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Links 4/11/2021: Voyager Linux 21.10 and FSF Against Software Patents

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Magazine

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • An Installation And First Look Of Fedora 35 - Invidious

        I'm taking a quick look at the recently released Fedora 35. After my recent negative review of Ubuntu 21.10 with the GNOME desktop, many viewers asked me to look at Fedora 35 believing that I might like Fedora's GNOME desktop more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Lessons from the linux-distros mailing list []

        The oss-security mailing list is specifically set up for reports and discussion of security flaws in open-source software after their embargo, if any, has expired. But the response to a recent report of the fix for a security flaw in the Linux kernel went in a different direction than usual. The report did not break the two-week embargo period, instead it was "late", which has highlighted some problems in the management of flaws of this nature.

        The report from Lin Ma was for a use-after-free vulnerability in the near-field communication (NFC) protocol stack in the kernel. It had been found by fuzzing and was duly reported to the closed and linux-distros mailing lists on September 1; it was assigned CVE-2021-3760 on the same day. Ma gave a detailed report of the problem to oss-security on October 26—nearly two months later. The flaw itself is difficult to trigger; it may require a compromised NFC device to send the malicious packet sequence.

        Alexander Peslyak (or "Solar Designer"), who administers oss-security and linux-distros, replied, noting the large gap in time before the public disclosure, which Ma had apologized for in the report. Peslyak said that there were multiple problems in the handling of the report to linux-distros. "Let's use this opportunity to learn from the mishandling of this issue and avoid that for other issues."

      • Replacing congestion_wait() []

        Memory management is a balancing act in a number of ways. The kernel must balance the needs of current users of memory with anticipated future needs, for example. The kernel must also balance the act of reclaiming memory for other uses, which can involve writing data to permanent storage, with the rate of data that the underlying storage devices are able to accept. For years, the memory-management subsystem has used storage-device congestion as a signal that it should slow down reclaim. Unfortunately, that mechanism, which was a bit questionable from the beginning, has not worked in a long time. Mel Gorman is now trying to fix this problem with a patch set that moves the kernel away from the idea of waiting on congestion.

      • Synchronized GPU priority scheduling []

        Since the early days, Unix-like systems have implemented the concept of process priorities, where higher-priority processes are given more CPU time to get their work done. Implementations have changed, and alternatives (such as deadline scheduling) are available for specialized situations, but the core priority (or, in an inverted sense, "niceness") concept remains essentially the same. What should happen, though, in a world where increasing amounts of computing work is done outside of the CPU? Tvrtko Ursulin has put together a patch set showing how the nice mechanism can be extended to GPUs as well. As Ursulin describe the situation, the "current processing landscape seems to be more and more composed of pipelines where computations are done on multiple hardware devices". The kernel directly controls the availability of CPU time for the work that is actually done on the CPU. But, increasingly, computing work is offloaded to GPUs, AI accelerators, or cryptocurrency-mining peripherals. Those processors, while capable, can also be overloaded by the demands placed on them. If they run their workloads in a way that disagrees with the kernel's idea of process priorities, the end result may not be what the user would like to see.

        As an example, Ursulin pointed out that the Chrome browser will lower the priority of tabs that are not currently in the foreground. If one of those background tabs is doing a lot of rendering in the GPU, though, it may slow down the foreground tab even though the background work is supposed to be running at low priority. It turns out that at least some of these GPUs, including some Intel i915 versions, can perform priority-based scheduling internally. But that requires informing the GPU of the relevant priorities, and there is currently no way to communicate those decisions, which are made in user space, to the GPU.

      • Controlling the CPU scheduler with BPF []

        While the BPF virtual machine has been supported by Linux for most of the kernel's existence, its role for much of that time was limited to, as its full name (Berkeley packet filter) would suggest, filtering packets. That began to change in 2012 with the introduction of seccomp() filtering, and the pace picked up in 2014 with the arrival of the extended BPF virtual machine. At this point, BPF hooks have found their way into many kernel subsystems. One area that has remained BPF-free, though, is the CPU scheduler; that could change if some version of this patch set from Roman Gushchin finds its way into the mainline.

        There are several CPU schedulers in the kernel, each of which works cooperatively to handle specific types of workloads. In systems without realtime processes, though, almost all scheduling is done by the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS), to the point that most people probably just think of it as "the scheduler". CFS is a complicated beast; it embodies a set of hard-learned heuristics that seek to maximize performance for a wide variety of workloads, and has a number of knobs to tweak for the cases where the heuristics need help. CPU scheduling is a complex task, though, and it is not surprising that the results from CFS are not always seen as being optimal by all users.

      • Linux 5.16 Sound Ready To Play On AMD VanGogh + Yellow Carp, Continues USB Low-Latency - Phoronix

        The Linux sound subsystem is seeing some useful and significant additions with the Linux 5.16 kernel.

        Sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE today submitted the feature pull, which has already been accepted into mainline.

      • Linux 5.16's Smorgasbord Of Power Management Changes Land - Phoronix

        Sent in on Tuesday and since merged to the mainline Linux 5.16 code-base were the power management updates and accompanying ACPI and thermal changes.

        Intel engineer Rafael Wysocki who oversees the power management / ACPI / thermal subsystem code for the Linux kernel has sent in all of the feature changes. There isn't any one overly exciting change this cycle but a diverse assortment of smaller changes. Below are some of the highlights.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel DG2/Alchemist Soon To See Big Performance Boost With Mesa Optimizations - Phoronix

          A set of patches were posted this past week by Intel open-source driver engineer Francisco Jerez with pixel pipeline optimizations that help all DG2/Alchemist platforms with double digit percentage improvements.

          The tentative patches providing pixel pipeline optimizations can boost the OpenGL and Vulkan performance in the range of 20~40% on DG2 discrete graphics hardware. This isn't just for some basic tasks but workloads like Unigine Valley were nearly 40% higher on Intel DG2-448 hardware, Dota 2 around 30% faster, Xonotic by 14%, and other striking leads.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Now you can (try to) serve five terabytes, too

        Almost ten years ago, I wrote an obscure post about something that would have only made sense if you also worked at Google at the time it happened (around 2010). It was a reference to an Xtranormal video that someone created about the perils of trying to get your stuff running in production without having someone hate on you for "doing it wrong".

      • How to parse nginx access logs

        If you want to optimize your web server, it is essential to understand Nginx access logs. Logging is the single critical action you take before an issue encounters. It also plays its part in detecting defects in web development. Nginx access logs comprise detailed information about the access requests of the users. To analyze and monitor your web server, you have to parse Nginx access logs.

      • How to use UPDATE statement in SQLite

        SQLite is an RDMS that is used to manage data of relational databases by following table structure. In SQLite, data can be managed by inserting, updating, and deleting values at any instant of time. It is very easy to update data in SQLite because of its simple architecture. The update statement allows users to make modifications in the data of already existing tables in SQLite.

        There are various commands in SQLite to perform different tasks like creating tables, modifications of data, and deletion of tables. In this follow-up, we will discuss the UPDATE statement and its works in SQLite.

      • Top MongoDB Interview Questions in 2021

        MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database management system; it not only provides ease in storing unstructured data but also manages it. Whenever the question arises of how to manage millions of rows of unstructured data, MongoDB is recommended. MongoDB’s first version was released in February 2007 by 10gen Software company, later in 2013, 10gen changed the company name to MongoDB Inc.

        MongoDB is a NoSQL database that is used to store data in the JSON documents form because of this feature, a massive amount of unstructured data can easily be stored and managed in MongoDB. The set of these documents having the data are known as collections. And these collections are similar to the tables which are used in relational databases to store data.

      • Step by Step Setup iRedMail Mail Server on Centos 8 - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Setting up your own email server on Linux from scratch is a long and tedious process, a pain in the but if you are not an advanced user. This tutorial will be showing you how to use iRedMail to quickly set up a full-featured mail server on CentOS 8, saving you lots of time and headaches.

        iRedMail is a shell script that automatically installs and configures all necessary mail server components on your Linux/BSD server, thus eliminating manual installation and configuration. With iRedMail, you can easily create unlimited mailboxes and unlimited mail domains in a web-based admin panel. Mailboxes can be stored in MariaDB/MySQL, PostgreSQL database, or OpenLDAP. The following is a list of open-source software that will be automatically installed and configured by iRedMail.

      • How to use PRIMARY KEY in SQLite

        SQLite is a database management system, which is used to manage the data of the relational database just like MySQL, it also contains a lot of constraints such as UNIQUE, PRIMARY KEY, and FOREIGN KEY like other databases.

        So what are constraints and how do they work in SQLite? This write-up is a comprehensive guide about constraints and on how to use the PRIMARY key constraint in SQLite.

      • How To Add a Git Remote Repository – TecAdmin

        Every time you clone a Git repository, you are actually downloading your project locally. This means that you will have a local copy of the Git repository tied to your project. Local copy that was created this way will be automatically connected to the remote repo. But what if you created a local copy first? In that case, you will have to add a Git remote repository. Read on and learn how to do that.

    • Games

      • Build up your own superhero organisation in the upcoming Superheroes Academy | GamingOnLinux

        Superheroes Academy is a new announcement from developer Strategy Forge, coming in 2022 your task is to build and run a school full of people with special abilities. Sound familiar? It's basically X-Men right, and perhaps a little My Hero Academia?

        You lead your very own superhero agency. A management-oriented real-time strategy game with procedurally generated content where you build your base, restructure your organization, and hire, train, and command your own team of superheroes. It is up to you whether or not America will be controlled by the supervillains or remain in a peaceful golden age.

      • Don't let the visuals fool you - Sunshine Manor is pretty darn spooky | GamingOnLinux

        Despite the 8-bit inspired art style, Sunshine Manor manages to give off a pretty great horror atmosphere. They said to expect some "genuine jump scares" but I was not quite ready. You already know what's coming too, with the nice little retro intro videos that explain what happened. The good thing is you don't need to have played Camp Sunshine to enjoy it, as it is firmly a standalone game.

        Taking place on Halloween in the '80s, the setup and overall theme is a pretty cliché with kids out for treats and a haunted house but it still manages to throw in plenty of surprises. You get dared to knock on the door of this rather dubious looking house, the door falls open and of course you decide to enter - because why wouldn't you? It all goes downhill from there into magic and demonic territory and it doesn't let up.

      • Rushdown Revolt is a new combo-centric platform-fighter coming to Linux

        Do you love platform fighters like Smash Bros, Brawlhalla, Rivals of Aether and others? Keep an eye out on Rushdown Revolt which is currently in Alpha and it recently gained experimental Linux support.

      • Horror-themed turn-based puzzler Dark Crypt is out now | GamingOnLinux

        In the Dark Crypt you must sneak through a dark dungeon to find and defeat an ancient evil lurking at the bottom.

        "The prophecy speaks of an ancient evil that slumbers within a crypt. It foretells its awakening which will lead to our world being consumed by its dark shadow. Your brothers at the monastery dismiss it as a pagan heresy, however you know better than that. The world's fate rests on your shoulders. It's up to you to find the slumbering evil and seal it, before it awakens. Can you save our world?"

      • Functional Duplications

        I broke out my old Space War game a few days ago and decided to make a few changes to speed the game up and make it more fun to play. In so doing I discovered a very interesting bug.

        One of the changes I made was to populate the initial space with a few random bases scattered here and there. This would allow the player some extra resources with which to battle the Klingons while building up a network of more bases.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Where To Download KDE Plasma for 32-bit Computer

          Do you have an old computer? Do you love KDE Plasma? If your desktop or laptop was produced before 2011 or has memory no more than 4GB, it might be 32-bit, like those with Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor. You can revive it with one of KDE Plasma Desktop systems mentioned in this article, for example, Debian or Tumbleweed, and you can do your daily work with up to date applications and even games.

    • Distributions

      • After Moving From FreeBSD to Void Linux, Project Trident Finally Discontinues

        For those of you who have not heard of Project Trident, let me give you a little ride down memory lane. Back in 2005, Kris Moore introduced PC-BSD as an easy way to set up FreeBSD with a desktop interface. It was acquired the following year by iXsystems. In September of 2016, the name of the project was changed to TrueOS. The project also became a rolling release based on the Current branch of FreeBSD. Two years later, TrueOS announced that they would be doing away with the desktop version of their operating system and focusing on the enterprise and server market. The desktop elements were spun off to a new project: Project Trident.

        For a time, the dev team at Project Trident tried their best to create a good desktop experience on top of FreeBSD. However, due to issues with FreeBSD including “hardware compatibility, communications standards, or package availability continue to limit Project Trident users” they decide to base it on something else. Their solution was to rebase their project on Void Linux in 2019. For a while, it looked like the future of Project Trident was set. Then 2020 happened.

      • How Not To Switch To Linux With Your Hosts Linus and Luke

        So over the last few weeks Linus and Luke over at LTT / FloatPlane have been teasing us with tales of their so-called Linux Challenge. The basic premise being that whichever of them can switch from Windows to Linux on their daily driver home PCs, wins the challenge. Simple enough, right? Well as it turns out, not actually.

        From a high level this could've been a good thing. This challenge could've helped to expose the benefits of choosing to be a Linux gamer to a wider audience and effectively helped to propel what is now a niche-gaming platform to another level... perhaps even the mythical "next level". Alas that is not going to be the case here. After watching a significant portion of last night's episode of The WAN Show it has become clear that Linus and to a lessor extent, Luke, went into this challenge with what I can only describe as the "wrong attitude".

        Now before you start composing those nasty emails and tweets to me, give me a chance to explain. I'm not gate keeping here. I'm simply calling out their apparent original expectations as unrealistic and ultimately self-destructive notions that have effectively ruined the challenge and the good exposure it could have generated. This is a real shame too, because this could've been absolutely great.

      • New Releases

        • LinDoz Dev-Logs – MakuluLinux

          The Dev Logs are Back, Currently the the upcoming LinDoz Development build has hit Stable status, and as such We have re added the Dev Log section so users can track its progress. You can access the LinDoz Dev Log Section by Clicking Here or access it from the website main menu. We update the logs whenever there is some progress to report.

        • Voyager Linux 21.10 Available to Download Based on Ubuntu 21.10

          The project has released Voyager Live 21.10 which offers the GNOME 40 desktop and nine months of support. “I introduce you Voyager 21.10 GE which continues the adventure with the GNOME Shell desktop version 40 by introducing new features, support for new systems and technologies and a whole new layout with visual changes for applications and virtual desktops. Improved support for AMD GPUs. A new security module called Landlock with the promise finally realized, to have a light, fast, modern, fluid, secure and efficient GNOME system in a hybrid environment for PC and Tablet. This version is based on the Linux 5.13 kernel and the Ubuntu distribution”Impish Indri” 21.10. It is an intermediate version with 9 months of updates that prepares for the future 5 year LTS – Long-Term Support version which is coming soon. With integrated, options like Conky Control, Repair, Switch Ubuntu, WINE-staging and Steam Gaming in the Box Voyager and 39 GNOME extensions selected according to PC needs.” Further information is available in the project’s release announcement.

      • BSD

        • Catchup 2021-11-03

          Interesting developments (in -current) since OpenBSD 7.0 include: [...]

        • OpenBSD on Raspberry Pi 4 with Full-Disk Encryption

          After some effort, I got my Raspberry Pi 4 running with OpenBSD 6.9 and full-disk encryption on a USB3 memory stick. I could find no one else online talking about this subject anywhere, except this mailing list thread. So, I thought I’d share my experience on how I got it working. I recommend you read the entire post before proceeding, so you have an idea of the process upfront.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 drops in beta version

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 9 released today as a beta, bringing about a dozen major new features focused on security and compliance, simplified management and automation. But the biggest news might be the lack of changes to the management and administration tools from the previous version, which could make adoption fairly painless.

          The key new management features include enhanced web-console performance metrics for easier diagnosis of problems, live kernel patching without the need for downtime, and an easier way to create new OS images.

        • 10 Things to Do After Installing Fedora 35 [With Bonus Tip!]

          I am sure you installed or upgraded to Fedora 35 already to experience new tech, features. And here's our traditional post for every major releases - 10 Things to Do After Installing Fedora 35 with a bonus trick.

        • Red hat Enterprises Linux 9 Beta Available to Download and Test

          The new beta also offers smaller binaries due to link time optimization. “Link Time Optimization (LTO) is enabled in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9, and the system comes with a number of packages that are built with it. As a result, applications have smaller and faster binaries and allow deeper inspection of source code at compile time. This can improve GCC diagnostics for potential coding errors, such as One Definition Rule (ODR) violations. Go 1.16 brings support for the new embed package, enabling developers to bundle supporting data files into their Go programs and simplify developing with Go. With Go 1.16, modules are enabled by default making language dependencies easier to manage. Additionally, there are also several other improvements and performance optimizations. With the latest LLVM 12 toolset, developers can take advantage of fresher tooling, and compatibility with other code built with compatible versions of LLVM/Clang.” Additional information is available in the company’s release announcement and in the release notes. The new beta release is available through the Red Hat customer portal.

        • Knative 1.0: Simplify serverless on Kubernetes

          Knative, the enterprise-grade serverless platform, has just hit a significant milestone with the release of version 1.0. To celebrate this achievement, let's explore how Knative simplifies the developer experience on Kubernetes. We'll also discuss how you can use Red Hat OpenShift Serverless Functions to deliver serverless, event-driven applications.

        • Generating pseudorandom numbers in Python

          Random functions typically assign the same priority to each possible choice. In some cases, though, you want to be able to make a random choice while prioritizing some options. For instance, in Project Thoth, we need to prioritize more recent releases of Python packages. We use pseudorandom number calculation to prioritize newer libraries in the exploration phase of Thoth's reinforcement learning algorithm.

          This article explores termial random, a specific type of pseudorandom number calculation used in Project Thoth. We'll use the termial-random number generator to select an item from a list, assign the highest probability to the item at index 0, then assign lower probabilities to the following items as the index increases. You can apply the discussion and resources in this article to other Python projects.

        • Boost throughput with RESTEasy Reactive in Quarkus 2.2 | Red Hat Developer

          Quarkus has, from its beginning, provided core features for coding Java programs in both imperative and reactive style. With the new 2.2 release, Quarkus continues to improve in terms of network-related features, reactive programming, and integration with the Eclipse Vert.x event bus. For example, RESTEasy Reactive in Quarkus is a new JAX-RS implementation based on the Vert.x layer that achieves much higher throughput by handling reactive events on the non-blocking I/O thread.

        • More tips for packaging your Linux software with RPM | Enable Sysadmin

          If you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Fedora, you will soon find yourself using dnf (or yum) to install software packages. Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) is the most important software management tool on these Linux distributions. This article shows how you can take advantage of this framework to distribute your own applications.

        • Automation: 3 ways to ease job loss fears

          After experiencing huge economic disruption during the pandemic, many people worry that automation will make things worse. History shows that ever since the Industrial Revolution, automation has indeed disrupted employment and the wage structure, but it has also created more jobs with time. In fact, according to a World Economic Forum report published last year, 97 million jobs will be created by 2025, significantly exceeding the 85 million it expects will be lost.

          Automation will reengineer processes, reorganize tasks, and eventually create more jobs – many of which we’ve never done before. These jobs will require new higher-order skills that will be in great demand and in short supply in all parts of the world.

          This situation presents an opportunity to tackle both automation-related job loss and the global skills shortage at the same time. But doing so will require new skills and learning models from job seekers as well as education providers, business organizations, and other members of the employment ecosystem. Leaders must also address the automation-related job loss worries directly.

        • Working on your emotional intelligence? Try these CIO tips

          Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a must-have core skill for leaders, but it’s not always easy to develop. It’s not something you can learn from a single workshop or book. It takes time, ongoing practice, and years of self-reflection to get right. But this work comes with a big payoff, says Mike McGuire, chief operations & CTO of Delta Dental of MN and president of Abōva Technologies.

          “Effective leadership requires a broad range of EQ skills, all of which include ongoing practice and patience. As these skills become foundational to your leadership approach, team members will be inspired and will naturally develop a deeper level of loyalty to you, the team, and the organization. It not only defines your ability to understand and manage your emotions as a leader but influences the response and emotions of those around you,” says McGuire.

          We asked CIOs who recently won the 2021 Twin Cities CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards how they are personally nurturing their emotional intelligence skills. The awards were presented by the Twin Cities CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

      • EasyOS and Debian Family

        • Disable pulseaudio idle-exit and support multiple users

          Previous blog post in the pulseaudio and pipewire saga:

          Before getting onto the subject of multiple users, one thing that has been a headache for me, and after some online reading a headache for many others, is the idle-exit of the pulseaudio daemon.

          Normally, a daemon is something that you start, and it keeps running for duration of the session. Not so with /usr/bin/pulseaudio. It defaults to exit after 20 seconds being idle, and it "respawns" on request, like when an app such as pavucontrol, the pulseaudio GUI mixer app, starts. When pavucontrol quits, so does the daemon 20 seconds later.

        • Pulseaudio support multiple users with TCP

          I posted very early this morning how to support multiple users by using a Unix Domain Socket. Now considering an alternative, the TCP network protocol.

        • More Software-Defined Radio Projects Using DragonOS

          DragonOS, a Debian-based Linux distribution specifically packaged for software-defined radio functionality, roared onto the wavelengths during the beginnings of the various pandemic lockdowns last year. Since then [Aaron], the creator of the OS, has been busy adding features to the distribution as well as creating plenty of videos which show off its capabilities and also function as how-tos for people who might want to learn about software-defined radio. The latest is a video about using this software to detect radio signals in certain specified spectrums.

        • CORECURSIVE #070: Leaving Debian: With Joey Hess

          Adam:Joey dedicated a large part of his adult life to working on Debian, and he’s going to give us a peek into that world. He had times worked for years without pay to push Debian forward, and then something changed and he decided to leave of it all behind.

          So that’s, today’s story. An insider view of Debian. The good and the bad. And it’s almost all good. It’s a story that’s about open source software, but it’s also about community and about teamwork. Joey’s introduction to Linux started a similar way to my story with trying to install Slackware. He was at Cornell staying in residence and someone lent them 15 floppy discs.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SiteInspector: An Open-source app to improve your SEO

        SiteInspector is an outstanding free self-hosted web-based SEO tool that keeps you in track of all problems in your websites.

        It comes with a simple, user-friendly interface, that allows a user or multiple users to add any number of websites and check them continuously for errors.

        The first thing that we like about SiteInspector is: that it takes less than a few minutes to install or upgrade to a new version.

        With SiteInspector, website admins can audit multiple websites and check for broken links, grammatical errors and spelling errors for all the pages and internal links.

      • Kuma: An enterprise control plane for almost anything

        Kuma is an open-source general-purpose control panel system for distributed systems, service mesh, IoT, routing, and more.

        It supports multiple mesh setups and comes with dozens of built-in metrics and customizable widgets, which makes it ideal for large-scale projects and IoT systems.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome Dev Summit 2021: Moving toward a more powerful and private web

            The big day is finally here. Today, at Chrome Dev Summit 2021 we shared some of the highlights of what we've been working on — the latest product updates, vision for the web's future and examples of best-in-class web experiences. Over the past year, we've also had a lot of feedback that you want to spend more time learning from and working with the Chrome team and other industry experts. I'm excited to share with you that we've opened up a lot of spaces for 1:1 office hours, workshops and learning lounges to give you more opportunity to connect with the Chrome team.

            It's been a busy year for us all and with the continued shift of people moving more of their lives online, it has been more important than ever for us to continue investing in Web Compat, and we've been amazed to see the improvements in compatibility across the board that is helping to make it easier for you to build sites that work across all browsers for everyone who uses the web.

      • Education

        • Zettelkasten in plain text-only flat files

          A Zettelkasten starts working when it contains some critical mass. There needs to be enough Zettel, with enough ideas and enough cross references, before it starts to really work.

          Zettelkasten therefor gain value over time, typically one or more decades.

          What ever the system you choose to implement your Zettelkasten in, be sure it will survive that long and still is available and useful in, say, ten or twenty years.

        • The Best Maker Schools 2021

          This year for the first time Newsweek has teamed up with Make:, publisher of Make: magazine and books, to find The Best Maker Schools in Higher Education. These are universities, community and junior colleges, vocational and trade schools with curricula that encourage learning by doing; are supported by educators committed to collaborative problem-solving; have well-developed makerspaces, labs, and studios; and which support diverse, interactive communities that engage in knowledge and skill sharing. Our goal was to highlight institutions with innovative programs that demonstrate the ingenuity and community engagement that are hallmarks of the maker movement.

          This non-ranked list was generated by recommendation through a survey tool in collaboration with an international community of educators, administrators, students and maker leaders. To be considered for the list, recommended schools had to demonstrate excellence or competency in the following areas: [...]

      • FSF

        • Join the fight against software patents with the revamped campaign site

          There are many problems caused by the enforcement of patents in the software industry, but it is important to first understand how user and developer freedoms are affected. If you don't know what End Software Patents (ESP) is about, please read the recent article we posted on the issue of software patents. To support the continued fight against software patents, we are happy to announce that the ESP campaign pages have been completely revamped! In this brief post, we will go over the main changes that you should know about.

          ESP has been active for many years, campaigning and influencing public policies around the world. The campaign has been extremely influential, and has become known as one of the most popular global campaigns against software patents, especially after publishing Patent Absurdity, a documentary that demonstrated the severity of the issue. So far, it has been able to influence important court rulings and policy decisions on software patents in a positive direction. However, a major challenge that ESP had to face was to attract people who were not familiar with the legal aspects of software. The main target audience consisted mainly of developers, lawyers, and people related to the software industry. But this wasn't optimal, because software patents ultimately affect every single software user.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • What a copyright license can do

            Copyright allows you to restrict redistribution, and copyright licenses allow you to (wholly or provisionally) lift those restrictions. That’s all it can do. Again, don’t shoot the messenger on that.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Limbo

          Limbo is a programming language intended for applications running distributed systems on small computers.

          It supports modular programming, strong type checking at compile- and run-time, interprocess communication over typed channels, automatic garbage collection, and simple abstract data types. Syntactically similar to C, it has several features that make it simpler, safer and yet more powerful and better suited to the development of concurrent, distributed systems. Limbo borrows from, among other things, C (expression syntax and control flow), Pascal (declarations), Winterbottom’s Alef (abstract data types and channels), and Hoare’s CSP and Pike’s Newsqueak (processes).

          The language is designed for safe execution even on small machines without hardware memory protection.

          For several architectures, including Intel x86 and MIPS, Limbo object programs are transformed on-the-fly into instructions for the underlying hardware.

        • Unicode in C

          Unicode is a globally used standard for character encoding. It is specifically used to assign some code to every character in every linguistic worldwide. There are many other encoding standards. Unfortunately, not a single encoding standard can be applied to all worldwide languages. So, Here comes the Unicode encoding standard that makes sure to fetch and syndicate any data information by utilizing any grouping of linguistics. Unicode encoding is required at all web-based platforms and in different languages, i.e., XML, Java, JavaScript, etc. There are 2 most used Unicode implementations for PCs, i.e., UTF-8 and UTF-16.

        • Turn any website into a Linux desktop app with open source tools

          Mastodon is a great open source, decentralised social network. I use Mastodon every day, and it's probably most common to use Mastodon through its web interface (although being open source, there are many different ways to interact with it, including terminal-based applications and mobile apps), but I prefer dedicated application windows.

          Recently, I discovered Nativefier, and I can now enjoy Mastodon, or any other web app, as a desktop application on my Linux desktop. Nativefier takes a URL and wraps it with the Electron framework, which runs the open source Chromium browser as its backend but runs as its own executable application. Nativefier is licensed under the MIT license and is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

        • USBImager Download, Best Alternative to Etcher

          Under Linux there are many ways to put a bootable image on a USB stick or SD card. On the command line, the tool of choice is dd , which stands for disk dump and reads and writes hard disks, partitions or files bit by bit below the file system level. If you use dd , you should be sure that you are using the right device, because once dd has been started, the target is mercilessly overwritten without confirmation.

          In recent years, some graphical tools have become fashionable for creating bootable USB sticks. Some distributions offer their own tools, others are independent of the distribution or operating system. Rufus has been available for Windows for 10 years, the balenaEtcher, or Etcher for short, which is available for Linux, macOS and Windows and is recommended to beginners under Linux, is more broadly based. Etcher can be operated both graphically and via CLI.

        • Python

          • Python Ditches The GILs And Comes Ashore | Hackaday

            The Python world has been fractured a few times before. The infamous transition from version 2 to version 3 still affects people today, and there could be a new schism in the future. [Sam Gross] proposed a solution to drop the Global Interrupt Lock (GIL), which would have enormous implications for many projects that leverage the CPython internals, such as Pandas and NumPy.

            The fact that Python is interpreted is a double edge sword. It means there can be different runtimes, such as Pyston, Cinder, MicroPython, PyPy, and others, that might support the whole language, a specific version, or a subset. But if you’re using Python, you’re probably running CPython. And it has something known as global interpreter lock that affects threaded code. In a nutshell, only one thread can run in the interpreter at a time. There are some ways around it, such as moving performance-critical sections to C or having multiple interpreters. However, most existing solutions come with considerable downsides.

  • Leftovers

    • Just Breathe
    • On Film, a Window Into Haiti

      Haitian writer, actor, and director Gessica Généus began her career as a 17-year-old struggling to support her final years of school in Port-au-Prince by starring in a telenovela-style film about a haughty upper-class sister who thwarts a relationship between her brother and the family’s maid. That film, Barikad, launched Généus’s career and led her to take on leading roles in the critically acclaimed hits of Haiti’s film renaissance in the 2000s like Does the President Have Aids? and The Loves of a Zombie. After the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010, she moved to Paris and studied acting in Paris for two years before eventually moved into directing.

    • Opinion | The Leaf Blower and the Robocall: America's Social Predicament

      In the past couple of weeks, the national media briefly paused from its laser-like focus on Gabby Petito to notice that California was phasing out the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers by 2024. Not only that, but by that same date—gasp!—gas-powered lawn mowers will no longer be sold.

    • Advertising Is Content: Taskmaster Edition

      Many, many years ago on Techdirt, I wrote a lot about the idea of advertising being content (and content being advertising). The general idea was that, without captive audiences any more, you had to make your advertising into really good content that people would actually like, rather than find it annoying and intrusive.

    • People Watching

      The only piece in their revolutionary comedic repertoire that Mike Nichols and Elaine May chose never to record was called “Pirandello.” As a result, the 18-minute meta-theatrical sketch lives on only in the mythical retellings of those lucky enough to have seen it onstage in the early 1960s.

    • Martin J. Sherwin (1937–2021)

      I first met Martin J. Sherwin—who died last month at the age of 84—back in the early 1980s, when I was an associate editor of The Nation. Victor Navasky got him to write a long essay that appeared as a cover story: “Hiroshima and Modern Memory” (October 10, 1981). It was quite simply brilliant—and read today, it remains brilliant. The author shared a Pulitzer Prize with Martin J. Sherwin in 2006.

    • Zillow, facing big losses, quits flipping houses and will lay off a quarter of its staff.

      The announcement was a major strategic retreat and a black eye for Richard Barton, Zillow’s chief executive, who founded the company 16 years ago and has long talked about transitioning Zillow’s popular website into a marketplace. Last year, Mr. Barton predicted Zillow Offers, which made instant offers on homes in a practice known as iBuying, could generate $20 billion a year.

      On Tuesday, Zillow, which said it has 8,000 employees, said the division had been the source of huge losses and had made the company’s overall bottom line unpredictable. Zillow Offers lost more than $420 million in the three months ending in September, roughly the same amount that the company had earned in total during the prior 12 months.

    • Science

      • A 14-year-old won a prestigious award for his discoveries on 'antiprime' numbers

        For his winning project, Akilan wrote a computer program that has the potential to make everyday tasks online run more smoothly and efficiently. The program he created can calculate antiprime numbers, which are highly divisible numbers with more than 1,000 digits, and he discovered a new class of functions to analyze these numbers' divisibility.

      • Martin Kulldorff has joined the Brownstone Institute

        Martin Kulldorff is one of the three scientists who, after having been brought together by the right wing “free market” libertarian-leaning “think tank” American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) for a long weekend confab at its headquarters in Barrington, MA in October 2020. There they drafted the Great Barrington Declaration to tell the world what should be done about the COVID-19 pandemic. It should therefore be no surprise that Kulldorff recently announced that he’s joining the ideological offspring of AIER, the Brownstone Institute, as Senior Scientific Director. What is the Brownstone Institute, and what does this mean? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first I feel obligated to provide a little background.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Vintage Computers With A Real Turbo | Hackaday

        In prior centuries, it was common practice to tie the operation of a program to a computer’s clock speed. As computers got faster and faster, the programs tied to that slower clock speed sometimes had trouble running. To patch the issue temporarily, some computers in the early 90s included a “TURBO” button which actually slowed the computer’s clock speed down in order to help older software run without breaking in often unpredictable ways. [Ted Fried] decided that he would turn this idea on its head, though, by essentially building a TURBO button into the hardware of old computers which would greatly increase the execution speed of these computers without causing software mayhem.

      • Autonomous Drone Dodges Obstacles Without GPS | Hackaday

        If you’re [Nick Rehm], you want a drone that can plan its own routes even at low altitudes with unplanned obstacles blocking its way. (Video, embedded below.) And or course, you build it from scratch.

        Why? Getting a drone that can fly a path and even return home when the battery is low, signal is lost, or on command, is simple enough. Just go to your favorite retailer, search “gps drone” and you can get away for a shockingly low dollar amount. This is possible because GPS receivers have become cheap, small, light, and power efficient. While all of these inexpensive drones can fly a predetermined path, they usually do so by flying over any obstacles rather than around.

      • Keep Calm And Hack On: The Philosophy Of Calm Technology | Hackaday

        So much smart-tech is really kind of dumb. Gadgets intended to simplify our lives turn out to complicate them. It often takes too many “clicks” to accomplish simple tasks, and they end up demanding our attention. Our “better mousetraps” end up kludgy messes that are brittle instead of elegant and robust.

        The answer might not be faster or newer technology, but a 30-year-old philosophy. Some great thinkers at Xerox PARC, the place where, among other things, the computer mouse was invented, developed principles they called Calm Technology.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Medical Translation Without Trust

        Adriana sat quietly looking at the floor with her young son, Pablo, beside he. She looked tired. The two had come in for a follow-up appointment for advice on Pablo’s autism medication. The clinician in the room did not speak Spanish, this family’s mother tongue, so they waited in a polite, mildly uncomfortable silence as a translator dialed in over the phone. The visit commenced. Questions were asked, answered in monosyllables; rinse, repeat. Finally, the young patient lifted his head: “Where’s Pilar?” This story was produced for Student Nation, a program of The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism dedicated to highlighting the best of student journalism. For more Student Nation, check out our archive or learn more about the program here. StudentNation is made possible through generous funding from The Puffin Foundation. If you’re a student and you have an article idea, please send pitches and questions to [email€ protected].

      • 'Invisible Toxic Cocktail' in Tap Water Across US Due to 'Regulatory Capture': Analysis

        Millions of people throughout the United States "are unwittingly drinking water that includes an invisible toxic cocktail made up of contaminants linked to cancer, brain damage, and other serious health harms," according to the Environmental Working Group, which updated its nationwide€ Tap Water Database€ on Wednesday.

        "Our government needs to wake up to the fact that clean water is a human right."

      • Democrats Add Weaker Paid Leave and Drug Pricing Plans Back Into Reconciliation
      • Progressives Cautiously Welcome Drug Pricing Agreement as 'Something to Build On'

        Progressive U.S. lawmakers and healthcare reform campaigners on Wednesday cautiously welcomed Senate Democrats' unanimous compromise agreement to allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain pharmaceutical drugs as a "positive step forward," while stressing that much more must be done to protect Americans from Big Pharma price gouging.

        "This is real progress, and it gives Congress something to build on, setting us up to continue to take action that curbs the pharmaceutical industry's greed and profiteering."

      • Sapiens Author Warns That Human Brains Could Be Hacked if AI Is Not Regulated

        "To hack a human being is to get to know that person better than they know themselves. And based on that, to increasingly manipulate you," Harari says. And warned that "It's data about what's happening inside my body. What we have seen so far, it's corporations and governments collecting data about where we go, who we meet, what movies we watch. The next phase is surveillance going under our skin."

        Speaking to Anderson Cooper of CBS, Harari commented on the way global data is handled and where exactly all of our data is stored. He added that "the world is increasingly kind of cut up into spheres of data collection, of data harvesting. In the Cold War, you had the Iron Curtain. Now we have the Silicon Curtain, that the world is increasingly divided between the USA and China, does your data go to California or does it go to Shenzhen and to Shanghai and to Beijing?"

      • I was terrified of an eyeball injection

        I’ve been a bit freaked out over the last couple of months. I needed to inject a medication directly into my eyeball. My. Damned. Eyeball! I’d never heard anyone talk about this procedure before, and I’d like to share my experiences. Maybe it can help you be less clueless about it than I was.

        It’s my 30-years-living-with-diabetes anniversary this year, and I’ve been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. It’s a long-term complication causing too many small blood vessels to form and begin to leak in the back of the eye. The prospects, if left untreated, are a gradual loss of sight and ultimately blindness. It’s treated by injecting a medication that stops new blood vessels from forming into the eye itself.

        It was a slow build-up to the actual diagnosis. My eye doctor was worried about the development in my left eye and referred me to a specialist clinic. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter informing me about the date and itinerary for my visit. At the bottom of the list, they’d included “and possibly an injection” with no further details.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • ‘Sideloading is a cyber criminal’s best friend,’ according to Apple’s software chief

          Federighi, who oversees Apple’s iOS and macOS software divisions, was specifically protesting the European Commission’s proposed Digital Markets Act, which, if passed, would require Apple to let users install apps outside of the iOS App Store. According to Federighi, the lack of sideloading is what separates Apple’s relatively low rate of malware on iOS from the “5 million Android attacks per month,” and that if Apple were forced to let users install their own apps, “the floodgates are open for malware.”

        • Top cyber official reports 'decrease' in Russian cyberattacks against US groups [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology, told reporters at the White House in September that “discussions with the Russians continue,” and stressed that Biden is “looking for action with regard to addressing cyber activity.”

        • Stop spending so much time being trolled by billionaire corporations!

          However, mostly, the industry moved in a different direction. They took control of what you see and read. Brilliant engineers are hard at work making sure that you remain glued to your screen. So they find content that you may like and push it to you. Google closed Google Reader, decimating the RSS reader community. Whereas you could count on the Google search engine delivering the documents containing the keywords you are search, you are increasingly facing a curated list of links.

          We are back at a push model which is not unlike how things were when I was a kid. The likes of Twitter, Facebook and Google feel like they get to decide what I see.

        • Dissecting supply chain attacks in the aftermath of the solarwinds hack: Who will guard the guards? [iophk: Windows TCO]

          What has been labelled as one of the most advanced intrusion attacks in the past 20 years, has brought more questions than answers, but it has also given organisations a chance to reorient their security policies and move to an approach that embraces protection of identity and applications, while ensuring that their data is accessible, at its core, only to them.

        • Security

          • Features of Grype Vulnerability Scanner For Container Images & Filesystems

            Note: Currently, Grype is built only for macOS and Linux.

          • Chinese hacking contest reveals weaknesses in iPhones, Windows and other tech we use every day

            Operating systems and software are put through thorough testing before public release. That doesn’t mean flaws don’t fall through the cracks. Hackers can exploit some of those flaws, forcing the developer to issue a quick update to patch them. Tap or click here for signs your device has been hacked.

            It is also not common for people who don’t work in the cybersecurity industry to discover these flaws. After all, they are professionals who have made it their job to root out vulnerabilities.

            So, when a hacking contest in China revealed significant problems in popular tech, it was a stark reminder that our devices are always at risk.

          • Top 6 Vulnerability Scanning Tools |

            Computer systems, software, applications, and other network interfaces are vulnerable to various threats. Failure to find these vulnerabilities can lead to the downfall of the company.

            Hence, businesses conduct regular vulnerability assessments for their websites and networks to identify existing loopholes and weaknesses.

            The assessment results can help developers and network administrators understand the security issues and implement the necessary defensive measures against the potential threats.

            This article will go more in-depth on what a vulnerability scanner is. We’ll also provide six of the best open-source vulnerability scanning tools that are free and adaptable to various operating systems.

          • Linux Foundation LFX: secrets-in-code down, DEI-inclusivity up - Open Source Insider

            The Linux Foundation has enhanced its free LFX Security offering.

            This is all about being able to give open source projects more ways to secure their code.

            Security comes in more than one form these days, so it’s also about reduce non-inclusive language.

            The LFX platform hosts community tools for security, fundraising, community growth, project health and mentorship etc.

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

            • On “Trojan Source” Attacks

              There is a paper making the rounds, with a slick accompanying web site, in which the authors describe a software supply chain attack they call “Trojan Source: Invisible Vulnerabilities”. In short, if you use comments containing Unicode LTR and RTL code points, which control whether text is rendered left-to-right or right-to-left, you can make code look different in a standard Unicode rendering than it does to a program ignoring the comments.

              The authors claim this is “a new type of attack” that “cannot be perceived directly by human code reviewers” and “pose[s] an immediate threat”, and they propose that compilers should be “upgraded to block this attack.” None of this is true.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Surprising, But Important: Facebook Sorta Shuts Down Its Face Recognition System

              A month ago, I highlighted how Facebook seemed uniquely bad attaking a long term view and publicly committing to doing things that are good for the world, but bad for Facebook in the short run . So it was a bit surprising earlier this week to see Facebook (no I'm not calling it Meta, stop it) announce that it was shutting down its Face Recognition system and (importantly) deleting over a billion "face prints" that it had stored.

            • Clearview Finally Submits AI For Independent Testing; Only Tests Feature It Isn't Actually Selling

              At long last, Clearview has finally had its AI tested by an independent party. It has avoided doing this since its arrival on the facial recognition scene, apparently content to bolster its reputation by violating state privacy laws, making statements about law enforcement efficacy that are immediately rebutted by law enforcement agencies, and seeing nothing wrong with scraping the open web for personal information to sell to government agencies, retailers, and bored rich people.

            • Zoom to start showing ads to some free users

              "Users will see a banner on Zoom's website that provides a link that takes them to our cookie management tool," the company added.

              The company said it has updated its Privacy Statement to account for this advertising programme.

            • Facebook’s facial recognition program is shutting down

              Facebook announced on Tuesday (Nov. 2) that it is shutting down its facial recognition software program. The company has been using the technology for a decade—much to the concern of privacy advocates, civil liberties groups, and regulators—to identify individuals in photos.

              Facebook said it will delete facial recognition data entirely for 1 billion of its users over concerns about its potential misuse by governments and private actors. “There are many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society, and regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use,” wrote Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Meta, Facebook’s parent company, in a blog post. He wrote there are some narrow use cases—like helping users into locked accounts—where Facebook will explore using the technology in the future, and publicly disclose those efforts.

            • Yuval Harari warns humans will be "hacked" if artificial intelligence is not globally regulated

              Harari says the countries and companies that control the most data will control the world.


              And he points out, the pandemic has opened the door to even more intrusive collection of our data.

            • Facebook, Citing Societal Concerns, Plans to Shut Down Facial Recognition System

              The decision shutters a feature that was introduced in December 2010 so that Facebook users could save time. The facial-recognition software automatically identified people who appeared in users’ digital photo albums and suggested users “tag” them all with a click, linking their accounts to the images. Facebook now has built one of the largest repositories of digital photos in the world, partly thanks to this software.

              Facial-recognition technology, which has advanced in accuracy and power in recent years, has increasingly been the focus of debate because of how it can be misused by governments, law enforcement and companies. In China, authorities use the capabilities to track and control the Uyghurs, a largely Muslim minority. In the United States, law enforcement has turned to the software to aid policing, leading to fears of overreach and mistaken arrests. Some cities and states have banned or limited the technology to prevent potential abuse.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A US Military Jury Is Seeking Clemency for a Guantánamo Detainee
      • GOP Moans Over Delay on $778B for Defense While Denouncing “Tax-and-Spend” Bill
      • Remembering Forgotten Afghanistan

        So, while this country has fled its shameful Afghan War, I, in some sense, am still there. That’s partly because I’ve kept in touch with Afghan women friends and colleagues, some living through the nightmare of the Taliban back again and others improbably here in America, confined in military barracks to await resettlement in the very country that so thoroughly wrecked their own.€ And after all these years, I’d at least like to offer some thoughts on the subject, starting with a little history that most Americans know nothing about.

        So be patient with me.€ War is never over when it‘s over. And it would be wrong to simply leave Afghanistan and its people in the dust of our disastrous departure.€ For me, at least, some thoughts are in order.

      • Decolonizing James Bond

        The cheeky insouciance was still there, but with Casino Royale that set the tone for the Craig era, it became clear such an attitude was a mask that hid a real man, not a caricature of one; a man who could and did, fall in love deeply and truly, was betrayed, and so developed the steely edges of the Bond mystique as a shield for€  his very human vulnerabilities. A far cry indeed from the suave sexism perfected by the original Bond as played by Sean Connery, a role and image tweaked here and there with more or fewer of the nods and winks signaling the machismo that defined the Bond essence, but which€  remained essentially intact over the almost half century of Bond mania before the baton was passed to Craig.

        But with the advent of this latest chapter in Bond history in 2006, the films began to reflect the changing zeitgeist of the 21st century, with Dame Judi Dench as head of MI6, a sexy black woman in the role of Money Penny who was no longer cast as a long-suffering secretary pining for her “James”— and in this final episode of the saga- we get yet another clear indication how far the world has changed by seeing Bond replaced by a 007 who is a sharp and sexy Black woman and M, though once again a man (played by Ralph Fiennes in the last few films)- is tired, old and as Bond quips, has become symbolically “smaller.”

      • Crisis in Sudan is a Lesson for the U.S.

        In “The Four Oxen and the Lion” Aesop tells of a powerful lion who prowls a field in search of a hearty meal. The four oxen who live there stand tail to tail and offer The Lion horns regardless of the direction of the approach. One day, however, an argument causes the the four oxen to go their separate ways. On their own the oxen do not stand a chance against the lion, who picks them off one by one with great ease.

        The moral of the story: united we stand, divided we fall.

      • Cover-up of U.S. Nuclear Sub Collision in South China Sea: a Wake-up Call for East Asia – and the World.

        Fast forward to October 2, 2021, about one year later, and the first patch of grass has been stomped on by the U.S. elephant, trudging stealthily about, far from home in the South China Sea.€  On that day the nuclear-powered attack submarine, the USS Connecticut, suffered serious damage in an undersea incident which the U.S. Navy ascribed to a collision with an undersea object.

        After sustaining damage, the submarine apparently surfaced close to the Paracel Islands which lie only 150 nautical miles from China’s Yulin submarine base in Hainan Province.€  € The Connecticut is one of only three Seawolf class of submarines, which are assumed to be on spying missions.€  But they can be equipped with Intermediate Range (1250-2500 km) Tomahawk cruise missiles which can be armed with nuclear warheads.€  It is claimed that they are not so equipped at present because the Navy’s “policy decisions” have “phased out” their nuclear role, according to the hawkish Center For Strategic and International Studies.

      • Google’s reportedly bidding to be a military cloud provider

        The contract Google is reportedly looking into is one that will open to multiple companies to submit proposals and do work for, and the DoD estimates it could be a multi-billion dollar project. In a document describing what cloud providers will be expected to do, the DoD says that anyone hoping to win a contract will have to “enable access to crucial warfighting data” with a variety of classification levels (including Secret and Top Secret info). Additionally, the program requires that applicants be able to “provide advanced data analytics services that securely enable data-driven and timely decision-making at the tactical level.”

      • The West’s China Complex: Beijing as the Enemy and the Savior

        This is one of numerous reports appearing in recent weeks in Western mainstream media, all motivated by recently published economic indicators pointing to less-than-expected growth in various sectors of the Chinese economy, especially in the field of construction.

        It is understandable that the volatility of global markets could instigate immediate concern among economists worldwide, especially when the economic output of a country the size of China – the world’s overall fastest-growing and second-largest economy – stalls, however briefly.

    • Environment

      • Is the Global Methane Pledge Just “Words on Paper”?

        This column is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration cofounded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

      • Opinion | The Limits of Economic Growth and the Climate Crisis

        Since the nineteenth century, human society has experienced extraordinary but uneven economic growth thanks to the energy unleashed from fossil fuels. That growth, and the greenhouse gasses released from fossil-fuel use, has also created the current climate crisis. The conventional solution put forward to this crisis, a putative compromise between economic and environmental imperatives, has been to maintain economic growth but on the basis of sustainable energy sources.

      • Climate change grips trout streams across the nation: How anglers are responding

        An angler of 20 years, McCool has done this more times than he can count. He never tires of the sensation. The clear waters of the Au Sable, which courses across 138 miles of northern Michigan forest, is one of the country’s renowned places to cast a fly. It’s a river so revered as a trout fishery that in 1959 a group of Au Sable fisherman formed Trout Unlimited, now the country’s premier advocacy organization to protect cold-water streams in Michigan and nationwide.

      • Niinistö: Finland to nearly double climate financing to developing countries

        Finland, he revealed, will almost double its climate financing for developing countries and promote the integration of climate action to national budgeting in its capacity as co-chair of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. The country paid a total of 147 million euros in climate finance to developing countries in 2019, according to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

        “Many truly impactful measures lie in this domain,” he stated.

      • Why We Need Environmental Justice at the Heart of Climate Action
      • Green Party condemns “voluntary carbon markets” as Empire 2.0

        Molly Scott Cato, Green Party Finance and Economy speaker and former MEP, said:€ 

      • Uproot the System: Filipina Activist Mitzi Tan on How Capitalism & Colonialism Fuel Climate Crisis

        We speak to Mitzi Tan, a climate activist based in the Philippines, who will join Greta Thunberg of Sweden and Vanessa Nakate of Uganda in speaking at a major march and rally in Glasgow on Saturday. Among their demands are reparations from the Global North to the Global South to help rebuild the lives of those most impacted by the climate crisis. Tan has recently protested outside the offices of Standard Chartered Bank in London, which funds the most fossil fuel companies based in the Philippines, which she says contributes directly to their yearly typhoons that cause insurmountable destruction. “At this point, none of us have a choice. We all have to join the struggle of the most marginalized,” says Tan.

      • Hurricane LUMA: Puerto Ricans Fight Big Coal & Privatized Energy Amid Climate Disasters, Blackouts

        As we cover the fight against Big Coal with climate activists attending the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, we look at the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which has experienced some of the most extreme weather over the last two decades. Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s electrical grid four years ago and left residents in the dark for months. The fragile power system is still unreliable for people, prompting mass protests and renewed calls for lawmakers to move away from dirty power and turn the island into a center for renewable energy, a movement featured in the new film “El poder del pueblo,” or “The Power of the People.” We speak with lawyer and environmental justice advocate Ruth Santiago, who is featured in the film and is a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She lives near Puerto Rico’s largest fossil fuel-burning power complex, that includes the U.S.-owned AES coal plant known as La Carbonera in the municipality of Guayama — home to many of the island’s Afro-Puerto Rican residents. She discusses how they are organizing to expand rooftop solar energy projects amid worsening power outages under the new private consortium LUMA, which she says people now refer to as “Hurricane LUMA.”

      • These 11 Climate Science Deniers are Attending the COP26 Climate Summit

        GLASGOW, SCOTLAND —€ A total 11 climate science deniers have secured passes to the UN COP26 climate summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, including Myron Ebell, the head of former US President Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency.

        The president of the notorious Heartland Institute, which recently held a rival conference in Las Vegas ahead of the COP26 conference, and the head of policy at the UK’s principal climate science denial group are also among those who were given badges.

      • COP26: What It Will Take to be a Success

        No recent COP, perhaps no summit of any consequence in recent years, has even been held under such ominous conditions. Moreover, no host of such a summit has ever been so unwilling to accept and react to the conditions under which this Summit is being held.

        Nevertheless, both Boris Johnson and Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC have continuously stated that success is possible. If that is true, the success of COP26 will be measured by whether States achieve some minimum goals in the areas of ambition, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, and participation.

      • Brazil Climate Delegation Includes Meat Giants Linked to Deforestation, Despite Country’s Pledge to Protect Forests

        Representatives of major Brazilian meat companies linked to Amazon deforestation are among delegates representing the country at the COP26 climate summit.

        Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was among over 100 countries to announce a “landmark” pledge to protect forests on Tuesday at the climate conference, promising to end deforestation by 2030.€ € 

      • Kumi Naidoo at COP26: Will Rich Countries Deliver Pledged Billions for South Africa to Get Off Coal?

        On day three of the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, we look at the fight against Big Coal, starting with leading South African climate activist Kumi Naidoo. South Africa is one of the world’s largest coal producers, and the United States has joined the European Union and other wealthy nations to announce a new deal to provide $8.5 billion to the country to help it decommission its coal plants and invest in renewable energy. “Let’s see if the money actually flows and if those countries actually follow up with that commitment,” says Naidoo, global ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and the former head of Amnesty International and Greenpeace. He says the deal puts pressure on the South African government to “ensure a just transition and make the right investments in wind, solar and other clean energy technologies.”

      • Showing 'Green New Deal Is a Winning Issue,' Michelle Wu Wins Boston Mayoral Race

        "The Green New Deal is only becoming more and more popular and we're so excited that we're seeing its implementation across the country, from all levels of our society."

        "Truly wonderful climate news."

      • Opinion | COP26 Must Address Plastic Pollution
      • Climate Scorecard Shows Insurance Industry 'Pouring Gasoline on the Fire'

        A new analysis of how the insurance industry is managing its policies related to fossil fuels and the climate crisis reveals that major U.S. insurers continue to underwrite "the reckless expansion of oil and gas infrastructure."

        "With the climate in crisis, U.S. insurers are pouring gasoline on the fire," tweeted the Insure Our Future campaign.

      • Opinion | COP26: Can a Singing, Dancing Rebellion Save the World?

        The climate crisis has exposed this system's structural inability to act in the real interests of humanity, even when our very future hangs in the balance.€ € € € € 

      • 'Greenwashing = Murder': Climate Movement Marches Against Polluters' Lies in Glasgow

        Climate campaigners took to the streets of Glasgow on Wednesday to denounce industry-fueled greenwashing efforts they charge are rampant within the COP26 climate summit now taking place in the Scottish city.

        "I'm marching to take a stand against all companies harming the planet while offering inexcusably skewed perceptions of themselves."

      • Energy

        • 'Act of Piracy': Iran Claims It Thwarted US Attempt to Steal Oil in Gulf of Oman

          Iranian forces reportedly foiled an attempt by the United States Navy to capture a tanker in the Gulf of Oman and seize its oil, an alleged ploy that Iran's Press TV characterized as an "abortive act of piracy."

          Without specifying when the events took place, Iran's IRNA news agency reported Wednesday that the U.S. confiscated "an Iranian oil tanker in the Sea of Oman, transferred its oil to another tanker, and [moved] the tanker to an unknown place."

        • Hidden Agenda: the Unspoken Argument for More Nuclear Power

          So here we are again at another COP (Conference of the Parties). Well, some of us are in Glasgow, Scotland at the COP itself, and some of us, this writer included, are sitting at a distance, trying to feel hopeful.

          But this is COP 26. That means there have already been 25 tries at dealing with the once impending and now upon us climate crisis. Twenty five rounds of “blah, blah, blah” as youth climate activist, Greta Thunberg, so aptly put it.

        • South Africa secured $8.5 billion to transition away from coal. It’ll be a test case.

          “This is a big deal,” said Jesse Burton, an energy policy researcher and senior associate at the University of Cape Town and E3G, a research group that focuses on climate change. “It’s a major test of whether wealthy nations can help developing countries embark on a just transition away from coal.”

          South Africa, the world’s 15th-largest emitter, relies overwhelmingly on coal, which supplies 87 percent of the nation’s electricity. While the country has pledged to reduce its overall carbon dioxide emissions between now and 2030 as part of global efforts to tackle climate change, it faces enormous obstacles in doing so.

        • A 15-year-old girl invented a solar ironing cart that's winning global respect

          And so the Iron-Max was born. It's a blue-painted cart shaped like an iron box with solar panels fitted on its roof. It's attached to a bicycle to allow vendors to move through the neighborhood to collect clothes to press. Five hours of bright sunshine is enough to operate the iron for six hours. The energy can be stored in a battery to provide power on cloudy days. The cart also has a coin-operated cellphone and a cellphone charging point where people can pay to recharge their phones to supplement vendors' earnings.

          Umashankar and her solar-powered ironing cart are now getting global recognition. On Tuesday, she gave a powerful 5-minute speech at COP26, the U.N.'s climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in which she urged world leaders to stop talking and start acting. She reminded them about how monumental their actions would be for her generation.

        • How cement may yet help slow global warming

          The place to start is where emissions are greatest. Cement production begins with the quarrying of limestone, the main component of which is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This is mixed with clay and passed through a rotating kiln at more than 1,400ۼC in a process called calcination. The heat drives off the carbon and part of the oxygen, which combine to form CO2. The remaining lumps, called clinker, are made of molecular complexes of calcium oxide and silica, known collectively as calcium silicates. The clinker is then cooled and milled into cement. More than half the emissions involved in cement-making are a consequence of calcination, and most of the rest result from burning coal and other fossil fuels to power the process (see chart). All told, nearly one tonne of CO2 is released for every tonne of cement made.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Can the Wolf Unite Us? Environmental Leadership in Polarized Times

          The urgency of “the wolf situation” in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Wisconsin – though one could enlarge that list – has pushed reflection on how contemporary society might alternatively relate to the awe-inspiring apex predator, the grey wolf. That evocation, then, opens onto the more generalized one of how we might create a new environmentalism. As I have lived the entirety of my adult life in the northern reaches of the Rocky Mountains of the United States, and more specifically in Montana, I will speak from that embodied knowledge, but its greater geographic applicability will be obvious.

          First, the wolf.

        • Conservationists Challenge Massive Deforestation Project in Boise’s Most Popular Recreation Area

          The Sage Hen project encompasses nearly 67,800 acres (106 square miles!) and involves commercial logging on nearly 20,000 acres, prescribed burning on 35,000 to 45,000 acres, and bulldozing up to 83.1 miles of roads in Boise’s most popular recreation area.

          Yet, despite the enormous size of the project, the Forest Service did not disclose where the logging, the new logging roads, or prescribed burns would take place. That’s a significant concern since the landscape and watersheds in this vast area provide a great diversity of essential wildlife habitat due to the broad range of existing native vegetation and a large roadless wildland area. This habitat diversity is reflected in the many sensitive species, migratory bird species, and other wildlife that occupy the area.

    • Finance

      • Sanders Slams Democrats’ Tax Break for the Wealthy as “Beyond Unacceptable”
      • Thumbs... Up: Kyrsten Sinema's Hometown of Tucson Approves $15 Minimum Wage by Nearly 2-to-1 Margin

        Just months after her now-infamous thumbs-down vote on a similar measure at the federal level, the people of U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's hometown of Tucson, Arizona overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative on Tuesday to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

        According to unofficial results posted by the city, Proposition 206 passed with approximately 60% of the vote compared to roughly 32% who rejected it.

      • Latin America Should Pull Out of the World Bank's Corporate-Dominated Trade Court

        In September, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional bloc founded in 2010 as an alternative to the U.S.-backed Organization of American States (OAS),€  met in Mexico City — its first summit since 2017.

        As José Steinsleger, a writer for Mexico€´s La Jornada newspaper, puts it, “the initiative was made possible thanks to state leaders’ conviction that, without unity, Latin America is doomed to keep digging the economic and social hole it’s in.”

      • How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control

        We must stop this vicious cycle — and demand an economy that works for the many, not one that concentrates more and more wealth in the hands of a privileged few.€ 

      • These Billionaires Received Taxpayer-Funded Stimulus Checks During the Pandemic

        In March 2020, as the first wave of coronavirus infections all but shut down the U.S. economy, Congress responded with rare speed, passing a $2.2 trillion relief package called the CARES Act. The centerpiece of the law was an emergency payment to over 150 million American households that needed help.

        Congress used a simple filter to determine who was eligible for assistance: The full $1,200 was limited to single taxpayers who’d reported $75,000 a year or less in income on their previous tax return. Married couples got $2,400 if they had reported less than $150,000 in income. Money was sent automatically to those who qualified.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Left Coalition Says McAuliffe Campaign Was a 'Controlled Experiment for What Not to Do in 2022'

        A coalition of progressive advocacy organizations warned Wednesday that conservative Democrat Terry McAuliffe's failed gubernatorial bid in Virginia offers a cautionary lesson for the rest of the party ahead of next year's midterms: Either excite voters with a bold agenda or risk losing power to the GOP.

        "Give people something to vote for or watch yourselves become the very thing they resoundingly vote against."

      • Those Indecent Republicans

        It didn’t take long before someone tagged me with the name Dickybird, Dickie being a nickname for Richard. Of course, the other kids thought the strange-sounding name was a hoot, and Dickybird I was.

        Nicknames stick. Now President Joe Biden has become a target of a singularly mean epithet, and I don’t mean Donald Trump’s label for him as “sleepy.”

      • Democratic Incumbent Governor Murphy Squeezes Out Win in New Jersey
      • Voters Will Punish Democrats If They Don't Deliver on Their Promises
      • 'Time Is Really Running Out': Democrats Urged to Counteract GOP's Gerrymandering Spree

        As redistricting kicks into full gear and GOP-controlled states follow Texas' anti-democratic playbook this week by advancing congressional and state legislative maps that would disenfranchise communities of color and cement Republican power for at least a decade, voting rights advocates are once again urging Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to swiftly pass federal legislation to reverse partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.

        "Democrats... could soon be powerless to stop the GOP's takeover of the U.S. House and state Capitols for the next decade."

      • Opinion | Democrats Have a Choice: Embrace Progressive Populism or Suffer a Trumpian Fascist Future

        Populism was the big winner in the Virginia election yesterday, after Terry McCauliffe ran on his past as a Bill Clinton Democrat and Glen Youngkin ran as a rightwing populist. As Glen Abernathy noted this morning in The Washington Post:

      • 'We're Going to Beat Rand Paul': Charles Booker Files for US Senate Run in Kentucky

        Progressive Democrat Charles Booker on Wednesday formally filed candidate paperwork to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in Kentucky next year.

        "We need leadership at the federal level that cares about our lives."

      • Opinion | Time Is Running Out to Protect Voting Rights

        President Biden and the Democratic leadership have spent months focusing their energy on getting infrastructure legislation passed. The time has come to pivot to focus the nation’s attention on our constitutional infrastructure and protecting our right to vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently setting the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act for a floor vote, in a final attempt to garner bipartisan support for a suite of voting rights infrastructure bills that have included the For the People Act and most recently, the Freedom to Vote Act.

      • Dems Told to Kill Filibuster After All Senate Republicans But One Block John Lewis Voting Rights Bill

        Calls mounted Wednesday for U.S. Senate Democrats to reform or abolish the filibuster after all but one of the chamber's Republicans blocked yet another voting rights bill.

        "We can protect our democracy, or we can preserve the filibuster."

      • Senators Offer Solution as Progressives Warn SALT Repeal Would Be 'Colossal Mistake'

        As congressional Democrats consider repealing the Trump-era $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction, the advocacy group Progressive Millionaires joined a pair of U.S. senatorss Wednesday in warning against a move the organization says would "overwhelmingly benefit wealthy Americans."

        "No millionaire should be getting a tax cut from this reconciliation bill."

      • The World That Will Greet David Gilbert

        Gilbert was in the getaway vehicle from the infamous€ Brink’s robbery€ in 1981 in Nyack, New York. During that robbery and in its immediate aftermath, two Nyack police officers and a security guard from the Brink’s armored car were killed. He and several of his fellow revolutionaries were apprehended shortly after the robbery took place, a robbery that was discovered by chance by a person gazing out of their window near the armored car heist. Gilbert was defiant when apprehended and at his trial and was given a sentence that would have meant he would have been eligible for parole in 2056, in what would have amounted to a death sentence. He killed no one during and after the robbery. New York law states that an accessory to this kind of felony is as culpable as those who committed murder during the crime. The revolutionaries€ in this robbery€ planned to fund revolutionary activities. Photos of Gilbert in police custody following his apprehension show his swollen and bruised face. The Brink’s robbery was an action carried out by white leftist revolutionaries and Black leftist revolutionaries.

        Gilbert has been a model prisoner during his imprisonment, serving other inmates.€ The US, however, never sought rehabilitation after the bipartisan-driven murder of between three to five million people in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, with over 58,000 from the US dead and Cold War anti-communism in place. No post-World War II reparations were ever provided to those nations in Southeast Asia.

      • Colin Kaepernick, the Virginia Elections, and the Canary in the Coal Mine

        Anything that involves Colin Kaepernick sends GOP officials and their alt-right trolls into a frenzy. Anything that involves speaking about the historical US system of chattel slavery and reminds people of its institutional dehumanization is now immediately grouped under the umbrella of “critical race theory” and makes these same people froth at the mouth. Therefore, it should surprise no one that a clip of Colin Kaepernick comparing the NFL draft combine to a slave auction has sent right-wingers into a rage.

      • Virginia Gubernatorial Winner Encapsulates the Worst Elements of the Modern GOP
      • Opinion | Corporate Democratic So-Called "Centrists" Lost These Races, But They'll Never Admit It

        Terry McAuliffe ran Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2021, but the Virginia voters who went for Clinton in 2016 weren’t buying it this time around. McAuliffe’s attempt to make the election a referendum on Donald Trump was a failure since Trump wasn’t on the ballot. After ten months of Democratic government in Washington, voters saw little action that improved their lives.

      • Progressives on Virginia Loss: Corporate Democrats Have Only Themselves to Blame

        After Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe—a conservative whose campaign was flush with billionaire cash—fell to Republican private equity mogul Glenn Youngkin in Virginia's closely watched gubernatorial race on Tuesday, establishment Democrats wasted no time pinning the blame on progressives.

        The finger-pointing started days before the polls opened in Virginia, a state that has trended blue in recent years and that President Joe Biden won by 10 percentage points in 2020.

      • Lessons From Virginia: You Can’t Ignore the Civil War

        Terry McAuliffe’s defeat in Virginia shows what happens when you are in a war, and only one side fights. The raging battle over whether America is primarily a white nation or whether it is a multiracial democracy continues to define US politics, and we now have painful proof that Democrats’ approach of ignoring the attacks and trying to change the subject to non-racial topics is woefully inadequate.

      • Virginia Is a Wake-Up Call for Democrats Before the Midterms

        I saw Virginia’s November election results on a cool September night in Virginia Beach, but I didn’t want to believe what I was seeing.

      • Preliminary Note on the State of Virginia
      • The U.S. is Showing the World that Democracy Doesn’t Work

        This has been a familiar theme with Biden. In August, after the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill (which is still awaiting House approval), he made a similarly grandiose statement: “This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things.”

        Biden protests too much.

      • The Nation’s John Nichols: Democrats Must Deliver on Promises or Voters Will Punish the Party

        We speak with The Nation’s John Nichols about key outcomes from Tuesday’s election night. In a major blow for Democrats, Republican Glenn Youngkin, who President Biden warned is an extremist in the vein of former President Trump, won the Virginia governor’s race against former Governor Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin campaigned for so-called parents’ rights — a catch-all phrase adopted by right-wing opponents of vaccine and mask mandates, transgender rights and critical race theory. Tuesday’s elections also saw closely watched races in New Jersey, New York City, Buffalo and Boston, where Michelle Wu made history by becoming the first woman and first person of color elected as mayor. Nichols says disappointing results for Democrats are tied to the party’s infighting in Washington and the inability to pass major legislation despite holding the White House and Congress: “You can’t fail to deliver on your promises and then expect to win elections. And that’s a big message for Democrats.”

      • Remote control: Who's in charge of your media life?

        The deeper questions are around how television content is changing our lives and whether it’s for better or worse. On the news side, we worry about disinformation, minimalist reporting of local and international news and a shrinking audience along with a growing sense that people watch only news that reinforces their deeply held opinions.

        In a California study, the impact of people watching FOX News led to a shift in voting behavior toward the Republican Party without consideration of options.

        On the entertainment side, we worry about misshaped cultural norms and the impact on our brains.

        Europeans are questioning the adverse effects of television on behavior and thought. In a study from Norway and Italy, the impact of watching only entertainment resulted in lower IQ scores.

      • ‘On the edge of a cliff’: What voting rights tell us about US democracy

        Earlier this year, I wrote about Georgia’s past and present when it comes to voting rights. Last month the Brennan Center for Justice reported that, so far in 2021, at least 19 states have enacted 33 laws that make voting harder – primarily in states where voting was already fairly difficult. Overall, in this year’s legislative sessions, more than 425 bills restricting voter access have been introduced in 49 states.

      • My thoughts on the Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Bill

        TL;DR — Downloading movies, music and pirated software becomes a crime under this Bill. Failing to moderate online content will also become a crime. Service providers can be compelled to provide access to data and forced not disclose anything. Want to know more then read on!

      • Democrats Can’t Fail to Govern and Expect to Win

        A comprehensive explanation for a deeply disappointing night in the first big test of Democrats’ fortunes since the 2020 election gave the party control over the White House and Congress must incorporate an understanding of emerging Republican strategies and failed Democratic responses. But it cannot neglect the fact that Democrats in Washington have bungled the past several months. Their failure to govern boldly—and effectively—has cost them dearly.

      • Are Nicaraguan Migrants Escaping ‘Repression’—or Economic Sanctions?

        “Record numbers” of migrants are coming into the United States from Nicaragua, according to Newsweek (7/29/21), which blames the increase on “arbitrary arrests and human rights abuses” by the Nicaraguan government. Former Sandinista leader Sergio Ramírez, writing for El Salvador’s El Faro (8/20/21), claims that “repression” by President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government is causing a “dramatic growth” in migration by Nicaraguans.

      • Meet the Nicaraguans Facebook Falsely Branded Bots and Censored Days Before Elections

        MANAGUA, NICARAGUA (The Grayzone) —€ Just days before Nicaragua’s November 7 elections, top social media platforms censored top Nicaraguan news outlets and hundreds of journalists and activists who support their country’s leftist Sandinista government.

      • Lawmakers Call for Immediate Action at Chicago Shelter Housing Afghan Children

        Lawmakers have called for immediate action and a federal investigation into the “mental health crisis” among young Afghan evacuees at a Chicago shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children, where workers say that language and cultural barriers have made it difficult to provide adequate care.

        Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat and Illinois’ senior senator, asked the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general to investigate the situation at a shelter run by the nonprofit Heartland Alliance. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, also an Illinois Democrat, called on HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to have the department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement improve mental health services at the shelter.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The Whole YouTube Radicalizes People Story Doesn't Seem To Have Much Evidence To Back It Up

        There seem to be a lot of "myths" about big internet companies that don't stand up to that much scrutiny, even as they're often accepted as common knowledge. There's the idea that Facebook's algorithm remains in place only because it makes Facebook more money (Facebook's own internal research suggests otherwise), or that disinformation goes viral on social media first (a detailed study showed cable news is a much bigger vector of virality).

      • Facebook ‘Puts Engagement and Growth Before the Health and Welfare of Democracy’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Free Press’s Tim Karr about challenging Facebook for the October 29, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Researchers say a coordinated misinformation campaign on Twitter backed Kenya’s president.

        Last month, reporting on newly disclosed financial documents showed that Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and members of his family were linked to 13 offshore companies with hidden assets of more than $30 million. The findings, part of the leaked documents known as the Pandora Papers, initially generated outrage online among Kenyans.

        But within days, that sentiment was hijacked on Twitter by a coordinated misinformation campaign, according to a new report published by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation. The effort generated thousands of messages supporting the president, whose term is ending, and criticizing the release of the documents.

        “Like clockwork, an alternative sentiment quickly emerged, supporting the president and his offshore accounts,” said Odanga Madung, a fellow at Mozilla and an author of the report.

        “Kenyan Twitter was awash in Pandora Paper astroturfing,” he said.

      • Tucker Carlson’s ‘Patriot Purge’ Is Too Crazy to Believe — and Too Dangerous to Ignore

        The conceit of Patriot Purge is that the real “Americans” — the country’s greatest Patriots — were those who went to Washington on January 6 to join what was to be a peaceful rally protesting the supposed stealing of the 2020 US Presidential Election. They were a multi-racial group of patriotic Americans coming to the capital to voice their concerns. But then Antifa, apparently working in tandem with the FBI, disrupted the peaceful protests with agents provocateurs who urged participants into the capital building. The seditious “deep state” has in this way entrapped the country’s warriors, who are now the subject of government targeting that was honed during the War on Terror.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Appeals Court Doesn't Seem To Like Much About A Criminal Defamation Law Police Used To Arrest A Critic

        Three years ago, cops in New Hampshire arrested Robert Frese for the crime of… insulting some cops. Frese, facing a suspended sentence for smashing the window of a neighbor's car, left a comment on a local news site, claiming Exeter Police Chief William Shupe was a "coward" who was "covering for dirty cops."

      • Roku is booting Pornhub and cutting off other private channels

        The company announced last week that it would be removing so-called “non-certified channels” by March of 2022. The change comes as Roku introduces new tools for developers, including a new independent developer kit that operates separately from its primary software developer kit for commercial-use channels. It also announced that it’s launching new beta testing capabilities that will allow app makers to run tests on their apps before making the changes live on the service.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Supreme Court Reform Commission Delays Final Report Publication to December 15
      • India Walton’s Mayoral Defeat in Buffalo Sets Dangerous Precedents for the Left
      • SCOTUS Likely to Allow Challenge to Texas Law, But May Still Overturn "Roe"
      • 'Black Lives Matter,' Says Merkley, Voting With Markey Against Rahm Emanuel Ambassadorship

        Progressive U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley on Wednesday came out in opposition to Rahm Emanuel's nomination as United States ambassador to Japan, with Merkely citing the former Chicago mayor's record—which includes trying to cover up the 2014 police murder of Black teen Laquan McDonald—as the reason for his decision.

        "Black Lives Matter,"€ Merkley (D-Ore.) explained in a statement. "Here in the halls of Congress, it is important that we not just speak and believe these words, but put them into action in the decisions we make."

      • Major Police Overhaul Goes Down in Minneapolis, But Austin and Cleveland Advocates Notch Wins

        "Regardless of tonight's outcome, there's broad agreement that Minneapolis residents want more tools for public safety. There's also consensus that the status quo is not an option."

        The grassroots group Black Visions Collective applauded the "historic" Yes on 2 campaign, which helped push nearly 44% of Minneapolis voters to support Question 2 after launching a petition to demand the question be included on the ballot.

      • Ordering food on an app is easy. Delivering it could mean injury and theft

        A recent survey of 500 delivery workers conducted by the Worker's Justice Project and Cornell University found that more than half have had an accident or crash while doing a delivery. Three in four delivery workers said they paid for medical care from a work-related injury out of their own pocket. Half said they have had their bikes stolen.

        Now, during late night shifts, delivery workers cross bridges in large packs to ward off would-be thieves, Ajche said.

        In the first nine months of 2021, ten delivery cyclists have died, according to the Worker's Justice Project. That includes one who died after a hit and run in Brooklyn and another worker who was stabbed to death.

      • A relic of Jim Crow: Tipping has overstayed its welcome

        As someone who lives abroad, I received a piece of soon-to-be important advice before coming to campus: Be prepared to tip everywhere. I was told that it was because the minimum wage was lower for certain professions like waiting tables — a policy choice made with the misplaced hope that tips from customers made up the difference. The uniquely American institution of tipping was jarring.

        Despite being forewarned, it still came as a bit of a culture shock when I was prompted to tip before receiving a service. Gratuity was still supposed to be in exchange for good service, right? How am I supposed to know before the service has been rendered? These questions were swirling in my head. But hey, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

        Even so, I decided to read up on this decidedly American custom. I was taken aback to find that tipping was considered “un-American” in the past according to Kerry Segrave’s book “Tipping: An American Social History of Gratuities.” Confused? So was I.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Who Controls the Internet? And should they?

        Why do I tell you this stuff? In this presentation I’m going to spread a lot of love or mostly hate on various countries and various companies and on how they run the [Internet]. And I want you to be sure that you know I’m only speaking on behalf of myself and on behalf of no one else.

        During this time as an open source developer and a government worker, I have seen quite a bit of the [Internet] and who may be controlling it or not.

        So who controls the [Internet]? We all have our dreams, our hopes, our heroes on the [Internet], but also our favorite enemies of the [Internet].

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Nintendo's YouTube Video For Its Switch Online Upgrade Is Its Most Hated Video Ever

        Well, this is moving fast. We had just been discussing Nintendo's announcement for a new tier of Nintendo Switch Online services. While there are several extras added in for the $50 per year tier, a 150% increase in cost from the base subscription, the real star of the show was supposed to be the Nintendo 64 games that are now included in it. As we discussed, however, the list of N64 games on offer is very limited and there are all kinds of problems with the games that are offered. Those problems include graphical issues, scaling issues, controller lag issues, controller mapping issues, and multiplayer lag. You know... everything. When you put all of that side by side with Nintendo's concentrated efforts to obliterate emulation sites from the internet, the end result is that Nintendo decided to deprive the public of pirated classic games in order to sell them a vastly inferior product.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Open Minds Podcast: Tyler Green of The Modern Art Notes Podcast

          In this episode, CC’s Ony Anukem sits down for a conversation with award-winning author, historian and art critic, Tyler Green. Tyler is also the producer/host of The Modern Art Notes podcast, described by The Washington Post as “one of the great resources for all art lovers.” Tyler is an avid Creative Commoner, and since launching the podcast in 2011, it has been released, licensed CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

        • OnlyFans 'Models' Drop Piracy Liability Lawsuit Against Cloudflare

          Niece Waidhofer, Ryuu Lavitz and OMGcosplay have dropped their lawsuit against Cloudflare. The OnlyFans creators accused the CDN provider of facilitating access to photos that leaked on the now-defunct Thothub website. The reason for the dismissal is unknown, but recent legal developments may have played a role.

        • Pirates Seem Happy to Trust Applinked But Caution May Be Advised

          Following the closure of the popular Filelinked service at the hands of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, those looking to easily install piracy apps on Android devices turned to alternatives. One of those is Applinked, a similar tool that has attracted an enthusiastic audience. But should services like this be taken simply on trust or is a greater level of caution advised?

        • How AI is Hijacking Art History

          Or, at the very least, media outlets have come to realize that news of “mysteries solved” and “hidden treasures revealed” generate traffic and clicks.

          So I’m never surprised when I see AI-assisted revelations about famous masters’ works of art go viral.

        • Google News Returning To Spain, As Awful 'Inalienable' Snippets Tax Is Replaced With Marginally Less Awful EU Copyright Directive

          Back in 2014, Spain brought in a Google tax. It was even worse than Germany's, which was so unworkable that it was never applied fully. Spain's law was worse because it created a right for publishers to be paid by "news aggregators" that was "inalienable". That is, publishers could not waive that right -- they had to charge. That negated the point of Creative Commons licenses, which are designed to allow people to use material without paying. Subsequent research showed that Spain's snippet tax was a disaster for publishers, especially the smaller ones.

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the president's kangaroo court
Up Next: The Tricky Relationship Between the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO and the European Patent Organisation (EPO)
We've moved from presidents who run a republic by consent to corrupt, unqualified, dictatorial officials who bribe for the seat (buying the votes)
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 02, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, March 02, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
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Italy visa & residence permit: Albanian Outreachy, Wikimedia & Debian tighten control over woman
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock