Links 23/12/2022: Meson 1.0.0 and Haiku R1 Beta 4

Posted in News Roundup at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • OMG UbuntuAnnotate Files & Folders in Nautilus with this Extension

        Nautilus (also known as GNOME Files these days) used to have a built-in “notes” feature. This allows you to attach short written annotations to files and directories on your system, and view/edit/access them at a later date. This (admittedly little-known) feature seems to have been removed in Nautilus 3.2 back in 2011.

        Well, this week I found a new Nautilus extension that brings this (admittedly niche) feature back, and it works with the latest versions of GNOME’s famed file manager. When installed, you are able to annotate files, directories, and even storage devices with custom text inside of the file manager itself…

      • Linux LinksExcellent Utilities: Rnote – sketch and take handwritten notes – LinuxLinks

        This series highlights best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

        Rnote is a vector-based drawing app for sketching, handwritten notes and to annotate documents and pictures.

        The software is written in Rust and published under an open source license.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Backup and Restore Linux Commands History [Ed: Updated now]

        This article walks us through an understanding of the Linux terminal history, a demonstration of its backup and restore procedures, and why it is important.

        The Linux operating system is a feature-rich operating system environment. Its command line environment alone has the capability of transforming an ordinary user into a super user. In this case, we will look at the concept behind how to back up and restore Linux terminal history.

      • How to Install Audacity 3.2.2 on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

        This beginner tutorial will help show you how to install Audacity 3.2.2 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Linux Mint 21.

      • Beginners Guide for mv Command in Linux

        In UNIX/Linux systems, the mv command shipped with the operating system is usually used for the following purposes:

        - Moving files from source to destination directory.
        Rename the file or directory name.
        - If you’re familiar with the cp command, you can use the same techniques to use the mv command.

        Even though you can use this article to learn how to use this command from the most basic to the most advanced levels.

      • Make Use Of8 Ways You Can Fine-Tune NGINX Performance on Linux

        NGINX is a popular, free, and open-source web server. The default NGINX configurations are good enough to get the web server working.

        However, if you want to use NGINX to its fullest, you need to play with its configuration files and set the parameters that will optimize the server’s performance. You will find the configuration files in the /etc/nginx directory on a Linux machine.

      • Wine Reviews : Steam and Lutris in EuroLinux Desktop

        The holiday season is approaching, so today we offer a slightly lighter, but interesting topic. After a period of tumultuous development, Linux gaming has finally managed to win the trust of gamers and convince them to the platform from under the penguin sign. Thanks to digital video game distribution services, gamers can enjoy their favorite Windows titles also on EuroLinux Desktop.

        However, before trying to install Steam, you should make sure that EuroLinux Desktop includes the required graphics drivers. If not, Nvidia users should download the company’s official drivers, and AMD users should install the open Mesa drivers.

      • Continuing my familiarisation with GeckoLinux/openSUSE | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        As my old nettop only has an Intel dual-core Atom 330 CPU I wanted to install a spin with a lightweight desktop environment. I opted for the LXQt spin based on openSUSE Tumbleweed (see the aforementioned earlier post for details), and am pleased with its functionality and performance.

      • Daniel StenbergThe curl fragment trick | daniel.haxx.se

        curl supports globbing in the sense that you can provide ranges or lists in the URL that will make curl iterate, loop, over all the different variations and do a separate transfer for each.

      • ID RootHow To Install Vagrant on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Vagrant on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Vagrant is a command-line tool for building and managing virtual development environments. It allows developers to easily create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments. By default, Vagrant can provision machines on top of VirtualBox, Hyper-V, and Docker too.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Vagrant on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • Make Use OfHow to Automatically Create Compose Files From Running Docker Containers

        Docker is an essential tool for easy installation of the apps which can run your sites and services, and it’s even easier to manage with docker-compose.

        Some projects don’t come with docker-compose files, and it’s time-consuming to create one yourself. docker-autocompose can generate a working docker-compose file from any running Docker container.

      • ID RootHow To Change TimeZone on Rocky Linux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install aaPanel on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, The time zone of a system is the geographic region where the system is located. It determines the local time, which is used to display the date and time on the system. By default, the time zone is set during the installation of the operating system. However, it may be necessary to change the time zone if you move to a new location or if the time zone was set incorrectly during the installation.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step change timezone on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • ID RootHow To Install Redis on Fedora 37 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Redis on Fedora 37. For those of you who didn’t know, Redis is a popular open-source in-memory database that is commonly used as a cache and message broker and more. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Redis on a Fedora 37.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install the Palemoon browser on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install the Palemoon browser on a Chromebook.

      • H2S MediaHow to install Gnome GUI on Redhat 9 or 8 Linux Server

        Minimal users of RHEL will not have a GUI interface by default. In this tutorial, we learn the commands that we can use to install the popular GNOME Desktop UI on Redhat 9 or 8 Server Linux.

        Widely used Gnome desktop environment is also a part of RedHat Linux, if you are going for GUI desktop installation. I know most of the time RHEL is used as a server distro, preferably with a command line interface. However, if you are a beginner and need GUI on Linux but without reinstalling it then here in this article, we let you know how?

      • Wine Reviews : Manage Your Linux Game Library With Lutris

        Lutris is an open-source Linux game manager, but it’s more than that. It aims to provide a single unified way to handle gaming on Linux.

        It brings together all aspects of Linux gaming into one place. Steam, Wine, HumbleBundle, GOG, and even a whole range of emulators are all brought together for a relatively seamless experience.

        Lutris also provides methods for installing games. It integrates with Steam, and it provides installer scripts for even the trickiest Wine games.

      • Install OpenVAS on Rocky Linux 8

        We are going to use Atomicorp repository to install OpenVAS on Rocky Linux 8.

        OpenVAS is an open source full-featured vulnerability scanner.

    • WINE or Emulation

    • Games

      • The VergeValve answers our burning Steam Deck questions — including a possible Steam Controller 2 – The Verge

        We speak to Steam Deck designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais about their plans for the handheld gaming PC, after nine months of rapid updates that have made it a much easier recommendation.

      • Godot EngineGodot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 4.0 beta 10

        Happy holidays! We have been enjoing Godot 4.0 betas for over three months now, and we are glad to see it get more stable and usable every week. Every beta release so far has included a lot of fixes in one or more key areas, and the next major version of the engine starts to finally look complete.

        Beta 10 will be the last dev snapshot of the year 2022, as a lot of our contributors will no doubt be slowing down for the end of year celebrations and some quality family time. We will continue our work on the engine and will release a new snapshot every week in the upcoming year, just as before, to get fast feedback on bugfixes, and potential regressions they may introduce. Thank you for being an integral part of the dev process with your rigorous testing and timely reports!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • TSDgeos’ blog: Donate to KDE with a 10% power up! (1-week-offer)

          Hopefully by now, you know that in KDE we are running an End of Year Fundraising campaign.

          If you didn’t, now you know :)

          The campaign has already raised around 16 thousand euros, but there’s still a bit to go to the minimum goal of 20 thousand.

          So let’s spice things up a little, I will donate 10% of every donation you make, you donate 1€, I will donate 0.1€, you donate 100€ I will donate 10€, etc.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • HaikuOSHaiku R1/beta4 has been released! | Haiku Project

        After a year and a half since the last beta, Haiku R1/beta4 has been released. See “Release Notes” for the release notes, “Press contact”, for press inquiries … and “Get Haiku!” to skip all that and just download the release (or upgrade to it from an existing install!)

      • HaikuOSR1/beta4 – Release Notes | Haiku Project

        The fourth beta for Haiku R1 over a year and a half of hard work to improve Haiku’s hardware support and its overall stability, and to make lots more software ports available for use. Over 400 bugs and enhancement tickets have been resolved for this release.

        Please keep in mind that this is beta-quality software, which means it is feature complete but still contains known and unknown bugs. While we are increasingly confident in its stability, we cannot provide assurances against data loss.

        For most of this release cycle, waddlesplash was employed as a contractor to work on Haiku. His contract is presently ongoing, supported by the generous donations of readers like you to Haiku, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • The Register UKFresh preview of SUSE’s new enterprise Linux distro arrives • The Register

        As the end of the year and the holiday season both approach, so do new previews of both SUSE’s new enterprise Linux distro, ALP, and the NetBSD OS.

        It’s been a few months since Les Droites, the first prototype build of SUSE’s next-gen enterprise Linux distro, appeared. ALP is SUSE’s Adaptable Linux Platform, the company’s next-generation containerized enterprise distro.

        Now, the second prototype is here, and it’s codenamed “Punta Baretti”. (Like “Les Droites”, the original of the codename is a mountain in the Alps.)

        This version has a new installation program, based on SUSE’s YAST D-Installer project. This splits the installation program into separate layers which communicate over D-bus, so that same installater can be controlled by a local GUI, or a command line, or another machine over the network, or even by the Cockpit web management system.

        There’s more information about D-Installer on the project’s home on Github. Courtesy of a customized version of LUKS2, the new installer can install onto bare metal with full disk encryption, unlocking the disk with a key from the TPM chip – similarly to the system we described when talking about the new Unified Kernel Image system a few months ago.

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2022/51 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

        The winter holiday period is upon us, and the number of requests submitted to Factory is getting lower (I even managed to have an empty review queue for a couple of minutes yesterday). But small snapshots never stopped Tumbleweed – and it kept on rolling, again with 7 snapshots released during this week (1216…1222)

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Yum Extender – Rises Like a Phoenix

        Yum Extender (yumex-dnf) as retired 5 years ago from Fedora, as I did not have the time to handle development.

        Back in May 2021 i started up the development up again on yumex-dnf.

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2022-51

        Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

        I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • ZDNetLinux Mint 21.1: The better-than-ever Linux desktop | ZDNET

        You can keep your Windows 11 and macOS Ventura on your PCs. On my desktop, what I want is open-source Linux. In particular, I want Linux Mint. Why? Because, it’s free, easy to use, and far more secure than its proprietary rivals.

        The latest version, Linux Mint 21.1, Vera, is better than ever. If you don’t know it, let me introduce you.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • FSF

      • FSFFSF job opportunity: Operations assistant

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

      • FSFSharing is at the core of the free software community

        FSF program manager Miriam Bastian shares why she thinks the freedom to share is important
        Sharing is what makes a strong community. It has always impressed me to see how people in the free software community share their time, ideas, achievements, knowledge, and software with others. This sharing community is what attracted me in the first place to the free software movement: I wanted to know what it is that people spend so much time and joint effort on and why. What I found convinced me and won me over to free software.

        I started to climb the freedom ladder in 2014. Having profited from software like KeePassXC, Calibre, LibreOffice, F-Droid, Zotero, VLC media player, Privacy Badger, and TeXstudio for more than seven years, I wanted to give back to the free software community. When the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was looking for a program manager, I considered this to be the perfect opportunity to utilize my organizational, managerial, and interpersonal skills, and I am immensely grateful that I now have the privilege to contribute to the free software movement as the FSF’s program manager.

    • Programming/Development

      • Meson 1.0.0 was released on 23 December 2022
      • Jussi PakkanenNibble Stew: After exactly 10 years, Meson 1.0.0 is out

        The first ever commit to the Meson repository was made 10 years ago to this day. To celebrate we have just released the long-awaited version 1.0.

        The original design criterion for doing a 1.0 release was “when Meson does everything GStreamer needs”. This happened, checks notes, three years ago (arguably even earlier than that). That is not the world’s fastest reaction time, but that comes mostly down to our development policy. Meson aims to make releases at a steady pace and maintains backwards compatibility fairly well (not perfectly). There is unlikely to ever be a big breaking change, so there is no pressing technical need to bump the major version number.

        Thus 1.0 is mostly a symbolical milestone rather than a technical one, end users should not not really notice that big of a difference. This does not mean that the release is any less important, though. To celebrate here is an assortment of random things that have happened over the years. Enjoy.

      • QtMoving to OpenSSL 3 in binary builds starting from Qt 6.5 Beta 2

        This is a short but an important note for all those who use the binaries from the Qt builds provided in Qt Maintenance Tool as a runtime for applications in the field.

        As some of you might know, Qt6 supports OpenSSL 3 since Qt 6.2.0. Starting from the next (second) beta of Qt 6.5, our binary builds will be based on OpenSSL 3. Since OpenSSL 3 is a new major version, it is not binary compatible with OpenSSL 1.x , see this link. This makes binary builds in Qt 6.5 beta 2 and later binary incompatible with applications using OpenSSL 1.x. If your application is using OpenSSL, you would need to rebuild it on top of Qt 6.5 binary builds from the Qt Maintenance Tool in order to run it on top of Qt 6.5 binaries or use your own builds based on OpenSSL 1.x. This is especially important for Linux applications, since Windows and macOS have other API for secure communications in addition to OpenSSL.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Joe BrockmeierYear of the RSS reader? : Dissociated Press

        Well. Maybe? Certainly there’s an opportunity for something better. Between Twitter going to hell and the difficulty in keeping up with information, there’s opportunity. Something that unifies or improves ActivityPub and RSS and… all of the things, would be damn nice. I don’t see it on the horizon yet.

        And I don’t see droves of people going back to RSS. I still use it, where it’s available, but my habits aren’t the best predictor of what others will use.

        My prediction here is that 2023 is going to be messy as hell when it comes to social media and media consumption. Lots of parties will be vying for the top spot, and there’s a great deal of opportunity if someone gets it right. Will people have finally learned the lesson against centralization and letting the virtual town halls be controlled by entities like Twitter? Would love to see it, but I’m skeptical.

        Whatever wins I don’t think it’s going to be RSS or ActivityPub in its current form. I’m betting someone is tinkering with a contender right now, hopefully in the form of an open protocol with open source implementations. Maybe ActivityPub++ or maybe something entirely new.

  • Leftovers

    • Security

      • The StackIs this CVSS 10 Linux Kernel vulnerability going to ruin your Christmas? [Ed: It's more about SMB than Linux, and requires some access level]

        Every security researcher just knew some god-awful vulnerability was going to get lobbed into the mix just as people wind down for the holiday and it looked for a moment like it might have landed: A critical (CVSS 10) vulnerability in the Linux kernel that lets remote and unauthenticated hackers execute arbitrary code? Yikes.

      • ZDNetPatch now: Serious Linux kernel security hole uncovered [Ed: Most machines aren't impacted because of how they are set up]
      • Wladimir PalantLastPass has been breached: What now? | Almost Secure

        If you have a LastPass account you should have received an email updating you on the state of affairs concerning a recent LastPass breach. While this email and the corresponding blog post try to appear transparent, they don’t give you a full picture. In particular, they are rather misleading concerning a very important question: should you change all your passwords now?

      • The Register UKZerobot malware now shooting for Apache systems • The Register

        The Zerobot botnet, first detected earlier this month, is expanding the types of Internet of Things (IoT) devices it can compromise by going after Apache systems.

        The botnet, written in the Go programming language, is being sold as the malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model and spreads through vulnerabilities in IoT devices and web applications, according to the Microsoft Security Threat Intelligence (MSTIC) team in a report released on Wednesday.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (node-hawk and node-trim-newlines), Fedora (insight, ntfs-3g, and suricata), and SUSE (conmon, helm, kernel, and mbedtls).

      • NBCQueens: 2 Men Arrested for Working With Russian Nationals to Hack Taxi Dispatch System at JFK Airport – NBC New York

        Two men are facing charges for allegedly conspiring with Russian nationals to hack the taxi dispatch system at JFK International Airport, charging taxi drivers a fee to cut the taxi line, prosecutors said.

        Daniel Abayev and Peter Leyman are facing two counts of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions in connection to the alleged plot, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and John Gay, the Inspector General of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, jointly announced Tuesday.

        According to the indictment, from at least September 2019 through September 2021, Abayev and Leyman, who are U.S. citizens residing in Queens and Russian nationals residing in Russia engaged in a scheme to hack the Dispatch System at JFK.

      • Bruce SchneierHacking the JFK Airport Taxi Dispatch System – Schneier on Security

        Two men have been convicted of hacking the taxi dispatch system at the JFK airport. This enabled them to reorder the taxis on the list; they charged taxi drivers $10 to cut the line.

      • Make Tech Easier15 of the Best Hacking Apps for Android – Make Tech Easier

        The apps mentioned are some of the best Android hacking apps. None of them require your Android phone to be rooted and all are easy to use for beginners. They’re useful to network administrators, penetration testers, and white hat hackers. All are available on Google Play Store and work with the latest Android versions.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • AccessNowU.S. Congress takes additional steps to combat spyware – Access Now

          Access Now applauds the U.S. Congress for passing bipartisan legislation to counter foreign commercial spyware that poses a threat to human rights defenders around the world. This legislation will aid efforts to mitigate the threat posed by targeted surveillance technologies, like NSO Group’s notorious Pegasus spyware.

          Sec. 6318 of the Intelligence Authorization Act, which was included in the broader 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is primarily aimed at creating protections for U.S. intelligence community personnel. But it could also generate new avenues to address the abusive use of spyware around the world by mandating the U.S. intelligence community report to Congress on dangerous companies and promoting international governmental coordination. President Biden signed the 2023 NDAA into law on Friday, December 23.

          “The proliferation and use of spyware is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time, and bold U.S. action is critical to meeting this challenge,” said Michael De Dora, Senior Campaigner at Access Now. “While designed to protect the U.S. intelligence community, this legislation will also bolster efforts to restrict the spread of spyware and hold perpetrators accountable. It is an important step that should serve as a standard for governments around the world to emulate.”


          In June, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a public hearing on the threats posed by foreign commercial spyware like NSO Group’s Pegasus. NSO was added to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List in November 2021 along with Candiru.

        • Citizen LabCatalanGate Report: Correcting a Case – The Citizen Lab

          On December 15, 2022, as part of our regular re-analysis of past cases to find additional spyware infection indicators and details, we discovered that a researcher had misread the labels assigned to two individuals’ results, leading to a confusion between phones owned by two people with the same initials who were part of the same group of potential targets in the CatalanGate investigation.

          The error originates solely from a single mistake in interpreting a system of working labels, which we used to protect the privacy of research participants during the research process, and to reduce potential researcher bias.

          We have exhaustively reviewed other cases analyzed and published by the Citizen Lab where any similar research participant labeling system was used. We found no similar errors either in the other 64 cases in the CatalanGate report, or in other Citizen Lab publications.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • The Register UKCrypto craziness craps out – and about time too • The Register

          With the quick one-two punch of FTX and Binance, crypto is finally losing its luster as the next revolution in money.

          I was recently in Manhattan at the Linux Foundation and Fintech Open Source Foundation’s (FINOS) Open Source in Finance Forum New York (OSFF) 2022 event. There the topic of the day was fintech. It was all about how open source and the cloud are revolutionizing how banks, finance companies, and stock markets are working with money. Do you know what we didn’t talk about? Crypto.

          Crypto bros still blather on about how their Bitcoin, Ethereum or what have you will go to the Moon. They also insist that with their diamond hands, they’re going to Hold On for Dear Life (HODL) no matter what happens.

          That’s cute. In a pathetic sort of way.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Donations
      • After being sick for a month

        The 5 year old caught some sickness from school the week before Thanksgiving. That eventually went through all of us, kids got strep, one had it infect their ears. At one point we were all on multiple antibiotics, made worse due to the fact that the kids and wife are allergic to most of the common ones.

    • Technical

      • Programming

        • Test Suite

          Suppose we wish to verify that a calculator application returns correct numbers. This will be a very simple calculator, as the verification is the important part, and a real test suite for a real calculator would be too long and too boring. So, our calculator specification:

        • R function to find nearest named colour

          I wrote an R function to find the nearest named colour to a given colour hexcode.

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

Links 23/12/2022: Catching Up With General News and Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • GamingOnLinuxIntel working on new Xe graphics driver for Linux

        A nice little bonus before the holidays, Intel have made public work on their brand new Xe driver for the future of Intel graphics on Linux. Found via Collabora developer Jason Ekstrand on Mastodon, who previously started off this work, this is quite exciting.

    • Applications

      • LinuxiacGPU-Viewer 2.0: An Ultimate Linux GUI for GPU Information

        The GPU-Viewer 2.0 is a graphical user interface (GUI) tool for Linux that provides information about the graphics processing unit (GPU) and graphics drivers on a computer. It combines the functionality of glxinfo, vulkaninfo, and clinfo, command line tools for displaying information about the GPU and graphics drivers, into a single GUI application.

        Written in Python, the GPU-Viewer 2.0 app is a Christmas present for all Linux enthusiasts who want the most detailed information about graphics accelerators on their Linux systems.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • TecMintHow to Install Google Chrome in RedHat-Based Linux Distros

        Google Chrome is a most popular, fast, secure, and easy-to-use free cross-platform web browser developed by Google, and was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, later versions were released to Linux, macOS, iOS, and also for Android.

        Most of Chrome’s source code is taken from Google’s open-source software project Chromium, but Chrome is licensed as proprietary freeware, which means you can download and use it for free, but you cannot decompile, reverse engineer, or use the source code to build other programs or projects.

    • Games

      • GamingOnLinuxHappy Holidays & Merry Christmas from GamingOnLinux

        Some of you might have noticed over December our little friendly Penguin logo gained a fancy hat to keep warm, it’s that time of the year again.

      • GamingOnLinuxSteam Winter Sale 2022 is live now, plus vote for the Steam Awards

        Valve has put up their huge Winter Sale 2022 with tens of thousands of games that are discounted, plus you can now vote for the winners of the Steam Awards. This is a great time to stock up on games ready for the holiday season, or to just fill up your Steam Library ready to play through 2023 because I’m sure you don’t have many games you haven’t played yet right? 

      • GamingOnLinuxBig open ocean adventure Sail Forth is out now

        Sail Forth looks like a wonderful ocean adventure on the more chilled side of things (in a way), and if it’s anything like the earlier versions I tried a while back, it would be an easy recommendation. Has quite a mixture of things from peaceful exploration and building up a fleet to various combat encounters too. 

      • GamingOnLinuxJSAUX now selling a transparent Steam Deck backplate

        Chinese accessory brand JSAUX have officially put up their transparent backplate for the Steam Deck.

      • GamingOnLinuxProton 7.0-6 now in testing for Steam Deck & Linux desktop

        Here’s one missed from a week ago, Valve are testing another update to the stable version of Proton with Proton 7.0-6 needing some more eyes on it for testing. I don’t imagine it to be released soon, given it’s about to be holiday time.

      • GamingOnLinuxGorgeous 3D adventure platformer New Super Lucky’s Tale is now Steam Deck Verified

        New Super Lucky’s Tale appears to be one that somewhat flew under the radar. Originally released in 2020, it looks quite wonderful and after an update it became Steam Deck Verified.

      • GamingOnLinuxX-Plane 12 flight sim is officially out now

        X-Plane 12 from Laminar Research is a realistic and powerful flight simulator with real-world physics, accurate aircraft systems / behaviour and an immersive simulation of the world.

      • HackadayGB Interceptor Enables Live Screen Capture From Game Boy

        [Sebastian] had a tricky problem to solve. Competitors in a Tetris tournament needed to stream video of their Game Boy screens, but no solution readily existed. For reasons of fairness, emulators were right out, and no modifications could be made to the Game Boys, either. Thus, [Sebastian] created the GB Interceptor, a Game Boy capture cartridge.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchTen Surprisingly Good Things That Happened in 2022

      1. The growth of Latin America’s “Pink Tide.” Continuing the wave of progressive wins in 2021, Latin America saw two new critical electoral victories: Gustavo Petro in Colombia and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil.  When President Biden’s June Summit of the Americas excluded Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, several Latin American leaders declined to attend, while others used the opportunity to push the United States to respect the sovereignty of the countries in the region. (Stay tuned for CODEPINK’s spring forum “In Search of a New U.S. Policy for a New Latin America.”)

      2. The U.S. labor movement caught fire. In 2022 we witnessed the brilliant organizing of Chris Smalls and the Amazon workers, Starbucks reached nearly 7,000 unionized workers and close to 300 unionized stores. Requests to the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections were up 58% in the first eight months of 2022.  Labor is back and fighting the good fight.

    • Counter PunchRemembering Staughton Lynd

      Bob Buzzanco (BB):…. We’re going to talk today mostly, I think, about organized labor unions, where they were, where they are, maybe why so many people in unions supported Donald Trump in 2016. You’ve been in Youngstown for quite some time. You’ve been involved in Youngstown politics for quite some time. You were there in 1977 when things really turned badly. Just a little bit . . . What I don’t think people nowadays, the union membership is at 10%, I don’t think people really know what labor was like, especially in the post-World War Two era, its strength and some of the concessions it made in order to get to that economic position.

    • Counter PunchSouth Africans are Fighting for Crumbs

      Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), told us that his country “is sitting on a tinderbox.” A series of crises are wracking South Africa presently: an unemployment crisis, an electricity crisis, and a crisis of xenophobia. The context behind the ANC national conference is stark. “The situation is brutal and harsh,” Irvin Jim said. “The social illness that people experience each day is terrible. The rate of crime has become very high. The gender-based violence experienced by women is very high. The statistics show us that basically people are fighting for crumbs.”

      At the ANC conference, five of the top seven posts—from the president to treasurer general—went to Ramaphosa’s supporters. With the Ramaphosa team in place, and with Ramaphosa himself to be the presidential candidate in 2024, it is unlikely that the ANC will propose dramatic changes to its policy orientation or provide a new outlook for the country’s future to the South African people. The ANC has governed the country for almost 30 years beginning in 1994 after apartheid ended, and the party has won a commanding 62.65 percent of the total vote share since then before the 2014 general elections. In the last general election in 2019, Ramaphosa won with 57.5 percent of the vote, still ahead of any of its opponents. This grip on electoral power has created a sense of complacency in the upper ranks of the ANC. However, at the grassroots, there is anxiety. In the municipal elections of 2021, the ANC support fell below 50 percent for the first time. A national opinion poll in August 2022 showed that the ANC would get 42 percent of the vote in the 2024 elections if they were held then.

    • The NationMohsen Shekari
    • HackadayOld Robotic Vacuum Gets A New RC Lease On Life

      To our way of thinking, the whole purpose behind robotic vacuum cleaners is their autonomy. They’re not particularly good at vacuuming, but they are persistent about it, and eventually get the job done with as little human intervention as possible. So why in the world would you want to convert a robotic vacuum to radio control?

    • HackadayBeat Backing Box For Bassists

      The soul of a rock band is its rhythm section, usually consisting of a drummer and bass player. If you don’t believe that, try listening to a band where these two can’t keep proper time. Bands can often get away with sloppy guitars and vocals (this is how punk became a genre), but without that foundation you’ll be hard pressed to score any gigs at all. Unfortunately drums are bulky and expensive, and good drummers hard to find, so if you’re an aspiring bassist looking to practice laying down a solid groove on your own check out this drum machine designed by [Duncan McIntyre].

    • The NationEmmanuel Carrère’s Brilliant Narcissism

      Emmanuel Carrère does not write happy books. The uncategorizable “nonfiction novels” for which Carrère has become best-known are about, respectively, a man who killed his family (The Adversary); Eastern European Schmerz (My Life as a Russian Novel); the intertwined tragedies of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka and the death of his sister-in-law (Lives Other Than My Own); and the mysteries of the Christian faith (The Kingdom). Along the way, he’s written partially fictionalized biographies of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (I Am Alive and You Are Dead) and a Russian avant-gardiste turned ultra-right-wing politician (Limonov), as well as countless reported essays (some collected in 97,196 Words) on politics, culture, and, often, crime.

    • ScheerpostKeeping the Piece
    • Common Dreams“What if I stepped into my own office and there was Tucker Carlson, praying? What would I have done?”
    • TruthOutPoll: Plurality of Americans Would Support DC Statehood If Backed by Residents
    • ScheerpostFact-Checking Jesus

      The Rev. Madison Shockley discusses the historical, political and controversial misconceptions of the Christmas story.

    • Counter PunchJesus was Right!: the Soul Is Anarchist

      That is, either the friends – seminary grads like me – chose not to engage with us on the matter of our political difference or they are not personally offended by scurrilous talk about Biden – either way, something about it really bothered me. I am familiar with this politics without passion; who isn’t? Politics reduced to “Of course I’m a Democrat, what other possibility can there be, unless – and I know you don’t want that – we concede victory to the Trumpies?” The predicament I was in too, was wearyingly familiar – trying to – liberal that I am – accept my friends on their own terms without obliterating my me! What this feels like, in relation to that passionlessness, is that my reality – in which, whatever it is or is not, passion is a constitutive ingredient – is totally eclipsed in liberal reality, The real pain and suffering this causes me – my desire being to keep an inner fire burning, not to pariah myself! – ought to tell me something.

      It does, actually. I know this sounds melodramatic to the naked ear. But hear me, I am trying to explain my despair – for which I can blame only myself – without blaming myself too much! The pain of such an experience of social “self-snuffing” tells me that I, too, can receive history’s grace if I would give up my soul. The demand in neoliberal America to give up the soul is real, and it is never mentioned. Really, few people are aware of the deal that was struck in some smoke-filled room to look the other way when they shoot the hostages! The fact I – chicken-heart that I am – refuse the demand to abandon my soul keeps me with the only claim I have to a political identity, which is “anarchist” before it is anything else. Although “socialist” would sound better and make more friends, socialism’s pragmatic working within the system, worthy and admirable, is a rebuke to anarchist passion.

    • Common Dreams‘I Did Not Believe It For One Second,’ Hannity Says of Trump’s Big Lie While Under Oath
    • Counter PunchOn Making Right What You’ve Gotten Wrong: How An Art Writer Learns from His Errors

      In the 1980s I certainly made any number of critical judgments that I now regret, or at least would retract. And I have made occasional errors of fact, which perhaps are inevitable in writing that has to be done and then edited quickly. They are easily corrected in on-line publications. Galleries or museums that don’t otherwise acknowledge reviews complain if you make a seemingly minor factual error. As they should, for the critical record matters. What’s more interesting to me, however, are philosophical misconceptions. Here, then, I look at the mistakes involved in two of my projects, one in a book that I did publish and another in an account that I ultimately failed to finish.

      When I was a graduate student in philosophy, half a century ago!, I devoted part of my doctoral thesis to E. H. Gombrich’s classic Art and Illusion, the theory accompanying his Euro-centric art history The Story of Art. Then within a couple of decades, when art historians looked at art from elsewhere and at modernism, it became clear that Gombrich’s account needed to be dramatically expanded. Because I had taught in China, and reviewed exhibitions of Chinese art both there and in the West, I was particularly interested in a Gombrichian account of art from China. And, also, because I had studied some of the literature on ornamentation, including Gombrich’s book on that subject, The Sense of Order: A study in the psychology of decorative art (1994), I was aware that Islamic art posed enchanting conceptual issues. And so when in 2006 I published A World Art History And Its Objects I attempted to extend Gombrich’s basic model to include some non-Western artistic traditions. Whether or not that project can succeed is, I believe, still an open question. Still, two things happened that changed my sense of the project and made me aware of basic problems.

    • Science

      • Counter PunchAstronaut Edgar Mitchell’s ‘State of the Planet’ Message Revisited

        Other astronauts have experienced the Overview Effect, a cognitive shift when viewing the planet from outer space, an awe-inspiring transcendental state, overwhelming, often overpowering emotions sometimes accompanied by an ingenious realization of a surging connectiveness of people, the planet, the universe, all pulled together at its origin, a molecule.

        This essay discusses Mitchell’s State of the Planet message as well as his tireless efforts to understand universal connectiveness and including special mention of the reality, or not, of UFOs, as described in his book: From Outer Space To Inner Space (New Page Books, 2022).

    • Education

      • The NationWhy Striking University of California Workers May Vote “No” on Their Contract

        Last Thursday, five weeks into the largest strike in US academic labor history—with some 48,000 workers participating—bargaining teams representing graduate workers across the University of California system signed tentative agreements with the institution. The occasion was, however, not marked only by celebration or relief. Instead, tensions coursing through the body of union membership burst into the open. For weeks, discontent with union leadership’s concessionary approach had simmered; that discontent has now galvanized a campaign to reject the tentative agreements and continue striking.

      • Pro PublicaAmerica’s Adult Education System Is Broken. Here’s How Experts Say We Can Fix It.

        They never got the help they needed with learning disabilities. Or they came to this country without the ability to read English. Or they graduated from schools that failed to teach them the most crucial skills.

        For a number of sometimes overlapping reasons, 48 million American adults struggle to read basic English, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That may leave them unable to find and keep a decent job, navigate the signage on city streets, follow medical instructions and vote. They’re vulnerable to scams and face stigma and shame.

      • Counter PunchUnder the Sigh of Phantom Commerce

        This vampire state of things is general all over, we opined. Rents are far too high for what’s left of goods and services to even bother in these parts, which is quite intentional. Like Patty Hearst, the hostage is entirely willing. Lots yield more profit as empty shells, and no middle manager troubles about hiring, no boss suffers the pain of minimum wage hikes. Chicago has ferociously embraced rentier extravagance, a new vacuous Valley of Kings where Zilch and Nawt rule alone in their ghastly grandeur. As the last few Columbian Expo-era store fronts are demolished, in their place crappy yawning glass windows display bags of Quikrete and empty front desks in bone white voids—institutional waystations that might be essential oil superstores, psych ward admissions, or dog wellness clinics. These lonesome nouveau squats await new clients who will stay a month or two, then evaporate in stupor. Somewhere, a great landfill of metal acronym signs slowly rises… a useless library of obscure characters, relics of forgotten organs of janky sales and wellness outlets.

        Though dropouts all, we paused for education. Looking around us, we realized that the text was not impenetrable. The lesson plan seemed opaque but it was easily pieced together from the glaring evidence, and the help of a good book. We were wandering in a museum devoted to the puzzling religious celebrations of Neoliberalism. The curse of Set had hit this quadrant of Clark after 2008, a commercial dead zone that is manna for unproductive capitals. In the final analysis, nothing is hidden but everything is transformed. How does this Pa Ubu theory of commerce function? Luckily for us, Marcel Bealu’s The Impersonal Adventure has just been translated and published by Wakefield Press. First published in France in 1954, it imagines the most ridiculous of production apocalypses. It’s not a big leap from glut to dearth, all else—deathwise—being relative.

    • Hardware

      • Hackaday2022 FPV Contest: A Poor Man’s Journey Into FPV

        FPV can be a daunting hobby to get into. Screens, cameras, and other equipment can be expensive, and there’s a huge range of hardware to choose from. [JP Gleyzes] has been involved with RC vehicles for many years, and decided to leverage that experience to do FPV on a budget.

      • HackadayYou Can Make Ferrofluid On The Cheap With VHS Tapes

        Ferrofluid is a wonderous substance. It’s a liquid goop that responds to magnetic fields in exciting and interesting ways. It’s actually possible to make it yourself, and it’s cheap, too! The key is to get yourself some old VHS tapes.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Pro PublicaChoate’s History of Having Its Own Patients Charged With Felonies

        On a chilly November morning in 2019, Lutrice Williams, a patient at a state-run mental health center in southern Illinois, was surprised by a visit from a sheriff’s deputy. He served Williams a summons ordering her to report to criminal court on a felony battery charge.

        Williams has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and her personal story consists of one upheaval after another. At age 23, in a state of crisis, Williams had sought help at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. She’d never been charged with a crime before. But four months before the deputy showed up, a Choate employee who claimed Williams had forcefully shoved her asked her employer to pursue charges against the patient.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • EFF2022 Year in Review

          We’ve pushed hard this year and won many hard-fought battles. And in the battles we have not won, we continue on, because it’s important to stand up for what’s right, even if the road is long and rocky. 

          In 2022, we looked into the apps used by daycare centers that collect and share information about the children in their care with their parents. It turned out that not only are the apps dangerously insecure, but the companies that make them were uninterested in making them safer. We responded by giving parents information that they can use to bring their own pressure, including basic recommendations for these applications like implementing two-factor authentication to ensure that this sensitive information about our kids stays in the right hands.

          We won big in security this year. After years of pressure, Apple has finally implemented one of our longstanding demands: that cloud backups be encrypted. Apple also announced the final death of its dangerous plan to scan your phone. 

        • EFFDaycare and Early Childhood Education Apps: 2022 in Review

          Normally, our student privacy work focuses on those in elementary or middle school at the youngest. But EFF goes where the security risks are, so we decided to dig into these concerns further.

          First, our technologists investigated the apps to identify privacy and security flaws. Next, our legal experts identified gaps in the law and highlighted the need for regulatory action in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). And finally, our advocacy team reiterated our concerns in comments submitted to the FTC, in response to its request for public input on commercial surveillance. 

          EFF’s technologists, led by Director of Engineering Alexis Hancock, investigated several popular daycare apps and quickly uncovered dangerous security and privacy flaws in the way these apps function.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Counter PunchFusion Energy: the Nuclear Weapons Connection

          “Fusion is theoretically supposed to get its power from fusing nuclei together,” I continued. “This would be the opposite of fission, which blasts the nuclei apart. But to start the process, extremely high temperatures are required—100 million degrees Centigrade, more than six times the estimated temperature of the sun’s interior.”

          “Although Dwight Eisenhower, when he was President, suggested that the AEC keep the public ‘confused about fission and fusion,’ fusion is a dirty, radioactive process, too.

        • Counter PunchWhat’s All the Fuss About Nuclear Fusion?

          This “landmark achievement,” as U.S. energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, described it, now means that what had been forever decades away — the delivery of electricity powered by fusion — was now……still decades away.

          The Washington Post aptly summed up all the hype in a single sentence: “This was a science experiment more than a demonstration of a practical technology.” The New Statesman echoed the hype angle.

        • Counter PunchClean Energy or New Weapons: What the Fusion Breakthrough Really Means

          But in truth, generating electrical power from fusion commercially or at an industrial scale is likely unattainable in any realistic sense, at least within the lifetimes of most readers of this article. At the same time, this experiment will contribute far more to US efforts to further develop its terrifyingly destructive nuclear weapons arsenal.

          Over the last decade or so, there have been many similar announcements featuring breathless language about breakthroughs, milestones, and advances. These statements have come with unfailing regularity from NIF (for example, in 2013) and the larger set of laboratories and commercial firms pursuing the idea of nuclear fusion. Apart from the United States, similar announcements have come from Germany,  China and the United Kingdom. France is expected to take its turn once the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) starts operating. The reactor is currently being built in Cadarache, France, at an estimated cost of somewhere between $25 billion to as high as $65 billion, much higher than the original estimate of $5.6 billion.

        • NPRSam Bankman-Fried is extradited to the U.S. as two former FTX employees turn on him

          In a separate news release, however, the SEC alleged that Bankman-Fried and his colleagues planned to manipulate the price of FTT, an exchange [cryptocutrency] security token that was integral to FTX.

        • India TimesCore Scientific files for bankruptcy as [cryptocurrency] winter bites

          Austin, Texas-based Core Scientific attributed its bankruptcy to slumping bitcoin prices, rising energy costs for bitcoin mining and a $7 million unpaid debt from U.S. crypto lender Celsius Network, one of its biggest customers.

        • Common Dreams‘Huge News’: Alaska Native Group Secures Protections for Land Eyed by Pebble Mine Developers
        • Common DreamsMake Big Oil Pay to Clean Up Their Mess on Public Lands, Coalition Tells Interior Dept
        • DeSmogPennsylvania Lets Polluter Resume Drilling in Protected Zone, Outraging Residents in Fracking’s ‘Ground Zero’

          On the same day that the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office reached a plea agreement with an energy company on charges of environmental crimes dating back more than a decade in the town of Dimock, state regulators quietly signed a consent order allowing the company to drill beneath an area that had been subject to a 12-year moratorium on such activity. The decision has outraged residents who’ve lived with the pollution tied to Coterra Energy’s previous fracking activity and endured over a decade in which they’ve lacked access to clean water for their homes.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The NationWhat the Extinction Crisis Took From the World in 2022

          Every year, scores of species disappear into the oblivion of extinction, stamped out, in one way or another, by us humans. Sadly, 2022, was no different. This year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species—the gold standard, sine qua non, most reliable source of such sorrowful information—added 66 new species to its roster of no-longer-extant creatures. With the following obituaries, we honor four of them.1

        • The NationApocalypse No! Pseudo-Archaeology, Ancient Tech-Lords, and Ordinary People.

          Isn’t it all just harmless fun? Comets striking the earth, cataclysmic floods, a surviving vanguard of wise sages who taught ordinary people science, architecture, and astronomy; a warning from the deep past, encoded in otherwise mysterious monuments, about some similar catastrophe in the future? I am talking about Ancient Apocalypse, which Netflix calls a “docuseries,” but the Society for American Archaeology, in a long letter of complaint, has requested be reclassified as “science fiction.” In fact, the series invokes a strangely rigid and unimaginative world, one in which early humanity’s most striking architectural achievements—from the megalithic temples of prehistoric Malta to the huge geometric earthworks of Poverty Point, La.—must all be subject to a single interpretation. One message, one explanation, one decipherer: journalist Graham Hancock.

        • Counter PunchFinding Nature in a Built Environment

          You cannot get more iconic than Yosemite National Park. In three Yosemite Valley projects for the National Park Service (NPS), Roberts was tasked with restoring the balance between the ecological and built environments, as what we usually think of as urban issues had developed with the ever-increasing public use of the park’s wildlands. A tall order, as the improvements to visitor accommodations requested by the NPS also needed to protect the Merced River, wetlands, granite cliffs, meadows and forests while increasing ease of access to those grand views. Two of the locations were the Yosemite Village Day Use Area, the primary destination location for visitors and the park’s center of operations, and Yosemite Lodge, built in the 1950s as a destination motel near Yosemite Falls. Roberts was directed to find ways to relieve traffic congestion, realign dangerous road crossings, reposition and expand parking lots, install adequate signage, build new restrooms, and provide a pleasant arrival plaza with orientation and interpretive displays which Roberts situated so as to screen the parking area from visitors’ view. And at the third Yosemite site, Bridalveil Fall, where waters cascading down 600 feet of granite rock make it a favorite first stop for park visitors, many similar restoration requirements had to be addressed. Here the project team was also tasked with constructing new boardwalks to discourage visitors from treading off established trails, thereby disturbing the surrounding wetlands. Another intention was to make it safe for everyone to access the upper overlook at the Fall’s base, as the existing trail’s steep incline was difficult for many people to navigate, especially anyone with mobility issues. Roberts’ team proposed an ecologically responsible solution as it would not require heavy equipment to install and would thus minimize intrusion on the wetlands. He describes this structure as an elevated “self-supporting metal bridging system, tied to boulders for support, to climb at a gentle, accessible gradient.” The Yosemite Conservancy, a partner of the NPS, and NPS trails staff ruled against accepting this plan, considering the technology too radical a departure from park traditions. They eventually settled on what Roberts describes as “an intermediate-level lookout offering a good photo opportunity.” Roberts says the decision was made despite “a years-long consensus-based design process.” It exemplifies how differing concerns within communities can play a significant part in shaping environments.

          Most landscape architects would regard these Yosemite projects as the pinnacle of their career, but for John Northmore Roberts, they are among many highlights of his ongoing professional history. For over fifty years, he has been active as a practitioner and college educator in the field of landscape architecture. A long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay area, Roberts’ landscape architecture work has been centered in Northern California. Roberts seeks ways to live with nature rather than dominating it. He addresses our ever-more pressing need to conserve the earth’s urban and rural communities and all their life forms, finding creative solutions to serve the 21st century and beyond. He takes full advantage of technological advances not available to Frederick Law Olmsted, widely considered the founder of American landscape architecture.

      • Overpopulation

        • Los Angeles Times‘Full-on crisis’: Groundwater in California’s Central Valley disappearing at alarming rate

          Famiglietti and other scientists found in their study, which was published this month in the journal Nature Communications, that since 2019, the rate of groundwater depletion has been 31% greater than during the last two droughts.

          They also found that groundwater losses in the Central Valley since 2003 have totaled about 36 million acre-feet, or about 1.3 times the full water-storing capacity of Lake Mead near Las Vegas, the country’s largest reservoir.

        • GizmodoArizona Considers Water Pipeline From Mexico to Combat Drought

          Arizona’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority passed a non-binding resolution this week in support of a large desalination plant in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, Arizona Central reported. The idea was initially pitched to the state board by Israeli desalination specialists from IDE Technologies, who claimed that a desalination plant could replace water that flows from the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project canal. The project would focus on getting water to Pinal, Pima, and Maricopa counties.

        • [Old] uni Arizona StateSaudi water deal threatening water supply in Phoenix

          Arizona is leasing farmland to a Saudi water company, straining aquifers, and threatening future water supply in Phoenix. Fondomonte, a Saudi company, exports the alfalfa to feed its cows in the Middle East. The country has practically exhausted its own underground aquifers there. In Arizona, Fondomonte can pump as much water as it wants at no cost.

        • [Old] EsquireThe Plunder of Our Water Supply Has Already Begun

          Three-rail shot: a Saudi water company leases pieces of Arizona, and at cut-rate prices. So the Saudi water company can grow alfalfa for Saudi cows while draining the aquifers that serve Arizonans. The Saudi water company is raiding Arizona’s groundwater because Saudi Arabia has nearly exhausted its own supply—an exchange that ought to put other states on high alert.

          Treating water like a revenue source is a terrible idea on its face, but charging bargain-basement prices for a terrible idea is an even more terrible idea. Water cannot be a commodity. It’s not pork bellies or cotton futures. Without it, all life dies.

        • [Old] GannettIt’s an outrage that Saudis use Arizona’s water for free. I’ll work to stop it

          That’s right. Arizona is giving away its groundwater for nothing to one of the richest nations on Earth – and to the severe detriment of Arizonans.

        • Pro PublicaDwindling Colorado River Could Trigger Water War Between States

          On a crisp day this fall I drove southeast from Grand Junction, Colorado, into the Uncompahgre Valley, a rich basin of row crops and hayfields. A snow line hung like a bowl cut around the upper cliffs of the Grand Mesa, while in the valley some farmers were taking their last deliveries of water, sowing winter wheat and onions. I turned south at the farm town of Delta onto Route 348, a shoulder-less two-lane road lined with irrigation ditches and dent corn still hanging crisp on their browned stalks. The road crossed the Uncompahgre River, and it was thin, nearly dry.

          The Uncompahgre Valley, stretching 34 miles from Delta through the town of Montrose, is, and always has been, an arid place. Most of the water comes from the Gunnison River, a major tributary of the Colorado, which courses out of the peaks of the Elk Range through the cavernous and sun-starved depths of the Black Canyon, one rocky and inaccessible valley to the east. In 1903, the federal government backed a plan hatched by Uncompahgre farmers to breach the ridge with an enormous tunnel and then in the 1960s to build one of Colorado’s largest reservoirs above the Black Canyon called Blue Mesa. Now that tunnel feeds a neural system of water: 782 miles worth of successively smaller canals and then dirt ditches, laterals and drains that turn 83,000 Western Colorado acres into farmland. Today, the farm association in this valley is one of the largest single users of Colorado River water outside of California.

    • Finance

      • Daniel LemireThe size of things in bytes
      • The NationWe Didn’t Need to See Trump’s Taxes

        The House Ways and Means Committee voted on Wednesday to publicly release six years of Donald Trump’s federal tax returns. The vote to release the documents, which proceeded along party lines in the Democratic-controlled committee, ends a years-long legal battle over the former president’s tax returns.

      • Telex (Hungary)EC approves 22 billion euros for Hungary, but with strict conditions
      • ScheerpostHealth Workers in UK Intensify Their Fight for Fair Wages and Dignity

        Underpaid and overworked, workers of the UK’s National Health Service are demanding a wage hike on par with inflation. Both nurses and ambulance workers went on strike in recent days.

      • Common DreamsSanders’ Bill to Expand Worker Ownership Passes Senate in Omnibus
      • Common DreamsHow Private Equity Gave Rise to Extreme Inequality
      • Counter PunchIndustrial Policy is Not a Remedy for Income Inequality

        This has led to widespread applause on the left for aspects of President Biden’s agenda that can be considered industrial policy, like the CHIPS Act, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the infrastructure package approved last year. While these bills have considerable merit, they miss the boat in terms of reducing income inequality in important ways.

        First, the idea that we had not been doing industrial policy before Biden, in the sense of favoring specific sectors, is just wrong. We have been dishing out more than $50 billion a year to support biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. If that isn’t supporting our pharmaceutical industry, what would be?

      • Common DreamsUndocumented Farm Workers, Republicans, and Dismantling Toxic Partisanship
      • ScheerpostMeet the Grinch Stealing the Future of Gen Y and Z

        Salaries in the U.S. aren’t keeping up with inflation, despite pandemic-related increases in some sectors. That’s a major threat to the future for all working Americans – especially the youngest.

      • Common DreamsRecord Number of US Cities, Counties, and States to Raise Minimum Wage in 2023
      • Pro PublicaThe IRS Hasn’t Released Nearly Half a Million Form 990s

        As Americans scramble to make their year-end charitable contributions, they may have to do so without a key tool for understanding how those charities spend their money: their most recent tax forms.

        According to a ProPublica review of public IRS data, which powers our Nonprofit Explorer database, the agency is behind on releasing nearly half a million tax records, known as Form 990s, for tax-exempt organizations. The delays, which began two years ago, are stymying access to key financial information that governments, the public and grantmakers use to evaluate the nation’s tax-exempt companies.

      • Counter PunchAmtraks Across America: the Ghost of Jim Garrison in New Orleans

        The Oswald residence at a distance from the others was 4905 Magazine Street, in the neighborhood known as Uptown/Carrollton. In a real estate ad for the area, one webpage listed its assets as “tree-lined residential,” “classical revival mansions,” and “boutique shopping,” not exactly what I might have associated with drifter Oswald when he went searching for lodgings to rent in summer 1963. Most of his other addresses in New Orleans were either on the east side of the city in the Upper Ninth Ward or in downtown on the edge of the French Quarter.

        There may be a perfectly innocent reason why he chose to move to Uptown in summer 1963 (heard about the place from a friend, answered a newspaper ad, etc.), but it’s also possible he looked five miles out of the city just so that he would not be recognized in his old haunts, although he didn’t mind being shown on local television handing out pro-Castro literature.

      • Counter PunchThe Fall of the House of Stanford

        This is the story of a deadbeat banker. His name is Allen Stanford and he was once known as the $7 billion man. Now, he faces federal indictments that charge him with running a vast Ponzi scheme that bilked depositors out of billions.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TechdirtElon Appears To Admit That He’s Driven Away 40% Of Twitter’s Advertisers

        Elon Musk keeps trying to tell people that he’s saving Twitter. But, he may have just accidentally admitted how much he’s screwed it up. In yet another Twitter Spaces where he spoke about things happening at the site, he actually provided some numerical details, as covered by the Financial Times.

      • The NationBig Tech’s Monopoly on Congress

        Still, for all this welcome new activity on the long-dormant battlefronts of antitrust, the package now before Congress is also noteworthy for two bills it doesn’t include, which specifically targeted the monopoly practices of Big Tech. Both bills—intended to prevent companies from giving preferential treatment to their own services and subsidiaries on their platforms and from strong-arming third-party market players to ensure unilateral platform control of the apps market—emerged out of extensive congressional hearings, and both were dropped from the omnibus at the behest of Senate majority leader Charles Schumer. Also left on the cutting-room floor was a third bill that would insulate local journalism outlets from the practices of Big Tech predation. “The reason that these bills didn’t pass is Chuck Schumer,” Stoller says. “He just lied about a lot of things. He said he’d allow a vote and then he didn’t.”

      • New York TimesMusk Lifted Bans for Thousands on Twitter. Here’s What They’re Tweeting.

        Most of the reinstated accounts were deeply partisan — often vocal supporters of Mr. Trump — and they appeared eager to bring their fiery takes back to the social network. It was not clear from the data why the users were originally suspended or why they were reinstated, though their post histories suggest many were banned as Twitter cracked down on Covid-19 and election-related misinformation.

      • CoryDoctorowHere are just two of the corporate giveaways hidden in the rushed, must-pass, end-of-year budget bill

        This year’s budget package included a couple of especially egregious doozies, which were reported out for The American Prospect by Lee Harris (who covered a grotesque retirement giveaway for the ultra-rich) and Doraj Facundo (who covered a safety giveaway to Boeing and its lethal fleet of 737 Max airplanes).

      • ZimbabweThe Twitter account of Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has been [cracked]

        Now it seems our Minister of Finance has also suffered the same fate with his Twitter account. It no longer has a profile picture and is retweeting [cryptocurrency] content and whatever the account Cyber Kong posts. In fact, the last time the Finance Minister’s account tweeted Zimbabwean relevant content was on the 29th of November 2022.

      • Silicon AngleMeta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in court as FTC tries to block VR acquisition

        The FTC case is being called unusual in that this acquisition is in a market that is currently not very established. The challenge has been laid down because the FTC says it doesn’t want Meta to become too powerful in the market before it really gets off the ground. What was also unusual is the fact that Zuckerberg himself was testifying.

      • FAIRCan False Balance Kill You? It Sure Can

        The Washington Post (12/16/22) had a recent headline: “Can Politics Kill You? Research Says the Answer Increasingly Is Yes.” And the lead of the article, by Akilah Johnson, told readers of two studies that reveal what it calls “an uncomfortable truth”:

      • MeduzaUkraine General Staff: Russian losses in Ukraine topped 100K — Meduza

        In its December 22 morning digest, the General Staff of Ukraine reported that Russia lost 100,000 military personnel since the start of the invasion. Its other losses include 3,000 tanks and 6,000 armored equipment units.

      • Telex (Hungary)Former leader of UK’s Revolutionary Communist Party to head Brussels branch of Fidesz – affiliated MCC
      • Common Dreams“Title 42, a brutal policy initiated under Trump, strips people at the border of the right to seek asylum by expelling them to Mexico or their country of origin,” said the ACLU.
      • TruthOutRight-Wing Media Flaunted Their Racism in Smearing Brittney Griner’s Release
      • Democracy Now“We Are at a Precipice as a Nation”: Cornel West & Christina Greer on Jan. 6 Insurrection & More

        We speak with Fordham University political science professor Christina Greer and theologian Cornel West about the January 6 committee’s recommendation that former President Donald Trump and his allies be criminally charged for their role in the insurrection and attempts to overturn the 2020 election. “Just because it’s unprecedented doesn’t mean that we can’t have prosecutions,” says Greer. She also responds to recent news reports that New York Congressmember-elect George Santos fabricated much of his political biography.

      • Common DreamsFinal Jan. 6 Report Says ‘One Man’—Trump—Was the ‘Central Cause’ of the Capitol Attack
      • ScheerpostThe Year of the Botched Execution

        There was never anything going for it, except political mileage and the desire for crude retribution.  The putting to death of another human being by the legal sanction of a state has always been another way of justifying murder, effectively assassination by judicial fiat.  Such policies remain terrifying features of […]

      • ScheerpostThe Road to De-Dollarisation Will Run Through Saudi Arabia

        On 9 December, China’s President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss deepening ties between the Gulf countries and China. At the top of the agenda was increased trade between China and the GCC, with […]

      • MeduzaTatarstan regional deputies oppose bill to rename republic’s ‘president’ to ‘head’ as deadline looms — Meduza

        As the deadline for Tatarstan to amend its regional constitution to align with federal law draws near, the republic’s State Council Committee on State Construction and Local Self-Government has recommended withdrawing the draft amendments that would provide for changing the title of “President of the Republic” to “Head of the Republic.”

      • MeduzaRussian Attorney General outlaws Stockholm-based Russians Against War non-profit as ‘undesirable’ — Meduza

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office has declared the Stockholm-based Russians Against War Committee an “undesirable organization,” making its activities illegal in Russia and subject to criminal prosecution. Under Russian law, collaborating with an “undesirable organization” may also lead to criminal charges.

      • MeduzaPutin: ‘Our aim is to end this war’ — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin told the journalists that Russia’s aim is to finish the war with Ukraine as quickly as possible.

      • Pro PublicaThe Global Threat of Rogue Diplomacy

        The idea seemed simple centuries ago when governments began to deploy a different kind of diplomat to advance their cultural and economic interests in outposts around the world.

      • Pro PublicaShadow Diplomats Have Posed a Threat for Decades. The World’s Governments Looked the Other Way.

        The deal to pay off the treasurer of Detroit was forged in a booth at a strip club named Bouzouki.

        “You’re basically paying all these other guys. … You should be paying me,” the city’s treasurer told local business owner Robert Shumake that day in 2007 during a conversation that Shumake would later recount to federal prosecutors.

      • MeduzaSt. Petersburg city deputy asks Prosecutor General to open a criminal case against Putin for saying the word ‘war’ — Meduza

        Nikita Yuferev, a deputy of the St. Petersburg Smolninskoye Municipal District, asked Russia’s Prosecutor General and Ministry of Internal Affairs to open a criminal case against Vladimir Putin in connection with the law on spreading “fakes” about the Russian army.

      • Meduza‘Ma, what are you crying for?’ The story of Savely Frolov, the first Russian charged with treason for ‘defecting to the enemy’ — Meduza
      • Counter PunchThe Public Good

        The beautiful and the good are at the core of the Cosmos and democracy in Greek thought and civilization. The natural philosopher Anaximander added equality and justice to natural phenomena for a harmonious Cosmos. Anaximander invented the apeiron or the boundless creator of everything in the Cosmos, including the Sun and the Earth and the almighty natural world.

        Anaximander lived in late seventh to mid sixth century BCE in Miletos of Ionia, Asia Minor. This was his hometown. Miletos nourished Greek thought, especially in cosmology and astronomy.

      • Counter PunchThe Tamil People: “Unsung Victims”

        I have also seen how in the human rights system some victims are deemed “politically correct” and garner all the attention, whereas other victims are safely ignored and forgotten – worse still, they can be defamed as “terrorists”, so that no one feels any compassion for them.  The hapless Palestinians are similarly defamed as “terrorists” and their human rights are systematically violated, but at least we know about them and many international lawyers like Professors Richard Falk and Francis Boyle defend their rights.

        There are some 70 million Tamils living in the southern tip of India. 5.9% of India’s population, residing particularly in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. In colonial times many Tamils were taken from India to South Africa as cheap labour, among them the parents of Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008-2014).

      • Counter PunchSeeking Relief from Oppression, Peruvians Resist Castillo Removal and Wait

        After harassing him for months, Peru’s rightwing-dominated unicameral Congress recently ordered Castillo’s removal from office. The authorities arrested him and now he is in prison.  Replacing Castillo was Vice President Dina Boluarte.

        Protesters have mobilized throughout Peru, blockaded over 100 highways, occupied five airports, and held rallies in various cities. The new government has instituted a 30-day state of emergency and imposed a strong police and military presence throughout the country. Security forces have killed almost 30 protesters and wounded hundreds.

      • Counter PunchDemocratic Party Fantasies About 2022 Midterms Pose Peril For 2024

        First, they lost the House of Representatives to the worst Republican Party in history. The GOP is corrupt, lying, and violence-prone. It opposes policies supporting labor, consumers, patients, and children. It favors the greed of its corporate paymasters over vital community protections and necessities. A GOP House means the end of any Biden-proposed legislation for the next two years.

        The narrow margin (GOP 222 Dems 213) between the House Democrats and the House Republicans was provided by two debacles – the election of two GOP candidates who were part of the partisan crowd rushing Congress on January 6, 2021, and the boomeranging of the New York State Democratic Party’s redistricting plan.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • OverpopulationSomething you don’t know about Qatar and something you know about China (but it’s wrong)

          Despite obvious differences, Qatar and China have something in common: disinformation, myths and lack of information surround these two countries. Looking at data instead of anecdotes discloses surprising facts and enables a better understanding of these countries’ demographic policies. It also sheds light on how population policies can drive unbalanced sex-ratios.

        • TruthOutKoch-Funded Legal Group Fights to Protect COVID Misinformation
        • TruthOutHannity Says He Didn’t Believe Election Lies Despite Pushing Them on His Show
        • Counter PunchMilitary Conspiracies and QAnon’s Fascist Roots

          Following on from the CIA’s early removal of themselves from psi-research in the mid-seventies, throughout the early 1980s one of the central characters in overseeing the US militaries excitable remote reviewing experiments was the late Brigadier General Albert Stubblebine III (1930-2017) – a man who was the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1981 to 1984. Although he retired from active service in 1984, Stubblebine achieved global notoriety after the release of George Clooney’s Hollywood blockbuster The Men Who Stared at Goats (2009) in which he starred as the General who tried, but ultimately failed, to manifest the ability to walk through walls. In addition to promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories, delusional thinking always defined General Stubblebine’s life, and so it makes sense that his wife, Dr. Rima Laibow, remains a keen promoter of the health freedom movement’s nonsense concerning the allegedly sinister globalist agenda revolving around Codex Alimentarius. Such darkly paranoid views echo those of the president of the decidedly right-wing National Health Federation, whose president, Scott Tips, edited the movement’s now keystone text Codex Alimentarius – Global Food Imperialism (2007). For the record, Tips’ forerunner at the head of the National Health Federation was the late Maureen Salaman, whose longstanding activism with the John Birch Society was rounded off when she helped found the Populist Party with Holocaust denier Willis Carto and then stood as their vice-presidential candidate for the 1984 elections.

          In 1990, General Stubblebine became chairman of the civilian remote viewing company Psi Tech, which had been set up the year before by Major Ed Dames. Major Dames being one of the four initial US Army Officers to be trained in psychic travel by Ingo Swann in the 1980s. One other trainee of the Armies fledgling program, whose work will be discussed later, was Captain Paul Smith, who went on to work as a consultant for Psi Tech, as did many other former and current remote viewers from the government’s psi scheme. With this work now in the private sector the dubious wonders of remote viewing were now on the free market for those who can afford to waste money. Thus, one of Psi Tech’s early missions involved locating Iraq’s hidden biological warfare stockpiles for the United Nations. Such lucrative and pointless contracts, which included investigating the crop circle phenomena, proved too much to resist for those seeking to cash in on their so-called magical powers, and in 1992 Swann was finally persuaded to join the company as a consultant, while Colonel John Alexander also joined Psi Tech’s board room around this time.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • New York TimesHow Do You Protest in the Face of Censorship? An Empty Sign.

        Commentators were quick to interpret the meaning of the “white-paper protests.” A blank sign is both a symbol and a tactic. It is a passive-aggressive protest against censorship, a sarcastic performance of compliance that signals defiance. Its power rests in a shared understanding, by both the public and the authorities, of the unwritten message; it rests also in the awareness that to say anything at all is to run afoul of a government that brooks no opposition, suppressing even the suggestion of an intention to speak. A tweet posted days after the fire showed a photo of a man, apparently in a Shanghai mall, holding a sign reading, “You know what I want to say.” According to the tweet, he was taken away by the police.

      • VoxHow Iran’s repression machine works

        This video simplifies Iran’s power structure to focus on the elements relevant to our story and the ongoing protests. There’s a lot more to learn about — to explore the full power structure of Iran and all its branches, we recommend this guide from the United States Institute of Peace.

      • NCACNCAC Responds To 100+ Titles Removed From Frisco Independent School District Libraries

        For these reasons, NCAC has suggested that Frisco Independent School District follow its review policy and review books on a case-by-case basis instead of implementing blanket bans.

      • NCACFollowing Advocacy Efforts By NCAC and DDA, Meta Pledges To Improve Transparency Around “Shadowbanning”

        Downranking—sometimes unofficially referred to as “shadowbanning”—occurs when Instagram prevents a post from being recommended to other users via the platform’s Feed, Explore, and Search functions. It applies to posts that meet Instagram’s Community Guidelines (which determine what content is allowed on the app), but which do not comply with the platform’s lesser known Recommendation Guidelines. These restrictions are much broader, and are unfamiliar to most users because their implementation has been invisible.

      • TruthOutDept of Education Opens Inquiry Into Texas District That Banned LGBTQ Books
      • TechdirtFifth Circuit Asked To Not Fuck Up Solid First Amendment Decision It’s Already Handed Down Twice

        This is an unwelcome development. The Fifth Circuit Appeals Court is already the home of Rights Roulette. Everyone is free to take it for a spin, but should be aware the odds heavily favor the house. The government comes out a winner more often than not, no matter how long the odds may seem when the Fifth’s judicial croupiers start spinning the wheel.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • ForbesEXCLUSIVE: TikTok Spied On Forbes Journalists

        According to materials reviewed by Forbes, ByteDance tracked multiple Forbes journalists as part of this covert surveillance campaign, which was designed to unearth the source of leaks inside the company following a drumbeat of stories exposing the company’s ongoing links to China. As a result of the investigation into the surveillance tactics, ByteDance fired Chris Lepitak, its chief internal auditor who led the team responsible for them. The China-based executive Song Ye, who Lepitak reported to and who reports directly to ByteDance CEO Rubo Liang, resigned.

      • New York TimesByteDance Inquiry Finds Employees Obtained User Data of 2 Journalists

        The investigation was initiated after an article was published by Forbes, and the inquiry confirms part of that report and acknowledges the privacy and security risks associated with TikTok that U.S. lawmakers, state governors and the Trump and Biden administrations have raised for more than two years. More than a dozen states have banned TikTok from government-issued devices, and the company has been in prolonged negotiations with the administration on security and privacy measures that would block any potential access of U.S. user data by ByteDance and the Chinese government.

        ByteDance’s general counsel, Erich Andersen, revealed the findings of the investigation, which was conducted by an outside law firm, in an email to employees on Thursday.

      • Counter PunchHas the Worm Turned in the Assange Case?

        Ellsberg’s bombshell followed on some other key news about Assange. Finally, on November 28, mainstream newspapers located, after an arduous search, the elusive courage to do what they should have done years ago: denounce the illegal detention and deliberate, combined U.S. and U.K. assault on publisher Assange. Nota bene – these newspapers all published the national security scoops for which Assange has been persecuted, scoops that his organization, Wikileaks, first aired. Yet as President Trump, then next President Biden worked to crush the obstreperous journalist and thus to toss a free press into its grave, these brave news outlets – paramount among them the New York Times and the Guardian – sat on their hands. At last, in late November, they moved their rearends off their hands and demanded the bogus charges against Assange be dropped. As at least two journalists noted on twitter, these press organizations must have learned that Biden wanted to end the Assange prosecution. If only!

        Meanwhile, related to Assange’s predicament, few things would be better for justice than for the CIA to be brought to heel, because of its many crimes. Few things would be better for good in the world than for this organization to pay for its abuses. And nothing could be less likely. So, barring such enormously just outcomes, you’ll have to settle for something smaller. That something arrived in early November.

      • ScheerpostHas the Worm Turned in the Assange Case?

        One of the world’s most courageous whistleblowers, Daniel Ellsberg challenged U.S. prosecutors on December 6 to come after him, as they have pursued Julian Assange. The 91-year-old Ellsberg, whom the U.S. security state decades ago possibly hoped to drive to suicide, announced that he too had received leaked materials containing […]

      • Pro PublicaProPublica’s Year in Visual Journalism

        We seek to render the invisible visible and bring clarity to the intentionally complex.

        We strive to capture the experiences of those hurt by broken systems and the dignity they display in the face of the most difficult circumstances.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • RTLA Luxemburger is said to have been sentenced to death in Iran

        Since September, there have been protests in Iran for more freedom and women’s rights, during which people have been killed time and again. The regime in Iran is cracking down on the movement, arresting demonstrators and sentencing some to death.

        Two people have already been executed in this context.

      • Sean ConnerIt’s kind of sad to think that the cheapest gift are the milk maids
      • Science NewsMedical racism didn’t begin or end with the syphilis study at Tuskegee

        “It is never too late to work to restore faith and trust,” Herman Shaw said in 1997 when the United States apologized for the study. U.S. President Joe Biden echoed these words during a November 30 event acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the end of the study: “Restoring faith and trust is the work of our time.”

      • The NationThe Senate Puts Pregnant Workers on the Verge of Getting New Protections

        The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that would require reasonable workplace accommodations to allow pregnant workers to safely stay on the job, is poised to become law after 10 years of advocacy. On Thursday the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 73-24, to add it as an amendment to the must-pass omnibus government spending package, and the House is set to take it up soon. If both pass the omnibus as expected, the PWFA will soon arrive on President Joe Biden’s desk.

      • TruthOutSenate Passes Measure Expanding Rights for Pregnant People in the Workplace
      • Counter PunchYou Had Me Healthy at Hello: How Holiday Cheer Benefits All of Us

        It makes sense. Humans are wired to want connection. Our neurobiology craves those moments. When we feel rejected or disconnected, we sense a threat akin to being stalked by a lion. Social connection is hugely important to our mental, emotional, and even physical health. When the United Kingdom created the position of Minister for Loneliness in 2018, the government cited evidence that loneliness can be as bad for health as obesity or smoking. More recent studies have shown we sleep better when we are with someone. In this country, we’re awash in studies about how pandemic isolation wreaked havoc on our health and our social organization.

        During this holiday season we can use the science of our social nature to renew old connections and forge new ones. We’ve known for a long time that social ties to family and friends are good for us. We’re now learning that positive interaction with strangers is beneficial. Chatting with the person in line at the store makes us more happy and healthy, more connected to our community, more trustful and optimistic, and even mentally more astute.

      • TruthOutOverwhelming Majority of Voters Back Fines for Employers That Violate Labor Laws
      • ScheerpostIncarcerated Organizers Who Won Their Freedom Now Facing Deportation

        After decades in prison, they were paroled and organized for immigrant rights. Pardons would prevent their deportation.

      • Common Dreams‘An Absolute Disaster’: Hochul Nominates Anti-Choice, Anti-Union Judge to Lead New York’s Top Court
      • Counter PunchThe Tyranny of Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

        Democracy Now (also) interviewed Yale University students painfully impacted by forced expulsion due to signs of mental illness. Interviewed students spoke of being forced to leave Yale, given two hours to pack up, and losing medical coverage, accommodations, housing, forfeiting part of their tuition, and barred from stepping foot on campus at a time when they most needed help. At other universities, criteria for expulsion include “so-called community disruption, including help-seeking behaviors.” “If a student with suicidal thoughts tells their friends, and that can be upsetting to roommates and friends, that can be construed as community disruption and can have a leave of absence imposed on them…. If a parent, for example, requests that the campus security do a wellness check to make sure that their child in the dorm is okay, that has been construed as community disruption.”

        In a recent article, I quoted Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka on “a world gone haywire”, about the world completely transformed in the way people are understood and treated. Fortunately, many people have not gone haywire, but explaining people by behavior traits leaves out the individual psychology of personal memories, feelings, needs, values and is a far cry from the psychologies of Freud, Shakespeare, Tolstoy. Seeing people as ‘products’ is concerning: quantifying people and life, people as products of conditioning or the system, of neural networks and DNA and biochemistry, of mathematically-determined game constructs, of manufactured consent. And at the opposite pole: people as inexplicably subjective and unknowable. Generalizations about human nature are belied by the range and complexity of what individual people say in their own words as reported in a wealth of good research.Hannah Arendt listened very carefully to Adolf Eichmann and had many helpful insights about him, but then she generalized his psychology to all perpetrators of these crimes. [1]

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Wall Street JournalVint Cerf Helped Create the Internet on the Back of an Envelope

        Much has changed in the world of cyberspace since Jan. 1, 1983, the date often called “the birthday of the internet.” Yet the internet’s fundamental architecture—the communications protocol that allows computer networks all over the world to talk to each other—remains essentially the same. This is largely thanks to a design that Vint Cerf sketched on the back of an envelope while holed up with fellow computer scientist Robert Kahn in a Palo Alto cabana nearly 50 years ago.

      • Internet SocietyBrussels Workshop: Learning How the Internet Society Works to Stop Damaging Proposals

        This debate has captured attention from the European Commission. They’re analyzing policy options, including one of the most dangerous regulations, sender-party-pays, which leads to poorer user experience and may lead to Internet fragmentation. The current situation in South Korea, the only country that has enacted this regulation, is clear evidence of its harm, and European policymakers should take good note of it.

      • RIPESecurity by Diversity: The Business of Security Through Diversity

        With information security such a complex and fast-moving field, how can companies gather enough information to make informed decisions about what is right for their networks? What criteria should you look for, how do you evaluate systems, and how can you determine which methods will scale most effectively?

        This is the second in a series of blog posts on security by diversity: here we will focus on some of the key issues with the business of security today, especially the problems of quality uncertainty and the scaling of different forms of security.

      • Counter PunchLessons Learned in the Internet’s Darkest Corners

        By them, I mean one of the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of “people” I encountered during my many forays into the darkest recesses of the Internet. Despite the staggering amount of time many of us spend online — more than six-and-a-half hours a day, according to recent research — we tend to haunt the same websites and social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, CNN, Reddit, Google) again and again. Not me, though. Over the past five years, I’ve spent more hours than I wish to count exploring the subterranean hideaways and uncensored gathering spaces for some of the most unhinged communities on the Internet.

        Call it an occupational hazard. Only recently, I published my first book, A Death on W Street: The Murder of Seth Rich and the Age of Conspiracy, an investigative political thriller that opens with the 2016 street murder of a 27-year-old who had worked for the Democratic National Committee. In the absence of a culprit, Seth Rich’s killing got swept into the fast-flowing conspiratorial currents of that year’s presidential race, a contest that pitted an unabashed conspiracy theorist, Donald Trump, against a candidate, Hillary Clinton, who had been the subject of decades’ worth of elaborately sinister claims (with no basis in reality). For my book, I set out to understand how a senseless crime that took the life of a beloved but hardly famous mid-level political staffer became a national and then international news story, a viral phenomenon of ever more twisted conspiracy theories that reached millions and all too soon became a piece of modern folklore.

      • ScheerpostLessons Learned in the Internet’s Darkest Corners

        Andy Kroll shares what he learned from exploring the dark web for research for his investigative political thriller.

      • EFFA Roller Coaster for Decentralization: 2022 in Review

        In order to devote closer attention to these issues which impact user autonomy and competition online, this year EFF hired a Senior Fellow of Decentralization, Ross Schulman. Among other projects, Ross spearheaded EFF’s involvement in DWeb Camp and Unfinished Live. In the wider world, the cryptocurrency markets have continued their dramatic volatility in 2022, which, combined with ongoing allegations of large scale fraud, has led legislators both at the federal and state levels to explore regulations in the space.

        In August the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it was placing a cryptocurrency privacy tool called Tornado Cash on one of its sanctions lists due to its use by North Korea, effectively prohibiting its use by people in the US. Many cryptocurrencies pose unique problems when it comes to financial privacy, since all transactions are publicly recorded in the global ledger. Tornado Cash was created to enable private and anonymous financial transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Many people may want or need that privacy to operate, for perfectly lawful reasons, such as when paying for medical care, supporting LGBT groups in repressive regimes, or giving to religious organizations. But as with many technologies, it can also be used for unlawful purposes.

        The OFAC decision was ostensibly intended to address those unlawful uses, but it was far too vague. Publishing these tools implicates core First Amendment rights, because, as EFF made  clear: code is speech. Because OFAC’s order was ambiguous as to whether it was attempting to control the actual code that ran Tornado Cash’s smart contracts, GitHub removed the public code repository of Tornado Cash and disabled the accounts of its primary developers. Courts have held since the late 1990s that computer code is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, and OFAC’s actions could have impacted that freedom. We wrote publicly about that fact and, thankfully, OFAC clarified shortly afterward that they were not including merely hosting or discussing Tornado Cash’s underlying code in the new sanctions, removing that concern.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • ABCNetflix plans $900M facility at former New Jersey Army base

        The subscription video streaming company will pay $55 million for a 292-acre site on the former Fort Monmouth military base in Eatontown and Oceanport.

        The California-based company plans an additional $848 million worth of investments in 12 sound stages and for other uses related to the film industry.

      • Terence EdenHow Blockbuster was superior to Netflix

        It’s a Friday night in the late 1990s and my teenaged friend group are bored. We’re not cool enough to hang about in the park drinking cider. And we’re not nerdy enough to play D&D. We don’t have enough money to go to the cinema.

      • TechdirtLobbying, Corruption Stall Landmark NY Right To Repair Bill

        Back in June New York state was the first state in the country to pass “right to repair” legislation taking direct aim at repair monopolies. The bill mandates that hardware manufacturers make diagnostic and repair information available to consumers and independent repair shops at “fair and reasonable terms.”

    • Monopolies

      • IT WireGamers sue to stop Microsoft / Activision merger

        “The current trend toward concentration, the lessening of competition, and the tendency to create a monopoly in the video game industry was already harming competition at an alarming rate before the proposed acquisition was announced. Both companies are the products of substantial campaigns to acquire, merge with, and consolidate numerous video game companies to achieve their current stature in the video game industry.”

      • Trademarks

        • TechdirtIceland Foods Loses Again On Appeal Of ‘Iceland’ EU Trademark

          You will hopefully recall our ongoing discussions about one of the strangest trademark disputes I’ve ever encountered between Iceland Foods, a grocer in the EU, and Iceland, the country. Way back in 2016, Iceland petitioned to remove a trademark Iceland Foods had for its company name, arguing that the trademark had allowed the company to block Icelandic companies using their own place of origin in their names. Iceland Foods attempted to then play nice, claiming it wouldn’t pursue Icelandic companies aggressively any longer, but it was too late by then. Iceland got the absurd trademark registration revoked. Rather than leaving well enough alone and just going about conducting its business, Iceland Foods decided to keep the absurdity going by appealing the decision to the Grand Board of the EUIPO.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakHome Alone is the Most Pirated Classic Christmas Movie

          Online piracy traditionally peaks during the holidays. Extra spare time fuels the search for free entertainment including Christmas movies, which experience their annual surge in demand. An analysis of recent piracy statistics shows that Home Alone is the most popular classic among pirates, followed by The Grinch.

        • Torrent FreakLawsuit: Cloudflare & NameSilo Profit From ‘Repeat Infringer’ Pirates

          A new lawsuit filed in the United States claims that Cloudflare and NameSilo are liable for copyright infringements carried out by their customers. Adult entertainment outfit TIR Consulting accuses both companies of providing anonymity to pirate sites and profiting from infringements carried out by so-called ‘repeat infringers’.

        • Torrent Freak‘Someone’ Tried to Hijack a Domain Seizure Order, Posing as a Rightsholder

          Adult entertainment conglomerate MindGeek won a major court battle last month against Daftsex.com. In addition to millions of dollars in damages, the court issued an injunction allowing the rightsholder to take over this and other domains. Interestingly, ‘someone’ tried to hijack the process by posing as MindGeek in an email to domain registry Verisign.

        • TechdirtThe Copyright Industry Is About To Discover That There Are Hundreds Of Thousands Of Songs Generated By AI Already Available, Already Popular

          You may have noticed the world getting excited about the capabilities of ChatGPT, a text-based AI chat bot. Similarly, some are getting quite worked up over generative AI systems that can turn text prompts into images, including those mimicking the style of particular artists. But less remarked upon is the use of AI in the world of music. Music Business Worldwide has written two detailed news stories on the topic. The first comes from China:

        • Counter PunchThree Gifts of Music

          In 1976, Patti Smith and her group played three shows in Washington, DC. The first two were at the cozy club on Georgetown’s M Street called the Cellar Door. It seated less than two hundred. Consequently, most of the seats for those shows went to people in the know–reviewers, DJs, industry folks and a couple lucky fans and hangers–on. The shows were also broadcast on the syndicated King Biscuit Radio Hour. Later that year, Smith and her band played at Georgetown University’s McDonough Arena. The latter venue was essentially a basketball court. Bleachers lined the sides, the floors were made of wood and on hot days it smelled like a gym locker room. It was a perfect place to see down and dirty and raw rock and roll. In 1976, the Patti Smith Group played that kind of music. I went to the Georgetown concert with a friend of mine. The opener was a newish group called Bebop Deluxe. To say the least, the pairing was interesting. Most attendees were there to see Patti and her guys. By the midpoint of their set, there were only a handful of folks sitting down. Everyone else was on their feet, shaking their bones and sweating in the overheated gymnasium. Patti’s oversize t-shirt hung off her slender frame, dripping with sweat. So did mine. When the band kicked into the song “Horses”, the crowd sang along on the refrain “Horses, horses, horses….” Lenny Kaye’s guitar crescendoed up, up, up with the vocals of the crowd and Smith jumped like a frenzied wildcat, her fist pumping the air in a challenge to the gods.

          Anyhow, a recording was recently released of the two Cellar Door shows. The energy of the McDonough Arena show is present and barely contained. My guess is this is because of the cramped space the Cellar Door must surely have been that night. This is Patti Smith and her band near its garage band best, wedding three-chord rock with poetry, physical energy and just enough sarcasm (in the best tradition of Bob Dylan) directed at the industry representatives and their money and overpriced haircuts. In other words, it is rock music in the 1970s, with all its contradictions, energy, despair and delight. Punk and poetry. Desire and dollar bills.

        • Counter PunchBach the Contrarian, Gould the Alien

          In 2023 the odometer of his Inventions and Sinfonias reaches the 300-year mark. I’m guessing that in the intervening centuries more miles have been put on this collection than on the Well-Tempered Clavier (with the exception of the self-driving Prelude in C Major). Bach was the most committed and productive teacher of his, or perhaps any age, and both of these volumes were crucial components of his pedagogical program. They’ve been essential to the keyboard curriculum ever since.

          Although collated later than the preludes and fugues, the two- and three-part Inventions (Bach called them Sinfonias) likely came earlier in his students’ tuition. The 1722 title page of the Inventions expresses the composer’s intent to instruct and uplift:

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Using Tor

        Tor is network that preserves the anonymity of the users and services.

      • Games

        • On Wizards and Sorcerers [

          While this post is about programming, it also draws an extended analogy to dungeons and dragons, specifically two of its classes, that correspond to two attitudes toward programming.

          In D&D, wizards study magic. They prepare their magic spells ahead of time. While they may learn a large number of magic spells, they need to prepare them ahead of time and can’t just cast them at will.

          Wizard programmers prefer up-front design. They apply reason and logic to divide and conquer a large problem, they rely on building blocks like design patterns and algorithms. Wizards rely on explicit knowledge.

      • Programming

        • Counting accumulated changes in Git

          It’s almost christmas and our team is tasked with sharing some highlights this year. We thought sharing how much code we’ve written is a good idea. Sure it’s not a good metric for measuring productivity, but good enough for bragging rights. But.. how? `git diff –shortstat` works but I don’t exactly know which commit happened 1 year ago. Hmm..

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

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Run Like a Failing Donald Trump Enterprise (in Debt and Faking It)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trump casino

Summary: The self-demolition of Sirius ‘Open Source’ is work in progress; but it’s important to understand how that came about and cautionary notes from within

THE morale inside the company was eroding rapidly and workers became dissatisfied with the transition away from “Open Source”. Some spoke out about it more loudly than others, in spite of the known dangers like incurring management’s wrath. At the moment, there are almost as many “managers” as there are non-managers! Heck, it seems 50% of what’s left in the company right now goes by the name “manager”. What sort of business is this???

“At the moment, there are almost as many “managers” as there are non-managers!”The text below shows a culmination of these frustrations coming from yours truly early this year. I was already determined to just leave, but there was still a glimmer of hope things would change.

Well, things did change. But not for the better.

“I was already determined to just leave, but there was still a glimmer of hope things would change.”Sirius wasn’t always so toxic a workplace (bullying, abuse, management anger issues et cetera were specified in prior sections). It’s worth noting that what was attractive about this company approximately a decade ago was the colleagues and the company being a way to escape malicious software and instead use decent things. Sadly, that did not last. Well, of course over time (it did not happen overnight!), and especially in recent years, this was no longer the case. And it got worse this past October, as later parts of this series will explain.

The following part of the report was sent to the “company’s founder” before I realised that he probably wasn’t even the company’s founder (he fakes his credentials and idolises Donald Trump) but someone who joined it later on. The words from the internal report below hopefully shed light on the atmosphere in early 2022:

The longest-serving staff member sans the company’s founder is paid a salary of 26,500 a year for full time work and there’s a snag, which cannot be conveniently evaded. Roy believes that the company milks him; no pay rise in over a decade (Roy got paid more when he joined), even amid soaring inflation, no apologies, unwarranted bullying, with bullies not being held accountable. Roy did bring up the salary aspect, but this never gets rectified. After almost 12 years… same salary, but again this sort of misses the bigger picture. Roy feels like “low-cost tech labour”, treated poorly and unfairly at times in spite of a lot of factors previously fully conveyed in text (internally). Roy did raise concern — and only internally — more times than he can recall. Anything else is a last recourse in a two-person IRC conversation (no names mentioned). Here is Roy’s message sent to the CEO earlier this year:

Hi ████████,

Last night I tried testing softphone calls with 2 of your phone numbers that I have, I think about 5 times in total, taking timezone into account. I could not test with anyone here as they were asleep. One thing I noticed is that my browser still insists on enabling things manually each time I talk. That’s just how it works.

Yesterday before bedtime I checked my inbox and saw an E-mail with a threatening and combative tone. It was not well received because I hadn’t been approached at all before it was sent. It was sent without even asking me for my side (as if due process does not exist).

I warned in advance about relying on this product, but I received no reply at all. Those softphones typically work only or “best” with Chrome.

This is part of a broader problem and I wish to open a dialogue about a number of other issue. I want to keep this amicable and constructive. Bear with me while I explain.

I don’t think I’ve been demanding or unreasonable. I sacrificed a lot for this role. I’ve accepted a pay decrease for 11 years, even months after I had joined (it did not keep up with inflation and in 2011 when I was moved from weekend slots to weekday+weekend nighttimes — typically a time slot that means 200% the “normal” rate — my pro-rata amount was reduced, even after the increase from 25k to 26.5k). I did not complain. And this E-mail isn’t about money. That’s now what’s important to me.

As I noted in my reply last night, no training given to staff means that mistakes can be made (passing a document isn’t the same as training). Yet worse, from my managers I’m receiving no replies and it often feels like talking to the wall. I don’t know why a manager would think that this management style reinforces confidence from staff. At the start of the year he said we’d start receiving regular updates. This did not happen (no weekly updates as promised) and there has been no effort to stick to the company’s values. In fact, the message is being diluted and my E-mail messages about this remain unanswered. Remember that ████████ and I are your longest-serving (to present) employees. I’m always happy to receive even just a phonecall to touch base.

Then there’s the more ‘petty’ or less important stuff, which I will mention anyway (it’s not the reason for this mail, but I want to get it off my chest). The company was not even sending payslips for years, pension lapses added to a sense of something gone awry silently, recently there was a mistake made by ████████, leaving me working 12 hours in a row (no disciplinary action for her, I assume; that’s just for us, the “low-level” employees to face). I still haven’t forgotten what happened 3 years. There was a climate of threats, directed not only at me but also colleagues; as far as I can gather, there was no accountability for ████████ either, in effect bullying staff, as if some people are exempted from their own standards. And again no transparency; we weren’t even told when she left the company.

We need to look inward instead of resorting to selective finger-pointing at people who work at 1am for roughly minimum wage, even people with a doctoral degree.

If you want to talk about these things, I suggest phone as that would convey and add tone. With text it’s too easy to misunderstand and misinterpret well-meaning people.

The CEO never even responded to this. Did not pick up the phone, either. Roy tried many times. Same outcome.

As noted above, the salary is laughable.

Also, as noted previously, the behaviour of the company in recent years (sometimes lying, choosing unethical clients, rejecting Open Source) is already becoming public reputation damage to Roy and to his work, set aside the company’s concern for its own reputation. Roy believes he could sue particular people inside the company for bullying, but Roy doesn’t want to bother with litigation, seeing that the company is already becoming a liability to his online reputation by its choice of clients and proprietary technologies, which pose moral issues (clerical job, loan shark, military).

Links 23/12/2022: Kodi Nexus RC 2, Raspberry Pi 5 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • It’s FOSSFree and Open-Source Alternatives to Microsoft Planner – It’s FOSS

        While it is a popular task management and team collaboration platform, it is not for everyone. So, here, let me highlight some free and open-source alternatives to Microsoft Planner. Furthermore, these options can also act as an open-source alternative to Asana, Trello, and Notion.

      • OpenSource.comExperience the power of the Linux Krusader file manager

        Krusader is a simple, powerful, dual-panel file manager for the KDE Plasma Desktop and other Linux desktops. You can think of it as a power-user’s alternative to Dolphin, and it follows the tradition of “commander” style file managers (such as Midnight Commander.) Krusader includes archive handling, mounted file system support, a file system search, directory synchronization, batch renaming, and much more.

      • OpenSource.comMy favorite open source alternatives this year

        Not a day goes by when I’m not looking for an affordable and reliable open source application that makes my workflow easier and more efficient. This year, Opensource.com authors provided us with several open source alternatives to popular proprietary applications that can improve the quality of life for you and your team.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 65: using the em unit in container queries

        Relative units used in container queries work differently than relative units in media queries.

        If you use em in a media query, the font-size of the <body>, <html>, or any other element on the page doesn’t matter. That’s because relative length units in media queries are based on the initial value, which means that units are never based on results of declarations. em in a media query is relative to the font-size, defined by the user agent or the user’s preferences.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 64: the revert-layer keyword

        With cascade layers comes a new CSS-wide property value, revert-layer.

        You can use the rever-layer keyword to roll back the cascade to a value defined in a previous layer.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 63: explicit defaulting with inherit, initial, unset, and revert

        Okay, okay, I know, these keywords aren’t new at all, except for revert maybe which is newish, but if I want to write about revert-layer, which is brand new, I need a basic understanding of all keywords. Also, I had the feeling that most of you, like me, don’t know what all of these keywords do, and I was right. At least, if you want to trust this poll on Mastodon.

      • Terence EdenOffline Messaging Apps Using Bluetooth

        Problem: My wife and I are going on a long plane journey and don’t have seats next to each other. How can we communicate?

        Constraints: The plane WiFi is ruinously expensive. The in-seat messaging service isn’t private. We both have Android phones.

        Preferences: Open Source. Secure. Easy to use.

        Solution: Use Bluetooth messaging app Briar.

      • University of TorontoThe power of URLs you can use with query parameters and a HTTP GET request

        I recently wrote about some aspects of my dmenu setup, including using a custom $PATH that contains a bunch of little utility scripts. These little scripts are an important part of making my dmenu setup so useful and a crucial building block of my environment, but in turn a lot of them are enabled by something else. In practice, a lot of what I do with dmenu is to open a Firefox window on some sort of URL, and in turn this is relies on being able to create URLs that do useful things, like perform a web search.

      • Jan Piet MensDNSViz at home

        DNSViz presents a domain on a Web page and I can hover over individual elements to see details about them, as the example above demonstrates. (See the full output here.) Domains are typically visualized from the root down to the domain I wish to test. DNSViz keeps a history (which was unavailable for a long time) so I can “walk back” in time looking at previous analyses.

      • RachelWPA3: no go on Raspberry Pi (plus some Mac gotchas)

        If you’ve been doing the wifi thing for a while, you’ve probably followed the successive rounds of “security” that get layered on top. Back more than 20 years now, it was WEP, the so-called “wired equivalent privacy”. That claimed to be 64 or 128 bits, but was closer to 40 or 104 due to the whole 24-bit “IV” thing, and a whole bunch of dumb problems with the crypto generally meant it was weaker than that in practice. Collect enough packets and burn some CPU power and the network is yours.

      • IT TavernOnline Security Guide

        Let me start with; there is no perfect security. Your goal is it to make it as difficult as possible to ‘break in’, so it is simply not worth it. There is a balance between security and usability, and you have to find a good middle ground.

        I try to keep it as short as possible, and focus on the ‘what’ and ‘why’, not the ‘how’. There are many ways to achieve the goals, but this is a topic for itself, and depends on the circumstances.

      • Red HatConfiguring Kubernetes operands through custom resources | Red Hat Developer

        Operators in Kubernetes often allow application developers to configure low-level aspects of their operands and secondary resources. Typically, such settings are made available on the custom resource and reconciled into the operand.

        An example of this is the Grafana custom resource of the Grafana Operator. It exposes many configuration options that are reflected in the Grafana configuration file, but also allows you to configure properties of the Kubernetes resources in your Grafana installation. For example, you can add additional ports to your service, mount secrets into the Grafana pod, or expose additional environment variables.

        These fields in the custom resource are reconciled and applied to the respective Kubernetes resource. This article describes some problems with this approach, describes an alternative approach that is currently under development, and weighs the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches.

      • TecAdminHow to Store Standard Error to a Variable in Bash – TecAdmin

        In Bash, you can store the standard error output of a command to a variable by using the `2>&1` operator and the `$()` command substitution syntax. Here `2>` redirects the error message to &1`, that represent to standard output. In the case of bash shell works as the standard output device.

      • OSTechNixInstall Microsoft Visual Studio Code In Linux [Ed: Terrible and inadequate advice. This is proprietary spyware that helps Microsoft spy on and control developers, steering them towards GPL violations and other abuses.]

        This guide explains what is Microsoft Visual Studio Code editor and how to install Microsoft Visual Studio Code in Linux.

      • H2S MediaHow to install development tools on RedHat 9 or 8 Linux

        Find out the easiest way to install the Development tools using the Group command in Redhat 9 or 8 Linux to start developing or compiling codes.

        By default, developers would not have the essential tools to start compiling codes on RedHat Linux. So, we manually can install them. The group of Linux development tools helps software programmers to write, build and debug programs on Linux.

      • TecAdminHow to delete last 5 commits from Git Repository – TecAdmin

        Deleting the last few commits from a Git repository is a relatively simple process that can be accomplished with a few simple commands. In this guide, we will explain how to delete the last few commits from a git repository, as well as discuss why this might be necessary. We will also provide step-by-step instructions for removing the last few commits from a repository, as well as common issues that may arise in the process. By the end of this guide, you should have a good understanding of how to delete the last few commits from a Git repository.

      • A Beginner’s Guide to the Netstat Command – buildVirtual

        Netstat is a powerful command-line tool that allows you to view information about your network connections and routing tables. It can be a useful tool for troubleshooting network issues, identifying active connections, and understanding the traffic flowing through your network. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to use the netstat command and explore some of its key features.

      • Tracing Your Steps: A Beginner’s Guide to Traceroute in Linux – buildVirtual

        Traceroute is a powerful tool that allows you to track the path that a packet of data takes from your device to its destination. This can be useful for troubleshooting network issues, identifying bottlenecks in your connection, or simply learning more about how the internet works. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to use the traceroute command in Linux.

      • Red HatTroubleshooting “no healthy upstream” errors in Istio Service Mesh | Red Hat Developer

        Istio Service Mesh offers a multitude of solutions at network level 7 (L7) to define traffic routing, security, and application monitoring in a cloud environment. However, given the complexity of cloud-based networks, the host of devices involved, and the difficulty of visualizing effective changes made by Istio, it’s hard to debug the unpopular “no healthy upstream” error messages that often show up in Envoy logs.

        This article attempts some pain relief in the form of quick guidance on how to respond to emergency calls demanding a resolution to “no healthy upstream” error messages and related errors such as “Applications in the Mesh are not available” or “Istio is broken.”

        In my experience, 90% of these issues are caused by configuration problems in either the network or Istio. This article shows some troubleshooting tools you can use to identify such problems quickly, in the context of two recent cases that a Red Hat customer escalated to us.

      • Case Sensitive Lookup in LibreOffice with Examples

        In the prior articles, we have explained the concept of lookups with VLOOKUP, INDEX and MATCH. All of them together can be a great way to achieve several filtering results.

        However, most of them are not case sensitive. That means if you search for lowercase data in cells, it searches for lowercase and uppercase.

        Hence, it’s important for you to learn the case sensitive lookups. Here’s how.

      • TecAdminLinux Shell: Remove Duplicate Lines from File – TecAdmin

        Bash is one of the most popular shells and is used by many Linux users. One of the great things you can do with Bash is removed duplicate lines from files. It’s a great way to declutter a file and make it look cleaner and more organized. This can be done with a simple command in the Bash shell.

        All you have to do is type in the command “sort -u” followed by the name of the file. This will take the file and sort the content, then use the command “uniq” to remove all duplicates. It’s an easy and efficient way to remove duplicate lines from your files. If you’re a Linux user, this is a great tool to have in your arsenal. So the next time you need to clean up a file, give this Bash command a try and see how it works for you!

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Rust on Ubuntu 22.10/22.04/20.04

        For users, especially developers wanting to try out the Rust Programming language, the following tutorial will teach you how to import and install the latest version on Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kudu, 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, or 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux LTS.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Htop on Rocky Linux EL9/EL8

        Htop is an excellent tool for anyone who wants a closer look at what’s happening inside their computer. The following tutorial will teach you how to install Htop Interactive Process Viewer on Rocky Linux 9 or Rocky Linux 8 with the Enterprise Linux Extra Packages repository using the command line terminal.

      • TecAdminHow to Install Zsh (Z Shell) on Ubuntu and Debian – TecAdmin

        Zsh, or the Z Shell, is a powerful and flexible command-line shell for Unix-like operating systems, including Linux and macOS. It offers many features and improvements over the default bash shell, including improved command completion, spelling correction, and customizable prompts. In this article, we will learn how to install and configure Zsh on Ubuntu and Debian systems.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Waterfox Browser on Linux Mint 21/20

        Waterfox is a web browser that is designed for privacy and security. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Waterfox Browser on Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20 release series using the command line terminal with tips about maintaining and removing the browser.

      • Linux Shell Tips50+ Useful Git Commands with Examples for Beginners

        This article guide highlights and demonstrates the usage of some useful Git commands for handling distributed version control on Git-repository management systems like GitHub and GitLab.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • University of TorontoThe Prometheus cardinality issues with systemd unit-related metrics

      This is a general issue for any Prometheus metrics that are related to particular systemd units. You absolutely need to limit what units you report on or ingest metrics for, because some systemd unit names have essentially unlimited cardinality. Any metric that includes their name as a label will thus have label cardinality issues, and in practice this means all per-unit metrics are potentially a problem.

    • Kodi FoundationKodi Nexus RC 2

      So… here we have a second Release Candidate for Kodi v20 “Nexus”. While we have a fairly small number of fixes, they are fairly major.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Fedora MagazineGetting ready for an exciting 2023

        This “love letter to the community” started in 2020 as a way to shine a little light in a very dark time, and to encourage everyone — including me — by reminding us all of the great work done by great people in Fedora. But it’s become one of my favorite things to do all year. We’re no longer just trying to get through a dark time. We’re looking forward to an exciting era in Fedora’s future.

      • MediumThe Rise of Linux Systemd: A Beginner’s Guide [Ed: Has it gained popularity or notoriety?]

        Linux systemd is a relatively new system manager that has rapidly gained popularity in the Linux community.

      • Enterprisers Project9 ways IT leaders moved digital transformation forward in 2022 | The Enterprisers Project

        Digital transformation is a multi-faceted journey, not a destination. In 2022, IT leaders approached digital transformation’s greatest challenges from a variety of angles. Keeping up with technology trends is both daunting and exciting. Understanding how empathy fits into the equation is just as critical as the technology. Below are a few of our readers’ favorite articles from the year. Let the collection of these resources be your guide in accelerating your organization’s digital transformation. Though its name may change in the future, the concept of digital transformation will live on!

      • Enterprisers Project9 leadership resources for IT managers to bookmark now | The Enterprisers Project

        Effective communication and other soft skills are critical aspects of IT leadership. Whether you seek to improve one-on-one conversations or offer broad career advice, check out these 9 articles from the past year to gain the expert advice you need to achieve your communication goals.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareLEGO brick with Raspberry Pi RP2040 runs Doom – CNX Software

        James Brown (aka Ancient) has built a tiny computer inside a LEGO brick with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and a 0.42-inch monochrome OLED display. And yes, it runs Doom.

        So finally, the LEGO minifigures have access to a computer suitable for their size :).

      • CNX SoftwareAdding an external serial console port to NanoPi R6S – CNX Software

        I had no trouble with my first experience with NanoPi R6S while installing and running the FriendlyWrt/OpenWrt 22.03 image, but that was another story when testing Ubuntu or Debian as the mini PC would not boot at all after flashing the images with eFlasher apparently successfully, but suspiciously fast (under 2 seconds).

        I spent nearly four hours trying the different images and then the Rockchip Windows utility, but all my attempts failed, and FriendlyElec was not overly helpful. So I decided to connect a serial console to see what was going on. The NanoPi R6S comes with a 3-pin header for the serial console, but it’s not populated.

      • CNX SoftwareMerlot is an open-source hardware tricolor wireless E-paper display – CNX Software

        paperd.ink Merlot is a tricolor E-paper display with an open-source hardware control board based on ESP32 wireless SoC that is programmable with Arduino, MicroPython, or the ESP-IDF framework.

      • UbuntuThe State of Robotics – 2022 news rewind | Ubuntu

        Welcome to our 2022 robotics news rewind! We’ll be highlighting some of the most impressive feats of robotics engineering that we covered throughout the year in our robotics news series.

        It’s incredible to see the progress that has been made in the robotics field this year. We’d like to take this time to thank all of the engineers, scientists, and technicians who have dedicated themselves to pushing the boundaries of robotics technology. Without their hard work and dedication, robotics would not have become the incredible field that it is today. Thank you all!

        This was 2022!

      • Joe BrockmeierDisappointed in the Kobo Forma: Two years is too short for an e-reader to last

        The Kobo Forma is the first e-reader I’ve ever owned that I’ll be replacing because the hardware died, rather than replacing it with better technology. This is rather disappointing since the Forma had everything I wanted and wasn’t even two years old.

        Meg got me the Forma for Christmas in 2020. Unlike my first generation Kindle and its immediate successors, the Forma saw light duty. Thanks to the pandemic, it’s the first e-reader I’ve owned that’s never been on a plane. It didn’t have to travel the world, get stuffed in an overcrowded backpack, or even see as much normal use as my previous e-readers. Sad to say, I spent far less time reading the past two years than usual.

        A few days ago I picked it up and the battery was unexpectedly drained, despite having had it on the charger the day before. After charging it again, it simply refused to wake from sleep. The notoriously mushy side button didn’t rouse it at all. All attempts to restart or reset it have failed.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Raspberry PiSean Hodgins’ holographic Christmas tree

        Apparently we’re all calling persistence-of-vision projects holograms these days. Thanks ABBA.

      • LifeSavvy MediaThe Raspberry Pi 5 Won’t Launch Any Time Soon

        This news is disappointing but unsurprising. As explained by Upton, nobody wants to be on a waiting list for a Raspberry Pi. A new Pi computer would take up space on the manufacturing floor—it would slow the recovery effort.

      • SparkFun ElectronicsMy Festive Proof of Concept

        So I knew that I needed to prove, if only to myself, that this was possible. But I also wanted to have some fun doing it. I decided that a good way to try to prove that a propeller could be spun without physical contact to the motor itself would be to make a snow globe that required no shaking, no touching. Just wave a hand in front of it, and excite the snow within. The motor and electronics would be hidden in the base, and the propeller, inside the globe, would excite the water and snow. Even with your hands full of gingerbread men and egg nog, you could still enjoy the magic of the snow globe! Since the circuit itself was really quite simple – just a microcontroller, motor driver, and proximity sensor – the now not-so-simple proof of concept project would allow me to do a little bit of 3D design and printing.

      • AdafruitEben Upton interview: Raspberry Pi availability and more #RaspberryPi @ChrisBarnatt @Raspberry_Pi

        Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi, interviewed on December 14 2022. Eben talks about supply pressures, Raspberry Pi availability in 2023, industrial Pi applications, his take on RISC-V, and when we may see a Raspberry Pi 5. You can navigate the video using the chapters in the progress bar.

      • AyloColor Temperature Tunable, High-CRI LED Lamp

        In my last post, I discussed the basic requirements and layout of my lamp – I wanted it to be able to control the color temperature and brightness, and I wanted it to be really bright. I experimented with a single strip, and detailed how the control board would work. If you want to try to build your own, the code/boards are here, although it is not very well documented.

      • HackadayYour Own Santa? Thermal Camera Roundup

        With Christmas and other end-of-year celebrations, there are gifts. The problem is that your loved ones don’t really know what to get you. Who can blame them? Do you want an Arduino, a Raspberry Pi, or a Blue Pill? Is that 3D printer on sale better than the one you have? Do you even want a second printer? They don’t know. In the best case, they’ll give you gift cards. But sometimes you just have to buy yourself something nice. [Wired] has a suggestion: a phone-based thermal camera. Which one? They have four suggestions ranging from about $150 to $200.

      • HackadayArduboy Mini Is A Fresh Take On An 8-bit Favorite

        We’ve always been big fans of the Arduboy here at Hackaday. When creator Kevin Bates showed us the original prototype back in 2014, the idea was to use his unique method of mounting components inside routed holes in the PCB to produce an electronic business card that was just 1.6 mm thick. But the Internet quickly took notice of the demos he posted online, and what started as a one-off project led to a wildly successful Kickstarter for a sleek handheld gaming system that used modern components and manufacturing techniques to pay homage to the 8-bit retro systems that came before it.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Mastodon

      • Tim BrayIs Moving to Mastodon Ethical?

        The big story occupying space in my mind (and on this blog) is the #TwitterMigration. As Twitter grows troubled and troubling, “Fediverse” technologies in general and Mastodon in particular are successfully attracting many users and providing a pleasant experience. Everyone is wondering out loud whether Mastodon can take the strain and whether it can provide cool new features. What we haven’t been discussing are two ethical questions: First, is it OK to bail out of Twitter? And if bailing out, is Mastodon a acceptable place to land?

      • Jon UdellLists and people on Mastodon

        I hadn’t thought to use Mastodon lists until I read the Frustration with lists chapter of Martin Fowler’s Exploring Mastodon, in which he writes:

        I like lists because they allow me to divide up my timeline to topics I want to read about at different times. They are frustrating because the tools to manage them in Twitter are very limited, so it’s more hassle to set up the kind of environment I’d like. Mastodon also has lists, sadly its current management tools are equally bad.

      • Bozhidar BatsovBozhidar is on Mastodon

        You’ll also find me on a few other Mastodon instances, but I don’t plan to use my accounts there much: [...]

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Kiwi TCMS: Program for Testing and Automation devroom, FOSDEM’23

        Attention testers! On behalf of Testing and Automation devroom we’d like to announce that the final program for the devroom is ready!

        We received over 30 submissions this year and the entire collection of topics was extremely good. During FOSDEM we are going to see topics around functional testing for the Linux kernel, growing testing infrastructure for Linux, testing of new networking protocols, observability-driven development, the testing history behind the GNOME desktop environment, property-based testing and mutation testing.

    • Programming/Development

      • AIMNVIDIA releases CUDA 12.0

        The update allows users to target architecture-specific features in the NVIDIA Hopper and NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architectures with enhanced libraries, developer tools, and CUDA custom code. The new update also supports revamped CUDA dynamic parallelism APIs, enabling performance improvements and also enhancing CUDA Graphs API.

      • RlangCode longevity of the R programming language

        The problem is that you have to find old code laying around. Some people have found old code they wrote a decade or more ago and tried to rerun it; there’s this blog post by Thomas Lumley and this other one by Colin Gillespie that I find fascinating, but ideally we’d have more than a handful of old scripts laying around. This is when Dirk Eddelbuettel suggested this: [...]

      • ButtondownBugs that literally cost money

        That got me interested in the class of bugs where the cost is direct and obvious. And the most obvious case of “obvious cost” is when the bug prevents me from spending money. In October I started recording instances of this I’ve run into. Here’s what I got so far: [...]

      • Yoshua WuytsRust 2023 (By Yosh)

        The core team used to put out a yearly call for blog posts. My colleage Nick published their “Rust in 2023″ post last week, and encouraged others to do the same. I like the idea of taking a moment to reflect on larger topics, and so well, why not write a post!

        I want to do this a bit differently from the usual formula though. Rather than writing something with the specific intent to build some sort of “Rust 2023 roadmap”, I want to instead take this as an opportunity to reflect on the state, values, and priorities of the Rust project. More of a snapshot of my current perspectives, than a concrete list of action items I think should be tackled. Here goes!

      • Austin Z HenleyChallenging algorithms and data structures every programmer should try

        Well, back when I was a student, my algorithms courses regularly put me to sleep. This is unfortunate because there are some really interesting algorithms and data structures out there. Not only have they come up during job interviews, but learning them changed how I think about problems. Plus they’re useful even if you don’t work on Google-scale problems.

      • Sean ConnerUnit test this

        I saw a decent answer to my question which makes sense for C. Another decent (if a bit vague) answer was: [...]

      • Matt RickardBackward Compatibility

        I think that many of us take backward compatibility for granted. It’s so ingrained in our daily life that we don’t even question it.

        Backward compatibility is a spectrum – some systems are more compatible than others. But, at the end of the day, it’s often one of the few reasons why we can use old software and hardware in new environments.

        Why is backward compatibility important?

      • Trail Of BitsFast and accurate syntax searching for C and C++

        The naive approach to searching for patterns in source code is to use regular expressions; a better way is to parse the code with a custom parser, but both of these approaches have limitations. During my internship, I prototyped an internal tool called Syntex that does searching on Clang ASTs to avoid these limitations. In this post, I’ll discuss Syntex’s unique approach to syntactic pattern matching.

      • AdafruitContinuous Fuzzing for Open Source Software #OpenSource @Google

        Fuzz testing is a well-known technique for uncovering programming errors in software. Many of these detectable errors, like buffer overflow, can have serious security implications. Google has found thousands of security vulnerabilities and stability bugs by deploying guided in-process fuzzing of Chrome components, and we they want to share that service with the open source community.

      • University of TorontoDetecting missing or bad Go modules and module versions

        However, this will not help you if the upstream has removed the module entirely, or removed a version without doing the right retract directive magic in go.mod. And using fgrep here counts on the Go authors not changing the format of the output for retracted or deprecated modules; as we’ve all found out in the module era, the Go tools are not a stable interface.

      • RachelSystems design and being bitten by edge-triggering

        Let’s try a thought experiment: we’re going to design a little program that provides a service on a vaguely Unix-flavored box. It’s designed to periodically source information over the Internet from hosts that may be close or far away, and then it keeps a local copy for itself and others to use.

      • Perl / Raku

        • [Old] The Effective PerlerKnow the difference between utf8 and UTF-8

          The :utf8 encoding, and variations on it without a hyphen, is Perl’s looser encoding.

          Using UTF-8, in any case and with either a hyphen or underscore, is the strict, valid encoding and gives a warning for invalid sequences.

          Only use the :encoding(UTF-8) and make its warnings fatal.

      • Python

        • EarthlyHow to Work with YAML in Python

          If you’d like to learn how to work with YAML in the Python programming language, then this tutorial is for you. This tutorial will cover creating, writing, reading, and modifying YAML in Python.

        • Geeks For GeeksHow to copy linked list in Python?

          Linked Lists are a type of ‘Abstract Data Types‘ in Python. These data structures are linear in nature. Linked Lists are different from Lists as Linked Lists are stored in non-contiguous (non-continuous) memory whereas lists, in contrast, are stored in contiguous (continuous) memory blocks. The elements stored in Linked Lists are in the form of ‘Nodes‘. Each node consists of two parts: Data and Pointer to the next node.

        • Adafruithave a happy hannukah with a circuitpython menorah

          we spent this evening updating this cute menorah project we’ve had for over a decade, from an Arduino UNO to run on a RP2040 QT Py board (https://www.adafruit.com/product/4900) with our prototype “IoT Button BFF” board to increment through the nights. we used PaintYourDragons’ LED candle flicker code from this halloween project (https://learn.adafruit.com/circuit-playground-jack-o-lantern) and sorta mixed it with Liz’s NeoPixel menorah project from last year (https://learn.adafruit.com/neopixel-menorah). this project predates NeoPixels – all we had were WS2801’s at the time! we think it looks pretty nice now, and its a lot more compact 🙂 – video.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • ZimbabweEU forces Apple to switch to USB-C by September 2024

        Apple has been using Lightning since the iPhone 5 which is quite a long while back. During that time, most Android and even Blackberry devices were using MicroUSB and later migrated to USB-C. Apple has been nothing but lightning. This is something that the EU is not happy with saying it’s inconveniencing consumers and contributing to e-waste.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • New York TimesA Statue of Henrietta Lacks Will Replace a Monument to Robert E. Lee

        Just months before her death and without her knowledge, consent or compensation, doctors removed a sample of cells from a tumor in her cervix. The cells taken from Ms. Lacks behaved differently than other cancer cells, doubling in number within 24 hours and continuing to replicate.

        The cell sample went to a researcher at Johns Hopkins University who was trying to find cells that would survive indefinitely so researchers could experiment on them. The cells derived from that sample have since reproduced and multiplied billions of times, contributing to nearly 75,000 studies.

        The cell line named after Ms. Lacks, HeLa, has played a vital role in developing treatments for influenza, leukemia and Parkinson’s disease, as well as advancing chemotherapy, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization and more.

      • ABCHenrietta Lacks’ hometown will build statue of her where Robert E. Lee sculpture once stood

        In 1951, Lacks received treatment for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the only medical centers accepting Black patients at the time. There, a gynecologist took a sample of her cells, sending it to a lab for research without her knowledge or consent, her family says. Though Lacks died just months later, her cells, later named “HeLa” cells, were discovered to be remarkably “immortal,” lasting longer than any other samples scientists had seen, even multiplying every 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins.

        Scientists say HeLa cells are estimated to have saved millions of lives through medical advancements, including the polio vaccine, coronavirus vaccines, cancer treatments, AIDS treatments, Parkinson’s treatments, and human survival in zero gravity.

      • NPRCan dogs smell time? Just ask Donut the dog

        Every school day Matt and his brother would be away from their home for approximately the same amount of time. And right before the school bus arrived, their smell in the house would drop to about the same level.

        Donut probably learned to associate that level of odor with the imminent return of Matt and his brother, Horowitz thinks.

        So instead of simply seeing time pass on a clock or feeling it pass in her body, Donut literally smelled time pass. “We have to imagine that things we render as visual experiences, dogs might render in olfaction,” Horowitz explains. “So they might experience spaces, recognize things and have memories in smell.”

    • Education

      • BBCAfghanistan: Taliban arrest women protesting against university ban

        Three journalists were also arrested. Protests are also understood to have taken place in the Takhar province.

        Guards stopped hundreds of women from entering universities on Wednesday – a day after the ban was announced.

        It is the latest policy restricting women’s education since the Taliban returned to power last year.

      • The WeekTaliban arrests women protesting against University ban

        According to reports, the arrests were made in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. Three journalists were also arrested. The new policy came into immediate effect on Tuesday, restricting women from entering Universities.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • NPRAs more GOP governors race to ban TikTok on state devices, a federal ban looms

        In some of these cases, new restrictions go beyond TikTok and also forbid other Chinese- and Russian-owned platforms. But all of the governors give similar reasons for their actions: concerns about data privacy and surveillance.

      • VoxWhy are American lives getting shorter?

        Life expectancy at birth — or how long a person is expected to live if nothing in the world changes — is usually calculated by using death rate data within each age group. So while life expectancy isn’t a prediction of how long a baby born today will live, the drop reveals the scale of untimely deaths during Covid-19.

    • Proprietary

      • Bruce SchneierCritical Microsoft Code-Execution Vulnerability

        But unlike EternalBlue, which could be exploited when using only the SMB, or server message block, a protocol for file and printer sharing and similar network activities, this latest vulnerability is present in a much broader range of network protocols, giving attackers more flexibility than they had when exploiting the older vulnerability.

      • Silicon AngleThe Guardian newspaper [cracked] in suspected ransomware attack

        Details of the suspected ransomware attack were fittingly published today by The Guardian, which said that the “incident” began late Tuesday night U.K. time and had affected parts of the company’s technology infrastructure.

      • India TimesThe Guardian hit by ransomeware attack, staff told to work from home [iophk: Windows TCO]

        London, Leading UK-based newspaper The Guardian on Wednesday confirmed its systems have been hit by a “serious IT incident,” which appears to be a ransomware attack.

        The publication said the cyber attack began late on Tuesday and affected parts of the company’s IT infrastructure.

      • CoryDoctorowHow Apple could open its App Store without really opening its App Store

        Not at all. It just means that China was able to threaten Apple’s shareholders in ways that the DoJ couldn’t. Standing up to the Chinese government would threaten Apple’s access to 350 million middle-class Chinese potential customers, and an equal number of Chinese low-waged workers who could be tapped to manufacture Apple devices under brutal labor conditions at rock-bottom prices.

      • SecurepairsComplaint: Apple’s Part Pairing Powers Planned Obsolescence – The Week in Repair

        A complaint, brought by the French environmental group HOP (Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmé – or “Stop Planned Obsolescence) targets Apple’s practice of part serialization ( also known as “pairing”), which ties the serial numbers of discrete components and peripherals of a product to a specific phone using embedded micro-chips. The use of part pairing with frequently replace components like screens, batteries and cameras,” allows the manufacturer to limit the possibilities of repair, in particular for non-approved repairers,” HOP alleges.

      • NYPostLED traffic sign in India tells drivers to ‘smoke weed everyday’

        Officials blamed the directive on a technical issue, the outlet reported, citing India Today.

      • PC GamerFrance slaps Microsoft with EUR 60m fine for placing ad cookies on users’ devices “without their consent” | PC Gamer

        France’s privacy watchdog has fined Microsoft 60 million euros for imposing advertising cookies on its users.

        As reported by France 24, the fine relates specifically to Microsoft’s search engine Bing, which France’s National Commission for Technology and Freedoms (CNIL) said was not set up to allow users to refuse cookies as simply as accepting them

        The French regulator of personal data said that when users visited Bing “cookies were deposited on their terminal without their consent, while these cookies were used, among others, for advertising purposes.” CNIL added further that there was “no button allowing to refuse the deposit of cookies as easily as accepting it.”

    • Security

      • Fear, Uncertainty,

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • La Quadature Du NetAlgorithmic E-Proctoring Of Exams: TestWe Will Not Survive The Winter

          A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the legal case brought by students against the use by the Institute of Distant Study of the University of Paris 8 of the algorithmic exam e-proctoring platform “TestWe”, a case in which La Quadrature was involved. Last week, in a remarkably interesting preliminary ruling, the administrative court of Montreuil suspended the use of TestWe’s software.

        • Rolling Stone‘Power Run Amok’: Madison Square Garden Uses Face-Scanning Tech to Remove Perceived Adversaries

          Madison Square Garden Entertainment, owned by James Dolan (who has been known to kick out fans who anger him), confirms to RS that it enacted a policy in recent months forbidding anyone in active litigation against the company from entry to the company’s venues — which include the New York arena that gives the company its name, along with Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and the Chicago Theatre. The company’s use of facial recognition tools itself dates back to at least 2018, when the New York Times reported on it; anyone who enters the venue is subject to scanning, and that practice now seems to coincide with the policy against opposing litigants.

        • MIT Technology ReviewA Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

          In other words, by iRobot’s estimation, anyone whose photos or video appeared in the streams had agreed to let their Roombas monitor them. iRobot declined to let MIT Technology Review view the consent agreements and did not make any of its paid collectors or employees available to discuss their understanding of the terms.

        • Stacey on IoTPepper acquires Notion for connected insurance play

          Pepper IoT, a company that provides applications and back-end services for other businesses to build IoT platforms or devices, has acquired Notion, a company that provides insurance companies services and sensors designed to mitigate claims. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s a surprising acquisition in part because Pepper acquired Notion from Comcast, which itself purchased Notion back in February 2020.

        • Off GuardianYou’d Better Watch Out: The Surveillance State Is Making a List, and You’re On It

          Geofencing dragnets. Fusion centers. Smart devices. Behavioral threat assessments. Terror watch lists. Facial recognition. Snitch tip lines. Biometric scanners. Pre-crime. DNA databases. Data mining. Precognitive technology. Contact tracing apps.

          What these add up to is a world in which, on any given day, the average person is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • New York TimesAdam Schiff: Don’t Forget That Many Republicans in Congress Enabled Trump’s Big Lie

        That Mr. Trump was willing to lie so baldly about a matter at the heart of our democracy — whether the American people can rely on elections to ensure the peaceful transfer of power — now seems self-evident, even unremarkable, when we consider the violent attack on the Capitol he incited days later. But Americans shouldn’t lose sight of how this behavior indicts the former president, and not just the former president but the Republican members of Congress whom he knew would go along with his big lie.

      • VOA NewsAl-Shabab Militants Kill Police Officer, Civilian in Eastern Kenya

        Ngeiywa told VOA by phone that three other police officers wounded in the Wednesday morning explosion have since been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.

        He said police suspect al-Shabab militants were behind the attack. He said a multi-agency security team is pursuing the militants.

      • Jacobin MagazineDemocrats Have Given Up on Fighting Dark Money

        Democrats’ surrender on dark money comes after several failed legislative efforts to compel politically active nonprofits to disclose their donors — and as dark money becomes increasingly enmeshed within our political system. Ever since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed anonymous donations to flow into elections, both parties have become increasingly reliant on dark pools of cash to fund TV ad wars over presidential elections, congressional races, and even judicial confirmation campaigns. The situation allows ultrawealthy, mystery donors to exert unprecedented influence in Washington.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • The Hill[Old] New York Times, European news outlets call on US to drop charges against Assange

        A number of the world’s leading news organization, including The New York Times, are urging the U.S. government to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, citing First Amendment concerns.

        In an open letter from the Times, the United Kingdom’s The Guardian, France’s Le Monde, Spain’s El País and Germany’s Der Spiegel, the media companies argued charges against Assange should be dropped.

        Assange was arrested in London in April 2019 on a U.S. warrant and charged under the Espionage Act following the publication of a series of classified materiel that revealed “corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale,” the outlets noted.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Internet Freedom Foundation2022 Year in Review: Sustaining Community and Building Diversity

        One of IFF’s core areas of work is civic literacy and public advocacy—in what seems like a constant barrage of content, how do we engage with and educate our community? We do so through a combination of events, memes, infographics, and explainers. This strategy relies on humanistic communication that recognises that emotion is at the heart of any debate on technology and constitution. We don’t think that complex issues need to be simplified, just better engaged.

      • Internet Freedom Foundation2022 Year In Review: Digital transparency empowers digital rights

        In 2022, we filed 218 Right to Information (“RTI”) applications and 47 first appeals with various public authorities at the state and union levels. We have also preferred 3 second appeals and appeared before 8 first appellate authorities and the CIC in 7 matters. Through these efforts, we have tried to bring transparency & accountability in the working of every public authority and significant social media intermediary.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • There’s a blaze of light in every word

        The stoning scene from Life of Brian came to mind today after Putin referred to the special military operation as a “war” which is illegal in Russia.

        That Life of Brian gag is pretty antisemitic; and also inaccurate since their language around the divine name didn’t have the signifier/signified problem that spoken English has.

        I’ll give an example: in writing, you can tell the difference between a chair, and the word for chair which is “chair”, by using quotes. Lojban has something similar with the prefix cmavo zo. Like quotes in English, it’s used for all kinds of quoting. Chair is the signified, “chair” is the signifier.

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ABYELWC Wordo: HARDY
      • It’s kind of sad to think that the cheapest gift are the milk maids

        It wasn’t until I read this article [1] from the Transylvania Times [2] that I thought about the price of all the gifts from “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It was also the first time I learned about The Christmas Price Index [3], where all this is tracked every year. This year’s index, if you were to buy all the gifts mentioned in the song, comes to a staggering $197,071.09. And for all that, the 40 maids a-milking will only cost you $290. Not mentioned is the cleanup costs [4] of all the gifts.

    • Technical

      • Tea Tea Deluxe Version 1.2.0

        Last night I published an update to my OpenTTD NewGRF called Tea Tea Deluxe. Version 1.2.0, downloadable from the “Check online content” menu in the game.


        I’ve played the game with these changes for a couple of weeks now, and the improvements are very enjoyable. The production rates for the farms is now a little bit higher. Increased from 8 to 12, compared to 15 for coal, which actually makes tea leaves somewhat competitive. They start out at a higher value than coal but drop off radically, whereas coal loses value very slowly. For short distances tea leaves are more valuable, for medium to long distances coal is the winner. For the longest distances, when value of any cargo has dropped to the lowest point at 12% of its maximum, tea leaves are quite superior. I didn’t intend to make it this way, but it’s how it turned out.

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

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 22, 2022

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Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Has New Paper on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) After Brexit

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Click below to download the paper

EU Patent Reform: The “withdrawn” ratification of the UPCA and its protocols by the United Kingdom

Summary: Contrary to what EPO dictators Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos kept saying, going ahead with a so-called Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) would be illegal

THE FOLLOWING was published ten days ago by Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna, who had observed the Unified Patent Court and its predecessors for well over a decade (he also published books on the subject).

Here’s what he had to say:

EU Patent Reform: The “withdrawn” ratification of the UPCA and its protocols by the United Kingdom,

Article on the UK’s alleged withdrawal from the UPCA and its protocols “with immediate effect” and the lack of a respective legal basis (Published on 13/12/2022)

The European patent reform and in particular the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPCA”) con-tinue to be controversially discussed, with a frequently raised question concerning the role of the United King-dom in the UPC and the protocols thereto as well as its “withdrawals” of the related ratifications. In his second constitutional complaint against the German ratification of the UPCA (Case No. 2 BvR 2217/20), the author of this article had submitted these issues to the German Constitutional Court (“BVerfG”) for clarification, which, however, did not deal with them in substance, as it did with all other substantive issues. The relevant aspects of this question are discussed in more detail in this article, based on the statements in the constitutional complaint.

  • Download English Version (Article of 13/12/2022, PDF)
  • Download German Version (Article of 13/12/2022, PDF)

As noted in the previous post, the FCC or German Constitutional Court (“BVerfG”) is missing in action. It treats this as a corporate and political issue rather than a legal and constitutional matter. This is not OK.

Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna on German ‘Justice’: “Not a Single One of the EPO Complaints Has Been Decided to Date.”

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dr Ingve Björn Stjerna

Summary: With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) we’re already seeing the role played by German courts in undermining laws and constitutions; Is there any hope that Germany as a country will ever put an end to EPO abuses? The apathy (if not active complicity, set aside passive corruption) merely serves to to discredit or delegitimise the state…

THE EPO is basically above German law despite being based in Germany. Many times in the past we wrote about how the German government had intentionally turned a blind eye to EPO corruption. Some of the worst corruption is yet to be exposed (there’s truly explosive material).

At what stage does one categorically accept that the so-called ministry of ‘justice’ in Germany and its constitutional court (FCC) as well are in cahoots with or participating in this corruption? There are some concrete examples of entryism and one might say “collusion”…

Well, Constitutional Court judge Prof. Huber is leaving, after rejecting two UPC complaints without really looking into them. One complainant just wrote the following text:

Patent Law: End of the term of office of Constitutional Court judge Prof. Huber – When a constitutional complaint outlasts the twelve-year term of office of the judge responsible for it (Published on 08/12/2022)

For years, several constitutional complaints against acts of the European Patent Office have been pending before the German Constitutional Court (“BVerfG”). Five such proceedings are currently publicly known, namely those with the docket numbers 2 BvR 2480/10, 2 BvR 421/13, 2 BvR 786/15, 2 BvR 756/16 and 2 BvR 561/18 (afterwards “EPO complaints”), in which, among other things, a violation of the fundamental rights to effective legal protection (Article 19 (4) of the Grundgesetz [“GG”]) and to the lawful judge (Article 101 (1) sentence 2 GG) is complained of.

As is well known, the decisions of the BVerfG – as well as of other panels of judges to which several judges belong (so-called “collegial courts” [“Kollegialgerichte”]) – are prepared by the so-called “judge rapporteur”, or short “rapporteur”. The rapporteur for the EPO complaints in the responsible Second Senate is judge Prof. Peter M. Huber, who, in the field of intellectual property law, is known in particular for the not necessarily consistent decisions on the European patent reform for which he was the rapporteur as well.

The oldest two EPO complaints, dating from 2010 and 2013, have been listed since 2016 in the so-called “annual preview” (“Jahresvorschau”) of the BVerfG, which provides an overview at the beginning of a calendar year of those proceedings that the court intends to decide in the course of the year. Since 2021, all aforementioned EPO complaints have been listed in the annual preview of the court. Judge Prof. Huber has already indicated in a commentary in 2018 that he may consider the legal protection at the EPO to be in line with the minimum required by the German Grundgesetz.

Nevertheless, not a single one of the EPO complaints has been decided to date.

Read on for the rest…

Signs of Rot: Twitter Starts Exposing Previously-Private Information to Everyone!

Posted in Servers at 2:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re not supposed to do this

Biden in Twitter

Wikileaks in Twitter

Techdirt in Twitter

Glyn Moody in Twitter

Summary: Some time recently Twitter started exposing to everybody (even people not logged in or without an account) statistics that can be used to partly unmask users/usage, especially for very small accounts; whose idea was that?

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