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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

Links 29/4/2017: Endless OS, Pinebook, and New Mozilla Foundation Board Members

4 hours 16 min ago

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • Endless OS: A Unique Take on Linux That’s Perfect for New Users

      You may not have heard of Endless OS. It happens to be the platform that powers Endless Computers (which includes the uniquely shaped, Endless One). The operating system is not just limited to Endless hardware, though. In fact, you can install the OS on standard systems (or as a virtual machine) and discover a rather interesting take on Linux.

      This is not your traditional, über-flexible, do everything Linux distribution. Endless OS is something different—an operating system that is truly ideal for those wanting to break ties with proprietary systems, but don’t want to face a steep learning curve (or any learning curve, for that matter). Endless OS is likely the easiest operating system platform you’ll ever experience.

    • Pinebook – 1st review

      So I got the Pinebook 11 inch with arm 64 bits…..

      And what can I say, I am amazed with the quality of the construction.

      Very good plastics, better than some chromebooks and cheap windows netbooks.

      The mousepad is outstanding and work really nice.

      The keyboard, only has one problem!! The right shift. Probably I will remap the shift to the “/” position. I use and abuse right shift (i rarely use the left one), so this is very important to me.

  • Server
    • DevOps lab: Learn to use GitHub for infrastructure deployments

      This article is part of a series to help IT ops professionals learn DevOps by building a home lab. In the second step, Git version control allows ops to manage infrastructure as code.

    • IBM Advances OpenWhisk Serverless Vision

      The computing paradigm commonly known as ‘serverless’ computing isn’t for everyone, but it does have a place and plenty of opportunities for those willing to explore. IBM has its own serverless platform called OpenWhisk which first became generally available in December 2016.

      In a video interview with ServerWatch, Jason McGee, VP and CTO for IBM Cloud platform discusses the opportunities for serverless, event-driven computing and where the technology intersects with Watson cognitive computing and the application container revolutions.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linux Foundation Announces EdgeX Foundry To Drive Standardization Of Edge Computing
    • Graphics Stack
      • XWayland Picks Up Tablet Pad Support

        More feature work landed today in xserver Git for what will eventually become X.Org Server 1.20.

        Peter Hutterer, the lead developer of Linux’s input stack at Red Hat, has added support to the X.Org Server for handling tablet pads under XWayland.

      • Mesa 17.0.5 to Improve RadeonSI, Intel i965 and Vulkan Drivers for Linux Gaming

        Andres Gomez was pleased to announce that a Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Mesa 17.0.5 maintenance update to the stable Mesa 17.0 series is out, giving us a glimpse over the new improvements and bug fixes.

        Mesa 17.0.5 should be available as soon as today, and it’s the fifth bugfix release in the series, coming about two weeks after the launch of Mesa 17.0.4, which added various improvements to the Intel OpenGL and ANV Vulkan drivers, as well as RadeonSI, Radeon RADV Vulkan, Nouveau, Galleon, and Freedreno drivers.

    • Benchmarks
      • Windows 10 Creators WSL vs. Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 17.04

        Windows 10 Creators Update was released earlier this month by Microsoft as the latest installment to Windows 10. Since it’s been a few months since last benchmarking the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” (WSL), a.k.a. “Bash for Windows”, here are some fresh benchmarks of Ubuntu atop Windows 10 Creators Update vs. Intel’s Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 17.04.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • A Simple, Straightforward Clipboard Manager for GNOME

        Clipboard Manager extension for Gnome Shell is a no-frills clipboard manager for GNOME.

        It adds an indicator menu to the top panel and caches your clipboard history. There’s nothing extra; no regex searching, or cross-device, multi-sync or pan-dimensional magic. Just a simple, easy to access clipboard history.

        I’ve never been a particularly big clipboard fan. I typically only need to access whatever I copy as I copy it.

      • First GNOME 3.26 Development Release Out, Some Apps Ported to Meson Build System

        GNOME Project’s Michael Catanzaro just informed us via an email announcement that the first unstable release of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment is out now for public testing and early adopters.

        Yes, we’re talking about GNOME 3.25.1, the first development in the release cycle of GNOME 3.26, which is currently scheduled to launch later this year, on September 13. Being the first unstable release and all that, GNOME 3.25.1 doesn’t ship with many changes, and you can check out the CORE NEWS and APPS NEWS for details.

  • Distributions
    • [New but undated] Linux distros (Linux distribution)

      A Linux distribution — often shortened to “Linux distro” — is a version of the open source Linux operating system that is packaged with other components, such as an installation programs, management tools and additional software such as the KVM hypervisor.

    • Reviews
    • New Releases
      • IPFire 2.19 Now Supports On-Demand IPsec VPNs, Core Update 110 Is Now Available

        IPFire’s Michael Tremer announced today, April 28, 2017, the release of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 110, a new stable maintenance version of the open-source, Linux-based firewall operating system.

        Coming two and a half months after the previous point release, IPFire 2.19 Core Update 110 is here to implement support for on-demand IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), which might just come in handy to those who deal with a huge amount of IPsec net-to-net connections on their infrastructures.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
      • [Tumbleweed] Review of the weeks 2017/13 – 17

        And all this happens in parallel to the openSUSE Conference being planned. You should think about participating! It is always informative, a lot of discussions happen in face-to-face meetings and, in openSUSE’s tradition, everybody is having a lot of fun. If you can plan a visit, you absolute should do so.

    • Slackware Family
    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” Just Around the Corner, Live Images to Support UEFI

        Debian Project’s Steve McIntyre and Jonathan Wiltshire just informed the Debian GNU/Linux community about some of the important aspects of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system, whose launch is imminent.

        The first aspect, revealed by Debian developer Jonathan Wiltshire, is that the final release of Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” might not include Secure Boot support, which is no longer a blocker to launch the forthcoming OS. However, Secure Boot support could be implemented sometime during the lifetime of Debian 9.

      • Derivatives
        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu Devs Work on Rebasing Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) to Linux Kernel 4.11

            It looks like the Ubuntu Kernel team is back at work after taking a short break, and they recently published another installation of their bi-weekly newsletter to inform the Ubuntu Linux community about what to expect in the coming weeks.

          • Canonical Releases Snapd 2.25 Snappy Daemon for Ubuntu Linux, Here Is What’s New

            Canonical’s Snappy team, through Michael Vogt, announced today, April 28, 2017, the release and immediate availability of the Snapd 2.25 Snappy daemon for all supported Ubuntu Linux OSes, as well as other GNU/Linux distributions.

          • Flavours and Variants
            • Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

              A paranoid Welsh Muslim who wore gloves while typing on his laptop, admitted being part of Islamic State, and, gasp, harbored a copy of Linux Mint, has been described as a “new and dangerous breed of terrorist.”

              Samata Ullah, 34, who also used voice modulation software to disguise his thick Welsh accent while making instructional videos about encryption, pleaded guilty to five terrorism charges at Cardiff Crown Court. He was due to be sentenced Friday afternoon.

  • Devices/Embedded
    • Glow LEDs with Google Home

      For the part one, the custom commands were possible thanks to Google Actions Apis. I used API.AI for my purpose since they had good documentation. I wont go into detail explaining the form fields in Api.ai, they have done a good job with documentation and explaining part, I will just share my configurations screenshot for your quick reference and understanding. In Api.ai the conversations are broken into intents. I used one intent (Default Welcome Intent) and a followup intent (Default Welcome Intent – custom) for my application.

    • Google Assistant SDK preview brings voice agent to the Raspberry Pi

      Google has released a Python-based Google Assistant SDK that’s designed for prototyping voice agent technology on the Raspberry Pi 3.

      Google’s developer preview aims to bring Google Assistant voice agent applications to Linux developers. The Google Assistant SDK is initially designed for prototyping voice agent technology on the Raspberry Pi 3 using Python and Raspbian Linux, but it works with most Linux distributions. The SDK lets developers add voice control, natural language understanding, and Google AI services to a variety of devices.

    • Huawei, Google create a high-powered single board computer for Android

      The Raspberry Pi is very popular with DIY enthusiasts because of the seemingly endless possibilities of how you can design devices with it. Huawei and Google have created their own single board computer (SBC), but this will probably benefit Android developers more than DIY enthusiasts. The HiKey 960 is a very robust SBC aimed at creating an Android PC or a testing tool for Android apps.

    • Huawei’s $239 HiKey 960 wants to be a high-end alternative to Raspberry Pi

      12.5 million sales in five years – Linaro and Huawei have unveiled a high-end (read: expensive) rival.

    • Phones
Free Software/Open Source
  • Is The Open Source Software Movement A Technological Religion?
  • Experts weigh in on open source platforms, market

    In this Advisory Board, our experts discuss the pros and cons of open source virtualization and which platforms are giving proprietary vendors a run for their money.

  • Light a fire under Cassandra with Apache Ignite

    Apache Cassandra is a popular database for several reasons. The open source, distributed, NoSQL database has no single point of failure, so it’s well suited for high-availability applications. It supports multi-datacenter replication, allowing organizations to achieve greater resiliency by, for example, storing data across multiple Amazon Web Services availability zones. It also offers massive and linear scalability, so any number of nodes can easily be added to any Cassandra cluster in any datacenter. For these reasons, companies such as Netflix, eBay, Expedia, and several others have been using Cassandra for key parts of their businesses for many years.

  • Proprietary Election Systems: Summarily Disqualified

    Hello Open Source Software Community & U.S. Voters,

    I and the California Association of Voting Officials, represent a group of renowned computer scientists that have pioneered open source election systems, including, “one4all,” New Hampshire’s Open Source Accessible Voting System (see attached). Today government organizations like NASA, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Air Force rely on open source software for mission critical operations. I and CAVO believe voting and elections are indeed mission-critical to protect democracy and fulfill the promise of the United States of America as a representative republic.

    Since 2004, the open source community has advocated for transparent and secure—publicly owned—election systems to replace the insecure, proprietary systems most often deployed within communities. Open source options for elections systems can reduce the costs to taxpayers by as much as 50% compared to traditional proprietary options, which also eliminates vendor lock-in, or the inability of an elections office to migrate away from a solution as costs rise or quality decreases.

  • Web Browsers
    • Mozilla
      • New Mozilla Foundation Board Members: Mohamed Nanabhay and Nicole Wong

        Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Mohamed Nanabhay and Nicole Wong have joined the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors.

        Over the last few years, we’ve been working to expand the boards for both the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. Our goals for the Foundation board roles were to grow Mozilla’s capacity to move our mission forward; expand the number and diversity of people on our boards, and; add specific skills in areas related to movement building and organizational excellence. Adding Mohamed and Nicole represents a significant move forward on these goals.

        We met Mohamed about seven years ago through former board member and then Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. Mohamed was at Al Jazeera at the time and hosted one of Mozilla’s first Open News fellows. Mohamed Nanabhay currently serves as the Deputy CEO of the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which invests in independent media around the world providing the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies.

      • Why I’m joining the Mozilla Board by Mohamed Nanabhay

        Mozilla has been at the forefront of shaping internet culture and fighting to keep the Internet open. Being able to join the Board and be of service to that mission is an honor as the open internet played such an important role in my life and my work.

      • Why I’m joining the Mozilla Board by Nicole Wong

        It’s an honor for me to join the Mozilla Board. I’m so inspired by the Foundation’s mission and by the incredibly talented people that lead it. And, I’m looking forward to contributing to Mozilla’s plans to build out a leadership network focused on protecting the open Internet.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
    • Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – YES, Linux! [Ed: Marketing and PR from IDG's "Microsoft Subnet"; This headline is a lie from Microsoft; something running on DrawBridge (proprietary Wine-like Windows layer) is not GNU/Linux]
  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Creative Commons Is Resurrecting Palmyra

      Creative Commons launched its 2017 Global Summit today with a rather moving surprise: a seven-foot-tall 3D printed replica of the Tetrapylon from Palmyra, Syria. For those who don’t know the tragic situation, Palmyra is one of the most historic cities in the world — but it is being steadily destroyed by ISIS, robbing the world of countless irreplaceable artifacts and murdering those who have tried to protect them (the folks at Extra History have a pair of good summary videos discussing the history and the current situation in the city).

      Among ISIS’s human targets was Bassel Khartabil, who launched Syria’s CC community several years ago and began a project to take 3D scans of the city, which CC has been gathering and releasing under a CC0 Public Domain license. He was captured and imprisoned, and for the past five years his whereabouts and status have been unknown. As the #FreeBassel campaign continues, Creative Commons is now working to bring his invaluable scans to life in the form of 3D-printed replicas, starting with today’s unveiling of the Tetrapylon — which was destroyed in January along with part of a Roman theatre after ISIS captured the city for a second time.

    • Creative Commons: 1.2 billion strong and growing

      “The state of the commons is strong.” The 2016 State of the Commons report, issued by Creative Commons this morning, does not begin with those words, but it could. The report shows an increase in adoption for the suite of licenses, but that is not the whole story.

Leftovers
  • ‘Sheeple’ is now in the dictionary, and Apple users are the example

    Sheeple dates back to 1945, according to the dictionary entry, most likely as a derogatory term for helpless followers of consumer trends of the time.

  • Health/Nutrition
    • Retired GM worker speaks on three years of the Flint water crisis

      “I hate the use of the race card,” stated Gladyes emphatically. “If they can divide the working class, they can win. Snyder brought the Civil Rights Commission in here. They wore suits, got travel expenses, but what did Flint get? Nothing, only more division.”

      “Listen, white and black water faucets went out (of use) in the 1960s. When they say this is about color, no it isn’t. Those who say that are not looking, they’re blinking, they’re not seeing. This is not about color, it’s about harnessing and dividing a group a people. When you make them fight each other, then capitalism can just move right along and keep taking, taking and taking.”

  • Security
  • Defence/Aggression
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • Amid scandal, former CIA Director admitted that you can never really know what the CIA’s up to

      A formerly SECRET memo from the White House shows that not longer after Seymour Hersh published an expose in the New York Times about the domestic operations of CIA, President Ford met with his advisors to discuss the allegations. Joining him in the Oval Office was James Schlesinger, the Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director, along with Brent Scowcroft and other senior advisors. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the history of the allegations, what to do, and what the investigation needed to look like.

    • Julian Assange Speaks Out: The War On The Truth

      Are Wikileaks and other similar organizations “hostile foreign agencies,” as CIA Director Mike Pompeo asserted recently? He’s looking at a way to punish media organizations for telling their readers the truth while being able to avoid going after the mainstream media companies that publish materials provided by Wikileaks. It is all about stripping some organizations and individuals from First Amendment protection. Don’t miss this exclusive Ron Paul Liberty Report with Wikileaks Founder, Julian Assange:

  • Finance
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Facebook admits that political groups have abused it for propaganda purposes

      Political groups have been abusing your system to manipulate voters and stuff, and interfere with elections.

    • It’s Groundhog Day in Washington, With Trump Peddling the Same Old Reaganite Snake Oil

      The Gipper is long gone from earthly politics and Donald Trump is a pitifully inept substitute. He copied Reagan’s old tax schemes from the early 1980s without even giving credit. Trump is selling the same magical doctrine of “supply-side economics,” in which cutting tax rates was supposed to increase the government’s tax revenue. That didn’t happen the first time, of course, but it was a pleasing story and people liked to hear it.

    • Trump Diary 9: Black Blocs and U-locks

      Hillary Clinton easily won the vote of the overculture, while doing far worse than Obama among rural underculture groups. (African-Americans are the one underculture demographic on which the Democratics maintain a hold…for now.) Donald Trump did awful in the overculture, while winning enough of the underculture, particularly in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, to prevail. So what I am discussing is not exactly an economic divide, not exactly a racial divide, and not exactly a class divide either, because the underculture in particular is composed of many wildly disparate groups who are unified only by their lack of national voice. If you opposed the Iraq War in 2003, you were part of the underculture. If you supported Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders in 2016, you were part of the underculture.

    • Mark Zuckerberg helps build pickup trucks at Ford plant [iophk: "on the campaign trail"]

      The trip was part of his New Year’s resolution to connect with more Americans and mend what he said were societal divisions wrought by technology and globalization. Zuckerberg has said he plans to visit and meet people in every state by the end of the year.

    • Trump’s first 100 days destroyed the myth that government should be run like a business

      Trump’s ineffectiveness has helped puncture a glib myth that dates back to the early 20th century on how market-tested business skills can solve the eternal plague of government inefficiency. Trump was elected to transform the establishment, but his disregard for how the game is played has ensured that, in many respects, it’s been left untouched.

      [...]

      Trump has proposed only 50 nominations for the top 553 positions of the executive branch, which means 90 percent of senior positions have not yet received nominees. But he doesn’t believe that’s a crisis — he thinks it’s a virtue.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • California Democrats Make Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day Disappear

      Monday April 24 was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and in Los Angeles thousands marched in the street outside the Turkish consulate. Up in Sacramento, ruling Democrats ignored the Armenians and instead held “Muslim Day at the Capitol,” hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

      “Trump reignites ‘spirit of justice’ for Muslim Day at Capitol,” headlined the news article in the Sacramento Bee, whose April 24 edition included not a word about the Armenians’ day. As CAIR’s Yannina Casillas explained, “The election of Trump and the campaign in general kind of reignited a spirit of justice within the community that was very much dormant. A lot of people are really interested in getting more involved.”

    • Bill protecting student journalists from censorship clears key hurdle

      A bid to guarantee First Amendment rights to student journalists cleared a critical hurdle on April 27 despite claims by some lawmakers that students aren’t responsible enough to handle them.

      But a critical final vote remains.

      SB1384 would spell out in Arizona law that student journalists have freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored media, even if the publication is supported by the public school, community college or university, and even if the paper is part of a class.

      There would be some curbs against libel, unwarranted invasion of privacy, violations of law or creating “imminent danger” of inciting students to break statutes or rules. And the legislation even permits officials at public schools – but not colleges or universities – to block distribution if any of those limits are violated.

    • Muzzling The Benefits Of CBD-Rich Cannabis Is Censorship

      “CBD cannabis oil has become a really hot commodity lately.”

      So says Sal Chan, who works at the Green Panda medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Vancouver, which sells a variety of cannabis oils.

      In fact, CBD-dominant strains of cannabis are the new go-to remedy for medical marijuana patients who don’t want to get “stoned”.

      That’s because therapeutic forms of CBD-rich cannabis are now being bred to be virtually free of the mood-altering chemical, THC.

      Yet Canada’s federal government is refusing to let the nation’s legal cultivators of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis spread the word about the CBD-rich kind.

    • New Zealand creates new censorship category in response to controversy over 13 Reasons Why
    • 13 Reasons Why: New Zealand bans under-18s from watching suicide drama without adult
    • Netflix teen suicide series gets unique classification
    • Pressed into silence: West Papua, Indonesia & World Press Freedom Day

      Unfortunately, the Indonesian government’s record does not match its rhetoric, particularly in the eastern Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua (often known collectively as West Papua). These two provinces have faced serious issues: restrictions are placed on foreign journalists, while violence and discrimination against Papuan journalists and bribery are common occurrences.

      [...]

      Jayapura was obviously becoming a carbon copy of other major industrialized Indonesian cities. Sadly, all traces of Papuan culture had nearly vanished already. Through a massive and uncontrolled transmigration plan, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians had been relocated here. Dramatic demographic changes had occurred already: the Papuans had become a minority.

      So I decided to leave the city. And then the problems started.

    • Where Is ASEAN On Press Freedom?
    • Press freedom slumps again
    • New report from Index on Censorship paints a bleak picture for U.S. press freedom
    • It’s not just Trump: US media freedom fraying at the edges
    • US Detains Journalist For Exercising Free Speech

      US intelligence reporter Barrett Brown was arrested, again, on Thursday morning for criticizing the US government while appearing on radio interviews.

    • Barrett Brown Taken Back Into Custody for Talking to the Press

      Barrett Brown, famous “hacktivist” who spent four years prison in an arrest that started with his role in linking to some hacked {sic} documents online (though that investigation led to a video in which he was taken to be threatening FBI agents, another crime he was charged with) was taken back into custody today, according to D Magazine, for whom Brown had been working as a reporter.

    • A Global Threat to the Press

      Press freedom deteriorated in nearly two-thirds of countries of the 180 countries assessed in the past year, the organization’s report said. Worldwide, media freedom constraints and violations have increased 14 percent in the past five years.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Sketchy Bogus Crowdfunding Campaigns To ‘Buy’ Congress’s Private Web Browsing… Only Now Realize That’s Impossible

      Look, we warned everyone about this. Right after Congress stupidly stripped privacy protections so that ISPs could more actively sell your data (and make it harder for you to realize it or do anything about it), there were a few crowdfunding campaigns that popped up on GoFundMe, claiming that they were raising money to then buy the web browsing data of Congress. We pointed out at the time that this was dumb and dangerous because you can’t just go buy someone’s web surfing data. That’s not how any of this works. But, you know, it was one of those stories that people just really, really wanted to believe, so apparently unaware of it being flat out impossible (more people should read Techdirt…), tons and tons of people donated tons and tons of money, without realizing there was absolutely no way these campaigns could do what they they claimed. The more well-known campaign, by a self-declared “privacy activist” named Adam McElhaney, ended up raising over $200k (despite others claiming that it looked like a pure scam). The slightly lesser well-known one, by actor Misha Collins, took in just under $90k. Between them, they raised about $300k… with promises of obtaining data that anyone with any knowledge of the situation would know they couldn’t obtain.

    • Tor 0.3.0.6 Revamps Guard Selection Algorithm to Resist Guard-Capture Attacks

      The Tor Project announced that Tor 0.3.0 is now officially the new stable series of the free and open-source software project designed to prevent government agencies from learning your location or Internet browsing habits.

      After being in development for the past several months, Tor 0.3.0.6 is now the latest stable version of the software, introducing a bunch of new features and improvements. The most prominent one being the revamp of the guard selection algorithm to better resist guard-capture attacks by hostile local networks.

    • Vault 7: CIA tool to track people through Word docs released

      WikiLeaks has released the source code and documentation for what it says is software used by the CIA to track documents written in Microsoft Word.

      [...]

      There is a limitation to the Scribbles system: if a document that has the watermarks in it and is opened in OpenOffice, LibreOffice the watermark images and URLs may become visible.

    • WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Tool ‘Scribbles’ For Document Tracking

      WikiLeaks released details on what it said is a Central Intelligence Agency document tracking program called Scribbles, part of the agency’s effort to keep tabs on documents leaked to whistleblowers and journalists. Scribbles allegedly embeds a web beacon-style tag into watermarks located on Microsoft Word documents that can report document analytics back to the CIA.

      WikiLeaks released information Friday about Scribbles as part of its ongoing Vault 7 Dark Matter release that began last month. Also released is what WikiLeaks said is Scribbles’ source code.

    • Scribbles

      Today, April 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the documentation and source code for CIA’s “Scribbles” project, a document-watermarking preprocessing system to embed “Web beacon”-style tags into documents that are likely to be copied by Insiders, Whistleblowers, Journalists or others. The released version (v1.0 RC1) is dated March, 1st 2016 and classified SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN until 2066.

      Scribbles is intended for off-line preprocessing of Microsoft Office documents. For reasons of operational security the user guide demands that “[t]he Scribbles executable, parameter files, receipts and log files should not be installed on a target machine, nor left in a location where it might be collected by an adversary.”

    • Surprise: NSA Stops Collecting Americans’ Emails ‘About’ Foreign Targets [Ed: I am guessing the NSA will rely on another “eye” collecting it for the NSA]
    • NSA ends controversial program that searches Americans’ emails [Ed: But just because NSA says it does or no longer does something doesn't mean it's true]

      Details of the program were largely overlooked when it was first disclosed in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. The leaks provided a small but critical window into how the US government carries out surveillance on Americans, who are largely off-limits thanks to constitutional protections.

      The program allows the NSA to collect and search the emails and text messages to and from Americans who mention names, email addresses, phone numbers, or other kinds of details about foreign targets under government surveillance.

    • U.S. spy agency abandons controversial surveillance technique
    • The Email Collection The NSA Shut Down Has Been Abused For Years

      As was noted here earlier, the NSA surprised many people by shutting down its email collection. This collection was authorized by the FISA Amendments Act, which is due for renewal at the end of this year. Since the point the collection began, it was clear the NSA was also harvesting (inadvertently, it said) US persons’ communications.

      Ron Wyden, along with a few other lawmakers, has been asking the NSA for years to turn over information on this program — specifically, how many US persons had been swept up “incidentally” in the bulk collection. For years, the NSA has refused to do so, claiming it would be impossible to compile this information and, somewhat hilariously, claiming it would violate the privacy of those swept up in the collection to query the database for incidental collections.

    • NSA dumps spy program

      The US National Security Agency is stopping a program that collects communications between US citizens and foreign contacts.

    • NSA concedes violating surveillance limits and pledges curbs on US email collection
    • NSA ditches controversial aspect of its spy program
    • NSA ends controversial collection of Americans’ emails that mention foreign targets
    • The NSA will stop reading American emails that mention intelligence targets
    • NSA will stop illegally collecting American emails
    • NSA halts Section 702 ‘upstream’ collection
    • N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets
    • NSA cuts back on domestic spying after court pressure

      The US National Security Agency has backed down on one of its major surveillance programmes, announcing on Friday that it would stop collecting information from the US Internet backbone about foreign targets of interest, but only collect communications to and from those targets.

    • A Big Change in NSA Spying Marks a Win for American Privacy

      “NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target,” reads a statement from the agency. “Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.”

    • Amazon confirms advertising will become a ‘meaningful’ part of its business

      “Amazon is not only a platform for ecommerce, it is a huge research environment for users – figures from the second half of 2016 suggested that over half of US users begin product research on Amazon as an example. As such they own some of the most valuable advertising real estate out there and have access to some of the most insightful first party data on user purchases and behaviour. In an ideal world, Amazon will take this opportunity to accelerate their advertising capabilities – they really are a sleeping giant – and break the current duopoly of Facebook and Google”

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • The Cup, the Martyrs and the Archbishop

      However, there is a good deal more to this story, none of it edifying except for the shining courage of two genuine latter-day heroes and martyrs to decency. The story is a little complicated but worth following. It wanders from the dusty, baking Pakistani field to the manicured lawns of Lambeth Palace.

    • The Rise of Vigilantism

      The mob that witnessed and participated in Mashal’s death was brainwashed using new media platforms. By reaffirming one another’s beliefs on social media, their moral conscience allowed them to watch a young man be tortured to death, and subsequently take a vow of silence. In their minds, they were just being vigilant.

    • PAKISTAN: Government adding fuel to fan religious violence

      Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law does not clearly define blasphemy, but states that the offence is punishable by death. Anyone can file a blasphemy case, claiming his or her religious feelings have been hurt. The accused are often lynched, and lawyers and judges defending or acquitting them have been attacked. Rights groups say the blasphemy law has even been used to seize money and property.

      Blasphemy law has long since morphed into an anti-Shia and anti-Ahmadi tool for vendetta; causes of allegations vary from financial to revenge, having little to do with hurt religious sentiments. Allegations of blasphemy are usually based on rumors, spread with the intention of whipping up violence.

    • [Old] Sentenced to death for a sip of water

      Since that day I haven’t left prison.

    • ‘Seductive’ dress gets girl barred from chess tournament

      He said that the chief arbiter told the girl and her mother that the tournament director deemed that his student’s dress was “seductive” and a “temptation from a certain angle far, far away.”

    • Former member of Iranian women’s football team ‘banned from sport’ after being photographed without veil

      A former member of Iran’s women’s football team claims she has been banned from the sport after being photographed with her hair uncovered abroad.

    • Lauri Love Opens Up About His Fight Against Extradition to the US

      Lauri Love, the alleged British hacker {sic} facing extradition to the United States on multiple charges after the country accused him of breaking into top federal computer networks, will now have a chance to appeal his extradition to the UK’s High Court.

    • Sikh girl ‘abducted’ and ‘forcibly converted to Islam’ in Pakistan.

      In the remote village of Ghorghasht in Buner District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Priya Rani, a 17-year-old Sikh girl was on her way to school on Thursday when she went missing. Hours later, Muslim neighbors started knocking on her family home’s doors, congratulating her relatives of her marriage and her conversion to Islam. The parents, the siblings and the extended family – who all live under the same roof – were shocked.

      [...]

      But it was not easy getting the police to register such a case. “They kept saying it’s a matter of religion and now nothing can be done,” he adds.

    • MEPs increasingly back kicking Viktor Orbán out of EPP

      Center-right MEPs are so exasperated with Viktor Orbán defying EU rules that more and more are calling for his party to be kicked out of their political group.

      Until now, the European People’s Party, which includes the Hungarian prime minister and his Fidesz party, has largely kept its head down whenever Orbán has breached European norms.

      But many in the EPP view Orbán’s crackdown on the Central European University (CEU) as the last straw after a series of measures that went against the letter and the spirit of EU rules — from erecting fences against migrants through mounting an anti-Brussels communication campaign to passing a law targeting NGOs that receive foreign funding.

      “We had sympathy for Fidesz, a sister party which did things a bit differently than we did,” said Frank Engel, a Luxembourgish MEP from the EPP. “Now we think that the best thing they could do is just leave the EPP.”

    • CIA tried to create ‘spy cat’ using implanted microphones to snoop on Russians

      The CIA once implanted microphones in a cat as part of a bizarre Cold War plot to spy on the Soviets, reveal declassified documents.

      The report details how ‘pioneering’ scientists surgically implanted a wire along the cat’s spine, using its tail as an antenna, while a microphone was planted inside its ear canal.

      A transmitter and power supply was sewn into the unlucky cat’s chest.

    • Amos Yee asylum appeal ‘likely to be expedited’: Lawyer

      The appeal against Singaporean teen blogger Amos Yee before the US’ Board of Immigration Appeals “will likely be expedited” as he remains in detention, a lawyer representing him said on Friday (Apr 28).

      In an email, Mr Christopher Keeler, a co-counsel for Yee from legal firm Grossman Law, told Channel NewsAsia that the US government appealed immigration judge Samuel Cole’s ruling to grant the teen asylum there. It was filed on Apr 4 – within the 30-day window after the initial ruling was made, he added.

    • Amos Yee’s lawyer: Asylum appeal likely to be expedited

      Singaporean Blogger Amos Yee’s appeal to the US’ Board of Immigration Appeals will likely be expedited, a lawyer representing him said on Friday (28 Apr).

      Channel NewsAsia (CNA) wrote, Mr Christopher Keeler, a co-counsel for Yee from legal firm Grossman Law, told in an email to CNA that the US government appeal to the immigration judge Samuel Cole’s ruling which grants the teen asylum in the US was filed on 4 Apr, within the 30-day window after the initial ruling on 24 March was made.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
  • DRM
    • An open letter on DRM to the inventor of the web, from the inventor of net neutrality

      This is a live issue, too, because the W3C just held the most contentious vote in its decades-long history, on whether to publish a DRM standard for the web without any of the proposed legal protections for companies that create the kinds of competing products and services that the law permits, except when DRM is involved.

      As Wu points out, this sets up a situation where the incumbents get to create monopolies that produce the same problems for the open web that network neutrality advocates — like Berners-Lee — worry about.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Want To Promote Breastfeeding? That’s A Trade Barrier, Says US Trade Rep

      The case for breastfeeding, and against formula milk, seems pretty clear. But a new publication from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the “2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers” (pdf), begs to differ. As a post on the Public Citizen site explains, the USTR calls out several countries for promoting breastfeeding over formula as a “technical barrier to trade” that might harm the profits of US industries.

    • Legal war with Apple hits Qualcomm’s revenue projections

      Apple has filed lawsuits against Qualcomm in countries like the U.S., U.K., China, and Japan, accusing the chipmaker of using its dominant market position to overcharge licensing fees.

    • Apple Halts License Payments to Qualcomm in ‘All-Out War’

      “While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable intellectual property {sic}, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel. “Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade.”

    • Copyrights
      • European Court Of Justice Tightens Screws On “Streaming”

        In a judgment this week, the European Court of Justice ruled that “the sale of a multimedia player which enables films that are available illegally on the internet to be viewed easily and for free on a television screen could constitute an infringement of copyright” (C:2017:300).

      • Mac DeMarco Tells Concert Goers To Go Pirate His Music

        We had just been talking about Ed Sheeran suggesting that piracy actually helped his career rather than hurt it, as well as his decision to go to bat against his label for a fan who covered one of his songs, but he’s not the only one out there who doesn’t see filesharing as the great music Satan the labels would have us believe. Artist Mac DeMarco announced on stage at Coachella that his latest album had leaked online. The instructions he then gave the concert-goers is not the norm amongst artists, to say the least.

Links 28/4/2017: Subsurface 4.6.4, GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.25.1

Friday 28th of April 2017 04:06:33 PM

Contents GNU/Linux Free Software/Open Source
  • GitHub open sources OctoDNS, new tool for managing DNS records

    The frailty of the DNS system became all too evident last year, when DNS host Dyn was hit by a major Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that brought down large swaths of the internet. With the threat of DDoS attacks only expected to grow, experts urge organizations to build redundancy into their DNS services.

  • 10 Pioneers taking open source to the next level

    Open source changed the software game, introduced in the mid-1980’s but really making an impact in the late 1990’s and introducing a free, collaborative approach to software development.

  • Open Source MANO Supports Public and Hybrid Cloud Deployments

    The ETSI Open Source MANO (OSM) group today launched the second version of its open source code that includes new software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) plugin to support public and hybrid cloud deployments.

    OSM, which aims to deliver an open network functions virtualization (NFV) management and orchestration (MANO) stack that can be implemented across different technologies, announced Release One in October 2016.

  • Events
  • SaaS/Back End
    • The Future of Big Data: Distilling Less Knowledge Per Bit

      Until recently, the word data didn’t require a modifier. But we passed a watershed moment when we started referring to big data. Apparently, that wasn’t a sufficient description for some chunks of data, because people grasped for bolder terms, such as humongous data. Sadly, now, it appears that we have run out of appropriate adjectives. And yet data keeps getting bigger and bigger.

    • OpenStack User Survey Indicates Growth in Most Sectors

      A look at the numbers released last week by the OpenStack Foundation from its ninth user survey should be of interest to anyone considering the platform as part of a cloud solution. The platform’s percentage of the overall cloud market remains level, at about two-thirds of the total clouds in deployment. That in itself represents a large increase in total deployments, as cloud use continues to rise. Add to that a rapid increase in proof-of-concept and test use, and it’s clear that OpenStack’s place in the cloud continues to strengthen.

    • 4 types of OpenStack Neutron networks you must understand

      If your OpenStack hosted virtual instances need network connectivity you’re going to have to create a network. There are multiple kinds of networks and in order to make the right choice you will need to understand at least two very important network attributes: ‘router:external’ and ‘shared.’ Unless you know what these attributes and their combinations mean, it will be difficult to make the optimal network choice.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • News about the migration to ODF in Taiwan

      The migration of ODF keeps going in many different fields in Taiwan. Since 2016 the Ministry of Education in Taiwan entrusts the Information Service Association of Chinese Colleges (ISAC) and Software Liberty Association Taiwan (SLAT) with the task of promoting and migrating ODF/LibreOffice in universities in Taiwan. Among all the university, National Chi-Nan University (NCNU) is the earliest one, which started migrating LibreOffice since 2014 and has been working on it for three years.

      Then on April 20, 2017, a student from NCNU posted an article on Dcard forum saying that, according to her teacher, NCNU “Will not use Microsoft Office anymore due to the budget issue. LibreOffice will be used to replace Microsoft Office.” The student strongly questioned, “LibreOffice is totally unknown to everyone. I don’t know what the administrative staffs of our school are thinking about. Microsoft’s software is a very basic skill for enterprises to recruit people. This decision will make students lost their core competitiveness.”

  • Healthcare
    • Open source experts to VA: Keep VistA, it can be fixed

      While the resounding opinion is that the Department of Veterans Affairs should replace the proprietary VistA with a commercial EHR, perhaps choosing Cerner as the Defense Department did, that idea does not hold so true within the open source community.

      “When you look at the big trends in the IT industry, open source is used everywhere. In fact, some of the most successful mega IT systems have a significant open source component,” said Seong Mun, CEO of the Open Source EHR Record Alliance. “We believe it’s the right methodology to get to where we need to go.”

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • Funding
    • Cloudera’s IPO is overshadowed by a rival it won’t mention

      One of the original poster children of the big data software craze, Cloudera, is due for its long-awaited IPO this week. Sometime Thursday afternoon, its shares will price somewhere between $12 and $14 and will open for trading on the New York Stock Exchange the following morning, raising about $200 million in the process.

      Make no mistake, this IPO qualifies as what’s known in venture capital circles as a down round. Essentially the new investors are buying shares in a company that is worth less than it was during its prior funding rounds.

  • BSD
  • Licensing/Legal
    • Ignorance of open source law is no defense [Ed: uses fear of security and licensing issues to sell its services. Proprietary software is even worse in that regard.]

      While Open Source Software (OSS) has been around for decades, commercial software companies have had their traditional software design process flipped upside down in the last 10 years. When classic commercial software packages were first created years ago, there was very little third-party compliance that was required.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Open Access/Content
      • Open source is the future of teaching

        The work of teaching in developing countries is often hindered by an absence of basic resources, a lack of infrastructure, as well as underfunding, corruption and sociopolitical instability.

        Given these realities, how can we develop teachers in a way that promotes quality education for all?

        Open education resources (OERs) are freely accessible, openly licensed materials that are available online for anyone to use in teaching and learning. They have the potential to build capacity by providing educators with direct access, at low or no cost, to ways in which they can develop their competence.

  • Programming/Development
    • Announcing Rust 1.17

      The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.17.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

    • Rust 1.17 Released

      Judging by the massive Rust fan base in our forums, those of you reading this will be delighted today about the newest version of Rustlang, v1.17.

    • SourceForge: Let’s hold hands in a post-CodePlex world [Ed: Microsoft Gavin needlessly interjects Microsoft into it. Like CodePlex was EVER relevant…]

      President Logan Abbott has said he’ll seek tighter integration between SourceForge’s tools and those of others – including giant rival GitHub.

    • Banks should let ancient programming language COBOL die [iophk: "easy money"]

      Despite the fact that three trillion dollars run through COBOL systems every single day they are mostly maintained by retired programming veterans. There are almost no new COBOL programmers available so as retirees start passing away, then so does the maintenance for software written in the ancient programming language.

    • Cross-platform development with Python and BeeWare

      If you want to develop for Android, you have to use Java. If you want to develop for iOS, you have to use Objective C. And if you want to develop for the web, you have to use JavaScript. Right?

      These may be the preferred languages for these platforms, but at the end of the day, mobile phones and web browsers are computing platforms, and with a little work, you can use any language you want. With the BeeWare suite of libraries and bridges, you can use just Python. And, you can use the same code to deploy on all these platforms.

Leftovers
  • ‘Today at Apple’ Sessions About Art, Music, and Coding Expanding to Every Apple Store in May

    “Today at Apple” will offer programs with more than 60 different hands-on sessions in creative skills. The free sessions, which have been offered at Apple’s flagship Union Square store in San Francisco since last year, will cover topics such as photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design.

  • Health/Nutrition
  • Security
    • Pros and Cons of System Update and Integrity Protection Schemes

      Given the increasing malware attacks against Linux-based IoT devices, there is growing interest in integrity protection schemes, as well as system update mechanisms that support over-the-air (OTA) field upgrades. At the recent Embedded Linux Conference, Patrick Ohly, a software engineer at Intel GmbH, Germany, who works on the Yocto Project and the IoT Reference OS Kit for Intel(r) architecture, surveyed both topics and explained how they interrelate.

      With attacks on the rise, embedded developers need a combination of proactive hardening with integrity protection schemes and regular system updates, among other security precautions. “Integrity protection ensures that your device only runs software that has been verified to be unmodified,” said Ohly. “But you can’t count on catching everything in advance, and there will be new vulnerabilities and attack methods, so that’s why you need system updates.”

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • nomx: The world’s most secure communications protocol

      I was recently invited to take part in some research by BBC Click, alongside Professor Alan Woodward, to analyse a device that had quite a lot of people all excited. With slick marketing, catchy tag lines and some pretty bold claims about their security, nomx claim to have cracked email security once and for all. Down the rabbit hole we go!

    • New Linux SSH Brute-force LUA Bot Shishiga Detected in the Wild
    • Hackers exploited Word flaw for months while Microsoft investigated

      To understand why it is so difficult to defend computers from even moderately capable hackers, consider the case of the security flaw officially known as CVE-2017-0199.

      The bug was unusually dangerous but of a common genre: it was in Microsoft software, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed April 11 in Microsoft’s regular monthly security update.

    • Study Links Flawed Online Tutorials with Vulnerable Open Source Software

      German researchers have published a paper finding that developers do indeed copy and paste code directly into their open source software, which can lead to the introduction of security vulnerabilities if that code comes from flawed online tutorials.

    • Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services’ Internet traffic

      On Wednesday, large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom under unexplained circumstances that renew lingering questions about the trust and reliability of some of the most sensitive Internet communications.

    • Microsoft took so long to fix a Word flaw that someone blew the bloody doors off it
    • Warning: Cyber espionage, ransomware attacks a rising global threat

      The Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report reveals that cyber espionage is now the most common type of attack seen in manufacturing, the public sector and now education, with much of this due to the high proliferation of proprietary research, prototypes and confidential personal data, which are “hot-ticket items” for cyber criminals.

    • Open source IoT protects Mexican bank
    • Kali Linux can now use cloud GPUs for password-cracking

      Think passwords, people. Think long, complex passwords. Not because a breach dump’s landed, but because the security-probing-oriented Kali Linux just got better at cracking passwords.

      Kali is a Debian-based Linux that packs in numerous hacking and forensics tools. It’s well-regarded among white hat hackers and investigators, who appreciate its inclusion of the tools of their trades.

  • Defence/Aggression
    • Terror arrest near Houses of Parliament

      A man carrying knives near the Houses of Parliament has been wrestled to the ground by armed police and arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.

      The man, aged 27, was detained as part of an intelligence-led operation on Parliament Street.

      A witness described seeing two knives on the ground, one of which he described as a large bread knife.

    • Armed police swooped on terror suspect as he headed for Downing Street with bag packed with knives

      A suspected jihadist carrying a rucksack packed with knives was heading towards Downing Street when he was dramatically arrested by armed police, security sources have told The Telegraph.

      The ‘lone wolf’ suspect had been under close surveillance when counter-terrorism officers ordered his immediate detention as he came within 300 yards of the gates of the Prime Minister’s residence.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • CIJ Statement On Prosecution Threats Against Wikileaks

      The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) unequivocally condemns any renewed attempt by the United States government to prosecute or otherwise silence WikiLeaks, its staff or its editor, Julian Assange.

      As a charity that champions critical, in-depth reporting and the defence of the public interest, the CIJ came into being in 2003 to address a deepening crisis in investigative reporting.

    • News Conference at Department of Justice on Threats to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange by Attorney General Jeff Sessions

      CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently stated that Julian Assange’s arrest is a “priority” of the Trump administration. This has caused numerous individuals — with differing perspectives on WikiLeaks — to warn of a growing threat to press freedom.

    • Ron Paul To Interview Julian Assange Today On His Liberty Report

      Libertarian stalwart Ron Paul will broadcast an interview with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange today, following recent news of President Trump’s Department of Justice potentially pursuing criminal charges against the controversial whistleblower.

    • Police illegally obtained journalist’s phone records under new metadata retention regime

      The Australian Federal Police illegally obtained a journalist’s phone records under the Turnbull government’s new metadata retention regime, the agency announced on Friday.

      The breach took place as part of an investigation into a leak of confidential police material – and the incident will now be investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

    • CIA’s New “Mayor” Comes From Finance Firm, Not Intelligence World

      Brian Bulatao, a private equity investor from Dallas, is slated to become the No. 3 official at the CIA, according to current and former intelligence officials.

      The job has traditionally, but not always, been filled by career intelligence officers. It is not subject to Senate confirmation.

      The position has long been known as “executive director,” but CIA Director Mike Pompeo is changing the title to “chief operating officer.” The executive director has been called the CIA’s “mayor,” responsible for the internal workings of the agency that employs an estimated 20,000 personnel worldwide.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Yes, We Can Live Without Fossil Fuel

      On this blog, I’ve promoted use of renewable energy as possible, practical and efficient. Still, the doubters rail on about how it’s not even possible. Here’s the thing. A country that has depended on coal for more than a century managed to live without it for electrical generation for a whole day. Extend that. Multiply that. We get a whole world able to live without coal. Repeat, and we can do it for natural gas and oil too.

  • Finance
    • Mexican bank intervenes after woman, 116, deemed ‘too old’ for card

      She went three months without state support for poor elderly Mexicans after she was turned away from a branch of Citibanamex in the city of Guadalajara for being too old, said Miguel Castro, development secretary for the state of Jalisco. Welfare beneficiaries now need individual bank accounts because of new transparency rules, Castro said.

      “They told me the limit was 110 years,” Félix said with a smile in the plant-filled courtyard of her small house in Guadalajara.

    • Follow the money: how Microsoft evades the taxman

      Microsoft has used regional sales units in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico to build up a cash stash of US$108 billion outside the US, according to court papers that have emerged during a case between the software giant and the US Internal Revenue Service.

      [...]

      The papers revealed in the IRS case showed that between 2001 and 2006, Microsoft had done a series of internal deals that took money upfront to switch the rights to code and other assets created mostly in the US to subsidiaries in Bermuda, Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Tor 0.3.0.6 is released: a new series is stable!

      Tor 0.3.0.6 is the first stable release of the Tor 0.3.0 series.

      With the 0.3.0 series, clients and relays now use Ed25519 keys to authenticate their link connections to relays, rather than the old RSA1024 keys that they used before. (Circuit crypto has been Curve25519-authenticated since 0.2.4.8-alpha.) We have also replaced the guard selection and replacement algorithm to behave more robustly in the presence of unreliable networks, and to resist guard- capture attacks.

    • NSA Makes Pitch For Section 702 Approval While Its 702 Requests Aren’t Being Approved By The Court

      Section 702 — the statute that allows the NSA to collect internet communications and data in bulk — is up for renewal at the end of this year. The NSA, thanks to Ed Snowden, faced more of an uphill battle than usual when renewing Section 215 (bulk metadata collections). For the first time in its existence, the NSA ended up with a compromise (the USA Freedom Act), rather than a straight renewal.

      The Intelligence Community appears to be trying to get out ahead of straight renewal opponents. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a Section 702 Q&A at millennial watering hole Tumblr. By returning its own soft serve questions with canned talking points, the ODNI is hoping to show just how lawful its upstream collection is.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Police story differs from videos of man dragged from United flight [Updated]

      None of this is visible on the videos that passengers posted online. The videos show some type of skirmish and then an officer dragging the bloody man out of the plane to the backdrop of a passenger screaming about the ordeal. One video shows Dao saying, “No I’m not going. I am not going.” An officer responds, “Well, we’ll have to drag you.”

    • Formerly Imprisoned Journalist Barrett Brown Taken Back Into Custody Before PBS Interview

      Award-winning journalist Barrett Brown was re-arrested and taken into custody Thursday, the day before he was scheduled to be interviewed for a PBS documentary.

    • Barrett Brown Arrested for the Most Ridiculous Reason Ever

      They arrested him for giving interviews.

    • Ars Technica Live: Why it’s important to defend hackers, even the not nice ones

      It’s so important that anybody charged with a crime—regardless of what it is and regardless of who they are—has a lawyer fighting for them. It’s one of the most important things that we put in the Constitution.

    • Political correctness has gone mad

      The police, whose job it is to protect the public, stood by and watched and allowed the angry Muslims to carry on. Since then they have been allowing ‘angry Muslims’ to carry on with a number of things that would see non-Muslims jailed.

    • Does anyone really need to hear from Saudi Arabia about women’s rights?
    • Turkey arrests 1,000 and suspends 9,100 police in new crackdown

      Turkey has detained more than 1,000 people and suspended over 9,100 police in a new crackdown against alleged supporters of the US-based preacher accused of orchestrating the coup bid against president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    • Lauri Love Opens Up About His Fight Against Extradition to the US

      Lauri Love, the alleged British hacker facing extradition to the United States on multiple charges after the country accused him of breaking into top federal computer networks, will now have a chance to appeal his extradition to the UK’s High Court.

      Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd authorized Love’s extradition last September, but Love’s defence argued that he would not be able to cope with a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison if found guilty in a US court.

      The US Department of Justice believes Love was part of a series of hacks on US systems that were carried out in retaliation for the arrest and subsequent suicide of internet activist Aaron Swartz, who had been facing up to 35 years in prison for downloading millions of academic journal articles so he could share them, flouting restrictive copyright laws.

    • Teen blogger Amos Yee placed on suicide watch in the USA
    • Amos Yee has been on suicide watch for the past 2 weeks in American jail

      Six months in fact, which in addition to the five months he has already spent there, means nearly a full year of imprisonment before he even gets another hearing.

    • Response To Facebook Video Of Murder Is The Call For An Actual ‘Godwin’s Law’

      Anyone familiar with internet culture will be familiar with Godwin’s law. It goes roughly something like this: the longer a discussion goes on on the internet, the higher the probability that a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis will be made. This axiom enjoys lofty status on the internet — so often have we seen its claim played out in threads and discussions.

      Godwin’s Law is, of course, not a real law. But there may soon be a real Godwin’s Law on the books, stemming from the murder of Robert Godwin Sr. and the subsequent video upload to Facebook of the murder.

    • Barrett Brown Re-Arrested For Giving Media Interviews Without Permission

      The weird, sickening persecution of Barrett Brown continues. Whether or not you like the guy (and every time we post about him, we hear from people who provide reasons why they dislike him), the way he’s been treated by our justice system is despicable. If you don’t recall, Brown is an award winning journalist, who certainly went deep with Anonymous and other online groups. Eventually that resulted in him being arrested and harassed by prosecutors for sharing a link. When the infamous Stratfor hacks were released, he shared a link to the files to get people to sift through them. Because some of the files included swiped credit card numbers, he was charged with “trafficking” in stolen credit cards. Oddly, right before trial — realizing how insane it was to charge him over this — the feds dropped the charges around linking, but pushed forward on other charges because he hid a laptop in a cabinet and (stupidly…) got angry at the FBI when they came to investigate. The odd part is that following a plea deal, the judge sentenced him to an astounding 63 months in jail — and cited the sharing of the link (again, those charges were dropped, but it sometimes appeared the judge didn’t realize that) to explain why.

    • Yemen: Joint Public Statement: Immediately release Baha’i man at risk of death sentence

      Huthi-Saleh authorities in Yemen should immediately and unconditionally release Hamid Haydara as he is a prisoner of conscience who is being held and tried on account of his conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities as a member of the Baha’i community, said Amnesty International and Mwatana Organization for Human Rights (Mwatana) today, after he was transferred to solitary confinement.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • Republican-controlled FCC pushes for net neutrality takedown

      Full text of the plans will be available later today, with a vote planned for 18 May, after a public consultation. Unfortunately, with the republicans controlling both houses and the wire-wool satsuma at the helm, there’s a good chance this is going to pass.

      The main points, though, is that the internet will be reclassified as ‘Type I – information service’s, which means it’ll lose that safe status of, say telecoms.

    • Throttling of websites and online services might help customers, FCC says

      The FCC today opened the docket, titled “Restoring Internet Freedom.” Clicking “New Filing” takes you to a form for uploading documents, while an “Express” filing lets you write a brief comment without uploading a document. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also released the draft text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will be voted on at the May 18 FCC meeting. There will be another three months for public comments after that preliminary vote, and the FCC will make a final decision sometime after that.

      It’s already pretty clear where this is going, though: Pai intends to overturn the 2015 net neutrality order, and the only question is whether anything will replace it.

    • 5 Things to Know About the Next Battle Over Net Neutrality

      What Is Happening? First, it helps to explain what net neutrality is: a concept that internet providers should treat all traffic they handle equally. The existing FCC rules ban ISPs from blocking or throttling content, or from favoring one type of website over another, in the way that traffic is delivered to the consumer.

    • Net Neutrality Under Threat as FCC Opens Doors to Internet Barriers

      ‘Our companies should be able to compete with incumbents on the quality of our products and services, not our capacity to pay tolls’

    • Over 800 Startups Tell FCC’s Ajit Pai Not To Kill Net Neutrality

      As we noted yesterday, FCC Chair Ajit Pai has officially kicked off his plan to kill net neutrality — and unfortunately did so by spouting debunked myths and fantasies about how much damage net neutrality was causing for investment. As we pointed out that, that’s complete hogwash. If you actually looked at what telcos and ISPs were spending it showed no impact from the open internet rules. And, really, why should it have changed investment plans? As we’ve noted, the rules had basically no impact on ISPs unless those ISPs were looking to screw over consumers. And if it harmed those ISPs’ investment plans, that doesn’t seem like a very big loss. Otherwise, the open internet rules just provided clear “rules of the road” for ISPs to treat internet data fairly and to not screw over end users.

      Either way, that’s not the only “investment” that Pai should be looking at. Because one of the other key aspects of having an open internet is the massive amount of investment that has resulted for companies that operate on the internet. Pai seems (bizarrely) exclusively focused on investment in the infrastructure (which, again, has not dropped despite his claims) and totally ignores all the investment layers above (which also helps funds the infrastructure). So, just as Pai is (wrongly) whining that net neutrality harmed investment, over 800 startups, from all 50 states, sent him a letter urging him not to get rid of the open internet rules (and, yes, we were among those who signed onto the letter).

    • Open Internet Advocates Vow to Fight Trump FCC’s Plan to Kill Net Neutrality

      Ten years of fighting for internet freedom, potentially out the window because Donald Trump was elected president and chose as his top telecom regulator a former Verizon lawyer who’s hell-bent on killing federal rules safeguarding net neutrality, the internet’s open access principle.

      That’s the prospect facing open internet advocates following Wednesday’s announcement that Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chief, Republican Ajit Pai, intends to dismantle the legal basis for the FCC’s landmark 2015 policy protecting net neutrality, the principle that all internet content should be treated equally.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Copyrights
      • Australia Readies New Copyright Safe Harbor Consultation

        Last month Australia dropped plans to extend its copyright safe harbor provisions to include platforms such as Google, Facebook and YouTube. A little over a month later and the topic is back on the agenda, with the government announcing a new consultation aimed at encouraging the growth of the digital economy while protecting copyright holders.

      • Australia’s Copyright Agency Keeps $11 Million Meant For Authors, Uses It To Fight Introduction Of Fair Use

        In other words, schools and universities have effectively been paying to lobby against changes to Australian copyright laws that would be very much in the interest of themselves, the public, and writers, who could use copyright materials more freely under a fair use system. According to the Sydney Morning Herald article, the top three executives at Australia’s Copyright Agency are all paid around $200,000 a year to come up with these kinds of ideas. It would be interesting to know whether Australian authors consider that $600,000 well spent.

Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone’s Throats

Friday 28th of April 2017 08:36:30 AM

Remember that Germany cannot (or won't) ratify until/unless the UK does

Summary: Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty

THE UPC is all about litigation. It’s about demoting examination and rewarding the litigation ‘industry’. This is what the EPO’s scandalous management has been eager to achieve, leaving even legislation to the litigation ‘industry’ and its tentacles. It’s horrible. It’s truly horrid. How it has gotten as far it has probably merits multi-volume books.

“Is the EPO eager to leave every business in Europe vulnerable and exposed to litigation from all around the world, including troll-rich (i.e. ethically-poor) countries?”Yesterday, the EPO spoke about the “Patent Prosecution Highway” (PPH) again, which is related only indirectly to the UPC. The puff piece (caution: link to the EPO’s Web site, which means the EPO can harvest IP addresses) was titled “EPO and Eurasian Patent Office agree to launch Patent Prosecution Highway” and it’s more of that Battistelli-style self-aggrandising nonsense.

Is the EPO eager to leave every business in Europe vulnerable and exposed to litigation from all around the world, including troll-rich (i.e. ethically-poor) countries? Because that’s what the UPC would achieve.

“Why does Team UPC hate democracy, accountability, public participation and rational patent law so much?”We recently showed that Team UPC was actively lying about what had happened in Germany. It may be doing so again, starting with Kather Augenstein in its scarcely-known ‘blog’ and also Bristows. They promote this in Twitter right now. Yesterday, Mr. Weber from Kather Augenstein could be seen sucking up to Bristows in comments about patent trolls which operate in the UK — something which Bristows too likes (it’s mutual, as Bristows mentions him too) and he tweeted more of his usual stuff, pretending that the UPC is inevitable (it's not at all), basically marketing for his employer, which uses the UPC as a marketing opportunity even if it’s a recipe for plenty of trolls in Germany (already a real and growing problem). “We hopefully we’ll [sic] all be much smarter (and working in front of the UPC) in one year,” he wrote.

Hopefully, eh? Not even hiding these antidemocratic desires anymore? Why does Team UPC hate democracy, accountability, public participation and rational patent law so much? They alienate themselves, all in the name of sheer greed.

United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

Friday 28th of April 2017 08:05:07 AM

Summary: Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for

TECHRIGHTS has published over a dozen articles defending Director Lee (of the USPTO) from vicious attacks that include a smear campaign and false rumours. She does not deserve any of that. In many ways, she’s the opposite of the President of the EPO and she has contributed to great improvements in the system.

Watchtroll and its ilk, attacking Lee every week (sometimes more than once a week), played a big role in the attack on character and IAM too participated in these attacks on Lee. It’s despicable to watch and it serves to illustrate just how low the patent microcosm would stoop if it didn’t get its way. Big technology firms, as opposed to the patent microcosm (trolls and liars), support Lee. As even IAM admitted yesterday:

What has not been clear is just who tech’s choice might be, but earlier this week any doubt was cleared up when a large constituency of big name companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Samsung wrote to President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging them to leave Lee in place or appoint someone who will continue the work she has begun at the agency.

The letter was organised by United for Patent Reform, the advocacy group that has been pushing hardest for new patent legislation. As well as including some of the biggest tech companies, the signatories also include organisations representing builders, retailers and the auto industry.

[...]

Under Lee’s watch, the letter points out, the PTO has put a strong focus on improving patent quality through the Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative and via its oversight of the post-issuance review process. “Patent quality, which had unfortunately been neglected for too long, is finally being recognised as critical to the strength and success of our patent system,” the letter states. “We believe that the American economy would greatly benefit from [Lee’s] continued leadership or the leadership of a USPTO Director committed to the priorities she has instituted and championed,” it concludes.

Maybe IAM should stop meddling and spreading false rumours, promoting Randall Rader and so on. IAM has been a big part of the negative campaign it speaks of. IAM is a truly malicious entity (or entities) in every single way. Unless one is a detriment to the patent system, in which case IAM is a front…

Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

Thursday 27th of April 2017 04:26:58 PM


View larger version

Summary: A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again

THE EPO‘s management is eager if not desperate to bring legal chaos to Europe (in the form of UPC), even if the public and businesses object to it.

So why did the UPC have some momentum? Well, Team UPC was pushing for it in private events where it habitually lied (for instance claiming that UPC was “for SMEs” — the very opposite of what’s true). Christopher Weber, for example, part of the litigation ‘industry’, ignored what didn’t suit his position and wrote: “Very little opposition to the UPC in the U.K.?”

“Despite political will & legal creativity, Brexit is end of UK in UPC.”
      –KlunkerIP, Munich law firmNo, not really. There is a lot of opposition among people who know what is going on. There is in fact this new petition titled “Reject the ratification of the Unitary Patent treaty by the UK and Scotland”. Someone from FFII started it and the summary states: “The Unitary Patent contain articles which refers to the supremacy of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), while politicians have promised to respect the democratic Brexit vote of UK citizens to leave the EU; The UPC court will provide case law in favor of software patents.”

KlunkerIP, a “Munich IP law firm reflecting on professional issues” (based on its Twitter profile), has meanwhile said: “Despite political will & legal creativity, Brexit is end of UK in UPC. #CJEU held only #EU states can make #UPC. #UK like #CH or #NO (fm)”

The supposed “political will” is due to mischief and lobbying from Team UPC, CIPA, etc. Someone from the patent microcosm has just selectively quoted in a tweet something from a new article: “Great quote in The Times UK IP supplement Raconteur “There may be a compromise and we’ll be allowed into the UPC th…”

“I thought it was a quite good piece as it states quite clearly that the UPC is incompatible with the CJEU not having jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit.”
      –AnonymousWe’ve decided to chase the source and see what’s behind it, knowing that Team UPC has turned lying into somewhat of an art form. We have produced a screenshot of this article (requires Flash and bloat to view otherwise) and it looks like News Corporation doing another puff piece for a stakeholder. “Not sure if you have seen this one,” one reader told us, but “look at page 3…”

Not News Corporation’s page 3 of The Sun…

Having just read it quickly, it looks familiar. It repeats a lot of myths. I asked the reader if there was “anything in particular” in that article that’s worth repeating, for it’s “full of lies” and it was published in association with CIPA, i.e. it’s lobbying. “I thought it was a quite good piece,” the reader told me, “as it states quite clearly that the UPC is incompatible with the CJEU not having jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit.”

“Team UPC does not want the public to understand what’s going on, for fear it might — gasp! — get involved.”Why didn’t Team UPC cite these passages then? Not convenient enough? Where is the coverage from IP Kat? Something about these serious issues? Well, Bristows’ virtual takeover of IP Kat seemed further cemented yesterday. Bristows, based on this nonsensical post, now speaks for “the entire IPKat team!” (direct quote)

In this post, Bristows' lobbyist also sucks up to Microsoft’s patent extortionist once again. Serial litigators who shake down companies for ‘protection’ money…

So anyway, why is it so hard to obtain accurate information about the UPC? Well, that’s a design flaw. Team UPC does not want the public to understand what’s going on, for fear it might — gasp! — get involved.

“It’s ‘laundering’ of law or abject hijack of law (stealing democracy) by those who want more litigation because they would profit from it at everyone’s expense.”Ever heard how lobbyists are writing laws on behalf of corporations? Watch what Team UPC is trying to do right now, based on this tweet and corresponding blog post from Louise Amar (part of Team UPC).

“The Preparatory Committee published the new draft rules of procedure,” it says, not quite noting who’s in this committee (it’s an embarrassment if not institutional corruption). It’s an “undemocratic procedure,” Benjamin Henrion (FFII) told them. They have detailed a list of changes to procedures, written by so-called ‘experts’ who are actually the wolves pretending to guard sheep. That in its own right should disqualify the UPC. It’s ‘laundering’ of law or abject hijack of law (stealing democracy) by those who want more litigation because they would profit from it at everyone’s expense. Letting these people write these laws is like allowing oil companies to compose environmental regulations which govern them.

China’s Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

Thursday 27th of April 2017 03:54:29 PM

Related: ‘SIPO Europe’: The EPO’s Race to the Bottom of Patent Skills and Patent Quality

Summary: The parasitic elements inside China — those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) — are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli

THE direction China has taken with patents is worrisome. We have written about a dozen articles about it in the past few months alone. China is basically destroying itself with patent maximalism; those who envy China are patent maximalists from the West but never actual businesses.

According to IAM, a site of patent maximalists, China is now “a key patent litigation hub” and it “poses challenges for its companies” (that’s the headline alone). To IAM, this is probably a good thing; they probably think it sounds all lucrative and jealousy-worthy. “While new software patent rules and overseas cases like the recent Unwired Planet v Huawei decision were discussed,” IAM says today, “it was clear that one of the biggest issues companies are grappling with is China’s new IP court system…”

“China is basically destroying itself with patent maximalism; those who envy China are patent maximalists from the West but never actual businesses.”Well, patent maximalism necessarily leads to that. This, some believe, is why Battistelli wants patents granted at a mad pace — to feed his fantasy of a UPC! Who needs examination anyway when there are courts? Never mind if the innocent defendant might be forced to pay a fortune to prove his/her innocence. The plaintiff too can spend a fortune only to see his/her own patent invalidated by a court. That question was purely sarcasm by the way. Because examination is definitely needed. That’s the whole point of it.

Who benefits from the destruction of China’s economy at the hands of a gold rush of patents? Well, Patent law firms like this one, Reinhold Cohn & Partners, which today speaks of “Brighter Prospects For Patent Protection In China” (headline of an article by Rachel Lu and Ilan Cohn).

Based on the name of this firm, it’s not even Chinese. It’s just preying on the Chinese economy using patents.

“It’s just preying on the Chinese economy using patents.”Meanwhile, upon that lobbying event called “World Intellectual Property Day” (of WIPO), citing SIPO (eager for propaganda that creates more demand for it), published today by Chinese state media was this article stating: “Satisfaction to IPR protection rated 72.38 (out of 100), said the report issued by the Patent Protection Association of China, China Trademark Association and Copyright Society of China to mark the World Intellectual Property Day on Wednesday.”

This isn’t an actual study from an independent entity. This mirrors all those fake ‘studies’ and bogus statistics we so habitually hear about from the EPO. This is the Office where patents run like water and examination is merely a shadow of its former self. A lot of the talented people left, yet somehow (miraculously) so-called ‘production’ soared by 40% in one year.

“It certainly seems like everything to do with justice at the EPO has been outsourced, not necessarily to ILO (which the EPO’s management ignores anyway) but to a ruinous and non-existent UPC which Battistelli is so eager to make a reality that he lies, cheats, and breaks the law.”Watch this new press release titled “EPO intends to grant patent in microwave tomography”. It says “EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO) INTENDS TO APPROVE (SO-CALLED INTENT TO GRANT) MEDFIELD DIAGNOSTICS A PATENT IN MICROWAVE TOMOGRAPHY,” but recent experience suggests that the EPO intends to approve just about anything, sloppily (or erroneously reject), leaving the courts (already understaffed and marginalised) to deal with the aftermath, just like in China. Here is another new press release [1, 2], this one about the USPTO. At the USPTO they at least have PTAB now and it's growing, unlike the appeal boards at the EPO. It certainly seems like everything to do with justice at the EPO has been outsourced, not necessarily to ILO (which the EPO's management ignores anyway) but to a ruinous and non-existent UPC which Battistelli is so eager to make a reality that he lies, cheats, and breaks the law. More on that in our next post…

Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

Thursday 27th of April 2017 03:25:17 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • 3 Linux questions from the community

    In the last The Queue, I flipped the script and asked you questions as opposed to answering them. It was so well received, I’m going to keep it going with three more questions this month. I’ll resume answering next month, so don’t forget you can fill the queue with your questions about Linux, building and maintaining communities, contributing to an open source project, and anything else you’d like to know. While the previous two questions were a bit philosophical, this month we’ll keep it fun.

  • Desktop
    • Here’s the master list of Chromebooks that will get Android apps, straight from Google itself

      One of the most exciting advances in the Chromebook world was Google’s announcement that certain Chrome OS devices would support Android apps. Google first started experimenting with Android apps on Chromebooks in 2014, but fully brought the Google Play Store to certain models in summer 2016.

    • Don’t install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

      Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year’s biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that’s because it may well bork your machine.

      It’s been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it’s ready.

  • Kernel Space
  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
  • Distributions
    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
      • Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fonts, Perl, Python Packages

        openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week gave many newer versions of Perl and Python packages, but several other packages were updated in the repositories including some open fonts.

        Google and Adobe fonts were updated in snapshots 20170424 and 20170420 with google-croscore-fonts and adobe-sourcehansans-fonts being added to the repositories respectively.

    • Red Hat Family
      • Red Hat announces the Red Hat 3scale API management platform
      • Red Hat Introduces Fully Containerized API Management Platform

        As the first major release of the platform following Red Hat’s June 2016 acquisition of 3scale, Red Hat 3scale API Management – On Premise builds on Red Hat’s vision to accelerate digital transformation and innovation with API-driven hybrid cloud architectures. Described as the “new language of collaboration,” APIs serve as the building blocks underpinning today’s hyperconnected economy, driven by mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT), and new application architectures such as containers and microservices.

      • Red Hat debuts containerized API management platform to boost flexibility, scale and control
      • Catching up with Red Hat Mobile to talk about low code in the enterprise

        Low code is a movement that has emerged in the marketplace in recent times, not only for mobile but also for business process management (BPM) and other application development areas. What company can resist the pull of low-cost and relatively fast development times? Especially when it’s as simple as a drag and drop gesture away. So it’s not surprising that many big names are throwing themselves into the ring to see how well they can compete against other providers in a thriving marketplace.

      • Holistic approach imperative to digital transformation: Red Hat

        MALAYSIAN organisations embarking on digital transformation initiatives must embrace a holistic strategy that encompasses the deployment of a gamut of ideas and should not just approach it on a piecemeal basis, cautioned open source software giant Red Hat Inc.

        Speaking to the media after revealing a new study on enterprise mobility recently, Red Hat vice president and general manager for Asean Damien Wong (pic, bottom right) said the term digital transformation is being bandied about so much these days and companies are so keen to embrace it that they may not be approaching the process correctly.

      • Red Hat Brings Cloud-Native Java to OpenShift

        The latest release of OpenShift, Red Hat’s packaged distribution of the open source Kubernetes container management and orchestration system, comes with new support for cloud-native Java.

        OpenShift already supported traditional Java EE applications, including fully integrated enterprise middleware services from the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Middleware portfolio. Version 3.5 of the platform, announced last week, expands that support with a new Java container image for cloud-native workloads.

      • Red Hat job opening for Linux Graphics stack developer

        So we have a new job available for someone interested in joing our team and work on improving the Linux graphics stack. The focus of this job will be on GPU compute related work, but you should also expect to be spending time on improving the graphics driver stack in general. We are looking for someone at the Principal Engineer level, but I do recommend that even if you don’t feel you are quite at that level yet you should apply because to be fair the amount of people with the kind of experience we are looking for are few and far between, so in the end there is a chance we will hire two more junior developers instead if we have candidates with the right profile.

      • New CloudLinux 7 Beta Linux Kernel Available for Testing, Two Crashes Addressed

        CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today, April 26, 2017, the availability of a new Beta kernel for users of the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, addressing various vulnerabilities discovered lately.

      • Red Hat Bets on Innovation in the Channel

        Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Application Partner Initiative, working with partners to build a practice around core platforms for emerging use cases.

        IT solution providers tend to focus more on technologies that are just hitting the top of the bell curve in terms of mainstream adoption. But Red Hat is making a case for partners to place more focus on emerging technologies.

      • Huawei takes on servers, HPC and cloud with Red Hat, Intel and GE

        Company unveils plans to build high performance computing centres in in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and in Munich, Germany.

        Chinese ICT company Huawei has unveiled a series of agreements and collaborations with some of the world’s largest companies to advance cloud and high performance computing (HPC).

        Firstly, Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Intel to cooperate in HPC.

      • Red Hat Unveils JBoss AMQ 7

        Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7. The latest release of Red Hat’s messaging platform combines the performance and efficiency of reactive programming with a more flexible architecture, giving customers a strong foundation for building distributed, reactive message-driven applications.

      • Finance
      • Fedora
        • Fedora Installation Workshop in Ranchi

          Fedora Installation workshop was organized at Ranchi, Jharkhand, India on 23 April, 2017 to introduce Fedora OS to local students and computer users. The workshop was conducted by Mohan Prakash and was attended mostly by undergraduate students. Fedora DVDs and stickers were distributed. The participants used Fedora Live and also installed Fedora on their machines. Mohan Prakash spoke about important packages shipped with the Fedora DVD and introduced different websites related to Fedora.

        • Flock Cod Registration Form Design
        • Encrypt all the Fedora Project
        • Flatpak 0.9.3 Linux App Sandboxing Framework Released with Many Builder Changes

          Alex Larsson from the Flatpak team announces the release and immediate availability of the third maintenance update to the Flatpak 0.9 series of the open-source Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework.

        • FCAIC in the House, part III

          Ok, not that “Hello”. I’ve been writing quarterly updates on what I’m working on to help the Fedora Community. If you’re new to the party, welcome. I have the privilege of being the current Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator. I wrote last week on the Red Hat Community blog about what this role means and how it interacts with the world.

    • Debian Family
      • Improve Your Online Security with Tails

        The popular image of online dangers is scary bad guys trying to steal our stuff. This image is accurate if you remember to include unfettered corporate interests as the scary bad guys.

        Our protections against our good friends the telcos and cable companies have never been strong, and now they’re nearly non-existent. Repealing Broadband Privacy Rules, Congress Sides with the Cable and Telephone Industry sums it up beautifully: “Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways.” And buy and sell it with no oversight or accountability, and law enforcement will get their hands on it as surely as road apples draw flies.

        What can we do about it? I believe that the best solution is legislative. I prefer technical solutions for protecting ourselves from hostile and predatory interests, but there aren’t many, and they’re incomplete. Internet access is a requirement for many routine aspects of our daily lives, and even if you avoid going online you have no knowledge or control of the information the vendors and service providers that you use are collecting and trading, or what people share about you on social media. Stores, electric and gas utilities, healthcare providers, tradespeople, private clubs, non-profit organizations, charitable groups, banks, insurance companies, and on and on. They all collect information about you, and many trade it freely. Of course, it’s not fair to assume that everyone is venal, but even when a vendor has a heart of gold they may be lacking in technical competence.

      • Debian Project to Shut Down Its Public FTP Services, Developers Are Not Affected

        The Debian Project, a group of developers from all over the world who create one of the most popular and used free operating systems on the planet, Debian GNU/Linux, announced that they’re shutting down their FTP servers for users.

      • Derivatives
        • LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week Debian Linux 8.7 (Jessie)

          ​I have always been a Ubuntu guy. I use Ubuntu or some other derivatives like Mint or elementary but never have I tried Debian. Well not anymore. I tested Debian and I must say I really like it. The thing with Debian is that stability is prioritized over all other factors. So if you are looking for the latest updates to packages, Debian is not the one. Debian is very popular amongst Linux users and rightly so. It enjoys a very superior community support compared to many other distros and most importantly the stability. So my experience? Let’s start the distro review of the week, Debian 8.7.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu
  • Devices/Embedded
    • Raspberry WebKiosk 6.0 released

      Raspberry WebKiosk 6.0 has been released today with a complete update of its underlying operating system, from Raspbian Wheezy to Raspbian Jessie Lite (a Debian Jessie derived OS for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer).

      Raspberry WebKiosk is designed for the cheapest possible web kiosks and multi-user web workstations (think about using it in cafès, offices, schools, hotels, hospitals, libraries) with the Raspberry Pi base, where people can surf the web with a normal browser. It’s a port of the more powerful Instant WebKoisk system for PCs.

    • Phones
Free Software/Open Source
  • 5 more open source companies to watch in 2017

    An exciting class of startups with a focus on enterprise IT are those built on open source foundations, in some cases commercializing and adding value to an already popular open source project.

    We recently highlighted 5 such open source-oriented companies, and below we introduce you to 5 more. Note that this list only contains companies that have announced funding over the past year or so, and isn’t intended to be an all-inclusive compilation. Without further ado…

  • Events
    • Nimble services, happier customers – how DBS Bank is transforming IT with DevOps and open source

      At M|17, MariaDB‘s first user conference, we heard plenty about the virtues of open source. The story of Singapore-based DBS Bank stood out, in part due to their scale. But I especially liked how they tied digital change/customer experience into their DevOps and microservices ambitions. Here’s what I learned during our sit down after the keynote.

    • Get your GNU on at the GNU Hackers’ Meeting in Hessen, Germany

      The GNU Hackers’ Meeting is a friendly, semi-formal forum to discuss technical, social, and organizational issues concerning free software and GNU. This is a great opportunity to meet GNU maintainers and active contributors. This year, accommodation and all meals are included in the cost of registration.

    • Upcoming FreeBSD Events
    • Linux Security and Isolation APIs course in Munich (17-19 July 2017)

      I’ve scheduled the first public instance of my “Linux Security and Isolation APIs” course to take place in Munich, Germany on 17-19 July 2017. (I’ve already run the course a few times very successfully in non-public settings.) This three-day course provides a deep understanding of the low-level Linux features (set-UID/set-GID programs, capabilities, namespaces, cgroups, and seccomp) used to build container, virtualization, and sandboxing technologies. The course format is a mixture of theory and practical.

  • Web Browsers
  • SaaS/Back End
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • Happy Document Freedom Day

      It is with great pleasure again that we are announcing Document Freedom Day celebration. As we mentioned we gave people 1 more month to prepare for the event and run it on Wednesday April 26th so it’s today!

      DFD is the international day to celebrate and raise awareness of Open Standards. Open Standards goes beyond essays and spreadsheets and covers all digital formats from artwork, sheet and recorded music, email, or statistics. They provide freedom from data lock-in and the subsequent supplier’s lock-in.

    • LibreOffice in The Matrix [m]
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
    • React to React

      The Additional Grant of Patent Rights is a patent license grant that includes certain termination criteria. These termination criteria are not entirely unprecedented when you look at the history of patent license provisions in OSI-approved licenses, but they are certainly broader than the termination criteria [or the equivalent] in several familiar modern licenses (the Apache License 2.0, EPL, MPL 2.0, and GPLv3).

    • BetConstruct declares the source code for its front-end as open source

      The project is distributed under MIT license.

  • Public Services/Government
    • Prototype of eParticipation portal shared as open source

      The EU’s Publication Office has just published the source code for a prototype of an eParticipation portal, allowing citizens to help draft EU legislative proposals. The code for the prototype is the result of a so-called pilot project, launched by the European Parliament in 2015. Such pilot projects are tacked onto the Parliaments’ approval of the annual budget for the European Commission.

    • Portugal to harmonise usability of govt portals

      All of the code, information and tools are made available for reuse.

  • Licensing/Legal
    • Why GPL Compliance Education Materials Should Be Free as in Freedom

      I am honored to be a co-author and editor-in-chief of the most comprehensive, detailed, and complete guide on matters related to compliance of copyleft software licenses such as the GPL. This book, Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide (which we often call the Copyleft Guide for short) is 155 pages filled with useful material to help everyone understand copyleft licenses for software, how they work, and how to comply with them properly. It is the only document to fully incorporate esoteric material such as the FSF’s famous GPLv3 rationale documents directly alongside practical advice, such as the pristine example, which is the only freely published compliance analysis of a real product on the market. The document explains in great detail how that product manufacturer made good choices to comply with the GPL. The reader learns by both real-world example as well as abstract explanation.

      However, the most important fact about the Copyleft Guide is not its useful and engaging content. More importantly, the license of this book gives freedom to its readers in the same way the license of the copylefted software does. Specifically, we chose the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA) for this work. We believe that not just software, but any generally useful technical information that teaches people should be freely sharable and modifiable by the general public.

    • JRC: ‘Releasing code without a licence hinders reuse’

      Projects that publish source code without a licence weaken the reusability of their code, warns Stefano Gentile, a copyright and trademark specialist working for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Currently just 20 % of all projects published on GitHub, one of the most popular source code sharing platforms, have selected a licence for their work – down from about 60% in 2008, Gentile said, quoting numbers published in 2015 by GitHub.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
  • Programming/Development
    • RcppTOML 0.1.3

      A new bug fix release of RcppTOML arrived on CRAN today. Table arrays were (wrongly) not allowing for nesting; a simply recursion fix addresses this.

  • Standards/Consortia
    • OpenChain Specification 1.1 Makes Compliance Easier for Everyone in the Open Source Software Supply Chain

      The Linux Foundation today announced the OpenChain Specification 1.1 and an accompanying Online Self-Certification service. These allow organizations of every size to ensure consistent compliance management processes in the open source supply chain. The OpenChain Project is proud to welcome Siemens, Qualcomm, Pelagicore and Wind River as the first four organizations to self-certify to the OpenChain Specification 1.1.

Leftovers
  • Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales exits Guardian board over conflict of interest with Wikitribune news site [iophk: "will they dare to openly and objectively cover GNU?"]

    Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, will leave the board of the Guardian newspaper after opting to launch his own rival news operation that will compete for staff, stories and donations.

  • Health/Nutrition
    • Sick children’s wellbeing ‘compromised’ by shortage of NHS staff

      ‘After seven years of Tory mismanagement our health services are dangerously understaffed,’ says shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth

    • Air Force snubs Michigan law on tainted well

      Oscoda area residents whose wells are affected by groundwater contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base have been urged by state and local public health officials to seek an alternative water supply. And a new Michigan law that took effect in January would make the U.S. Air Force responsible for covering the cost of those alternative water supplies.

      But Air Force officials will not comply with the new law, Public Act 545, said Paul Carroll, the Air Force’s environmental coordinator for Wurtsmith, at a public forum on the contamination issue in Oscoda on Tuesday.

    • US Government Grants Exclusive Licence On Zika Patent Over Objection Of Civil Society

      The United States Department of Defense has announced that it intends to grant Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical corporation, exclusive rights to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. The decision follows outcry from the public and civil society groups over concerns of affordability and accessibility in taking such a step.

      The drug candidate was originally developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research using public funds.

  • Security
  • Defence/Aggression
    • Guernica massacre: Madrid removes facade that glorified Nazi role

      Eighty years after Nazi bombers devastated the Basque town of Guernica, inspiring Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, Madrid city council has removed a last, lingering trace of the most notorious atrocity of the Spanish civil war.

      The council announced on Wednesday that it had dismantled a mausoleum in La Almudena cemetery where seven pilots of the German Condor legion are buried.

      Adolf Hitler lent the Condor Legion, a unit of the German Luftwaffe, to Gen Francisco Franco’s nationalist forces during the civil war of 1936-39, to help them fight the republicans. The loan also allowed the Nazis to practise their blitzkrieg tactics, later used in the second world war.

      The 1937 air raid on the Basque market town lasted for four hours, killing hundreds of people and wounding hundreds more.

    • The Armenian genocide is still being denied: “This human tragedy has been allowed to be treated as a debate rather than actual history”

      In referencing “Schindler’s List,” Berlinger wasn’t being overly dramatic. He was talking about an actual event in history from the 1930s, when another Armenian genocide film, “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” was in production but scrapped because Turkey pressured the U.S. State Department to lean on MGM to not make the movie. Berlinger (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” “Paradise Lost,” “Brother’s Keeper”), a nimble and revered documentarian, has managed to construct an incisive, emotional look at the genocide itself, as well as its representation, and lack thereof, in the movies.

    • Flashback! Questions from the Last Time America was Supposed to “Take Out” Assad
    • Do American Airports Suck? Yes, Yes They Do

      Traveling by air in America is one of the best ways to see the country, although it is not always the nicest view.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Public Records Sought on Trump Communications Over Renewable Energy Censorship

      The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday demanding records relating to the Trump administration’s attempts to stall renewable power growth to benefit energy companies reliant on coal and other fossil fuels.

      The filing requested communications between the Department of the Energy, Office of Management and Budget and fossil fuel representatives. In the request the Center demanded records of any directives and instructions to remove mentions of renewable energy from formal agency communications.

  • Finance
    • They finally suspended operations [iophk: "except for the last model they were great, but the writing has been on the wall for a few years :("]

      Due to declining sales, limited resources available to design new products, and increased competition from Asia, Soekris Engineering, Inc. has suspended operations in the USA as of today.

    • Trump tells Mexico, Canada he won’t terminate NAFTA ‘at this time’

      “President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” according to a White House account of the calls.

    • Britain could lose 4,000 Deutsche Bank jobs over Brexit

      Deutsche Bank could move up to 4,000 jobs away from Britain, the group’s compliance chief said Wednesday (26 April), as Germany’s largest lender struggles to work out the consequences of Brexit.

      “For front office people who want to deal with a European Union client, you need to be based in continental Europe,” Deutsche Bank chief regulatory officer Sylvie Matherat told a Frankfurt banking conference.

      That requirement could see some 2,000 of Deutsche’s 9,000 posts in the UK moved.

    • Brexit puts security cooperation at risk

      Brussels is calling Theresa May’s bluff on security.

      In her Article 50 letter, the British prime minister warned European leaders that cooperation in the “fight against crime and terrorism” would be at risk if the two sides failed to reach a deal on Brexit.

    • New York Landlords Exploit Loophole to Hike Rents Despite Freeze

      In October 2015, Scherrie and Langston Donaldson received a cryptic notice from their landlord, labeled “preferential rent credit removal.” At first glance, they weren’t sure what to make of it.

      “As you know, we have been billing you at a preferential rent for your 2013-2015 lease,” it read. “Unfortunately, at this time we are no longer able to extend this courtesy to you.”

      Then Scherrie Donaldson realized what it would mean for her family: A $571 increase in the monthly rent. That would upend the budget of the Brooklyn couple, who had recently welcomed a baby boy into their family. They could no longer afford family vacations, she thought, and summer music lessons for her two older sons, Tristan and Avery, were in jeopardy. They might even have to leave the neighborhood they loved.

      Suddenly, the middle school special education teacher felt priced out of the city that she and her husband — an ironworker who helped rebuild the transit hub at the World Trade Center — have called home for more than 25 years.

      “It makes it just harder to stay in the city,” she said. “Harder to be a New Yorker … just feel like we just keep getting pushed and pushed.”

    • Lawmakers Seek Stronger Monitoring of Racial Disparities in Car Insurance Premiums

      Six Democratic members of Congress are urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to appoint a director for the Federal Insurance Office, which monitors access of minority and low-income Americans to affordable insurance, and has been targeted for elimination by House Republicans.

      Their letter to Mnuchin was spurred by an April 5 article, co-published by ProPublica and Consumer Reports, that documented that residents of minority neighborhoods in four states frequently pay higher car insurance premiums than residents of other areas that are similarly risky. Our investigation has also prompted two Illinois lawmakers and a California consumer group to call for strengthening protections against redlining in auto insurance.

    • TRIPS Flexibilities Under Threat From Investment Disputes: A Closer Look At Canada’s “Win” Against Eli Lilly

      In the first known investment dispute regarding patents, Eli Lilly & Co v. Canada, Canada recently prevailed over the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Although Canada won in a unanimous decision, the ruling does not, however, guarantee domestic discretion going forward, contrary to the suggestion of some.

      [...]

      Although investment disputes challenging domestic decisions on IP consistent with TRIPS are still in their infancy, these initial state “wins” should not lull countries or policy makers into complacency. Although no state has yet had to pay money for TRIPS-consistent action, the decisions to date have nonetheless left the door open to this possibility in the future. These initial disputes should be viewed as a troubling regime shift that has a serious chilling effect on proper use of TRIPS flexibility. Accordingly, greater attention to this threat and how to combat it are needed.

    • ​Trump tax plan could save him millions under guise of helping small businesses

      A tax plan released by the White House on Wednesday could deliver many millions of dollars annually in tax savings to Donald Trump personally under the guise of helping small businesses, multiple tax experts have told the Guardian.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? [iophk: "social control network"]

      With its huge reach, Facebook has begun to act as the great disseminator of the larger cloud of misinformation and half-truths swirling about the rest of media. It sucks up lies from cable news and Twitter, then precisely targets each lie to the partisan bubble most receptive to it.

    • Facebook needs to face up to the new political reality

      The big question in any general election is which party will win. Not this time: it’s going to be the Tories. Any other outcome will be be the result of events so unpredictable that they aren’t worth speculating about. What is contested in this election is the political landscape in which the next one will take place, in which one prize that might be up for grabs is getting Facebook to do something about disclosing political ad spending (see wise @steiny on the same cause here).

  • Censorship/Free Speech
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Who Is Publishing NSA and CIA Secrets, and Why?

      There’s something going on inside the intelligence communities in at least two countries, and we have no idea what it is.

      Consider these three data points. One: someone, probably a country’s intelligence organization, is dumping massive amounts of cyberattack tools belonging to the NSA onto the Internet. Two: someone else, or maybe the same someone, is doing the same thing to the CIA.

      Three: in March, NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett described how the NSA penetrated the computer networks of a Russian intelligence agency and was able to monitor them as they attacked the U.S. State Department in 2014. Even more explicitly, a U.S. ally—my guess is the U.K.—was not only hacking the Russian intelligence agency’s computers, but also the surveillance cameras inside their building. “They [the U.S. ally] monitored the [Russian] hackers as they maneuvered inside the U.S. systems and as they walked in and out of the workspace, and were able to see faces, the officials said.”

    • Another NSL Gag Order Successfully Challenged In Court

      Another National Security Letter is on its way to being published. There’s no way of telling when it will arrive, but it will be sooner than the government’s clear preference: never.

      Adobe is the unlikely recipient of the NSL and accompanying gag order. The decision in a recently unsealed case says indefinite gag orders aren’t Constitutional, which is good news for the recipients of the thousands of NSLs the FBI issues every year.

    • NSA blimp spied on U.S. citizens
    • Bose Lawsuit For Collecting Headphone Data Is Flimsy, But Highlights Continued Lack Of Real Transparency

      To be clear, the complaint, filed last week by Bose customer Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago, seems more than a little thin. The suit appears to piggyback on growing concern about the wave of internet of things devices (from televisions to smart dildos) that increasingly use internet connectivity to hoover up as much as possible about consumers. Often, this data is collected and transferred unencrypted to the cloud, then disseminated to any number of partner companies without adequate disclosure.

    • In China, Daydreaming Students Are Caught on Camera [iophk: "probably the goal"]

      Some experts warn that live-streaming in schools will make Chinese youth, already accustomed to the nation’s extensive internet censorship and use of outdoor security cameras, even more sensitive to surveillance.

    • British Cops Will Scan Every Fan’s Face at the Champions League Final

      South Wales Police is piloting facial recognition at one of Europe’s biggest sporting events.

      When thousands of football fans pour into Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on June 3 to watch the final match of the UEFA Champions League, few will be aware that their faces will have already been scanned, processed, and compared to a police database of some 500,000 “persons of interest”.

    • Police will scan every fan’s face at the Champions League final

      If you’re headed to the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff on June 3rd, you might just be part of a massive experiment in security — and a privacy uproar. South Wales Police are conducting a face recognition trial that could scan every one of the 170,000 visitors expected to show up in the city for the match, whether or not they’re heading to the stadium. Cameras around both the stadium and Cardiff’s main train station will compare faces against a police database of 500,000 people of interest. If there’s a match, police will get a heads-up that could help them stop a terrorist or frequent hooligan.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • AT&T Unveils A Fake 5G Network In The Hopes You’ll Ignore T-Mobile Is Kicking Its Ass

      To be clear: fifth generation (5G) wireless should be really impressive when it actually arrives, providing significantly faster mobile broadband speeds at lower latencies. The catch: the 5G standard hasn’t even been created yet, and any real deployment of the ultra-fast technology isn’t expected to even seriously begin until 2020. That hasn’t stopped wireless carrier and hardware vendor marketing departments, which have been hyping the technology as the second coming for several years now. Sure, these salesmen don’t know what 5G really even is yet, but they’re pretty sure it’s going to fix everything.

    • Internet providers are thrilled with the FCC’s plan for weaker regulations

      Instead of classifying internet providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, they’ll instead be classified as “information services” under Title I. That’ll subject them to much more lenient oversight — and naturally, internet providers are happy to hear it.

    • The fight for net neutrality is officially back on

      In its first wave of propaganda, the FCC says that its proposal to roll back internet regulation will “Restore Internet Freedom for all Americans” — a mendacious slogan on the level of the “Patriot Act,” or the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan.” Like the first fight for net neutrality, this one is going to be about words and what they mean. For instance: “internet freedom.”

    • Ajit Pai announces plan to eliminate Title II net neutrality rules

      Vote to begin net neutrality rollback scheduled for May 18.

    • FCC announces plan to reverse Title II net neutrality

      His proposal will do three things: first, it’ll reclassify internet providers as Title I information services; second, it’ll prevent the FCC from adapting any net neutrality rules to practices that internet providers haven’t thought up yet; and third, it’ll open questions about what to do with several key net neutrality rules — like no blocking or throttling of apps and websites — that were implemented in 2015.

      [...]

      It’ll be voted on by the FCC at a meeting on May 18th. From there, months of debate will follow as the item is opened up for public comment. The commission will then revise its rules based on the feedback it receives before taking a final vote to enact them.

    • The FCC just released a plan to undo its own net neutrality rules

      Tech companies nationwide have urged the FCC to keep the rules in place. Etsy, Vimeo, the start-up incubator Y Combinator and 800 other start-up firms sent a letter to Pai on Wednesday arguing that weakening the net neutrality rules would allow ISPs to “impede traffic from our services to favor their own services or established competitors.” And the Internet Association, a major trade group representing Google, Facebook, Netflix and others, said repealing the common-carrier classification would result in “a worse Internet for consumers.”

    • FCC head unveils plan to roll back net neutrality

      During a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Pai said he plans to hand regulatory jurisdiction of broadband providers back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency that critics argue is less prepared to handle them.

    • Trump’s FCC Has Begun Its Attack on Net Neutrality

      No act of the recklessly authoritarian Trump administration poses a greater threat to the democratic discourse than the now-announced plan to gut net-neutrality rules. With newspapers dying, radio syndicated, broadcast television commercialized beyond relevance, and cable television mired in scandal and dead-end punditry, the Internet is the essential tool for the communication of ideas and the mobilization of those who choose to resist the autocratic impulses of Trump and his crony-capitalist cabal.

    • FCC Chief Sparks Clash With Call to Repeal Net Neutrality

      The rules, passed with only Democratic votes at the FCC in 2015, forbid broadband providers from blocking or slowing web traffic, or from charging higher fees in return for quicker passage over their networks.

    • [Old] ‘Cable Company F*ckery’: John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality

      “They should call it cable company fuckery,” Oliver said.

    • FCC Boss Unveils Ingenious Plan To Replace Net Neutrality Rules With Fluff & Nonsense

      FCC boss Ajit Pai has made no secret of his disdain for net neutrality. Or, for that matter, his general disregard for the consumer-protection authority granted the agency he’s supposed to be in charge of. Pai had already stated that his “solution” — to his perceived injustice that is net neutrality — is to replace the government’s existing, hard net neutrality rules with “voluntary commitments” by the likes of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. From there, he hopes to leave any remaining regulatory enforcement to the under-funded and over-extended FTC (we’ve explained why this is a notably bad idea here).

      Pai clarified his plans a little during a speech today in Washington, DC at an event hosted by FreedomWorks (which, not coincidentally, takes funding from the giant ISPs Pai is clearly eager to help). According to Pai, the FCC will issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making tomorrow to begin the process of rolling back Title II and killing net neutrality. The FCC will then vote on the proposal on May 18, according to the agency head. That means there will be a full public comment period (that’s where you come in) ahead of a broader vote to kill the rules later this year.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • For World ‘Intellectual Property’ Day, A Reading From Thomas Macaulay

      As we mentioned recently, today is “World Intellectual Property Day,” an event put together by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to promote ever greater protectionism and mercantilism in favor of copyright holders and patent holders, while ignoring any impact on the public of those things. It’s a fairly disgusting distortion of the claimed intent of intellectual property, which is often promoted for the claimed benefits it brings to the public, but extreme supporters, such as WIPO, are never willing to actually weigh out the pros and cons of copyrights and patents, and how over-protection and over-enforcement can cause serious problems for the public, innovators and creators.

    • Copyrights
      • Pirate Site Blockades Violate Free Speech, Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules

        Broad pirate sites blockades are disproportional, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice has ruled. The Government can’t order ISPs to block websites that link to copyright-infringing material because that would also restrict access to legitimate content and violate the public’s freedom of expression. The ruling is a win for local ISP Alestra, which successfully protested the Government’s blocking efforts.

      • House Votes Overwhelmingly To Make The Copyright Office More Political & To Delay Modernization

        This isn’t a huge surprise, but unfortunately, today — after a mostly ridiculous “debate” on the House floor full of claptrap and bullshit about how important copyright is to “protecting jobs” (despite this bill having nothing to do with any of that) — the House voted 378 to 48 to approve a bill that makes the head of the Copyright Office, the Copyright Register, a Presidential appointment rather than an appointment by the Library of Congress, as it’s been throughout the entire history of the Copyright Office. As we pointed out just yesterday, Congress appears to be rushing this through for no clear reason. It held no hearings on the issue (other than the fact that the current Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, was getting ready to appoint her own Copyright Register).

      • US House of Representatives approves register of copyrights selection bill

        The House of Representatives has approved by a vote of 378-48 the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, which would make changes to the selection process for the head of the Copyright Office

      • Big content cheers as Congress votes on changes to US Copyright Office

        Copyright Office will be split off from Librarian of Congress, an Obama appointee.

        The US House of Representatives will vote today on a bill that will make the US Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment, confirmed by the US Senate.

      • Megaupload User Asks Appeals Court to Help Get His Files Back

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and after more than half a decade not much has changed. Former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin has been trying to get his files back for years. This week he urged the Appeals Court to intervene, before it’s too late

      • Selling Piracy-Configured Media Players is Illegal, EU Court Rules

        Selling devices pre-configured to obtain copyright-infringing content is illegal, the European Court of Justice effectively ruled today. The decision, which evolved from a case involving anti-piracy group BREIN and a shop that sold piracy-configured media players, will have far-reaching consequences across the EU, particularly for those selling piracy-enabled Kodi setups.

      • Lack of trust in Internet privacy deters online shoppers

        Internet users in many countries, including Australia, are increasingly concerned about their online privacy, and 49% say lack of trust is the main reason for not shopping online, according to a new global survey.

      • [Older] Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

        You were going to get one-click access to the full text of nearly every book that’s ever been published. Books still in print you’d have to pay for, but everything else—a collection slated to grow larger than the holdings at the Library of Congress, Harvard, the University of Michigan, at any of the great national libraries of Europe—would have been available for free at terminals that were going to be placed in every local library that wanted one.

The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the ‘European Inventor Award’ Banner

Thursday 27th of April 2017 12:20:45 PM

EPO preoccupied with lobbying officials rather than patent examination

Summary: The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off

REMEMBER “European Inventor Award”? That incredibly expensive (wasteful) EPO PR and lobbying charade which is artificial (manufactured) hype?

“Battistelli thinks he is “improving lives” (the headline/title); Except thousands of his workers’ lives (plus their families’), including those who committed suicide due to him.”Well, it’s back again and yesterday the EPO wrote (warning: epo.org link) in the monarch’s narrative, as usual: “”This year’s finalists demonstrate that Europe continues to be a world leader in innovation. The outstanding inventors nominated for the European Inventor Award allow us to honour the men and women whose ingenious work contributes to the competitiveness of the European economy and improves our daily lives,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “The European patent system remains a pillar for securing Europe’s position as a global marketplace for innovation.”

“The European patent system remains a pillar” of a broken chair maybe. Battistelli broke it.

“Under Battistelli, as a matter of fact, the Office actually rewarded those whose fake ‘innovations’ were killing many people.”It didn’t take long for the EPO’s PR department to then tweet a link to Battistelli’s ‘blog’ (warning: epo.org link). Battistelli thinks he is “improving lives” (the headline/title); Except thousands of his workers’ lives (plus their families’), including those who committed suicide due to him. How about the lives of all those inventors and businesses that got sued (or will get sued) with bogus EPs granted under Battistelli’s regime due to pressure? Patents don’t improve lives on their own. They can sometimes support an important discovery, but the patents in their own right don’t “improve lives”.

“These innovations,” he wrote, “have improved and even saved the lives of millions”; well, how many ill people were denied access to live-saving medicine due to patents that killed off generics? Battistelli is quite a newbie when it comes to this topic (only in his mid-fifties he belatedly got introduced to it), so one can almost excuse him for such ignorance.

Under Battistelli, as a matter of fact, the Office actually rewarded those whose fake ‘innovations’ were killing many people. That’s hardly a good thing. He helped legitimise a fraud.

“Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder are behind at least some them (they are explicitly listed) and occasionally other firms…”Later in the day the EPO retweeted some nonsense from Siemens (Philips probably did the same thing). “Siemens Healthineers Jan van den Boogaart & Prof Dr Oliver Hayden are finalists for 2017 European Inventor Award,” they said. But wait, it didn’t quite happen like this. There is a big, expensive PR campaign going on. It started with this tweet and then another which said: “Behind every invention is a scientist who made it happen.”

Soon thereafter we found a lot of puff pieces about it, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. On the surface it may look like superficial, poor journalism, but actually it’s almost ghost-written or coordinated in advance. See for example this one. Some of the above are ‘planted’ pieces and/or paid EPO press releases intended to promote Battistelli’s lobbying event. They are being published right now in tandem. Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder are behind at least some them (they are explicitly listed) and occasionally other firms, with names like these showing up (more PR help from the outside?):

Jonathan Weinberg
Shepard Fox Communications
Tel. +44 2033 184491
Mobile: +44 7947 141014
jonathan.weinberg@shepard-fox.com

The matter of fact is, a lot of stakeholders’ money is being totally wasted on utter nonsense. Mittermaier and Osterwalder, together with FTI Consulting we suppose, are trying to paste/plant their rubbish in news sites, quite frankly as usual.

Lo and behold. This is what the EPO has become.

Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 10:02:15 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • What was Linux like ten years ago?

      Linux has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, and more and more people have come to appreciate its power and flexibility. But a redditor recently wondered what it was like to run Linux ten years ago, and he got some very interesting responses from Linux veterans.

  • Kernel Space
    • Testing F2FS With Its Multi-Drive Capabilities

      Late last year F2FS picked up multiple device support for this Flash-Friendly File-System. This F2FS multi-drive capability isn’t native RAID support like Btrfs but just allows a single F2FS file-system to span multiple devices. But it’s more than that in that block allocation and the garbage collection policy is modified to boost I/O performance by taking advantage of the multiple SSD/flash devices.

    • EdgeX Foundry Promises IoT Security and More
    • EdgeX brings open source interoperability to IoT

      In a ground-breaking development, the Linus Foundation and 50 other companies announced the launch of an open-source Internet of Things (IoT) interoperability framework to standardise and simplify edge computing through the new open-source consortium EdgeX Foundry. IoT hasn’t enjoyed the predicted positive market growth due to lack of conformity and fragmented edge computing development resulting in non-compatibilities of applications and security reservations. Adapting IoT technology to business needs is fraught with difficulties and integration issues due to separate development and discordant systems. The evolution of edge computing, however, provides a standardised framework in which to integrate business applications of significant value-adds or standalone systems.

    • What Is The Year 2038 Problem In Linux? Will Unix Clocks Fail On Jan. 19, 2038?

      If you follow the developments of Linux world closely, you must be knowing about the Year 2038 bug. This problem exists because the latest time that can be represented in Unix’s signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 UTC on Jan. 19, 2038. After that, the C programs that use the standard time library will start to have problems with dates.

    • Graphics Stack
      • Radeon RX 580: AMDGPU-PRO vs. DRM-Next + Mesa 17.2-dev

        Last week I posted initial Radeon RX 580 Linux benchmarks and even AMDGPU overclocking results. That initial testing of this “Polaris Evolved” hardware was done with the fully-open Radeon driver stack that most Linux enthusiasts/gamers use these days. The AMDGPU-PRO driver wasn’t tested for those initial articles as it seems to have a diminishing user-base and largely focused for workstation users. But for those wondering how AMDGPU-PRO runs with the Radeon RX 580, here are some comparison results to DRM-Next code for Linux 4.12 and Mesa 17.2-dev.

      • AMD Is Hiring More Developers For Their Open-Source Graphics Team
    • Benchmarks
  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Is the Last in the Series, KDE Plasma 5.10 Is Coming End of May

        As expected, today KDE announced the availability of the fifth maintenance update to the current stable, yet short-lived KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems, versioned 5.9.5.

        KDE Plasma 5.9.5 is here more than a month after the release of the KDE Plasma 5.9.4 update, which most probably many of you use on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions. But the time has come to update your installations to KDE Plasma 5.9.5, the last point release in the series, adding more than 60 improvements across various components.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • GStreamer 1.12 Multimedia Framework to Support Intel’s Media SDK and CineForm

        The GStreamer 1.12 major release is coming next month, but Collabora’s Olivier Crête is sharing with us today some of the most important new features implemented so far by various developers.

        Collabora made several contributions to the widely-used open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework, and now that many of you already managed to get an early taste of the new features coming with the GStreamer 1.12 release during the RC (Release Candidate) testing phase, let’s take a look at the upcoming changes.

      • Receiving an AES67 stream with GStreamer

        GStreamer is great for all kinds of multimedia applications, but did you know it could also be used to create studio grade professional audio applications? For example, with GStreamer you can easily receive a AES67 stream, the standard which allows inter-operability between different IP based audio networking systems and transfers of live audio between profesionnal grade systems.

  • Distributions
    • New Releases
      • Void GNU/Linux Operating System Adopts Flatpak for All Supported Architectures

        Void Linux, an open-source, general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution based on the monolithic Linux kernel, is the latest operating system to adopt the Flatpak application sandboxing technologies.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Security OS Brings Wireless Injection Attacks to 802.11 AC

        Offensive Security, the developers of the BackTrack-derived Kali Linux open-source, security-oriented operating system announced the availability of the Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release.

        Since Kali Linux become a rolling distro, the importance of such updated images was never the same, but Kali Linux 2017.1 appears to be a major release of the ethical hacking distro, adding a bunch of exciting new features and improvements to the Debian-based operating system.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Released With New Features | Download ISO Files And Torrents Here

        Offensive Security has updated the Kali Linux images with new features and changes. Termed Kali Linux 2017.1, this release comes with support for wireless injection attacks to 802.11ac and Nvidia CUDA GPU. You can simply update your existing installation by running few commands if you don’t wish to download the updated images from Kali repos.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
    • Red Hat Family
      • Red Hat repackages its application management tech into software containers

        A year after buying application connectivity startup 3scale Inc., Red Hat Inc. is making the technology that it obtained through the deal available in a new form geared toward tech-savvy firms.

        Unveiled on Thursday, Red Hat 3scale API Management – On Premise runs on the company’s OpenShift Container Platform and is designed to be deployed inside Docker instances. It’s an alternative to the original cloud version of 3scale for organizations that wish to keep their operations behind the firewall. The software should be particularly appealing to government agencies and firms in regulated industries, which often can’t move certain workloads off-premises due to security obligations.

    • Debian Family
      • Derivatives
        • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.8.4 Operating System Lets Users Select Alternative Desktops

          Today, April 26, 2017, the developers behind the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution announced the release of the fourth stability and security update of the Q4OS 1.8 “Orion” series.

          Q4OS 1.8.4 comes almost two months after the release of the previous point release, and besides incorporating all the security patches backported from the upstream repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, it adds an exciting new feature, namely the integration of alternative desktop environments.

        • Which is Free, Which is Open … [Also]

          Devuan and Debian need not defer to the Open Source Initiative regarding
          what is Open Source, since the OSI is just using Debian’s Free Software
          Guidelines. Debian’s Free Software Guidelines are a definition of Free
          Software, not specifically Open Source. At the time they were created, RMS
          personally approved of them as “a good definition of Free Software”.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • 12 Features That Made Unity The Best Linux Desktop

            There I said it. So, naturally, I am feeling a little sad that Unity is retiring from its role as the default Ubuntu desktop. It will be replaced by (the also-awesome) GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 17.10 onwards.

            For the past 6 and a half years I, like millions of Ubuntu users, have been able to rely on Unity. From Qml to Compiz, from controversy to controversy, the Unity desktop has held firm. As (arguably) the one element that helped to define and mould the Ubuntu identity it’s only natural that one wonders what Ubuntu is without it.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Daily Build ISO Images Now Available to Download

            Canonical’s Adam Conrad announced that Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) is officially open for development, and it looks like the first daily build ISO images are already available for download.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Daily Build Downloads Now Available

            Ubuntu 17.10 daily build images are available to download.

          • This Script Can Make GNOME Shell Look like Windows, Mac, or Unity

            GNOME Shell’s stock experience is fairly vanilla, but with the right ingredients you can give it an entirely different flavour. GNOME Layout Manager is a new script in development that takes advantage of this malleability.

          • Flavours and Variants
            • Qiana Studio Complete Multimedia Production

              ​Qiana Studio is a Ubuntu and Linux Mint based system for multimedia productions. It comes with many powerful tools and applications that make it a media creation powerhouse. The developers seek to make a lightweight – but powerful A/V-distro basing on Linux Mint! Let us take a look at this distro if it’s worth your time.

  • Devices/Embedded
    • Huawei, Google supercharge Android with new Raspberry Pi-like board

      Prepare to run Android at blazing fast speeds on a new Raspberry Pi-like computer developed by Huawei.

      Huawei’s HiKey 960 computer board is priced at US$239 but has some of the latest CPU and GPU technologies. Google, ARM, Huawei, Archermind, and LeMaker all played roles in developing the board.

      The HiKey 960 is meant to be a go-to PC for Android or a tool to develop software and drivers for the OS. The board development was backed by Linaro, an organization that develops software packages for the Android OS and ARM architecture.

    • Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages

      Bash Bunny is a Debian Linux computer with a USB interface designed specifically to execute payloads when plugged into a target computer. It can be used against Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, and Android computing devices. It features a multicolor RGB LED that indicates various statuses and a three-position selector switch: Two of the positions are used to launch payloads, while the third makes Bash Bunny appear to be a regular USB storage device for copying and modifying files.

    • Most powerful 96Boards SBC yet offers M.2 expansion

      Archermind and LeMaker have launched a “Hikey 960” 96Boards CE SBC for AOSP using HiSilicon’s 4x -A73, 4x -A53 Kirin 960 SoC, and featuring M.2 expansion.

      The Hikey 960 design from Linaro’s 96Boards.org is now available from Archermind and LeMaker, which sell the boards via their Alpha Star and Lenovator sites respectively. The SBC is also available on Amazon ($240) and Seed ($239), among other venues. The open source boards comply with the same 85 x 55mm 96Boards CE spec adopted by LeMaker’s Hikey SBC, and run Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Linaro plans to add Linux support over time (see farther below).

    • 96Boards Officially Launches The HiKey 960 ARM Board

      The 96Boards organization has announced the official launch and shipping of the HiKey 960.

Free Software/Open Source
  • Top 4 CDN services for hosting open source libraries

    A CDN, or content delivery network, is a network of strategically placed servers located around the world used for the purpose of delivering files faster to users. A traditional CDN will allow you to accelerate your website’s images, CSS files, JS files, and any other piece of static content. This allows website owners to accelerate all of their own content as well as provide them with additional features and configuration options. These premium services typically require payment based on the amount of bandwidth a project uses.

    However, if your project doesn’t justify the cost of implementing a traditional CDN, the use of an open source CDN may be more suitable. Typically, these types of CDNs allow you to link to popular web-based libraries (CSS/JS frameworks, for example), which are then delivered to your web visitors from the free CDN’s servers. Although CDN services for open source libraries do not allow you to upload your own content to their servers, they can help you accelerate libraries globally and improve your website’s redundancy.

  • Codesmith Students Garner National Praise for Open-Source Contributions

    Reactide is an Integrated Development Environment built for React, which intends to make React development easier for Software Engineers. The project has been widely praised, amassing over 6,000 stars on GitHub.

  • Airbnb’s new open source library lets you design with React and render to Sketch

    Today, Airbnb’s design team open sourced its internal library for writing React components that easily render directly to Sketch. Instead of trying to get Sketch to export to code, the Airbnb team spent its time on the opposite — putting the paintbrush in the hands of the engineer.

  • [Older] Telecoms copying cloud providers make beeline for open source, say analysts

    The supersonic growth of Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers in the past few years owes much to open-source communities that fed them cutting-edge tech free-of-charge. Now telecom is mimicking this strategy through involvement with the Linux Foundation, according to Scott Raynovich (@rayno) (pictured, right), guest host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio.

  • Events
  • SaaS/Back End
    • Users stand up, speak out, and deliver data on OpenStack growth

      Last week, the OpenStack Foundation announced the results of its ninth user survey. OpenStack users responded in record-breaking numbers to participate, and their voices as revealed in the data tell the real story of OpenStack. The OpenStack community is growing, thriving with new users, deployments, code contributions, and collaborations, all on the rise. User diversity is expanding across geographies and organizational sizes. And OpenStack’s ability to integrate with innovative technologies is paving the way for advancements not even dreamed of just five years ago.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • Oracle draws curtains on OmniOS

      With its openly stated operational remit of ‘aggressive acquisitions’ (albeit positively aggressive), Oracle is (very) arguably a firm known for buying, swallowing, acquiring those companies it decides to consume.

  • Healthcare
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • BSD
    • The many ways of running firefox on OpenBSD

      Maybe i haven’t talked about it enough on the lists, but since i’ve been maintaining the various mozillas in the portstree (cvs log says i started around firefox 3.6.something… 7 years ago. *sigh*) a lot of things changed, so i wanted take the 6.1 release as an occasion to sum up the various ways one could run which version of which firefox on which version of OpenBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • Libreboot Applies to Rejoin GNU

      Last week we reported that after reorganization, Libreboot was considering rejoining GNU and was seeking input from its community to determine the amount of support it had for such a move. From reading the comments posted both on our article on FOSS Force and on Libreboot’s website, it comes as no surprise that the project’s core members feel they have the necessary consesus to proceed.

      Last night, FOSS Force received an email — sent jointly to us and Phoronix — letting us know of the decision.

      Rather than repeat what’s already been written and said on the subject (for that, follow the first link above), we’re publishing a slightly edited version of the email, which will pretty much bring everyone up to date on the situation.

  • Programming/Development
Leftovers
  • Wikitribune is Jimmy Wales’ solution to the Donald Trump cavalcade of bullsh*t [iophk: "those with the most money to hire people to camp on articles will continue to win out"]

    Wikitribune will combine professional journalism with volunteers to offer ‘factual and neutral’ articles. It will be offered ad-free and free-to-use, relying on donations, as Wikipedia does.

    The service will require the same levels of fact-checking as Wikipedia, with sources cited and linked. Which basically is going to screw Donald Trump in the most splendid way.

  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching a news website

    Wikitribune says it will be transparent about its sources. It will post the full transcripts of interviews, as well as video and audio, “to the maximum extent possible.”

  • An interview with Cory Doctorow on beating death, post-scarcity, and everything

    Cory Doctorow’s new book Walkaway centers on the rise of a counterculture built on open-source technology that fabricates nearly everything from the “feedstock” provided by the refuse and wreckage of a world ravaged by climate change and economic ruin.

  • Science
  • Health/Nutrition
    • Lesson from Flint: ‘Test your dang water’ [iophk: "there are no safe levels of lead in drinking water or food"]

      “You still can’t drink the water, you still can’t cook with the water and bathing. … You get bumps and rashes from the water,” said Jones, 39, as he showed the red marks on his neck in the parking lot of the water station at the far north end of Flint. “It’s still a struggle, a day-to-day struggle. Even if we get cases of water, you don’t know how long that’s going to last.”

    • ‘Fossil’ groundwater is not immune to modern-day pollution

      Groundwater that has lingered in Earth’s depths for more than 12,000 years is surprisingly vulnerable to modern pollution from human activities. Once in place, that pollution could stick around for thousands of years, researchers report online April 25 in Nature Geoscience. Scientists previously assumed such deep waters were largely immune to contamination from the surface.

    • ‘There is no place for any religious organisation in 21st century care’ – Irish midwives

      A representative for Irish midwives said they want relocation but they do not want any religious order to have a say in modern hospitals.

      Ally Murphy, of the Irish Midwives Association told Breakfast Newstalk that they want what is best for Irish women.

      She was speaking as the controversy over the decision to give ownership of the new €300m National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity rumbled on.

  • Security
    • NSA backdoor detected on >55,000 Windows boxes can now be remotely removed

      After Microsoft officials dismissed evidence that more than 10,000 Windows machines on the Internet were infected by a highly advanced National Security Agency backdoor, private researchers are stepping in to fill the void. The latest example of this open source self-help came on Tuesday with the release of a tool that can remotely uninstall the DoublePulsar implant.

    • Turns out, pacemaker security is terrifying

      Ultimately, St. Jude Medical’s stock plunged as much as 10 percent in the aftermath. The company launched a lawsuit against MedSec and Muddy Waters, and the three firms skirmished in the press again when MedSec’s findings were allegedly reproduced by security firm Bishop Fox. What’s more, the second set of researchers claimed they could take over the pacemakers at a distance of around 10 feet.

    • Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users beware: This isn’t the apple.com you want
    • [Older] Phishing with Unicode Domains

      From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as “xn--pple-43d.com”, which is equivalent to “аpple.com”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “аpple.com” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0061). This is known as a homograph attack.

    • New Strain of Linux Malware Could Get Serious [Ed: ECT thinks that people having default username+password is a “Linux” issue? Seriously?

      A new strain of malware targeting Linux systems, dubbed “Linux/Shishiga,” could morph into a dangerous security threat.

      Eset on Tuesday disclosed the threat, which represents a new Lua family unrelated to previously seen LuaBot malware.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • GrSecurity Kernel Patches Will No Longer Be Free To The Public

      The GrSecurity initiative that hosts various out-of-tree patches to the mainline Linux kernel in order to enhance the security will no longer be available to non-paying users.

      GrSecurity has been around for the better part of two decades and going back to the 2.4 kernel days. In 2015 the stable GrSecurity patches became available to only commercial customers while the testing patches had still been public. That’s now changing with all GrSecurity users needing to be customers.

    • Passing the Baton: FAQ

      This change is effective today, April 26th 2017. Public test patches have been removed from the download area. 4.9 was specifically chosen as the last public release as being the latest upstream LTS kernel will help ease the community transition.

    • grsecurity – Passing the Baton

      Anyone here use grsecurity and have any thoughts about this?

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • CIA director Mike Pompeo repeatedly cited WikiLeaks to attack Clinton during campaign

      Donald Trump’s administration has taken a tough stance on WikiLeaks in recent weeks.
      US officials told CNN last week that the Justice Department has prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference on Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority” of the administration.

      But no Trump administration official went further in condemning the group than CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who, in a speech two weeks ago, called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.”
      Pompeo’s comments immediately drew attention to a tweet from July 2016 in which he linked to the WikiLeaks document dump of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Critics used the tweet to call out Pompeo for his dramatic reversal on WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

      Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.” News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

    • Chomsky: CIA Targeting of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is “Disgraceful Act”

      NOAM CHOMSKY: If the charge is true, he should be honored for it. Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden carried out heroic, courageous acts. They fulfilled the responsibility of somebody who takes citizenship seriously—that is, who believes that the people of a country ought to know something about what their government is up to. OK? Like if their government is carrying out murderous, brutal attacks in Iraq, people should know about it. Takes us back to Martin Luther King’s talk in 1967. If the government is, and corporations, too, incidentally, are listening in to your telephone conversations and what you’re doing, you know, tapping this discussion and so on, we should know about it. Governments have no right to do things like that. And people should know about it. And if they think it’s OK, fine, let them decide, not do it in secret. And I think people wouldn’t agree to it. That’s why it’s kept secret. Why else keep it secret? You know? And these are people who exposed it at great risk to themselves. So those are heroic, courageous acts. If WikiLeaks was abetting them, more power to them. That’s what they should be doing.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Winners Of Ideas4Change For UN Sustainable Development Goals

      Inventions to contribute to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been rewarded. A reactor which converts carbon dioxide into ethanol, a method for the detection of pesticides and contaminants in food, and renewable leather created from bacteria won the heart of the jury.

  • Finance
    • Outgoing Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will likely get $186m payout

      Shareholders will be asked to approve a huge payout for Mayer, as Yahoo is currently being sold to Verizon, the US’s largest telecom company, for $4.49bn

    • CETA bringing changes to pharma patents in Canada

      On Oct. 30, 2016, Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Just one day later, Bill C-30: An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures was introduced.

      Among other changes, Bill C-30 introduces significant amendments to the existing regulatory scheme by which generic drugs are granted market authorization and new provisions for extending the term of certain pharmaceutical patents. The following provides a brief overview of the upcoming changes for pharmaceutical patents.

    • Here Comes The Attempt To Reframe Silicon Valley As Modern Robber Barons

      It’s difficult for me to read Jonathan Taplin’s cri de coeur about Google and other technology companies that have come to dominate the top tier of successful American corporations without wincing in sympathy on his behalf.

      But the pain I feel is not grounded in Taplin’s certainty that something amoral, libertarian and unregulated is undermining democracy. Instead, it’s in Taplin’s profound misunderstanding of both the innovations and social changes that have made these companies not merely successful but also—for most Americans—vastly useful in enabling people to stay connected, express themselves and find the goods and services (and, even more importantly, communities) they need.

    • E-Commerce Serving Mostly Rich Economies; UNCTAD Launches Online Platform For Inclusivity

      Electronic commerce is booming but mostly for high income economies, speakers said at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which is holding a weeklong event on digital trade. Technical assistance is needed for developing countries to hop on the e-commerce train, they said, as UNCTAD launched a platform designed to help developing countries navigate the arcane of electronic trade.

    • Trump’s ‘huge tax cut for the rich’ would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy

      The Trump administration unveiled what it called the biggest tax cuts “in history” on Wednesday in a move that will simplify the US tax system, slash taxes for businesses large and small (including his own), eliminate inheritance taxes and set the president on a collision course with Congress over the likely $2tn-plus cost of the proposal.

      Critics immediately called it “basically a huge tax cut for the rich”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Democracy campaigner: governments are scared of the participation revolution [iophk: "FB is part of the problem"]

      “But over the last few years we’ve been issuing alarms about the UK, US, Hungary and Poland. What’s begun to emerge is that we really think there is a global emergency around civil space, that for a variety of reasons governments and sometimes non-state actors are going out of their way to shut down the ability of citizens to collectively organise and mobilise.”

    • The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think

      How did big media miss the Donald Trump swell? News organizations old and new, large and small, print and online, broadcast and cable assigned phalanxes of reporters armed with the most sophisticated polling data and analysis to cover the presidential campaign. The overwhelming assumption was that the race was Hillary Clinton’s for the taking, and the real question wasn’t how sweeping her November victory would be, but how far out to sea her wave would send political parvenu Trump. Today, it’s Trump who occupies the White House and Clinton who’s drifting out to sea—an outcome that arrived not just as an embarrassment for the press but as an indictment. In some profound way, the election made clear, the national media just doesn’t get the nation it purportedly covers.

    • Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives

      He will explain that Donald Trump, compromised by ancient deals with Russian mobsters, and perhaps even blackmailed by an unspeakable KGB sex tape, made a secret deal. He’ll say Trump agreed to downplay the obvious benefits of an armed proxy war in Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s help in stealing the emails of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • NSA Blimp Spied in the United States

      To residents of Maryland, catching an occasional glimpse of a huge white blimp floating in the sky is not unusual. For more than a decade, the military has used the state as a proving ground for new airships destined for Afghanistan or Iraq. But less known is that the test flights have sometimes served a more secretive purpose involving National Security Agency surveillance.

    • The Intercept publishes details on Maryland’s other surveillance blimp

      According to The Intercept, the NSA tested a blimp at an airfield near Solomons Island in Southern Maryland back in 2004. It’s the latest revelation to be published from the site’s “Snowden Archive.”

    • The NSA’s Eye in the Sky: Blimp Spies on Americans

      The surveillance hawks — it would appear — are never satisfied. When it comes to harvesting the data of American citizens, their mantra seems to be “too much is never enough.” The most recently revealed tool in the considerable arsenal of the surveillance state is a three-engine blimp equipped with eavesdropping apparatus.

      As the online magazine The Intercept is reporting, the 62-foot diameter airship — ominously named the Hover Hammer — was fitted “with an eavesdropping device” back in 2004. The Intercept published a classified document on Monday as part of the Snowden Archive. That classified document shows that the Hover Hammer “can be manned or remotely piloted and has already done demonstration flights up to 10,700 feet” including a test in which “the airship launched from an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland and was able to intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York area, including lines of bearing.” Just to clarify, both Maryland and Long Island, New York, are in the United States, so the fact that the Hover Hammer intercepted “international shipping data” is considerably less than the whole story. In sweeping up that data, the “Digital Receiver Technology model 1301 receiver onboard the airship” undoubtedly also picked up domestic communications — including mobile phone calls, texts, mobile data traffic, and presumably WiFi and other signals.

    • NSA’s ‘Hover Hammer’ Spied on ‘International’ New York Shipping Data

      A 62-foot-diameter blimp deployed by the US National Security Agency was able to “intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York, area” after taking flight from Solomons Island, Maryland, according to a classified NSA document published on Monday.

    • Leaked Documents Reveal the NSA Spying on Scientists to Find ‘Nefarious’ Genetic Research

      A new document made public this week via Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents reveals a fascinating aim of signals intelligence program: The agency, it turns out, monitored international scientific developments in hopes of detecting “nefarious” genetic engineering projects more than a decade ago.

      SIGINT is intelligence collected by monitoring electronic and communications signals. In 2013, documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the agency’s reliance on this kind of intelligence to provide insight into the capabilities and intentions of foreign entities, as well as domestic targets. In the years since, documents have continued to trickle out of the Snowden leak that shed additional light on those efforts.

    • Man suspected in wife’s murder after her Fitbit data doesn’t match his alibi

      The arrest warrant shows a detailed breakdown of all her movements and locations from waking up through the time she was killed. From the sync locations and activity monitor, investigators were able to produce a timeline down to the minute of when she left for the gym, the duration of her trip home, when she walked into the garage, her intermittent moving around in the home, and when her body stopped moving.

    • Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data

      In 2014, after concluding its investigation, the F.T.C. called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and marketing of their digital data. The F.T.C. report detailed how some of the companies classify consumers in data-driven social and demographic groups for marketing purposes with labels like “financially challenged,” “diabetes interest” and “smoker in the household.” The concern is that such classifications could be used to limit fair access to financial services or health insurance.

      The F.T.C. recommendation, which was endorsed in a separate report by the Obama administration, was not taken up in Congress.

    • How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

      They have ample means to do so: the immense data trail you leave behind whenever you place something in your online shopping cart or swipe your rewards card at a store register, top economists and data scientists capable of turning this information into useful price strategies, and what one tech economist calls “the ability to experiment on a scale that’s unparalleled in the history of economics.” In mid-March, Amazon alone had 59 listings for economists on its job site, and a website dedicated to recruiting them.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Hatred against non-Muslims grows as radical movements expand

      Throughout the election campaign, the most extremist Islamic leaders tried to influence the vote by manipulating the religious sentiment of voters (pictured). This led to many street demonstrations, which often turned violent.

      “They want to adopt laws inspired by Sharia, and their demands will become more and more radical,” Sinta Wahid warned. This trend represents a serious threat to national unity and to the pluralist spirit on which the country was founded.

    • Hyderabad man dies after being set ablaze in Riyadh, kin seeks govt intervention

      Abdul Qader, who was working in Riyadh, was allegedly set on fire following dispute with a family member of his employer.

    • TSA: Tiny Little Thugocrats Need To Show Travelers Who’s Boss

      This confirms what security expert Bruce Schneier has said for years — that this is security theater, not meaningful security.

    • ‘Mass murder’ complaint filed against Philippines’ President Duterte at ICC

      In the first publicly known filing to the Hague court against Duterte, Jude Sabio submitted the 77-page complaint that says the president has “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed extra-judicial executions or mass murders over three decades, amounting to crimes against humanity.

    • British woman jailed in Iran loses final appeal
    • Iran rejects detained British-Iranian woman’s final appeal, family says

      She still has not been allowed to know the exact charges for which she was convicted, Ratcliffe said.

    • US government lodges appeal on Amos Yee’s asylum case

      US government attorneys are appealing a Chicago immigration judge’s decision to grant asylum to Amos Yee.

      That means 18-year-old Yee remains in US custody. The judge concluded in March that Yee had a “well-founded fear” of being persecuted upon return to Singapore. He was first detained by US immigration authorities in December at O’Hare International Airport.

    • British ‘hacker’ Lauri Love can appeal extradition to US, solicitors announce

      No date has yet been set for the challenge, which will be heard at the High Court in London.

    • Lauri Love can appeal his extradition ruling

      The High Court has granted Lauri Love permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States.

      Liberty have also been granted permission to intervene in the appeal. A hearing date has still to be scheduled.

    • IGD: Black Bloc Defends Berkeley As Trump Supporters Give Nazi Salutes

      Clashes erupted in Berkeley, CA today as anarchists and antifascists fought with members of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, and Trump supporters. Trump supporters openly carried anti-Semitic signs, fascist symbols, and gave neo-Nazi salutes.

      Police had stated the day before that they would search people coming into the park for weapons and other items that could be used for “rioting,” however it was clear that police by and large had failed to do so – much less police the area. Law enforcement also set up plastic barriers in the park that gave the Trump supporters access to a “stage” area, in effect, protecting them from counter-demonstrators and enforcing a permit, although one was never obtained, as they focused on policing antifascists.

    • White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis & Right-Wing Militia Members Clash with Antifa Protesters in Berkeley

      In Berkeley, California, at least 20 people were arrested as fights broke out between white nationalist Trump supporters and antifascist protesters during competing rallies on Saturday. Photos show some of the Trump supporters posing with the Nazi salute. Police say at least one person was stabbed during the clashes. Several more were injured. In one instance, a known white supremacist was videotaped punching a young antifascist woman named Louise Rosealma in the face. The man who is seen punching her is Nathan Damigo, a former marine who founded the white supremacist organization known as “Identity Europa.” For more, we speak with award-winning reporter Shane Bauer. His most recent article is titled “I Went Behind the Front Lines with the Far-Right Agitators Who Invaded Berkeley.”

    • Prosecutors Overturn More Than 21,000 Drug Convictions In Wake Of Massive Drug Lab Misconduct

      Back in 2012, it was discovered that a Massachusetts state drug lab technician had falsified thousands of tests submitted as evidence in criminal cases. Technician Annie Dookhan was able to “produce” three times as many test results as her coworkers, mostly by never actually testing the submitted substance — something that went unquestioned for far too long. Dookhan went to jail for three years, but many of those convicted on faulty evidence spent far more time locked up.

      Dookhan’s prolific fakery resulted in a list of 40,000 cases possibly tainted by her work. This list was turned over to prosecutors, who managed over the next few years to trim it down to 23,000 possibly-tainted convictions. Faced with the daunting task of sorting this all out and notifying former defendants, the district attorney’s office decided the best approach was to do as little as possible.

    • Security Forces Put On Alert As Trump Set To Ban Laptops On Planes Originating From Europe

      In late March U.S. intelligence sources announced that terrorist organizations have found a novel and deadly way to smuggle explosives onto airplanes utilizing everyday laptops. Though officials declined to provide additional details, some believe that the intelligence highlighting the new threat was the result of President Trump’s raid on an Al Queda compound in Yemen that left at least 14 Al Queda fighters. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was also killed in the raid. The President called it a “winning mission,” and officials said the mission’s stated purpose, to gather information, had been accomplished.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • Cord Cutting Is Very Real, And 25% Of Americans Won’t Subscribe To Traditional Cable By Next Year

      For years the traditional cable and broadcast industry has gone to great lengths to deny that cord cutting (getting rid of traditional cable TV) is real. First, we were told repeatedly that the phenomenon wasn’t happening at all. Next, the industry acknowledged that sure — a handful of people were ditching cable, but it didn’t matter because the people doing so were losers living in their mom’s basement. Then, we were told that cord cutting was real, but was only a minor phenomenon that would go away once Millennials started procreating.

      Of course none of these talking points were true, but they helped cement a common belief among older cable and broadcast executives that the transformative shift to streaming video could be easily solved by doubling down on bad ideas. More price increases, more advertisements stuffed into each minute, more hubris, and more denial. Blindness to justify the milking of a dying cash cow instead of adapting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Trademarks
      • More IP Attorneys Predict More Craft Beer Trademark Disputes As The Industry Continues To Grow

        If you want to take the temperature on where the craft beer brewing industry is on the convergence of an exploding industry and the greater use of trademark law, you need only look at what intellectual property lawyers are saying. We had just discussed a Q&A with several IP attorneys in wine country lamenting on how trademark law is throwing up roadblocks to a likewise expanding wine industry and the need for a more nuanced interpretation of marketplaces within the alcohol industries. Even within the craft beer industry itself, IP attorneys are starting to recognize that the industry has a problem.

    • Copyrights
      • Five Million Brits Go Crazy For Illegal Streaming
      • Five years later, legal Megaupload data is still trapped on dead servers

        The files on Megaupload should have just been backups for Goodwin, but unfortunately he experienced a hard drive failure just days before the 2012 Dotcom arrest. That means the “backup” files on Megaupload are the only copies available for some of his material. In addition to losing video that he provided to parents of their kids’ sports achievements, he’s been unable to complete a documentary he was making about a girls’ soccer team in Strongville, Ohio. OhioSportsNet also lost its promotional videos and other news packages.

      • Kim Dotcom Asks Police to Urgently Interview FBI Director Jim Comey

        Kim Dotcom has filed a formal complaint with police in New Zealand after FBI director James Comey arrived in the region for a conference. Dotcom’s complaint says that Comey should be urgently interviewed over the unlawful removal of hard drive clones obtained following the raid on Megaupload in 2012.

      • Dutch Court Rules That Freely Given Fan-Subtitles Are Copyright Infringement

        For some reason, there has been a sub-war raging for more than a decade between anti-piracy groups and fans who create free subtitles for content so other regions can enjoy that same content. While much of this war has been fought for years on the anime front of all places, the conflict has spread to mainstream movies and television as well. And it is a painfully dumb war to fight at all for the content creators, whose publishers have failed to provide the subtitle translations that are obviously in demand, and which would open up new markets at no cost for them. Instead, they typically choose to scream “Copyright infringement!” at these fans instead.

      • Why Is Congress In Such A Rush To Strip The Library Of Congress Of Oversight Powers On The Copyright Office?

        In the past few weeks, we’ve written a few times about this weird urgency among some in Congress to rush through a pretty major change to Copyright Office oversight. I wrote a deep dive piece over at The Verge discussing the issues at play, but Congress is pushing a bill to stop the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, from appointing a new head of the Copyright Office. Instead, the Congressional plan is to make the position a political appointee, nominated by the President, and approved by Congress. In that Verge piece, we explained why it was a major change, and scratched our heads at the fact that there appears to be no reason for pushing for this change other than (1) the legacy copyright industries know that their lobbying power will mean that the appointment will be to their liking and (2) they fear who Hayden might appoint. But, what’s really odd is how quickly Congress is trying to push this through. As if the matter is incredibly urgent. There have been no hearings on the matter. There’s been no public discussion on the pros and cons of such a move. Just a mad dash by a bunch of people in Congress to make this change official before Hayden can appoint someone.

PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won’t Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft’s

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 12:24:10 PM

The problem is the underlying software patents and trolls

Summary: A new initiative called “PatentShield” is launched, but it’s yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions

FIGHTING patents with patents is a worthless exercise of endless war and sometimes just reckless stockpiling which accomplishes nothing at all. We wrote about this in relation to Red Hat 8 years ago.

“This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.”A decade or more ago, around 2005, Red Hat helped fight against software patents at the EPO, but later on both Red Hat and Google started accumulating software patents of their own, falsely arguing that they need these for “defence”. Acacia, a patent troll with Microsoft connections, repeatedly disproved them. One cannot sue trolls; there’s nothing to sue over. This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.

“There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents.”Not too long ago Google bragged about something called “PAX” (or Pax, i.e. peace), which we criticised several times. It doesn’t really help address the underlying problems. It tackles neither trolls nor software patents. See this latest new example where the buzzword “AI” gets used as a loophole for post-Alice software patent grants. There were two puff pieces about it this morning [1, 2], the latter of which says: “A new patent for “whole brain” systems for autonomous robotic control has been issued by the U.S. Patent Office to Neurala, the software company that invented The Neurala Brain, a deep learning neural networks platform. This new invention will enable AI to function more like a human brain because it integrates multiple brain areas.”

I have personally developed programs in this area (machine learning, autonomous vehicles etc.) and it’s abundantly clear that it’s all about software.

“What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in).”There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents. We found quite a few articles early this morning [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], accompanying several copies of the press release (there was clearly a large, well-coordinated effort to get the word out, including paid press releases and probably PR agencies). No doubt there are many more articles on the way and almost none will go beyond repeating quotes from the press release (and those who paid for these, or their PR agents).

For those who think that PatentShield is a sort of “Eureka moment” or some brilliant thing “to Defend Startups from Patent Litigation” (as the headline of the press release claims) we have a good offer; land on the Moon and on Mars!

“Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition.”What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in). Meanwhile, MOSAID (now known as Conversant) gears up for more litigation. IAM has just been writing about this Microsoft-fed patent troll that pays IAM too. “According to USPTO data,” IAM wrote yesterday, “Conversant was assigned 29 US patent assets by Seoul-based semiconductor foundry Dongbu HiTek and its affiliate Dongbu Electronics in a transfer executed at the end of last year. The patents appear to relate to CMOS image sensor technology.”

It’s not hard to imagine what will happen next. The industry is already suffering from trolls abundance (there is a new site called “Don’t Bully My Business”) and Conversant/MOSAID is just one of many. Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition. It’s a convenient loophole. Microsoft is like Qualcomm in that sense and regarding the FTC (critic of PAEs in its recent report) which we wrote about some days ago, IAM says this:

The FTC’s case against Qualcomm was filed amid the dying embers of the Obama White House and accused the chipmaker of anti-competitive practices in the supply of its baseband processors and in its patent licensing. But the move was not without controversy. In a 2-1 decision in favour of bringing the suit, Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen wrote a strongly worded dissent in which she claimed the court action was “based on a flawed legal theory”. Trump has appointed Ohlhausen the acting FTC chairman as the administration searches for a permanent appointee and, should the new head share her sentiments, the government’s support of the suit against Qualcomm may become lukewarm at best. The letter is a clear attempt to try to ensure that doesn’t happen.

We very much doubt that a corporations’ government — be it Obama’s or Trump’s — will tackle the underlying issues. So far it has been mostly SCOTUS which contributed to progress with decisions like Alice and hopefully TC Heartland some time soon.

The bottom line is, small trolls and ‘institutionalised’ trolls continue to prey on the system, both directly and indirectly. PatentShield is more like a PR ploy of Google and Intertrust; it won’t actually help victims of trolling. Ignore and move on.

Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 10:53:23 AM

“Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Summary: The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere

THE USPTO isn’t perfect, but at least it’s improving. We have repeatedly commended its Director for steering the Office in a positive direction which is widely supported by most of the industry, just not the patent microcosm (which is eager to oust her and undo all the progress).

At IP Watch, Steven Seidenberg has just published behind paywall this piece about a SCOTUS decision which he says “will benefit patent trolls and other unscrupulous patent owners, at the expense of companies,” citing “few observers” of the SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v First Quality Baby Prods case. We wrote about this before.

“…the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.”“On the positive side,” he added, “the ruling brings US patent law more in line with Europe’s patent law.”

So what? That in itself is not necessarily a positive thing. Watch what the EPO has become and how flagrantly it disregards European patent law, including its founding document, the EPC. The dysfunctions of the EPO are in fact becoming a headache and a liability even well outside the continent of Europe. This new article, titled “Planning to Request Discovery for a European Patent Office Proceeding? Not So Fast, Rules the District of Massachusetts”, says the following:

The Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently denied a petitioner’s request under 28 USC § 1782 to take discovery related to patent inventorship in connection with an Opposition proceeding pending before the European Patent Office (EPO). The court, in exercising its discretion under the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Intel factors set forth in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 US 241, 264 (2004), denied the petitioner’s request for discovery because the EPO generally does not allow the type of discovery requested by the petitioner in an Opposition proceeding, thus the petitioner’s requested discovery would have no place in an EPO Opposition.

Put in simple terms, based on a x86 case from 13 years ago, it is not possible for US entities to look into the reckless actions (widely known by now) of the EPO, where patents are granted in error.

The author, Alison C. Casey from Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, says this “illustrates the need for inventors to be familiar with patent laws, procedures, and proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.” That’s like saying, “come to me! Give me business, I’ll advise you.”

But between the lines we see that the person affected in his capacity as an attorney is actually European. To quote:

The petitioner, George Schlich, is a European patent attorney who brought this action as an agent of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., a genome editing company based in the United States. Schlich petitioned the district court to order discovery under 28 USC § 1782 in connection with a proceeding before the European Patent Office related to an EPO-issued patent for an invention known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which provides scientists with an inexpensive and precise method of editing DNA for biological and medical research. The underlying dispute in the EPO is whether The Broad Institute, Inc., a biomedical and genomic research institute affiliated with MIT and Harvard, can rely on its U.S. provisional applications filing date for priority in its European patents.

We wrote a great deal about this CRISPR fiasco in the US and in the EPO. The above is a reminder that the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.

Blog ‘Takeovers’ by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 10:00:51 AM

Related: Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management’s Agenda


Photo credit: Managing IP

Summary: Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC

THE EPO‘s management isn’t alone; some people do in fact stand to benefit from its so-called ‘reforms’, notably Team UPC. But only if the UPC ever becomes a reality, which seems far-fetched a concept. They try to make it desirable and inevitable, but it’s anything but.

IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.”Bristows, a core part of Team UPC in the UK, is exploiting external blogs for marketing, as almost nobody reads (or even knows about) its own blog. They’re doing this not just in IP Kat (two more puff pieces from the Bristows lobbyist there yesterday and another one this morning, with pro-trolls bias) but also in Kluwer, which doesn’t seem to mind poor track record of the messengers (they may also be falsifying quotes). Brian Cordery (Bristows) published something in Kluwer some days ago and it didn’t go too well, especially if commenters are not denied a voice. In IP Kat, for example, whenever there is an article promoting the UPC we find that almost every single comment refutes it. IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.

“Have you seen the discussion in the comment section here,” one reader asked us, pointing to this puff piece which boils down to amplifying Team Battistelli. “Very remarkable,” our reader called it. Here is the key part from this echo chamber, which excluded critical voices as usual:

The second session looked at the topic of Brexit and IP. Margot Fröhlinger, the Principal Director of Patent Law and Multilateral Affairs, spoke first. She addressed the state of implementation of the Agreement. 12 have ratified so far but not Germany and the UK. Both however are on track – according to the latest reports. Turning to the impact of Brexit, Margot noted that most commentators had initially assumed Brexit was the death knell for the UK’s participation in the UPC and possibly for the whole project. Over time, these views had softened but it was still a surprise when the UKIPO announced on 28 November 2016 that the UK was going to proceed with ratification. Nevertheless this was seen as very positive news by proponents of the system. Margot considered that the UK’s participation could be secured if there was sufficient political will, given the marginal influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime. Moreover in the unlikely event that the UK left the system, arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced. Margot felt that the system would be impoverished without the UK judges and practitioners. Panellist Joel Smith thought that there was political will for the UK participation but it was just one of many pieces in a very complicated puzzle. Panellist Trevor Cook wondered if we may end up with the UPC system applying in the UK but not unitary patents. Judge Klaus Grabinski thought that all options remained on the table and Margot Fröhlinger pointed to Denmark’s involvement in the Brussels Regulation as a precedent.

The ‘fun’ part starts in the comments, which help highlight — however difficult these things tend to be — that there is suppression in the comments.

Read the first comment:

UPC and the Brexit

Declaring that the influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime will be marginal is quite daring and has more to do with wishful thinking than a robust analysis of the situation.

That a lot of stakeholders, especially UK law firms, would like UK to stay in the UPC is understandable but does not make it more likely.

In any case, it is a bare minimum to consider that arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced should UK leave the UPC. The contrary would be astonishing.

Overall, it is nevertheless doubtful that that UK will stay in the UPC after Brexit. If this would be the case, it would mean that EPLA is revived in a different form. It is anything but sure and certain that the CJEU would agree on this. Ever heard of Opinion 1/09? It makes it even more strange to decide upfront about the marginal influence of the CJEU….

I hope that this post will be published, contrary to my earlier one. In the contrary I would like to be told the reasons for non-publication. If only nice things can be said in a blog, then it is not a blog….

So Bristows, a key lobbyist for the UPC, not only lies about the UPC but also engages in censorship of UPC critics. “Having had two comments blocked,” as the above person points out, means that it’s no accident. Here is another comment:

Having had two comments blocked, I take it for acquired that any comment slightly critical of the UPC and hence not corresponding to the interests of Brystows is not to be published in this blog.

I find this appalling. A blog is there to confront points of view, not to exclusively express a positive opinion on the UPC and/or considering a post-Brexit participation of UK in the UPC highly likely.

Even IPKat accepts dissenting opinions.

I am therefore not agreeing with Techrights that IPKat has been taken over by Brystows. I am even of the opinion that often Techrights deserves the cause it wants to help in being apodictic and extreme in its view.

Should I not get a reply giving me the reasons as to why my comments were blocked, I will make the matter public.

In our defense, in the context of the UPC, we view ourself as counterpropaganda, or the voice that helps counter the propaganda, without being propaganda on its own. The only thing we have at stake is fear of patent trolls, which UPC would make possible here.

The above commenter continues, later adding:

The above comment was not to made public at once. I want a detailed reply first.

That’s when “Kluwer Blogger” weighed in to say:

The author would like to point out that he was just reporting the views of those expressed by the speakers at the conference. Personally, he feels that where there is a political will, a way will be found. Though he recognises that there is a long road ahead.

As a reminder, this is who leads this echo chamber, based on a screenshot taken 3 days ago:

Here is another person complaining about censorship:

Daniel Thomas laments that his postings were “blocked”. I sympathise with him. But readers will be aware that blocking is sometimes appropriate. For example, if you follow the lively Patently-O blog (or the Comments threads on the UK newspaper The Guardian), you will know that some posters are offensive and so it is appropriate to “block” their offensive outpourings.

Of course, it is a difficult judgement, what has to be “blocked”. Me, I cannot imagine Daniel Thomas ever being offensive. In my experience he is an exceedingly courteous man.

Daniel, the blockings on Patently-O are done by a computer and often for me inexplicable. Perhaps something like that happened here, with your non-appearing postings?

The best comment we’ve found mentions the impact on IP Kat as well:

Please note that, unfortunately, this “blog” is primarily not an academic playground, but rather a marketing tool for Kluwer and their authors, trying to push public opinion in a way suiting their needs. Another example for such tool is the above mentioned IPkat blog after Jeremy’s departure.

As a consequence, it should not come as too much of a surprise that comments expressing a view contradicting that of Kluwer et al are swept under the blanket. For instance, they have long abandoned publishing critical voices on the UPC as it would be required for an open debate and instead prefer presenting their exclusive narrative on how things stand and where they go. Of course, usually this has not much to do with reality which allows certain deductions to be made as regards the UPC project as a whole if it can only be kept alive based on skewed perspectives and the input of obviously biased individuals, apparently having to be protected from an open discussion.

From an academic standpoint and the perspective of free speech, this is a rather depressing situation, but clearly it is the path Kluwer et al have chosen to follow. We will see if this comment makes it to publication or whether it will be suppressed as many others. In the latter case, there will at least be a screenshot confirming that it has been successfully submitted.

For the record, here in Techrights we have 33,894 comments. We never in our entire history censored even one comment. Not even extremely rude ones!

IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog’s founder and altogether stopped commenting there.”Bristows are, as always, utterly terrible liars and the more they do this shameful suppression of speech, the more eager we are to expose what they’re up and stop them. Brian Cordery and his colleagues long ago abandoned facts; all they care about is money. Cordery concluded the thread with: “The author reiterates that all non-derogatory comments will be published and apologises for any delay caused due to his travel schedule.”

Well, there was probably nothing derogatory in them (nobody can see to verify); that’s just a typical excuse after removing ‘unwanted’ comments. IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog's founder and altogether stopped commenting there.

“Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.”

–Aldous Huxley

Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 10:43:40 PM

Contents GNU/Linux Free Software/Open Source
  • Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

    Development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source variant of Solaris – is being killed after five years of work.

    Active development of OmniOS by OmniTI is being suspended, we’re told, with its current beta being the final release. OmniOS is a distribution of Illumos, which is derived from OpenSolaris, Sun’s open-source flavor of Solaris.

  • Apache Fineract Open-Source Financial Services Application Graduates

    Ever wanted to build your own banking platform? Now you can with the open-source Fineract project.

    The open-source Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has many different processes, including one for how a new project can be incubated, mature and eventually graduate to become a Top-Level Project.

  • Open Source Stats–But What Do the Numbers Mean?

    I recently sent a report to project management containing some numbers that purport to describe the status of the RDO project.

    I got a long and thoughtful response from one of the managers—we’ll call him Mark—and it seems worthwhile sharing some of his insights. To summarize, what he said was, don’t bother collecting stats if they don’t tell a story.

    [...]

    We track “downloads” of RDO, which roughly speaking means every time someone runs the quickstart and it grabs the RPM. Except RDO is on a mirror network, so that number is false—or, at best, it reflects what the trends might be across the rest of the mirror network. So we have no idea what this metric means. So why are we bothering to track it? Just stop.

  • Baidu Open-Sources Its Software To To Speed Up The Development Of Autonomous Car Tech

    Baidu, China’s largest search engine, said last week that it’s opening up its self-driving technology to drive the development of the budding industry. At the Shanghai Auto Show, according to the Financial Times, the company said the project would provide an “open, complete and reliable software platform for its partners in the automotive and autonomous driving industry to develop their own autonomous driving systems.”

  • Baidu to Launch Autonomous Cars by 2020
  • Baidu Self-Driving Vehicle Platform Started Trails
  • The “Google of China” Is Releasing a Self-Driving Operating System for Free
  • Baidu’s New “Project Apollo” Opens Its Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Platform
  • Haivision and Wowza Form SRT Alliance to Support New Open Source Low Latency Video Streaming Initiative

    Developers can also improve upon, use, and re-contribute (under LGPLv2 license) to SRT.

  • Wowza, Haivision launch SRT Alliance
  • Haivision and Wowza Launch SRT Alliance for Low-Latency Streaming
  • NAB 2017: Wowza, Haivision make SRT protocol open-source
  • Release Update: Prometheus 1.6.1 and Sneak Peak at 2.0

    After 1.5.0 earlier in the year, Prometheus 1.6.1 is now out. There’s a plethora of changes, so let’s dive in.

    The biggest change is to how memory is managed. The -storage.local.memory-chunks and -storage.local.max-chunks-to-persist flags have been replaced by -storage.local.target-heap-size. Prometheus will attempt to keep the heap at the given size in bytes. For various technical reasons, actual memory usage will be higher so leave a buffer on top of this. Setting this flag to 2/3 of how much RAM you’d like to use should be safe.

  • Events
    • OpenStack for Research Computing

      In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Stig Telfer from StackHPC presents: OpenStack for Research Computing. OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

    • Martin Casado at ONS: Making SDN Real

      Software Defined Networking (SDN) has evolved significantly since the concept began to be considered in the 1990s, and Martin Casado, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, used his keynote at the Open Networking Summit to talk about how he’s seen SDN change over the past 10 years.

  • Web Browsers
    • Mozilla
      • Mozilla Continues to Oppose the U.S. Administration’s Executive Order on Travel

        Mozilla and more than 150 other tech companies continue to oppose the U.S. administration’s revised Executive Order on travel as it winds its way through the U.S. Court system.

        This order seeks to temporarily prohibit the U.S. Government from issuing new visas to travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries and suspend the U.S refugee program. Soon after it was issued, two federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland held the revised order to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. So far, their decisions have prevented the order from being enforced, but the administration has appealed to higher courts asking for a reversal.

  • Healthcare
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • FSFE Fellowship Representative, OSCAL’17 and other upcoming events

      The Free Software Foundation of Europe has just completed the process of electing a new fellowship representative to the General Assembly (GA) and I was surprised to find that out of seven very deserving candidates, members of the fellowship have selected me to represent them on the GA.

      I’d like to thank all those who voted, the other candidates and Erik Albers for his efforts to administer this annual process.

    • Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe Introduce Resources to Support Open Source Software License Identification and Compliance

      The open sourcing of “cregit,” the underlying tool used at cregit.linuxsources.org, provided by The Linux Foundation. cregit enables easy access to and improves the visibility of details in the history of changes in source code files.

    • The Linux Foundation and FSFE introduces new OSS resources

      The open-source landscape can be tricky to navigate with the different projects, licenses, and compliance requirements. The Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are announcing new resources to simplify free and open-source software license identification and compliance.

    • Open Source Groups Provide New Licensing Resources

      Newcomers to free and open source software (FOSS) might be bewildered by the variety of licenses that dictate how users can use community offerings.

      For example, the Open Source Initiative lists nine “popular licenses” and Wikipedia lists dozens more coming in a variety of flavors for different purposes. Those purposes include linking, distribution, modification, patent grant, private use, sublicensing and trademark grant.

  • Public Services/Government
    • France: How a high school association finally obtained a source code

      In October 2016, the association Droit des Lycéens, which represents French high school students and helps them assert their rights, finally obtained the source code of an algorithm that influences students’ choice of university after the Baccalauréat exam. This puts an end to a conflict lasting more than seven months between the association and the Ministry of Education, which until then had refused to publish the source code of its tool.

      The opening of algorithms and calculators is a flagship measure in the French law for a digital republic that was passed in 2016. Since then, France has started to publish some source codes, such as the personal tax calculator in April 2016. This may have created a precedent for the present case, according to the association.

      The algorithm in question forms the core of the APB (Admission Post-Bac) online platform, which is used by all students in France. It allows them to enter their preferences in terms of universities and syllabus, and helps match applicants to available places. But Droit des Lycéens believes that the calculation method has been kept secret by the Ministry, and lacks transparency.

    • OFE welcomes continued emphasis on openness in EIF

      The OpenForum Europe (OFE) think tank welcomes the publication of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). This document continues to emphasise the importance of openness, the organisation writes on its blog.

    • Czech Finance Ministry app boosts open data, source

      A data visualisation application developed in 2015 by the Czech Ministry of Finance, is helping to promote the publication of open data, and is making the case for open source software development across the government. The tool, called Supervizor, was one of the winners of the European Commission’s Sharing and Reuse Award. At the Sharing and Reuse Conference in Lisbon (Portugal), on 29 March, Supervizor was awarded EUR 15,000 – to help the project expands its reach.

    • Garanti Bank Romania implemented Allevo’s open source solution for processing payments

      Garanti Bank Romania selected FinTP, Allevo’s open source solution to connect to SWIFTNet, ensuring compliance to SEPA standards and regulations, in order to optimize its operations. The bank continues, as such, to grow rapidly on the Romanian market, offering better services to its customers.

      By adopting FinTP, Garanti Bank Romania benefits from a technology that drives cost reduction and conveys full control over the source code of the application, thus eliminating the vendor lock-in dependence, while gaining access to a transparent product development process and transparent product audit.

      [...]

      FinTP is distributed under the free GPL v3 open source license. This distribution model is different from what vendors in this industry practice, its main advantage being that it removes any dependence on the vendor.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Open Access/Content
      • States to Cut College Costs by Introducing Open-source Textbooks

        These two states are moving to slash the astronomical costs of higher education by introducing open source textbooks.

        The University System of Maryland awarded mini-grants to 21 recipients across 12 different universities for converting all of their reading materials to open source platforms for students. Between the 7 Maryland community colleges and 5 public four-year institutions, the initiative has the potential to save over 8,000 students $1.3 million in textbook costs over the Fall 2017 semester.

        New York state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is also moving to invest $8 million of the state budget into open source educational materials. The budget also included a new proposal that will provide free college tuition to any families or students in the state making less than $125,000 per year.

  • Programming/Development
Leftovers
  • Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway: hardware hackers face the climate apocalypse

    Science fiction has long served as a platform for the hashing out of big social, political and economic issues, either metaphorically or literally. Cory Doctorow has never been shy of speaking their names directly, whether examining the implications of the surveillance state or the shifting of social and economic forces caused by technology. In his first novel for an adult audience in eight years, Doctorow revisits many of the themes he’s written about in the past, and he refines them into a compelling, cerebral “hard” science fiction narrative of a not-too distant future that ranks with some of the best of the genre.

    Walkaway (from Tor Books, which releases on April 25 in hardcover) is a very Doctorow-y book. Intensely smart and tech-heavy, it still manages maintains the focus on its human (or in some cases, post-human) protagonists. Walkaway is also full of big ideas about both the future and our current condition, and it has enough philosophical, social, and political commentary lurking just below the surface to fuel multiple graduate theses.

  • Arca Noae “Blue Lion” Nearing Release, Letting OS/2 Live On

    or those still having OS/2 software to run or just missing the days of OS/2, the software firm Arca Noae that is run by OS/2 veterans is preparing a new installment of the operating system with blessings from IBM.

    Arca Noae is preparing this week to release their final beta of ArcaOS 5.0 “Blue Lion”to allow OS/2 software to run on modern hardware. Blue Lion can run on modern devices with USB support, AHCI / SATA, and other modern hardware compared to when OS/2 development ended in the late 90′s. The final/GA release of ArcaOS 5.0 is expected soon.

  • Security
    • Security updates for Monday
    • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

      Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

    • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

      The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

    • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

      BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
    • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

      Webroot’s security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process.

      Not only were people’s individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup.

      Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot’s gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.

    • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates

      Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That’s the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve.

      Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what’s coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week’s DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn’t enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.

    • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets

      Researchers say they’ve discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We’ve often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices (“smart” doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they’re often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we’ve ever seen (including last October’s attack on DYN).

    • Google zero-trust security framework goes beyond passwords

      With a sprawling workforce, a wide range of devices running on multiple platforms, and a growing reliance on cloud infrastructure and applications, the idea of the corporate network as the castle and security defenses as walls and moats protecting the perimeter doesn’t really work anymore. Which is why, over the past year, Google has been talking about BeyondCorp, the zero-trust perimeter-less security framework it uses to secure access for its 61,000 employees and their devices.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • NSA Malware ‘Infects Nearly 200,000 Systems’
    • Former Spies’ Dubious Claim: Release Of NSA’s Windows Exploits Has Seriously Harmed National Security
    • NSA’s DoublePulsar Kernel Exploit In Use Internet-Wide

      MS17-010 was released in March and it closes a number of holes in Windows SMB Server exploited by the NSA. Exploits such as EternalBlue, EternalChampion, EternalSynergy and EternalRomance that are part of the Fuzzbunch exploit platform all drop DoublePulsar onto compromised hosts. DoublePulsar is a sophisticated memory-based kernel payload that hooks onto x86 and 64-bit systems and allows an attacker to execute any raw shellcode payload they wish.

    • Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware [Ed: Not a Linux problem; if you have easy-to-guess username+password, then obviously you're in trouble. It's like blaming the gate for intrusion when you've left it wide open.]

      Hackers have unleashed a new malware strain that targets Linux-based systems.

      The Linux/Shishiga malware uses four different protocols (SSH, Telnet, HTTP and BitTorrent) and Lua scripts for modularity, according to an analysis of the nasty by security researchers at ESET.

      Shishiga relies on the use of weak, default credentials in its attempts to plant itself on insecure systems through a bruteforcing attack, a common hacker tactic. A built-in password list allows the malware to try a variety of different passwords to see if any allow it in.

    • Securing Docker, One Patch at a Time

      Finding and fixing vulnerabilities is a good thing, according to Docker engineer Michael Crosby. In a standing-room only session at the DockerCon conference in Austin, Texas last week, Crosby went into detail on how the open-source container project deals with vulnerabilities.

  • Defence/Aggression
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Koch Industries and Other Corporations Lobbied for Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks, Filings Show

      Many of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations faced vocal opposition from constituents and public interest groups. But well-connected corporate lobbyists stalked the halls of Congress to make sure Trump’s team was confirmed by the Senate, new filings show.

      Koch Industries, a fossil fuel conglomerate that owns a variety of business interests that have clashed with environmental regulators, directly lobbied to help confirm Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

      The firm’s latest disclosure form reports that its in-house corporate lobbying team spent $3.1 million to influence lawmakers over the first three months of the year on a variety of issues affecting its bottom line, including the EPA’s Clean Power Rule on carbon emissions, carbon pricing, the Clean Air Act and “nominations for various positions at the Department of Energy.”

  • Finance
    • Wipro sacks 600 employees on ‘performance grounds’

      Indian IT companies get over 60 per cent of their revenues from the North American market, about 20 per cent from Europe and the remaining from other economies.

    • Infosys, TCS, Cognizant violating H-1B visa norms: US official

      WASHINGTON: The US has complained that Indian blue chip IT firms Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Cognizant unfairly get the lion’s share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets into the lottery system, which the Trump administration wants to replace with a ‘merit-based’ immigration policy.
      A Trump administration official said at a White House briefing last week that a small number of giant outsourcing firms flood the system with applications, which increases their chances of success in the lottery draw.

    • BitTorrent Inventor Bram Cohen Will Start His Own Cryptocurrency

      BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen has already earned a spot in the Internet hall of fame, but he’s not done yet. In recent years he’s taken a strong interest in cryptocurrencies, something he will devote himself full-time to in the near future. This includes launching a new cryptocurrency which addresses some of the challenges facing Bitcoin.

    • Brexit campaign was largely funded by five of UK’s richest businessmen

      The five contributed £15m out of a total £24.1m given to Leave campaigns in the five months before the referendum

    • Brexit brain drain threatens UK universities, MPs warn

      The government is being urged to act swiftly to halt a post-Brexit brain drain which threatens the international competitiveness of the UK’s university sector.

      A significant new report by MPs sitting on the Commons education committee says the rights of 32,000 university staff from EU countries to continue working in the UK should be guaranteed as a matter of urgency.

      It says the government should be prepared to unilaterally agree the rights of EU nationals in the UK before the end of the year, even if a reciprocal deal has not been agreed, to prevent an exodus of talented EU staff leaving the UK for competitor countries.

      Launching the report, Neil Carmichael, the Conservative chairman of the committee, said: “Higher education in the UK is a world leader, but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities.”

    • Brexit university ‘brain drain’ warning

      University staff from EU countries should be guaranteed a right to stay and work in the UK after Brexit to avoid a “damaging brain drain”, says a report from MPs.

      The education select committee wants urgent steps taken to end uncertainty over the future status of EU academics.

      The MPs also want overseas students to be taken out of migration figures.

      Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said Brexit risks damaging universities’ “international competitiveness”.

    • Developing Countries Lay Out E-Commerce Plan As Basis For WTO Ministerial

      A group of ministers from developing countries released a roadmap today for global digital commerce discussions, aimed at paving the way to discussions on electronic commerce at the World Trade Organization ministerial conference in December.

    • Nestlé set to cut 300 UK jobs and move production of Blue Riband bars to Poland

      “The Government needs to step in before it’s too late – and reassure millions of workers across the country this is not just the tip of the Brexit iceberg.”

    • President Trump’s dramatic retreat on trade

      Trade was a major theme in President Trump’s campaign.

      He repeatedly complained that our trade negotiators were stupid and therefore had negotiated bad trade agreements. These bad trade deals are the cause of our trade deficits, which have cost us millions of manufacturing jobs over the last two decades.

      Trump made very specific promises to turn things around once he was in the White House. In “Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter,” his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again” included two very clear trade-related promises:

    • The Bewildered Wilbur Ross

      Now, the whiners in the US lumber industry don’t want Canadian lumber in their market but they can’t exclude it. Instead they whine that the royalty system is government intrusion in the market, a subsidy, when it’s not. It’s a tax. Effectively, the Canadian tax is less than the USAian tax determined by auctions. They keep taking this to court and LOSING.

      So, bewildered Wilbur and stupid USAians who think the world should do things their way are doing everything they can to drive exports of softwood lumber to China and India… Smart. Real smart. Perhaps USAians won’t mind rising costs for building homes and shortages of lumber and deforestation and … Look, we Canadians don’t have to do things USA’s way. We are a free nation of free people and we choose our own path.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • EU leaders: We’re not meddling by backing Macron

      As EU leaders rushed to praise Emmanuel Macron, they were confronted with questions about how appropriate it is for Brussels to intervene in a national election amid fears of a backlash from French voters.

      Perhaps nowhere was the question as irresistible — or inevitable — as in Moscow, where the pro-Kremlin television network Russia Today pressed the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to explain a tweet she sent Sunday night that appeared to hail Macron as “the hope and future of our generation.”

    • Breitbart News Denied Permanent Capitol Hill Press Credentials

      The Senate Press Gallery’s Standing Committee of Correspondents chose to deny permanent Hill credentials to Breitbart News on Tuesday morning.

      Breitbart has been using temporary press credentials for over two years as it has attempted to meet the press gallery’s requirements. The committee has repeatedly extended its temporary passes after deciding Breitbart has not met those requirements, and more recently for not providing adequate evidence of severing its ties with former executive chairman and current White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

    • White House official Gorka walks out of ‘fake news’ event

      White House national security staffer Sebastian Gorka faced off with student critics he described as “victims of fake news” at a Georgetown University panel on Monday, eventually walking out of the event in the middle of the question-and-answer period.

      Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Trump, blamed “fake news” — the topic of the panel — for a series of stories alleging connections between him and far-right or anti-Semitic Hungarian political organizations.

    • U.S. government shutdown threat recedes after Trump’s wall concession

      The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.

      In remarks to conservative news media outlets that were confirmed by the White House, Trump said on Monday evening he may wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1 to seek funds for the wall.

      Trump’s fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress but the current funding bill, which has to be passed by Friday night, will need 60 votes to clear the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats and so will have to get some Democratic support. Democratic leaders had said it would not get it if funds for the wall were included.

    • Senate ID Cards Use A Photo Of A Chip Rather Than An Actual Smart Chip

      Our government isn’t exactly known for its security chops, but in a letter sent recently from Senator Ron Wyden to two of his colleagues who head the Committee on Rules & Administration, it’s noted that (incredibly), the ID cards used by Senate Staffers only appear to have a smart chip in them. Instead of the real thing, some genius just decided to put a photo of a smart chip on each card, rather than an actual smart chip. This isn’t security by obscurity, it’s… bad security through cheap Photoshopping.

    • If ever there was a time to vote Labour, it is now

      Where are the nose-pegs this time? Those who tolerated anything the Labour party did under Blair tolerate nothing under Corbyn. Those who insisted that we should vote Labour at any cost turn their backs as it seeks to recover its principles.

      They proclaimed undying loyalty when the party stood for the creeping privatisation of the NHS, the abandonment of the biggest corruption case in British history, the collapse of Britain’s social housing programme, bans on peaceful protest, detention without trial, the kidnap and torture of innocent people and an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands died. They proclaim disenchantment now that it calls for the protection of the poor, the containment of the rich and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

    • Hearing Set for Class Action Lawsuit Against DNC

      After deliberating since October 2016, a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has recently issued an order for appearance to the lawyers representing the DNC and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the plaintiffs representing Bernie Sanders supporters, Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on April 25, when the judge is expected to announce the court’s decision in response to the DNC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit was initially filed in June 2016 in response to the mounting evidence that Wasserman Schultz used the DNC to tip the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the Democratic primaries.

    • Giving NY’s Governor a $783,000 Bribe Is Business as Usual for Rupert Murdoch

      Buffalo News headline (4/18/17) asked a pointed question about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “How Did Cuomo Make $783,000 on Memoir That Sold 3,200 Copies?”

      The accompanying article did not delve particularly deep into the mystery, beyond noting that the royalty amounts to $245 per copy for a book that retails on Amazon for $13.05, and that it more than doubled Cuomo’s income for 2016, when his $216,000 in royalties topped the $168,000 he got as his gubernatorial salary. “This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,” a Cuomo spokesperson told the News.

      The identity of that publisher—HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp—goes a long way to solving the mystery: Murdoch has long made a practice of funneling large payments to influential politicians via HarperCollins book contracts, in what amounts to a system of legalized bribery.

    • BREAKING: Federal judge blocks Trump’s attack on ‘sanctuary cities’

      The Justice Department threatened to cut off grant funding to eight cities on Friday — unless those cities provide more support to federal officials trying to crack down on undocumented immigrants. But DOJ’s threat is unconstitutional and is highly unlikely to survive a lawsuit.

      In fact, the Justice Department’s threat against these eight cities appears to be so amateurish and so poorly aligned with longstanding Supreme Court precedent that it raises serious questions about whether the threat was properly vetted.

      At issue is funding for so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that’s often used for cities that choose not to cooperate with federal efforts to arrest immigrants.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Iran sucks at censoring apps, so the Persian diaspora is using them for unfiltered political discussion

      Maziar Bahari is a dissident, exiled Iranian journalist who was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for 118 days in 2009. Now he runs Iranwire, a leading Persian politics site. They’ve just launched Sandoogh96 (Vote 2017), an app that publishes independent political news. Word of the app is spreading in Iran, and it’s challenging the dominant narrative.

    • China’s Public Prosecutors Complain About Leak Of Anti-Corruption TV Series They Bankrolled To Raise Awareness

      China’s state prosecutors are not normally in the business of bankrolling TV productions. Presumably, they took that unusual step on this occasion because it was important to increase public support for Xi Jinping’s long-running fight against corruption’s “tigers” and “flies” using a medium that would reach a much wider audience than dull government speeches or press articles exhorting them to do the same.

      One of the best ways to ensure the widest possible audience for that message would be to allow the TV series to appear on sites for people to download freely. So asking the companies running them to remove copies in order to “protect” the official broadcasts seems perverse. If anything, it shows that respect for copyright in China has now gone so far as to be harmful to more serious matters like tackling the country’s corruption.

    • DFB backs Bild over claims of Russian censorship for Confederations Cup

      German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel has backed the Bild newspaper over claims of Russian censorship ahead of this summer’s Confederations Cup.

      Bild, Germany’s most popular paper, has said it will boycott this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia if journalists are not given freedom to report as they please.

      Print journalists attending the event — which serves as a warm-up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — have been informed that they will be restricted in their travelling and reporting.

    • North Korean censorship

      The AP maintains a permanent presence in the country, with a small team of international correspondents and photographers, and a few North Koreans who work primarily as fixers. Eric Talmadge, who has led the bureau since 2013, likens working in Pyongyang to being embedded with the military. “Obviously the context is quite different,” he said. “But in practical and psychological terms, I find it very similar to my experiences embedded in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

      The freedoms granted to the AP reporters are denied to would-be journalists from inside the country, said Kang Cheol Hwan, president of the North Korea Strategy Center. “Journalism in North Korea is run by the state,” Kang said.

    • Film can apply for censorship: Central Board of Film Certification

      For two years, he has been waiting for his chance to apply to CBFC. But the authorities refused to entertain him since the title of his movie didn’t have a registration from the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA). On Monday, his problem was finally resolved after an instruction came from the CEO of CBFC. Many other independent filmmakers apart from Mukherjee stand to benefit after CBFC’s new stance.

    • It’s Time to Crush Campus Censorship
    • Anti-Censorship Coalition Pushes Back Against Challenge of Manga Novel in Jerome Middle School Library
    • Legislature: Student journalists not entitled to censorship protections

      Legislation designed to protect student journalists from censorship has hit a roadblock Thursday amid criticism from some lawmakers that they’re not entitled to those protections.

      House Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, yanked SB 1384 from consideration after more than an hour of debate over its merits. Allen told Capitol Media Services he was unsure whether there were sufficient votes on the floor for approval.

      Allen said the measure still could be resurrected. But he said Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, who crafted the legislation and got it approved unanimously in the Senate, is going to have to work to convince some House foes to drop their opposition.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • User Safety is a Myth call 911

      Hotmail is boycotting a vital service to all humanity, they are boycotting the use of a VPN service, the thing that actually improves user safety. What if you live in a country like China or just happen to be traveling there, where the government blocks access to U.S. email services like Hotmail, what could be done? The thing a VPN is good for, to access the Internet when a government is blocking it, to read your emails, to let other Chinese folks read their emails too. Hopefully not being arrested for using a VPN. I would expect Hotmail to understand how important the use of a VPN is to humanity.

    • NZ spied on Japan to help US – NSA document

      New Zealand spied on Japan to help the United States at an international whaling meeting in 2007, according to a classified National Security Agency document.

      The Intercept website published the paper, received from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, as part of an article on Japan’s secretive relationship with the National Security Agency.

    • Ex-NSA techies launch data governance tool for future algorithm-slavery
    • Immuta adds accountability and control for project-based data science
    • Immuta Launches ‘Projects’ to Help Data Science Teams Comply with GDPR
    • Privacy-Related Worries Are Keeping Users From Using E-Commerce, Survey At UNCTAD Finds

      A global survey on internet security and trust found users are worried about privacy, and in particularly wary of cybercriminals, internet companies, and governments. This lack of trust is hurting the potential of electronic commerce, the survey revealed.

    • NSA newsletter reveals ‘critical gaps’ in intelligence during ’04 North Korea drill

      Newly released documents sourced from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal details of the intelligence community’s planning for large-scale evacuations and the response to a North Korea attack.

      The Intercept news website – run by Glenn Greenwald and a team of investigative journalists – released a batch of 251 internal National Security Agency newsletters, a publication called SIDtoday.

    • Attorney says no attempts from Trump administration to contact Snowden

      “No, no one tried to contact him. I believe that Snowden clarified his position which has not changed. Nothing has changed actually, he still lives and works in Russia,” the attorney said.

      Kucherena added that Snowden continued to learn Russian.

      “He started to learn the Russian language and he can already speak a little of it,” the attorney said.

    • Legislators, School Administrators Back Off Cellphone Search Bill After Running Into ACLU Opposition

      Supporters of the bill claim the lack of an exception to the privacy law leaves administrators powerless. True, a school administrator can’t seek a warrant to access the contents of a student’s phone, but there are options schools can use rather than exempt every California student from the state’s privacy law.

      Most schools have electronic device policies that tie search consent to school attendance, which usually includes personal electronic devices along with vehicles parked on school grounds and lockers. A consensual search — even if performed under an “implied consent” standard rather than a more affirmative version — is still a “clean” search, though possibly one less likely to survive a courtroom challenge. Many schools also have police officers on staff. Whether or not these officers can seek warrants to access phone contents is unclear, but in cases of suspected criminal conduct, this would be turned over to law enforcement anyway.

    • Cars will get superior digital vision with ARM’s camera chip

      A camera inside a car could also identify [...]

  • Civil Rights/Policing
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to unveil new net neutrality plans on Wednesday
    • Canada Rushes To Defend Net Neutrality As The U.S. Moves To Dismantle It

      Here in the States, regulators and Congress are preparing to gut our existing net neutrality rules — replacing them with the policy equivalent of wet tissue paper. In Canada, regulators are taking the complete opposite tack, last week cementing the country’s net neutrality rules as some of the most comprehensive in the world.

      After years of some obnoxious behavior by Canadian ISPs like Rogers, Canadian regulators adopted guidelines back in 2009 that prevent ISPs from blocking websites, while requiring that they’re transparent about network management. In 2013, those guidelines were expanded to cover zero rating after Ben Klass, a graduate student in telecommunications, filed a complaint with the CRTC over zero rating. Specifically, Klass and his co-filers noted that Bell had begun exempting its own streaming video service from the company’s usage caps, thereby putting smaller streaming competitors at a notable disadvantage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Copyrights
      • Paul Hansmeier Argues Convicting Him Of Fraud Would Seriously Damage The Judicial System

        It looks like Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier isn’t nearly as interested John Steele in striking a deal with the feds. Of course, Steele folded immediately, offering up Hansmeier as bus undercoating, which likely means Hansmeier isn’t being feted by feds with plea deals.

        The 17-count indictment relayed a story familiar to Techdirt readers, since we have covered nearly every part of the scam: a get-rich-quick scheme that paid off at first for Prenda, but quickly unraveled as courts (and many copyright troll fighters) uncovered fake defendants, shell companies, forged documents, and honeypot-as-business-model tactics.

      • With Register of Copyrights bill, big media seeks its own in-house lobbyist

        Why are advocates for major media and entertainment companies pushing Congress to rush through a bill that would make the U.S.’s top copyright official— the Register of Copyrights— a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate? Unfortunately, it is likely because the new appointment process will increase the ability of the incumbent copyright lobby to influence the Copyright Office, to the detriment consumers, creators and innovators.

        H.R. 1695’s supporters insist that it would increase accountability by giving Congress more of a voice in the selection process. But in practice, making the appointment one more contentious political contest would create a Register who’s only really accountable to the lobbyists and special interests that help her get selected and confirmed. Indeed, proponents of the bill have touted it as a measure that will better enable the Copyright Office to serve the interests of the “creative industries.”

      • New Survey: Most Millennials Both Pay For Streaming Services And Use Pirate Streams When Content Isn’t Legally Available

        For any of the entrenched entertainment players seated comfortably in their lofty offices, quite used to counting stacks of money and calling it a profession, they likely already know this fearful mantra: the millennials are coming. Millennials, and even more so the generations younger than them, are driving changes in the entertainment industry. These younger consumers are largely responsible for the cord-cutting trend winding its way through the cable industry, not to mention being the force behind ever-expanding streaming options for everything from movies to television shows and live sports. These are the customers of the future. Customers that will outlive a public that became used to having bloated cable television packages filled with channels and content fit to be ignored.

      • The RIAA is Now Copyright Troll Rightscorp’s Biggest Customer

        Music industry group RIAA, which represents the leading recording labels in the US, is now a major customer of anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp. In fact, the RIAA’s commitment to the copyright troll outfit is so significant that its business accounted for 44% of Rightscorp’s revenue in 2016.

Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 03:09:46 PM

It’s only getting worse than earlier this month

Summary: The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts

IN our previous post, a post about the EPO, we noted that the UPC cannot happen (it’s stuck). Everybody knows it, but the lobbyists (notably Team Battistelli and Team UPC) try hard to deny it. The UPC threatens to bring to Europe the patent trolls that currently or previously revolved/orbited around the USPTO.

One new comment from this morning spoke about BB’s (Battistelli’s) “Plan B” as follows, reinforcing voices of insiders who believe that Battistelli has no intention of leaving (just like Erdoğan). To quote:

Don’t assume that BB does not have (or will not generate) a “Plan B” that will be equally unpalatable as a 3-year extension.

Remember, this is a man who has virtually wrecked the EPO on the grounds of financial self-interest (of the EPO management, the AC delegates and the Member States), in the process trampling over the (basic human) rights of the staff, crippling the Boards of Appeal and blatantly ignoring both the interests of the users and the rule of law. For someone who has achieved all that, what is to stop him twisting the agenda yet again to suit his personal needs? Certainly not the AC.

We expect that Battistelli will use the UPC woes as an excuse and ask for “more time” to “make it happen”. It’s like that classic Martial Law (or national emergency or wartime) pretext for never-ending dictatorship.

“They are manipulating international media and apparently even blogs now.”We are still truly disgusted to see what IP Kat has become. I used to view them as allies, but now they are like foes. They do exactly the opposite of fixing the EPO and instead bolster the dictatorship. Here it is writing once again about that stupid think tank, complete with stuffed/stacked panels from Microsoft, Bristows and other lovers of UPC (litigation plus patent maximalism) Kool-Aid. Battistelli’s chief UPC liar, Margot, was already aided by the Bristows mouthpieces, who in effect took over IP Kat. It’s almost unthinkable and unbelievable that IP Kat was a prominent critic of Battistelli one year ago. “The mere presence of members of the Boards of Appeal [in the panels] would have spoiled the performance of the other member of staff of EPO,” said one comment. “She came to herald the UPC, one wonders why.”

She did the same thing in Korea some weeks ago. They are manipulating international media and apparently even blogs now. Yesterday, the Bristows-run blog (IP Kat) continued to cheer for patent trolls that operate in London (profitable for Bristows). Something like the UPC would make things even worse!

As someone pointed out in the comments this morning:

What always worries me in this respect is A54(3) EPC. I could scan through the patent publications in the afternoon of the publication day, find something interesting, add a few trivial features (the processor may be silicon based, a copper containing current distributor may be used, etc.) and file it as my patent application before 24:00. As the original application is only prior art according to A54(3) and I have some trivial features for novelty, I should be fine and get it granted.

Another person asked: “Entitlement?”

“…Annsley Merelle Ward continued acting almost like a Battistelli ‘mole’ inside the blog.”Remember that Unwired Planet is just a patent troll utilised by Ericsson.

Bristows staff soon thereafter proceeded to another EPO puff piece (like amplifying Margot). In it, Annsley Merelle Ward continued acting almost like a Battistelli ‘mole’ inside the blog. Those who make a living out of litigation (like trolls with threatening letters) understandably tolerate Battistelli because of his UPC ambitions. Watch this new tweet that says “Anjali Chopra of GreyB believes that getting rid of #Patenttrolls would hurt #innovation”

Let’s just pretend — as some legal firms do — that patent trolls are good for innovation. Let’s just invert truths, pretending that UPC would be good for SMEs etc. Just earlier this month the Washington Times published “Banish the [patent] trolls” — an article which explains, in the words of United For Patent Reform, that “[p]atent reform requires shifting burden of proof “to the trolls and away from inventors & innovators”…”

From the article:

There’s an entire class of litigants in patent law that lawyers call “venue-shoppers.” U.S. district courts in East Texas and Delaware have become the go-to venues, courts likely to produce huge judgments in plaintiffs’ favor. Courts in these jurisdictions have shown themselves to be sympathetic to the trolls, or as they call themselves, “patent-assertion entities.”

Patent trolls, typically shell companies, buy the rights to dormant patents and use them to extort holders of similar patents by filing false patent-infringement claims. Defendants will often settle out of court just to make the case go away. It’s cheaper than hiring expensive lawyers to fight claims without merit.

The predatory patent-infringement threats and lawsuits drained an estimated $29 billion from the U.S. economy in 2011 alone, according to a Boston University study released in June 2012. That figure represents only direct legal costs, so the true economic toll is much higher since the true toll includes “various indirect costs such as diversion of resources, delays in new products, and loss of market share.”

Taking much of the above into account, what we have now is a British blog called IP Kat which is primarily run by proponents of patent trolls, software patents, the UPC and even Battistelli’s agenda. The FFII’s President today complained that “Redhat does not do much against swpats [software patents] anymore, against UPC for ex it is around zero.”

“Taking much of the above into account, what we have now is a British blog called IP Kat which is primarily run by proponents of patent trolls, software patents, the UPC and even Battistelli’s agenda.”It leaves not so many of us to fight for EPO justice, to combat the UPC, to stop trolls, and take away those software patents they rely on so much.

IAM ‘magazine’, a think tank of Battistelli, pushes on with propaganda and fake news about the UPC, citing this piece that says:

The Isle of Man is signing up to a Europe-wide system for registering patents.

It is planned for the agreement to continue beyond Brexit.

No, it’s not. That’s a lie right there. They perpetuate UPC lies again. It probably won’t be long before IP Kat, i.e. Bristows, does another series of lies about the UPC, feeding much of the misinformation whose purpose is to compel officials abroad to ratify (based on false information).

EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 02:14:18 PM

Summary: Conflict between management and staff — a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli — continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)

T

WO hours ago (at the earliest), based on this page, there was a Freie Wähler motion for EPO workers who are being abused in Germany. It can go on almost until midnight, or the window for this motion will be some time from 2 hours ago until 10 PM GMT. The “basic rights for EPO employees,” SUEPO explains, “will be discussed today, 25.04.2017, between 14.00-23.00…”

“Meanwhile, as some people have already noticed, Battistelli’s political party in France has just lost…”“Unfortunately,” SUEPO continues, “we cannot inform you on the exact time. We can only inform you that it is motion 23 of 29 motions to be discussed.”

We can only wait and hope that someone in Germany (or someone who understands German) will publish the outcome, transcript, etc. We’ll happily accept and of course publish anything to that effect if it’s sent to us.

Meanwhile, as some people have already noticed, Battistelli’s political party in France has just lost (his political affiliation disqualifies him by the way, just like his age, making him strictly unsuitable for his position). Here is a comment posted in relation to the outcome of the election (first round):

Bad evening for Battistelli : crooked Fillon lost it!

Indeed Battistelli placed until very recently, his hope in Fillon’s election (they both belong the same political party Les Republicains). He was heard in Munich telling with his usual arrogance that should Fillon win, he would get a three years’ extension

well Benoit, time for a change? En Marche back in St Germain !

http://techrights.org/2017/04/23/board-of-epo-and-servregs/

Battistelli should never have been given the job of President (of EPO). He is a political figure. It’s not allowed. But Battistelli, being Battistelli, breaks all the rules and lies all the time. The man is a chronic liar. It has gotten so bad that every time he speaks out (it has been a while) it’s guaranteed to be a lie and this is why we call him the Liar in Chief.

Recall the latest article from The Register; it was neatly split into four parts: Battistelli’s claims (lies), refutation from stakeholders, refutation from insiders, then an attack on insiders who say the truth. The third part contained some new information (not covered here before) and it noted “a stunning 99 per cent conformity” at the EPO, which means that Battistelli turned the EPO into another FISA/FISC, i.e. rubberstamping operation. To quote from page 2:

At the same time that the EPO management has relentlessly pushed to speed up processes, it has had maintained a second keen focus on quality, knowing full well that the entire Battistelli experiment could fall apart if the quality of patent examination is seen to suffer.

Ominously, however, as soon as the reforms started taking effect EPO management introduced a new approach to quality measurement that removed many of its independent aspects and put them under the control of the president and his team. In addition, an effort to speed up the process, combined with an aggressive clampdown on staff by management, has undermined the process for critical evaluation of patents.

Previously, the three-person team working on a given patent case would work together and then the chair in each case would do a quick quality check at the end of that process to confirm all was fine.

Under the new system, the chair is expected to weigh in earlier and lodge any concerns in the EPO’s Conformity Assurance for Search and Examination (CASE) system before talking to the first evaluator. The subsequent conversation on those points is then also lodged in the system.

The end result of this change is any errors that were previously caught at the earliest stages become a part of the record: so either the first examiner is seen to have made a mistake or the chair is seen to have falsely flagged a problem.

The end result of that, according to internal figures that The Register has seen is that there is less critically analysis being applied to applications rather than more as examiners worry about EPO management blaming them for, ironically, bringing down quality metrics.

Prior to the change, there was a 85-88 per cent conformity rate i.e. agreement between examiners; after the change, a stunning 99 per cent conformity. Battistelli’s team, convinced that their pressure tactics are simply causing people to work harder and better, view the results as validating their approach when in reality it undermines it.

But just as the EPO is increasingly unable to keep a lid on the impact of its “early certainty” program, so the knock-on impact on EPO report quality is starting to overwhelm the management’s efforts to contain it.

At the last meeting of the EPO’s Administrative Council, when the management team outlined their unlikely double-whammy of more patent application approvals while quality also rose, staff union representatives gently suggested that the figures were not showing the full picture.

Astounding, isn’t it?

No matter if one is an examiner, an attorney, lawyer or whatnot, this isn’t good. It’s not good at all. It’s almost as though the EPO covertly adopted 'registration' only, just like in France. It means that stakeholders are overpaying, examiners are made almost redundant (their skills aren’t being put to proper use), they are compelled to operate like machines and get sacked if they refuse to. Who takes the blame for all this? Not the management.

Battistelli is now doing the same thing to judges and notice the following remarkable comment:

As I have heard Americans refer to Patent Agents and Patent Atttorneys as “Patent Lawyers”, for the benefit of our transatlantic cousins, perhaps Mr. Justice Birss’ comment that that “… you don’t have to have a science degree to be a great patent lawyer” requires qualification. As far as the UK is concerned, the statement may well be true for someone who wishes to qualify as a Barrister or Solicitor with a view to specialising in Intellectual Property: however, in order to sit the qualifying exams for a UK Patent Attorney or a European Patent Attorney, a degree in Science or Engineering is normally essential. As an exception the EPO does allow candidates who have a technical qualification that is not of the required academic standard may be allowed to sit if they can offer sufficient post-qualification experience in industry.

Well, not anymore. First of all, the EPO almost stopped hiring judges (see the sad state of the appeal boards), as if the only judges to be hired are seen as UPC placeholders. Some insiders have openly hypothesised that Battistelli hopes to just demolish the EPO, negligently deal with the remaining pending patents, and get the UPC off the ground, even if it’s not possible due to Brexit and other show-stopping barriers.

In blunt terms, the EPO has truly become a clusterf*ck under Battistelli. Everyone knows it and everybody suffers from it.

In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm’s Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 01:26:38 PM

Welfare for a fossil of a company which bullies real companies (like Microsoft still does) without really creating anything

Summary: The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don’t really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie

Qualcomm does not make phones. At least not anymore. The same is true for Microsoft (with rare, minor exceptions here and there). Yet they want to be paid for every phone produced (raising prices considerably). They’re like patent trolls — the very same thing that BlackBerry and Nokia gradually become as their sales flat-line near 0. Their stockpiling of patents, they believe, is their last remaining ‘asset’ in the mobile market (Nokia, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Microsoft also feed patent trolls for this purpose). Various software patents, granted by the USPTO before Alice, account for the lion’s share of the said patents, the rest being on hardware, radio, etc. Please note that we are not opposing hardware patents like this one just covered by Patently-O or material-related patents like the one just covered by Managing IP. In the case of Qualcomm, a lot of their patents are on software (their former chiefs advocated these patents last month), so we stand on pretty firm ground when we oppose these. So does Florian Müller, who has just found out that “Qualcomm’s involuntary refund to BlackBerry amounts to approximately $5 per device” and added:

The term “specified number of subscriber units from 2010 through the end of 2015″ in Qualcomm’s press release on this month’s arbitration award could mean all or some of the devices BlackBerry sold during the period in question. What I’m interested in (because I believe many readers will be curious, too) is what indication the “rebate” gives us with a view to Qualcomm’s standard-essential patent (SEP) royalty demands. A couple of months ago I saw indications, by deducing and inferring information from certain public documents, that Apple may have been paying Qualcomm approximately $20 for its baseband chip and a second amount like that for patent license (a total of $40 per device for the chip and the license). The higher the rebate is on a per-unit basis, the more likely it is that Qualcomm’s royalty demands are really that high (we’re talking about stratospheric heights compared to what other companies are rumored to receive; for example, financial investors appear to believe that Nokia receives about $2 per device from Apple).

So let’s look at publicly-available information in the light most favorable to Qualcomm: that the “royalty cap” applied to all BlackBerry smartphones sold in the years 2010-2015. Not only is that most favorable to Qualcomm but it’s also a reasonable assumption.

How many of the patents in question are no longer valid after Alice and what will regulators say about Qualcomm’s anticompetitive practices?

“We live in a world where journalism about patents is composed by non-scientists who speak to lawyers, not scientists.”We certainly hope that Qualcomm will just disappear. It contributes nothing and takes away from everyone.

Suffice to say, the patent microcosm is supportive of Qualcomm. They push the bogus narrative of “inventors” (who create nothing) being “robbed”. Some take this further and pretend that it’s the root of all the problems in the US. For example, as if everything boils down to patents (the more, the merrier), Watchtroll has just published “Fixing America’s Patent System is the Best Strategy to Jump-Start our Stalled Economy” (on Monday).

“It has become so bad that the industry is full of trolls — one of whom (Erich Spangenberg) made about $50 million from one single patent which recently turned out to be invalid.”What they mean by “fixing” is the very opposite of fixing. They want to bring rise to more Qualcomm-like parasites.

Yesterday, behind a paywall, the patent microcosm also promoted software patents, as it so habitually does. Heck, who needs the opinion of actual software professionals? We live in a world where journalism about patents is composed by non-scientists who speak to lawyers, not scientists. It has become so bad that the industry is full of trolls — one of whom (Erich Spangenberg) made about $50 million from one single patent which recently turned out to be invalid. Think of all the companies he robbed by this charalatan over the years.

In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 12:51:06 PM

Summary: The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent ‘parades’ in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore

THE USPTO has shifted in a direction similar to that of India, i.e. no software patents, at least not without some loopholes that would most likely fail to convince courts (so the patents are no longer potent, at least once challenged).

“LexOrbis is not a software firm; it’s an enemy of many and it uses terms like “Computer Related Inventions” (CRI), which just like CII is a dodge from the term that would instantaneously disqualify patents.”Several weeks ago we saw LexOrbis promoting Indian software patents at IAM and elsewhere, based on flawed logic. These opportunists, spinners and self-serving staff of LexOrbis keep lobbying against India’s laws not because they care about software but because they want to prey on software developers, using patents on software. The latest such piece is “India: Need ‘SoftPatents’ for Software Inventions” and it shows them trying to work around the law, then concluding with “let us keep looking for that inventive step in ‘software inventions’ and file patent applications for Computer Related Inventions.”

Or how about quit meddling in software? LexOrbis is not a software firm; it’s an enemy of many and it uses terms like “Computer Related Inventions” (CRI), which just like CII is a dodge from the term that would instantaneously disqualify patents.

“Just because patents become available for something doesn’t mean one will produce a better product or “think harder” or “innovate better”.”Elsewhere in the Indian press today, the patent microcosm maintains an atmosphere of confusion and mass deception. Here, for example, we have a new article titled “India leads Asian peers in growth in filing patents” — a piece which asserts that it’s something to be celebrated. Corporate media wants us to think that more patents mean more innovation and are necessarily more desirable. It’s not that simple. It depends on what these patents cover. Another corporate media ‘genius’ now conflates patents with innovation. Is he just gullible or intentionally dishonest? Just because patents become available for something doesn’t mean one will produce a better product or “think harder” or “innovate better”. It’s a myth.

What is the role model? China! Here is a portion:

China reduces patent fees by 75-80% for people who can’t afford it and has a patent fund to provide cash subsidies for patent applicants and patentees gratuitously.

And what has China gotten out of it? A massive surge in litigation and patent trolls. Is this really desirable? Well, for those who make a living messing around with papers (lawsuits, filings etc.) this is great.

Over at IAM, in the mean time, IPOS is quoted as some sort of authority; they never speak to actual engineers that create something. Daren Tang from IPOS is talking nonsense, resorting to the lingo of patent maximalists who compare monopoly to objects. Remember that it is IAM that keeps attacking India’s patent policy all the time (and almost every week/fortnight this year). We responded to some of it in:

We certainly hope that developers/engineers in India are paying attention and operating in a reactionary manner to all that meddling from the patent microcosm, its think tanks, and cooperative media. They will never rest until (if ever) software patents become legal in India.

Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

Monday 24th of April 2017 11:57:39 PM

Contents GNU/Linux Free Software/Open Source
  • Open Source Software: 10 Go To Solution for Small Businesses

    While closed-source operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS may still dominate the OS market, not everyone can afford the high costs that they entail. For small- and medium-sized enterprises where every penny matters, taking advantage of open-source software such as Ubuntu’s Linux is a good bet to boost productivity and cost effectiveness. The fact that open-source softwares have evolved to become somewhat user-friendly and sleek also helps a good deal.

  • How I became a webcomic artist in less than a month with open source tools

    If you are reading this, you probably care about, or are at least mildly interested in, open source. Like you, I care about and am interested in open source. Perhaps unlike you, I am also a webcomic artist. You can find my work at Herpaderp.party.

    This is a story about how I came to use and, indeed, vaunt open source. I’ll also tell you about how and why I produce my comic using open source tools and infrastructure.

    The story begins in 2005 when I got my first computer as an off-to-college gift. It was an iBook G4. I carefully booted it and set it up according to the manual. It worked. I didn’t feel as excited as I expected. I didn’t feel cool, or dangerous, or in control, or like I should start wearing a leather trench coat like in The Matrix five years before. I knew a place called SourceForge, which had programs that weren’t written by Apple, but I didn’t see anything I really needed there. I installed The Matrix screensaver and moved on to my next challenge.

  • Switch to open source model turns costs into R&D

    Public administrations that switch to an open source software model and contracting for services, also transform the costs previously spent on acquisition and maintenance into budget for research, development and innovation, says Álvaro Anguix, general manager of the gvSIG association.

  • How to track and secure open source in your enterprise

    Recently, SAS issued a rather plaintive call for enterprises to limit the number of open source projects they use to a somewhat arbitrary percentage. That seems a rather obvious attempt to protest the rise of the open source R programming language for data science and analysis in a market where SAS has been dominant. But there is a good point hidden in the bluster: Using open source responsibly means knowing what you’re using so you can track and maintain it.

  • An Aerospace Coder Drags a Stodgy Industry Toward Open Source

    More than a decade ago, software engineer Ryan Melton spent his evenings, after workdays at Ball Aerospace, trying to learn to use a 3-D modeling program. After a few weeks, for all his effort, he could make … rectangles that moved. Still, it was a good start. Melton showed his spinning digital shapes to Ball, a company that makes spacecraft and spacecraft parts, and got the go-ahead he’d been looking for: He could try to use the software to model a gimbal—the piece on a satellite that lets the satellite point.

    Melton wanted to build the program to save himself time, learn something new. “It was something I needed for me,” he says. But his work morphed into a software project called Cosmos—a “command and control” system that sends instructions to satellites and displays data from their parts and pieces. Ball used it for some 50 flight projects and on-the-ground test systems. And in 2014, Melton decided Cosmos should share its light with the world. Today, it’s been used with everything from college projects to the planet-seeking Kepler telescope.

  • SRT Video Transport Protocol Open-Sourced

    In aiming to enhance online video streaming, the SRT video protocol has been open-sourced and an alliance forming around that for low-latency video.

    SRT is short for Secure Reliable Transport and is a low-latency video transport protocol developed by Haivision. The SRT protocol is being opened under the LGPL license.

  • Events
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
    • Your CEO’s Obliviousness about Open Source is Endangering Your Business [Ed: Jeff Luszcz says nothing about the risk of proprietary components with back doors etc. and instead 'pulls a Black Duck']

      But what caused these issues? Itis what happens when an open source component is integrated into a commercial software product and violates its open source license, or when it contains a vulnerability that was previously unknown. As technology evolves, open source security and compliance risk are reaching a critical apex that if not addressed, will threaten the entire software supply chain.

  • BSD
    • TrueOS STABLE Update: 4/24/17

      After testing the UNSTABLE push over the weekend, the devs are happy to release a new STABLE update and installation files today! This update consists of two parts: installer changes for those who install TrueOS fresh, and general updates for systems with TrueOS already installed.

    • TrueOS 20170424 Stable Update
  • Public Services/Government
    • German states adopt open source-based security checks system

      The German federal state of Thuringia will join North RhineWestphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Hesse and start using OSiP, a system for performing security checks for staff access to sensitive areas. The system, built on open source components, is set to become the default security system for all 16 federal states.

  • Programming/Development
    • GCC 6 Becoming Auxiliary Compiler In OpenIndiana

      While GCC 7 is being released in the days ahead, the OpenIndiana crew continuing to advance the open-source Solaris stack has begun offering GCC 6 as an auxiliary/supplementary compiler.

    • LLVM Still Working Towards Apache 2.0 Relicensing

      LLVM developers have been wanting to move from their 3-clause BSD-like “LLVM license” to the Apache 2.0 license with exceptions. It’s been a while since last hearing about the effort while now a third round of request for comments was issued.

    • How Operation Code helps veterans learn programming skills

      After leaving the military, Army Captain David Molina knew he wanted to go into software development. As Molina did research on the field, he found himself overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and choices. For example: What coding language is the right one to learn? What language is the most valuable for being competitive in the job market? To add to the confusion, there are a myriad of for-profit code schools that are proliferating at an exponential rate, and each one advertises career outcomes for a fraction of the cost of a four-year computer science degree. Where could he turn for guidance on how to enter the tech industry?

    • Stack Overflow: Python snakes up developer ecosystem ladder
    • Almost 10pc of Dublin workers are software developers
    • Which programmers work late at night
    • These are the fastest growing developer technologies in the UK and Ireland
    • Stanford Uni’s intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

      In early April, Stanford University began piloting a new version of its introductory computer science course, CS 106A. The variant, CS 106J, is taught in JavaScript rather than Java.

      “[CS 106J] covers the same material as CS 106A but does so using JavaScript, the most common language for implementing interactive web pages, instead of Java,” the university website explains. “No prior programming experience required.”

      According to The Stanford Daily, Eric Roberts, emeritus professor of computer science, has been working on the transition for the past five years, writing a new textbook, creating assignments, and training teaching assistants.

    • Assimilate Go Programming with Open Source Books

      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.

Leftovers
  • Stop Guessing Languages Based on IP Address

    Instead, Accept-Language should be used and the browser should provide appropriate methods at relevant times for specifying it.

    Currently there are ways to specify Accept-Language in the major browsers, but almost nobody does it, knows about it, and leaves it as the language of their browser’s interface.
    [...]
    That is a UX failure, not an engineering one. That’s a shame because Accept-Language is likely more powerful than you realize.

  • Linguistic experts warn Icelandic language is at risk of dying out because smartphones don’t speak it

    The widespread use of English in the country, both for tourism and for voice-controlled electronic devices, has slowly reduced the numbers of people speaking Icelandic to less than 400,000.

  • [Old] Björn Bjarnason
    Minister of Education, Science and Culture: Address on the Signing of the Translation Agreement with Microsoft, 20th January 1999

    Referring to the policy adopted by the Ministry in 1993 to fund only the publication of software for DOS/Windows, the booklet stated:
    [...]

  • Guardian US receives major grant to create change within the homelessness crisis [Ed: Bill Gates pays The Guardian again].
  • Science
    • How The March For Science Finally Found Its Voice

      They marched for science, and at first, they did so quietly. On Saturday, as thousands of people started streaming eastward from the Washington Monument, in a river of ponchos and umbrellas, the usual raucous chants that accompany such protests were rarely heard and even more rarely continued. “Knowledge is power; it’s our final hour,” said six enthusiastic people—to little response. “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!” shouted another pocket of marchers—for about five rounds.

      Scientists are not a group to whom activism comes easily or familiarly. Most have traditionally stayed out of the political sphere, preferring to stick to their research. But for many, this historical detachment ended with the election of Donald Trump.

    • In Photos: Scientists Worldwide Fight Back Against Anti-Science Trump Agenda
  • Health/Nutrition
    • Farm Workers Resist Trump’s Policies

      President Trump’s promised purge of undocumented people from the United States is facing resistance from the United Farm Workers (UFW) and other groups in California that reject this rollback of civil rights and workers’ rights.

      On March 31, the birthday of the late founder of the UFW, Cesar Chavez, the union kicked off a month-long series of activities to fight back against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, which many analysts believe is designed to make life so miserable and difficult in the U.S. that people begin to “self-deport in” in large numbers.

    • Sanders’ Stumping for Anti-Choice Mayoral Candidate Draws Ire

      U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who’s now on a multi-state tour to galvanize grassroots resistance to the Trump agenda, can boast of high popularity, but he’s taking flak for backing an anti-choice mayoral candidate.

      Speaking Thursday at a sold-out event at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena, Sanders rallied support for Heath Mello, the Democrat who’s hoping to unseat Omaha’s Republican Mayor Jean Stothert next month.

      “Maybe, just maybe it’s time to change one-party rule in Nebraska,” Sanders said during the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) “Come Together and Fight Back” tour stop, the Associated Press reports. “And we can start right here by electing Heath Mello as the next mayor,” Sanders said.

  • Security
    • More Windows PCs infected with NSA backdoor DoublePulsar [Ed: Look what Microsoft’s back doors for the NSA are causing this month; recall Snowden’s leaks about it.]

      Although the exact number varies among security researchers, the DoublePulsar infection rate is climbing

    • NSA-linked hacking tools released by Shadow Brokers have compromised almost 200,000 Windows PCs
    • ‘Beautiful’ NSA hacking tool DoublePulsar infects almost 200,000 Windows PCs

      Tools supposedly developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) leaked early this month by the Shadow Brokers hacking group are being used in attacks on Windows PCs.

      The tools, released to the open-source developer website Github, have been gratefully scooped up by malware writers of varying levels of competency and pimped via phishing emails across the internet.

      And researchers at Swiss security company Binary Edge claim to have found 183,107 compromised PCs connected to the internet after conducting a scan for the DoublePulsar malware. Conducted every day over the past four days, the number of infected PCs has increased dramatically with each scan, according to Binary Edge.

    • Three months on, no Linksys router patches for remote holes

      More than three months after being informed about remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in 25 router models, Linksys is yet to issue patches to remedy them.

    • [Older] Tracing Spam: Diet Pills from Beltway Bandits

      Here’s the simple story of how a recent spam email advertising celebrity “diet pills” was traced back to a Washington, D.C.-area defense contractor that builds tactical communications systems for the U.S. military and intelligence communities.

    • Top-ranked programming Web tutorials introduce vulnerabilities into software

      “[Our findings] suggest that there is a pressing need for code audit of widely consumed tutorials, perhaps with as much rigor as for production code,” they pointed out.

    • [Old] PHP: a fractal of bad design

      PHP is an embarrassment, a blight upon my craft. It’s so broken, but so lauded by every empowered amateur who’s yet to learn anything else, as to be maddening. It has paltry few redeeming qualities and I would prefer to forget it exists at all.

    • The Cloud Foundry Approach to Container Storage and Security

      Recently, The New Stack published an article titled “Containers and Storage: Why We Aren’t There Yet” covering a talk from IBM’s James Bottomley at the Linux Foundation’s Vault conference in March. Both the talk and article focused on one of the central problems we’ve been working to address in the Cloud Foundry Foundation’s Diego Persistence project team, so we thought it would be a good idea to highlight the features we’ve added to mitigate it. Cloud Foundry does significantly better than what the article suggests is the current state of the art on the container security front, so we’ll cover that here as well.

  • Defence/Aggression
    • ‘Every Day Things Are Getting Worse’ for Children in Yemen

      Persistent attacks on health care in Yemen is severely impacting children’s well-being, civil society detailed at the launch of a report.

      In the report, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, in collaboration with Save the Children, found a series of systematic attacks on medical facilities and personnel and families’ restricted access to health care across three of the most insecure governorates in the Middle Eastern nation.

      According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warring parties carried out at least 160 attacks against medical facilities and personnel between March 2015 and March 2017 through intimidation, air strikes, and impeded access to medical supplies.

      In one incident, anti-Houthi forces raided and shutdown Al Thawra hospital for reportedly treating several injured Houthi-fighers. The hospital had also previously been shelled on numerous occasions.

    • With Error Fixed, Evidence Against ‘Sarin Attack’ Remains Convincing

      In my report published April 19 on Truthdig, I misinterpreted the wind-direction convention, resulting in my estimates of plume directions being exactly 180 degrees off. This article corrects that error and provides important new analytic results that follow from correction of that error.

      When the error in wind direction is corrected, the conclusion is that if there was a significant sarin release at the crater as alleged by the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued April 11, the immediate result would have been significant casualties immediately adjacent to the dispersion crater.

    • NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims

      In the old days of journalism, we were taught that there were almost always two sides to a story, if not more sides than that. Indeed, part of the professional challenge of journalism was to sort out conflicting facts on a complicated topic. Often we found that the initial impression of a story was wrong once we understood the more nuanced reality.

    • At Sea With Capt. ‘Wrong Way’ Trump

      Baby boomers like me fondly remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of childhood (and adulthood, for that matter — in their grown-up jokes and cultural references they presaged The Simpsons by a good 25 years and are still pretty hilarious).

      You may particularly recall one Rocky and Bullwinkle character, Capt. Peter “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz, an addled mariner so spectacular in his incompetence that even his toy boats sank in the bathtub.

      At one point, Peachfuzz managed to steer his ship into New York’s financial district — and I mean into, so much so that it was given the permanent address of 17 ½ Wall Street. Now at the helm of an investment firm, his board of directors wanted to get Capt. Peachfuzz as far away as possible and found him a job counting penguin eggs in Antarctica. But a secretary mistyped the form and Peachfuzz was made head of the nation’s intelligence community.

      [...]

      In recent days, we’ve heard inconsistent policy statements, and not just about where the hell our ships are. There have been flip-flops on China and Russia as well as conflicting declarations when it comes to President Bashar al-Assad’s brutality in Syria and the contested referendum in Turkey that by a narrow margin gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased dictatorial control over his government. Trump called to heartily congratulate Erdogan on his win, yet at the same time the State Department warned the Turkish leader against ignoring the “rule of law” and urged him to respect “a diverse and free media.”

    • Dropping the (Non-Nuclear) Big One

      After pounding “war on terror” targets for 15-plus years, the U.S. military dropped its “mother of all bombs” on some caves in Afghanistan, a show-off of its terrifying weapon, peace activist Kathy Kelly told Dennis J Bernstein.

    • Borussia Dortmund bombs: ‘Speculator’ charged with bus attack

      Police in Germany have charged a man suspected of being behind an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

      Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say.

      The suspect has been charged with attempted murder, triggering explosions and causing serious physical injury.

    • Human rights lawyer lodges case at International Criminal Court against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for ‘mass murder’

      A human rights lawyer lodged a case on Monday (April 24) with the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling President Rodrigo Duterte a “mass murderer”, and seeking an investigation into “this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines”.

      In a 77-page complaint filed with ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, lawyer Jude Jose Sabio sought to have Mr Duterte and 11 others arrested and held in The Hague to prevent him “from further committing mass murder and from killing potential victims and witnesses”.

    • Istanbul law enforcement ban April 23 Armenian Genocide commemoration event

      Turkish law enforcement banned the April 23 Armenian Genocide commemorative event in Istanbul’s Sisli district. The event is being held for five years.

      Police told the participants of the event they “have orders from above to ban the rally”, threatening if they don’t obey, police are authorized to intervene.

      The demonstrators collected the posters, which said: “Don’t forget, don’t let to be forgotten”, “As long as there is no confrontation, genocides won’t stop” and took off to the Sisli office of the People’s Democratic Party.

    • US ‘deep state’ sold out counter-terrorism to keep itself in business

      New York Times columnist Tom Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on 12 April calling on President Trump to “back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria”. The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that US wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah”.

    • Tell Us Why We’re At War, President Trump

      People speak of Afghanistan as “our generation’s” Vietnam, a quagmire, a war that goes on simply because it has been going on.

      The Afghan war is dragging into being our generation’s, and soon the next generation’s Vietnam as well, over a decade and a half old. There are troops deploying now that were two years old when the conflict started. There are fathers and sons deploying together. Bin Laden’s been dead for years.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks

      The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.

    • Prosecuting Assange under Espionage Act would set dangerous precedent

      Last week, news reports indicated that the Justice Department is considering whether to press charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for posting classified information on the Internet. Section 793(e) of the Espionage Act makes it illegal for anyone with “unauthorized possession” of “national defense information” to “willfully communicate” such information “to any person not entitled to receive it” if the person “has reason to believe” the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” This language is incredibly broad and, if applied as written, raises serious First Amendment concerns. As Steve Vladeck noted on Twitter, using the Espionage Act in this way would set a troubling precedent.

      The Trump administration is not the first to consider using the Espionage Act to prosecute those who disclose embarrassing national security information. The George W. Bush administration considered prosecuting journalists for publishing information about surveillance and other counter-terrorism activities. At the time, I co-authored an article with Michael Berry for National Review Online explaining why such prosecutions would be a bad idea (with a follow-up here).

    • Long before WikiLeaks, the FBI spent decades obsessing over Gavin MacFadyen

      In response to the initial FOIA request for files on deceased WikiLeaks Director and Courage Foundation trustee Gavin MacFadyen, the FBI cited a litany of exemptions. These included an ongoing investigation, national security, and the need to protect the identity of a confidential informant. While the Bureau used these exemptions to withhold all of the materials on MacFadyen in their possession, they did reveal that at least four files mentioning MacFadyen had been transferred to the National Archives.

    • Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’

      “I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.

      Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.

      Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.

      It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”

    • Symantec Blames Global Cyber Attacks On Secret CIA Tools

      Agency spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said any WikiLeaks disclosures aimed at damaging the intelligence community “not only jeopardise United States personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm”.

      Numerous tools revealed in the WikiLeaks Vault7 cache have been spotted in the wild attacking targets in 16 countries and linked to a group operating since at least 2011, Symantec claimed. Given the close similarities between the tools and techniques, there can be little doubt that Longhorn’s activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group.

    • CIA Director Says WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Has No Freedom Of Speech Protection Because He’s Not A Citizen
    • Wikileaks investigation could threaten freedom of the press

      Late Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice is reconsidering whether to file charges against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for publishing classified government documents.

      Potential charges against Assange and other members of Wikileaks could include conspiracy, theft of government property, and charges under the Espionage Act, according to the Post.

    • Why Soviet Weather Was Secret, a Critical Gap in Korea, and Other NSA Newsletter Tales

      Three years after the 9/11 attacks, a frustrated NSA employee complained that Osama bin Laden was alive and well, and yet the surveillance agency still had no automated way to search the Arabic language PDFs it had intercepted.

      This is just one of many complaints and observations included in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s signals intelligence division. The Intercept today is publishing 251 articles from the newsletter, covering the second half of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. The newsletters were part of a large collection of NSA documents provided to The Intercept by Edward Snowden.

      This latest batch of posts includes candid employee comments about over-classification, descriptions of tensions in the NSA-CIA relationship, and an intern’s enthusiastic appraisal of a stint in Pakistan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency

      What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.

    • French Elections: Alt-Right, Total and Gold Mines, the Story Behind the Candidates’ Environmental Policies

      France, the birthplace of the Paris Agreement, is a week away from the first round of its presidential election on April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been side-lined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climate leadership.

      The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news”, Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims and growing concerns of Russian interference.

    • Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers

      One of the least understood aspects of global warming is entire countries threatened by loss of major rivers, for example, the Lancang River (70% of its headwater glaciers gone), affectionately known as “the Danube of the East” of China and the Andes river system in South America (the World Bank warning that millions threatened by loss of glacial water supplies), and the Lower Colorado River in America, at “the breaking point.”

      River systems provide recreation, sport, wildlife habitat, agricultural irrigation, and drinking water for the majority of the world’s population. The loss of river system integrity and strength of its flow indubitably throws the world into utter chaos, likely leading to worldwide water wars, e.g.: India’s numerous clashes and riots over water for example in Bundelkhand (deadly clashes), Bangalore, and Munak (18 people killed and 200 injured); and, Tunisia’s “thirst uprisings”; and, 10 deaths over water rights on Iran and Afghanistan border; and, Peru farmers challenging (clashes) a corporation over water rights; and, Syria’s repeated fighting over water; and, Somalia where dozens killed over water access; and, Mexico’s 100 injured in water clashes; and, Yemen, where 4,000 die every year from water-related violence. Moreover, the list of water wars goes on and on, seemingly evermore.

    • The environment-hating US Chamber of Commerce is losing the support of the world’s biggest companies

      The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of over 3 million companies and spent $104 million on lobbying in 2016, has been less than willing acknowledge the role that humans, and businesses, play in climate change.

      When the Chamber’s representative was asked whether climate change was real and caused by humans in a 2014 Senate hearing, she dodged the question until finally saying that it was “an ongoing discussion.”

      Following president Donald Trump’s executive actions that would gut the Obama administration’s policies to curb global warming, the chamber’s president, Thomas Donohue, said, “These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration’s strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy.”

  • Finance
    • Sir Philip Green could still lose knighthood, says MP

      Sir Philip Green has been warned that he could still be stripped of his knighthood and faces further questions from MPs, one year after the collapse of BHS.

      The veteran Labour MP Frank Field said Green had not done enough to keep his title amid lingering concerns over the £363m settlement struck between the retail tycoon and the Pensions Regulator.

      “Sir Philip Green remains on the hook,” he said. “When parliament comes back from the election we need to pursue the charge sheet from the Pensions Regulator against him and what the Pensions Regulator got in return,” said Field.

    • Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in San Jose’s Fountain Alley

      The impulse to surveil this area in this manner brings up a question of San Jose’s decision-makers: who is being protected and for what motives? The individuals the police presence targets are predominantly Black and Brown folks, many of whom are homeless or poor. Some are caught up in alleged drug violence or sex work, which are not acknowledged as a symptom of larger issues – of poverty, a lack of housing, of mental illness among others – in our community, but as the problem itself. In our minds, the very people targeted are the ones who need the most assistance and protection.

    • In Latest Populist Betrayal, Trump Executive Order Unchains Wall Street Greed

      Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for watchdog group Public Citizen, described the orders signed Friday at the Treasury Department as “nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work.”

      According to ABC News, Trump signed “two presidential memoranda on the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which former President [Barack] Obama signed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.” They order two six-month reviews of what the Los Angeles Times called “pillars” of Dodd-Frank: the Orderly Liquidation Authority and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

    • “Fear City” Explores How Donald Trump Exploited the New York Debt Crisis To Boost His Own Fortune

      Reading this, it struck me how Trump’s entire career has been shaped by the exploitation of crisis. And that’s relevant stuff for what it tells us about what we can expect from his administration in the months and years to come. So I’m very happy to be joined by Kim Phillips-Fein, a historian of the first order, in The Intercept studios.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Front National’s Le Pen can be called fascist, court rules
    • French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to second round, estimates show – live
    • Far-Right Le Pen and Center-Right Macron Frontrunners in French Election

      France will see the far-right, xenophobic Front National candidate Marine Le Pen face off against Emmanuel Macron, an investment banker who hasn’t held public office, in a runoff vote on May 7, as the first round of an unusual presidential election concluded with Sunday’s vote.

    • Russia’s Shadow-War in a Wary Europe

      Last month, the combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. It was a display of longtime mutual admiration. The frontrunner in a field of 11 candidates, Le Pen shrugs off allegations of corruption and human rights abuses against Putin, calling him a tough and effective leader. Her hard-line views on immigration, Islam and the European Union win praise from Putin and enthusiastic coverage from Russian media outlets. Her campaign has been propelled by a loan of more than $9 million from a Russian bank in 2014, according to Western officials and media reports.

    • Remember Those Temporary Officials Trump Quietly Installed? Some Are Now Permanent Employees.

      Last month, ProPublica revealed that the Trump administration had installed hundreds of political appointees across the federal government without formally announcing them.

      The more than 400 officials were hired in temporary positions for what the White House calls “beachhead teams.” Government hiring rules allow them to have those positions for up to eight months.

      Now some of them are getting permanent federal jobs, oftentimes with little or no public notice.

      A review of federal agencies’ staffing lists, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and department websites, found the Trump administration has made at least 25 of its beachhead hires permanent. The White House and federal agencies don’t have to make public hires that don’t require Senate confirmation.

    • RIP United Kingdom, 1927-2017

      Theresa May’s call for a snap election received overwhelming endorsement from parliament by 522 to 13, whereas the Scottish SNP abstained. It is now expected that parliament will end all business in early May in the run up to the ballot of 8 June. Why did May call an early election since her argument all along has been that the “country needs stability” and that new elections would take place as normal in 2020?

      May was appointed PM in the wake of the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016, after the country, albeit narrowly, voted to leave the EU. Commentators argue that she needed an electoral mandate to strengthen her position and image as PM. Also, her surprise move, the argument goes, was caused by a shrewd power calculus, the most important factors being the disarray in the Labour Party; the need for May to strengthen her grip on her own party and government undermining Europhile influence while boosting her parliamentary majority (currently only at 17 seats whereas polls show a Tory lead as high as 21%); and, thereby ‘strengthening the external position of the country in the Brexit negotiations’ that May herself triggered on 29 March. These arguments do not go to the bone of British, European and global politics.

    • Trump Inaugural Committee Falsely Lists Big Donation From “Hidden Figures” Hero

      The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, the campaign entity used to fund Donald Trump’s inauguration and related festivities, claimed in its official filing with the Federal Election Commission that it received a $25,000 donation from Katherine Johnson, the distinguished NASA mathematician and physicist. The filing listed her address at 1 NASA Drive in Hampton, Va., the location of NASA’s Langley Research Center. Johnson, who is retired at age 98, does not live at the research center.

      Eugene Johnson, who described himself as a friend and power of attorney for Katherine Johnson, told The Intercept that the “donation is fake, she did not make that donation.”

    • Donald Trump: Ruling Class President

      One of the many irritating things about the dominant United States corporate media is the way it repeatedly discovers anew things that are not remotely novel. Take its recent discovery that Donald Trump isn’t really the swamp-draining populist working class champion he pretended to be on the campaign trail.

      The evidence for this “news” is solid enough. His cabinet and top advisor circle has been chock full of ruling class swamp creatures like former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn (top economic adviser), longtime top Goldman Sachs partner and top executive Steve Mnuchin (Secretary of the Treasury), and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce). Trump has surrounded himself with super-opulent and planetarily invested financial gatekeepers – the very club he criticized Hillary Clinton for representing.

      Trump meets regularly with top corporate and financial CEOs, who have been assured that he will govern in accord with their wishes. He receives applause from business elites for his agenda of significant large scale tax cuts and deregulation for wealthy individuals and for the giant, hyper-parasitic, and largely transnational corporations they milk for obscene profits

    • Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?

      Trump seems to suffer from a kind of attention deficit disorder.

      [...]

      Uncharacteristically, Trump didn’t even pause for a selfie beside the smoldering crater left by his MOAB bomb in Afghanistan, before he was rattling his sabre at North Korea, boasting about how his giant Armada was steaming toward the Korean peninsula. A few days later this robust pronouncement was obsolete, when it turned out that the mighty fleet was instead retreating 3,000 miles in the opposite direction, south to the coast of Australia. Call it the wrong-way Armada. Meanwhile, Trump had already fast-forwarded to furious denunciations of Iran.

      Trump’s martial pronouncements are generally too truncated and disarticulated to ever embody something so substantial as a trope or a theme. Indeed, many of these public utterances are so garbled that they defy translation by even the most gifted linguists. They are more like the petulant bleats of an overgrown adolescent testing out a rack of video games, blasting away at one zombie invasion after another until he tires of it and seizes on another scenario. It might be said that he practices the Man-Child theory of foreign relations: belligerent, shallow, easily bored.

    • Group of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’

      A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump.

      The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.”

    • The Corbyn Conundrum

      Having shared a platform with Jeremy Corbyn several times, I have to admit I had doubts about his leadership capacity. I had none about his heart, his motives, or his intellectual capacity. My doubts were about his interpersonal skills and charisma. I had him marked down as not very sociable and even shy.

      I have just watched his interview on Marr where Corbyn performed much better than I would have imagined possible. He was calm, reasonable and even wise. He came over as an attractive personality. He was, in short, excellent.

      Marr did the job his masters paid him to. He started, instantly, going for the jugular on the tabloids’ favourite attack line on Jeremy Corbyn. Having stated he was going to kick off with foreign policy, did Marr then ask whether Corbyn would continue to support the Tory policy of selling weapons to the Saudis to kill children in Yemen? Would continue uncritical support of Israel and diplomatic protection of its illegal occupation?

    • Equal under the Law

      The Pirate Party stands for justice and equality. We believe that a person’s beliefs, preferences, and physical attributes should have no bearing on how they are treated or what opportunities they have access to.

    • Whistleblower exposes conflict of interest at the heart of HS2

      A whistleblower exposed a significant conflict of interest at the heart of the government’s controversial HS2 project which led to the withdrawal of American firm CH2M from the contract, City AM reported yesterday.

      CH2M was set to be awarded the HS2 contract when a whistleblower alerted rival firm Mace to a major potential conflict of interest involving former HS2 Chief of Staff Chris Reynolds, who had taken up a role with CH2M three months after leaving HS2. Upon questioning, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling claimed that the onus was “first and foremost” on the firms bidding to conform to the rules, rather than on the Department for Transport (DfT) or HS2 to look for possible concerns.

    • Nearing 100 Days In, Trump is Least Popular President in Modern History

      A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll recorded a 40 percent approval rating, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll saw 42 percent approval. Other surveys have previously put his approval rating as low as 37 percent.

    • “You black bastard” Offensive, friendly banter, somewhere in between or both?

      The Sun publishes an article comparing a black Everton player to a gorilla. While the reporter denies that his piece could be seen as racist, The Sun issues an apology. How might the law deal with this situation? Was the original article racist, defamatory, ignorant or simply fair comment?

    • A Hundred Days of Trump

      On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite. The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.

      Trump has never gone out of his way to conceal the essence of his relationship to the truth and how he chooses to navigate the world. In 1980, when he was about to announce plans to build Trump Tower, a fifty-eight-story edifice on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street, he coached his architect before meeting with a group of reporters. “Give them the old Trump bullshit,” he said. “Tell them it’s going to be a million square feet, sixty-eight stories.”

    • Stop It. Trump’s Lawyers Did Not Say That Protestors Have No First Amendment Right To Dissent

      If you’re wondering why people who support Donald Trump can repeatedly claim that various mainstream publications traffic in “fake news,” look no further than the ongoing news coverage of a lawsuit that was filed against his campaign by three protestors. Yes, we know that reporting on legal issues by mainstream publications is bad, but the reporting on this particular case is so bad that over and over and over again it directly states, or at least implies, things that are simply not true. Over and over and over again, the press has taken fairly mundane and expected aspects of this lawsuit and taken them out of context, misreported them and generally suggested they meant things they absolutely did not. And, of course, every time, the reporting has made the President look bad. It should be quite clear by now that I’m not a fan of the President, who I think may be the least qualified person in office ever, but this particular case is a perfect case study in the kind of biased bad reporting, which will cling to anything to attack the President.

      So if you’ve heard reporting recently about how a Trump supporter was suing the President for inspiring him to violence against a protestor, or how a judge said Trump incited violence at a rally, or how Trump’s lawyers claimed there’s no right to protest the President at rallies or that the President is claiming that protestors violated his First Amendment rights, then you’ve been had. None of those are accurate depictions of what’s happening. And, amazingly, these all refer to the same exact case. A case where the press can’t help themselves but to report everything in misleading ways.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Homeland Security’s Inspector General Investigating Attempt To Unmask ‘Rogue’ Tweeter

      As you probably recall, a few weeks ago Twitter sued Homeland Security after it received a summons from Customs & Border Patrol seeking to identify any information about the @ALT_uscis account. USCIS is the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the “alt” part is similar to many other such accounts purporting to be anonymous insiders in the government reporting on what’s happening there (whether or not the operators of those accounts truly are inside those organizations is an open question). Anyway, the issue here is that such a use of Twitter would be protected by the First Amendment, and unless the account was revealing classified info, it’s unlikely that there would be any legit means to investigate who was behind the account. And, because of that, it certainly appeared that Customs and Border Patrol decided to use illegitimate means to get the info. Specifically it sent a 19 USC 1509 summons, which is an investigative tool for determining the correct duties, fees or taxes on imported goods. As you can see, identifying a Twitter user does not seem to fit into what that law is for.

    • NSA Kept Watch Over Democratic and Republican Conventions, Snowden Documents Reveal
    • Japan secretly funneled hundreds of millions to the NSA, breaking its own laws
    • NSA Gave Japan Access to Secret Internet Surveillance Program in 2013 – Reports
    • Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance

      It began as routinely as any other passenger flight. At gate 15 of New York City’s JFK Airport, more than 200 men, women, and children stood in line as they waited to board a Boeing 747. They were on their way to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city. But none would ever make it to their destination. About 14 hours after its departure, the plane was cruising at around 35,000 feet not far from the north of Japan when it was shot out of the sky.

      The downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 occurred on September 1, 1983, in what was one of the Cold War’s most shocking incidents. The plane had veered off course and for a short time entered Soviet airspace. At Dolinsk-Sokol military base, Soviet commanders dispatched two fighter jets and issued an order to “destroy the intruder.” The plane was hit once by an air-to-air missile and plummeted into the sea, killing all passengers and crew. President Ronald Reagan declared it a “crime against humanity,” marking the dawn of a volatile new chapter in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Soon, tensions would escalate to a level not seen since the Cuban missile crisis, which 20 years earlier had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

    • LinkedIn Apologizes For Trying To Connect Everyone In Real Life

      LinkedIn has apologized for a vague new update that told some iPhone users its app would begin sharing their data with nearby users without further explanation.

    • [Tor] Transparency, Openness, and our 2015 Financials

      After completing the standard audit, our 2015 state and federal tax filings are available. We publish all of our related tax documents because we believe in transparency.

      I’m sorry for the delay in posting them: we had everything ready in December, but we had a lot going on at the end of the year (if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Tor at the Heart of Internet Freedom blog post series!), and then time got away from me after the new year.

    • USPTO site downgrades to HTTP despite US federal government promise to adopt HTTPS on all websites

      The US Patent Office’s (USPTO) website is now unusable with HTTPS as of April 21st, 2017.

    • Uber tried to fool Apple and got caught

      Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to have Uber’s iPhone app removed from the App Store in 2015, when it learned that the ride-sharing company had secretly found a way to identify individual iPhones, even once the app was deleted from the phone, according to The New York Times.

    • Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire

      For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

      For years now, psychological and sociological studies have been casting doubt on the idea that communication dissolves differences. The research suggests that the opposite is true: free-flowing information makes personal and cultural differences more salient, turning people against one another instead of bringing them together. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is one of the gloomiest of proverbs. It is also, the evidence indicates, one of the truest.

    • Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission

      [UN Watch's] executive director slammed the election, which occurred in a secret vote during the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council.

    • No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Arabia to Women’s Rights Commission, For 2018-2022 Term

      The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

      “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd.”

    • US family wins battle, names baby ‘Allah’

      Their daughter, ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, was born in 2015, but Georgia’s health department had insisted that the initial birth record should have one of the parent’s last names, or a combination thereof.

      [...]

      Handy and Walk’s two sons had previously been given the surname “Allah” without objection from Georgia authorities, according to the civil rights group.

    • Crime Lab Scandal Forces Prosecutors to Disavow Thousands of Drug Convictions

      During her career as a Massachusetts lab chemist, Annie Dookhan has admitted to making up drug test results and tampering with samples, in the process helping send scores of people to prison. Her work may have touched some 24,000 cases.

      On April 18, nearly five years after Dookhan’s confession, prosecutors submitted lists of about 21,587 tainted cases with flawed convictions that they have agreed to overturn. The state’s highest court must still formally dismiss the convictions.

      Once that happens, many of the cleared defendants will be freed from the collateral consequences that can result from drug convictions, including loss of access to government benefits, public housing, driver’s licenses and federal financial aid for college. Convicted green card holders can also become eligible for deportation, and employers might deny someone a job due to a drug conviction on their record.

    • Thousands of hardline Islamists protest Bangladesh statue

      Protesters want the statue of the blindfolded woman holding scales — said to represent justice — destroyed and replaced with a Koran, despite Bangladesh’s secular constitution.

    • Reforming Islam: Can it be done?
    • Chechen Leader Wants Gays ‘Eliminated By Start Of Ramadan’
    • Maldives blogger stabbed to death in capital

      His blog, The Daily Panic, had a considerable following and was known for poking fun at politicians in the nation of some 340,000 Sunni Muslims.

    • 2nd doctor, wife arrested in genital mutilation case

      Nagarwala’s husband, Moiz Nagarwala, is listed as a leader of the Farmington Hills mosque, according to the mosque’s password-protected website, and records list him as having served as joint treasurer.

    • Here Are 11 Weird Fatwas Issued By Clerics Which Will Leave You In Splits

      In 2007, Dr Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University’s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company.

    • Anti-Israel Sharia advocate to give CUNY commencement speech

      Anti-Zionist who praised terrorist murderer, hailed stone throwers as ‘courageous’ tapped to give commencement address at public NY college.

    • UK Crime Agency’s Latest Moral Panic: Kids Modding Videogames May Be A Gateway To Becoming Criminal Hackers

      In this age where having more people knowledgeable about computers and programming is important for future innovation, these kinds of scaremongering reports do a hell of a lot of damage. Lots of really smart techies got their programming chops started by messing around with video games. Having parents stop them from tinkering because of this overblown report of how it’s a “gateway” to crime could do a lot of damage.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • The relentless fighting over net neutrality rules needs to end, but how can it?

      Leaving the matter to voluntary pledges and the Federal Trade Commission, on the other hand, would be precious close to having no safeguards at all.

    • Net neutrality changes would ‘kneecap’ Mass. entrepreneurs, say tech execs

      The Massachusetts tech community continued its vocal opposition to the Trump administration’s policies on Friday at a press conference where a number of prominent CEOs joined U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in decrying potential changes to so-called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission.

      Speakers argued that allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to choose which data travels fastest over their networks would give them too much control over who wins and who loses in the internet economy and would be especially damaging to startups, which can’t afford to pay ISPs for faster access to the internet.

    • Boston tech firms, Markey, vow net neutrality fight

      Markey met with executives of 14 major companies, including General Electric Co.,TripAdvisor , Wayfair LLC, iRobot Corp., and Microsoft Corp., at the Boston headquarters of data backup company Carbonite Inc. At a post-meeting press conference, Markey said the coming fight over net neutrality “is going to create a national debate about the Internet the likes of which we have never seen before.”

    • Trainwreck – the danger of upending net neutrality

      The anti-net neutrality crowd prefers a system in which, much like airlines, a monopolist entity can dominate a market deciding service levels and fees. Of course one of the big issues in net neutrality is giving this oligopoly the ability to set up a multi-tiered system for delivering Internet services. Another way to look at it would be institutionalizing slow Internet.

  • DRM
    • Kodi and DRM

      Thanks to a bunch of ill-informed idiots on YouTube posing as Kodi experts and shady vendors looking to make a quick buck off our backs and take advantage of gullible people, Kodi is generally portrayed as a piracy platform. Meanwhile, Team Kodi takes all the heat. Add to that lazy article authors on several news and media sites and we have the perfect storm. Sadly, for many article authors, hearsay is actually a credible source and click bait their living.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

Sunday 23rd of April 2017 04:38:27 PM


Reference: Factory alleged to have ignored warnings

Summary: How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards

IN THE last part about the fire hazard at the EPO we shed light on the continuation of this problem at the next building in the Netherlands. Why does this matter? Because the unwillingness of Dutch authorities to compel the EPO to obey the law causes the EPO to operate with impunity and potentially put a lot of lives in great danger, even consciously.

“Lately, it was the Dutch representatives taking a lot of heat or even coming under fire (pardon the pun).”Staff representatives are understandably afraid to bring this up. Each time they say the truth there is severe action of retribution from Battistelli and his goons. Lately, it was the Dutch representatives taking a lot of heat or even coming under fire (pardon the pun).

“Unfortunately,” one person explained to us, “the majority of the local staff committee as well as the local SUEPO committee have been very reluctant to take any further measures to protect our safety in case of a fire at our site. Until now they did not bother to inform [...] though some members were aware of this issue since November 2010.”

“The immunity of the EPO must be ended, and not only after a major catastrophe (one that would belatedly put the EPO in the headlines, due to a tragedy other than Battistelli).”See the effect of union-busting actions and extreme attacks on staff representatives? Even life-threatening risks (mere facts) become suppressed. We too need to be careful in what we say because we are well aware of risk to our sources. Not too long ago we belatedly kick-started a series revolving around the inadequacy of these facilities by sharing, in redacted form, anything but the most sensitive details. We feel safe to assert that this helps highlight human rights aspects (disregard for staff’s safety) and is in the public interest.

We would like to urge readers, especially Dutch-speaking readers, to forward these bits of information to the suitable authorities in Holland and urge for immediate action. The immunity of the EPO must be ended, and not only after a major catastrophe (one that would belatedly put the EPO in the headlines, due to a tragedy other than Battistelli).

Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

Sunday 23rd of April 2017 03:32:07 PM

Summary: A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays

THE lives ruined by the EPO‘s management extend well beyond EPO staff and stakeholders; spouses, children, friends and peers are impacted as well. The whole European economy is negatively affected. This is why we believe that everyone in Europe (if not well beyond Europe) should pay closer attention to scandals which the media seems unwilling to cover (like it covered FIFA scandals, for instance, if not Volkswagen too, especially amid Dieselgate).

“The EPO has become a sociopathic institution which takes orders from one single person as though he is a monarch in a palace.”In part VII and part VIII of this series we wrote about whistleblowing at the EPO and absolutely zero tolerance of criticism. The EPO has become a sociopathic institution which takes orders from one single person as though he is a monarch in a palace. Nothing like this ever happened at the USPTO or any other patent office (as far as we are aware). European autocracy up on display? Certainly a reputational issue for the EU, even if the EPO isn’t an EU entity (unlike the distant ‘fantasy’ — or contrariwise nightmare — which is UPC).

“In any healthy (or functional) institution, none of this would be required and there would be an ombudsman to turn to. But not the EPO under Battistelli…”The EPO’s whistleblowers are scared; they are not always confident and occasionally they feel the need to forge details not about the story but about themselves. “We were thinking also of changing some terms and details of the story,” one person once told us regarding “nationalities, countries, disease details, sex and ages etc. — [just] enough to make sure that if they [are] still going [to point] the finger on me, it would be an open admission that they did what we relate.”

In any healthy (or functional) institution, none of this would be required and there would be an ombudsman to turn to. But not the EPO under Battistelli…

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