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Links 20/02/2023: GNU Linux-Libre 6.2

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux ☛ 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: February 19th, 2023

      This has been a great week with great news, starting with the release of the KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS desktop environment and the Linux 6.2 kernel, and continuing with the launch of the Firefox 110 web browser and the announcement of the real-time Ubuntu kernel.

      On top of that, I tell you all about the default Linux kernels of the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS and Debian GNU/Linux 12 “Bookworm” releases, and also share news about some of the latest Open Source software and distro releases.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • ZDNet ☛ The best Linux distros for beginners in 2023

        If you're new to Linux, you might feel intimated to use it. Thankfully, with the best Linux distros for beginners, you don't have to possess any coding or programming experience. And most are free to use.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Jupiter Broadcasting ☛ Rolling Papercuts | LINUX Unplugged 498

        Sometimes running the latest and greatest means you have to pave your own path. This week two examples from living on the edge.

      • Bryan Lunduke ☛ OpenBSD, HelloSystem, and BSD Rabbit Holes

        Listen now (31 min) | The Lunduke Journal of Technology Podcast - Feb 19, 2023

      • Video ☛ Installation And First Look Of CachyOS - Invidious

        Today, I'm taking a look at CachyOS, which is an Arch-based Linux distro that offers several desktop environments, as well as offering their own custom web browser and a variety of kernel options. CachyOS might be the ideal choice for those looking for a powerful, customizable and fast operating system.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Linux Links ☛ Machine Learning in Linux: Demucs – music source separation

        This series looks at highly promising machine learning and deep learning software for Linux.

        Demucs is billed as “a state-of-the-art music source separation model, currently capable of separating drums, bass, and vocals from the rest of the accompaniment”. It’s based on a U-Net convolutional architecture inspired by Wave-U-Net. Version 4 features Hybrid Transformer Demucs, a hybrid spectrogram/waveform separation model using Transformers. It sounds impressive, but what are the results like?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • University of Toronto ☛ Using web server reverse proxying to deal with file access permissions

        Today, in a blinding flash of the obvious, I realized that an alternate approach to solving this problem is reverse proxies. For each set of files with Unix access restrictions, we can use or set up a login that specifically has access to them, then have that login run a simple web server that serves those files. Then the main web server reverse proxies to all of those sub-servers, with appropriate HTTP Basic Authentication or other access controls in front. Each sub-server has strictly limited access to its own files, and the main Apache server doesn't need to have access to anything (beyond the ability to talk to the sub-servers). Much as with our regular user-run web servers, a sub-server could run potentially dangerous things like PHP without endangering anyone else.

      • ID Root ☛ How To Install Darktable on Fedora 37

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Darktable on Fedora 37. For those of you who didn’t know, Darktable is an open-source photography workflow application and raw developer.

      • It's Ubuntu ☛ How To Add A Debian Repository

        Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by itsubuntu Methods To Add A Debian Repository There are several methods to add a Debian repository to your Debian. Before adding a Debian repository, let's go through the basic steps so that you can easily add a Debian repository.

      • LinuxConfig ☛ Linux Configuration files: Top 30 most important
      • Linux Handbook ☛ What are /dev/random and /dev/urandom in Linux?

        Both /dev/random and /dev/urandom are used for generating random numbers in Linux. Learn more about them.

      • OSTechNix ☛ How To Use LVM Snapshot To Backup Your Data In Linux

        This guide explains what is LVM snapshots, how to create a new snapshot volume, restore snapshot volume, and extend the snapshot volume in Linux with examples.

      • TecMint ☛ How to Run Commands from Standard Input Using Tee and Xargs in Linux

        While using the command line, you can directly pass the output of one program (for example a tool that generates some system information or statistics) as input for another program...

    • Games

      • Boiling Steam ☛ Dredge: Impressions After 10 Hours at the Wheel (on the Steam Deck)

        I have been spending more than 10 hours on Dredge by now, and while the game is only planned to release at the end of March 2023, this is probably as close to a real review that this will get...
      • Boiling Steam ☛ Warpips Free on the Epic Games Store, Previewed on Linux

        A short piece of news and a quick video preview about Warpips! Warpips is actually a game I had on my Steam wishlist for a long time...

      • The Kent Stater ☛ Finding a home in gaming

        Thiago Mendes came to Kent State from his home in Brazil hoping to grow as a person and further his education. What he did not know is that his love for League of Legends, one of the biggest games in the world, would help him adjust to his new home.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Unicorn Media ☛ Xfce 4.18’s Improvements Include Thunar and Under the Hood

        These days, Xfce is hard to miss. In some distributions, it is the default desktop environment, and few do not offer it as an alternative. In user polls over the last decade, it is consistently a close second to KDE’s Plasma. Advertising itself as fast, lightweight, visually appealing and easy to use, Xfce has become one the leading Linux desktops, with a popularity that shows no sign of waning.

        It wasn’t always that way. Founded in 1996 and originally based on the Common Desktop Environment (CDE), Xfce spent half its existence as a distant third to GNOME and KDE which constantly vied for first and second for popularity in user polls.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • OMG! Linux ☛ GNOME Console Devs Add a Useful New Feature

          Console’s tab overview speeds-up switching between terminal tabs by giving you a top-level look at all your open tabs and running process. Like a bird to a worm, you can spot the one you need and click on it (or select it with the keyboard) to swoop in and interact.

        • Emmanuele Bassi: Writing Bindable API, 2023 Edition

          First of all, you should go on the gobject-introspection website and read the page on how to write bindable API. What I’m going to write here is going to build upon what’s already documented, or will update the best practices, so if you maintain a GObject/C library, or you’re writing one, you must be familiar with the basics of gobject-introspection. It’s 2023: it’s already too bad we’re still writing C libraries, we should at the very least be responsible about it.

          A specific note for people maintaining an existing GObject/C library with an API designed before the mainstream establishment of gobject-introspection (basically, anything written prior to 2011): you should really consider writing all new types and entry points with gobject-introspection in mind, and you should also consider phasing out older API and replacing it piecemeal with a bindable one. You should have done this 10 years ago, and I can already hear the objections, but: too bad. Just because you made an effort 10 years ago it doesn’t mean things are frozen in time, and you don’t get to fix things. Maintenance means constantly tending to your code, and that doubly applies if you’re exposing an API to other people.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Ubuntubuzz ☛ Recommended 32-bit Free OSes for Your Old Computers 2023

      Do you have an old/unused computer? This is a recommendation list of 32-bit (also known as x86 and i386) free operating systems in-2023-and-beyond for your old machines. With one of these, you can revive your laptop and desktop and get latest versions of thousands of software running to your benefits. They are fully functional OSes, supported and developed by the community. This is an alternative solution to Microsoft Windows which now does not support older specifications anymore. Finally, happy reading, we hope you will like this!

    • BSD

      • DragonFly BSD ☛ eMMC support & concerns

        Just as a side note, it is totally possible to mount root read-only and then use tmpfs/copied mounts for the directories that the system needs to write to. Example included below (this is what our release image uses). Basically you specify a read-only root mount in /etc/fstab and then a bunch of rw tmpfs mounts using the -C option, which causes tmpfs to copy the underlying read-only filesystem onto the rw tmpfs filesystem.

      • Undeadly ☛ Privilege drop, privilege separation, and restricted-service operating mode in OpenBSD

        As implied by the article's title, Florian's writing covers a wide range of exploit mitigation efforts within OpenBSD. Early examples such as previous attempts at privilege dropping in ping(8) are explored from 26 years ago. Progressing towards the present, Florian moves onto reflections involving systrace(4) which was shown to the world by Niels Provos at CanSecWest in 2002. However, as Florian describes some of systrace's shortcomings, readers are provided with insights into the eventual motivation behind pledge(2) having resulted from code previously evolved out of tame(2) and now more widely available and deployed in OpenBSD in complement to unveil(2). Florian continues writing about privilege separation in dhcpleased(8) though makes passing mention that similar techniques were used in slaacd(8) and unwind(8). This editor will note: some of that sort of defense in depth design seems as if it may have been inspired by prior art in MTAs such as djb's qmail or Wieste Venema's Postfix?

      • Florian Obser ☛ Privilege drop, privilege separation, and restricted-service operating mode in OpenBSD

        My main focus in OpenBSD are privilege separated network daemons running in restricted-service operation mode. I gave talks at BSDCan and FOSDEM in the past about how I used these techniques to write slaacd(8) and unwind(8). While I do not think of myself as a one-trick pony, I have written some more: slowcgi(8), rad(8), dhcpleased(8), and gelatod(8). I also wrote the first version of what later turned into resolvd(8).

        At one point I claimed that it would take me about a week to transmogrify one daemon into a new one.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Red Hat ☛ Multiple sources for Argo CD applications

        Before the multiple sources feature was introduced in Argo CD 2.6, Argo CD was limited to managing applications from a single Git or Helm repository. Users had to manage every application as an individual entity in Argo CD, even if the resources were stored across multiple repositories.

        With the multiple sources feature, you can now create an Argo CD application specifying resources stored in multiple repositories. This means you can manage resources separately in different repositories and combine them into a single entity for deployment and management.

        Note: The feature is still marked as a Beta feature for Argo CD. The user interface (UI) and command-line interface (CLI) are not supported for multiple sources; they respond as if only the first source is specified.

      • Red Hat ☛ Automate your SSO with Ansible and Keycloak

        The article Deploy Keycloak single sign-on with Ansible discussed how to automate the deployment of Keycloak. In this follow-up article, we’ll use that as a baseline and explore how to automate the configuration of the Keycloak single sign-on (SSO) server, including setting up users, specifying LDAP connection details, and so on.

        Here again, to facilitate our automation, we will leverage an Ansible collection named middleware_automation.keycloak, specifically designed for this endeavor. 

      • Red Hat Official ☛ Considering managed Kubernetes? 5 questions to ask

        Kubernetes has become essential to cloud-native development because it's an excellent tool for managing containerized applications at scale. But implementing it on your own can be challenging.

      • Enterprisers Project ☛ 9 ways ChatGPT will help CIOs [Ed: Red Hat is hyping up proprietary spyware of Microsoft that lies to people in order to advance Microsoft's agenda]
      • Enterprisers Project ☛ Pay transparency: 5 tips for IT leaders
    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu ☛ Gopaddle – A Low-Code Internal Developer Platform for Canonical's MicroK8s edge cloud

        We are excited to announce the launch of gopaddle, the Low-Code Internal Developer Platform, as a community addon for MicroK8s edge cloud. This addon will help Kubernetes developers accelerate the development of distributed applications at the edge.

        In today’s fast-paced business landscape, the ability to quickly and efficiently develop new applications is critical to success. However, traditional application development methodologies can be slow and inefficient, often requiring a team of developers to learn new technologies and programming languages. At the same time, many projects are just variants of existing projects and include standardised functional building blocks.

      • The Register UK ☛ What you need to know about the real-time capable edition of Ubuntu 22.04
        Canonical has made a Real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04 available on x86 and Arm… but only to Ubuntu Pro customers, and there are some potential issues you should know about.

        The new real-time edition was announced on Valentine's Day [insert joke about loving a more responsive computer here]. The beta version appeared last year, a couple of months after the launch of 22.04 "Jammy Jellyfish" that April. The difference from standard Ubuntu is that this version integrates the out-of-tree PREEMPT_RT patches into kernel 5.15.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Corey Stephan ☛ How to Extend the QuirkLogic Papyr’s Useful Life with F-Droid (no rooting or hacking required)

        After reading the announcement from QuirkLogic that InkWorks would be taken offline, and, therefore, that a large amount of my Papyr’s functionality would be eliminated overnight, I went on a quest to find a viable solution. I turned to the dpt-tools GitHub repository, wherein the world’s leading Sony Digital Paper, and, therefore, Fujitsu Quaderno A4 (gen. 1), mooInk Pro A4 (gen. 1), and, indeed, Papyr tinkerers are to be found (since, as I repeated a few times in my full-length review, all of those devices are actually the exact same, simply running different software), asking if there might be a reasonable way for me to re-flash the Papyr with Sony’s or Fujitsu’s respective operating system. I wrote an email to the head of that repository to ask for his assistance directly. I wrote multiple emails to the QuirkLogic team and tried calling their office to ask for help from of them. I asked for assistance in the official Discord server of My Deep Guide, the Youtube channel and services of the well-established E-Ink reviewer Vojislav Dimitrijevic. Nobody responded with any ideas. If someone reading this blog post should have any better option(s) for extending the Papyr’s useful life than what I outline here, please leave a comment below.

      • Tom's Hardware ☛ Raspberry Pi Release $12 Plug-and-Play Pico Powered Debug Kit

        Raspberry Pi release a surprise new RP2040 based board. This new board is more about debugging our code than creating robots.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Barry Kauler ☛ youtube-dl YouTube Downloader is broken

      I received an email from Smithy letting me know about this, so passing on the information.

      I updated 'youtube-dl' python script before releasing Easy 4.99, just assumed it would be OK. But it isn't. There are issues posted here:

      Looks like we need to wait for a fixed release. YouTube will be delighted; they keep moving the goal post to try and thwart the downloaders, youtube-dl gets updated, and the game goes on.   

    • Daniel Stenberg ☛ 7.88.1 the second final one

      Things did not work out the way we had planned. The 7.88.0 release that was supposed to be the last curl version 7 release contained a nasty bug that made us decide that we better ship an update once that is fixed. This is the update. The second final version 7 release.

    • Medevel ☛ Activepieces: An Open Source No-code Automation Tool, Alternative to Zapier and IFTTT

      Activepieces is a free web-based automation solution that allows you to automate almost anything without the need to code. Moreover, as a self-hosted system on your own server without any extra cost, which is an ideal solution for freelancers, web, and

    • ☛ 4 questions open source engineers should ask to mitigate risk at scale

      At Shopify, we use and maintain a lot of open source projects, and every year we prepare for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) and other high-traffic events to make sure our merchants can sell to their buyers. To do this, we built an infrastructure platform at a large scale that is highly complex, interconnected, globally distributed, requiring thoughtful technology investments from a network of teams. We’re changing how the internet works, where no single person can oversee the full design and detail at our scale.

      Over BFCM 2022, we served 75.98M requests per minute to our commerce platform at peak. That’s 1.27M requests per second. Working at this massive scale in a complex and interdependent system, it would be impossible to identify and mitigate every possible risk. This article breaks down a high-level risk mitigation process into four questions that can be applied to nearly any scenario to help you make the best use of your time and resources available.

      1. What are the risks?

      To inform mitigation decisions, you must first understand the current state of affairs. We expand our breadth of knowledge by learning from people from all corners of the platform. We run “what could go wrong” (WCGW) exercises where anyone building or interested in infrastructure can highlight a risk. These can be technology risks, operational risks, or something else. Having this unfiltered list is a great way to get a broad understanding of what could happen.

      The goal here is visibility.

      2. What is worth mitigating?

      Great brainstorming leaves us with a large and daunting list of risks. With limited time to fix things, the key is to prioritize what is most important to our business. To do this, we vote on risks, then gather technical experts to discuss highest ranked risks in more detail, including their likelihood and severity. We make decisions about what and how to mitigate, and which team will own each action item.

    • ☛ Kubernetes policy engines: OPA vs. Kyverno vs. jsPolicy

      A Kubernetes policy engine is essential for keeping your cluster safe and ensuring policies are set correctly at the outset. For example, you probably need a policy to control who has the authority to set a privileged pod. These engines define what end users can do on the cluster and ensure that clusters can communicate. Any time a Kubernetes object is created, a policy evaluates and validates or mutates the request. Policies can apply across a namespace or different pods with a specific label in the cluster.

      Kubernetes policy engines block objects that could harm or affect the cluster if they don't meet the policy's requirements. Using policies enables users to build complex configurations that other tools, such as Terraform or Ansible, cannot achieve.

      The policy landscape has evolved in recent years, and the number of policy engines available continues to increase. Newer products compete against well-established tools.

      This article highlights some features you should look for in a policy engine and where these three examples excel and underperform. It compares three popular open source policy engines, Open Policy Agent (OPA), Kyverno, and jsPolicy.

    • GNU Projects

      • 9to5Linux ☛ GNU Linux-Libre 6.2 Kernel Is Here for Software Freedom Lovers

        Based on the recently released Linux 6.2 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre 6.2 kernel (codenamed “la quinceañera”) is here to the 15th anniversary of the initial release of the Linux-libre project by Jeff Moe.

        It cleans up new blob requests in the open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA GPUs, adjusts the cleaning up of the Radeon GPU and mt7921 Wi-Fi drivers, cleans up new blobs in the vgxy61 driver, and disables blob requests in the mt7622, mt7996 Wi-Fi, and bcm4377 Bluetooth drivers.

    • Programming/Development

      • Python

        • Earthly ☛ Build a Data Dashboard with Streamlit in Python

          Streamlit is an open-source Python framework that lets you turn data scripts into shareable web apps in minutes. Streamlit makes it easy for data scientists and analysts to create and deploy interactive visualizations and dashboards for machine learning models and other Python applications.

          You need almost no experience with building front ends to get started with Streamlit. It is designed to do the heavy lifting of generating an intuitive and responsive interface from a simple Python script.

  • Leftovers

    • Minister: 118,000 buildings collapsed, severely damaged in earthquake zone

      Some 927,000 buildings have been inspected in the earthquake-hit provinces, said Murat Kurum.

    • NYPost ☛ Turkey earthquake rescuers save small dog trapped in rubble

      The video, recorded by Gurcan Ozturk on Feb. 8, shows the dog, named Pambuk, taking sips of water while it waited patiently to be freed from the rubble by rescuers.

    • ÇİĞDEM MATER INTERVIEWS MÃœCELLA YAPICI: 'Contractors are merely the hired guns and racketeers of this crooked system'

      Mücella Yapıcı, who as a UCTEA executive played an important role in the organization of the rescue teams during the 1999 earthquake, answered the questions of Çiğdem Mater, who, like her, received the news of the Maraş earthquakes in prison.

    • The Straits Times ☛ Broken wires, faulty renovation caused collapse of 145-year-old bridge in India

      At least 135 people died at the landmark hanging bridge, also a tourist spot.

    • Türkiye earthquake toll exceeds 41,000

      Search and rescue operations have been concluded in eight provinces other than MaraÅŸ and Hatay, the two hardest hit ones.

    • Earthquake death toll 'much higher than official figures,' says governor

      The governor who is coordinating the efforts in the affected provinces has apologized to the earthquake survivors.

    • Counter Punch ☛ Letter to Tim Cook, Other Ultra-rich CEOs and Hedge Fund Titans

      The victims of the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria need your help now. The surviving families and children and those rescued alive from the rubble are in serious danger in affected wintertime impoverished regions. Refugees in other places fleeing their war-torn homelands are also suffering. International aid agencies are grossly insufficient for these immediate humanitarian necessities.

      What are you Big Business Titans doing sitting on massive pay, profits and tax escapes? Awakening your consciousness for your fellow human beings may be a modest form of redemption. Further, you have access to logistics specialists, delivery systems, communication facilities and many other contacts and resources. You get your calls returned! Fast!

    • Terence Eden ☛ Shakespeare's Missing Smile

      So, can anyone find a pre-1709 version of The Winter's Tale which omits Sir Smile's smile?

      The investigation continues!

    • BBC ☛ Ukraine war: How the conflict is creating family rifts in Russia

      It is hard to get an accurate picture of exactly how people in the country feel about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, given legislation which outlaws any comments deemed to discredit the military, or which refer to the military action as a war rather than a "special military operation".

      But a survey published in November 2022 by an independent Russian research group suggests it is dividing generations - 75% of respondents aged 40 and over said they supported the war, compared with 62% of those aged 18-24.

    • Federal News Network ☛ Blinken arrives for tour of Turkey’s earthquake zone

      U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Turkey, where he set off for a tour of the earthquake disaster zone accompanied by his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. They left Incirlik air base near Adana by helicopter Sunday for nearby Hatay province, one of the areas hardest hit by the Feb. 6 quake. Blinken is on his first trip to NATO ally Turkey since he took office two years ago. He is due to visit a tent city established for those displaced by the earthquake, which has killed at least 44,000 in Turkey and Syria, before touring an aid distribution center, Turkish officials said.

    • Thomas Vander Stichele: All Teams

      "I have hands but I am doing all I can to have daily independence so I can’t be ‘all hands’ at work. I can share ideas, show up, and ask for help when I physically can’t use my hands. Belonging means folks with one hand, no hand and limited hands are valued in the workplace." - Dr. Akilah Cadet

    • Science

    • Education

      • Helsinki Times ☛ YLE publishes search engine for schools, drawing criticism

        YLE has kindled heated political and public discussion by publishing a search engine that reveals how many pupils in each primary school study Finnish as a second language.

        Minister of Education Li Andersson (LA) and Minister of Science and Culture Petri Honkonen (Centre) on Friday expressed their disapproval with the search engine, with the former viewing that it exacerbates school inequalities and stigmatises foreign-language pupils.

    • Hardware

      • MaskRay ☛ Linker notes on x86

        This article describes target-specific things about x86 in ELF linkers. I will use "x86" to refer to both x86-32 and x86-64.

      • Hackaday ☛ Pingo Is An Analog Clock That Uses Colors Instead Of Hands

        The purpose of a clock is to show the time, obviously. But if you’ve followed Hackaday for some time, you’ll know there are about a million different ways of achieving this. [illusionmanager] added yet another method in his Pingo Color Clock, which, as the name suggests, uses color as the main indicator.

      • Hackaday ☛ UV Photography Box Is Great For Shooting Fancy Rocks

        If you want to shoot photographs of various fluorescent UV-related phenomena, it’s hard to do so when ambient light is crowding out your subject. For this work, you’ll want a dedicated UV photography box, and [NotLikeALeafOnTheWind] has a design that might just work for you.

      • The Straits Times ☛ Top Chinese scientists sketch out plans to thwart US chip curbs

        The experts said Beijing should amass a portfolio of patents that govern the next generation of chipmaking.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • New York Times ☛ Many in East Palestine Seek Out Their Own Screenings for Toxic Chemicals

        The moves reflect residents’ deep-seated mistrust of government screenings of toxic chemicals and fears of long-term effects from the train derailment.

      • New York Times ☛ As the Pandemic Swept America, Deaths in Prisons Rose Nearly 50 Percent

        ‌The first comprehensive data on prison fatalities in the Covid era sheds new light on where and why prisoners were especially vulnerable.

      • Antivax lies about vaccines and infant mortality, 12 years later

        I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve written this in the three years since a novel coronavirus causing a deadly respiratory disease that came to be named COVID-19 started spreading from Asia to Europe and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, however, yet another opportunity has arisen to say it again. In the world of antivaccine misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience, everything old is new again. Antivaccine misinformation that I first encountered a decade—or even two decades!—ago has been reborn and repurposed to attack COVID-19 vaccines, while the fear of COVID-19 vaccines has led previously COVID-19 vaccine-only antivaxxers to embrace all manner of old antivaccine misinformation about vaccines other than COVID-19 vaccines. It’s an amplification loop in which old techniques of demonizing vaccines applied to COVID-19 that seem new because no one other than antivaxxers and those of us who were paying attention to antivaxxers before the pandemic had encountered it metastasize back to affect all childhood vaccines again, thus fomenting a more general vaccine hesitancy for all vaccines, even among people who would have considered themselves “pro-vaccine” before the pandemic. In brief, “new school” COVID-19 antivaxxers are increasingly becoming indistinguishable from “old school” antivaxxers. That’s why it should be no surprise that antivaxxers are taking full advantage in order to use COVID-19 vaccine mandates to attack all vaccine mandates, including school mandates. Antivaxxers are also using distrust of COVID-19 vaccines to promote general distrust of all vaccines, especially childhood vaccines

      • Federal News Network ☛ Health care vaccine mandate remains as some push for an end

        A federal mandate for health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has been in place nationally for a year. An Associated Press analysis has identified about 750 nursing homes and 110 hospitals nationwide that have been cited for violations. Most were given a bureaucratic nudge to do better — though some nursing homes were fined, especially when they also had other problems.  Some nursing home administrators say the vaccine mandate has made it harder for them to fully staff their facilities. They want the mandate to be repealed. But some public health experts say it is still protecting patients and staff.

      • New Yorker ☛ Is Artificial Light Poisoning the Planet?

        A Swedish ecologist argues that its ubiquity is wrecking our habitats—and our health.

      • Science Alert ☛ Group of Scientists Propose a New Driver of Alzheimer's Disease: Fructose

        An old survival instinct could be harming us.

      • Science Alert ☛ Mushroom Extract Shown to Dramatically Improve Brain-Cell Growth in The Lab

        In mice, memory was also boosted 'significantly'.

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • Security Week ☛ GoDaddy Says Recent Hack Part of Multi-Year Campaign

        GoDaddy recently discovered a hacker attack where a sophisticated threat group infected websites and servers with malware.

      • Pen Test Partners ☛ Finding forensics breadcrumbs in Android image storage

        Introduction Our digital forensics work is wide and varied.

      • Bruce Schneier ☛ Fines as a Security System

        Tile has an interesting security solution to make its tracking tags harder to use for stalking:

        The Anti-Theft Mode feature will make the devices invisible to Scan and Secure, the company’s in-app feature that lets you know if any nearby Tiles are following you. But to activate the new Anti-Theft Mode, the Tile owner will have to verify their real identity with a government-issued ID, submit a biometric scan that helps root out fake IDs, agree to let Tile share their information with law enforcement and agree to be subject to a $1 million penalty if convicted in a court of law of using Tile for criminal activity. [...]

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • WhichUK ☛ Scam alert: bogus Companies House email threatens legal action

          Watch out for the latest impersonation scam

        • Wladimir Palant ☛ South Korea’s banking security: Intermediate conclusions

          A while back I wrote my first overview of South Korea’s unusual approach to online security. After that I published two articles on specific applications. While I’m not done yet, this is enough information to draw some intermediate conclusions.

          TL;DR: I think that the question above can be answered with a clear “no.” The approaches make little sense given actual attack scenarios, they tend to produce security theater rather than actual security. And while security theater can sometimes be useful, the issues in question have proper solutions.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Counter Punch ☛ Spying vs. Spying

          This weekend, I went on a walk on a paved road that soon turned to dirt. The further into farmland it went, the muddier and more difficult to traverse the road became. The map function on my phone, connected by invisible strands to a satellite way above my head, continued to show me these roads, no matter how small they became. However, the map didn’t distinguish among paved, dirty, and impassable roads. I nearly lost my sneakers in the muck.

          Perhaps you have a better map function on your phone. Sophisticated satellite imaging can capture details at a 30-centimeter resolution. That’s good enough to tell whether a road is paved or unpaved. It can also determine from space what infrastructure has been destroyed in a tornado or an earthquake. Or it can peer closely at suspected nuclear weapons facilities.

        • Computer World ☛ EU parliamentary committee says 'no' to EU-US data privacy framework

          The committee's decision — formally, a draft motion for a resolution— represents a rejection of the European Commission’s recommendation, announced in December, that the data privacy framework should be adopted. The recommendation stated that US law now offers an “adequate” level of protection for the personal data of EU users of US companies’ services.

          According to the parliamentary committee, however, the proposed data privacy framework doesn’t fully comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), particularly in light of ongoing US policy that would allow for the large-scale, warrantless collection of user data for national security purposes.

        • India Times ☛ Facebook-owner Meta to roll out paid subscription

          It was not immediately clear how Zuckerberg planned to price Meta Verified in countries where users cannot afford to pay $12 a month, or in cash-based economies where they may have fewer ways to get the money to Meta.

        • Hollywood Reporter ☛ Meta to Test Verified Subscription Service for Facebook and Instagram

          The company’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed Sunday on social media that the platform will begin testing the service in Australia and New Zealand. The authentication will also include proactive account monitoring for account impersonation, direct access to customer support and increased account visibility and reach.

        • Variety ☛ Meta Launching Paid Verified Accounts for Instagram and Facebook, Starting at $12 per Month

          The company said it will build a series of checks into Meta Verified “before, during and after someone applies” for an account — and said it will be proactively monitoring subscriptions for impersonation attempts, which plagued Twitter Blue’s initial relaunch. Meta said it is committed to “taking swift action against those who try to evade our systems.”

        • Press Gazette ☛ The myth of UK tabloid newspapers and ‘kompromat’

          Have tabloid newspapers ever kept secret files for future blackmail purposes?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • CNN ☛ Worry spreads about country Putin may target next

        US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed deep concern over the security of Moldova, a small European country with Russian-backed territory bordering Ukraine. Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Russia of planning to destabilize the former Soviet republic, echoing a claim made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. CNN's Bianna Golodryga speaks with Moldovan journalist and author Paula Erizanu.

      • CNN ☛ US ambassador to the UN says China would cross 'red line' by providing lethal aid to Russia
      • Latvia ☛ 'Freedom for Ukraine' concert to take place Saturday in RÄ«ga

        On Saturday, February 25, Latvian musicians will unite for the second charity concert "Freedom for Ukraine", the organizers said.

      • RFERL ☛ 'Most Urgent Issue': Borrell Urges EU To Boost Ammunition Output To Help Ukraine Fight Russia

        EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has called on the 27-member bloc to speed up production and delivery of ammunition for Ukraine, saying that the outcome of the war with Russia could be determined by it.

      • The Age AU ☛ US President makes surprise visit to Ukraine

        It’s Joe Biden’s first visit to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country almost a year ago.

      • YLE ☛ Turkish Foreign Minister: Finland could join Nato before Sweden

        Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Turkey could process the Finnish and Swedish Nato applications at different times.

      • RFERL ☛ 'Ukraine Stands. Democracy Stands': Biden Makes Unannounced Visit To Kyiv As War Rages

        U.S. President Joe Biden has made a surprise visit to Kyiv just days ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's brutal invasion of the country.

      • The Local SE ☛ 'A welcome message': Turkey opens up for new Nato talks with Sweden

        One month after the Quran was burned outside Turkey's embassy in Stockholm, Turkey has signalled plans to recommence Nato negotiations with Sweden.

      • The Straits Times ☛ Philippines, US discuss joint coast guard patrols in South China Sea

        A Manila official did not provide details on the scale or timing of the proposed patrols.

      • The Straits Times ☛ Iran denies enriching uranium above 60%

        Iran on Monday denied reports that it has enriched uranium up to 84 per cent, just below the 90 per cent needed to produce an atomic bomb, state media reported.

      • The Straits Times ☛ China slams 'false' US claims that Beijing may arm Russia in Ukraine war

        US top diplomat Antony Blinken had said China was “considering providing lethal support” to Moscow.

      • US News And World Report ☛ Kremlin: Russia's Relations With Moldova Are Very Tense
      • Latvia ☛ Which parts of Latvia have most Russian citizens?

        Which parts of Latvia have the most Russian citizens living in them? That was the question asked by the What's Happpening in Latvia discussion show February 15.

      • Federal News Network ☛ Estonian leader: Russia must be held accountable after war

        Estonia's prime minister says once the war in Ukraine ends, Russia must be brought to justice for war crimes as well as for the decision to invade its neighbor if it is to have any chance of developing normal ties with the West. Kaja Kallas, whose small Baltic country is the biggest per-capita contributor of military aid to Ukraine, told The Associated Press that the conflict cannot end with a peace deal that carves up the country and doesn’t hold Moscow to account. She said it could not be business as usual with "a pariah state that hasn’t really given up the imperialistic goals."

      • Federal News Network ☛ N. Korea makes fresh threats, US bombers fly after ICBM test

        North Korea says its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test was meant to further bolster its “fatal” nuclear attack capability and threatened additional powerful steps over upcoming drills between the U.S. and South Korea. The United States responded to Saturday's missile launch by flying long-range supersonic bombers for separate joint exercises with South Korean and Japanese warplanes. Analysts say the missile test signals Kim Jong Un is using the rivals' drills as chance to expand North Korea's nuclear arsenal. North Korea’s official news agency says the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile on Saturday was organized “suddenly” without prior notice at Kim’s direct order.

      • AntiWar ☛ Inflation Up, Balloons Down, More War

        Well, at least we are starting to get some clarity. America is not being attacked by aliens and probably not by the Red Chinese, either. However, it is definitely being bombarded by inflation, war fever and, apparently, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB).

      • AntiWar ☛ How the World Bank and IMF Destroyed Yemen

        According to a 2009 report by the World Bank, Yemen has “world-class deposits” of gold, and the World Bank is “surprised” that the country hasn’t been mined much for gold.

      • AntiWar ☛ Iraq Daily Roundup: Four Killed

        All four were militants.

      • Science Alert ☛ Russia's Rescue Mission to The ISS Is Expected to Launch This Week

        Two spacecraft have been leaking coolant.

      • Modern Diplomacy ☛ Ibrahim Raisi at Peking University: China, and its impact on Tehran’s accession to the BRICS

        The significance of the tenth foreign visit of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to China comes in less than a year and a half of the life of his government and his speech at Peking University.

      • RFERL ☛ Russia Sells Weapons At Abu Dhabi Arms Fair Despite Sanctions Over Ukraine War

        Russia offered weapons for sale on February 20 at a biennial arms fair in the United Arab Emirates, ranging from Kalashnikov assault rifles to missile systems -- despite facing sanctions from the West over its war on Ukraine.

      • RFERL ☛ 'Navalny' Wins BAFTA Award For Best Documentary

        The documentary Navalny, directed by Canadian director Daniel Roer, has won the BAFTA, Britain's premier film award, for best documentary.

      • RFERL ☛ Jailed Activist Pivovarov Finally Located In Notorious Russian Penal Colony

        Associates of Andrei Pivovarov say the jailed activist has been located in a cell-type room (PKT) at the notorious IK-7 penal colony in Segezha after relatives and rights groups demanded information about his current whereabouts following what they called his "forced disappearance."

      • RFERL ☛ NATO Accession For Sweden, Finland 'Is Not A Bilateral Issue,' Blinken Says In Ankara

        U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on February 20 that Washington strongly supports Sweden and Finland's quick NATO accession given the steps they have already taken, even as his Turkish counterpart stressed the need for more concrete steps.

      • RFERL ☛ Russia Presses Ahead With Offensive In East Despite Kyiv's Claims Of 'Extraordinarily Significant' Losses

        Russian forces kept pounding military positions and civilian settlements in eastern and southern Ukraine, Kyiv said on February 20, despite what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called "extraordinarily significant" Russian losses in key disputed areas of the Donetsk region.

      • New York Times ☛ U.S. Warnings to China on Arms Aid for Russia’s War Portend Global Rift

        Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken says Washington has indications that Beijing is strongly considering giving military aid to Moscow for the war in Ukraine.

      • Scheerpost ☛ Chris Hedges: Rage Against The War Machine Speech

        Hedges spoke at the Washington DC rally on Feb. 19 alongside an array of other notable speakers.

      • Counter Punch ☛ History Lessons for Antifascists

        In the dominant liberal political imaginary, fascist and far-right movements are framed as problems of hate and extremism. [1] The global extremism industry – a network of government ministries, intelligence agencies, military and police forces, university research centers, think tanks, media outlets, and government-oriented NGOs – dutifully serves the ruling class by occluding liberalism’s complicity with fascism by placing antifascist movements on an extremism spectrum that also includes violent fascist formations, a mystification aimed at policing the Left and criminalizing antifascists. [2]

        Given the tangle of distortions concerning how fascism is understood, research-based information and analysis from radical and critical perspectives are crucial for antifascist resistance. [3] Antifascist histories and the lessons that can be drawn from past struggles have been the focus of two recent U.S.-based academic projects. A conference on “Anti-Fascism in the 21st Century,” hosted by Hofstra University and organized to coincide with the centenary of the March on Rome, brought together scholars and activists from the United States, Canada, and Europe in early November 2022. [4] Also launched at the same time,  The April Institute is a collective organized to advance public knowledge about the long history of antifascism in the United States. In stressing the importance of antifascist projects informed by scholarship that excavates movement histories, this work differs from much of the research in the field, whose narrow focus on hate crime, terrorism, and ideologically-motivated violent extremism (IMVE) deploys conceptual frameworks which shore up agendas set by the state security apparatus but contribute little to an understanding of the dynamics of fascism in crisis-riven capitalist societies. [5]

      • Federal News Network ☛ Michigan State struggles with uncertain return to classes

        Michigan State University is set to return to classes on Monday amid pressure from some in the community to further delay the return. Two of professor Marco Díaz-Muñoz's students died in the Feb. 13 mass shooting on campus after the gunman entered his classroom and began shooting. While Díaz-Muñoz is still processing what happened that night, he said in an interview with The Associated Press that he plans to return next week to teach because he needs “to help my students pick up the pieces.” In an email sent out Friday, university officials said all students would be given the option of credit/no credit this semester and asked teachers to be flexible with assignments going forward.

      • NYPost ☛ Biden arrives in Kyiv on surprise visit to Ukraine

        The president made the top-secret visit to Kyiv Monday, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky in a show of solidarity as the Ukrainian capital has been threatened by missile attacks from Russian forces.

      • RFERL ☛ Key Afghan-Pakistani Border Crossing Closed; Border Guards Exchange Fire

        Pakistani and Afghan border guards exchanged fire at a key crossing between the two neighbors on February 20, Pakistani officials said.

      • RFERL ☛ IAEA Says In Discussions With Iran After Report Of Enrichment

        The UN's nuclear watchdog said on February 19 that it was discussing the results of recent verification activities with Iran after Bloomberg News reported the agency had detected uranium enriched to 84 percent purity, which is close to weapons grade.

      • teleSUR ☛ Thousands Marched Against the Munich Security Conference

        Over 30,000 peace activists strongly expressed their opposition to NATO and its claim to increase the arms supply in Ukraine.

      • teleSUR ☛ Shootings in New Orleans and Memphis Leave Two Dead

        As of Sunday, the United States has lost nearly 5,800 lives to gun violence so far this year.

      • New Yorker ☛ Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s Minister of Chaos

        As unrest roils the country, a controversial figure from the far right helps Benjamin Netanyahu hold on to power.

      • New Yorker ☛ A Year of War in Ukraine

        David Remnick talks with the historian Stephen Kotkin and the Kyiv-based journalist Sevgil Musaieva about a year of disaster, and what a Ukrainian victory would look like.

      • Quartz ☛ Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv ahead of the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

        US president Joe Biden’s public itinerary said he’d be heading to Poland today (Feb. 20). Instead, he’s made an appearance in central Kyiv.

    • Environment

      • Counter Punch ☛ Humanity’s Secret War Against the Environment, Ourselves, and Our Children

        There is a conflict between ecocentric people struggling for freedom, and anthropocentric people threatening that freedom. This conflict, which happens beneath the surface of most media, constitutes a “secret war” for what the future of Earth will be.

        This secret war involves groups of people across the world using ecocidal pro-growth and inequitable family policies, as well as anthropocentric environmentalism, to quietly undo the progress that the world seemed to be making on multiple fronts: child equity, climate crisis mitigation, animal protection, as well as ensuring functional democracies. These groups involve many nonprofits that are knowingly undoing with one hand the success they claim to be making with the other. This last category of undoing—regarding our democracies—makes these family policies a secret war on freedom as well.

      • Federal News Network ☛ UN ocean treaty talks resume with goal to save biodiversity

        United Nations members gather Monday in New York to resume efforts to forge a long-awaited and elusive treaty to safeguard the world’s marine biodiversity. Nearly two-thirds of the ocean lies outside national boundaries on the high seas where fragmented and unevenly enforced rules seeks to minimize human impacts. The goal of the U.N. meetings, running through March 3, is to produce a unified agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of those vast marine ecosystems. Negotiations were suspended last fall without agreement on a final treaty.

      • Energy/Transportation

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter Punch ☛ Stop Slaughtering Our National Animal
        • Federal News Network ☛ Japanese bid farewell to beloved panda returning to China

          Thousands of Japanese fans, some wiping away tears, bid farewell to a beloved Japanese-born giant panda that made her final public appearance before flying to her home country, China. Sunday’s viewing was limited to 2,600 lucky ones who won their tickets in an extremely competitive lottery. But many others who didn’t win came anyway to say their goodbyes from outside of the panda house. Though she was born and grew up at the Tokyo zoo, Xiang Xiang, whose parents are on loan from China, must return to that country. China sends pandas abroad as a sign of goodwill but maintains ownership over the animals and any cubs they produce. The animals are native to southwestern China and are an unofficial national mascot.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Meduza ☛ Lawmakers abolish direct mayoral elections in Novosibirsk — Meduza

        The legislative assembly of Russia’s Novosibirsk region has passed a law abolishing direct elections for the mayor of Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city, state media reported on Monday.

      • Meduza ☛ Zelensky says Ukraine will fight to keep Bakhmut, but not ‘at all costs’ — Meduza

        In an interview with Italian media on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that while defending the city of Bakhmut is important to Ukraine, the country isn’t willing to defend it “at all costs.”

      • Counter Punch ☛ US Anti-Socialism Resolution Demeans US Allies

        The anti-socialism resolution passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month sent a chilling message not only to socialists in the United States but to many U.S. friends and allies around the world.

        By backing a resolution that “denounces socialism in all its forms,” policymakers condemned a broad range of U.S. partners who have implemented various kinds of socialist policies. As several House members acknowledged during the debate over the resolution, the United States has a long history of working with socialist allies and trading partners around the world.

      • Counter Punch ☛ While We’re Laughing About a Balloon; Biden Paves a Path to War

        There is reason to be alarmed by the recent China balloon. However, that reason is not the alleged China aggression but the very calculated aggression towards China by the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. This hate and the manufactured reasons for it have been layering on for years. We’ve seen this playbook. It’s the same game plan that  led us to the war on Iraq.

        The U.S. is trying to contain and control China’s growth as a world power by using its military and economic powers. Just as it wanted to control the oil in the middle east.

      • Counter Punch ☛ Can Antonio Guterres Become Solon?

        Antonio Guterres is the Secretary General of the United Nations. Solon was an Athenian statesman, constitutional reformer, and poet of the late seventh and sixth century, BCE, c. 630 -560 BCE. More than 2,600 years separate these two politicians. However, they are united by political virtue. Both tried to prevent a calamity and, in general, both tried to improve their societies. Solon shook off Athens’ burdens of inequality and debt slavery, and Guterres has been trying to convince world leaders to stop burning fossil fuels threatening Earth and civilization.

      • Federal News Network ☛ Tunisia orders top European trade union official expelled

        Tunisian President Kais Saied has accused Europe's top trade union official of interfering with the North African country's “internal affairs” and ordered her to leave the country within 24 hours. Esther Lynch, the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation was in Tunisia over the weekend in solidarity with the country's influential General Labor Union, whose leaders have been arrested and harassed in a crackdown on those opposed to the increasingly authoritarian president. Lynch addressed the protesters in the port city of Sfax on Saturday. The Tunisian presidency said in a tweet that her “statements made during the ... demonstration interfered with Tunisian internal affairs.”

      • Modern Diplomacy ☛ Power Dynamics in Indo-Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities for Pakistan

        The world can be understood cartographically in three ways; geographical demarcations, political boundaries, or mental maps. Indo-Pacific is also a mental map or intellectual interpretation that has gained significant attention in recent times.

      • Modern Diplomacy ☛ India-Pakistan trade

        As Pakistan struggles to cope with a dire economic crisis, several Pakistani commentators, including formal policymakers, as well as large sections of the country’s business community have underscored the need for long-term solutions to put the country’s economy back on the rails.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Spiegel ☛ How a Covert Firm Spreads Lies and Chaos Around the World

          Former Israeli agents have apparently manipulated nearly three dozen elections. Their clients: power-hungry politicians and wealthy businessmen. They are part of a rapidly growing global disinformation industry in which Russia is far from the only player.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Dennis Crouch/Patently-O ☛ A Free Speech Right to Accuse Others of Patent Infringement

          Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets out a bold goal for civil litigation: “the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.”  Patent litigation is rarely speedy; quite expensive; and, many would argue, often unjust.  In the case below, one party attempted some quick relief via preliminary injunction, but the Federal Circuit has vacated on free-speech grounds.

        • IPH Sues Again, as Competition Hots Up for Australian and New Zealand Patent Filings in 2022 [Ed: More monopolies is not more wealth]

          As I recently reported, Australian (standard) patent filings in 2022 remained close to the historic highs of the previous year.  This implies, of course, that patent attorneys filing applications on behalf of domestic and foreign clients should, overall, also have maintained high numbers of new filings.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Only I can change my life

        > Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. -- Carol Burnett

      • 🔤SpellBinding: BDLMOWR Wordo: ILEUS
      • Cosmic Go

        One of the sadnesses of the AI era of Go has been the demise of the influence-based “Cosmic” Go of people like 武宮正樹 (Takemiya) and 吳 清源 (Go Seigen) in favor of a focus on solid points, stable games, reducing chaos, settling tactical victories, territory above all.

        Even the legendary ear-reddening move was scoffed at by AI in favor of corner territory, not even considering it among the top four moves, even seeing it as a losing move.

    • Politics

      • Robot Meets Doomer

        Governments are not being very helpful. They’re at war with each other, and incentivized to scare up votes rather than effect real solutions. It’s also difficult to incentivize and invest and to use growth-based plans when one of the fundamental issues is that (because of transaction externalities) adapting to global warming reduces the resources we thouht we had compared to when we thought we could just drill and burn for all eternity. So becoming aware of the realities of fossils is depriving humanity of a resource we thought we had. Faced with such deprivation, it’s difficult to bribe our way out of it.

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

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