Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 22/9/2021: Panfrost's OpenGL ES 3.1 Conformanc and NovProg 3.2.0

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD Developer Discusses New Linux CPPC Drivers For Ryzen, Steam Deck

        In preparation for the Steam Deck launch in the coming months, AMD and Valve have been hard at work building a new CPU driver that will enhance the performance and power efficiency of Ryzen-based processors on the Linux platform. One of AMD's developers, Ray Huang, shared details of the new driver in a presentation last Friday at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC2021). You can check out the video below for full details.

        According to the presentation, the new CPU driver started development when Valve found problems with the current ACPI CPUFreq driver being used today on all Intel and AMD Processors running a Linux OS. The developer found performance problems with games using its Proton compatibility layer, that was caused by incorrect sysfs calls to Wine from the CPUFreq driver. This is particularly worrying because Valve needs this problem fixed if it wants the Steam Deck to run games smoothly with its custom Zen 2 SoC and Linux-based SteamOS.

        Once Valve contacted AMD about the matter, AMD also found other issues pertaining to the older ACPI driver, which were causing problems with Ryzen's performance and power efficiency on Linux.

      • Linus Torvalds Has Revealed the Date of Linux's Real Birthday

        Many people in the Linux community is celebrating Linux’s birthday on August 25, but is that the right date? Here’s the answer.

        We all know the story. In 1988, a young Finnish man entered the Helsinki University to study Computer Science. His name was Linus Benedict Torvalds. On August 25, 1991, after five months of development, the 21-year-old Linus Torvalds made his now-legendary announcement via mail to a Minix newsgroup.


        For those who don’t know, Torvalds originally named his kernel “FREAX” – a mix of “free”, “freak” and and “x” (as an allusion to Unix). One can see that while Torvalds may be a great programmer and leader, he really should leave the process of naming projects to other people.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Panfrost achieves OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance on Mali-G52

          The open source Panfrost driver for Mali GPUs has now achieved official conformance on Mali-G52 for OpenGL ES 3.1, as seen on the Khronos adopters list. This important milestone is a step forward for the open source driver, as it now certifies Panfrost for use in commercial products containing Mali G52 and paves the way for further conformance submissions on other Mali GPUs.

          Conformance requires passing tens of thousands of OpenGL integration tests in a single run. Over the summer, we wrote hundreds of patches to fix failing tests. While no amount of testing can guarantee the absence of bugs, passing conformance gets us close.

          To ensure we remain conformant, we've upgraded our continuous integration infrastructure to run more tests before every merge. Ideally, we could re-run the complete conformance suite for every commit, but that's infeasible when a single run takes 11 hours on commercial hardware. Nevertheless, with multiple devices, tuned test configurations, and multithreading, we can run 99.5% of the tests in our 10 minute pre-merge budget. This ensures to a high degree of confidence that Panfrost only becomes more stable each release without regressions. I would like to extend a warm thanks to Emma Anholt for developing the infrastructure required for this feat.

        • Rosenzweig: Panfrost achieves OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance on Mali-G52

          Alyssa Rosenzweig reports that the open-source Panfrost driver for Mali GPUs has achieved official conformance on Mali-G52 for OpenGL ES 3.1.

    • Applications

      • NovProg 3.2.0 released

        Added setting words written for current day Added support for Qt 6 Refactored code Removed XPM icon Translation updates: Dutch, Lithuanian

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The wonderful adventure If On A Winter's Night, Four Travelers is now on Steam

        If On A Winter's Night, Four Travelers is a free point and click adventure that has hopped over from to Steam and it's well worth grabbing as it's free. Presented with some gorgeous pixel-art, it's quite a treat and it won't take you too long to get through with it being about 2-3 hours long so you can breeze through it with a coffee in an afternoon.

        A narrative-focused game giving you multiple perspectives with a horror theme, and it was something of a breakout hit when it appeared on itch with tens of thousands of downloads.

      • Star-Twine is a strategy game where you control light from a dying star now on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Ten years after release Star-Twine from SPARSE//GameDev (Spring Falls) has come to Linux thanks to work from game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee. Created originally by Eric Billingsley, who was lead programmer on Cuphead and is currently level designer for the upcoming release TUNIC.

      • Operation Riptide is live for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive | GamingOnLinux

        Operation Riptide is the 11th "season" for Valve's free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It brings with it new maps, an overhauled mission system, new ways to play various modes and more content to unlock like new agents, weapon collections, stickers and patches.

      • Proton Experimental adds more game-specific fixes in the latest update | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to roll in more fixes, Proton Experimental has another update that's small but it has some needed improvements. If you don't know what Steam Play Proton is be sure to check our dedicated page.

        Following on from the update released on September 17 that got DEATHLOOP working across AMD GPUs and later NVIDIA GPUs there's a small fix in this version of Proton Experimental for a "sporadic" lockup when starting the game. Want to pick up a copy of DEATHLOOP to try it? You can buy it from Humble Store and Steam.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Emmanuele Bassi: Properties, introspection, and you

          It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a GObject class in possession of a property, must be in want of an accessor function.

          The main issue with that statement is that it’s really hard to pair the GObject property with the accessor functions that set the property’s value, and retrieve it.

          From a documentation perspective, tools might not establish any relation (gtk-doc), or they might require some additional annotation to do so (gi-docgen); but at the introspection level there’s nothing in the XML or the binary data that lets you go from a property name to a setter, or a getter, function. At least, until now.

          GObject-introspection 1.70, released alongside GLib 2.70 and GNOME 41, introduced various annotations for both properties and methods that let you go from one to the other; additionally, new API was added to libgirepository to allow bindings to dynamic languages to establish that relation at run time.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 14.04 & 16.04 lifespan extended to 10 years

          Canonical has this week announced it is extending the lifespan of its Ubuntu 14.04 an Ubuntu 16.04 Linux operating systems by 10 years meaning that Ubuntu 14.04 first released back in 2014 will now be supported until April 2024 and similarly with Ubuntu 16.04 the OS will be supported until April 2026. Only a few years ago the company would offer five years of support but starting with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Canonical has been offering a massive 10 years worth of support through an Extended Security Maintenance program.

          “Continue to receive security updates for the Ubuntu base OS, critical software packages and infrastructure components with Extended Security Maintenance (ESM). ESM provides five additional years of security maintenance, enabling an organization’s continuous vulnerability management.

        • Canonical gives administrators the chance to drag their feet a bit more on Ubuntu upgrades

          There was good news today for administrators looking nervously at their aging Ubuntu boxes. A few more years of support is now on offer as Canonical brings 14.04 and 16.04 LTS into the 10-year fold.

          Users still running on 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), released back in April 2014, now have until April 2024 (up from 2022) to make the move to something more recent. 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which dropped into Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) in April this year, has had this extended from April 2024 to April 2026.

          Ubuntu has been quietly updating its support and blog posts to reflect the change.

          The extension is a welcome one for enterprises, who might be reluctant to fiddle with that one server that has been plugging along happily for years without intervention, and should give administrators a little more breathing space. That is, assuming that somebody has coughed up for ESM, which requires an Ubuntu Advantage subscription (free for personal users or Ubuntu Community members, but otherwise requiring the spending of cold hard cash.)

        • Canonical extends Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS lifespans

          Canonical, the creator of the Ubuntu operating system, has announced that Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’ and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ‘Xenial Xerus’ have had their lifespan extended and will now get ten years of life each. With the new extensions in place, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be supported until April 2024 (instead of April 2022) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be supported until April 2026 (instead of April 2024). This puts them in line with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS which already have ten years of support.

          According to Canonical, the extension will give organisations time to balance their infrastructure upgrade costs by giving them more time to enact their upgrade plans. The news will act as a bit of a reprieve for companies that have been hit by the coronavirus over the year and a half.

        • Canonical extends lifecycle for Ubuntu LTS releases

          In a relief to any small and medium businesses (SMBs) running their infrastructure on Long Term Support (LTS) releases of Ubuntu, Canonical has announced it will extend the lifecycle of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS release by a couple of years,

          Canonical reasons that the extended lifecycle, which now sees the distros supported for a total of ten years, will give SMBs the leeway they need to balance their infrastructure upgrade costs, especially as businesses emerge from the pandemic.

          “Each industry sector has its own deployment lifecycle and adopts technology at a different pace. We are bringing an operating system lifecycle that lets organizations manage their infrastructure on their terms,” said Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos, Product Manager at Canonical.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-19 Released for Supported Ubuntu Phones, This Is What’s New

          Ubuntu Touch OTA-19 adds support for Halium 7.1 and 5.1 devices, such as Samsung S3 Neo+ (GT-I9301I) and Google Nexus 6P, to access the gyroscope and magnetic field sensors, along with an initial and very basic implementation of a compass.

          In addition, this update improves the messaging app to offer users a more focused way of reading incoming messages by no longer popping up the keyboard automatically. Also, Ubuntu Touch OTA-19 comes with the 16.04.7 App framework to add compatibility for platforms that don’t offer direct access to QtWebEngine.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Automatically tune your guitar with Raspberry Pi Pico
        • Bringing The Quake Flicker To Life With A Hacked Light | Hackaday

          If you ever feel a pang of shame because you’ve been reusing the same snippets of code in your projects for years, don’t. Even the big names do it, as evidenced by the fact that code written to govern flickering lights back in 1996 for Quake is still being used in AAA titles like 2020’s Half-Life: Alyx. In honor of this iconic example of digital buck-passing, [Rodrigo Feliciano] thought he’d port the code in question over to the Arduino and recreate the effect in real-life.

          Since the Quake engine has been released under the GPLv2, it’s easy to pull up the relevant section of the code to see how the lighting was configured. Interestingly, lighting patterns were implemented as strings, where the letters from a to z referenced how bright the light should appear. So for example, a strobe light that goes between minimum and maximum brightness would be written as “aaaaaaaazzzzzzzz”, while a flickering light could be represented with the string “nmonqnmomnmomomno“.

        • Mini Wireless Thermal Printers Get Arduino Library (and MacOS App) | Hackaday

          [Larry Bank]’s Arduino library to print text and graphics on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) thermal printers has some excellent features, and makes sending wireless print jobs to a number of common models about as easy as can be. These printers are small, inexpensive, and wireless. That’s a great mix that makes them attractive for projects that would benefit from printing out a hardcopy.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Cycles X Merged Into Blender 3.0 With NVIDIA CUDA/OptiX Support, AMD HIP Pending

        Cycles X as a modernizing of Blender's Cycles rendering engine has now landed in the latest development code for Blender 3.0. Cycles X brings big performance improvements but does eliminate OpenCL support in the process.

        Cycles X was one of the reasons for the delay in the Blender 3.0 release to allow time for this Cycles overhaul to land. As of yesterday, the Cycles-X branch was merged into the Blender 3.0 code-base as a major renderer update.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • V3 onion services usage

            With the deprecation of V2 onion services right around the corner, it is a good time to talk about V3 onion services.

          • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

            In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself.


            For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago.

            On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch.

            Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

          • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 100

            Fixed more than one bug

            Ava Katushka Itiel Michael Kohler [:mkohler]

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Oracle's Next-Generation GNU Profiler "gprofng" Is Looking Great For Developers

            Oracle engineers have been working on "gprofng" as a next-generation GNU Profiler that can analyze production binaries. Oracle talked up Gprofng today during the GNU Tools Track as part of Linux Plumbers Conference 2021.

            Gprofng stems from Oracle Developer Studio's Performance Analyzer and this new tool currently supports profiling C, C++, Java, and Scala code. Unlike the original gprof, gprofng is able to profile production binaries that do not need to be built with any special options or still have the source code available. Unmodified executable can be easily analyzed and a wealth of information provided.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • Everyone’s a (Perl) critic, and you can be too!

            The perlcritic tool is often your first defense against ​“awk€­ward, hard to read, error-​prone, or uncon€­ven€­tion€­al con€­structs in your code,” per its descrip€­tion. It’s part of a class of pro€­grams his€­tor€­i€­cal€­ly known as lin€­ters, so-​called because like a clothes dry€­er machine’s lint trap, they ​“detect small errors with big effects.” (Another such lin€­ter is perltidy, which I’ve ref€­er€­enced in the past.)

        • Python

          • Structural pattern matching in Python 3.10

            In the meantime, I thought I’d get to know the feature better by writing up my thoughts and some code examples in article form. As you can gather, I’m rather biased, but I’ll try to present the positives as well as just criticism.

            The pattern matching feature has no fewer than three PEPs (Python Enhancement Proposals) to describe it: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Searching for Solutions to Alaska’s High Rate of Deadly Air Crashes

      More than five decades ago, a flight carrying Doug Groothuis’ father crashed while taking off from the northernmost community in Alaska. Labor leader Harold Groothuis was killed, as were the plane’s pilot and five other passengers.

      Doug Groothuis, who was 11 at the time, remembers being in his bedroom that November 1968 night and watching Walter Cronkite mention his father by name in a CBS Evening News report on the fatal accident in Barrow, now known as Utqiagvik.

    • Hardware

      • Keebin’ with Kristina: the One with the Grabbity Gloves

        early models blocked the user’s view of the results. The paper advances in a gentle arc via electromagnet as you fill up the page. Later versions used a mechanical escapement.

        The Malling-Hansen Writing Ball was the first commercially-sold typewriter, beating Scholes & Glidden’s Remington I (featuring the QWERTY layout) to market by a few years. The Ball was invented by the reverend Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen, a teacher and director at an institute for the deaf and mute in Copenhagen.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The False Premise of Healthcare Hotspotting

        On January 4, CNBC reported on a Freakonomics radio episode from November 2020 in which Whole Foods CEO John Mackey graced the world with his very astute and novel big idea for twenty-first-century health reform:

        I mean, honestly, we talk about health care. The best solution is not to need health care. The best solution is to change the way people eat, the way they live, lifestyles and diet. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be healthy and have a longer life span.

      • How Caffeine Addiction Changed History
      • Why Do Europeans Live Longer Than Americans?
      • Cost Disease Socialism: the Niskanen Center’s Unnecessary Fight
      • Republicans Urge Defiance of Biden Mandates

        Republicans say don’t comply When government tries to deny The freedom you’ve got To not take the shot, No matter how many folks die.

      • Global People's Summit on Food Systems Kicks Off to Challenge 'Corporate Agenda' of UN Meeting

        Decrying the "corporate agenda" of the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit, thousands of farmworkers and food sovereignty advocates on Tuesday launched a three-day counter-mobilization "to expose and oppose the control of big corporations over food and agriculture."

        "Corporations are out to further consolidate their control of land, seeds, agricultural inputs, and markets by embedding themselves even deeper into policymaking processes of the U.N. and its member states."—Sarojeni Rengam PAN Asia Pacific

      • COVID Has Now Claimed More Lives Than the 1918 Flu Pandemic in the US
      • As the Pandemic Continues, College Students Return to a Different Campus

        Colleges and universities nationwide have reopened for in-person learning and students are grappling with an environment very different from the one they left. The administrative response to Covid has varied coast to coast, with some institutions mandating vaccinations, others requiring masks indoors, and still others simply offering recommendations. All students are dealing with new classroom guidelines and procedures, while many are experiencing on-campus life for the first time. To better understand the changes, we asked a range of students to tell us how Covid is impacting their college experience, including student organizing efforts for equity and justice.

      • Vaccine Equity Coalition Warns 'Pathetic Trickles of Charity' Won't End Pandemic

        Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's global coronavirus summit later this week, the People's Vaccine Alliance is warning rich countries that mere pledges to donate additional doses to poor nations will not be enough to close the massive—and widening—inoculation gap that has left billions of people without access to lifesaving shots.

        "With up to 10,000 people dying every day, nothing short of redistributing the rights to produce the vaccines will be enough."

      • Big Pharma Greed 'Literally Killing Americans,' Sanders Says Outside Drug Lobby HQ

        Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and progressive healthcare campaigners from across the U.S. rallied at the headquarters of Big Pharma's top lobbying group on Tuesday to denounce the industry's ongoing effort to tank Democrats' prescription drug-pricing reforms, including a plan to let Medicare negotiate soaring medicine costs.

        "We cannot continue to allow the drug companies to charge us any price they want. We are saying enough is enough."—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Campaign Slams Vaccine Makers for Fueling 'Unprecedented' Human Rights Crisis

        As part of the launch of a global campaign to hold governments and Big Pharma accountable for enduring vaccine inequality, Amnesty International on Tuesday published a report detailing how six pharmaceutical companies are driving an "unprecedented health and human rights crisis" by refusing to waive intellectual property protections and share vaccine technology with the Global South.

        "Profits should never come before lives."—Agnès Callamard, AI

      • UN Chief Tells World Leaders To Their Faces That Vaccine Apartheid Is 'An Obscenity'

        "The world must wake up. We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes."—U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres

        Such vaccine apartheid "is a moral indictment of the state of our world," he said, demanding that vaccine doses reach at least 70% of the world's population by the middle of 2022—a plan that he said is entirely possible through cooperation between pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization, and other stakeholders.

      • Journalists in Europe, US Face Harassment over Pandemic Coverage

        Anti-media sentiment was on the rise before the pandemic, according to press freedom analysts. But it has intensified in part due to pressure from extremist and populist groups energized against public health mandates and vaccines, said Attila Mong, a correspondent in Berlin for the advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

      • Here's why Amazon is lobbying the government to legalize marijuana

        The company’s effort began in June, when it said it would no longer screen prospective employees for marijuana use for positions not regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Amazon made the changes given data that shows certain cannabis policies disproportionately affect people of color, and due to a swath of states updating their own marijuana laws.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Why EFF Flew a Plane Over Apple's Headquarters

          The delay may well be a diversionary tactic. Every September, Apple holds one of its big product announcement events, where Apple executives detail the new devices and features coming out. Apple likely didn’t want concerns about the phone-scanning features to steal the spotlight.€ 

          But we can’t let Apple’s disastrous phone-scanning idea fade into the background, only to be announced with minimal changes down the road. To make sure Apple is listening to our concerns, EFF turned to an old-school messaging system: aerial advertising.€ € 

        • Tim Cook Faces Surprising Employee Unrest at Apple

          Over the past month, more than 500 people who said they were current and former Apple employees have submitted accounts of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination at work, among other issues, to an employee-activist group that calls itself #AppleToo, said Cher Scarlett and Janneke Parrish, two Apple employees who help lead the group.

          The group has begun posting some of the anonymous stories online and has been encouraging colleagues to contact state and federal labor officials with their complaints. Their issues, as well as those of eight current and former employees who spoke to The Times, vary; among them are workplace conditions, unequal pay and the company’s business practices.

          A common theme is that Apple’s secrecy has created a culture that discourages employees from speaking out about their workplace concerns — not with co-workers, not with the press and not on social media. Complaints about problematic managers or colleagues are frequently dismissed, and workers are afraid to criticize how the company does business, the employees who spoke to The Times said.

        • FBI withheld decryption key for Kaseya ransomware attack for three weeks: report [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The FBI allegedly withheld the release of a decryption key for almost three weeks that could have assisted groups crippled by the massive ransomware attack on IT group Kaseya earlier this year to unlock their networks.

          The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the FBI and other federal agencies made the decision to not give Kaseya the key while it pursued an operation to knock REvil, the cybercriminal group behind the attack, offline. Websites used by REvil went dark prior to the FBI’s planned operation.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation: Companies are struggling to find open-source talent

                The Linux Foundation and edX have released the 2021 Open Source Jobs report which reveals the struggle companies are having in finding talent.

              • Linux Foundation says companies are desperate for open source talent

                The Linux Foundation released its 2021 Open Source Jobs Report this month, which aims to inform both sides of the IT hiring process about current trends. The report accurately foreshadows many of its conclusions in the first paragraph, saying "the talent gap that existed before the pandemic has worsened due to an acceleration of cloud-native adoption as remote work has gone mainstream." In other words: job-shopping Kubernetes and AWS experts are in luck.

                The Foundation surveyed roughly 200 hiring managers and 750 open source professionals to find out which skills—and HR-friendly resume bullet points—are in the greatest demand. According to the report, college-degree requirements are trending down, but IT-certification requirements and/or preferences are trending up—and for the first time, "cloud-native" skills (such as Kubernetes management) are in higher demand than traditional Linux skills.

                The hiring priority shift from traditional Linux to "cloud-native" skill sets implies that it's becoming more possible to live and breathe containers without necessarily understanding what's inside them—but you can't have Kubernetes, Docker, or similar computing stacks without a traditional operating system beneath them. In theory, any traditional operating system could become the foundation of a cloud-native stack—but in practice, Linux is overwhelmingly what clouds are made of.

        • Security

          • Apache Ranger response to incorrect analyst report on Cloud data security

            A recent industry analyst report by GigaOm and sponsored by Immuta comparing Apache Ranger to Immuta paints an incorrect picture on the complexities of using Apache Ranger. We believe the report contains a number of errors and inconsistencies. Unfortunately the Apache Ranger Project Management Committee (PMC) was not contacted by the analyst firm during preparation of the report.

            We have attempted to contact the authors and members of the research team several times, requesting the opportunity to review the inaccuracies and have them corrected. Despite our many attempts to rectify the misinformation, no-one from the analyst firm responded.

            For the benefit of existing and potential users of Apache Ranger, it is important for Apache Ranger PMC to respond to this report with facts.

          • VMware Releases Security Updates

            VMware has released security updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in vCenter Server and Cloud Foundation. A remote attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • NETGEAR Releases Security Updates for RCE Vulnerability

            NETGEAR has released security updates to address a remote code execution vulnerability—CVE-2021-40847—in multiple NETGEAR routers. A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • 'Shadow Code' Creates Risk for 99% of Websites

            Shadow code — third-party scripts and libraries often added to web applications without security validation — pose risks to websites and jeopardize compliance with privacy regulations, according to new research released Tuesday.

            Third-party code leaves organizations vulnerable to digital skimming and Magecart attacks, the researchers also noted.

          • Suex to be you: Feds sanction cryptocurrency exchange for handling payments from 8+ ransomware variants

            The US Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned virtual cryptocurrency exchange Suex OTC for handling financial transactions for ransomware operators, an intervention that's part of a broad US government effort to disrupt online extortion and related cyber-crime.

            Suex is registered in the Czech Republic but operates out of offices in Russia. According to the US Treasury, more than 40 per cent of the firm's known transaction history involves illicit entities, and that it handled payments from at least eight ransomware variants.

          • Lumen Technologies’ Black Lotus Labs Proves Linux Executable Files Can Be Used as Stealth Windows Loaders [Ed: This is a Windows issue, not a "Linux" issue]
          • World-Class Cyber Protection Available for Rocky Linux Users
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Stop Military Surveillance Drones from Coming Home

              So Congress should do the right thing and enact Representative Ayanna Pressley’s amendment, Moratorium on Transfer of Controlled Property to Enforcement Agencies, to H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA22). It would greatly curtail the amount of dangerous military equipment, including surveillance drones, that could be transferred to local and state law enforcement agencies through the Department of Defense’s “1033 program.” It has already placed $7.4 billion in military equipment with police departments since 1990.€ 

              The program includes both “controlled” property, such as weapons and vehicles, and “uncontrolled” property, such as first aid kits and tents. Pressley’s amendment would prevent the transfer of all “controlled” property, which includes “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or drones. It also includes: Manned aircraft, Wheeled armored vehicles, Command and control vehicles, specialized firearms and ammunition under .50 caliber, Breaching apparatus, and Riot batons and shields.€ 

              Even without the Department of Defense landing drones into our communities, police use of these autonomous flying robots is rapidly expanding. Some police departments are so eager to get their hands on drones that they’ve claimed they need them to help fight COVID-19. The Chicago Police Department even launched a massive drone program using only off-the-books money taken through civil asset forfeiture.

            • HTTPS Is Actually Everywhere

              The goal of HTTPS Everywhere was always to become redundant. That would mean we’d achieved our larger goal: a world where HTTPS is so broadly available and accessible that users no longer need an extra browser extension to get it. Now that world is closer than ever, with mainstream browsers offering native support for an HTTPS-only mode.

              With these simple settings available, EFF is preparing to deprecate the HTTPS Everywhere web extension as we look to new frontiers of secure protocols like SSL/TLS. After the end of this year, the extension will be in “maintenance mode.” for 2022. We know many different kinds of users have this tool installed, and want to give our partners and users the needed time to transition. We will continue to inform users that there are native HTTPS-only browser options before the extension is fully sunset.

              Some browsers like Brave have for years used HTTPS redirects provided by HTTPS Everywhere’s Ruleset list. But even with innovative browsers raising the bar for user privacy and security, other browsers like Chrome still hold a considerable share of the browser market. The addition of a native setting to turn on HTTPS in these browsers impacts millions of people.

            • UK Leads the Charge Against End-to-End Encryption, Calls on Tech Companies to "Nerd Harder"

              More generally, the UK is working on what was originally called the “Online Harms Bill”, now rebranded as the “Online Safety Bill“, which aims to regulate online content and speech, and to force digital platforms to police their users more stringently. A key element of this new Bill is strengthening child safety online. That’s obviously a laudable goal, but one of the main ideas for doing this is weakening end-to-end encryption. In this, the UK government has been aided by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a charity that has been “looking out for children for 130 years” according to its own description. Unfortunately, it shares the view of many governments that end-to-end encryption is an obstacle to achieving that goal. Recently, the NSPCC published not one, but two documents that implicitly seek to undermine support for strong and effective end-to-end encryption. In its discussion paper on the topic, the NSPCC calls for “a balanced settlement that reflects the full complexity of the issues”:

            • The Battle for Digital Privacy Is Reshaping the Internet

              The developments may seem like technical tinkering, but they were connected to something bigger: an intensifying battle over the future of the [Internet]. The struggle has entangled tech titans, upended Madison Avenue and disrupted small businesses. And it heralds a profound shift in how people’s personal information may be used online, with sweeping implications for the ways that businesses make money digitally.

              At the center of the tussle is what has been the [Internet]’s lifeblood: advertising.

            • Justice Department investigating Zoom's China ties over Five9 deal

              The Justice Department cited “the foreign relationships and ownership” as a potential national security risk in a letter regarding the partnership with Five9, an American customer service company.

              As a result, Zoom’s $15 billion deal remains on hold.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • What Are the Prospects for Peace? An Interview with Mark Skidmore

        Mark Skidmore is a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Betty and David Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy, at Michigan State University. In 2017 Professor Skidmore and his team of graduates students discovered $21€ trillion€ unaccounted for in the U.S. federal budget starting in 1998, continuing until the end of fiscal year 2015. We are extremely honored that he took the time to talk to us and share his views. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • “We Are Troy Davis”: 10 Years After Georgia Execution That Galvanized Anti-Death Penalty Movement

        Tuesday marks 10 years since the state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis for a crime many believe he did not commit. He was put to death despite major doubts about evidence used to convict him of killing Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses at his trial. As the world watched to see whether Davis’s final appeal for a stay of execution would be granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Democracy Now! was the only news outlet to continuously broadcast live from the prison grounds in Jackson, Georgia. We revisit parts of our six-hour special report, featuring interviews with Davis’s supporters and family members who held an all-day vigil and those who witnessed his death by lethal injection, and speak with two people who were there when Davis was executed: Kimberly Davis, Troy Davis’s sister and an anti-death penalty activist, and Ben Jealous, president of People for the American Way and former president of the NAACP. “We know that Troy Davis did make a mark on the world,” says Kimberly Davis. “We want to continue to fight until we demolish the death penalty, one state at a time.”

      • Anguished Lyricism: the Poetry of the Tortured

        The so-called interrogation techniques (EIT) that the CIA were taught to use by a pair of psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who they paid more than $80m of taxpayer money, could include any or all of the following:

        Damn, talk about your cures for writer’s block. They’ll have you back to trills and flourishes in no time.

      • The Rally for the Capitol Mob Fizzled, But This May Be the Calm Before the Storm
      • Michael Roberts on American Imperialism and Marx's Law of Profitability
      • When It Comes to Letting Down Allies, Trumpism and Bidenism Have Much in Common

        Bidenism is turning out to be not so very different from Trumpism. Joe Biden carried out to the letter Donald Trump’s ruthless deal with the Taliban, agreed in February 2020, to abandon the Afghan government, which had been excluded from negotiations about its fate. European allies of the US learned little about the American pull-out plan from Kabul airport, even as it was under way.

        Now Biden has followed up his€ unilateralism in Afghanistan with his surprise announcing of an agreement for the US, along with Britain, to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines to deploy against China in the years ahead. By arbitrarily cutting out the French from their $66bn contract to supply diesel-powered submarines, Biden behaved€  in the true Trump tradition of causing greater outrage to an ally than dismay to a potential enemy.

      • The US Military, Post-Afghanistan

        When that vast complex, which President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about six decades ago, comes to my mind, I can’t help thinking of a song from the last years of the then seemingly endless Cold War. (How typical, by the way, that when the Soviet Union finally imploded in 1991, it barely affected Pentagon funding.)

        “The future’s so bright (I gotta wear shades)” was that 1986 song’s title. And I always wonder whether that future could indeed be nuclear-war bright, given our military’s affection for such weaponry. I once heard the saying, “The [nuclear] triad is not the Trinity,” which resonated with me given my Catholic upbringing. Still, it’s apparently holy enough at the Pentagon or why would the high command there already be planning to fund the so-called modernization of the American nuclear arsenal to the tune of at least $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years? Given this nation’s actual needs, that figure blows me away (though not literally, I hope).

      • Rep. Ro Khanna on Border Guards Whipping Haitians, U.S. Drone Strikes, Afghanistan & Ending Iraq War

        We speak with California Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna about border guards whipping Haitians, U.S. immigration policy, raising the refugee cap, investigating the full 20 years of the War in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.

      • Democrats Share Blame for Afghanistan

        I am sympathetic to any and all criticism of our intervention in Afghanistan. I was an early critic of the war and got beaten up for my stance by media allies of the Bush administration. But the very same liberals who now pretend they’re against the Afghan disaster stood by when it mattered and did nothing to defend war critics because Democrats—political leaders and voters alike—went far beyond tacit consent. They were actively complicit with the Republicans’ war, at the time of the invasion and throughout the decades-long occupation of Afghanistan.

        Now the deadbeat dads of defeat are trying to stick the GOP with sole paternity. This is a ridiculous attempt to rewrite history, one that damages Democratic credibility among the party’s progressive base, which includes many antiwar voters, and risks the possibility that they will make the same mistake again in the future.

      • The Other Cold War

        The Cold War was also a war on the cold. The United States and the Soviet Union considered the ability to successfully mine the resource-rich lands of their respective Arctic regions nearly as important as the ability to send a man (or a dog) into space. One would assume that the Russians had a natural advantage there, having decisively wielded the cold against prior foes. When the unusually early Russian winter of 1941 forced German soldiers to retreat, it was said that Hitler had not learned Napoleon’s “lesson.” In the winter of 1812, tens of thousands of French soldiers died of hypothermia or starvation as the Grande Armée withdrew from Moscow. In the midst of the Crimean War, Nicholas I would say that Russia could always depend on “Generals January and February.” But we all have our limits.

      • Corporate America Cashed In on the Post-9/11 Pentagon Spending Surge
      • Opinion | Family Member of Civilians Killed by US Drone Strike Demands Justice

        There are stories that seem to leap from the pages of the Old Testament directly into our newsfeeds. These stories slow down the frenetic pace of news consumption, forcing us to ponder what it means to exist in a world where such brokenness is possible—and sanctioned in the name of national security.

      • Opinion | How Corporate Profiteers Won the War on Terror

        The costs and consequences of America’s twenty-first-century wars have by now been well-documented — a staggering $8 trillion in expenditures and more than 380,000 civilian deaths, as calculated by Brown University’s Costs of War project. The question of who has benefited most from such an orgy of military spending has, unfortunately, received far less attention.

      • Progressive Democrats Fight to Limit Defense Spending

        The United States may have completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan last month, but Washington remains as committed as ever to expanding American empire. The House is poised to pass a military budget this week that’s even bigger than President Joe Biden requested, but left-leaning lawmakers are putting up a fight.

      • Eric Schmidt Cashes in on Artificial Intelligence Arms Race
      • It’s Time to Break Up the Military-Industrial Complex

        Two days after the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, the House Armed Services Committee voted to set the Pentagon’s 2022 budget. Given that US officials claim to be winding down decades-long wars, even maintaining current levels of military spending would seem a mystifying choice. But the committee didn’t just vote to maintain current spending levels. It voted to increase them by a whopping $24 billion.

      • Since 9/11, FBI Has Destroyed People Based On Their Race, Religion, Or Country Of Origin
      • Chinese Government Decides It's Done Fucking Around, Forces Hong Kong To Engage In 'Patriot-Only' Elections

        Hong Kong is now just China. The last pretense of the region being anything but another Chinese province has been washed away.

      • U.K. Police Charge 3rd Man in Effort to Kill Russian Dissident Skripal
      • UK police identify GRU general as third suspect in Salisbury Novichok attack

        Detectives in the UK have identified a third suspect in the Novichok poisoning attempt on Sergey and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, England in May 2018. Metropolitan police named the third suspect as Denis Sergeev, identifying him as a member of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU.

      • JEDI contract might be no more, but case should live on, says Oracle: DoD only wants Amazon, Microsoft for new cloud deal [Ed: More nepotism, misuse, waste and corruption around taxpayers' money, bailout/subsidy to companies for no good reason; privatising governments and militaries...]

        Oracle has asked the US Supreme court not to dismiss its case over the $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, despite the US Department of Defense officially axing the $10bn procurement deal.

        "Cases do not become moot simply because a defendant issues a press release claiming to have ceased its misconduct," thundered Oracle in a supplemental brief [PDF] in its action against the DoD, Oracle America, Inc. vs United States, et al, filed last week.

        "The government asserts that the Department of Defense mooted this case by cancelling JEDI, the procurement contract that Oracle has challenged," complained Big Red.

    • Environment

      • Top Ad and PR Firms Exposed for Helping Big Oil Greenwash Their Climate Destruction

        On the heels of congressional Democrats calling the heads of fossil fuel companies and industry lobbying groups to testify about their role in spreading climate disinformation, campaigners published a report Tuesday exposing the contributions of major advertising and public relations firms.

        "There is no room for ad and PR professionals to continue promoting companies that are doing so much damage to our future."—Duncan Meisel, Clean Creatives

      • Biden's Global Climate Finance Pledge Likened to 'Throwing Droplets at a Fire'

        President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he intends to work with Congress to double U.S. climate aid to developing countries, a commitment that environmentalists said is a step in the right direction but still woefully inadequate to the scale of the planetary crisis.

        "Biden's climate finance pledge today is extraordinarily insufficient."

      • #UprootTheSystem: Climate Movement Readies Another Global Strike

        Young climate activists including Greta Thunberg are gearing up for another global strike on Friday when they'll demand that world leaders "uproot the system" to create a just future for all.

        "Time and time again the leaders today show that they do not care about the future, at least their actions don't reflect it," Thunberg said at a press conference Monday.

      • Ghost forests creep up U.S. East Coast

        It’s a term that points to the visceral changes of the landscape — going from lush green to a pale white — and the destruction of the area’s crucial role as a biodome and coastal buffer. These once-thriving forests are a direct result of climate change as the trees are suffocated by saltwater intrusion sparked by sea level rise and an uptick of hurricanes and superstorms.

      • Judge dismisses Greenpeace lawsuit against Walmart

        “Walmart sells more products packaged in throwaway plastic than almost any other polluter in the world. Big brands know their customers are growing concerned about plastic pollution, but instead of addressing real solutions they have opted for greenwashing,” he said in a statement.

      • Opinion | How 'Build Back Better' Could Undermine Climate Action

        Not that we needed the reminder, but the United Nations just pointed out that our current emissions reduction goals are inadequate when compared to what is necessary to address the actual scale of the climate crisis. The infrastructure proposal known as the Build Back Better Act is being touted as our best chance to get strong climate action under the Biden administration. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry and their allies in Congress are actively working to undermine what needs to be done.

      • Energy

        • Critics Say Big Oil Would Benefit From Bipartisan Bill's Taxpayer-Funded Cleanup

          If enacted, a bipartisan infrastructure bill's plan to plug abandoned oil and gas wells would force taxpayers—rather than polluters—to pay for cleaning up messes caused by drilling, according to policy experts, who warned Tuesday that congressional lawmakers' proposal amounts to another multibillion-dollar subsidy for the planet-wrecking fossil fuel industry.

          "Concerned parties seem to agree on the scale of the crisis: millions of wells sit untended across the U.S., leaking toxins that pose public health problems along with the potent greenhouse gas methane, which contributes to the climate emergency," The Guardian reported.

        • New information on the impacts of teleworking and new transport services on greenhouse gas emissions

          The three studies are part of the implementation of the Roadmap for Fossil-Free Transport, the aim of which is to help achieve the Finnish government’s pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport by 2030. The studies were completed under the co-ordination of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

          According to the studies, teleworking could, on an annual basis, reduce emissions by up to 0.125 megatonnes, transport services by 0.080 megatonnes, and combined transport by 0.018–0.030 megatonnes by 2030. The results obtained in the various studies partly overlap, so the combined CO2 reduction potential of teleworking and transport services is not necessarily the sum of these results.

        • [Old] Electricity in the United States is produced (generated) with diverse energy sources and technologies

          Natural gas was the largest source—about 40%—of U.S. electricity generation in 2020. Natural gas is used in steam turbines and gas turbines to generate electricity.

          Coal was the third-largest energy source for U.S. electricity generation in 2020—about 19%. Nearly all coal-fired power plants use steam turbines. A few coal-fired power plants convert coal to a gas for use in a gas turbine to generate electricity.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | Avoiding Real Change: The Myth of Green Capitalism

          Heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires are devastating communities around the world, and they will only grow more severe. While climate-change deniers remain powerful, the need for urgent action is now recognized well beyond activist circles. Governments, international organizations, and even business and finance are bowing to the inevitable—or so it seems.

    • Finance

      • Billions of People Globally Who Need the Most Help Can Benefit from Changes in Economic Policy

        In the United States, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to zero, and has created more than 3.6 trillion dollars since the pandemic began. Fiscal policy was also unprecedented, with a federal budget deficit of 15 percent of GDP last year, and projected at 13.4 percent for 2021. That is how we got increased unemployment benefits, an expanded child tax credit, unprecedented stimulus checks, expanded food stamps, and more, substantially lowering the US poverty rate.

        But billions of people live in low- and middle-income countries that do not have the same options. Since poverty is much more severe there, this is vastly more a matter of life and death. In June, the World Food Program estimated an increase of 121 million people who have become “acutely food insecure or at high risk” since the pandemic began. This is an “unprecedented” 81 percent increase; it could kill millions of people, especially children. Malnutrition in children significantly increases preventable deaths from other causes.

      • What Gives with Newspapers’ Graphic Artists?

        Granted a sea of type from the old pre-TV days won’t work well in today’s visual culture. But there€ is still the factor of balance to be weighed.

        Take, for example, one of our nation’s most serious newspapers – the€ New York Times. Editors€ used to value the front-page sections of the€ Sunday Times€ and use this space for the most€ important articles and features. Now editors favor graphic artists and have pushed the articles€ into reduced space or off the front pages of sections entirely. The readers are losing news€ content.

      • Report: McConnell’s Refusal to Raise Debt Ceiling Could Cost 6 Million Jobs
      • House Bill Would Blow Up the Massive IRAs of the Superwealthy

        Legislation currently making its way through Congress would take a sledgehammer to the massive individual retirement accounts built up tax-free by a select group of the ultrawealthy.

        The proposal, which is part of the infrastructure and tax package advancing in the House, targets the jaw-dropping IRAs accumulated by multimillionaires and billionaires such as tech investor Peter Thiel, which were first reported by ProPublica earlier this year. Those accounts — Thiel’s alone was worth $5 billion in 2019 — have allowed some super-wealthy Americans to turn their Roth IRAs, tools meant to incentivize middle-class retirement saving, into supersized tax shelters.

      • Mirror Crowdfund: Our New Paper On NFTs And New Scarcities

        Over the last year or so there has been tremendous hype around the concept of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). In my experience so far, people tend to fall into one of three camps surrounding NFTs. There are the "true believers", who are obsessed with the space and believe it is going to change everything about creativity and culture (and, according to some, "ownership"). There are the skeptics, who insist that it's a scam or the new tulip-craze bubble, and that NFTs are helping to burn down the planet with wasted energy usage. Finally, there's a very large camp of people who insist that they just don't understand NFTs at all and have completely blocked out the possibility that they could matter. I've been following the whole concept for a while now and I put myself in a weird place, potentially straddling multiple camps. I think there is a lot of nonsense in the space, and jargon meant more to confuse than to help -- but at the same time, I think there really is something interesting in the potential of NFTs, though the real value may be in a different place than even NFT-boosters believe.

      • Was Occupy Wall Street More Anarchist or Socialist?

        It feels most apt to mark the 10th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street by reviving a debate that is resistant to resolution, open to endless disagreement, and primed for messy expressions of political ideology. How very Occupy!1

      • Reset Labor Markets With a Local Half-Time Job Guarantee

        In the wake of the Covid recession, state and local governments have the chance to remake local labor markets—and public assistance—by adopting a policy guaranteeing half-time employment at $15 an hour for every resident.

      • Press Response to ‘Tax the Rich’ Dress Proves AOC’s Point

        It’s like Lenin said: There are decades when nothing happens, and there are dresses where decades happen.

      • Cori Bush Introduces Bill to Circumvent Supreme Court Ban on Eviction Moratorium
      • Bush and Warren Lead New Bill to Protect Renters Nationwide From Eviction

        With millions of people across the United States facing lapsed eviction moratoria, joblessness, and expired unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush and Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday unveiled a bill to help keep renters in their homes.

        The pair led dozens of lawmakers in introducing the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 (pdf), which would clarify that the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the statutory authority to implement an eviction moratorium in the interest of public health, and call on him to do so in response to the current emergency.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Arizona Senate Poised to Report That Biden Beat Trump in State’s 2020 Election

        “The way some of these political RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] are doing this is they’re trying to argue that the [election] report should only be allowed to go and address the original construct of the report, the original assignment of the audit, and leave out other things that have been found,” Byrne€ told€ Creative Destruction Media’s L. Todd Wood.

        “The political class is going to try to come in and water this down,” Byrne said. “The Republican political class, the RINOs, the nobodies… They are going to try to water this down. I am sure they all have been promised federal judgeships or sacks of cash under a streetlight if they can get this killed at this late date or watered down. And I think the public of Arizona should go ballistic.”

      • Memo Uncovered Showing Trump's 6-Step Plan for Pence to Overturn the Election
      • Progressives Urge Biden Admin to Overrule Senate Parliamentarian to Move Agenda
      • Opinion | Like FDR, Biden Should Welcome Special Interests Hatred

        President Joe Biden and his agenda are appropriately inspiring€ comparisons€ to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Biden himself has welcomed the comparisons, even traveling to Warm Springs, Ga., FDR's famous getaway, to give a speech just one week before the 2020 election.

      • Civil Rights Activists Prepare for Sit-Ins If Manchin Won’t Budge on Filibuster
      • “We Need to Deliver”: Anger Grows at Sens. Manchin, Sinema over Obstruction of Democratic Priorities

        Democrats are still divided over President Biden’s sweeping $3.5 trillion spending plan to expand the social safety net, increase taxes on the rich and corporations, improve worker rights and combat the climate crisis. Senate Democrats are hoping to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill, but this will only work if the entire Democratic caucus backs the deal, and conservative Democrats have balked at the price tag. Progressive Democrats in the House, meanwhile, say they won’t vote for a separate $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate unless the reconciliation bill is part of the package. “We want to pass the full agenda that President Biden has set forth,” says Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressmember from California. “This is what President Biden campaigned on, and we need to deliver.” Khanna also discusses U.S. immigration policy, raising the refugee cap, investigating the full 20 years of the War in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.

      • Sunrise Movement Targets Kyrsten Sinema for Obstructing Build Back Better Act

        Hours after 13 Sunrise Movement activists were arrested at the Students March on Congress for Climate Action in Washington, D.C., members of the youth-led environmental group rallied for a Monday evening protest outside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's Phoenix office to demand that the Arizona Democrat support at least a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that funds robust measures to combat the climate emergency.

        "While Sen. Sinema caters to fossil fuel executives in D.C., young Arizonans are outside her office demanding she listen to them as they face record drought and extreme heatwaves killing their communities."—Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement

      • NDP Expected to Wield Power in Canadian Parliament as Trudeau Maintains Minority Govt

        "In this pandemic, people got more help because we were there, we were able to increase the supports to people. If people want more help, more New Democrats will make it happen."—Jagmeet Singh, NDP

      • The Oversight Board wants answers about Facebook’s celebrity moderation program

        Cross-check (sometimes referred to as XCheck) is supposed to add an extra level of scrutiny to high-profile moderation calls that could cause controversy for Facebook. But the Journal claims it covered a huge swathe of 5.8 million people in 2020, and only 10 percent of the posts sent to the program got reviewed by Facebook’s second layer of specialized moderators. According to the report, users included in the program include Senator Elizabeth Warren, conservative commentator Candace Owens, and former President Donald Trump.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 298: The Impact Of 'Shadowbanning'

        The concept of "shadowbanning" comes up a lot in content moderation discussions — often from people who are spreading nonsense. But various means of deprioritizing content have been employed by platforms for many years. This week, we're joined by Dr. Carolina Are, a researcher who recently released a paper on the subject, especially how it relates to nudity and censorship on Instagram. This week, she joins us on the podcast to discuss shadowbanning, how it works, and the impact it has.

      • Now Josh Hawley Is Threatening Google Over 1st Amendment Protected Expression

        What is it with annoying grandstanding Senators of both parties and their incorrect beliefs that they can bully private companies over 1st Amendment protected expression? Last week we wrote about Senator Elizabeth Warren's bogus threats sent to Amazon regarding the fact that Amazon is selling books with "misinformation" in them. Right as that was happening, it seems that Senator Josh Hawley decided to do something somewhat similar, in "demanding answers" from Google regarding Google's decision to reject ads from an anti-abortion organization.

      • Lithuania says throw away Chinese phones due to censorship concerns

        Flagship phones sold in Europe by China's smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.

        The capability in Xiaomi's Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the "European Union region", but can be turned on remotely at any time, the Defence Ministry's National Cyber Security Centre said in the report.

      • Lithuania says throw away Chinese phones due to censorship concerns

        Flagship phones sold in Europe by China's smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.

      • Lithuania says throw away Chinese phones due to censorship concerns

        “Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius told reporters in introducing the report.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ISPs Already Fighting FCC Plan To End Anti-Competitive Landlord Broadband Deals

        Earlier this month we noted how the FCC announced it would be taking a closer look at the dodgy deals big ISPs make with landlords to hamstring broadband competition. While the FCC passed rules in 2008 outlawing strict exclusivity agreements, big ISPs have, for years, tap-danced around the loose wording of the restrictions, often by simply calling what they're doing... something else. ISPs also still do stuff like charging door fees just to access the building (making it tougher on less wealthy, small ISPs), or striking deals that ban any competitors from even advertising in the building.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Court of Appeal says AI cannot be patent inventor ● The Register
        • Pride in Patent Ownership Act [Ed: This is clearly a misnomer as patents are not "Ownership" but a temporarily monopoly; Tillis is clearly shilling for his paymaster here]

          A bipartisan pair of Senators have proposed the “Pride in Patent Ownership Act.” The premise is that if you own a patent, you should be proud to own the patent — and actually record your ownership interest. The bill pushes this pride by requiring patent owners to record their ownership with the kicker that those who fail to record lose their right to punitive damages for any infringement that occurs prior to recordation.

        • AI inventor claims rejected in Court of Appeal patent ruling [Ed: How patent litigation giants/profiteers react to a sensible decision; if ruled on improperly, would that open up to insects applying for patents as supposed 'inventors'?]

          AI systems cannot own or transfer patent rights under UK law currently, the Court of Appeal in London has ruled.

          The case before the Court of Appeal concerned an appeal raised by Dr. Stephen Thaler, who has been seeking to patent inventions that he claims were derived from an AI machine called 'DABUS'. The Court of Appeal found that only a person can be an inventor, and that as Dr Thaler accepts that he is not the inventor, he has no entitlement to the patent.

          However, there was a split in the judgment, with two of the three ruling judges – both leading authorities on UK patent law – in disagreement on the topic. This means that the UK Supreme Court is likely to be asked to rule on the core question of whether an AI system can be named as an inventor under UK law, and it could further expedite a change to UK legislation, specialists in patent litigation at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, have said.


          In the High Court ruling, Mr Justice Marcus Smith held that the Patents Act 1977 provides that a person making a patent application must be a 'person' with legal personality, whether a human or corporation, and that a patent can only be granted to such a 'person' with legal personality. He determined that, because the inventor is by default the person entitled to the patent rights, it followed that existing legislation requires the 'inventor' to be a person with legal personality. The judge further held that, because patent rights are property rights, a machine is incapable in law of holding and transferring patent rights since it lacks the legal personality necessary to assign the rights to property or even hold those rights in the first place.

        • Small Changes to Tech-Background Requirement to become a Patent Attorney

          All of us who represent clients in patent cases before the USPTO share a common background. We all have a background in science or technology and we have all passed the registration exam (and paid the accompanying fees).


          One problem: It seems that every year I have a law student who has a science or engineering degree that does not qualify in the list of appropriate Category A degrees (bioengineering; or a PhD in Chemistry). In addition, that student might not satisfy Category B either because of the stringent requirement of two in-sequence lab courses in either chemistry or physics. At times, my students have taken concurrent science class while in law school to make sure they qualify; others have taken the requirement as a sign that patent law is not the right field for them.

      • Trademarks

        • North Carolina Sued By Flying Dog Brewery Over Regulatory Body Refusing To Allow Sales Due To 'Offensive' Label

          Normally, when we talk about beer in these pages, we're typically talking trademark infringement issues. Because of the creative way those in the exploding craft brewing industry have gone about naming their brews and designing their labels, far too often this results in disputes between parties over what is too similar to what, or who's design is too close to another's. While this specific story doesn't involve trademark law or disputes, it does still exist due to the creative practice of labeling.

      • Copyrights

        • RLSLOG: Pirate Release Blog Pioneer Throws in the Towel After 15 Years

          After being founded in 2006, RLSLOG grew to become the largest and most recognized pirate 'release blog' on the Internet. In the years that followed RLSLOG weathered many legal storms and even referrals to the USTR, but today the founder of RLSLOG confirms that after 15 years, the site has thrown in the towel.

        • Appeals Court Revives Canadian Reverse Class Action Against BitTorrent Pirates

          Canada's Federal Court of Appeals has revived a reverse class-action lawsuit from Voltage Pictures, which plans to go after alleged BitTorrent pirates. The lower court rejected this approach, as it would not suitable for file-sharing cases, but in a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals sees things differently.

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Links 11/06/2024: Floods in Germany and Brazil, Political Violence
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/06/2024: Sketching Plants, OpenBSD Pubnix
Links for the day
"2025 the year of Linux on the Desktop"
Charlie Stross quote
In Bahrain, Historically Low on GNU/Linux Adoption, Things Change for the Better
They have some people who understand Free software
Daniel Pocock Received Twice as Many Votes as Andreas Tille (Debian Project Leader After 2024 Election)
From the media yesterday...
Debian is Built by Hundreds of Volunteers and 524 Irish People Voted for Daniel Pocock
524 in that area went to the polling station to vote Daniel Pocock (Ind)
[Meme] RMS is 'Too Old', Says Company Run by a Person 5 Years His Junior (Ginni Rometty) and 10 Years His Junior (Arvind Krishna)
Never again?
[Meme] Women in Computer Science
Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace etc.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Togo: GNU/Linux Growing Fast This Year, Now Measured at 6%
Sending Bill Gates with a suitcase to bribe African officials isn't enough anymore
Free Software Projects Need to Chase Away Men Who Attack Women Rather Than The Women Who Complain
A just society holds people accountable rather than covers up such blunders
Improving the Image of Women in Free Software by Hiring and Promoting the Proficient Ones
Million's shaman background isn't the problem, or even the superstitious ghost-chasing. The problem is that she has absolutely no background in Free software.
They Say Cash is King
People who value their freedom will pay with cash any time they can
'Team Microsoft' Wants to Leverage Our Popularity as a Weapon Against Us
In the past 2 days we published 64 articles and served over a million HTTP/S requests
[Meme] Microsoft Has Enough of Its Own Problems (Layoffs Abundant), It Won't Rescue IBM or Canonical
"It's OK, we're partners"
Know Your Allies, Know Your Enemies
The answer to censorship attempts is more speech, not less speech
Debian is Back to Taking Money From Microsoft, the Company That's Attacking Linux From the Inside
If Debian fails to understand what's wrong with it, that's a problem
Ghana: Windows Down From 97% to Just 15%
The doors are closing on Windows
Links 11/06/2024: Practice of Retaliatory Layoffs at Microsoft
Links for the day
Gemini Links 11/06/2024: GMID 2.0.5 and More
Links for the day
The United States Will Cut Off or Cull Firefox
It is only a matter of time
[Meme] Firefox Is Not an Alternative to Google, Only to Chrome (and It Has Become Proprietary or OSPS Like Chromium)
The illusion of remaining "choice" on the Web
No, the World Wide Web Isn't Open (and Hasn't Been for Years)
It's proprietary all the way now
The War on Free Software Reporters - Part VII - Groupthink, Censorship Demands, and Ultimatums
There's a lot of groupthink in the Free software community
Microsoft Told Us That LLMs Were a Boon for Azure and 'Clown Computing', But the Thousands of Layoffs This Month Prove That It Was a Lie All Along
Azure is collapsing
Why We Post Statistics About the Usage of Operating Systems Worldwide
We're hoping to see GNU/Linux at over 10% (on desktops/laptops) some time in the coming years
Winning Defamation Cases is Incredibly Difficult (for Plaintiffs), Even in the United States and the United Kingdom
SLAPP should always backfire
In Kuwait, Microsoft's Windows Fell From 97% to Just 15%
According to statCounter
GNU/Linux in Philippines Climbs to New Levels
This is an all-time high
Links 11/06/2024: Windows Outcry and Climate News
Links for the day
Tux Machines Was Always a Women-Run Site (the Real Voices of GNU/Linux, Not Political Props in Corporate Events)
Corporate "diversity" is more of a marketing/PR gimmick than real, genuine diversity
Macao: GNU/Linux Desktop/Laptop Operating System Market Share Rising Close to 7%
GNU/Linux Rises to Record High in Macao
FSF is Now 50% Female, Unlike Red Hat (Which Moaned About Lack of "Diversity" at FSF)
Isn't the hypocrisy just astounding?
Since COVID-19 Lockdowns Windows Fell From Almost 50% to Just 10% in Loas
According to statCounter
[Meme] Quantity Says Nothing About Worth, Value, or Quality
People will generally gravitate towards things of quality and reputation
Microsoft's Windows in Gabon: From 20% 'Market Share' Down to Around 10% in a Few Months
Gabon is not a small country
Meanwhile at
Canonical knows exactly what Ubuntu users want
[Meme] Microsoft (and the NSA) Will Never Forget
The user trying to permanently disable 'recall'
Windows Falls Below 20% in United Arab Emirates This Month
According to statCounter
"Windows 11's Recall AI, known to take snapshots and recordings of user computers regularly, including key presses, was discovered to store all its information in an unencrypted local folder."
"You can copy the data from another user's "recall" folder as another user."
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Outsourced to Proprietary Spyware of GAFAM
Need to use proprietary software to participate
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 10, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 10, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Clown Computing is Better For...
Clown: they said clown computing enhances security
One in a Thousand Voters Chose to Vote Daniel Pocock (as First Preference)
He got about 4 times more votes than what had him win FSFE elections
Daniel Pocock on Good Performance in His EU Election Campaign: Thanking the voters of Midlands-North-West, Ireland
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
The 'IT Industry' is Already in Ruins
The "powers that be" do not want the "hoi polloi" to possess skills and systems
Microsoft's Windows is Sliding Away Into Minority Platform Territories, Even in Rich Countries With Affluent Computer Users
We seem to be striking a nerve at Microsoft every time we say this
Self-Hosting Should be Taught and Embraced, Outsourcing Creates More Problems (or Risks) Than It Solves
One can control one's destiny...