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Links 23/12/2021: Krita 5.0 and New Benchmarks

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux, AMD GPU, black screen on boot

        There we go. Hopefully, your AMD-graphics laptop running Linux is now behaving correctly, and you're no longer seeing the black screen issue on boot while using battery power (or any other scenario). My tutorial outlines three major approaches: kernel upgrade, power usage workaround, and some hackery with kernel module parameters, which are risky and most likely won't give you the best results, but hey.

        I don't like this kind of problems. They always remind me of how fragile Linux is. Yes, it runs on tons of hardware, and that's commendable, but it's always 95% or 91%, never 100% through and through. And that's annoying. Well, anyway, that's it. Now, off I go to my next Tuxy hurdle. See you around.

    • Benchmarks

      • macOS 12.1 vs. Ubuntu vs. Clear Linux vs. Windows Benchmarks

        So for this comparison was the latest Windows 10 up against Ubuntu 21.10 and Intel's own Clear Linux against Apple macOS 12.1. All tests were done on the same 2018 Mac Mini with Intel Core i7 8700B "Coffee Lake" processor with UHD Graphics 630, 8GB of RAM, and 250GB SSD. The same system was used throughout testing -- the CPU frequency and memory differences reported in the automated system table just amount to how each OS exposes different details, etc. All operating systems were cleanly installed and running in their out-of-the-box / default state. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of different benchmarks that are all native to macOS / Windows / Linux were run on this Mac Mini for satisfying the curiosity how Windows is competing with macOS and Linux.

    • Applications

      • Quickemu – Run Windows, macOS, and Linux Virtual Machines

        Quickemu is command-line software that repackages QEMU to enable users to quickly create and run optimized Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows desktop virtual machines. Currently, it is available to only Linux users, but other desktop users might see the app available on their machines in the near future.

        It is relatively easy to spin up new virtual machines these days thanks to software such as VirtualBox, VMWare, and Parallels Desktop. If you have used any of these apps, then you must agree with me that the setup options can be fewer and that’s what Quickemu exists to present.

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source Music Trackers

        Linux is an attractive platform for professional audio production. It is an extremely stable operating system that has good support for audio hardware. Using a Linux machine as the focus of your recording setup opens a world of possibilities for an affordable price.

        A music tracker (short version tracker) is a type of music sequencer software for creating music. The music is represented as discrete musical notes positioned in several channels at discrete chronological positions on a vertical timeline.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Pages

        Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

        There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

        macOS is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Difference between Containerization and Orchestration: A Layman's Outlook

        You might have come across these two terms in the DevOps world, especially if you are a sysadmin.

        There are already many articles that have tried to explain the difference between containerization and orchestration, but most of them focus their comparison on Docker and Kubernetes.

        Before differentiating between software, it is essential to first understand the difference between their purpose, as to why they were developed in the first place.

        So in this quick read, I have tried to explore what the terms containerization and orchestration actually mean as core concepts for beginners and newbies.

        How can you differentiate between containerization and orchestration? Let us use an analogy.

      • Enable PowerTools Repository on Rocky Linux 8 - LinuxCapable

        The PowerTools repository is a container that contains many packages, libraries, and developer tools for either creating from source or installing applications. Most repositories rely on the PowerTools to be enabled, including the most popular Extra packages for the Enterprise Linux repository.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to quickly install the EPEL repository and enable PowerTools on your Rocky Linux 8 system.

      • How to Install and Secure Apache with HTTPS on Fedora Linux

        The name Apache has earned its spot in the web servers hall of fame because of its luring attributes that continue to make it a popular web server candidate around the globe.

        These attributes include its open-source nature, its numerous and easy-to-configure features, and its large community support that make it easier for both newbie and elite users to debug configuration and performance issues related to Apache.

      • [Updated] How to Install, Create and Manage LXC in Ubuntu/Debian

        Over the last decade, the open-source community has seen a steady shift to containerization as the preferred way of deploying applications thanks to the numerous benefits it offers such as portability, flexibility, increased security, and easier management of applications. Popular containerization technologies include Docker, Podman, and LXD.

        Written in Go language, LXD (pronounced as Lekseed) is described as the next generation system container and virtual machine manager that allows you to manage your containers and virtual machines from the command line, or by leveraging a REST API or other third party tools. LXD is an open-source project and is an extension of LXC (Linux Containers) which is OS-level virtualization technology.

      • How to Install & Enable EPEL / EPEL Next Repository on CentOS 9 Stream - LinuxCapable

        EPEL, which stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, is an open-source and free repository that provides extra packages for Enterprise Linux. The EPEL repository was created because Fedora contributors wanted to use Fedora packages they maintain on RHEL and other compatible distributions such as CentOS, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, to name a few.

        The EPEL repository is also known for bringing additional packages and updated packages that may be behind in the core repository, along with dependencies required by other external repositories, for example, the Remi PHP repository.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the EPEL repository and the EPEL Next repository, which is the next testing version that can come into use for newer packages when major upgrades occur to the core distribution on CentOS 9 Stream.

    • Games

      • Skullgirls: Umbrella gets an Early Access release with the story mode | GamingOnLinux

        One of the best fighting games on PC is expanding again, with the latest character getting a full DLC that's in Early Access right now with Skullgirls: Umbrella. Previously limited to an Alpha for those who have the Season Pass, this is your chance to grab the full character alone.

        You will still need to opt into the Beta to access it, but now they've also pretty much finished the story mode for Umbrella too but the developers said it still need another go over some minor bits to fully finish. Check out the new trailer below, which also gives us a teaser of the next Skullgirls character to come in 2022.

      • Get I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream free on GOG for 48 hours | GamingOnLinux

        During the GOG Winter Sale they have another game giveaway and so you can grab the classic I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream for free right now. The giveaway lasts until December 25th at 2 PM UTC.

        This is part of their Throwback Thursday series, for which they have a dedicated list of other retro delights you might want to take a look at.

      • Watch Over Christmas is a sweet festive point and click adventure out now | GamingOnLinux

        Visit the elves with a younger audience perhaps? Looks like Watch Over Christmas could be a good family game for you.

        "Watch Over Christmas is a unique Christmassy game that tells the story of a 12-year-old boy, Cisco, who is called upon to save the most beloved holiday of them all. On the night just before Christmas, an unexpected visitor will inform him that Santa has been abducted and that he is the only hope of saving Christmas as we know it. Cisco will jump on a quest through numerous fun and challenging puzzles to preserve the magic of the Holidays."

      • The classic Naev, a free and open source space sim version 0.9 released | GamingOnLinux

        Time to explore space once again? Naev is an absolute classic. It's free, open source and it continues to mature with some more modern features available in the new 0.9 release. A space trading, combat and exploration game inspired by the likes of the Escape Velocity series.

      • Play some socially-distanced tabletop games with a new FoundryVTT release | GamingOnLinux

        FoundryVTT version 9 has been released, further improving many big parts of this excellent cross-platform virtual tabletop experience and it's looking awesome. Allowing you to play many wildly different game packs, with lots of officially licensed games from various developers, virtual-tabletopping is in a really good place right now.

        One of the major new features of this release is support for card games, as it now has mechanics hooked up for handling Card Decks, Card Hands and Card Piles.

      • Gamify your creativity on Linux with Dot Matrix

        Simplicity is sometimes undervalued. Something that's simple is often seen as the result of laziness or as something trivial. But there are many instances when simplicity is very useful. Consider logo design, for example. Many of the most famous logos are the ones designed to be simple and easily reproducible. Think about the Signal logo, the LibreOffice logo, or the KDE logo. They use basic shapes, are not cluttered, and are recognizable.

        Even the Firefox logo, which began as a rather complex illustration, has been revised and simplified over the years. Sometimes, simplicity also means memorable. And that's the case with the simple little application Dot Matrix, described by its developer as a "glyph playground of creativity." Dot Matrix is a minimalist illustration program that places severe limitations on what tools you have available, what shapes you can make, what colors you can use, and much more, and it's so much fun. It's fun because of how it limits you. Being a simple app forces you to think in simple terms as you draw. You can't over-design an idea with Dot Matrix because you simply don't have the ability to do that.

      • SuperTux 0.6.3 Arcade Game Arrives Just in Time for Christmas with New Features

        SuperTux 0.6.3 is here just in time for the Christmas holidays and introduces new features like swimming, wall jumping, new snow tiles, autotiles, new objects (e.g. falling blocks, sideways bumper, etc.), a new rublight object, custom particles, new color picker, as well as in-game progress statistics.

        Additionally, the new release introduces an add-on creator to allow you to create add-on packages with your world, adds the ability to skip cutscenes, updates the editor to automatically save your changes at regular intervals, and adds timeshift ambience in the worldmap.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 5.0 Release Notes
          It has certainly been a long time coming and a lot of hard work, but Krita 5 is here at last! I can say with a measure of pride (and a whole helping of relief for the development team) that 5.0 is up there among the largest and most significant updates that Krita has ever seen, affecting and improving almost every aspect of the program in a variety of ways, big and small. And of course, there’s a ton of cool new features that we can’t wait for our community of artists to start working with, but before we dig into the details…

        • Krita 5.0 Open-Source Digital Painting Software Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Krita 5.0 is a massive update that brings numerous new features and improvements, starting with a completely revamped and resource-friendly way to handle brushes, gradients, palettes, and tagging, a built-in storyboard editor, as well as a built-in recorder so you can easily record your painting sessions.

          This new major Krita release also introduces a new brush engine based on MyPaint, completely revamps the smudge brush engine, improves gradients to make them smoother and handle wider gamuts, and overhauls the Animation system with new features like animated transform masks and clone frames.

        • Krita 5.0 Has Arrived – And It’s Full of New Features
          Krita 5.0 is described as the ‘largest and most significant update that Krita has ever seen’. Almost every area of the app has been improved, ranging from revamped handling of brushes, gradients and palettes, to several new or improved brush engines.

          Additionally, Krita’s animation capabilities get super-charged in Krita 5.0 thanks to a crop of user interface improvements and the inclusion of several new features, including clone frames and animated transform masks. There’s also a built-in storyboard editor to help sketching out and planning animated pieces.

        • Krita 5.0 Released With Big Improvements For Open-Source Digital Painting / 2D Animation
          Krita is easily one of the best digital painting / 2D animation / raster graphics programs out there for being open-source / free software and today is now even better with the Krita 5.0 release.

          Krita 5.0 is a wonderful end-of-year gift for open-source artists and others making use of this software over the past decade and a half. Krita 5.0 revamps its handling of brushes / gradients / palettes so they are now faster and use "much less" memory as well as being more reliable. Krita 5.0 also features improvements to gradients, the smudge brush engine has been rewritten, the animation system has been overhauled, there is now a built-in storyboard editor, a recorder to make a video out of painting sessions, and a heck of a lot more.

        • Krita 5.0 released
          Version 5.0 of the Krita painting program has been released. "This is a huge release, with a lot of new features and improvements". Changes include a reworked resource system, dithered gradients, faster color management, a reworked animation subsystem, and more; see the release notes for details.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD on MeLE Quieter2

          So I got the MeLE Quieter2Q. It ships an Intel Celeron J4125 @2.00GHz and 8GB of RAM. My model also comes with 256GB of eMMC storage and 256GB of removable M.2 NVMe/SATA 2280. And it is fanless.

          Installation when straightforward. Simply plug the machine to an HDMI monitor (I used my Samsung TV), connect a keyboard (I used an wireless Logitech keyboard) and a USB stick were install70.img was transferred.

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro 21.2.0 'Qonos' is out, the Linux distro Valve suggests for Steam Deck testing

          A fresh new release of Manjaro Linux is out now bringing with it tons of enhancements. Manjaro 21.2.0 Qonos comes in multiple editions with KDE Plasma, GNOME and Xfce desktops available.

          This is a Linux distribution based-on Arch Linux, and it's one that Valve actually recommends to developers for testing to get ahead of the game for the upcoming Steam Deck handheld (as long as you go for the Plasma edition, since it matches SteamOS 3's desktop mode).

          What's new in Manjaro 21.2?

          Featuring Kernel 5.15 LTS as the standard, with 5.4 LTS and 5.10 LTS offered for those who need them for whatever reason, like perhaps some older hardware. There's "major" improvements to their installer named Calamares, with automatic partitioning and enhanced support for the btrfs filesystem.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Airbyte: The Money and Licensing of Software Plumbing

        AirByte, a basically open source startup that specializes in connectors for data channels caught the attention of venture capitalists in a big way in 2021, completing three funding rounds that raised a total of $181.2 million during the year, for a valuation of $1.5 billion. Not bad for a startup that won’t enter its second year until early 2022.

        It also seems to have avoided what could have been a kerfuffle with open sourcers with a decision to license the software that runs its SaaS platform with the Elastic License v2. This move came with the risk of generating a bit of unwanted controversy, since the license is one of a spate of licenses that have been created during the last five years or so that some are derisively calling “fauxpen source,” because they have some of the trappings of open source but are believed to not qualify for approval by the Open Source Initiative standards organization.

      • Let it snow! New: xsnow plays better with xscreensaver, see the 'settings' tab

        Xsnow has old roots and is adapting to new environments, visible in the code, which is a good thing for an application like xsnow. For example, there is no convention whatsoever for the naming of variables and functions. Something like 'windonfallensnow' can be spelled like: 'windonfallensnow', 'wind_on_fallen_snow', 'WindOnFallenSnow', WOFS and so on. The language used is C, (not C++ as would be the obvious choice now, however: see 'Technical issues' (no, not Python or Ruby: we really need some performance)), with many global variables, sometimes with not very helpful names. The choice whether a function and accompanying header files are placed is separate files or in xsnow.c, is based on the moment of the day, or the flipping of a coin. Xsnow-1.42 hardly used floating point arithmetic, xsnow-2.0 uses a mix of floating point and integer arithmetic, floating point gradually taking over. The documentation contains references to systems that are extinct for many years, but description of new flags has been noted to creep in. Xsnow's genes show traces of findent, and even of some Hitchhikers Guide. The genes for 'toon.h' are almost gone, there are at this moment better ways to find the window to snow in. The program became aware of the fact the Santa's sleigh is pulled by 8 reindeers: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. Later on, Rudolf could be added. It seems that some of the pixmaps are evolving in that direction.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 10 tech freebies to grab now: Software, phone service, logos and more

          Microsoft Office is pricey. You don’t need to pay for it if you know about this free alternative: LibreOffice. It’s a free, open-source office suite compatible with Microsoft Office files. Since it’s open-source software, the program is continually updated at no charge.

          LibreOffice offers six programs that will feel instantly familiar to you if you’ve used Office before. Writer, Calc and Impress are equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They have most of the same features. You might need to poke around to find some of them.

          Even better, LibreOffice can open and edit the documents you made in Office and save new files in Office formats. Download Libre Office here.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Comfortable Clothes, Uncomfortable Bias
    • Opinion | Winter Solstice: Finding Light in Dark Times

      I'm writing this post on the Winter Solstice—the longest night of the year. As I watched the sunrise this morning, and as the vermilion clouds put on the stunning show captured in this photograph, I felt my usual complex feelings on this day. The first day of winter, when we enter the coldest time of year in the northern hemisphere, is also the beginning of the returning light. The days will lengthen. The sun will begin its journey back north. There is promise in this celestial rhythm.

    • Opinion | Ralph Nader's Holiday Season Top Reading Recommendations

      The most important books exposing real injustices are often the least read. Nearly all of the hundreds of thousands of neighborhood book clubs insist on only reading and discussing works of fiction. They don’t want hard feelings over disagreements.

    • A Turn to the Light

      Make no mistake, there are some very dark corners left over from the disastrous administration of the “former guy” who seemed to attract corruption, grift, and criminals like a magnet attracts iron filings. But now, like peeling back the layers of an onion, the extent of the rot left behind is being exposed to the light — and once exposed, it can be and is being expunged.

      There’s simply no doubt now that the attempted coup of January 6 wasn’t simply some gathering of “tourists” in the nation’s capital. No, as more and more evidence comes forth from thousands of documents, emails, texts and witnesses, the truth will not be whitewashed by certain politicians and media figures.

    • Soul Train and the Desire for Black Power

      There’s likely no single Black-owned brand that elicits a collective smile more than Soul Train, the nationally syndicated dance show that premiered 50 years ago this fall. Host and founder Don Cornelius’s adage of “Love, Peace, and Soul” resonated for generations, unleashing what Nelson George has called the civil rights movement’s secret power: “Black Joy.” Yet embedded within the funky rhythms, ethereal harmonies, and Day-Glo body suits was a desire for something more elusive: Black Power.

    • Hardware

      • Here’s why you can’t buy DDR5 memory, and won’t anytime soon

        The supply problem isn’t with the memory chips themselves, but rather some of the more advanced components that go into the design of DDR5 modules. With more of the essential hardware like power management circuits moved from the motherboard to the module in the DDR5 spec, finding those components to create the new designs has become much more difficult. According to the CEO from Micron (as quoted by Tom’s Hardware), one of the industry’s largest supplies of computer memory, demand for DDR5 is “significantly exceeding supply” and will continue to do so until at least the second half of 2022. And of course, that’s on top of a significant price premium for the new hardware.

      • New Holographic Display Hacks The Light Field | Hackaday

        [Petapixel] has an interesting post about a startup company’s new holographic display that claims to be “indistinguishable from reality.” The company behind it, Light Field Labs, claims their system requires no glasses and handles different angles.

        You can see a bit in the [C|Net] video below, but — of course — being on YouTube, you can’t get a sense for how good the 3D effect is.

        It seems that while most displays try to project into a 3D volume or onto a flat display media, “solid light” works more like a real hologram, using a phase guide to project light at different phases and allows inference like an actual hologram.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • 'Anti-5G' Jewelry Found To Be... Radioactive And Dangerous

        We've noted for years how much of the hysteria surrounding 5G health hazards aren't based on actual science. In fact, 5G in general is arguably less powerful that previous standards; especially millimeter wave 5G, which struggles with distance and wall penetration. Most 5G health freak outs you'll see online are often based on a twenty year old misinterpreted graph that doesn't actually say what folks claim it does. That's not to say it's impossible that cellular technology could be harming human health, just that the evidence we have so far absolutely does not point in that direction.

      • Democrats Implore Biden Officials to Create Vaccine Rules for Domestic Flights
      • Opinion | Free At-Home Tests Are a Start, But Biden Must Move Faster and Go Bigger to End Pandemic

        President Joe Biden marched triumphantly into the Oval Office almost a year ago promising to strike a mortal blow to the Covid-19 pandemic. Eleven months later, the Omicron variant is forcing many communities back into partial lockdown at Christmastime, and America faces the prospect of a bruising fourth wave of the pandemic. And yet, the White House still refuses to utilize the full extent of its powers to fully fight Covid and save American lives. This is dangerous and concerning.

      • As Covid Surges Again, Decarceration Is More Necessary Than Ever

        As the more infectious Omicron variant sweeps across the United States, the nearly 2 million people incarcerated in America are facing intensifying levels of danger and instability. Under the weight of ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks and staff vaccine refusal, sickness, death, no-shows, and rapid turnover, jails and prisons have become increasingly deadly places for those who live and work inside their walls. Failures to protect those held in America’s roughly 5,150 jails and prisons have made these institutions into taxpayer-funded epidemic engines that have driven millions of preventable Covid-19 cases throughout US communities. In response, the consensus among national health and safety experts has been that large-scale decarceration is required to protect the public. For almost two years, lawmakers have largely ignored the appeals of health leaders, incarcerated people, prison staff, and community activists who know very well that, despite claims to the contrary, mass incarceration does not serve public safety.

      • Trump's COVID Army Boos Him for Revealing That He Received a Booster Shot
      • UKania’s Tories on the Skids

        Theresa May won the election to be Conservative Party leader and prime minister, and appointed BoJo Foreign Secretary in July 2016.

        In July 2018, 3 days after a cabinet meeting at Chequers to finalize a Brexit strategy, BoJo resigned his post. Few regard his time at the Foreign Office as a success. BoJo returned to the backbenches and resumed his spotty career as a journalist.

      • Biden Addresses Omicron Surge as Nation Faces COVID Testing Shortage & Overwhelmed Hospitals

        President Biden has announced a plan to begin distributing 500 million at-home COVID tests starting in January in response to the latest surge in cases, linked to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus. His plan also includes the establishment of new federal testing sites and the deployment of military medical personnel to help overwhelmed hospitals around the country. Dr. Tsion Firew, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center, says nurses and other healthcare providers are quitting or retiring in large numbers as the pandemic drags on, leading to an even greater strain on those still on the frontlines. “It’s just very frustrating and also overburdening our healthcare system,” she says.

      • FDA Authorization of Pfizer's Covid Pill Leads to Fears of 'Global Medical Apartheid Part Two'

        While public health officials in the U.S. on Wednesday applauded the Food and Drug Administration's authorization of Paxlovid, Pfizer's pill to combat the worst effects of Covid-19, experts warned the limited worldwide availability of the drug would give way to a new layer of inequality—condemning billions of people in low- and middle-income countries to more severe and possibly deadly illness.

        "If Pfizer is really interested in ensuring global access to this treatment, it should make clear that it will not stand in the way of generic production and competition anywhere."

      • Honey bees, Varroa mites and unintended consequences

        It seems pretty clear, then, that propolis helps protect against Varroa infestations. But this raises the question of why bees do not make more use of it in their brood cells. A plausible answer is that the ability to do so has been bred out of them.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Proctorio's Anti-Cheating Software Exposes Students To Hackers Say Dutch Education Officials

          Spyware is spyware. It doesn't matter who's deploying it. Proctorio -- the snitchware maker that helps schools keep tabs on distance learners -- has made headlines here for abusing the DMCA to silence security researchers who found flaws in the remote surveillance software. Bogus claims were filed and Proctorio is currently being sued by the EFF and one target of its censorial bullshit.

        • Electric fastback Polestar 2 parks Vivaldi browser in car ● The Register

          Electric cars and browsers have been a thing for a while; a Chromium-based browser has lurked within Teslas, but for cars running Android Automotive on their dashboards, options were limited.

          Its presence on the Polestar 2, Swedish carmaker Volvo's sub-brand, was announced prior to the vehicle's availability last year. Unlike Android Auto, which simply mirrors Android apps from a device onto a car's information and entertainment display, Android Automotive is designed to be embedded within the vehicle itself.

          However, despite the presence of all manner of apps, one omission from the world of Android Automotive on the Polestar 2 was a browser, much to the bafflement of some drivers (judging by forum posts on the matter).

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • AI Surveillance Of Prison Calls Scooping Up Millions Of Conversations, Producing Little Actionable Info

              There's not much privacy in prison. And there's going to be even less. Inmates are warned that all calls are monitored. How often this goal is achieved is impossible to say, but tech advances are making it a reality. Attorney-client privilege is supposed to be respected in prisons, but we've already seen instances where it hasn't been, thanks to automated monitoring equipment.

            • Facebook Wins Data Privacy Lawsuit, Carriers Oppose Backup Power Mandates, Action on Suicide Site

              A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Facebook from company stockholders that alleged the social media platform allowed third party companies such as data consultancy Cambridge Analytica to obtain millions of users’ personal information.

            • TikTok surpasses Google as most popular site in 2021

              TikTok has dislodged Google as the most popular site in 2021, according to the latest data from web security company Cloudflare.

              The social media app overtook other tech behemoths that ranked above it last year, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix.

              The popular social media app ranked seventh to Google's first in 2020 and got a little "help" from the pandemic, according to a blog post titled "Popular Domains Year In Review 2021."

    • Defence/Aggression

      • UN Fails to Agree on ‘Killer Robot’ Ban as Nations Pour Billions Into Autonomous Weapons Research

        The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons debated the question of banning autonomous weapons at its once-every-five-years review meeting in Geneva Dec. 13-17, 2021, but didn’t reach consensus on a ban. Established in 1983, the convention has been updated regularly to restrict some of the world’s cruelest conventional weapons, including land mines, booby traps and incendiary weapons.

        Autonomous weapon systems are robots with lethal weapons that can operate independently, selecting and attacking targets without a human weighing in on those decisions. Militaries around the world are investing heavily in autonomous weapons research and development. The U.S. alone budgeted US$18 billion for autonomous weapons between 2016 and 2020.

      • AOC Leads Demand for Biden to Work on Ending Saudi Blockade of Crucial Yemen Airport

        Amid new airstrikes on Yemen's Sanaa International Airport by the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition and an imminent reduction in critical food assistance to the war-torn nation, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers have joined global humanitarian organizations in urging the immediate reopening of the vital travel, trade, and aid hub.

        "The Biden administration should leverage all possible influence to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to end its blockade of Sanaa International Airport."

      • The Pentagon’s 20-Year Killing Spree Has Always Treated Civilians as Expendable

        Such pretenses should be grimly laughable to anyone who has read high-quality journalism from eyewitness reporters like Anand Gopal and Nick Turse. For instance, Gopal’s article for The New Yorker in September, “The Other Afghan Women,” is an in-depth, devastating piece that exposes the slaughter and terror systematically inflicted on rural residents of Afghanistan by the U.S. Air Force.

        Turse, an incisive author and managing editor at TomDispatch,€ wrote€ this fall: “Over the last 20 years, the United States has conducted more than 93,300 air strikes — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — that killed between 22,679 and 48,308 civilians, according to figures recently released by€ Airwars, a U.K.-based airstrike monitoring group. The total number of civilians who have died from direct violence in America’s wars since 9/11 tops out at 364,000 to€ 387,000, according to Brown University’s Costs of War Project.”

      • US Military and Sustainability

        Should we issue a statement of concern? Should we impose trade sanctions? Should we bomb a few Chinese military bases? Should we just declare war on China?

        Whatever response is appropriate in our thought experiment, now consider that the actual perpetrator is the US military. Indeed, the US Army is accusing the US Navy of contaminating the water in a massive number of its 24 military communities in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor. US Navy attacks US military on Pearl Harbor? Can it get any more ironic?

      • Downhill from the Summit for Democracy

        One hundred countries were invited. Most of them are considered by Freedom House to be “free” based on its ranking system, which ranks 210 nations and territories.

        But nearly a third (32) of the invited countries are rated as only “partly free” or “not free.” China (9) and Russia (20) were not invited, of course; their governments reacted angrily. To the credit of the organizers, several countries generally close to the United States but with authoritarian leaderships were also not invited: Turkey (32), Saudi Arabia (7), Hungary (69), Thailand (30), Qatar (25), Singapore (48), and Egypt (14). Most of their governments were angry, too.

      • Embracing Che: The Man Behind the Myth

        I remember 1968 as a year of nearly unparalleled international solidarity, when Che’s legacy inspired a generation or two that aimed to dismantle American imperialism, make a revolution and usher in genuine socialism world wide. There hasn’t been a year like 1968 since 1968, not even 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down and when protesters in the “pro-democracy movement” were slaughtered by government troops at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Twenty-two years earlier, on 9 October 1967, Che was murdered by Bolivian soldiers with the connivance of the CIA.

        Reading the€ Bolivian Diary, which has just been republished in a new edition by Seven Stories, along with Fidel’s 1968 introduction, strongly suggests that by the end of September 1967 Che knew his days were numbered.€ € “The most important task is to escape [the encirclement] and seek€ more favorable areas,” he wrote in his summary of the month. “The [Bolivian] army is demonstrating more effectiveness in action and the peasant masses are not helping us with anything and are becoming informers.” Not good news.

      • War With Russia?

        At the end of February 2014, Russian soldiers without insignia seized key facilities in Crimea and then helped secessionists in eastern Ukraine some weeks later. Crimea is now under Russian control, and a civil war continues to flare up over the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east.

        Second, the United States has repeatedly provoked Russia by pushing the boundaries of NATO ever eastward.

      • 'Literally Celebrating Killing People': Chris Hayes Segment Details Growing Right-Wing Bloodlust

        In under nine minutes, MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday night summarized the American right wing's transformation in recent years into a political movement that openly celebrates violence, zeroing in on America Fest 2021—a conservative gathering taking place in Phoenix this week where Kyle Rittenhouse was celebrated by influential Fox News hosts and received a standing ovation.

        Eighteen-year-old Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty last month of homicide charges after he shot and killed two people and wounded a third at racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year, "received the rock star treatment" at the summit, where organizers lit up a pyrotechnic display and the audience of 6,700 chanted Rittenhouse's name as he walked on stage.

      • Michael Flynn Sues January 6 Commission, Seeking to Block Subpoena
      • The US Military Is Bulldozing Sacred Indigenous Sites on Guam

        HagÃ¥tña, Guam—Before the colonial era, SabÃ¥nan Fadang, on the United States island territory of Guam, was Indigenous burial grounds. Now, it’s mostly a field of flattened dirt and rock. The US military has bulldozed the site in preparation for construction of a Marine Corps base—part of a buildup of troops and facilities on Guam, a US military outpost in the Western Pacific. This article was published with support from the Gumshoe Group and Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights.

      • The US Empire After Afghanistan
      • A Pentagon Cover-Up: Azmat Khan on How U.S. Hid Thousands of Civilian Deaths in Middle East Air War

        U.S. air power has been central in the country’s wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, with officials promising that drones and other sophisticated weapons allow the U.S. military to carry out precision airstrikes that spare civilians caught in war zones. But a groundbreaking investigation by The New York Times reveals the U.S. military’s air wars have been plagued by bad intelligence, imprecise targeting and a lack of accountability for thousands of civilian deaths, many of them children. The two-part series by reporter Azmat Khan is based on a trove of internal Pentagon documents, as well as on-the-ground reporting from dozens of airstrike sites and interviews with scores of survivors. “What you have is a scale of civilian death and injury that is vastly different than what they claim,” says Khan, who spent five years on the investigation.

      • A road to nowhere Russian recruiters are mobilizing mercenaries for a ‘trip to the Donbas.’ What they’re expected to do there remains unclear.

        Ukraine was the main topic of discussion during a video call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden in early December. According to American intelligence, Russia is preparing for a full-scale invasion of the Eastern European country. And by all appearances the virtual talks changed little: despite the threat of new sanctions. Moscow, according to the Pentagon, is continuing to mass troops near the border with Ukraine (open source analysts note that an “alarming quantity” of equipment is being brought in, as well). Nevertheless, many experts still believe that an all-out war is unlikely. Against the backdrop of these tensions, Meduza’s sources say that recruiters have started mobilizing mercenaries for a “combat trip to the Donbas.” Whether or not they’ll actually fight on the frontline remains unknown. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova spoke with the mercenaries themselves and discovered that they, too, are skeptical.

      • Defence report defines key threats to Denmark [iophk: Windows TCO]

        According to the annual Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) threat evaluation report, there are six main areas that present the biggest threat to Denmark.

        Among those are cybercrime, global terrorism, tensions in the Arctic and issues relating to Russia and China.

      • Man whose wife's Facebook posts tipped off FBI to Capitol [insurrection] involvement is sentenced to probation

        The man, Gary Edwards, 68, of Southampton, pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to demonstrating in the Capitol and was sentenced Monday in federal court, online records show.

    • Environment

      • Green Group Launches Suit Over Biden Administration's Failure to Protect Polar Bears From Arctic Drilling

        Asserting that "continued oil and gas exploration and development is fundamentally incompatible with polar bear survival and recovery," the Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday launched a lawsuit against the Biden administration for failing to protect the imperiled animals from an oil exploration project in the Western Arctic.

        "Every new oil well in the Arctic is another step toward the polar bear's extinction."

      • Opinion | The Fed Must Act on the Climate Crisis to Protect Our Planet and Economy
      • 2021: Year in Review for Climate Change Wins and Losses

        As 2021 comes to a close, we look back on a year that was full of climate chaos, relentless oil industry propaganda, and frustrating progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But 2021 also saw a significant number of victories against the expansion of the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. and around the world, and some glimmers of hope for climate action.€ 

        The year started with a conspiracy-fueled coup plot on the U.S. government by President Trump and his supporters in what was ultimately a failed attempt to stay in power. Two weeks later, President Biden was sworn into office, and he quickly signed a flurry of executive orders that included the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline and a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. Those moves signaled an intention to prioritize climate change during the Biden era after years of giveaways to the fossil fuel industry.€ 

      • Opinion | 2021's Climate Extremes: One Side of the Country Is Too Wet, the Other Dangerously Dry

        Alongside a lingering global pandemic, the year 2021 was filled with climate disasters, some so intense they surprised even the scientists who study them.

      • Energy

        • 'Historic' NYC Pension Fund Fossil Fuel Divestment Heralded as Model for Others

          In what climate campaigners on Wednesday celebrated as not only a "historic" win but also a model for the rest of the country, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and trustees of major public pensions funds announced a $3 billion divestment from fossil fuels.

          "Today is a major victory for our planet, our children, and our pensioners."

        • Funding for ‘Sustainable Biomass’ a Drop in the Ocean Compared with Drax Subsidies, Campaigners Say

          New government funding for domestic biomass projects “pales in significance” to the subsidies received by the controversial biomass company Drax, whose North Yorkshire power plant is the UK’s single biggest source of emissions, campaigners have said.

          Under the “biomass feedstocks innovation programme”, start-ups experimenting with algae, seaweed, hemp and whiskey by-products can now bid for a share of €£26 million to create pilot projects, it was announced on Monday.

        • Helsinki’s energy company to end use of coal five years ahead of schedule

          HELEN, the energy utility owned by the City of Helsinki, has announced it will accelerate its transition to carbon-neutral energy production by shutting down its coal-fired power plant in Salmisaari, Helsinki, by 1 April 2024.

          The decision enables the energy company to end the use of coal five years ahead of schedule, given the closure of its other coal-fired combined heat and energy plant, in Hanasaari, by 1 April 2023.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Rivers are Protected When We Protect Our Forests

          Protecting Montana rivers means that the surrounding forests will not be logged and roaded. Logging eliminates or reduces the shade forests provide. As a result, spring snow melts occur much earlier. The summer supply of water to rivers will be reduced as a result. Logging also involves building new roads. Although the Forest Service usually claims these roads are “temporary,” their effect of subsurface water flow down to rivers and streams is not. These roads intercept the subsurface water drainage in forests, whereby water is delivered to rivers and steams in hours or days, instead of weeks and months.

          If you really are concerned about protecting Montana’s rivers, you need to address how the massive logging programs that are ongoing with the Custer Gallatin National Forest, in the greater Yellowstone€ Ecosystem, are impacting rivers, instead of just claiming support for the€ Montana Headwaters Legacy Act. Recent examples of this massive logging program include the East Boulder, Bozeman Watershed, Lonesome Wood, Rendezvous Trails, North Hebgen, East Bridger, and Greater Red Lodge projects. Individuals and the Montana congressional delegation can’t have it both ways.

      • Overpopulation

        • 'Let Us Eat': Kabul Protesters Demand Release of Frozen Afghan Assets

          As the people of Afghanistan face increasing impoverishment and hardship exacerbated by a U.S.-led block on billions of dollars in Afghan assets, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Kabul Tuesday to demand that foreign governments and financial institutions release the frozen funds.

          "Such economic pressures on Afghanistan are against international principles. Our people are struggling with economic problems here."

    • Finance

      • Voters Support Permanent Expansion of 'Critical' Child Tax Credit, New Poll Shows

        Lawmakers are poised to allow an historic investment in lower- and middle-class families lapse as the Child Tax Credit is likely to expire—despite data showing the monthly payments have helped millions of families this year and that Americans support the CTC by a 26-point margin.

        Fighting Chance for Families—a project started by progressive think tank Data for Progress with the goal of advocating for the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC)—released polling on Wednesday showing nearly half—49%—of likely voters support making the payments permanent, while only 42% say they should end.

      • Progressives Reignite Call for Biden to Cancel Student Debt: 'All. Of. It.'

        Progressives in both chambers of Congress responded to U.S. President Joe Biden's Wednesday decision to extend a freeze on student loan repayments with calls for him to go further by forgiving the entire debt burden of federal borrowers..

        "We cannot afford more delays—now is the time for the president to act."

      • How a Group of Starbucks Workers Emerged Victorious in Their Union Fight

        “It€ is€ significant,”€ says Cedric de Leon€ of the Starbucks union vote. De Leon is the director of the Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is an associate professor of sociology, and he is the author of several books about labor organizing in the U.S. “The employer knows it and the workers know that establishing a beachhead in one of the largest corporations, and really an iconic brand in the U.S. hospitality market, is a major accomplishment.”

        Ahead of ballots being cast, Starbucks tried to€ delay the vote€ and even stacked the Buffalo cafés with new staff to try to dilute “yes” votes. It€ flew in external managers€ to closely watch workers in what was seen as brazen intimidation. The company, which has long€ resisted€ union activity, brought its former Chief Executive Howard Schultz to Buffalo to discourage workers from unionizing, even shutting down its cafés during his Saturday visit so they could attend what was essentially a captive-audience address.

      • Opinion | Debunking the Eternal Economic Growth Model

        Over the last three decades, a growing number of scientists and ecologists have argued that economic growth has long outstripped the capacity of the planetary ecosystem. They have developed numerous sophisticated models to demonstrate their point. They have boiled down the technical information—about the availability of mineral resources, the limits of energy generation, the constraints of food production, the effects of biodiversity loss, and of course the impact of climate change—into accessible texts. They have lobbied governments, and they have crafted soundbites for the media.

      • Facing Scrutiny, Biden Administration Extends Student Loan Pause Until May
      • First US Omicron Death Was Reinfection, Debunking GOP's "Natural Immunity” Claim
      • 'Major Win for 45 Million Student Debtors': Biden Extends Loan Payment Freeze

        President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his administration is extending the soon-to-lapse pause on student loan payments until May 1, staving off—at least for several months—a potential financial disaster for tens of millions of borrowers amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

        "With the stroke of a pen, Biden can dramatically boost the economy, narrow the racial wealth gap, keep a key campaign promise."

      • Sanders Urges Biden to Cancel All Student Loans After Biden Announces Freeze
      • Chicago’s Last Black-Owned Bank Got Millions in Government Deposits — Then Had to Give Them Back

        The $20 million deposit was supposed to be a turning point.

        When the city of Chicago deposited the money into Illinois’ last Black-owned bank in 2017, the story received national news coverage. The city treasurer said the deposit represented a “paradigm shift” in how the government supported community investment. And the bank’s owner and chairman predicted that it would strengthen the institution and “help people fulfill their dreams.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • We Mobilized Young People to Support Biden. He’s Failing Us.

        Most days it feels like the deck is stacked against young people—rising rent and evictions, a worsening climate crisis, loved ones being deported and denied citizenship, and insurmountable student debt. And while young people are trying to survive in a system that has neglected them for decades, President Joe Biden and Democratic leadership are caving to Senator Joe Manchin, a coal baron from West Virginia who profits off poisoning our communities, and racist, undemocratic Senate rules—all at the expense of young people and our futures. The time for bold, progressive change is now, and if Democrats don’t deliver, young people will elect new leaders in 2022 and 2024 who will.

      • What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About American Democracy

        For many people, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that democracy in the United States is fundamentally broken. With the exception of vaccines, the government has failed to help develop and quickly implement strategies for tracing and containing the outbreaks. As the economy ground to a halt during last year’s lockdowns, unemployment swelled, as did food insecurity and debt. Covid further exposed the country’s deep socioeconomic disparities: The health and finances of Black Americans and other minorities were most affected by the pandemic, and the move to remote learning at the majority of the nation’s schools forced many women to drop out of the workforce for lack of child care. Moreover, Joe Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump has done little to ease widespread public distrust of government, as demonstrated by the continued divide over masking and vaccines.

      • Opinion | Why the Idea of Progress Is Dead in America

        A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.—William F. Buckley, Jr.

      • Pramila Jayapal Is Not Having Any of Your Nonsense

        Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal admits to being a wee bit frustrated heading into the holidays. Not merely with Senator Joe Manchin’s decision to torpedo the long-negotiated Build Back Better social infrastructure bill, but also with the way reporters are covering it, and even with some progressive allies’ criticism that Jayapal herself paved the way for the policy meltdown, by agreeing to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill Manchin supported, without simultaneously enacting the ambitious child care, elder care, child tax credit, and environmental legislation that contained policies dearer to progressives’ hearts.

      • Forget Manchin. Sanders Says Entire Democratic Party Must Show 'Guts' Against Corporate Interests

        Stressing a need to pass the "enormously important" Build Back Better bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders said this week that failure to do so would indicate to Americans that Democrats "don't have the guts to take on the powerful special interests."

        The Vermont Independent's remarks on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" on Monday night came after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced on Fox News that he was a "no" on his party's social spending and climate reconciliation package, delivering a potential death blow to the legislation his opposition had already weakened.

      • Corporate Donations Poured Into Manchin's PAC Ahead of Final 'No' on Build Back Better

        New federal disclosures reveal that major corporations poured donations into West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's political action committee in the weeks leading up to his pivotal announcement Sunday that he would oppose the Build Back Better Act, a stance that progressives argue is motivated by the senator's deference to special interests.

        CNBC reported late Tuesday that Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show that donors to Manchin's Country Roads PAC raked in 17 contributions from corporations in October and 19 in November as he pared back and repeatedly threatened to tank Democrats' $1.75 trillion social spending and climate legislation.

      • Manchin’s PAC Raked In Corporate Donations Just Before He Axed Build Back Better
      • GOP Set to Ramp Up Voter Suppression Efforts in 2022
      • It’s Still the Trump Era and Worse is Coming

        You are not crazy.

        Yes, the president is still Sleepy Time Joe, a Democrat who announced his 2020 campaign with a video (softly) linking Trump to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, and the Congress is still run by slim Democrat majorities in both of its houses.

      • China regulator suspends cyber security deal with Alibaba Cloud

        Chinese regulators on Wednesday suspended an information-sharing partnership with Alibaba Cloud Computing, a subsidiary of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, over accusations it failed to promptly report and address a cybersecurity vulnerability, according to state-backed media reports.

        Alibaba Cloud did not immediately report vulnerabilities in the popular, open-source logging framework Apache Log4j2 to China's telecommunications regulator, according to 21st Century Business Herald, citing a recent notice by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

      • How we fought an anti encryption law in Belgium - and won!

        Oftentimes when governments announce plans to weaken citizens' privacy rights for the sake of 'security', the public outcry is loud and clear: If you weaken security in online services to catch criminals, you weaken the security online for all citizens. However, oftentimes this warning is ignored by governments. But this is not the story we want to share with you today; this one is a different story.

      • The Elizabeth Holmes Trial Is an Indictment of US Health Care

        More surprising and disturbing than the seduction of journalists is that Theranos’s top-tier investors didn’t smell something unpleasant years ago. This has been an essential discovery during Holmes’ trial; Bloomberg reported: “Theranos forecast revenue of $140 million in 2014, and almost $1 billion for 2015. Holmes’s top financial officer testified that Theranos posted just $150,000 in revenue in 2014. Evidence at trial shows it was even less in 2015.” This kind of shortfall should have triggered nuclear alerts, from major investors and board members; the lack of public flares vividly illustrates the cynical corruption of America’s financial leadership.

        But the broader indictment should be of the for-profit health care system that made Theranos attractive in the first place. One of the trial’s most telling threads involved Theranos not disclosing basic information to Walgreens because it was trying to protect trade secrets.

      • Jack Dorsey’s hot Web3 takes are apparently too much for Marc Andreessen to handle

        Who knew that leaving the top spot at Twitter could make someone a more interesting follow? The co-founder and (for the second time) former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey recently opened up about his issues with so-called “Web3” projects that aren’t decentralized to his liking and the venture capitalists that he says own the whole thing, creating “ultimately a centralized entity with a different label.”

        Shockingly, his statements haven’t been received well by fellow tech thought leaders, billionaires, and venture capitalists, who’ve taken turns either trying to minimize his criticism of their blockchain efforts or going directly at him.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The BMJ editors strike back against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

        I was reluctant to write any more about The BMJ and its descent into bad journalism, one of its editors amplifying antivaccine misinformation, and its publishing of outright conspiracy theories by a hack journalist, but unfortunately its editors leave me little choice. It started again when readers started emailing me links to an Open letter from The BMJ to Mark Zuckerberg, published as a Rapid Response after the utter crapfest of a “news report” by hack journalist and anti-GMO conspiracy theorist Paul Thacker. The story claimed that Ventavia Research Group, a contract research organization (CRO) hired by Pfizer to run three of its sites in Texas for its original phase 3 clinical trials of its then-experimental mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine had all sorts of problems that, or so Thacker insinuated, called into doubt the clinical trial data behind the safety and efficacy of Pfizer’s vaccine that were used to apply for its emergency use authorization (EUA). Thacker’s main source was a “whistleblower” named Brook Jackson, who had worked at Ventavia for only two weeks. As I described, the allegations were either big nothingburgers that wouldn’t have affected the quality of the data (e.g., not appropriately using sharps containers to dispose of sharps) or were mainly insinuated and implied without actual evidence (e.g., unblinding or even falsifying clinical trial data). The article follows a familiar format for disinformation. Very definitive and serious accusations are leveled very early in the article, followed much later in the article by “facts” that do not actually substantiate such definitive and serious allegations.

      • That Fun TikTok Video? It’s Actually an Ad.

        Welcome to the holiday shopping season on TikTok, where retailers are present like never before, their authentic-seeming advertisements dropped in between dances, confessionals, comedy routines and makeovers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • UAE to end film censorship, announces new over-21 age classification

        It stressed the importance of “age classification standards for audience entry.” Cinemas must strictly adhere to the new age rating, which will require inspecting customers’ proof of age and identification documents.

      • Robert Reich Loses The Plot: Gets Basically Everything Wrong About Section 230, Fairness Doctrine & The 1st Amendment

        I still find myself somewhat amazed at how otherwise intelligent people seem to lose their entire minds over the fact that there's a fair bit of misinformation out there. Robert Reich is not a dumb guy, but like so many these days, he seems to work himself up in a lather about things he doesn't seem to understand. He has an opinion piece at the Guardian about his suggestions to restore American democracy... and apparently part of that is throwing out the 1st Amendment. Which is, you know, quite a choice. I won't comment on his first and third suggestions (voting rights and money/politics) because those aren't my areas of expertise, but when he dips his toe into Section 230 and misinformation, I have to point out that everything Reich writes in this piece is so far beyond wrong that it would need to ask directions just to get back into the vicinity of "just kinda wrong."

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Amazon Workers Speak Out About Deaths at Alabama Warehouse

        Amazon employees spoke out against the e-commerce giant in a Wednesday video about the recent deaths of workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama—which has garnered national attention this year for controversy related to a unionization effort.

        Labor journalist Kim Kelly interviewed Amazon workers Isaiah Thomas and Perry Connelly for More Perfect Union. They discussed the deaths, including two people who died within hours of each other in late November.

      • How Students Seized The Year

        It’s been another tumultuous, traumatic year, and students have seen some of the worst of it. With Covid-19 came abrupt campus closures, online-only education, and the disintegration of student life as we had come to know it. But through it all, young people continued to organize. They not only kept their pre-pandemic priorities alive amid the chaos; they fought for fair treatment for their fellow students and educators, for human rights abroad and voting rights at home, for racial justice, against sexual violence, for an end to student debt, for a rational approach to mitigating climate change and for a future free of intolerance and fear. Student Nation was able to chronicle some of this upheaval in more than sixty articles in 2021 written by students. We’ve selected 10 pieces from the past year to highlight their extraordinary writing and reporting. We’re deeply grateful to the Puffin Foundation, whose enormous generosity made this work possible.

      • Progressive Caucus Urges Biden to Wield 'Powerful Tool of Executive Action' as Agenda Stalls

        The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Wednesday announced plans to unveil a slate of executive actions it hopes President Joe Biden will pursue as Democratic lawmakers attempt to chart a path forward for the party's agenda, which has been derailed by right-wing Sen. Joe Manchin.

        "We should not wait for that legislative path for the president to take action."

      • DEA Gives Former Marine Back $86,900 Cops Took From Him During A Nevada Traffic Stop Caught On Body Cam

        Because law enforcement just can't stop taking money from innocent people, here's another roadside shitshow that has resulted in an attempt to force the government to give back money it flat out stole.

      • Will Barrick Gold's CEO Go Beyond Rhetoric to Deliver Justice for Victims of Police Killings at Tanzanian Mine?
      • Why It's Past Time to Defy the Supreme Court

        A brilliant recent analysis is Thomas Edsall’s article in the New York Times, How to Tell When Your Country Is Past the Point of No Return, bookended by Barton Gellman’s shocking piece in The Atlantic, Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun.

        Both deal with the immediate crisis brought to us by the six years that Trump has dominated the American political scene and his takeover of the Republican Party.

      • Jailhouse Lawyers Are Often Punished With Solitary Confinement
      • Before Roe v. Wade: The Doctor Hero of Ivy League Women

        The Doctor Hero of Ivy League Women

        ‘All abortion was illegal then,’ Meg Greenfield says, [Greenfield became editorial page editor of the Washington Post] and that engendered a whole lot of anxiety. It wasn’t about coat hangers, but it had a lot of imponderables and danger and fear of the law and of infection and fear of pain, and they didn’t like to give anesthesia.’

      • Union Declares Victory as Kellogg's Strike Ends With Pay Raise, Moratorium on Plant Closures

        Kellogg's workers' months-long strike officially came to an end Tuesday after union members voted to approve a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that includes an immediate wage increase of $1.10 per hour, a moratorium on plant closures, and a pension boost.

        Anthony Shelton, international president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), called the new contract a "great workers' victory" and said that "solidarity was critical" to the achievement. Employees are expected to return to work on December 27.

      • He Was Filming on His Phone. Then a Deputy Attacked Him and Charged Him With Resisting Arrest.

        Thousands packed the sidewalks along Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, watching the Krewe of Centurions Mardi Gras parade in March of 2019 when a brawl broke out at a nearby parking garage. More than two dozen men traded blows in a bloody melee that forced the parade’s 20-plus floats to grind to a halt.

        Sheriff’s deputies quickly broke up the fight, arresting at least one man. As officers attempted to calm the crowd and shepherd them back to the parade route, Sgt. Keith Dowling claimed he saw someone hurling obscenities at his officers.

      • Rev. William Barber's Conviction for Using 'Preacher Voice' at Anti-Poverty Demo Will Stand, Says Court

        The Rev. William Barber vowed Wednesday to continue fighting for people's right to free speech after the North Carolina appeals court upheld the anti-poverty activist's trespassing conviction that stemmed from a 2017 protest at the General Assembly.

        In a Twitter thread indicating his attorneys were weighing next steps, Barber said that "how this case is set up is not about any individual" but is instead "about the rights of all people under the First Amendment of the Constitution. And we will continue to press for those rights in North Carolina and the rest of the country."

      • Haitian Asylum Seekers Sue US Government for Racial Discrimination
      • Haitian Asylum Seekers Sue U.S. Government for “Anti-Black Racism Within the Immigration System”

        A group of 11 Haitian asylum seekers is suing the Biden administration, accusing the U.S. government of physical abuse, racial discrimination and other rights violations when they were forced to shelter under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. The class-action lawsuit comes after images of Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian asylum seekers from horseback went viral in September, drawing outrage from rights groups. The plaintiffs in the case are also demanding the U.S. government allow the return of the thousands of Haitian asylum seekers deported from the Del Rio encampment. Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, which filed the class-action lawsuit, says the Biden administration’s policies harm vulnerable people. “We believe that the lawsuit will force the administration to be accountable for what we continue to see as anti-Black racism within the immigration system,” she says. “Immigration is a Black issue. We cannot disconnect that from the reality after what we saw under the bridge in Del Rio.”

      • Federal Court Says Destroying Someone's House To Apprehend A Fugitive Might Be A Constitutional Violation

        Law enforcement has a pretty cavalier attitude towards private property. Whatever property they aren't unjustifiably seizing from drivers and passengers, they're razing to the ground. Sometimes they destroy whole houses during plain vanilla warrant service. Other times, situations are determined to be stand-offs in need of wholesale destruction, even when officers are facing down an empty house.


    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Fearing COVID PR Backlash, Comcast Backs Off Its Bullshit Broadband Caps In The Northeast... For Now

        Last November, Comcast quietly announced that the company would be expanding its broadband caps into the Northeast, one of the last Comcast territories where the restrictions hadn't been imposed yet. Of course Comcast was utterly tone deaf to the fact there was a historic health and economic crisis going on, or how imposing unnecessary surcharges on consumers already struggling to make rent wasn't a great look. In some states, like Massachusetts, lawmakers stood up to the regional monopoly, going so far as to push a law that would have banned usage caps during the pandemic.

      • 7 new [Internet] exchange nodes to spur connectivity, digital economy in UP

        These nodes will be located at Meerut, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Gorakhpur. UP until now, only one internet exchange node was operating at Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • U.S. Govt Launches Consultation on Upload Filters and Other Anti-Piracy Tools

          The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a public consultation to evaluate various technical measures that can identify and protect copyrighted content online. With help from various stakeholders and the public at large, the Office hopes to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of these tools, including upload filters, and the potential role of the Government.

        • Aussie Federal Court Orders ISPs to Block 101 Pirate Movie & TV Show Domains

          Australia's Federal Court has ordered dozens of local ISPs to prevent subscribers from accessing more than 100 domains linked to pirate streaming and torrent sites. The movie and TV studio applicants, which include members of the MPA plus Village Roadshow, also tried to broaden their ability to deal with new threats but the Court spotted the move and ruled accordingly.

        • Amazon DMCA Strikes Video About 'New World' Bug, Reinstates Video, Promises Review Of Process

          It was only a few months back that Amazon released its MMO game New World. While there was a bunch of hype around the game, it was met critically with mostly a collective "meh". While the lack of exuberant reviews focused mostly on bland gameplay that doesn't survive its honeymoon period, there were also bugs. So, so many bugs. So many bugs, in fact, that both gamer media covered them in detail and entire Reddit threads were created to discuss them.

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Links 29/11/2023: VMware Layoffs and Too Many Microsofters Going Inside Google
Links for the day
Just What LINUX.COM Needed After Over a Month of Inactivity: SPAM SPAM SPAM (Linux Brand as a Spamfarm)
It's not even about Linux
Microsoft “Discriminated Based on Sexuality”
Relevant, as they love lecturing us on "diversity" and "inclusion"...
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
IRC logs for Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Media Cannot Tell the Difference Between Microsoft and Iran
a platform with back doors
Links 28/11/2023: New Zealand's Big Tobacco Pivot and Google Mass-Deleting Accounts
Links for the day
Justice is Still the Main Goal
The skulduggery seems to implicate not only Microsoft
[Teaser] Next Week's Part in the Series About Anti-Free Software Militants
an effort to 'cancel' us and spy on us
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Professor Eben Moglen on How Social Control Media Metabolises Humans and Constraints Freedom of Thought
Nothing of value would be lost if all these data-harvesting giants (profiling people) vanished overnight
IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 27, 2023
IRC logs for Monday, November 27, 2023
When Microsoft Blocks Your Access to Free Software
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Techrights Statement on 'Cancel Culture' Going Out of Control
relates to a discussion we had in IRC last night
Stuff People Write About Linux
revisionist pieces
Links 28/11/2023: Rosy Crow 1.4.3 and Google Drive Data Loss
Links for the day
Links 27/11/2023: Australian Wants Tech Companies Under Grip
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
Links 27/11/2023: Underwater Data Centres and Gemini, BSD Style!
Links for the day
[Meme] Leaning Towards the Big Corporate CoC
Or leaning to "the green" (money)
Software Freedom Conservancy Inc in 2022: Almost Half a Million Bucks for Three People Who Attack Richard Stallman and Defame Linus Torvalds
Follow the money
[Meme] Identity Theft and Forgery
Coming soon...
Microsoft Has Less Than 1,000 Mail (MX) Servers Left, It's Virtually Dead in That Area (0.19% of the Market)
Exim at 254,000 servers, Postfix at 150,774, Microsoft down to 824
The Web is Dying, Sites Must Evolve or Die Too
Nowadays when things become "Web-based" it sometimes means more hostile and less open than before
Still Growing, Still Getting Faster
Articles got considerably longer too (on average)
In India, the One Percent is Microsoft and Mozilla
India is where a lot of software innovations and development happen, so this kind of matters a lot
Feeding False Information Using Sockpuppet Accounts and Imposters
online militants try every trick in the book, even illegal stuff
What News Industry???
Marketing, spam, and chatbots
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 26, 2023
IRC logs for Sunday, November 26, 2023
The Software Freedom Law Center's Eben Moglen Explains That We Already Had Free Software Almost Everywhere Before (Half a Century Ago)
how code was shared in the 1970s and 80s