control Web Panel Security Exploit Leaves 200K Linux Servers Vulnerable To Remote Hacks | HotHardware

            The major exploit endangers Linux servers running a common control panel tool.

          • Serious Linux privilege escalation bug lay hidden for 12 years – Security – Software – iTnews
          • Scary Fraud Ensues When ID Theft & Usury Collide

            What’s worse than finding out that identity thieves took out a 546 percent interest payday loan in your name? How about a 900 percent interest loan? Or how about not learning of the fraudulent loan until it gets handed off to collection agents? One reader’s nightmare experience spotlights what can happen when ID thieves and hackers start targeting online payday lenders.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Despite Decades of Hacking Attacks, Companies Leave Vast Amounts of Sensitive Data Unprotected

              Consider some of the episodes last year in which large quantities of personal data were stolen: 300 million customer and device records for users of a service that’s supposed to shield internet traffic from prying eyes; a 17.6-million-row database from a second organization, containing profiles of people who participated in its market research surveys; 59 million email addresses and other personal data lifted from a third company. These sorts of numbers barely raise an eyebrow these days; none of the incidents generated major press coverage.

              Cybertheft conjures images of high-tech missions, with sophisticated hackers penetrating multiple layers of security systems to steal corporate data. But these breaches were far from “Ocean’s Eleven”-style operations. They were the equivalent of grabbing jewels from the seat of an unlocked car parked in a high-crime neighborhood.

            • Attorneys General Suing Google Over Location Data Collection

              The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia has filed a lawsuit Monday against Google alleging “deceptive and unfair practices” related to obtaining consumer location data.

              Attorney General Karl Racine‘s office argues that Google has been in violation of D.C.’s “Consumer Protection Procedures Act” since at least 2014. According to the complaint, Google is alleged to have lied to consumers, intentionally giving them the impression that they can disable Google’s ability to collect and retain user location data.

              “In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing, and profiting from their location,” the complaint reads.

            • Google abandons FLoC, introduces Topics API to replace tracking cookies

              Google is walking back plans to replace third-party cookies with FLoC by instead proposing the Topics API, a new system for interest-based advertising. Topics works by pinpointing five of your interests, such as “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” based on your web activity, as measured by participating sites, for one week.

              Your browser will store these topics for three weeks before deleting them. Google says that these categories “are selected entirely on your device” and don’t involve “any external servers, including Google servers.” When you visit a website, Topics will show the site and its advertising partners just three of your interests, consisting of “one topic from each of the past three weeks.”

            • Confidentiality

              • New project starting: Programmable sq

                The NLnet Foundation has granted me funding (from the NGI Assure fund, financially supported by the European Council) to improve the Sequoia sq program in three ways.

                I will add important missing functionality, especially compared to GnuPG. This work will be guided by feedback from actual and potential users and the wisdom of Sequoia developers.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Veterans For Peace Urges US to Rejoin Iran Deal and Negotiate With North Korea
      • Talkin’ World War III Blues…Again

        In 1957, the Russians seemed to have shot one across our bow by getting the Sputnik into orbit.  But in 1959, a CIA satellite, known as Keyhole, snapped startling images of Russia that should have assuaged US military fears rather than fanned the fires of future warfare.  Around the same time, and coincidentally, in October 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald, just discharged from the Marines, emigrated to Russia. In 1960, CIA pilot Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet airspace.  In April 1961, the failed Bay of Pigs, Cuba, invasion took place.  In January 1961, just before JFK’s Inauguration, President Eisenhower warned Americans of the rise of the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC). In October 1961, the hair-trigger Checkpoint Charlie  incident occurred in Berlin. In October 1962, the world delighted in the teeth-chattering Cuban missile crisis that Daniel Ellsberg brings to astonishing clarity in his crises account, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (2019).

        Ellsberg, a former and redeemed Master of War (off the same Dylan album) himself, points out a slew of startling insider information in his must-read TDM. He suggests strongly that available information at the time told the Pentagon that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not a military necessity:

      • Opinion | Fighting Back When “The Blood-Dimmed Tide Is Loosed”

        Last week Donald Trump told Pennsylvania Republican officials why he is placing such emphasis this year on local races for election supervisors across the country in 2022:

      • Seeking Justice for Syrians…in Germany

        An alleged former Syrian military intelligence officer now living in Germany, Anwar R. believed that Syrian government operatives were following him in Berlin, he said. He feared being kidnapped. At the bottom of his written complaint, he signed his name using his military title, “Colonel.”

        The police were unable to find evidence he was being followed. But they did carefully note the slivers of information Anwar R. shared about his alleged intelligence career.

      • What We Miss When We Say a War Has “Ended”

        In the long and storied history of the United States Army, many young officers have served in many war zones. Few, I suspect, were as sublimely ignorant as I was in the summer of 1970 upon my arrival at Cam Ranh Bay in the Republic of Vietnam.

      • UN Officials Warn of ‘Record-Shattering Month’ for Civilian Deaths in Yemen

        As United Nations officials projected Tuesday that the civilian death toll from the Saudi-led coalition’s strikes on Yemen will break records this month, Oxfam shared the group’s difficulties providing aid in the war-torn country and urged action from the U.N. Security Council.

        “Each night we go to bed and just pray we wake up in the morning.”

      • Following “Unjustifiable” UAE Bombing of Saada Prison, US & UN Condemn Yemeni Retaliation

        In a scene rife with chaos and crying, volunteers and a rescue squad pulled the bodies of 91 prisoners from the rubble of the Sa’ada City Remand Prison in southern Yemen on Tuesday. Early last Friday morning, United Arab Emirates (UAE) warplanes supported by the United States targeted the overcrowded prison, which houses up to 3,000 inmates from across Yemen and Africa. The attack was one of the deadliest since the war began in 2015.

      • US Puts 8,500 Troops on High Alert as Tension Rises Between NATO and Russia
      • U.S. Puts 8,500 Troops on High Alert as Tension Rises Between NATO & Russia over Ukraine

        The U.S. has prepared some 8,500 troops to deploy to Eastern Europe in the event that Russia invades Ukraine, which Russian President Vladimir Putin denies is his goal. On Wednesday, officials from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany are scheduled to meet in Paris to negotiate resolving the crisis. “The security of Europe ought to be principally Europe’s business,” says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “This whole notion of great power competition, which is embedded in the National Defense Strategy, has been used as kind of the magic key to keep Pentagon spending at near-records levels,” says national security expert William Hartung, research fellow at the Quincy Institute.

      • Nuclear Disarmament Urged by Catholic Archbishop in New Mexico, Birthplace of Nuclear Weapons

        As the Biden administration reviews U.S. nuclear weapons policy, over 60 advocacy groups, including Veterans for Peace and CodePink, recently issued a joint statement calling for the elimination of hundreds of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles. “The notion is if you get rid of those ICBMs, you reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war, and it’s a first step towards more rational nuclear policy,” says William Hartung, research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. We also speak with Father John Dear, longtime peace activist and Catholic priest who led a campaign for 15 years in New Mexico calling for the disarmament of the national laboratories at Los Alamos. Dear was an adviser to Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on his new pastoral letter titled “Toward Nuclear Disarmament” that calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons arsenals around the globe. The letter is part of a sea change in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, which condemns “the mere possession of these weapons” as “totally immoral,” says Dear.

      • Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan begin to restore power after sweeping blackout

        Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have begun to restore power following a major blackout that hit the three Central Asian countries on Tuesday, January 25. The outages were caused by accident that affected the countries’ interconnected power grid. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have blamed each other for triggering blackout. The three countries have started to restore power seperately, though they plan to return to the integrated system later on. Authorities in Uzbekistan are also urging the population to ignore rumors circulating on social media that electricty won’t be restored for several days.

      • Russia puts Alexey Navalny and key associates on ‘terrorist and extremist’ list

        Imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny and a number of his close associates have been added to Russia’s list of “terrorists and extremists.”

      • A New “March of Folly” in Europe: Can It Be Averted?

        The kings, generals, and prime ministers who controlled Europe’s armies in the summer of 1914 didn’t think that their aggressive behaviors—issuing ultimatums, calling up reserves, massing troops on each other’s borders—would result in war. Rather, they believed that their conspicuous muscle-flexing would impel their rivals to back down, delivering a bloodless victory. But each show of force on one side prompted an even more extravagant riposte by the other, until the march to war became unstoppable—and so tens of millions perished.

      • Isn’t It Obvious? Observations on the Ukraine “Crisis”

        In 2020 the dominant faction of the faceless ruling class was leery about a second Trump term. This was principally due to his handling of trade relations with China and Europe, and the threat he posed to its own precarious position, if not to world peace. Trump was certainly a representative of the ruling class—along with all 44 presidents who’d preceded him, that being the sole crucial condition for the job. But was not the ideal representative. Above the interests of the whole ruling class (as crystallized in the one percent of the one percent) he placed his own selfish interests. He was totally corrupt (a quality Wall Street respects), but was not a team-player. He was corrupt in ways that had made him as many enemies as friends in the Fortune 500. Plus, in power Trump had become a hot potato for corporate PR; CEOs had resigned from Trump’s council of business leaders in embarrassment after consumers protested such vile associations.

        The ruling class was meanwhile seized with (greater!) dread about a “socialist” becoming the Democratic candidate. While the Sanders campaign was at its height, it signaled its feelings—through its respected spokesperson, Danny Deutsch, who told the Democrats’ (on their own channel, MSNBC) that the American people “would never accept a socialist as president.” The masses were informed by certified experts—experts on politics, like the Pentagon folks are experts in war and State Department veterans experts on how to be a proper imperialist country—that they would never so vote! Because they know or at least will nod their heads when told, that free enterprise is what made our country great!

      • Opinion | We Must All Recognize That a War Over Ukraine Is Not the Answer

        As Russia threatens to move its forces across the Ukrainian border, the talk in Washington, D.C. is focused on how many weapons and troops the United States can send and how quickly, how to design the most crippling sanctions, and whether to impose them before or after an invasion occurs.

      • ‘Is Pelosi Insane?’ Dems Rebuked Over $500 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine

        Despite warnings that a dangerous war with Russia could soon be unleashed if diplomatic efforts fail, House Democrats are reportedly looking to bypass typical procedures and fast-track a vote on legislation that would send $500 million in military aid to Ukraine—a move that critics say only adds fuel to the fire.

        The Intercept reported Tuesday that “Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to expedite a massive bill that would dramatically increase U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and lay the groundwork for substantial new sanctions on Russia—hastening a war-friendly posture without opportunity for dissent as concerns over a military invasion abound.”

      • Opinion | Voting Rights Will Be Dead Without Street Heat

        Can America be a democracy if a minority writes the rules to entrench minority rule?

      • Judges Approve Special Grand Jury for Probe Into Trump Election Tampering
      • Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP’s Racist Congressional Map

        With the midterm elections just months away, a trio of federal judges late Monday struck down Alabama’s newly drawn congressional districts on the grounds that they discriminated against Black voters, forcing state lawmakers to craft new maps.

        In its unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel ordered that “any remedial plan” from the Republican-controlled Alabama Legislature must “include two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”

      • Donald Trump calls for racial violence: White supremacists are listening, but the media laughs

        Contrary to what many of the hope-peddlers, happy-pill merchants and stenographers in the mainstream news media would like to suggest, there is no significant internal conflict within the Republican Party: Donald Trump maintains nearly absolute control. Public opinion research makes clear that Republican voters now view loyalty to Trump as barometer for what it means to be a “real” Republican. Trump’s followers have also shown themselves increasingly willing to condone, endorse and even commit acts of political terrorism and violence at his command and in his name.

        Instead of warning the public about the danger that Donald Trump and his movement represent, the mainstream news media has continued to default to obsolete habits left over from an era of “normal” politics. If some strategic decision has been made, it appears to be that ignoring the problem and leaning into “normalcy” and traditional “both-sides” Beltway journalism will somehow make Trump and his fascist insurgency disappear. It hasn’t worked.

      • Crashed F-35C Fell off USS Carl Vinson Flight Deck into South China Sea

        A U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman did not immediately respond to a follow-up question from USNI News as to whether the Navy intended to recover the fighter.

        Last month, the United Kingdom and United States successfully recovered an U.K. F-35B that fell off the edge of Royal Navy carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R06) in the Eastern Mediterranean.

      • F-35C Accident Aboard Carrier In South China Sea Forces Pilot To Eject, Injures Seven Sailors (Updated)

        This new Navy mishap comes amid the debut operational deployment of Navy F-35Cs aboard the Carl Vinson. U.S. Marine Corps F-35Cs are presently on their first operational deployment, as well, embarked on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which is also operating in the South China Sea.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ‘Nothing like this ever happened here before’: Journalists describe covering mass protests in Kazakhstan

        Journalists working to cover the unrest were detained by riot police and targeted by mobs; they also had to contend with a nationwide internet blackout and widespread telecommunications disruptions.

        To get a sense of how journalists dealt with these obstacles – and for a look at the future of press freedom in Kazakhstan now that unrest has died down — CPJ spoke by phone and email with two journalists who covered the protests and the head of local free speech organization Adil Soz. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

    • Environment

      • Justice for PFAS exposure races a ticking clock

        Through her organization, also known as Concerned Citizens of North Alabama Grassroots, Hampton has been raising awareness about the severe contamination from “forever chemicals” — per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — that have for decades plagued portions of Alabama’s Lawrence County, where Hampton lives.

        PFAS are sometimes called forever chemicals because they can accumulate in the body over time, instead of breaking down, and also linger in the environment for decades on end.

      • Fridays For Future Announces Global Climate Strike for March 25

        Fridays For Future—a youth-led movement launched in August 2018 when Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, then 15 years old, skipped school to demand urgent action on the planetary emergency—announced Tuesday that the next global climate strike is scheduled for March 25.

        “Join us and strike for climate reparations and justice, demand that the people in power prioritize #PeopleNotProfit!” tweeted Thunberg, whose initial solitary school strike sparked a worldwide mobilization that has brought millions to the streets in cities around the globe over the past three and a half years.

      • Experts Say Nuclear Energy as Climate Solution Is Total ‘Fiction’

        As global scientists continue to warn of the urgent need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, a quartet of European and U.S. experts on Tuesday made a comprehensive case for why nuclear power should be not be considered a solution to the climate crisis.

        “The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction.”

      • Air and Water Under Threat as SCOTUS Targets Environmental Laws

        Environmental advocates and congressional Democrats are raising alarm after the U.S. Supreme Court this week agreed to hear arguments in two cases regarding bedrock regulations designed to protect the quality of the nation’s air and water.

        The nine justices announced Monday that they plan to hear arguments in the case of an Idaho couple who were blocked from building a home on their land by the Clean Water Act. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chantell and Michael Sackett’s land contained wetlands and the couple needed a federal permit to build.

      • Energy

        • EU Scientists and Politicians Clash Over Gas and Nuclear as ‘Sustainable’ Investments

          The European Union’s scientific and political communities are locked in a battle over whether gas and nuclear can be considered green investments. The latest development in this years-long fight came on Monday, when the European Commission’s scientific expert group, the Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF), pushed back against including gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy, an official guide on sustainable investments. The expert group stated that it is “deeply concerned about the environmental impacts that may result.” 

          In December 2021, after months of lobbying, strong pushback from pro-gas and pro-nuclear supporters, and informal alliances between governments, the Commission asked the Platform on Sustainable Finance to provide feedback on a draft amendment that included gas and nuclear in the taxonomy, thereby recognizing them as sustainable. 

        • Facebook’s embattled cryptocurrency project is likely coming to an end

          More than two years after it was first announced, the Facebook-sponsored cryptocurrency formerly known as Libra appears to be coming to an end. The Diem Association set up by Facebook to manage the digital token is exploring a sale of its assets after meeting resistance by regulators who opposed the initiative, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

          The U.S. Federal Reserve “dealt the effort a final blow” by putting pressure on Silvergate, the banking partner that Diem said it was partnering with last year to launch the token, Bloomberg reports. I’ve also heard from someone involved that the Fed threatened Silvergate, putting the launch on ice.

        • BMW CE 04 review: this electric scooter impresses with style and all-round ability, but not price

          Heavy? Yes, but at 231kg without the rider, it’s 34kg lighter than the Evolution. Expensive? Well yes, at £11,700 in basic form it’s £1,700 above the qualifying rate for a plug-in grant, so no taxpayers’ money for you, then.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Graphika: The Deep State’s Beard for Controlling the Information Age

        Graphika is the toast of the town. The private social-media and tech-intelligence agency that tracks down bots and exposes foreign influence operations online is constantly quoted, referenced and profiled in the nation’s most important outlets. For example, in 2020, The New York Times published a fawning profile of the company’s head of investigations, Ben Nimmo. “He Combs the Web for Russian Bots. That Makes Him a Target,” ran its headline, the article presenting him as a crusader risking his life to keep our internet safe and free. Last year, business magazine Fast Company labeled Graphika as among the 10 most innovative companies in the world.

      • Virginia Is for Suckers

        When Republican Glenn Youngkin narrowly defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become Virginia governor, the media roundly hailed him as an avatar of the “post-Trump” GOP. Youngkin had made hay out of a McAuliffe debate misstep—“Parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach”—that was in truth only talking about white parents’ efforts to get Toni Morrison’s Beloved out of advanced-placement English classes, not a declaration of intent to Sovietize public education. Youngkin and the GOP depicted it as the latter.

      • Republicans Replace Local Election Officials With Trump Loyalists

        Is this, in fact, a type of coup? Well, fears of that are mounting: It’s not just who can vote that counts. It’s who can do the counting.

      • State AGs Ask Feds to Investigate Fake Electors Scheme Led by Trump Campaign
      • Court Rejects Alabama GOP’s Congressional Map That Marginalized Black Voters
      • Danielle Allen Is Running for Massachusetts Governor to Revive American Democracy

        Danielle Allen, a prominent scholar of democracy and a political theorist at Harvard, has watched the American political system break down over time. For almost three decades, she has studied growing social and economic inequalities and declining trust among citizens in our political institutions. Yet when the pandemic hit, she was shocked anew by the realities it brought into sharp relief.

      • Want to Understand Manchin and Sinema?

        Why did they say they couldn’t support changing the filibuster rules when only last month they voted for an exception to the filibuster that allowed debt ceiling legislation to pass with only Democratic votes?

      • Boris Johnson’s Populism May be Muted, But it is Still Accelerating Britain’s Decline

        Ignore the validity of these claims for the moment and, taking Johnson loyalists at their word, consider his position against the backdrop of British history. It is not premature to do so because, even if he clings on as Prime Minister, his freedom of action will be limited which means that his political heritage is already in place. Important questions requiring an answer include how far he is a one-trick pony who rose to power thanks to his populist nationalism, which was ideally suited to political currents during the era of Brexit? Equally important, how far will his premiership be seen as an aberration rather than as a permanent transformation of British politics?

        Boozing and partying by politicians and civil servants who were simultaneously ordering everybody else to live in conditions of semi-siege is grossly hypocritical. But their behaviour was in keeping with the self-indulgence shown by populist nationalist leaders elsewhere in the world. It is always striking how, for all Johnson’s British boosterism, his actions mirror those of populists in the rest of the world.

      • Your own CIA jail? Lithuania to sell secret U.S. ‘rendition’ site

        A huge steel barn outside Lithuania’s capital, whose long corridor and windowless rooms with carpets and soundproof doors once served as a CIA detention centre, will soon go on sale.

        Washington’s so-called “rendition programme”, https://www.reuters.com/world/lithuania-pays-compensation-al-qaeda-suspect-cia-jail-it-hosted-2022-01-11 under which suspected Islamist militants from conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were spirited to jails outside U.S. jurisdiction, remains shrouded in secrecy more than a decade after it ended.

        But the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the 10-room building, in snowy pine forest in the village of Antaviliai outside Vilnius, was used by the CIA to hold terrorist suspects from 2005-2006.

      • ‘What have you done?’ Why the EU is slow to shield Lithuania from Chinese pressure

        According to Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, a political science professor at Vilnius University, the EU’s response is sluggish for two main reasons: China’s pressure on European companies and the bloc’s legal system.

        “China has now become one of the EU’s main trading and investment partners. For some individual countries in particular – whether it’s Germany, Greece, or countries in Central Europe – it is very important,” he said.

      • Australian Defamation Verdict Causes Google to Cry Censorship

        In 2016 George Defteros, a lawyer from Victoria, Australia, asked Google to remove an article from its search results. The article from 2004 reported murder charges against Mr. Defteros that were later dropped. He later sued Google for defamation after the search giant refused to omit the article from its engine.

        In 2020, supreme court justice Melinda Richards ruled that the article implied Mr. Defteros crossed a line from professional lawyer to a confidant and friend of criminals. This is due to the lawyer representing various gangsters in court.

        Google’s lawyers argue that a search engine is not a publisher because “a hyperlink is not, in and of itself, the communication of that to which it links”. The company’s submission adds:

        “The inevitable consequence of leaving the court of appeal’s decision undisturbed is that Google will be required to act as censor by excluding any webpage about which complaint is made from its search results, even when, as here, the webpage may be a matter of legitimate interest to the substantial portion of people who search for it and is published by a reputable news source.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Neil Young protests Spotify over COVID misinformation: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both”

        In a now-deleted letter addressed to his management team and record label, singer and musician Neil Young declared that he wants all his music to be removed from Spotify, Rolling Stone reported.

        The reason for Young’s harsh demand? Spotify is also the home to Joe Rogan’s infamous podcast — “The Joe Rogan Experience” — where the controversial commentator and former television presenter spews false information regarding COVID-19 and vaccines.

      • Neil Young Posts Letter Calling for Spotify to Remove His Music ‘or Joe Rogan’

        Neil Young asked his managers to delete his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s vaccine misinformation.

        In a now-deleted letter posted to his website, Young told his managers why he made the decision. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” the singer writes. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

      • Neil Young tells Spotify to remove music over Joe Rogan vaccine misinformation

        NBC News has not seen the original post and it is unclear why it was removed from Young’s website. A link to the original post labeled “A-Message-To-Spotify,” currently leads to a blank page. A representative for Young did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • OAN Throws A Hissy Fit After Being Axed By AT&T, DirecTV

        Last week, we noted how AT&T-owned DirecTV had decided to axe OAN, the conspiracy and fantasy channel, from its cable lineup. The decision came just three months or so after a blockbuster report showed that AT&T not only helped fund and set up the conspiracy theory spewing “news” outlet, but it came up with the idea. OAN has been notorious for spreading false claims ranging from non-existent election fraud to the false claim that COVID was developed in a North Carolina lab as part of a government plot.

      • Smartmatic Sues MyPillow CEO For Defamation Over His Months Of Nonstop Election Conspiracy Theories

        Hope Mike Lindell has socked away some of his MyPillow millions. Trump toadying is proving to be an expensive hobby, and it’s not as though the former president is doing anything to repay those whose support has been absurdly unwavering with anything like, you know, legal assistance. Or actual money.

      • How Israel’s ‘Facebook Law’ Plans to Control All Palestinian Content Online

        Some analysts argued that Netanyahu had feared that a law aimed at suppressing Palestinian freedom of speech online could be exploited by his enemies to control his own speech and incitement. Now that Netanyahu is no longer in the picture, the bill is back, and so is Sa’ar.

        Gideon Sa’ar is currently Israel’s justice minister and deputy prime minister. While his boss, Naftali Bennett, is moving rapidly to expand settlements and to worsen already horrific realities for Palestinians on the ground, Sa’ar is expanding the Israeli military occupation of Palestinians to the digital realm. What is known as the ‘Facebook Law’ is set to grant “Israeli courts the power to demand the removal of user-generated content on social media content platforms that can be perceived as inflammatory or as harming ‘the security of the state,’ or the security of people or the security of the public.”

      • ‘Fight Club’ ending changed in China with new fate for Tyler Durden

        In a move of steamrolling censorship, China has cut the 1999 psychological thriller film’s iconic, destructive ending and instead replaced it with a bland version where the government comes out on top.

        The twist ending of split personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt/Edward Norton) successfully detonating his anarchy cell’s “Project Mayhem” and bombing the Los Angeles skyline is swapped for a graphic indicating that authorities saved the day in the nick of time.

      • Cult Classic ‘Fight Club’ Gets a Very Different Ending in China

        The 1999 film by David Fincher originally ends with the Narrator (Edward Norton) killing his split personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). With the female lead Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), he then watches all the buildings explode outside the window and collapse, suggesting Tyler’s anarchist plan to destroy consumerism is in the works.

        The exact opposite happens in the edit of the same film released in China. In the version on the Chinese streaming site Tencent Video, the explosion scene has been removed. Instead, viewers are told that the state successfully busted Tyler’s plan to destroy the world.

      • Attack of the Right-Wing Thought Police

        Republicans have made considerable political hay by denouncing the teaching of critical race theory; this strategy has succeeded even though most voters have no idea what that theory is and it isn’t actually being taught in public schools. But the facts in this case don’t matter, because denunciations of C.R.T. are basically a cover for a much bigger agenda: an attempt to stop schools from teaching anything that makes right-wingers uncomfortable.

        I use that last word advisedly: There’s a bill advancing in the Florida Senate declaring that an individual “should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race.” That is, the criterion for what can be taught isn’t “Is it true? Is it supported by the scholarly consensus?” but rather “Does it make certain constituencies uncomfortable?”

      • A Gold Medal for Censorship in China

        Human Rights Watch has launched a video series with Chinese-Australian artist Badiucao to put the Winter Olympics, which begin February 4, in context. One focuses on the Chinese government’s demand that global athletes shut up about human rights abuses in China and similar topics.

      • Keanu Reeves Faces Chinese Backlash Over Tibet Concert

        The Tibet House U.S. is linked to a coalition of organizations that there founded in 1987 at the request of the Dalai Lama. Since the annexation of Tibet in 1950 by the PRC, the Chinese government has forced the Tibet people and culture into a corner, something that has included films only being allowed into Chinese cinemas if they do not include any Tibetan references in their content, which has caused some issues.

      • Whoa: Keanu Reeves Joins Tibet House Lineup

        The 2022 Tibet House benefit show marks the second consecutive year that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the concert — now in its 35th year — from Carnegie Hall to the virtual realm.

      • Social media platforms must refuse Russia’s demands to censor media, RSF says

        Stepping up Russia’s war on reliable and independent online reporting, the federal communications agency Roskomnadzor blocked access to the OVD-Info site on 25 December and called on social media platforms to shut down its accounts, which would result in its complete disappearance.

        This media outlet, which documents detentions during protests and cases of political harassment, is used as a reference source by many publications and NGOs both in Russia and internationally, including RSF.

      • Trump’s free speech social site will censor posts with artificial intelligence

        Donald Trump’s new social media platform, set up following the former President’s ban from Twitter, is already facing backlash on the right for its reported rules around censorship.

        Truth Social is due to launch on 22 February (President’s Day), with promises of being a platform for “free speech” that will “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech” – according to Mr Trump himself.

        However, as Fox Business first reported, its partnership with a sophisticated AI firm – boasting tech which is capable of automatically detecting unsavory posts and images – has led to some backlash online.

      • ‘Sailor Moon’ and the dangers of censorship

        “Sailor Moon” started as a serialized manga anthology that ran from 1991-1997, written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi (“Toki☆Meca!”). Due to its immense popularity, it was adapted into an anime series in 1992 that ran until 1997. “Sailor Moon” did not premiere in North America until 1995 — however, the North American licensing and dub came with many unexpected changes.

      • Husband Says Iran Sentenced Activist Wife to Prison, Lashes

        Iran has sentenced a prominent human rights activist to more than eight years prison, according to her husband.

        Paris-based Taghi Rahmani tweeted on Sunday that his wife, Narges Mohammadi, was tried in five minutes and sentenced to prison and 70 lashes. He has said she is prohibited from communicating and has no access to lawyers. Last week, she was sent to Gharchak prison near Tehran.

      • UK: Abusive SLAPP case concludes against investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr

        On 21 January, the High Court concluded a five-day trial in a vexatious defamation case brought by British businessman and political donor Arron Banks against investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr, a laureate of RSF’s press freedom prize and many other prestigious awards. Cadwalladr has been sued on the basis of a TED talk and a corresponding tweet sharing a link to the talk, in which she alleged that Banks had lied about his relationship with the Russian government. Cadwalladr defended the claim on the basis that her reporting was done in the public interest.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Julian Assange Can Now Seek Appeal Against US Extradition to Top UK Court
      • Statement on the UK High Court’s ruling on Julian Assange

        We welcome the UK High Court’s decision to allow Julian Assange to appeal his extradition to the US, whose government wants him for revealing its crimes, exposing its lies and informing the public – in other words, invaluable journalistic work.

      • Why the UN’s push for a cybercrime treaty could imperil journalists simply for using the [Internet]

        The issue stems from competing definitions of cybercrime, one narrowed on malicious hacking of networks and data, the other encompassing any crime facilitated by a computer. It matters because many authorities around the world already invoke cybercrime or cybersecurity laws to punish journalists – not for secretly hacking into networks or systems, but for openly using their own to publicize wrongdoing.

      • Journalist who feared for her life murdered in Tijuana

        Lourdes Maldonado, formerly a journalist at Mexico’s biggest television news network, Televisa, told President López Obrador that she feared for her life in a morning news conference in March 2019.

        Maldonado was in a legal dispute with the former governor of Baja California, Jaime Bonilla, for unfair dismissal and the non-payment of salary and was being given protection under the federal mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists.

      • International Press Institute calls for journalist Sedef Kabaş’s immediate release

        The International Press Institute (IPI) global network and the IPI’s Turkey National Committee have called for the immediate release of journalist Sedef Kabaş, who has been arrested over the weekend for “insulting the President”. The IPI has stressed that with Kabaş’s arrest, the number of journalists in prison in Turkey rose to 38, according to the IPI figures.

        Commenting on Kabaş’s arrest, IPI Turkey National Committee Chair Emre Kızılkaya has underlined that there can be no democracy when the press is silenced and briefly stated the following: [...]

      • Woman reporter beaten by police while covering protest in DRC

        Bondeko community radio reporter Justine Lifombi had injuries to her face and was barefoot when finally released from the police station in Isangi, a town in the north-central province of Tshopo, after covering a street protest against Isangi administrator Joseph Mimbenga on 20 January that was banned on public health grounds.

        She was interviewing protesters when several police officers grabbed her by the hair, beat her and took her by force to the local police station. Her recording equipment, three mobile phones and shoes were not returned when she was freed several hours later.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The DEA Is Using A Law Created To Give It Access To Landline Records To Gather Data From Encrypted Messaging Services

        Everything old is new again. New and still abusable. Thomas Brewster reports for Forbes that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is taking advantage of a nearly 40-year-old law to obtain information about WhatsApp users.

      • Opinion | What If the Department of Homeland Security Was Aimed at the Nation It Was Created to Protect?

        A relative of mine, who works for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) compiling data on foreigners entering the United States, recently posted a curious logo on his Facebook profile: a white Roman numeral three on a black background surrounded by 13 white stars. For those who don’t know what this symbol stands for, it represents the “Three Percenters,” a group that the Anti-Defamation League has identified as an anti-government militia. Its members have a record of violent criminal attacks and strikingly partisan activity, including arrests and guilty pleas in connection with the bombing of a Minnesota mosque in 2017 and appearances as “guards,” carrying assault-style weaponry, at several pro-Trump rallies. Six of its members have been charged with plotting to assault the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

      • New Europol regulation: EU member states want to blindside parliament with renewed time stamps

        For years, the EU police agency has been storing dumps of data on crime victims and witnesses. New legislation will legalise this practice. An exception should now apply to information Europol collected before it comes into force.

      • Why 30 Out of 32 NFL Head Coaches are White: Pro Football’s Abysmal Record on diversity

        In other words, in a league in which most of the players are Black, 30 of the 32 NFL head coaches are white.

        I have studied diversity and inclusion in sport for more than two decades, including the ways in which race and gender intersect to affect leadership opportunities for women and men. My research shows that biased decision-making, organizational cultures that value similarity, and societal forms of bias and discrimination are all to blame for the lack of diversity among NFL head coaches.

      • ICE Is Detaining More Immigrants. Covid Is Putting Them in Danger.

        The Covid-19 pandemic has been raging for nearly two years, killing more than 865,000 people in the United States alone. The Omicron variant is here, it is a lot more infectious than previous variants, and it has reduced the effectiveness of vaccines at stemming transmission. Despite the US lead in Covid-19 deaths worldwide and Omicron’s ongoing impact, the Biden administration has prioritized a “new normal” instead of implementing federal policies to prevent Covid-19 transmission, including the mass release of people in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers.

      • Starbucks Asks Labor Board to Stop Ongoing Union Election in Mesa, Arizona
      • ‘He was clueless’ Russian DJ Denis Kaznacheev was charged with laundering $310 million. Then, unexpectedly, the U.S. authorities withdrew their extradition request.

        In early January, the American authorities withdrew a request to extradite Berlin-based Russian DJ Denis Kaznacheev. The U.S. had charged him with laundering hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, a Berlin court placed Kaznacheev in pre-trial detention before releasing him on bail, while making it clear that Germany would not challenge his extradition stateside. In recent months, new details of the case have emerged: Kaznacheev was accused of running WebKazna — a money laundering service on the dark web, — supposedly naming the illegal business after himself. People close to the DJ think he was framed by a family friend. Meduza looks into how the story unfolded. 

      • Thich Nhat Hanh After 9/11: Ignorance, Discrimination, Fear & Violence Are Real Enemies of Humanity

        In memory of Thich Nhat Hanh, the world-renowned Buddhist monk, antiwar activist, poet and teacher who died Saturday, we reair a speech Hanh gave at Riverside Church in New York in 2001. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Hanh urged the audience to embrace peace in the face of anger, citing his experience of witnessing suffering on both sides during the war in his native Vietnam. “The real enemy of man is not man,” says Hanh. “It is ignorance, discrimination, fear, craving and violence.” We also speak with Hanh’s longtime friend and fellow peace activist, Father John Dear, former director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the organization that first brought Thich Nhat Hanh to the United States in the 1960s. “He was really an embodiment of peace and gentleness and nonviolence,” says Dear.

      • Work Culture Makes Individual Workers Feel Like a Problem

        Why are we committed to requiring people be physically present in the office if many workers report being more productive while working from home? Why do we insist on keeping video on during Zoom meetings, which causes fatigue? Why do we make people sit at desks all day when the human body simply was not biologically engineered to sit for eight-plus hours at a time? (In fact, we’re more productive when we’re moving around — a classic ADHD trait that is typically frowned upon.)

      • Tibet activists urge Allianz to drop Beijing Games sponsorship

        China seized control of Tibet in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation”. Tibet has since become one of the most restricted areas in the country. China denies wrongdoing and says its intervention ended “backward feudal serfdom”.

      • US broadcaster urged to include China’s oppression in Tibet in coverage

        “As you are well aware, the Chinese government is one of the most brutal human rights abusers the world has seen in decades.

      • Mumbai court discharges Shilpa Shetty in 2007 obscenity case, calls her ‘victim’ of Richard Gere’s act

        Almost 15 years after Shilpa Shetty landed in an ‘obscenity’ controversy when Hollywood star Richard Gere kissed her on her cheek at a public event, the actor was discharged from the case by a Mumbai court which observed that she seems to be the victim of the act of Richard Gere.

        A court of metropolitan magistrate Ketki Chavan discharged Shilpa on January 18. A detailed order was made available on Monday. In 2007, the two actors had come together for an AIDS awareness programme in Rajasthan. On the stage, Richard kissed the actress on her cheeks, causing a stir in the country.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Did We Miss Our Best Chance At Regulating The Internet?
      • Podcast Episode: Data Doppelgängers

        On this episode of How to Fix the Internet, Ethan Zuckerman, a long-time friend and tech pioneer, joins EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien to discuss ways to fix surveillance advertising and online speech to make the internet a better place for everyone.

      • Speak Up: Reflecting On The SOPA Debate From Inside The Capitol
      • Come Join Our Fireside Chat With Rep. Zoe Lofgren To Discuss Internet Regulations: From SOPA To Now… And Looking Forward

        As you’ve probably seen, for the last couple of weeks we’ve been running our Techdirt Greenhouse series of posts looking back on the fight against SOPA from those who were there at the time, including one this morning from from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who was a key player in Congress stopping SOPA. Tomorrow at 1pm PT / 4pm ET, we’ll be having Rep. Lofgren join us for a “fireside chat” looking back at what happened with SOPA a decade ago, but more importantly looking at what’s happening today with internet regulations and where things are likely to go. If you want to attend live, please register to sign up. Like many of our recent events, we’re using the Remo platform, which has the feeling of an actual in-person event, even while it’s virtual. You’ll be able to talk to other people at your “table” as well as move around to other tables to talk to other attendees as well. During the talk with Lofgren, you’ll be able to submit your own questions as well. So please join us tomorrow…

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Why the Streamers Are (Finally) Investing in Africa

        Maroulis estimates there are now some 1.4 million subscription video-on-demand users in sub-Saharan Africa, a figure “we expect to grow to 2.4 million by 2026.” (Countries in Northern Africa, including Algeria, Morocco and Egypt, are typically grouped together with the markets of Europe and the Middle East.)

        Digital TV Research, another London-based data cruncher, is more bullish, estimating there are already 5.1 million SVOD subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa and that their numbers will nearly triple, to slightly more than 15 million, by 2027.

        Even the more optimistic figures are a fraction of the streaming audience elsewhere. Netflix alone has 73 million users in North America and about 38 million in Latin America, a region with roughly half the population of sub-Saharan Africa.

    • Monopolies

      • Deja Vu All Over Again: Microsoft, Sony Making Vague Statements About Exclusivity In Activision Titles

        And here we go again. When Microsoft acquired Zenimax/Bethesda last year, the first question that leapt to most people’s minds was whether or not Microsoft would wall off long-running franchises from Bethesda with exclusivity to Xbox and/or PC platforms. Those looking for answers were surely initially confused by conflicting statements from both sides of the deal, which was then “clarified” later by Microsoft execs saying that titles would be “first/better on Microsoft platforms” but not exclusive. That was then clarified further by Microsoft’s actual actions, which was to announce that the next Elder Scrolls game would indeed be a PC/Xbox exclusive.

      • FTC Mum on Microsoft-Activision Deal, Proposes Review of Merger Guidelines

        As per policy, the FTC and the Department of Justice, which on Tuesday jointly held a press conference on merger reform on the same day of the announced consolidation, said they could not comment on the deal, which would increase the Xbox maker’s gaming market share and allow it to better compete with Japanese behemoth Sony.

        During the press conference, Khan, installed as chairwoman in June as an already outspoken critic of certain big tech practices, announced that the organizations would be launching a review of merger guidelines. Khan stressed that the current guidelines do not adequately protect consumers and promote competition in the era of the digital economy.

      • Union Calls for Regulator “Oversight” of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Buy

        On Monday, Polygon senior reporter Nicole Carpenter reported on a staff email from Raven Software studio head Brian Raffel announcing an “organizational change” at the Activision Blizzard-owned studio that would “embed” quality-assurance workers in various teams, including those for animation, audio and production. The email said that the restructuring “has been carefully considered and is a next logical step in the planned process that began several months ago,” and that other studios at Activision Blizzard utilize this approach. (In a statement to Carpenter, Activision Publishing said the move “continues the work the studio began in November.”)

      • Patents

        • ‘Historic Turning Point’: Cuba Issues Plan for Vaccine Internationalism

          At a Tuesday press conference convened by Progressive International, individuals from Cuba’s medical community explained their plan to deliver 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to low-income nations in the Global South—along with technology to enable domestic production and expert support to improve distribution.

          “Cuba’s achievement in creating effective vaccines is immense, and if we can use this know-how to build a better system, not driven by the greed of the few, it will be truly world-changing.”

        • Software Patents

          • Patent Applications Hint That Facebook’s VR World Might Just Be Web Mutton Dressed Up As Metaverse Lamb

            The unexpected rebranding of Facebook’s holding company as “Meta” has prompted a good deal of head scratching. Was it because Mark Zuckerberg is now a true believer in the metaverse religion, as the rather cringe-worthy video released at the time of the name change is meant to suggest? Was it perhaps an attempt to change the conversation in the wake of the damning testimony and leaks of Frances Haugen? Or maybe it was just a desperate bid to find a way of attracting younger users now that Facebook is increasingly an old person’s social network, as the New York Times pointed out recently:

          • Apple fires back in Ericsson 5G legal battle

            Apple has countersued Ericsson and is seeking an important ban on the import of the Swedish telecoms equipment manufacturer’s base stations into the US as part of a long-running legal dispute over the use of 5G patents.

            The two companies previously signed a seven-year licensing agreement for the use of Ericsson’s Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) in Apple’s products such as the iPhone but have been in the courts ever since negotiations about an extension broke down.

          • Ericsson and Apple patent dispute escalates into Europe

            Ericsson’s initial suits were filed in both the Western US District of Texas, and at least one unknown European country. Juve Patent now says that the European suits were filed in Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil.

          • Ericsson Sues Apple Again Over 5G Patent Licensing Infringements

            In 2021, both companies sued each other in the US after negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecom patents covering 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies that was established in 2015.

            Despite long negotiations, the two companies have been unable to reach a new patent-licensing agreement that also covers 5G, and in October, Ericsson sued Apple claiming that the company was unfairly trying to reduce royalty rates. Two months later, Apple countersued Ericsson, accusing the Swedish company of using “strong-arm tactics” in its bid to renew patents.

          • Ericsson sues Apple again over 5G patent licensing

            Both companies have already sued each other in the United States as negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecoms patents first struck in 2015.

            Ericsson sued first in October, claiming that Apple was trying to improperly cut down the royalty rates. The iPhone maker then filed a lawsuit in December accusing the Swedish company of using “strong-arm tactics” to renew patents.

          • Ericsson is suing Apple over 5G patents after licensing negotiations fall through

            There are two new suits, one relates to four patents, the other to eight. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents suggests that the former suit is paired with a complaint to the US International Trade Commission, asking it to ban imports of infringing devices (it’s not entirely clear what those are at the moment).

          • Ericsson sues Apple again over 5G patent royalties

            In the latest suit filed in the US, Ericsson claims that Apple devices are using its patented 5G inventions without paying for them. The Swedish company has more than 57,000 patents and gets around a third of its operating profit from patent royalties.

          • New Apple Patent Hints at Voice-Activated Noise Cancellation

            The patent itself is defined as an “interrupt for noise-canceling audio devices.” The patent details allow authorized users who speak a codeword to break through the active noise cancellation feature on AirPods. The patent also details some processing work the AirPods themselves would do to avoid false positives.

            Volume information and time-of-arrival differences are just some of the data points that could be used to decide whether to turn off noise cancellation. The technology would also use processing power on the user’s iPhone to help make that decision. Being able to switch between transparency mode at a codeword is an interesting approach. The patent itself deals with identifying the speaker of the codeword to make sure it’s an authorized interruption.

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Now it belongs to everyone’: Australia buys copyright to Aboriginal flag, making it free to fly

          The government has paid $20 million to Thomas and to extinguish licences held by a small number of companies which have stirred controversy since 2018 by demanding payment for the flag’s reproduction.

          A parliamentary inquiry in 2020 said the licence holder had demanded payment from health organisations and sporting clubs, which could lead to communities stopping using the flag to avoid legal action.

        • Tor Project Mounts Legal Challenge to Oppose Russian Blocking

          After moves to block access to the Tor network, last month Russian authorities ordered the blocking of TorProject.org, the main domain of the privacy-focused anti-censorship tool Tor. With assistance from digital rights activists at Roskomsvoboda, Tor has now mounted a legal challenge to have the blocking reversed.

        • Google Drive Flags Text Files With “1″ or “0″ As Copyright Infringements

          Google Drive is flagging text files that only contain a “1″ or “0″ as copyright infringements. These seemingly harmless bits are automatically targeted by the storage platform’s filtering algorithm, apparently for a terms of service violation. As if that’s not drastic enough, there is no option to challenge this arbitrary decision.

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