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Links 17/2/2022: CloudReady is Ready (Rebranded), Quality Testing of the Linux Kernel

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • CloudReady is now ‘Chrome OS Flex,’ Google’s free way to turn old Macs, PCs into Chromebooks

        In December of 2020, Google acquired a Chromium-based operating system that turns old PCs into Chromebook-like devices. CloudReady is now becoming “Chrome OS Flex” and is launching in early access today.

        CloudReady’s big pitch was how it extended the life of old PCs that were no longer getting official updates. That software is now becoming an official Google offering with Chrome OS Flex.

        Billed as a “free-to-download operating system” by Google, the original team directly integrated “the benefits of CloudReady into a new version of Chrome OS.” It offers the same user interface, Chrome browser, cross-device features/integrations with Android, cloud sync (for settings and bookmarks), and Google Assistant that’s found on Chromebooks today. Other available features include Family Link, Smart Lock, Instant Tethering, and Nearby Sharing.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • optimizing llvmpipe vertex/fragment processing.

          Around 2 years ago while I was working on tessellation support for llvmpipe, and running the heaven benchmark on my Ryzen, I noticed that heaven despite running slowly wasn't saturating all the cores. I dug in a bit, and found that llvmpipe despite threading rasterization, fragment shading and blending stages, never did anything else while those were happening.

          I dug into the code as I clearly remembered seeing a concept of a "scene" where all the primitives were binned into and the dispatched. It turned out the "scene" was always executed synchronously.

          At the time I wrote support to allow multiple scenes to exist, so while one scene was executing the vertex shading and binning for the next scene could execute, and it would be queued up. For heaven at the time I saw some places were it would build 36 scenes. However heaven was still 1fps with tess, and regressions in other areas were rampant, and I mostly left them in a branch.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Add a User to a Group in Linux

        If you’re managing a server with multiple users, there’s a juggling act that comes with it. Managing who can read and write to a directory versus who can just read the files takes some extra tools. In Linux, this is accomplished with groups. Let’s look at how to manage those, especially how you can add a user to a group in Linux.

      • How to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu 22.04 Linux Desktop

        IntelliJ IDEA is a free Java IDE that can be installed on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. It is developed by JetBrains and has both a free community edition and a commercial edition.

        In this tutorial, we will take you through the step by step instructions to install the IntelliJ IDEA Java IDEA on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, via both command line and GUI. Then, you can use it to import your current Java projects or develop new ones.

      • Ping command not found on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux

        Depending on your Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Server/Desktop installation your system might not come with the ping command pre-installed. This is especially the case for docker containers.

      • How to Install VMWare Workstation Pro in OpenSUSE

        Vmware Workstation is a virtual machine software used to run multiple operating systems in a single machine. The virtual machine can run an instance of an operating system such as Windows or any Linux distribution. Generally, it works as a bridge between the host and virtual machine for hardware resources such as hard disk, network drivers, USB devices, etc.

        On the other hand, OpenSUSE is a free open-source Linux distro maintained by the openSUSE project and it is available in two variants which are Leap and Tumbleweed.

        In this tutorial, we go over the steps involved in installing VMWare Workstation 16 in the OpenSUSE Linux distribution.

      • How to install Wine 7 on Debian 11 - Run windows apps on Linux easy

        Hello, friends. This is a short post that may be useful to both sysadmin and many desktop users. Today, you will learn how to install Wine 7 on Debian 11.

        Wine 7 is the latest stable branch of a project that has been with us for many years. With wine, we can have a layer of compatibility that allows us to run Windows software on Linux.

        Thanks to an active development, Wine 7 comes with many interesting new features. For example, the inclusion of the Windows-on-Windows 64bit architecture (WoW64) that allows us to install 32-bit Windows applications on 64-bit Linux systems.

      • How to run script on startup on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Server/Desktop

        The purpose of this article is to configure a script such as a Bash script or Python script to run upon system startup in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Server/Desktop.

      • How to install KDE plasma desktop on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux

        By default, Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish sports the GNOME desktop environment, or no GUI at all in the server edition. If you would like to change things up and install KDE Plasma instead, the GUI can be downloaded and installed directly from Ubuntu’s package repositories.

        This can be done whether you are switching from GNOME to KDE Plasma, or you currently are running command line interface only and wish to install a graphical desktop environment. KDE Plasma is a great choice that comes with all the tools you will need to administrate your Ubuntu system.

        In this tutorial, we will go through the step by step instructions to install the KDE Plasma GUI desktop environment on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to install Ubuntu 22.04 alongside Windows 10

        If you want to run Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish on your system but you already have Windows 10 installed and do not want to give it up completely, you have a couple of options.

        One option is to run Ubuntu 22.04 inside of a virtual machine on Windows 10, and the other option is to create a dual boot system. Both options have their pros and cons. A big advantage of a dual boot system is that both operating systems will have direct access to your computer’s hardware – no virtualized hardware and unnecessary overhead.

        A dual boot system gives you the best of both worlds. It works by prompting you at startup to select which operating system you would like to load into. So, you will have to reboot your computer each time you want to load into a different operating system. Make sure you consider this before deciding to proceed with the dual boot option. Ready to get Ubuntu 22.04 installed alongside Windows 10? Read on below as we take you through all the steps.

      • Run a Command and Send the Output to an Email on Linux - Putorius

        In this quick tip we will discuss how to use the output of a script as the body of an email from the Linux command line. This is perfect for anyone wanting to run a command and send the output to an email address. Used with cron it can be an effective method for getting information about your system or specific application.

      • How To Install MakeMKV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MakeMKV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, MakeMKV is a format converter, otherwise called “transcoder”. It converts the video clips from the proprietary (and usually encrypted) discs into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way. It is easy to use an MKV converter for your needs.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MakeMKV on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install or Migrate WordPress with EasyEngine Setup

        How to Install or Migrate WordPress with EasyEngine Setup. EasyEngine is a tool used for complete WordPress setup with Nginx, PHP, MySQL, Redis, HTTPS and many more. You will also get the power for Docker containers using this setup. Each service like Nginx or PHP or MySQL will have their own Docker container.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install EasyEngine on Ubuntu 20.04 and setup WordPress and also migrate existing WordPress to EasyEngine setup.

        This setup is tested on Google cloud Compute Engine and DigitalOcean droplet with Ubuntu 20.04 OS.

      • How to install LaTex on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux

        Latex is a document writing system, which is especially useful for writing mathematical equations. The objective of this tutorial is to provide the reader with instructions on how to install LaTeX on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux.

      • How to restart GUI on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

        Occasionally the need to restart the GUI (desktop environment) on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish arise. This usually happens whenever you encounter an unexpected error or your GUI gets “hung up”.

        The objective of this tutorial is to provide an Ubuntu user with a few alternative ways how to restart / refresh GUI (graphical user interface) on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to install G++ the C++ compiler on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish Linux

        G++, the GNU C++ Compiler is a compiler in Linux systems which was developed to compile C++ programs. The file extensions that can be compiled with G++ are .c and .cpp.

        The aim of this tutorial is to install G++ the C++ compiler on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish Linux. This will be achieved by installing the build-essential package.

      • A guide to installing applications on Linux |

        When you want to try a new app on your phone, you open your app store and install the app. It's simple, quick, and efficient. In this model of providing applications, phone vendors ensure that you know exactly where to go to get an app, and that developers with apps to distribute know where to put their apps so people can find them.

      • Allow SSH root login on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux

        SSH (Secure Shell) is used to handle network services securely over an unsecured network. Some examples include: remote command-line, login, and remote command execution.

        By default, you can’t login to the root account via SSH on Ubuntu 22.04. This is a security feature because you would not want someone gaining root access to your server through brute forcing the root password in SSH. However, it is easy enough to enable root login if you want to forego this security recommendation.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to enable SSH access for a root user on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to restart network on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish

        There exist various ways of restarting the network on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. Possibly the simplest way would be to restart the network from a GUI such as GNOME.

        Other ways would include the use of the command line and commands like ip. Finally, the NetworkManager command line tool nmcli can be used to successfully restart network on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.

    • Games

      • Coin-Operated Graphing Calculator Console | Hackaday

        Longtime hacker [Peter Jansen] was so impressed with a piece in The Onion from last year that he decided to build this coin-operated Texas Instruments graphing calculator console on a whim (video below the break — warning vertical orientation).

      • ScummVM :: "Back For More?"

        It’s been 13 years since The 7th Guest was added to ScummVM with the Groovie 1 engine, and now we’ve finally added support for the Groovie 2 engine with all 4 games supported: The 11th Hour, Clandestiny, Tender Loving Care (CD-ROM edition), and Uncle Henry's Playhouse.

    • Distributions

      • EasyOS: JWM partitions menu fix when update

        Another little bug fix. The bug was reported here:

        The fix is applied in script /sbin/fixlayers in the initrd.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 8 reasons site reliability engineer is one of the most in-demand jobs in 2022

          Today’s IT infrastructure and operations leaders face daunting challenges. New infrastructure and architectures such as microservices, containers, serverless, and more have co-enabled IT teams to increase scalability and flexibility. Modern business technology ecosystems that serve hundreds of millions of customers simultaneously have become so complex that no single person can grasp every detail of their infrastructure, software, and services.

          According to DevOps Institute chief research director Eveline Oehrlich, the present and future of the digital business are driving a wide variety of applications, business services, and data sources deployed on diverse platforms including on-premises, private cloud, hybrid, public cloud, and multi-cloud environments. Adoption of new technologies, coupled with the increased speed in application delivery, has caused a demand for IT operations professionals with updated skills and knowledge. Findings from the 2021 Upskilling Report show that global site reliability engineering (SRE) adoption in 2021 was at 22 percent and is predicted to double in 2022.

          To that end, companies are on the search for site reliability engineers, whose job is to help create and implement automated software tools that maximize a system’s reliability and efficiency while working closely with software development and IT operations teams.

        • 9 emerging tech trends IT leaders need to watch

          Keeping on top of the newest new thing is fast becoming a tall order. At the same time, it’s never been more important to IT and enterprise success. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of IT leaders told IEEE that determining what technologies are needed for their company in the post-pandemic future will be challenging.

          There are a number of emerging technologies (or new applications of existing technologies) vying for attention as CIOs turn their focus to enabling their businesses for the future. Those that actually get on the radar, however, will need to “help address a problem, improve effectiveness and efficiency, or provide a competitive advantage,” says Sudhir Reddy, executive vice president and group CIO for Capgemini Technologies.

        • Mid February Update — Madeline Peck

          Well! The biggest update is the day and night versions have been finalized for the beta release of Fedora 36. Obviously we chose Deepika Kurup to inspire the wallpaper and had a mind map session as well as some thumbnails that steered us in the right direction.

        • Outreachy Project "Revamp the Community Websites and Applications" progress update – Fedora Community Blog

          Ojong is working with the Fedora websites and apps team as an Outreachy Intern. This blog post is her experience and project update so far.

        • Quality testing the Linux kernel

          As a kernel quality engineer at Red Hat, I'm often asked what I do. How does one test a kernel for quality? Testing and debugging the Linux kernel can be challenging because you can't simply attach a debugger like GDB (the GNU Project debugger) if the kernel is crashing: When that happens, everything crashes, including GDB! Even if the kernel isn't crashing, if you ask a debugger to stop the kernel from running so you can inspect something, there is no way to resume running the kernel because the kernel itself is in charge of stopping and starting processes. Asking the kernel to stop itself is a dead-end road.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • An overview of OpenStack storage | Ubuntu

          OpenStack storage is probably one of the most complex topics in OpenStack architecture right after networking. There are many different storage options, at least a few storage services, and tons of supported storage backends. It is very easy to get lost.

          But do not worry, there is hope. Since OpenStack was initially created as an open-source implementation of the Amazon Web Service Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2), its storage architecture is quite similar to leading public clouds. This similarity makes it relatively easy to learn for someone who already has some cloud experience.

          Ready to uncover OpenStack storage fundamentals? Let’s dive in!

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • A PNG Based Circuit Simulator | Hackaday

            We’re sure thousands of hours have been spent in Minecraft implementing digital logic. Inspired by that, [lynnpepin] created a digital logic simulator named Reso that is based on pixels rather than voxels.

            There are a few clever things here. First, different colors represent different parts. There are three different colors of wire, output and input wires, XOR gates, and AND gates. OR gates are just output wires, which or all the input wires together. By implementing these gates, Reso is, by definition, Turing complete. Since it’s just a PNG, it is trivial to open it up in GIMP and copy and paste one bit of the circuit multiple times. The different color wires are mainly to help route in a 2d plane, as you don’t have vias. Currently, the image compiles into a graph that is executed. [Lynn] chose code readability and ease of prototyping over premature optimization, so the code isn’t particularly fast. But it is pretty fun, squinting at the pixels that make up the adders and clocks he has on his blog. After giving Reso your image, it outputs a series of images that enumerate the state for several states.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Two Rights; A Multitude of Wrongs

      The first of these rights is Article II, section 7 titled “Freedom of speech, expression and press.” This provision states, in pertinent part: “No law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech or expression. Every person shall be free to speak or publish whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty” …

      The second of these rights is Article II, section 9 titled “Right to know.” This provision states: “No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”

    • Science

    • Education

      • Crisis in the Schools: a Return to a Normal That Was Never Good Enough

        On returning to in-person school for what many hoped might be a “normal school year” in September 2021, I realized that a not-so-subtle shift had occurred in me. I was relieved to be back in the building with my colleagues and overjoyed to see my students in person instead of on Zoom, but I felt crushed by the sensory overwhelm of it all.

        Being at school was both eerily familiar and strangely scary. The building itself seemed to roar and echo as voices bounced off every surface. Everywhere, bodies pushed too close. The required social distancing of that moment simply didn’t exist. We careened into and away from each other in the hallways, everyone oddly awkward and unstable, wary of the potential threat of the virus and of one another. The sheer volume of shared togetherness felt terrifying. I left school each day hollowed out from speaking so many words and interacting so closely with so many students and colleagues.

    • Hardware

      • Supply Chain Problems Still Pushing Prices Higher in January, but Some Evidence of Turning

        There is definitely cause for concern here about inflation being more enduring, but these price turns, coupled with the sharp growth in inventories, provide some grounds for optimism. Also, seasonal factors matter. Many companies announced price increases for the new year. These will not likely be repeated in future months.

        + Both overall and core CPI were up 0.6 percent in January, 7.5 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, year-over-year.

      • Weird Phosphor Conversion LEDs Found In Cheap LED String | Hackaday

        [Tim] recently found himself tinkering with a cheap string of LEDs. Far from an advanced, IC-controlled addressable set, these were merely a string with LEDs of four colors that could be switched on and off. However, digging in to the LEDs themselves turned up a curious find.

        The LEDs were set up in a parallel/anti-parallel fashion. The two power lines ran the length of the string, with all the LEDs installed across them. If polarity was applied in one direction, the red and yellow LEDs would light up, in the other, the blue and green LEDs would light together.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Eight GOP Senators Write Letter Complaining About No-Fly List for Anti-Maskers
      • 'Shameful': EU Set to Trash More Vaccine Doses Than It Has Donated to Africa

        A new analysis released Wednesday by the People's Vaccine Alliance shows that by the end of February, the European Union will have to throw away almost twice as many coronavirus vaccine doses as it has donated to Africa so far this year.

        "They hoarded vaccines, they ordered more vaccines than their populations require."

      • BioNTech's Mobile Vaccine Factories for Africa Denounced as 'Neo-Colonial Stunt'

        Public health campaigners on Wednesday accused the German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech of pulling a "neo-colonial stunt" after it announced plans to send mobile coronavirus vaccine factories made from shipping containers to Africa—a move that critics say will allow the company to secure its stranglehold on vaccine production and technology.

        In a press release, BioNTech—Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine partner—said it expects to ship its first so-called "BioNTainer" to Africa in the second half of 2022, but the company added that production in the facilities won't begin until "approximately 12 months after the delivery of the modules to its final location in Africa."

      • Opinion | Declaring We're Done With the Pandemic Is a Sign of Privilege

        Even as the U.S. continues to exceed 2,000 deaths a day from COVID-19, governors in liberal states—including those from New York, New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts—are lifting mask mandates, joining conservative states that long ago dropped them or even banned them. The mantra that it is time to "live" with the virus is drowning out all voices to the contrary.

      • Why Making the COVID Vaccine was a Long Shot

        Vaccines have been used for a hundred years but explain how the COVID vaccine introduced a revolutionary new approach to making them.

        The COVID-19 vaccines are among the greatest achievements of modern medicine. Never before have we developed a vaccine fast enough to tame a pandemic. Traditionally, vaccines were made of dead or weakened viruses. The mRNA approach uses the same method as our body’s DNA to produce a protein that mimics the virus, thus triggering our immune system. Scientists also built on HIV vaccine research to replicate the protein with unusual precision — a method Jonas Salk could have never imagined. That’s why the vaccines are so safe and effective.

      • Physicians Slam Industry Push to 'Fix'—Not End—Medicare Privatization Scheme

        Physicians and progressive advocates on Tuesday urged the Department of Health and Human Services to reject an industry appeal to tweak and rebrand—not end altogether—a Medicare privatization scheme known as Direct Contracting, which the Trump administration launched in 2020.

        Members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which represents 24,000 doctors and other health professionals, has been working for months to bring lawmakers' attention to the DC program and pressure the Biden administration to terminate it while it's still in an experimental phase.

      • Biden's Pandemic Testing Board Has Done Little to Nothing Since Its Creation

        When President Joe Biden was campaigning for office, he said that to beat the coronavirus, the U.S. needed the testing equivalent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board.

      • Whatever Happened to Biden’s Pandemic Testing Board?

        When President Joe Biden was campaigning for office, he said that to beat the coronavirus, the U.S. needed the testing equivalent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board.

        That board had sweeping powers to shift the country’s economy to support the war effort, and it ultimately oversaw a reported 40% of the world’s munition production during World War II.

      • Far Right Truckers in "Freedom Convoy" Stopped by Ottawa Neighborhood Residents
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Red Cross Hack Linked to Iranian Influence Operation?

            A network intrusion at the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in January led to the theft of personal information on more than 500,000 people receiving assistance from the group. KrebsOnSecurity has learned that the email address used by a cybercriminal actor who offered to sell the stolen ICRC data also was used to register multiple domain names the FBI says are tied to a sprawling media influence operation originating from Iran.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy Experts to Federal and State Agencies: End Use of Facial Verification Services

              Importantly, this change only happened after a maelstrom of criticism from lawmakers and privacy advocates.

              Congress Demands Agencies Rethink Use of Facial Recognition

              Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden tweeted that “no one should be forced to submit to facial recognition as a condition of accessing essential government services." Following up with a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Sen. Wyden wrote that "it is simply unacceptable to force Americans to submit to scans using facial recognition technology as a condition of interacting with the government online, including to access essential government programs."

            • Not Just San Francisco: Police Across the Country are Retaining and Searching DNA of Victims and Innocent People

              This practice is possible because San Francisco has been storing DNA gathered from rape survivors in the same local database where it stores DNA from rape assailants and other suspects. The San Francisco District Attorney stated the database potentially includes thousands of victims’ DNA profiles, with entries over “many, many years.”

              This is not the first time San Francisco has had problems with its DNA crime lab. In 2010, the SF Weekly reported the same lab concealed DNA mixups and lacked proper security practices to prevent contamination. And in 2015, a lab technician was found to have improperly analyzed DNA evidence in a murder trial, which caused the police to reexamine 1,400 criminal cases that were prosecuted in part based on that same technician’s DNA work.€ 

              The San Francisco police chief asserted this week that the lab’s collection practices “have been legally vetted and conform with state and national forensic standards.” However, local DNA databases like San Francisco’s are not held to the same strict laws and regulations as state and federal-level DNA databases like the FBI’s CODIS database. This means that there is nothing to prevent local police and the DA from storing—and searching—DNA from nearly anyone who might interact with the criminal justice system. This includes crime victims, potential suspects who are never arrested or charged, people who have consented to have their DNA collected to rule themselves out as suspects, and even people whose DNA has been collected without their knowledge.

            • Analysis: Will the PNR Directive entrench automated suspicion? - Access Now

              If you choose to fly into any country in the European Union, you will be subjected to screening and profiling to see whether you are — or could be — a dangerous criminal or terrorist. This system, required under the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive, entails the collection and retention of a wide range of personal information you provide to airlines and travel agencies. This digital frisking happens regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or whether you are under suspicion for any crime.

              Right now, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is deliberating on a case challenging the legality of the PNR Directive, and we expect a ruling in the next several months. If the Court upholds its legality — or at least part of it — the ruling risks entrenching the use of automated systems that routinely invade our privacy and expose us to unacceptable risks — all for the illusion of enhanced security.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Negotiations Not War

        The United States has consistently intervened in other countries, e.g., it has tried to overthrow the government in Cuba for over 60 years. In 1990, the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev made an agreement with Secretary of State James Baker, who was also a close confidant of then President George H.W. Bush.€  In return for Gorbachev agreeing to the unification of Germany and permitting the independence of many of the nations within the USSR, there would be no NATO expansion east of Germany, nor stationing of European and US troops east of Germany.€  Ukraine was specifically mentioned as part of this agreement.€  This request from Gorbachev for the neutrality of countries in Eastern Europe needs to be put in the context of the Soviet Union losing 20 million people from Nazi aggression in World War Two and wanting to have a buffer between Germany and Russia.

        In direct violation of this agreement in the late 1990’s, NATO expanded into Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. Today, there is a major military buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. There has also been an increase of 3000 U.S. troops to Poland and Romania with likely increases to come and increased sales of weapons to the Ukraine. Somewhat ironically, the Ukrainian government, led by Volodymr Zelensky, seems less worried about a Russian invasion than U.S. leaders like Biden and National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan.

      • Opinion | Let's Be Clear: Only the Right Has Become More Extreme Over the Last 50 Years

        How did we get so politically divided? Well, it's NOT because both sides have gotten more extreme.

      • Personal Interview: Scott Ritter

        Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights. We know they have some ideas for improving the prospects for peace.

        Scott Ritter served as a former U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence officer (1984-1991), in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Norman Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq (1991-1998). He is the author of “SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump”, “Iraq Confidential” (Nation Books, 2005), and “Target Iran” (Nation Books, 2006). His responses below are exactly as he provided.

      • I'm Reckoning on a Day of Reckoning

        The way I see the current situation is that the right wing of the GOP has been building its base since it was able to get Goldwater the nomination in 1964. The clown who nominated Barry at that convention—the occasionally honorable Everett Dirksen—had this to say about the USA and patriots like Mr. Goldwater:

        “Now all of us were raised to love our country, to take pride in its glorious history, and to defend it with our lives if necessary. We call it “patriotism” — a word once revered by everybody. Today it’s the fashion to sneer at that word and to label positions of strength as extremism, to find other nations’ points of views better than our own. Perhaps too long the bugles of retreat have sounded! And I put my chips on a man who has that fidelity to his country. Consider our diplomatic representative in Zanzibar. He’s at the point of a bayonet, marched to the dock, and said get out. In Ghana, where we’re spending over 250 million dollars, they hauled down our flag from the embassy flagpole and desecrated it. A nation like Panama, that could not exist today were it not for the United States and a great Republican Teddy Roosevelt, can fuss and scold at us with impunity. And then along with it, there is that bearded Communist in Cuba who reviles and scolds and castigates the world’s greatest country — and confiscates our property. “

      • Amid Escalating Violence, UN Officials Call for End to Yemen War

        "There is a way out of this war."

        That's what United Nations special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg told the U.N. Security Council during a Tuesday briefing in which he shed light on the deteriorating situation in Yemen.

      • Lies About Ukraine Conflict Are Standing in the Way of a Peaceful Resolution
      • Ukrainian Pacifists Say US, NATO and Russia Share Responsibility to Avoid War
      • “45K People Died from Gun Violence on Your Watch”: Parkland Survivors Demand More Action from Biden

        Survivors and families of the victims of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, have launched a new online tool called the “Shock Market” to track the occurrence of U.S. gun violence. This comes as Manuel Oliver, the father of 17-year-old victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, was arrested during a peaceful protest demanding the Biden administration take action to curb gun violence. “Very little has changed since the last four years,” says Oliver. We also speak with David Hogg, survivor of the Parkland school massacre and a founder and board member of March for Our Lives. Hogg says President Biden is failing on gun policy and risks losing the Senate for another decade if inaction persists.

      • Ukrainian Pacifist’s Message to the World: U.S., NATO & Russia Share Responsibility to Avoid War

        NATO officials have joined the U.S. and other Western nations in saying they have yet to see evidence that Russia is pulling back some troops near the shared border with Ukraine, as Russia claimed earlier this week. We speak with Yurii Sheliazhenko, executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, who says, “Both great powers of the West and the East share equal responsibility to avoid escalation of war in Ukraine and beyond Ukraine.”

      • Biden Is Reportedly Requesting Over $770 Billion for Defense for 2023
      • House Progressives Urge Biden to Release Afghan Funds 'Before It's Too Late'

        Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Wednesday urged President Joe Biden to avert further humanitarian catastrophe by swiftly changing course and releasing the $7 billion seized from the Afghanistan central bank last week

        "The United States is continuing to contribute to a crumbling economy and devastating impacts on the Afghan people."

      • China Denounces US as 'Bandits' for Seizing $7 Billion as Afghans Starve

        Following the Biden administration's unilateral decision last week to seize $7 billion worth of assets from Afghanistan amid a mounting humanitarian crisis that threatens to kill more civilians than two decades of war, foreign leaders and critics worldwide continue to express disgust, with China on Tuesday condemning the U.S. for dispossessing Afghans of their own money.

        "Without the consent of the Afghan people, the U.S. willfully disposes of assets that belong to the Afghan people, even keeping them as its own. This is no different from the conduct of bandits,"€ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said€ Tuesday during a press conference in Beijing.

      • Biden’s $7 Billion Afghan Heist

        MINNEAPOLIS — (Responsible Statecraft) With his Executive Order redefining Afghanistan’s Fiscal Reserve as a slush fund to be disbursed on his whim and with the stroke of his pen, President Biden has taken what may well be the final step in an experiment gone amok. The U.S. first attempted to make Afghanistan into a Western democracy, instead installed a kleptocracy, made Afghans endure 20 years of violence and then left in a whirlwind of chaos. With Biden’s latest move to deprive Afghanistan of its monetary reserves, the nation is likely to come full circle, turning once again into a failed state that, in the absence of economic recovery, will become a breeding ground for extremism and the recruitment of terrorists.

      • Is the Confrontation Over Ukraine Joe Biden’s “Wag the Dog” Moment?

        While some wars may be necessary and unavoidable, a war pitting Russia against Ukraine—and potentially involving the United States—doesn’t make the cut. Yet, should such a war occur, some members of the American commentariat will cheer. They have yearned for a showdown with Vladimir Putin. The depth of their animus toward Putin and the hyperbole it inspires is a bit of a puzzle that deserves examination.

      • ‘A straw in the wind’: Meduza asks foreign policy experts to weigh in on the prospect of Russia recognizing the breakaway ‘republics’ in eastern Ukraine

        On February 15, the Russian State Duma sent a motion to President Vladimir Putin calling for diplomatic recognition of the pro-Russian “republics” in eastern Ukraine. In turn, Putin gave an evasive, informal response: the lawmakers, he said, were “guided by public opinion” and Russians’ widespread sympathy for the inhabitants of the Donbas — however, this issue should be resolved on the basis of the Minsk agreements. At the same time, Putin made sure to recall that Ukraine hasn’t fulfilled its obligations under the accords. To help make sense of this new gambit, Meduza turned to a number of foreign policy experts — they believe that (for now) the threat of “recognition” is nothing more than another means of upping the pressure on Ukraine and the West.

    • Environment

      • Revealed: How the Aides of ‘Anti-Net Zero’ MP Craig Mackinlay are Linked to a Leading Climate Denial Group

        The Tory MP leading a backbench campaign against the government’s net zero policies is currently employing two aides linked to the UK’s most high-profile climate science denial group, DeSmog can reveal.

        Craig Mackinlay, chair of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), recently hired Harry Wilkinson, head of policy at the anonymously-funded Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), to work for him in Parliament. Wilkinson was previously employed by GWPF founder and former chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson, who recently said climate change was “not a problem”.

      • Why We Filed a Legal Complaint Against Princeton

        There’s no question that change is hard. Addressing the existential threat of climate change is even harder. But, at this point, institutions that continue to partner with and invest in an industry that has blatantly contributed to the climate crisis and continued to engage in climate disinformation have no excuse for their socially, ecologically, and economically unsustainable portfolios. By continuing to invest in the fossil fuel industry, such institutions, including Princeton University, support the social license and legitimacy of the fossil fuel actors that have done so much to bring us to this point.

      • Don’t Attack Biden’s Supreme Court Nominees for Playing by the Rules

        As we await Joe Biden’s nominee to replace Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, the battle lines are already being drawn. When Republicans nominate justices, the whole party tends to fall in line, but Democrats are not known for their message coordination and discipline. Indeed, one of the hidden reasons Republicans have been more successful at controlling the courts is that each of their constituent groups trusts the judges picked by the Federalist Society: The gun-loving ammosexual is happy to support the judge known more for their anti-gay opinions. But Democrats are always worried that one wing of the party doesn’t have the best interests of another wing at heart, and that paranoia is, sadly, often justified. Democrats have to do through coalition building what Republicans can do by fiat.

      • Private Equity Executives Hide Behind Philanthropy as Their Firms Ravage the Earth

        By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams. Originally published on Common Dreams.

        A report published Tuesday€ by a pair of nonprofits shines a light on the “Wall Street heavyweights” at private equity firms who “burnish their reputations through hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropy, even as their investments help drive climate catastrophe.”

      • What is the ‘Social Cost of Carbon’?

        Instead, the costs show up in the billions of tax dollars spent each year to deal with the effects of climate change, such as fighting wildfires and protecting communities from floods, and in rising insurance costs.

        This damage is what economists call a “negative externality.” It is a cost to society, including to future generations, that is not covered by the price people pay for fossil fuels and other activities that emit greenhouse gases, like agriculture.

      • Energy

        • Students at Top Universities Push 'Legal Imperative' of Fossil Fuel Divestment

          Student-led divestment campaigns at five top U.S. universities on Wednesday employed a tactic that has proven effective at a few other schools: They filed legal complaints accusing their institutions of breaking the law by investing in the climate-wrecking fossil fuel industry.

          "We are calling on our attorneys general to compel our schools to do the right thing and divest."

        • Opinion | Biden Issues More Gas and Oil Drilling Permits Than Trump in His First Year

          Biden came to the presidency promising swift action on climate change. A year in office, it is critical to see what he has accomplished beyond rejoining the Paris Agreement.

        • 'Monstrous' Methane Plume Seen From Space Highlights Invisible Fracking Dangers

          Environmental justice advocates on Wednesday pointed to a methane plume so large it was seen last month from space via satellite as the latest evidence that emissions of the potent fossil fuel must be reined in.

          As Bloomberg reported Monday, the geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS detected the plume of the invisible greenhouse gas, which spanned 56 miles and covered several parishes across Louisiana, on January 21.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders

        Issues raised in Bernie’s letter (in my words):

        Pandemic: 900,000 Americans dead, 14-24 million dead worldwide in less than 3 years.

      • Ex-Honduran President Hernández Arrested on Drug Charges; U.S. Backed His Narco-State for 8 Years

        Authorities in Honduras have arrested former President Juan Orlando Hernández for allegedly smuggling over 1 million pounds of cocaine into the United States since 2004. Hernández, who now faces extradition to the United States, was a longtime U.S. ally, in power from 2014 until January 27 of this year, when he was succeeded by Xiomara Castro, Honduras’s first female president. We speak with Castro’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Gerardo Torres Zelaya, who calls the U.S. extradition a step in the correct direction and a dramatic shift from prior U.S. administrations that condoned Hernández’s “kidnapping” of Honduras’s democracy. We also speak with history professor Dana Frank, who says Hernández was not just a drug trafficker, but a dictator who unleashed “tremendous repression and militarization” on Honduras.

      • Boris Johnson Throws Everything Overboard To Save His Job

        Here is BoJo’s current employment- and legal-situation as prime minister.

        The Metropolitan police has asked about 50 people, including BoJo, to account for their presence, in a questionnaire having legal status, at a dozen social events as part of their inquiry into Covid law breaches.

      • Biden Rejects Trump's Executive Privilege Claims on White House Visitor Logs
      • Thinking Optimistically About Biden's Credibility Collapse

        Thus has the Democratic leadership sought to both weaken the grotesque figure of Trump, and to accomplish the (far more profoundly necessary) feat of sustaining U.S. global hegemony at a time of unprecedented challenges to its vicious Exceptionalism. And to its claims to “lead” the world by virtue of the model of its bogus “democracy”—plus its possession of the one “indispensable” military machine required to maintain the peace. Such a demented mentality prevails as it did in all previous presidencies, and it meets with bipartisan support.

        No Real Military Threat

      • Senator Klobuchar's Next Unconstitutional Speech Control Bill: The NUDGE Act

        Is there a contest in the Senate to see who can propose the highest number of unconstitutional bills? You might think that the leader in any such contest would have to be a crazed populist like a Josh Hawley or a Ted Cruz, but it seems like Senator Amy Klobuchar is giving them a run for the money. Last summer, she released a bill to try to remove Section 230 for "medical misinformation," as declared by the Ministry of Speech Director of Health and Human Services. We already explained the very, very serious constitutional problems with such a bill.

      • Known for wild conspiracy theories, political analyst Valery Solovey is now in police custody

        Political analyst Valery Solovey was detained along with his son following a raid of his Moscow home on Wednesday, February 16, reports RBC.€ 

      • Lack of Media Urgency Over GOP Efforts to Steal 2024 Elections

        If liberal democracy were threatened by the undeniably bad faith efforts of one major political party in the US to steal the 2024 presidential election, as they have tried to do (successfully, even) in previous elections, could Americans count on establishment media to report on this open subversion of liberal democracy?

      • Sanders Slams Congress for Serving Billionaires and Failing Americans

        Less than 24 hours before his Senate Budget Committee hearing about Wall Street greed and oligarchy in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday delivered a sweeping and impassioned speech—reminiscent of his two presidential runs—railing against Congress for serving corporate interests and failing actually address the needs of the American people.

        "When we speak about oligarchy... we should all understand that never before in American history have so few owned so much."

      • Biden's $770B Pentagon Budget Proposal Denounced as 'Absurd'

        With legislation to reduce childhood poverty and advance renewable energy stalled in Congress, the Biden administration is expected to request more than $770 billion in Pentagon and related spending for the fiscal year beginning in October.

        "This is absurd," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said in response to the news.

      • Tech exec used access to White House computers to look for dirt on Trump, says special counsel

        John Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General William Barr in 2020 to probe the origins of the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference, said “Tech Executive-1,” not named in the filing but first identified by The New York Times as Rodney Joffe, used his access to domain name system, or DNS, data to compile information about which computers and servers the White House servers were communicating with.

      • This Time, Tibet Stands Silent as Olympics Return to China

        The once-relentless waves of protesters setting themselves afire has slowed. No self-immolations have been reported in the past two years; over the prior decade, there were more than 150.

        That is, at least as far as the outside world knows. In China, where the government tightly controls information and limits access to areas seen as politically sensitive, it's always hard to know what's really happening.

        And few areas in China are considered as politically sensitive as Tibet.

      • This time, Tibet stands silent as Olympics return to China

        It was a stark difference from 14 years ago, when China hosted its first Olympics. That summer, foreigners filmed deadly clashes between Tibetans and security forces in Lhasa, the regional capital. News of the violence ricocheted online, fueling protests, hunger strikes and self-immolations across the Tibetan region.

        Today, Tibet has fallen quiet. There are no monks marching on police stations. No overturned cars or hurled stones.

      • Govt's efforts to make big tech Cos accountable shouldn't be spun as 'anti-free speech': MoS IT

        Mumbai: Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Wednesday called for global coordination to make big tech companies like Facebook and Google accountable to the societies they serve and asserted that the country's efforts to create some sort of accountability should not be spun as "anti-free speech". The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology also hinted that the introduction of the Bill on Data Protection will be delayed because the government does not want to "rush into" making it into a law and then amend it later.

        The comments from the minister come amid concerns expressed in some quarters over frequent requests for removing of content or accounts on platforms such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook from the government citing domestic exigencies, which is blamed as an assault on free speech.

      • Last Trucker Blockade Between US, Canada Opens

        The last of the three trucker protest border blockades between the U.S. and Canada was set to reopen Wednesday.

        The blockade at Emerson, Manitoba, which borders North Dakota, was to be fully cleared by Wednesday afternoon.

      • Young People Should Start Running for Local and Statewide Office

        We’ve seen what kind of change happens when young people enter a room. In Pennsylvania, young members of the state's House created a student debt caucus to address the looming crisis for graduates. In Waterloo, Iowa, a young member on the city council instituted a policy that created paid leave for parents experiencing pregnancy loss. In Berkeley, California, young members on the city council helped to end single-family zoning for housing, and got police out of traffic enforcement.

      • Why I'm never going back to 'The Greatest Nation on Earth'

        When I was 18, I left for a gap year in France, and save for a brief 6-month period and the occasional visit, I have yet to return from the European Union. I jumped around a bit while studying, Brussels, London, back to Brussels and now Luxembourg. I’ve now accepted that I will likely never move back to my home country, and I will say, for good reason.

        Just as many young Europeans once had the dream to move to the USA, I have since changed my tune about the live-ability of the US. I frequently get asked “Do you think you will ever move back?” and I’m now confident with my answer; no. Being far from my family is perhaps the only thing that makes me waver in that conviction, but even living thousands of miles away from my family seems a small concession to make in exchange for happiness, well-being, quality of life and security.

      • US-Born Children in China Will Have to Choose Between Rival Superpowers

        There are no official statistics about the number of babies born to Chinese maternity tourists. The Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that 33,000 babies were born to maternity tourists in the US annually—with China one of the major source countries. But iiMedia Research, a data analyst company in China, said 150,000 Chinese came to the US to birth babies in 2018 alone, 70,000 more than in 2016. Shen Sun, owner of the Own Visa Inc, a California-based company that helps overseas Chinese apply for travel documents at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, said that at the peak in 2016 and 2017, the consulate issued 200 “travel permits” per day. That is a document mainly used for babies born in the United States to go back to China with their Chinese citizen parents. That number slowed to 120 to 150 per day before the pandemic.

        Sun estimates that on average 50,000 to 80,000 Chinese tourists birthed babies in the US every year between 2012 to 2016. “In the high times, it was common for a flight from China to Los Angeles to be carrying two dozen pregnant women,” said Mike Chen, who owned a maternity care center in the city until travel between China and the United States was halted in response to the pandemic.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • British Officials Spread Moscow Coup Plot Disinformation For United States

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter. Become a monthly subscriber to help us continue our independent journalism. Months of frenzied speculation about an imminent Russian invasion of Kiev by Western journalists, think tanks, and politicians culminated on February 15 with Moscow reducing its military footprint near Ukraine’s border. The withdrawal came one day beforePresident Joe Biden’s administration inexactly forecast a phantom incursion.

        Panic was stoked to a perplexing degree. Atlantic Council representative Melinda Haring declared on February 11 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “big weekend plans” forthcoming in Ukraine, including cutting off the nation’s power and heat, knocking out its entire navy and air force, killing a number of general staff in order to install a pro-Russian president, and resorting to “full-scale military invasion if Ukraine doesn’t give in.”

      • The Guardian: “Explaining” vaccine hesitancy by amplifying antivax disinformation

        Ever since it became clear to even those who used to cling the most tightly to the myth that the antivaccine movement is a phenomenon of hippie-dippy crunchy lefties that, not only had the politics of antivaxxers shifted sharply to the right over the last 5-10 years, but that the antivaccine movement and fascists have found a mutually beneficial alliance based on commonalities in the magical thinking at the hear of their respective world views, there’s been an effort to “explain” vaccine hesitancy to liberals and progressives. This sort of narrative is not new and generally comes from people who are eager to seem “reasonable” as they engage in bothsidesism, or, as I like to call them, “reasonable” apologists for the antivaccine movement. I came across just such an episode published in The Guardian by Musa al-Gharbi yesterday:

      • British Officials Spread Russia Coup Plot Disinformation For United States

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter. Become a monthly subscriber to help us continue our independent journalism.Months of frenzied speculation about an imminent Russian invasion of Kiev by Western journalists, think tanks, and politicians culminated on February 15 with Moscow reducing its military footprint near Ukraine’s border.The withdrawal came one day before President Joe Biden's administration inexactly forecast a phantom incursion.

      • SSI counters overseas misinformation concerning Denmark’s COVID-19 numbers

        The SSI has taken it upon itself to fight what it considers as misinformation. To do so, it has been answering tweets by Feigl-Ding and others patiently. It has even started translating its graphs to make sure everyone can understand the subtitles.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: YouTube Doubles Down On Questionable 'graphic Content' Enforcement Before Reversing Course (2020)
      • Freedom of Speech and the Holocaust

        That is the reason why a bicycle branded individual has become the subject of such a spotlight this week. He will pass, or has passed, but he left the sad echo of a thing when he sounded that “there should be a legalized Nazi party in Brazil” and that “if the guy is anti-Jewish he has the right to be anti-Jewish”. On the same occasion, another deputy bellowed that Nazism should not have been criminalized in Germany after World War II.

        In response to this, the German Embassy in Brazil published a note stating that “defending Nazism is not freedom of speech. It was spot on. From a legal point of view, jurists have already demonstrated to exhaustion that the Federal Constitution does not shelter aggressions, insults to the human being under the cloak of freedom of opinion or expression. In its Article 5, subsection XLI, it is determined that the law will punish any discrimination that violates fundamental rights and freedoms.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Entire editorial staff of Hungarian news outlet in Transylvania quits due to political pressure – here comes Telex's new project: Transtelex
      • Judge And Jury Say Sarah Palin Failed To Prove 'Actual Malice' In Defamation Case Against The NY Times

        The last time we wrote about Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against the NY Times was in 2017 when Judge Jed Rakoff was dismissing the case, noting that Palin had failed to show "actual malice," by the NY Times, which is the necessary standard under the seminal defamation case (also involving the NY Times), NY Times v. Sullivan. However, two years later, the appeals court ruled that Rakoff violated procedural rules in doing so, and reinstated the case. It's been three years since then and over the past few weeks an actual trial was held -- which is extraordinarily rare in defamation cases.

      • Jury rules against Sarah Palin in her New York Times defamation case

        A Manhattan federal jury ruled against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Tuesday in her lawsuit accusing The New York Times of defamation.

        The unanimous decision came a day after the judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff for the Southern District of New York, took the unusual step of announcing that he would be dismissing Palin's case regardless of the jury's verdict.

        “You decided the facts, I decided the law,” Rakoff told jurors after announcing the verdict. “It turns out they were both in agreement, in this case.”

      • Russia-imposed Court in Crimea Sentences RFE/RL Journalist to Six Years in Prison

        A Russia-imposed court in Ukraine's Crimea has sentenced RFE/RL freelance correspondent Vladyslav Yesypenko to six years in prison for the alleged possession and transport of explosives, a charge he has steadfastly rejected.

        The Simferopol City Court handed down the verdict and sentence on February 16 after a closed-door trial.

        Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence the journalist to 11 years in prison.

      • Pakistani police arrest media owner after scuffle in capital

        Pakistani authorities Wednesday raided the home of a media owner and arrested him after a dramatic scuffle in which the man fired a pistol toward police and hit one officer in the head with the weapon, injuring him, police said.

        Mohsin Baig, owner and editor-in-chief of news outlet Online and the Urdu-language Daily Jinnah newspaper, was arrested days after he appeared on a TV talk show. On the show he suggested that Prime Minister Imran Khan had showed favoritism by granting an award to a government minister, Murad Saeed, with whom he has a close friendship.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Indiana School Allows Parents to Opt Students Out of Black History Month Lessons
      • From Banning Books to Burning Them, the Right Is Threatening Education
      • Dehumanizing Delivery Workers

        Companies like make good profits – for those who already have a lot of money, i.e. Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, etc. Greed continues to be good! Simultaneously, those underpaid workers making such stratospheric profits possible are exposed to managerially-orchestrated dehumanization and workplace despotism. Not just because of this, most if not all, delivery services have been criticized because of the minuscule amount of commissions that workers get paid and the abhorrent working conditions they face.

        Because of the camouflaging effect of neoliberalism’s preferred ideologies of free market and competition, semi-monopolists like like to exploit their market power. It is just another example of what the former Harvard Business Review editor Magretta once said,

      • Alabama Speed Trap Town's PD Called Out On Its Bullshit By Nearby Sheriff, Limps On Without Most Of Its Officers

        No one cuts cops more slack than other cops. You really have to be an impressive kind of awful to lose the support of your Thin Blue Line brothers and sisters.

      • Unionizing REI Workers Launch Petition to Combat Company’s Intimidation Campaign
      • Previously-Unknown Uncontacted Amazon Tribe on the Brink of Extermination

        The tribe’s presence was recently verified by an official expedition, but their territory is unprotected, and close to an area along the Purus river in the western Amazon region of Brazil where many non-Indigenous settlers live, collect forest produce, fish and hunt.

        Other uncontacted groups in the neighboring Amazon state have been massacred in recent years, reportedly by loggers operating illegally, and drug traffickers.

      • What Inspired Crime and Punishment?

        The first act of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is not what you would call straightforward. The novel opens with a dropout law student heading to the apartment of a local pawnbroker, where he sells a trinket and then plans how he will murder her later. He then goes to a dive bar and listens to the endless sob story of a drunken civil servant, escorts him home, and goes to bed. The next morning he wakes up and reads a 10-page letter from his mom, wanders around the city, passes out in a bush, and has a nightmare about a bunch of guys beating up a horse. He then wanders around some more until he overhears the pawnbroker’s sister saying she’s going to leave their apartment the following evening, at which point he returns to his bed and sleeps through most of the next day. He wakes up in the evening, walks downstairs, steals an axe, heads to the pawnbroker’s apartment, and murders her with it, then murders her sister when she unexpectedly shows up and finds him in the apartment.

      • A Union Vote in Mexico Promises a New Direction in Trade Policy

        Workers at the General Motors plant in the Mexican city of Silao voted last week to join a new independent union of auto workers, known by its initials in Spanish as SINTTIA. The vote didn’t just promise improved workers’ rights in Mexico; it may presage a new era of labor collaboration across borders—and a new model for trade deals moving forward.

      • The New Domestic Terrorist: The Government’s War on Thought Crimes

        The U.S. government, which speaks in a language of force, is afraid of its citizenry.

      • Starbucks Baristas in Philly Are Brewing Up a Union

        When Alexandra Rosa graduated from Indiana University with a gender studies degree in the summer of 2021, she moved to Philadelphia and quickly found a job she loved. “I don’t care what anyone says or how ‘professional’ it is, a barista coffee shop job is so much fun,” she told me over the phone last week.

      • Dr. Martin Luther King
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Decentralisation begins at decentring yourself

        My talk at the Department of Art & Media Technology, University of Southampton, on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022.

      • Prisons, Water Infrastructure And Broadband: Where States Are Spending Their Pandemic Relief Funding

        Still, there are broad trends in how states are spending the money: Almost every state that has allocated money so far has spent some on broadband, water and sewer infrastructure, which was one of the big spending categories determined by Congress.1

        So far, 22 states have allocated over $7 billion toward broadband, or about 9 percent of their total disbursements from the federal government. Within states, this has meant a mix of new programs, funding for existing programs and expansion of broadband services to more rural areas where the lack of access to reliable, fast internet made it harder for some children to attend virtual school during lockdowns.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Disaster as "NFT Music Stream" Enrages Artists By Pulling Music From YouTube

          NFT Music Stream bills itself as a decentralized music distribution system designed to empower artists through the wonders of NFTs. After artists in their droves complained that their songs were being distributed against their wishes, the platform admitted that the tracks were being pulled from YouTube. Even worse, one of those musicians is artists' champion David Lowery, a fighter they really don't want to take on.

        • U.S. Copyright Office Consultation Triggers Massive "Upload Filter" Opposition

          The U.S. Copyright Office's public consultation on the use of technical measures to identify and protect copyrighted content online has triggered thousands of responses. As expected, big tech and copyright groups are well represented. However, critical comments and warnings from the public stand out most.

        • Nonprofit Forced To Delete Thousands Of Court Documents Obtained With A Fee Waiver Because PACER Is Greedy And Stupid

          If you're not familiar with the Free Law Project, you should be. It's a nonprofit that does everything it can to make access to court documents free. It all starts with the RECAP extension, which automatically saves copies of documents downloaded from PACER to, giving people without PACER accounts and/or the funds (or patience!) to utilize the federal government's broken-down, overpriced system, access to federal court documents.

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Over at Tux Machines...
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IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Gopher Catchup and Old Computer Challenge
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