December 25 is the birthday of Isaac Newton. On this day, we celebrate the existence of comprehensible physical laws and we call it Newtonmas or Grav-mass.

The name Newtonmas can be attributed to The Skeptics Society, which needed an alternative name for its Christmas party.

Celebrants send cards with “Reason’s Greetings!” printed inside, and exchange boxes of apples and science-related items as gifts. The celebration may have had its origin in a meeting of the Newton Association at Christmas 1890 to talk, distribute gifts, and share laughter and good cheer.

One other way to celebrate Grav-mass is to decorate a tree with apples and other fruits. Glue them or attach them, but not too well! The idea is that occasionally a fruit should fall.

Another way to celebrate Grav-mass, in a group, is by telling each other about scientific knowledge and understanding, or discussing what kind of experiment could answer an unresolved question about the world.

A Grav-Mass tree
A Grav-mass tree poster

Newtonmass can be celebrated by anybody who loves science and wants to have a reason for a celebration. It’s not exclusive to any specific group or belief.

ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) is an acronym used as a political slogan associated with dissidents who say they are subjected to political persecution and police brutality. ACAB is also one of the main slogans of anarchists.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the acronym ACAB (and 1312) recently. People are arguing that not all cops (blue pigs) are bad, which is true, but that’s not what we’re saying.

First of all, we don’t say all cops are bad, we say All Cops Are Bastards. We don’t mean bastard as an unpleasant or despicable person. Bastard is taken from the word bastardize meaning corrupt or debase.

Cops are inherently corrupted in two ways:

First is that they are corrupted by the possessions of power. They can use their authority to inflict power on people.

The second and the most important reason on why all cops are bastards is because the very laws that they are trying to enforce are corrupt and they are used to subdue different identities and minorities.

So cops can be corrupted by their power and cops are corrupted by the laws they enforce; All cops are corrupted, All Cops Are Bastards.

Now that this is clear, let’s have another example. Imagine you’re in a hospital getting ready for a surgery. A nurse comes to you and says most of our surgeons are very well educated, it’s just a few who don’t have a degree and will kill you.

Or, you’re in an airport buying a ticket and the person behind the counter tells you most of our pilots are very well trained, it’s just a few who don’t have any training and will crash the plane and kill you.

It doesn’t make sense, right? Because everybody in those industries must be well trained and educated, because it’s the life of people that is in the matter. We can’t afford to have a few bad jobs there, everything must be perfect.

That is the same thing with cops and law enforcement. Most of cops being good is not enough. It’s either all of them be good or the whole system be corrupt. Doesn’t matter if most of them do their job very well, it’s those few who kill people and abuse power.

The system that is bringing these into power is corrupt so we can’t take a chance or run numbers. People are not numbers, people are living beings. If a system is corrupt, all of those who are in that system, all of those who are subscribed to that system are corrupt, whether they like it or not.

When we say ACAB, we’re not trying to offend anybody, we’re stating the fact that the system is corrupt and it should be dismantled from power. So, stop making excuses for cops and try to reform, rebuild the system in a way that is fixed and can’t be corrupted.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than one million people (confirmed) worldwide, while the real stats probably is 3 times this. However, this pandemic may not have been bad for all people.

Bloomberg has reported that Jeff Bezos’ net worth was increased $13 billion and is a total of $189.3 billion, despite the U.S. entering its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

This is while Amazon (which Jeff Bezos is CEO of) workers are suffering from the economy situation and many are reported to be even homeless. Many Amazon warehouse employees struggle to pay the bills, and more than 4,000 employees are on food stamps in nine states studied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Only Walmart, McDonald’s and two dollar-store chains have more workers requiring such assistance, according to the report, which said 70% of recipients work full-time.

As Amazon opens U.S. warehouses at the rate of about one a day, it’s transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work that’s just a notch above being a burger flipper or convenience store cashier.

This is what capitalism and unfair distribution of wealth is doing to American people. While United States reports these problems, many countries don’t even let medias to report the problems such as this. Capitalism is ruining people’s lives. Rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer.

The system should be reformed. The powerful should not remain in power and the powerless should be treated right. Everybody should be equal and live with justice, equality, and equity.

This is an email message I just received. Autistici/Inventati, one of the very great privacy-advocating collectives is now 20 years old. A very happy birthday to you A/I. We wish you a great 20 more, and more.

Twenty years have passed since the birth of Autistici/Inventati. Twenty years have passed since we ventured down this quite complicated road. Like any respectable end of the year, it is again time for evaluations. End of the year balances are mostly political rather than financial for us, although we cannot deny that we will, as always, ask you to support us economically.

Twenty years ago nobody did what we do. And even today nobody does it the way we do it. This is important to remember because 20 years of work to keep our project alive and functional, relying EXCLUSIVELY on the efforts of the volunteers involved and the spontaneous donations from our users deserve special attention.

Today is very easy to obtain an e-mail address or the space to host a website for free, and we know that mailing lists are mostly replaced by the millions of group chats provided by the various instant messaging platforms. But we think that today it is much more difficult to find a free space where is possible to organize alternatives to the existing. Without alternative places there are no alternative thoughts, without spaces where it is possible to practice other ways of living, organize and imagine different worlds, it is not possible to change the existing one.

2020 has not only been cruel in terms of loss of human lives, it also brought greater difficulty in imagining and practicing change. We do understand how difficult it is to think about change when one has to come to terms with the sudden psychological in as much as social isolation we came to notice , that we recently came to notice. We have been locked down and wedged between the responsibilities towards others and the emergency that leaves no room for alternatives. Some think that 2020 has only actually made more evident how the struggles for an alternative world have become marginal. But the world will also exist in 2021, probably not very differently from 2020, and we will still need to think and practice something completely different.

As always, we do not think that this is possible in spaces that are commodified, monitored, profiled and constantly abused by those who profit from our every word and our every byte. We don’t believe in narratives condemning collectively responsible behavior either: as if it were some sort of weakness or a moniker of slavery. As if the logic of self-interest, laziness or indifference could communicate any sort of value, ie. self-determination, supposedly to be reclaimed, precisely when biology reminds us that no one is free unitl everyone is free.

The bitterness we feel this year isn’t in fact just related to the digital realms. Obviously we feel a strong need for more solidarity: we think that solidarity is unfortunately often lacking both in the priorities that determine the evolution of the real world situation, and in the narrative that derives from it. To say that never like this year there has been a stronger need for solidarity is stating the obvious, but we still feel the need to say it, not only in words, but also with our work, which in 2020 has often had the objective of answering the new needs that the emergency has brought up to the surface.

A piece of work is in fact up to us, to try to provide even more appropriate, effective and usable tools. Coherently with the needs that emerged in 2020, we have added two new services:

https://vc.autistici.org – a jitsi instance for videoconferencing
https://live.autistici.org – a live video streaming platform

They do not require authentication and do not log your data, a combination of features we believe can help change the common attitude we see in relating to technology today.

But outside the digital sphere, practicing change is also a social and common exercise, to which everyone must contribute individually. We have the firm intention of being there. Together.

Some wrote to us saying that the ideas we have expressed in our twenty years old, lyrical manifesto, are obsolete and “out of place” in today’s world. Quite the opposite, we think that they are still exactly the perspective that is missing today. We are not going to change our path. We intend to help change what surrounds us, together with the people around us. This is the way (cit.)

This is what we have always done and what we have always believed in. And it has never been easy. We hope to be able to do it together with the comrades who have been with us all the way here and with the many others who will join us further along the way.

If you want to be part of the next twenty years as you have been in these first twenty, you know where to find us and where to direct those who share our values: https://www.autistici.org/get_service

We take care of the work. But financial support is vital, since we only exist thanks to your donations: https://www.autistici.org/donate

The Autistici-Inventati collective
https://www.autistici.org
donations: https://www.autistici.org/donate
help: help@autistici.org

With rising concern about privacy violations and security issues of computer technology giants like GMAFIA, companies and products are now advertising for themselves using the term end-to-end encryption to mislead users.

I’ve always said that end-to-end encryption only works if you’re in control of the encryption secret/public keys, not the product/company. Sadly, many fall into the false claims of tech giants about privacy.

This week, Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit [PDF] against Google in which it explains that Google has accesses encrypted messages sent and received by WhatsApp, The Register has reported.

End-to-end encryption supposed to eliminate the ability of middle-man or messaging servers/companies to read the message. Now, if we don’t control our encryption keys and rely on keys that are controlled by the company (messenger provider), there’s no difference with no encryption at all.

Messengers like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google stuff, etc. are not safe, even with encryption because the company is controlling the keys, thus can read and share our messages, encrypted or not.

I always have suggested libre decentralized messaging software like Matrix and XMPP which can be self-hosted and secured with true end-to-end encryption.

A civilian police review board confirmed Tuesday it is investigating allegations that Chicago blue pigs serving a search warrant last year barged into the wrong home and handcuffed a naked woman who lived there, NBC Chicago has reported.

The allegations were included in reports in Chicago late last year, but surfaced more recently as videos of the 2019 February 19 incident that Anjanette Young obtained as part of her lawsuit against the city were released.

Very nice, very nice. Storming into a wrong house and arresting a wrong person. Couldn’t even be bothered to show her the paper work or explain what they were doing there, smashed their way in.

Is this what U.S. trying to export to other countries? Is this what U.S. trying to achieve in Middle East?

Various Google products, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Calendar are facing global outage. Any service that requires a Google Account to enable features is currently down.

Google products outage picture

This is a good reason and example to get away from Google and move to a decentralized libre service such as Nextcloud. Using a libre decentralized platform prevents this kind of outages.

A decentralized service can be down too but unlike Google stuff (and similar products), if an instance goes down, only people on that instance will be affected, not the whole network.

For example, more than 2 billion people use G Suite, which includes Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Hangouts, etc. and with this outage, all of them are unable to use these products.

But a decentralized service doesn’t affect 2 billion people at once. People use different instances on different servers and many of them can continue using their services.

And also, a decentralized libre service gives you ability to choose the server you want to run the service on, along with the option to use instances running by other people. This way, you can make sure the server won’t surprise you or put you in trouble.

Move to decentralized libre services so you don’t face outages and responsibilities like this again.

One thing that drives me crazy is that it is assumed that everyone has one of those surveillance machines named mobile phone. Many online products or even offline ones are asking for a mobile phone number that receives text messages and can be used for digital communication therefore surveillance.

And most of those services, products, or places don’t work or compute when one does not have that machine.

In a result of that, now many people have a mobile phone carrying around. Simply because life is now dependent on this machine, people are facing this kind of surveillance.

We worry about GMAFIA and their friends putting us under their surveillance domain but many don’t even think about surveillance using sim cards or cellular data.

Many of us simply don’t have a choice. You see, if we don’t carry a mobile phone with us, life becomes almost impossible so we decide (or forced) to have one. Now, the bigger injustice, the bigger problem is that many companies are now selling a small computer as a mobile phone and they name it smart phones.

Smart phones are simply computers in a smaller form. Our desktop computer can do many things but this kind of computers, named smart phones, give us ability to do our computing and at the same time have a cellular connection and use it as a phone.

What makes it not good is that almost all of these smart phones are running nonfree software. A free (as in freedom) software (or software libre) lets you to be in control of your own computing. A libre program does what you want, however, a nonfree program forces you to do what it wants.

Being forced to have a mobile phone to be able to live your normal life is injustice and being forced to own a so-called smart phone makes it worse. One should be able to live one’s life without being forced to be under surveillance. One should be able to receive services without one’s privacy and freedom (both digital and non-digital) being violated. One should be able to live without this injustice being forced to one.

Ruhollah Zam, convicted of fomenting violence during the 2017 anti-government protests, hanged early on Saturday morning, Al Jazeera has reported.

The Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran announced: “At dawn today, 2020 December 12, the death sentence of Ruhollah Zam, the founder and manager of Amadnews, was carried out and he was “hanged”.

A spokesman for the Judiciary of Iran announced on Tuesday, December 10, that the death sentence of Ruhollah Zam, the director of the Amnnews Telegram channel, had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

“Spying for France and Israel” were among allegations, but Zam has denied all allegations, saying he was only a journalist.

In July of this year, Mohammad Ali Zam, Ruhollah Zam’s father, called the death sentence by the Revolutionary Court “illegal” and declared that his son had been deprived of “his most basic rights” during the trial.

I’ve always said that execution is an inhumane sentence and should be illegal. Execution, for whatever reason or crime, is murder and injustice. Nothing good comes out of it. If execution was a solution, we wouldn’t have any crime nowadays.

This was a sad day. Two people in United States and one in Iran lost their lives. And worse than that, there are several people waiting for their death sentence to be excecuted around the world and this brutal and inhumane sentence continues to be held. A truly sad day.

If Facebook was around around 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads and various posts on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem’. If Facebook were around during 1940s, Facebook would allow Germany to publish videos and posts of their propaganda freely, claiming that world leaders engage in discourse with each other, as well as their constituents on their platform.

Happily, Facebook were not present during that time and Hitler is dead. However, we have the Bully now. We have many dictators, fascists, neo-Nazis, racists, discriminators and their supporters present at the time who use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to promote their corruption and their disgusting views.

We see they support and help regimes like China. They help censorship and they follow orders to suppress views. They don’t have problem with racism, as long as it doesn’t hurt their benefit.

We see Google is helping censorship against Uighurs. We see TikTok is censoring critics. We see Apple and Amazon helping dictators against people. There are thousands of cases like these.

This is what we’re facing. A corrupt company that values benefit more than anything, even human beings. They put on masks and pretend to be a friend while behind the mask is their ugly face trying to take away whatever you have and exchange them with money and more corrupt power.