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Links 08/09/2022: Akka Becomes Proprietary

Posted in News Roundup at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Matt RickardTwo Approaches to Prompt Engineering

        Two approaches to generating well-crafted prompts that output great images with large language models.

      • Jim NielsenGenerating an EPUB File in the Browser

        I originally planned on having the “Export to EPUB” functionality be a serverless function (hosted on Netlify) because I assumed generating an EPUB from HTML would be work that I could only do on the server. I tried using epub-gen, which is built to work with Node, but quickly found a problem: generating an ebook sometimes took longer than 10 seconds, which (at the time) was the limit for executing a lambda function.

      • James BrownSSH MITM at Best Western

        I’m currently staying in a Best Western hotel in Eureka, CA, avoiding the Bay Area heat wave, and I noticed something remarkable: the hotel’s free WiFi network performs automatic man-in-the-middle interception of all SSH traffic. I’ve literally never seen this before on public WiFi… Check it out: [...]

      • Chen HuiJingSo your designer wants stuff to overlap

        Throughout these 9 years, I have encountered quite a good number of designs that involve overlapping elements.

        Keep in mind that everything on the web is boxes, quadrilateral boxes (i.e. having 4 straight sides), to be precise. Boxes stacked atop boxes next to boxes nested within boxes.

      • Matt RickardPerformance Comes Last

        Of course, for low-level libraries, performance often is the product. But, even then, protocols don’t always win because of performance (working code is often better than a draft by a standards committee).

      • ButtondownNew Post: Safety and Liveness Properties

        One I had to implement recently was an open-ended interval. A start integer could be defined, or an end integer, or both. If only a start was defined, then the interval contains all numbers ≥ the starting point, and similarly with the end point. So the invariants were: [...]

      • Linux BuzzHow To Use Variables in Bash Script (Simple Guide)

        In this guide, we will cover how to use variables in bash script.

      • H2S MediaHow to install Yarn on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Linux

        Yarn is an open-source package manager and an alternative to the NPM package manager for the Node.js JavaScript runtime environment. It was developed by Facebook in collaboration with Google, Tilde, and Expo Dev. As compared to NPM, Yarn can install packages from the local cache to speed up the process, binds versions strongly, uses a checksum to ensure data integrity, and can install packages in parallel. Well, Yarn is an NPM-compatible package manager, hence we can manage npm packages using it as well.

        The yarn was developed to solve consistency, security, and performance problems with large codebases.

      • Red Hat OfficialAutomate network testing with this open source Linux tool | Enable Sysadmin

        TCP/IP networking is a complex topic, and it gets really tricky when you are trying to nail down issues with performance or troubleshoot a problem. It helps to have tools that can probe your system and confirm your suspicions or—better yet—that there are no problems.

    • Games

      • HackadayHow To Be A Stinkin’ Chess Cheat — Sockfish

        [James Stanley] enjoys chess, isn’t terribly good at it, and has some dubious scruples. At least, that’s the setup for building Sockfish, a shoe-to-Pi interface to let you cheat at chess. We’re pretty sure only the first point is true, but the build is impressive all the same. It’s a pair of 3D printed shoe inserts, with two pressure-sensitive inputs on each insert, coupled with a vibration motor in each. Tap out your opponent’s moves during the game, and the Stockfish software will buzz instructions back to you. Just follow the instructions, and you too can be a chess master.

      • uni MichiganLibrarian combines loves of comics, games

        The path has led Carter to his current position as video game archivist for the Computer and Video Game Archive and comics librarian — something that combines two childhood loves into a fulfilling career.

      • Game Emulation via Neural Network

        I made a playable Pokémon overworld. It looks (mostly) like a normal video game, and you can try it in your web browser here: A screenshot of the playable demo, showing controls overlaid on a rendered game overworld.

        Although this looks like a video game, I did not write any game code. This program is actually a neural network mimicking a video game.

      • Boiling SteamSteam Deck: Huge Presence at the Tokyo Games Show 2022 – Boiling Steam

        The Tokyo Games Show 2022 is just around the corner, as it is planned to open its doors on the 15th of September 2022 for 4 days. We had already known that Valve and its partner KOMODO were going to be there, but what remained to be see was in what capacity.

      • The VergeSony says Microsoft’s Call of Duty offer was ‘inadequate on many levels’ – The Verge

        Sony has labeled Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation “inadequate on many levels.” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed to The Verge last week that the company is committed to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” beyond the existing marketing deal Sony has with Activision. Sony isn’t impressed, though, just as Microsoft is in the middle of trying to get its $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard deal approved by regulators.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • 9to5LinuxLibreOffice 7.3.6 Is Now Available for Download, 50 Bugs Fixed

        Arriving one and a half months after LibreOffice 7.3.5, the LibreOffice 7.3.6 point release is here to address more bugs and further improve compatibility with proprietary document formats of the MS Office suite, such as DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX files.

        The next and last point release of the LibreOffice 7.3 office suite series will be LibreOffice 7.3.7, which is currently scheduled for early November 2022. After that, users will be recommended to upgrade their installations to the LibreOffice 7.4 office suite series.

  • Leftovers

    • Björn WärmedalRubik’s Cube to the Rescue

      It took me two hours to solve it the first time, following a thorough tutorial on youtube. Every time I missed a step or messed something up I started from the beginning. Subsequently I was already very good at the first two steps after solving it just that one time.

      After solving it once and learning the notation I searched for a written instruction. Pretty much anyone will do of course. The steps are the same, even though I’m sure there are several ways to solve each step.

    • Bert HubertImproved Galileo Time to First Fix

      Earlier I wrote a little bit about the High Accuracy Service (HAS), whereby the Galileo satellites themselves provide properly equipped receivers (not your phone) with near-realtime updates that can be used to achieve very good accuracy. I also wrote a series on OSNMA, the rather special Galileo message authentication protocol.

      Recently three further new features have appeared that can be received by the hardware already found in the billions of phones that support Galileo. The goal is to get you to a ‘fix’ of time and place faster and more robustly. To do so, Galileo satellites now deploy some rather clever maths and tricks.

    • Chris HannahMicro Posts

      After some tweaking (which I will go into more technical detail in a later post), I’ve managed to add support for micro posts here on this blog.

      Essentially, they’re posts without a title. But they’re usually the length of a tweet. So think more of a status update, or a small link, than a blog post.

    • Counter PunchOcean City, Cities in the Ocean

      Those were glorious days of youth.  Luxuriating for hours in the waves during the day. Going out on the boardwalk at night with friends. My parents would coordinate our vacations so several families would be down there at once.  Playing spies on a secret mission, a big thing in the James Bond-Man from U.N.C.L.E. 1960s.  Grabbing free fudge from the tray outside Copper Kettle Fudge until driven away by store managers.

    • The NationA Champion’s Evolution
    • HackadayImprove CD Sound By Shaving?

      We always enjoy the odd things that people do to try to get better audio reproduction. Exotic cables, special amplifiers, and higher resolution digitization come to mind.  Most of this is dubious, at best, but [Techmoan] brings up something we must have missed back in the day: shaving CDs with a gadget that was marketed as the “CD Sound Improver.” The theory is that bad CD reproduction comes from light scatter of the laser. The solution, according to the maker of this vintage equipment, is to cut a 36-degree bevel to act as a light trap. You can see the gadget in the video below.

    • Education

      • [Old] Crypto Museum

        The main goal of Crypto Museum is to preserve history. This is done by collecting, restoring and describing historical cipher machines – such as the well-known Enigma machine – spy radio sets, intercept receivers and and other spy-related stuff. For a detailed explanation of why we do this, please read our mission statement. Many of the items described on this website are part of the Crypto Museum collection, but some have only crossed our path briefly, or are impossible to obtain. Whenever possible, we have tried to describe the equipment to the best of our abilities.

      • [Old] The Ultimate Glossary of Newsroom Terms

        We all know what news is, and most know how it affects our lives — but how many of us know the inner workings of a newsroom?

        Well, before we can begin to understand those inner workings, it helps to know the industry-lingo. Chances are, these are words you’ve heard before, but have never officially defined. Some examples are easy to guess from context clues, but it’s much more beneficial to have a concrete definition, rather than an “almost correct” interpretation.

        Whether you’re a curious citizen, an aspiring journalist, or you just accidentally ended up on our post, we built this glossary of journalism terms to bring you up-to-speed with the people inside the newsroom. We even asked current reporters and editors to help, so you may see some of their wisdom sprinkled throughout.

      • [Old] Great Works in Computer Science
    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Limiting Toxic Technology

        In regard to social media use, the only winning move is to not play!

        There are advantages to using services like Twitter or Facebook, but overall social media is a toxic environment. I still want to follow some people, or find out about cool technologies, but drastic changes in my usage patterns are needed.

      • Army schoolhouses dive into new social media trainings

        All these factors have inspired innovators across the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command to take a hard look at how the service teaches soldiers to navigate the social media space, both personally and operationally.

      • Common DreamsUSDA Report Shows How Covid Relief Helped Slash Food Insecurity in 2021

        The agency’s annual report on food security showed that about 1 in 10 homes—or 13.5 million households—did not have enough food in 2021. Overall food insecurity remained the same from 2020 to 2021, and grew worse for women and older Americans living alone, but among families with children, there was a sharp drop in 2021.

      • TruthOutCOVID Boosters Are Critical, But Using Only Animal Data Is a Needless Gamble
      • Common DreamsOver Half a Million Back Call to ‘End the Threat of Pebble Mine for Good’ to Save Bristol Bay

        “We’ve done our part; it’s now up to the EPA to finally finish the job and defend Bristol Bay from the threat of Pebble Mine.”

      • TechdirtDEA Continues To Be The QAnon Of Drug Enforcement, Pretends Colorful Fentanyl Is Dealers Trying To Kill Children

        Some DEA agent field-tested sidewalk chalk and managed to arrive at this conclusion…

      • TechdirtLaw Firm, Families Send Texas School Districts C&D Over ‘God’ Posters

        This keeps getting better and better. We have been discussing a Texas law requiring that a school district display any posters that are donated by outside parties, so long as they follow a couple of defined rules. Those rules are that the posters can display no words beyond “In God We Trust”, that it must include an image of the American flag directly below the text, and that the Texas state flag must be displayed on the poster as well. These simplistic instructions were designed to keep anyone that wasn’t a religious conservative from screwing with school districts via creative means. That goal was not achieved, however, as some people began immediately screwing with them by donating posters following all those rules… but putting the required text in Arabic and/or including rainbow coloring in the letters.

      • The NationTomorrow’s Orthodoxy

        The idea of an “avant-garde” tends to inspire complex emotions, oscillating between excitement at its glamour and scorn at its pretensions. The term carries an association of being daring, experimental, unconventional; the main body of practice or opinion that it is in “advance” of is usually figured as a monolith of dull orthodoxy. But the label also easily attracts a lightly ironical coating, in which those so designated are held to be exhibiting an excess of self-consciousness or even self-congratulation, pluming themselves on innovations that others suspect are merely willful or modish. An avant-garde likes to present itself as insurgent and radical, yet the logic of the metaphor suggests that a new group will soon be coming along to replace it. Today’s avant-garde is always liable to congeal into tomorrow’s orthodoxy.

    • Proprietary

      • EFFVICTORY: Slack Offers Retention Settings to Free Workspaces

        Since 2018, we have urged Slack to recognize its higher-risk users and take more steps to protect them. While Slack is intended for use in white-collar office environments, its free version has proven useful for abortion rights activists, get-out-the-vote phone banking organizers, unions, and other political organizing and activism activities.

      • Akka is moving away from Open Source

        According to today’s announcement, Lightbend is changing Akka’s licensing to “Business Source License (BSL)”. This is not an Open Source, or a Free Software license. This is a proprietary license.

      • Jeff GeerlingHow to download an MP4 from YouTube, every time

        I use yt-dlp to download videos off YouTube quite frequently. I’ll use the videos as reference, and I often use it to grab the VOD for one of my livestreams, since there’s no simpler way (I’m not going to dig through the bowel’s of YouTube’s UI to try to download one of my own videos…).

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • New York TimesTikTok Browser Can Track Users’ Keystrokes, According to New Research

          The research from Felix Krause, a privacy researcher and former Google engineer, did not show how TikTok used the capability, which is embedded within the in-app browser that pops up when someone clicks an outside link. But Mr. Krause said the development was concerning because it showed TikTok had built in functionality to track users’ online habits if it chose to do so.

          Collecting information on what people type on their phones while visiting outside websites, which can reveal credit card numbers and passwords, is often a feature of malware and other hacking tools. While major technology companies might use such trackers as they test new software, it is not common for them to release a major commercial app with the feature, whether or not it is enabled, researchers said.

        • Computer WorldIs Apple preparing its big idea for digital health?

          As this year’s iPhone and Apple Watch launch approaches, it is always good sport to read through the pre-event hype. But one topic that doesn’t appear much discussed is how Apple may be setting the scene for platform proliferation for its smartwatch.

        • BBCOur brain changes hugely during adolescence. New research shows how we can use this transformation to help teens achieve their potential.

          It is only within the past two decades or so that scientists have been able to chart the neural changes across this core period of development, and decode the mysteries of the teenage brain.

          These exciting new insights not only help explain why teens feel and act the way they do. They also show that some of the traits that adults tend to find difficult or baffling in teenagers can be turned into a strength, and used to acquire skills and insights at a time when the brain is still malleable.

        • EFFFTC Sues Location Data Broker

          Kochava’s data can easily be linked to identifiable people.

        • EFFEFF to Ninth Circuit: Social Media Content Moderation is Not “State Action”

          To ensure that the state action doctrine does not nullify social media platforms’ First Amendment rights, we recently filed two amicus briefs in the Ninth Circuit in Huber v. Biden and O’Handley v. Weber. Both briefs argued that these conditions were not met, and the courts should not hold the platforms liable under a state action theory.  

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The EconomistHow to prevent a crisis at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, according to a Fukushima veteran

        The possible threats range from minor to catastrophic. Given the robust nature of the ZNPP design, which is similar to that of Western reactors—and different from the RBMK-type reactors at Chernobyl—there is little chance of a significant accident. The newer Soviet-designed VVER reactors shut down if cooling water is lost, unlike the RBMK, which accelerates fission reaction. For the VVER reactors, there is no graphite to burn. They have a robust containment (unlike the RBMK, the VVER has five feet of heavily reinforced concrete), and the spent nuclear fuel pools are located inside the containment. At Fukushima, there were also explosions; however, they were not like the Chernobyl explosions. They were caused by a byproduct of the accident (hydrogen) and did not occur in the reactor; Chernobyl was a reactor explosion.

      • BBCHow is a thief taking thousands from London gym-goers?

        The similarities in each of the cases appear striking – female victims who have put their belongings in a locker in a popular chain of gyms, only to return and discover their phones and cards have been taken. A number of high-value purchases have been made, at the same shops. The thief also treats themselves to a fast-food meal.

      • GannettExtremist ‘Boogaloo Bois’ back on Facebook since Mar-a-Lago raid, as anger toward feds mounts

        Accounts, pages and groups connected to the violent extremist movement the “Boogaloo Bois” are resurfacing on Facebook, despite the platform vowing to remove references to the movement more than two years ago.

      • Associated PressElected officials, police chiefs on leaked Oath Keepers list

        The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism pored over more than 38,000 names on leaked Oath Keepers membership lists and identified more than 370 people it believes currently work in law enforcement agencies — including as police chiefs and sheriffs — and more than 100 people who are currently members of the military.

        It also identified more than 80 people who were running for or served in public office as of early August. The membership information was compiled into a database published by the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets.

      • TruthOutReport: Oath Keepers Include Hundreds of Lawmakers, Police Officers & Military
      • New Indian ExpressLocals demolish madrasa in Assam’s Goalpara alleging ‘jihadi activities’ in its premises

        The madrasa located in Pakhiura Char under Matia police station and the residence adjacent to it was allegedly used for jihadi activities by two Bangladeshi nationals, who are currently absconding, the police said.

        The use of the madrasa premises for anti-national activity came to light following the arrest of one Jalaluddin Sheikh, a cleric of the madrasa.

      • EuractiveErdoğan threatens Greek islands with invasion ‘at night

        Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Greece to stop “militarising” Greek islands neighbouring Turkey and warned that Turkish military forces could come “at night”.

      • FirstpostAnti-Hindu rampage in UK: Muslim gangs terrorising Hindus, vandalising property after India’s T20 win over Pakistan

        Leicestershire Police said it was treating chants made by the men and related violence as ‘hate crimes’. Police have put in place special stop and search and dispersal measure in neighbourhoods of Belgrave, Rushey Mead and Spinney Hills, among others.

        Also, dispersal powers under Sections 34 and 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 have been authorised by Chief Superintendent Adam Slonecki which allow officers to return anyone under the age of 16 to their home address.

      • IndiaFollowing Violence in Wake of India-Pak Cricket Match, Police Impose Special Measures in UK’s Leicester

        Leicestershire Police said it was treating chants made by the men and related violence as ‘hate crimes’. Police have put in place special stop and search and dispersal measure in neighbourhoods of Belgrave, Rushey Mead and Spinney Hills, among others.

      • ITVViolent unrest in Leicester forces local authorities and community leaders into emergency meeting

        Tensions have been building between Hindus and Muslims since the Pakistan versus India cricket match on Sunday last week. It resulted in a further disorder this week which police are currently investigating.

      • Reach PLCPolice impose special measures in Leicester following violence in wake of cricket match

        Dispersal powers under Sections 34 and 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 have been authorised by Chief Superintendent Adam Slonecki and they allow officers to return anyone under the age of 16 to their home address. Notices can be issued for a period of up to 48 hours and anyone found breaching a notice is liable to be arrested and face further action.

        Powers have also been granted by a senior officer under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which allow officers to stop and search anyone in a specific area without needing to have reasonable grounds. The orders have been in place since 8pm today (Tuesday, September 6) and will remain effective until 6am tomorrow (Wednesday, September 7).

        The temporary measures were introduced in response to the continuing tensions following a cricket match between India and Pakistan last weekend. A number of men were filmed making offensive statements about Pakistan amid scenes of violence in the Belgrave area of the city on Sunday, August 28.

      • BBCLeicester disorder: Dozens stopped and searched as police granted extra powers

        “Despite requests into the community this small minority persisted which resulted in my team using their powers.”

      • The HillViolent extremist movement ‘boogaloo bois’ reemerges on Facebook: report

        The boogaloo movement appears to “see this moment as a growth opportunity for their movement” and hopes to “capitalize on the wave of far-right anger at the FBI,” the report said.

      • ScheerpostThe US Keeps Betting on Cuba Surrendering Out of Hunger and Desperation
      • ScheerpostBiden, Like Trump, Breaks International Law, Violating UN Neutrality By Blocking Countries
      • MeduzaErdogan calls weapons supplied to Ukraine ‘scrap metal’ — Meduza

        Turkish president Recep Erdogan and Serbian president Alexander Buchich condemned Western policy toward Russia at a press conference in Belgrade. Erdogan called the West’s actions “provocation on all sides” and arms sent to Ukraine “trash,” according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

      • MeduzaThe post-Kadyrov mirage North Caucasus analyst Harold Chambers connects rumors about Chechnya’s dictator getting a new job to a years-long conflict between Grozny and Russia’s security elites — Meduza
      • MeduzaKherson occupation authorities planning for annexation referendum on November 4 — Meduza

        The Russian-backed occupation authorities in Ukraine’s Kherson region reported Wednesday that they will prepare to hold referendums on the territory’s incorporation into Russia on November 4, when Russia celebrates Unity Day.

      • MeduzaNovosibirsk students offered debt forgiveness for military service — Meduza

        Students at the Novosibirsk State Technical University have reportedly been offered tuition debt forgiveness in exchange for joining the Russian military as researchers. The local news outlet Taiga.Info, which has obtained a copy of the message, wrote that students in years 2–4 were also told that one of the school administrators would be willing to “provide additional support by talking to professors who cause problems for students [who agree to the deal].”

      • MeduzaRussian government removes all mention of the war in Ukraine from ‘patriotic’ curriculum — Meduza

        Russia’s Education Ministry has removed all references to Ukraine and the “special military operation” from the curriculum for its “patriotic” lesson series, Conversations About What’s Important, after a slew of complaints from parents and teachers. The original lesson plans and supplementary materials were removed from the ministry’s website on September 5, and an updated version was uploaded on September 7.

      • Common Dreams‘Playing With Fire’: IAEA Issues Urgent Warning After Visit to Ukraine Nuclear Plant

        “The hits that this facility has received and that I could personally see and assess together with my experts is simply unacceptable,” said IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi. “We are playing with fire.”

      • Pro PublicaElkhart Police Officer Pleads Guilty After Beating Handcuffed Man

        The plea agreement calls for Cory Newland to be sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in the incident, in which he and fellow officer Joshua Titus were seen on a security camera video beating Mario Guerrero Ledesma while the man was handcuffed to a chair in a detention area at the city police station.

      • Counter PunchSino-American Relations: Breaking The Gordian Knot

        There are regular items in the New York Times regarding U.S. concerns over the cooperative arrangements between China and the Solomon Islands, which has suspended visits by U.S. and other foreign military vessels.  In recent months, the United States has sent military and diplomatic officials—including Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman—to the Solomon Islands to ensure that the U.S. Navy could continue to project power in the Asian-Pacific region.  This is a classic example of “thinking in the past” in view of the intense battles fought in Guadalcanal, the country’s main island, exactly 80 years ago.  U.S. preoccupation with the Solomons in 2022 seems bizarre.

      • Counter PunchNuclear Reactors and Weapons Electrify a Warzone

        Shrouding the risks of reactor meltdowns in a cloud of grim apprehension are the thinly veiled threats of attacks using nuclear weapons. Major news services repeatedly showcase nuclear weapons threats hinted at by Russian authorities, while NATO’s and the United States’ long-standing threat of nuclear first-use — and its stationing of U.S. nuclear bombs in five European NATO states — doesn’t warrant mentioning. The risk of nuclear weapons attacks is said to be as high as it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this is due as much to NATO’s threatening “Strategic Concept” declaration of June 29 as to anything President Vladimir Putin of Russia has said.

      • Counter PunchThe Harlot’s Score: Blood Money and the LIV Golf Tournament

        The claws of management also go deeper than logo approvals.  Tight rein is maintained over player interviews relating to an “event or league activity”.  Participation in the tournament also comes with the proselytising proviso: recruited golfers will, in turn, recruit other golfers for the tournament.  Players must agree to “where requested, assist the League Operator in seeking to persuade players to enter into multiyear player participation agreements with the League Operator.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | What Happened in Afghanistan Isn’t Staying in Afghanistan

        Last August, the U.S. ended its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan with a massive military withdrawal. From the outset, the White House promoted a rosy narrative as President Biden claimed it was the ‘greatest airlift in history, an Englishman, with Boris Johnson’s approval, evacuated 200 Afghan cats and dogs. Meanwhile countless Afghan men and especially women—who had risked their lives to be police and army officers, judges, translators, reporters, peacebuilders, and human rights advocates, were left behind.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Banks Have Ukrainian Blood on Their Hands

        “My cousins last night spent Ukraine’s independence day sleeping in a bomb shelter. Citibank, this is what you are enabling. The blood of innocent Ukrainians, it’s on your hands.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Nuclear Alarm Bells at Zaporizhzhia

        The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, has referred to the perilous situation around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant—caught up in a war zone—as “playing with fire.” The IAEA report just released that covers the visit, calls for “a nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the plant and that “shelling on site and in its vicinity should be stopped immediately.”

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • The EconomistThe future of [cryptocurrency] is at stake in Ethereum’s switch

          [Cryptocurrency] is in need of good news, for the past year has been a torrid one. A handful of dodgy deposit-taking ventures have gone bust, wiping out savings; a [cryptocurrency] hedge fund has blown up; a stablecoin was revealed to be anything but stable. The total market capitalisation of [cryptocurrency] has crashed to around $1trn, about $2trn lower than it was this time last year. Ethereum’s improvements would not unpick any of this destruction. But, by reducing its environmental impact and highlighting the potential for future improvements, it would suggest that [cryptocurrency] has a brighter future than many now appreciate.

        • Eesti RahvusringhäälingEstonia buys 10 more electric trains

          Under the terms of a contract signed in 2020, Estonia had the option of purchasing 10 more trains. The money will come from the EU’s modernization fund.

          The first six trains will start arriving in 2024, and the following 10 between 2026-2027, said Indrek Gailan, head of the transport development and investment department of the Ministry of Economy and Communications (MKM).

        • No Sun, No Wind, Now What? Renewable Energy Storage

          I’ve been hesitating to do a video about energy storage because in all honesty it doesn’t sound particularly captivating, unless possibly you are yourself energy waiting to be stored. But I changed my mind when I learned the technical term for a cloudy and windless day. Dunkelflaute. That’s a German compound noun: dunkel means “dark” and “flaute” means “lull”. So basically I made an entire video just to have an excuse to tell you this. But while you’re here we might as well talk about the problem with dunkelflaute…

          The renewable energy source that currently makes the largest contribution to electricity production is hydropower with about 16%. Wind and solar together contribute about 9%. But this is electric energy only. If you include heating and transport in the energy needs, then all renewables together make it to only 11%. That’s right: We still use fossil fuels for more than 80% of our entire energy production.

        • India TimesA year on, El Salvador’s bitcoin experiment is stumbling

          A year after El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender, the area where the world’s first cryptocurrency city was meant to be built – a circular metropolis powered by a volcano – is still dense jungle.

          President Nayib Bukele had promised that “Bitcoin City” would be a tax haven for crypto investors and miners equipped with an airport, residential and commercial areas, and a central plaza designed to look like a bitcoin symbol from the sky.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • CNNWater is in short supply. Markets should pay attention

          Markets are taking note. The S&P Global Water Index, which tracks 50 companies from around the world that are involved in water utilities, infrastructure, equipment and materials, has outperformed the S&P Global Broad Market Index by more than 3 percentage points per year since its beginning in late 2001. So far this year, the Global Water Index return has been nearly 5 percentage points higher than the S&P Global BMI.

    • Finance

      • The ConversationCost of living: four ways to stop banks and companies using complex maths against you

        The cost of living crisis is dominating headlines at the moment. With so much conflicting information flying around, it can be hard to work out what is the best way to look after your household finances.

        Banks, energy providers and shops will often try to blind you with big numbers and confusing mathematical terms – often preying on people’s fear of mathematics. However, even if you count yourself as a numberphobe, there are a few very simple steps you can take to use maths in your favour and save some money.

      • The NationColleges Are in Debt, but Students Pay for It

        In the summer of 2019, construction workers broke ground on a $10 million capital improvement project at Holyoke Community College. By 2024, the 7,000 students enrolled at the two-year college in western Massachusetts will get to enjoy renovated academic buildings that have needed maintenance for years. That seems only fair, considering that those students will be paying 37 percent of that $10 million. This story was produced for StudentNation, a program of the Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, which is dedicated to highlighting the best of student journalism. For more Student Nation, check out our archive or learn more about the program here. StudentNation is made possible through generous funding from The Puffin Foundation. If you’re a student and you have an article idea, please send pitches and questions to [email protected].

      • The Gray ZoneZelensky rings New York Stock Exchange bell as Euro dips below dollar
      • Common DreamsSunrise Movement and CWA Announce ‘Visionary’ Union Agreement

        “Onward to combat the existential crisis of our time, while standing up for workers and good jobs everywhere.”

      • Counter PunchAmerica: The Land of Inequality

        In January 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2020, there were 37.2 million people in poverty, approximately 3.3 million more than in 2019 – that’s an official poverty rate of 11.4 percent, up 1.0 percentage point from 10.5 percent in 2019.  The “poverty threshold” for a four-person family in 2020 was $26,496.

      • Counter PunchCan Employee Ownership Help Save Capitalism from Itself?

        Johnny’s is not some outlier. There are about 6,500 ESOPs with about 14 million employees and $1.4 trillion in assets. About 95% are closely held companies like Johnny’s, and while ESOPs can own any percentage of company stock, most will end up being 100% employee owned. ESOPs are created by companies, which fund them out of pre-tax profits (not employee money), often to buy out a retiring owner (like Johnny). There are significant tax benefits for doing so. Shares are held in a trust and allocated to at least all employees who work full-tie for a year.

      • Common DreamsAOC, Gillibrand Denounce Starbucks for ‘Firing Union Leaders All Over the Country’

        “We are writing to express our dismay around the firings of Austin Locke and Joselyn Chuquillanqui, two Starbucks partners who were also union leaders at their stores,” the New York lawmakers wrote in a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and the rest of the company’s management.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Librarians fight censorship as attacks grow around state

        Librarians across Michigan have a lot on their minds as Banned Book Week approaches on Sept. 18.

        This past election cycle, residents in Michigan’s Jamestown Township in Ottawa County, southwest of Grand Rapids, found themselves embroiled in a debate about whether its library should be defunded because it refused to remove LGBTQ books from its shelves. The result? Residents turned down the library’s millage request, setting off a debate about First Amendment rights versus parental rights.

      • VOA NewsTaliban Claim Media Reform as Journalists Decry Censorship

        In practice, experts say, the so-called reforms amount to extensive censorship of a seriously weakened Afghan media. Among other restrictions, the Taliban have ordered female anchors to wear facemasks and headscarves when presenting TV programs.

      • Dhole MomentsHobbies Don’t Need to be Policed

        However, there is a contingent of furries (predominantly from Europe) that have a large and jagged stick up their butt about how other people enjoy fursuiting.

        Eurofurence recently sent out a survey asking how their attendees feel about policing other people’s engagement with the fursuiting hobby.

      • AIMDigital India Needs Internet, not Internet Shutdowns

        Jammu and Kashmir alone has witnessed 411 internet shutdowns since 2012, with the longest one lasting 552 days. This was in the months following the abrogation of Article 370 in the state.

        The stats are alarming to begin with, given India is the largest democracy in the world. While most of the time, the reasons cited for the internet ban has been national security, now, the government is banning the internet to stop candidates from cheating!

      • FirstpostPakistan’s Lal Masjid imparts ‘beheading’ training to girls, expert weighs in on root cause

        In a video doing the rounds on social media, a teacher is seen demonstrating to young girls wearing burqa how to hold and use a sword to behead people.

        Through this exercise, the girls are being taught that those who ‘insult’ the Prophet will have only one punishment, and that will be decapitation. Girls, dressed in pink, can be heard raising slogans and glorifying decapitation.

      • Christian PostChristian Youth Corps Member murdered by Muslim men wielding machetes in targeted attack

        Members of the NYSC have been targeted in violent crimes in various parts of Nigeria, but in Awudu’s case the killers somehow reportedly locked the doors of the other corps members before slaughtering him with machetes and leaving him for dead.

      • ABCAlleged Salman Rushdie attacker appears in court in attempted murder case

        Hadi Matar, 24, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault charges in connection with the attack Aug. 12 at the Chautauqua Institution where he allegedly stabbed the 75-year-old Rushdie about a dozen times in front of a crowd that had gathered for a lecture.

      • TechdirtFurther Thoughts On Cloudflare And Infrastructure Moderation

        I rather expected that not everyone would agree with the points I raised in my recent post on Cloudflare and my thinking regarding both Cloudflare’s statement of principles on content moderation at the infrastructure layer and, secondly, its decision to block Kiwi Farms. That turned out to be an accurate expectation. It has also resulted in some thoughtful critiques, most of which I think misrepresent what I actually believe, to the point that it’s obvious that I was not clear enough in the original post. Therefore, we get a follow-up post (how exciting).

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Common DreamsRejecting Israeli Report on Journalist’s Killing, Senator Demands Independent US Probe

        A report released by Israel over Labor Day weekend, said the Maryland Democrat, contradicted investigations conducted by the United Nations, The New York Times, The Washington Post, other news outlets, and human rigts groups shortly after Abu Akleh’s fatal shooting in the West Bank in May.

      • Democracy NowNiece of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh, Killed by Israel, Wants Biden Mtg. & Indep. Inquiry

        The Israeli army has admitted for the first time that Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was likely fatally shot by an Israeli soldier during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in May. The conclusion to the internal investigation comes after months of outrage from Abu Akleh’s family and human rights activists at Israel’s initial claim that the bullet came from Palestinian fire. The U.S. responded by saying it will pressure Israel to reexamine its rules of engagement. Abu Akleh’s family says it’s not enough, and is demanding a meeting with President Biden. “Real accountability includes holding the soldier who killed Shireen accountable … and changing the entire policy that continues to perpetuate violence against Palestinians,” says Shireen Abu Akleh’s niece, Lina Abu Akleh.

      • TruthOutNiece of Palestinian American Journalist Killed by Israel Asks to Meet Biden
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Frontpage MagazineEleven Christian Churches ‘Catch Fire’ Over Two Weeks in Egypt

        Left completely unreported in the Western press, however, is that, all throughout the month of August—particularly within the dates of an important religious season, when churches were especially packed—a total of eleven Coptic churches in Egypt “caught fire.” Two (Imbaba and Minya) were major, some were minor, and some were caught early enough to prevent serious damage, thanks to heightened vigilance among the Christians themselves. A list of the eleven follows: [...]

      • Counter PunchWill Gavin Newsom Finally Help California’s Farmworkers?

        Ingrid Vilorio, a fast food worker at Jack in the Box was at the historic Labor Day signing. “It was a battle of Goliath versus David and we just had our voice to ensure that AB257 became a reality.”

      • The NationCriminalized for Being Pregnant

        The organization National Advocates for Pregnant Women has defended the rights of pregnant and parenting people for more than two decades, providing legal services for individuals who have been criminalized as a result of pregnancy, including for a stillbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. Typically, the nonprofit’s clients are women who are disproportionately targeted by surveillance—women who are low-income, of color, and those who use drugs or alcohol. On June 23, NAPW released a toolkit titled “Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization,” a guide for law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, medical examiners, hospital staff, and legislators—all professionals who make decisions that can lead to a criminal investigation—on how to minimize this harm. The next day, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs, revoking the constitutional right to abortion. With Roe overturned, there will be even more opportunities for the state to scrutinize pregnancy outcomes. Afsha Malik, NAPW’s research and program associate, is a coauthor of the report.1

      • TruthOutOcasio-Cortez Says Men Must Speak Up in Fight for Abortion Rights
      • Counter PunchSupreme Court’s Selective Reading of US History Ignored 19th-Century Women’s Support for ‘Voluntary Motherhood’

        Alito argued in the opinion that abortion has always been a serious crime, but there were no laws about abortion at all in Colonial America. Beginning in the 19th century, most states barred it only after “quickening,” when a pregnant woman can first feel the fetus move, typically around the fourth to sixth month of pregnancy.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Not Having Access to Paid Leave Has Profoundly Affected My Life—Congress Must Change That

        The United States is one of the only countries in the world that does not guarantee any form of paid leave for its workers. It’s certainly impacted me: 13 years ago I was working at an auto parts company as an assistant manager, and was already struggling with my work to find time off. One day, in the middle of work, I received a call that so many of us dread: It was my father’s doctor, and my father needed open heart surgery.

      • Common Dreams‘Miserable Little Weasel’: Omar Blasts Cruz Over GOP Plan to Kill Student Debt Relief

        The Texas Republican is one of many GOP officials exploring a potential legal challenge to Biden’s student debt relief plan, which is popular with voters—including those without debt and those who have paid off their debt—and could benefit more than 40 million borrowers across the U.S.

      • Counter PunchA Short History of the Tyranny of the Supreme Court

        This renegade court is anything but finished doing its mischief. Affirmative action may be next on the chopping block. Gerrymandering, long an ignoble tradition in American political life, could become unconstrained if the Supremes decide to exempt such practices from state court judicial review. And who knows what they are likely to rule when every election not won by the Republican Party may be liable to a lawsuit.

      • Counter PunchDoes Sparing the Rod Really Spoil the Child?

        “He’s bad because no one’s correcting it.”

      • Counter PunchClear the Smokescreen from Immigration Policy

        For now, Tommy Esquivel, who came to the U.S. from Guatemala when he was nine years old, will continue his studies in community college. But without the kind of protections that DACA can offer, he will face significant challenges, unable to get a Social Security number that would allow him to work legally, and confined to a precarious, deportable status as an undocumented individual.

      • MeduzaRussian lawmakers introduce bill to ban information about ‘childfree’ lifestyle among minors — Meduza

        Russian State Duma deputies have introduced a bill that would ban media that “promotes the voluntary refusal to have children” among minors.

      • Common DreamsTrump Says GOP Gov. Candidate Would Rule Massachusetts ‘With an Iron Fist’

        “Geoff is a proven fighter who successfully pushes back on the ultraliberal extremists,” Trump said during a Monday night tele-rally. “He’ll rule your state with an iron fist, and he’ll do what has to be done.”

      • ShadowproofProtest Song Of The Week: ‘Odana’ By Mali Obomsawin

        Indigenous bassist, composer, and bandleader Mali Obomsawin recently left the folk trio, Lula Wiles. With Lula Wiles, she wasn’t afraid to compose politically explicit tunes and to speak out on indigenous issues while on stage.

      • TechdirtVirginia Court Rejects Prior Restraint, Says Old Law Used In Attempt To Ban Books Is Unconstitutional

        Called it!

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtCan We Save A Truly Global Internet?

        As we’ve been noting for years now, the global internet is at risk. China walled off its part of the internet early on, and other authoritarian regimes followed suit, with Russia and Iran taking the lead. But, at the same time, we’ve seen other regimes start to layer on their own regulatory regimes that effectively cut off other parts of the world, including the EU, which seems to believe its writing rules for the global internet, but may only be hastening the further fragmentation of the internet.

      • TechdirtJoin Us For Our 25th Anniversary Party This Friday!

        As you know, Techdirt recently marked its 25th anniversary, and we’re celebrating with a special online party this Friday, September 9th at 11am PT / 2pm ET, where you can mix and mingle with Techdirt staff and other fans, and get the inside story on the history of the blog from Mike Masnick. Attendance is free for anyone with an active Crystal Ball, Watercooler, or Behind The Curtain membership from our Insider Shop, or the equivalent levels via our Patreon. You can also show us some extra support by buying a one-time ticket for $100.

      • TechdirtConnecticut Gives Frontier A Wrist Slap For Years Of Bullshit Fees

        For decades, federal regulators have turned a blind eye while your cable and broadband provider rips you off with a bevy of misleading fees. The fees usually come with nonsensical names like “regulatory recovery fee” or “internet cost recovery surcharge,” and are tacked below the line post sale, letting cable and broadband providers covertly jack up the advertised price of sale.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • India TimesNetflix looks to control cloud computing costs with AWS: WSJ

        The streaming giant is also hiring more junior staff, paring back its real-estate footprint and reducing the number of copies of data and content it stores around the world, the report said.

        The company, which is struggling with lost subscribers and increased competition from companies including Walt Disney Co and Apple Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Programming

        • Writing Go code

          Hex Populate remains an interesting project, mainly for two reasons: 1. It’s my first and only real Go project. 2. It’s an online application without a web user interface.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. All of Microsoft's Strategic Areas Have Layoffs This Year

    Microsoft’s supposedly strategic/future areas — gaming (trying to debt-load or offload debt to other companies), so-called ‘security’, “clown computing” (Azure), and “Hey Hi” (chaffbots etc.) — have all had layoffs this year; it’s clear that the company is having a serious existential crisis in spite of Trump’s and Biden’s bailouts (a wave of layoffs every month this year) and is just bluffing/stuffing the media with chaffbots cruft (puff pieces/misinformation) to keep shareholders distracted, asking them for patience and faking demand for the chaffbots (whilst laying off Bing staff, too)

  2. Links 28/03/2023: Pitivi 2023.03 is Out, Yet More Microsoft Layoffs (Now in Israel)

    Links for the day

  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 27, 2023

  4. Links 27/03/2023: GnuCash 5.0 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Phones

    Links for the day

  5. Links 27/03/2023: Twitter Source Code Published (But Not Intentionally)

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 26, 2023

  7. Links 26/03/2023: OpenMandriva ROME 23.03, Texinfo 7.0.3, and KBibTeX 0.10.0

    Links for the day

  8. The World Wide Web is a Cesspit of Misinformation. Let's Do Something About It.

    It would be nice to make the Web a safer space for information and accuracy (actual facts) rather than a “Safe Space” for oversensitive companies and powerful people who cannot tolerate criticism; The Web needs to become more like today's Gemini, free of corporate influence and all other forms of covert nuisance

  9. Ryan Farmer: I’m Back After WordPress.com Deleted My Blog Over the Weekend

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  10. Civil Liberties Threatened Online and Offline

    A “society of sheeple” (a term used by Richard Stallman last week in his speech) is being “herded” online and offline; the video covers examples both online and offline, the latter being absence of ATMs or lack of properly-functioning ATMs (a growing problem lately, at least where I live)

  11. Techrights Develops Free Software to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff

    In order to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve been working on simple, modular tools that process news and help curate the Web, basically removing the noise to squeeze out the signal

  12. Links 26/03/2023: MidnightBSD 3.0 and FreeBSD 13.2 RC4

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 25, 2023

  14. Links 26/03/2023: More TikTok Bans

    Links for the day

  15. Links 25/03/2023: Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) is Dead

    Links for the day

  16. Links 25/03/2023: Decade of Docker, Azure Broken Again

    Links for the day

  17. [Meme] Money Deducted in Payslips, But Nothing in Pensions

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has stolen money from staff (in secret)

  18. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

    IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

  19. The Corporate Media is Not Reporting Large-Scale Microsoft Layoffs (Too Busy With Chaffbot Puff Pieces), Leaks Required to Prove That More Layoffs Are Happening

    Just as we noted days ago, there are yet more Microsoft layoffs, but the mainstream media gets bribed to go “gaga” over vapourware and chaffbots (making chaff like “Bill Gates Says” pieces) instead of reporting actual news about Microsoft

  20. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Time to Issue a Warrant of Arrest and Extradite the Fake 'Founder' of Sirius

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is collapsing, but that does not mean that it can dodge accountability for crimes (e.g. money that it silently stole from its staff since at least 12 years ago)

  21. Links 24/03/2023: Microsoft's Fall on the Web and Many New Videos

    Links for the day

  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 23, 2023

  23. Links 24/03/2023: Social Control Media Bans Advancing

    Links for the day

  24. Links 24/03/2023: GNU Grep 3.10 and Microsoft Accenture in a Freefall

    Links for the day

  25. Links 23/03/2023: RSS Guard 4.3.3 and OpenBSD Webzine

    Links for the day

  26. Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 - Charting the Course

    Article by Marcia K Wilbur

  27. [Meme] Grabinski the Opportunity

    Reports of European Patents being invalidated (judges do not tolerate fake patents) have become so common that a kangaroo court becomes a matter of urgency for the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; will the EU and the EPO’s Administrative Council go along with it, helping to cover up more than a decade of profound corruption?

  28. Union Syndicale Fédérale Cautions the EPO's Administrative Council About Initiating an Illegal Kangaroo Court System for Patents (UPC) While EPO Breaks Laws and Sponsors the Ukraine Invasion

    Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) is once again speaking out in support of the staff union of Europe's second-largest institution, which lacks oversight and governance because of profound corruption and regulatory capture

  29. Investigation Underway: Sirius 'Open Source' Embezzled/Stole Money, Robbed Its Own Staff

    In light of new developments and some progress in an investigation of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (for fraud!) we take stock of where things stand

  30. [Meme] Sirius 'Open Source' Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source...

    What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are

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