11.23.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 23/11/2022: Tor Browser 11.5.8

Posted in News Roundup at 4:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • The VergeTime’s up: the leap second is being scrapped

        The leap second was introduced in 1972 as a way to adjust Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) roughly every 21 months. As these seconds are irregular and hard to predict due to the varying speed of the Earth’s rotation, they can disrupt systems that require precise timekeeping. Meta published a blog post earlier this year calling for leap seconds to be scrapped, highlighting that Reddit went down for around 40 minutes back in 2012 when a new leap second interfered with the company’s servers. In 2017, Cloudflare blamed the leap second for its DNS service going down on New Year’s Day, precisely at midnight UTC.

      • New York TimesIt’s Official: The Leap Second Will Be Retired (a Decade from Now)

        So voted the member states of the international treaty governing science and measurement standards, at a meeting in Versailles, France, on Friday. The near unanimous vote on what was known as Resolution D was met with relief and jubilation from the world’s metrologists, some of whom have been pressing for a solution to the leap second problem for decades.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Alexandru NedelcuMastodon

      It’s a good idea to prefer alternatives to mastodon.social, because this server is being hammered by new traffic. For professionals in the software industry, these instances seem to be pretty good: [...]

    • Raspberry PiHost your own Mastodon instance on a Raspberry Pi

      Different servers have different policies, and some specialise in specific areas or provide additional tools like maths or translation. At Raspberry Pi, the team took the decision that they should run their own server just for the company fediverse presence. You can tell it’s official, as it’s a Raspberry Pi-owned domain name; and Raspberry Pi can run their own publishing and moderation directly. The account can’t get banned or shadow banned; the worst that happens is nobody looks at the content because it’s boring. Which can be fixed by writing more interesting things. Raspberry Pi can’t pay for adverts and force content on you – the fediverse just doesn’t work like that.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Mozilla

        • TorNew Release: Tor Browser 11.5.8 (Android, Windows, macOS, Linux)

          Tor Browser 11.5.8 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory. This release will not be published on Google Play due to their target API level requirements. Assuming we do not run into any major problems, Tor Browser 11.5.9 will be an Android-only release that fixes this issue.

          Tor Browser 11.5.8 backports the following security updates from Firefox ESR 102.5 to to Firefox ESR 91.13 on Windows, macOS and Linux:

    • Standards/Consortia

      • HackadayNew Metric Prefixes Get Bigger And Smaller

        It always fascinates us that every single thing that is made had to be designed by someone. Even something as simple as a bag and box that holds cereal. Someone had to work out the dimensions, the materials, the printing on it, and assign it a UPC code. Those people aren’t always engineers, but someone has to think it out no matter how mundane it is before it can be made. But what about the terms we use to express things? Someone has to work those out, too. In the case of metric prefixes like kilo, mega, and pico, it is apparently the General Conference on Weights and Measures that recently had its 27th session. As a result of that, we have four more metric prefixes to learn: ronna, quetta, ronto, and quecto.

  • Leftovers

    • BoingBoingInstead of Black Friday, try Buy Nothing Day!

      According to Zippia.com, during 2021′s Black Friday, 155 million shoppers were out spending money, and businesses made $30-40 billion in sales in this post-Thanksgiving festival of consumption. On this same day, though, activists across the globe were celebrating a different cultural holiday, Buy Nothing Day (BND), which began in 1992 in Vancouver, Canada and has spread to over 65 countries. BND brings together citizens who seek freedom from the manic consumer binging currently colonizing the holidays, and call attention to the ecological and ethical consequences of overconsumption. Examples of recent activities from BND include: [...]

    • [Old] The Evolution of the Buy Nothing Meme

      After three ever-growing generations of Buy Nothing, what will the fourth look like? Will it dig deeper, move further, learn quicker, adapt faster? Can it be wielded with force against climate change? Wherever it goes, the meme’s future can’t be predicted with linear thinking and pattern-based predictions. Only the spontaneous creative will of the people, with the most powerful tool ever invented nestled in their pockets, can point the way forward. Could Buy Nothing 4.0 even play a part in putting humanity onto a sane sustainable path? We’ve only got so long to find out. It’s time for heads to bump — and for the Third Force to surge into action!

    • ScheerpostWakanda Must Fall

      This new film is rightly called a fantasy, and not just because Wakanda doesn’t exist. If Black moviegoers are not aware of the dangerous politics it espouses, they will find themselves believing in things far worse than non-existent kingdoms.

    • Telex (Hungary)The black caravan that’s impossible to escape from – just like prostitution
    • Telex (Hungary)It wasn’t CIA-controlled reptilians who supported Péter Márki-Zay’s movement – says head of NGO that raised funds
    • The NationIs NFL Football a Blood Sport?

      On this week’s episode of the Edge of Sports podcast, we speak to documentarian Isaac Solotaroff about his new project on Al Jazeera English, Bloodsport, a harrowing look at concussions and the NFL. We also talk about a new report that shows early CTE detection could be a scientific breakthrough very soon.

    • The NationInside the Dreams of Ling Ma

      I don’t know if Ling Ma is an insomniac, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she is. For the sleepless, the veil between consciousness and the realm of dreams is worn thin; waking life is rendered fuzzy, but if you squint, it might glow. Ma’s new story collection, Bliss Montage, slips into the space that emerges when our grasp of practical reality eases and our sense for psychedelic possibilities expands. Rife with symbols of dreams and the unconscious, Bliss Montage explores abuse, immigration, and passive societal decline through prose as cool and fine as hotel linens. By draping her stories in the language and atmosphere of the surreal, Ma challenges us to try our hand at the lost art of interpretation—the humble recognition that our perception of any moment, traumatic or mundane, is at best a good guess.

    • Science

      • NCC Group ResearchA jq255 Elliptic Curve Specification, and a Retrospective

        The jq255e and jq255s groups are prime-order groups appropriate for building cryptographic protocols, and based on elliptic curves. These curves are from the large class of double-odd curves and their specific representation and formulas are described in particular in a paper I wrote this summer: https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/1052. In a nutshell, their advantages, compared to other curves of similar security levels, are the following: [...]

    • Hardware

      • HackadayLocal IOT Cat Treat Dispenser

        [MostElectronics], like many of us, loves cats, and so wanted to make an internet connected treat dispenser for their most beloved. The result is an ingenious 3D printed mechanism connected to a Raspberry Pi that’s able to serve treats through a locally run web application.

      • HackadayA Hacker Walks Into A Trade Show: Electronica 2022

        Last week, the world’s largest electronics trade fair took place in Munich, so I had to attend. Electronica is so big that it happens only once every two years and fills up 14 airplane hangars. As the fairly generic name suggests, it covers anything and everything having to do with electronics. From the producers of your favorite MLCC capacitors to the firms that deliver them to your doorstep, from suppliers of ASIC test equipment to the little shop that’ll custom wind toroids for you, that’s a pretty wide scope. Walking around, I saw tomorrow’s technology today from the big players, but I also picked up some ideas that would be useful for the home gamer.

      • HackadayStart Your Engines: The FPV Contest Begins Now!

        There are places that you can go in person, but for everything else, there’s FPV. Whether you’re flying race quads, diving the depths in a yellow submarine, or simply roving the surface of the land, we want to see your builds. If it’s remote controlled, and you feel like you’re in the pilot’s seat, it’s FPV.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • The Telegraph UKHow to become that person who exercises in the cold and dark

        “We begin with one per cent improvements. Goal setting can be very useful but start small. Don’t go in there with unrealistic expectations, don’t imagine you’ll suddenly be going to the gym five times a week or running every day. Small changes compound every day and make bigger changes. People who start gung-ho tend to fizzle out. Instead, you start with once a week for half an hour.”

    • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NBCIran expands uranium enrichment at underground nuclear site amid violent crackdown on protesters

        “Enrichment to near-weapons grade levels using more efficient centrifuges at the deeply buried Fordow site is a serious escalation and raises the risk of a nuclear-armed Iran,” said Kelsey Davenport, director of non-proliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based think tank. Sixty percent enriched uranium “is a hair’s breadth away from the 90 percent level considered weapons grade,” she said.

      • ABCJan. 6 sedition trial of Oath Keepers founder goes to jury

        Hundreds of people have been convicted in the attack that left dozens of officers injured, sent lawmakers running for their lives and shook the foundations of American democracy. Now jurors in the case against Rhodes and four associates will decide, for the first time, whether the actions of any Jan. 6 defendants amount to seditious conspiracy — a rarely used charge that carries both significant prison time and political weight.

      • NBCJury to begin deliberating in Oath Keepers’ Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy trial

        U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta told jurors they would begin deliberations at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday and resume deliberations on Monday after the Thanksgiving break.

      • Counter PunchThe Four Front+ War or World War III: A Sketch
      • ScheerpostScott Ritter: The Back Channel

        Communications between the U.S. and Russia are essential for preventing an out-of-control crisis and a conduit exists for ongoing, high-level dialogue. But what is it really for?

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Even During War of Self-Defense, Zelenskyy Government Must Respect Human Rights and Labor Rights

        It is critical to support Ukraine’s just war of self-defense against Russian aggression. Russia’s invasion was morally horrendous and blatantly illegal, resulting in ongoing war crimes and tremendous human suffering.

      • MeduzaKarelia regional deputies ask Putin to issue decree ending mobilization — Meduza

        Two deputies from the Republic of Karelia’s regional parliament have released a letter calling for Vladimir Putin to sign an order officially ending Russia’s mobilization campaign. Their request notes that the absence of such an order is “affecting society’s psychological state and is a source of concern and heightened anxiety in Russian families and workplaces in addition to causing health problems for many children.”

      • Meduza‘Stop waging a new colonial war!’ Not so long ago, federalism facilitated a lively domestic debate about how Russia uses its military — Meduza

        On October 18, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution declaring “the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria” to be “temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation.” In addition to highlighting Moscow’s history of using military force to impose its will, the symbolic move served as an acknowledgement of the role Chechen separatist fighters have played in opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s no surprise that Ukrainians and Chechen independence advocates have found common cause; their histories have many parallels. Almost three decades ago, however, when Russia deployed troops in Chechnya and launched the First Chechen War, the Chechen independence movement received rhetorical support from what now seems a far less likely source: Tatarstan. Journalists from Idel.Realii, a division of the U.S. state media outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, recently dove into archives from that period, finding documents that offer a glimpse of a bygone era in which Russian politicians openly expressed disagreement with the Kremlin, Tatarstan was protective of its autonomy, and Russia’s transformation into “a voluntary union of equal nations” was seen as inevitable.

      • MeduzaPrigozhin awards Order of Courage to double homicide convict recruited by Wagner Group — Meduza

        Konstantin Kiselev, a convicted murderer recruited by the Wagner Group from a high-security penal colony in the Mari El region, has been decorated with the state Order of Courage.

      • Meduza‘Tired of war in principle’: The Kremlin secretly commissioned a series of focus groups to probe public attitudes about the war in Ukraine, and the findings aren’t encouraging for Russia’s president — Meduza
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Moral Injury: Helping Veterans Heal

        This past Veterans Day, I attended what was billed as a “Community Healing Ceremony” a service of reconciliation for veterans and nonveterans” choreographed and led by members of the clergy intended primarily to help veterans heal by relieving them “of the moral burden many too often carry in isolation.” The ceremony included a number of symbolic though somewhat banal “therapeutic” gestures to include hand washing, candle lighting, and ritualized movements integrated with civilian declarations of support such as “we’ve got your back,” and “you are not alone.” The highlight of the ceremony was five morally injured veterans, three of whom were clearly seriously impaired and vulnerable, testifying and professing their transgressions—bearing “witness to the human cost of war and military service”—as they struggled to relate their gut-wrenching experiences in war to a non-judgmental audience of sympathetic civilians (nonveterans). The expected, or better hoped-for benefit, as best as I can ascertain, from this interaction was twofold.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | 10 Years as a Military Spouse in America’s Post-9/11 World

        Recently, an agent of the Department of Homeland Security called me and started asking questions about a childhood acquaintance being investigated for extremism. I put him off.  My feelings about this were, to say the least, complex. As a military spouse of 10 years and someone who has long written about governmental abuses of power, I wanted to cooperate with efforts to root out hate. However, I also feared that my involvement might spark some kind of retaliation.

      • MeduzaUkrainian AG’s office investigates Russian POW execution video, suspects Makiivka captives of feigning surrender — Meduza

        The Ukrainian Attorney General’s office is investigating the video footage showing the alleged killing of captive Russian soldiers by the Ukrainian military.

      • MeduzaRussian lawmakers respond to video purportedly showing the killing of Russian POWs — Meduza

        Deputies from Russia’s State Duma have released an official statement in response to video footage that recently began circulating online and that appears to show Ukrainian soldiers killing Russian prisoners.

      • MeduzaUkrainian Security Service searches historic Kyiv monastery for Russian operatives — Meduza

        Agents from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) conducted a search of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, a historic monastery in the Ukrainian capital, on Tuesday, local news outlets reported.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • NPRStates differ on how best to spend $26B from settlement in opioid cases

        But she couldn’t find anyone to listen. At an August foundation meeting she attended, board members excused themselves to go into a private session, she said. “They just left the room and left us sitting there.” When she attended another meeting virtually, audience members weren’t allowed to “voice anything or ask questions.”

        A local group that advocates for people affected by the opioid epidemic has expressed similar concerns about the lack of opportunities for the public to speak with the foundation. That group is now suing the foundation for a lack of transparency, even though few decisions about funding priorities have been made yet.

    • Environment

      • NPRFears of [cryptocurrency] contagion are growing as another company’s finances wobble

        But Genesis has reportedly warned potential investors that it may need to file for bankruptcy if it fails to quickly raise a significant chunk of cash – $1 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

      • BBCFTX: Court says Sam Bankman-Fried ran FTX as a ‘personal fiefdom’

        The court was shown a timeline of how it became the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange before collapsing in just eight days once details about the company’s lack of financial stability were leaked online.

        Mr Bankman-Fried resigned and the firm filed for bankruptcy protection, seeking the court’s oversight as it attempts to resolve its debts.

      • Common DreamsSteven Donziger Says Criminalize Ecocide to ‘Help Save the Planet’

        Steven Donziger, the American human rights attorney targeted by Big Oil for his work in support of Indigenous people impacted by fossil fuel pollution, on Tuesday presented five legal solutions to the worsening climate emergency.

        “The right combination of legal changes happening quickly can catalyze progress.”

      • Energy

        • Eesti RahvusringhäälingFIU official: More [cryptocurrency] scams will be uncovered in the future

          The $575 million dollar cryptocurrency fraud reported yesterday is unlikely to be the last discovered in Estonia, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said on Tuesday.

        • The NationThe Upside to FTX’s Downfall

          This represents a reckoning for cryptocurrency, a market that has gone underregulated for its entire existence. And FTX’s fall is just the latest, most egregious example in a series of Silicon Valley disasters. From Elon Musk’s destructive takeover of Twitter, to layoffs across the industry, to Ticketmaster’s monopoly on Taylor Swift tickets, the long-inflated tech bubble could well be bursting.

          The Washington Post Editorial Board has declared this moment a “big reset for tech.” But Big Tech cannot be allowed to reset itself. The Biden administration has the rare opportunity to regulate it through bipartisan cooperation in a closely divided Congress. Taking on cryptocurrency would be a natural place to start.

        • NPRWringing its hands over FTX’s collapse, Washington hopes to prevent more [cryptocurrency] pain

          As lawmakers debate how to respond, regulators and law enforcement agencies have started investigations into the company, once valued at tens of billions of dollars.

          The new CEO of FTX has fielded “numerous inquiries” from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and federal prosecutors, according to a court filing.

          But when it comes to digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, bureaucrats are locked in a turf war over who is responsible for overseeing what.

        • NBCFTX’s downfall and [cryptocurrency]‘s Bitcoin betrayal

          The modern [cryptocurrency] industry, however, doesn’t necessarily share the same vision that motivated the creation of Bitcoin. These new projects don’t set out to solve the practical problems that motivated the cypherpunks, but actually just treat blockchain like another thing for the tech industry to tinker with.

        • Common DreamsWarren Warns Crypto Madness Will ‘Take Down the Economy’ If It Isn’t Regulated

          U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned Tuesday in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that if the federal government fails to adequately regulate the planet-killing cryptocurrency industry, it will “take down the economy.”

          “History is littered with financial schemes promoted by criminals and charlatans who claimed that the latest and greatest tools had evolved beyond the need for regulation.”

        • Counter PunchThe Pandemic Treaty, Crypto and the Press

          While the drafting of the agreement is still in its early phases, the shape of the main conflicts is already clear. The public health advocates, who want to ensure widespread access to these products, are trying to limit the extent to which patent monopolies and other protections price them out of the reach of developing countries. On the other side, the pharmaceutical industry wants these protections to be as long and as strong as possible, in order to maximize their profits. As Pfizer and Moderna know well, pandemics can be great for business.

          The shape of this battle is hardly new. We saw the same story not just in the Covid pandemic, but also in the AIDS pandemic in the 1990s, when millions of people needlessly died in Sub-Saharan Africa because the U.S. and European pharmaceutical industry tried to block widespread distribution of AIDS drugs.

        • Common Dreams‘A Death Sentence’: Biden Blasted for Approving Oil Export Project

          The Biden administration provoked national outrage this week by approving an oil export project off the coast of Texas—despite pledging to battle the climate emergency, including at COP27, the United Nations summit that just wrapped up in Egypt.

          “Enterprise has a terrible spill record, and they choose to run these pipelines right up our ass.”

        • The NationStudents Tell Their Universities: Keep Fossil Fuel Companies Out of Climate Research

          From Stanford and Brown Universities to Imperial College London and the University of Toronto, students at almost a dozen campuses around the world took action last week to push their universities to ban fossil fuel industry funding for climate research. This week of action was the latest outgrowth of the Fossil Free Research movement, which has spurred public discourse after Princeton pledged to divest its endowment and reject fossil fuel money. It also comes in the wake of reports that a record number of fossil fuel industry lobbyists flooded international climate talks at COP27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, bringing the specter of the industry’s protracted role in climate denial into clear view on the global stage. Hundreds of students participated in Fossil Free Research actions across the US, the UK, and Canada.

        • Common Dreams‘Let’s Try Something New’: Naomi Klein Calls for Boycott of Next COP Climate Summit

          Author and environmentalist Naomi Klein on Monday urged civil society organizations to boycott the 2023 COP climate summit in the United Arab Emirates—one of the world’s largest oil producers—after this year’s summit concluded without any concrete action to phase-out fossil fuels, despite the best efforts of campaigners from around the world.

          Listing off some of the marked failures of COP27—from the host government of Egypt’s refusal to release political prisoner Alaa Abd El-Fattah to the “weak climate agreement that protects polluters”—Klein argued in a series of tweets that “now is the time to decide not to do this all over again next year, when the summit will be in the UAE. Of all places.”

        • TruthOutNaomi Klein Calls for a “True People’s Summit” in Wake of COP27 Failure
        • Common DreamsCivil Society Groups to IMF: Abolish Surcharges to Help Finance Climate Action

          A coalition of more than 300 civil society groups from around the world on Tuesday urged the International Monetary Fund to fulfill its ostensible commitment to fighting the climate emergency by scrapping interest rate surcharges on its loans, which would free up billions of dollars that highly indebted nations could use to pursue a rapid and just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

          “Following the completion of COP27 and the IMF Managing Director’s plea for decision makers to ‘do the right thing’ to forestall a climate disaster, the undersigned organizations and individuals call upon the IMF to urgently address one of the most glaring and easily rectifiable contradictions between its stated support for a just transition and its actions by immediately ending its surcharge policy,” the coalition wrote in a letter sent to the IMF Board of Directors.

        • HackadayFuel Cell Catalyst: Less Is More

          A fuel cell is almost like a battery that has replenishable fuel. Instead of charging a battery with an electric current, you recharge a fuel cell with something like hydrogen or you simply consume it from a tank much as an internal combustion engine consumes gasoline. However, fuel cells usually use a catalyst — it isn’t consumed in the reaction, but it is necessary and many fuel cells use platinum as a catalyst which is expensive. But what if you could use less catalyst and get a better result? That’s what researchers in Canada and the US are claiming in a recent paper. The key isn’t how much catalyst they are using, but rather the shape of the catalyst.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchWhy the Ambler Road is One of the Biggest Threats to Alaskan Wildlands

          The proposed 211-mile Ambler Road would connect the Dalton Highway (pipeline haul road) with the Ambler Mining District in the western Brooks Range. The ore belt that stretches for 200 miles contains copper, cobalt, lead, and zinc and could be one of the most valuable deposits in the world, especially as people turn to electric vehicles.

          There is new interest in encouraging the US development of critical minerals and energy, and the Ambler Mining proposal benefits from this push for US sources of minerals.

      • Overpopulation

        • CaliforniaThe price of environmental damage in California? Less than a tank of gas for these farmers

          In theory, the State Water Resources Control Board has broad authority to regulate how water is used and to punish those who misuse it. But as The Bee’s investigation revealed, that authority is hopelessly undermined by “a convoluted web of state and federal laws.”

          State authorities are not even equipped to effectively track water consumption. Water disappears, and state officials often have no idea where it went.

        • VOA NewsTanzania’s Commercial Capital Struggling With Water Shortage

          It’s been a month since Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, put residents on water rations after a drop in the city’s main water source, the Ruvu River. Authorities say the water supply problem is beyond their control, but critics see it as a failure to manage resources. Charles Kombe reports from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Camera: Rajabu Hassan.

        • SacBee reporter investigates California water confrontations

          The situation turned acute over the summer, when ranchers in Siskiyou County defied state orders and turned on irrigation pumps. The flow in the Shasta River fell 50%, endangering fish species that need the water.

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsFaced With ‘Baseless Political Lawsuits,’ Biden Extends Student Loan Payment Freeze

        Student debt relief campaigners on Tuesday welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to yet again extend a temporary pause on federal loan payments in response to Republican lawsuits targeting his cancellation plan.

        “This is a welcome step towards stimulating the economy and providing some economic relief to millions of Americans.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | With $800 Billion Budget, Pentagon (Again) Can’t Pass an Audit

        Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit. 

      • Common DreamsUS Supreme Court Denies Trump’s Bid to Keep Tax Returns From House Committee

        In a blow to Donald Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by the former president to prevent a congressional committee from obtaining his federal income tax returns.

        “The committee will now conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last three-and-a-half years.”

      • The NationLabor’s Winning Weapon

        While tens of thousands of unionized workers in the United States were running phone banks and pounding the pavement in the final push to save democracy in crucial local, state and midterm elections, nearly 60,000 of their counterparts in Ontario, Canada, waged and won significant victories in two historic supermajority strikes (at least 90 percent of the workers participate in the strike). On Monday, November 7, some 2,200 workers walked off the job at GO Transit’s bus division, idling intercity buses across the Greater Toronto Area and disrupting commuters trying to access North America’s third-largest public transit system (after New York and Mexico City). The bus drivers, station attendants, maintenance crews, cleaners, and transit safety workers walked off the job in a strike that lasted four days with 100 percent unity. Not a single worker crossed the picket lines. The timing couldn’t have been better—and it wasn’t an accident. As Alex Jackson, a station attendant for five years, explained, “the climate was just really perfect” for the strike, since the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) “educational workers were going on strike, the grueling pandemic shook people up, and top managers like Phil Verster [CEO of GO Transit’s parent Metrolinx] were getting a huge raises.” The iron was hot, and they had spent months making sure it would be.

      • Common DreamsOutrage as Starbucks Moves to Close First Unionized Shop in Its Home City of Seattle

        Starbucks announced late Monday that it will soon shutter yet another unionized location—this time the Seattle shop that was the first to unionize in the coffee giant’s home city.

        While Starbucks said in a statement that the planned closure is due to “safety and security” concerns, workers and union representatives characterized the decision as clearly retaliatory given the Broadway East and Denny Way’s status as the first organized shop in the city where Starbucks was founded and is currently headquartered.

      • TruthOutStarbucks Moves to Close First Unionized Shop in Its Home City of Seattle
      • Common DreamsTeachers’ Union Leader Hits Back After Pompeo Calls Her the ‘Most Dangerous Person in the World’

        Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, defended the egalitarian legacy and aspirations of public education on Monday after former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused her of being “the most dangerous person in the world.”

        In an interview with Semafor, Pompeo said: “I tell the story often—I get asked, ‘Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?’ The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Billionaires Like Elon Musk Are the Most Dangerous People on Planet Earth

        Watching Elon Musk reveal himself in recent weeks to be the world’s richest buffoon has certainly been entertaining. However, it could lead to the conclusion that billionaires are silly but harmless—which is far from the truth.

      • Common DreamsProgressives Say Democrats Should Raise—Not Cut—Corporate Taxes During Lame Duck

        Tax justice campaigners are urging Democratic lawmakers to resist corporate America’s push for a series of major giveaways during the lame-duck session, arguing Congress should instead be raising taxes on large businesses as they continue to drive up prices for consumers while raking in record profits.

        “In 2021, corporations recorded annual profits of $2.8 trillion, up 25% from the year before. And, in 2022, they’re enjoying the highest profit margin in over 70 years,” the Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund notes in a new petition. “Now, even as major, profitable corporations are price gouging the American people, they are demanding that Congress give them a new round of tax breaks before year’s end that could cost up to $600 billion over ten years.”

      • MeduzaHuawei isolates operations in Russia and Belarus from other CIS countries to reduce sanctions risks — Meduza

        The Chinese telecommunications company ​​Huawei is splitting its division that handles CIS countries into two parts, separating its operations in Russia and Belarus from those in the rest of the region, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported on Tuesday.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • TechdirtMeta Moderators Handed Out Access To Facebook Accounts In Exchange For Bribes

        Moderation at scale is impossible. This truism has been enshrined on the pages of Techdirt. Anyone working for a platform with thousands of users — much less millions or billions of users — knows this is true. Meta, the rebrand now controlling Facebook, certainly knows this to be true. Facebook has billions of users and the amount of user-generated content requiring moderation is only slightly easier to manage than the 720,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every day.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • ScheerpostThuggish Ways: Mike Pompeo, Punishing Leakers and Getting Assange

        Poor, silly, protuberant Mike Pompeo.  The stocky, irritated former CIA director and former Secretary of State is rather upset that those who worked under him dared wag their tongues about Julian Assange.  The wagging so happened to relate to contemplated plans of abduction and assassination, something the US executive formally […]

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • MediaiteArgentinian TV Reporter Has Wallet Stolen From Her Live On Air At World Cup

        The Telegraph reported that over 20,000 facial recognition cameras were used throughout the eight stadiums.

      • The EconomistAn autistic man was surfing the internet on his dad’s sofa. Then the FBI turned up

        Even if a defence lawyer did convince a jury that their autistic client met this criterion, the outcome wouldn’t necessarily be desirable. Darius McCollum, an autistic man who was fascinated by New York City’s transit systems, was arrested on multiple occasions over a 30-year period for impersonating transit staff and driving their bus or subway routes (and doing the job fairly well, as it happened). In 2015 he was charged with stealing a Greyhound bus. The judge accepted his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, based on his autism, but sent him indefinitely to a mental institution.

      • VOA NewsUN Lashes Out at Iran for Harsh Crackdown on Protests

        The United Nations on Tuesday assailed Iran for the Islamic Republic’s increasingly harsh attacks on protests that were sparked by the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in the custody of the country’s morality police.

        More than 300 people, including around 40 children, have been killed during two months of protests, often in street clashes across the country. Iran has said that 46 members of its security forces have been killed, but the government has provided no further accounting of the death toll.

      • Pro PublicaHow the U.S. Broke Its Promise to Protect Fish for Tribes

        Salmon heads, fins and tails filled baking trays in the kitchen where Lottie Sam prepped for her tribe’s spring feast.

        The sacred ceremony, held each year on the Yakama reservation in south-central Washington, honors the first returning salmon and the first gathered roots and berries of the new year.

      • ScheerpostSettler Pogroms Against Palestinians Will Become The Norm Under New Israeli Government

        The main point to be taken from the results of the Israeli elections is that the lives of Palestinian have never been in more danger than they are now.

      • ScheerpostMajor Strike Looms as Largest Rail Union in US Rejects White House-Brokered Contract

        “It’s about attendance policies, sick time, fatigue, and the lack of family time,” said one union official. “A lot of these things that cannot be seen but are felt by our membership. It’s destroying their livelihoods.”

      • TruthOutCOP27 Is Over But Alaa Abd El-Fattah Remains a Political Prisoner
      • Democracy NowFamily of British-Egyptian Political Prisoner Alaa Abd El-Fattah on Their Struggle for His Freedom

        In a wide-ranging interview recorded in Cairo, we speak with Laila Soueif and Sanaa Seif, the mother and sister of British-Egyptian political prisoner Alaa Abd El-Fattah, about his health, his case, his family and his hopes for freedom. After visiting him in prison, they describe how El-Fattah started a water strike on the first day of the U.N. climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh to draw international attention to the country’s human rights violations and protest his seemingly indefinite imprisonment. He paused after collapsing and suffering a “near-death experience” when prison officials appeared reluctant to record his full water and hunger strike. Seif says they set a date to restart his hunger strike, once he regains physical and mental strength. Laila Soueif discusses how El-Fattah helped her raise his two younger sisters when her now-deceased husband was in jail for his own activism. They also describe his relationship with his son, Khaled, who is nonverbal and diagnosed with autism, calling El-Fattah a “patient, kind father.” Recalling his most recent trial, they lay out how he was sentenced to five years in prison last December, and explain how El-Fattah’s lawyers never had access to the case trial or were allowed to argue his case. “There is clearly a vendetta” against El-Fattah, notes Seif, who adds “it’s pointless to talk about the legal procedures [since] each step of it is a sham.” Seif also speaks about the mass imprisonment of other political prisoners and the major influence and responsibility the U.S. has in freeing El-Fattah and others. “This whole operation [in Egypt] is a U.S. operation,” says Soueif, who says she wants El-Fattah freed and deported to the U.K. to keep him safe.

      • TechdirtOhio City’s Failure To Control Cops Results In Jury Awarding $4.4 Million To Family Of Man Killed By Officer

        You may think you can take a hands-off approach to local law enforcement. But you’d be wrong. Trusting the police to police themselves has never worked out. If you don’t end up targeted by a DOJ investigation, all the work you didn’t do to oversee your police officers can (and will) be used against you in a court of law.

      • EFFSee What We Accomplished Together in EFF’s 2021 Annual Report

        EFF leveraged over $15M in public support to defend civil liberties and encourage innovation in the digital world last year. We continued long standing battles against street-level surveillance by companies such as Amazon Ring and technologies like Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs). We also reacted to fast-breaking external events, such as our largely successful efforts to ensure that pandemic-related virus tracking software respects our privacy, and in our successful campaign to pressure Apple into dropping a dangerous message-scanning program.

        Our work encrypting the web continued apace, as did our recognition that cybersecurity requires protecting everyone, including domestic violence victims who are subjected to stalkerware. And that’s only scratching the surface. Compared to recent annual reports, this year’s report includes a more comprehensive look at EFF’s work in six key issue areas, includes a “by the numbers” section, and other resources, such as links to our legal and policy victories and even amicus briefs EFF filed during the year. 

        Sprinkled throughout the report are quotes from the 4,000 responses to our online member survey, where you affirmed that EFF is a trusted source of information, and that our supporters share our values. Thank you for standing by our side as we work together to protect civil liberties and make the world a better place, now and for future generations.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtNYC’s New 5G LinkNYC Towers Don’t Actually Fix The Digital Divide. And They’re Ugly As Hell.

        Back in 2014, New York City officials decided they would replace the city’s dated pay phones with “information kiosks” providing free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging, and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions. The kiosks were to be funded by “context-aware” ads based on a variety of data collected from kiosk users and NYC residents just passing by.

      • TechdirtFCC Adds A ‘Nutrition’ Label To Broadband So You Can Clearly See When Monopolies Are Ripping You Off

        After countless years pondering the idea, the FCC has finally announced that it’s going to politely ask the nation’s lumbering telecom monopolies to affix a sort of “nutrition label” on to broadband connections. The labels will clearly disclose the speed and latency (ping) of your connection, any hidden fees users will encounter, and whether the connection comes with usage limits.

      • TechdirtThe Global Trend That Could Kill The Internet: Sender Party Network Pays

        There is a Korean proverb that says: “There is always a way out, look for it.” South Korea’s recent revision of its Telecommunications Business Act (TBA) might, however, be the one thing South Korea is not able to get out of, unless it abandons its plans for redistributing the monopoly power back to telecommunication providers.

    • Monopolies

      • Rolling StoneAOC on Ticketmaster: ‘Fans Are Being Absolutely Fleeced’

        New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the first politicians to criticize the live music giant over the latest controversy last week, tweeting a “daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with Live Nation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in,” and calling for the merger to be broken up.

      • Hollywood ReporterFear for Your Megamergers: The Justice Dept. Is (Finally) Taking Action

        The ruling marks a triumph for a rejuvenated DOJ antitrust division after decades of lax enforcement — and a troubling sign for Hollywood moguls contemplating mergers. “Anybody who is looking to do sizable M&As in the media sector where you’re going to lose a player should be concerned after this,” the head of a mid-major studio, speaking under the condition of anonymity, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

      • Hollywood ReporterDisney Hit With Antitrust Suit Over Live Streaming TV Prices

        The suit pits YouTube TV subscribers, who filed the suit on Friday in California federal court, against Disney. They point to business dealings that effectively grants the company the ability to “set a price floor” for the market and push up prices across the industry by raising the prices of its own offerings.

      • New York TimesCan Big Tech Get Bigger? Microsoft Presses Governments to Say Yes.

        Microsoft’s aim is simple: persuade skeptical governments around the globe to approve the blockbuster takeover. Sixteen governments must bless the purchase, putting Microsoft under the most regulatory pressure it has faced since the antitrust battles of the 1990s. And in three key places — the United States, the European Union and Britain — regulators have begun deep reviews, with the European Commission declaring this month that it was opening an in-depth investigation of the deal.

      • The EU is set to investigate the Microsoft-Activision deal in more depth, it’s claimed

        However, according to a new report by Politico, Microsoft had a deadline of midnight on October 31 to submit commitments to the EU that would help ease any concerns it had about the deal.

        Sources familiar with the matter reportedly told Politico that Microsoft has failed to do this, thereby potentially triggering the second, more in-depth phase of the investigation.

        If the European Commission now wishes to press ahead with Phase 2, it has to formally announce this before November 8.

      • Florian MüllerEuropean Commission extends deadline for Microsoft-ActivisionBlizzard merger review by 10 days, presumably at parties’ request: potential harbinger of positive outcome

        Today the European Commission announced the extension of its deadline for the merger review of Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King by 10 working days to April 11, 2023. According to the website of the EC’s Directorate General for Competition (DG COMP), this decision was made under Article 10(3)2 of the EU’s Merger Regulation.

      • European CommissionM.10646 MICROSOFT | ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

        Notification on: 30.09.2022

        Provisional deadline: 11.04.2023 : Deadline extended by 10 working days under article 10(3)2 on 18.11.2022

        Prior publication in Official Journal: C386 of 07.10.2022

      • Microsoft offered Sony 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, as regulatory pressure intensifies

        On November 11, Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, the company told the New York Times. Sony, however, declined to comment on the matter.

        It is unclear why the Japanese company rejected another proposal from Xbox. But it is safe to say that Sony will continue to oppose the $68.7 billion deal, citing potential harm to its customers and market competition in general as the main reasons.

      • The Washington PostActivision Blizzard’s CEO addresses the Microsoft merger

        Microsoft wants to expand its gaming empire beyond Xbox and buy Activision Blizzard for a record $68.7 billion deal, but it’s facing further regulatory scrutiny.

        The European Union announced on Tuesday it has launched an investigation into Microsoft’s merger. It is worried that the tech giant will limit access to Activision games, which could hurt competition.

      • [Old] EUPrior notification of a concentration (Case M.10646 – Microsoft / Activision Blizzard) (Text with EEA relevance) 2022/C 386/06 [iophk: Too late]

        4. The Commission invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed operation to the Commission.

        Observations must reach the Commission not later than 10 days following the date of this publication. The following reference should always be specified:

        M.10646 – Microsoft / Activision Blizzard

      • European CommissionM.10646 – MICROSOFT / ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: SECTION 1.2

        On 30.09.2022, the Commission received a notification of the proposed acquisition by Microsoft of sole control within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 over Activision Blizzard (the “Transaction”). The Transaction will be implemented through a merger of Microsoft’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Merger Sub, with and into Activision Blizzard. Following the Transaction, Activision Blizzard will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft.

      • ForbesWhy Sony Is Never Going To Take Any ‘Call Of Duty’ Deal Xbox Offers

        After Phil Spencer said they couldn’t just make a “forever” contract, the offer they are actually making is a 10 year contract to ensure Call of Duty would keep being sold on PlayStation after they bought it, up from the three year offer they made previous that Jim Ryan called “inadequate.”

        Sony has not commented on the new offer yet, but at this point you might wonder what offer they would take if they won’t take this one, but there you’ve found your answer.

        No offers. They do not have a reason to take…any offers, from their perspective. Here’s why.

      • Trademarks

        • ABCJack Daniel’s maker takes Arizona company to court over spoof dog toy

          The toy that has Jack Daniel’s so doggone mad mimics the square shape of its whisky bottle as well as its black-and-white label and amber-colored liquor while adding what it calls “poop humor.” While the original bottle has the words “Old No. 7 brand” and “Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey,” the parody proclaims: “The Old No. 2 on Your Tennessee Carpet.” Instead of the original’s note that it is 40% alcohol by volume, the parody says it’s “43% Poo by Vol.” and “100% Smelly.”

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakACE Shuts Down Major Live Streaming Sports Sites and Settles with Operator

          The FIFA World Cup is in full swing, and rightsholders are working around the clock to keep live-streaming pirates at bay. Anti-piracy coalition ACE did its part by shutting down two popular sites after signing a confidential settlement with their Moroccan operator. Overall, however, defeating sports piracy is much easier said than done.

        • Torrent FreakMovie Studios Awarded $51.6m Piracy Damages Against IPTV Service Nitro TV

          Columbia, Paramount, Disney, Warner, Universal and Amazon, have been awarded $51.6m in copyright damages against the operators of the defunct pirate IPTV service, Nitro TV. A California court awarded damages for willful infringement of 2,216 movies and TV shows. Six defendants, including YouTuber ‘Touchtone’, are also liable for almost $2m in post-judgment interest.

        • TechdirtAI Art Is Eating The World, And We Need To Discuss Its Wonders And Dangers

          After posting the following AI-generated images, I got private replies asking the same question: “Can you tell me how you made these?” So, here I will provide the background and “how to” of creating such AI portraits, but also describe the ethical considerations and the dangers we should address right now.


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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  2. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  3. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  4. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  5. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  6. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  8. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  9. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  10. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  12. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  13. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  14. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  15. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  17. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  18. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  19. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  20. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  21. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  22. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day



  23. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023



  25. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"



  26. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail



  27. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Understand the Company's Value Proposition (Building Systems) and Rejects Security

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has failed to sell what it was actually good at; instead it hired unqualified people and outsourced almost everything



  28. Links 25/01/2023: NuTyX 23.01.1 and GNU Guile 3.0.9 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Links 25/01/2023: Stratis 3.5.0 and Many Political Links

    Links for the day



  30. New Record Low: Only One 'Linux' Article in ZDNet in More Than Two Weeks

    Only a few years ago ZDNet published about 3 “Linux” stories per day (mostly FUD pieces); now it’s a ghost town, painted in ‘alien green’; considering ZDNet’s agenda (and sponsors) maybe it’s better this way


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