Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Techrights

Syndicate content
Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 18 min 21 sec ago

Diversity and Inclusion: When Corporations Hijack or Co-opt Social Causes

1 hour 3 min ago

Our investigations revealed that the Linux Foundation does not actually support what it claims to

Summary: Whether minorities care to realise it or not (each person is a minority in one particular place/context or some particular aspect), corporations seek to control the narratives surrounding popular movements, facilitating social control and thus corporate power (exercising control over nonprofit communities that cannot be bought)

THIS is a notoriously difficult and at times unsettling topic, not only in the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) community but in just about every facet of life and business, including law firms (we write a lot about these). We’ve mostly alluded to this in editorial comments in our daily links; whenever we write an article about it there’s a risk someone will quote-mine, take something out of context, or not properly read what’s written as a whole (sometimes intentionally, just to make a mountain out of a molehill). We kindly suggest reading the whole post before commenting. The only thing we ‘bash’ is corporations and greed; it’s a smokescreen.

Techrights has never (as far as we’re aware) been accused of intolerance, except in the business sense, e.g. “intolerant towards Microsoft” (which is not a person; corporations are not people and they lack feelings).

“We’re very much focused on the real issues, notably things such as patent law, corporate corruption, FOSS affairs, entryism and oftentimes politics (depending on the channel).”Our 24/7 IRC community has males, females, gay people, trans people etc. We’ve rarely encountered any issues associated with that, e.g. people being attacked for orientation, identity, nationality etc. The logs are all public, so it’s not a secret. We’re very much focused on the real issues, notably things such as patent law, corporate corruption, FOSS affairs, entryism and oftentimes politics (depending on the channel).

Months ago we wrote about the Linux Foundation‘s posturing along the lines of "Diversity and Inclusion" and we mentioned that again earlier this month; it’s just another one of their marketing aspects, which resembles what Microsoft does. It is about corporate image or brand power. It’s not genuine concern or care.

“…companies like Microsoft have severe issues in that regard and this is why they can’t stop talking about it, in an effort to drown out the signal (facts).”Always be careful to distinguish; there are tolerance opportunists; they tend to be a lot louder than those who are passively if not silently tolerant. Those who have nothing to cover up don’t need to googlebomb the Web with puff pieces about how they champion “Diversity and Inclusion”; companies like Microsoft have severe issues in that regard — to the point of facing loads of lawsuits — and this is why they can’t stop talking about it, in an effort to drown out the signal (facts). They’re concerned people might come across legal documents and news reports about racism, sexism, homophobia etc. Those are very prevalent there. That’s the road to brain drain. That can harm sales through boycotts.

Regarding the Linux Foundation, days ago we learned there was an incident at its event. The community, i.e. actual FOSS people (those raided by software monopolies with their openwashing staffers and defectors) as opposed to marketing staffers of the Foundation, belatedly strikes back. We are still trying to get the pertinent details and will hopefully report soon. And yes, there’s a legitimate diversity angle to it. The Foundation likes to hide behind the cover or the curtain of ethics, morality etc. Any criticism of the Foundation or its sponsors (i.e. patrons) can be spun as an unacceptable act which they dub “toxic”. They classify particular elements of the community “toxic” and attempt to marginalise these, never mind the merits of their concern/s. The Foundation, disguising itself as a “nonprofit”, is quite suitable for such a function; it’s a front or a shield, protecting the image of corporations whose brands the Foundation exists to promote.

Sadly for the Foundation, for all its talks (and Web pages) of tolerance, its patrons are very much intolerant. They’re intolerant in various ways and it’s not hard to research the subject (evidence is overwhelming). The closest example we can think of is the Gates Foundation, which helps Microsoft or more specifically Bill Gates label critics of criminal activities as bashers of a charity, ‘sick’ people who are ‘jealous’ of benevolent philanthropists. It’s not a novel trick. Torvalds is a 'sick' man for calling bullshit code "bullshit", but Gates is a Saint for demanding a "Jihad" against Linux.

Thirteen Years of Techrights This Year

3 hours 14 sec ago


Photo credit: Mark Webbink’s image by Luca Lucarini, CC BY-SA 3.0

Summary: We’re the survivor of a dying breed of sites, which are largely dedicated to FOSS-centric news

EARLIER this year Debian celebrated 26 years. That’s pretty impressive considering the fact that the grandfather of GNU/Linux, Slackware, was having some issues in recent years and its founder sought to raise funds through Patreon some weeks ago. This distribution was created by Patrick Volkerding in 1993, whereas Debian was created about a month later by Ian Murdock. He founded the Debian Project on August 16, 1993.

So far in 2019 at least 3 noteworthy GNU/Linux distributions ‘called it a day’. News sites covering GNU/Linux also suffered heavy casualties; these were some of the biggest sites, notably Linux Journal and Linux.com; few others became stagnant. It’s part of the decline of media in general, not a problem with GNU/Linux in particular.

“So far in 2019 at least 3 noteworthy GNU/Linux distributions ‘called it a day’. News sites covering GNU/Linux also suffered heavy casualties; these were some of the biggest sites, notably Linux Journal and Linux.com; few others became stagnant.”The journey of Techrights began back in the days of Digg. Remember Digg.com? I certainly do. I was a Ph.D. student at the time and “social media” had just begun to catch on (prior to it I spent a lot of time in USENET newsgroups). In 2006 I met Shane on Digg, where we shared our concerns about the Novell deal with Microsoft. That’s how a blog (back then dedicated to a Novell boycott) was born. Digg.com is still around, but it’s in no way related to the original Digg, which stagnated and died within a few years. By 2009 or 2010 it was already quite irrelevant, partly (depending on one’s interpretation) due to Facebook and Twitter, maybe even Reddit. Those three sites are still around. Back in 2006 we also shared concerns and views with Groklaw and Technocrat, the site of Bruce Perens (famous for Debian and OSI). Perens made a bit of a comeback, even in his own domain name, but that didn’t quite replace his original project, the “Slashdot for grown-ups” which suffered an epic demise just like Slashdot itself. As for Groklaw, it too made a sort of comeback attempt, first with Mark Webbink, a former Red Hat employee (he’s retired now; photo above), and then Pamela Jones (PJ) again. I spent years mailing her every day and her decision to ‘disappear’ from the Web was rather disappointing. Snowden’s leaks did not reveal much that wasn’t already known; they just provided hard proof for what many of us speculated about or cited other whistleblowers about (they didn’t have the documentary evidence at hand, so NSA denials was simpler). At the same time Andy Updegrove’s blog became less active (he’s with the Linux Foundation now) and the Web as we knew it was transforming into Social Control Media, which is a lot of hearsay.

The media as a whole is being battered; and no, tabloids aren’t media and channels like Fox News and CNN are mostly partisan feeding frenzy. They lack credibility and accuracy on a lot of topics — typically those that get them many viewers, drawing them in based largely on emotion, not substance.

In a sense, we view ourselves as survivors of much turbulence. We don’t rely on ads and we don’t pay salaries; I work full time in a technical job, so I can afford to keep the site going in my spare time. No rich sponsors, no sellouts, no “affiliate” posts.

“In a sense, we view ourselves as survivors of much turbulence.”It seems pretty certain we’ll reach 15 years. 20 years might be a challenge, but at the moment it seems doable because we're growing. Our European Patent Office (EPO) coverage helped make a positive impact and this year we’re gradually revisiting more and more aspects of GNU/Linux and Software Freedom. Some of the topics we covered nobody else dared cover. We have several important stories in the pipeline. Hopefully we won’t have to see any more publishers in the area of FOSS (what’s left of such publications) perishing and closing down. That creates an information vacuum that gives leeway to Microsoft's PR department and prevents introspection or self-assessment — something sorely needed in today’s tough terrain of GAFAM and Microsoft entryism.

Tell Lawyers That ‘Privilege’ Without Encryption is Just a Mirage

Sunday 25th of August 2019 03:38:55 AM

Summary: The sad truth that law firms claim to respect privacy and security; they do in principle, whereas in practice they respect neither

YEARS ago I wrote a long rant about laywers’ electronic mail still not being encrypted (even after Snowden’s NSA and GCHQ leaks). They don’t value privacy. They claim to care, but not really; not in practice, not in the technical sense or by any technical means. An envelope in the post (snail mail) or a phonecall (on the landline) might offer more privacy than electronic mail because surveillance on those (voice recognition, opening letters etc.) is a bit more expensive. There’s an overhead, but no encryption.

“An envelope in the post (snail mail) or a phonecall (on the landline) might offer more privacy than electronic mail because surveillance on those (voice recognition, opening letters etc.) is a bit more expensive. There’s an overhead, but no enryption.”This has sadly become the ‘norm’; law firms speak of aspects such as privacy and “privilege”; but in practice? Well, they do hardly anything towards that. Usually nothing towards it! To make matters worse, they give a wrong impression or the false expectation of privacy. It’s an illusion or deliberate deception. If you are not going to encrypt your data and your communications, then quit speaking of “privilege” altogether. You value it only in principle or in theory, but not in practice. So your practice misleads clients.

This isn’t limited to patent law firms, where subpoenas can lose one a case.

Links 25/8/2019: Happy Birthday to Linux, Enlightenment DR 0.23.0 Release

Sunday 25th of August 2019 02:57:23 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • The best free alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office

      Many people don’t realise that there is high-quality, free software available that can compete with Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system.

      While you might feel comfortable using traditional programs and be hesitant to change, you could save thousands of rand just by choosing high-quality freeware over paid software.

      With the right products, it is possible to run a suite of useful programs on your computer without spending a cent.

    • Server
      • Ampere Computing Is Keeping Close Track Of The Linux Performance For Their ARM Servers

        Hardware vendor Ampere Computing with their impressive ARM servers is doing a great job on closely following their hardware’s Linux performance as part of a rigorous continuous testing regiment or ensuring quality, compatibility, and stability while being fully-automated.

        Ampere Computing’s Travis Lazar talked at this week’s Linux Foundation events in San Diego over the importance of continuous regression testing for software and hardware development by talking about their internal workflow and software in place. Their internal system is the “Totally Automated Regression System” or TARS for short. TARS makes use of various open-source components including the Phoronix Test Suite and its vast collection of benchmarks for providing comprehensive test coverage plus Ampere’s own “extensions” to the Phoronix Test Suite. TARS also incorporates the provisioning/configuration responsibilities as well as analysis of the data.

      • [SUSE] Learn how the Multimodal OS can benefit your organization.
      • IBM
        • From ProdOps to DevOps: Surviving and thriving

          For many of us in Production Operations (ProdOps), change is the enemy. If something changes, there is now an opportunity for things that were working just fine to experience problems. It is like a game of Jenga. When will the tower fall because a seemingly minor change unbalances the whole stack of pieces? ProdOps teams hate change so much, that countless frameworks have been invented to “manage” changes; in reality, these frameworks make the procedure for effecting a change so onerous that most people give up and accept the status quo.

          Actually, that statement is a bit unfair. These frameworks are an attempt to wrap planning and consensus around production changes, thus minimizing potential downtime caused by random or rogue changes (see Why the lone wolf mentality is a sysadmin mistake).

        • Meet Red Hat at VMworld

          As Red Hat’s Ashesh Badani said in his blog post about the reference architecture for OpenShift on VMware’s SDDC stack “… this is just the first step — Red Hat OpenShift 4 brings optimized installation capabilities to a variety of infrastructures and for this, the companies are working towards a VMware Validated Design. We are excited that VMware is working closely with Red Hat to deliver a simplified experience there in the coming months.”

    • Kernel Space
      • How to compile a Linux kernel in the 21st century

        In computing, a kernel is the low-level software that handles communication with hardware and general system coordination. Aside from some initial firmware built into your computer’s motherboard, when you start your computer, the kernel is what provides awareness that it has a hard drive and a screen and a keyboard and a network card. It’s also the kernel’s job to ensure equal time (more or less) is given to each component so that your graphics and audio and filesystem and network all run smoothly, even though they’re running concurrently.

        The quest for hardware support, however, is ongoing, because the more hardware that gets released, the more stuff a kernel must adopt into its code to make the hardware work as expected. It’s difficult to get accurate numbers, but the Linux kernel is certainly among the top kernels for hardware compatibility. Linux operates innumerable computers and mobile phones, embedded system on a chip (SoC) boards for hobbyist and industrial uses, RAID cards, sewing machines, and much more.

      • LG Has Been Working On Reduced Boot Times With Hibernation Optimizations

        LG Electronics has been exploring improvements around hibernation/suspend-to-disk to speed-up the Linux boot process for consumer electronics rather than performing cold boots and as part of that is working towards upstream optimizations.

        While hibernation-based booting is generally quicker than performing cold boots, suspending to disk does yield extra writes to the NAND flash memory on these consumer devices and that is one of the things they are seeking to avoid. So it’s been an effort not only to speed-up the hibernation boot process but also reducing the amount of data that needs to be written out to the flash storage.

      • Happy Birthday, Linux!

        August 25 is the day that, in 1991, a fresh-fasted Finnish college student called Linus Torvalds parked his rear at his desk to announce his “hobby” OS to the world/comp.os.minix newsgroup:-

        “Hello everybody out there using minix,” he began.

        “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).”

        Some 28 glorious years later and that “hobby os” now powers the world! From stock exchanges to billboards to satellites and smartphones: Linux is everywhere.

        But Linux is about more than code. It’s the beating heart of the open source movement, cheerleading collaboration and co-operation between people based on the idea that technology should be not just be good, but do good too.

        So raise a glass of something tasty to Linux, the invisible thread without which modern technology is stitched!

Openwashing Report: It’s Not Just Microsoft, But Microsoft is by Far the Biggest Facilitator of That

Saturday 24th of August 2019 05:56:04 PM

Summary: A weekly roundup looking back at distortion if not intentional misuse of the term “Open Source”; Microsoft is still working hard and spending a lot of money to control the narrative (e.g. to limit “Open Source” to what’s on its proprietary platform, GitHub)

THIS SERIES continues for the third week/weekend in a row. Readers may have noticed that we rarely mention Microsoft in it; that’s not because Microsoft isn’t openwashing (it certainly is; it does it all the time) but because it’s a growing phenomenon much bigger than one single company or a handful of them, e.g. GAFAM.

Microsoft’s ownership of GitHub is a growing problem. We’ll come to that in a moment, but let’s start with the Linux Foundation. Here’s a new press release from Sysdig [1, 2]. Sysdig is proprietary software, but the title of the press release has “Open Source Team” in it; that’s just for openwashing purposes. “Falco joined the CNCF in October 2018,” it says, alluding to a coalition under the Linux Foundation’s wing. The members? Mostly proprietary software companies, but they collaborate on some code. Their products? Just proprietary software, maybe with a few exceptions here and there.

“Sysdig is proprietary software, but the title of the press release has “Open Source Team” in it; that’s just for openwashing purposes.”On we move to LinkChain, which days ago spoke of an “Open Source Version”. That just means proprietary software with an openwashing slant, e.g. a ‘teaser version’ or ‘trial version’; like the same old “community”/”enterprise” edition trick, the former being designed for lock-in. Open as in locked? Maybe the name “LinkChain” serves as a warming; they try to chain people and companies. Akin to Open Core…

The next example is one that we mentioned a week ago. It’s about rideOS and its openwashing by characterising “APIs” as “open”. Some media is still playing along. Also covered a week ago was gross openwashing of surveillance. In recent days we saw many more examples of that. First of all, consider those two articles [1
2] about TECH5. It speaks of “MOSIP’s open architecture”. The second article says: “The T5-ABIS is built on an open architecture to preserve flexibility for governments.” That’s not Open Source, so both headlines are misleading. And now comes Microsoft. Its surveillance platform is being spun as “confidential” and “secure” by the Linux Foundation (which Microsoft pays) and SDTimes helps the openwashing of these back doors, NSA surveillance etc. This is very typical of SDTimes. “SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week” goes again to Microsoft. They keep doing that even when the projects are closely attached to proprietary software. We’re not surprised by this, especially because it’s the SDTimes. Microsoft’s long history of sabotage never bothers bribed writers, working for publications that Microsoft keeps bribing. This is an issue that bribed media won’t speak about. Obviously.

“Saying that FOSS projects ‘don’t exist’ if they’re not on GitHub is like saying that people ‘cease to exist’ if or when they delete Facebook.”Staying on the subjects of Microsoft and surveillance, Twitter is openwashing its surveillance to make it seem or sound or ‘feel’ ethical [1, 2]. It’s also worth noting that Twitter is outsourcing its code to a proprietary software platform of Microsoft. How very typical. To quote: “It just became easier to diagnose runtime performance issues at scale, thanks to Twitter. The tech giant today open-sourced Rezolus, a “high-resolution” telemetry agent designed to uncover anomalies and utilization spikes too brief to be captured through normal observability and metrics systems. Twitter says it’s been running Rezolus in production for over a year, and it says it’ll continue development on the public GitHub repository.”

So they gave it to Microsoft. We have meanwhile noticed that there’s more flawed work based on GitHub data. Janet Swift did an article about it, but she neglected to point out the obvious issue. The data itself is highly biased. As if FOSS projects don’t exist or do not count unless Microsoft (foremost foe of Open Source) controls them inside a proprietary software platform that freedom-conscious developers reject? Saying that FOSS projects ‘don’t exist’ if they’re not on GitHub is like saying that people ‘cease to exist’ if or when they delete Facebook.

“They cheapen Open Source to death.”Over at TechRepublic, the openwashing of Twitter carries on. It’s Mac Asay again. He said he had deleted his Facebook and similar accounts, but not Twitter (where he blocked me because free speech isn’t something he can grasp). So now he treats Twitter, a truly proprietary platform, as some kind of Open Source lecturer. He published “What Twitter taught me about open source” and the Linux Foundation then boosted him. He calls himself “longtime open sourceror,” but he and his employer Adobe are actively attacking Free software and Open Source by making these meaningless. They also pay major publishers to print this crap. So we’re supposed to assume that Twitter is some kind of Open Source leader even though it’s a proprietary software company? Well, that’s how Asay wants Abobe too to be perceived. They cheapen Open Source to death.

“The openwashing of IBM’s POWER comes along with the openwashing of IBM mainframes.”A rarer and relatively new pattern of openwashing that we’ve noticed is “open” by association; Marfeel shows the possibility of openwashing oneself and one’s proprietary software by giving some money; like oligarchs who give “some money” to “charity”. This pattern is related to one where a company builds a proprietary product on top of an “open” stack (not its own) and then seeks to ‘inherit’ the positive image of that underlying stack. Pure openwashing by AT&T was described here a week ago. Telecompetitor and Container Journal [1, 2] amplified that some more. To quote: “AT&T and Dell Technologies have pledged to work together to advance a variety of open source projects starting with the previously launched AirShip initiative, a management framework that combines elements of OpenStack and Kubernetes to declaratively automate cloud provisioning and lifecycle management for containerized applications.” Here’s another one; it shows how they’re openwashing 5G by associating it with things completely unrelated to it (like OpenStack and Kubernetes). Days ago we explained a similar PR stunt and last night we wrote about OpenPOWER. The openwashing of IBM’s POWER comes along with the openwashing of IBM mainframes. These are expensive machines with proprietary software on them (and lots of patents to destroy anyone who actually believes it’s “open” and OK to copy). So much for “Open Mainframe Project” as this new press release puts it

“So here we can see how openwashing actually ruins “open-source”, Open Source and anything “open”…”Of course there are cases more blatant where the Open Source label is abused completely; this new press release says “Prey Inc., provider of the cross-platform, open source anti-theft software…”

Seems to be proprietary software, but that needs further investigation. In our latest daily links we also included 3 articles about H2O.ai. It received some more funding (in exchange for shared control) and no, it’s not “open source leader” as this headline put it. Go to their Web site and check; it’s proprietary software with limited-time ‘trial’…

So here we can see how openwashing actually ruins “open-source”, Open Source and anything “open”…

Here’s another new example. This is openwashing because it makes it sound like there’s code involved, but it’s just some registry.

Returning to examples from the surveillance domain, here we have Google with MediaPipe (more here). So a component for CCTV-like devices and other surveillance products… is now “open”.

“It’s a browser extension; never mind this browser being proprietary software that spies a lot.”Google’s message: our surveillance… is “open”, hence “ethical”. Even the listening devices (Live Transcribe). These are just the latest examples. This new example shows how surveillance through/for ads is described as “open” and “transparent”. It’s a browser extension; never mind this browser being proprietary software that spies a lot.

Google does its share of openwashing and no doubt future parts of this series will revisit Google a lot.

Now, what about Microsoft? Same old. Mary Jo Foley wrote about Stormy Peters joining Microsoft. It helps the openwashing. For well over a decade Stormy Peters had served Microsoft in various ways (Techrights wrote many articles about that), so Peters joining Microsoft to attack FOSS directly as a ‘mole’ is hardly surprising. Even expected. Love of money dooms FOSS and this is all about money: “Peters most recently was senior manager of Red Hat’s community team, a role she has occupied since November 2016, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her profile says she left Red Hat in August 2019 and joined Microsoft as Director of the Open Source Programs Office in August 2019. She is based in Berthoud, Colorado.”

“Microsoft hopes that the likes of Stormy, Nat and Miguel can help Microsoft control the narratives around FOSS.”What Microsoft propaganda sites call “prominent free and open source software advocate” (in the headline) is actually someone who sold out more than a decade ago; an associate of other defectors and traitors like Miguel de Icaza. This would not be the first.

“Stormy will never be able to make up for such an unforgivable action,” one reader told us. “Even if she leaves her motives will be forever suspect. It’s a reprehensible and inexcusable decision on her part that also shows terrible problems within Red Hat.”

This reader said Stormy is “like DeIcaza, a mole going home for rewards.”

Nat Friedman, an associate of both of them, even got a top job there (the top GitHub mole/role). But this was more or less expected all along. Microsoft hopes that the likes of Stormy, Nat and Miguel can help Microsoft control the narratives around FOSS. It’s easier to destroy or abduct FOSS that way. They are ‘doing a Nokia’.

Patent Maximalists Refuse to Accept That Their War on Patent Quality Also Dooms a Pan-European Patent Court System

Saturday 24th of August 2019 12:42:44 PM

How can one expect a Unified Patent Court (UPC) when the law is grossly violated along with constitutions?

Summary: The EPO‘s embrace of patent maximalists’ agenda, which necessarily means significant decreases in patent quality (and deviation/departure from the EPC), dooms patent certainty; it also, however, dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC) because an extension of this rogue regime to the court system won’t be tolerated

PRESIDENT António Campinos — like Battistelli before him — welcomes software patents into Europe in defiance of the law. Brimelow had welcomed them “as such”, but that didn’t go so far. Europe’s Office — like the American Office (USPTO) — can grant all the patents it wants; but if courts say “no!” to granted patents, what will these patents be worth? Legal certainty suffers profoundly. We can’t say that often enough. They’re digging their own graves. They must choose between quality and quantity.

Found the other day here in Lexology was this article about patent systems becoming almost satirical (or self-satirising). What happens when people craft computer programs to automatically submit patent applications? Are these actual inventions? More importantly, how are examiners supposed to process such applications? In the authors’ own words, the EPO, USPTO and even UKIPO now wrestle with such a dilemma:

Three patent offices face questions stemming from the growing implications of artificial intelligence (AI) disrupting the intellectual property legal framework. The United States Patent Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), and United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) recently received two patent application filings directed to a beverage container and a flashing device used for attracting enhanced attention. While these patent applications may have initially gone unnoticed, the applications have attracted vast attention for primarily one reason—they name DABUS, an AI machine, as an inventor.

DABUS is a type of “Creativity Machine” which can generate ideas without human intervention and was developed by Stephen Thaler. While DABUS may have been “trained” to develop new ideas by a human, the two pending patent inventions were created autonomously by DABUS, resulting in DABUS named as an inventor.

Our advice on this has long been that quality and societal impact must be assessed; do patent offices exist merely to grant as many patents as possible as long as examiners can tick “all the right boxes”? Should examination too be automated? If so, what would actually be achieved? Hence it’s satirical (or self-satirising). It’s a waste of energy, too.

This seems not to matter to patent maximalists. To them, unlike the rest of us, the above waste is personal gain.

We recently wrote about using the "MedTech" buzzword to get patents at the EPO (the US has a similar buzzword or acronym which is leveraged to bypass 35 U.S.C. § 101, at least at the Office). Well, a site called “Med-Tech Innovation” or “med-technews” has just published this piece about a surveillance device and associated patents at the EPO where surveillance on everyone is notoriously rampant:

Aseptika and Renfrew Group International (RGi) worked together on the design and prototyping of the Activ8rlives BuddyWotch. This solution will provide “expert” pathways for use by patient, carers and the healthcare team to inform, manage and report the success of self-care plans. It aims to help patients remain independent at home, with a better quality and more sustainable model of care.

BuddyWotch will continuously monitor, record and transmit the patient’s physiological signs of blood oxygen, heart rate, breathing rate and temperature for 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. With its integrated nine-axis accelerometer, BuddyWotch tracks the patient’s physiological signs and how these change over time as the patient goes about daily life.

As well as acting as an alert in case of medical emergencies, this information is used to continuously calculate the patient’s overall health and to detect whether the wearer’s health is getting better or is declining rapidly. It can be used to test the patient in a GP clinic using the six-minute walk test.

The BuddyWotch platform connects directly to the Company’s Activ8rlives Cloud (or can be pointed to a partner’s cloud system). Activ8rlives has portals for the patient, for family members caring for them and for clinicians, providing continuous monitoring and alerts as well as the index of tolerance to exercise, itself perhaps a better indication of overall health than simple alerts usually associated with remote monitoring systems.

The BuddyWotch transmits information to-and-from the wearer using an integrated 4G modem and WiFi, so that no separate home hub or smartphone is required by the user.

“The European Patent Office has granted Aseptika a patent for its medical-grade wearable,” Digital Health Age wrote. This site too is focused on so-called “MedTech” — somewhat of a hype wave (like FinTech or AdTech).

We’ve meanwhile also noticed Patrick Wingrove (Team UPC megaphone) crafting this ‘FinTech’-like puff piece that name-drops “blockchain” and other hype waves. He refers to extortion and patent lawsuits as “monetisation” (this is the kind of thinking greedy and sociopathic firms have adopted).

Vultures at work:

The general counsel at a financial services company in New York adds that his business thinks about patent monetisation a great deal. As one of the largest patent filers for blockchain technologies, his firm is considering how it can generate returns by using decentralised-ledger solutions in new and interesting ways.

Patrick Wingrove’s article is outside the paywall, for a change. So they’re looking for extra audience (not just the choir of subscribers).

His previous article, which was boosted by Team UPC, caused him to get all flustered in Twitter and the same people who boosted his Team UPC puff piece are now boosting (e.g. this one) an article from Mathieu Klos in which he refers to litigation zealots as “Experts”. They’re people who look to profit from it; not exactly objective.

Here are some portions and our response:

Austria is ready for the Unified Patent Court and business at Vienna’s patent firms is stable. However, the JUVE Patent ranking analysis 2019 shows the country’s leading patent litigation firms are on the cusp of a generational change. Whether today’s young litigators have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of veterans such as Lothar Wiltschek and Christian Gassauer-Fleissner remains to be seen.

[...]

Most Austrian patent attorneys continue to work among themselves. Most are organised in very small outfits with one to three fee earners. For the first time this year, JUVE Patent has compiled a list of the best-known Austrian patent attorneys. In this list, our readers will also find information on the practices’ most frequently-recommended technical areas, as well as their locations and size.

That’s just marketing. But OK, we get it… JUVE Patent exists to serve them. Just like Patrick Wingrove’s employer or even IAM with its bogus ‘rankings’, the marketing department.

On goes Klos about the UPC:

The amendment was part of a legislative pact. The aim of the amendment to the professional law for patent attorneys is to prepare them for the requirements of the Unified Patent Court.

[...]

According to the bill, this would enable Austrian patent attorneys to obtain the European Patent Litigation Certificate. It is the prerequisite for patent attorneys to be able to conduct proceedings before the UPC.

[...]

There are still some question marks surrounding the launch of the UPC and the planned local chamber in Vienna. A complaint to the German Federal Constitutional Court is still blocking ratification in Germany. Since 2017, the European patent community has been eagerly awaiting the court’s decision.

Klos plays along with Team UPC here; he perpetuates the falsehood that it’s “only a matter of time” and “everything is ready” and “everybody wants it”.

This kind of slant from Klos and JUVE as a whole was noted here earlier this year and last year when they set up this English site. JUVE has moved from covering EPO scandals, including gross violations of the EPC, to what nowadays resembles lobbying of litigation giants. The final paragraph:

The Austrian patent community is relatively relaxed about the delay [sic]. Experts are in favour of the court, but do not expect the UPC to boost their own business. The current situation is satisfactory to most Austrian patent firms.

Notice how he says “delay”…

As if it’s merely a temporary issue; then he speaks again of “Experts”. That’s like speaking of military generals in the context of peace.

To us, the demise of JUVE is all over this article and this time it comes from Klos rather than from his junior colleagues. Earlier on we asserted that the USPTO and EPO are engaged in self-harm if they don’t guard patent quality; “they’re digging their own graves,” we said. The same goes for publishers that choose to become megaphones of Team UPC and Team Campinos. To us, JUVE is already in that category. It’s a shame because it used to be good and the same goes for IP Kat.

Links 24/8/2019: Wayland’s Weston 7.0 and More

Saturday 24th of August 2019 11:03:44 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • GNOME on the Road: Linux Fest Northwest and OSCON

      Linux Fest Northwest took place back in April, and we were there! Sri Ramkrishna and I hung out in Bellingham, Washington (USA), meeting GNOMEies, free software contributors, and open source enthusiasts.

    • Desktop
      • Modern Linux Runs On Ancient Toshiba

        While Microsoft no longer supports those of its operating systems that were in heavy use into the early 2000s, support for old hardware is not typically something that you will have to worry about if you run Linux on your machines. Sure, there will be driver issues from time to time, and you might have to do some things by hand, but if you’re using legacy hardware you’ll want a Linux distribution of some sort. Especially if you’re running it on one of the first laptops to ever feature a Pentium processor of any kind.

        This is a Toshiba T4900CT which [MingcongBai] has been able to spruce up by installing a simplified version of the AOSC OS Linux distribution. The distribution is known for its simplified user interface, and this particular one runs a “Retro” command-line-only version. Upon startup (which takes over two minutes), the user can view the hardware and software specs: Linux kernel 4.19.67 (released within the past year) on a 75 MHz Intel processor.

    • Server
      • HPC Computing Is Replacing Supercomputers In Enterprise: Jeff Reser

        Jeff Reser – Global Product and Solutions Marketing Manager of SUSE talks about High-Performance Computing.

      • IBM
        • Accelerating the journey to open hybrid cloud with Red Hat Modernization and Migration Solutions

          The integration of technology into all areas of a business (the “digital transformation” we hear so much about) is fundamentally changing how organizations operate as well as how they deliver value to customers. An example is Lockheed Martin, who opted to undergo an eight-week agile transformation labs residency to implement an open source architecture onboard the F-22 and simultaneously disentangle its web of embedded systems. But such transformation can also create new challenges, from additional competitive pressures to increased customer expectations.

          To help overcome these challenges, Red Hat is introducing a family of solutions to help optimize infrastructure, modernize applications and accelerate innovation while supporting customers in their journey to the open hybrid cloud. Red Hat Modernization and Migration Solutions are designed to help customers realize the benefits of open technologies and adopt containers, Kubernetes and hybrid cloud-ready platforms. The family of solutions offers a path for customers from restrictive, proprietary environments to more flexible and (often) less costly open source alternatives, in an iterative approach.

        • Let’s talk about Privacy by Design

          Privacy by Design or Privacy by Default (PbD) is not a new concept. However PbD received renewed attention when the GDPR added PbD as a legal requirement. PbD refers to the process of building in technical, organizational and security measures at the beginning stage of product development and throughout the product lifecycle.

          [...]

          One PbD tool we use to build in privacy to our development process is our Privacy Impact Assessment, also known as a PIA. The PIA is a process which assists developers at the early stages in identifying and mitigating privacy risks associated with the collection and use of personal data.

          The PIA tool begins with a self assessment that asks a lot of questions about the planned project or product. This initiates a process of review by individuals trained in privacy and security. The process is collaborative and creates an on-going dialogue about privacy with respect to the product, system or application at hand.

        • IBM Open Sources Its Workhorse Power Chip Architecture

          RISC-V now has formidable competition from an architecture with a long track record in servers and supercomputers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Kernel Space
    • Applications
      • Save Web Pages As Single HTML Files For Offline Use With Monolith (Console)

        Monolith is a command line tool to save any web page as a single HTML file that contains everything needed to render web page locally, without needing a working Internet connection.

        Use this to save web pages containing documentation, wiki articles, and anything else that interests you, for local/offline use. Since the web pages are saved in plain HTML, use a tool that can search in files to quickly find the web page you’re looking for.

        Unlike the regular “Save page as” (or Ctrl + s) option provided by web browsers to save web pages to your computer, which saves web page assets in a folder next to the saved web page, this command line tool retrieves the web page assets and converts them into base64 data URLs, using that in the document instead of the regular URLs. As a result, page assets like Javascript, CSS or images are embedded in the page HTML, so all you need is a web browser to access the locally saved web page.

      • MicroK8s Gets Powerful Add-ons

        We are excited to announce new Cilium and Helm add-ons, coming to MicroK8s! These add-ons add even more power to your Kubernetes environment built on MicroK8s. The Cilium CNI plugin brings enhanced networking features, including Kubernetes NetworkPolicy support, to MicroK8s. You’ll also get direct CLI access to Cilium within MicroK8s using the microk8s.cilium wrapper.

        If you do not already have a version of cilium installed you can alias microk8s.cilium to cilium using the following command:
        snap alias microk8s.cilium cilium

        Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes will allow even easier management of your MicroK8s environment.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • Mable & The Wood is a fairly unusual Metroidvania out now with Linux support

        Featuring a sweet fairy-powered protagonist wielding a sword so big they can hardly move, Mable & The Wood certainly presents a healthy amount of charm. Developed by Triplevision Games, a solo outfit from the UK, with publishing from Graffiti Games.

        “Mable is a passion project for me and for so long I worked on it by myself,” said Andrew Stewart, Founder of Triplevision Games. “Thanks to Graffiti, I was able to have additional support to release the game sooner and on multiple platforms. Players on Steam can finally get their hands on the brilliant title today, and fear not Switch and Xbox One players, that version will be releasing very soon.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • Final Days of GSoC 2019

          Hello Friends! Final Evaluation is coming and this brings the GSoC project to an end. I believe it is my duty to let you know all about my contributions to Labplot during this project. I will try to make this post self-contained and will try to cover every detail. Let’s try to answer some general questions. If something is left, please feel free to comment, I will get back to you asap.

        • Preparing for KDE Akademy 2019

          I got three talks accepted this time, which is very nice of course, but it also implies quite some preparation work. The topics are rather diverse, all three cover aspects I ended up looking into for various reasons during the past year, and where learned interesting or surprising things that seemed worthwhile to share.

        • I am going to Akademy

          One more edition of KDE Akademy approaches, and here I am waiting for the day to pack my bags and get into a 15 hours adventure from Brazil to Milan.

          As always I am excited to meet my friends, and have some fun with all people of the community. Discussing our present and future.

          And this year I am going with a pack of KDE 3DPrinted key holders.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Welcome to the August 2019 Friends of GNOME Update!

          Neil, Molly, and Rosanna went to OSCON, in Portland, OR. While there, we met with people from other free software projects and companies developing open source, or with open source programs offices. Following OSCON, there was the West Coast Hackfest, during which the Documentation, GTK, and Engagement teams met and got a bunch of work done. There are some photos you can check out on our Twitter account.

          Molly attended FrOSCon, giving a keynote entitled “Open Source Citizenship for Everyone!” On September 17th, Molly will be at GitLab Commit in Brooklyn, NY.

          Federico Mena will be at CCOSS in Guadalajara, México, September 14 – 15th. There he will run a workshop on GNOME and deliver a keynote presentation.

        • GNOME Feeds is a Simple RSS Reader for Linux Desktops

          Feedreader, Liferea, and Thunderbird are three of the most popular desktop RSS readers for Linux, but now there’s a new option on the scene.

          GNOME Feeds app is simple, no-frills desktop RSS reader for Linux systems. It doesn’t integrate or sync with a cloud-based service, like Feedly or Inoreader, but you can import a list of feeds via an .opml file.

          “Power” users of RSS feeds will likely find that GNOME Feeds a little too limited for their needs. But the lean feature set is, arguably, what will make this app appeal to more casual users.

        • GTimeVal deprecation in GLib 2.61.2

          One of the latest changes in GLib (released in 2.61.2) is the deprecation of GTimeVal, g_get_current_time(), and a number of other time functions. This is because we can’t guarantee they’re wide enough on all platforms to be year-2038-safe.

          Instead, you should use GDateTime or, if you just need to store epoch time, guint64. They are year-2038-safe — and with that, GLib should be entirely year-2038-safe.

          GTimeVal is used in a number of places, and widespread (but simple) changes will need to be made to stop using it. You will likely have already seen some deprecation warnings popping up to inform you of this, if you use any C-based and GLib-based libraries.

          If you can’t allocate time to fixing these deprecation warnings yet, you can silence them by explicitly stating your minimum and maximum supported versions of GLib. If your minimum supported version of GLib is older than 2.62, you won’t see deprecation warnings for GTimeVal (since it was deprecated in 2.62, and your code is claiming to need to support older GLib versions than that).

        • Mayank Sharma: GSoC’19 – GVfs and the Google Backend demystified

          Note: Due to time limitations, I haven’t been able to devote much time to writing a blog post. Each time I started, some or the other thing bothered me and I ended up having a draft. My humble apologies to my readers.

          So, over the past 3 months or so, I’ve been working on the Google Backend for GVfs (GNOME Virtual File System), and as of today, the backend is in a state where it’s completely useable. Earlier, a large number of operations were disabled. So, if you tried to copy a file from one folder to the other, you’d be given an error “Operation not supported”. Now, you may be wondering what’s there in a simple copy operation that the developers/maintainers can’t fix, or shouldn’t something like Google Drive backend for GVfs receive better attention since a great deal of peope keep their important data on their G-Drive?

          The answer isn’t a yes or no, and it’s much more subjective since it pertains to the state of current open-source software. One of the big reasons has been that OSS always lacks man-power, and that the problem at hand wasn’t trivial in any sense. My mentor (Ondrej Holy), is the sole maintainer of a project as big as GVfs, and he certainly doesn’t have the time of look at each backend’s issues.

    • Distributions
      • Cryptocurrency OS Makes It Easy to Buy and Spend Digital Cash

        Cryptocurrency OS is a specialty Linux distribution that serves a niche user market destined to grow as the crypto economy continues to develop. This distro is packed with all the tools you need to create and manage your crypto accounts. It also is a fully functional Linux operating system. It is easy to use this distro as your daily computing platform.

      • New Releases
        • Simplicity Linux 19.10 Alpha ISOs are here!

          We’re proud to announce the release of Simplicity Linux 19.10. It is based on Stretchdog, which in turn is based on Debian Stretch. As this is an alpha release, none of these images should be considered finished versions, and may contain bugs or issues which won’t be present in the final release. These images should also be considered to be designed for live booting rather than being installed.

          All three editions of Simplicity Linux 19.10 feature Ecosia as the default search engine. This is a search engine where revenue from ads is used to plant trees. It is something we have been testing for some time, and we weren’t going to include it in the alpha releases. However, after hearing about the fires in the Amazon Rainforest, we have decided to include Ecosia in each version. It’s our way of trying to help in whatever small way we can.

          Simplicity Mini 19.10 Alpha is our cut down version of Simplicity Linux. There are few local applications, instead being replaced by browser based versions of software which are run through Google Chrome. comes with Google Docs, Gmail, Netflix, Vortex Cloud Gaming, Spotify, Mega.nz, Vivaldi browser which opens on boot, Lastpass password manager, DotVPN, uBlock Origin.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Telnet Is Not A Crime: Unconvincing Prosecution Screenshot Leaked in Ola Bini Case

        Since EFF visited Ecuador three weeks ago, the investigation into open source developer Ola Bini has proceeded as we described then: drawn out, with little evidence of wrong-doing, but potentially compromised by acts of political theater outside the bounds of due process and a fair trial.

        Last week — shortly after prosecutors successfully extended the investigation for another 30 days and informed Bini that they would also be opening new investigations into his taxes and visa status — Ecuadorean TV and newspapers published leaked imagery and conversations from evidence collected in the trial, together with claims from sources that this imagery proved Bini hacked the systems of Ecuador’s national communications provider, ECN.

        The evidence offered was a screenshot, said to be taken from Bini’s mobile phone. The press reported that the phone was unlocked by police after seized security footage revealed Bini’s PIN when he used his phone in his own office elevator.

      • The Latest Victim in the Crucifixion of Julian Assange

        The case of Ola Bini, a Swedish data privacy activist and associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has been shrouded in mystery since his arrest in Quito, Ecuador, on April 11. He was detained on the same day Assange was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in the United Kingdom, inevitably raising questions about whether Bini was being held because of his connection with Assange and whether the United States was involved in the case in some form.

      • Khara to Completely Switch to Blender Open-Source 3D Software After Evangelion 3.0+1.0

        The anime studio Khara announced on July 30 that it and its Project Studio Q subsidiary will switch to Blender, a free and open-source 3D modeling and animation software, for its future productions. Khara already uses Blender with other software for the studio’s upcoming Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 (Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban :||) film, but the studio will fully adopt the software for 3D CG animation after that project.

        The company is also now supporting the Blender Foundation, and both Khara and Project Studio Q have signed up as Corporate Silver and Bronze members, respectively, for the Blender Development Fund.

      • This Program Makes It Even Easier to Make Deepfakes

        A new method for making deepfakes creates realistic face-swapped videos in real-time, no lengthy training needed.

        Unlike previous approaches to making deepfakes—algorithmically-generated videos that make it seem like someone is doing or saying something they didn’t in real life—this method works on any two people without any specific training on their faces.

        Most of the deepfakes that are shared online are created by feeding an algorithm hundreds or thousands of images of a specific face. The algorithm “trains” on that specific face so it can swap it into the target video. This can take hours or days even with access to expensive hardware, and even longer with consumer-grade PC components. A program that doesn’t need to be trained on each new target is another leap forward in making realistic deepfakes quicker and easier to create.

        [...]

        On their project website, the researchers say that the project code will eventually be available on GitHub…

      • 5 Free and Open Source CRM Software

        We’re here to save you time by going over some of the most popular free and open source CRM solutions and when you should consider paid system…

      • A free/open tool for making XKCD-style “hand-drawn” charts

        Tim Qian, a “full stack developer and open source activist,” has published chart.xkcd, a free/open tool that lets you create interactive, “hand-drawn” charts in the style of XKCD comics. It’s pretty fabulous!

      • The Secret Source: Machine Learning and Open Source Come Together

        There was a time when banks and asset managers would dare not talk about their use of AI—and, specifically, machine learning—in public forums, as they either viewed it as taboo or they wanted to hide its power from competitors. The secret, though, is out of the black box.

      • How China became a hero in open source

        China was once a relative zero when it came to software. Not anymore. In both proprietary and open source development, China’s influence is growing. Sure, open source has helped to fuel that rise—as Swim.ai CTO Simon Crosby has suggested, “Now [China] can download our best, for free, every day”—but this tells an incomplete story. China may have been a net consumer of code once upon a time, but now has gone from zero to hero in open source.

      • The 7 Best Tools for Open-Source Network Bandwidth Monitoring

        Network bandwidth monitoring is a very specific type of monitoring. What it does is measure the amount of traffic passing a given point on a network. Typically, the measuring point is a router or switch interface but it’s not uncommon to monitor bandwidth utilization of a server’s LAN interface. The important thing here is to realize that all we’re measuring is the amount of traffic. Bandwidth monitoring won’t give you any information about what that traffic is, only how much of it there is.

        There are several reasons for wanting to monitor network bandwidth utilization. First and foremost, it can help you pinpoint areas of contention. As a network circuit’s utilization grows, its performance starts degrading. This is a fact of life. The more you approach the maximum capacity, the more impact there is on performance. By allowing you to keep an eye on network utilization, bandwidth monitoring tools give you a chance to detect high utilization—and address it—before it becomes noticeable by users.

        Capacity planning is another major benefit of network monitoring tools. Network circuits—especially long-distance WAN connections—are expensive and will often have only the bandwidth that was required when they were initially installed. While that amount of bandwidth might have been OK back then, it will eventually need to be increased. By monitoring the evolution of your network circuits’ bandwidth utilization, you’ll be able to see which ones need to be upgraded and when.

        Bandwidth monitoring tools can also be useful for troubleshooting poor application performance. When a user complains that some remote application has slowed down, looking at the network bandwidth utilization can give you a pretty good idea whether or not the problem is caused by network congestion. If you see low network utilization, you can likely concentrate your troubleshooting efforts elsewhere.

      • Au Revoir DTW

        While I wanted to use it for my tiny, crazy, work in progress thoughts, I find that it was increasingly being subsumed by my new shiny Mastodon.

        And as the volume of things I write now scales up, I do not want another place to maintain.

      • How To Promote Real Social Good

        It was big news this week when the nation’s most powerful chief executives finally acknowledged that corporations should contribute more to society than maximizing shareholder value.

        [...]

        This news story caught our attention here at Purism because we have been thinking about how to build a company that promotes social good. Our company was incorporated in Washington State as a Social Purpose Corporation.

        [...]

        We at Purism are grateful to the many US states offering to give companies the freedom to actually benefit society, rather than contribute to its ills. We believe that consumers who really care about their freedom, privacy, and security, or other issues like climate change, seek out companies like ours that exist, first and foremost, to do something important that can better people’s lives. We use capitalism, and the corporate form, to build a sustainable company that can continue to serve our mission. Making money is a means to an end, not the end itself. We exist for our customers, not for our shareholders, and our shareholders back us because know the social good that comes from our efforts. People parting with their hard-earned money for products and services deserve that much.

      • How open source is benefitting SUSE, its channel partners and customers

        Open source technology is being talked about even more rampantly today. Phillip Cockrell, Vice President of Global Channels, SUSE articulates, “More than anything, open source is the core of innovation. It is by all and for all and propelling all aspects of technology development today.”

        SUSE, a native open source software company, which provides reliable, software-defined infrastructure and application delivery solutions that give organisations greater control and flexibility, is a seasoned 25-year-old player in the domain.

      • What is AOSP? Android Open Source Project, the ‘Android without Google’

        AOSP is the acronym for Android Open Supply Challenge ; that’s, ‘Android Open Source Project’. So it’s simply the supply code of Android, the cellular working system of the Mountain View firm. However what’s it for? Its fundamental software is by OEMs; cellular producers obtain AOSP and make their ‘ROM inventory’, but additionally serves as the premise for customized ROMs and forks.

        AOSP, or Android Open Supply Challenge, isn’t the identical as Android Inventory . Whereas AOSP is the supply code of the working system, Android Inventory is the ‘pure model’ with out bloatware of any sort and solely with apps and Google providers, in addition to the native launcher. AOSP, nevertheless, is the premise of Android Vanilla , which is the model that’s distributed to smartphone producers and is topic to modifications. On it, the producer’s personal purposes and providers are launched, and naturally the customization layer and the variations which can be essential for particular elements to work.

      • How to Avoid Technical Debt in Open Source Projects
      • Introducing OpenDrop, an open-source implementation of Apple AirDrop written in Python

        A group of German researchers recently published a paper “A Billion Open Interfaces for Eve and Mallory: MitM, DoS, and Tracking Attacks on iOS and macOS Through Apple Wireless Direct Link”, at the 28th USENIX Security Symposium (August 14–16), USA. The paper reveals security and privacy vulnerabilities in Apple’s AirDrop file-sharing service as well as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks which leads to privacy leaks or simultaneous crashing of all neighboring devices.

        As part of the research, Milan Stute and Alexander Heinrich, two researchers have developed an open-source implementation of Apple AirDrop written in Python – OpenDrop. OpenDrop is like a FOSS implementation of AirDrop. It is an experimental software and is the result of reverse engineering efforts by the Open Wireless Link project (OWL). It is compatible with Apple AirDrop and used for sharing files among Apple devices such as iOS and macOS or on Linux systems running an open re-implementation of Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL).

      • The Top 13 Free and Open Source Storage Solutions

        In this article we will examine free and open source storage solutions by providing a brief overview of what to expect, as well as blurbs on each tool.

      • Open Source Origination Technology Platform for Online Lenders

        DigiFi was founded by Joshua Jersey and Bradley Vanderstarren in 2014. It started its life as Promise Financial, an online lender, and raised $110 million in credit capital. It built up its own proprietary tech as there was no solution provider in 2014 offering an end-to-end loan origination platform that could automate the entire process. They sold off the tech to a large lending institution in 2017 and pivoted to DigiFi, one of the world’s first open source loan origination systems (LOS) which equips the lenders with flexible and modern tools to create unique platforms and digital experiences.

      • IT favors open source networking over Cisco ACI, VMware NSX

        Companies trying to avoid or lessen the use of expensive network automation software from Cisco and VMware are turning to open source tools that are often good enough for many tasks associated with managing complex modern networks.

        Cisco’s application-centric infrastructure (ACI) and VMware’s NSX are powerful technologies for operating networks built on the vendors’ respective products. But many large enterprises have data centers filled with perfectly good multivendor hardware and software that very few organizations are willing to swap for an all Cisco or VMware alternative.

        Therefore, companies are turning to open source networking products, such as Ansible, Chef, Puppet and SaltStack, for automating many network-related chores across as much of the data center as possible, while relegating ACI and NSX to Cisco- or VMware-only portions of the network.

      • Events
        • ICFP 2019

          ICFP 2019 in Berlin ended yesterday, and it was – as always – a great pleasure. This year was particularly noteworthy for the quite affordable conference hotel and the absolutely amazing food during the coffee breaks.

      • Databases
        • From Spark To Airflow And Presto: Demystifying The Fast-Moving Cloud Data Stack

          Putting data to work starts with exploration, or inspecting data so that you know what you have to work with and its characteristics. Presto is excellent for exploring large, unstructured data sets because it uses storage efficiently, which keeps costs down, and it’s compatible with SQL, a language data analysts are familiar with.

          Spark, on the other hand, is great for exploring data sets when programming is required, such as being able to manipulate data for use in data science or machine learning. It has good support for non-SQL interfaces.

        • Databricks launches AutoML Toolkit for model building and deployment

          Databricks today introduced its AutoML Toolkit, an automated end-to-end machine learning service made to accommodate developers with a range of experience.

        • DigitalOcean Managed Databases add MySQL, Redis support

          DigitalOcean Managed Databases introduced support for open source relational database MySQL and in-memory database Redis to eliminate the complexity involved in managing, scaling and securing database infrastructure.

          DigitalOcean, a cloud computing vendor offering infrastructure-as-a-service platforms for software developers, intends its new managed database offerings to enable developers to focus more exclusively on building apps and boosting productivity.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice Hackfests

          Most LibreOffice developers are working from their home offices, so hackfests provide a unique opportunity to spend some time working shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers. In 2018, LibreOffice developers and community members met at four hackfests in Brussels, Hamburg, Tirana and Munich.

      • Funding
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • GNU Radio Launches 3.8.0.0, First Minor-Version Release In Six Years

          The GNU Radio maintainers have announced the release of GNU Radio 3.8.0.0, the first minor-version release of the popular LimeSDR-compatible software defined radio (SDR) development toolkit in over six years.

          “It’s the first minor release version since more than six years, not without pride this community stands to face the brightest future SDR on general purpose hardware ever had,” the project’s maintainers announced this week. “What has not changed is the fact that GNU Radio is centred around a very simple truth: Let the developers hack on DSP. Software interfaces are for humans, not the other way around. And so, compared to the later 3.7 releases, nothing has fundamentally modified the way one develops signal processing systems with GNU Radio: You write blocks, and you combine blocks to be part of a larger signal processing flow graph.”

      • Licensing/Legal
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Open Data
          • Schlumberger open-sources data ecosystem, contributing to industrywide data development
          • Schlumberger Open Sources Data Ecosystem

            Oilfield services company Schlumberger said it will open source its data ecosystem and contribute to The Open Group Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Forum to accelerate the delivery of the OSDU Data Platform.

            The OSDU Forum is an international forum of oil and gas operators, cloud services companies, technology providers, suppliers of applications to oil and gas operators, academia and other standards organizations working together to develop an open, standards-based, data platform that will bring together exploration, development and wells data.

          • Waymo open-sources data set for autonomous vehicle multimodal sensors

            Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary that hopes to someday pepper roads with self-driving taxis, today pulled back the curtains on a portion of the data used to train the algorithms underpinning its cars: The Waymo Open Dataset. Waymo principal scientist Dragomir Anguelov claims it’s the largest multimodal sensor sample corpus for autonomous driving released to date.

            “[W]e are inviting the research community to join us with the [debut] of the Waymo Open Dataset, [which is composed] of high-resolution sensor data collected by Waymo self-driving vehicles,” wrote Anguelov in a blog post published this morning. “Data is a critical ingredient for machine learning … [and] this rich and diverse set of real-world experiences has helped our engineers and researchers develop Waymo’s self-driving technology and innovative models and algorithms.”

        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • Huawei mulls open-source chip design if US ban continues

            Huawei Technologies Co said Friday that it would consider using RISC-V, an open-source chip architecture, if the US government continues restricting its access to the latest technologies from the UK firm ARM Holdings for a long time.

            Xu Zhijun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said in an interview in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, that the company has already obtained the perpetual license to ARM’s V8 architecture technology, so the US government ban does not affect its current launch schedule of chips.

            “If ARM’s new technologies are not available in the future, we can also use RISC-V, an architecture which is open to all companies. The challenge is not insurmountable,” Xu said.

      • Programming/Development
        • Animating Ptolemy’s Equant with Python, SVG, and CSS

          You will recall my previous blog post that tried to build the necessary scaffolding for me to finally write up my 2017 PyCon Ireland keynote on the structure of the Medieval universe. It ran into several problems with matplotlib animations — but, having written that post, I realized that the problem ran deeper.

          How could any animation show a Solar System, when a Solar System’s motion never exactly repeats? The orbital periods of the planets aren’t exact multiples of each other, and don’t provide a moment when the planets reach their original positions and the animation can start over again. At whatever moment an animation finished and looped back to the beginning, the planets would visibly and jarringly jump back to their original position.

        • Train your own spell corrector with TextBlob

          TextBlob is a wonderful Python library it. It wraps nltk with a really pleasant API. Out of the box, you get a spell-corrector.

        • How To Learn Any Programming Language Online in 2019

          Let’s face it, computers are everywhere these days, and the need for programmers is ever-increasing. Programming is vital to make computers be able to help us solve our everyday problems. It’s also a means to increase their speed and usability. With this in mind, it’s high time you jumped on this bandwagon and learned a language yourself!

          However, picking out the most appropriate programming language to learn is a substantial task for beginners. A good approach to making this choice is to consider the most popular programming languages, which languages are easy-to-learn, and how easy it is to find a job for beginners in these languages.

        • How to Build a Custom Anaconda Installer for R

          A frequent question on the Anaconda Community mailing list is how to package R with conda for distribution. Depending on the use case, one option may be to use conda to move environments. This requires that conda has been previously installed on the system. Another option is conda constructor, a utility for packaging a complete conda installation with Python and R packages.

          Constructor is the same utility we use to build Anaconda Distribution and Miniconda installers. It’s a multi-platform installer which means you can build an installer for Windows, Linux and macOS. It also supports a number of options to control how the installer is built. These options are documented on the GitHub constructor repository.

        • Digging into regressions

          Whenever a patch is landed on autoland, it will run many builds and tests to make sure there are no regressions. Unfortunately many times we find a regression and 99% of the time backout the changes so they can be fixed. This work is done by the Sheriff team at Mozilla- they monitor the trees and when something is wrong, they work to fix it (sometimes by a quick fix, usually by a backout). A quick fact, there were 1228 regressions in H1 (January-June) 2019.

          My goal in writing is not to recommend change, but instead to start conversations and figure out what data we should be collecting in order to have data driven discussions. Only then would I expect that recommendations for changes would come forth.

        • “Sudo Mastery” and the new Tilted Windmill Press clothing line

          Sudo Mastery, 2nd edition, is now complete. I’m doing the release slightly different this time, however.

        • Fossil Versus Git

          The feature sets of Fossil and Git overlap in many ways. Both are distributed version control systems which store a tree of check-in objects to a local repository clone. In both systems, the local clone starts out as a full copy of the remote parent. New content gets added to the local clone and then later optionally pushed up to the remote, and changes to the remote can be pulled down to the local clone at will. Both systems offer diffing, patching, branching, merging, cherry-picking, bisecting, private branches, a stash, etc.

        • Golang or go home: how Curve is taking Golang to new heights

          Emerging only in 2009, Golang is still relatively new and not as widely used as other mainstream coding languages.

          This young language was incubated inside Google, and has already been proven to perform well on a massive scale. We wanted to share with you a few reasons why we love Golang (Go) and how Curve is using it.

          Go has excellent characteristics for scalability and services written using it typically have very small memory footprints. Because code is compiled into a single static binary, services can also be containerised with ease, making it much simpler to build and deploy. These attributes make Go an ideal choice for companies building microservices, as you can easily deploy into a highly available and scalable environment such as Kubernetes.

          Go has everything you need to build APIs as part of its standard library.

  • Leftovers
    • This video of electric toothbrushes playing the Soviet anthem is the perfect end to your week, comrade

      Device Orchestra isn’t just another pop music YouTube account. Its covers are all performed on everyday electric devices: toasters, printers, credit card machines, and more. In Device Orchestra’s most recent video, five electric toothbrushes and one steam cleaner hum out the Soviet national anthem, each sporting a pair of googly eyes (and the occasional bow tie as well).

    • Hardware
    • Health/Nutrition
      • Russian doctors announce that cesium-137 in colleague’s tissues was from food, not the Nyonoksa nuclear explosion

        The government of Russia’s Arkhangelsk region reported today on the results of medical examinations that followed the region’s August 8 nuclear accident. The patients examined included doctors who treated the victims of the blast. While 110 health workers in a variety of roles did not display “radiation levels above acceptable standards,” one doctor did have unusually high levels of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.

      • In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.

        Once it was called “hysterical” movement disorder, or simply “hysteria.” Later it was labeled “psychogenic.” Now it’s a “functional disorder.”

        By any name, it’s one of the most puzzling afflictions — and problematic diagnoses — in medicine. It often has the same symptoms, like uncontrollable shaking and difficulty walking, that characterize brain diseases like Parkinson’s. But the condition is caused by stress or trauma and often treated by psychotherapy. And, in a disparity that is drawing increased scrutiny, most of those deemed to suffer from it — as high as 80% in some studies — are women.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Security Researchers Find Several Bugs in Nest Security Cameras

        Researchers Lilith Wyatt and Claudio Bozzato of Cisco Talos discovered the vulnerabilities and disclosed them publicly on August 19. The two found eight vulnerabilities that are based in the Nest implementation of the Weave protocol. The Weave protocol is designed specifically for communications among Internet of Things or IoT devices.

      • Better SSH Authentication with Keybase

        With an SSH CA model, you start by generating a single SSH key called the CA key. The public key is placed on each server and the server is configured to trust any key signed by the CA key. This CA key is then used to sign user keys with an expiration window. This means that signed user keys can only be used for a finite, preferably short, period of time before a new signature is needed. This transforms the key management problem into a user management problem: How do we ensure that only certain people are able to provision new signed SSH keys?

      • Texas ransomware attacks deliver wake-up call to cities [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The Texas Department of Information Resources has confirmed that 22 Texas entities, mostly local governments, have been hit by the ransomware attacks that took place late last week. The department pointed to a “single threat actor” as being responsible for the attacks, which did not impact any statewide systems.

      • Texas Ransomware Attack

        On Security Now, Steve Gibson talks about a huge ransomware attack. 23 cities in Texas were hit with a well-coordinated ransomware attack last Friday, August 16th.

      • CVE-2019-10071: Timing Attack in HMAC Verification in Apache Tapestry

        Apache Tapestry uses HMACs to verify the integrity of objects stored on the client side. This was added to address the Java deserialization vulnerability disclosed in CVE-2014-1972. In the fix for the previous vulnerability, the HMACs were compared by string comparison, which is known to be vulnerable to timing attacks.

      • VLC Media Player Allows Desktop Takeover Via Malicious Video Files

        Two high-risk vulnerabilities in the VLC media player could allow an adversary to craft a malicious .MKV video file that could be used in an attack to gain control of the victim’s PC. The flaws were made public Monday by the developer of the open-source VLC media player, VideoLAN project, who also made patches available to mitigate the issues.

      • Yubico YubiKey 5Ci Review & Rating

        The YubiKey 5Ci is Yubico’s latest attempt to bring hardware two-factor authentication to iOS with a double-headed USB-C and Apple Lightning device

      • Los Angeles County voting system pits cybersecurity vs. disability advocates

        Some advocates for open source election systems are concerned, though, that L.A. County hasn’t actually released its code yet – and plans to release it only to some vetted groups, not to the public at large.

    • Defence/Aggression
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Dear Democrats, the Mainstream Media Are Not Your Friends

        The Democrats’ misplaced trust that the mainstream media would allow them to make their case to the public above the din of right-wing misinformation continues to derail their legislative and electoral success. It’s as if party leaders have bought into the lie that the media has a liberal bias and so expect at least a fair shake when they present their case to the voters. This repeated triumph of hope over experience has a pathetic quality to it, not unlike, say, Charlie Brown with Lucy and that football.

    • Environment
    • Finance
      • Recession Now, Please

        It is a basic fact of economic life in capitalist economies: recessions happen, there are cycles of boom and bust.

      • Donald Trump Is Coming for Medicare and Social Security

        After exploding the federal budget deficit with over a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the rich and massive corporations, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering using his possible second term in the White House to slash Medicare and Social Security—the final part of a two-step plan progressives have been warning about since before the GOP tax bill passed Congress in 2017.

      • Slaves to the Clock

        As I have pointed out in previous reviews, Icarus, the New York film distributor, is far and away the most important source of anti-capitalist documentaries. In keeping with their commitment to class struggle cinema, “Time Thieves”, their latest, hones in on the ways in which the capitalist system makes us slaves to the clock.

      • State Tax Breaks Rewarded Companies Connected to One Powerful Man. The Governor Just Killed Them — for Now.

        New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday vetoed legislation that would have extended the state’s controversial tax break law, and he recommended a sweeping overhaul of a program state investigators say benefited powerful insiders at the expense of taxpayers.

        “For the past six years, New Jersey has operated under a severely flawed tax incentive program that wasted taxpayer money on handouts to connected companies instead of creating jobs and economic growth,” Murphy said in a prepared statement.

      • Insurance Companies Are Destroying People’s Lives And Cops Are Being Paid To Help Do It

        Insurance claims result in investigations. This much is a given. Sometimes it involves both insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, depending on what’s being investigated. But in many cases, insurance companies are doing the investigative work for law enforcement agencies and pushing prosecutors towards bringing fraud charges against claimants just trying to be compensated for valuables damaged or lost.

      • Trump Never Had a Grand Strategy for China

        President Trump has delayed the new tariffs he threatened to impose on Chinese imports in the early fall, and exempted some other Chinese imports altogether. The de-escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war is especially welcome, given the markets’ renewed concerns about impending recession. Also striking was the president’s tacit acknowledgment that the tariffs threatened to harm the American consumer (which is probably the closest approximation we’ll ever get to an actual admission of error on his part).

      • Subsidizing Underfunded Schools, US Teachers Spend $459 of Their Own Money Each Year on Classroom Supplies

        Union leader responds to new analysis with vow that educators will continue “to fight to fund our future, to fight the defunding and underinvestment that created this crisis in the first place.”

      • Sanders and Warren Celebrated for Returning Donations From Employees at Hedge Funds Linked to Puerto Rico

        “No candidate should take contributions from hedge funds and vulture funds driving austerity in Puerto Rico.”

      • The NYT’s Upside Down Economics on Germany and the Euro Zone

        Paul Krugman already jumped on this New York Times piece, but the paper really deserves a thrashing for it. The story is that Germany’s economy had been driving the euro zone economy. It now appears on the edge of recession, having shrunk at a 0.4 percent annual rate in the second quarter. The article then asks whether the rest of the euro zone will now be able to support Germany’s economy and restore it to growth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Is a Nationally Widespread New Voting System Ready for the 2020 Elections?

        A new precinct-based voting system being widely acquired by states and counties before 2020 that relies on printed bar codes to record votes, not handmade ink marks, may pose problems for independent efforts seeking to double-check election results.

      • Russian Troll Farm Tries Again To Sue Facebook, Despite Having Its Original Complaint Dismissed On 230 Grounds

        Last month we wrote about how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act did exactly what it was supposed to do in protecting Facebook from a bogus lawsuit from a Russian news trolling operation, called Federal Agency of News (FAN). Facebook had kicked FAN off its platform soon after the 2016 election, when it realized it was a Russian operation spewing nonsense, often targeting people voting in the 2016 US election. FAN somehow found US lawyers from a previously reputable firm to represent them in this quixotic attempt to sue Facebook. The whole thing flopped, of course, because Facebook is free to kick whomever it wants off its platform, including Russian trolls seeking to spread fake news to influence an election. The court dismissed the case easily under Section 230. All of the Russian attempts to claim it violated their 1st Amendment rights, California civil rights, breach of contract, etc., went nowhere fast.

      • Federal Elections Committee Chair Is Sick Of Donald Trump’s Bullshit: Put Up Or Shut Up About Voter Fraud

        Just days after the two Republican members of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) blocked an investigation into the NRA and its use of Russian funds to influence the election, the chair of the FEC (who voted for that investigation) has pointed out that Donald Trump should put up or shut up with his totally baseless, absolutely insane, claims that “voter fraud” cost him millions of votes in the election.

      • GateHouse’s Takeover of Gannett: Bad News for Journalism and the Planet

        USA Today ran a piece (8/20/19) on the Amazon fires in which “anthropogenic climate change” were almost literally the last three words. Media watchers are wondering if that’s more likely to reflect the outlet’s priorities now that its owner, Gannett—the largest newspaper publisher in the country, as measured by total daily circulation—has merged with GateHouse Media, owned by Wes Edens’ New Fortress Investment Group, which also owns New Fortress Energy, which deals in natural gas.

      • Communist running for Moscow City Duma withdraws after endorsement from barred opposition candidate

        Vladislav Kolmagorov announced on August 23 that he is withdrawing from this year’s Moscow City Duma elections, which have inspired regular mass protests due to their exclusion of opposition candidates. The Communist Party member’s withdrawal immediately followed a call by Ilya Yashin, one of the blocked opposition candidates, for voters to back Kolmagorov instead of him

      • Mr. Trump Goes to Kensington

        The election of Donald Trump should have forced broad reconsideration of the American project. Whatever the factors one chooses to explain his political ascension, he comes from outside the realm or ordinary expectations. However, in Mr. Trump’s case, it is the expectations that are skewed. In a world run by and for the rich, less probable explanations of how wealth and power are achieved predominate.

      • WaPo Complicit in Corruption of DC Council’s Corporate ‘Concierge’

        When the FBI came knocking on DC Councilmember Jack Evans’ door in June, it set off an earthquake in local politics and business.

      • Are the Saudis using big sporting events to ‘sportswash’ their image?

        News of a prizefight set to take place in Saudi Arabia in December has riveted boxing fans but outraged human rights advocates, who pointed at a new trend — “sportswashing” — in which countries with questionable human rights reputations organize mass sporting events to escape international opprobrium.

      • YouTube disabled 210 accounts for spreading disinformation about Hong Kong protests [iophk: for how much longe will VPNs be allowed anywhere? VPNs do not solve any problems only worsten Internet conditinos]

        Google just published a blog post revealing that it has disabled 210 YouTube channels that the company says “behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.” Google cites the behavior as being “consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.” The accounts were disabled earlier this week.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Shut Up David Boies, You Hypocritical, Censorial Oaf

        NPR has an incredible story about the media and Jeffrey Epstein. You should read the whole damn thing, because no summary here will do it justice. It covers multiple attempts by various large media organizations, including Vanity Fair, the NY Times and ABC to report on Jeffrey Epstein over the years, and how Epstein, intimidated, coaxed and even potentially bought off reporters to get more favorable coverage, or to kill stories outright. It’s horrific and awful and everything along those lines. Go read it.

      • Devin Nunes Discovery Requests Against Twitter, A Fake Cow, And Liz Mair Show Just How Much A Fishing Expedition He’s On

        We’ve written a few times now about Devin Nunes’ ridiculous lawsuit against Twitter, two parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair. In a news interview back in April, Nunes more or less admitted that these lawsuits were fishing expeditions to reveal journalists’ sources on articles about himself that he didn’t like. Meanwhile, both Twitter and Mair filed motions in the case saying that a Virginia state court is the wrong venue.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Facebook Starts Rolling Out Tool to Clear User Info Shared by Third Parties — But Not in the U.S. Yet

        The Off-Facebook Activity feature shows users a summary of the apps and websites that send Facebook information about their activity, which Facebook uses to better target ads. The tool will let users clear that information and also disconnect all future off-Facebook activity from their accounts (or only for specific apps and websites). That data technically will not be deleted, but Facebook says it will no longer link the external browsing history of individual users who opt-out to their accounts. Also note that the company will still track and retain data about users’ activity on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

      • T-Mobile ‘Put My Life in Danger’ Says Woman Stalked With Black Market Location Data

        It later turned out John Edens didn’t have a warrant, nor was he from law enforcement at all. Instead, he was a debt collector with a history of stalking and domestic violence who had managed to get ahold of Johnson’s phone location data. He did this by pretending to be a U.S. Marshal with the “Georgia Fugitive Task Force” to T-Mobile, which then provided Edens with the location of Johnson’s phone in a handy Google Maps interface—”pinging” the phone, in industry parlance.

      • Building a more private web

        So we are doing something different. We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web. At I/O, we announced a plan to improve the classification of cookies, give clarity and visibility to cookie settings, as well as plans to more aggressively block fingerprinting. We are making progress on this, and today we are providing more details on our plans to restrict fingerprinting. Collectively we believe all these changes will improve transparency, choice, and control.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • A Dead Cat, A Lawyer’s Call And A 5-Figure Donation: How Media Fell Short On Epstein

        “We count on the press to uncover problems, not merely to report on when problems have been prosecuted and when people have been indicted, but to uncover problems before they reach that stage,” says David Boies, an attorney for several of Epstein’s accusers. “And here you had a terrible problem. A horrific series of abuses.”

        Boies’ firm helped file lawsuits in 2015 and 2017 for clients alleging that Epstein and his associates had sexually trafficked underage girls, at his various homes. The suits were publicly available documents but received little attention in the press.

      • Are Terrorism Watch Lists Expanding Under Trump?

        Sixteen years after it was created in the post 9-11 hysteria of the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Terrorist Watch List is alive and, apparently, going off the rails, with increasing numbers being kept from boarding, while others are simply harassed, seemingly for political activism of one kind or another.

        As I reported back in 2003 at Salon, there are actually at least two watch lists: a “No Fly” list of suspected terrorists, many of whom the Justice Department doesn’t have sufficient evidence to arrest but who are nonetheless barred from boarding a plane, and a second list of people who “don’t qualify” for that list because they have never shown any terrorist proclivities, but who are “selected” to be harassed and searched at the gate before flying, often—as I discovered and reported 16 years ago—for clearly political, not security, reasons.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Meditation on a Racist Nation
      • The White-Nationalist Great Fear

        A century ago, the nation was wracked by race wars known as the “Red Summer” of 1919.  Today, race wars are resurging, but implemented not by gangs or groups as in the early-20th century but by isolated — and heavily armed – individuals who share a common white-nationalist ideology.

      • ‘Putin could shut us down with one little finger’ ‘Ekho Moskvy’ chief editor Alexey Venediktov lays out his storied career and insider insights

        On August 19, Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexey Venediktov granted a two-hour interview to Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, where the two discussed Venediktov’s storied career and various backroom insights into major political events in Russia over the past two decades. Meduza presents a summary of the exchange, broken down by subject.

      • Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse

        Among the suggestions I would have made to the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley had I been an editor of his important book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Random House, 2018), two seem particularly relevant in the present political juncture.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg Treated for Tumor on Pancreas

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has completed radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas and there is no evidence of the disease remaining, the Supreme Court said Friday.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Treatment for Pancreatic Tumor—Doctors Say Supreme Court Justice Completely ‘Cancer-Free’

        “Getting a push notification that starts with the words ‘Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ will get the heart rate ramped up.”

      • Sick of Being a Guinea Pig

        Some corporations and governments have used the US public as guinea pigs in uncontrolled experiments conducted without the public’s approval. They were often gambling with our well being when they introduced new products or conducted risky tests. In contrast, there were usually few risks for the CEOs or government officials in charge of these unacknowledged experiments.

      • Justice Department Sent Anti-Semitic Post to Immigration Judges

        The Justice Department’s immigration arm sent judges a morning news briefing that included a blog post from a virulently anti-immigration website that also publishes work by white nationalists.

      • Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)

        Race is a touchy subject in the West. People across the aisle, especially white folk, tend to avoid it like a plague. A big part of the reason behind this reservation has to do with the fact that both the left and the right maintain an equally immature grasp on the subject. While the right seems to be convinced that race is some kind of scientific fact like a species of bird, the left seems to view it as an inescapable historical prison sentence with no hope for escape. Like usual, the left is wrong and the right is way fucking wrong. There is nothing scientific or permanent about race. It is a social construct as fluid in nature as gender or sexuality, and it is constantly evolving. Almost every known race was created by a collision of former races that have ceased to exist. About the only thing that the clueless class in the left-right paradigm gets right is that the white race is a very unique creature, and a dangerous one.

      • Will North Carolina’s Supreme Court Allow Racism to Remain a Persistent Factor in its Death Penalty?

        In 2009, North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act (RJA), which allowed defendants to strike the death penalty from their cases if they could show that racial discrimination was a factor in their prosecution. The law came as a response to a series of exonerations of Black people who were falsely convicted of crimes they did not commit by all-white or nearly all-white juries. The legislature took a bold step to address was what suspected to be deeply troubling evidence of racism infecting the death penalty—but no one knew for sure what evidence uncovered by the RJA would find.

      • Sasha Abramsky on Trump’s New Attack on Immigrants

        This week on CounterSpin: The Trump administration planned massive ICE workplace raids for the first day of school that included no plans for children coming home to empty houses; they tried to find a way to block undocumented kids from going to public schools; they refuse to give flu vaccines to migrant children in custody, even after several deaths; and they’ve just announced a new rule dictating there be “no limit“ on how long migrant families can be detained. When that same administration announces changes to “public charge” rules that link visas or deportation to an immigrant’s being deemed likely to possibly rely on government aid—what’s the point of relaying earnestly, as does the Washington Post, the Trump team’s claim that it’s “seeking to bring precision to an existing tenet of law that has lacked a clear definition,” or of typing the words, “The administration has portrayed the rule as a way to promote sufficiency and independence among immigrants,” as they did at The Hill? Orwell’s 1984 may be overquoted, but one to hold on to: “The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” So who, at this point, is served when corporate media consider Trump’s cruel attacks on immigrants in any context other than cruelty?

      • Should We Fight a War on White Terrorism?

        Although its precise scale is hard to measure, violent white supremacy is clearly a problem in the United States.

      • Trump administration plans rule change that allows indefinite detention for migrants

        The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled a rule that allows officials to detain migrant families indefinitely while judges consider whether to grant them asylum in the United States, abolishing a previous 20-day limit.

      • Ryanair cabin crew in Spain will strike for 10 days in September

        Ryanair cabin crew will strike on September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29 after mediation, between the airline and union leaders from USO and Sitcpla failed to produce an agreement.

        The meeting on Tuesday, organized by Spain’s state arbitrator SIMA, lasted more than seven hours but ended without a deal, once the low-cost airline confirmed its plans to close down its bases in Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

      • Jeffrey Epstein was accused of sex trafficking young girls on his mysterious private island. Over 40 years ago, a different millionaire escaped justice in a stunningly similar case.

        The story of the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing and trafficking minors, erupted in the news this year, and internet sleuths say the case of Shelden and Lake Michigan’s North Fox Island bears an uncanny resemblance to today’s scandal.

        Both center on allegations that secretive millionaires weaponized their philanthropic giving, cliques of connected friends, and private island paradises to prey on young victims and escape justice. Like Shelden, Epstein was a millionaire, a philanthropist, and a man with powerful friends. And neither stood trial for the crimes for which he was accused.

      • Swatting Is a Deadly Problem—Here’s the Solution [iophk: in addition to the failure in policing, swatting is attempted murder]

        One exception: Seattle. As of last October, the Seattle Police Department has maintained an anti-swatting registry that lets people who fear being swatted give the police advance warning by adding the concern to a profile associated with their address—in much the same way you might add a note about a serious allergy, a child with autism, or pets in the house in case of fire. If an officer is dispatched to your address, they’ll see your profile and proceed with appropriate caution. According to Sean Whitcomb, the registry’s inventor and a sergeant at the police department, it was a fast and easy fix. “We had it launched in three months, which is light speed for any government bureaucracy,” he says. The registry simply adapts an existing Rave Mobile Safety product the police department already had the rights to—a system that connects a 911 call to the profile of a specific address. “It’s a great use case and didn’t require any tech changes from us,” says Katharine Dahl, Rave Mobile Safety’s senior director of product marketing.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It

        My hunch is they wouldn’t be as astounded by our world as we like to think. Our technologies of instant communication would be impressive, yes, but they’d at least make sense as the culmination of a trend that began with the telegraph. Other seemingly new phenomena like viral false news and deepfakes have predigital precedents. Even some of the most bizarre facts of online life chime with what’s come before: Anyone familiar with the ancient Egyptian fixation on felines (cat mummies, cat statues, cat pictographs) and the mid-century American obsession with TV would at least have some pretext to accept that one of the largest conglomerates on the planet is the owner of a massive video site with millions of cat clips.

        My guess is that the real surprise for our visitor would be the vast open source projects, relying mainly on volunteer labor, that underpin the internet. As a social scientist myself, I can say that convincing a colleague from the past that Wikipedia and Linux actually work the way they do would be a pretty huge lift. Given the assumption, common to many 20th-century schools of thought, that humans act in incorrigibly selfish ways, the notion that tens of thousands of people would collaborate to create, respectively, a living monument to human knowledge and a foundational piece of computing infrastructure, free of charge, simply sounds too fanciful.

        And it’s not just Wikipedia and Linux. The whole open source software ecology is a miracle whose branches sprawl in every direction. The internet as we know it simply couldn’t operate without it.

        To put things in terms our time-traveling professor would understand, much of the web is an exception to the famed “free rider” problem—the idea that people will not make sacrifices toward a common goal if they can get away with coasting on other people’s efforts.

    • Monopolies
      • Amazon will no longer use tips to pay delivery drivers’ base salaries

        Now, Amazon confirms that the initial minimum payment for each delivery will come entirely from Amazon, with driver’s tips going directly to the driver on top of that — i.e., the almost universally understood intent of how tips should work in the first place, where they’re a bonus for a specific person on top of their base pay from the company for which they work.

      • Here’s every study of every terrible thing Lyft and Uber do to SF traffic

        Almost everyone agrees that ride-hailing apps create a tremendous amount of congestion in SF specifically—even the companies themselves often cop to this in the comments below, while at the same time arguing that their ultimate goal is to minimize the number of cars on the street.

        But the details vary wildly, along with the methods. Here’s a brief survey of the surveys on this eternally idling question.

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • PTAB Won’t Ax Patent For Wine Dispenser, Aerator

          The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Friday refused to invalidate a liquid dispenser patent claim in a fight between two wine aerator companies.

          3BTech Inc., which sells the Waerator, failed to prove that one claim in a patent covering MercAsia’s Aervana is obvious, the board said in its final written decision. The eight-claim patent is owned by Jingle Master International Ltd., and exclusively licensed to MercAsia, according to filings in related infringement litigation.

          The board said 3BTech failed to show that someone would have been motivated to combine the three pieces of prior art referenced, among other failings.

          3BTech had…

        • Are you a Patent Troll, or merely Rhetorical Hyperbole

          Automated Transactions holds several patents on automated teller machines (ATMs) and was seeking licensing revenue (reportedly receiving more than $3 million in a single year). Potential licensees started identifying the patentee a “patent troll” and the licensing effort “extortive.” Automated (along with its founder Barcelou) sued in NH state court alleging defamation and violation of the NH Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

          The district court dismissed the case — holding that the patent-troll statements by the defendants were non-defamatory “expressions of opinion” based upon known underlying facts and that the “extortion” statements were rhetorical hyperbole.

        • Protecting Inventors—Independent Invention As A Defense

          This isn’t an unusual circumstance. Even looking at major innovations, there’s a long list of near-simultaneous inventions—the telephone (Bell and Gray), the light bulb (Edison and Swann), calculus (Newton and Leibniz), and the plethora of claimed inventors of the telescope, among many other such examples. There’s even a term for it among science historians—“multiples.” More recently, the Berkeley-MIT-Harvard dispute over CRISPR technology is a similar circumstance. And when it comes to the kind of minor incremental improvement that most patents claim, independent invention is almost a given.

          The idea behind the patent bargain is that, in exchange for sharing their technology with the public, the patent owner gets to have some level of control over that technology for a period of time. But in cases of independent invention, the later inventors never received the benefit of that bargain—they’re only receiving the harm of having spent time and resources on inventing something they can’t then pursue. And multiple independent inventions suggest that the innovation in question isn’t the type of non-obvious advance that requires an incentive to be made, but is simply the kind of normal advance in technology that an ordinarily skilled artisan can achieve.

          Stated otherwise: how inventive can an idea truly be, when multiple people have all had it around the same time? And perhaps more importantly, if multiple people would all have had the idea anyway, do we really need to provide a government incentive for that inevitable invention?

          The phenomenon of independent invention, and the failure to address it in a meaningful way, thus points to serious flaws in the U.S. patent system that provide a windfall return to inventors for advances that would have been achieved without the patent incentive.

          It doesn’t have to be that way.

          [...]

          These approaches include treating independent invention as probative evidence that the patent was obvious and incorporating independent invention as a factor in the injunction inquiry.

          In terms of evidence of obviousness, simultaneous invention by others is already a factor in the obviousness inquiry. However, that factor is often discounted by the courts for various reasons and requires simultaneous invention, which does not include independent invention done slightly later. Instead of treating only simultaneous invention as evidence of non-obviousness, courts could treat evidence of independent invention without actual knowledge of the patented technology—and certainly any independent invention prior to the publication of the patent in question—as creating a rebuttable presumption that the patent was in fact obvious.

          The second—incorporation of independent invention into the injunction inquiry—is even simpler. Injunctions in patent cases may only issue “in accordance with the principles of equity.” Where someone has independently created something, it’s simply inequitable to bar them from using their own idea simply because someone else came up with it earlier.

          And even if these defenses or presumptions never become part of U.S. patent law, it’s worth remembering that most of the time, the accused infringer didn’t “copy” anything—they came up with it on their own, just a little bit later. Keeping that at the forefront of the patent debate is important to ensuring that the patent system remains appropriately balanced.

        • Ninth Circuit motions panel grants Qualcomm’s motion to stay enforcement of FTC’s antitrust remedies; appellate hearing to be held in January

          That means they don’t view the district court’s decision as being in the antitrust mainstream, the sole question from the vantage point of those circuit judges being whether it’s about novel theories that might be affirmed nonetheless or just squarely outside the boundaries of antitrust law.

          Even if the same three judges were to evaluate the merits of the case, affirmance would be possible, but it would be an uphill battle for the FTC. With a different panel, however, and extensive briefing on the merits, anything is still possible. At this procedural stage, a panel with a Republican majority simply didn’t want to turn a deaf ear to a Republican government’s input urging the appeals court to stay the enforcement of remedies and warning of grave consequences even for national security.

          Qualcomm’s opening brief is due today. Qualcomm had first requested and obtained an expedited appeal, but then it was too tight a schedule even for their purposes, so they asked for an extension, which they got.

      • Trademarks
        • Rutgers Forces LA High School To Change Logos Due To Its ‘R’ Trademark

          Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of aggression from universities when it comes to trademark enforcement. The impetus for much of this was rulings nearly a decade ago that essentially gave universities far broader and more exclusive rights to their school logos. The fallout of those rulings became schools going after all kinds of uses and near-uses of those logos, including a strange war on pastries, and colleges going after high schools for using similar iconography.

      • Copyrights
        • Can YouTube Be Liable For Copyright Infringing Videos? EU Court to Decide

          The European Court of Justice is being asked to answer several questions regarding YouTube’s potential liability for pirated videos that are uploaded by its users. The case was referred by Austria’s Supreme Court, which has to decide on a copyright dispute between local television channel Puls4 and the video host. The latter stands accused of not doing enough to curtail piracy.

        • Look What They Made Her Do: Taylor Swift To Re-Record Her Catalog

          Swift claimed that she was unaware of the sale to Braun’s company, and called the deal “my worst-case scenario,” alluding to Braun’s involvement in a number of feuds between her and artists he has managed, including Kanye West. Swift also said that she had tried to buy back her masters from Big Machine, but that the terms the label offered her were intolerable. In a blog post, she wrote: “For years, I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”

          Last year, Swift signed a deal with the world’s largest record company, Universal Music Group, and its subsidiary Republic Records; Lover is her first release under this new contract.

          For artists, master recordings — the original recordings of musicians’ work — are vital musically, historically and financially. In most situations, labels own those masters. But many musicians, both prominent and independent ones, have tried to hang on to their masters. As Prince famously told Rolling Stone back in 1996, “If you don’t own your masters, your master owns you.”

Outsourcing to Microsoft and Openwashing as a Service (OaaS): This is the Linux Foundation in 2019

Friday 23rd of August 2019 07:57:10 PM

Summary: The concept of “Open” at the Linux Foundation gives room for thought; are things really being opened or mostly marketed as “Open” and, if so, is the Foundation more like a marketing agency?

THE Linux Foundation is promoting proprietary software and putting its projects in a proprietary software cage called GitHub, even more so after Microsoft bought GitHub. We’ve provided ample evidence in past articles.

The openwashing is shameful and the leanings towards Microsoft are utterly tasteless. But this is what we have now. This is the “Foundation” which claims to represent “Linux”. How astounding. How can something called “Linux Foundation” be so hostile towards Linux? And almost nobody who works there even uses Linux!

“How can something called “Linux Foundation” be so hostile towards Linux? And almost nobody who works there even uses Linux!”Today we deal with a bit of a ‘sacred cow’ because IBM owns Red Hat and Red Hat is undeniably a massive contributor to Linux. So we’ll be gentle.

Two days ago the Red Hat-friendly press (neighbour, physically) published “Why IBM embraces is embracing, expanding open hardware ecosystem in wake of Red Hat deal” (maybe joining consortia like RISC-V’s is applicable here).

But this is not about RISC-V.

There’s no need for us to dwell or obsess over the latest widely-covered announcements; we’ve included quite a lot about this in our daily links, including the calling of surveillance “confidential” and “security” (that’s one heck of a laughable newspeak right there!) and some AGL stuff.

We must admit that in relative terms the announcements from the Open Source Summit aren’t as controversial and infuriating as some which we came across in the past, so we won’t spend much time ‘bashing’ the Foundation over these.

The Open Source Summit has long been a sales event of proprietary software — just look at their marketing brochures and what’s on offer. We showed this in a series of posts earlier this year.

“The Open Source Summit has long been a sales event of proprietary software…”Further analysis of the announcements (there were three “major” ones) highlights areas of reservations, concerns, and justified scepticism. Much of it is the Foundation’s infamous openwashing as a service (OaaS). The way we see it, OpenPOWER is openwash mostly. And passing it to the Foundation is adding the perception of “independence”. Here’s some coverage from SDxCentral and FierceTelecom, which are sites close to the Foundation. A decades-long IBM advocate, Timothy Prickett Morgan, says “instruction set architecture of its Power family of processors” is what IBM ‘opened’. He wrote that in The Next Platform. [via OSnews]

“IBM Power chip instruction set now open source” said TechTarget’s headline. The problem is, this “open” power (or POWER) is… Microsoft-hosted.

“What da heck,” you say?

Exactly!

It’s part of a disturbing pattern/trend we’ve noted several times throughout the year.

How much “open” is there in OpenPOWER?

Not that much. It’s more like “open core”.

“How much “open” is there in OpenPOWER?”The real reason IBM is open-open-openwashing its “Open(R)” Power(TM) is that it’s trying to out-open what’s free/libre, RISC-V. The Register‘s headline was right on point: “IBM hears the RISC-V kids partying next door, decides it will make its Power CPU ISA free, too”

Can IBM also ‘own’ the word “Open”? Not really. It can, however, leverage it. There’s no legal enforcement.

Microsoft — like IBM — has long exploited brands that aren’t its own. IBM called its hugely expensive servers LinuxONE, piggybacking the “Linux” brand to sell something that’s not necessarily tied to GNU/Linux.

“The aim is obvious,” said the above article from The Register. It’s “to encourage the implementation of OpenPower CPUs, and get more Power-based systems out into data centers and the wider world. It also means engineers can customize their own OpenPower chips to run particular AI or analytical workloads, for example.”

““Open” as in OpenPOWER doesn’t mean you can replicate POWER without risk of patent lawsuits.”Some further coverage from sites loosely connected to IBM (e.g. HPCwire) further reinforces our suspicion. It’s a marketing blitz mostly, aided by corporate media like CBS. The name OpenPOWER isn’t new. They just reiterate old news and do a dance with the Foundation to make it seem independent, not just “open”.

Can anybody now replicate OpenPOWER? No. What IBM means by “open” isn’t quite it; they’d likely lob lots of patent lawsuits at anyone who dared try… remember TurboHercules?

Sadly, IBM hasn’t changed when it comes to patent policy. Red Hat is now owned by a patent bully that’s still lobbying for software patents and as IAM put it the other day: “In the 1990s IBM made billions from patent royalties. The principles that guided Big Blue to unprecedented licensing success still hold true today.”

They’re still doing it. “Open” as in OpenPOWER doesn’t mean you can replicate POWER without risk of patent lawsuits.

Links 23/8/2019: Wine 4.0.2 Released, Removing Qt 4 From Ubuntu

Friday 23rd of August 2019 06:10:55 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Dell announces new laptops for developers and SMBs

        At this year’s IFA conference in Berlin, Dell announced a number of new laptops as well as a refresh of the beloved XPS 13.

        The updated XPS 13 now includes Intel’s 10th Gen Core U series processor in the same familiar form factor to help the device maintain its position as the most powerful 13-inch laptop in its class.

        The device will also feature improved connectivity thanks to the new Killer AX1650 (2×2) module built on Intel’s WiFi 6 Chipset which will delivery wireless connectivity three times as fast as the previous generation.

      • Linux on your laptop: A closer look at EFI boot options

        For some time now I have gotten a slow but steady volume of requests that I write about UEFI firmware and EFI boot relative to installing and maintaining Linux. As a result of a casual comment I made in a recent post about installing Linux on a new laptop, the volume has gone up considerably.

        So in this post I will review and explain some of what I consider to be the most important points about UEFI firmware and Linux systems. I intend for this to be a relatively short post, but once I get started you never know… so you might want to get a cup of coffee before starting to read.

        First, the specific aspect of UEFI firmware that I am concerned with here is the boot sequence, and how to use it with Linux. There is a lot more to UEFI (EFI) than that, but I will not be addressing any of that here.

    • Server
      • IBM
        • IBM Adds OpenPOWER ISA to Linux Foundation Ecosystem

          The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, recently announced that it will now host the OpenPOWER Foundation project. The project includes IBM’s open POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and contributed Source Design Implementations required to support data-driven hardware for intensive workloads like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Epyc Encryption | TechSNAP 410

        It’s CPU release season and we get excited about AMD’s new line of server chips. Plus our take on AMD’s approach to memory encryption, and our struggle to make sense of Intel’s Comet Lake line.

        Also, a few Windows worms you should know about, the end of the road for EV certs, and an embarrassing new Bluetooth attack.

    • Kernel Space
      • The lifecycle of Linux kernel testing

        In Continuous integration testing for the Linux kernel, I wrote about the Continuous Kernel Integration (CKI) project and its mission to change how kernel developers and maintainers work. This article is a deep dive into some of the more technical aspects of the project and how all the pieces fit together.

        Every exciting feature, improvement, and bug in the kernel starts with a change proposed by a developer. These changes appear on myriad mailing lists for different kernel repositories. Some repositories focus on certain subsystems in the kernel, such as storage or networking, while others focus on broad aspects of the kernel. The CKI project springs into action when developers propose a change, or patchset, to the kernel or when a maintainer makes changes in the repository itself.

      • The Linux kernel: Top 5 innovations

        The word innovation gets bandied about in the tech industry almost as much as revolution, so it can be difficult to differentiate hyperbole from something that’s actually exciting. The Linux kernel has been called innovative, but then again it’s also been called the biggest hack in modern computing, a monolith in a micro world.

        Setting aside marketing and modeling, Linux is arguably the most popular kernel of the open source world, and it’s introduced some real game-changers over its nearly 30-year life span.

      • 28 facts about Linux for its 28th birthday

        Nearly three decades ago, Linus Torvalds sent the email announcing Linux, a free operating system that was “just a hobby” and not “big and professional like GNU.” It’s fair to say that Linux has had an enormous influence on technology and the world in general in the 28 years since Torvalds announced it. Most people already know the “origin story” of Linux, though. Here’s 28 things about Linux (the kernel and larger ecosystem) you may not already know.

        1 – Linux isn’t very useful alone, so folks took to creating Linux distributions to bundle user software with it, make it usable and easier to install. The first Linux distribution was Softlanding Linux System (SLS), first released in 1992 and using the .96p4 Linux kernel.

        You could buy it on 5.25″ or 3.5″ floppies, or CD-ROM if you were high-tech. If you wanted a GUI, you needed at least 8MB of RAM.

        2 – SLS didn’t last, but it influenced Slackware Linux, which was first released in 1993 and is still under development today. Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and celebrated its 26th birthday on July 17th this year.

        3 – Linux has the largest install base of any general purpose operating system. It powers everything from all 500 of the Top 500 Supercomputers to Android phones, Chomebooks, and all manner of embedded devices and things like the Kindle eBook readers and smart televisions. (Also the laptop used to write this post.)

      • Graphics Stack
        • Intel Submits Final Batch Of Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 5.4 – Growing Tiger Lake

          After having been submitting various feature updates to DRM-Next the past few weeks of new graphics driver feature code to introduce in Linux 5.4, a final pull request was sent in today with the remaining feature work slated for this next version of the Linux kernel.

          As added earlier to Linux 5.4, the big focus at this stage for the open-source Intel Linux developers is on bringing up the “Gen 12″ graphics support for Tiger Lake. With the Icelake / Gen 11 graphics support now in good shape, the developers have already been busy plumbing Gen 12 graphics that are at least a year out from being available through retail channels.

        • Nouveau’s Changes Sent Out For Linux 5.4 In Fixing Up The Open-Source NVIDIA Support

          While NVIDIA recently began publishing more hardware documentation, don’t expect it to make an immediate difference in the quality of the open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” driver. Today the pull request was sent to DRM-Next of the Nouveau kernel driver changes for the upcoming Linux 5.4 cycle and there isn’t much to get excited about.

          Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs of Red Hat sent in the pull request this morning, which mostly consists of work that missed out on the current Linux 5.3 cycle when he sent in that earlier pull request too late. This time the pull request is on-time and has the improvements to color management, some code for acknowledging when any PCIe power cables are not connected, and different fixes. But for end-users, nothing to get excited about unless any of the bug fixes had affected problems you experienced.

        • AMDGPU To Allow Memory Re-Clocking Soon For Multi-Monitor Setups

          Currently the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver doesn’t automatically adjust the video memory clock speeds when running a multi-monitor setup since it’s more complicated to gracefully handle when scanning out to two or more displays. But a set of currently experimental patches will allow memory clock switching support on multi-monitor setups with the AMDGPU DC code.

    • Benchmarks
      • AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Is Working Well On Linux

        AMD Raven Ridge APUs were a rough launch particularly on Linux where even with the latest motherboard BIOS updates and Linux kernel I am still hitting occasional stability issues, so when the opportunity arose recently to try out the Ryzen 5 3400G as the successor in the Picasso family, I was interested. Fortunately, AMD Picasso APUs have proven to be in better shape on Linux so here is the initial round of performance tests for those interested in the AMD Linux performance on Ubuntu.

        The Ryzen 5 3400G is a $150 USD APU and while launched alongside the new Zen 2 CPUs, the Ryzen 3000 series APUs are in fact based on Zen+ and using Vega graphics. The Ryzen 5 3400G features four cores / eight threads with a 3.7GHz base frequency and 4.2GHz turbo frequency. On the graphics side are Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics that clock up to 1.4GHz as a nice boost over the Ryzen 5 2400G. This AM4 APU has a 65 Watt TDP for this highest-performing Picasso socketed APU.

    • Applications
      • 6 Best Log Management Tools For Linux in 2019

        Before we can talk about log management, let’s define what a log is. Simply defined, a log is the automatically-produced and time-stamped documentation of an event relevant to a particular system. In other words, whenever an event takes place on a system, a log is generated. Systems and devices will generate logs for different types of events and many systems give administrators some degree of control over which event generates a log and which doesn’t.

        As for log management, It is simply referring to the processes and policies used to administer and facilitate the generation, transmission, analysis, storage, archiving and eventual disposal of large volumes of log data. Although not clearly stated, log management implies a centralized system where logs from multiple sources are collected. Log management is not just log collection, though. It is the management part which is the most important. And log management systems often have multiple functionalities, collecting logs being just one of them.

        Once logs are received by the log management system, they need to be standardized into a common format as different systems format logs differently and include different data. Some start a log with the date and time, some start it with an event number. Some only include an event ID while others include a full-text description of the event. One of the purposes of log management systems is to ensure that all collected log entries are stored in a uniform format. This will event correlation and eventual searching much easier down the line.

        Even correlation and searching are two additional major functions of several log management systems. The best of them feature a powerful search engine that allows administrators to zero-in on precisely what they need. Correlation functions will automatically group related events, even if they are from different sources. How—and how successfully—different log management system accomplish that is a major differentiating factor.

      • 3 Best MS Paint Alternative Drawing Programs for Ubuntu/Linux

        For a quick drawing, editing images – MS Paint type applications are essential. Here are three of them which are similar and can be used for quick drawing/editing in Linux and Ubuntu systems. These 3 MS Paint alternative drawing programs are best fit for general users and as well as professionals who needs a quick and fast edit on images or create drawings.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine maintenance release 4.0.2 is now available.

      • Wine 4.0.2 Released With 66 Bug Fixes

        Wine 4.0.2 is out today as the second stable point release to this year’s Wine 4.0 cycle.

        As is customary for Wine stable point releases, only bug fixes are allowed in while new features come by way of the bi-weekly development releases that will lead up to the Wine 5.0 release in early 2020.

      • The stable Wine 4.0.2 release is now available

        If you prefer to walk on the calmer side of life, the Wine 4.0.2 release has been made available today.

        As it’s just a “maintenance” release, there’s no big new features which are reserved for the current 4.xx series currently at 4.14 released on August 17th.

        With that in mind they noted 66 bugs being marked as solved. These bugs include issues with Worms 2, Warframe, Rogue Squadron 3D, Settlers III, Mass Effect, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, The Sims and plenty more.

      • Linux Gaming FINALLY Doesn’t SUCK!
    • Games
      • Supergiant Games is turning ten years old, big sale on their games and HADES is heading to Steam

        Supergiant Games, the team behind hits like Bastion and Transistor are turning ten years old as a studio and so they’re doing a big sale. HADES will also no longer be exclusive to the Epic Store this year.

        First up, the sales!

        Over on Steam, you can pick up the entire collection of Bastion, Transistor and Pyre plus soundtracks with 78% off together. An absolutely incredible deal!

        All their games are also on sale in a bundle and by themselves on itch.io for those who prefer it.

      • Valve’s Proton To Begin Shipping VKD3D For Direct3D 12 Over Vulkan

        While VKD3D continues to be under heavy development, Valve already appears pleased with it enough that it’s now being built as part of their Wine-based Proton software for powering Steam Play on Linux.

        VKD3D is the official Wine project being worked on for accelerating Direct3D 12 over Vulkan. This has been Wine’s only pursued D3D12 approach with Direct3D 12 not mapping nicely over OpenGL and thus not fitting well into their existing WineD3D code. VKD3D has been able to run a few games, but at last check not many though that may be different these days with it already being included into Proton.

      • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has a new DLC out with Tyrants of the Moonsea

        Looking for your next adventure? Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition just got even bigger with a new “premium module” DLC Tyrants of the Moonsea now available.

        For this new expansion, Beamdog teamed up with Ossian Studios. For those unfamiliar, Ossian Studios was formed in 2003 to work on new role-playing games with previous releases including Darkness over Daggerford and Mysteries of Westgate.

        Tyrants of the Moonsea is based on a previously cancelled expansion from Luke Scull, with the Enhanced Edition release boasting “70% more story and gameplay, as well as a large amount of new art and audio content”.

      • Space colony building sim Space Haven has a third Alpha release out now

        Space Haven from Bugbyte Ltd continues being shaped into something special, with a third Alpha version now available for this unique colony building sim.

        The latest update overhauls a bunch of the resources in the game, along with adding in 7 new resource production facilities. They said the purpose of this, is to give them a better foundation to build on and give the game some more depth over time.

        While the main focus of this release was on the resources, one other major addition made it in. Players have been asking for a more sandbox-like mode, so they added the ability to create a scenario giving you tons of resources and a crew of 8. This way, you can focus more on building up your fleet of ships right away. Also a good place to test out some ship designs.

      • Looks like the Smach Z handheld gaming unit is getting an upgrade

        The Smach Z team attended this year’s Gamescom and is appears they’re not done tweaking this gaming handheld.

        While all their current units available for pre-order house the AMD Ryzen V1605B and Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, they’ve taken it a step further to show off a more powerful Smach Z with the AMD Ryzen V1807B with Radeon Vega 11 Graphics. Not just that, it seems the max storage has been boosted up to 480GB and RAM up to 32GB. Overall, it seems like a pretty nice upgrade.

      • Valve tease a new Dota 2 hero named Snapfire with an animated short

        Snapfire is the name and Dota 2 is the game! Valve have teased a new bad-ass female hero in a wild west themed animated short.

      • Some more thoughts on Ion Fury, the FPS from Voidpoint and 3D Realms

        Ion Fury (previously Ion Maiden) is true example of how you really don’t need to push graphics ever closer to realism to achieve something ridiculously good.

        Developed by Voidpoint and 3D Realms, using the Build game engine which powered some other classics like Duke Nukem 3D, Blood and Shadow Warrior it released recently with same-day Linux support showing others how it’s done. While it’s retro in many ways, there is of course a vast amount of modern touches like improved physics and map interactions, auto-saves, being able to actually do a headshot, higher resolution support and so on.

        Here’s the thing, I grew up with games like Duke and I’ve seen gaming progress from the Amiga to where we are now. There came a point, where I grew massively tired of retro-inspired flashbacks and in some ways I am still tired of it. However, Ion Fury is a very different sort of brew. The best thing about Ion Fury is that it might seem like other classics but it has a different and refreshing feel to it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • Xfce 4.14 Lands in Tumbleweed

        Ahoy! openSUSE Xfce team is pleased to announce that the long awaited Xfce 4.14 has been released for Tumbleweed.

        After a long development cycle (4 years!), all of the core components and applications have been ported to GTK 3.

        Among the main new features and improvements, the xfwm4 window manager has finally gained support for VSync, HiDPI, hardware GLX and various compositor improvements.

        You can check out the neat new features in the official Xfce 4.14 tour and the official release announcement.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • Cantor and the support for Jupyter notebooks at the finish line

          Hello everyone! It’s been almost three weeks since my last post and this is going to be my my final post in this blog. So, I want to summarize all my work done in this GSoC project. Just to remember again, the goal of the project was to add the support for Jupiter notebooks to Cantor. This format is widely used in the scientific and education areas, mostly by the application Jupyter, and there is a lot of content available on the internet in this format (for example, here). By adding the support of this format in Cantor we’ll allow Cantor users access this content. This is short description, if you more intersted, you can found more details in my proporsal.

          [...]

          This is all for the limitations, I think. Let’s talk about future plans and perspectives. In my opinion, this project has reached its initial goals, is finished now and will only need maintenance and support in terms of bug fixing and adjustment to potential format changes in future.

          When talking more generally, this project is part of the current overall development activities in Cantor to improve the usability and the stability of the application and to extend the feature set in order to enable more workflows and to reach to a bigger audience with this. See 19.08 and 18.12 release announcements to read more about the developments in the recent releases of Cantor. Support of the Jupyter notebook format is a big step into this direction but this not all. We have already many other items in our backlog like for the UX improvements, plots integration improvements going into this direction. Some of this items will be addressed soon. Some of them are something for the next GSoC project next year maybe?

          I think, that’s all for now. Thank you for reading this blog and thank you for your interest in my project. Working on this project was a very interesting and pleasant period of my life. I am happy that I had this opportunity and was able to contribute to KDE and especially to Cantor with the support of my mentor Alexander Semke.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Linux Virtual Machine App GNOME Boxes Has An Awesome Time-Saving Feature You Should Know About

          Not only did GNOME Boxes automatically detect that the ISO contained Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, it offered me an Express Install option (provided I had a working internet connection). The app automatically pulled my username into the account field, and asked that I do nothing more than enter a password to proceed.

          And that was truly all that it required, unless I needed to customize the amount of RAM and disk space allocated to the VM.

          After hitting the Continue button, GNOME Boxes ran an unattended installation. It pulled regional and language settings from my host machine, handled the partitioning dialogue, and everything else. The installation screens zoomed by, components and updates were downloaded, and within less than 5 minutes I had a perfectly working Ubuntu 18.04 to play with.

        • Quick Guide to The Awesome GNOME Disk Utility

          GNOME Disk Utility is an awesome tool to maintain hard disk drives that shipped with Ubuntu. It’s called simply “Disks” on start menu on 19.04, anyway. It’s able to format hard disks and USB sticks, create and remove partitions, rename partitions, and check disk health. Not only that, it also features writing ISO into disk and vice versa, create ISO image of a disk. This tutorial explains in brief how to use it for 8 purposes. Let’s go!

    • Distributions
      • Clear Linux launches Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 that enhances AI performance

        With the growing number of AI-based developers, Clear Linux Project shifts its focus towards Deep Learning as it releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0.

        The brains behind Clear Linux Project, namely Intel, acknowledges the significance of Artificial Intelligence and how rapidly it has been evolving as of late. Accordingly, the company vows to accelerate enterprise and ecosystem development to take DL (Deep Learning) workloads to the next level. As a part of this mission, Intel introduced an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, whose new version arrived earlier this week.

        This stack is mainly aimed at the Deep Learning facet of Artificial Intelligence and performs well on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable series of processors.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Gentoo Family
        • A Look at Redcore Linux: Gentoo based Linux Distribution

          Many people in the technology world have heard, at least in passing, of the Linux distribution Gentoo. Gentoo is one of the most famous distributions to the point of becoming a joke; with it’s complexity and depth, installing Gentoo has been a daunting task for many.

          Redcore is one of the latest distributions to attempt to bring the power of Gentoo to the everyday user.

          I previously wrote an article in 2017 about Sabayon Linux, another popular Gentoo based system; but Redcore Linux holds its own and pulls its own weight.

      • Debian Family
        • My Open-Source Activities from January to August 2019

          Debian is a general-purpose Linux distribution that is widely used on the planet. I am a Debian Developer who works on packages related to Android SDK and the Java ecosystem.

          I started a new package in an attempt to build the Android framework android.jar using the upstream build systems involving Ninja, Soong and others. Since the beginning we have been writing our own (very simple) makefiles to build the binaries in AOSP because their build logic tends to be simple and straightforward, until we worked on android.jar. Building it requires digging in so much code that it became incredibly hard to maintain, which is why we still haven’t brought in any newer version since android-framework-23. This is problematic as developers can’t build any apps that target Android 7+.

          After a month of work, this package is finally done. After all its dependencies are packaged in the future, it will be good to upload. This is where the students of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) come in!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 released for Ubuntu Phones, here are new features

          Ubuntu Phones are ready to get hardware compatibility improvements and bug-fixes with the new update to Ubuntu Touch now available.

          For those who aren’t familiar with Ubuntu Touch, it is a mobile-based operating system that users will find similar to Ubuntu. Powered by UBports, Ubuntu Touch focuses on the privacy and freedom of its users, much like the desktop variant of Ubuntu.

        • Removing Qt 4 from Ubuntu before the 20.04 release would like to completely remove Qt 4 from the Ubuntu archive before the 20.04 release. This includes all of KDE 4 and dependencies. The Debian Qt/KDE Team (which I am a part of) is raising the status of the Qt 4 removal bugs to RC[1], and since the Qt 6 work is starting upstream in the dev branch in the coming months, now is the time for Qt 4 to go. My timeline for this is to change all of the bugs filed to ask people to port[2] to removal bugs, and go over the list of Qt 4 reverse dependencies one last time, so the removal can be done at the beginning of the 20.04 cycle before the archive opens. This would make 19.10 the last release with Qt 4.
        • Ubuntu Planning To Drop Qt4 & Its Dependencies Ahead Of 20.04 LTS
    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • LibreOffice 6.3 – Waiting for a miracle

          LibreOffice 6.3 is a powerful, rich office suite, and the fact it comes with no strings attached, the string to your purse included, is a commendable thing. But it is not enough. Simply isn’t. Functionality is what matters, and if the program cannot satisfy the necessary needs, it’s not really useful. Maybe on the scale of un-value, it’s less un-valuable than something that costs a lot of money, but you still don’t get what you require.

          And in this regard, LibreOffice 6.3 doesn’t quite cut it. I mean, you can still use it happily – I know I will, it does an okay job, and you can create files and export to PDF and all that. But then, working with Office files is pretty much a no-go, the style management is inefficient, and the UI layouts are somewhat clunky. I also feel the momentum has slowed, and the great, amazing hope that was there when LibreOffice was born is just a thing of mildly apathetic momentum now. True, this ailment grips the entire open-source world, and Linux in particular, but it doesn’t change the fact that the hope is slowly dwindling. All in all, worth testing, but a solution to all office problems, LibreOffice 6.3 ain’t.

      • Programming/Development
        • 7 Excellent R Natural Language Processing Tools

          Natural language processing (NLP) is a set of techniques for using computers to detect in human language the kinds of things that humans detect automatically.

          NLP is an exciting field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. It includes word and sentence tokenization, text classification and sentiment analysis, spelling correction, information extraction, parsing, meaning extraction, and question answering.

          In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.

        • A muggle’s guide to AWK arrays: 3

          Part 2 in this series looked at the 2-file command structure, where the first part of an AWK command created an array based on the first file, and the second part of the command used the array to filter a second file.

          Another way to think about this command structure is that an AWK array is like a lookup table, held in memory. You can use that lookup table for different kinds of data operations on another file. In this post I’ll demonstrate reformatting and table joining.

        • Doing Math with Python in Python Humble Bundle

          “Doing Math with Python” is part of No Starch Press’s Python Humble Bundle.

        • Kushal Das: A new tool to render my blog

          Now, I think it worked for me. I could focus on writing the actual content of the posts than anything else. The tool has a few flaws, but, none of them had any issue with my blogging requirements. It just worked for me. I could have written it in Python (in much less time), but, learning a new language is always fun.

        • PyCharm 2019.2.1

          PyCharm 2019.2.1 is available now!

        • Proud to be sponsoring PyCon 2020

          I’m delighted to announce that Weekly Python Exercise is a gold sponsor of PyCon 2020, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PyCon is the largest Python conference in the world, and is both fun and interesting for Python developers of all experience levels and backgrounds.

        • GitLab 12.2 arrives with faster pipelines & design management strategy

          The monthly GitLab update has arrived, right on time and with new features and capabilities. Take a look inside and see some of the newest highlights for version 12.2. This month introduces faster, more efficient pipelines, cross project merge request dependencies, performance upgrades, a new Design Management, and a few more goodies.
          The latest version of GitLab is right on time, with new updates, new features for members, and more. Welcome to version 12.2.

          New to GitLab and unsure of how it stacks up against other commonly used tools? Check out the comparison between GitLab and the rest of the DevOps tools landscape to see how it has grown and how it compares to similar tools. Potentially, it could replace certain tool functionalities included in Jenkins, Docker Hub, GitHub, and more.

        • Parallel CPU Microcode Updates Being Restored To Help Large Core Count Servers

          Following Spectre/Meltdown, the Linux CPU microcode updating was made serial while now a new patch pending for the Linux kernel would restore the behavior to be parallelized in order to speed-up the process for large core count servers.

          Handling parallel CPU microcode updates can make a meaningful difference on today’s large core count systems. An Oracle engineer has volleyed a patch from an Intel developer in trying to get the code into the mainline kernel.

  • Leftovers
    • Science
      • Dive into the life and legacy of Alan Turing: 5 books and more

        Another well-known fact about Turing was his conviction for “gross indecency” because of his homosexuality, and the posthumous apology and pardon issued over more a half a decade after Turing’s death.

        But beyond all of this, who was Alan Turing?

        Here are six books that delve deeply into the life and legacy of Alan Turing. Collectively, these books cover his life, both professional and personal, and work others have done to build upon Turing’s ideas. Individually, or collectively, these works allow the reader to learn who Alan Turing was beyond just a few well-known, broad-stroke themes.

    • Health/Nutrition
      • ‘There’s no danger. Get to work.’ Following a radioactive incident outside Arkhangelsk, Russia’s military didn’t warn medical staff about their contaminated patients

        On August 8, at a launch site in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, a rocket engine exploded. Two days later, state officials acknowledged that the accident resulted in a radiation leak. The victims in the explosion were taken to a hospital in Arkhangelsk, where the radioactive nuclide cesium-137 was later detected in the body of one of the doctors. Sources have confirmed to Meduza that none of the responding rescue workers or physicians were warned that they were treating irradiated patients. Hospital staff were informed about the risk of radiation only several hours after doctors started operating on the victims, and decontamination efforts didn’t begin until the next day. Most of the health workers involved in this incident have been sworn to state secrecy, but Meduza managed to speak to an employee at a rescue service whose staff administered first aid to the victims before they were hospitalized, and we reached a doctor at one of the hospitals where some victims were treated. In the text below, Meduza has changed both individuals’ names to protect their identity.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (cups, nginx, and openjdk-7), Fedora (httpd, mod_md, nghttp2, and patch), and SUSE (rubygem-loofah).

    • Defence/Aggression
      • A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War

        Fifty years ago this fall, a campus upsurge turned opposition to the Vietnam War into a genuine mass movement.

      • The Pentagon Belongs to Silicon Valley Now
      • We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria

        Once upon a time, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard traveled to Syria and met with the strongman President Bashar Assad. She considered her willingness to engage all sides of the country’s bloody civil war to be an important step toward peace. For this bold action, she was widely pilloried at the time and considered by some an authoritarian apologist or outright traitor. The claim was repeated again recently by the ever-so-mainstream California Sen. Kamala Harris, a fellow Democratic presidential hopeful. The attacks on Gabbard’s Syria record have been quite regular among Washington insiders, who considered the congresswoman foolish. But was she? More than two years later, given events in Syria, one must conclude that she certainly was not. Indeed, Gabbard was right all along.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Trumped Up: Wiki cables show Australia thinks Iran is not the aggressor

        Wikileaks cables reveal Iran presents no threat to Australia and little threat to the US. Instead, clear intelligence from the US, Australia and Iran confirms Iran, although portrayed as aggressive, has pursued a defensive military strategy. Clinton Fernandez reports.

        This week, Australia announced it would send military forces to patrol the Persian Gulf alongside Bahrain, Britain and the United States. “Iran’s unprovoked attacks on international shipping,” required nothing less, according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

        The US had previously withdrawn from the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and imposed sanctions against Iran. Iran went to the International Court of Justice, asking it to rule on the legality of these sanctions. In a unanimous decision, all 15 judges of the International Court of Justice – including American judge ad hoc Charles Brower – ordered the United States to ease some sanctions against Iran.

    • Environment
      • Bernie Sanders Unveils ‘Game-Changing’ New Climate Plan

        Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the United States and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

      • Leaked Documents Show Brazil’s Bolsonaro Has Grave Plans for Amazon Rainforest

        Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro’s government intends to use the Brazilian president’s hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.

      • Reporting on Global Crises Like Amazon Fires, Media Need to Focus on Who’s Fighting Them

        More and more media are reporting on fires tearing through the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. There has been a marked increase in fires in Brazil concurrent with an increase in illegal—and climate-disrupting—deforestation, concurrent with President Jair Bolsonaro’s efforts to open the Amazon to mining and logging interests. Criticism of media is coming in, too—mostly for being late to cover fires that have been burning for three weeks in a uniquely critical place. But whenever they do it, corporate media addressing modern day crises like the Amazon fires will never do them anything approaching justice.

        [...]

        More important, given that failure, is the refusal to hand the mic to those who are fighting. Like the Apurinã chief who told the Intercept‘s Alexander Zaitchik (7/6/19) they had seen landgrabs before, but “with Bolsonaro, the invasions are worse and will continue to get worse…. Unless he is stopped, he’ll run over our rights and allow a giant invasion of the forest.” Or the signatories to the Bogota Declaration to the 14th UN Biodiversity Conference, who offered a plan from 400 ethnic groups across the Amazon basin to form a “sacred corridor of life,” to share ancestral knowledge and showcase alternative modes of development and ways of living (Common Dreams, 11/21/18).

      • Biden Senior Adviser: Push For Climate Debate Takes DNC Into ‘Dangerous Territory’

        Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Joe Biden, described a grassroots push for a presidential climate debate sponsored by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as “dangerous territory in the middle of a Democratic primary process.”

        The remarks came during a meeting of the DNC Resolutions Committee, which defeated the resolution in an 8-17 vote.

      • ‘Game-Changer’: Sanders Unveils Green New Deal Plan Detailing 10-Year Mobilization to Avert Climate Catastrophe, Create 20 Million Jobs

        “This is a pivotal moment in the history of America—and really, in the history of humanity.”

      • As Inslee Drops Out of 2020 Race, Applause and Gratitude for Elevating Climate Crisis to ‘Forefront of the National Conversation’

        “We’ll miss you in this race, Jay Inslee. Thank you for setting the pace for our elected leaders on the climate crisis, running a historic campaign, and elevating this issue for all of us.”

      • Energy
        • Bernie’s Climate Plan is a Benchmark and a Game-Changer

          This morning, U.S Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released a campaign climate and energy plan that would, among other things: ban fracking; halt new fossil fuel extraction on federal lands; ban fossil fuel imports and exports; rebuild water infrastructure through the WATER Act; break up corporate factory farming; and require 100 percent clean, renewable

      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Breaking the Web of Life

          You wouldn’t expect someone who spent his entire life in high-rise penthouses to understand much about the stunning complexity of Earth’s natural environment and the millions of species that depend on what is called the interconnected “web of life.” And sure enough, while the Sixth Great Extinction is ongoing and accelerating, President Trump is changing the Endangered Species Act through administrative rules, not to rise to the challenge of stopping extinctions, but to make it easier for commercial and extractive enterprises such as oil, gas, mining, logging, ranching, road-building and development to actually exacerbate the rate of extinctions.

        • The Amazon Is Burning, and the Entire Planet Is at Risk

          What follows is a conversation between Amazon Watch’s Christian Poirier and Dharna Noor of The Real News Network.

        • Winners and Losers: Here’s What Ocean Warming Means for Fish

          Climate change has been steadily warming the ocean, which absorbs most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, for 100 years. This warming is altering marine ecosystems and having a direct impact on fish populations. About half of the world’s population relies on fish as a vital source of protein, and the fishing industry employs more the 56 million people worldwide.

          My recent study with colleagues from Rutgers University and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that ocean warming has already impacted global fish populations. We found that some populations benefited from warming, but more of them suffered.

          Overall, ocean warming reduced catch potential — the greatest amount of fish that can be caught year after year — by a net 4 percent over the past 80 years. In some regions, the effects of warming have been much larger. The North Sea, which has large commercial fisheries, and the seas of East Asia, which support some of the fastest-growing human populations, experienced losses of 15 percent to 35 percent.

      • Finance
        • 70 US Mayors Issue Scathing Letter Demanding Trump USDA Call Off Effort to Strip Food Stamps From 3 Million People

          “Executive action should not be used to hurt individuals, families, and communities.”

        • ‘Just False’: Sanders Campaign Hits Back After WaPo Describes Pro-Labor Proposal as Change to Medicare for All Plan

          “We’ve said from day one that any savings employers gain from Medicare for All must be passed on to union workers in the form of higher wages and benefits. We know that because Bernie wrote the damn bill.”

        • No Deal Chaos: the Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer

          Britain’s Boris Johnson is driving his country to the cliff face, along the way mouthing and spouting all manner of populist reassurances. Still fresh in the job, he declared that UK preparations for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, when Britain would leave the European Union, would receive a boost – a “turbocharge”, no less. Michael Gove, now chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, has been charged with the task of handling the haphazard effort, having chaired some dozen meetings of the Brexit war cabinet dubbed XO to date.

        • How to Become a Corporate CEO Scam Artist in Five Easy Steps

          Average CEO pay at big corporations topped 14.5 million dollars in 2018. That’s after an increase of 5.2 million dollars per CEO over the past decade, while the average worker’s pay has increased just 7,858 dollars over the decade.

        • Sanders And Bezos’s Shared, Debilitating, Basic Premise

          There have been a number of articles recently which have highlighted liberal displeasure over the ways in which major mainstream corporate media outlets are portraying the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in a negative manner. More of these articles have appeared after Sanders tamely speculated about the possibility that the Washington Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, with his Amazonian corporate freedom from taxation (and this would implicate the various other private corporate owners of media outlets) might perhaps use his power to lessen the freedom of the press. The fact that Bezos has used his money to support republicans and democrats almost equally is a very important aspect of his opportunism and the opportunism of the parties. Bezos has shown a strong preference for helping elect democrat or republican candidates with military experience.

        • Who is to Blame for Argentina’s Economic Crisis?

          What are we to make of Argentina’s surprise election results on August 11, which jolted pollsters and analysts alike, and roiled the country’s financial markets? In the presidential primary for the country’s October election, the opposition ticket of Alberto Fernández trounced President Mauricio Macri by an unexpected margin of 15.6 percent.

        • Bibles but Not Textbooks: Trump’s Tariff Exemptions Pick Winners and Losers

          President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade brinksmanship has split the American economy into new castes of winners and losers, with few consistent criteria defining who ends up in which group — as illustrated by the $2 billion in products that won exemptions last week from a new round of China tariffs.

          Bibles and other religious texts got a pass after U.S. publishers and Christian groups argued that tariffs would infringe upon the freedom to worship around the globe.

        • Water Rights Group Calls on Newark Officials to Resist Privatization of City’s Water Supply Amid Lead Crisis

          “While city and state officials must respond to the current crisis with urgency, they must also protect their water system from predatory corporate operators.”

        • Epstein May Have Gamed the System From Beyond the Grave

          The will that Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577 million in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages.

        • Bernie Sanders’ Plan to Rebuild Labor Unions Would Be a Huge Win for Working Americans
        • Democrats see opening on economy, resist cheering recession
        • Poor and rich face economic loss as world warms

          – By the close of the century, the United States could be more than 10% poorer, thanks to the economic loss that climate change will impose.

          There is bad news too for Japan, India and New Zealand, which will also be 10% worse off in a world that could be 3°C hotter than any temperatures experienced since humans began to build cities, civilisations and complex economies.

          And the news is even worse for Canada, a northern and Arctic nation that could reasonably have expected some things to improve as the thermometer rose: under a “business as usual” scenario in which nations go on burning fossil fuels at ever increasing rates, the Canadian economy could shrink by 13%.

          A new study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts warns that overall the global economy will shrink by 7%, unless the world’s nations meet the target they set themselves at an historic meeting in Paris in 2015, when they agreed an ambition to keep global warming to no more than 2°C above the levels maintained until the Industrial Revolution.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • At First-Ever Native American Presidential Forum, Candidates Answer to Centuries of Injustice

        “‘We the people’ has never meant ‘all the people,’” said Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles of the Navajo Nation at the first-ever Native American presidential forum, held August 19 and 20 in Sioux City, Iowa.Charles was enthusiastically received as the only member of a tribe currently running for president, and his remarks echoed a theme of the night: the

      • Electoral College Abolitionists Say Court Ruling Shows Why Current System ‘Terrible Way of Picking the President’

        Case “could spur additional change and additional movement that would in some ways make a solution like the National Popular Vote stronger,” one advocate said

      • The Metaphysics of Revolution

        Socrates was the first revolutionary. He opened up with a legendary oracular search the inner space from which the individual, as we understand him today, would eventually emerge. His “daemon” was that which spoke the necessary freedom and autonomy to become what we are. His was the first lesson.

      • Noam Chomsky: Democrats Are Failing the Test of Our Time

        As the Amazon rainforest burns and glaciers melt historically fast, to many Americans, Democrats are failing to rise to the occasion, particularly when they focus on such topics as the Russia investigation, according to Noam Chomsky. “It was obvious from the beginning that they were not going to find very much,” the linguist and activist tells writer David Barsamian in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Truthout.

      • Is a Widely Adopted New Voting System Ready for 2020?

        A new precinct-based voting system being widely acquired by states and counties before 2020 that relies on printed bar codes to record votes, not handmade ink marks, may pose problems for independent efforts seeking to double-check election results.

      • New Poll Reflects Trump’s Widespread Unpopularity

        About 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s overall job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which finds some support for the president’s handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues.

      • The Alex Salmond Fit-Up

        I am an investigative journalist who has been researching the Alex Salmond case. I am not alone as there are to my knowledge at least three television programmes doing the same thing. I make no claim to be impartial, partially because of my sympathy towards the independence movement and partially because my previous work has dealt substantially with failings in the criminal justice system. As far as the criminal case against Alex Salmond is concerned I will not be able to publish or comment until it is over. However the expenses settlement last week of Alex Salmond’s successful civil action allows me , without any prejudice, to relate just a few the dramatic and deeply troubling things I have already discovered about the civil case.

        This same opportunity for comment was taken up with gusto last week by the mainstream media in Scotland. Their coverage centred on the scale of the legal expenses agreed to be paid by the Scottish Government to Alex Salmond. This was followed up by the Sunday Mail and the Sunday Post last weekend with stories suggesting that Salmond’s lawyers might have been overcharging and blaming the Scottish Government for not having them independently audited.

        True to form the unionist press have gloriously and entirely missed the point. The reason that the expenses were an eye watering £512,000 and change is that they were awarded by the Court largely on an “agent and client” basis. “Agent and client” is a punitive award used by the courts when the losing party to litigation has been causing the other unnecessary expense. It means that the victorious party (ie Salmond) is entitled to full expenses as opposed to the normal 60 per cent or so which accompanies victory. Having the expenses audited (or “taxed” in the legal parlance) is a complete red herring. No such process could set aside the decision of the court for that element of expenses which were awarded on an “agent and client” basis.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Ninth Circuit Goes a Step Further to Protect Privacy in Border Device Searches

        The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a new ruling in U.S. v. Cano [.pdf] that offers greater privacy protection for people crossing the border with their electronic devices, but it doesn’t go as far as we sought in our amicus brief.

        Cano had attempted to cross the border near San Diego when cocaine was found in his car. He was arrested at the port of entry and border agents manually and forensically searched his cell phone. He was prosecuted for importing illegal drugs and moved to suppress the evidence found on his phone. The Ninth Circuit held that the searches of his cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment and vacated his conviction.

        In U.S. v. Cotterman (2013), the Ninth Circuit had circumscribed the border search exception as it applies to electronic devices. The court held that the Fourth Amendment required border agents to have had reasonable suspicion—a standard between no suspicion and probable cause—before they conducted a forensic search, aided by sophisticated software, of the defendant’s laptop. Unfortunately, the Cotterman court also held that a manual search of a laptop is “routine” and so the border search exception applies: no warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing is needed.

        In Cano, it was disappointing though not surprising that the three-judge panel reaffirmed Cotterman’s en banc rule and held that a manual search of a cell phone requires no suspicion while a forensic search requires reasonable suspicion. We argued in our amicus brief that the Ninth Circuit should revisit this issue and require a probable cause warrant for all border device searches, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California (2014). In that watershed case, the Court acknowledged the extraordinary privacy interests people have in their cell phones, irrespective of how the devices are searched, and held that police must obtain a warrant to search the cell phone of an arrestee.

      • What3words Is A Clever Way Of Communicating Position Very Simply, But Do We Really Want To Create A Monopoly For Location Look-ups?

        The BBC News site has one of those heart-warming stories that crop up periodically, about how clever new technology averted a potentially dangerous situation. In this case, it describes how a group of people lost in a forest in England were located by rescue services. The happy ending was thanks to the use of the What3words (W3W) app they managed to download following a suggestion from the police when they phoned for help. W3W’s creators have divided the world up into 57 trillion virtual squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft), and then assigned each of those squares a unique “address” formed by three randomly-assigned words, such as “mile.crazy.shade”. The idea is that it’s easier to communicate three words generated by the What3words app from your position, than to read out your exact GPS longitude and latitude as a string of numbers. It’s certainly a clever approach, but there are number of problems, many of which were discussed in a fascinating post by Terence Eden from earlier this year.

      • Rogue ‘Smart’ Ovens Again Highlight How Dumb Tech Is Often The Smarter Choice

        If you hadn’t noticed by now, in the IOT era, sometimes dumb technology is the smarter option. Given that privacy and security are usually afterthoughts for many vendors, we now live in an age where your Barbie can be hacked and used to spy on your kids, your refrigerator can be hacked to gain access to your Gmail account, your smart tea kettle can provide a nice attack vector on your home network, and your “smart” television watches you every bit as often as you watch it. This wasn’t the future the Jetsons promised.

        Enter the June oven, a “smart” oven that originally launched in 2015 with a $1500 countertop variant that used a camera and “computer vision” to know what was being cooked. The company then launched a $600 version in 2018 that integrates an oven, an air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker, broiler, toaster, warming drawer, and convection countertop oven.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • The Dream Is Dead Not Just for Dreamers, But for All Americans

        In her important op-ed for the New York Times on August 13, 2019, a DACA recipient (Dreamer) named Tawheeda Wahabzada, whose Afghan parents had earlier sought refuge in Canada but then came over to the U.S., declares that she is no longer willing to wait for our country’s legislative | By Anis Shivani

      • ‘Time We Cast All Medals Into Spearheads of Revolution:’ Refugee-Rescuing Boat Captain Rejects Humanitarian Award

        “We do not need authorities deciding about who is a ‘hero’ and who is ‘illegal.’”

      • For True Climate Justice, Abolish ICE and CBP

        Last month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Kamala Harris released their Climate Equity Act – the first draft of a critical component of a Green New Deal. The act aims to protect marginalized communities as Congress attempts to “address” climate change by creating a system that gives environmental legislation an equity score based on its impact on “frontline communities.”

      • Putting Bodies on the Line in Participatory Evolution

        The big black pickup truck plunged into the protesters blocking the parking lot and I cringed, viscerally, as though I could feel it myself — this merciless crush of steel against flesh.

      • 400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids

        Four hundred years ago this month, the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in Virginia. Slavery is often reduced to a crime of America’s long-ago past. But enslaved labor created the backbone for America’s capitalistic economy, allowing it to grow into — and remain — the world’s leading economy today. The effects of this reliance on unpaid African slave labor is still

      • To Protect and Serve

        I don’t like dealing with police. I picked up this prejudice, which I feel is an intelligent way of dealing with police, from lots of experiences that came out of the decade of protest in the mid to late 1960s and the early 1970s. I saw how police dealt with kids that hung out around the McCarthy for President office in my hometown during the summer of 1968, and I saw it while protesting in Washington, DC, during the May Day demonstrations in 1971. Everyone saw it on their TV sets and read about it in newspapers during the Democratic Convention in 1968. It was called a police riot in 1968.

      • Boris Johnson’s Brexit Helter Skelter

        Trump sent his national security adviser John “Bonkers” Bolton to London, where the neocon Bonkers could hang out with Trump’s pal BoJo Johnson, absolutely relaxed in the knowledge that this was one place in the world where his host would not treat Bonkers on the latter’s proven merits, that is, as a bona fide nut-case.

      • It’s About Time for Ethnic Studies in Our K-12 Schools

        “Why haven’t we been taught this history before?” Students have asked us this question countless times over the past twenty-five years of teaching Latin America Studies and Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies at Cal State Los Angeles, Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University. The emotions triggering this question are usually the same. Students feel lied to and cheated. Some are frustrated and downright angry that ethnic studies has been excluded from their schooling. They wonder what else they have been denied and how despite thirteen years in the K-12 educational system they have been taught so little about communities who form the base of the United States and whose presence is integral to California.

      • More than 600 Russian scholars worldwide demand end to ‘rioting’ case against Moscow protesters

        Russian scholars working in a range of countries around the world, Russia included, have published a statement demanding that charges of mass rioting against Moscow election protesters be dropped. The scientific and scholarly news portal Troitsky Variant posted the statement on August 22.

      • Now the Moscow Metro is suing opposition leaders, too

        Moscow’s subway system has filed a lawsuit against several opposition leaders who are already defendants in other civil cases brought by other public transport companies because of service disruptions allegedly caused by protests on July 27. “Agora” human rights group head Pavel Chikov first reported the case record on the Koptevsky District Court’s website.

      • Sanders Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner Calls for All Democratic Candidates to Unite Against DNC Over #ClimateDebate

        “If all the Democratic presidential candidates say to the DNC, ‘Let’s have a debate or a forum about climate change’—what are they gonna do, kick out every single one of them?”

      • It Is Definitely Not Enough

        Among those enraged at the failure of Democratic functionaries to approve a climate debate as the planet burns is Havana Chapman-Edwards, an African-American, 8-year-old powerhouse who argues, “We can’t make our world strong if we leave people behind.”

      • Human Rights from the Ground Up
      • Planned Parenthood Feels Squeeze After Quitting Federal Program

        SALT LAKE CITY—Planned Parenthood clinics in several states are charging new fees, tapping financial reserves, intensifying fundraising and warning of more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases after its decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program in an abortion dispute with the Trump administration.

      • Trump’s Science Record Is Already Worse Than Bush’s

        On July 19, President Trump hosted Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and their families, along with the family of their deceased colleague Neil Armstrong, at a White House event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.

      • A Louisiana Parish Jailed a U.S. Citizen for Being Latinx. We’re Suing.

        Ramon Torres had been a U.S. citizen for nearly ten years when he was detained for four days on an immigration hold – despite having a U.S. passport, a Louisiana driver’s license, and a Social Security card, and despite that fact that a court ordered his release. 

      • ‘Somebody wants to distort the truth’ The Kremlin rejects anonymous reports by doctors that the military didn’t warn them about radiation risks after an engine-test explosion

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov: I don’t know anything about this. I don’t know which doctors are in question.

      • ‘She Is Failing Us’: Demanding Trump Impeachment, Progressives Disrupt Pelosi ‘Resistance’ Award Ceremony

        “Trump is selling the government to the highest bidder and migrant children are dying in detention—on her watch.”

      • ‘Lived on decaf, faced no devil,’ It’s palindrome time again!

        I am an unashamed word nerd, a grammar nazi and what can I say? Words are cool. The English language (which is the only one I know well enough to have an informed opinion on) is a beautiful thing, especially when it makes you think and you can have fun with it.

        On that note, I present my second installment of the wordplay that makes me happiest (except for clever puns and really bad ‘Dad jokes’), the palindrome.

        As you probably know, a palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same backwards and forwards.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. v. LABOKLIN GmbH (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          On the issue of patent eligibility, LABOKLIN and the University argued on appeal that the asserted claims are directed to a patent-eligible application of the discovery of the underlying natural phenomenon because the asserted claims claim a man-made laboratory procedure. The Federal Circuit, however, disagreed with Appellants’ argument.

          [...]

          Noting that “the plain language of claim 1 demonstrates that it is directed to nothing more than ‘observing or identifying’ the natural phenomenon of a mutation in the SUV39H2 gene,” the Court determined that “the Asserted Claims are directed to natural phenomenon at Alice step one.”

          The Federal Circuit also disagreed with Appellants’ argument that the claimed methods apply a new discovery of the SUV39H2 gene and develop novel genotyping methods for Labrador Retrievers, finding instead that “[n]othing in claim 1′s language suggests the invention of a new method for genotyping.” In affirming the District Court’s finding of patent ineligibility, the Federal Circuit determined that “the Asserted Claims provide no tangible result save the observation and detection of a mutation in a dog’s DNA.” So, while such discovery constituted “a positive and valuable contribution,” the Federal Circuit found that “these claims fall short of statutory patentable subject matter.”

        • Lawyers mull tax cut benefits after France IP box update

          In-house and private practice lawyers in France have offered mixed views of the country’s updated IP box tax relief regime – with one describing the need for a balancing act between publishing information and keeping inventions secret

      • Copyrights
        • Why Is MLB Claiming Revenue From Obviously Fair Use Videos On YouTube?

          Nearly a decade ago, we wrote a bunch about an excellent book called Copyfraud, by law professor Jason Mazzone, which went into great detail about how the legacy entertainment industry companies have used copyright in ways that are clearly against copyright’s intent — to the point that they border on fraud. The concept of copyfraud should be referred to more frequently, and here’s a perfect example. Just a couple months ago, we wrote about the amazing social media account of Jimmy O’Brien, who goes by @Jomboy_ on Twitter. He’s combined his love of baseball, his video editing skills, his ability to read lips incredibly well, and with a sarcastic, dry sense of humor to make a ton of amazing videos about various things happening in baseball. We highlighted a bunch last time around and his profile has only grown a lot since then, including among Major League Baseball players.

Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 10:32:23 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Dell XPS 7390 Developer Edition with Intel Comet Lake and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS announced

        Soon hitting the American, Canadian and European markets is the new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition that comes with a powerful processor and the Ubuntu OS.

        Being a product of Project Sputnik’s efforts, the XPS 13 7390 is quite a powerful machine for developers as it brings to the table Intel’s 10th Gen Core™ U series processors and a Linux-based operating system in Ubuntu 18.04.

        On the 5th of September, these machines will be made available in the American and European markets with the 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10210U processor (quadcore). The Canadian fans will have to wait for a couple of weeks for its availability. In addition, customers will also find the 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10710U processor (hexacore) variant of these systems starting from October.

      • Best Laptop For PC Users Is Here:Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

        While you can install desktop Linux on most laptops, what makes Dell systems unique is the fact that they use hardware components – such as wireless chips – that are natively supported on Linux.

        In addition, instead of spinning yet another distro to further fragment the desktop Linux ecosystem, Dell offers support for Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Dell maintains a repository of drivers and customizations that optimize the operating system for these machines.

        Dell has announced the 9th generation of the Project Sputnik portfolio – Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (7390). The high-end machine is powered by a 6 core, Intel Core i7-10710U processor. You can get up to 16GB of RAM. It comes with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    • Server
      • IBM
        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and CentOS 6 Receive Important Kernel Security Update

          The new Linux kernel security update is marked by the Red Hat Product Security team as having an “Important” security impact due to the fact that it patches several critical flaws, including the Spectre SWAPGS gadget vulnerability (CVE-2019-1125) affecting x86 processors.

          Also patched are a security vulnerability (CVE-2019-5489) leading to page cache side-channel attacks, an issue in the Salsa20 encryption algorithm that could allow local attackers to cause a denial of service (CVE-2017-17805), and a flaw (CVE-2018-17972) that let unprivileged users inspect kernel stacks of arbitrary tasks.

        • Red Hat Launches OpenShift Service Mesh to Accelerate Adoption of Microservices and Cloud-Native Applications

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh to connect, observe and simplify service-to-service communication of Kubernetes applications on Red Hat OpenShift 4, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform. Based on the Istio, Kiali and Jaeger projects and enhanced with Kubernetes Operators, OpenShift Service Mesh is designed to deliver a more efficient, end-to-end developer experience around microservices-based application architectures. This helps to free developer teams from the complex tasks of having to implement bespoke networking services for their applications and business logic.

        • CUDA 10.1 U2 Adds RHEL8 Support, Nsight Compute Tools For POWER

          NVIDIA last week quietly released a second update to CUDA 10.1.

          CUDA 10.1 Update 2 brings Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 support, continued POWER architecture support improvements, and other additions.

        • IBM Stock and Jim Whitehurst’s Toughest Test

          What analysts say they want from IBM stock is Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst in current CEO Virginia Rometty’s chair. They want Red Hat running IBM.

          That wasn’t the promise when this deal was put together. The promise was that Red Hat would get autonomy from IBM, not that IBM would lose its autonomy to Red Hat. But Whitehurst’s concept of an Open Organization has excited analysts who don’t even know what it is.

          If IBM became an Open Organization, these analysts think, it would replace the top-down structure IBM has used for a century with an organic system in which employees and customers are part of the product design process. Instead of selling gear or even solutions, IBM would become a corporate change agent.

        • Going to VMWorld? Learn to help data scientists and application developers accelerate AI/ML initiatives

          IT experts from around the world are headed to VMworld 2019 in San Francisco to learn how they can leverage emerging technologies from VMware and ecosystem partners (e.g. Red Hat, NVIDIA, etc.) to help achieve the digital transformation for their organizations. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) is a very popular technology trend, with Red Hat OpenShift customers like HCA Healthcare, BMW, Emirates NBD, and several more are offering differentiated value to their customers. Investments are ramping up across many industries to develop intelligent digital services that help improve customer satisfaction, and gain competitive business advantages. Early deployment trends indicate AI/ML solution architectures are spanning across edge, data center, and public clouds.

        • RHELvolution 2: A brief history of Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases from RHEL 6 to today

          In the previous post, we looked at the history of Red Hat Enterprise Linux from pre-RHEL days through the rise of virtualization. In this one we’ll take a look at RHEL’s evolution from early days of public cloud to the release of RHEL 8 and beyond.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Command Line Heroes season 3, episode 5: The Infrastructure Effect: COBOL and Go

        Languages used for IT infrastructure don’t have expiration dates. COBOL’s been around for 60 years – and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We maintain billions of lines of classic code for mainframes. But we’re also building new infrastructures for the cloud in languages like Go.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E20 – Outrun

        This week we’ve been experimenting with lean podcasting and playing Roguelikes. We discuss what goes on at a Canonical Roadmap Sprint, bring you some command line love and go over all your feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 20 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Stuart Langridge are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space
      • New Intel Lightning Mountain SoC Appears in Linux Code

        Intel has started Linux kernel development for what appears to be a new Atom SoC family, codenamed Lightning Mountain. It reportedly will be a network processor based on the 14nm Airmont architecture.
        Phoronix today reported on the recent Linux kernel patch notes. They state: “A forthcoming product uses a new variant of Atom Airmont CPU model.”
        Another patch note from August 21 explicitly mentions the Lightning Mountain SoC name. Intel currently does not have product families based on the Mountain suffix, so this would be a brand new line of chips.

      • Linux Foundation
        • Automotive Grade Linux update clusters up — and IBM’s OpenPower opens up

          The Linux Foundation’s AGL released UCB 8.0 with new improved profiles for telematics and instrument cluster and launched an Instrument Cluster Expert Group. The LF also gobbled up IBM’s OpenPower Foundation as IBM unveiled a royalty-free Power ISA.

          Prior to today’s Embedded Linux Conference and Open Source Summit, the Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) group announced Unified Code Base 8.0, which pushes the AGL spec deeper into telematics and instrument clusters. Also at the San Diego event, the Linux Foundation announced it was converting the IBM-backed OpenPower Foundation into a new LF working group. IBM also announced that it was open sourcing the Power CPU ISA (see farther below).

        • Automotive Grade Linux Announces New Instrument Cluster Expert Group and UCB 8.0 Code Release

          Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), an open source project developing a shared software platform for in-vehicle technology, today announced a new working group focused on Instrument Cluster solutions, as well as the latest code release of the AGL platform, the UCB 8.0.

          The AGL Instrument Cluster Expert Group (EG) is working to reduce the footprint of AGL and optimize the platform for use in lower performance processors and low-cost vehicles that do not require an entire infotainment software stack. Formed earlier this year, the group plans to release design specifications later this year with an initial code release in early 2020.

          “AGL is now supported by nine major automotive manufacturers, including the top three producers by worldwide volume, and is currently being used in production for a range of economy and luxury vehicles” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “The new Instrument Cluster Expert Group, supported by several of these automakers, will expand the use cases for AGL by enabling the UCB platform to support solutions for lower-cost vehicles, including motorcycles.”

        • Microsoft, Google, Red Hat and others join forces for cloud security in ‘confidential computing’ group

          The Confidential Computing Consortium, announced this morning by the Linux Foundation, will work to establish standards, frameworks and tools to encrypt data when it’s in use by applications, devices and online services. Current techniques focus on data at rest, and in transit. The group describes encrypting data in use as “the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data.”

        • Shhh! Microsoft, Intel, Google and more sign up to the Confidential Computing Consortium

          The Linux Foundation has signed up the likes of Microsoft and Google for its Confidential Computing Consortium, a group with the laudable goal of securing sensitive data.

          The group – which also includes Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent – will be working on open-source technologies and standards to speed the adoption of confidential computing.

          The theory goes that while approaches to encrypting data at rest and in transit have supposedly been dealt with, assuming one ignores the depressingly relentless splurts of user information from careless vendors, keeping it safe while in use is quite a bit more challenging. Particularly as workloads spread to the cloud and IoT devices.

        • Tech giants come together to form cloud security watchdog

          Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are joining forces to improve the security of files in the cloud. This includes Google, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and many others.

          The news first popped up on the Linux Foundation, where it was said that the Confidential Computing Consortium will work to bring industry standards and identify the proper tools to encrypt data used by apps, devices and online services.

          At the moment, cloud security solutions focus to protect data that’s either resting, or is in transit. However, when the data is being used is “the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data.”

        • Tech firms join forces to boost cloud security

          Founding members of the group – which unites hardware suppliers, cloud providers, developers, open source experts and academics – include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent.

          [...]

          “The earliest work on technologies that have the ability to transform an industry is often done in collaboration across the industry and with open source technologies,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation.

          “The Confidential Computing Consortium is a leading indicator of what is to come for security in computing and will help define and build open technologies to support this trust infrastructure for data in use.”

        • Google, Intel and Microsoft form data protection consortium
        • Intel Editorial: Intel Joins Industry Consortium to Accelerate Confidential Computing

          Leaders in information and infrastructure security are well versed in protecting data at-rest or in-flight through a variety of methods. However, data being actively processed in memory is another matter. Whether running on your own servers on-prem, in an edge deployment, or in the heart of a cloud service provider’s data center, this “in-use” data is almost always unencrypted and potentially vulnerable.

        • Confidential Computing: How Big Tech Companies Are Coming Together To Secure Data At All Levels

          Data today moves constantly from on-premises to public cloud and the edge, which is why it is quite challenging to protect. While there are standards available that aim to protect data when it is in rest and transit, standards related to protecting it when in use do not exist. Protecting data while in use is called confidential computing, which the Confidential Computing Consortium is aiming to create across the industry.

          The Confidential Computing Consortium, created under the Linux Foundation, will work to build up guidelines, systems and tools to ensure data is encrypted when it’s being used by applications, devices and online services. The consortium says that encrypting data when in use is “the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data.” Members focused on the undertaking are Alibaba, ARM, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent.

        • IT giants join forces for full-system data security

          Apple is conspiciously missing from the consortium, despite using both Intel hardware and inhouse designed ARM-based processors.

          Of the first set of commitments, Intel will release its Software Guard Extensions (SGX) software development kit as open source through the CCC.

        • Google, Intel, and Microsoft partner to improve cloud security

          Some of the biggest names in tech have banded together in an effort to promote industry-wide security standards for protecting data in use.

        • Alibaba, Baidu, Google, Microsoft, Others Back Confidential Computing Consortium

          The Confidential Computing Consortium aims to help define and accelerate open-source technology that keeps data in use secure. Data typically gets encrypted by service providers, but not when it’s in use. This consortium will focus on encrypting and processing the data “in memory” to reduce the exposure of the data to the rest of the system. It aims to provide greater control and transparency for users.

        • Microsoft, Intel and others are doubling down on open source Linux security

          In other words, the operating system could be compromised by some kind of malware, but the data being used in a program would still be encrypted, and therefore safe from an attacker.

        • Microsoft, Intel, and Red Hat Back Confidential Computing

          The Linux Foundation’s latest project tackles confidential computing with a group of companies that reads like a who’s who of cloud providers, chipmakers, telecom operators, and other tech giants.

          Today at the Open Source Summit the Linux Foundation said it will form a new group called the Confidential Computing Consortium. Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom, and Tencent all committed to work on the project, which aims to accelerate the adoption of confidential computing.

      • Graphics Stack
        • CoreCtrl: A Radeon Settings Alternative For Linux

          It’s a frustrating reality for Linux users that Windows software counterparts tend to be better. They may offer greater functionality, better design, and be easier-to-use. There are some exceptions, such as with the NVIDIA Linux GPU driver, which offers two features the Windows version doesn’t: temperature monitoring, and fan control. For the most part, though, things like driver control panels are a scarcity in Linux.

    • Applications
      • Top 3 Video Players for Ubuntu

        There are a lot of free and open-source video players available for Ubuntu. Most of them do the basic job pretty well and you do not miss anything from Windows that you could use on Ubuntu. However, some players provide additional features and you can pick which one would suit you best depending on the feature list. In this article, we will give you an introduction to some famous video players for Ubuntu. We will also tell you where to find their websites and how to install them on Ubuntu. All of these players can be reliably downloaded graphically from the Ubuntu Software but we will also explain other methods of installation for educational purposes. Also, some methods let you install the latest available version of the software from the Internet so we will not miss out on those.

      • Translatium – Simply Yet Powerful Translation Tool For Linux

        Translatium is an open-source translation application that translate words, phrases, and text between over 90 languages.

        [...]

        For Ubuntu 18.04 and higher, Translatium snap package can be easily installed from Ubuntu Software utility…

      • Gammy: Adaptive Screen Brightness Tool For Linux

        Gammy, an adaptive screen brightness GUI tool that that was originally only available for Microsoft Windows, was ported to Linux (X11 only) recently.

        The Qt5 application takes a screenshot periodically, then gradually adjusts the pixel brightness based on the screen (screenshot) contents, dimming the screen if its content is too bright, or brightening the screen if its content is too dark. This is especially useful for reducing eye strain when switching between dark and light windows.

        The Gammy settings allows setting a minimum and maximum brightness, and an offset (the offset adds to the screen brightness, with a higher value meaning a brighter image). Also, because it conflicts with Redshift, the Gammy developer decided to add basic temperature control, which you’ll also find in the application settings.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • Dynasty Mode & Eight Princes DLC for THREE KINGDOMS out for Linux, plus a Total War sale

        Feral Interactive announced earlier today that the Eight Princes DLC for Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is now officially available on Linux. Plus there’s a nice big Total War sale going on.

      • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – Eight Princes DLC out now on macOS and Linux

        Feral Interactive today announced that The Eight Princes Chapter Pack, DLC for the historical strategy game Total War™: THREE KINGDOMS is out now on macOS and Linux.

      • Zombie apocalypse action RPG Zombasite has a big update and a big sale to match

        Ahead of the upcoming full release of Din’s Legacy, Soldak Entertainment aren’t forgetting their older titles. They recently gave Zombasite a huge update and a big discount too.

        Why? Well Zombasite is turning three years old so they decided to give everyone a little gift for their support.

      • ‘No Man’s Sky Beyond’ Just Got Patched For Linux, Even Though It’s A Windows-Only PC Game

        Yep, it’s right there in the notes for Beyond Patch 2.08a: “Fixed Steam VR in Linux.”

        The game was recently treated to a massive update which makes it almost resemble an MMO. There are new social hubs, 16-32 player multiplayer, the addition of virtual reality, Vulkan API support and quite a bit more of everything.

        As you probably know, Hello Games is a fairly small indie game studio, and it never developed a native Linux version of No Man’s Sky. But that’s OK, because the game proudly bears a “Gold” rating on ProtonDB, a website that tracks Steam Play compatibility with Windows games.

        Because Proton translates Windows-exclusive game APIs like DirectX to Vulkan (an API that Linux understands), this allows thousands of games that never appeared on Linux to work anyway, simply by installing it on the Steam for Linux client. Proton also has support for SteamVR, meaning many VR titles also run well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE ISO Image Writer – Release Announcement

          My GSoC project comes to an end and I am going to conclude this series of articles by announcing the release of a beta version of KDE ISO Image Writer.

        • How I got a project in Labplot KDE

          When the organisation names got revealed, I started digging into projects to find out which one interests me a lot. Many projects were quite interesting but my restriction was coding language. Still, I started keeping a note of all the projects which interest me with a little note on what interests me in them and what are the skills required for that particular project. After completing the list, I shifted my focus from a huge number of projects to very few (almost 50). Originally, I planned to create a ranking of some sort and then start attacking individually from the top each one of them. But fortunately, I didn’t have to do that much. When I was taking a quick look at the list, I notice labplot and it seems a perfect project for me. I had used KDE desktop before and I knew how big the KDE community is. I had already done some work on data analysis before (as a course and during my last year summer internship) and the language requirement was C++ and Qt. Though Qt (more broadly I can say GUI Programming) was new to me, looking at the basic documentation, I realised it would not be much difficult as it is like C++ with extended features, also, the documentation of Qt is quite elaborated.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Meet the GNOMEies: Max Huang

          Max Huang has been GNOME since 2010, starting with forming a GNOME users group in Taiwan. Max has a story you may understand: being a user, meeting the right person, and slowly finding yourself more and more deeply involved with a community in terms of working together and making friends.

        • Gaurav Agrawal: Google Summer of Code 2019 FINAL REPORT

          My Google Summer of Code (GSOC) project was focused on “Implementing split view” in gnome-gitg. This blog posts serves as my final submission to my Google Summer of Code project.

    • Distributions
      • Fedora Family
        • Fedora Switching To The BFQ I/O Scheduler For Better Responsiveness & Throughput

          Following Chromebooks switching to BFQ and other distributions weighing this I/O scheduler for better responsiveness while maintaining good throughput capabilities, beginning with Fedora 31 there will be BFQ used as well.

          In-step with today’s systemd 243 RC2 update, the Fedora packages in Rawhide and F31 have switched to using BFQ.

      • Debian Family
        • Debian: No longer a “Universal” operating system

          The Debian project has removed support for the MIPS architecture. This is the latest CPU architecture to be removed from Debian, betraying their tagline of being “The Universal Operating System”.

          I take issue not only with their removal of the MIPS architecture, but of their reasoning for doing it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • GPD Micro PC: Can a 6-inch Ubuntu Laptop Really Be Usable?

          It’s not that GPD, a China-based hardware outfit, aren’t skilled at creating diminutive devices that appeal to gadget heads like myself as, clearly they are: both the GPD Win 2 and the GPD Pocket 2 were warmly reviewed by many.

          It’s just that I thought that a laptop this small simply wouldn’t be usable.

          6-inch screen? What a squint fest! Blackberry phone-style keyboard? Typo city! Intel Celeron processor? What is this, a Chromebook?!

          And yet…

          After a week of using the GPD MicroPC (with Ubuntu MATE) as a companion device alongside my regular, full-sized computers, I have to say that I totally get it.

          This thing is nuts.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Open-Source Project Unveils Detailed Road Map for New Mainnet

        An open-source project that aims to create a smart economy based on blockchain technology has unveiled a new program designed to fuel its ecosystem’s growth — while setting out a detailed road map for its new mainnet.
        Neo says its EcoBoost scheme has been designed to support developers and projects that are already in its ecosystem, as well as those that wish to join. A total of $100 million has been allocated to the initiative — and in the first phase, the firm is seeking to establish long-term partnerships that will fuel the organic growth of its network. Media outlets, exchanges, decentralized application (DApp) distribution platforms and other blockchain infrastructures are being encouraged to express an interest in becoming an EcoBoost Partner, and Neo says it has already received numerous applications from “leading institutions and projects in the industry.”

      • Square Crypto Hires Blockstream Co-Founder, Open Source Bitcoin Dev

        Square Crypto announced on Twitter that they have hired Matt Corallo, Bitcoin software developer and co-founder of Blockstream.

      • 5 Arenas Where Open Source is the Undisputed Champion

        Open source software has come of age. It has now reached a level of maturity and capability where it simply cannot be ignored. Recent research[1] suggests that 82 percent of large organizations are more receptive to open source than they were five years ago and that C-level IT executives are now most likely to prefer an open source solution over proprietary alternatives.
        Over the years, everyone’s confidence and trust in open source software has been steadily growing. We’ve now reached the point where open source is the dominant player in many of the key technology trends shaping our world.

        [...]

        It’s widely acknowledged that Linux is the power behind the vast majority of public internet servers and that Unix-like operating systems are being used by about 70 percent of all web servers, with Linux taking the lion’s share.
        Why is that important? Because even though we pay them little thought or attention, web and internet servers are responsible for stitching together the digital fabric that most of us rely on for communications and services every day.

        [...]

        There’s no denying that open source is here to stay. I’ve been working with open source for almost a decade now and over that time I’ve seen how quickly open source solutions have taken off, gained acceptance and become the front runner is so many areas.

      • U-Boot Has Been Seeing Better x86 Support, EFI Improvements

        Google’s Simon Glass who is part of the Chromium / Chrome OS team presented at this week’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Diego on U-Boot.

        U-Boot continues making good progress particularly on the embedded front for where this bootloader is most well known, but it’s also been seeing increasing x86 support. Currently U-Boot supports around 10 different Intel SoCs and can handle booting from Coreboot on most boards. Intel Apollolake support is forthcoming to U-Boot. Additionally, FSP2 support for the newer version of Intel’s firmware support package is being worked on for U-Boot. Also new on U-Boot’s x86 front is slimbootloader support.

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Dustin J. Mitchell: Outreachy Round 20

            Outreachy is a program that provides paid internships working on FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) to applicants from around the world. Internships are three months long and involve deep, technical work on a mentor-selected project, guided by mentors and other developers working on the FOSS application. At Mozilla, projects include work on Firefox itself, development of associated services and sites like Taskcluster and Treeherder, and analysis of Firefox telemetry data from a data-science perspective.

            The program has an explicit focus on diversity: “Anyone who faces under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply.” It’s a small but very effective step in achieving better representation in this field. One of the interesting side-effects is that the program sees a number of career-changing participants. These people bring a wealth of interesting and valuable perspectives, but face challenges in a field where many have been programming since they were young.

      • Funding
        • AI open source leader H2O.ai secures funding worth $72.5 million

          Over the past couple of years, the Silicone-based company has raised a total of $147 million. Since its founding, H2O.ai has gone through a series of funding including its seed round in 2013. In 2017, it saw one of its biggest growth after a Series C funding that raised $75 million. Wells Fargo and NVIDIA led the funding with their $40 million investment. Other participants included Crane Venture Partners, New York Life, Transamerica Ventures, and Nexus Venture Partners.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • GNU Parallel 20190822 (‘Jesper Svarre’) released [stable]

          GNU Parallel 20190822 (‘Jesper Svarre’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/

          No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

          GNU Parallel is 10 years old next year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.

      • Programming/Development
        • Jupyter Notebook for Beginners: A Tutorial

          The Jupyter Notebook is an incredibly powerful tool for interactively developing and presenting data science projects. This article will walk you through how to set up Jupyter Notebooks on your local machine and how to start using it to do data science projects.

          First, though: what is a “notebook”? A notebook integrates code and its output into a single document that combines visualizations, narrative text, mathematical equations, and other rich media. This intuitive workflow promotes iterative and rapid development, making notebooks an increasingly popular choice at the heart of contemporary data science, analysis, and increasingly science at large.

          Best of all, as part of the open source Project Jupyter, they are completely free.

          The Jupyter project is the successor to the earlier IPython Notebook, which was first published as a prototype in 2010. Although it is possible to use many different programming languages within Jupyter Notebooks, this article will focus on Python as it is the most common use case. (Among R users, R Studio tends to be a more popular choice).

        • Python for NLP: Creating Multi-Data-Type Classification Models with Keras

          This is the 18th article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. In my previous article, I explained how to create a deep learning-based movie sentiment analysis model using Python’s Keras library. In that article, we saw how we can perform sentiment analysis of user reviews regarding different movies on IMDB. We used the text of the review the review to predict the sentiment.

          However, in text classification tasks, we can also make use of the non-textual information to classify the text. For instance, gender may have an impact on the sentiment of the review. Furthermore, nationalities may affect the public opinion about a particular movie. Therefore, this associated info, also known as meta data can also be used to improve accuracy of statistical model.

          In this article, we will build upon the concepts that we studied in the last two articles and will see how to create a text classification system that classifies user reviews regarding different business, into one of the three predefined categories i.e. “good”, “bad”, and “average”. However, in addition to the text of the review, we will use the associated meta data of the review to perform classifcation. Since we have two different types of inputs i.e. textual input and numerical input, we need to create a multiple inputs model. We will be using Keras Functional API since it supports multiple inputs and multiple output models.

        • Django Template Fiddle Launched !!!!

          This is not an article. We just want to inform you that we have launched our new platform where you can experiment, play or fiddle with Django Templates.

        • Python Script 16: Generating word cloud image of a text using python

          Word cloud is an image composed of words used in a particular text or subject, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance.

        • Python 3.7.3 : Using the inotify.
        • Git is eating the world

          The inception of Git (2005) is more or less the halfway point between the inception of Linux (1991) and today (2019). A lot has happened since. One thing is clear however: software is eating the world and Git is the fork with which it is being eaten. (Yes, pun intended).

        • CloudBees and Google Cloud accelerate app development in hybrid and public cloud environments

          CloudBees, the enterprise DevOps leader powering the continuous economy, and Google Cloud, announced that the two companies are collaborating to deliver a modern DevOps platform based on open source technologies powered by Google Cloud’s Anthos.

          CloudBees provides companies large and small with Jenkins-based continuous delivery solutions that are secure, open toolchain-enabled and scalable to transform software delivery processes across hybrid computing environments.

          Google Cloud is delivering to enterprises a secure, open, intelligent and transformative enterprise cloud platform. Anthos, a hybrid and multi-cloud platform, is built on open source technologies pioneered by Google Cloud and enables consistency between on-premise and cloud environments.

  • Leftovers
    • MIT Media Lab chief apologizes for Epstein ties

      Joi Ito, in an open letter on the MIT Media Lab’s website, acknowledged for the first time that he had several ties to Epstein. Ito said that he had traveled to Epstein’s homes and accepted money from him for both the research center and Ito’s own investments into tech startups.

      “I take full responsibility for my error in judgment,” Ito wrote.

    • The world’s oldest live webcam is about to be switched off

      Its creators, Jeff Schwartz (Webdog) and Dan Wong (Danno) have decided that as it gets harder to find a secure location to keep it, its also time to let it go. As such, it will breathe its last on the 30th of August.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • One more Steam Windows Client Local Privilege Escalation 0day

        Not long ago I published an article about Steam vulnerability. I received a lot of feedback. But Valve didn’t say a single word, HackerOne sent a huge letter and, mostly, kept silence. Eventually things escalated with Valve and I got banned by them on HackerOne — I can no longer participate in their vulnerability rejection program (the rest of H1 is still available though).

        You can read the story in more detail in previous article, here is a couple of words about current situation.

        And it’s sad and simple — Valve keeps failing. Last patch, that should have solved the problem, can be easily bypassed (https://twitter.com/general_nfs/status/1162067274443833344) so the vulnerability still exists. Yes, I’ve checked, it works like a charm.

        But this article is not about an old vulnerability, it’s about new one. Since Valve decided to read a public report instead of private report one more time, I won’t take that pleasure away from them.

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (nginx), openSUSE (ImageMagick and putty), Red Hat (Ansible, atomic-openshift-web-console, ceph, and qemu-kvm-rhev), SUSE (kvm, libssh2_org, postgresql96, qemu, and wavpack), and Ubuntu (libzstd and openjpeg2).

      • Major Metapackage Makeover

        With our 2019.3 Kali release imminent, we wanted to take a quick moment to discuss one of our more significant upcoming changes: our selection of metapackages. These alterations are designed to optimize Kali, reduce ISO size, and better organize metapackages as we continue to grow.

        Before we get into what’s new, let’s briefly recap what a metapackage is. A metapackage is a package that does not contain any tools itself, but rather is a dependency list of normal packages (or other metapackages). This allows us to group related tools together. For instance, if you want to be able to access every wireless tool, simply install the kali-tools-wireless metapackage.

      • Securing Your Crypto Wallet

        When it came time to create my CryptocurrencyOS, based on Linux Mint I wanted to solve some practical user and security issues. The end result was for people to have their own crypto wallets in a secure, opensource, environment and encourage more adoption of cryptocurrency. I applied some of my experience with some of the products I developed for compevo and Techrich.

        The first problem is that a lot of people don’t even know how to find or download a wallet (at least safely, since there are a lot of fake / malware wallets that steal people’s coins). If they don’t know how to avoid the above, then how would they be able to secure their computer?

      • Cryptojacking Code Found in 11 Open Libraries, Thousands Infected

        A cryptojacking code was found in 11 open-source code libraries written in Ruby, which have been downloaded thousands of times.
        Hackers downloaded the software, infected it with malware, and subsequently reposted it on the RubyGems platform, industry news outlet Decrypt reported on Aug. 21.

      • Malicious cryptojacking code found in 11 Ruby libraries

        Cryptojacking software has been found in 11 code libraries for the programming language Ruby—exposing thousands of people.

        The latest heist, discovered yesterday on code repository Github made use of a package manager called RubyGems, a popular program that allows developers to upload and share improvements on existing pieces of software.

      • Cryptojacking Scripts Found in 11 Open-Source Code Libraries

        According to a Decrypt report, the malware was discovered on Tuesday inside Github code repository, infecting the language manager called RubyGems.

      • First‑of‑its‑kind spyware sneaks into Google Play
      • Open-source spyware bypasses Google Play defenses — twice

        Radio Balouch — the app in question — is a legitimate radio application serving Balouchi music enthusiasts, except that it also included AhMyth, a remote access espionage tool that has been available on GitHub as an open-source project since late 2017.

        Lukas Stefanko, ESET researcher who uncovered the campaign, said the app was uploaded twice on Google Play — once on July 2 and a second time on July 13 — only to be swiftly removed by Google within 24 hours upon being alerted by the security team. It continues to be available on third-party app stores.

        While the service’s dedicated website “radiobalouch.com” is no longer accessible, the attackers also seem to have promoted the app on Instagram and YouTube. The app, in total, attracted over 100 installs.

      • 61 impacted versions of Apache Struts left off security advisories

        Security researchers have reviewed security advisories for Apache Struts and found that two dozen of them inaccurately listed affected versions for the open-source development framework.

        The advisories have since been updated to reflect vulnerabilities in an additional 61 unique versions of Struts that were affected by at least one previously disclosed vulnerability but left off the security advisories for those vulnerabilities.

      • Sectigo Sponsors Automated Certificate Issuance and Renewal in Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Certbot Open Source Software Tool

        Sectigo, the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority (CA) and a provider of purpose-built and automated PKI management solutions, today announced its sponsorship of Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) free, open source software tool, Certbot, to support efforts to encrypt the entire internet and build a network that is more structurally private, safe, and protected against censorship.

    • Defence/Aggression
    • Environment
      • Trump is mad some automakers want to make cleaner cars [iophk: more tweets in place of official channels of communications ]

        The EPA and the NHTSA are expected to unveil the final version of the rollback the Trump administration has been promising sometime this year, but The New York Times reports that staff members at those agencies are “struggling to assemble a coherent technical and scientific analysis required by law to implement a rule change of this scope.”

      • Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray

        The White House, blindsided by a pact between California and four automakers to oppose President Trump’s auto emissions rollbacks, has mounted an effort to prevent any more companies from joining California.

        Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors were all summoned by a senior Trump adviser to a White House meeting last month where he pressed them to stand by the president’s own initiative, according to four people familiar with the talks.

      • Scientists and economists are warning the world’s governments that climate change will destroy capitalism as we know it

        “In the post-World War II period, societies rebuilt their infrastructures and practices; now we need something similar so that our economies and practices can operate without fossil fuels.

        The scientist considers that we have a margin of up to 30 years for this, although in any case it can be understood as an optimistic period that can only be reduced to 15 years.

      • No, you don’t have to publicly declare that Instagram can’t use your photos — you already said yes when you signed up

        Not only is the hoax pushing false information, it’s missing the point: You already granted Facebook and Instagram those permissions when you signed up. It’s in the terms of service you likely didn’t read.

      • Energy
        • How an Application for Propane Fracking Attempts to Circumvent New York’s Fracking Ban

          Four years after New York announced the state was banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Tioga Energy Partners, LLC has filed an application with the state to frack for natural gas, but there’s a catch. The company is proposing to swap propane into the industry standard mix that usually calls for water.

          Environmental advocates consider this application to use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and specifically a propane gel, an attempt to circumvent New York’s 2015 ban on fracking for fossil fuels.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Twitter Helps Beijing Push Agenda Abroad Despite Ban in China

        “We know China is adept at controlling domestic information, but now they are trying to use Western platforms like Twitter to control the narrative on the international stage,” said Jacob Wallis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.

      • LinkedIn says it blocked or removed more than 21M fake accounts during first half of 2019

        LinkedIn announced this week that it had blocked or removed 21.6 million fake accounts on its platform between January and June of this year.

        The professional networking platform, which has about 645 million users, wrote in a Tuesday blog post that 95 percent of the face accounts were blocked from being created during the registration process and never went live.

        Another 2 million fake accounts were restricted by LinkedIn before a user reported them, while 67,000 accounts were taken down after being flagged by users.

      • Facebook is looking for journalists with ‘excellent news judgment’ to run its forthcoming news section

        The social networking giant has posted three job openings for “experienced journalists” to be “news curators.” The curators will pick content from publishers covering the most important stories of the day; develop plans for news events; analyze data to inform news strategy; and work with product teams to improve user experience.

      • Concerns Growing that China’s Influence Operations Getting Bolder

        However, U.S. intelligence officials and some private sector analysts saw indications China was preparing to escalate its efforts. And less than three months later, the U.S. director of national intelligence sounded an additional alarm, accusing China, along with Russia, of actively meddling in the 2018 congressional elections.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Facebook’s Weird Pointless Auditless Audit Of Political Bias On Its Platform

        Facebook has continued to do the most Facebooky of Facebook things. Faced with almost entirely baseless claims of “anti-conservative bias” in how it moderates content, Facebook claimed to be doing something useful: bringing in a big outside law firm with big name partners (lead by former Republican Senator Jon Kyl) to analyze those claims. In response, they published… a whole lot of nothing. Kyl released an 8 page report that nearly anyone could have written (at much lower hourly rates, I’m sure). In it, it details areas that 133 different conservative users expressed concerns about how Facebook’s platform operates.

        But the report does literally nothing to say (or better yet, show) whether or not those concerns are valid. It just lists them out. Yes, the “conservatives” interviewed were “concerned” that hate speech designations might disproportionately impact them. Duh. But did it? The report doesn’t say. Even more importantly, did such designations lead to disparate treatment for analogous behavior? Again, the report fails to say. it just lists out what “concerns” were raised. Which is about as totally fucking useless as you can imagine. In short, it’s Facebook’s standard operating procedure.

      • Three nights of tear gas-free protests as Hong Kong’s anti-government movement gives peace a chance

        It cites a consumer backlash against the company, whose second-largest market for long-haul travel is China.

      • State Rep Tries To Bring Criminal Harassment Charges Against Journalists For Being Journalists

        In a small county in Oregon, free speech — specifically the act of journalism — is being threatened. The Malheur Enterprise, a weekly newspaper, has been investigating a state lawmaker’s ties to business deals and contracts being executed in the county. Doing what journalists do, the paper’s reporters have been trying to get answers or statements from people working with State Rep. Greg Smith, whose business dealings are currently under the small paper’s microscope.

        No one seems to want to talk to the paper, but good journalists are persistent and willing to talk to anyone who might give them a new lead or verify findings. This is how journalism works. Rep. Greg Smith thinks journalism is a criminal act.

      • China (Yes, China) Complains About Attack On Its ‘Free Speech Rights’ After Twitter/Facebook Boot Propaganda Accounts

        Oh come on. Earlier this week we wrote about both Twitter and Facebook shutting down a bunch of Chinese accounts that both companies claimed were state-backed accounts pushing propaganda/misinformation/attacks against Hong Kong protesters. Separately, Twitter also changed its policies to no longer accept advertising from state-backed media operations. The Chinese government — the very same government famous for aggressively censoring the entire internet — apparently is not happy about it, arguing that it’s a violation of free speech rights.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Baffled student tells Twitter: ‘I’m not a Chinese agent’

        The most likely explanation points to Marin’s decision to try and boost the number of people following his and his son’s accounts last December.

        “I had a social media freelancer supporting the start of the accounts,” Marin said, “and I suspect he bought some Twitter followers/bots, which I thought explained the suspension – until today.”

      • Cash sales to end on Finnish trains

        Finnish state railway firm VR is to end cash sales of tickets on long-distance services. The company says ticket machines and conductors will from 1 September only accept cards or contactless payments.

      • Browsers Take a Stand Against Kazakhstan’s Invasive Internet Surveillance

        Back in July, Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan’s state telecommunications operator, began regularly intercepting encrypted web (HTTPS) connections. Usually, this kind of attack on encrypted HTTPS connections is detectable and leads to loud and visible browser warnings or other safeguards that prevent users from continuing. These security measures work because the certificate used is not trusted by user devices or browsers.

        However, Kazakh ISPs also sent instructions telling users to compromise their own security by manually trusting the certificate on their devices and browsers, bypassing the security checks that are built into most devices.

        The two-step of Kazakh ISPs deploying an untrusted certificate, and users manually trusting that certificate allows the ISPs to read and even alter the online communication of any of their users, including sensitive user data, messages, emails, and passwords sent over the web. Research and monitoring from Censored Planet found around 40 domains that were being regularly intercepted, including Google services, Facebook services, Twitter, and VK (a Russian social media site).

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • A Killer Cop Gets Fired, and Somehow the Cops Are Angry [iophk: to paraphrase an old expression, a single bad apple spoils the /entire/ batch]

        But how many officers are actually investigated and fired because of these allegations? New York City keeps that information secret, but Buzzfeed got ahold of a data dump of secret disciplinary files last year. Those files showed that between 2011 and 2015, 1,800 NYPD employees were charged with misconduct, but only a handful were ever fired. They showed that 250 employees were charged with excessive force, including employees who work as school safety agents. They showed that over 100 employees lied on official documents or in open court. They showed that the overwhelming majority of these people kept their jobs and received minimal internal discipline.

        To put these numbers in context, the NYPD employs around 55,000 officers and civilian auxiliaries. The department made some 200,000 arrests in 2018. Usually, these stats are used to support the ridiculous claim that it’s just a “few bad apples” who are on the police force. But the cops and police boosters around the country misunderstand the meaning of the phrase. The line is “a few bad apples spoils the bunch.” Not “a few bad apples should be overlooked and fed to black and brown citizens until they choke to death on worms.”

      • Why There’s No End in Sight to the Hong Kong Protests

        None of this, however, seems to have produced the desired effect: As Carrie Lam tried to dismantle the legal firewall between Hong Kong and Beijing by allowing suspected criminals to be extradited to China, all the rage that had been simmering for five years erupted. Yet another protest movement began, only this one has been much more stubborn. Its main demands are for the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill (which is only shelved at the moment) and a full inquiry into police violence, together with an amnesty for all the protesters who have been arrested. But as we enter the third month of the crisis, the impasse shows no signs of abating. The government obfuscates and tries to scare the protesters—and it is aided by Beijing, which also refuses to open a dialogue and keeps distributing videos and photos of military exercises just across the border from Hong Kong, in Shenzhen.

      • Hong Kong Police Officers Arrested Over Beating of Man in Hospital

        Two Hong Kong police officers were arrested on Tuesday after a video appeared to show them hitting a 62-year-old man in the genitals, stomach and face while he was strapped to a gurney in a hospital in June.

      • Helsinki preps schools, NGOs to spot FGM, forced marriage trips

        According to a report by tabloid daily Ilta-Sanomat, the guidelines will advise adults working with immigrant-background children (in Finnish) how to ensure that when youngsters travel abroad they are not subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) or forced marriage and that their studies are not interrupted for extended periods.

      • China’s Delivery Drivers Rage Against the Algorithm

        In the first half of 2019, the Hong Kong–based China Labour Bulletin, which tracks labor movements in China, recorded 33 strikes by food delivery drivers, compared to 48 in all of 2018 and just eight in 2017, according to researcher Aiden Chau. Approximately 90 percent of these strikes are spurred by sudden wage decreases; in some cases, drivers have claimed their average daily earnings had abruptly dropped by half.

        “A lot of drivers never see their employer before they stage a strike,” Chau said. “Companies say it’s just the algorithm. Workers don’t know how to respond to this, because they know nothing about the algorithm.”

        Aside from unannounced wage cuts, striking workers also reported being assigned impossibly short delivery times, leading to more road accidents involving delivery drivers. Independent contractors face liability should they get into a collision–and according to multiple drivers, they are docked pay, or suspended by the platform, if even a single order is late.

      • North Carolina Appeals Court’s Second Take On Retaliatory Arrests Just As Bad As Its First One

        The North Carolina Appeals Court has revised its earlier decision finding that retaliatory arrests over free speech are a thing that is right and good and supported by case law.

        A man flipped the bird at a state trooper while passing him as he performed a traffic stop. The trooper decided this needed further investigation and pursued the passing vehicle. After demanding the rude passenger’s identification (and being rebuffed), the trooper arrested him on contempt of cop charges (obstructing a public officer).

        The man sued. The appeals court reached the weird-as-fuck conclusion that the officer had probable cause to initiate a traffic stop because one man’s extended middle finger could have conceivably resulted in an eventual disturbance of the peace.

        The court had to do a lot of work on behalf of the state trooper to reach this conclusion as there were several logical and legal hurdles to jump. It released this opinion to universal derision. Seemingly chastened by the backlash (and a seething dissent), the appeals court hastily withdrew the decision.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • The Barlowian Internet: The Faults Of The Internet Are Also Its Opportunity, But It’s Up To Us To Embrace Them

        John Perry Barlow is all too frequently held up as the patron saint of a sort of “techno-utopian” internet, in which the internet will save us all and open up all sorts of wonderment and good feels — and all the bad stuff is whisked away on a rainbow cloud of TCP/IP. Critics of Barlow sometimes delight in mocking his flowery language or predictions that didn’t come quite true (though many did). They especially delight in pointing to the current internet hellscape as proof that Barlow’s vision of the internet-for-good was a vision through impossibly rose-colored glasses. As I noted upon his passing, this is a near total misunderstanding of Barlow, who saw both the promise and the peril of the internet, and his writings were designed as a call to action for those developing the future (i.e., all of us), to embrace the good and avoid the bad. His presentments were an attempt to urge us all in the right direction, not a suggestion that that direction was inevitable, or easy, or guaranteed.

        That framing is useful context for reading through an amazing collection of essays and reflections on Barlow put together by Duke’s Law & Technology review, in what it has entitled The Past and Future of The Internet: A Symposium for John Perry Barlow. Edited by Jamie Boyle, with some amazing contributions from folks like Cindy Cohn, Cory Doctorow, Yochai Benkler, Pam Samuelson, Jessica Litman, Jonathan Zittrain and more, it’s absolutely worth reading, no matter where you stand on Barlow and his legacy. It is not — as you might think — a hagiography designed solely to praise Barlow. Indeed, it contains quite a few essays that are critical of Barlow — arguing that he was over-optimistic, that he didn’t recognize the downsides of the internet, and that he was misguided in his views of how the internet and (especially) copyright law might change over time.

    • Monopolies
      • Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan

        As part of the platform, Sanders promised to crack down on the gig economy, which critics say has allowed companies to exploit workers by treating them as contractors instead of offering them the full benefits that come with being an employee.

        Under the plan, “companies will no longer be able to ruthlessly exploit workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or deny them overtime by falsely calling them a ‘supervisor,’ ” it reads. “When Bernie is president, his administration will end the ability of corporations to misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ or label them as a ‘supervisor.’ ”

      • EU antitrust regulators have Facebook’s Libra currency in their sights

        The European Commission would not be the first regulator to have raised concerns about the digital currency, which will be run by a group of companies, including Facebook, as part of the Libra Association. In the US, Facebook’s cryptocurrency chief David Marcus has faced questions from the House Financial Services committee, during which one representative told him that they didn’t think Facebook should launch Libra at all. Lawmakers in France and Germany were also quick to object to Facebook becoming a “shadow bank” with its own sovereign currency. Earlier this month, data privacy regulators around the world asked for transparency about how the Libra Association will process personal data.

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Judge Koh schedules Continental v. Avanci et al. FRAND trial for October 2021, denies defendants’ motion to stay discovery

          The 10-day bench trial (reminiscent of FTC v. Qualcomm) will kick off on October 15, 2021.

          The next case management conference will take place on December 18, 2019, and I’ll probably be in the area and may stop by out of curiosity (which wasn’t possible yesterday).

          Also, the defendants’ (i.e., Avanci, Nokia, and privateers that Nokia once fed with patents; and meanwhile, Sharp has also been properly served) motion to stay discovery was denied. While their forthcoming motion to dismiss and already-pending venue transfer motion have yet to be adjudicated, it’s possible that Avanci’s related arguments at least haven’t overwhelmed Judge Koh, which may be the reason she doesn’t see a point in staying discovery.

          The just-mentioned motion to transfer the case from San Jose to Dallas is already the second attempt to avoid Judge Koh’s jurisdiction over the case. In June, Law.com’s Scott Graham reported on the denial of a venue-internal transfer motion: the Northern District of California has several divisions; Judge Koh is based in San Jose; and Avanci wanted to at least get the case moved out of that place (with San Francisco being their preferred alternative), even before it was formally assigned to Judge Koh (at the time it was still pending with Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins, which already made it likely that it would be assigned to Judge Koh). As Scott Graham mentioned, Nokia’s testimony in FTC v. Qualcomm didn’t appear credible to Judge Koh (for undestandable reasons as Nokia itself once complained over Qualcomm’s practices, at a time when Nokia was still in the mobile handset business).

          [...]

          When Continental and Avanci briefed Judge Koh ahead of yesterday’s case management hearing, Continental listed those German patent infringement actions against Daimler as related cases, while Avanci and its co-defendants deny that there is a link.

        • Patent case: TQ Delta LLC v Zyxel Communications UK Ltd & anr, United Kingdom

          The Court of Appeal allowed ZyXEL’s appeal, finding that in light of its waiver of its RAND licence rights, declaratory relief to determine the scope and terms of the licence which TQD was bound to offer to the two ZyXEL parties would no longer serve a useful purpose.

        • Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finding claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,064,197 to be invalid for anticipation or obviousness, in Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co. (Fed. Cir. 2019). Because Enzo raised the issue du jour, that subjecting a patent granted prior to enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) to inter partes review (IPR) was unconstitutional, the U.S. government joined the appeal to defend the constitutionality of PTAB proceedings under these circumstances.

          [...]

          The Board held in a Final Written Decision that all the claims in IPR were invalid for being anticipated by a prior art reference to Fish or obvious by the combination of Fish and secondary references, or a reference to van Prooijen-Knegt (“VPK”) with (obviousness) or without (anticipation) reliance on secondary references. The basis for these determinations based on the VPK reference relied, inter alia, on the Board finding that the ’197 patent was not entitled to its earliest priority date for failure of the priority application to satisfy the written description requirement for the “non-porous solid support” limitation recited in challenged claims. Enzo appealed.

          [...]

          The Supreme Court invited patentees to explore the extent to which IPRs could constitute a Taking under the Fifth Amendment, in its Oil States Energy Services, LLC. v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC decision (“our decision should not be misconstrued as suggesting that patents are not property for purposes of the Due Process Clause or the Takings Clause”). Several patentees having taken the Court up on its invitation, it seems the time is ripe for Supreme Court review of the Federal Circuit’s determination that IPRs do not raise constitutional takings issues.

        • Damages for Improvement Patents: Are the Georgia-Pacific factors sufficient?

          The patent here claims voice communication via “packet communication” that is clearly broad enough to encompass the accused Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) systems. However, the patent specification does not disclose or discuss VoIP, but rather asynchronous transfer mode (ATM). ATM uses packets, but mimics legacy circuit-switching by establishing a virtual circuit (something not done by an IP system). As IP has proven itself capable and less expensive, it is largely replacing the ATM approach. The petition here argues that the breadth of claims are not supported by the written description.

          In its opinion, the majority sided with the patentee — noting that that IP technology “is not expressly excluded” by the specification and that the document refers to ATM as one possible “broadband system.” The “such as” language “strongly suggests that the patents are not limited to ATM technology.” Here, the court also concluded that a lightweight disclosure was acceptable since IP systems were known in the art as a form of broadband.

          Judge Mayer wrote in dissent. He concluded that VoIP should not be understood as within the disclosure since the specification repeatedly focused on ATM style virtual circuits with no disclosure of other packet networks. “[T]he specification’s disclosure makes sense only in the context of ATM technology.”

      • Copyrights
        • Apple Sues Corellium Over ‘Illegal Replication’ of iOS

          In other words, Apple believes Corellium creates copies of iOS, sells them to anyone willing to pay, including foreign governments, and in the process violates Apple’s rights. Apple is demanding the Corellium Apple Product be blocked from sale, all products using Apple copyrights be destroyed, cash compensation be paid, and Corellium customers informed of the violation.

        • Apple Seeks to Shut Down Corellium’s ‘Perfect Replicas’ of iOS

          Corellium’s products allow the creation of a virtual Apple device, according to the suit. It copies new versions of Apple works as soon as they are announced, and doesn’t require users to disclose flaws to Apple, the Cupertino, California-based company said in the complaint.

        • Apple is suing Corellium

          Corellium allows customers to create and interact with virtual iOS devices — a software iPhone, for example, running actual iOS firmware, all within the browser. Apple says this is copyright infringement, and is demanding Corellium stops “all uses of” its iOS virtualization products and pays Apple unspecified “damages and lost profits.”

        • Apple sues Corellium for creating virtual copies of iOS

          Apple this week filed a lawsuit against Corellium, a company that offers users a virtual replica of the iOS user experience from within a web browser. While Corellium touts its service as something of a security tool to better enable researchers to unearth serious vulnerabilities, Apple claims that Corellium’s underlying motive is to illegally profit off of Apple’s intellectual property [sic].

        • Apple Files Lawsuit Against Virtualization Company Corellium for Illegally Replicating iOS and Apple Apps

          Apple is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Corellium from continuing to offer a product that replicates iOS. Apple also wants Corellium to destroy all infringing materials that it’s collected, and pay Apple damages, lost profits, and attorney fees.

        • ‘Enough is enough’: Apple is suing a company that claims it creates ‘perfect’ replicas of iOS

          Apple on Thursday filed a lawsuit suit against Corellium, a company which creates virtual versions of Apple’s operating system, iOS, within a web browser so people can test it for security flaws.

          In its suit, filed in the Southern District of Florida and first spotted by Bloomberg, Apple claimed that Corellium’s replication of iOS constitutes copyright infringement.

Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 07:33:14 PM

A publication from the Free Media Alliance

Overview

Summary: “This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software.”

Amazon ebooks are an existential threat to libraries, and modern copyright is an existential threat to culture. For such an ominous global attack on all human culture, very little is being done about it. The Free Software Foundation says to boycott such ebooks and DRM, and that’s a great place to start.

To promote free culture would be an obvious next step, since (legally and historically speaking) the threat that free culture mitigates comes from the same late-20th-century changes in law and industry that made the Free software movement necessary. But the FSF sidesteps this connection, and their take on free culture is fairly condescending and surprisingly dismissive.

“Copyright is the wrong tool to protect the integrity of expression, not only because it does not do so.”The sad thing is that the free culture movement has gotten off to many false starts, and while it continues to grow it does so at a glacial pace. At the same time, freedom within the absurd confines of modern European copyright is breaking down at what you might consider (in this age of climate change) to be a “glacial pace.” If only there was a movement that stood against this… Oh, there is.

Whether the Free software movement impresses you already or not, we strongly recommend making a more important issue of it. The FSF absolutely will not do so, but they have contributed their videos from LibrePlanet, so that is valuable. Stallman’s essays might work just as well if delivered as presentations at LibrePlanet, but those presentations bear Free Culture licences, and his essays do not.

Copyright is the wrong tool to protect the integrity of expression, not only because it does not do so. The public domain is not a licence to misrepresent people, there are separate rules about that regardless of copyright, and fair use allows some people a way around the copyright but fair use is also a terrible (inadequate) tool for this purpose — free culture licences are a better one.

“You could easily and most likely legally reconstruct the videos from LibrePlanet into a better Free software website than the FSF’s, although it would certainly be missing a fair amount of useful information.”Considering all this, someone who believes that modern copyright is problematic has no sane reason to think CC BY-ND is a useful licence. It basically says “You can’t do anything at all with this, but we won’t sue you just for having it.” And the FSF actually promotes this licence.

We don’t expect to change the FSF’s position about this, we will simply let them have their weird, magical thinking about how despite LibrePlanet presentations being reasonably licensed, the FSF’s webpages do not need the same benefit because of Stallman’s “Works of opinion” shtick.

Obviously he is entitled to his opinion, even if it limits the benefit people get from the FSF website, and even if “Works of opinion” is blatant special pleading, and even if it misses the point of free culture. (We recommend Nina Paley’s “Rantifesto” on this topic.) Stallman and the FSF are free to do that, it’s simply a shame.

You could easily and most likely legally reconstruct the videos from LibrePlanet into a better Free software website than the FSF’s, although it would certainly be missing a fair amount of useful information.

The nice thing about such a website would be that it had a licence that allowed people to share the information on it with the same four freedoms that they enjoy with software. The FSF does not consider that important, but LibrePlanet videos mysteriously (and thankfully) give you those freedoms anyway. Perhaps a future tagline for their events could be “We have no opinion!”

“OER is one of the greatest success stories of free culture, and we proudly support it. “Whinging about what the FSF won’t do can only accomplish so much, and while we would recommend a petition for the FSF to stop misrepresenting free culture (with the straw man arguments and special pleading they tend to use to dismiss and argue against free culture — not completely unlike, incredibly, the ones Open source uses against Free software) we also have our own solution to this:

Let’s do what the FSF won’t.

Let’s create our own Free software and free culture library, as we have started doing with the Free Media Alliance.

This is intended as a node of such a library, not the library itself. We hope it will continue to grow, which is why the “donations” we ask for are not monetary — the way you “donate” to the Free Media Alliance is to create free works (four freedom works) or give us links to free works. As was policy for Debian for some time, we do not accept works under the GNU FDL. If you think the FDL is a good licence, or a Free licence, answer these two questions:

1. Why is it “more free” to restrict paper copies of a free cultural work?

2. If it is “more free” then why did Wikipedia abandon the FDL as its license for articles, and why did the FSF help them do so?

Works licensed under the FDL exist against a backdrop of a better-licensed Wikipedia and better-licensed OER works. OER is one of the greatest success stories of free culture, and we proudly support it.

“This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software.”There is no licensing standard for OER, and we would suggest a “Libre Educational Resources” (LER) standard based on our recommended licences page.

Essentially, we would recommend (and are not the first to recommend) a standard for LER based on the four freedoms, of course.

There are at least three ways to add works to our library:

1. Create a useful or enjoyable work under a free licence. We may find it and add it ourselves.

2. Give us a link to a useful or enjoyable work under a free licence. We may add it to our library.

3. Create a free library similar to ours.

We strongly recommend the CC0 copyright waiver for your listings. This allows your library to grow without you even tending to it, as people can incorporate your listings into their own libraries. It also makes it easier for our library nodes to grow — easier than just sending links to individual works (which you are also extremely welcome to do and we appreciate it!)

“It is a non-profit we are proud to promote, and a great resource if you are looking for freely-licensed works.”This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software. And there are many ways for these libraries to link up — for example, if you choose to licence your listings under CC BY-SA, which we do not recommend (BY-SA is needlessly restrictive for a card catalog) we cannot simply fold your listing into ours, which is CC0, but we can select a few items from your list and add it to our collection. We can also (because it is at least a free culture licence) link to your library as a node.

Although it is not a requirement at all, we also recommend creating an account on (and supporting, by various means) the Internet Archive.

It is a non-profit we are proud to promote, and a great resource if you are looking for freely-licensed works. Some of what we do is merely an extension of what they have already done for years — our informal advocacy and promotion of the Internet Archive has already resulted in more contributed works and awareness.

But if you have a blog, forum, website, social media account or any other place online to talk about Free software and free culture, these can be used to help expand our library and donate links to us. They can also be used to advocate for Free software and free culture, whether you quote our words or use your own. Let us know about this and help us expand our grassroots network across the world.

The work we are doing is not just the work of a Free software organisation, but the work of librarians. Librarians are the global champions of free speech and the preservation of culture. The FSF is not — they could certainly do more in that regard. What they do for software, to be fair, is exactly what we recommend for all cultural works — and no other movement is doing as much for Free software.

If libraries alone did enough for Free software, that would be wonderful. Sadly, there continues to be a divide between the culture and freedom that libraries promote (regarding most of humanity’s works over the entirety of written history) and the freedom that the FSF promotes — we invite you to work with us to unite Free software with libraries and libraries with Free software. As with many libraries, you do not need to pay us to become a member. You only need to care and count yourself among us.

But we also invite you to help us advocate, not only by parroting our words and essays, but by contributing your own and helping us to find solutions to the many crises that culture faces in the 21st century. Doing that on behalf of the FSF is very difficult — some of us have tried for years! You can participate in what we do directly or indirectly, you can follow our advice or split off from us like forking an application.

We even have a way for you to create your own unofficial “department” under our umbrella.

The freedom lab movement was devised after the Alliance was founded, and is a way to create your own miniature organisation without the bother and commitment of creating your own organisation. If you find our freedom lab concept inadequate, you could even create a freedom lab to devise better freedom labs.

Ideas and vision are what led to the founding of the Free software movement. Free expression is what enriches the physical and virtual libraries of the 20th and 21st centuries. Without it, those libraries would all be diminished.

It is the absolute antithesis of libraries — and the largest library ever built in human history — the Internet — to try to crush free expression. For all the thoughtfulness and politeness and cooperation that serve a good purpose, humanity is a great mix of emotions and conflict and struggle. Painting a “nice picture” over all interaction, and reducing the internet to such a picture, does damage to our ability to speak honestly about science, history and the problems facing the world today.

Rather than destroy our libraries, we want to expand them and preserve them in the 21st century. As interest in physical libraries wanes, we hope you will help us find new purpose for them — as well as preserve the rights needed online to bring the same freedom that librarians have always fought for, back to the internet as it is quickly becoming a place that is anything but “Free as in Speech.”

The history of Art and the history of human existence is full of rudeness, horror, ugliness, hatred, violence, exploitation and slavery. While we do not endorse these things, we do acknowledge our humanity. Our libraries do not benefit from authoritarianism and sanitisation, they would only be diminished. The same is true of the internet, and we do not recommend the growing trend of sanitising all human interaction, conflating everyday speech with violence, and treating modern journalism as a hate crime or other criminal act.

The FSF says “Free Software, Free Society.”

We say: Liberate software, Liberate culture, Liberate society.

It is not just about software anymore. It is about the survival of human culture and the right to communicate with the rest of the world. These are more important things than the FSF is now capable of making them out to be. The future of Free software however, is not its foundation — but a federation. It is not just our federation, any more than it is just our freedom — it is yours.

And the future of free culture is just getting started. Please, protect our libraries. Keep the internet alive, not sterile. We can do all of these things, if there are enough of us working together in our own way — finding common ground and accepting that it is not possible to have every opinion in common, in a free society. That is no reason to not work to preserve human culture, and it helps in no small way if our computing is free.

Let’s keep working to make software and culture more free (as in speech, as in freedom) than ever before.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

Linux Foundation’s Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 05:07:39 PM

Summary: Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only ‘hipsters’ can appreciate

EARLIER this week (maybe two days ago) Linux.com had a redesign implemented or at least deployed. We were initially shocked to see what they had done; the page looks like a “small time” blog with nothing but a crude menu at the top; no panes, no sidebars, nothing… the site’s pages now allocate more space to the author’s self-promotion than to actual ‘content’ (it’s not even original)! What motivated this awful redesign just 4 months after all writers and editors were laid off (and they're not alone)?

Let’s look back at the long history of the site and consider what the grossly over-funded Linux Foundation did to it this year.

Linux.com in 1998

Linux.com in 1999

Linux.com in 2000

Linux.com in 2001

Linux.com in 2002

Linux.com in 2003

More of Linux.com in 2003

Linux.com in 2004

Linux.com in 2005

Linux.com in 2006

Linux.com in 2007

Linux.com in 2008

Linux.com in 2010

Linux.com in 2011

Linux.com in 2012

Linux.com in 2013

Linux.com in 2014

Linux.com in 2015

Linux.com in 2016

Linux.com in 2017

Linux.com in 2018

Linux.com in 2019

Linux.com now

Linux.com is all about Swapnil (more about him than the article he quotes from)

Will the Foundation also flush out old articles from Linux.com (maybe some day in the future) to ensure all that remains on the Web is “Microsoft loves Linux” PR? Notice that the above new pick isn’t about GNU/Linux and that’s not about Open Source, either. It’s about Microsoft.

Managing IP as Team UPC’s Megaphone and Lobbying Front

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 03:26:59 PM

Summary: Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site’s long history promoting the UPC hasn’t ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none

COMPETING with the likes of IAM, an extension of Team Battistelli which never (even once!) criticised António Campinos and instead whitewashes Christian Archambeau, a former European Patent Office (EPO) official and Campinos’ successor whom Battistelli allegedly ‘arranged’ the top EUIPO job for, Managing IP continues to show that it’s little more than a think tank/lobby disguised as a news site, funded by patent trolls and litigation zealots. Not only does it promote software patents in Europe using buzzwords (this would not bypass 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US); it also carries on lobbying for the UPC.

“Has corruption of the media not gone far enough?”As seen earlier today in this Patrick Wingrove puff piece, he continues to be a propagandist for Team UPC. His excuse for such shoddy ‘reporting’ is that he works for these law firms (propaganda department) and is perhaps funded (his salary) by the 'right' interests. How far will Team UPC go? Has corruption of the media not gone far enough? From the puff piece: “It added that the real and legal implications of Brexit must first be “examined and voted on at European level”. The ministry also said the opinion is ongoing, which, according to private practice lawyers at Kather Augenstein, means that the UPC’s launch could be further delayed.”

Kather Augenstein is as “Team UPC” as one can get in Germany. In their blog they had recently spun the news from Berlin and we responded to that.

What “launch” are they talking about?

What “delay”?

It’s dead and they know it.

“Corruption of journalism is a growing problem. Managing IP is a great example of that.”But as Team UPC megaphone, Managing IP will print such nonsense regardless, soon to be quoted as a credible source by Team UPC itself. Here’s Thomas Adam (Team UPC) in Twitter, quoting UPC propagandists (yes, it’s an echo chamber). The quoted portion: “Only a few people want the UPC to enter into force before Brexit and without adaptation. Hence any possible legal trick will be found to delay its ratification.”

These are horrible projection tactics, accusing those who prevent violation of the constitution of “legal tricks”.

If Managing IP keeps crafting such nonsense for Team UPC, we’ll need to respond, for reasons we explained about a day ago. This isn’t an innocent error; they know exactly what they’re doing; lie, lie, lie, hope something will stick.

Corruption of journalism is a growing problem. Managing IP is a great example of that.

No More Rights for EPO Staff?

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 02:58:15 PM

Summary: The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe’s second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible

STAFF of the European Patent Office (EPO) is oppressed and mistreated in a lot of ways. For many years a lot of people used salaries as justification for that kind of abuse. As if being compensated financially makes it acceptable to leave one susceptible to abuse.

Under António Campinos, as we noted yesterday, some EPO workers now receive minimum wage and not even a full time job. We now have some screenshots to share (to that effect):

More details:

The images and text can be found on the official EPO Facebook account. It’s not a secret.

“As if being compensated financially makes it acceptable to leave one susceptible to abuse.”Even Battistelli didn’t go that far (as far as we’re aware); bear in mind Campinos went as far as sending EU jobs to India. The race to the bottom (of salaries) is on. Never mind quality of patents, which now include software patents in defiance of the law (even the US rejects such patents, citing 35 U.S.C. § 101).

“The EPO flyer team (epostaff4rights),” told us a source, has meanwhile “disappeared” (blog taken down). See the screenshot at the top. It says “the account has been suspended”. Maybe they didn’t pay the hosting bill? Maybe bandwidth limits exceeded? We don’t know. Maybe we’ll know soon.

Speaking of the EPO’s Facebook account (sending job ads to a highly controversial company from another continent), only hours ago the EPO tweeted (US site): “If you want to hear about the latest open tenders with us, follow us on LinkedIn…”

“What in the EPO is actually European?”So the EPO has outsourced procurement to Microsoft. The EPO is so ‘European’ that all of its communications and ads go to American companies (Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft)…

How very typical.

What in the EPO is actually European? Certainly not the translations (Google).

Maybe some day in the near future Campinos will send EPO jobs to India in the same way he did so at EUIPO. Dutch minimum wage would be more appreciated in poor countries, but what benefit does that bring to Europe and its economy? Also, can the data be safely stored there? And quality of services maintained?

Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 01:52:04 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Dell releases latest Linux developer laptop with Comet Lake CPU

        When it comes to Linux laptops for professionals, it’s hard to beat Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition. Now, with its latest Ubuntu-Linux powered XPS 13 release, Dell continues to set the standard for high-end programmer laptops.

        These new laptops are built on the 10th-generation Intel Cor i5-10210U processor, Comet Lake. These will arrive on Sept. 5. In October, Dell will upgrade its laptop still further with six-core Intel Core Comet Lake CPUs. Can you say fast? I knew you could.

        For networking, the latest XPS 13s use the Killer AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel Wi-Fi 6 Chipset. This supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and Bluetooth 5.0. That means, if your routers support Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax), you’ll see significantly faster network speeds.

        It also comes with up to 16GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader, a narrow bezel around its 14-inch InfinityEdge display, as well as a 100% sRGB color gamut. Another nice upgrade in this system is the webcam has finally been moved to the top of the display. So, we can finally say good-bye to the “nose cam.”

        These new laptop models will run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This Ubuntu will be supported for 10 years. That means, if you wanted, you could still be running this laptop in April 2028.

      • Dell XPS 13 7390 developer edition – Best laptop for Ubuntu in 2019 ?

        I love this laptop as it is preloaded with Ubuntu 18.04(LTS-Long Term Support), so you don’t have to format it and install Ubuntu as I normally do:-). And hardware-wise the specifications look brilliant as it has the latest 10th Generation Intell core i5(Quad-core) and i7 (hexacore) processors and a beautiful infinity edge display. Combined with the low power hungry the LPDDR3 RAM (Low-Power Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory or Mobile DDR), you can expect a very good battery life as well. The Bluetooth 5.0 version supports dual audio and twice as much faster speed than that of Bluetooth 4.2. We are not quite sure about the price yet, so keep looking at the Dell official website for updates. One thing to note is that if you are in the US / Canada, you should look in the “For Work” Section instead of “For Home” section.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Announced with Ubuntu

        With the Ubuntu and Linux operating systems as a whole are being popular day-by-day, more OEMs are coming up with options includes pre-installed the popular free and open-source operating system Ubuntu. System76 and Dell is on the forefront on this venture and giving users a breathing space from tiring Windows and its fees. Earlier Dell announced the launch of Precision series of laptops powered by Ubuntu Operating system.

        Dell announced the launch of Dell XPS 13 Developer edition (7390) which soon be available in US, Europe and Canada. This Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS pre-loaded Laptop is part of Dell’s newly unveiled consumer PC portfolio unveiled in IFA 2019.

        [...]

        Pricing of the Dell XPS 13 is still unknown at the moment. Do keep a watch on official Dell website for your country.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux, Intel Comet Lake coming in September

        Dell’s new XPS 13 970 laptop with an Intel Comet Lake processor and Windows 10 software goes on sale August 27th for $900 and up.

        Want a model with Ubuntu Linux instead? You’ll be able to get one starting September 5th.

        Dell’s Barton George has announced that the company is updating its XPS 13 Developer Edition laptops with a new 9th-gen model based on the new Dell XPS 13 7390.

      • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition laptop comes with Ubuntu Linux, Wi-Fi 6, and 10th Gen Intel Core CPU

        There are so many great Linux distributions these days, such as Netrunner, Deepin, and Zorin OS to name just a few. With that said, Ubuntu remains a great option for many. Since Canonical switched from Unity to GNOME, Ubuntu has been better than ever.

        If you want a computer pre-loaded with Ubuntu, I highly recommend you check out System76′s new Adder WS — it looks to be a beast. If you want a laptop that it thinner and lighter, however, Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition notebooks are definitely worth your attention. They have historically been very well-received by consumers, and no, they aren’t just for developers. Today, Dell unveils the latest XPS 13 Developer Edition, and it is chock full of modern hardware.

      • Dell’s Refreshed XPS 13 Laptop Gains Intel 10th Gen Hexa-Core Comet Lake Muscle

        Systems will come preloaded with either Windows 10, or in the case of the XPS 13 Developer Edition, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

      • Dell XPS 13 Range Refreshed With New 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake CPUs: Price, Availability, More

        The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has also been refreshed to offer the latest CPUs, and it is already available at $999 (roughly Rs. 71,600) on the company website. It comes with a 13.4-inch touch display, up to 512GB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics.

      • How the Linux desktop has grown

        first installed Linux in 1993. At that time, you really didn’t have many options for installing the operating system. In those early days, many people simply copied a running image from someone else. Then someone had the neat idea to create a “distribution” of Linux that let you customize what software you wanted to install. That was the Softlanding Linux System (SLS) and my first introduction to Linux.

        My ’386 PC didn’t have much memory, but it was enough. SLS 1.03 required 2MB of memory to run, or 4MB if you wanted to compile programs. If you wanted to run the X Window System, you needed a whopping 8MB of memory. And my PC had just enough memory to run X.

      • Google’s Chrome OS 76 Improves Support for Multiple Accounts on Chromebooks

        Google promoted the Chrome OS 76 operating system for supported Chromebook devices to the stable channel, and it is now rolling out to users from around the world with new features and improvements.
        Based on the latest Google Chrome 76 web browser release, which brings many new features and improvements on its own, Chrome OS 76′s probably most exciting is a unified account management for those who use multiple Google accounts on their Chromebook, either by you or if the devices is shared with other people.

        Users can check out the new account management feature under Settings > Google Accounts, and they should keep in mind that they can now apply all the permissions and access granted to apps, add-ons, websites, Google Play, and in Chrome to all of their signed-in Google accounts.

        [...]

        Chrome OS 76 is now rolling out to all supported Chromebook devices. You can update your Chromebook to Chrome OS 76 by going to Chrome settings and accessing the About Chrome OS section. The new version will be automatically downloaded and installed on your Chromebook. A restart is required for Chrome OS 76 to be successfully installed.

    • Server
      • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

        Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development.

        From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack.

        Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

      • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

        Intel’s Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation’s Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego.

        Clear Linux’s Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.

      • IBM
        • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

          Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container?

          If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code?

          We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

        • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

          I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a “DevOps technology” tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

        • How DevOps is like auto racing

          When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race.

          To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome.

          [...]

          Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • FLOSS Weekly 543: OpenSMTPD

        OpenSMTPD is a FREE implementation of the server-side SMTP protocol as defined by RFC 5321, with some additional standard extensions. It allows ordinary machines to exchange emails with other systems speaking the SMTP protocol.

      • mintCast 315.5 – On OggCamp with Les and Dan

        In the second half, we interview Dan and Les about OggCamp and get more than we bargained for.

        Then, in our security update, we talk about how Chrome’s Incognito mode can be detected.

        Finally, we share feedback and point out a few things we found interesting this fortnight.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 822
      • Why Package Managers | BSD Now 312

        Valuable research is often hindered or outright prevented by the inability to install software. This need not be the case.

      • PCLinuxOS + Hugo | Choose Linux 16

        We check out a great tool for learning web development basics, and Distrohoppers brings us mixed experiences.

        Plus which of the 10 commandments for Linux users we agree with.

      • Celery In A Shiv App – Building SaaS #31

        In this episode, we baked the Celery worker and beat scheduler tool into the Shiv app. This is one more step on the path to simplifying the set of tools on the production server.

        I started the stream by reviewing the refactoring that I did to conductor/main.py. The main file is used to dispatch to different tools with the Shiv bundle.

    • Kernel Space
      • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

        The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the “SWAPGS vulnerability” known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as “Grand Schemozzle” to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel.
        Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value.

        As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

      • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

        Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel’s page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file’s backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file’s on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked “V1,000,002″) from Ira Weiny.
        The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file’s pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached.

        Weiny’s new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

      • Linux Begins Preparing For Intel’s New “Lightning Mountain” SoC

        Linux kernel development activity has shown light on a new Intel SoC we haven’t anything about to date… Lightning Mountain.

        We haven’t seen Intel Lightning Mountain referenced elsewhere yet but in our original monitoring of the various Linux kernel patch flow, this is a new Atom SoC on the way.

      • Linux Foundation
        • IBM OpenPOWER to Join Open Source Linux Foundation

          IBM has announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor.

        • IBM joins Linux Foundation AI to promote open source trusted AI workflows

          “AI, as it matures, needs to mature in a way that is something that the general public can put their confidence and trust in,” Todd Moore, IBM’s VP of Open Technology, told ZDNet. “Too often, what we hear is the AI is a black box, they don’t understand how it got to its results, there’s bias in the models, there needs to be more fairness… We’ve heard that loud and clear, and we felt it was time to help the industry move forward.”

        • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Others Launch Confidential Computing Consortium for Data Security

          Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use.

        • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and others launch Confidential Computing Consortium for data security

          Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use. Established by the Linux Foundation, the organization plans to bring together hardware vendors, developers, open source experts, and others to promote the use of confidential computing, advance common open source standards, and better protect data.

          “Confidential computing focuses on securing data in use. Current approaches to securing data often address data at rest (storage) and in transit (network), but encrypting data in use is possibly the most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data,” the Linux Foundation said today in a joint statement. “Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.”

        • Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat Open Source Tools for ‘Confidential Computing’

          Members of the Linux Foundation, including Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent, will start promoting the use of Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs), also called secure enclaves, for both cloud computing and PC applications.

          The participants in the newly formed group, called the Confidential Computing Consortium, plan to make open source multiple projects related to securing data in use. Intel will open source the SDK for its Software Guard Extension (SGX) chip feature.
          The SGX solution protects sensitive code and data of an application from being stolen or modified by malicious actors that may have taken over the operating system or virtual machine. Applications such as the end-to-end encrypted messenger Signal use SGX for private contact discovery without the need for the server to store users’ contacts in plaintext and unprotected.
          Microsoft also contributed the Open Enclave SDK, a framework for building app enclaves that work across various Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) architectures to the CCC. Each application that uses the Open Enclave SDK can be split into two components, an untrusted one that runs on the untrusted operating systems and a trusted one that’s protected from operating system malware.

        • Microsoft and others join the Linux Foundation’s Confidential Computing Consortium

          Microsoft, Google, Red Hat, IBM and Intel are among those to join the newly formed Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC). The new organization will be hosted at the Linux Foundation, having been established to help define and accelerate the adoption of confidential computing.

        • Google, Microsoft, Intel Join Hands With Linux Foundation To Protect Your Data

          Major tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Alibaba, Arm, IBM, Red Hat, Baidu, etc., have come together to form the Confidential Computing Consortium.

          Established by the Linux Foundation, the aim behind this consortium is to improve security for data in use. The organization aims to bring together developers, vendors, and other experts to promote the use of confidential computing to protect data better.

      • Graphics Stack
        • Intel’s New OpenGL Driver Is Looking Really Great With The Upcoming Mesa 19.2

          Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver “Iris” Gallium3D that has been in development for the past two years or so is getting ready to enter the limelight. Months ago they talked of plans to have it ready to become their default OpenGL driver by the end of the calendar year and with the state of Mesa 19.2 it’s looking like that goal can be realized in time. With our new tests of this driver, in most games and other graphics applications the performance of this Gallium3D driver is now beyond that of their “classic” i965 Mesa driver.

          Over the past year we’ve been looking a lot at the Intel Gallium3D performance and it’s been a remarkable journey from the performance starting out well below their decade old OpenGL driver to now mostly exceeding that classic Mesa driver and often times by wide margins. The Intel Gallium3D driver is also largely now to feature parity in terms of OpenGL extensions and other capabilities. With all of their bases covered, this summer for the upcoming Mesa 19.2 release we’ve been seeing a lot of performance optimizations land. Back in April is when they indicated they hope to have it become the default by end of year 2019 and viable by Mesa 19.2.

    • Benchmarks
      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Milestone 2 Released, OpenBenchmarking.org Serves 42 Millionth Download

        The second development release of the forthcoming Phoronix Test Suite 9.0-Asker is now available for testing.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Milestone 2 continued evolving the brand new result viewer being introduced with PTS 9.0 and various new graphing visualizations. Various fixes and other improvements have landed into this new release. Screenshots and more details on the new result viewing experience soon.

    • Applications
      • How To Share Files Anonymously And Securely: Linux Alternatives to Google Drive

        The ability to share files regardless of the physical distance and almost instantaneously is one of the greatest characteristics of the Internet. With 4.3 billion Internet users at the beginning of 2019, the amount of data transferred over the Web is almost unimaginable.

        But not all file-sharing services are created equal. In the era where personal data is the most valuable currency we can spend, it is important to ensure we send files over the Internet in a secure and anonymous way.

        Read to find out why mainstream file-sharing services are not your best bet and how to pick an alternative solution.

      • Akaunting: a web-based accounting system

        One of these years, LWN will have a new accounting system based on free software. That transition has not yet happened, though, despite the expending of a fair amount of energy into researching alternatives. Your editor recently became aware of a system called Akaunting, so a look seemed worthwhile. This tool may have the features that some users want, but it seems clear that your editor’s quest is not done yet.

        As an aside, additional motivation for this effort came in the form of an essentially forced upgrade to QuickBooks 2019 — something that QuickBooks users have learned to expect and dread. There appear to be no new features of interest in this release, but it does offer a newly crippled data import mechanism and routine corruption of its database. If your editor didn’t know better, he might just conclude that proprietary software is buggy, unreliable, and unfixable.

        [...]

        The system is written in PHP and JavaScript; the code is licensed under GPLv3. Akaunting is able to use MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite to store the actual data. It is, as one might expect given the implementation languages, designed to run as a web application; one can install it on a handy machine, but Akaunting (the company) also offers to host accounts free of charge on its own servers. The company promises “we cover it, for free, forever” — a pretty big promise for a free-software startup with a minimal track record.

      • Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

        The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app.

        Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website.

      • Raccoon – APK Downloader for Linux, MacOS, and Windows

        We’ve covered APK stories before in articles like the one about F-Droid and Google Play Downloader, but never have we covered an app as cool as this one with a name inspired by the North American mammal, Raccoon.

        Raccoon is a free and modern open-source APK downloader application that enables you to safely download any Android app available on Google Play Store to your Linux, Windows, or Mac desktop.

        The incentive of Raccoon is to enable users to install Android apps without sending any kind of information to Google. It also works to store APK files locally, use a “Split APK” format, bypass application region restrictions, and aims to improve your phone’s battery life.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • Try the first demo of the dino MMO Path of Titans, we have some testing keys to give away

        After Alderon Games successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for their dino themed survival MMO Path of Titans, the developer reached out to gather more Linux testers.

        They’ve released a first demo and it’s currently quite limited with the character creation ability the only thing possible. However, once a month they will be deploying a big new feature for it like the ability to run around, AI, quests and so on.

      • Steam Play passes six thousand Windows games playable on Linux, according to ProtonDB

        On the day of Steam Play hitting the big one year anniversary (August 21st), it seems another milestone has been reached in terms of compatibility.

        According to ProtonDB, the handy (but unofficial) tracking website, over six thousand games are now working. At time of writing, exactly 6,023 “games work” against the 9,134 total of games that currently have user reports to see if they run or not. That’s quite an impressive number!

        It’s worth noting though, that with little over nine thousand games currently reported, Steam does host well over thirty thousand so there’s a huge amount that hasn’t yet been tested.

        How about a question for you to answer in the comments: What does Steam Play mean to you? I’ll start.

      • From 0 To 6000: Celebrating One Year Of Proton, Valve’s Brilliant Linux Gaming Solution

        This week, Valve’s Proton turns one year old, and it has unarguably propelled the notion of gaming on Linux further than I would have thought possible. It has led to noticeably more mainstream press and YouTube coverage of desktop Linux, including this gem from Linus Tech Tips titled “Linux Gaming Finally Doesn’t Suck.”

        [...]

        Has Linux gaming finally reached parity with Windows? In terms of total number of games playable, not remotely. ProtonDB — which crowdsources hardware information from Linux gamers and compatibility ratings — has collected reports for roughly 9000 of the more than 30,000 games available on Steam for Windows, and 6000 are deemed playable. A little north of 1000 titles are rated Platinum, meaning they exhibit the same smooth gameplay and performance via Steam Play and Proton as they do on Windows.

      • Rocket Pass 4 is coming to Rocket League on August 28th, with a new rally-inspired Battle-Car

        The fourth Rocket Pass is due to arrive in Rocket League soon, along with the start of Competitive Season 12.

        For those of you wanting to rank up and ensure you get the best rewards possible, Season 11 is ending really soon on August 27th. A day later, Rocket Pass 4 is going to be released.

      • Roguelike Stay Safe: Labyrinth of the Mad now has a Linux beta, sounds quite unique

        Stay Safe: Labyrinth of the Mad from Yellowcake Games is a roguelike with plenty of random generation, including an interesting way of generating the world.

        When starting a new game, the developer said you can use files on your PC or a combination of keyboard/gamepad button presses to generate the dungeon, items and gems. That’s not all that makes it somewhat unique, there’s also another feature where you will come across a copy of other players. It’s a single-player game, so you’re not directly facing other people only a shadow of what they had. Although that feature is entirely optional.

      • OBS Studio has a fresh release candidate available for a major new version

        OBS Studio, the free and open source video livestreaming and recording software is my one and only stop for video capturing and it continues to mature.

        The upcoming 24.0 release has a first release candidate now available and it has some fun new features. For starters, you can now actually pause recordings to easily cut away parts you know you don’t need. I’ve tested that and it works perfectly. It does need you to have separated encoders for streaming and recording though, so you can’t have the recording encoder set to “same as stream”.

      • Little Red Dog Games announce Rogue State Revolution, a political thriller roguelike

        Little Red Dog Games (Precipice, Deep Sixed, Rogue State) have announced Rogue State Revolution, what they say is the “first” political roguelike game.

        It’s being published by Modern Wolf, a new indie publisher who doesn’t believe in crunch who say they treat their developers “like partners, not like cogs in a machine”.

        [...]

        Doesn’t seem to have a trailer yet, will let you know what it does. They’re also continuing to use the FOSS game engine Godot Engine again, nice to see!

      • Hello Games appear to be keeping an eye on Steam Play with No Man’s Sky, temp fix needed for NVIDIA

        No Man’s Sky recently had an absolutely ridiculous update to add in tons of new features and greatly expanded multiplayer. This update also added in Vulkan support too!

        It seems Hello Games are keeping an eye on Steam Play as well, with a recent update changelog noting “Fixed Steam VR in Linux.”. Quite interesting! However, there is a bit of a problem for NVIDIA users with Steam Play on Linux, with the game performing quite poorly. Although, there’s a slightly amusing workaround.

      • Things are about to get weird in the Two Point Hospital: Close Encounters expansion

        Two Point Studios and SEGA just announced the next expansion for their amusing hospital building sim with Two Point Hospital: Close Encounters.

        It’s coming soon too! Their plan is to release it on August 29th next week. This will be the third expansion following on from Bigfoot and Pebberley Island. Two Point Hospital is already quite weird but this is really…out there. It will be adding in 3 new hospitals full of patients to cure, 34 new illnesses although they say only 11 of these are new visually along with a promise of “new” gameplay, new music and so on.

      • Classic inspired RTS Loria is now available DRM-free on GOG

        If you’re like me and you enjoy a good real-time strategy game, Loria is actually pretty good. It added Linux support on Steam earlier this year and now it’s also available on GOG.

        While it’s inspired by titles like Warcraft II, it’s not just a retro RTS. There’s a few RPG-like elements including hero units, item collection, quests and more.

      • The Underlords are actually coming to Dota Underlords, plus a new Duos mode

        Valve continue to push out changes rapidly to their auto-battler Dota Underlords, with some of their upcoming plans now being detailed in a fresh update.

        One big new feature planned to be available in a few weeks is a new Duos game mode. Valve say it’s a new way to play cooperatively with a friend. You party up and battle against other teams and it will support both Casual and Ranked play.

        The actual Underlords are going to be making an appearance soon too. This feature Valve said they’re “excited” about, as they’re a “core part of the game”. They haven’t said how they will work but they will “add a layer of fun and strategy to every match” so I’m very curious to see what happens.

      • Steam for China Is Called ‘Zhengpi Pingtai’

        The digital games service will be run almost entirely independent of Steam and by Valve’s Chinese partner company Perfect World.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • Day 88 [Ed: Karina Passos on her time in KDE GSoC]

          Today, I’ll talk about my GSoC experience and won’t focus so much on Khipu, even because i still have some things to do, so in the next days I’ll publish a post about Khipu and what I’ve done.

          As I said in the old posts, the begin was the most complicated part for me. I made a project thinking that I’d be able to complete, I started studying the code and the things I’d make many weeks before the start. But I couldn’t understand the code and I think it’s my fault. I even lost three weeks after the start stuck in this situation. It was hard for me, because I was really scared about failing and at the same time dealing with my college stuff, because in Brazil, our summer (and our summer vacation), is in December-February, in July we have a three week vacation, but GSoC lasts three months. I wasn’t having a good time at college as well, but with the help of my therapist and my mentors I found a way to deal with the both things and as everything went well.

          After this complicated start, to not fail, my mentor suggested that I could change my project. My initial project was to create new features to Khipu and Analitza (Khipu’s main library) to make it a better application and move it out from beta. Then, my new project was to refactor Khipu (using C++ and QML). I was scared because I didn’t know if I’d be able to complete it, but the simplicity of QML helped me a lot, and before the first evaluation (approx. two weeks after I decided my new project) I finished the interface, or at least most of it.

          [...]

          And, of course, I’d like to say to KDE, Google and my mentors: thanks for this opportunity.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME 3.34 Desktop Gets a Second Beta, Final Release Lands September 11th

          The GNOME 3.34 beta 2 release is now available for public testing, coming only two weeks after the first beta release, which made a lot of noise due to the fact that numerous packages have been updated since the beginning of the development cycle, as it usually happens during beta testing.

          The GNOME 3.34 beta 2 is released as technical version number 3.33.91, and it comes with fixes for last minute bugs and regressions, as well as the usual updated translations. To see what’s new in the GNOME 3.33.91 release, check out all the details in the changelogs in the NEWS file.

        • GNOME 3.33.91 released Hi developers, GNOME 3.33.91 is now available. This is the second beta version towards 3.34. If you want to compile GNOME 3.33.3, you can use the official BuildStream project snapshot: https://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.33.91/gnome-3.33.91.tar.xz The list of updated modules and changes is available here: https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.91/NEWS The source packages are available here: https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.91/sources/ WARNING! -------- This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development status. For more information about 3.33, and the full schedule, please see our 3.33 wiki page: https://www.gnome.org/start/unstable Cheers, Abderrahim Kitouni GNOME Release Team
        • GNOME 3.34 Beta 2 Brings Last Minute Improvements To GNOME Shell, Mutter & Friends

          GNOME Shell and Mutter are also out today with their new beta releases albeit missed the cut-off for making it formally as part of this new GNOME beta release. On that front for these key components there is:

        • ARB_gl_spirv and ARB_spirv_extension support for i965 landed Mesa master

          And something more visible thanks to that: now the Intel Mesa driver exposes OpenGL 4.6 support, the most recent version of OpenGL.

          As perhaps you could recall, the i965 Intel driver became 4.6 conformant last year. You have more details about that, and what being conformant means in this Iago blog post. On that blog post Iago mentioned that it was passing with an early version of the ARB_gl_spirv support, that we were improving and interating during this time so it could be included on Mesa master. At the same time, the CTS tests were only testing the specifics of the extensions, and we wanted a more detailed testing, so we also were adding more tests on the piglit test suite, written manually for ARB_gl_spirv or translated from existing GLSL tests.

    • Distributions
      • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair Of The openSUSE Board

        Seasoned open source leader Gerald Pfeifer has been appointed chair of the openSUSE board. Pfeifer’s new responsibilities will begin immediately and run concurrently with his role as SUSE CTO in EMEA. Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

      • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair of the openSUSE Board

        Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of excellent service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE®, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

        The openSUSE board, with Pfeifer’s support, will continue to provide input, governance and assistance to the openSUSE Project, the developer of leading infrastructure software and application delivery tools, including several Linux operating systems.

        Based in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Pfeifer, in his role as SUSE CTO, is charged with leading strategic dialogue with customers, partners and open source communities globally. He was previously responsible for the creation and progression of SUSE’s broad portfolio of open source enterprise software.

        “I could not be more excited and humbled to participate in the openSUSE Project as board chair,” Pfeifer said. “Collaboration in the openSUSE community has contributed to remarkable Linux distributions, and I’m looking forward to ongoing growth in both the community and the openSUSE distributions – Linux and beyond – and tools. openSUSE is at the leading edge of a historic shift, as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy. This is an exciting time for the openSUSE community as well as open source at large.”

        SUSE is deeply committed to openSUSE’s development model and to being a sponsor and supporter of the project. This partnership has created a unique and deeply collaborative working relationship that can be seen in projects like Open Build Service and openQA. While the relationship has its roots in Linux, in recent years it has expanded as a growing number of new infrastructure software standards are built on and from open source innovation. As the world’s largest independent open source company, SUSE will continue its support for openSUSE.

      • 11 Best Linux Distro for hacking and programming

        When it comes to choosing a Linux distribution for hacking or programming, there are a number of points that you should keep in mind. The operating system should run smoothly on your system, and if you are installing one on your primary computer, you should always go for the one that you know how to use properly.

        But using an operating system for more specific purposes like cybersecurity, which I have discussed here, isn’t that straightforward.

        Kali Linux is one of the best cybersecurity operating systems, but there are many which offer more streamlined functionalities. I recommend you to try out at least a few of the most intriguing Kali Linux alternatives I have discussed here before you finally make your decision.
        So that was my list of top 10 Kali Linux alternatives, that is worth your time. Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment on the same down below.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Fedora/Red Hat
        • Flock’19 Budapest

          This was the first occurrence of the conference for me to attend. Its an annual Fedora Community gathering, which happens in a new city of Europe every year. This time it was in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, last year it was hosted in Dresden. Dates for the same were: 8th Aug through 11th Aug 2019. Also I got an opportunity to present there on my proposal: “Getting Started with Fedora QA”.

          Day 1 Started with a Keynote by Mathew Miller (mattdm). In here he spoke about where we as a community are and where we need to go further. It was a knowledgeable discussion for a first timer like me who was always looking out for the Vision and Mission of Fedora community. There are people who are with Fedora since its first release and you get to meet them here at the annual gathering.

          [...]

          Groups were formed and people decided for themselves where they wanted to go for the evening hangout on the Day 1. We were 7 people who decided to hangout at the Atmosphere Klub near the V.Kerulet and left at around 9:00 pm by walk.

          Day 2 started with a keynote by Denise Dumas, Vice President, Operating System Platform, Red Hat. She spoke on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM”. I woke up late, 20 minutes before the first session as I went to bed late last night and had walked for around 11 kms the day before.

        • Fedora 30 : Set up the Linux Malware Detect.
        • Cockpit 201

          It’s now again possible to stop a service, without disabling it. Reloading is now available only when the service allows it.

          Furthermore, disabling or masking a service removes any lingering “failed” state, reducing noise.

        • Systemd 243 RC2 Released

          Released nearly one month ago was the systemd 243 release candidate while the official update has yet to materialize. It looks though like it may be on the horizon with a second release candidate being posted today.

          Red Hat’s Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek has just tagged systemd 243-RC2 as the newest test release for this new version of this de facto Linux init system. Over the past month have been new hardware database (HWDB) additions, various fixes, new network settings, resolvectl zsh shell completion support, bumping timedated to always run at the highest priority, and other changes.

      • Debian Family
        • Netrunner Linux 19.08 “Indigo” Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”

          The Netrunner community announced the release and general availability of the Netrunner 19.08 operating system series, a major update that adds updated components and a new Debian base.
          Dubbed “Indigo,” the Netrunner 19.08 release is based on the recently announced Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series and features the KDE Plasma 5.14.5 desktop environment, accompanied by the KDE Applications 18.08 and KDE Frameworks 5.54 open-source software suites built on top of Qt 5.11.3.

          Under the hood, the Netrunner 19.08 operating system is powered by the Linux 4.19.0~5 kernel and ships with updated components, including the Mozilla Firefox 60.8.1 ESR web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 60.7.2 email and news client, as well as all the latest security patches from the Debian Stable repositories.

          “Switching Firefox to Firefox-ESR allows our users to enjoy a stable long term supported version which gets regular security updates provided by Debians security team,” explain the devs. “KDE Plasma 5.14.5 provides a stable and advanced desktop environment that you can tweak to your needs.”

        • Hardening the “file” utility for Debian

          In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter.

          Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the “changes” made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations.

          In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 Released With Device Fixes, Support For Draft Messages

          The UBports community that maintains the (currently 16.04 LTS derived) Ubuntu Touch have now shipped OTA-10 as their newest over-the-air feature update.

          Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 has been in testing since earlier this month and mostly offers fixes ranging from addressing Google sign-in issues to wireless display issues to a number of hardware problems. Some of the hardware work includes several fixes for the Fairphone 2, audio and video sync issues are resolved with the Google Nexus 5 and OnePlus One, and other annoying items resolved.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 Officially Released for Ubuntu Phones, Here’s What’s New

          Coming three and a half months after the OTA-9 release, the Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 update is now available with better hardware compatibility for Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, and OnePlus One smartphones by implementing proper camera orientation and audio routing on the Fairphone 2, and fixing audio and video sync problems on the Fairphone 2 and OnePlus One.

          Additionally, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 improves the reliability and speed of Wi-Fi based geolocation functionality by removing the “wolfpack” tool, which used the Geoclue service for gathering approximate location data. However, it may take more than 20 minutes for some users to have their location retrieved after updating to Ubuntu Touch OTA-10.

        • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now links up with Windows and Mac PCs via supercharged DeX app

          And there’s a big bonus here in the form of being able to drag-and-drop files directly from your phone to your PC, and vice versa. So you could take a photo from your Note 10 and whip it onto the PC to tweak it up in a proper heavyweight image editor, for example.

          Furthermore, as XDA Developers observes, Linux on DeX is available via the DeX app, allowing you to create a container and run an Ubuntu Linux image, giving you even more flexibility and options here.

          It’s not clear what Samsung intends to do in terms of giving users with older Galaxy handsets backwards compatibility, but at the moment, this is strictly a Galaxy Note 10-only affair, as mentioned.

          Finally, it’s worth noting that the app does warn that your phone might get hot running the DeX application, although exactly how hot likely depends on what you’ve got the hardware doing, of course.

        • Useful security software from the Snap Store

          Once upon a time, password management was a simple thing. There were few services around, the Internet was a fairly benign place, and we often used the same combo of username and password for many of them. But as the Internet grew and the threat landscape evolved, the habits changed.

          In the modern Web landscape, there are thousands of online services, and many sites also require logins to allow you to use their full functionality. With data breaches a common phenomenon nowadays, tech-savvy users have adopted a healthier practice of avoiding credentials re-use. However, this also creates a massive administrative burden, as people now need to memorize hundreds of usernames and their associated passwords.

          The solution to this fairly insurmountable challenge is the use of secure, encrypted digital password wallets, which allow you to keep track of your endless list of sites, services and their relevant credentials.

          KeePassXC does exactly that. The program comes with a simple, fairly intuitive interface. On first run, you will be able to select your encryption settings, including the ability to use KeePassXC in conjunction with a YubiKey. Once the application is configured, you can then start adding entries, including usernames, passwords, any notes, links to websites, and even attachments. The contents are stored in a database file, which you can easily port or copy, so you also gain an element of extra flexibility – as well as the option to back up your important data.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Open Source platforms to now help students

        The technical institutes in the State are now asked to use free and open-source software developed by a team, headed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The MHRD has also promoted their FOSSEE (Free and Open Source Software for Education) projects which uses tools so that students can easily use them.

        Recently, the MHRD made a decision that FOSSEE should be promoted amongst the student community so they can aim at reducing dependency on proprietary software in educational institutions. The MHRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too took to twitter urging students to use FLOSS tools in various languages to meet academic and research requirements.

      • Octo Acquires Connexta to Enhance Open Source Software Development Capabilities

        Octo, a premier provider of next-generation services for the Federal market, today announced its acquisition of Connexta, a Phoenix, Arizona-based global leader in open source software development and secure discovery solutions for government and commercial customers

      • Square Crypto’s Open Source Endeavor, Fostering Bitcoin Development will Witness Matt Corallo On Board

        Square, Inc. is a mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California. The company markets software and hardware payments products and has expanded into business services. Square Crypto the division of parent company Square, Inc. is a payments solutions provider and focuses on open source Bitcoin development.

        Jack Dorsey, CEO of the Square, Inc. foresees a bullish vehement regarding the acceptance of Bitcoins and the urge to conceptualize Bitcoin as a utopia invigorates the formation of this new team which will be headed by Steve Lee, a former director at Google and Matt Corallo as the first development engineer.

      • Google open-sources gesture tracking AI for mobile devices

        Real-time hand shape and motion trackers are an invaluable part of sign language recognition and gesture control systems, not to mention a number of augmented reality experiences. But they’re often hobbled by occlusion and a lack of contrast patterns, preventing them from performing reliably or robustly.

        Those challenges and others motivated scientists at Google to investigate a new computer vision approach to hand perception — one bolstered by machine learning. They say that in experiments, it managed to infer up to 21 3D points of a hand (or multiple hands) on a mobile phone from just a single frame.

      • Asterisk Celebrates 25 Million Downloads

        Sangoma Technologies Corporation (TSX VENTURE: STC), a trusted leader in delivering Unified Communications solutions for SMBs, Enterprises, OEMs, and Service Providers, both on-premises and in the cloud, today announced that September will mark the 25 millionth download of Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open source communications software.

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • WebAssembly Interface Types: Interoperate with All the Things!

            People are excited about running WebAssembly outside the browser.

            That excitement isn’t just about WebAssembly running in its own standalone runtime. People are also excited about running WebAssembly from languages like Python, Ruby, and Rust.

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Bryce and Brady

            I’m thrilled to share this update with you today. Bryce and Brady have joined us last week and will be able to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

            They are going to be involved with new products, but also they won’t forget to put extra effort in providing support on forums and as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

          • FPR16 delays

            FPR16 was supposed to reach you in beta sometime tomorrow but I found a reproducible crash in the optimized build, probably due to one of my vain attempts to fix JavaScript bugs. I’m still investigating exactly which change(s) were responsible. We should still make the deadline (September 3) to be concurrent with the 60.9/68.1 ESRs, but there will not be much of a beta testing period and I don’t anticipate it being available until probably at least Friday or Saturday. More later.

          • Mozilla Mornings on the future of EU content regulation

            On 10 September, Mozilla will host the next installment of our EU Mozilla Mornings series – regular breakfast meetings where we bring together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            The next installment will focus on the future of EU content regulation. We’re bringing together a high-level panel to discuss how the European Commission should approach the mooted Digital Services Act, and to lay out a vision for a sustainable and rights-protective content regulation framework in Europe.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • GSoC final report

          The idea of this GSoC project was to implement new Domain-Specific language for LibreOffice to be used in UI testing by logging the user interactions with LO applications then generate the python code needed for the python UI framework which asaswill make testing easier. Also, the project aims to improve the logger that logs all the user interaction to be logged in the new DSL syntax to be more readable. Then we can use this replaying all the user interactions as a UI test.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • FreeIPMI 1.6.4 Released

          o In libfreeipmi, add additional workarounds for packets that are
          re-ordered during sensor bridging.
          o In libfreeipmi, add additional sensor / event interpretations.
          o In libfreeipmi, fix error return value on bridging requests.
          o Add workaround in ipmi-sel for QuantaPlex T42D-2U motherboard,
          whichlists a SDR record that makes no sense.
          o Add workaround for Dell Poweredge FC830, which have an error
          when reading the last SDR record on a motherboard.
          o Support Supermicro X10 OEM dimm events.

      • Licensing/Legal
        • The world’s first mobile phone type crypto digital currency hardware cold wallet officially opened source code

          Recently, the world’s first mobile phone type crypto digital asset hardware cold wallet SAFEGEM officially opened source code [...] The cryptography-based blockchain technology is characterized by openness, transparency, and traceability. As an crypto digital asset management system based on blockchain applications, it should have the same characteristics and should have higher security. Therefore, the SAFEGEM development team decided to open up all source code, open source follows the GPL agreement, defines the business boundary, uses open source code for commercial use, and chooses not to open source.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
      • Programming/Development
        • This Week in Rust 300
        • Python String Interpolation with the Percent (%) Operator

          There are a number of different ways to format strings in Python, one of which is done using the % operator, which is known as the string formatting (or interpolation) operator. In this article we’ll show you how to use this operator to construct strings with a template string and variables containing your data.

        • Your Guide to the CPython Source Code

          Are there certain parts of Python that just seem magic? Like how are dictionaries so much faster than looping over a list to find an item. How does a generator remember the state of the variables each time it yields a value and why do you never have to allocate memory like other languages? It turns out, CPython, the most popular Python runtime is written in human-readable C and Python code. This tutorial will walk you through the CPython source code.

          You’ll cover all the concepts behind the internals of CPython, how they work and visual explanations as you go.

        • Python 3.8 support in PyCharm

          The release of Python 3.8 brought new features to the Python coding realm. The language is evolving according to its community’s needs by addressing cases where new syntax or logic become necessary. From new ways of assigning expressions to restriction of usage of function declarations, calls, and variable assignations, this latest release presents new options to code. Of course, PyCharm couldn’t get behind, so we now support some of the major features coming with this new version.

          This article will walk you through the features currently supported by our latest PyCharm release. To try them out, get the latest version of PyCharm and download the current beta release of Python 3.8 from here. From there you will just need to switch to Python 3.8 as your interpreter in PyCharm (if you’re not sure how to switch the interpreter, jump into our documentation for help).

        • Python Arrays in a Nutshell

          Python arrays are homogenous data structure. They are used to store multiple items but allow only the same type of data. They are available in Python by importing the array module.

          Lists, a built-in type in Python, are also capable of storing multiple values. But they are different from arrays because they are not bound to any specific type.

          So, to summarize, arrays are not fundamental type, but lists are internal to Python. An array accepts values of one kind while lists are independent of the data type.

        • Announcing Qt for MCUs

          Today we announce the launch of Qt for MCUs – a comprehensive toolkit to deliver smartphone-like user experience on displays powered by microcontrollers. What started as a research project is now in the final leg of its journey to being released as a product.

          Connected devices found in vehicles, wearables, smart home, industrial and healthcare often have requirements that include real-time processing capabilities, low power consumption, instant boot time and low bill of materials. These requirements can be fulfilled by a microcontroller architecture. However, as devices get smarter and offer more features and capabilities, users expect an enhanced and intuitive experience on par with today’s smartphones. Qt for MCUs delivers an immersive and enriching user interface by utilizing a new runtime specifically developed for ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers and leveraging on-chip 2D graphics accelerators such as PxP on NXP’s i.MX RT series, Chrom-Art Accelerator on STM32 series and RGL on Renesas RH850.

        • Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers

          About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s.

        • The Qt Company Is Now Working On Qt For Microcontrollers

          There have been a lot of announcements pertaining to Qt as of late, most of which have been about forthcoming efforts around Qt 6 development. A new announcement out of The Qt Company catching us off-guard is their plans for the tool-kit on micro-controllers.

          Qt for MCUs is the company’s newest commercial endeavour. In particular, they are working on the Qt tool-kit for displays powered by micro-controllers for smartphone-like user experiences. Qt for MCUs has been a research project at the company but is now being worked out as a new commercial offering. Considering how well though Qt works on mobile devices, it’s only another step down catering it to low-power micro-controllers.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Go

          Go is a compiled, statically typed programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. It’s a general purpose programming language with modern features, clean syntax and a robust well-documented common library, making it a good candidate to learn as your first programming language. While it borrows ideas from other languages such as Algol and C, it has a very different character. It’s sometimes described as a simple language.

          Go is an open source project developed by a team at Google and many contributors from the open source community. Go’s first release was in 2009, and it’s distributed under a BSD-style license.

          This article selects the best open source books that will give readers a firm foundation in developing Go applications.

        • Corner cases and exception types

          Some unanticipated corner cases with Python’s new “walrus” operator—described in our Python 3.8 overview—have cropped up recently. The problematic uses of the operator will be turned into errors before the final release, but just what exception should be raised came into question. It seems that the exception specified in the PEP for the operator may not really be the best choice, as a recent discussion hashed out.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp now used by 1750 CRAN packages

          Since this morning, Rcpp stands at just over 1750 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time.

          Rcpp was first released in November 2008. It probably cleared 50 packages around three years later in December 2011, 100 packages in January 2013, 200 packages in April 2014, and 300 packages in November 2014. It passed 400 packages in June 2015 (when I tweeted about it), 500 packages in late October 2015, 600 packages in March 2016, 700 packages last July 2016, 800 packages last October 2016, 900 packages early January 2017,
          1000 packages in April 2017, 1250 packages in November 2017, and 1500 packages in November 2018. The chart extends to the very beginning via manually compiled data from CRANberries and checked with crandb. The next part uses manually saved entries. The core (and by far largest) part of the data set was generated semi-automatically via a short script appending updates to a small file-based backend. A list of packages using Rcpp is availble too.

          Also displayed in the graph is the relative proportion of CRAN packages using Rcpp. The four per-cent hurdle was cleared just before useR! 2014 where I showed a similar graph (as two distinct graphs) in my invited talk. We passed five percent in December of 2014, six percent July of 2015, seven percent just before Christmas 2015, eight percent last summer, nine percent mid-December 2016, cracked ten percent in the summer of 2017 and eleven percent in 2018. We are currently at 11.83 percent: a little over one in nine packages. There is more detail in the chart: how CRAN seems to be pushing back more and removing more aggressively (which my CRANberries tracks but not in as much detail as it could), how the growth of Rcpp seems to be slowing somewhat outright and even more so as a proportion of CRAN – just like one would expect a growth curve to.

      • Standards/Consortia
        • US Hangs Tough on Restricting Huawei’s Participation in Standards Development

          Ninety-odd days ago, the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added Huawei and 68 of its affiliates to its “Entity List.” BIS added another 46 Huawei affiliates last week (collectively, “Huawei”), thereby making it illegal for US individuals and entities to disclose certain technology and software to Huawei and such blacklisted affiliates without a license. At the same time, it tempered the blow by issuing a Temporary General License that, among other things, allowed US entities to continue to participate with Huawei to develop 5G standards.

          For all other standards, Huawei’s continued participating would be legal only to the extent a given standard setting organization (SSO) either applied for, and received, a license from the BIS, or could credibly analogize its processes to an exception recognized under existing Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The closest exceptions are disclosures at public conferences and in connection with coauthoring journal articles. Ever since, standards setting organizations (SSOs) counting Huawei as a member have been scrambling, trying to figure what they can and cannot allow Huawei to do.

          On Monday of this week, three things happened that provided some answers. But almost all the answers were bad.

          The first thing BIS did was to roll over the Temporary General License for another 90 days, thereby allowing Huawei customers and partners more time to adapt. That was helpful, but the second was to remove the 5G standards development exception. And the third was to issue a General Advisory Opinion Concerning Prohibited Activities in the Standard Setting or Development Context When a Listed Entity is Involved. Unfortunately, the Advisory Opinion leaves most questions unanswered.

  • Leftovers
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • NSA Researchers Talk Development, Release of Ghidra SRE Tool

        The National Security Agency released its classified Ghidra software reverse-engineering (SRE) tool as open source to the cybersecurity community on April 4. NSA researchers Brian Knighton and Chris Delikat shared how Ghidra was built and the process of releasing it at Black Hat 2019. Ghidra is a framework developed by the NSA’s Research Directorate for the agency’s cybersecurity mission. It’s designed to analyze malicious code to give security pros a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems.

      • Linux Is Being Hit with Zero-Day Exploits/ Zero-Day Attacks [Ed: This is not news. If you have a system that is unpatched for months, despite many warnings, it is a risk, no matter the OS/kernel.]

        It was once the popular opinion that Linux was immune to zero-day exploits. However, even before the Equifax exploit, vulnerabilities were found in Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu. In particular, back in 2016, a security researcher discovered that you could exploit a Linux system by playing a specific music file. Then, in 2017, a group of attackers used Struckshock vulnerability to carry on the attack on Equifax. These zero-day attacks are Advanced Persistent Attacks that exploit recently discovered vulnerabilities. Read on to learn more about what are zero-day exploits and how they can affect a Linux system.

    • Environment
      • Climate denial is reported more than science

        Rich and poor countries see the challenge of the growing crisis quite differently: for the wealthy it revolves around climate denial, while for those in poverty it’s a matter of life and death.

        In the developing world, climate news is presented by the media as an international problem. In the rich world newspapers, broadcasters and websites tend to see it as a political issue, according to researchers at the University of Kansas.

        And in the richest country of all, climate news is presented as a contentious issue. That is, according to a massive study by Californian scientists, the people who say climate change is not happening, or not a problem, get 49% more coverage than the scientists who have the evidence that it represents a serious and accelerating crisis.

        Even in the mainstream outlets, distinguished climate scientists tend to get no more visibility than those – often not scientists – who challenge their conclusions.

    • Finance
      • CEO of ‘investment scam’ found dead

        A TOP executive of an investment firm who was wanted in Davao since June 2019 was found dead on a grassy lot in the hills of Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.

        Armando Bernaldez Oppus, 34, a resident of Doña Vicenta in Davao City, was the chief executive officer of Crowd Royals Real Estate Services based in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

        [...]

        He was identified from his passport that Balamban police had retrieved from a white sports utility vehicle that had been set on fire and thrown into a cliff in Barangay Sunog.

        Oppus and two other Crowd Royals officers, Edmon Corona Quiñones of finance and Judy Ann Delatina-Estrella of marketing, are wanted in the Davao region for large-scale estafa.

        Crowd Royals Real Estate Services, set up on May 22, 2019 in Digos City, Davao del Sur, promises to double its investors’ money in a short time.

      • Potentially Big News: Top CEOs Realizing That ‘Maximizing Shareholder Value’ Isn’t A Great Idea

        For the better part of two years, I’ve been noodling on a post (I’ve half written it a bunch of times) talking about how perhaps the biggest problem with so much of what we see today can be tied up in two related concepts: “fiduciary duty to shareholders” and the idea of “maximizing shareholder value.” I talked a little about this a few weeks back in highlighting how almost all of the problems that people talk about when they complain about big tech can really be traced back to Wall Street and this idea of maximizing shareholder value.

        Conceptually, maximizing shareholder value makes some sense, but only if you don’t think about it for more than a few minutes. Because the whole thing falls apart as soon as you ask “over what time frame?” I first wrote about this back in 2006, in what I called the “time function of profits,” in trying to understand why so many people were claiming that Craigslist’s approach to grow slowly (but massively) by leaving most of their site free and not doing all sorts of icky stuff, was seen by some as “leaving money on the table” or even being anti-capitalist. As I pointed out then, that only made sense if you thought in the very short-term. Taking a longer term view suggests that “maximizing” profits in the short run is likely to create significant problems in the long run, whether it be competition or customers annoyed at you and the like. In a follow up post I did in 2008, I pointed out that maximizing profits shouldn’t mean screwing your customers. The real issue is the time frame. If you want to maximize profits for just this quarter, then, yes, screwing over your customers is a viable strategy.

        However, if it’s more long term, then the incentives should change quite a bit. It’s just like the Prisoner’s Dilemma. If you are playing that game once, the incentives are heavily weighted towards cheating. However, if you’re playing it many, many times, the incentive structure changes, and it should move to a more cooperative model. For some reason, however, this hasn’t happened that much in real life. Many businesses (and many folks on Wall Street) assume that having a “fiduciary duty” to “maximize shareholder value” or “shareholder profits” means squeezing out every penny of profits right away, with no concern for the future.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • ‘Pragmatic’: How Corporate Media Praise Dems Who Abandon Progressive Values

        The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is dominating the news cycle, and two of the three clear frontrunners in polls, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, draw their support from the resurgent left of the party. Sanders in particular describes himself as a democratic socialist and a threat to the establishment. The third favorite, Joe Biden, presents himself not as the representative of the conservative wing, but as a pragmatic, centrist reformer (FAIR.org, 7/17/19).

        Across corporate media, the choice is being portrayed as between progressive idealism and a more credible pragmatism—not left vs. right, but left vs. realistic: “Should Democrats Be Going Big or Getting Real?” asked the Associated Press (7/31/19), while the LA Times (7/31/19) defined the choice as between those who “call for big, ambitious policies” and those with a “more centrist, pragmatic approach.”

      • MICHAEL WHITE: Brexit strategy is no clearer as time ticks on

        Don’t laugh, but I was greatly cheered by a recent visit to the cinema where we saw Richard Curtis & Danny Boyle’s romantic comedy, Yesterday. Suffused with Beatles nostalgia and an heroic role for the Leave-voting Norfolk port of Gorleston-on-Sea, the film’s only comic villain was a rapacious Hollywood producer. Yesterday’s inclusive warmth made me think of an Ealing Comedy. “Perhaps this country really can come together again after Brexit,” I mused.

        The upbeat mood didn’t last and not just because two days later I saw John Malkovich’s monstrous portrayal of a Harvey Weinstein predator in David Mamet’s strangely flawed play, Bitter Wheat. Hard to stay cheerful after such a pummelling in a week when Q2 GDP dropped 0.2% and the bond market signalled looming recession. There was also John Bolton’s menacing visit to promise an early US/UK trade deal he can’t deliver – Arghh! – and Nigel Farage’s attack on the Windsors, made on the lucrative speaking circuit in Sydney. Was that a portent of alt-right republicanism to come if Brexit goes badly wrong? Shades of Napoleon III’s “democratic” French coup in 1848.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • WSJ Rightly Attacks Senator Josh Hawley’s ‘Nannyish’ Laws Regarding The Internet

        Hawley, of course, has been grandstanding a lot lately about how the “cosmopolitan elite” are the problem. He conveniently leaves out the fact that he attended Stanford and Yale Law School, clerked for the Supreme Court, worked at a massive “cosmopolitan” law firm (based in DC and London), Hogan Lovells, and then became Attorney General for Missouri before becoming Senator. Hawley is about as “cosmopolitan” a Senator as you can find. But apparently, in grandstanding to what he seems to believe is a very, very gullible base, he wants to convince them that he’s standing up to the “elites” and that the only innovation that matters is innovation that comes from “the Heartland” or some such nonsense.

        [...]

        Given the willingness of the WSJ to publish anti-internet nonsense of late, it’s nice to see Kessler able to get at least something sensible through.

      • Apartheid-era flag outlawed by court in Johannesburg

        Restrictions on public displays of South Africa’s apartheid-era flag have been imposed by a court in Johannesburg.
        The equality court ruled on Wednesday that gratuitous display of the national flag from the era of white minority rule would constitute hate speech and harassment.
        Judge Phineas Mojapelo said the old orange, white and blue banner would not be completely banned from public display, as its use was protected by law for artistic, academic, journalistic and other public-interest purposes.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Communities Across the Country Reject Automated License Plate Readers

        Recent months have seen a wave of cities and counties around the country rejecting the use of automated license plate readers in their communities, citing privacy concerns posed by the technology. Added to recent local level victories barring the use of face recognition technologies, it is encouraging to see local governments across the nation lead the way in proactively stemming the tide of invasive surveillance technologies.

        Automated license plate readers (ALPRs) are camera systems that scan vehicle license plates and build a searchable database of drivers’ historical travel patterns. ALPRs, often installed on patrol vehicles, streetlights, freeway overpasses and the like, indiscriminately scan every vehicle in a given area and collect data on all drivers regardless of whether their vehicle is under suspicion. Location-based information collected over time can reveal intimate details of a person’s life, such as where they work and live, where they pray, where they seek medical treatment, and who their friends or romantic partners are.

        In June, the California State Auditor launched a probe into the use of ALPRs by local law enforcement agencies, which is a valuable step towards improved information about how government agencies are collecting, using, and storing ALPR data. Even better, there’s been a recent surge of cities and counties rejecting ALPRs. This shows the power that local governments and residents have when they speak up and voice concerns over threats to their privacy. That’s how a community can curb the spread of this dangerous technology.

      • California Police Officers Are Handing Out Free Doorbell Cameras In Exchange For Testimony In Court

        Snitches no longer get stitches. In the year of our lord two-thousand-nineteen, snitches get street surveillance gear from Amazon.

        Amazon’s Ring doorbell — which sports a handy camera to catch all those package thieves — has swallowed up more than 200 police departments with its charm offensive. Cops get doorbell cams at a discount and hand them out for free to locals with the assumption residents will repay the favor by granting officers warrant-free access to footage any time they ask.

        To decrease friction, Ring — which has final edit approval on police publicity efforts — nudges people towards its snitch app, Neighbors, which encourages users to post any suspicious footage they capture. Ring also nudges law enforcement towards more social media interaction with Ring users to blur the line between sharing with neighbors and sharing with government employees.

        The push continues. Amazon sees a market worth cornering and cops see a handy way to turn multiple doorsteps into extensions of their existing surveillance network. Win-win for all involved, I guess, except those who want to secure their homes without feeling obligated to hand over footage whenever the government thinks it might be helpful.

        The advantages for law enforcement are obvious. And that has led to more… um… proactive efforts by law enforcement to spread the good word about these doorbell cameras. Louise Matsakis reports for Wired that a California law enforcement agency recently offered Ring doorbells to citizens in exchange for some help with their cop work.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • As Corruption Runs Rampant In Alabama Prisons, Officers Thwart Organizing Outside Holman Facility

        Unheard Voices OTCJ is a group of organizers working to confront injustices in the United States’ systems of mass incarceration. Two volunteers were conducting outreach to family members of prisoners at Holman Prison in Alabama on the side of a highway when law enforcement insisted they were trespassing on state property.

        On August 18, an officer, who identified himself as Sergeant Davis, urged volunteers to go to a “designated protest area,” away from where visiting family members turn.

        Mona Song and Queen Dara stood on the side of Route 21. They were able to give leaflets to at least eight people who stopped to speak with them.

        Video shows Song saying, “Everyone that we’ve talked to that’s going to visit family so far has been really encouraging and receptive to what we’re doing.” They discussed how visitation may be eliminated by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and connected it to a trip planned for Washington, D.C., where organizers intend to travel with family of prisoners to speak their truth at an event in September.

        Unheard Voices OTCJ would like to ramp up pressure on the Justice Department to go beyond their report on abuses and corruption in the Alabama prison system and take action to hold officials accountable in some manner.

      • Federal Prosecutor Blames Philadelphia DA For Shootout That Wounded Six Philly PD Officers

        While McSwain was bitching about a prosecutor he doesn’t like, DA Larry Krasner was praising the Philadelphia PD — which saw six of its officers wounded — for their handling of the volatile situation.

        McSwain also suggested the federal branch would step in to directly control the actions of the Philly DA. His exact words were “We’re going to provide some adult supervision.” As Adam Steinbaugh points out, that’s not how federalism works. Someone must have pointed that out McSwain, who walked back this comment (but none of his press conference remarks) less than two hours later.

        Perhaps the federal prosecutor was just being reflexively defensive. The person who allegedly shot all of these cops was a federal snitch who got a break on his most recent prison sentence because of how helpful he was.

      • EU has ‘zero incentive’ to break open ‘trilogue’ deals

        It does not happen often that EU directives attract so much public attention that it leads to protests on the streets.
        Yet this is what happened in Berlin and other European cities last March, when protesters called on the European Parliament to reject the EU’s copyright reform.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • Google Cloud charging for IPv4, but proper IPv6 support is still missing in action

        Google is increasing the prices for Google Compute Engine (GCE) VMs using external IPv4 addresses, starting in 2020, according to messages sent to Google Cloud Platform customers. Starting on January 1, 2020, a standard GCE instance will cost an additional $0.004 per hour, with preemptable GCE instances costing an additional $0.002 per hour, if they use an external IPv4 address—essentially, an extra $2.92 or $1.46 per month, respectively. Unused static IP will remain unchanged at $0.01 per hour ($7.30 per month).

        While that price increase is by no means wallet-busting, the increase can add up quickly for users of multiple VMs. The natural solution to that would be NAT, but prices are also changing for Cloud NAT Gateway, with Google indicating that they “will charge $0.0014/hr for each VM instance up to a maximum of $0.044/hr (32 or more instances). Gateways that are serving instances beyond the maximum number are charged at the maximum rate.” Users with fewer than 32 nodes will be charged less, while users with more will see no difference.

      • NY Investigates Frontier Communications As US Telcos Slowly Implode

        We’ve long explored how the nation’s phone companies don’t really even want to be in the broadband business. They routinely refuse to upgrade their networks despite millions in subsidies, yet often lobby to ensure nobody else can deliver broadband in these neglected footprints either. US telcos have a bizarre disdain for their paying customers, delivering the bare minimum (slow DSL) at the highest rates they can possibly charge without a full-scale consumer revolt. It’s not surprising then that many telco DSL customers are fleeing to cable, assuming they even have a second broadband option.

        This dynamic often results in some absurd dysfunction. Like in West Virginia, where incumbent telco Frontier has repeatedly been busted in a series of scandals involving substandard service and the misuse of taxpayer money. The graft and corruption in the state is so severe, state leaders have buried reports, and, until recently, a Frontier executive did double duty as a state representative without anybody in the state thinking that was a conflict of interest.

    • Monopolies
      • Cracks Showing In Epic Store’s PR War As Developers Have To Plead With Public To Not Harass Them

        We’ve been discussing the new PC gaming platform wars that kicked off with Epic releasing their own Epic Store to rival Valve’s Steam and attempting to power it with game exclusives built on a more generous split with publishers. There has obviously been a lot to talk about in this new rivalry, from Steam’s response, to Epic’s flubbing of its store’s main purpose, to the effect Epic’s exclusivity deals are hampering the use of crowdfunding to get more games made. But one of the most interesting aspects of this whole ordeal is how clearly Epic’s leadership has attempted to frame this all as a PR war above all else. Essentially, Epic is combating the public’s natural distaste for exclusivity deals by pointing the finger back at Steam, stating that none of this would be an issue and the exclusive deals could go away tomorrow if Steam mirrored Epic’s revenue splits. The argument is that what Epic is really after is a better gaming industry that makes more and better games, something that should benefit the very fans now complaining about the company’s tactics.

        So, how’s that PR battle plan working? Not terribly well, judging by some of the peripherals. For instance, when part of the announcement for a game publisher releasing exclusively on Epic includes the company begging gamers not to hurl vitriol at it in response, that’s an indication the gaming public hasn’t been swayed.

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Anticipat has fully transitioned to new data source for PTAB appeals data

          Over the past few years, the USPTO has modernized its data offerings with new websites and APIs. Just recently, the USPTO confirmed completion of a new PTAB site with successfully migrated appeal decisions. Anticipat has now fully transitioned to using this new data source.

          [...]

          We will continue to provide the same type of curated content for ex parte appeal decisions at the PTAB. Only now with a more modern and robust data source, the potential insights are even greater.

        • Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last week, the Federal Circuit reversed findings of non-obviousness and affirmed (over Chief Judge Prost’s dissent) a finding that claims asserted in ANDA litigation were not invalid for failure to satisfy the written description requirement in Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc.

          ANDA litigation arose over Nalproprion Pharma’s Contrave® extended-release tablets of the combination of naltrexone hydrochloride and buproprion hydrochloride, for treatment of obesity, and Orange Book-listed U.S. Patent Nos. 7,375,111; 7,462,626; and 8,916,195.

          [...]

          Important to the Chief Judge’s reasoning, inter alia, were arguments from the prosecution history where the patentee appeared to rely on the dissolution profile (and the manner of determining it) to distinguish the claims from the prior art. The Chief also disagreed with the District Court’s (and the majority’s) disregard for defendant’s expert testimony and found his assertion that the USP1 an USP2 methods would not have produced the same dissolution profile results to have been relevant to the written description issue before each court.

        • Chamberlain’s Garage Door Opener invalid as an Abstract Idea

          Chamberlain’s asserted patents cover various garage door opening inventions.

          U.S. Patent No. 7,224,275 in particular claims a garage door opener that includes a status-condition-data-transmitter to know if the door is open or closed without looking. The jury found that Techtronic willifully infringed and the patent not invalid. The district court then awarded enhanced damages, attorney fees, and injunctive relief.

          On appeal , the Federal Circuit has overturned the verdict — holding that the claims are invalid as directed toward the abstract idea of “wirelessly communicating status information about a system.” Alice Step 1. Further, the claims do not include any inventive concept under Alice Step 2. All of the physical elements in the claim were admittedly “well understood in the art” and claimed in a generic fashion. The only arguably new element is that the actual information being transmitted is “a status condition signal that: corresponds to a present operational status condition (open or closed).

        • District Court Finds Amazon Lockers Qualify as a Regular and Established Place of Business

          Recently, in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute et al v. Amazon.com, Inc., a district court weighed in on whether Amazon’s lockers constituted “a regular and established place of business” for the purposes of determining whether venue was proper. Amazon was sued for patent infringement in the Northern District of New York. In response, Amazon argued that venue was improper under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) because Amazon contended it had no regular/established place of business within the district.

          In patent infringement cases, venue is proper in the district (1) “where the
          defendant resides” or (2) “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).

          [...]

          Amazon also argued that a place of business required “the presence of employees or agents of the company to carry out the business,” and, since no Amazon employees or agents conducted no business at the lockers, the lockers were not a place of business. In looking at cases cited by the plaintiff and Amazon, the court determined that the relevant question was whether Amazon has agents conducting its business at the lockers – not whether Amazon’s agents are present at all times at the lockers.

          The court cited to facts showing Amazon uses third-party technicians to assemble and maintain the lockers at the locations. Furthermore, the court found that the third-party technicians serve as Amazon’s agents.

        • Audio Compression Improvements are Patent-Eligible

          The Northern District of California recently held that claims directed to data compression to improve audio signal processing are eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as improvements to computer operation. Hybrid Audio, LLC v. Asus Comput. Int’l, Case No. 3:17-cv-05947-JD (N.D. Cal. Jul. 11, 2019).

          Hybrid Audio sued Asus for infringement of U.S. Reissue Patent No. RE40,281. The patent is directed to audio signal processing for compression systems for formats such as MP3. Defendant moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), alleging that the claims of the ‘281 patent were ineligible abstract ideas with no inventive concept. Under the first part of the two-part test of Alice v. CLS Bank, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), if a claim is not directed to an abstract idea, then the claim is eligible under Section 101 and the second step need not be considered.

        • Organizing Security System Display Data Survives Patent-Eligibility Challenge

          The defendants argued that the claims were directed to “information processing steps, including the collecting, analyzing, and dispatching of information concerning alarm or warning system.” But the court bought the plaintiff’s argument that the claims survived Alice because they were “directed to a specific way of providing users with graphical information concerning a monitored event in a premises—embodied by using dynamically-rendered, event-specific, graphical floor plan.”

          To find the claims not directed to an abstract idea, the court emphasized that the patent specification “and the prosecution history focus on improving real-time notification capabilities of security systems by using a dynamically-rendered, event specific, graphical floor plan that pinpoints exact location and condition of events.” And the court emphasized the USPTO’s statement of reasons for allowance stating that the claims were inventive over prior art.

        • Determining Patent-Eligibility Requires Claim Construction!(?)

          In a decision that Judge Lourie in dissent described as “based on a claim construction issue that is little more than a mirage,” a Federal Circuit panel vacated and remanded a district court’s Rule 12(c) judgment on the pleadings of patent-ineligibility, under the Alice test and 35 U.S.C. § 101, of claims directed to updating Internet toolbars. MyMail, Ltd. v. ooVoo, LLC, Nos. 2018-1758, 2018-1759 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2019) (precedential). Judge Reyna’s majority opinion, joined by Judge O’Malley, found error in the district court’s decision not “to resolve the parties’ claim construction dispute before adjudging patent eligibility.”

          The patents-in-suit were US 8,275,863 and 9,021,070, the ’070 patent being a continuation of the ’863 patent. I will not reproduce the lengthy claims here – they can be found at the above links – suffice it to day that the claims of both patents were all about updating Internet toolbars.

          [...]

          The effect of this precedential decision can only be to create more uncertainty in – and, by effectively requiring more claim construction when Rule 12 patent-eligibility motions are brought, complexify and prolong – patent suits. An area of the law that needs to be simplified keeps getting murkier.

      • Copyrights
        • The DOJ Should Keep Its Historic Role Guarding Competition and Innovation in the Music Business

          If you want to play music as part of your business, either live or recorded, chances are you are going to have to pay the two big performing rights organizations. The American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license the rights to a lot of music, and without safeguards in place, could easily abuse their position. They’ve done so before. That’s why the Department of Justice should keep up its historic role overseeing those licensing societies.

          In June, the DOJ announced that it was reviewing its “consent decrees” with ASCAP and BMI, the two major performance rights organizations. The consent decrees are agreements with the U.S. government. They were originally done in 1941 to settle antitrust lawsuits, and they have been modified several times over the years. The federal district court in Manhattan (the Southern District of New York) has jurisdiction over the consent decrees and has the authority to accept or reject any changes.

          These consent decrees impose important limits on ASCAP and BMI’s ability to restrict competition and access to licenses that allow public performances of music compositions. Most importantly, the decrees require ASCAP and BMI to set license fees fairly and to charge uniform fees to similarly situated users. That helps copyright law serve its ultimate goal of spurring creativity and public access to creative works.

          Given the importance of the limits the consent decrees impose, EFF joined allies including Public Knowledge, the Consumer Technology Association, and the R Street Institute in voicing its opposition to any changes would chip away at the consent decrees’ protections against anti-competitive conduct by ASCAP or BMI. The consent decrees have become an integral part of the music publishing industry and continue to promote competition. There’s simply no good reason to get rid of these structural mechanisms that allow markets to thrive while limiting opportunities for anti-competitive conduct by dominant firms.

        • YouTube’s New Lawsuit Shows Just How Far Copyright Trolls Have to Go Before They’re Stopped

          YouTube has taken a stand against a particularly pernicious copyright troll who was not only abusing the takedown system to remove content but was also using it in an extortion scam. While this gives the weight—and resources—of a large corporation in a fight that will benefit users, it also serves as a reminder of how flawed part of the DMCA is.

          The “safe harbor” provision of the DMCA protects platforms like YouTube from liability for copyright infringement done by users. As long as these services do certain things, they cannot be liable for damages. These requirements include having a registered agent to receive copyright complaints, promptly removing content after receiving a complaint, a counter-notice system where the person who’s content has been removed can get it back up, and—most at issue in YouTube’s case—a way to deal with “repeat” infringers.

          YouTube’s way of fulfilling that last requirement is its copyright strikes system. Getting DMCA complaints filed against you means accumulating strikes. If an account accumulates three strikes at once, YouTube will terminate the account and remove all of the videos. People who make their living through their videos, and have worked hard to build an audience there, will suddenly find their lives ruined. Unsurprisingly, videomakers will go to a lot of effort to avoid getting strikes.

          In this case, YouTube v. Brady, Christopher Brady is alleged to have filed false DMCA claims—claiming he either owned things he did not or claiming videos were infringing that were not. That alone is prohibited by the DMCA, which requires the person sending the takedown to affirm that they either own the work or are an agent of the owner and that the notice is being sent in good faith—that is, that they actually believe it is infringement. Someone who thinks a video is fair use but doesn’t like what it’s saying is not allowed to send a DMCA claim. And people who send DMCA claims can’t pretend that fair use rights don’t exist—they have to consider whether the uploader may have been protected by fair use.

        • Screenplay litigation in Nigeria: Missed opportunities in Raconteur Productions Limited v Dioni Visions Entertainment Limited and Others

          This case garnered a lot of interest at its inception because the plaintiff had first obtained an interim injunction from the court restraining the defendants from holding their planned premiere for the feature film entitled Okafor’s Law. The crux of the plaintiff’s application for the injunction was that the screenplay for this feature film was substantially similar to and infringing of its screenplay with a similar title registered with the Writers Guild of Canada. The court subsequently lifted the interim injunction holding that it was granted based on insufficient evidence, as the copyright claim was yet to be determined.In order to resolve the question of whether the defendants’ screenplay in the feature film was infringing of the plaintiff’s screenplay, the court accepted that the plaintiff needed to establish these 3 elements: ownership of a valid copyright; proximity and access by the defendants to the work in which the plaintiff claims copyright and copying of constituent elements of the work that are original and/or substantial similarities between the constituent elements of the plaintiff’s work and that put out by the defendant. See pages 16 and 17 of the judgment.

          [...]

          Since the court could not address these issues on the merits, guidance for screenplay litigation will be a matter for another day. In the light of the absence of a crucial evidentiary item (i.e. the alleged infringed screenplay), an appeal court cannot even save the day since it rarely considers or deals with facts.

Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It’s Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 10:57:49 PM

Actually it is the case, as SUEPO made very clear (based on internal data)

Summary: Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we’re wrong; but it’s more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)

OUR in-depth coverage of European Patent Office (EPO) affairs is over 5 years old. We had covered the EPO prior to that, but not as frequently. We nowadays have pretty deep insights, valuable contacts and a good understanding of the issues. We’re fine with attorneys/lawyers not liking us. Some of them accept what we’re arguing, whereas others find it “offensive”. We can’t please everyone, but we can at least keep honest. We’re sincere, sometimes brutally (for some).

“We don’t try to discourage dissent against us; we’re all for free speech. But free speech also means the right to defend oneself — something IP Kat urgently needs teaching itself about.”We don’t typically write this kind of post, but SUEPO currently links to a Kluwer article from Team UPC, where the majority of comments mention Techrights in one form or another. There’s one person there who always claims to sort of agree while at the same time, perpetually, always bashing us. We’ve noticed the same in IP Kat and another site. It’s usually the same person and it often boils down to our view/s on patent scope.

In short, arguing that the EPC is OK with software patents is intellectually dishonest; that’s simply untrue. And no, calling it "HEY HI" (AI) won’t change that; I’ve done “AI” since my early 20s, I know how that works. I wrote code to that effect.

The law is pretty clear about software patents. So are the courts. So is the European Parliament. But we suppose those who make a living from such patents are in denial about it (for the same reason Team UPC is in denial about the collapse of UPC/A).

We don’t try to discourage dissent against us; we’re all for free speech. But free speech also means the right to defend oneself — something IP Kat urgently needs teaching itself about. It’s also deleting comments critical of the EPO and its management. Not cool…

Earlier today we saw a post about PPH (akin to PACE and other programmes that speed things up; another such programme was mentioned here yesterday). Speed isn’t indicative of quality and it’s usually detrimental to accuracy, especially when multiple people need to assess a case/application. PPH generally works in favour of software patents in Europe — patents that are legal neither in Europe nor in Australia. They’re looking “to fast-track patent applications,” as Paul Whenman and Andrew Gregory have just put it. Their article is about sloppy patent examination designed to just help aggressive patent trolls and equip those looking for sanctions/embargoes (profit by harm and extortion), not innovation. Campinos and Battistelli don’t know what innovation is; they’re not scientists. In the words of Whenman and Gregory: [via Lexology]

IP Australia became an early participant in the PPH process. Following a successful pilot program with the USPTO, which commenced on 14 April 2008, Australia joined the Global PPH (GPPH). The GPPH initially covered Canada, US, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Russia. Subsequently, the New Zealand jurisdiction was added, along with a raft of other particpants.

Although the European Patent Office (EPO) is notably absent from the list of GPPH participants, fortuitously, IP Australia entered into a bilateral agreement with the EPO on 1 July 2016 in order to fast-track patent applications. This agreement provided for a trial period of three years. Given the global significance of the EPO, this was a very welcome and positive development.

[...]

On 1 July 2019 it was announced that the PPH trial between IP Australia and the EPO would continue for a further three years. Additionally, the original GPPH program with the other participant IP offices continues with no indication of curtailment.

This is indeed very good news as applicants will continue to be able to access and gain the benefits of the generous PPH programs operated by IP Australia.

Techrights has long expressed concerns about the EPO putting litigation first; it seems to have forgotten its core values and goals. If it exists to promote science and knowledge, it will give the benefit of the doubt to defendants/alleged infringers. Instead, today’s EPO gives many bogus patents to serial plaintiffs/claimants, who may in turn leverage these bogus patents to make bogus (invalid) claims of infringement. Patent trolls absolutely love that.

“On 1 July 2019 it was announced that the PPH trial between IP Australia and the EPO would continue for a further three years.”
      –Paul Whenman and Andrew GregoryPPH is obviously biased or tilted in favour of plaintiffs, not defendants. Judging by who (or whose groups) today’s EPO management likes to associate with and hang out with (in the media it has liaised with Watchtroll), it’s crystal clear whose side they’re on. How many of today’s EPO managers even have a background in science? One is alleged to have faked his diploma, but that’s another matter. If a few people have an issue with our EPO coverage not because they disagree about the EPO but about patent scope, maybe it’s because they don’t do actual coding and can’t quite see things with developers’ scopes/optics.

Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 09:05:15 PM

A publication from the Free Media Alliance

Overview

Summary: “Every time a distro does not suit a user’s purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one’s own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born.”

Hundreds of distros exist, many of them with very similar features. We know there is duplication of work, but everyone needs to understand why so many distros exist.

Every time a distro does not suit a user’s purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one’s own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born. Ego is a factor too, but rarely mentioned is the educational aspect.

“Every time a distro does not suit a user’s purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one’s own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born.”If more people created distros, then more people would have experience or interest in maintaining (contributing) to existing distros. The real trick is facilitating that.

Stallman has said that we don’t need more distros. “We” also don’t need more text editors, or “hello world” programs. Other people say we don’t need more programming languages.

Each of these arguments are subjective (who is “We?”) and can be refuted by pointing to a single need that no distro caters to. But in recent years, many more (once-reliable) distros are lacking than before. Are people really saying they don’t need to be fixed?

Because they are more likely to be repaired by forking. Control over distros and of software by monopolies is increasing, and if the Halloween documents mean anything then this is a problem the FSF and OSI once acknowledged (hosting the documents on their own servers, though OSI has removed them since) though now that it is a more critical and everyday problem, they are saying nothing about it.

“Stallman has said that we don’t need more distros.”If we need more freedom, then we need more distros. In fact Stallman said “We don’t need more distros” before the FSF gained Hyperbola, one of the very few (and arguably most dedicated) distros to work to remove the monopolistic tentacles of systemd, which GuixSD should also be suitable for, but Hyperbola should be a lot more friendly and mainstream.

We would say that Trisquel probably does not need more distros, but also that Trisquel probably needs a swift kick in the ass.

Incidentally, we have a script that automatically removes systemd from the Trisquel live ISO and spits out a fixed one, but it relies on upstart which is being abandoned by Ubuntu. So while Debian still has some people working to keep “not systemd” an option (if it were really optional, they would be done by now…) Trisquel and Ubuntu are most likely slated to have nothing in that regard. What a shame.

We honestly think that every user should make a machine-readable list of features they want in distros, and that this would be extremely valuable data.

On the drawing board is a feature-schema prototype, which in the friendliest machine-readable way possible outlines the desired and optional features of a distro such as distro-libre.

The key to this schema is indentation, a simulation of XML that requires zero syntax but must develop some kind of standard keywords. If everyone (we mean everyone) made a list of features they want included, this non-industry standard would be easier to develop.

“We honestly think that every user should make a machine-readable list of features they want in distros, and that this would be extremely valuable data.”Distro-libre is a growing script that can automatically remaster various live ISOs, ensuring that people can have bootable CDs and DVDs with a receipt (the script) of every possible change. It is written in fig, one of the lowest-syntax, most consistent and minimal (friendly) languages in use today. You could also do distro-libre in python, but then fig translates to python.

Unlike systemd, distro-libre is intended to be easily forkable. We hope that the future of remastering (and building) distros is the application, not the distribution. Instead of maintaining a distribution, what we would like is if you could download a program and either use it to customise a distro (with help from automation, not just by duplication of manual work) or even build one.

We expect mockery and ridicule, but instead of just talking about these things, the Free Media Alliance offers working prototypes. The prototypes increase in sophistication over time, and would increase further with more people forking them. We encourage collaboration between forks, rather than worrying about setting up a large organisation (but you are welcome to do that as well.)

As a remaster tool, the way distro-libre works is not entirely new, but it works like this:

Download ISO -> run automated remaster script -> New ISO

The remaster script can even download the ISO for you.

“Unlike systemd, distro-libre is intended to be easily forkable.”The automation serves two purposes — by default, the script IS / defines the “distro” itself. Instead of downloading “fig os,” you download a script that produces fig os. Instead of changing fig os, you change the script.

The automation that produces the default ISO can also assist you in making changes. This is very basic automation, and it can be made even friendlier by moving more distro-libre logic to our indented feature-schema. That way you can still change the code and use the custom “language” (or functions) within distro-libre, but most people will use the more abstract and user friendly schema to do many of the same tasks.

“But because these are remastering and build applications, there is no monopoly.”In every step of the process, we encourage the use of languages and tools that are modeled after successful educational languages like Logo and BASIC. We say “modeled after” because these aren’t 1:1 duplicates, with artifacts like line numbers or type sigils — Logo has evolved and remains very low on punctuation, people use it to code without realising they are coding. That’s the sort of computer language we want people to have at their fingertips.

But because these are remastering and build applications, there is no monopoly. If you want to fork a distro, change it entirely, you can just fork the application — written in a language that high-schoolers and perhaps junior high-schoolers can learn to use easily enough.

We need more distros because we need more distro maintainers. Obviously, the way distros are currently made lends itself to all kinds of political and organisational issues.

We do want distros to be more generic — installers that work across more than one distro (family) like Calamares and Refracta installer, remaster tools that work across more than one distro (family) such as Refracta tools, we even want build tools (applications) that help inexperienced users build their own distro as an educational experience (the FSF does not get education!) in the same way that using SBCs are an educational experience, and so on.

“We need more distros because we need more distro maintainers.”We need more distros — an entire new generation of distros — because the current distros are gas-guzzlers, both in terms of what they take to run and especially in terms of what they take to build. And it is terribly sad that the primary and original Free software organisation in the world lacks the imagination or ambition for such a scheme.

We do encourage Guix and Hyperbola OS to keep up the good work, because they are probably the most innovative distro builders that the FSF already recognises, but the old way of building distros limits freedom and limits opportunities for education (possibly even to fewer people than we need to keep them going, and that’s a very serious problem if it’s true — do we need more evidence than GnewSense folding? If done the way we suggest, you could carry on GnewSense yourself!) And (per the charter) our job is:

the free media alliance is happy to promote free software, but also welcomes thoughtful critiques of the fsfs methods and “extraneous requirements” (other than the 4 freedoms and gpl licenses)

…to create strategies for bolstering the FSF if possible, and salvaging the FSF otherwise.

We are not a monopoly, we are the seed of a Free software federation. And the gas-guzzling distros (mostly in terms of what it takes to maintain one, and the political costs and limited freedom that comes with those methods) can be phased out — voluntarily — with better ideas.

We are not suggesting (indeed we regularly criticise) top-down solutions like systemd, which consolidate power in the hands of even larger communities, and we are looking to make distros easier to fork, not harder.

“We do encourage Guix and Hyperbola OS to keep up the good work, because they are probably the most innovative distro builders that the FSF already recognises…”The reason is simple — when you take enough projects, packages, standards, even people — and you put a single corporation in charge of them, you are building a monopoly. Systemd is made from projects that were easier for smaller communities or fewer developers to maintain.

By consolidating those projects first under Red Hat, then into systemd itself, they were lumped together (yes, we’ve read the nonsense that claims to refute this, it is bunk — pure denial of something they seem most clearly aware of themselves) into something that takes a large corporation to maintain.

Don’t believe it? How long has it taken to “separate” back into smaller projects? If it were really modular, it wouldn’t take dozens of people to work systemd back into modules. How much more obvious can that point become?

“Systemd is made from projects that were easier for smaller communities or fewer developers to maintain. “This is also, in a less sinister way, how distros themselves are created. And unlike systemd, those were created of necessity — it was, once upon a time, far too much work for people to just make a “GNU/Linux Boot Disk” and throw on whatever programs people wanted.

Today that is increasingly possible, and the best direction for distros to go in. Alas, it is not like egos and monopolistic attitudes do not exist in the Free software community.

On the contrary — distros want to remain distinct and are often opaque. It is the opacity, not the distinctions that are the real problem.

Everyone is free to create their own Free software, we are not suggesting that everyone give that up and “do it our way.” All we are saying is — if freedom is the real goal, let’s put that freedom in the hands of the user, not just the distro maintainer. Let’s make distros that (like Free software) are as forkable as possible, so that no user feels they are “locked-in” to theirs.

“Let’s make distros that (like Free software) are as forkable as possible, so that no user feels they are “locked-in” to theirs.”Lock-in is a monopoly tactic, and has no place in Free software distributions. If it is created inadvertently and there is a practical way to reduce it, then reducing it is also a good thing.

All the same, distro-libre is a simple prototype for liberating even the distros that do not participate! It is not about putting control of all distros in the hands of a large monopolistic corporation — It is, like Free software itself, about putting control of all computing in the hands the user. The old distros don’t do that as well as they could, and it’s time for an overhaul (you do you, but consider these words) of the concept itself.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

Links 21/8/2019: Dell’s XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 07:10:08 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

      Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison.

      But it’s also one that’s managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros.

      With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple’s interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community.

      Hence, their decision some years ago to communicate news about the project by hosting their blog on another largely “hipster” online venue – Medium – was little surprise.

      What’s somewhat surprising is the about-face that the project is now making in leaving Medium for the sake of building their own blog hosted on GitHub Pages – using the static generator Jekyll.

    • Desktop
      • Introducing the XPS 13 developer edition, 9th generation

        Today we’d like to announce that the new XPS 13 developer edition (7390) will soon be available in the US, Canada and Europe. The new developer edition, based on Intel’s 10th Gen Core™ U series processors, is part of Dell’s new consumer PC portfolio that is being unveiled today.

        These systems represent the 9th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition and will come with the Killer™ AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset. The new 7390 systems will co-exist alongside the current 9380 XPS 13 developer edition.

      • New Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Announced, Powered by Ubuntu

        If you’re in the market for a powerful Linux laptop you definitely want to check out the new 9th generation Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, announced today.

        Intel’s 10th Generation Core U series sit at the heart of the refreshed notebook which, in its ‘developer edition’ guise, comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS.

        The Dell XPS 13 developer edition (7390) will be made available to buy in the United States, Canada and throughout Europe during September.

        Dell plan to keep the previous Dell XPS 13 developer edition (9380), which it launched in January, on sale alongside the new ‘7390’ model.

      • Dell Unveils New XPS 13 Developer Edition Ubuntu Laptop with 10th Gen Intel CPUs
      • Dell XPS 7390 Developer Edition Announced – Intel Comet Lake With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
      • Dell’s Beautiful New Linux Laptop Features Ubuntu, 10th Gen Intel Processors And Super Fast WiFi

        Dell’s Project Sputnik — the group responsible for bringing one of the best laptops you can buy to Linux users — is on a roll. Today it’s announcing the 9th generation XPS 13 Developer Edition (which upgrades the system to Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs), and the relaunch of the Project Sputnik website.

        The naming scheme is a bit confusing, however. Beginning with the initial launch in early September, both Windows and Linux users will want to search for the XPS 13 7390. The original system it’s based on, the XPS 13 9380, was released in January of this year. Both the Windows and Developer Edition versions of this XPS 13 launched with the 9380 model number, and both are now being upgraded to Intel’s 10th gen Comet Lake processors, and in turn both being renamed to the 7390. (This follows the XPS 13 9360, 9370, etc).

      • Dell’s New Ubuntu Hardware for Late 2019 | Jupiter Extras 4

        A quick update on the new XPS 13 details and Dell’s Linux hardware plan for 2019.

      • 5 Reasons to Use a VM for Development [Ed: Dice promoting the idea that developers should use Windows and keep GNU/Linux in a VM jail using Microsoft's proprietary tools]

        I started using virtual machines (VMs) on my development PC about six years ago; I was keen to learn Linux, having been a Windows developer since the mid-1990s. At first, I used an old Windows PC and installed a Linux distro on it; but I quickly found out that the distro took up a lot of space, and I needed a KVM switch to manage two different PCs. It was all a bit “fiddly,” which is why I began exploring the potential of VMs.

        Discovering VirtualBox was a godsend, and made things a lot more convenient. Despite all the flak Oracle gets over its databases, MySQL, and Java, Virtual Box remains an excellent and free open-source package.

    • Server
      • Open Policy Agent: Cloud-native security and compliance

        Every product or service has a unique way of handling policy and authorization: who-can-do-what and what-can-do-what. In the cloud-native world, authorization and policy are more complex than ever before. As the cloud-native ecosystem evolves, there’s a growing need for DevOps and DevSecOps teams to identify and address security and compliance issues earlier in development and deployment cycles. Businesses need to release software on the order of minutes (instead of months). For this to happen, those security and compliance policies—which in the past were written in PDFs or email—need to be checked and enforced by machines. That way, every few minutes when software goes out the door, it’s obeying all of the necessary policies.

        This problem was at the top of our minds when Teemu Koponen, Torin Sandall, and I founded the Open Policy Agent project (OPA) as a practical solution for the critical security and policy challenges of the cloud-native ecosystem. As the list of OPA’s successful integrations grows—thanks to active involvement by the open source community—the time is right to re-introduce OPA and offer a look at how it addresses business and policy pain points in varied contexts.

      • Eirini: Mapping Code into Containers

        There has been a lot of noise recently about the Project known as Eirini. I wanted to dig into what this project was in a little more detail.
        If you weren’t already aware, its goal is to allow Cloud Foundry to use any scheduler but it’s really for allowing the workloads to run directly inside Kubernetes without needing separately scheduled Diego cells to run on top of.
        There are many reason that this is a fantastic change, but the first and foremost is that having a scheduler run inside another scheduler is begging for headaches. It works, but there are odd edge cases that lead to split-brain decisions.
        NOTE: There is another project (Quarks) that is working on containerizing the control plane in a way that the entire platform is more portable and requiring significantly less overhead. (As in: you can run Kubernetes, the entire platform, and some work, all on your laptop)

      • IBM
        • Red Hat Integration delivers new Kubernetes Operators and expands data integration capabilities with latest release

          We are pleased to announce the Q3 release of Red Hat Integration, which brings us further in our alignment around Red Hat OpenShift as the platform of choice for developing and deploying cloud-native applications across hybrid cloud environments, as well as helping customers get their integrations up and running easier and faster.

          As modern IT continues its rapid evolution, it becomes important that the cloud-native solutions supporting this transformation keep pace, enabling IT organizations to truly benefit from this constant innovation. To help customers take full advantage of this, we’ve updated, tested and certified every single component in Red Hat Integration with the latest version of OpenShift: Red Hat OpenShift 4.

        • The Linux Foundation Announces New Open Hardware Technologies and Collaboration

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that the OpenPOWER Foundation will become a project hosted at The Linux Foundation. The project includes IBM’s open POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and contributed Source Design Implementations required to support data-driven hardware for intensive workloads like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

          OpenPOWER is the open steward for the Power Architecture and has the support of 350 members, including IBM, Google, Inspur Power Systems, Yadro, Hitachi, Wistron, Mellanox, NVIDIA, and Red Hat.

          The governance model within the Linux Foundation gives software developers assurance of compatibility while developing AI and hybrid cloud native applications that take advantage of POWER’s rich feature set and open compute hardware and software ecosystems.

          As the demand rises for more and more compute-intensive workloads like AI and in-memory analytics, commodity systems vendors have struggled with the looming predictions of the end of Moore’s Law. Central processing units (CPUs) may no longer handle the rising demands alone, and data-centric systems are built to maximize the flow of data between CPUs and attached devices for specialized workloads. By hosting OpenPOWER at The Linux Foundation, a cross-project, cross-community collaboration, it will accelerate development of hardware and software to support data-centric systems, by making it available to a growing global audience.

          “The OpenPOWER community has been doing critical work to support the increasing demands of enterprises that are using big data for AI and machine learning workloads. The move to bring these efforts together with the worldwide ecosystem of open source developers across projects at The Linux Foundation will unleash a new level of innovation by giving developers everywhere more access to the tools and technologies that will define the next generation of POWER architecture,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

        • Raptor Computing Systems Planning To Launch New ATX POWER9 Board With OpenCAPI

          In addition to the news out of the OpenPOWER Summit in San Diego that the POWER ISA is going open-source and the OpenPOWER Foundation becoming part of the Linux Foundation, Raptor Computing Systems shared they plan to launch a new standard ATX motherboard next year that will feature OpenCAPI connectivity.

          Built off the successes of their Talos II high-end server motherboard and lower-cost Blackbird desktop motherboard designs, there is apparently a new motherboard design for POWER9 being worked on that could launch in early 2020.

        • Why you should be developing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          With a $0 Red Hat Developer membership, you get access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) at no cost. We have downloads available for RHEL versions starting as far back as 7.2, and as current as RHEL 8.1 Beta. The subscription costs nothing, and there are no additional costs for any of the software or content we make available through the program.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Wayland Buddies | LINUX Unplugged 315

        We spend our weekend with Wayland, discover new apps to try, tricks to share, and dig into the state of the project.

        Plus System76′s new software release, and Fedora’s big decision.

    • Kernel Space
      • low-memory-monitor: new project announcement

        I’ll soon be flying to Greece for GUADEC but wanted to mention one of the things I worked on the past couple of weeks: the low-memory-monitor project is off the ground, though not production-ready.

        low-memory-monitor, as its name implies, monitors the amount of free physical memory on the system and will shoot off signals to interested user-space applications, usually session managers, or sandboxing helpers, when that memory runs low, making it possible for applications to shrink their memory footprints before it’s too late either to recover a usable system, or avoid taking a performance hit.

        It’s similar to Android’s lowmemorykiller daemon, Facebook’s oomd, Endless’ psi-monitor, amongst others

      • New Low-Memory-Monitor Project Can Help With Linux’s RAM/Responsiveness Problem

        Red Hat developer Bastien Nocera has announced Low-Memory-Monitor as a new project he’s been tackling to try to help with the Linux desktop use-cases when responsiveness issues due to low RAM / memory pressure problems. Low-Memory-Monitor paired with complementary solutions could help improve the Linux desktop’s handling on low-end systems and other desktops/laptops when simply running short on RAM.

        Low-Memory-Monitor has been in the works the past few weeks following all the public discussions over how Linux poorly deals with low-memory situations. The Low-Memory-Monitor daemon monitors the amount of free physical memory and will signal other user-space applications when such pressure occurs. This can alert session managers and other key programs to the situation so they can in turn either free some memory themselves, trigger applications to quit/pause, or other behavior of their choosing.

      • Introducing kdevops, modern devops framework for Linux kernel development

        Last Friday, Luis Chamberlain announced the release of kdevops as a Linux kernel development DevOps framework.

        Chamberlain wrote in his email, “the goal behind this project is to provide a modern devops framework for Linux kernel development. It is not a test suite, it is designed to use any test suites, and more importantly, it allows us to let us easily set up test environments in a jiffie. It supports different virtualization environments, and different cloud environments, and supports different Operating Systems.”

        kdevops is a sample framework which lets you easily get Linux devops environment going for whatever use case you have. The first use case can be to provide a devops environment for Linux kernel development testing, and hence the name – kdevops. Apart from this, it can let you easily fork and re-purpose for whatever kdevops needs you may have.

      • Linux Foundation and Intel
        • New Cross-Industry Effort to Advance Computational Trust and Security for Next-Generation Cloud and Edge Computing

          The Linux Foundation today announced the intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium, a community dedicated to defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing. Companies committed to this work include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent.

          Across industries computing is moving to span multiple environments, from on premises to public cloud to edge. As companies move these workloads to different environments, they need protection controls for sensitive IP and workload data and are increasingly seeking greater assurances and more transparency of these controls. Current approaches in cloud computing address data at rest and in transit but encrypting data in use is considered the third and possibly most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.

        • The Linux Foundation, Intel & Co Form The Confidential Computing Consortium

          In kicking off the Open Source Summit that has returned to San Diego, the Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Confidential Computing Consortium in collaboration with Intel and other companies.

          The initial batch of companies forming the Confidential Computing Consortium include Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom, and Tencent. This consortium will focus on providing greater transparency and control over user data, reduce exposure to sensitive data, and other protections by means of open-source tooling and hardware advancements around trusted execution environments.

        • Intel’s OpenGL Linux Driver Now Has OpenGL 4.6 Support For Mesa 19.2

          Two years after the OpenGL 4.6 specification was announced, Intel’s open-source OpenGL Linux driver is now officially advertising the support after today landing the remaining SPIR-V enablement work.

          For the better part of the past two years the Intel OpenGL Linux drivers were held up from having GL 4.6 due to the ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions extensions for better interoperability with Vulkan. But today those extensions are now crossed off the list and OpenGL 4.6 is finally in Mesa core with Intel’s i965/Iris drivers being the first.

        • Intel Launches 10th Gen “Comet Lake” Laptop CPUs For Laptops & 2-in-1s

          Earlier this month Intel announced 11 Icelake CPUs for laptops and 2-in1s under their 10th Gen CPU line-up. Today the company announced the 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs also for 2-in-1s and laptops.

      • Graphics Stack
        • AMD Publishes New RDNA Whitepaper

          AMD’s new RDNA whitepaper goes into detail explaining the efficiency and programming optimizations of this new design while retaining backwards compatibility with the GCN architecture. The 25-page read also covers True Audio Next, the Radeon Multimedia/Display Engines, caches, SIMD units, and other modern bits to these new Radeon graphics processors.

        • mesa 19.2.0-rc1 The first release candidate for Mesa 19.2.0 is now available. The plan is to have one release candidate every Tuesday, until the anticipated final release on 10th September 2019. The expectation is that the 19.1 branch will remain alive with bi-weekly releases until the 19.2.1 release. In the path to 19.2.0 release, there is a tracker bug for the regressions found since 19.1: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=111444 Here are the people which helped shape the current release.
        • Mesa 19.2-RC1 Released But Intel Still Looking To Add OpenGL 4.6 Support

          Yesterday we shared that Mesa 19.2′s release process would finally be getting underway with the first release candidate expected today following the code branching. Sure enough, that process began but now prominent Intel open-source graphics developer Jason Ekstrand is looking to get the OpenGL 4.6 support into this release.

          Mesa 19.2 release manager Emil Velikov branched the Mesa 19.2 code from master this evening followed by creating the first release candidate. Mesa 19.2-rc1 is now available and the plan is to issue new release candidates every week until the official release is ready to ship. Assuming they close their blocker bugs on time, the hope is to officially release Mesa 19.2.0 on 10 September.

    • Applications
      • 7 Great Linux Statistical Analysis Tools

        Science is the effort of seeking to comprehend how the physical world works. From observation and experimentation, science uses physical evidence of natural phenomena to compile data and analyze the collated information.

        In modern research it is essential for scientists to keep abreast of the latest statistical software. Just like the fast moving world of research, developments in statistical software and methods continue to abound. Making full use of the improvements in computer software helps to advance the pace of research.

        Science really prospers and advances when individuals share the results of their experiments with others in the scientific community. There is a certain logic that scientific software should therefore be released in a freely distributable environment.

        Linux is particularly strong in the field of open source statistical software. The purpose of this article is to identify software for performing statistical analysis. This type of software helps to summarize data in a shorter form, and helps scientists understand a concept or representation and make possible predictions based on this understanding.

      • Announcing notqmail

        Okay, that’s not entirely true. While qmail hasn’t been updated by its original author, a group of respected users created netqmail, a series of tiny updates that were informed, conservative, and careful. By their design, it was safe for everyone running qmail to follow netqmail, so everyone did. But larger changes in the world of email — authentication, encryption, and ever-shifting anti-spam techniques — remained as puzzles for each qmail administrator to solve in their own way. And netqmail hasn’t been updated since 2007.

      • Announcing notqmail

        The notqmail project has announced its existence and shipped an initial release. It’s a new fork of the venerable qmail mail transport system.

      • Blender 2.81 To Feature Intel Open Image Denoise & Eevee Renderer Improvements

        Blender 2.80 made its hugely anticipated debut just under one month ago while already Blender 2.81 is looking interesting and will hopefully be out in November.

      • Proprietary
        • Opera 63 initial release

          Today, we are releasing the first browser from the 63 line. Opera 63 comes with an improved private browsing mode.

        • Opera 63 Released with Improved Private Mode

          Opera web browser 63 was released a day ago with improved private browsing mode.

        • Vivaldi Web Browser 2.7 Released with Better Sound Control

          Vivaldi web browser 2.7 was released today. The new version features better sound controls, smoother navigation and overall improvements.

        • Vivaldi 2.7 : Bring more productivity to your day

          We’re happy to be back in the saddle after the summer break! We want Vivaldi to be the perfect tool for you to control and enjoy the digital aspect of your lives.

          And that’s why we are working on the things that count – the things that make you more productive and organised on the Web.

          The new update has little gems that will give you a better control of sound behavior in Vivaldi. In addition, you have new options to access user profiles quicker, an enhanced status bar as well as overall improvements and security related fixes.

        • Opera 63 Web Browser Released with Improved Private Browsing Mode and Bookmarks

          Opera Software announced the release and immediate availability of the Opera 63 cross-platform, Chromium-based web browser for all supported platforms, including Linux, Mac, and Windows.
          Based on the open-source Chromium 76.0.3809.100 project, the Opera 63 web browser comes with a much-improved private browsing mode (a.k.a. Incognito mode) that’s more user-friendly and privacy-aware, informing users about what data is removed or can be kept after exiting the private browsing mode.

          “We want to make sure you know what kind of data is cleared once you leave private mode. However, we would also like you to be aware that some data from private browsing (like new bookmarks you create) will still be visible in normal mode,” explains Joanna Czajka in the release notes.

        • Vivaldi 2.7 Hopes to Boost Your Productivity, Improves Stability and Reliability

          Vivaldi Technologies released today Vivaldi 2.7, a new version of the cross-platform, Chromium-based web browser that brings more productivity to your day and stability improvements.
          Two months in the work, the Vivaldi 2.7 web browser is now available based on Chromium 76.0.3809.110 and packed with a bunch of enhancements that promise to boost your productivity. These include a new right-click tab context menu option that lets you mute a website to prevent it from playing audio.

          Vivaldi 2.7 also makes it possible to access your user profiles a lot faster by creating a desktop shortcut to a specific User Profile, which will ensure you’re always in the right account. A new context menu item will be available for Windows users in the user profile menu under the “Add Person/Edit Person” button.

          “We want Vivaldi to be the perfect tool for you to control and enjoy the digital aspect of your lives,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Vivaldi Technologies CEO. “And that’s why we are working on the things that count – the things that make you more productive and organised on the Web.”

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • 2D game editor ct.js goes open source and it’s closing in on a new major release

        With an aim to make 2D game development learning fun, ct.js recently went open source to allow anyone to jump in and try it as well as help push it further.

        It’s going through a major revamp too, with the first few preview builds available. Since we’re covering it, of course this means the editor has Linux support too! As the name of the game engine might suggest, games in ct.js are written in JavaScript.

      • A look over Steam’s top releases from July, plus some usual quick thoughts on Linux support

        Valve continue their blog posts highlighting games doing well on the platform, with a look at their top releases on Steam during July now available. Just look with June and May, here’s my own little run-down on it.

        As usual, Valve are looking at revenue earned during the first two weeks following the release of a game.

      • Dark fantasy RPG Sin Slayers is getting ready to release soon with Linux support

        Sin Slayers, an RPG with roguelike elements set in a dark fantasy world is getting ready to release with Linux support on September 5th.

      • Dino survival game Path of Titans has been fully funded ready to support Linux

        Path of Titans from Alderon Games has managed to pass the crowdfunding test, with their dino survival game hitting well over their initial goal.

        They had a flexible goal, meaning all funds raised would be sent to them even if the final target wasn’t met. Not that it was needed, as they managed to raise $63,920 against the original $24,437 goal.

      • In SKUL, you’re a special skeleton that switches heads to gain powers

        SouthPAWGames recently released a demo of their upcoming action-platformer SKUL, it’s rather impressive with a pretty unusual cast of characters.

        You play as Skul, a skeleton guard with the power to switch heads with another and gain their power. From what the developer said, eventually you will regain some memories of your past life and eventually face your original death and find out the truth.

      • Rise of Industry is getting a futuristic expansion with 2130 releasing this year

        Dapper Penguin Studios recently announced Rise of Industry: 2130, a futuristic expansion to their sweet strategic tycoon game.

        2130 seems to be taking Rise of Industry in an interesting direction, as it follows players overpulluting the world, creating a nuclear winter killing almost all life on the planet. Since they’re not being constrained by history with the original set in 1930, they said for the expansion they’re going “crazy with technobabble and future-tech”.

      • Steam Play arrived on Linux one year ago, some thoughts

        Tomorrow marks a special occasion, as Steam Play celebrates its first birthday! A good time to reflect on how it’s impacted Linux gaming.

        Steam Play is a feature of the Steam client on Linux that enables you to play Windows games just like you would with any other Linux game. It’s a feature that was long requested by users, with multiple tickets being opened on Valve’s steam-for-linux bug tracker, like this one, all the way back in 2012.

        Announced officially on this day back in 2018, Valve shook the very core of Linux gaming and they’ve certainly made things interesting. What they came up in partnership with the team at CodeWeavers is called Proton—the name given to the software behind Steam Play. It takes Wine with some extra patches and bundles it together with other projects like DXVK. Proton is open source too, available to see on GitHub.

        Linux users have used Wine for many years to run all sorts of games and applications from Windows on Linux. An issue with Wine usage is that developers see you as another Windows user in their statistics. Steam Play does help to solve that issue, as your purchases do count and show up as a Linux sale on Steam.

      • The Iron Oath looks like a great turn-based tactical RPG coming to Linux next year

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign back in 2017, The Iron Oath is progressing well onto a release scheduled for next year.

        This is one covered here on GOL back in August of 2017 when the Kickstarter was running. We never did check back on how The Iron Oath did, so it’s pleasing to see Curious Panda Games slashed through the $45,000 goal ending with $94,524! Did you miss it?

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • Xfce 4.14 released! (Yeah, like a week ago ;))

        Why is the release manager late to the party with his blog post? The explanation is simple: We prioritized sticking to the schedule and getting our releases out to everyone as planned, as our codebase was ready. What was not (entirely) ready was some parts of the website, which were brought up-to-date over the course of last week.

        So I’m pleased to give you the official Xfce 4.14 tour, which nicely summarizes many of the nice user-facing changes that we pushed into the release (despite it being planned as feature-less, porting-only).

      • Xfce 4.16 Should Be Out Next Year But Without GTK4 Or Wayland

        With Xfce 4.14 having finally been released last week following a four year development cycle, prominent Xfce developer Simon Steinbeiß has begun talking about the now-started Xfce 4.16 development cycle.

        Simon acknowledges the need to improve their release model and get back on track to around six-month release cycles. But for the Xfce 4.16 release, he envisions it being about a year or so out to their next stable release.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE Applications 19.08 Open-Source Software Suite Released, Here’s What’s New [Ed: Late coverage of the KDE release]

          More than two months in the works, the KDE Applications 19.08 software suite is here to elevate your KDE apps experience by implementing various enhancements and new features. Among these, we can mention the ability to launch the Dolphin file manager from anywhere via a new Meta + E keyboard shortcut, along with improvements to the information panel to automatically play media files or copy the text displayed in the panel.

          Furthermore, the KDE Applications 19.08 release improves various of KDE’s default applications, including the Gwenview image viewer, which now features a much-improved, faster, and more resource-efficient thumbnailer when loading JPEG and RAW images, better support for Canon and Sony cameras, as well as a new “Share” menu that lets you send images to various places and more informative EXIF metadata for RAW files.

        • Kdenlive 19.08 Released with Clip Speed, Project Bin Improvements

          Busy trying to salvage footage from a recent video shoot, I missed the arrival of Kdenlive 19.08, the first major release of this free video editor since its big code revamp earlier this year.

          And what a release it is!

          Kdenlive 19.08 builds on the terrific work featured in the various point releases that have been available since April.

          “This version comes with a big amount of fixes and nifty new features which will lay the groundwork for the 3 point editing system planned for this cycle,” they say in their release announcement.

          Now, 3-point editing isn’t my bag (if you’re a heavy keyboard user, you might want to look into it) so I’m gonna skip that side of things to highlight a couple of other welcome changes to the project bin.

        • LabPlot’s Welcome screen and Dataset feature in the finish line

          Hello Everyone! This year’s GSoC is coming to its end. Therefore I think that I should let you know what’s been done since my last blog post. I would also like to evaluate the progress I managed to make and the goals set up at the beginning of this project.

          As I told you in my last post, my main goal, in this last period, was to clean up, properly document, refactor, optimise the code and make it easier to read, so it would be fit to be brought to the master branch and to be used by the community.

          My next proposition was to search for bugs and fix them, in order to make the implemented features more or less flawless. I can happily state, that I succeeded in this.

        • Distributed Beta Testing Platforms

          Do they exist? Especially as free software? I don’t actually know, but I’ve never seen a free software project use something like what I’ve got in mind.

          That would be: a website where we could add any number of test scenarios.

          People who wanted to help would get an account, make a profile with their hardware and OS listed. And then a couple of weeks before we make a release, we’d release a beta, and the beta testers would login and get randomly one of the test scenarios to test and report on. We’d match the tests to OS and hardware, and for some tests, probably try to get the test executed by multiple testers.

          Frequent participation would lead to badges or something playful like that, they would be able to browse tests, add comments and interact — and we, as developers, we’d get feedback. So many tests executed, so many reported failure or regressions, and we’d be able to improve before the release.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GSoC 2019 Final submission

          Since my last blog post the main merge request of my GSoC project has landed and after that I followed up with subsequent bugfixes and also a couple of enhancements to the savestates manager.

    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • Endeavour OS | Review from an openSUSE User

          Endeavour OS is the unofficial successor to Antegros, I’ve never used Antegros so I cannot make any comparisons between the two. It should also be noted that I think Arch Linux, in general is more work than it is worth so this won’t exactly be a shining review. Feel free to bail here if you don’t like the direction of my initial prejudice.

          I am reviewing Endeavour OS as a rather biased openSUSE Linux user that is firmly entrenched in all things openSUSE. I am going at this from the perspective that my computer is my companion, my coworker or assistant in getting my digital work done and some entertainment sprinkled in there as well.

          Bottom Line Up Front: If you want to run main-line Arch, Endeavour OS is absolutely the way to get going with it. They take the “Easy Plus One” approach to Arch by allowing you to install what I would consider a minimal but very usable base and learn to use “genuine Arch” with all the triumphs and pitfalls. If you want to go Arch, I can most certainly endorse this as the route to do so. However, even after playing here for two weeks, I find Arch to be more trouble than it is worth but a great educational experience.

      • New Releases
        • Debian Buster-based Netrunner 19.08 ‘Indigo’ KDE-focused Linux distro is the perfect Windows replacement

          GNOME is undeniably the best desktop environment, but understandably, not everyone likes it. Hey, that’s OK. Some folks like Pepsi despite Coke being, like, 1,000 times better. Such is life. Thankfully, with Linux, there are plenty of environments from which to choose, such as Xfce, Cinnamon, and KDE to name a few.

          If you are a fan of KDE, or interested in sampling it for the first time, Netrunner is a Linux-based operating system you have to try. Quite frankly, this distro offers the greatest implementation of KDE Plasma. But that’s not all — it is one of the best Linux distros overall. It is chock full of useful software and is extremely polished, making it a great choice for those switching from Windows, but also, it is a solid choice for Linux experts. Today, Netrunner 19.08 “Indigo” becomes available for download.

        • Netrunner 19.08 Linux Distro Released: Get A Beautiful Plasma Experience

          Blue Systems, a German IT company, is a major supporter and sponsor of KDE and Kubuntu. Over the years, the company has hired many developers for KDE development and contributed to the overall improvement of the Kubuntu operating system.

          In 2010, the company released Netrunner Linux distro, which was based on Kubuntu. Over the years, Netrunner has undergone many changes and it’s now available in two versions. While the fixed release version of Netrunner is based on Debian GNU/Linux, the rolling release version is based on Manjaro. Just recently, the developers released Netrunner 19.08 Indigo, which is based on Debian Buster 10. So, let’s discuss it in brief.

          [...]

          As Netrunner aims to deliver an out-of-the-box experience to everyday computer users, you don’t need to install external codecs manually after the installation.

          Netrunner also features lots of useful and quality applications to make this experience even better. You get LibreOffice, GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, Kdenlive, GMusicbrowser, Yarock, Steam, etc., preinstalled. You can visit this link to get a complete list of applications and addons.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Fedora Family
        • Eclipse is Now a Module on Fedora 30

          From Fedora 30 onwards, Eclipse will be available as a module for Fedora Modularity.

          This shows that Eclipse 2019-06 is available to install with three different profiles from which to choose. Each profile will install the Eclipse IDE and a curated set of plug-ins for accomplishing specific tasks.

          java — This is the default profile and will install everything you need to start developing Java applications.
          c — This profile will install everything you need to start developing C/C++ applications.
          everything — This profile will install all the Eclipse plug-ins currently available in the module, including those that are a part of the above two profiles.

        • Fedora Update Weeks 31–32

          The branch point also meant that the Change Code Complete deadline was passed. As part of the Go SIG, I was one of the packagers behind the Adopt new Go Packaging Guidelines Change. As mentioned in the last post, this was mostly handled by @eclipseo and the tracker bug was marked complete for it just earlier. I am also behind the Automatic R runtime dependencies Change. As part of this Change, I initiated a mini-rebuild last week of all affected R packages. I will write about that in a separate post. That tracker bug is now Code Complete, though there are a couple FTBFS to fix up.

          With release monitoring working again, that meant a slew of new bug reports about new package versions being available. This happened just last Friday, so I haven’t had much chance to update everything. I did manage to go through almost all the R packages, except for a few with new dependencies. I also updated one or two Go and Python packages as well.

      • Debian Family
        • Joey Hess: releasing two haskell libraries in one day: libmodbus and git-lfs

          The first library is a libmodbus binding in haskell.

          There are a couple of other haskell modbus libraries, but none that support serial communication out of the box. I’ve been using a python library to talk to my solar charge controller, but it is not great at dealing with the slightly flakey interface. The libmodbus C library has features that make it more robust, and it also supports fast batched reads.

          So a haskell interface to it seemed worth starting while I was doing laundry, and then for some reason it seemed worth writing a whole bunch more FFIs that I may never use, so it covers libmodbus fairly extensively. 660 lines of code all told.

          Writing a good binding to a C library has art to it. I’ve seen ones that are so close you feel you’re writing C and not haskell. On the other hand, some are so far removed from the underlying library that its documentation does not carry over at all.

          I tried to strike a balance. Same function names so the extensive libmodbus documentation is easy to refer to while using it, but plenty of haskell data types so you won’t mix up the parity with the stop bits.

        • Misc Developer News (#49) The news are collected on https://wiki.debian.org/DeveloperNews Please contribute short news about your work/plans/subproject. In this issue: + Self-service buildd givebacks + Removal of the mips architecture + Superficial package testing + Debian Developers Reference now maintained as ReStructuredText + Scope of debian-mentors broadened to help with infrastructure questions + Hiding package tracker action items Self-service buildd givebacks ----------------------------- Philipp Kern has created[1] an *experimental* service that allows Debian members to perform self-service retries of failed package builds (aka give-backs). This service aims to reduce the time it takes for give-back requests to be processed, which was done manually by the wanna-build admins until now. The service is authenticated using the Debian Single Signon[2] service. Debian members are still expected to act responsibly when looking at build failures; do your due diligence and try reproducing the issue on a porterbox first. Access to this service is logged and logs will be audited by the admins.
        • Debian Guts Support For Old MIPS CPUs

          Debian developers have decided to remove the 32-bit MIPS big-endian architecture. Debian will continue to maintain MIPSEL and MIPS64EL but the older 32-bit big-endian variant of MIPS will be no more. Debian developers decided to drop the older 32-bit BE support due to it being limited to 2GB of virtual address space and it being one of the remaining holdouts of big endian architectures for Debian. Not to mention, there hasn’t been much interest in the older MIPS 32-bit BE target in a while either.

        • Alpha: Self-service buildd givebacks

          Builds on Debian’s build farm sometimes fail transiently. Sometimes those failures are legitimate flakes, for instance when an in-progress build happens to exhaust its resources because of other builds on the same machine. Until now, you always needed to mail the buildd, wanna-build admins or the Release Team directly in order to get the builds re-queued.

          As an alpha trial I implemented self-service givebacks as a web script. As SSO for Debian developers is now a thing, it is trivial to add authentication in a way that a role account can use to act on your behalf. While at work this would all be an RPC service, I figured that a little CGI script would do the job just as well.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Runtu XFCE 18.04.3 Released, Which is Based on Ubuntu Bionic Beaver 18.04.3 LTS

          Hsh has announced the release of Runtu 18.04.3, it’s third maintenance update of Runtu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) LTS, which is based on the package release base of Bionic Beaver 18.04.3 LTS.

          It features full support of Russian localization and a set of pre-installed software, which make sure you to run the system smoothly.

          Also, backported few of the packages from Ubuntu 19.04 for better improvements.

          It’s backported Linux kernel version 5.0 and the graphics stack components, and the package database.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon Edition – Ships With Cinnamon 4.2 and Uses Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Package Base

          Linux Mint 19.2 has been released and announced by Linux Mint Project, now available to download which ship with the Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce editions both for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It’s powered by the Linux 4.15 kernel and uses the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS package base, which will be supported for five years until 2023.

          Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon edition features latest version of Cinnamon desktop 4.2 with new features and updates. Although the amount of RAM consumed by Cinnamon largely depends on the video driver, Cinnamon uses significantly less RAM than before. The application menu is faster and it now identifies and distinguishes duplicates. If two applications have the same name, the menu will show more information about them. Scrollbars are now configurable and Nemo file manager support pin file and folder .

        • Jupyter looks to distro-agnostic packaging for the democratisation of installation

          When users of your application range from high school students to expert data scientists, it’s often wise to avoid any assumptions about their system configurations. The Jupyter Notebook is popular with a diverse user base, enabling the creation and sharing of documents containing live code, visualisations, and narrative text. The app uses processes (kernels) to run interactive code in different programming languages and send output back to the user. Filipe Fernandes has a key responsibility for Jupyter packaging and ease of installation. At the 2019 Snapcraft Summit in Montreal, he gave us his impressions of snaps as a tool to improve the experience for all concerned.

          “I’m a packager and a hacker, and I’m also a Jupyter user. I find Jupyter to be great as a teaching tool. Others use it for data cleaning and analysis, numerical simulation and modelling, or machine learning, for example. One of the strengths of Jupyter is that it is effectively language agnostic. I wanted Jupyter packaging to be similar, distro-agnostic, if you like.”

          Filipe had heard about snaps a while back, but only really discovered their potential after he received an invitation to the Snapcraft Summit and noticed that Microsoft Visual Studio Code had recently become available as a snap. The ease of use of snaps was a big factor for him. “I like things that just work. I often get hauled in to sort out installation problems for other users – including members of my own family! It’s great to be able to tell them just to use the snap version of an application. It’s like, I snap my fingers and the install problems disappear!”

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Mozilla takes action to protect users in Kazakhstan

            Today, Mozilla and Google took action to protect the online security and privacy of individuals in Kazakhstan. Together the companies deployed technical solutions within Firefox and Chrome to block the Kazakhstan government’s ability to intercept internet traffic within the country.

            The response comes after credible reports that internet service providers in Kazakhstan have required people in the country to download and install a government-issued certificate on all devices and in every browser in order to access the internet. This certificate is not trusted by either of the companies, and once installed, allowed the government to decrypt and read anything a user types or posts, including intercepting their account information and passwords. This targeted people visiting popular sites Facebook, Twitter and Google, among others.

            “People around the world trust Firefox to protect them as they navigate the internet, especially when it comes to keeping them safe from attacks like this that undermine their security. We don’t take actions like this lightly, but protecting our users and the integrity of the web is the reason Firefox exists.” — Marshall Erwin, Senior Director of Trust and Security, Mozilla

          • Protecting our Users in Kazakhstan

            In July, a Firefox user informed Mozilla of a security issue impacting Firefox users in Kazakhstan: They stated that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kazakhstan had begun telling their customers that they must install a government-issued root certificate on their devices. What the ISPs didn’t tell their customers was that the certificate was being used to intercept network communications. Other users and researchers confirmed these claims, and listed 3 dozen popular social media and communications sites that were affected.

            The security and privacy of HTTPS encrypted communications in Firefox and other browsers relies on trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) to issue website certificates only to someone that controls the domain name or website. For example, you and I can’t obtain a trusted certificate for www.facebook.com because Mozilla has strict policies for all CAs trusted by Firefox which only allow an authorized person to get a certificate for that domain. However, when a user in Kazakhstan installs the root certificate provided by their ISP, they are choosing to trust a CA that doesn’t have to follow any rules and can issue a certificate for any website to anyone. This enables the interception and decryption of network communications between Firefox and the website, sometimes referred to as a Monster-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.

            We believe this act undermines the security of our users and the web, and it directly contradicts Principle 4 of the Mozilla Manifesto that states, “Individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • Updates from the Document Liberation Project

          We mostly focus on LibreOffice on this blog, but The Document Foundation also oversees the Document Liberation Project (DLP), which develops software libraries to import and export many different file formats. If you have some old documents or spreadsheets from legacy office software, for instance, the DLP can help you to access that data – giving control back to you.

          Many well-known free and open source programs use DLP libraries, such as Inkscape, Scribus, Calligra and of course LibreOffice. A few days ago, there were some DLP updates, so here’s a quick summary:

        • UI Logger

          This project is to generate a new easier Domain-Specific_language for logging the user interactions to be able to convert it to a python script that used by python UI framework for testing.

          This project made with Textx which is a meta-language for building Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) in Python. it helps you build your textual language in an easy way. You can invent your own language or build support for already existing textual language or file format.

      • Programming/Development
        • Datasets for Credit Risk Modeling

          This tutorial outlines several free publicly available datasets which can be used for credit risk modeling. In banking world, credit risk is a critical business vertical which makes sure that bank has sufficient capital to protect depositors from credit, market and operational risks. During the process, its role is to work for bank in compliance to central bank regulations.

        • Embedding PyQtGraph (or any other custom PyQt5 widgets) from Qt Designer

          Qt Designer is a great tool for designing PyQt5 GUIs, allowing you to use the entire range of Qt5 widgets and layouts to construct your apps. As your applications get more complex however you may find yourself creating custom widgets, or using PyQt5 libraries such as PyQtGraph, who’s widgets are not available within Designer.

          Helpfully, Qt Designer supports a mechanism for using placeholder widgets to represent your custom or external widgets in your design. This tutorial will walk you through the process of using placeholders to include a PyQtGraph plot in your app from within Qt Designer.

        • Refactoring to Multiple Exit Points

          Functions should have only a single entry point. We all agree on that. But some people also argue that functions should have a single exit that returns the value. More people don’t seem to care enough about how their functions are organized. I think that makes functions a lot more complicated than they have to be. So let’s talk about function organization and how multiple exit points can help.

        • Sony Continues Tuning AMD Jaguar Support Within The LLVM Clang Compiler

          Thanks to Sony using LLVM Clang as their default compiler toolchain for their PlayStation game console, they continue making improvements to the AMD Btver2/Jaguar code for optimized performance. The Jaguar APU is what’s in the current PlayStation 4 while we’ve already seen contributions from Sony to improve the Zen CPU support ahead of their next-generation console.

          Just this week was the newest contribution to the Jaguar/Btver2 target code within the LLVM compiler stack. This most recent addition is fixing the latency and throughput of CMPXCHG instructions. These improvements should yield better generated code around those instructions.

        • Open Source Developer Gain New Collaboration Opportunities on Open Hardware

          Live from Open Source Summit this week, we’re thrilled to share that the OpenPOWER Foundation is becoming a project hosted at The Linux Foundation. This includes a technical contribution of the POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and Source Design Implementations, including a softcore implementation of the POWER ISA.

          The OpenPOWER Foundation recognizes how increased collaboration across the open source ecosystem will advance open hardware technology and accelerate opportunity.

          Six years ago, IBM setup the OpenPOWER Foundation to widen the reach of their POWER technology. The goal from the start was to support Instruction Set Architecture and contributed Source Design Implementations required for data-driven HPC workloads like modelling and simulation, cloud services and also Artificial Intelligence (AI).

        • iOS and Android Localization Tool

          Localization is simply the process of translating your app into multiple languages.

          In situation like you need support multiple language, including API response messages and dynamic strings you need a list of localizable .strings file, and you need to localized it based on the Language you want ( e.g English, Chinese, Japanese ).

          Xcode has a built-in localizable file generator that generate your localizable .strings for each language you supported.

        • First Python Program

          Ok, really thrilled today.
          Patting myself on the back.

          I finally managed to write a program all on my ownsome. Kushal gave me a toy problem and I went around, scratched my head, did a lot of searching, a lot more headbanging, even more mistakes and then finally managed to write this.

          Am happy because this is how I imagined myself learning in the first place.
          Figuring out a problem someone has and then figuring out how to help them.

        • Reactive Spring Boot programming with Vert.x

          The latest bundle of Red Hat supported Spring Boot starters was recently released. In addition to supporting the popular Red Hat products for our Spring Boot customers, the Red Hat Spring Boot team was also busy creating new ones. The most recent technical preview added is a group of Eclipse Vert.x Spring Boot starters, which provide a Spring-native vocabulary for the popular JVM reactive toolkit.

          Let’s quickly go through the main concepts to get everybody on the same page before looking into an example.

          A reactive system as defined in the Reactive Manifesto is responsive, resilient, elastic, and message-driven. These properties guarantee easy replication, non-blocking communication with high system resources utilization and great fault tolerance. At the latest stage of software evolution, with cloud-first, low-latency, and highly data-intensive applications, reactive systems provide a great value for money.

          In our newest release, we have introduced a few Spring WebFlux extensions for Vert.x. With these extensions, you can build your application the way you’re used to—using WebFlux and Project Reactor—while network communications will be handled by the Vert.x servers and clients.

  • Leftovers
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (ghostscript, pango, and squirrelmail), openSUSE (libcryptopp, squid, tcpdump, and wireshark), SUSE (flatpak), and Ubuntu (giflib and NLTK).

      • Security flaws caused by compiler optimizations

        An optimizing compiler is one that tries to maximize some attribute(s) of an executable program at the expense of other attribute(s). Usually the goal is to improve performance or code size at the expense of compiler time and the possibility to debug the program at a later stage. Most modern compilers support some sort of optimization. Normally code optimized for performance is the usual preference. In cases where space is a constraint like embedded systems, developers also prefer code optimized for size.

        Code optimization is both an art as well as a science. Various compilers use different techniques for optimizing code.

      • To patch Windows or not: Do you want BlueKeep bug or broken Visual Basic apps?

        Microsoft says apps that use Visual Basic 6 (VB6), VBA, and VBScript “may stop responding with error” after its updates from this Tuesday have been installed.

        “After installing this update, applications that were made using Visual Basic 6 (VB6), macros using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and scripts or apps using Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) may stop responding and you may receive an ‘invalid procedure call error’,” Microsoft says.

        The issue affects all supported versions of Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and their corresponding server versions.

        “Microsoft is presently investigating this issue and will provide an update when available,” the company said.

        Microsoft didn’t offer an explanation for the problem but it did flag earlier this month that it will move ahead with sunsetting VBScript, by disabling it in IE11 by default via an update in this week’s patch.

        “The change to disable VBScript will take effect in the upcoming cumulative updates for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on August 13, 2019,” Microsoft warned in a blog. The change brought these versions of Windows in line with Windows 10.

      • Latest Debian GNU/Linux Security Patch Addresses 14 Vulnerabilities, Update Now

        Available for the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” and Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system series, the new Linux kernel security update addresses a total of 14 vulnerabilities discovered by various security researchers. The Debian Project urges all users to update their installations as soon as possible.

        Among the security flaws patched, we can mention a race condition in the libsas subsystem that supports Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) devices, a potential double-free in the block subsystem, as well as two issues that could make it easier for attackers to exploit other vulnerabilities.

    • Environment
      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Is Science Failing the World’s Primates?

          There are more than 500 known primate species, but it would be hard to tell that by looking at recent research. Want to know how chimpanzees are doing across Africa? We can tell you plenty about them. But understanding how nocturnal pottos are doing across the same region? That may be more difficult.

          Here’s why: A new study by primatologists Michelle Bezanson of Santa Clara University and Allison McNamara of University of Texas-Austin surveyed 29,000 recent journal articles and found a lack of diversity in the species studied, field sites chosen and research topics.

          And that’s troubling. Now is a critical time for primate conservation: Approximately 60 percent of primate species are endangered, half of them critically. And yet, as McNamara and Bezanson’s research of peer-reviewed studies published between 2011 to 2015 found, less than 20 percent of research was focused on conservation. Instead the studies focused on topics such as behavior and ecology, which address theoretical questions. And many papers did not acknowledge the contributions of local communities. Without basic research on the most severely threatened primate species, we lack the information and infrastructure needed to save them. And successful conservation efforts can only happen with the cooperation and investment of the local human communities who live alongside them.

    • Finance
      • Re-Imagining India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ in the Context of a $5 Trillion Economy

        Every now and then, the talk of Bangalore being ‘India’s Silicon Valley’ becomes topical and trendy. Governments, policy makers and intelligentsia see in this a proof of our pre-eminent position in the world’s tech happening spaces. In reality, barring their salubrious climates, they don’t resemble each other very much.

        The 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report has ranked the city at #18 as compared to Silicon Valley at #1, New York at #2, and London and Beijing sharing the #3 spot.

      • MP: Evidence no deal Brexit would be damaging ‘overwhelming’

        Jeremy Corbyn’s much ridiculed letter to opposition leaders, saying he would bring a vote of no confidence in the Government and then lead a government of national unity (GNU), merely served to remind us that more than half of Labour MPs have no confidence in their own leader.

        Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson came out of her corner fighting, highlighting just how ridiculous Corbyn’s idea was, and that any GNU should be led by a respected parliamentary grandee, suggesting Father of the House Ken Clarke, or Mother of the House Harriet Harman. Both are well respected.

        Ken Clarke pointed out that in trying to avoid a no deal Brexit, MPs who are against no deal are split several ways, some advocating a Norway-style deal, others looking at a Swiss-style deal, yet more at a customs union Turkish-style deal, whilst others want to go straight to the Canada-style free trade deal. Don’t forget many want a second referendum.

      • What’s Next for Brexit’s Foes?

        An anti-Brexit Government of National Unity falls at the first hurdle: its acronym.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Jo Swinson Goes A Funny Tinge

        My own position on Brexit is more nuanced than is currently fashionable (more below), but I am strongly against a no deal Brexit. Jo Swinson’s successful deflation of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for a caretaker administration purely to organise a general election, makes no deal much more probable.

        [...]

        Swinson was one of the Lib Dems who was least uncomfortable in coalition with the Tories, and her attitude now is based entirely on the wishes of Chuka Umunna and other actual and potential Blairite defectors to the Lib Dems. Swinson is more interested in playing to the Blairite visceral hatred of Corbyn than she is in stopping no deal Brexit, and it is proof if any were needed that the arrival of Blairite and Tory defectors is moving the Lib Dems still further to the right. I see not a single hint of the party’s old radicalism or principle.

        The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have shown maturity and common sense in welcoming Corbyn’s initiative, with due reservations and caveats. Had the Lib Dems done so too, it would have encouraged Tory rebels to join in an all-party initiatvie. Swinson’s refusal to work with Corbyn, on the grounds that Tory rebels would also refuse, was as she well knew a self-fulfilling prophecy. By making it about Corbyn, Swinson made it impossible for Tory MPs to go along when the Lib Dems had refused.

        Institutional and personal loyalties are very difficult things to shake off. The Tory Party has become a far right movement whose primary policies are motivated by nothing but racist hatred of immigrants. It is extremely hard for decent people like Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve to accept that this has happened and it is irreversible.

        If Westminster cannot stop hard Brexit and it goes ahead, it will be enabled by Swinson’s ambition, the hatreds of Blairites, and the failure of decent Tories to process psychologically what has happened to their party.

      • Corporate Media Filled With Nameless Voices Attacking Progressive Democrats

        The Democratic Party establishment wants you to know that they’re not afraid of primary challenges from the Justice Democrats—a progressive political action committee that runs progressive candidates who reject campaign funding from the ultra-rich and corporations. But when the establishment Democrats tell you they aren’t afraid, they often aren’t brave enough to let reporters quote them by name.

        These anonymous sources are rarely as insulting as the one quoted by Fox News’ Brooke Singman: “No one is afraid of those [Justice Democrat] nerds. They don’t have the ability to primary anyone.” But as FAIR contributor Adam Johnson and Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid observed, other anonymous sources are not very different in content, because corporate media are generally granting anonymity to sources in the Democratic establishment looking to run opposition talking points against progressive lawmakers and organizations.

        For example, The Hill (7/11/19) carried an anonymous response to Saikat Chakrabarti, then Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, after he tweeted that centrists in the Blue Dog and New Democrat caucuses were “the new Southern Democrats” because they voted to fund Trump’s border concentration camps: “You can be someone who does not personally harbor ill will towards a race, but through your actions still enable a racist system,” Chakrabarti said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • White House Suspends Another Reporter’s Press Pass, Once Again, Raising 1st Amendment Concerns

        As you’ll recall, last year, the White House tried to remove CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass over a silly made up controversy claiming that he had “assaulted” an intern in trying to hold onto the microphone while the intern had tried to pull it away. CNN sued and a court sided with them in blocking the White House’s action. Soon after, the White House released new rules, that we mentioned left them open to future 1st Amendment challenges.

        Well, here we are. On Friday, the White House removed Playboy reporter Brian Karem’s press pass, claiming it was about some sort of weird yelling match Karem had with ex-Trump official Sebastian Gorka at Trump’s silly social media troll summit back in July. Karem immediately said he’d sue over the removal and his attorney Ted Boutrous has sent a series of letters to White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham over the last few weeks. The opening of the first one lays everything out pretty nicely.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Apple’s New WebKit Policy Takes a Hard Line for User Privacy

        Ever since mid-2017, Apple has been tackling web tracking in a big way. Various iterations of its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology have been introduced over the past few years in WebKit, the browser engine for Safari. ITP already protects users from tracking in various ways, but it left open a number of questions about the guidelines it uses to determine just who Apple considers a tracker, and what behavior is indicative of tracking.

        [...]

        In addition to defining exactly what Apple means by the term “tracking,” the new policy also enumerates different forms of tracking, including the use of tracking cookies, fingerprinting, HSTS supercookies, and several other examples. The inclusion of HSTS as a tracking technology is significant. HSTS, or HTTP Strict Transport Security, is a web header that sites can use to indicate that they should only be accessed over the secure HTTPS transport layer in the future. Your browser will cache this response and ensure that future requests are not made over insecure HTTP. However, trackers can use this cache to piece together a supercookie that can identify your browser across multiple websites. Safari limits this by only respecting HSTS under certain conditions. For this reason, researchers have lately been suggesting the use of EFF’s own HTTPS Everywhere, which maintains a list of HTTPS-supporting sites, as an alternative to caching HSTS headers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Huawei Busted Helping African Governments Spy On The Press, Political Opponents

        While the Trump administration’s war on Huawei may be largely fueled by evidence optional protectionism, that certainly doesn’t mean Huawei is an ethical company. Like any good telecom and networking giant, it can routinely be found helping governments engage in behavior that’s less than, say, moral. For example a damning report emerged this week in the Wall Street Journal (paywall, here’s a non-paywalled video report and a fairly decent alternative take) showcasing how Huawei technicians have helped African leaders intercept encrypted transmissions of their political opponents…

        [...]

        That said, none of this is historically unique. Telecoms are, again, routinely grafted to governments, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies in problematic ways. Just ask AT&T, who is so tightly wired to the NSA, you can’t tell where the telco ends and the government begins. Similarly the US has a long history of partnering with companies to provide IT support and telecoms gear to a huge variety of dictators who then utilized that technology to help track and kill political opponents, dissidents, and even students. The press and public moral indignation at this kind of behavior tends to be… inconsistent and colored by patriotism.

        And while Huawei is clearly not ethical, you’d be hard pressed to find a telecom giant that is. The US blackballing of Huawei is still based on a lot of unproven allegations of wholesale spying on Americans at China’s behest, something that would drive (and has driven) US companies bat-shit crazy when the shoe is on the other foot. And while the US war on Huawei is partially based on some genuine security concerns, it’s also heavily driven by a protectionist bid by companies like Cisco that simply don’t want to have to compete with cheaper Chinese kit. The exact percentage breakdown of this equation has yet to be seen.

      • With Record Number Of Immigrants In ICE Detention, Class Action Lawsuit Outlines ‘Atrocious Conditions’

        Marco Montoya Amaya is 41 years old. He is currently detained at the Mesa Verde Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center in California. He has “end-stage neurocysticercosis,” which is a brain parasite, and has not received any treatment.

        According to a class action lawsuit filed by multiple civil rights groups, Amaya entered the United States in 2012. He lived in Napa, California. He was first detained by ICE at Yuba County Jail and later transferred to Mesa Verde in March 2019. He suffers from worsening cognitive and psychiatric symptoms that are potentially irreversible and has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder.

        Amaya was placed in solitary confinement for about a week in May 2019 for “accidentally eating an extra tray he was given by an officer. He did not understand the officer’s instructions—likely due to his cognitive impairment—that the tray was for other detained individuals who were fasting for Ramadan.”

        The lawsuit adds, “He did not receive an opportunity to appeal or challenge his segregation,” and he “was confused as to whether the segregation was disciplinary or instead for his health or protection, as he was housed in medical isolation.”

        Amaya is one of fifteen individuals detained at eight different detention facilities in six states. They represent a class of around 55,000 immigrants who allegedly are subject to inhumane and unlawful conditions. Many of these individuals have endured treatment that amounts to torture.

        The lawsuit challenges systemic problems that consistently result in denial of medical care, failure to provide mental health treatment, lack of accommodations for persons with disabilities, and solitary confinement.

      • Lawsuit Filed By Victims Of ICE’s Fake College Sting Revived By Appeals Court

        An elaborate scheme involving a fake college set up in New Jersey by ICE has, unsurprisingly, resulted in a lawsuit by some of the foreign students swept up in the sting operation. Apparently having given up on rooting out the worst of the worst non-citizens, ICE is contenting itself with arresting and charging foreigners for attempting to stay in the country legally by continuing their education.

        The fake university looked pretty real to applicants. It had a website, a Facebook page, and — most importantly — accreditation by a national accreditation service. The school’s website told students the fake school was certified by the DHS’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program to “educate international students.”

        It all looked legit. None of it was. ICE claims it was targeting people who defrauded students or universities by brokering illegitimate educational offerings meant to allow visitors to overstay their visas. That doesn’t explain why ICE accepted registration fees from interested students. Nor why it arrested a bunch of students trying to do something they were legally allowed to do.

        ICE ended up with about eight criminal suspects from the hundred-plus arrests resulting from the sting operation. Some of the others caught up in the sting had their visas cancelled, supposedly due to “fraudulent enrollment.” So, in the government’s eyes, the people ICE tricked into enrolling in its very real-looking fake college are every bit as criminal as the criminals the government is actually prosecuting.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • New Hampshire Supreme Court: Of Course It’s Not Defamatory To Call A Patent Troll A Patent Troll

          Earlier this year, we wrote about a legal fight in New Hampshire, where patent trolling firm ATL, had sued a bunch of critics for defamation for calling them a patent troll. As we noted in February, this was an incredibly weak argument, as it’s a statement of opinion. Thankfully, the New Hampshire Supreme Court got this one right and ruled that calling someone a patent troll is not defamatory.

          The ruling is a pretty straightforward, by-the-books ruling on a bogus defamation claim on an opinion statement. It cites all the usual cases — mainly Phantom Touring — to point out that “patent troll” is just an opinion that can’t be defamatory, because there’s no objective standard by which you would prove it true or false. People can (and do!) disagree over what constitutes a patent troll, and the court system is not there to settle that debate.

      • Trademarks
        • Intra-Family Trademark Violence: SR Sues JR For Using His Own Name In Law Firm Marketing

          With the chief hurdle for infringement in trademark law being potential public confusion as to the source of a good or service, we sometimes toss that standard around as a blanket sort of thing. And, in trademark law, it kind of is just that binary. But the combination of the protectionist view of trademark law taking hold in America and the unfortunate habit of many people attempting to trademark their own names in one fashion or another, I wonder if the law might need to be updated in some ways. For example, we’ve seen several instances of intra-family trademark spats that arise from a person or business looking to trademark or simply use their own names. Any system of trademark enforcement that results in broadly disallowing someone to use their own name in the marketplace feels like a clear step too far, if only from a common sense perspective.

          Yet it keeps happening. The latest iteration of this involves a lawyer, George Sink Sr., suing his own son, George Sink Jr., for using his own name for his law firm and marketing material. The court overseeing the matter just this week issued a restraining order barring George Jr. from using his own name to advertise his firm.

Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 09:55:51 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Chrome OS 77 to bring Crostini (Linux beta) to Chromebook Pixel 2015, other older devices

      A few months ago, 9to5 Google reported on “kernelnext” in Chrome OS, with the expectation that it was a way to bring the Linux beta, also known as Project Crostini, to some older Chromebooks. Now, the results of that effort are appearing in early builds of Chrome OS 77, reports 9to5 Google: The Chromebook Pixel 2015 and eight other Chrome OS devices are getting Linux support, thanks to an updated kernel.

    • Desktop
      • Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops

        Today, Windows users hold off for as long as possible before “updating” their PCs. Chrome OS users, on the other hand, have their systems updated every six weeks without a hitch. And, I might add, these updates take a minute or two instead of an hour or two.

        Chrome OS is also more secure than Windows. WIndows security violations pop up every blessed month. Sure, Chrome OS has had security holes, but I can’t think of one that’s been significantly exploited.

        Want a nightmare? Try migrating from an old Windows PC to a new one. Even if you’re jumping from Windows 10 to Windows 10, there are no easy ways to do it. If you have a Microsoft account, rather than a local account, you must manually move your local files from third-party programs such as Photoshop

        On Chrome OS, you log in to your new Chromebook and — ta-da! — you’re back in business. No fuss, no muss.

      • 6 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

        Whether buying a Linux pre-installed laptop or selecting a Linux distro for your existing laptop, there are many things to consider. Let’s take you through some of the best Linux distros that are optimized for Laptops in this 2019 edition of the article. Read on.

    • Server
      • Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU12

        Today we are releasing the SRU 12 for Oracle Solaris 11.4. It is available via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1.

      • Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU12 Released – Adds GCC 9.1 Compiler & Python 3.7

        While we haven’t heard anything yet about Oracle’s plans for Solaris post-11.4 whether that means Solaris 11.4 or the reportedly killed Solaris 12, Oracle today did release Solaris 11.4 Stable Release Update 12 as their newest installment for their supported Solaris operating system release.

      • IBM
        • Red Hat Satellite 6.6 Beta is now available with enhancements across reporting, automation, and supportability

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.6 is now available in beta to current Satellite customers.

          Red Hat Satellite is a scalable platform to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of your Red Hat infrastructure, regardless of where it is running. The Satellite 6.6 beta is focused on enhancements across reporting, automation, and supportability

          While Satellite 6.6 Beta supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 hosts, it is important to note that Satellite 6.6 must be installed on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 host. Support for running Satellite itself on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 host is scheduled for a later release.

        • Serverless on Kubernetes, diverse automation, and more industry trends

          As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

          [...]

          The impact: What struck me is the range of things that can be automated with Ansible. Windows? Check. Multicloud? Check. Security? Check. The real question after those three days are over will be: Is there anything in IT that can’t be automated with Ansible? Seriously, I’m asking, let me know.

        • Open source POWER ISA takes aim at Intel and Arm for accelerator-driven computing

          IBM announced the release of the POWER instruction set architecture (ISA) as an open standard at the OpenPOWER Summit in San Diego on Tuesday. This announcement comes six years after the formation of the OpenPOWER Foundation, which aimed to foster the creation of hardware from third-party vendors that integrates the POWER architecture in the datacenter.

          While the POWER ISA was itself licensable following the creation of the OpenPOWER Foundation in 2013, that came at a cost. Now, the POWER ISA is available royalty-free, inclusive of patent rights. IBM is releasing a soft core reference implementation of the POWER ISA, and reference designs for Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI) and Open Memory Interface (OMI) architecture-agnostic compute accelerators.

        • IBM is moving OpenPower Foundation to The Linux Foundation

          IBM makes the Power Series chips, and as part of that has open sourced some of the underlying technologies to encourage wider use of these chips. The open source pieces have been part of the OpenPower Foundation. Today, the company announced it was moving the foundation under The Linux Foundation, and while it was at it, announced it was open sourcing several other important bits.

          Ken King, general manager for OpenPower at IBM, says that at this point in his organization’s evolution, they wanted to move it under the auspices of the Linux Foundation . “We are taking the OpenPower Foundation, and we are putting it as an entity or project underneath The Linux Foundation with the mindset that we are now bringing more of an open governance approach and open governance principles to the foundation,” King told TechCrunch.

          But IBM didn’t stop there. It also announced that it was open sourcing some of the technical underpinnings of the Power Series chip to make it easier for developers and engineers to build on top of the technology. Perhaps most importantly, the company is open sourcing the Power Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). These are “the definitions developers use for ensuring hardware and software work together on Power,” the company explained.

        • OpenPOWER Foundation | The Next Step in the OpenPOWER Foundation Journey

          Today marks one of the most important days in the life of the OpenPOWER Foundation. With IBM announcing new contributions to the open source community including the POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and key hardware reference designs at OpenPOWER Summit North America 2019, the future has never looked brighter for the POWER architecture.

          OpenPOWER Foundation Aligns with Linux Foundation

          The OpenPOWER Foundation will now join projects and organizations like OpenBMC, CHIPS Alliance, OpenHPC and so many others within the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation is the premier open source group, and we’re excited to be working more closely with them.

          Since our founding in 2013, IEEE-ISTO has been our home, and we owe so much to its team. It’s as a result of IEEE-ISTO’s support and guidance that we’ve been able to expand to more than 350 members and that we’re ready to take the next step in our evolution. On behalf of our membership, our board of directors and myself, we place on record our thanks to the IEEE-ISTO team.

          By moving the POWER ISA under an open model – guided by the OpenPOWER Foundation within the Linux Foundation – and making it available to the growing open technical commons, we’ll enable innovation in the open hardware and software space to grow at an accelerated pace. The possibilities for what organizations and individuals will be able to develop on POWER through its mature ISA and software ecosystem will be nearly limitless.

        • POWER ISA Contributed To Open-Source, OpenPOWER Joining The Linux Foundation

          The POWER ISA is being moved to an open model and with IBM contributing a POWER ISA license to the OpenPOWER Foundation, technically anyone can implement on top of it royalty-free and with patent rights. This comes following the success of the royalty-free RISC-V and even the MIPS processor ISA being open-sourced.

        • How Red Hat delivers $7B in customer savings

          This spring, Red Hat commissioned IDC to conduct a new study to analyze the contributions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to the global business economy. While many of the findings were impressive, including immense opportunities for partners, we were especially excited to learn more about how our customers benefit from Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          According to the study, the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform “touches” more than $10 trillion of business revenues worldwide each year and provides economic benefits of more than $1 trillion each year to customers. Nearly $7 billion of that number comes in the form of IT savings. Even more exciting? As hybrid cloud adoption grows, we expect customers to continue to benefit given the importance of a common, flexible and open operating system to IT deployments that span the many footprints of enterprise computing.

        • The road ahead for the Red Hat OpenStack Platform

          If you didn’t have a chance to attend our Road Ahead session at Red Hat Summit 2019 (or you did, but want a refresher) you’ll want to read on for a quick update. We’ll cover where Red Hat OpenStack Platform is today, where we’re planning to go tomorrow, and the longer-term plan for Red Hat OpenStack Platform support all the way to 2025.

          A strategic part of our portfolio

          Red Hat OpenStack Platform is a strategic part of Red Hat’s vision for open hybrid cloud. It’s the on-prem foundation that can help organizations bridge the gap between today’s existing workloads and emerging workloads. In fact, it just earned the 2019 CODiE award for “Best Software Defined Infrastructure.”

          One of those emerging workloads, and more on the rest in a moment, is Red Hat OpenShift.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • CodeWeavers Reflects On The Wild Year Since Valve Introduced Steam Play / Proton

        This week marks one year since Valve rolled out their Proton beta for Steam Play to allow Windows games to gracefully run on Linux via this Wine downstream catered for Steam Linux gaming. It’s been crazy since then with all of Valve’s continued work on open-source graphics drivers, adding the likes of FAudio and D9VK to Proton, continuing to fund DXVK development for faster Direct3D-over-Vulkan, and many other infrastructure improvements and more to allow more Windows games to run on Linux and to do so well and speedy.

      • Turn your Xbox console into a home PC with this guide

        If you’ve ever wondered if you can turn your Xbox into a PC, you came to the right place.

        Because the Xbox console has the same hardware specifications as some older computer desktops, you will be able to convert it to a fully functioning PC. Unfortunately, you will not be able to install Windows on your console, but you can use the Linux operating system.

        In this article you will find out what items you’re going to need in order to make this happen, and also the steps you need to follow to accomplish this.

      • Action-adventure roguelike UnderMine now available in Early Access

        UnderMine from developer Thorium is an action-adventure roguelike with a bit of RPG tossed in, it’s now in Early Access with Linux support. [...]

        Featuring some gameplay elements found in the likes of The Binding of Isaac, you proceed further down the UnderMine, going room to room digging for treasure and taking down enemies. There’s also some RPG style rogue-lite progression involved too, as you’re able to find powerful items and upgrades as you explore to prepare you for further runs.

      • Attack of the Clones with custom Proton builds for Steam Play

        I know how you all love to tinker, so how about tinkering away with some custom builds of Steam Play Proton on this fine Tuesday afternoon?

        There’s a feature in the Steam client on Linux that enables you to add in your own special builds of Steam Play and other compatibility tools like Boxtron for native DOSBox. A very useful feature, since the community can build on top of work done by Valve to make Linux gaming with Steam Play even better.

        One such custom build of Proton which recently released is Proton-i 4.13-3. This one is quite simple with a few little updates and fixes like moving Proton 4.11-2 patches on top of Wine 4.13, a fix for Unreal Engine 4 and a few other little changes. Likely a good one to try, if you just want to be that little bit more up to date.

      • Mixing Tower Defense with production chains, the free and open source game Mindustry has a big update

        Could this be your next time sink? Mindustry merges together Tower Defense style gameplay with production chains from the likes of Factorio.

        A few days ago, the developer released the final 4.0 build which is an absolutely massive update to Mindustry. It took 88 builds to get there and it was worth the wait. It’s an overhaul to all parts of the game including new gamemodes, customizable rules, a new editor, new graphics, new enemies, unit production, new progression, a campaign and more.

      • Wasteland 3 has an impressive new trailer for Gamescom

        inXile Entertainment have shown off more of their upcoming party-based RPG Wasteland 3 at Gamescom and it’s looking great.

      • Areia: Pathway to Dawn aims to be a relaxing meditative adventure game

        Areia: Pathway to Dawn from Gilp Studio was just recently announced with the developer promising it to be a “journey like no other”.

        It’s an adventure game, with a few puzzle elements to it and a wondrous style. The developer said it’s a game about emotions and spiritual growth, a tale of wonder as you explore a land inhabited by only one character. It’s supposed to be a calming experience, with Gilp Studio saying it’s “a unique addition to the range of meditative games”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE’s Onboarding Sprint: Making it easier to setup a development environment

          Suse were generous enough to offer two spacious and fully equipped offices at their headquarters to host the KDE sprints. We owe a special thanks and a big KDE hug to the OpenSuse team and in particular Douglas DeMaio and Fabian Vogt for being incredible hosts.

        • Third month progress

          I am here presenting you with my final month GSoC project report. I will be providing the links to my work at the end of the section.

          Final month of the work period was much more hectic and tiring than the first couple of months. I had been busy more than I had anticipated. Nonetheless, I had to write code which I enjoyed writing : ) . In the first half of this work period, I was focused on completing the left-over QDBus communication from the phase 2, which I did successfully. But as when I thought my task was all over, I was faced with some regression in the code, which I utilised my rest half a month to fix it.

          [...]

          As I had said above in the intro, I was faced with some real difficulty during the second half of the work period. As soon as I finished up QDBus thing, a regression was caused (Which I should have noticed before, my bad), helper was no longer started by the main application. I spent rest of the days brain-storming the issue but due to shortage of time, could not fix it. I plan to try fixing it in the next few days before GSoC ends(26th August), if I successfully do that, I will update the status here as well .

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Sajeer Ahamed: Review | GSoC 2019

          I’ve been working on GStreamer based project of Gnome Foundation. GStreamer is a pipeline-based multimedia framework that links together a wide variety of media processing systems to complete complex workflows. The framework is based on plugins that will provide various codec and other functionality. The plugins can be linked and arranged in a pipeline. And most of the plugins are written in C. Now the developers are in an attempt to convert them to Rust which is more robust and easily maintainable. My task is to be a part of this conversion and to help fix issues related to this.

    • Distributions
      • openSUSE Boards Gets A New Chairman

        Long-time openSUSE contributor Richard Brown is stepping down from his role as chairperson of openSUSE board, a position he had been holding for the last five years. He will be replaced by Gerald Pfeifer, SUSE’s CTO for EMEA. Gerald himself is a developer who has contributed to projects like like GCC and Wine.

        In a blog post, Brown said, “Some of the key factors that led me to make this step include the time required to do the job properly, and the length of time I’ve served. Five years is more than twice as long as any of my predecessors. The time required to do the role properly has increased and I now find it impossible to balance the demands of the role with the requirements of my primary role as a developer in SUSE, and with what I wish to achieve outside of work and community.”

      • New Releases
        • Alpine 3.10.2 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.10.2 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        • Redcore Linux 1908 Released, Which Fixes Many of the Pending Bugs

          Redcore Linux developer has released the new version of Redcore Linux 1908 and code name is Mira.

          This release fixes most of the outstanding bugs and some more polishing. Also, added new features as well.

          Bunch of packages (1000+) got updated because this release is based on Gentoo’s testing branch, unlike previous releases which were based on a mix of Gentoo’s stable and testing branches.

          Starting from Redcore Linux 1908, the packages shold be up-to-date since it’s using Gentoo’s testing branch.

        • Netrunner 19.08 – Indigo released

          The Netrunner Team is happy to announce the immediate availability of Netrunner 19.08 Indigo – 64bit ISO.

          This time Netrunner 19.08 ships with a brand new Look and Feel called Indigo which features the identically named color as main attraction. The mixture of darker blue and lighter blue together with classic white like gray creates a pleasent to the eye look that matches the Breeze Icon theme without distracting your eyes. The new red colored cursor (RED-Theme) has a slight retro vibe to it and takes care of quickly finding the cursor on the screen and never really loose track of it. As always we provide a wonderfully drafted wallpaper which fits the overall design of the desktop.

        • Netrunner 19.08 Released For Delivering A Clean KDE Experience Atop Debian 10
      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Fedora Family
        • Is Fedora Linux a Good Distro? The 15 Best Reasons to Use Fedora Linux

          It goes without saying that Fedora Linux is one of the best Linux distributions and significantly distinct with its properties. There is no denying that it is an enticing version of Linux and there are enough reasons to be lured with the Fedora. It offers far ranges of features that have made it an undeniable choice for the users. There is a close and intimate collaboration between Fedora and “Redhat” what has given a new dimension of this Linux version. It is more comfortable to use, user-friendly and latest technology oriented; thus, there are many obvious reasons for loving in it.

          [...]

          The various distribution of Linux system is recognized for easy-going properties, albeit Fedora is the easiest one in this context. Having an easier interface, users are capable of dealing with it very easily since the boot phase. When the boot is done, users will be guided with simple features to run it the way they desire.

      • Debian Family
        • Knoppix 8.6 Released

          Klaus Knopper has announced the release of the latest version of KNOPPIX Live GNU/Linux distribution.

          Version 8.6 of KNOPPIX is based on Debian/stable (buster), with some packages from Debian/testing and unstable (sid) for newer graphics drivers or desktop software packages. It uses Linux kernel 5.2.5 and Xorg 7.7 (core 1.20.4) for supporting current computer hardware.

        • Knoppix 8.6.0 Released, Which is Based on Debian “Buster”

          Knoppix team had announced the release of KNOPPIX 8.6, a new stable version which is based on Debian “buster”.

          It allow users to run directly from a CD / DVD (Live CD) or a USB flash drive (Live USB).

          Added few of the packages from Debian/testing and unstable (sid) for newer graphics drivers or desktop software packages.

          It uses Linux kernel 5.2.5 and Xorg 7.7 (core 1.20.4) for supporting current computer hardware.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Dualboot Ubuntu 19.04 and Debian 10 on a 32GB USB Stick

          Ubuntu 19.04, or Disco Dingo, and Debian 10, or Buster, are two latest versions in 2019 of two most popular GNU/Linux distros I already wrote about here and here. This tutorial explains dualboot installation procedures in simple way for Ubuntu Disco Dingo and Debian Buster computer operating systems onto a portable USB Flash Drive. There are 2 advantages of this kind of portable dualbooting; first, it’s safer for your data in internal HDD and second, you can bring both OSes with you everywhere you go. You will prepare the partitions first, then install Ubuntu, and then install Debian, and finally finish up the GRUB bootloader, and enjoy. Go ahead!

        • Elementary OS is the latest group to ditch Medium for their own blog

          Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison.

          But it’s also one that’s managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros.

          With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple’s interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Databases
        • Amazon DocumentDB Speeds Up With Slow Queries Logging

          Amazon continues to add extra supports to its non-relational database store DocumentDB with the addition of slow queries logging.

          Slow queries logging allows user to monitor their slowest queries in the cluster. This helps to improve overall performance of the cluster and the individual query.

          Once the user has enabled a set profiler for the query the system will monitor operations and if any queries run longer than the customer-defined threshold, set at 100ms by default, the system will log their execution time and send an alert to the CloudWatch Logs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 12 Report

          It was The last week of GSoC program. Raal was working on testing all the project and the generated files and I help him by solving some bugs or add anything.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • GNU Scientific Library 2.6 released

          Version 2.6 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C.
          This release introduces major performance improvements to common linear algebra matrix factorizations, as well as numerous new features and bug fixes. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.
          The file details for this release are:
          ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.6.tar.gz
          ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.6.tar.gz.sig
          The GSL project homepage is http://www.gnu.org/software/gsl/
          GSL is free software distributed under the GNU General Public License.
          Thanks to everyone who reported bugs and contributed improvements.
          Patrick Alken

      • Public Services/Government
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • 5 notable open source 3D printers

            Open source hardware and 3D printers go together like, well, open source hardware and 3D printers. Not only are 3D printers used to create all sorts of open source hardware—there are also a huge number of 3D printers that have been certified as open source by the Open Source Hardware Association. That fact means that they are freely available to improve and build upon.

            There are plenty of open source 3D printers out there, with more being certified on a regular basis. Here’s a look at some of the latest.

      • Programming/Development
        • Raspberry Pi gets MIT’s Scratch 3 programming language for Raspbian

          Ever since Scratch 3 was released this January, a team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been working with MIT to develop an offline, installable version for the Raspberry Pi.

          That offline version is now available, offering students and beginners an easy environment to begin coding with the language’s visual ‘code blocks’, as well as paint and sound-editing tools.

          Scratch 3 requires installing the latest version of Raspbian known as ‘Buster’, the latest version of Debian Linux that was released alongside the Raspberry Pi 4 in June.

          Due to the memory requirements of Scratch 3, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is recommending it is installed on a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 2GB of RAM. The 2GB model costs $45.

        • GCC 10 Lands Support For -march=tigerlake & -march=cooperlake

          The GNU toolchain has already been preparing for Cooperlake CPUs as the successor to Cascadelake as well as supporting the new instruction set extensions, but finally today the support for -march=cooperlake was merged to GCC 10 for conveniently exposing the new CPU target in the GNU Compiler Collection. At the same time, -march=tigerlake was also added.

          The Cooperlake target is notable for adding BF16 / BFloat16 support compared to Cascadelake.

        • Automating Low Code App Deployment on Red Hat OpenShift with the Joget Operator

          This is a guest post by Julian Khoo, VP Product Development and Co-Founder at Joget Inc. Julian has almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry, specifically in enterprise software development. He has been involved in the development of various products and platforms in application development, workflow management, content management, collaboration and e-commerce.

        • Python Histogram Plotting: NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas & Seaborn

          In this course, you’ll be equipped to make production-quality, presentation-ready Python histogram plots with a range of choices and features.

          If you have introductory to intermediate knowledge in Python and statistics, then you can use this article as a one-stop shop for building and plotting histograms in Python using libraries from its scientific stack, including NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas, and Seaborn.

        • PyCon 2020 Conference Site is here!

          Our bold design includes the Roberto Clemente Bridge, also known as the Sixth Street Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Steelmark, was originally created for United States Steel Corporation to promote the attributes of steel: yellow lightens your work; orange brightens your leisure; and blue widens your world. The PPG Building, is a complex in downtown Pittsburgh, consisting of six buildings within three city blocks and five and a half acres. Named for its anchor tenant, PPG Industries, who initiated the project for its headquarters, the buildings are all of matching glass design consisting of 19,750 pieces of glass. Also included in the design are a fun snake, terminal window, and hardware related items.

          [...]

          As with any sponsorship, the benefits go both ways. Organizations have many options for sponsorship packages, and they all benefit from exposure to an ever growing audience of Python programmers, from those just getting started to 20 year veterans and every walk of life in between. If you’re hiring, the Job Fair puts your organization within reach of a few thousand dedicated people who came to PyCon looking to sharpen their skills.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #382 (Aug. 20, 2019)
        • Python Qt5 – the QTimer class.
      • Standards/Consortia
        • [Old] What is hi-res audio and how can you experience it right now?

          To store hi-res audio, you need a file type that can accommodate these higher bit depths and sampling frequencies. MP3 files can’t do that, which is why you’ll see hi-res music presented as one of AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, or DSD. Of these, FLAC tends to be the most widely used and 24-bit/96kHz is the most common quality level, though some FLAC files are available in 24-bit/192kHz too.

  • Leftovers
    • The Creators of the World’s Longest-Running Webcam Are Pulling the Plug

      Early webcams, including the 1991 Trojan Room coffee pot cam (the first webcam ever) and Netscape founding engineer Lou Montulli’s Amazing Fishcam, were the testing grounds for many elements of the internet as we know it today, including sending real-time images over the internet, and ecommerce. JenniCam, the first “lifecaster,” launched two years later, in 1996. These livestreams paved the way for modern streaming services that have become ubiquitous to life online.

      “Our webcam is a throwback to the early days of the Internet when anyone could do anything,” Schwartz told SFGate. He said that they’re unsure whether the university will step in to continue the project and save the FogCam, but they’re open to the idea of a new generation keeping it running.

      If FogCam does cease operations, it will pass the title of oldest operating webcam to Montulli’s Fishcam, which also started live-streaming in 1994.

    • Neil Young hates what the internet has done to music [iophk: Neil Young is right.]

      There’s an epic interview slash feature in the New York Times with music legend Neil Young. The notoriously particular audio purist explains why he believes the internet is killing music through poor quality streaming, and how it’s harming our brains.

    • Neil Young’s Lonely Quest to Save Music [iophk: came to similar conclusions myself last year]

      But Young hears something creepier and more insidious in the new music too. We are poisoning ourselves with degraded sound, he believes, the same way that Monsanto is poisoning our food with genetically engineered seeds. The development of our brains is led by our senses; take away too many of the necessary cues, and we are trapped inside a room with no doors or windows. Substituting smoothed-out algorithms for the contingent complexity of biological existence is bad for us, Young thinks. He doesn’t care much about being called a crank. “It’s an insult to the human mind and the human soul,” he once told Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune. Or as Young put it to me, “I’m not content to be content.”

    • Health/Nutrition
      • ‘Monsanto Has Worked Very Hard to Discredit Me and My Work’ – CounterSpin interview with Carey Gillam on Monsanto’s attack on journalism

        Our next guest is wearing that particular badge of honor at the moment. Carey Gillam is a veteran reporter, covering food and agriculture for Reuters for many years, and is now research director at the group US Right to Know. One thing Gillam thinks we have a right to know about is the impacts of pesticides made by Monsanto, which she explores in her book Whitewash: The Story of a Weedkiller, Cancer and the Corruption of Science; it’s out now from Island Press.

        Who doesn’t want you to know what’s in that book, or take it seriously? Monsanto. And the agrochemical giant, now owned by Bayer, is willing to go to some lengths to try and prevent that. Carey Gillam joins us now by phone from Kansas. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Carey Gillam.

        [...]

        But the book is really—I’ve tried to make it very reader-friendly. It’s almost an academic exercise. It’s based on a lot of documents and a lot of data, and tracks the history of the rise of this chemical to become so pervasive in our environment that it’s found in our own bodies, that it’s found in our food and our water, and it’s in the soil and it’s affecting the environment and reducing biodiversity. It really has become, as I’ve said, very pervasive.

        And so the book explores how that happened, how Monsanto manipulated and collaborated with regulators to affect public policy and reduce the regulatory restrictions that should have been placed on this chemical. And it involves a lot of farmers and real stories of real people. So, it did win the Rachel Carson Book Award, and I’m very proud of the book.

        Monsanto—as we know now through a recent release of internal Monsanto documents—Monsanto really does not like the book, and really has worked very hard to try to discredit the book, and to discredit me and my work.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (flask), openSUSE (clementine, dkgpg, libTMCG, openexr, and zstd), Oracle (kernel, mysql:8.0, redis:5, and subversion:1.10), SUSE (nodejs6, python-Django, and rubygem-rails-html-sanitizer), and Ubuntu (cups, docker, docker-credential-helpers, kconfig, kde4libs, libreoffice, nova, and openldap).

      • Linux “Lockdown” Patches Hit Their 40th Revision

        The long-running Linux “Lockdown” patches were sent out again overnight for their 40th time but it remains to be seen if these security-oriented patches will be pulled in for the upcoming Linux 5.4 cycle.

        The Linux Lockdown functionality is for restricting access to the kernel and underlying hardware by blocking writes to /dev/mem, restricting PCI BAR and CPU MSR access, disabling system hibernation support, limiting Tracefs, and restricting or outright disabling other functionality that could alter the hardware state or running Linux kernel image.

        Linux Lockdown has been opt-in only and designed for use-cases like honoring UEFI SecureBoot for ensuring nothing nefarious could happen once booted into the operating system by bad actors. Most end-users won’t voluntarily want the lockdown mode due to all the restrictions in place, but could be a favor for enterprises and very security conscious users.

      • Backdoor Found in Webmin Utility [Ed: It is not a back door but a bug inserted by a malicious entity rather than the project developers themselves; this incident demonstrates or classically highlights the need for reproducible builds.]

        On August 17, the developer of the popular Webmin and Usermin Unix tools pushed out an update to fix a handful of security issues. Normally that wouldn’t generate an avalanche of interest, but in this case, one of those vulnerabilities was introduced intentionally by someone who was able to compromise the software build infrastructure used by the developers.

      • A New Dawn for Security Vulnerabilities in HPC

        In February 2018, Russian nuclear scientists at the Federal Nuclear Center were arrested for using their supercomputer resources to mine the crypto-currency, Bitcoin. Previously, high-performance computing (HPC) security breaches like this tended to be few and far between. However, recent trends are increasing the vulnerabilities and threats faced by HPC systems.

        Previously, compute clusters enjoyed a level of security through obscurity due to their idiosyncratic architectures in terms of both hardware, with different CPU architectures and networking, and software of often home-grown applications running on Unix-like operating systems. In addition, the reward for compromising a cluster wasn’t all that great. Although hacking into HPC data generated by atomic weapons research and pharmaceutical modelling does present a valuable outcome; meteorological institutes, astrophysics laboratories or other mathematical research is less so.

      • Exposed Sphinx Servers Are No Challenge for Hackers [Ed: That’s the same agency and the same troll site that initially promoted the lies and the FUD about VLC]

        A popular open-source text search server, Sphinx offers impressive performance for indexing and searching data in databases or just in files. It is cross-platform, available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, and a few other operating systems.

        [...]

        CERT-Bund posted the warning on Twitter today alerting network operators and providers about the risk of running Sphinx servers with a default configuration that are open on the web.

        The organization highlights that Sphinx lacks any authentication mechanisms. Exposing it on the web gives an attacker the possibility “to read, modify or delete any data stored in the Sphinx database.”

      • Ransomware Hits Texas Local Governments [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The attack was observed on the morning of August 16 and appears to have been launched by a single threat actor, the DIR announcement reads.

        The State Operations Center (SOC) was activated soon after the attack reports started to come in, and DIR says that all of the entities that were actually or potentially affected appear to have been identified and notified.

        A total of twenty-three entities have been confirmed as impacted so far, and the responders are working on bringing the affected systems back online.

      • Webmin Backdoored for Over a Year [Ed: It's only a back door if they intentionally put it there (which isn't the case); compromised is the correct term.]

        The security hole impacts Webmin 1.882 through 1.921, but most versions are not vulnerable in their default configuration as the affected feature is not enabled by default. Version 1.890 is affected in the default configuration. The issue has been addressed with the release of Webmin 1.930 and Usermin version 1.780.

      • The YubiKey 5Ci is the ‘first’ iOS-compatible security key

        Like other YubiKey options in the 5 series, the YubiKey 5Ci supports multiple authentication protocols, including IDO2/WebAuthn, FIDO U2F, OTP (one-time-password), PIV (Smart Card), and OpenPGP.

    • Defence/Aggression
    • Environment
      • Amazon fires: Record number burning in Brazil rainforest – space agency

        Inpe said it had detected more than 72,000 fires between January and August – the highest number since records began in 2013. It said it had observed more than 9,500 forest fires since Thursday, mostly in the Amazon region.

        In comparison, there were fewer than 40,000 in the whole of 2018, it said.

        The satellite images showed Brazil’s most northern state, Roraima, covered in dark smoke, while neighbouring Amazonas declared an emergency over the fires.

      • Afrobarometer: Climate change literacy still low in Africa

        Despite the fact that Africa bears the brunt when it comes to erratic global weather patterns, many people are still unfamiliar with the climate change phenomenon, a new survey reveals.

      • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Private Jet Usage Is Being Criticized for Environmental Reasons

        Aviation accounts for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European Union. While figures comparing private and commercial flights are elusive, The Independent broke down how much more private jets emit per person when they fly. It can vary based on aircraft and flight path, but private jets could be creating 8 to 10 times the amount of carbon per passenger as commercial flights.

      • [old] Why Carbon Credits and Offsets Will Not Work

        Unfortunately, carbon credits (one credit equals a one metric ton reduction) and carbon offsets are the primary tools being used by national and international communities as a way to reduce emissions on an industrial scale. Credits can be exchanged between businesses or purchased and sold in the markets. The carbon credit/offset market is now well established. In 2006 about 5.5 billion dollars were purchased. Some experts expect this market to reach a trillion dollars within a decade. There are now at least five carbon exchanges operating global. The largest is the Chicago Climate Exchange. Why have these markets taken off? The simple answer is that there is huge amount of money to be made. However, these markets are simply the indulgence of societies which want to carry on with business as usual. The consequences of business as usual are ecological disaster.

      • [old] Carbon offsets are not our get-out-of-jail free card [iophk: besides, the trees are a separate carbon cycle]

        If we are serious about averting catastrophic planetary changes, we need to reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. Trees planted today can’t grow fast enough to achieve this goal. And carbon offset projects will never be able to curb the emissions growth, while reducing overall emissions, if coal power stations continue to be built and petrol cars continue to be bought, and our growing global population continues to consume as it does today.

      • Outlaw Oceans: Exposing Slavery, Overfishing and Other Abuses on the High Seas

        Our oceans are a vast, lawless frontier. But this long-exploited, still mysterious realm is central to modern economic life.

        About 90 percent of international trade occurs by ship. Oceans provide fossil fuels and then absorb most of the carbon dioxide and heat produced by burning them. Billions of people in the poorest countries rely on the ocean for food and work.

        And some of the most brutal forms of economic exploitation take place on the water. Sea slavery and other flagrant human-rights violations are rampant. And industrial-scale overfishing, both legal and illegal, has undermined conservation efforts and pushed prized fish species toward extinction.

        This all happens out of view: The average American has little idea what went into putting fish on his or her plate, or where all that plastic packaging will end up. Even governments that try to police the worst abuses are often in the dark.

        Thankfully new light is being shined on the problem.

      • Energy
        • ‘Small’ nuclear war could bring global cooling

          If a nuclear war should ever break out, any survivors could have to cope not just with the immediate effects of blast and radioactivity, but with climate mayhem as well: global cooling with unknowable consequences.

          The wildfires in the Canadian province of British Columbia in the summer of 2017 were the worst the region had ever seen. They were so bad that the smoke from the sustained blaze rose 23 kms into the upper stratosphere and stayed there for eight months.

          And that has given US scientists the chance once again to model the consequences of a nuclear winter after thermonuclear war.

    • Finance
      • Brexit: Unity divides parties trying to stop no-deal – Ian Swanson

        Principles and beliefs could scupper moves towards an emergency government with Brexit looming, writes Ian Swanson

        Voters apparently like politicians working together across party lines. The noise of elected representatives point-scoring while a crisis rages regularly prompts complaints that everyone should be co-operating for the ­common good.

        The demand often ignores the fact that there are fundamental differences of principle and belief over the matter at issue, which mean the politicians could never come together and agree a joint approach.

        Talk of a possible temporary cross-party government as a way of stopping a no-deal Brexit makes no pretence of trying to include the extreme ­Brexiteers, but it does envisage ­bringing together a diverse band of MPs from Tory dissidents and Labour defectors to Corbyn diehards.

      • Bill Gates Adviser ‘Shocked’ Jeffrey Epstein Named Him in Will

        Jeffrey Epstein signed his last will and testament just two days before he killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell—naming as his backup executor a former adviser to Bill Gates who doesn’t even want the job.

        Epstein’s longtime lawyers, Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, were named as primary executors of the estate and are slated to receive $250,000 of the $577 million fortune for their efforts.

        But the document shows the disgraced money-manager also selected an alternate executor in the event that Indyke and Kahn can’t carry out their duties: Boris Nikolic, an immunologist and biotech entrepreneur.

        Nikolic was reportedly “shocked” to learn that he was listed in the will—which dictates that all of Epstein’s personal property should go to the trustees of a mysterious entity called The 1953 Trust.

        “I was not consulted in these matters and I have no intent to fulfill these duties, whatsoever,” he said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • ‘Hong Kong mob’ — How mainland Chinese see the democracy movement

        “You can call it propaganda, you can call it an official media campaign, but there’s only one version of the story here,” Qian confirms. He explains that state media don’t report on the background to the protests or how they began; instead, they focus on the escalation in Hong Kong. The outbreak of violence is the main emphasis of the reports, which often use just a few images that show demonstrators who are prepared to use force.

      • Hong Kong’s last stand? A gallant battle in the face of unspeakable sacrifice and overwhelming odds

        Hong Kong people can foresee the worst-case scenario: one day the curtain will fall and we will be completely blanketed by the authoritarianism of the CCP. The great firewall will cut the [Internet] and people will no longer have access to the world, or the world to us. Anyone telling an inconvenient story will be taken into detention and lost within the system of no recourse.

        [...]

        This may not be our final stand, but it could be our last. So let the record show, may it be written in history books, and for us to tell our children, that in 2019 Hong Kong people made a stand, fought a gallant battle for our own freedoms in the face of unspeakable sacrifice and overwhelming odds.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Gizmodo Media’s Clueless New Owners Tell Reporters They Can’t Use Encrypted Email Any More

        G/O Media is the latest incarnation of Gizmodo Media, after it was sold by Univision to private equity firm Great Hill Partners earlier this year. Univision, of course, acquired “Gizmodo Media” out of the remnants of Gawker Media, after that company was forced into bankruptcy by a bogus lawsuit and a bad court ruling. There had been plenty of indications that the reporters and editors at G/O Media were chaffing under their new bosses (despite Great Hill putting media exec Jim Spanfeller in charge) as they very quickly laid off some of their best reporters, including Kashmir Hill.

        Last month there were reports that the staff were “enraged at the new CEO’s ‘insane’ direction” and the details of all that flooded out — in classic Gawker fashion — on one of their own sites, Deadspin, which posted a truly incredible piece of journalism entitled This Is How Things Work Now At G/O Media. It’s a really damning report. And it’s long. It talked a lot about how the new bosses brought in a bunch of old friends (all white men) often replacing (or simply ignoring) women who were already in those jobs.

      • YouTube Sues Guy Who Tried To Extort People Through Bogus DMCA Takedowns

        We’ve talked in the past about how Section (f) of the DMCA Section 512 is more or less a dead letter. 512(f) is the part that is supposed to stop bogus DMCA takedowns, by saying that you can be liable for “misrepresentations” in takedowns. In practice, though, courts never seem to award anything for bogus takedowns, meaning that it’s a “free” way to censor anyone you’d like. Or worse. Earlier this year, we covered how some had taken the DMCA abuse process so far that they were using bogus YouTube DMCA takedowns as part of an extortion scheme. Literally, people would contact popular YouTubers (often those who made videos about Minecraft) and threaten to DMCA their videos if they didn’t receive payment.

        It appears that YouTube was actually paying attention, and it has now filed a 512(f) claim against at least one of the people doing this, a guy in Omaha, Nebraska named Christopher Brady — who probably is not having the best week. You can read the complaint here.

        [...]

        Either way, it’s interesting to see YouTube trying to breathe some life back into 512(f). This case seems perfectly made for just such a thing. If this case can’t get a 512(f) win, then no case can. For what it’s worth, YouTube isn’t asking for monetary damages, but for Brady to cover their legal fees (which I’m sure are substantial), as well as an injunction barring Brady from submitting more bogus DMCA notices. It’s interesting to note that they’re not even looking to bar him from YouTube entirely — just from submitting bogus DMCA takedowns.

        While Brady may end up in deeper hot water over the swatting claims (should prosecutors suddenly take an interest in him over this), from a purely copyright standpoint, it would be nice to see 512(f) succeed in one case before we reach the heat death of the universe.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Palantir Renews U.S. Immigration Contract Despite Protests [iophk: TCO calculations /must/ include exit costs or else they are false]

        The contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement will continue through 2022, according to a redacted document made public this week. The value of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The agreement strengthens a longstanding relationship, wherein immigration officials use Palantir’s data management software to build profiles on people.

      • China Wants Philippines to Stop All Online Gaming

        The Philippine gaming regulator said on Monday that it won’t halt existing online casinos but will stop accepting applications for new licenses at least until the end of the year to review concerns about the burgeoning sector. Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday that Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered a stop on new licenses for online gambling operations. Existing licenses won’t be renewed upon expiry, said the report.

      • Cox Asks Court to Sanction Labels Over Destroyed Tracking Evidence

        Internet provider Cox Communications has asked a federal court in Virginia to preclude piracy tracking evidence from the liability lawsuit several music companies have filed. The case relies on evidence collected by MarkMonitor. However, according to Cox, the piracy tracking outfit destroyed crucial data that backs up these claims.

      • Apple Card vs Citi, Chase, and Capital One: Is Apple’s new credit card as good as it seems?

        For many iPhone users, an extra point or percent here and there probably won’t matter. The experience and convenience will have more appeal, and the titanium card will stand as the ultimate status symbol, even if savvier shoppers are getting bigger rewards checks. That’s likely what Apple is banking on. Still, by the numbers, most people can do better than the Apple Card.

      • You should opt out of the Apple Card’s arbitration clause — here’s how

        But you can opt out of this arbitration clause. The agreement that you sign for the Apple Card gives specific directions on how to do it. Basically, it says that you’ll have to contact the company within 90 days after you open the account, using Messages, calling 877-255-5923 toll-free, or writing to Lockbox 6112, P.O. Box 7247, Philadelphia, PA 19170-6112. It will want the following information.

      • Don’t Renew Section 215 Indefinitely

        The New York Times reported that the Trump administration wants Section 215, the legal authority that allows the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ telephone records, renewed indefinitely. That’s despite earlier reports the NSA had shuttered its Call Details Record (CDR) Program because it ran afoul of the law, violated the privacy of scores of Americans, and reportedly failed to produce useful intelligence. In a letter to Congress, outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats argued for permanently reauthorizing the legal authority, which also allows the government to collect a vast array of “tangible things” in national security investigations, as well as other provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire in December.

        For years, the government relied on Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act to conduct a dragnet surveillance program that collected billions of phone records documenting who a person called and for how long they called them—more than enough information for analysts to infer very personal details about a person, including who they have relationships with, and the private nature of those relationships.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • British Council worker Aras Amiri loses appeal against 10-year sentence in Iran

        Ms Amiri said in her letter that she was arrested because she refused to cooperate with Iranian intelligence officials who wanted her to spy for them in Britain.

        “I directly rejected their offer for cooperation and told them that I can only work in my own field and nothing else,” she wrote.

        Iran often tries to pressure its expatriate citizens to cooperate with intelligence work.

      • Aras Amiri: British Council worker jailed in Iran for ‘spying’ loses appeal against 10-year prison sentence

        Her cousin, Dr Mohsen Omrani, 39, a Canada-based medical researcher, claimed Iran was using Ms Amiri as a “bargaining chip” in the latest escalation of tensions with the West.

      • The Attorney General Who Doesn’t Respect Or Comply With His Oversight Wants Citizens To Respect And Comply With Cops

        The “law and order” administration is flexing its muscles. New Attorney General William Barr has been particularly vocal since his appointment, going after device encryption and the supposedly-dangerous “disrespect” for police.

        Barr’s public statements — the latter of which was delivered to a very receptive audience composed of police union reps — have made it clear his DOJ is going to carry out Trump’s back-the-blue mandates. Law enforcement officers will receive the federal government’s seal of endless approval, as well as its benefit of a doubt when things go badly.

        Things go badly quite often. Cops are still killing more than 1,000 people (and nearly 10,000 dogs) every year, even as crime rates remain at historic lows. Barr’s message to America was: comply, shut up, stop complaining. If you do somehow still feel your rights have been violated, you’re welcome to lawyer up and attempt to sue your way past layers of immunity and multiple, ultra-flexible warrant exceptions.

        But while this administration talks a good game about respect for law and order, it certainly doesn’t show the respect it believes is owed to the nation’s law enforcement officers. Marcy Wheeler points out this hypocrisy to devastating effect in her post dissecting (and recasting) Barr’s pro-police, anti-everyone else rant.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • IPANDETEC Rates Panama’s ISPs in its First ¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos? Report

        It’s Panama’s turn to take a closer look at the practices of its most prominent Internet Service Providers, and how their policies support their users’ privacy. IPANDETEC, the leading digital rights NGO in Panama, has launched its first “Who Defends Your Data” (¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos?) report. The survey shines a light on the privacy practices of the main ISPs of the country: Claro (America Movil), Movistar (Telefonica), Digicel, and Más Móvil (A joint operation between Cable & Wireless Communications and the Panamanian State, who owns 49% of the shares).

        This year, while all companies surveyed received a low score, Movistar (Telefonica) led the pack in protecting their customers — with Digicel right behind.

        Movistar is the only company that published both a transparency report and law enforcement guidelines, but unfortunately, it did so only on its parent company’s site. Digicel is the only ISP to publish its privacy policy on its Panamanian website; Claro came close, but its policy was limited to the company’s website, not its wider privacy practices. Más Móvil and Movistar direct visitors to their parent company’s privacy policy.

        Movistar and Claro, through their parent companies, both assured their users that they require judicial authorization before authorities can access consumer data. Más Móvil and Digicel do not.

        Movistar and Claro were the only ISPs that proactively responded to IPANDETEC’s survey. Más Móvil and Digicel, on the other hand, did not respond when contacted. This is a missed opportunity. At their heart ¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos? reports are a chance for civil society groups and ISPs to understand each other’s work. The report will be published each year, and plans to capture ISPs’ progress as they improve.

    • Monopolies
      • Big Brands Are Using Amazon’s Anticounterfeiting Measures to Crush Small Businesses

        In the United States, thanks to a legal principle called the “First-Sale Doctrine,” individuals have the right to resell copyrighted goods even if the owner of that copyright objects. The exhaustion rule “is the reason we have public libraries and eBay. It’s the reason we can lend a novel to a friend and leave our record collections to loved ones in our wills” write Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz in their book The End of Ownership. “But the rules that permit these uses are not a given. They were established by the courts and Congress, and their survival depends on continued legal recognition.”

        For Card & Party and other retailers who have been banned from selling certain brands on Amazon, the retail giant’s authorization process could be seen as an infringement upon these fundamental property rights. [...]

      • Facebook Already Controls Our Information. Don’t Let It Control Our Commerce

        Through concerted action, national governments likely could block the creation of Libra—or at least alter its architecture in a substantial way—especially if they applied their anti-trust powers. But this wouldn’t get to the root of the threat, which is Facebook’s relentlessly expanding power over increasingly overlapping areas of our lives. And so the rise of Libra signals a larger problem that requires a larger solution. Simply put, Facebook must be broken up, in the style of North America’s Bell System in the early 1980s.

        Facebook isn’t just a big social media company that became an enormous social media company. It has mutated into a de facto empire unto itself. Moreover, it is controlled by a single human being, Mark Zuckerberg, who possesses 53% of voting rights within the company.

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Court Rules That “Patent Troll” is Opinion, Not Defamation

          Free speech in the patent world saw a big win on Friday, when the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that calling someone a “patent troll” doesn’t constitute defamation. The court’s opinion [PDF] is good news for critics of abusive patent litigation, and anyone who values robust public debate around patent policy. The opinion represents a loss for Automated Transactions, LLC (ATL), a patent assertion entity that sued [PDF] more than a dozen people and trade groups claiming it was defamed.

          EFF worked together with the ACLU of New Hampshire to file an amicus brief [PDF] in this case, explaining that the lower court judge got this case right when he ruled against ATL. That decision gave wide latitude for public debate about important policy issues—even when the debate veers into harsh language. We’re glad the New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed.

          Last week’s ruling court notes that “patent troll” is a phrase used to describe “a class of patent owners who do not provide end products or services themselves, but who do demand royalties as a price for authorizing the work of others.” However, the justices note that “patent troll” has no clear settled definition. For instance, some observers of the patent world would exclude particular entities, like individual inventors or universities, from the moniker “patent troll.”

          Because of this, when ATL’s many critics call it a “patent troll,” they are expressing their subjective opinions. Differences of opinion about many things—including patent lawsuits—cannot and should not be settled with a defamation lawsuit.

          “We conclude that the challenged statement, that ATL is a well-known patent troll, is one of opinion rather than fact,” write the New Hampshire justices. “As the slideshow demonstrates, the statement is an assertion that, among other things, ATL is a patent troll because its patent-enforcement activity is ‘aggressive.’ This statement cannot be proven true or false because whether given behavior is ‘aggressive’ cannot be objectively verified.”

        • Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          The opinion also notes that Enzo’s expert had explained that one of skill in the art “would need to actually make the compound and test it in a hybridization experiment” in order to be comfortable that an oligonucleotide or polynucleotide encompassed by the asserted claims would work as a probe.

          With respect to the ’405 patent, the opinion indicates that the asserted claims of that patent are broader than the asserted claims of the ʼ180 patent, explaining that “rather than covering only phosphate-labeled polynucleotides, they also cover labeling at other locations on a nucleotide.” The opinion concludes that “[b]ecause the specification does not enable the narrower scope of polynucleotides claimed in the ’180 patent, it also cannot enable the broader scope of polynucleotides claimed in the ʼ405 patent.” The Federal Circuit therefore affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment that the asserted claims of the ’180 and ’405 patents are invalid for lack of enablement.

        • “Customization Module” is a Means-Plus-Function Element; Indefinite Without Disclosed Algorithm

          In a non-precedential decision, the Federal Circuit has affirmed the district court’s holding that Grecia’s asserted claims invalid as indefinite. The claims include a means-plus-function limitation, but an example of the underlying mechanism was not disclosed in the specification.

          In the years leading up to the Patent Act of 1952, several courts (including the U.S. Supreme Court) severely limited the ability of applicants to use functional claim limitations (rather than structural) in order to obtain broader patent protection. See, for example, Halliburton Co. v. Walker, 329 U.S. 1 (1946) (barring functional limitations at the point of novelty). Traditionally, patent attorneys had drafted these functional limits in “means-plus-function” language. In Halliburton, for instance, Walker’s invalidated claim required “means … for creating pressure waves of known frequency.”

          [...]

          Invalidity affirmed.

          [...]

          In a prior unpublished decision, the Federal Circuit McDonald’s escaped liability on a divided infringement claim. Grecia v. McDonald’s Corp., 724 Fed. Appx. 942 (Fed. Cir. 2018). The case against Samsung focused on Claim 21. Claims 1-8 and 11-20 had been cancelled by the PTAB. Mastercard International Inc. v. Grecia, IPR2017-00791 (PTAB 2017).

        • Tillis, Coons to Hold New Huddles on Patent Eligibility Proposal (1)

          The draft proposal could undo several U.S. Supreme Court decisions on what inventions deserve patent protection. The rulings have left the law poorly defined, and made it harder for companies to win patents and raise venture capital, attorneys and some trade groups say.

          Participants will be given 30 minutes to review the new draft, but must leave the document and any notes behind at the end of the meeting, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg Law.

          The participants will discuss revisions made after three patent eligibility hearings held in June by Tillis, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property subcommittee, and Coons, the subcommittee’s ranking member, the email said. The pair last floated a proposal in May.

      • Trademarks
        • Four Rings to Rule Them All – German Federal Court of Justice Finds Trademark Infringement in Radiator Grille with Audi-Logo-Shaped Mounting Fixture

          If you picture an Audi, you likely imagine some type of car with four interlocking rings on the radiator grille [a symbol of the merger of the four automobile manufacturers Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer in 1932]. It is thus safe to assume that a radiator grille built for an Audi is expected to have a space where the four-ring shaped logo can be fitted. Spare part manufacturers who thought that, say, a four-ring shaped space is ideally suited to be fitted with a four-ring shaped logo, have just been told by the German Federal Court of Justice to try harder, as the shape of the mounting fixture can amount to trademark infringement (case I ZR 61/18).

          [...]

          Whether the specific form of the mounting fixture is “necessary” to indicate the intended purpose of the radiator grille is a question of fact, which had already been decided by the lower court in the negative. The appellant could not dispute this finding, since questions of fact are in principle excluded from the review of the Federal Court of Justice. Once the finding was made that the form of the mounting fixture was not “necessary”, the case became very difficult to win for the spare part manufacturer.

          Another aspect of the case is, however, more surprising. The Court had no hesitation in finding that the general public would see the shape of the mounting fixture (also) as an indication of the origin of the radiator grille. But is this actually correct?

          The EU General Court has recently ruled that the relevant public purchases spare parts for goods in classes 7 and 12 with a level of attention that is higher than average, “even if spare parts are priced relatively modestly” (T-792/17 – MAN/EUIPO). Consumers and professionals shopping for automobile spare parts are very much aware of the fact that some spare parts are manufactured by the brand owner, whereas other (often cheaper) spare parts are manufactured by third parties. This information can be (and often is) conveyed through the description of the product that is accessible prior to the purchase.

      • Copyrights
        • DOJ/Copyright Office File An Amicus Brief In Support Of Led Zeppellin

          As announced by the Copyright Office’s General Counsel, the DOJ and the Copyright Office have now filed an amicus brief in the 9th Circuit in support of Led Zeppelin in its never ending legal dispute with the estate of Randy Wolfe (aka Randy California) over whether or not Led Zeppelin infringed on the copyright of the Spirit song “Taurus” with their classic “Stairway to Heaven.” We’ve discussed this case at length over the years. If you were to just listen to the recordings of Taurus and Stairway to Heaven, you can definitely hear some similarities. Yet, as we noted, you can hear the same similarities in J.S. Bach’s Bourree in E Minor, which I believe predates both of those other songs. This video also shows a bunch of other songs (most predating Taurus) that have the same basic melody.

        • [Guest post] Cheaper by the Dozen? Two further CJEU referrals on YouTube’s ‘active role’

          Readers of this blog know that in September 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice made a YouTube, C-682/18) asking, among other things, whether “the operator of an internet video platform on which videos containing content protected by copyright are made publicly accessible by users without the consent of the rightholders carry out an act of communication within the meaning of Article 3(1)” of the InfoSoc Directive, insofar as certain conditions are satisfied.

          [...]

          YouTube argued that it operates a neutral platform and that infringements were made only by its users and it did not have knowledge of infringement. More interestingly, the platform also asserted that even when its conduct must be considered as an act of communication to the public, it would still be shielded from liability by the hosting provider privilege granted in Art. 14 of the E-Commerce-Dirctive.

        • Copyright law issues on U.S. Supreme Court’s next term agenda

          The dispute arose from the discovery of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, which ran ashore at Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718. The shipwreck was discovered in November 1996 by Intersal, a private research and salvage company, which subsequently engaged Nautilus Productions to take pictures and videos of the ship. Nautilus filmed the shipwreck for nearly two decades. A well, it registered copyright for the resulting videos and still images.

          The State of North Carolina and its Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) copied and publicly displayed Nautilus’s works without authorisation, this by uploading and posting them online. The parties reached a settlement agreement. However, the state nevertheless resumed its infringing activity in both online and print formats, claiming that it is insulated from liability because of the so-called “Blackbeard’s Law”, which effectively converted Nautilus’s works into “public record” materials that can be freely used by the state, thereby depriving the copyright holder of any remedy.

          Nautilus sued the state in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina; in turn, the state sought to dismiss the copyright claim on the ground that the state sovereign immunity provisions of the 11th Amendment shield it from suit in federal court. The district court denied the state’s motion, holding that the CRCA abrogated the state’s sovereign immunity from suit.

          The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously reversed the district court’s ruling (here), concluding that “Nautilus’s copyright claims against the North Carolina officials in their individual capacities are precluded by qualified immunity […] [and] that legislative immunity shields the North Carolina officials in their individual capacities for their alleged involvement in the enactment of [“Blackbeard’s Law”]”.

          [...]

          The much-awaited Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc. case has now been referred to the Solicitor General to file a brief in this case, expressing the views of the United States. The questions presented are: (1) whether copyright protection extends to a software interface; and (2) whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.

        • It’s On: Details Emerge Of Polish Government’s Formal Request For Top EU Court To Throw Out Upload Filters

          Earlier this year, Techdirt wrote about an intriguing tweet from the account of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, which announced: “Tomorrow #Poland brings action against copyright directive to CJEU”. The hashtags for the tweet made clear what Poland was worried about: “#Article13 #Article17″. However, at that time, no details were forthcoming about this potentially important legal move. It was disappointing that nothing more has been heard about this unexpected development since then — until now. A notice on the Official Journal of the European Union includes the following: “Case C-401/19: Action brought on 24 May 2019 — Republic of Poland v European Parliament and Council of the European Union”.

        • FACT Confirms Premier League Anti-Piracy Action Against IPTV Suppliers

          The Federation Against Copyright Theft has confirmed that last month it helped to serve cease-and-desist notices to individuals at 16 premises in the UK connected to the supply of illegal sports streaming services. The action was taken in collaboration with the Premier League and law enforcement agencies.

Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 09:34:54 AM

Summary: Bristows LLP is at it again and it’s getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual

THE DELUDED-but-dangerous bunch we call (collectively) “Team UPC” keeps pumping Kool-Aid, sometimes into the corporate media. It’s dangerous to their surroundings, not dangerous to themselves. They need to be rebutted, not ignored. They’re like anti-vaccine and anti-climate science advocates. Ignoring them is a risk as that might give the impression that no refutation exists.

Recently we published Prime Minister Boris Johnson Has Turned Into a Complete Joke the Cabinet Entrusted to Deal With UPC Limbo and also said (a little later): “There’s also no mention of Boris Johnson’s corruption and nepotism which can further harm the UPC.” This has been mentioned for about a month now, but the liars from Bristows LLP now pick some rather old news about Jo Johnson and spread lies about UPC prospects. “Mr Johnson’s reappointment bodes well for continued government support for the UK’s place in the UPC,” they said on Tuesday afternoon (this time it’s Edward Nodder’s turn, nodding to the ‘boss’).

“These people lobby by lying, by fabricating, by corrupting.”Johnson giving a job to another Johnson will harm the Ministry and also stain UKIPO‘s reputation. Before the constitutional complaint and many other barriers Johnson personally met a criminal, Benoît Battistelli, and then said some foolish things. Now Bristows quotes something which was said years ago: “It was during his tenure as IP Minister, in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum decision in June 2016, that the UK (to the surprise of many) declared its intention to continue participation in the UPC project.”

It’s not possible. António Campinos knows it. The rest of the European Patent Office (EPO) knows it. Bristows LLP does want to ‘know it’; it’s intoxicated and it’s ‘medicating’ itself with more of these Kool-Aid-type lies, which ought not spread to the media given Bristows LLP’s track record of endless errors and never-ending false predictions. These people lobby by lying, by fabricating, by corrupting.

More in Tux Machines

DragonFlyBSD Pulls In AMD Radeon Graphics Code From Linux The 4.7 Kernel

It was just last month that DragonFlyBSD pulled in Radeon's Linux 4.4 kernel driver code as an upgrade from the Linux 3.19 era code they had been using for their open-source AMD graphics support. This week that's now up to a Linux 4.7 era port. François Tigeot who continues doing amazing work on pulling in updates to DragonFlyBSD's graphics driver now upgraded the Radeon DRM code to match that of what is found in the upstream Linux 4.7.10 kernel. Read more

Android Leftovers

TenFourFox FPR16b1 available

FPR16 got delayed because I really tried very hard to make some progress on our two biggest JavaScript deficiencies, the infamous issues 521 (async and await) and 533 (this is undefined). Unfortunately, not only did I make little progress on either, but the speculative fix I tried for issue 533 turned out to be the patch that unsettled the optimized build and had to be backed out. There is some partial work on issue 521, though, including a fully working parser patch. The problem is plumbing this into the browser runtime which is ripe for all kinds of regressions and is not currently implemented (instead, for compatibility, async functions get turned into a bytecode of null throw null return, essentially making any call to an async function throw an exception because it wouldn't have worked in the first place). This wouldn't seem very useful except that effectively what the whole shebang does is convert a compile-time error into a runtime warning, such that other functions that previously might not have been able to load because of the error can now be parsed and hopefully run. With luck this should improve the functionality of sites using these functions even if everything still doesn't fully work, as a down payment hopefully on a future implementation. It may not be technically possible but it's a start. Read more

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Apps 19.08, Huawei – Destination Linux 135

Simon Steinbeiß of Xfce, Dalton Durst of UBports, KDE Applications, CutiePi Open Source Tablet, Huawei To Create Open Source Foundation, Rust Removes Linux Support, Stranded Deep Survival Game Fix Read more