07.31.21

Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

Posted in News Roundup at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Making Our Demands Both Practical and Visionary

      The post was an unexpected sensation, and it would become a reference point in debates for years to come. “I wrote it so quickly,” Kaba reflects. “I was asked some questions by several young organizers who identify as abolitionists who were struggling mightily when all these proposals around body cameras and stuff were coming out. These organizers wanted to support something, but didn’t know what and didn’t think they knew how to figure that out on their own. I wrote that piece very fast and put it out on my blog. It went viral—somebody emailed me from London to say that they’re using it there. I was like, my God, that’s really amazing and great for something to be helpful to a lot of people.”

    • The Global Right Wing’s Bizarre Obsession With Pedophilia

      But now he may have gone too far with his attack on an unlikely (and universally unliked) group of people.

      Pedophiles.

    • The Air-Conditioning Nightmare: an Interview With Eric Dean Wilson

      But Wilson goes beyond the technical explanation of how Freon (and other gases that have replaced it) that still threaten our environment. Instead, he shows how our faith in the ability to cool the world without environmental repercussions is still with us. In an interview, Wilson unveils how our marketplace-driven economy creates a consumer culture where air conditioning has become a necessity underlying that faith.

      “After Cooling” begins with an unusual insight — the public initially resisted the idea of cooling air for personal comfort. It was too strange to attract buyers.

    • The Indian Nation and Its Borders

      This is the story of modern India, a nation created when Britain finally gave up its colonial hold. Its birth was celebrated as a great victory for freedom and independence. Its creation was also a genocide. Muslims were forced to flee their homes and villages and were massacred along their way to the other newly formed nation of Pakistan. Retribution followed. As far as the Indian politicians were concerned, the definition and defense of their newly made borders would define their national independence. In Suchitra Vijayan’s new book Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India, it becomes clear that those borders would provide an excuse to kill and steal at will in the name of Indian nationhood.

      In what can best be described as a uniquely truthful take on the modern nation-state, Midnight’s Borders describes the ongoing skirmishes, police actions and wars that have defined the making of the Indian nation. In doing so, the author illuminates the nature of border policies around the globe and the fragility of the nation-state concept. In a text whose title reference’s Salman Rushdie’s fictional masterpiece Midnight’s Children and took seven years to complete, Vijayan describes the life and the lives of individuals, families and hamlets affected by the borders imposed on them from the outside. These descriptions are written in inviting prose while simultaneously describing the destruction of lives and cultures, families and relationships. It is these stories that make this a true people’s history.

    • Hinterlands: Rural Detroits

      One of those turns leads to Old Trinity road, a narrow, worn-down, two- lane street that goes on for several miles before dead-ending near the town of Trinity. Driving along Old Trinity road, I cruise through sparsely populated, residential areas, mostly mobile homes and wooden houses that look like large shacks. The air is heavy with humidity and the smell of vegetation broiling in the mid-day sun. What is striking is the amount of decay. It seems every third house is abandoned, some buckled in.

      It reminds me of a rural Detroit. Some structures have been burnt, but most still stand, tottering like street corner drunks in knee-high weeds. Backwoods near the train tracks, lays two piles of rubble, obscured by trees and dancing shadows, the remains of older houses hastily dumped without proper burial. Were they torn down and dropped off from elsewhere? Abandoned, did they implode under their own weight in the backwoods where they formerly sat? Were they ripped apart by tornadoes? Each reason is equally plausible and the true reason obscured.

    • Roaming Charges: All That Twitters is Sold

      + The torment of Iraq has gone through different phases, each political generation leaving its own ruinous mark: coups, industrial sabotage, infiltration, assassination, instigation of a calamitous war against Iran, insurrections, embargoes, provoking the invasion of Kuwait, air strikes, bombings, invasion, arming and abandoning of Kurdish rebels, financing and arming of religious militants, blockades, a savage shadow war of economic sanctions, radiological warfare from the use of Depleted Uranium munitions, open air burning of chemical weapons, denial of medical supplies to treat cancer patients, destruction of dams, power plants and sewage treatment facilities, cruise missile strikes, deployment of hunter-killer squads, the framing of Iraq for stockpiling WMDs it didn’t possession, shock-and-awe bombing of civilian targets, invasion, occupation, surge and resurge, home invasions, de-Baathification, torture, murderous raids by private military contractors, drone strikes…

      + It is worth noting that Iraq was bombed once every three days from the end of the Gulf War to the beginning of the Iraq War. Obama “pulled out” and then returned with a vengeance. Trump, who postured as war critic, orchestrated the saturation bombing of Mosul, a blitz that killed far more civilians than ISIS insurgents.

    • Opinion | The Soldiers Who Resisted the First Gulf War Deserve Recognition

      International Conscientious Objectors’ Day is observed annually on May 15. Thirty years ago this month, at the conclusion of the first Gulf War, Private First Class Sam Lwin and 24 other Marines were charged with desertion. They were among tens of thousands across the U.S. armed forces who applied for conscientious objector, or CO, status or otherwise resisted participation in a war that they came to realize was wrong. Lwin, a Burmese-American student and Marine reservist of Fox Company, led seven others in his unit to resist the U.S. Marine Corps, ultimately joining a mass exodus of the military in which soldiers deserted at higher percentages than even in the Vietnam War. The story of why these soldiers resisted, how and with whose help is lesser known but deserves greater recognition.

    • ‘Flawed from a human rights perspective’: Lithuania is seeing a massive increase in illegal crossings from Belarus. What’s fueling this crisis? And what’s Lukashenko getting out of it?

      Since the spring, hundreds of people from the Middle East and Africa have been entering Lithuania — all of them through Belarus. In fact, illegal border crossings have increased by a factor of 39 since last year. The Lithuanian government has toughened its residency laws, started constructing a new border fence, and accused Belarus of encouraging illegal migration; meanwhile, Alexander Lukashenko has tried to pin the blame on Western sanctions. Several media outlets — including the Lithuanian news sites 15min and LRT, as well as the Belarusian outlets Reform.by and Mediazona Belarus — have published in-depth reporting on the crisis, revealing how migrants get to Lithuania, who’s helping them, and how much they pay for it. Meduza summarizes the findings of these investigations here.

    • Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

      The case of an American human rights attorney who won a multibillion-dollar judgment against one of the world’s largest oil companies and has spent the past two years on house arrest led a pair of Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday to raise questions and concerns about the use of private prosecutors in the federal court system.

      “The case of environmental lawyer Steven Donziger has garnered significant attention and shined a spotlight on private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges.”—Sens. Ed Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse

    • The Jobs Bill Must Protect Dreamers

      DACA has been a GOP target since 2012, when President Obama created it to protect undocumented young people who’ve spent their whole lives here. It’s faced numerous GOP legal challenges and a suspension of the program under Trump.

      In spite of a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that upheld DACA, a new Texas federal court ruling by anti-immigrant judgeAndrew Hanen deemed the program “illegal,” leaving hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in limbo once more.

    • What it Takes
    • Going Dark

      This blog will be going dark for a few months. The Queen kindly paid for my dinners for over twenty years while I was a British diplomat and Ambassador, and now she is going to be paying for my dinners again. That is very kind, I thought she had forgotten me.

    • Craig Murray’s jailing is the national security state’s latest assault on independent journalism
    • Welcome to Washington Square Park, Capital of Woke Bohemia

      “The rotting core of the Big Apple.” That’s how the British Daily Mail recently described the scene in New York’s iconic Washington Square Park. To the outraged readers of the Mail and our own New York Post, the park has become “a no-go zone for law-abiding locals.” Well, I’m a local, and I see something very different.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Kinder, Gentler GMOs?

        For readers who might not wade through the 7,000-word puff piece by Jennifer Kahn, the gist was provided in bold print on the magazine cover, alongside a cross-section of a tomato with dark purple flesh: “Overblown fears have turned the public against genetically modified food. But the potential benefits have never been greater.”

        The article was preceded in the print edition by a two-page spread restating the title in 2-inch high capital letters — “LEARNING TO LOVE G.M.O.S”— framing a big color photo of a papaya in cross-section. Turn the page and there’s a big color photo of two sugar beets, each with a caption. One says, “Produces more pounds of sugar per acre.” The other says, “Holds up to glyphosate, a common pesticide.” Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is sold as an herbicide, not a pesticide. Maybe some Times editor remembered reading that Roundup had decimated the Monarch butterfly population. It had, but that was a consequence of Roundup decimating the milkweed that sustained the lovely orange insects.

      • On Medicare’s 56th Birthday, Activists Deliver 125,000+ Petitions Urging Congress to Expand the Program

        Progressive healthcare activists marked Medicare’s 56th anniversary Friday by delivering more than 125,000 petitions urging Congress to lower the popular program’s eligibility age and expand its coverage to include vision, hearing, and dental services—upgrades that proponents say are long overdue to help protect seniors from soaring out-of-pocket costs.

        “Now, as a doctor I can tell you: Your eyes, your ears, and your teeth are connected to your body,” Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, an adviser to the advocacy group Social Security Works, said during a rally on Capitol Hill. “I did not have to go to medical school to tell y’all this, but apparently I do have to tell Congress this.”

      • War on cancer progress report, belated 2021 edition

        If you’ve perused the alternative medicine (i.e., quack) cancer literature as long as I have, you’ll recall seeing certain key narratives recurring. One such narrative, of course, is that “conventional” cancer treatments (often characterized as “cut, burn, poison”) do more harm than good. Another such narrative is that you can almost completely prevent cancer if only you eat the right foods, use the right supplements, and live the right lifestyle. There are others, of course, often based on a germ of truth exaggerated and weaponized to spread fear and suspicion of science-based cancer treatments. For example, it is true that “conventional” treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are associated with unpleasant side effects and occasionally life-threatening risks, and diet and lifestyle can reduce your risk of cancer, but not by nearly as much as these narratives claim. (Contrary to one favorite narrative, vegans, for instance, can still get cancer.)

      • There’s No ‘Vaccine Mandate’—but That Doesn’t Stop WaPo Asking People How They Feel About It

        The Washington Post (7/29/21) let the opposition rather than the facts frame its latest story on the new federal directive on testing, masks and vaccination. The headline read:

      • Biden Promotes $100 Incentives to Encourage Unvaccinated to Get Their Shots
      • Both the Delta Variant and Thin-Willed Democrats Are Lethal to Our Society
      • ‘A Very Serious Threat’: CDC Document Warns Delta Variant Is as Contagious as Chickenpox

        An internal slide presentation assembled by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the Delta variant of the coronavirus—now the dominant strain in the U.S. and across much of the world—is as transmissible as chickenpox, could lead to more extreme illness than earlier mutations, and can likely be spread by people who are fully vaccinated.

        First obtained by the Washington Post on Thursday, the document (pdf) states that the “Delta variant may cause more severe disease thanAlpha or ancestral strains,” citing data on hospitalizations and deaths in Canada, Scotland, and Singapore. While noting that people who are fully inoculated against Covid-19 can still catch and spread the Delta variant, the document stresses that vaccines are extremely effective in preventing severe illness and death.

      • The Delta Variant Is Contagious as Hell—and People Are Selfish

        On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control updated mask guidelines—again. The CDC suggested that vaccinated Americans should wear masks while indoors—again—in areas of “substantial or high transmission.” Predictably, the new guidance led to a surge of Republican politicians vowing to do everything they can to keep the virus going and kill their own supporters—again.

      • Surveillance Data Shows White-Tailed Deer Exposed to SARS-CoV-2

        The finding that wild white-tailed deer have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 is not unexpected given that white-tailed deer are susceptible to the virus, are abundant in the United States, often come into close contact with people, and that, more than 114 million Americans are estimated to have been infected with COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

        APHIS is working closely with federal and state partners, including the Department of the Interior, the CDC, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, to determine next steps. Results from this surveillance effort are currently being prepared for publication in a peer-review journal.

      • Think the delta variant is scary? Anti-vaccination Trumpers are truly terrifying

        The delta variant is just a mindless virus. The real problem is our fellow human beings who, as political science professor Scott Lemieux wrote recently, confuse “free riding with freedom — letting people do what they want with no consequences even when the consequences are borne by other people as well.” The problem, as I’ve written about more times than I care to think about, is political. Put bluntly, a huge percentage of Donald Trump’s America is refusing to get inoculated, to stick it to the liberals and undermine Biden’s presidency.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Mastodon now has an official iPhone app

          Decentralized social network Mastodon now has an official iPhone app. The nonprofit behind Mastodon launched the app on iOS today, supplementing an existing web version and several third-party apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms. The app is free and offers a similar feature set to Mastodon’s core service, although it doesn’t include Mastodon’s broad local and federated timelines.

        • Older Kindles may lose internet connection, Amazon warns

          First- and second-generation Kindles did not come with wi-fi functions included, using mobile internet only.

          But the slower technology used at the time – 2G and 3G internet – is being discontinued in some places, particularly the United States.

        • SolarWinds [crackers] accessed over two dozen federal prosecutors’ offices: DOJ

          The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Friday that the [crackers] behind the major SolarWinds attack compromised employee accounts in more than two dozen federal prosecutors’ offices.

          The DOJ said in an update that the [crackers] are believed to have compromised the accounts from May 7 to Dec. 27, 2020. The data includes “all sent, received, and stored emails and attachments found within those accounts during that time.”

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Top German Court Says Facebook Must Inform Users About Deleting Their Posts Or Suspending Their Account, Explain Why, And Allow Them To Respond

              We’ve just written about Germany’s constitutional court grappling with the issue of whether government users of zero-days for surveillance have a responsibility to report the flaws they use to the relevant developers. Another senior court in the country has been pondering an even thornier question that is occupying judges and lawmakers around the world: how should social media police so-called “hate speech” on their services in a way that respects fundamental rights on all sides?

            • Digital Rights Groups Hail Record €746 Million Amazon Data Privacy Fine

              Digital rights advocates on Friday applauded a €746 million fine levied against Amazon by a Luxembourg regulator for the tech giant’s violation of European Union data privacy laws.

              The record penalty—which converts to about U.S. $886 million—was imposed on July 16 by CNPD, Luxembourg’s data protection agency, and disclosed in an Amazon regulatory filing (pdf) on Friday, according to Bloomberg.

            • Amazon Fined 746 Million Euros Following Our Collective Legal Action

              On July 16 2021, the Luxembourg Data Protection Agency finally rendered its opinion on the collective legal action we and 10 000 more people took in May 2018 against Amazon. This decision breaks a three-year silence which had started to make us expect the worst.

            • Parents Are Asking TikTok For Access To The Videos Their Kids Are Watching

              The petition states that TikTok uses a secretive algorithm to recommend content to users, making it difficult for parents to keep tabs on what their kids engage with on TikTok. They can be exposed to bullying, sexual exploitation, pro-eating disorder videos and creators encouraging violence, self-harm or dangerous challenges, says the advocacy group.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Can the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 Actually Help to Defend Democracy?

        The House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 is off to a good start. 

      • Afghanistan, Failure and Second Thoughts

        The spokesman was, however, willing to make general remarks about a belated return.  When, he could not be sure, but Canberra’s diplomatic arrangements in Afghanistan “were always expected to be temporary, with the intention of resuming a permanent presence once circumstances permit.”  Australia continued “to engage closely with partners, including the Afghanistan government and coalition member countries.”  Rather embarrassing remarks, given the sudden closure of the embassy on June 18.

        The Australian response, confused and stumbling, is much like that of their counterparts in Washington.  While the Biden administration speeds up the departure of troops, the cord to Kabul remains uncut though distinctly worn.  In April, the US House Services Committee was told by General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, head of US Central Command, that the Pentagon was “further planning now for continued counterterrorism operations from within the region.”

      • January 6 Uprising Was an Attempted Fascist Coup d’Etat

        To describe the uprising as anything but a coup is a serious mistake. It was a four-hour attack in which the Capitol of the United States was overrun by hundreds of right-wing militias. Thousands were outside watching and waiting. The insurrectionists took control of the House and Senate, and in so doing, the United States government. Members of Congress were evacuated (rescued) by capitol police. Offices and conference rooms were breached and sacked; they were tracking down members of Congress. One of their goals was to assassinate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. Liberals and democrats were no doubt prime targets, especially young Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And their task once breaching the Capitol was to place their “heads on pikes.”

        After several hours, Capitol Police and the DC National Guard cleared the Capitol and restored order.

      • Opinion | SOS: A Plea for Freedom From Misleading Media Narratives on Cuba

        In the wake of this month’s protests in Cuba over food and medicine shortages and other complaints, the New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure ran an item titled “4 Ways to Help the People of Cuba Right Now.”

      • Let Cuba Live: the Movement Standing Up to Biden’s Maximum Pressure

        Not a priority, closely engaged, top priority: matters have moved rapidly from March 9 to July 22. What moved the Biden-Harris administration to focus so quickly on Cuba? On the morning of July 11, some people in Cuba—notably in the town of San Antonio de los Baños—took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the social and economic problems created by the U.S.-imposed blockade and by the global pandemic. The reaction to these events in Havana and in Washington, D.C., is instructive: Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel heard the news of the protests, got into a car, and drove the 40 miles to San Antonio de los Baños, where he met with the people; while in Washington, Biden used the protest to call for the overthrow of the Cuban government. U.S. government-funded nongovernmental organizations and Cuban American groups hastened to take advantage of the frenzy, excited by the possibility of regime change in Cuba.

        On the evening of July 11, tens of thousands of Cubans rallied across Cuba to defend their revolutionary process. Since that Sunday evening, Cuba has been calm.

      • The US Has No Business Lecturing Cuba About “Free and Fair” Elections

        Inevitably, the protests have also served as a convenient tool for the US government and its allies in the Cuban-American exile community to reinvigorate their decades-long campaign to impose “regime change” on the beleaguered Caribbean island nation. Needless to say, at the forefront of calls for an even more aggressive US stance toward Cuba have been hardline representatives of this community. The mayor of Miami, the Babylon of militant anti-Castro agitation, has even called for direct US military intervention to “liberate” the island. In an interview with Fox News, Suarez even refused to rule out US airstrikes against Cuba, stating that this “has to be explored and cannot be just simply discarded as an option that is not on the table.” As would be expected, amongst the justifications for such aggressive measures is the demand for “free and fair elections,” which features prominently in the pronouncements of these figures. An open letter from Marco Rubio, the Florida exile hardliner Senator, and co-signed by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and 143 other members of congress, for example, states: “Freedom-loving nations must make clear our full and unwavering support for Cuba’s pro-democracy movement, and for free and fair elections, with international supervision.”

        To the politically naïve, this might seem like a perfectly reasonable sentiment. After all, according to the prevailing political mentality within Western nations, the holding of “free and fair elections” is perhaps the most basic prerequisite that a country must meet in order to be accepted into the family of “freedom-loving nations.” The implicit corollary, of course, is that the US is perfectly entitled, if not duty-bound, to punish those countries that fail to meet this most fundamental of requirements. The reality, however, is that the US doesn’t have a shred of credibility when it comes to lecturing others about “free and fair elections,” let alone imposing punitive measures on those who fail to hold them. Because an investigation into the US’s behavior on the global stage reveals its stunning hypocrisy when it comes to Cuba and other US adversaries. And this hypocrisy is no accident, but rather plays an important part in providing a false veneer of credibility to the US’s self-serving foreign policy goals.

      • Australia: A Laboratory of Empire with Lowkey & Aamer Rahman
      • How Ben & Jerry’s Exposed Israel’s anti-BDS Strategy

        By responding to the Palestinian call for boycotting apartheid Israel, the ice cream giant has delivered a blow to Israel’s attempts at criminalizing and, ultimately, ending the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

        What differentiates Ben & Jerry’s decision to abandon the ever-growing market of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank from previous decisions by other international corporations is the fact that the ice cream company has made it clear that its move was morally motivated. Indeed, Ben & Jerry’s did not attempt to mask or delude their decision in any way. “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” a statement by the Vermont, US-based company read on July 19.

      • Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of Apparent War Crimes in Gaza Assault
      • What Philadelphia Reveals About America’s Homicide Surge

        Nakisha Billa’s son was still a baby when she decided to make their first flight to safety. It was early in 2000 and she and Domonic were living in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington, which had long suffered some of the highest crime rates in the city. Billa was 22, proud to be living in her own place after having been raised in West Philadelphia mostly by her grandparents, and flush with the novelty of motherhood. “When I found out I was carrying Dom, it was the best thing that had ever happened to me,” she said. She liked to kiss his feet, and he liked it, too, so much so that he would stick them out invitingly with a big smile on his face.

      • We Need to Scale Back America’s War Machine

        As a ROTC cadet and an Air Force officer, I was a tiny part of America’s vast Department of Defense (DoD) for 24 years until I retired and returned to civilian life as a history professor. My time in the military ran from the election of Ronald Reagan to the reign of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It was defined by the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, America’s brief unipolar moment of dominance and the beginning of its end, as Washington embroiled itself in needless, disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. Throughout those years of service, I rarely thought about a question that seems ever more critical to me today: What would a real system of American national defense look like?

      • Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of Apparent War Crimes in Gaza Assault; Urges ICC Probe

        Human Rights Watch is calling on the International Criminal Court to open a probe into apparent Israeli war crimes committed during its recent 11-day assault on Gaza that killed 260 Palestinians, including 66 children. We discuss a major report HRW released this week that closely examines three Israeli strikes that killed 62 Palestinians civilians in May. U.S.-made weapons were used in at least two of the attacks investigated. Human Rights Watch concluded Israel had committed apparent war crimes. “You had people’s entire lives — their homes, their businesses, their wives, their children, their husbands — gone in a flash,” says Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, who helped lead the investigation. “The international community focuses on Gaza maybe when there are armed hostilities. But two months later these families continue to deal with the aftermath of the devastation wrought upon their lives.”

      • Preventing an American Pinochet

        As I watch, I see a chilling parallel to the rise of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

        Steve Stern’s book Remembering Pinochet’s Chile opens with a couple greeting the 1973 military coup that launched Pinochet’s dictatorship by toasting the fighter jets with champagne. Decades later, they still remember Pinochet fondly.

      • Is the US Heading for the Exit?

        And then, of course, came the launching of the Global War on Terror, which soon would be normalized as the plain-old, uncapitalized “war on terror.” Yes, that very war — even if nobody’s called it that for years — began on September 11, 2001. At a Pentagon partially in ruins, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, already aware that the destruction around him was probably Osama bin Laden’s responsibility, orderedhis aides to begin planning for a retaliatory strike against… Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Rumsfeld’s exact words (an aide wrote them down) were: “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

        Things related and not. Sit with that phrase for a moment. In their own strange way, those four words, uttered in the initial hours after the destruction of New York’s World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon, still seem to capture the twenty-first-century American experience.

      • Let’s Reinvent the U.S. Military for Real National Defense

        During the Cold War, I took it for granted that this country needed a sprawling network of military bases, hundreds of them globally.  Back then, of course, the stated U.S. mission was to “contain” the communist pathogen.  To accomplish that mission, it seemed all too logical to me then for our military to emphasize its worldwide presence.  Yes, I knew that the Soviet threat was much exaggerated. Threat inflation has always been a feature of the DoD and at the time I’d read books like Andrew Cockburn’s The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine. Still, the challenge was there and, as the leader of the “free world,” it seemed obvious to me that the U.S. had to meet it.

        And then the Soviet Union collapsed — and nothing changed in the U.S. military’s global posture.

      • Islamic Jihadists Kill Nearly 3,500 Nigerian Christians, Attack 300 Churches in 200 Days

        Members of the Islamic jihadist group Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen are named throughout the report. These terror groups are relentless in their efforts to gain control over the country through the kidnapping and killing of innocent victims.

        Hundreds of children from Nigerian schools have also been targeted this year, kidnapped by armed insurgents threatening to harm their captives unless a ransom is paid.

      • It’s the religion, stupid

        The conflict with the Palestinians cannot be resolved so long as their leaders are driven by a religious rather than a political agenda. You cannot reach compromises with people who believe that Allah has given them marching orders to reconstitute the Islamic empire and, ideally, expand it throughout the world. For them, Israel is a cancer in the Islamic body that must be excised. Israel can dismantle every settlement, withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines and declare Zionism dead, and it would not satisfy them.

      • Watchdog Alarmed at ‘Mounting Taliban Revenge Killings’

        A global human rights monitor on Friday accused the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan of detaining and executing suspected government officials as well as security forces, and in some cases their relatives.

        Human Rights Watch lamented in a statement that the Taliban’s retaliatory actions ran counter to their pledges that no harm would be inflicted on people who worked for the Afghan government or assisted the United States and NATO troops.

      • Turkey serving as vessel for radical Islamists – U.N. report

        Uyghur, Turkmen and central Asian migrants living in Turkey serve as a significant pool for membership in radical Islamist terrorist organisations, according to a report presented to the United Nations Security Council, Voice of America Turkish reported on Saturday.

        Members of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s northern Idlib province see Turkey as an important gateway, according to the 22-page U.N. report detailing global terror activities in the first six-months of 2021.

      • Afghan comedian Khasha Jawan assaulted, killed by Taliban: Report

        Ariana news said Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh in a Facebook post wrote that the comedian was executed by the Taliban in a “kangaroo court.”

    • Environment

      • Exxon-Influenced Senators Carved Climate Out of Infrastructure Almost Entirely
      • Slamming China Won’t Save Fossil Capitalism From Itself

        The planet is burning and the arsonists are in charge, as one environmentalist once observed. So in late June and early July, with extreme heat afflicting a quarter of the globe, it became clear that the time had come for the Biden government, and indeed every government, to end the burning of oil, gas and coal. Personally, I favor nationalizing the fossil fuel industry, that is, the wealth of the arsonists. Howsoever we phase it out, this termination needs to happen NOW. Or we as a species will likely not survive. What will come after homo sapiens? No doubt beings adapted to extreme heat, unlike us, with our lineage naturally selected during an ice age.

        At the very least, it’s time to slash fossil fuel subsidies. As for the aforementioned nationalizing of oil, gas and coal corporations in order to eliminate their product, desirable as this may be, history, unluckily, is against it. In the past, the U.S. has launched wars and invaded countries that threatened to nationalize fossil fuel companies. Think Iran in 1953 and the pandemonium caused by the western overthrow of that country’s legally elected president: the shah, the torturers in Savak, the hostage crisis, the decades-long American attempt to get even for it, the disastrous election of Reagan and all the evils of hyper-capitalism that flowed from that. Just the hint of such a nationalization is a casus belli for U.S. elites. And it’s likely they knowingly and willfully refuse to put two and two together regarding control of fossil fuel companies and our collapsing climate. Even if they did, U.S. politicos, plutocrats and corporate titans would probably rather die, felled by extreme weather, than turn oil companies over to the state. And at the rate we’re going, they will get their wish.

      • Opinion | ALEC’s Annual Meeting Queues up Fights Over Federal Powers, Fossil Fuels, Big Tech, Labor Rights, and the GOP’s Culture Wars
      • Science Museum Just Killed Its ‘Own Reputation,’ Says Greta Thunberg After Docs Reveal Gag Clause With Shell

        The London Science Museum is facing fresh criticism from climate campaigners following revelations that the institution signed a “gagging clause” with Shell banning it from criticizing the oil giant as part of an exhibition sponsorship agreement.

        “The ‘Science’ Museum just killed irony (and their own reputation),” Fridays for Future founder Greta Thunberg tweeted Thursday.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | A Missed Opportunity: Rights of Nature Removed From New Draft of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

          On July 12, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat released the first draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, deleting what is arguably the most important enabling condition: “to consider, where appropriate, the rights of nature,” replacing this language with “employing rights-based approaches.” This framework would have been the first international treaty to recognize Nature’s rights. 

        • Species Spotlight: Will the Panamanian Golden Frog Survive?
        • Glimmers of Hope for Wildlife in Colorado

          The biggest sign of change—and a real reason for wildlife enthusiasts to be excited—is of course the passing of Proposition 114 in November of 2020. The ballot measure directs Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to bring the gray wolf back to Colorado, where it has been largely absent since the 1940s. How and where exactly reintroduction will happen is still up for much input and debate. And we can be sure that anti-wildlife interests will be fervent in advocating that wolves be hunted, trapped, lethally “managed,” and otherwise persecuted. Guardians will be there howling for wolves to be safe, protected, and bountiful enough to work their ecosystem magic across the state.

          Another win for wildlife in Colorado that may have flown under the public radar, but that is critical for conservation: Governor Polis recently signed three bills into law to provide much-needed funding for CPW to protect the state’s diverse wildlife, habitat and park system. What’s particularly noteworthy about these new laws is that they will allow the general public to provide funding for wildlife conservation, not just hunters and anglers, who have historically paid for and directed state wildlife agencies.

        • How the USDA is Failing America’s Captive Elephants

          “Elephants who are kept in small enclosures are in increased danger of developing chronic foot disease and arthritis, both of which lead to frequent instances of death for captive elephants,” according to Dr. Toni Frohoff, a biologist and behavioral ethologist. “In fact, the most common reason for premature death of captive elephants is lack of space and standing on hard and/or otherwise inappropriate surfaces.”

          Many people are unaware that circuses are still part of the American culture. The closing of the infamous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in May 2017 did not mark the end of cruelty perpetrated on elephants, who are forced into captivity and made to perform in circuses. Between 25 and 30 traveling circuses, which include caged wild animals, continue to travel and operate in the United States. There are currently more than 60 elephants and hundreds of other animals still being used for human entertainment. Circus animal cruelty and exploitation are rampant. Some operators like Loomis Bros. Circus and Carson & Barnes Circus continued operating throughout the worst of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and were once again advertising their show schedulesfor the spring and summer season in 2021. Currently, Carden Circus, Loomis Bros. Circus, Carson & Barnes Circus, Tarzan Zerbini Circus, and others are back on the road with elephants and other wild exotic animals.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Opinion | America’s Billionaires: Borrowing Their Way to Tax Avoidance

        No widely acclaimed artist in the 20th century baited and battled the rich with as much gusto as Diego Rivera. The Mexican painter’s Great Depression-era confrontation with Nelson Rockefeller, then the twenty-something grandson of the world’s single richest individual, captured front-page real estate all across the United States—and far beyond.

      • Is There a Progressive Case Against Quantitative Easing?

        These purchases of longer-term bonds, known as “quantitative easing” (QE), had the effect of raising bond prices. The vast majority of bonds are held by the wealthy, with close to half being held by the richest one percent. This has the effect of increasing wealth inequality. Lower interest rates also have the effect of raising stock prices, other things being equal.

        The Fed’s QE policy was surely a factor in the sharp run-up in stock prices since the start of the pandemic. Since the ownership of stock is also enormously skewed toward the wealthy, the effect on stock prices also worsens the inequality of wealth. For these reasons, some progressives have argued that QE is a regressive policy which should be abandoned.

      • Omar Unveils Guaranteed Income Bill to Send American Adults $1,200 a Month
      • Democrats Make Last-Minute Push to Extend Eviction Moratorium
      • Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

        House Democrats on Friday afternoon gave up on the effort to enact legislation to extend the federal eviction moratorium after failing to secure enough votes for passage, even as progressive lawmakers warned of the “death and suffering” that will likely result from millions of people losing their homes as the more dangerous Delta variant drives a resurgent Covid-19 pandemic.

        “Extending the federal eviction moratorium as quickly as possible is the least we can do for those in our communities who need our help the most.”—Rep. Cori Bush

      • Homelessness Escalates as California’s Recall Election Nears
      • Former Sen. Carl Levin Dies At 87

        A foe of fraud and waste, Levin led an investigation in 2002 into Enron Corp., which had declared bankruptcy the previous year amid financial scandals. The probe contributed to a new federal law that requires executives to sign off on financial statements so they could be criminally liable for posting phony numbers.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Populist-Epistemology

        If in the past this was a kind of academic/politics as usual/perennial situation, it is now a “blood in the streets” situation, itself, a big problem.

        Why? Short answer: epistemology has gone populist. How we know is now a personal possession that we will fight to the death to defend, a scary situation because it’s a personal fait accompli which preempts any refutation. It’s a non-dialectical sort of epistemology in which you talk to your bathroom mirror and he hears you out and goes along.

      • With New Guaranteed Income Bill, Omar Proposes Sending Most People in US $1,200 Per Month

        Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is set to introduce legislation on Friday that would establish a guaranteed income program and postal banking services to provide most U.S. adults, including undocumented taxpayers, with a $1,200 monthly check.

        “For too long we have prioritized endless growth while millions are homeless, hungry, or without healthcare.”—Rep. Ilhan Omar

      • ‘Just Say That the Election Was Corrupt,’ Trump Told DOJ in December

        Additional evidence of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to invalidate and reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential race came to light on Friday when the New York Times, using newly obtained documents, reported that Trump pressured top Justice Department officials in late December to declare that “the election was corrupt” so that he and his GOP allies could overturn the results.

      • ‘About Damn Time’: DOJ Says Treasury Department Must Give Trump’s Tax Returns to Congress

        The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel said Friday that the Treasury Department is obligated by law to hand former President Donald Trump’s tax returns over to the House Ways and Means Committee, opening the door for Congress to finally obtain the documents after more than two years of legal battles and stonewalling by his administration.

        “It is about damn time,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, said in a statement. “Our committee first sought Donald Trump’s tax returns on April 3, 2019—849 days ago. Our request was made in full accordance with the law and pursuant to Congress’ constitutional oversight powers. And for 849 days, our request has been illegally blocked by a tag-team of the Trump Justice Department and a Trump-appointed judge.”

      • As Biden Refuses to Act, Dems Make Last-Minute Push to Extend Eviction Moratorium

        House Democrats are racing against the clock to build support for legislation to extend the soon-to-lapse national eviction moratorium after the Biden administration announced Thursday that it wouldn’t act on its own, potentially leaving millions of people at risk of losing their homes amid a deadly pandemic.

        But with the moratorium set to expire Saturday, the last-minute effort faces long odds given that Republicans—and some Democrats—are unlikely to support an extension, despite experts’ warnings about the potentially devastating public health impacts of allowing a wave of evictions as the Delta variant tears through the country.

      • Joe Biden’s Hollow Resistance: Words vs. Deeds

        Words and Deeds

        The judgement remains accurate. Populist- and progressive-sounding words are as usual common in Democratic presidential rhetoric while populist and progressive deeds are as usual scare in Democratic presidential conduct. Remember Biden’s campaign promise to significantly slash college student debt? It’s an empty pledge so far. Early in his presidency, Biden asked the Education and Justice Departments to “review his legal authority” to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower by executive order. No review is required. The Higher Education Act clearly grants the U.S. president broad discretion to cancel student debt. The legal assessment is a diversionary and holding action reflecting Biden’s reluctance to irritate the nation’s leading financial institutions, whose interests he dutifully served over three decades in Congress.

      • Putin establishes commission for historical education headed by ex-Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on establishing an interdepartmental commission for historical education. This document was published on the government’s legal information portal on Friday, July 30. 

      • Russia blocks website for Khodorkovsky’s Dossier Center

        Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to the website for the Dossier Center — an investigative-journalism nonprofit founded by exiled former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 

      • Trump May Have Broken Promise to Donate Salary in Last Year as President
      • Eric Blanc, the Finnish Revolution of 1918 and Voting Democrat

        The “right lessons” turned out to be that the only “plausible path to socialist transformation in parliamentary countries is a radical form of democratic socialism.” And guess what that “radical form” amounts to: “socialists should only take executive office like presidencies during a socialist revolution.” In other words, Lenin was all wrong. He should not have fought for Soviet power but waited as if the “socialist revolution” were an embryo in the ninth month. Blanc would still insist that he is an orthodox Marxist, but Karl Marx made it patently clear that the dictatorship of the proletariat would not rest on “executive office.” Instead an armed people would rule in their own name—the Paris Commune, in other words.

        In 2014, Blanc was likely still a member of Socialist Organizer, a tiny Trotskyist sect led by his father Alan Benjamin. They were in a satellite of Pierre Lambert’s version of the Fourth International based in France. If the training he received in this sect helped him develop his theories about the borderlands, that’s to their credit. Since he has never written about his political evolution, we have to assume that his flight from the Lambertists was motivated by a need to hook up with broader trends on the left. He joined the ISO at some point and presumably was one of the people who voted for its dissolution under the impact of the Sanders campaigns. His final destination was the DSA, where he functions as an éminence grise justifying work in the Democratic Party as the best way to recover the Kautskyist Social Democratic tradition that lost all of its authority after the Bolshevik revolution. Blanc is trying to turn back the clock in his latest article to recreate this Shangri La of social democracy. You can bet that it will be studied in depth by the house intellectuals at Jacobin and those DSA’ers who identify with The Call, a magazine put out by Blanc’s Bread and Roses caucus. Unlike the average DSA’er, these comrades try to establish their revolutionary continuity to Karl Marx as if anybody cared. To me, such efforts remind me of the genealogy charts of thoroughbred horses more than anything else.

      • As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

        While President Joe Biden campaigned on a pledge to reverse the “failed” policies of his predecessor that “inflicted harm on Cubans and their families,” his administration—already under mounting pressure from progressives to deliver on that promise—announced new sanctions against Cuba on Friday.

        Following Cubans’ recent protests over shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials during the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Cuba’s main law enforcement body, Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR), as well as its director and deputy director, Oscar Callejas Valcarce and Eddy Sierra Arias.

      • Russia’s federal censor orders YouTube to block ‘Navalny Live’

        Russia’s federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, has ordered YouTube to block Alexey Navalny’s popular channel “Navalny Live.” This was reported by the channel’s producer, Lyubov Sobol — in a YouTube video.

      • Hawley’s “Love America Act” is All About Hate

        And that the rest of America subsidized the slave-owners’ states and continues to subsidize them to this day.

        Hawley, of course, is the guy who gave a fist-salute to the armed white supremacist traitors who stormed the US Capitol on January 6th to assassinate Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi. He hopes to ride his white supremacy shtick to the White House.

      • Biden Furthers Trump Immigration Policy With Expedited Deportations of Families
      • “People Are Outraged”: General Strike in Guatemala Denounces Corruption & Mishandling of Pandemic

        We go to Guatemala to speak with an opposition lawmaker and a Maya K’iche’ leader who joined Thursday’s major national strike demanding the resignation of right-wing President Alejandro Giammattei and other government officials facing allegations of corruption. Major highways were blocked for hours as protesters marched through Guatemala City and in rural communities denouncing corruption, a worsening economic crisis and the government’s catastrophic mishandling of the pandemic. The demonstrations are the “third chapter of our history in the fight against corruption, which started in 2015,” says Lucrecia Hernández Mack, Guatemalan physician and a member of the Guatemalan Congress with the political party Movimiento Semilla who was the first woman to lead the country’s Ministry of Health. “People here in Guatemala are just outraged.” Indigenous governments and people across Guatemala united in leading the call for the mass mobilization, adds Andrea Ixchíu, Maya K’iche’ leader, journalist and human rights defender in Totonicapán, Guatemala. “We are tired [of] how in the midst of the pandemic the Guatemalan government is stealing the money from the vaccines and militariz[ing] the country.”

      • New York City’s Radical Proposal for Noncitizen Voting

        Lucia Aguilar has been living in New York City since she was 3 years old. In her late 30s now, she works at a nonprofit in East Harlem, where, for the last 16 years, she’s helped manage a community food bank. She has a green card at this point, but she still has years to wait until she can apply for citizenship.

      • House Democrats Want to Know the Truth About the Bolivian Coup

        The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday night to approve a measure directing the State Department to investigate the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) and its role facilitating the coup against Bolivia’s three-term President Evo Morales in 2019. The provision, which was tucked into the $67 billion State Department and foreign operations spending package, instructs the State Department to gather information regarding the OAS’s unfounded claims of election fraud. The OAS’s accusations, and the US media’s rushing in to parrot these falsehoods, led to the expulsion of Bolivia’s popular left-wing president, and put the country in the hands of an unelected military junta. Jeanine Áñez, who declared herself the “interim” president after Morales was ousted, oversaw the massacres of Indigenous protesters and other human rights violations during her year in power.

      • Nina Turner Wants to Go to Congress as a Champion for Labor Rights

        If you want to know where Nina Turner is coming from, take a look at where she has been.

      • Delhi HC adjourns hearing on pleas of WhatsApp, Facebook challenging IT Rules till Aug 27

        Delhi HC adjourns hearing on pleas of WhatsApp, Facebook challenging IT Rules till Aug 27New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned the hearing, till August 27, on the pleas by WhatsApp and Facebook challenging the central government’s Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 that would require messaging services to “trace” the origin of particular messages sent on the service.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Disentangling Disinformation: Not As Easy As It Looks

        Body bags claiming that “disinformation kills” line the streets this week in front of Facebook’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. A group of protesters, affiliated with “The Real Facebook Oversight Board” (an organization that is, confusingly, not affiliated with Facebook or its Oversight Board), is urging Facebook’s shareholders to ban so-called misinformation “superspreaders”—that is, a specific number of accounts that have been deemed responsible for the majority of disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.

      • Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming

        Private firms, straddling traditional marketing and the shadow world of geopolitical influence operations, are selling services once conducted principally by intelligence agencies.

        They sow discord, meddle in elections, seed false narratives and push viral conspiracies, mostly on social media. And they offer clients something precious: deniability.

        “Disinfo-for-hire actors being employed by government or government-adjacent actors is growing and serious,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, calling it “a boom industry.”

      • Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation

        A coalition of congressional Democrats is pressuring the CEOs of four social media companies to combat the spread of Spanish and other non-English language disinformation on their platforms.

        Democratic Sens. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (Calif.) led 23 colleagues in sending letters to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Nextdoor requesting detailed information on content moderation policies for the top five languages users on the platforms encounter.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Last Month In An LA Court I Witnessed The Future Of A World Without Section 230; It Was A Mess

        Disclosure: I was an expert witness for RedBubble in this case (and another case) and submitted some reports regarding this case much earlier in the process, though I did not testify at this trial. I had nothing to do with this trial other than attending it as an interested observer, concerned about litigation involving content moderation. As you can see, however, my opinions on this remain identical to my opinions on content moderation going back basically forever…

      • When Government and Big Tech Collude Against the First Amendment: an Interview With Nadine Strossen

        However, Nadine Strossen, who was president of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008 and is now professor at New York Law School puts forward the following argument:

        I recently spoke to Strossen, please excuse the not terribly photo-oped nature of the audio and video. A very lightly edited and hopefully sufficiently cleaned up transcript of the interview is below.

      • Google says it removed 71,132 content pieces in May, 83,613 items in June in India

        Google removed 71,132 pieces of content in May and took 83,613 removal actions in June following user complaints, the company said in its monthly transparency reports released on Friday. In addition to reports from users, Google also removed 6,34,357 pieces of content in May and 5,26,866 in June as a result of automated detection.

        The US-based company has made these disclosures as part of compliance with India’s IT rules that came into force on May 26.

      • Sharia London: Christian Refugee Hatun Tash Stabbed While Wearing Charlie Hebdo T-Shirt (UPDATE)

        On Sunday, July 25, a Christian preacher and brave critic of Islam, Hatun Tash, was stabbed by a terrorist at Speaker’s Corner in the United Kingdom. The Christian refugee from Turkey fled to Britain to escape persecution following her conversion from Islam to Christianity. Hatun was stabbed while wearing a Charlie Hebdo shirt that states, “L’amour: Plus fort que la haine,” which translates to “Love: Stronger than Hate.”

      • Woman in Charlie Hebdo T-shirt stabbed in London park

        “We know that this assault was witnessed by a number of people, many of whom captured it on their phones. I would ask them, if they have not already done so, to contact police,” says Detective Superintendent Alex Bingley.

      • Hatun Tash: Speakers’ Corner is anti-Christian, says woman who was stabbed

        Hatun Tash told The Times that over the past two years she had been verbally and physically assaulted at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, which is known for freedom of expression.

        A fortnight before she was attacked, Tash had begun legal proceedings against Scotland Yard over allegations of false arrest and imprisonment.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Indian Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui Not Killed In Crossfire, But Executed By Taliban: Report

        According to a media report, Danish Siddiqui, who was killed while covering clashes between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Kandahar city, was actually killed after Taliban verified his identity.

      • Turkey sees 158 percent rise in police violence towards women journalists

        Violence against women journalists in Turkey has sharply increased by 158.82 percent this year, in comparison to the cases recorded last year, the Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) said on July 28.

      • Turkey: CFWIJ demands action to end police brutality against journalists

        The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) continues to follow the direct targeting of journalists and the disproportionate use of force against women journalists who follow events in the country. We consider the latest events quite alarming and we are deeply concerned about the physical assaults women journalists have suffered.

        Since the beginning of 2021, CFWIJ has recorded at least 44 women journalists subjected to police violence in Turkey. Three women journalists’ had their houses raided and were detained for their journalistic activities. At least 13 female reporters were detained while following events in the field. Many of them were exposed to verbal harassment by the police at the same time as those cases.

      • False Islamic doctrines: Ibu Yati, two individuals claim trial

        Three individuals including a former journalist, well-known as Ibu Yati, pleaded not guilty in the Selangor Syariah High Court today, to expounding religious doctrines contrary to Islamic law and spreading them through Facebook between December last year until February this year.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “Pushing Back at Authority”: Son Volt, and the Power of Protest Music

        Calling on those ghosts again, Farrar asks in “Living in the USA,” the best song on Electro Melodier, “Where’s the heart from days of old?” His further inquiry, sung in the plaintive, honest, and intimate voice of a long-lost friend, provides clarity into the target of his political and emotional scavenger hunt: “Where’s the empathy? Where’s the soul?” Closing the chorus with, “Living in the USA…” leaves the listener with a sociocultural mystery. Do those words form a question or an answer?

        Great art eschews the easy solution and the quick fix. Son Volt’s new music is no exception to the rule. Like all brilliant artists, Farrar doesn’t conceal the complexity and contradictions of his subject matter. He spotlights them. Depending on when and how he enunciates the phrase, “Living in the USA,” it can act as ridicule to an Empire in decay, unable to enforce its foundational rhetoric of freedom and equality, or as a declaration of hope – the hope that lives in the streets, the organizer meetings, the ballot box, the picket line, the pipeline protest, and every site of combative action against injustice.

      • DC Court Dumps Police Union’s Attempt To Block Release Of Recordings, Officers’ Names Following Police Shootings

        Last year, a number of police reforms were passed by the city of Washington, DC. These efforts angered the Fraternal Order of Police — which represents a number of DC Metro police officers — enough for it to sue. It sued over two reforms in particular: the release of police recordings (body cam or otherwise) and the names of officers involved in shootings of residents.

      • ‘I want to show I’m not afraid’: Opposition politician Violetta Grudina on her forced hospitalization and decision to go on hunger strike

        Violetta Grudina used to lead Alexey Navalny’s campaign office in Murmansk — before this opposition movement was outlawed as “extremist,” that is. In the summer of 2021, she announced plans to put her name on the ballot for the upcoming City Council elections. Not long after, the authorities opened a criminal case against her, claiming that Grudina failed to fulfill quarantine requirements while recovering from the coronavirus in June. On top of that, in mid-July, Grudina was hospitalized by court order — despite the fact that she tested negative for COVID-19 and no longer had any symptoms. On July 26 — after almost two weeks in the hospital — the opposition politician announced a hunger strike. In conversation with Meduza, Violetta Grudina talks about her forced hospitalization, going on hunger strike, and why she’s not giving up on running in the fall elections.

      • Rise of the Right: How the Vaudeville Left Fuels White Supremacy
      • Florida Sheriff’s Office Now Notifying People It Will Be Inflicting Its Pre-Crime Program On Them

        The Pasco County (FL) Sheriff’s Office has been swamped with negative press coverage centering on its predictive policing program. The Office claims it’s not “predictive policing,” but rather “intelligence-led policing.” Whatever you call it, it sucks.

      • Luke Harris on Critical Race Theory, Cindy Cohn on Pegasus Spyware
      • Judges Rule in Favor of a School’s Use of Shock Therapy That UN Calls Torture
      • Anti-BDS Jewish Orgs Back Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Sales Ban in Settlements Despite Israeli Pressure

        Israel has launched what has been described as a maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever, after the iconic ice cream brand announced it would halt sales in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel has asked 35 U.S. governors to enforce state laws which make it a crime to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS. The founders of Ben & Jerry’s, who no longer have operational control of the company, have defended the company’s decision. A number of Jewish groups including J Street, the New Israel Fund and Americans for Peace Now, all of whom oppose BDS, have defended Ben & Jerry’s decision and rejected accusations that the company’s decision was antisemitic. “What we are seeing is an aggressive, over the top, full-court press from senior officials in the Israeli government … to target Ben & Jerry’s simply for the fact that they made a principled decision to respect the distinction between the state of Israel and the territory that it occupies beyond the green line,” says Logan Bayroff, Vice President of Communications of J-Street. “These anti-boycott laws aren’t just posing issues under the first amendment, they’re actually punishing companies that do the right thing by ending their complicity in human rights abuses,” adds Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch.

      • Yes, the Constitution was “Pro-Slavery”

        Naturally, that reframing has enjoyed quite a bit of pushback, much of which amounts to wrestling over whether the US Constitution, as originally written and ratified, was designed around the goal of protecting the institution of slavery.

        “Nikole Hannah-Jones and other 1619 acolytes,” Dr. Brion McClanahan writes at the Tenth Amendment Center, “have been consistently pushing the idea that the Constitution was a ‘pro-slavery’ document.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Broadband Portion Of Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Appears Watered Down But Still Helpful

        As we’ve noted previously, the broadband component of the Biden infrastructure bill has slowly been whittled down during “bipartisan negotiations.” What was first a $100 billion proposal is now a $65 billion proposal, with things industry didn’t like (like support for community broadband) slowly hollowed out. And while the White House fact sheet on the agreement offers some detail on the compromise (which still isn’t technically final), it remains arguably vague:

      • Picking Up Where Bill C-10 Left Off: The Canadian Government’s Non-Consultation on Online Harms Legislation

        The government says it is taking comments until September 25th, but given the framing of the documents, it is clear that this is little more than a notification of the regulatory plans, not a genuine effort to craft solutions based on public feedback. For a government that was elected with a strong grounding in consultation and freedom of expression, the reversal in approach could hardly be more obvious.

    • Monopolies

      • Stop The Antitrust Gerrymandering

        The social media app TikTok was reported to have passed more than 3 billion total downloads in July and was the most downloaded app in the first half of the year. This growth is impressive as it not only was banned in India but is the first app not owned by Facebook to pass 3 billion downloads. Yet in the recent antitrust cases from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the states attorneys general against Facebook, there is little mention of the popular app.

      • Microsoft is facing a subpoena for millions of documents in Google’s antitrust case

        The sweeping federal antitrust case against Google has given rise to a significant fight over data held by Microsoft, and the company is now facing a subpoena for millions of documents that could shed light on its attempts to compete with Google’s search engine. Having initially cooperated with prosecutors in building an antitrust case against Google, Microsoft could be obligated to produce millions more documents at the request of Google’s defense team.

        At a status hearing on Friday morning, Judge Amit Mehta heard arguments from both Google and Microsoft on the issue, but ultimately found more information was required before the court could give guidance as to how much internal data Microsoft would be required to produce.

      • Copyrights

        • US drops extradition against one Megaupload defendant after ‘life-threatening’ illness emerges

          The Megaupload Four is now the Megaupload Three – the United States has dropped its extradition case against one of the defendants who has a “life-threatening” medical condition.

          Megaupload’s former marketing manager, Finn Batato, is no longer among those sought on a string of charges in the US copyright-related case.

          It comes as the tenth anniversary of the January 2012 arrest of the Megaupload Four approaches without an extradition date set.

        • US drops extradition against Megaupload defendant

          The quiet dropping of the extradition of Batato was signalled in a single line of the latest Court of Appeal judgment. It recounted the charges and desired extradition of Kim Dotcom, Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann.

          It then said: “Until very recently, it was also seeking the extradition of Mr Batato but due to health issues no longer does so.”

          A footnote on the court order said that Batato was “formally discharged” by the District Court – where the extradition case was originally lodged – on June 10 this year.

        • Scarlett Johansson Is Suing Disney For Its Streaming Release Of ‘Black Widow’

          MONDELLO: After the opening weekend, the numbers fell off a cliff. Industry observers suggest that one reason attendance fell so quickly is that Disney had screened the film simultaneously on Disney+, allowing audiences to bypass theaters and watch it at home. Scarlett Johansson is the film’s star and also its executive producer. She says in her lawsuit, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, that her agreement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical opening and based her salary in part on the film’s box office performance.

        • Games Workshop is trying to shut down fan animations

          Games Workshop is facing backlash after making changes to its IP [sic] Guidelines to clamp down on fan-made animations.

          For the most part, changes to Games Workshop’s IP Guidelines make a lot of sense. It makes sense for the miniatures company to enforce a zero tolerance policy towards people 3D printing its designs, for example. But things take a turn for the concerning when it comes to a note on fan-made animations, which reads: [...]

        • Copyright Troll Richard Liebowitz Keeps On Losing In Court

          Copyright troll Richard Liebowitz (who once demanded he not be called a copyright troll), who has been suspended from practicing law in NY, continues to rack up embarrassing losses in court. I hadn’t realized that after the Southern District of NY suspended Liebowitz, a bunch of other courts followed suit, asking him why he shouldn’t be suspended elsewhere. In North Dakota, rather than fighting it, Liebowitz meekly consented to the suspension. In the Southern District of Illinois, Liebowitz didn’t even respond to the court’s order to show cause, and was thus suspended as well. In the Eastern District of NY he was suspended as well The 10th Circuit Appeals Court suspended Liebowitz as well. That’s based on just a quick look — it may have happened in other courts too.

        • Jake Paul Fight Piracy: Judge Dismisses Triller’s Lawsuit Against YouTuber

          After filing a wave of lawsuits against entities alleged to have streamed the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren fight without permission, Triller has clocked up another failure in a US court. A lawsuit filed against YouTuber ‘ItsLilBrandon’ has been thrown out by a judge after Triller failed to follow the court’s orders.

        • BREIN Pulled 466 Pirate Sites and Services Offline Last Year

          Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is one of the most active civil copyright enforcement groups in the world. This week the group announced its 2020 achievements, which include the shutdown of hundreds of pirate sites and services, dozens of settlements, and a local Pirate Bay blockade.

07.30.21

Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC is still around, but Freenode/IRC.com won’t be an important part of that

Gemini Turntable
Gemini Turntable

Summary: Freenode continues to perish faster than we’ve imagined; it’s a good thing that we’ve had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we’re still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it

THIS is a “bad news, good news” type of post.

Techrights at irc.techrights.orgFreenode commits to yet another self-harming move, maybe committing suicide by imposing registration on people who wish to enter Freenode (SSO/SASL). Moving people over to our self-hosted IRC network has therefore been a priority.

As someone said in our IRC channel some minutrs ago, “chat.freenode.net sum of channel populations declined from 86k to 64k after the sasl requirement.”

Compare to Libera.Chat:

$ <$z.sorted awk '{a+=$2;} END {print a;}'
173198

“No need for a Web browser (or HTML) to follow Techrights.”To quote the explation: “I just ran it on libera, libera sum of channel populations is now 173k (sum the output of /list -YES)”

The -YES is essential for bypassing warnings.

Sum of Channel Populations
/list -YES -> awk add up

date            freenode irc.fn libera.chat 
2020-03-29      311686
2021-05-19                      27890
2021-05-20      279551          26736
2021-05-21      269785          36115
2021-05-21                      48433
2021-05-23      247790          62421
2021-05-26      221557          25474
2021-06-01      154266          66038
2021-06-06      147001          76833
2021-06-12      128716          74654
2021-06-14      119065          77381
2021-06-15      57192   50806   80256
2021-07-15      87484
2021-07-18              86244   167157
2021-07-30      63968   63648   173198

Things aren’t even fully settled yet.

We are not in Libera.Chat because we try to self-host everything, even Git. It’s the way to go and people everywhere should advocate it. The Internet was originally created to distribute things around, not centralise everything the way Facebook, AWS, ClownFlare, GitHub etc. increasingly do.

When it comes to Gemini, which is self-hosted from home, we’ve convinced a number of people to rely less on the World Wide Web and use gemini:// when possible. Page requests in the past 30 days show growth:

Page requests (gemini://) Date
2358 2021/07/01
2960 2021/07/02
1641 2021/07/03
1755 2021/07/04
2187 2021/07/05
2194 2021/07/06
2122 2021/07/07
8128 2021/07/08
11197 2021/07/09
2243 2021/07/10
2333 2021/07/11
3344 2021/07/12
3808 2021/07/13
3870 2021/07/14
4503 2021/07/15
5183 2021/07/16
3586 2021/07/17
3489 2021/07/18
11802 2021/07/19
14019 2021/07/20
5274 2021/07/21
5463 2021/07/22
3288 2021/07/23
3971 2021/07/24
3897 2021/07/25
3614 2021/07/26
5746 2021/07/27
6072 2021/07/28
3081 2021/07/29
12146 2021/07/30

Total 145,554 (the above combined) with another day to go (2021/07/31). Over time more people adopt and at least partly embrace Gemini space as an alternative to the Web (over 1,500 unique IP addresses above). It sure gives us hope. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the Web (5 hits/second on average), but any progress counts. More importantly, the option (or alternative) does exist and it is viable. No need for a Web browser (or HTML) to follow Techrights.

Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS/Linux in the Ham Shack Episode #422: The Weekender LXXV

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Perfect Plex Setup | Self-Hosted 50

        We discuss Chris’s latest wall-mounted tablet solution for Home Assistant and several scripts to pimp your Plex setup.

    • Kernel Space

      • VMware Hits A Nasty Performance Regression With Linux 5.13

        VMware has found the Linux 5.13 kernel that was released as stable one month ago has led to a serious performance regression for their ESXi enterprise hypervisor.

        VMware found that there is a big performance regression with Linux 5.13 under their ESXi software. They found that ESXi compute workloads could be affected by up to 3x while networking workloads were at only a 40% regression. Their compute tasks were as simple as Linux kernel compile times that were severely impacted.

        VMware engineers found that this very significant performance regression came from a scheduler change… While the patch in question “sched: Move SCHED_DEBUG sysctl to debugfs” sounds rather mundane, it was found to ultimately impact the default value of sched_wakeup_granularity_ns.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon “Cyan Skillfish” Navi 1x APU Submitted For Linux 5.15 Plus Many Fixes – Phoronix

          AMD driver engineers have submitted their latest batch of AMDGPU feature updates to DRM-Next for queuing ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window opening up in about one month’s time. With this latest pull request the big addition is the new “Cyan Skillfish” GPU support.

          Posted earlier this month were Linux graphics driver patches for “Cyan Skillfish”, which is the Navi 1x graphics in an APU form factor. Yes, forthcoming Navi 1x APU/SoC rather than Navi 2x or the many Vega-based APUs out there. Details on what “Cyan Skillfish” ultimately maps to remains to be confirmed beyond being an RDNA(1) part.

        • OpenGL Drivers In 2021 Still Sadly Benefit From Faking Their Driver Name / GPU – Phoronix

          Years ago particularly when the open-source Linux GPU drivers were in their infancy it was known in some cases having to fake/spoof the GPU driver name or model in order to workaround artificial bugs / problematic code paths targeted to a particular OpenGL driver or even to achieve greater performance. With a new Mesa merge request called “Unleash the dragon!”, this is still very much a problem in 2021 even now in the Android space.

          Google’s Rob Clark who founded the Freedreno project for open-source Qualcomm Adreno project years ago created this new “Unleash the dragon!” merge request for Mesa. In 2021 the problem has shifted to Android games still relying on OpenGL have become accustomed to artificially changing their settings/capabilities based on the OpenGL renderer and GPU model.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Timelines

          I don’t feel like blogging about zink today, so here’s more about everyone’s favorite software implementation of Vulkan.

        • xf86-video-amdgpu 21.0.0 Released For Radeon Linux Users Still On X.Org

          It’s been one year since the last xf86-video-amdgpu release in the form of v19.1 and about two years since the release before that with v19.0… Now the xf86-video-amdgpu 21.0 driver is ready for those who need it. As with all open-source Linux graphics drivers, these X.Org DDX releases are of little value these days given the migration to Wayland and those sticking to X.Org most often just using the generic xf86-video-modesetting driver. All the interesting open-source graphics magic these days happen within the DRM/KMS kernel driver components and Mesa. But unlike Intel who hasn’t even issued a new xf86-video-intel development release in six years or going back seven years to the last stable release, AMD does still put out the yearly or so DDX update.

    • Applications

      • Styli.sh is a Great Dynamic Desktop Wallpaper Changer for Linux

        Bored seeing the same wallpapers every day? This article will show you how to automatically set new wallpapers using Styli.sh on Linux.

        More often than not, we get bored with our current desktop wallpaper as the time passes. If you ever needed a way to automate changing your desktop wallpaper on Linux, this might be the right article for you.

        Automatically switching wallpapers is probably the best way to keep your desktop fresh and full of surprises. There are many apps that can help you do this, but is it worth using an application for such an easy task?

      • The 6 Best Android Emulators for Linux

        One cannot deny the influence of smartphones on people’s lives. These days, there is an application for everyone and everything. Whether it’s a news application to start your day or social media platforms to keep you close to your loved ones, smartphones have truly evolved to be a handy solution.

        There are many loyal Linux users who want to run their favorite Linux apps on the computer. Android is a common de-facto operating system for smartphones to leverage the Linux ecosystem. To initiate this feature, you need to use Android emulators to do your bidding, literally.

        Emulators are computer applications that help you run your Android applications and games on your Linux machine. Here are some common Android emulators that you can use to run and test Android apps on Linux.

      • The 7 Best Open-Source Paint Alternatives for Linux

        There are tons of open-source drawing software in the Linux ecosystem that come with surprisingly enticing features. Linux users have many options when it comes to drawing applications that offer a user-friendly interface and photo editing options.

        You can also create online rooms where multiple users can draw simultaneously. If you are getting excited looking at some of these features, and you feel you can unleash your creativity with these free-to-download software, then hop onto the bandwagon for a ride of a lifetime.

        Check out these seven open-source paint applications for Linux users that offer unique features and great functionalities.

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.31: PulseAudio 15.0, Linux Lite 5.6 RC1, and More New Releases

        PulseAudio 15.0 is an exciting release that adds new hardware support and introduces LDAC and AptX Bluetooth codecs for a high-quality audio listening experience with supported headphones.

      • VirtualBox 6.1.26

        VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Create a VirtualBox virtual machine backup on a Linux host for security – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen teaches you how to use simple bash scripts to automate backing up your VirtualBox VMs.

      • How to play Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne on Linux

        Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is the sequel to the original Max Payne game developed by Remedy and published by Rockstar. It follows detective Max Payne and continues his story. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How to play Tyranny on Linux

        Tyranny is an RPG video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Paradox Interactive. Currently, it is out on Windows, OSX, and Linux. Here’s how to get it working on your Linux PC.

      • How to play Middle-earth: Shadow of War on Linux

        Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an action RPG developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. It is the second game in the Middle Earth series and is available for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One. Here’s how you can play it on Linux.

      • 10 helpful tips on MySQL performance tuning | FOSS Linux

        Like all other databases, MySQL can be complicated and can stop at a moment’s notice putting all your businesses and tasks on the line. However, common mistakes underlie most of the problems affecting the performance.

        To ensure your server operates efficiently and effectively by providing stable and consistent performance, you must eliminate the mistakes often caused by some subtlety in the workload or configuration trap.

        As data volume grows, it becomes increasingly complex. Therefore, it is essential to optimize the databases well to deliver an efficient end-user experience. MySQL performance tuning is the ultimate solution as it will help provide solutions to these database problems.

      • How to install Jetbrains PhpStorm 2021 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Jetbrains PhpStorm 2021 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to see what packages updates available on Alpine Linux – nixCraft

        n Debian or Ubuntu Linux, one can run ‘apt list –upgradable‘ command to see and list available package updates. On RHEL, we can use ‘dnf check-update‘ to list available updates on screen. However, the apk command does not have an option to show and list available security software updates. But fear not. Some other tricks can list, and you can see what packages updates are available on Alpine Linux using the apk command.

      • How To Reuse SSH Connection To Speed Up Remote Login Process Using Multiplexing
      • The Linux Upskill Challenge
      • How to Send Email From the Linux Terminal – Make Tech Easier

        The Linux terminal gives us the power and capacity to perform tons of tasks with a few keyboard strokes. For those who spend most of your time in the terminal, you can also send email directly from the Terminal. This guide takes you by the hand and shows you how you can use various methods and tools to send email straight from the Linux terminal.

      • Linux System Information Commands

        If you’re coming from Windows or macOS, you may be used used to easily finding system information about your machine via the GUI (graphical user interface).

        Since you’ll probably interact with Linux via the command line most of the time, and will operate multiple machines, it’s good to know a few useful commands to know useful information about your system.

      • How to Create Restricted Guest Account in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 GDM | UbuntuHandbook

        ant to enable Guest account in Ubuntu? Without switching to another display manager, you can add Guest in Gnome login screen for people to use your computer while NOT being able to install/remove app, change system wide settings, and access files outside its own directory.

        Guest is available by default in Ubuntu 16.04 Unity desktop. After Ubuntu switched to Gnome Desktop, the feature is removed. For those need Guest account, it’s easy to add it back via following steps.

      • How to install phpPgAdmin on CentOS 7 | LinuxCloudVPS Blog

        phpPgAdmin is a web-based administration tool for PostgreSQL (one of the most popular open-source database management systems). It is written in PHP and it is based on the popular phpMyAdmin interface originally written for MySQL administration. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpPgAdmin on CentOS 7. The installation is quick and easy and if you follow the instructions carefully, you will have phpPgAdmin installed on your CentOS 7 VPS in less than 10 minutes. Let’s get started!

      • How to Install aaPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        aaPanel is an open-source and lightweight server control panel used for managing a web hosting environment. It is a simple and alternative to other famous control panels including, cPanel, VestaCP, etc. It comes with a simple and user-friendly web UI that makes your job easier for managing web hosting environment. It consumes very low resources and offers an auto-installer that allows you to install multiple apps with one click. It offers a rich set of features including, File manager, SSL, Cron, Firewall, FTP, Mail, Databases, DNS and Web domain.

      • Removing PipeWire in Gentoo Linux

        PipeWire, all the rage these days, was originally developed for video but was later enhanced to support audio as well, and is now an alternative to PulseAudio and JACK. My laptop running Gentoo Stable (amd64) with the KDE Plasma Desktop had been working fine with PipeWire for some time. The pulseaudio and screencast USE flags were both declared in the file /etc/portage/make.conf. Both audio playback and recording worked fine until a recent upgrade of the packages in my world file, when neither worked any more. The Audio Volume loudspeaker icon (the applet kde-plasma/plasma-pa) on the KDE Plasma panel had a red line through it, and the KMix loudspeaker icon (the applet kde-apps/kmix) on the panel was greyed out. Although I cannot be sure, I suspect the problem started when the first version of PipeWire that supported audio was released. The output of the command ‘ps -ef | grep pulse‘ showed me that both PulseAudio and PipeWire were running. At the time I did not know that PulseAudio is not supposed to be running at the same time as PipeWire. Sometimes when I booted the laptop and logged in, the loudspeaker icons on the Panel would appear correctly and audio output would work properly, but usually this was not the case. This behaviour made me wonder if there was some sort of race condition between the two applications at startup.

      • Install SonarQube on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server – Linux Shout

        SonarQube is an open-source program to analyze the code quality, formerly it was known as Sonar. Here we will let you know the commands and steps to install SonarQube on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 LTs server

        This program can find the security vulnerabilities in more than 20 programming languages along with auto analyzing of code quality to detect code bugs and smells. It also offers reports on duplicated code, coding standards, unit tests, code coverage, code complexity, comments, bugs, and security vulnerabilities.

      • Install balenaetcher using repository on Linux – Linux Shout

        balenaetcher is a popular cross-platform bootable USB maker available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.With the minimal interface, this program is very easy to use and operate. Well, on the official website for Linux systems Etcher is available in AppImage format, however, if you don’t want it instead a completed installation using BalenaEtcher repository via command terminal then here is the tutorial for the same.

      • SSH Tunnel using Putty and Firefox | LinuxHostSupport

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to create an SSH Tunnel using Putty and Firefox. SSH tunnel is an encrypted tunnel created through an SSH protocol. SSH Tunnel will be used to transfer unencrypted data over a network through an encrypted channel. If your service provider or some organization has blocked certain sites using their proxy filter you can bypass them with a SOCKS 5 proxy tunnel. In general, SOCKS is a protocol that establishes a TCP connection and exchanges network packets between a client and a server through a proxy server. If you can connect to an external SSH server, you can create an SSH tunnel to forward a port on your local machine to a port in the other machine which will be the other end of the tunnel.

      • How to Securely Transfer Files on Linux With sftp

        Want to share files to and from a remote server? Use the sftp command in Linux to transfer data securely over the internet.

        This guide will explore how to use sftp (SSH File Transfer Protocol), a command-line program for securely transferring files between two Linux computers over a network.

      • How To Install Brackets Editor on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Brackets Editor on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, A brackets code editor is an open-source, lightweight, modern code editor for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The functionalities of the Brackets code editor can also be extended using the extensions. It is a cross-platform code editor that is supported on all three major OS platforms: Linux, macOS, and Windows.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Brackets’s modern open-source code editor on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Install MongoDB on Ubuntu 20.04

        MongoDB is an open-source document-oriented database system. It is a NoSQL database.

        Instead of storing data in tables of rows or columns like traditional RDBMS databases, MongoDB stores data as documents. Documents consist of fields and value pairs. Documents are stored as JSON format and internal as BSON format. A collection is a group of MongoDB documents.

        MongoDB comes with two editions – Community edition and Enterprise. The community edition is completely free.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install MongoDB Community Edition on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How To Install and Configure Viber Messenger App on Linux Distros

        Viber is one of the oldest online-based communicating applications that has been using widely. It was initially released in 2010 for VoIP services and instant messaging. Viber messenger app is now available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can install the Viber messenger app on your Linux for audio calling, video calling, and chatting. It has a huge amount of stickers, emojis, and filters for making video calling and chatting more fun and user-friendly. Moreover, you can also use the Viber business app for client meetings and other professional works.

      • How To Install Foreman on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Foreman on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Foreman is a complete lifecycle management tool for physical and virtual servers. This app gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy applications, and proactively manage servers, on-premise or in the cloud. Foreman, available as open-source software, becomes even more powerful when integrated with other open-source projects such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Foreman on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Success Story: Preparing for Kubernetes Certification Improves a Platform Development Engineer’s Skills
      • System Administrator Appreciation Day 2021: A Panel Discussion
      • Makeshift Kubernetes external load balancer with haproxy | -ENOTTY

        Some time ago I’ve replaced Google Analytics with Plausible. It works great, except for one tiny thing. The map of visitors was empty. Due to various layers of Network Adress Translations in k3s networking setup, the original client IP address information was not reaching analytics engine.

        There are solutions – there is a PROXY Protocol exactly for that case. And Traefik, which handles ingress in k3s, supports PROXY. Only a bit of gymnastic was needed.

        Legacy IPv4 traffic entry point to my bare-metal cluster has a form of a small in-the-cloud virtual machine. It routes incoming TCP/443 traffic over the VPN into the cluster. The VM itself is not a part of kubernetes setup – I cannot run any pods on it. I’ve decided to use Ansible to configure it.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 6.14 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – Mono engine updated to version 6.3.0, with upstream updates.
        – 32->64-bit thunks implemented in WOW64 dll.
        – More preparation work for the GDI syscall interface.
        – Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.14.tar.xz

        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.14.tar.xz

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        https://www.winehq.org/download

        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation

        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.

      • Wine 6.14 Implements More 32-bit To 64-bit Thunks, Updated Mono

        Wine developers have popped open a new bi-weekly development snapshot of this software that allows Windows games/applications to run on Linux and macOS along with being what powers Valve’s Steam Play (Proton) and CodeWeavers’ CrossOver.

        Wine 6.14 is this latest development snapshot for enjoying Windows applications and game support under Linux. With Wine 6.14 their integrated Mono engine is updated against Mono 6.3, more 32-bit to 64-bit thunks have been implemented in the WOW64 DLL, there is continued preparations around GDI system call support, and various bug fixes.

      • Wine 6.14 released with Mono updates, more prep work for GDI syscall interface | GamingOnLinux

        The Wine hackers have today popped open another bottle to let it breathe for a bit, with the development build Wine 6.14 now available for testing.

        For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Games

      • Latest Steam Client Beta Adds a Storage Manager, Linux Improvements

        Valve released a Steam Client Beta update that introduces a Storage Manager, updated the Downloads page, and made other improvements that seem intended to prepare the platform for the release of the new Steam Deck handheld gaming device later this year.

        The new Storage Manager is supposed to allow Steam users to “better manage various game content installed on your drives,” as Valve puts it, by making it easier to see what exactly is installed on each drive. That could prove vital for the Steam Deck, which ships with 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB of onboard storage that can be supplemented by a microSD card.

        Valve also made significant changes to the Downloads page. In addition to user interface tweaks meant to highlight the game that’s currently being downloaded, the new page adds drag-and-drop support for reordering the update queue, changes the Latest News button to a Patch Notes button, and makes it easier to view the contents of an update, among other things.

      • Weekly poll results: Valve’s Steam Deck beats the Nintendo Switch OLED

        Valve stole Nintendo’s thunder – people were already lukewarm on the minimal upgrades brought on by the Switch OLED, but then Valve’s own portable console arrived to offer people an alluring alternative.

        Many complain about the lack of physical game media, which makes it easier to sell old games you no longer need. And that’s true, but Steam’s whole reason for being is to make buying, installing and playing a new game just a few clicks away and doing it online makes the whole process frictionless

      • Epic’s Tim Sweeney Calls Steam Deck ‘Amazing Move By Valve’
      • Steam Deck: 6 New Points You Need to Know

        The Steam Deck is an exciting device for numerous reasons, and we will keep giving you updates as we keep learning about some additional details as they come. In the past week, several additional details have surfaced…

      • Get a free copy of Wanderlust: Transsiberian on GOG with their publisher sale

        Publisher Walkabout is having a bit of sale over on GOG.com and you can grab yourself a free copy of the travelling adventure Wanderlust: Transsiberian.

      • Steam Beta Brings Linux Improvements Ahead of Steam Deck

        There was much excitement for Linux gamers with today’s release of a new Steam beta that brought several Linux-specific updates among a range of cross-platform improvements, most hopefully aimed at optimizing the gaming client before the launch of the Steam Deck.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Node.js, curl update in Tumbleweed

          Among the updated packages that landed this week in the rolling release were curl, GNU Compiler Collection, Node.js, redis and LibreOffice.

          The office suite package LibreOffice came in snapshot 20210728. The update to version 7.1.5.2 provided bugfixes addressing some regressions and a few fixes were made to prevent crashes in Writer. Linux Kernel firmware was updated in the snapshot and PDF rendering library poppler 21.07.0 provided some minor code improvements for build systems while also fixing a memory leak on broken files. The 2.32.3 webkit2gtk3 fixed several crashes and rendering issues and addressed a dozen Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures.

          The 20210727 snapshot provided just a single package update to gcc11. The update of the head branch included the 11.2 release candidate and a corrected adjustment to the General Public License version 3.0. The package update also provided a libc-bootstrap cross compiler for AArch64 and RISC-V.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/30

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          Solid and predictable – that’s what openSUSE Tumbleweed tries to offer to the users. This also shows in the number of snapshots we release. 5 – 7 snapshots a week is absolutely normal – and was also achieved this week, in which we have published 6 snapshots (0723, 0724, 0725, 0726, 0727, and 0728).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-30

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

        • CodeFlare: A New Open-Source Framework For Big Data Integration And Scaling

          CodeFlare is all about end-to-end workflows and pipelines and aims to drastically reduce the time it takes to set up, run, and scale machine-learning tests. The motivation behind CodeFlare, according to Priya Nagpurkar, Director of Cloud Platform Research at IBM Research, “was the emergence of these converged workflows. So you have AI, machine learning, big data, and even simulations and modeling, all coming together into tightly integrated workflows.” But how does this differ from traditional AI/ML platforms? According to Nagpurkar, the difference is, “When I can think about my logic, and I have higher-level interfaces, and I don’t have to worry about the runtime aspects, how do I scale? How do I map it to massive infrastructure?” In the end, CodeFlare deals with workflows as a whole, instead of individual elements.

        • [IBM emeritus who originally brought GNU/Linux to IBM] The Coming Era of Productivity Growth

          “The last 15 years have been tough times for many Americans, but there are now encouraging signs of a turnaround,” wrote economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Georgios Petropoulos in The Coming Productivity Boom, a recent opinion article in the MIT Technology Review. “Productivity growth, a key driver for higher living standards, averaged only 1.3% since 2006, less than half the rate of the previous decade. But on June 3, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US labour productivity increased by 5.4% in the first quarter of 2021. What’s better, there’s reason to believe that this is not just a blip, but rather a harbinger of better times ahead: a productivity surge that will match or surpass the boom times of the 1990s.”

          After growing at an average annual rate of around 2.8% between 1947 and 1973, US productivity has significantly slowed down, except for the Internet-driven productivity boost between 1996 and 2004. Despite the relentless advances of digital technologies over the past 15 years, – from smartphones and broadband wireless to cloud computing and machine learning, – productivity has only grown at an anemic 1.3%, between 2006 and 2019. Most OECD countries have seen similar slowdowns.

          What accounts for this puzzling so-called productivity paradox and when might it finally end? Over the past several years, Brynjolfsson and his various collaborators have explored this question, first at MIT where he was faculty director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, and since 2020 at Stanford, where he’s Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. Brynjolfsson discussed alternative explanations for the paradox at a recent MIT conference.

        • Open source meets open design (system)

          In 2019, the Red Hat User Experience (UX) team set out to create our Red Hat digital design system. It has evolved from a few research decks and Adobe XD files to a comprehensive shared design kit library and documentation website that many internal and external teams use every day.

          Our mandate was to design flexible building blocks and use new web technologies to create consistent user experiences that instill trust among visitors or customers who use our system of websites and apps. In this post, we’ll share some of our challenges, actions and outcomes.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Xubuntu 21.10 to Include New Apps, Including a Clipboard Manager

          Xubuntu users can look forward to some new default apps later this year.

          A handful of additional desktop applications are set to ship in Xubuntu 21.10 when it’s released later this year.

          “Recent team votes have expanded Xubuntu’s collection of apps’”, writes Xubuntu developer Sean Davis in a blog post detailing work going into the upcoming release.

          The applications set to be added include disk usage analyser app Baobab (pictured above, image credit Sean Davis) and the GNOME Disk Utility. Both of these are handy tools to have around. The former is incredibly useful for hunting down disk-space hogging files and folders, while the latter is my (and many others’) go-to partition manager.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • I’ve had enough of QtWebEngine

          I’ve been using the web browser qutebrowser for several years now. It has been my favorite web browser since the very first day when tried it. I like the minimal user interface and I love that it’s 100% keyboard driven.

          Unfortunately, after more than 5 years with qutebrowser, I’m back with Firefox. I don’t know if it’s temporary or not. The reason for it is primarily due to the elephant in the room; QtWebEngine.

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Blog: Chrome 93: Multi-Screen Window Placement, PWAs as URL Handlers, and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Android WebView, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 93 is beta as of July 29, 2021.

          • Chrome 93 Beta Brings Multi-Screen Window Placement API, CSD-Like Overlay Option

            Following last week’s release of Chrome 92, Google has now made available the Chrome 93 beta as the next iteration of their cross-platform web browser.

            Arguably most interesting with Chrome 93 beta is the Multi-Screen Window Placement API. This new API makes it easier to manage several displays and can be used for use-cases like presentations where one display may be showing a slide deck while another display is showing the speaker notes, managing multiple windows for tool panes like for image and video editors, or virtual trading desks with showing multiple related windows. With Chrome 93 this new Multi-Screen window Placement API is exposed as an origin trial.

        • Mozilla

      • FSF

        • GNU C Library changes copyright policy for glibc contributors [Ed: Coup against FSF]

          The steering committee of the GNU C Library (glibc) has decided that contributors no longer have to automatically transfer their copyrights to the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The changes for glibc will take effect on August 2, 2021 and will be effective for all ongoing development branches of the Library project. From this point onwards, everyone who contributes code to the glibc project is free to decide whether they want to apply their patches with or without transferring rights to the FSF.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Understanding and Complying with Open Source Software Licenses – Why, When and How [Ed: Lawyers view free software as an "open" door and an opportunity to rob technical people who actual make something]

            Auditing open source software license terms is easier said than done. Like any well-managed process, ongoing compliance is the best practice. This article briefly expands on earlier provided practical open source software compliance tips (see OSS an IP Perspective and Why Security Matters Even More for On-premise Software Vendors | The Privacy Hacker).

      • Programming/Development

        • [KDE] GSoC’21 Week 7: Layout for Oware Activity

          he layout is fairly intuitive. The upper half of the board is controlled by player 1, and the lower half of the board is controlled by player2.

          I also worked on the basic working of the game. I am currently detecting mouse clicks on any of the valid pits on each player’s turn, and moving the corresponding seeds to adjacent pits. If the number of seeds in a pit after dropping a seed into it are 2 or 3, its seeds are captured and added to the score of the player.

        • [Godot Engine] GSoC 2021 – Progress report #1

          We selected 5 projects back in May, and the 5 students and their mentors have now been working on their projects for almost two months. We omitted to announce the projects formally (sorry about that!), but this first progress report written by each student will make up for it by giving a direct glimpse into their work.

        • Python

          • About half of Python libraries in PyPI may have security issues, boffins say • The Register

            Boffins in Finland have scanned the open-source software libraries in the Python Package Index, better known as PyPI, for security issues and said they found that nearly half contain problematic or potentially exploitable code.

            In a research paper distributed via ArXiv, Jukka Ruohonen, Kalle Hjerppe, and Kalle Rindell from the University of Turku describe how they subjected some 197,000 Python packages available through PyPI to a static analysis tool called Bandit and found more than 749,000 instances of at best poor, or at worst insecure, programming.

        • Rust

          • Rust Compiler August Steering Cycle

            n Friday, July 30th, the Rust Compiler team had a planning meeting for the August steering cycle.

            Every fourth Friday, the Rust compiler team decides how it is going to use its scheduled steering and design meeting time over the next three Fridays.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • An Experimental Alternative to the NFT Market Frenzy

          I first learnt of Hic et Nunc (HEN) in March of 2021, when artist Mario Klingemann began to tweet about the non-fungible token (NFT) platform and the experimental artworks he was minting on the site. I was thinking about how NFTs might reshape the digital economy, while wary of how they could exacerbate the rapid commodification of art and culture. I was also concerned, given how frequently NFTs are written about that there was too much focus on the market versus the actual art. HEN presented itself as a friendly alternative to the hyper-market-driven narrative around NFTs, offering a safe haven for many emerging or experimental artists.

Links 30/7/2021: Distro Comparisons and Tootle Introduced

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Releases AOMP 13.0-5 Radeon OpenMP Compiler – Phoronix

          AMD’s Windows-based figures put the Radeon RX 6600 XT at roughly up to 15% faster on average than the GeForce RTX 3060. It will be interesting though to see how the performance compares under Linux once getting our hands on the card and being able to share those performance numbers.

        • AMD Releases AOMP 13.0-5 Radeon OpenMP Compiler – Phoronix

          In addition to the AOCC compiler for Zen CPUs, another LLVM/Clang downstream maintained by AMD is the AOMP compiler as where they host their various patches not yet merged around Radeon OpenMP offloading support. This week marked the release of AOMP 13.0-5 as their latest work on that front for the newest OpenMP GPU offloading capabilities.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: The Update

          Have a big Vulkan-using project? Do you constantly have to worry about breakages from all manner of patches being merged without testing? Can’t afford or too lazy to set up and maintain actual hardware for testing?

        • Lavapipe Keeps Tacking On Features, LLVMpipe Lands New Rasterizer With 2~3x Faster 2D

          Valve contractor Mike Blumenkrantz is known for his work on the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation but recently has also been engaged in some of the Lavapipe software Vulkan driver work and related to that is the venerable LLVMpipe OpenGL Gallium3D driver. Needless to say, there’s some interesting work happening.

          [...]

          The idea for this now-merged rasterizer started a decade ago at VMware while this past week finally made it into Git for Mesa 21.3. See this merge request for the details on this improved rasterizer for 2D with LLVmpipe.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Moving away from Google services, 8 years in

        This blog post covers how I migrated away from a dozen Google services to privacy-friendly (and sometimes self-hosted) services instead. Let’s go over those one-by-one and see how they all work (and how you can set them up yourself) Hint: it’s quite fun.

      • Let’s Talk OpenZFS Snapshot

        If you’re already using snapshots and aren’t an aggressive snapshot pruner, you’ve probably wondered: How many snapshots is too many? Since there’s no such thing as infinite storage capacity, your available disk space is an obvious limiting factor. But at what point will snapshots result in a performance hit? Unlike other filesystems, the existence of one or one thousand snapshots has no impact on the performance of the filesystem, reading and writing files performs the same either way. However, the performance of administrative operations, like listing and deleting snapshots, are impacted by the number of snapshots that exist in each dataset. Is it OK to have hundreds of snapshots? Assuming sufficient storage capacity, what about having thousands or tens of thousands of snapshots? In our experience, over 1000 snapshots per dataset starts to cause significant performance issues when listing, creating, replicating, and destroying snapshots. The performance impact is not related to the total number of snapshots on the system, but the snapshots on each dataset. A hundred datasets each with one hundred snapshots will see no performance impact on listing, while a single dataset with 2000 snapshots may take many seconds to return the list of snapshots. While you may never need to store that many snapshots, you still want to get the most value for the space snapshots consume over time.

      • Studying the impact of being on Hacker News first page

        I don’t have much more data than this, but it’s already interesting to see the insane traffic drag and audience that Hacker News can generate. Having a static website and enough bandwidth didn’t made it hard to absorb the load, but if you have a dynamic website running code, you could be worried to be featured on Hacker News which would certainly trigger a denial of service.

      • How to use Lynis Linux Security Audit Tool on Ubuntu – VITUX

        Lynis is an open-source security auditing tool for extensive scanning of systems and its security defense to achieve compliance testing and system hardening. This software has been distributed under a GPL license since 2004. It assists in server hardening guidelines, software patch management, fully automatic auditing, Actually lynis doesn’t harden the server by itself but it will provide information about the vulnerability and suggest a different way to harden the software.

      • How to Use Apache JMeter to Load Test Web Applications – LinuxBabe

        Apache JMeter is an open-source load testing tool, available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. In a previous tutorial, we explained how to use Netdata to monitor the performance of Apache/Nginx web servers. Apache JMeter is a great complementary tool for testing your website performance under various load scenarios.

      • How to Install and Configure DHCP Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        If you are a system administrator and working in a large environment then you may often need to set up a new client system and assign IP addresses and other network-related information manually. It is a very time-consuming process for you. This is the case, where DHCP comes into the picture.

        DHCP also known as a “Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol” is a service that can be used to dynamically assigns unique IP addresses and other information to client systems. You can assign the IP address, domain name, hostname, default gateway, and DNS server using the DHCP service.

        In this post, we will show you how to install the DHCP Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Install LEMP WordPress Ubuntu and Debian With Virtualhost – Unixcop

        LEMP is the acronym for Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP. This tutorial is to host WordPress on the LEMP stack.

      • How to Install KVM/QEMU on Manjaro/Archlinux

        KVM is an acronym of Kernel-based Virtual Machine, it is a technology solution for virtualization based on the Linux kernel module. KVM is an open-source software solution running on the Linux x86 machine with the support of hardware virtualization extensions Intel VT or AMD-V. The KVM kernel module has been shipped to Linux kernel since version 2.6.20 and has been ported to other operating systems such as FreeBSD and Illumos as a loadable kernel modules.

        The KVM technology will turn the Linux machine into hypervisor virtualization, which is called the host machine. On the host machine, you will be able to create multiple isolated systems called virtual machines (VM). Each virtual machine has its system (it can be Linux, Windows, or BSD), also has private virtualized hardware such as memory, CPUs, network card, disk, graphic, etc.

      • Guides and Snaps Use | Inkscape

        This is the sixth part of Inkscape for Students the series. After previously we learn Drawing and Coloring, now we will learn about drawing once again but with guide lines and snapping mainly to help us place objects and make copies of them tidily. Let’s exercise!

      • 3 Useful Tips on How to Use History Command in Linux

        You must aware of using the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the list of executed commands in your Bash history, but do you realize that there’s plenty more to Bash history than simply repeating commands?

        One such feature of the Bash shell that can be changed in your customized settings is the history command, which is affected by some environment variables and some shell options (shopt – a command to set and unset shell options).

      • How to Install Craft CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

        Craft CMS is a free, open-source content management system for websites. Supported by a large and growing community of developers and designers, it offers a range of innovative features with an elegant design that makes it easy to use. It also allows you to control every aspect of your site’s development.
        It’s a great alternative to WordPress and Drupal, which are two of the most popular content management systems in use today.
        A Content Management System (CMS) is software used to make managing web content easier, such as editing content or adding new pages and pictures. Operating a website can be difficult if you need to create each page individually in code using HTML or other markup languages; this can cause problems if you have multiple people working on your site at once since there may not be agreement over how certain elements should look or behave.
        Using a CMS allows you to set the general structure of each page as well as specific elements, such as a blog post or product description; then when someone else needs to edit that information they only need to use the CMS.
        This guide shows how to install Craft CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). It will show you how to install Craft CMS on your Ubuntu server. If you want to use the MySQL/MariaDB database, then this guide will help you install that too.
        The process for installing Craft CMS on Ubuntu is similar regardless of which distribution and version you are using, so you should be able to follow this guide even if your system is slightly different. This tutorial was created with a fresh installation of Ubuntu in mind; however some steps may vary slightly depending on your current server setup.

      • Avoiding dual writes in event-driven applications

        Dual writes frequently cause issues in distributed, event-driven applications. A dual write occurs when an application has to change data in two different systems, such as when an application needs to persist data in the database and send a Kafka message to notify other systems. If one of these two operations fails, you might end up with inconsistent data. Dual writes can be hard to detect and fix.

      • Fedora Magazine: 4 cool new projects to try in Copr from July 2021

        Copr is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora Linux. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora Linux standards, despite being free and open-source. Copr can offer these projects outside the Fedora Linux set of packages. Software in Copr isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

        This article presents a few new and interesting projects in Copr. If you’re new to using Copr, see the Copr User Documentation for how to get started.

      • Get the disk health status with SMART monitor tools on Debian and Ubuntu Linux

        Every current disk includes a built-in monitoring feature known as SMART that keeps track of faults. On Linux, there is a software package called smartmontools that may be used to query the SMART status of the disk to see if it will fail soon.

      • Linux Rsync Command Examples For Beginners – OSTechNix

        In this comprehensive Rsync tutorial, we are going to learn useful Rsync command examples to copy, backup and synchronize files in Linux operating systems.

      • Instructions: Run Raspberry Pi with read-only Linux [Ed: Automated translation]

        With its numerous interfaces, the Raspberry Pi and its little brother Raspberry Pi Zero are a great basis for handicrafts from WLAN garage door openers to VPN dongle. But the microSD cards of the mini-computers are prone to failures if the power is switched off while the Raspi is running or if the power is running low in battery mode: At some point the file system will be damaged, so that the Raspi may no longer boot. The solution is a read-only system in which the SD card of the Raspi is mainly operated write-protected and, if necessary, is integrated so that it can be briefly written for updates or additional software.

      • How To Install Joomla on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Joomla on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Joomla is a free, open-source, and popular content management system (CMS) that can be used to build online applications and websites. It uses a PHP application and back-end databases such as MySQL/MariaDB. It supports several operating systems including Linux, Windows, Mac OS, FreeBSD, and Solaris, and easily integrates with Gmail and OpenID.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Joomla content management system on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • Configuring Theme Design with theme.json

        Starting in WordPress 5.8, a new tool — “theme.json” — is available to use in your theme. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time, or maybe you’re testing and developing themes with it already. Either way, I’m glad you’re here because it’s an exciting time for WordPress themes.

        This post provides a quick introduction to this new framework, and describes what’s possible by sharing a few practical tips and examples.

      • 17 Helpful Rsync SSH Command Examples For Linux (2021 List)

        Rsync is also known as remote sync is a command-line tool used to copy and sync files and directories remotely as well as locally in Linux/Unix systems. With this rcopy and synchronize data:

      • How To Install and Play League of Legends Linux (2021) – DekiSoft

        In each game, the teas bypass defensive line structures in order to destroy core building in the enemy team base and achieve victory. The match lasts an average of 26-60 minutes. This page will educate you on how to install league of legends on Linux in 2021 using Lutris, Snap or Wine. This is tested and currently supported on Ubuntu.

    • Games

      • Steam gets new a Downloads page, new Steam Library manager and Linux improvements

        Valve say the new Downloads area is a “minimal and more focused design with stronger CTAs (Calls to Action)”, and the style overall much better matches the new Steam Library too. The new colouring is also supposed to help the visually impaired, which is always nice to see more of a focus on. Updates downloading will show the total progression completed instead of just the download progress, where it previously did not have the disk allocation as part of it which it now does.

      • Steam Beta Brings New Downloads Page, Linux Container Updates – Phoronix

        Valve just pushed out a rather significant Steam beta update for gamers across Windows, macOS, and Linux.

        This Steam beta update is a bit meatier than normal with a new downloads page implementation, several Linux-specific updates, continued work on SteamVR and Steam Input, along with more.

      • Humble has a pretty big Starfinder RPG bundle going with physical goodies

        Yes, this isn’t exactly Linux gaming (we do cover other geeky things…) but the Humble RPG Book Bundle: Starfinder is still thoroughly interesting with some physical goodies included too.

        Starfinder, for readers not aware, is a science fiction fantasy RPG from Paizo Publishing. It’s incredible popular, to the point that you can play various versions on some virtual tabletops like Roll20, Fantasy Grounds Unity and the excellent Foundry VTT.

      • Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection coming from the team behind Half-Life 2: Update | GamingOnLinux

        You can see the entry up on SteamDB, with a Steam page not yet live. However, this has actually been listed since May 2020 so why is it getting noticed again now? It seems Tyler McVicker, know for doing the Valve News Network which is now just under McVicker’s name, posted on Twitter noting that it will include the additional episodes too and in a later Twitter post McVicker mentioned speaking to the team behind it to confirm it is indeed legitimate.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Tootle – GTK client for Mastodon

          Mastodon is a free and open source microblogging platform similar to Twitter, but with user privacy and decentralization in mind. It’s one of many protocols that interacts with the Fediverse of protocols like Pleroma, GNU Social, and others. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is not one social network.

          Getting started with Mastodon can be confusing for newcomers. Mastodon is a federated service. This means its similar to email. You can create an email account with many different providers. And that’s the same with Mastodon. The service lets you sign up to one of many sites that run Mastodon software, called instances. A user can communicate with other Mastodon users on different instances. Anyone can run a server of Mastodon. Each server hosts individual user accounts, the content they produce, and the content they are subscribed. Every user can follow each other and share their posts regardless of their server.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Linux vs Gentoo Comparison – All Features Checked

        All who have used Linux must have heard about big names such as Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and Mint. Very few know about the smaller ones like Manjaro or Gentoo. Such people do not know what they are missing. This post compares these two together and talks about what they each have to offer and which you should choose! It is simple.

        For many years we have tried distros like Ubuntu flavours, Linux Mint, Fedora, OpenSUSE as well as Debian. We installed Manjaro some fiver years back and haven’t looked back since then.

      • Manjaro Vs. Ubuntu (Latest) – Which is the best Linux Version?
      • Top 5 Most Stable Linux Distros To Try In 2021

        If you are wondering why the term “stable” comes with a Linux operating system or distro then it is due to the availability of many of these variations per the requirement of the user. Few are fundamental such as Debian, some fork of a base distro such as Ubuntu, Arch, and many other fork-of-a-fork-of-a-fork like the Mint. The long story right?

        All these do not comply in terms of support and documentation from the community. Follow through as we list down for the most stable Linux Distros which are well known, well supported, carry good repositories, updates regularly, user-friendly, as well as stay around us for quite a long time.

        Oh, and if you are a developer and have a laptop you will love them more!

        Join along.

      • Top 5 Best Linux Distributions To Replace Windows 10/8

        

        There are thousands of Linux distributions available that you can use. However, people can’t choose one perfect OS that they can use as an alternative to Windows 10 or 8. Now, when it comes to Windows, it’s pretty easy to use. The same isn’t applicable for Linux. Here, you will have to need basic knowledge to operate and use the operating system. Therefore, people often choose the Linux distribution that is easy to use for a Windows user.

        We are going to see the top 5 Linux distributions to replace Windows 10 and 8.

        To conclude, these are the top 5 best Linux distributions to replace Windows 10 and 8. There is no specific best OS you can use here. All of them have some similar features. Therefore, you can start using any of them as per your choice. The main thing you need to focus on is the user interface. As it is a Linux version, you will surely get the rest of the things directly from the OS. In simpler words, all the Linux distributions have pretty much the same features. Therefore, you can go with any distributions you want here. Just focus more on the user interface.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat buddies up with Nutanix to provide an escape route from VMware

          Red Hat is collaborating with Nutanix to make OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux a fully supported solution on the Nutanix native virtualization platform, AHV.

          The new agreement provides for Red Hat OpenShift, its Kubernetes distribution, to be the Nutanix “preferred choice” for Kubernetes on Nutanix, and for Nutanix HCI to be fully supported by Red Hat for deploying Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and OpenShift. The Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) will now be certified by Red Hat for RHEL and OpenShift.

        • What do we call post-modern system administrators? | Opensource.com

          For today’s sysadmin, many companies expect you to have cross-platform knowledge, network knowledge, and application knowledge. Add to that a dash of programming ability, a pinch of sysadmin experience, a heaping portion of social skills, and a fanatical commitment to reliability and automation.

          What do we call this new, post-modern sysadmin? Do we use the same term and simply stretch the responsibilities? Or do we give this evolved role a new name?

        • Tales from the field: A system administrator’s guide to IT automation

          Happy Sysadmin Appreciation Day. Our gift to you: a new download called Tales from the field: A system administrator’s guide to IT automation. This compilation of short stories seeks to share the excitement, frustrations, successes, and challenges associated with incorporating IT automation into organizations and teams across the globe.

          Few technologies impact organizational transformation the way that IT automation can. IT automation improves security and compliance, abstracts away complex tasks for those with limited technical knowledge, improves standardization across the organization, helps organizations scale, improves continuous delivery, and reduces operational complexity and cost. But when adopting a holistic IT automation adoption mindset and approach, these business benefits come with an equal number of challenges.

        • Silver linings: 7 ways CIOs say IT has changed for good | The Enterprisers Project

          For all of the business challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, it also came with a silver lining for IT leaders – it shattered previous notions of what was possible.

          We had an opportunity to ask CIOs who recently won the 2021 Boston CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards what positive, lasting outcomes they will be taking away from the pandemic. The awards were presented by the Boston CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

        • PHP version 7.4.22 and 8.0.9 – Remi’s RPM repository – Blog

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.9 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.22 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          No security fix this month, so no update for version 7.3.29.

          PHP version 7.2 have reached its end of life and is no longer maintained by the PHP project.

          These versions are also available as Software Collections in the remi-safe repository and as module for Fedora 32-34 and EL-8.

        • Red Hat survey reveals: career progression is driving developer hunger for containers and Kubernetes

          When Linux containers first emerged as an architectural concept for building and packaging applications, they opened the door to a whole new world for developers. The Kubernetes container orchestration platform quickly followed, giving organizations a way to more fully harness the power of containers by answering the need for managing container environments at scale. The result was a wholesale shift in how we think about the cloud.

          To better understand the impact of containers and Kubernetes on developers today, we commissioned CCS Insight to explore the current state of container use — including the benefits, challenges, adoption and use cases of container technology—in organizations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Today, we are pleased to share the results of these findings, based on feedback from hundreds of IT professionals in both technical- and business-facing roles who are involved in architecting, developing, deploying and managing software application code and services.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Xubuntu 21.10 To Ship Some More GNOME Apps, Drops Pidgin

          For those wondering what has been going on in the Xubuntu camp for this Xfce desktop spin of Ubuntu, a Xubuntu 21.10 development update was shared concerning package changes and other happenings.

          Xubuntu continues progressing for those interested in an Xfce-based desktop experience while leveraging Ubuntu. New software additions for Xubuntu 21.10 include GNOME’s Baobab disk usage analyzer, GNOME Disks, the Rhythmbox music player, and Xfce’s Clipman clipboard management application.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 30 July 2021

        We’re closing out July with a review of our activities over the past week…

      • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 179 released

        The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 179. This version includes the following changes:

        * Ensure that various LLVM tools are installed, even when testing whether
          a MacOS binary has zero differences when compared to itself.
          (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#270)
        

      • Syslog-ng 3.33: the MQTT destination

        Version 3.33 of syslog-ng introduced an MQTT destination. It uses the paho-c client library to send log messages to an MQTT broker. The current implementation supports version 3.1 and 3.1.1 of the protocol over non-encrypted connections, but this is only a first step.

      • FSF

        • FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot

          On its blog, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced a call for white papers about GitHub Copilot and the questions surrounding it. The FSF will pay $500 for papers that it publishes because they “help elucidate the problem”…

        • The GNU C Library copyright-assignment policy changes
        • Update to glibc copyright assignment policy
          glibc was created as part of the GNU Project but has grown to operate
          as an autonomous project.
          
          The glibc stewards have decided to relax the requirement to assign
          copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation. glibc will
          continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU
          Lesser General Public License v2.1 or any later version as published
          by the Free Software Foundation.  This change is consistent with the
          practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the
          Linux kernel, and GCC [1].
          
          Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to change
          anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
          of Origin[2] should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit
          messages.
          
          The changes to accept patches with or without FSF copyright assignment
          will be effective after August 2nd, and will apply to all open
          branches. Code shared with other GNU packages via Gnulib will continue
          to require assignment to the FSF.
          
          The glibc stewards continue to affirm the principles of Free Software,
          and that will never change.
          
          Signed,
          Ryan Arnold
          Paul Eggert
          Jakub Jelinek
          Maxim Kuvyrkov
          Joseph Myers
          Carlos O'Donell
          
          [1] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-June/236182.html
          [2] https://developercertificate.org/
          
      • Programming/Development

        • How to find the difference between two dates in Javascript
        • Jussi Pakkanen: How much effort would it take to convert OpenSSL’s Perl source code generators to Python?

          There is an ongoing discussion to write Meson build definitions to OpenSSL so it can be added to the WrapDB and built transparently as a subproject. One major issue is that OpenSSL generates a lot of assembly during build time with Perl. Having a Perl dependency would be bad, but shipping pregenerated source files would also be bad. Having “some pregenerated asm” that comes from “somewhere” would understandably be bad in a crypto library.

          The obvious third option would be to convert the generator script from Perl to Python. This is not the first time this has been proposed and the counterargument has always been that said conversion would take an unreasonable amount of effort and could never be done. Since nobody has tried to do the conversion we don’t really know whether that claim is accurate or not. I converted the x86_64 AES asm generator to see how much work it would actually take.

          [...]

          A reasonable port would contain these conversions for the most popular algorithms to the most popular CPU architectures (x86, x86_64, arm, aarch64). It would require a notable amount of work but it should be measured in days rather than months or years. I did browse through some of the other asm files and it seems that they have generators that work in quite different ways. Converting them might take more or less work, but probably it would still be within an order of magnitude.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Eileen Jones on American Movies, Why So Many Films Suck, and Her Top 5 Films Leftists Must See
    • Scott Parkin
    • Education

      • It’s Time We Talk About Getting Rid Of The Bar Exam. And Here’s Why.

        Thousands of law school graduates sat for the bar exam this week. It has long been questionable whether this semi-annual process of testing lawyers is in any way a valid method of determining whether a lawyer is qualified to practice. But the egregious way bar authorities have altered the administration of the test to respond to the pandemic has made it clear that the answer is no.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Variants and Vaccines

        The number of other people that each infected person infects is called the basic reproduction number, or R0 (“R naught”), in epidemiological parlance. It’s a measure of the biological characteristics of an infectious agent, but it can be affected by social and environmental conditions and human behavior (e.g. crowding vs. social distancing, ventilation, facemasks). The R0 of seasonal influenza is 1.3. The R0 of measles is around 15. As it emerged in Wuhan, the R0 of the original COVID-19 strain was 2.4—2.6. The R0 of the Alpha variant is 4 to 5.

        The Beta variant (scientific name B.1.351) arose in South Africa in October 2020. It was found that the AstraZeneca vaccine was ineffective against the Beta strain – leading to a pause in its use there in February 2021. (The AstraZeneca vaccine may make a comeback in South Africa, since it is effective against the Delta strain, which is poised to become dominant there.)

      • South Africa: Looting Talk, “the Nonsense” and Queuing for COVID Jabs

        “We swept up so many bullets, in places the ground was covered in them; I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said a middle-aged Zimbabwean man I was queuing up with to get a COVID jab at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in downtown Pietermaritzburg, aka PMB, the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal.

        People were scared to go out the week after “all the nonsense”, as I’ve heard the week of rioting and looting repeatedly referred to. But some less timid souls ventured out to get vaccinated, taking advantage of the minimal waiting times as the country, despite all the turmoil, pushes ahead with its open-to-all “VacciNation” campaign.

      • Human Unwillingness to Surmount the Pandemic Means It’s Unlikely We Will Stop Global Warming

        The same day I had read a steady stream of news stories about the Delta variant of the coronavirus ripping through the US population as huge numbers of people remain unvaccinated. While confusing government public health messages—doubtless the result of medical experts being overruled by politicians—have resulted in most people ditching masks in all situations. Causing more “breakthrough”cases of the incredibly contagious Delta in fully-vaccinated people than evidently expected and many more cases overall.

        Notably here in Massachusetts, where a series of Provincetown festivities from July 4 onward have led directly to over 400 cases of COVID and rising—including in two fully-vaccinated people I know personally. A situation I predicted in my June 14 column “The Pandemic Is Not Over Yet: Mass residents need to stop running amok in public spaces.” Not because I am in possession of any psychic, mystic, or spiritual powers, but by dint of simply keeping up with the latest medical science in the mainstream press. For which I was mocked by readers who don’t do the same in times of crisis. Although most people are perfectly capable of doing so. Preferring instead to listen to their own selfish inner monologues, cherrypick what little they hear from experts on social media, and mistakenly believe they are free to resume their pre-pandemic lives—maskless and clueless. Spreading a coronavirus variant many times as contagious as the original virus as they go about their rounds of family reunions, dance parties, and booze cruises.

      • Medicare For All, the Squad and the DSA: Who Controls Whom?

        The Squad’s relative quietude regarding the nationwide calls for single-payer Medicare for All, however, despite having a once-in-a-century platinum opportunity (a nationwide pandemic, economic implosion, widespread Left press agitation, and even a mass mobilization this month), is rather instructive.

        Medicare for All (M4A) has a level of support that crosses the partisan divide within the voting public. In fact, the opposition is in a numerical minority. Unfortunately, it just so happens that this small group (Congress, the Biden administration, the medical-industrial complex) has all the power in the country necessary to prevent its enactment.

      • Opinion | We’re Still in a Health Crisis. It’s Called Fossil Fuels

        Our nation is facing a health crisis—and it’s not just the coronavirus disease pandemic. Around the world, fossil fuel pollution kills millions of people every year. As health professionals representing doctors, nurses, and more, we’re calling on Congress to tackle the fossil fuel health crisis as swiftly as possible by passing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

      • As Delta Variant Spreads, the “Honor System” for Masking Hasn’t Worked
      • Big Pharma vs the People

        If it’s personal for me, it’s even more so for Carla Shultz. She’s worked the night shift for 13 years, and this isn’t how she expected things to go at the largest and last generic drug manufacturer in the United States. Especially after Covid, when we as a nation learned a whole lot about the fragility of global supply chains, the high cost of monopoly medicine, and the dire health state of much of this nation’s people.

        And yet, closure is exactly what Viatris, a new entity formed when Morgantown’s Mylan pharmaceuticals merged with an offshoot of Pfizer, plans to do at the end of July unless someone steps in.

      • What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Viruses?

        There is nothing more natural than a virus. In fact, we would not exist without them. Viruses have been recognized as the primary drivers of evolution on Earth and endure in far greater numbers than we do. So why have viruses garnered such a negative reputation?

      • The Broccoli That Ate Port Orford

        Notwithstanding our poor soil, one year we grew an enormous broccoli and people came from all over to see it because it was 14 inches across at the top and later won a blue ribbon at the county fair. People would come to the door and ask to see the “broccoli from outer space.” We always believed the secret of that plant’s success was the fertilizer. That spring we had used kelp from a beach a few hundred yards from our house to fertilize our garden. We had a prolific kelp bloom that winter and violent storms had covered the beaches with it. I made many trips bringing back tons of the stuff and we had spread it all over the garden. Kelp consists of green, slippery, long, tapering, hollow tubes from three or four inches wide down to a fraction of an inch. I used a hatchet to chop the tubes into hollow rings and spread them all over the garden. We always assumed that the kelp bloom that year contributed something that caused our broccoli to grow that large.

        When kelp washes up on beaches it is called wrack and as it decomposes it produces clouds of tiny flying insects that shore birds eat. Seven hundred species depend on kelp and it contains about 70 nutrients that benefit plants.

      • FL Counties Impose Mask Mandates Despite Threat From DeSantis to Invalidate Them
      • Nurses Know Better Than Kevin McCarthy: Bring Masks Back

        Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky recommended Tuesday that Americans living in areas with high Covid-19 case counts should wear masks, even if they have been vaccinated, when they share indoor public space with others. US Capitol Attending Physician Brian Monahan responded immediately by issuing a mask mandate for the House chamber and congressional office buildings. Then all hell broke loose.

      • “We Can’t Trust the Unvaccinated”: Dr. Leana Wen on Vaccine Mandates & How to Stop the Delta Variant

        The highly contagious Delta variant is causing a rise in cases around the world, from the Olympics in Tokyo to Russia, Indonesia and the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines suggesting that people resume wearing masks indoors, but state and local officials are not legally required to implement CDC guidelines. Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and former Baltimore health commissioner, says she supports the new CDC guidelines because an “honor system” of trusting people to wear masks unless they were vaccinated clearly did not work. “We know that we can’t trust the unvaccinated,” she says. She also discusses global vaccine inequity, how to overcome vaccine hesitancy, and her new memoir, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.”

      • This is your brain on walking

        In the study, led by Colorado State University in Fort Collins professor of neuroscience and human development Agnieszka Burzynska, 247 “sedentary but otherwise healthy” older men and women (average age: 65) were divided into three groups and observed over a six-month period. A control group did supervised stretching and balance workouts, one group danced a specific number of times a week and another walked briskly for 40 minutes, three times a week.

        As the Times notes, “The walkers and dancers were aerobically fitter, as expected. Even more important, their white matter seemed renewed.” Surprisingly, it was not the dancers but the walkers who fared best of all. Meanwhile — and this may motivate you to get those steps in — the control group actually showed a decline in white matter, “with greater thinning and tattering of their axons and falling cognitive scores.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Germany’s Constitutional Court Ponders Whether Government Users Of Zero-Day Surveillance Malware Have A Duty To Tell Software Developers About The Flaws

          As Techdirt has reported previously, the use of malware to spy on suspects — or even innocent citizens — has long been regarded as legitimate by the German authorities. The recent leak of thousands of telephone numbers that may or may not be victims of the Pegasus spyware has suddenly brought this surveillance technique out of the shadows and into the limelight. People are finally starting to ask questions about the legitimacy of this approach when used by governments, given how easily the software can be — and apparently has been — abused. An interesting decision from Germany’s constitutional court shows that even one of the biggest fans of legal malware is trying to work out how such programs based on zero-days can be deployed in a way that’s compatible with fundamental rights. The court’s press release explains:

        • The Life Cycle of a Breached Database

          Every time there is another data breach, we are asked to change our password at the breached entity. But the reality is that in most cases by the time the victim organization discloses an incident publicly the information has already been harvested many times over by profit-seeking cybercriminals. Here’s a closer look at what typically transpires in the weeks or months before an organization notifies its users about a breached database.

        • The Women on the Other End of the Phone

          For almost a decade, ProPublica has been reporting on the ways TurboTax has fought efforts to make tax prep easier and less costly. As part of that series, we published a story about how to get your money back from TurboTax if you were charged for a service that should have been free.

          People flooded the TurboTax customer service line — maybe you were even one of the callers. Some of them told us all they had to do was mention ProPublica to get a refund.

        • Boeing’s six-year deal with Dell will eliminate 600 jobs

          Boeing’s six-year deal with Dell will eliminate 600 jobsBengaluru: Boeing will transition a significant part of its engineering centre capabilities in Bengaluru to select IT services companies. The US aircraft manufacturer is outsourcing infrastructure services to Dell. This could involve some employees at the Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre (BIETC) in Bengaluru moving to Dell, sources told TOI.

          This is part of the global move, announced earlier this year by Boeing, wherein it will outsource cloud services and databases to Dell in a six-year deal that would eliminate 600 jobs.

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘Until the FTC Acts, No One Is Safe’: Groups Urge Ban on Corporate Facial Surveillance

              Citing Amazon’s practices as an alarming example, dozens of advocacy groups on Thursday urged U.S. regulators to outlaw corporate use of facial surveillance technology, “ban continuous surveillance in places of public accommodation, and stop industry-wide data abuse.”

              “Rule-making is needed to stop widespread systematic surveillance, discrimination, lax security, tracking of individuals, and the sharing of data.”—Letter to FTC

            • DHS’s Flawed Plan for Mobile Driver’s Licenses

              So, we’re troubled by proposed rules on “mobile driver’s licenses” (or “mDLs”) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And we’ve joined with the ACLU and EPIC to file comments that raise privacy and equity concerns about these rules. The stakes are high, as the comments explain:

              Finally, we are concerned that the DHS proposal layers REAL ID with mDL. REAL ID has many privacy problems, which should not be carried over into mDLs. Moreover, if a person had an mDL issued by a state DMV, that would address forgery and cloning concerns, without the need for REAL ID and its privacy problems.

            • It’s Time for Police to Stop Using ShotSpotter

              Acoustic gunshot detection relies on a series of sensors, often placed on lamp posts or buildings. If a gunshot is fired, the sensors detect the specific acoustic signature of a gunshot and send the time and location to the police. Location is gauged by measuring the amount of time it takes for the sound to reach sensors in different locations.

              According to ShotSpotter, the largest vendor of acoustic gunshot detection technology, this information is then verified by human acoustic experts to confirm the sound is gunfire, and not a car backfire, firecracker, or other sounds that could be mistaken for gunshots. The sensors themselves can only determine whether there is a loud noise that somewhat resembles a gunshot. It’s still up to people listening on headphones to say whether or not shots were fired.

              In a recent statement, ShotSpotter denied the VICE report and claimed that the technology is “100% reliable.” Absolute claims like these are always dubious. And according to the testimony of a ShotSpotter employee and expert witness in court documents reviewed by VICE, claims about the accuracy of the classification come from the marketing department of the company—not from engineers.

            • Detroit Skating Rink Horns In On Detroit PD’s Facial Recognition Gaffe Racket, Denies Teen Girl Opportunity To Skate

              It looks like Detroit, Michigan is trying to corner the market on bad facial recognition tech. The city’s police department is already associated with two false arrests based on bad matches by facial recognition software. This latest news, via Techdirt reader Jeffrey Nonken, shows mismatches aren’t just limited to the public sector.

            • How Discussions at the World Wide Web Consortium Could Undermine Efforts to Strengthen Privacy

              In January of this year, Google offered a progress update on the Privacy Sandbox. But a couple of weeks before that blog post, Google’s plans were thrown into disarray by a press release from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which works “to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK”. The announcement revealed that the CMA had opened an investigation into Google’s proposals to drop third-party cookies from Chrome. As a result of this unexpected turn of events, Google seems to have slammed on the brakes for the Privacy Sandbox: it now says that “it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.” Actually, behind the scenes, rather more is happening than simply slowing things down a little. The UK’s CMA is getting quite deeply involved in the project:

            • Airbnb Host Cancels Vacation Rental After Guest Asks About Camera Surveillance

              The house listing included security cameras on the property. Bushey says she assumed they were outside, but learned more after messaging the host.

              “She said every area besides the bedroom and the bathroom had cameras in it. I never did get an answer if it included audio and what were they doing with these recordings,” said Bushey.

              She says the host canceled her reservation at the last minute after she asked whether they could put down a security deposit instead of being monitored via video.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Congress Needs to Force Biden to End the Yemen War

        Yemen is in a catastrophic state,” says Kawthar Abdullah, an organizer with the Yemeni Alliance Committee. “I have family there. Every day when I call and talk to them, the reality on the ground is far worse than it is ever portrayed.”

      • The Flying Dutchman How a blogger’s devotion to anti-colonialism became an obsession with MH17 that led to a police raid on a Russian journalist’s home

        Early on July 28, police officers raided the home of investigative journalist Roman Dobrokhotov, The Insider’s creator and editor-in-chief. After searching his apartment, the officers escorted him to a local station for questioning about defamation charges filed back in April. For now, the authorities have named Dobrokhotov as a witness in their investigation. The available evidence suggests that the case’s victims are “undetermined persons within the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military Intelligence Directorate,” as well as the Dutch blogger Max van der Werff, whom The Insider and Bellingcat investigated last November, finding that he coordinated his efforts with Russia’s military intelligence to publicize “alternative narratives” about the causes of the July 2014 crash of MH17. This joint report (or rather, Dobrokhotov’s tweet promoting the article) is what van der Werff calls defamation. Meduza explains how an amateur researcher went from exposing Dutch war crimes committed during Indonesia’s decolonization to helping the Russian authorities cover up how a passenger plane crashed in Ukraine.

      • Foreign Agents #1: Exposing the San Isidro Movement & US culture war on Cuba
      • Nuclear Weapons: Rising Danger

        But mourning diminishes over time and life for the survivors goes on.

        Such a recovery from destruction is no longer assured or even likely in the age of nuclear weapons. World leaders, however, continue to play the game of war in ways that risk the war that could end life on earth.

      • How to Undermine a Diplomatic Triumph

        At the end of President Obama’s term of office (January 2017) the JCPOA was complete and in force. In exchange for a lifting of “nuclear-related sanctions,” Iran undertook not to pursue research that might allow her to develop nuclear weapons. Up until May of 2018 “Iran’s compliance has been repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which oversees the most intrusive inspections regime ever negotiated.” It was in May of 2018 that Donald Trump, perhaps the most despicable human being to hold the presidency since Andrew Jackson, withdrew from the JCPOA, apparently for two reasons: (1) was the treaty was completed by Obama and Trump wanted to destroy the achievements of his non-white predecessor, and (2) Trump thought he could bully the Iranians into a “better deal.” It is important to note that the other signatories to the treaty did not initially follow Trump’s lead. “The leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany issued a joint statement on behalf of their countries that reemphasized their support for the deal and its importance to the nonproliferation regime.” The United Nations expressed “deep concern” over Trump’s decision and released a statement in support of the JCPOA. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also reiterated its support for the JCPOA, and further stated that “U.S. actions compromise international trust in the IAEA.”

        How did the Iranians react to Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty and reimposition of harsh sanctions? At first, Tehran suggested that if the other signatories to the agreement would remain loyal to their obligations, Iran too would keep to the treaty. Unfortunately, most of the European nations involved would soon succumb to U.S. economic pressure and cease to hold to their obligations. Nonetheless, it was not until a year following Trump’s irresponsible act that Iran announced that “The Islamic Republic of Iran in reaction to the exit of America from the nuclear deal and the bad promises of European countries in carrying out their obligations will restart a part of the nuclear activities which were stopped under the framework of the nuclear deal.” Even while the Iranian government took this position, it insisted that if at any time the United States returned to the treaty and removed all nuclear-related sanctions, Iran too would return to its obligations. Tehran even suggested a process whereby the U.S. and Iran would take simultaneous steps to that end.

      • Tokyo’s Games Are Harming the Nuclear Weapons Ban Movement

        The Olympics are supposed to be a tangible symbol of global cooperation and peaceful competition. But the games carry a lot of baggage—not only from the pandemic but also from the Fukushima disaster and Japan’s nuclear politics.

      • Documents From ‘Argo’ Production Reveal What It’s Like To Film At CIA Headquarters

        Since the early 1970s the Central Intelligence Agency has granted access to their Langley headquarters to a small handful of film and TV producers to add credibility and authenticity to spy dramas—often in exchange for positive portrayals of the agency.  Newly released CIA documents shed light on this process, as well as the close relationship between the Agency and the makers of the Oscar-winning spy drama “Argo,” especially with the film’s director and star Ben Affleck.  

        In early 2011, Affleck was gearing up to shoot “Argo,” about the real-life CIA operation to smuggle six embassy staff out of Iran by masquerading as a Hollywood film crew. The operation was the brainchild of Tony Mendez, a fake document and disguise specialist in the CIA’s Office of Technical Services.  

      • Cameroon Asks People Who Fled Boko Haram to Return

        Cameroon’s government has sent ministers to its northern border with Nigeria to convince villagers who fled Boko Haram militants to return. Cameroon invested $10 million on reconstruction efforts after damage caused by the Islamist terrorist group in some villages. But, in northern Cameroon, many villagers are reluctant to go home, and authorities acknowledge the militants are still a threat.

      • Opinion | Let’s Reinvent the US Military for Real National Defense

        As a ROTC cadet and an Air Force officer, I was a tiny part of America’s vast Department of Defense (DoD) for 24 years until I retired and returned to civilian life as a history professor.  My time in the military ran from the election of Ronald Reagan to the reign of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It was defined by the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, America’s brief unipolar moment of dominance and the beginning of its end, as Washington embroiled itself in needless, disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks.  Throughout those years of service, I rarely thought about a question that seems ever more critical to me today: What would a real system of American national defense look like?

      • The general who let Robert E. Lee get away

        “Many were the missed opportunities which a resourceful and aggressive army commander would have grasped had he been in Meade’s position,” wrote the former general and military historian Edward Stackpole in his 1956 classic “They Met at Gettysburg,” and he was being typically diplomatic. Lee’s forces began their withdrawal on July 4, and even a week later, they were still stretched out and vulnerable to the range of Meade’s forces – including the Union’s Sixth Corps, which was composed of 15,000 men who had not yet fought. Lee’s back was to the Potomac, and the center of his army was little more than a mile from Union forces that outnumbered him three to one. Calling this a “missed opportunity” is like calling the loss of the Titanic a minor nautical inconvenience.

      • Papers Instead of Human Lives: The Sentencing of Daniel Hale

        Yet again, the US government was making use of the beastly Espionage Act of 1917.  Between 2009 and 2013, Hale worked with the US Air Force and National Security Agency.  He was then contracted by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to work as a toponymist.

        His work during his time in the NSA and as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force – to identify targets for assassination for the US drone program – was performed at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.  His sin, or what his attorney Jesselyn Radack prefers to call “committing the truth”, was to reveal classified documents revealing the distinct viciousness, and essential senselessness, of the US military’s drone program.  His motivation: “to dispel the lie that drone warfare keeps us safe, that our lives are worth more than theirs.”

      • Daniel Hale Revealed America’s Drone Assassinations to the Public. He’s Been Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison.

        Fortunately, O’Grady didn’t fully buy Kromberg’s argument, but he did tell Hale that he could have been a whistleblower and spoken out against the drone tactics without stealing and leaking the documents.

        O’Grady has a pretty naive attitude toward how whistleblowers in the United States in recent years have actually affected change. The documentation is important, and it’s abundantly clear that leaving it to the government officials themselves to validate whether they exist won’t accomplish much.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Glenn Greenwald downplays fascist plot to kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

        Greenwald argues that since the FBI knew about the plot and evidently helped move it forward, there is nothing to fear. He ignores the federal police agency’s long history of cultivating far-right elements to carry out assassinations and bombings in order to bludgeon the working class and implement the policies of the ruling elite.

    • Environment

      • 50% of air pollution comes from 1% of the global surface

        The researchers found that roughly 50% of global emissions take place in around 1% of the global surface.

        The only exception is ammonia, where rural areas account for more than 50% of global emissions, the researchers have said this is largely due to agriculture activities.

      • Climate change is making poison ivy stronger and itchier

        The effect has been known since 2006, when Duke University researchers published a six-year study that showed poison ivy grew double its normal size when it was exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide — levels on a par with the atmospheric carbon scientists anticipate seeing around 2050. The leaves on some individual plants grew by as much as 60 percent. Researchers also found that CO2 makes urushiol, the oil in poison ivy that causes the allergic reaction in humans, stronger. Plants rely on CO2 to make the sugars they need to grow, and increased concentrations of it were helping everyone’s least favorite plant thrive. The researchers surmised that increased levels of CO2 in coming decades would lead to bigger, faster growing, and itchier poison ivy plants.

      • “This Is Not a Climate Bill”: Leah Stokes on Why Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Doesn’t Go Far Enough

        Senate Democrats have announced that they have joined with 17 Republicans to vote in favor of taking up a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal. The plan includes new spending on climate and environment measures, but critics say it falls far short of what is needed. Democrats say they hope to include additional climate measures in a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that could advance without being blocked by a Republican filibuster if it is backed by all 50 Democrats. Climate and energy policy researcher Leah Stokes says the bipartisan bill does include positive measures but nowhere near enough. “There are some good investments and important things, but they are in many cases cents on the dollar,” she says.

      • Eliminating Carbon Emissions by 2050 Would Save 74 Million Lives This Century: Study

        Providing further evidence of the deadly consequences of the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency and the far-reaching health benefits of decarbonization, new research out Thursday shows that eliminating greenhouse gas emissions within the next three decades would save tens of millions of lives around the world.

        Roughly 74 million lives could be saved this century if the emission of heat-trapping gases is cut to zero by 2050, compared with a far more lethal scenario in which society fails to limit global temperature rise to less than 4°C. That’s according to Daniel Bressler, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University’s Earth Institute whose peer-reviewed journal article, “The Mortality Cost of Carbon,” was just published in Nature Communications.

      • Opinion | Europe’s Flooding Shows Climate Solutions Must Be Driven by People-Power
      • ‘Turn This Destruction Around’: 5 Months Left in 2021 But Humanity’s Used Up Earth’s Ecological Budget

        Humans are continuing to gobble up Earth’s resources faster than the planet can generate them, with this year’s “Overshoot Day” landing on July 29.

        “If we need reminding that we’re in the grip of a climate and ecological emergency, Earth Overshoot Day is it,” said Susan Aitken, leader of the Glasgow City Council, urging that the day be “our call to arms.”

      • Energy

        • ‘Gathering Storm’: How ‘Rogue’ Companies are Buying up North Sea Oil and Gas

          Companies with histories of environmental abuses and alleged labour violations, backed by private equity and with ties to foreign governments, stand to profit from North Sea oil and gas, new data shows.

          Campaigners say the trend towards private ownership in the North Sea is potentially “catastrophic” for the UK’s plans for an equitable transition towards low carbon industries.

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

        • Dell is cancelling Alienware gaming PC shipments to several US states

          For the time being, Dell is no longer shipping certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming PC configurations to half a dozen US states because those product lines potentially fall out of bounds of newly adopted energy efficiency requirements.

        • 5% of Earth’s Power Plants Create 73% of the Energy Sector’s Emissions

          A group of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed 2018 data from 29,000 fossil fuel power plants in 221 countries and located the top emitters in the world.

          They mapped plants by their carbon dioxide emissions and identified the top 10 “ worst-of-the-worst” power plants, which are clustered around Europe, East Asia, and India.

          The world’s “super-emitters” have a few qualities in common: They are all coal-powered, they are primarily located in the global north and they all operate inefficiently for the amount of energy they generate. Focusing policy responses on mitigating the handful of the worst offenders would go a long way to curbing the climate crisis, the authors find.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Superior Court Dumps BS Charges Brought Against New Jersey Homeowner For Her ‘Fuck Biden’ Signs

        Last week, a New Jersey municipal court judge sided with the town of Roselle Park, New Jersey, and its decision to fine a homeowner for “obscene” signs she had in her yard. The signs weren’t obscene in any legal sense of the word — not even under the ordinance the town claimed she had violated. When the homeowner refused to back down, the town started finding her $250/day.

      • Exec That Tried To Send Critical Reporters A Dead Pig Blames ‘The Drinking Culture At eBay’

        Last year, you might recall how a group of eBay executives were arrested for a truly bizarre (an understatement) stalking and harassment campaign aimed at critical reporters. Angry at the critical coverage of eBay by a small news site (Ecommercebytes.com, published by David and Ina Steiner), a team of six eBay executives and employees engaged in a year long campaign of terror against the couple that included death threats, spying on them, and even sending them everything from dead cockroaches and a bloody pig mask. The crew even tried to send the reporters a dead pig, though it never managed to ship.

      • Enough About FOSTA’s ‘Unintended Consequences’; They Were Always Intended

        It feels inevitable that if you’re talking about FOSTA/SESTA (the federal law passed in 2018 that amended section 230), someone, at some point, will mention that it was aimed at combatting sex trafficking that had unintended impacts on folks doing consensual sex work.

      • Outspoken billionaire Sun Dawu jailed for 18 years in China

        Sun Dawu runs one of the country’s largest private agricultural businesses in the northern province of Hebei.

        Sun, 67, has in the past spoken out about human rights and politically sensitive topics.

        He was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – a charge often used against activists.

      • How China’s Communist Party Schools Train Generations Of Loyal Members

        As primary training grounds, party schools have now become bulwarks against challenging the official historical narrative. “Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason was that their ideals and convictions wavered,” Xi said in an internal December 2012 speech, warning against straying from the central line.

        “For this reason, Xi is now driving everything in precisely the opposite direction — eliminating what limited space had existed on the margins of academia and media for meaningful discussion and ramping up campaigns to force cadres to study officially approved versions of party history, versions which increasingly assign a larger role to Xi himself,” says Carl Minzner, a professor of Chinese politics at Fordham University in New York.

      • Pro-democracy Hong Kong radio host ‘Fast Beat’ goes on trial for sedition

        The slogans included “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, “Corrupt cops, all of your family go to hell”, “Disband Hong Kong police, delay no more” and “Down with the Communist Party of China”.

        The trial is a watershed legal moment for Hong Kong because it will set a precedent for what political phrases and views are now deemed illegal as China looks to stamp out dissent following huge and often violent democracy protests two years ago.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists rally to defend newspaper in face of ongoing attacks by government

        More than 100 columnists and other contributors to El Universal have put their names to an open letter to President López Obrador to defend themselves and the newspaper in the face of ongoing attacks by the federal government.

      • EU Condemns Russia’s ‘Unabated Crackdown’ On Independent Media, NGOs

        The European Union has urged Russia to stop its “unabated crackdown” on independent media outlets, journalists, and civil-society organizations, calling the clampdown ahead of parliamentary elections in September “particularly worrisome.”

        In a statement published late on July 22, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell cited recent decisions by the Russian authorities to designate a number of journalists and a legal-aid nongovernmental organization, the Institute of Law and Public Policy, as “foreign agents,” and to declare the media outlet The Project an “undesirable organization.”

      • ‘Historic Victory’: Bayer to End US Residential Sales of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides

        In a move that environmental groups celebrated as a “historic victory” following years of campaigning to remove Roundup and similar weedkillers from store shelves, Bayer on Thursday announced that it will halt the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to consumers in the U.S. lawn and garden market by 2023.

        “Bayer’s decision to end U.S. residential sale[s] of Roundup is a historic victory for public health and the environment,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), said in a statement.

      • France fines Monsanto for illegally acquiring data on journalists, activists

        France’s personal data protection agency on Wednesday fined US firm Monsanto for illegally compiling files of public figures, journalists and activists with the aim of swaying opinion towards support for its controversial pesticides.

      • RSF calls for the release of a Sudanese journalist jailed in Saudi Arabia

        Human Rights Watch said yesterday that Sudanese journalist Ahmed Ali Abdulgadir was sentenced on 8 June to four years in prison for “insulting the state’s institutions and symbols” and “negatively speaking about the kingdom’s policies.” On Twitter, he criticised Saudi Arabia’s relations with the Sudanese government after the 2018 revolution and Saudi involvement in the war in Yemen, HRW said.

      • Two Cheers for the Free Press

        Today, nearly every day, Americans face new calls to restrict the freedom of the press. We are constantly told that the Internet presents a novel threat. Maybe it does. But as I see it, the novelty worth really in need of discussing isn’t the one that’s so often being discussed. Anyone who has spent a few minutes flipping through 19th-century Parisian newspapers knows that the bilious atmosphere of Twitter is nothing new. What’s new is that the distribution of information is concentrated in the hands of a few private companies. These companies are profoundly susceptible to pressure from politicians. Last fall, just before the election, we saw those companies censor an article in the New York Post that raised the issue of the possible corruption of the current president. It was an astonishing moment in a nation whose press has been freer for far longer than France’s: citizens forbidden to read a consequential story in a long-established newspaper, days before an election. And since that election and the pandemic, the drumbeat of calls for censorship has grown all the louder.

      • World Urged To React ‘Vigorously’ To Belarus Closing Main Journalists’ Association

        Rights groups have called on the international community to defend Belarus’s leading journalists’ association as the regime of authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka seeks to close it down amid an intensifying crackdown on independent media and civil society.

        Belarus’s Justice Ministry has asked the Supreme Court to close the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAZh) for “repeated violations of the law,” while the authorities have frozen all BAZh bank accounts following police raids on its offices last week.

      • 2 Colorado Police Officers Are Investigated After A Violent Arrest

        Haubert is under investigation over possible attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and felony menacing in connection with the Friday incident, according to arrest warrant affidavits written by an Aurora police detective and obtained by The Denver Post.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 228 Republicans Blasted for Brief Urging Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

        While praising the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday for passing a spending bill without the Hyde Amendment for the first time in decades, reproductive rights and justice advocates sounded the alarm over 228 congressional Republicans urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

        “Overturning Roe would open the floodgates to states banning abortion, put politicians in control of people’s bodies, and force patients seeking healthcare across state lines.”—Planned Parenthood Action

      • Vengeance: Trump’s Republicans and the Deepening Culture Wars

        Since the nation was first settled, generations of Americas have inflicted untold horrors against other Americans – be they Native people; African slaves and Black citizens; immigrants speaking a “foreign” language, non-Christians or from a different nationality or ethnic group; and, of course, those embracing different cultural values.

        For all the rants by conservative pundits and politicians about “critical race theory,” media blowhards seem to know little of the nation’s long history in vengeful culture wars. Long forgotten, the New World was besieged by numerous sex scandals during the first seventy-five years of Puritan settlement. For New Englanders and other British colonists up and down the Atlantic Coast, these scandals set the boundaries of acceptable sexual practice. They mostly involved premarital sex (fornication), extramarital sex (adultery), sodomy (homosexuality) and interracial sex. Two offenses were most upsetting: bestiality involving young men and sexual witchcraft among older women.  And many people, especially women, were arrested, tried and executed.

      • Opinion | A Direct Pathway to Cementing DACA Rights Is Through Legislation
      • Oversight Report Says Commerce Dept. Investigative Unit Went Rogue, Engaged In Biased, Retaliatory Investigations

        Years after it was granted too much power, a federal internal investigations unit created during the presidency of George W. Bush is finally having its dirty laundry aired. The Senate Commerce Committee — years after the fact — is finally delivering some oversight of an entity created to root out internal threats.

      • Federal investigators launch probe into Moscow play that supposedly ‘offends veterans’

        Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee, has ordered an inquiry into the Moscow Sovremennik Theater following allegations that a new play is offensive to veterans (which is no longer protected speech in Russia). In a press statement on Thursday, the agency said Bastrykin’s orders are related to complaints filed by “members of the public.”

      • ‘If Police Made Asian Americans Safe, We’d Already Be Safe’

        Janine Jackson interviewed 18 Million Rising’s Bianca Nozaki-Nasser about anti-Asian bias for the July 23, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Bob Moses: The Fullness of the Man

        I once asked Bob Moses, who died on July 25 at the age of 86, for an example of empowering grassroots leadership. He replied, “Well, Mrs. [Hazel] Palmer… She really came to symbolize for me…this leadership phenomenon that Ella [Baker] pointed us to and she never became a media person. She always worked behind the scenes in the Freedom Democratic Party. She had been the janitor at one of the local schools and then her children got involved in the Freedom Rides in ’61 and then she began to work with Medgar [Evers] and then when Medgar was assassinated in ’63, she came over to the COFO [Council of Federated Organizations] office and started working with us and then she got involved in the Freedom Democratic Party and became sort of the chief networking person out of the Jackson office on the Watts line, so she really would do a whole lot of the calling and networking with groups across the country and really became very sophisticated in her understanding of the movement and the organizing, what the movement was trying to do with poor people like her.… So, Mrs. Palmer, I used to go around and talk about her because she really came to represent what we were looking at trying to do in the community organizing because there was, I think there’s a dimension to it which is dealing with this transformation of people.”

      • What the Harlem Cultural Festival Represented

        There were supposed to be five shows over five consecutive Sundays, a schedule modeled on that of a series of six phenomenal events over six Sundays the previous year, with one major difference: For 1970, the Harlem Cultural Festival moved from its titular home in the historic locus of Black and Latinx life in New York to Damrosch Park, an outdoor space at Lincoln Center, where opera, ballet, and other arts aggrandized by the white elite were staged in the surrounding complex. After one concert billed as a “Folk Gospel Music Show,” featuring the Mighty Mellotones, the Gospel Warriors, and other acts, the four remaining dates of the 1970 festival were canceled, ostensibly for lack of funding. The headline in The New York Times reported, “Concerts Stilled,” and the shows devoted to blues and soul music, as well as a “Tribute to the Late Otis Redding,” were never to be.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Bipartisan Broadband Bill: Good, But It Won’t End the Digital Divide

        We have long advocated for, backed up by evidence, a plan that would connect every American to fiber. It is a vital part of any nationwide communications policy that intends to actually function in the 21st century. The future is clearly heading towards more symmetrical uses, that will require more bandwidth at very low latency. Falling short of that will inevitably create a new digital divide, this one between those with 21st-century access and those without. Fiber-connected people will head towards the cheaper symmetrical multi-gigabit era while others are stuck on capacity-constrained expensive legacy wires. This “speed chasm” will create a divide between those who can participate in an increasingly remote, telecommuting world and those who cannot.

        Most estimates put the price tag of universal fiber at $80 to $100 billion, but this bipartisan package proposes only $40 billion in total for construction. It’s pretty obvious that this shortfall will prevent many areas from the funding they need to deliver fiber–or really any broadband access—to the millions of Americans in need of access.

        While Congress can rectify this shortfall in the future with additional infusions of funding, as well as a stronger emphasis on treating fiber as an infrastructure, versus purely a broadband service. But it should be clear what it means to not do so now. Some states will do very well under this proposal, by having the federal efforts complement already existing state efforts. For example, California already has a state universal fiber effort underway that recruits all local actors to work with the state to deliver fiber infrastructure. More federal dollars will just augment an already very good thing there. But other states may, unfortunately, get duped into building out or subsidizing slow networks that will inevitably need to be replaced. That will cost the state and federal government more money in the end. This isn’t fated to happen, but it’s a risk invited by the legislation’s adoption of 100/20 Mbps as the build-out metric instead of 100/100 Mbps.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Amazon Hits $7.8B in Profit Under New CEO, But Sales Fall Below Expectations

        Amazon also revealed that its streaming TV ads and Twitch now reach 120 million monthly viewers across the U.S., but the company did not reveal specific metrics for its Prime Video service. The earnings report also did not mention the company’s $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM that was announced in May.

      • It’s not just you, streaming the Olympics is a mess

        Peacock’s coverage was a problem straight out of the gate. The opening ceremony wasn’t streamed live on the service at all (though the closing ceremony will be), even though it was streamed live on the NBC Olympics website. The service is paywalling men’s basketball, seemingly to boost Peacock’s paid plans. And while live broadcasts and on-demand coverage of most other games and events are available for free on Peacock, finding out what’s on and where to watch it has been a chore, comparable to flicking through a cable TV guide. (Disclosure: NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media, parent company of The Verge.)

    • Monopoly

      • Poll: Overwhelming Majority of US Voters Want Robust Regulation of Tech Companies

        Advocates for breaking up internet monopolies on Thursday pointed to a new polling that shows overwhelming U.S. public support for curbing the power of Big Tech as evidence that Congress should forge ahead with antitrust bills aimed at better regulating some of the world’s most powerful corporations.

        “Policymakers should respond to this clear demand from voters by enacting laws and regulations that will improve choice, protect consumers, and reduce discrimination.”—Erin Simpson,CAP Action

      • Moscow court fines Google for refusing to localize Russian users’ data

        A Russian justice of the peace has fined Google LLC three million rubles ($40,950) for refusing to localize Russian users’ data on the territory of the Russian Federation.

      • States say they will appeal the dismissal of their Facebook antitrust suit.

        More than 40 state attorneys general on Wednesday said they planned to appeal the dismissal of their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, setting up a protracted legal fight to rein in the power of the Silicon Valley giant.

        The states would be pushing back on a decision made last month by a federal judge who eviscerated their arguments that Facebook had obtained a monopoly through its acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 and had harmed competition. The judge said that the regulators’ attempts to break up the social media company came too many years after the mergers were approved.

      • Patents

        • Big Pharma Monopolies Make Cost of Global Vaccination Against Covid-19 5 Times Costlier Than Needed: Report

          Pharmaceutical corporations’ vaccine monopolies are increasing the cost of inoculating the world’s population against Covid-19 by as much as 500%, a briefing paper published Thursday revealed, underscoring what public health advocates say is the need for a People’s Vaccine.

          “Immediate action must be taken now to deliver a People’s Vaccine… with access prioritized according to need and not ability to pay.”—The People’s Vaccine Alliance

      • Copyrights

        • Filmmakers Want WOW! to Block Pirate Sites & Disconnect Repeat Infringers

          A group of independent movie companies has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet provider WOW!. The company, which has over three million subscribers across the US, faces far-reaching demands from the filmmakers who request site-blocking measures, a three-strikes policy for pirates, and the ongoing identification of alleged copyright infringers.

        • UK Police Arrest Man For Operating Pirate IPTV Service & Money Laundering

          Police in the UK have arrested a 56-year-old man in connection with the illegal streaming of premium TV channels. Officers were able to access and disrupt the online platform, disconnect the illegal streams, and display an online message to customers. In addition to money laundering, the man is suspected of carrying out offenses contrary to the Serious Crimes Act and Fraud Act.

07.29.21

Links 30/7/2021: Audacity 3.0.3 and KD Chart 2.8.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 5 Top Questions To Ask A Linux Developer During An Interview [Ed: Some revisionism here about history]

      First, it is essential to ask, “What is the difference between Linux and UNIX?” This is a great Linux question for interviewers because you can test the candidate’s knowledge of two different subjects at the same time. As your interviewee answers, you should look for them to say that UNIX is the operating system that Linux is based on. In addition, they may point out that Linux is free and open source. Primarily, it is community developed, whereas UNIX was developed by larger tech companies. Your prospective Linux developers may bring up the advantages of Linux as well. For example, it usually has more user interfaces, programming options, and fewer viruses.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E21 – Gladiator Suits Share

        This week we’ve been selling more things on eBay and return to the office. We round up news from the Ubuntu community and discuss our picks from the wider tech news.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 21 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • MX Linux 21 Beta 1

        Today we are looking at MX Linux 21 Beta 1. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.10, XFCE 4.16, and uses about 1GB of ram when idling.

      • MX Linux 21 Beta 1 Run Through

        In this video, we are looking at MX Linux 21 Beta 1.

      • Nano Or Vim? Which Terminal Text Editor Should You Use?

        It is important for Linux users to be comfortable using a terminal-based text editor like GNU Nano or Vim, because sometimes you are going to have to edit configuration files without being in a graphical environment. But which terminal text editor is the right one for you?

      • Tom Brought me a 3D Printed Raspberry Pi rack!

        Tom visited the LearnLinuxTV studio recently to present Jay with an awesome gift – a 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Rack that he and his crew built! In this video, we’ll talk a bit about the build and give you our thoughts.

      • Other OS overview | Haiku R1 Beta 3

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Haiku R1 Beta 3 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Ulauncher: Application Launcher With Style

        My go to launcher is dmenu but if you want something a little prettier but you’re not a fan of configuring rofi, ulauncher might be the app for you, plus it comes with a very established plugin community.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Audacity 3.0.3 Released, Official Appimage for Linux /Auto Checking Updates

        Audacity audio editor and recorder 3.0.3 was released a few days ago. Finally it adds official Linux binary via Appimage.

        Audacity 3.0.3 comes with minor bug-fixes, and binary changes. For Windows users, now it provides 64-bit EXE and 32-bit plug-ins will not work on the release.

        The release introduced automatic app update checking. According to the updated Privacy Notice, Audacity needs a network connection for update checking. And this shares your IP address, OS, and Audacity version. You can disable the feature in the Preferences.

      • You can now support the Flatpak package format on Open Collective

        Flatpak is the next-generation of packing applications and games for Linux and now you can directly support it.

        The idea behind Flatpak is that anything packaged up with it will work across multiple distributions, with a stable environment for everything thanks to common libraries to link against and developers can add any dependencies they need right into the package to ensure it works everywhere. Sandboxing is another prominent feature and one of the main goals of Flatpak packages, to increase security by isolating applications from each other with sandboxing and giving limited access to your operating system.

      • ‘Now Clocking’ is a Hybrid Clock/Now Playing Conky for Your Desktop

        I’ve been looking for a decent “Now Playing” widget for my Ubuntu desktop for a while now, having been inspired by some Rainmeter setups I saw in a thread on Windows desktops.

        And I finally found one — but it took some searching.

        Now, I appreciate that the days of showing your currently playing track on your actual desktop is are gone. It’s 2021, and most Linux desktop environments (including GNOME, which Ubuntu uses) support MPRIS controls in some form or another.

        Standalone now playing ‘widgets’ (like the much-missed CoverGloobus, pictured as part of a particularly impressive desktop below) are few and far between.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to play Yooka-Laylee on Linux

        Yooka-Laylee is a platformer game developed by Team 7, which was the original developer team behind the N64 game Banjo-Kazooie. Here’s how to play this game on your Linux PC.

      • How to use Rocky Linux as a Docker container image – TechRepublic

        Rocky Linux has emerged as one of the top contenders to replace CentOS for many businesses. And for most, that server-centric Linux distribution will be deployed mostly on bare metal or as a virtual machine. But there’s another route to take, one that should have container developers quite pleased.

        The developers of Rocky Linux have released a container image, so you can start developing your containers based on the new Linux distribution from the originator of CentOS itself. The benefits of this include having a powerful, secure distribution for which to base your containers. And because this is an official release, you can be sure it’s been vetted and is safe to use.

      • How to play Mirror’s Edge on Linux

        Mirror’s Edge is an action/platformer game for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It was developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts. It is set in a futuristic city and follows Faith Connors, an underground parkour courier. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How to install Funkin’ VS Impostor on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin’ VS Impostor on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to disable password login on Linux – Linux Hint

        This tutorial explains how to disable login on Linux both when connecting through ssh.

        After reading this tutorial, you will know how to disable ssh password login enabling key authentication instead, increasing your system security. If you are looking for a way to disable the root login only, check this tutorial instead.

      • How to align text in HTML – Linux Hint

        “Hypertext markup language” is the basic language of designing a website. Html is known to be a front-end language to design the interface of a website. There are many functions regarding this language. The commands used for designing are known as tags. These tags combine to develop a website. A single HTML code file is responsible for a static website that is not running. Html contents are text, image, shapes, color, alignment, etc. Alignment is an important ingredient in designing as it determines the respective content to handle at a specific place. We will discuss some basic examples in this guide.

      • How to Use lsof Command in Linux to List Open Files – Make Tech Easier

        The good thing about Linux is that you can easily view and manage everything, from the boot process to the installation of software packages. Here we discuss how you can use the lsof command in Linux to view open files and the processes using them. Knowing how to view this can help you understand how the system works and even take the necessary actions for specific processes.

      • How to Make an Animated GIF in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        GIF also knows as Graphics Interchange Format; it has become very popular among social media users in absolutely no time since its introduction. Reason behind the popularity is its low size compared to images and videos. GIF posts attracted more users on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, WhatsApp, and Twitter than any other image or video posts.

        Many of you might have thought, how one can make a GIF on Linux and its distribution like Ubuntu? So, today I’m going to show you just that. We’re going to have a look at several ways to make animated GIF in Ubuntu. So, without making further delay, let’s get started.

      • How to Install DVWA on Kali Linux for Pentesting Practice

        Anybody who wants to get started with Ethical hacking or wants to advance their skills in penetration testing will need a platform to practice whatever they learn using the various security tools available.

        Performing penetration tests on systems without administrative permission is considered illegal and can land you in huge problems, including a jail term with hefty fines.
        Practice makes perfect, but then, where do you practice hacking skills?

        There are so many platforms available that you can use to practice penetration testing. Some of these are online platforms like TryHackMe, HackTheBox, etc.

      • How do I check if a package is installed on Debian and Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        By reading this tutorial, you’ll learn how to check if a package is installed on Debian-based Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

      • How To Install OneDrive on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install OneDrive on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Microsoft’s OneDrive is one of the most popular cloud storage service platforms offered by Microsoft, similar to Dropbox, Google Drive. In the software market and it is an obvious choice for companies and customers who frequently use Microsoft Office programs like Excel and Word. We will learn some of the benefits here.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Microsoft OneDrive on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • What Is an AppImage File and How to Run It on Linux

        AppImage is a software distribution format for Linux that aims to solve two of the most pressing issues with traditional Linux packages: distribution and installation.

        If you’ve downloaded a program in the AppImage format and are wondering how to install or run it on your system, this guide will help you out.

        Follow along as we delve into AppImage, its advantages over traditional Linux packages, and the steps you need to follow to run an AppImage file on your Linux machine.

      • View and Manage Docker Logs [Complete Beginner Guide]

        Knowledge on logging with Docker can be very helpful for day-to-day system administration activities, be it troubleshooting or basic monitoring. Without tracking logs on Docker, mitigating issues would be a lot more difficult when investigating anomalies.

        This write-up explores some important information on that area to make it easier to understand how to manage Docker associated log files on your Linux system.

        Let me start by exploring the most basic parts and gradually go deeper into some specifics.

    • Games

      • Steam Deck kills Total War Saga: Troy Linux port – but what does this mean for other games?

        Total War Saga: Troy won’t be ported to Linux, with the potential native version of the game having been officially canned by Feral Interactive – and doubt being cast on further conversions to Linux.

        Feral is well-known for porting big-name games across to Linux, but with Troy it’s only doing a Mac version to follow the release of the strategy game on Steam (following its exclusivity period with Epic expiring).

      • In Spindle you become Death and figure out why no one is dying along with your pet Pig

        Spindle certainly has an interesting premise that’s worth keeping an eye on. You take on the role of Death, as you try to find out why no one seems to able to die, with your pet Pig companion.

        “Spindle is an old-school zeldaesque action-adventure where you slip into the role of Death. But you won’t be alone: A loyal companion, a friend who will stay at your side even through the darkest of times, a mate you can always rely on will always follow you: The pig. Your little shiny pink buddy. In fact, the pig is more than that. It will help you on your mission, to restore the natural order.”

      • Open 3D Engine (O3DE) gets real close to properly working Linux support, free Kythera AI | GamingOnLinux

        We mentioned recently that the newly announced Open 3D Engine (O3DE) from the Linux Foundation and Amazon AWS was closer to proper Linux support, and we have a fresh update on that.

        The initial pull request from developer Fabio Anderegg on hooking up Linux support for the Editor has now been closed, as a bunch of work towards it has low landed upstream into the main project – which is great progress. Anderegg mentioned on Twitter yesterday (July 28) that the O3DE development branch builds and runs on Linux with a tiny patch!

      • Proton Experimental updated for Microsoft Flight Simulator, Origin fixes | GamingOnLinux

        Here we go again, ahead of the weekend a fresh version of Proton Experimental has gone live allowing you to test the latest adjustments for playing Windows games on Linux. If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page.

    • Distributions

      • In the pandemic of global neo-liberal capitalist dictatorship we are still here

        We are closely following the renewed explosion of the Kiss-Linux project. Read their latest news stories in their new site kisslinux.org so we don’t paraphrase what has been done. No more Xorg, still faithful to the promise of no-elogind, clean wayland, seatd, sway, etc.

        Glaucus, Sabotage, Mere Linux continuing their development. Don’t forget them because of problems normal on Alpha-Beta transitions.

        Obarun: Still undermined by gossip from Arch and other rivals who just piece other developers’ software together to provide a distro having none of their own, in disbelief that 66 provides what it states it provides, and the common easy critic of the unknown by those who fail to comprehend. Without systemd (and its off-spring elogind) Obarun remains the sole solution for an every day working linux system.

        Void: Apart from mobinmob’s work in his own (repository=https://codeberg.org/mobinmob/void-66/raw/branch/master) to compliment the induction of S6/66 into the repositories, and the many contributions of the Trident Project the development is just rolling along as expected. It is still possible with some maneuvering to run a wm without elogind, dbus, and other pests. Still no sign of development of a new package manager, the old xbps developer left, replaced licenses and left it as it was. As far as we had last seen there was no further change. No urgency I suppose.

        Linux, the kernel is growing and growing. At what rate, if you haven’t noticed, appears a little alarming. Some very stable distros lark behind, 5.7 or earlier. But arch (and void) follow the latest stable kernels. See what the size differential is in Arch while replacing 5.13 with the latest of 5.7 (not too long ago):

      • New Releases

        • Solus 4.3 Available for Download and Installation

          The latest iteration from the Solus developers is out with kernel 5.13 and plenty of new features, bug fixes, and new hardware support.

          Solus is the Linux distribution dedicated to the Budgie desktop. And this time around Budgie has received plenty of bug fixes and updates that add up to a much-improved performance and reliability. Those changes to the desktop environment also include new themes, window customizations, improved notifications, screen tracking, and more.

          But the big additions come by way of the Linux 5.13 kernel. By shipping with this new kernel, Solus introduces support for Apple’s M1 chipset, Intel’s Alder Lake S Graphics, AMD’s FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync, and a generic USB display driver. These additions mean Solus can run on even more hardware and will benefit from the performance gains offered by those chipsets and features.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Mozilla Blog: 2021: The year privacy went mainstream

            It’s been a hell of a year so far for data privacy. Apple has been launching broadsides at the ad-tech industry with each new big privacy feature unveiling. Google is playing catch-up, promising that Android users will also soon be able to stop apps from tracking them across the internet. Then there’s WhatsApp, going on a global PR offensive after changes to its privacy policy elicited consumer backlash.

            There’s no doubt about it, digital privacy is shaping up as the key tech battleground in 2021 and the years ahead. But how did this happen? Wasn’t digital privacy supposed to be dead and buried by now? After all, many tech CEOs and commentators have told us that a zero-privacy world was inevitable and that everyone should just get used to it. Until recently, it would have been tough to argue that they were wrong.

            Over the last 18 months, events have conspired to accelerate this shift in public attitudes towards privacy from a niche concern to something much more fundamental and mainstream. In the process, more people also began to see how privacy and security are inextricably linked.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: New tagging feature for add-ons on AMO

            There are multiple ways to find great add-ons on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). You can browse the content featured on the homepage, use the top navigation to drill down into add-on types and categories, or search for specific add-ons or functionality. Now, we’re adding another layer of classification and opportunities for discovery by bringing back a feature called tags.

            We introduced tagging long ago, but ended up discontinuing it because the way we implemented it wasn’t as useful as we thought. Part of the problem was that it was too open-ended, and anyone could tag any add-on however they wanted. This led to spamming, over-tagging, and general inconsistencies that made it hard for users to get helpful results.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • pg_timetable v4 is out!

          Our team is proud to introduce new major pg_timetable v4 with the new documentation, configuration file support, reimplemented logging machinery, job and task timeouts support, new CopyFromFile built-in functionality, and many more!

      • Programming/Development

        • KD Chart 2.8.0 has been released!

          KD Chart 2.8.0 has been released!

          KD Chart is a comprehensive business charting package with many different chart types and a large number of customization options. We are constantly improving the package, and have been doing so for years.

          KD Chart 2.8.0 is a very minor release. The most notable change is the removal of Qt 4 support. Additionally, users will receive a notification that the QMake build system will no longer be supported in KD Chart 3.0, to make way for CMake.

        • How to choose a low-code development platform

          Today’s low-code and no-code development platforms enable teams of software developers—and even non-coders—to deliver, support, and extend a wide array of applications. They are used to build mobile apps, deliver customer experiences, streamline workflows, modernize legacy applications, automate data integrations, and support data visualizations, to name the more common uses.

          The major selling points of low-code and no-code development tools are that they can be used successfully by lower-skilled, “citizen” developers; that they can produce apps faster than using native SDKs; and that they can produce apps for less money. Many (but not all) of the commercial low-code and no-code systems offset your savings on labor costs with their licensing fees or subscriptions.

        • AOCC 3.1 Compiler Performance Against Clang 12, GCC 11 On AMD EPYC

          Following the recent benchmarks seeing how AMD’s new AOCC 3.1 compiler has brought some performance improvements over the prior AOCC 3.0 release that introduced initial Zen 3 optimizations, here are some benchmarks looking at how that latest AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler performance compares to the upstream LLVM Clang 12 compiler for which it is based as well as against GCC 11 as the latest GNU compiler release that remains common to Linux systems.

        • C++ Switch Statement – Linux Hint

          While we have several circumstances and will need to take different actions depending on the situation, we utilize the switch case declaration. When there are several criteria, we will need to run several instructions when they are met. In this instance, we may use a long if..else-if declaration or a switch statement. If we have multiple criteria, the difficulty with long if…else-if is that it will become complicated. The switch case is indeed a neat and effective way to treat such states. A switch statement enables a mutable just to be compared to a set of values for equivalence. Every value is referred to as a situation, so each situation is verified against the mutable that is already being turned on.

        • Arrays in C – Linux Hint

          An array is a group of data objects of the same kind kept nearby in ram. Inside the C programming, arrays are indeed a derivative type of data that may hold primitive data types like int, char, double, float, etc. It may also hold a group of derivative data types like pointers, structures, and so forth. Whenever you wish to record a student’s grades in six courses, we shouldn’t need to create separate variables for each subject’s grades. Alternatively, we may create an array that could hold the marks for every topic in shared memory regions. We may simply retrieve the items by utilizing the array. To retrieve the array’s members, just a few other lines of the C script are necessary. Let’s take a glance at some instances to see the working of arrays in C language. When writing this tutorial, we have been using the Ubuntu 20.04 operating System to elaborate arrays.

        • Count the size of the vector in C++ – Linux Hint

          The dynamic array can be created by using a vector in C++. One or more elements can be inserted into or removed from the vector at the run time that increases or decreases the size of the vector. The size or length of the vector can be counted using any loop or the built-in function named size(). These ways of counting the size of the vector have been explained in this tutorial by using different examples.

        • Python

          • PyCharm 2021.2 Released with Python 3.10 Support (Ubuntu PPA) | UbuntuHandbook

            JetBrains announced the release of PyCharm 2021.2. Features Python 3.10 support, auto-reload for browser HTML preview.

            Starting with the new release, users from Asian can enjoy the a fully localized UI in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. And it’s going to end support for several packages, e.g., mako, buildout, web2py, in next release.

          • matplotlib bar chart – Linux Hint

            The human can understand the visual more as compared to the text form. That’s why people always suggest drawing the big data graph to understand it in a very easy manner. There are different types of graphs available in the market like bar graphs, histograms, pie charts, etc. These different graphs are used according to the dataset and requirements. For example, if you have a dataset of company performance from the last 10 years, then the bar chart graph will give more information about the company’s growth. So like that, the graph choice depends upon the dataset and requirements.

            If you are a data scientist, then sometimes you have to handle the big data. In that big data, you are processing the data, analyzing the data, and then generating the report on that. To generate the report on that, you must need some clear image of the data, and here the graphs come in place.

            In this article, we are going to explain how to use the matplotlib bar chat in python.

            We can use the categorical data to represent the bar chart in python. The bar chart can be horizontal or vertical, which depends upon your design way. The heights of the bar charts depend upon the data points of the dataset because data points are directly proportionate to the height or length of the bar chart.

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rust 1.54.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.54.0. Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (webkit2gtk), Fedora (ruby and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (aspell and varnish), openSUSE (git), SUSE (ardana-cobbler, cassandra, cassandra-kit, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, grafana, kibana, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-monasca-installer, openstack-nova, python-Django, python-elementpath, python-eventlet, python-py, python-pysaml2, python-six, python-xmlschema and git), and Ubuntu (libsndfile, mariadb-10.3, and webkit2gtk).

          • SQL Injection Exploitation Explanation & Examples Using DVWA

            This post will explain SQL injection, the impact of successful SQL attacks, examples of SQL injection techniques, and how to prevent SQL injection.

            There are several applications that you can use to learn SQL injection.

            In this particular post, we will use the Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA). It’s a web app developed in PHP and MySQL and intentionally made to be vulnerable.

            If you don’t have DVWA installed yet, feel free to check out our post on How to set up DVWA on Kali Linux.

          • Six Malicious Linux Shell Scripts Used to Evade Defenses and How to Stop Them | Threatpost

            Uptycs Threat Research outline how malicious Linux shell scripts are used to cloak attacks and how defenders can detect and mitigate against them.

            Siddartha Sharma and Adhokshaj Mishra

            Evasive techniques used by attackers, date back to the earlier days, when base64 and other common encoding schemes were used. Today, attackers are adopting new Linux shell script tactics and techniques to disable firewalls, monitoring agents and modifying access control lists (ACLs).

            In previous Uptycs Threat Research posts, we discussed the common utilities in Linux, which are generally used by threat actors in the attack chain. In this report, we highlight those common defense evasion techniques, which are common in malicious Linux shell scripts. And then, we outline how Uptycs spots and mitigates against them.

          • Open Source Security Foundation Adds 10 New Members

            OpenSSF, a cross-industry collaboration to secure the open source ecosystem, has announced new membership commitments to advance open source security education and best practices. New members include Accurics, Anchore, Bloomberg Finance, Cisco Systems, Codethink, Cybertrust Japan, OpenUK, ShiftLeft, Sonatype and Tidelift.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Meritless Litigation in the Western District of Texas

          Earlier this week, we wrote about some of the biggest cases coming up in patent litigation, and the one topping a Law360 list was none other than Fortress Investment-backed VLSI vs. Intel.

          Already, the meritless litigation is tying up the too-busy Western District of Texas docket with a series of questionable patent lawsuits between the patent troll and the tech company.

          As Patent Progress so aptly puts it: “There’s a reason that more than 85% of cases filed in front of Judge Albright are filed by NPEs.”

          It’s the same reason that Judge Albright handles more and more of the nation’s patent cases (a full 25% of them according to the most recent figures).

          From Reuters: The WDTX has “transformed into a hot spot” for patent troll cases under U.S. District Judge Alan Albright.

          Given all that, this other bit of news is also concerning.

          It centers on VLSI’s firm of choice, Irell & Manella.

          We all knew that former United States Patent Office Director Andrei Iancu rejoined Irell & Manella after stepping down from the USPTO.

          We’ve written about Iancu before and how his changes to the patent system played to the interests of patent troll plaintiffs.

          Now, word is that—fresh off of making a ton of money litigating in Western Texas on behalf of VLSI—Irell is expanding its footprint . . . there’s an office coming to D.C. . . . and only Irell knows where it will expand to after that.

          Boy howdy.

          For all the patent trolls out there, and for firms like Irell, there’s lots of money to be made in Waco.

          Only trouble is — it comes at the cost of American jobs and American innovation.

Links 29/7/2021: siduction 2021.2 and Xubuntu 21.10 Dev Update

Posted in News Roundup at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Confessions of an Ecumenical Leftist

      I’m 54 years old, and I’ve been some kind of an activist since I was 12.  I learn a little more with each passing year on Earth, but lately the pace has accelerated, along with everything else.  I was raised by musicians, and I became one myself early on.  When I started writing songs about different social movement activities and notable moments in history from around the US and the world, I started meeting more and more people from everywhere, and touring everywhere, too.  As a songwriter and performer I’ve been able to participate in social movements on an ongoing basis in a dozen or so countries, spending most of my adult life on the road, doing that.

      When I was a kid, up until my early twenties, I went to protests and participated a very little bit in some actual organizing, but mostly I guess I thought that constantly haranguing people to come around to my worldview was activism.  Mostly it just turned people off, and I lost a lot of friends, and didn’t enact any social change in the process either, as far as I could tell.  Once, when I guess I was around 22 years old, I shouted from the audience to a couple of my favorite folk musicians, because they said something nice about pacifism.  They didn’t know who I was, and they looked frightened.  There were many other instances like that.

    • Spread the Word
    • Jackie Mason, Comedian, and “The Evil that Men [sic] Do…”

      Mason was one of many Jewish comedians who cut their teeth in front of audiences at well-known resorts in the Catskills. Almost all the known names in live comedy from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s have comedic roots in places like Grossinger’s and the Concord, to name a few of the resort venues that were lost to time when jet flight became well within the reach of the middle class and middle-class Jews.

      For the price of a week or two during the summer in the Catskill Mountains, a family or individual could experience culture and historic sites around the world. Despite attempts to keep the lifeblood of the Catskills going, the resorts died one by one and by the 1980s and early 1990s, and the vast majority were gone forever.

    • Academentia: the Organization Insanity of the Modern University

      The keen observer may be familiar with the term Managerialism. Yet a more recent concept is that of Academentia. The term “Academentia” combines “academia” (post-secondary education) with “dementia” (progressive impairments to memory, thinking and behaviour which negatively impacts on a person’s ability to function). In short, Academentia describes a state of organisational insanity in which academics can no longer function as scholars.

      Academentia is the outcome of a severe loss of touch with the scholarly reality of universities due to an environment shaped by the ideology of Managerialism and Neoliberalism. Such an often rather toxic environment is run by a university’s very own managerial apparatchiks. This is a hierarchically structured management body with several layers ranging from line managers to CEOs. The latter are still called Vice-Chancellors and university presidents.

    • The Apocalypse is Now

      Yet, modern day society is proving that apocalypse has multiple possible outcomes. In fact, a case can be made that it’s never been closer to reality because it’s already happening here and there.

      At the turn of the new century Frontline aired a two-hour PBS Special, APOCALYPSE! The program traced the evolution of apocalyptic belief from its origin within the Jewish experience after Babylonian exile, to modern times. Historians and biblical scholars were interviewed to discuss the concept of End Times and doomsday in order to elucidate the ideas of mass destruction and how those ideas shape the cultural world. Indeed, the concept of apocalypse has influenced civilization in a multitude of ways for over 2,000 years.

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Family Farm Action Alliance Releases Report to ‘Counter Big Ag’s Deception’

        In an effort to inform policymakers, advocates, and the public about the impacts of agrifood corporations on the U.S. food system and build support for transforming the nation’s agricultural practices, the Family Farm Action Alliance released a new report on Wednesday that details how Big Ag’s survival depends on externalizing costs and perpetuating myths about the supposed lack of more just and sustainable alternatives.

        “If we come together to make different choices, we can have a competitive and democratized system that serves the needs of all Americans.”—Emily Miller, Family Farm Action Alliance

      • As Delta Wreaks Havoc, Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Force Big Pharma to Share Vaccine Recipes

        With a proposed patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines still mired in fruitless talks at the World Trade Organization, U.S. President Biden is facing growing calls to use his legal authority to force pharmaceutical giants to share their vaccine recipes as governments around the world race to combat the fast-spreading Delta variant.

        “The U.S. government has power to share vaccine manufacturing knowledge and help other countries scale up production.”—Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen

      • New York’s Mental Health Response Pilot Program More Responsive, Less Likely To End In Hospitalization Than Sending Out Cops

        Earlier this year, the city of New York announced plans to send mental health professionals out to deal with mental health issues, rather than the standard-issue cops-and-EMS response teams. It’s an idea that’s gained recent popularity, given the difficulty law enforcement officers seem to have when dealing with things they’re not specifically trained to handle. And by “difficulty,” I mean a lot of people who need professional help were instead being “treated” with force deployment, arrests, and the far-more-than-occasional killing.

      • Physicians Group Documents ‘Severe’ Health and Human Rights Impacts of US Expulsion Policy

        A detailed investigation released Wednesday by Physicians for Human Rights documents the “profound” physical and mental health harms that a U.S. expulsion policy has inflicted on asylum-seeking adults and children, thousands of whom have been forcibly removed in recent months under a Trump-era order that the Biden administration has left largely intact.

        “U.S. policy is ensnaring people in a deadly dilemma, where they are unsafe in their home country, unsafe in Mexico, and yet unable to seek safety at the U.S. border.”—Michele Heisler, Physicians for Human Rights

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 4.1 Offers a New Command Chains System and Accordion Tabs

          Vivaldi 4.1 comes with a range of improvements and fixes that will help you save time and get more out of your browsing.

          Vivaldi comes from the same team that developed Opera back in the day. It is intended for power users and provides an impressive level of control over the interface. Vivaldi is one of the lesser-known browsers, but it is actually a really good choice if you value customization and privacy above all else.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Should Congress Close the FBI’s Backdoor for Spying on American Communications? Yes.

              This week, Congress will vote on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 4505). Among many other things, this bill contains all the funding for the Department of Justice for Fiscal Year 2022 along with certain restrictions on how the DOJ is allowed to spend taxpayer funds. Reps. Lofgren, Massie, Jayapal, and Davidson have offered an amendment to the bill that would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to conduct warrantless wiretapping of US Persons conducted under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. We strongly support this Amendment.

              Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requires tech and telecommunications companies to provide the U.S. government with access to emails and other communications to aid in national security investigations–ostensibly when U.S. persons are in communication with foreign surveillance targets abroad or wholly foreign communications transit the U.S. But in this wide-sweeping dragnet approach to intelligence collection, companies allows government access and collection of a large amount of “incidental” communications–that is millions of untargeted communications of U.S. persons that are swept up with the intended data. Once it is collected, the FBI currently can bypass the 4th Amendment requirement of a warrant and sift through these “incidental” non-targeted communications of Americans — effectively using Section 702 as a “backdoor” around the constitution. They’ve been told by the FISA Court this violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights but it has not seemed to stop them and, frustratingly, the FISA Court has failed to take steps to ensure that they stop.

              This amendment would not only forbid the DOJ from doing this activity, it would also send a powerful signal to the intelligence agency that Congress is serious about reform.

            • Governments Accused Of Spying On Journalists And Activists With NSO Group Malware Are Now Suing Journalists And Activists

              I don’t think anyone foresaw the immense amount of fallout that would result from the revelation that Israeli malware purveyor NSO Group’s Pegasus software is being used to target phones belonging to journalists, activists, religious leaders, and high-ranking government officials. After all, some of this was already common knowledge, thanks to investigations by Citizen Lab and others delving into the inner workings of this powerful spyware.

            • Nest Outage Takes Out Most Services (Updated)

              Yep, there is a Nest outage going on and it affects a lot of their products and services.

              At the time of this post, logins, setup & pairing, Nest Apps, the Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect, and Nest Cam live video and history, are all listed as being down. Nest says they are investigating.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Exclusive: Haitians Reject Calls For US Military Intervention

        Two weeks after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the specter of U.S. military intervention looms large over the island nation. While the Biden administration has rebuffed a request for intervention made by Claude Joseph – a longtime NED asset whom Washington briefly backed as prime minister in the immediate aftermath of the killing – it has not completely ruled out the possibility. 

      • “To Hell and Back”: At Jan. 6 Hearing, Officers Describe Facing Brutal Attacks & Racial Slurs

        We speak with Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, about emotional testimony from four police officers who were attacked by violent and racist Trump supporters while defending the Capitol. At the opening of the House select committee hearing on the January 6 insurrection, the officers described facing down the rioters, being beaten with fists and makeshift weapons, as well as being called racial slurs and accused of treason by the pro-Trump crowds. “The fact that you had law enforcement officers from all backgrounds and walks of life who were being … treated in that manner is another example of white supremacy,” says Johnson.

      • Making War Obsolete

        Why have we not abolished war? The late Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institute said it is because people see a need to defend themselves from foreign occupations, coup d’états and/or dictatorial regimes, and we do not know there is another way. The mythology of conventional history as told by the dominators rules our minds. Sharp spent his whole life trying to educate and convince people that there is a more effective way to solve inevitable political conflicts. There is a practical nonviolent substitute for war and violent revolution.

        Civilian-based defense is the idea that a carefully prepared program where an educated and trained citizenry could defend a country using tactics like mass demonstrations, strikes of all kinds and economic shutdowns. Boycotts, mass stay-at-home campaigns, tax refusal and other means of nonviolent resistance are only effective if done by very large numbers—in which there is both safety and power.

      • Jim Jordan Admits on Fox News That He Spoke to Trump on January 6
      • Democrats Are Sticking to Trump’s Cuba Policies

        This week, House Democratic leadership killed an attempt to end aspects of former President Donald Trump’s punitive Cuba policies, which have led to severe food and medical shortages during the pandemic. As President Joe Biden doubles down on Trump’s approach, some progressives have been demanding an end to the US stranglehold on Cuba’s economy and trying to find ways to push for relief.

      • Republican Reaction to 1/6 Hearing Was an Explosion of Denial
      • Report from Maine: End the US Blockade Against Cuba Now!

        Justice-seeking peoples in the United States have joined in struggle to defend Cuban independence and/or Cuba’s revolution. This report from Maine takes note of two rainy day rallies on July 25, each of 25 or so people and each one held in protest of the U.S. blockade of Cuba. One was in Bangor, the other in Brunswick.

        These protesters and other Maine people know that the blockade is purposed to overthrow Cuba’s socialist government.  The author of a 1960 State Department memo – born in Houlton, Maine – made that perfectly clear.

      • America Isn’t ‘Back.’ Here’s Why.

        It was all so long ago, in a world seemingly without challengers. Do you even remember when we Americans lived on a planet with a recumbent Russia, a barely rising China, and no obvious foes except what later came to be known as an “axis of evil,” three countries then incapable of endangering this one? Oh, and, as it turned out, a rich young Saudi former ally, Osama bin Laden, and 19 hijackers, mostly of them also Saudis, from a tiny group called Al Qaeda that briefly possessed an “air force” of four commercial jets. No wonder this country was then touted as the greatest force, the superest superpower ever, sporting a military that left all others in the dust.

      • Drone Whistleblower Gets 45 Months in Prison for Revealing Ongoing US War Crimes
      • At ALEC’s Annual Meeting, MAGA Hat-Wearing Members Pursue “America First Agenda”
      • Opinion | ALEC Inspires Lawmakers to File Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills
    • Environment

      • Irish Broadcaster RTÉ Apologises for Poor Climate Coverage

        Ireland’s national broadcaster has publicly apologised for failing to link recent extreme weather events to climate change, pledging to set up a dedicated climate reporting unit in the run-up to COP26.

        In an unusual move, RTÉ’s Managing Director of News and Current Affairs Jon Williams tweeted that the broadcaster had been wrong not to make the connection clear, calling it a “sin of omission” and insisting that the “lesson” had been “learned”.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Opinion | Biden’s Climate Pledges Are Incompatible With His Belligerence Toward China

        The Biden administration came into office promising a return to both climate action and diplomacy after years of confrontation and denialism under Trump. But when it comes to China, unfortunately, the administration has endangered both diplomacy and climate action by presiding over a reflexive bipartisan belligerence.

      • Planet’s Vital Signs Are Reaching Dangerous ‘Tipping Points’ Amid Climate Crisis, Scientists Warn

        More than a year after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down economies around the world and sharply reduced worldwide travel—sparking speculation among some that emissions would plummet as a result—a coalition of scientists said in a paper published Wednesday that the planet is nonetheless reaching multiple “tipping points,” with levels of sea ice melt, deforestation, and other markers revealing that urgent action is needed to mitigate the climate emergency.

        “The extreme climate events and patterns that we’ve witnessed over the last several years — not to mention the last several weeks — highlight the heightened urgency with which we must address the climate crisis,” said Philip Duffy, co-author of the study and executive director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts.

      • Energy

        • Washington County’s New Rules Against Fossil Fuel Expansion Celebrated as ‘Blueprint’ for Nation

          In a move that comes as wildfires ravage the Western United States and could serve as a model for communities nationwide, the Whatcom County Council in Washington voted unanimously on Tuesday night to approve new policies aimed at halting local fossil fuel expansion.

          “Whatcom County’s policy is a blueprint that any community, including refinery communities, can use to take action to stop fossil fuel expansion.”—Matt Krogh, Stand.earth

        • Alabama Miners Take Strike to BlackRock’s NYC Headquarters

          Chanting “Warrior Met has no soul—no contract, no coal,” over 1,000 United Mine Workers of America members and their allies picketed outside multinational asset management firm BlackRock’s headquarters in New York City Wednesday to demand better pay and benefits.

          Miners and labor activists from states including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Dakota, and West Virginia joined the picket lines in a show of solidarity with UMWA workers at Alabama’s Brookwood Mine, operated by Warrior Met Coal, of which BlackRock is the largest shareholder. The Alabama miners have been on strike for over four months as they seek a new collective bargaining agreement with Warrior Met.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • When Will Biden Get Tough?

        Biden has been playing Mr. Nice Guy in deference to his friends on the other side of the aisle after 36 years in the Senate while those Republican “friends” stampede all over him, making the president look weak and ineffectual. But maybe he’s starting to come around.

        The president attacked Trump by name at a rally Friday for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, mocking Trump for saying there were “wonderful people” at the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, as quoted in the book “I Alone Can Fix It,” by two Washington Post reporters, according to the Post’s coverage of the event.

      • Former Oregon GOP Rep. Pleads Guilty to Letting Violent Mob Into State Capitol
      • Senator Kennedy Continues To Push My Buttons With His Ridiculously Dumb ‘Don’t Push My Buttons’ Act

        Last fall, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana (a supposedly smart Senator who seems to have decided his political future lies in acting dumber than 95% of all other Senators) introduced an anti-Section 230 bill. He’s now done so again in the new Congressional session. The bill is, once again, called the “Don’t Push My Buttons” Act and introducing such a piece of total garbage legislation a second time does not speak well of Senator Kennedy.

      • The GOP’s Continuing Descent into Opportunistic Treachery

        Now much is sliding backwards. It’s not Biden’s fault; it’s Trump’s ongoing legacy.

      • Workers Beg Joe Manchin to Save West Virginia Pharma Plant as His Daughter Walks Away with $31M

        More than 1,400 workers in West Virginia are set to lose their jobs this week when the Viatris pharmaceuticals plant in Morgantown shuts down and moves operations overseas to India and Australia. Workers say they’ve had no response to their urgent requests for help from their Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, who is often called the most powerful man in Washington. Viatris was formed through a merger between two pharmaceutical companies, Mylan and Upjohn. Mylan’s chief executive, Manchin’s daughter Heather Bresch, got a $31 million payout as a result of the corporate consolidation before the new company set about cutting costs, including the closure of the Morgantown plant. Joseph Gouzd, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 8-957 and a worker at the plant, says Viatris has given little reason for the closure except to say the company is looking to “maximize the best interests of the shareholders.” We also speak with investigative journalist Katherine Eban, who says moving pharmaceutical production overseas contradicts the recommendations of numerous reports that have found major safety lapses in drug manufacturing abroad, as well as concern from lawmakers about keeping a key industry within the United States. “This is pure insanity,” Eban says. “It seems like it is both pharmaceutical and national security suicide to close this plant.”

      • Opinion | Joe Biden’s Relapse Into Hallucinations About GOP Leaders

        For a while, President Biden seemed to be recovering from chronic fantasies about Republicans in Congress. But last week he had a relapse—harming prospects for key progressive legislation and reducing the already slim hopes that the GOP can be prevented from winning control of the House and Senate in midterm elections 15 months from now.

      • In Texas, Poor People’s Campaign Kicks Off 27-Mile ‘March for Democracy’

        In Texas, activists from the Poor People’s Campaign embarked on a four-day, 27-mile “March for Democracy” on Wednesday to demand that Senate Democrats counteract the GOP’s assault on voting rights and the GOP-led assault on low-wage workers by repealing the filibuster and enacting the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the For the People Act, a $15 federal minimum wage, and protections for undocumented immigrants.

        “Maybe it is a poetic irony that on the… first day of hearings on the violent insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, we are beginning a march for democracy,” Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said at a press conference Tuesday. “Ours is not an insurrection, but a moral resurrection.”

      • Republicans Throw Tantrums, Assault Staff After House Doctor Renews Mask Mandate
      • Pelosi Under Fire for Parroting ‘Right-Wing Lies’ Against Student Loan Debt Cancellation

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was met with swift backlash Wednesday after she claimed that President Joe Biden does not have the authority to cancel federal student loan debt on his own, a position that puts her at odds with legal experts and prominent members of her own party.

        “You couldn’t have a worse message than this one, both factually untrue and politically suicidal.”—The Debt Collective

      • Keir Starmer Turning Against Social Democracy a la Tony Blair

        First, he pledged to adhere to Labour’s 2019 election manifesto commitments. These include:

        These pledges have disappeared from Starmers’s purview.

      • Diagnosing the Morales Campaign Meltdown

        The complete meltdown of Dianne Morales’s New York City mayoral campaign was like a live-action parody of Tolstoy’s opening line from Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”1

      • In New York City, New Jails Threaten Dreams For True Community Spaces and Restorative Architecture

        In 2019, New York City made the historic pledge to shutter the 89-year-old Rikers Island jail complex by 2026. In the years since, budget restrictions and the pandemic have at once pushed back the proposed timeline and heightened the urgency to address conditions on the island. 

        Even as the timeline shifts, a highly controversial piece of the plan remains: the creation of four new borough-based jails, intended in-part to replace the city’s existing facilities in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. These new facilities, which have been billed as “safer, smaller, and fairer,” are presented by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration as a departure from Rikers’ notoriously dangerous conditions. 

      • ‘The police are knocking’: Investigative journalist Roman Dobrokhotov taken in for questioning following raid on his home

        Roman Dobrokhotov, the editor-in-chief of the investigative outlet The Insider, was reportedly planning to leave Russia on July 28. But at 7:30 in the morning, the police came knocking at his door. Law enforcement raided Dobrokhotov’s apartment, seizing not only his electronic devices but also his international passport. The Insider believes the raid is in connection with a libel case initiated on behalf of Max van der Werff — a Dutch blogger who The Insider has linked to the Russian GRU. Roman Dobrokhotov’s lawyer says the journalist is currently considered a witness in the case. The raid on Dobrokhotov’s home comes less than a week after the Russian Justice Ministry designated The Insider as a “foreign agent.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Disentangling Disinformation: Not as Easy as it Looks

        Disinformation about the vaccines is certainly contributing to their slow uptake in various parts of the U.S. as well as other countries. This disinformation is spreading through a variety of ways: Local communities, family WhatsApp groups, FOX television hosts, and yes, Facebook. The activists pushing for Facebook to remove these “superspreaders” are not wrong: while Facebook does currently ban some COVID-19 mis- and disinformation, urging the company to enforce its own rules more evenly is a tried-and-true tactic.

        But while disinformation “superspreaders” are easy to identify based on the sheer amount of information they disseminate, tackling disinformation at a systemic level is not an easy task, and some of the policy proposals we’re seeing have us concerned. Here’s why.

        In the United States, it was only a few decades ago that the medical community deemed homosexuality a mental illness. It took serious activism and societal debate for the medical community to come to an understanding that it was not. Had Facebook been around—and had we allowed it to be arbiter of truth—that debate might not have flourished.

      • Has the law finally caught up with autism bleach quack Kerri Rivera?

        With all the COVID-19 misinformation and quackery that I’ve been writing about over the last nearly year and a half, I realize that I don’t always cover the usual topics that I’ve covered for nearly 17 years to the degree that I am used to (and want to). As wild as the examples of COVID-19 misinformation, disinformation, and quackery that I’ve discussed, though, I’m hard pressed to think of an example of a COVID-19 quack as despicable as Kerri Rivera, who was featured several times on this blog (pre-pandemic) for her rather—shall we say?—novel idea that she can treat autism by feeding autistic children bleach. Even worse, her protocol involved bleach enemas, which frequently led to such irritation of the colon that sloughed intestinal lining could be seen in these children’s stools, leading their misguided parents to think that “parasites” were being eliminated. Unsurprisingly, when the pandemic first hit early last year, it took Rivera only a month or so before she was recommending bleach to treat COVID-19.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Cheered for Cleaning Up After Pai Awarded Contracts to Connect ‘Empty Parking Lots’

        The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday a round of funding for new broadband deployments and its intention to “clean up issues” stemming from former chairman Ajit Pai’s mismanagement of a program meant to bring connectivity to rural areas.

        At issue is the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Adopted in 2020, the “program can do great things, but it requires thoughtful oversight,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, whom President Joe Biden tapped to lead the agency, said (pdf) in a press statement.

      • ISPs Abuse FCC Covid Broadband Discount Program, Showing It’s A Band Aid On A Much Bigger Problem
      • EFF at 30: Freeing the Internet, with Net Neutrality Pioneer Gigi Sohn

        To celebrate 30 years of defending online freedom, EFF held a candid live discussion with net neutrality pioneer and EFF board member Gigi Sohn, who served as Counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and co-founder of leading advocacy organization Public Knowledge. Joining the chat were Senior Legislative Counsel at EFF Ernesto Falcon and Associate Director of Policy and Activism Katharine Trendacosta. You can watch the full conversation here.

        In my perfect world, everyone’s connected to a future proof, fast, affordable—and open—internet.

        On July 28, we’ll be holding our final EFF30 Fireside Chat—a “Founders Edition.” EFF’s Executive Director, Cindy Cohn will be joined by some of our founders and early board members, Esther Dyson, Mitch Kapor, and John Gilmore, to discuss everything from EFF’s origin story and its role in digital rights to where we are today.

    • Monopolies

Links 29/7/2021: Mesa 21.2 RC3, FSF Responds to Microsoft’s ‘Hey Hi’ Attack on Copyleft

Posted in News Roundup at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Desktop as a service: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow | ZDNet

        When I started using computers, my computer was an IBM 360 mainframe, and I worked with it using a 3270 terminal. I was very lucky. My alternative was to do all my work with 80-column IBM Hollerith-style punch cards. Then, CP/ M, Apple, and IBM PCs starting in the late 70s and early 80s, changed everything. Computing power moved from distant DEC PDP-11 and VAX mini-computers IBM Big Iron to your desktop. Forty years later, your IT work is moving more. This time, it’s moving from your PC to cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings such as Windows 365 and Chrome OS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Valve Doesn’t Care About Native Linux Gaming

        I’ve said it countless times but I really don’t care about Native Linux Gaming and Valve has been showing recently that they may not care either and that’s a good thing, I don’t think developers will start releasing Linux binaries anytime soon and translation layers like Proton work exceptionally well.

      • FLOSS Weekly 640: Open Source Past and Future – QR Code Tracking, Right to Repair

        Jonathan Bennett, Dan Lynch and Katherine Druckman join Doc Searls in a roundtable discussion of open source. QR codes are used as fishhooks for tracking. How can this be stopped? Then there’s the report of “death of open source” which is wrong (again), rights to make and repair, and much more. Great discussions on FLOSS Weekly.

      • BSDNow 413: BSD/Linux Chimera

        Updating GCC GNAT (Ada) in pkgsrc/NetBSD, AdvanceBSD thoughts 2/2, FreeBSD from a NetBSD user’s perspective, FPGA programming and DragonFly, Chimera Linux, EuroBSDcon 2021, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 916

        joels house, ihoumi, google outage, wordpress woes

    • Kernel Space

      • Descriptorless files for io_uring

        The lowly file descriptor is one of the fundamental objects in Linux systems. A file descriptor, which is a simple integer value, can refer to an open file — or to a network connection, a running process, a loaded BPF program, or a namespace. Over the years, the use of file descriptors to refer to transient objects has grown to the point that it can be difficult to justify an API that uses anything else. Interestingly, though, the io_uring subsystem looks as if it is moving toward its own number space separate from file descriptors.

        Io_uring was created to solve the asynchronous I/O problem; this is a functionality that Linux has never supported as well as users would have liked. User space can queue operations in a memory segment that is shared directly with the kernel, allowing those operations to be initiated, in many cases, without the need for an expensive system call. Similarly, another shared-memory segment contains the results of those operations once they complete. Initially, io_uring focused on simple operations (reading and writing, for example), but it has quickly gained support for many other system calls. It is evolving into the general asynchronous-operation API that Linux systems have always lacked.

      • NUMA policy and memory types

        Non-uniform memory access (NUMA) systems have an architecture that attaches memory to “nodes” within the system. CPUs, too, belong to nodes; memory that is attached to the same node as a CPU will be faster to access (from that CPU) than memory on other nodes. This aspect of performance has important implications for programs running on NUMA systems, and the kernel offers a number of ways for user space to optimize their behavior. The NUMA abstraction is now being extended, though, and that is driving a need for new ways of influencing memory allocation; the multi-preference memory policy patch set is an attempt to meet that need.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Iris Gallium3D OpenGL Driver Now Supports Threaded Shader Compilation – Phoronix

          Intel’s open-source “Iris” Gallium3D driver for providing modern OpenGL driver support on their graphics hardware from Broadwell through all current Gen12 / Xe Graphics era hardware has been in great shape for some time and works wonderfully. But Intel’s not done furthering this Linux OpenGL driver and today they now have threaded shader compilation merged.

        • mesa 21.2.0-rc3
          Hi all,
          
          Now available is Mesa 21.2.0-rc3.  We've got a little bit of everything
          here, but not too much of anything. Things seem to be settling down a
          little bit already, and I like that.
          
          Cheers,
          Dylan
          
        • Mesa 21.2-rc3 Offered For Testing, Mesa 21.1.6 Reaches Stable – Phoronix

          The Mesa release train continues at full speed ahead for these open-source Linux graphics driver components.

          Mesa 21.1.6 is out as the newest stable Mesa release. This bi-weekly point release brings with it a wide assortment of fixes including for its Meson build system, EGL code, Vulkan fixes, and a sprinkling of different driver fixes. Nothing particularly exciting with Mesa 21.1.6 unless you were affected by one of the many issues now resolved by this update.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Netcat – All you need to know

        Netcat is a really great tool for network related activities, I find it really useful during CTFs and sometimes use it during pentests. There’s several other options that we haven’t looked into feel free to explore them, but I think we’ve covered should be enough for most of your use cases.

        I haven’t explained the specific command line options -like -v -n because the help menu clearly explains them.

      • The tiny irritation of ZFS’s ‘zpool status’ nagging you about upgrades

        One of the tiny irritations of operating ZFS for a long time is that eventually, running ‘zpool status’ on your pools would produce a multi-line nag about upgrading them to the latest version of ZFS. I assume that this was added to ‘zpool status’ output so that you wouldn’t be unaware of it, but the size of the message was far too large for its actual importance. Back in the old days of Solaris 10, ‘zpool status -x’ even included pools that could be upgraded (this was one of our Solaris 10 update 6 gotchas), but fortunately people have gotten more sensible since then. Now it’s only a multi-line message.

      • How to upgrade to Pop_OS 21.04

        Pop_OS 21.04 is finally out! With this new release comes excellent new features such as “COSMIC” that allows users to customize their Pop desktop, new trackpad gestures for laptops, and more. In this guide, we’ll show you how to upgrade your system to the new Pop_OS release.

      • How to edit the Hosts file on Linux

        The Hosts file on Linux is responsible for mapping hostnames and IP addresses. It’s a plain text file named “Hosts.” If you’ve ever run servers on Linux, you’ll no doubt find yourself editing this file a lot.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to access the Hosts file on Linux and how to back it up too. To start, ensure you have access to the root account. The Hosts file is a system-level file and cannot be accessed by a regular user.

      • How To Import and Export MySQL Databases in Linux

        Importing and exporting MySQL or MariaDB databases is a regular task in system administration. You can use data dumps to back up and restore your databases or migrate them to a new server.

      • Use df to check free disk space on Linux | Opensource.com

        Drive space isn’t quite as precious as it was in the early days of computing, but no matter how much space you have, there’s always the potential to run out. Computers need a little space just to operate, so it’s important to check occasionally to ensure you haven’t inadvertently used up literally all the space available on your drive. In the Linux terminal, you can do that with the df command.

        The df command displays the amount of disk space available on the file system.

      • How To Install CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CTparental is one of the best tools for filtering access to web content. It made from several components like dnsmasq, iptables, and inguardian privoxy that make CTparental a fully-fledged parental control solution. CTparental software has an elementary and easy-to-use web interface which is actuated by the Lighttpd web server. It supports several web browsers including Firefox, Midori, Chromium, and more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to install OpenTTD on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install OpenTTD on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • Debian on TrueNAS Core under bhyve

        I got myself a TrueNAS Mini X+ couple of months ago. I have it running TrueNAS Core based on FreeBSD. In that system you can run VMs under FreeBSD’s native hypervisor, bhyve. Since there are a couple of quirks around running Debian specifically, I decided to write up a quick article about setting up Debian-based VM there.

      • How to Install Apache CouchDB 3.1 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Apache CouchDB is a NoSQL open-source document-oriented database system written in Erlang, JavaScript, C, and C++. It uses JSON to store data. Documents can be accessed with your web browser. It is primary used for running queries and creating reports from documents files.

        CouchDB comes with features such as on-the-fly document transformation, real-time change notifications, high availability, distributed scaling, partition tolerance, and more. It comes with a web administration interface.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install CouchDB on Ubuntu 20.04 using the convenience binary packages.

      • How to install Miku Miku Dance on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Miku Miku Dance on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        Please take note that it only works in separate windows mode, and it is a bit glitchy (in separate windows mode) but works.

    • Distributions

      • The 6 Best Linux Distros for Power Users in 2021

        A conventional operating system makes users use identical yet redundant versions. Linux has a little bit of something for different users, which are commonly known as Linux distributions. There are hundreds of Linux distributions catering to different uses like gaming, education, software development, etc.

        While most Linux distributions are similar to each other, a few distributions come with a unique user interface and distinct functionalities. These distributions provide more features than their Debian or Arch-based rivals, but only a power user should use them because of the steep learning curve that accompanies them.

        Let’s deviate from the usual run-of-the-mill distros and explore the lesser-known operating systems which deserve a mention.

      • 10 Most Secure Linux Distros for Security, Anonymity, Privacy 2021

        Want to stay anonymous? Want to add more privacy and security to your life? Then start by having a look at the Top 10 Most Secure Linux Distros for Security and Privacy 2021. You know, as the saying goes, “A private life is a happy life.” These Secure Linux Distros are great for Servers, Banking, Staying Anonymous, Security, Privacy, and Anonymity. We will also share a download link for the ISO file or installation setup.

        If you are a Linux user and are looking for the most secure Linux Distro, then you have dropped at the right place. The Linux distro is used to provide you with all the privacy for your Operating system. Before we begin, let us see why Linux Distro is too important to avoid? As we all know that the core software that allows you to communicate with the hardware and software of your computer system is the Operating System.

        If you are using a computer system that is not secure, then it becomes straightforward for the hackers out there to exploit the OS, see your files, the location from where they are being sent. For all this, Linux now brings for you the best and most secured Linux distros that will help you protect your system in the best possible way.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 Released: Here’s What’s New

          Linux Lite 5.6’s first release candidate is now available to download. For those who don’t know, as the name suggests, Linux Lite is an Ubuntu-based distribution that falls under the category of lightweight Linux distros. The final release, however, is scheduled for September 1.

          In this article, let’s look at what are the new additions, changes, and improvements in the release, and in the end, we’ll have a download link for the same.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 5 reasons you should run your apps on WildFly

          WildFly, formerly known as JBoss Application Server, is an open source Java EE application server. Its primary goal is to provide a set of vital tools for enterprise Java applications.

          According to the Jakarta EE 2020/2021 survey, WildFly is head and shoulders above in the recent application servers and in the rating categories. Here are some of the reasons why:

        • Systemd/Microsoft Effort For A Global Counter On Block/Disk Changes Coming To Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

          Last month I wrote about a possible global counter for block/disk changes on Linux being discussed by Microsoft and systemd developers to better track changes via a system-wide monotonically increasing number as an alternative to the existing per-disk tracking. That functionality is now queued up as part of the block subsystem changes ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window in a few weeks.

          This global counter for block device changes is sought after to better correlate events for devices that may end up re-using the same device, commonly for cases like /dev/sda or /dev/loop0 when a device is detached and then later reattached but not necessarily the same device. User-space software like systemd could thus benefit from such a system-wide numbering scheme to better handle events to avoid issues around device re-use confusion or events arriving to user-space out-of-order.

        • IT leadership: 5 ways for CIOs to embrace a coaching role | The Enterprisers Project

          At BNY Mellon, we have a deep commitment to our clients. The pandemic brought massive changes to the way we work. We also saw change in our clients’ needs for data and insights as well as an associated desire for an increased spectrum of new products and services.

          Our organization responded quickly to those needs during a time of immense external challenges. We are focused on delivering the right digital and technological infrastructure and solutions. This spotlight on the speed and strategy of our digital transformation required me to double down on my role as a coach and a multiplier to create an environment that facilitates our engineering-first (not engineering-only) culture to empower innovation across our organization.

        • 3 reasons CEOs need HR and IT to work closer now

          The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and manage employees. Technology has become a lifeline as more of the workforce has gone remote. This abrupt shift to remote work has also accelerated the need for interdepartmental collaboration between HR and IT. We have seen that for an employee to flourish in a remote workforce, technology is a critical enabler.

          In 2021, CIOs are also tasked with improving the worker condition.

          Technology undeniably impacts the success of an organization and this has never been more evident than in the past year. In order to unpack the shifting priorities of the IT department in supporting a distributed workforce, WalkMe commissioned a survey by Constellation Research of 100 Fortune 500 CIOs,‘The CIO Outlook for 2021: Delivering Business ROI at Scale’. The survey found that in 2021, as well as prioritizing overall digital change and keeping the organization safe, CIOs are also tasked with improving the worker condition.

          This means that employee well-being is now a core component of IT’s forward strategy, allowing IT leaders to utilize newfound “political capital” to take a more strategic seat at the executive table. This is also good news for HR leaders. Working closely with their counterparts in the CIO’s office to deliver change management initiatives at scale will boost their likelihood of delivering successful HR tech deployments and continue to safeguard the well-being of the workforce.

        • CORS headers with gRPC-Gateway

          A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on managing CORS headers with Negroni. Lately, I’ve created a new API server that needed to be accessible from the browser, but this time I used a different technology, more precisely gRPC-Gateway.

          Few months after I wrote that blog post, I stopped writing new REST services by hand. I did not rewrite all the services that used the old paradigm just because they needed a fix or a new feature, but for all new services, I moved to gRPC with gRPC-Gateway.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi makes your retro analogue camera digital
      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Recycle Your Unwanted Raspberry Pi and Get Money off at okdo

          The offer only applies to 3b, 3b+ and 4 boards in working order, and your £10 ($14) voucher has to be used within 30 days with a minimum spend of £15 ($21). Boards are returned to the Sony Technology Centre, the same location as where they are made for refurbishment. The refurbished boards will be given a second life in new projects, but at this time we do not know how this will be realised. okdo takes great pains to remind you to remove any memory cards from the device before you send it in.

        • OKdo program will recycle your old Pi and give you £10 voucher

          OKdo, Sony, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have launched an “OKdo Renew” recycling program that will exchange your old RPi 3 and 4 boards and give you a £10 OKdo voucher. Meanwhile, RPi’s Eben Upton says the next Pi will likely be a RPi 4A due in 2022.

          The tech industry likes to talk a lot about the growing problem of electronic waste, but progress in establishing recycling programs has been slow. Globally, electronic waste reached a record high of 53.6 million metric tons in 2019 and only 17.4 percent of e-waste was recycled, according to Statista.

        • LUNA multitool for USB hacking, building and analyzing

          Developers looking for a versatile multitool for building, analyzing and hacking USB devices may be interested in LUNA. An all-in-one tool specifically designed for building, testing, monitoring, and experimenting with USB devices. LUNA is constructed around the FPGA-based architecture, and its digital hardware can be fully customized to suit the application at hand. LUNA is a fully reconfigurable test instrument that provides all the hardware, gateware, firmware, and software you will need to work with allowing you to master USB technology and comes with a full-featured, open-source USB protocol analyzer.

        • Fire foam balls from this Arduino-based wireless Nerf sentry turret | Arduino Blog

          Named the grand prize winner of Instructables’ Arduino Contest, a maker known as otjones99 has created an interesting take on the classic Nerf sentry turret design by building one that uses an FPV headset to see and fire at targets. The turret consists of a turntable for moving the assembly side-to-side, along with a simple servo mechanism for tilting the end up and down. Small foam balls are ejected from the turret by a pair of counter-rotating wheels that were taken from a couple of blower style fans.

          In order to control the rotating base and the loading/tilting mechanisms, a single Arduino Uno was positioned at the bottom and connected to the two servos and the ESCs for the spinning wheels. Commands for actuating the sentry are received by the onboard nRF24L01 wireless module that sends them to the Uno over the SPI bus.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Upcoming events about RISC-V, RT-Thread IoT OS, and Embedded Linux

          Three events about open/open-source technologies have been recently announced with namely the RT-Thread IoT OS Tech Conference, the jointly organized Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference 2021, and the 2021 RISC-V Summit. Let’s have a quick look at what each will have to offer with the list in chronological order.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Brave vs. Firefox: Your Ultimate Browser Choice for Private Web Experience

            Web browsers have evolved over the years. From downloading files to accessing a full-fledged web application, we have come a long way.

            For a lot of users, the web browser is the only thing they need to get their work done these days.

            Hence, choosing the right browser becomes an important task that could help improve your workflow over the years.

      • FSF

        • GitHub is my copilot [Ed: Microsoft is attacking the GPL using the guise or excuse of "HEY HI" (plagiarism, copy-paste)]

          Your editor has worked in the computing field for rather longer than he cares to admit; for all of that time it has been said that a day will come when all that tedious programming work will no longer be necessary. Instead, we’ll just say what we want and the computer will figure it out. Arguably, the announcement of GitHub Copilot takes us another step in that direction. On the way, though, it raises some interesting questions about copyright and free-software licensing.

          Copilot is a machine-learning system that generates code. Given the beginning of a function or data-structure definition, it attempts to fill in the rest; it can also work from a comment describing the desired functionality. If one believes the testimonials on the Copilot site, it can do a miraculous job of figuring out the developer’s intent and providing the needed code. It promises to take some of the grunge work out of development and increase developer productivity. Of course, it can happily generate security vulnerabilities; it also uploads the code you’re working on and remembers if you took its suggestions, but that’s the world we’ve built for ourselves.

          Machine-learning systems, of course, must be trained on large amounts of data. Happily for GitHub, it just happens to be sitting on a massive pile of code, most of which is under free-software licenses. So the company duly used the code in the publicly available repositories it hosts to train this model; evidently private repositories were not used for this purpose. For now, the result is available as a restricted beta offering; the company plans to turn it into a commercial product going forward.

        • FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot

          We already know that Copilot as it stands is unacceptable and unjust, from our perspective. It requires running software that is not free/libre (Visual Studio, or parts of Visual Studio Code), and Copilot is Service as a Software Substitute. These are settled questions as far as we are concerned.

        • FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant — Free Software Foundation

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

          Reporting to the executive director, this position works on the operations team to ensure all administrative, office, and retail functions of the FSF run smoothly and efficiently, preserving our 4-star Charity Navigator rating and boosting all areas of our work.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • 20 Popular Free Software with GNU GPL License

            This list collects popular computer applications which are free software (also known as libre software) licensed under GNU GPL license. You will find here Blender 3D, VLC, WordPress, GNU OS itself and The Penguin Kernel, among others, including how to install the apps on Ubuntu. Let’s share!

            The first and only free operating system developed to win user’s freedom in their computing. Its mascot is an African animal wildebeest (a gnu). GNU is often found in a combination with the kernel, Linux, as a unity called GNU/Linux. GNU OS is consisted of multiple components with various licenses and most of them are licensed under GNU GPL. The origin of GPL license is of course GNU just like the name suggest.

      • Programming/Development

        • Nearly a quarter-century later, why is C++ still so popular? [Ed: Can we quit promoting the mythology that newer is necessarily better? Some of us want to write code which we know will still be usable 40 years down the line.]

          Despite C++’s downward trend on the TIOBE Programming Community index since 2001, the language’s fall from the coveted top two slots in 2020, vociferous and persistent claims that C++ is “dead like COBOL,” and the inroads the Rust is making in developer circles – C++ is still as viable, vital and relevant as ever.

          There’s no arguing with the language’s ongoing popularity. The numbers are clear in the June 2021 TIOBE index – C++ is the fourth most popular programming language on the planet, grabbing almost 7.5% on the index, and nipping at the heels of C, Java and Python. While it’s true that this is a drop from the language’s TIOBE peak of nearly 18% in 2003, C++’s popularity remains undeniable.

        • Rust

          • Tor gets financial support for Arti development

            There is a lot of buzz around the Rust programming language these days—which strikes some folks as irritating, ridiculous, or both. But the idea of a low-level language that can replace C, with fewer built-in security pitfalls, is attractive for any number of projects. Recently, the Tor Project announced the Arti project as a complete Rust rewrite of Tor’s core protocols, which provide internet privacy and anonymity. In addition, Tor announced that Arti received a grant to support its development over the next year or so.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 401
  • Leftovers

    • Check the Fine Print for That Remote Job

      An obscure Colorado labor law that passed in 2019 and went into effect earlier this year requires that all companies in the state include salary details in job postings. The idea is that when would-be employees, especially women and people of color, know how much an employer can offer, they won’t lowball themselves when negotiating their salary. Sounds straightforward enough, but a chunk of companies are doing everything they possibly can to avoid the mandate. When Batilo got wind of what was going on, in late May, he did what any remote-work-loving tech nerd would do: He made a crowdsourced website with all the jobs shutting out Coloradans. Head over to coloradoexcluded.com and you’ll find more than 400 job listings with these Colorado carve-outs—from mega-companies such as Nike, Cigna, and Oracle; nonprofits such as PETA; and … whatever exactly Marsh McLennan is. The site isn’t exhaustive. I went on the job board Indeed and searched for all listings that included the phrase except Colorado. I got 700 hits.

    • The Behavioral Economics Manifesto Gets Revised

      This version of the book is chock-full of new ideas. My favorite is probably the concept of “sludge.” One way to nudge people to do something is to make it easy to do. Sludge is like its sinister opposite: when institutions try to prevent people from doing something by making it hard to do. Think limiting the number of polling stations and causing big lines as a way to discourage voting. Sure, you can still vote, but good luck actually doing it.

      Thaler was inspired to develop the idea of sludge when his memoir, Misbehaving, was released a few years ago. His editor told him that the first review was published in a London newspaper, and Thaler wanted to read it. But the article was behind a paywall. To get past the paywall, there was a promotion. It cost 1 British pound to sign up for a one-month trial subscription. Then he started digging deeper and learned that to cancel his subscription, he’d have to give two weeks’ notice. And to do that, he’d have to actually call the newspaper’s headquarters — during London business hours! This is a company using sludge to make it harder for people to cancel their subscriptions.

    • Shamook: Star Wars effects company ILM hires Mandalorian deepfaker

      A YouTube artist so impressed the company behind the Star Wars franchise with their “deepfake” alterations of their work that they gave them a job.

    • Science

      • France issues moratorium on prion research after fatal brain disease strikes two lab workers

        Five public research institutions in France have imposed a 3-month moratorium on the study of prions—a class of misfolding, infectious proteins that cause fatal brain diseases—after a retired lab worker who handled prions in the past was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the most common prion disease in humans. An investigation is underway to find out whether the patient, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job.

    • Education

      • Listening to Literature—What We Gain and Lose with Audiobooks

        I couldn’t get past the fact that I was unable to finish the paper version of Ulysses, but I listened to the abridged audio version repeatedly to the point of memorization. I remember one of my first ever creative writing classes. After leaving my band and the livelihood it provided, my wife and I moved to San Francisco, and I signed up for a writing workshop at UC Berkeley Extension taught by Lewis Buzbee. Lewis was a bookish man in his 40s, and he impressed me with his clear love of reading and writing, as well as his dedication to literary champions such as Chekhov, Woolf, and Flaubert.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Facebook’s Oculus Gave Thousands Of Customers Face Rashes And Hives

        Facebook, which owns the VR company, announced on Tuesday that it was recalling “about 4 million” headsets after thousands of customers — 45 of whom needed medical attention — reported various forms of irritation on their face including hives, rashes, and burning sensations while they were otherwise immersed in virtual reality.

      • Map: Covid cases are rising in the states with low vaccination rates

        Nationwide, the four-week Covid case count has more than doubled as of Monday from the previous four weeks, according to NBC News’ tally. While cases are rising everywhere because of higher transmission levels of the delta variant, the steepest increases have been in the South and Southeast, where Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina are dealing with the biggest outbreaks in the nation.

        All five of those states have rates of full vaccinations below the United States’ 49.2 percent, and two of them — Mississippi and Louisiana — are in the bottom five of the entire country.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Batesville School District blocks ransomware attack

          To avoid a similar attack in the future, Renihan said the district is discussing installing new firewalls to protect their system.

        • Judson ISD’s ransomware nightmare won’t be cheap [iophk: Windows TCO]

          So the district paid money to the [crackers], but accelerating previously planned upgrades actually recovered the e-mail and phones? Can someone explain what the money was for?

          The answer is no. In fact, the district won’t disclose the amount of ransom or whether the district’s insurance policy covers cyber attacks.

        • Since it’s the only way to differentiate in a Chromium-dominated market, Vivaldi 4.1 introduces ‘Accordion’ tabs

          Browser maker Vivaldi has introduced Accordion Tabs in version 4.1 – yet another way to deal with tab overload.

          The functionality joins Compact and Two-Level in the array of Tab Stack styles available to users needing help with their tab habit.

          The Accordion style is all about preserving vertical screen space since it allows a Tab Stack (a group of tabs) to be collapsed or expanded with a click. Two-Level stacking, which fires up a secondary row of tabs, is neat but also swallows up a bit of precious screen space.

          Thankfully, the asthmatic wheezing of the musical instrument is not heard as Vivaldi’s user interface does its stuff. And far be it for us to draw a link between the occasionally annoying drone of an accordion and the irritation of too many tabs in a browser.

        • Microsoft: You Can’t Get Around Windows 11 Requirements

          And to be fair to Microsoft, TPM 2.0 also isn’t exactly new. The company began requiring it on OEM laptops and desktops starting in 2016. It makes sense, then, that the big M would want to start utilizing the fruits of that decision. But given that many current standalone motherboards and chips don’t include it, requiring it is a move that favors pre-builts and risks leaving PC builders in the dust.

        • Security

          • [JumpCloud] Recent Linux Releases: Desktop MFA & Security Commands

            Operating system diversity is a defining characteristic of today’s IT environments. Windows may have dominated historically, but enterprise Mac management has evolved in a meaningful way and Linux distributions have become a critical part of IT infrastructure. Cross-OS device management is here to stay, and presents a unique challenge for IT admins.

            Linux in particular can be a complex beast to manage because unlike MacOS and Windows, it is not a proprietary OS and can be found across multiple distros. There are many benefits to this openness however, including cost, interoperability, and flexibility. These factors, and more, have led to a strong Linux following among its community of users.

            With an increasing number of employee workstations running a wide variety of Linux distros, administrators need a way to increase visibility into their fleets, and improve the management of not only Linux systems, but Mac and Windows as well. IT admins can use the JumpCloud Directory Platform to comprehensively accomplish these tasks, thanks to the recent Linux releases detailed in this article.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Making Client Certificates Available By Default in Firefox 90

            Starting with version 90, Firefox will automatically find and offer to use client authentication certificates provided by the operating system on macOS and Windows. This security and usability improvement has been available in Firefox since version 75, but previously end users had to manually enable it.

            When a web browser negotiates a secure connection with a website, the web server sends a certificate to the browser to prove its identity. Some websites (most commonly corporate authentication systems) request that the browser sends a certificate back to it as well, so that the website visitor can prove their identity to the website (similar to logging in with a username and password). This is sometimes called “mutual authentication”.

          • The Sequoia seq_file vulnerability

            A local root hole in the Linux kernel, called Sequoia, was disclosed by Qualys on July 20. A full system compromise is possible until the kernel is patched (or mitigations that may not be fully effective are applied). At its core, the vulnerability relies on a path through the kernel where 64-bit size_t values are “converted” to signed integers, which effectively results in an overflow. The flaw was reported to Red Hat on June 9, along with a local systemd denial-of-service vulnerability, leading to a kernel crash, found at the same time. Systems with untrusted local users need updates for both problems applied as soon as they are available—out of an abundance of caution, other systems likely should be updated as well.

            Down in the guts of the kernel’s seq_file interface, which is used for handling virtual files in /proc and the like, buffers are needed to store each line of the file’s “contents”. To start, a page of memory is allocated for the buffer, but if that is not sufficient, a new buffer that is twice the size of the old one is allocated. This is all done using a size_t, which is an unsigned 64-bit quantity (on x86_64) that is large enough to hold the results, so “the system would run out of memory long before this multiplication overflows”.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • WhatsApp and the right to encrypt

              But his broader message for law enforcement is that encryption protects the internet. Just like in physical spaces, there should be a limit to how much law enforcement can do in cyberspace to solve crimes. For example, in an age of increasingly smart homes, police shouldn’t be able to get into your living room whenever they want; a warrant should be required, like it is in the physical world. Breaking encryption might help solve some crimes, but it will make us less safe overall.

            • De-anonymization Story

              Location data is not anonymous. It cannot be made anonymous. I hope stories like these will teach people that.

            • BREAKING: Austrian OGH asks CJEU if Facebook “undermines” GDPR since 2018

              In a long-standing civil case between Max Schrems and Facebook, the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, or “OGH”) has accepted Mr Schrems’ request to refer a number of questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, the highest Court in the EU). The four questions raise fundamental doubts over the legality of Facebook’s data use of all EU customers.

              In parallel, the Austrian Supreme Court also decided in a partial judgment that Mr Schrems will receive € 500 in symbolic emotional damages because Facebook did not give full access to Mr Schrems’ data, but instead staged an “egg hunt” for user data.

            • 2,5 years and still no decision on streaming complaints

              In January 2019 we filed complaints against eight streaming services for not responding properly to simple access requests. As one of the most basic rights under the GDPR, the right to access allows users to find out what data a company has on them and how it is being used.

              Exactly two and a half years after we first filed the complaints, the lack of GDPR compliance remains apparent: merely one of the eight complaints has been resolved. In the case that was resolved, noyb took the responsible authority to court. The remaining seven cases have still not been decided and one of them was literally lost by an authority.

            • Pornhub and XHamster set to be banned as country brings in strict child protection laws

              The age verifications that the KJM has been attempting to establish involve the uploading of a user’s identity documents proving they’re aged above 18, but the sites’ failure to implement this system has led to the recent and severe crackdown.

            • Pornhub and xHamster are being banned in Germany

              Basically, this would mean issuing a blocking order to Germany’s (and Europe’s) major web and tele providers; Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, O2 and 1&1, requesting that they block the accused websites for people trying to access it in Germany.

              From this, these German web and tele companies could potentially challenge such orders by approaching the country’s legal system, resulting in the age verification legal battle extending for years.

            • [Old] Germany is about to block one of the world’s biggest porn sites

              The regulators have been trying to force pornographic websites to introduce age verification checks – which can involve the uploading of identity documents – since September 2019. Much of this has been pushed by one state regulator, Tobias Schmid of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia, who has been criticised for his views on sex, but the matter is now also being handled by the KJM.

            • Pornhub and XHamster set to be BLOCKED in sex-mad Germany under new child protection laws

              German web companies could challenge blocking orders through the country’s legal systems, meaning the battle over age verification could be dragged out for years to come. It wasn’t the first time the internet providers were asked, and refused to block the sites voluntarily.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Revisiting “The Year of the Spy”

        I started covering Chinese espionage back in 1985 in what was dubbed “the year of the spy.” Over a remarkable period of months, U.S. authorities arrested a former National Security Agency employee, two members of the U.S. Navy, a civilian Navy analyst and a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

        Larry Wu-Tai Chin, the retired CIA analyst, was by far the most intriguing member of this rogues’ gallery. He labored in an obscure corner of the agency, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, whose main job was to translate “open source” stories from foreign press outlets for use by the public and others in the government. CIA officials decided to give translators like Chin access to the agency’s much larger cache of classified reports obtained through espionage so they could understand the government-controlled press in full context.

      • Democrats Must Control the Crime Narrative Before It Controls Them

        There’s no denying it: Homicides and gun violence are spiking across America. FBI data estimates a 25 percent increase in homicides from 2019 to 2020, with preliminary 2021 data showing further increases. And there are some increasingly audible whispers among some liberal strategists that this could cost Democrats elections in 2022 and beyond.

      • These companies still donate to Jan. 6 seditionists in Congress

        Well, ha. It didn’t take long for major businesses to forget about the rule of law and get back to the business of paying for access to legislators. Today’s hearing, the first of several designed to probe the events of that day and dispel lies about what happened, is a good opportunity to highlight some of the recidivist firms who have no problem backing politicians willing to strip away Americans’ right to vote.

        Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) keeps track of which businesses are donating to members of the “sedition caucus,” the 147 senators and members of congress who voted to reject voters in Arizona and Georgia. No evidence was brought then or now to suggest the results of the votes in those states were compromised.

      • China’s Panchen Lama Ignored by Tibetans Told to Show Devotion

        “The only people who came to see him were those whose attendance had been specifically arranged by the Chinese,” the source said.

      • Chinese President’s Visit to Tibet Sends a Message to India, Experts Say

        “I think that is very significant, because what has really happened with the construction of these rail lines is that the distance to Lhasa from [Sichuan’s capital] Chengdu, which is the headquarters of the local military region, has decreased to just 13 hours,” Katoch said.

        “This gives China the ability to move large numbers of troops in a very short time into the Tibet region in the event of hostilities,” he said.

      • Drone war whistleblower Daniel Hale sentenced to 45 months in prison

        Hale’s exposures also contained an analysis of the drone warfare program that showed—far from Obama’s claim of the surgical precision of the unmanned aerial vehicle attacks—nearly 90 percent of the people killed in the missile strikes were not the intended targets. Hale also revealed the criteria which the Obama White House used for placing an individual on the terrorism watch list and then authorizing them to be assassinated by military personnel from remote-controlled operations thousands of miles away.

      • Former Air Force analyst who leaked drone info sentenced to 45 months

        Daniel Hale, 33, told a federal judge he felt compelled to leak information to a journalist out of guilt over his own participation in a program that he believed was indiscriminately killing civilians in Afghanistan far from the battlefield.

      • Iran’s Lame Cyber Aspirations Revealed

        This reports are clearly first stage fact-finding and brainstorming, the very earliest stage of capability development. They reveal only initial cursory preliminary analysis of potential vulnerabilities to exploit for cyber effects operations. Comprehensive actual hands-on testing of the target devices is necessary for real vulnerability research reports.

        There are a number of things that stand out in this report that make me think this is not a particularly impressive cyber team. The main issue is that the research appears to be open source document analysis, without either domain expert interviews or hardware analysis.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Slovak public TV fired journalist for criticising fake story about Covid vaccine

        This is not the first time that RTVS employees have suffered reprisals for disagreeing with the management. In 2018, at a time of political tension following journalist Ján Kuciak’s murder, several reporters were sanctioned after signing an open letter denouncing threats to editorial independence. The letter’s target was the director-general, Jaroslav Rezník, who is still in charge. A total of approximately 30 journalists have been forced to leave RTVS since then.

    • Environment

      • Here’s What Climate Change Will Mean for Bats
      • Climate tipping points are now imminent, scientists warn

        Thousands of scientists reiterated calls for immediate action over the climate crisis in an article published Wednesday in the journal BioScience.

        “The extreme climate events and patterns that we’ve witnessed over the last several years — not to mention the last several weeks — highlight the heightened urgency with which we must address the climate crisis,” said Philip Duffy, co-author of the study and executive director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in the US state of Massachusetts.

      • The Only Way to Stop Global Warming

        One way exists to stop global warming, but the mutual feedback cycles that are now accelerating global warming might already have achieved enough speed of increasing temperature so as to prevent even that one way from working, and therefore the planet might already be doomed. Since the only way to stop global warming hasn’t yet even been proposed (much less tried), I shall now publicly propose it here, in accord with the adage “Better late than never.”

        The way to stop global warming (if it still can be stopped) is to ban purchases of stocks and of bonds — i.e., of all forms of investment securities (corporate shares and even loans being made to the corporation) — of enterprises that extract from the ground (land or else underwater) fossil fuels: coal, oil, and/or gas.

      • Energy

        • Toyota Led on Clean Cars. Now Critics Say It Works to Delay Them.

          Together with other automakers, Toyota also sided with the Trump administration in a battle with California over the Clean Air Act and sued Mexico over fuel efficiency rules. In Japan, Toyota officials argued against carbon taxes.

          “Toyota has gone from a leading position to an industry laggard” in clean-car policy even as other automakers push ahead with ambitious electric vehicle plans, said Danny Magill, an analyst at InfluenceMap, a London-based think tank that tracks corporate climate lobbying. InfluenceMap gives Toyota a “D-” grade, the worst among automakers, saying it exerts policy influence to undermine public climate goals.

        • Mexico’s methane leak rate twice as high as that of US, study finds

          A group of researchers found that Mexico’s methane leak rate is more than double that of the United States, the world’s largest oil producer. A report on their findings is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

          Daniel Zavala, a senior scientist at the United States-based non-profit Environmental Defense Fund who specializes in methane emissions from oil and gas operations, told the news agency Reuters that satellite data shows that approximately 4.7% of methane produced in Mexico as a byproduct of oil and gas production leaks into the atmosphere. The rate is considered very high by global standards.

      • Overpopulation

        • Water disputes will compound instability in the Middle East

          The Middle East is one of the driest regions in the world. The scarcity of water has often been touted as a source of national and interstate disputes in the area. Some scholars have predicted for some time the possibility of deadly national altercations and regional clashes over the distribution of water resources in parts of the region. Although no full-blown war has erupted so far, two current episodes illustrate this point: public protests in the Iranian province of Khuzestan and the growing discord between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over water dispensation from the Nile River. With climate change causing more droughts, the potential for conflict over water cannot be underestimated.

        • Thieves in California are stealing scarce water amid extreme drought, ‘devastating’ some communities

          More than 12 billion gallons of water are estimated to have been stolen across the state since 2013, impacting legitimate farming operations, drinking water sources, Native American tribes and small communities, Nores said.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The bank account of the African Regional Internet Registry, AFRINIC, has been frozen

        In an email addressed to its members, the Chair of the AFRINIC Board of Directors, Subramanian Moonesamy, informed that AFRINIC was notified by one of its banks that its accounts have been temporarily frozen due to legal action by one of its resource members, Cloud Innovation Ltd.

        The past few weeks have been rough between Cloud Innovation Ltd and AFRINIC, each accusing the other of malpractice, misunderstanding terms of agreement and breach of the Registration Service Agreement (RSA).

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • News consumption in the UK

        Young people turn away from TV news to keep up to date online.

      • Young people shun TV news bulletins for online sources

        Nine in 10 young people get their news online, according to a report, as the under-25s turn away from scheduled television bulletins.

        Only 61 per cent of people aged 16-24 get their news from TV, compared with 89 per cent who follow events online.

      • The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot

        Both Léo and Mirko were appalled by the false claims.

        They pretended to be interested in order to try to find out more and were provided with detailed instructions about what they should say in their videos.

      • Report: Parkland survivor’s dad, radicalized by MTG, now thinks shooting was a hoax

        The story in Vice News chronicles a former Parkland student identified only as “Bill,” who says his father was gradually radicalized during the coronavirus pandemic by conspiracy theories spread by QAnon believers and prominent far-right figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Bill claims his father went from being an anti-masker to a full-blown conspiracy believer.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Freaking Out About Nazi Content On The Internet Archive Is Totally Missing The Point

        The moral panics around anyone finding “bad” content online are getting out of control. The latest is a truly silly article in the San Francisco Chronicle whining about the fact that there is Nazi content available on the Internet Archive, written by the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, Steven Stalinsky, who is quite perturbed that his own personal content moderation desires are not how the Internet Archive moderates.

      • Roskomnadzor orders Twitter to block Lyubov Sobol’s account

        Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol says that the country’s federal censor , Roskomnadzor, sent a notice to Twitter ordering the social network to block her account.

      • Prosecutors in the ‘Sanitary Case’ seek two years restricted freedom for Lyubov Sobol

        The prosecution in the so-called “Sanitary Case” is seeking a two-year parole-like sentence for opposition politician Lyubov Sobol. 

      • Hong Kong gets to grips with security law’s ‘invisible red line’

        Experts told Times Higher Education that the city was entering a “new era”, where it could be more difficult to teach, research and debate controversial subjects. This leaves administrators stuck between a local culture that prizes open enquiry and authorities accustomed to higher levels of control.

        “The NSL has basically brought Hong Kong into line with a situation that mainland [Chinese] academics and students have known for decades: academic and intellectual censorship as the norm – the difference being that mainland [Chinese] have learned to navigate the whimsical nature of the system, while their counterparts in Hong Kong have not,” said Gregory Lee, founding professor of Chinese studies at the University of St Andrews, who previously held senior positions at Hong Kong universities.

      • Nobelists decry Chinese government’s censorship attempts at the Nobel Summit

        More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed a statement expressing outrage after the Chinese government intended to “bully the scientific community” earlier this year with attempts to censor two Nobel laureates during the Nobel Prize Summit, organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Nobel Foundation in April.

        The statement alleges that staffers at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., phoned NAS officials in March, and again in early April before the summit, to insist that two scheduled speakers, the Dalai Lama and Yuan Lee—a Taiwanese chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for his work on chemical kinetics—be disinvited and not allowed to speak. An email with the same demand was received by NAS on 25 April, 1 day before the start of the summit. On all three occasions, NAS said no.

      • Germany’s push for tighter tech regulation

        Under the German law, obviously illegal content must be removed within 24 hours, while the timeframe for more ambiguous content is within a week. “In the DSA, such deadlines for deletions have not been provided for so far, but they would be urgently necessary,” said Ballon.

        But the NetzDG’s very tight deadlines for deleting illegal hate postings are viewed critically by some at the EU level.

        Patrick Breyer, rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) rejects including deletion obligations in the DSA. This would make “global internet corporations like Facebook to be quick censors and judges of right and wrong”, Breyer told EURACTIV.

      • Tesla Is Reportedly Trying To Make People Delete Mean Posts About Elon Musk

        A team of nine was tasked with searching for negative posts abut Musk, according to Insider. The report aligns with a January job posting for a “customer support specialist,” who was tasked with addressing “social media escalations directed at the CEO.”

      • Will Instagram’s new ‘sensitive content’ filter censor Black users?

        “No one really knew it was placed on their account. It was a pre-emptive move,” Preston said of the filter. “I saw Instagram was ushering us into a new era in which they were allowed to be the ones who determined what was sensitive and unsafe and what was not. The problem with that is that our identities, experience and very being is going to be deemed sensitive and unsafe, because our experiences are unsafe.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Moscow court satisfies RT host’s lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta and politician Leonid Gozman

        The Moscow Arbitration Court has ordered the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta to delete an article by politician Leonid Gozman, reports the human rights group Pravozashchita Otkrytki. The article in question alleges that the state-owned television network Russia Today (RT) obtained wiretapped records of a phone conversation between Gozman himself and journalist Igor Yakovenko.

      • Home of Another Investigative Journalist in Russia Raided

        Police in Russia raided the home of the chief editor of an investigative media outlet that was recently designated as a “foreign agent,” the latest move by authorities to raise pressure on independent media before the country’s September parliamentary election.

      • Urgent need to escape the surveillance technology jungle

        The “Pegasus Project” investigation has shown that the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group is systematically used for surveillance that violates the most fundamental human rights safeguards. Just the number of journalists targeted by this technology – nearly 200 – confirms the degree to which the surveillance technology sector is escaping regulation.

        The Wassenaar Arrangement – which is the main multilateral agreement for controlling the exportation of dual-use products and technology and which dates back to 1996 – has once again proved largely inadequate and inoperative.

      • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship

        Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry.

        A naturalisation is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud.

        Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalisation letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues.

      • Ecuador strips Julian Assange of citizenship

        Assange’s lawyer, Carlos Poveda, told the Associated Press that the decision was made without due process and that Assange was not permitted to appear.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Why We March’ By AWKWORD & Jesse Jett

        Originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music

        This hard-hitting collaboration between two politically minded hip-hop artists was released on July 24 to coincide with the Medicare For All marches that took place on that day across 50 cities.

      • The Trouble With ‘the LGBT Community’

        When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose sectarian political parties.

      • Chinese court sentences whistleblowing agricultural tycoon to 18 years in prison

        A Chinese court sentenced agricultural tycoon Sun Dawu to 18 years in jail on Wednesday for a catalogue of crimes including “provoking trouble” after the outspoken billionaire and grassroots rights supporter was tried in secret.

      • Hong Kong activist found guilty in first for new security law

        The widely anticipated ruling, much of which has hinged on the interpretation of the slogan, imposes new limits on free speech in the former British colony, activists say. Human rights groups have also criticized the decision to deny Mr. Tong bail and a jury trial, which have been key features of Hong Kong’s rule of law.

      • Court OKs 3rd-degree murder charges against 3-ex cops in Floyd death

        Prosecutors may file aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

        The appeals court sent the case back to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. He denied prosecutors’ motion to add the charges against former officers J Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao back in February during the runup to the separate trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin, whom Cahill sentenced on Friday to 22 1/2 years in prison for second-degree murder.

      • Court Ok’s 3rd-degree murder against 3-ex cops in Floyd death

        In affirming Noor’s conviction, the appeals court ruled that the act can be directed at a single person. Cahill then reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin on that basis, but deferred a ruling in the cases of the other three.

        The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Noor’s appeal three weeks ago, and its pending decision is expected to have repercussions for all five ex-officers, as well as the ability of prosecutors to charge other officers with third-degree murder,.

      • Toronto man charged after posting photo of Alberta judge taken during court hearing for COVID-19 rule breakers

        The contempt charges are for both taking and posting the photos and for allegedly recording the proceedings and posting non-certified transcriptions.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FTC Is Driving Away Good Economists In Favor Of Political Henchmen

        Shut up and get in line — that’s the message Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan recently broadcasted to FTC staffers. Within her first month as a new commissioner, Khan ordered a stop to all public speaking for “an all-hands-on-deck moment.” Evidently, she wants the FTC speaking with only one voice — her own. The gag order is going to run out the top economists and harm the FTC’s long-term effectiveness.

      • GeoTech Commissioner Vint Cerf and others release the report, “Strategy Toward a Solar System Internet For Humanity”

        As part of the InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group (IPNSIG), GeoTech Commissioner Vint Cerf was one of the five authors that released a report that discussed the technical, operational and political challenges toward the development of a Solar System Internet (SSI). [...]

      • The anatomy of the internet: how does data get sent to your device?

        That isn’t always the most efficient way to deliver data – and the people behind the internet’s infrastructure know it. Which is why they have instigated new systems in the past 20 years to enable the better transfer of data.

        One of them is Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). Rather than letting an individual packet of data determine its own way around the globe, MPLS requires that it’s sent a certain way – so you know you have more reliability.

        One of the challenges, says Kaufmann, of keeping [I]nternet infrastructure up to date is that it requires building on top of what’s already there, rather than ripping up the infrastructure and starting again. We wouldn’t countenance turning the [I]nternet off for days, weeks or months to upgrade it from scratch.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver, Patent Breaking and Investment Treaty Arbitration [Ed: So patents kill and more nations now recognise this. The patent maximalists panic as this realisation upsets their self-serving worldwiew]

          Almost ten months after India and South Africa sparked the debate on the protection of intellectual property rights with the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver (IP/C/W/669), there is still no consensus at the TRIPS Council in favour of any action. Despite the support of numerous other WTO Members, including the United States, the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver still faces the opposition of European governments. In June 2021, the European Union submitted a different proposal, which favoured the use of the existing compulsory licensing mechanism under the TRIPS Agreement (IP/C/W/681).

          [...]

          But even if the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver is finally approved, it is unlikely that it will be the end of the matter. On the contrary. The break of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines’ patents will likely open the gates to legal disputes worldwide. Patents, like (most) intellectual property rights, are territorial in nature. This means that, except for certain regional arrangements, patents are acquired and enforced under the laws of each State within its territory. Inventors do not enforce their right to have their inventions protected by patents pursuant to Article 27 of the TRIPS Agreement, nor do patent proprietors enforce their rights pursuant to Article 28 of the TRIPS Agreement. What the TRIPS Agreement does is to place on WTO Members the obligation to implement in their domestic legislations the right of inventors to have their inventions protected by patents and the rights conferred on patent proprietors. Because of its territorial nature, the patent and the rights conferred on its proprietor will not be directly affected by the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver if the obligation to implement TRIPS provisions on patents had been correctly implemented in the domestic legal system of the State where the patent was acquired. The TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver will only have the effect of shielding WTO Members from being accused of not implementing the TRIPS Agreement. Patent proprietors will still be entitled to enforce their rights through different means, including through international treaties for the promotion and protection of foreign investments (‘investment treaties’).

      • Trademarks

        • Golden Globe statuette 2018 denied copyright protection in the US [Ed: Trademarks — not copyrights — should apply here]

          The Work (referred to in proceedings as the ‘Golden Globe statuette 2018’, pictured) is described as “a sculpture cast in a matte gold material, with the top of the globe wrapped by a cascading filmstrip. The globe is supported by an inverted cone-shaped base comprised of the letters HFPA. The base sits atop a trophy-style stand made of stacked circular and cylindrical shapes of varying sizes, including a gold cup or chalice- shaped base directly below the inverted base. The words “Hollywood Foreign Press Association” are etched into the bottom of the circular stand”.

          The Work was a derivative sculpture based on an earlier work (also pictured, below) which, in turn, was a derivative of earlier versions, with the Golden Globe Statuette existing since at least 1952.

      • Copyrights

        • Long Walk to Copyright Reform (Pt 3): What does/should South Africa want with its copyright exceptions? [Ed: Why can only South Africa give the finger to the copyright cartel?]

          The window for stakeholders and interested parties to make written submissions in response to the invitation of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in South Africa regarding certain clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) closed earlier this month on 9 July 2021. As previously indicated here, South Africa’s President had returned the CAB to Parliament alleging inter alia reservations on the constitutionality of clauses 13 and 20 of the Bill. As part of the process to address the President’s reservations, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry had invited written submissions.

          [...]

          There is consensus on all sides that South Africa’s current position on the fair dealing ‘line’ is problematic. The point of debate is what to do about it. Should South Africa stay on the fair dealing line but move to a different point on that line? Should it leave the fair dealing line entirely and get on the fair use line? The current draft of the Copyright Amendment Bill has taken the later approach.

          For those in favour of retaining that line/approach, the copyright exceptions complies with the three-step test, which is concerned with the ‘legitimate interests’ of the copyright owner, not those of third parties. For them, South African courts under the fair dealing regime have had to deploy a process of reasoning to determine if a particular use falls within the enumerated activities. Within the proposed fair use regime, this process of reasoning would continue albeit based on the set of factors now statutorily indicated in the Bill.

          The fair use proponents also argue that the only departure that the CAB made from the fair dealing line of the current Copyright Act is that the fair use provision in Section 12A of the CAB uses the words “such as,” when enumerating the purposes for which a work may be used (as opposed to just providing a list of permitted uses). In their view, this allows the law sufficient room to develop naturally without the constant need for the legislator to intervene. For them, this is helpful because the current fair dealing arrangement is limited and does not address the digital space, evolving technologies, or the 4IR.

        • BlockCrushr drops lawsuit accusing ConsenSys of stealing its [Copyrights]

          BlockCrushr had received a $100,000 investment from ConsenSys and was admitted into its Tachyon accelerator program. The startup alleged that ConsenSys used trade secrets gleaned through the program to front-run its own product to market before BlockCrushr.

          BlockCrushr claimed that “every aspect of its marketing, financial, technical and regulatory strategy” was shared with ConsenSys during the Tachyon program, including “the source code and proprietary technical solution to its recurring payments platform.”

          While IP enforcement has been seen as antithetical to crypto’s core ethos of decentralized open-source development, intellectual property [sic] matters have emerged as an increasingly hot issue.

        • Bungie & Ubisoft Sue Destiny 2 Cheatmakers Ring-1 For Copyright Infringement

          Bungie and Ubisoft have filed a lawsuit against five individuals said to be behind Ring-1, the claimed creator and distributor of cheat software targeting Destiny and Rainbox Six Seige. Among other offenses the gaming companies allege copyright infringement and trafficking in circumvention devices, estimating damages in the millions of dollars.

        • GitHub to help developers with DMCA disputes [Ed: Microsoft spin]

          Leveraging its $1 million Developer Defense Fund founded late last year, the company on June 27 is unveiling its GitHub Developer Rights Fellowship at the Stanford Law School Juelsgaard Intellectual Property [sic] and Innovation Clinic.

          The goal of the fund and the new fellowship is to help developers navigate the requirements of Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it illegal to use source code that bypasses measures that control access to copyrighted material.

          GitHub noted that navigating digital rights under the DMCA can be extremely difficult for software developers, especially open source developers working in their spare time without the resources of a large company behind them. When faced with a DMCA takedown notice, it can often be easier and cheaper to just remove code from public view and out of the common good.

        • Cox Settles Lawsuit Over ‘Abusive’ DMCA Notice Campaign

          Internet provider Cox Communications has dropped its lawsuit against Rightscorp and BMG. The ISP accused the companies of sending abusive and unfair DMCA takedown notices to fabricate massive copyright infringement claims. Despite these strong words and harsh allegations, the parties managed to resolve the matter out of court.

07.28.21

Links 28/7/2021: OPNsense 21.7 and MX Linux 21 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • It Takes A Lot To Build A Hacker’s Laptop | Hackaday [Ed: Have they made non-Windows options widely available yet? With a discount or with GNU/Linux instead?]

        Will it be a dependable second-hand ThinkPad, the latest object of desire from Apple, or whatever cast-off could be scrounged and given a GNU/Linux distro?

        [...]

        Few readers will find installing a GNU/Linux distro a problem, but it’s an obvious hole in the line-up.

    • Server

      • Linux Cluster – Basics

        I hope to cover a basic understanding of clustering as well as give you a way to demonstrate making a small virtual cluster.

        When most people hear the word ‘cluster’ they may think that this is a group of computers acting as one system. The idea is a very basic concept of clustering, but mostly correct.

        A cluster of computers is a group of systems acting as one for different purposes. There are four types of clusters that we will discuss.

      • Ubuntu Blog: From notebooks to pipelines with Kubeflow KALE

        Kubeflow is the open-source machine learning toolkit on top of Kubernetes. Kubeflow translates steps in your data science workflow into Kubernetes jobs, providing the cloud-native interface for your ML libraries, frameworks, pipelines and notebooks.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • KDE Dev-Vlog 2: The Eye of the Beholder

        This video continues right where the prior one left off: Improving the user interface of Gwenview, the default image viewer of KDE.

        Different than the first video, this one is slightly thrilling at times. It also has more of a focus on showing the work processes instead of mostly presenting the results and thoughts behind it.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13.6
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.13.6 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.13 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.13.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.13.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.54
      • Linux 5.4.136
      • Linux 4.19.199
      • Linux 4.14.241
      • Linux 4.9.277
      • Linux 4.4.277
      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Kernel Dependability and Assurance Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the Kernel Dependability and Assurance Microconference has been accepted into the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference.

        Linux development is producing kernels at an ever increasing rate, and at the same time with arguably increasing software quality. The process of kernel development has been adapting to handle the increasing number of contributors over the years to ensure a sufficient software quality. This quality is key in that Linux is now being used in applications that require a high degree of trust that the kernel is going to behave as expected. Some of the key areas we’re seeing Linux start to be used are in medical devices, civil infrastructure, caregiving robots, automotives, etc.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 21.04 vs. Windows 10 Trade Blows On The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX / ASUS ROG Strix G15

        While the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX performance is great on Linux once overcoming any laptop support quirks like with the ASUS ROG Strix G15 “AMD Advantage” laptop running into keyboard and WiFi issues on Linux depending upon the kernel version, how does the performance compare to Microsoft Windows 10? Here are some benchmarks of that ROG Strix G15 AMD laptop under Windows 10 as shipped by ASUS against Ubuntu 21.04 when upgraded to the Linux 5.13 stable kernel.

        Prior to clearing out the Windows install on the ASUS ROG Strix G15, I ran some benchmarks looking at how the out-of-the-box performance is with all available Windows updates, including the various ASUS software/driver updates. This ASUS G513QY laptop is equipped with the flagship Ryzen 9 5900HX mobile processor, Radeon RX 6800M discrete graphics to complement the 5900HX’s integrated Vega graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD.

    • Applications

      • Apologetic Audacity rewrites privacy policy after ‘significant lapse in communication’

        Open-source audio editor Audacity this week posted an apology on GitHub in response to the entirely predictable furore over the platform’s privacy policy.

        An updated privacy policy accompanied the apology, in which the team insisted it had just been misunderstood, and that a look at the source would have shown its intentions.

        “We are deeply sorry for the significant lapse in communication caused by the original privacy policy document,” it said. The fact that it didn’t regret the actual document itself seemed to alarm a good many users.

        The update removes phrasing that “discourages children under 13 years old from using Audacity.” The wording has also been updated to emphasise that no additional data is being collected for law enforcement purposes and that no personally identifiable information is being stored.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set Up Tegola Vector Tile Server on Ubuntu 20.04 for OpenStreetMap – LinuxBabe

        Tegola is an open-source vector tile server for OpenStreetMap. Previously we explained the process of setting up OSM tile server, which is a raster-based tile server. This tutorial is going to show you how to set up Tegola vector tile server on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Create a Shell Script in Linux | Linux Journal

        Do you want to create a Shell script in your Linux system?

        This guide will take you through how to create a shell script using multiple text editors, how to add comments, and how to use Shell variables.

        But before heading over to creating a shell script, let’s understand what Shell scripting in Linux is.

      • How to Install iRedmail Open Source Mail Server On Ubuntu 20.04

        Let’s learn how to install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04. Having our own mail server is cool, we can create as many email accounts as we want, configure how big the attachment limit, create our own spam filters, etc. But, installing and configuring a mail server can stress you and consume your precious time. iRedmail is an open source mail server solution, with iRedmail we can deploy a full-featured mail server in several minutes. It can help you to reduce the time you spend when building a mail server.

        It will install the needed services and application to run a mail server. iRedmail supports all major Linux distribution, but in this tutorial, we will show you how to install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04. iRedmail is designed to be installed on a fresh operating system. It means it is highly recommended that you install it on a newly installed OS.

      • How to Restore Vertical Workspaces in Activities Overview in Ubuntu 21.10 Gnome 40 | UbuntuHandbook

        For those prefer Gnome 3 style Activities overview, here’s how to bring back the vertical workspace thumbnails in Ubuntu 21.10.

        Ubuntu 21.10 defaults to Gnome 40 and brings new design of the Activities overview screen. It now has large and horizontal workspaces locates across the center of screen. Along with thumbnails in the top, you can either click / use keyboard shortcuts or touchpad gestures to switch workspaces.

        Personally I like the new design. But for those who are accustomed to the vertical view, here’s an extension to restore the change.

      • How to Compress Files with zstd Utility in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        Although there are many graphical and command-line data compression tools, zstd is the one that stands out. Short for Zstandard, zstd is a data compression tool developed by Facebook data engineers in 2015. It is so effective and easy to use, that zstd has become the go-to compression tool for many Linux users. This tutorial will show you how to install zstd and use it from the terminal.

      • How to install Zellij (terminal multiplexer) on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Zellij, a new terminal multiplexer written in Rust.

        So, In the next article we are going to take a look at Zellij. This is a workspace aimed at developers and any user who likes the terminal.In essence, this is un terminal multiplexer (similar to tmux) written in Rust.

        If, due to the characteristics of the tasks you usually perform, the terminal emulator that you use every day falls short, try this multiplexer of terminal it may be interesting to you. Zellij includes a design system and a plugin system that allows you to create plugins in any language that compiles into WebAssembly.

      • How To Install MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, the MariaDB database is an open-source relational database management system, backward compatible, binary drop-in replacement of MySQL. It is developed by some of the original developers of MySQL and by many people in the community.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • Linux Essentials – Managing Groups

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we take a look at group management. You’ll see commands such as ‘groupadd’ and ‘groupdel’ in action as we navigate concepts around adding groups, removing groups, assigning/removing users to groups, and more!

    • Games

      • Latest RPCS3 version offers major performance improvements in resistance 1 and 2 in addition to the Ratchet & Clank series

        The latest RPCS3 build offers significant performance improvements for several games, including Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank series and the original Resistance 1 and 2.

        Last year’s patches for the original Resistance episodes already offered some great performance improvements, but the two games are now fully playable at 60FPS in RPCS3. Additionally, thanks to various fixes to long-standing issues in the emulator, the Ratchet and Clank PS3 games are now much more playable with only minor performance drops holding them back.

      • Emulator developers see tons of potential in the Steam Deck

        TTE, or Time To Emulator, isn’t an official metric by which new gaming hardware is judged. But if it was, I have a feeling the Steam Deck would set a new record later this year. Every new game console is built to play new games, yet inevitably it will attract a community of amazing homebrew programmers eager to tap into that power to play old games, too. The Steam Deck, though, will be the first prominent handheld device poised to support a huge swath of existing emulators from day one. It was a big deal when emulator authors got Super Nintendo games running on Sony’s PSP or Vita, but the Steam Deck may well be able to play decades of games—even from the Nintendo Switch—and play them well.

        “Everyone I know has relatively high hopes for the Steam Deck right now,” says JMC4789, a contributor to GameCube/Wii emulator Dolphin. JMC4789 is optimistic about how well Dolphin could run on the Steam Deck—and so are the developers of Yuzu, the leading Nintendo Switch emulator.

      • Steam Deck killed any need for A Total War Saga: Troy’s Linux port

        The port was paused when the game was made an Epic Game Store exclusive last year. EGS has no Linux support, so the exclusivity delayed any work Feral had planned. In the meantime, Valve’s work on Proton and SteamOS, designed to allow Windows titles to run on Linux so people are able to access their entire Steam library on Valve’s portable device, has killed off any need for a native port.

        Gaming On Linux spotted Feral’s tweet: “The Linux port was put on hold while Troy was exclusive to Epic, and we are not resuming development for the Steam release. We will continue to assess the feasibility of porting games to Linux, but there is generally less demand for native titles since Valve’s launch of Proton.”

        In the comments of the Gaming On Linux article, user “Leopard” stated that their EGS version of the game already runs well with “Wine+DXVK”. So Linux users won’t even have to wait until SteamOS is released for the game to be playable.

      • O3DE Game Engine Quickly Settling Its Linux Support – Phoronix

        Less than one month since Open 3D Engine was announced based on Amazon’s Lumberyard engine, the Linux support is nearly in a pleasant state.

        As written about in mid-July, the O3DE Linux editor was getting squared away after initially the Linux support was in rough shape, which was rather unfortunate considering O3DE and the new Open 3D Foundation is backed by the Linux Foundation.

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux 21 Enters Beta Testing Based on Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” and Xfce 4.16

        Dubbed “Wildflower” and derived from the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” and MX repositories, MX Linux 21 is powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series and uses the latest and greatest Xfce 4.16 desktop environment.

        Highlights of this first beta release include new and updated applications, a new installer partition selection area with LVM support, as well as new UEFI live system boot menus that make it easier to select boot options directly from the boot menu and submenus.

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 is here to replace Microsoft Windows 11 on your PC

          Thankfully, there is an arguably better option — just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems are very well-supported and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 11). Linux Lite, which uses the Xfce desktop environment, is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

          Today, Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 (release candidate) becomes available, and it is based on Ubuntu 20.04.2. The operating system uses Linux kernel 5.4.0-80, but other kernels are available too, ranging from 3.13 to 5.13. This new version of Linux Lite also comes with some excellent software packages, such as Firefox 89.0.2, Thunderbird 78.11.0, LibreOffice 6.4.7.2, VLC 3.0.9.2, and GIMP 2.10.18.

      • BSD

        • OPNsense 21.7 released

          For more than 6 and a half years, OPNsense is driving innovation through
          modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable
          firmware upgrades, multi-language support, fast adoption of upstream software
          updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

          21.7, nicknamed “Noble Nightingale”, is one of the largest iterations of
          code changes in our recent history. It will also be the last release on
          HardenedBSD 12.1. We are planning to start the work on FreeBSD 13 as soon
          as next week for the 22.1 series.

          The installer was replaced to offer native ZFS installations and prevent
          glitches in virtual machines using UEFI. Firmware updates were partially
          redesigned and the UI layout consolidated between static and MVC pages.
          The live log now contains the actual rule ID to avoid mismatches after
          adjusting your ruleset and the firewall aliases now also support wildcard
          netmasks. For a complete list of changes see below.

        • OPNsense 21.7 Released With New Installer Offering Better ZFS Support – Phoronix

          OPNsense as the FreeBSD/HardenedBSD-based firewall and routing platform long ago forked from pfSense is out with its newest major release.

          OPNsense 21.7 is “one of the largest iterations of code changes” in their recent history but is still based on HardenedBSD 12.1, the BSD effort around further security hardening of FreeBSD 12.1. OPNsense developers now following this release are beginning to transition to FreeBSD 13 for their OPNsense 22.1 release due out early next year.

        • OPNsense® 21.7 “Noble Nightingale” released

          With over 1000 commits in its core and plugin repository since the last major, this 14th major release is again packed with improvements, new and updated plugins as well as new drivers such as the new AMD XGBE driver.

          Amongst the improvements are the newly designed – API enabled – firewall states diagnostics, firewall live log template support and a full firmware update revamp.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How we built one of the best places to work in IT

          Culture is something that is talked about a lot when it comes to the workplace. It can be what attracts people to a company in the first place and it is what keeps associates at an organization in the long run. And let’s be clear, culture is about much more than free snacks and ping pong tables. It’s about how we work together. But creating and maintaining a culture takes work and it’s something we take seriously at Red Hat. And it’s with that in mind that I’m proud to share that we’ve been ranked #3 on IDG’s Insider Pro and Computerworld’s list of “2021 Best Places to Work in IT.”

        • Community management and dealing with the bias of the loud

          In any form of community management, there is very often the “bias of the loud.” This is my name for it, it may have others. I’m sure a lot of people smarter than me have done studies on what metaphorically gets expressed in English as “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” We don’t want our wheels ungreased, but it’s also important to hear from the entire community and not just the loudest

          Bias of the loud is the loudest voices in the community tending to dominate the discussions. The danger is that they will drive away other participants who have as much (or more) to contribute, but don’t want to participate in a shouting match.

          So, as a community architect, how do you balance different personalities and help all members feel heard?

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “Bullseye”: Release date has now been set

          The Debian development team has set the release date for the upcoming version 11 (“Bullseye”) of the Linux distribution Debian on August 14, 2021. “To avoid doubts: this is no longer a provisional date,” emphasized developer Paul Gevers and thanked everyone who would have made this release date possible.

          “Bullseye” remains very close to the two-year cycle between two releases that the developers are aiming for: Debian 10 (“Buster”) was released on July 6, 2019. The – expressly provisional – date for the Debian 11 release was initially July 31st.

        • Debian Linux Running Bare Metal on Apple’s M1 SoC

          If you loathe Apple’s MacOS but envy the M1′s performance and power efficiency, the door has just been opened for a sunnier future on your side of the OS wars. Alyssa Rosenzweig, a Linux developer leading the Panfrost and Asahi graphics drivers, has tweeted a running Debian GNU/Linux installation running bare metal on Apple’s shining star SoC.

          This isn’t the first time that we have seen Linux on the M1 but make no mistake that this takes nothing away from Rosenzweig’s work. Rosenzweig’s development follows months of work in reverse engineering the M1 SoC’s workings, and represents one of the most complicated tasks in the software world – porting a working OS to what amounts to a hardware blackbox. While we’re still a relatively long time before a set-it-and-forget-it installation process for Linux on M1, the work done by Alyssa and co opens up the frontier for that to happen. The current installation already features a working upstream mainline kernel with USB support, adding flexibility to further developments. The objective is to enable any Linux distro to be installed on and run through the M1 SoC, with ecosystem support and mainline kernel updates.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Lalo Luevano, restaurateur and co-founder of Bodega wine bar [Ed: Mozilla has been reduced to tweets (cannot access without proprietary JS) and Instagram (same). Go ahead and tell us what this has to do with Firefox (the whole blog has become like that)]

            The internet has touched restaurants in so many ways, like social media, third party delivery services, review sites and even maintaining a website. How have any of these touched restaurant life for you?

          • Celebrating Mozilla VPN: How we’re keeping your data safe for you [Ed: If you think Mozilla protects your data, you are deluding yourself [1, 2, 3]]

            A year goes by so quickly, and we have good reason to celebrate. Since our launch last year, Mozilla VPN, our fast and easy-to-use Virtual Private Network service, has expanded to seven countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland adding to 13 countries where Mozilla VPN is available. We also expanded our VPN service offerings and it’s now available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS platforms. We have also given you more payment choices from credit card, paypal or through Apple in-app purchases. Lastly, our list of languages that we support continues to grow, and to date we support 28 languages. Thousands of people have signed up to subscribe to our Mozilla VPN, which provides encryption and device-level protection of your connection and information when you are on the Web.

            Developed by Mozilla, a mission-driven company with a 20-year track record of fighting for online privacy and a healthier internet, we are committed to innovate and bring new features to the Mozilla VPN through feedback from our community. This year, the team has been working on additional security and customization features which will soon be available to our users.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Yugabyte CTO outlines a PostgreSQL path to distributed cloud

          Back in that day, it was important to use a restrictive license — like GPL — to encourage people to contribute and not just take stuff from the open source and never give back. So that’s the reason why a lot of projects ended up with GPL-like licenses.

          Now, MySQL did a really good job in adhering to these workloads that came in the web back then. They were tier two workloads initially. These were not super critical, but over time they became very critical, and the MySQL community aligned really well and that gave them their speed.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Brit reseller given 2022 court date for £270m Microsoft SaaS licence sueball’s first hearing

          British software licence reseller ValueLicensing has a trial date for the first part of a £270m legal showdown against Microsoft after accusing the US behemoth of breaking UK and EU competition laws.

          A High Court hearing of Microsoft’s attempt to strike out ValueLicensing’s case will take place on 30-31 March 2022, the British company announced in a statement today.

          Jon Horley, founder and MD of ValueLicensing, said: “This High Court claim covers the damage to our business through Microsoft’s abuse of its dominant market position, effectively destroying the pre-owned software market for desktop products. We are not the only victim to have suffered loss as a result of Microsoft’s anticompetitive activity since 2016.”

          Redmond, alleges ValueLicensing in particulars of claim served on Microsoft, has been playing fast and loose with software licences in the hope of killing off the second-hand software licence market. Established law says once a vendor has sold a software licence, that licence becomes a tradeable commodity.

        • Security

          • VMware’s security boss suddenly bails
            [Ed: VMware is back doors, not security. Maybe it takes time for insiders to realise EMC's commitments.]

            VMware’s security products boss has bailed.

            Tom Corn, until last week the company’s Senior Vice President of Security Products, tweeted the news on Thursday.

          • Kaseya obtains REvil decryptor, starts sharing it with afflicted customers [Ed: Microsoft issues]

            Software-for-services providers business Kaseya has obtained a “universal decryptor key” for the REvil ransomware and is delivering it to clients.

            A brief Thursday update to the company’s rolling security advisory states the company received the key on July 21st.

          • [Older] Kaseya restores SaaS, then ‘performance issues’ force a do-over
          • [Older] REvil ransomware gang’s websites vanish soon after Kaseya fiasco, Uncle Sam threatens retaliation
          • NPM is Now Providing Malware – or was until recently [Ed: Microsoft is pumping malware into people's servers and then tells the media to blame "Linux"]

            Another malicious library has been spotted in the JavaScript-oriented NPM registry, underscoring the continued fragility of today’s software supply chain.

            Like other software package registries – repositories of code libraries for specific tasks – NPM, which was acquired last year by Microsoft’s GitHub, has proven to be an effective mechanism for spreading malicious software. Developers tend to trust the modules they download from such services and typically incorporate them into their projects without much scrutiny.

          • You, too, can be a Windows domain controller and do whatever you like, with this one weird WONTFIX trick

            Microsoft completed a vulnerability hat-trick this month as yet another security weakness was uncovered in its operating systems. And this one doesn’t even need authentication to work its magic.

          • The cockroach of Windows, XP, lives on in London’s Victoria Coach Station

            Windows XP is coming up to a 20th birthday yet it is heartening to see that the OS can still be guaranteed to take its place as one of the three horsemen of the borkpocalypse.

            While not actually on a screen of blue, the ugly face of Windows XP has shown itself nestled between a CMOS error and another screen that has simply decided to end it all.

          • Attackers Rely on ‘Exotic’ Languages for Malware Creation [Ed: The term "exotic" is misleading, meaningless, and barely appropriate in this technical context]

            Malware developers increasingly are relying on “exotic” programming languages – such as Go, Rust, DLang and Nim – to create malicious code that can avoid security detection by tools and add a layer of obfuscation to an attack, according to a report released Monday by BlackBerry.

          • Hackers turning to ‘exotic’ languages for next-gen malware, report warns
          • Open Source is Revolutionizing Careers in Cybersecurity – What You Need to Know

            The Linux Foundation’s 2020 Open Source Jobs Report states that “Open Source is still the leading software development environment for SMBs and the enterprise despite the current economic downturn and pandemic”, continuing to provide abundant career opportunities – most notably in security and DevOps. A recent RedHat survey confirms that an open source revolution is underway, citing that 86% of IT leaders believe that the most innovative companies are using open-source software. The demand for open source skills and talent currently exceeds the number of people available to fill positions with these requirements, making individuals who posess this increasingly valuable skill set highly sought after by companies worldwide.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • England’s controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time • The Register

              NHS Digital has again delayed plans for what has been called the biggest data grab in NHS history, introducing new caveats to the extraction of personal medical information. No new implementation date as been set.

              In the first significant policy shift since Matt Hancock left office as health secretary last month, primary care and health promotion minister Jo Churchill has written to all GPs setting out new proposals for siphoning off personal health histories of 55 million people in England into a central store, under the controversial General Practice Data for Planning and Research project.

              [...]

              The announcement is the second delay to the controversial programme. The first came in June, following pressure from professional body the Royal College of GPs and doctors’ union the British Medical Association (BMA).

              Concerns over GPDPR are such that groups of GPs were set refuse to share data with the scheme in its previous form.

              [...]

              It pointed out that “as data controllers and doctors with a duty of confidence to their patients, GPs are obliged to ensure that patients are properly informed of significant new data processing and that their permission has been sought prior to us sharing their data – and that this data is and will be handled responsibly, securely, and transparently.”

              It said GPDPR did not “meet these fundamental requirements” in its current state.

              LMCs are groups of family doctors who contribute toward BMA policy and are represented by the powerful doctors’ union.

              Critics of the GPDPR scheme have argued that NHS Digital’s approach to communicating its plans to patients amount to a notice on its website, a few tweets, and a downloadable poster for GP practices to print out.

            • Google updates timeline for unpopular Privacy Sandbox, which will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023

              Google has updated the schedule for its introduction of “Privacy Sandbox” browser technology and the phasing out of third-party cookies.

              The new timeline has split the bundle of technologies in the Privacy Sandbox into five phases: discussion, testing, implementation in Chrome (called “Ready for adoption”), Transition State 1 during which Chrome will “monitor adoption and feedback” and then the next stage that involves winding down support for third-party cookies over a three-month period finishing “late 2023.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • UK watchdog fines biz £130k for 900,000+ direct marketing calls to folk who had opted out

        A home improvement biz based in East Sussex is facing a fine of £130,000 for making upwards of 900,000 unsolicited marketing calls to individuals and businesses that had enrolled on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

        Colour Coat of St Leonards-on-Sea made almost 970,000 connected calls between 1 August 2019 and 31 March last year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found, of which more than 452,000 were to folk or entities registered with TPS or the corporate equivalent.

      • Slacking off? It used to be there was pretty much one place to chat with your fellow developers: IRC

        IRC is crusty, ancient, and still far and away the best group chat system currently available. IRC is the best chat system precisely because it is a system. It is a protocol, not just an app, and even better it is a loosely federated protocol.

        The IRC system is a federated protocol around which a galaxy of clients (apps if you prefer) orbit. No one person or corporation controls IRC.

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