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Links 12/2/2022: Istio 1.13 and New Stuff in KDE



  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Istio 1.13 Upgrade Notes

        When you upgrade from Istio 1.12.x to Istio 1.13.0, you need to consider the changes on this page. These notes detail the changes which purposefully break backwards compatibility with Istio 1.13.0. The notes also mention changes which preserve backwards compatibility while introducing new behavior. Changes are only included if the new behavior would be unexpected to a user of Istio 1.12.x.

      • Istio 1.13 Change Notes
    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to SAS/INSIGHT

        SAS Institute Inc. (“SAS”) is an American multinational developer of analytics software based in Cary, North Carolina. The company has around 14,000 employees.

        SAS started as a project at North Carolina State University to create a statistical analysis system used mainly by agricultural departments at universities in the late 1960s.

        SAS is the name of their software suite that can mine, alter, manage and retrieve data from a variety of sources and perform statistical analysis on it. It has more than 200 components covering areas including statistical analysis, econometrics and time series analysis, an interactive matrix language, data mining and much more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Notes on using DKIM in a DMARC world

        By itself, DKIM simply creates an attestation that some domain (or host) has touched an email message, in the form of a DKIM signature that names that domain (really a DNS name) in its 'd=' parameter. If you have an email server that handles (outgoing) email for a bunch of host and domain names, and you think of yourself as primarily one of them, say, 'cs.toronto.edu', then you can have your email server generate DKIM signatures using this primary domain regardless of which one of your assorted historical and current domains someone is using for their email today. You can even sign email that passes through you that is from other, outside domains to attest that it genuinely came through you, if you want.

      • ZFS performance and modern solid state disk systems

        Second and more broadly, there is the question of what does 'good performance' mean on modern solid state disks and how much performance most people can use and care about. If ZFS has good (enough) performance on modern solid state disks, exactly how big the numbers are compared to other alternatives doesn't necessarily matter as much as other ZFS features. Related to this is the question of how does ZFS generally perform on modern solid state disks, especially without extensive tuning, and how far do you have to push programs in order for ZFS to be the performance limit.

      • Comparing Passwordless SSH Authentication Methods

        There are essentially four ways you can implement passwordless SSH access. SSH certificate-based authentication, SSH key-based authentication, SSH host-based authentication, or using a custom PAM module that supports out-of-band authentication. If you want to live dangerously, there’s also a fifth method of passwordless access — disable authentication at all. But that’s not who you are!

        This post will discuss passwordless authentication methods available for SSH access and evaluate the pros and cons of each method. If you are curious about why you should implement passwordless access, our previous blog post on why you have to get rid of passwords for your infrastructure is a good place to start.

      • FFmpeg Tips and Tricks

        Table of Contents

        Cut a video without re-encoding...

        Encode to 8 bit unsigned PCM WAV Mono

        "Fix bad video"

        Configuration?

        Online documentation

      • Install Microsoft Fonts on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - LinuxCapable

        Most Linux Distributions use open-source fonts to substitute Microsoft’s iconic typefaces like Arial, Courier New, and Times. Red Hat created the Liberation family to replace these similar-looking but different sizes — all you have to do is select your preferred font when editing documents so that they’ll be readable without any disruptions!

        For users who want to install Microsoft fonts and want the option to use them in LibreOffice, the following tutorial will teach you how to install Microsoft fonts on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • A Beginner's Guide to Metasploit in Kali Linux (With Practical Examples)

        Kali Linux comes pre-equipped with all the tools necessary for penetration testing. One such tool is the Metasploit framework that allows red teamers to perform reconnaissance, scan, enumerate, and exploit vulnerabilities for all types of applications, networks, servers, operating systems, and platforms.

        Even though the main functionality of Metasploit focuses on pre- and post-exploitation pentesting tasks, it is also helpful in exploit development and vulnerability research.

      • How To Install Rclone on Linux – manage files on cloud storage easily

        The backup issue is always critical to keep our data safe in case of loss. So in this post, you will learn how to install RClone on Linux.

      • How to install Toontown Rewritten on a Chromebook in 2022

        Today we are looking at how to install Toontown Rewritten on a Chromebook in 2022. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Learn how to build a minimal Charm

        The previous blog post talked about the community workshops taking place in the Juju and Charm community. Normally the community workshops take place every Friday at 10:00 am CET. The details for these workshops can be found in the public channel on Mattermost. In one of the workshops, Erik Lönroth held a tutorial on how to build a minimal Charm.

      • Darkhttpd – Run Simple and Secure Web Server Quickly

        Darkhttpd might not have the webserver strides and reputation like Apache, Nginx, and Lighttpd but it is every front-end web developer’s best friend. It is the perfect web server for web developers or users in a hurry. It is lightweight, easy to set up, and launch.

        This tutorial guide will walk us through the installation and configuration of Darkhttpd on your Linux operating system distribution.

      • Automating Let's Encrypt certificates with Gandi LiveDNS

        As a Debian Developer I have a discount on using Gandi and I’ve been using it for quite a long time and have been very happy with it. I’ve been using it for registering domains. For example this blog’s domain is managed by my Gandi account.

      • seife's assorted rants: "hibernation fix" part 2: verbose resume

        Now that I fixed hibernation to resume at all, I found another thing I had added to my old install long ago. The "problem" is, that resume from hibernation is very quiet. So all you see is the GRUB messages "loading kernel", "loading initrd", then nothing, just the disk light may be blinking for quite some time, and if resume is successful, you'll see the unlock prompt of your screenlock. That's a bit too little "user interface" for my taste.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • How to Get KDE Plasma 5.24 in Kubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri

          The KDE devs enabled the famous backports PPA for you to install/upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.24 in Kubuntu 21.10. Here's how.

        • KDE Frameworks 6 Unit Tests

          Here’s another small update on the progress around KDE Frameworks 6, a lot has happened again since last month’s post. Only a few modules aren’t building yet, and the vast majority of building modules now also has passing unit tests.

          Note that this is only about compilation, this doesn’t automatically mean things are also expected to run yet, especially for QML code that isn’t the case yet.

        • This week in KDE: A smooth release of Plasma 5.24

          Plasma 5.24 was released a few days ago, and so far it’s been the smoothest release in memory. There have been a few regressions, but fewer than other recent releases. I’m sure all of you who have experienced new issues will speak up in the comments, of course. But overall it has gone quite well!

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • UNIX: On the Path to BSD

          The seventh edition of Unix was released in January of 1979. This version greatly improved system reliability and introduced an improved file system. It also included new tools, including awk, make, sed, tar, uucp, the Bourne shell, an improved C compiler, and a FORTRAN 77 compiler. According to the October 1983 issue of Byte Magazine, “Many of the previous rough spots had disappeared, the maximum file size had grown to 1 gigabyte, and a standard I/O (input/output) library had been introduced”.

          During the 1975/1976 academic year, Ken Thompson worked as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. While there, he introduced the students to Unix and they worked together to create new tools for it. The Unix tools created by Berkeley students included the C shell, vi, the Berkeley Fast File System, sendmail, a Pascal compiler, and virtual memory management on the new Digital VAX architecture. These tools were packaged with Unix and released as the Berkeley Software Distribution. The first full version for the VAX was 3BSD, released in December of 1979. From there, BSD would grow on its own and eventually overshadow its progenitor.

      • EasyOS

        • Firefox now version 97.0

          EasyOS 3.3 was built with both Firefox and SeaMonkey builtin. Previously, there was just SeaMonkey, and menu entry to download Firefox. That menu entry also enabled updating Firefox.

          However, now that Firefox is builtin, there is no menu entry to install or update. In theory, you could update FF yourself; however, I intend to ship each new release of Easy with the latest FF.

        • Kernel 5.10.99 compiled staying with 5.10.90

          I have been regularly compiling the Linux kernel since 2003. In 2021 and now 2022, EasyOS Dunfell-series uses the 5.10.x kernel, and I have been quite happy with it ...until now.

          I earlier reported that when I compiled the 5.10.94 kernel, got filesystem corruption in my HDD partition at bootup, that cause a hang. I had to hold down the power button to power down. It also output a lot of text to the screen, which is new, as I have set the log-level to output nothing to the screen. So, handling of log levels has changed.

          One thing about that failed bootup. I booted with /firmware folder empty. This is the way I always do it when compile a kernel. Compile it, then with /firmware empty, reboot with the new kernel. It does mean that some kernel modules won't load, but that is OK, the kernel has everything builtin needed to bootup and run.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical: a world leader in remote first working

          Over the last two years much of the Global workforce has experienced remote working first-hand. Sound familiar? For many, this was a ‘career first’, changing their views on the effectiveness of remote working. The desire to be office based has reduced dramatically with people wanting to avoid time-consuming commutes. In a recent survey, a staggering 91% of US workers wanted home working to persist post pandemic. There is a consensus that remote working is now proven to be highly effective, with physical location no longer the key driver in creating an efficient workplace. The survey also identified 2 out of 3 workers feel that remote working will have no effect or a positive effect on workplace culture. (Source: Gallup, 2021)

          Today we have noticed that, in some organisations, opinions are still split. Employers are actively encouraging their people back to the office citing ‘true collaboration and culture’ as the justification. However their people see things differently and are frustrated by the lack of flexibility. There is a great divide on how to attract, manage and retain top talent and companies often put themselves first.

        • Low latency Linux kernel for industrial embedded systems – Part II

          Welcome to Part II of this three-part blog series on adopting the low latency Ubuntu kernel for your embedded systems. In case you missed it, check out Part I for a brief intro on preemptable processes in multiuser systems and memory split into kernel and user space.

          The low-latency Ubuntu kernel ships with a 1000 Hz tick timer granularity (CONFIG_HZ_1000) and the maximum preemption (CONFIG_PREEMPT) available in the mainline Linux kernel. Consequently, it services most low-jitter and low-latency workloads and is a good fit for industrial embedded applications with latency requirements in the milliseconds’ range.

          If the above makes perfect sense to you, stay tuned for Part III of this three-part blog series, where we will explore the considerations behind adopting low-latency Linux for your industrial embedded application. If preemption in the Linux kernel caught you off guard and you need a quick refresher, keep reading.

        • A Charming community: how to join the Juju and Charmed Operators community

          If you are familiar with open source, you know that the community is what drives a project and gives its purpose, keeps it alive and thriving.

          So, it is important to support that community, and provide tools and encouragement to help it grow. Today, we would highlight the community behind Juju and Charmed Operators and Charmed Operators workshop sessions of 2021. If Charming sounds like an interesting project to take on, you will find the first steps to get started at the end of the article!

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • A look inside the chips that powered the landmark Polaroid SX-70 instant camera

          The revolutionary Polaroid SX-701 camera (1972) was a marvel of engineering: the world's first instant SLR camera. This iconic camera was the brainchild of Dr. Edwin Land, a genius who co-founded Polaroid, invented polarized sunglasses, helped design the optics for the U-2 spy plane, and created a theory of color vision. The camera used self-developing film2 with square photos that came into view over a few minutes.3 The film was a complex sandwich of 11 layers of chemicals to develop a negative image and then form the visible color image. But the film was just one of the camera's innovations.

        • IR Translator Makes Truly Universal Remote | Hackaday

          Universal remotes are a handy tool to have around if you have many devices that would all otherwise have their own remote controls. Merging them all into a single device leads to less clutter and less frustration, but they are often not truly “universal” as some of them may not support every infrared device that has ever been built. If you’re in a situation like that it’s possible to build a truly universal remote instead, provided you have a microcontroller and a few infrared LEDs on hand.

          This was the situation that [Matt] found himself in when his Amazon Fire TV equipment control feature didn’t support his model of speakers. To get around this he programmed an Arduino to essentially translate the IR codes from the remote and output a compatible set of codes to the speakers.This requires both an IR photodiode and an IR LED but little else other than the codes for the remote and the equipment in question. With that all set up and programmed into the Arudino, [Matt]’s remote is one step closer to being truly “universal”.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CollectiveAccess: Open-source cataloging and archival collection management system

        Collectors and museums face a unique challenge when it comes to how they manage their collections.

        The limitation of free, open-source cataloging and collection managers solutions, put many collectors at the mercy of expensive programs.

        So, we provide you with an enterprise-grade open-source solution: CollectiveAccess, the right app for collectors and museums.

        [...]

        CollectiveAccess is released under GPL-3.0 License.

      • HealthCastle is a health monitor app for families

        The project's primary license is GPL-3.0 License.

      • 5 levels of transparency for open source communities

        Managers of open source communities have to be aware of the 5 levels of transparency that they can provide. These 5 levels of transparency are important for building a thriving open source community.

        This article describes each level, its goals, and why they are important. But first, I revisit why transparency is important for open source ecosystems.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 Community release
          LibreOffice 7.3 was released on 2 February 2022. Here is the official blog post about it. In addition to interoperability improvements with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats, it includes new features targeted at users migrating from Microsoft Office, to simplify the transition. Help has been improved, and change tracking includes new features.

          LibreOffice 7.3 is available natively for new Apple computers using Apple Silicon, in addition to those using Intel processors. The minimum operating system requirement for Apple computers is macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and for Microsoft Windows 7 SP1.

      • Programming/Development

        • Coding for kids: Art, games, and animations with our new beginners’ Python path
        • Embed the source code directly in your Qt app with qmake and qrc, for GPL compliance

          In my earlier post on selling GPL software I outlined a few points that make it hard to sell GPL software. One of them is the availability of the source code. You could put it online but then everyone has access without paying. Other options like putting it behind a login or sending a link after purchase require extra systems and saving more user information, lots of extra hassle for me and the users. One of my ideas for 'solving' this issue is by shipping the actual source code directly inside the application. This article shows you how to do that, by creating an archive of the current source code on every build with qmake and embedding that inside the application using qrc, including a button to save the archive locally to disk. It works on the desktop as well as Android, including the required permissions.

        • Some mistakes Rust doesn't catch

          But consider this: of the complete set of combinations of all possible instructions, only a tiny fraction are actually useful programs. A much tinier fraction still, actually achieve the task you've set out to do.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl list processing is for hashes, too

            However, if you’re going to be doing this a lot with arbi€­trary strings, Perl FAQ sec€­tion 4 advis€­es turn€­ing the array into the keys of a hash and then check€­ing for mem€­ber€­ship there. For exam€­ple, here’s a sim€­ple script to check if the col€­ors input (either from the key€­board or from files passed as argu€­ments) are in the rainbow: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Hairballs in Turtles
    • Opinion | The Terrifying World of 2025

      I've just wrapped up my shift at BurgerBoy and I don't have much time before the weekly self-criticism session at town hall. This hour with my diary is precious, especially when I have to make a big decision. Writing used to be my job, but it's so much more difficult after eight straight hours on my feet. It's been more than a year since the disastrous 2024 election and I can't overestimate how much I miss my old life.

    • Roaming Charges: This Week's Episodes in "That's Psychotic!"

      + Biden doesn’t seem to be listening to Burns now, having sidelined him in favor of the Russia hawks Victoria Nuland and Tony Blinken, with predictable consequences.

      + Maj. King Kong: “Well, I’ve been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.”

    • A Most Unconventional Lego Walker | Hackaday

      Lego Technic is a wonderful thing, making it easy to toy around with all manner of complicated mechanical assemblies without needing to do any difficult fabrication. [touthomme] recently posted one such creation to Reddit – a walker design that is rather unconventional.

      The design dispenses with individually-actuated legs entirely. Instead, the two front legs are joined by an axle which pivots the legs about the body, which is shaped like an oval track. The rear legs are the same. A motorized carriage then travels along the oval track. When the weighted carriage reaches the front of the oval track, it forces the body to tip forwards, pivoting around the front legs and flipping the entire body over, swinging the rear legs forwards to become the front. The cycle then repeats again.

    • Back to the old and new normal: inbox zero

      So, a long time ago, on the last two days of January 2020 I had reached zero unread mails in my inbox and all mailing lists and then... some stuff kept me distracted for a (too) long time...

      And then two weeks ago on the 29th of January 2022, I've reached inbox zero again, and again on the 30th and then I had a hardware issue and couldn't really use my computer for two days (one day trying to fix, the other copying data around...) and thus only on February 2nd I've hit zero unread mails again and again and again, every day for the last 9 days up until today. Yay!

      [...]

      ...and then email is too easy to be used as a todo list. Narf. So I guess I need to improve those workflows eventually as well. And offline days, do you remember those? Fully offline even, and by choice?!!

    • DIY Nanoleaf LED Panels Offer Peace Of Mind | Hackaday

      Nanoleaf light panels are a popular product for creating glowing geometric designs on walls. However, for those that like to avoid IoT devices that integrate with big cloud services, they’re not ideal, and involve compromising on one’s privacy, somewhat. [Viktor] decided to build something of his own instead to avoid this problem.

      The design is that of an equilateral triangle, which allows the panels to tesselate well. Each panel consists of two 3D printed parts. The black PLA base holds the WS2812B LED strips, cabling, and ESP8266 controller, while a white PLA cover goes over the top, which acts as a diffuser to spread the light from the individual LEDs. Each triangle contains 24 LEDs, and six triangles together consume around 1.6 amps when in use.

    • Pyrotechnic Posters Are Fireworks Drawn On Paper | Hackaday

      There’s a deep love many humans feel for fire; it’s often cited as one of the most important discoveries that led to the founding of civilization. The work of French artistic duo [Pinaffo-Pluvinage] definitely hits upon that, combining pyrotechnics with paper to make what are probably the most exciting posters you’ve ever seen, as reported by Heise Online.

    • Science

      • The most famous sufferer from Nobel Disease has died

        In 2010, I coined the term “Nobel disease” to describe Nobel laureates who in their later years succumbed to pseudoscience, quackery, bad science, and even conspiracy theories. (At least, I think I coined the term; it’s possible that someone else did before me and I just used it enough that it became associated with me.) Although I mentioned other famous Nobel laureates who descended into nonsense years after winning their Nobels, such as Louis Ignarro (who became a pitchman for HerbaLife), Linus Pauling (who peddled quackery touting vitamin C as a cure-all for the common cold and cancer), and the like, my prime example was Luc Montagnier, who received the Nobel Prize as co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and, beginning in the late 2000s—and likely earlier—started promoting quackery such as homeopathy, antivaccine pseudoscience, and, most recently COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

      • Maybe The Simplest Cloud Chamber | Hackaday

        Have you ever seen a Wilson cloud chamber — a science experiment that lets you visualize ionizing radiation? How hard would it be to build one? If you follow [stoppi’s] example, not hard at all (German, Google Translate link). A plastic bottle. some tape, a flashlight, some water, hot glue, and — the only exotic part — a bit of americium 241. You can see the design in the video below and the page also has some more sophisticated designs including one that uses a CPU cooler. Even if you don’t speak German, the video will be very helpful.

      • One Tool Twists Wires, And Skewers Shish Kebabs | Hackaday

        Twisting stranded wire with your fingers in preparation for tinning and/or soldering is almost a reflex for folks making electronic assemblies. But what if the wires are too close to get your fingers around, or you have the fingers of a sumo wresters? Well [DIYDSP] has a solution for you (see video below the break) that’s easy to make from a shish kebab skewer that’s probably rolling around your kitchen drawer. The reason that [DIYDSP] wanted to twist such closely spaced wires was to solder a length of 0.1 in O.C. stranded ribbon cable directly onto a PCB pin header pattern.

    • Hardware

      • Rakeen Mabud on Supply Chain Breakdown
      • Regional, OPEN microprocessors keep getting closer

        One of the positive things of this week is how it showed that this is a great time for microprocessors done right, in the right places.

        First, Intel announced that it will invest a lot of money in open-source RISC-V processors. In the same round, Intel also announced a billion-dollar fund that will, among other things, “enable modular products with an open chiplet platform”.

        This shows that a colossus like Intel “sees a future in which ARM, x86, and RISC-V all play major roles.”

        Equally good, in a different but related way, is yesterday’s news that nVidia failed to buy the firm that designs ARM microprocessors, in what would have been “the largest semiconductor deal on record.”

        [...] just consider that OPEN system-on-chips are good for everybody, because every part of the world, not just the EU (finally!) or India should have their REGIONAL microprocessors. Because what is concretely “eating the world” may be software, but software cannot exist without microprocessors that run it.

      • ICARUS Elkhart Lake Pico-ITX board targets IoT, AIoT, and computer vision applications - CNX Software

        SECO ICARUS is a Pico-ITX single board computer based on Intel Atom x6000E, Celeron, and Pentium Elkhart Lake processor that’s designed for edge IoT, AIoT, and computer vision applications.

        The SBC ships with up to 16GB DDR4 IBECC (in-band error-correcting code) memory, eMMC flash and/or SATA storage, supports up to three independent displays, features two Gigabit Ethernet ports with TSN support, M.2 sockets for WiFi/Bluetooth and cellular connectivity, several USB ports, serial ports, and other I/O interfaces.

      • Elkhart Lake powers Pico-ITX, Qseven, and SMARC boards

        Seco unveiled a Linux-ready “Icarus” Pico-ITX SBC and “Atlas” Qseven module built on Elkhart Lake with up to 16GB soldered LPDDR4-3200 IBECC and triple display support. Seco recently launched an Elkhart Lake-based “Halley” SMARC module.

        Seco Edge, the embedded unit of Italian hardware manufacturer Seco, has announced two products that run Yocto-flavored Linux or Win 10 IoT Enterprise on Intel’s 10nm Elkhart Lake Atom x6000 family. The Icarus is a 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX board and the Atlas is a Qseven module. In late 2021, the company also announced a Halley SMARC module based on Elkhart Lake (see farther below).

      • Making Light Of Superconductors | Hackaday

        Once upon a time, making a superconductor required extremely cold temperatures. Scientists understood why superconducting materials could move electrons without loss, but the super cold temperatures were a problem. Then in 1986, a high-temperature superconductor was found. High temperature, of course, is a relative term. The new material works when cooled to a frosty temperature, just not a few degrees off of absolute zero like a conventional superconductor. Since then, the race has been on to find a room-temperature superconductor that doesn’t require other exotic conditions, such as extreme pressure. Department of Energy scientists may have found a different path to get there: X-ray light.

        The problem is that scientists don’t fully understand why these high-temperature superconductors work. To study the material, YBCO, scientists chill a sample to it superconducting state and then use a magnetic field to disrupt the superconductivity to study the material’s normal state. The new research has shown that a pulse of light can also disrupt the superconductivty, although the resulting state is unstable.

      • Tilting At Windmills Nine Bits At A Time | Hackaday

        In the old days — we are talking like the 1960s and 1970s — computers were often built for very specific purposes using either discrete logic or “bit slice” chips. Either way, more bits meant more money so frequently these computers were made with just enough bits to meet a required precision. We don’t think that was what was on [Mad Ned’s] mind, though, when he decided to implement a 9-bit CPU called QIXOTE-1 on an FPGA.

        Like many hobby projects, this one started with an FPGA board in search of a problem. At first, [Ned] had a plan to create a custom computer along with a custom language to then produce a video game. A quick search on the Internet led to that being a common enough project with one guy that we’ve talked about here on Hackaday before knocking it out of the park.

        [Ned] then thought about just doing a no-software video game. Too late to be the first to do that. Not to be deterred, he decided to duplicate the PDP-8. Whoops. That’s been done before, too. Wanting something original, he finally decided on a custom CPU. Since bytes are usually — if not technically — 8 bits, this CPU calls its 9-bit words nonads and uses octal which maps nicely to three digits per nonad.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • We Shouldn’t Have to Rely on the National Guard for Public Services

        The U.S. health care system has buckled under the strain of the pandemic. COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a€ peak€ in early January, nearly two years in.€ According€ to the American Hospital Association, “we’re facing a national emergency” as health care facilities simply don’t have enough workers to keep up with these surges.

        With worker shortages now plaguing hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities, states have turned to the National Guard for relief. So too have school districts, child care facilities, and communities reeling from natural disasters.

      • States Will Consider More Than 210 Bills on Toxic “Forever Chemicals” in 2022
      • This Man Donated His Kidney -- and Received a $13,064 Bill in Return
      • He Donated His Kidney and Received a $13,064 Bill in Return

        The email arrived in Elliot Malin’s inbox from his cousin’s mom.

        “Scott needs a kidney,” the subject line read.

      • Ontario Premier Declares State of Emergency Over Anti-Vax 'Siege'

        Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency Friday, two weeks into demonstrations in Ottawa by right-wing factions who object to Covid-19 mitigation measures, that have sibce grown to disrupt international supply chains and shut down several bridges at the U.S.-Canada border.

        Ottawa residents have for several days questioned whether the so-called "Freedom Convoy," in which a small minority of Canadian commercial truckers and their supporters have occupied the city, is truly a peaceful protest, considering reports of "violence, harassment, intimidation, and hate speech."

      • Spotify Signed Joe Rogan for $100 Million But Won’t Hold Him Accountable for Spreading Misinfo, Hate

        Comedian Joe Rogan has come under fire for spreading COVID-19 misinformation, using racial slurs and other harmful rhetoric on his Spotify podcast. Musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their music from the platform in protest of his $100 million contract reportedly paid by Spotify, raising questions how responsible audio platforms should be over hateful content. “He’s made it clear that he doesn’t have any intention of changing the lies and hate he spreads on his podcast, and it’s far past time that Spotify came to the plate and actually moderated the content on its platform,” says Alex Paterson, a self-described “Joe Rogan watchdog” and senior researcher for the LGBTQ Program at Media Matters.

      • Bigotry Unbound: the U.S. Media’s Anti-China Propaganda Blitz

        Meanwhile news industry giants, many serving as pentagon mouthpieces, are totally onboard with this media blitzkrieg. One of the most atrocious instigators is the New York Times. Take its so-called coverage of China’s superior covid policies, “reporting” so slanted you could roll a truckload of innuendos down it.

        Unlike the incompetent, murderous, free-market, anti-public health non-system in the U.S., which has killed 900,000 people in a population of 330 million, China, population 1.4 billion, has contained covid deaths to a mere several thousand. These statistics reflect very poorly on our vaunted capitalist arrangement. Indeed, many Americans have been shocked by the comparison of their inept, homicidal health care scheme to communism’s stellar success. So, in jumps the Times January 13 with a crude philippic, trashing China for saving lives from the virus and, drumroll…you got it, suggesting China’s Zero Covid policy can be compared to the Holocaust.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • FritzFrog botnet returns with new attacks after more than a year of inactivity

        After causing havoc throughout 2020, the operators of the FritzFrog botnet have returned with new attacks in 2022 after ceasing any activity last year.

        First spotted in January 2020, the FritzFrog botnet operated by using SSH brute-force attacks to gain access to remote servers and deploy cryptominers.

      • Proprietary

        • Russia Sentences Teens Over ‘Terrorist’ Plot to Blow Up Minecraft FSB Building

          A Russian court has sentenced three Siberian teenagers for terrorism Thursday for activities including plotting to blow up a virtual Federal Security Services (FSB) building in the popular online game Minecraft.

          Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko and Bogdan Andreyev from Kansk, a town in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, were arrested in June 2020 for hanging up political leaflets on the local FSB office that included slogans such as “the FSB is the main terrorist” and support for Azat Miftakhov, an anarchist who was sentenced to six years in prison. All three suspects were 14 at the time of their arrest.

        • Russian Teenager Gets Five Years In Prison In Minecraft 'Terrorism' Case

          The three boys were 14 when they were arrested in 2020 while distributing leaflets to support Azat Miftakhov, a mathematician, who was in custody at the time and later sentenced to six years in prison in January 2021 on terrorism charges that he and his supporters called politically motivated.

          After their arrest, investigators confiscated their telephones and said later they found chats in the phone that "had proven" that the trio planned to add the FSB building to the Minecraft game and blow it up there.

          The investigators also said that the boys criticized the FSB in the chats, read banned books, fabricated firecrackers, and blew them up in abandoned buildings in their native city of Kansk.

        • Russian boy sent to prison for plot to blow up spy building on 'Minecraft'

          A military court in Siberia sentenced the boy, 16-year-old Nikita Uvarov, to five years for the charges -- which stemmed from anti-government leaflets he'd handed out and videos on cellphones belonging to Uvarov and at least two others.

          Authorities also said they'd uncovered a plot by the teens to blow up a virtual building belonging to the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, that they'd built in the block-building game Minecraft.

          The FSB is the top intelligence and security service in Russia and the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

        • Russian teen jailed in Minecraft 'terrorism' case

          Police took their phones and said they found an exchange about plans to blow up an FSB building that they created in the popular block-building game Minecraft.

        • Security

          • This Week in Security: Zimbra, Lockbit 2, And Hacking NK

            Unknown attackers have been exploiting a 0-day attack against the Zimbra e-mail suite. Researchers at Volexity first discovered the attack back in December of last year, detected by their monitoring infrastructure. It’s a cross-site scripting (XSS) exploit, such that when opening a malicious link, the JavaScript running on the malicious page can access a logged-in Zimbra instance. The attack campaign uses this exploit to grab emails and attachments and upload them to the attackers. Researchers haven’t been able to positively identify what group is behind the attacks, but a bit of circumstantial evidence points to a Chinese group. That evidence? Time zones. The attacker requests all use the Asia/Hong_Kong time zone, and the timing of all the phishing emails sent lines up nicely with a work-day in that time zone.

          • Operation EmailThief: Active Exploitation of Zero-day XSS Vulnerability in Zimbra

            [UPDATE] On February 4, 2022, Zimbra provided an update regarding this zero-day exploit vulnerability and reported that a hotfix for 8.8.15 P30 would be available on February 5, 2022.

          • Bypass 40X Response Codes with dontgo403 - blackMORE Ops

            dontgo403 is a tool to bypass 40X errors.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Unknown American VC Firm Apparently Looking To Acquire NSO Group, Limit It To Selling To Five Eyes Countries

              NSO Group -- the embattled, extremely controversial Israeli phone malware developer -- finally has some good news to report. It may have a white knight riding to its rescue -- a somewhat unknown American venture capital firm that could help it pay its bills and possibly even rehabilitate its image.

            • Oh No, Not Another Crime Wave!

              Toward the end of last summer, some neighborhood meetings were held, called by councilmembers from allegedly crime-targeted areas, to discuss what people were potentially facing – shootings, gang warfare, low-level theft, etc., were mentioned. It was fairly ordinary stuff for stressed and depressed low income areas. These meetings were also to discuss proposals for increased surveillance technology, as means of preventing crime. There was skepticism about that. Surveillance technology can aid in solving crimes, but only changes in social conditions will be preventative. And the problem with surveillance technology — license plate readers and lamppost cameras, for instance – is that they will be pointed at all of us, and thus serve to enhance police social control capacities. Lamppost cameras make our daily lives part of a database, recording who we hang out with in parks, when we play chess (if we do), or to whom we pass little pieces of paper. It gets recorded for future use, but by whom?

              A usual response to surveillance goes: “I’m not doing anything wrong. I have nothing to fear from it.” But one is powerless over its future use. People have ended up in prison for having been on the wrong street corner at the wrong time, thereby becoming suspects without alibi with respect to a nearby criminal event. In many ways, surveillance pushes the Constitution aside (e.g. violation of privacy without warrants). For example, we know about programs like “Echelon,” which records and stores surveillance data collected globally. It reads all electronic communications, including cell phones, Wifi, email, internet pages and podcasts, etc., all without warrants. Electronic communications cross national boundaries (via satellites, etc.), which thus evade the limits of the juridical. In that contra-constitutional sense, the surveillance itself sounds like a “crime wave” all its own.

            • Opinion | Key Senators Have Voted For The Anti-Encryption EARN IT Act, But We Can Still Stop It

              Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the dangerous EARN IT bill. We're disappointed to see the committee advance this misguided bill. If enacted, EARN IT will put massive legal pressure on internet companies both large and small to stop using encryption and instead scan all user messages, photos, and files.€ 

            • EFF, ACLU, and 30+ Community Groups Oppose Weakening San Francisco’s Surveillance Ordinance

              Mayor London Breed recently introduced a proposed ballot initiative that would create massive exceptions to the law’s requirement that police get permission from democratically elected Supervisors before using or acquiring any new surveillance technology.

              The letter is signed by Amnesty International USA, the Coalition on Homelessness, the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Bay Area chapter, the Black Movement Law Project, and many others. It explains that surveillance is often a precursor to police abuse:

              After years of fighting against police lawlessness and unfettered access to invasive surveillance technologies, we need more community control over the San Francisco Police Department, not less.

            • The EU Parliament takes strong stance against surveillance ads

              Thousands of people took action in the days before the Digital Services Act (DSA) vote in the EU Parliament, asking Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) to end surveillance advertising. As part of the Platform Power campaign, we have coordinated with many civil society organisations and raised our voices for stronger laws against the business model of Big Tech online platforms. Together, we succesfully pressured law-makers to put people at the center of the debate.

              On 20 January 2022, the Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) decided BigTech platforms should no longer be allowed to use surveillance ads on children and have significantly limited surveillance ads for adults. More, the EU Parliament voted BigTech platforms should be prohibited from using ‘dark patterns’, so called manipulative interfaces.

            • French watchdog says Google Analytics breaches GDPR rules and could be banned

              CNIL said Google Analytics breaches article 44 of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, and the tech giant hasn’t done enough to ensure data protection. It added that Google doesn’t provide users with enough information on what happens to their data and how it’s being used and doesn’t offer enough avenues for recourse if people do think their data has been misused.

              On its website, CNIL reported that the Austrian-based European Center for Digital Rights had received 101 complaints from 27 E.U. member states as well as three other European Economic Area states, regarding Google’s transfer of data to the U.S.

            • „Not surprising, but still shameful“

              When the Hungarian data protection authority concluded their investigation into the Pegasus scandal last week, they came to a surprising result: The surveillance of journalists and lawyers was supposedly legal, but those who helped uncover it should be investigated. Áron Demeter, head of Amnesty Hungary, talks about loopholes in the Hungarian judicial system.

            • UPDATE: CNIL decides EU-US data transfer to Google Analytics illegal and orders controller to comply with GDPR

              Only two weeks after the groundbreaking decision by the Austrian Data Protection Authority that the continuous use of Google Analytics violates the GDPR, the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) follows this decision and orders a French website to comply with the GDPR. Both decisions are based on noyb's 101 model complaints which were filed after the Court of Justice ruling invalidating Privacy Shield. noyb expects similar decisions by the other authorities

            • New Report Highlights an Old Problem—the CIA Is Still Snooping on Americans

              This entire program is completely separate from the NSA surveillance that Snowden exposed back in 2013. Then, the NSA contended that Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act authorized the mass collection of Americans' phone and internet metadata to gather information about potential terrorists. It sought (and received) blanket permission from the FISA Court. In 2015, after Snowden's whistleblowing, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which banned the government from collecting the data in bulk and set tighter rules for access.

              This CIA surveillance is governed by Executive Order 12333, which was first issued in 1981, and is not under the purview of the FISA Court. Nevertheless, there are supposed to be precautions to ensure that the CIA is not secretly reviewing private data sent by Americans domestically. The PCLOB report explains that as part of its financial intelligence gathering on the operations of the Islamic State, CIA employees were able to collect (intentionally or not) significant amounts of data from domestic communications.

            • 'This Invasion of Our Privacy Must Stop,' Says ACLU After CIA Domestic Spying Revelations

              The ACLU was among those expressing grave concern Thursday night after a pair of Democrats in the U.S. Senate revealed troubling evidence that the CIA has conducted bulk surveillance of the American people without their knowledge and with little oversight.

              "As disturbing as the CIA's bulk surveillance of financial transactions is, the other bulk surveillance program is so secretive the CIA won't even tell the public what kind of information it is sweeping up."

            • Declassified Documents Shows The CIA Is Using A 1981 Executive Order To Engage In Domestic Surveillance

              When most people think of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), they think of a foreign-facing spy agency with a long history of state sponsored coup attempts (some successful!), attempted assassinations of foreign leaders, and putting the US in the torture business. What most people don't assume about the CIA is that it's also spying on Americans. After all, we prefer our embarrassments to be foreign-facing -- something that targets (and affects) people we don't really care about and governments we have been told are irredeemable.

            • We Need Answers About the CIA’s Mass Surveillance

              According to a declassified report released yesterday by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), the CIA’s surveillance program is reminiscent of the mass surveillance programs conducted by the NSA, though the details released thus far paint a disturbing picture of potential wide-scale violations of people’s privacy. To start, the CIA program has apparently been conducted outside the statutory reforms and oversight of the intelligence community instituted after revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013. The newly declassified CIA data collection program is carried out in conjunction with Executive Order 12333 and is therefore subject to even less oversight than the woefully under-supervised NSA surveillance programs subject to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

              The CIA collects a vast amount of data, often on U.S. persons, without any clear guidelines about data retention and without substantial oversight€ 

              The whos, whats, whys, and hows of this semi-disclosed CIA program are still unknown, and the public deserves the right to know exactly what damage has been done. Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich are already pressing for the release of even more information. In a partially-redacted letter sent to the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA Director on April 13,€  2021, the senators have called for the public release of the full report about the CIA’s surveillance, which remains classified. The senators’ letter also€  demands answers about how the agency collects the data, what data is being collected, and the rules governing its storage and retention.

            • UK can join EU surveillance schemes with no parliamentary scrutiny, warns new report

              The report examines the policing and security provisions of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), approved by MPs in December 2020 and MEPs in April 2021. The report, Brexit: Goodbye and hello – the new EU-UK security architecture, civil liberties and democratic control, is available here.

              Under the TCA, the UK has the ability to opt in to an extension of the ‘Prüm’ system, which enables cross-border searches of national police databases holding biometric and other data; and a system for the mass surveillance and profiling of air passengers, which officials have indicated they are keen to extend to rail, road and sea transport.

            • CIA Collects Americans' Data In Massive, Secret, And Extralegal Surveillance Program
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Minneapolis Police Officers Demanded No-Knock Warrant, Killed Innocent Gunowner Nine Seconds After Entering Residence

        The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is temporarily ending the use of no-knock warrants following the killing of 22-year-old Amir Locke by Minneapolis police officers. The city's mayor, Jacob Frey, has placed a moratorium on these warrants until the policy can be reviewed by Professor Pete Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University and anti-police violence activist DeRay McKesson.

      • Israeli Law & Torture: From Detained Minors to a Prison “Torture Room”

        The sun had not yet risen on January 21 when 30 Israeli soldiers arrested 12-year-old Ammar at his home in the Naqab. His alleged crime: protesting against the most recent push in a government-backed forestation plan—or “greenwashing,” as many put it—that would uproot thousands of Palestinian Bedouins and replace them with pine trees. Ammar was released after a few hours of detention and put under house arrest—even though, his parents said, he was at home during the protest. Al Jazeera reported that he had not spoken a word since he returned home.

      • Battle of Ideas: Anti-Communism Prolongs Already Long US Blockade of Cuba

        Equally remarkable is the zeal with which the blockade is still being enforced. Two recent news reports, selected as coinciding with the blockade’s 60-year anniversary, testify to the U.S. government’s still-remaining commitment and serious purpose.

        Argentinian Graciela Ramírez works in Cuba as a correspondent for resumenlationameriano.org, an important Buenos Aires news outlet. She directs both the Cuba branch of the Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity and its English language website. Ramírez is co-coordinator of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, based in Oakland, California. She is a public figure whose undoing would gratify U.S. reactionaries.

      • Sorry Senator, Putin is No Hitler

        Tell that to Senator Angus King (I-ME).€  King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee, appeared on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on February 8 to warn of Vladimir Putin’s baleful intentions towards Ukraine.

        King posed the rhetorical question: Why is the US concerned about Russia, a country half a world away?€  King had the answers: “Number one is 1938.€  If Putin is allowed to go into Ukraine without serious opposition, what about Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, [and] the other countries that are on his border.”

      • More Deferred Costs to Politics and Endless Wars

        In my field of conflict transformation starvation deaths are an example of structural violence because social structures are what cause the inequality in health outcomes, wellbeing, and death. Sometimes, like in Yemen, where a US backed Saudi-led blockade was responsible for humanitarian crisis the culprits are clear. Biden deserves some credit for pulling the backing that had been provided by Trump, but falls short because he still provides too much cover for what the UN calls “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

        Across the globe, however, much of the problem of access to resources and inequality that leads to tragic outcomes like malnutrition and starvation come from things like failing infrastructure. Whole regions may lose access to basic human needs when an overloaded truck, flooding, or a hurricane cause a vital bridge to collapse. Building bridges is one of the successful noncombat operations the US military regularly engages in—building bridges is a life sustaining practice.

      • Trump Took "Top Secret" Classified Material to Mar-a-Lago Estate
      • Court Empowers Police to Break Anti-Vax Bridge Blockade in Canada

        As Ontario's premier on Friday declared a state of emergency over an ongoing trucker-led protest that has paralyzed commerce and transportation at a key crossing on the U.S. border,€ a judge in the Canadian province granted an injunction aimed at breaking the blockade.

        "We're dealing with millions of dollars of damage each and every day."

      • Amid Ukraine Tension, US Deploys Nuclear-Ready B-52 Bombers to UK

        Despite repeated warnings from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the U.S. is driving the rise of tensions at Ukraine's eastern border, the U.S. Air Force has deployed four B-52 bombers with nuclear capabilities to the U.K., where one official acknowledged that the deployment is at least partially connected to Russia's recent military activities.

        "In 1991 they hit Baghdad from Fairford, flew on to Diego Garcia, refueled and rearmed, bombed Baghdad again on the way back, and returned to Fairford."

      • A Hypocrisy Scorecard: Welcome to the Brave Old World

        Western leaders insist that any sovereign nation like Ukraine has the right to choose whichever alliance it wishes to join. Russians counter that the doctrine of the indivisibility of security means that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will be a threat to Russia.

        The West argues for Ukrainian national autonomy. Countering, Russia cites Article 8 of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s 1999 Istanbul Document signed by leaders of 54 states including President William Clinton: “We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards.€ They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States.”€  (Italics added)

      • “American Reckoning”: 55 Years After KKK Murder of Mississippi NAACP Leader, Case Remains Unsolved

        This month marks 55 years since the assassination of an NAACP leader. The new documentary “American Reckoning” seeks justice in the cold case of murdered civil rights activist and local NAACP leader Wharlest Jackson Sr. in Natchez, Mississippi. No one was ever charged with his 1967 murder, despite evidence pointing to the involvement of the inner circle of the local Ku Klux Klan. It’s one of many unsolved crimes targeting civil rights activists. “The fact that no one has been indicted for Wharlest’s case or for these other cases shows the limits of the justice system,” says co-director and co-producer Yoruba Richen. Wharlest Jackson Sr.'s daughter, Denise Ford Jackson, recalls how her mother received redacted documents when trying to get to the bottom of her husband's murder. We also speak with Brad Lichtenstein, the film’s co-director.

      • Christian Nationalists Are Rewriting Jan 6 History. Alarmingly, It's Working.
      • What we Must Do for Afghanistan

        During the American war in Afghanistan, outside donors (including the U.S.) came to dominate the government, providing the majority of its funds—almost 80%– used to pay teachers, health care workers, civil servants, and the many others who made the country run. With the U.S. and NATO departure from Afghanistan in August, this money completely dried up, as did access to the international banking system. The economy went into free-fall, the government could not pay workers, banks closed, and people had no money to buy food or fuel for the harsh winter. NPR reports that families are selling their children in order to obtain money to buy food to prevent the rest of the family starving to death.

        The U.S. spent roughly $2.3 trillion on the Afghanistan war, much of which went to contractors who made enormous profits. While 2,324 American military members died in the war, Afghans suffered far more. Brown University’s Cost of War project found that 69,095 soldiers and national police and an estimated 46,319 civilians were killed; thus, over 115,000 Afghans died as a result of the war. But for the people of Afghanistan, the war has not ended, nor has the killing. The new economic war is expected to kill more Afghans in four months this winter than did the “kinetic” war in twenty years. No one expects the leaders of the Taliban to suffer. But everyone agrees that hundreds of thousands of babies will die. In fact, Afghanistan in 2022 is shaping up to be one of the worst, possibly the worst, humanitarian catastrophe on record, for any country.

      • The Impact of Chato Peredo, “Che’s Last Soldier,” on the MAS Party in Bolivia

        Known as “Che’s Last Soldier,” Peredo died last year in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. His life was marked by the popular struggles that shook Bolivia throughout decades. He was born on February 4th, 1941 in Beni, in the eastern lowlands of the€ Oriente, a region of the country that is often considered a bastion of conservatism. But it has also produced many of the country’s important socialist leaders and intellectuals.

        Chato was a true revolutionary who, up to the last moment of his life, kept his revolutionary principles firm. Proof of this is that he entrusted his children to have his ashes sent to Cuba so that he can rest next to the legendary Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his brothers Inti and Coco Peredo, who died in Che’s guerilla in Ñancahuazú, Bolivia.

      • America’s Real Adversaries are Its European and Other Allies

        The Iron Curtain of the 1940s and ‘50s was ostensibly designed to isolate Russia from Western Europe – to keep out Communist ideology and military penetration. Today’s sanctions regime is aimed inward, to prevent America’s NATO and other Western allies from opening up more trade and investment with Russia and China. The aim is not so much to isolate Russia and China as to hold these allies firmly within America’s own economic orbit. Allies are to forego the benefits of importing Russian gas and Chinese products, buying much higher-priced U.S. LNG and other exports, capped by more U.S. arms.

        The sanctions that U.S. diplomats are insisting that their allies impose against trade with Russia and China are aimed ostensibly at deterring a military buildup. But such a buildup cannot really be the main Russian and Chinese concern. They have much more to gain by offering mutual economic benefits to the West. So the underlying question is whether Europe will find its advantage in replacing U.S. exports with Russian and Chinese supplies and the associated mutual economic linkages.

      • 'Nothing More Grotesque Than a Media Pushing for War,' Says Edward Snowden

        Exiled American whistleblower Edward Snowden on Friday joined global critics who are decrying news outlets for encouraging war with their coverage of rising tensions between the United States and Russia—where he has lived since 2013—over Ukraine.

        "With talk of war in Ukraine rising to a fever pitch, U.S. media outlets are once again beating the drums."

      • Status agreement with Senegal: Frontex might operate in Africa for the first time

        The border agency in Warsaw could deploy drones, vessels and personnel. It would be the first mission in a country that does not directly border the EU. Mauretania might be next.

    • Environment

      • Fossil Fools
      • Three Hopeful Stories of Environmental Activism

        Last November, for example, President Biden€ announced at the UN climate talks in Scotland that the U.S. will lead “by the power of our example” when it comes to transitioning off fossil fuels and cutting emissions.

        Then, just two weeks later, his administration announced the€ largest sale€ of offshore drilling leases in U.S. history. They’ve sold some€ 1.7 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico€ out of a staggering€ 81 million acres€ on offer.

      • Ocean Heat Killing Spree

        Global warming is the culprit of this deeply disturbing disheartening affair, and it begs the question of whether any nation/state or unified nations can do anything about it. After all, “save the whales” and “save the oceans” have been rallying cries in grocery store parking lot signature gatherings, indicative of the broad reach of public concern, for decades now but to no avail; in fact, over time as the signatures piled up, it’s only gotten worse and worse and now scary.

        Deadly marine heatwaves that repeat over and over again within short sequences carry a massive destructive punch. These events are new to the scene, starting in the 21st century when anthropogenic warp speed that impacts and alters the climate system inadvertently kicked into gear.

      • California’s Loitering Laws Could Cause Trouble At The Super Bowl

        Claims that legions of young girls are trafficked in for major sporting events persist, yet year after year this myth is disproven. In reality, the persistence of Superbowl human trafficking myths leads to more arrests of consenting adults than it does to rescues of real victims.

        As police departments play up their arrest numbers to a receptive press, a startling discrepancy appears between the media narrative and the actual data. During last year’s Super Bowl, Florida’s Hillsborough County authorities celebrated a “record” human trafficking sting for the precinct. Yet they only made 75 arrests, and many of those were arrests of consenting adults working in the sex industry.

      • “Politics as Usual” Will Never Be a Solution to the Current Climate Threat
      • Energy

        • Rightwing Lobby Group ALEC Driving Laws to Blacklist Companies That Boycott the Oil Industry

          By Chris McGreal, the Guardian. This article by the Guardian is republished here as part of the global journalism collaboration Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate crisis.

          The influential rightwing lobby group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is driving a surge in new state laws to block boycotts of the oil industry. The group’s strategy, which aims to protect large oil firms and other conservative-friendly industries, is modelled on legislation to punish divestment from Israel.

        • Battery-powered locomotives, coming to real railroads

          Less than three months ago I commented the potential of battery-powered trains. Now, there has just been an important development in that direction: “Union Pacific Will Buy 20 Battery-Electric Locomotives”.

          This is important because Union Pacific is a Class I railroad, that is a member of the “club” of largest rail carriers in the United States!

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Why Does Lauren Boebert Want to Annihilate the Sage-Grouse? Follow the Money

          Earlier this week, far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert went on a diatribe against Greater sage-grouse conservation efforts but neglected to mention that her husband raked in nearly $1 million over a two-year period from a fossil fuel corporation that stands to lose out if the Biden administration strengthens federal protection of the threatened bird species' sagebrush habitat.

          "Her behavior is the epitome of corruption."

        • Vanishing: In Love With the Blue Oaks
        • 'A Wake-Up Call to Act Now': Koalas Declared Endangered in Eastern Australia

          While mostly welcoming the Australian government's decision to officially list the koala as endangered in parts of the country, conservationists on Friday reaffirmed the need for legislation to truly protect the iconic marsupials and—even more importantly—the imperative to address the root causes of species loss.€ 

          "What we need is a Koala Protection Act."

        • As Chile Rewrites Constitution, Will Rights of Nature Be Enshrined?

          Delegates elected to rewrite Chile's constitution must consider whether to enshrine the rights of nature after a citizens' initiative gained enough signatures to merit discussion at the constituent assembly currently underway.

          "This constitutional mandate would redefine and rebalance the relationship of government and citizens with the natural world by recognizing nature as a legal entity with its own rights and interests."

        • Opinion | The World Court of Ecological Awareness

          Pssst . . . here's a little secret. Don't tell anyone, OK? It might cause trouble.

        • Sustainability Is Not as New an Idea as You Might Think—It’s More Than 300 Years Old

          Or to be more precise, he coined the word to describe the quintessential principles of a human activity that goes back to the dawn of history: the sustainable use of natural resources. Although it may not have been called sustainability until Carlowitz, societies had practiced it for a long time as a vital part of cultural or religious practices. Ancient Egypt pursued sustainable systems for more than€ 3,000 years. The Maya, according to anthropologist Lisa Lucero, practiced a “cosmology of conservation.” The literature of ancient India is brimful with references to the€ preservation of the environment.

          On the other hand, there are ancient civilizations that may have collapsed because they despoiled the natural world that gave them life. The earliest example may be found in the ancient Mesopotamian “Epic of Gilgamesh,” the first version of which dates back to 2000 B.C. Clay tablets tell the tale of vast cedar forests cut down by the eponymous hero in defiance of the gods, who punish him by cursing the land with fire and drought, turning the region into a desert. Nothing grew any more, forcing the Sumerians to flee to Babylon and Assyria.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democrats Plan to Use Republicans' "Legitimate Political Discourse" Against Them
      • Pop-Morality Is Immoral

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some philosophy professors think that popularizing books like this make their work seem dumb. I don’t disagree. I just think very little effort is needed in that regard. Worse than dumb, I think such books, just like the more academic versions, are lacking in morality.

        How can a book that surveys all the basic concepts of Ethics 101 be itself unethical? How can Ethics 101 be unethical? Michael Schur begins with an example of how someone might try to do good one day and discover difficulties. This person picks up litter, but, Schur tells us, it will end up in the ocean anyway. They eat veggie patties, but those were shipped from far away creating a large carbon footprint. They buy milk from “organic” and “grass-fed” cows, but those words on the packaging were basically lies. They go running, but their sneakers were made by workers getting 4 cents an hour. They watch a good documentary, but do so on a streaming service owned by a company also making killer drones for the North Korean air force. Etc.

      • Congressional Staffers Are Organizing a Much-Needed Union

        Union representation leads to better pay and improved conditions in every kind of workplace, but especially in high-pressure settings where hours are long and demands are intense. Yet workers in congressional offices are not unionized, since provisions in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 which would have cleared the way for organizing drives were never implemented. That’s something that needs to change, as a new study from the Congressional Progressive Staff Association reveals.

      • What Is Wrong, New York Times? Can We Help?

        Twitter is mean to The New York Times, both as an institution and as it’s represented by its most prominent and well-remunerated reporters. Sometimes this bothers me, because some of it is still the standard old racist garbage the paper has been targeted by since the civil rights movement, from way before I was born, through today.1

      • Nina Turner Is Still Mad As Hell, and Running for Congress (Again)

        Late last month, former Ohio state senator and Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner announced that she would run again for congress this year. The decision comes less than six months after her loss against Marcia Fudge protégé Shontel Brown in the special election for the same seat.

      • No, Biden Is Not Handing Out Crack Pipes. Here’s Why Activists Do.
      • It's Time to Take the Racism Out of Redistricting

        On February 7, the US Supreme Court “froze” a lower court ruling invalidating Alabama’s new district map, allowing its use while it hears a suit over the map’s details.

        The plaintiffs’ argument, as reported by CNN, is that the new map “dilutes” the power of black voters because it includes only one, rather than two, districts where black voters comprise a majority and therefore “have the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.”

      • Opinion | The Supreme Court Hearing Alabama Voting Rights Case Signals Danger
      • The Political Theology of Neoliberalism

        The main point of his book, at least for me, is that contemporary evangelical Christianity is not, as followers of Polanyi and might claim, a counterbalance to the ruthless market, but a handmaiden of the market. More than that, he believes thast neoliberalism would not be viable without religious reinforcement. This is not really a€  new or startling idea. While few and perhaps none of the major neoliberal thinkers were religious believers, from very early on F. H Knight, Friedrich Hayek and James Buchanan, at least, realized that market freedom was not self-sufficient way of life, but needed political, cultural, and perhaps religious support. (To my knowledge they do not mention Plato’s cave metaphor€  or the Noble Lie, but that’s the kind of thing€  they’re talking about).

        Kotsko’s thesis is that contemporary evangelical and conservative Christianity is not an€  anachronism which will soon disappearand, far from being an adversary of neoliberalism, is an integral part of the neoliberal transformation of society. Likewise, the state (which Polanyi also spoke of€  as a counterbalance to the markett) is also in its neoliberal form subordinate to the market – and this is not the minimal caretaker state of the classical liberalism, but a state as strong as market society needs it to be, all the way up to authoritarian dictatorship.

      • The GOP is Now Openly Aligned Against Democracy

        All that’s good grist for the mill. But did you also hear former President Trump admit that he’d intended to have Mike Pence€ overturn the 2020 election? In a statement, Trump asserted that Pence had the power to “change the outcome” and should indeed have “overturned the election.”

        Or, here’s a bad one: Did you hear that the Trump administration actually drafted orders for federal law enforcement€ to seize voting machines€ before his loss could be certified?

      • President Xiomara Castro Brings Hope and Joy to Hondurans

        The festive atmosphere of Xiomara Castro’s inauguration lit up Honduras’ capital city Tegucigalpa, as thousands of supporters of Castro and her€ Libre€ party, waving red party flags and the turquoise flag of Honduras, filled the National Stadium and surrounding streets for the ceremony on Thursday, January 27.

        “A complete festival is taking place at this time of night in the surroundings of the National Stadium of Tegucigalpa, prior to the inauguration of Xiomara Castro as president,” reported Honduras’ TN5 outlet.

      • Opinion | What We Must Do for Afghanistan

        I have a beloved 4-year-old granddaughter. If I lived in Afghanistan, my family would be facing the likelihood that she would die. My heart breaks in pieces thinking of this. The UN estimated a million children under the age of five in Afghanistan will die this winter from malnutrition and starvation, a situation brought on primarily by the U.S., through economic sanctions and the freezing of Afghan assets in U.S. banks. How did we get to this point?

      • Polling on Issues People Know Little About Creates Illusion of Public Opinion

        Last week (FAIR.org, 2/2/22), I suggested that a new ABC News/Ipsos poll (1/30/22) was a poster child for what is wrong with many media-sponsored polls these days. Instead of a serious effort to measure what the public is thinking about any specific issue, the poll glided superficially across a whole range of subjects, never stopping long enough to provide understanding of any one of them—creating an illusion of public opinion that is either misleading, biased or simply inaccurate.

      • A beginner’s guide to EU rules on scanning private communications: Part 2

        In 2021, the European Union (EU) institutions responsible for making laws agreed to pass the temporary derogation from certain provisions of the ePrivacy Directive. This new law allows certain companies to scan everyone’s private messages and chats, even though such practices may be incompatible with the EU’s human rights and data protection laws.

        In the first part of this blog series, we explored how changes to definitions in the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) led to a situation of panic, which may have enabled the European Commission to push through the temporary law despite so many concerns having been raised.

        The temporary derogation will expire in August 2024, and the EU wants to replace it before then with a ‘long term’ version. The long-term proposal is currently scheduled for 30 March 2022, although its publication has already been pushed back several times, meaning that time is ticking. In this blog, we take a look at what could be coming up in the new proposal, and how the investigation of online CSAM should be done in order to meet the standards required by EU law.

      • [Old] A beginner’s guide to EU rules on scanning private communications: Part 1

        In July 2021, European Union (EU) member state ministers reached an agreement with the European Parliament to pass a new law, creating a temporary exception (derogation) from certain parts of the 2002 ePrivacy Directive. This derogation allows electronic communications services, like chat or webmail services, to conduct the automated scanning of everyone’s private communications, all of the time, instead of limiting surveillance to genuine suspects and in line with due process. Such generalised scanning practices can constitute a form of mass surveillance. They pose a serious risk to everyone’s fundamental rights because they treat each one of us as suspicious.

        The derogation will expire in August 2024, and the European Commission intends to replace it with a long-term version which they will put forward in 2022. The purported goal of these derogations is to allow companies to detect online ‘CSAM’ (child sexual abuse material). Yet the temporary derogation allows companies to conduct the mass scanning of everybody’s private messages and chats, instead of limiting surveillance to those against whom there is reasonable, lawful suspicion. Worse still, the Commission has indicated that the long-term law might make generalised scanning of everyone’s personal communications mandatory. If passed, such sweeping and disproportionately-invasive measures would likely do far more harm than good.

      • Snow, trash, and ‘influential people’ St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov is under more pressure than ever before. Is his departure imminent?

        For St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, 2022 didn’t get off to a good start. The politician, who has faced near-constant criticism for his poor handling of the coronavirus epidemic, has now proven inept at resolving issues related to snow and garbage removal. What’s more, it seems as though local residents aren’t the only ones getting fed up with Beglov — St. Petersburg’s elites are losing patience with him, too. With Alexander Beglov under more pressure than ever, Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev looks into whether his departure is imminent and who might take up his post.€ € 

      • How the US Uses the NED to Export Obedience, with Matt Kennard
      • ‘It’s enough for the courts’ This 22-year-old has become Russia’s go-to expert witness in court cases launched over prohibited symbols — like Team Navalny’s logo

        In June 2021, the Moscow City Court declared Alexey Navalny’s political movement and anti-corruption nonprofits “extremist organizations.” Since then, the Russian authorities have been busy launching administrative cases against the Kremlin critic’s supporters for “displaying banned symbols” — including, but not limited to, logos associated with Team Navalny. Because Russia doesn’t maintain a list of extremist symbols, these proceedings rely on assessments from expert witnesses. According to lawyers and human rights activists, Russian courts have recently been turning to one witness in particular — 22-year-old Danila Mikheev, a purported forensic expert who has been denouncing opposition activists since his university days.

      • Within days of Telex’s court win, the government overrides the court’s decision with a decree

        Translation by Andrea Horváth Kávai.

      • The Show Must Go On

        To provide some context.€ € Jimmy Savile was for a long time a ‘national treasure’ in Britain, a celebrity of immense wealth and influence who had hosted a variety of prime-time television programmes including ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ which saw the gregarious Savile take written requests from deprived, disadvantaged and often seriously ill children; wishes which the programme would, if the child was selected, attempt to translate into reality.€ € It was a charming concept, and one which was imbued with hope.€ € But behind the sunny façade of childhood’s dreamscape, a darker shadow lurked.

        For, during his period as a ‘benevolent’, cheery and somewhat cheeky entertainer, bringing ‘magic’ to children’s lives, Savile was also one of the most prolific paedophiles Britain has ever seen.€ € And yet, because of his wealth and connections (personal access to many significant political figures including a direct line to the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher herself) – he was able to operate under-the-radar for decades.€ € Rather than be prosecuted for his crimes (the rumours about which had abounded for the best part of half a century) Savile was knighted. He died in 2011 having never been held to account.

      • The “World’s Greatest Country” is Swirling Down the Drain

        Stupid and Selective Censorship Concerns

        The comments sections of mainstream US news Websites are abuzz with angry Amerikaners’ hatred of Neil Young. Young stands idiotically accused of “censorship” for making the personal moral and business decision to tell Spotify to take down his music if the company insisted on maintaining its contract with the racist podcaster and mediocre blowhard Joe “Planet of the Apes” Rogan, a self-described “moron” who has offered platforms to fascist propagandists (e.g. Andy Ngo and Gavin McInnes) while helping spread mass murderous anti-vax misinformation on Covid-19.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • ‘Big Lies Are Built From Lots of Little Lies’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Voting Booth‘s Steven Rosenfeld about the Arizona election “audit” for the February 4, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Defenses of Rogan Aren’t About Free Speech; They’re Right-Wing Solidarity

        For right-wing and libertarian media, Joe Rogan, host of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, has become a symbol of resistance to censorship (New York Post, 2/2/22; Fox News, 2/2/22; Reason, 2/2/22; The Hill, 2/1/22).

      • The Real Fake News Crisis in America Comes From Corporate Media

        Notably, the ire is rarely directed at a corporate media machine that systematically rewards and praises the purveyors of misleading propaganda, and continues to flood the country with information sewage.

        This selective outrage is a huge problem — because the only way to systematically combat misinformation is to construct a Fourth Estate that develops some trust with the audience. That trust will never be rebuilt if liberals pretend to hate misinformation while they patronize a media establishment that fortifies the pathologies that originally created a credibility crisis.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Penguin Random House Demands Removal Of Maus From Digital Library Because The Book Is Popular Again

        We've said it over and over again, if libraries did not exist today, there is no way publishers would allow them to come into existence. We know this, in part, because of their attempts to stop libraries from lending ebooks, and to price ebooks at ridiculous markups to discourage libraries, and their outright claims that libraries are unfair competition. And we won't even touch on their lawsuit over digital libraries.

      • George Washington U.’s President Called the Posters ‘Offensive.’ Now He Says They’re Protected Speech.

        Posters that satirize the 2022 Winter Olympic Games by calling attention to the Chinese government’s human-rights abuses sparked a free-speech firestorm at George Washington University over the weeken.d

      • I almost got banned from Hacker News

        Well, an interesting series of events played out over the past week, and it almost led to dang laying down the banhammer on my account—and I wanted to convey a bit of the story in hopes it can help people who don't get to frontpage on HN but want to, to know how to do it without risking the wrath of the HN community (and/or a permaban)!

        Last week, I posted a video and blog post that complained of four issues I had with SpaceX's Starlink satellite Internet service. In the video itself, I even mentioned how discussing any Musk-related venture is—and I quote—"risky business."

        That video quickly racked up more comments than any other video I've posted. The comments quickly separated into either "you are an entitled young white guy so stop whining" or "I totally agree that Starlink is evil and has no redeeming qualities" (I'm not even paraphrasing here...). Welcome to modern online discourse, I guess.

      • Online Safety Bill risks censorship of Christian teaching

        Attempts to curtail content promoting violence, drugs, self-harm and suicide, as well as introducing an age verification law preventing children from accessing online porn, have been welcomed, but the plans go further and could censor Christian teaching.

        Ministers say the Online Safety Bill will restrict legal content that it deems ‘harmful’, with the definition of what constitutes ‘legal but harmful’ to be decided by the Government, Ofcom and private tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

      • Opinion | Pushing Back on ADL's Criticism of Amnesty's Classification of Apartheid in Israel

        Last week, Israel's treatment of Palestinians was highlighted and documented in a ground-breaking human rights report. Even before the report was released, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which calls itself a civil rights organization, issued a statement saying it "demonizes Israel" and "would likely spark antisemitism." The organization offered no substantive engagement with the contents of the report—only an accusation of antisemitism. Let me offer some context.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • In Kashmir, journalist's arrest intensifies pressure on media

        India, which placed Kashmir under its direct rule in 2019, ending the region’s special autonomous status, ranks 141st out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index. But press freedom and independent media voices are under attack around the globe, the index shows, from violent assaults across the Americas and Europe to jail sentences imposed by an array of governments eager to suppress critical and investigative reports.

      • Journalism in Mexico: Where getting the story could mean getting killed

        The threat to Mexican journalists – particularly local reporters – comes from organized crime hit-men, local government officials, and other, often anonymous, sources. The intimidation scares some journalists out of the profession, and forces others to self-censor, limiting what Mexicans can read and see about their country.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • California Sues Tesla Over Alleged Rampant Racism Against Black Employees
      • Spotify Signed Joe Rogan for $100 Million But Won’t Hold Him Accountable
      • Cop Trainer Encouraging Cops To Run Facial Recognition Searches On People During Traffic Stops

        Cops are out there giving each other bad advice. An instructor for Street Cop Training -- a New Jersey based provider of officer training programs -- is telling officers it's ok to run facial recognition searches during routine traffic stops, when not encouraging them to go further with their potential rights violations.

      • Opinion | Biden Should Nominate a Justice Beholden to People, Not Corporate Power: That's Ketanji Brown Jackson

        In the days since Justice Stephen Breyer announced he will retire, there has been much discussion of whether President Joe Biden should look for a nominee who would mirror Breyer's background and approach. But as a civil rights lawyer, I see this as an opportunity for the President to appoint someone who would bring to the nation's highest Court a perspective and background similar to two of the best Supreme Court justices in our nation's history: Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

      • Report finds issue with requests for supplementary police funding in Finland [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The Police of Finland employs only a limited number of information and communication technology experts and its outdated systems are beginning to pose a threat to information security. Shortcomings in the technology are also reflected in other operations, as poorly functioning systems can become an obstacle to efficient operations.

      • 1,021 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year

        Despite the unpredictable events that lead to fatal shootings, police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people annually — nearly 1,000 — since The Post began its project. Probability theory may offer an explanation. It holds that the quantity of rare events in huge populations tends to remain stable absent major societal changes, such as a fundamental shift in police culture or extreme restrictions on gun ownership.

      • Striving for Solidarity

        In an interview discussing solidarity and her work, the famed activist and scholar explained how her release from possible death row in the 1960s heavily depended on the combined agigation of people across the globe, from protests in Soviet Union to parts of Latin America.

        “And, of course, my own trial on charges that initially carried the death penalty ended in victory largely due to the vast international campaign that touched people in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America,” she stated.

      • Brazil, Amazon, World: How the Munduruku Showed Up the Whole System

        The news that tends to be beamed out about Indigenous peoples, if not as crude as Bolsonaro’s views, tend to present them as dirt poor, backward, victims, quaint, exotic, or, in the artistic domain, set pieces aestheticising brutality and tragedy in a photograph by, say, Sebastião Salgado. The approximately 13,000 Munduruku people, who live along the Tapajós River in fourteen “Indigenous lands” in various phases of recognition by the state of Brazil, defy all the cliches. To begin with, they’re sending a powerful message to the government, the present one and the one that wins the elections in October this year: they’re not to be messed with, they understand and are exposing the rot at the heart of the system that wants to destroy them and, in doing so, have shown that history, as told today, is wrong.

        The Munduruku—“fire ant people”, an allusion to their ancient fierce, swarming battle strategy—who call themselves Wuujuyû (“we are the people”) mostly live in some 130 villages along the banks of the upper reaches of the Tapajós River and its tributary, the Cururu River, in western Pará state. Their river and its tributaries, separately named on official maps made for the purposes of colonial exploitation, has one name: Idixidi, and their territory extends to where Idixidi flows because these waters are one, brought into being by the creator Karosakaybu when he threw three tucumã husks. The river is the essence of Munduruku life, providing food, water, transportation and, in particular, the centre of their cosmology. Any struggle against interference or invasion of their territory is about much more than just the land they live on. But this is how it is always presented by outsiders, who started to occupy the zone after the first recorded contacts in the second half of the eighteenth century and, especially, a hundred years later with the first missionaries in the area and the rubber boom, which catapulted the Amazon region into the world capitalist market and brought in thousands of non-Indigenous people who worked as semi-slaves in the plantations.

      • New Evidence of Discrimination Against Black Coaches in the NFL Since 2018

        Coincidentally, a study I began working on in the spring of 2020 was published online in the Review of Black Political Economy mere hours before Flores’ lawsuit went public. My colleagues and I used data on all NFL offensive and defensive coordinators since the 2003 introduction of the Rooney Rule, which required all NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for vacant head-coaching jobs.

        We wanted to determine what factors were correlated with a coordinator’s probability of becoming a head coach. Our results identified many factors that have impacted a coordinator’s chances of landing a head-coaching job. One of those factors was the coordinator’s race.

      • Whitney Houston, The Star Spangled Banner, and the Super Bowl

        In January 2008, I found myself in an event room of a Dave and Buster’s in Austin, Texas to watch the Super Bowl. My dad’s Army reserve unit was in town doing something, and their commanding colonel arranged for his executive staff to watch the game together, complete with free food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a poor college student and big fan of my dad, I jumped at the opportunity when invited. It had been a while since I had been around a large group of soldiers so I forgot to stand for the national anthem. Fortunately, my dad nudged me to attention before anyone seemed to notice. After Jordin Sparks hit the final notes and we were finally seated, I turned to my dad and asked, “Do we still have that Whitney Houston tape?” Today’s Tedium, ahead of this year‘s Super Bowl and yet somehow hitting on the 10th anniversary of Whitney Houston’s passing, is looking at one of the most iconic performances ever of a national anthem, and the role it played in the corporatization of American patriotism.

        [...]

        According to University of Southern California professor John Carlos Rowe, the “Vietnam Effect” is a phrase, “Popularized first in the late 1970s to refer to poor military and foreign policy decisions by the U.S. in the conduct of the War … [and] referred to the defeatist mentality caused by our first loss in a major military conflict.” Though the United States had engaged in successful military action following Vietnam, most notably in Granada and Panama, uncertainty of American military might was still something of a question at the time. And the U.S. government was eager to prove what its war machine was really capable of.

        Those who remember the Persian Gulf War as the decisive American victory it was might forget how hyped Iraqi military prowess was before combat operations began. Sadam Hussein had amassed the world’s 4th largest military by 1991 that included a sizable number of veterans of Iraq’s decade long war with Iran. Add to this, an impressive number of tanks and surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) along with a comprehensive radar defense network and Sadam’s forces were nothing to take lightly.

        To counter the dictator’s threat to Saudi Arabia, and eventually drive him from Kuwait, the United States assembled a coalition of 35 countries. Along with most of western Europe, the U.S. had support from large swaths of the Middle East, including Oman, Pakistan, and Morocco. Internationally, America’s actions were met with widespread support, even getting rare approval from the UN Security Council and China.

        At home, Americans were not so convinced. A 2001 Gallup retrospective on the 10th anniversary of the war noted, “Four polls conducted between mid-August and November 1990 showed a divided public on whether the situation was worth going to war over or not. On average, 47 percent thought it was, while 43 percent thought it was not. And when Americans were first asked—in a Gallup poll conducted right before Thanksgiving 1990—about U.S. forces being used to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait, they opposed such action by 51 percent to 37 percent.”

        Part of this lack of support, especially in the minds of conservatives, was the lingering “Vietnam effect”. Rowe, the USC professor, writes, “Conservatives argued that Vietnam was a war we ‘won’ on the ‘battlefield’, but ‘lost’ in the mass media, domestic politics, and the Paris Peace Talks.” Even though American support for the war soared following the UN Security Council resolution authorizing “all necessary means” to remove Hussein from Kuwait, the U.S. government—led by Republican president George H.W. Bush—wasn’t going to take any chances.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Internet Platforms We All Use Should Be Publicly Owned and Democratically Controlled

        James Muldoon is author of Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim Our Digital Future from Big Tech, a manifesto for digital technology run on noncapitalist lines. He spoke to Jacobin’s David Broder about the power of the tech giants and how we could remold our online lives on more democratic bases.

      • The Web: A “Mystery Greater Than Our Failures”

        The essence of the web—universal accessibility to information for everyone—is what both “imperils and blesses” it. That kind of reach undoubtedly tempts us to find a way to monetize every transaction, turning the global “information highway” into an information toll-road. And yet, the ethos imbued into the web from its origins—however buried in trends, monetization strategies, or snake oil—hints at “a mystery greater than our failures”.

    • Monopolies

      • The end of the monopolistic web?

        You can more easily have a single carrier/distributor than a monopolistic publisher. For example, the same delivery service provides me my newspaper as well as a range of competing newspapers. The delivery man does not much care for the content of my newspaper. A few concentrated Internet providers support diverse competing services.

      • Copyrights

        • Danish Court Confirms Insane 'Little Mermaid' Copyright Ruling Against Newspaper Over Cartoon

          If you haven't been a long time Techdirt reader, you'll probably hear me say that there is a copyright infringement court case in Denmark and immediately wonder, "Yeesh, what did Disney do now?" But this is not a story about Disney. This is a story about the heirs of Edvard Eriksen, creator of a bronze statue of The Little Mermaid, inspired by the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and their inability to let anyone in any way depict the statue or anything similar without being accosted in copyright actions. Most of the bullying actions by Eriksen's heirs have been, unbelievably, against other towns throughout the world for creating their own Little Mermaid statues: Greenville, Michigan and the Danish city of Asaa for example.

        • Singer Sting sells entire music catalog to Universal music

          In recent months, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young and others who sold millions of albums to Baby Boomers have sold their recordings, songwriting catalogs or both. Buyers typically get the permanent right to use the artist’s songs or recordings in commercials, movies, television shows and other formats.

        • New Music Industry Takedown Service Targets NFT and 'Metaverse' Piracy

          Italian anti-piracy group Digital Content Protection has launched a new service that helps rightsholders to police NFT platforms, Web 3.0 projects, and metaverse precursors. The company, which works with major music industry partners including Sony, Universal and Warner, stresses that there are large financial interests at stake.

        • Pirate IPTV Operator Ordered to Pay $231,000 in Damages

          A man from Sweden has been convicted for selling subscriptions to pirate IPTV service MacIPTV. The 21-year-old served around 3,000 customers and came to the attention of local anti-piracy group Rights Alliance in 2019, which prompted a police investigation and criminal prosecution.

        • Analog Books Go From Strength To Strength: Helped, Not Hindered, By The Digital World

          Many of the worst ideas in recent copyright laws have been driven by some influential companies’ fear of the transition from analog to digital. Whereas analog formats – vinyl, books, cinematic releases of films – are relatively easy to control, digital ones are not. Once a creation is in a digital form, anyone can make copies and distribute them on the Internet. Traditional copyright industries seem to think that digital versions of everything will be freely available everywhere, and that no one will ever buy analog versions. That’s€ not the case with vinyl records, and a recent post on Publisher’s Weekly suggests that analog books too, far from dying, are€ going from strength to strength:



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IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 10, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Links 11/07/2024: Space Programs, Education, and Mass Layoffs
Links for the day
Fellowship indexing pages by person
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
US State Department admitted General Hugh S. Johnson went off-topic, Andreas Tille called for punishments
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 11/07/2024: Shifting Interests and It's All Books Now
Links for the day