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Links 13/10/2021: Firefox Keylogger on (By Default), GNOME Platform Design Discussed

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Office

        This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives to products and services offered by Microsoft. This article focuses on the best free and open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.

        What are the best open source alternatives to Office 365? This article focuses on replacements for only some of the components of Office 365. We’ll explore other components in later articles in this series.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • [Old] Useless Use Of dd

        dd can even end up doing a worse job. By specification, its default 512 block size has had to remain unchanged for decades. Today, this tiny size makes it CPU bound by default. A script that doesn’t specify a block size is very inefficient, and any script that picks the current optimal value may slowly become obsolete — or start obsolete if it’s copied from

        Meanwhile, cat is free to choose its buffer size that best serves a modern system, and the GNU cat buffer size has grown steadily over the years from 512 bytes in 1991 to 131072 bytes in 2014. ./src/ioblksize.h in the coreutils source code has benchmarks backing up this decision.

        However, this does not mean that dd should necessarily be categorically shunned! The reason why people started using it in the first place is that it does exactly what it’s told: no more and no less.

      • How to use yt-dlp instead of yt-dl with mpv | Hund

        I interact with YouTube using the text-based client pipe-viewer. I then watch any video using my favourite media player mpv. This has always worked perfectly fine thanks to mpv supporting youtube-dl, which unfortunately, now seems to be an abandoned project.

      • How to install Friday Night Funkin Character Test Playground Remake 2 on a Chromebook
      • How To Upgrade Debian 10 to 11 Desktop Made Simple

        This tutorial will explain step by step to upgrade Debian Desktop version 10 Buster to version 11 Bullseye for your computer. We do this to the GNOME edition and the process downloads all the updates using the internet not CDROM. We will use command lines to proceed. We hope you can upgrade yours successfully including if you use Debian desktop choice other than ours. Let's upgrade!

      • How to Install Java 17 (JDK 17) on Debian 11

        The Java Development Kit (JDK) is the name of the software development kit (SDK) for the Java programming language, which enables anyone to create both Java applications and applets for running on many operating systems. This tutorials shows how to install Java JDK on Debian 11.

      • Beginner’s Guide to Installing Pop!_OS Linux [Ed: Newly-updated]
      • How to Install Virtualmin on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        Virtualmin is a web hosting control panel that allows you to manage your virtual private servers through an easy-to-use interface. You can use this software to create and delete websites, install and update server applications, and monitor resource usage.

        Virtualmin features a number of scripts that can simplify the process of installing and maintaining software on your servers. It comes with a script installer for popular applications like Drupal, Joomla, bbPress, Django… and many others.

      • How to Install and Secure MongoDB on Debian 11

        MongoDB is an open-source, general-purpose, document-based, and distributed database designed for modern application developers. It is also called a NoSQL database because it does not rely on a traditional table-based relational database structure. It stores data in JSON format instead of the table style method. It can be integrated easily with various programming languages. It is used by many well-known companies including, Facebook, Cisco, Forbes, Adobe, Nokia, etc.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and secure MongoDB NoSQL database on Debian 11.

      • How to Install and Use NVM on Debian 11

        NVM is a version manager for Node.js used to install and manage multiple Node.js versions in Linux. It is a command-line utility and provides several options for the easy installation of Node.js. It allows you to download and install any version of Node locally with a simple command.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and use NVM to manage Node.js on Debian 11.

      • How to Shorten Dock Panel & Move ‘Show Applications’ to Top in Ubuntu 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        After installed the new Ubuntu 21.10, one of the top things to do is tweaking the left dock panel.

        Via “System Settings -> Appearance”, you may change the panel position to bottom, adjust icon size, and enable auto-hide. However, the 9 dots ‘Show Applications’ icon sticks to the bottom which is not movable.

      • How to install Apache Kafka on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux - Linux Shout

        Here are the steps to install Apache Kafka on Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux 8 server, of course, using command terminal.

        Apache Kafka is open-source software that enables the storage and processing of data streams via a distributed streaming platform. In simple words, Apache Kafka is an event streaming platform that acts as a messaging system between the sender and the recipient with high fault tolerance and scalability capabilities because it is based on a distributed architecture that is optimized for the same.

      • How to install Audacity on Linux Lite 5.4 - Invidious

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

      • How to listen to podcasts on the Linux desktop with CPod

        Are you in need of a good, elegant podcast client for your Linux desktop? If so, you need to try out CPod. It’s a friendly little app that makes listening to your favorite shows fast and easy on Linux. Here’s how to use it.

    • Games

      • Monster Crown is the next-generation of retro monster catching out now | GamingOnLinux

        Monster Crown takes the idea of the older Pokemon games and blends in some fancy new ideas, along with a darker story to make a game that will suit fans of monster catching games nicely.

        "Unravel Crown Island’s dark story as you create your own monster legacy. With a history of sadistic rulers and heroic saviors, the island faces another threat in the form of a malicious young woman seeking power. It’s up to you and the monsters you make pacts with to prevent the return of tyranny. Will your decisions make you a savior or a dark messiah?"

      • Wonderful time-looping adventure Elsinore got a big price drop | GamingOnLinux

        Elsinore released back in 2019 and it's actually quite a wonderful adventure that sees you go through a time-loop set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

        Like a lot of games it went somewhat under the radar for potential players, with it seeing less than 200 reviews on Steam but it does have a Very Positive user rating. With the price dropping from €£15.49 to €£7.19 it's hopefully going to allow more people to try it who missed it.

      • Warzone 2100 version 4.2.0 Beta 1 is out, gets Spectators and Replays support | GamingOnLinux

        Looks like the next version of the free and open source strategy game Warzone 2100 is going to be a big one. Two new highlight features are coming to the game with spectators and replays.

        When it comes to being a spectator, this opens up Warzone 2100 to allow people to watch a game in progress. This could easily open up the game to more competitive play, twitch livestreams, help teach people to play and more. The way they've explained that it will work is with dedicated spectator spots, with them being able to chat together and see the whole map.

        Linking in with that is also a replay feature, allowing you to play back an entire match. This gives players the ability to capture fun moments, figure out where you want wrong, share it with others and also helps to show off bugs in the game too and this feature was built on top of the spectator support.

      • GameCIH APK v3.0.4 Free Download for Android Latest Version - DekiSoft

        This is an original memory editor that was created some 7-10 years back. It itself is quite old and has been since 2006. GameCIH free download for Android came out in Taiwan by a talented programmer going by alias CIH<SoftwareMagician>, this standing for the company/collective it is a part of. This is not seemed to be the first of its kind but also quite an easy tool to use. The best thing about this one is that it has gained a lot of popularity for money cheats.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux laptop gets a spec bump (and a smaller, cheaper sibling: the Kubuntu Focus XE)
          The Kubuntu Focus family of Linux laptops is growing.

          A 3rd-gen Kubuntu Focus M2 laptop with a 15.6 inch display, 45-watt Intel Core i7-11800H Tiger Lake processor, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics is now available for $1945 and up. But if you’re in the market for something smaller and/or cheaper, the Kubuntu team also introduced the 14 inch Kubuntu Focus Xe this summer. It sells for $895 and up.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME: Platform Design Goings On

          The GNOME design team has recently been working on GNOME’s application development platform, and I thought that it might be interesting for people to hear about what we’ve been up to.

          The following is an overview of our recent platform design activities, particularly libadwaita. It will give an idea of what is currently going into the GNOME platform from a UXD perspective, as well as some of things that people might expect from the platform in the future.

        • GNOME's Platform Design Continues Evolving From Dark Mode To Toast

          GNOME developer Allan Day has provided an update on behalf of the GNOME design time around some of their recent platform design improvements and some of the changes they are talking about in the near future.

          Allan's blog post today covers some of the recent GNOME platform design work like:

          - Ongoing improvements to the GNOME/GTK application styling, especially around libadwaita.

          - The recent excitement around GNOME 42 adding a system-wide dark style preference.

        • Clapper – A New Gnome Media Player for Linux

          Clapper is a free and open-source media player. It was built for GNOME using GJS with the GTK4 toolkit. For its media backend, Clapper uses GStreamer, and it renders everything via OpenGL. The app is built with memory friendliness in mind.

          It ships with all the features you expect in a basic media player and more. This includes windowed, floating, and full-screen viewing modes. Other features include using playlists from a file, floating mode, and hardware acceleration.

          Note that working with playlists is feature-limited in Flatpak version to contents of user “Videos” directory by default. Clapper can only open playlist files with the .claps file extension. There should be a single file path per line which can be either relative or absolute. Playlists can also contain HTTP links instead of file paths.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Kubuntu Focus XE is the perfect laptop for Windows-switchers and Linux beginners [Review]

          Should you buy the Kubuntu Focus XE Linux laptop? If you are looking to run a Linux-based operating system and want a laptop that is guaranteed to work, it should absolutely be considered. Not only is the hardware largely great, but arguably more importantly, the included software is top-notch.

          The Kubuntu operating system is wonderful, as is all of the included curated apps. Not to mention, the Kubuntu Focus enhancements including the specialized apps, Welcome Wizard, and welcome guide, will make things much easier for Linux beginners. The Kubuntu Focus team set out to deliver an excellent user experience at an affordable price with the XE laptop and they totally delivered.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Is Hiring Another Linux Developer To Work On GPU Hardware Enablement - Phoronix

          Red Hat already employs numerous open-source graphics driver developers from DRM subsystem maintainer David Airlie to numerous others on his team working on areas from Mesa OpenCL support to Heterogeneous Memory Management to other user and kernel-space improvements for open-source Linux graphics. Red Hat has now put out a call to hire yet another experienced Linux GPU driver developer.

        • IBM Attempts An Uncrewed Atlantic Crossing (Again) | Hackaday

          IBM and a non-profit company, ProMare, failed to send their 49-foot Mayflower autonomous ship across the Atlantic back in June. Now they are almost ready to try again. The Mayflower will recreate the path of its more famous namesake.

          The total voyage is set to take a month, but the last attempt developed mechanical problems after three days. Now they are running more sea trials closer to shore before attempting another crossing in 2022.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Top 6 open-source Self-hosted Bookmark Manager Solution

        Bookmarking is a great way to save documents that you think may need to reference them in the future.

        If you use paper bookmarks then, of course, you are reading a book, It's pretty great, to save your spot using a bookmark to keep your place in the book.

        Let's say, that you explore the internet every day, and you like to keep an archive of you find, learn to review it later. Your local browser is not reliable, you need to keep them in the cloud to access them from anywhere. So, this article is for you.

        Some services may help you to save and record your bookmarks, back in the day we had (terminated), Digg, Stumbleupon (Mix), and Pinterest which many people use it to save their links.

        I believe I had over than 19k bookmarks in my, when the website terminated, then I created my own system to record my links which I still use for years.

      • 7 Open-Source Software Options for Architects

        Open-source software is released under a specific license that gives users the right to download, use, or change the software and its source code. Unlike commercial software, which typically has a protected source code and proprietary file formats, open-source software projects are not profit-driven and encourage users to modify and share their code with the wider community. Often the goal of these projects is to develop applications that can accommodate multiple viewpoints and ways of working. Some well-known open-source projects include the Linux operating system, the WordPress web publishing platform, and the audio-editing application Audacity.

      • Funding

        • Donation campaign: "Framasoft, it’s also…"

          The campaign is named "Framasoft, it’s also…" and communicate in a playful way (a card game) their actions in the digital world, but also in real-life. You can flip more than thirty illustrated cards to discover the org. You'll probably be surprised by the amount of what they manage.

      • Programming/Development

        • What can enterprises do about soaring technical debts?

          Over the last few decades, technical debts for multiple organizations are witnessing growth due to failed and non-planned tech projects architecture. According to OutSystem's latest research, technical debt is estimated to cost businesses $5 trillion in the next ten years. Thus, the IT debts have become the central focus, along with re-directing the analysis criteria of every project.


          She says, "Refactoring code has to be a norm. Every spring I have certain cycles that I reserve for refactoring. The second thing required is fearless developers who can fix the bugs when necessary. Also, retiring legacy systems needs to be addressed as they can pose a threat to security. So, we make sure to retire from the things which don't make sense anymore."

        • Apple II Programming: From A Cabin In The Woods

          Adam: Hello, and welcome to CoRecursive. I’m Adam Gordon Bell. Each episode, a guest shares the story behind a piece of software being built. Today’s episode is about remote work. Well, sort of. I’ve been working from my home office for almost exactly 10 years now. And when everyone started working from home, I felt like I had some tips to share, like to break up the Zoom meetings you can just go for walking meetings. Just call in on your phone. It makes a big difference. But I’m not totally sure we figured out all that remote work can be. So I found someone who has something to teach me about remote work. I think that he might be the original remote software developer. He left California behind for a lower cost of living in Oregon. And from Oregon, he developed software for Apple. But the kind of surprising thing is he did this all in 1976. And he did it so well he became rich and even briefly quite famous.

          Paul: That’s 60s artist, whose name escapes me, said everybody is famous for 15 seconds. I was famous for slightly longer than that. But during that time, it was nuts. People would show up and try to ask for autographs and stuff. It was weird. I mean, it never occurred to me that people would want the autographs of a computer programmer. I mean, that’s just not like the normal, famous person kind of an image I have in my mind.

          Adam: That was Paul Lutus. He built Apple Writer for the Apple II. And he thinks there’s something that we, as a profession, are missing, something that we’ve forgotten. But to understand his story and how he got on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, how he got interviewed for national TV programs and all for writing software, we need a little background.

        • Tilde expansion in Rust

          In several of my personal projects I have a need for tilde expansion, which means taking a filename such as ~/foo and expanding the tilde into the current user’s home directory. For me, that would result in /home/liw/foo. This is ubiquitous in Unix, and now unknown elsewhere. The usual tilde syntax is a little more complex than that: one can refer to another user’s home directory as well.

  • Leftovers

    • Parable of the Magpie and the Mirror

      A certain scientist had a cage, and took a magpie, and put the magpie in the cage.

      And the magpie’s head and neck were black, and black were its beak and eyes, but the breast and belly of the magpie were white as paper.

    • Slain reporter's father calls for action against Facebook over video of daughter's death

      The complaint also alleges that Facebook is engaging in deceptive trade practices by violating its own terms of service and misrepresenting the safety of the platform.

    • Things that go "Bump" in the Night: Non HTTP Requests Hitting Web Servers

      If you are reviewing your web server logs periodically, you may notice some odd requests that are not HTTP requests in your logs. In particular if you have a web server listening on a non standard port. I want to quickly review some of the most common requests like that, that I am seeing: [...]

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Sinclair Pocket TV Teardown | Hackaday

        A pocket-sized TV is not a big deal today. But in 1983, cramming a CRT into your pocket was quite a feat. Clive Sinclair’s TV80 or FTV1 did it with a very unique CRT and [Dubious Engineering] has a teardown video to show us how it was done.

        A conventional CRT has an electron gun behind the screen which is why monitors that use them are typically pretty thick. The TV80’s tube has the electron gun to the side to save space. It also uses a fresnel lens to enlarge the tiny image.

      • Bendable Colour EPaper Display Has Touch Input Too | Hackaday

        The Interactive Media Lab at Dresden Technical University has been busy working on ideas for user interfaces with wearable electronics, and presents a nice project, that any of us could reproduce, to create your very own wearable colour epaper display device. They even figured out a tidy way to add touch input as well. By sticking three linear resistive touch strips, which are effectively touch potentiometers, to a backing sheet and placing the latter directly behind the Plastic Logic Legio 2.1″ flexible electrophoretic display (EPD), a rudimentary touch interface was created. It does look like it needs a fair bit of force to be applied to the display, to be detectable at the touch strips, but it should be able to take it.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Patch Tuesday, October 2021 Edition

          Microsoft today issued updates to plug more than 70 security holes in its Windows operating systems and other software, including one vulnerability that is already being exploited. This month’s Patch Tuesday also includes security fixes for the newly released Windows 11 operating system. Separately, Apple has released updates for iOS and iPadOS to address a flaw that is being actively attacked.

        • Office 365 Spy Campaign Targets US Military Defense

          A new threat actor, dubbed DEV-0343, has been spotted attacking U.S. and Israeli defense technology companies, Persian Gulf ports of entry and global maritime transportation companies with ties to the Middle East. The threat actor’s goal is Microsoft Office 365 account takeovers.

        • Govt to force businesses with $10m annual turnover to report ransomware attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In a statement on Wednesday, Andrews said the reporting regime was part of a plan — called the Ransomware Action Plan — to protect Australians against ransomware.

          The government will also introduce new criminal offences and tougher penalties as part of the plan. However, there is no date given for the Plan to take effect.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday []

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, hiredis, and icu), Fedora (kernel), Mageia (libreoffice), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, git, go1.16, kernel, mbedtls, mupdf, and nodejs8), Oracle (firefox and kernel), Red Hat (firefox, grafana, kernel, kpatch-patch, and rh-mysql80-mysql), and SUSE (apache2, containerd, docker, runc, curl, firefox, kernel, libqt5-qtsvg, and squid).

          • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome | CISA

            Google has updated the Stable channel to 94.0.4606.81 for Windows, Mac and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Chrome Release and apply the necessary updates.

          • Microsoft Releases October 2021 Security Updates

            Microsoft has released updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. An attacker can exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • Apple Releases Security Update to Address CVE-2021-30883

            Apple has released a security update to address a vulnerability—CVE-2021-30883—in multiple products. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system. This vulnerability has been detected in exploits in the wild.

          • Apache OpenOffice users should upgrade to newest security release!

            The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has released Apache OpenOffice 4.1.11, which fixes a handful of security vulnerabilities, including CVE-2021-33035, a recently revealed RCE vulnerability that could be triggered via a specially crafted document.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Most People Probably Don't Need A VPN, Experts Now Advise

              Given the seemingly endless privacy scandals that now engulf the tech and telecom sectors on a near-daily basis, many consumers have flocked to virtual private networks (VPN) to protect and encrypt their data. One study found that VPN use quadrupled between 2016 and 2018 as consumers rushed to protect data in the wake of scandals, breaches, and hacks.

            • Facebook Banning & Threatening People For Making Facebook Better Is Everything That's Wrong With Facebook

              Regular readers know that I'm a believer in trying to get the big internet companies to embrace a more protocols over platforms approach, in which they're building something that others can then build on as well, and improve in their own ways (without fear of having the rug pulled out from under them). It's why I'm hopeful about Twitter working on just such a plan with its Bluesky project. Facebook, unfortunately, takes a very different view of the world.

            • Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is Great for Catching Bad Actors; But It Can Also Be Used Against the Good Ones - You and Me

              Using this publicly-available information, Bellingcat have helped understand who shot down the MH17 passenger plane, and who poisoned the MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Those are obviously valuable contributions to public understanding of important events. But there is a darker side to the use of OSINT tools. After all, it is not just bad actors who post huge amounts of personal information online: we all do. This means that potentially anyone with the right software can piece together this digital jigsaw puzzle to discover much about our daily lives.

            • Coalition Against Stalkerware Named J.D. Falk Award Winner for Raising Awareness About and Helping Victims of Malicious Spying Apps

              The award is being presented today by the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), a global industry organization working against internet abuses including botnets, malware, spam, viruses, DDoS attacks and other online exploitation. The award honors the work of one of M3AAWG’s founding members, J.D. Falk, an antispam and email security pioneer. It recognizes individuals and organizations improving the internet experience and protecting end users.

              The Coalition Against Stalkerware was created in 2019 by ten founding partners in response to the growing threat of commercially available apps and devices that enable someone to covertly spy on another person’s electronic devices. Stalkerware enables abusers to remotely monitor victims’ web searches, text messages, geolocation, photos, voice calls, and more. It affects hundreds of thousands of victims around the world and is often used to facilitate partner surveillance, gender-based and domestic violence, harassment, and sexual abuse.

              The Coalition helps those targeted by stalkerware and works with antivirus makers to improve the detection of stalkerware on mobile phones, laptops, and other devices. The Stopstalkerware website, offered in seven different languages, has resources for victims to learn how to protect their devices, as well as find and remove stalkerware once it has been installed. It also offers a global directory of organizations for victims of stalking, domestic violence, online abuse, and more.

            • Researchers Find Android Phones Still Track You, Even When You Opt Out

              A lot of the blame here, as the researchers point out, fall on so-called “system apps.” These are apps that come pre-installed by the hardware manufacturer on a certain device in order to offer a certain kind of functionality: a camera or messages app are examples. Android generally packages these apps into what’s known as the device’s “read only memory” (ROM), which means you can’t delete or modify these apps without, well, rooting your device. And until you do, the researchers found they were constantly sending device data back to their parent company and more than a few third parties—even if you never opened the app at all.

            • The European Parliament Voted to Ban Remote Biometric Surveillance

              It’s not actually banned in the EU yet — the legislative process is much more complicated than that — but it’s a step: a total ban on biometric mass surveillance.

            • Cybersecurity: EU To Ban Anonymous Websites

              The EU is currently drafting legislation to increase cyber security (revised NIS Directive, in short “NIS 2”). According to this directive, the registration of internet domain names will in future require the correct identification of the owner in the Whois database, including name, address and telephone number. So far, registries such as denic do not register telephone numbers of the holders. The leading Industry Committee wants to additionally mandate „verification“ of the registration data. The plans could mean the end of “whois privacy” services for proxy registration of domains, threatening the safety of activists and whistleblowers. The Home Affairs Committee is voting on the issue this week. The lead committee ITRE is expected to take a position at the end of the month.

            • Haugen Isn’t Really a ‘Facebook Whistleblower’

              Haugen has brought to the surface a fuzziness in what many of us understand by the idea of whistleblowing.

              Even Russell Brand, a comedian turned soothsayer whose critical and compassionate thinking has been invaluable in clarifying our present moment, joined in the cheerleading of Haugen, calling her a “brave whistleblower”.

            • Help Us Find the Apps That Sell Your Location

              Last week we wrote about the estimated $12 billion market for your phone’s location data. We identified 47 companies that play one of the many roles in the location data pipeline: providers, buyers, sellers, and aggregators.

              Now we need your help finding a missing piece of the data pipeline: the mobile phone apps that harvest and share location data with the industry.

            • Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less

              If someone built a tool that made Facebook less addictive—a tool that allowed users to benefit from Facebook’s positive features while limiting their exposure to its negative ones—how would Facebook respond?

              I know the answer, because I built the tool, and Facebook squashed it. This summer, Facebook sent me a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action. It permanently disabled my Facebook and Instagram accounts. And it demanded that I agree to never again create tools that interact with Facebook or its other services.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Cryptic Comment From 2017 May Have Foreshadowed His Coup Attempt
      • 'Profiteers of Armageddon': Report Reveals Who Benefits From US 'Nuclear Modernization' Plan

        A short list of contractors that pour large sums of money into campaign contributions, lobbying, and industry-friendly think tanks benefits from the U.S. government's ongoing, decadeslong "nuclear modernization" plan worth up to $2 trillion, according to a report out Tuesday.

        The issue brief—entitled Profiteers of Armageddon: Producers of the next generation of nuclear weapons—was authored by William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy, who also outlined his report in Inkstick.

      • Report: TSA Is Spending $1 Billon On Bag Scanners That 'May Never Meet Operational Needs'

        Somehow, "TSA" stands for "The Terrorists Won." In exchange for endless inconveniences, inconsistently deployed security measures, and a steady stream of intrusive searches and rights violations, we've obtained a theatrical form of security that's more performative than useful.

      • Opinion | Life in the Post-9/11 Military: A Navy Wife's Perspective

        I know what it means to be watched all too carefully, a phenomenon that's only grown worse in the war-on-terror years. I'm a strange combination, I suspect, being both a military spouse and an anti-war-on-terror activist. As I've discovered, the two sit uncomfortably in what still passes for one life. In this country in these years, having eyes on you has, sadly enough, become a common and widespread phenomenon. When it's the government doing it, it's called "surveillance." When it's your peers or those above you in the world of the military spouse, there's no word for it at all.

      • What are the Prospects For Peace? An Interview with William Astore

        William J. Astore is a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel. He has taught at the Air Force Academy and Naval Postgraduate School, and now teaches history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. He is the author or co-author of three books and numerous articles focusing on military history as well as the history of science, technology, and religion. 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.

      • As CIA Warns China “Most Important” Threat to U.S., Is Biden Pursuing a “New Cold War”?

        We look at growing tensions between China and Taiwan as China’s military said Monday it had conducted beach landing and assault drills in the province across from Taiwan. Taiwan’s president responded on Sunday saying Taiwan would not bow to pressure from China. This comes as The Wall Street Journal has revealed a small team of U.S. special operations forces and marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan for at least a year to help train Taiwanese military forces for a possible conflict with China. We speak with Ethan Paul of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, who warns U.S. interference could cause “a conflict that could engulf the entire region.” His latest article is “Biden doesn’t understand the 'new Cold War.'”

      • Choosing Its “Gates”: US Punishes Russia but is Giving UAE a Free Pass

        The Western corporate media peddled claims of direct Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but remains silent on the seemingly provable interference of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Even worse is that the Biden administration, armed with information about the interference, is still selling weapons to Abu Dhabi.

      • US Writes Belarus into Its Familiar Regime-Change Script

        Quietly, the U.S. national security state is turning up the heat on Belarus, hoping that the ex-Soviet country of 9 million will be the next casualty of its regime-change agenda. This sentiment was made clear in President Joe Biden’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Biden announced that the U.S. would pursue “relentless diplomacy” finding “new ways of lifting people up around the world, of renewing and defending democracy.” The 46th president was explicit in whom he meant by this: “The democratic world is everywhere. It lives in the anti-corruption activists, the human rights defenders, the journalists, the peace protestors on the frontlines of this struggle in Belarus, Burma, Syria, Cuba [and] Venezuela,” he said, putting Belarus first on the list of states in desperate need of a change in government.

      • Belgium: State Security links mosque to extremism

        According to Pano, the Belgian intelligence report rated several mosques in Belgium, among them the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Heusden-Zolder, Limburg. The facility is run by several members of the Ãœstün family, including Mehmet Ãœstün, who has been president of the EMB, the organisation representing Muslims in Belgium, since May 2018.

      • Violent crimes rise in Mexico; 94.8% go unpunished

        The report found that 93.3 percent of cases aren’t reported to authorities and that of the small percentage that are, 95 percent go unpunished. The attorney general’s office initiated 38,855 investigations last year, 60 percent fewer than in 2019.

      • After 20 years of drone strikes, it’s time to admit they’ve failed

        More than 1,100 people in Pakistan and Yemen were killed between 2004 and 2014 during the hunt for 41 targets, according to the British human rights organization Reprieve. Most of those targets are men who are still alive, like the Haqqanis, or Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who just published another book while thousands of people have been murdered by drones instead of him. As far back as 2014, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that only 4% of drone victims in Pakistan were identified as militants linked to Al-Qaeda. It also underlined that the CIA itself, which was responsible for the strikes in the country, did not know the affiliation of everyone they killed. “They identified hundreds of those killed as simply Afghan or Pakistani fighters,” or as “unknown,” the report stated.

        And yet many US military officials and politicians continue to spin the drone narrative. Even the targeted militant groups have joined in: for a couple of years, the Taliban have been using armed commercial drones to attack their enemies, portraying drones as technologically superior—just as American officials had done before them. “The drone’s targeting system is very exact,” one member of the Taliban’s drone unit recently told Afghan journalist Fazelminallah Qazizai.

      • Father and daughter convicted of running illegal school despite previous conviction for same offence

        Paul Goddard, from the CPS, said: “These defendants continued to run an illegal school despite their previous conviction for the same offence. Nadia Ali’s determination to defy the law was made clear by an interview she gave to the BBC, following her first conviction, in which she vowed that the school would remain open.

      • Father and daughter sentenced for running illegal south London school

        “Unregistered schools pose a serious threat to children. During one visit to the school inspectors found a lack of evidence to indicate that all teachers employed by the school were qualified to teach, or that all had passed DBS checks.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Alabama Supreme Court Rules Law Enforcement Can Withhold Almost All Records Indefinitely

        Here's what you need to know about Alabama and its public records laws before we head to a depressing state Supreme Court opinion that makes everything worse:

      • A Drone Whistleblower Goes to Prison

        A federal judge in August sentenced Daniel Hale to 45 months in federal prison for informing the American public about secret drone killings by the U.S. military.

        Hale is a former Air Force intelligence analyst who shared classified documents with reporter Jeremy Scahill. Those documents, published in 2015 at The Intercept and in a book called The Assassination Complex (Simon & Schuster), revealed that secret drone assassinations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia had likely killed untold numbers of innocent people, a fact the U.S. government had concealed.

    • Environment

      • See how climate change could drown landmarks around the world

        Just 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming stands between Cuba’s Plaza de La Catedral looking typically dry or looking like something straight out of the myth of Atlantis. The iconic plaza in Old Havana is just one of many landmarks that could face a watery grave in the future if greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels continue unabated.

      • Why Everything is Suddenly Getting More Expensive — And Why It Won’t Stop

        The “chip shortage” is something that the world doesn’t really grasp yet, in its full importance and magnitude. It is the first climate catastrophe related shortage to hit us at a civilizational, global level. In a world of stable temperatures, guess what, we’d probably still have microchips to power our cars and gadgets and AV studios, because factories wouldn’t be losing power or be so parched they don’t have enough water. But they are — and so we do have a microchip shortage that has been caused by climate change, aka global warming.

        That’s the first such catastrophe, but it won’t be the last. The chip shortage is just the tip of the immense shockwave rolling down the volcano. It’s just the first burning rock soaring through the ash-filled sky. Today, it’s chips. Tomorrow? Well, some of the things that are already becoming more and more costly to produce are steel, food, and water. That is because all those things rely on energy, and energy is getting more expensive.

      • When global warming stops, seas will still rise

        Even if humanity beats the odds and caps global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, seas will rise for centuries to come and swamp cities currently home to half-a-billion people, researchers warned Tuesday.

        In a world that heats up another half-degree above that benchmark, an additional 200 million of today's urban dwellers would regularly find themselves knee-deep in sea water and more vulnerable to devastating storm surges, they reported in Environmental Research Letters.

        Worst hit in any scenario will be Asia, which accounts for nine of the ten mega-cities at highest risk.

      • Indigenous leader warns Amazon ruin could spark global 'apocalypse'

        There are two scenarios: (one is the) apocalypse, with no return. People will run out of oxygen, the planet will warm up in 50 years, by two or even three degrees. Life on this planet will not be possible if the Amazon disappears.

        The other scenario (is) that our children can bathe in this river, learn about what is here, see the trees, the biodiversity, see this macaw fly. This is the scenario we propose to the world if it helps us protect 80 percent of the Amazon.

        -- Is the damage reversible? --

        If Amazon deforestation reaches 20 percent, it will be very difficult to go back. The desertification, the lack of water, the fires will devastate the Amazon. We are at a turning point.

      • In 2021, US on Pace for Most Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Since Records Began

        The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday in its latest monthly report that the United States endured 18 "billion-dollar weather and climate disasters" through the first nine months of 2021, putting this year on pace to be among the worst for such catastrophes.

        For decades, scientists have sounded the alarm that extreme weather would become more frequent and intense amid the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency. With 18 calamities costing at least $1 billion already on the books and three months to go, 2021 is second only to 2020, when there were 22 such events.€ 

      • Greta Thunberg Has Zero Expectations From World Leaders at Climate Summit
      • Greta Thunberg Is “Open” to Meeting Biden at the UN Climate Summit

        This story originally appeared in The Nation and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global media collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. The interview with Greta Thunberg was conducted by CCNow partners NBC News, Reuters, and The Nation.

      • I Was Targeted Under Louisiana’s Felony Trespassing Law for Reporting on Police Working for a Pipeline Company

        For the first time in nearly three years, I woke up a few months ago without felony charges hanging over my head.€ 

        I’m an investigative journalist and I’d been arrested twice in 2018, both times for allegedly trespassing on what’s known as “critical infrastructure,” a felony under a then-new Louisiana law that — at the urging of the oil and gas industry — redefined pipelines and their construction sites as critical infrastructure. (In the U.S., that term historically referred to systems necessary for society to function, such as power plants and communication lines.)€ 

      • Harry Potter and the Secret of COP26

        “Merlin’s pants!” Hermione Granger broke in, closing€ The Complete List of Inscrutable Contradictions in Magical Fiction€ with a look of unbearable frustration. “If the Muggles are holding another conference to put up a feable pretense of forestalling the destruction of all life on earth, and it’s the 26th one, and the 25 previous ones have had the opposite result of what was needed, then it actually follows,” — Hermione spoke slowly and clearly as if to a three-year-old — “that we can’t just let the Muggles worry about it, and it just might have some relevance to our future too, no matter what sort of imbecilic prats we decide to act like.”

        Harry knew he needed to say something, but before he could, Ron was mumbling, with a mouth full of chocolate frogs, something about how he was sure Viktor Krum probably had the answer, considering how many oil wells his family owned.

      • Energy

        • Code Red on FacingFuture.TV

          According to the Code Red interview, the IPCC is taking off its ultra conservative facemask of prior years to reveal a surly cantankerous grim sneer on a darkened background. In short, climate change is much worse than the IPCC has previously been willing to admit.

        • Indigenous Leaders Among the 136 Arrested at White House Fossil Fuel Protest

          On October 11, Indigenous People’s Day, 136 people, including many Indigenous leaders opposing fossil fuel projects, were arrested in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., while calling on President Biden to declare a climate emergency and to stop approving fossil fuel projects. The day marked the first in a five-day-long series of protests in the nation’s capitol organized by the Build Back Fossil Free coalition, which is made up of numerous environmental and social justice advocacy groups.€ 

          Over the course of five days, thousands are expected to bring the message to Biden’s door that he must do more to protect the planet, and many demonstrators are coming prepared to participate in acts of civil disobedience, to make sure the President hears their message before next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. These demonstrations, labeled People vs. Fossil Fuels, are being billed as a test for Biden.€ 

        • 155 More Arrested for 'People Vs. Fossil Fuels' Protest at White House

          At least 155 more protesters were arrested outside the White House Tuesday as part of a weeklong action pressuring President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and end all new fossil fuel projects.

          "This is President Biden's moment to keep his word."

        • Biden Can Block Fossil Fuel Projects With Pollution Equal to Over 400 Coal Plants: Report

          Two dozen fossil fuel infrastructure projects that President Joe Biden can block via executive action would produce as much annual greenhouse gas pollution as 404 coal-fired power plants—or the equivalent of roughly 20% of all 2019 U.S. emissions—according to a report published Tuesday.

          "Building new fossil fuel infrastructure and increasing U.S. emissions at a time when we must persuade other countries to reduce their use of fossil fuels sends the wrong signal to every nation."

        • As Tar Sands Flow Through Line 3, Water Protectors Fight Trumped-Up Felonies

        • Opinion | FEMA Ignores Puerto Rico's Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Build a Clean Energy Grid

          The Biden Administration has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Puerto Rico transition to a greener and more resilient energy future, but it's on the verge of making a multibillion-dollar mistake.

        • Oil Pipeline Protesters Are Building Trauma Support Centers

          While the resistance has led to a temporary shutdown of the pipeline and triggered an environmental review, many of those who came to Standing Rock left traumatized, facing large medical bills and lengthy court battles.

          Timothy Cominghay, an indigenous volunteer who provided legal support for Standing Rock defendants, said he witnessed the effects of the trauma they had endured. “I've seen the end of these campaigns. People go home and die. People drink themselves to death. People go home and kill themselves,” he told Motherboard. “And, you know, on the other side, instead of going home and dying, they go to the next campaign. They carry all this pain and fear and trauma that they experienced with them and that just poisons that campaign before it even begins.”

        • Inside Africa’s biggest cryptocurrency scams

          Africa is home to the world’s smallest cryptocurrency economies, but is also one of the fastest-growing regions for crypto adoption. Because cryptocurrencies promise a swift, convenient, and efficient means of investment, cross-border payments, and remittances, they attract many adopters in the continent.

        • Trans-Alaska Pipeline faces increasing threats from floods. Is there a long-term solution?

          Flooding along the 800 miles of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has intensified as rising temperatures hasten snowmelt and amplify rainfall surges. Rivers paralleling the pipeline are reaching higher levels for longer periods, increasing their potential to wash out the pipeline and touching off frantic fights to prevent their churning waters from reaching it.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | The United States Must Rejoin the Global Biodiversity Conservation Community

          After a long stretch of public inattention, biodiversity conservation is a hot topic again, as if we had suddenly been jolted into awareness that our survival as a species, too, depends on the flourishing of all the other nonhuman beings who inhabit this Earth. Articles and op-eds are now filling print and online spaces. This, of course, is very encouraging, but no one is speaking about the elephant in the room or, rather, not in the room: the United States federal government is missing from the global biodiversity conservation community.

        • Bolsonaro Accused of Crimes Against Humanity at ICC Over Amazon Destruction

          "They are knowingly aiding and abetting the perpetrators on the ground committing crimes such as murder, persecution, and other inhumane acts."

          "Bolsonaro will be brought to justice."

        • World's oldest white rhino dies in Italian zoo aged 54

          White rhinos normally live up to 40 years when held in captivity, and up to 30 years in the wild, she said.

        • The Industrial Forestry Paradigm is a Threat to the Forests of the Northern Rockies

          For instance, the Forest Service’s silviculturist interviewed for the article suggests the reason for the project is to promote “ForestHealth.” But, of course, the timber industry and Forest Service have defined what constitutes “health” conveniently based on the Industrial Forestry Paradigm, which favors logging as the solution to any problem—real or imagined.

          The irony of “forest health” as a justification for logging is that much science finds the second-highest biodiversity occurs after significant bark beetle outbreaks or wildfire. There are more bees, birds, small mammals, flowers, fungi, and shrubs. All of which contribute to diversity—which ostensibly the Forest Service suggests is the goal of the project.

        • Hundreds of giant sequoias may have burned as the Complex Fire rages in California - CNN

          The KNP Complex Fire has destroyed many of California's iconic sequoia trees and is only 11% contained, according to the National Park Service.

          On October 4, the high-intensity fire pushed north and caused damage to Redwood Canyon, the National Park Service told CNN in a statement. The fire now covers over 85,000 acres.

          Currently, the exact number of burned trees is unknown because the fire is mostly uncontained, but the NPS said it has been a significant number -- in the hundreds.

      • Overpopulation

        • Newsom Asks Urban Users to Voluntarily Reduce Water Use As Nut Growers Suck Up Water

          On July 15,€ Governor Gavin Newsom€ added nine counties to the regional drought state of emergency and urged€ Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent “with simple measures” to protect water reserves if drought conditions continue.

          “The realities of climate change are nowhere more apparent than in the increasingly frequent and severe drought challenges we face in the West and their devastating impacts on our communities, businesses and ecosystems,” said Governor Newsom.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | The US Has Become a Tax Haven for the Vile and the Vicious

        We've become accustomed, over recent decades, to see Americans front and center whenever a blockbuster new report spotlights the world's super rich.

      • Extreme Inequality Fuels the Rigged World Economy Shown in the Pandora Papers

        The Pandora Papers—a treasure trove of nearly 12 million leaked financial records from 14 different “offshore” wealth-service firms—expose the various ways billionaires, corporations, drug traffickers and con men secret their money in notorious tax havens such as Belize, the Seychelles, the British Virgin Islands and Sioux Falls, S.D.

      • Biden Wants Tuition-Free Community College. What’s Next?

        Over the course of the Covid pandemic, we have seen one of the largest upward shifts of wealth in recent history. According to Forbes, there were 660 more billionaires in 2021 than the year before. At the same time, enrollment in community colleges and four-year universities plummeted in the United States, with the student debt crisis creating a situation in which low-income communities are hesitant to pursue higher education because of the likelihood of leaving with crippling debt.

      • Building Back Better and the September Jobs Report

        But before getting to these issues, it’s first important to dispel the idea that this was a bad jobs report. The September data showed a 0.4 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate, bringing it to 4.8 percent. Most analysts had predicted a drop of just 0.1 or 0.2 percentage points. We didn’t get the unemployment rate down to 4.8 percent following the Great Recession until January of 2016. And, this decline was due to workers getting jobs, not the unemployed dropping out of the labor market. The number of employed in the household survey increased by 526,000.

        The negative view of the September report is based on the weaker than expected job growth reported in the establishment survey. The increase of 194,000 in payroll jobs was well below the 400,000 to 500,000 job gain most analysts had expected. While that seems like a bad story, a closer look shows otherwise.

      • Tigard, Oregon: Ground Zero in the Fight for Affordable Housing
      • The Latest Bretton Woods Bean-Counting Scandal Nearly Evicts IMF Director Georgieva

        After a major leadership crisis that further degrades the Bretton Woods Institutions’ number-crunching credibility by revealing a pro-corporate bias – one that in 2017 was aimed at pleasing Beijing’s “Communist” government – yet another discredited managing director rules the International Monetary Fund. But Kristalina Georgieva was nearly fired, saved only with her board’s grudging, divided affirmation on October 11, in spite of two imperialist powers – the U.S. and Japan – threatening to swing the axe.

        Georgieva is a Bulgarian neoliberal economist who climbed the ranks at the World Bank and was chosen by the European bloc to lead the International Monetary Fund in 2019. In her prior job as Bank operations chief, she was a capitalist spin-doctor on behalf of China, with the permission of Bank president Jim Yong Kim, an ex-leftist who in his days as a public health advocate had favoured the Bank’s “abolition” due to its staff’s relentless harm-doing.

      • How “Terror Capitalism” Links Uyghur Oppression to the Global Economy

        “Where is your ID!” the police contractor yelled at me in Uyghur. I looked up in surprise. I had been avoiding eye contact, trying to attract as little attention as possible. In April 2018, in the tourist areas of Kashgar—where there were checkpoints every 200 yards—contractors usually recognized a bespectacled white person as a foreigner. But over the years that I had lived and worked as an anthropologist in Xinjiang, a region in Northwest China, I had often been mistaken for a Uyghur. This essay is adapted from Darren€ Byler's new book,€ In the Camps: China's High-Tech Penal Colony,€ published by€ Columbia Global Reports.

      • 'Please Help Us': Essential, Low-Wage Workers Share Why They Need Reconciliation Package

        Low-wage essential workers—joined by economists, faith leaders, and a progressive lawmaker—gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to share their stories and encourage Congress to "look at the people behind the numbers" in debates about the Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill.

        "We are literally starving. It's time for Congress to act."

      • Why Is PayPal Denying Service to Palestinians?

        This is not the first time PayPal has denied service to a vulnerable group; the company routinely cuts off payments to those engaged in sex work or the sale of sexually explicit content, and last year, PayPal division Venmo was sued for blocking payments associated with Islam or Arab nationalities or ethnicities.

        Just four months ago, EFF and 21 other rights groups wrote to PayPal, taking the company to task for censoring legal, legitimate transactions, and calling on both PayPal and Venmo to provide more transparency and accountability on account freezes and closures. Our coalition's demands included a call for regular transparency reports, meaningful notice to users, and a timely and meaningful appeals process.€  These recommendations align with the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation, developed by free expression advocates and scholars to help companies protect human rights when moderating user-generated content and accounts.

        It is unclear why PayPal chose to deny service to Palestinians, they're not unique. Many American companies have taken an overly broad interpretation of anti-terrorism statutes and sanctions, denying service to entire groups or geographic areas—rather than narrowly targeting those parties whom they are legally obligated to block. This practice is deeply troubling, causing serious harm to those who rely on digital services for their basic needs.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | The Media Keeps Getting It Wrong: The Democrats Are Not Divided

        Historians describe Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 presidential victory (with 60.8% of the popular vote), Lyndon Johnson's 1964 triumph (61.1%), and Ronald Reagan's 1984 win (58.8%) as "landslide" elections. Likewise, in 2018, the San Diego Union-Tribune and many other news outlets described Democrat Gavin Newsom's defeat of Republican John Cox for the California governorship by a 62% to 32% margin as a "landslide." When a recent poll found that 65% of Americans support vote-by-mail during the COVID pandemic, a USA Today headline proclaimed that the support was "overwhelming." Reporting on a survey showing that 73% of American voters supported President Biden's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, another news outlet, The Hill, described it as an "overwhelming majority." A news story reporting that 94% of American voters embrace universal background checks for gun-buyers called that support "near unanimous." A few years ago, another news story used the same phrase—"near unanimous"—when 61 of 64 coaches (95.3%) ranked the University of Alabama football team as the best in the country.

      • A September to Remember
      • America’s Long History of Mistreating Haitian Migrants

        United States Border Patrol agents on horseback swinging their reins as they charged at desperate Haitian migrants on the banks of the Rio Grande river in Del Rio, Tex. That’s the image that in recent days blanketed the Internet, dominated headlines, and drew sharp criticism from some political figures and human rights advocates.

      • AOC Warns Pelosi and Schumer: 'We Can't Negotiate Reconciliation Bill Down to Nothing'

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined seven of her fellow New York Democrats on Tuesday in issuing a warning to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: Don't cut funding for housing, transportation, or immigration reform from the emerging reconciliation bill in an attempt to appease right-wing lawmakers.

        "We can't let corporate interests, Big Pharma, and a few conservative Democrats stand in our way of delivering."

      • Who Won Germany’s Election in 2021?

        All in all, 25.7% voted for the center-mildly-progressive social-democratic party SPD. With that, the SPD overtook Germany’s conservatives and strong-state favoring CDU – Angela Merkel’s political party – sitting at 24.1%.

        The environmental Green party received less than expected ending up with 14.8%. While Germany’s truly neoliberal party, the FDP, did surprisingly well with 11.5%. € Germany’s Neo-Nazi party, the AfD lost a little bit of support arriving at 10.3%, but has established itself as a 10%-party. Finally, Germany’s socialist party, the Linke, received just 4.9% but entered the parliament because the party managed to get three candidates elected in local constituencies. This rule renders the 5% barrier obsolete. And, with a raft of micro-parties shared the remaining 8.7%.

      • Anti-Social Media: Can Our Already Volatile Political Culture Transcend a Facebook World? - The Project Censored Show

        Alan MacLeod is a media critic, a staff writer at MintPress News, and a contributor to many other publications. He’s also the author/editor two books, including Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. Nolan Higdon lectures in history and media studies at California State University, East Bay and other colleges in CA. He’s also the author of several books and academic articles, including, United States of Distraction and The Anatomy of Fake News.

      • Trump Won the County in a Landslide. His Supporters Still Hounded the Elections Administrator Until She Resigned.

        An elections administrator in North Texas submitted her resignation Friday, following a monthslong effort by residents and officials loyal to former President Donald Trump to force her out of office.

        Michele Carew, who had overseen scores of elections during her 14-year career, had found herself transformed into the public face of an electoral system that many in the heavily Republican Hood County had come to mistrust, which ProPublica and The Texas Tribune covered earlier this month.

      • Voter Turnout in Iraq Hits All-Time Low as Faith in Democratic Process Falters
      • Iraqi Journalist: Amid Low Election Turnout, “Iraq’s Streets Littered with the Memories of Our Dead”

        Voter turnout at the fifth parliamentary election in Iraq hit an all-time low, with many Iraqis refusing to vote as widespread faith in the democratic process and politics falters. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has been a vocal opponent of foreign invasion, won the most seats. He has also been accused of kidnapping and killing his critics. “The election has more to do with making this regime and this system look good than responding to the demands of the people,” says Nabil Salih, Iraqi journalist and photographer, who also discusses protests that sped up the election and conditions in Iraq’s hospitals. His latest piece for Middle East Eye is “Iraq’s streets are littered with the memories of our dead.”

      • Facebook Files: MEPs to invite whistleblower Frances Haugen to a hearing

        The decision to organise a public hearing in the European Parliament on “Whistleblowers’ testimonies on the negative impact of big tech companies’ products on users” was taken this afternoon by the Chair and the coordinators of the political groups in the committee. After the meeting, Chair Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, DE) said:

        “Whistleblowers like Frances Haugen show the urgent need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interest of users. Her revelations lay bare the inherent conflict between the platform’s business model and users’ interests. It shows that we need strong rules for content moderation and far-reaching transparency obligations in Europe.

      • Facebook whistleblower invited to speak to European Parliament

        The European Parliament has invited Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen to speak before a committee that's considering new social media regulations.

        Haugen, a data scientist and former employee of the social media giant, has recently gone public with criticism that Facebook has profited from stoking political divisions, spreading disinformation and harming the mental health of teenage girls. She made the remarks last week during a 60 Minutes segment and before a U.S. Senate panel.

      • Facebook Whistle-Blower to Speak Out at U.K., EU Parliaments

        Whistle-blower Frances Haugen will give evidence on Oct. 25 to a parliamentary committee examining the U.K.’s draft Online Safety Bill and will also share her ideas on how to regulate social media, according to a government statement.

      • Philanthropy Is a Scam

        By way of visions for the future of philanthropy, many of the milder books offer up either a promise of greater accountability for foundations or a reinvention of the concept of taxation. At the end of The Givers, his survey of contemporary philanthropy, David Callahan concludes, “None of the reforms I’ve suggested will substantially limit the influence of wealthy philanthropy over public life. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that funders bring greater self-restraint and mindfulness to giving that affects the lives of their fellow citizens.” The neoliberal imagination is nothing if not humble; all it can ask of us is to share its faith that a culture of moderation and transparency could in theory keep the philanthropists’ sprawling networks of influence in check. Accordingly, the purpose of these books is not to imagine a changed world but to foster trust that the billionaires will get us there.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • [Old] PH remains top in social media, [Internet] usage worldwide – report

        Advertising firms We Are Social and Hootsuite on Tuesday, January 27, released their annual report, which gives insights into global social media usage and digital trends for the past year.

        The Philippines tops the world again for time spent using social media this year, making it the 6th straight year it has done so. According to the report, Filipinos spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes each day on social media, which is 22 minutes higher than last year's average of 3 hours and 53 minutes, and 3 minutes higher than 2019’s average of 4 hours and 12 minutes.

        It’s also 30 minutes higher than this year’s second-placer, Colombia, which has an average of 3 hours and 45 minutes.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Twitch, Others, Ban Amouranth Yet Again, Once Again With Zero Transparency

        Regular readers here will by now likely be familiar with Twitch streamer "Amouranth". She has made it onto our pages as part of the year-long mess that Amazon's Twitch platform appears to be making for itself, during which it has demonstrated its willingness to both treat its creative community quite poorly and fail to properly communicate that poor treatment to much of anyone at all. For instance, Twitch has temporarily banned or kept Amouranth from live-streaming several times, all likely due to the content of her streams. That content seems nearly perfectly designed to poke the line on Twitch's streaming guidelines, including so-called "hot tub streaming" and ASMR streams. Twitch has never been great about explaining the reasons for bans like these, but in the past it has at least linked to the offending content so that a streamer knows which videos were objectionable. But with some, including Amouranth, Twitch often times doesn't even bother doing that, such as when it demonetized Amouranth's videos without warning or explanation.

      • Records Shed New Light on Trump White House Officials’ Efforts to Punish Social Media

        The records, released to EFF and the Center for Democracy & Technology as part of a joint FOIA lawsuit, add additional details to the timeline before Trump issued his unconstitutional Executive Order retaliating against online social media services for moderating his posts. President Joseph R. Biden revoked the order in May.

        Although Trump’s Executive Order is no longer in effect, the new documents show the lengths officials within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) went to as part of an unconstitutional effort to leverage the federal government’s spending power to punish platforms for exercising their First Amendment rights to moderate Trump’s speech.

        A day before Trump issued the order on May 28, 2020, OMB officials sought to learn whether the government already had data that would show how much money all federal agencies spent to advertise on social media. In an email exchange on May 27, 2020, officials inquired whether it was possible to use to calculate the figure.

      • EFF to Tenth Circuit: First Amendment Protects Public School Students’ Off-Campus Social Media Speech

        In this case, C1.G. v. Siegfried, a student and some friends visited a thrift shop on a Friday night. The student took a picture of his friends wearing wigs and hats, including one hat that looked like a foreign military hat from World War II. Intending to be funny, the student posted a picture of his friends with an offensive caption related to violence against Jews to Snapchat (and deleted it a few hours later). The school suspended and eventually expelled the student.

        EFF’s brief argued in favor of the expelled student, focusing on the Supreme Court’s strong protection for student speech rights in its decision from this summer in Mahanoy v. B.L. There, the Court explained that three “features” of students’ off-campus speech diminish a school’s authority to regulate student expression. Most powerfully, “from the student speaker’s perspective, regulations of off-campus speech, when coupled with regulations of on-campus speech, include all the speech a student utters during the full 24-hour day.” Mahanoy makes clear that students’ longstanding right to speak on campus except in narrow circumstances, as recognized by the Supreme Court in its 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines, is even stronger off campus—and that includes, as the Mahanoy Court said, “unpopular expression.”

        Our brief also urged the appellate court to reject a special rule for social media. The school argued, and the district court agreed, that the uniquely shareable and accessible nature of speech on the internet—that it can easily make its way onto campus—justifies greater school authority over students’ off-campus social media speech. Rejecting this argument is particularly important given that social media is a central means for young people to express themselves, connect with others, and engage in advocacy on issues they care about; and heeds the Supreme Court’s concern about “full 24-hour day” speech regulations.

      • One Time, Pakistan Accidentally Brought Down YouTube Worldwide

        The video insulted Islam, claimed Pakistani authorities. We don't have access to the video now, but it allegedly featured the 2005 Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammed, over which protesters rioted and killed dozens of people. Pakistan didn't have the means to take down that video specifically, and they refused to wait on YouTube doing it themselves. So they figured the best course of action was to block YouTube throughout the country.

      • Kathleen Stock: UCU statement ‘ends my career’ at Sussex

        Vice-chancellor Adam Tickell said the university was “investigating activity on our campus which appears to have been designed to attack Professor Kathleen Stock for exercising her academic freedoms”.

        “Disturbingly, this has included pressuring the university to terminate her employment. Everyone at the university has the right to be free from harassment and intimidation.”

      • LinkedIn's unanswered questions about China censorship

        In early 2021, Chinese regulatory authorities punished LinkedIn for lax censorship; three months later, the company blocked the profiles of a spate of researchers.

        The big picture: U.S. internet companies once claimed they could help make China more open and free. But Beijing has instead brought them to heel.

      • Whistleblower testimony launches bipartisan campaign for Facebook censorship

        The solution to “Facebook’s problems,” according to Haugen and the Wall Street Journal, is government control over what is said by Facebook’s users. A review of Haugen’s testimony as well as the response of both the Democrats and Republicans and the corporate press reveals that a consensus is developing within the capitalist ruling establishment for government intervention that, far from stopping the giant tech company from putting “profits before people,” aims to gain control of all of Facebook’s platforms and, in particular, censor left-wing and socialist content.

      • Netflix defends Chappelle, suspends staff in transgender row

        The stand-up star has courted controversy with "The Closer" in which he asserts "gender is a fact," and criticises what he says is the thin skin of the trans community.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Julian Assange and the CIA-USA Daily Wars Against Humanity

        Of the estimated 1.4 million top security clearance U.S. personnel employed by one or another of the government’s 18 braches of its $81 billion annually budgeted “U.S. Intelligence Community,” perhaps one or two individuals each year are designated as “whistleblowers” and persecuted to the high heavens. These include heroes like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning today and Daniel Ellsberg, the renowned Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers defendant of yesteryear, whose revelations educated millions about the U.S. horrors committed against the Vietnamese people. Four million Vietnamese were murdered in this ten-year genocide, begun with the CIA’s lie that a U.S. destroyer was attacked in Vietnam’s Tonkin Bay by the equivalent of a Vietnamese sampan or small fishing boat.

        Another handful of heroes, like WikiLeaks founder and journalist/publisher Julian Assange, are similarly persecuted when they exercise their right to publish what the whistleblowers have revealed about U.S. war crimes around the world. In addition to the 1.4 million top secret U.S. government spies, another 4.25 million “Intelligence Community” employees have some type of special clearance but don’t necessarily work in secure and undisclosed locations. That’s a total approaching some six million people in the U.S. spy business, not to mention the tiny proportion in the business of directly ordering and planning assassinations, kidnappings, death squad wars, covert and overt wars, drone wars, regime change military coups, cyber wars, media disinformation wars, industrial spying wars and all the rest.

      • ShotSpotter files $300M defamation suit against Vice Media

        Vice's technical vertical Motherboard has published half a dozen articles on the controversial gun detection technology, but Monday’s lawsuit primarily focused on one in July alleging that ShotSpotter had altered evidence for court cases at the behest of police.

        Vice’s article claims that the company has worked to help support the police’s narrative of events in several cases, sometimes even deleting evidence that would clash with how law enforcement described altercations.

        The article is based on public court documents and testimony from experts who have raised doubts about the accuracy of ShotSpotter’s tech at identifying gunshots.

      • 3 nights in a migrant detention center—for the crime of not carrying passport

        What I didn’t know is that someone had been fighting for my freedom from outside. By her own intuition she had managed to get in touch with the head of immigration in Chiapas, which seems to have prompted my release.

      • The Daily’s founding producer, Theo Balcomb, is leaving the Times

        A quick summary of Balcomb’s very busy audio life: She started at NPR as an intern and rose the ranks to become the youngest supervising producer on All Things Considered. She joined the Times in 2016 as senior producer for a soon-to-be-launched, unnamed show, aka The Daily. Of course, The Daily went on to be a smashing success that reaches millions of people per day. In 2019, she was promoted to executive producer of The Daily and News, where she is today. All of which is to say: Congrats to Theo, and we’re excited to hear what she gets up to next!

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • LA Sheriff's Handpicked 'Public Integrity Unit' Doing Little More Than Harassing And Intimidating The Department's Critics

        The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is apparently incapable of being reformed. Over the years, the LASD has run an illegal prison informant program, one that culminated in an FBI investigation during which the LASD threatened FBI agents and federal witnesses.

      • Women Yell Things to Me. But They’re All Compliments.

        I’m not brave for letting my hair go white. My hair salon closed as the Covid pandemic lockdown began in New York City, in March 2020, right when I was due for my mandatory every-three-weeks color. They were closed for a few months, which gave me enough time to grow a solid two inches of pretty cool white hair we suspected was there, but weren’t sure.

      • The Legacy of Bani Sadr

        Bani Sadr’s political activism dates back to his secondary school education. During this period, the Tudeh (communist) Party was active in schools and universities across Iran, and it was during this time that Bani Sadr was introduced to the law of dialectics. While Bani Sadr was in secondary school, the movement to nationalise the Iranian oil industry under Mohammad Mosaddegh was starting to take hold. Through this movement and his family’s interest in it, he developed a curiosity about the concepts of independence and liberty, which remained with him and were his guiding principles right up until his death. He focussed much of his research career to fully understanding these principles, and devoted his life to ensuring their realisation.

        In the years following the 1953 coup against the Mossadegh government, political groups in Iran had differing priorities. The liberals prioritised liberty, patriots prioritised independence from the Eastern and Western Blocs, Marxists focussed on a socialist revolution and seizing of power by the proletariats, supporters of religious authoritarianism gave precedence to Islam and the supporters of the Pahlavi monarchy concentrated on modernity. Bani Sadr argued that a fundamental effort was needed to rid Iran and other such societies of this destructive “war of priorities”, which he maintained, had steered Iran towards destruction for over half a century.

      • Virginie Despentes’s Philosophy of Rage

        In 2006, Virginie Despentes published a manifesto called King Kong Theory, an origin story that begins with her rape and the shame it caused. She writes: “The moment you call your rape a rape, the whole surveillance system roars into life: Do you really want people to know what happened to you?” Despentes’s skepticism toward disclosure comes from her own experience, as a former sex worker turned prominent writer, that trauma could become unmoored from its specific context and commodifed by prurient attention. Her reckoning with the public and private aspects of both fame and violence feels almost prescient now, in the shadow of the #MeToo movement, which marked a shift in what could be said about rape and assault in the public sphere. And while the initial wave of anger that the movement incited felt reparative, it was, like Despentes’s own experience, also co-opted and misrepresented.

        Questions of power and consent were adjudicated mostly in the narrow scope of the workplace. Yet, as writers like Jacqueline Rose have pointed out, #MeToo failed to address a more widespread experience of sexual violence, one that is more diffuse than what can be litigated in a white-collar office, let alone in Hollywood. Somewhere along the way, we lost the plot; after #MeToo, our language around violence took on the sheen of HR obfuscation. The residual dribbles of the movement left something vital behind: the injustice of rape—that it happens all the time, all over the world, and is a universal historical event to be reckoned with.

      • Dayton Police Dragged Paraplegic Man Clifford Owensby from His Car; NAACP Says Arrest Was “Unlawful”

        Clifford Owensby says Dayton police violently arrested him last month even though he is paraplegic and repeatedly told them he could not use his legs to get out of the car during a traffic stop. New police bodycam video shows the officers dragging Owensby out of his car and yanking him by his hair as he shouted for help. Owensby had his 3-year-old child in the car at the time of arrest. He has now filed a complaint with Dayton’s branch of the NAACP. “The officers should be placed at least on administrative leave,” says Derrick Foward, president of the Dayon Unit NAACP. Foward says that Owensby is expected to bring a case against Dayton police once all the evidence is collected, and he attributes the quick release of the bodycam video to recent police reforms advocated for in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

      • A Grim Winter Looms. These Activists Are Keeping Spirits Up Through Organizing.
      • Boko Haram administers marriage for Christians, Muslims in LGA occupied in Niger, girls under pressure

        In Shiroro LGA, Boko Haram insurgents in charge.

        The terrorists are proving this by taking over marriage administration in the LGA of Niger. They settle disputes too, preventing locals from reporting to police and courts.

        It’s no doubt coercive, and hard on girls.

      • ‘Are We Human?’ Modi’s Use of Antiterror Law Draws Scrutiny From Courts

        India’s government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has jailed thousands of people through a statute that critics say is aimed at silencing dissent.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why Section 230 'Reform' Effectively Means Section 230 Repeal

        Some lawmakers are candid about their desire to repeal Section 230 entirely. Others, however, express more of an interest to try to split this baby, and "reform" it in some way to somehow magically fix all the problems with the Internet, without doing away with the whole thing and therefore the whole Internet as well. This post explores several of the types of ways they propose to change the statute, ostensibly without outright repealing it.

    • Monopolies

      • 'A Huge Deal': Amazon, Google Workers Demand Companies Sever Ties With Israeli Military

        Roughly 400 Amazon and Google workers on Tuesday€ condemned their employers for contributing to the surveillance and dispossession of Palestinians by selling cloud services to the Israeli military and government and urged both companies to€ cut ties with the oppressive regime.

        "We call on global technology workers and the international community to join with us in building a world where technology promotes safety and dignity for all."

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Lithographs from M. E. Descourtilz’s *Atlas des Champignons* (1827) – The Public Domain Review

          Set of prints which sort mushrooms found in France and elsewhere into three classes: edible, suspect, and poisonous.

        • Adobe Uses DMCA to Nuke Project That Keeps Flash Alive, Secure & Adware Free

          In January 2021, development and support for Adobe Flash was discontinued. That marked the end of an era but in reality, Flash wasn't quite dead. Flash Player is still available in China, something that was exploited by the Clean Flash project to continue making the software more widely and safely available. Adobe has now used the DMCA to shut the project down.

        • Google Opposes 'Sweeping' Popcorn Time Piracy Blocking Request

          Google has asked a Virginia federal court for permission to formally oppose the request for a far-reaching anti-piracy injunction. The contested anti-piracy measures, aimed at shutting down a popular Popcorn Time app, are proposed by a group of filmmakers. However, Google fears that the proposed blocking efforts go too far.

        • License Stewardship consultation

          At this milestone of the 20th anniversary of Creative Commons, we are embarking on a public consultation around CC’s stewardship. Specifically, we seek to collectively define the principles and responsibilities that CC should and will uphold in its role as stewards of the CC legal tools. And we want you to participate.

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