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Links 11/12/2021: KDE With Qt6, Godot 4.0 Alpha Coming

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP Chromebase Makes Chrome OS Desktops a Smart Choice

        Chrome OS is built on a Gentoo Linux-based operating system. But Chrome OS users do not need any knowledge of Linux. The Chrome OS interface is familiar to anyone who has used the Chrome web browser.

      • [Older] The best Linux distros for 2021

        Linux is a powerful and fully customizable operating system with an endless number of distributions that differ significantly from one another, offering complete personalization for all applications. Trust us — it gives MacOS and Windows a run for their money.

        When choosing a Linux system, it’s common to pick a distribution, or “distro,” that compiles all the open-source features you want into one installation package. The number of distros that Linux has would take way too much time for you to sift through. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best distros that Linux has to offer.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Avoid Boot Loops, Try Librem 5 Serial – Purism

        Debugging a Librem 5 that boots is pretty easy–just open a terminal or access the serial console over USB. But if you are doing kernel development or porting alternative OSes to the Librem 5, you might end up with a Librem 5 that won’t boot far enough to load regular diagnostic tools. When that happens it’s time for raw serial access.

      • LHS Episode #443: The Weekender LXXXIII

        It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install Zabbix on Debian 11 Bullseye with MySQL/MariaDB & Apache

        Want to learn how to install Zabbix free and open-source network monitoring tool on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux using Apache, MySQL, and command terminal? Then here is the step-by-step tutorial to follow.

        Well, in the open-source world Nagios is probably one of the best known free and open-source networking monitoring software. However, slowly over the years, Zabbix is steadily taking over the market by offering features enough to compete with other players.

      • How to install Zabbix Agent on Debian 11 Bullseye - Linux Shout

        If you already have a Zabbix server installed and want to monitor any target machine or server then to make things easy use its Agent. Here in this tutorial, we will learn the steps to install Zabbix Agent on Debian 11 Bullseye.

        The Zabbix agent is part of the whole open-source network monitoring tool offered by the developers of it. That is required to actively monitor a target/server or to query its resources (HDD, RAM, CPU, database, general statistics, network, etc.). The agent runs as a service on the server or desktops. It is not necessary because the Zabbix server can also collect information using, for example, SNMP, SSH, IPMI, macros, etc. After that, the admin can evaluate the data of various machines using the web interface. Based on the information provided by the Agent the server part of Zabbix can generate alerts in a case of emergency to admins via various channels (email, SMS, etc.).

      • How to Enable & Disable AppArmor on Linux Mint 20 - LinuxCapable

        Linux Mint distributions come with AppArmor, a Linux kernel security module that allows the system administrator to restrict programs’ capabilities with per-program profiles. Profiles can allow network access, raw socket access, and permission to read, write, or execute files on matching paths. Rhel family users would notice this is similar to Selinux; however, they work differently and have pros and cons.

        The following will cover how to enable and disable AppArmor and individual profiles; usually, most users would not need to adjust any settings with AppArmor, but if the need arises, some simple commands are all needed in the tutorial will explain.

      • How to Customise the GNOME Shell Clock - OMG! Ubuntu!

        GNOME Shell is an eminently customisable desktop environment — even though it’s not always apparent.

        Take the clock.

        Sitting at the top of every modern Ubuntu desktop, this titular timepiece couldn’t be any more conspicuous.

        And yet… The only clock customisation GNOME Shell supports out-of-the-box is a choice of showing a 12 hour clock or a 24 hour clock.

        For most people this is fine. It’s a sane default: it tells you the date and time.

      • How to Install MariaDB 10.7 on CentOS 8 Stream

        MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source databases next to its originator MySQL. The original creators of MySQL developed MariaDB in response to fears that MySQL would suddenly become a paid service due to Oracle acquiring it in 2010. With its history of doing similar tactics, the developers behind MariaDB have promised to keep it open source and free from such fears as what has happened to MySQL.

        MariaDB has become just as popular as MySQL with developers, with advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, faster cache/indexes, storage engines, and features/extensions that you won’t find in MySQL.

      • How to Install PHP 8.1 on CentOS 8 Stream - LinuxCapable

        PHP 8.1 is a significant update of the PHP language that was “officially” released on November 25, 2021. As we advance from the existing PHP 8.0 release, this is a standard upgrade. The new PHP 8.1 brings enums, fibers, never return type, final class constants, intersection types, read-only properties, and a long list of new features and changes.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to import the REMI Module and install PHP 8.1 on CentOS 8 Stream.

      • How to Install and Use Rdiff-backup in RHEL Systems

        Data backup is an important element of successful Linux administration. It is a skill set mastered by most Linux users and administrators. Whether you are after remote or local data backup solutions, it is important to consider the efficiency of a backup tool like Rdiff-backup.

        Rdiff-backup data backup utility is attributed as a cross-platform data backup solution. Therefore, its usability also extends to FreeBSD and macOS operating system platforms. This cross-platform flexibility is partially a result of the Rdiff-backup tool being written in Python.

      • How to use ss Command (Monitor Network Connections) - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        The ss command is a tool used to dump socket statistics and displays information in similar fashion (although simpler and faster) to netstat. The ss command can also display even more TCP and state information than most other tools. Because ss is the new netstat, we’re going to take a look at how to make use of this tool so that you can more easily gain information about your Linux machine and what’s going on with network connections.

        The ss command-line utility can display stats for the likes of PACKET, TCP, UDP, DCCP, RAW, and Unix domain sockets. The replacement for netstat is easier to use (compare the man pages to get an immediate idea of how much easier ss is).

      • How to Compile and Install Software From Source in Linux

        Do you want to fix a bug in a software package, or do you simply want to modify a package to meet your needs? Linux has got you covered.

        Most Linux packages are free and open-source, giving you the freedom to customize or modify any piece of software to your own liking. Additionally, you are also free to look at the source code of Linux packages to learn good architecture practices and coding patterns from other software projects.

      • How to Find JAVA_HOME in Linux - Linux Shout

        It is an environment variable that is nothing but a location or directory where after the installation of Java on Linux, Windows, or mac we can find the java executables such as java, javac, and keytool. Being an environment variable, we don’t need to mention the folder path again and again where Java has been installed to use any of its executable files.

        However, sometimes while installing some software platforms or creating systemd service unit files, we need to mention the location or Java_Home path manually in them. Hence, for those who don’t where exactly the path is, we can use the below-given command in our respective Linux operating system to find it.

      • How to install MATLAB in Ubuntu 20.04 - Linux Shout

        MATLAB from Mathworks is a platform-independent software for solving mathematical problems and graphically displaying the results. The software package is best-known for tools for calculating and simulating complex mathematical and technical problems. Here we learn the steps to install MATLAB on Ubuntu Linux and how to create its Desktop shortcut…

        In addition to the basic module, a whole range of extensions for MATLAB is available, which is known as Toolbox. This includes Simulink, a graphical user interface block-oriented development platform for the modeling, simulation, and analysis of dynamic, non-linear, and event-driven systems, that can be used to model and simulate systems interactively.

      • Junichi Uekawa: Updated my raspberry pi to bullseye and no longer connects to network.

        Updated my raspberry pi to bullseye and no longer connects to network. Seems like eth0 got renamed. probably this thing that I was supposed to have migrated away from. Not entirely sure how to recover from this now.

      • How to install KDE Plasma on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        KDE is currently available in version 5.20 while doing this tutorial. The main focus of this Linux desktop environment is on providing wide range of customization options. Here we will see the commands to install KDE Plasma’s latest and testing desktop version on Debian 11 Bullseye server or desktop using the terminal.

        Users who have used Windows will defnatley find KDE desktop environment on their Linux quite familiar. KDE is popular becuase of its beautiful interface, sleek icons and lots of tools and apps developed by KDE community. Further, if one doesn’t like the arrangements of elements then he or she can position the Widgets, Taskbar and almost every element to get the look and feel he/she wants. However, the variety of options can make inexperienced users quickly overwhelmed. Hence, you might have to invest time to become aware and comfortable with it.

      • Install VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04 LTS to access GNOME

        In this tutorial, we will learn the commands to install a VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal or Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic using the terminal to access Gnome Linux graphic user interface, remotely.

      • Fix the error can't find the command hwmatch on Grub - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In our previous post, we showed you how to set a password to grub to make it more secure. In this one, we will help you to fix the error can’t find the command hwmatch on grub.

        If you saw the screenshot of the previous post, you may have noticed that it has an error regarding the hwmatch command that although it does not affect our computer at all, is good to eliminate.

        Indeed, although this error is not serious and does not affect the grub startup, many people find it annoying, and if we are giving technical support, better to make it complete.

        So, let’s go for it.

    • Games

      • Game development: Open 3D Engine reaches first major version - Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated/machine translation]

        The Open 3D Foundation has presented the release of Open 3D Engine (O3DE) 11/21. The inconspicuous version number conceals the first major release of the open source engine for 3D content. Windows users will thus receive the first stable version. Under Linux, the 3D engine goes from the developer preview to the preview phase, and a simplified installation option is available for both operating systems.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Polishing up Ark and Dolphin

          This week you might notice a lot of fixes for Ark and Dolphin and for interactions between them. That’s coming out of our initiative to fix all the issues found in recent Linus Tech Tips videos. And there’s more where that came from going forward!

          New Features

          Spectacle’s annotation tools now include functionality to crop, scale, undo, redo, and more (Damir Porobic and Antonio Prcela, kImageAnnotator 0.6.0 or later in Spectacle 22.04)

          The Weather applet now lets you pick cities from German Weather Service (DWD) as the data source (Emily Elhert, Plasma 5.24)

        • KDE Prepares More Crash Fixes Ahead Of The Holidays - Phoronix

          Even with the holidays quickly approaching, KDE developers remain very busy in landing fixes -- especially crash fixes -- and fixing up Plasma's Wayland session for ensuring it is very polished for 2022.

          It's been another busy week of fixes and other improvements to the KDE desktop. KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual Saturday morning recap that highlights all of the changes to land for the past week.

        • Building KDE Frameworks against Qt6

          With a number of recent changes in KDE Frameworks it’s now possible to build the first module (KCoreAddons) against Qt6 out of the box. This isn’t officially supported or ready for consumption yet of course, but meant as a development tool and is an important step towards the transition to KF6.

          Extra CMake Modules (ECM)

          The biggest change towards Qt6 support happened in ECM, by no longer forcing Qt5 on its Qt features and by adjusting default installation paths accordingly. The key for this is the new QtVersionOption module, which follows the Qt requirement explicitly set by a project, or if there is none, follows the user choice. The output is a single CMake variable, QT_MAJOR_VERSION, which then can be used in all subsequent places depending on a specific Qt version.

          This is now in use inside ECM for all modules that provide Qt specific functionality. This doesn’t mean all that already works with Qt6 of course, in fact a lot is still just empty scaffolding. It does however mean ECM no longer pulls in Qt5 unconditionally, even when used in a Qt6 context.

          To further support porting, the standard installation directories defined by KDEInstallDirs now also provide version-less aliases.

          It’s worth noting though that any Qt6 functionality provided by ECM 5.x isn’t coming with the same source and behavior stability guarantee as everything else, but is subject to change until the 6.0 release.

        • KDE Gear 21.12, last update of the year for KDE applications

          KDE Gear 21.12 It is the third and last version of the year of the set of applications maintained by the KDE project and that can be enjoyed both in the KDE Plasma environment, and beyond in a completely independent way, not in vain it includes some of the most powerful alternatives of its category for the Linux desktop.

          As we already told you, KDE Gear is the new name of what until the beginning of the year we knew as KDE Applications and even there the external changes, since internally we are facing the same launch as always … which has nothing wrong, Quite the contrary: each version of the KDE Applications Gear brings joy in the form of new features and functions for KDE applications, and sometimes even new applications.

          So far in 2021, KDE Gear 21.04 and KDE Gear 21.08 have been released and now KDE Gear 21.12 arrives, as in the previous versions, with hardly any surprises as far as protagonists are concerned, but with enough juice so that users Staunch of the environment welcome the update with enthusiasm.

    • Distributions

      • Available Zorin OS 16 Lite with all the flavor and half the calories

        It has been done to beg, but it is already here Zorin OS 16 Lite, the light edition of the most recent version of this popular distribution focused on the common users, with special attention for those who come new, especially from Windows. Or so Zorin OS has always sold herself.

        In the case of Zorin OS 16 Lite, whose particularity is to use the Xfce desktop environment (4.16), comes almost four months after its main release, based on a modification of GNOME. What caused the gap between the previous release and the present? There are no details about it.

        Thus, Zorin OS 16 Lite comes with the same new features of Zorin OS 16 that we already saw at its launch, both in substance and form, except those of GNOME: based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, including components such as Linux kernel 5.11 or Mesa 21; refined visual theme, new wallpapers, revamped desktop layouts, a new welcome wizard …

        Other new features of Zorin OS 16 Lite shared with the main edition of the distro include the flatpa bracketk (via Flathub) pre-installed and enabled by default (for Snap I already had it), as well as improved support for installing Windows applications using “a built-in database that detects popular Windows installation files, so the system can guide you through through the installation process.

      • New Releases

        • Freespire 8.0 GNOME Released

          Today we have a very special release for you guys, Freespire 8.0 with the GNOME desktop. A freespire build with the GNOME desktop has been the most requested build that we have ever received. We do not like to release anything unless we think its functional, beautiful and ready. We released Freespire 8.0 last week to much fan fare. It was our most successful release to date. We have been working on the GNOME release for months and a testing issue kept us from releasing it with the XFCE build. This GNOME release is identical to the GNOME desktop release of Linspire.

          The GNOME release does not mean we will stop making an XFCE build. We will be doing both parallel with one another. Our GNOME release is based on GNOME 3.36.8. With Freespire 10 we will be moving to GNOME 4. Our GNOME desktop features a single panel with app launchers and "show applications" button which brings you to the App drawers.

        • New IPFire version improves performance and includes exFAT support

          When we talk about Linux we usually refer mainly to servers and desktops, but it is more than known that the Open Source system has gone much further. Therefore, we are going to take this opportunity to publish about IPFire, a hardened distribution in terms of security that can function as a router and a firewall.

          IPFire version 2.27 Core Update 161 has introduced some new features along with some changes and improvements. The first thing that stands out about this release are the improvements at the support level, which include the Open Source FriendlyARM NanoPI R2S mini router, Fast Flux Detection in the web proxy to detect Fast Flux settings and for the exFAT filesystem, which has long been an official Linux feature courtesy of Microsoft.

          Another important point is the removal of support for Python 2, a version of the language (and its official interpreter) that has been discontinued for two years, but in which many programs are still supported and have not migrated to the third version.

          Following with more news from IPFire 2.27 Core Update 161, we have the ability of the web proxy to always hide the version number and thus prevent information leaks, support for the Pakfire page to correctly display the locked status after starting an update, support for the status of Logwatch software RAID configurations, backups improved, support for RAID configurations in Logwatch, Backups of Avahi and Minidlna Configurations Enhanced and better disk utilization statistics.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD on Slimbook – 14 months of updates

          I didn’t use the laptop with FreeBSD much this month, it’s mostly my video-call box with – something I still have not set up correctly with my FreeBSD workstation.

          WiFi tops out inside the house at 2.2MB/s, it is reported as a 36Mbit 802.11a connection in system tools, so that is .. not great, but a far cry from what it could be.

          KDE Plasma Wayland, which was working in September, is now broken. It’s not just my laptop, it’s on my workstation (AMDGPU), on the spare machine (Intel iGPU) and the laptop (Intel iGPU). I have chatted a bit with Plasma developers, but the debugging is on me, unfortunately.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Vanessa Christopher: Introduction

          When I heard about outreachy, an internship that welcomes total beginners that was a very good motivation and the stipends?? Free mentoring from professionals? This was definitely my chance to broaden my scope.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS To Shift Its PPC64EL Baseline To POWER9 CPUs, Dropping POWER8 - Phoronix

          Ubuntu 22.04 LTS isn't expected to run on aging IBM POWER8 hardware as Canonical is shifting its PPC64EL architecture baseline to POWER9 for building packages.

          Matthias Klose issued a notice this week that for Ubuntu 22.04 "Jammy Jellyfish" they are bumping the PPC64EL architecture baseline requirement to POWER9 with their GCC 11 compiler.

          On recent Ubuntu releases the PowerPC builds they have been producing were targeting "-march=power8 -mtune-power9" while now they are moving ahead with "-march=power9" to optimize the code generation for POWER9 processors.

        • Qualys : Continuous Security Hardening and Monitoring for IBM® z/OS® Mainframes and Databases Using Qualys Policy Compliance
        • CentOS Stream 9: Understanding the new Red Hat OS release for non-Red-Hat-type people

          Red Hat has released CentOS Stream 9, the first major version since the company badly shook its community by announcing it was ending traditional CentOS a year ago.

          This is the second release of the new CentOS Stream distro, and presumably the IBM subsidiary hopes it will offer a more appealing migration path for CentOS users than for them to jump ship.

          Notably, in CentOS Stream 8, RH's Application Streams – analogous to Fedora's "Modularity" – were mandatory, but they're optional in 9.

          This is a big deal in the Red Hat world, but can be mysterious to the millions of non-Red Hat Linux users. Since it seems to please Red Hat to imagine that Red Hat is the entirety of the Linux world, its official materials don't really give you any context, so The Register will try to translate for you.

        • CentOS Linux 8 is about to die. What do you do next? | ZDNet

          The end of CentOS 8 Linux has been coming for awhile now, and the day is finally here. On December 31, 2021, Red Hat's CentOS Linux 8 will reach End Of Life (EOL). Since that falls right in the heart of the holiday season, Red Hat will extend CentOS Linux 8 zero-day support until January 31, 2022. Indeed, there will be one last CentOS Linux 8 release -- perhaps even after CentOS 8's official EOL. After that, it's all over for CentOS Linux.

      • Debian Family

        • Kali Linux 2021.4 improves ARM support and updates desktops

          Three months after the last launch (or penultimate, depending on how you see it), we already have between us Kali Linux 2021.4, the latest version of the distribution aimed at security audits and which provides a large number of tools for conducting penetration testing and ethical hacking. Despite being a system created for specific purposes, in recent times it has evolved to be more user-friendly for desktop use.

          From Kali Linux 2021.4 what stands out are the improvements in hardware and virtual reality support and the update of the desktop environments, an area in which it offers variety while keeping Xfce as the default option.

          For starters, thanks to the inclusion of Linux 5.14, Kali Linux already works on build for Apple Silicon from the VMware Fusion Tech Preview, the virtualization solution of the well-known company for teams from the bitten apple. This means that the system has support for the virtual GPU, in addition to the update of the ‘open-vm-tools’ package and the automatic detection of a VMware environment to install the package ‘open-vm-tools-desktop’ by default on installation. Those responsible for the distribution remember that this support is limited for now to the 64-bit ARM architecture.

        • Kali Linux 2021.4 comes with several improved features, including Samba compatibility, better Apple M1 support, switching package manager mirrors – Download Kali Linux 2021.4 now.

          Offensive Security has finally released Kali Linux 2021.4. The release has been grabbing headlines for the array of new capabilities and tools embedded with. Here’s a look at what’s included in the new release.

        • Anonymizing operating system: Tails 4.25 makes data backup easier - Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated/machine translation]

          If you want to navigate the Internet without leaving any traces, you can’t avoid the Linux distribution Tails. The developers have now improved the operating system, which is fully geared towards maintaining anonymity and privacy, in detail.

          Everything on board Tails is a live system that starts directly from a USB stick. Alternatively, you can do this from a DVD. You can also boot the ISO image as a virtual machine. You can start right away with an email client, the Tor Browser and LibreOffice. Surfing is possible via the encrypting Tor network. If you restart the system, it forgets all settings made for security reasons. However, data can be stored permanently on a special partition (persistent storage).

          As the developers write in a post, you can with Tails 4.25 It is now even easier to make a backup of this partition. This makes sense, for example, if you want to use a second Tails stick as a backup and should also contain your own data. The backup process was previously only possible via the command line, but now also works via a graphical assistant.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Tim Peake joins us as we get ready to launch special Raspberry Pi computers to space
        • Arduino Drives Faux Spirograph | Hackaday

          The holidays always remind us of our favorite toys from when we were kids. Johnny Astro, an Erector set, and — of course — a Spirograph. [CraftDiaries] has an Arduino machine that isn’t quite a Spirograph, but it sure reminds us of one. The Arduino drives two stepper motors that connect to a pen that can create some interesting patterns.

          The build uses a few parts that were laser cut, but they don’t look like they’d be hard to fabricate using conventional means or even 3D printing. The author even mentions you could make them out of cardboard or foamboard if you wanted to.

        • How the FPGA Came to Be, Part 1 – EEJournal

          I started designing engineering workstations in 1981 for Cadnetix in Boulder, Colorado. The top computer-aided engineering (CAE) vendors of the day – Daisy Systems, Mentor Graphics, and Valid Logic (I called them the DMV) – were all founded in 1981, like Cadnetix, and each developed their own proprietary CAE software suite. The five proprietary Cadnetix workstations that I helped to design, introduced from 1982 to 1985, were all based on versions of Motorola Semiconductor’s 68000 microprocessor family (the 68000, 68010, and 68020) running a proprietary, stripped-down version of Unix (which I privately called Eunuch as an inside joke).

        • Fraunhofer extends RISC-V embedded processor for edge AI

          Fraunhofer IPMS has added TensorFlow Lite and Zve support to its EMSA5-FS RISC-V processor for edge AI applications Fraunhofer IPMS in Germany has developed a new option for its EMSA5-FS RISC-V processor to support artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) functions at the edge

          Edge AI requires a capable but ultra-low-power and relatively inexpensive System on Chip (SoC). The EMSA5-FS is a 32-bit, single-issue, in-order, five-stage pipeline processor that supports the RISC-V open-standard instruction set architecture. It can include error correction and fault-tolerant features and is ready for ISO 26262 Functional Safety certification.

        • Embedded Studio gets 64bit Risc-V support

          Covering CPUs including RV64I, RV64E and RV64GC with a floating-point unit, it comes integrated with emRun C/C++ runtime and emFloat floating-point libraries, the Segger Linker and Compiler. The GNU compiler and linker are also included.

          “64bit embedded systems are gaining popularity with faster chips and bigger applications,” said compamy MD Ivo Geilenbruegge. “As a long-standing member of the Risc-V foundation, we are committed to support from small 32bit through high-end 64bit cores, from simple debug to flash programming and real-time trace.”

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Upcycling Android: Initiative for switching to free smartphone software [Ed: Automated/machine translation]

          Everything always revolves around shopping – be it for Black Friday, Christmas or Easter. But why not just repair and reuse instead of always buying something new? This is what our series of articles “Repairing and Upcycling” is all about.

          With the “Upcycling Android” initiative, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) wants to encourage Android smartphone users to disconnect from the Google system and switch to free software. On the occasion of the current “European Waste Prevention Week”, the FSFE wants to help avoid electronic waste, save resources and enable cell phones to have a longer life. The Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency support the upcycling project financially.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Ventoy turns any disk into a multi-boot OS installer ● The Register

        Ventoy is a free tool that turns any USB key into a multi-boot wonder.

        Even if you're not a distro-hopping FOSS fundie, having a few bootable USB keys around is handy. You can often revive a sickly PC by just booting Windows and running CHKDSK /F on it, or boot Linux to retrieve some files off a computer if a PEBCAK error occurred and someone's forgotten their password.

        If you have a few PCs knocking around, it's quicker to mount the latest Windows 10 disk image and run setup.exe than it is to let Windows Upgrade chug through the download on each one.

        Ventoy isn't unique or unprecedented. There are some gadgets for this – for example, if you can find one, Zalman has made a few external hard disk enclosures which let you pick an ISO file with physical buttons, then the box emulates a USB CD drive with that disk inserted. There are also tools such as DriveDroid to make an Android phone do it too. But why carry a cable around?

      • GridGain Launches Service to Recognize Non-Code Contributors to the Apache Ignite Community
      • Web Browsers

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Database: MariaDB is increasing the release speed on the Community Server - Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated/machine translation]

          The 10.6.x series of the MariaDB Community Server, presented for the first time in spring, is supposed to be the last version to follow an annual release cycle. As the database provider announced, the server edition from version 10.7 follows a quarterly rhythm, which should provide users with new features more quickly in the future. In addition, developers from the open source community should be able to incorporate their new code contributions into the database server more quickly.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Users with a pirated version of Office are getting a discount offer for a Microsoft 365 subscription

          That said, if you can't pay for Microsoft Office, you don't have to pirate it. You can still get nearly the same features for free, via Office Online, right from your web browser. I used the service for a few years, until I bought a cheap license for Office 2013 via a reseller. Or, you could just use a free and open source alternative like LibreOffice.

        • Best Microsoft Office alternatives of 2021: Free, paid, online mobile office suites

          One of the extra features that makes Calligra stand out is that it offers a mind-mapping and project managing tool. Usually these cost extra.

          Calligra allows you to read DOCX and DOX formats but you cannot edit them. This can cause difficulties if your contacts send you Microsoft Office documents, so ask them to use a different format such as ODT (Open Document Text) instead.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Vizio Responds to Software Freedom Conservancy’s GPL Compliance Lawsuit: Will Not Release Source Code, Files to Move Case to US Federal Court – WP Tavern

            In October 2021, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) initiated a lawsuit against Vizio, an American TV manufacturer, for shipping products with copyleft licenses but refusing to provide the source code after multiple attempts at contact since 2018.

            The lawsuit is historic in its approach, because it focuses on consumer rights conferred by copyleft licenses and SFC is filing as a third-party beneficiary.

            Vizio has responded by filing a request to remove the case from the California State Court and move it into US federal court. The company contends that the computer programs and source code at issue in VIZIO’s SmartCast operating system “fall within the ‘subject matter of copyright.’”

      • Programming/Development

        • Godot 4.0 Alpha Is Near, Another Pre-Alpha Build Available

          Godot 4.0 is a massive feature update with introducing Vulkan API support, countless renderer improvements, editor enhancements, better multiplayer capabilities, and much more building up for this big release. It's going to be a hell of a release and quite a shining open-source game engine that looks like it should be better capable of taking on the proprietary/commercial game engines. (Recent commits to godot-benchmarks repo also has me all the more excited.)

        • Qt Creator 6 available with improvements for Linux and the code editor -

          The Qt Company has announced the publication of Qt Creator 6, the new major version of its official IDE to work with the well-known framework, which is also the base technology used by projects like KDE and LXQt.

          The first thing that stands out about Qt Creator 6 is that it is based on Qt 6.2, the latest LTS version of the technology that at the time was a great advance towards parity with version 5.15, since version 6, at least until that moment, did not have all the ported features.

          Of the new features incorporated into the new version of the IDE, we find that those responsible have moved the start-up of external processes tools such as compilation and clang-tidy. “This avoids problems in Linux, where branching a process from a large application is more expensive than from a small server process “.

          Continuing with more things brought by Qt Creator 6, we have the multi-cursor support in editing, a C ++ code model updated to LLVM 13, full support but not enabled by default editing of C ++ with Clangd and now the Built-in Qt Quick Designer is disabled by default, which means that the IDE will open the ‘.ui.qml’ files in Qt Design Studio to offer, according to the company, a more integrated workflow. Another important support aspect is the universal binaries for macOS, which span the ARM and Intel architectures.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 11: Unix philosophy without left-pad, Part 2: Minimizing dependencies with a utilities package

            In the previous post, I made a case for why programming languages should have a utility library that provides small-but-commonly-needed functions. Today I’m introducing a new Raku package that I hope will fill that gap.

            I’m going to start by introducing you to this new package as it exists today. Then I’ll turn to plans for the future and how I’d like to see this package (or a similar one) grow over time. Then we’ll wrap up by taking a step back and discussing how all of this fits with the Unix philosophy.

            (Today’s post is a bit more Raku-focused than the previous one. But I think there’s still plenty here that’s relevant to any language.)

        • Rust

          • Rust-Based Cloud Hypervisor Heads to Linux Foundation – The New Stack

            The Cloud Hypervisor project has found a home with the Linux Foundation, bringing its modular approach to virtual machine monitoring for cloud-based workloads to the vendor-neutral foundation.

            Cloud Hypervisor was first created during a wave of hypervisor creation, explained Arjan van de Ven, an Intel Fellow and founding technical sponsor for the project, and finds common roots with other similar projects, but offers an approach through modularity that provides security and performance alongside flexibility.

        • Java

          • Development environment: NetBeans 12.6 brings pattern matching for switch expressions - Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated/machine translation]

            The NetBeans team has released version 12.6 of the development environment. NetBeans, which is under the patronage of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), is approaching Java 17 and introducing innovations for other programming languages. MultiViews can now be displayed in the TypeScript and CPPLite editor, which provides access to the History-Tab enables.

            There are also changes in the release cycle: In October 2021, the NetBeans team decided to completely do without further LTS versions and instead concentrate on quarterly updates – with appropriately adapted versioning. According to the official roadmap the next version, NetBeans 13.0, is scheduled for February 2022.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • After a decade on FHIR, where are we at?

        We remember doing some of the first reporting on FHIR back in the early days, when we were alerted to the concept by former chair of HL7 Australia Klaus Veil. Klaus told us back in 2012 that FHIR was “the latest trending interoperability technology that has taken the eHealth world by storm”, and he was right. The promise was that it would be faster, easier and far more comprehensible than standards like HL7 v3, which got so bogged down in its own complexity that it was pretty much dropped.

  • Leftovers

    • Reparations for the Blues

      The British Invasion

      In 1964, the Beatles took American pop music by storm with mop haircuts, some catchy original bubblegum songs and a scattering of ‘50’s rock retreads like “Matchbox.”  In quick succession they were followed by the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Animals, Them, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin. What would become known as the “British Invasion” changed the face of American—and world—pop music forever.

    • Great Reads in Photography: December 5, 2021

      Gentoo Penguins. While penguins may be flightless, they are well adapted for flying through the water. Using its vestigial wings as paddles, its rear-set feet as propellers, and its stiffened tail feathers as rudders, the gentoo penguin can drive its torpedo-shaped body through the water at more than 22 miles (35 km) per hour—the fastest speed recorded by any swimming bird.

    • 8 Perfect Gifts I Found At The Unclaimed Baggage Store

      The airlines and transportation companies spend up to 3 months trying to locate the owners of the baggage. Turns out that only 0.03 percent of lost luggage and packages go unclaimed. That small percentage ends up here in Scottsboro.

    • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

      The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

      Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

      “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    • Activision Blizzard Management are Scum: Abuse People, Promise Better, Then Lay off Staff (Update: Statement from Activision)

      My response to this is that conversion of approximately 500 employees from temp/contract to full time is a positive thing, indeed. However, I have to question why the twenty were let go if members of studios are indicating crunch and when the publisher is making record levels of profit. I also have to question this when they are openly celebrated as good staff. I also must point out that staff are being left in a state of limbo to find out if they have a job or not, which is simply cruel.

    • Science

      • Recycling Science Denial

        The science deniers have become so comfortable these days that they don’t even try to hide their tracks. Even some of the most staunchly conservative outlets quoted Fauci’s remarks in full, which should have made it clear to all mildly attentive readers that the offending statement had been deliberately taken out of context. What the chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had in fact said was that, to anti-science Republicans, he represented a more convenient target than science itself, a constantly evolving, fuzzy thing, the concerted effort of many people at arriving something like a temporary agreement on the truth. Which is, undeniably, harder to criticize than an identifiable human being, and who’d be a better punching bag than Tony Fauci from Brooklyn? It helps that Fauci, with his close-cropped hair, wire-rimmed glasses, constantly raspy voice, and a tendency to speak off the cuff, looks less like a modern Alexander Fleming fresh from the lab than your bank’s local branch manager about to deny you an extension of your credit line.

        Context is not what matters to GOP politicians, especially Senator Rand Paul, who immediately shouted that Fauci, in his obvious arrogance, was like the medieval church. Which, to complete the analogy, also means that science deniers like Paul (whose claim to scientific expertise comes from the fact that he once worked as an eye doctor) represent progress, the forces of light battling the encroaching darkness.

      • Male and Female Athletic Performance: Worlds Apart

        In line with the biology of sexual reproduction and evolutionary pressure on reproductive fitness, males and females are physically different. Physical divergence begins with primary sex development at around seven weeks in utero when, triggered by genetic information inherited at fertilization, bipotential gonads differentiate as either testes in males or ovaries in females. The differentiation and development of gonad type generates a sex-specific hormonal profile that drives ongoing development associated with sex class. Testes contain cells that produce the hormone testosterone, and it is testosterone and its derivatives that mediate the development of male internal and external genitalia, the establishment of growth parameters during high-testosterone “minipuberty” in the neonatal period, and the development of secondary sex characteristics at puberty.

      • Meet the real NASA scientist behind Netflix’s Don’t Look Up

        Mainzer happens to be “one of the world’s leading scientists in asteroid detection and planetary defense,” according to NASA, and she has also turned her attention to climate change (she’s using remote sensing to find invasive species that fuel wildfires). The Verge talked with Mainzer about the end of the world and what to do about it.

        This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

    • Education

      • Right-Wing Authoritarianism and the Crisis of Education

        Violence in the United States has gone into overdrive. Building on a history of disposability, genocide, and militarism, it increasingly has gained support, particularly among the Republican Party, as a potentially justifiable path to power.[ii]  How else to explain the   shocking defense by most Republicans of the insurrection against the Capitol on January 6th,  as “a patriotic attempt to protect the nation against its enemies.”[iii]  How does reason and justice prevail in a society when the legal justification given to macho-infused vigilantes in the aftermath of the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal provides them with a pass to shoot, if not kill, peaceful protesters.[iv]  How else to clarify the rise of deadly misogynist violence, operating under the discourse of surveillance and vigilantism, that has moved from Texas  to the law of the land, subjecting women to an incriminating reality that dictates that they are second class citizens who can no longer have control over their reproductive rights.[v] How else to address the rise of a gun culture that trades on fear to immunize people to the tsunami of mass shootings, suffering, and death that appears as an everyday experience in the United States?

        How does one explain crazed images of guns being celebrated in the social media by Republicans, as if the spectacle of violence does not present a danger to a larger public? In one telling instance, US congressman, Thomas Massie, of Kentucky “posted a Christmas picture of himself and what appears to be his family, smiling and posing with an assortment of guns, just days after four teenagers were killed in a shooting at a high school in Michigan.” Accompanying the image was the tweet “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”[vi]

    • Hardware

      • Ninja Art: PCB Nightlight Jutsu! | Hackaday

        This latest PCB artwork comes to you courtesy of [Arnov]. His Naruto nightlight is definitely going to get your anime-loving friends’ attention.

        The LED illumination styles are controlled by an ATtiny13A microcontroller. He probably could have opted for a 555 timer with this one, but maybe he wanted easily programmable blinking patterns. He also programmed the ATtiny to read a small button which he used to cycle through different illumination styles. Finally, a small LiPo battery makes this project pretty portable, so you can reposition it freely around your work area as you might like.

      • How remouldable computer hardware is speeding up science

        Field-programmable gate arrays can speed up applications ranging from genomic alignment to deep learning.

      • Build Your Own Submarine | Hackaday

        If you are tried of building things that fly, why not try a submarine like [DIYPerks] did? As you can see in the video below, the key is to control buoyancy, and the mechanism used is impressive. The sub has two giant syringes fore and aft to compress or decompress water. The plungers are now 3D-printed actuators that travel on a lead screw. Two high-torque motors and some batteries sandwiched in acrylic disks make up the rest. This is a big vessel — you won’t be trying this in your bathtub and maybe not even your pool unless it is a big one.

        Of course, everything needs to be watertight. Instead of trying to waterproof a power switch, this sub uses a reed switch so that a nearby magnet can turn it on. Not an original idea, but we always think it is more elegant than seals and potting compounds.

      • Controller Swaps Can Save An HDD If You Do It Right | Hackaday

        Hard drives are fragile and reliable all at once. It’s entirely possible to have a hard drive fail, even if your data is still in perfect condition on the magnetic platters inside. [Keith Sherry] was recently trying to recover data for a friend off a damaged hard drive, and demonstrated that modern twists on old tricks can still work.

        The drive in question was an old 160GB disk that itself was being used as a backup. Of course, a backup you haven’t tested is no backup at all, and this one failed in the hour it was most needed.

        The suspicion was that the controller board was the culprit, and that swapping the board out might bring things back to life. Back in the day, this was a common hacker trick. However, it often fails with modern drives, which store a great deal of drive-specific calibration data on the controller board. Without this specific data, another controller will be unable to access the data on the drive, and could even cause damage.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • A Century of Tragedy: How the Car and Gas Industry Knew About the Health Risks of Leaded Fuel But Sold it for 100 Years Anyway

        The new fuel was tetraethyl lead. With vast profits in sight – and very few public health regulations at the time – General Motors Co. rushed gasoline diluted with tetraethyl lead to market despite the known health risks of lead. They named it “Ethyl” gas.

        It has been 100 years since that pivotal day in the development of leaded gasoline. As a historian of media and the environment, I see this anniversary as a time to reflect on the role of public health advocates and environmental journalists in preventing profit-driven tragedy.

      • Jayapal to Biden: Stop Trump-Era Medicare Privatization Scheme 'While We Have the Chance'

        U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Thursday joined the growing chorus of physicians and advocates urging the Biden administration to immediately end Direct Contracting, a Trump-era pilot program that could result in the total privatization of traditional Medicare by the end of the decade.

        In an op-ed for The Hill, Jayapal and Dr. Susan Rogers—president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)—called Direct Contracting (DC) "the biggest threat to Medicare you've never even heard of," alluding to how little attention the pilot program has received from the press and members of Congress, few of whom have spoken out against it.

      • CNN Goes Full Moral Panic About Kids And Social Media

        CNN, the news organization that, until recently, employed Chris Cuomo, and still employs Jeffrey Toobin, and is (for the moment at least) owned by AT&T which funded an entire extremist propaganda TV network just to appease President Trump (not to mention being absolutely terrible on privacy issues), wants you to hate social media. There may be reasons to hate on social media, but it's difficult to take CNN seriously when it presents itself (1) as some unbiased party in this discussion, and (2) puts forth an article that is nothing more than blatant moral panic propaganda about kids and social media.

      • At Last, Florida Families Hit Hard by Their Children’s Birth Injuries Are Promised More Help

        In the past eight months, lawmakers have approved a comprehensive overhaul of Florida’s embattled compensation program for children born with brain injuries, its top administrator has resigned, and new leaders have announced broad reforms aimed at improving the lives of frail, severely disabled children.

        On Thursday, the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association’s chairman gave parents the message some of them have waited decades to hear: “You have been heard.”

      • Government says has taken several steps to curb harmful content on social media

        The government has taken several steps to address the challenges of user harm and hateful information available on social media platforms, Parliament was informed on Friday.

        Minister of Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a written reply (starred question) in the Rajya Sabha, also stated the ministry has taken note of reports based on a whistleblower's statements about Facebook and its alleged role in circulation of hate speech, fake news and misinformation.

      • The antivax assault on state medical boards has begun

        The COVID-19 quack assault on state medical boards has begun, with the first shots fired in Tennessee and California, where there are a legislative assault and a potential actual assault, respectively. I’ll go into detail about what I mean in a moment, but first let me provide a brief history lesson.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Major outage hits Amazon Web Services; many sites affected
        • Security

          • Apache Log4j Security Vulnerabilities

            CVE-2021-44228: Apache Log4j2 JNDI features do not protect against attacker controlled LDAP and other JNDI related endpoints.

          • “The [Internet’s] on fire” as techs race to fix critical software flaw

            But patching systems around the world could be a complicated task. While most organizations and cloud providers such as Amazon should be able to update their web servers easily, the same Apache software is also often embedded in third-party programs, which often can only be updated by their owners.

          • ‘The [Internet]’s on fire’ as techs race to fix software flaw

            “The [Internet]’s on fire right now,” said Adam Meyers, senior vice president of intelligence at the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike. “People are scrambling to patch, and there are script kiddies and all kinds of people scrambling to exploit it.” He said Friday morning that in the 12 hours since the bug’s existence was disclosed, that it had been “fully weaponized,” meaning that malefactors have developed and distributed tools to exploit.

          • ‘Extremely bad’ vulnerability found in widely used logging system

            The vulnerability is found in log4j, an open-source logging library used by apps and services across the [Internet]. Logging is a process where applications keep a running list of activities they have performed which can later be reviewed in case of error. Nearly every network security system runs some kind of logging process, which gives popular libraries like log4j an enormous reach.

          • Officials, experts sound the alarm about critical cyber vulnerability

            The vulnerability in an Apache logging framework, known as “Log4j,” that could allow [crackers] to obtain access to targeted systems remotely sent experts running to update systems. Apache put out a security advisory warning of the threat and recommending steps to help organizations protect themselves.

          • Apache Log4j Zero Day Exploit Puts Large Number of Servers at Severe Risk

            A critical vulnerability in the open-source logging software Apache Log4j 2 is fueling a chaotic race in the cybersecurity world, with the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) issuing an emergency security update as bad actors searched for vulnerable servers.

          • CISA Adds Thirteen Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catalog | CISA

            CISA has added thirteen new vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence that threat actors are actively exploiting the vulnerabilities listed in the table below. These types of vulnerabilities are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise.

          • Zero Day in Ubiquitous Apache Log4j Tool Under Active Attack | Threatpost

            The Log4Shell vulnerability critically threatens anybody using the popular open-source Apache Struts framework and could lead to a “Mini internet meltdown soonish.”

            An excruciating, easily exploited flaw in the ubiquitous Java logging library Apache Log4j could allow unauthenticated remote code execution (RCE) and complete server takeover — and it’s being exploited in the wild.

            The flaw first turned up on sites that cater to users of the world’s favorite game, Minecraft, on Thursday. The sites reportedly warned that attackers could unleash malicious code on either servers or clients running the Java version of Minecraft by manipulating log messages, including from text typed into chat messages.

          • to secure the supply chain, you must properly fund it

            Yesterday, a new 0day vulnerability dropped in Apache Log4j. It turned out to be worse than the initial analysis: because of recursive nesting of substitutions, it is possible to execute remote code in any program which passes user data to Log4j for logging. Needless to say, the way this disclosure was handled was a disaster, as it was quickly discovered that many popular services were using Log4j, but how did we get here?

            Like many projects, Log4j is only maintained by volunteers, and because of this, coordination of security response is naturally more difficult: a coordinated embargo is easy to coordinate, if you have a dedicated maintainer to do it. In the absence of a dedicated maintainer, you have chaos: as soon as a commit lands in git to fix a bug, the race is on: security maintainers are scurrying to reverse engineer what the bug you fixed was, which is why vulnerability embargoes can be helpful.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • 44 House Dems Urge FCC, FTC to Boost Privacy Protections for Consumers' Location Data

              Online privacy advocates on Thursday welcomed a letter by dozens of House Democrats urging the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to enact rules prohibiting the collection and sale of consumers' location data.

              Writing to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel—who was confirmed to the post on Tuesday—and FTC Chair Lina Khan, 44 lawmakers led by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) noted that "currently, app developers are able to collect sensitive user information and sell it to interested parties for a substantial profit."

            • Polish Prosecutor First Beneficiary Of Apple's 'You've Been Hacked By NSO Spyware' Notification Program

              Concurrent with Apple's announcement that it was suing Israeli tech company NSO Group over its iPhone exploits was its announcement that it would be notifying customers of suspected hacking attempts utilizing NSO's extremely powerful Pegasus malware.

            • Apple's 'Do Not Track' Button Is Privacy Theater

              Earlier this year Apple received ample coverage about how the company was making privacy easier for its customers by introducing a new, simple, tracking opt-out button for users as part of an iOS 14.5 update. Early press reports heavily hyped the concept, which purportedly gave consumers control of which apps were able to collect and monetize user data or track user behavior across the internet. Advertisers (most notably Facebook) cried like a disappointed toddler at Christmas, given the obvious fact that giving users more control over data collection and monetization, means less money for them.

            • Surveillance Company CEO Threatens To Sue Reporter For Writing About His Company

              When a reporter sends inquiries about claims made on your website, the best response is obviously to threaten them with a lawsuit. That should ensure a steady stream of positive press and deter them from asking further questions about claims made on your website.

            • European Commission jumps the gun with proposal to add facial recognition to EU-wide police data sharing scheme

              Today, 8 December 2021, the European Commission has published its proposal to expand the Prüm framework, Prüm II, as part of the new Security Union package. The original Prüm decision regulates the exchange of DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data between EU police authorities.

              EDRi has warned that any proposal to expand the framework would be premature, because the Commission has thus far failed to provide sufficient evidence of the necessity and proportionality of the existing Prüm Decisions, which they are obliged to do under EU law.

            • These Eyes Are Trackin’

              There’s this tool I’ve used for a number of years that I’ve found incredibly useful and important. It’s a password manager called 1Password, and it helps me save logins so I don’t have to remember them. It’s far from a new application, but at its foundation is a basic layer of trust. You use 1Password, or LastPass, or whatever other tools of this nature, because you trust them. What if I told you that one of the most infamous examples of adware and spyware, one that snuck onto tens of millions of computers, started out as the 1999 version of 1Password, but almost immediately was bastardized by the desire to bake in a business model. That tool, once a scourge of Windows users everywhere, is called Gator eWallet—and it set the stage for a climate where our data is constantly being grabbed around the internet with little in the way of end-user control around the issue. Today’s Tedium looks straight into the eyes of the spyware gator that hates that I just called it spyware.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • “Shameful”: The Democratic-Led House Approves a Massive Military Spending Bill

        Voters gave Democrats control of the White House, the Senate, and the House last year. That should have been a mandate for change. But when it comes to defense spending, the change is for the worse.

      • Afghanistan: Washington's Forty-Year Folly

        Despite the cries of concern echoing faintly in the west, the fact of the matter is that most of the Afghan people are better off. This should be obvious, given that there are no longer planes and drones bombing their villages or troops kicking in their doors in the middle of the night intimidating families and taking away the men and boys. However, the truth is that some policymakers still believe Afghanistan would be better off if the US and its cohorts were still engaged in those actions. Of course, those policymakers are wrong.

        It is certain that the immediate future for Afghanistan is desperate. The level of desperation could be minimized if Washington and other NATO nations would free up the Afghan funds they are currently holding hostage. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is minimal. It’s clear from the past few decades that the United States would rather let Afghans suffer than help them rebuild on their own terms. Indeed, it is quite clear that Washington would rather guarantee that Afghans suffer than help them rebuild on their own terms.

      • Mass Shootings are the Screams of America Falling

        America is now a self-wounded giant, angry and entitled, striking right and left in the stupor of her imperial drunk, casting blame on smaller nations to justify invading them for sheer plunder, but always under the guise of bringing them American democracy.

        The French used to call their imperial colonizing “The Civilizing Mission”. Only the powerful get to make sacred their plunder and rape.

      • Opinion | Are We Forever Captives of America's Forever Wars?

        As August ended, American troops completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan almost 20 years after they first arrived. On the formal date of withdrawal, however, President Biden insisted that "over-the-horizon capabilities" (airpower and Special Operations forces, for example) would remain available for use anytime. "[W]e can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground, very few if needed," he explained, dispensing immediately with any notion of a true peace. But beyond expectations of continued violence in Afghanistan, there was an even greater obstacle to officially ending the war there: the fact that it was part of a never-ending, far larger conflict originally called the Global War on Terror (in caps), then the plain-old lower-cased war on terror, and finally—as public opinion here soured on it—America's "forever wars."

      • Opinion | Can You Believe We Live in the United States of Mass Murder?

        Four students dead, six more, plus a teacher, wounded. Can you believe—another mass shooting last week. This one north of Detroit, at Oxford High School. A 15-year-old boy—and his parents—were arrested.

      • The Confrontation in Ukraine Is Political Theater Aimed at a Domestic Audience

        An outside observer could be forgiven for thinking that the current agitation about Russia resembles a carefully orchestrated pantomime of aggression, rather than real aggression. Were an invasion actually imminent, any military leader worth his salt would insist on its being swift, decisive, and above all, secret.

      • Nuclear Weapons and World Order: a Dialogue

        Against this background, I think there are two dramatic developments that have a bearing on how the anti-nuclear global movement might best direct its efforts to alert the public to intensifying nuclear dangers and emerging opportunities for new anti-nuclear initiatives.

        The aroused awareness of nuclear risks is associated particularly with the intense geopolitical rivalry with China that already has acquired the features of a second cold war, that has several hot war risks. This danger exists especially in the South and East China Seas where opposing naval and air forces are daily testing each other’s resolve in the event of a confrontation.

      • Dangerous Games: Western Militaries on the Doorsteps of Russia and China

        So Russia hesitates and the U.S. screams. What else is new? Don’t get me wrong: NATO and the U.S.’s idiotic brinksmanship on Russia’s borders could yet cause real damage. But wild-eyed speculation about the Kremlin’s intentions has so far run aground on Russia’s apparent reluctance to engage in a shooting war that could spiral into a full-on nuclear holocaust.

        In early November CIA chief William Burns trekked to the Kremlin amid worries about a Russian troop buildup. As if Russia can’t move its military around      WITHIN ITS OWN BORDERS without catapulting the west to high alert. If the U.S. shifted troops to the Mexican border – which was a real possibility not too long ago, given the so-called migrant crisis and right-wing hysteria about it – it would not tolerate for one instant queries or commentary about this from ANY foreign government, even Mexico itself.  But Russia is one of the Great Game enemies du jour in Washington, and so we have the likes of director of national intelligence Avril Haines jetting off to Brussels to pow-wow with Europeans about Russia’s nefarious designs. Meanwhile, Russia’s complaints about a gigantic Ukrainian military build-up in the east go almost unnoticed in the U.S. press, where most reporters sagaciously avoid facts they know their employers won’t print.

      • Ineffectual Boycotts: The Beijing Winter Olympics

        The Biden administration is proving to be particularly good on that score. Since taking office US President Joe Biden has nipped at the heels of China’s Xi Jinping with moral urgency. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has lectured Beijing on human rights abuses with mistaken clarity. The Pentagon has been firming up plans for militarising the Indo-Pacific and expanding its military footprint, notably in Australia.

        Now comes a sporting boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. On December 6, the White announced that US officials would not be attending the games. In the words of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the administration would “not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

      • German Complaint Against Iran Rings Hollow with US H-bombs Still In Country

        When it comes to double-standards, sheer hypocrisy, and laughable duplicity, Germany takes the cake this week — for nuclear weapons two-facedness.

        The country helped create the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), along with China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US, in which Iran agreed to dismantle most of its nuclear program and open its facilities to extensive inspections in exchange for sanctions relief.

      • ‘This Violent Piece of Insurrection Was Planned Openly on Unencrypted Channels’

        The December 3, 2021, episode of CounterSpin included an archival interview with Dorothee Benz about the January 6 insurrection.  Janine Jackson originally interviewed Benz for the January 8, 2021, show. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • “The Forever Prisoner”: Alex Gibney on Abu Zubaydah, Held in Guantánamo Without Charge Since 2006

        We speak with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney on his new film, “The Forever Prisoner,” which follows the story of Guantánamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah, who was the first so-called high-value prisoner subjected to the CIA’s torture program and has been indefinitely imprisoned since 2006 without charge. Nearly two decades after the start of the U.S. so-called war on terror, there are still 39 people detained in Guantánamo, where for years prisoners have detailed rampant torture and other horrific conditions. The Biden administration has so far refused to outline a clear plan and timeline for Guantánamo’s closure.

      • Appeals Court Deals a Blow to Trump's Privilege Claims Over January 6 Docs
      • The U.S. Military Poisons the People of HawaiÊ»i

        The U.S. military has been very effective in destroying water infrastructure when they want to kill the enemy. It bombed dams in Korea during the Korean War to drown the people who lived in villages downstream.

        During the first Gulf War, the U.S. military bombed dams in Iraq, because why should those enemy women and children have access to clean water? Those babies are going to grow up into terrorists anyway.

      • 'Stop the Steal' organizer served with lawsuit after 8-hour Jan. 6 commission deposition

        Ali Alexander, an organizer behind the “Stop the Steal” rally, was served with a civil lawsuit on Thursday following his hours-long deposition before the Jan. 6 commission.

        Alexander had met with the House select committee tasked with investigating the events around the Jan. 6 insurrection earlier on Thursday.

        Alexander, who has denied that he played any role in the violence that ensued following the rally on Jan. 6, acknowledged before the deposition that he would cooperate with officials.

      • Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun

        For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.

      • Kanye West publicist pressed Georgia election worker to confess to bogus fraud charges

        The following day, Jan. 6, Kutti’s prediction that people would descend on Freeman’s home in 48 hours proved correct, according to a defamation lawsuit Freeman and Moss filed last week against a far-right news site. Freeman, the lawsuit said, left hours before a mob of angry Trump supporters surrounded her home, shouting through bullhorns.

      • Terras and Laanet: Finland's F-35 tender significant

        Finland's decision, to be announced on Friday, to procure American fighters for its air force is telling and reflects Estonia's northern neighbor's desire to maintain close ties with the U.S. even without being a NATO member, Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) and former Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Commander Riho Terras (Isamaa) find.

        Finnish daily Iltalehti reported that the country's armed forces have proposed procuring American F-35 fighter jets for the Finnish Air Force. The Swedish public broadcaster SVT has also reported the news.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • France to open classified Algerian War archives

        France will open classified police files from the Algerian war 15 years ahead of schedule in order to "look the truth in the eyes", the government announced on Friday.

        The files cover judicial proceedings by the French police and military forces during the 1954-1962 war of independence.

        They are likely to confirm widespread use of torture and extra-judicial killings by French forces.

    • Environment

      • 7 People in Virginia Play an Outsized Role in Progress on Global Climate Goals

        While the recent UN climate change conference in Scotland may have captured the world’s attention, an equally important, albeit far more obscure process has been slowly unfolding far from the glitz and glamour of the global stage.

        Indeed, just seven people in Virginia will play an outsized role in determining whether we keep accelerating toward climate breakdown, or begin, finally, to tap the brakes.

      • How Big Oil Rigs the System to Keep Winning

        This article is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of news outlets strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        Despite countless investigations, lawsuits, social shaming, and regulations dating back decades, the oil and gas industry remains formidable. After all, it has made consuming its products seem like a human necessity. It has confused the public about climate science, bought the eternal gratitude of one of America’s two main political parties, and repeatedly out-maneuvered regulatory efforts. And it has done all this in part by thinking ahead and then acting ruthlessly. While the rest of us were playing checkers, its executives were playing three-dimensional chess.

      • Universities need to work together to make an impact on climate change

        Both before and during the recent COP26 conference, academics showcased the latest research and innovations, advised governments, convened international partnerships and provided expert commentary on everything from biodiversity to carbon capture to law. As co-chairs of the COP26 Universities Network, we've seen at first hand the important contribution a collaborative research-community effort can make to the success of such international deliberations.

      • Climate Critics Warn of 'Big Gaps' in Biden Plan to Eliminate Overseas Fossil Fuel Funding

        Climate action groups expressed cautious optimism Friday after the Biden administration unveiled plans to immediately eliminate federal support for overseas fossil fuel projects—answering a demand long made by advocates and lawmakers—but warned that the new policy contains significant loopholes and called on the White House to take further action.

        "The loopholes for 'strategic' projects, and the lack of action at home, leave big gaps."

      • As Planet Careens Toward Disastrous 'Crash,' Earth's Black Box Records Leaders' Climate Inaction

        Just as investigators examine an airplane's black box after a crash to determine what went wrong in flight, researchers and artists in Australia are preparing for future inhabitants of Earth to go searching for clues about humanity's potential demise—and are constructing an archive of humans' failure to stop the climate emergency, which scientists say could drastically alter life on the planet.

        Data researchers at the University of Tasmania are working with the marketing company Clemenger BBDO and the artists' collective Glue Society to construct a 33-foot long vault made of three-inch thick steel, which they've dubbed "Earth's Black Box."

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Deforestation Deep Cut
        • Scapegoats and Holy Cows: Climate Activism and Livestock

          The film remained top of her twitter account for months. She has several million followers, so the value of the advertising she gave this little-known not-for-profit must run into millions of dollars. As opposition to livestock has become a major plank in climate activism, it’s worth looking at how the world’s biggest climate influencer chooses to influence it.

          Mercy for Animals is an American NGO with the stated purpose of ending factory farming because it’s cruel to animals, a fact with which few would disagree. There are other reasons to shun food from factories as opposed to the open air of course, not least because some of the meat it produces is subsequently heavily processed with unhealthy ingredients and then shipped long distances. The reason it remains so profitable is obviously because its meals are cheap and those who can’t afford expensive free range or organic have little other option.

    • Finance

      • Wealthy Spent Over $300K in Failed Bid to Stop Manhattan Hotel From Housing Homeless

        After dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into a hostile anti-homeless campaign, wealthy residents in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City have officially lost their legal battle to prevent the opening of a local hotel that has been converted into a rapid re-housing program.

        "Nestled in between a 24-hour parking structure and an apartment building on a predominantly residential street" near Central Park, the Park Savoy Hotel "blends in with the other hotels in the neighborhood," The Guardian reported Friday. The key difference is that its occupants are unhoused workers—not the business travelers or tourists preferred by many rich people living on so-called Billionaires Row, a nearby cluster of recently built luxury high-rises.

      • China's Sputtering Economy

        China’s economic engines are spluttering as they seek thrust to emerge from a stall.  The property sector is mired in debt. Empty apartment blocks, about 65 million units, dot the landscape. They represent just over 20 percent of homes in urban China. They seem to taunt the many millions in the country who desperately need better housing.  The World Bank estimates that 61 percent of China’s population lives in cities, up from 36 percent at the turn of the century. It is a property-owning society. About 90 percent own their own homes, with at least 20 percent having more than one.

        On top of this, it is estimated that about 100 million properties have been purchased but not occupied.

      • Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a City?

        If you’re in the market for a banana republic, have I got a deal for you. Head on down to the digital offices of Petri Friedman’s Pronomos Capital, a band of plucky upstarts using the “lessons of Silicon Valley” to provide an investment vehicle “where the city is the product.”

      • “Your Debt Is Someone Else’s Asset”: Calls Grow to Keep Student Loan Moratorium
      • Rising Inflation Yet Another Reason for Biden to Extend Student Loan Payment Pause, Groups Say

        New data out Friday showing that U.S. inflation reached a nearly 40-year high last month was cited as yet another reason that President Joe Biden should—at the very least—extend the federal student loan payment pause that's set to end in just 52 days.

        "Today's economic data make the strongest case imaginable for a change of course as the Biden administration rushes headlong into a hasty and poorly timed restart of the entire student loan system," Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, said in a statement.

      • With Razor-Thin Recall Lead, Socialist Seattle Council Member Sawant Declares 'Apparent Victory'

        Socialist Alternative Seattle, Washington District 3 City Council member Kshama Sawant declared "apparent victory" Friday morning after taking a razor-thin lead in her bid to defeat a billionaire-backed recall effort.

        "We did not back down in fighting for workers."

      • Report: Borrowers Will Lose $85 Billion Yearly If Student Loan Payments Resume
      • How the West invited China to eat its lunch

        But there was a sting in the tail - that it was US politics that failed to account for the inevitable impact of Chinese competition on some sectors. "When the uneven distribution of wealth happens, a government should take measures to adjust that distribution through domestic policies, but it's not easy to do that," said Mr Yongtu.

        "Maybe blaming others much easier, but I don't think blaming others can help to solve the problem. In China's absence, the US manufacturing industry would move to Mexico."

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • After Senate Proves 'Exceptions to Filibuster ARE Possible,' Progressives Say: Now Do All the Good Stuff

        After the U.S. Senate demonstrated this week that the filibuster can be ignored at-will—by establishing a process to raise the nation's debt ceiling with a simple majority vote—progressives demanded that Democrats fully repeal the chamber's anti-democratic 60-vote rule and pass legislation to protect voting rights and improve working peoples' lives.

        "If we can abolish the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling, we can abolish the filibuster to protect voting rights."

      • The Puzzling Case of Saule Omarosa

        In October, the Vanderbilt Law Review published a 69-page paper by Omarova in which she made the following bizarre recommendations to reform the U.S. banking system:

        By early November, Omarova was facing a new controversy when it was revealed that she had called the very industry that she had been nominated to supervise the “quintessential a**hole industry” in a 2019 Canadian feature documentary.

      • Opinion | CNN Missed Opportunity to Ask Sinema the Hard Questions

        Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D.–Arizona) is notorious for being inaccessible to the press—and to constituents—while threatening to tank the Democratic Party's key social spending bill. As Mother Jones (10/7/21) reported, Sinema has not held a single town hall since her election, doesn't hold press conferences, and refuses to speak to reporters and constituents alike when approached. So when CNN's Lauren Fox (12/2/21) landed a sit-down interview with Sinema, it presented a rare opportunity to do what journalists are supposed to do: hold power to account.

      • The Dangerous Myth of Woke Left Fascism

        Without a doubt, the politics of identity have long been used in order to maintain hegemony and neoliberal policies. It is a cynical, but effective, way to distract from issues of class and capitalist exploitation. And it has been used to silence people who may offer a differing point of view by unfairly casting them as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. But the nonsense of “woke fascism” has been created by far-right ideologues and peddled by grifters like Bari Weiss, Bret Easton Ellis, Jordan Peterson and Glenn Greenwald who rake in tons of money off this ahistorical, erroneous and dangerous rubbish.

        “Wokeness” is a new term, but it is derived from the mid 20th century. “Stay woke” was a phrase Black American workers used to encourage attention to civil and labor rights issues. It was later revived by activists in this century. As is the case of all progressive movements under capitalism, the term was co-opted by corporations as well as the police/surveillance/military sector to whitewash real systemic inequities with feel good, empty slogans or lifestyle choices which simply amounted to more profit for their particular brand.

      • In Like Flynn
      • Opinion | The Curious Case of Two Generals Named Flynn

        Time flies whether one is having fun or not: it's now almost a year since insurrectionists worked to nullify your vote in a violent storming of the Capitol. Investigations of the attempted overthrow of the government thus far have proceeded with all the urgency of an interagency review of the price structure of cafeterias in federal facilities.

      • Manchin Takes the Teeth Out of Democrats' Plan for Seniors' Dental Care
      • Stop Normalizing Islamophobia

        This might be business as usual for the Colorado Republican. But for Muslim Americans like myself, it’s another painful reminder of prevailing hatred in the country we call home.

        In the past, Boebert has made other pointedly hateful anti-Muslim comments. She once called Omar the “Jihad Squad member from Minnesota” during a speech on the House floor, as well as an “honorary member of Hamas” on other occasions.

      • Macedonian Ramble: Leon Sciaky's Farewell to Salonica

        Walking from the Holocaust monument to the railway station to continue my journey to Istanbul, I decided (when back home) to hunt around for a book about Thessaloniki’s vanished Jewish quarter.

        It took me several months of searching—on Amazon and elsewhere—but at The Strand bookstore in New York City I finally came across a book with the title Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads by Leon Sciaky.

      • Biden's Democracy Summit Is a PR Stunt. We Need Real International Democracy.
      • Great Britain: No, You Won't Fool the Children of the Revolution

        The response to the pandemic by the government and wider establishment in Great Britain has been wilfully incompetent and corrupt, resulting in a ridiculous, but predictable, level of death and suffering, that only a few countries around the world can rival. The extreme-capitalist economic system already in place here, has ensured that those most befouled by the system, have suffered most during this latest capitalist-induced crisis.

        There have been a couple of bright moments during this continual wave of doom.  The “everyone in” campaign of housing the street homeless people during the height of the first wave in Spring 2020, presented an extraordinary opportunity to end street homelessness in this country, forever. This has since been squandered, wilfully, as this government does not believe in housing as a basic and fundamental human right, it believes in the right of landlords, many of whom they are or protect, to continue to hoard wealth gained from property and land (including the monarchy) and make money off the backs of the poor.

      • Change is Coming to Berlin: What Will Germany’s New Foreign Policy Look Like?

        Baerbock, a 40-year-old diplomatic novice, has consistently espoused liberal interventionist views that one left-wing American news site has described as a combination of “aloof complacency, ignorance and aggressiveness.”

        To help understand the implications of this appointment, I interviewed Douglas Macgregor, a retired U.S. Army colonel and an expert on U.S.-German relations, about what he thought of the incoming German foreign minister. Macgregor, a fluent German speaker who holds a doctorate from the University of Virginia, was former President Donald Trump’s choice to become U.S. ambassador to Germany. Ultimately, he served as senior adviser to acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in the last months of that administration.

      • “Every Option Is on the Table”: US Prepping for Libya-Style Intervention in Ethiopia

        Amid a bloody civil conflict and increasing great-power competition between the United States and China, there are a number of alarming signs that Ethiopia will become the next Libya – an African nation where the U.S. intervenes militarily under the pretext of stopping an impending genocide.

      • Free the Weed: 50 Years After the John Sinclair Freedom Rally

        This modest gift was a token of my belief in the necessity of giving away marijuana to those who don’t have any. When I was coming up in the marijuana culture of the sixties, we believed that if you had some weed and didn’t pass along a little bit to the next person who didn’t have any, you risked the distinct possibility of never being given any weed again for your own use. I didn’t want to face that particular reality and it was Christmas time, so I went ahead and gave the woman two joints when she asked for one.

        I learned quite painfully from my first two marijuana busts—this was the third!—that it was more than just stupid to be selling weed in my position because the police would move in at their earliest convenience and knock you down for sales and possession of narcotics.

      • Social media, cryptocurrencies must empower democracy: PM

        Delivering India’s “national statement” at the US Summit for Democracy on Friday, PM Narendra Modi called for efforts to jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and crypto currencies, so that “they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it”.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Devin Nunes Is Trading Congress for Social Media
      • Big Tech to face higher scrutiny as they may be tagged as publishers

        India, which is finalising its data protection law, is planning to classify social media platforms as content publishers.

        Social media entities are publishers of content, have to be "accountable" for the content on their platforms and cannot take cover behind their "algorithms" when it comes to online harm, discrimination of users, and spread of misinformation, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT told ET in an exclusive interview last month.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Censorship as an Investment: Turn Two Cents Into $311,562!

        The “underlying transaction” in question? Getting paid to write for a publication the US government disapproves of: The Strategic Culture Foundation, a Russian think tank sanctioned by the Treasury Department because it’s regarded as an arm of the Russian state.

        Yes, you read that right: Putting in one’s two cents on current affairs (the SCF’s focus) can yield a profit of more than 1.5 million percent!

      • Can #MeToo Survive Chinese Censorship?

        In the days since Ms. Peng’s post went live, Beijing appeared to close its iron fist in an effort to mitigate damage. And the censors might have succeeded if Steve Simon, the head of the Women’s Tennis Association, had not spoken out on Nov. 14, calling on Beijing to investigate Ms. Peng’s accusations and stop trying to bury her case.

        “I think there has been significant impact already on Chinese formal diplomacy,” Mr. Tsang said. The Biden administration and the United Nations human rights office have joined the tennis association in calling for Beijing to provide proof of Ms. Peng’s well-being.

      • Meta reverses censorship imposed by Instagram on traditional medicine

        Meta is today the leading ecosystem of social networks, which houses apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook app, Oculus, Workplace, Portal and Instagram, it was in the latter that a controversy arose due to the fact that the application focused on photography and stories of In the short term, it decided to censor the content of some of its users, since within the images it was possible to observe the active consumption of Ayahuasca, a plant considered traditional medicine by some peoples and communities of the world. Meta, has decided to revoke this decision and allow the transmission of graphic content.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • As COVID-19 Raged, Incarcerated Journalists Fought Isolation And Illness To Expose Abusive Conditions

        In the summer of 2020 we launched a collaborative writing program to connect incarcerated writers with outside journalists and editors. Our goal was to help them publish their writing in mainstream media publications.

        We began only a few weeks after COVID-19 came into San Quentin State Prison, where Rahsaan lives. We knew that COVID-19 would be an incredible threat to people incarcerated, but were unprepared for the devastation and loss ahead. At San Quentin — which became home to the largest outbreak in the country — Rahsaan became infected with the virus and experienced the mental health toll of being locked in a cell, 24 hours a day, for days at a time. With a total of 2,607 confirmed cases, 29 people died. 

      • Ralph Nader on Journalism and the Public Interest
      • “Hold the Line”: Watch Filipina Journalist Maria Ressa’s Full Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

        Filipina journalist Maria Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov accepted the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.” “There are so many more journalists persecuted in the shadows with neither exposure nor support, and governments are doubling down with impunity,” said Ressa in her acceptance speech at Friday’s Nobel ceremony, which we play in full.

      • Roaming Charges: King of Tides

        + A side note: I’ve become increasingly incensed by the abusive treatment of the historical and cultural landscape of the Northwest. One of the sites I photographed is Abernethy Creek at its confluence with the Willamette. By any measure, this meeting of creek and river should be one of the most significant sites in the Pacific Northwest. It was the location of one of the oldest continuously inhabited indigenous villages on the continent, going back probably 5,000 years, maybe more. As late as the 1850s, it was the site of Charcowah village of the Clowewalla band of Tumwaters, before they were uprooted and forcibly relocated to the Grand Ronde reservation 80 miles to the West. Abernathy Creek was also the location of one of the first white settlements in the Northwest. It was the end of the Oregon Trail, where the “settlers” came to regroup after their arduous journey across the West to file their “claims” to the land the Tumwaters had been expelled from. By any measure (even if you exclude Critical Race Theory), a very important location in the history of the country, so important, apparently, that they put one of the ugliest bridges ever built on top of it and put a landfill on Abernethy Green. America, in a nutshell.)

        + I’m disgusted but hardly surprised by the UK court’s decision on the Assange extradition. The UK was a co-conspirator with US in the war on Iraq, helping to fabricated the case for war and cover up the crimes that were committed during it. Wikileaks exposed the UK’s deep complicity not just in war crimes but in a war that was a crime. It is revealing that the two nations which bray the most stridently about a “free press”, crack down the most viciously when their self-righteous is exposed as a sham. In the eyes of the empire, whistleblowers are great as long as they’re blowing the whistle on your enemies. When they blow the whistle on you, suddenly they’ve become a subversive threat which must be silenced by any means.

      • The Judicial Kidnapping of Julian Assange

        Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes last Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.

        Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.

      • [Old] A Guide To The U.S. Government's Appeal In The Assange Extradition Case

        Because Assange is the first publisher to be charged under the law, press freedom organizations around the world have roundly condemned the political prosecution. It also is part of a troubling development where the U.S. government increasingly seeks to impose its domestic laws on foreign nationals. Assange is an Australian citizen and has no ties whatsoever to the United States.

      • British Court Authorizes Extradition Of Assange To The US

        According to the High Court, the United States offers sufficient guarantees that Assange will not be subjected to the harsh regime known as "special administrative measures" when in custody in the country. Assange's defense, however, still has the right to challenge the verdict by filing an appeal.

        As soon as the judicial decision was known, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) expressed its rejection of the possibility of extraditing the Australian journalist to the United States.

      • Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules

        Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement: "Julian's life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient.

        "This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower."

        Amnesty International described the ruling as a "travesty of justice" and the US assurances as "deeply flawed".

      • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be extradited to the U.S. after U.K. ruling

        WikiLeaks and Assange burst onto the international scene with the release of footage from a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that resulted in the deaths of two Reuters journalists, among others.

      • Rights Groups Warn Extradition of Assange Would Have 'Dangerous Implications for Future of Journalism'

        A chorus of international human rights and press freedom groups roundly condemned a British court's Friday ruling that WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States where he could face torturous conditions and life in prison.

        "Julian Assange should be immediately released, and steps taken to ensure no journalist, publisher, or source can ever be targeted in this way again."

      • Press Freedoms Under 'Grave Threat' as British Court Rules Assange Can Be Extradited to US

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

        A British court ruled Friday that WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act, a decision that rights groups say poses a profound threat to global press freedoms.

      • Press Freedoms Threatened as British Court Rules Assange Can Be Extradited to US
      • Assange Plans To Appeal High Court Decision Backing Extradition To United States

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

        Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plan to appeal to the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom after the country’s appeals court overturned a decision that blocked the extradition of Assange to the United States.

      • “Terrible Step”: Press Freedom in Danger as U.K. Court Clears the Way for Julian Assange Extradition to U.S.

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could soon face charges in the United States after a U.K. court ruled Friday in favor of the U.S. government’s appeal to extradite him. U.K. Judge Timothy Holroyde said he was satisfied with a pledge from the United States that Assange would not be held in a so-called ADX maximum-security prison in Colorado, despite a U.K. district court ruling in January that said Assange should not be extradited because it would be “oppressive” due to his mental health and that he would likely die by suicide in a U.S. prison. “They can’t guarantee his safety in the U.S. prison system. He will likely die here, if not beforehand,” says Gabriel Shipton, filmmaker and Julian Assange’s brother. “Think about what the precedent will mean around the world if every regime can now point to us and say, 'We want to extradite these journalists,'” adds Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.

      • High Court decision “Grave miscarriage of justice,” says Julian Assange’s fiancée

        The prosecution against Julian Assange is an existential threat to press freedom worldwide. Leading civil liberties groups, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, ACLU, and Human Rights Watch have called the charges against Julian Assange a “threat to press freedom around the globe.” Journalist unions, including the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, have said that “media freedom is suffering lasting damage by the continued prosecution of Julian Assange.” He faces a 175-year prison sentence.

      • Opinion | 'People as the Enemy of Conservation': The Militarization of Conservation in Nepal

        Chitwan National Park in the Southern lowlands of Nepal is famous for its one-horned rhinoceros and other wildlife living in its tropical grasslands and forests. Adjoining India, this landscape was once famous as the hunting grounds of big game and entertained Royals and important government officials working for the British empire. Before the early 1960s, Indigenous Tharus occupied this land. This changed with the eradication of malaria which encouraged a massive migration from the hills, leading to deforestation and large shrinkages of the forest. Due to this deforestation and decline in wildlife, the government established its first Protected Area, a rhino sanctuary, in the 19th century to protect the one-horned rhinoceros with park rangers. These rhino guards demolished thousands of Tharu houses, forcing them to leave their land in order to make way for the newly established sanctuary. 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • An Unplanned, Ad-Hoc Collaboration Reveals The On-The-Ground Truth About China's Internment Camps For Uyghurs

        The US, UK and Australia have all announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The reason given for the move is because of human rights abuses in China, particularly in the turkic-speaking region of Xinjiang. Techdirt has been writing about the Chinese authorities' use of technology to censor and carry out surveillance on the local Uyghur population, among others, for some years. One of the most controversial aspects of China's policy in the region is the use of huge detention camps. According to the authorities there, these camps are for educational and vocational training. Human rights organizations call them internment camps; some governments speak of "genocide" against the Uyghurs.

      • Beyond Passive Resistance: Against Democratic Surrender in a Time of Fascitization

        “the assault on abortion is not taking place in isolation…[it] is part of a larger fascist remaking of society…Already, fascist mobs are invading every sphere of public life. They are threatening school board members, public health officials, election workers and more. And the Republican Party has not only purged itself of anyone who firmly opposed the violent coup attempt by Trump’s supporters on January 6, it has been moving aggressively to so thoroughly corrupt the election processes that they will either win regardless of the popular vote or be able to unleash violent mobs to nullify an election they lose. A win for them in decimating abortion rights would accelerate their momentum. The idea that the ‘pro-choice movement’ could then just retreat into local elections and build up power over years and decades (a ‘strategy’ put forward by Amy Littlefield…as well as by many ‘pro-choice leaders’…) a complete fantasy out of touch with what is really going on.”

        Big Pro-“Life” Lies

      • PewDiePie Dives Into The Mark Fitzpatrick, Toei Animation Saga

        We had just been talking about how Mark Fitzpatrick, a YouTube personality who focuses on doing reviews and let's draws for anime properties, had been targeted by Toei Animation for the takedown of over a 150 of his videos over copyright claims. Toei is the animation house for several popular animes, including the Dragon Ball series. While Fitzpatrick's videos fall squarely in the category of fair use, as they are chiefly commentary and reviews that use snippets of the animes in question in order to illustrate points, because of the onerous way YouTube enforces such claims, his videos were taken down first and remain down at the time of this writing.

      • On the Matter of Black Lives: an Interview With Jelani Cobb

        This past summer, he co-edited with Matthew Guariglia, The Essential Kerner Commission Report, which examined and explained the underlying conditions that led to a dozen urban uprisings between 1964 and 1967. Cobb says Republicans used the uprisings as political fodder but ignored the Report’s findings.

        Last fall, he wrote The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, where he explores the paradoxes that President Barack Obama’s election raised with regards to race and patriotism, identity and citizenship, and progress and legacy.

      • Countering Liberal Human Rights with the Black Radical Human Rights Framework

        Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness, and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions. ~Frantz Fanon

        International Human Rights Day is December 10. On that day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was promulgated as the first in a series of covenants, treaties, and legal interpretations that would make up the post-war human rights framework.

      • “People Are at a Breaking Point” After Transfers From Rikers

        In mid-October, after ongoing protests about the violence and abuse at Rikers Island, as well as repeated calls from community leaders to close the island jail, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the transfers of approximately 230 women and trans people from the New York City complex to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a women’s state prison 45 minutes north of the city. Despite outcry from advocates and women at Rikers, transfers began the following week.

      • Opinion | El Salvador Offers a Dark Glimpse Into Our Post-Roe Future

        Manuela was a 33-year-old Salvadoran mother of two when she fell and suffered a stillbirth.

      • Mental Health Care is Hard to Come By, Especially If You’re Poor

        I was relieved that somebody had finally asked about my mental health.

        All spring and summer 2020, I kicked the ball of my fritzing brain down the field to some imaginary goal of “things” getting better in the world, or at least more stable. Plainly, that didn’t happen.

      • Trump's Revenge Against Georgia Republicans Could End Up Boosting Stacey Abrams
      • 'This Is Horrific': US Supreme Court Keeps 6-Week Abortion Ban in Place

        This is a developing story and may be updated.

        Reproductive rights advocates on Friday expressed outrage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas' six-week abortion ban can remain in effect—a ruling that will continue to force Texans to travel out of state to obtain care at clinics which have reported surging demand, or to continue their unwanted pregnancies.

      • Playing ‘Both Sides’ on Immigration Leaves Public in the Dark

        Immigration, as both an area of policymaking and a topic of public discourse, holds the peculiar distinction of having perhaps the widest gulf between how strongly the public and the press feel about it, on the one hand, and how much they actually know about its history and mechanics on the other.

      • The Supreme Court’s Texas Abortion Ruling Isn’t the Victory Many Want It to Be

        The Supreme Court today allowed some lawsuits to go forward against Texas’s six-week abortion ban, commonly known as Senate Bill 8. The majority opinion, written by Neil Gorsuch, allows abortion providers to sue a limited number of state officials and argue that the ban is unconstitutional. The decision means that lower courts will now be allowed to rule on the merits of the ban, and those lower court decisions will eventually be appealed back to the Supreme Court. The law will remain in place while that litigation plays out.

      • The Better CEO who fired 900 people over a Zoom call is taking time off

        Following the news of the layoffs, reports of Garg’s past insensitive comments and behavior began to trickle out; Motherboard reported he once referred to a top investor in Better as “sewage” and reportedly told Better employees that instead of taking a day off for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it was better for them to work and earn the company “capital, and therefore our freedom.”

      • Legislator Pushes for Law Requiring Illinois Hospitals to Report All Assaults to Police

        An Illinois lawmaker said she will propose legislation to require hospital employees to report suspected patient-on-patient sexual assaults to law enforcement.

        The proposal, from State Sen. Julie Morrison, a Lake Forest Democrat, was prompted by a ProPublica investigation that found that Roseland Community Hospital officials failed to report a possible sexual assault of a patient in its psychiatric ward, even though it was captured on surveillance video.

      • Systemic Sadism at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

        Police reform advocates have for decades called out Cops for its good-apples emphasis on police transparency, often at the expense of the citizens they are charged to serve. The show emphasizes the hard work of policing, but never shows the rotten officers who wreck the barrel for the rest of their colleagues. You’ll never see a police encounter of the George Floyd variety on Cops. The program, says documentarian and former Sacramento County Deputy district attorney Ron Rogers, promulgates an us-versus-them view of policing, glorifies police violence, and often makes a mockery of the very communities that law enforcement agencies are supposed to be protecting. “Cops is a complete step backwards,” says Rogers.

      • First Starbucks Store Votes to Unionize

        On Thursday, workers at a Buffalo Starbucks became the first of the chain’s 9,000 stores to vote to unionize, following a mail-in vote swarmed by controversy and allegations of union busting by Starbucks’ corporate offices. The Elmwood Starbucks location voted 19 to 8 in favor of unionizing with Starbucks Workers United, an independent affiliate of the SEIU; the vote was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

      • What the first Starbucks union means for workers everywhere

        On Thursday, workers at a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, voted to form a union, making it the first of more than 8,000 corporate Starbucks locations in the US to unionize. A second Buffalo location voted against unionizing; a third had a majority vote for the union but, due to a number of challenges to individual ballots, the results aren’t final.

        For the Starbucks employees at the union store, this means they’ll begin to negotiate a contract for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. For everyone else, this could spur more unionization across the US — whether at more Starbucks locations or anywhere else — thanks to the company’s high profile.

      • 'An Existential Attack on the Union': Biden Blasts Kellogg's Plan to Replace Striking Workers

        U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday joined the growing chorus of labor rights advocates and workers who have condemned an attempt by Kellogg Company to hire permanent replacements for unionized workers who remain on strike after rejecting a proposed contract earlier this week.

        "I am deeply troubled by reports of Kellogg's plans to permanently replace striking workers."

      • Redditors are spamming Kellogg’s job portal to support striking workers

        The underlying ethos of r/antiwork isn’t just to be a place to vent—it’s to push back on the idea of work as we know it. So it might seem counterintuitive that on Thursday, a thread blew up that was urging members to apply for jobs.

        The jobs in question are permanent positions at Kellogg’s cereal plants in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Tennessee. The goal was to overwhelm the system with fake applications, making it a nightmare for recruiters to sort through.

      • Texas Says Its Unconstitutional Content Moderation Law Should Still Go Into Effect While We Wait For Appeal; Judge: 'No, That's Not How This Works'

        Last week, the district court Judge Robert Pitman wrote an excellent ruling tossing out Texas' silly content moderation law as clearly unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment. As was widely expected, Texas has appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit (undeniably, the wackiest of the Circuits, so who knows what may happen). However, in the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also asked the lower court to have the law go into effect while waiting for the appeals court to rule!

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Outcome of 850/900MHz band spectrum auction

        All 16 lots available were allocated. The allocation realised a total revenue of $2,091,618,000, equivalent to almost $1.21/MHz/pop.

        Optus won eight lots of spectrum at auction for $1,119,183,000, and acquired a total of 12 lots of spectrum for $1,475,958,000. Two set-aside lots were allocated to Optus for a pre‑determined price, and two lots of 1 MHz were automatically allocated also to Optus as the winner of the 900 MHz lower products.

        Telstra won four lots of spectrum for $615,660,000.

      • Bringing Domain Names Back to the People: What You Need to Know About Handshake | Benzinga

        Blockchain domains serve more than one purpose. Besides being suites of smart contracts, these domains can work as name registrations for crypto wallet addresses. Unfortunately, people don’t get to choose the domains of their preference every time because most of them already exist or are owned by large companies. This is where Handshake, a decentralized DNS server, has stepped in to give domain names back to the people.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Wants to Own Online News About Its Content, Too

        Tudum will function under the streamer’s marketing division, run by Bozoma Saint John. “Netflix is a part of the cultural zeitgeist, and what makes my job so exciting is that through the work we do, I get to constantly connect with fans all over the world through their favorite shows and movies,” wrote Saint John in a blog post announcing the site.

        The content on Tudum will be curated according to a subscriber’s viewing habits. Meaning, a subscriber who is watching Bridgerton will be fed stories about the Shonda Rhimes-produced series when they open Tudum on devices where they are logged in to Netflix account. Tudum can be accessed worldwide but is currently available only in English.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Big Pharma and Omicron

          And that’s the biggest problem we’re facing in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: Private enterprise is not capable of dealing with a global health crisis. Because big pharmas are built to focus on markets that make the most profit for their investors. Yet only a small fraction of the world’s nations are wealthy enough to be profitable markets even for products as desperately needed as good coronavirus vaccines. So companies like Pfizer, Cambridge’s own Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson compete with each other by developing rival vaccines, then fight for market share in wealthy countries, and ignore the rest of the world other than donating smallish fractions of their total vaccine output to poor countries.

          Worse still, these multinationals then refuse to open up their quickly patented vaccine research to the world for free—preventing poor countries from being able to work with the World Health Organization and rich nations to produce enough doses to cover every person on the planet that needs one.

        • Probe Shows Big Pharma 'Manipulated' Patent System and 'Raised Prices With Abandon'

          Bolstering calls for the U.S. Senate to pass the Build Back Better bill with drug pricing reforms, a House panel on Friday released a report detailing how Big Pharma has not only "raised prices with abandon," but also "manipulated the patent system" to suppress competition.

          "The evidence overwhelmingly supports the need to pass the Build Back Better Act."

      • Copyrights

        • Tarantino: Pulp Fiction NFT Sale Lawsuit is "Offensively Meritless", Won't Succeed

          Last month Miramax sued director Quentin Tarantino over his plans to sell exclusive Pulp Fiction NFTs worth potentially millions of dollars. In a scathing response, the veteran filmmaker now accuses Miramax of "biting the hand that fed it for so many years" while describing the copyright, trademark, and unfair competition lawsuit as "offensively meritless".

        • EU Study: Pirate Site Traffic Continues to Drop Despite the Pandemic

          New research published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office shows that, despite the pandemic, piracy site visits continue to fall. This trend is visible for movies, TV shows, and music, with the latter showing the sharpest drop. Income level and inequality appear to be major piracy drivers, but there's a major caveat as well.

        • Michael Nesmith, Monkees Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 78

          Nesmith spent the rest of the Seventies recording under-the-radar solo albums. In 1977, he promoted his single “Rio” with a clever music video that got a lot of play in Europe and Australia, turning the song into a minor hit. It gave him an incredible idea. “[I realized that] radio is to records as television is to video,” he told Rolling Stone in 2013. “Then it was like, ‘Of course!’ and thus MTV was born. I just took that idea and put together some programs and sent it over to Warner Bros. and so forth. Next thing you know, there it was.”

        • Book Publishers Sue Maryland Over Law That Would Require Them To Offer 'Reasonable' Prices On Ebooks To Libraries

          For years now, we've been highlighting how book publishers are at war with libraries, and see ebooks and ebook pricing as a key lever in that war. With regular books, a library can just buy the book and lend it out and do what they want with it. But not ebooks. Because of a broken copyright law, publishers retain excess control over ebooks, and they lord that over libraries, arbitrarily raising prices to ridiculous levels, limiting how many times they can lend it out before they have to "repurchase" the ebook, and generally making it as difficult as possible for libraries to actually be able to offer ebooks.

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