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Links 19/8/2021: KaOS 2021.08 and a Look at CarbonUI

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Apple Doesn't Accept The GPL, Or Do They?? - Invidious

        Both the Mac App Store and iOS store have an interesting history with the GPL and the FSF for obvious reasons the FSF doesn't like Apple but can you use GPL licenses like GPLv2 and GPLv3 on the iOS stores. The answer isn't that simple.

      • FLOSS Weekly 643: Open Source Hiring Trends - Open Source Training

        Clyde Seepersad of the Linux Foundation joins FLOSS Weekly to discuss trends in hiring, training, diversity, the massive demand, as well as the need for both old and new school approaches across every open source code base. Remember when open source was a new thing no company cared about? Now it's something nearly every enterprise can't do without. As a result, demand for talent and training is increasing. Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb discuss on FLOSS Weekly.

      • CarbonUI

        Today we are looking at CarbonUI. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.13, based on Arch, KDE 5.22, and uses about 1GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • CarbonUI Run Through - Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at CarbonUI.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13.12
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.13.12 kernel.

        All users of the 5.13 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.13.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.13.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.60
      • Linux 5.4.142
      • Intel Posts Linux Patches Bringing Up DisplayPort 2.0 - DG2 Alchemist To Support DP 2.0

        It looks like 2022 is when we will start seeing DisplayPort 2.0 hardware broadly available... It was just earlier this week I wrote about AMD working on DisplayPort 2.0 for their open-source Radeon Linux driver and now coincidentally today Intel has begun their open-source Linux graphics driver enablement for DP 2.0.

      • LWN

        • The edge-triggered misunderstanding

          The Android 12 beta release first appeared in May of this year. As is almost obligatory, this release features "the biggest design change in Android's history"; what's an Android release without requiring users to relearn everything? That historical event was not meant to include one change that many beta testers are noticing, though: a kernel regression that breaks a significant number of apps. This problem has just been fixed, but it makes a good example of why preventing regressions can be so hard and how the kernel project responds to them when they do happen.

          Back in late 2019, David Howells made some changes to the pipe code to address a couple of problems. Unfortunately, that work caused the sort of regression that the kernel community finds most unacceptable: it slowed down (or even hung) kernel builds. After an extensive discussion, an unfortunate interaction with the GNU make job server was identified and a a fix by Linus Torvalds was applied that made the problem go away. The 5.5 kernel was released shortly afterward, kernel builds sped back up, and the problem was deemed to have been solved.

        • memfd_secret() in 5.14

          The memfd_secret() system call has, in one form or another, been covered here since February 2020. In the beginning, it was a flag to memfd_create(), but its functionality was later moved to a separate system call. There have been many changes during this feature's development, but its core purpose remains the same: allow a user-space process to create a range of memory that is inaccessible to anybody else — kernel included. That memory can be used to store cryptographic keys or any other data that must not be exposed to others. This new system call was finally merged for the upcoming 5.14 release; what follows is a look at the form this call will take in the mainline kernel.

        • Hardening virtio

          Traditionally, in virtualized environments, the host is trusted by its guests, and must protect itself from potentially malicious guests. With initiatives like confidential computing, this rule is extended in the other direction: the guest no longer trusts the host. This change of paradigm requires adding boundary defenses in places where there have been none before. Recently, Andi Kleen submitted a patch set attempting to add the needed protections in virtio. The discussion that resulted from this patch set highlighted the need to secure virtio for a wider range of use cases.

          Virtio offers a standardized interface for a number of device types (such as network or block devices). With virtio, the guest runs a simplified, common driver, and the host handles the connection to the real underlying device. The communication between the virtio device (host side) and the driver (guest side) happens using data structures called virtqueues, which are typically memory buffers, though the actual implementation depends on the bus used.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source Replacements for ls

        The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.

        ls is a command to list computer files. ls is specified by POSIX and the Single UNIX Specification. When invoked without any arguments, ls lists the files in the current working directory.

        The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU software containing implementations for many of the basic tools, such as cat, ls, and rm, which are used on Unix-like operating systems.

      • Htop - An Interactive Process Viewer for Linux

        This article is the continuation of our Linux system monitoring series, today we’re talking about the most popular monitoring tool called htop, which is just reached version 3.0.5 and comes with some cool new features.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Debian 11 on VirtualBox

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install Debian 11 on VirtualBox. VirtualBox is open-source cross-platform virtualization software that allows running multiple guest operating systems.

        Debian 11 comes with multiple Desktop environments such as Gnome, KDE, LXDE, LXQT, Mate, Xfce, and Cinnamon.

        Let's install Debian 11 on VirtualBox with Gnome Desktop Environment.

      • Download Only Audio in MP3 Format With youtube-dl [Quick Tip]

        youtube-dl is a versatile command line tool for downloading videos from YouTube and many other websites. I use it for making back up of my own YouTube videos.

        By default, you use youtube-dl for downloading videos. How about extracting only the audio with youtubde-dl? That’s very simple actually. Let me show you the steps.

      • Asking nicely for root command execution (and getting it)

        Suffice it to say, if you work someplace with enough machines, there's probably some way for you to get root on all of them if you can hit them with a handful of packets. I've seen it happen far too many times at enough companies to expect things to stay secure. I'm not talking about buffer overflows and stuff like that, although those exist too. I mean just straight up asking a service to please run a command for you (as root), and it gladly complies.

      • How to install the Substance Launcher by Adobe on a Chromebook

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

      • How to Install and Use Ack Command in Linux with Examples

        The Linux operating system allows you to search both directory structures and directory files for specific text string matches. A common tool that aids us in achieving these directory searches is a grep (global regular expression print) command. The grep’s use of regular expressions makes it possible to initiate any string pattern search towards a matching textual output on the command line.

      • How to disable core dumps in Linux including systemd - nixCraft

        Core dumps created for diagnosing and debugging errors in Linux apps. They are also known as memory dump, crash dump, system dump, or ABEND dump. However, core dumps may contain sensitive info—for example, passwords, user data such as PAN, SSN, or encryption keys. Hence, we must disable them on production Linux servers.

        This page explains how to prevent the Linux system from creating core dumps when using older init or systemd.

      • cat command in Linux / Unix with Examples

        I am a new Linux and Unix system user. How do I use cat command on Linux or Unix-like operating systems? Can you provide basic examples and syntax usage for cat command?

        The cat (short for concatenate) command is one of the most frequently used flexible commands on Linux, Apple Mac OS X, Unix, *BSD (FreeBSD / OpenBSD / NetBSD) operating systems.

    • Games

      • Video Games, Once Demonized, More Regularly Utilized For Positive Health Benefits

        For decades now, video games have been largely demonized by a certain segment of the population that probably were annoyed when great evils like jazz music and chess were also demonized. Video games, say this group, make kids lazy and fat, degrade social skills, keep them from going outside and hitting each other with sticks or something, and also make them all violent school shooters. That many of these same charges were levied on such horrible activities as chess, Dungeons & Dragons, or any of the other moral panics we kicked off appears to be lost on most everyone. Video games are evil, full stop.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Summer 2021

          I didn’t give up or go away: two Calamares releases happened at the beginning of august, some KDE Frameworks MRs of mine landed, and then my family did get on a bicycle and see some of the countryside.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • MATE 1.26 Desktop Released With Some Wayland Support, Other Improvements - Phoronix

          After one and a half years in development of MATE 1.26 as a fork of the GNOME 2 desktop components, this release is now available with initial Wayland support and more.

        • MATE 1.26 Desktop Environment Released with Initial Wayland Support, Updated Apps

          The biggest change of the MATE 1.26 release is the implementation of initial support for the Wayland display server, which is currently available for the Atril document viewer, Pluma text editor, Terminal terminal emulator, and System Monitor apps, as well as some other components of the desktop environment.

          Wayland is slowly becoming the norm for many popular GNU/Linux distributions, and it’s great to see more and more desktop environments and apps supporting it. MATE is the latest to add Wayland support, and the new version will probably be included by default in the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 21.10 (Impish Indri) release.

        • GSoC 21: Final report [Ed: Why outsource a GSoC blog to Microsoft proprietary software when you already, as part of the project, use a self-hosted GitLab instance? Mentors should explain to students that GitHub is freedom's enemy.]

          This is my last GSoC blog post. And the purpose of writing this blog post is to share the work I have completed during the past 10 weeks of Google Summer of Code 2021.

    • Distributions

      • KaOS 2021.08

        It is with great pleasure to present to you the August release of a new stable ISO.

        Biggest news for this release are major changes in the aesthetics. The Midna theme has been redone, this includes a uniform look for SDDM and lockscreen with a (darker) transparent sidebar, cleaner splash-screen, and darker logout look. The application menu has moved from the long-used cascading menu option to the all-new Application Launcher introduced with Plasma 5.22. About eighteen months ago, KaOS set out to overhaul all the Calamares view modules into QML, this has now been just about completed (just one left, the partitioning module). This release adds another two new QML converted modules, the Users and Summary pages. It took a while, but now some other distributions are starting to use the KaOS converted modules too. The QML move gives Calamares a much more modern and uniform look with the other KaOS QML applications.

      • KaOS Linux 2021.08 Released with Fresh New Look, KDE Gear 21.08 with Plasma Mobile Apps

        KaOS Linux 2021.08 is a special release for this rolling-release distribution because it’s the first in a very long time to ship with a fresh new look and feel. The new look consists of a revamped desktop theme that includes a uniform look for the SDDM login screen and the lock screen with a darker transparent sidebar, a cleaner boot splash screen, as well as a darker logout look.

        In addition, KaOS Linux’s unique look of the KDE Plasma desktop environment has been enriched with the brand-new Applications Launcher introduced in the latest KDE Plasma 5.22 desktop environment series, replacing the cascading menu that was used for a long time now.

      • Google Fuchsia OS is already a reality and the Google Nest Hub begin to update to this software

        Google has finally decided to launch Fuchsia OS in all its glory. Today has been the designated day for the new operating system to reach all Google Nest Hubs.

        Fuchsia OS has been mentioned for several years for no other purpose than to raise questions. Google commented that this operating system would reach their devices and at first it was believed that it would replace Android as we know it.

      • New Releases

        • Arch Linux-based Manjaro 21.1.0 'Pahvo' now available with GNOME, Xfce, and KDE Plasma

          Manjaro is one of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems these days, and it's not hard to see why. The distribution is based on the rock-solid Arch, but unlike that distro, Manjaro is very easy to install and use. In other words, it has all the benefits of Arch, but without the hassles and headaches. This makes it a great choice for both Linux experts and beginners. Heck, it will even be used as the OS on an upcoming E-ink tablet.

          Today, Manjaro 21.1.0 "Pahvo" becomes available for download. The Linux kernel used is version 5.13 and there are a trio of desktop environment options -- Xfce (4.16), GNOME (40), and KDE Plasma (5.22). While all three DEs are great, the Xfce Edition is the primary focus with this particular operating system.

        • Zorin OS 16 Released with Stunning New Look and Array of Updates

          The team announced the release of brand new Zorin OS 16, bringing some much-needed improvements and updates. We round up the release in this post.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Cluster tooling updates and more in Red Hat OpenShift's Web Terminal Operator 1.3 | Red Hat Developer

          The Web Terminal Operator in Red Hat OpenShift provides a web terminal with common cluster tooling pre-installed. The operator gives you the power and flexibility to work with your product directly through the OpenShift web console, eliminating the need to have all your tooling installed locally.

          This article is an overview of the new features introduced in Web Terminal Operator 1.3. These improvements include depending on the newly released DevWorkspace Operator, adding support for saving your home directory, and updating our tooling to be compatible with OpenShift 4.8.

        • How to improve data literacy: 5 best practices

          Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, “Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions to tomorrow’s problems flow.”

          The same can be said for data literacy. It unlocks the answers to business problems and holds the key to business success. But despite the fact that data literacy is now a required skill at many organizations, a data literacy survey by Accenture found that only 21 percent of 9,000 employees were confident in their data literacy skills.

          Data literacy involves the ability to read and analyze data and find meaning and patterns in the information, statistics, and charts. It also includes molding and cleaning data to make it easier to process. And perhaps most importantly, it means understanding how to articulate and share what the data shows, enabling people to act upon it with confidence and make better decisions.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Incremental improvements in Linux Mint 20.2

          Linux Mint 20.2 "Uma" was released in Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions on July 8. This new version of the popular desktop-oriented distribution has several improvements, including changes to the Update Manager, a new "Sticky Notes" app, a bulk file-renaming tool, improved file search, and better memory management in Cinnamon. Mint 20.2 is a long-term support (LTS) release that will receive security updates until 2025.

          Mint releases come in multiple editions, each of which uses a different desktop environment: Cinnamon, which is based on GNOME 3 and developed by the Linux Mint project, MATE, which is a continuation of GNOME 2, and the Xfce lightweight desktop. This has been the case since the release of Mint 19 "Tara" in June 2018, which dropped the KDE edition. The Cinnamon edition is the most popular. Cinnamon is best for mid- to high-end computers; netbooks and other devices with limited resources may do better with MATE or Xfce.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Banana Pi BPI-M2S Amlogic A311D SBC comes with dual GbE, HDMI & MIPI interfaces

        There’s at least one more Amlogic A311D SBC coming our way with Banana Pi BPI-M2S equipped with 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, as well as two Gigabit Ethernet ports, combines with video interfaces that include HDMI, MIPI DSI & CSI, as well as two USB ports.

        This news comes just a few after we wrote about Geniatech DB10 AI development board based on Amlogic A311D hexa-core Cortex-A73/A53 processor and noted there were few platforms based on the SoC, apart from Khadas VIM3 SBC, and a few others.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • IoT gets a machine learning boost, from edge to cloud
        • I made a custom ceiling mount for my camera

          I stopped looking at dedicated camera mounting arms and truss systems once I realized they'd cost at least a couple hundred dollars—and the low end of the price range includes the weaker systems that I wouldn't trust with my $1000 camera rig!

          Having mounted many TVs before, I realized TV ceiling mounts are cheap, sturdy, and available darn near everywhere. I bought this VideoSecu ceiling TV mount for $37, and decided there must be a way I could hack together some sort of rigid mounting plate for it, with a platform for the camera and a tripod screw underneath.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why You Should Care about Open Source Software...

        So you might ask what has that to do with Open Source software? The answer is easy and short: it is a matter of freedom. The freedom to choose and to participate. It is a matter of right for personal privacy.

        Would you choose dictatorship or oligarchy over democracy? I guess you would not! So why in your digital life?

      • Denmark [has] begun working on a guide on the use of open source within the public sector

        There is currently no common guidance that public authorities in Denmark can rely on when it comes to using Open Source. As the EU has pointed to increased use of Open Source as an obvious path to increased trust and transparency between authorities and citizens. Work has begun creating a practical guide on Open Source.

        A guide that must include best practice, advice and recommendations as well as an overview of requirements and existing Open Source software.

      • Events

        • "The kernel report" online, August 26

          As part of the ramp-up to the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference, LWN editor Jonathan Corbet will be presenting a version of "The kernel report" at 9:00AM US/Mountain time (15:00 UTC) on Thursday, August 26. Registration for LPC is not required; all are welcome for an update on the state of kernel development and a perspective on 30 years of the Linux kernel. Please come for an interesting discussion and to help the LPC crew stress-test the 2021 infrastructure.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Office Suite Is Now Available for Download, This Is What's New

          More than six months in the works, LibreOffice 7.2 is here as a major update with numerous new features and improvements across all core components, such as Writer, Calc, Chart, Math, Base, Impress & Draw. Again, we’re talking here about LibreOffice 7.2 Community, the volunteer-supported free office suite for desktop productivity.

          Highlights of the LibreOffice 7.2 release include a new command popup HUD (“Heads-up display”) to search for and execute actions, a new LibreOffice Dark theme, Fontwork panel in the Sidebar, scrollable style picker in the NotebookBar UI, a new list view for the templates dialog, native support for Apple M1 chips, and a built-in “Xray”-like UNO object inspector.

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Released with Major Performance Improvements, New HUD Tool
          ”Over 60% of code commits for the brand new version […] are focused on interoperability with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats,” The Document Foundation say of the update, the first major release since February.

          Reading and writing to Microsoft Office file formats, like .docx and .pptx remains a key ask of this open source office suite, and something its millions of users rely on daily. Every entry in LibreOffice suite gains speed improvements with this uplift, with Calc’s opening and scrolling through large .xlsx files a notable highlight.

      • Programming/Development

        • Jamie McClelland: Anyone still using gitweb?

          It seems like the self-hosting git world has all moved to gitlab or gitea.

          For a number of reasons not worth enumerating, I’m still running gitolite and recently decided I wanted to checkout my code via https using gitweb.

          I got through most of the installation and configuration without trouble (I could browse via the web and see all my repositories). But, when I tried to git clone using the https address I got a fatal “not found” error.

          It seems that gitweb, out of the box, allows for easy web-browsing of git repositories but needs some extra work if you want to clone over https. Specifically, you need to use git-http-backend.

        • Git 2.33 Released with New Optional Merge Strategy Named ‘merge-ort’

          Git 2.33 has been released. It mainly dealt with bug fixes and a new strategy for carrying out merges. For those unfamiliar, a merge strategy is the mechanism used to combine code from multiple versions of the same codebase.

          To merge two branches, Git currently uses the command, which was first written as an external Python script and then rewritten in C – merge-recursive. Git 2.33 brings a new merge strategy called merge-ort.

          Preparation work for a new merge strategy backend is now on its final stretch. Merge-ort is pitched as a complete re-write of the currently used recursive approach, that is meant to fix issues in areas like correctness, and performance. It has been rewritten from scratch with the same concepts of recursion and rename-detection.

        • Steinar H. Gunderson: plocate 1.1.9 released

          I've just released version 1.1.9 of plocate. It adds support for the -e (--existing) option from mlocate, since I needed it and it's nice to be complete.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl & Raku: Best frenemies

            Although the two lan€­guages aren’t source-​compatible, the Inline::Perl5 mod€­ule does enable Raku devel€­op€­ers to run Perl code and use Perl mod€­ules with€­in Raku, You can even sub€­class Perl class€­es in Raku and call Raku meth€­ods from Perl code. I hadn’t real€­ized until recent€­ly that the Perl sup€­port was so strong in Raku despite them being so dif€­fer€­ent, and so I thought I’d take the oppor€­tu€­ni€­ty to write some sam€­ple code in both lan€­guages to bet€­ter under€­stand the Raku way of doing things.

            Rather than a sim€­ple ​“Hello World” pro€­gram, I decid€­ed to write a sim€­ple syn€­di€­cat€­ed news read€­er. The Raku mod€­ules direc€­to€­ry didn’t appear to have any€­thing com€­pa€­ra€­ble to Perl’s WWW::Mechanize and XML::RSS mod€­ules, so this seemed like a great way to test Perl-​Raku interoperability.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • It's Time to Retire the CSV

        Another big drawback of CSV is its almost complete lack of metadata. While a human can often intuit what a file contains by looking at it, it’s much harder for software to do that without being given a lot of hints.

        Some variants of CSV (including RFC-4180) allow for the first row to be optionally used as a header, but few variants explicitly identify headers, leaving the parser either to be told there are headers or to try to make an educated guess.

        A column’s data type is even more difficult to determine automatically. Values in CSVs are just sequences of characters. They might represent more complex types, but there’s no way for a parser to know that type information just from looking at the file.

      • Vulkan SC 1.0 Coming For "Safety Critical" Graphics / Compute

        It's been over two years since The Khronos Group acknowledged they were working on safety critical Vulkan and now finally the 1.0 release is approaching for this graphics/compute interface suitable for safety critical systems.

        Khronos had maintained OpenGL SC as a safety critical subset of the OpenGL API for use in avionics, military equipment, medical devices, and other environments demanding stringent standards around safety. OpenGL SC though was last updated five years ago when OpenGL SC 2.0 was released. Moving forward, Vulkan SC is coming for next-generation safety critical systems for not only graphics but also compute.

  • Leftovers

    • The New Variant
    • Sandi Tan’s Magical Americana

      The world is made up of movers and shakers, on the one hand, the filmmaker and writer Sandi Tan once observed, and on the other, shirkers: those on the fringes of adult life who shrink from conventional responsibility and instead commit themselves to their dreams. This pleasure in shrinking from life is what framed Tan’s Netflix documentary Shirkers (2018), which tells the story of the teenage Tan’s foiled attempt in the early 1990s to make a film (also called Shirkers) with her friends one summer in Singapore. The documentary features the adult Tan looking back on her experiences. It captures the joyous rush of a fearless adolescence in which making art was the ultimate, glorious form of escape.

    • The Disappearance of the Natural Death

      One day the vet asked, “Why are you waiting?”

      I listened. Quinby, rescued 19 years earlier, had always been such a cheery character. It was sad to see discomfort overtake that joy.

    • Instagram, Facebook Remove Comments From Lizzo’s Account After Singer’s Tearful Video

      The removed comments are those that go against Facebook’s and Instagram’s rules against hate speech and harassment, the spokesperson said.

    • Science

      • Quoth an “integrative” functional medicine doc: “I’m not a quack, I’m an early adopter”

        I thought I’d take a brief break from COVID-19 blogging just for today in order to return to a frequent topic from before the pandemic: so-called “integrative” medicine (with a dash of “functional medicine”). You remember “integrative medicine” and “functional medicine,” don’t you? I used to write about them a lot before the pandemic, particularly in the context of what I like to call “quackademic medicine,” in which rank pseudoscience and quackery like naturopathy (which, remember, always includes homeopathy) have insinuated themselves into academic medical centers as though they had the same level of scientific support behind them as even conventional medicine modalities with the weakest scientific support. Three years ago, my co-blogger at my not-so-super-secret other blog wrote a post about how “integrative medicine” is attracting so many bad apples with its “integration” of quackery with medicine that even prominent integrative docs like Dr. Melinda Ring noticed and recently felt compelled to write a defense of their newly created specialty, blaming a “lack of training” for the bad apples. Unfortunately, as Jann Bellamy noted at the time, that was not the problem. The rejection of science-based medicine and “integration” of quackery into “integrative medicine” were. It turns out that Dr. Ring noticed this article recently and wrote a post for KevinMD entitled, I’m called anti-science. I’m just an early adopter.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As Covid-19 Cases Rise, Global Task Force Lays Out How to Avert Future Pandemics

        With Covid-19 cases on the rise around the world, a Harvard-led task force on Wednesday released a new report detailing how strengthening healthcare systems, investing in conservation, and improving agricultural practices can help prevent more pandemics.

        "Covid-19 once again reminds us of how interconnected our ecosystem is."—Dr. Yewande Alimi, task force

      • How the Pandemic Changed Young People’s Relationship to Substances

        With no parties, no sporting events, and with bars closed or at limited capacity, many of the social avenues for young people to drink and use other drugs were largely extinguished at the beginning of the pandemic. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, while the percentage of users decreased during lockdown, the frequency of alcohol use amongst adolescents actually increased. Boredom and isolation led both heavy and social-users to use substances more routinely, with around 49 percent of adolescents engaging in solitary substance use, and 56 percent of young adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders. Eventually, some reached a point where they had to seriously reevaluate their relationship with substances—whether it’s alcohol, weed, or other drugs.

      • WHO Decries Vaccine Inequity as a 'Shame on All Humanity' as US Moves Ahead With Boosters

        As the Biden administration announced Wednesday that the U.S. will begin administering coronavirus vaccine boosters next month, the World Health Organization slammed rich countries for prioritizing third shots for their populations while billions of people across the world still lack access to a single dose.

        "Strong national leadership would be to fully commit to vaccine equity and global solidarity, which would save lives and slow variants down."—Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO

      • War, Herbicides and Moral Disengagement

        On August 10, 1961, the United States, several years before it actually sent troops, started poisoning the forests and crops of Vietnam with herbicides. The purpose: to deprive our declared enemy, the commies of Ho Chi Minh, of food and ground cover that allowed them to trek from North to South. It was called, innocuously, Operation Ranch Hand.

        Agent Orange, the most powerful of the herbicides used in Operation Ranch Hand, contained dioxin, one of the most toxic substances on the planet. We dropped 20 million gallons of this and other herbicides on Vietnam, contaminating 7,000 square miles of its forests. Half a century later, we are fully aware of the consequences of this strategic decision, not just for the Vietnamese, the Laotians, the Cambodians, but also for many American troops: hundreds of thousands of deaths and debilitating illnesses, horrific birth defects, unending hell.

      • Documents of the Revolution: Unpublished Che Guevara Letters

        Che Guevara was my father, and in his letters he reveals himself candidly, spontaneously, so reading them is a fascinating way to really get to know him. I Embrace You with All My Revolutionary Fervor, Letters 1947–1967, is the first-ever collection of his letters in English, or in any language, and most of them stand out for their candor and historical impact. Here is one he wrote to an esteemed fellow Argentine, the writer Ernesto Sábato, and one to Fidel Castro of March 26, 1965, in which he analyzes the situation in Cuba and shares his thoughts about errors in the approach to political economy, the budgetary finance system, the internal functioning of the newly formed Communist Party, and a range of other issues. Che urges Fidel to consider the importance of political consciousness in the challenge of creating a new society, explaining that the new human being will emerge in the process of transforming Cuba’s economy.1This text has been excerpted from I Embrace You With All My Revolutionary Fervor: Letters, 1947–1967, by Che Guevara (Seven Stories Press, Fall 2021).

      • Lawmakers Demand Answers From FDA on Timeline of Covid Vaccines for Kids Under 12

        As millions of children in the U.S. return to schools amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, 108€ members of Congress sent a letter€ Tuesday calling on the Food and Drug Administration to urgently clarify when caregivers can expect Covid-19 vaccines to be approved for children between the ages of two and 11.

        While the FDA expanded the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include individuals from ages 12 to 15 in May, children under 12 remain ineligible to receive any Covid-19 vaccination.

      • Army Corps Orders Environmental Review of Proposed Formosa Plastics Plant in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’

        The Formosa Sunshine Project in St. James Parish, Louisiana, will undergo a full formal environmental review, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in a memorandum issued today and posted on Twitter.

        The decision deals a significant blow to the proposed multi-billion dollar plastics manufacturing site that would be located in the Gulf Coast region, potentially setting the project’s timetable back significantly.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • I’m a Louisiana Pediatric Surgeon Watching Kids Suffer From COVID. This Is Real.
      • Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases in Children, Louisiana Parents Push Back Against the Governor’s Mask Mandate

        Louisiana€ remains€ the number one state in the country for new COVID diagnoses per capita, according to the latest data released on August 16. Louisiana’s€ Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards warned that while the state’s dubious distinction has led to an upswing in people getting vaccinated,€ it is doing little to quell push-back against a temporary mask mandate he put in place on August 4 that includes mask requirements in public schools.He added that the€ majority of people hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 across the state were not vaccinated.The state’s€ Republican€ Attorney General€ Jeff€ Landry€ meanwhile continues to push back€ against the governor’s latest regulations€ put in place to stem rising COVID cases while hospital officials say€ the state’s healthcare system is on the verge of being overwhelmed.€ 

        The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that Landry advised his€ employees in an email that they could use state laws to claim either a religious or philosophical€ objection to the mask mandate for students — and to a vaccine if one is required.€ 

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Audit Confirms That a Program for Brain-Damaged Kids Arbitrarily Denied Claims and Overspent on Perks

        Florida’s embattled compensation program for children who suffer brain damage at birth arbitrarily denied claims, failed to adequately describe rights and benefits in a parents’ handbook, and failed to explain its decisions to parents, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Auditor General.

        The report validated many of the findings of a series of stories this year by the Miami Herald and ProPublica about Florida’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA. The report came less than two months after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping bill reforming the program. The Auditor General is an independent financial watchdog who reports to both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

      • Has Your School Had a COVID Outbreak? Is Your District Following CDC Guidelines? Help Us Report.

        As the hypercontagious Delta variant sweeps across the country, children are returning to school, leaving many families concerned about safety precautions in the classroom and fueling a heated debate about how far schools should go to keep young kids safe. Should students be required to wear masks? Should classrooms be socially distanced? Should contract tracing be carried out for potential cases? And if parents remain uncomfortable, should districts allow their children to learn virtually?

        We want to hear how policies impact the health and safety of students. We hope to stay in touch with parents, educators and other concerned adults over the course of the semester as the situation evolves. If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, please share your experience. We plan to follow cases as they unfold, and we need you to guide us to virus hotspots by filling out our questionnaire.

      • 'Long Overdue': EPA Bans All Food Uses of Neurotoxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

        Public health experts and labor rights advocates celebrated Wednesday after the Biden administration announced that it "will stop the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food to better protect human health, particularly that of children and farmworkers," following decades of demands for government intervention spurred by safety concerns.

        "Years of backtracking put the health of countless children and farmworkers at risk by negligently and intentionally overlooking the harms of a terrible pesticide."—Anne Katten, CRLA Foundation

      • Lambda Variant Raises Dire Concerns About the Pandemic’s Future Trajectory
      • Reporter Gets Death Threats After DeSantis Press Sec. Tweets Attacks Against Him
      • Florida Moves Closer to Punishing Districts Defying DeSantis's Ban on Mask Rules
      • TX School District Includes Masks in Dress Code to Sidestep Abbott's Mandate Ban
      • TX Governor Gets Rare COVID Treatment While Banning Mask and Vaccine Mandates
      • Finding Loophole in Abbott's Mask Mandate Ban, Texas School Board Adds Face Coverings to Dress Code

        Students and school staff in Paris, Texas will€ be required to wear face coverings starting Thursday despite Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's attempt to€ ban mask mandates, following a school€ board vote in favor of using a loophole to protect public health: the€ board voted on Tuesday to include mask-wearing in the district's dress code.€ 

      • Texas Governor Greg Abbott Tests Positive for Coronavirus After Banning Mask & Vaccine Mandates

        Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for the coronavirus, just one day after he attended a packed indoor Republican event in Dallas, where he and most attendees were unmasked. Abbott, who said he was not showing symptoms of COVID-19, imposed a statewide ban on vaccine and mask mandates last month, though a judge later blocked the ban on mask mandates. Abbott has also tried to blame immigrants for the spread of COVID-19 in Texas and issued an executive order last month instructing state troopers to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting migrants “who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19.” Abbott’s rhetoric is “simply shifting blame” from his own policies to migrants, says Manoj Govindaiah, the director of policy and government affairs at Texas-based RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. “Public health officials roundly agree that migrants are not necessarily bringing in COVID in any higher numbers than anyone else,” says Govindaiah.

      • Why People Who Brush Still Get Cavities

        But in the past decade or so, scientists sequenced the DNA from ancient dental plaque and figured out that something else in our mouths was changing at the same time as our dental health. Turns out, there are specific strains of bacteria — streptococcus mutans, in particular — that are more common in mouths with cavities. And as human diets changed and cavities became more common, those bacteria started taking over our mouths. Our modern communities of oral bacteria are less diverse than our ancestors’ were, and they’re dominated by these cavity-causing strains.

        Increasingly, scientists are thinking of cavities as a microbiome problem. The advice you got as a kid — brush your teeth, floss, eat less candy — is still important. But it’s becoming more clear that the types of bacteria inhabiting your mouth matter, too. Some people do all the oral hygiene stuff right and still get cavities because of the bacteria living in their mouths. Which presents a question: If the types of bacteria in your mouth can make you more prone to cavities, could you fix your teeth by getting different bacteria?

      • This deadly 'kissing bug' has been mostly ignored. It shouldn't be, this author says.

        While many people may never have heard of Chagas in the U.S., about 8 million people in Mexico, Central America and South America have it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it kills more than 10,000 people a year.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Judge Says Voting Machine Company Can Continue To Sue Trump's Buddies Over Bogus Election Fraud Claims

          A federal judge has said Dominion's lawsuit against a former Trump lawyer can move forward. Sidney Powell -- the self-proclaimed "Kraken" -- was supposed to storm into federal courts and present irrefutable evidence President Joe Biden's position as president had been fraudulently obtained.

        • T-Mobile: Breach Exposed SSN/DOB of 40M+ People
        • T-Mobile [Cracked] for 5th Time in 4 Years in Latest Breach; Nearly 50 Million Affected

          "We have no indication that the data contained in the stolen files included any customer financial information, credit card information, debit or other payment information," the statement said, though it continued, "Some of the data accessed did include customers' first and last names, date of birth, SSN, and driver's license/ID information for a subset of current and former postpay customers and prospective T-Mobile customers."

        • Security

          • Kaspersky Hybrid Cloud Security enhances protection for Linux and delivers security management as a service [Ed: SecurityBrief Australia reprints spammy trash for snakeoil peddler whose proprietary software poses more risk than whatever it claims to tackle]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Germany: Bavaria upgrades police aerial surveillance

              The Bavarian government is stepping up police video surveillance. In addition to aerial observation and mobile camera vans, the interior minister announces research into facial, behavioural and pattern recognition.

            • Germany: Further step towards the introduction of „Cell Broadcast“

              So far, German authorities can only notify mobile phones of an impending disaster if their owners have registered beforehand. Soon it will be possible to warn all phones within a certain radius. It is questionable who will decide whether to send such a message.

            • Will Privacy Activist Max Schrems’ New Legal Action Against Facebook at EU’s Highest Court Prove to Be His Most Important Yet?

              His first victory was also one of the most far-reaching. In 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the region’s highest court, struck down the Safe Harbour framework that allowed personal data of EU citizens to flow to the US. Given the huge volume of that traffic, this had the US and EU scrambling to draw up a replacement, which was dubbed Privacy Shield. But Schrems once more went to court, and once more won when the CJEU struck down Safe Harbour’s replacement in 2020.

            • Proof of vaccination in a tap? Smartphone developers want to make it that easy

              Google, Apple and Samsung have all recently announced plans to offer a feature that readily calls up a QR code that can be scanned to quickly verify a user’s vaccination status.

              Samsung, which manufactures Galaxy smartphones, announced Wednesday that it is partnering with the Commons Project, developers of one of a number of vaccine passport smartphone apps.

            • Apple’s Double Agent

              On Twitter and in Discord channels for the loosely defined Apple "internal" community that trades leaked information and stolen prototypes, he advertised leaked apps, manuals, and stolen devices for sale. But unbeknownst to other members in the community, he shared with Apple personal information of people who sold stolen iPhone prototypes from China, Apple employees who leaked information online, journalists who had relationships with leakers and sellers, and anything that he thought the company would find interesting and worth investigating.

              Andrey Shumeyko, also known as YRH04E and JVHResearch online, decided to share his story because he felt that Apple took advantage of him and should have compensated him for providing the company this information.

            • Digital Slaves: how Big Tech tracks us for profit

              Do you ever feel like your phone knows too much? That it’s reading your mind, listening to you? You have just passed by a museum, then soon after, ads for the museum’s new exhibition flash up on your phone. You didn’t search for the museum or talk about it to anyone, you just happened to be nearby.

              You are not paranoid or delusional; you are simply witnessing the tip of the iceberg in targeted advertising, a lucrative business built on the use – or misuse – of our minds, time, and data without our consent.

              Welcome to surveillance-based advertising.

            • Afghans scramble to delete digital history, evade biometrics

              After years of a push to digitise databases in the country, and introduce digital identity cards and biometrics for voting, activists warn these technologies can be used to target and attack vulnerable groups.

              “We understand that the Taliban is now likely to have access to various biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan,” the Human Rights First group wrote on Twitter on Monday.

              “This technology is likely to include access to a database with fingerprints and iris scans, and include facial recognition technology,” the group added.

            • No need to swap data for drinks, says privacy body

              "I think it's too easy to upload an app and straight away put your name, email address, payment details in, without actually understanding fully where that information may be shared and why it's being used," said Suzanne Gordon, director of data protection at the ICO.

              "Ultimately this is your data, it's your personal information and you need to be confident when you're handing it over and the reasons why."

            • Scanning "private" content

              Child pornography and other types of sexual abuse of children are unquestionably heinous crimes; those who participate in them should be caught and severely punished. But some recent efforts to combat these scourges have gone a good ways down the path toward a kind of AI-driven digital panopticon that will invade the privacy of everyone in order to try to catch people who are violating laws prohibiting those activities. It is thus no surprise that privacy advocates are up in arms about an Apple plan to scan iPhone messages and an EU measure to allow companies to scan private messages, both looking for "child sexual abuse material" (CSAM). As with many things of this nature, there are concerns about the collateral damage that these efforts will cause—not to mention the slippery slope that is being created.

              iPhone scanning

              Apple's move to scan iPhone data has received more press. It would check for image hashes that match known CSAM material; the database of hashes will be provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). It will also scan photos that are sent or received in its messaging app to try to detect sexually explicit photos to or from children's phones. Both of those scans will be done on the user's phone, which will effectively break the end-to-end encryption that Apple has touted for its messaging app over the years.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why Mozambique invited foreign troops to fight its jihadists

        The danger is that a narrow focus on the gas project does not address the root causes of the conflict. So long as the people of Cabo Delgado see few benefits from the development of local natural resources, and see a state unable to provide health care, education, jobs and security, grievances will fester. Last year Mr Nyusi announced a new northern development agency. But some worry it is just a sop to donors.

      • The Taliban Take Kabul

        In departing and leaving stranded colleagues to their fate, the bookish Ghani, preferring pen to gun, had time to leave a message on Facebook.€  One could never accuse the man of having wells of courage. He reflected on either facing armed Taliban fighters or leaving his beloved country.€  In order to avoid immolating Kabul, which “would have been a big human disaster”, he chose a hasty exit.

        Only a few days prior, on August 11, Ghani had flown to Mazar-i-Sharif, in the company of the blood lusty Uzbek Dostum, supposedly to hold the fort against the Taliban with another warlord, the ethnic Tajik Atta Muhammad Noor.€  Noor had pledged in June to mobilise the citizenry of Balkh province to fight the Taliban.€  “God forbid, the fall of Balkh,” he declared at the time, “means the fall of the north and the fall of the north means the fall of Afghanistan.”

      • Ex-Official Matthew Hoh, Who Resigned over Afghan War, Says U.S. Mistakes Helped Taliban Gain Power

        “The only thing more tragic than what’s happened to the Afghan people is that in a few days America will have forgotten Afghanistan again,” says Matthew Hoh, a disabled combat veteran and former State Department official stationed in Afghanistan’s Zabul province who resigned in 2009 to protest the Obama administration’s escalation of the War in Afghanistan. He says much of the U.S. media coverage has been filled with “complete lies and fabrications,” despite decades of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. “You see the same people who’ve been wrong about this war trotted out over and over again,” says Hoh, a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy.

      • Cable Anchors on the Afghan Withdrawel

        And that in achieving all this it lost 2372 soldiers, and its allies lost 1147 soldiers? Is it not a waste?

        Experts like former DHS secretary Juliette Kayyem appear on CNN and try to explain. Asked why the Afghan “national” forces have performed so poorly, she asks whether “corruption” was responsible, or “lack of pay.” Secretary of State Tony Blinken keeps reiterating that the Afghans have been well trained for 20 years and they have to want their freedom enough to fight for it. One feels that in the end Afghans will be blamed for their inability to take directions, unwillingness to accept U.S. tutelage, intrinsic religious conservatism and xenophobia. Blinken’s spin is: we won the war when we achieved “our one overriding purpose” in crushing al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. That was always the motive—not the remaking of Afghanistan. But the war continued long after this goal was obtained in mid-December 2001; the U.N. estimates over 5000 civilian casualties in that war just in the first five months of this year. But according to Blinken, these last two decades of war have been mere spin-offs of that purpose realized early on.

      • “There is No Military Solution.” Time to Get Real About It.

        While giving lip service to the idea that there was no military solution, the U.S. fought a 20-year war which directly killed approximately 241,000 people and cost a mindboggling $2.261 trillion.

        Do we need more proof to see the failure of war?

      • Vietnam Redux

        There may be no helicopters on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as there were Hueys on an apartment house roof in Saigon in April 1975 evacuating diplomats and endangered Vietnamese. But we’re cutting and running again. Another defeat for an American war.

        The U.S. withdrawal from Kabul is hurried, helter-skelter, far from orderly and dignified as American officials make their way in a frenzy from their embassy to the airport, where U.S. military protect them from the advancing Taliban. The insurgents reportedly entered through Kabul’s four main gates Sunday.

      • There Goes the Neighborhood: Pakistan Is Uneasy Over the Taliban’s Return

        Islamabad—How did it go so badly wrong? In all the column inches that have been devoted to answering this question, the one theme that has remained more or less constant is the mendacity and aloofness of the Pakistani state, which is being blamed in the West for the resurgence of the Taliban. In Pakistan itself, however, there is little in the way of political consensus. Since the fall of Kabul on Sunday evening, politicians and officials of all different stripes have contributed to a cacophony of different perspectives.

      • Why Many Veterans Terminate Their Souls

        Once veterans realize they were Molested for Profit, this profound truth assassinates their core belief system. Some people call this trauma Moral Injury. But, it is far worse. The Fatherland who sent them to war is evil. It is called Political Incest. It is a raping of their souls. The word Trust is reduced to nothingness. Psychologically, everything is Betrayal. Wasted… The veteran feels like a stranger in a strange land. Who am I? Where did I come from that made me so sick? The magnitude of my soul sickness is equal to the depth of my Silence. W A R = Wealthy Are Richer Unless the veteran bears witness and confronts the Liars, the Sherman’s will continue to march to the sea.

      • Opinion | Decades of Disaster: Biden Is Right to End the War in Afghanistan

        The scenes from Afghanistan are heartrending.

      • Progressive Caucus Urges US Diplomacy With Taliban
      • Advocates Urge Biden to Move Faster to Resettle Afghan Refugees
      • Advocates Call on Biden Admin to Move Faster on Resettling Afghan Refugees

        President Joe Biden has allocated $500 million in new funds for relocating Afghan refugees following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. The U.S. had already vowed to help evacuate over 80,000 Afghan civilians who qualify for special immigrant visas and face possible retribution from the Taliban, such as translators and interpreters for the U.S. military or NATO, but critics say the Biden administration needs to move faster and expand refugee resettlement from the country. There is already a backlog of more than 17,000 Afghan nationals and 53,000 of their family members awaiting visa approval. “This entire backlog and this delay in evacuating people could have been handled very differently,” says Manoj Govindaiah, the director of policy and government affairs at RAICES, which has resettled more than 600 Afghan refugees since 2017, including 116 this year alone –– among them, 79 children, and a family of 10 just last night. “Trump announced in February of 2020 that he was going to be withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan,” Govindaiah notes. “At that moment, we’ve known that this day is coming and these people are vulnerable.”

      • US Urged to Aid Afghan Journalists Seeking Safe Passage Amid Reports of Taliban Beatings

        As hundreds of Afghan journalists attempt to flee Afghanistan amid the Taliban's reconquest of their nation, two U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday joined international press freedom advocates in calling on the United States to do more to ensure the safety of media workers, and for the Taliban to honor their vow to not harm them.

        Reports Wednesday of Afghan journalists being assaulted by Taliban fighters amid deadly repression of dissent heightened the sense of alarm inside and outside Afghanistan.

      • Opinion | The Taliban Surrendered in 2001

        At a U.S. Special Forces camp near Kandahar, Afghanistan, on December 5, 2001, the Taliban offered an unconditional surrender. Furthermore, they would disband and disarm: a military force would no longer exist.€ 

      • 'Twenty Years of War Have Failed': Progressive Caucus Urges US Diplomacy With Taliban

        Condemning U.S. military action in Afghanistan as an abject and deadly failure, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday pressed the Biden administration to engage in diplomacy with the emerging Taliban government and provide as much humanitarian aid as possible to the countless civilians devastated by the past two decades of war.

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the CPC, reiterated her caucus' support for the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as the Biden administration faces criticism from Republicans and members of his own party over how the exit has unfolded.

      • “People Are Thirsty for Peace”: Afghans Wary of Taliban as Group Vows to Uphold Rights

        We go to Kabul for an update as the Taliban moves to secure control of Afghanistan. The group said Tuesday former government officials will not face retribution and that the rights of women and journalists will be upheld. The Taliban’s rhetoric and the relatively restrained behavior of its fighters in Kabul are starkly different from how the group governed Afghanistan after seizing power in 1996, when it imposed draconian restrictions on everyday life. Despite the Taliban’s pledges, many women across Afghanistan have not left their homes since the Taliban seized control over the weekend and as thousands of people attempt to catch flights out of the country. “The Afghan people would like to know where this road now leads,” says Bilal Sarwary, an Afghan journalist based in Kabul. “People are thirsty for a political settlement. People are thirsty for peace.”

      • Taliban kill protesters who tried to raise Afghan flag

        Taliban militants shot dead at least three people in three cities after protesters pulled down the group’s banner and raised the Afghan national flag in its place, in an early show of defiance to their rule.

        Witnesses said more than a dozen were also wounded after gunmen dispersed the protest in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday.

      • Outside the wire

        When the US entered Afghanistan, local DJs were hired to help with the war effort. And when the American military pulled out, they abandoned those voices, leaving many of them for dead.

      • Taliban Violently Disperse Protest After Vowing No Retribution

        The Taliban are continuing to consolidate power in Afghanistan amid reports of violence against protesters in the eastern part of the country, a day after the Islamist group announced the “war is over” and there would be no retribution. 

        Witnesses say Taliban insurgents fired into the air and beat people with batons in the city of Jalalabad, where a group of demonstrators tried to take down a Taliban flag and replace it with the Afghan national flag Wednesday.  At least three people were killed and many other injured. The Taliban did not comment on the matter.

      • CNN reporter in Afghanistan: 'No way' civilians can get past Taliban

        CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward delivered harrowing reporting Wednesday from the ground in Kabul, where she said Taliban fighters have taken control of the area outside the city's airport, leaving "no way" for Afghans looking to escape the country.

        "It's very hectic, we're about 200 yards from the entrance to the Kabul airport," Ward said with gunshots ringing out in the background of her live report. "There are Taliban protesters around ... we have seen them and heard them firing on the crowds to try and disperse them."

        Ward said there are lines snaking for miles outside the airport filled with people "waiting, trying desperately to get out of the country."

      • What is Sharia law? What does it mean for women in Afghanistan?

        Sharia is Islam's legal system.

        It is derived from the Koran, Islam's holy book, and the Sunnah and Hadith - the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

        Where an answer cannot be derived directly from these, religious scholars may give rulings as guidance on a particular topic or question.

      • An Afghanistan Apportionment

        Two decades of American sacrifice was too few years for them.

        2, 448 American military deaths (plus 20,149 wounded in action, hundreds of thousands with unseen wounds, plus 3,846 US contractor deaths) was not enough blood and tragedy for them.

      • The Choice Facing Afghans: Do a Deal With the Taliban or Flee

        The Afghan government agreed at the weekend on a transitional government, which will avoid a direct Taliban military assault on the capital, allowing a peaceful transfer of power. At the start of this transition, at least, it may be in the interests of the Taliban to show a moderate face and not stir up opposition at home or abroad by public executions and beatings.

        As Afghans see it, President Donald Trump began a series of one-sided deals favouring the Taliban in 2020, an approach confirmed by President Joe Biden in his speech on 14 April this year. He declared that the final American pull-out would be completed by the 20th anniversary of 9/11, come what may.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • There's a Growing Backlash Against Tech's Infamous Secrecy. Why Now?

        “How Silicon Valley’s Tech Giants Use NDAs to Create a Culture of Silence,” stated a Business Insider piece on July 27, 2021. “To understand how Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) have come to form the backbone of Silicon Valley's culture of secrecy,” explained Matt Drange, “Insider reviewed 36 agreements shared by tech workers.” It showed how management mistakes and misconduct hide in the silence of those NDAs. “The secrecy is by design … leaving the true extent of wrongdoing in the workplace a mystery.”

    • Environment

      • Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency

        According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2020 was Earth’s second hottest for the past 140 years. Furthermore, 19 of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2000. There has been a considerable impact of these increasing global warming trends on people of all ages.

        Annual deaths as a result of climate change are estimated in 150,000 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Between 2030 and 2050, this number could be as high as 250,000 additional deaths. Most of those deaths will be due to heat stress, and to malnutrition, malaria and intestinal and respiratory infections, particularly in children from developing countries.

      • Hotter water leaves smaller and less mobile fish

        The catch with warming oceans is that there’ll be less of a catch. Smaller and less mobile fish will leave less to eat.

      • Where Best to Ride Out the Climate Apocalypse? The Billionaires’ Bunker Fantasies Go Mainstream

        Those beliefs are not inbuilt, of course. How could they be? We are not born with pre-loaded software like a computer – even if our mental “hardware” may shape what kind of information we are capable of processing and how we process it.

        And whatever we may imagine, our belief system is not really self-generated, dictated by life-experiences. It isn’t only real-world events that determine our values and views. Events and experiences are interpreted and given meaning by those beliefs and values. Which is why it is quite possible – common, in fact – for us to hold contradictory beliefs at the same time: like worrying about the threat posed to our children’s future from climate change, while supporting political systems committed to building more roads and runways.

      • How Politicians and Lobby Groups Tried — And Failed — To Co-opt Legitimate Concerns Over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
      • Dozens of Democrats to Biden: Revoke Permits for Line 3 Pipeline

        A bicameral group of Democratic lawmakers this week joined Indigenous leaders, healthcare professionals, and environmentalists in calling on the Biden administration to revoke federal permits for the construction of Line 3, a pipeline project that would have the equivalent climate impact of 50 new coal-fired power plants.

        In a letter sent to President Joe Biden on Monday and obtained by HuffPost Wednesday, eight Democratic senators and nearly two dozen House members rebuked the administration for standing behind the tar sands project, which was approved during the tenure of former President Donald Trump.

      • 'The World Is Watching': Indigenous Critics of Line 3 Meet With UN Human Rights Expert

        Indigenous women who are leading the fight against Enbridge's Line 3 tar sands pipeline met virtually with a United Nations expert on Tuesday to discuss human rights abuses of those who have joined the movement opposing the polluting project.

        "The Biden administration has turned a blind eye, so we hope that international attention can protect the rights of our people and the water we all depend on."—Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth

      • Opinion | Dangerous Thinking: Carbon Capture Technology Won't Solve Our Emissions Problems

        The world is processing the dire warnings in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report: We are on a path to see global temperature rise to surpass the 2-degree threshold, bringing more intense heat waves, droughts, and sea-level rise—unless we shift rapidly away from fossil fuels. And the climate movement is grappling with both a sense of urgency and profound disappointment with the Biden administration. It was bad enough that the administration backed a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that jettisoned many key clean energy provisions, but it's even worse that the infrastructure plan includes billions of dollars in new fossil fuel subsidies.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | From Soil to Society: A Systems Approach to Change

          Soil scientist E. Britt Moore drives home the foundational nature of soil to his undergraduate students with an etymology lesson. Human, he tells them, comes from the Latin humus, or soil. Adam is from the Hebrew adamah, meaning ground. Regardless of whether you believe€ God creating the first human from clay is mythology, says Moore, "societies before us understood an intimate connection between people and soil."€ 

        • Gnomes and Chimps

          Before humans, animals existed without destroying the entire world. It may be tempting, in this way, to view humans as exceptional. However, most of us don’t have much control of the world we are destroying. As a result, many of us are making myths to explain our present conditions.

          In an age like this we should turn to linguist Noam Chomsky for wisdom. Mr. Chomsky sees the fake news era going back to the very companies that are condemning it now: “Huge amounts of capital are expended every year to try to undermine markets… by creating uninformed consumers making irrational choices; and driving them to consumerism – which atomises [society] – rather than serious things. That’s what ought to be taught in economics courses: massive efforts by the business community to undermine markets.”

        • Meditations on Loving the Land

          Watch a newborn bison calf lie in the grass on a warm spring day. It’s pure bliss. She has every reason to love that warm green ground.We call it ground, earth, soil, dirt, mud, rock, land, terra firma. It’s no coincidence that English speakers call both the planet and the soil Earth.

          To the Lakota people, Earth is Uncí Maká – Mother Earth. North America is Turtle Island, symbolized by an animal that lives very close to the earth. Earth is represented by Kéya, turtle- patient, peaceful, long lived.

        • Yurok Youth Ask Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland About State of North Coast Salmon, Climate Crisis

          10-year-old Repoy Lowry explained why he decided to ask the Secretary of Interior about the North Coast rivers. “I felt like I was doing something important for my community, the fish, and the earth,”€ Repoy said.

          K’nek’nek’ Lowry said it was “very exciting”€ to meet the first Native American Secretary of Interior.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Progressive Democrat Morgan Harper Launches Campaign Against Rep. Tim Ryan for Ohio Senate Seat

        Progressive Democrat Morgan Harper on Wednesday formally announced the launch of her race to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.€ 

        Her campaign represents a progressive challenge to Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who launched his campaign for the Senate seat in April.

      • GOP State Officials Take Step Toward Overseeing Elections in Georgia's Heavily Democratic Fulton County

        "It is not surprising that the Republican-controlled General Assembly has targeted Fulton County, Georgia's€ largest county and home to the greatest number of voters of color in the state."—Fair Fight Action

      • Texas Supreme Court Says Dems Who Fled State to Block Voter Suppression Package Can Be Arrested

        If any of the dozens of Texas House Democrats who fled Austin last month to prevent right-wing lawmakers from passing a sweeping voter suppression package refuse to present themselves at the state Capitol, they can be arrested and forcibly taken into the lower chamber, the Lone Star State's all-Republican Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

        Last week, as Common Dreams reported,€ the Texas high court voided Travis County District Judge Brad Urrutia's temporary restraining order prohibiting the arrest of Democratic lawmakers whose extended absences have made it impossible for the GOP-controlled state House to reach the quorum necessary to advance its anti-voter legislation.

      • 'A Big Win': USPS Must Turn Over Docs About DeJoy's Potential Conflicts of Interest

        A leading government ethics watchdog on Wednesday cheered a federal judge's ruling ordering the United States Postal Service to hand over documents concerning potential conflicts of interest involving embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

        U.S. District Judge John D. Bates on Tuesday granted Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) a full summary judgment (pdf) and ordered the United States Postal Service (USPS) to give the advocacy group seven documents it requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

      • Devin Nunes' Deposition Goes Off The Rails, As He Keeps Suing (And Actually Gets A Minor Victory In One Suit)

        It's getting difficult to keep up with all of the many lawsuits involving Devin Nunes and his family against the media -- and that statement alone should raise your eyebrows quite high. As someone who has sworn to protect the Constitution (which includes the 1st Amendment), Nunes seems very interested in using the judicial system repeatedly to intimidate and silence critical reporting from the press. This post will cover three separate lawsuits (out of a much longer list of lawsuits) in which things happened this month. First off, he's filed yet another lawsuit, this time against NBC Universal over claims that Rachel Maddow made defamatory remarks about him. He's suing in Texas, which seems like an odd choice for many reasons. After all, he's a Congressional Representative from California. NBC is based in New York. Many of his previous lawsuits have been in Virginia. Honestly, the complaint makes the most half-hearted attempt to explain why Texas is the proper venue, stating "MSNBC is at home in Texas." What does that even mean? MSNBC is based in New York.

      • In Praise of Joe Biden

        I don’t like Joe Biden. I think his working class shtick is as phony as a street corner Rolex. He’s a liar. He’s a corporate sycophant. He’s a masher creep around women and girls. And he’s kind of an asshole in general (I know, takes one to know one). His political record is one long disaster. But . . .

        . . . Joe Biden did not fuck up with Afghanistan. He made the cleanest getaway possible, and this was altogether the right thing to do, no matter the fallout. There was no other way. For twenty years, we’ve been “turning the corner” in Afghanistan. It may not have occurred to many Americans — immersed as we are in militarism and American exceptionalism — that the American/NATO presence in Afghanistan was making things worse for Afghanis and more dangerous for the world.

      • Mike Lindell lashes out as cyber expert demands $5M reward for debunking election data

        Lindell has long claimed to be in possession of a large set of network data from the 2020 election, saved as packet captures, or .pcap files. He's even claimed that it contained every vote cast last November.

        Not so, says Alderson. It took roughly 45 minutes for him to see that the data given to him and the dozens of other experts in attendance was bunk — not only did it fail to prove anything about the accuracy of the 2020 election, but the files weren't even in the right format.

      • Serbian president dares Twitter to delete his account

        Twitter defines state-affiliated media as “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their senior staff may be labeled.”

      • Serbian president challenges Twitter: ‘Delete my account!’

        Vucic, a former ultranationalist, has kept a tight grip on Serbia’s mass media since he came to power 10 years ago.

        Serbia’s pro-government outlets, including the state TV, regularly blast the few remaining independent media in Serbia, claiming they are controlled by corrupt opposition figures or Western embassies.

      • The Taliban wants the world to think they've changed. But have they?

        While the Taliban — run by a supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, and three deputies, Mawlavi Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful Haqqani militant network, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, who heads the Taliban's political office in Doha — now control three-quarters of Afghanistan, their capacity to govern is unclear.

        “They have zero experience,” Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer at the American University in Afghanistan, told the BBC World Service.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Algeria: The forest fires that led to an artist's lynching

        On the same day, Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud visited Tizi Ouzou, telling reporters the fires had been caused by "criminals filled with hatred against our country".

        According to BBC Monitoring, neither officials nor the country's main media outlets have mentioned climate change as a cause of the fires, or as a reason for their vast spread.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: BoingBoing Begins Disemvoweling The Trolls (2007)

        Summary: One of the challenges for any website that allows for user content — no matter the size of the website — is how to deal with trollish behavior. There are a variety of options available, including just deleting such comments, but one option that got attention in the mid-2000s was the idea of disemvoweling: literally removing the vowels from any comment deemed trollish. This was something of an update on concept of merely “splatting out” letters (i.e., replacing certain letters with ‘*’ to make them less searchable and to create some level of disassociation from the initial word).

      • Appeals Court Says Iowa's Ag-Gag Law Is About 50 Percent Constitutional

        Opacity efforts backed by industries that would rather not allow the public to see how their food is really made have been mounted in several states, hoping to criminalize things like corporate whistleblowing or investigative journalism. Of course, these legislative efforts generally make no mention of these terms, hiding their true intent behind claims of seeking to protect businesses from "bioterrorism" or "trespassing."

      • Freedom of Speech According to the Gospel of Koch

        This annual publication, also known as the “worst colleges for free speech in America” list, is a must-have guide for every parent concerned that her or his child’s “conservative” views may not be respected at a particular higher education institution.

        Says Zimmerman about the survey results: “At most colleges and universities, we pretend like that never happened. We need to get our own house in order, but we still have our heads in the sand. US colleges and universities better get their act together, or else.”

      • A new report is accusing Apple's engraving service of censoring political phrases in its China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan stores

        A team of researchers at the University of Toronto have accused Apple's engraving service of censoring references to landmark political events and activist movements in its Chinese, Hong Kong, and Taiwan stores.

        By keying in thousands of phrases into the company's engraving service in its local websites, researchers at the human rights and technology research group CitizenLab found that a whopping 1,045 keywords were blocked by Apple's engraving service in mainland China.

        In addition, Apple's services blocked 542 keywords in Hong Kong and 397 in Taiwan.

      • Apple applied list of terms censored in China to Taiwan & Hong Kong

        In China, about 43% of all censored keywords -- about 458 -- refer to the country's political system, the ruling Communist Party, senior Party or government officials, and dissidents. According to Citizen Lab, 174 of those keywords apply in Hong Kong, and 29 apply in Taiwan.

      • Engrave Danger: An Analysis of Apple Engraving Censorship across Six Regions

        This report investigates Apple’s content control of its product engravings, a feature Apple provides when ordering some of its products to print messages on their exteriors. While we found that there exists no publicly accessible document or guideline outlining what rules and limitations applied to consumers’ personalized engravings on Apple products, there has been some previous reporting on Apple’s content control of product engravings. Journalists recently reported that certain words are prohibited from being engraved on Apple’s AirTags. According to the article, while offensive language such as “SLUT” or “FUCK” are filtered, “NAZI” is allowed to be engraved on Apple products. Previous news coverage looking at iPad engravings suggested that Apple restricted certain mainland Chinese political words from appearing on its products in Hong Kong or mainland China, but it was unclear what or how many keywords were censored in the Chinese market. A recent report by China Digital Times has documented several blocked keywords on Apple’s new AirTag products.

      • Cambodian court jails union leader for two years over border comments

        "The court's decision to sentence Rong Chhun today is a threat to younger generations... to stop thinking about the nation's problems and social issues," Ouk Chhayavy, president of the Cambodia Independent Teachers' Association, told reporters outside the court.

      • How LGBTQ+ Content is Censored Under the Guise of "Sexually Explicit"

        As always, some groups will be subject to potentially more harm than others. One of the features of Apple’s new plan is designed to provide notifications to minor iPhone users who are enrolled in a Family Plan when they either receive or attempt to send a photo via iMessage that Apple’s machine learning classifier defines as “sexually explicit.” If the minor child is under 13 years of age and chooses to send or receive the content, their parent will be notified and the image saved to the parental controls section of their phone for the parent to view later. Children between 13-17 will also receive a warning, but the parent will not be notified.

        While this feature is intended to protect children from abuse, Apple doesn’t seem to have considered the ways in which it could enable abuse. This new feature assumes that parents are benevolent protectors, but€ for many children, that isn't the case: parents can also be the abuser, or may have more traditional or restrictive ideas of acceptable exploration than their children. While it's understandable to want to protect children from abuse, using machine learning classifiers to decide what is or is not sexual in nature may very well result in children being shamed or discouraged from seeking out information about their sexuality.

        As Apple’s product FAQ explains, the feature will use on-device machine learning to determine which content is sexually explicit—machine learning that is proprietary and not open to public or even civil society review.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The NLRB Says Amazon Cheated in the Bessemer Union Election. What Happens Next?
      • Massachusetts Police Can Easily Seize Your Money. The DA of One County Makes It Nearly Impossible to Get It Back.

        Devantee Jones-Bernier was spending an afternoon at a friend’s apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts, when police banged on the door, looking for drugs. They found marijuana in the unit, where several people had gathered, but not on the 21-year-old college student. Police took his iPhone and $95 in cash.

        The district attorney’s office charged him and seven others in May 2014 with drug offenses, but later dismissed them against Jones-Bernier and all but one person. Despite that, law enforcement officials held onto his money and phone.

      • From pay to visibility, bosses have ways to get remote workers back

        The impact of Covid-19 on where, when and how America works has been no less than seismic.

        For some, it was a silver lining: no commute, lower expenses for everything from driving to dry cleaning and more time with family. With proximity less of a priority, many migrated from cities to suburbs in search of homes big enough to accommodate remote work and school. Initially, employees encouraged the shift, using technology to mimic in-person connectivity and reassuring customers, shareholders and lenders that they could remain productive and profitable in spite of the upheaval.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Who’ By Georgia English

        The following post originally appeared at Ongoing History of Protest Music.Georgia English is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who recently put out a poignant album “Pain and Power.” This collection of tunes could be considered a musical journal that chronicles English’s experiences of overcoming trauma. The release also includes a companion illustrative book that is meant to complement the tunes’ weighty messages. For the album, English combines the personal with the political, featuring insights on collective healing and pointed social commentary on tracks like “America,” “Statue of Jesus,” and “Who,” that examine America’s systemic ills.English bemoans modern-day issues on “Who,” such as disunity, fake news, babies in cages, and “all lives matter” while at the same time reminding listeners that none of this is new.“Could it be a broken system. Or did we design it this way?” English ponders.There is often discussion about how to fix a broken system. But maybe the question we should be asking is, how do we dismantle and rebuild? Listen to “Who” on Georgia English’s album “Pain and Power”:

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • California Regulators Say T-Mobile Lied To Gain Sprint Merger Approval

        To gain regulatory approval for its $26 billion merger with Sprint, T-Mobile made numerous promises. One was that the deal would immediately create jobs (there've been 5,000 layoffs so far). Another was that the company would work closely with Dish Network to help them build a fourth wireless network that would replace Sprint, theoretically "fixing" the reduction in competition the deal created. As predicted, that plan isn't working out well either.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • UPC set to be operational by mid-2022, according to latest official forecast [Ed: IAM is the latest to write utterly fake 'news' for Team UPC; they've now entered a mode/mindset of just publishing loads of false headlines, hoping this can magically lead to the outcome they want (violating constitutions). There should be regulation against such propaganda campaigns.]
        • Expert evidence keeps RAFT buoyant in strawman patent opposition

          Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) v Cytec Industries Inc. [2021] APO 27 In a recent decision of the Australian Patent Office, Cytec Industries Inc. successfully defended its Australian Patent Application No. 2014370386 against all grounds of opposition.1 The decision highlights some key aspects of Australian patent oppositions, including the emphasis placed on expert evidence by the Patent Office when deciding on grounds such as inventive step, and the importance of formulating a clear position supported by the evidence in hearing submissions.

          Griffith Hack were involved in the latter stages of CSIRO v Cytec, handling preparation of submissions and hearing strategy on behalf of Cytec.


          Alongside preparation of evidence, a key facet of opposition practice is the ability to set out a party’s case strongly in written and oral submissions, and to anticipate and respond to arguments made by the other side.

          The main ground of opposition pressed at the hearing in CSIRO v Cytec was lack of inventive step. The Delegate agreed with Cytec’s position that the problem solved by the invention was the provision of PAN polymer suitable for use in producing carbon fibre, and having a low polydispersity and high molecular weight, preferring that to the opponent’s alternative problem of producing PAN polymer with low polydispersity.4

        • Opinion | Profiteering From Vaccine Inequity: A Crime Against Humanity?

          Early in the pandemic, Pfizer announced an intention to profit from its covid-19 vaccine.1 In the first three months of 2021, Pfizer’s vaccine brought in $3.5bn (€£2.5bn; €3bn) in revenue and hundreds of millions in profit.2 Other companies are also making exceptional profits from covid-19. Moderna, which received public funding to develop its covid-19 vaccine, will earn several billion dollars from vaccine sales.3 Even Astra Zeneca, with its acclaimed “non-profit” model, will receive billions in revenue and is free to raise the price once itconsiders the pandemic to be over.

      • Copyrights

        • RCN Faces Yet Another Piracy Lawsuit, Now With a Site Blocking Demand

          A group of movie companies is continuing its legal quest against US Internet providers. A few days ago they sued Internet provider RCN for failing to take action against allegedly pirating subscribers. The movie outfits request millions of dollars in damages, a three-strikes policy against infringers, and pirate site blocking measures.

        • Telegram Copyright Lawsuits Pressure Messenger To Install Anti-Piracy System

          Russia's largest publisher has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Telegram for allowing pirated copies of Stephen King and Dmitry Glukhovsky books to be distributed via the platform. The cited aim is to have Telegram blocked in Russia but according to the anti-piracy group involved in the action, the introduction of fingerprinting technology is preferred.

        • Court Orders Injunction Against RomUniverse To Permanently Shut Down, Destroy Nintendo ROMs

          What a ride for RomUniverse and its owner, Matthew Storman. By way of background, 2019 saw Nintendo start an all out assault on ROM sites, websites where users could download ROMs of old Nintendo games to play on emulators. When the company set its eyes on RomUniverse, Storman attempted to crowdfund a legal defense, which failed, only to represent himself in court and make a lame argument that somehow first sale doctrine allowed him to commit mass copyright infringement. When that all failed miserably and RomUniverse lost in court, Storman was ordered to pay $2.1 million in damages in monthly $50 installments. He failed to make even those payments.

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