Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

Posted in News Roundup at 9:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

Posted in News Roundup at 1:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Martijn BraamAlpine Linux is pretty neat

      I’ve used various Linux distributions in the past, starting with a Knoppix live CD a long time ago. For a long time I was an Ubuntu user (with compiz-fusion ofcourse), then I used Arch Linux for years thinking it was the perfect distribution. Due to postmarketOS I found out about Alpine Linux and now after using that for some years I think I should write a post about it.

    • BSD

      • UndeadlyOpenSSH 9.2/9.2p1 released!

        As should be of no surprise to undeadly readers, OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and includes sftp client and server support.

      • OpenSSHOpenSSH 9.2 was released on 2023-02-02

        This release contains fixes for two security problems and a memory safety problem. The memory safety problem is not believed to be exploitable, but we report most network-reachable memory faults as security bugs.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • EtaReversing UK mobile rail tickets

        But what data is inside the barcode of a mobile ticket, and how do they work? Could people who aren’t ticket inspectors get the data out of them? It turns out that the answer is a bit more interesting than I initially expected!

      • HackadayBuilding An All-in-One Desktop Out Of Framework Parts

        The Framework laptop prides itself on having reusable parts, and hackers all around routinely challenge the claims by building projects reusing them. Yet again, [whatthefilament] puts the Framework hardware to the test, by taking all the laptop internals and building an AiO (All-in-One) desktop computer with it. Hot on the heels of his Framework tablet project we covered a few months ago, this desktop reuses as much as possible – the mainboard, the display and the expansion cards in particular, and even one of the hinges is reused for adjusting the monitor’s angle.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • OpenSource.comHow upstream contributions power scientific research

      Horizon Europe emphasizes open science and open source technology. The program evolved from Horizon 2020, which provided financial support for research projects that promoted industrial competitiveness, advanced scientific excellence, or solved social challenges through the process of “open science.”

      Open science is an approach to the scientific process based on open cooperative work, tools, and diffusing knowledge found in the Horizon Europe Regulation and Model Grant Agreement. This open science approach aligns with open source principles that provide a structure for such cooperation.

    • TechdirtElon’s New API Pricing Plan Seems Perfectly Designed… To Help Send More Users And Developers To Mastodon

      Huh. It had actually felt like quite some time since Elon Musk had last done something so stupid as to send a new bunch of users to Mastodon. But, apparently he can’t go that long without helping to do so. Last night, I had actually started working on a story about how developers were increasingly moving from Twitter to Mastodon, following the ridiculously, poorly communicated decision to shutdown API access for companies building Twitter clients (from which many original Twitter innovations arose).

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Access/Content

        • Times Higher EducationScottish university press slashes open access monograph costs

          The new academic press, which is already assessing pitches for books nearing completion that will be ready for publication in 2023-24, will also create opportunities for scholars to publish their work in a longer form, added Ms Walker.

          “As a not-for-profit, we don’t have the same limitations on what we can publish – we can publish things that might not be as commercially viable [with a traditional publisher] or we think about helping early career researchers to find an audience,” she said.

    • Programming/Development

      • Dizietderive-adhoc: powerful pattern-based derive macros for Rust

        Have you ever wished that you could that could write a new derive macro without having to mess with procedural macros?

      • University of TorontoC was not created as an abstract machine (of course)

        This is simultaneously true and false. It’s absolutely true that the semantics of formal standard C are defined in terms of an abstract (virtual) machine, instead of any physical machine. The determined refusal of the specification to tie this abstract machine in concrete CPUs is the source of a significant amount of frustration in people who would like, for example, for there to be some semantics attached to what happens when you dereference an invalid pointer. They note that actual CPUs running C code all have defined semantics, so why can’t C? But, well, as is frequently said, C Is Not a Low-level Language (via) and the semantics of C don’t correspond exactly to CPU semantics. So I agree with nytpu’s overall sentiments, as I understand them.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchSDS Redux…No, the BOOK

      The 50th anniversary edition of SDS, the classic story of the 1960s Students for a Democratic Society, has just been published, with a new introduction by me, and an enlarged index in which many modern-day politicos will find their names.  A handsome paperbound edition, a hefty 769 pages for only $24.95, it was published as an act of love by the New York City-based Autonomedia, which had also earlier published my No More Mushrooms: Thoughts on Life Without Government.

      In retrospect, we can see that, although the organization collapsed after just ten years of existence, it did make a mark.  As I say in the introduction, it was “a major factor in the creation of a New Left in America,” which was no small thing given that the only left politics up until then was a moldy Marxism, a kind of Maoism, and an anti-Soviet socialism, none of which took hold in this country or was likely to. This was a homegrown politics, taking its impulses not from Europe but from dissatisfactions and distortions in the American experience

    • Counter PunchWilliam Anthony (1934-2022) RIP

      Many years ago, so I remember as if it were yesterday, I went to one of those small Chelsea galleries on an upper floor off of tenth avenue, looked at an image parodying Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box and laughed aloud. And was jokingly rebuked: ’Don’t you know that this is an art gallery?’, the person at the desk asked me. That’s how I came to meet Bill Anthony, who became a friend. And that’s why, to the right above the computer on which I am writing, I have his drawing after Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Gianciotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca, (1819). But where Ingres’ two doomed Italian lovers are impossibly elegant, Anthony shows the most awkward two people imaginable making out. For reasons that I don’t claim to fully understand, humor in visual art is a surprisingly neglected topic. Now and then, I see a painting that is unintentionally funny, but I cannot think of another artist who like Anthony made a career from presenting visual humor.

      Always mischievous, but never malicious, Anthony got the ideas for his art from teaching beginning drawing students. They drew heads too large, arms and legs too small, and so he appropriated their style for his parodies of old master, modernist and contemporary art. Thus in his Men of Avignon (1997) Picasso’s women are replaced by five skinny naked man. In his Just What is it? (2021), Richard Hamilton’s famous pop image Just What is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, so Appealing? (1956) is redone with a female body builder replacing Hamilton’s male weight lifter, and Anthony’s own art on the walls replacing Hamilton’s examples. The Red Studio (1994) redoes Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911), with the pictures within the picture done, naturally!, in Anthony’s inimitable style. And in Dance (2016), six happily moronic looking pink dancers take the pose of Matisse graceful figures in Dance (1909-1910). The ungainly Giorgione Girl (2008) satirizes Giorgione’s great The Sleeping Venus (1510); Balthus Baby (2000) turns that painter’s pubescent femme fatale into a simpleton; and Laocoon (2011) redoes the very famous ancient Greek sculpture, Laocoön, with the three emaciated men struggling with a skinny blue snake. These examples all come from a recent book, Deviant Draftsmanship. And Anthony also did political history, in his earlier books War is Swell: A kids Idiotic Vision of WWII (2000) and Biblical Stories (1978), a book that impressed Warhol. And he presented politics, as in his politically incorrect Requiem for a Retard (2019), in which a man about to be electrocuted who is eating his last meal asks, ‘What’s for dessert?’ And I love his three drawings (1996), The Effects of Masturbation on Boys (blindness, hairy palms, insanity). Anthony also did caricatures of well known images by Caravaggio, Giorgio de Chirico, Degas, Ensor, Eric Fischl, Gainsborough, David Hockney, Magritte, Sigmar Polke and Tom of Finland. No artist, however famous or dignified, was beyond his reach. Like one of the great old masters, he thus created in his art a whole parallel universe, with everyone ungainly. All of his figures, male or female, look silly; every one of them appears to be a complete idiot.

    • HackadayBuild A Circuit Sculpture-Style VU Meter For Music

      One of the coolest things any sound system can have is some kind of musical visualization. Thumping level meters that pump with the volume are a great example, and were particularly popular in the 1980s. Now, you can build a rainbow set with great response, thanks to this guide from [Invexlab World].

    • HackadayBrass Hardware Makes For Pretty Potentiometer Knobs

      Knobs and switches can make or break the aesthetic and tactile appeal of a project. Fine hi-fi hardware goes hard on these details, while cheap knock-off guitar pedals often go the other way. If you’re looking for a unique, cheap, and compelling solution for potentiometer knobs, you might like to consider using converted brass hardware for the job.

    • Education

      • ACMCombining Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences for Immersive Fire Drills

        This paper presented a training application that combines the strengths of AR and VR for realistic fire suppression and evacuation training. Specifically, the fire-training environment was constructed by accurately detecting the 3D information of real objects to improve the immersive experience of the training. By applying the actually used fire training tool to the tangible interface, the training effect was increased and this was verified. Finally, a method for freely switching between AR and VR experiences in one device as presented. The proposed system still has limitations that can only be used on a few devices. In the future, we plan to develop human-like AI agents that can respond to various training scenarios alongside the trainee, further reducing risk and reducing the cost of human participants.

      • TruthOutSanders Vows to Work on Raising “Pathetically Low” Teacher Salaries
      • Democracy NowKeeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Khalil Gibran Muhammad & E. Patrick Johnson on the Fight over Black History

        We host a roundtable with three leading Black scholars about the College Board’s decision to revise its curriculum for an Advanced Placement course in African American studies after criticism from Republicans like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The revised curriculum removes Black Lives Matter, slavery reparations and queer theory as required topics, while it adds a section on Black conservatism. The College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers Advanced Placement courses across the country, denies that it buckled to political pressure. “Florida is a laboratory of fascism at this point,” says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. We also speak with two scholars whose writings are among those purged from the revised curriculum: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor of African American studies at Northwestern University, and E. Patrick Johnson, dean of Northwestern’s School of Communication and a pioneer in the formation of Black sexuality studies as a field of scholarship.

      • ScheerpostNew Advanced Placement African American Studies Course is Watered Down Version of Itself

        On February 1, 2023– the first day of Black History Month – the College Board released the framework for its new Advanced Placement African American Studies course. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has criticized the pilot version of the African American studies course as lacking educational […]

      • Counter PunchTeach Black History…Don’t Ban It

        When Republican President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, he called on Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans.”

        He also acknowledged that Black Americans had shown “courage and perseverance” when our country had failed to live up to its own ideals.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayThe Struggle Of Keeping A 1950s Candlepin Bowling System Working

        When we hear the term ‘bowling’, most of us think of what is known as ten-pin bowling, yet this is only one of the many variations. Candlepin bowling — so called because of the distinctive pin shape — has been around since 1880, yet is mostly played within the US New England and Canadian Maritime provinces. Because of how relatively uncommon it is, candlepin bowling alleys such as the one that [Autumn Mowery]’s family runs is struggling to keep the system working, much of it due to a lack of spare parts.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter PunchForever Chemicals, Everywhere

        Forever Chemicals are found everywhere from the depths of the Mariana Trench to the mountaintop of Mt. Everest. Following 80 years of manufacturing various PFAS chemicals, the world is swimming in chemical permanence. And yes, it is a toxic price society pays for modern-day conveniences — made easy!

        But maybe it would be better if “products made easy by PFASs” were made the old-fashioned way, pre-1940 sans dangerous chemicals. After all, several civilizations of the world got along just fine over thousands of years without PFAS chemicals. For example, the BBC documentary: The Story of India by Michael Wood: Archeological discoveries have revealed advanced technological artifacts found at Rakhigarhi, an Indus Valley site 8,000 years old. Indus cities had elaborate planning for drainage systems, housebuilding, and street construction with plentiful evidence of transcendent cultural affairs.

      • Counter PunchOur Planet Versus Plastic Bags: a Tale of Two Cities

        With oceans, countries, populations, and governments inundated by a plague of plastic worldwide, it may be useful to focus on the single-use plastic bag choices made by two cities, in the same U.S. state, located at a distance of only 64 miles (104 km) from each other. Both Santa Fe and Albuquerque share many qualities and conditions, foremost among them a distinctive cultural mix of American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American citizens. But the two communities are also dissimilar, and this is reflected in the way they have dealt with the plastic bag dilemma.

        Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States. It is the seat of the New Mexico government and is home to the country’s third-largest art market. It calls itself “the City Different” and has more than 250 art galleries and dealers, a dozenstate and private museums, and a world-class opera, for its more than 88,000residents.

      • VOA NewsAustralia to Legalize MDMA And Magic Mushrooms for Medical Use

        Psychedelics have been used by Indigenous peoples for millennia, but Western researchers only started seriously looking into their potential uses in the middle of the last century.

        The drugs became symbols of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and were banned.

      • The NationCan Psychedelics Solve the Youth Mental Health Crisis?

        As a high school freshman, Aiden McDonnell began exploring dissociative drugs with the help of well-connected friends: first with DMX, a cough suppressant often found in over-the-counter medicine, and later with magic mushrooms and LSD. His initial experiences with these substances—typically labeled “psychedelic” for their visual or illusory effects—were “not fun” and spawned regrets over losing “the innocence of childhood,” said McDonnell. “That’s probably not the best when you haven’t even started figuring stuff out.”

      • Common Dreams‘People Are Dying’: Nearly 14,000 Nigerians Sue Shell Over Devastating Oil Spills

        More than 13,650 Nigerians have filed claims against Shell for years of unremedied oil spills that are causing ecological destruction, disease, and death.

      • Common DreamsGOP AGs Threaten Pharmacies If They Dispense Abortion Pills by Mail

        A month after the two largest pharmacy chains in the United States announced their efforts to become certified to dispense abortion pills by mail, in accordance with a new Food and Drug Administration rule, the Republican attorneys general of 20 states on Wednesday warned the companies that providing the medications by mail in their states could result in legal action against them.

      • TruthOut20 GOP Attorneys General Threaten Pharmacies If They Mail Abortion Pills
      • TruthOutAbortion Clinic Sues West Virginia Over Anti-Abortion Law
      • The RevelatorUnited States Includes Dam Emissions in UN Climate Reporting for the First Time
      • MeduzaRussian dairy producers start labeling milk in kilograms to hide package downsizing — Meduza

        Russian dairy producers have begun labeling containers of milk by their mass rather than by their volume, RBC has reported.

      • Scheerpost‘We’re Still Gonna Say No’: Inside UnitedHealthcare’s Effort to Deny Coverage to Chronically Ill Patient

        After a college student finally found a treatment that worked, the insurance giant decided it wouldn’t pay for the costly drugs. His fight to get coverage exposed the insurer’s hidden procedures for rejecting claims.

    • Proprietary

      • TechdirtOpenAI Wants To Help You Figure Out If Text Was Written By OpenAI; But What Happens When It’s Wrong?

        With the rise of ChatGPT over the past few months, the inevitable moral panics have begun. We’ve seen a bunch of people freaking out about how ChatGPT will be used by students to do their homework, how it will replace certain jobs, and other claims. Most of these are totally overblown. While some cooler heads have prevailed, and argued (correctly) that schools need to learn to teach with ChatGPT, rather than against it, the screaming about ChatGPT in schools is likely to continue.

      • TechdirtIt Took Months For Anker To Finally Admit Its Eufy Cameras Weren’t Really Secure

        Last November, The Verge discovered that Anker, the maker of popular USB chargers and the Eufy line of “smart” cameras, had a bit of a security issue. Despite the fact the company advertised its Eufy cameras as having “end-to-end” military-grade encryption, security researcher Paul Moore and a hacker named Wasabi found it was pretty easy to intercept user video streams.

      • HackadayThis Week In Security: Github, Google, And Realtek

        GitHub Desktop may have stopped working for you yesterday, Febuary 2nd. The reason was an unauthorized access to some decidedly non-public repositories. The most serious bit of information that escaped was code signing certificates, notably used for GitHub Desktop and Atom. Those certificates were password protected, so it’s unlikely they’ve been abused yet. Even so, Github is taking the proper steps of revoking those certificates.

      • IT WireRed Hat Launches Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud

        Red Hat says organisations can deploy Red Hat’s self-managed offering directly from the Google Cloud Marketplace to quickly start automating the management of their Google Cloud resources.

      • Jan SchaumannAWS IAM and Cost Explorer CLI Setup

        While using Amazon EC2 for my class on System Administration, students often leave resources running unchecked, leading to an unexpectedly high bill. In order to help them keep track of their costs, I put together a simple shell function to display the current usage.

        While the command itself (shown at the end of this post) is trivial by itself, creating the required AWS resources to allow for access via the command-line — our preferred mandated AWS access method — is not completely obvious for novice or even only occasional AWS users, so I figured I’d document this here, both for my students as well as for myself.

      • Tim BrayAmazon Q4 2022 Financials

        “Profit” is an accounting abstraction, what concerns me more would be the negative free cash flow of $19.8B over the course of 2022. Perhaps someone more finance-literate could offer a good reason why this shouldn’t be a worry?

    • Security

      • Scoop News GroupSanctioned Iranian hackers behind Charlie Hebdo breach, Microsoft says [Ed: Microsoft is to blame for loads of security breaches, not the expert to be approached for blame-shifting explanations (blaming nations rather than the holes)]

        U.S. officials sanctioned members of the hacking group after they attempted to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • DeveverAgainst risk-based authentication (or, why I wouldn’t trust Google Cloud)

          Fundamentally, the issue here comes down to the fact that an accounts system for critical infrastructure needs to fulfill two objectives:

          It must be possible for authorized users to gain access.

          It must not be possible for unauthorized users to gain access.

          “Risk-based” authentication essentially tries too hard to fulfil the second objective in a way that compromises on the former.

        • WilliamHow Hype Will Turn Your Security Key Into Junk

          To understand the problem, we need to understand what a discoverable/resident key is.

          You have probably seen that most keys support an ‘unlimited’ number of accounts. This is achieved by sending a “key wrapped key” to the security key. When the Relying Party (Authentication Server) wants to authenticate your security key, it will provide you a “credential id”. That credential ID is an encrypted blob that only your security key can decrypt. If your security key can decrypt that blob it yields a private key that is specific to that single RP that you can use for signatures.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • NBCPatrons of NYC gay bar incapacitated and robbed of thousands via facial recognition on their phones

          Police believe the criminals used facial recognition to access the victims’ phones and funds once they were incapacitated, according to Capt. Robert Gault of the city’s 10th Precinct, who spoke about the incidents at a police community council meeting last week.

        • IdiomdrottningWhen the EU wanted to own all computers

          Their desire to monitor 100% of all communication is understandable, it’s for a good cause, but the only way to do that technically is if the are the admin user on every single computer (because otherwise people can still chat over Omemo, PGP, Matrix, or SSH+talk).

          So no more passwords, SSL certs, bank login, no more free operating systems, no more Jitsi or SSH or HTTPS. This law literally breaks all computing and the entire Internet. Which, if that’s what they really intend to do, they should just say so explicitly. The EU anti–all-computers-ever law. I can kind of see the appeal but I doubt business & politicians would, if they really understood that that was the ramifications.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • TruthOutTrump Shares Post Urging Followers to Physically Fight for Him to Win Nomination
      • TruthOutNoam Chomsky: Right-Wing Insurrection in Brazil Held Strong Echoes of January 6
      • Meduza‘My pebble on the scale’: A former Team Navalny activist is back in Russia to collect signatures against the war — Meduza
      • Common Dreams‘Death Sentence for Women and Families’: US Court Blocks Domestic Violence Gun Ban

        The right-wing 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday struck down a federal law barring people with domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms, a ruling that gun control advocates said will cost lives.

      • TruthOutJanuary 6 Report Obscured the Role of Racism in the “Stop the Steal” Movement
      • TruthOutAtlanta’s “Cop City” Moves Forward as 19 People Face Domestic Terrorism Charges
      • MeduzaTo the Viktor goes the oil Hungary’s government appears set on maintaining its cozy relationship with Moscow. But at what cost? — Meduza
      • Meduza‘A lunar landscape with residents who hate us’ Russian military source tells Novaya Gazeta that Moscow is gearing up for a new offensive — Meduza

        Russia is preparing to launch a new offensive in Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta Europe reported on Friday, citing a source from the Russian military.

      • Common DreamsDemocrats Introduce Bill to Ban ‘Grotesque’ Marketing of Assault Weapons to Kids

        U.S. Sen. Ed Markey on Thursday introduced legislation to outlaw the marketing of firearms to children amid growing outrage from federal lawmakers, gun violence prevention advocates, and parents over a weapon for kids inspired by the AR-15.

      • TechdirtCharter’s $7 Billion Penalty For Murdering An Elderly Customer Reduced To $262 Million

        Last August, cable giant Charter Communications (Spectrum) was slapped with a $7 billion lawsuit after one of the company’s cable technicians murdered an 83-year-old customer after hours. The lawsuit (pdf) claims that Charter had eliminated a more rigorous screening process when they merged with Time Warner Cable, letting the employee and his history slip through the cracks.

      • WiredThe Kremlin Has Entered the Chat
      • RTLPentagon tracking Chinese spy balloon over US

        The official added that the balloon had flown over the northwest United States, where there are sensitive airbases and nuclear missiles in underground silos, but that the Pentagon did not believe it constituted a particularly dangerous intelligence threat.

      • VOA NewsSuspected Chinese Spy Balloon Spotted Over Western US, Pentagon Says

        The balloon above Montana was not the first Chinese balloon spotted in the U.S, but this one seems to be hovering over locations longer than before, according to a military official.

      • Counter PunchHow the U.S. Border Arrived in Kenya

        When I got in the car in Nairobi to go to the Maasai Mara in the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands, it was hard to imagine that I was going to a place touched by U.S. border operations, but it was true. The United States, as I learned when I was researching my 2019 book Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World, has a Customs and Border Protection attaché at its Kenya embassy. This is one of 23 such attachés that the U.S. has across the world, in various places, including Bogotá, Mexico City, and New Delhi. The border, in other words, has far more reach than you might think.

        The U.S. has long been pushing its borders out to places across the globe. Perhaps the most well-known cases are the Mexico-Guatemala and the Dominican Republic-Haiti frontiers (as The Border Chronicle detailed last year), along with others in Latin America and the Caribbean. As former DHS secretary John Kelly put it in 2017, “Border security cannot be attempted as an endless series of ‘goal line stands’ on the one-foot line at the ports of entry or along the thousands of miles of border between this country and Mexico. … I believe the defense of the Southwest border starts 1,500 miles to the south, with Peru.”

      • Counter PunchPhilanthropic Violence in Nigeria

        Murder is something that comes easily to capitalists, and their political system is caked with the blood of ordinary workers whose lives fall apart under the hammer blows of oppression. In the eternal quest for cheap oil and colossal profits, power-hungry elites drain our planet of its living sap, justifying their destruction of our environment and our lives with a brazen cynicism that remains foreign to the ranks of the working-class. Nigeria is one such country whose immense mineral wealth has meant that the lives of its 200 million people are held back by the violence of capitalism. Yet amidst a country of deep hardship, the heroic resistance of ordinary people continues undeterred.

        The peoples’ struggle continues

      • MeduzaUkraine opens criminal case against Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin — Meduza

        The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has filed criminal charges against Evgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, according to the agency’s press service. Prigozhin stands accused of encroaching on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and waging an aggressive war.

      • MeduzaDuma deputies submit draft legislation that would allow military personnel to be jailed without trial — Meduza

        State Duma deputies Andrey Kartopolov and Andrey Krasov introduced a draft bill that would, if it passes, allow military personnel to be jailed without a court ruling.

      • MeduzaTolstoy, Pushkin, and Marshak briefly labeled ‘foreign agents’ on major Russian bookseller’s website — Meduza

        Multiple Russian writers, including Leo Tolstoy, Samuil Marshak, and Alexander Pushkin, were reportedly labeled as “foreign agents” on the website of Labyrinth, one of Russia’s largest online bookstores, on Friday.

      • Defence WebNigeria orders more vessels from France’s Ocea

        France’s Ocea has received another order from Nigeria, this time for nine vessels for the Nigerian Navy.

      • Counter PunchTyre Nichols and the Need for a Cultural Revolution

        The death of Tyre Nichols will be added to a long list of Black, Brown and White U.S. citizens innocently subjected to overwhelming force by those entrusted to protect them. The video of the young man being beaten by five Black policemen will lead to renewed cries of “Enough, enough.” Calls for local, state, and federal laws will be heard, and maybe some legislation will be passed. But the fundamental issues behind the excessive use of force by police officers in the United States will go unheeded. That would involve a cultural revolution, a fundamental change in the nature of law enforcement.

        We are familiar with different types of revolutions. Political revolutions, like the French Revolution or a coup d’état, are easy to observe. People are in power one day and gone the next. Scientific revolutions may also be dramatic. The discovery and mapping of DNA would be another example as would the work of Copernicus, Newton, and Einstein.

      • Counter PunchGoodbye, Tyre

        When Tyre Nichols woke up the morning of the last day of his life, I feel certain that he wasn’t thinking about racism or the chance that it might be his end, though he’d likely had “the talk” from his parents at an early age. He’d pushed it back, seeking peace and joy in a life he shared with friends, family, and his community. To do otherwise would create a constant state of fear, precluding any quality of life, the ability to just get through it all and grow up.

        I feel this as a Black mother.

      • The NationThe Crisis Killing Black Women

        For as long as the CDC and other health organizations have collected data on suicide, they’ve reported that suicide rates among Black people are the lowest among any racial category, and Black women and girls, more specifically, are least likely to end their lives of all demographic groups. It’s a statistical finding so counterintuitive that researchers dubbed it the racial/gender “suicide paradox”—that despite enduring more simultaneous marginalizing oppressions than any other group, Black women, instead of taking their lives at rates that surpass, or even equal, more privileged identities, just keep on keepin’ on. This idea—that suicide is correlated with whiteness, negatively correlated with Blackness, and irrelevant to Black femaleness—crept out of the sociology and mental health realms to establish itself within the broader American cultural psyche. Black women’s purported immunity to suicide has been regarded as such an open-and-shut case that studies on Black female suicidality are extremely scant. Corrections to that dangerous oversight have been slow to take hold, even in recent years, as Black teenage girls and young women have begun killing themselves at unprecedented rates.

      • The NationDeadly Violence Against Protesters Is the New Normal

        On the morning of January 18, agents from nine agencies, including the FBI and its local counterpart, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, descended on a section of Atlanta’s South River Forest occupied by activists. For the past two years, hundreds had lived in the section of the Weelaunee forest, in tents and treehouses, in order to block its planned conversion into a police training facility—a “Cop City” complete with a mock village, firing ranges, and a Black Hawk landing pad. That morning, the agents were under orders to “eliminate the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center of criminal activity.”

      • Counter PunchRage Against the War Machine: A Call for a National Strike to End the War

        As many others probably are, I’m very much concerned that the current trajectory of the war in Ukraine is leading us toward thermo nuclear war. Global nuclear holocaust followed by nuclear winter is a terrifying prospect for the future of humanity, threatening its very existence, future generations, and the existence of all life on this planet.  And the thing is, even though I know that this prospect is increasingly becoming the reality, I just don’t want to accept it. Yet, at the same time, I feel so paralyzed, so helpless to do anything about it. Who am I? I’m just one person. What can I do?

        Well, I’m not just one person, am I? So, what are “we” going to do about it? How can “we” stop this war machine from its destructive path? Once the automated systems are initiated, it’s almost impossible to stop the sequences that will follow. It will all happen very quickly. In around half an hour or so, much of the world will be completely destroyed. It has been estimated, that, if any, only 1% of humanity will survive, but then there’s the follow up of nuclear winter, which will last for a year afterwards. I don’t think I need to go on to describe the horrors of that, but we need to understand the incredibly foolish risk these madmen are taking now with their war machine. It’s not a game! These scoundrels and devils, who are of a similar mentality as that of Nazis, are risking our lives and the lives of our children and their children, our friends and families, future generations, and all life on the planet. And for what? So that the filthy rich war pigs of the MIC can get filthier, more corrupt, and fantastically wealthy?  So, why are “we” the people even in this game? How does this benefit the American people? It doesn’t! None of it does!

      • Atlantic Council#BritainDebrief – How grave is Britain’s stagnation? A debrief from Dr. Adam Tooze

        Ben Judah spoke with Professor Adam Tooze, Director of the European Institute and Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History at Columbia University on how Britain’s economic crisis looks from a historical perspective.

      • Atlantic Council#BritainDebrief – How does the Western price cap on oil work? | A Debrief from Eddie Fishman

        Ben Judah spoke with Eddie Fishman, Senior Policy Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, to discuss the price cap.

      • France24Live: Ukraine’s Zelensky vows to hasten EU membership after Kyiv summit

        Ukraine will not waste “a single day” bringing EU membership closer, President Volodymyr Zelensky told a joint press conference with EU leaders on Friday after a summit in Kyiv. Earlier, EU Council President Charles Michel said the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a decisive moment for the European bloc in an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

      • France24US pressures allies to expel Russia’s Wagner mercenaries from Libya, Sudan

        The United States has stepped up pressure on Middle East allies to expel the Wagner Group, a military contractor with close ties to Russia’s president, from chaos-stricken Libya and Sudan where it expanded in recent years, regional officials told The Associated Press.

      • FAIRYou Don’t Stop Police Killings by Calling them ‘Fatal Encounters’

        It’s hard to find words after yet another brutal police killing of a Black person, this time of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee, captured in horrifying detail on video footage released last week. But the words we use—and in that “we,” the journalists who frame these stories figure critically—if we actually want to not just be sad about, but  end state-sanctioned racist murders, those words must not downplay or soften the hard reality with euphemism and vaguery.

      • Common DreamsBrazil Set to Sink ‘Toxic’ Aircraft Carrier at Sea Despite Environmental Concerns

        The former flagship of Brazil’s navy—an ex-French aircraft carrier built in the late 1950s that environmentalists estimate contains hundreds of tons of highly carcinogenic chemicals—will be scuttled at sea after being denied permission to be scrapped in Turkey, Brazilian naval officials said on Wednesday.

      • Counter PunchDiplomatic Cables Prove Top U.S. Officials Knew They Were Crossing Russia’s Red Lines on NATO Expansion
      • Counter PunchUkraine’s Reckless Nuclear Response

        The ongoing war in Ukraine is not exactly a conducive environment to building new nuclear power plants. (Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Wikimedia Commons)

        Obviously, if your country has been invaded by a foreign power, putting your 15 commercial nuclear reactors at risk of destruction that could lead to a massive radioactive release, rendering your country and others beyond uninhabitable, there is only one clear solution: load up with more new nuclear power plants.

      • ScheerpostNuclear War Imminent?

        Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William J. Astore who served in the nuclear missile command fears the end of human life through nuclear war is more likely than in the Cold War era.

      • Counter PunchEric Draitser’s Disturbing Review of “War In Ukraine”

        I generally admire Eric Draitser’s knowledgeable, sharp-edged commentaries on international affairs, which are equally critical of U.S. imperialism and other forms of colonial and neocolonial oppression. Nevertheless, something bizarre happens in Eric’s review of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas Davies. Having criticized those authors, with some justification, for oversimplifying a complex conflict, he then produces a radically oversimplified response which amounts, in effect, to joining the U.S./NATO camp and underwriting the Zelensky regime’s drive for “victory.”

        The review begins by accusing Benjamin and Davies of presenting a one-dimensional view of the war that is too close to the official Russian narrative used to justify the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.  Draitser scores some points here; this history, strongly influenced by the authors’ opposition to the role of the U.S. and NATO in helping create the conditions for the conflict and then escalating it, ignores certain complexifying facts and tends to relieve Putin of all responsibility for the invasion. But he does not advocate a shared responsibility for the conflict and a shared duty to end it.  His conclusion (which he labels a “sound leftist position”) is that Ukraine needs to win the war and the Russians need to lose it.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • EFFEFF, ACLU Seek to Protect the Public’s Right to Access Judicial Records

        The SCA authorizes the government to access, among other things, the content of a subscriber’s electronic communications by obtaining a warrant. SCA warrants and related court records, including dockets, are routinely filed and maintained under seal in federal district courts around the country without any reason as to why such secrecy is necessary. In October 2022, the Minnesota District Court denied RCFP’s request to unseal this information, stating that RCFP “does not allege that it has any intent, much less an imminent intent, to access or inspect any of the materials that it seeks to unseal.”

        As the ACLU and EFF’s brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit explains, the lower court’s decision wrongfully cuts off court access in cases where, historically, access has proved important. “The Reporters Committee’s unsealing petition is a prime example of how secrecy can frustrate the public’s ability to even learn about the existence of certain judicial records, in this case, law enforcement requests for court authorization to engage in surveillance or to obtain people’s private data,” the brief reads. Keeping this information under seal implicates “people’s free speech and privacy rights, both in the physical world and digitally.”

        In most places, the press and public have no way of knowing how many SCA warrants the government applies for, what kinds of records it’s seeking, what information the government presented to support its warrant applications, and how many of the applications are granted or denied.

      • The DissenterSwedish Prosecutors Destroyed Assange Documents
    • Environment

      • Common DreamsBecause 1.5C Goal ‘Not Plausible,’ Study Says Deep Social Change Should Be Focus

        Scientists at the University of Hamburg in Germany argued Wednesday that meeting the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting planetary heating to 1.5°C is “currently not plausible”—but warned that despairing over climate “tipping points” risks taking attention away from “the best hope for shaping a positive climate future… the ability of society to make fundamental changes.”

      • The NationShould We Start Preparing for the Evacuation of Miami?

        The Miami-Dade County government has some clever mapping tools to help people visualize the impending climate risks—rising seas, swelling groundwater, flooded buildings. But too much detail can distract from the bigger picture: Miami is drowning.1

      • Energy/Transportation

        • DeSmogCarbon Capture Project Is ‘Band-Aid’ to Greenwash $10 Billion LNG Plant, Locals Say

          This story is a collaboration between Floodlight and DeSmog

          As the Mexican Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, festivities drew to a close, Dina Nuñez called to order a meeting of women grassroots activists in a modest home in the heart of Port Isabel, Texas. Top of her agenda: how to stop a Houston-based oil and gas company from building a $10 billion project to export liquefied natural gas on a nearby stretch of coast.

    • Finance

      • Counter PunchThe ‘Soft Landing & No Recession’ Spin Is In

        The spin by mainstream economists and business pundits is in: ‘soft landing’ & no recession 2023.

        But consider this: after the 2020 US economy crash and the US $8 trillion fiscal-monetary stimulus ($4T by Fed and $4T in Covid relief programs and Investment subsidies for corporations by Congress), the US economy grew only 5.4% YoY in 2021 (YoY=from Dec. 31, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2021).

      • Counter PunchOne Against All

        A few weeks after Emmanuel Macron became president, one of his supporters, the current chairman of the National Assembly foreign affairs committee, summed up the economic and social orientation to come: ‘Objectively, the problems of this country require solutions favourable to high earners’ (1). Since then, the privileged have shown their gratitude to their benefactor: between the first round of the 2017 presidential election and the first round in 2022, Macron saw his support among the richest go from 34% to 48%. When in power, the left has rarely demonstrated such bravura in satisfying its voters.

        As Macron has also increased his popularity among the over-65s during his presidency, it’s easy to gauge the extent of the ‘courage’ he boasts about as he attempts to convince the country to accept a pension ‘reform’ whose main victims will be the working classes, who overwhelmingly voted against him. While his challenge to welfare benefits will spare the wealthy, and pensioners (even the best-off), it will force workers, whose healthy life expectancy is ten years less than that of senior executives, to work for an additional two years (2). The finishing line for those who are so often left worn out, exhausted and broken by work is once again being pushed further away. Compulsory labour will eat up the time for rest, personal projects, or simply deciding what to commit to.

      • Counter PunchDon’t Let Politicians Cut Housing Aid

        We all need physical safety before we can do anything else. Without a roof over our heads, that sense of security is impossible. And with two small children in tow, things get scary.

        And after fleeing a dangerous domestic situation with my baby and 9-year-old son, with no home but the small moving truck I had rented to escape, I still felt unsafe and terrified.

      • Counter PunchEgalitarian Paradise Lost: David Graeber and the Pirates of Madagascar

        The search across the globe and in history for egalitarian societies turns up some strange finds. One anthropologist, the well-known, radical, recently deceased, best-selling author and a founder of the Occupy movement at Zuccotti Park, David Graeber, discovered such a world in Madagascar, in the settlements of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century pirates, recording his observations in a posthumous book, Pirate Enlightenment, Or the Real Libertalia. This portrait of a vanished almost-utopia is no idealization; Graeber lays it out in detail, but the conclusion is unavoidable: citizens of these pirate port towns had far more freedom than your average twenty-first century American prole moiling long hours for monopoly corporations. They also appear to have enjoyed a lot more happiness, you know, that thing we Americans are supposedly free to pursue.

        They had more democracy as well: decisions were debated and the majority ruled, unlike this country, where citizens express their preference through the franchise, but somehow when their representatives arrive in the capital the only people they listen to are their donors, and only the richest ones, at that. The pirates off the coast of Africa had no such problems. Had any such tyrannical oligarch of the sort who rule the world from Washington appeared in Madagascar, the pirates would have cut his throat. When they made a choice democratically, it was carried out.

      • EngadgetThe Morning After: Apple’s record service revenue couldn’t make up for falling hardware sales

        After the last few years of nonstop growth, Apple reported revenue of $117.2 billion for its first fiscal quarter, which is five percent down year over year, marking the first time Apple’s revenue has dipped since 2019.

      • Common DreamsIf It’s “Not a Negotiation,” Don’t Treat It Like One

        On Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on the debt ceiling.

      • Counter Punch60 Years of No Progress on Black-White Unemployment Equity

        Regardless of whether economic conditions are good or bad, Black jobseekers are less likely to find work. From 1963 to 2022, the Black unemployment rate has been roughly twice the White unemployment rate. There have been times when the Black-to-White unemployment-rate ratio was somewhat higher and times when it was somewhat lower, but the average of the ratios over this period is 2.1. This means that, if one looks at the unemployment-rate ratio alone, there has been no progress in providing equal employment opportunity for African Americans over the last 59 years. The last Congress did nothing to directly address this disparity, so there is no reason to expect it to narrow this year.

        Anti-Black discrimination in hiring plays a major role in this permanent inequality. The strongest evidence for discrimination can be found in field experiments where researchers have Black and White “testers” apply for jobs presenting similar qualifications or where they send out similar resumes with stereotypically “Black” and “White” names. A meta-analysis of 28 of these experiments over a 25-year period found consistent discrimination against Black applicants. There need to be stronger anti-discrimination policies and enforcement if the United States hopes to have equal opportunity in employment for all.

      • Counter PunchHow Corporations Hope to Eviscerate Workers’ Right to Strike

        Joe Oliveira and his coworkers relied greatly on donations of food and gift cards after going on an unfair labor practice strike against multibillion-dollar specialty steelmaker ATI in 2021.

        They cut household expenses to the bone, burned through their savings despite the public’s generous support of their cause, and held fundraisers to help one another cover mortgages and car payments during three and a half months on the picket line.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TruthOutGaetz Wants Reading of Pledge of Allegiance Before Judiciary Committee Meetings
      • Counter PunchBarbara Lee Runnng for Feinstein’s Senate Seat

        Rep. Barbara Lee, 76, announced Jan. 11 that she’s running for the Democratic Party nomination to succeed 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (whose memory is but a memory). Southern California Congresswoman Katie Porter, 40, had previously announced, and pompous, sanctimonious Rep. Adam Schiff 62, entered the race soon after Lee.  Schiff, a closeted neo-con, will be the best-funded candidate and be seen as a ”centrist.” Lee and Porter are both members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and likely to split the lib-lab vote, enabling Schiff to slide into the nomination. It feels like the fix is already in.

        Joe Garofoli, who covers electoral politics for the SF Chronicle, expects Lee to be age-baited, albeit discreetly. Porter described herself as the candidate best-suited for “fighting the battles of tomorrow” during a recent speech to the 500-member Democrats of Rossmoor (an upscale retirement community in Walnut Creek).

      • Counter Punch‘Woke’ is Not Awake: to Confound the Great Ones We Need Our “Base(ness)”

        My friends Pete, Ellen and Mark have been fighting a plan by Stewart’s Shops to build a gas station/convenience store in the midst of their (desirable, mostly white) South Utica neighborhoods. The matter came to a vote before the city’s Planning Board last week, in front of a fairly big turnout of opposition. Stewart’s won 3-2. Ellen told me the chair of the planning board, a neighbor of theirs who lives a bit further from the Stewart’s proposed location, said to them a couple of weeks ago in honest consternation, “I don’t see the problem.” Apparently, even after 21 people explained the problem last week, he still didn’t.

        Pete and Ellen have told me more than once how hard it’s been to enlist their neighbors in the opposition effort. The time of day for which important meetings are scheduled is generally prohibitive for working people (except for the Stewart’s rep!) But my conclusion is the middle class, riding the American Dream, has caved in to inevitability (yes, because they could afford to). The resulting spiritlessness has cost them their political clout which will only return if people on the left regain the kind of “underdog,” chip-on-the-shoulder spirit that keeps a skeptical eye on corporate, big-moneyed interests that favor the few over the many, including, prominently, the war-making interests of Empire.

      • Counter PunchThe Colonization of Deserts from Arabia to Arizona

        The first time I remember seeing a desert and beholding its stillness and vastness was in 1963 through a window at the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Our family was on its way to Peshawar, Pakistan (then West Pakistan). I was eight years old and was actually more impressed with the scimitars and machine guns the security in the airport were armed with. However, it is the miles and miles of snow-white sand I remember more vividly today. I think the next time I saw the desert was when a friend and I hitchhiked across Arizona to Palm Springs in December 1977. Over the next few years I would cross parts of the desert in the US southwest at least a half dozen more times. Some of those times I would be the only human around for hundreds of miles. The heat of the day was replaced by a relative coolness but the absence of warm-blooded life remained. I’m certain there were birds and perhaps even mammals out and about in the darkness, but I never saw nor heard them despite the quietude I was temporarily existing in. Now, on the rare occasion I watch old Western films and television shows, I find the feeling of aloneness I experienced in the desert tickling my consciousness.

        The desert is a part of earth that resists colonization. Yet, humans continue to attempt just that. The advance of technology feeds these attempts, adding to a hubris that not only has destroyed human civilizations in the desert, but has also destroyed the ecological systems that support its unique ecology. Sometimes the impetus for these so-called improvements to the desert are part of a desire to benefit humanity, but most often they are intentionally designed to benefit only certain strata of human society. As in most other scenarios with similar intentions, those beneficiaries are the rich and powerful.

      • TruthOutBernie Sanders Urges DNC to Stop Allowing Super PAC Spending in Primaries
      • Counter PunchOn Targeting an Arab Woman

        On the evening of January 11, 2023, I checked my university email to find The Washington Free Beacon asking me to “comment on” a Title VI complaint that they had knowledge was to be filed against the George Washington University (GW) by pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs the following day. The complaint alleges that GW “discriminated against first-year Jewish and Israeli students in its professional psychology program” (sic). As an Arab woman professor teaching in the United States, I am accustomed to demands to prove that I am not antisemitic as a precondition to engaging relationally. Similarly, as someone who has been involved in abolitionist and anti-oppressive movements in the field of psychology for years, I immediately recognized that I was the next target of choice. In recent years, right-wing advocacy groups have intensified their harassment, red-baiting and attack campaigns, vilifying academics (and clinicians) who critically engage settler-colonialism, white supremacy, anti-blackness, gender (especially trans issues), sexuality, disability, reproductive rights.

      • Counter Punch“There’s Always Hope”: On Biden, Crump, and Pie in the Sky

        Few things in the insipid dark comedy of US bourgeois politics are more sickening than the recurrent invocation of hope for change within the killing confines of the reigning oppression system.

        “We Just Might be Able to Get Police Reform”

      • Insight HungaryHungary is the most corrupt country in the EU, study finds

        Hungary is perceived as the most corrupt country in the European Union, according to Transparency International’s latest report. Hungary dropped four places over the past year to 77th, according to the organization’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) replacing Bulgaria. On a global scale, with an average score of 66, Western Europe and the EU is the top-scoring region in the CPI.

        According to the report, evidence is “mounting against the Hungarian political elites for their misuse of both state and EU funds”. Following a recent agreement with the EU, conditions for Hungary to access €5.8 billion in recovery funds include institutional reforms to strengthen judicial independence and the fight against corruption. Part of EU funds has been suspended due to corruption concerns.

      • Common DreamsAmerica and the Occupying Police Army

        America, America . . . God kicks thee in the head.

      • Counter PunchUh Oh, Here Comes the Occupying Army

        The twisted irony here — the irony of the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee last month — is that his killers were the ones hired and trained to keep the city safe. Instead, they created half an hour of hell for the young man, kicking and beating and tasing him to death a short distance away from his mother’s house, after a random, and perhaps unjustified, traffic stop.

      • Counter PunchInconvenient Truths 2.0
      • Common DreamsIlhan Omar Vows to Continue Speaking Out Against Israel’s Abuse of Palestinians

        Rep. Ilhan Omar vowed Thursday that the House GOP’s vote to remove her from the chamber’s foreign affairs panel would not stop her from criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, a pledge that came after the Israeli government carried out its latest bombing campaign in the occupied Gaza Strip.

      • Common DreamsThe GOP’s Bigoted Attack on Ilhan Omar Is Slanderous and Despicable

        Ilhan Omar is again in the news, a convenient target for reactionary Republicans, i.e., virtually all Republicans, seeking to discredit the left. The current Republican effort links her with two other Congressional liberal Democrats, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell who, like her, are being removed from their committee assignments by MAGA House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in retaliation for Nancy Pelosi’s 2021 removals of Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar. McCarthy’s act of retribution comes as no surprise, since he promised this back in November 2021. It is no less dangerous for this.

      • Common Dreams‘I Didn’t Come to Congress to Be Silent,’ Says Omar as GOP Removes Her From Foreign Affairs Panel

        House Republicans on Thursday voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the chamber’s foreign affairs committee, a step that prompted fury from Democratic lawmakers who called the GOP’s resolution an act of “unbelievable bigotry.”

      • TruthOutRepublicans Vote to Remove Ilhan Omar From Committee
      • The NationKari Lake May Have Committed a Felony

        Kari Lake just might be the election-denying gift who keeps on giving. For nearly three months, Lake has spun one wild conspiracy theory after another to explain how and why she lost the Arizona gubernatorial race. Earlier this week, she tweeted out a series of images of voters’ signatures—a “BOMBSHELL DISCOVERY,” the failed candidate announced—claiming that they showed a mismatch between the signatures Arizona has on file and those that ended up on ballots. Lake claimed that 40,000 people had voted illegally, using signatures that didn’t match those on file.

      • Counter PunchThe Migrant “Crisis” and 10 Misperceptions About Immigration

        For years, there has been much consternation and news coverage over the southern border. The former president—Biden’s predecessor—and his inane and racist “Build the wall” campaign had his supporters in a state of disquiet. He actually and openly admitted that he used it at a rally and the crowd loved it, so he just kept saying it.

        Even if you take a cursory look at the news, it’s a sure bet that you have seen headlines about an “unprecedented migrant crisis.” On social media, memes about “invasions” from countries south of the border by those who refuse to “wait in line” are also common.

      • Common DreamsI Am Muslim. I Am an Immigrant. I Am From Africa. Is Anyone Surprised I Am a GOP Target?

        The following are the remarks, as prepared for delivery on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in opposition to a Republican resolution barring her appointment to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on February 2, 2023.

      • Common DreamsManchin Joins With Cruz on ‘Absurd’ Bill to Protect Toxic Gas Stoves

        Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Thursday introduced legislation that would prevent a federal agency from banning gas stoves.

      • Common DreamsClimate Movement ‘Ready to Kill’ Dirty Deal Again as Manchin Signals Revival

        The U.S. climate movement this week vowed to keep fighting against Sen. Joe Manchin’s thrice-defeated “dirty deal” after the West Virginia Democrat indicated he intends to work with House Republicans to force through fossil fuel-friendly permitting reforms.

      • Common DreamsRights Groups Gear Up for Fight as Oklahoma GOP Advances 15 Anti-Trans Healthcare Bills

        Civil rights advocates on Thursday sharpened their focus on the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature as lawmakers prepare to convene on February 6, beginning a session during which they’re set to consider no fewer than 15 proposals attacking transgender people’s right to obtain healthcare.

      • Common DreamsProgressives Warn Anti-Socialism Resolution Backed by 109 House Dems Is Step Toward Slashing Safety Net

        More than 100 U.S. House Democrats—including some of the wealthiest members of Congress—joined with Republican lawmakers on Thursday in passing a resolution “denouncing the horrors of socialism,” a largely symbolic gesture that opponents warned is nonetheless a step toward slashing Social Security, Medicare, and other safety net programs.

      • Lee Yingtong LiSimulating plausible ballot paper preferences from STV count sheets

        The key assumption in this model, which enables plausible ballot paper preference data to be simulated, is that the probability of a candidate A being followed by a candidate B in a voter’s preferences is approximately equal to the probability of a ballot paper being transferred from candidate A to candidate B.

        We can then imagine a Markov chain, where the nodes are candidates in the election, and the transition probabilities are the probabilities identified above. We can then simulate ballot paper preference data by repeatedly executing random walks on the Markov chain.

      • Computer WorldPayPal to lay off 2,000 employees

        In a message shared with PayPal employees and since posted on the company’s online newsroom, President and CEO Dan Schulman said while PayPal had made “significant progress…to address the challenging macro-economic environment” over the past year, “we have more work to do.”

      • The NationIlhan Omar Will Not Be Silenced

        After Ilhan Omar was elected to Congress in 2018, she explained why one of her first priorities as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives was to serve on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. While the Minnesota Democrat was intent on representing her constituents in Minneapolis, and on addressing all the pressing domestic policy concerns that tend to dominate coverage of Congress, she told me that “you can’t really speak to domestic policy without first having a conversation about our foreign policy.”

      • The NationForced Migration Thanks to Industrialized Nations
      • Telex (Hungary)Orbán: The development of the armed forces must not slow down
      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Meduza‘If the wrong person finds out, they might kill me’ Gay Uzbek men describe life in a country where their sexuality is a crime — Meduza

        Late last year, just one month after Russia banned “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships,” Uzbekistan’s presidential administration put up a bill for public discussion that would do the same. The copycat legislation threatens to further complicate the lives of LGBTQ+ people in a country where “sodomy” is still classified as a criminal offense. To learn how Uzbekistan’s existing anti-gay laws affect people on the ground, the independent outlet Mediazona Central Asia spoke with gay men there about the discrimination they face, the danger that coming out to friends entails, and their expectations for their country’s future.

      • TechdirtMoving Company That Threatened People With $1,000 A Day Fees For Negative Reviews To Pay $125,000 Settlement

        If you’re a good company, you try to make customers happy and deal honestly with their complaints. If you’re Liberty Bell Moving and Storage, Inc., you threaten unhappy customers with lawsuits and steadily escalating fees for expressing their displeasure with your service.

      • TechdirtTrump Files Ridiculous Copyright Lawsuit Over Bob Woodward’s Audio Book

        Believe it or not, there are some interesting, if confusing, unsettled copyright law questions regarding interviews. A few times in the past we’ve written about the subjects of interviews claiming copyright over those interviews (or the estate’s of deceased individuals making such claims). There was even a law journal article a few years back exploring this topic. As that piece notes, because courts have been a bit all over the map in looking at the issue, it has allowed interviewees to “chill journalistic speech.”

      • GigaZineThere is a high possibility that open source OS such as Linux will become illegal due to the EU’s “chat regulation law”

        The chat regulation law is a bill submitted to the European Parliament in May 2022, and aims to oblige providers of email and chat services to “constantly monitor communication content” and “implement age verification”. . Since this bill requires the monitoring of communication content regardless of whether communication is encrypted, there are many voices who oppose the bill on the grounds that it “infringes on privacy” and “increases the risk of misjudgment due to false reports.” has been submitted.

      • Mullvad VPNEU chat control law will ban open source operating systems [iophk: Most of the legislators certainly didn't think about it or even know enough to have thoughts on the topic. However, those few that did were mostly in the pocket of Microsoft.]

        The proposed Chat control EU law will not only seize totalitarian control of all private communication. It will also ban open source operating systems as an unintended consequence.

        The EU is currently in the process of enacting the chat control law. It has been criticized for creating an EU-wide centralized mass surveillance and censorship system and enabling government eavesdropping on all private communication. But one little talked about consequence of the proposed law is that it makes practically all existing open source operating systems illegal, including all major Linux distributions. It would also effectively ban the F-Droid open source Android app archive.

        Article 6 of the law requires all “software application stores” to: [...]

      • Student Free Press AssociationMIT faculty ‘increasingly afraid to express their views,’ survey finds

        The Massachusetts Institute of Technology continues to support a campus community that stymies academic freedom and free speech, a newly released Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression survey report states.

      • Andre FrancaUsing Cloudflare for Dynamic URL Redirects

        My blog is already hosted on Cloudflare, so it made sense to me to use it for the redirects too. I checked their documentation to see if somenthing similiar could be achieved. And it is, in fact, really simple and free. [sic]

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The NationWhat We Can Do Right Now to Stop Anti-Asian Violence

        In March 2021, I attended a community vigil in the majority-Asian city of Monterey Park, Calif., for the Asian massage workers who had been murdered in Atlanta. Last month, I returned to the same site for another vigil honoring Asians who had been killed in a mass shooting—but this time, the massacre had taken place just blocks from where I stood.

      • Pro PublicaHow to Report on the Repatriation of Native American Remains

        In 1990, Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which pushed for museums, universities and other organizations that possessed Native American human remains to return them to Indigenous communities. But our reporting shows that many institutions still hold many of those remains in their collections. Last month, ProPublica published a database that allows you to search the repatriation records of these hundreds of institutions.

        But the full story of repatriation goes beyond the numbers, as illustrated by our story about a state museum in Illinois that was built on Native American burial mounds.​​​​ This guide is for reporters who want to take a deeper dive on repatriation at institutions in their area.

      • Pro PublicaNative Hawaiians Say They Can’t Get Home Loans in This Area

        Can the federal government underwrite mortgages for homes in Hawaii on a spot where there may be buried bombs from World War II?

        The answer depends on which federal program insures the loans. When it comes to the one for Native Hawaiians, the answer has been an emphatic no. But when it comes to more traditional mortgages for the general public, a different federal program has been saying yes.

      • HRWAllegations of Bangladesh Police Torture, Illegal Detentions
      • ScheerpostJohn Kiriakou: Silencing Another Jailed Whistleblower

        The U.S. prison system has put Marty Gottesfeld in one of their modern-day dungeons and cut off his email. But this whistleblower is a fierce fighter for his rights and one day he’ll be doing the same for others.

      • Craig MurrayPropaganda and Belief

        It is nearly 20 years since I blew the whistle on British Government complicity in torture and the extraordinary rendition programme, under which thousands of people were deliberately tortured as a systematic act of government policy.

      • Counter PunchRacial Justice, Voting Rights, and Authoritarianism

        The fundamental right to vote has been a core value of Black politics since the colonial era — and so has the effort to suppress that vote right up to the present moment. In fact, the history of the suppression of Black voters is a first-rate horror story that as yet shows no sign of ending.

        While Democrats and progressives justifiably celebrated the humbling defeat of some of the most notorious election-denying Republican candidates in the 2022 midterms, the GOP campaign to quell and marginalize Black voters has only continued with an all-too-striking vigor. In 2023, attacks on voting rights are melding with the increasingly authoritarian thrust of a Republican Party ever more aligned with far-right extremists and outright white supremacists.

      • JURISTUS federal court: law prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning a gun unconstitutional

        A US Circuit Court Thursday declared the law preventing those subject to a domestic violence restraining order from owning a gun, unconstitutional. In the case of United States v. Rahimi, the US Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit found that the law was an unconstitutional restraint on Americans’ Second Amendment rights to own a firearm.

      • Democracy Now“We Want to Be Treated Like Human Beings”: Evicted Asylum Seeker in NYC Requests Housing, Job Permits

        This week, New York City police evicted an encampment of asylum seekers outside the Watson Hotel who were protesting plans to house them in a remote, crowded and cold facility. Mayor Eric Adams suggested the protesters were “agitators,” not migrants themselves. We speak to a Venezuelan asylum seeker named Ruben, who was evicted from the hotel, and Desiree Joy Frías, a community organizer with South Bronx Mutual Aid, which has been deeply involved in supporting the asylum seekers arriving in the city.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • JUVEPatent judge David Kitchin announces retirement from Supreme Court [Ed: Meanwhile JUVE promotes an illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo courts for patents -- one that is tightly controlled by criminals and industry moles at the EPO]

          David Kitchin (67) is set to retire from his role as a UK Supreme Court judge on 29 September 2023, the court has announced on its website. He says, “It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to serve as a full time Justice of the Court.

        • JUVEAdvanced Bionics and De Brauw successful against MED-EL over cochlear implant [Ed: Another fine example of a totally frivolous patent lawsuit, based on one of hundreds of thousands of fake European Patents (that should never have been granted)]

          Advanced Bionics’ important hearing aid product “HiRes™ Ultra 3D Cochlear Implant” does not infringe competitor MED-EL’s European patent EP 31 38 605.

      • Copyrights

        • TechdirtWhy The Failure By Funders To Require Academics To Retain Copyright In Their Papers Is The Biggest Obstacle To Open Access Today

          Back in August last year, Techdirt covered a major announcement by the US government that all taxpayer-supported research should be immediately available to the public at no cost. As Mike wrote at the time, this is really big, not least for the following key element mentioned in the press release:

        • Digital Music NewsCAA Is Now Repping Virtual Artists — Deal With Web3 Label Hume Finalized

          CAA aims to create opportunities for Hume’s roster of virtual artists with top brands. Are broader audiences ready for this? Virtual artist experiment FN Meka went down in flames, a new cast of unreal musicians is rising. Now, web3 entertainment company Hume has signed with leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

        • Torrent FreakACE Delivers Major Blow to Spanish Private Torrent Site Scene

          With the rise of pirate streaming sites, illegal IPTV services, and legal platforms such as Netflix, even torrent sites have been feeling the pinch. In Spain, two private trackers took the decision to merge and reappear as one under fresh branding. Action by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment means that Spain’s leading private torrent community has permanently closed.

        • Torrent FreakOmi in a Hellcat “Said He’d Kill Me” Pirate IPTV Co-Defendant Tells Court

          After the FBI shut down his Gears pirate IPTV empire, YouTuber Bill Omar Carrasquillo, aka Omi in a Hellcat, pleaded guilty along with two co-defendants. One was hired by Carrasquillo to work on the service from home. His sentencing memorandum claims that when he tried to quit, gunmen threatened him on two occasions after Carrasquillo said he would kill him.

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

Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Sirius Finished

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b8720fc3b41aaa603c06b9b81ba9921c
Sirius Closure and Steps Ahead
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)

THIS is just an update regarding Sirius, as it sent the following yesterday; it was sent one day after the actual date of the letter (“Acceptance of your Resignation [...] Please see the attached letter.”) and to quote:

Re: Your resignation has been accepted

Dear Roy,

I write further to my letter of 9th Dec 2022 in which I asked you to reconsider your resignation and gave you a cooling off period to 16th Dec 2022. Given that I did not hear from you before the end of the cooling off period, I could only therefore assume that you did not wish to retract your resignation.

I am disappointed that you decided not to allow us the opportunity to attempt to resolve any concerns that led to your resignation, however I have to respect your decision and it is therefore with regret that your resignation was accepted, with your final day of employment being Friday 16th December.

Any accrued holidays you ha not taken will be paid in your final pay, which should have been processed in the January payment run. Your P45 will be issued as soon as possible after your final pay has been administered.

We wish you every success in the future.
Yours sincerely,

CEO, Sirius UK

As I explain in the video above, it seems like a face-saving publicity stunt from them, pretending all was amicable. We’re meanwhile investigating what happened to the pensions of all past staff; the Standard Life management is being super-evasive about it. One might assume it got plundered by Sirius management, but we’re still trying to find verifiable evidence of that. Now that British and French workers are staging massive strikes (the latter over pensions in particular) we urge people all around the world to check that their pensions haven’t been rendered scams. It seems like a trend.

The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 1:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SiriUS no more
From Rianne’s departure message about Sirius ‘Open Source’

Summary: Sirius is finished, but it’s important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other “pretenders” out there and they need to be abandoned

THIS is by no means a complete summary; the Sirius ‘Open Source’ wiki contains a more complete overview. However, this is an abbreviated summary focusing on the issues at hand, rewriting them for an audience that might think about leaving a toxic employer but isn’t sure why or how. Some readers have asked for such a summary as they consider doing the same.

We’ve decided to use the existing articles’ index to make this grand summary of the issues, split suitably for quicker digestion (covering unions, staff health etc.) and omitting more employer-specific scandals, e.g. illegal contract-signing (we included a response to my initial refusal/declination and others’), E-mail clippings as evidence and so on.

“Do not attempt to rationalise staying.”The short story is: do not participate in lying and in illegal acts. If you feel like your employer is heading in this direction, prepare to leave.

Don’t wait too long. Do not attempt to rationalise staying. Your morality is more important than short-term conveniences like “paying the mortgage” or “staying with colleagues”.

I joined Sirius 12 years ago (in February of 2011). The CEO was kind to me at the time. We’ve shared a screenshot from the Internet Archive of the company’s old site (back when it was a sponsor of the Free Software Foundation). The CEO, as I found out much later, was hopping from one woman to the next, saddling them with daughters whom he failed to take care of. He was getting married when I spoke about joining, marrying a manager in the company — a manager whom he had already had a child with. It was maybe too late for me to properly understand the chronology of it, but it seemed benign at the time. It smacked of nepotism already, but at least the spouse had actual experience as a manager. Similarly, my wife had a degree in Computer Science. The CEO, as I recently found out, was also allegedly cheating on his second wife. We’re still investigating the nature of that as it impacts the company directly. The CEO is not a good person. I was warned about him being a chronic liar some time around 2006, but I did not fully heed this warning.

“My ‘tenure’ at the company was generally good; nobody complained and I was “Star of the Week” (10-pound voucher award) about a decade ago. I also have some other physical certificates that they sent me in recognition (e.g. laminated finish on paper for my 5-year anniversary).”The company was in disarray in (or by) 2022. Heck, it was standing on one foot for several years already (maybe since 2019). In 2021 they sent me a bogus message about “disciplinary note”, simply because I’d not say “hi, it’s Roy” or something inane like this over the phone. The management failed to prepare staff and then tried to blame the staff, which was assigned to handle clerical work using a truly defective product with impossible demands (answering within 3 rings).

My ‘tenure’ at the company was generally good; nobody complained and I was “Star of the Week” (10-pound voucher award) about a decade ago. I also have some other physical certificates that they sent me in recognition (e.g. laminated finish on paper for my 5-year anniversary).

So what compelled me to leave?

A lot of things.

Above all, the ethics associated with the job became far too problematic. I wrote about this in my blog last summer and again when I left this past December. Some clients were truly awful and immoral. I don’t want to name them, and thankfully I’ve avoided working with/for them. By this point Sirius kept announcing clients that later turned out to ‘pre’ announcements (or truly premature as nothing ever came out of it). The managers were desperate to give a false impression (illusion) of getting business and some of the actual “business” they attracted is worse than nothing. Some past clients did not wish to associate with Sirius and at least one past client (telephony sector company) asked to be removed from the fake “clients” page of Sirius.

I can’t blame those clients. Being associated with Sirius was becoming a liability to them. Search for ‘The Liar’ in the headlines here; you’ll see what I mean… don’t tolerate any bosses who keep saying they’re too busy to reply to E-mail from staff; so what are they doing all day? If they don’t even respond to staff, then it’s not clear if they’re busy at all; they could just as well pretend to be “busy” by not doing anything at all, then use that as an excuse or “evidence” of the busy-ness.

The Liar (nickname) later resorted to using flimsy ‘evidence’. He said, without any evidence, that I had uttered something “defamatory”; it took two weeks to actually show something and what they then showed was some side IRC channel (that nobody reads) stating perfectly factual information about my experiences, without naming people or any company. It was a chat between just two people and didn’t reveal anyone’s identity. It was factual and necessary; it was moral to object to bad ideas. Blind obedience and unquestionable docility should not be seen as a merit.

“Blind obedience and unquestionable docility should not be seen as a merit.”The company was, at this point, not even an attractive employer. Set aside the ethical deficit. It had no actual office (Sirius used to host for clients, not outsource for them) and had some technical workers compared to “monkeys” (even treated as such). In recent years it became trivial to show, using documents in the public domain, that the company was operating like a shell. It was simple to show it’s getting worse over time and unbearable debt was growing. The company was going to go under (just a matter of time) and the staff had no prospects of progression (well, no chance at progression except through nepotism (like family) or sex); the company was no longer “open source”, except in name, bragging about ISO certification (see The Inside Story of ISO ‘Certification’ Mill) while gaslighting people who actually value security/compliance.

If you work in a company such as this, don’t expect it to improve. The people with greater skills and integrity likely left already. They won’t be coming back.

Not only did the company ignore the warnings from me (about security problems), it didn’t even change passwords, alter providers, or self-host an actual “Open Source” alternative that doesn’t lie about security breaches. Sirius kept paying huge bills for “clown computing” (instances that were idle almost all the time) and my suggestion of self-hosting, like we did before, were dismissed as “hobbyist” by the CEO. So what is to be sold as a service? Outsourcing?

For more information about these things, revisit the parts about “How Carbon Accounting Became a Cover for Sirius Open Source Ltd.” and “How Sirius Open Source Ltd. Felt Deep Into Debt” (super dodgy).

“For projects to be done (e.g. programming) one needs a proper daytime job without distraction and with decent pay.”By the time we left (in 2022) the company was quite frankly broke and not worth suing for severance. It had likely plundered some older pensions already (still the subject of an ongoing probe; photographs of letters from the current pension provider suggest they might try this again). This became a cultural, chronic problem. For instance, the management lied about providing recordings of meetings in 2019, so I started making my own recordings of such meetings. I could not trust managers’ words. Such chronic lying and false promises are a sign it’s time to leave (or prepare to leave). I already prepared in 2019, but then COVID-19 happened. The managers like to tell themselves they did us a favour. But people who are idle a lot of the time because they work overnight, devoted to complex tasks of monitoring many things and responding, can never sleep well. This impacts their physical and mental health. They make personal compromises while getting paid laughably little. For projects to be done (e.g. programming) one needs a proper daytime job without distraction and with decent pay.

Sirius Open Wash Ltd. (maybe a suggested name for another — likely third — shell entity) would be letting Windows users who adore surveillance get involved in decision-making, grabbing Gates Foundation money to pretend they have a future (Gates never needed a British company to handle something thousands of American firms can easily handle). Seeing that the CEO’s and the company’s Twitter accounts (all of them) have not tweeted anything since last summer, we suppose no other shell will be created. Sirius is finished. Jobs were advertised by the company’s account in Twitter last year, but only on short-term contractual basis. It now says the company is also US-based and says laughable things like Sirius being American leaders in the area (Sirius has almost no clients and staff there), simply because the chief absconded, escaping responsibilities for his family which he ditched (so he can have sex with another woman, apparently some American he met).

Sirius US

So he’s likely running away to dodge litigation and maybe dodge payments to the two former wives and 4 daughters, especially the young ones (early teens at this time).

This series has attempted to be impersonal (no names), but at some point it can get trickier. We still try to work around the secrecy of the NDA and figure out what exactly happened in 2019.

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