Links 14/02/2023: KaOS Linux 2023.02 and Free Software Love (❤️)

Posted in News Roundup at 9:45 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 14/02/2023: Chimera Linux and Mozilla Firefox 110

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The Register UKMake Linux safer… or die trying

      Some Linux veterans are irritated by some of the new tech: Snap, Flatpak, Btrfs, ZFS, and so forth. Doesn’t the old stuff work? Well, yes, it does – but not well enough.

      Why is Canonical pushing Snap so hard? Does Red Hat really need all these different versions of Fedora? Why are some distros experimenting with ZFS if its licence is incompatible with the GPL? Is the already bewildering array of packaging tools and file systems not enough?

      No, they aren’t. There are good justifications for all these efforts, and the reasons are simple and fairly clear. The snag is that the motivations behind some of them are connected with certain companies’ histories, attitudes, and ways of doing business. If you don’t know their histories, the reasoning that led to major technological decisions is often obscure or even invisible.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • University of TorontoOur current plague of revolving .top and .click spam email domains

        Email spam is somewhat like the weather, and much like the weather I don’t talk about it much any more. However, every so often something unusually unpleasant happens (in both of them). Our current irritation in spam weather is what I suspect is one particular spammer that operates using a rapidly changing flux of spam domains in .top, .click, and on some days .us, using a distinctive (but not really machine matchable) pattern of tagged envelope senders.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • The Register UKSpotted in the wild: Chimera – a Linux that isn’t GNU/Linux

      Chimera Linux is an existence proof that this is not a hard requirement: it avoids all of these. Chimera is compiled with LLVM, uses the same musl C library and packaging tools as the lightweight Alpine Linux distro, the new Dinit init system, and much of the rest of the userland is drawn from the current version of FreeBSD. If things go according to plan, Kolesa hopes to release the first alpha version around the same time as the planned FreeBSD version 13.2, so that he can rebase on that version of the underlying tools.

      Kolesa’s talk is recommended, but be warned, it’s very technical. For a quick overview, you can read his presentation (PDF).

    • BSD

      • UndeadlyTunneling vxlan(4) over WireGuard wg(4)

        I struggled to find much more info than Reyk’s talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufeEP_hzFN0) and the man pages so thought it would be useful to document.

      • [Old] Robert TurnerVXLAN over WireGuard

        So it’s a way to stretch a Layer 2 network between data centers and sites. This is great but what if you don’t have a leased line between sites or an existing VPN, can we bundle it all into one config/pair of devices. A VXLAN server at Site A and a VXLAN Client at Site B, with Site A having the network you’d like to extend into Site B: [...]

      • UndeadlyUsing /bin/eject with USB flash drives

        Following a wide-ranging thread on misc@ with the subject Safely remove USB drive, Crystal Kolipe wrote an article about how OpenBSD handles removable media, centered around the eject(1) command, also known as mt(1).

      • Exotic SiliconImplementing the MTRETEN ioctl on sd devices

        Today we’ve seen how to implement the basic functionality required to make the eject -t command work on usb flash drives.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Red Hat OfficialTaking education upstream with Red Hat Academy

        Education is the foundation of development and at Red Hat, with our open source principles, we believe in taking education upstream – Red Hat Academy (RHA) does just that. In 2022, Red Hat worked with over 500 academic partners across EMEA, strengthening its presence in over 60 countries. In one year, we helped train over 7,500 students on Red Hat technologies and delivered more than 30 academic events.

        We’re not alone in providing corporate-led learning, so what sets us apart? Why should educators choose to work with Red Hat? Well, we have set our eyes on becoming the world’s number one hybrid cloud partner, as Gartner predicts that over half of all enterprises globally will be using cloud platforms by 2027, and that percentage is set to rise.

      • Red Hat OfficialWhat are RHEL in-place upgrades?

        When Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) customers want to update their application stack, get the newest security updates or are nearing the end of a RHEL life cycle (such as RHEL 7, which will reach end of maintenance on 30 June 2024), they usually want to get to the newest release. This post is the first of a series of articles about RHEL upgrades that we hope will help you plan for future upgrades. We’ll begin by taking a look at RHEL in-place upgrades.

        Historically, upgrades required a fresh installation of the operating system coupled with redeploying all application stacks, databases and configurations. In-place upgrades solve this hassle while preserving existing customer workflows. Let’s first take a look at where in-place upgrades are the right choice for businesses in comparison to performing a fresh installation.

      • Red Hat OfficialWhat’s new in the web console in RHEL 9.1 and 8.7

        The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) web console is a simplified web-based management tool that lets you manage many aspects of RHEL more efficiently. For more information on the web console and how to get started with it, refer to the Managing systems using the RHEL 9 web console documentation.

        RHEL versions 9.1 and 8.7 were released in November 2022, and included a number of new features and enhancements related to the web console that will be highlighted in this blog:

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • 9to5LinuxCanonical Announces General Availability of Real-Time Ubuntu Kernel

        Ubuntu maker Canonical today announced the general availability of an enterprise-grade real-time Ubuntu kernel for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS systems to provide enterprises with end-to-end security and reliability for their time-bound workloads.

        Designed for enterprises in aerospace, automotive, defense, IoT, robotics, and telcos, as well as the public sector and retail, the real-time Ubuntu kernel promises to handle the most demanding and critical workloads, or time-sensitive applications by reducing kernel latencies and boosting performance.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HackadayKiCad 7.0.0 Is Here, Brings Trove Of Improvements

        Yesterday, the KiCad team has released KiCad 7.0.0 – a surprise for those of us who have only gotten used to the wonders of KiCad 6, and it’s undoubtedly a welcome one! Some of these features, you might’ve seen mentioned in the KiCad 2022 end-of-year recap, and now, we get to play with them in a more stable configuration. There’s a trove of features and fixes for all levels of KiCad users, beginners, hobbyists and professionals alike – let’s start with some that everyone can appreciate!

      • HackadayAn Open Hardware Eurorack Compatible Audio FPGA Front End

        [Sebastian Holzapfel] has designed an audio frontend (eurorack-pmod) for FPGA-based audio applications, which is designed to fit into a standard Eurorack enclosure. The project, released under CERN Open-Hardware License V2, is designed in KiCAD using the AK4619VN four-channel audio codec by Asahi Kasei microdevices. (and guess what folks, there’s plenty of those in stock!)

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Mozilla

        • 9to5LinuxMozilla Firefox 110 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

          Firefox 110 entered beta testing in mid-January, shortly after the release of Firefox 109, but now the final release is here if you want to enjoy the new features and improvements, starting with the ability to import data from Opera, Opera GX, and Vivaldi web browsers on Linux systems.

          That’s right, Firefox on Linux only allowed users to import data from Chrome/Chromium browsers, but starting with this release you’ll also be able to import bookmarks, cookies, history, and passwords from Opera or Vivaldi.

    • Programming/Development

      • OpenSource.comCreate a modern user interface with the Tkinter Python library

        Python’s Tkinter library isn’t exactly known for its good looks. I’ve developed a library to help create a modern graphical user interface for Python.

        I spent a lot of time searching for a simple but modern GUI toolkit before developing a new library called TKVue that creates graphical interfaces for desktop applications. Through my research, I realized that there were several different libraries to create graphical interfaces. However, most involve adding new dependencies to bind with graphical libraries. For example, there’s a library for Qt, another for wxWidgets, and a third for GTK. None are native to Python or entirely coded in Python. That’s a problem. If you want to code a GUI with Qt, it’s necessary to compile the Qt source code on each platform you want to support. I wanted to target the three leading platforms: Linux, Windows, and Mac.

        The big advantage of Tkinter is that it’s embedded in Python. There’s no need for new dependencies or to compile new libraries. Everything’s already done for you.

        In short, it is best to use Tkinter to create something portable.

      • OpenSource.comLua loops: how to use while and repeat until

        Control structures are an important feature of programming languages because they enable you to direct the flow of the program based on conditions that are often established dynamically as the program is running. Different languages provide different controls, and in Lua there’s the while loop, for loop, and repeat until loop. This article covers the while and repeat until loops. Because of their flexibility, I cover for loops in a separate article.

        A condition is defined by an expression using an operator, which is a fancy term for symbols you may recognize from math classes. Valid operators in Lua are:

        Those are known as relational operators because they prompt an investigation of how two values relate to one another. There are also logical operators, which mean the same as they mean in English and can be incorporated into conditions to further describe the state you want to check for:

        Here are some example conditions: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Democracy Now“Crisis on Top of a Crisis”: Syrians Displaced by War Now Dealing with Earthquake Devastation

      We get an update from Damascus, Syria, on last week’s devastating earthquakes, as the United Nations warns the death toll in Turkey and northwest Syria will top at least 50,000. The U.N. also says the earthquake rescue phase is “coming to a close” and that efforts are expected to turn to providing shelter, food and care to survivors. Millions have been left homeless by the deadly quakes that struck the region, which includes the Syrian city of Aleppo, last week. Syrian refugees who were displaced by the war in Syria that began 12 years ago now face a compounded humanitarian crisis. The situation is a “crisis on top of a crisis,” says Emma Forster, Syria policy and communications manager for the Norwegian Refugee Council.

    • Democracy NowU.N. Rapporteur: Lift Sanctions on Syria to Help People Rebuild After War & Devastating Earthquakes

      We speak with human rights expert Alena Douhan, a United Nations special rapporteur and one of several U.N. experts calling for the lifting of economic and financial sanctions against Syria in order to aid recovery efforts following last week’s devastating earthquakes. “The people of Syria are currently deprived of any possibility to rebuild their country, and their country needed reconstruction before the earthquake,” says Douhan.

    • TruthOutUN Warns Earthquake Deaths Could Top 50,000 Amid Urgent Calls for Aid
    • Counter PunchLetter to an Old Poet

      I feel almost ashamed to say that it’s taken all these years to finally get around to reading Rainer Maria Rilke in earnest. As an undergraduate, decades ago, I heard all kinds of great things about his masterful idiosyncratic expressiveness that toyed and purloined the heart. He was said to be not only the cat’s meow among poets, but the rose’s attar stirring up the suspirations of the inner cathedral of the lonely, seeing mind.

      But in my circle at that time were two personages who, though pretentious and vaguely narcissistic, were nevertheless quite agreeable romantics to be around. Jeffrey, chief poet and editor of the student literary magazine, and Tom, a Nietzschean with an open marriage that seemed all looky-no-touchy. (Or was that just my experience?). Jeffrey liked cocaine and would pull out a tiny shovel in the middle of a meeting and go to work sniffing snow out of a baggie in his sports coat. Nobody understood his poetry, which seemed, at times, like a confluence of Elizabeth Bishop and his beloved Rilke. But he got laid a lot. And Tom was like the prodigy genius Mozart presented to us in the film, Amadeus, loose with the lyricism and love gun. Tom and his genius wife moved to Germany shortly after graduation. He was Nietzschean, it’s true, but he had a thing for Wagner as well. And Rilke’s Orpheus, not Young Werther, was his hero. Go forth and sally, was his motto, if sallying is your fate.

    • Counter PunchLift Sanctions Against Syria to Lessen Sufferings of the People Caused By The Earthquake

      The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) urges the American, British, Australian, Canadian, Swiss and some  European Union and Arab League governments to lift the unjust, immoral sanctions against Syria in order to lessen the immense sufferings of the people caused by the massive earthquake of 6th February 2023.

      A number of local groups including the Syrian Red Crescent Society have already made this call. Among individuals and groups at the international level who also want sanctions lifted is Helga Zepp LaRouche of the Schiller Institute. It is reported that the US and EU have suspended temporarily their sanctions. But this is not enough because it means that they can be re-imposed at any time. If sanctions have to be terminated once and for all, it is because there were no justifications for them in the first instance.

    • Science

      • HackadayHow To Roll Your Own Custom Object Detection Neural Network

        Real-time object detection, which uses neural networks and deep learning to rapidly identify and tag objects of interest in a video feed, is a handy feature with great hacker potential. Happily, it’s also possible to make customized CNNs (convolutional neural networks) tailored for one’s own needs, and that process just got easier thanks to some new documentation for the Vizy “AI camera” by Charmed Labs.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayStadia Controller’s Two Extra Buttons Get Seen With WebHID

        The Google Stadia game streaming service relied on a proprietary controller. It was a pretty neat piece of hardware that unfortunately looked destined for landfills when Google announced that Stadia would discontinue. Thankfully it’s possible to use them as normal gamepads, and related to that, [Thomas Steiner] has a developer blog post about how to talk to the Stadia controller via WebHID.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

      • India TimesTwitter’s plan to charge for crucial tool prompts outcry

        Nonprofits, researchers and others need the tool, known as the API, or Application Programming Interface, to analyse Twitter data because the sheer amount of information makes it impossible for a human to go through by hand.

      • ABCTwitter’s plan to charge for crucial tool prompts outcry

        The new fees are just the latest complication for programmers, academics and others trying to use the API — and they say communicating with anyone at the company has become essentially impossible since Elon Musk took over.

    • Security

      • HackadayThe CryptMaster 2001 Provides Basic Lessons In Cryptography

        Sending secret messages to your friends is fun, but today it’s so simple that you don’t even notice it anymore: practically any serious messaging system features encryption of some sort. To teach his kids about cryptography, [Michal Zalewski] therefore decided to bring the topic to life by building a handheld encryption system, called the CryptMaster 2001.

      • TechdirtThere Is No ‘Going Dark:’ Dutch Law Enforcement Spent Months Intercepting, Reading Encrypted Messages

        To hear consecutive FBI directors tell it, unless legislators are willing to mandate encryption backdoors, the criminals (including terrorists!) will win. That’s the only option — at least according to Jim Comey and Chris Wray — given that the FBI, with its billions in funding and wealth of brainpower, is apparently unable to decrypt files and devices simply by waving a warrant at them.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Digital First MediaMatt Weiss fired for ‘inappropriately’ accessing computer accounts, UM alleges

          A UM police log indicated on Jan. 5 that an employee reported “fraudulent activity” involving someone accessing university email accounts. “It was found that a crime may have been committed,” the log reads.

          The alleged computer crimes, however, happened days earlier, according to a statement The News received from UM Deputy Police Chief Crystal James on Jan. 17. James indicated the UM Police Department was investigating “computer access crimes that occurred at Schembechler Hall during Dec. 21 through the 23rd of 2022.”

        • Counter PunchFrom National Secrecy to World Security: Friendship Sets Us Free

          Classified documents, top secret files, spy balloons, clandestine surveillance. What kind of world are we living in where we hide information about and from each other, spying to get the upper hand? Why do leaders and legislators feel compelled to keep government secrets from the public?

          In the current political system of independent, sovereign states, national governments seek to exact a competitive edge over perceived rivals by hiding information, spying, and governing secretively. Day-to-day governance becomes a zero-sum game. Governmental success comes at the expense of human interdependence, turning our fellow humans into foes rather than friends.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • MeduzaDrifting sea mine explodes off Georgia’s Black Sea coast near Batumi — Meduza

        A drifting sea mine exploded 25 meters away from the beach in Batumi, a coastal city in the Republic of Georgia. Georgia’s Interior Ministry has confirmed the explosion. A local TV channel reports that no one was injured by the blast.

      • MeduzaMaia Sandu seconds Zelensky, warning of Kremlin plans to overthrow Moldova government — Meduza

        President Maia Sandu has confirmed Volodymyr Zelensky’s information about Moscow’s plans to overthrow the government of Moldova.

      • MeduzaThat extra-heavy load Instead of flying, Vladimir Putin prefers to travel around Russia by armored train (allegedly for fear of Ukrainian attack) — Meduza

        More and more often, Vladimir Putin opts to travel by armored train instead of flying. First delivered around 2014–2015, his customized express train has been in regular use since 2021, when the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border alerted the world to a possible full-scale invasion. Meduza is summarizing what Dossier Center (Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s investigative journalism project) found out about Putin’s now preferred mode of travel, and who controls the elaborate logistics of transporting the president.

      • MeduzaRecord number of Russians changed passport gender markers in 2022 — Meduza

        Data published by Russia’s Interior Ministry indicates that a record number of Russians received new passports with updated gender markers in 2022, the independent outlet Mediazona reported on Monday.

      • The NationControl Guns
      • Common DreamsTanks for Nothing: On What Can’t Be Won on the Ukraine Battlefield

        “To defend civilization, defeat Russia.” Writing in the unfailingly bellicose Atlantic, an American academic of my acquaintance recently issued that dramatic call to arms. And lest there be any confusion about the stakes involved, the image accompanying his essay depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin with a Hitler mustache and haircut.

      • Counter PunchTanks for Nothing: Is Civilization Really at Stake in Ukraine?

        “To defend civilization, defeat Russia.” Writing in the unfailingly bellicose Atlantic, an American academic of my acquaintance recently issued that dramatic call to arms. And lest there be any confusion about the stakes involved, the image accompanying his essay depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin with a Hitler mustache and haircut.

        Cast Putin as the latest manifestation of the Führer and the resurrection of Winston Churchill can’t be far behind. And, lo, more than a few observers have already begun depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as the latest reincarnation of America’s favorite British prime minister.

      • ScheerpostTanks for Nuttin’

        Is Civilization at Stake in Ukraine?

      • VOA NewsCrew Temporarily Blinded by Chinese Laser, Philippines Says

        Other countries have also accused China of the same thing.

      • Digital First MediaEverything we know about the unidentified object shot down over Lake Huron

        The object had passed over Wisconsin, Lake Michigan and the Upper Peninsula before it was shot down about 15 nautical miles east of the U.P. in Lake Huron, Pentagon officials said Sunday night. Once hit, they said, the object drifted and likely landed in Canadian waters in the lake, where the Coast Guard and others are working to recover it.

      • ReutersUnited States tells citizens: Leave Russia immediately

        “U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately,” the U.S. embassy in Moscow said. “Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.”

        “Do not travel to Russia,” it added

      • NPRThe U.S. is urging Americans to leave Russia ‘immediately’ due to security risks

        The U.S. Embassy in Moscow warned of the “unpredictable consequences” of the war in Ukraine, and said dual U.S.-Russian citizens in particular risked being forcibly conscripted into Russia’s armed forces.

      • The Telegraph UK‘Russia isn’t ‘adopting’ Ukraine’s children – they are being kidnapped’

        The state-backed child abductions have been denounced as a crime against humanity, amid fears that many may never see Ukraine again. Yet it has also shed an unflattering light on Ukraine’s orphanage system itself – a legacy of Soviet rule that Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, has vowed to end. Her new charity, the Olena Zelenska Foundation, is backing a policy of “deinstitutionalisation”, phasing out orphanages in favour of foster care instead.

      • Common DreamsHow Spin and Lies Fuel a Bloody War of Attrition in Ukraine

        In a recent column, military analyst William Astore wrote, “[Congressman] George Santos is a symptom of a much larger disease: a lack of honor, a lack of shame, in America. Honor, truth, integrity, simply don’t seem to matter, or matter much, in America today… But how do you have a democracy where there is no truth?”

      • Pro PublicaMilitary Justice Reforms Still Leave Some Criminal Cases to Commanders With No Legal Expertise

        More than a year has passed since Congress adopted reforms that promised to overhaul the U.S. military justice system. Lawmakers stripped military commanders of their authority to prosecute certain serious cases but allowed them to maintain control over other alleged crimes.

        However, the reforms, which will not go into effect until the end of this year, may have created additional challenges, military experts said.

      • Counter PunchCuba is Not a State-Sponsor of Terrorism
      • Common DreamsMexican President Vows Global Push to End ‘Inhumane’ US Embargo of Cuba

        Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed over the weekend to lead a worldwide movement to end the 61-year U.S. embargo of Cuba.

      • The NationSovereign Cuba, 125 Years Later

        This February 15 marks the 125th anniversary of the explosion that destroyed the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbor in 1898, touching off the Spanish-American War. Victory over Spain, achieved in just five months, brought to fruition a US ambition stretching back a century—dominion over Cuba. That dominion lasted half a century until Fidel Castro abruptly ended it in 1959, but it left an indelible mark on the psyche of Washington policy-makers—the idea that Cuba is not truly a sovereign nation but rightfully belongs to the United States.

      • Counter PunchChina Through German Eyes

        When domineering empires change, it is never easy for those believing in an empire. Just ask the Roman imperialists and Monty Python’s “what have they ever done for us?” Today, many see China’s rise in such a way. Meanwhile, others in the West may want to make Taiwan the next Ukraine.

        Yet, there is a certain mystery in dealing with China, including the recent hot air balloon incident. In any case, anti-China sentiments are stretching from a balloon to Taiwan to China’s Coronavirus strategy. First, China’s Coronavirus strategy was too harsh and now it is too soft. China cannot get it right for the West and for those eager to bash it.

      • Counter PunchA Month’s Notice: Why Burkina Faso Ordered French Troops out of the Country

        Though it was clear that Burkina Faso was eventually going to follow in the footsteps of Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR), Ouagadougou’s decision to break military ties with France was not as simple as media sound bites want us to believe.

        The conventional wisdom is that these countries are walking away from their former colonial master, France, to forge alternative alliances with a new ally, Russia. These convenient analyses are largely shaped by the geopolitical tug-of-war between old and new superpowers: The US and its NATO allies on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other.

      • Counter PunchHomage to Russian War Resisters

        Given the Russian government’s brutal repression of dissent, the level of Russian resistance to the Putin regime’s war on Ukraine is quite remarkable.

        Beginning on the evening of February 24, 2022, the date of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many thousands of Russians, defying threats from the authorities, staged nonviolent antiwar demonstrations across their nation. On the first night alone, police made 1,820 arrests of peace demonstrators in 58 Russian cities. Over the ensuing weeks, the mass protests continued, with the intrepid demonstrators chanting or holding up signs reading “No to War.” As the authorities viewed any mention of “war” as a crime, even elementary school children were arrested when they said the forbidden slogan. Some peace demonstrators took to holding up blank signs, but they, too, were arrested. By March 13, according to OVD-Info, a Russian human rights group, the police had made at least 14,906 arrests of these and other Russian peace demonstrators.

      • ScheerpostRay McGovern: Nord Stream Attack an ‘Act of War’

        Ray McGovern discusses Seymour Hersh’s story, “How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline” on Garland Nixon and Wilmer Leon’s radio show, The Critical Hour. (With transcript).

      • ScheerpostAnti-War Voices Accuse Super Bowl of ‘Hijacking the Pat Tillman Story’

        One journalist reminded readers that the NFL star and Army Ranger “called the Iraq invasion and occupation ‘fucking illegal’ and was killed by friendly fire in an incident the military covered up and tried to hide from his family.”

      • MeduzaAfter Prigozhin reports Wagner Group’s capture of Krasna Hora, Defense Ministry attributes victory to unspecified ‘volunteers’ — Meduza

        At a briefing on Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that “volunteers from assault detachments” backed by “fire support from missile troops and artillery from the Southern Grouping of Forces” have captured Krasna Hora, a village in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

      • ScheerpostKevin Tillman: How America’s Forever Wars and Interventions Fueled the Assault on the Capitol

        The NFL’s Super Bowl pre-game tribute to Army Ranger Pat Tillman reminded the ScheerPost staff of this piece by his brother Kevin Tillman, originally published in 2021. By Kevin Tillman / TomDispatch Just about everyone was shocked by what happened at the Capitol building on January 6th. But as a former soldier in America’s forever […]

      • MeduzaMediazona and BBC News Russian publish further figures on Russia’s losses in Ukraine — Meduza

        Mediazona and BBC News Russian, together with a group of volunteers, have confirmed the deaths of 14,093 Russian servicemen killed in the Ukraine war before February 12. They arrived at this total using only public records and other open sources.

      • MeduzaRussian government has built secret network of railroad lines and train stations for Putin’s exclusive use, according to new report — Meduza

        Over the last decade, Russian authorities have built multiple railroad lines that lead to Vladimir Putin’s various residences, as well as several secret train stations near those residences, the investigative news outlet Proekt reported on Tuesday.

    • Environment

      • NPRIf there’s a war against climate change, Saint-Louis is on the front line. And losing

        In Senegal, rising seas have led to devastating coastal erosion. If there is a war against climate change, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Saint-Louis is on the front lines. And the ocean is winning.

      • The HillGreta Thunberg says world leaders not even ‘moving in the right direction’ on climate

        “The often-used argument that ‘we don’t have enough money’ has been disproven so many times,” Thunberg wrote. “According to the International Monetary Fund, the production and burning of coal, oil and fossil gas was subsidized by $5.9 trillion in 2020 alone. That is $11 million every minute, earmarked for planetary destruction.”

      • Los Angeles TimesGreta Thunberg: How should global leaders use trillions of dollars to combat climate change?

        However, in June 2021, the International Energy Agency concluded that out of the historic global recovery plan, only a bleak 2% had been invested into green energy, whatever “green” means in this case. In the European Union, for instance, those 2% might well be spent on fossil gas from Vladimir Putin’s Russia or on burning biomass made from clear-cut forests as these activities — along with many others — are at the moment considered green in the brand-new EU taxonomy.

        So they did not just get it slightly wrong — our leaders completely failed. And they continue to fail; despite all the beautiful words and pledges, they are not moving in the right direction. In fact, we are still expanding fossil fuel infrastructure all over the world. In many cases, we are even speeding up the process. China is planning to build 43 new coal power plants on top of the 1,000 plants already in operation. In the U.S., approvals for companies to drill for oil and fossil methane gas are on schedule to reach their highest level since the presidency of George W. Bush.

      • Common DreamsStudy Shows How Corporations Are Deceiving the Public to ‘Greenwash Their Brand’

        A detailed study published Monday finds that the climate pledges of some of the world’s largest companies are often highly misleading, lack transparency, and fall well short of what’s necessary to avert catastrophic warming, casting further doubt on the viability of global emission-reduction plans that depend on voluntary corporate action.

      • Energy/Transportation

        • Bridge MichiganFord EV battery plant on Marshall Michigan megasite gets $1B in incentives

          Ford says it will open in 2026, employing 2,500 people and using a design licensed by a Chinese partner

          The Marshall factory will be the first lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery factory in U.S., allowing Ford to sell two battery styles

        • HackadayMethane Pyrolysis: Producing Green Hydrogen Without Carbon Emissions

          Generally, when we talk about the production of hydrogen, the discussion is about either electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen, or steam methane reforming (SMR). Although electrolysis is often mentioned – as it can create hydrogen using nothing but water and electricity – SMR is by far the most common source of hydrogen. Much of this is due to the low cost and high efficiency of SMR, but a major disadvantage of SMR is that large amounts of carbon dioxide are released, which offsets some of the benefits of using hydrogen as a fuel in the first place.

        • Counter PunchBattling a Mining Goliath on Two Continents

          Lynas bills itself as the only significant producer of separated rare earth oxides outside of China. It mines these minerals at Mt. Weld in Western Australia. From there, it sends the material to a secondary processing facility in Malaysia where it separates and processes the ore. According to its own promotional materials, Lynas is “designed from the ground up as an environmentally responsible producer.”

          Lee Tan disagrees. She’s originally from Kuantan, the Malaysian port where Lynas’s processing facility is located. She not only takes issue with the way Lynas describes itself. She has devoted a decade of activism to exposing the activities of the Australian company and trying to stop more radioactive waste from accumulating in her hometown.

        • Common DreamsProfits, Drilling Plans Prove UAE Oil Exec ‘Unfit’ to Chair UN Climate Summit: Amnesty

          The campaign to oust Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber from his role as president-designate of the forthcoming United Nations climate summit ratcheted up Monday after the fossil fuel corporation he oversees announced record profits along with plans to expand.

        • DeSmogBig Oil’s Been Secretly Validating Critics’ Concerns about Carbon Capture

          Last February, ExxonMobil announced it would further expand its only active carbon capture and storage (CCS) operation in the United States, located at a gas processing facility in LaBarge, Wyoming. Shute Creek is the world’s largest CCS project and has been operational for over 30 years. Although the oil giant publicly touts carbon capture as a “proven” climate solution, its own early foray reveals just how flimsy of a fix the technology really is — and how expensive, both for taxpayers and the climate.

          For starters, at Exxon’s Shute Creek, nearly all of the CO2 separated from the extracted fossil gas either has been sold, for a profit, to other drillers to use for squeezing out hard-to-recover oil elsewhere (a process called enhanced oil recovery) or vented back into the atmosphere. Only 3 percent of the Wyoming project’s CO2 has been geologically stored in the same formation from which the original gas was extracted, according to estimates from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

    • Finance

      • WiredPig Butchering Scams Are Evolving Fast

        Researchers found that to stay relevant and deceive more victims in recent months, so-called pig butchering attacks are developing both more compelling narratives to draw targets in and more sophisticated tech to convince victims that there’s big money to be made. Even before these refinements, the scams were big business. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 4,300 submissions related to pig butchering scams in 2021, totaling more than $429 million in losses.

      • The NationWe’re Living in a Golden Age of Plenty—for the Rich

        A few weeks ago, the world’s power brokers—politicians, CEOs, millionaires, billionaires—met in Davos, the mountainous Swiss resort town, for the 2023 World Economic Forum. In an annual ritual that reads ever more like Orwellian farce, the global elite gathered—their private jets lined up like gleaming sardines at a nearby private airport—to discuss the most pressing issues of our time, many of which they are chiefly responsible for creating.

      • The NationRobbing From the Poor to Educate the Rich

        The assault on public education currently unfolding in state legislatures across the United States stands to annually transfer tens of billions of dollars from public treasuries to the bank accounts of upper-income families. Those dollars, which otherwise would have gone to public schools, will instead reimburse parents currently paying private school tuition. It’s a reverse Robin Hood scheme that Americans would hate if they fully understood what was going on.1

      • Counter PunchRescue Our Democratic Society: Constitutionally Render Corporations Unequal to Humans

        No other institutions consistently Rule over as Much in the World as the Giant Global Corporations – not governments, not armies, not religions and certainly not trade unions. These fictional corporate entities have largely achieved transcendent imperial status, as they amass coordinated control over capital, labor, technology and governments because they have secured the rights bestowed upon human beings. In a confrontation or a conflict or even a contract, it is no contest: mere people don’t have a chance.

        As Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis warned in 1933, we have created a “Frankenstein monster” in our midst, whose unifying lust for power and control on behalf of their profits know few limits.

      • Counter PunchLetter from London: Hey Ho, Let’s Go!

        As I write, little appears on the table when it comes to resolving the strikes over here. The rail strikes for example are to continue. Last week saw the biggest NHS strike in history. Nobody, in England at least, appears to be talking. Scotland and Wales look closer to a deal. I had a post-op appointment the same week and was wondering how the mood would be in hospital. Much of the British press continues to be antagonistic towards the strikers, while the public seem by and large behind them. I am guessing our media barons will have to decide at some point just how far they wish to alienate their British readers. One poll says fewer than 17% think Sunak’s government is doing a good job of negotiating. Labour are not exactly chanting support for the strikers, but an unsurprising 31% expect they would fare better.

        It is as though everyone is jumping ship over here. One of the most sorted non-British friends I have has just admitted to ‘getting walloped’ by the cost of living here, and I wonder how much longer they can stay. I also met up with a very good friend who is returning to live in the Caribbean as a result of the present financial and political climate. He has had enough. I don’t blame him. People are in denial about quite how bad things really are. This friend gets the feeling half of the businesses in the country are leaving alongside him. ‘Question I guess is, what would Labour do?’ he asks. I know former prime minister Boris Johnson has yet again been to telling us all to ‘shrug off all this negativity and gloom-mongering’ but it must help when you get handed a £2.5m advance for speaking engagements, taking your outside non-parliamentary income to nearly £5m in the past year. As for my imminently departing friend, the last time I was in the Caribbean, I was remembering to him, was in Trinidad. Even though I was there to see an old school friend who had been battling cancer, a battle he lost in the end, I was reminded again during that trip of why people so liked the region. (I had also visited Bermuda, if that counts, the Bahamas, Barbados, and St Lucia.) It helped that my friend was adventurous and from an adventurous family — his Scottish father had been an aerial surveyor in the Caribbean, South America, Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. As if realising this might be our last jaunt together, my friend and I — with his brother and brother’s girlfriend — sailed not so far from the Venezuelan coast. This was in their marvellously bashed about yacht. While my friend insisted rather gleefully that there were pirates about, I remember monitoring the horizon with a benign smile on my face. Sailing so close to the wind, and with a shared sense of humour on board, made me feel very fortunate indeed. Still staring out, we began discussing the history of enslavement on the island, and the long brutal journeys that had to be made from Africa to the sugar and cocoa plantations. These would last up to three brutal months. Many people would arrive ill and weak — those who had not already perished, that is. I remember suddenly feeling seasick.

      • ScheerpostWhen the WPA Created Over 400,000 Jobs for Black Workers

        In response to the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) created jobs for over 8 million people between 1935 and 1943. While data on the racial composition of WPA workers isn’t available for all of these years, the data we have for 1939, 1941, and 1942 make clear that the WPA […]

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The NationWhy Washington Tolerates the Trump Family’s Saudi Corruption

        Using off-the-record statements from former White House officials as well as public evidence, Kranish makes a compelling case that there was a shady quid pro quo between the Trump family and MBS. When they held the White House, the Trumps took the existing American alliance with Saudi Arabia and pushed into a new level of personal devotion to MBS, whose position as crown prince was precarious and needed shoring up. Saudi Arabia was the first country Trump visited as president. Under Trump, the USA turned a blind eye to escalating human rights abuses inside Saudi Arabia and mounting war crimes in the American-supported Saudi war against Yemen. When Washington Post writer and Saudi dissident Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was kidnapped and gruesomely murdered at the behest of MBS, the Trump White House protected the Saudi autocrat from the ensuing backlash.

      • FAIR‘Gigi Sohn Has Faced Relentless Smear Campaigns, Some Funded by the Telecom Industry’

        Therein lies the tale—a disheartening one of outsized corporate power and the denaturing of government’s public interest obligation, and of transparently scurrilous right-wing attacks, and lagging, inadequate response.

        And back of it all, the critical fight for a media universe that lives up to the promise to be open, diverse, creative and liberatory, and not yet another sphere of corporate power and might makes right.

      • India TimesMeta business chief to depart

        Fifty-two-year-old Levine, appointed as the company’s first chief business officer in 2021, has served in various other executive positions at the social media company, including chief operating officer of Instagram.

      • VarietyMeta Sales Chief Marne Levine Resigns

        With Levine’s exit, Nicola Mendelsohn, Meta’s head of global business group, and Justin Osofsky, head of online sales, operations and partnerships, are taking on expanded roles as Meta’s most senior sales and partnership leaders, reporting to COO Javier Olivan. The company said the new structure “continues to bring our business and product teams closer together.”

      • VOA NewsChina-Owned Parent Company of TikTok Among Top Spenders on Internet Lobbying

        Publicly available information collected by OpenSecrets, a Washington nonprofit that tracks campaign finance and lobbying data, shows that ByteDance and its subsidiaries, including TikTok, the wildly popular short video app, have spent more than $13 million on U.S. lobbying since 2020. In 2022 alone, Fox News reported, the companies spent $5.4 million on lobbying.

        Only Amazon.com ($19.7 million) and the parent companies of Google ($11 million) and Facebook ($19 million) spent more, according to OpenSecrets.

        In the fourth quarter of 2022, ByteDance spent $1.2 million on lobbying, according to Fox News.

      • Computer WorldMicrosoft cuts HoloLens, Xbox, Surface jobs as industrial metaverse team said to fold

        Facing macroeconomic uncertainty and slowing growth, Microsoft has confirmed that it is laying off employees working on its HoloLens, Surface laptop and Xbox products, as reports surface that it will be cutting 100 employees working for its industrial metaverse unit — essentially closing down that team.

      • The NationSean Patrick Maloney Has No Business Being in the Department of Labor

        Barely five minutes after losing his seat in Congress, Sean Patrick Maloney is out campaigning for a consolation prize: United States secretary of labor.

      • The NationThe Mind of a Materialist

        In 1971, the Turkish novelist Sevgi Soysal found herself in prison. The charges? Obscenity, communism, and losing her ID. The first two were beyond dispute: The candor of her fiction, alongside her (complicated) commitment to communism, challenged the country’s conservative mores. But the last charge remains apocryphal. During an argument between friends, she apparently bellowed the word yeter (“enough!”) so loudly that it drew the attention of the police. With martial law in effect, “enough!” was enough to be mistaken for political protest. The police booked her, nominally for not producing an identification card, and she was soon shipped off to the Yildirim region’s Women’s Ward.

      • The NationWhy People Don’t Even Trust the Super Bowl

        The United States suffers from a profound mistrust in institutions that used to be considered sacrosanct. Across the political spectrum, people are subjecting elections, politicians, the courts, and even science to unprecedented scrutiny. There is a crisis in confidence in the legitimacy of everything that was once foundational. Now we can add the ultimate all-American spectacle, the Super Bowl, to this list. After Super Bowl 57, in which the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35, #Rigged was trending on Twitter around the world. The game’s culmination left much to be desired, and outside of Kansas City, howls of dissatisfaction echoed throughout social media. That’s not the way the National Football League wanted to end its season. Its most valuable commodity is the idea that “on any given Sunday” any result is possible. This was proven true, but it wasn’t the ending anyone wanted.

      • Common DreamsHumanity Can No Longer Tolerate Corporations That Exist Almost Entirely to Make Money

        In most countries, it’s left up to business owners, CEOs and boards to decide what their purpose is, and all too often the choice is ultimately based on greed.

      • MeduzaRamzan Kadyrov says top Chechen general was targeted by poisoning attempt — Meduza

        Chechnya Governor Ramzan Kadyrov reported Monday that Apti Alaudinov, one of his assistants and the commander of Chechnya’s forces in Ukraine, was recently the target of a poisoning attempt.

      • Common DreamsHow Dare They Show Up All Black and Excellent: Lift Every Voice

        Boasting the usual hype, glitz, plugs and some football, Sunday also showcased what was arguably “the Blackest, most woke Super Bowl ever”: Black History Month, two first-ever black quarterbacks, black performers, and sweet white Jesus a soaring Black National Anthem?! MAGA-land heads exploded: Satan, racism, divisiveness, leaving “NOTHING for the White People of our land!” “Hateful gargoyle” MTG: The white singer was good but “we could have gone without the wokeness.” America: “You mean the blackness.”

      • Common DreamsSanders-Warren Plan Would Tax the Rich to Increase Social Security by $2,400 a Year

        As congressional Republicans threaten to cut Social Security and other key federal programs, progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren led a group of lawmakers Monday in unveiling legislation that would increase Social Security benefits by at least $200 per month and prolong the program’s solvency for decades by finally requiring wealthy Americans to pay their fair share.

      • Common DreamsSanders to Elevate Crisis of Low Teacher Pay With Union Leaders

        “I do not think we should accept it as ‘normal’ in our society that billionaires get massive tax breaks while teachers in this country have to work a second job just to make ends meet,” said the Vermont Independent senator. “We must pay all teachers in America at least $60,000.”

      • Common DreamsWarnings of ‘Dark Dictatorship’ in Israel as Protesters Rage Against Far-Right Judicial Reforms​

        Massive protests erupted in Israel on Monday as the country’s far-right government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, began advancing judicial reforms that would roll back judicial oversight of parliament and give lawmakers more control over Supreme Court appointments, proposed changes that opposition leader Yair Lapid decried as an attempt to impose a “dark dictatorship.”

      • ScheerpostNew Israeli Regime Moves Toward “Cleansing” All Palestinians From Palestine

        Israel’s new fascist government has increased the collective punishment of Palestinians — a war crime.

      • TechdirtA Look Into What Advertisers Elon’s Twitter Has In Its Future

        We were just talking about how Twitter’s ad revenue woes may be even worse than previously expected. Earlier reports had suggested that ad revenue was down 40% as many of the biggest advertisers had abandoned ship in the name of protecting their own brand safety. But the more recent report said that advertising was actually down over 70% in December. We also noted that many of the remaining bigger name advertisers are on long-term deals that were signed before Musk took over, which raises questions about whether or not they’ll renew, as Musk’s “content moderation” ideas seem to be mainly around punishing people he doesn’t like, bringing back literal Nazis, and allowing the infamous Russian mercenary paramilitary org Wagner Group PMC to recruit Americans to fight against Ukraine.

      • TechdirtEven Former NSA Lawyers Don’t Think A TikTok Ban Fixes The Actual Problem

        We’ve mentioned more than a few times how the great moral panic over TikTok is a hollow performance by unserious people who have little actual interest in consumer privacy. Folks like the FCC’s Brendan Carr, who’ve spent years opposing funding privacy regulators or passing a meaningful Internet privacy law, yet now suffer repeated, performative embolisms when TikTok exploits a reality they helped create.

      • TruthOutOcasio-Cortez Blasts Christian Super Bowl Ads That “Make Fascism Look Benign”
      • MeduzaRussian media reports United Russia deputy from Tuva parliament fatally shot man on hunting trip after mistaking him for animal — Meduza

        The local branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee in the Tuva Republic reported Monday that a criminal case has been opened against a 44-year-old local man who fatally shot another man on a hunting trip after mistaking him for an animal.

      • Telex (Hungary)Fact check: Are Transcarpathian Hungarian soldiers really being taken to Orbán if they surrender to the Russians?
      • Counter PunchBe. Very. Careful. Who. You. Invite. In.

        In his essay in the Opinion section of the New York Times on Feb. 1, 2023, “Be Open to Spiritual Experience. Also, Be Really Careful,”[1] Ross Douthat’s seemingly amorphous warning is really aimed at the two new statues by citizen-of-the-world visual artist Shahzia Sikander, appearing in the public space of the roof of the New York Appellate Court and adjacent to it, in the shape of a flowering female form installed in Madison Square Park.

        In one of the more bizarre columns of his that I’ve read, Douthat claims he wants to both “defend the rationality of this kind of spiritual experimentation” (which he sees manifested in Sikander’s work), then to warn us about its dangers. While I have no idea what he means by “the rationality of spiritual experimentation,” he attacks what he sees as three contemporary manifestations of it: the current Tik Tok craze, the DMT or “psychonautic” drug experimentation culture, and finally, Sikander’s “statue on a New York courthouse, occupying a plinth near famous lawgivers like Moses and Confucius. It’s a golden woman, or at least a female figure, with braided hair shaped like horns, roots or tendrils for arms and feet, rising from a lotus flower.” Whilst acknowledging that this “golden woman” who wears “a version of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lace collar” is meant to evoke “female power in a historically male-dominated legal world and to protest Roe v. Wade’s reversal” as the artist herself has stated, what disturbs the liberal sentiments of Douthat nonetheless is the fact that “the work is clearly an attempt at a religious icon as well, one forged in a blurring of spiritual traditions.” It is this “blurring”, or more aptly, a “queering” of heteronormative, white Christian patriarchal belief systems that have shaped America’s justice system from its very founding, that I believe, most disturbs the equanimity of the critic, what gives him pause in his liberal, tolerant worldview. This “blurring” of spiritual traditions is evident to him in the fact that the statue on the rooftop instead of having feet firmly planted in our earthly firmament, instead arises, feet-less, all golden-bathed 8 feet of it, out of a lotus flower, thus evidencing some sort of pantheistic deity, evoking a “nature-spirituality” that turns the human female form into a “magical hybrid plant-animal.” Douthat’s discomfort, fear even, at this queering of the (white) female form, named “NOW” by the artist (which evokes both the need for abortion-rights female lawgivers such as the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg in our current moment when such rights are being repealed, as well as a sly reference to NOW, the premier US women’s rights organization),  mounts as he describes the statue it is in dialogue with, erected in the middle of Madison Square Park across from the courthouse. This one, an 18- foot- tall female form wearing a hooped skirt and stylized horns for hair with roots instead of feet, is named “WITNESS” and together the two sculptures make up “HAVAH: to breathe, air, life.” The word Havah, evoking the Arabic and Hebrew name for Eve, in Douthat’s view “mak[es] a feminist claim on the monotheistic tradition”; such a claim might even be acceptable to the liberal-minded side of Douthat, but the fact that the statue like the one atop the courthouse is evocative of a nature-animal-human triptych, is more than our critic, at bottom a Christian conservative (as he himself tells us), can bear. He bemoans, “finally it’s very hard not to see the braids-as-horns, the tendrils that look a bit tentacle-like, as an appropriation of Christian images of the demonic in a statue that stands against the politics of conservative Christianity.” His veiled critique of Shahzia Sikander’s “anti-Christian” statuary work is more clearly spelled out in the Christian Broadcasting Network’s statement,

      • TruthOutTrump Dismissed Research He Paid for After It Debunked Election Fraud Claims
      • Telex (Hungary)‘Many will attack me for this’ – Hungarian FM in Belarus
      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • ReasonCan the Feds Prosecute Douglass Mackey for His Twitter Trolling?

          At one point he posted a series of images that seemed geared to trick Hillary Clinton supporters into thinking that they could vote by text. “Avoid the line. Vote from home,” one of these images reads against a Clinton-branded background. “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925.” According to a Justice Department press release, at least 4,900 people texted the number before Election Day.

          Federal officials say this was a deliberate attempt to violate voters’ constitutional rights. On January 27, 2021, they charged Mackey with conspiracy “to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to wit: the right to vote.” Their case rests on an 1870 law designed to prevent violent white supremacist mobs from preventing black citizens from voting. The Justice Department believes this is the first time an American has faced criminal charges for Twitter disinformation.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • EFFEFF Backs California Bill to Protect People Seeking Abortion and Gender-Affirming Care from Dragnet Digital Surveillance

        Stop All Digital Dragnet Surveillance of Vulnerable People

        Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) on Monday introduced AB 793, a bill to prevent unconstitutional searches of people’s data.

      • The NationMeet the Activist Championing the Rights of Workers From the Inside

        The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency founded in 1935 to protect the right of private employees to organize in order to improve their working conditions, doesn’t come off as either a frumpy bureaucrat or a firebrand. Jennifer Abruzzo has the look and demeanor of a fun art teacher. Her shoulder-length curly hair and thin-rimmed glasses frame a face that could be 45 or 65 (she’s 59). On the day I met her in her corner office, she was wearing a navy-blue jumpsuit with a green scarf in place of a tie and bright magenta nail polish. A bookshelf running along one wall is filled with huge accordion folders stuffed with papers, and a framed illustration of Ruth Bader Ginsburg displaying the words “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” sits atop it. As we talk, she sips from a large mug that identifies her as the “Best Grandma Ever.” A credenza next to her desk is lined with family photos. She travels to the Carolinas to babysit her son’s two kids. She remembers the birthdays of everyone she works with.1

      • Common DreamsGrowing Number of US Teen Girls Face Sexual Violence and Depression: CDC Report

        Child development experts and other advocates said Monday that new federal data regarding the struggles of adolescents in the United States should serve as an urgent call to action, as teenage girls reported facing rising levels of sexual violence as well as suicidal thoughts and depression in a survey taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      • TechdirtNYPD Adds $121 Million In Settlements To Its $11.2 Billion Tab

        New York’s Finest continue to set the sort of records New York residents would rather the NYPD didn’t. The NYPD is not too big to fail. But it’s apparently too big to curtail.

      • Democracy Now25 Years of V-Day: Ending Gender Violence, Fighting Tentacles of Patriarchy & New “Reckoning” Memoir

        February 14 marks the 25th anniversary of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women, gender-expansive people, girls and the planet. It is also the 10th anniversary of V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign, a call to action based on the staggering reality that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. The V-Day movement brings together activism and art to transform systems and change culture and was founded by the activist V, formerly Eve Ensler, author of the “The Vagina Monologues” and her new memoir “Reckoning.” This year the One Billion Rising campaign is focusing on “Freedom from Patriarchy and from all its progeny.” We discuss decades of activism, events planned this year, and what reckoning looks like with activist and V-Day founder V, alongside Monique Wilson, global director of One Billion Rising, and Christine Schuler Deschryver, director of V-Day Congo and co-founder and director of City of Joy, a revolutionary community for women survivors of gender violence in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

      • BBCSara Khadem: Top Iran chess player exiled for refusing headscarf

        Instead, she can’t return to Iran – there are arrest papers waiting for her, and she now lives in exile in southern Spain, with her husband and one-year-old son.

        She and her family asked the BBC not to reveal her precise location; their worry is that there may be repercussions even thousands of miles away from Iran.

      • Arab NewsIran to ‘firmly punish’ hijab violators: report

        But authorities signalled less tolerance since the start of the year, with police warning that women must wear headscarves even in cars.

        On Tuesday, Mehr news agency reported that the prosecutor general had issued a directive in which “police were ordered to firmly punish any hijab violations.”

      • RFAUh, Ju Ae… We have to change your name

        That’s why officials called in the parents of a 12-year-old Ju Ae in the northwestern city of Chongju on Feb. 8 – along with every other Ju Ae in the area – to choose new names and update their birth certificates, a source who lives in her neighborhood told RFA’s Korean Service on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

        “The social security official said that the reason why the authorities are investigating individuals named ‘Ju Ae’ and forcing them to change their names is because the name of the daughter touted as the ‘Noble Child of the Highest Dignity’ is Ju Ae,” the source said, using an honorific term to refer to Kim Jong Un. “An order has been issued to get rid of anyone with the same name.”

      • HackadayBan On Physical Mail Slated For NYC Jails, Which Could Go Digital Instead

        Prison is a scary place, very much by design. It’s a place you end up when convicted of crimes by the judicial system, or in some cases, if you’re merely awaiting trial. Once you go in as a prisoner, general freedom and a laundry list of other rights are denied to you. New York City is the latest in a long list of municipalities looking to expand that list to include a ban on inmates receiving physical mail.

      • TruthOutStudy: Racism Plays Bigger Role in Black-White Infant Mortality Gap Than Wealth
      • TruthOutSanders Isn’t Afraid to Subpoena Starbucks CEO to Get Him to Appear in Congress
      • TruthOutFrom Palestine to US Prisons, Radical Love Can Guide Our Fight for Liberation
      • TruthOutIsrael Defies International Law to Legalize 9 Settler Colonies on Occupied Land
      • TruthOutWe Can’t Let Antisemitism Be Weaponized to Criminalize Solidarity With Palestine
      • TruthOutCalifornia Reparations Task Force Pushes for More Systemic Reforms
      • Counter PunchDemon Copperhead: the American Protest Novel Revisited

        To write her most recent novel, (2022; 549 pages; $32.50; Harper Collins) her tenth in the past 35 years, Barbara Kingsolver turned for inspiration to Charles Dickens whom she calls her “genius friend.” In the acknowledgements, she writes, “I’m grateful to Charles Dickens for writing David Copperfield, his impassioned critique of institutional poverty and its damaging effects on children in his society.” She adds, “Those problems are still with us.” Isn’t that obvious? Why hit us over the head with it?

        In the body of the novel, Kingsolver’s protagonist and narrator— a poor white kid, a drug addict, an orphan and a born again artist— explains that while Dickens was a “seriously old guy, dead and a foreigner, but Jesus Christ did he get the picture on kids and orphans getting screwed over and nobody giving a rat’s ass. You’d think he was from around here.” For Copperhead, whose hair is the color of copper wire, “around here” means Appalachia, where Kingsolver lives on a farm with her husband. The time is now, though there are very few references to contemporary events. The Iraq war is one of them.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • EFFWhy is New York City Removing Free Broadband In Favor of Charter?

        In response, former union workers at Spectrum opted to build their own broadband cooperative called People’s Choice Communications, to deliver free high-speed access. This was unequivocally a good thing. The de Blasio Administration itself was even in the process of contracting with the worker-owned cooperative to build new networks. But since the election of Mayor Eric Adams, this critical progress has not only come to a halt, it is also now actively being undermined, to the benefit of large cable corporations. Instead of pursuing long term solutions to low-income access, as outlined by the Internet Master Plan, Mayor Adams has abandoned that plan. Now, the Adams administration is pushing an extraordinarily wasteful proposal dubbed “Big Apple Connect,” that literally just hands money over to cable companies.

        Let’s be crystal clear: Going from a plan to invest millions into building public infrastructure to a plan to subsidize cable companies is a gigantic waste. Building multi-generational public infrastructure that can eventually deliver free access is the only means of achieving long-term sustainable support. Giving money to cable companies to pay their inflated bills will build nothing, and it won’t deliver 21st century infrastructure to those most denied it. It simply pads the profits of companies that have long-neglected these communities and failed to improve access—even when granted money to do so.

        The original NYC proposal captures exactly what needs to be done to deliver permanent solutions. It would have created infrastructure that can lead to the creation of more local solutions like the People’s Choice Communications. NYC’s population density makes it attractive to small, local providers because there is such high demand for broadband that even small networks can find customers. Accessible fiber that is provisioned on an open and affordable basis dramatically lowers the barrier to entering the broadband market. This would both create competition and drive down prices for everyone, not just low-income people, as new entrants enter the market delivering gigabit-level connectivity.

      • TechdirtOnce Again, I See This Bad Internet Bill From Senators Manchin & Cornyn, And So I’m Saying Something

        Not this again… a few years ago we wrote a post about Senator Joe Manchin’s very, very, very bad “See Something Say Something” Act. The bill would remove Section 230 for companies that don’t file a shit ton of nonsense busywork filings for anything they see online that might be bad having to do with illegal drug sales. Basically, if a company becomes aware of anything suspicious it would need to file a “suspicious transmission activity report” (STAR).

    • Monopolies

      • CoryDoctorowObama’s turncoat antitrust enforcer is angry about the Google breakup

        The DoJ’s antitrust lawsuit against Google triggered an avalanche of pearl-clutching editorials from establishment lawyers and economists who argue that such a move is both counterproductive and legally incoherent. These Very Bad Takes are only to be expected, since they emanate from ideologues who volunteered to serve as Renfields for vampiric monopolists.

        A prime example is the Washington Post’s unsigned editorial, which starts with the conclusion that monopolies are both legal and generally beneficial, then works backwards to invent facts to support that conclusion: [...]

      • Trademarks

        • TechdirtThe LDS Church Opposes ‘Bad Mormon’ Trademark Application Over ‘Tarnishment’ Concerns

          The Church of Latter Day Saints has made it onto our pages before for trying to abuse intellectual property laws, typically to keep content out of the public eye that it finds undesirable. I do like to note in posts like this that the LDS Church has also occasionally been quite lenient when it comes to responding to critiques or commentary as well. You may have heard of a wildly popular Broadway musical, for instance.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakZ-Library Returns on the Clearnet in Full Hydra-Mode

          The U.S. Government’s crackdown against Z-Library late last year aimed to wipe out the pirate library for good. The criminal prosecution caused disruption but didn’t bring the site completely to its knees. Z-Library continued to operate on the dark web and this weekend, reappeared on the clearnet, offering a ‘unique’ domain name to all users.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Bicycle 🚲

        I cycle a bit, but my bike got beyond repair. So I’ve signed up with Swapfiets, a hire company. The name is Dutch for “swapbike”. I got the bike yesterday. If there’s a problem, I just arrange a swap for another one.

        The bike is pleasantly sedate, as Dutch bikes tend to be. It has hub gears, brakes when you back-pedal, and its hub dynamo lights are always on until you stop moving. Seems good so far. I rode home from the station, much to the surprise of my cycling muscles.

      • 🔤SpellBinding: BDGIUNM Wordo: CLOYS
      • Nox

        After Diablo came along, the game opened the floodgates for a slew of pointy, clicky isometric action RPGs on the PC. Some of these games made a pretty decent splash, proving themselves to be more than mere copycats of Blizzard’s popular release. Nox was one such example of this.

        Released in 2000, it was developed by Westwood Studios in the latter years of the developer’s life, being one of many, many popular studios from the 1980s and 90s that were bought up by Electronic Arts at some point only shuttered a few years later.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Empty user capsules removed

          Happy Valentine’s Day, Gemini lovers! ❤️ As per my earlier announcement, I tidied the place up a bit for you. A total of 14 empty or explicitly abandoned user accounts at gemini.circumlunar.space were removed (23% of the total population). This little act of housekeeping is just the first and the smallest step in my plan to give the Gemini project some long overdue care and attention this year. Stay tuned, and stay smol!

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

Russia Moving Away From Microsoft Windows Faster Than the World in General

Posted in Asia, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Today in the news:


Windows around the world (still waning in dominance on desktops/laptops)

Windows world market

And in Russia since invading Ukraine:

Russian market

Summary: Russia loves Windows only when its enemies use it (which makes intrusion and sabotage a lot easier)

Links 14/02/2023: Plasma 5.27 and Russia Builds M OS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Giz ChinaA new operating system has been released in Russia

        The Russian software market has welcomed a new operating system called “M OS,” which is based on the Linux kernel. The operating system is specifically designed for use in educational institutions and is being developed by the Department of Information Technologies of the city of Moscow. The team responsible for the development of electronic services and IT systems in the capital has collaborated with Russian developers to create “M OS.”

        A team of 25 developers has worked on the development of “M OS”. And the distribution kit took six months to develop. The product is already supplied to Moscow schools as part of personal computers, laptops, and interactive panels. The Moscow Electronic School (MES) project team is supporting and developing “M OS.”

    • Server

      • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyA systems design perspective on why chess.com’s servers have been melting | nicholas@web

        January 2023 was a rough month if you wanted to play chess on the most popular chess website, chess.com. Their service has been experiencing an unprecedented amount downtime because of a huge influx of users. There have been days where it’s all but unusable. It’s frustrating as a user! It’s also surely frustrating for the business behind the site.

        Chess has reached an all-time peak in popularity. In January 2023, Google search traffic exceeded the boom from the release of The Queen’s Gambit. There’s a huge influx of new or returning players, and they flock to the site with the obvious domain. Chess.com’s app has hit #1 most downloaded free game on the iOS app store.

        Part of doing good systems design is planning for capacity. A general rule of thumb is that you should design a system for up to a certain amount of growth. Beyond some point, architectural requirements will be dramatically different. Planning for capacity does not mean planning for infinite capacity, but what may realistically happen.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 216

        Canonical’s latest Ubuntu PR blunder, Mastodon and the fediverse are doing a lot better than some journalists seem to think, yet another telemetry row, the company behind Mycroft is struggling, KDE Korner, and more.   News We now have a Discord server (as well as the Telegram group, Matrix room, and IRC channel).

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDEPlasma 5.27 Beta

          Today we are bringing you the preview version of KDE’s Plasma 5.27 release. Plasma 5.27 Beta is aimed at testers, developers, and bug-hunters. As well as our lightweight and feature rich Linux Desktop this release adds a Bigscreen version of Plasma for use on televisions.

          To help KDE developers iron out bugs and solve issues, install Plasma 5.27 Beta and test run the features listed below. Please report bugs to our bug tracker.

          The final version of Plasma 5.27 will become available for the general public on the 14th of February.

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Plasma 5.27 LTS Desktop Is Out with New Welcome App, Tiling, and More

          Highlights of KDE Plasma 5.27 include a new Plasma Welcome app that helps newcomers to the KDE Plasma desktop environment easily and quickly configure various aspects like enabling Plasma Vaults, connecting their online accounts or mobile devices, adding more apps, etc.

          Another cool new feature in KDE Plasma 5.27 is tiling support for those with a large monitor. Tiling can be enabled and configured by pressing the Meta(Super)+T keyboard shortcut and there are three layouts to choose from. Windows can be placed in the tiled layout by holding Shift and dragging them to the edge of the screen until they stick.

        • Linux MagazineKDE Plasma 5.27 Slated for a Valentine’s Day Release
        • KDEKDE Eco Handbook: “Applying The Blue Angel Criteria To Free Software”

          Today is “I ❤ Free Software!” day and KDE Eco is proud to announce the publication of the first edition of the measurement handbook “Applying The Blue Angel Criteria To Free Software: A Handbook To Certify Software As Sustainable”.

          You can view the handbook at our website, where you can also download the PDF release for offline reading or for sharing with a friend or colleague.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • DebugPointEndeavourOS Scores A Sizable Update with Cassini Neo Release

        EndeavourOS is a popular Arch Linux-based distribution which is easy to install and use. Since the last release in December, the team has worked on adopting new packages and Kernel updates from Arch repo and announced the release of Endeavour Cassini Neo.

        Here’s what’s new.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • CNX SoftwareKiCad 7.0.0 release – Custom fonts, text boxes, SpaceMouse, crash reporting, and much more

        KiCad 7.0.0 open-source EDA software has just been released with a range of new features from custom fonts to 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse integration to opt-in Sentry crash reporting, and many more. It took over three years between KiCad 5.0.0 and KiCad 6.0.0 announcements, but only a little over a year for the release of KiCad 7.0.0. Did KiCad developers acquire superhuman abilities or did AI get involved in the development somehow? Most probably not, and instead they change the release schedule to a yearly one, so we should get annual releases of the open-source EDA suite going forward, with KiCad 8.0.0 to be released in Q1 2024.

      • DietPi v8.14 Release Is Now Available

        The February 11th, 2023 release of DietPi v8.14 comes with a new image for the Radxa ROCK 5B, Odroid N2/HC4, Orange Pi 5 and a couple of improvements and bug fixes.

      • ArduinoThis 3D-printed robot is made for sumo battle tournaments

        While the majority of makers are unable to afford the fancy equipment and components that go into modern state-of-the-art battle robots, there do exist lesser-known tournaments for more DIY designs, including sumo robot battles.

      • Computers Are Badmy homelab

        I have always found the term “homelab” a little confusing. It’s a bit like the residential version of “on-premises cloud,” in that it seems to presuppose that a lab is the normal place that you find computer equipment. Of course I get that “homelab” is usually used by those who take pride in the careful workmanship of their home installation, and I am not one of those people.

        Welcome to Computers Are Bad – in color.

        Note: if you get this by email, the images may or may not work right. We’re going to find out together! I don’t plan to make a habit of including images and they don’t look that good anyway, so I’m not too worried about it.

      • Stacey on IoTHere’s an open source smart home energy management solution

        On a recent Internet of Things Podcast episode, we took a call from our podcast hotline about smart home energy management. Thomas is looking for a whole home energy management solution but he has a specific requirement. He wants it to be open source.

      • Raspberry PiMake a Tide Tracker with APIs and an e-ink display

        Tides are predictable, but it’s still easy to lose track of the times for high and low water. As a result, you might pull up at high tide to find the beach has disappeared… or at low tide, and found your boat grounded. Put an end to that once and for all with our handy tide tracker, which uses an API to download tidal forecasts for more than 600 monitoring stations around the UK. The results shouldn’t be used for navigation or other water-borne activities, but they may be just what you need to save yourself a wasted journey, or to keep an eye on the tide cycles however far you live from the coast.

      • uni GhentReverse engineering an e-ink display

        The person who bought the pricetags wanted to use them in a project, but didn’t find any documentation on how to communicate with them to display things on the screen. They donated three to Zeus with the challenge to get communication working and to draw something on the screen. This is the perfect number of devices according to bunnie’s book ‘The Hardware Hacker’ 1: [...]

      • Ken ShirriffInside the amazingly mechanical Bendix Central Air Data Computer

        Determining the airspeed and altitude of a fighter plane is harder than you’d expect. At slower speeds, pressure measurements can give the altitude, air speed, and other “air data”. But as planes approach the speed of sound, complicated equations are needed to accurately compute these values. The Bendix Central Air Data Computer (CADC) solved this problem for military planes such as the F-101 and the F-111 fighters, and the B-58 bomber.1 This electromechanical marvel was crammed full of 1955 technology: gears, cams, synchros, and magnetic amplifiers. In this blog post I look inside the CADC, describe the calculations it performed, and explain how it performed these calculations mechanically.

      • Tom’s HardwareRaspberry Pi Powered Compute Blade Makes the Cut

        We’ve been tracking this project since mid 2021, and the time has been well spent. Ivan Kuleshov’s Compute Blade is a thin PCB that packs a plethora of storage options for your Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (or compatible). Kuleshov’s kickstarter has smashed its $522,209 funding goal, reaching $673,365 at the time of writing.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Chromium

      • Mozilla

        • Niko Matsakis: Return type notation (send bounds, part 2)

          In theprevious post, I introduced the “send bound” problem, which refers to the need to add aSendbound to the future returned by an async function. I want to start talking about some of the ideas that have been floating around for how to solve this problem. I consider this a bit of an open problem, in that I think we know a lot of the ingredients, but there is a bit of a “delicate balance” to finding the right syntax and so forth. To start with, though, I want to introduce Return Type Notation, which is an idea that Tyler Mandry and I came up with for referring to the type returned by a trait method.

  • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

  • FSF

    • FSFI Love Free Software Day is here: Share your love, software, and a video

      The act of sharing takes effort because sharing anything requires us to take time out of our day to share with another person. It takes compassion because we must think of others and what their wants and/or needs may be. It also takes courage. This is because we must fight against our own doubt, battling against any feelings of failure or rejection. We must also courageously defend the freedom to share, as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) threaten to erode people’s ability and opportunities to share, even among those living under the same roof.

  • Programming/Development

    • Jussi PakkanenJussi Pakkanen: Plain C API design, the real world Kobayashi Maru test

      Designing APIs is hard. Designing good APIs that future people will not instantly classify as “total crap” is even harder. There are typically many competing requirements such as:

      • API stability
      • ABI stability (if you are into that sort of thing, some are not)
      • Maximize the amount of functionality supported
      • Minimize the number of functions exposed
      • Make the API as easy as possible to use
      • Make the API as difficult as possible to use incorrectly (preferably it should be impossible)
      • Make the API as easy as possible to use from scripting languages
    • Barry KaulerContinuing internationalization integrated into easy.sfs

      I posted about the abandonment of langpacks a couple of days ago:


      The last couple of days there has been intense coding,
      implementing the details internationalization integrated into
      easy.sfs, or as a single “nls.sfs”.

      Changes to /usr/local/petget/installpkg.sh, major changes to
      /usr/local/momanager/momanager, and in woofQ changes to
      2createpackages and 3buildeasydistro….

    • Anders BorchSvelte Was Made By Vue Fans

      I actually like the declarative feel of Svelte. I just don’t like that it reminds me of a product which endorses malware. I don’t think that is something to want to emulate.

    • Reilly Tucker SiemensParsing TFTP in Rust

      For those who don’t know, TFTP is the Trivial File Transfer Protocol, a simple means of reading and writing files over a network. Initially defined in the early 80s, the protocol was updated by RFC 1350 in 1992. In this post I’ll only cover RFC 1350. Extensions like RFC 2347, which adds a 6th packet type, won’t be covered.

    • University of TorontoThe case for atomic types in programming languages

      However, I feel that that the lie of atomic types is a genuine improvement in almost all cases, because of the increase in usability and safety. The problem with only having atomic operations is the same as with optional error checking; you have to remember to always use them, even if the types you’re operating on can be used with ordinary operations. As we all know, people can forget this, or they can think that they’re clever enough to use non-atomic operations in this one special circumstance that is surely harmless.

    • RachelMore than five whys and “layer eight” problems

      Perhaps you’ve heard of the OSI model of networking, where you have seven layers as a way to talk about what’s going on in the “stack”. I’ve seen some brilliantly snarky T-shirts that talk about “layer eight” and sometimes beyond as things like “corporate politics” and “management” and all of that good stuff.

      It turns out that when you start doing this root-cause analysis and really keep after it, the “squishy human realm” is actually the no-longer-hypothetical “layer eight” from those T-shirts.

    • New YorkerChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web

      This analogy to lossy compression is not just a way to understand ChatGPT’s facility at repackaging information found on the Web by using different words. It’s also a way to understand the “hallucinations,” or nonsensical answers to factual questions, to which large language models such as ChatGPT are all too prone. These hallucinations are compression artifacts, but—like the incorrect labels generated by the Xerox photocopier—they are plausible enough that identifying them requires comparing them against the originals, which in this case means either the Web or our own knowledge of the world. When we think about them this way, such hallucinations are anything but surprising; if a compression algorithm is designed to reconstruct text after ninety-nine per cent of the original has been discarded, we should expect that significant portions of what it generates will be entirely fabricated.

    • Vincent BernatBuilding a SQL-like language to filter flows

      Often, web interfaces expose a query builder to build such filters. I think combining a SQL-like language with an editor supporting completion, syntax highlighting, and linting is a better approach.

      The language parser is built with pigeon (Go) from a parsing expression grammar—or PEG. The editor component is CodeMirror (TypeScript).

    • Jussi PakkanenPlain C API design, the real world Kobayashi Maru test

      Designing APIs is hard. Designing good APIs that future people will not instantly classify as “total crap” is even harder. There are typically many competing requirements such as: [...]

    • ButtondownMaybe people do care about performance and reliability

      It’s well-established consensus that software is slower and more bloated than it was 20, 40 years ago. One explanation is that software engineers don’t care about their work. Another is that it’s the interplay of a lot of different factors and blaming it on apathetic devs is a convenient way to avoid understanding the actual problems.

    • Python

      • Didier StevensUpdate: xor-kpa.py Version 0.0.7

        I added extra plaintexts for the modulus of Cobalt Strike’s public RSA key. xor-kpa_V0_0_7.zip (http)MD5: FB8155E56234648CC3AFFD890BFE9043SHA256: 069DCA2A1901D448DBF2CF202B5CE49846EFCBAACB73BF35B20AA085AAB31BA9

    • Rust

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

IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 13, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:22 am by Needs Sunlight

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Why Windows Vista 11 Still Sucks

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 12:38 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

My mom’s church friend asked me how to put a widget on the taskbar, and I didn’t know.

So today, I came across some terminology confusion.

Microsoft changed the Windows taskbar around again. More Titanic deck chair re-positioning.

One of their unnecessary changes was the addition of a button called “Widgets”. Unlike the Windows Vista Widgets, this one has nothing to do with desktop Widgets.

It instead resides on the taskbar and pops up a bunch of spam from MSN.

Vista 11 screenshot 1

Like Samsung and certain Web browsers, Microsoft has a bunch of tasteless robonews.

They fired dozens of people who used to curate news for MSN and decided to have a robot program do it instead. Not because the results will be better, but because they don’t have to pay them.

They can set their browser and their operating system to shovel this trash into the face of the user and lob in a ton of junk “articles” about credit cards and mortgages, shopping, buying cars, etc. The news is peppered in almost as an afterthought, and the whole thing is really very crowded.

When you have a captive audience, quality is not your main consideration.

My next hurdle. Windows 11 has made no improvements at all to the general flakiness of Windows Update, which throws cryptic error numbers that don’t mean anything and result in Web searches to no avail.

Vista 11 screenshot 2

If you know what an Install Error 0x800f0922 is, please tell me.

And in case you’re wondering, Internet Explorer is what you see in the background, because it’s still there. In fact, you can even make a new icon that launches it and bypasses Microsoft Edge if you really want to.

I tried to run something called “DISM” in an “elevated command prompt” to “restore health”, and the thing is stuck and so that’s nice. I probably just broke Windows five minutes after installing it using a troubleshooting tool.

Well, as least nothing has changed except there’s a coat of paint on Windows 10.

I’m running a Windows Update Troubleshooter right now.

Anyway, it doesn’t speak well of an operating system when you just installed it, and already things are flaking out and all you were trying to do was install some updates.

On GNU/Linux this has basically been a solved problem for decades. In fact, I can’t recall the last time DNF got hosed in Fedora. I don’t even think there is a troubleshooting wizard. But it’s worked so well that I wouldn’t know.

Windows Update Troubleshooter finished and gave me this:

IsPostback: False

Issue found by:BinaryHealthPlugin;DynamicProtectionPlugin;AutomaticCorruptionRepairPlugin

IsPostback: True

InformationalService Status
Problem with BITS service : The requested service has already been started. System.Management.Automation.RemoteException More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2182. System.Management.Automation.RemoteException

InformationalService Status
Problem with BITS service : The requested service has already been started. System.Management.Automation.RemoteException More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2182. System.Management.Automation.RemoteException

-Windows Update “Troubleshooter” (More questions than answers.)

To get Windows 11 installed at all, I had to run a bypass on the check for “Secure Boot”, and “TPM 2.0”.

This turned out to be little more than opening RegEdit from a command prompt before setup could proceed and adding some “DWORD” values I found online after giving up on getting sw-tpm to work with GNOME Boxes.

After this, the “Your PC isn’t supported.” message with the Microsoft link simply went away and setup resumed. It didn’t even put a watermark on the desktop.

Basically, Microsoft only added this to make people go out and buy a new computer, and it didn’t work. It just stymied Windows 11 instead, as people continued using 10, switching to GNU/Linux, or buying a Chromebook or Mac, as they have in a yearslong trend already.

I was actually disappointed to see that after taking extra time to bypass these requirements, Windows 11 is such utter trash that they still haven’t even bothered to actually remove Internet Explorer or fix the Windows Update problems that have been around since Windows 8, where the whole thing just gets jammed up and won’t tell you why.

“You need security updates, but you can’t install them. Why? So glad you asked. 0x800f0922 is why. Not even Microsoft will tell you how you fix it. Go look!” It’s all a guess.

Is it really any wonder why there’s so many malware incidents on Windows given that it’s so broken that probably many millions couldn’t install the security patches if they wanted to? I don’t think that it is.

So I came across a list of nine things that “may” fix this, because nobody really knows for sure, and I’m trying them all. First up is “Install .NET Framework 3.5” because Windows Update might get jammed up without it. Well, if that’s the case, why wouldn’t the OS come with it? So I told it to install. Windows Update is getting that, but won’t install a security update from last year? Interesting.

Well, Windows failed to do that too. The interesting thing about Windows 11 so far is that the sound it makes when it informs you that it fails to do something sounds phonetically similar to the word “boogaloo”. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

So I ran sfc /scannow and it said something about finding corrupt files and repairing them.

Yeah, why wouldn’t an OS that’s been installed for like an hour be corrupt already? It’s not like I’ve used Linux installs for ten years….oh wait I have.

So I rebooted and tried again and the update still wouldn’t install.

Finally, I find an obscure part of Microsoft’s Web site that explains that this last problem update is a Secure Boot dbx update, which is basically a revocation list for bootloaders they don’t want to work anymore. In a normal Windows install, Microsoft just reaches in and updated the dbx in the firmware. It can only go forward, not backward, and the user isn’t really supposed to know that it happens.

In fact, I turned Linux Vendor Firmware Service off on my Fedora (host OS) install on my computer because I don’t want Microsoft reaching into my firmware.

So I just wasted almost an hour trying to figure out a Windows Update problem that gave no indication it was caused by being in a VM.

Of course the VM’s dbx can’t be updated. It’s a VM! It uses TianoCore to simulate a uEFI firmware. I bypassed TPM and Secure Boot to get Windows 11 installed.

Anyway, this doesn’t excuse why you need multiple reboots to get everything else installed, which is a problem I’ve seen on real Windows installs since Windows 8 was around.

Windows should also tell you exactly what’s in a security update as part of a description, and a plain English reason why it won’t install. Why is this so difficult?

Microsoft has abused the “security update” process a number of times to sneak in things that have nothing to do with security, and now they waste your time if you use Windows as a VM Guest.

I got a pop-up talking about “carbon awareness” in Windows Update. They’ve shifted the updates to take place overnight apparently. Considering that there are so many broken updates for Windows that even Bleeping Computer never runs out of topics, (including yet another broken Intel graphics driver the other day), that means starting your morning with failed updates and glitches instead of updating your computer manually every now and then when it would be more convenient if something were to happen. Like I do.

And again, DNF in Fedora always works and I haven’t had any major complaints with it lately.

Maybe once every 5 or 6 years I’ll get a visible bug after updating something, but I never get a trashed computer that I can’t just, you know, go back to the last working kernel for a while.

I feel like given 10 years to fix all of the problems in Windows 8, Microsoft should have done something about Updates by now. But nooooooo.

There’s still bits and pieces of Windows XP and IE floating around in here.

Oh, you’ve been told it’s dead, dead, dead, but nope.

Vista 11 screenshot 3

Internet Explorer Mode in Edge is the default way to get at stubborn old pages that only work in IE.

But the entire Internet Explorer browser is in there, and you can even make a working link to it again with a little doing. (Microsoft has it rigged so that iexplore.exe usually loads Edge, but there are command switches that make it load IE instead).

Again, this is the latest version of Windows 11. There’s Internet Explorer.

Microsoft fixes some security bugs and makes sure HTTPS doesn’t quit working, but other than that, it’s been rotting for years.

Ironically, the one reason I kept Windows 10 in a VM (until today) was that I needed IE to access one corporate Intranet site and the company in question is one of the ten largest in America.

There’s not a heck of a lot that really stands out about Windows 11 as far as what’s changed since Windows 10. It looks a little different, but that’s about all.

A slight visual refresh to make it look more like a Chromebook, on top of the rotting guts of Windows. Mmmmmm. And to make things even better, it demands at least twice as much RAM and the installer is about twice as large (so it managed to get fatter too).

There’s not a lot of stuff here to differentiate it from its “predecessor”.

Honestly, this is even less of an update to Windows 10 than Windows Me was to Windows 98.

In Windows Me, there was at least an argument that Windows needed a refresh to handle new devices like digital cameras and some overhauled system tools.

Windows 11 is pretty much Windows 10 with rounded corners.

Especially considering that Microsoft backported almost everything to Windows 10, I’m actually not amused with everything I had to bypass just to get it into a virtual machine. When I tried installing it into VirtualBox (a different VM), it simply managed to cause my display manager to crash, kicking me out to the GNOME login screen. I tried a few more times but it never even managed to boot into the setup program like Windows 10 did, despite Oracle claiming VirtualBox 7 was Windows 11 compatible.

I’ve used a lot of operating systems, including some weird ones.

Quite frankly, Windows does not impress me because it doesn’t seem like a product that a software company on the S&P 500 should release, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why users spend hours trying to figure it out and hundreds of dollars taking their computer to repair shops and cleaning up after malware attacks just to avoid learning GNU/Linux or at least getting a Chromebook, which even on a bad day, works and takes care of itself in the background.

It’s 2023 everywhere but Microsoft.

Every once in a while I like fooling around with the latest Windows because when you close the VM and go back to Fedora and Brave, it makes you appreciate what you have.

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