Links 24/02/2023: EasyOS Progress and China Claims It Wants Ukraine Ceasefire

Posted in News Roundup at 1:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Make Use Of Linux 6.2 Makes Apple Silicon Support Official
      • LWNThe extensible scheduler class

        It was only a matter of time before somebody tried to bring BPF to the kernel’s CPU scheduler. At the end of January, Tejun Heo posted the second revision of a 30-part patch series, co-written with David Vernet, Josh Don, and Barret Rhoden, that does just that. There are clearly interesting things that could be done by deferring scheduling decisions to a BPF program, but it may take some work to sell this idea to the development community as a whole.

        The core idea behind BPF is that it allows programs to be loaded into the kernel from user space at run time; using BPF for scheduling has the potential to enable significantly different scheduling behavior than is seen in Linux systems now. The idea of “pluggable” schedulers is not new; it came up in this 2004 discussion of yet another doomed patch series from Con Kolivas, for example. At that time, the idea of pluggable schedulers was strongly rejected; only by focusing energy on a single scheduler, it was argued, could the development community find a way to satisfy all workloads without filling the kernel with a confusion of special-purpose schedulers.

      • LWNA proposed threat model for confidential computing [Ed: Linux getting infected by fake "privacy" for the clown computing ploy]

        The field of confidential computing is still in its infancy, to the point where it lacks a clear, agreed, and established problem description. Elena Reshetova and Andi Kleen from Intel recently started the conversation by sharing their view of a potential threat model in the form of this document, which is specific to the Intel Trust Domain Extension (TDX) on Linux, but which is intended to be applicable to other confidential-computing solutions as well. The resulting conversation showed that there is some ground to be covered to achieve a consensus on the model in the community.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksMachine Learning in Linux: astroML – statistical data analysis in astronomy and astrophysics

        In essence, Machine Learning is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn insights from that data, and then make a determination or prediction. The machine is ‘trained’ using huge amounts of data.

        In other words, Machine Learning is about building programs with tunable parameters (typically an array of floating point values) that are adjusted automatically so as to improve their behavior by adapting to previously seen data.

        astroML is a Python module for machine learning and data mining built on NumPy, SciPy, scikit-learn, matplotlib, and Astropy.

        The aim of the project is to offer a repository of Python implementations of common tools and routines used for statistical data analysis in astronomy and astrophysics, and to provide a uniform and easy-to-use interface to freely available astronomical datasets.

      • Linux LinksMachine Learning in Linux: Software Apps

        This is a new series looking at practical applications of Machine Learning from a Linux perspective. We only feature free and open source software in this series.

        Let’s clear up one potential source of confusion at the outset. What’s the difference between Machine Learning and Deep Learning? The two terms mean different things.

        In essence, Machine Learning is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn insights from that data, and then make a determination or prediction. The machine is ‘trained’ using huge amounts of data.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • GamingOnLinuxChimeraOS 39 released switching to the new Steam Big Picture Mode

        ChimeraOS, the Linux distribution designed for couch gaming much like SteamOS, has version 39 out now. This is the first release since Valve swapped to the New Big Picture Mode from the Steam Deck. Designed very much to be just like SteamOS, except with a bunch of added extras, it boots directly into Steam Big Picture Mode.

      • GamingOnLinuxNew Steam Desktop and Steam Deck Beta includes various controller fixes

        Another fresh Beta update is now available for Steam Deck and Steam Desktop, pulling in some good sounding fixes for various controllers. According to both changelogs, it’s the same across both since they’re now sharing most things since the new Big Picture Mode has been moved over to desktop (although they’re still cleaning all the Steam Deck specific bits from it).

      • GamingOnLinuxNo Man’s Sky Fractal gets a VR overhaul, new Expedition, Gyro update

        No Man’s Sky has another big update out now that includes an overhaul of quite a few features like much better VR support, and a new Expedition. The game continues to run nicely on Steam Deck and Linux Desktop with Proton.

      • GamingOnLinuxValve reveals a whole bunch of upcoming Steam Sales

        Valve has now revealed most of their upcoming big Steam Sales and Steam Fests, here’s all the details. They’re giving out all the dates, to enable developers to get in early on planning a year of promotional activities. Nice that it’s public, as it gives us normal people the ability to build up our wallets ready to unload them on Valve for some new goodies.

      • GamingOnLinuxTotally Accurate Battlegrounds now works on Linux and Steam Deck

        Totally Accurate Battlegrounds got upgraded recently due to needing to implement new anti-cheat, and thanks to that this free to play game now works on Linux Desktop and Steam Deck.

      • GamingOnLinuxStellaris: First Contact releasing March 14th with a free update

        Paradox have announced that the Stellaris: First Contact Story Pack will be releasing on March 14th, along with the Canis Minor free update for all players.

      • GamingOnLinuxCheck out the Safe in Our World Charity Bundle 2023

        Mental health charity, Safe In Our World, which focuses on the video game industry has teamed up with Fanatical for a full charity bundle full of games. 100% of the proceeds go to Safe In Our World.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • EasyOS

    • BSD

      • Ruben Schadersync(1) on FreeBSD with a modern Walkman

        One of the primary draws to a modern Walkman is that it presents as a generic storage device, meaning my FreeBSD tower can now act as a media hub, rather than relying on dedicated software like iTunes or Apple Music.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • OpenSUSERuby Default Switches in Tumbleweed

        This week’s openSUSE Tumbleweed roundup will look at five snapshots that have been released since last Friday.

        Snapshots include switching the default Ruby for the rolling release along with software updates for packages like pidgin, parole, OpenSSL, php, sudo, tigervnc and more.

        Snapshot, 20230222 updated just four packages. The major release of gnu-unifont-fonts 15.0.01 arrived in the snapshot and it introduced a couple new subpackages and cleaned up the spec file. The curses emulation library ncurses 6.4.20230218 added a patch and provided some configuration script improvements. The ibus-m17n 1.4.19 update added a parrot icon emoji and made some Weblate translations for the Sinhala language, which is spoken in Sri Lanka. There was also an update for Ark Logic video cards with the xf86-video-ark 0.7.6 update, which brings a decade worth of accumulated changes that has the ability to build against xorg-server 1.14 and newer out of the box.

    • Fedora / Red Hat / IBM

      • Jakub SteinerFlathub Brand Refresh

        While Flatpak itself is an architecturally decentralized way to distribute apps, Flathub embraces the convenience for people to come to one place to install apps. There’s some fairly big changes coming to Flathub that I’m extremely excited about, that will make sure the new wave of Linux apps doesn’t fizzle out and we’ll maintain a sustainable application ecosystem.

      • Enterprisers ProjectArtificial intelligence: 6 tips to get started
      • Enterprisers Project5 Harvard Business Review articles that will resonate with CIOs right now
      • LWNAn overview of single-purpose Linux distributions

        Akashdeep Dhar and Sumantro Mukherjee, who are both members of the Fedora Council and work at Red Hat as software engineers, explained how they use Fedora CoreOS as the base operating system to run multiplayer game servers in containers. As described in its documentation, Fedora CoreOS is “an automatically updating, minimal, monolithic, container-focused operating system”.

        Fedora CoreOS (sometimes abbreviated FCOS) provides the host operating system for these containers; it only includes those packages that are needed for a minimal networking-enabled and container-ready setup. At the time of this writing, the latest stable release had 415 packages. It supports the x86_64, aarch64 (including the Raspberry Pi 4), and s390x architectures; it runs on bare metal, virtualized, or on various cloud platforms.

        A Fedora CoreOS machine is provisioned using Ignition, which is a tool that partitions disks, formats partitions, enables systemd units, and configures users. Ignition only runs once during the first boot of the system, from the initramfs. An Ignition configuration file is formatted as JSON, but for end users Fedora CoreOS recommends using a Butane configuration, which is a YAML file that Butane translates into an Ignition configuration. The “System Configuration” section in Fedora CoreOS’s documentation shows some examples of how to configure storage, network, containers, users and groups, time zones, and more in a Butane configuration. In their talk, Dhar and Mukherjee showed a Butane configuration to set up a Minecraft server in a container, and they also published it in their GitHub repository.

        When installing Fedora CoreOS, you choose one of three update streams. “Next” is for experimenting with new features, “testing” represents what is coming in the next stable stream, and “stable” is the stream with changes that have spent a time in the testing stream. Most end users should choose the stable stream. You refer to the Ignition file with your customizations, in a manner that depends on your installation type. For instance, when installing from PXE you append the coreos.inst.ignition_url=URL option to the kernel, referring it to the location of the Ignition file on a web server.

      • Red Hat OfficialBuild a Grafana dashboard to visualize data using Ansible and Podman

        Examine your data in a user-friendly dashboard that shows multiple views of the same data.

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly update – Week 8

        This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat.

        We provide you both infographics and text version of the weekly report. If you just want to quickly look at what we did, just look at the infographic. If you are interested in more in depth details look below the infographic.

      • Fedora MagazineFedora Magazine: rpmdistro-repoquery: a cross-distribution repoquery tool

        This article showcases rpmdistro-repoquery, and describes how to use it to simplify doing RPM-based package operations across multiple distributions. This does not require using SSH to log into another host or starting a container or VM.


        Whether you’re a packager, system administrator, or a user of Fedora Linux, CentOS Stream, or their derivatives (RHEL, AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux etc.), you might already be familiar with dnf repoquery. This tool allows you to query the repositories configured on the system for information about available packages, whether or not they are currently installed on the local machine.

        This is great, within limits. For instance, on Fedora Linux, you can query packages built for stable and branched Fedora Linux releases and, if you install fedora-repos-rawhide, packages in the development branch. Sufficient care is required to make sure you don’t enable repos meant for different Fedora Linux releases by default and thus accidentally upgrade the running system.

      • SparkFun Electronics Dr. Mark Dean and the Personal Computer

        Prior to 1980, IBM had mainly been known for manufacturing computers for businesses to use, and they were falling behind in the market for at-home microcomputers where companies like Apple, Tandy and Commodore were excelling. Other large companies like HP were starting to enter the space, and IBM buyers were buying Apple devices for at-home computers. IBM got to work with designing the first PC.

        Mark Dean is an inventor and engineer who had a long career with IBM. During that time, he was part of the race to design the first personal computer and holds three of the nine patents associated with IBM’s first PC.

    • Debian Family

      • OMG! LinuxRaspberry Pi OS Update Adds New Touchscreen Driver

        The first update to the official operating system for Raspberry Pi devices in 5 months features a handful of interesting changes, new drivers, and always-important bug fixes.

        Chief amongst the changes is a new touchscreen driver available from the Screen Resolution tool, which also sees some ‘minor’ UI changes. There’s also support for a new msdri3 video driver, and the kms++-utils package is now included by default (saving you an apt install).

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • GamingOnLinuxUbuntu flavours to drop Flatpak by default and stick to Snaps

        Canonical has announced a change in the packaging defaults for the various “flavours” like Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie and so on to exclude Flatpak and stick with Snap. Yes that’s flavours, not flavors but also flavors in the announcement.

      • Ubuntu NewsUbuntu 22.04.2 LTS released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

      • Ubuntu FridgeThe Fridge: Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS released
      • LubuntuLubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 22.04.2 LTS is Released!

        Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 22.04.2 LTS has been released. With the codename Jammy Jellyfish, Lubuntu 22.04 is the 22nd release of Lubuntu, the eighth release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment.

      • UbuntuHarnessing the potential of 5G with Kubernetes

        Harnessing the potential of 5G with Kubernetes 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology which is transforming the way we connect and communicate. With data transfer speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G technology enables faster download and upload times, lower latency and a higher number of connected devices.

      • UbuntuWhat is real-time Linux? Part I

        Welcome to this three-part blog series on real-time Linux. Throughout the series, we will assess the key features of a real-time system. We will understand how a real-time capable Linux kernel differs from mainline, and touch upon the performance trade-offs you should consider when choosing real-time versus a low-latency kernel, for instance.

      • UbuntuClosed loop architecture and persistent volumes for network functions – Highlights in OSM release THIRTEEN

        Open Source MANO (OSM) has announced its thirteenth version which is supported for six months (short-term support). This release targets feature enhancements for VNF vendors residing in the OSM ecosystem. It features new scalable architecture for service assurance and closed-loop operations, using Apache Airflow and Prometheus. It is capable of handling service assurance scenarios including auto scaling and auto healing in cloud environments and various edge locations. Additional features include enhancements in the deployment of Network Services (NS), execution environments, life cycle management (LCM), air-gapped installation, improved persistent volume management, and a few advancements in the OSM client.

        Service providers are adopting new technologies such as 5G and IoT, each with its own set of needs. OSM is model-driven and offers convenience in designing complex network functions (NFs) having interconnectivity with each other. The reusability of NFs abstracts the underlying details of network function virtualisation (NFV). On the whole, release THIRTEEN’s new features offer opportunities for service providers to address scalability challenges and expand their range of orchestration features.

      • LWNNo more Flatpak (by default) in Ubuntu Flavors

        The Ubuntu Flavors offerings (Kubuntu and the like) have decided that the way to improve the user experience is to put more emphasis on the Snap package format.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosFirefly launches 8K AI Core board in BGA package

        Firefly mentions that they will provide support for Android 12.0, Ubuntu, Debian 11, Buildroot, RTLinux and Kylin Linux. It appears that the Resource page for this device isn’t available yet.

        There might be a compatible development board for the Core-3588SG that looks similar to the ROC-RK3588S-PC as shown above, but there isn’t much information available on the product page.

      • CNX SoftwareSONOFF MINI Extreme (MINIR4) ESP32 WiFi smart switch can fit into most gang boxes

        SONOFF MINI Extreme (aka MINIR4) is a ridiculously small WiFi smart switch based on ESP32 wireless microcontroller and designed to be connected to a load such as a light bulb and a wall switch that can be a momentary switch, a door exit switch, an SPDT switch, a latching switch, or even dry contact sensors. The tiny form factor (39.5×33 x16.8mm) enables the WiFi smart switch to fit into various boxes, even the smaller European gang boxes.

      • CNX SoftwareEmbit EMB-LR1280-mPCIe-4x is a 2.4GHz LoRa mPCIe module based on Semtech SX1280 chipset

        Embit EMB-LR1280-mPCIe-4x is an mPCIe (mini PCIe) module based on four Semtech SX1280 2.4 GHz LoRa transceivers and designed for OEM gateways that can work worldwide thanks to the use of the 2.4GHz ISM band and supports ranging. We first covered 2.4GHz LoRa and the SX1280 transceiver two years ago as a solution to design region-independent products specially suited to maritime and intercontinental logistics applications.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ArduinoControlling a model railroad with a vintage Atari ST

        Rossignol’s model railroad features DCC (Digital Command Control), which controls the amount of power and its polarity going to the tracks, as well as switches. Rossignol just needed a way for his Atari to communicate with the DCC. For that, he chose an Arduino Mega 2560 board. The Atari talks to the Arduino via an RS232-to-TTL converter, and the Arduino, in turn, talks to Rossignol’s DCC-EX via I2C.

      • PurismUpdate on Librem-EC 1.12

        Librem-EC 1.12 for the Librem 14 has been released with a fix to the PL4 power limit to address sudden shutoffs that still remained in the 1.11 release.  Once again, the issue was in a subtle corner case, which we were able to identify with help from testers.  Update to 1.12 with our update instructions, and check out the source code. Thank you to all those who helped us troubleshoot and fix this issue!

      • PurismLapdock Kit: Transform your Librem 5 into a laptop

        The Lapdock Kit allows you to experience the full potential of the Librem 5 and the Nexdock 360 while getting expert support from the Purism support team. Have all of your apps and all of your data in one device that can fit in your pocket and act like a phone when you need it to, but then transform into a laptop when you want to type out an email, do some image editing or watch a video on a larger screen.

      • Raspberry PiDesert Eye 2.0 robot | The MagPi #127

        Desert Eye is also a great showcase for Raspberry Pi 4, which Aviv chose for its video processing capabilities – “a large consideration in this robot” – as well as controlling its motion and communications. Aside from the cameras, Raspberry Pi 4 controls the two main DC motors, a stepper motor so the camera can rotate while being stabilised, the GPS and wireless connectivity, and a three-axis sensor and fan.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • OpenSource.com5 open source tools to take control of your own data

      These are just a few services you can install on any Linux PC or laptop. You need a server that’s always on to ensure your services are constantly available. That doesn’t necessitate a major investment, though. You can use many kinds of computers as Linux servers. The easiest and most inexpensive is a Raspberry Pi, which has excellent support with a helpful and enthusiastic community.

      Getting a Raspberry Pi set up is “as easy as pie,” thanks to the Raspberry Pi imager. It only needs about 5W of power, so it doesn’t take much energy to keep it running. There are many similar low-powered devices, including the Odroid, Orange Pi, and Rockpi.

      You can also install Linux on any PC or laptop and run it as a server. It’s a great way to repurpose old computers.

    • Linux Links7 Best Free and Open Source Virtual Globes

      Google Earth is a very popular virtual globe app. While it’s available for Linux the software is freeware, and therefore not open source. In this article we recommend the best free and open source virtual globe software. We also include related software in this roundup.

      While none of the software applications featured in this article have all of the features offered by Google Earth (although some offer some different features), and they are not exactly comparable, they are all worthy of investigating.

    • JoinupLuxembourg launches open source chat for officials and citizens

      The Luxchat services provide end-to-end encryption and retain all messages in decentralised servers located in Luxembourg. Luxchat and Luxchat4Gov will offer the same features, but the infrastructures are kept separate, as the government version is intended for professional use in the public sector.

    • Gregory HammondMy experience going viral on Mastodon

      I learned that you can’t keep up with your notifications when this happens (especially if you don’t check them that often). You just have to accept it.

    • PowerDNSFirst Release Candidate of PowerDNS DNSdist 1.8.0

      We are very happy to release the first candidate of what will become dnsdist 1.8.0!

      This release contains a significant amount of changes since the last major release, 1.7.0, which was released a bit over a year ago. We try to stick to a major release every six months, but this one took a bit longer than expected as we tackled a few challenges: [...]

    • Terence EdenSignal’s new(ish) URI Scheme

      Sadly, they’ve taken the same xenophobic attitude as GitHub and insist that only good ol’ American letters and numbers can be used. No fancy accents, right-to-left languages, or Korean Hangul.

      Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if this prompts a surge in Signal take-up. Especially important as Signal are dropping SMS support

    • PowerDNSFirst Release Candidate of PowerDNS DNSdist 1.8.0

      Hello! We are very happy to release the first candidate of what will become dnsdist 1.8.0!

    • LWNNASA and open-source software

      From the moon landing to the James Webb Space Telescope and many other scientific missions, software is critical for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sharing information has also been in the DNA of the space agency from the beginning. As a result, NASA also contributes to and releases open-source software and open data. In a keynote at FOSDEM 2023, Science Data Officer Steve Crawford talked about NASA and open-source software, including the challenges NASA has faced in using open source and the agency’s recent initiatives to lower barriers.

      Software has always been a big part of NASA’s work. Who hasn’t seen the photo of computer scientist Margaret Hamilton next to a hard-copy stack of the Apollo software she and her team at MIT produced? The stack of code is as tall as she is. In 2016, the original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer source code for the command and lunar modules was published on GitHub in the public domain. You can even compile the code and run it in a simulator.

    • Events

      • FSFECall for Papers for foss-north open (Gothenburg, April 2023)

        foss-north is a Free Software conference in Gothenburg that brings together Nordic Free Software communities. This year, the Free Software Foundation Europe is organising a track covering political and legal aspects of Free Software, as well as best practices from Scandinavia. We’re looking forward to your contribution by March 5!

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Daniel StenbergRestocked on stickers

        I attended FOSDEM 2023 and over the two days of conference I gave away well over a thousand curl stickers. Every last curl sticker I had in my possession.

    • Education

      • AdafruitHeadlamp for BSA Electronics Merit Badge #3DPrinting

        This is a headlamp I designed to be used to complete the BSA Electronics Merit Badge. All you should need to complete the merit badge is included in the PowerPoint slides that are also included. It takes about 3 hours to finish all the requirements. You could also use this to teach anyone about basic circuit design using KCL and KVL.

    • FSF

    • Programming/Development

      • Ruben SchadeChatGPT shovelware was inevitable

        Last September, Dan Olson of Folding Ideas released a documentary about a pair of grifters who underpaid gig-econonmy ghost writers to churn out audio book spam. The books are designed to exploit trending topics in Audible in lieu of any expertise, and achieve “passive income” with as little effort (on your part) as possible: [...]

      • EarthlyEarthly CI: Launching a new era for CI

        After digging deeper and swapping notes with software engineers daily for the last 3 years, here’s what we believe are the stickiest CI/CD situations developers face daily.

      • Anders BorchMonorepos Lead To Bad Developer Culture

        A monorepo is a version controlled code repository that contains many projects. Although these projects may be related, they are usually logically separate and maintained by different teams.

        The opposite of a monorepo is a multirepo, where each project is stored in a completely separate, versioned repository. Multirepos come naturally – most of us do it when we start a new project.

        At first glance, choosing between monorepos and multirepos may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a decision that will greatly affect your company’s development workflow.

      • IdiomdrottningFederation and forges

        Having a forge set up to provide a fancy schmancy UI around send-email (like sourcehut) and/or pull-request would solve everything. No need for ForgeFed when we’ve already got email.

        There are three use-case a good forge needs to support.

      • Joe BrockmeierJoe Brockmeier: The right way to name music files and my Picard file-naming script

        Last year I got deep into using MusicBrainz Picard to help tag music before I add it to my collection. The MusicBrainz database is fantastic, and it saves me a lot of time tweaking metadata. Most of the time I can just look up an album and it finds the correct info automagically. As an added bonus, it’ll rename the files so that the folder and filenames all match the same scheme. You know, the right way to name and organize music files.

        Random filenames

        I think I downloaded my first MP3 somewhere around 1997, using a super-speedy 56K modem. This was when you had to have a download manager for huge downloads that measured in the multiple megabytes, and a 1GB disk drive would be consider spacious.

        My MP3 collection grew pretty slowly, since portable MP3 players were still a few years off and CDs were still the most convenient way to listen to music. Digital downloads were just for novelty or rarities that I couldn’t get on CD like some unofficial Tori Amos tracks off a fan page.

        My collection grew slowly and organically, and there wasn’t much organization to it. Eventually I got a Creative Nomad player the size of portable CD player. It had, I think, a whopping 6GB of space. Eventually I got an iPod and kept adding to the collection.

        The correct directory (folder) and filename scheme for MP3s, FLACs, and other music files

        At some point, after the collection passed the 200GB mark, the digital mess started bugging me and I started experimenting with naming schemes and attempts to clean up the structure and tagging of all the files.

      • KDABFMA Woes

        Given a strictly positive integer i, this code will calculate i+1 “equally spaced” values between 1 and 0:

        const double scale = 1.0 / i;
        for (int j = 0; j <= i; ++j) {
        const double r = 1.0 - j * scale;
        assert(r >= 0);

        If you’re looking for a trap, this does actually work for any i > 0. One can verify it experimentally; run the code with i from 1 to INT_MAX.

        For simplicity, just consider the case j = i (the maximum for j, in the last loop of iteration above):

        const double scale = 1.0 / i;
        const double r = 1.0 - i * scale;
        assert(r >= 0);
      • FLOSS Weekly 720: Fostering an Open Source Culture – Aurn Gupta on Generative AI, OpenJDK, CNCF

        Arun Gupta, VP and General Manager of Open Ecosystems at Intel Corporation, joins Doc Searls and Simon Phipps on this episode of FLOSS Weekly. Gupta has been an open source strateg…

      • Telemetry required? Ask users first!

        In this article, I will discuss the recent problems with compiling LibreOffice using Microsoft Visual Studio, things that I did to debug and find the root cause, the source of problem itself – which is problems in Microsoft’s telemetry – and how I could fix it.

      • Rust

        • Rust BlogGovernance Reform RFC Announcement [Ed: Rust outsourced some more to proprietary Microsoft stuff]
        • LWNAn RFC for governance of the Rust project [Ed: Microsoft already controls the development process, in proprietary prison (GitHub), so why not also outsource governance to Microsoft? Rust is hopeless.]

          The Rust community has been working to reform its governance model; that work is now being presented as a draft document describing how that model will work.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchCaravaggio/Poussin: The Politics of Art History Writing

      Our visual culture, focused on art of the immediate present, identifies three old masters as grand culture heroes: Piero della Francesca; Vermeer; and of course Caravaggio. (And now, Artemisia Gentileschi also belongs on that short list, as a feminist hero. ) Almost nothing is known about the lives of Piero and Vermeer, but we know something about Caravaggio (1573-1610). And this relatively short lived, gay, violent superstar, a rebel as if sent from central casting, inspires not only art historical research, but fictional biographies and even movies. A quarter of a century ago, I summarized this literature, little knowing how much was still to be written. A great deal more is known about Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). We have, for example, his extensive correspondence. He is most famous nowadays for saying that Caravaggio came into the world to destroy painting. Indeed, one French book about Caravaggio is simply called: To Destroy Painting. But unlike Caravaggio, Poussin doesn’t have a mystique. And outside of France, he isn’t a culture hero.

      Caravaggio and Poussin never met, for by the time that Poussin got to Italy Caravaggio had died. Caravaggio has a great story. His fame is justified. But recent research has revealed that Poussin, too, has a story, which deserves to be better known. Born in Northern France, it took him some years to make his way to Rome, which was the center of the European art world in the way that in the 1940s New York City was the epicenter of ours. Poussin arrived only in his late twenties. Along the way he painted some pictures, which recently have been rediscovered. One of these early works, The Sack and Destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem by Titus (1625-6), discovered in a London auction house by the famous connoisseur, Denis Mahon, has found an appropriate home, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. This large picture is recognizably in the style of Poussin’s later best known history paintings. A number of other early works, Sleeping Venus and Cupid and Venus (or a Nymph) Spied On by Satyr are two, from this period are more puzzling. They have been questioned for an interesting reason: these frankly lascivious scenes, textbook examples of male voyeurism, seem inconsistent , as one catalogue puts it, with “the conventional view of Poussin as an austere and serious artist.” And just last year the museum at Lyons presented an exhibition centered around another recently rediscovered work, also found in a London auction, La Mort de Chioné (1622). The subject is rare and disconcerting: Chione, who was the lover of Apollo and Hermes, vainly compared her own beauty to that of Artemis, and so Apollo’s sister killed her by shooting an arrow through her tongue. Learning that this painting was made in Lyons, it’s possible to fill in some of the gaps in Poussin’s early movements to Rome.

    • New York TimesTurkish Builders Come Under Intense Scrutiny Over Shoddy Construction

      More than 43,000 deaths in Turkey from an earthquake have raised painful and angry questions over whether some of those fatalities could have been avoided with better building standards.

    • Thousands of İstanbulites request earthquake inspection after Maraş quakes, says official

      The devastating earthquakes on February 6 revived the fears of an anticipated powerful earthquake in the metropolis.

    • France24View from Aleppo: ‘Syrians are angry with the West’ over lack of earthquake aid

      With international aid still struggling to reach Syria two weeks after the devastating February 6 earthquakes, calls are mounting for Western countries to lift diplomatic sanctions on the Syrian regime and facilitate the flow of aid. A local doctor helping the humanitarian efforts in Aleppo, in northwestern Syria, tells FRANCE 24 that people feel abandoned by the West.

    • teleSUREarthquake of Magnitude 6.8 Strikes Eastern Tajikistan

      Several aftershocks followed the initial earthquake, which was felt at 05H37 local time

    • The AtlanticWhen a Christian Revival Goes Viral

      As of this Friday, the university will no longer hold public worship services. “I have been asked if Asbury is ‘stopping’ this outpouring of God’s Spirit and the stirring of human hearts,” the university president said in a statement. “I have responded by pointing out that we cannot stop something we did not start.” Indeed, the phenomenon has been reported to have spread to other schools, including Samford University, Lee University, and Cedarville University.

    • Counter PunchA Looming Book of Soul Fragments

      Confession: I have a few books out there that no one knows about because I haven’t written them . . . well, finished them.

      I’ve talked in previous columns about “wrestling with infinity” — the match I always lose — by which I mean, picking a subject too large to reduce to words and eventually getting hopelessly lost in it, e.g.: shifting human consciousness, transcending what we think we know, truly creating peace (whatever that is).

    • Geshan 5 similarities between software systems and being married (read with a pinch of salt)

      Software systems and marriages have many things in common and there are differences too. In this post, you will learn about 5 things that are similar in both software systems and marriages, let’s get going!

    • Science

      • IDAYnys Enlli named first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Wales, United Kingdom

        YNYS ENLLI, Wales, UK – Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), north Wales, has received International Dark Sky Sanctuary (IDSS) certification from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

      • Omicron LimitedMushrooms could help replace plastics in new high-performance ultra-light materials

        A research group from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has unlocked the secret behind the extraordinary mechanical properties and ultra-light weight of certain fungi. The complex architectural design of mushrooms could be mimicked and used to create new materials to replace plastics. The research results were published on February 22, 2023, in Science Advances.

      • QuilletteThe Overregulation of Science

        Forces that discourage brilliant action and timely investigation of hypotheses are bad for science. One such force is excessive regulation. When rules and regulations are illogical and overly burdensome, their primary effect is to dampen enthusiasm for research and to delay scientific progress. In the realm of medical research with human subjects, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is often the culprit. To get a sense of the costs of over-regulation by the IRB, it is instructive to look back to episodes that predate the IRB entirely, predate the modern all-encompassing IRB, or were outside the IRB’s purview.

    • Education

      • RIPEThe RIPE Labs Article Competition is Open

        As we launch our third RIPE Labs article competition, we’re again looking to be reminded of just how interesting a phenomenon the Internet is. As always, we’re looking for articles about where the Internet came from, where it’s going, and how we measure and understand where it is right now. That’s quite an open brief, for sure. But the important thing to keep in mind is that we’re looking for stories and analyses that are truly eye-opening for the people who help keep the Internet running.

      • Copenhagen PostMake learning Danish mandatory, argues language school interest group

        De Danske Sprogcentre recommends abolishing the rule that the right to free lessons disappears after five years of residence

    • Hardware

      • HackadayFixing A Reflow Oven’s Conveyer Belt With An NE555 And Stepper Motors

        Some design choices on manufacturing equipment really leave you scratching your head for a while, as recently happened to [Chris Cecil] when the belt on a reflow oven’s conveyer snapped. Although the solution seems simple enough, getting a new belt on the thing would involve essentially taking the entire machine apart, before reassembling it again. Thus the frayed belt went through the oven over and over until during a recent production run of Smoothieboard controller boards until [Chris] heard a funny noise and the conveyer ground to a halt.

      • HackadaySupercon 2022: Tap Your Rich Uncle To Fund Your Amateur Radio Dreams

        Imagine you had a rich uncle who wanted to fund some of your projects. Like, seriously rich — thanks to shrewd investments, he’s sitting on a pile of cash and is now legally obligated to give away $5,000,000 a year to deserving recipients. That would be pretty cool indeed, but like anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right?

      • HackadaySupersized Laptop Laughs In The Face Of Portability

        Sometimes a project needs to go big, and [Evan and Katelyn] threw portability to the wind to build the “world’s biggest” laptop.

      • HackadaySneaky Clock Displays Wrong Time If It Catches You Looking

        We have a soft spot for devices that subvert purpose and expectation, and that definitely sums up [Guy Dupont]’s Clock That Is Wrong. It knows the correct time, but whether or not it displays the correct time is another story. That’s because nestled just above the 7-segment display is a person sensor module, and when it detects that a person is looking towards it, the clock will display an incorrect time, therefore self-defeating both the purpose and primary use case of a clock in one stroke.

      • HackadaySailing On A Sea Of Seven-Segment Displays

        The amount of information the humble seven-segment display can convey is surprising. There are the ten numerals, dead-ringers or reasonable approximations for about half the alphabet, and even a few not-quite-canonical symbols. But when you put 12,288 segments to work, you get all that and much more.

      • New York TimesInside Taiwanese Chip Giant, a U.S. Expansion Stokes Tensions

        Employee doubts are rising about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s $40 billion investment in an Arizona factory.

      • New York TimesHow Arizona Is Positioning Itself for $52 Billion to the Chips Industry

        The state has become a hub for chip makers including Intel and TSMC, as the government prepares to release a gusher of funds for the strategic industry.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Deutsche Welle‘Forever chemicals:’ The hidden toxins in your body

        The “Forever Pollution Project” has found more than 17,000 sites in Europe that are contaminated by perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS). More than 2,000 of these sites can be considered hotspots.

        Known as “forever chemicals” by experts, they could be damaging human health.

        Roland Weber, an environmental consultant with the United Nations, describes them as “one of the most threatening chemicals ever invented.”

      • Jacobin MagazineRail Carriers’ Cost-Cutting Is Endangering All of Us

        Rail carriers are operating longer, heavier freight trains, and with fewer workers than ever. The train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, is a reminder that the issues railworkers nearly struck over last year are far from resolved.

      • Counter PunchDemanding Transparency in East Palestine, Ohio

        Norfolk Southern’s toxic train wreck disaster in East Palestine, Ohio is one of America’s worst environmental catastrophes in memory. The Trump regime’s slash-and-burn approach to government regulation is a clear culprit for the railroad safety issues that paved the way for the crash, yet the Biden administration’s hands aren’t clean either since President Biden busted a potential railroad worker strike by forcing their union to take a deal the majority didn’t like.

        The situation highlights a disturbing level of regulatory capture in America by corporations that always prioritize profits over people and safety, regardless of which party occupies the White House. Then there are the citizens of East Palestine and the surrounding region who are left to pick up the pieces, with grave concern about whether the air, water, and soil in their town are still safe.

      • New York TimesPolitics Invade the East Palestine, Ohio, Train Crisis

        The train derailment in Eastern Ohio has spawned conspiracy theories and contradictory narratives, with politicians from both parties parading through town to further their agendas.

      • Common DreamsKhanna Leads Call for FDA to Address Flu and Cold Medicine Shortage

        U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna led several Democratic members of Congress in calling on the Food and Drug Administration to take more aggressive action to ensure families and healthcare providers have access to common over-the-counter medicines that have been depleted on drugstore shelves across the U.S. this winter.

      • Copenhagen PostDangerous opioid trend developing in Denmark

        Children between 14 and 17 are increasingly becoming addicted to the drugs. For many it is their first taste of narcotics

      • Hong Kong Free PressCovid-19: Hong Kong extends mask mandate again, as rapid tests for secondary students axed from next Wed

        The compulsory Covid-19 mask mandate – which has been in place for over two-and-a-half years – is to be extended for another 14 days again on Thursday.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: Cigarette packs rise by HK$12 in bid to disincentivise smoking

        The typical cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes has risen by HK$12, from around HK$62 to HK$74. Finance Secretary Paul Chan increased the duty on individual cigarettes by 60 cents with immediate effect in a bid to encourage Hongkongers to quit smoking.

      • RFAChinese police detain at least five people over medical insurance protests

        Activist is taken away by Shenzhen authorities after tweeting video of rallies in Wuhan and Dalian

      • AxiosNorfolk Southern blames misinformation for its derailed response
        Data: Memo, Twitter, Axios research; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

        Rail operator Norfolk Southern is getting slammed for its response following the derailment of one of its trains carrying hazardous materials near East Palestine, Ohio, this month.

      • JURISTEPA orders Norfolk Southern to cover costs of Ohio train derailment cleanup

        The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday announced that it has ordered Norfolk Southern to manage cleanup operations resulting from a February 3 train derailment in Ohio.

      • Common DreamsNTSB Report Suggests Overheated Wheel Bearing May Have Derailed Toxic Train in Ohio

        Federal investigators on Thursday released a highly anticipated preliminary report about the February 3 derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio, where residents are now worried about health and environmental effects.

      • Pro PublicaLegislators Demand Hearings on Choate

        All 59 Republican members of the Illinois General Assembly are calling for legislative hearings on a state-run mental health center in rural southern Illinois, citing findings of a culture of abuse, cover-ups and poor patient care from a monthslong investigative series by Lee Enterprises Midwest, Capitol News Illinois and ProPublica.

        Late last week, the members sent a letter to key Democratic committee chairs in the Illinois House and Senate asking them to schedule a bicameral public hearing on the facility.

      • NBCWhat’s really behind the wave of sadness among teenage girls? We asked 9 of them.

        Sahak said she thinks girls’ levels of sadness might be more serious than what was reflected in the survey. Teens her age are trapped in a cycle of comparison on social media, she said — viewing themselves relative to friends, celebrities and influencers, which can worsen insecurities and feelings of inadequacy.

        As an example, she pointed to a trend on TikTok in which people compare their faces from the side to see whether they have “good profiles.”

      • GannettMichigan’s children remain targets of big tobacco

        “In Detroit, there is a tobacco retailer within 1,000 feet of every school,” said Jones. “The tobacco industry spends nearly $300 million in Michigan each year to keep people addicted and attract new, young customers.”

        The costs of their addictions in public health costs and loss of life will only be amplified as these children age into tobacco-consuming adults. Health care costs for smoking-related illness in Michigan total around $4.5 billion in a year.

      • India TimesEuropean Commission bans TikTok on official devices: spokesperson

        The ban also means that European Commission staff cannot use the Chinese-owned video-sharing app on personal devices, including phones, that have official apps installed, the spokesperson said, confirming a report by news website Euractiv.

      • Security WeekTikTok Banned From EU Commission Phones Over Cybersecurity

        The European Union’s executive branch said Thursday that it has temporarily banned TikTok from phones used by employees as a cybersecurity measure, reflecting widening worries from Western officials over the Chinese-owned video sharing app.

        In a first for the European Commission, its Corporate Management Board suspended the use of TikTok on devices issued to staff or personal devices that staff use for work.

      • CNNEuropean Commission bans TikTok from official devices

        The European Commission has banned TikTok from official devices because of concerns about cybersecurity, a move sharply criticized by the company in its latest run-in with Western governments over how it handles user data.

      • TruthOutTrump Lies About Slashing Rail Safety Rules During Visit to East Palestine
      • Counter PunchA Health Care Cliff is Coming

        I’m one of the 84 million Americans who get our health care through Medicaid. And I’m one of the 18 million who might lose it starting this spring unless our policymakers take action.

        I went to college, got a degree, and planned on being self-sufficient. But in my early 20s, I was struck by an autoimmune condition that caused painful, chronic flare ups that affected my ability to stand or walk.

      • Counter PunchHealth Care is Sick and Profit is the Disease

        Your doctor is out and unable to see you now. Not out for lunch or out on vacation — but out of medical practice.

        America’s perverse health care system, which sublimates care to the profiteering demands of Wall Street speculators who essentially own today’s system, has been driving out hordes of nurses, pharmacists, and now doctors too.

      • Counter PunchDoes Being Balanced at the New York Times Mean Giving the Right Space to Lie?

        Guess so since it gave Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, plenty of space to say things that are extremely deceptive, if not outright lies. The gist of Riedl’s piece is that it will not be possible to sustain Social Security and Medicare without tax increases on the middle class.

        Much of the piece is the standard line about an aging population posing an impossible burden that we have been reading about in the NYT and elsewhere for many decades. For example, Riedl includes an old favorite:

    • Proprietary

      • The EconomistIt’s time for Alphabet to spin off YouTube

        Compared with the attention heaped on Bob Iger’s return to the helm of Disney and the stepping back of Reed Hastings at Netflix, news on February 16th that Susan Wojcicki would resign from YouTube after nine years as ceo caused barely a rustle in the media pages. That is a sign of two things. First, how little attention Wall Street analysts and entertainment-industry scribblers pay to the business of YouTube, even though it has become a hub—as well as a byword—for global video. Second, how overshadowed it is by the teetering ramparts of its parent company, Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, the tech giant’s beleaguered boss, is fighting wars on so many fronts, from Microsoft’s ChatGPT-inspired encroachment on Google search to trustbusters and the Supreme Court, that the goings-on at YouTube must seem like a sideshow.

      • India TimesAdobe signs chip supplier Qualcomm for marketing tech software

        Once best known for tools like Photoshop used to create websites and digital marketing materials, Adobe has expanded its business to include software for managing those materials and tracking how well they work at bringing customers in the door.

      • Scoop News GroupRussian national accused of developing, selling malware appears in U.S. court [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Pankov stands accused of developing NLBrute — also known as nl.exe or nlbrute.exe — and advertising it for sale on an underground forum as early as June 2016, according to an indictment unsealed this week. During that time he also sold more than 35,000 compromised login credentials for access to systems around the world, including in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia. At least two of those sales were to undercover U.S. law enforcement officers, according to the indictment, and involved login credentials for two separate Florida-based law firms.

      • Barry W JonesHow Microsoft Became Phishing’s Biggest Enabler

        It might sound strange to hear that Microsoft, a company who goes to great lengths to protect computers and networks, is one of the biggest contributors to phishing and fraud on the planet. It’s true unfortunately.

        They aren’t actually committing the acts themselves of course, but they are enabling the problem by withdrawing support for standards designed to help stop it. Here’s why this is such a big deal.

      • RlangWhy should I use R: The Excel R Data Wrangling comparison: Part 1 [Ed:Why assume everyone uses Microsoft's proprietary stuff?]

        This is part 1 of an ongoing series on why you should use R. Future blogs will be linked here as they are released.

        The era of data manipulation and analysis using programming languages has arrived. But it can be tough to find the time and the right resources to fully switch over from more manual, time-consuming solutions, such as Excel. In this blog we will show a comparison between Excel and R to get you started!

        When choosing between R and Excel, it is important to understand how both solutions can get you the results you need. However, one can make it an easy, reputable, convenient process, whereas the other can make it an extremely frustrating, time-consuming process prone to human errors.

      • Daniel MiesslerHow to Access ChatGPT via Voice Command (Using Siri)

        Here’s how to call ChatGPT using an Apple Shortcut in 3 steps.

    • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

      • The Register UKWho writes Linux and open source software? [Ed: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is having another senior moment. He judges Free software only by the catalogue that Microsoft controls, using proprietary software. He needs to retire to avoid alienating the few who still trusted his writings. SJVN is either willfully ignorant or lying; judging Microsoft "contributions" based only on what it is controlling in its platform is propaganda that goes back to 2014, when it made plans to buy the company; those who don't trust Microsoft don't host anything there and SJVN does not count them. How foolish. This is not your daddy's "SJVN"; this is a clown.]

        Even now, I run into those who think Linux and open source software is made by people living in their parents’ basement and writing the code out of the goodness of their hearts. Wrong. So, so wrong.

    • Security

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • University of TorontoThe web single sign on versus availability problem

          A SSO system is very convenient when it works, but if and when it’s down for some reason, it’s a single point that prevents you from using anything else (unless you happen to be lucky). Many of the staff things that we could protect with SSO are in fact exactly the things we most want to be available when the rest of our systems are falling over; for example, it would be pretty bad if our metrics system’s dashboards weren’t accessible during an outage. Grafana Loki? Our searchable archive of our worklogs? All things that we really, really want to have access to if at all possible, and that need access restrictions.

        • Vice Media GroupHow I Broke Into a Bank Account With an AI-Generated Voice

          Banks in the U.S. and Europe tout voice ID as a secure way to log into your account. I proved it’s possible to trick such systems with free or cheap AI-generated voices.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Counter PunchSpying on Muslims, Good; Spying on Christians, Bad

          The FBI has retracted a document showing that its “Richmond division launched an investigation into ‘radical traditionalist’ Catholics and their possible ties to ‘the far-right white nationalist movement,’” because, as the FBI said, the document “does not meet our exacting standards” (Catholic News Agency, 2/9/23).

          With the US right using the FBI’s investigation into former President Donald Trump as proof that the federal law enforcement agency is run by the radical left (Mother Jones, 9/4/22), the latest news has become new ammo in the conservative cultural offensive.

        • TechdirtThousands Of Bite-Sized Privacy Law Violations Could See White Castle Subjected To Billions In Fines

          Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), passed in 2008, continues to be the Little Legislation That Could. While occasionally hijacked by opportunistic litigants whose privacy hasn’t actually been violated, it’s also been used to achieve some objective good.

        • JURISTAmazon completes $3.9B acquisition of healthcare provider

          Amazon and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. (One Medical) Wednesday announced Amazon’s completed $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical. Amazon announced its intended acquisition of the membership-based healthcare provider in July 2022.


          However, there may be ramifications for both One Medical customers’ health data privacy and the accessibility of healthcare. Although the FTC declined to challenge the acquisition, spokesperson Douglas Farrar said the FTC will continue to investigate any potential harm to competition the merger may cause, as well as potential consumer harm resulting from Amazon’s control and use of One Medical’s sensitive consumer health data.

        • TorMeeting You Where You Are: We’ve added WhatsApp User Support

          Providing support and necessary tools for those who find themselves in places where Tor access is restricted has become one of our top priorities. And as our community continues to grow, we are constantly looking for ways that make it easier and safer to connect with us. That’s why, over the last two years, we have been working on improving Tor online user support: from launching the Tor Forum and bridging Tor IRC channels to Matrix in 2021 to rolling out support channels on messaging apps like Telegram and Signal in 2022.

          Today, we are excited to announce the addition of our WhatsApp user support — providing another option for users across the world to get in touch with us.

        • New StatesmanUK police still relying heavily on Chinese surveillance camera technology
        • TechdirtUK Proposes Even More Stupid Ideas For Directly Regulating The Internet, Service Providers

          The UK government has made no secret of its desire to convert providing encryption into a criminal act. The fact that some things are beyond the government’s reach is unacceptable. While lawmakers may suggest this will only target “criminal” purveyors and users, there’s no reason to believe this won’t be expanded every time law enforcement finds it slightly difficult to access information it believes it’s entitled to.

        • CoryDoctorowFighting the privacy wars, state by state

          In 2021, Apple updated its mobile OS so that users could opt out of app tracking with one click. More than 96% opted out, costing Facebook $10b in one year. The kicker? Even if you opted out, Apple continued to spy on you, just as invasively as Facebook had, as part of its competing targeted ad product: [...]

        • The HillFacebook, Twitter, Minecraft report inconsistent policies in Google Play about how they use your data, study finds

          Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization behind the Firefox browser, looked at the 20 most popular paid and free apps in the Google Play app store for its report.

          It found that nearly 80 percent of the 40 apps reviewed had “some discrepancies” between the app’s privacy policies and the information the app reported on Google’s data safety form.

        • RTLFacebook, Instagram roll out paid subscription in Australia, New Zealand

          Some attempts to join Meta Verified from Sydney found the service was not available on the first day of the rollout.

        • uni StanfordMy Comment to the UK Government on Its Proposal to Ban “Bespoke,” “Sophisticated” Encrypted Phones

          I don’t like this proposal, as I told Joseph Cox at Motherboard. (Joseph is a journalist who’s both British and, as the foregoing links reveal, has extensively covered secure phone networks and their infiltration by the police, including for his upcoming book on ANOM.) It would effectively turn owning or offering one of these devices into a strict liability crime. That’s because the only defense the proposal carves out is one that would be impossible for defendants to invoke in practice, due to the Government’s stance (which it states overtly in the proposal) that everyone who owns one is a criminal.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Counter PunchThe Case for Diplomacy in Ukraine

        As 2023 unfolds, we fear that American policy will continue to be characterized by both mission creep and the absence of any sort of diplomatic engagement with Russia.

        Throughout the course of the war, the Biden administration has slowly, steadily, even stealthily increased America’s involvement. Calls from Kiev for more and more weapons have, at every turn, been met with President Biden’s acquiescence. Meantime, Congress has continued in its decades-long abdication of its constitutional responsibilities, opting instead to act as a rubber stamp on ever-increasing amounts of financial and military assistance to Ukraine. All the while, Kiev’s appetite has grown larger with the eating.

      • Counter PunchMoldova’s Future is Bleak Unless it Saves Itself

        Moldova, a small landlocked country in Eastern Europe is the poorest nation in Europe. Despite its natural beauty, cultural richness, and strategic location, the country has been struggling with economic, political, and social challenges that have hindered its development and prosperity. There are several reasons why Moldova is so poor and there are numerous challenges it faces in its journey towards growth and stability.

        The economy heavily relies on agriculture, particularly on wine and fruits production, which account for a significant portion of its exports. However, the country faces challenges in terms of modernizing its agricultural practices and infrastructure, which limits its competitiveness in the global market. Additionally, corruption, limited foreign investment, and weak economic policies have hindered the country’s economic growth.

      • Counter PunchThe War on Terror and the Battle for Young Minds

        During a Veterans Day celebration in my small Maryland community, a teacher clicked through a slideshow of smiling men and women in military uniforms. “Girls and boys, can anyone tell me what courage is?” she asked the crowd, mostly children from local elementary schools, including my two young kids.

        A boy raised his hand. “Not being scared?” he asked.

      • Counter PunchThe Ukraine War One Year in: Nine False Narratives

        Here we are one year after Russia’s blood-drenched invasion of Ukraine, the country that has always been the leading tripwire for a global nuclear war in the post-Soviet era. The subsequent United States (US)-Russia proxy war that has unfolded and escalated there is a rolling slaughterhouse with a body count in the tens if not the hundreds of thousands. It feels increasingly like a chapter in a dystopian novel depicting the march to World War III.

        And, of course, the fog of propagandistic stupefaction surrounding this deadly conflict has been extremely thick on all sides, including what’s left of the shattered and lame US “left.” The intra-portside polarization over Ukraine is darkly comedic at this point. If you stake out a consistent communist anti-imperialist position on the Ukraine War, as I try to do in this essay, one group of white male lefties calls you a NATO fan and another group of white male lefties calls you a Putinist. Both charges are absurd and idiotic.

      • CNNUK defense secretary criticizes Prince Harry for ‘boasting’ about Taliban deaths

        UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said he disagrees with the Duke of Sussex’s decision to reveal how many Taliban fighters he killed while serving in the British Army in Afghanistan, saying “boasting about tallies” lets down others in the armed forces.

      • New York TimesU.N. General Assembly Calls for Lasting Peace Deal in Ukraine

        The assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling for a peace agreement that guarantees Ukraine’s sovereignty. Several of Russia’s key allies abstained, including China, Iran and India.

      • Copenhagen PostOne year on: Numerous events to mark anniversary of invasion

        Demonstrations, marches, speeches and commemorations will take place across the country in support of Ukraine today

      • Copenhagen PostDanish donations to Ukraine exceed all expectations

        Well over a billion kroner and counting

      • CNNHear US Defense Secretary’s prediction about Russia’s war in Ukraine

        In a clip from an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discusses Russia’s war with Ukraine, the role of the United States, and his predictions.

      • CNNChina calls for Russia-Ukraine cease-fire as neutrality questioned and social
      • AxiosChina calls for cease-fire in Russia-Ukraine war

        China’s government called for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine and for the start of peace talks to end the yearlong war.

      • CNNWhy US officials believe China will send ‘lethal support’ to Russia

        Reports obtained by CNN appear to show China is sending parts labeled for military use to Russia as aid in Ukraine war. CNN’s Will Ripley explains.

      • CNNUS plans to expand training of Taiwanese forces
      • Tech TimesUS Air Force’s Drones To Have Face Recognition! New Tech Now Raises Fears—Here’s Why

        This means that these UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) will be able to identify their targets easily by just looking at their faces.

        For some individuals, this is a great innovation since it will make defense drones more accurate. However, this technology raises fears among other people because they can easily kill specified individuals.

      • SpiegelChina Reportedly Negotiating with Russia To Supply Kamikaze Drones

        China reacted quickly, with a Foreign Ministry spokesperson accusing Blinken of spreading disinformation. But information obtained by DER SPIEGEL indicates that the planned cooperation between Beijing and Moscow goes even further than Blinken makes it sound.

      • Defence WebIslamist terrorism is rising in the Sahel, but not in Chad – what’s different?

        Since the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the emergence of Islamist-Salafist groups in northern Mali in 2013, the Sahel has increasingly been caught in the maelstrom of Islamist terrorism.

      • ADFIllicit Weapons Trade Plagues Lake Chad Basin

        A group of herders were tending to their cattle in a pasture near Airamne village in Nigeria’s restive northeastern borderlands when the shooting began.

        Boko Haram fighters emerged from their camps in Gajiganna forest on December 24, 2022 to launch an attack. The herders returned fire.

      • Bruce SchneierCyberwar Lessons from the War in Ukraine

        The Aspen Institute has published a good analysis of the successes, failures, and absences of cyberattacks as part of the current war in Ukraine: “The Cyber Defense Assistance Imperative ­ Lessons from Ukraine.”

      • Aspen InstituteThe Cyber Defense Assistance Imperative – Lessons from Ukraine [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Informed by the ongoing work of a variety of organizations providing operational cyber support to Ukrainian institutions through the Cyber Defense Assistance Collaborative, this paper seeks to define cyber defense assistance, outline its primary component parts, and identify key lessons learned that can help inform how such assistance can be provided in future geopolitical conflicts. It also makes the case that an effective national security toolkit requires the ability to deliver cyber defense assistance to allies.

      • MeduzaRussia doubles down on claims that Kyiv is preparing to attack Transnistria — Meduza

        Less than 24 hours after claiming Ukraine is preparing to carry out a false-flag attack in Transnistria, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday evening that it had detected a “significant build-up” of Ukrainian troops and military vehicles near the “Ukrainian-Transnistrian border.”

      • Common DreamsChildren of War

        During a Veterans Day celebration in my small Maryland community, a teacher clicked through a slideshow of smiling men and women in military uniforms. “Girls and boys, can anyone tell me what courage is?” she asked the crowd, mostly children from local elementary schools, including my two young kids.

      • Counter PunchThe Forgotten Terrorist Pretext of the Vietnam War

        After the 9/11 attacks, terrorism became the ultimate entitlement program for America’s political elite. Whether it is illegally spying on Americans or blowing Somali dissidents to smithereens, invoking terrorism justifies any attack favored by for Washington policymakers. But the disastrous results of granting politicians a blank check should have been undeniable almost 60 years ago.

        Back in the 1960s, terrorism was what the communists did. Antiterrorist moral fervor and ideological blinders propelled the U.S. into its biggest foreign policy blunder since World War Two.

      • Meduza‘We don’t have another motherland’: Nine years into Russian occupation and oppression, Crimean Tatars hold out hope for Ukraine’s return — Meduza
      • Counter PunchRussia in Africa

        In January 2022, armed Russian militants operating under the banner of the notorious Wagner Group of mercenaries – a Private Military Company (PMC) operating internationally with Kremlin support – began a security operation targeting the villages of Aïgbado and Yanga, 600km to the east of Bangui, the capital city of the Central African Republic. The result was the brutal massacre of almost 70 Black African men, women, and children, conducted in both villages at the hands of the Russian mercenaries and their comrades among the Central African government troops. Countless more were injured and displaced – with images across various social media reports and news sites indicating the graphic torture and murder of unarmed civilians, hands bound behind their backs[1] as they are subjected to violence well past the legal threshold for war crimes. The United Nations (UN) Mission in the country, MINUSCA, confirmed through a statement released by Stéphane Dujarric, also the spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres, that they had received reports of violence involving government troops and unnamed external “security personnel”, with many casualties and displacements running in the hundreds[2].

        A UN Probe was subsequently announced earlier this year amid increasing media attention and reports, local accusations and international speculation concerning the Wagner Group’s involvement; it has been long confirmed by the Central African Republic’s (CAR) government that Russian mercenaries are indeed present in the country, having been hired as ‘advisors’. Further online reports have since suggested the UN probe was hampered by the intentional placing of landmines to prevent access for UN Peacekeepers and investigators – but information confirming this fact is hard to find. What can be verified regarding the UN investigation of this Wagner-perpetrated massacre is this:

      • HackadayGerman Air Force Surplus Teardown

        It isn’t clear to us how [mrsylvain59] came into possession of a late-model piece of military gear from the German airforce, but we enjoyed watching the teardown below anyway. According to the documentation, the thing has a huge price tag, although we all know that the military usually pays top dollar for various reasons, so we are guessing the cost of the parts is quite a bit less than the price tag.

      • Telex (Hungary)Swedish-Finnish NATO membership to be put before Hungarian Parliament next week
      • Meduza‘The war is bad for Russia but good for the regime’ Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov on defending Bakhmut, ‘technological penetration,’ and why recruiting spies still matters — Meduza

        This article is a very brief summary of what Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov told Forbes Ukraine, in an extended interview that surveyed the first year of Russia’s invasion, what it revealed about Russia to Ukrainian intelligence, and what predictions can be made on that basis. The full interview is available in Ukrainian and Russian. Here are Budanov’s main insights, in our own words.

      • MeduzaDispatch from Dnipro How ‘Ukraine’s outpost’ and its people are faring after one year of all-out war — Meduza
      • The NationThe Possible Murder of Pablo Neruda

        On September 23, 1973, just 12 days after the bloody military coup in Chile, one of the world’s most famous poets, Pablo Neruda, died in the Santa María medical clinic in Santiago, where he was being treated for prostate cancer. At the time of his death at age 69, a private plane sent by the Mexican government was waiting to transport the Nobel laureate into the safety of exile. Given his long history as a leading member of Chile’s Communist Party, and his close ties to the deposed government of Salvador Allende, Neruda had many reasons to flee Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s forces.

      • Counter PunchChile’s Battle for Memory

        Every morning, as I take my daily walk up toward the nearby Andes mountains, I pass by the Aeródromo Tobalaba, an airfield catering to a wide variety of private planes.

        For most neighbors in La Reina, the district in Santiago where my wife and I keep a house, this is a welcome open space in a congested city—a guarantee that no high-rises will blot out the horizon. For me, in a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the coup against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, the Aeródromo stirs up less-warm feelings.

      • MeduzaPoland begins installing anti-tank barriers on borders with Russia and Belarus — Meduza

        Poland has begun installing anti-tank barriers on its borders with Russia and Belarus, the country’s defense minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, announced Thursday evening.

      • Pro PublicaTexas Governor Says Most Gun Crimes Involve Illegally Owned Weapons. That’s Not True for Mass Shootings.

        Without mentioning the Uvalde mass shooting, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week declared school safety a priority for the current legislative session and again dismissed calls for more laws that would restrict access to guns.

        “Some want more gun laws, but too many local officials won’t even enforce the gun laws that are already on the books,” the governor said during his annual State of the State address. Without providing a source or clear data, he then asserted that “most gun crimes are committed by criminals who possess guns illegally.” Abbott proposed a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for people who are not legally allowed to have a firearm but have them anyway.

      • Counter PunchEnergy Wars: Outing the Nordstream Saboteurs

        When news first emerged over explosions endured by the NordStream pipelines, known collectively as Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, an army of guessers was mobilised.  The accusation that Russia had done it seemed counterintuitive, given that the Russian state company Gazprom is a majority shareholder of Nord Stream 1 and sole owner of NordStream 2.  But this less than convenient fact did not discourage those from the Moscow-is-behind everything School of Thinking.  “It’s pretty predictable and predictably stupid to express such versions,” snarled Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

        The first reports noted three leaks in both the NordStream 1 and NordStream 2 pipeline systems.  A fourth was subsequently revealed.  Then came news that the first explosion had taken place in a Russian built section of the pipeline.  Der Spiegel summed up the various questions.  Was Moscow behind it?  Or the United States, which had always been implacably opposed to the project?  And what of Ukraine or perhaps “rogue” agents?  For those wishing for a more savoury sauce, there was babbling that Mossad might have been behind it.

      • Counter PunchDoes South Korea Really Need the F-35?

        In a recent article a retired Republic of Korea Army [ROKA] Lieutenant General talked about how important the F-35 is to the security of his country. General Chun In-bum said: “For reasons of interoperability and to maintain the highest quality armed forces, the South Korean military uses U.S. arms to conduct its mission to maintain peace. These include Apache attack helicopters, F-15 and F-16 fighters, and the F-35 stealth fighter. The South Korean Air force [ROKAF] operates forty F-35s and is planning to acquire twenty more to supplement its capabilities.”

        But he is concerned that political issues will make the F-35 even more expensive than it already is and it is the most expensive fighter plane in history. He continued: “The main concern is the ongoing dispute in Washington about the F135 engine that powers the F-35. There are those in the Pentagon and Congress who have called for an upgrade to the propulsion system—and rightfully so, given the F-35’s need for better thrust and vertical lift—but there are also voices calling for a completely new engine system called the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP). Thus far, we have seen hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the development of this new engine and this year is a pivotal year for the future of the F-35 program. The proposed creation of an entirely new engine, compared to upgrading the existing F135, would greatly burden South Korea and other allies who operate the F-35.”

      • Counter PunchWhen the World Said No to War

        Twenty years ago — on February 15, 2003 — the world said no to war. People rose up in almost 800 cities around the world in an unprecedented movement for peace.

        The world stood on the precipice of war. U.S. and U.K. warplanes and warships — filled with soldiers and sailors and armed with the most powerful weapons ever used in conventional warfare — were streaming towards the Middle East, aimed at Iraq.

      • Counter PunchOakland Police Department: Above the Law?

        When I first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978, I lived in East Oakland.  My friend and I shared a run down three-bedroom Victorian with a couple guys we met at a daily free meal in Berkeley.  Our house was a block away from Foothill Avenue on East 17th Street.  We were the only white-skinned folks for a couple blocks.  A dozen or so blocks to our east was a neighborhood where lots of Hells Angels lived.  Although the Oakland police were constantly stopping young Black people in the streets, emptying their pockets, rolling  up their sleeves and either arresting or punching them, I was only bothered once by those uniforms.  It was while I waited for the bus that would take me to Berkeley, where I hung out.  Fortunately, I had no marijuana or other illegal substances on me.  After the cops emptied my pockets, took my name and called it in to see if I had any warrants, they let me go and told me I was stupid for living around so many n**gers.  Both the cops were white.

        Unfortunately, my interactions with the police in Berkeley were not as uneventful.  I was knocked around by them, harassed too many times to count, arrested on bullshit charges a half-dozen times, and even taken to the hills, threatened with a severe beating and then told to get out and walk back.  But, that’s another story.  The only real link to the subject of this piece–the Oakland Police Department–is that one of the cops who relished harassing me and many other people on the Berkeley streets had been fired for “accidentally” shooting a four-year old in an Oakland police raid of questionable legality.  That same cop broke the arm of a friend of mine when he challenged an arrest he was making.

      • Counter Punch“Qualified Immunity” Strikes Again

        Over the last few decades, we’ve seen numerous bad actors escape punishment for their bad acts — ranging from theft to sexual misconduct to summary execution — for no better reason than that they were government employees, under the doctrine of “qualified immunity.”

        Now the US Supreme Court appears to have dropped the “qualified” part in favor of just plain immunity, full stop.

      • Counter PunchLiquidating the Legacy of Revolution: Ideology of the Russian Invasion

        1991, Leningrad. The private office of the deputy mayor of the city. A reporter for the city’s television channel interviews a young official from Anatoly Sobchak’s team. In the frame — a man with a childish face in a white shirt. Behind him, you can see window blinds, a television, a table lamp, a telephone, open folders with papers. A typical Soviet office environment. But something does not add up. From behind the scenes, the voice of the journalist says that yesterday, he could still see a bust of Lenin in this office, but today it had disappeared somewhere. What had happened?

        ‘I find it difficult to answer what happened. Because this, probably, was done by one of my assistants,’ the official answers. ‘If you are interested in my opinion of this person, of the doctrine he supposedly represented, then I would say […] that all this is no more than a beautiful and harmful fairy tale. Harmful because the implementation, or attempt to implement it in the life of our country has caused it enormous damage. And in this regard, I would like to speak about the tragedy we are experiencing today. Namely, the tragedy of the collapse of our state. You can’t call it anything but a tragedy. I think it was the leaders of October 17th who laid a time bomb under the foundation of the unitary state called Russia. What did they do? They split our fatherland into separate principalities, which previously did not appear on the world map at all, endowed these principalities with governments and parliaments, and so now we have what we have […] it’s largely those people’s fault, whether they wanted it or not.’

      • Counter PunchA Dangerous Fishing Expedition: The Select Committee on China

        Riled up against China, GOP congressmembers have long felt that Washington’s new cold war needed a special venue. So as soon as the baton passed to Republicans in the House, they set up a select committee on China. This is majority leader Kevin “Trump’s the Man” McCarthy’s baby, and if it sounds to you like a forum for much grandstanding and frothing about the communist menace, the yellow peril and the need to beef up the FBI, CIA, DIA and NSA, so they can hunt down China’s spies from the halls of government to the groves of academe – “they’re everywhere” supposedly – you may be onto something. I’m not sure what that something is, but it’s a good bet it ends with U.S. navy aircraft carriers steaming toward Taiwan. In fact, a four-star general, Mike Minihan, said as much January 27. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” he wrote in a memo to his subordinates. In which case it’s time to head for the hills – since every place else will be radioactive.

        Proving the veracity of Minihan’s talkative gut, we learned February 8 that the U.S., U.K. and Australian militaries engaged in joint air drills over the Nevada desert, in preparation for…war with China. Specifically, reported Reuters February 8, “to simulate high-end combat operations, against Chinese fighter aircraft and defenses.” Also in early February, there bubbled up more murmurings in the press about Tokyo beefing up its military and boosting ties with the Philippines, the better to confront Beijing – at Washington’s behest, of course. So the storm clouds gather, as China, too, speeds up its production of nuclear missiles and muscles up its army, the better, Beijing hopes, to deter the U.S. from provoking the invasion of Taiwan that it would use as an excuse for war. Kinda like the Ukraine incitement redux, except this time the Washington sociopaths are ready to make the China war nuclear from the get-go.

      • RFAIndia is keeping close ties with Myanmar, even transferring weapons, NGOs say

        Radar technology, automatic rifles and air defense systems sold to junta despite human rights abuses

      • RFAPhilippines and Australia advance defense cooperation in South China Sea

        Canberra pushes for joint patrols with the Philippines, as Manila and Washington discuss same

      • JURISTIdaho legislature proposes bill to reintroduce firing squad as execution method

        The Idaho Ways and Means Committee Wednesday introduced House Bill 186 in the Idaho House of Representatives, which would provide for execution by firing squad.

      • Atlantic CouncilUS foreign policy: China is important but the top priority is stopping Russia

        Members of the US foreign policy establishment are wrong to prioritize a “China First” perspective at a time when Putin’s Russia is waging a major war of aggression in Ukraine, writes Richard D. Hooker, Jr.

      • Atlantic CouncilWhat I heard in Munich: Four fears are holding the West back from quicker, bolder support for Ukraine

        There is fear of escalation, fear of having Ukraine fully in the European family, fear of a defeated Russia, and fear of a defeated Ukraine.

      • Atlantic CouncilSuperhumans Center: Symbol of Ukrainian defiance amid Russia’s war

        Opening in the coming months, the Superhumans Center war trauma hospital in western Ukraine is a symbol of Ukrainian defiance as Russia’s brutal invasion enters its second year, writes co-founder Andrey Stavnitser.

      • Atlantic CouncilRussia policy after the war: A new strategy of containment

        To prevent further damage to the rules-based international order, the United States and its allies will need a strategy of containment to deter Russia militarily and decouple Russia from the international community, until Moscow has earned the right to be considered a partner once more.

      • Atlantic CouncilThe balloon drama was a drill. Here’s how the US and China can prepare for a real crisis.

        The communication breakdown between the United States and China could prove disastrous if a crisis arises that’s bigger than a balloon—which is why they need to start talking now.

      • Atlantic CouncilUndermining Ukraine

        From the very start of the war, the Kremlin emphasized demoralizing Ukrainian audiences and destroying their will to fight. Building on daily monitoring of the Kremlin media ecosystem, this report analyzes Russia’s attempts to undermine Ukraine by targeting local, regional, and global audiences since February 2022.

      • RFERLRussian Troops Breached Ukrainian Defenses On February 21, But Were Pushed Back, Says Governor

        Russian troops managed to break through Ukrainian defenses near the eastern town of Kreminna on February 21 but were pushed back and lost some of their heavy equipment, a senior Ukrainian official said.

      • RFASatellite photos show expansion of Chinese-funded naval base in Cambodia

        Ream Naval Base now has two new piers

      • TruthOutOur Children Are Experiencing Militarization of the US Up Close and Personally
      • TruthOutOne Year After Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Much of Africa Remains Neutral
      • RFANGOs demand better conditions for detainees in Thailand after Uyghur man’s death

        Aziz Abdullah, a Uyghur detainee, died after falling sick at the Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok.

      • Atlantic CouncilPutin could still win unless the West speeds up efforts to arm Ukraine

        Ukraine’s international partners are gradually providing the country with the weapons it needs to beat Russia, but excessive caution and continued delays could still allow Vladimir Putin to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      • RFERLUkraine Allies Vow To Strengthen Defenses

        U.S. President Joe Biden met NATO and European leaders in Warsaw on February 22, with the allies vowing in a statement afterward to further “reinforce our deterrence and defense posture across the entire Eastern flank from the Baltic to the Black Sea.”

      • RFERLU.S. Ambassador Condemns Bosnian Serb Leader ‘Reprehensible’ Genocide Denial

        The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina has issued a scathing condemnation of longtime Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik’s latest denial of a genocide in the massacre of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in 1995, calling such efforts “reprehensible,” illegal, and destabilizing.

      • RFERLMarking One Year Of War In Ukraine, UN Chief Denounces Russia

        United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the founding UN Charter and international law and called out Russian threats about its possible use of nuclear weapons.

      • JURISTUK immigration court upholds revocation of ISIS trafficking victim’s citizenship

        The UK Special Immigration Appeals Commission Wednesday rejected 23-year-old Shamima Begum’s appeal against the government’s 2019 revocation of her British citizenship. The East London native was only 15 when she traveled to Syria to align with ISIL and marry an ISIL fighter.

      • RFAChina appoints special envoy to Pacific island countries

        Qian Bo, who was China’s envoy to Fiji, will attempt to strengthen ties with small island states.

      • Atlantic CouncilNarrative warfare

        In the weeks and months leading up to Russia invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Kremlin and pro-Kremlin media employed false and misleading narratives to justify military action against Ukraine, mask the Kremlin’s operational planning, and deny any responsibility for the coming war. Dive into a full accounting of the road to war.

      • Atlantic CouncilOur experts decode the Putin speech that launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

        Vladimir Putin’s February 24, 2022, speech launching a war of aggression in Ukraine was full of false, misleading narratives that Putin, official Kremlin channels, and pro-Kremlin Russian media outlets had been circulating since 2014. Experts unpack the narrative themes that Russia used to justify the war.

      • France24In Ukraine’s Kherson, dozens of children deported to Russia

        The Ukrainian government says Russia has illegally deported more than 16,000 children to Russian territory since 2014, a practice that intensified after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine a year ago. Not all children are taken by force, but evidence is mounting of a coordinated effort to indoctrinate Ukrainian children and send them to Russian foster families. In the southern city of Kherson, witnesses say Russian forces took children from at least two orphanages as they pulled out of the city last October.

      • France24Tunisian president says influx of sub-Sahara African migrants must end

        Tunisia’s President Kais Saied denounced undocumented sub-Saharan African immigration to his country on Tuesday, saying in comments criticised by rights groups that it was aimed at changing Tunisia’s demographic make-up.

      • RFERLJailed Georgian Ex-President Alleges ‘Murder’ Plot, Appeals For Help

        Jailed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has alleged a widening plot by officials and others to “murder” him and appealed via social media for his country and the world to prevent “this criminal corporation” from carrying out “their evil intentions.”

      • RFERLTwo Senior U.S. Lawmakers Chide Austria For Granting Visas To Russian Deputies For OSCE Meeting

        Two senior U.S. lawmakers say Austria erred by issuing visas to the Russian delegation — all of whom are under European Union sanctions due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — for this week’s meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna.

      • RFERLBlinken To Meet With UN’s Guterres About Ukraine And Will Stress Expanding Grain Deal

        U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of a UN Security Council ministerial meeting this week coinciding with the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

      • RFERLHungary To Vote On Finland, Sweden NATO Bids In Early March

        Hungarian lawmakers will vote on the NATO bids by Finland and Sweden in early March, according to the parliamentary agenda published on February 22.

      • RFERLChina Did Not Consult Ukraine On Its Purported Peace Plan, Official Says

        Ukraine’s top diplomat, Dmytro Kuleba, said his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, shared “key elements of the Chinese peace plan” during their meeting in Germany earlier this week.

      • RFERLBiden Reassures NATO’s Eastern Flank Of Protection From Russia

        U.S. President Joe Biden once again reassured countries on NATO’s eastern flank, all of which used to be under the thumb of the former Soviet Union, that the Western defense alliance would help them in the event of an attack.

      • RFERLRussia, China Show Off Ties Amid Maneuvering Over Ukraine

        Russia and China showcased their deepening ties on February 22 in meetings others are watching for signs that Beijing might offer the Kremlin stronger support for its war in Ukraine.

      • JURISTMexico ex-official convicted of bribery in US over cartel ties

        Genaro Garcia Luna, formerly the highest-ranking law enforcement official in Mexico, was convicted Tuesday by a federal jury in New York for assisting the Sinaloa drug cartel.

      • RFABack-to-back patriotic February holidays prove exhausting ordeal for North Koreans

        “They wish the holidays would just disappear.”

      • France24Fighter jets, quakes, NATO stakes: Are US-Turkish ties on a reset?

        US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday came in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that have rattled the Turkish leader’s projection of his country as a regional hegemon. With Turkey turning into a recipient of generous US humanitarian aid, will Ankara play the role of Washington’s friend rather than foe?

      • France24Germany expels two Iranian diplomats over dual national’s death sentence

        Germany on Wednesday said it was expelling two diplomats from the Iranian embassy in Berlin over the death sentence an Iranian court handed down against an Iranian-German national.

      • France24French high-school student stabs teacher to death during class

        A teenage pupil stabbed to death a teacher in the middle of a lesson at a school in southwest France on Wednesday, the regional prosecutor said.

      • France24Ukraine won the ‘geek war’ but it wasn’t enough on the front line

        In the early stages of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian ingenuity and ability to adapt commercially available equipment helped stem the Russian advance. It proved less useful on the eastern front line, when Ukraine needed heavy weapons. But a year after the invasion, there’s little doubt that Ukraine’s DIY ingenuity has left a lasting mark on modern warfare.

      • France24Live: ‘No evidence’ Russia moving closer to nuclear weapon use, Biden says

        US President Joe Biden on Wednesday criticised Russia’s decision to suspend a key nuclear treaty, but said there was “no evidence” that Moscow was moving closer to actually using an atomic weapon. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will maintain increased attention on boosting its nuclear forces in an address to mark Thursday’s Defender of the Fatherland public holiday and a day before the first anniversary of his invasion of Ukraine.

      • RFERLEastern European Countries Jointly Condemn Russia’s War In Ukraine, Says Polish Official

        All members of the Bucharest Nine, the nations on NATO’s eastern flank that joined the alliance after being dominated by Moscow during the Cold War, have jointly condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine, a Polish presidential adviser said on February 22.

      • RFERLUN Court Orders Azerbaijan To Unblock Lachin Corridor Amid Armenian Accusations Of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

        The UN’s top court has ordered Azerbaijan to allow free passage through the Lachin Corridor, which extends between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of Azerbaijan clawed back from ethnic Armenians in 2020 in a six-week intensification of a decades-old conflict between the post-Soviet foes.

      • RFERLFinland And Sweden Are Heading Into NATO ‘Hand In Hand,’ Finnish President Says

        Finland and Sweden are proceeding “hand in hand” toward NATO membership but that the decision to ratify the applications for the two Nordic countries lies with Turkey, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on February 22.

      • RFERLPresident Sandu Invites Biden To ‘Revisit’ Moldova Amid Russia Tensions

        Moldovan President Maia Sandu said on February 22 that at a meeting the previous day in Warsaw she invited U.S. President Joe Biden to “revisit” her country, which shares a 1,200-kilometer border with Ukraine.

      • LRTUkraine’s President Zelensky to come to Vilnius for NATO summit – ambassador

        President Volodymyr Zelensky is planning to travel to Vilnius for NATO’s summit in July, Petro Beshta, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lithuania, has told BNS in an interview.

      • France24Wagner Group’s bloody year in Ukraine: From murder squad to cannon fodder

        It was supposed to be Russia’s secret weapon for a swift and efficient victory in Ukraine. But in the year since Wagner Group mercenaries were dispatched to Kyiv to hunt down Ukraine’s president, what was once an elite murder squad has become a group of mostly ill-trained and unequipped convicts who today serve as “cannon fodder”.

      • Defence WebIslamist terrorism is rising in the Sahel, but not in Chad – what’s different?

        Since the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the emergence of Islamist-Salafist groups in northern Mali in 2013, the Sahel has increasingly been caught in the maelstrom of Islamist terrorism. The region is now described as the new global epicentre of violent extremism.

      • LRTUkraine’s war trophy tank to go on display in Vilnius

        Russian tanks destroyed by the Ukrainian forces will go on display in Lithuania and three other European countries.

      • LRTWith Moscow visit, China shows it’s leaning toward Russia, says Lithuanian FM

        While Beijing insists on neutrality in the Ukraine war, Lithuania’s foreign minister insists that a recent visit by China’s top diplomat to Moscow shows its sympathies lie with Russia.

      • LRTMeasures against sanctions dodging are ‘sufficient’, says EC rep in Lithuania

        Russia and Belarus are constantly looking for ways to get round EU sanctions, but it is necessary to find ways to prevent this from happening, says Marius Vaščega, head of the European Commission Representation in Lithuania.

      • teleSURChina-Russia Partnership Never Targets Any Third Party: China

        The China-Russia relationship, which has stood the test of the drastic changes in the world situation, is mature, tough and as stable as Mount Tai.

    • Environment

      • CNNIt’s never been this warm in February. Here’s why that’s not a good thing

        Record warmth in February — a time that’s supposed to still feel like winter — might not sound like such a bad thing, but its negative consequences spread across the plant world, sports, tourism and agriculture. And it is another clear sign that our planet is warming rapidly, experts say.

        “Whenever we get these events, we should always be thinking there’s the possibility or likelihood that human-induced climate change is increasing the likelihood of strange weather,” Richard Seager, climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, told CNN. “The more it goes on, the more they can bring such tremendous damage.”

      • RTLGlobal wildlife contaminated by ‘forever chemicals’

        Over 300 wildlife species showed traces of the nearly indestructible synthetic chemicals, according to a report from the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) PFAS Project Lab released on Wednesday.

        The mapping of over 125 peer-reviewed scientific studies is the first global scoping of the problem in wildlife, the authors said.

      • Counter PunchClimate Code Red Analysis and Sea Level Warnings

        Climate Code Red, a very thorough and well-respected source on climate change/global warming, recently issued a three-part study on where things stand with the climate system via looking through the rearview mirror at 2022 and reflecting that charred image into the future: Faster, Higher, Hotter: What We Learned About the Climate System in 2022 by David Spratt, Research Director, Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, Feb. 20, 2023.

        For starters, several aspects of global warming are at all-time highs, for example, coal use is at an all-time high and not surprisingly all three of the major greenhouse gases CO2, CH4, and N2O hit record highs in 2022. According to the Global Carbon Project: Carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit a new record of 37.5B tons. Topping off these all-time records, the International Energy Agency expects fossil fuel emissions to possibly peak in 2025 but remain at a “high plateau at a high level” for a decade or more with no significant decline expected in the foreseeable future. Good luck with Net Zero.

      • Copenhagen PostFrom good intentions to good actions

        In September 2020, India and Denmark marked a historic partnership. By launching the first Green Strategic Partnership of its kind, the two countries chose each other as preferred partners to fast-track climate solutions and reconcile economic growth with ambitious green

      • Energy/Transportation

        • France24Economists urge China to adopt new model to head off climate risks

          A team of influential economists has urged China to adopt a new development model based on “wellbeing” rather than GDP growth in order to fulfil its 2060 net-zero emissions goals and head off the mounting threats of climate change.

        • New York TimesWind and Solar Energy Projects Risk Overwhelming America’s Antiquated Electrical Grids

          An explosion in proposed clean energy ventures has overwhelmed the system for connecting new power sources to homes and businesses.

        • Bridge Michigan5 (mostly) good things to know about Michigan’s progress on EVs

          The move appears to have come at the right time: EV battery investment topped $73.6 billion in 2022, up from about $25 billion a year earlier, according to data from the Chicago Federal Reserve. The increase underscores the urgency of automakers to ramp up EV production and move the vehicles’ critical supply chains to the U.S.

        • The EconomistNorth Korean hackers stole a record $1.7bn of crypto last year

          Despite being unable to feed its people, North Korea has found innovative ways to fund its missiles programme, including by forging foreign currency, committing insurance fraud and making and selling arms and narcotics. A more novel revenue stream is stolen cryptocurrency. Last year its hackers pinched a record $1.7bn of the stuff, according to a report published this month by Chainalysis, a data firm based in New York.

        • Rocky Mountain InstituteCryptocurrency’s Energy Consumption Problem

          Cryptocurrency has an energy consumption problem. Bitcoin alone is estimated to consume 127 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year — more than many countries, including Norway. In the United States, cryptocurrency activity is estimated to emit from 25 to 50 million tons of CO2 each year, on par with the annual emissions from diesel fuel used by US railroads.

        • Popular MechanicsThe First Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mine Is Here. Maybe It Can Clean Up [Cryptocurrecy].

          Electricity usage from global [cryptocurrency] mining quadrupled from 2018 to 2022, according to the U.S. government. By mid-2022, [cryptocurency] assets were using upward of 240 billion kilowatt hours per year—more than the annual electricity of countries such as Argentina or Australia. [Cryptocurrency] electricity usage made up nearly 1 percent of all annual global electricity usage, and [cryptocurrency] operations consume up to 1.7 percent of all U.S. electricity usage.

        • Associated PressPolice: [Cryptocurrency] mining operation found in school crawl space

          A former employee of a Massachusetts town is facing charges of allegedly setting up a secret cryptocurrency mining operation in a remote crawl space at a school, police said.

          Nadeam Nahas, 39, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on charges of fraudulent use of electricity and vandalizing a school, but he did not show up and a judge issued a default warrant after rejecting a defense motion to reschedule, a spokesperson for the Norfolk district attorney’s office said.

        • Michael West MediaFarmers, elders, Teals meet to thwart Santos fracking the Pilliga and the Liverpool Plains

          Kamilaroi elders, farmers and politicians gathered under a temporary pavilion on the Gunn property east of Gunnedah this week, right in the middle of the Liverpool Plains. They want to stop the fossil fuel developments that threaten our food supply, reports Callum Foote.

          Farmers and landholders organised a conference this week with the sole intent of stopping Santos’s expansion into the Liverpool plains through the proposed development of the Hunter Gas Pipeline; and if possible, stop the development of the Narrabri and Pilliga gas fields. Cattle farmer Rosemary Nankivell told the meeting:

        • Counter PunchThe Dark Side of Renewable Energy: How Bioenergy Causes Air Pollution

          Bioenergy is often seen as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to other forms of energy generation. But the truth is that it can actually be quite harmful to the environment. Bioenergy has a dark side: It contributes to air pollution.

          Biomass, or bioenergy, creates energy by burning living materials like plants and trees. The wood pellet industry uses trees to make wood pellets. It then ships them to Europe and Asia and burns them in power plants to create electricity. Wood pellet plants are as dirty and problematic as coal plants.

        • Common DreamsGroups Launch World’s First-Ever Climate Lawsuit Against a Commercial Bank

          A trio of advocacy groups on Thursday launched the world’s first climate lawsuit against a commercial bank, alleging that the Paris-based firm BNP Paribas is violating its legal obligations by continuing to finance planet-wrecking oil and gas development on a massive scale.

        • CNNFTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried indicted on new criminal charges

          Federal prosecutors announced new criminal charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto trading platform FTX, expanding his potential liability in what authorities allege is a billion dollar fraud.

        • LWNFree software and fiduciary duty

          Serial litigant Craig Wright recently won a procedural ruling in a London court that allows a multi-billion-dollar Bitcoin-related lawsuit to proceed. This case has raised a fair amount of concern within the free-software community, where it is seen as threatening the “no warranty” language included in almost every free-software license. As it happens, this case does not actually involve that language, but it has some potentially worrisome implications anyway.

          Wright is known for, among other things, claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the original paper describing Bitcoin, and for filing numerous lawsuits within the cryptocurrency community. In the case at hand, he (in the form of his company “Tulip Trading Limited”) claims to own about $4 billion in Bitcoin sitting in the blockchain — a claim that, like his others, is not universally acknowledged — but to have lost the keys giving access to that Bitcoin after his home network was broken into. It is, Wright claims, incumbent upon the maintainers of the Bitcoin network software to develop and merge a patch allowing the claimed Bitcoin to be transferred to a key that he controls.

          The various Bitcoin developers, it turns out, are unconvinced by Wright’s claim to that Bitcoin and even less convinced that the Bitcoin miners would accept a software update that included such a patch. Wright, allegedly backed by some deep pockets with eyes on part of a $4 billion prize, has taken 15 of these developers (and one organization) to court. The case fared poorly in in its first round, but now an appeals court has issued a ruling allowing an appeal to proceed, saying that there are issues of interest to be litigated.

          At a first look, this case appears to be a warranty issue, and many observers have seen it that way. Wright is asserting that a bug in the Bitcoin system is keeping him from getting his hands on his well-earned billions, and that the maintainers of that code owe him a fix. The code in question is covered by the MIT license, which explicitly disclaims the existence of any warranty; if the court were to find that a warranty obligation exists anyway, the resulting precedent could put free-software developers at risk worldwide. It is not surprising that people are concerned.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • New York TimesChip Makers Turn Cutthroat in Fight for Share of Federal Money

        Semiconductor companies, which united to get the CHIPS Act approved, have set off a lobbying frenzy as they argue for more cash than their competitors.

      • Counter PunchWhen Neoliberals Declared War on the Poor

        For Bill Clinton and Dick Morris polls were everything. Morris developed what he called a “neuro-psychological profile” of the American voter, and established an iron rule that no initiative could be undertaken by the White House unless polling showed an approval rating of 60 percent. By constant polling, he concocted what he called a “values agenda,” for Clinton. At the top of the list was affirmative action. “Mend it, don’t end it” was the mantra, which meant, in practice, destroy affirmative action from the inside while professing support for the general principle.

        Next came TV violence. Intimidate the networks, Morris advised, into adopting a “voluntary” system of ratings for TV shows and movies. Soon media executives were summoned to the White House for a session with Clinton and Al Gore. Simultaneously Clinton pushed for the installation of the so-called V-chip in all new TV sets, which would allow parents to block all offensive material. Next came teen pregnancy, an issue pounded on by the Clinton White House, even though the rate had been falling. Education: go after tenured teachers, an attack increasingly popular in Morris’s focus groups, and demand that at least they be tested. Youth: advocate school uniforms and curfews for teens. Gay marriage: on Morris’s advice Clinton embraced the Defense of Marriage Act, a purely grandstanding piece of legislation that preemptively barred gay marriages from recognition under federal law for any purpose. Immigration: the poll numbers were off the chart, and the Clinton White House duly set a goal to double the number of turn-backs by the Immigration and Naturalization Service–among other things, enlisting the Labor Department to help speed the pace and breadth of workplace raids. Taxes: Morris believed that Main Street America was now playing the market, so that a 20 percent reduction in the capital gains tax rate would be hugely popular.

      • India TimesGoogle tells developers to implement alternative billing from April 26; developers cry foul

        The CCI in its two rulings — one on October 20 and the second on October 25 — had directed the American company to make close to 20 changes in the operation of its services in India which included providing alternative payment options to developers.

      • 37signals LLCCaring about costs is cool

        But costs aren’t just about the bottomline, they’re also a measure of efficiency. I have a distinct distaste for waste. Money spent on the frivolous or the ill-considered is money that can’t be spent elsewhere. Like an engine drinking too much oil just to run. Tight tolerances (but not too tight!) are a joy in themselves.

      • DroidGazzetteStripe launches Tap to Pay on Android

        As it leverages the Terminal, Tap to Pay is fully integrated with Stripe, thus aiming to support businesses with managing both in-person and online payments in a single place. This lets them track customer transactions across channels, offer improved customer experience, and simplify reporting and revenue reconciliation. What is more, the Terminal and Tap to Pay solutions are fully compatible with Stripe Connect, which helps platform businesses to offer their users the capability of accepting in-person payments in an easy manner. Businesses running on platforms that can now accept these payments on Android devices include Squire, Fareharbor, Oddle, and GiveTap.

      • CBCAs tip amounts rise, many Canadians say they’d rather skip the tip — and some restaurants agree

        Folke introduced its no-tipping policy when the vegan restaurant opened in June 2022. Deo says employees earn well above minimum wage ($15.65 per hour in B.C.) and get full benefits. All overhead costs, including salaries, have already been factored into the menu prices, so customers simply pay the bill.

        “It was really important to us to have an inclusive work environment where everyone was compensated fairly,” said Deo. “It’s not our customers’ responsibility to pay our staff properly. … It’s our responsibility to make sure that our staff are taken care of.”

      • CNNIndia’s opposition vows to keep ‘raising questions about Adani group’ after spokesperson arrested

        When dozens of security personnel crowded onto the runway of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport on Thursday, it was not to capture a terrorist or fleeing criminal mastermind, or even to apprehend an unruly passenger.

      • MeduzaUkrainian court seizes property worth 150 million USD from Oksana Marchenko, Viktor Medvedchuk’s wife — Meduza

        A Ukrainian court seized the property of Oksana Marchenko, wife of former Ukrainian pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Marchenko is suspected of financing Russian law enforcement agencies.

      • Counter PunchOn the Great Resignation: Interrogating the Neoliberal Narrative

        One of my acquaintances, a university employee, told me that she was shocked when she heard in a high-level staff meeting a senior administrator say, “we are quite aware of the trending ‘quiet quitting’ culture, and we warn our staff that doing so will result in quiet firing.” She was shocked partly “because I didn’t even know at the time how widely this debate has been circulating in the mainstream media. I don’t follow the news. But even more shocking to me is that a place like a university would use such a threatening tone to address an issue that may have much more serious underlying causes.” My acquaintance’s concerns are legitimate. In that same conversation, I asked: “did it occur to that senior university administrator that there would be no quiet quitting if people didn’t feel that they are being quietly marginalized and bullied in the first place?” “Well, people would not have resorted to this approach if they felt fulfilled, are paid decent living wages, and allowed to create and contribute rather than just serve as cogs in a bigger machine,” she added. We both found that countering “quiet quitting” with “quiet firing” is immature and vindictive, because it totally ignores the causes that got people to this point.

        Our conversation took place around the time the narrative of “the great resignation” and “quiet quitting” began trending in the mainstream media, so I decided to interrogate the mainstream narrative, while at the same time talk to as many people on the ground as I can, and research as many resources as possible to capture what the working and struggling people at the receiving end of this serious issue have to say about it. Not surprisingly, I found a frightening discord in the ways the mainstream media is framing the issues by focusing almost exclusively on the neoliberal, elitist, and privileged viewpoints, while deliberately ignoring the workers’ side of the story. This is when I decided that, as an independent anthropologist with a great interest in labor issues, I needed to dig deeper and share what I find publicly. My hope is not only to raise critical questions that we must wrestle with in the U.S., but also to expose the extent to which the ruling class totally disregards people’s voices. After all, it is these hundreds of millions of working people who struggle to make a living, and when all their struggle doesn’t result in living fulfilling, dignified, and meaningful lives, we are ignoring serious issues that could have detrimental effects on the entire society.

      • Copenhagen PostDenmark ranks among top countries to launch a startup

        Business Name Generator rated 50 countries on its 2023 Global Startup Index and the Danes came in the top 10

      • Copenhagen PostGovernment confident new bill will enable companies to more easily recruit foreign labour

        But economy minister cautions that new law will not open the floodgates, setting a provisional limit of 15,000 on the number that can be employed

      • RFERLZelenskiy Sends Ukrainian Lawmakers Sweeping Sanctions On Russian Financial Institutions

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has submitted a resolution to lawmakers endorsing a decision by his National Security and Defense Council to impose sweeping sanctions against Russian financial institutions, including the Russian central bank, insurers, and a host of other enterprises.

      • Atlantic CouncilRussia and China have been teaming up to reduce reliance on the dollar. Here’s how it’s going.

        Squeezed by sanctions, Russia has turned to Chinese yuan and gold, but both introduced new vulnerabilities and inconveniences.

      • Atlantic CouncilIran’s economic future is uncertain. It’s no surprise why Raisi visited China.

        From February 14-16, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was in Beijing for his first foreign trip of the year and the first official visit to China for an Iranian leader in twenty years.

      • JURISTUS financial regulator orders Mormon church to pay $1M penalty for inaccurate investment filings

        The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday announced charges against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment management company for failing to file necessary forms and providing inaccurate information. The SEC first raised concerns about the church’s reporting practices in 2019.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget: Radio caller chides ‘stingy’ finance chief after consumption vouchers halved to HK$5k

        Hong Kong’s finance chief said the city must be cautious how it spends its surplus after a radio caller chided him for a “stingy” decision to halve the value of the consumption voucher to HK$5,000 in the budget for the coming year.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: HK$5,000 consumption vouchers for all eligible residents

        Hongkongers are set to receive another round of consumption vouchers totalling HK$5,000, Finance Secretary Paul Chan has announced.

      • Atlantic CouncilChina and private lenders are blocking a solution to the global debt crisis. The G20 must step in.

        The international community must apply pressure so that China and private-sector lenders join in facilitating a collective haircut that includes all lenders.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: Mixed reviews as critics slam gov’t for overlooking the poor

        Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced the first budget of Chief Executive John Lee’s administration on Wednesday. The city is expected to see a HK$140 billion deficit, over double of the original estimation of HK$56.8 billion.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: Tax cuts scaled back, transport subsidy extended, other relief measures

        Tax cuts for Hong Kong taxpayers have been scaled back as the city’s financial minister announced a series of measures to alleviate economic pressure on the public.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong unveils HK$761 billion budget in bid to boost post-Covid recovery

        Hong Kong’s finance chief unveiled a HK$761 billion (US$97 billion) budget on Wednesday, plunging into the coffers to pay for the recession-hit city’s post-Covid recovery. Hoping to kickstart the finance centre’s economy, Finance Secretary Paul Chan announced tax cuts and more consumer spending vouchers.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: Police equipment budget rises 59%, despite spending just 8.5% of 2022 allocation

        Funding for the Hong Kong Police Force is to remain largely frozen in the coming financial year, though the “plant, vehicle and equipment” budget was increased by 59 per cent in finance chief Paul Chan’s 2023 budget.

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong Budget 2023: City expects HK$140 billion deficit, but predicts ‘visible rebound’ in economy

        The Hong Kong government expects to record a deficit of HK$140 billion in 2022-23, more than double the HK$56 billion initial estimate. The estimated fiscal deficit was revealed by Financial Secretary Paul Chan when he delivered the budget for the upcoming fiscal year at the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

      • JURISTUS Supreme Court rules ‘daily-rate’ oil rig employee qualifies for overtime

        The US Supreme Court Wednesday issued a 6-3 opinion ruling that Michael Hewitt, an oil rig employee making over $200,000 annually, qualified for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). The court held that Hewitt, a daily-rate employee, was not an executive exempt from the FSLA’s overtime pay guarantee.

      • JURISTUS Department of Justice announces policy incentivizing companies to report misconduct

        The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday announced a policy incentivizing companies to voluntarily self-report criminal conduct. The United States Attorney’s Offices’ Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy, which is effective immediately, aims to nationally standardize these disclosures and encourage companies to maintain effective compliance programs, efficiently remediate misconduct and cooperate with the government in corporate investigations.

      • JURISTUS Supreme Court rules bankruptcy debtor liable for partner’s fraud

        The US Supreme Court Wednesday ruled in a slip opinion that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor cannot discharge a debt that resulted from her partner’s fraudulent activity under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(7)(A). Justice Amy Coney Barrett authored the unanimous opinion.

      • teleSURGerman Inflation Rises to 8.7 Pct in January: Destatis

        The measures to curb inflation are mostly focused on energy. However, food prices are also driving inflation in Europe’s largest economy.

      • RFERLEU Echoes Inflation Fears Behind Bulgarian Delay In Joining Eurozone

        The European Commission says Bulgaria’s adoption of the euro by next January is “no longer realistic” because of inflation, an acknowledgement that sheds greater light on the caretaker government in Sofia’s announcement last week that its new “target date” is January 2025.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Hong Kong Free PressHong Kong’s Democratic Party postpones spring dinner after restaurant pulls out last minute for ‘urgent repair’

        The Democratic Party – the largest remaining opposition party in the city – has been forced to postpone its spring dinner after three restaurants pulled out of hosting the party and its supporters.

      • New York TimesTech Leaders in Israel Wonder if It’s Time to Leave

        Ahead of a judicial overhaul that could transform the country and frighten away investors, the executives of Start-Up Nation are mulling an exodus.

      • France24Israeli troops conduct deadly raid in flashpoint West Bank city

        Israeli troops killed 11 Palestinians, including at least four gunmen and four civilians, and wounded more than 100 people during a Wednesday raid on a city in the occupied West Bank, witnesses, militant groups and medical officials said.

      • France24Mexico’s Senate approves controversial electoral reform bill

        Mexico’s Senate on Wednesday approved a reform of the country’s electoral institute, a move that opponents say will undercut democracy but which the president contends will save money and reduce political privileges.

      • France24‘Putin has lost influence in the world,’ top Ukrainian lawmaker tells FRANCE 24

        In an interview with FRANCE 24′s Gulliver Cragg in Kyiv, the head of the parliamentary faction of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party discussed the situation in Ukraine, one year after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. David Arakhamia said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “lost influence in the world” as a result of Moscow’s military setbacks in Ukraine. Arakhamia said “everyone” should worry after Putin said he would suspend his country’s participation in New START, the last remaining major nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia.

      • France24UN chief calls Russia’s war in Ukraine ‘affront to collective conscience’

        UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it “an affront to our collective conscience” as the General Assembly met in a special session two days before the anniversary of Moscow’s attack. Read FRANCE 24′s blog to see how the day’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

      • France24‘Putin is a global problem,’ Ukraine’s foreign minister tells FRANCE 24

        Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed confidence that Ukraine would win the war against the invading force of Russia, in an interview with FRANCE 24. Speaking in Brussels a few days ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the top Ukrainian diplomat explained why he thinks President Vladimir Putin represents a global threat for the international community, saying that the Russian president’s strategy was “destruction and undermining stability”. Kuleba added, “No one is interested in having a UN Security Council member and a nuclear power messing up the world.”

      • RFAVietnam arrests Facebook user for allegedly posting ‘illegal content’

        Le Minh The recently served a 2-year sentence on the same charge.

      • Atlantic CouncilCharai in The Hill: A reminder for the fight against despots: Citizens are victims

        The current generation is challenged by democracy’s enemies. On the feeblest pretexts, a charismatic dictator has sent soldiers into a neighboring nation. Once again, the dictator imagines his prey is weak because it is a democracy, backed by other democracies.

      • Atlantic Council#BalkansDebrief – What is the future for Kosovo Serbs in the north? | A Debrief with Tatjana Lazarevic

        Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare interviews Tatjana Lazarevic, the Editor-in-Chief of the KoSSev news portal and a resident of the Kosovo Serb-majority city of Mitrovica in the north of Kosovo.

      • New York TimesHow the U.S. Adopted a New Intelligence Playbook to Expose Russia’s War Plans

        In a previous era, the warning might have remained private, at least for some time. But a new intelligence playbook honed just before and during the war in Ukraine has redefined how the United States uses its classified knowledge to undercut Russia and its partners.

        The playbook is not just about naming and shaming Russia and its allies; it has become a powerful tool in the United States’ arsenal to try to stymie the Kremlin’s offensive by exposing Russia’s military plans and in aligning support for Kyiv’s war effort in allied capitals.

      • India TimesFacebook-parent Meta planning fresh layoffs, to impact thousands: report

        In a statement shared with Meta employees, co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg had said going ahead, the company would make further cuts on discretionary spending and extend the freeze on fresh hiring until March 2023.

      • India TimesSAP Labs lays off 300 staffers in India

        SAP Labs, research and development business unit of German technology firm SAP, last week laid off around 300 executives across its India centres, people aware of the matter told ET.

        The layoffs majorly impacted Bengaluru and Gurgaon offices, they said.

        It was a result of shuttering of a global delivery centre that housed custom development roles to undertake SAP implementation projects, one of the sources said.

      • Broadband BreakfastSupreme Court Considers Liability for Twitter Not Removing Terrorist Content

        Many of Wednesday’s arguments hinged on specific interpretations of the ATA, which states that liability for injuries caused by international terrorism “may be asserted as to any person who aids and abets, by knowingly providing substantial assistance, or who conspires with the person who committed such an act of international terrorism.”

      • India TimesSAP Labs lays off 300 staffers in India

        It was a result of shuttering of a global delivery centre that housed custom development roles to undertake SAP implementation projects, one of the sources said.

        The affected employees, some of whom with 10-15 years of experience, have been provided severance packages of salaries equating the number of years they served at the company, among other benefits, the person said.

      • India TimesAlibaba laid off 19,000 employees in 2022 to improve cost efficiency

        Alibaba, which still has a workforce of 239,740, per its latest report, remains one of China’s biggest private-sector employers.

      • Hindustan TimesElon Musk fires Twitter staff again despite promises of no more layoffs: Report

        Despite promising in November 2022 that there will be no more layoffs, Elon Musk has fired more employees from Twitter, as per a report in The Verge. Tech site The Information first reported about layoffs hitting the sales team last week. In the third round of job cuts since November, dozens of employees from the sales and engineering departments were affected.

      • Unmitigated RiskGlobal Trend in Tech Regulation and its Consequences for the EU and the US

        It’s worth noting that the EU’s approach to regulation has been very implementation-specific when compared to the U.S. approach to similar regulation, as seen with the EIdAS, the EU’s digital signature legislation, and the associated supporting efforts which choose which technologies must be used. The first version of which left the topic of interoperability as a footnote and ignored the concept of reciprocity. This essentially created member-state monopolies around the legislation where country-to-country transactions would still be signed on pen and paper. That did change a few years ago, but better technological approaches to solving the associated problems were established and proven since the initial legislation was proposed two decades ago, and their adoption was held back due to this legislation’s technical specificity.

      • RiskyBizAn interview with Andrew Boyd, director of the CIA’s Centre for Cyber Intelligence

        In this interview the director of the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI) sits down with Risky Business podcast host Patrick Gray to talk about: [...]

      • Michael GeistMandated Payment for Links To Cover 35% of News Expenditures?: Google Responds to Bill C-18 By Testing Blocking Links to News Content

        The battle between Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and Internet giants Google and Facebook continues to head toward a seeming inevitable collision in which the government repeatedly says it will not be intimidated even as the two Internet companies block or reduce access to news content on their platforms in Canada. Reports last night indicate that Google is now testing blocking news links for a small percentage of Canadian users, with the company saying it needs to assess potential responses to Bill C-18. This follows earlier Facebook comments indicating that it would consider blocking news sharing on its platform if the bill is enacted in its current form.

      • Counter PunchThe Problem with Israel’s So-Called ‘Crisis of Democracy’

        Since the start of the new year, reading about Israel in the Hebrew-language press has been an unnerving experience.

        One article described a maternity ward in which a Palestinian woman from Nazareth was persuaded to move rooms after a Jewish woman complained about sharing the same space with a non-Jew.

      • TruthOutIvanka Trump, Jared Kushner Subpoenaed to Testify in DOJ’s Trump Investigation
      • Telex (Hungary)Loss of trust and a deepening rift: the Hungarian EU commissioner and his comment about idiots
      • Counter PunchFrom Russiagate with Love

        A January 2023 publication from the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) spawned the latest round of spin and shifting baselines from Russiagate apologists. Russiagate refers to the claims that Russia meddled in and influenced the outcome of the U.S. election in 2016, had direct connections to Donald Trump and his associates, and worked to help defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. A recent article from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, written by investigative reporter Jeff Gerth, utilized exiting media reports, and “dozens of people at the center of the story—editors and reporters, Trump himself, and others in his orbit,” to conclude that the legacy news media inaccurately covered the connection between Russia and Donald J. Trump during his Presidency. While this may be news to some diehard Democrats and their allies in the “liberal” press, the media’s reporting failures on the matter were not missed by all.

        In addition to concluding Russiagate was a failure of the Fourth Estate, Gerth’s report reveals that rather than reckoning with their failures, many in the news media continue to avoid the topic altogether. Gerth explained that “my final concern, and frustration, was the lack of transparency by media organizations in responding to my questions. I reached out to more than sixty journalists; only about half responded.”

      • Counter PunchAmerica in Denial: Exposing the Religious, Racial, and Class Dimensions of Rightwing Extremism

        The last few years have seen the emergence of one of the largest progressive movements in history – Black Lives Matter – which spotlights America’s continued crisis of white supremacy. Progressive movements historically provoke significant rightwing backlash, and the modern era is no exception. A new poll sponsored by the Marcon Institute for anti-racist studies and social justice provides comprehensive evidence of how white Christian nationalist politics are mainstreamed in contemporary society. Yet the purveyors of hate, who vehemently deny their role in normalizing white supremacist politics, are making it increasingly difficult to expose bigotry.

        The Marcon poll contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,021 Americans and asked them a battery of questions to gauge their level of support for white Christian nationalism. In an era marked by record inequality, the poll also provides hints about whether this ideology is fueled by economic insecurity. In a comprehensive examination of white supremacy and public opinion, our poll asked many questions about race in America. The results paint an ugly picture – large numbers of people embrace all sorts of white nationalist-compatible beliefs, even as they insist that they are not racist or affiliated with extremist ideology. We include each of the questions in our white nationalism index immediately below, along with information about how Republicans, Democrats, and the public overall reacted.

      • Counter PunchBalloongate: Lots of Hot Air and the Cold U.S./China Hotline

        During the recent Balloongate, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, tried to call someone in the Chinese military to ease tensions. The fact that he apparently asked to speak to someone in the Central Military Commission instead of the Defense Minister is not crucial. What is of primary concern is that Beijing reported that Austin’s calls were rejected three times.

        Direct communication between the defense ministers of the world’s leading military powers in the 21st century seems like a no brainer. Whatever tensions may exist between China and the United States, instant communication between the military leaders should be indispensable to guaranteeing that a major confrontation doesn’t begin because of some trivial misunderstanding.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • IT WireGoogle blocks some news content in Canada ahead of online law

        The law, known as Bill C-18, makes it compulsory for companies like Google and Meta, the parent of Facebook, to work out deals with media companies for the re-use of their content.

        The Canadian Press quoted Google spokesman Shay Purdy as saying on Wednesday: “We’re briefly testing potential product responses to Bill C-18 that impact a very small percentage of Canadian users.”

      • RFATibetans tell relatives abroad not to call them during Tibetan New Year

        The holiday comes just before a politically sensitive anniversary on March 10, commemorating the Tibetan uprising of 1959 during which tens of thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of the regional capital Lhasa in protest against China’s invasion and occupation of their homeland a decade earlier.

      • Computer WorldSupreme Court justices parse US antiterrorism law in Twitter case

        Much of the hearing was devoted to a careful parsing of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), the law under which the Tammneh family brought their lawsuit. Their argument, essentially, is that Twitter is liable for providing a platform to terrorists who used it to communicate and plan the attack. Twitter, for its part, argued that it couldn’t be held responsible without a demonstration that it had been informed of a specific attack and failed to do anything about it.

      • TechdirtNY’s ‘Hateful Conduct’ Social Media Law Blocked As Unconstitutional

        Last summer, we wrote about New York’s law to require websites to have “hateful conduct” policies, noting that it was “ridiculous” and “likely unconstitutional.” The law was passed in the wake of the horrific Buffalo super market shooting, where the state’s Governor and Attorney General sought to blame the internet, rather than the government’s own failings that contributed to the death toll.

      • NCACNCAC, FIRE release joint letter on censorship of State College of Florida art exhibition

        Photo Credit: Clifford McDonald, Good Trouble, 2023 The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) are alarmed by reports of the apparently politically motivated censorship of an art exhibition entitled “Embracing Kindness” at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s Bradenton campus.

      • NCACNCAC Identifies Books Secretly Banned By Michigan School District

        NEW YORK – On February 17, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) delivered a letter to the Forest Hills Public School Board in Grand Rapids, Michigan, identifying 10 books that were secretly removed by Superintendent Dan Behm in violation of the school district’s reconsideration policy.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jacobin MagazineThe Capitalist Road to Serfdom

        By design, the corporation is not a democratic enterprise. Its management is hierarchical, its imperatives are growth and profit, and its structure is a de facto class system of owners, managers, and workers. You could argue that in the earliest days of capitalism, something like the concept of free enterprise actually existed: firms of various sizes competed, with even the largest dwarfed in both size and influence by most nation states. Today, the world’s biggest companies not only wield monopolistic power and exert considerable political influence, but in many cases have market capitalizations exceeding the GDPs of entire countries.

      • Business InsiderA former Google exec is suing the company, saying a coworker sexually harassed and drunkenly berated him

        Olohan, a New Jersey resident, says in the complaint, which was first reported by Bloomberg, that he suffered workplace retaliation by Miller after rejecting advances from her and reporting them to Google’s human-resources department.

      • Common DreamsPoor People’s Campaign, Families Demand DOJ Probe of Over 100 West Virginia Jail Deaths

        Activists with the Poor People’s Campaign and relatives of some of the 13 inmates who died at West Virginia’s Southern Regional Jail last year held a press conference Thursday to implore the Biden administration to investigate conditions at the notorious lockup, as well as the deaths of more than 100 prisoners in the state during the last 10 years.

      • EFFFourth Circuit: Individuals Have a First Amendment Right to Livestream Their Own Traffic Stops

        After police officers tased, choked, and severely beat Dijon Sharpe during a traffic stop, he decided that next time he was in a car that was pulled over, he would livestream and record the encounter. Ten months later, in October 2018, Sharpe, sitting in the passenger seat of a stopped car, took out his phone and started livestreaming on Facebook.

        When an officer saw that he was livestreaming, he grabbed Sharpe and tried to take the phone. The officer explained that Sharpe was free to record the encounter, but he could not livestream due to supposed concerns about officers’ real-time safety (a policy later ascribed to the city of Winterville, NC). Sharpe sued to vindicate his First Amendment rights.

        It’s great that the Fourth Circuit held that individuals have a First Amendment right to livestream their own traffic stops. The court rightly acknowledged, “Creating and disseminating information is protected speech under the First Amendment.”

      • Reviving the lost work of a groundbreaking Black composer

        Ph.D. candidate Bryan Ijames followed his ear, his heart and some scholarly detective work to resurrect a forgotten piece by composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor that will be performed March 16 at Hill Auditorium.

      • NYPostGoogle exec fired after a female boss groped him at drunken bash, suit says

        Olohan said he reported the issue to Google’s human resources department the following week, but nothing ever came of the complaint.

      • Hindustan TimesGoogle worker claims he was fired for rejecting female colleague’s advances: Report

        Olohan also accused Miller of false complaints against him for “microaggressions” in retaliation for reporting the 2019 incident to HR, which caused him anxiety. Olohan continued to face hostility as he was publicly reprimanded by an inebriated Miller at a Google event in December 2021. Although Miller apologised, she repeated the same behaviour at a bar in April 2022. Olohan’s lawsuit accuses Google of taking no action despite knowing that “Miller’s harassment stemmed from his rejection of her sexual advances”.

      • Common DreamsUS Strike Activity Surged in 2022 as SCOTUS Workers’ Rights Ruling Looms

        The number of U.S. workers who staged work stoppages in a wide array of industries in 2022 surged by nearly 50% from the previous year, new federal data shows—but the resolve among employees demanding fair pay after years without a raise, better working conditions, and paid sick leave may be under threat as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a key labor case.

      • Common DreamsExpanding Social Security Is Winning Policy and Politics for Democrats

        Democrats learned the wrong lesson about Social Security in the 1990s. That incorrect lesson was unfortunately reinforced in 2005. Now is the time to learn the right lesson. President Joe Biden is on the right track, but to truly succeed, he must shake off the wrong lessons of the past.

      • Common DreamsCan an Apartheid State Have a ‘Crisis of Democracy’?

        Since the start of the new year, reading about Israel in the Hebrew-language press has been an unnerving experience.

      • The NationI Signed the New York Times Open Letter. I Have More to Say.

        To say that it was a decision for me to put my name on the open letter to The New York Times condemning the publication for its continuous anti-trans rhetoric suggests that it required more thought than it actually did. I received an email at 11:02 on a Saturday evening from a friend who was one of the organizers of the letter, and I replied at 11:04 pm that “I would absolutely love to sign the letter.”

      • The NationWho’s Afraid of Tommie Smith?

        Tommie Smith can still make the craven recoil like a vampire confronted with sunlight. And the track legend, who along with John Carlos raised his fist following their 200-meter race at the 1968 Olympics, is still needing to fight to have his story told. Smith and Carlos felt compelled to act on the medal stand because their personal glory was less important to them than standing up against racism, white supremacy, and poverty. But in some parts of the United States, just acknowledging that moment has been barred or even criminalized.

      • TruthOutDemocrats: Biden’s New Asylum Policy Is “Almost Identical” to Trump Transit Ban
      • Counter PunchOur Man in Iran
      • France24Tunisia detains prominent dissidents amid growing crackdown

        Tunisian police detained two prominent dissidents and surrounded the home of a third on Wednesday, part of an escalating crackdown on critics of President Kais Saied, who has labelled his opponents traitors and criminals.

      • RFERLPosthumous Trial Of Russian Ultranationalist Martsinkevich Halted At Parents’ Request

        A court in Russia has stopped a posthumous case against Maksim Martsinkevich, a notorious Russian ultranationalist who died while in detention in 2020, at the request of his parents, the family’s lawyer, Aleksei Mikhalchik, said on February 22.

      • LRTLithuania is making ‘tepid’ progress in improving social rights – NGOs

        Lithuania has made minor improvements in protection of human and social rights, NGOs say, but they are “tepid”.

      • JURISTAmerican Bar Association: high plea bargain rate hurts criminal justice system integrity

        The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Plea Bargain Task Force Wednesday released its 2023 report, which found that 98 percent of criminal proceedings end in a plea bargain instead of a jury trial.

      • JURISTSeattle becomes first US city to ban caste discrimination

        Seattle’s city council Tuesday voted to ban discrimination on the basis of caste. Seattle is the first city to adds “caste” to other anti-discrimination provisions of its municipal code, following the California state university system’s decision last January to prohibit discrimination on this basis.

      • JURISTUS appeals court rules students cannot be prosecuted under South Carolina school disturbance laws

        The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Wednesday ruled that two South Carolina school disturbance laws cannot be used to prosecute students for disruptive behavior. The could said that children as young as seven were referred to prosecutors by their schools under these laws.

      • MeduzaRussia has started expelling transgender women who lack Russian citizenship — Meduza

        Moscow courts have ordered the deportation of at least four trans women under the new law on “LGBT propaganda,” reports Mediazona.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • TruthOutWarren, Sanders: Merck’s Hunt to Extend Cancer Drug Patent May Be Patent Abuse
        • IP Kat Spotting the difference between the priority document and the claims (T 1303/18) [Ed: EPO kangaroo courts in action again]
        • JUVEAlcon and AMO reach global settlement over cataract surgery equipment [Ed: Juve conflates patents with "intellectual property", as usual]

          To end their ongoing global proceedings, Alcon has reported making a one-time payment of $199 million to competitor AMO, which settles litigaton over medical devices for cataract surgery.

        • Dennis Crouch/Patently-OFederal Circuit Gives Stare Decisis Effect to a Judgment of Claim Validity

          C.R. Bard, Inc. v. Med. Components, Inc., 2023 WL 2064163 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 17, 2023)

          In Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc. v. University of Illinois Foundation (1971), the Supreme Court held that a judgment of invalidity in a suit against one infringer accrues to the benefit of any other accused infringer unless the patent owner shows that he did not have a fair opportunity procedurally, substantively and evidentially to pursue his patent claim the first time.  Collateral estoppel (i.e., issue preclusion) under Blonder-Tongue is non-mutual.  While a judgment of invalidity binds the patent owner and its successors in interest because it is a party to the suit with adequate opportunity to contest the matter, a judgment of validity cannot operate in the patent owner’s favor to bind persons who are neither parties nor in privity with parties to the suit.

      • Copyrights

        • TechdirtLego Confirms Zelda Lego Set By Trying To DMCA Leaks Of It To Hide It

          The Streisand Effect. Some folks know it. Some folks even think that some people that know it use it purposefully to their own advantage. Other times people who should know better simply flail around and end up turning content viral which they had intended on burying. So, whenever we do these kinds of posts, someone will inevitably show up in the comments to suggest we’re being gamed by even reporting on a thing, typically absent any actual evidence that such gaming is occurring.

        • Torrent Freak‘Time for U.S. Lawmakers to Discuss Pirate Site Blocking’

          The CreativeFuture coalition, which represents companies and individuals in the film, TV, music, and publishing industries, wants pirate site blocking put back on the political agenda. CEO Ruth Vitale finds it incomprehensible that an anti-piracy measure commonplace in other Western democracies is unavailable in the United States.

        • Michael GeistCanadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Three: Millions Spent on Transactional Licences Demonstrate Fair Dealing is No Free For All

          Canadian copyright lobby groups have repeatedly tried to convince the government that the 2012 copyright reforms and Supreme Court fair dealing jurisprudence created a free-for-all in which education refuses to pay licence fees due to their reliance on fair dealing. The data from yesterday’s post on massive shift to site licences tells a different story, namely that Canadian educational institutions spend hundreds of millions annually on licences that provide both access works and the flexibility to use them in a myriad of ways. My Fair Dealing Week series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing and education (Setting the Record Straight) continues with another type of licence that has grown in importance in recent years: the pay-per-use or transactional licence. These licences, which grant access to, and use of, individual works, demonstrate that lobby group claims bear little relationship to reality. Indeed, if the lobby groups were right about unlimited uncompensated copying, why would education still spend millions a pay-per-use licences? They obviously wouldn’t, but since fair dealing represents a fair approach to both creators and users, education recognizes that fair dealing does not lead to the complete elimination of licensed copying.

        • Walled CultureCopyright has been one of life’s certainties: but will it always be?

          Copyright seems to serve the public well enough – there’s no shortage of books, music or films being produced each year. But here, too, there are problems, albeit of a less obvious kind – for example, the issue of orphan works. These are works, typically books, that are still covered by copyright, but unavailable because the original publisher has gone out of business, or simply isn’t interested in keeping them in circulation. Copyright means that unless the current owner can be located – a difficult task for obscure works that were created decades ago – it is against the law for someone else to reprint them. Nobody benefits from this, but attempts to address this situation, like the EU’s Orphan Works Directive have been half-hearted and ineffectual, and the problem remains.

          The situation is arguably worse in the world of cinema. While books held in libraries are durable, and are likely to survive until such time as their copyright expires and reprints may be made, that’s not true for films, which often exist as a unique copy on extremely flammable or delicate media. It is estimated that already half of all U.S. films made before 1950 have been lost, while the figure for films shot before 1929 is over 90%. Copyright restrictions prevented copies being made of the films, which could have preserved them for posterity.

        • [Old] The United KingdomResearch and analysis: Executive summary

          These factors may be exacerbated by the fact that it is challenging for music companies to know who among the growing pool of creators will be successful. This inherent uncertainty combined with consumer tastes that tend to tip to a relatively small number of artists means that it is challenging for creators to succeed. We do not think that these factors arise from how firms compete in the market.

          We have found that it is unlikely that the outcomes that concern many stakeholders are primarily driven by competition. Consequently, it is unlikely that a competition intervention would improve outcomes overall, and release more money in the system to pay creators more. In such circumstances, there is a greater risk that a competition intervention will result in unintended consequences and worse outcomes for both consumers and creators. The costs, risks and uncertainty created by a market investigation (which could run for 2 years) would be imposed on the industry and borne, ultimately, by consumers. We have therefore decided to not undertake a market investigation.

        • The VergeThe US Copyright Office says you can’t copyright Midjourney AI-generated images

          The images themselves, however, “are not the product of human authorship,” and the registration originally granted for them has been canceled. To justify the decision, the Copyright Office cites previous cases where people weren’t able to copyright words or songs that listed “non-human spiritual beings” or the Holy Spirit as the author — as well as the infamous incident where a selfie was taken by a monkey.

        • ForbesAI-Created Images Aren’t Protected By Copyright Law According To U.S. Copyright Office

          The U.S. Copyright Office has ruled that illustrations in a new comic book that were created with the AI program Midjourney are not protected by copyright law, according to a letter issued by the Copyright Office. News of the decision, first reported by Reuters, comes as internet users become accustomed to a new world of content creation that increasingly depends on artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney.

        • ReutersAI-created images lose U.S. copyrights in test for new technology

          Images in a graphic novel that were created using the artificial-intelligence system Midjourney should not have been granted copyright protection, the U.S. Copyright Office said in a letter seen by Reuters.

          “Zarya of the Dawn” author Kris Kashtanova is entitled to a copyright for the parts of the book Kashtanova wrote and arranged, but not for the images produced by Midjourney, the office said in its letter, dated Tuesday.

        • The Register UKAmerica: AI artwork is not authored by humans, so can’t be protected by copyright

          Last September, the USCO approved an application for Zarya Of The Dawn, a graphic novel created by Kristina Kashtanova, registering the work as intellectual property protected by copyright. The decision reinvigorated the legal debate over whether digital artwork created by the latest AI text-to-image tools could be copyrighted or not.

          However, the USCO has reversed its initial decision and scrapped the copyright certificate previously issued for Kashtanova’s comic book. After reviewing the case officials ruled that the text, selection, coordination, and arrangement of images used to create the novel are the work of Kashtanova and can be protected by copyright – but the individual software-generated images themselves cannot be.

          As the USCO sees it, the layout of the novel and its text is copyright Kashtanova, but the images in the frames – created from written prompts – is not copyright protected because no person created it.

        • New York TimesScience Fiction Magazines Battle a Flood of Chatbot-Generated Stories

          While the deluge has become a nuisance, the stories are easy to spot. The writing is “bad in spectacular ways,” one editor said.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • and so, some time passed…

        i’ve actually been thinking about the geminispace for a while. i made a little post on station a few weeks ago, i think. what’ve i been up to? well, in the past six months i: learned how to drive again. still need to fill out the logbook and get my hours. i’m still incredibly behind, since i’m scared i procrastinate. but right now my car is being worked on, and when it comes back i’m motivated to finally get it done! i only need 14 hours logged, and then i can take the big test for my full license. wish me luck in that regard!
        started making a lot more art again, and i also coded my website from scratch this time. learned to crochet. changed my name. switched insurance providers, started mastectomy process.

      • 🔤SpellBinding: FLRSTUY Wordo: OGLED
      • Democracy WTF

        There are protests in Israel against the Judicial Reform and for democracy.
        Recently, I sam a post on LinkedIn calling hi-tech employess to change
        their job titles to “Chief Democracy Officer”. That’s a great opportunity
        to be promoted to CXO.

    • Technical

      • Programming

        • Side Project: Interactive Fiction

          For the past two weeks, I’ve been working on a little Interactive Fiction side project. It has been a nice palate cleanser between all the daily routines and longer-term projects like Lagrange.

          There’s something about Interactive Fiction engines that has fascinated me for a long time. I bought a copy of TADS version 2.2 back in ~1994 and had some fun times building little games with it.

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

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 23, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:38 am by Needs Sunlight

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Over HTTP:

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Enter the IRC channels now

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Links 24/02/2023: Devices and General News

Posted in News Roundup at 1:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux GizmosBeryl AX Wi-Fi6 Router runs on OpenWrt v21.02

      The company GL.iNet recently launched a compact Wi-Fi6 router offering 1x 2.5GbE WAN port and 1x GbE LAN port. The Beryl AX (GL-MT3000) supports both 2.4GHz/5.0GHz bands and it’s capable of running OpenVPN at 150Mbps.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosMini PC equipped with 12th Gen Intel processors and dual 2.5GbE ports

        The KC12 is a compact Mini-PC featuring the Intel Core i5-1240P and the Intel Core i7-1240P. The device is equipped with 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x M.2280 slots, 1x Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi6/Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and other various peripherals.

      • CNX SoftwareZBMINI Extreme Zigbee smart switch review with Home Assistant

        But in this review, we will show you how to manage the ZBMINI Extreme using another approach namely with integration with Home Assistant home automation framework. Home Assistant is a very popular open-source software, contributed by lots of great people around the world. We will use Home Assistant version 2023.2.0 installed on a Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 4GB or 8GB RAM and a 128GB SD card. We won’t use an external Zigbee Bridge, and instead, we will make use of a Zigbee USB Dongle that connects directly to the Raspberry P i4 USB port. For the dongle, we have a Conbee II Zigbee USB dongle to create a Zigbee network in order to communicate with other Zigbee devices

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HackadayTesting The Raspberry Pi Debug Probe

        We mentioned the Raspberry Pi Debug Probe when it was launched, a little RP2040-based board that provides both a USB-to-UART and an ARM SWD debug interface. [Jeff Geerling] was lucky enough to snag one, and he’s put it through its paces in a handy blog post.

      • HackadayLaser Scanner Upgraded To Use PCB Motor

        [Rik]’s Hexastorm laser scanner project originally used a discrete polygon mirror controller+motor module from Sharp to spin a prism. But the scanner head was a bit difficult to assemble and had a lot of messy wires. This has all been replaced by a single board featuring a PCB-printed motor, based on the work of [Carl Bugeja]. The results are promising so far — see video below the break.

      • HackadayAn Amiga Mouse, The Modern Way

        When we recently featured an Amiga upgrade project, [EmberHeavyIndustries ] was prompted to share one of their own, an adapter to allow a modern USB HID mouse to be used with the Commodore quadrature mouse port.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchStirring Humor into ‘Old Age’

      No doubt everyone grows old in their own way.

      But once you actually hit it — that three letter word, “old” — watch out: “An aged man is but a paltry thing,/A tattered coat upon a stick . . .”

    • HackadayLo-Fi Tchaikovsky

      [Kevin] over at Simple DIY ElectroMusic Projects recently upgraded his Lo-Fi Orchestra. To celebrate his 400th blog post, he programmed it to play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Two Arduino Nanos, four Arduino Unos, four Raspberry Pi Picos, and one Raspberry Pi have joined the Lo-Fi Orchestra this year, conducted by a new Pico MIDI Splitter. Changes were made in every section of the orchestra except percussion. We are delighted that the Pringles tom and plastic tub bass drums remain, not to mention the usual assortment of cheap mixers, amps, and speakers.

    • HackadayNASA Help Wanted: Ham Radio Operators Please Apply

      NASA’s been recruiting citizen scientists lately, and their latest call is looking for help from ham radio operators. They want you to make and report radio contacts during the 2023 and 2024 North American eclipses. From their website:

    • The NationThe Tragedy of Till Is Our Failure to Grasp Its Radical Politics

      Danielle Deadwyler was widely expected to receive an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Mamie Till-Mobley in Chinonye Chukwu’s extraordinary film Till. She consistently received the strongest reviews of any lead actress. Manhola Dargis wrote in The New York Times, “With fixed intensity and supple quicksilver emotional changes, Deadwyler rises to the occasion as Mamie, delivering a quiet, centralizing performance.” Ronda Penrice of The Wrap concurred: “This magnificent performance elevates Deadwyler to the ranks of the great actors of our time.” The New Yorker’s Richard Brody described her performance as “one of the most radiantly, resonantly expressive to grace the screen this year.” Even before she snagged the Gotham Award for outstanding lead performance in November, she had already secured a spot on virtually every critic’s Oscar prediction list. So when neither Deadwyler nor Viola Davis received Oscar nods, it sent tremors through the industry and beyond. Rolling Stone critic Marlow Stern noted, “Deadwyler’s snub is perhaps the most shocking, given the gravity of the role and how she rose to the occasion.” Richard Brody was also “shocked,” as was fellow New Yorker critic Michael Shulman, who called Deadwyler “a contender” for how she “took a grieving-mother role that could have been clichéd and made her thrillingly alive and complicated.” Sarah Polley, writer/director of the Oscar-nominated Women Talking, urged her Twitter followers to see Till, adding that Deadwyler “gave one of the best performances of all time.”

    • Pro PublicaWhat Happened to Jefferson Rodríguez

      The call to 911 came in a little after 11 p.m. A man said a small boy on his dairy farm had severe head injuries. He said he thought the boy had been trampled by a cow.

      Ann Ingolia, a deputy for the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, was in the middle of her shift when she heard the dispatch on this warm summer night in 2019. She turned on her siren and headed over, down winding roads and rolling hills, past the farms and fields that mark the landscape of this part of south-central Wisconsin.

    • Pro PublicaWhy It’s So Hard to Sue Doctors for Sexual Assault in Utah

      At 19 years old and about to be married, Stephanie Mateer went to an OB-GYN within walking distance of her student housing near Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

      She wanted to start using birth control, and she was looking for guidance about having sex for the first time on her 2008 wedding night.

    • HackadayKeebin’ With Kristina: The One Where Shift (Really) Happens

      Hooray, the system works! [Sasha K.] wrote to let me know about their Thumbs Up! keyboard, which is the culmination of a long journey down the DIY rabbit hole to end game. (Seriously, it’s kind of a wild ride, and there’s a ton of pictures).

    • The NationJay Jackson’s Audacious Comics

      In June 1941, Harold Gray’s nationally syndicated comic strip Little Orphan Annie made a singular contribution to the war effort: The titular heroine formed a group called the Junior Commandos, a club for boys and girls who wanted to fight fascism. The logic behind the Junior Commandos was that because the United States was in a total war, kids had to pitch in too. Some of the Junior Commandos’ adventures were fanciful, such as foiling a Nazi submarine attack off the shores of America. Others reflected the ways that total war had transformed everyday American life: starting up vegetable gardens, buying war bonds, rationing and recycling. The concept of the Junior Commandos took off in real life too, with many actual kids’ organizations mimicking the good citizenship promoted in the strip.

    • SpiegelZelenskyy’s Heroes: Ukraine’s Best Respond to the Earthquake in Turkey

      Rescue workers from Ukraine have been working nonstop since the Russian invasion to save civilians from the ruins of their buildings. After the earthquake in Turkey, though, some of them took a break from the war to help out in the disaster zone.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Common DreamsModerna’s 2022 Windfall a ‘Scandalous’ Result of Pandemic Profiteering, Campaigners Say

        The Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical giant Moderna announced Thursday that it brought in over $19 billion in revenue and $8.4 billion in profits in 2022 thanks primarily to its Covid-19 vaccine, which was made possible by federal funding and government technology.

      • The NationJackson’s Water System Is Broken by Design

        Every March, cardinals arrive in Kali Akuno’s front yard in Jackson, Miss., to build nests in his trees. But in spring 2017, something odd happened: The chicks hatched on cue but then died. “They didn’t fall out of the nest,” Akuno says. “They starved.”1This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center and produced in partnership with the Jackson Advocate.

      • Common DreamsToxic Forever Chemicals Found in More Than 330 Animal Species

        More than 330 animal species around the world are at risk of harm from exposure to toxic “forever chemicals,” according to an Environmental Working Group analysis published Wednesday.

      • Pro PublicaRegulators Overhaul Inspections of Hospice Providers

        In late January, amid intensifying scrutiny of the quality of care provided by the American end-of-life care industry, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reformed how it inspects hospice providers. The changes, detailed in a 196-page document, went into effect immediately.

        Under the new protocol, inspectors must sample data from multiple locations where the hospice operates and evaluate a broader range of metrics. These include records on the hospice’s inpatient care, bereavement practices and reasons patients are leaving the service alive. “An unusually high rate of live discharges could indicate that a hospice provider is not meeting the needs of patients and families or is admitting patients who do not meet the eligibility criteria,” the revised rules note.

      • The NationWant to Fix Public Health? Stop Thinking Like a Doctor.

        A changing of the guard in US public health is impending—and, with it, a chance to rejuvenate a flailing field. Anthony Fauci has retired in the shadow of one of the worst preventable disasters in history, and President Biden is moving to make new appointments while establishing a permanent White House Office for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy. In doing so, Biden and his advisers must confront the fact that the rot in public health is structural: It cannot be cured by simply rotating the figureheads who preside over it. Building effective national health infrastructure will require confronting pervasive distortions of public health and remaking the leadership appointment systems that have left US public health agencies captive to partisan interests.

      • Pro PublicaPollution From a Plastics-Based Fuel Has a 1-in-4 Lifetime Cancer Risk

        The Environmental Protection Agency recently gave a Chevron refinery the green light to create fuel from discarded plastics as part of a “climate-friendly” initiative to boost alternatives to petroleum. But, according to agency records obtained by ProPublica and The Guardian, the production of one of the fuels could emit air pollution that is so toxic, 1 out of 4 people exposed to it over a lifetime could get cancer.

        “That kind of risk is obscene,” said Linda Birnbaum, former head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “You can’t let that get out.”

    • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Counter PunchWho’s Winning and Losing the Economic War Over Ukraine?

        With the Ukraine war now reaching its one-year mark on February 24, the Russians have not achieved a military victory but neither has the West achieved its goals on the economic front. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States and its European allies vowed to impose crippling sanctions that would bring Russia to its knees and force it to withdraw.

        Western sanctions would erect a new Iron Curtain, hundreds of miles to the east of the old one, separating an isolated, defeated, bankrupt Russia from a reunited, triumphant and prosperous West. Not only has Russia withstood the economic assault, but the sanctions have boomeranged–hitting the very countries that imposed them.

      • ScheerpostPutin Announces Suspension of the New START Treaty

        New START is the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia.

      • ScheerpostGerman Lawmaker Calls for Nord Stream Probe

        Sevim Dagdelen takes the Scholz government to task for its lack of “strength and will” in responding to Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the U.S. sabotage of the Russian pipeline. Video and text of her Feb. 10 speech to the Bundestag.

      • The DissenterMarch to Iraq War, 20 Years Later: February 22, 2003
      • The DissenterMarch To Iraq War, 20 Years Later: February 23, 2003
      • Common DreamsAt Least 10 Palestinians Killed, More Than 100 Injured in Israeli West Bank Raid

        A child and two elderly people were among at least 10 Palestinians who were killed Wednesday morning by Israeli military forces conducting a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.

      • Common DreamsSeven Things We Could Do If We Cut the Pentagon by $100 Billion

        What would be possible if we had an extra $100 billion to spend on urgent human needs?

      • TruthOutDemocrats Introduce Bill to Return $100B From Pentagon Budget to the Public
      • Common DreamsLee, Pocan Revive Bill to Cut Military Budget by $100 Billion

        U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan on Wednesday reintroduced their People Over Pentagon Act, which would slash $100 billion from the nation’s military budget and reallocate that money to urgent needs, from investments in education and healthcare to combating the climate emergency.

      • The NationChile’s Battle for Memory: A Report From the Latest Front

        Santiago, Chile—Every morning, as I take my daily walk up toward the nearby Andes mountains, I pass by the Aeródromo Tobalaba, an airfield catering to a wide variety of private planes.

      • TruthOutChomsky: A Stronger NATO Is the Last Thing We Need as Russia-Ukraine War Turns 1
      • Democracy NowKenyan Writer: History Explains Why Much of Africa Chooses Neutrality Over West’s Support of Ukraine

        One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many African countries have tried to avoid strong denunciations or shows of support for either side in the conflict, walking a diplomatic tightrope even as the war has had a major impact on food and fuel prices across the continent. Kenyan writer and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola says that neutrality is influenced by memories of Africa as a conflict zone during the Cold War, as well as a desire to chart foreign policies independent of former colonial European powers.

      • Democracy NowScholar Ho-fung Hung on China-Russia Relations & Whether Beijing Could Mediate Ukraine Peace Deal

        China’s top diplomat Wang Yi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow this week, where they reaffirmed the close relationship between the two countries. The high-profile visit comes just days before the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For more on China’s relationship with Russia and its role in the Ukraine war, we speak with Ho-fung Hung, professor of political economy and sociology at Johns Hopkins University.

      • Democracy Now“A War of Imperial Aggression”: How Russia’s Invasion One Year Ago Changed Ukraine & the World

        Friday marks one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Over the past year, at least 8,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, according to the United Nations, but the true death toll is believed to be higher. The U.N. refugee agency said this week that more than 8 million refugees have fled the fighting in Ukraine. This week, U.S. President Joe Biden met with NATO leaders in Warsaw, while Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Western countries sending military aid to Ukraine bear responsibility for prolonging the death and destruction of the war. We begin today’s show looking at the war’s impact and future with Nina Krushcheva, a professor of international affairs at The New School and the great-granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and Hanna Perekhoda, a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Lausanne and member of the democratic socialist organization Sotsialnyi Rukh. Perekhoda is from Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

      • Counter PunchMalcolm X Would Call Biden a ‘Pretender Public Defender’

        Malcolm X, one of the most effective critics white America has ever known, who decried “straight-jacketed thinking, and straight-jacketed societies,” believed: “In our mutual sincerity we might be able to show a road to the salvation of America’s very soul.”

        Malcolm X wasn’t ever, to put it blandly — an adjective one could never pin to the charismatic firebrand — naïve about how difficult such an effort would be, and the challenge for white people who accepted it. He explained: “Indeed, how can white society atone for enslaving, for raping, for unmanning, for otherwise brutalizing millions of human beings, for centuries? What atonement would the God of Justice demand for the robbery of Black people’s labor, their lives, their true identities, their culture, their history — and even their human dignity?”

      • Democracy NowWho Killed Malcolm X? Family to File $100M Suit v. FBI, CIA, NYPD & Others to Find the Truth

        On the 58th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump announced a new lawsuit from Malcolm X’s surviving family seeking compensation from the NYPD, CIA and FBI for its role in concealing evidence in his murder case. This lawsuit comes more than a year after it was confirmed that federal and local agencies had a role in the wrongful conviction of Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam for the murder. Aziz and Islam’s convictions were overturned in 2021, and they were awarded a $36 million settlement for wrongful imprisonment by the state and city of New York. We air excerpts of Tuesday’s public comments from Crump and one of Malcolm X’s daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz, of their intent to file a wrongful death lawsuit over evidence concealed in the murder investigation, in part to seek answers on the extent of the government’s involvement in the civil rights leader’s death.

      • Democracy NowAs Putin Suspends New START Treaty, Is There Still Hope for Nuclear Disarmament?

        Russian President Vladmir Putin’s announcement that Moscow would suspend its participation in the New START treaty threatens to end the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia. Putin made the pledge during his annual State of the Nation address on Tuesday, when he accused Western nations of provoking the conflict in Ukraine. The treaty limits the U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapon stockpiles and gives each country opportunities to inspect the other’s nuclear sites. Russia says it will continue to respect the caps established by the treaty, but that it will no longer allow inspections. For more on the treaty and the wider challenge of nuclear proliferation, we speak with Dr. Ira Helfand, a longtime advocate for nuclear disarmament, who says the need to end nuclear weapons “transcends” all other issues between the U.S. and Russia. “If we don’t get rid of nuclear weapons, they’re going to be used. And if they’re used, nothing else that we’re doing is going to make any difference,” says Helfand. He is the former president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, a member of the steering group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, as well as the co-founder and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

      • Common Dreams‘Victory for the Afghan People’ as US Judge Blocks 9/11 Families From Seizing Frozen Assets

        A coalition of Afghan-American community organizations on Wednesday welcomed a U.S. federal judge’s ruling rejecting a bid by relatives of 9/11 victims to seize billions of dollars in assets belonging to the people of Afghanistan.

      • Scheerpost‘Victory for the Afghan People’ as US Judge Blocks 9/11 Families From Seizing Frozen Assets

        “This money belongs to the Afghan people, and no one else,” said Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, a coalition of Afghan-American community groups.

      • ScheerpostIt’s Not All Balloon Buffoonery: Weaponizing Anti-China Paranoia

        By Blake Fleetwood / Original to ScheerPost The U.S. suffered worldwide embarrassment in the last two weeks while the American media and  Republican and Democratic politicians hyperventilated over four UFO balloons that turned out to be harmless.

      • Counter PunchThe Chinese Balloon the Biden Team’s Hot Air

        Over the past 60 years, U.S. presidents have benefitted from advice from moderate and pragmatic advisers as well as examples of presidents ignoring such advice and suffering the consequences. President John F. Kennedy was not admirably served by his secretaries of state and defense, Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara, but a little-known U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Llewellyn Thompson, former ambassador to the USSR, provided the off-ramp that resolved the Cuban missile crisis without use of force.  An official in the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, George Ball, provided superb advice that challenged the Cold War thinking of the “best and brightest” leftovers from the Kennedy administration, but Johnson ignored Ball and blundered into the tragic Vietnam war.

        President Jimmy Carter had advisors to his left (e.g. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Marshall Shulman) and right (National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski), but unfortunately ignored the wisdom of Vance and Shulman on key issues involving the USSR.  The Reagan administration was going nowhere in resolving national security issues, until a new secretary of state, George P. Shultz, and a Foreign Service Officer, Jack Matlock, provided the guidance that led to the breakthrough on arms control negotiations and detente in the 1980s.  

      • ScheerpostUN Security Council on Nord Stream Attack With Ray McGovern and Jeffrey Sachs

        Ray McGovern and Jeffery Sachs addressed the U.N. Security Council Tuesday on the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage in light of Sy Hersh’s reporting.

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: Russia Takes Another Step Back From the West

        News that Russia will suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms pact, which arrived Tuesday via Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly, had to land hard.

      • ScheerpostScott Ritter: Arms Control or Ukraine?

        As Russia suspends New START, the sooner the Ukraine war ends, the sooner the U.S. and Russia can work to preserve arms control to avert the ultimate disaster.

      • Counter PunchWhy Environmental Groups Must Oppose War

        Should an environment-protecting group like W.A.T.E.R. get involved in issues of international war? Or conversely, should W.A.T.E.R. “stay in its own lane”? More generally, should pro-environmental groups also be anti-war? The US government has been involved with fighting or funding wars for much of the past 80 years, so the question for us, as Americans, is not new. It is particularly pressing now because of the war in Ukraine.

        Everyone knows that wars are hugely destructive to both people and the environment; that is indeed the tactical intent of every exploding bomb and lethal projectile. Escalation to nuclear use would be a worldwide humanitarian and ecological disaster. Fighting around nuclear power plants – an especially stupid thing to do – may well lead to catastrophic toxic radioactive waste release spread over huge swaths of land. It is obvious that military action (and preparation for action) itself consumes a huge amount of energy and produces a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions. According to a 2019 study at Boston and Brown Universities1, “the DOD is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest institutional producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.”

      • Counter PunchThe Proxy War in Ukraine Must End

        * No Guns For Nazis, No Love For Putin!

        * End The Proxy War Between NATO & Russia Now!

      • Counter PunchWar in Ukraine and ICBMs: The Untold Story of How They Could Blow Up the World

        Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, media coverage of the war hasn’t included even the slightest mention of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Yet the war has boosted the chances that ICBMs will set off a global holocaust. Four hundred of them — always on hair-trigger alert — are fully armed with nuclear warheads in underground silos scattered across Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming, while Russia deploys about 300 of its own. Former Defense Secretary William Perry has called ICBMs “some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” warning that “they could even trigger an accidental nuclear war.”

        Now, with sky-high tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the chances of ICBMs starting a nuclear conflagration have increased as American and Russian forces face off in close proximity. Mistaking a false alarm for a nuclear-missile attack becomes more likely amid the stresses, fatigue and paranoia that come with protracted warfare and maneuvers.

      • Telex (Hungary)EU foreign ministers express support for Ukraine in joint video, Hungarian FM only one to send substitute
      • MeduzaPutin announces plans to deploy nuclear-capable Sarmat missiles amid media reports of failed tests — Meduza

        In a video released by the Kremlin’s press service to mark Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day on Thursday, Vladimir Putin announced that the country’s nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles will be moved to combat readiness this year.

      • MeduzaIn Defender of the Fatherland Day message, Russian State Duma speaker says holiday ‘doesn’t apply to those who fled’ the country — Meduza

        In a Telegram post marking Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the holiday is an occasion to celebrate “both the men and the women” who “faithfully serve Russia.”

      • MeduzaAfter days of pointed complaints, Evgeny Prigozhin says Wagner Group to begin receiving ammunition — Meduza

        Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin said Thursday that shipments of ammunition for the mercenary company are on their way.

      • MeduzaEvgeny Prigozhin blames Wagner Group casualties on Defense Ministry, demands ‘ammo for Wagner’ — Meduza

        Evgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group has published a photo of several dozen dead mercenaries. Prigozhin himself explains that all of them were killed on February 21, and that their deaths could have been avoided if not for the scarcity of ammunition supplied by the Defense Ministry.

      • MeduzaRussia charges Ukrainian soldier with using prohibited methods of warfare in first-of-its-kind case — Meduza

        Investigators in Rostov-on-Don have filed charges against Ukrainian soldier Anton Cherednik for allegedly using prohibited methods of warfare and forcibly seizing power, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday.

      • MeduzaRussian State Duma unanimously approves bill to suspend Russia’s cooperation with New START Treaty — Meduza

        Russia’s State Duma has voted unanimously to suspend Russia’s cooperation with the New START Treaty, which is the U.S. and Russia’s only remaining nuclear arms control agreement.

      • MeduzaStadium rally in support of invading Ukraine begins in Moscow. Putin is expected to speak. — Meduza

        A patriotic rally whose motto is “Glory to the defenders of our Fatherland!” is beginning in Moscow. TASS is running a live broadcast of the event.

    • Environment

      • The RevelatorThe First Must-Read Environmental Books of 2023 Have Arrived
      • DeSmogVivian Krause to ‘Oil Mafia’ Supporters: ‘The Environmentalists Have Won’

        Vivian Krause may well claim the title of the Canadian woman who launched a thousand op-eds. 

        For over a decade Krause’s claim — that American philanthropic organizations are influencing Canadian environmental groups — provided the basis for hundreds of editorials alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to landlock Canadian oil and gas resources. Columnists pointed to Krause’s research as evidence that American-backed eco-radicals had taken over federal and provincial governments in Canada, halted major pipeline projects, and “played right into the business interests of U.S. billionaires by becoming their useful idiots.”

      • Energy/Transportation

        • TruthOutPolicy Lets Norfolk Southern Officials Order Crews to Ignore Safety Alerts
        • TruthOutNorfolk Southern Agrees to Paid Sick Leave for 3,000 Workers Amid Ohio Crisis
        • Common DreamsTrump Is Returning to the Scene of His Crime When He Visits the East Palestine Train Wreck

          When Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nod in Cleveland in July 2016, he might have been picturing a place like East Palestine, Ohio — just 85 miles southeast of the massive podium where he was standing — as he promised voters he’d “deliver a better life for the people all across this nation that have been ignored, neglected, and abandoned.”

        • Common DreamsAs Trump Visits East Palestine, Critics Say ‘He Should Be Apologizing’ for Safety Rollbacks

          Ahead of former President Donald Trump’s Wednesday visit to East Palestine, Ohio—where a Norfolk Southern-owned train transporting carcinogenic chemicals derailed on February 3, prompting a mass evacuation and release of pollutants—progressive critics highlighted the key role his administration played in making the fiery crash and its toxic aftermath more likely.

        • Pro PublicaNorfolk Southern Lets Officials Order Crews to Ignore Safety Alerts

          Norfolk Southern allows a monitoring team to instruct crews to ignore alerts from train track sensors designed to flag potential mechanical problems.

          ProPublica learned of the policy after reviewing the rules of the company, which is engulfed in controversy after one of its trains derailed this month, releasing toxic flammable gas over East Palestine, Ohio.

        • Common DreamsUnder Massive Pressure Amid Ohio Crisis, Norfolk Southern Agrees to Paid Sick Leave Deal

          Facing intense scrutiny and backlash over the toxic derailment of one of its trains in eastern Ohio, Norfolk Southern on Wednesday reached a deal with a leading rail union to provide up to a week of paid sick leave per year to around 3,000 track maintenance workers.

        • ScheerpostA Norfolk Southern Policy Lets Officials Order Crews To Ignore Safety Alerts

          In October, months before the East Palestine derailment, the company also directed a train to keep moving with an overheated wheel that caused it to derail miles later in Sandusky, Ohio.

        • The NationIt’s Time to Talk About Nationalizing America’s Railroads

          If the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio, tells us anything, it is that the corporate CEOs, billionaire speculators, and profit-hungry investors who control America’s transportation systems are not up to the job of running railroads. As Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown told CNN, “There’s no question [that the railroad company] caused it with this derailment because they underinvested in their employees.”

        • Common DreamsElectric Vehicles Are No Silver Bullet—Transportation Fixes Must Go Further

          The U.S. faces a critical juncture for the decarbonization of its transportation system.Will zero emissions transportation be an electrified status quo, with ever more massive electric SUVs stuck in traffic on highways connecting sprawling metropolitan regions? Or will it diverge from car dependency to take the form of e-bikes and e-buses zipping around denser, more walkable cities and suburbs?

        • Common DreamsReport Urges Biden to Stop Aiding Big Oil ‘Ploy to Prolong the Era of Fossil Fuels’

          Titled Liquefied Natural Cash: How Methane Exports Reverse Climate Progress, Harm Consumers and Endanger Communities, the report highlights the surge of methane gas delivery contracts inked in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago, a boom aided in part by the Biden administration’s efforts to export more U.S. gas to European allies.

        • Common DreamsBiden Proposes First Gulf of Mexico Offshore Wind Lease Sales

          Clean energy advocates on Wednesday applauded an announcement from U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who said her department is proposing the first-ever offshore lease sale for wind power in the Gulf of Mexico, long a center of oil and gas extraction.

        • DeSmogThe Natural Gas Industry Sees Cow Manure Gas as the Key to a Net Zero Future

          Chevron has been talking a lot about cows lately. Alongside POLITICO articles about clean energy, in D.C. newsletters, on Facebook and LinkedIn, are Chevron’s recent ads featuring taglines like “We’re looking to turn the methane from cow 💩 into the fuels of the future.” Each ad links to a page on Chevron’s website which explains how methane captured from manure is actually “renewable natural gas.” 

          But Chevron isn’t the only one talking cow manure. As world leaders convened in Egypt last November to negotiate climate action at the United Nations COP27 summit, a dairy industry trade association also ran a social media campaign highlighting efforts to “upcycle methane” from cattle. The ads showed anaerobic digester machines capturing methane emissions from manure and turning it into biomethane, which can be upgraded into natural gas. The public relations behemoth Edelman, which has come under fire for its work for the oil industry, created Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok ads for this campaign.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchTwo Minutes

          I recently read an article discussing Held, et al v. Montana. This case, the first of its kind in the United States to go to trial, was filed in Montana First Judicial District Court by 16 young Montanans. These plaintiffs are suing to enforce their inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment, guaranteed under Article II, section 3 of our Montana Constitution.

          The article prompted me to reflect upon the evolutionary history of our species, homo sapiens–a story of soaring accomplishment and abject failure.

      • Overpopulation

        • Counter PunchAn Aging Population Poses Issues, Just Like the Baby Boom Did

          The New York Times had an interesting piece on aging societies in Asia and elsewhere. The piece rightly points out that as the elderly comprise a larger share of the population, societies will have to make adjustments to meet their needs. This is not some sort of crisis, as it is often portrayed, by rather a challenge that has to be recognized, similar to other challenge posed by past demographic changes.

          The NYT piece noted that older people are likely to need more medical care than younger adults. Also, many will face chronic conditions like dementia, which will be difficult to deal with, especially for those without children or other family members to help them. It also pointed out that many older people are forced to work late in life because they don’t have a sufficient income on which to retire.

    • Finance

      • ScheerpostMore Drivel Over the National Debt!

        How the hell can we expect Americans to understand what the national debt means if the media doesn’t report it accurately?

      • ScheerpostDistortion of Breakfast Price Hikes Leaves WSJ With Egg on Face

        At the same time these companies are acting like their hands are tied by supply disruptions, their profits have skyrocketed.

      • Telex (Hungary)Inflation of food prices in Hungary decreased for first time in 20 months, but we are still way ahead of rest of EU
      • Telex (Hungary)Hungarian inflation now more than two and a half times the EU average at 26.2
      • MIT Technology ReviewDigital business building driven by conviction and experimentation

        Investors today no longer reward companies for incremental changes in their core business. Embracing digital throughout the business can help traditional companies exponentially increase value and their ability to compete with digital natives, if done correctly.

      • Michael West MediaShareholders re-Joyce again, as Qantas ignores tax-payers, passengers and staff

        The ebullience with which Qantas chief Alan Joyce announced the airline’s well telegraphed record half year pre-tax profit of $1.4 billion, underscored perfectly the jarring disconnect now at play in the company. Michael Sainsbury reports.

        True to its priorities, the company also announced a share buyback of $500 million, its second in the past 12 months designed to prop up its share price. That’s a cool $840 million diverted to shareholders instead of investing much needed funds on its aging fleet, maintenance division and staff wages that continue – for the majority of employees – to go backwards in real terms, as inflation neutralises the small increases.

      • Michael West MediaShine Justice? Class action law firm poised to sue class action law firm

        It is understood that a class action law firm is planning to take a class action against class action law firm Shine Justice. What’s the scam?

        The scam is shonky accounting, as per the story below. The question is, is this law firm breaking the law? We posed questions to them and their auditors PwC but they declined to respond. Then they came out with more of the same today when they disclosed their financial statements and the share price tanked 20%.

      • Common DreamsHumanity Faces Converging Debt Crises

        An enormous debt bomb threatens the U.S. federal government and the nation’s financial system unless warring politicians can agree on a plan to defuse it. However, there are even bigger debt bombs ticking away beneath us all, of which fewer people are aware. It may be impossible to disarm all of them, but action is required to minimize the casualties.

      • ScheerpostWhat Will Happen When Banks Go Bust? Bank Runs, Bail-Ins and Systemic Risk

        Financial podcasts have been featuring ominous headlines lately along the lines of “Your Bank Can Legally Seize Your Money” and “Banks Can STEAL Your Money?! Here’s How!”

      • Counter PunchBiden’s Missing Word: Inequality

        On February 2nd, Pres. Joe Biden delivered his annual State of the Union address and received considerable praise for both the “progressive” positions he took and his combative tone. He seemed awake, getting ready to announce his 2024 candidacy. According to one source, former Pres. Donald Trump offered some praise.

        However, the word “inequality” was absent from Biden’s speech.

      • Counter PunchThe Lesson We Need to Teach Our Nation’s Rich
      • Counter PunchThe Day the World Should Have Changed

        There was a day when humanity was invited to reinvent its relation with power, when we should have realized that competition among nations as we knew it was obsolete, as well as pretty well all our relations based on power and domination.

        The day was July 16, 1945, the day of the Trinity test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, when the first nuclear weapon was exploded, proving that humanity had pierced the secrets of the atom and could now build weapons staggeringly larger than the 25-kiloton bomb exploded that day. The hydrogen bomb was already envisioned. It would use fission devices such as the Trinity bomb to create a fusion reaction that would unleash energies hundreds of times greater. Even the name of the test indicated that scientists understood humanity had obtained a godlike power.

      • Telex (Hungary)Price of ticket for 100E airport bus in Budapest to increase by HUF 700 in April
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Common DreamsRon DeSantis Carves Out a Brand as a Book-Burning, Anti-LGBTQ+, Racist Authoritarian

        Ideological attacks on public education are central to the politics of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is carving out a brand as a book-burning, gay-phobic, transphobic, racist authoritarian. A Fauci-hater and anti-vax hero of right-wing media, DeSantis restricted instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation with his “Don’t Say Gay” law. He limited what schools can teach about racism and diversity with his “Stop WOKE” law. He rejected math textbooks en masse for what the state called “prohibited topics,” such as critical race theory; and he banned an Advanced Placement course in African-American studies for high school students on the grounds that it is a tool for “political indoctrination.” Playing the wannabe tough guy, he wants to troll his way to the White House as America’s premiere culture warrior.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • TruthOutSanders Says US Must Condition Aid to Israel to Rein in “Racist Government”
      • Common DreamsSeattle Becomes First US City to Ban Caste Discrimination With Kshama Sawant Ordinance

        The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday for the first U.S. ban on caste-based discrimination, a move the measure’s socialist sponsor hopes will inspire similar legislation nationwide.

      • TruthOutWI Supreme Court Election Candidate Is Trump Loyalist Involved in Electors Plot
      • TruthOut“It’s White Supremacy” — Critics Lambaste Greene’s Call for “National Divorce”
      • The NationThe Supreme Court Just Heard 2 Cases That Could Break the Internet

        Humility, thoughtfulness, and restraint are not virtues one can in good faith associate with our current Supreme Court. The past few years have seen a rash of extremist rulings from the conservatives who control the court, with the six archconservatives assuming the power to invalidate human rights, grant new rights to guns and corporations, and win the culture wars for their far-right confederates. The Supreme Court no longer acts as an impartial panel of jurists but as a cabal of rulers eager to foist their worldview upon the rest of us. 

      • The NationProgressives Score a Major Win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary

        Just 33 minutes after polls closed in the primary election for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat that will determine the balance of power on one of the most powerful and contentious judicial benches in the country, the Associated Press announced that liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz will advance to the general election on April 4. The Milwaukee County judge, who ran as an unapologetic defender of abortion rights and fair elections, overwhelmed the other three contenders in the first round of a contest that political observers on both sides of the nation’s partisan divide consider the most consequential election fight of 2023.

      • Common DreamsIn ‘Extremely Rare’ Ruling, SCOTUS Orders Resentencing of Arizona Prisoner

        The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a rare rebuke of Arizona’s criminal justice system as the majority ruled in favor of a death row inmate who has called for a resentencing, saying the state ignored legal precedents during his trial.

      • Common DreamsSupreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to ‘Unconstitutional’ Arkansas Anti-BDS Law

        In a move decried by one critic as a “significant loss for the First Amendment,” the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a challenge to an Arkansas law requiring companies doing business with the state to sign a pledge vowing not to boycott Israel.

      • Counter PunchThe Cult of Violence: New Poll Finds Evidence of Authoritarian Values Driving U.S. Public Opinion

        Social scientists have long expressed concerns that a large number of Americans embrace authoritarian modes of thinking that are centered on suppression of dissent, violence, and an infatuation with strong leaders.

        New evidence reveals that these authoritarian values are endorsed by a disturbing number of Americans, with the trend being most acute on the American right. A new national poll sponsored by the Marcon Institute for anti-racist studies and social justice suggests that the way in which authoritarian values are manifested with the American public may be shifting. The poll was conducted from February 7-9, and contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,021 Americans.

      • TruthOutDisability Justice Organizers Dream Big and Resist a Culture of Disposability
      • Democracy NowGuilty: Mexico’s Ex-Top Cop García Luna Convicted in U.S. Drug Trafficking Case

        A New York court on Tuesday convicted Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s former secretary of public security and a close ally of U.S. law enforcement for decades, of drug trafficking and money laundering, among other charges. Prosecutors said García Luna accepted millions in bribes from the very criminal groups he was meant to be fighting, including the infamous Sinaloa Cartel formerly led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. García Luna faces up to life in prison and is the most high-ranking Mexican official ever tried in the U.S. For more, we speak with award-winning journalists Peniley Ramírez and Maria Hinojosa, co-hosts of Futuro Media’s podcast USA v. García Luna. They say the case exposes how corrupt the so-called war on drugs has been on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. “The U.S. government, the DEA, the entire security apparatus failed here,” says Hinojosa.

      • TruthOutWhile Ex-Elected Officials Invest in Cannabis, I Remain in Prison for Selling It
      • Common DreamsThe Democratic Party Failed Striking Warrior Met Coal Miners in Alabama

        After almost two years on the picket line, the hundreds of United Mine Workers of America members who have been on strike at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama have offered to go back to work. They still do not have the fair contract they have sacrificed so much for. Their negotiations will continue, but they did not win this strike—and that is tragic. The company and its private equity owners bear the most direct responsibility for precipitating this heartless, inhuman struggle. But if you are looking for a meaningful place to focus your rage over the way that this strike has turned out, look directly at the Democratic Party.

      • Common DreamsNew Biden Rule Denounced as ‘Trump’s Asylum Ban Under a Different Name’

        The Biden administration on Tuesday proposed a rule that immigrant rights groups, civil liberties organizations, and some Democratic lawmakers condemned as an illegal attack on asylum-seekers that resembles an inhumane policy pursued by former President Donald Trump.

      • Pro PublicaHelp ProPublica and The Salt Lake Tribune Investigate Sexual Assault in Utah

        We’re reporting on sexual assault by health care professionals, an issue we highlighted in our story about a Provo OB-GYN who was sued by nearly 100 women who said he sexually assaulted them during treatments. You can fill out our confidential form below to tell us about other practitioners and health care institutions you think we should report on.

      • The NationIn the Dominican Republic, the Fight for Abortion Rights Is a Fight Against Anti-Blackness

        Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic—There’s a citywide blackout. No street lights, no shop lights—just headlights from passing cars. “This is just your typical Friday night,” Alicia Mendez Medina says, and a bodega worker nods from behind her. Alicia bids her goodbye and we head to Parque Duarte, the place many have described as “the it spot” for nightlife in Santo Domingo. She orders some wine.

      • TechdirtI Explained To A Court How California’s ‘Kid’s Code’ Is Both Impossible To Comply With & An Attack On Our Expression

        Last year, Techdirt was one of only a very few sites where you could find out information on California’s AB 2273, officially the “California Age Appropriate Design Code” or “Kid’s code.” As with so many bills that talk about “protecting the children,” everyone we talked to said they were afraid to speak up, because they worried that they’d be branded as being against child safety. Indeed, I even had some people within some larger tech companies reach out to me suggesting it was dangerous to speak out against the bill.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • TechdirtColorado Passes Landmark Agricultural ‘Right To Repair’ Bill

        Colorado is the latest state to move forward on new “right to repair” legislation despite a growing and sustained lobbying effort by industry. The Colorado House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Consumer Right to Repair Agricultural Equipment Act (HB23-1011) with a 44-17 vote on Tuesday, the first major right to repair legislation to be passed so far in 2023.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakRussia Claims Ukraine & Allies Use Pirate Sites to Spread Propaganda

          A Russian security company is reporting a surge in movie and TV show-related domain registrations. Some believe that pirates are buying domains to exploit an upcoming gap in the market when Hollywood licenses expire at the end of the month. Telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor claims that Ukraine and its allies are running pirate sites for propaganda purposes.

        • Torrent FreakThe European Union’s Official Site Has a Persistent ‘Piracy’ Problem

          The European Union warns that pirate sites can lead users to malware and other unwanted content. Unfortunately, the EU also has its own piracy problem; its official website continues to be exploited by bad actors to advertise piracy-related scams. Meanwhile, male enhancement gummies, Onlyfans hacks, gift card generators, and other scams are promoted too.

        • Torrent FreakMPA: Pluto TV .m3u Playlists Facilitate Piracy on a Massive Scale

          A condition of watching streaming service Pluto TV is that users must use approved methods such as official apps. This is the reason that Pluto TV is free, since revenue is generated through advertising. Unofficial Pluto TV .m3u playlists are easy to access and do away with advertising and user behavior tracking mechanisms. A copyright complaint sent by the MPA this week pulls no punches; these playlists facilitate piracy on a massive scale.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Contrasting Visual and Nonvisual

        I’m aggressively non-visual. So much so that I am still utterly baffled by the idea of a picture. I mean, how on Earth do you squish three-dimensional reality into two dimensions on a page, a screen, a canvas, or what have you? If I sit here and try to grok it, you’d probably see figurative smoke coming out of the top of my head.

        And yet, I love Lisp. Lisp, and S-expressions in particular, helped me understand trees.

    • Technical

      • My Pinebook Pro Lives!

        Really, that’s it. I just goofed up the eMMC and since it boots to that first by default I had to remove the chip in order to be able to mess with it again using Armbian on an SD card.

        Now I’ve just gotta get around to grabbing an eMMC to USB adapter of some sort so I can re-flash it with a copy of the OS as it lives on the SD card, and I’ll be back up to 64GB of cheap storage.

        For the kinda stuff I’ll likely wind up doing here that’s about as convoluted as I’d need my storage size to be.. anything more than that and I should probably be offloading it to a storage hard drive anyway.

      • A breakdown of the triple-star pointer

        I few days ago I read “Lessons learnt while trying to modernize some C code [1]” (via Lobsters [2]) and one of the problems of C stated stood out to me: “Avoid constructs like `char ***`. I thought it was a joke, but people do pass around `char ***` and it’s insane—almost impossible to comprehend why do you need a pointer to a pointer to a pointer.” Yes, it happens, but come on! That doesn’t happen often enough to complain about!

      • GPT-3 On Electronic Pets

        I’ve lately wanted a pet, but no animal lives up to my criteria. Jokingly both I and friends have said that maybe I should get an e-pet instead, like a tamagotchi. Of course, an e-pet doesn’t alleviate loneliness in the least! But don’t just take my word for it; listen to an AI explain it for you.

      • Programming

        • Reply – Christina – February 2023 Five Questions (5Q)

          Christina, looks like the questions as posted on your gemcap have been truncated a bit by Nano or Emacs &c. FYI. I still cleave to Nano as my default $EDITOR, but have aliased it to always run with flags for line numbers and line wrap for this reason. Highly recommended. Not to mention setting the config for endearing ansi colours! Anyway, no worries, I shall make do with inference. If clarification is needful and interesting, please ping me by XMPP.

        • I’m learn-ding

          Illness aside, I’ve been trying to
          keep myself busy over the last month,
          mostly in my attempts to continue
          learning C. I still have no real desire
          to make my own applications, but I want
          to maintain and modify applications
          that I already use, like adding Atom
          support to `snownews`, and fixing some
          problems that I found when compiling it
          for Snow Leopard. I also kinda want to
          toy with other applications, like I did
          when learning what I know of Perl.

          Lua will come soon enough, as I use
          `wordgrinder` on a daily basis, and I’d
          like to be able to eventually fork the
          older 7.2 version I modified since it
          runs better on my OS of choice than the
          current version does.

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

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