George Junius Stinney Jr was, at age of 14, the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century (1944). The boy was small for his age (about 1 meter); so small, they had to stack books on the electric chair.

Because there was literally no evidence against him, the question of Stinney’s guilt and the judicial process leading to his execution remained controversial. He was accused of murdering two white girls at the time.

However, on December 2014, George was cleared (conviction vacated) in a court of law, 70 years too late.

The 1991 movie “Carolina Skeletons” is based on this event.

The system that did this is not changed. It’s the same juridical system, same police and crime system, and also same educational system. Nothing has changed. There are a lot of black people still facing injustice.

The problem is not people. Of course there are a lot of racist people but the impact of the system is much more. If the system fought for people and justice and made correct decisions about society, we would have way better world than this.

What we should fight is the system. It’s the system that jeopardizes people for its own benefits. It’s not a system made for people, it’s a system made by people against themselves.

According to a recent study by the James Town Foundation, the Uyghur Muslim Community of China is a victim of China’s policy of forced sterilization to prevent an increase in the Muslim population.

Adrian Zenz, a German researcher and director of research who has written several reports on China’s policy in the semi-desert region of the northwestern part of the country where Uighur people live, says the birth rate in the region has been declining since 2016.

The German researcher’s report is based on Chinese government documents as well as interviews with local women. Some of the women said they had been forced to accept infertility because otherwise they would have been sent to camp.

There’s a lot of fake news on social media and many people can’t really find out which news to trust therefore they’re in danger of harming their lives or making terrible mistakes by accident.

Since the bully asked people to inject themselves with disinfectant to cure coronavirus, many people are confused. Some foundations like EFF and Freedom of the Press Foundation are working hard to fight fake news but it’s not enough.

Many people around the world are under influence of propaganda of their regime/government. A lot of money is spent every year to develop this propaganda and they’re being successful in it.

The dangerous thing is that with people’s trust, you can do anything. There’s no power stronger than people’s and they know it. That’s why we should fight to stop them. We can’t trust anyone in power.

They way they gain trust is also wonderful. They usually work in such way that they tell you the true correct news. Then they constantly repeat it to make you believe they are only expressing the original true news.

Then it comes to other news you heard from different sources you may trust and in this way, they probably have gained your attention and trust to them. When you make sure that they are reliable, in the midst of all true and correct news, they give that one fake news.

In order to direct public opinion, they continue to tell you the correct news repeatedly and that fake one still comes up once in a while. This way, because of the order of the news they told you, you probably believe it.

It’s a dangerous game. Many people are harmed by now and many people will be harmed if we don’t stop this. What I wrote was only one of the thousand ways they feed us with fake news.

Please be careful always and never trust anyone.

Software Licensing

One of the most important parts of free (as in freedom) software is the license. Determining a license is one of the constant concerns of the software libre and free culture community. As you know, a work is considered libre only if it’s published under a free (as in freedom) license.

One of the problems is that it happens a lot that a developer forgets to distribute its work under a proper license. Well it can be solved easily by reminding the community the importance of providing a license but the bigger problem is the license itself.

Most of the times, developer distribute their works with weak licenses or licenses that are not fully compatible with free (as in freedom) culture.

As far as I know, the most popular software license is MIT, as of 2020. MIT is a great simple libre license. However, it’s weak and not copyleft. I personally license my works under the latest version of GNU General Public License (GPL) but some people may don’t like it as they may find it unpleasing.

Anyway, what I’m talking about is the importance of license as the license specifies the terms of service and the use of the software. Whether it can be used for progress of technology or helping the people or only be used to please corporations against people, it’s all can be defined by the license.

Continue reading

There’s not more than 10 million cases of coronavirus around the world. A lot of people around the world don’t have access to basic medical needs and a lot of people are misinformed about the virus. Needless to mention that work situations and capitalism are another problems for people.

A lot of people have no more money to spend and no more food to eat so they have to get back to work. Governments aren’t doing anything to help people and poverty is rising. Rich people stay at home and tell others to stay inside as well but they don’t see the difference.

More than 10 million cases means that this virus is not going away anytime soon so it needs a cooperation between all people to make situation livable for everyone. A lot of people in Africa and Asia are living a terrible situation and the danger of the virus threatens them every second.

There’s a lot of protests going on around the world as well. Black Lives Matter protests on United States, Workers’ Rights protests in Europe, and human rights protests in Hong Kong. Governments are suppressing these protests and violating human rights and it makes protests last longer therefore risk of getting the virus rises.

If you have access to medical facilities, please wear mask and gloves to prevent infection and also please keep your distance, at least 2 meters, from other people. Wash your hands immediately after you touch anything and use sanitizer whenever you feel you’re not clean enough.

Also, please share sanitizing stuff so more people can be safe.

Google did not become this rich by selling potatoes. Also, Google is not your kind father who provides without any expectations. Google is data-hungry and it takes care of you so it can get more of your data. Imagine a farmer who takes a good care of its cow.

The farmer doesn’t love the cow. The farmer won’t take care of the cow for no reason. It’s the milk and at the end, the meat that is important. Google is the farmer and you’re the cow. You may turn off the data switches in your privacy panel in Google settings but it doesn’t mean that Google will respect your privacy and choices.

By signing up you agreed to the terms of service and Google can change them whenever it wants. Let me tell you something. By switching off those options, you only told Google to stop providing personalized services to you; it doesn’t mean that Google will stop receiving those information and data.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, etc. are companies that work for data. It’s the data that matters to them not you or anything else. Data brings them money and it’s money that is worthy for them, not you. Don’t trust Google or any other service that collects your personal data by default.

Don’t get fooled.

I care about intellectual properties. Copyright is important to me. Personally, I license my works under a copyleft license but I always try to respect a company/service/etc. right over its properties such as logos, trademarks, etc.

Two Iranian companies/institutes are possibly violating Ubuntu/Canonical trademark policy/rights. I sent them an email message to see how they react to this. I thought it would be interesting for you too.

Here’s my email message:

Dear Canonical,
Hello.

There’s two companies/institutes that seems to be using Ubuntu logo as
their trademarks. The logo is modified but it’s still obvious that
they’re copies of Ubuntu logo. I attached the logo files in this email
to let you see them.

My question is, keeping Ubuntu/Canonical trademarks policy in mind, are
these violation of Ubuntu/Canonical intellectual property rights?

If yes, are you going to do something?
If no, can people change Ubuntu logo a bit and use them?

One of the attachments is for PGP signature.

Ali Reza Hayati

I’ll share their response as soon as they send it to me.

Today is the anniversary of the CIA’s first Latin American coup: the 1954 coup in Guatemala that overthrew the democratically elected left-leaning president Jacobo Árbenz and replaced it with a brutal 40-year US-backed military dictatorship that would oversee the torture and mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly leftists, as well as the genocide of Guatemala’s Indigenous people, the Maya.

When Árbenz took office, he had proposed land reforms that would redistribute undeveloped lands to landless people, which was considered a threat to the interests of the powerful US-based United Fruit Company. Despite his moderate leftist policies, he was labelled a communist by Washington and the US company lobbied for his removal. Unable to force the changes diplomatically, the US government planned and funded an invasion through the CIA and local military agents.

On June 18, 1954, planes dropped leaflets demanding that Árbenz resign immediately or various sites would be bombed. That same afternoon, the planes returned to machine-gun houses, drop bombs and strafe the National Palace. The CIA offered payments to army officers to surrender their troops. Army commander Castillo Armas persuaded Guatemalan military officers to force Arbenz to resign and replaced him.

United Fruit Company was given all of its land back and fruit worker unions were banned. The terror carried out under the dictatorship would continue for 40+ years.

A young Che Guevara, who was there at the time, saw activists who he was organizing with murdered, in hiding or exile and concluded from it that you can not just peacefully build “democratic socialism” in the backyard of the US and took those lessons as he participated in the Cuban Revolution.

Mexican painter Diego Rivera tells the story of the coup in his painting “Gloriosa Victoria”. Castillo Armas greets the US secretary of state, who holds a bomb with the face of US president Eisenhower, surrounded by people who were murdered in the coup. To his left is the US ambassador with military officers and the CIA director. On the right, the archbishop of Guatemala who blesses the act, while Guatemalans protest and suffer.

A lot of companies advertise over encryption of data in their service. Encryption is a really good practice for privacy and security but it’s worthless sometimes. For example, WhatsApp encrypts messages but it’s worthless as it’s Facebook (WhatsApp’s owner) who creates and manages keys.

What a secure messenger or any service does is to let the user create and handle encryption keys. Let me give you another example. Imagine you want send a letter to a friend and I’m the mail person. You give me your letter and I promise you to hide it. Now, I may hide it from other people but I, myself, still have access to it.

Encryption is like that. If you want to hide your letter, you should do it yourself and not trust anyone. As long as other services do the encryption for you or manage your keys, you’re not truly secure and that encryption is worthless.

Boston City Council decided that facial recognition technology violates people’s privacy (basic right) therefore passed ban on it.

The ordinance comes with exceptions, like allowing city employees to use facial recognition for authentication purposes such as unlocking their own devices. City officials can also use facial recognition technology for automatically redacting faces in images. But they can’t use it for identifying people.

However, any technology that can be used to identify individuals or mass surveillance (regarding facial recognition) is now considered illegal in the city of Boston. The decision on Wednesday makes Boston the largest city on the East Coast to ban facial recognition.

Facial recognition may be used to fight crimes but it also can be used for governments like United States’ to run a constant mass surveillance on people and it’s a violation of human rights over privacy.

Overall, it prevents the city of Boston from using facial recognition or obtaining information from a facial recognition system, or hiring a third party that can use facial recognition on the city’s behalf.

The ban comes after nationwide calls for police reform and limits on surveillance technology like facial recognition.Facial recognition has been widely criticized after researchers exposed the technology’s racial and gender bias.

Studies highlight how the algorithms are much more likely to misidentify people of color and women than white men, raising concerns on how governments are using the technology.