09.26.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 26/09/2022: GnuCash 4.12 and Microsoft Breaches

Posted in News Roundup at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: September 25th, 2022

      This has been a really great week for Linux news and releases. GNOME 43 arrived with a plethora of goodies to enjoy on your desktop, Firefox 105 is out as well with better performance for Linux users, Mesa 22.2 graphics stack brought improvements for Linux gamers, and Ventoy bumps ISO support for over 1000.

      On top of that, we took a look at what’s coming to Debian GNU/Linux 12 “Bookworm,” PipwWire, Kdenlive, and Firefox 106, we warm Ubuntu users about new Linux kernel updates that patch multiple vulnerabilities, and we tell you what’s new in the latest versions of Audacity and Avidemux multimedia software. Below, you can enjoy these and much more in 9to5Linux’s Linux weekly roundup for September 25th, 2022.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • uni TorontoNeeding xdg-desktop-portal may be in my future (even without Wayland)

        I generally haven’t had particularly positive experiences with xdg-desktop-portal on my custom desktop. At best it appears to do nothing; at worst, it’s been a core element in mysterious problems. Having xdg-desktop-portal installed effectively isn’t optional these days on Fedora (if you try to deinstall it, it takes out a bunch of other things, although in Fedora 36 there’s fewer things than I expected). However, letting the program and its whole portal environment do anything so far seems to be optional unless you use flatpaks.

    • Applications

      • OpenSource.comThe story behind Joplin, the open source note-taking app

        In this interview, I met up with Laurent Cozic, creator of the note-taking app, Joplin. Joplin was a winner of the 20i rewards, so I wanted to find out what makes it such a success, and how he achieved it.

        Could you summarize what Joplin does?

        Joplin is an open source note-taking app. It allows you to capture your thoughts and securely access them from any device.

        Obviously, there are other note-taking apps out there—but apart from it being free to use, what makes it different?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • TecMintHow to Install Lua Scripting Language in Linux

        Lua is a free and open-source, powerful, robust, minimal, and embeddable scripting language. It’s extensible and interpreted scripting language that is dynamically typed, and run by interpreting bytecode with a register-based virtual machine.

        Lua runs on all if not most Unix-like operating systems including Linux and Windows; on mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, BREW, Symbian, Windows Phone); on embedded microprocessors (ARM and Rabbit); on IBM mainframes, and many more.

      • TecMint5 Best Practices to Prevent SSH Brute-Force Login Attacks in Linux

        Servers running SSH are usually a soft target for brute-force attacks. Hackers are constantly coming up with innovative software tools and bots for automating brute-force attacks which further increase the risk of intrusion.

        In this guide, we explore some of the tips that you can implement to safeguard your SSH servers from brute-force attacks on RHEL-based Linux distributions and Debian derivatives.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • GamingOnLinuxWine 7.18 rolls out with Unicode 15 support

        Wine, the translation layer that allows you to run applications and games designed for Windows on Linux has a new development release up with Wine 7.18. This is the tech that forms part of Steam Play Proton! Once a year or so, a new stable release is made but the development versions are usually fine to use.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • California186 Best Alternatives to Chrome OS

      Chrome OS is a Linux kernel-based software from Google that uses the Google Chrome web browser as a user interface, supporting various web applications. The so-called Chromebooks are light, cheap and affordable computers for emerging markets, hence the need to have a compatible operating system.

      Although it is on the rise, undergoing constant updates, the OS is far from perfect. You may be looking for an alternative to run on your PC instead of Chrome OS, a Linux distribution or heavy Windows.

      The following list highlights some alternatives to Google’s system. Some are slightly heavier options, but even more versatile than Chrome OS, which is extremely dependent on the search giant’s solutions and an internet connection.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Education

      • When hackers grow old

        You – yes, even you – cannot count on retaining your mental flexibility into middle and old unless you work at it. You have to practice busting out of comfortable mental grooves and regularly checking your assumptions when you’re young, and you have to develop a habit of it that sustains into old age.

        It’s said that the best time for a middle-aged person to start (physically) exercising is thirty years ago. I think the same goes for the habits that might (might!) keep you mentally agile at 56, or 65. Push your envelope. Develop the regular practice of challenging yourself and exiting your comfort zone now so you’ll have it established when you really need it.

        You have to be realistic about this; there’s an optimal-challenge level where you choose an attainable goal and work mentally hard for it. This month I’m going to learn go. Not the game, I already play that (though not very well); the programming language. Not because I really need to for a specific project, but because it’s time to stretch myself.

        Develop that habit. And never let it go.

    • GNU Projects

      • NeowinGnuCash 4.12

        GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

    • Programming/Development

      • The New StackBryan Cantrill on Rust and the Future of Low-Latency Systems

        In eager anticipation of Cantrill’s return for P99 CONF 2022, let’s take a look back at his talk on “Rust, Wright’s Law and The Future of Low-Latency Systems.” He predicted the coming decade will see two important changes with profound ramifications for low-latency systems: the rise of Rust-based systems, and the ceding of Moore’s Law to Wright’s Law.

        In this talk, he discusses these two trends, and especially their confluence — explaining why he believes the future of low-latency systems will include Rust programs in some surprising places.

      • Want cleaner code? Use the rule of six

        The key is:

        Every line does only one thing

        One line, one task.

        But don’t go crazy with it.

        [...]

        A line of code containing 6+ pieces of information should be simplified.

      • UndeadlyGame of Trees 0.76 released.

        Game of Trees 0.76 was released on September 23rd, 2022.

      • Game Of TreesGot-portable Changelog

        This file details portable-specific changes to make things work on systems other than OpenBSD.

        All changes are on top of the versioned changes listed in CHANGES.

      • Perl / Raku

        • Perl Basics

          This discussion of Perl Basics is intended to complement, not replace, other Perl resources, such as published texts and reference books or network libraries and discussion groups. How?

          It will try to do two things. First, it will provide a succinct summary of major Perl elements. Second, it will provide perspective and relate features to one another. Thus, it will be a kind of extended and structured checklist, with commentary.

          The discussion will be built around answering two questions:

          What are the things Perl provides you to work with?

          What can you do to those things?

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayEpoxy Blob Excised Out Of Broken Multimeter, Replaced With A QFP

      The black blobs on cheap PCBs haunt those of us with a habit of taking things apart when they fail. There’s no part number to look up, no pinout to probe, and if magic smoke is released from the epoxy-buried silicon, the entire PCB is toast. That’s why it matters that [Throbscottle] shared his journey of repairing a vintage multimeter whose epoxy-covered single-chip-multimeter ICL7106 heart developed an internal reference fault. When a multimeter’s internal voltage reference goes, the meter naturally becomes useless. Cheaper multimeters, we bin, but this one arguably was worth reviving.

    • ScheerpostHorton Hears a Heil

      “Horton Hears a Heil,” a new original cartoon by the inimitable Mr. Fish, reworks the wisdom of Dr. Seuss into something pertinent to our presently polarizing political predicament plainly paining our proposed purpose of prospering peacefully.

    • ScheerpostWithout Culture, Freedom Is Impossible

      Cuba’s socialist approach to culture is unique in that it tries to make art forms available to everyone while balancing the lingering colonial practices.

    • ScheerpostPeter Richardson: Review of Behind the Shield: The Power and Politics of the NFL

      Peter Richardson delves into Dave Zirin’s latest project examining the politics behind the NFL.

    • Hackaday2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Cyberpack VR

      Feeling confined by the “traditional” cyberdeck form factor, [adam] decided to build something a little bigger with his Cyberpack VR. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a WiFi-equipped porcupine, then this is the cyberdeck you’ve been waiting for.

    • HackadayThis Found-Sound Organ Was Made With Python And A Laser Cutter

      Certain among our readership will no doubt remember attaching a playing card to the front fork of one’s bicycle so that the spokes flapped the card as the wheel rotated. It was supposed to sound like a motorcycle, which it didn’t, but it was good, clean fun with the bonus of making us even more annoying to the neighborhood retirees than the normal baseline, which was already pretty high.

    • HackadayEmpty Spools Make Useful Tools, Like Counters

      What’s the deal with getting things done? There’s a Seinfeld anecdote that boils down to this: get a calendar, do a thing, and make a big X on each day that you do the thing. Pretty soon, you’ll thirst for chains of Xs, then you’ll want to black out the month. It’s solid advice.

    • Hardware

      • [Old] System76 gets distribution center in Europe and is working on a new keyboard

        System76 will have a distribution center in Europe. The company confirms this in an interview with Tweakers. The manufacturer hopes to start delivering its Launch keyboards from Europe soon. Other products may follow later.

        The company will initially start supplying its mechanical Launch open source keyboard from its European distribution center, as the company says it is relatively easy to do. “Laptops and desktops have a lot of restrictions and the costs are higher, so we will start with our Launch keyboard and sell it from a European distribution center, so that the shipping costs and taxes for that market are lower,” said System76 principal engineer Jeremy Soller to Tweakers.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • MIT Technology ReviewThe YouTube baker fighting back against deadly “craft hacks”

        “I got comments from young kids going, ‘I thought that I couldn’t cook. I tried that video and it didn’t work and Mum said I can’t cook now because I’ve wasted ingredients,’” Reardon says. She decided to use her undergraduate degree in food science and her postgraduate degree in dietetics to begin debunking more clips—but she quickly realized that many hacks weren’t just fake but actually dangerous.

      • SalonUnregulated capitalism makes you poor, miserable — and short: New study

        When supporters of capitalism claim that capitalism is an effective economic system, they often will begin by disputing capitalism’s dual legacies of environmental destruction and inefficiency before arguing that capitalism leads to widespread prosperity. To support that last point, capitalists may cite a popular graph developed by the World Bank economist Martin Ravallion. At first glance it seems unremarkable, showing nothing but a straight diagonal line that plummets down. Upon further analysis, however, the Ravallion graph purports to prove that the global percentage of humans living in extreme poverty fell from roughly 90% in 1820 to roughly 10% in the early 21st century.

      • Counter PunchLife Expectancy: The US and Cuba in the Time of Covid

        This continued through the beginning of Covid, which sharply changed the pattern.  LE in the US suddenly dropped behind that in Cuba.  Bernd Debusmann Jr.of BBC News wrote, LE in the US fell “to the lowest level seen since 1996.  Government data showed LE at birth now stands at 76.1 compared to 79 in 2019. That is the steepest two-year decline in a century.”  From 2019 to 2020, “LE declined in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • IT WireSlater and Gordon investigating possible class action against Optus

        Law firm Slater and Gordon is looking at the possibility of initiating a class action suit against Optus over the massive data breach revealed by the telco on 22 September.

        In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the company’s class actions senior associate Ben Zocco said while specifics of the breach were yet to be made public, the consequences could potentially be significant for some customers.

        Due to this, he said the law firm was assessing possible legal action for those affected. A page has been set up with information for those who are interested in such an action.

        Optus issued an update about the breach this afternoon, offering “the most affected current and former customers” whose information was compromised the option of a 12-month subscription to Equifax Protect, a credit monitoring and identity protection service that can help reduce the risk of identity theft. Such customers would be contacted, Optus added.

      • NeowinBeware: Microsoft Edge found serving malicious tech support scam ads

        Microsoft seems to be doing a lot to improve the security on Windows 11. The company has also been adding security features like “Enhanced Security” to its Edge browser that is getting more popular according to the latest data. For the unwary out there though, scammers and similar other threat actors and miscreants are lying and waiting.

      • OpenSource.comOpenSSF: on a mission to improve security of open source software

        Open source software (OSS), once a niche segment of the development landscape, is now ubiquitous. This growth is fantastic for the open source community. However, as the usage of OSS increases, so do concerns about security. Especially in mission-critical applications— think medical devices, automobiles, space flight, and nuclear facilities—securing open source technology is of the utmost priority. No individual entity, whether developers, organizations, or governments, can single-handedly solve this problem. The best outcome is possible when all of them come together to collaborate.

        The Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) formed to facilitate this collaboration. OpenSSF is best described in its own words..

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • QuilletteChina in the Age of Surveillance

          There are now an estimated 540 million CCTV cameras in China. Cameras watch citizens as they shop and dine. Cameras stare at residents as they leave home in the morning and return at night. In the office, cameras spy on workers inside toilet cubicles. And if you, the Chinese citizen, are particularly unfortunate, you may arrive home one day and find that a camera has been installed within your property. Supposedly a quarantine measure, it crouches there on the cabinet wall like a hostile creature that has somehow found its way in—watching as you eat, watching as you watch TV; a silent, unwanted houseguest. Cameras also lurk in the homes of the mentally ill. The state considers them too volatile to live unmonitored, but no apparent thought has been given to the special torment produced by an ever-present eye during periods of psychological distress.

        • Pete WardenTry OpenAI’s Amazing Whisper Speech Recognition in a Free Web App

          You may have noticed that I’m obsessed with open source speech recognition, so I was very excited when OpenAI released a new voice model. I’m even more excited now I’ve had a chance to play with it, the accuracy is extremely impressive, especially as it’s multi-language. OpenAI have done a great job packaging it, you can install it straight from pip if you’re a Linux shell user, but I wanted to find a way to let anybody try it for themselves from a web browser, even if they’re not developers. I love Google’s Colab service, and luckily somebody had already created a notebook showing the basics of using the Whisper model. I added some documentation and test files, and now you can give it a try for yourself by opening this Colab link – https://colab.research.google.com/github/petewarden/openai-whisper-webapp/blob/main/OpenAI_Whisper_ASR_Demo.ipynb.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • BBCPeople smuggler: I get clients to sign a waiver

        The people smuggler is from the Middle East – young and softly spoken, smartly dressed in black. He has agreed to tell me about his business if we do not reveal his identity. His bodyguards discreetly keep watch outside the house.

        [...]

        Already this year, more than 30,000 people have made the crossing in small boats, about as many as the whole of last year.

      • [Old] Repeal resolution granting Muslim school holidays, FFRF urges San Francisco

        The board’s resolution appears to be well intentioned and seeks to foster an inclusive school environment — a laudable goal. However, it goes too far, the national state/church watchdog contends. As a public school system serving students who are nonreligious as well as students from various religions, the San Francisco Unified School District must be careful not to show preference for a particular religion, even if it is a minority religion in the United States, FFRF asserts. And, as a practical matter, parents will be forced to arrange child care or lose work (a serious financial burden) and students will be denied education because of these religious closures.

      • The Telegraph UKWhen will the Tories realise that mass migration is making us poor?

        These great rivers of people are flowing into Britain because of conscious policy decisions. Universities are dependent on foreign students for income. The new points-based system is obscenely generous. And so the numbers are unprecedented. This huge movement of people is greater than in the post-war period, and greater even than under Tony Blair, who started the most recent immigration wave in 1997.

        The fall of Boris Johnson might have been an opportunity to restore control. But Liz Truss wants to increase the numbers even further. The Growth Plan 2022, published alongside Kwasi Kwarteng’s Budget on Friday, promised “a plan to ensure the immigration system supports growth whilst maintaining control”.

      • Counter PunchAustralia’s Asian Pivot Towards War

        It’s taken another 10 years — Trump disrupted — but the Asia Pivot is again gathering momentum and the Australian government is slowly gearing up for a fight with China. In January this year the announcement came from the Australian government that its fleet of Taipan helicopters would be retired early and the $3.7b acquisition of US-made Black Hawk helicopters would be completed.  In a January 2022 piece in The National Interest, Marcus Hellyer, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), wrote of the Black Hawk sale:

      • MeduzaIn Dagestan, residents protesting the mobilization blocked a federal highway, police fired shots into the air — Meduza

        On September 25, residents of the village of Endirey in the Khasavyurt region of Dagestan blocked the Khasavyurt-Makhachkala federal highway.

      • MeduzaNew wave of arsons at military enlistment offices and local administrations unfolds across Russia — Meduza

        After Vladimir Putin announced the Russian mobilization, arsonists started to set fire to military enlistment and administrative buildings (and one office of the United Russia party) with renewed vigor. In the first six months of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine at least 20 military commissariats were set on fire; now the frequency of such incidents has increased dramatically. This is a partial list of new instances of arson – more are likely to follow.

      • MeduzaMen of mobilization age will be barred from leaving Russia after ‘referendums’ — Meduza

        Russian authorities plan to close the borders to men of mobilization age, a source close to the Russian presidential administration told Meduza.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Spoils of War: Why Boston is No Longer the “Athens of America”

        Massachusetts has long had a reputation for being one of the most liberal states in the nation. According to an article published in Stacker, Massachusetts has the most liberal voters of any state in the nation ranked by two metrics: the percentage of residents who identify as liberals and the percentage of the state’s voters who voted for President Biden.

      • Counter PunchIn Ukraine, Any Accident Could Turn a Crisis Into a Catastrophe

        The gas vaporised and mixed with clouds of smoke that drifted over Bari, poisoning soldiers and civilians alike. The presence of chemical weapons on the allied side was a closely held secret, so doctors did not understand what was killing their patients. The American and British political and military leadership at first tried to keep the disaster a secret, with British soldiers killed by the mustard gas being officially described as having died as a result of “burns due to enemy action”.

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: In the Terrain of Word War III

        Patrick Lawrence writes the tide of this war has turned as the Russian army is on the way to defeat, and President Vladimir Putin could go down with it.

      • ScheerpostWhat Do Americans Care About? Not a Cold War With Russia and China

        Americans’ top security concerns include safety at home and protecting jobs.

      • MeduzaWomen in Dagestan and other regions protest mobilization ‘Our children are not fertilizer!’ — Meduza

        On September 25, residents of Dagestan carried out several actions protesting mobilization, the largest of which was in Makhachkala. Starting around 3:00pm Moscow time residents, mostly women, gathered in the center of the city. The Telegram channel “Morning Dagestan,” which had more than 30,000 subscribers before the action, published a call to come out to a demonstration. By 4:00pm about 100 people had come out, reports Dagestan outlet Chernovik: “mothers and children gathered, and representatives of older generations, and youth.” Judging by witnesses’ videos, a few hundred people were at the protest in Makhachkala. They chanted “No to war!” “No to mobilization” and “Our children are not fertilizer!”

      • MeduzaRussian security services count more than 260,000 men fleeing Russia — Meduza

        Russia security services report that after the “partial” mobilization, 261,000 men have left Russia. A source in the presidential administration discussed the FSB’s report with Novaya Gazeta Europe. 

      • MeduzaIn Kherson, former MP Oleksiy Zhuravko dies following missile strike — Meduza

        Two people, including former Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Zhuravko, were killed in a missile strike in the center of Kherson on the morning of September 25, reports Interfax, citing Russian-controlled emergency services in the region.

      • Counter PunchUS Hypocrisy Knows No Limits

        Not under that Charter, which is a formal treaty signed and adopted by both the United States and the Soviet Union and its successor Russia, President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is illegal and a “Crime against Peace” under the UN Charter, but the US, of all nations on the UN Security Council, is that last country, and Biden, as president of the US, is the last world leader of such nations to be making that accusation.

      • Counter PunchInside Putin’s Mobilization

        • Types of resistance to Putin’s mobilization • Some regions banning freedom of movement as draft-dodging grows • Russia’s miners and oil workers going to war • Chechnya’s Kadyrov exempts Chechnya from new mobilization • Zelensky speaks to Russians in Russian • Reports from Buryatia & Tuva regions on disproportionate deaths • Russia to strip Central Asian migrants of naturalized citizenship for refusing to fight • Conflicts between Russia and Uzbekistan/Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan

      • Meduza‘Now is the time to decide whether your life will end.’ Zelensky addresses Russians about the mobilization — Meduza

        Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky once again addressed citizens of the Russian Federation concerning the mobilization, calling on them to refuse summonses, to hide, or to surrender to Ukrainian troops. He made these statements in a video address concerning results of the 213th day of the war:

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Disappearing Art Of Maintenance

        Maintain is notably missing from the triplet, perhaps because it’s difficult to reconcile with sustainability’s implicit emphasis on reduction and restraint. By contrast, maintenance is about keeping things — sometimes large, intensively built things like skyscrapers and subway cars that might be difficult to imagine in the biodegradable utopias of the most gung-ho environmentalists. Ultimately, reduction is prioritized. We must not hold onto things. We must let go like good Buddhists, as industrial civilization becomes merely a painful, transient phase in human history, passing out of us like bad karma.

    • Environment

      • TruthOutHistoric Tropical Storm Fiona Swept Homes Into Ocean in Eastern Canada
      • Common DreamsHistoric Tropical Storm Fiona Sweeps Homes Into Ocean in Eastern Canada

        After knocking out power in Puerto Rico last week when it hit the U.S. territory as a Category 1 hurricane and intensifying to a Category 4 storm as it approached Bermuda, Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia, where it caused “very extensive damage” at an airport in Sydney and cut off power for more than 415,000 of the province’s 500,000 customers.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | A Carbon Tax Will Only Go So Far

        As the world’s media finally allows people to remove their sad masks – replete with frowns and pouting lips: following the burial of Queen Elizabeth II, we are being asked to replace them with masks showing raised eyebrows of fear amidst Putin’s threat of nuclear war. While Russians attempt to flee a terrifying military call up, all global citizens should be equally frightened of being called up to take part in the largest experiment ever conducted on planet Earth.

      • Common DreamsEPA’s Environmental Justice Office ‘Won’t Make Up for’ Manchin Deal, Campaigner Says

        “We’ve seen a lot of structural changes on environmental justice in the Biden, Obama and Clinton administrations, but we need to see the results,” Wes Gobar, an organizer with the Movement for Black Lives, told The New York Times.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | We Can Solve the Climate Crisis Without Worrying About Population

        I am working on a book that argues that the world has enough for everyone. To get to that world of enough, we need better ways to organize society such that the politics of profit aren’t driving social, economic, and political decision making. One of the reviews I received on my manuscript took me to task for supposing that we could have enough for everyone without radically reducing the size of the human population. I had not engaged the topic because thought that worry about population had been put to rest. But apparently, I was wrong.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | A Rapid Green Energy Transition to Save $12 Trillion and Avoid Catastrophic Tipping Points

        Set aside for a moment the fact that our profligate use of coal, oil and gas and rampant destruction of green spaces are heating the planet to a point where human life will become increasingly uncomfortable, if not impossible. Climate change costs are also mounting, and pollution, habitat destruction and consumerism are profoundly affecting global human health and survival.

    • Finance

      • TruthOut80 Percent of US Voters Want Government to Enact Paid Family and Medical Leave
      • Craig MurrayThe Tories Declare Class War

        The “cap” on bankers bonuses that the Tories have just removed had been set at double their annual salary. Yes, double their annual salary. So a banker on £320,000 a year could only get an annual bonus of £640,000. That has now been lifted so they will be able to get annual bonuses of millions again.

      • Counter PunchHow Will the Fed’s Interest Hikes Help the Poor?

        In fact, the story could well go into reverse. Over the last four decades, wage gains for the bottom half of the wage distribution trailed average wage growth, this is especially true during periods of high unemployment. In fairness, if the unemployment rate stays under 5.0 percent, this would still qualify as a period of relatively low unemployment, but there is no guarantee that workers at the bottom would be seeing wage gains equal to the average pace of wage growth.

      • ScheerpostAnti-Poverty Measures Work—The Proof Is in the Census

        Shailly Gupta Barnes reviews the lessons learned from the recent U.S. census data regarding poverty.

      • Counter PunchYouth Despair: End of the American Dream?

        Despair has become an endemic feature of postmodern American life and signals the end of what has long the called “the American Dream.” “One of the defining features of the ‘American Dream’ is the ideal that children have a higher standard of living than their parents,” notes Harvard’s Opportunity Insights group.  It then adds:

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Jacobin MagazineUganda’s Most Popular Musician Is Being Banned Because He Criticized the Government

        Wine’s outspokenness and popularity have made him a target of Museveni’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Since 2017, Wine has witnessed the killing of his driver as well as his bodyguard, and he has been placed under house arrest twice — once during the 2021 election, and both times illegally. He has also been arrested at least four times, on one occasion being brutally tortured.

      • What’s happening to arts censorship in the age of cancel culture?

        In free democracies like Australia and Great Britain, we assume artists can express what they want in their work without fear of persecution.

        Unlike in some countries where they could be imprisoned for art that challenges political or moral standards, democracies are usually far more supportive of artists’ free speech.

        Though in recent years, some artists have detected complex new pressures that are threatening to curtail what they feel they can say in their work.

        ArtsHub spoke to one established artist who described how ‘it feels like you have to be more careful now,’ when dealing with morally challenging subjects, and that they ‘would think twice about doing that kind of [extreme] work now.’

      • New York TimesSundance Liked Her Documentary on Terrorism, Until Muslim Critics Didn’t

        “In the independent film world there is a lot of weaponizing of identity politics,” Ms. Ali said in an interview. “The film took pains to understand the culture these men came from and molded them. It does a disservice to throw away a film that a lot of people should see.”

      • [Old] FFRF celebrates the release of Saudi activist Raif Badawi

        The Freedom From Religion Foundation is cheering the release of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose 10-year sentence and barbaric 2015 whipping for “insulting Islam online” caused global outrage.

        Badawi, now 38, was originally sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison, a sentence which an appeals court soon increased to an unthinkable 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison, also imposing a fine of $267,000. After he was subjected to the first 50 lashes in 2015, the Saudi government, responding to the worldwide outcry, did not carry out the rest, and recently ended flogging as a form of punishment.

        Badawi was able to call his family in Canada on Friday upon his release, but is subject to a 10-year travel ban, which the press freedom watchdog group Reporters Without Borders has pledged to fight.

      • [Old] BBCRaif Badawi: Saudi blogger freed after decade in prison

        His sentence ended on 1 March. However, he is subject to a 10-year-travel ban and it is unclear whether he will face other restrictions.

      • [Old] Humanists InternationalCases of Concern: Raif Badawi

        In 2006 Badawi created a website called the Saudi Liberal Network, with the intention of encouraging free political and social debate in Saudi Arabia – one of the only such fora for free communication in the country. In his writings, Badawi advocated for principles of secular thought and liberalism in his writing.

        Badawi was convicted in 2013 of “insulting Islam through electronic channels”. He was initially sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. The following year, his sentence was increased to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. He received 50 of those lashes in January 2015, while the remaining 950 were postponed due to a combination of his deteriorating health and international public outcry.

        The authorities have consistently hidden information about his conditions in detention, and his contact with the outside world has been infrequent.

      • Times Higher EducationResearchers are wounded in academia’s gender wars

        More than two years ago, I set out to find whether the warnings about entering this domain were justified, or, as others suggest, spurious claims made by those keen to spark a phoney “culture war”. It led me to interview 50 gender studies academics across many disciplines, including sociology, psychology and education, most of whom worked at English universities, to learn about their views and experiences of the dispute.

        Having approached the topic with an open mind, however, my discussions left me in no doubt that a culture of discrimination, silencing and fear has taken hold across universities in England, and many countries beyond.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Counter PunchJournalism: “Objectivity” and “Neutrality” Aren’t the Same Thing

        Like many, Turley seems to long for a return to some Golden Age of journalism when journalists merely provided facts in a “neutral” manner, giving readers the necessary evidence to reach their own conclusions instead of inserting their own biases and opinions into the matter.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • NBCWave of protests in Iran reflects seething anger over how its regime treats women

        As Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi met world leaders in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, extraordinary scenes have unfolded in his country, with women removing their headscarves and even burning them in front of cheering crowds, according to videos posted online.

        The combination of viral videos and pent-up anger represent a potential “George Floyd” moment for Iran, Ghaemi said, with the regime now “forced into a corner given how innocent this woman was and there was no grounds for having treated her so violently.”

        Iran’s U.N. mission did not respond to a request for comment.

      • VOA NewsTehran Rebukes Britain, Norway Over Commentary on Protests

        Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, told ABC’s “This Week” show on Sunday that the Iranian protests “reflect a widespread belief that [the demonstrators] deserve their dignity and rights” and that the U.S. supports them.

        He said the U.S. supports people “who stand up for their rights.”

      • New York TimesIran Protests Surge to Dozens of Cities

        The videos posted online and the scale of the response from the authorities are difficult to independently verify, but video and photographs sent by witnesses known to The New York Times were broadly in line with the images being posted widely online.

        Deep resentments and anger have been building for months, analysts say, particularly among young Iranians, in response to a crackdown ordered by the country’s hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi, that has targeted women.

        That comes on top of a litany of complaints over the years over corruption, mismanagement of the economy, inept handling of Covid and widespread political repression. The problems have persisted under Mr. Raisi, who came to power in an election in which any potential contenders were eliminated before the vote, particularly those from the reformist faction.

      • TruthOutAbleism Organizes Most Social Life. How Do We Dismantle It?
      • TruthOutBloated Police Budgets Won’t Stop Sexual Violence
    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood ReporterBack to the Future: Netflix Ad Push Has Echoes of Its DVD-by-Mail Era

        Netflix’s plan to get into advertising was unorthodox. It was seeking unusually high CPMs (the cost to reach 1,000 consumers), and targeting and tracking were nearly nonexistent.

        The year was 2005. And Netflix decided the time was right to get into the ad business via slips placed in its iconic red DVD envelopes.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Daniel JanusHow to pay for books

          I bring that example up because it illustrates pretty clearly that merely making a copy of digital connect (whether legally or not) is not a particularly meaningful act in and of itself. An USB stick filled with thirty thousand ebooks is not automatically worth $100,000. If I just read four of them, then only those four will present any value to me. The book brings value for the reader not when bought, but in the process of reading.

          Thus, I think it would make sense to tie the payment for the book (or more precisely, for its content) to that very process.

        • Torrent FreakPirate IPTV Operator Faces Prison Following Organized Crime Investigation

          Following an investigation carried out by a regional police organized crime unit, a UK man is due to appear in court next month charged with copyright and proceeds of crime offenses . Sources familiar with the case say the man is the alleged operator of Marvel Streams, a pirate IPTV service that shut down suddenly earlier this year.

        • Torrent FreakKim Dotcom Took on a Pro-Ukraine Meme Group & Got Utterly Shitposted

          Kim Dotcom’s hatred for United States policies is an integral part of his online persona and the reason for his current placement on the anti-American side of the Ukraine conflict. But while Dotcom has held off the US Government for more than a decade, he proved no match for anti-Russian propaganda shitposting meme group NAFO.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Lopped to Pieces

        It’s morning in Logroño. For a Logroño morning for me, habitually, it is an early morning. During dim epochs, I’d fall back to slumber for at least an hour after Marisa awakened, arose and began to prepare for her working day. Well, not today, sonny! My time in Seminole was an inspiration in this way. I was truly content with the morning routine that I created. I want to in part duplicated it in Logroño. Perhaps *duplicate* isn’t the best word. I want to *interpret* it in a Logroño context. The process begins today with a half complete morning exercise, ear training and this *scribbling*. I laughingly call it *scribbling*, as Robert Calvert laughingly called one of his songs a *composition* or some such. Which reminds me.

      • i’ve been away

        Well it’s definitely been a minute. It’s crazy how a quick break to focus on life can turn into months away from the smallweb.

    • Technical


* 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


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