Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 26/07/2022: Open Hardware, DRM, and Politics



  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • OpenSource.comHow I use Bash to automate tasks on Linux

        The Bash command line is a great way to automate tasks. Whether you are running Linux on a server and need to manipulate log files or other data, or you're a desktop user who just wants to keep files tidy, you can use a few automation features in Bash to make your work easier.

      • OpenSource.comShrink PDFs with this Linux tool

        Excluding HTML, PDF files are probably the most popular document format on the web. Unfortunately, they're not compact. For example, I like to download free eBooks. A quick glance at my eBook directory shows that its 75 PDF files consume about 500 megabytes. On average, that's over 6.6 MB for each PDF file.

        Couldn't I save some storage space by compressing those files? What if I want to send a bundle of them through email? Or host them for download on a website? The transmission would be faster if these files were made smaller. This article shows a simple way to reduce PDF file size. The benefit is that it shrinks your PDFs transparently without altering the data content in any way. Plus, you can also compact many PDF files with a single command.

        Compare this to the alternatives. You could upload your PDF files to one of the many online file compression websites. Several are free, but you risk the privacy of your documents by uploading them to an unknown website. More importantly, most websites shrink PDFs by tampering with the images they contain. They either change their resolution or their sizes. So you trade lower image quality to get smaller PDF files. That's the same trade-off you face using interactive apps like LibreOffice, or Ghostscript line commands like gs and ps2pdf. The technique we'll illustrate in this article compacts PDFs without altering either the images they contain or their data content. And you can reduce many PDFs with a single line command. Let's get started.

      • TecMintHow to Work with PDF Files Using ONLYOFFICE Docs in Linux

        Those Linux users who deal with PDF files have plenty of programs to choose from. More precisely, there exist a great number of dedicated PDF tools that can be used for various tasks.

        For example, you can install a PDF viewer to open the required files for reading or get a PDF editor to be able to perform certain operations, such as typing text, adding annotations or cropping pages.

      • TecMintHow to Setup Two-Factor Authentication For SSH In Linux

        By default, SSH already uses secure data communication between remote machines, but if you want to add some extra security layer to your SSH connections, you can add a Google Authenticator (two-factor authentication) module that allows you to enter a random one-time password (TOTP) verification code while connecting to SSH servers. You’ll have to enter the verification code from your smartphone or PC when you connect.

        The Google Authenticator is an open-source module that includes implementations of one-time passcodes (TOTP) verification tokens developed by Google.

      • Trend OceansHow to Install Apple Music Client Cider on Linux

         If you are a melophile like me and have multiple accounts on popular streaming platforms like Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music, then you might have experienced that there is not an easy way to install them on a Linux system.

        However, we have already written a detailed guide on how to install Spotify and Tidal on Linux. So, today the focus will be on Apple Music.

    • Games [Some more new titles and even Free/libre ones]

      • GamingOnLinuxTotal War: Warhammer III cautiously builds upon a tried and true formula

        The latest entry in the Total War franchise was ported by Feral Interactive over to Linux last month. After spending a good chunk of time commanding armies and bringing chaos to the land, I have a few thoughts to share.

      • GamingOnLinuxDIMENSIONAL SLAUGHTER is an absolutely wild sounding fast-paced retro shooter

        Have the need for speed and love a good retro first-person shooter? DIMENSIONAL SLAUGHTER is what you should take a look at.

      • GamingOnLinuxhexceed is a free hexagonal Minesweeper out now for Linux

        Need a new relaxing puzzle game that doesn't require guesswork? Recently hexceed gained a Native Linux port. While the main game is completely free, it does have paid DLC which includes a ton of extra content. The main game has a Very Positive review score on Steam so looks like another quality game to add to your collection.

      • GamingOnLinuxFree and open source multiplayer voxel RPG 'Veloren' version 0.13 is out

        Looking more promising than ever, the in-development free and open source RPG Veloren has a big new release out. A fully original open source game although it does take inspiration from Cube World, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft.

      • GamingOnLinuxSlay the Princess is an upcoming choice-driven psychological horror visual novel

        Black Tabby Games have just announced Slay the Princess. It's a choice-driven psychological horror visual novel / dating sim with dramatic branching, light RPG elements and hand-penciled art. This is the same developer who created Scarlet Hollow, a popular episodic visual novel.

      • GamingOnLinuxGOG announces the major Find Your Indie Sale

        GOG has announced their big Find Your Indie Sale is now live with some new releases, more upcoming games and of course lots of discounts to take a look over.

      • GamingOnLinuxPuzzle game Pixross from Kenney is free for 24 hours

        Act fast if you want to get a good free puzzle game! Kenney is giving away Pixross on itch.io and it has Native Linux support. You might actually already own it though, if you picked up the previous big Indie bundle for Palestinian Aid. Consider this your quick tip to start the week off right.

      • Linux Links10 Fun Free and Open Source Arcade Games

         This game genre are typically regarded as games of skill, with only some elements of games of chance. They often feature short levels, which rapidly increase in difficulty with simple and intuitive controls. There’s a focus on gameplay rather than story or content.

        The late 1970s through the 1980s was the golden age of the arcade games. Many of the games featured here hark back to games popular around that time.

        Let’s explore the 10 games. For each game we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screen shot of the game in action together with links to relevant resources.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Open Source Explained

      How to turn an open source product into a commercial challenger is no longer a mystery.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayMcTerminals Give The Hamburglar A Chance

      The golden arches of a McDonald’s restaurant are a ubiquitous feature of life in so many parts of the world, and while their food might not be to all tastes their comforting familiarity draws in many a weary traveler. There was a time when buying a burger meant a conversation with a spotty teen behind the till, but now the transaction is more likely to take place at a terminal with a large touch screen. These terminals have caught the attention of [Geoff Huntley], who has written about their surprising level of vulnerability.

    • Counter PunchA Meditation on a Nebula, Deep Time and Us

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this image. Perhaps it has such power to so many because we can imagine our souls being birthed alongside these behemoths of condensed energy in great flashes of light. And even with all that bombast in expression, the colourful gasses appear as a gossamer veil that comforts new skin. Any birth is both violent and caressing at the same time, after all. Maybe, therefore, so many of us can relate.

      And I keep thinking of where I am viewing it. The living crust of a tiny world, in a tiny solar system, on the edge of a tremendously vast galaxy. A tiny world whose thin, life-giving and sustaining ribbon of air and water is imperiled by the supposed “apex species” that resides upon it. Where the sea and the atmosphere are boiling and seething ever greater with each passing year thanks to the excesses and greed of just a segment of our kind. And for what gain? Power? Status? Access to luxury? Nationalism and flags? Celebrity? Religious dominance?

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • HackadayA Simple Charging Station For Twelve Powerbanks

        [jasonwinfieldnz] uses twelve small powerbanks day to day – powering LED strips around his trampoline, presumably, to avoid the mess of wires and make the assembly easily portable. However, if you have twelve powerbanks, you’ll find yourself hogging all the household’s microUSB cables every so often, as they eventually discharge. This was not good enough for our hacker, and he decided to build a charging station to refill them all at once.

      • HackadayUp Close And Personal With An 8x Floppy Controller

        In need of a floppy controller for a 286 he was working on, [Gadget Reboot] took to GitHub to see what was available in the open hardware space. There he found an ISA board capable of controlling up to eight drives from [Sergey Kiselev] called the Monster Floppy Disk Controller (FDC) — arguably overkill for the task, but too impressive to pass up. Luckily for us, he decided to document the build process in a video that covers everything from ordering the boards to configuring the BIOS.

      • Hackaday50-Year-Old 8-Track Changer Repair And Hack

        For reasons still unclear, [Techmoan] has procured an RCA 8-track changer that holds five tape cartridges in a custom carrier. It somewhat works, but had a bit of mechanical issues here and there which needed some maintenance. Additionally, the player is designed for the US market and 60 Hz mains, but [Techmoan] is in the UK with 50 Hz.

      • Hackaday2022 Hackaday Prize: Make Your World More Disaster Resistant, More Engaged

        Following along with the 2022 Hackaday Prize theme on building a better world by doing what we all do best – hacking together solutions – the fourth round of the Prize focuses on making our local communities more resilient against and sensitive to severe weather and environmental disasters. Whether it’s an early warning system for wildfires or a distributed communication network that will keep working even when the cell phone service goes down, we’re challenging you to help make your world safer by reacting sooner and better. Get your project entered now!

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • NPRMichigan medical students walk out on an anti-abortion keynote speaker

        In a video posted online, dozens of students can be seen walking out of the auditorium as Collier began her address. The video, recorded and posted by Detroit resident Brendan Scorpio, has been viewed more than 11 million times.

      • The NationHow Lyme Disease Became Unstoppable

        Randall Anderson was 9 years old when his knees started swelling like soda cans left too long in the freezer. Fatigue knocked him flat for hours at a time. Red rashes ravaged his skin. Finally, the headaches began, the screams, the scans showing signs of brain inflammation. The adults didn’t know what was wrong with him. His elementary school worried that he might be carrying some contagion and sent him home with a private tutor for a month. Some nights during the ordeal he would sleep on his parents’ bedroom floor and squeeze his mother’s hand, afraid he wouldn’t make it to morning.1

      • QuilletteStop Feeding Your Brain Junk Food

        We now live in what might be called an attention economy, full of actors seeking to draw our interest by any means possible. Since low-quality information is just as effective at satisfying our information-cravings as high-quality information, the most efficient means of getting our attention is by mass-producing low-quality “junk info”—a kind of fast food for one’s brain. Like real fast food, junk info is cheap to produce and pleasing to consume, but also high in additives and low in nutritional value. It’s also potentially addictive and, if consumed excessively, dangerous.

        Junk info is often false info. But it isn’t junk because it’s false. It’s junk because it doesn’t make your life better, and it doesn’t improve your understanding of the world. All it offers is distraction.

      • Common DreamsExtreme Heat Could Wipe Out Decades of Gain in Fight Against Child Malnutrition: Study

        The failure by global policymakers to act decisively to address the climate emergency threatens to erase decades of progress in the fight against childhood malnutrition in the Global South, according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University.

        The study shows that children in low-income countries are increasingly suffering from both acute and chronic malnutrition as their communities experience the effects of extreme heat, which is becoming more prevalent and severe around the world as fossil fuel extraction persists and carbon emissions rise.

      • Democracy Now“Immense Frustration”: Monkeypox Spreads Amid Slow U.S. Response, Few Vaccines; WHO Declares Emergency

        Nearly 17,000 monkeypox infections have now been reported across 75 countries, and the World Health Organization declared the spread of monkeypox a global emergency. Meanwhile, the U.S. has stopped short of declaring a public health emergency even with nearly 3,000 cases reported in 44 states. New York alone has reported 900 cases of monkeypox, with rollout of the vaccine inhibited by short supply. We speak to Joe Osmundson, professor of microbiology at New York University, about the queerphobic myths about the viral spread, the global inequity of vaccine distribution and more. “This should have been an easy virus to contain,” says Osmundson. “The immense frustration in our community has been watching hundreds of people get sick, not because they’re having sex, not because of their queer identity, but because they’ve wanted to get vaccinated and those vaccines have not been available.” Osmundson also describes how he helped a friend get treatment for monkeypox. His new book is “Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between.”

      • TruthOutAs Monkeypox Spreads, US Vaccine Access Is Pitifully Inadequate
      • Pro PublicaThe Family Behind Pinelawn Memorial Park Cashed in During COVID

        The stretch where Pinelawn Road turns into Wellwood Avenue on New York’s Long Island is known to locals as Cemetery Row. For 3 1/2 miles, the four-lane road is lined with sweeping, manicured lawns with separate entrances to eight cemeteries set back from the street. Comprising 2,300 acres, almost three times as much land as New York City’s Central Park, it’s the largest contiguous area devoted to burials in the United States.

        The business district in Cemetery Row has a power plant, a commuter rail station and a suburban-style commercial strip surrounded by burial grounds. Large signs advertise marble slabs, and you can see smoke wafting up from a crematory. Commercial and religious establishments with names such as St. Charles Monuments, Eternal Memorials and Star of David Memorial Chapel alternate with Kerensky Florist, Michelle’s Florist and Chicky’s Florist, not to mention two gas stations and the Barnwell House of Tires.

    • Proprietary

      • NPROnline pricing algorithms are gaming the system, and could mean you pay more

        The impact of algorithms can be more than just a few extra dollars at checkout. During the 2017 terrorist attack on the London Bridge, Uber's pricing algorithm sensed the increased demand and the price of a ride surged in the area. Uber later manually halted surge pricing and refunded users.

        The price fluctuations as a result of algorithms have also been found to increase feelings of customer betrayal.

      • [Old] FrontiersThe Impact of Algorithmic Price Discrimination on Consumers’ Perceived Betrayal

        With the development of artificial intelligence technology, data support is increasing in importance, as are problems such as information disclosure, algorithmic discrimination and the digital divide. Algorithmic price discrimination occurs when online retailers or platforms charge experienced consumers who are purchasing products on their online platforms higher prices than those charged to new consumers for the same products at the same time. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of algorithmic price discrimination on consumers’ perceived betrayal. This paper employed a field experimental method involving two studies. In total, 696 questionnaires were distributed to consumers: 310 for Study 1 and 386 for Study 2. The collected data were analyzed using variance analysis and process analysis methods and SPSS software. Our findings suggest (1) Increased algorithmic price discrimination leads to increased perceived betrayal. (2) Increased algorithmic price discrimination leads to lower perceived price fairness and therefore to increased perceived betrayal among consumers. (3) Higher perceived ease of use of online retailers decreases the impact of algorithmic price discrimination on consumers’ perceived betrayal. We are a small group of researchers focusing on algorithmic price discrimination and integrating algorithmic discrimination into the consumer research field. Our research introduces the concept of consumer perceived betrayal to the field of artificial intelligence. We adopt a field experimental study to examine the impact of algorithmic price discrimination on consumers’ perceived betrayal by introducing variables of perceived price fairness and perceived ease of use.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • The VergeReady or not, the Glassholes are coming back

          They all remember how Google Glass, and the “Glassholes” who wore them in public, became the laughingstock of the world. So they’ve been waiting, biding their time, refining their prototypes, and every so often making sure investors know that, no, they’re not going to let the first potentially iPhone-sized opportunity since the iPhone slip by.

          But now, Google itself is taking the next step. And whether you’ve been dreading the moment when Big Tech’s all-seeing eyes reappear on people’s heads or merely counting the days until you can own a hands-free camera-computer, you should know we’re on the verge of contending with them once again.

        • The VergeUber admits covering up massive 2016 data breach in settlement with US prosecutors

          [Crackers] used stolen credentials to access a private source code repository and obtain a proprietary access key, which they then used to access and copy large quantities of data associated with Uber’s users and drivers, including data pertaining to approximately 57 million user records with 600,000 driver’s license numbers.

        • TechdirtThanks To ACLU FOIA Requests, We Now Have More Details On The DHS’s Warrantless Acquisition Of Location Data

          Four years ago, the Supreme Court took a long look at the wealth of data generated by cell phones and made a good call. It said warrantless access to months of cell site location data was an unreasonable search. If cops wanted weeks or months of cell site location info, they’d need a warrant going forward.

        • TechdirtFCC To Finally Probe U.S. Wireless Abuse Of Customer Location Data

          We’ve noted for years how your mobile phone location data is routinely abused by a long list of bad actors, including your wireless carrier. We’ve also noted how the GOP Senate, hand in hand with the telecom sector, managed to kill FCC broadband privacy guidelines in 2017 that would have gone a long way in protecting consumer data in the post-Roe landscape.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Jerusalem PostMaryland CAIR chapter opposes IHRA definition of antisemitism

        The Maryland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on members of the Montgomery County Council on Sunday to oppose the county's resolution to formally adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Association's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

      • ScheerpostRalph Nader: Weaning the State Department Off War-making

        Ralph Nader proposes a shift in the State Department's overall mission as defined by recent years.

      • ScheerpostPutin’s Russia: People Increasingly Identify With the Soviet Union—Here’s What That Means

        The view that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin...

      • Telex (Hungary)Orbán is proclaiming Russian propaganda – Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman
      • TruthOutLiz Cheney Says Jan. 6 Committee Could Subpoena Ginni Thomas
      • Counter PunchEvil is€ as Evil Does

        – Mahatma Gandhi

        Recorded and live testimony before eight hearings of the House Jan.6 committee€ ripped open Donald Trump’s intensive, unyielding efforts to€ retain the€ presidency under false pretenses that could lead to criminal charges.

      • TruthOutJanuary 6 Committee Has Provided Sufficient Evidence for Garland to Indict Trump
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Trump-Backed Insurrection Proves Election Protection Reforms Are Needed

        The House Jan. 6 committee hearings have raised two overarching questions. The first: Will the Justice Department indict and prosecute former President Donald Trump for leading a criminal conspiracy to steal the 2020 presidential election? The second: Will Congress enact essential reforms to protect our democracy from a future presidential coup attempt or insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol?

      • Democracy NowRep. Ro Khanna: It’s Not Enough to Charge Jan. 6 Rioters. Accountability Must “Go Up the Food Chain”

        The January 6 hearings have provided jaw-dropping revelations about former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and his role in unleashing a deadly mob on the Capitol, but the House committee has not yet recommended criminal charges against Trump. Congressmember Ro Khanna says whether to charge the former president is ultimately the Justice Department’s call, but he stresses the need for accountability. “It’s not enough for the Justice Department to just prosecute the individuals who showed up on January 6,” Khanna says. “I’m hoping that the accountability will go up the food chain.”

      • Counter PunchWhy Trump Can't be Prosecuted for "Dereliction of Duty"

        Trump “was told by everyone to halt the violence,” Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democrat from Virginia, said. “But he refused to do anything…It was a dereliction of duty.”

        GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also described Trump’s inaction as a “dereliction of duty.”

      • TruthOutIf Trump Wins in 2024, Christian Nationalism Could Reign Supreme in Government
      • TruthOutGOP Should Be Party of Christian Nationalism, Greene Says at Conservative Summit
      • Counter PunchThe Ongoing Infowar Against Cuba: From the Moncada Assault to the Embargo

        Cubans fought two wars to become independent from Spain in the 19th century. Those wars were the crucible where heroes were forged. José Martí was one such hero, killed in battle in 1895, that still symbolises today the courageous revolutionary spirit of Cubans.

        When Cubans had practically achieved their goal to defeat Spanish domination with much human sacrifice at the end of the 19th century, the new coloniser from the North replaced Spain in Cuba for more than a half century of occupation and colonisation until the triumph of the Cuban revolution on January 1, 1959.

      • Counter PunchWhat If Hitler Had Ordered the Invasion of Britain?

        I have often stood on top of the Western and Eastern Heights at Dover looking at the French coast 20 miles away, which is so clearly visible and makes the Channel feel more like a broad river rather than a narrow sea.

        Another reason for thinking about the non-invasion of 1940 is that Britain was lucky then and I wonder if its luck as a country has deserted it, as one grossly inadequate government succeeds another.

      • Counter PunchAUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia

        The author of the report, non-resident fellow of the US Centre’s Foreign Policy and Defence program Jennifer Jackett gushes about the “more consequential” nature of various “technological developments in quantum, cyber, artificial intelligence, undersea, hypersonics and electronic warfare” than nuclear-powered submarines. The latter are, after all, slated to appear much later on the horizon.€  In the meantime, warring potential could be harnessed in other realms.

        Jackett stresses the urgency of appreciating these fields, given that Australia faces “a more hostile Indo-Pacific”.€  No ironic reflection follows that such hostility has been aided, in no small part, by the AUKUS security pact that has put countries in the region, with China being the primary target, on military notice.

      • Common Dreams'Utter Cruelty': UN, Rights Groups Decry Myanmar Junta's Execution of Activists

        The United Nations and international human rights groups reacted with alarm and outrage on Monday to news that Myanmar's coup regime has executed four activists, a sharp escalation of its violent crackdown on opponents of military rule.

        "These executions amount to arbitrary deprivation of lives and are another example of Myanmar's atrocious human rights record," said Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International's regional director. "The four men were convicted by a military court in highly secretive and deeply unfair trials. The international community must act immediately as more than 100 people are believed to be on death row after being convicted in similar proceedings."

      • Counter PunchInternational Accountability: Myanmar, the ICJ and the Genocide Question

        Given the nature of international institutions, often weak and onerously bureaucratic, there are other aspects to the system of holding the genocidaire-types to account: inadvertent immunity for the perpetrators; the obstructions and impediments of governments; and the reluctance of even using the term to describe abuses.

        The military regime in Myanmar will have been hoping for all three aspects to aid their case.€  But in the International Court of Justice, such expectations may have to be revised.€  For one thing, the Myanmar junta would have been taken aback by The Gambia’s proceedings against their country alleging genocide.€  But in November 2019, this West African country, with the support of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) filed a case alleging that Myanmar’s military had been responsible for genocidal acts resulting in “killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcible transfers … intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part.”

      • Counter PunchWeaning the State Department from War-Making to Peaceful Robust Diplomacy

        Sometimes it’s hard to see much difference with the much larger Department of Defense (DOD). Its more belligerent statements or threats since Bill and Hillary Clinton’s days have made the DOD sound almost circumspect.

        Recall it was Secretary of State, ‘Generalissima’ Hillary Clinton, under Obama, who, against the opposition of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, pressed the President in 2011 to unlawfully overthrow the Libyan regime unleashing chaos, violence and mayhem in Libya and in neighboring African nations that still prevails today. (Later, Obama said it was his biggest foreign policy regret.)

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • TruthOutCongressional Staffers Arrested During Climate Protest in Chuck Schumer’s Office
      • The RevelatorHelping Wildlife Survive Climate Change
      • Common DreamsStudent Climate Campaigners Welcome 'Momentous Victory' at Cambridge

        Student climate activists worldwide on Monday celebrated reporting that the U.K.'s University of Cambridge plans to rename its BP Institute for Multiphase Flow in response to recent protests.

        "It's good to see that the pressure is being felt by the university."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Can the Tactics of 'Just Stop Oil' Actually Stop Oil?

        Climate€ activists group€ Just Stop Oil is the latest controversial ensemble to emerge in the UK. Its members are demanding an immediate stop to new oil and gas extraction and say that doing things the normal way haven’t worked.

      • Common DreamsCongressional Staffers Arrested for Climate Sit-In at Schumer's Office

        Citing the failure of the Biden administration and U.S. Congress to take meaningful action to combat the climate emergency, a group of congressional staff members on Monday staged a sit-in at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's Washington, D.C. office that ended in some of their arrests.

        "Our house is on fire, and Manchin burned the stairs. Democratic leaders are walking away. We cannot."

      • Common Dreams'Climate Catastrophe' Feared as Congo Moves to Sell Critical Ecosystem for Oil Drilling

        The Democratic Republic of Congo is set to begin selling huge tracts of land to oil and gas giants later this week—a move that is being decried by environmental justice campaigners and local communities because it would enable new fossil fuel extraction in the second-largest old-growth rainforest on Earth, further endangering the world's chances of staving off the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

        "There is little to suggest that oil and gas revenues would be used for the public good rather than the personal enrichment of political elites."

      • Common DreamsFederal Agency Staffers Tell Biden to Play Hardball With Manchin on Climate

        Federal agency staffers and congressional office members have a message for President Joe Biden as his climate agenda languishes in the Senate: Ensure that fossil fuel industry ally Sen. Joe Manchin faces significant consequences for obstructing legislative progress.

        In a letter first reported by The Lever on Monday, 165 staffers from federal health and environmental agencies and nearly 80 congressional offices urged Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to "strip Senator Manchin of his chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, shut down the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project, eliminate the use of mountaintop removal and coal burning, and establish stringent water and air pollution standards."

      • The NationA Burning Planet

        In 1957, as the postwar economic boom led to a “great acceleration” in hydrocarbon energy use, a group of scientists working for a Texas-based petroleum company called Humble Oil (later renamed ExxonMobil) embarked on a study prompted by growing public concern over air pollution and new research on the consequences of burning fossil fuels. What they found was that the “enormous quantity of carbon dioxide” in the atmosphere was linked to the “combustion of fossil fuels.” Sixty-five years later, reality has proved to be even worse than their findings. With the unchecked combustion of fossil fuels releasing enormous quantities of carbon, the world is now on track to reach 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels. At the most recent UN Climate Change Conference, the assembled heads of state produced, yet again, zero binding commitments to reduce those emissions. And despite the green rhetoric, only 6 percent of the fiscal stimulus packages implemented by the G20 nations in 2020 and 2021 have contributed to emissions reductions, even as oil company profits soared to record highs. Amid government inaction, it has also become clear that the private sector will not save us. We’ve been told that benevolent investors would reroute capital away from dirty energy sectors and toward the green industries of the future. But the promise of “socially responsible finance” has proved to be mostly a scam. Despite pledges to do otherwise, Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, has continued to invest in fossil fuel companies, and the production of coal—the dirtiest fossil fuel—is now on the rise.

        Meanwhile, with neither states nor capital doing all that much to slash carbon use, emissions have fully rebounded from their pandemic slump. In 2021, the world broke two grim records: the highest recorded carbon dioxide emissions in history and the largest absolute annual increase ever. Year after year, Global North countries delay the promised climate financing for the Global South, which contributed the least to the crisis yet experiences its worst harms. Instead of redistribution, Global South governments can expect what Daniela Gabor and Isabella Weber call “carbon shock therapy,” wherein loans from the International Monetary Fund are conditioned on adopting regressive carbon pricing and cuts to fuel subsidies. Geopolitical conditions are adding fuel to this growing fire. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments in the US and Europe are rolling back renewable energy commitments.

      • ScheerpostChris Hedges: The Dawn of the Apocalypse

        We were warned for decades about the death march we are on because of global warming. And yet, the global ruling class continues to frog-march us towards extinction.

      • Counter PunchWobbling Towards Our Own Extinction
      • TruthOutOcasio-Cortez Gathers Support for Bill to Overrule Supreme Court’s EPA Decision
      • Energy/Mining

        • Eesti RahvusringhäälingElectricity to be 30 times more expensive in Estonia than Finland Tuesday

          The average price of electricity in Estonia is to increase to €215.56 per megawatt-hour on Tuesday, according to Nord Pool's day-ahead prices* for July 26. The average price in Finland, meanwhile, will be more than 30 times cheaper at just €7.13 per megawatt-hour.

        • TechdirtWhile Everyone Was Focused On Crypto Scams, Walmart Was Out Here Actively Helping Scammers

          There’s no denying that the cryptocurrency world is chock full of scammers, Ponzi schemes, and sketchy sketchy offerings. But, the prevalence of such things in that world has lead some to argue that if cryptocurrencies were banned, we’d likely have less scams and fraud online. I’ve yet to see any data to support that — because it sure looks like scammers are willing to use any and all options to move money around.

        • Common DreamsBig Oil Quick to Jack Up Gasoline Prices But Slow to Drop Them: Analysis

          Over the past four months, Big Oil has rushed to raise gasoline prices—sometimes charging far more at the pump than the increased cost of oil would warrant—and dawdled to lower them when crude's valuation declined, according to a new analysis released Monday by the progressive watchdog group Accountable.US.

          "The longer Big Oil's predatory pricing scheme persists, the graver the cost to American consumers and the country's economic health."

        • Common DreamsOpinion | Constitutional Limitations and the Rights of Nature

          On December 1, 2021, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court delivered a landmark ruling revoking two previously-granted mining concessions from companies seeking to expand into the exceptionally biodiverse Los Cedros cloud forest. The decision, upheld by the Court with seven affirmative votes and two abstentions, obligates the Ecuadorian government to prevent mining and other extractive exploration within the protected forest area by repealing permits granted to ENAMI, Ecuador’s state mining company, and Cornerstone Capital Resources, its Canadian partner.

        • Common DreamsKhanna Calls Biden EPA, FAA Refusal to Join Hearing on Lead in Children's Blood 'Unconscionable'

          U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday called out the Biden administration for not participating in an upcoming congressional hearing about leaded aviation fuel harming human health and the environment.

          "Many airplanes continue to utilize leaded fuel, putting the health and safety of Americans—especially children—at risk."

        • Counter PunchIt’s Not Dark Yet -- Oh Wait, Yes It Is!

          There’s a lot of talk of off-gridding these days. Folks who want to get away from the electricity that controls our lives. The Internet. Social media. Twitter. Facebook. Meta. More and more AIs are taking over our “jobs” of perceiving and processing our experiences of the world. They were extensions and tools for our brains, but now they are beginning to influence what and how we do the cogito ergo sum thing. We are “lit up” all the time, overstimulated by electricity. Some philosophers fear we may be on the threshold of a dystopian nightmare, about to be absorbed into a hivemind blob we can’t escape from, devoid of individuality and spontaneity.

        • Counter PunchWhy Black People (and Everyone Else) Should Avoid Crypto
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchFighting a Logging “Epidemic” in Vermont’s Roadless Forests

          Porter is the director of€ Standing Trees, which he describes as the only organization explicitly focused on protecting and restoring wild, public lands in New England. He opposes these logging projects, and before meeting to hike, described to me the regional problem, as he sees it. “There’s really kind of an epidemic of roadless logging in both New Hampshire and Vermont, in the White Mountain and Green Mountain National Forests,” he explained.€ “Many thousands of acres at this point have been targeted. And many miles of roads have been punched into some of the wildest landscapes that we have in New England.”

          Porter is particularly focused on logging in roadless sections of the forest, arguing that the Forest Service is exploiting a loophole in the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule (RACR), one of the final acts enacted by the Clinton Administration, to log in these areas. RACR put administrative protections on 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas throughout the United States, effectively preventing most management activities like road construction and logging. But, Porter said, the Forest Service has not applied that rule to roadless areas that were inventoried post-2001, a distinction he describes as “completely arbitrary” that effectively creates “two classes of roadless areas.”

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsFetterman Challenges Ultra-Millionaire Dr. Oz to Live on $7.25 an Hour

        In a statement on Monday marking 13 years since the federal minimum wage was last raised, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman challenged his ultra-millionaire Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, to live on $7.25 an hour, which is also the hourly pay floor in Pennsylvania.

        "Another year, still no change to our shitty $7.25 an hour minimum wage," said Fetterman, the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor whose populist campaign has attacked Oz as an out-of-touch carpetbagger running to serve the interests of wealthy elites and powerful corporations.

      • TruthOutStarbucks Union Starts Workers’ Fund After Firing of Over 50 Pro-Union Workers
      • Common DreamsAround Half of US Seniors Living Alone Can't Afford Basic Expenses: Study

        Around half of U.S. seniors living alone can't afford their basic necessities, statistics published Monday revealed, underscoring calls for legislation to expand Social Security and lower prescription drug prices.

        "The biggest worry I have is not being able to afford living in my home or becoming ill. I know that medical expenses could wipe me out in no time financially."

      • Common DreamsElizabeth Warren Accuses Fed Chair of Fomenting 'Devastating Recession'

        With the Federal Reserve widely expected to enact another large interest rate hike at its policy meeting later this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal on Sunday to warn that the central bank's approach to tackling inflation "risks triggering a devastating recession" without directly addressing many of the key drivers of recent price surges.

        While acknowledging that inflation is "an urgent problem" and that interest rates can "play a key role in maintaining price stability," the Massachusetts Democrat argued that aggressive rate hikes "are largely ineffective against many of the underlying causes of this inflationary spike," such as gas and food prices.

      • Common DreamsSanders Shreds Big Tech's $76 Billion 'Corporate Welfare' Payday in CHIPS Act

        U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday again took aim at the CHIPS Act, proposed bipartisan legislation the Vermont independent noted contains tens of billions of dollars in "corporate welfare" for tech giants—taxpayer money he says would be better spent on programs of social uplift.

        "The question we should be asking is this: Should American taxpayers provide the microchip industry with a blank check of over $76 billion?"

      • The HillFormer Google executive to join White House cyber office

        Gloster is the latest hire to join the cyber office. In May, the White House announced that it was expanding the bureau with three new hires, including a former Microsoft executive and a former CIA official.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • WSWSWSWS readers denounce Twitter lockdown of SEP Australia account and in defence of Dr David Berger

        I strongly oppose the attacks on Dr Berger who has, from the beginning, stood up for measures to prevent misinformation and against mass sickness and death during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage across the world.

        I am encouraged by the people calling out the anti-democratic action of AHPRA, which is silencing Dr Berger and his supporters such as the SEP in Australia. It’s extremely telling that Twitter has banned the SEP for calling this out, an action that should be understood and condemned by all.

      • WSWSSEP (Australia) files second appeal against Twitter censorship

        Despite this, Twitter has not responded to an appeal submitted by the SEP on Friday morning (AEST), demanding the reinstatement of the account and an explanation for the censorship.

        Yesterday morning, a second appeal was submitted, which has also been posted publicly on Twitter by SEP National Secretary Cheryl Crisp. It states: [...]

      • Common DreamsDems Accuse Hulu of 'Outrageous' Censorship of Abortion Rights, Gun Control Ads

        Three Democratic Party committees on Monday protested the refusal of the streaming service Hulu to run several campaign ads denouncing Republican policies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, with the Disney-owned company saying the content of the ads was too "sensitive" and "controversial."

        As The Washington Post reported, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) made attempted ad buys with the streaming service on July 15 for ads regarding gun control policy and abortion rights.

      • The NationThe Arizona Prison System Is Censoring The Nation. We’re Doing Something About It.

        Unless you are a publisher—or happen to be reading this in prison—you may be unfamiliar with the “Exclusion Notice” that prison authorities use to justify the withholding of magazines and other printed matter from incarcerated subscribers. Over the past several months, we at The Nation have received a number of these notices from the Office of Publication Review (OPR) at the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry. True to its Orwellian name, the explanations the OPR provides for banning a given issue are always vague and lacking any specific citation of allegedly offending material. Our April 5/12, 2021, issue, for example, was suppressed because it allegedly “Promotes Superiority of One Group Over Another, Racism, Degradation” and “Acts of Violence.” Since they gave no further detail, we can only assume the authorities objected to the cover story, “Black Immigrants Matter.” Our July 26/August 2, 2021, issue, devoted to “This Way to Utopia: Dreams of a Better World,” was excluded on the grounds that it might “Encourage Sexual or Hostile Behaviors.” The June 13/20, 2022, issue, with a cover story profiling former Maine governor Paul LePage, was also banned for alleged racism. As a one-off, such egregious misreading might be funny. Almost. But Malcolm X says in his Autobiography that reading in prison “changed forever the course of my life”—as it has for countless other prisoners. So when the notices kept coming, we decided to do something about it.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Common DreamsMichigan Students Walk Out of Ceremony Over Keynote Speaker's Pro-Forced Birth Views

        Pro-abortion rights advocates on social media Monday spoke out in defense of incoming medical students at University of Michigan who walked out of a ceremony to protest the keynote speaker's pro-forced birth views, pushing back against claims that the students behaved "unprofessionally."

        Noting that Michigan has a decades-old state law criminalizing abortion care—which for now is blocked by a temporary injunction—Dr. Karen Gibbins said that accusations of unprofessionalism are coming from "the same people who help anti-abortion people get and maintain positions of power."

      • TechdirtFifth Circuit Tells Cops ‘Hispanic On A Bike’ Isn’t Enough Suspicion To Justify Stops Of Hispanics On Bikes

        The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tends to be the cop-friendliest jurisdiction. Unexpected outbursts by recently appointed Judge Don Willett aside, the Fifth Circuit tends to maintain the law enforcement status quo. It has held this line so frequently even the Supreme Court — which made qualified immunity the mess it is today — has had to send horrendous decisions back down the judicial pipe for the Appeals Court to fix.

      • Teen VogueYoung Workers Are Bridging the Climate and Labor Movements

        Simultaneously, it’s clear that young people in the labor movement want to bargain on climate issues in contract negotiations, according to LNS’s preliminary survey results. While it has been challenging to get some older workers involved in the climate struggle, Dedmond said, younger workers are quicker to see the connections between intersecting crises they’re dealing with. “Young workers bring a refreshing analysis to note that we don’t have to trade off good jobs for the environment and we don’t have to trade off the environment for good jobs — we can very much work in concert.”

      • NPRInflation is crippling rural America and may even drive people to the cities

        Iowa State University professor Dave Peters has been studying the effect of inflation on people in rural communities as part of the school's Small Town Project. He found that this year alone, expenses for rural Americans had increased by 9.2%, but their earnings only increased by 2.6%.

      • Chicago Sun TimesGeorgia man traveled to Chicago and fatally shot ex-wife at Streeterville condo, then killed himself as cops arrived: police

        Officers arrived at the building in the 200 block of East Ohio Street around 4:30 p.m. after police in Alpharetta, Ga., requested a well-being check on Raheel Ahmad, 36, the reports state. His family had reported him missing from the Atlanta suburb, where he lived.

      • TechdirtAppeals Court Corrects Its Previous Error, Holds That Recording Cops Is A Clearly Established Right

        In April 2021, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals forced itself through uncomfortable legal contortions to award qualified immunity to Denver, Colorado police officers who detained a man, seized his recording device, and made an apparent attempt to delete his recording.

      • The NationBiden’s Troubling Response to “Dobbs”

        The proclamation “I will aid and abet abortion” appeared across social media soon after Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justices did what they were appointed to do: overturn Roe v. Wade. Leaving aside the question of whether it’s a great idea to advertise one’s intent to engage in legally risky behavior, the posts signaled rising anger over the court’s endorsement of forced pregnancy. Notably absent amid that anger was any actionable outrage from President Biden, who had nearly two months after a leaked Supreme Court draft to mobilize against the elimination of legal access to abortion in at least 13, and as many as 26, states. Instead Biden has only just begun “mulling” the option of declaring a public health emergency, after taking two weeks following the decision to issue an executive order that some called a decent first step and others described as toothless.

      • ScheerpostPope Apologizes For ‘Catastrophic’ School Abuses in Canada

        Pope Francis puts on an indigenous headdress during a meeting with indigenous communities, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit, at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Catholic Church in Maskwacis, near …

      • ShadowproofAbolitionist Organizers Warn ‘Counter-Extremism’ Won’t Stop White Supremacist Violence

        This article was funded by the Marvel Cooke Fellowship.€ Read more€ about this reporting project and€ make a contribution€ to fund our fellowship budget.

        In May, a gunman killed ten Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and livestreamed the event on Twitch. While that by itself was horrific, many were further disturbed upon learning that the shooter’s manifesto made references to memes and online platforms where he spent most of his time. It didn’t take long for public figures to demand law enforcement target the online pipeline that “radicalized” him.€ 

      • Democracy Now“Aftershock”: Film Explores Disproportionate Black Maternal Mortality in U.S., Could Worsen After Roe

        With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the battleground for abortion access now shifts to the states, even as the U.S. faces the worst rates of maternal mortality among all rich nations, with Black maternal mortality three to four times higher than the national average. Now a new documentary examines the crisis of Black maternal mortality through the families of two young Black women who died after giving birth. “Aftershock” is co-directed by Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt, who join us to discuss how Black women navigate a healthcare system built against them and efforts underway to reduce racial disparities. “We know that Black women’s health and infants’ health is the marker of the health of a nation,” notes Lee. “In a system that puts profit over people, doesn’t listen and center birthing people already, Black women are even more affected by this due to the systemic racism that’s ingrained into our system,” adds Eiselt.

      • TruthOutJD Vance Caught on Video Saying Violent Marriages Shouldn't End Too Quickly
      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Most Dangerous Looming Supreme Court Decision You Never Heard Of
      • Counter PunchCould Ethnic Minorities Save the Senate€ for the Democrats?

        Democrats since WWII moved toward accepting a more ethnically diverse democratic society. And while they often fall short in pursuing one, they have rhetorically embraced a multicultural society. As a result, regardless of who controls Congress or the presidency in the next two elections, immigration and birth rates over the past half-century will soon result in an America with a population of less than half from European descendants.

        The clash of these two views is at the heart of the debate between the Democrat and Republican parties. Candidate Donald Trump’s message was and still is wanting to Make America Great Again. It looks back to when European ethnic groups were shaping America’s future.

      • Counter PunchThe U.S. is a World Outlier on Abortion Restrictions

        In the last two decades, 50 countries around the world have liberalized abortion laws. Some reform is still restrictive, enabling abortion when there is a threat to the pregnant person’s life or when pregnancy results from rape. But while these changes have resulted in overturning total bans on abortion, the United States is going in the opposite direction.

        The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 overturned the nearly half-century-old€ Roe v. Wade€ case that guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion. The court enabled the ability of 50 individual U.S. states to ban abortion.€ Twenty-six states€ are either certain or considered likely to enact the ban.

      • Meduza‘Our entire society is built on threats’: How Russia’s military enlistment offices intimidate conscripts who seek alternative service — Meduza

        Russia’s annual spring draft concluded on July 15, marking the first round of conscription since Moscow began its full-scale war against Ukraine. According to Article 59, section 3 of the Russian Constitution, those who are unable to perform military service due to their beliefs have the right to substitute service — commonly referred to as “alternative civilian service” (ACS). Human rights defenders and activists note that interest in ACS has grown since the start of the war, as has the number of conscientious objectors. In turn, enlistment offices responded to this trend with threats and intimidation. Meduza reports on how conscientious objectors and those who provide them legal assistance experienced the spring draft.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Internet Freedom Foundation#KeepItOn: Calcutta HC disposes of Ashlesh Biradar’s writ petition against internet shutdowns by directing that state authorities are bound to follow law

        Calcutta High Court (‘Calcutta HC’) disposed of the petition filed by Ashlesh Biradar challenging an internet shutdown order dated 03.03.2022 (‘Suspension Order’) issued by the State of West Bengal. The Court made an important observation that all state authorities are bound by both the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 (‘Telecom Suspension Rules’) that regulate the manner in which telecom services are to be suspended by governments, as well as the directions of the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India. This was the same matter in which the High Court issued India’s first reasoned interim order lifting an ongoing internet shutdown. This interim order has been confirmed by the final order.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • New York TimesWhy Big Tech Is Making a Big Play for Live Sports

        Still, Amazon, ESPN+ and YouTube, which explored a bid for the rights in 2014, remain in the hunt, some of these people said. Brian Rolapp, the N.F.L.’s chief media and business officer, said in a statement that the league expects to finalize a deal in the coming months. “A number of companies are in strong position to potentially land Sunday Ticket, but we still have a ways to go in this process,” Mr. Rolapp added.

        Some details of the negotiations have been previously reported by the SportsBusiness Journal.

    • Monopolies

      • Democracy NowBaby Formula Crisis Requires Urgent Action to Address Shortage of Vital Nutrition & Price Gouging

        Four corporations control 90% of the baby formula market in the United States, and as a national baby formula shortage drags on, it has impacted working-class families of color the most. We get an update from Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California, who just wrote an open letter urging leaders of federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to take bolder action to address the shortage. Khanna discusses efforts to increase production domestically and supplement the shortage with formula from other nations, and why he is calling for President Biden to go further and pass antitrust laws to reduce reliance on corporate monopolies for vital products. “Why is it that we are so dependent on one or two manufacturers in this country?” says Khanna. “This is a problem not just in baby formula.”

      • Copyrights

        • TechdirtWhy Is Media Lamenting Disney’s ‘Loss’ Of Copyright Instead Of Celebrating The Public Domain?

          There’s something odd going on in media reporting on the expiration of Disney’s copyright on the initial version of Mickey Mouse that is set to occur in 2024. Given the subject matter, we’ve talked Mickey Mouse quite a bit on this site, specifically noting the “coincidence” of copyright term extensions that have occurred roughly each and every time Disney’s copyright was about to expire. The context in this throat-clearing is, essentially: Mickey Mouse should have been in the public domain years and years ago but isn’t because Congress keeps extending the term so it never occurs.

        • Torrent FreakBREIN Settles With Pirate IPTV Seller Afer Global Chase

          Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN continues its crackdown on pirate IPTV services. The Hollywood-supported group says it has reached a €70,000 settlement with a major vendor after information exposed through the court located the person in Brazil. BREIN, meanwhile, reports that it has shut down dozens of illicit IPTV vendors and hundreds of sites that offered these services.

        • Torrent FreakRoblox Fights DMCA Subpoena Targeting Up to 460K Innocent Gamers

          Christopher Boomer, whose games have been viewed over two billion times, recently obtained a DMCA subpoena compelling Roblox to identify alleged pirates. In its response, Roblox says the subpoena could affect hundreds of thousands of innocent gamers. In an interesting twist, Roblox cites a recent high-profile DMCA case involving Twitter and the right to anonymous speech.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Re: Revisiting the Web Analytics Rabbit Hole

        I've never considered putting analytics on my blog for this very reason (of course, with my self-imposed extremely strict design rules any javascript would be impossible either way). The follower count in the fediverse has much the same effect and require a conscious effort on my part to ignore.

        It's weird how we can get stuck staring at numbers. I guess this is why gamification so often works. We look at those digits and think "higher is better; I must climb the global scoreboard" as if there was such a thing as a competition.


* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.



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