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Links 8/7/2021: pfSense CE 2.5.2 Released, Cockpit 248, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Officially Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Open Policy Agent 0.30 lands, irons out some kinks ● DEVCLASS

        The team behind general-purpose policy engine Open Policy Agent (OPA) has pushed out version 0.30 (and 0.30.1 to make it run correctly) of the project, which should help provide a more secure setup and relax things for those using OPA in edge scenarios.

        The Open Policy Agent was originally developed by cloud native tooling vendor Styra in a bid to provide a unified way of enforcing policies in microservices, pipelines, Kubernetes and more. In February 2021, it was welcomed into the realms of CNCF graduated projects, a status shared with widely used tools like Prometheus and Kubernetes. Users are said to include Netflix and Chef.

      • Profile: Cloud-native storage speed and enterprise smarts key for StorageOS [Ed: A pool of buzzwords]

        Croome is a specialist in agile delivery of Unix infrastructure and DevOps concepts, and led global engineering teams at Fidelity and Nomura.

      • 10 Factors Behind the Popularity of Microservices: Part 1

        Andy Oram explores various computing trends that make microservices today’s architecture of choice.

        Microservices are the hottest design concept in programming today. The concept is not new: they basically carry out the principle of modularity taught to programmers over the past several decades. But microservices take modularity to a new height and thereby satisfy many needs of modern application developers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Noodlings 29 | Transient State

        Due to a variety of recent changes to that network, the openSUSE Project is moving our IRC communications to Libera.Chat.

      • FLOSS Weekly 637: Open Source Web Radio with AzuraCast - Buster Neece

        Buster Neece, lead developer of AzuraCasts joins Doc Searls and Dan Lynch to talk online radio in the open source community and more. AzuraCast is "web radio in a box" that has an intuitive design and meticulous attention to detail for a great user experience. Neece also shares troubling fallout around the updated Audacity terms of service which lead the community to believe Audacity is becoming spyware. It's a great discussion on FLOSS Weekly.

      • Linux in the Ham Shack Episode #420: No No Jar Jar

        Hello and welcome to the 420th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. Smoke 'em if you got 'em! In this episode the hosts discuss Youths on the Air 2021, the FCC and 5cm, the reopening of ARRL HQ, satellites made of plywood, the Linux 5.13 kernel, a new version of Mixxx and much more. We hope you enjoy this episode and have a great week.

      • BSDNow 410: OpenBSD Consumer Gateway

        Open Source and Blogging Bubbles, Building Customized FreeBSD Images, Updating Minecraft in FreeBSD, Upgrading FreeBSD jails using mkjail, Dragonfly 6.0 Performance benchmark, OpenBSD Consumer Gateway Launch, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 913

        Laptop end to the woes, audacity, ardour, home automation

    • Kernel Space

      • The initramfs for old kernels can hide old versions of things

        In short, what looks like an issue in the new kernel may actually be a change in the new initramfs that you get along with the new kernel. It's hard to tell for sure, although you can try rebuilding the initramfs for an older kernel if you can work out how to do this correctly. Of course, if you do rebuild an initramfs for an old kernel to see if it's really the kernel that's at fault, you definitely want to save a copy of your working old initramfs.

      • Systemd 249 Released With New Option For Simple Whole-File-System A/B Updates

        Systemd 249 has been promoted to stable as the newest version of this Linux init system.

        Systemd 249 brings plenty of changes as usual with new systemd releases. One of the notable changes is around being able to carry out whole-file-system A/B updates. As explained in the change-log, "When operating on disk images via the --image= switch of various tools (such as systemd-nspawn or systemd-dissect), or when udev finds no 'root=' parameter on the kernel command line, and multiple suitable root or /usr/ partitions exist in the image, then a simple comparison inspired by strverscmp() is done on the GPT partition label, and the newest partition is picked. This permits a simple and generic whole-file-system A/B update logic where new operating system versions are dropped into partitions whose label is then updated with a matching version identifier."

      • Samsung Posts Newest "KSMBD" Linux Patches For In-Kernel SMB3 Server - Phoronix

        For quite a while now Samsung engineers have been developing an in-kernel SMB3 file sharing server for the Linux kernel. In recent months that code has been maturing more and now the latest version of this KSMBD kernel code has been published.

        Out now is the fifth round of these patches for KSMBD (previously as "CIFSD" within the kernel) for implementing an in-kernel SMB3 server. The focus remains on being able to deliver optimal performance and supporting more features like RDMA integration compared to what can be implemented efficiently in user-space with the likes of Samba.

      • Linux 5.14 Now Handles The Microsoft Xbox One Select/Share Button On Its Controllers - Phoronix

        The Linux 5.14 input subsystem updates have landed with new hardware support and other changes.

        The Linux 5.14 input updates aren't the most exciting but a few highlights worth mentioning include:

        - The "qwiic-joystick" driver has been added for supporting the SparkFun Qwiic. This is a ~10$ USD open-source joystick for DIY electronics projects. This open-source hardware now has an open-source driver in the mainline kernel.

      • Linux 5.13 with intrusion protection and sandbox [Ed: Automated translation]

        After seven release candidates, Linus Torvalds decided to release the Linux kernel 5.13. The week after rc7 was pretty quiet, which led him to no longer hold back Linux 5.13. With more than 17,000 commits including merges, it is one of the largest releases in the 5.x series. Over 2000 developers contributed to the release. Nevertheless, Torvalds reassured in his release note that, despite its size, there was nothing really “outstandingly unusual” about it. He suspects the size increase in the extra week of the rc8 from Linux 5.12, which delayed the merge window from 5.13. Between the lines this means that additional patches and merges have built up due to this extra week. These have now also been incorporated into Linux 5.13.

      • Spectre revisits BPF

        It has been well over three years now since the Spectre hardware vulnerabilities were disclosed, but Spectre is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Writing correct and secure code is hard enough when the hardware behaves in predictable ways; the problem gets far worse when processors can do random and crazy things. For an illustration of the challenges involved, one need look no further than the BPF vulnerability described in this advisory, which was fixed in the 5.13-rc7 release.

        Attacks on Spectre vulnerabilities generally rely on convincing the processor to execute, in a speculative mode, a sequence of operations that cannot happen in real execution. A classic example is an out-of-range array reference, even though the code performs a proper bounds check. The erroneous access will be backed out once the processor figures out that it mispredicted the result of the bounds check, but the speculative access will leave traces in the memory caches that can be used to exfiltrate data.

        The BPF virtual machine has always been an area of special concern when it comes to defending against speculative-execution attacks. Most such attacks rely on finding a fragment of kernel code that can be made to do surprising things when the CPU is executing speculatively; kernel developers duly have made a concerted effort to eliminate such fragments. But BPF exists to enable the loading of code from user space that runs within the kernel context; that allows attackers to craft their own code fragments and avoid the tedious task of combing through the kernel code.

        Much work has been done in the BPF community to frustrate those attackers. For example, array indexes are ANDed with a bitmask so that they cannot reach outside of the array even speculatively, regardless of what value they may contain. But it can be hard to anticipate every case where the processor may do something surprising.

      • Suppressing SIGBUS signals

        The mmap() system call creates a mapping for a range of virtual addresses; it has a long list of options controlling just how that mapping should work. Ming Lin is proposing the addition of yet another option, called MAP_NOSIGBUS, which changes the kernel's response when a process accesses an unmapped address. What this option does is relatively easy to understand; why it is useful takes a bit more explanation.

        Normally, when a process performs an operation involving memory, it expects the desired data to be read from or written to the requested location. Sometimes, though, things can go wrong, resulting in the delivery of a fatal (by default) signal to the process. A "segmentation violation" (SIGSEGV) signal is generated in response to an attempt to access a valid memory address in a way that is contrary to its protection — writing to read-only memory, for example. Attempting to access an address that is invalid, instead, results in a "bus error" (SIGBUS). Bus errors can be provoked in a number of ways, including using an improperly aligned address or an address that is not mapped at all. If a process uses mmap() to create a mapping that extends beyond the end of the backing file, attempts to access the pages past the end of the file will result in SIGBUS signals.

        If, however, a memory range has been mapped with the proposed MAP_NOSIGBUS flag, SIGBUS signals will no longer be generated in response to an invalid address that lies within the mapped area. Instead, the guilty process will get a new page filled with zeroes. If the mapped area is backed up by a file on disk, the new page will not be added to that file. To a first approximation, the new option simply makes SIGBUS signals go away, with the process never even knowing that it had tried to access an invalid address.

      • Some 5.13 development statistics

        As expected, the 5.13 development cycle turned out to be a busy one, with 16,030 non-merge changesets being pulled into the mainline over a period of nine weeks. The 5.13 release happened on June 27, meaning that it must be time for our traditional look at the provenance of the code that was merged for this kernel.

        In terms of changeset counts, 5.13 was not the busiest development cycle ever; that record still belongs to 5.8, with 16,306 changesets merged; indeed, 5.10 (16,174) was also busier. But 5.13 did set a record by including the work of 2,062 developers — the first time more than 2,000 developers have participated in a single release cycle. Of those developers, 329 contributed their first patch to the kernel in this cycle, a number that just matches the previous record set by 4.12.

      • Fedora Magazine: Contribute to Fedora Linux Kernel 5.13 Test Week

        The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.13. This version was recently released and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Sunday, July 11, 2021 through Sunday, July 18, 2021. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • ACPI CPPC CPUFreq Will Try Frequency Invariance Again For Linux 5.14 - Phoronix

        Frequency invariance support for the ACPI CPPC CPUFreq driver originally landed in Linux 5.13 but was reverted late in the cycle due to problems (possible kernel oops) while now that's been cleaned up and is trying again for Linux 5.14 with this functionality striving for more accurate load tracking.

        Linux frequency invariance support has been a hot topic with various drivers / kernel code seeing adaptations by different vendors. Fundamentally the frequency invariance is about addressing the issue of tasks appearing larger if the CPU is running slower so the frequency invariance takes into account the current frequency (or performance state) relative to the maximum possible frequency (or maximum performance state). What's new for Linux 5.14 (after being dropped in 5.13) is the ACPI CPPC (Collaborative Processor Performance Control) CPUFreq driver now having frequency invariance support.

      • Google pauses Chrome OS update, breaks Linux container

        Last week, Google rolled out an incremental update to Chrome OS 91 and it didn’t take long for numerous users to start reporting a serious bug that was crippling the CPU and a number of Chromebooks. The bug report, now triaged, has been updated from priority 3 to priority 1 which is the second-highest level that can be given to a but. Priority 0 is normally reserved for bugs that expose serious security issues or completely bork system functionalities. While the bug has been acknowledged by Google and its developers, it is still unclear as to what is causing the issue or how far out we are from a fix.

      • F2FS Brings Compression Improvements To Linux 5.14 - Phoronix

        The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) continues seeing new features and improvements to this file-system that is increasingly used by Android devices and other flash/SSD-focused systems.

        F2FS for this new kernel has a compress_cache feature to improve random read performance. The compress_cache mount option allows using the address space of an inner inode to cache the compressed block to improve the cache hit ratio for random reads.

        Also on the compression front is allowing compression for mmap files. This is part of the F2FS developers continuing to make optimizations with Android in mind.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel's Mesa Drivers Using The IGC Compiler Delayed[

          Last summer I wrote about Intel prototyping their Mesa drivers to use the IGC compiler, which followed Intel transitioning their Windows driver to use this compiler that was originally written for their open-source Linux compute stack. While they were making good progress last year on having their Mesa drivers use the IGC compiler, the project has been pushed back.


          After word got out that Intel was interested in using IGC in Mesa, it drew some criticism from various Mesa developers over those prospects.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Gratitude

          This is going to be less of a technical post and more of a have you thought about post from me personally (usual disclaimer: this post represents only my views). With that said, I think this is more important than the average post here, meaning that expectations should be set somewhere between I need to stop everything else I’m doing until I finish reading and this is the most important event in my life.

          Let’s talk about open source. No, Open Source. The idea of it.

    • Applications

      • Audacity fork maintainer quits after alleged harassment by 4chan losers who took issue with 'Tenacity' name

        Efforts to wrest control of the open-source Audacity audio editing project from corporate owner Muse Group have hit a stumbling block after the maintainer of one of the more popular forks stepped down over alleged physical harassment.

        The trouble began when the two-decade-old Audacity project was acquired by Muse Group in May, a freshly launched parent company holding commercial services Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and others. Audacity seemed like a natural enough fit, and new maintainer Martin "Tantacrul" Keary promised it would remain both free and open source.

      • What Does It Mean When Software Is Forked?

        Software is forked when a rift occurs within its developing team, which could be due to differences of opinion regarding the project’s direction or personality clashes.

        A faction or member of the development team will then take the program’s source code and start independent development under a different name, approach, and direction. So, even though a fork is based on its parent software’s source code, it is a new and independent project in its own right.

        Because it's hard to legally secure the rights to a propriety software source code, forking occurs almost exclusively within the free software development world. This type of software’s “open source” nature also means that any user is within their rights to use, study, change, and distribute both it and its source code.

      • Cockpit 248

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

      • PostgreSQL JDBC 42.2.23 Released

        getColumnPrecision for Numeric when scale and precision not specified now returns 0 instead of 131089 fixes: Issue #2188 - Calling refreshRow on an updateable resultset made the row readOnly. Fixes Issue #2193 - results should be updateable if there is a unique index available PR#2199 Fixes Issue #2196 - Rework sql type gathering to use OID instead of typname. This does not have the issue of name shadowing / qual-names, and has the added benefit of fixing #1948.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Fix Buzzing Sound from Speakers on Arch Linux with Intel Chipset - Fasterland

        Every time I make a new install of Arch Linux on my Intel laptop, I notice a disturbing and annoying buzzing sound coming from my external speakers a few seconds after a playback is starter and then stopped. This is a common problem and the cause is a power saving feature on the Linux Kernel.

      • How to Create an Integrated Application Launcher For an Appimage file in Ubuntu

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a custom application launcher for an appimage in the Gnome Desktop Environment in Ubuntu. Although we are focusing on Ubuntu for this tutorial, this method should also work in other distributions that use the Gnome Desktop Environment and may also be useful reading for those using other Desktop Environments as some parts are still applicable.

      • How to install LibreOffice 7.1 on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install LibreOffice 7.1 on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • How to install Natron on a Chromebook in 2021

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

      • Pablo Iranzo Gómez: imapfilter for Gmail

        Until two weeks ago I was using an IMAP server (based on Zimbra) for my work email, but the date for migration to Gmail arrived with no choice to postpone…

      • How To Install Emacs Editor on Linux Mint 20 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Emacs Editor on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Emacs is a very useful plus feature-rich text editor that may be used across multiple various platforms. Emacs can also be used for coding purposes with support for programming languages like java, c++, and python.

        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 Emacs customizable text editor on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • What is PaaS? Platform-as-a-Service Types Explained | RoseHosting

        It is a cloud service model where developers rent all-powerful components required to build an application, thereby relying on cloud providers for infrastructure, operating systems and development tools. This model greatly simplifies your entire process of web application development, especially for developers as it reduces the complexity of backend management.

      • The Sysctl Command in Linux - ByteXD

        In this tutorial we’ll learn the fundamentals of the sysctl command.

        To start off, have you wondered how an operating system can use the hardware on which it is running?

        It’s the kernel that acts as an interface between an operating system and the hardware. It enables the communication between both entities and is part of the operating system that runs on the hardware.

        A user, however, does not interact with the kernel but rather works in a limited space to manage files and execute programs.

        So, for example, does Ubuntu have a kernel? Yes, it does.

        We can also make certain modifications to the kernel using the sysctl command, which is this article’s focus.

        Let’s proceed to take a look at this concept.

      • How to Use the Grep Command in Linux - ByteXD

        In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to use grep command along with its various parameters. I’ll be using Ubuntu 20.04 for examples, but the grep command should work the same in all Linux distros.

        The grep command in Linux is used to search for a text pattern in a file or in a set of files. It can be used to search in a set of files for a particular pattern and to display the found lines. It can also be used to match text patterns in command line output. For a concrete example of this you can check the Mixing the grep Command with Other Commands section of this article.

        Note: Even though there’s slim chance that the grep command is not installed on the distro you’re using, you should to install it using your distribution’s package manager. Let’s proceed to take a look at the grep command.

      • What to do when 2FA won't allow you into your Linux servers - TechRepublic

        Recently, I had an incident where a two-factor authentication-enabled Linux server wouldn't allow me in via SSH. Fortunately, I had physical access to the server, so it wasn't a complete disaster. Had I not been able to log into the machine on site, I would have had to count on someone on-premise to take care of the situation. In some cases, that would not do.

      • Top Linux commands for system administrators | FOSS Linux

        Linux operating systems offer countless sysadmin commands and utilities, which help users, developers, and engineers with system administration tasks. For example, sysadmin commands and packages can help users optimize or manage applications and provide valuable troubleshooting information to network admins or sysadmins.

        These commands apply to Linux development environments, VMs, containers, and bare metal.

      • [Short Tip] Doing for-loops in Nushell
      • How To Install Glances on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Glances on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Glances is a real-time system monitoring tool written in Python language. It monitors system resources, including CPU, Memory, Load, Disk I/O, Processes, File System space, Network interface, and more. Glances present a maximum of information in a minimum of space through a curse or web-based interface.

        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 Glances system monitoring tool 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 Steam on Rocky Linux

        Just a few short days ago - well, no, technically it's summertime, unless you're on the wrong side of the disc, so the days are long - I tested Rocky Linux, then subsequently wrote a guide on how to turn it into a perfect desktop, and therein noted one big omission. Steam.

        My desktop enhancement article did not have any instructions for this gaming platform. The reason is, at the time of my testing and writing, it was near impossible installing Steam on Rocky. But it can be done, if you're diligent enough. Now, let me show you how.

      • How to Install Linux Mint’s New ‘Bulky’ File Renamer in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Linux Mint introduced a new batch file renamer app ‘Bulky’ in the upcoming 20.2 release. Here’s how you can install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04.

        Bulky is a simple and elegant tool for renaming multiple files and folders in Linux. It’s a free and open-source tool developed by Linux Mint team.

        With Bulky Renamer, you can find and replace file / folder names with regular expression support, while preview the changes under ‘New name’ section before clicking “Rename” button.

      • Is your Ubuntu a 32-bit or a 64-bit OS?

        As a Linux user, knowing whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Ubuntu on your machine might be useful at times. The topic of how to determine the flavor of your operating system (OS) as well as the architecture of the underlying CPU emerges.

      • Best 5 commands to check HostName in Linux | Linux Today

        This quick tutorial from 2DayGeek will show you how to check the hostname using different commands in Linux.

      • Linux 101: How to find drive space usage from the command line - TechRepublic

        If you need to know how much space remains on those drives connected to your server, the information is but a quick command away. Jack Wallen shows you how.

    • Games

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Silence & The Fury releases soon as the last DLC | GamingOnLinux

        Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Silence & The Fury is now firmly set to be the last DLC for the very popular strategy game from Creative Assembly, SEGA and porter Feral Interactive.

        A release date as announced recently as July 14, although Feral Interactive previously stated it would arrive for Linux (and macOS) sometime "shortly" after the release for Windows. It's shaping up to be a pretty big DLC and an accompanying free update will also arrive at the same time.

      • The 'Big Balance Update' is out now for Warzone 2100 | GamingOnLinux

        After many years of upgrades for the free and open source Warzone 2100, the team hacking away at the code have issued a fresh update to focus on balancing issues. Info: Warzone 2100 was originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive and was release in 1999, much later it was open sourced in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. To this day it's still one of the most innovative RTS games around.

        Something that often needs to be address in many competitive games, balancing is a difficult thing to do with so many different pieces and especially so for a strategy game with so many ways to play it.

      • The fab Death Trash will be releasing on GOG in addition to Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Death Trash, an upcoming and very impressive open-world RPG is now confirmed to be getting a DRM-free release on GOG when it enters Early Access on August 5. Considering GOG are still quite picky when it comes to what indie games they bring over, often turning them down, it just goes to show how much of a mark Death Trash has made with its recent (and now permanent) demo on Steam.

      • Frogsong is an upcoming heartfelt adventure game in the world of Frogs | GamingOnLinux

        Ribbit? Frogsong from developer Brandon Braun is an upcoming heartfelt adventure game set in the world of the Frogs and it really does look charming. We actually covered this one back in 2020 and somehow missed that it now has a Kickstarter that's about to finish.


        Linux support is confirmed for the full game but not the demo. The Kickstarter campaign ends on July 12 and it just recently managed to hit the CA$25,000 goal. Since it has the funding now, the developer estimated the full release to be in 2022 with two thirds of it already done.

      • The Pedestrian on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Native

        The Pedestrian running natively on Linux.

      • Indoorlands is a special kind of theme park builder arriving July 14

        Indoorlands from Pixelsplit is an upcoming game about building theme parks. It's piqued our curiosity due to the idea of everything being inside, and the way you design things. The developer has released two previous games with Virtual Rides 3 - Funfair Simulator and Deadly Days, with both being positively rated (and we quite liked Deadly Days too).

        With the building system in Indoorlands you place down great big halls, then go inside to design every aspect of them. You can mix and match different themes, place down tons of different decorative objects and entire rides placed inside these huge rooms - it's called Indoorlands for a reason huh?

      • The International 10 for Dota 2 gets a new location and date

        After Valve announced recently that after Sweden decided against allowing it to happen, that they would look elsewhere and they've now settled with Bucharest, Romania at the country's largest stadium — Arena Nationala. The prize pool is massive, the biggest ever for a single e-sports event at $40,018,195 making it a ridiculously huge event.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • pfSense CE 2.5.2 Released, With Some Challenges For Early WireGuard Adopters

          pfSense Community Edition is the open source branch freely available for use, as opposed to pfSense Pro which is the new closed source branch. pfSense CE 2.5.2 has just been released for you packet junkies out there, but as ServeTheHome discovered it may not be a simple upgrade for some. After the release of pfSense 2.5, pfSense and FreeBSD pulled back on kernel WireGuard support which many had been using in conjunction with pfSense. This means that a number of users out there are running a router with an outdated version of Wireguard and that will prevent a happy upgrade to 2.5.2, which returns Wireguard support as an experimental add-in.

          Upon installing the update, those few brave souls running Wireguard will be faced with error messages stating that all Wireguard interfaces and tunnels must be removed before the installation can succeed. This is inconvenient but as the number of users that will see the message is quite low the decision makes some sense. In order to upgrade the existing version of Wireguard, pfSense would have to put a fair amount of work into testing and development for this patch. This could change thanks to the open source nature of pfSense CE, but ServeTheHome is not holding much hope for that at the moment.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Manager Now Supports Amazon Linux! | SUSE Communities

          SUSE Manager 4.2, released two weeks ago, now supports Amazon Linux 2. While that alone is good news already, allow me use this opportunity to give a bit of context: I believe that, in a sense, Open Source Software revolves around choices. By giving you options, SUSE gives you the freedom to choose. Even better if it doesn’t tie you to your choices, but allows you to revert them later with as little friction as possible. And an ideal solution allows you to choose not having to choose in the first place – by allowing all those options to coexist.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What is a sysadmin? | Enable Sysadmin

          What does the term "sysadmin" or "system administrator" mean to you? What does a sysadmin do? How do you know you are one?

          Existential questions like this seldom have concrete answers, and the answers that do present themselves can be pretty fluid. The answers are also significantly different for different people and depend upon their work experience.

        • Automating performance analysis

          As a system administrator, have you ever found yourself in this situation? Your production systems have been humming along nicely when, out of the blue, the phone rings. "What just happened!? Everything slowed to a crawl, but now it’s fine again?"

          Where to even start? Your systems are complex. There are so many moving parts potentially contributing to the problem that root causes can be anywhere—and worse, they can be transient. There are databases, networked storage, firewalls, applications, JVMs, VMs, containers, kernels, power management, backups, live migrations, database schema changes—and that’s just on your development laptop! It’s even more complex in production datacenters and the cloud, where you’ve got it all operating on large, real-life data sets.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) provides tools that can help. Let’s look at a simple command line technique and tools that will help you as the first responder to a performance emergency—beyond dashboards, beyond top(1) and iostat(1) and pidstat(1) and netstat(1) and vmstat(1) and so on and so forth—to help you to gain deeper understanding and find root causes.

        • Automate Kubeflow deployment

          Kubeflow is an end-to-end machine learning platform on Kubernetes that provides components and rich features to compose machine learning pipelines. The new release, v1.3, came out recently, and you can deploy the new release on the IBM Kubernetes Service. The deployment involves Kubernetes cluster creation, local environment setup, deployment, and configuration, and if you are not familiar with these operations, they can look intimidating. One mistake in these procedures can lead to a painful debugging, reconfiguration, and even scrap and redo. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Resources to lower the barrier for you: IBM Cloud Schematics to deploy multi-user Kubeflow v1.3, which integrates with App ID as a login mechanism, and an Auto-Kubeflow repository.

        • Whitehurst, stepping down from IBM, wants to be a CEO again

          IBM announced the departure of president Jim Whitehurst last week, with scant details about the decision or the move.

          Whitehurst, who led Red Hat from December 2007 through the acquisition of the open-source software company in a $34 billion deal with IBM, told Barron’s that he wants another chance to be CEO, but it wasn’t going to happen at IBM.

          In the Barron’s interview, Whitehurst noted that he, 54, and Krishna, 59, are too close in age for that to work out, adding that he knew his tenure at IBM was likely to be short when the board of directors chose Krishna, a 30-year IBM veteran, as CEO.

          Whitehurst told Barron’s that he knew that his time at IBM was likely to be short when the board chose the 30-year IBM veteran Krishna as CEO. Whitehurst had been widely considered a candidate to succeed Rometty, and WRAL TechWire’s The Skinny blog had Whitehurst as a top candidate for the role of CEO at the time of the acquisition of Red Hat by IBM.

        • 5 elements of servant leadership

          I have had the privilege of building and leading teams inside many organizational cultures. As such, I have observed the varying degrees of effectiveness of many types of cultures - hierarchical, flat, inclusive, fear-inducing, supportive, toxic, and just about every combination of the above. By maintaining attention to the core principles and responsibilities that I sketched out early in my leadership career, I’ve ensured that, regardless of the broader culture, my personal mission and service to my team remains in focus. I would like to share some ideas from those core principles of servant leadership - five essential elements to consider prioritizing in your work with your team.

        • Digital transformation: 3 post-pandemic best practices | The Enterprisers Project

          While enterprise executives have been thinking about digital transformation for years, the past 12 months have seen massive acceleration. There is now broad consensus that digital innovation is necessary for survival.

          But success is far from guaranteed. Past data shows that a majority of companies struggle to make these initiatives a success: A 2019 Everest Group survey reports that 78 percent of enterprises failed to meet the business objectives of their digital transformation.

          Some of the most common challenges include a lack of buy-in throughout the organization, poor communication, and a flawed long-term roadmap for innovation. More recently, enterprises have been plagued by flawed strategies such as pilot projects, limited rollouts, and other barriers to growth.

          Time for a reality check. Let’s look at some best practices that can help your organization maximize the potential of your digital transformation.

      • Debian Family

        • Proxmox VE 7.0 surprisingly with Debian 11 “testing” as the basis

          Only a good two months after Proxmox VE 6.4, the makers of the Linux-based open source virtualization platform are postponing version 7.0. With Ceph 16.2 (Pacific) it now supports the current version of the object storage system by default. The predecessor Ceph 15 (Nautilus) can still be used.

          Debian 11 as a base

          As with every new major version, the Debian substructure of Proxmox VE also changes – this time from Debian 10 (Buster) to Debian 11 (Bullseye). This is surprising because the latter is still in the “testing” phase of the Debian development cycle. So far the Proxmox developers have always based their environment on a Debian version from the current “stable” branch.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.2 "Uma" Released. This is What's New

          Linux Mint 20.2 Uma is not available for download and to upgrade. We wrap up the release for you with download instructions.

        • Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Based on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) and powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series, Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” ships with the latest Cinnamon 5.0 desktop environment on the flagship edition, as well as the Xfce 4.16 and MATE 1.24 desktop environments on the Xfce and MATE editions.

          Highlights of the Linux Mint 20.2 release include an updated Warpinator app with support for selecting the network interface you want to use for sharing files and new optional compression setting for up to 3 times faster file transfers, an updated NVIDIA Prime applet that now supports computers with AMD/NVIDIA hybrids graphics, as well as an updated Update Manager app with support for Cinnamon spice updates and automation of Flatpak updates.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-18 Is Coming July 14th with Performance Improvements, Various Changes

          Ubuntu Touch OTA-18 promises to be yet another maintenance update to the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system developed by UBports for Linux-powered smartphones, bringing various performance improvements to make the entire system more snappy on all supported devices.

          To achieve that, the team managed to implement a way for Ubuntu Touch to scale down and display wallpapers without affecting the performance of the system, which mostly benefits BQ Aquaris E4.5 users using the default wallpaper. For other devices, the RAM savings will vary depending resolution of the screen and wallpaper.

        • Design and Web team summary – 2 July 2021

          The web team at Canonical runs two-week iterations building and maintaining all of Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Moving toward Diátaxis

          We discovered the Diátaxis Framework earlier this year. It’s been on our roadmap to shift MAAS doc to this cool new way of explaining things. This cycle, we plan to make it happen.


          In other words, if we change your context too many times, you’ll stop reading and just try something. When that doesn’t work, you may scan the doc again once or twice, but pretty soon, you’ll be on our MAAS discourse page, asking for someone to decode it all for you. There’s nothing wrong with MAAS discourse — it’s a great forum, and lately, one of our team members is always tasked with patrolling it as a top priority. But around eighty-five percent of your information needs should be met by the documentation.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud Hub 22 is Here with Exciting New Features

        Nextcloud Hub 22 introduces approval workflows, integrated knowledge management, and decentralized group administration.

        Nextcloud is an open source software package for organizations and individuals who want to host their own secure cloud services. When on January 17, 2020, Nextcloud version 18 was announced, its name was changed to Nextcloud Hub.

        With Nextcloud Hub you can share and collaborate on documents, send and receive email, manage your calendar and have video chats without data leaks. As fully on-premises solution, it provides the benefits of online collaboration without the compliance and security risks.

        Keep in mind that Nextcloud Hub 22 is compatible with the latest PHP 8 but drops compatibility with PHP 7.2.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5.1 (Android Only)

            Tor Browser 10.5.1 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version is a bugfix for Android Tor Browser 10.5.

          • Mozilla Rally: trading privacy for the "public good"

            A new project from Mozilla, which is meant to help researchers collect browsing data, but only with the informed consent of the browser-user, is taking a lot of heat, perhaps in part because the company can never seem to do anything right, at least in the eyes of some. Mozilla Rally was announced on June 25 as joint venture between the company and researchers at Princeton University "to enable crowdsourced science for public good". The idea is that users can volunteer to give academic studies access to the same kinds of browser data that is being tracked in some browsers today. Whether the privacy safeguards are strong enough—and if there is sufficient reason for users to sign up—remains to be seen.


            Part of the difficulty in the messaging around a project like Rally is all of the moving parts it has and that different kinds of users are going to need different areas of emphasis in order to really make it clear for them. It is a project that sits at a particularly uncomfortable intersection of concerns—or the lack thereof. The lack of any real tangible benefit from joining up is problematic as well. "For the good of society" has a nice ring to it, but it is terribly difficult to quantify.

            If Mozilla were a different kind of company, one could imagine it gathering this kind of information without any kind of uproar from the social-network-using folks who seem utterly unconcerned with the massive privacy invasions those kinds of sites routinely perform. But Mozilla is not that kind of organization, so it needs to convince those who do not really seem to care about privacy much to care enough to install the add-on, while not excessively irritating the more tech-savvy users who get up in arms about even the smallest loss of private data. It is a hard balance to find.

            Given all that, it is a little hard to see Rally being a huge success. There are certainly perfectly reasonable concerns about gathering this kind of data, storing it, dealing with governments that want access to it, and so on. The privacy-savvy may well skip over Rally for its real or perceived shortcomings, while the vast majority of folks may either never hear of it or pay it no attention whatsoever. That is somewhat sad, perhaps, at least to those who can see value in the kinds of studies (and platform oversight) that Rally data-gathering would enable. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Education

        • [Old] myLearning digital platform expands courseware; announces new features

          “Learning Locker is going to store learning data and can serve as a source of record for organizations,” said Bill Muse, AETC Learning Services program manager. “Intelliboard is our reporting and analytics tool, and BigBlueButton is a conferencing system that will allow for virtual classrooms with audio, video, slide presentation, and a chat functionality within the myLearning system.”

          According to Muse, these new features should be fully operational on the site by mid-August.

        • Connecting with Students in the Virtual Classroom

          Make full use of the features typical of the BigBlueButton virtual classroom, such as the multi-user whiteboard, the chat and the breakout rooms. Especially in a breakout room, your students have ample opportunity to collaborate and learn from one another. While they can always rely on you to ask questions about the learning material, it is beneficial if they can exchange information amongst themselves. Are your students actively participating in such smaller live sessions? Recognize their efforts. After all, teamwork makes the dream work.

        • Turning a new page: information literacy goes online

          To address this, breakout rooms in a BigBlueButton virtual classroom can be used to split groups and help online students engage in effective discussion. Teachers can guide students to speak about the search process, the challenges they encounter, and how they address them. This discussion, which occurs in small groups, allows student to learn from their peers and to get new ideas about how different results are retrieved.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • MyGNUHealth 1.0.1 is out!

            I just released 1.0.1 for the stable series 1.0 of MyGNUHealth, the GNU Health Personal Health Record.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 1.0.7: More Updates

          The Rcpp team is pleased to announce release 1.0.7 of Rcpp which arrived at CRAN earlier today, and will be uploaded to Debian shortly. Windows and macOS builds should appear at CRAN in the next few days. This release continues with the six-months cycle started with release 1.0.5 last July. As a reminder, interim ‘dev’ or ‘rc’ releases will alwasys be available in the Rcpp drat repo; this cycle there were seven (!!). These rolling release tend to work just as well, and are also fully tested against all reverse-dependencies.

        • Track changes in /etc with etckeeper

          Today I will introduce you to the program etckeeper, a simple tool that track changes in your /etc/ directory into a versioning control system (git, mercurial, darcs, bazaar...).

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Making Sense of Sex and Gender

      By the end of that long lunchtime conversation, he said he had no trouble following my argument and found little to disagree with. “To tell you the truth,” he said, “I don’t really understand a lot of what the trans movement is saying.”

      I told him I had no trouble understanding his confusion, because the transgender movement’s€ arguments seemed unclear, sometimes even incoherent, to me as well. Then I asked him: “Is there any other issue on which you can’t make sense of a political movement’s arguments but you still support its policy proposals?”

    • The Volvo Strike

      The strike has had an impact on production at other Volvo plants. Parts shortages are causing temporary layoffs at the company’s Mack Trucks assembly plants in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

      The Volvo multinational corporation had revenues of $30.68bn, and operating profits of $1.3bn, in 2020. The Covid pandemic caused both figures to be lower than their 2019 equivalents. Recently Volvo Group paid over $2.3 billion in dividends to shareholders.

    • St. Vincent’s Journey Into Musical Memory

      You can take the title of St. Vincent’s latest album, Daddy’s Home, at least two ways. You might think of the phrase in narrative terms, if you’re going by the album’s lyrics or the interviews granted around the project: Daddy is home. Richard Clark, father of St. Vincent (given name, Annie Clark) has come home from prison after serving nine years of a 12-year sentence for his involvement in a $43 million stock market scam. “Yeah, you did some time,” sings his daughter in a staccato squeak. “Well, I did some time, too.” Leaving the nature of her own atonement to the listener’s imagination, she drives home her close connection to her father, calling the two of them as “tight as a Bible with the pages stuck like glue.” Daddy has returned, St. Vincent reports, and having him back cements their closeness, though she doesn’t tell us why or how, at least not in the lines she sings.

    • Science

      • War on Science Persists Within Biden EPA as Staffers Allege Chemical Reports Altered

        Four scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency are alleging that the "war on science" is continuing under the Biden administration, with managers at the agency altering reports about the risks posed by chemicals and retaliating against employees who report the misconduct.

        The government watchdog Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a formal complaint€ Friday on behalf of the scientists with the EPA's Office of the Inspector General, calling for an investigation into reports that high-level employees routinely delete crucial information from chemical risk assessments€ or change the documents' conclusions to give the impression that the chemicals in question are not toxic.

      • China’s Zuchongzhi Quantum Computer is the most powerful in the world

        The sci-fi dream of quantum computing has been real for years now. Back in 2019, Google partnered with NASA to create a Quantum Computer that performed calculations far faster than traditional PCs.

        In the two years since Google’s Quantum Computer went live, a Chinese research team led by Jian-Wei Pan have upped the anti. Last year, the team already improved upon Google’s efforts by using light-based photonic qubits instead of current-powered superconducting qubits. However, they’ve already improved on that design with Zuchongzhi.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Samsung Electronics Adopts International Open Source Standard

        Samsung Electronics today announced the adoption of OpenChain ISO (International Organization for Standardization) / IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 5230:2020, the first international standard for open source compliance. The company joins a growing community of companies in the field of consumer electronics, automotive, cloud computing and telecommunications in using this standard to manage supply chains.

        The OpenChain Project began in 2016 as an initiative of the Linux Foundation, a non-profit organization in the United States. It aims to establish an effective and consistent open source compliance system.

        The OpenChain Project was adopted as an ISO / IEC international standard in 2020. The project evaluates each company’s open source compliance capabilities and grants certification if they met the criteria.

      • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak stands up for right-to-repair, argues company built on open source

        “We wouldn’t have had an Apple, had I not grown up in a very open technology world,” said Wozniak. “Back then, when you bought electronic thing like TV’s and radios, every bit of the circuits and designs were included on paper. Total open source.”

        He continued by talking about how straightforward repair use to be. “Even non-technical family members could pull out the tubes…and find a tube tester… and if it was bad, buy a new tube. Everyone did this all the time back then.”

        He then focused on the way that Apple, at its founding, was positively impacted by the open schematics of the time. “When starting Apple, I could never afford a teletype for input and output.” He then spoke about how he was able to use a tv to output the signals. “That all came from being able to repair things, modify them, and tap into them yourself.”

        Moving on from his own repair experience, he questioned, “why stop the self-repair community? Why stop the right to repair people? Look at the Apple II. It shipped with full schematics… this product was the only source of profits for Apple for the first ten years of the company.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The G20 Must Act Immediately to Vaccinate the World

        When G20 finance ministers meet in Venice on July 9-10, they should adopt a plan to immunize the world against COVID-19. Every vaccine-producing country will be in the room: the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, Russia, and India. Together, these countries produce enough doses to complete the immunization process for the entire globe by early 2022. Yet the world still lacks a plan to get it done.

      • The Art of the Meal

        Martinsburg, West Virginia—Laughter, good conversation, and by all means good food nourish the soul. I learned everything about that, along with setting a lovely table and entertaining, from my mother and paternal grandmother. In adult life, I maintain this passion for effervescence at the dinner table whether in an intimate setting or among large groups of 100-plus.

      • Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 3: Conspiracy theories and grift

        After last Friday’s post, I hadn’t planned on writing about ivermectin again for a while. Ivermectin, as you might recall, is the veterinary deworming drug also sometimes used in humans to treat various parasitic worms, that has become the new hydroxychloroquine in that, despite an extreme paucity of clinical evidence, has taken hydroxychloroquine’s place as the new “miracle cure” (or at least highly effective) treatment for COVID-19 that “They” don’t want you to know about (because, of course, it’s off patent and cheap and would thus eliminate the need for COVID-19 vaccines). Although ivermectin is not quite there yet, it’s fast approaching the point in its predecessor’s saga nearly a year ago when I labeled hydroxychloroquine the Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, in a nod to Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘s Black Knight who hilariously refused to admit defeat no matter how many of his limbs King Arthur lopped off.

      • Sha'Carri Richardson Is Excluded From Relay, Her Last Option for the Olympics
      • Sha’Carri Richardson and the last gasp of the war on marijuana

        The reaction, however, hints at a potential sign of hope: While Richardson is the latest victim of the war on marijuana, she may soon be among its last. Because with the pace of change happening around the world regarding cannabis, it seems likely that suspensions like hers could soon become a historical footnote — a reflection of an era gone by when the world tried an overly punitive approach to a relatively harmless drug.

      • Yes, open-plan offices do suck

        New research from Bond Business School at Bond University shows that it's not just a question of the type of working environment you prefer: the noise in open-plan offices increases stress and worsens mood.

        The study was performed under experimentally controlled conditions, and it found that just eight minutes of simulated open-plan office noise was enough to heighten negative mood by 25%.

        Furthermore, it increased stress (as measured by heart rate and sweat response) by 34%.

      • US pushes Mexico for approval of GM crops, access to potato market

        The United States pressured Mexico on Wednesday to allow genetically modified crops into the country and to open up access to U.S.-grown potatoes.

        United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai pushed for the concessions during a meeting in Mexico City with Mexican Agriculture Minister Víctor Villalobos and Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft’s emergency patch fails to fix critical “PrintNightmare” vulnerability | Ars Technica

          Game-over code-execution attacks are still possible even after fix is installed.

        • Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less ...
        • Apple Podcasts Continues to Be Plagued by Technical Issues
        • Beta Software : Systems presents new generation of Linux- and Unix-based solutions for output and log management

          Beta Systems presents the new generation V5 of its Linux- and Unix-based solutions for output management and document archiving as well as log management and archiving. With the new product generation, customers receive improved functionalities coupled with more flexibility and enhanced security and compliance capabilities.

        • Help Wanted -- Staff Shortages for Detecting and Resolving Security Vulnerabilities on Data Center Servers
        • Insurance and Ransomware

          As ransomware becomes more common, I’m seeing more discussions about the ethics of paying the ransom. Here’s one more contribution to that issue: a research paper that the insurance industry is hurting more than it’s helping.

        • Number of victims in major ransomware attack still unclear [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The company whose software was exploited in the biggest ransomware attack on record said Tuesday that it so far it appears that fewer than 1,500 businesses were compromised. But cybersecurity experts suspected the estimate was low and noted that victims are still being identified.

        • Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch for Windows Flaw

          Microsoft on Tuesday issued an emergency software update to quash a security bug that’s been dubbed “PrintNightmare,” a critical vulnerability in all supported versions of Windows that is actively being exploited. The fix comes a week ahead of Microsoft’s normal monthly Patch Tuesday release, and follows the publishing of exploit code showing would-be attackers how to leverage the flaw to break into Windows computers.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Github Copilot: AI Assistant To Help You Get Sued

            Github has released an amazing new AI pair programming tool trained on the billions of lines of stored on Github, however, it's not magic and sometimes dumps out code that is known to be from a GPL project. This is a serious problem for any developers interested in using this tool.

          • GitHub’s new Copilot code suggestion tool raises GPL concerns

            Sounds like a cool and useful feature, but this does raise some interesting questions about the code it generates. Sure, generated code might be entirely new, but what about possible cases where the code it “generates” is just taken from the existing projects the AI was trained on? The AI was trained on open source code available on GitHub, including a lot of code licensed under, for instance, the GPL.

          • Why Are People Criticising GitHub Copilot?
          • Vincent Fourmond: Upcoming features of QSoas and github repository [Ed: Developers need to delete GitHub, seeing the real agenda of Microsoft]
          • Openwashing

            • Open@RIT: The Birth of an Academic OSPO [Ed: Off-topic openwashing from the 'Linux' Foundation]

              I met Green at RIT’s booth at OSCON in the summer of 2019 and learned about JHU’s soft launch of their OSPO. Our booth showcased RIT’s work with students in Free and Open Source humanitarian work. We began with a 2009 Honors seminar course in creating educational games for the One Laptop per Child program. That seminar was formalized into a regular course, Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software. (The syllabus for the course’s most recent offering can be found at this link)

              By the end of 2010, we had a complete “Course-to-Co-Op lifecycle.” Students could get engaged in FOSS through an ecosystem that included FOSS events like hackathons and guest speaker visits, support for student projects, formal classes, or a co-op experience. In 2012, after I met with Chris Fabian, co-founder of UNICEF’s Office of Innovation, RIT sent FOSS students on Co-Op to Kosovo for UNICEF. We later formally branded the Co-Op program as LibreCorps. LibreCorps has worked with several FOSS projects since, including more work with UNICEF. In 2014 RIT announced what Cory Doctorow called a “Wee Degree in Free,” the first academic minor in Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture.

              All of these efforts provided an excellent base for an RIT Open Programs Office. (more on that missing “s” word in a moment) With the support of Dr. Ryne Raffaelle, RIT’s VP of Research, I wrote a “white paper” on how such an office might benefit RIT. RIT’s Provost, Dr. Ellen Granberg, suggested a university-wide meeting to gauge interest in the concept, and 50 people from 37 units across campus RSVP’d to the meeting. A subset of that group worked together (online, amid the early days of the pandemic) to develop a “wish list” document of what they’d like to see Open@RIT provide in terms of services and support. That effort informed the creation of the charter for Open@RIT approved by the Provost in the summer of 2020.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Linux Foundation Announces 30th Anniversary of Linux T-Shirt Design Contest
              • The Linux Foundation Announces 30th Anniversary of Linux T-Shirt Design Contest [Ed: So-called 'Linux' Foundation does not know GNU/Linux OS actually started in 1983. The omissions are intentional.]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced a design contest for the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference 2021 Conference T-shirt to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Linux. Submission designs should center around the 30th Anniversary of Linux theme in some capacity.

              • Please participate in the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Readiness Survey

                The recent presidential Executive Order on Cybersecurity focuses on producing and consuming SBOMs (Software Bill of Materials). SBOMs are especially critical for a national digital infrastructure used within government agencies and in critical industries that present national security risks if penetrated. SBOMs improve understanding of those software components’ operational and cyber risks from their originating supply chain; however, their use is not widespread.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (glibc), Gentoo (doas, firefox, glib, schismtracker, and tpm2-tss), Mageia (httpcomponents-client), openSUSE (virtualbox), Red Hat (linuxptp), Scientific Linux (linuxptp), and Ubuntu (libuv1 and php7.2, php7.4).

          • Evasive Techniques Used By Malicious Linux Shell Scripts

            In our previous blog, we discussed the common utilities in Linux which are generally used by threat actors in the attack chain. This blog discusses the common defense evasion techniques which are mostly used in malicious shell scripts and how Uptycs detects them.

          • Microsoft struggles to wake from its PrintNightmare: Latest print spooler patch can be bypassed, researchers say

            Any celebrations that Microsoft's out-of-band patch had put a stop PrintNightmare shenanigans may have been premature.

            The emergency update turned up yesterday for a variety of Microsoft operating systems; little-used products like Windows Server 2012 and 2016 were excluded from the interim release.

            While it initially appeared the remote-code execution (RCE) aspect of the security bug had been resolved, the local privilege escalation (LPE) hole remained, judging by the findings of a number of security researchers.

          • Microsoft patches PrintNightmare – even on Windows 7 – but the terror isn't over

            Microsoft has issued out-of-band patches for the PrintNightmare bug that allows remote and local Windows users to execute code as SYSTEM on boxes running the print spooler service, including domain controllers.

            The bug, designated CVE-2021-34527, is present in all versions of Windows.

            However, Microsoft's advisory states: "Updates are not yet available for Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2012."

          • Mega-distie SYNNEX attacked and Microsoft cloud accounts it tends tampered

            Technology distributor SYNNEX has admitted that its systems and Microsoft accounts it tends have been attacked, after the National Committee of the US Republican Party (RNC) named it as the source of a recent security incident.

            Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that APT 29, aka Cozy Bear, last week attacked the RNC which, as the organising entity of the US Republican Party, holds all sorts of interesting and sensitive data. Cozy Bear was also named as the entity behind the supply chain attack on SolarWinds

          • Kaseya’s VSA SaaS restart fails, service restoration delayed by at least ten hours

            Kaseya’s attempt to recover its SaaS services has failed, and its CEO has attempted to play down the significance of the incident that has seen its VSA services offline since July 2nd and over 1,000 ransomware infections.


            The company had previously advised that SaaS restoration had commenced, with individual SaaS servers due to come online “throughout the night US time”. “All systems will be online and accessible by July 7th 6AM US EDT,” the advice stated.

            Now the company says its next update will come at 8AM US EDT. It has offered no information on likely time of restoration or the nature of the issue that has slowed the SaaS rollout. Nor has Kaseya said if its promise to patch its on-premises VSA software within 24 hours of SaaS restoration remains in force.

          • The 10 best books on computer security | FOSS Linux

            The term computer security is also synonymous with Cybersecurity and information technology security. It relates to protecting, preventing, and understanding the threats that can cause harm to both a networked computer system and a configured information system. The security threat can result from the theft of data on such systems or their unauthorized use.

            A computer system is defined by both hardware and software. Since computer hardware is also equally valuable, the protection of sensitive computer hardware parts is easily achievable through alarms, locks, and serial numbers. On the other hand, achieving data protection and authenticated system access is not straightforward. It requires complex security tactics and algorithms.

          • Sophos secures deal to acquire Capsule8
          • Sophos acquires Capsule8 for Linux security
          • Sophos Acquires Capsule8 Security Platform for Linux Containers - Container Journal

            Sophos this week announced it has acquired Capsule8, a provider of tools for securing runtimes on Linux servers and container platforms, as part of an effort to expand its current focus beyond Windows security.

          • An unpleasant surprise for My Book Live owners

            Embedded devices need regular software updates in order to even be minimally safe on today's internet. Products that have reached their "end of life", thus are no longer being updated, are essentially ticking time bombs—it is only a matter of time before they are vulnerable to attack. That situation played out in June for owners of Western Digital (WD) My Book Live network-attached storage (NAS) devices; what was meant to be a disk for home users accessible via the internet turned into a black hole when a remote command-execution flaw was used to delete all of the data stored there. Or so it seemed at first.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New EDRi report reveals depths of biometric mass surveillance in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland

              The EDRi network’s new independent report by the Edinburgh International Justice Initiative (EIJI), “The Rise and Rise of Biometric Mass Surveillance in the EU”, reveals stark and compelling evidence of abusive facial recognition and other forms of biometric mass surveillance across the European Union (EU). This research shows that harmful biometric mass surveillance practices have become worryingly normalised by law enforcement, other public authorities and private companies in Germany and the Netherlands – with Poland starting to catch up.

              This new evidence comes hot on the heels of the EU’s two top privacy watchdogs, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and European Data Protection Board (EDPB), confirming that the EU must ban all automated recognition of human features in publicly accessible spaces. This supports the call from EDRi to permanently ban the indiscriminate or arbitrarily-targeted surveillance of people through their biometric features, in publicly-accessible spaces.

            • CHATCONTROL: European Parliament Approves Mass Surveillance Of Private Communications

              Today, the European Parliament approved the ePrivacy Derogation, allowing providers of e-mail and messaging services to automatically search all personal messages of each citizen for presumed suspect content and report suspected cases to the police. The European Pirates Delegation in the Greens/EFA group strongly condemns this automated mass surveillance, which effectively means the end of privacy in digital correspondence. Pirate Party MEPs plan to take legal action.

              In today’s vote, 537 Members of the European Parliament approved Chatcontrol, with 133 voting against and 20 abstentions.[1] According to police data, in the vast majority of cases, innocent citizens come under suspicion of having committed an offence due to unreliable processes. In a recent representative poll, 72% of EU citizens opposed general monitoring of their messages.[2] While providers will initially have a choice to search or not to search communications, follow-up legislation, expected in autumn, is to oblige all communications service providers to indiscriminate screening.

            • Improving Enforcement in State Consumer Privacy Laws

              Strong enforcement sits at the top of EFF’s recommendations for privacy bills for good reason. Unless companies face serious consequences for violating our privacy, they’re unlikely to put our privacy ahead of their profits. We need a way to hold companies directly accountable to the people they harm—especially as they have shown they’re all-too willing to factor fines for privacy violations into the cost of doing business.

              To do so, we recommend a full private right of action—that is, making sure people have a right to sue companies that violate their privacy. This is how legislators normally approach privacy laws. Many privacy statutes contain a private right of action, including federal laws on€ wiretaps,€ stored electronic communications,€ video rentals,€ driver’s licenses,€ credit reporting, and€ cable subscriptions. So do many other kinds of laws that protect the public, including federal laws on€ clean water,€ employment discrimination, and€ access to public records. Consumer data privacy should be no different.

              Unless companies face serious consequences for violating our privacy, they’re unlikely to put our privacy ahead of their profits.

            • EFF Gets $300,000 Boost from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to Protect Journalists and Fight Consumer Spyware

              “This donation will help us to develop tools and training for both working journalists and student journalists, preparing them to protect themselves and their sources. We also help journalists learn to research the ways in which local law enforcement is using surveillance tech in its day-to-day work so that, ultimately, communities can better exercise local control,” said EFF Cybersecurity Director Eva Galperin. “Additionally, EFF is launching a public education campaign about what we are calling ‘disciplinary technologies.’ These are tools that are ostensibly for monitoring work or school performance, or ensuring the safety of a family member. But often they result in non-consensual surveillance and data-gathering, and often disproportionately punish BIPOC.”

              A prime example of disciplinary technologies is test-proctoring software. Recently, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine charged 17 students with cheating after misreading software activity during remote exams. After a media firestorm, the school later dropped all of the charges and apologized. Other disciplinary technologies include employee-monitoring bossware, and consumer spyware that is often used to monitor and control household members or intimate partners. Spyware, often based upon similar technologies, is also regularly used on journalists across the globe.

              “We need to make sure that technology works for us, not against us,” said EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn. “We are so pleased that Craig Newmark Philanthropies has continued to support EFF in this important work for protecting journalists and people all over the world.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Afghanistan Awaits Uncertain Future After US Withdrawal

        As such, America’s military involvement in Afghanistan is comparable to Vietnam before it withdrew in 1975.

        More than two million Vietnamese from North and South, and 58 thousand Americans, died in America’s€ Vietnam war. € A€ Brown University€ study concluded that, as of April 2021, about 241 thousand people were killed in the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone since 2001, including 71 thousand civilians. America’s€ Afghan war€ casualties since 2001 tell us that a total of 2,312 service personnel have been killed, and more than 20 thousand wounded. Various estimates put the civilian death toll between half a million and two million people during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1989).

      • Abandon Afghanistan and Don't Look Back

        It’s been two decades. There was no legal or moral justification for the war to begin with. They’ve had too much time as it is.

        For those of us who have been closely connected to America’s longest war last week’s abandonment of Bagram airbase, the biggest U.S. facility in occupied Afghanistan, makes the long-promised withdrawal feel real.

      • Biden Acknowledges “Over The Horizon” Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

        Here is a portion of President Biden’s remarkable exchange with the press, which occurred at the close of his comments on the June, 2021 jobs report:

        When the President refers to “over-the-horizon capacity that we can be value added” he is referring to a plan, that appears might cost $10 billion, to fly drones and manned attack aircraft from bases as far away as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to assist the current Afghan central government in defending itself against the Taliban.

      • Afghanistan: the Darkening Glass

        Casualties are not yet on the scale of the civil war. The Taliban are biding their time, encircling cities, waiting for the Americans to depart. Many local garrisons have surrendered anyway, while elsewhere, tribal elders have negotiated bloodless transfers of power.

        When Ghani and his government, riddled with corruption and edging rapidly towards irrelevance, look down, they see only paint. They’re in a corner from which no amount of U.S. ‘support’ (bombs) can extricate them. Their collaboration with foreign powers has marked them with a black spot, too, that no soap can wash off.

      • Why Daniel Hale Deserves Gratitude, Not Prison

        "Pardon Daniel Hale."

      • Jovenel Moïse Dead: Haitian President Assassinated, Plunging Country into New Political Crisis

        Haiti is reeling from a new crisis after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack on his home in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince early Wednesday. In a statement, Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph said “a group of unidentified individuals” attacked the private residence of the president, killing him and injuring the first lady. Moïse, who had led Haiti since 2017, was accused of orchestrating a coup to stay in power beyond February 7, when his term officially ended. For months Haitians have staged large protests against Moïse demanding he leave office, but Moïse clung to power with support from the Biden administration, which backed his claims that his term should end next year. Dahoud Andre, a longtime Haitian community activist and member of the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti, says rumors are flying about who could be behind the killing. “As of now, we have no clue where this assassination came from,” Andre says, adding that “the Haitian people loathed Jovenel Moïse” and describing him as a “tool” of the United States. We also speak with Kim Ives, editor of Haiti Liberté, who says the assailants appear to have been well resourced in their attack. “Clearly this was a fairly sophisticated operation,” Ives says.

      • Haitian President Assassinated, Plunging Country Into New Political Crisis
      • Assassins of Haiti President Jovenel Moïse Reportedly Posed as US Agents

        This is a breaking news story... Check back for possible updates...

        Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated early Wednesday morning after what initial news reports described as "a group of unidentified people" attacked his home on the outskirts of the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince.

      • Hong Kong Kowtows To China Again, Turns Virtual Police State Into An Actual Police State

        The Chinese government agreed to stay out of Hong Kong's (government) business until 2047 when it took possession of the region in 1997. It has refused to hold up its end of the bargain.

      • Afghanistan: Soldiers flee to Tajikistan after Taliban clashes

        The troops retreated over the border to "save their own lives", according to a statement by Tajikistan's border guard.

        Violence has risen in Afghanistan and the Taliban have been making significant gains, particularly in the north of the country, in recent weeks.

      • Afghanistan: Women pick up arms against Taliban in Ghor, Muhammad Ghori's home

        Now, the Ghor province of Afghanistan is being trampled upon by the Taliban, who are capturing vast tracts of the country as the deadline for the withdrawal of the US-led Nato troops comes closer.

        b Of about 400 districts of Afghanistan, the Taliban are said to be in control of over 100 dbistricts. The month of June saw several deadly battles between the Afghan forces and the Taliban including those in Ghor, where tens of soldiers were reportedly killed.

        In a significant development, women in Ghor have taken up arms to defend their motherland against the Taliban. Photographs of Ghor women holding guns and rocket launchers are being shared on social media.

      • US Military Urges Washington to Heed Warnings on China

        Studeman said part of the difficulty is that while many in the United States see war as unlikely, countries like China view it as a more organic part of their struggle. And Beijing under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, in particular, is prepared to go to great lengths to surpass the United States as a preeminent global power.

      • America leaves Afghanistan on the brink of collapse

        America and its NATO allies have spent billions of dollars training and equipping Afghan security forces in the hope that they would one day be able to stand alone. Instead, they started buckling even before America left. Many districts are being taken not by force, but are simply handed over. Soldiers and policemen have surrendered in droves, leaving piles of American-purchased arms and ammunition and fleets of vehicles. Even as the last American troops were leaving Bagram over the weekend of July 3rd, more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers were busy fleeing across the border into neighbouring Tajikistan as they sought to escape a Taliban assault. “Everyone is shocked by how fast it’s fallen apart,” says a Western diplomat.

      • The War on Drugs Is 50 Years Old

        Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood before the White House press corps, staffers at his side, to announce “a new, all-out offensive” against drug abuse, which he denounced as “America’s public enemy number one.” He called on Congress to contribute $350 million for a worldwide attack on “the sources of supply.” The first battle in this new drug war would be fought in South Vietnam where, Nixon said, “a number of young Americans have become addicts as they serve abroad.”

      • Man Charged In Capitol Riot Was Yoga Instructor, Police Chief, COVID Protester
      • 2 Years Ago, Alan Hostetter Taught Yoga. Now He Faces Charges Tied To The Jan. 6 Riot
      • What Led A Police Chief Turned Yoga Instructor To The Capitol Riot?
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Fish are becoming addicted to methamphetamines seeping into rivers

        The control fish showed no preference for one side of the simulated stream or the other, but the methamphetamine-exposed fish repeatedly chose to stay in the drugged water.

        What’s more, the methamphetamine-exposed fish had elevated levels of methamphetamine in their brain tissue and were also less active than normal – which might reduce their chances of surviving and reproducing.

      • Waste plastic deluge could soon prove irreversible

        The waste plastic deluge fouling the world’s beaches could be more than just an eyesore. It could be a toxic timebomb.

      • North America Just Experienced Hottest June on Record—For Now

        Last month was the hottest-ever June in North America in recorded history, researchers said Wednesday, validating a hunch held by millions of people who just endured lethal€ temperatures that sparked dozens of wildfires and killed more than 500 individuals and over one billion intertidal animals.

        While "the heat dome above western€ Canada€ and the northwest United States generated headlines around the world as daily temperature records were shattered across British Columbia, Washington, and Portland," new satellite data "reveals this was part of a broader trend that built up over several weeks and a far wider area, which is underpinned by human-driven climate disruption,"€ The Guardian reported.

      • As the World Burns, DC Slow-Walks on Climate

        Nazis! I hate those guys, especially when—in the white-masked modern guise of Texas-fried unpatriotic cowards called the Patriot Front—they march with their upside-down American flags right past Independence Hall, hours ahead of July 4. At least until they encountered a handful of real Philadelphians, when they bravely turned their tail and fled.

      • Amid Record Heat, Footage Shows GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Dismissing Climate Change as 'Bullsh*t'

        Amid a deadly northwestern heatwave that scientists have described as "the most extreme" in recorded history, footage uncovered by CNN shows Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin flippantly dismissing the established science of human-caused climate change during an event hosted by a GOP-aligned advocacy group.

        "I don't know about you guys, but I think climate change is—as Lord Monckton said—bullshit," Johnson said, mouthing the expletive. "And by the way, it is."

      • A "Topical" Storm in Miami

        And as if that weren’t trippy enough, I came across a YouTube video yesterday of Sam Cooke singing Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” in one of the best covers of the song I’ve ever heard. Whoa!€  Check it Out:

      • 'Nowhere Is Safe': Scientists Sound Alarm as Killer Heat Rages in Pacific Northwest

        Across the globe, from Northern Canada to New Zealand, killer heat is having a devastating effect on people, wildlife, and our natural environment. And there seems to be no respite for some of the worst affected areas.

      • Energy

        • Exxon's Senate Puppets

          But a sad reality was revealed in last week’s bombshell news that Montana’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Republican U.S. Steve Daines were€ named by Keith McCoy, Exxon’s senior director of federal relations in Washington, as two of 11 senators who he says are “crucial” to ExxonMobil. In truth, it appears our senators are actually “fighting” for the oil and gas industry, not the 1 million Montanans counting on them for Senate representation.

          Of course there will be those who dismiss such attention-grabbing headlines as rumors, “fake news” or propaganda put out by opponents. But in this case it’s fair to say this information came “straight from the horse’s mouth” since it was recorded from a€ Zoom meeting in which Unearthed,€ a Greenpeace affiliate, pretended to be “head hunting” for some high-powered lobbyists. To say they got more than expected would be the understatement of the year.

        • Over 200 Activists, Celebrities, and Democratic Donors Demand Biden 'Reject Line 3'

          More than 200 activists, celebrities, Democratic donors, and environmentalists on Wednesday joined the Indigenous-led fight against Line 3 with a letter calling on President Joe Biden to cancel Enbridge's tar sands pipeline project.

          "We are asking you to reject Line 3 and to firmly establish the principle that we will move forward toward real climate solutions."—Letter to President Joe Biden

        • 'Unacceptable': 66 Million Gallons of Toxic Fracking Waste Dumped in Gulf of Mexico Since 2010

          As "extreme" fossil fuel extraction methods such as fracking and acidizing have become increasingly common in offshore oil and gas production over the past decade, the U.S. government is allowing corporations to discharge millions of gallons of hazardous waste€ into the Gulf of Mexico "without limit."

          That's according to Toxic Waters: How Offshore Fracking Pollutes the Gulf of Mexico, a new report (pdf) published Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

        • Canada Funneled $23 Billion in Subsidies to Three Pipelines Since 2018

          The Canadian federal and provincial governments have handed over C$23 billion (US$18.5 billion) in subsidies to three major oil and gas pipeline projects in just the past three years, according to a new report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), defying global calls to phase out government support for fossil fuels.

          But even that total is likely an undercount given the lack of transparency from the Canadian government over its support of the industry. “Canadian support to pipelines is higher than $23 billion dollars, but we don’t know by how much. The access to information request that we filed resulted in thousands of pages either redacted or withheld,” Vanessa Corkal, policy advisor at the IISD, and lead author of the report, said in a statement.

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Seahorses Extinction Assessment Reveals Threatened Species and Knowledge Gaps
        • More carbon dioxide will dry world’s rainforests

          More carbon dioxide could parch the rainforest as effectively as the woodman’s axe or farmer’s torch. Both are on the cards.

        • Indigenous-directed Short Film Asks Interior Secretary Haaland to Return Federal Protections to Gray Wolves

          The Global Indigenous Council today released “FAMILY,” a short film highlighting the deep cultural connection Indigenous Nations share with wolves and the major threats currently facing imperiled wolves in the lower 48 states. Watch “FAMILY” on the Global Indigenous Council€ YouTube page here.

          “FAMILY” appeals to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to reverse President Trump’s decision to remove federal protection from gray wolves in the lower 48 states and to relist the wolf under the Endangered Species Act. Leaving the Trump Administration’s wolf delisting rule in place contradicts President Biden’s Jan. 26 “Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships,” as the vast array of tribes impacted by the former administration’s decision were never consulted.

    • Finance

      • 'Tax. The. Rich.' After Pentagon Cancels Contract, Bezos' Wealth Hits Record $211 Billion

        After the Pentagon's decision to cancel a contract led Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' fortune to soar by $8.44 billion, hitting a record $211 billion, Rep. Pramila Jayapal Wednesday afternoon doubled down on her demand to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

        "The world's richest man reached a record $211 billion net worth Tuesday after Inc. shares rose 4.7% after the Pentagon announced it was canceling a cloud-computing contract with rival Microsoft Corp.," according to Bloomberg.

      • Top Economist Warns 15% Global Minimum Tax on Corporations Is 'Way Too Low'

        University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman, a leading expert on tax evasion, argued Wednesday that the 15% global minimum tax on multinational businesses pushed by the United States and endorsed by more than 100 countries is well below what's needed to crack down on widespread corporate tax avoidance and redress longstanding inequities.

        "For the Biden administration to give working families a real leg up, it should push Congress to enact a 25% minimum tax."—Gabriel Zucman, University of California Berkeley

      • Cryptocurrency May Wreak Havoc on Economy -- Especially on People With No Assets
      • Campaign to Rein in Mega IRA Tax Shelters Gains Steam in Congress Following ProPublica Report

        Two members of Congress who have long been responsible for shaping federal laws on retirement savings are considering major reforms after ProPublica exposed how the ultrawealthy are turning retirement accounts into gargantuan tax shelters.

        Rep. Richard Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, told ProPublica that he has directed the committee to draft a bill that “will stop IRAs from being exploited.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Dovgy makes eight Jailed ex-governor Sergey Furgal adds a new lawyer to his defense team — a former top investigator who served time for bribery and abuse of office

        Jailed former governor Sergey Furgal has added an eighth lawyer to his defense team. Dmitry Dovgy — a former senior investigator who was sent to prison in 2009 on bribery and abuse of office charges — officially joined the Furgal case during a closed-door remand hearing on July 5. Also during the hearing, the Moscow City Court extended Furgal’s arrest until October 7. Dovgy told Meduza that he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and will begin studying the case file soon. Here’s what we know about the former Khabarovsk krai governor’s newest lawyer.€ 

      • Russia declares Estonian consul detained by FSB persona non grata

        The Russian Foreign Ministry has declared Estonia’s consul to St. Petersburg persona non grata. The diplomat now has 48 hours to leave the country, the state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday, July 7.

      • The Strange Virus Attacking Republican Governors

        WARNING: A mutant coronavirus named Gubernatorious Imbecilious is spreading across the country, threatening to become pandemic.

      • Opinion | Heritage Defense: On the Lost Cause, One Nation Under God, the Ubiquity of Slavery, and Those Pesky Socialists Claiming There's Anybody Here Except White Men
      • New Book Details How Trump Wanted to Use Pandemic to Cancel 2020 Election
      • Trampling the Right to Vote

        The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., June 19, 1965, urging the House to pass the Voting Rights Act.

        Netflix is streaming a movie based on a true story about integrating a White school after an inferior Black school caught fire in Durham, N.C., in 1971. Titled “The Best of Enemies,” it has no big stars but a big, timely and important story to tell.

      • Eric Adams Won as a Centrist, but Bold Progressives Took the Other 2 Citywide Contests

        New York is a big city. It contains multitudes, and, yes, sometimes it contradicts itself. Its dominant Democratic Party can nominate both centrists and progressives for the city’s top jobs. Indeed, it has done just that.

      • Mitch McConnell Says Bipartisanship Is "Over." Believe Him.
      • More Than 700 Republicans Running in 2022 Have Pushed Trump’s Election Lies
      • Eric Adams, Ex-Police Captain, Wins NYC Democratic Mayoral Primary After Running on Crime as #1 Issue

        The next mayor of New York City will likely be the Brooklyn borough president and former police officer Eric Adams, according to a newly released tally in the Democratic primary race which accounts for most absentee ballots. Adams would be the city’s second Black mayor and ran to the right of his party, promising to tackle crime. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González has covered Adams for three decades and says Adams captured the votes of people concerned about an increase in gun violence and crime, which González suspects stems from police “standing down” in response to the movement to defund them.

      • Gravel Can Still Make a Mountain

        Fifty years to the month before, while Rumsfeld was Counselor to President Richard Nixon, Gravel “didn’t really know what the legal consequences would be” of “resting on the speech and debate clause of the Constitution” to make public the top secret Pentagon Papers that turned popular opinion against the Vietnam War.

        In 2008, Gravel was one of the few presidential candidates offering a break from Rumsfeld’s renewed militarism in the Middle East, as term limits prevented George W. Bush’s re-election but not the continuation of his wars. Those wars remained ongoing as Gravel ran again in 2020, by which time he would have entered the Oval Office as a nonagenarian.

      • In Leaked Video, GOP Congressman Admits His Party Wants Chaos and Obstruction
      • In Leaked Video, GOP Congressman Admits His Party Wants 'Chaos and Inability to Get Stuff Done'

        Newly leaked video footage of a recent event hosted by the right-wing group Patriot Voices shows Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas openly admitting that his party wants "18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done" as President Joe Biden, a bipartisan group of senators, and congressional Democrats work to pass climate and infrastructure legislation.

        "Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022," Roy says in the clip, referring to the month after that year's midterm elections. Republicans need to flip just a handful of seats to take back the House and Senate.

      • How to be a good ancestor

        What unfolded was striking. The citizens who were just being themselves advocated for policies that would boost their lifestyle in the short term. But the people in robes advocated for much more radical policies — from massive health care investments to climate change action — that would be better for the town in the long term. They managed to convince their fellow citizens that taking that approach would benefit their grandkids. In the end, the entire group reached a consensus that they should, in some ways, act against their own immediate self-interest in order to help the future.

        This experiment marked the beginning of Japan’s Future Design movement. What started in Yahaba has since been replicated in city halls around the country, feeding directly into real policymaking. It’s one example of a burgeoning global attempt to answer big moral questions: Do we owe it to future generations to take their interests into account? What does it look like to incorporate the preferences of people who don’t even exist yet? How can we be good ancestors?

      • What Did New York’s Mayoral Primary Tell Us About Ranked-Choice Voting?

        But while ranked-choice voting isn’t the culprit for last week’s mishap — it was Board mismanagement — it did serve to expose some of the debates around ranked-choice voting, including whether it’s a fair system of voting and whether voters even want it.

        Let’s start there. Why is ranked-choice voting such a hot topic of debate?

      • Why social media firms are at loggerhead with government on new IT Rules?

        The tussle that started between central government and social media firms over new IT Rules seems to be not ending soon. Big social media giants like Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and even search engine Google have time and again declined to comply with some of the New IT Rules. Twitter gained fresh controversy when IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s twitter account was blocked over violation of American Copyright law. In recent weeks acrimony grew between Centre and Twitter to the extent that Police have filed at least five cases against Twitter and it's officials.

      • China divided as WeChat deletes LGBT accounts from platform

        China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, but the LGBT community continues to face discrimination in the country.

        On Wednesday, at least two student LGBT groups have issued statements in response to their WeChat accounts being removed, which included the erasure of all their previous posts.

      • Wharton Grad Set to Take on Big Tech as New India Minister

        Ashwini Vaishnaw, 51, will head the ministries of Electronics & Information Technology, Communications as well as Railways, the government announced late on Tuesday evening. The incoming minister has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended the Indian Institute of Technology, which counts tech leaders like Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai as alumni.

      • Pussy Riot activist arrested at vaccination center in Moscow hours after release from jail

        Hours after his release from jail, Pussy Riot activist Alexander Sofeev went to get his second coronavirus vaccine dose. Police officers arrested him as he was exiting the vaccination center at the Gostiny Dvor in downtown Moscow. Pussy Riot members informed Meduza about the arrest.

      • Leonid Volkov fined over pro-Navalny flash mobs on February 14

        Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court has fined Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, 25,000 rubles ($337) over the “love is stronger than fear” flash mobs that took place in cities across Russia on February 14, 2021.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • YouTube's recommendations still push harmful videos, crowdsourced study finds

        A new crowdsourced investigation from the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit behind the Firefox web browser, asked more than 37,000 YouTube users to act as watchdogs and report harmful content through a browser extension that was then analyzed by research assistants at the University of Exeter in England. That user-supplied content included Covid-19 misinformation, political conspiracy theories, and both violent and graphic content, including sexual content that appeared to be cartoons for children, the analysis found.

        A majority — 71 percent — of all the reports came from videos recommended by YouTube’s algorithm, and recommended videos were 40 percent more likely to be reported than intentionally searched-for videos, according to the report. Reported videos also out-performed other videos, acquiring 70 percent more views per day than others watched by volunteers.

      • Looking for COVID-19 ‘Miracle Drugs’? We Already Have Them. They’re Called Vaccines

        Indian hospitals have reported a high case load of pediatric mortality and morbidity. That children can die from COVID-19 is a point worth stressing, given the emphasis that Weinstein and other vaccine skeptics have placed on the vaccines’ risks to children. The impression listeners might get from Weinstein’s podcast is that children are at no risk from this disease. This is false. A retrospective cohort study published recently in Nature found that among 12,306 lab-confirmed pediatric COVID-19 patients in the United States, in the study cohort, the hospitalisation frequency was 5.3 percent, with 17.6 percent needing critical care services and 4.1 percent requiring mechanical ventilation. We don’t know how many cases go unconfirmed, so this study leaves important questions unanswered. But clearly, COVID-19 is a killer: Last year, it made the top-10 list of causes of pediatric death in the United States. If even a few thousand of Weinstein’s listeners have been convinced by him to avoid being vaccinated, we can reasonably estimate, based on the patterns of infection we’ve so far seen, that many of them will acquire the disease, and roughly 1.8 percent of those will die. Not some, but many of the survivors will suffer permanent damage.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 289: Florida's Social Media Bill Fiasco, With State Rep. Anna Eskamani

        If you've been following our coverage of Florida's recent law about social media content moderation, you know it hasn't been going well — it was an insane bill that was quickly shut down by an injunction from a judge who could see how obviously unconstitutional it was. But the fight isn't over, so this week we're joined by Florida Representative Anna Eskamani, one of the most vocal critics of the bill in the state legislature, to discuss how this all happened and what's going to come next.

      • Trump to the Barricades

        Perhaps someone should remind him that they’re private companies to which the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply.

      • Trump Brings Class-Action Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter for "Canceling" Him
      • Trump Roundly Ridiculed for 'Bogus' Big Tech Lawsuit

        Critics of Donald Trump reacted with derision and disdain Wednesday after the former president announced a lawsuit against three tech firms and their CEOs that banned him for violating company policies against false and hateful posts.

        The Associated Press reports Trump announced his class-action suit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube, as well as respective CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, in Bedminster, New Jersey Wednesday afternoon.

      • It Can Always Get Dumber: Trump Sues Facebook, Twitter & YouTube, Claiming His Own Government Violated The Constitution

        Yes, it can always get dumber. The news broke last night that Donald Trump was planning to sue the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter for his "deplatforming." This morning we found out that they were going to be class action lawsuits on behalf of Trump and other users who were removed, and now that they're announced we find out that he's actually suing Facebook & Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter & Jack Dorsey, and YouTube & Sundar Pichai. I expected the lawsuits to be performative nonsense, but these are... well... these are more performative and more nonsensical than even I expected.

      • Fortnite faces ban in Indonesia after minister brands it blasphemous to Muslims

        As Minister Sandiaga Uno orders a review, some players fear other games – like Minecraft – in which people can create their own worlds could also be banned.

      • Indonesia Minister calls for Fortnite ban over user-generated content

        While Fortnite has a main map, the game's creative mode allows players to make custom maps and game modes in a sandbox environment, using in-game assets. Maps can then be shared publicly with the Fortnite community.

        According to CNN Indonesia, the country's Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate has acknowledged that the content was created by a player and not Epic itself, and plans to work with National Police to track down the creator of the offending content.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Defense lawyer petitions investigators to drop criminal case against Doxa journalists

        The defense lawyer for Doxa editor Armen Aramyan, one of four student journalists facing felony charges for allegedly involving minors in illegal protests, has petitioned state investigators to drop the criminal case due to a lack of evidence of a crime. Lawyer Leonid Solovyov filed his appeal with the head of the investigation, Vitaly Gagarin.

      • ‘Confess and you can call your mom’ A year later, the details of Russia’s treason charges against journalist Ivan Safronov remain largely unknown

        A year ago today, on July 7, 2020, agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service arrested 30-year-old Ivan Safronov on charges of treason — punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Then serving as an advisor to the head of Russia’s space agency, Safronov worked for many years prior as a journalist at the newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti. Meduza reviews the developments in the case over the past 12 months and looks at how Safronov and his defense team have weathered a year of uncertainty.

      • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones Joins Howard U. After Rejecting UNC Tenure

        After months of controversy, acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has announced that she will join the faculty at Howard University, one of the country’s most prestigious historically Black universities, instead of joining the faculty at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she went to graduate school. The decision by Hannah-Jones comes after her tenure was initially denied by the UNC board of trustees in May, when it was unanimously approved by the faculty. The board typically rubber-stamps tenure for professors who have won such approval from their peers, and it reversed the decision after protests from alumni, faculty and students. Hannah-Jones has been a target of right-wing vitriol since she spearheaded the award-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, which sought to reevaluate the role of slavery in the founding of the United States. Joe Killian, investigative reporter for NC Policy Watch whom Nikole Hannah-Jones credits with breaking the story about the “discrimination I faced in the UNC tenure debacle,” says the tenure fight is a “microcosm” of the wider ideological divisions in the United States. He notes that the Chapel Hill board of trustees is filled with political appointees whose interests do not align with those of the student body. “The board at Chapel Hill is stacked with white men, stacked with people who are conservative, and it doesn’t look anything like the university itself,” Killian says.

      • When it comes to whistle-blowers like Julian Assange, Biden's actions look a lot like Trump's

        Biden has promised to end the practice of seizing reporters’ phone records during investigations of unauthorized disclosures of government records. His administration has resumed daily press briefings, and neither Biden nor his press secretary has accused reporters of asking “stupid questions.”

        But when it comes to whistle-blowers — in particular, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose role in exposing government secrets is comparable to the work of everyday journalists — Biden’s actions, so far, are similar to those of President Donald Trump. And of the presidents who preceded him.

      • High Court gives US government limited permission to appeal January decision that Assange should not be extradited

        The UK High Court has notified the parties involved in Julian Assange’s extradition case that the United States government’s appeal will be listed for a hearing.

      • UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case

        Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's legal team said Wednesday that the United Kingdom's High Court had granted permission to the U.S. government to appeal an earlier decision that blocked Assange's extradition

        "Mr. Assange's continued pursuit by the Biden administration calls into question the legitimacy of the United States’ stated commitment to press freedom, civil liberties, and human rights."—Doctors for Assange

      • Trump Started a War on Journalism. Biden's Justice Department Has Yet to End It

        When the Trump administration indicted WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange under the infamous 1917 Espionage Act, journalists and other public figures sounded the alarms, warning of a war on the free press.

      • Assange Extradition: British High Court Grants US A Limited Appeal

        The following was originally published as part of Shadowproof’s newsletter, The Dissenter. To become a subscriber, go here.The High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom agreed to hear the United States government’s appeal in the extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange but on limited grounds.According to Stella Moris, who is Assange’s partner, the High Court rejected the efforts of the U.S. government to “second guess the magistrates’ conclusions on medical and expert evidence.”No date was immediately set for a hearing on the appeal, and it was unclear whether the High Court had considered the request by Assange’s legal team for a cross-appeal.The Dissenter reviewed the appeal submissions, which are not publicly available.On behalf of the U.S. government, the Crown Prosecution Service challenged District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision to oppose extradition on account of Assange’s “medical condition.”Prosecutors contended the judge made errors of law when determining whether it would be oppressive to approve his extradition. They also insisted the judge should have notified the U.S. government of her “provisional view” so they could offer her “assurances” to alleviate her concerns.Furthermore, prosecutors maintained the judge should have disqualified defense psychiatrist Professor Michael Kopelman, whose assessment and testimony on Assange played a crucial part in her decision.Attorneys for Assange countered claims that the Crown Prosecution Service put forward in the appeal, maintaining Baraitser did not commit an error when she concluded Assange’s “suicidal impulses” would come from his “psychiatric condition” and would not be “his own voluntary act.”Regarding the argument that the judge was wrong to favor Kopelman’s evidence, Assange’s legal team asserted, “This attack totally fails to recognize the entitlement of the primary decision maker to reach her own decision on the weight to be attached to the expert evidence of the defense on the one hand and the prosecution experts on the other.”The High Court apparently agreed Baraitser was well within her right to consider what weight to attach to evidence from each of the medical professionals.Prosecutors offered the High Court “assurances” that were never put forward during or prior to the extradition trial. They suggested the U.S. government would not impose special administrative measures (SAMs) against Assange in pretrial confinement or in prison if he was convicted, though they did not say they would not hold him in administrative segregation or other forms of isolation.Assange “will receive clinical and psychological treatment as is recommended by a qualified treating clinician employed or retained by the prison,” where he is held, the prosecutors added.The prosecutors claimed Assange would not be imprisoned at ADX Florence in Colorado, a supermax prison, but they included a caveat that left open the possibility that he could be sent to the facility if he committed a “future act” that met the “test for designation.”

        Significantly, the prosecutors tried to salvage the extradition case by agreeing to allow Assange to apply for prisoner transfer to Australia under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.” The U.S. government would “consent to the transfer.”Assange’s legal team bristled at this offer. “They had every opportunity to offer such an assurance at the extradition hearing, since the relevant Council of Europe treaty has been in operation for many years.” But the U.S. government did not offer this assurance so it could be tested during the extradition trial and before the judge issued her decision.“Such a transfer under the specific provisions of the treaty could not take place until the conclusion of the trial and all appellate processes, which are obviously likely to be very prolonged,” the defense replied. “In the meantime, Mr. Assange would be detained in the conditions of isolation identified by the defense expert witnesses—and in any event—in an alien and hostile environment far from his family.”It was not immediately clear how the High Court responded to the “assurances” put forward by the U.S. government well after the extradition request was litigated in September 2020.Moris spoke to the press outside the High Court after the decision. She had visited Assange at the Belmarsh high-security prison in the morning.“The U.S. government should have accepted the magistrates’ court’s decision. Instead, it keeps this case going,” Moris declared.She contended the case is falling apart because the U.S. Justice Department’s€ key witness, Siggi Thordarson, “admits he lied in exchange for immunity from U.S. prosecutors.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Workers, Businesses Show Support for Striking Frito-Lay Workers in Kansas

        Support and solidarity from community members and labor advocates around the world are buoying the spirits of hundreds of Frito-Lay workers who walked off the job at a Kansas plant this week over what they say are intolerable forced overtime hours, low pay, and other alleged abuses.

        Around 600 employees began striking just after midnight Monday at snack giant Frito-Lay's Topeka plant, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. They have been picketing outside the plant ever since, holding signs with messages including "Mandatory Overtime—Where is my family time?" and "Cost of living goes up while our pay stays the same."

      • You decide Is Putin running an illiberal democracy or a mafia state? Maxim Trudolyubov grapples with the many labels given to Russia today.

        Thanks to numerous journalistic investigations (such as Proekt’s recent profile of Russia’s top cop, Vladimir Kolokoltsev) the private life of the Russian state has long ceased to be a secret. We see that Russian officials live a double life — they present themselves to the public as ordinary civil servants, while hiding their economic interests. We know that journalists who shed light on this, as well as opposition figures, may become victims of persecution and may even face attempts on their lives. But officially, Russia remains a democracy with separation of powers, political parties, and elections, and a government that fights against corruption and prides itself on economic stability. How does one live with the feeling that there’s a huge gap between what’s painted on the facade and what’s happening behind it? And what kind of political regime has developed in this context? Meduza “Ideas” editor Maxim Trudolyubov grapples with the many labels used to describe Russia’s political system.

      • The Life of an Essential Activist: Maggie Phair, 1930-2021

        Maggie’s activist career began at San Fernando High School when she brought the director of the Urban League to challenge racial slurs made by a teacher against Japanese, who had just been released from relocation camps. She challenged the discriminatory standards that enrolled all Chicano students in agriculture or home economics majors. She was a strong advocate for free speech, even for the bad guys.

        Soon after enrolling at UCLA she joined the Congress on Racial Equality, helped to desegregate Bullock’s Tearoom, and Bimini Baths, a popular swimming pool. Anti-racist work convinced her of the need for full employment, and for democratic socialism. It was there that she met lifelong friends Vern Davidson and David McReynolds while organizing for the socialist club on campus.

      • Counter demonstrators disrupt anti-violence rally in Tbilisi, clash with police

        On July 6, a rally took place in the center of Tbilisi in support of the journalists and LGBTQ+ activists who were injured during violent attacks by homophobic demonstrators the day before. Hundreds of people, including queer rights activists and their supporters, gathered outside of the Georgian parliament to protest the street violence that forced rights activists from Tbilisi Pride to cancel a “March of Dignity” planned for the day before. Counter demonstrators also gathered in the area, clashing with police and trying to break through the cordon that separated them from the solidarity rally. They threw stones at law enforcement officers and lit firecrackers. Dozens of people were detained and several police officers were injured. The police cleared the area after several hours — protestors from the anti-violence rally were escorted away in minibuses for safety reasons. According to OC Media, far-right demonstrators then reclaimed the space outside of the parliament and set fire to an EU flag they tore down from outside the building.

      • On 700th Day of House Arrest, Allies Rally for Freedom of Steven Donziger

        On the 700th day of Steven Donziger's house arrest, supporters of the human rights attorney gathered outside his New York City apartment on Tuesday night to demand his release and to mourn the 2,000 residents of the Amazon rainforest who have died as a result of carcinogenic fossil fuel pollution.

        Donziger led the legal team, which represented more than 30,000 Indigenous people and farmworkers harmed by over three decades of oil drilling in Ecuador, that won a $9.5 billion judgement against€ Chevron in 2013 for deliberately dumping more than 16 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and other hazardous pollutants in the delicate Amazonian ecosystem—resulting in a "rainforest Chernobyl" that has caused widespread suffering throughout the local population.

      • FBI Cites Guidelines That Don't Actually Forbid Social Media Monitoring As The Reason It Was Blindsided By The January 6 Attack

        The FBI has spent thousands on social media monitoring software. These contracts are public, making it literally unbelievable the agency has managed to stave off FOIA requests by handing out "neither confirm nor deny" non-answers. A court didn't buy the FBI's excuse for its Glomar, pointing out that confirming public information would not give criminals a heads-up on surveillance software the FBI is currently using.

      • Whistleblowers Allege Kids Mistreated by ServePro Contractors Hired to Oversee Detention Camp

        Unaccompanied children held at an immigration detention camp in the Texas desert suffered substandard living conditions and mistreatment by contracted staff including employees of an emergency cleanup company, as well as neglect and indifference from Biden administration officials, according to a whistleblower complaint first reported Wednesday by NBC News' Julia Ainsley.

        "The contractor providing direct supervision of the children in the dormitory tents—Servpro—is a fire and water damage repair company."—Whistleblowers' complaint

      • Black Girls Matter
      • What does patriotism really mean?
      • Do You Live in the Kanehili or Kauluokahai Subdivisions? We Have Questions About the Quality of Your Homes.

        I’m Rob Perez, a reporter at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, working in partnership with the newsroom ProPublica. I’ve been reporting on people who got homes through the Hawaiian Homes program but are experiencing a variety of problems — sewage backups, cracking walls, poorly graded lots, faulty plumbing and more. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands does not keep a public record of complaints, which means I need your help to understand what’s happening to you and your neighbors. I’d like to ask you some questions about how you like living in your home, neighborhood and community. We hope to hear from one person in each of the roughly 500 homes in Kanehili and Kauluokahai.

        This questionnaire should take you about 10-15 minutes. You can also call or text me anytime: 808-479-2109.

      • Can protesters in Colombia win change?
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • 36 states, DC sue Google, alleging antitrust violations in app store

        The complaint alleges that Google shut-out potential competitors in Android app distribution through exclusionary contracts, technical barriers and “misleading” security warnings.

        Those moves allegedly limited app choices and drove up prices, ultimately hurting consumers.

      • 37 AGs Hit Google, 'Gatekeeper of Our Digital Devices,' With New Antitrust Lawsuit

        Google and parent company Alphabet were hit with yet another federal antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday—this one filed in a San Francisco-based U.S. district court by the attorneys general of 36 states and Washington, D.C.

        "Through its illegal conduct, the company has ensured that hundreds of millions of Android users turn to Google, and only Google, for the millions of applications they may choose to download to their phones and tablets."—New York Attorney General Letitia James

      • Copyrights

        • After All That, Nintendo Can't Even Get $50 A Month Out Of RomUniverse

          The saga of how RomUniverse, a site dedicated to offering ROMs for classic Nintendo games, came to its end is both frustrating and very dumb. Back in 2019, Nintendo launched a massive war on ROM sites, coinciding with the release of a mini version of Nintendo's NES console. Eventually, the company's sights turned to RomUniverse. Run solely by Matthew Storman, the site first tried and failed to crowdfund its legal expenses, made the lame argument that somehow the first sale doctrine meant that Storman could legally offer up digital versions of bought Nintendo games, only to see Storman represent himself in court and eventually lose. While Nintendo always had the law on its side, it was also true that sites like RomUniverse existed for a long, long time and Nintendo wasn't injured enough by any of this for it to be on the radar prior to the ROM War of 2019. In fact, I would argue that ROM sites for a long, long time kept up the interest in these classic games that created a market for Nintendo's classic console releases.

        • Movie Companies Want U.S. Internet Provider 'Frontier' to Block Pirate Sites

          A group of independent movie companies want to hold Internet provider Frontier Communications liable for pirating subscribers. In addition to damages, the filmmakers request a site-blocking order, targeting The Pirate Bay, YTS, RARBG, and many others. As a bonus, the movie companies note that the most prolific pirates can be sued directly too.

        • Hollyood & Netflix Sue Repeat Pirate IPTV Operator For Massive Copyright Infringement

          In 2020, the operator of pirate IPTV service Area 51 shut down under pressure from the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment. After the service was resurrected several times in breach of a settlement agreement, a coalition of Hollywood studios, with the addition of Amazon and Netflix, have now filed a massive copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit.

        • Thordarson’s Fabrications: Another Hole in the Julian Assange Prosecution

          The case against Assange could have been thrown out under any number of grounds. Unfortunately, the judgment halting his extradition to the US on 17 charges based on the Espionage Act and one charge of computer intrusion was framed in purposely narrow terms, ignoring the patently political nature of the proceedings.€  Were it not for District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January 4 ruling accepting the state of his precarious health, risk of suicide and the dangerous conditions he would face in the US legal system, the publisher would no doubt be facing special administrative measures and, most likely, the life-sucking interior of a supermax.

          A central, and impairing problem in the ruling, was its comfortable acceptance of virtually everything submitted by the prosecution, including the contention that Assange was no journalist, and that he conspired with various associates to hack and make off with classified material.€  The judgment also refused to consider – given the ongoing investigation in Spain against the security firm UC Global – that the Central Intelligence Agency had compromised the legal credibility of proceedings by bugging Assange’s privileged conversations in the Ecuadorian embassy.€  “This court has no access to the information discovered from this investigation,” reasoned a dismissive Baraitser.€  Sordid proposals by US intelligence officials to abduct or assassinate Assange, adduced in court by two anonymous witnesses formerly in the employ of UC Global, could be dismissed as having no bearing on the case.

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