Saturday, 31 July

11:07

Easily confused [Seth's Blog]

There are countless arguments about words that we often don’t understand the way someone else might.

Words like education, learning, merit, talent, skill, privilege, smart and successful.

They might not mean what we think they do.

Well-educated isn’t the same thing as smart.

Talents are different than skills.

Learning is not the same as education.

Successful isn’t the same as rich.

Agreeing on what we mean is a great place to begin.

06:56

Russ Allbery: Summer haul [Planet Debian]

July ended up being a very busy month for me catching up on all sorts of things that I'd been putting off for too long, so posts have been a bit scarce recently. So have book reviews; I'm hoping to sneak one in before the end of the month tomorrow, and have a small backlog.

But for tonight, here's another list of random books, mostly new releases, that caught my eye.

Katherine Addison — The Witness for the Dead (sff)
Olivia Atwater — Half a Soul (sff)
Lloyd Biggle, Jr. — The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets (sff)
Judson Brewer — Unwinding Anxiety (nonfiction)
Eliot Brown & Maureen Farrell — The Cult of We (nonfiction)
Becky Chambers — A Psalm for the Wild-Built (sff)
Susanna Clarke — Piranesi (sff)
Eve L. Ewing — Ghosts in the Schoolyard (nonfiction)
Michael Lewis — The Premonition (nonfiction)
Courtney Milan — The Duke Who Didn't (romance)
Kit Rocha — Deal with the Devil (sff)
Tasha Suri — The Jasmine Throne (sff)
Catherynne M. Valente — The Past is Red (sff)

Quite a variety of things recently. Of course, I'm currently stalled on a book I'm not enjoying very much (but want to finish anyway since I like reviewing all award nominees).

03:49

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppAnnoy 0.0.19 on CRAN: Maintenance [Planet Debian]

annoy image

A minor maintenance release, now at version 0.0.19, of RcppAnnoy is now on CRAN. RcppAnnoy is the Rcpp-based R integration of the nifty Annoy library by Erik Bernhardsson. Annoy is a small and lightweight C++ template header library for very fast approximate nearest neighbours—originally developed to drive the famous Spotify music discovery algorithm.

This release only contains internal packaging changes. Nothing changes upstream, or in package functionality. Detailed changes follow.

Changes in version 0.0.19 (2021-07-30)

  • Minor tweaks to default CI setup and DESCRIPTION file

Courtesy of my CRANberries, there is also a diffstat report for this release.

If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can sponsor me at GitHub.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Friday, 30 July

22:35

Pluralistic: 30 Jul 2021 [Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow]


Today's links



Hello Kitty 40k mashup - an image depicting mecha Hello Kitties amid warring armies of power-armored Sanrio characters.

Games Workshop declares war on its customers (again) (permalink)

There's a difference between a con-artist and a grifter. A con-artist is just a gabby mugger, and when they vanish with your money, you know you've been robbed.

A grifter, on the other hand, is someone who can work the law to declare your stuff to be their stuff, which makes you a lawless cur because your pockets are stuffed full of their money and merely handing it over is the least you can do to make up for your sin.

IP trolls are grifters, not con artists, and that's by design, a feature of the construction of copyright and trademark law.

Progressives may rail at the term "IP" for its imprecision, but truly, it has a very precise meaning: "'IP' is any law that lets me control the conduct of my customers, competitors and critics, such that they must arrange their affairs to my benefit."

https://locusmag.com/2020/09/cory-doctorow-ip/

In that regard, it is a perfect grifter's tool – a way to put you on the wrong side of the line for simply living your life in the way that works best for you, not the grifter.

Now, copyright and trademark's framers were alive to the possibility that they might become this kind of weapon, and they wrote limitations and exceptions into each doctrine that were meant to safeguard the public's right to free speech and free action.

But those limitations and exceptions are weirdly self-eviscerating. Both trademark and copyright's limitations assume that they aren't being weaponized by immoral sociopaths. Both collapse if they are.

Take copyright. Copyright has a suite of limitations and exceptions under various global legal systems, including US law. US law also contains a specific set of exceptions colloquially called "fair use," a subject of much mystification for lay people.

Under fair use, someone accused of copyright infringement can ask a judge to find that their use of someone else's copyrighted work is permissible because to deny it would be socially harmful.

The fair use law sets out four factors that judges MAY consider when considering such a claim. Note that these four factors are neither comprehensive (judges can weigh other factors), nor dispositive (failing to satisfy a factor doesn't disqualify your use from being fair).

If that sounds confusing to you, don't worry. It is confusing. As the lawyers say, "fair use is fact-intensive."

The specifics of a use really matter: who's making the use, what they're using, why they're using it, how they use it, and how much they use.

That's why anyone who claims that "X is never fair use" (for example, commercial fanfic) are full of shit – as are people who say "X is always fair use").

Commercial fanfic absolutely can be fair use. No less a body than the Supreme Court says so:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_Done_Gone

Despite all this ambiguity and nuance, IP grifters who want to force other people to arrange their affairs to their own benefit are laser focused on the four factors, reasoning correctly that if they show a judge that the factors favor them, they're more likely to prevail.

Half of the four factors are out of the grifter's reach. As a rightsholder, you can't control "the purpose and character of the use," or "the amount and substantiality of the portion used."

But the other two factors are more readily within the IP wielder's remit. As someone seeking control a work, you can frame "to the nature of the copyrighted work" by talking up how much creativity and originality went into it, which judges will weigh in your favor.

More importantly – and disturbingly – is the way that an IP holder can influence the fourth factor: "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Think about that fourth factor for a moment here: if my use of your work doesn't cost you any money, then it's more likely that my use is fair.

The corollary: if you can bully some people into paying for something they've always gotten for free, then you can claim that the people who refuse to pay are ripping you off – that there is a "market" for the use, and that their failure to pay weakens that market.

This is effectively what's happened to music sampling. Seminal albums like "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" were produced with thousands of uncleared samples – but at the time, no one was clearing samples.

https://memex.craphound.com/2011/07/08/creative-license-how-the-hell-did-sampling-get-so-screwed-up-and-what-the-hell-do-we-do-about-it/

Had the rightsholders to those samples dragged Public Enemy into court, they wouldn't have had the fourth factor on their side. No one was paying for samples, so a failure to pay for samples had no "effect on the potential market for the copyrighted work."

However, in the 33 years since Nation of Millions dropped, paying to license samples has become common practice – and the mere existence of paid samples makes not paying for samples more legally risky.

So say a rightsholder decided to aggressively license simple quotations – as the Associated Press did in 2008, when it offered to sell you a license to a 5-word quotation for a mere $12.50.

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010341.html

All other things being equal, a short quotation from a news article is likely to be fair use. But if the AP managed to terrorize enough bloggers into coughing up $12.50 for a 5-word quote, it could create a market for 5-word quotations.

That market would change the fair use argument for people who don't pay – yes, they're making a transformative, critical use, but they're also undermining the market for the copyright, and a judge might find this change tips the scales away from fair use.

Even more importantly, the additional uncertainty might stampede more people into paying $12.50 for a 5-word quote rather than risk a $250,000 statutory damages award for copyright infringement.

The more people who pay for 5-word quotes, the sturdier the market becomes and the riskier it is to rely upon fair use.

The fourth factor looks like an escape valve for uses that harm no one.

But it actually rewards to bullies who intimidate others out of money they don't actually owe – until they do.

Trademark has a similar gotcha. Trademark is very different from copyright. Fundamentally, trademark is about protecting buyers, not sellers. Trademark meant to help buyers avoid being tricked into buying an inferior product because it was deceptively named or styled.

If you buy a can of Coke, you want the true Black Water of American Imperialism, not an inferior brand of dilute battery-acid.

But if your Coke turns out to be a fake, you might shrug off the harm or balk at the expense of punishing the fast operator who mis-sold you.

So trademark empowers Coke – and other vendors – to punish third parties who trick their customers, acting as their customers' champions. Trademark doesn't exist to prevent Coke from losing money to a rival – it exists to help Coke drinkers get what they pay for.

Trademarks can be registered with the USPTO, who nominally weigh trademark applications to ensure that they're distinctive and original. Practically, examiners are busy, sometimes careless, and ideologically inclined to grant, not deny, claims.

https://memex.craphound.com/2018/06/14/son-of-cocky-a-writer-is-trying-to-trademark-dragon-slayer-for-fantasy-novels/

But you don't have to register a trademark to assert it. You can threaten or pursue legal action on the grounds that someone has violated an unregistered trademark, which is any distinctive graphic or phrase that is associated with your product.

Registered or unregistered, trademark enforcement primarily comes down to whether a "naive consumer" would be mislead by someone else's use of a mark. That is, when you bought a Coke-branded sack of chicken feet, did you think it was blessed by the Coca-Cola company?

If there's no likelihood of confusion, trademark holders struggle to enforce their trademarks.

This standard seems reasonable, but, like the fourth factor in fair use, it has a sting in its tail.

One of the ways you can induce confusion in the public is to gain a reputation for being a litigious bully. Say Coke is known far and wide for clobbering anyone that uses its trademarks, no matter how trivial the use and no matter how bad it made them look.

If Coke is truly notorious for its zero-tolerance policy, that will lead to a widespread public understanding that every time you see Coke's marks, the use was blessed by a Coke lawyer – meaning a use that might not otherwise be found to be confusing can be made confusing.

"If that was any other company's trademark, I'd assume that they had nothing to do with it – but since I know Coke has an army of baby-eating attack lawyers who destroy anyone who uses a mark without permission, that must be an authorized use."

Like fair use's fourth factor, trademark's confusion standard rewards the most vicious and uncaring businesspeople with new rights that their more reasonable competitors do not enjoy. IP selects for sociopathy.

Now, IP – in the most sinister sense of the phrase – has pervaded every industry, but the contradictions of IP are felt most keenly in its spawning grounds: the culture industry.

Culture is in tension with the control of ideas, because culture is the spread of ideas.

Creators (and execs) are vulnerable to the pirate/admiral fallacy: "When I take from my forebears, that's legitimate artistic progress. When my successors do it to me, it's theft."

This pathology, combined with ready-to-hand IP weapons, incentivizes all manner of wickedness. Remember when Marvel and DC teamed up in a bid to trademark the word "super-hero" so that no one else would be allowed to use it?

https://memex.craphound.com/2006/03/18/marvel-comics-stealing-our-language/

These perverse incentives are made tragic by the inherently participatory nature of culture.

It's not merely that Marvel and DC wanted to steal the word "super-hero" right out of our mouths.

It's that super-heroes are culturally important because of how we take and remix them in our lives. Marvel went on to use the law to stop us from pretending to be superheroes online, something Casey Fiesler called "Pretending Without a License."

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277598023_Pretending_Without_a_License_Intellectual_Property_and_Gender_Implications_in_Online_Games

Which brings me, at last, to Games Workshop, a company that has consistently led the IP bully pack, indiscriminately terrorizing the Warhammer 40k fans who made it a massive commercial success.

Warhammer is a strategy/roleplaying game that is played with miniature creatures that players buy, modify and paint. If you're not familiar with all this, maybe this sounds a bit like toy soldiers.

It's a lot more interesting – not just because of the game rules or lore, but because of the incredibly, unbelievable, jaw-dropping virtuosity of Warhammer players when they paint and style those miniatures.

There's a reason I look forward to Saturday morning's weekly linkdump from Jonathan Struan of the week's best Warhammer and other RPG miniatures:

https://www.superpunch.net/search?q=warhammer&max-results=20&by-date=true

and why I follow incredible painters like Aurelie Schick:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/110246635@N06

Warhammer is intrinsically participatory, co-creative and active – it's not media you consume, it's media you produce.

Games Workshop has become fantastically rich off of this…and they hate it, and they always have.

For years they've pursued fans for producing their own fan-made supplements and additions to the game:

https://www.lumendatabase.org/notices/99301

The more Warhammer players complained about the indiscriminate censorship of their fan media, the harder GW cracked down on them, wiping out whole genres of creative work:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933/games-workshop-files-purge-09

GW claimed it was only defending its rights, the grifter's signature move, making you a crook for having the audacity not to put their shareholders' interests ahead of your own.

Then Games Workshop claimed a trademark on "space marine," a generic term that had been widely used in science fiction for decades, including, notably, in Heinlein's classic "Starship Troopers" (1959).

https://web.archive.org/web/20130207002144/http://mcahogarth.org/?p=10593

They didn't just go after RPGs that used the phrase – they used trademark claims to remove novels from Amazon for having the phrase in their titles.

"Space marine" is a generic phrase, but GW was betting if they were sufficiently, spectacularly brutal in their enforcement, they could create a proprietary interest: "Now, I know GW destroys anyone who uses 'space marine,' so this 'space marine' must be endorsed by GW."

GW just launched a new set of terms of service, including: "individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters. These are only to be created under licence from Games Workshop."

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-WW/Intellectual-Property-Guidelines

Now, this isn't how copyright works. There are many ways in which a fan film or animation could be fair use, no matter whether GW forbids or permits their production. But this isn't mere overreach: it's a direct play against the fourth factor in fair use.

If GW can establish that all animations and vids are produced under paid license, then any fanvid that doesn't pay for a license has a weaker fair use case, because the fourth factor protects existing licensing markets.

Indeed, as Rob Beschizza points out on Boing Boing, GW timed the terms of service change to coincide with the announcement that they're launching a subscription service including "cartoons, in-house hobby videos, access to a vault of ebooks and mags."

https://www.pcgamer.com/now-even-warhammer-has-a-subscription-service/

This is bullying with a business-model, in other words. Fans have figured out how to have fun with each other for free, and GW wants them to stop and pay the company for its in-house version of that fun.

Warhammer creators are demoralized and disheartened. The creator of the hugely successful Oculus Imperia Youtube series posted a heart-rending message of surrender.

https://twitter.com/OculusImperia/status/1421136444437970949

Oculus Imperia also edits "If The Emperor Had A Text To Speech Device," (TTS) another beloved Warhammer fan series. Alfabusa from TTS posted his own absolutely demoralized goodbye to his work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXljeaktnDA

Ironically, both channels would have a stronger fair use case if they mocked and criticized Warhammer, rather than celebrating it, as fair use tips favorably towards critical uses.

The fact is, they love their hobby and its community and they want to improve it, not tear it down.

Neither wants to get dragged into a brutal copyright case against a deep-pocketed corporation. Even people with great fair use cases balk at that:

https://waxy.org/2011/06/kind_of_screwed/

Now, some people might be thinking, what's the big deal? Why don't these creators just make up their own stories instead of remixing the ones that come from Games Workshop?

Those people are assholes.

All stories are fanfic of some kind or another. Every mystery novel is a remix of Poe's Murders In the Rue Morgue. Games Workshop's stories are the thrice-brewed teabags of many sf writers (remember "space marines?").

Tolkien straight up ripped off his characters from the 1000-year-old Norse poem "Elder Edda," which features dwarves named "Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Nori, Dori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur."

https://musingsofatolkienist.blogspot.com/2015/07/hobbit-origins-catalog-of-dwarves.html

Culture is made of other culture.

GW made something wonderful with Warhammer – by plundering the stories that preceded it.

The sin isn't in the taking, it's in the pretense that it never happened, and the vicious grifting that punishes anyone who does unto GW as they did unto everyone else.



This day in history (permalink)

#15yrsago Melbourne mall defends its photons from terrorists https://www.theage.com.au/national/picture-this-city-puts-photo-ban-in-the-frame-20060730-ge2tga.html

#10yrsago Sleepy English town to be entirely surveilled in case criminals forget and drive through it on their way to crimes https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8670642/Sleepy-market-town-surrounded-by-ring-of-car-cameras.html

#5yrsago How to pay no taxes at all! (if you’re Apple, Google or Facebook) https://www.change.org/p/iphone7boycott-make-apple-pay-its-fair-share-in-tax

#5yrsago Lessons from the DNC: Ronald Reagan, the Southern Strategy, and “abnormal politics” https://crookedtimber.org/2016/07/30/philadelphia-stories-from-reagan-to-trump-to-the-dnc/

#1yrago Interop to the rescue https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#interop-competition

#1yrago Why sweat smells https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#no-sweatski

#1yrago Solar heroin https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#solar-heroin

#1yrago Mexico's new copyright vs cybersecurity https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#ciberseguridad



Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources: Boing Boing (https://boingboing.net/), @thejaymo (https://twitter.com/thejaymo), @GhoulTech (https://twitter.com/GhoulTech), Ed Schan (https://twitter.com/beigebelt).

Currently writing:

  • Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. Yesterday's progress: 264 words (12160 words total)
  • A Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. PLANNING

  • A nonfiction book about excessive buyer-power in the arts, co-written with Rebecca Giblin, "The Shakedown." FINAL EDITS

  • A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED

  • A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

Latest podcast: Tech Monopolies and the Insufficient Necessity of Interoperability https://craphound.com/news/2021/07/12/tech-monopolies-and-the-insufficient-necessity-of-interoperability/
Upcoming appearances:

Reset the Internet? (Project Syndicate)
https://www.project-syndicate.org/podcasts/reset-the-internet

Latest book:

Upcoming books:

  • The Shakedown, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press 2022

This work licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. That means you can use it any way you like, including commercially, provided that you attribute it to me, Cory Doctorow, and include a link to pluralistic.net.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Quotations and images are not included in this license; they are included either under a limitation or exception to copyright, or on the basis of a separate license. Please exercise caution.


How to get Pluralistic:

Blog (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

Pluralistic.net

Newsletter (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

https://pluralistic.net/plura-list

Mastodon (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

https://mamot.fr/web/accounts/303320

Medium (no ads, paywalled):

https://doctorow.medium.com/

(Latest Medium column: "Now you’ve got two problems," part three of a series on themepark design, queing theory, immersive entertainment, and load-balancing. https://doctorow.medium.com/now-youve-got-two-problems-part-iii-45e1328c5ae1)

Twitter (mass-scale, unrestricted, third-party surveillance and advertising):

https://twitter.com/doctorow

Tumblr (mass-scale, unrestricted, third-party surveillance and advertising):

https://mostlysignssomeportents.tumblr.com/tagged/pluralistic

"When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla" -Joey "Accordion Guy" DeVilla

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Skin Is Naturally Anti-microbial [Schneier on Security]

Often it feels like squid just evolved better than us mammals.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

22:28

News Post: Power Bottom [Penny Arcade]

Tycho: We've been playing a lot of Unite, enough to have an opinion on it when motherfuckers skirt the social order. We made a joke in the lobby that it was gonna be us and everybody else in Bot Lane, but then it happened for really reals so I had to make note of it in the script doc. Even if Unite gives you tools to communicate it, and even if you use those tools, the game doesn't really drill in MOBA basics to every player. So I'm not actually mad if there's a party in my lane, and even if I were, it would be of short duration. A full game is ten minutes! I don't need them…

21:21

New Books and ARCs, 7/30/21 [Whatever]

If we have to come to the end of July, at least we have this lovely stack of new books and ARCs to send it off. What here would you like to take with you into the dog days of August? Share in the comments.

— JS

20:56

It’s the Great Gygax, Charlie Brown! – DORK TOWER 30.07.21 [Dork Tower]

Beome a DORK TOWER Patreon! Dork Tower is 100% reader-funded, and updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, thanks its generous Patreon supporters. The next goal is four strips a week! Enlist in the Army of Dorkness today, and help us reach that! We have a ton of fun! Also: swag!

19:56

Be the hero of your own stories, with $113 of awesome RPGs! [Humble Bundle Blog]

We’ve all seen The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Goonies, and so on. Epic adventures that start simply, but

Continue reading

The post Be the hero of your own stories, with $113 of awesome RPGs! appeared first on Humble Bundle Blog.

Make games. Find the Cure. Save Lives! [Humble Bundle Blog]

We’re working with Itch.io and JDRF to help Find The Cure for Type 1 Diabetes. To do that, we’re joining

Continue reading

The post Make games. Find the Cure. Save Lives! appeared first on Humble Bundle Blog.

Explore the stars, one tabletop grid at a time! [Humble Bundle Blog]

Looking for your next tabletop adventure? Look up, and turn to the stars. Paizo’s Starfinder is the perfect place to

Continue reading

The post Explore the stars, one tabletop grid at a time! appeared first on Humble Bundle Blog.

Early access to all-star games, now in one bundle! [Humble Bundle Blog]

Waiting for games to be completely finished can be tough, we know. Sometimes you just want to be a part

Continue reading

The post Early access to all-star games, now in one bundle! appeared first on Humble Bundle Blog.

19:28

Link [Scripting News]

Anyone who still loves the guy with the bad combover is a Trumphole™.

Carl Sagan [Scripting News]

It's always a good time to watch the Pale Blue Dot, regain perspective.

18:49

I Am Parting With My Crypto Library [Schneier on Security]

The time has come for me to find a new home for my (paper) cryptography library. It’s about 150 linear feet of books, conference proceedings, journals, and monographs — mostly from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

My preference is that it goes to an educational institution, but will consider a corporate or personal home if that’s the only option available. If you think you can break it up and sell it, I’ll consider that as a last resort. New owner pays all packaging and shipping costs, and possibly a purchase price depending on who you are and what you want to do with the library.

If you are interested, please email me. I can send photos.

18:42

Mandatory tracking [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Medicaid home care workers are now required to carry "smart"phones with a specific nonfree app which tracks them.

Getting rid of Amazon rain forest [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Bolsonaro's logging railway would push the Amazon rain forest over the tipping point, and more or less get rid of it.

Covid strategy [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*The British government’s Covid strategy was never designed to manage the virus.* Bogus Johnson projected an air of bumbling, *using the facade of incompetence to narrow the political choices available to the public.*

Proud of destitute [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Millions of destitute Britons rely on charity handouts, yet ministers feel no shame.*

What Tories feel is pride — they have been working towards this result for a decade.

Secret vaccination [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Some Americans get vaccinated secretly to avoid showing that they disagree with the trumpets around them.

It is good to get vaccinated, but we need you to stand up and say so, to help weaken the intimidatory power of the Republican death cult.

Ban on fossil fuel infrastructure [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Whatcom county in Washington has banned all new fossil fuel infrastructure.

That county has refineries and other fossil fuel facilities, so the refusal to construct more could have a direct impact, as well as setting an example.

Withholding communications [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Steven Donziger has been convicted of withholding his Ecuadorian peasant clients' privileged communications from Chevron, and he has been sentenced to 6 months in jail.

He will appeal, in the hope that a judge that wasn't selected by Chevron will overturn the decision.

Enough CO2 to cause death [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Three-four average Americans' lifetime CO2 emissions are roughly enough to cause the death of one additional person from global heating effects.

Sabotaging trains [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Supporters of pipeline resistance in Canada are sabotaging trains in ways that can derail them.

I oppose the pipeline, and I admire support nonviolent civil disobedience in that cause. However, to risk causing a disaster cannot be called "nonviolent"; it is going too far.

Plutocratist opposition [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

President Castillo will encounter powerful opposition in Peru's congress, which is dominated by plutocratist parties.

Action against broadcasters [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

President Saied of Tunisia seems to be taking action against broadcasters. It is not clear how far that will go or whether it calls for condemnation.

Breaking up supermarket chains [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

New Zealand is considering breaking up the two large supermarket chains. With just two competitors, they can both gouge.

I suggest having at least six competitors.

Factory farms [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Factory farms pollute rivers, lakes and oceans, drive global heating, and make so much meat that people in many countries make themselves sick. Some senators support a bill to eliminate factory farms in the US, over a period of two decades.

Anti-lockdown protests [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Australian officials reviled anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney for "filthy, risky behavior", as well as fining them.

I disagree with the protesters' position; I'm convinced that Sydney needs a more complete shutdown in order to suppress the outbreak faster. ("Shutdown" is not quite the same thing as "lockdown".) However, their right to protest is another matter. Prohibiting protest is repression. The right to protest is sacred to democracy.

There are clearly things that protesters could do which risk spreading Covid-19 — for instance, failing to keep their distance from each other and everyone else. Protesters must obey rules like that, to keep the protest safe for each other and everyone else.

However, the article does not report that most of these protesters did things that endangered anyone. What officials call "filthy" appears to be simply a matter of breaking a rule about travelling more than 5km away from home.

It is not more dangerous to travel 6km than 4km. The rule is clearly meant as a rough approximation to reduce the overall level of travel and social intercourse.

That might be a helpful measure in general, but they should make an exception for a protest now and then.

17:14

Link [Scripting News]

It's always a good time to watch the Pale Blue Dot, regain perspective.

16:56

Jonathan Dowland: Accounting: pooling income [Planet Debian]

I wrote about budgeting nine years ago and I've been a little reluctant to write about it again: by far, it's the blog post that has attracted the most requests from people asking me to link to their blog, site, or service.

I wasn't good at budgeting then and I'm still not good at it now, although I have learned a few things in the intervening time. Those things more properly relate to accounting than budgeting (so there's the first thing: I learned the difference!). I wanted to write about some of the things I've learned since then, starting with our family's approach to pooling income.

Pooling

From talking to friends about how they manage stuff, this doesn't seem to be a common approach. We pay all our income into a shared account. We agree on an amount of "play money" that we can individually spend on whatever we like, and we pay that amount to ourselves from the shared account every month. Crucially, the amount we pick is the same for each of us, irrespective of our relative incomes. All of our shared family expenses come out of the shared account.

Some of my friends, especially (exclusively) the bread-winners, find this a bit alarming. One of the things I like about it is that whichever partner earns less than the other is not disadvantaged in terms of their discretionary spending. When my wife earned less than me, and I believe structural sexism was a contributing factor to that, that impacted us both equally. When my wife was not earning a salary at all, but was doing the lion's share of bringing up our children, she has the same discretionary spend as I do. Apart from the equity of it, there's a whole class of gripes and grumbles that some of my friends have about their partner's spending habits or money management that we completely avoid.

16:35

[$] Strict memcpy() bounds checking for the kernel [LWN.net]

The C programming language is famously prone to memory-safety problems that lead to buffer overflows and a seemingly endless stream of security vulnerabilities. But, even in C, it is possible to improve the situation in many cases. One of those is the memcpy() family of functions, which are used to efficiently copy or overwrite blocks of memory; with a bit of help from the compiler, those functions can be prevented from writing past the end of the destination object they are passed. Enforcing that condition in the kernel is harder than one might expect, though, as this massive patch set from Kees Cook shows.

16:07

Anton Gladky: 2021/07, FLOSS activity [Planet Debian]

LTS

This is my fifth month of working for LTS. I was assigned 12 hrs and worked all of them.

Released DLAs

  1. DLA 2705-1 scilab_5.5.2-4+deb9u1

    • CVE-2021-31598: Out-of-bounds write in ezxml_decode() leading to heap corruption
    • CVE-2021-31347, CVE-2021-31348: incorrect memory handling in ezxml_parse_str() leading to out-of-bounds read
    • CVE-2021-31229: Out-of-bounds write in ezxml_internal_dtd() leading to out-of-bounds write of a one byte constant
    • CVE-2021-30485: incorrect memory handling, leading to a NULL pointer dereference in ezxml_internal_dtd()

    With this upload not all opened CVEs were closed in this package. Because some of CVEs were not fixed yet by upstream. Added links to upstream bug reports for the following CVEs: CVE-2021-31598 CVE-2021-31348 CVE-2021-31347 CVE-2021-31229 CVE-2021-30485 CVE-2021-26222 CVE-2021-26221 CVE-2021-26220 CVE-2019-20202 CVE-2019-20201 CVE-2019-20200 CVE-2019-20199 CVE-2019-20198 CVE-2019-20007 CVE-2019-20006 CVE-2019-20005 into the data/CVE/list on securoty tracker.

  2. DLA 2707-1 sogo_3.2.6-2+deb9u1

    • CVE-2021-33054: SOGo does not validate the signatures of any SAML assertions it receives. Any actor with network access to the deployment could impersonate users when SAML is the authentication method.

LTS-Meeting

I attended the Debian LTS team IRC-meeting this month.

Other FLOSS activities

  1. One week before the full freeze of Debian Bullseye the release-critical bug #990895 against the package httraqt was filed. Thanks to the reporter I could fix it within the hour after the ticket was created, uploaded as the version httraqt_1.4.9-5, filed an unblock-request, which was approved.

15:49

Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

Security updates have been issued by Debian (libsndfile and openjdk-11), Fedora (php-pear and seamonkey), openSUSE (fastjar and php7), SUSE (php72, qemu, and sqlite3), and Ubuntu (libsndfile, php-pear, and qpdf).

15:21

Why doesn’t my asynchronous read operation complete when I close the handle? [The Old New Thing]

A customer was using asynchronous I/O with an I/O completion port. At the time they wanted to shut things down, they still had an outstanding asynchronous read. To get things to clean up, they closed the file handle, expecting it to cause the Read­File to complete and fail with an error like ERROR_INVALID_HANDLE. But instead, what they found was that the read operation remained outstanding, and nothing completed.

What’s going on?

What’s going on is that when you close the file handle, that decrements an internal reference count on the underlying file object, and that internal reference count is not yet zero, so the file is still open. And where did that extra reference count come from?

From the Read­File operation itself!

In the kernel, one of the things that happens when you pass a handle from an application is that the kernel validates the handle and obtains a reference-counted pointer to the underlying kernel object, which temporarily bumps the object reference count by one. If you close the handle, that drops it back down, but there is still the outstanding reference from the I/O operation, and that outstanding reference won’t go away until the I/O operation completes.

As a side note, closing the handle to an object while there is still outstanding work on that object feels really sketchy to me. It’s getting dangerously close to “destroying an object while simultaneously using it”.

What you need to do is cancel the I/O by calling a function like Cancel­Io or Cancel­Io­Ex. And in order to cancel the I/O, you need to proide a handle to the file whose I/O you want to cancel.

Another reason not to close that handle yet.

When you cancel the I/O, the I/O will complete with an error code saying that it was cancelled. At that point, you can close the file handle and clean up.

The post Why doesn’t my asynchronous read operation complete when I close the handle? appeared first on The Old New Thing.

13:49

Page 59 [Flipside]

Page 59 is done.

12:49

Storing Encrypted Photos in Google’s Cloud [Schneier on Security]

New paper: “Encrypted Cloud Photo Storage Using Google Photos“:

Abstract: Cloud photo services are widely used for persistent, convenient, and often free photo storage, which is especially useful for mobile devices. As users store more and more photos in the cloud, significant privacy concerns arise because even a single compromise of a user’s credentials give attackers unfettered access to all of the user’s photos. We have created Easy Secure Photos (ESP) to enable users to protect their photos on cloud photo services such as Google Photos. ESP introduces a new client-side encryption architecture that includes a novel format-preserving image encryption algorithm, an encrypted thumbnail display mechanism, and a usable key management system. ESP encrypts image data such that the result is still a standard format image like JPEG that is compatible with cloud photo services. ESP efficiently generates and displays encrypted thumbnails for fast and easy browsing of photo galleries from trusted user devices. ESP’s key management makes it simple to authorize multiple user devices to view encrypted image content via a process similar to device pairing, but using the cloud photo service as a QR code communication channel. We have implemented ESP in a popular Android photos app for use with Google Photos and demonstrate that it is easy to use and provides encryption functionality transparently to users, maintains good interactive performance and image quality while providing strong privacy guarantees, and retains the sharing and storage benefits of Google Photos without any changes to the cloud service

11:49

Error'd: It's Funny Because It's True [The Daily WTF]

This submission left an anonymous reader speechless.   Handyman Luke H. hammers on an argument against visible test-in-prod. "More doing, less testing"   Student Mike...

10:07

Fresh herbs [Seth's Blog]

Chain restaurants rarely use fresh herbs. They’re uneven, unreliable and expensive, and most diners have been conditioned to want food that’s more processed and bland.

The same is true for most of what we buy and sell. It’s becoming ever more predictable, pre-processed and cost-reduced.

The pressure tends to go in one direction–turn your work into a commodity, smooth over the edges and fit in all the way. That seems hard to argue with, particularly if you want to be popular and profitable.

But the restaurant that makes the best sabich in all of New York City takes a different approach. At Nana, in an obscure shopping mall on the outskirts of an outer borough, they’re serving memorable food that doesn’t match the prevailing industrial model. You can’t get something similar from your grocer’s freezer. It’s distinctive and probably a lot more difficult to produce on a regular basis.

The same could be true for what you choose to do. It might not get you a Fortune 500 company as a client, and probably won’t make you #1 on whatever bestseller list tracks the one that’s for everyone, but it might be exactly the work that you’re proud to do.

Thanks, Gina, for caring. And for anyone who goes out of their way to add fresh herbs when they don’t have to.

09:56

Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 179 released [Planet Debian]

The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 179. This version includes the following changes:

* Ensure that various LLVM tools are installed, even when testing whether
  a MacOS binary has zero differences when compared to itself.
  (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#270)

You find out more by visiting the project homepage.

08:49

Comic: Power Bottom [Penny Arcade]

New Comic: Power Bottom

08:35

The Campaign: Superstition [Ctrl+Alt+Del Comic]

Some afternoon comic coloring and streamraiding!



The post The Campaign: Superstition appeared first on Ctrl+Alt+Del Comic.

06:49

Girl Genius for Friday, July 30, 2021 [Girl Genius]

The Girl Genius comic for Friday, July 30, 2021 has been posted.

05:07

03:42

Urgent: Weaken Amazon's power [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

US citizens: state your support for various measures to weaken Amazon's power.

See also the reasons to refuse to buy anything from Amazon. I stubbornly refuse. When friends want to buy something for me, I always say, "Please don't get anything for me from Amazon!"

Nonprofit charter schools [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Elites Profit From "Nonprofit" Charter Schools.* The nonprofit organization contracts with a profit making company to really run the school, and really do the skimping, profiteering, and sometimes cheating.

Cost to global economy [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Failure to help poor countries fight Covid "could cost global economy $4.5tn", says IMF.*

That in addition to providing opportunity for more dangerous variants to evolve. To stop that, we must speed up the production of vaccine as much as possible, removing all obstacles.

Global heating tipping point [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Critical measures of global heating reaching tipping point, study finds.*

Major insurance merger [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Justice Department opposition kills major insurance merger.*

Yes! Block all mergers of large companies!

State employees in California [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Unvaccinated state employees in California will have to be tested each week, and wear N95 masks while on the job.

Biden is considering a similar rule for US government workers.

I am very much in favor of this.

Facebook promotion of alcohol [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Facebook will do more to ensure that promotion of drinking alcohol does not reach teenagers.

This increased exception to the usual functioning of Facebook is a change for the better, but I suspect that Facebook will retain the data collected from teenagers, and from children, and use it to profile them once they reach 18. And perhaps use it in other ways than advertising.

Haitian security official [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Top security official for slain Haitian president arrested by police.*

Not a blessing [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Many in Latin America are recognizing that bringing a child into the world we are headed into is not a blessing or a gift.

Please take the long view. The Covid-19 situation might get better for you in a year or two, but it will take a struggle to win humanity and the ecosphere a tolerable future 20 years from now.

Dependence on Chinese markets [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Western companies' dependence on Chinese markets makes them pawns of China. The more dependent, the worse.

We saw this before with internet services and computer companies such as Apple.

Zero years [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

* We have zero years before climate and ecological breakdown, because it’s already here. We have zero years left to procrastinate.*

Ukraine land market [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The IMF has bullied Ukraine into "opening the land market", which I think means that foreigners will be able to buy up the country.

Delta in Nanjing [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

China is finding it difficult to stamp out an outbreak of Delta in Nanjing.

It seems that Delta is considerably harder to get rid of than earlier variants. Various experienced countries that knew how to suppress outbreaks are finding it difficult now. Nonetheless, it is much safer to push for the goal of zero-Covid than to give up as the US and most European countries have done.

Australia has repeatedly found that its quarantine and arrivals procedures left small loopholes that Covid-19 could sometimes slip though.

Artificial meat [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

If the world switches to artificial meat, it needs to ensure that the new system does not harm workers, consumers and the environment as the existing system does.

Repair of Macbooks [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Apple farms out repair of Macbooks to a sweatshop company, CSAT Solutions, which treats workers abominably. Apple bears the responsibility for the mistreatment of workers, and so do Dell and Lenovo which also use CSAT.

If companies such as Apple don't want the responsibility for treatment of workers by subcontracted companies, they should establish a system which protects workers' rights universally.

Burning fossil fuel reserves [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Burning most of the known fossil fuel reserves would cause 16 C of global heating.

This would be worse than the heat that caused the end-Permian extinction which wiped out almost all species in the ocean. Humans might hang on in some polar regions.

350.org calls on the Federal Reserve to stop financing of fossil fuel projects.

Masks in indoor public places [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The CDC now recommends people wear masks in indoor public places even if they are vaccinated, in most parts of the US (those with infection rates above a certain threshold).

The complexity of the condition will make this recommendation less effective. Even some of the states that try to prevent Covid-19 have rates that are increasing fast. Vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public places everywhere in the US, and other countries where Covid-19 is circulating.

Congressional seat in Ohio [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Nina Turner is running in the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in Ohio. Her opponent is a plutocratist, getting campaign funds from Republicans.

The opponent faces an accusation of criminal corruption: using her office as Cuyahoga County commissioner to steer contracts to a business owner by long-term friends and supporters.

A preliminary review found the accusation plausible enough to refer it to the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Capitol police [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Capitol police — *for once in this nation's history the good guys* — testified about being attacked by trumpets, a fact which trumpets now lie about.

02:56

07/29/21 [Flipside]

Just a heads up! I will be going to Otakon next weekend after all. So if you're going too, looking for me there in the artist alley! Will post more info when I have it.

Microsoft release first Windows 11 Preview build to the Beta channel [OSnews]

Last week Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.100 to everyone in the Dev Channel. After no major issues were detected, Microsoft has released the same build to the more stable Beta channel. Microsoft suggests those who would like to test Windows 11 but who are not ready for the wild Dev channel ride may want to switch to the Beta channel now. Microsoft also said they will not be releasing a Dev channel build this week.

This is the first what you could call beta release of Windows 11, hinting that Microsoft is well on track to release Windows 11 later this Fall.

Android and Play Store get privacy labels for apps [OSnews]

Today, we’re announcing additional details for the upcoming safety section in Google Play. At Google, we know that feeling safe online comes from using products that are secure by default, private by design, and give users control over their data. This new safety section will provide developers a simple way to showcase their app’s overall safety. Developers will be able to give users deeper insight into their privacy and security practices, as well as explain the data the app may collect and why — all before users install the app.

Ultimately, all Google Play store apps will be required to share information in the safety section. We want to give developers plenty of time to adapt to these changes, so we’re sharing more information about the data type definitions, user journey, and policy requirements of this new feature.

This basically means Android and the Play Store are getting the same kind of privacy labels as Apple introduced in iOS and the App Store. This is competition at work, and it’s great that both platforms will soon offer this feature.

02:28

Ingratiation [QC RSS]

Cosmo is inevitable

00:07

The GNU C Library copyright-assignment policy changes [LWN.net]

The change in copyright-assignment policy proposed in June for the GNU C Library project has now been adopted:

The changes to accept patches with or without FSF copyright assignment will be effective after August 2nd, and will apply to all open branches. Code shared with other GNU packages via Gnulib will continue to require assignment to the FSF.

The library will continue to be licensed under the GNU Lesser Public License v2.1 or later.

Thursday, 29 July

23:49

23:21

FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot [LWN.net]

On its blog, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced a call for white papers about GitHub Copilot and the questions surrounding it. The FSF will pay $500 for papers that it publishes because they "help elucidate the problem":

We can see that Copilot's use of freely licensed software has many implications for an incredibly large portion of the free software community. Developers want to know whether training a neural network on their software can really be considered fair use. Others who may be interested in using Copilot wonder if the code snippets and other elements copied from GitHub-hosted repositories could result in copyright infringement. And even if everything might be legally copacetic, activists wonder if there isn't something fundamentally unfair about a proprietary software company building a service off their work.

23:00

22:56

Link [Scripting News]

Today's song: Adrian.

Link [Scripting News]

Reds is a fine film, playing on HBO now.

Link [Scripting News]

A couple of my sites to check out if you like art and/or the NBA.

22:14

Link [Scripting News]

Tools for thought users hear me. Don't let us get locked in. There's absolutely no need for it. You have the power. This is a pivotal time. Insist on interop.

Link [Scripting News]

It would be cool if you could hire a Trump impersonator to speak at a rally or business conference, and have him say whatever you like. Like the way KFC reinvented Colonel Sanders. Or the Elvis impersonators you can hire in Las Vegas. Flood the market with fake Trumps. Think of all the good causes he could support in a Trumpian way. Render him harmless.

21:07

Pluralistic: 29 Jul 2021 [Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow]


Today's links



The columnated facade of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery; behind the columns, the front of the gallery has been replaced with a mosaic of $100 bills and Oxycontin pills.

Bankruptcy and elite impunity (permalink)

I've been writing about the Sackler crime-family for years, as a new generation turned the family's benzo empire into a opioid powerhouse, exceeding the Rockefeller family fortune by pushing Oxycontin and jumpstarting an epidemic that has claimed 800,000 American lives.

The Sacklers are canny: for years, they laundered their reputation through elite philanthropy, using blood money to paint their names on the world's great cultural institutions and spending comparable sums to threaten journalists and critics into silence about their crimes.

But no one can run across a river on the backs of alligators forever – eventually, even the fleetest grifter will lose a leg. The Sacklers eventually came into the crosshairs of district attorneys, federal enforcers, bereaved families and recovering addicts.

Outwardly, the family continued to maintain their innocence and assure us that they would prevail in court. Privately, they laundered billions into offshore financial secrecy havens.

Every big con needs a blow-off, a final trick that lets the crook wriggle out of the gator's jaws. For the Sacklers, that was a breathtaking capture of the bankruptcy system, in the person of Judge Robert Drain of the SDNY, the American judiciary's top billionaire enabler.

The gambit worked. Drain will unilaterally settle all the Sacklers' victims claims for $4b, leaving the Sacklers to keep $6.7b in blood money. No Sackler will go to jail. No Sackler will face financial hardship. Key documents will never be unsealed.

https://pluralistic.net/2021/07/12/monopolist-solidarity/#sacklers-billions

Judge Drain is embracing the monstrous ideology of Josef Stalin: "Great crimes require great forgiveness." The Sacklers cost America more lives than coronavirus – and their punishment is a $6.7b fortune.

This blow-off has attracted a lot of press attention to the way that the US bankruptcy system has been captured by the ultra-rich, who "judge-shop" for enablers like Bob Drain.

https://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2021/05/judge-shopping-in-bankruptcy.html

The best writing on the subject I've read so far is Maureen Tkacik's "How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Sacklers?" for The American Prospect.

https://prospect.org/justice/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-the-sacklers-purdue-pharma-bankruptcy/

Tkacik puts the Sacklers' gambit in context, showing how it is just the latest act of a longrunning shadow-play that has quietly demolished the country's economy and ruined countless lives.

Long before the Sacklers were calling upon Bob Drain to legitimize their murderous legacy, the good judge was servicing the financial criminals of the private equity world, allowing looters to steal from investors, workers and suppliers.

The private equity playbook often puzzles people who first hear about it. How can "investors" get away with buying a company, selling off all its vital assets, borrowing heavily against it, then declare bankruptcy and walk away from their creditors with billions?

The answer is the US bankruptcy system and the tiny number of judges who oversee large corporate bankruptcies, whose supervision can be had by any PE grifter merely by renting an empty office in their district and declaring it to be your headquarters.

If this sounds familiar, it's because it's a pathology in all areas of the judiciary. Think of the Eastern District of Texas, where judges and juries never met a patent troll they didn't find in favor of.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/07/why-do-patent-trolls-go-texas-its-not-bbq

That's why Marshall, TX is full of empty buildings serving as nominal HQs to hundreds of companies – and why companies that make "things" as opposed to "lawsuits" (like Samsung) court locals by installing Texas's only outdoor, year-round ice-rink.

https://pluralistic.net/2021/03/22/gandersauce/#petard

The total claims against the Sacklers add up to $2t, but they're only going to pay $4b. Though the sums are large, the pattern is an old one, and familiar to private equity watchers – after all, 3 in 10 US bankruptcies involve a PE firm flushing a company it ruined.

Tkacik reminds us of the last time the bankruptcy system breached public consciousness, when PE giant Apollo Global Management trashed Caesars Palace and asked a bankruptcy judge to let them keep the billions they embezzled.

https://diversionbooks.com/books/the-caesars-palace-coup/

Apollo and its partner David Sambur were named in a racketeering suit, which revealed Sambur's looting of billions from the company prior to the bankruptcy, a display of shameless larceny that included buying a $15m Manhattan home.

Like the Sacklers, Sambur put his evil plans in writing, emailing colleagues Powerpoint presentations detailing his scheme to "have our cake and eat it too" by taking on and then defaulting on vast debts.

Sambur might be forgiven for his brazenness, because he was only repeating a stunt that Judge Drain himself had previously greenlit, when Sambur bought, looted and destroyed Momentive, a silicone manufacturer.

Sambur borrowed 15 times Momentive's earnings and defaulted, laying off half the company's workers and using Drain's bankruptcy court to force a $300m loss on "secured" bondholders, shielding himself and the company from liability and retaining control of the firm.

As Tkacik writes, America's captured bankruptcy judges are "steeped in legal theory that casts the invention of the limited liability corporation alongside that of the steam engine as a paradigmatic development in the pursuit of said prosperity."

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics/article/new-understanding-of-the-history-of-limited-liability-an-invitation-for-theoretical-reframing/B12B69696AC81304A2738ADE4FFF4556

For these judges, impunity is a feature, not a bug – a way to embolden "risk takers." And while the economists who espouse this theory wring their hands about the "moral hazard" of public health care and housing, they're oddly sanguine about limited liability.

Small wonder that PE-owned companies are 10 times likelier than traditionally structured companies to declare bankruptcy – bankruptcies that free looters from both their financial and moral obligations to the rest of us.

Whether PE murdered your grandmother by buying her care-home and putting each worker in charge of 30 seniors:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/portopiccolo-nursing-homes-maryland/2020/12/21/a1ffb2a6-292b-11eb-9b14-ad872157ebc9_story.html

or poisoned your kids by filling your neighborhood with carcinogens:

https://www.webmd.com/special-reports/ethylene-oxide/20190719/residents-unaware-of-cancer-causing-toxin-in-air

limited liability wipes the slate clean.

But while PE loves buying up and looting real businesses, they're even more fond of buying up criminal enterprises and looting them. Take Millennium Health, a con that stole millions from Medicare and Medicaid.

Millennium's founder, a former general contractor turned drug-testing kingpin named James Slattery, found kindred spirits in Voya Capital, who bought into the company and then helped it borrow $1.8b, $1.3b of which went straight into Voya's pockets.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/voya-sues-over-millennium-health-1-8-billion-financing-1449791185

The company paid $256m to settle its fraud lawsuits. It got a full release from any liability, as did Voya. Voya kept $1.3b. Slattery (whose LLC was called "Pissed Away") kept hundreds of millions, and his collection of 40 vintage airplanes.

Tkacik points out the lawyer who represented Millennium in its bankruptcy deal is now a federal bankruptcy judge himself – the honorable John T Dorsey, of the Delaware bankruptcy court. Lucky for us, Delaware is hardly known for its financial crimes.

https://www.deb.uscourts.gov/content/judge-john-t-dorsey

Millennium's crime bosses all fared well. Millennium CEO Ronald A Rittenmeyer went on to take the helm at Tenet Healthcare, a company famous for kidnapping people from AA meetings, having them declared incompetent, and billing for their imprisonment.

https://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/26/business/the-squeeze-on-psychiatric-chains.html

Ironically, Tenet stands to lose big in the Sacklers' bankruptcy (don't worry, it still got a fortune in federal CARES dough and flipped two of its community hospitals to PE companies that debt-loaded them and took them through bankruptcy to shed that debt).

As the Sacklers planned their blowoff, they consulted with both PE companies (for tips on spinning off profitable units to put them out of creditors' reach, and advice on cashing in on the epidemic they started with addiction treatment businesses), and McKinsey.

All of this criming did not escape Elisabeth Warren's notice, who used it as occasion to launch one of her signature 2019 election campaign plans, the Stop Wall Street Looting Act (SWSLA), which drew outraged squeals from the PE industry.

For all its detail, the SWSLA would not have prevented the Sacklers' crimes – nor would it stop the copycats at blue chip firms like Johnson and Johnson and Apple, who have used their tactics to perfect what Tkacik calls "legalized embezzlement."

It really looks like the Sacklers will keep billions, and like Judge Drain will continue to hear cases like theirs. But Warren learned from 2019, and has introduced new, stronger legislation, the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act, which would block deals like this for good.

Elite impunity is rotting America and threatening the planet itself.

There's nothing it doesn't touch.

Simone Biles is a survivor of Larry Nasser's abuse. The claims of Nasser's survivors were wiped out by a bankruptcy judge.

https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1420500782022078464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

(Image: Geographer, CC BY-SA, modified)



A picture of the corner of a desk with a discarded headset. Beside the desk is an office waste-bin. The image is captioned in shaky hand-lettering: 'I kept hitting my mute button every time I had to throw up.

Stories from Black women's customer service hell (permalink)

The internet age has certainly transformed journalism; these days we mostly think about investigative journalism's decline, but there are digital investigative outlets that shine like diamonds.

I'm thinking here about Propublica.

Propublica's Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel wrote a series of blockbuster stories about the monopolist Intuit, a business organized as a cult around its then-CEO Brad Smith, engaged in decades' worth of dirty tricks to kill free, IRS tax-prep services.

https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-turbotax-20-year-fight-to-stop-americans-from-filing-their-taxes-for-free

Not only did they stay with this story for months on end, digging up incredible stories of corruption, they also shamed the IRS and spurred state AGs into investigating the company.

Then a funny thing happened: Intuit customer service whistleblower revealed another scandal, one that sprawled outside of Intuit and spilled over into the world's largest blue-chip companies from Disney to Airbnb to Comcast and more.

That was the story of Arise, yet another cult-like business that you have almost certainly interacted with, without knowing it.

On its surface, Arise is an outsource customer service company. Other businesses pay it to staff their phones and answer customer queries.

But Arise is many other things. For one thing, it's a pyramid scheme: the people who work for it – disproportionately Black women – are not classed as employees, but as "contractors." They are paid for recruiting their friends to work for it.

https://pluralistic.net/2020/10/02/chickenized-by-arise/#arise

That might sound like a nice way to help a business staff its call-centers, but you need to understand that Arise has no call centers or staff – its workers take calls from their homes.

Those workers aren't employees – they're misclassified as "independent contractors."

If you want to work for Arise, you have to pay them for the privilege. Not only do you have to buy a computer and phone, you have to pay to get trained for each firm whose calls you'll be taking.

If you quit, you have to pay Arise for "early termination" of your contract.

Believe it or not, those are the best parts of working for Arise. When you are an Arise worker, you can be terminated without notice or cause – forfeiting the money and time you spent for training and equipment. You can get fired by Arise itself, or by any of its customers.

Reps from Arise and its customers listen in on your calls. If your children make noise in the background, you can lose everything. Same if your neighbor's dog starts barking. Forget about running a fan or air conditioner – the noise is "unprofessional."

The Arise story prompted outrage from the public – and it sent Propublica's investigators deeper into the story. They documented how the Department of Labor knew about Arise's illegal and abusive conduct, and let them get away with it for years.

https://pluralistic.net/2021/01/22/paperback-writer/#toothless

And here's the most amazing part: Propublica never stopped reporting on this story. This month, Ariana Tobin, Ken Armstrong and Justin Elliott worked with Brooke Stephenson to tell Arise workers' stories in their own words.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-women-on-the-other-end-of-the-phone

These stories reveal Arise's lies about its working conditions, as workers describe how they were unequivocally ordered never to hang up on customers, even in the face of death and rape threats, racist abuse, and sexual harassment.

Arise may tell regulators and reporters that its workers are empowered to hang up the phone if the man on the other end is masturbating, but the women who endure this abuse tell a very different story:

https://www.propublica.org/article/not-allowed-to-hang-up-the-harsh-reality-of-working-in-customer-service

The writers connect Arise's working conditions with the promises made by temp agencies for generations – companies like "Kelly Girl," who promised a disposable, attractive, pliable and hardworking woman whom a company could work like a government mule and then discard.

Arise preys on the economically precarious and traps their whole families into literal conspiracies of silence, as spouses and children tiptoe around their homes to spare their mothers the economic catastrophe of being summarily fired.

The powerful words of the women answering these calls are a reminder of the human cost of systemic racism and sexism, and the willingness of the world's largest companies to exploit it.

While this is a systemic problem, there are ways you can individually help the people you speak to, beyond being courteous and decent and understanding (this being the minimum we all owe one another).

I. Complete the end-of-call survey. Workers can get fired and lose their investment in equipment and training if the people they help don't do this.

II. After text-based service interactions, reply "No thank you," after the rep asks "is there anything else I can help you with?" Workers are punished if you close your browser without answering this question.

III. Be organized with all relevant information in hand before you call. Workers are penalized for calls that last too long – even if the reason for the delay is that the caller took forever looking up a key piece of information.

Yes, it's unfair that workers are penalized if you don't play along with Arise's idiotic customer service metrics, but the unfairness accrues disproportionately to workers, and you can shoulder some of that burden.

I'm grateful to Propublica for continuing to bring us this story – and doubly glad to be an annual donor to this charitable nonprofit.

(Image: Laila Milevski/Propublica)



A chart labelled 'Classification of driving patterns based on streams of accelerometer data,' displaying histograms of data from an in-vehicle acclerometer, labeled with events such as 'lane-change right' and 'sudden braking.'

Tracking you with accelerometer signatures (permalink)

Adding sensors to our computers revolutionized them. I remember buying my first computer paddles, my first mic, my first webcam, and the incredible new features unlocked by giving computers a way to sense and respond to the physical world.

Today, our devices are stuffed with sensors to beggar the imagination. My latest phone has four cameras, multiple mics, thermal sensors, and, of course, an accelerometer that lets the system measure how it's moving from moment to moment.

Device security and privacy models treat cameras and mics as sensitive and control how apps access them, but accelerometers are treated as utilities, the kind of thing that apps should be able to tap into at will without risk to the user.

That's a bad assumption.

In "Privacy Implications of Accelerometer Data: A Review of Possible Inferences," a trio of researchers from the Technical University of Berlin document the surprising ways in which acclerometer data can be used to infer sensitive facts about users.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3309074.3309076

Co-author Jacob Leon Kröger did a great job of breaking down the team's findings, and emphasizing the gap between device permission models and the kinds of wide-ranging inferences that accelerometers enable.

https://twitter.com/JL_Kroger/status/1420681035617116163

He cites "patents and literature of diverse disciplines" that reveal users' "daily routines, physical activities, social interactions, health condition, gender, age, and emotional state" just by analyzing accelerometer data.

The way you move has a sufficiently unique signature that accelerometers can identify you as the person carrying a device. The same techniques can infer your driving style, whether you are intoxicated, and, through dead reckoning, where you are – even without a GPS fix.

Alarmingly, accelerometers can be repurposed as crude mics, translating sound vibrations into speech and keyword detection.

Accelerometer analysis is imperfect and computationally intensive, but it's still worrying, especially in light of the lack of protection for accelerometer data in mobile OSes.

The authors are skeptical that an "informed consent" model will fix this, in part because accelerometer data has a lot of nonobvious uses (correcting photo jitter, say), but also because of the well-theorized flaws in digital consent:

https://onezero.medium.com/consent-theater-a32b98cd8d96

Kröger refers us to Sec 7 of another paper he co-authored on consent and privacy, "The myth of individual control," for some theoretical ways of striking a balance between privacy and functionality.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3881776

This section rejects "self-management" of privacy settings as ineffective and proposes things like institutionally administered "social impact assessments" that evaluate "the consequences of information use and misuse."

Kröger admits "that most existing ideas in this area are still vague and hypothetical" and calls for "urgent" further research (that sounds right to me, too).

He concludes by pointing out that there are many other potentially compromising inference techniques latent in all sensor data, and suggests his paper, "Privacy Implications of Voice and Speech Analysis."

https://rd.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-030-42504-3_16.pdf



A self-service Coca Cola drink-dispensing machine displaying an error message: 'You're going to need a different cup. Just ask at the counter.' A woman's hand is holding a disposable wax-paper McDonald's cup before the machine.

Unauthorized cups (permalink)

Back in 2019, visitors to the Universal Studios theme park in Florida started to post to social media about their experience with the RFID-chipped paper cups they got to use with the park's self-serve soda fountains:

https://twitter.com/tinymediaempire/status/1103062313182085121

Getting nickle-and-dimed in a themepark that charges whopping sums for admission is frustrating, sure, but as Daniel Danger wrote at the time, the noteworthy part was in the clumsy-yet-detailed way that this disciplinary technology was deployed.

Not only did it impose all kinds of rules about how your "unlimited" cup could be used (you had to wait 120 seconds before refilling it, etc), but if you violated those rules, a "robot voice" barked a denial at you.

It was Orwell-by-way-of-Gilliam – an absurd internet of shit dystopia moment at the fun park.

The technology came from "Validfill," who produced a spiffy and monumentally unself-aware video to boast about their system's use at Universal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-5xTCNKrg

Corporate America never met a terrible idea it didn't love, which is how Validfill's creepy RFID-chipped cups have proliferated outside of the gates of Universal.

I've lost track of the number of people who've forwarded @AnemoneAndMe's viral tweet about their encounter with it in the wild.

https://twitter.com/AnemoneAndMe/status/1420540789734612992

They call it "anti homeless DRM," and not for nothing – one of the things these self-serve soda machines dispense is drinking water, often replacing public water fountains.

Chipped cups enable companies like McDonald's to prevent homeless people – and other marginalized people who still need to drink water because all humans need to drink water – from drinking their water.

Many of the people who've tagged me to tell me about this latest sensation cited my story Unauthorized Bread, an internet-of-shit technothriller that features heroic acts of appliance jailbreaking:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/01/unauthorized-bread-a-near-future-tale-of-refugees-and-sinister-iot-appliances/

Unauthorized Bread is a parable about disciplinary technology and the shitty technology adoption curve, whereby the worst technological ideas are normalized by applying them to people whose complaints aren't taken seriously – refugees, homeless people, prisoners, students.

As these bad ideas are normalized, they travel up the privilege gradient, until they become ubiquitous – 20 years ago, if a CCTV observed your dinner hour, you were in a supermax prison. Today, it just means you bought home automation from Google, Apple or Amazon.

I'm both happy and sad about Unauthorized Bread. As a story, it's certainly given people a framework and vocabulary for talking about the proliferation of disciplinary technologies around them, and the unequal distribution of that terrible future.

But honestly, it's a little demoralizing to see how often Unauthorized Bread is applicable to another ghastly technological idea. Cyberpunk is a warning, not a suggestion.

(Image: @AnemoneAndMe)



This day in history (permalink)

#20yrsago How to help someone use a computer https://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/agre/how-to-help.html

#20yrsago Declines in advertising in major magazines in the first six months of 2001 https://web.archive.org/web/20010714104017/https://www.magazine.org/news/press_releases/01_June_pib_ytd.html

#15yrsago Cingular threatens Consumerist over “how to discriminate” docs https://consumerist.com/consumer/cd/cingular-wants-to-yank-docs-from-consumerist-190501.php

#10yrsago Batman logo in equation form https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/j2qjc/do_you_like_batman_do_you_like_math_my_math/

#10yrsago Bill Nye explains to Fox News why lunar volcanoes don’t disprove anthropogenic global warming https://web.archive.org/web/20110924185725/https://www.mediamatters.org/mmtv/201107280007

#10yrsago House Committee passes bill requiring your ISP to spy on every click and keystroke you make online and retain for 12 months https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/house-committee-approves-bill-mandating-internet

#10yrsago Vindictive WalMart erroneously accuses couple of shoplifting, has husband deported, wife fired, costs them house and car https://web.archive.org/web/20111002102637/https://www.courthousenews.com/2011/07/26/38455.htm

#10yrsago Man with camera in park who fled angry parent sought by police (turns out he was taking pix of his grandson) https://web.archive.org/web/20110829052009/www.pixiq.com/article/man-photographing-grandkid-in-park-deemed-suspicious

#10yrsgo Norwegian PM refuses to let terrorist attacks drive his country to intolerance and paranoid “security” https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/world/europe/28norway.html

#10yrsago Copyright extortionist ripped off his competitor’s threatening material https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-lawyers-rip-off-work-from-competitor-110727/

#10yrsago US ISP/copyright deal: a one-sided private law for corporations, without public interest https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/graduated-response-deal-what-if-users-had-been

#10yrsago Why they call the Tories “the nasty party” https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jul/28/tory-lib-dems-clash-on-policy

#5yrsago The Ice Bucket Challenge did not fund a breakthrough in ALS treatment http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2016/07/ice-bucket-challenge-breakthrough-experts-pour-cold-water-superficial-reporting/

#5yrsago Silicon Valley banks offer tech giants’ new hires 100% mortgages on 24 hours’ notice https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-27/zero-down-on-a-2-million-house-is-no-problem-in-silicon-valley

#5yrsago RIP, MAD Magazines’s Jack Davis https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36912468

#5yrsago Laurie Penny at the DNC: “Dissent will not be tolerated. Protest will not be permitted.” https://medium.com/welcome-to-the-scream-room/bad-moon-rising-8cd348df50e9#.9lhcixjn1
#5yrsago North Carolina’s voter suppression law struck down as “racist” https://www.cnn.com/2016/07/29/politics/north-carolina-voter-id/index.html

#5yrsago Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls Apple’s tax strategy a “fraud” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-28/stiglitz-calls-apple-s-profit-reporting-in-ireland-a-fraud

#5yrsago Trump campaign frisks, then blocks ticketed Washington Post reporter at Pence rally https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/28/a-washington-post-reporter-was-banned-from-a-trump-pence-rally-yesterday-that-should-frighten-you/

#5yrsago Pregnancy-tracking app was riddled with vulnerabilities, exposing extremely sensitive personal information https://www.consumerreports.org/mobile-security-software/glow-pregnancy-app-exposed-women-to-privacy-threats/

#1yrago Bitcoin is not a socialist's ally https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/29/break-em-up/#bitcoinism

#1yrago No consequences for police violence at BLM actions https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/29/break-em-up/#impunity

#1yrago Let's force Big Tech to interoperate https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/29/break-em-up/#beyond-breakups

#1yrago Break 'Em Up https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/29/break-em-up/#break-em-up

#1yrago Police "unions" are not unions https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/28/afterland/#selective-solidarity

#1yrago Snowden's Little Brother intro https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/28/afterland/#snowden

#1yrago Audible Exclusives https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/28/afterland/#acx

#1yrago Mexican copyright crushes free speech https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/28/afterland/#mexico-copyright

#1yrago Afterland https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/28/afterland/#XY



Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources: Mike Blaney, Naked Capitalism (https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/), Glenn Fleishman (https://twitter.com/GlennF), Soph (https://twitter.com/sophspsych), TG Shenoy (https://twitter.com/theBekku), Seamus Bellamy (https://twitter.com/SeamusBellamy), Danny McClanahan (https://twitter.com/hipsterelectron) and Will Greenwald (https://twitter.com/AggroWill).

Currently writing:

  • Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. Yesterday's progress: 266 words (11896 words total)
  • A Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. PLANNING

  • A nonfiction book about excessive buyer-power in the arts, co-written with Rebecca Giblin, "The Shakedown." FINAL EDITS

  • A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED

  • A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

Latest podcast: Tech Monopolies and the Insufficient Necessity of Interoperability https://craphound.com/news/2021/07/12/tech-monopolies-and-the-insufficient-necessity-of-interoperability/
Upcoming appearances:

Recent appearances:

Reset the Internet? (Project Syndicate)
https://www.project-syndicate.org/podcasts/reset-the-internet

Latest book:

Upcoming books:

  • The Shakedown, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press 2022

This work licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. That means you can use it any way you like, including commercially, provided that you attribute it to me, Cory Doctorow, and include a link to pluralistic.net.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Quotations and images are not included in this license; they are included either under a limitation or exception to copyright, or on the basis of a separate license. Please exercise caution.


How to get Pluralistic:

Blog (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

Pluralistic.net

Newsletter (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

https://pluralistic.net/plura-list

Mastodon (no ads, tracking, or data-collection):

https://mamot.fr/web/accounts/303320

Medium (no ads, paywalled):

https://doctorow.medium.com/

(Latest Medium column: "Now you’ve got two problems," part three of a series on themepark design, queing theory, immersive entertainment, and load-balancing. https://doctorow.medium.com/now-youve-got-two-problems-part-iii-45e1328c5ae1)

Twitter (mass-scale, unrestricted, third-party surveillance and advertising):

https://twitter.com/doctorow

Tumblr (mass-scale, unrestricted, third-party surveillance and advertising):

https://mostlysignssomeportents.tumblr.com/tagged/pluralistic

"When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla" -Joey "Accordion Guy" DeVilla

20:35

The Temp Toilet [Whatever]

It's our new, inexpensive toilet!

Earlier in the year, the toilet in our en suite bathroom stopped working as it should and we decided it was time to replace it. Also, and coincidentally, we decided that 2021 was the year we were going to do a complete overhaul of the bathroom, which included but was not limited to the toilet. We had contractors out to spec out the new bathroom, and I chose a really nifty “smart toilet” which was space age and had all the bells and whistles except for bluetooth speakers, which, no joke, you can get, but which I thought were, just barely, overkill. Since we were going to remodel the whole bathroom anyway, we simply shut off the balky unworking toilet until it could be replaced in the remodel.

Fast forward several months, and the bathroom remodel is on hold, continually pushed back because apparently 2021 is just about the (sorry) crappiest year to try to do a remodel. All the contractors are scrambling because of material shortages and the knock-on effects to their existing jobs and so on. At this point, it seems likely that a remodel is going to get shunted to 2022. Which is fine — except for the toilet, the bathroom is perfectly functional and there’s no real rush. But we were getting tired of not having the full functionality of the bathroom. We have a couple of other bathrooms, but honestly.

So: Meet the new toilet, which is a basic, inexpensive model designed to do one thing and one thing only — well two things, I guess, depending on why you’re using it. It’s temporary, in the sense that when we do the remodel, it won’t be staying; it’ll be replaced by that “smart toilet” we already have priced into the remodel. Be that as it may, I’m happy to have it for however long we do. It’s nice to have a totally functional en suite bathroom again.

Welcome, toilet. I apologize for what comes next for you.

— JS

19:56

19:14

The NYT should've kept McNeil [Scripting News]

Every time I try to listen to a Daily podcast update on Covid, I realize in a deeper way how the NYT made the wrong decision when they canned Donald McNeil.

Here's the tradeoff.

  1. What he said made NYT staffers angry.
  2. He was providing a continuous perspective on a virus that continues to threaten the human race. He was trusted, for good reason -- he was trust-worthy.

So what if the NYT staffers were angry. Maybe being angry is good for them. They are lost. They don't understand that their mission is to do exactly what McNeil was doing. Build trust on vital subject matter. Make the NYT readers the best informed people on the planet.

As a lifetime NYT subscriber, the right call would have been to fire the staffers and start over with more people like McNeil.

And I wouldn't care if the word he said was insulting to Jews. Please re-watch the Carl Sagan bit about the pale blue dot for a proper sense of perspective.

18:07

The Life Cycle of a Breached Database [Krebs on Security]

Every time there is another data breach, we are asked to change our password at the breached entity. But the reality is that in most cases by the time the victim organization discloses an incident publicly the information has already been harvested many times over by profit-seeking cybercriminals. Here’s a closer look at what typically transpires in the weeks or months before an organization notifies its users about a breached database.

Our continued reliance on passwords for authentication has contributed to one toxic data spill or hack after another. One might even say passwords are the fossil fuels powering most IT modernization: They’re ubiquitous because they are cheap and easy to use, but that means they also come with significant trade-offs — such as polluting the Internet with weaponized data when they’re leaked or stolen en masse.

When a website’s user database gets compromised, that information invariably turns up on hacker forums. There, denizens with computer rigs that are built primarily for mining virtual currencies can set to work using those systems to crack passwords.

How successful this password cracking is depends a great deal on the length of one’s password and the type of password hashing algorithm the victim website uses to obfuscate user passwords. But a decent crypto-mining rig can quickly crack a majority of password hashes generated with MD5 (one of the weaker and more commonly-used password hashing algorithms).

“You hand that over to a person who used to mine Ethereum or Bitcoin, and if they have a large enough dictionary [of pre-computed hashes] then you can essentially break 60-70 percent of the hashed passwords in a day or two,” said Fabian Wosar, chief technology officer at security firm Emsisoft.

From there, the list of email addresses and corresponding cracked passwords will be run through various automated tools that can check how many email address and password pairs in a given leaked data set also work at other popular websites (and heaven help those who’ve re-used their email password elsewhere).

This sifting of databases for low-hanging fruit and password re-use most often yields less than a one percent success rate — and usually far less than one percent.

But even a hit rate below one percent can be a profitable haul for fraudsters, particularly when they’re password testing databases with millions of users. From there, the credentials are eventually used for fraud and resold in bulk to legally murky online services that index and resell access to breached data.

Much like WeLeakInfo and others operated before being shut down by law enforcement agencies, these services sell access to anyone who wants to search through billions of stolen credentials by email address, username, password, Internet address, and a variety of other typical database fields.

TARGETED PHISHING

So hopefully by this point it should be clear why re-using passwords is generally a bad idea. But the more insidious threat with hacked databases comes not from password re-use but from targeted phishing activity in the early days of a breach, when relatively few ne’er-do-wells have got their hands on a hot new hacked database.

Earlier this month, customers of the soccer jersey retailer classicfootballshirts.co.uk started receiving emails with a “cash back” offer. The messages addressed customers by name and referenced past order numbers and payment amounts tied to each account. The emails encouraged recipients to click a link to accept the cash back offer, and the link went to a look-alike domain that requested bank information.

The targeted phishing message that went out to classicfootballshirts.co.uk customers this month.

“It soon became clear that customer data relating to historic orders had been compromised to conduct this attack,” Classicfootballshirts said in a statement about the incident.

Allison Nixon, chief research officer with New York City-based cyber intelligence firm Unit221B, recalled what happened in the weeks leading up to Dec. 22, 2020, when cryptocurrency wallet company Ledger acknowledged that someone had released the names, mailing addresses and phone numbers for 272,000 customers.

Nixon said she and her colleagues noticed in the preceding months a huge uptick in SIM-swapping attacks, a scheme in which fraudsters trick or bribe employees at wireless phone companies into redirecting the target’s text messages and phone calls to a device they control. From there, the attackers can reset the password for any online account that allows password resets via SMS.

“A week or two prior to that we were seeing a whole lot of SIM swapping activity,” Nixon said. “We knew the information was coming from some database but we couldn’t figure out what service they all had in common. After the Ledger database got leaked publicly, we started looking at the [SIM swapping] victims and found 100 percent of them were present in the Ledger database.”

In a statement about the breach, Ledger said the data was likely stolen in June 2020, meaning hackers had roughly six months to launch targeted attacks using extremely detailed information about customers.

“If you were to look [on cybercrime forums] at the past history of people posting about that Ledger database, you’d see people were selling it privately for months prior to that,” Nixon said. “It seems like this database was slowly percolating out wider and wider, until someone decided to remove a lot of its value by posting the whole thing publicly.”

Here are some tips to help avoid falling prey to incessant data breaches and increasingly sophisticated phishing schemes:

Avoid clicking on links and attachments in email, even in messages that appear to be sent from someone you have heard from previously. And as the phishing examples above demonstrate, many of today’s phishing scams use elements from hacked databases to make their lures more convincing.

Urgency should be a giant red flag. Most phishing scams invoke a temporal element that warns of negative consequences should you fail to respond or act quickly. Take a deep breath. If you’re unsure whether the message is legitimate, visit the site or service in question manually (ideally, using a browser bookmark so as to avoid potential typosquatting sites).

Don’t re-use passwords. If you’re the kind of person who likes to use the same password across multiple sites, then you definitely need to be using a password manager. That’s because password managers handle the tedious task of creating and remembering unique, complex passwords on your behalf; all you need to do is remember a single, strong master password or passphrase. In essence, you effectively get to use the same password across all Web sites. Some of the more popular password managers include DashlaneKeepassLastPass and Roboform.

–Phone-based phishing uses hacked databases, too: A great many scams are perpetrated over the phone, leveraging personal and financial information gleaned from past data breaches to make them sound more believable. If you think you’d never fall for someone trying to scam you over the phone, check out this story about how a tech-savvy professional got taken for thousands of dollars by a fraudster masquerading as his credit union. Remember, When in Doubt: Hang Up, Look Up, & Call Back.

17:56

Covid-19 forfeit [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The US National Football League has decided that if a team can't play due to players sick with Covid-19, that team forfeits the game.

Student Data [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Student Data Used to Tag Kids as Potential Criminals* in Florida.

The unfortunate families selected get persistent harassment and surveillance, as well as minor criminal charges that can bankrupt and jail the parents.

Forcing athletes to exert [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

(satire) *Olympics Under Fire For Human Rights Violations After Forcing Athletes To Exert Themselves.*

Distraction from investigation [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol, Jan 6, has started meeting, and Republican saboteurs in Congress are trying to distract attention from it.

Trespassing charges for sit-in [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Jesse Jackson and William Barber are charged with trespassing for holding a sit-in outside Senator Sinema's office. (Barber is the leader of the Poor People's Campaign.) They could be jailed for 6 months.

I hope Senator Sinema realizes how bad that would look.

Arrest of activist [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Morocco arrested exiled Uyghur activist Yidiresi Aishan when he arrived from Turkey, and plans to send him straight to China for prosecution.

Extraditing Aishan to China would be like extraditing Julian Assange to the US: a shameful disrespect for human rights. There is no reason to trust China's criminal accusations against dissidents. Construing dissent as "terrorism" is a widespread practice.

Suppression of minor parties [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The UK's electoral system suppresses minor parties almost as hard as the US electoral system. This prevents real politics and saddles the country with fantasist manipulators like Bogus Johnson.

Daniel Hale sentenced [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Whistleblower Daniel Hale was sentenced to almost 4 years in prison for revealing that US drone attacks were killing lots of civilians, which the US had tried to cover up.

Shame on the US government for prosecuting heroes such as Hale.

Status of endangered wildlife [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A new method of measuring the status of endangered wildlife is based on how far it is from returning to its previous population, before anthropic damage.

Aboriginal group's board [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Ex Rio Tinto chief Walsh joins Aboriginal group's board.*

A former mining executive probably owns lots of stock in mining companies. He might perhaps be able to give useful advice to this organization, provided they remain alert to the danger of being led into a trap.

But there is something fishy about putting the mining executive on the board, where he could vote to make it decide to "compromise" by letting the mining company have its way. Thus, I am skeptical that the organization truly intends to protect those lands. It could decide that the best way to "benefit" the Banjima is to pay the organization to permit more mining.

I wonder which of the Banjima would actually benefit from some of that money, and how that relates to the board of the organization.

Urgent: wrecker prosecution [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

US citizens: call on Biden not to let the wrecker and his officials off the hook of criminal prosecution.

Wipe out of sea turtles [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Mass tourism on Zakynthos is wiping out the sea turtles. They have to stay far out to sea to avoid swimmers and boats, and it is hard to come in to lay eggs.

16:00

On the interaction between the FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH flags [The Old New Thing]

The Create­File function has two related flags: FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH. These flags can be set independently, but they sort of work together.

First, let’s look at FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING. Setting this flag prevents operations on the handle from going through the disk cache. Reads come directly from the disk, and writes go directly to the disk.

The FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH flag increases the urgency with which write requests are sent to the disk. Setting this flag forces writes to go to the disk immediately, and combining this flag with FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING adds the additional urgency of telling the disk controller to flush the data out of its internal cache.

So let’s fill out a table.

  NO_BUFFERING
Clear Set
WRITE_THROUGH Clear Writes go into cache
Lazily written to disk
No hardware flush
Writes bypass cache
Immediately written to disk
No hardware flush
Set Writes go into cache
Immediately written to disk
Hardware flush
Writes bypass cache
Immediately written to disk
Hardware flush

Bonus reading: We’re currently using FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH, but we would like our WriteFile to go even faster.

The post On the interaction between the <CODE>FILE_<WBR>FLAG_<WBR>NO_<WBR>BUFFERING</CODE> and <CODE>FILE_<WBR>FLAG_<WBR>WRITE_<WBR>THROUGH</CODE> flags appeared first on The Old New Thing.

15:49

[$] Hole punching races against page-cache filling [LWN.net]

Filesystem developers tend to disagree with each other about many things, but they are nearly unanimous in their dislike for the truncate() system call, which chops data off the end of a file. Implementing truncate() tends to be full of traps for the unwary — the kind of traps that can lead to lost data. But it turns out that a similar operation, called "hole punching", may be worse. This operation has been subject to difficult-to-hit but real race conditions in many filesystems for years; this patch set from Jan Kara may finally be at a point where it can fill the hole in hole punching.

15:28

Link [Scripting News]

A video demo of why instant updating in outlines is so important for content management applications.

Link [Scripting News]

There's a new release of PagePark with the door closed for serving config.json files in domain folders. I asked for comments yesterday, and there weren't any objections. However this is a potential breakage issue, so I wanted to flag it. There is a new config option that lets you re-open the door, either globally or for a specific domain.

15:14

On the interaction between the FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH flags [The Old New Thing]

The Create­File function has two related flags: FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH. These flags can be set independently, but they sort of work together.

First, let’s look at FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING. Setting this flag prevents operations on the handle from going through the disk cache. Reads come directly from the disk, and writes go directly to the disk.

The FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH flag increases the urgency with which write requests are sent to the disk. Setting this flag forces writes to go to the disk immediately, and combining this flag with FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING adds the additional urgency of telling the disk controller to flush the data out of its internal cache.

So let’s fill out a table.

  NO_BUFFERING
Clear Set
WRITE_THROUGH Clear Writes go into cache
Lazily written to disk
No hardware flush
Writes bypass cache
Immediately written to disk
No hardware flush
Set Writes go into cache
Immediately written to disk
Hardware flush
Writes bypass cache
Immediately written to disk
Hardware flush

Bonus reading: We’re currently using FILE_FLAG_NO_BUFFERING and FILE_FLAG_WRITE_THROUGH, but we would like our WriteFile to go even faster.

The post On the interaction between the <CODE>FILE_<WBR>FLAG_<WBR>NO_<WBR>BUFFERING</CODE> and <CODE>FILE_<WBR>FLAG_<WBR>WRITE_<WBR>THROUGH</CODE> flags appeared first on The Old New Thing.

The Big Idea: Brad Parks [Whatever]

Sometimes the Big Idea of one’s book is… well. Not something that you would contemplate in real life, but might make an intriguing premise for one’s novel. Brad Parks knows a little bit about this, as it relates to his newest work, aptly entitled Unthinkable.

BRAD PARKS:

I love my wife very much.

So, naturally, I’ve been thinking about killing her.

That’s the Big Idea behind Unthinkable, my latest novel. And before I get myself indicted—for the record, Your Honor: she’s still very much alive and unharmed—I should probably explain.

As I began brainstorming the manuscript that eventually became Unthinkable, I found myself focusing on stakes.

What would the protagonist gain if he succeeded? More importantly, what would he lose if he failed?

Stakes are what make a novel go. They’re what make readers furiously turn pages. And depending on the genre, they can look very different.

In romance, it’s going to be the unconsummated love between two characters who can’t . . . ever . . . quite . . . get together. In science fiction, it might be the survival of the entire race of Gebulons on Beta-Hydra-9. In fantasy, it’s the fate of the wizarding world.

Whatever the details, it has to be something that feels like it matters. That, to me, is often a failing in certain, ahem, literary novels. When it becomes apparent to me what’s going to be at stake for four hundred pages is the professor’s wranglings with Proust—and a side plot about whether they sleep with their grad student—I get the urge to binge-watch shark videos on YouTube.

Since stakes are so important, I figured that’s where I’d start with Unthinkable.

And because I love my wife so much—really! I do!—the first thought I had was: Wouldn’t it be gripping if the thing at stake was the protagonist being told he needs to kill his wife? Especially if I put something really compelling on the other side of the equation.

Like, he has to kill his wife or a billion people will die.

That became the elevator pitch for Unthinkable. Basically, it’s the classic trolley problem from Philosophy 101—would you pull a lever to divert a trolley that would kill five people if it made you responsible for the death of one person?—but on steroids.

I made the protagonist an ordinary guy like me: Nate Lovejoy, a stay-at-home dad to two rambunctious toddlers. (I did time as a SAHD myself and have the scars to prove it.) Despite the trials of childrearing, he and his wife, Jenny Welker, remain deeply devoted to each other.

After all, that further increases the stakes. If the marriage was on the rocks, Nate’s choice might be easier.

I then had to make the whole proposition plausible within the framework of the novel, so I introduced a character with limited skills of precognition, the ability to see the future.

This is a little out there, of course. So in my world-building, I grounded it in the real-life principle that physicists have long understood: the fact that we perceive time as moving in only one direction is truly an accident of our senses. The laws of physics work perfectly fine either way.

Furthermore, it has been theorized—though neither proven nor disproven—that a positron may actually be an electron moving backwards in time. If that’s true, we’re literally being bombarded by matter from the future all the time.

The final step, then, is to have a human being who has evolved the ability to sense that matter; in the same way that about a half a billion years ago, during the Cambrian period, organisms first evolved the ability to detect light.

Still with me? Right, so there’s this guy who can see the future. And he has foreseen that Jenny, a lawyer, will win a massive, Erin Brockovich-style lawsuit against a power company who has been sickening people with a coal-fired power plant.

This, however, will have a wildly unintended consequence. It will cause power companies to install smokestack scrubbers that use sodium hexafluoride, a greenhouse gas that is twenty-four-thousand-times more powerful than carbon dioxide. This, in turn will trigger a global warming catastrophe.

Causing the death of a billion people.

And the only way to stop the lawsuit is for Nate to kill Jenny.

Will he do it? Can he do it? That’s the Big Idea that moves Unthinkable forward.

It’s just not something I’ve ever given serious thought to myself.

I swear, Your Honor.

So you can, y’know, dismiss the charges now.


Unthinkable: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.

14:21

Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

Security updates have been issued by Debian (webkit2gtk), Fedora (ruby and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (aspell and varnish), openSUSE (git), SUSE (ardana-cobbler, cassandra, cassandra-kit, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, grafana, kibana, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-monasca-installer, openstack-nova, python-Django, python-elementpath, python-eventlet, python-py, python-pysaml2, python-six, python-xmlschema and git), and Ubuntu (libsndfile, mariadb-10.3, and webkit2gtk).

13:35

AirDropped Gun Photo Causes Terrorist Scare [Schneier on Security]

A teenager on an airplane sent a photo of a replica gun via AirDrop to everyone who had their settings configured to receive unsolicited photos from strangers. This caused a three-hour delay as the plane — still at the gate — was evacuated and searched.

The teen was not allowed to reboard. I can’t find any information about whether he was charged with any of those vague “terrorist threat” crimes.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these sorts of overreactions.

12:07

CodeSOD: Extensioning Yourself [The Daily WTF]

It's bad news when you inherit a legacy PHP CMS. It's worse news when you see that the vast majority of the files were last changed in 2002 (of course there's no source control). That...

11:42

Grrl Power #966 – Special training [Grrl Power]

Skipping over bedroom shenanigans. There could be some cute and awkward pre-game moments to be had there, but I’ll leave that stuff up to you guys to fill in. As well as jokes about other things being filled in.

Using a prisoner as a punching bag under normal circumstances is obviously a horrific idea. In a world with super powers… there can be legitimate reasons for it. Weird, rare reasons. Like someone needing the occasional injection of Vitamin V. (V, in this case, does not stand for Velocity, 5, Vanadium, or alien lizard people)

Yes, literally the only reason Kevin started off with a boxer’s robe and hand wraps was for the barely-a-reveal in the final panel. Also he wanted to jog out into the middle of the quarry like Rocky.

I’m going back to the black ink lines for a bit. I don’t like them as much, but it does save me at least an hour of work. On top of that I’m going to try and simplify the coloring just a bit, because it has been taking me an average of 5 and a half to 6 days to get two pages done each week, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for nudie pinups or writing. (He said after posting a double sized page.) If I can get comic time down to 5 days, that will give me a little more breathing room and should speed up work on side projects like novels. Speaking of which…


Tamer: Enhancer 2 – Progress Update:

Almost finished the second to last chapter. Like there’s literally a dozen paragraphs left, but instead of doing that tonight I have to post some superheroine comic I’ve been working on. I am going to have to back up and do a little editing, because a new character’s behavior fluctuates too much from one moment to the next. I want them to develop one way, but my default writing flow is pulling them in another.


July’s vote incentive is up!

You guys don’t know who this is yet. (Her name is Xerxa.) I will give you one single guess what she might be from. (And no, it’s not Dabbler’s mother.) It was a piece I had half finished from a little while ago and given my time constraints this month, I threw a little polish and some background on it and here you are. Unfortunately there aren’t nine separate versions because she’s not wearing a ton to begin with.  Hopefully you can read about that soon. I hope you like it, personally I think it turned out pretty good.

As always, nude version are up at Patreon.


Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like.

09:42

“Make the sign bigger!” [Seth's Blog]

Actually, the sign will never be big enough

Make the announcement louder. Make the logo bigger. Yell. Call more people on the phone to sell them an extended warranty. Send more emails. Hustle harder.

None of it works.

The problem with the fountain isn’t that they didn’t make a big enough sign. The problem is that the fountain itself is poorly designed. It’s an attractive nuisance, a dangerous thing to put in the middle of a boring courtyard. The sides invite sitting and standing, and the height beckons people to walk in and around it. And the consistent cues of its design aren’t going to be undone by an ugly, intrusive sign, even one in red with ALL CAPS.

And louder and more persistent PA announcements aren’t going to help if the situation people are in has lulled them into not listening.

And a bigger logo isn’t going to get someone to care about your company if the product and your story don’t resonate with them.

Insisting on a bigger interruption is lazy. It’s lazy because if you really cared about solving the problem, you’d change the situation, not yell about it.

If you get the design right, you can whisper instead.

06:42

1526 [Looking For Group]

The post 1526 appeared first on Looking For Group.

03:42

Perfect Form [Whatever]

This dog needs her own yoga studio. Clearly she has the form for it.

Hope you had a good day, folks. As you can see, ours here was pretty relaxing.

— JS

03:35

Two Googlers offer a tour and coding demo of Fuchsia OS [OSnews]

Despite having officially launched earlier this year, there’s still quite a bit of mystery around Google’s next operating system, Fuchsia. To help explain the most important details, two Googlers have shared a video tour and Q&A with much of what you might want to know about Fuchsia OS.

This is an hour-long deep dive into Fuchsia, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. If you ever wanted to know anything about the inner workings of Google’s new operating system that seems bound to replace everything from Android to Chrome OS, this is your chance.

Emulating the IBM PC on an ESP32 [OSnews]

The IBM PC spawned the basic architecture that grew into the dominant Wintel platform we know today. Once heavy, cumbersome and power thirsty, it’s a machine that you can now emulate on a single board with a cheap commodity microcontroller. That’s thanks to work from [Fabrizio Di Vittorio], who has shared a how-to on Youtube. 

The full playlist is quite something to watch, showing off a huge number of old-school PC applications and games running on the platform. There’s QBASIC, FreeDOS, Windows 3.0, and yes, of course, Flight Simulator. The latter game was actually considered somewhat of a de facto standard for PC compatibility in the 1980s, so the fact that the ESP32 can run it with [Fabrizio’s] code suggests he’s done well.

This is excellent work, and while there’s tons of better ways to emulate an old IBM PC, they’re not as cool as running it on a cheap microcontroller.

03:07

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 29, 2021 [LWN.net]

The LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 29, 2021 is available.

02:49

Like And Subscribe [QC RSS]

butts butts butts

01:14

Patryk Cisek: Debian on TrueNAS Core under bhyve [Planet Debian]

Installing Debian/GNU Linux under bhyve on TrueNAS Core I got myself a TrueNAS Mini X+ couple of months ago. I have it running TrueNAS Core based on FreeBSD. In that system you can run VMs under FreeBSD’s native hypervisor, bhyve. Since there are a couple of quirks around running Debian specifically, I decided to write up a quick article about setting up Debian-based VM there. The quirks The ones I’ve stumbled upon were:

00:28

My Gynecomastia by Giopota [Oh Joy Sex Toy]

My Gynecomastia by Giopota

The amazing Giopota is BACK with this autobio comic about his life with Gynecomastia. Everybody’s journey is going to be different and we’re incredibly thankful to have Giopota share a slice of his. Go sign up to all of his stuff below and then tell him how fantastic he is. Twitter Instagram Patreon Mother Sea […]

Wednesday, 28 July

23:21

FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant [Planet GNU]

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

23:00

Link [Scripting News]

I heard from a friend of Gary Sevitsky, a colleague of mine in the late 70s at the University of Wisconsin. He and I were both smokers and grad students in Computer Science, so we'd go out for smoking breaks together while working at the Unix lab on West Dayton St. It was in one of our hallway smoking conversations that he told me about Lisp editors that understood structure. I loved the idea, but I was programming in C, so I decided to build an editor for that language, with the same idea. That started me down a path that to this day I'm still working on. The combination of outline structures and programming, it's a big deal. I never spoke with him after leaving Madison, and after the Guy Kawasaki podcast I heard from a friend of his who said that Gary had died at age 57, in 2013. He was a kind, brilliant man, and a friend from one of the best times of my life.

22:35

FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant [Free software jobs]

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

22:14

Link [Scripting News]

In the future, kids will learn about the attempt to overthrow the government that failed, but they let the coup leaders stay in Congress and they tried again, and again, and again. Kids of the future will wonder why the people of America didn't force the politicians to evict the terrorists. Instead, it took 20 years to get them out of the government, in the meantime the planet became unlivable, billions died and civilization basically dissolved. Right now that's the story that should be being reported in the news. Wait longer, the story gets worse.

21:49

[$] Python gets a "Developer-in-Residence" [LWN.net]

Backlogs in bug triage, code review, and other elements of the development process are nothing new for free-software projects; there is clearly a lot more interest in creating new features (and the bugs that go with them, of course) than in taking on the less-satisfying bits. For a large project like CPython, though, the backlog can seriously impede progress—potentially chasing off contributors whose work falls through the cracks. In order to address that, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has raised some funds to hire Łukasz Langa as the CPython "Developer-in-Residence". Langa will be working to help clear the backlog, while also looking into other areas of interest to the PSF and the Python steering council.

21:21

21:07

Adventures in dressmaking [Judith Proctor's Journal]

Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and by a general desire to avoid buying new clothes wherever possible, I'm making a summer top out of an old skirt that had a small hole in it. I bought a copy of Collins-Complete-Book-Needlecraft in a charity shop. It's a well written book and has the advantage of a loose sheet with lots of patterns on it. Very difficult to get free patterns, there appears to be no dressmaking equivalent to Ravelry.

The patterns in the book have no seam allowance - not quite sure why - you have to add it manually when cutting the pattern out.
The process of making a top goes roughly like this:

1. Not that the pattern had a single front piece and two back pieces. See no reason for there to be two back pieces, so cut it on a fold of a fabric and end up with one front and one back.

2. Pin it and try it on.

3. Realise that the reason for having two back pieces is that you can't fit the top over your head unless you have a back opening with a fastener of some kind.

4. Not enough fabric to cut out two new back pieces, and cutting it in half would leave no seam allowance, so try one of the many options suggested in the book and decide to do a pinhole neckline at the front.

5. Pinhole neck needs bias binding. Go out and buy bias binding - have no idea if wide or narrow binding is needed. Am stupid enough to believe staff member in Hobbycraft who assures me that the wide binding I am holding in my hand will be fine.

6. Attempt bias binding - find that the thick binding can't cope with the tight curve of a pinhole neck. It sticks up at right angles from the fabric...

7. Cut the bias binding in half down the centre of the strip and read lots of stuff on the web about how to attach bias binding round curves.

8. Better result this time, The bias binding still sticks up a bit, but not nearly so far.

9, Find button in stash and make a loop with bias binding to fasten it across the pinhole. Of course, the button has to be slightly to one side of the centre, which is annoying when you look at it...

10. Decide that I'd like to add some short sleeves. There's just enough fabric left from the skirt to do it. I'd like sleeves with a sort of loose, floppy effect, so I cut them on the bias (some of the Sewing Bee sticks).

11. Sew first sleeve in inside-out.

12. It also seems a bit tight.

13. Hm. Tweak sleeve shape a bit to make as much space for the shoulder as possible.

14. Sew in both sleeves. It all looks good, but I really don't like the way the neckline looks with that button, and the sleeves are still a bit tight.

15. Ah, we forgot the missing seam allowance when cutting out the sleeves....

16. Decide to scrap the pinhole neck. Cut out a big, deep neckline. Remove all the old bias binding and apply new. Getting much better at bias binding now! It's definitely lying flatter, and pressing it properly helps even more.

17. THere are some slight wrinkles on the shoulders now - probably a result of the new neckline removing some of the tension in the fabric.

18. Some careful measurement reveals that I remembered the 'extra' seam allowance on the back panels, but not on the front. Hm. That's another reason why the sleeves feel tight - the fabric across the shoulders is a bit tight.

19. Decisions, decisions. I can either remove the sleeves altogether, or take them out and reduce the seam size as much as possible. It's sewn with a 2cm seam, so I could probably gain 1cm all round without totally destroying it....

It's a good thing that I regarded this entire exercise as a learning experiment!

I've learnt a lot about both fabric and technique. The skirt was old and well worn and the fabric was soft and slippery and very hard to pin and cut accurately.


I've gained a reasonable understanding of darts - I managed to alter the pattern correctly for my bust, and I also managed a slight change to the side shaping. I wanted it loose fitting, but with some slight shaping.
I now have an idea of how to modify patterns to alter the shape of sleeves.

I now know three different ways to apply bias binding and have a reasonable idea of which one to use where and why.

I will always check patterns to see if they include seam allowances!

I will try my next project with a slightly stiffer fabric (I've a second-hand duvet colour in a nice, bold pattern...)

Here's what the top looks like at present - it looks a bit crumpled as I hadn't ironed it and it had got tossed in a pile by the sewing machine overnight....


So, shall I remove the sleeves, or try resetting them in with a reduced sleeve allowance?

I mean, I could just abandon it. It's never likely to fit that well, but it's all education!
 


How's the picture size?
 





comment count unavailable comments

20:42

Adventures in dressmaking [Tales From the Riverbank]

Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and by a general desire to avoid buying new clothes wherever possible, I'm making a summer top out of an old skirt that had a small hole in it. I bought a copy of Collins-Complete-Book-Needlecraft in a charity shop. It's a well written book and has the advantage of a loose sheet with lots of patterns on it. Very difficult to get free patterns, there appears to be no dressmaking equivalent to Ravelry.

The patterns in the book have no seam allowance - not quite sure why - you have to add it manually when cutting the pattern out.
The process of making a top goes roughly like this:

1. Not that the pattern had a single front piece and two back pieces. See no reason for there to be two back pieces, so cut it on a fold of a fabric and end up with one front and one back.

2. Pin it and try it on.

3. Realise that the reason for having two back pieces is that you can't fit the top over your head unless you have a back opening with a fastener of some kind.

4. Not enough fabric to cut out two new back pieces, and cutting it in half would leave no seam allowance, so try one of the many options suggested in the book and decide to do a pinhole neckline at the front.

5. Pinhole neck needs bias binding. Go out and buy bias binding - have no idea if wide or narrow binding is needed. Am stupid enough to believe staff member in Hobbycraft who assures me that the wide binding I am holding in my hand will be fine.

6. Attempt bias binding - find that the thick binding can't cope with the tight curve of a pinhole neck. It sticks up at right angles from the fabric...

7. Cut the bias binding in half down the centre of the strip and read lots of stuff on the web about how to attach bias binding round curves.

8. Better result this time, The bias binding still sticks up a bit, but not nearly so far.

9, Find button in stash and make a loop with bias binding to fasten it across the pinhole. Of course, the button has to be slightly to one side of the centre, which is annoying when you look at it...

10. Decide that I'd like to add some short sleeves. There's just enough fabric left from the skirt to do it. I'd like sleeves with a sort of loose, floppy effect, so I cut them on the bias (some of the Sewing Bee sticks).

11. Sew first sleeve in inside-out.

12. It also seems a bit tight.

13. Hm. Tweak sleeve shape a bit to make as much space for the shoulder as possible.

14. Sew in both sleeves. It all looks good, but I really don't like the way the neckline looks with that button, and the sleeves are still a bit tight.

15. Ah, we forgot the missing seam allowance when cutting out the sleeves....

16. Decide to scrap the pinhole neck. Cut out a big, deep neckline. Remove all the old bias binding and apply new. Getting much better at bias binding now! It's definitely lying flatter, and pressing it properly helps even more.

17. THere are some slight wrinkles on the shoulders now - probably a result of the new neckline removing some of the tension in the fabric.

18. Some careful measurement reveals that I remembered the 'extra' seam allowance on the back panels, but not on the front. Hm. That's another reason why the sleeves feel tight - the fabric across the shoulders is a bit tight.

19. Decisions, decisions. I can either remove the sleeves altogether, or take them out and reduce the seam size as much as possible. It's sewn with a 2cm seam, so I could probably gain 1cm all round without totally destroying it....

It's a good thing that I regarded this entire exercise as a learning experiment!

I've learnt a lot about both fabric and technique. The skirt was old and well worn and the fabric was soft and slippery and very hard to pin and cut accurately.


I've gained a reasonable understanding of darts - I managed to alter the pattern correctly for my bust, and I also managed a slight change to the side shaping. I wanted it loose fitting, but with some slight shaping.
I now have an idea of how to modify patterns to alter the shape of sleeves.

I now know three different ways to apply bias binding and have a reasonable idea of which one to use where and why.

I will always check patterns to see if they include seam allowances!

I will try my next project with a slightly stiffer fabric (I've a second-hand duvet colour in a nice, bold pattern...)

Here's what the top looks like at present - it looks a bit crumpled as I hadn't ironed it and it had got tossed in a pile by the sewing machine overnight....


So, shall I remove the sleeves, or try resetting them in with a reduced sleeve allowance?

I mean, I could just abandon it. It's never likely to fit that well, but it's all education!
 


How's the picture size?
 



This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments.

19:49

Page 58 [Flipside]

Page 58 is done.

19:14

News Post: Informer [Penny Arcade]

Tycho: I like Pokemon, but if it were to pass me a note in class with an option to indicate whether I like-liked it, I would have to think about it for a while. At the individual game level for new mainline releases, I rigorously follow the stories because… they're legitimately kinda cool? But the specific grind loop in the game is something my brain will only tolerate for around ten hours total, after which it's like asking me to put my hand on a hot stove. Pokemon UNITE, though, is something I can do. I should elaborate. When I say I can "do" it, I don't mean that I can win.…

19:00

18:07

Factory farms [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Factory farms rivers, lakes and oceans, drive global heating, and make so much meat that people in many countries make themselves sick. Some senators support a bill to eliminate factory farms in the US, over a period of two decades.

Anti-lockdown protests [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Australian officials reviled anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney for "filthy, risky behavior", as well as fining them.

I disagree with the protesters' position; I'm convinced that Sydney needs a more complete shutdown in order to suppress the outbreak faster. ("Shutdown" is not quite the same thing as "lockdown.) However, their right to protest is another matter. Prohibiting protest is repression. The right to protest is sacred to democracy.

There are clearly things that protesters could do which risk spreading Covid-19 — for instance, failing to keep their distance from each other and everyone else. Protesters must obey rules like that, to keep the protest safe for each other and everyone else.

However, the article does not report that most of these protesters did things that endangered anyone. What officials call "filthy" appears to be simply a matter of breaking a rule about travelling more than 5km away from home.

It is not more dangerous to travel 6km than 4km. The rule is clearly meant as a rough approximation to reduce the overall level of travel and social intercourse.

That might be a helpful measure in general, but they should make an exception for a protest now and then.

Taking painkiller while pregnant [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A woman in Alabama faces a felony charge for taking a painkiller while pregnant. Pregnant women will be scared to talk to doctors when they realize that doctors might be required to turn them in.

Prohibition [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A proposal: to end tobacco addiction by prohibiting the sale to anyone born after 2005.

Tobacco is very dangerous, and I urge everyone never to use it. However, prohibiting an addictive drug is asking for unrest, crime, and corruption. Let's not start a War on Tobacco!

Charging opponents with terrorism [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Tanzania has charged an opposition party's leaders with planning terrorism.

This is over the top, and basically says that the president doesn't care how transparently false the accusations are.

Heat waves [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Heat waves in the next few decades will get hotter an accelerating rate, so they will set new records more often.

Worker rights [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Labour has made an important campaign promise: workers rights will cover to all kinds of workers, starting from the first day of work.

Environmental campaign promises [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Biden has not even started on most of his environmental campaign promises.

He has started reversing only 1/4 of the wrecker's environmental sabotage measures, while supporting another 1/4.

Protests against use of Pegasus [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Hungarians protested against the government's use of Pegasus to spy on dissidents. They compared this with the Communist regime's surveillance, and repression.

Powerful entities — governments and rich businesses — want to track people to get more power over them. In systems of universal surveillance, future dissidents will be surveilled in advance.

The most sensitive personal data are metadata:

  • Where did you go?
  • What did you do there?
  • Who did you talk with?

For the sake of democracy, we must forbid the existence of systems that can collect these data about people.

Mandate vaccine for government workers [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*California and New York City to mandate vaccine for government workers. Department of Veterans Affairs becomes first major federal agency to require healthcare workers to receive Covid shot.*

The requirement is not absolute — each worker can choose to be tested once a week, instead of vaccinated. I support this in principle, but I think the tests should be more frequent; perhaps twice per work week.

Under Control [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

(satire) *Boston Dynamics Unveils New Robots Able To Realistically Behave Like They Under Researchers' Control.*

Cannot go home [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Over 30,000 Australians can't go home. They may have to wait years, and may be ruined by debt, including the high cost of the "subsidized" flights.

I disagree with the writer on one point. Given the world-wide shortage of vaccine, I think it was proper of Australia to rest behind its wall of quarantine and suffer occasional shutdowns to keep people safe, making vaccination unnecessary. If Delta makes that cease to be effective, so that Australia needs to compete for the scarce vaccines, it will be an unfortunate setback.

But that is a separate issue. Australia should spend more on quarantine facilities so that it can bring its people home sooner.

17:42

Link [Scripting News]

The big bug in our system is that the world is run mostly by people who are playing it safe.

Link [Scripting News]

If you're a PagePark user, here's a potential security issue I want to fix, but there is breakage, that's why I wanted to check with users first.

16:56

Link [Scripting News]

Howard Beale: "I'm a human being god damn it, my life has value!"

Link [Scripting News]

Journalism is a ruling class, just like all the rest of them. Like the church they try to reserve a holy position for themselves, but it's a lie.

Link [Scripting News]

I never expect to hear any challenging ideas on cable tv news, but yesterday I actually did hear one, in passing, from a surprising source, John Heilemann, who I think of as the ultimate parrot. A good looking person, speaks well, but just shovels shit. But yesterday he said something "out there" not on the script they're all singing from on CNN and MSNBC. He said that Biden's response to the threat to democracy is too weak. He said if Biden was really signed on, he'd be putting roadblocks in the Repubs' way, every day. Using the incredible communication system that the White House can be, if used bravely, to expose the threat, again: Every. Damned. Day. I just gave Joe Trippi, Dan Gillmor and Jay Rosen grief, for only being willing to dip a toe in the water on the mess we're in. Trippi had an episode where he must've mentioned my name 20 times, but he never told his listeners what I told him he had to do. And of course he's not doing it. Presumably because he's still holding on to the option of having a career if the Repubs prevail? Doesn't he see that won't happen. And we're all about the same age, in our mid-60s. This isn't time to be thinking about our careers, it's a time in our lives when we can afford to take some risks. Think about it next time you decide to play it safe. (That's the problem with every successful person, you can't trust them, even when they're old, they're so set in the groove of safe-playing, they'll never actually do anything to change how things work. And very few young people are willing to risk, or would know what to do if they did.)

16:42

GFL – Page 0065 [Looking For Group]

Grouping For Looks is a page-by-page retelling of the Looking For Group saga through the lens of a mirror universe where Cale is a goateed tyrant and Richard is a holy soul trying to set him on a good path. […]

The post GFL – Page 0065 appeared first on Looking For Group.

16:35

A set of stable kernels [LWN.net]

Stable kernels 5.13.6, 5.10.54, 5.4.136, 4.19.199, 4.14.241, 4.9.277, and 4.4.277 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

16:07

Link [Scripting News]

I'm still trying to figure out how to use tagging. The goal is to create an index, like the index in the back of a book. Maybe when I have enough tags I will be able to create a book from my writing here? It approximates the way we did the index in the back of software manuals at Living Videotext. Hmm. Maybe tagging would work well for the Drummer docs? Also my apologies to email readers, for some reason the tags don't show up in emails. I have to figure out why, but I'm not working near there at this time.

Link [Scripting News]

White Lotus on HBO got really good reviews, so I gave it a try. It sucks. Often overwhelmingly cringe-worthy. However I have watched the first three episodes and I can see that I'm probably going all the way. I also tried Manifest on Netflix, a former NBC series that got mixed reviews. I knew from the start that it was junk, but I watched anyway because sometimes Junk TV is just right for the moment. You don't have to pay close attention to what's going on. They were trying to make another Lost, which was okay, but they didn't get there. It's just plain garbage. But it was #1 on Netflix last week. I haven't watched a series on Netflix in a long time, I wonder why I pay for it.

15:49

Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

Security updates have been issued by Fedora (golang), Mageia (curl, filezilla, jdom/jdom2, netty, pdfbox, perl-Mojolicious, perl-Net-CIDR-Lite, perl-Net-Netmask, python-urllib3, python3, quassel, transfig, and virtualbox), openSUSE (umoci), Red Hat (rh-nodejs12-nodejs and rh-nodejs12-nodejs-nodemon and rh-nodejs14-nodejs and rh-nodejs14-nodejs-nodemon), and SUSE (firefox, glibc, libsndfile, linuxptp, qemu, and umoci).

15:07

How can I prevent the mouse from moving in response to touch input? [The Old New Thing]

A customer had a program that responded to touch input, but they found that when the user touched the screen, the mouse jumped to the touch point. How can they prevent that?

What you can do is make your program WM_POINTER-aware: Process the various WM_POINTER messages directly, and don’t let them go to Def­Window­Proc. It is the Def­Window­Proc function that takes unprocessed pointer messages and turns them into equivalent mouse activity.

You can take our scratch program and make these changes:

    case WM_POINTERDOWN:
    case WM_POINTERUPDATE:
    case WM_POINTERUP:
    case WM_POINTERWHEEL:
    case WM_POINTERHWHEEL:
    {
        auto pointerId = GET_POINTERID_WPARAM(wParam);
        POINTER_INPUT_TYPE type;
        if (GetPointerType(pointerId, &type) && type == PT_MOUSE) {
            return DefWindowProc(hwnd, uiMsg, wParam, lParam);
        }
        /* here is where you process the pointer message directly */
        return 0;
    }

This program checks whether the pointer message came from a mouse. If so, then it lets the message go through and be processed normally.¹ Otherwise, it handles the message. Or at least, it would handle the message once you replace that comment with code that processes the message.

The mapping between pointer messages and mouse messages is

Pointer Mouse
WM_POINTERDOWN WM_*BUTTONDOWN
WM_POINTERUPDATE WM_MOUSEMOVE
WM_POINTERUP WM_*BUTTONUP
WM_POINTERWHEEL WM_MOUSEWHEEL
WM_POINTERHWHEEL WM_MOUSEHWHEEL

There are also corresponding nonclient pointer and mouse messages, but I’m going to let those be processed normally so you can use touch to drag the window by its title bar.

¹ Mouse messages by default don’t even come in as WM_POINTER messages, but you can change that with Enable­Mouse­In­Pointer.

The post How can I prevent the mouse from moving in response to touch input? appeared first on The Old New Thing.

12:07

CodeSOD: All the News You Need [The Daily WTF]

Alexandar works with a veteran software architect. It's important to note here that a veteran is someone who has had experience. It certainly doesn't mean that they learned anything from that...

De-anonymization Story [Schneier on Security]

This is important:

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill was general secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), effectively the highest-ranking priest in the US who is not a bishop, before records of Grindr usage obtained from data brokers was correlated with his apartment, place of work, vacation home, family members’ addresses, and more.

[…]

The data that resulted in Burrill’s ouster was reportedly obtained through legal means. Mobile carriers sold­ — and still sell — ­location data to brokers who aggregate it and sell it to a range of buyers, including advertisers, law enforcement, roadside services, and even bounty hunters. Carriers were caught in 2018 selling real-time location data to brokers, drawing the ire of Congress. But after carriers issued public mea culpas and promises to reform the practice, investigations have revealed that phone location data is still popping up in places it shouldn’t. This year, T-Mobile even broadened its offerings, selling customers’ web and app usage data to third parties unless people opt out.

The publication that revealed Burrill’s private app usage, The Pillar, a newsletter covering the Catholic Church, did not say exactly where or how it obtained Burrill’s data. But it did say how it de-anonymized aggregated data to correlate Grindr app usage with a device that appears to be Burrill’s phone.

The Pillar says it obtained 24 months’ worth of “commercially available records of app signal data” covering portions of 2018, 2019, and 2020, which included records of Grindr usage and locations where the app was used. The publication zeroed in on addresses where Burrill was known to frequent and singled out a device identifier that appeared at those locations. Key locations included Burrill’s office at the USCCB, his USCCB-owned residence, and USCCB meetings and events in other cities where he was in attendance. The analysis also looked at other locations farther afield, including his family lake house, his family members’ residences, and an apartment in his Wisconsin hometown where he reportedly has lived.

Location data is not anonymous. It cannot be made anonymous. I hope stories like these will teach people that.

10:28

Progress is a trade [Seth's Blog]

It’s easy to imagine that over there, just a few steps ahead, our problems will disappear.

Pessimists, of course, are sure that instead of disappearing, tomorrow will make things worse.

The truth is pretty simple: All we do, all we ever do, is trade one set of problems for another.

Problems are a feature. They’re the opportunity to see how we can productively move forward. Not to a world with no problems at all, but to a situation with different problems, ones that are worth dancing with.

HT to Gabe.

09:14

Dark Soul of the Night – DORK TOWER 28.07.21 [Dork Tower]

Beome a DORK TOWER Patreon! Dork Tower is 100% reader-funded, and updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, thanks its generous Patreon supporters. The next goal is four strips a week! Enlist in the Army of Dorkness today, and help us reach that! We have a ton of fun! Also: swag!

05:49

Toxic [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

To call an individual "toxic" is to essentialize per behavior. It is misguided to put all the blame on one person, disregards the point that perse is responding to the structure of the situation, and denies the possibility that people can learn to act better.

China suffering disaster [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

China is suffering a disaster of extreme rains and flooding. Will this convince Xi to give higher priority to decarbonization? We must hope so.

Former NHS nurse [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A former NHS nurse is telling people that vaccination is comparable to Nazi war crimes, and encouraging in a vague way threats against NHS staff.

Shemirani's absurd claims are indeed reprehensible and dangerous. Not surprisingly, there are calls to criminalize them now if that has not already been done.

However, we cannot make a free society by jailing people for expressing hostility and saying things the government designates as reprehensible and dangerous. It is not merely possible that this will lead to repression, it is virtually certain given the censorious spirit that rules in the UK. Here's an example in Fiji.

The UK must refute Shemirani's raving falsehoods with truth, not with a gag.

Privatized bus lines [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The Tories have recognized that the privatized bus lines of the UK (outside the London metropolitan area) are a useless subsidy for businesses, but their proposed solution won't change much.

Murder of a handcuffed prisoner [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A former Australian soldier is on trial for the murder of a handcuffed prisoner in Afghanistan.

Climate pledges [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*A record number of companies are making climate pledges, but experts warn the pace of action remains glacially slow in the face of a barreling climate crisis.*

Civilian casualty figures [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

*Afghanistan civilian casualty figures at record high, UN says.*

The Taliban and PISSI are killing and wounding most of those civilians. They have been responsible for a large amount of the civilian casualties before.

Sh'ite militias [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

A report from Iraq claims that the Sh'ite militias are too powerful for either the Iraqi government or Iran's agent (the replacement for General Suleimani) to keep them under control.

Lonely with digital communication [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Old people often felt more lonely and depressed with only digital communication with friends and family, than being entirely alone.

ISDS clauses [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Oil companies are using ISDS clauses to demand huge penalties from countries that limit fossil fuel extraction.

These treaties are not merely the enemies of democracy, they can destroy human civilization and the ecosphere. Allowing those companies to get what they demand would be worse than fighting a war to defeat them.

Extinction Rebellion as a threat [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

UK thugs regard Extinction Rebellion as a threat to the "UK way of life", and try asking supporters to turn informer about the group's supposed crimes. They don't seem to understand that XR is trying to stop a far bigger real threat.

History of FAIR [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The History of FAIR — correcting the gaps in mainstream media.

Rally in Hungary [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

Tens of thousands joined a rally in Hungary to defend queer rights against Orbán's censorship law. The law ostensibly prohibits "promoting" transgenderism or homosexuality, but just talking about them or instances of them seems to be interpreted as "promoting" them.

Workers at the Frito-Lay plant [Richard Stallman's Political Notes]

The striking workers at the Frito-Lay plant accepted a new contract offer which somewhat reduced their overtime. However, when you see that one of the things they won was a 6-day work week, it shows how far in the wrong direction US labor law has been driven in the 40 years since Reagan attacked unions.

Feeds

FeedRSSLast fetchedNext fetched after
XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
a bag of four grapes XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Anarcho's blog XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Ansible XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
Bad Science XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Black Doggerel XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Blog – Official site of Stephen Fry XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Broodhollow XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Charlie Brooker | The Guardian XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Charlie's Diary XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Chasing the Sunset - Comics Only XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Clay Shirky XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Coding Horror XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Cory Doctorow – Boing Boing XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Cory Doctorow's craphound.com XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Ctrl+Alt+Del Comic XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Cyberunions XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
David Mitchell | The Guardian XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Debian GNU/Linux System Administration Resources XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Deeplinks XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Diesel Sweeties webcomic by rstevens XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Dilbert XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Dork Tower XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Economics from the Top Down XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Eerie Cuties XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
EFF Action Center XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Enspiral Tales - Medium XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Erin Dies Alone XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Events XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Falkvinge on Liberty XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Flipside XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Flipside XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Free software jobs XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
General Protection Fault: The Comic Strip XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
George Monbiot XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Girl Genius XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
God Hates Astronauts XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Graeme Smith XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Groklaw XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Grrl Power XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Hackney Anarchist Group XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
http://calendar.google.com/calendar/feeds/q7s5o02sj8hcam52hutbcofoo4%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
http://dynamic.boingboing.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=feed&_type=posts&blog_id=1&id=1 XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
http://eng.anarchoblogs.org/feed/atom/ XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
http://feed43.com/3874015735218037.xml XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
http://feeds2.feedburner.com/GeekEtiquette?format=xml XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
http://fulltextrssfeed.com/ XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
http://london.indymedia.org/articles.rss XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=ad0530218c055aa302f7e0e84d5d6515&amp;_render=rss XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
http://the-programmers-stone.com/feed/ XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
http://thecommune.co.uk/feed/ XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.airshipentertainment.com/buck/buckcomic/buck.rss XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growf/growfcomic/growf.rss XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.airshipentertainment.com/myth/mythcomic/myth.rss XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.baen.com/baenebooks XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.dcscience.net/feed/medium.co XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.feedsapi.com/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.somethingpositive.net%2Fsp.xml&what=auto&key=&max=7&links=preserve&exc=&privacy=I+accept XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/feed/ XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.steampunkmagazine.com/inside/feed/ XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
http://www.tinycat.co.uk/feed/ XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
https://hackbloc.org/rss.xml XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
https://kajafoglio.livejournal.com/data/atom/ XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
https://philfoglio.livejournal.com/data/atom/ XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
https://studiofoglio.livejournal.com/data/atom/ XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/22724360.rss XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
https://web.randi.org/?format=feed&type=rss XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.DropCatch.com/domain/ubuntuweblogs.org XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.goblinscomic.com/category/comics/feed/ XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.hackneysolidarity.info/rss.xml XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.newstatesman.com/feeds/blogs/laurie-penny.rss XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.patreon.com/graveyardgreg/posts/comic.rss XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/rss/property-for-sale/find.html?locationIdentifier=REGION^876&maxPrice=240000&minBedrooms=2&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&primaryDisplayPropertyType=houses&oldPrimaryDisplayPropertyType=houses&numberOfPropertiesPerPage=24 XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Humble Bundle Blog XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
I, Cringely XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Irregular Webcomic! XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Joel on Software XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
Judith Proctor's Journal XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
Krebs on Security XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Lambda the Ultimate - Programming Languages Weblog XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
LLVM Project Blog XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Looking For Group XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Loomio Blog XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
LWN.net XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Menage a 3 XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Mimi and Eunice XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Neil Gaiman's Journal XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
Nina Paley XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
O Abnormal – Scifi/Fantasy Artist XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Oglaf! -- Comics. Often dirty. XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Oh Joy Sex Toy XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Order of the Stick XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Original Fiction – Tor.com XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
OSnews XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Paul Graham: Unofficial RSS Feed XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Penny Arcade XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Penny Red XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
PHD Comics XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Phil's blog XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
Planet Debian XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
Planet GNU XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Planet GridPP XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Planet Lisp XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
Property is Theft! XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
PS238 by Aaron Williams XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
QC RSS XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Radar XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
RevK®'s ramblings XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
Richard Stallman's Political Notes XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Scenes From A Multiverse XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Schneier on Security XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
SCHNEWS.ORG.UK XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Scripting News XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Seth's Blog XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
Skin Horse XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Spinnerette XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
Starslip by Kris Straub XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Tales From the Riverbank XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
The Bumpycat sat on the mat XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
The Command Line XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
The Daily WTF XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
The Monochrome Mob XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
The Old New Thing XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
The Open Source Grid Engine Blog XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
The Phoenix Requiem XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:47, Saturday, 31 July
The Rogues Gallery XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:30, Saturday, 31 July
The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper: Savage Love XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
TorrentFreak XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
towerhamletsalarm XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
Twokinds XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
UK Indymedia Features XML 12:14, Saturday, 31 July 12:56, Saturday, 31 July
Uploads from ne11y XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
Uploads from piasladic XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July
Use Sword on Monster XML 11:42, Saturday, 31 July 12:29, Saturday, 31 July
Wayward Sons: Legends - Sci-Fi Full Page Webcomic - Updates Daily XML 11:56, Saturday, 31 July 12:42, Saturday, 31 July
What If? XML 12:07, Saturday, 31 July 12:48, Saturday, 31 July
Whatever XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
Whitechapel Anarchist Group XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:10, Saturday, 31 July
WIL WHEATON dot NET XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:05, Saturday, 31 July
wish XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:06, Saturday, 31 July
xkcd.com XML 12:21, Saturday, 31 July 13:04, Saturday, 31 July