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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 3 hours 19 min ago

Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

Wednesday 18th of September 2019 10:26:15 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • The return of startx(1) for non-root users [with some caveats]

      Mark Kettenis (kettenis@) has recently committed changes which restore a certain amount of startx(1)/xinit(1) functionality for non-root users.

    • Desktop
      • Huawei Replaces Windows with Linux on New Laptops

        Huawei’s problems with the United States government have been well documented. US companies are forbidden from trading with the Chinese company once a 90 day reprieve is over. Thirty days into that reprieve, Huawei has announced its laptops will now run Linux as an operating system.

        Under the US trade ban, Huawei will not be able to access Google services and Microsoft’s Windows. The company has already embraced its own Harmony OS to replace Android.

        Luckily for Huawei, the company does not need to develop its own system for PC. That’s because there is an open and free OS readily available, Linux.

        In China, Huawei is already selling its MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro devices running the Linux platform. Deepin is being used as the distro, a Chinese fork of the Debian distribution.

    • Server
      • Demystifying Containers – Part III: Container Images

        This series of blog posts and corresponding talks aims to provide you with a pragmatic view on containers from a historic perspective. Together we will discover modern cloud architectures layer by layer, which means we will start at the Linux Kernel level and end up at writing our own secure cloud native applications.

        Simple examples paired with the historic background will guide you from the beginning with a minimal Linux environment up to crafting secure containers, which fit perfectly into todays’ and futures’ orchestration world. In the end it should be much easier to understand how features within the Linux kernel, container tools, runtimes, software defined networks and orchestration software like Kubernetes are designed and how they work under the hood.

      • IBM
        • Oracle Autonomous Linux is ‘world’s first’ autonomous operating system

          ORACLE HAS SHOWN OFF Oracle Autonomous Linux, an autonomous operating system that requires no human supervision to run.

          The operating system was unveiled this week by Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder and chief technology officer, at the firm’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, and is – according to the company -the world’s first autonomous operating system capable of tuning and patching itself while running.

          Ellison said the new operating system will help customers achieve extreme performance, high reliability and security.

        • Oracle Ups the Ante in Cloud with World’s First Autonomous Operating System

          Keeping systems patched and secure is one of the biggest ongoing challenges faced by IT today. Tasks can be tedious and error prone, and extremely difficult to manage in large-scale cloud environments. With Oracle Autonomous Linux, customers can rely on autonomous capabilities to help ensure their systems are secure and highly available to help prevent cyberattacks.

          “Oracle Autonomous Linux builds on Oracle’s proven history of delivering Linux with extreme performance, reliability, and security to run the most demanding enterprise applications,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of operating systems and virtualization engineering, Oracle. “Today we are taking the next step in our autonomous strategy with Oracle Autonomous Linux, providing a rich set of capabilities to help our customers significantly improve reliability and protect their systems from cyberthreats.”

        • “Autonomous Linux” Operating System in the Cloud Extends Oracle’s Autonomous Strategy

          Marking what it describes as a milestone in its autonomous strategy, Oracle announced its Autonomous Linux, which, the company said, along with its new OS Management Service, provides an autonomous operating environment that eliminates complexity and human error to enable cost savings, security, and availability for customers.

          The Oracle Autonomous Linux is targeted at the IT challenge of keeping systems patched and secure, which can be tedious, error-prone, and difficult to manage in large-scale cloud environments. With Oracle Autonomous Linux, customers can rely on autonomous capabilities to help ensure their systems are secure and highly available to help prevent cyberattacks.

        • Oracle Autonomous Linux: World’s first autonomous operating system announced

          Oracle has announced its free autonomous operating system — Oracle Autonomous Linux — which provisions itself, scales itself, tunes itself and patches itself while running.

          Autonomous Linux is based on Oracle Linux, which powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems.

          Additionally, Oracle promises “literally instantaneous migration” to the new operating system. The OS is free for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure customers.

        • Oracle woos Red Hat users with Autonomous Linux

          Sending a shot across the bow to rival Red Hat, Oracle has introduced Oracle Autonomous Linux, an “autonomous operating system” in the Oracle Cloud that is designed to eliminate manual OS management and human error. Oracle Autonomous Linux is patched, updated, and tuned without human interaction.

          The Oracle Autonomous Linux service is paired with the new Oracle OS Management Service, which is a cloud infrastructure component providing control over systems running Autonomous Linux, Linux, or Windows. Binary compatibility is offered for IBM Red Hat Enterprise Linux, providing for application compatibility on Oracle Cloud infrastructure.

        • Maintenance Free Linux & Free Cloud: Wim Coekaerts Interview At Oracle OpenWorld

          At the Oracle OpenWorld event, we sat down with Wim Coekaerts – Senior Vice President, Software Development at Oracle – who has been leading Linux work at Oracle.

        • CentOS Linux 7.7 released and here is how to update it

          The CentOS Linux project has released an updated version of its stable Linux distribution CentOS Linux 7.7. You must upgrade to get corrections for security problem as this version made a few adjustments for the severe issue found in CentOS 7.6. CentOS is a Linux distro that is mainly maintained and updated through the work of many users who volunteer their time and effort. It is based upon RHEL 7.7 upstream source code.

        • CentOS Linux 7 (1908) released

          A new release of CentOS Linux 7 is available. This release is tagged as 1908 and derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 source code.

        • Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III – Combined with SUSE for One of the Most Secure Platforms on the Planet

          Our guest blog writer is Kara Todd, Director of Linux at IBM with an exciting announcement from IBM – with SUSE Linux Enterprise playing an integral role!
          Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III – the system you need for the most secure, flexible system to support your initiatives today, and you need that system to grow and evolve with you for tomorrow. The latest LinuxONE system was designed to support your mission-critical initiatives and allow you to be innovative as you design and scale your environment. LinuxONE III provides features for advanced data protection and privacy, enterprise resiliency and scalability, and cloud enablement and integration. These tools set the foundation to enable you to build with flexibility, deliver with confidence, and protect the future.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Talking to machines: Lisp and the origins of AI

        The Command Line Heroes podcast explores the invention of Lisp and the rise of thinking computers powered by open source software.

      • 09/17/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Richard Stallman resigns from the board of the Free Software Foundation and his position at MIT.

        Plus Microsoft’s latest open source project, Oracle’s new Linux distribution, and a release date for CentOS 8.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 released: Experimental support for AMD Navi GPU

        Now that the new Linux Kernel 5.3 has been released, it’s time to know what news has been integrated.

        The kernel is the heart of any operating system. GNU / Linux has kernel, Mac OS X too, Windows, Android and iOS too and so on. This layer is responsible for the interaction between software and hardware, allowing processes to communicate transparently with electronic devices.

      • Linux Foundation
        • First Digital-Only Bank in China Joins Linux Foundation

          The Linux Foundation today announced that WeBank is joining at the Gold level. It joins Alibaba, Dell, Facebook, Toyota, Uber and Verizon among other Linux Foundation members at this level.

        • First Digital-Only Bank in China Joins Linux Foundation

          WeBank is both the first privately-owned bank and the first digital-only bank in China. It was built with technology at its core and is committed to promoting innovative technologies. It recently led the transfer of the FATE (Federated AI Technology Enabler) to the Linux Foundation. FATE is a federated learning framework that fosters collaboration across companies and institutes to perform AI model training and inference in accordance with user privacy, data confidentiality and government regulations.

      • Graphics Stack
        • HIPCL Lets CUDA Run On OpenCL+SPIR-V

          Based off AMD’s GPUOpen HIP as part of their ROCm stack, researchers at Tampere University in Finland have created HIPCL as leveraging HIP as well as POCL for routing CUDA codes to run on any hardware supporting OpenCL+SPIR-V.

          HIPCL provides a path of running CUDA on top of OpenCL, permitting the OpenCL driver also supports the SPIR-V intermediate representation. The OpenCL implementation also needs to support Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) so that actually rules out using NVIDIA’s own driver for taking this route in place of their actual CUDA driver. HIPCL also relies upon a patched version of the LLVM Clang compiler.

        • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Tackling NGG Stream-Out

          One of the areas the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers have had a challenging time promptly support with AMD Navi GPUs has been the NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) functionality but it’s slowly getting worked out.

          The NGG engine support has required various fixes to the graphics drivers, Navi 14 NGG support is borked, and various other Next-Gen Geometry support issues in the Navi driver code. At least on the software side the open-source developers have continued to improve the support and today the latest improvements arrived for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver.

        • Radeon Navi 12/14 Open-Source Driver Support Now Being Marked As “Experimental”

          In an interesting change of course, the open-source driver support for AMD Radeon Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs is being flagged as experimental and hidden behind a feature flag.

          Back at the start of August AMD sent out their AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support for Navi 12 along with Navi 14. That Navi 12/14 support has since been queued up for introduction in the Linux 5.4 kernel along with the new Vega-based Arcturus GPU.

    • Benchmarks
      • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

        Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware.

        The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

      • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

        When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn’t been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the “ClearFog” board) and it’s looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space.

        The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

    • Applications
      • Meld is an excellent file and folder comparison tool for Windows and Linux

        Ever had two sets of the same files and folders and couldn’t decide which one to retain? It may take a long time to actually open each to verify the one that’s recent or the one you need; while dates associated with the files may help, they won’t all the time as they don’t tell you anything about the actual content.

        This is where file comparison tools can be time-savers. Meld is an open source file comparison tool for Windows and Linux for exactly that purpose.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • The new Steam Library Beta is officially out for you to try

        The day has finally arrived, Valve have now put out a Beta for the massive overhaul to the Steam Library so you can try it yourself. A huge amount has changed but likely some rough edges to be found since it’s not quite finished. Promising though, a lot better in many ways than the old and stale interface that Steam has currently.

      • No hammer or nails needed for the Humble Builder Bundle now live

        The Humble Builder Bundle just went live with a couple of nice Linux games included, another chance to get a good deal.

      • Brutal local co-op platform brawler CHOP has released

        CHOP, a brutal local co-op platform brawler recently left Early Access on Steam. If you like fast-paced fighters with a great style and chaotic gameplay this is for you. There’s multiple game modes, up to for players in the standard modes and there’s bots as well if you don’t have people over often.

        Speaking about the release, the developer told me they felt “many local multiplayer games fall into a major pitfall : they often lack impact and accuracy, they don’t have this extra oomph that ensure players will really be into the game and hang their gamepad like their life depends on it.” and that “CHOP stands out in this regard”. I’ve actually quite enjoyed this one, the action in CHOP is really satisfying overall.

      • Mystery adventure game Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is releasing this week

        Developer Mografi has confirmed that their adventure game Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is officially releasing on September 19th. The game was funded on Kickstarter way back in 2014 thanks to the help of almost four thousand backers raising over one hundred thousand dollars.

      • Seafaring strategy game Nantucket just had a big patch and Masters of the Seven Seas DLC released

        Ahoy mateys! Are you ready top set sail? Anchors aweigh! Seafaring strategy game Nantucket is now full of even more content for you to play through.

        Picaresque Studio and Fish Eagle just released a big new patch adding in “100+” new events, events that can be triggered by entering a city, the Resuscitation command can now heal even if someone isn’t dead during combat, the ability to rename crew to really make your play-through personal, minor quests give off better rewards and more. Quite a hefty free update!

      • MOTHERGUNSHIP, a bullet-hell FPS where you craft your guns works great on Linux with Steam Play

        Need a fun new FPS to try? MOTHERGUNSHIP is absolutely nuts and it appears to run very nicely on Linux thanks to Steam Play.

        There’s a few reasons why I picked this one to test recently: the developers have moved onto other games so it’s not too likely it will suddenly break, there’s not a lot of new and modern first-person shooters on Linux that I haven’t finished and it was in the recent Humble Monthly.

    • Distributions
      • New Releases
        • OSGeoLive 13.0 Released, which Brings Some New Applications

          Astrid Emde has announced the new release of OSGeoLive 13.0 on Sep 12, 2019.

          This release has improved the Python experience a lot by adding an additional Python modules like Fiona, rasterio, cartopy, pandas, geopandas, mappyfile.

          Also, added the following new applications MapCache, GeoExt, t-rex, actinia.

          Many packages have been updated to the latest version.

          [...]

          It is featuring a large collection of open-source geospatial software and free world maps.

          It provides bootable ISO-Images and Virtual Machines which allow users to try out fully-operational versions of popular Free Geospatial Software without the need to install a thing.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family
        • PCLinuxOS 2019.09 updated installation media release

          The KDE versions both full and the minimalistic Darkstar contain kernel 5.2.15 plus a fully updated KDE Plasma desktop. Plasma desktop 5.16.5, Plasma Applications 19.08.1 and Plasma Frameworks 5.62.

          The Mate Desktop was refreshed with kernel 5.2.15 and the applications and libraries were updated to their most recent stable versions from the previous release.

          The Xfce Desktop was tweaked and now uses the Whisker menu by default. A login sound was added and the applications were updated along with some minor bug fixes.

          In addition all ISOs now include the Nvidia 430.50 driver and will be used instead of the nouveau driver if your video card supports it. Hardware detection scripts were updated to provide better support for video cards that can use the Nvidia 430.50 driver. Pulseaudio has been updated to the stable 13.0 release. The Simple Update Notifier was reworked and now works for keeping you notified of system updates and the ability to update from the applet using apt-get. Small improvements were made to the Live media boot scripts. Vbox test media is also included on the installation media. This program allows you to quickly test an ISO on the fly or usbstick with various options without having to create a permanent VM in Virtualbox. Requires a valid Virtualbox installation. Thanks to the people involved for their contributions to this program.

      • Fedora Family
        • Fedora Linux 31 Beta is Here

          Fedora 31 is due later this year, but first, there needs to be some beta testing. And so, today, Fedora 31 Beta is made available for download. Unfortunately, details surrounding version 31 are a bit sparse. With that said, one big change involves Fedora users with ARM 64-based single board computers, such as a Raspberry Pi. Those folks will get access to an additional desktop spin — the lightweight Xfce. Workstation users will be treated to GNOME 3.34, but not the final version that was released recently. Don’t worry — when Fedora leaves beta status, and is officially released, you can be sure the stable GNOME 3.34 will be included. Remember, Fedora is one of the best ways to experience a vanilla GNOME desktop environment.

      • Debian Family
        • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (July and August 2019)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Keng-Yu Lin (kengyu)
          Judit Foglszinger (urbec)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Hans van Kranenburg
          Scarlett Moore

          Congratulations!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • Canonical have listed what 32bit packages they will continue to support through Ubuntu 20.04

          After Canonical announced they would be ending 32bit support earlier this year and then adjusting their plans after the backlash, they’ve now posted what packages they will look to continue supporting.

          Canonical’s Steve Langasek posted on their Discourse forum a list which they “have been able to determine there is user demand based on the feedback up to this point” and they will “carry forward to 20.04″ and that includes other packages not directly in the list that they may depend on.

        • Community process for 32-bit compatibility

          Based on our commitment to continue to support i386 userspace in Ubuntu, we have assembled a list of packages for which we have been able to determine there is user demand based on the feedback up to this point. The packages listed below are the ones we are committing to carry forward to 20.04 on parity with amd64. (We will also, necessarily, carry forward the various other packages that those in this list depend on or build-depend on.)

          Are there other packages not on this list that you need for 32-bit compatibility? Please let us know!

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • FOSS – A boon for e-governance and educational institutions

        Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Community is By the Community, For the Community, of the Community, To the Community on No Profit No Loss Basis. Open Source Software, is and will always remain free. There is no license to pay to anybody.The central government mooted out a policy on adoption of open source software, which makes it mandatory for all software applications and services of the government be built using open source software, so that projects under Digital India “ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs”. “Government of India shall endeavour to adopt Open Source Software in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government organizations, as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software,” said the policy statement, put on the website of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.The Open Source Software shall have the following characteristics:- A) The source code shall be available for the community / adopter / end user to study and modify the software and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified software. B) Source code shall be free from any royalty.

      • Election fraud: Is there an open source solution?

        Can open source technology help keep our elections honest? With its Trust The Vote Project, the Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Institute is working on making that a reality for elections in the United States and around the world.

        The project is developing an open, adaptable, flexible, full-featured, and innovative elections technology platform called ElectOS. It will support all aspects of elections administration and voting, including creating, marking, casting, and counting ballots and managing all back-office functions. The software is freely available under an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-recognized public license for adoption, adaptation, and deployment by anyone, including elections jurisdictions directly or, more commonly, commercial vendors or systems integrators.

      • The community-led renaissance of open source

        With few commercial participants, early free software and open source communities were, by definition, community-led. Software was designed and created organically by communities of users in response to their needs and inspiration. The results, to a degree nobody predicted, were often magical.

        First-generation open source businesses like Red Hat emerged to respond to these needs. They combined the best of both worlds: the flexibility and control of raw open source with the commercial support that enterprises depend on. These new open source businesses found their opportunity by adding the missing—but necessary—commercial services to community-led open source projects. These services would be costly for organizations to provide on their own and potentially even more costly to do without. One early leader of that era, Cygnus Solutions, even adopted the counter-intuitive tagline “Making free software affordable.”

        But back then, it was always overwhelmingly clear: The commercial vendors were in service of the community, filling in around the edges to enable commercial applications. The community was the star, and the companies were the supporting cast.

      • Top 10 Technology Predictions for 2019 Revisited – Here’s my Personal Performance Appraisal

        Open source continues to play a key role in all these other dominant technology trends. That’s why 82% of large organizations are more receptive to open source than they were 5 years ago, and 83% of hiring managers are looking for open source talent as a priority.

        So, how did I do overall with my predictions?

        Based on my own appraisal, I scored a creditable 9/10, and I’m feeling pretty good about that. However, I guess I wasn’t taking a huge risk. By way of full disclosure, I track all of these trends as part of my role at SUSE, and as a leading technology partner, SUSE works very closely with all its customers.

      • Events
        • A recap of the Linux Plumbers Conference 2019

          This year’s Linux Plumbers Conference concluded on the 11th of September 2019. This invitation-only conference for Linux top kernel developers was held in Lisbon, Portugal this year. The conference brings developers working on the plumbing of Linux – kernel subsystems, core libraries, windowing systems, etc. to think about core design problems.

          Unlike most tech conferences that generally discuss the future of the Linux operating system, the Linux Plumbers Conference has a distinct motive behind it. In an interview with ZDNet, Linus Torvalds, the Linux creator said, “The maintainer summit is really different because it doesn’t even talk about technical issues. It’s all about the process of creating and maintaining the Linux kernel.” In short, the developers attending the conference know confidential and intimate details about some of the Linux kernel subsystems, and maybe this is why the conference has the word ‘Plumbers’ in it.

        • OpenForum Academy Workshop – Exploring Modern Dimensions of Openness

          The OpenForum Academy held its second 2019 workshop in Brussels this week. OpenForum Academy is a European-based independent think tank which explains the merits of openness in computing to policy makers, industry and communities across Europe. This workshop series aims at being a forum for practitioners, academics and policy makers to collaborate on various topics of openness and freedom. It is organized by OpenForum Europe, enabling it to bridge between the abstract academic world and policy discussions at the European Commissions. We set out to explore focus topics to answer current challenges to openness that the academy will develop insights and recommendations for. These topics will shape the work of OpenForum Academy for the near future.

          The workshop was opened by a series of input presentations. One of those was on “Addressing lock-in challenges through the use of open source software projects” by Björn Lundell, a fellow of the academy and professor at the University of Skövde in Sweden. He explained for example the need for open source solutions to read and write data formats of digital assets of long-term importance.

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Mozilla Shifting Firefox To A Four-Week Release Cycle

            Mozilla announced today they are tightening up the Firefox release cycle even more… Expect to see new Firefox releases monthly.

            Currently Firefox has a 6~8 week release cadence, not too different from Google Chrome. But Mozilla has now come up with an ambitious four-week release cycle.

            Mozilla is moving Firefox to a four-week release cycle to increase its agility and deliver new features faster. This four-week release cadence will begin in Q1’2020.

          • Firefox is Switching to a Monthly Release Cycle

            Getting a new version of Firefox every 4 weeks isn’t too dissimilar to the current Firefox release cycle, which see a new major release issued every 6 to 8 weeks.

            But by increasing the release rate Mozilla says it can “increase its agility” and bring users “new features more quickly”.

            “With four-week cycles, we can be more agile and ship features faster, while applying the same rigor and due diligence needed for a high-quality and stable release. Also, we put new features and implementation of new Web APIs into the hands of developers more quickly,” Mozilla say.

          • Mozilla first reveals, then conceals, paid support plan for Firefox

            In return for the fee, Mozilla said on the now-absent Firefox enterprise site – still visible through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – customers would be able to privately report bugs via a new web portal and receive fixes on a timeline dependent on the impact and urgency of the problem. Customers would also be able to file requests for help with Firefox’s installation and deployment, management policies, functionality and customization.

          • Trabant Calculator – a Data Visualization of TreeHerder Jobs Durations

            Its goal is to give a better sense on how much computations are going on in Mozilla automation. Current TreeHerder UI surfaces job durations, but only per job. To get a sense on how much we stress our automation, we have to click on each individual job and do the sum manually. This tool is doing this sum for you. Well, it also tries to rank the jobs by their durations. I would like to open minds about the possible impact on the environment we may have here. For that, I am translating these durations into something fun that doesn’t necessarily make any sense.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • GNU community announces ‘Parallel GCC’ for parallelism in real-world compilers

          Yesterday, the team behind the GNU project announced Parallel GCC, a research project aiming to parallelize a real-world compiler. Parallel GCC can be used in machines with many cores where GNU cannot provide enough parallelism. A parallel GCC can be also used to design a parallel compiler from scratch.

        • FSF resignations

          I have been hesitant in renewing my membership to the Free Software Foundation for a while, but now I never want to deal with the FSF until Richard Stallman, president and founder of the free software movement, resigns. So, like many people and organizations, I have written this letter to cancel my membership. (Update: RMS resigned before I even had time to send this letter, but I publish here to share my part of this story.)

          I had the (mis)fortune of meeting rms in person a few times in my life. The first time was at an event we organized for his divine visit to Montreal in 2005. I couldn’t attend the event myself, but I had the “privilege” of having dinner with rms later during the week. Richard completely shattered any illusion I had about him as a person. He was arrogant, full of himself, and totally uninterested in the multitude of young hackers he was meeting in his many travels, apart from, of course, arguing with them about proper wording and technicalities. Even though we brought him to the fanciest vegetarian restaurant in town, he got upset because the restaurant was trying to make “fake meat” meals. Somehow my hero, who wrote the GNU manifesto that inspired me to make free software a life goal, has spoiled a delicious meal by being such an ungrateful guest. I would learn later that Stallman has rock star level requirements, with “vegetarian meals served just so” being only one exception out of many. (I don’t mind vegetarians of course: I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 20 years now, but I will never refuse vegetarian food given to me.)

        • MIT Professor Defends Epstein, Blames the Victim

          A very prominent computer scientist at MIT has defended Jeffrey Epstein and blamed one of this victims, claiming that she was “entirely willing” in emails that were leaked last week. He has also called in the pass for the legalization of pedophilia and child porn. Alumni are now calling for him to be fired.

        • Richard Stallman resigns as president of the Free Software Foundation

          On 16 September, one of our independent sister organisations, the US-based Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced the resignation of Richard M. Stallman as its president. While we recognise Stallman’s role in founding the Free Software movement, we welcome the decision.

          The Free Software Foundation Europe’s mission is to empower people from all backgrounds to control technology and thereby create a better society for everyone. We want to ensure that every human can understand how software works, use the software for any purpose without discrimination, share it with others, and adapt it to their own specific needs.

        • Richard Stallman Has Resigned As President Of The Free Software Foundation

          Stallman laid the foundations for what we know today as the Linux operating system. His early development work on a set of GNU tools such as Emacs, a GCC compiler and build automator (GNU make) were used by Linus Torvalds in the creation of the original Linux kernel.

        • Richard Stallman Resigns from Free Software Foundation

          The outspoken founder of Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU project, Richard Stallman, has resigned from his post as President of the FSF. Stallman came under fire for his comments in defense of the late Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence lab, who was implicated in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal. Although Stallman did not defend Epstein, his comments regarding Minsky’s involvement were regarded as insensitive at best and came across as an inappropriate logical exercise in the face of growing concern over Minsky’s actions.

        • Richard Stallman leaves MIT after controversial remarks on rape

          Free software pioneer Richard Stallman has resigned from his posts at MIT and the Free Software Foundation after leaked emails showed him quibbling over the definition of rape in a conversation related to Jeffrey Epstein.

          The conversation that triggered Stallman’s fall started when someone—names other than Stallman’s are redacted in the leaked emails—posted about a planned protest at MIT. The email stated that famed MIT computer scientist Marvin Minsky “is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims.”

          Stallman objected, saying that the blurb “does an injustice” to Minsky because even if it’s true that the then-17-year-old had sex with Minsky, “the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing.” (One witness to the alleged incident says that Minsky, who died in 2016, declined to have sex with her.)

        • Richard Stallman resigns from MIT and the Free Software Foundation

          Financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein killed himself last month while awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges, amid speculation about his extensive contacts with America’s scientific and political elites.

        • GPL Author Richard Stallman Resigns from Free Software Foundation

          Richard Stallman, free software movement activist and originator of the “copyleft” concept, has resigned from his position as director of the board and president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which he established in 1985. This resignation comes on the heels of his resignation from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) after remarks he made regarding a 17-year old victim of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, characterizing her as seeming “entirely willing.”

        • Don’t sacrifice the right ideas to win the right words

          The crucial distinction of the free software movement is less about “free software”, after all, and more about copyleft. But, because the FSF pushes copyleft and free software, and because many FSF advocates are pedantic and abrasive, many people check out before they’re told the distinction between free software and copyleft. This leads to the listener equivocating free software with copyleft software, which undermines the message and hurts both.1

          This lack of tact is why I find it difficult to accept the FSF as a representative of the movement I devote myself to. If your goal is to strengthen the resolve and unity of people who already agree with you by appealing to tribalism, then this approach is effective – but remember that it strengthens the opposing tribes, too. If your goal is to grow the movement and win the hearts and minds of the people, then you need to use more tact in your language. Turn that hacker knack for linguistic hacking towards this goal, of thinking over how your phrasing and language makes different listeners feel. The resulting literature will be much more effective.

      • Programming/Development
        • GitLab Adopted by KDE to Foster Open Source Contributions

          Today GitLab, the DevOps platform delivered as a single application, announced that KDE, an international technology community that creates free and open source software for desktop and portable computing, is adopting GitLab for use by its developers to further enhance infrastructure accessibility and encourage contributions.

          KDE is a free and open source software community dedicated to creating a user-friendly computing experience. It offers an advanced graphical desktop, a wide variety of applications for communication, work, education and entertainment, and a platform for easily building new applications. Adding access to GitLab will provide the KDE community with additional options for accessible infrastructure for contributors, code review integration with git, streamlined infrastructure and tooling, and an open communication channel with the upstream GitLab community.

        • Oracle releases JDK 13 with switch expressions and text blocks preview features, and more!

          Yesterday, Oracle announced the general availability of Java SE 13 (JDK 13) and that its binaries are expected to be available for download today. In addition to improved performance, stability, and security, this release comes with two preview features, switch expressions and text blocks. This announcement coincides with the commencement of Oracle’s co-located OpenWorld and Code One conferences happening from September 16-17 2019 at San Francisco.

          Oracle’s director of Java SE Product Management, Sharat Chander, wrote in the announcement, “Oracle offers Java 13 for enterprises and developers. JDK 13 will receive a minimum of two updates, per the Oracle CPU schedule, before being followed by Oracle JDK 14, which is due out in March 2020, with early access builds already available.”

          This release is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE). For those who are using Oracle JDK release as part of an Oracle product or service, it is available under a commercial license.

        • Eclipse Che, Kubernetes-native IDE, version 7 now available

          Today, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of Eclipse Che 7, the Kubernetes-native IDE, enabling developer teams to code, build, test, and run cloud-native applications. We are excited by this announcement and the new capabilities that this version offers the community and developers building containerized applications.

        • Python Debugging With pdb

          Nowadays, we often take for granted the excellent debuggers built into our favorite IDEs. But how do you debug your Python code when you don’t have the luxury of using an IDE?

          pdb, short for Python DeBugger, is a module for interactive source code debugging. It’s built into the Python Standard Library, so it’s always accessible to you. Because it runs in the command line, it’s especially helpful when you’re developing on remote systems.

          In this course, you’ll learn how to perform the most common debugging tasks using pdb, including setting breakpoints, stepping through code, viewing stack traces, creating watch lists, and more.

        • Happy Birthday Practical Business Python!

          On September 17th, 2014, I published my first article which means that today is the 5th birthday of Practical Business Python. Thank you to all my readers and all those that have supported me through this process! It has been a great journey and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

          This 5 year anniversary gives me the opportunity to reflect on the blog and what will be coming next. I figured I would use this milestone to walk through a few of the stats and costs associated with running this blog for the past 5 years. This post will not be technical but I am hopeful that my readers as well as current and aspiring bloggers going down this path will find it helpful. Finally, please use the comments to let me know what content you would like to see in the future.

        • 6 Excellent Free Books to Learn Julia

          Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing by Alan Edelman, Stefan Karpinski, Jeff Bezanson, and Viral Shah. Julia aims to create an unprecedented combination of ease-of-use, power, and efficiency in a single language.

          It’s a homoiconic functional language focused on technical computing. While having the full power of homoiconic macros, first-class functions, and low-level control, Julia is as easy to learn and use as Python.

          Although Julia is a new language, first appearing in 2012, its roots are in Lisp, so it comes with mature features like macros and support for other metaprogramming techniques like code generation. Julia’s expressive grammar lets you write easy-to-read and easier-to-debug code, and its speed gets you through more work in less time. It’s a great choice whether you’re designing a machine learning system, crunching statistical data, or writing system utilities.

          Distinctive aspects of Julia’s design include a type system with parametric polymorphism and types in a fully dynamic programming language and multiple dispatch as its core programming paradigm. It allows concurrent, parallel and distributed computing, and direct calling of C and Fortran libraries without glue code.

        • A slack hack
      • Standards/Consortia
        • Vulkan 1.1.123 Released With Two New Extensions

          Vulkan 1.1.123 is the latest weekly update to this high performance graphics API and it’s formally introducing two more extensions.

          Besides the usual variety of documentation clarifications and corrections, there are two new Vulkan extensions with version 1.1.123.

  • Leftovers
    • History Repeats Itself: Twitter Launches Illegal SF Street Stencil Campaign Just As IBM DId Decades Ago

      Everything old is new again, and the population of tech workers seems to turn over especially fast in the San Francisco Bay Area. I guess I now qualify as an old timer, in that I remember quite clearly when IBM ran a big ad campaign in San Francisco and Chicago to profess its newfound love for Linux. The ad campaign involved stenciling three symbols side-by-side: a peace symbol, a heart, and Tux, the Linux penguin…

    • Why Trump Can’t Learn: An Educated Guess by a Veteran Teacher
    • Cokie Roberts, Longtime Political Journalist, Dies at 75

      Cokie Roberts, the daughter of politicians who grew up to cover the family business in Washington for ABC News and NPR over several decades, died Tuesday in Washington of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.

    • Cubanness and Cuban Identity: the Importance of Fernando Ortiz

      This past July 16, the work of Fernando Ortiz was declared a National Heritage. It was a moving moment, charged with a particular electric spirituality, one I shared with Barnet, Eusebio, Torres-Cuevas and others, and an act of justice regarding an essential component of the foundations of our culture and the nation itself.

    • Celebrating 50 Years of Venceremos Brigade solidarity with the Cuban Revolution

      This year was the 50th anniversary of the Venceremos Brigade delegations to Cuba, a special affair for Cuba and its Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). We participants can agree with what one former brigadista wrote us, “I went in 1971 and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Cuba opened a whole new world to me where human dignity and respect are valued. I may not be on this brigade but I continue to support its mission to end the criminal US economic blockade and travel ban, return occupied Guantanamo Bay to the Cubans and normalize relations between both countries. Venceremos!”

    • USPTO Drops Its Demands For Applicants’ Green Cards

      The US Patent and Trademark Office’s side venture into immigration enforcement has come to an abrupt end. It recently instituted a US attorney requirement for foreigners filing trademark applications with the Office. This was apparently done to limit the flow of bogus trademark applications, a large number of which originated in China.

    • Health/Nutrition
      • Some CBD vapes contain street drug instead of the real thing

        The vapor that Jenkins inhaled didn’t relax him. After two puffs, he ended up in a coma.

        That’s because what he was vaping didn’t have any CBD, the suddenly popular compound extracted from the cannabis plant that marketers say can treat a range of ailments without getting users high. Instead, the oil was spiked with a powerful street drug.

        Some operators are cashing in on the CBD craze by substituting cheap and illegal synthetic marijuana for natural CBD in vapes and edibles such as gummy bears, an Associated Press investigation has found.

      • Pharmaceutical antitrust law in Romania

        A structured guide to antitrust law in the pharmaceutical sector in Romania, including the legislative and regulatory framework, merger review, anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance.

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

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (dino-im, python2.7, python3.4, and wpa), Fedora (kmplayer), openSUSE (podman and samba), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (thunderbird), Slackware (expat), SUSE (curl), and Ubuntu (apache2).

      • This New Linux Malware Mines Crypto By Creating Malign Linux Modules

        As per the research, the new Linux malware mines crypto by creating malicious loadable kernel modules (LKM) to stay under the wraps. As the malware utilizes Linux kernel module rootkits, it becomes difficult to detect and patch it. This is because of its overwriting and modification of kernel parts capabilities.

      • A Critical Exim Vulnerability, Lilocked Ransomware on the Rise, but Linux Not to Blame

        In the context of these recent vulnerabilities and exploits, it is easy to label Linux and Open Source as “vulnerable” or “insecure”. However, doing so is unfair as well as incorrect. Unlike Windows and MacOS, Linux is a multi-user environment (a characteristic that the OS inherited from Unix) where users are granted specific privileges. This design prevents the compromise of one user account from impacting an entire system. In order to gain control over a Linux system, malware would have to gain root access to the system.

        Vulnerabilities exist in every system, and in terms of security vulnerabilities, Linux has a relatively clean record when compared to other popular operating systems. In the words of Linux creator Linus Torvalds, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. Because of the intense review that Linux is continuously undergoing from security experts in the Open Source community, vulnerabilities are quickly identified and fixed. Because of this, as well as the way in which Linux manages privileges, relatively few viruses and worms are written to attack Linux systems. In comparison, proprietary operating systems like Microsoft Windows are easy targets for malicious coders, making them frequent victims of malware and viruses. This year, a total of 700 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows were disclosed, 189 of which were classified as critical.

        Exim, however, is a notoriously insecure mail server. In spite of this, it has a market share of over 57 percent, due to the fact that the MTA has been bundled with many Linux distros, including Debian and Red Hat. Thus, the frequent security bugs and exploits involving Exim affect a large number of Linux users, but are not a reflection of the inherent security of the Linux OS.

      • The Black Hat Hackers who Turned Over a New Leaf

        Ever since IBM’s John Patrick coined the term ‘Ethical Hacking’ in 1995, the profession has grown to become a much-needed aspect in security programs. The growing popularity of certification courses on ethical hacking and bug bounty programs illustrates the importance of ethical hackers for today’s businesses.

        But still, the term ‘Ethical Hacker’ conflicts with the image of hackers, which is portrayed as cybercriminals. Apart from data security personnel and government regulators, most people might not be familiar with ethical hacking. A look at the history of some notable ethical hackers possibly mitigates the negative connotations around it. Below are some of the famous ethical hackers around the world:

      • New Linux malware is evading detection to mine cryptocurrency

        Dubbed Skidmap by researchers; the Linux malware mines cryptocurrency and drops backdoor – All that without being detected.

        The perception cryptocurrencies have created today ranges from them being a “flat out scam” to an innovative piece of technology in the new age. While our understanding of the latter is clear, the former needs some light to be shed on, how did we get here?

        To answer this, we may look no further than the latest in the cryptocurrency world where another Linux malware named as Skidmap has been discovered by Trend Micro that illegally mines cryptocurrencies, a malicious technique known as cryptojacking.

      • New Linux mining malware uncovered

        Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec recently announced in a Trend Micro post that they have come across new Linux malware. The analysts reported in the security intelligence blog that the malware loads malicious kernel modules to hide its cryptocurrency mining operations.

        According to the analysts, a rootkit is being used by Skidmap to hide its cryptocurrency mining activities. It is a program that installs and executes code on a system without end-user consent or knowledge. This makes its malware components undetectable by the infected system’s monitoring tools. Apart from conducting a cryptojacking campaign, the malware reportedly provides attackers with “unfettered access” to the affected system.

      • New Linux malware mines crypto after installing backdoor with secret master password [Ed: Skips the part about it having to be installed in the first place (not the fault of Linux)]

        Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new strain of Linux malware that not only mines cryptocurrency illicitly, but provides the attackers with universal access to an infected system via a “secret master password.”

        TrendMicro’s latest blog also reveals that Skidmap attempts to mask its cryptocurrency mining by faking network traffic and CPU-related statistics.

      • Sneaky cryptocurrency-mining malware Skidmap hits Linux

        Security researchers at TrendMicro have discovered a rootkit-like strain of malware that is striking Linux users. Called Skidmap, the malware is a cryptocurrency miner, but there is much more to it than that.

        Skidmap is clever. Very clever. It goes out of its way to disguise itself, going as far as faking system statistics to hide the tell-tale high CPU usage that might give it away. More than this, the Monero-mining malware can also give attackers unlimited access to an infected system.

      • Linux malware masks illicit crypto mining with fake network traffic

        A new cryptocurrency mining malware targeting Linux systems has demonstrated how complex this type of malware has become. Known as Skidmap, the malware is not only harder to detect, it also gives the attackers unfiltered access to the affected system.

      • What to do after a data breach

        You saw the news alert. You got an email, either from Firefox Monitor or a company where you have an account. There’s been a security incident — a data breach. And your account has been compromised.

        Getting notified that you’ve been a victim of a data breach can be alarming. You have valid cause for concern, but there are a few steps you can take immediately to protect your account and limit the damage.

      • Capsule8 Protect Earns HIPAA Compliance Certification
      • Did Lilu Ransomware Really Infect Linux Servers

        Note that the domain name of this folder has been hidden from view making it impossible for us to verify if these files were actually on a Linux server. The article goes on to note that “Lilocked doesn’t encrypt system files, but only a small subset of file extensions, such as HTML, JS, CSS, PHP, INI, and various image file formats. This means infected servers continue to run normally.”

        This limitation raises the obvious question of whether the core of the Linux server itself has been compromised or whether merely applications connected to the core have been hacked. There are many very insecure website building applications such as WordPress and many insecure web mail applications such as Exim that have been repeatedly hacked over the years. Both WordPress and Exim have suffered from dozens of major security problems that have nothing to do with the security of the Linux operating system which is at the core of all Linux servers. All of the file formats mentioned in the article are files used on WordPress websites and files that can be transmitted via Exim email programs.

        [...]

        So instead of 6000 websites on 6000 servers being infected, it looks more like 6000 files on less than 1000 websites were infected. And many of these websites could have been on the same server – meaning that perhaps only a couple dozen out of the worlds 10 million Linux servers had infected files – and none of the files were actually in the core of any Linux servers.

        [...]

        Many of these articles were exact copies of the Zdnet article. Thus far, not a single so-called “security expert” has bothered either to look into the evidence provided much less challenge or disagree with this silly claim.

        Instead, make even more extreme claims, noting that there are millions of Linux servers running outdated, un-patched and insecure versions of Exim software. This is a fact. But given how many holes have been found in the Exim software, the problem is not with the Linux servers, it is with the Exim software. In my humble opinion, the design of Exim is not secure and the design of Postfix is more secure.

        The solution to this Exim problem is to demand that Cpanel support support Postfix and to ask Debian to also switch from Exim to Postfix (something Ubuntu has already done for very obvious reasons). This is the benefit of the diversity of free open source software. If one program has problems, there is quite often a more secure alternative that can be installed with just the click of a button. This is a problem that has been going on for years. But it can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Inside the Syrian Peace Talks

        Eight years since its inception in 2011, the Syrian civil war rages on, a conflict that has taken on grand geopolitical dimensions and resulted in tens of thousands killed and a massive exodus of refugees. While other tensions and conflicts around the world have since grabbed the attention of major media outlets, the situation in Syria has not gotten any better. If anything, it has become even more complicated and violent.

      • Three Russian border agents injured in armed attack by North Korean poaching schooner

        The crew of a poaching vessel from North Korea has attacked a Russian border patrol ship in the Sea of Japan, the FSB reported to the wire service TASS. Three Russian servicemembers were injured as a result.

      • Recalling the Hundreds of Thousands of Civilian Victims of America’s Endless ‘War on Terror’

        Now that the flags are back waving from the tops of flagpoles across the country, and the maudlin paeans to the close to 3000 lives lost in the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, it’s time we gave a thought to the dead who were ignored.

      • Oiling for War: The Houthi Attack on Abqaiq

        The attack on the world’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia southwest of Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran had a few predictable responses. Given that the facility has a daily output of some 5.7 million barrels, damaging it was bound to cause a spike in the price of oil.

      • Spectacles of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and the Revocation of the Autonomous Status of Kashmir

        While the conflation of religion and politics by the ruling party of a “democratic” and “secular” India gnaws at those of us who are invested in pluralism, those Indian-Americans who are closely aligned with the upsurge of Hindutva nationalism are gearing up to welcome Prime Minister Modi in Houston on September 22nd.  These transnational subjects, safely ensconced in the United States, are unaffected by the wreckage caused by Modi’s demonetization and other economic policies, so they have become uncritically loyal to the romanticized notion of the nation.

      • Trump Awaits Orders From Saudis; and Why the Houthis Could Have Done It

        Trump’s bizarre infatuation with strongmen and dictators was on full display in his response to Saturday’s drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. As our foremost Gulf expert, Kristian Ulrichsen, noted,The way you phrase it sounds like you are waiting for the Saudis to tell you what to do.

      • The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter: A Wasteful Weapon for America’s Forever Wars

        How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon’s program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter over its lifetime.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Stockholm Syndrome – Julian Assange And The Limits Of Guardian Dissent

        None of this happened for any major UK or US newspaper, which made no mention of these events at all. Readers of Prensa Latina, Havana, were more fortunate with two articles before and after the event, as were readers of Asian News International in New Delhi. Coverage was also provided by Ireland’s Irish Examiner (circulation 25,419) in Cork, which published a Press Association piece that was available to the innumerable other outlets that all chose to ignore it.

        Four months after he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange is still locked up in solitary confinement for 21 hours a day or more. He is still being denied the basic tools to prepare his case against a demand for extradition to the United States where he faces incarceration and torture. He is not allowed to call his US lawyers, is not allowed access to vital documents, or even a computer. He is confined to a single cell in the hospital wing, where he is isolated from other people.

    • Environment
      • The Environment Is in Trump’s Crosshairs. We Need to Fight Back.

        Over the past weeks, the administration, in league with Big Oil and other fossil fuel industries, has gone full-bore in its efforts to roll back half a century of environmental regulations. Pay attention, America. This isn’t scattershot; it is a concerted, well-planned effort to neutralize environmental regulations and investments built up over decades.

      • My Home Is Already Being Destroyed by Climate Change

        I have spent my entire life on a dying planet. We know that climate change not only puts the future of our earth in peril, but that it is frontline youth — those of us who live on islands, in rural areas, and along the coast — who will experience its most severe consequences. The infamous 2030 deadline to prevent catastrophic climate change may loom on the horizon, but these youth are already witnessing the extraordinary damage that the climate crisis has done to our homes. Saint Croix, United States Virgin Islands, a small but culturally rich island of 84-square miles and a mixing pot of cultures — my home — is being destroyed by the climate crisis. Alone, I can never do enough to save it.

      • Climate change could put insurance firms out of business

        Already, insurers are seeing disasters of unprecedented scale. Earlier this month Hurricane Dorian, one of the two largest storms ever known to have made landfall in the Atlantic, battered the Bahamas and then the Carolinas. In July Hurricane Barry brought the heaviest rainfall ever measured to Arkansas. The Indian Ocean basin has seen three huge cyclones so far this year, one of which caused Mozambique’s severest flooding since 2000. Last November California saw wildfires over the largest area ever recorded.

        Very costly disasters are becoming more frequent. [...]

      • Two die in Sumatra; haze eases in Singapore

        A four-month-old Indonesian baby and a 59-year-old man were reported to have died due to the choking haze enveloping South Sumatra province, Indonesian media reported, with five non-governmental organisations accusing the government of committing a serious breach of human rights for failing to control the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

      • Fires in Indonesia Blanket Islands and Cities in Smog

        Over the past month, the annual slash-and-burn efforts to create agricultural land across Indonesia’s Sumatra and Borneo islands have led to nearly 1,000 wildfires that are generating thick clouds of smoke and haze now blanketing parts of Southeast Asia. Most of the blazes are illegal fires set to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood industries. Malaysia is pressuring neighboring Indonesia to address the wildfires and step up enforcement to prevent future illegal burns. Its air quality has officially reached “unhealthy” levels, and dozens of schools have been closed.

      • More People Are Falling Through the Arctic’s Melting Ice Never to Be Seen Again

        The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Arctic land ice, which comprises over 2 million square acres is diminishing rapidly due to the climate crisis, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

        Arctic permafrost is also disappearing at unprecedented rates, and the center reported that sea ice set a record low of 2.9 million square miles in July, a loss the size of South Carolina from the previous low record set in July 2012. Scientists forecast that Arctic sea ice could vanish in the summer by the 2040s.

        Patricia Cochran, an Inupiat Inuit and executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, says she is seeing the same phenomenon in Alaska. “Everyone knows someone who has fallen through the ice and never returned home,” she said.

      • Greta Thunberg wins Amnesty International award

        “I’m hoping that by giving the Amnesty Ambassador of Conscience Award to Fridays for Future and Greta we’re making a small contribution to lifting up the struggle and giving it the prominence that it deserves… Children are behaving like adults, when many adult political and business leaders are behaving like children.”

      • Demanding ‘Fair Wages and Basic Dignity’ for All Workers in Changing Economy, Climate Action Campaigners Back UAW Strike

        Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash’s call to climate campaigners to support striking auto workers came after a number of labor groups backed the Global Climate Strike…

      • Why Greta Thunberg Inspires Me

        Some of my best moments this summer involved swimming across lakes. Despite how much I love the long-distance exercise, each swim was preceded by a ridiculous amount of time standing on the shore, working up the momentum to dive in. My mind knew the swims would be wonderful and refreshing, but every time my body somehow failed to translate that into action for almost as long

      • Climate Strikes to the Green New Deal: Arts Organizing to Protect the Planet

        We are a few days from the Global Climate Strike—the largest climate action ever (this is our time to step up—find your local action and ways to be involved here). We are also witnessing a rising long-term movement for a Green New Deal in the U.S., and similar solutionary initiatives around the world. 

      • Energy
    • Finance
      • Apple Attacks EU in Court Fight Over $14 Billion Tax Bill

        Apple Inc. told a European Union court it was unfairly painted as a tax dodger as it sought to topple a massive EU back-tax bill that’s the hallmark of antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s five-year crackdown on U.S. tech giants.

        The EU alleged that “Apple paid essentially no tax on earnings in Europe” and “sought headlines by quoting tiny numbers, but this public campaign ignores the taxes Apple pays all across the world,” Apple attorney Daniel Beard said at a hearing at the EU General Court in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

        The iPhone maker said it’s the world’s biggest taxpayer, urging EU judges to overturn a 2016 order by the European Commission to hand over a record 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in unpaid taxes to Ireland. Apple, which made a reputation on smashing industry conventions, “follows the rules” and the EU was wrong to claim that profits should have been taxed in Ireland instead of the U.S. where Apple products are developed, according to Beard.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Election 2020: Time to Stop Pretending and Start Over

        “Imagine what would be possible right now with ideas that are bold enough to meet the challenges of our time, but big enough, as well, that they could unify the American people [like the 9/11 attacks did],” said South Bend, Indian mayor Pete Buttigieg in his opening statement at the September 12 Democratic presidential nomination debate. “That’s what presidential leadership can do. That’s what the presidency is for.”

      • The Southern Strategy and Donald Trump

        Contemporary Republican politicians like to invoke the legacy of Ronald Reagan to bolster their policies. However, the type of White nationalism being espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters more accurately traces back to two less appealing Republican personalities: Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, and to the backlash created by the Civil Rights Movement of the nineteen sixties.

      • Nations Unhappily Held Together

        Media commentary on today’s appeals before the Supreme Court misses entirely the main point – that the highest courts of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may each have been legally correct in their differing judgements, because each was judging according to a different legal system. I shall here leave Northern Ireland aside through my personal ignorance of its legal system, for which I apologise.

      • Exit Polls Signal Setback for Israel’s Netanyahu in Election

        In an apparent setback for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the longtime Israeli leader on Tuesday fell short of securing a parliamentary majority with his hard-line allies in national elections, initial exit polls showed, putting his political future in question.

      • Democrats press for action on election security

        “Congress has essentially until the end of October to pass legislation that can still make an impact in time for the general election in 2020, so we have to move, and the fact is that the window may have already closed to secure some of the 2020 primaries,” Wyden, who has sponsored multiple election security bills, told reporters during a press conference.

        Blumenthal added that he is “deeply alarmed” about the small amount of time remaining before the 2020 elections.

      • Warren Rolls Out Plan She Calls ‘Most Sweeping Set of Anti-Corruption Reforms Since Watergate’

        The White House hopeful says her proposed reforms would put power “back where it belongs—in the hands of the people.”

      • Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don’t

        As a Senator, John F. Kennedy authored Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage in 1957 to highlight the integrity by eight United States Senators who did what they felt was best for the nation not their party and they suffered accordingly.

      • Our Invisible Government

        There are two forms of government in the United States. There is the visible government—the White House, Congress, the courts, state legislatures and governorships—and the invisible government, or deep state, where anonymous technocrats, intelligence operatives, generals, bankers, corporations and lobbyists manage foreign and domestic policy regardless of which political party…

      • ‘Saudi Arabia First’: Trump Accused of Letting Saudis Dictate US Foreign Policy After Oil Facility Attack

        “Congress will not give you the authority to start another disastrous war in the Middle East just because the brutal Saudi dictatorship told you to,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Hotel Owner Files Libel Suit Against Reviewer For Calling Nazis Nazis, Gets Support From Austrian Court

        Turns out the truth is no defense to accusations of libel… at least not in Austria. And not when someone’s reputation needs to be protected from [rereads article] substantially true statements. The standard for defamation in Austria comes nowhere close to what we’re used to in the United States. The bar is low for the plaintiff and a bunch of insanity for the defendant who said true things and still got dinged for it. (h/t Techdirt reader Rose Crowell)

      • A Professor’s Killing Sends a Chill Through a Campus in Pakistan

        One of his students, Khateeb Hussain, was detained by the police. In a video of his interrogation, Mr. Hussain said he killed Professor Hameed — a devout Muslim, according to his family — because he had insulted Islam. Six months later, no charges have been brought against Mr. Hussain, or against a preacher from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, a hard-line Islamic group, who the police say incited him to kill.

        The murder has devastated Professor Hameed’s family and chilled his colleagues at Sadiq Egerton College. They see it as a horrifying new chapter in a campaign against liberal education, which small but influential extremist groups in Pakistan consider unacceptable. Many of the teachers are now wary of speaking freely to their students.

      • 3 steps to developing psychological safety

        Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes. And it’s critical for high-performing teams in open organizations.

        Part one of this series introduced the concept of psychological safety. In this companion article, I’ll recount my personal journey toward understanding psychological safety—and explain the fundamental shifts in mindset, behavior, and communication that anyone hoping to create psychologically safe teams and environments will need to make.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • You’d Think The FBI Would Be More Sensitive To Protecting Encrypted Communications Now That We Know The Russians Cracked The FBI’s Comms

        On Monday, Yahoo News had a bit of a new bombshell in revealing that the closures of various Russian compounds in the US, along with the expulsion of a bunch of Russian diplomats — which many assumed had to do with alleged election interference — may have actually been a lot more about the Russians breaching a key FBI encrypted communications system.

      • PrivacySafe Launches Pre-Orders for Secure Data Appliance

        PrivacySafe, a provider of cybersecurity hardware, software, and services, announces pre-orders for the PrivacySafe Vision data storage appliance. PrivacySafe Vision is pocket-sized, portable and, via the PrivacySync subscription service, can be synced to secure off-site data centers.

        [...]

        Additionally, PrivacySafe products include malware protection that quarantines viruses and ransomware, a password vault, a payment processor for Bitcoin, and a wallet for the Monero cryptocurrency. Planned features include the Mozilla IoT WebThings Gateway, turning the device into a controller for other Internet-connected appliances, as well as GNU Health, a suite of healthcare software for hospitals and clinics.

      • Report: Ecuadorian Breach Reveals Sensitive Personal Data

        The data breach involves a large amount of sensitive personally identifiable information at the individual level. The majority of the affected individuals seem to be located in Ecuador.

        Although the exact details remain unclear, the leaked database appears to contain information obtained from outside sources.

        These sources may include Ecuadorian government registries, an automotive association called Aeade, and Biess, an Ecuadorian national bank.

      • Edward Snowden: Germany a ‘primary example’ of NSA surveillance cooperation

        In his new book Permanent Record, he describes working at “America’s premier signals agency” as being “a dream job.” He also writes of how he uncovered STELLARWIND, which he calls “the deepest secret of the NSA.”

        The program was launched after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Snowden claims that, contrary to what the authorities say, it never ended. Instead, it became an instrument of mass surveillance and went “from using technology to defend America to using technology to control it by redefining its citizens.”

      • Edward Snowden Responds After Trump DOJ Sues Whistleblower Over New Memoir the US Government ‘Does Not Want You to Read’

        The Justice Department filed suit the day Snowden’s memoir Permanent Record was published.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • How I learn to stop worrying and love the decentralized future

        Even if everybody is not realizing it consciously, our world is becoming incredibly more virtual, borderless and decentralized. Fighting the trend may only make the transition more violent. We may as well embrace it fully and ditch our old paradigms to prepare for a new kind of society.

        How we built the virtual world

        Virtual reality is always depicted by science fiction as something scary, something not so far away that allows us to spend our time connected to imaginary worlds instead of interacting with the reality. An artificial substitute to a good old-fashioned life, a drug, an addiction.

        Is it a dystopian prediction? Nowadays, white-collar workers spend most of their wake time interacting through a screen. Answering emails for work, chatting with colleagues on Slack, attending online meetings on Skype, looking at their friends Instagram during breaks and commutes, playing games and watching series in the evening.

    • Monopolies
      • Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ can overrule Zuckerberg, per new charter

        Although the board decisions will be made publicly available, the details of the public disclosure are still unclear. Facebook said it had not yet determined how to balance the privacy of users whose content complaints are heard by the board and the transparency of the board’s decisions.

      • Why it’s time for urgent action against Facebook campaigning before the next election

        UK politics has become big business for Facebook in recent years. In the last twelve months alone, our leading political parties have spent just shy of £1 million on advertising with the platform. Facebook has been the new frontier for reaching people in a targeted and accurate way now for a long time. But following the Cambridge Analytica crisis, you might have thought Facebook would have cleaned up its act and taken responsibility. It may have to some degree, but as we approach the Brexit D-day (October 31st) and a potential election, some 3 years later – there is still a long way to go for the data behemoth to support true transparency in political advertising.

        To delve a little deeper, Facebook’s Ad Library – a transparency tool which shows the ads that Facebook Pages are running and have run – shows that Boris Johnson’s social media management is a well oiled machine – and so it should be. His page is currently running hundreds of variations of the same advert, each with slightly different language, monitoring slightly different response rates, targeting slightly different demographics. This strategy is now adopted across most organised campaign groups and businesses. It ensures the advertiser gains an intensely accurate understanding of the language that gets the best reaction from different demographics, so this can be repeatedly refined – and used elsewhere in other advertisements. This may seem fair and transparent, but it isn’t, and here’s why.

      • Amazon Reportedly Changed Its Algorithm to Favor Most Profitable Products, Including Its Own

        Citing sources from Amazon’s A9 search team and the company’s lawyers, the WSJ report claims Amazon tweaked the search algorithm from showing the most relevant products to “featured” ones. The change was not publicized and was initially contested by Amazon’s internal lawyers, who said it could potentially cause trouble with antitrust regulators. It was also unpopular with the A9 team, as it was thought to put profitability over what’s best for customers. While the tweak wouldn’t necessarily boost only Amazon products, it would likely give a bump to the tech giant’s private-label brands as they are designed to be more profitable for Amazon.

      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Huawei makes a surprising announcement, or, the changing role of patents in the global economy

          In a companion piece, The Economist calls the offer “a peace offering that deserves consideration”. Indeed, Huawei’s strong position in the 5G area [the report cites a statistic that puts Huawei's 5G patent position second only to Samsung's, see below] is the subject of considerable controversy, which in America culminated in a total ban for U.S. companies to do business with Huawei. In The Netherlands, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration against the implementation of 5G last week, fuelled in part by fears over the opportunities for espionage it allegedly offers the Chinese government.

          The sale of the 5G patent portfolio – apparently accompanied by an extensive transfer of know-how – would leave the buyer “free to use it outside China and develop the technology as it sees fit”. In the US, “the buyer would face no competition from Huawei” because the company does not operate there, while “in other countries the two would go head to head”.

          [...]

          For instance, four telecoms giants [Ericsson, Nokia, Philips & Qualcomm] jointly wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce last March urging him to embrace antitrust policy that would interfere minimally with enforcement of SEP’s. The letter stresses that these innovators rely on the right to exclude, offered by their patents, in a balanced FRAND-system to recoup their investments and re-invest their profits into in further R&D to create the next generation of standards. Indeed, the undersigned companies are familiar players in European patent litigation and their enforcement efforts have dominated large parts of the European debate concerning FRAND.

          It is therefore surprising that their competitor Huawei, which reportedly invested around USD 10 billion a year on research and development related to 5G base stations, has now decided to sell off its patent portfolio. True, Huawei is also a major manufacturer of mobile phones, whereas some of the other major patent holders in the telecoms industry are not [though they rarely restrict themselves to mere licensing of technology: Ericsson, for instance, is also a major provider of telecom hardware]. But just as in other cases, there are major investments behind Huawei’s 5G patents, which makes it interesting that it is apparently choosing a radically different course for their exploitation.

        • Patent Bill Would ‘Do More Harm Than Good,’ Lawmakers Told

          It would be a bad idea to upend a decadeold U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared patent owners don’t have an automatic right to an injunction once a court finds infringement, legal experts told a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

          Three members of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee attended a hearing Wednesday to sound out experts on Sen. Chris Coons’ bill, dubbed the STRONGER Patents Act, which aims to revamp the patent system by putting new restrictions on patent challenges.

          The bill seeks to do this by limiting who and how many times a patent can be challenged in inter partes and post-grant reviews…

        • Guest Post: Design Patents After Curver Luxembourg: Design FOR an Article of Manufacture.

          So what happens now? The USPTO requires a design patent applicant to identify an article in the verbal portion of the claim and (the same article) in the title. See 37 CFR § 1.153. But it also instructs examiners to “afford the applicant substantial latitude in the language of the title/claim” because, under 35 U.S.C. § 112, “the claim defines ‘the subject matter which the inventor or joint inventor regards as the invention.’” MPEP § 1503.01(I).

          The Federal Circuit’s decision in Curver creates incentives for applicants to seek broader titles in order to obtain broader scope. In theory, that incentive would be counter-balanced by the fact that a broader title would create a broader universe of § 102 prior art. But given how difficult it is for patent examiners and accused infringers to find relevant prior art (an issue I discuss here), that seems unlikely to be a significant deterrent to over-claiming.

          The risk of prosecution history estoppel might be a more significant practical deterrent. Curver initially claimed a “design for a furniture part.” When the examiner deemed that “too vague,” Curver amended the claim to refer to a “chair.” The Federal Circuit ruled that this amendment did limit the claim. Future applicants will have every incentive to push back on these types of rejections, putting pressure on the USPTO to enunciate clearer rules about how specific article identifications need to be.

          In that respect, the USPTO (and anyone who’s interested in this topic) may want to revisit the CCPA’s 1931 decision in In re Schnell. In that case, the applicant attempted to frame its claim very broadly and the CCPA rejected that attempt. In doing so, the CCPA engaged in a thoughtful and nuanced discussion about how different types of designs might lend themselves to different types of claiming and how those claims might affect a design patent’s scope. The approach taken in Schnell is not the only possible (or necessarily the best) approach, but it’s worth considering.

        • Patent Term Adjustment: When does the RCE End?

          Utility patents have a term of 20-years from the effective filing date of the patent application (not counting national-stage priority or provisional applications). Since patent rights are not complete until the patent issues, a long period of prosecution can eat-into the effective length of the patent term. However, Congress has provided for a generous Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) designed to add extra days to the patent term in order to compensate for lengthy prosecution periods.

          This appeal is focused on the PTA guarantee of “no more than 3-year application pendency” 35 U.S.C. § 154(b)(1)(B). If the application is pending for more than three years, then the patentee will receive day-for-day additional patent term. One major exception to the 3-year timeline is that it does not include RCE time: “not including — (i) any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under § 132(b).”

          [...]

          On appeal here, the Federal Circuit sided with the PTO — holding that a “declaration of an interference is tantamount to a Notice of Allowance.” Here, the court found that “examination clearly did not end until the date the Notice of Allowance was mailed.”

        • Thryv v. Click-to-Call: Accuracy vs Efficiency; Merits vs Technicality

          The inter partes review (IPR) petition challenging Click-to-Call’s U.S. Patent 5,818,836 was filed by Ingenio who later became Dex Media and who is now known as Thryv. The PTAB instituted the petition and later found the claims unpatentable. On appeal, Federal Circuit sided with the patentee — holding (on rehearing) that the IPR should not have been instituted in the first place and thus vacating the final written decision. In particular, the court held that prior litigation on the patent triggered the 1-year time-bar of Section 315(b). The en banc majority also held that the “nonappealable” statutory language was not strong enough to bar appeals of situations like this – where Director’s decision to institute went outside of her statutory authority. In Cuozzo v. Lee (2015), the Supreme Court arguably authorized such review:

          [...]

          The Gov’t explains its conclusion of no-appellate-authority as consistent with Cuozzo. In particular, Cuozzo explains that the no-appeal provision applies to questions “closely tied to the application and interpretation of statutes related to the Patent Office’s decision to initiate inter partes review.” The Gov’t key authority on this front is the dissent filed by Justice Alito in Cuozzo itself. Alito particularly argued that limitations in the Cuozzo majority opinion would leave the courts “powerless” to curb abuses by the PTO, including improper policing of the 315(b) time bar.

      • Trademarks
        • AB InBev Fails To Get ‘Patagonia’ Trademark Suit Dismissed

          Earlier this year, we discussed a trademark suit brought against Anheuser-Busch InBev by Patagonia, the famed outer-wear maker known best for its association with skiing and outdoor sports apparel. While we usually make a big deal about market separation when it comes to trademark enforcement, this case was notable for two reasons. First, the trade dress choices made by AB InBev for its “Patagonia” beer were quite similar to Patagonia’s trademarks, not to mention that AB hosted popup locations at skiing and biking locations to sell its beer, exactly where Patagonia is so well known. Second, AB is a notorious trademark hound, gobbling up all kinds of marks and then wielding them like a cudgel against small entities. If anyone were going to be sensitive to the trademark rights of others, you would think it would be a company like AB. But not so much.

        • CJEU says that all practically significant and demonstrated uses must be taken into account in examining distinctiveness

          To what extent must the unusual use of a sign be considered by the competent authority in the examination of the distinctive character of such sign?

          This is the question the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had to answer in case C-541/18.

          [...]

          The CJEU reasoned that sign comprising a hashtag cannot a priori be considered as lacking distinctive character. In fact, the analysis of the distinctive character must be conducted by the competent authorities within the meaning of article 3 of Directive 2008/95, considering the goods and services, the relevant public, and all the relevant facts and circumstances in concreto.

          The CJEU, however, noted that the applicant for a trade mark is not required to indicate or even to know precisely, when applying for registration, the use he will make of the mark applied for, if registered.

        • ‘Never rest’: strategies for handling trademark fair use

          Panellists at the AIPPI World Congress in London discussed case studies and strategies for brand owners faced with claims of fair use as a defence

          [...]

          A recent case in China involved Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda movie trademark and a Chinese company that had registered a mark using the Chinese translation of Kung Fu Panda and claimed fair use. The Supreme People’s Court outlined the decisive elements in deciding whether there is descriptive and fair use. These decisive elements include whether the use is in good faith, when the trademark was first used and whether the mark is used in a prominent way. Although the intention of a user plays a role, it is hard to define and often poses a challenge for brand owners.

      • Copyrights
        • When two worlds collide: museum copyright in the digital age

          During today’s session, “The Art of IP: Museums and Architecture,” panellists offered perspectives on the protection of photos of artwork in the public domain under copyright law in the EU, the UK and the US. There remain differences in the originality requirements, right of panorama and resale right of artists, and the specifics of protection often clash with the public interest.

          Thomas Koch, presiding judge at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, highlighted a German case in which a museum published photos of one of its collections that had an expired copyright. These pictures were subsequently loaded onto Wikipedia and the artist of the collection sued for copyright infringement. Under the Berne Convention and European Directive 2016/116, Article 1(1), copyright protection can be afforded for the life of the author plus 70 years after his death.

        • The Cofemel decision well beyond the ‘simple’ issue of designs and copyright

          The ruling is not surprising, considering earlier CJEU case law, most notably the decision in Flos, C-168/09. This was a reference from Italy asking about the compatibility with EU law of certain Italian provisions that the Court of First Instance of Milan had deemed potentially incompatible with the principle of cumulation envisaged under EU law. The Italian approach to copyright protection of designs has been traditionally rooted within the principle of scindibilità (separability). The CJEU held that EU law prohibits Member States from denying copyright protection to designs that meet the requirements for copyright protection – including designs other than registered ones (subject to Article 17 of the Design Directive) – and suggested that Member States cannot set any particular requirements as to how protection is to be secured.

          [...]

          In its Cofemel judgment, the CJEU proceeded along the very lines set by these earlier rulings. It may be worth noting that the Judge Rapporteur was Mr Malenovský, ie the same judge who – besides acting as rapporteur in over 50% of the copyright referrals today, was also the rapporteur in Infopaq.

          The key question referred by the Portuguese Supreme Court was whether EU law (specifically: Article 2(a) of the InfoSoc Directive) prevents Member States from granting copyright protection to designs subject to requirements other than originality, eg, a high level of artistic value, as per the traditional Italian scindibilità and German Stufentheorie).

          [...]

          First, the judgment suggests that only the objective criteria indicated therein need to be satisfied: hence, there is no (longer) room for any requirement of artistic value or intent, as is instead still the case in certain jurisdictions. So, if we take the UK, the category of works of artistic craftmanship needs to be seriously re-considered. Furthermore, approaches like the one adopted by the UK Supreme Court in Lucasfilm (the Stormtrooper Helmet case) in relation to artistic works appear even more questionable than what could have possibly been the case so far.

          Second, in line with earlier case law up till the Levola Hengelo ruling, Cofemel indicates that exhaustive lists of protectable subject matter (as is the case of, eg, the UK) are really incompatible with EU law. Protection only arises when there is a work in the sense clarified by the Court: no other requirements are needed. And, in line with the point above, copyright protection cannot arise at different conditions depending on the ‘category’ the object at issue belongs to.

        • Who owns copyright in Uganda’s National Anthem?

          In 1962, the Ugandan government advertised an open competition for the composition of the national anthem. Aside from indicating that the winning entry would be adopted as the national anthem and that Shs.2000 would be paid to the composer of the winning entry, no conditions (particularly, no copyright conditions) were indicated on the advertisement. Subsequently, the government selected Professor Kokoma’s composition and adopted it with some amendments. Professor Kokoma was paid Shs2,000 for winning the competition. Professor Kokoma subsequently sought compensation or payment in order to assign copyright in his composition to the Ugandan Government but was unsuccessful. He then instituted an action for copyright infringement, and claimed inter alia, royalties for use of copyright and damages for infringement at the lower court.

          The lower court held that Professor Kokoma was not entitled to the reliefs sought. However, the court awarded the sum of Shs. 50million ($13,000 approximately) to Professor Kokoma as a remedy it deemed “just and fitting in the circumstances” given the value of the composition and the time and effort Professor Kokoma expended in creating the composition. Dissatisfied with the court’s finding that he did not own copyright and with the sum of awarded, Professor Kokoma’s wife, as representative of his estate appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment of the lower court and held that Professor Kokoma did not own copyright in the national anthem, rather the Ugandan Government owned copyright because it organised the contest and managed the process of submissions up to the selection and adoption of George Kokoma’s entry as the national anthem. According to the Court of Appeal, such activities meant that the composition was undertaken under the government’s direction or control.

          [...]

          The Court of Appeal rightly identified that the resolution of the appeal hinged on the determination of the person who owned copyright in the composition. Further, given that section 8 of the Copyright Act deals with copyright involving the government, the court rightly relied on that section as a basis for its judgment. However, in holding that copyright vested in the Government because the composition was made under the direction and control of the government under section 8(2), the Court of Appeal did not consider the purport of section 8(3) of the Act.

        • The MoviePass Mess Has Finally Come To An End

          Moviepass is no more. The company’s all you can eat movie ticket business model never worked as advertised, and a letter to subscribers informed them that the service would be shutting down over the weekend. Users are supposed to be getting refunds without having to ask for them.

        • Swiss Copyright Law: Downloading Stays Legal, No Site Blocking

          Switzerland’s National Council has passed amendments aimed at modernizing the country’s copyright law to make it more fit for the digital age. While services that host pirate sites or distribute content can expect a tougher ride moving forward, users will still be able to download pirate content for personal use. Furthermore, Swiss Internet service providers will not be required to prevent their customers accessing pirate sites.

Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 05:40:13 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Huawei MateBook laptops now come with Linux

      Huawei has launched a new range of its popular MateBook series of laptops powered by Linux but unfortunately, you’ll have to be in China to pick one up.

      The launch of the last MateBook in the US was canceled following the US government’s decision to add the Chinese networking giant to its Entity List alongside other companies that are banned from trading with the US without a special license.

      Now Huawei has released a new, slightly cheaper, version of its MateBook 13 which runs the Chinese made Linux distro, Deepin. The device is physically identical to other MateBooks which run Windows except for the fact that the Windows key now reads “start”.

    • SUSE
      • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 84

        The YaST Team finished yet another development sprint last week and we want to take the opportunity to let you all glance over the engine room to see what’s going on.

        Today we will confess an uncomfortable truth about how we manage the Qt user interface, will show you how we organize our work (or at least, how we try to keep the administrative part of that under control) and will give you a sneak peak on some upcoming YaST features and improvements.

        Let’s go for it!

      • Lunar Vacation Planning

        HPE, one of SUSE’s most important partners in High-Performance Computing and the advancement of science and technology, is now building NASA’s new supercomputer named “Aitken” to support Artemis and future human missions to the moon. HPE’s “Aitken” supercomputer will be built at NASA’s Ames Research Center and will run SUSE Linux Enterprise HPC (co-located where the Pleiades supercomputer – also SUSE-based – has been advancing research for several years). Aitken will run extremely complex simulations for entry, descent and landing on the moon as part of the Artemis program. The missions include landing the next humans on the lunar south polar region by 2024 (on the rim of the Shackleton crater, which experiences constant indirect sunlight for a toasty -300 degrees Fahrenheit).

    • Server
      • Powering Docker App: Next Steps for Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB)

        Last year at DockerCon and Microsoft Connect, we announced the Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB) specification in partnership with Microsoft, HashiCorp, and Bitnami. Since then the CNAB community has grown to include Pivotal, Intel, DataDog, and others, and we are all happy to announce that the CNAB core specification has reached 1.0.

        We are also announcing the formation of the CNAB project under the Joint Development Foundation, a part of the Linux Foundation that’s chartered with driving adoption of open source and standards. The CNAB specification is available at cnab.io. Docker is working hard with our partners and friends in the open source community to improve software development and operations for everyone.

      • CNAB ready for prime time, says Docker

        Docker announced yesterday that CNAB, a specification for creating multi-container applications, has come of age. The spec has made it to version 1.0, and the Linux Foundation has officially accepted it into the Joint Development Foundation, which drives open-source development.

        The Cloud Native Application Bundle specification is a multi-company effort that defines how the different components of a distributed cloud-based application are bundled together. Docker announced it last December along with Microsoft, HashiCorp, and Bitnami. Since then, Intel has joined the party along with Pivotal and DataDog.

        It solves a problem that DevOps folks have long grappled with: how do you bolt all these containers and other services together in a standard way? It’s easy to create a Docker container with a Docker file, and you can pull lots of them together to form an application using Docker Compose. But if you want to package other kinds of container or cloud results into the application, such as Kubernetes YAML, Helm charts, or Azure Resource Manager templates, things become more difficult. That’s where CNAB comes in.

      • IBM
        • CentOS 8 To Be Released Next Week

          The CentOS Project has announced that CentOS 8.0 will be available for download beginning Tuesday, September 24. This release was deferred so that work to release CentOS 7.7 could be completed, which means that CentOS 7.7 will be out shortly as well (and 7.7 it is already beginning to appear in mirrors and repos). This comes 20 weeks to the day from the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

        • RHEL8-Based CentOS 8.0 Slated To Be Released Next Week

          It looks like CentOS 8.0 as the community and cost-free re-spin of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 will finally ship next week.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 was released in early May that then set off the races for the CentOS developers to work on this next major release, some of which developers are employed by Red Hat. Good progress was made early on and in June we heard CentOS 8.0 could ship in a month or two but that didn’t happen.

        • [CentOS-announce] Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1908) on the x86_64 Architecture Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1908) on the x86_64 Architecture We are pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 7 (1908) for the x86_64 architecture. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 7 and is tagged as 1908, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 Source Code. As always, read through the Release Notes at : http://wiki.centos.org/Manuals/ReleaseNotes/CentOS7 - these notes contain important information about the release and details about some of the content inside the release from the CentOS QA team. These notes are updated constantly to include issues and incorporate feedback from the users.
        • CentOS 7.7 Released As The Last Stop Before CentOS 8.0
    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • The Grey Havens | Coder Radio 375

        We say goodbye to the show by taking a look back at a few of our favorite moments and reflect on how much has changed in the past seven years.

      • 09/16/2019 | Linux Headlines

        A new Linux Kernel is out; we break down the new features, PulseAudio goes pro and the credential-stealing LastPass flaw.

        Plus the $100 million plan to rid the web of ads, and more.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux 5.3 kernel bundles new, cuddlier, swear-free Torvalds with AMD Radeon Navi graphics support

        A softer, gentler Linus Torvalds released the Linux 5.3 kernel over the weekend and swung open the doors on 5.4.

        Things were held up a little this time around, something Torvalds attributed to his travel schedule rather than anything more sinister. He was, however, pleased to note that the extra week meant that a few last-minute fixes could be squeezed in.

        While not an earth-shattering release, the 5.3 kernel has brought support for the new AMD Radeon Navi graphics cards, such as the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT and x86 Zhaoxin CPUs. Other silicon-supporting tweaks included improvements to Intel Icelake graphics and Intel HDR display support.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 released and here is how to install it

        What’s new in Linux kernel 5.3

        Driver support for AMD Navi GPUs.
        Support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs.
        Better management of PIDs on Linux that solves PID reuse problems.
        Improved power management for Xeon CPUs that supports Intel speed select technology.
        Linux now supports the 0.0.0.0/8 IPv4 range. Please note that it is not declared as standards and followed by other operating systems. But it now a valid IPv4 address range, allowing for 16 million new IPv4 addresses.
        The ACRN hypervisor IoT device. The ACRN created with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to embedded development.
        Support improved and added for tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and mouses.
        Apple MacBook and MacBook pro keyboard support for Linux desktop users
        File systems have improved for NFS, CIFS, AFS, CODA, OCFS2, Ceph, ext4, Btrfs, and XFS.
        Linux support for measuring the boot command line during kexec
        New support for TCG2 event logs on EFI systems
        Kernel has the ability to filter audit records based on the network address family and more.

      • Linux 5.4 Adds Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Supports Some Newer ARM Laptops

        The ARM SoC platform and driver changes landed on Monday during the first full day of the Linux 5.4 merge window. There is some exciting ARM hardware support improvements for this kernel while doing away with some older platforms.

      • Linux 5.4 Continues Sound Open Firmware, Improvements For AMD/NVIDIA HDMI Audio

        Linux 5.4 will sound better. Well, at least provide audio support on more hardware with this next kernel release thanks to the latest batch of open-source sound improvements.

      • Linux 5.4 Dropping Support For The Itanium IA64-Powered SGI Altix

        With Intel having ended the Itanium CPU family at the beginning of the year and much of the open-source/Linux software support for IA64 already having been on the decline for years, the Linux kernel is beginning to remove more IA64 bits. This comes following IA64 support being deprecated for GCC 10 and likely removed for the GCC 11 release in 2021. Once that IA64 support is gone from GCC, chances are the Linux kernel support for IA64 will be dropped entirely since there isn’t any other compiler capable of building the Linux kernel and supporting IA64 as well as GCC.

      • Linux 5.4 Scheduler Changes Bring Better AMD EPYC Load Balancing, Other Optimizations

        The Linux 5.4 scheduler changes are fairly exciting on multiple fronts.

        One of the Linux 5.4 scheduler changes we have been looking forward to is improved EPYC load balancing and that work is indeed part of today’s pull request. The better EPYC load balancing is a scheduler topology improvement to better deal with load balancing across NUMA nodes on EPYC 2P servers. I’ll be running some benchmarks of this EPYC-specific scheduler change in the days ahead.

    • Benchmarks
      • AMD EPYC 7302 / 7402 / 7502 / 7742 Linux Performance Benchmarks

        Last month we provided launch-day benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 7502 and 7742 under Linux in both 1P and 2P configurations for these exciting “Rome” Zen 2 server processors. For your viewing pleasure today is a fresh look at not only the EPYC 7502 and 7742 processors under the latest Linux 5.3 kernel but we’ve also expanded it to looking at the EPYC 7302 and EPYC 7402 processors as well with those processors recently being sent over by AMD. Under Ubuntu 19.04 with Linux 5.3, these four different AMD EPYC 7002 series SKUs were benchmarked along with some of the older AMD Naples processors and Intel Xeon Gold/Platinum processors for a fresh look at the Linux server performance.

    • Applications
      • Flathub vs. Snap Store: Which App Store Should You Use?

        Linux package management has come a long way from the nightmare it used to be. Still, the package managers provided by distributions aren’t always perfect. The Snap and Flatpak formats have made it much easier to install software no matter what distro you’re running.

        Both Snap and Flatpak files are often available on a given app’s website, but both of these formats have their own centralized marketplaces. Which one is right for you? It’s not an easy question to answer.

      • Zotero and LibreOffice

        If you’re working with LibreOffice and need to create a bibliography, this software makes it simple to manage your citations.

        You can tell how few people use LibreOffice’s Bibliography Database by the fact that a bug that would take 10 minutes to fix has survived since 2002. Instead, those who need bibliographies or citations rely on other software such as Zotero, which can be integrated into LibreOffice with an extension.

        That robust bug is that the Citation Format in the database table is called the Short Name in the input fields. Even more confusing, the examples give an arbitrary name, when to work with the citation insertion tool in Insert | Table of Contents and Index | Insert Bibliography Entry, it should in a standard form, such as (Byfield: 2016) for the MLA format. Add the fact that a single database is used for all files – an absurdity in these memory-rich days – and the neglect of the Bibliography Database is completely understandable.

      • PulseCaster 0.9 released!

        For starters, PulseCaster is now ported to Python 3. I used Python 3.6 and Python 3.7 to do the porting. Nothing in the code should be particular to either version, though. But you’ll need to have Python 3 installed to use it, as most Linux bistros do these days.

        Another enhancement is that PulseCaster now relies on the excellent pulsectl library for Python, by George Filipkin and Mike Kazantsev. Hats off to them for doing a great job, which allowed me to remove many, many lines of code from this release.

        Also, due the use of PyGObject3 in this release, there are numerous improvements that make it easier for me to hack on. Silly issues with the GLib mainloop and other entrance/exit stupidity are hopefully a bit better now.

        Also, the code for dealing with temporary files is now a bit less ugly. I still want to do more work on the overall design and interface, and have ideas. I’ve gotten way better at time management since the last series of releases and hope to do some of this over the USA holiday season this late fall and winter (but no promises).

      • Lifeograph is an encrypted journal application for Windows, Linux and Android

        Keeping a journal is a nice way to reflect upon oneself. It can help you become a better person, nurture good habits, can be used for research, making budgets, make health related notes, or jot down anything else that you may want to keep a record of.

        When it comes to a diary application on computers, there aren’t a lot of options. RedNotebook is probably the best one I have used. I wanted something better and that’s how I stumbled across Lifeograph.

      • PulseAudio 13.0 release notes
      • PulseAudio 13.0 Released With Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support

        PulseAudio 13.0 brings Meson build system support, it adopted the FreeDesktop.org Code of Conduct, passthrough support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio is now available, card profile selection support for ALSA cards, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, new options, and a ton of other improvements with this PulseAudio sound server update more than one year in the making.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • Lenna’s Inception, the Zelda-like action-adventure RPG is looking brilliant in the latest trailer

        Lenna’s Inception, a name I’ve honestly not heard of since 2013 is closing in on release with a brand new trailer and some big news about the development.

        It’s being created by Bytten Studio, which is comprised of Jay Baylis and Tom Coxon, who both left Chucklefish recently to go full-time with Bytten Studio and Lenna’s Inception. Chucklefish were going to be publishing it still, however, they announced on Twitter earlier today that they will be “self-publishing Lenna’s Inception” so they’re as indie as you can get now.

        [...]

        Awesome news! Not only are we seeing another sweet looking game, it’s being made by a Linux developer too. That’s still quite uncommon and always surprises me.

      • ScummVM 2.1.0 is now ready for testing with support for more major classics

        ScummVM, the clever bit of software enabling many classic point-and-click adventure games to run nicely on modern systems has a big new release in need of some testing.

      • Build and manage your very own vineyard in Terroir, now available for Linux on GOG

        GOG have added another Linux game to their DRM-free collection recently with the tycoon vineyard building game Terroir now up.

      • Linux 5.4 To Fix Many Newer 64-bit Windows Games On Wine / Steam Play

        A kernel patch from CodeWeavers is landing in the Linux 5.4 kernel and will help some 64-bit Windows games run nicely under Wine (and the likes of CrossOver / Valve’s Proton) with newer Intel and AMD systems.

        With the few x86 Assembly patches for Linux 5.4 is a UMIP addition by CodeWeavers’ Brendan Shanks that ends up being quite important for running a number of Windows games under Proton/Wine on newer AMD/Intel Linux systems.

      • You may want to hold off on Linux Kernel 5.3 and systemd 243 if you use a gamepad

        Did you do a big system upgrade recently and notice you’re having gamepad issues? You’re not alone. Time to downgrade perhaps.

        To be clear this might only be an issue for the more bleeding-edge distributions which update more often, or those of you who are doing some manual updates to their system. The distributions that update more slowly like Ubuntu are likely unaffected right now.

      • Cascade – a turn-based text arcade game

        I wrote this game about 20 years ago. Glad to see it still compiled out of the box on the latest Linux distro! Download it from here. If anyone can remember the name or any details of the original 1980s MS-DOS game that I copied the idea from, please let me know in the comments.

      • PyGame: A Primer on Game Programming in Python

        When I started learning computer programming late in the last millennium, it was driven by my desire to write computer games. I tried to figure out how to write games in every language and on every platform I learned, including Python. That’s how I discovered pygame and learned how to use it to write games and other graphical programs. At the time, I really wanted a primer on pygame.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • New Website Showcases KDE Plasma Desktop

          The KDE Plasma desktop environment is, if based on nothing other than readers’ comments alone, pretty well regarded.

          So when I heard about a shiny new website to showcase the KDE Plasma desktop and its compelling feature set had gone live, I had to write about it.

          KDE Developer Carl Schwan describes the revamped landing page as a “huge improvement [over] the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.”

          Through some web magic the website guides new and existing users alike through the core KDE Plasma desktop GUI, like the Plasma launcher and system tray, while surfacing other details, like the Discover software store.

        • SFXR Qt 1.3.0

          I just released version 1.3.0 of SFXR Qt, my Qt port of the SFXR sound effect generator.

        • Chocolatey package for LabPlot available

          While we’re spending quite some time now finalizing the next release of LabPlot which will be announced soon, we continue getting feedback from our users and we try to incorporate as much as possible into the upcoming release.

          This feedback usually consists of different discussions around the existing features in LabPlot or features that need to be added in near future, around bugs, etc. Recently we’ve got a somewhat different feedback informing us about the availability of a Chocolatey package for LabPlot.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Molly de Blanc: Meet the GNOMEies: Sammy Fung

          Sammy is a freelancer, community organizer, and GNOME enthusiast from Hong Kong. For almost 20 years, Sammy has been using, GNOME and building community in Asia.

        • Bin Li: GUADEC 2019

          Thessaloniki is very peaceful place, every morning I liked to walk along the seaside to the venue. As usual, it was a great and enjoyable GUADEC, thanks to everyone who helped to make it.

          In core days I attended a lot of great talks in this year, I learned a lot of latest status of GNOME, and here are my favorite talks, “Managing GNOME Sessions with Systemd“, “State of the Shell“, “Packing up Boxes“, “Modernizing Desktop Linux Development with Containers“, “Is the Linux Desktop Really Dead?“.

          I also enjoy watching Lighting talks every year. In this year Britt Yazel’s lighting talks, I knew the GUADEC App was based on Connfa, and it’s also an open source project. This App is very convenient, I could check schedule at any time.

        • Towards a UX Strategy for GNOME (Part 3)

          This post is part of a series on UX strategy. In my previous two posts, I described what I hope are the beginnings of a UX strategy for GNOME. In the first post, I described some background research and analysis. In the second post, I introduced what I think ought to be the high-level goals and principles for the UX strategy.

          Now it’s time for the fun bit! For this instalment, I’m going to go over recent work that the GNOME design team has been doing. I’m doing this for two reasons. First: I want to show off some of the great work that the design team has been doing! Second, I want to show this design work fits into the strategic approach that I’ve previously described. A key element of that plan was to prioritise on areas which will have the biggest impact, and I’m going to be using the prioritisation word a lot in what follows.

        • Getting GNOME 3.34 on Various GNU/Linux Distros

          like to list out popular GNU/Linux distros that already ship latest desktop environment. For GNOME 3.34 case, currently I found Desktop Live distros that include it built-in to be Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE. You can download them and immediately test GNOME. Other names worth mentioning but I don’t present them here are Alpine GNU/Linux, Debian, and Mageia. I write this at 17 September so things might change by day later. By this article, I also want to introduce several special distros like GNOME:Next and a certain awesome community service like Repology for you. Enjoy GNOME 3.34!

        • GNOME 3.34: Between Fedora Rawhide and openSUSE GNOME:Next
    • Distributions
      • Oracle Built a Raspberry Pi Super Computer That Looks like a TARDIS

        Oracle think so, as it’s is showing off a super computer it’s built — baked? — from 1024 Raspberry Pi’s, 49 custom printed Pi holders, 22 network switches, 18 USB power supplies, and lots and lots of wiring.

        And just to ram home the “big things often come in small packages” mantra fully the chassis housing the cluster apes the TARDIS, the trans-dimensional time machine piloted by the titular character in British Sci-Fi series ‘Doctor Who’.

        The Pi-packed machine is running Oracle Autonomous Linux and Java (naturally). It’s currently being put to use advancing scientific understanding rendering selfies at the Oracle OpenWorld event happening in San Francisco, USA between September 16-19.

      • Oracle announces Oracle Autonomous Linux

        Oracle on Monday announced Oracle Autonomous Linux, an autonomous operating system. Autonomous Linux provisions itself, scales itself, tunes itself and patches itself while running.

        “Autonomy is the defining technology of a second generation cloud,” Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison said in his keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Two years ago, Oracle introduced the Autonomous Database . The company’s ultimate goal, he said, is to build “the world’s first complete and truly autonomous cloud.”

      • Oracle launches completely autonomous operating system

        Together, these two solutions provide automated patching, updates, and tuning. This includes 100 percent automatic daily security updates to the Linux kernel and user space library. In addition, patching can be done while the system is running, instead of a sysadmin having to take systems down to patch them. This reduces downtime and helps to eliminate some of the friction between developers and IT, explained Coekaerts.

      • How App Stores Are Addressing Fragmentation in the Linux Ecosystem

        According to DistroWatch, 273 Linux distributions are currently active, with another 56 dormant and 521 discontinued. While some of these have shared underpinnings, it still makes for an extremely varied landscape for companies and developers.

        It means developers must create multiple versions of their applications to be able to provide their software to all Linux users or just address a fraction of the market. Also, developers require multiple versions of build tools, which inevitably results in significant resource overhead.

        Desktop application distribution is complex across all operating systems in general; in Linux, this is further compounded by such fragmentation and inter-dependencies both in the packaging and distribution of software.

        For example, Fedora uses the RPM packaging format, while Debian uses the .deb format. Moreover, packages built for one version of a Linux distribution are often incompatible with other versions of the same distribution and need to be built for each version separately.

      • New Releases
        • Manjaro 18.1.0 (Juhraya) Officially Released

          Philm has announced the new release of Manjaro 18.1.0, after six months of development.

          This new version of the Manjaro 18.1 is named as “Juhraya”.

          This release brings the Xfce, KDE and Gnome desktop versions.

          This release includes a number of improvements. But the main improvement in this release is the choice of office applications.

          Until now, only LibreOffice has been pre-installed. But starting from Manjaro 18.1, you have the option to install LibreOffice or Free Office.

          FreeOffice 2018 seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office. It natively uses the current Microsoft file formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

        • Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

          Drobbins has announced the new release of Funtoo Linux 1.4 on Sep 11, 2019.

          This release is based on a 21 June 2019 snapshot of Gentoo Linux with significant updates to key parts of the system, such as compiler and OpenGL subsystem.

          This is the fourth release of the Funtoo Linux 1.x series, which may be the last update of this release, as the developer said he would start developing 2.0 a month later.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Fedora Family
        • Fedora Community Blog: GSoC summer 2019: Fedora Gooey Karma

          The day GSoC projects list was published I started sorting out all the organizations that I’d enjoy working with. Being a Linux user/enthusiast I filtered down to a bunch of Linux distros and desktop managers. Sorting out all the projects, Fedora-Gooey-Karma seemed to be a project that suited the skills I have.

          Once I was sure that Fedora Gooey Karma is a project that I would love to work on during the summer, I mailed @sumantro about the project. We talked about the project on mails.

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-37

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 Beta is go!

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • PHP version 7.2.23RC1 and 7.3.10RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests (for x86_64 only), and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.10RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.23RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 29 or remi-php72-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Karsten Hopp: Onboarding Fedora Infrastructure

          I’m using / working on Fedora since FC-1 and just recently joined the Infrastructure team.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day 2019-09-18

          Wednesday, 2019-09-18 is the Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.34 in Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • EPEL Bug: Bash errors on recent EL-8 systems.

          Last week, I got asked about a problem with using EPEL-8 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 8 where trying to install packages failed due to bad license file. I duplicated the problem on RHEL-8 which had not happened before some recent updates.

        • Fedora 31 Beta Released With GNOME 3.34, Guts i686 Hardware Support
        • Announcing the release of Fedora 31 Beta

          The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Fedora 31 Beta, the next step towards our planned Fedora 31 release at the end of October.

          The newest release of the GNOME desktop environment is full of performance enhancements and improvements. The beta ships with a prerelease, and the full 3.34 release will be available as an update. For a full list of GNOME 3.34 highlights, see the release notes.

        • Fedora Linux 31 Beta is here

          Fedora may not be the flashiest or most exciting Linux distribution, but it is very reliable. You can always depend on the operating system to be rock solid and very modern. Best of all, it focuses on true open source ideology — there are no non-free packages by default. I tend to “distro hop” out of curiosity, but no matter what, I always find my way back to Fedora.

          Fedora 31 is due later this year, but first, there needs to be some beta testing. And so, today, Fedora 31 Beta is made available for download. Unfortunately, details surrounding version 31 are a bit sparse. With that said, one big change involves Fedora users with ARM 64-based single board computers, such as a Raspberry Pi. Those folks will get access to an additional desktop spin — the lightweight Xfce.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedocal and Nuancier are looking for new maintainers

          Recently the Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team announced that we need to focus on key areas and thus let some of our applications go. So we started Friday with Infra to find maintainers for some of those applications. Unfortunately the first few occurrences did not seem to raise as much interest as we had hoped. As a result we are still looking for new maintainers for Fedocal and Nuancier.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • The 32-Bit Packages That Will Continue To Be Supported Through Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Earlier this year Canonical announced they would be pulling 32-bit support from Ubuntu ahead of next year’s 20.04 LTS. But following public backlash, they stepped back to provide 32-bit support for select packages. Today they announced the 199 32-bit packages that will continue to be supported through Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Based upon popularity when looking at i386 packages that are not x86_64 (AMD64) packaged as well as feedback from their customers/partners, they have come up with a list of the 32-bit packages they will continue to support. Their list is 52 packages but with dependencies comes out to about 199 packages in the i386 realm they will continue to support.

        • Ubuntu Devs Detail Plan for 32-bit Support in Ubuntu 19.10
        • Design and Web team summary – 17 September 2019

          This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 596

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 596 for the week of September 8 – 14, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Introduction to MicroK8s – Part 1/2

          Every developer, systems admin and tech enthusiast is interested in learning Kubernetes. Kubernetes is a complex container orchestration tool that can be overwhelming for beginners. Kubernetes has been the buzzword in the tech industry and for good reason. If you’re itching to get started with Kubernetes and not looking forward to the complexities involved, this first blog of a series is for you. We’ll walk you through getting up and running in a jiffy with a Kubernetes deployment using MicroK8s. The following blogs will do a deeper dive into add-ons and usage.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Artificial Intelligence Confronts a ‘Reproducibility’ Crisis

        Lo and behold, the system began performing as advertised. The lucky break was a symptom of a troubling trend, according to Pineau. Neural networks, the technique that’s given us Go-mastering bots and text generators that craft classical Chinese poetry, are often called black boxes because of the mysteries of how they work. Getting them to perform well can be like an art, involving subtle tweaks that go unreported in publications. The networks also are growing larger and more complex, with huge data sets and massive computing arrays that make replicating and studying those models expensive, if not impossible for all but the best-funded labs.

        “Is that even research anymore?” asks Anna Rogers, a machine-learning researcher at the University of Massachusetts. “It’s not clear if you’re demonstrating the superiority of your model or your budget.”

      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • Moving Firefox to a faster 4-week release cycle

            We typically ship a major Firefox browser (Desktop and Android) release every 6 to 8 weeks. Building and releasing a browser is complicated and involves many players. To optimize the process, and make it more reliable for all users, over the years we’ve developed a phased release strategy that includes ‘pre-release’ channels: Firefox Nightly, Beta, and Developer Edition. With this approach, we can test and stabilize new features before delivering them to the majority of Firefox users via general release.

            And today we’re excited to announce that we’re moving to a four-week release cycle! We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence.

            Starting Q1 2020, we plan to ship a major Firefox release every 4 weeks. Firefox ESR release cadence (Extended Support Release for the enterprise) will remain the same. In the years to come, we anticipate a major ESR release every 12 months with 3 months support overlap between new ESR and end-of-life of previous ESR. The next two major ESR releases will be ~June 2020 and ~June 2021.

          • Examining AI’s Effect on Media and Truth

            Today, one of the biggest issues facing the internet — and society — is misinformation.

            It’s a complicated issue, but this much is certain: The artificial intelligence (AI) powering the internet is complicit. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook recommend and amplify content that will keep us clicking, even if it’s radical or flat out wrong.

            Earlier this year, Mozilla called for art and advocacy projects that illuminate the role AI plays in spreading misinformation. And today, we’re announcing the winners: Eight projects that highlight how AI like machine learning impacts our understanding of the truth.

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Governments should work to strengthen online security, not undermine it

            On Friday, Mozilla filed comments in a case brought by Privacy International in the European Court of Human Rights involving government “computer network exploitation” (“CNE”)—or, as it is more colloquially known, government hacking.

            While the case focuses on the direct privacy and freedom of expression implications of UK government hacking, Mozilla intervened in order to showcase the further, downstream risks to users and internet security inherent in state CNE. Our submission highlights the security and related privacy threats from government stockpiling and use of technology vulnerabilities and exploits.

            Government CNE relies on the secret discovery or introduction of vulnerabilities—i.e., bugs in software, computers, networks, or other systems that create security weaknesses. “Exploits” are then built on top of the vulnerabilities. These exploits are essentially tools that take advantage of vulnerabilities in order to overcome the security of the software, hardware, or system for purposes of information gathering or disruption.

            When such vulnerabilities are kept secret, they can’t be patched by companies, and the products containing the vulnerabilities continue to be distributed, leaving people at risk. The problem arises because no one—including government—can perfectly secure information about a vulnerability. Vulnerabilities can be and are independently discovered by third parties and inadvertently leaked or stolen from government.

          • Time for some project updates

            I’m going to begin with some of the less-loved things I’ve been working on, partially in an attempt to motivate some forward-motion on things that I believe are rather important to Mozilla.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • LineStyle Extension for LibO

          I update the LineStyles for LibreOffice for the 6.4 release but in addition I made an Extension for all users how like to have > 20 different predefined LineStyles.

        • BPMN Shapes for LibreOffice

          Two months ago I post my todo list for LibreOffice 6.4 and I my work is already available via LibreOffice extensions.

      • BSD
        • GhostBSD 19.09 Now Available

          GhostBSD 19.09 has some considerable changes happened, like moving the system to STABLE instead of CURRENT for ABI stability with the integration of the latest system update developed by TrueOS. This also means that current users will need to reinstall GhostBSD unless they were running on the development version of GhostBSD 19.09. GhostBSD 19.09 marks the last major changes the breaks updates for software and system upgrade.

        • GhostBSD 19.09 Provides A Good BSD Desktop Built Off TrueOS & FreeBSD 12

          TrueOS changing direction was a disappointment back in 2018 with having done away with their desktop version that had been around for years since formerly being known as PC-BSD. But at least there are a few viable alternatives that continue advancing for a nice out-of-the-box BSD desktop experience like GhostBSD and MidnightBSD.

          GhostBSD 19.09 was released this week as a big update to this FreeBSD-powered desktop-focused operating system. GhostBSD 19.09 is built off FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE while also pulling in TrueOS packages, GhostBSD 19.09 also has an updated OpenRC init system, a lot of unnecessary software was removed, AMDGPU and Radeon KMS are now valid xconfig options, and a variety of other improvements and fixes.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Richard Stallman resigns from Free Software Foundation after defending Jeffrey Epstein behavior

          Richard M. Stallman (RMS) has been known for his work. He created the Emacs text editor and the GCC family of compilers. His work on the Gnu Public License (GPL) defined free software and, a term he hates, open-source software. For that work, he has earned accolades such a MacArthur Genius award. More recently, he’s become known more as being a crank who insists that Linux should be known as Gnu Linux and alienated many of his closest supporters over the years.

        • Michael Meeks: 2019-09-17 Tuesday.

          Up earlyish, train to Nurnberg. Really disappointed to see the outcome with RMS:
          I’ve seen Richard at a number of conferences, and I’m personally not a fan of his liberal approach to intimacy. I might be inclined to warn women of the risk of being propositioned by him in advance (arguably his door-plate is a strong hint). However, I’m aware that attitudes to this ebb & flow in the culture on this topic.
          I can only believe that RMS’ E-mail defence of Minsky is based on knowing him personally, his character and ethics, and preferring to believe he would not knowingly force himself on an unwilling minor. I would hope that my friends might defend my character posthumously.
          I fear there is a deeply worrying, ‘lynch mob’ mentality about this, where truth is de-emphasized in favour of outrage, in an attempt to right a wrong.

        • Molly de Blanc: Thinkers

          Deb is one of the many people who have helped and continue to help shape my ideas, teach me things. Allison Randall, Asheesh Laroia, Christopher Lemmer-Webber, Daniel Khan Gilmore, Elana Hashman, Gabriella Coleman, Jeffrey Warren, Karen Sandler, Karl Fogel, Stefano Zacchiroli — these are just a few of the individuals who have been necessary figures in my life.

          We don’t need to find new leaders and thinkers because they’re already here. They’ve been here, thinking, writing, speaking, and doing for years.

          What we need to do is listen to their voices.

          As I see people begin to discuss the next president of the Free Software Foundation, they do so in a context of asking who will be leading the free software movement. The free software movement is more than the FSF and it’s more than any given individual. We don’t need to go in search of the next leader, because there are leaders who work every day not just for our digital rights, but for a better world. We don’t need to define a movement by one man, nor should we do so. We instead need to look around us and listen to what is already happening.

        • Rekado: Thoughts on GNU and Richard Stallman

          As a co-maintainer of GNU packages (including Guix, the Guix Workflow Language, the Guile Picture Language, etc), and as a contributor to various other GNU software, I would like to state that while I’m grateful for Richard Stallman’s founding of the GNU project and his past contributions to GNU, it would be wrong to continue to remain silent on the negative effects his behaviour and words have had over the past years. His actions have hurt people and alienated them from the free software movement.

          When I joined GNU I used to think of Richard as just a bit of a quirky person with odd habits, with a passion for nitpicking and clear language, but also with a vision of freeing people from oppression at the hands of a boring dystopia mediated by computers. Good intentions, however, aren’t enough. Richard’s actions over the past years sadly have been detrimental to achieving the vision that he outlined in the GNU Manifesto, to benefit all computer users.

        • GNOME relationship with GNU and the FSF

          In my capacity as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, I have also written to the FSF. One of the most important parts of my role is to think of the well being of our community and the GNOME mission. One of the GNOME Foundation’s strategic goals is to be an exemplary community in terms of diversity and inclusion. I feel we can’t continue to have a formal association with the FSF or the GNU project when its main voice in the world is saying things that hurt this aim.

        • Richard Stallman jumps from MIT after controversial Epstein comments

          OPEN-SOURCE LEGEND Richard Stallman has announced his resignation from MIT, as well as his presidency of the Free Software Foundation, the group he formed that hailed the start of the open-source revolution.

          The decision comes after comments by Stallman about fellow luminary and AI pioneer Marvin Minsky, related to the Jeffery Epstein case. These were distributed in an email chain to the mailing list of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and later published by Motherboard.

        • Richard Stallman Resigns From The Free Software Foundation

          Richard M Stallman has resigned as president from the Free Software Foundation and from his Board of Directors post.

          Richard Stallman had started the GNU Project and founded the Free Software Foundation while long being known for being vocal in the free software movement. But now he is out at least in an official capacity.

          His resignation stems from comments made last week, as outlined in Vice and elsewhere.

          The Free Software Foundation confirmed RMS’ resignation on FSF.org.

          In addition to resigning from the Free Software Foundation, he also resigned from his post at MIT.

        • Richard Stallman resigns from the FSF

          With a brief announcement, the Free Software Foundation has let it be known that founder Richard Stallman has resigned both as president and from the board of directors.

        • Amid Epstein Controversy, Richard Stallman is Forced to Resign as FSF President

          If you are not aware of the context, let me provide some details.

          Richard Stallman, a 66 years old computer scientist at MIT, is best known for founding the free software movement in 1983. He also developed several software like GCC, Emacs under the GNU project. The free software movement inspired a number of projects to choose the open source GPL license. Linux is one of those projects.

          Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire American financier. He was convicted as a sex offender for running an escort service (included underage girls) for the rich and elites in his social service. He committed suicide in his prison cell while still being tried for sex trafficking charges.

          Marvin Lee Minsky was an eminent computer scientist at MIT. He founded the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT. He died at the age of 88 in 2016. After his death, an Epstein victim named Misky as one of the people she was “directed to have sex” with on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island while she was a minor.

        • Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT

          Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation has resigned and he’s also left his position in CSAIL at MIT.

          Why is this significant? Stallman and the FSF were responsible for the creation of the GNU Project, widely used GNU licenses like the GPL, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and more that were used in the creation of Linux.

          Posted on the FSF website last night was this notice:

          On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org.

          Stallman also noted on stallman.org how he’s stepped away from MIT as well, with the below statement:

          I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.

        • Richard Stallman Does Not and Cannot Speak for the Free Software Movement

          We are passionate about software freedom because we know it is a necessary precondition to safe and effective software that we can rely on in the long term. We fight for copyleft because it is a powerful tool to help us actually control the technology that is being increasingly embedded in our lives. The fight for diversity, equality and inclusion is the fight for software freedom; our movement will only be successful if it includes everyone. With these as our values and goals, we are appalled at recent statements made by the President and founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, in his recent email to the MIT CSAIL mailing list.

          When considered with other reprehensible comments he has published over the years, these incidents form a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with the goals of the free software movement. We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.

        • Richard M. Stallman Resigns

          Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns from MIT Over Epstein Comments

        • Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns From MIT Over Epstein Comments

          Famed free software advocate and computer scientist Richard Stallman has resigned from MIT, according to an email he published online. The resignation comes after Stallman made comments about victims of child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, including that the victims went along with the abuse willingly.

          “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT,” Stallman wrote in the email, referring to MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. “I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

        • Richard M. Stallman resigns

          On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts? I've been an associate member of the FSF since 2012; an attendee of LibrePlanet every year since 2013; and using, developing, and advocating for free software longer than that. I have other organizational affiliations, however I am writing in my personal capacity and opinions expressed herein are my own. Also, my apologies to those on this list who want this thread to just be over, but there have been many false statements around this issue that are important to correct. With all that said... The Vice article takes one specific quote out of context and removes key words from it to change the meaning into a clickbait headline and story. The article explains that Stallman insists that Epstein's victims were "entirely willing" to be trafficked, which is a blatant misquote. What Stallman actually wrote in the e-mail thread [1] is that, because Virginia Giuffre was coerced by Epstein, Epstein would have surely forced her to conceal the coercion from people like Marvin Minsky. Therefore she would have presented herself to Minsky as "entirely willing" and Minsky would not have needed to force himself onto her. The article's headline and entire premise that Stallman claimed that Giuffre was "willing" to be trafficked is completely disproven later in the thread when Stallman wrote, in no uncertain terms, "We know that Giuffre was being coerced into sex -- by Epstein. She was being harmed." He also wrote on his Web site a month ago [2] that he believes the accusations against Epstein of sex trafficking and that rape is unconditionally wrong. More recently he also agreed [3] that Joi Ito had to resign after admitting to covering up Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab (the original subject of the thread in question), and he clarified and reiterated that he always condemned Epstein [4]. The purpose of Stallman's message is his usual pedantry, to point out that "assault" is vague. Since the sex between Minsky and Giuffre was non-violent and Minsky may have believed Giuffre to have given him consent, Stallman's argument is that Minsky's actions don't necessarily rise to "sexual assault", a term which implies violent non-consensual sex. (I don't intend to defend Stallman's argument here -- only to clarify it.) The center of Stallman's pedantry here reads, "The word 'assaulting' presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex." Anyone on the csail-related mailing list or otherwise who doesn't regularly read his Web site or the GNU "Words to Avoid" Web page or who isn't familiar with his linguistic prescriptivism may very easily misunderstand this statement as condoning non-consensual but non-violent sex. But based on his previous condemnations of rape, I fully believe that he condemns any form of non-consensual sex, even if non-violent. I suggest that he should have been clearer there to avoid such an easy misunderstanding. Of course, his defense of Minsky (after presuming he indeed had sex with a minor) appears to rely on his unpopular but somewhat well known belief that "voluntarily [sic] pedophilia" doesn't harm children [5]. He seems to have taken for granted that Minsky should have had no reason to hesitate over having sex with a minor, as long as she appeared to him to be willing. Reportedly though, Stallman's views "changed significantly" by 2016 [6], and he confirmed on Saturday that "personal conversations in recent years" have convinced him that sex between an adult and a child is wrong [7]. This timeline between changing views in "recent years" and this thread from last Wednesday would in fact suggest that he didn't necessarily intend to exonerate Minsky at all. Instead, it suggests to me that Stallman's only intention was to seek clarification of exactly what Minsky had done. Minsky engaged in non-violent and seemingly consensual (but actually coerced by Epstein) sex with a minor. While such an act is ethically and legally wrong, Stallman is arguing that violent non-consensual sex is worse. He, pedantic as he is, wanted only to avoid conflating Minsky's actions with more violent assault. (Again, I'm explaining, not necessarily defending.) Now, we could have had a reasonable debate around whether Minsky's actions do rise to the level of "sexual assault" or we should be more specific in our terminology. We could argue that all forms of non- consensual sex are equally wrong, with or without physical violence or the appearance of consent, and that Stallman is wrong to try to disambiguate such forms. This is certainly a debatable topic, however the media immediately shut down any useful debate by going off in a completely different direction with sensationalized false claims of something Stallman definitely did not say. It's just a frustratingly and obviously absurd clickbait straw man, and one that wasn't even at all necessary in order to find controversy in what Stallman said. There was already a decent story in there, without having to lie about it. Some people have also taken this opportunity to bring up some of Stallman's other social and technical behaviors. While I share some of these concerns, this is not the time to conflate so many issues. Let's focus for now on the accusation at hand. So, I'll express some of my own pedantry by urging readers to consider not the sophistry woven by Vice, but what Stallman actually said. Base your decisions not on the false premise that he defended Epstein and insisted that Epstein's underage victims were "entirely willing" to be trafficked, but instead on his pedantic disambiguation of the term "sexual assault". Read the source material and reach your own conclusions, ignoring what Vice puts out to maximize their advertising revenue. I, for one, will not be ending my FSF associate membership over this incident. Despite any other concerns I may have regarding Stallman's leadership of the GNU Project and representation of the FSF and the broader software freedom movement, I will not be demanding his departure as FSF President over the recent csail-related e-mail thread. On a personal note, nothing in my message should be construed to imply that I in any way condone any form of non-consensual sexual encounters, by any name. While I thankfully have no first-hand experience and can't imagine the trauma endured by the victims, I do have a certain emotional connection to child sexual assault and would neither take the issue lightly nor defend someone I believe to be a sexual assault apologist. I also cringe at every knee-jerk reaction against accusers (for example the term "SJW"), so I ask that we all remain civil about what is (understandably) quite an emotional subject for everyone. And thanks to anyone who managed to read this far.
        • Scientist Defends Epstein Associate in Leaked MIT Emails

          Joichi Ito, the Media Lab’s director, resigned after an article was published in The New Yorker, exposing the matter.

          In an email to the provost and president of the university Ito wrote, “After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as Director of the Media Lab and as a Professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately.”

          According to the NY Times, Ito acknowledged receiving $1.7 million from Epstein, including $1.2 million for his own investment funds.

        • MIT Scientist Says He Doesn’t Think Pedophilia Is Okay Any More

          Prominent MIT computer scientist Richard Stallman shared a bold opinion on Saturday: perhaps adults shouldn’t have sex with children.

          Stallman got widely roasted last week when he made some appalling comments about Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes, suggesting that the financier’s victims somehow consented to the sex trafficking scheme. But now, in the face of near-universal backlash — and scrutiny of even worse comments he’s made in the past — the storied programmer and activist is walking it back.

        • MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls ‘misunderstandings and mischaracterizations’

          The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer scientist who said the alleged victims of an associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were “entirely willing” has resigned.

          Richard Stallman, a famed open-source advocate, announced his departure in an email published online Monday.

        • Famed MIT Computer Scientist Who Defended Epstein Resigns
        • MIT Scientist Richard Stallman, Who Defended an Associate of Epstein, Resigns From CSAIL
        • MIT scientist who appeared to DEFEND Jeffrey Epsteinin alleged rape case resigns from his post
        • Richard Stallman quits positions at both Free Software Foundation and MIT
        • GNU founder Richard Stallman resigns from MIT, Free Software Foundation
        • GNU-Founder Richard Stallman ‘Quits’ Free Software Foundation & MIT CSAIL
        • Stallman’s final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid Epstein email storm
        • Computer scientist Richard Stallman resigns from MIT after defending Jeffrey Epstein
        • Richard Stallman, author of the GNU manifesto, resigns from the Free Software Foundation
        • MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls ‘misunderstandings and mischaracterizations’
        • Richard Stallman resigns from MIT over Epstein comments
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • When Biology Becomes Software

            If this sounds to you a lot like software coding, you’re right. As synthetic biology looks more like computer technology, the risks of the latter become the risks of the former. Code is code, but because we’re dealing with molecules — and sometimes actual forms of life — the risks can be much greater.

            [...]

            Unlike computer software, there’s no way so far to “patch” biological systems once released to the wild, although researchers are trying to develop one. Nor are there ways to “patch” the humans (or animals or crops) susceptible to such agents. Stringent biocontainment helps, but no containment system provides zero risk.

      • Programming/Development
        • I got 99 problems but a switch() ain’t one: Java SE 13 lands with various tweaks as per Oracle’s less-is-more strategy

          Oracle on Monday announced the release of Java SE 13 (JDK 13), saying it shows the tech titan’s continued commitment to make innovation happen faster by sticking to a predictable six-month release cycle.

          No evidence was provided to demonstrate that enterprise innovation is actually accelerating as a consequence of biannual platform revisions. Oracle at least deserves credit for its commitment to consistency.

          Word of JDK 13 arrived on Monday as Oracle’s co-located OpenWorld and Code One conferences got underway in San Francisco. The Code One keynote, preceded as in previous years with a disclaimer that investors shouldn’t rely on anything said at the show, opened with an overview of quantum computing by Jessica Pointing, a doctoral student in quantum computing at Stanford University.

        • post modern C tooling – draft

          Some of the C++ people have pulled off one of the cleverest and sneakiest tricks ever. They required ‘modern’ C99 and C11 features in ‘recent’ C++ standards. Microsoft has famously still clung onto some 80s version of C with their compiler for the longest time. So it’s been a decade of hacks for people writing portable code in C. For a while I thought we’d be stuck in the 80s with C89 forever. However, now that some C99 and C11 features are more widely available in the Microsoft compiler, we can use these features in highly portable code (but forget about C17/C18 ISO/IEC 9899:2018/C2X stuff!!).

        • Reading and Writing YAML to a File in Python

          In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to use the YAML library in Python 3. YAML stands for Yet Another Markup Language.

          In recent years it has become very popular for its use in storing data in a serialized manner for configuration files. Since YAML essentially is a data format, the YAML library is quite brief, as the only functionality required of it is the ability to parse YAML formatted files.

          In this article we will start with seeing how data is stored in a YAML file, followed by loading that data into a Python object. Lastly, we will learn how to store a Python object in a YAML file. So, let’s begin.

          Before we move further, there are a few prerequisites for this tutorial. You should have a basic understanding of Python’s syntax, and/or have done at least beginner level programming experience with some other language. Other than that, the tutorial is quite simple and easy to follow for beginners.

        • Python Multiple Inheritance (with Examples)

          In this tutorial, we’ll describe Python Multiple Inheritance concept and explain how to use it in your programs. We’ll also cover multilevel inheritance, the super() function, and focus on the method resolution order.

          In the previous tutorial, we have gone through Python Class and Python (Single) Inheritance. There, you have seen that a child class inherits from a base class. However, Multiple Inheritance is a feature where a class can derive attributes and methods from more than one base classes. Hence, it creates a high level of complexity and ambiguity and known as the diamond problem in the technical world. We’ll be taking up this problem later in this tutorial.

        • Adding Methods Retroactively

          Imagine you have a “shapes” library. We have a Circle class, a Square class, etc.

          A Circle has a radius, a Square has a side, and maybe Rectangle has height and width. The library already exists: we do not want to change it.

          However, we do want to add an area calculation. If this was our library, we would just add an area method, so that we can call shape.area(), and not worry about what the shape is.

        • To meet up or not to meetup

          I didn’t regret going to the meetup – quite the contrary – and I’ve since been to several, but it’s dreadful how low the turnout typically is. I’ve verified my numbers with some of the organizers of prior meetups: [...]

        • A look at development environments with specific tooling for Apache Camel Language

          A growing set of editors and IDEs provides specific tooling for development of applications based on Apache Camel. Historically, there was only Eclipse Fuse Tooling, which was based on the Eclipse Desktop IDE. Then, an IntelliJ plugin was created. Both of these tools are tightly coupled to the specific IDE APIs. Consequently, they have the drawback of not easily sharing the development effort.

        • mozregression update: python 3 edition

          For those who are still wondering, yup, I am still maintaining mozregression, though increasingly reluctantly. Given how important this project is to the development of Firefox (getting a regression window using mozregression is standard operating procedure whenever a new bug is reported in Firefox), it feels like this project is pretty vital, so I continue out of some sense of obligation — but really, someone more interested in Mozilla’a build, automation and testing systems would be better suited to this task: over the past few years, my interests/focus have shifted away from this area to building up Mozilla’s data storage and visualization platform.

          This post will describe some of the things that have happened in the last year and where I see the project going. My hope is to attract some new blood to add some needed features to the project and maybe take on some of the maintainership duties.

        • @Autowire MicroProfile into Spring with Quarkus

          Eclipse MicroProfile and Spring Boot are often thought of as separate and distinct APIs when developing Java microservices. Developers default to their mental muscle memory by leveraging the APIs that they use on a daily basis. Learning new frameworks and runtimes can be a significant time investment. This article aims to ease the introduction to some popular MicroProfile APIs for Spring developers by enabling them to utilize the Spring APIs they already know while benefiting from significant new capabilities offered by Quarkus.

          More specifically, this article covers the scope and details of the Spring APIs supported by Quarkus so Spring developers have a grasp of the foundation they can build on with MicroProfile APIs. The article then covers MicroProfile APIs that Spring developers will find helpful in the development of microservices. Only a subset of MicroProfile is covered.

        • Microsoft Makes Their C++ Standard Library Open-Source (STL)

          Microsoft has begun their next open-source expedition by open-sourcing an important piece of MSVC / Visual Studio… STL, their C++ standard library.

          In a surprising move, this week announced their C++ Standard Library used by their MSVC tool-chain and Visual Studio is now open-source. Microsoft’s C++ Standard Library is available under an Apache 2.0 license and with the LLVM exception regarding linking, so all is well on that front.

        • Top programming languages of 2019 [Ed: Too reliant on biased Microsoft data such as GitHub]

          The most popular languages according to the world’s largest organization for engineering and applied science.

          It can be hard to gauge which programming language to learn — should you go for the most widely used language, the language developers enjoy using, or maybe the highest paid language?

          There’s no one right answer, but luckily there are no shortage of top programming languages lists ranking languages according to different criteria.

          The latest is the The Top Programming Languages 2019 list from IEEE Spectrum, the magazine for the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and the applied sciences.

      • Standards/Consortia
        • Wi-Fi Certified 6 Program Available for Products based on Broadcom, Cypress, Intel, Marvell, and Qualcomm 802.11ax Chips

          Last year the WiFi alliance introduces a new naming scheme for WiFi using numbers instead of IEEE standards so that WiFI 4 is 802.11n, WiFi 5 is 802.11ac, and WiFi 6 is the latest 802.11ax standard…

        • The Wi-Fi 6 Launches Officially for the Next Generation of Wi-Fi

          Wi-Fi Alliance announced today the availability of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program for vendors to provide customers with the latest and greatest Wi-Fi experience.

          Unveiled last year in October, Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) launches officially today with up to 37 percent faster speeds than the previous Wi-Fi generation (802.11ac), increased bandwidth for greater performance with low latency, higher data rates for greater network capacity, as well as MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) support for greater download performance on more devices at once.

        • Setting up a mail server with OpenSMTPD, Dovecot and Rspamd

          I’ll say it again:

          I don’t think that either one of the Big Mailer Corps are are evil or bad, I use some of their services on a daily basis, and most of the people operating them are genuinely seeking the greater good… however they have grown too big and there needs to be a balance in power because who knows how they’ll evolve in the next ten years, who knows how the politics of their home country will evolve in the next ten years, and recent news doesn’t paint them as heading in the right direction.

          I’ll conclude by recommanding that you see this excellent presentation by Bert Hubert (@PowerDNS_Bert) from PowerDNS, about how a similar problem is starting to happen with DNS and the privacy and tracking concerns that arise from this. Many, many, many key points are also valid for mail services.

        • #StopHindilmposition: Indian tweeps respond to Amit Shah’s ‘Hindi as national language’ comment

          But, Twitter India doesn’t agree. Why? India does not have a national language. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution designates Hindi as the ‘official language’ of the Union. And, English is used in official purposes such as parliamentary proceedings, judiciary, communications between the Central Government and a State Government. States within India have the liberty and powers to specify their own official language(s) through legislation. In addition to the official languages, the constitution recognises 22 regional languages, which includes Hindi but not English, as scheduled languages. The number of native Hindi speakers is about 25% of the total Indian population;

          The number of native Hindi speakers is only about 25 per cent of the total Indian population and 43 per cent of India’s population use Hindi as their first language. In some states, especially in the southern regions, Hindi is not used at all.

        • Hindi spoken most, can unite country: Amit Shah

          According to the Official Languages Act, 1963, Hindi and English are the official languages for the Union government and Parliament.

          A total of 22 languages of the country are recognised under the Eight Schedule of the Constitution.

  • Leftovers
    • Science
      • Textbooks Are Lying to Students About Climate Change

        All 13 of these books earned an F. Our committee is in the midst of sending letters to each publisher informing them that its book is out of compliance with Portland school district policy on climate education. We are also sending letters to teachers who may be using these books, alerting them to our findings and urging them to use alternatives, and to engage students in critical reading activities to dissect the problems with these texts’ ho-hum approach to climate change.

        Do we expect to influence these corporations’ treatment of the climate crisis in their textbooks? No. The corporate giants that publish school textbooks have no interest in raising critical questions about the frenzied system of extraction and consumption at the root of climate change — a system from which they benefit. Our aim is to build an argument that we cannot look to conventional sources of curriculum to educate our students about the causes of climate change and the kind of fundamental social transformation needed to address the crisis.

    • Health/Nutrition
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible, faad2, linux-4.9, and thunderbird), Fedora (jbig2dec, libextractor, sphinx, and thunderbird), Mageia (expat, kconfig, mediawiki, nodejs, openldap, poppler, thunderbird, webkit2, and wireguard), openSUSE (buildah, ghostscript, go1.12, libmirage, python-urllib3, rdesktop, and skopeo), SUSE (python-Django), and Ubuntu (exim4, ibus, and Wireshark).

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 161 – Human nature and ad powered open source

        Josh and Kurt start out discussing human nature and how it affects how we view security. A lot of things that look easy are actually really hard. We also talk about the npm library Standard showing command line ads. Are ads part of the future of open source?

      • Skidmap malware drops LKMs on Linux machines to enable cryptojacking, backdoor access

        Researchers have discovered a sophisticated cryptomining program that uses loadable kernel modules (LKMs) to help infiltrate Linux machines, and hides its malicious activity by displaying fake network traffic stats.

        Dubbed Skidmap, the malware can also grant attackers backdoor access to affected systems by setting up a secret master password that offers access to any user account in the system, according to Trend Micro threat analysts Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec in a company blog post today.

        “Skidmap uses fairly advanced methods to ensure that it and its components remain undetected. For instance, its use of LKM rootkits – given their capability to overwrite or modify parts of the kernel – makes it harder to clean compared to other malware,” the blog post states. “In addition, Skidmap has multiple ways to access affected machines, which allow it to reinfect systems that have been restored or cleaned up.”

      • Skidmap Linux Malware Uses Rootkit Capabilities to Hide Cryptocurrency-Mining Payload

        Cryptocurrency-mining malware is still a prevalent threat, as illustrated by our detections of this threat in the first half of 2019. Cybercriminals, too, increasingly explored new platforms and ways to further cash in on their malware — from mobile devices and Unix and Unix-like systems to servers and cloud environments.

        They also constantly hone their malware’s resilience against detection. Some, for instance, bundle their malware with a watchdog component that ensures that the illicit cryptocurrency mining activities persist in the infected machine, while others, affecting Linux-based systems, utilize an LD_PRELOAD-based userland rootkit to make their components undetectable by system monitoring tools.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Farewell, John Bolton

        The firing (or, he insists, the resignation) of John Bolton as national security special assistant is being treated by some observers as a great loss for coherence and professionalism in the conduct of US foreign policy. Josh Rogin at the Washington Post, for example, writes on September 11: “Republicans on Capitol Hill lost a key interlocutor and a key ally inside the White House. Many fear Trump will replace Bolton with someone who will feed Trump’s own desire to drastically pull back on U.S. commitments and alliances abroad. Even Democrats acknowledge Bolton was somebody who they knew and trusted to — at the very least — push back against Trump’s worst instincts or false beliefs.”

      • Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu

        Do you want to know the real reason Trump canceled the peace talks with the Taliban? Okay, here’s the hot poop. Our satellites detected goats. Yes, you read that correctly, goats, goats in goated communities. There was no mistake. Goats grazed on some of them there hills in Afghanistan. Now of course, goats, by themselves, are no problemo. The intelligence community has briefed Trump of this at the highest possible level. But goats are a marker for mountains, and mountains are hard on our high tech prying eyes in the sky. We’re not good at seeing through rock. Osama bin Laden hid in the mountains of Tora Bora for ten years after he was dead.. Terrorists might conceal weddings in the valleys, and “wedding,” let’s face it, is just another name for “terrorist pow-wow.”

      • Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.

      • Why Mattis is No Hero

        Last week the corporate media were going all out to lionize former Marine General and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in tandem with the publication of Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, his memoir of his lengthy career (Co-authored with former Undersecretary of Defense, Bing West, also a marine officer and veteran of Vietnam). As this celebratory gala of war and warrior hood lapses yet another military idol will have joined the pantheon. When George H.W. Bush launched Desert Storm in 1991 and “kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all” he also claimed to re-elevate the glory of the American way of war whereby the exceptional U.S. would defend the underdogs of the world against the predations of Hitlers reborn. Thereafter “Mad Dog” Mattis’s career would unfold.

      • The U.S. Military Is Destroying the Environment

        The increasingly horrific warning signs on climate change include the suggestion that the Earth already has warmed 1.5 degrees Celsius since the start of the Industrial Revolution and that we have only 12 years at which we can sustain this level, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

      • The Pentagon’s $1.5 Trillion Addiction to the F-35 Fighter

        Five years after that 60 Minutes exposé and 13 years after its first flight, the F-35 unsurprisingly remains mired in controversy. Harper’s Magazine’s Andrew Cockburn recently used it to illustrate what he termed “the Pentagon Syndrome,” the practice of expending enormous sums on weapons of marginal utility. The F-35, he noted, “first saw combat [in 2018], seventeen years after the program began. The Marines sent just six of them on their first deployment to the Middle East, and over several months only managed to fly, on average, one combat sortie per plane every three days. According to the Pentagon’s former chief testing official, had there been opposition, these ‘fighters’ could not have survived without protection from other planes.”

        So far, in other words, the F-35 has had an abysmally low rate of availability. [...]

      • Indian Navy tracks 7 Chinese warships in Indian Ocean region

        Seven Chinese Navy warships are operating in and around the Indian Ocean Region, including an over 27,000 tonnes amphibious vessel, which have been tracked closely by the Indian Navy using its American-origin P-8I anti-submarine warfare spy planes and other surveillance assets.

        In exclusive pictures accessed by ANI, Chinese Landing Platform Dock Xian-32 can be seen passing through the Southern Indian Ocean Region before it entered the Sri Lankan waters earlier this month.

      • Navy tracks Chinese vessels operating in Indian Ocean Region

        At any point of time, the Chinese Navy deploys around six to seven warships in the region in the name of carrying out anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden but looking at the requirements there, the deployment seems to be more than what is needed.

        Sources added that the main aim of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Navy seems to be power projection in the Indian Ocean Region as they want to spread their influence in the area from where a majority of their trade passes through.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal?

        According to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a whistleblower who lodged an urgent complaint about wrongdoing within the intelligence community has gone ignored and left unprotected. In a letter released on Friday, Schiff accused a “top intel official of illegally withholding” a “whistleblower” complaint described as “urgent” by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) — and one that could implicate the White House.

      • Missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis likely died in kayaking accident, police say

        “The police have concluded that Mr Kamphuis most likely suffered an accident in the evening of August 20, 2018, while kayaking in the Skjerstad Fjord a few kilometres north of the village of Rognan in Nordland County in northern Norway, and was subsequently lost at sea,” the police said in a statement.

        [...]

        The mystery deepened when a phone linked to Kamphuis was briefly switched on in an area near the south-western city of Stavanger, located 1,600 kilometres from Bodo, on August 30 last year.

      • Snowden Hopes France Will Grant Him Asylum

        On January 2018, the U.S. Congress renewed a bill to continue the warrantless [Internet] surveillance program for six years. The bill allows the NSA to resume eavesdropping on electronic communications via companies such as Facebook and Google once the U.S.

        The relevance of the information blew a lid on the U.S.’ global surveillance program on governments and individuals. He soon became a household as the information was published by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

      • Edward Snowden wants asylum in France

        To date, more than a dozen countries have turned down requests to take in the 36-year-old, leading him to question their reasoning and “the system we live in”.

        “Protecting whistle-blowers is not a hostile act,” he said.

      • After 6 Years in Exile, Edward Snowden Explains Himself

        That long-lost [Internet], Snowden writes, offered its inhabitants a “reset button for your life” that could be pressed every day, at will. And he still pines for it. “To be able to expand your experience, to become a more whole person by being able to try and fail, this is what teaches us who we are and who we want to become,” Snowden told WIRED in an interview ahead of his book’s publication tomorrow. “This is what’s denied to the rising generation. They’re so ruthlessly and strictly identified in every network they interact with and by which they live. They’re denied the opportunities we had to be forgotten and to have their mistakes forgiven.”

    • Environment
      • A Handful of Super-Corporations Control The Fate of The World, Chilling Report Shows

        In a new study, an international team of researchers suggests that this elite cadre of dominant transnational corporations (TNCs, sometimes also called multinationals) may wield an outsized influence over the planet and its inhabitants.

        “The scale at which TNCs operate, and the speed and connectivity they galvanise across the world is unprecedented in history,” the researchers, led by environmental scientist Carl Folke from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, explain in their new paper.

      • Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

        Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.

        The Green Party is now the clear frontrunner in Bristol as the countdown continues to the next elections, after the party saw spectacular results in the 2019 EU election, receiving 35% of the vote across the city. This was 17,606 votes clear of the nearest contender and more than double the Labour vote – a fall in vote share which was widely attributed to Labour’s shifting and ambiguous national policy on Brexit.

        Carla Denyer, who is credited as having started the national movement on Climate Emergencies in the UK by proposing the first one here in Bristol, has been a long-standing activist, and Bristol City Councillor since 2015.

      • Naomi Klein: Gearing up for the Political Fight of Our Lives
      • Why Next Monday’s UN Climate Action Summit Matters
      • Mountainsrich in species still puzzle science

        Life on Earth is ultimately a mystery. Even more of a riddle is why there are so many mountains rich in species.

      • Brazil: Criminal Networks Target Rainforest Defenders

        Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is driven largely by criminal networks that use violence and intimidation against those who try to stop them, and the government is failing to protect both the defenders and the rainforest itself, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. 

      • The Democrats and the Climate Crisis

        CNN performed a public service with its Climate Crisis Town Hall in late August 2019.

        [...]

        Democratic presidential candidates (Joe Biden (D-former vice president in the Obama administration), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN), Beto O’ Rourke (D-former Congressman from Texas), Julian Castro (D-former Secretary of Housing, Obama administration) and Andrew Yang (D-businessman), spoke eloquently about the policies they would advocate and advance, should they become president.

      • New Report Details 10 ‘Critical Transitions’ to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Feed the World

        “We can either seize the opportunity to transform our food and land use systems or frankly, sleepwalk our way into an ecological and human disaster.”

      • Greta Thunberg on the Climate Fight: “If We Can Save the Banks, Then We Can Save the World”
      • Land Without Bread: The Green New Deal Forsakes America’s Countryside

        Days after the heart-stopping Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in April, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg trained her eyes on the United Kingdom’s parliament and chastised its meager response to climate change. “I want you to panic,” the baby-faced sixteen-year-old quietly instructed the adults in the room. “Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking.

      • Energy
        • Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
        • Fossil Fuel Ad Campaigns Emphasize ‘Positives’ After Climate Science Denial PR Lands Industry in Hot Seat

          Public relations experts keep a careful eye on the multitude of ways that PR can go wrong: tracking the year’s biggest “PR blunders,” assessing flopped ads for lessons learned, and noting when to remain silent and when to circulate a particular point of view.

        • Taking a taxi is cheaper than owning a car, finds comparison by Vertaa Ensin

          The Finnish website for comparing a variety of financial products examined the costs of the two forms of transport for a person who uses a car to get to and back from work every day and do the grocery shopping twice a week.

          The length of the commute was 10.5 kilometres in one direction and the distance from home to the grocery shop five kilometres, amounting to a weekly total of 125 kilometres.

          The cost of using your own car amounted to 730 euros a month. The total consists of fuel, tyre, maintenance, inspection and parking costs; insurance and vehicle tax costs; and interest, depreciation and loan repayment costs.

          Taking a taxi for the daily commutes and twice-weekly trips to the grocery shop, in turn, cost a total of 724 euros.

        • Paris wants to give €500 subsidies for e-bikes

          Starting from February 2020, the 10 million residents of Paris and its surroundings may have access to up to €500 in financial aid to put towards the purchase of an electric bicycle. Valerie Pecresse, president of the regional transport agency Île-de-France Mobilités, told Le Parisien in an exclusive interview that she has submitted a proposal to provide a subsidy for half the cost of an e-bike — capped at €500 — to all residents of Île-de-France, the region surrounding Paris, “regardless of their economic situation.”

          A good e-bike can cost, on average, up to €2,000.

          “I want all residents to have the same right to electric mobility and a cleaner type of transportation, particularly in small- and medium-sized areas with lots of hills,” said Pécresse.

    • Finance
      • Trump, Trade and China

        Rarely a day passes when one or another U.S. ruling class institution or personality fails to criticize President Trump’s unilateral imposition of ever increasing and broad-ranging protective tariffs against Chinese imports. Trump’s critics include the Democratic Party as well as leading Republicans, the prestigious corporate “newspaper of record,” The New York Times and the aptly dubbed “ruling class think tank,” the Council on Foreign Relations. The latter’s September/October 2019 Foreign Affairs, headlined, “How A Global Trading System Dies,” features five articles and essays warning U.S. policy makers against Trump’s course.

      • ‘Tighter integration than the EU’ Details leak about new economic unification of Russia and Belarus

        The newspaper Kommersant has published the first details of a Russian-Belarusian economic integration agreement signed by the two countries’ prime ministers on September 6. Neither Moscow nor Minsk has yet published the document officially, but a source in the Russian government confirms that Kommersant obtained a copy of the text.

      • New York Prosecutors Reportedly Subpoena Trump’s Tax Returns

        New York City prosecutors have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

      • We Need a Homes Guarantee. Now

        I lost everything during the financial crisis. The government decided that the perpetrators of the crisis were “too big to fail” and bailed them out with our money. I was not bailed out.Today, a decade after the crisis, I’m part of a grassroots-led effort to ensure every person in the United States has safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing.

      • Fears of ‘Collateral Damage to Democracy’ as Trump Weighs Withdrawing From Global Postal Pact

        Election officials fear thousands of votes could go uncounted…

      • Central Bankers’ Desperate Grab for Power

        Central bankers are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, admitted as much in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August. “In the longer-term,” he said, “we need to change the game.” The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “Really, there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”

      • American Plutocrats Are Taking Food Off Families’ Tables

        While the Trumpistas are presently plowing a multibillion-dollar subsidy into big grain farms, they’re using a tangle of federal red tape to deny a meager level of food assistance to millions of poor families.

      • Sanders Responds to Biden’s Praise for Pharma Companies: ‘Their Behavior Is Literally Killing People Every Day’

        “America needs a president who isn’t going to appease and compliment drug companies—we need a president who will take on the pharmaceutical industry, whether they like it or not.”

      • ‘When We Fight, We Win’: Protesting Stagnant Wages as GM Rakes in Record Profits, 50,000 Auto Workers Go On Strike

        “We are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families, and the communities where we work and live.”

      • Trump’s NLRB, Trying to Cut Protections for Millions of Temps and Fast-Food Workers, Trips Up Again

        Under the Trump administration, the National Labor Relations Board has been trying to roll back an Obama-era decision that made companies more responsible for temporary staffers, fast-food-franchise workers and others who work for them indirectly. The first attempt was foiled in early 2018 when a Trump appointee to the board was found to have a conflict of interest.

        Now, as the NLRB tries to undo the rule for a second time, it’s facing questions from two Democratic representatives about another potential conflict of interest — and this one involves the NLRB’s own use of temporary staffers. In May, the labor board engaged a company called Ardelle Associates to supply lawyers and paralegals to help review public comments on the proposed overhaul of the provision in question, which is known as the “joint-employer rule.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Billy Mitchell Threatens To Sue The Guinness World Record Folks For Removing His Records

        Last time we wrote about Billy Mitchell — a man who appears to be famous for playing video games and pissing people off — he was losing his legal fight against Cartoon Network for having a character that was a parody of Mitchell named Garrett Bobby Ferguson on its “Regular Show.” The court was not impressed.

      • Poland challenges copyright upload filters before the CJEU

        The EU Member States (and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have until 2 October 2019 to submit an application to the CJEU to intervene in this case, as defined by Chapter 4 of the CJEU’s Rules of Procedure (RoP). Member States can intervene to support, in whole or in part, either Poland’s position on Article 17 or the Council and Parliament’s position on Article 17.

      • We grew up from childhood hating, cursing Jews

        His crime? His indictment says he was guilty of “insulting Islam” and “producing what would disturb public order, religious values and morals.”

        His real crime, in fact, can be summarized in one sentence: He believed in his fundamental right to express his opinion.

        Freedom of expression is at the heart of Raif’s case.

      • Saudi Activist Says She Was Raised to Hate Jews. Now She Aims to ‘Eliminate’ Anti-Semitism

        “We all have a responsibility to stand firmly against anti-Semitism and denial of the Holocaust,” Haidar wrote. “Since childhood, we grew up on hatred of Jews and taught to curse them. We have to insist on repudiating this message and work actively to eliminate them.”

        Badawi ran a website called Saudi Arabia Liberals, where he wrote myriad critiques of the Saudi government, including denouncing the Saudis’ treatment of women in public and that the regime is “backward thinking.” He also condemned Hamas for promoting a “culture of ignorance and death.”

      • EU official: Release of Asia Bibi shows promise for religious freedom

        In meeting with officials, he “spoke about the importance of dignity and justice for all Pakistanis, especially minorities” and stressed that Bibi’s case was being closely watched internationally. He emphasized that the status quo of commercial relations between the EU and Pakistan was insufficient, and he asked the country to comply with international treaties that protect minorities.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Saying He Would Return to US for Fair Trial, Snowden Wants People to Know ‘Why I Did What I Did’

        “Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us? Or did it cause harm? They don’t want the jury to be able to consider that at all.”

      • Millions of Americans’ Medical Images and Data Are Available on the Internet. Anyone Can Take a Peek.

        Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise.

        The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world. In some cases, a snoop could use free software programs — or just a typical web browser — to view the images and private data, an investigation by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found.

      • Vic drivers’ licence data to be used for facial recognition

        Data from drivers’ licences issued in Victoria will be uploaded to the Federal Government’s National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution, following an agreement reached by the Council of Australian Governments.

      • Up to 2,000 passengers screened for knives each hour in police body scanner trial

        British Transport Police is using the new Thruvision scanners, which work by revealing objects hidden inside clothing that block body heat. Sensitive cameras capable of screening 2,000 passengers an hour will enable officers to see the size, shape and location of any blade or gun.

        Thruvision can scan commuters 30ft away as they ride an escalator or enter ticket barriers without slowing them or requiring a physical search, according to its British inventor. The trial will also seek to identify how officers can use technology to detect if an individual is carrying a knife, potentially reducing reliance on controversial stop and search powers.

        Thruvision is already used on the Los Angeles Metro, which last year became the first mass transport system in the US to adopt it.

        The initial five-day trial at Stratford will be run by BTP with support from the Metropolitan Police.

      • Permanent Record: the life of Edward Snowden

        A fantastic personal narrative of his life and thinking process. The book does not get into technical details, but, it will make sure that people relate to the different events mentioned in the book. It tells the story of a person who is born into the system and grew up to become part of the system, and then learns to question the same system.

        I bought the book at midnight on Kindle (I also ordered the physical copies), slept for 3 hours in between and finished it off in the morning. Anyone born in 80s will find so many similarities as an 80s kid. Let it be the Commodore 64 as the first computer we saw or basic as the first-ever programming language to try. The lucky ones also got Internet access and learned to roam around of their own and build their adventure along with the busy telephone lines (which many times made the family members unhappy).

        If you are someone from the technology community, I don’t think you will find Ed’s life was not as much different than yours. It has a different scenario and different key players, but, you will be able to match the progress in life like many other tech workers like ourselves.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • SVT: Iranian journalist seeks asylum in Sweden, directed to Finland

        However, he said that all asylum seekers who arrive to Europe are subject to the Dublin rules and that each international protection application should be processed by the state which carries that responsibility.

        Montin noted that, according to news reports, it appears the journalist likely entered the country with a visa, as Iranian citizens who enter the Schengen area are required to have them.

      • Press freedom in Turkey remains in crisis, mission concludes

        Over three days this week, the international press freedom delegation held meetings with journalists, civil society, the judiciary and the authorities to assess planned reforms and the continued crackdown facing journalists in Turkey. Convened by the International Press Institute (IPI), the delegation also comprised representatives from Article 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), PEN International, Norwegian PEN, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

        A Judicial Reform Strategy, announced in May 2019 by the Turkish government to address flaws in the justice system, will not be credible unless it guarantees judicial independence in both law and practice and ends the persecution of journalists, the press freedom delegation said today.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • ‘Choose People Over Profits’: Never Again Action Fights ICE Detention Center in Rhode Island

      “We once again call on the members of the board of directors to fulfill their obligation to the communities they represent by either voting against this agreement or resigning from their positions immediately.”

    • New Mexico City Starts Crowdfunding Effort To Pay For Its Stupid Defense Of Constitutional Violations

      Is it good for governments to supplement their normal crowdfunding efforts (taxes) with something more voluntary? That’s the question posed by this great Legally Weird post, which provides a number of examples of city governments asking citizens to dig a little deeper to pay for government things.

    • Chanting in absolute silence Russian actor sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, after National Guard officer dislocates shoulder while arresting him at protest

      Moscow Tverskoy District Court Judge Alexey Krivoruchko has sentenced Pavel Ustinov, a young up-and-coming actor, to 3.5 years in prison for supposedly attacking a member of Russia’s National Guard at a protest on August 3. Prosecutors asked the court to incarcerate him for six years.

    • Getting away with torture in Russia’s criminal justice system

      Every year, Russian courts issue about 1,000 sentences under Article 286, Part 3 of Russia’s Criminal Codex. While there is no formal definition of “torture” in Russian criminal law (which makes government torture very difficult to track), it is Article 286, Part 3 that punishes violent overreach by government officials and members of the military. While 1,000 convictions per year may sound like a lot, that number has been gradually declining: In 2009, more than 1,800 convictions were issued under the statute, while in 2018, that number sank to less than 800. While acquittal rates in all Russian criminal cases are extremely low, they are relatively high in Article 286 cases. A new report by attorney Maxim Novikov, who works with the human rights group “Zona Prava” (Rights Zone), adds hard to find-context to those statistics and many others. The report, titled “Violence by Security Forces: Crime Without Punishment,” examines more than 250 court rulings as well as judicial statistics. Because some rulings were redacted to exclude information about torture or the compensation civilians received, Novikov used 109 rulings as the primary basis for his report.

    • After her students dressed up as punks and goths, this Russian principal is on trial for embezzlement. Her ‘victims’ say police forced them to testify.

      In the Russian Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad, a former school principal is on trial. Lyudmila Osipova had led the region’s prestigious Lyceum Number 49 for 30 years when, in 2017, a scandal unfolded.

    • End Corporal Punishment in Pakistan’s Schools

      Hunain Bilal failed to memorize a lesson at school. As punishment, his teacher severely beat him. Hunain died later that day, September 5.

    • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

      Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

    • Note to Media: Having A Penis Thrust In Your Face Is Not Harmless Fun and Jesus What Is Wrong With You People

      The latest news that Justice Lying Beer Bong is a serial sexual predator – and that the louts in power worked to cover it up – is dismally unsurprising. More unexpected is the unholy mess the New York Times made of the story: They buried the news, ran it as “opinion,” then teased it by vilely positing a drunken dick shoved in your face “may seem like harmless fun.” Say what?

    • Facing State Felony Charges for Disrupting ‘Critical Infrastructure,’ Greenpeace Activists Denounce Fossil Fuel ‘Bullying Tactic’

      “The most dangerous thing about that shipping channel wasn’t the activists—it was and continues to be fossil fuel executives’ reckless plans to push us further towards climate chaos.”

    • Trump’s Infatuation With Dictators Will Be Our Undoing
    • Hindus fear for their lives after Pakistan blasphemy riots

      Rights activists have demanded reforms of controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. Activists say the laws have little to do with blasphemy and are often used to settle petty disputes and personal vendettas.

      According to rights groups, around 1,549 blasphemy cases have been registered in Pakistan between 1987 and 2017. More than 75 people have been killed extra-judicially on blasphemy allegations. Some of them were even targeted after being acquitted in blasphemy cases by courts.

    • A mathematical technique originally developed to help build the atomic bomb is now used to figure out how much CEO pay packages are worth — like with Elon Musk

      In the years since the Manhattan Project, Monte Carlo simulation methods have become very common in many branches of science and finance. One of those applications is estimating the value of complex CEO pay packages. Like Ulam’s solitaire games and neutron reactions, many modern executive compensation packages involve several variables interacting with each other to determine what a CEO eventually actually gets paid.

      In the last several years, it’s become increasingly common for CEOs and other top executives at public corporations to have their compensation packages tied to various financial or market performance goals. A CEO might receive some number of shares or stock options based on the company’s stock price or profitability on some given date during their tenure.

    • Press Release: The Death Penalty and Illegal Executions in Saudi Arabia

      States should not participate in the G20 Summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next year unless the executions are ended and human rights standards are upheld.

      Today, on 12 September 2019, a side-event to the 42nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was held which addressed the alarming rise in state executions in Saudi Arabia. It highlighted the illegal and arbitrary executions taking place in Saudi Arabia and the human rights abuses surrounding the death penalty for both detainees and their families.

    • I Am Free — but Turkey Is Not

      Austrian media and government officials watched our trial closely (and possibly did more than just watch), which certainly helped our cause. But that alone wouldn’t have been enough: in the days following our acquittal, both an Austrian and a German citizen were found guilty on various terror charges.

      What was different? First, they were of Turkish or Kurdish origin — and crucially, their cases flew under the radar. I was the beneficiary of a solidarity campaign from the very beginning that spanned from Vienna to New York and which brought my case to the attention of mainstream media outlets and Austrian state officials. This is critical to note because it shows what international solidarity can achieve.

      Still, we shouldn’t overestimate the importance of pressure from the West. Domestic issues in Turkey played an important role in our acquittal, particularly in two ways.

    • Kylie Moore-Gilbert named as woman sentenced to 10 years’ jail in Iran

      Amnesty International’s Eilidh Macpherson said this week she was concerned the Australian detainees may have been subjected to “serious human rights violations, including denial of access to a lawyer and even torture or other ill-treatment”.

      The exact charges Moore-Gilbert was facing have not been confirmed.

    • ‘We Don’t Want To Die’: Women In Turkey Decry Rise In Violence And Killings

      That year, she said, the Justice Ministry initially recorded the killings of 953 women in the first seven months of the year — then revised it to 171 for the entire year.

      “The government ignores the problem because they’re complicit,” she says. “Politicians imply that men and women are not equal, that women are given by God to man to care for. They want a family controlled by men, where everyone in the family obeys the men.”

      And male honor depends on women’s obedience and men’s control of women’s sexuality, says gender studies scholar Fatmagul Berktay, a professor emeritus of political science at Istanbul University.

    • Is Turkey’s Strongman Caught in a Web of His Own Making?

      It is easy for Westerners to underestimate the political character of Islam. Under the influence of our Christian heritage, we tend to think religion first and foremost a matter of faith. Under Muhammad, something of the sort may have been true for Islam. But, under the caliphs who succeeded him, it became what it is to this day: a religion of holy law. The word “Islam” means, in Arabic, “submission,” and that to which one is called upon to submit is God’s law. Barring a transformation of Islam far more fundamental than what happened within western Christendom with the coming of the Reformation and the rise of the nation-state, pious Muslims will never be satisfied with secular republicanism. The theologico-political problem is alive and well within the Muslim world.

      This is especially true within Sunni Islam, which admits of no distinction between religious and political authority. In effect, as pious Sunni Muslims recognized from the outset, Atatürk’s attempt to confine religion to the private sphere was a direct assault on their religion. It is in no way a surprise that, when free elections were instituted in 1950 under American pressure by Atatürk’s successor Ismet Inönū, Islam once again gained political leverage. It grew thereafter in halting steps. In the mid-1980s, when I lived in Istanbul and traveled in Thrace and throughout Anatolia, the depth of the political divide over Islam was everywhere evident.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • Some Investors Are Fed Up With AT&T’s Costly Obsession With Merger Mania

      This wasn’t how it was supposed to go for AT&T. In AT&T executives’ heads, the 2015, $67 billion acquisition of DirecTV and the 2018 $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner were supposed to be the cornerstones of the company’s efforts to dominate video and online video advertising. Instead, the megadeals made AT&T possibly one of the most heavily indebted companies in the world. To recoup that debt, AT&T has ramped up its efforts to nickel-and-dime users at every opportunity, from bogus new wireless fees to price hikes on both its streaming and traditional video services.

    • Grant for the Web, a $100m Plan to Spur New Business Models for Online Creators

      Good news for people and groups working on ways to empower creators: Today, Coil announced Grant for the Web, a new $100 million fund to benefit creators and promote the open Web Monetization standard.

    • Rep. Ro Khanna To Introduce Bill To Study Impact Of FOSTA On Sex Workers

      FOSTA was sold to Congress and the public as a way to “protect women,” who (we were told) were being sex trafficked because of a “loophole” in the law. As we warned over and over again at the time, FOSTA would actually put women at even greater risk, and that has been supported by nearly all of the evidence we’ve seen to date. Beyond the fact that the number of women who are actually victims of sex trafficking has been greatly exaggerated or completely made up to the point of ridiculousness, so far there have been multiple reports showing that the actual impact of FOSTA was to increase sex trafficking by putting sex workers at much greater risk, driving them into the greedy arms of traffickers who promise protection. This has resulted in more women dead and even police admitting that the law has made it more difficult for them to catch traffickers.

    • Russian producer releases horror series for Snapchat

      The producer Timur Bekmambetov has created a zombie apocalypse series for Snapchat, the popular American social platform in which photo or video messages are deleted from the receiver’s device after they are viewed. TASS reported that the series, Dead of Night, is shot for a vertical screen from the perspective of a young woman recording the apocalyptic events around her as she attempts to survive.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM)
    • Why you may have to wait longer to check out an e-book from your local library

      Gutierrez says the Seattle Public Library, which is one of the largest circulators of digital materials, loaned out around three million e-books and audiobooks last year and spent about $2.5 million to acquire those rights. “But that added 60,000 titles, about,” she said, “because the e-books cost so much more than their physical counterpart. The money doesn’t stretch nearly as far.”

    • Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books

      Libraries don’t just pay full price for e-books — we pay more than full price. We don’t just buy one book — in most cases, we buy a lot of books, trying to keep hold lists down to reasonable numbers. We accept renewable purchasing agreements and limits on e-book lending, specifically because we understand that publishing is a business, and that there is value in authors and publishers getting paid for their work. At the same time, most of us are constrained by budgeting rules and high levels of reporting transparency about where your money goes. So, we want the terms to be fair, and we’d prefer a system that wasn’t convoluted.

      With print materials, book economics are simple. Once a library buys a book, it can do whatever it wants with it: lend it, sell it, give it away, loan it to another library so they can lend it. We’re much more restricted when it comes to e-books. To a patron, an e-book and a print book feel like similar things, just in different formats; to a library they’re very different products. There’s no inter-library loan for e-books. When an e-book is no longer circulating, we can’t sell it at a book sale. When you’re spending the public’s money, these differences matter.

    • Nintendo’s ROM Site War Continues With Huge Lawsuit Against Site Despite Not Sending DMCA Notices

      Roughly a year ago, Nintendo launched a war between itself and ROM sites. Despite the insanely profitable NES Classic retro-console, the company decided that ROM sites, which until recently almost single-handedly preserved a great deal of console gaming history, need to be slayed. Nintendo extracted huge settlements out of some of the sites, which led to most others shutting down voluntarily. While this was probably always Nintendo’s strategy, some sites decided to stare down the company’s legal threats and continue on.

  • Monopolies
    • Copyrights
      • Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 09/16/19

        The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. ‘Dark Phoenix’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’. ‘Aladdin’ completes the top three.

      • Lawsuit Targets Best Buy & Staples For Selling “Pirate Devices” & Giving “Piracy Advice”

        A lawsuit filed in Canada targeting Best Buy, Staples and other retailers, claims the companies knowingly sold “pirate devices” to customers. Filed by Super Channel owner Allarco Entertainment, the suit further alleges that staff gave advice to customers on how to pirate content or have devices modified to do so. While currently unnamed, the lawsuit states that up to 50,000 customers could potentially become part of the legal action.

      • CC Names Cable Green as Interim CEO

        Interim CEO Cable Green has been a key member of the Creative Commons staff for the past eight and a half years. As CC’s Director of Open Education, he has been one of the world’s most effective advocates for open licensing policies, and has worked extensively with the global open education community to improve access to effective open educational resources. Cable will continue to spearhead our efforts to advance open education as he takes on this new interim leadership role at CC.

      • TekSavvy Protests Push for Pirate Site Blocking in Court

        Through the Federal Court, Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA are hoping to obtain the first Canadian pirate site blocking order. The companies believe that website blocking is an effective way to deal with pirate sites but Internet provider TekSavvy sees things differently. The ISP describes the proposed measures as ineffective and inappropriate.

EPO is Not European

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 12:08:32 PM

Mostly a European gift to the largest companies in the US


Hilton in Paris

Summary: Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the ‘globalisation’ of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn’t equipped to serve its original goals anymore

THE name, European Patent Office (EPO), can be misleading. It is based in Europe, it employs a lot of German men, but who is actually being served?

Think about it.

It’s not a difficult question.

The push for software patents in Europe — a push intensified greatly in the Battistelli days — serves to show that software developers aren’t being served (not European ones, not even non-European ones). It’s about multinational giants and their law firms. Those are the same giants that ferociously combat 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US and try to craft legal loopholes around it. They hate judges and courts; they prefer ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ (i.e. collusions and secret deals behind the scenes).

“They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents!”Consider the ways the EPO’s management has been working overtime to not only grant software patents illegally but also take such illegal patents global, e.g. by labeling such patents “HEY HI!” (AI is their favourite buzzword these days or has been this past year). Yesterday the EPO tweeted: “EPO President António Campinos met @The_IPO Chief Executive Tim Moss & @USPTO Director Andrei Iancu in London to discuss the global patent system, the co-operation between the offices & more.”

They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents! On goes António Campinos, along with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Andrei Iancu, pushing the patent maximalists’ agenda. Iancu is a perfect fit for the EPO because of lawlessness and chronic disdain for judges (this is well documented).

In the EPO’s own words: “EPO President António Campinos welcomed @uspto Director Andrei Iancu for the first time at the EPO headquarters in Munich.”

The EPO then retweeted UKIPO as saying/writing: “Today @IPO_CEO Tim Moss and @EPOorg President António Campinos met to discuss international cooperation and updates in the #technology sector.”

I asked aloud: “Are they pushing illegal software patents agenda under the guise of “technology”?”

The FFII’s President said “obviously.”

Looking at the official page that the EPO wrote about it (warning: epo.org link), this is the first time in a very long while that UPC gets mentioned by the EPO’s management. Notice the part about “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.”

They’re pushing unconstitutional agenda for their US ‘handlers’ who want to sue companies all over Europe in one fell swoop:

The heads of office spoke about their respective strategic plans and also addressed the rising importance of artificial intelligence, both in the patent granting process and as the subject-matter of patent applications, in addition to developments related to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.

What “developments” are they speaking about? There have been no developments, no progress. Here’s something written more than four years ago. It’s from Stibbe (entitled “Progress on the Unitary Patent”). What has changed since then? It’s that same old tune for many years now, almost half a decade; IP Kat is singing that same tune nowadays because Team UPC has far too many seats in the editorial team. The blog is a litigation lobby now; it’s a sad transition to lying rather than truth-telling — something it did in fact do for a number of years.

Kan He of IP Kat is starting this week by boosting malicious patent agenda of the front group 4iP Council. It’s a group that works for patent trolls and UPC (under the guise of “FRAND” and other lies) — i.e. the same as LESI more or less (the EPO’s cup of tea). To quote:

The 4iP Council just added its 50th case law on FRAND into its database of national FRAND caselaw. This database regularly updated allows easy access to summaries of FRAND caselaw in Europe. You can search for cases by country, party, case number and keywords and there is even an interactive graphic showing how national courts are interpreting keywords.

They’re even linking to their site. They promote this agenda. These liars love to pretend that they value and cherish small businesses or “SMEs”. But they merely harm SMEs. The EPO knows it. They know it. Everyone knows it. That’s why they’re googlebombing “SME” and “SMEs” every other day. Yesterday the EPO wrote: “Customers and resellers can provide important information about infringement which can be used to enforce patent rights. That’s one conclusion of our SME case studies.”

They added the #IPforSMEs hashtag; this is connected to the EU through EUIPO.

Surely they know that this is useful neither for Europe nor the EU (a subset of it). Surely they know that this is all about patent maximalism. Surely they know (they admit it! The staff says so!) that many patents are nowadays granted in violation of the EPC.

Speaking of invalid or fake or bogus patents, this new one seems like a bogus software patent, yet iSignthis has just issued a paid press release to brag about what’s a rather questionable patent. Australian media too (The Sydney Morning Herald) did this puff piece yesterday:

The iSignthis sharemarket rollercoaster continued on Monday with investors embracing the news that the company had been “notified of the European Patent Office’s (EPO) intention to grant a patent” relating to customer authentication.

A check of the EPO’s register confirmed that the agency had communicated its intention to grant the patent to iSignthis in May this year. The patent in question refers to methods and systems for verifying transactions.

[...]

“Work is usually needed by the patent attorneys to clear it into a form that can be accepted by the company,” said chief executive John Karantzis. The company received correspondence on September 6 with the requirements to finalise the EPO’s notice of intention to grant the patent.

iSignthis seems unaware that many patents granted by the EPO turn out to be fake when courts assess them. Some entities, however (notably trolls), rely on settling outside the courts for some unspecified monetary sum. It’s extortion. The EPO’s abandonment of patent quality best serves those sorts of entities — not a fact that ever bothers today’s management. Iancu denies such a problem even exists.

The EPO’s Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 10:14:46 AM

“Internal appeals against strike regulations”

Summary: Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos “scandal”; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said

THE STAFF of the European Patent Office (EPO) is disappointed to see yet more evidence that Battistelli remains ‘in power’ through his friend António Campinos, whom he left in charge. From Friday:

Munich, 13.09.2019
sc19121cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

Internal appeals against strike regulations

In his Communiqué No.19 of 3 September 2019 Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions. The decisions will be appealed at the ILOAT.

A bit of “evolutionary history” is often helpful to understand the present.

Changing the rules during the game…

Early in 2013 the SUEPO trade union called for an office-wide action plan 1. This was in response to outstanding concerns of staff, specifically concerning performance management (abolition of warning letters), well-being (house arrests for sick staff), the career system (reduction of the budget), a ban on mass emails, and the investigation guidelines.

The answer of Mr Battistelli was to submit during the on-going conflict a proposal on strike regulations (CA/D 5/13 and Circular 347) which made striking much more difficult by:

- restricting the allowed nature and duration of a strike;

- restricting the allowed grounds for a strike2 (to only relate to “conditions of employment”);

- introducing a 1/20th deduction of monthly salary per day (instead of 1/30th);

- allowing small, non-statutory, ad-hoc groups to bypass unions and initiate strike ballots; and

- preventing a strike ballot being organised by others than the Administration.

Mr Battistelli pretended in front of the Administrative Council3 that the purpose of these amendments was to fill a legal vacuum and that, for the first time in EPO history, the newly introduced Article 30a ServRegs would recognise the right to strike. The then VP5 declared that: “[t]he new regulations had been proposed considering general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards.”

Interestingly, and somewhat contradictorily, the Administration argued before the Appeals Committee that it did not consider ILO Convention 151 on Labour Relations to be binding on the EPOrg. However, the right to strike emanates from the fundamental right to freedom of association, a right already recognised in Article 30 ServRegs. In contrast, Article 30a almost voids the right to strike and thus attacks our right to freedom of association.
____
1 “Note to all staff: meeting with the President on 16 May 2013” (sc13074cp)
2 “Strike for climate not possible at the EPO”, CSC Intranet publication of 19 August 2019
3 “Draft minutes of the 136th meeting of the Administrative Council” (CA/64/13), attended by Mr Campinos (CA/52/13 Rev. 1) in his capacity as Head of the OHIM (now EUIPO) and Mr Christoph Ernst (now VP5) as Head of the German Delegation

… and threatening staff on strike on 2 July 2013

On 1 July 2013, the new regulations entered into force4. SUEPO informed staff that Circular 347 was unlawful. SUEPO explained that already in February 2013 its action plan had been successfully balloted, with a credible quorum and an overwhelming majority in all places of employment, for actions until 1 September 2013. Several hundred staff members declared themselves on strike on 2 July 20135. On 9 July 2013, Ms Bergot (PD4.3) sent letters to them in which she refused to recognise the claimed industrial action as a strike and asserted that the staff members had been on unauthorised absence and were liable to disciplinary measures.

The rise of (anonymous) calls for the strike

Towards the end of 2013 (anonymous) groups of staff started organising themselves and circulating petitions to initiate strike ballots. The LIFER call for strike (6 September 2013) was a major success culminating in a massive vote of no confidence in Mr Battistelli who then tried to avoid this situation again in view of the Administrative Council meeting of June 2014 when his re-election would be on the agenda.

To this end, Mr Battistelli refused to organise the ballot for the subsequent IFLRE call for strike (24 October 2013) on the spurious ground that there should be a “one-month cooling-off period”. The ballot for the PEACES call for strike (23 January 2014) was postponed by unduly accusing an expert of the staff representation of breach of data protection. The ballot of the UNITY call for strike (16 May 2014) was deliberately postponed until it was not possible to organise it anymore.

In conclusion, history teaches us that the strike regulations were designed to give the President means to thwart staff’s attempts to contest reforms.

Six years later, in the Appeals Committee

The unlawfulness of the strike regulations (2 July 2013), the brutality of their enforcement (requisitions) and their wrong application (for IFLRE, PEACES, UNITY) triggered a significant number of appeals. Six years later the matter was finally treated by the Appeals Committee.

In his Communiqué, Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee (ApC) that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions and the fact that the Chair of the ApC sided with the nominees of the Administration6.

Among others, we are concerned that the majority found “requisitions in the event of strike to be lawful in relation to opposition proceedings and other tasks which cannot be taken over by a colleague at short notice”. We remind you that an unavoidable consequence of a strike is to cause some work disruption, if the strike is to be effective.

_____
4 “New Circular 347”, VP4 Communiqué of 28 June 2013
5 “Feedback on 2 July 2013 strike”, SUEPO publication (su13092cp)
6 We regret that the Chair was appointed by the President without consulting us. We always pleaded for an appointment based on a joint proposal involving Staff Representation.

Will Mr Campinos question the past?

When the new strike regulations were discussed in the Administrative Council in June 2013 Mr Christoph Ernst, who was head of the German delegation at the time, advised the EPO “to evaluate the rules within one or two years to ensure that the intended aims had indeed been reached.” Such evaluation never took place. Mr Ernst is now Vice-President “Legal Affairs” (VP5) and it is his duty to advise the President. Labour law does not, however, fall anymore under his remit since it has been transferred to Ms Bergot (PD4.3).

Now, Mr Campinos announces that “the right to strike will be revisited in the framework of upcoming discussions between the Office and the unions”.

We acknowledge that Mr Campinos shows readiness to organise meetings but, unfortunately, we also see a marked reluctance to question the past (and partly present) disastrous practice. The concerns of staff, repeatedly expressed since 2013, are still on the agenda, and there is much room for substantial progress.

Next steps

In addition to discussing this topic with the President, his decisions on the strike appeals will be brought to the ILOAT soon. Staff will be informed accordingly.

The Central Staff Committee

What has SUEPO said about it? It’s not the same as the Central Staff Committee and can usually issue more harshly-worded statements:

Mr Campinos has just missed a golden opportunity to reconsider the dubious legacy of his predecessor.

Because they’re the same.

Here’s the full publication:

The new publication by the President of the EPO went as follows (this is what the above alludes to):

Internal appeals against strike regulations

03.09.2019

Outcome confirms validity of the Office’s regulatory framework

Dear Colleagues,

The right to strike is a widely recognised principle, and in the EPO specifically set out in Article 30a of the ServRegs. Recently, the Appeals Committee issued several opinions involving the legal framework regulating the right to strike. On the merits, the Office has endorsed the recommendation of the majority of the Committee in these opinions.

While the opinions concern individual appeals, they also address the legality of certain aspects of the regulatory framework, as adopted by the Administrative Council on 1 July 2013 (CA/D 5/13), and I would like to share with you some of the general findings.

Most importantly, it can be noted that the Committee’s majority considered that the rules regarding strike – to the extent they were relevant for the assessment of the individual appeals – are lawful. In particular, it validated the lawfulness of:

· The rule of 1/20th deduction of monthly salary per day of participation in strike as it applies within the context of absences from working days;

· The decision to allow smaller ad hoc groups to initiate strike ballots;

· The Office bearing the subsequent responsibility to organise a strike ballot, with the Supervisory Committee providing adequate safeguard.

As regards the Office’s obligation to organise strike ballots, it was considered that a decision by the President to postpone a ballot must be both justified and proportionate. In the case of one strike initiative in 2014, this was found not to be the case (UNITY), while in two others (PEACES and IFLRE) data protection issues and the need for a “cooling-off period”, respectively, was considered lawful. With regard to the latter case, I believe the outcome of the most recent call for strike confirmed that constructive discussions may indeed take place during such a period, and make strike unnecessary.

It has also been confirmed that requisitions in the event of strike are lawful, provided they are imposed in a proportionate manner. A distinction was drawn between the type of oral proceedings concerned, and in the cases at hand, the Committee unanimously considered the requisition orders issued in relation to oral proceedings in examination not to be proportionate. However, in relation to opposition proceedings and other tasks which cannot be taken over by a colleague at short notice, the requisition orders were considered to be lawful.

To conclude, these findings confirm the validity of the Office’s regulatory framework regarding the right to strike and the protections it offers. Nevertheless, as mentioned in the Strategic Plan for 2023, the right to strike will be revisited in the framework of upcoming discussions between the Office and the unions. I look forward to constructive and conducive discussions in this regard.

António Campinos

President

Above is “the text of Mr Campinos’ communiqué published on intranet and SUEPO TH’s answer to the matter,” one reader told us. They’re alluding to “fascist bills”:

——————–

What is happening at EPO?

Antonio Campinos President of the European Patent Office and ex EU top official endorses Battistelli’s strike rules inspired by fascist bills.

Was he not elected to re-establish social dialogue and respect the rule of law?

———————

It seems pretty safe to say that staff isn’t happy and the true nature of Campinos continues to reveal itself.

Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 09:29:36 AM

Summary: Things aren’t rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn’t know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) may have seemed quiet this past summer. Not much said, not much done. Under the surface, however, the EPO and the USPTO worked to promote software patents and ‘finish Battistelli‘s job’…

“Another strike may sooner or later come to the EPO, but it’s not easy.”Quality of European Patents is already quite appalling — a subject we’ll tackle separately in our next posts.

Another strike may sooner or later come to the EPO, but it’s not easy. Things are deteriorating very fast in Munich, but the public isn’t seeing it. The media has been muzzled by EPO bribes and threats (we’ve provided proof of both). SUEPO should, in our humble assessment, call for a strike or say something, but its site has been dormant for nearly a month now (last updated August 20th). Staff representatives ought to call for a strike again. It’s clear that nothing is improving, so why wait until it’s too late? Do it for Europe and for the EPO (what it used to be). I myself, as a software developer, am terrified to see the direction the EPO has taken. It’s a threat not only to labour rights and the rule of law; there’s a commercial and technical impact as well.

“The real news in Europe is about EPO and other institutions (the EPO’s rot extends to other institutions).”Some readers have sent us input; no doubt corporate media will ignore all this information, as usual, even if this is Europe’s second-largest body breaking the law. Such media thinks (or ‘feels’) corruption at the EPO is not news, whereas Cristiano Ronaldo merely “reveal[ing] marriage plans” is ‘news’ of the year!

The real news in Europe is about EPO and other institutions (the EPO’s rot extends to other institutions). The real news is not Christiano Ronaldo but the Portuguese tyrant of EPO (and former/ex-EU official, António Campinos) attacking the law itself. He did that at EUIPO, so why not EPO as well?

“…all this while fronting for global robber barons and their protectionist mechanisms, which are neither good to Dutch people nor to Europe.”The past few days have been very busy (relatively speaking) at the higher floors of the EPO in Munich. Bad things. Very bad things.

The EPO has just thrown a major punch on the face of all staff while throwing out this fluff, perhaps in order to distract? (warning: epo.org link)

“EPO welcomes 750 visitors during Netherlands’ national heritage days,” it says. Go on and fake your patriotism. “The EPO welcomed 750 visitors to its new premises at its new premises in Rijswijk last weekend as part of the Netherlands’ national heritage days,” it says. Pseudo-nationalism (or patriotism) from the EPO up on display; all this while fronting for global robber barons and their protectionist mechanisms, which are neither good to Dutch people nor to Europe. What might this help distract from? Details in our next post.

Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 06:29:29 AM

Guest post by figosdev

Summary: Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"

In December 2018 and earlier this year, I called for Richard Stallman to voluntarily resign.

The reasons for this call were entirely different from the reasons he just resigned.

Here were the reasons:

1. What I believe (and many others believe) are systemic attacks on Free software, are being largely ignored — even by the FSF.

Some progress was actually made in this regard recently.

2. Users are losing freedom faster than they gain it, due to these attacks.

3. Once-strong and popular distros are falling apart — too many to ignore.

4. “the fsf needs a president who stands up to these new challenges that threaten Free software. and i dont think stallman is doing that anymore.”

However, this was not the whole story, and I added other points:

“most people who declare a lowered confidence in rms as the leader of his own movement, are declaring it for political reasons that benefit corporations and monopolies — monopolies are the very problem that Free software exists to provide alternatives to.”

That is the problem we are witnessing today, as Stallman has actually resigned.

“we dont need another smarmy corporate sycophant yes man to take over the fsf, as open source would propose.”

“and someone asked me this morning about my call to ‘impeach’ stallman.”

“theres a very important distinction to be made. im not asking for anyone to be impeached. even if that were possible, thats not what the call is for!”

Apparently, it is possible. I do not believe Stallman stepped down out of choice (as was my wish) but instead was asked (or forced) to by the Board.

I was very clear, that was not the outcome I desired:

“impeachment is a process of forcing a leader out. hopefully if youre going to force someone out of a position (think back to the 2003 invasion of iraq) you have someone better to take their place.”

“and if youre going to ask someone to step down, there need to be reasons. my reason is simple and straightforward, and obviously controversial”

I do not think Stallman stepped down for a good reason this week. This was about image, not truth — it was not about renewing the fight for Free software.

The largest threat I did not think the FSF was taking seriously enough, was the adaptation of EEE tactics to software under a free licence:

“i am not suggesting that rms should ‘just go home’ and disappear from the public sphere.”

Stepping down as President would have likely protected him from what happened today. I can’t prove that, I can only guess.

“i am not suggesting he should leave the fsf! he should certainly be on the board.”

Tragically, he has resigned from the Board as well.

Let me say immediately after hearing it: that particular decision is an enormous mistake on the part of the FSF. I hope you’re all aware that you just lost your most important member. Anyone who does not realise this, really does not belong on the board themselves.

“i am not suggesting that rms is any less the father of the Free software movement, than albert einstein is the author of the theory of relativity.”

“and i think that ben mako hill is the best possible replacement”

Ben Mako Hill and Alexandre Oliva (who just joined the Board, for better or worse — I believe for better, though it is deeply unfortunate that this is what his first year on the Board looks like) tend to occupy the top spot on my “Who should be a stand-in for rms” list and alternate from time to time. I have always discounted Oliva primarily over geographical issues — plus a hint of a no-longer-relevant connection to Red Hat — which isn’t entirely fair but either way, he doesn’t work there anymore.

“and i feel confident that ben mako hill would have a great deal of respect in how he dealt with the problems ahead.”

The number one concern for Free software supporters today, should be who the FSF replaces Stallman with.

“its got to be said that i dont think anybody is ready to fill the important role that stallman filled in 1984, and 1991, and 2005, and 2010 — the role that stallman filled when we learned about prism. im not knocking his career or brilliance or legacy, only the past 4 years of his presidency. the fsf needs him on the board, at a minimum.”

“there is no one that is ‘like stallman, only more like him.’ that wont ever happen.”

“there are only people who are different. they would have to have enough in common that they filled the role, but we all know there will never be another president rms.”

Some of the people I think the FSF have not paid enough attention to, in terms of problems related to the state of the Free software ecosystem include:

(This is mostly, not exclusively, about systemd)

1. Denis Roio, who already worked on dyne:bolic, an FSF-approved GNU distribution
2. Emulatorman, who heads Hyperbola, an FSF-approved GNU distribution
3. Ian Jackson, who joined Debian in its first year, and has spent the past 4 years fighting this problem
4. Some Debian developers who have left Debian to fight this problem elsewhere
5. The Veteran Unix Admins, who created Devuan along with Roio
6. fsmithred, maintainer of Devuan Live, Refracta and the refracta-tools remastering programs
7. Various bloggers and software developers who have spent years talking about these problems
8. Most of the Puppy Linux community, at least those who would even notice the changes happening outside the distro
9. anticapitalista, GNU-based distro developer
10. Aitor, developer of Gnuinos
11. Eric Vidal, developer of Obarun

This critique will not fall entirely on the FSF — note some progress was made recently in this regard:

“i believe stallman is more focused on hardware-related threats and license-related threats, while the software ecosystem is constantly getting dragged backwards into windows-esque software lock-in and instability. the core Free software ecosystem is no place for these problems.”

“indeed, these are the sorts of problems we fled to rely on gnu/linux as a solution to in the first place. we still have the freedom per se, but we have not for years now, enjoyed the full benefits of that freedom.”

“the effects are real, the problems are real — the denial that happens year after year is shocking.”

“whatever is preventing the fsf from addressing this — now (if not 4 years ago) is the time for that to end.”

Now that Stallman is gone, it is more important than ever to hold the FSF to its mission. Were Stallman to remain on the Board, he could do a lot in that regard. Instead, now we have to do it without him.

I have for years, watched for a good replacement for Stallman. The list of candidates is very short.

I’m not at all impressed with the SFC, who appear to assume there is someone “better” than Stallman out there.

Anybody who can do better than Stallman is going to have to grow into that role, and they’re going to have to be a pretty outstanding person to begin with as well.

Where are these outstanding people?

Torvalds for example, could not do anything more for the FSF than sell them off to Jim Zemlin and Microsoft — that’s not very useful.

Perhaps we should consider asking Bruce Perens, now that the position is actually open.

I feel I’ve already given this far more thought than the SFC — I don’t even think their reasoning was very detail-oriented, it was simply accusatory and knee-jerk and destructive. In my opinion there was no obvious consideration of consequences, just “get on with the Inquisition” and somehow we will clean up later.

The world is a dumber place today, for the father of Free software being removed over an opinion.

That was never a good idea, nor was it my idea.

Further, I believe September 16th (or October 1st) is a good day for a Political Incorrectness Day. Political correctness has wronged one of the greatest and most valuable minds of our century, without anything remotely like due process (or sufficient deliberation).

To the Board of the FSF: You acted hastily. I’m not saying you made the wrong decision altogether (I disagree strongly with his ejection from the Board, obviously) but you made it too quickly.

This is about the founder of Free software, and the founder of your organisation — the real one, not the others.

You could have (or should have) taken at least a week to decide, for more evidence to come out.

Doing this based on a poll and several hours of deliberation was completely insufficient!

The Free Media Alliance has never lobbied the FSF to make such important decisions with such enormous haste — only to carefully reconsider certain dismissals of things people have complained about for years.

I’m sure there were people who were careful. Maybe there was even a dissenter on the Board.

Whoever you are, if you dissented or took the greatest care among the members, you have my gratitude.

Mr. Stallman, this is not what I wanted. You should still be on the Board. This should have been entirely voluntary, and only for freedom — not for image.

A great man was done an injustice and disservice today, not for the first time. Stallman created the GNU Operating System — and too many people want to ship the credit off to corporations that don’t care about the freedom it was created to give you, the user.

This ought to be the final injustice to his legacy, but it probably won’t be. Today, ingrates and opportunists have won a great victory.

Let’s give them, I hope, as little of what they want as possible.

Also, there is nothing wrong with critiquing Stallman. He is being held to a bizarre standard, one we reserve for people who remind us of inconvenient truths. But there is nothing wrong with critiquing him.

There is something wrong with the idea that he was treated fairly this week. The FSF has traitors, just look at those who received awards. LibrePlanet has done as much harm as good to the organisation — it was a battleground for superficial, political correctness and ways to limit Free software, as much as promote it.

Freedom does not come from witch hunts and witch trials. The Code of Conduct should be called the Malleus Hackerum. Who among us is safe from its spiteful hypocrisy?

As with the Board, I do not wish to blame everyone who participated in LibrePlanet. But there are clearly traitors in your midst.

What I recommend we do as a result — is Speak Up for Free software, treat Stallman’s legacy with the well-earned respect and consideration that goes beyond the superficiality of headlines and paid shills (at least!) –and keep Free software alive.

I don’t blame you if the feeling isn’t mutual Mr. Stallman, but if you ever need anything at all, I hope you’ll ask and I hope I can help in some way. That hope is sincere, but if I can’t do that myself I would ask the same of anybody who takes me even a little bit seriously.

To all who care: please send rms your condolences and support, as soon as we find out what his new email address is.

When you inevitably read people from the Open Source movement gloating about this, think about all the times they’ve criticised the very idea of being fully free (as in not having your life controlled by big tech corporations.) This is a great day for them — it is not a great day for us.

Long Live Stallman —

Long live GNU–

And bring back “Free as in Speech” — what a complete farce that phrase was made today.

License: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

As Richard Stallman Resigns Let’s Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 03:05:15 AM

Media mob. A year after they made Torvalds ‘take a break’ Stallman steps down (coinciding with lots of negative media coverage).

Summary: Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom

SO it’s official. The FSF has broken the news that “Richard M. Stallman resigns” and it seems like it was done in a hurry judging by the brevity of the statement:

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

I’ve decided to wake up early and do a rebuttal to all that “remove Stallman” movement. He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place. As explained yesterday, Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things. As for Stallman? Some media exaggerated or distorted what he said; see later comments in this thread. The damage has been done.

“He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place.”As Stallman himself has just put it in his site, “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

Stallman previously responded in his blog with “Statements about Epstein”. To quote:

I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

Slashdot mentioned this and there’s this article entitled “Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments”, lost in the noise of misleading headlines claiming that Stallman was defending Epstein (he wasn’t).

To make matters worse, yesterday the Software Freedom Conservancy issued a statement to say: “We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.”

Wait, your movement?

“…Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things.”Stallman started it. You just piggybacked it. Some of you were kids when he started it.

“Move along, Stallman, let us steal your movement…”

This is part of the “remove Stallman” and “post-RMS” nonsense (among others; the FSF mistakenly gave an award to that person).

Sorry to say this, but the Software Freedom Conservancy would not even exist if it weren’t for Stallman’s software and licence, which they enforce for a living (they’re quasi-lawyers suing and threatening to sue). We’d rather see Kuhn stepping down (than Stallman stepping down). The Software Freedom Conservancy is not essential and it has competition anyway (it’s not like GPL enforcers are missing in action).

In the above statement the Software Freedom Conservancy cites (without actually citing) old remarks from Stallman, but why did it wait until now to make a big fuss over it? Is it opportunism? Maybe the impact of Outreachy inside the Software Freedom Conservancy? Agenda for 'professionalism'?

We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down. Had Torvalds still had ‘teeth’ in the project (he was lashed last year as a a warning), he would likely reject exFAT like he did all sorts of case-insensitive file systems in the past. He doesn’t want Linux – strategically – to chase Microsoft with specifications and patents (for an inferior implementation).

“We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down.”Why was he pushed out? You would struggle to find evidence of Torvalds being racist or sexist.

Even remotely.

If he sees bad code, he calls it out.

He’s a technical person, a geek.

We need geeks, not suits and marketing liars like Linux Foundation managers.

Calling bad code “bad” is not intolerance and it is very much essential. Look how many strides Microsoft has made inside Linux since Torvalds got ‘spooked’ by the media.

Is there an effort to ‘decapitate’ (as in decapitation strategies) GNU/Linux? The media wants us to think Torvalds is a disgusting person and Stallman now speaks of pressure on MIT.

“When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?”Torvalds isn’t a bad person (I spoke to him in the past and he was polite), but yesterday I saw some people repeating this smear about Torvalds. Some videos in YouTube want him and Stallman to step down (no more identity to Linux and GNU). Who would benefit?

Those who wanted Stallman to step down or be removed got their way. Now, who the heck do they think can replace him? Nobody can. We wrote about this in our recent series about "FSF Titanic". Stallman made GNU when I was a baby (literally), then he came up with the GPL etc.

He’s tactless, but he remains instrumental. If the Conservancy wished to distance itself from Stallman, fine. But they actually called for his resignation and sacking.

We need someone in the top of Free software who speaks about politics (like Stallman does) because companies like Microsoft are inherently political, politically-connected and extremely subversive, you can’t face them on technical terms alone.

Why doesn’t Smith resign over crimes against humanity? Here are some new tweets:

TFW your angry tweets about Microsoft and DHS end up in a book written by the president of Microsoft. pic.twitter.com/4YqtYH1OiQ

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

Also, I find Brad Smith's "aww we'd kind of forgotten about that ICE contract" attempted minimizing of this issue to be extremely disingenuous given the revolving door between Microsoft and the Department of Homeland Security: https://t.co/NVebYaBe9J

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

I'm glad that I could help remind Brad that his company was working on using facial recognition with ICE to round up people, tear their children away from them, and imprison them in concentration camps where they aren't given clean water, adequate food, or medical care.

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

But I mean, I'm sure that all these DHS contracts landing with Microsoft is just a big weird huge coincidence, something that the President of Microsoft hardly ever thinks about until some rando tweets about it on twitter to remind him.

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

Hey look, here's a shout out to Brad Smith from Palmer Luckey, after they both appeared on a panel talking about how it is the duty of tech companies to supply the U.S. military: pic.twitter.com/rmtNSUDX5x

— "a gentleman in Virginia" (@taotetek) September 15, 2019

When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?

Free speech and political speech come at a cost; you’re guaranteed to piss off just about everyone, based on selective subsets of things you say over the years. Having no opinions is ‘safe’; if you want to be attacked while smiling politely.

At the moment Micosoft is trying to take control of both GNU and Linux using EEE tools such as Azure and WSL. Failing to guard GNU and Linux at a higher level may hand fast defeat to us and triumph to Microsoft.

“With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.”Some Linux bloggers have sadly decided to also cover Microsoft Vista 10 news because there’s “Linux” in the name. Now, with Stallman out, such an agenda would face less resistance. From yesterday: “Microsoft announced something Linux users would have never dreamed of, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for their WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) implementation. [...] WSL 2, the latest version of Windows Subsystem for Linux, was announced by Microsoft earlier this summer and it introduces major new features like an entirely new architecture that uses a real, in-house built Linux kernel, as well as full system call compatibility to run more Linux apps.”

With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.

Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

Monday 16th of September 2019 04:54:20 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Can a Raspberry Pi 4 really replace your PC?

        I have written several times already about the recently-released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (see my first impressions, how-to setup, my hands-on experience, and my thoughts two months in). Now I’m going to look at one of the practical aspects that I think a lot of people have been wondering about – is it (finally) good enough to use as an every-day desktop system?

        We’ve been through this several times before, when the original Raspberry Pi, the Pi 2 and the Pi 3 came out – and each time the answer was “only if you have enough patience”. Although the amount of patience required decreased each time, it was still too slow on many everyday tasks, or too limited in configuration (primarily memory) for most people to be satisfied using it. So maybe this time it will make the grade?

    • Server
      • This $8,000 super computer can be yours for pennies

        With companies of all sizes looking to boost their computing power, the amount of competition to provide such services is keener than ever.

        20 years ago, the world’s most powerful computer was the Intel-powered ASCI Red. It had nearly 10,000 cores, a peak performance of 3.21 Tflops and had a cool price tag of $55 million.

        [...]

        Ubuntu 18.04 is included as the default operating system and you can upgrade it to WIndows Server 2019. As with all Ionos dedicated servers, there’s also a 1Gbps unlimited data pipe, and you can choose the location of your server (either US or Europe).

      • IBM
        • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

          Our first DevNation Live regional event was held in Bengaluru, India in July. This free technology event focused on open source innovations, with sessions presented by elite Red Hat technologists.

          Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for hybrid cloud portable application architecture, and in this session, Burr Sutter shows why Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift provide the ideal solution for deploying and managing microservices in your organization.

          This live hands-on session is for any developer who is interested in Linux containers and cloud-native application architecture. Our examples will primarily be in Java, as there is some special “care and feeding” related to Java in a container, but the lessons are applicable to any programming language.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • GNU World Order 13×38

        First up: all about mcookie, mesg, and namei from util-linux. Then, a discussion of how one might transition to running Linux exclusively. Do you have a story of how you switched to Linux full-time? Do you not run Linux and just run as much open source as possible?

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.3 was announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml) in the founder’s trademark modest style. No major “quotable” quips from Linus thus time around, save for background on the unplanned eighth release candidate.

        This release follows the well-received Linux 5.2 release back in July and comes with a raft of improvements, optimisations, and new hardware support.

        For instance, Linux 5.3 introduces early support for AMD Navi GPUs, makes 16 million new IPv4 addresses available, and is compatible with Intel Speed Select used in Intel Xeon servers.

      • Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.3: Kernel fixes are about user impact, nothing else

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds has finally announced the release of Linux 5.3, after eight release candidates and a delay of one week.

        But that delay has been a good thing, according to Torvalds, because it gives kernel developers an important lesson in what’s important and how to frame issues when reporting bugs.

        Torvalds had a busy schedule last week, speaking with ZDNet’s open-source authority, Steven J Vaughan-Nichols, at not one but two core Linux conferences – the Kernel Maintainers Summit and the Linux Plumbers Conference, held in Lisbon, Portugal last week.

      • The 5.3 kernel is out

        The 5.3 kernel is available at last. The announcement includes a long discussion about user-space regressions — an ext4 filesystem performance improvement had caused some systems to fail booting due to a lack of entropy early after startup. “It’s more that it’s an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole ‘no regressions’ kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn’t change any API’s, and it didn’t introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted.”

      • Linux 5.2.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.19.73
      • Linux 4.14.144
      • Linux 4.9.193
      • Linux 4.4.193
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu GNU Linux-libre 5.3-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at <http://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.3-gnu/>. It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu, the first published rc-gnu. Freesh binaries are already available!, thanks to Jason Self; others are on the way. Besides recognizing new false positives (sequences that our blob hunter would report as suspicious, but that are neither blobs nor requests for blobs), updating the deblobbing scripts for 5.3 required adjusting cleaned up drivers for updated blob names, recognizing one new Free piece of firmware with binary and corresponding sources embedded in the kernel sources, and disabling blob loading introduced in a few drivers: QCOM, DRM (HDCP), Allegro-DVT, and Meson-VDEC. This last one was particularly disappointing: the firmware sources were supposed to be available from LibreELEC, and though the link to the alleged sources there is broken, I managed to find the "source" repo containing them, only to find out the "source" was just a binary blob encoded in C as an array of char, just like Linux used to do back when I got involved with Linux-libre. Oh well... Request disabled... If anyone can find Freely-licensed actual source code for that, or for any other file whose loading we disable, please let us know, so that we can refrain from disabling its loading. For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org (Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <http://twister.net.co/>, Secure Scuttlebutt, GNU social at social.libreplanet.org, Diaspora* at pod.libreplanetbr.org or pump.io at identi.ca. Check my web page (link in the signature) for direct links. Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
      • GNU Linux-libre 5.3 Continues Deblobbing & Dealing With Firmware Trickery
      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.3 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs
      • Google’s FS-VERITY File Authentication Called For Inclusion In Linux 5.4 Kernel

        Linux kernel engineer Eric Biggers of Google has sent in a pull request adding FS-VERITY support to the Linux 5.4 but it remains to be seen if Linus Torvalds is content with pulling the code at this stage.

        FS-VERITY is the code Google has been working on for a while now in the context of Android. The focus is on providing transparent integrity/authenticity support for read-only files on an otherwise writable file-system. See this presentation to learn more on this file-based authenticity protection.

      • Linux 5.4 Brings Working Temperature Reporting For AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs

        Due to a combination of poor timing and an oversight at AMD, the CPU temperature reporting under Linux for the Ryzen 3000 series processors isn’t in order until this new Linux 5.4 cycle. Back at the Ryzen 3000 series launch event I was told everything was “all good” from the Linux support perspective for thermal monitoring, after having been closely following the situation for past Zen CPUs and ended up myself adding the Linux CPU temperature monitoring support for Threadripper 2 among other hudles in the past. That all-good though just ended up meaning that there is no Tcontrol offset needed for these new CPUs, which is great news no longer needing the temperature offset by an arbitrary amount. But the oversight was the Family 17h Model 70h ID was never added to the AMD k10temp driver. As a result, temperature monitoring wasn’t actually working and took an extra kernel cycle before this trivial addition landed.

      • Linux Foundation
        • All about Reactive Foundation,The Linux Foundation’s new baby

          The Linux Foundation has announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.

          [...]

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end-user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability, and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.
          “From the beginning of our work on RSocket during my time at Netflix, our intent was to have an open system that encouraged broad adoption, which is essential for networking technology. We’re thrilled to be hosted at the Linux Foundation with commitment from leaders and disruptors in the industry, and are excited to make progress enabling reactive programming,” said Ryland Degnan, Co-Founder, and CTO at Netifi and Foundation community chair.

    • Applications
      • New WireGuard Snapshot Offers Better Compatibility With Distributions/Kernels

        WireGuard sadly isn’t slated for the now-open Linux 5.4 merge window, but lead developer Jason Donenfeld has put out a new development snapshot of this open-source secure VPN tunnel.

        Coming barely two weeks since the previous WireGuard snapshot, this newest development release isn’t too heavy on the changes but the focus is on better portability/compatibility.

      • PulseAudio 13 Released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support, More

        Released three months after the PulseAudio 12 series, PulseAudio 13 is here with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, improved initial card profile selection for ALSA cards, as well as S/PDIF improvements for CMEDIA USB2.0 High-Speed True HD Audio.

        The PulseAudio 13 series also adds several new module arguments, including “max_latency_msec” for module-loopback, “stream_name” for module-rtp-send, and “avoid_resampling” for module-udev-detect and module-alsa-card, and no longer uses persistent Bluetooth card profile choices by default, recommending users to use A2DP by default.

      • Apple Watch Series 5, $500, or Linux PineTime smartwatch, $25?

        A new open-source smartwatch is in the works with a planned price of $25.

        [...]

        But the PineTime isn’t quite a reality yet. Pine64 said it is still “waiting for some love from developers” and that for now it is a side project, similar to the Pine64 CUBE, an open-source IoT camera.

        Besides Apple, no Android smartphone maker besides perhaps Xiaomi has been able to carve out a dominant position in the smartwatch category.

        The cheapest decent smartwatches today can be found generally for about $40, so Pine64′s promise of a smartwatch that looks similar to the Apple Watch for $25 does sound interesting. And it runs on Arm MBed or FreeTOS, a sure selling point for those who want to avoid the mainstream.

        The smartwatch announcement follows Pine64′s plans to launch the PinePhone, a follow-up to its cheap Pinebook Pro laptops and its Raspberry Pi rival boards.

      • cmus – free terminal-based audio player

        It took me a few years to appreciate console-based software. Repairing a broken system using the ubiquitous vi text editor was a turning point in my Linux journey. Now I spend a lot of time at the terminal, and listening to music. Best combine the two!

        When it comes to console-based music software, I really admire musikcube, a wonderful audio engine, library, player and server written in C++.

        This review looks at an alternative to musikcube. It’s called cmus. It shares many similarities with musikcube. Both are designed to run on a text-only user interface, reducing the resources required to run the application.

        cmus is written in C.

      • Rclone Browser Fork With Fixes And Enhancements

        Rclone Browser is a fairly popular cross-platform GUI for Rclone. Its development was stopped in 2017, but a Rclone Browser fork was created recently to fix some “small not working bits and pieces”, like the transfer progress not working, while also adding some enhancements.

        Let me tell you a few things about Rclone, in case you haven’t heard of it, and then continue with Rclone Browser. Rclone is like rsync, but for cloud storage. The command line tool can synchronize files between your filesystem and cloud storage services like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Nextcloud, Yandex Disk, Dropbox, Amazon Drive and S3, Mega, pCloud, and others (and having WebDAV, FTP and SFTP support), as well as directly between cloud storage services. It also supports mounting these cloud storage services so you can access your files using desktop applications.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • It Stares Back, an RTS with a really wild style will be coming to Linux

        Always on the lookout for my next strategy game fix, I recently came across It Stares Back after it pulled my in due to the wild visuals.

        Currently, it’s only available for Windows in Early Access on Steam. However, the developer confirmed to me on the Steam forum that it’s planned for Linux just like their last game, Castle Battles. The Linux version should come once the game is complete.

      • Receiver, the experimental FPS from Wolfire Games had a big update recently

        Receiver is a name I’ve not heard in a long time, the indie FPS released back in 2013 by Wolfire Games and it’s just seen a big update.

        There’s no new enemies or levels in this update, instead Wolfire focused on the tech that runs the game. In this case it’s the Unity game engine and they gave it quite a big update. It also adds in some graphical prettiness and other bits like that.

      • Ocean exploration game Beyond Blue has a new story trailer and voice cast reveal

        Beyond Blue, the near-future ocean exploration game from E-Line Media (publisher of Never Alone) has a new story teaser.

        If you’ve not heard of it before, this is not some survival game like Subnautica. Instead, it’s a game about exploring the depths of our oceans. Think of it like Blue Planet: The Game, that sums it up quite well especially since they’ve teamed up with BBC Studios (who did the Blue Planet documentary).

      • NARWHAR Project Hornwhale, a really wacky shoot ‘em up that reminds me of the Amiga days

        The developer of NARWHAR Project Hornwhale emailed in recently about their new arcade style shoot ‘em up being released with Linux support. It’s a bit wild.

        I’ll admit the name, along with the setting of this thoroughly made me chuckle to no end. Space Narwhals that rule with an iron fist, with you playing as one of two Rays that shoot lasers? The damn Narwhals took away all the free milkshake, so naturally a rebellion happened. What’s not to love about such a crazy setting?

      • Buoyancy, a city-builder where you manage a floating city has a Linux test build up

        Sometimes when you ask if a game is coming to Linux it’s a no, others say it’s planned and when it’s Buoyancy the developer just puts up a build soon after asking.

        Yep, that’s what happened here. After asking about Linux support on Steam, developer replied to say “yes”. When asking if they knew when, they went ahead and uploaded a build. If only it was always that easy…

      • The latest Overcooked! 2 expansion sounds more crazy than ever with the Carnival of Chaos

        Overcooked! 2 is no doubt one of the best, most hilarious and most infuriating co-op experiences around all in one. It just got bigger again too, with another great sound DLC out now.

      • Fantastic looking beat ‘em up Shing! confirmed to be releasing for Linux

        One we completely missed from Gamescom is Shing!, a new beat ‘em up from developer Mass Creation releasing next year and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

        Curiously, it appeared recently in my Steam searching with a SteamOS/Linux icon but the store page only has Windows system requirements. When going to message the developer, I checked the Steam forum and as expected someone asked about Linux support. The reply from the developer was a very clear “Yes – Shing will be available on Linux.”.

        They’re saying it’s so good, they’ve called it a “beat-em-up 2.0″. With Shing! Mass Creation say they’re mixing in classic arcade-style gameplay with modern graphics and an innovative control scheme. This is not going to be a button basher, instead you use the right stick of a gamepad to directly control your weapon. It sounds good on paper but does it look good? Sure does! Take a look at their recent gameplay reveal:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • New webpage for Plasma Desktop

          In my quest to improve the website of KDE, I updated the Plasma Desktop webpage. This is a huge improvement to the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.

          I already teased the improvements I made in the Plasma BoF in Milan to the Akademy.

          The redesign got a lot of positive feedback by the Plasma team and after some small modifications the changes landed.

        • Interview with Julius Grels

          At one point I started to search for open source alternatives for the myriad number of programs I was using, and Krita was a recommendation somewhere to replace Photoshop, with high ratings from users.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME Firmware App Launches Officially to Make Updating Firmware Easier on Linux

          Promising to make firmware updates easier to deploy, GNOME Firmware is a graphical application for power users that lets them check for new firmware for their devices, update or downgrade current firmware, as well as to install new firmware. GNOME Firmware is designed as an optional utility for GNOME users, as well as users of other desktop environments.

          “GNOME Firmware is designed to be a not-installed-by-default power-user tool to investigate, upgrade, downgrade and re install firmware,” said Richard Hughes in a blog post. “GNOME Software will continue to be used for updates as before. Vendor helpdesks can ask users to install GNOME Firmware rather than getting them to look at command line output.”

        • A Simple Review of GNOME 3.34

          That’s all for now. As always, I love how simple and beautiful GNOME release announcement was. After testing in 3 days, I immediately like this version more than the previous one for the speed improvement and I hope Ubuntu and other distros adopt it soon. Ah, I forgot, regarding Ubuntu, good news for us: next October’s Ubuntu Eoan Ermine will feature 3.34! Regarding GNOME, I don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but this year’s KDE Plasma is faster and smoother and so is GNOME. I think next GNOME 3.36 will be faster and better as well. Finally I would love to say thank you GNOME developers! You all did well in last 6 month.

          How do you think about 3.34? Let me know in the comment section!

        • Internet Speed Indicator for GNOME 3.34
    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • Chuwi AeroBook review: Testing 5 Linux distributions

          Chuwi is likely not a brand familiar to many, though the Chinese firm has established its abilities in producing budget-focused notebooks and tablets—essentially, attempting to provide a full Windows experience at a price point of an average Chromebook. Chuwi’s upmarket Chuwi Aerobook could be the right price for an Ultrabook form factor at a $500 price point.

          Support for Linux on fundamentally consumer hardware has improved considerably over the last decade, largely preventing the need to perform extensive manual configuration. In 2019, minor compatibility issues—tiny papercut-like problems that are harder to actually solve—can pop up for specific hardware configurations. Depending on the return policies of your preferred marketplace, it might be impossible or cost-prohibitive to return a product like this if it doesn’t work with Linux.

      • Debian Family
        • Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

          If you don’t follow the fortunes of Linux distributions, you might think that the days of Debian’s dominance are long since gone. However, superficial appearances can be deceiving. Not only does Debian consistently appear in the top ten of Distrowatch’s page hit ranking, it’s used as the base of the majority of other distributions as well, far eclipsing rivals like Fedora and Red Hat or openSuse. In fact, Debian might be said to be the most influential distro ever.

          That may seem an overstatement, but the figures are hard to argue with. For at least eight years, Debian has been by far the most dominant distribution. Some details of its dominance have changed, but the overall pattern has been constant. Without Debian, modern Linux would be vastly different.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Web Browsers
        • Mozilla
          • QMO: Firefox 70 Beta 6 Testday Results

            Hello Mozillians!

            As you may already know, Friday, September 13th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 70 Beta 6.

            Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: Gabriela (gaby2300), Dan Caseley (Fishbowler) and Aishwarya Narasimhan!

            Result: Several test cases were executed for Protection Report and Privacy Panel UI Updates.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments

          Open saucy messiah Richard Stallman has found himself in a bit of a mess after he was quoted as defending Marvin Minsky’s association with dead sex-pest Jeffrey Epstein.

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listserv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if Epstein coerced her into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticise, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

      • Programming/Development
        • The State Of Qt Quick Vulkan Support With Qt 5.14

          Of the exciting changes so far for Qt 5.14, one of the big ticket items on the path to Qt 6 is the experimental implementation of Qt’s new graphics API independent scenegraph renderer. Rather than being limited to OpenGL, Qt 5.14+ can target Vulkan, Direct3D 11, and even Apple’s Metal API for rendering.

        • How to get current date and time in Python?

          There are a number of ways you can take to get current date. We will use date class of the datetime module to accomplish this task.

        • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Veronica Hanus

          This week we welcome Veronica Hanus (@veronica_hanus) as our PyDev of the Week! Veronica is a regular tech speaker at Python and other tech conferences and meetups. You can see some of her talks and her schedule on her website. She has been active in the Python community for the past few years. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Leftovers
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

        The September KB4515384 update is already a menace. Introduced to fix CPU spiking, reports state it has broken Windows 10 search, the Start Menu, Action Centre, USB connections and caused audio problems. And now it is gunning for your Internet access.

        Windows Latest has spotted that users are reporting on Microsoft’s community forum, Windows 10’s Feedback Hub and social networks that network adapters have stopped working after applying this update. Impacted users primarily appear to have Intel chipsets (Asus, MSI and Gigabyte motherboards are mentioned) and both their Ethernet and WiFi connections are affected.

        “Cumulative update (KB4515384) causes the NIC to fail to enable with a code 10 error,” warns one user on the Windows 10 Feedback Hub. “Reinstalling network drivers from Intel or Windows Update sources does not resolve the issue. However removing the update through the ‘Programs & Software’ panel or using a recovery point set *before* the update fully resolves the issue.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Possibly by accident, Moscow officials released the decryption key for the city’s online votes. We put it to use and found some weird stuff.

        In three of Moscow’s voting districts, the city’s September 8 legislative elections also served as a test for a new online voting system. In one of those districts, the online vote proved decisive: While independent candidate Roman Yuneman won the most paper ballots in District 30, he lost to pro-regime candidate Margarita Rusetskaya thanks to the latter’s electronic results. Moscow City Hall published the results of the city’s online voting but did not provide access to the raw voting data behind those results. We found the key to that data, decrypted all of Moscow’s online votes, and reconstructed the three races that used online voting down to the minute.

      • By unknown means, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation reportedly obtains list of Moscow online voters

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has reportedly obtained a complete list of the Moscow residents who were registered to vote online during the city’s limited run of a new Internet election system on September 8. The list includes 12,000 names (9,810 people ultimately submitted online ballots) as well as contact information.

        A statement on Navalny’s website did not specify how the FBK had obtained the list. Moscow city officials said they would investigate the matter. They did not confirm or deny the list’s authenticity, saying only that their official voter list was stored in a different format.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Edward Snowden wants to come home: “I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial”

        “I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won’t provide access to what’s called a public interest defense,” Snowden told “CBS This Morning.”

        The former NSA contractor is shedding new light on his decision to reveal classified documents about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program back in 2013. Snowden disclosed government programs that collected Americans’ emails, phone calls and internet activity in the name of national security and was subsequently charged under the Espionage Act for doing so. A congressional report said his disclosures “caused tremendous damage to national security.”

        In his new memoir, “Permanent Record,” Snowden tells his story in detail for the first time and speaks about his life in exile in Russia. Snowden, who now identifies himself as a privacy advocate, said his biggest issue with standing trial in the U.S. is that the government won’t allow the jury to consider his motivations.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • CJEU declines to assess unfriendly SPCs based on third-party MAs in Eli Lilly v. Genentech (C-239/19)

          One of the features that render the European Union’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) unique in comparison to similar legal instruments in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Japan, is that there is no legal provision expressly calling for any specific relationship or agreement between the patent proprietor (and SPC applicant) on the one hand, and the holder of the marketing authorization relied upon for the SPC filing on the other hand. In line with this, and following the CJEU’s judgment in Biogen (C-181/95), it has become common practice that SPCs are granted to patent proprietors who rely on a marketing authorization held by a third party, including even a competitor, without the consent of that third party. Yet, the validity of this practice has stirred controversy for more than 20 years, which has never been fully resolved.

          [...]

          While this result is not entirely unexpected, it is deeply disappointing that the fundamental question whether or not the consent of the holder of a marketing authorization is required for the filing of an SPC remains unresolved. Yet, chances are that this same question could be referred to the CJEU again in the near future, possibly in contentious proceedings between the same parties in another EU member state or in the context of a different case with similar factual circumstances, of which there are more than a few.

        • State of Minnesota Petitions for Certiorari in Regents of University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.

          The issue is not whether the university’s patents can be challenged, because the State has asserted these patents against Respondent in district court litigation. The issue, according to the brief, is that the State has the constitutional right to choose the forum before which its patents are put at issue. This position is contrary to the Federal Circuit’s blanket determination (begging for Supreme Court review) that IPRs are not subject to any sort of sovereign immunity, based on the appellate court’s decision in St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

Monday 16th of September 2019 08:10:11 AM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop
      • Bad news for Microsoft as Huawei starts shipping Matebooks with Linux

        Huawei’s struggles with the US government is still far from over, with the company currently only 30 days into a 90-day reprieve from the US Commerce Department’s ban which prevents US companies from trading with the Chinese giant.

        While there is a possibility that this ban will be extended again and again, there is also the possibility that come December Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

        On smartphones, Huawei is working on Harmony OS to replace Android. While this operating system could run on the desktop it would need a lot more development.

        There is however a readymade free OS for the desktop already, Linux, and today Betanews reports that Huawei has started selling their MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro running the OS in China.

      • Linux In, Windows Out: Huawei Laptops Coming With Deepin Linux Pre-Installed

        The mid-May sanction has forced the Chinese tech giant to look for alternatives, and while everybody knew Linux was the first option, Huawei has been working hard on its very own operating system as well.

        Called HongMeng, this project eventually turned to be a platform for IoT devices, but it can easily convert to mobile and desktop if needed.

        However, Linux appears to be Huawei’s choice in the short term, and the company thus launched the very first devices running this operating system in its home market.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

        I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the TWiT team and more specifically Leo Laporte. Years ago I used to co-host FLOSS Weekly on their network and occasionally I pop over to the studio for a natter with Leo.

        With ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ coming out, I thought it would be fun to hop over there. Leo graciously agreed and we recorded an episode of their show, Triangulation.

      • Linux Action News 123

        Speed is the big story around GNOME 3.34, two new major Firefox security features start to roll out, and we explain the CentOS 8 delay.

        Plus our thoughts on the PineTime, and more.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux 5.3 Released
      • Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Released By Linus Torvalds With Support For AMD Navi GPUs

        After 8 release candidates, Linus Torvalds has finally released Linux Kernel 5.3. It is a major upgrade that brings many new features in terms of better hardware support, changes specific to Arm architecture and a couple of bug fixes.

        The extra release candidate RC8, as Torvalds says, was because of his busy travel schedule. Nonetheless, RC8 has allowed developers to bring in some essential bug fixes.

      • Graphics Stack
        • Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D

          Now that the first beta of Qt 5.14 is getting closer, it is time to start talking about one of the big new features. We cannot possibly cover all the details around the graphics stack improvements and the road to Qt 6 in one post, so in part 1 and 2 we will describe the background and take a closer look at what 5.14 will ship with, and then dive into the technical details and future directions in another set of posts later on.

        • Linux Drivers Entries Suggest two APU AMD Lines in 2020

          A Linux patch reveals that AMD is actively working on two APU series, Dali and Renoir. If chatter is correct then Renoir is to focus on the mobile and the desktop market whereas Dali will be targeted at budget-friendly small form factor builds and mobile systems.

          Renoir likely will be making use of Vega architecture (not NAVI). However, the processor cores would be likely be based on Zen 2 at a 7nm fabrication process.

    • Applications
      • Feh is a light-weight command-line image viewer for Linux

        The default image viewer in most Linux distros is a fine option for many users, but if you want a distraction free alternative, Feh is a good option.

        Feh’s interface is as barebones as it gets as it does not have any toolbars or buttons but is a command line interface application; because of that, it is very light on resources and still easy enough to use even for users who shy away from using the command line whenever possible.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Distributions
      • Reviews
        • EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

          EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest.

          Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.

        • BlackWeb 1.2

          BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project’s website presents the distribution’s features as follows:

          BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

          There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution’s website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb’s live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username “root” and the password “blackweb”.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • Debian Family
        • Sam Hartman: Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

          Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

          I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

          We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

          What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

          I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • MIT scientist defends pedophile Jeffrey Epstein [Ed: This headline is patently false. Stallman defends all sorts of crazy things, but he did not “defend Epstein” as corporate media keeps telling us (probably distorting the story intentionally).]

          Richard Stallman, a well-known MIT computer scientist who’s previously suggested that President Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election, has been accused of not only defending deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes but also smearing his victims.

        • Epstein Victim Likely Was Willing, MIT Scientist Says [Ed: Check what Stallman actually said. Nothing like what these headlines claim. Tactless? Sure. Even tasteless. But this is distortion.]

          MIT’s Jeffrey Epstein awkwardness isn’t going away yet. Days after the director of the MIT Media Lab resigned after being accused of accepting and covering up donations from Epstein, emails have surfaced that show a famed computer scientist excusing sexual assault. Richard Stallman wrote that it’s likely that a woman who says she was recruited for sex at age 16 was “entirely willing,” the Daily Beast reports, logic that would excuse the late Marvin Minsky, who founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.

        • MIT computer scientist describes Jeffrey Epstein victim as ‘entirely willing’ in alleged sexual assault
        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts? Remarkably, in order to make their allegations against Stallman, both Selam G. and Edward Ongweso Jr. must speak untruthfully about what Stallman wrote. Selam G., for example, writes: "…and then [Stallman] says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be "entirely willing"." Yet, what Stallman actually wrote was that if the victim were being coerced by Epstein, he thinks it most likely that she would have been directed to conceal that coercion from Minsky and others. The two statements are very different. What Salem G. falsely attributes to Stallman would indeed be very damning -- but it is not what Stallman wrote at all. Edward Ongweso Jr. offers this slander: "Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the "most plausible scenario" is that Epstein's underage victims were "entirely willing" while being trafficked." The truth, however, is that Stallman wrote: "We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing." Two two statements are, again, very different. Ongweso Jr.'s false paraphrase is about whether the young woman was willing. Stallman's is about how, under the circumstances, the young woman might have appeared to Minsky to be willing, for example if she were directed to conceal the coercion. Accusations such as Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. make are made to cause harm to the accused. That is how they appear to be made in this context: with the aim of harming Stallman. Yet in order to accomplish this harm, both Salem G. and Ongweso Jr. must abandon the truth in favor of statements falsely attributed to Stallman. It would be appropriate, in my opinion, for both writers to retract their critical misstatements of fact.
        • Statements about Epstein

          I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

          Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

          I’m sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

        • Richard Stallman Challenges ‘Misleading’ Coverage of His Comments on Marvin Minsky

          On MIT’s internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was “accused of assaulting” one of Epstein’s victims. Stallman argued that “the most plausible scenario” is that “she presented herself to him as entirely willing” — even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so — whereas the phrase “assaulting” implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls “accusation inflation… Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.”

          An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then “started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations” — and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled “Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech.” And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

        • Preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

          Joi sought the gifts for general research purposes, such as supporting lab scientists and buying equipment. Because the members of my team involved believed it was important that Epstein not use gifts to MIT for publicity or to enhance his own reputation, they asked Joi to agree to make clear to Epstein that he could not put his name on them publicly. These guidelines were provided to and apparently followed by the Media Lab.

          Information shared with us last night also indicates that Epstein gifts were discussed at at least one of MIT’s regular senior team meetings, and I was present.

          I am aware that we could and should have asked more questions about Jeffrey Epstein and about his interactions with Joi. We did not see through the limited facts we had, and we did not take time to understand the gravity of Epstein’s offenses or the harm to his young victims. I take responsibility for those errors.

          While the fact finding will continue, we have already identified flaws in our processes that need to be addressed.

          I am confident that, once Goodwin Procter submits its final fact-finding to the Executive Committee and me, and the Provost’s internal review is complete, MIT will have the tools to improve our review and approval processes and turn back to the central work of the Institute.

      • Programming/Development
        • Constraint programming by example

          There are many different ways to solve problems in computing. You might “brute force” your way to a solution by calculating as many possibilities as you can, or you might take a procedural approach and carefully establish the known factors that influence the correct answer. In constraint programming, a problem is viewed as a series of limitations on what could possibly be a valid solution. This paradigm can be applied to effectively solve a group of problems that can be translated to variables and constraints or represented as a mathematic equation. In this way, it is related to the Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP).

          Using a declarative programming style, it describes a general model with certain properties. In contrast to the imperative style, it doesn’t tell how to achieve something, but rather what to achieve. Instead of defining a set of instructions with only one obvious way to compute values, constraint programming declares relationships between variables within constraints. A final model makes it possible to compute the values of variables regardless of direction or changes. Thus, any change in the value of one variable affects the whole system (i.e., all other variables), and to satisfy defined constraints, it leads to recomputing the other values.

        • Samuel Sutch: Why Python Has Become an Industry Favorite Among Programmers

          With the world stepping towards a new age of technology development, it isn’t hard to imagine a future that will be full of screens. And if so be the case then, demand for people with strong programming skills will definitely rise with more number of people required to develop and support the applications. Python Training is always a good idea for those wishes to be a part of this constantly developing industry. Python language is not only easy to grasp, but emphasizes less on syntax which is why a few mistakes here and there doesn’t give as much trouble as some other languages does.

  • Leftovers
    • Defence/Aggression
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

        We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years.

    • Environment
      • Naomi Klein: ‘We Are Seeing the Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism’

        In a North American context, it’s the greatest taboo of all to actually admit that there are going to be limits. You see that in the way Fox News has gone after the Green New Deal—they are coming after your hamburgers! It cuts to the heart of the American dream—every generation gets more than the last, there is always a new frontier to expand to, the whole idea of settler-colonial nations like ours. When somebody comes along and says, actually, there are limits, we’ve got some tough decisions, we need to figure out how to manage what’s left, we’ve got to share equitably—it is a psychic attack. And so the response [on the left] has been to avoid, and say no, no, we’re not coming to take away your stuff, there are going to be all kinds of benefits. And there are going to be benefits: We’ll have more livable cities, we’ll have less polluted air, we’ll spend less time stuck in traffic, we can design happier, richer lives in so many ways. But we are going to have to contract on the endless, disposable consumption side.

      • NaomiKlein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’
      • Globalwarming hot spots pass safe limit

        A study says Earth’s hot spots have already warmed by more than the safe limit for avoiding dangerous climate change.

      • Why DeSmog Is Joining a Global News Collaboration to ‘Cover Climate Now’

        Since then, we’ve been telling the stories overlooked by mainstream media: debunking early arguments of climate science deniers, exposing their funding sources and networks, and examining the questionable claims (and finances) of the “fracking revolution” that has contributed to the climate crisis, just to name a few.

      • Attacks on Greta Thunberg Are About More Than Anti-Environmentalism

        “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

      • How to Live With the Climate Crisis Without Becoming a Nihilist

        The climate crisis has moved into everyday life and it can feel overwhelming.Hurricane Dorian, which left more than 70,000 people homeless, was an instance of this climate breakdown. A hotter ocean means stronger storms, a higher sea means worse flooding, a hotter atmosphere means more rain. Worsening wildfires in California and elsewhere…

      • Energy
        • Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half

          Moreover, the attacks come at a sensitive time for the oil markets in general and for Aramco in particular, which is preparing to list a portion of its shares in what is expected to be the largest initial public offering ever. In preparation for its listing, Saudi Arabia has been keen to show both that it can support the oil price and that it can produce crude reliably, despite mounting security threats. Recent events reveal the limits of its ability to do either.

        • Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks

          “Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Instagram is helping drive a black market for succulent poachers

          While there are documented cases of succulent poaching in dating back at least two decades, officials say it has recently increased in frequency and severity. Plant experts tell Salon poachers take these plants from private and public properties. And such poaching is destroying California’s coastal ecosystem, already compromised by invasive plants and human development.

          [...]

          Suba added that people don’t need poachers to enjoy these plants, noting that they are easy to grow. A pinch of seeds, he said, can produce ten thousand plants.

    • Finance
      • Teaching Democrats to Talk About Socialism

        It doesn’t matter who the Democratic nominee for president is next year, they will be attacked for being “socialist.”  It will be relentless and merciless.  The problem is that none of the current candidates know how to talk about socialism, so they always seem to be on the defensive.  They’re always back on their heels, explaining, evading, apologizing.

      • From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing’s Glass House

        I don’t know about you, but I take a teeny weeny bit of offense when a guy in a glass house lobs a great big stone and expects me not to notice the sound of shattering. Which brings me to National Public Radio.

        [...]

        This had me picking through the shards when they went on to explain that Lansing comes to NPR from the United States Agency for Global Media, a federally-funded organization whose express mission is to interfere in journalism by doing it, in such as way as to promote American policy values all across the world.

        NPR’s new CEO story came with a picture of Lansing in his capacity as CEO of USAGM, testifying in Congress about the scourge of Russian media meddling. “The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching, malign influence campaigns,” he said.

      • Reasons for Optimism

        The arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, we eventually rally and move forward.

      • Auto Workers Vote to Strike at General Motors Plants

        The United Auto Workers union announced Sunday that its roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. would go on strike just before midnight because contentious talks on a new contract had broken down.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Trapped, alone and ‘desperate to come home.’ American siblings barred from leaving China

        The State Department has warned Americans about China’s growing use of exit bans – stating in a Jan. 3 travel advisory that Chinese authorities have sometimes used exit bans to keep Americans in China for years.

        “China uses exit bans coercively,” the State Department cautioned, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”

      • Israel: Two Elections, One Apartheid State

        Israelis are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time in 2019. Israel’s last national elections were five months ago in April, ending in a razor-tight finish with Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 35 Knesset seats and the Blue and White party winning 35 Knesset seats.

      • 3 Democratic Candidates Call for Kavanaugh’s Impeachment

        At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do

        Aside from the high level of intrusion this kind of tracking represents, there’s another worrying aspect. Judging by the 187,000 reviews of Maya on Google Play, almost nobody is aware of how their most personal information is being passed around. That’s not a surprise: Privacy International had to use some fairly sophisticated software tools in order to study the data flows from these period tracking apps. Few general users would be able to do that, even if it occurred to them to try. But the more sensitive the personal data that is being collected, the stronger should be the protections to keep it safe at all times, and the greater should be the transparency about how it used.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

        Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

      • China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families

        Chinese authorities should immediately release to their families children held in “child welfare” institutions and boarding schools in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should cease unnecessarily separating Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim children from their families. 

    • Restrictions
      • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Repair Monopoly

        For years, the independent repair community has said that Apple has engaged in anticompetitive behavior by refusing to sell parts to repair shops who are not “authorized” by the company. The company has also lobbied heavily against so called right-to-repair legislation, which would require it and other electronics companies to sell parts and tools to the general public. It has sued independent repair companies for using aftermarket and refurbished parts and worked with the Department of Homeland Security to seize unauthorized repair parts from small businesses both at customs and from individual shops. And, as the committee’s letter notes, Apple cut a deal with Amazon that restricted who is allowed to sell refurbished Apple devices on Amazon.

        Apple has made small strides toward opening up the repair ecosystem. Earlier this month, the company said it would begin to sell repair parts to certain independent repair shops, though it has not said how much they will cost or what parts will be available.

        The internal communications are due to the committee on October 14.

    • Monopolies
      • Copyrights
        • Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

          One of the prerequisites of beating piracy is that content is available legally for a fair price. In recent years, however, movies and music are increasingly becoming fragmented over a variety of paid subscription services. According to a UK Government report, this may be the reason why piracy is making a comeback.

        • UK ‘Pirate’ IPTV Users’ Favorite Channels “Are Free-to-Air”

          TV viewers in the UK are blessed with a wealth of channels provided free-to-air, such as the world-famous BBC and ITV selections. Interestingly, however, the operator of a ‘pirate’ IPTV service says that people are increasingly turning to platforms like his to access the same channels due to a better viewing experience.

Richard Stallman’s Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates’ Vastly Worse Role

Monday 16th of September 2019 02:19:54 AM

All attention has been shifted


Reference: Media manipulation

Summary: It’s easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman’s personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone,” Richard Stallman said a long time ago.

It certainly feels like politics or social issues are now being weaponised against Free software. I’ll explain. Please read the whole article before leaping to any conclusions (I am not defending Stallman but adding some context, instead).

“His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime.”Stallman’s views on underage sex (he typically means adolescents/teens) go a long way back. This isn’t new. At least 8 years or about a decade ago he wrote about it on his Web site, typically citing some news reports and interpreting various scenarios from a moral and legal perspective. I don’t share his views. The vast majority of people don’t share such views, either. It’s not a crime to merely express such views. ESR expresses similar views in his blog.

There’s no need to try to defend these statements; it’s possible to support the man’s work in the area of software while politely disagreeing with him on lots of other things, including politics (some people cannot tell the difference).

His views are not a crime and don’t imply behaviour that constitutes a crime. He did not commit a crime. Cordially agreeing with him on Software Freedom while strongly disagreeing with him on those other things is a perfectly reasonable stance to have.

With that in mind, we assume a lot of readers still don’t know what it’s all about. Maybe it’s better that way. Maybe worse.

“Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility.”We’ve just mentioned it in our latest daily links (in the title even!) and there’s an almost-complete compilation of coverage here (blog posts and press reports). If we’ve missed something, let us know. Our goal is to merely document those things.

Stallman is, without a doubt, not happy about it. It’s a crisis to his reputation and credibility. We’re a lot less likely to ever hear/see the explanation he said he was working on (about his Microsoft visit which we covered here [1, 2, 3, 4]). He has a far bigger reputation issue to deal with at this moment.

Some readers wrote messages to us — messages to that effect (that he will probably have bigger issues if not scandals to deal with right now). These readers also took note of how it helps distract from the scandal Bill Gates found himself in last week — to the point of having his PR people bombarding the media with face-saving PR and excuses for nearly a week (if people search the Web for information they’re likely to see dishonest denials and distractions rather than original, factual reports).

“To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality.”Stallman’s views are hardly even new views; they have been public as well (for a long time). I’ve known about these for about a decade and saw them blasted in various forums about “Linux”. Those aren’t a secret; they’ve never been secret. The main news is a particular exchange echoing these views. It’s about a few E-mails. The negative press still isn’t ending and there’s lots more in ‘social’ media (e.g. here) and sites of developers. Michael Meeks (known for LibreOffice/GNOME mostly) wrote on Saturday: “Luckily I don’t look to RMS for ethical statements on sexuality to try to live by…”

To Meeks this is nothing new; to a lot of Free software developers and hackers this is not new. A lot of them very well know about Stallman’s views on sexuality. Some call it gross, obscene, and perverse. Peculiar? Unusual? For sure. Has he done something illegal? No. Developers have known about it for a long time and the media already pointed out his joke about making love to flowers and his “former Personal Ad”; it says “(Currently for amusement only.)”

How about this one or various other forum posts? Maybe Stallman overuses terms like “sex” — sometimes failing to foresee how the humour would be (mis)comprehended. There may also be infidelity issues, but again, this is not a crime.

“This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.”The reaction to press reports (which we won’t reproduce here) has been mostly anger, sometimes disappointment and rarely fury. Yes, we saw more strongly-worded responses from other developers and few which were sort of understanding. A lot of people made it clear that they don’t share Stallman’s view on the subject. Neither do I.

But putting ethics in perspective, let’s look what this media storm helps distract from. In fact, some readers wrote to us about it. They want to point this out.

This whole Stallman focus/angle helps distract from Bill Gates’ direct links to Epstein and bribery of MIT’s Media Lab (where Stallman is/was), via Epstein himself.

Again, Stallman’s views do not reflect his own actions; we got more mail to that effect, some urging a focus on more direct connections to Epstein. Bill Gates has those connections; Stallman hasn’t.

Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes. Why?

“Remember that it’s not Stallman who met Epstein, even after the sexual crimes were known; it wasn’t him who flew the “Lolita Express”. That was Bill Gates of Microsoft. He met him in person even after he had been informed of these crimes.”It wasn’t Stallman whose house got raided for child porn. That too was Bill Gates of Microsoft. Stallman doesn’t have child porn. Bill Gates' house does. It was reported in the mainstream media 4 years ago. Various associates of Bill Gates are also connected to Epstein and Epstein decided to leave one of them lots of inheritance money. Those are facts that cannot be denied, only distracted from.

It wasn’t a GNU developer who admitted that he had molested/raped kids (and was arrested for that months ago). That was Microsoft Peter, who is still in prison (his employer has collapsed since, partly due to severe credibility issues). Microsoft Peter spent nearly a decade attacking GNU/Linux constantly; he also played an instrumental role in the openwashing of Microsoft and pushing the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie. He acted as Microsoft’s PR courier and came to dominate the Open Source section (all of the articles in that section were about Microsoft when he was arrested).

It wasn’t and isn’t GNU people pushing child porn; that’s what Microsoft does. Microsoft's stance on child porn may shock you. This has to be read to be believed! I was rather shocked by it myself…

The latest bunch of reports about Epstein will definitely haunt Bill Gates for some time to come (maybe decades); no matter how many press companies he has bribed for reputation laundering, as he still does, quite a few outlets still report on it. They dig deeper and find a growing number of connections between Gates and Epstein. This won’t be good for his fake ‘charity’. It’s used for lobbying and bribery, including of media outlets all around the world.

Can someone explain to us why bribing colleges (or admissions) is an arrestable offence when you’re ‘only’ a celebrity and not a crime when you’re a famous rich criminal (found guilty already)?

“Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’.”There’s lots of press about an arrest for that (in recent days; it’s everywhere).

Bribing colleges (or admissions) is not hard, especially when you have a fake ‘charity’ and can bribe the universities/colleges ‘upstream’ (above admissions), as a certain college dropout does a lot, under the guise of ‘charity’. On at least one occasion (MIT) he made the payment through Epstein himself; that’s how close they are.

Speaking of bought media, on numerous occasions over the years Gates bribed NPR (we covered that several times before). Now NPR is a megaphone of Microsoft with its truly hypocritical and laughable statements [1, 2]. PR or NPR? Follow Bill’s money.

We’re supposed to think Microsoft is some sort of moralistic company or ethical authority. That’s what NPR basically tells us, having received untold millions from Bill Gates through his so-called ‘charity’. This sort of reputation laundering is why the Saudis, Epstein and Gates pay all sorts of institutions. That’s nothing new. They know what they pay for. Microsoft loves being Microsoft. This attracts the world’s worst offenders because they love working for a company that is above the law because of "connections" (it’s still bribing officials).

“A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break.”When the corporate media wants to paint Stallman as a criminal (by innuendo, citing personal E-mails) it can ignore much bigger things, such as the above. As one reader put it, there are quotas for writers per topic, so when they focus on Stallman they can excuse not covering similar stories about Gates and MIT. As we noted here recently, citing another reader who is deeply familiar with Microsoft, media companies seem to be deflecting to Google in order to distract from Microsoft's vastly worse abuses of the same kind.

Suffice to say, we don’t mean to insinuate an elaborate ‘conspiracy’. Nothing is intended to suggest some Gates-coordinated campaign against Stallman (it all started with a blog post actually); the way the media picks it up, however, is a tad interesting. Even Fox News picked it up over the weekend and it put Stallman’s face at the forefront (Fox is owned by a close friend of Gates, Mr. Rupert Murdoch).

“Torvalds hasn’t been the same since.”A lot is being gained here by Microsoft; they’re shaming GNU developers by association — as it to imply that by contributing to GNU they engage in pedophilia — in the same way that Torvalds was shamed in the media a year ago until he took a month-long break. Thinly-veiled accusations from self-professed feminists started it. Need we add that the person who calls for removal of Stallman is the same person who did this to Torvalds half a decade ago (piggybacking those very same feminists)? Torvalds hasn’t been the same since. He’s weak. He has been quiet since then; he’s not allowed to criticise anything without huge backlash. In that sense, he lost a lot of his authority over his own project. Microsoft is happy to take advantage [1, 2]. Torvalds has not even expressed an opinion on exFAT. Radio silence. Linux is becoming Windows in file systems space (Torvalds used to bemoan those things, e.g. case-insensitive filesystems). Nothing to see here, move along…

The main filesystems maintainer of Linux has already been slandered as “rape apologist” by the same person (as above). He did object to exFAT, even on the mailing lists. It rests on facts, not bigotry. It’s about law and technicality.

There’s a growing push in various YouTube channels, readers have told us, to remove both Stallman and Torvalds (founders of GNU and Linux, respectively). Rendering them invisibles (from the public scene). If that happens, the effect will be devastating. For morale, for leadership, for identity…

We know who wishes to take their place or replace them. It’s not hard to see. Their agenda is a matter of public record.

Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

Sunday 15th of September 2019 11:49:19 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Linux VR Headset

      Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

      The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

      In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

    • VRChat for Linux

      VRChat is a massive multiplayer online virtual reality platform launched in 2017 by VRChat Inc. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows and was accessible by Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and regular PC users. It was later launched for Oculus Quest platforms in May 2019

      VRChat in non-technical terms is a meeting ground where you can create your own world and avatar, play games, watch anything you like, and just discover as you would in real life. It has players from around the world who you can be friends with during your time while playing. For anyone getting their hands on VRChat for the first time, follow the guide to get started. Also, find out how to download VRChat if you are a Linux user.

    • Top 5 VR games to play on Linux

      The gaming world has also evolved a lot and the current trends are very VR oriented. A large number of games are being ported to VR systems along with regular releases. The good news about this is that developers are also acknowledging the need for stable releases for VR games on Linux systems.

    • Desktop
      • Huawei embraces deepin Linux as Microsoft Windows 10 future remains uncertain

        Huawei makes some of the best laptops around — the company actually puts Apple’s design team to shame. This focus on elegance cannot be said for many other Windows PC manufacturers, as they often just set their sights on cutting corners to keep prices down.

        And that is why Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks on Huawei are so tragic. Huawei’s computers and smartphones are wonderful, but with uncertainty about access to Windows and proper Android (with Google apps), consumers are correct to be a bit concerned.

      • Op-Ed: Some Huawei laptops in China now come loaded with Deepin Linux

        For its smartphones Huawei has been using Google’s Android operating system (OS). It can still use the system but only the open source version that lacks key features and important apps that the proprietary system had. Huawei has developed its own Harmony OS but so far is used only in smart TVs. It is not clear yet if it will be developed for smart phones.

        In the case of Huawei laptops Huawei had been using Windows 10 another US product by Microsoft. However, in China it is now replacing Windows 10 by Deepin Linux a Chinese release of Linux. There are numerous Linux versions most of them free.

      • Huawei releases Linux variants of the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro

        The prices for the three Huawei Linux laptops are advertised as 5,399 yuan (~US$763) for the MateBook 13, 5,699 yuan (~US$805) for the practically identical but slightly larger MateBook 14, and 8,699 yuan (US$1,229) for the high-end MateBook X Pro. The three devices are scheduled for availability in September, but it’s not known if Huawei plans on releasing laptops operating on Deepin OS outside of China.

    • Server
      • SUSE Enhances Delivery of Modern Containerized and Cloud Native Applications

        SUSE® today announced updates to its application delivery solutions that help customers accelerate production of modern containerized and cloud native applications. These updates advance SUSE’s delivery and support of solutions to create, deploy and manage workloads anywhere – on premise, hybrid and multi-cloud – with exceptional service, value and flexibility.

      • With its Kubernetes bet paying off, Cloud Foundry doubles down on developer experience

        More than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies are now using the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service project — either directly or through vendors like Pivotal — to build, test and deploy their applications. Like so many other projects, including the likes of OpenStack, Cloud Foundry went through a bit of a transition in recent years as more and more developers started looking to containers — and especially the Kubernetes project — as a platform on which to develop. Now, however, the project is ready to focus on what always differentiated it from its closed- and open-source competitors: the developer experience.

      • Kubernetes in the Enterprise: A Primer

        As Kubernetes moves deeper into the enterprise, its growth is having an impact on the ecosystem at large.

        When Kubernetes came on the scene in 2014, it made an impact and continues to impact the way companies build software. Large companies have backed it, causing a ripple effect in the industry and impacting open source and commercial systems. To understand how K8S will continue to affect the industry and change the traditional enterprise data center, we must first understand the basics of Kubernetes.

      • Google Cloud rolls out Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes

        Google Cloud is trialling alpha availability of a new platform for data scientists and engineers through Kubernetes.

        Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes combines open source, machine learning and cloud to help modernise big data resource management.

        The alpha availability will first start with workloads on Apache Spark, with more environments to come.

      • Google announces alpha of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes

        Not surprisingly, Google, the company that created K8s, thinks the answer to that question is yes. And so, today, the company is announcing the Alpha release of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes (K8s Dataproc), allowing Spark to run directly on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)-based K8s clusters. The service promises to reduce complexity, in terms of open source data components’ inter-dependencies, and portability of Spark applications. That should allow data engineers, analytics experts and data scientists to run their Spark workloads in a streamlined way, with less integration and versioning hassles.

      • IBM
        • Fedora Is Beginning To Spin Workstation & Live Images For POWER

          If you are running the likes of the Raptor Blackbird for a POWER open-source desktop and wanting to run Fedora on it, currently you need to use the Fedora “server” CLI installer and from there install the desired packages for a desktop. But moving forward, Fedora is beginning to spin Workstation and Live images for PPC64LE.

          Complementing Fedora’s Power Architecture images of Fedora Everything and Fedora Server, Workstation and Live images are being assembled. This is much more convenient for those wanting an IBM POWER Linux desktop thanks to the success of the Raptor Blackbird with most Linux distributions just offering the server/CLI (non-desktop) images by default for PPC64LE.

        • Are Application Servers Dying a Slow Death?

          There has been concern for nearly five years application servers are dead. Truth be told, they are not dead, but is their usage in decline? The simple answer is yes. Over the years, it appears corporate environments have decided the “return on investment” is not there when looking at Java application servers. On the surface, one might assume that the likes of WebSphere or WebLogic might be the ones in decline due to cost. Perhaps it is just affecting the proprietary choices, while their open source based derivatives are growing or remaining steady? Appears not. Whichever Java application server you choose, all of them are in a state of decline.

          Whether it be proprietary options such as WebSphere or WebLogic, or open source alternatives JBoss or Tomcat, all are in decline based on employment listings we review. However, they are not declining at the same pace. From our collection of data, WebSphere and WebLogic’s decline has been more muted. The rate of reduction for each of these application servers is in the neighborhood of 25-35% over the last couple years. At the same time, the likes of JBoss and Tomcat have declined around 40-45%. Not a drastic difference, but one that still is notable.

        • Red Hat’s David Egts: Commercial Open Source Software to Drive Federal IT Modernization

          David Egts, chief technologist for Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector division, advises federal agencies to adopt commercial open source software to help advance their information technology modernization efforts, GovCon Wire reported Aug. 23.

          He said Aug. 22 in an FCW thought piece that agencies should seek software vendors that are well-versed in open source technology as well as government security certifications in order to successfully modernize federal IT processes.

    • Kernel Space
      • Linux 5.3 So we've had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it's very annoying, it's perhaps also instructive. What's instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn't actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that the much improved IO patterns it caused then ended up revealing a user-visible regression due to a real bug in a completely unrelated area. The actual details of that regression are not the reason I point that revert out as instructive, though. It's more that it's an instructive example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole "no regressions" kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn't change any API's, and it didn't introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a user. So it got reverted. The point here being that we revert based on user-reported _behavior_, not based on some "it changes the ABI" or "it caused a bug" concept. The problem was really pre-existing, and it just didn't happen to trigger before. The better IO patterns introduced by the change just happened to expose an old bug, and people had grown to depend on the previously benign behavior of that old issue. And never fear, we'll re-introduce the fix that improved on the IO patterns once we've decided just how to handle the fact that we had a bad interaction with an interface that people had then just happened to rely on incidental behavior for before. It's just that we'll have to hash through how to do that (there are no less than three different patches by three different developers being discussed, and there might be more coming...). In the meantime, I reverted the thing that exposed the problem to users for this release, even if I hope it will be re-introduced (perhaps even backported as a stable patch) once we have consensus about the issue it exposed. Take-away from the whole thing: it's not about whether you change the kernel-userspace ABI, or fix a bug, or about whether the old code "should never have worked in the first place". It's about whether something breaks existing users' workflow. Anyway, that was my little aside on the whole regression thing. Since it's that "first rule of kernel programming", I felt it is perhaps worth just bringing it up every once in a while. Other than that aside, I don't find a lot to really talk about last week. Drivers, networking (and network drivers), arch updates, selftests. And a few random fixes in various other corners. The appended shortlog is not overly long, and gives a flavor for the changes. And this obviously means that the merge window for 5.4 is open, and I'll start doing pull requests for that tomorrow. I already have a number of them in my inbox, and I appreciate all the people who got that over and done with early, Linus
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

        Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

        Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds’ travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

        “Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues,” said Linus Torvalds.

      • Linux 5.3 Kernel Released With AMD Navi Support, Intel Speed Select & More

        Linus Torvalds just went ahead and released the Linux 5.3 kernel as stable while now opening the Linux 5.4 merge window.

        There was some uncertainty whether Linux 5.3 would have to go into extra overtime due to a getrandom() system call issue uncovered by an unrelated EXT4 commit. Linus ended up reverting the EXT4 commit for the time being.

      • Intel Continues Investing In Execute-Only Memory Support For The Linux Kernel

        One of the steps Intel’s open-source developers continue working on for Linux is supporting “execute only memory” that will already work with some of today’s processors and serve as another defense for bettering the security of systems particularly in a virtualized environment.

        Ultimately they have been working on an implementation to create execute-only memory for user-space programs similar to work already done for other architectures as well as the kernel itself. This “not-readable” memory would help when paired with other precautions like address space layout randomization (ASLR) for leaking less data about the system (i.e. where different bits are in memory) to make other exploits more difficult.

      • AMD Dali APU Spotted On Linux Patch, Mobile Devices Could Have Budget APU in 2020

        Salvador Dali apparently is going to be the inspiration for the next generation of APUs besides the Renoir APUs that have already been discussed because we’re actually finding out in Linux drivers that there is potentially a new AMD APU class called Dali. It’s not clear what this is going to be, especially since Renoir is supposed to be Zen 2 CPU with Vega graphics. Maybe, potentially this is nice pit balling Dali is likely going to be Zen + CPU with Nova graphics and they’re just gonna complicate everything in differentiating APUs. Last week updated Linux patch appeared on Freedesktop.

      • Linux 5.4 Cycle To Begin With exFAT Driver, EPYC Improvements & New GPU Support

        The Linux 5.3 kernel is expected to be released as stable today and that will mark the opening of the two-week Linux 5.4 merge window. Here is a look ahead at some of the material expected to make it into this next version of the Linux kernel that will also be the last major stable release of 2019.

      • This PPA Lets You Try an exFat Kernel Module Based on Samsung Code

        A new PPA gives Ubuntu users the opportunity to try an alternative exFAT kernel module based on the latest Samsung code.

        You may recall that, back in August, Microsoft announced it would help bring exFAT to the Linux kernel under a permissible license. This move ended years of legal uncertainty and should allow exFAT to be fully supported in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • An Alternative exFAT Linux File-System Driver Based On Samsung’s sdFAT

        While the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel cycle is finally bringing a driver for Microsoft exFAT file-system read/write support, it’s dated on an old Samsung code drop that has seen little public work over the years. Since queued for staging-next, there has been a big uptick in clean-ups and other activity, but there also exists another alternative out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver.

      • Linux Foundation
      • Graphics Stack
        • Mesa Vulkan Drivers Now Tracking Game Engine/Version For Handling More Workarounds

          Currently the Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers have relied upon matching executable names for applying game/application-specific workarounds. But with Vulkan as part of the instance creation information and VkApplicationInfo it’s possible to optionally advertise the rendering engine and version in use. The Mesa Vulkan drivers are now making use of that information to allow for more uniform workarounds.

          Rather than having to match and apply workarounds to each specific game in the case of broad game engine defects, the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV drivers have introduced the infrastructure for tracking the exposed engine name and version for allowing workarounds to be applied at that higher-level rather than just each executable name.

    • Benchmarks
      • Intel’s Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3

        Last month I did some fresh benchmarks of Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver with Mesa 19.2 and those results were looking good as tested with a Core i9 9900K. Since then, more Intel Gallium3D driver improvements have landed for what will become Mesa 19.3 next quarter. In taking another look at their former/current and new OpenGL drivers, here are fresh benchmarks of the latest code using a Core i7 8700K desktop as well as a Core i7 8550U Dell XPS laptop.

        This month so far Intel’s new Gallium3D OpenGL driver has seen OpenGL 4.6 support added, an optimization to help the Java OpenGL performance (one of the deficiencies noted by our earlier rounds of benchmarks), and other performance work.

        For some weekend benchmarking fun I tested the Core i7 8700K desktop and Dell XPS 13 laptop with Core i7 8550U graphics while comparing the OpenGL driver options. The driver state for both the i965 and Iris Gallium3D drivers were of Mesa 19.3-devel Git as of this week and also running with the near-final Linux 5.3 kernel.

    • Applications
      • Linux Shell Roundup: 15 Most Popular Open Source Linux Shells

        Unix systems have captivated the world since its inception in the 70s. One of the fundamental features that helped Linux and BSD distributions in securing their current stature is the Linux shell. The shell is one of the essential tools for many Linux aficionados due to its immense power and diverse applications. It is a command-line interface to your operating system, which allows you to perform any kind of operation depending on your criteria. Moreover, Linux shells are not just an interface but also a full-fledged scripting language with its own set of syntax and semantics.

      • MusicBrainz Picard 2.2 Released with Built-in Media Player

        MusicBrainz Picard, a cross-platform music tagger, released version 2.2 a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine 4.16 Released with Improvements

        Wine (i.e “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

    • Games
      • Pavlov VR | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Pavlov VR running through Steam play.

      • DiRT Rally is Currently FREE on Steam, Saving You $39.99 [Limited Offer]

        Codemasters, who publish the game, have teamed up with Steam to give away a free, fully-featured version of the game to any Steam user who wants it — saving them $39.99!

        DiRT Rally delivers an exceptional rally racing experience with more than 40 rally cars available to race on more than 70 stages.

        [...]

        You?ll need a valid Steam account (free, requires e-mail) in order to redeem the offer, as well as to download and install the game.

      • Minecraft Game Free Download for Linux

        Minecraft is a Swedish video game. Minecraft is a Sandbox and survival game developer Markus Persson. Minecraft developed and published by Mojang. The Minecraft has been described one of the most influential greatest video games in the history and won the numerous awards. The Minecraft game has been used in educational environment especially in computer systems. The game was released in November 18, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, masOS, Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • digiKam 6.3.0 is released

          We received a lot of excellent user feedback after publishing the third digiKam 6 release in August 2019. We are now proud to briefly announce the new digiKam 6.3.0, a maintenance version which consolidates this feedback and acts as an important phase of this 3-year-old project.

        • This week in KDE

          See, I told you I’d continue to blog about the cool things that have happened in KDE-land.

        • KDE’s KWin Options UI Improved, Various Other Enhancements During Akademy Week

          KDE’s annual Akademy developer conference took place this past week in Milan, Italy. But even with that in-person event the development of the KDE desktop environment didn’t let up in landing new improvements.

          While the KDE Usability & Productivity initiative is over with now KDE focusing on Wayland, consistency, and application improvements, KDE contributor Nate Graham is continuing with his weekly blog posts highlighting the usability/productivity changes and other improvements to the KDE stack.

        • KDE Akademy 2019 Recap

          After eight densely packed days Akademy 2019 is over. As always it was very nice to meet everyone again, as well as to meet some people I have been working with online for the first time in real life.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Nostalgia is a GNOME Wallpaper App with a Twist

          Nostalgia a free GTK app for the Linux desktop that enables you to browse through official GNOME desktop wallpapers, and quickly set them as your desktop background.

          Like Ubuntu, each new release of the GNOME desktop comes bearing its own unique wallpaper (which, again like Ubuntu, tend to stay within a loose theme).

          While GNOME’s default wallpapers aren’t as well known or as revered as Ubuntu’s default wallpapers (by lieu of the fact they’re usually not used by default, i.e. so fewer people see them) they’re still high-quality pieces of art.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 2: HdyLeaflet

          A folded HdyLeaflet, just like GtkStack, shows one of its children at any given moment, even during child transitions. The second visible child during transitions is just a screenshot. But which child is “real” and which is a screenshot? Turns out the real child is the destination one, meaning the widget switches its visible child when the animation starts. It isn’t a problem if the animation is quick and time-based, but becomes very noticeable with a gesture. Additionally, it means that starting and cancelling a gesture switches the visible child two time.

          One solution would be only switching the visible child at the end of the animation (or not at all if it was canceled). The problem is that it’s a major behavior change: applications that listen to visible-child to know when to update the widgets, or sync the property between two leaflets will break.

          Another solution would be to draw both children during transitions, but it still means that visible-child changes two times if the gesture was canceled. The problem here is similar: applications wouldn’t expect the other child to still be drawn, but at least it’s just a visual breakage. And it still means that starting and canceling the gesture would mean two visible-child changes.

          The second solution may sound better, and yet the current WIP code uses the first one.

    • Distributions
      • New Releases
        • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

          EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the “Buster” series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

        • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

          Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

        • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 is available for testing

          the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family
        • An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

          I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4. When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

          But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt. Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter’s desktop and in mine. There is one thing, though. I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

          OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling. When I first installed the distro, I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor. Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

      • Arch Family
        • Manjaro 18.1 ‘Juhraya’ Released: A Beginner-friendly Arch Experience

          In response to the same, the Manjaro team clarified that it was an independent decision and no money was exchanged.

          The team also changed their stance by letting the users choose between LibreOffice and FreeOffice during the installation process. As a result of this change, Manjaro 18.1 has become the first version to give users this choice. Now, during the installation itself, you’ll be asked to choose the office suite. Alternatively, you can go without an office suite at all.

      • Debian Family
        • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

          The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

        • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

          We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

        The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

      • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

        The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders.

        The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment.

        [...]

        For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

      • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

        Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

      • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

        Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

      • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

        If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed.

        Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer.

        If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code.

        We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

      • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

        Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany’s Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration.

        [...]

        Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data.

        “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

      • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

        On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects.

        Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

      • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

        Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field.

        “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

      • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

        At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies – including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber – are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

      • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

        By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi

        No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

      • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

        Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models.

        “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.”

        [...]

        In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

      • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

        After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

      • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

        TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services.

        Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

      • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

        “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

      • Events
        • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling’s Journey to Open Source

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling’s main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

        • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.

      • Databases
        • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

          MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database…

        • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

          There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

          Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

          Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going.

          Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way.

          [...]

          Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

        • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

          The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

        • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

          Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
      • Funding
        • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

          Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

        • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

          CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the “Zelig of Wall Street,” through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

        • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

          Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

        • Where have all the seed deals gone?

          When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch.

          [...]

          Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • MIT scientist appears to DEFEND Jeffrey Epstein
        • MIT professor defended Jeffrey Epstein associate in leaked emails, claimed victims were ‘entirely willing’

          In the email thread, leaked by MIT alum Salam Jie Gano to VICE on Friday, Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky – an AI pioneer who died in 2016 and is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, – had not actually assaulted anyone.

          “The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex,” he wrote, referring to an article about Giuffre’s testimony against Minsky. “The most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him an entirely willing.”

        • Remove Richard Stallman

          I’m writing this because I’m too angry to work.
          I’m writing this because at 11AM on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, my friend sent me an email that was sent to an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list.
          This email came from Richard Stallman, a prominent computer scientist.
          In it, he’s responding to a female student’s email about this Facebook event, which calls for a protest by MIT students and affiliates regarding Jeffrey Epstein’s donation.

      • Public Services/Government
        • Sandboxie’s path to open source, update on the Pentagon’s open source initiative, open source in Hollywood, and more

          In 2016, the White House mandated that each government agency had to open source at least 20 percent of its custom software within three years. There is an interesting article about this initiative from 2017 that laid out some of the excitement and challenges.

          According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon’s not even halfway there.

          In an article for Nextgov, Jack Corrigan wrote that as of July 2019, the Pentagon had released just 10 percent of its code as open source. They’ve also not yet implemented other aspects of the White House mandate, including the directive to build an open source software policy and inventories of custom code.

          According to the report, some government officials told the GAO that they worry about security risks of sharing code across government departments. They also admitted to not creating metrics that could measure their open source efforts’ successes. The Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer cited the Pentagon’s size as the reason for not implementing the White House’s open source mandate. In a report published Tuesday, the GAO said, “Until [the Defense Department] fully implements its pilot program and establishes milestones for completing the OMB requirements, the department will not be positioned to take advantage of significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

        • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

          The Department of Defense has not fully implemented mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase its use of open-source software and release code, according to a September 10 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

          The report notes that the 2018 NDAA mandated DoD establish a pilot program on open source and a report on the program’s implementation. It also says that OMB’s M-16-21 memorandum requires all agencies to release at least 20 percent of custom-developed code as open-source, with a metric for calculating program performance.

          However, DoD has released less than 10 percent of its custom code, and had not developed a measure to calculate the performance of the pilot program. In comments to GAO, the DoD CIO’s office said there has been difficulty inventorying all of its custom source code across the department, and disagreement on how to assess the success for a performance measure. While the department worked to partially implement OMB’s policy, the department had not yet issued a policy.

        • Pentagon moves slowly on open-source software mandate amid security concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit.

        • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

          The Department of Defense’s congressionally mandated efforts to create an open source software program aren’t going so well.

          DOD must release at least 20 percent of its custom software as open source through a pilot required by a 2016 Office of Management and Budget directive and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Open source software, OMB says, can encourage collaboration, “reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information.”

        • GAO report on open-source software

          The Sept. 10, 2019 Government Accountability Office report finds that the Defense Department “has not fully implemented an open-source software pilot program and related Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.”

        • DOD drags feet with open-source software program due to security, implementation concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit. Since 2016, DOD has been required by law to implement an open-source software pilot program in accordance with policy established by the Office of Management and Budget.

        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

          The CONNECT project, an open source project that aims to increase interoperability among organizations, is transitioning from federal stewardship to the private sector and will soon be available to everyone.

          Developed ten years ago by a group of federal agencies in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), CONNECT was a response to ONC’s original approach to a health information network. The agencies decided to build a joint health interoperability solution instead of having each agency develop its own custom solution, and they chose to make the project open source.

      • Licensing/Legal
        • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

          Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used.

          He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
        • Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

          By open-sourcing this playbook, Color is supporting global efforts to make genetics and precision health programs accessible, convenient, and cost effective, while offering responsible clinical grade return of results to all participants.

          Despite rapidly decreasing sequencing costs and growing interest in population-scale genomics, many programs have struggled to launch and scale as expected for two primary reasons.

          First, many programs have been rebuilding critical components of the architecture from the ground up, including lab infrastructure, bioinformatics, clinical interpretation & reporting, as well as secure and flexible data management systems. This process often dramatically extends timelines and forces programs to incur unnecessary costs and implementation risks.

        • Open Hardware/Modding
          • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

            After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

            The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

          • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

            An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

          • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
          • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

            Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where — because of distance or war — it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

            So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

          • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

            This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

          • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)
          • The GameShell Open Source Portable Game Console is 28% off today

            But when it comes to truly great games, the classics never fade. The GameShell Kit: Open Source Portable Game Console allows you to play thousands of classic games on an incredibly portable console, and you’ll even be able to create your own games using simple code—all for over 25% off at just $142.99.

      • Programming/Development
        • Hey, We’re Open Source Again! Eclipse Unveils Jakarta EE 8

          The enterprise developers’ edition of Java has gone completely open source with a new version managed entirely by the Eclipse Foundation. The Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 with a flourish yesterday.

          Jakarta took a winding road to get to this point. Originally called J2EE when released in 1999, it was renamed to Java EE in 2006. Then, Oracle bought Sun three years later, which locked the product up in Fort Larry for the best part of a decade.

          Citing a wish to make things more open, it agreed to give Java EE back to the open source community in 2017, choosing the Eclipse Foundation. While it gave the Foundation the IP rights to the code, though, it held onto the name. So Eclipse had to find another one. Hence, Jakarta.

        • Jakarta EE now operates under open, community-driven process

          After transitioning from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation in 2017, Jakarta EE (previously known as Java EE), has reached another major milestone.

          With today’s release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specification, the project now has a new baseline for having an “open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process.” Now, Java vendors, developers, and consumers will have a foundation for migrating Java EE applications to a standard enterprise Java Stack.

        • The Eclipse Foundation releases Jakarta EE 8, the first truly open-source, vendor-neutral Java EE

          Yesterday, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of the Jakarta EE 8 full platform, web profile specifications, and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This marks the completion of Java EE’s transition to an open and vendor-neutral evolution process.

          Explaining the vision behind this release, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation said, “There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads.”

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Specifications; Completes Transition to Eclipse Foundation as the New Home for Open Source Cloud Native Java
        • Top 20 Best Python IDE for Linux. Some of Them are Open Source

          Python is a programming language. User can apply it for general purposes to design program from the backend web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. Moreover, it works on developing Apps, games and productivity software, and many more purposes. Python is one of the most popular and extensively used programming languages because of its easy to use and simple nature. Additionally, IDE implies an Integrated Development Environment that facilitates debugging, testing, and writing code easier way. It offers highlighting code insight, code completion, and resource management for the users.

        • Python Programming Language Is Considered Better Than Other Languages

          Python is a high-level scripting language. It is easy to learn and powerful than other languages because of its dynamic nature and simple syntax which allow small lines of code. Included indentation and object-oriented functional programming make it simple. Such advantages of Python makes it different from other languages and that’s why Python is preferred for development in companies mostly. In industries, machine learning using python has become popular. This is because it has standard libraries which are used for scientific and numerical calculations. Also, it can be operated on Linux, Windows, Mac OS and UNIX. Students who want to make future in Python are joining online video training courses and python programming tutorial.

        • Python inotify examples
        • How to work with Jupyter Notebooks in PyCharm
        • Immer, “Most Impactful Contribution” JavaScript Open Source Award Winner, Releases V4

          Alec Larson released a few days ago the fourth major iteration of award winner JavaScript library Immer, patching an important edge case. Immer is a JavaScript package which allows developers to work with immutable state as it were mutable, by implementing a copy-on-write mechanism. Immer was recently distinguished this year with the Breakthrough of the year React open source award and the Most impactful contribution JavaScript open source award.

        • Ballerina Reinvents Cloud Native Middleware as a Programming Language, Puts ESB on the Path to Extinction

          Ballerina 1.0, which is available under the Apache License, is being announced in conjunction with ApacheCon North America 2019. Ballerina, an ApacheCon Gold Sponsor, will offer technical sessions and demos of the new Ballerina release at the event. WSO2 CTO Paul Fremantle will also hold a session on Tuesday, September 10 at 2:30 p.m., “Ballerina – Re-inventing Middleware in a Programming Language.” ApacheCon North America 2019 is being held September 9-12, 2019 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

        • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Ballerina

          The open-source programming language Ballerina hit 1.0 generally availability this week.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pinp 0.0.9: Real Fix and Polish

          Another pinp package release! pinp allows for snazzier one or two column Markdown-based pdf vignettes, and is now used by a few packages. A screenshot of the package vignette can be seen below. Additional screenshots are at the pinp page.

  • Leftovers
    • The End of Aquarius and The Dawn of a Death Star: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

      Quentin Tarantino’s latest (and last?) film was under fire for its subject matter (a mostly fictional retelling of the Manson murders) even before it went into production, and has since taken hits on multiple fronts from the thumb sucking segment of the peanut gallery, convinced that the director is hiding a fugitive agenda at odds with their prevailing group think imperatives. Chief among them: A howling mob should be put at the helm of a film to ensure the audience is safely strapped into their car seats. As usual, Tarantino’s detractors are flinging birdshot at a master flame thrower.

    • How China Sees the World
    • Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: the Wound Becomes the Womb

      PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.

    • From Bach to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ here’s the music Russia’s government is using to inject the youths with ‘cultural literacy’

      Russia’s Culture Ministry has issued a new set of recommendations for what it calls “The Schoolchild’s Cultural Standards.” This new educational project is intended to bolster “the spiritual, aesthetic, and artistic development of Russian schoolchildren and increase the cultural literacy of our rising generation.”

    • Science
      • Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School

        The “Frankfurt School” refers to a group of unorthodox Marxist intellectuals associated with Frankfurt, Germany’s Institute for Social Research. The most famous first-generation members, whose collective work spans from the 1930s into the early 1970s, include Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. They wondered why advanced capitalist societies were sinking into new forms of barbarism rather than, as Marx envisioned, transitioning to a humane society that uses technological gains to abolish toil and promote human flourishing. To supplement Marx’s theories of ideology and social reproduction, they drew on a wide range of thinkers, including Sigmund Freud and Max Weber, developing a sizeable canon of radical and often pessimistic analyses of a “totally administered society.”

      • When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out

        I would have ended my challenge to “Hamilton, The Revolution” after a four night reading of the script that took place at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe last January. It was one of the actors, Robert Mailer Anderson, a filmmaker (Windows on the World) and novelist, who said that he’d put up money for a full production. He doubled the amount that he promised. The second largest contributors were the late Toni Morrison and her son, Ford, who saved us big bucks by making their New York apartment available to us during rehearsals and performances. Plus audience members sent us donations.But even the reading, which cost me $5,000.00, the backlash from “Hamilfans” was furious.

      • Dissociative Identity Disorder: The woman who created 2,500 personalities to survive

        Contemporary Australian experts refer to Jeni’s condition as Dissociative Identity Disorder, and say it is heavily linked to experiences of extreme abuse against a child in what is supposed to be a safe environment.
        “DID really is a survival strategy,” Dr Pam Stavropoulos, a childhood trauma expert, told the BBC.
        “It serves as a very sophisticated coping strategy that is widely regarded as extreme. But you have to remember, it’s the response to extreme abuse and trauma the child has undergone.”
        The earlier the trauma and the more extreme the abuse, the more likely it is that a child has to rely on disassociation to cope, leading to these “multiple self-states”.

      • Shirish Agarwal: Freedom, Chandrayaan 2 and Corporations in Space.

        Before we get to Chandrayaan 2, there are few interesting series I want to talk about, share about. The first one is AltBalaji’s Mission Over Mars which in some ways is similar to Mars 6-part series Docu-drama made by National Geographic and lot of movies, books etc. read over years. In both these and other books, movies etc. it has been shown how Corporate Interests win over science and exploration which the motives of such initiatives were and are. The rich become richer and richer while the poor become more poorer.

        There has been also lot of media speculation that ISRO should be privatized similar to how NASA is and people saying that NASA’s importance has not lessened even though they couldn’t have been more wrong. Take the Space Launch System . It was first though of in the 2010 after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 came into being. When it was shared or told it was told that it would be ready somewhere in 2016. Now it seems it won’t be ready until 2025. And who is responsible for this, the same company which has been responsible for lot of bad news in the international aviation business Boeing. The auditor’s report for NASA while blaming NASA for oversight also blames Boeing for not doing things right. And from what we have come to know that in the american system of self-regulation leaves much to be desired. More so, when an ex-employee of Boeing is exercising his fifth Amendment rights which raises the suspicion that there is more than just simply an oversight issue. Boeing also is a weapons manufacturer but that’s another story altogether. For people interested in the arms stuff, a wired article published 2 years back gives enough info. as to how America is good bad or Arms sale.

    • Health/Nutrition
    • Defence/Aggression
      • From A Russian: Our Planet is So Small that We Must Live in Peace

        “Our planet is so small that we must live in peace” said the head of the organization for mothers of military veterans in Yakutsk, Siberia, Far East Russia and called for “mothers to unite against war,” a sentiment that, despite the actions of our politicians and government leaders, is one of the many common threads that ordinary Russians and ordinary Americans share.

      • Son of Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Strike, White House Says

        The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

      • Democratic Debate’s Top Ten in Texas

        Well, as CNN’s Jake Tapper told Stephen Colbert Thursday night after the Democratic presidential debate, one thing’s for certain: Beto O’Rourke isn’t leaving the race to run for the US Senate from Texas.Not after what he said about guns. “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared.

      • Cowardly Democratic Senator Coons Attacks Beto for Standing Up to NRA

        O’Rourke: “But the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it. “

      • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Attack Key Saudi Oil Sites

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.

      • All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace A Chance (Bring It Home!)

        As you come to know the seriousness of our situation – the war, the racism, the poverty in the world—you come to realize it is not going to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It’s a question of living your life in drastically different ways. – Dorothy Day

      • Despite GOP Death Threat, Beto Doubles Down on “We’re Going to Take Your AR-15″ Promise

        “Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.”

      • Never Forget

        Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

        Never forget that the U.S. government was warned that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike within the United States.

        Never forget that the hijackers who used airplanes as weapons on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, not from Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Never forget that George W. Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress and to the American people, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” before launching a war that would become never-ending.

        Never forget that George W. Bush called the 9/11 terrorists enemies of freedom.

      • Biden Takes Iraq Lies to the Max at Democratic Debate

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.At last night’s Democratic Party debate hosted by ABC News Biden lied about his Iraq record, just like he did at the first two debates.

      • #NeverForget the War in Afghanistan

        When President Donald Trump announced this week that a highly anticipated peace deal with the Taliban was dead, Afghans braced for more violence. Their fears were realized as fresh fighting broke out immediately between Taliban forces and U.S.-backed Afghan government forces.

      • Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

        It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The last soldiers and agents of the world’s biggest and deadliest empire, fleeing Saigon with their thorned tails between their legs as a rag-tag army of half-starved guerrillas inched closer by the hour. The last Bell helicopters, stuffed to the brim with bourgeois refugees of the fascist Yankee quisling state of South Vietnam, bumbling about before they scatter like highway vultures interrupted by a semi as they attempt to pick the last bone clean on a withering carcass. This was unthinkable just a decade earlier, when LBJ decided to turn a contentious civil war into a full blown holocaust. We had thrown everything but the White House kitchen sink at those yellow commie savages; bombs, napalm, agent orange, near institutionalized campaigns of rape and slaughter. We had turned the jungles of Indochina into a living hell, just a few Pinkville’s shy of a full tilt genocide. But they just kept coming. Tiny men and women in black pajamas with hearts like lions, throwing their malnourished bodies into the guts and gears of the war machine. At the end of the day, the empire’s efforts were all for nothing. Billions of dollars, millions of lives, and the sterling reputation we had built on the myths of the Good War were gone like dust scattered to the wind. Was there a lesson to be learned here? Was anybody but Charlie interested in learning it?

      • At #SandtonShutdown, South African Women Disrupt Business as Usual as Fury Over Gender-Based Violence Boils Over

        “My body is not your war zone,” read one protest signs.

      • Challenging Biden on Iraq War Vote, Sanders Denounces Bloated Trump Pentagon Budget During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

      • Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics

        As we move past the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it helps to be aware of the changes in U.S. political culture that have transformed this nation over the last two decades. I teach a history class at Lehigh University, “The War on Terrorism in Politics, Media, and Memory,” which is billed as examining the “meaning” of this war, via an exploration of “personal experiences and critical perspectives on the war,” as depicted in official rhetoric, the news media, and popular film.

      • Taliban Negotiators Go to Moscow After Trump Declares Talks ‘Dead’

        MOSCOW—A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative said, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

      • The Age of Constitutional Coups

        The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents.

      • The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov’s trip abroad have reportedly been punished

        The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.

      • The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?

        On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • Snowden Tells Life Story and Why He Leaked in New Memoir

        Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has written a memoir, telling his life story in detail for the first time and explaining why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time.

    • Environment
      • Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage

        Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.

      • Alaska Villages Run Dry And Residents Worry ‘If This Is Our Future Of No Water’

        John Kvasnikoff is the village’s chief and Nina Kvasnikoff’s brother-in-law. He says Nanwalek’s leaders realized its reservoir was running low about a month ago due to lack of rain and low snowpack.

      • “We Are Striking to Disrupt the System”: An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

        Today we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year, as a 15-year-old, she launched a school strike for the climate, started by going in front of the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks, then skipped school every Friday to stand in front of the parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolkids around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate.

        Since her strike began in 2018, Greta has become a leading figure in the climate justice movement. She has joined protests across Europe. She has addressed world leaders at the U.N. climate talks in Poland and the European Union Parliament. She has even met the pope.

        Now she’s in New York to join a global climate strike on September 20th and address the U.N. Climate Action Summit at the U.N. on September 23rd. Greta has refused to fly for years because of emissions, so she arrived here after a two-week transatlantic voyage aboard a zero-emissions racing yacht. She is also planning to attend the U.N. climate summit in Santiago, Chile, in December.

        I sat down with Greta Tuesday in our Democracy Now! studio.

      • ‘ABC and the DNC Should Be Ashamed,’ Say Progressives, After Just One Question on Climate Crisis During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t know how Tom Perez and DNC leaders can look themselves in the mirror after tonight.”

      • How’s the Weather?
      • Highlighting Number of Years Left to Save Earth, Greta Thunberg Joins 11-Minute Die-In Outside White House

        “We’re seeing entire communities being decimated by the climate crisis. That’s why we strike here today, that’s why we strike here every Friday.”

      • It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more.

        [...]

        That’s similar to what presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren just said about fixing climate change. She was asked about her position on small changes like banning plastic drinking straws or inefficient light bulbs.

        “Give me a break,” she said. “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants us to talk about… They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws” when “70 percent of the pollution” comes from “the building industry, the electric power industry, and the oil industry.”

        Like my cupcakes, those three industries are the real problem. Banning straws while leaving those three industries in place will make about as much of a dent in the climate as eating two cups of parsley a day while continuing my cupcake habit would have made in my waistline: Not much.

        My cupcake habit was a problem, but it was also a symptom of a larger problem. In the end, I got therapy for difficult feelings I was dealing with. Once I took care of my mental health, the emotional eating stopped, and I lost 30 pounds.

      • Maxime Bernier Attacked Greta Thunberg’s Autism. Naomi Klein Says Autism Made the Teen a Global Voice of Conscience

        Maxime Bernier wants us to think he is sorry. The leader of the extremist People’s Party of Canada had tweeted that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is “clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression, and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same.

      • Energy
        • French city of Dunkirk tests out free transport – and it works

          More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.

      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Montana’s Wilderness Deficit

          Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well as additional lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

        • Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
        • Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward

          In 2010 when I founded Wild Love Preserve, folks told me it would not be possible to bring stakeholders together in a new light, one told me to stop reinventing the wheel, another even attempted to shut me down, however I stayed true to my beliefs and spearheaded collaborative efforts with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stakeholders. Wild Love Preserve is a unique legacy project that includes our innovative wild horse conservation program, conflict resolution, education platform, comprehensive range health fixed on sustainability, and the creation of our wildlife preserve in the heart of Idaho’s wild horse country, which will serve as permanent home to our current 136 Challis-Idaho wild horses and future Idaho wild horses not otherwise adopted. Kindness, mutual respect, accountability, science, and education drive Wild Love’s mission to protect and preserve western wild horses in their native habitats and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as an interconnected whole by bridging divides, and our conservation efforts have turned Challis-Idaho wild horses into an asset for the community, region, and state.

    • Finance
      • Russia Has ‘Oligarchs,’ the US Has ‘Businessmen’

        Even in corporate media, you will occasionally see references to the United States as an “oligarchy.” That is the judgment of former President Jimmy Carter, of peer-reviewed academic studies, and even opinion pieces in our most prestigious media (e.g., Washington Post, 4/8/14; New Yorker, 4/18/14). Indeed, Paul Krugman has been saying it in the New York Times (11/3/11, 5/15/15, 7/15/19) for years.  Just three men hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country combined, and the richest people in society use their money to influence media, society and the government.

      • Privatisation to begin this year, says minister

        He said the government intends to generate revenue through privatisation of state-owned entities (SOEs) to meet large debt servicing obligations of the country.

        Secretary Privatisation Commission Rizwan Malik said the government wants active privatisation plan initially for 6 to 7 SOEs while another 10 entities have been included for the next phase.

        The most important in this list of initial privatisation are 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant owned by National Power Parks Company (NPPC).

      • Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors

        In 2015, Waheed Etimad immigrated with his wife and their children to the United States from Afghanistan, where he’d been a translator for the U.S. Army.

      • Majority in US Back Free College Tuition and Student Debt Cancellation, New Poll Finds

        The proposals of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been dismissed as “extreme” by some of their opponents, but most Americans support such ideas.

      • The Solution to Homelessness Is Staring Us in the Face

        It’s no secret that homelessness in the United States, especially in California, has reached critical levels. That the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world is dealing with a crisis that stems so clearly from inequality and neglect should have its predominantly left-leaning residents up in arms. And to some extent, they are.

      • Marjorie Cohn on Afghanistan’s Unending War, Amit Narang on Deregulation & Corporate America
      • UAW Extends Ford, Fiat Chrysler Pacts; Strike Possible at GM

        DETROIT — Leaders of the United Auto Workers union have extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, but the pact with General Motors is still set to expire Saturday night.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Learned His Tricks From Corporate America

        For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them.

      • Cutting Social Security to Offset Paid Parental Leave Would Weaken Retirement Security

        Two recently introduced bills allowing workers to trade part of their future Social Security retirement benefits for parental leave benefits after the birth or adoption of a child would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure, weakening the retirement security it offers workers.

      • The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

        The best analogy I can think of to characterize what passes for political “debate” in America these days, is a bunch of people stuck in a rubber life raft with a big leak hissing away, drifting in the midst of a vast ocean surrounded for as far as they can see by starving sharks, while a few “leaders” insist on arguing about 1) whether there’s a leak; 2) whether to patch it…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Ex-Muslims are “not an authority on Islam!”

        Similar to new Muslims and their conversion stories, ex-Muslims have every right to express their life world discourse experiences without being an authority in Islam and with whatever knowledge of Islam they possessed when they decided that they could no longer practice or believe in the religion.

        Attempting to silence that lived experience would truly be intellectually dishonest within itself.

      • In ‘Massive Victory’ in Fight Against Trump’s ‘Unconstitutional Conduct,’ Federal Appeals Court Reopens Emoluments Case

        “We never wanted to be in a position where it would be necessary to go to court to compel the president of the United States to follow the Constitution. However, President Trump left us no choice.”

      • The Pirates of Gibraltar

        When I hear the word “pirates” certain images conjure up: the silly, moldy, dusty “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride in Disneyland that I saw in my youth; the banal, boring, childish Hollywood movies by the same title that I could not watch for more than a few minutes; or the actual pirates, such as the modern day bandits who were actively raiding ships a few years ago off the coast of Somalia. But the image of British, American and Israeli politicians in three-piece suits or skirts as pirates never came to my mind until very recently. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read the script below which appears in chronological order.

      • The Vox Populi

        Donald J. Trump won the presidency partially because of his already existing Reality TV celebratory status. Audiences got used to his dealing tactics and he became proficient in reaching those who enjoyed — perversely at a time when layoffs were rampant in the land — hearing “You’re fired!” That segment of the population aided him in discovering the nature of the current populism. As president he has put into play what he learned: bigotry and prejudice to the point of racism has populist appeal, so too does a ridiculing of any authority, whether political, scientific, legacy media, academe, the EU and all Western agreements.

      • Break Up the Democratic Party?

        Thursday’s debate on Walt Disney’s ABC channel shaped up as yet another shameless charade. The pretense was that we are to select who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. But most Americans, as the Irish say, vote with their backsides, belonging to the informal but dominant party of non-voters who choose not to be sucked into legitimizing the bad choices put before them.

      • ‘No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence’: Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision

        “We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America. To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home and peace abroad.”

      • The Sacking of John Bolton

        It was compelling viewing (one does not so much read Twitter as see it as a series of violent flashes). John Bolton, the armed-and-ready national security adviser who has been tiring of the US President’s jerks and adjustments, had floated the prospect of resignation. “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’” To the New York Times, Bolton reiterated the account. “Offered last night without [Trump] asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”

      • Why is the Left Without a Single Elected Official in LA?

        In no way is this essay attempting to “situate” or “articulate” the vast complexity that is Los Angeles through the question the title poses. Instead, it is a public engagement with humanist social movements in LA, focused on human recognition and human value, and their inability to be institutionalized as government, especially as city commissions. Like many other cities in the US, Los Angeles suffers from what Alex Honneth terms “a failing sociality” or “a failure in the power of civic imagination, political will, and open democracy”. Henri Giroux elaborates on the idea in The Terror of The Unforeseen, his masterpiece of a takedown of American fascism and its complexity and complicities. Like many other cities, this failing sociality has come with late capitalism, as an urbacide of community, personality, and life in general. Like many other cities, large parts of Los Angeles refuse to die, despite the failing sociality.

      • How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

        Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has instituted dramatic policy changes that have hurt the most vulnerable U.S.

      • Hong Kong and the Future of China

        Something didn’t quite add up.

      • For the First Time in My Life I’m Against Impeaching the President

        I had hoped to make the above statement after electing a president whom I did not consider a vile mass-murderous warmongering climate-destroying threat to humanity. I’m saying it early. I’m saying it while Trump is president.

        [...]

        The reason I’m against impeachment is that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has made clear that he will use it to focus on the disastrous and counterproductive unproven and unprovable claims of Russiagate rather than on the dozens of indisputable public acts through which Trump has committed open and acknowledged (and in some cases acknowledged by Nadler) impeachable offenses.

        Yes, yes, yes, someone in Russia may have bought an infinitesimally small amount of very weird advertisements on Facebook.

        Yes, of course, Trump has shady business dealings in Russia as in every other part of the earth.

        Yes, Trump has obstructed justice and refused to comply with subpoenas in connection with Russiagate-ish things.

        But a Russiagate impeachment is good for Trump and bad for humanity.

      • Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?

        Britain’s hard-right Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (BoJo the Racist Clown), recently told US Vice President, Mike Pence, that Labour’s genuinely left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is “a gigantic chlorinated chicken.” The official Tory Twitter account even featured a Photoshopped image of Corbyn wearing a chicken costume, making the joke (which doesn’t even work) that the Tories have found a bigger chicken than KFC. (KFC is a corporation, not a chicken.) KFC tweeted negatively in response. The person who took the original photo tweeted (later deleted) that his image was being used without license; the word “Tory” comes from Gaelic for outlaw. Tories and ex-Tories, including Alistair Burt (co-convenor of the political wing of the anti-Assad terrorists who wrecked Syria) and former chair, Sayeeda Warsi, who four-times over the last few years called for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, tweeted or stated in response to the official chicken tweet that the Tory party should stop such puerility because it is better than this. No it is not.

      • The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

        One might hope the role of the monarchy in the prorogation plot, and then Theresa May’s cronies getting honours in her resignation list, might do enough to undermine public confidence in some of the systems that define the British establishment. But the honours list will shortly be further devalued by political muck as Jo Swinson’s office is proffering peerages and knighthoods in the dissolution honours to candidates and their constituency chairmen in winnable seats, if they are willing to make way for Blairite entryists like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger.

      • ABC Debate Lowlights

        Only three climate questions were asked, by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The first, a query to vegan candidate Cory Booker about whether “more Americans [should] follow your diet,” was not even a policy question.

      • Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

        The neoliberal revolution that has been underway since the mid-1970s fundamentally reoriented American governance toward the interests of capital. While the distance between government and the so-called private sector was never that great, all pretense that government served the broader public interest was cast aside in favor of state-corporatism. This wasn’t simply a matter of privatizing the public realm— it overlaid a capitalist rationale on all public undertakings.

      • Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke

        In July, election officials across the country received a mass email from NormShield, a Virginia-based cybersecurity company few had heard of.

        The company informed the officials it was about to publicly release the results of a “risk scorecard” it had generated assessing vulnerabilities in their internet-facing election systems. States could request their scorecards in advance, the company said, and join what it termed “a joint marketing and public service project.”

      • It’s Time to Talk About Our Broken Democracy. Will Tonight’s Democratic Debate Moderators Step Up?

        Amanda Litman of Run for Something wants to know if the presidential candidates will support introducing ranked choice voting in federal elections, and also if they will commit to pursuing full congressional representation for the 4 million Americans — a total almost equal to our six smallest states—who live in territories without a voting member of Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • Facebook removed doctors’ fact-check of false anti-abortion video because Ted Cruz complained

        Three doctors authored a fact-check for Health Feedback, an organization that seeks to debunk misleading medical coverage. The fact-check deemed the video “inaccurate,” noting that “certain medical conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome can make abortion a necessary medical procedure in order to prevent the mother’s death.”

      • Google pays 700,000-ruble fine for refusing to filter search results according to Russian demands

        Google has paid a 700,000-ruble ($11,000) fine in Russia, where the federal censor penalized the tech company for refusing to block all content banned by Russian officials. According to Roskomnadzor, Google only selectively filters search results, and roughly a third of the hyperlinks blacklisted in Russia are still available to the search engine’s users. 

      • Twitter Stands Up For Devin Nunes’ Parody Accounts: Won’t Reveal Who’s Behind Them

        A couple weeks ago, we noted that the judge in Virginia presiding over Devin Nunes’ bullshit censorial lawsuit against Twitter, some parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair, had demanded that Twitter reveal to the judge who was behind the two parody accounts (for “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom.”) As we pointed out at the time, this request was highly unusual. Yes, the judge was in the process of determining if the case did not belong in Virginia, so he wanted to know if the people behind the accounts were based in Virginia, but there are ways to do that that protect the anonymity of the account holders (anonymity being a 1st Amendment right). Specifically, he could have just asked whether or not the account holders appeared to be based in Virginia.

    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Looks Like Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cell Phones and Trump Was Fine With It

        Daniel Lipmann at Politico dropped the bombshell that mysterious electronic spying devices placed throughout Washington, D.C. and close to the White House and the Capitol were traced by the FBI to Israel.

      • Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity

        The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance.

        In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.

      • Facebook Must Better Limit Its Face Surveillance

        Last week, Facebook started sending a small portion of its users a new notification about its face surveillance program, which concludes with two important buttons: “keep off” and “turn on.” This is a step in the right direction: for these users, the default will be no face surveillance, unless the user gives their affirmative opt-in consent.

        But as EFF recently explained, Facebook will not provide this privacy-protective default to billions of its current users, and it is unclear whether the company will provide it to its new users. Facebook should not subject any of its current or new users to face surveillance, absent their informed opt-in consent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • Spanish Reporter Detained for Weeks Without Charge, Deported From Iraqi Kurdistan

        On August 8, in the Nahla Valley, in northwestern Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Asayish security forces arrested Barber, a freelance reporter and photographer who contributes regularly to Spanish outlets including Publico and El Mundo, and detained him until September 4, according to the journalist, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, and news reports.

        Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan did not file any charges against Barber and barred him from contacting anyone during his detention, including a lawyer, he told CPJ. He was deported to Egypt on September 8 and returned to Spain on September 9, he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer

        On December 2, 2016, a fire swept through a living and workspace in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died, many of them attending a late night party in a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.” Investigators never determined the cause of the fire, but the Alameda County District Attorney charged “master tenant” Derick Almena and his assistant, Max Harris, with 36 counts of involuntarily manslaughter. The DA did not bring charges against the “acting landlord,” Eva Ng, or against her mother, Chor Ng, and her brother, Kai Ng, who together own the building.

      • ‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call

        The death of Israa Ghrayeb has ignited furious reactions regarding the so-called ‘honor-killings’ in Palestine and throughout the Arab world.

      • Resisting a World That Privileges Whiteness—While We Still Can

        “My Time Among the Whites: Notes From an Unfinished Education”

      • Me First and the Loss of Compassion

        America stands at a crossroads today. Terrorism and nuclear proliferation, immigration, climate change or the growing gap between rich and poor reveal policy priorities that increasingly segregate society. Americans have been taking their divisions to the streets. Voicing opinion as part of the political process or outside of it are signs of a healthy democracy. However, more and more, political parties and interest groups promote their goals with the sole purpose of winning without any real interest in compromise, let alone collaboration. As we are losing interest in and eventually the ability to compromise, we are losing the very essence of our democracy.

      • The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?

        A 2017 U.S. government report, “SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OVERRULED BY SUBSEQUENT DECISION,” notes, “while the Supreme Court sometimes expressly overrules a prior decision, in other instances the overruling must be deduced from the principles of related cases.” The report identifies 237 Court decision that have been either overturned or revised.

      • ‘From cultural capital to gangland’ An election monitor explains how chaos in St. Petersburg has led to mass fraud

        Days after election day, the results in St. Petersburg still haven’t been announced. In precincts where opposition candidates apparently won, election officials are busy with recounts that have handed opposition seats to candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. To learn more about this chaos, Meduza spoke to the “Golos” election monitoring group’s local coordinator in St. Petersburg, Natalia Menkova, who says her beloved city has succumbed to “gangland” rule. 

      • High-Level DOJ Official Latest Gov’t Employee To Be Caught Watching Porn While On The Clock

        It’s good to know government employees are hard at work. (This statement mainly applies to male employees.)

      • Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska

        The U.S. Department of Justice is adding federal prosecutors to pursue cases in remote Alaska towns and villages where U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently declared a public safety emergency.

        After visiting Alaska and meeting with Alaska Native leaders, Barr declared the problem to be a national emergency, promising $10.5 million in immediate relief. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder in Anchorage announced new details on how the money will be spent, as well as related efforts by federal agencies and the state of Alaska.

      • Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns

        For 50 years the environmental movement has depended on laws and regulations from the 1970’s enforced by lawyers and judges to achieve its goals. But since Trump’s election, the regulations, processes, courtesies, assumptions and norms undergirding America’s approach to the environment have been systematically discarded, reversed and dismantled. Accordingly, grassroots organizing will have to evolve and play a larger role in the future.

      • Homage to the Tabloids

        Are you ready for some football?  Big story in the LA Times this week: “Will the NFL allow players to use marijuana? League wants Science to determine drug policy. ” It should come as no surprise that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  is taking refuge behind “More Research is Needed.”

    • Monopolies
      • Copyrights
        • Judge Recommends to Deny Summary Judgment Against Tor Exit Node Operator in Piracy Case

          A long running piracy lawsuit between a piracy-accused Tor Exit Node operator and the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club has yet to see a breakthrough. A Magistrate Judge from a federal court in Oregon recommends to deny motions for summary judgment filed from both sides. This means that a jury may eventually have the final say.

        • Plex is a Pirate’s Dream But Could Also Build Bridges to Legal Content

          Popular media server Plex is an entirely legal tool to arrange movies, TV shows and other content and present them in a Netflix-beating interface. Some have described Plex as a pirate’s dream, especially when its augmented with little-known third-party ‘pirate’ services. But Plex also has grand plans that could help to build bridges between content pirates and media companies that might otherwise prove impossible.

        • Manga Publishers Sue Pirate Site “Hoshinoromi” in New York Court

          Four of the largest manga publishers have sued ‘pirate’ site Hoshinoromi in a New York federal court. The Japanese companies accuse the site of blatant copyright infringement and request damages. According to the publishers, Cloudflare is helping the site’s operators to conceal their identities.

Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

Sunday 15th of September 2019 02:44:20 PM

Summary: Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those

DUE TO lack of time we probably won’t (and can’t) keep these “Openwashing Reports” a daily feature but merely weekly, as originally intended. Moreover, once we cover a particular theme or a strand of openwashing we’ll try to move on to the next and merely ‘shelve’ new examples in our Daily Links under “openwashing” (there’s one big batch coming later today). We don’t want to sound too repetitive (with the arguments, not the pertinent new examples), so this series will have a special nature with a certain uniqueness. Today’s “Openwashing Report” is about ONF; it’s the turn of telecoms, based on the past week’s news (there was an event). It’s a pattern we have observed for over a decade and it’s usually the same ‘news’ sites that are the main culprits; we know who funds these (some are transparent about it). They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…

“They would have us believe that every large telecom company is now “Open”. This is the art of marketing by openwashing…”Disguising ‘interop’ (somewhat of a buzzword) and shims/standards as “open” is another form of openwashing; here’s a new article entitled “How network standards and open source organizations differ” (there’s some fragmentation among these organisations).

“Both open source and network standards organizations want to develop the next-generation network,” it says. “Yet their methods differ, and they can benefit different types of organizations.”

“The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality!”What’s common to all of them is the nature of members. They relay or transmit a lot of traffic, lots of information of lots of different people. They snoop, they intercept, they analyse and they inform. They’re informants of militaries, governments or — as they prefer for people to think — “advertisers”. The openwashing pattern to watch out for here is pretty simple: surveillance is being framed as “open” or “sharing” or “confidential”. Yes, confidential! The Linux Foundation makes Orwell proud by painting surveillance — the opposite of privacy — as a matter of confidentiality! That’s how deeply dishonest they are.

“They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members.”This weekend we’ve decided to do an article about openwashing in the telecom sector mostly because a lot of new examples are available. It’s because of the event of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

How many of our readers are familiar with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)? Open is a familiar word, sure. But how many people heard of ONF? How many people participated in some form? How much is actually known about it? We are guessing that few of our readers know much. ONF is actually rather secretive. It’ll like an onion one has to peel and it’s not a pleasant (or easy) experience.

They work like a tightly-knit family and it mostly boils down to cost-cutting collaboration, sharing of code among the members. Not freedom. Hardly even genuine openness.

Let’s look at some examples from last week’s news.

Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”). Watch this puff piece that says “Comcast sent its Senior VP of Next Generation Access Networks Elad Nafshi to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) conference today to announce that the service provider has rolled out some open source software as part of its Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

The conference was used by Comcast to also issue paid nonsense. From the conference: “The ONF today announced that Comcast has reached production roll-out of the Trellis Open Source Network Fabric as part of Comcast’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout.”

“Comcast wants to be thought of as “Open” because it shares code with few other giant telecoms (we’ll use abbreviations for “telecommunications”).”The Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) conference is more like a PR platform than a real, traditional conference which is open to all. It’s openwashing of surveillance infrastructures. You don’t get to tinker with the code, but wow! Oh yeah! “Open”…

Whatever.

Here’s another puff piece that says “Comcast today said it deployed Trellis, the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) open source SDN fabric, in “multiple markets.””

SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies. Check out their internal blog; it’s nauseating. Imagine the BBC or CNN having a section in which they invite corporations to become “partners” with their own (dedicated) ‘news’ sections, fused together with so-called original ‘news’ (or ‘content’)…

“SDxCentral is a ‘tool’ of the Linux Foundation, VMware etc. Those sites are deeply corrupt. They run or ‘operate’ on the cash of companies they cover. So in effect they’re like peripheral PR agencies.”More openwashing by SDxCentral (PR for the Linux Foundation and various other “sponsors”) can be found here. This one bears the headline “AT&T’s Fuetsch Touts Trellis Deployed in Tier-1 Network” (AT&T uses the above to spy on millions if not billions of people, but let’s celebrate because something is “Open”).

Then there was also Edgecore. This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise. Watch this press release [1, 2] and accompanying puff piece for ONF: “Taiwan-based Edgecore is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accton Technology. Historically, Edgecore built boxes that the incumbent telecom vendors, such as Cisco and Ericsson, would buy. These vendors would then re-label the boxes and sell them to their own customers. “With the movement to open source, some of these vendors that used to be in the background are becoming more visible,” said Timon Sloane, VP of marketing with the ONF.”

“This is collaboration among giants. It’s good to collaborate, but it is not about freedom; it’s just a cost-cutting exercise.”Look at this surveillance giants galore [1, 2]. They shower themselves using openwashing, with the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) help.

TechDirt published an article under a week ago about how the telecom giants try really hard to distract us with “Big Tech”, blaming the likes of GAFAM as if they’re the sole culprits and privacy violators. In reality, both telecoms and GAFAM are enemies of everybody’s privacy. Google, for example, wants a monopoly on access to your data, i.e. it wants to infringe your privacy and for no other company to do the same (hence “security”). From exclusivity come higher pricing opportunities. You are the product. Remember that! To ISPs the customers have increasingly become just “products” to be “informed on” (e.g. to governments and advertisers).

This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side. We saw dozens of examples early in the month and it isn’t stopping. Examples now include [1, 2].

Also get a load of this from Appuals (“Google Talks About The Importance Of Open Source And Open Data In A Recent Blog Post”). A proprietary software company talks about the importance of what it barely does. Google’s openwashing is nothing too new or unique. How many core, important google things are Open Source in their entirety? Same question for Microsoft…

“This past week, for the third week in a row, Google was still googlebombing the word “privacy” to make it seem like it fights for it, not against it, plus openwashing on the side.”Is Google Search Open Source? How about Apps (office suite, Gmail etc.)? Android as in AOSP is “open” mostly for compliance reasons (they make use of many external projects, including Linux). The same goes for Chromium…

Almost nothing is really “open”. Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is an extension of the marketing strategy, something along the lines of “don’t be evil…” (a motto that Google has already abandoned officially)

Going back to the main subject at hand, an openwashing consortium of surveillance giants totally ‘orchestrated’ the media this past week. Here’s a puff piece entitled “ONF works on an open source evolved packet core” (who other than giant telecoms has contributed to this?) and to quote:

The original 3GPP evolved packet core was not CUPS compliant, said Guru Parulkar, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Control User Plane Separation (CUPS) of evolved packet core (EPC) nodes provides for the separation of functionality in the S-gateway, P-gateway and MME.

Guess who makes all the commits.

Here’s another new press release (from that same event):

The ONF today announced that the Stratum™ project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

Based on this press release there has been fluff:

Stratum is a silicon-independent platform designed to let network operators easily integrate new devices from a wide range of vendors, expanding and upgrading their infrastructure in real time. It strictly defines the interface between switches and controllers as an unambiguous “contract,” avoiding proprietary silicon interfaces and software APIs that lock operators into one vendor’s hardware.

Another piece of fluff from the same site:

The ONF today announced that the Stratum project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF’s next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.

“How many companies is that even relevant to? Not many. Only the few which participate.”We don’t wish to come across as too cynical. If openashing is the wrong term by which to describe ONF, then we need to come up with another new word. It’s when companies come together to share code and the public can see the code. In the past they habitually did all this, but the public was shut out.

ONF is not a fraud but a vastly better thing than all telecoms having their own pool of proprietary software. ONF is a good thing in general, but it boils down to collaboration, not Open Source or Free software (they’re all, for the most part, against freedom because their surveillance facilitates oppression).

“Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.”We’re still thinking what to call all this. It’s not limited to ONF and there are overlaps in the Linux Foundation, whose chief Jim Zemlin rejects Open Source (he uses a proprietary operating system with proprietary on it). We’ve meanwhile noticed that F5 is, perhaps as expected, leveraging NGINX (just Open Core basically) for openwashing purposes. F5 is spying on a lot of traffic, but it prefers to be seen as “Open”. Perhaps that was one of the main ‘perks’ of buying NGINX.

Remember that Software Freedom includes privacy; the cheapening or departure from freedom (to “Open Source” or “Open” or “Collaboration”) is a sacrifice/compromise whose end goal (or ultimate objective) is to rationalise abuse. It’s about maintaining the status quo, i.e. not reforming anything except the marketing slant.

‘Open Source’ You Cannot Run Without Renting or ‘Licensing’ Windows From Microsoft

Sunday 15th of September 2019 01:30:09 PM

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

“[Windows Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“

–Peter Gutmann

Summary: When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?

What good is “open source” that needs a back-doored, proprietary software (i.e. back doors cannot be removed) operating system with spying and DRM just to run it? We recently wrote about this kind of situation, offering examples from both Apple and Microsoft.

“And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything.”Here comes another new example from GHacks (lots of those lately; mostly from this site). “Sandboxie, a sandbox program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has been turned into a free application.” Freeware. And they say “soon open source” without specifying a licence or anything. Might as well turn out to be vapourware at the end…

Tabloid troll Catalin Cimpanu is already openwashing this proprietary software based on a promise from Sophos alone. Let’s rejoice “open source” that runs only on Windows. CBS and its tabloid ZDNet are once again proving to be Microsoft propaganda and this article comes from the person who constantly slanders Linux. Help Net Security said: “Sophos plans to open-source Sandboxie, a Windows utility that allows users to run apps in a sandbox. Until that happens, they’ve made the utility free.”

“When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth?”BetaNews — just like the above — put “open source” in the headline even though it’s only freeware. Great! And even though it’s Windows only; just like Steve Ballmer wanted…

When “open source” runs only on a proprietary platform with NSA back doors what is it really worth? Is it good for anything? Also, it’s not security; just illusion of it…

They claim that these applications improve security, but these applications only run on a platform with NSA back doors. Here’s another new example, this one of an “app” that only runs on iOS. “If you’re looking for an alternative for Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, or Authy, you may want to give Authenticator a chance,” it says. How does that improve security? The underlying operating system has well known back doors. The company that monopolised maintainer-ship works with the NSA and is in the PRISM spy programme. Ed Snowden’s leaks provided actual evidence and 2 years ago Wikileaks added more with Vault 7.

“Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.”A similar example was covered 3 days ago by GHacks: “WinOTP Authenticator is an open-source alternative for WinAuth”

The “Win” means Windows; it means you lose security. You lose privacy. When “open source” runs only under proprietary software stacks with NSA back doors, such as Vista 10 (strictly in this case), a vendor can only pretend it offers security…

One of the virtues extolled by Free software proponents is superior security; well, how much do such claims hold when one must rent (license, temporarily) a bunch of dodgy binaries from NSA partners to run the said program/s? Notice that all the above are security-oriented programs but not a single platform without NSA back doors is supported.

All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

Sunday 15th of September 2019 12:21:05 PM


Credit: The Silence of the Lambs (film)

Summary: All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor

THE MISGUIDED idea or the concept of Microsoft as “Open” has long been laughable. Just look at all their major products. Not even one is Free/Open Source software. Nothing. None.

When one can spend billions of dollars on PR, however, it is possible to interject all sorts of lies into the media, even ridiculous statements such as "Microsoft loves Linux"

“As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.”Persistence has paid off. Lies can eventually triumph. Patience…

Microsoft would love to control Linux. It’s already getting there, little by little (the latest step is imposing Microsoft’s proprietary file systems on Linux [1, 2]).

As far as Linux development goes, Microsoft is already pretty deep inside; it even has access to highly confidential mailing lists.

Next step? Buy all the seats or most of them. Take control. Make Linux all about Microsoft. Control Linux. Censor or remove code/people who aren’t liked by Microsoft (for purely commercial reasons).

The other day we covered another step in this gradual ‘coup’. This Apple PR(opaganda) site gets it wrong; Microsoft just basically bought a seat. Some high-profile media wrote shallow articles about it (like the press releases of the Linux Foundation) and a reader sent us what we initially cited, if only just to highlight this bit:

Microsoft and Apple have both joined the Academy Software Foundation, a group designed to promote the use of open source in Hollywood. Both companies joined the foundation at the premier membership level, which helps it to surpass $1 million in annual funding.

Slush funds. When Microsoft takes (or buys) the key seats in committees/panels the projects are compromised and end up outsourced to proprietary software such as GitHub and Slack (security suicide). Another new example, reposted days ago as a press release: “Haivision and Microsoft Host SRT Sunday Featuring Panel Discussions and SRT Open Source Showcase [...] Haivision freely engages the community on Github and a dedicated Slack channel that is open to all SRT Alliance members.”

“Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.”So it is controlled by the host. They should delete GitHub and Slack if they’re serious about Open Source. Meanwhile, as another new example, Stripe outsources the company’s operations to Microsoft and its censorship platform, which is proprietary software. To quote: “The product in question is called Stripe Connect Express, and it helps platforms like Spotify and Medium sign up new sellers to their platforms. To use those examples: Connect Express has helped Spotify quickly sign up new independent artists to get paid per play of their music, and Medium uses it to pay out writers for their slice of paywall revenue.”

Microsoft does not help developers be paid; it’s defunding them based on broad, racist generalisations. When you put your code in Microsoft’s GitHub you facilitate systematic racism by the most aggressive regimes and help imperialism. That’s antithetical to Software Freedom; it’s in violation of the first essential freedom.

Microsoft is a censorship enforcer now. It censors Open Source and it fights Free software that the US government does not like. Even the Microsoft-friendly ZDNet has just admitted it:

Duncan Worrell, a GitHub user from the UK, this month had his financial services company’s private repository blocked because GitHub determined that it was subject to US trade controls.

GitHub didn’t explain how it determined that the UK company should be restricted. However, Worrell suspected it was because “a sub-contractor of a sub-contractor currently resident in Ukraine, accessed our GitHub repo while visiting family in Crimea”.

The only communication he received from GitHub was that: “Due to US trade controls law restrictions, paid GitHub organization services have been restricted.”

Also see the article that a reader sent us, below [1] (we’re already posted a bunch of reports about this in our Daily Links, but not this report). Microsoft is nowadays in the censorship and surveillance business. It tries to monopolise this.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ninth Circuit Says LinkedIn Wrongly Blocked HiQ’s Scraping Efforts

    Fans of scraping cases may rejoice. The Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in the hiQ v. LinkedIn case (it was argued in March 2018, so the opinion took about 18 months). It rules in favor of hiQ.

    hiQ was a company that, apparently with LinkedIn’s authorization, accessed data from public LinkedIn profiles and built products on this data. After years of this practice, LinkedIn sent hiQ a cease and desist letter that hiQ was no longer authorized to access LinkedIn user data, so any ongoing access would violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws. hiQ preemptively sought a preliminary injunction. The district court granted the injunction and ordered LinkedIn to allow hiQ to access the data in question during the pendency of the lawsuit. It was a sweeping ruling that many thought would be unlikely to survive challenge on appeal. The Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling.

The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

Sunday 15th of September 2019 03:03:49 AM

From a brochure of the Linux Foundation (selling press coverage and even "tweets"):

Summary: The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software

LINUX.COM is practically dead. The Linux Foundation killed it off as a news source. Linux Journal is also gone, but at least the site is still online (at least for now). It is getting harder and harder to find proper journalism about GNU/Linux (a rarity these days) and Microsoft is happy to fill the gap by Googlebombing "Linux" with Vista 10 'spam' — something to which the Linux Foundation actively contributes.

“It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”…”Hours ago Slashdot promoted VMware/Linux Foundation puff pieces from a Linux Foundation-sponsored ‘news’ site. This is the kind of problem we wrote about a few days ago. The same large corporations that control today’s Linux Foundation also control the story/narrative of “Linux”. So in effect there has been a corporate coup not just in the Linux Foundation but also media that covers “Linux”. It’s hardly surprising that we’re all being bombarded with lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; yesterday we showed how Microsoft had approached writers and liaised with bloggers in order to dish out these lies. They’re basically trolling us all for a quick buck.

Alexandre Oliva moments ago: “anyone seen recent articles critical of Richard Stallman, father of open source and main author of linux, as they used to write before they all suddenly came across free software, and some even about gnu some 48 hours ago?”

EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

Sunday 15th of September 2019 02:30:36 AM

They now rely on EBA to ‘endorse’ such patents (again)

Summary: A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren’t EPC-compliant)

IT OUGHT to come as no surprise that António Campinos — like his ‘handler’ — pushes hard for software patents to be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The law does not matter to these people; neither do constitutions. Today’s EPO is totally in the pockets of patent maximalists (just look at all the tweets from Friday; they're in cahoots).

Rather than moan and groan about this sad reality let’s take stock of the latest observations, which merit a rebuttal or two. We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.

Just before the weekend Bristows’ Alan Johnson turned the Kool-Aid nozzle again (link for those curious enough to see it). When Bristows says “Poll indicates businesses’ support for UPC without UK” it refers to propaganda from a UPC think tank; it’s Managing IP's UPC propaganda machine — one that its staff pinged me about in Twitter (as if to impress me with their so-called ‘study’). Suffice to say, it’s a poll that only speaks to and for litigation firms. Bristows is a band of liars, so they spin that as “businesses’ support”; it’s not an independent poll (push polling likely) and it blindly follows that ludicrous idea that a corrupt institution that breaks the law internally would act better outwards. We’ve already written a great deal about the firm behind it; on Friday it spoke — in its very latest article — of “Rising Star Awards”. Paid-for, fake and corrupt awards. The lawyers’ ‘industry’ has been manufacturing these fake ‘endorsements’ for themselves. IAM does this for a living, so why not Managing IP as well? Under the guise of “IP STARS”…

“We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.”It’s that same old business model of lying and calling people/sponsors “STARS”. It’s a common scam/fraud in other domains too; a firm comes with an offer of an award, in exchange for some payment of course; contrariwise, it can blackmail businesses with threat of negative publicity. From Managing IP: “The best rising stars lawyers from across the continent congregated at The Pierre Hotel last night to celebrate Euromoney Legal Media Group’s second annual Americas Rising Stars awards.”

So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards. In the same way they promote the UPC with bogus ‘polls’, after the EPO cooperates with them on UPC propaganda events. IAM does that too. They’re all connected and they fool nobody but themselves. They hope to mislead politicians however. Why?

Look no further than Friday’s post from Kluwer Patent Blog (in which Team UPC admits: “Czech Republic will not ratify UPCA any time soon”… or ever!).

So now they admit they’ve lied about remaining barriers. The opening paragraph states “it may violate the Czech Constitution.”

“So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards.”Not just the Czech Constitution; there are similar issues in Hungary and elsewhere (even the courts ruled accordingly).

Norice that Team UPC is nowadays writing anonymously, e.g. "Kluwer Patent blogger", in order to dodge accountability for lying. “Kluwer Patent blogger” is always or usually Bristows. It’s probably Alan Johnson. Here they go: “The Czech Republic will not ratify the Unified Patent Agreement in the near future, even if the Unitary Patent system takes the hurdles of the Brexit and the German constitutional complaint. According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report on the impact of the patent package, which was commissioned by the national IP office, the Unitary Patent system could have negative financial consequences for Czech SMEs; moreover it may violate the Czech Constitution. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Karel Sindelka, partner and IP expert of the Czech law firm Sindelka Lachmannova, about the PwC report.”

This is the same PwC which was paid by Battistelli a few years ago to lie about EPO staff.

Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure. It’s also pretty clear that UPC would usher in software patents — something that EPO management is still pushing for. It’s lobbying very hard for illegal software while attacking its own judges into approving that. Based on this new blog post: “It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations…”

“Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure.”Of course!

IP Kat’s blogger adds: “Running a simulation on a computer in order to determine a technical parameter, the President argued, is also not equivalent to a mental act.”

Well, he never wrote a computer program! His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.

The blogger concludes with: “The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion.”

“His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.”Lies from Rose Hughes? Probably not. Maybe she’s simply unaware of recent developments. Consider EBA's recent handling of the 'Haar question'. In this newer one, Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) referral G 1/19, the same issues arise. These are serious issues which we’ve mentioned here many times before, as did IP Kat (albeit it’s run by patent maximalists these days). It sometimes spreads lies for EPO management (and censors comments critical of it), so we shall assume good faith and strive to remain polite. Not an easy task when their latest roundup is full of patent maximalism — same as last week! Annsley Ward (Bristows) is dominant in this blog; she’s promoting patent trolls such as InterDigital (again) and also spent a long time promoting software patents in the past. Yes, in IP Kat! It’s also not easy to overlook the professional affiliation of the author of this article; it’s the litigation department of a pharmaceutical giant/monopoly (Rose Hughes works for one) and she constantly comments on the subject of her business. She has just done that again. So the blog lacks independence and it speaks for lawyers, not even scientists inside companies with patents. This wasn’t always the case!

Here’s what she wrote about G 1/19:

One of the more early awaiting referrals before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA), is G 1/19, relating to the patentability of computer-simulated methods (IPKat post here). The referral has already attracted a large number of amicus curiae from interested parties, including CIPA, EPI and AIPPI. IPKat will review these observations shortly (once this Kat has had the chance to read them all). In the meantime, the EPO has recently announced that the EPO President himself, António Campinos, has taken the unusual move of submitting his own comments on the referral.

The President’s comments can be read in full here. It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations (in contrast to his view on the patentability of products produced by essentially biological processes…IPKat post here). In summary, the President argues that the case law of the Boards of Appeal already provides that computer-implemented simulations, claimed as such, may be based on technical considerations. Furthermore, these technical considerations may confer inventiveness on the claim. Computer-simulated inventions may therefore be inventive, and thereby patentable.

[...]

Will the EBA agree with the President? The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion. Furthermore, as mentioned above, there have already been a large number of observations from third parties submitted to the EBA, some in favour and some against the patentability of computer-simulated inventions (Article 10 RPEBA). Individuals with strong views on this issue [Merpel: such as certain hyperbolic bloggers...], are encouraged to submit their own!

That last remark might be a vague reference to us; I already submitted letters to the EBA a long time ago. That barely had an effect. It would be even less likely to have an effect now that these judges lack independence.

“Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals.”Will the judges feel comfortable going against the wishes of Campinos and guard the EPC instead? That’s a risky career choice. Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals. 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US is proving that the USPTO granted far too many such bogus patents as well; Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) aren’t so cheap, however, so most patents will reach their expiration date without proper scrutiny.

Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

Saturday 14th of September 2019 11:50:48 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Clear Linux Is Being Used Within Some Automobiles

      Intel’s speedy Clear Linux distribution could be running under the hood of your car.

      While we’re fascinated by the performance of Intel’s open-source Clear Linux distribution that it offers meaningful performance advantages over other distributions while still focused on security and offering a diverse package set, we often see it asked… who uses Clear Linux? Some argue that Clear Linux is just a toy or technology demo, but it’s actually more.

    • Server
      • IBM
        • Agile project management: 10 reasons to use it

          On the road to change, you’ll encounter fear and loathing. People will undoubtedly cling to old ways of working. Successfully making it to the other side will require commitment, passionate change agents, and unwavering leadership. You might wonder – is it really worth it?

          Leaders who have made the switch to agile project management say that it has delivered benefits both large and small to their organizations, from the rituals that bring their team together – like daily stand-ups – to the results that make their business stronger – like better end products and happier customers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Kernel Space
      • Improve memset since the merge window is closing in and y'all are on a conference, I thought I should take another stab at it. It being something which Ingo, Linus and Peter have suggested in the past at least once.
      • An Improved Linux MEMSET Is Being Tackled For Possibly Better Performance

        Borislav Petkov has taken to improve the Linux kernel’s memset function with it being an area previously criticzed by Linus Torvalds and other prominent developers.

        Petkov this week published his initial patch for better optimizing the memset function that is used for filling memory with a constant byte.

      • Kernel Address Space Isolation Still Baking To Limit Data Leaks From Foreshadow & Co

        In addition to the work being led by DigitalOcean on core scheduling to make Hyper Threading safer in light of security vulnerabilities, IBM and Oracle engineers continue working on Kernel Address Space Isolation to help prevent data leaks during attacks.

        Complementing the “Core Scheduling” work, Kernel Address Space Isolation was also talked about at this week’s Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The address space isolation work for the kernel was RFC’ed a few months ago as a feature to prevent leaking sensitive data during attacks like L1 Terminal Fault and MDS. The focus on this Kernel ASI is for pairing with hypervisors like KVM as well as being a generic address space isolation framework.

      • The Linux Kernel Is Preparing To Enable 5-Level Paging By Default

        While Intel CPUs aren’t shipping with 5-level paging support, they are expected to be soon and distribution kernels are preparing to enable the kernel’s functionality for this feature to extend the addressable memory supported. With that, the mainline kernel is also looking at flipping on 5-level paging by default for its default kernel configuration.

        Intel’s Linux developers have been working for several years on the 5-level paging support for increasing the virtual/physical address space for supporting large servers with vast amounts of RAM. The 5-level paging increases the virtual address space from 256 TiB to 128 PiB and the physical address space from 64 TiB to 4 PiB. Intel’s 5-level paging works by extending the size of virtual addresses to 57 bits from 48 bits.

      • Linux Foundation
        • Interview with the Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO

          In this interview, Chip Childers, the CTO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation talks about some hot topics.

        • Research Shows Open Source Program Offices Improve Software Practices

          Using open source software is commonplace, with only a minority of companies preferring a proprietary-first software policy. Proponents of free and open source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening FOSS usage within the enterprise as well as gaining the “digital transformation” benefits associated with open source and cloud native best practices.

          Companies, as well as FOSS advocates, are determining the best ways to promote these business goals, while at the same time keeping alive the spirit and ethos of the non-commercial communities that have embodied the open source movement for years.

        • Linux Foundation Survey Proves Open-Source Offices Work Better
      • Graphics Stack
        • Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 Released

          Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 is now available as the newest update to AMD’s open-source GPU compute stack for Linux systems.

          ROCm 2.7.2 is a small release that just fixes the upgrade path when moving from older ROCm releases, v2.7.2 should now be running correctly. This release comes after the recent ROCm 2.7.1 point release that had corrected some components from properly loading the ROC tracer library.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine-Staging 4.16 Brings Rendering Fix For A Number Of Direct3D Games

        Based off yesterday’s release of Wine 4.16, the Wine-Staging 4.16 update out today is more prominent with a number of new patches introduced to this experimental/testing flavor of Wine for running Windows games/applications on Linux.

        Wine-Staging 4.16 brings a tentative fix for this six year old bug report about Direct3D 9 rendering issues. The functionality can be enabled via a new “multiply_special” registry key to workaround issues with Final Fantasy XIV, The Witcher 2, Darkness II, Need for Speed Shift 2, Resident Evil 4, and other games.

    • Games
      • Kind Words, a pretty sweet experience about sending and receiving anonymous letters

        Developer Popcannibal (Make Sail, Girls Like Robots) just released an updated version of the Humble Original Kind Words with Linux support. Originally released in July’s Humble Monthly as an original game, Popcannibal did some tweaks and released it this week on Steam.

      • Dead Rising 4 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        Dead Rising 4 running through Steam play.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been released into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Village building sim with god powers Rise to Ruins to leave Early Access next month

        Developer Raymond Doerr has announced their village building sim Rise to Ruins will leave Early Access on October 14th.

        A game regular GamingOnLinux readers will most likely be familiar with, since I’ve written about it quite a few times when checking up on development. The progress on it and how it’s grown has been astonishing. Coming from such a basic village builder into a highly engrossing mix of village building, god sim and tower defense all in one it’s great. The current trailer is a little old but it gives you a reasonable idea:

      • Weekend Deals: grab DiRT Rally completely free to keep and more not to miss

        Just a quick one really on some excellent deals going on right now, including two games you can grab completely free to keep.

        On Steam you can currently pick up DiRT Rally with 100% off, so if you don’t own it you can add it to your Steam Library and keep it forever. It’s really challenging but also incredibly fun, give it a go! Additionally, the THE GREAT GEOMETRIC MULTIVERSE TOUR, an indie FPS is also 100% off on Steam. Both deals should end on Monday, 16th at 5PM UTC.

        Also a reminder about Deep Rock Galactic, it’s fantastic in Steam Play and it’s having a free weekend with a big sale.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE Frameworks 5.62.0

          KDE Frameworks are over 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks web page.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62 Released With KWayland Additions & Other Improvements

          KDE Frameworks 5.62 is out today as the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE libraries complementing the Qt5 tool-kit offerings.

        • Back from Akademy 2019 in Milan

          The last week I was in Milan with my wife Aiswarya to attend Akademy 2019, the yearly event of the KDE community. Once again it was a great experience, with lots of interesting conferences and productive BoF sessions (“Birds of a Feather”, a common name for a project meeting during a conference).

          On Sunday, we presented our talk “GCompris in Kerala, part 2”. First, Aiswarya told some bits of Free-Software history in Kerala, gave examples of how GCompris is used there, and explained her work to localize the new version of GCompris in Malayalam (the language of this Indian state). Then I made a quick report of what happened in GCompris the last 2 years, and talked about the things to come for our next release.

        • Akademy was a blast!

          I attended my first ever Akademy! The event was held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy this year. And the experience was splendid. During the 2 day conference, I had the opportunity to talk at the Student Showcase, where all of the SoC students presented their work to the community. There were about 8 students, and everyone gave a good briefing on their project.

          My project this summer was with Kdenlive, the open source non linear professional video editor. I proposed to revamp one of the frequently used tools in the editor, called the Titler tool, which is used to create title clips. Title clips are video clips that contain text and/or images that are composited or appended to your video (eg: subtitles). The problem with the titler tool as it is, is that it uses QGraphicsView to describe a title clip and QGraphicsView was deprecated since the release of Qt5. This obviously leads to problems – upstream bugs crawling affecting the functionality of the tool and an overall degradation in the ease of maintenance of the codebase. Moreover, adding new features to the existing code base was no easy task and therefore, a complete revamp was something in sights of the developer community in Kdenlive for a long time now. I proposed to rework on the backend for the period of GSoC replacing the use of XML with QML and use a new rendering backend with QQuickRenderControl, along with a new MLT module to handle the QML frames. I was able to cover most of the proposed work, I seek to continue working on it and finish evolving the titler tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME Shell + Mutter Patches Pending For Wayland Fullscreen Compositing Bypass

          There’s an exciting patch set to GNOME Shell and Mutter now pending for finally wiring up the full-screen unredirected display / full-screen bypass compositing for helping the performance of full-screen games in particular on Wayland.

          GNOME on X11 has long supported the full-screen compositing bypass so the window manager / compositor gets out of the way when running full-screen games/applications. That support under Wayland hasn’t been in place and thus there is a performance hit for full-screen Wayland-native software. But now thanks to Red Hat’s Jonas Ådahl, that infrastructure now appears to be ready.

    • Distributions
      • Slackware Family
        • September Edition of Plasma5 for Slackware

          After a summer hiatus during which I only released new packages for KDE Frameworks because they addressed a serious security hole, I am now back in business and just released KDE-5_19.09 for Slackware-current.

          The packages for KDE-5_19.09 are available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. On my laptop with slackware64-current, this new release of Plasma5 runs smooth.

      • Debian Family
        • Releasing Slax 9.11.0

          New school year has started again and next version of Slax is here too this time it is 9.11.0. This release includes all bug fixes and security updates from Debian 9.11 (code name Jessie), and adds a boot parameter to disable console blanking (console blanking is disabled by default).

          You can get the newest version at the project’s home page, there are options to purchase Slax on DVD or USB device, as well as links for free download.

          Surprisingly for me we skipped 9.10, I am not sure why

          I also experimented with the newly released series of Debian 10 (code name Buster) and noticed several differences which need addressing, so Slax based on Debian 10 is in progress, but not ready yet. Considering my current workload and other circumstances, it will take some more time to get it ready, few weeks at least.

        • Slax 9.11 Released While Re-Base To Debian 10 Is In Development

          Slax 9.11 pulls in all the package updates and fixes from Debian 9.11. Meanwhile the lead developer is working on a presumably “Slax 10″ that is rebased against Debian 10. But there are a number of issues still needing to be addressed and as such that next major Slax release is still some time out from being released.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family
        • 14 Essential Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

          You probably already know a stack of keyboard shortcuts already because general actions like copy (ctrl + c), paste (ctrl + v), and undo are the same across all operating systems and throughout most (if not all) software.

          So in this post we focus solely on a set of Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts you might not know about, as well as those that you might, but always forget to use!

          Read all the way to the end for a bonus tip on how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu for your favourite apps and CLI tools — and to download our newbie-friendly Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet!

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Xabber Server v.0.9 alpha is released

        After almost three years of research, planning and development we’re proud to present the first public version of Xabber Server. Server is licensed under GNU AGPL v3 license, source code is available on GitHub. It is a fork of superb open source source XMPP server ejabberd by ProcessOne, with many custom protocol improvements an an all-new management panel.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
        • Noted MIT Computer Scientist Defends Jeffrey Epstein in Leaked Emails

          Richard Stallman is a noted alumnus of MIT who remains listed as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). In the world of free software, he’s considered one of the earliest pioneers. He also helped develop the GNU Project, which has had a significant impact on the development of computers and technology.

          Now for the bad part — and it’s really, really bad: Stallman has some very troubling opinions on the subject of Jeffrey Epstein, along with a host of related subjects. MIT graduate and engineer Selam Jie Gano was the first to raise the alarm about this, with a long post on Medium quoting an email Stallman recently sent to the CSAIL mailing list and exploring other deeply dodgy things he’s said and done in the past.

        • MIT Students Think President L. Rafael Reif Should Also Resign Over Taking Jeffrey Epstein’s Money

          Last week, Media Lab director Joi Ito resigned after admitting that he had also taken Epstein’s money to fund his personal investments. Both Ito and Reif insist that they simply thought Epstein was a convicted sex offender and didn’t know he was a sex trafficker. Meanwhile, over on the MIT email listserv, computer scientist Richard Stallman is asking if maybe Epstein’s victims aren’t to blame for all this.

        • MIT scientist says Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre was ‘entirely willing’: report

          Stallman allegedly blasted the email out Thursday to a mailing list for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, according to an MIT alumni who leaked the message, Selam Jie Gano.

          Stallman was apparently responding to an email alerting students of an anti-Epstein protest at MIT.

          The university has come under fire after Giuffre’s allegations and revelations its highly acclaimed Media Lab accepted donations from Epstein.

        • It’s time to talk about post-RMS Free Software

          Richard Stallman has once again managed to demonstrate incredible insensitivity[1]. There’s an argument that in a pure technical universe this is irrelevant and we should instead only consider what he does in free software[2], but free software isn’t a purely technical topic – the GNU Manifesto is nakedly political, and while free software may result in better technical outcomes it is fundamentally focused on individual freedom and will compromise on technical excellence if otherwise the result would be any compromise on those freedoms. And in a political movement, there is no way that we can ignore the behaviour and beliefs of that movement’s leader. Stallman is driving away our natural allies. It’s inappropriate for him to continue as the figurehead for free software.

        • Bison 3.4.2 released [stable] Bison 3.4.2 is a bug fix release of the 3.4 series. It fixes a number of hard-to-find bugs, mostly discovered by fuzzing. In Bison 3.4 a particular focus was put on improving the diagnostics, which are now colored by default, and accurate with multibyte input. Their format was also changed, and is now similar to GCC 9's diagnostics. Users of the default backend (yacc.c) can use the new %define variable api.header.include to avoid duplicating the content of the generated header in the generated parser. There are two new examples installed, including a reentrant calculator which supports recursive calls to the parser and Flex-generated scanner. See below for more details. ================================================================== Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts an annotated context-free grammar into a deterministic LR or generalized LR (GLR) parser employing LALR(1) parser tables. Bison can also generate IELR(1) or canonical LR(1) parser tables. Once you are proficient with Bison, you can use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars work with Bison with no change. Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to use Bison with little trouble. You need to be fluent in C, C++ or Java programming in order to use Bison. Here is the GNU Bison home page: https://gnu.org/software/bison/ ================================================================== Here are the compressed sources: https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz (4.1MB) https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz (3.1MB) Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]: https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz.sig Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this: gpg --verify bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, then run this command to import it: gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0DDCAA3278D5264E and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command. This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: Autoconf 2.69 Automake 1.16.1 Flex 2.6.4 Gettext 0.19.8.1 Gnulib v0.1-2844-g03add7eb9 ================================================================== NEWS * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.2 (2019-09-08) [stable] ** Bug fixes In some cases, when warnings are disabled, bison could emit tons of white spaces as diagnostics. When running out of memory, bison could crash (found by fuzzing). When defining twice the EOF token, bison would crash. New warnings from recent compilers have been addressed in the generated parsers (yacc.c, glr.c, glr.cc). When lone carriage-return characters appeared in the input file, diagnostics could hang forever. * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.1 (2019-05-22) [stable] ** Bug fixes Portability fixes. * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4 (2019-05-19) [stable] ** Deprecated features The %pure-parser directive is deprecated in favor of '%define api.pure' since Bison 2.3b (2008-05-27), but no warning was issued; there is one now. Note that since Bison 2.7 you are strongly encouraged to use '%define api.pure full' instead of '%define api.pure'. ** New features *** Colored diagnostics As an experimental feature, diagnostics are now colored, controlled by the new options --color and --style. To use them, install the libtextstyle library before configuring Bison. It is available from https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/ for instance https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/libtextstyle-0.8.tar.gz The option --color supports the following arguments: - always, yes: Enable colors. - never, no: Disable colors. - auto, tty (default): Enable colors if the output device is a tty. To customize the styles, create a CSS file similar to /* bison-bw.css */ .warning { } .error { font-weight: 800; text-decoration: underline; } .note { } then invoke bison with --style=bison-bw.css, or set the BISON_STYLE environment variable to "bison-bw.css". *** Disabling output When given -fsyntax-only, the diagnostics are reported, but no output is generated. The name of this option is somewhat misleading as bison does more than just checking the syntax: every stage is run (including checking for conflicts for instance), except the generation of the output files. *** Include the generated header (yacc.c) Before, when --defines is used, bison generated a header, and pasted an exact copy of it into the generated parser implementation file. If the header name is not "y.tab.h", it is now #included instead of being duplicated. To use an '#include' even if the header name is "y.tab.h" (which is what happens with --yacc, or when using the Autotools' ylwrap), define api.header.include to the exact argument to pass to #include. For instance: %define api.header.include {"parse.h"} or %define api.header.include {<parser/parse.h>} *** api.location.type is now supported in C (yacc.c, glr.c) The %define variable api.location.type defines the name of the type to use for locations. When defined, Bison no longer defines YYLTYPE. This can be used in programs with several parsers to factor their definition of locations: let one of them generate them, and the others just use them. ** Changes *** Graphviz output In conformance with the recommendations of the Graphviz team, if %require "3.4" (or better) is specified, the option --graph generates a *.gv file by default, instead of *.dot. *** Diagnostics overhaul Column numbers were wrong with multibyte characters, which would also result in skewed diagnostics with carets. Beside, because we were indenting the quoted source with a single space, lines with tab characters were incorrectly underlined. To address these issues, and to be clearer, Bison now issues diagnostics as GCC9 does. For instance it used to display (there's a tab before the opening brace): foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; } ^~ It now reports foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type 3 | expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; } | ^~ Other constructs now also have better locations, resulting in more precise diagnostics. *** Fix-it hints for %empty Running Bison with -Wempty-rules and --update will remove incorrect %empty annotations, and add the missing ones. *** Generated reports The format of the reports (parse.output) was improved for readability. *** Better support for --no-line. When --no-line is used, the generated files are now cleaner: no lines are generated instead of empty lines. Together with using api.header.include, that should help people saving the generated files into version control systems get smaller diffs. ** Documentation A new example in C shows an simple infix calculator with a hand-written scanner (examples/c/calc). A new example in C shows a reentrant parser (capable of recursive calls) built with Flex and Bison (examples/c/reccalc). There is a new section about the history of Yaccs and Bison. ** Bug fixes A few obscure bugs were fixed, including the second oldest (known) bug in Bison: it was there when Bison was entered in the RCS version control system, in December 1987. See the NEWS of Bison 3.3 for the previous oldest bug.
      • Public Services/Government
  • Leftovers
    • Farmers, chefs fight to save classic ingredients in Mexican cuisine

      She says her mission is to save the “saberes y sabores” — the knowledge and flavors — of traditional Mexican food.

      Climate change is just one of the threats facing the ingredients of Mexico’s renowned cuisine, which was named an essential part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010.

      [...]

      According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which launched a campaign last month to save Mexico’s classic ingredients, six out of every 10 chiles consumed in the country today come from Chinese seeds.

      But now some farmers and chefs are fighting back to save Mexico’s indigenous chiles, beans, tomatoes, gourds, maize and more.

    • Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in admissions scandal, possible sign of what’s to come for others charged

      “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT scores in the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy and well-connected parents.

      Huffman, 56, became the first of 34 parents to be sentenced in the case. She was also given a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year of supervised release.

      Before sentencing, she tearfully described her daughter asking why Huffman didn’t trust her.

      “I can only say I am so sorry, Sophia,” Huffman said. “I was frightened. I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have inflicted more damage than I could ever imagine. I now see all the things that led me down this road, but ultimately none of the reasons matter because at the end of the day I had a choice. I could have said no.”

    • Science
      • As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

        Pew found that 95 percent of U.S. teens age 13 to 17 use a smartphone and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” More than half said they spend too much time on their phones. Another survey found teens were on their phones nearly nine hours a day.

        Almost a fourth in the Pew survey said social media had a “mostly negative effect” on their lives.

        A third study, from the University of San Diego, concluded that students frequently on their cellphones were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as low-level users of cellphones.

        Some experts suspect that obsessive cellphone use may in fact be a physiological addiction, as the brain releases the chemical dopamine – part of the brain’s pleasure circuitry – with each digital notification.

      • I Won’t Buy My Teenagers Smartphones

        Now that my oldest is in ninth grade, it occurs to me that this decision not to buy him the one thing that every other kid has might be the most subversive, countercultural gesture of my entire life. I’m a total conformist. I follow the rules. I return my library books on time or pay the fine. My husband is a captain in the Navy—certainly not countercultural. As soon as the first baby came along, we bought a minivan. We’ve never been out there trying to make any bold statements. And yet, when it comes to allowing my teenagers access to smartphones, I am apparently a rebel. Is resisting this ubiquitous technology really worth it?

        For me, it is. I believe that a smartphone too accessible, given too early, and in the wrong hands is at best an addictive distraction and at worst a handheld siphon draining away children’s youth one beep, one swipe, one notification at a time.

    • Health/Nutrition
      • N.Y. Finds $1B in Hidden Transfers by Family Behind OxyContin

        The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $1 billion to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.

      • Medicaid’s Dark Secret

        She soon learned that the rumors held some truth. Medicaid, the government program that provides health care to more than 75 million low-income and disabled Americans, isn’t necessarily free. It’s the only major welfare program that can function like a loan. Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.

      • Thousands of Poor Patients Face Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt

        Over the past few months, several hospitals have announced major changes to their financial assistance policies, including curtailing the number of lawsuits they file against low-income patients unable to pay their medical bills.

        Investigative reports have spurred the moves, and they prompted criticism from a top federal official.

      • After Being Sued, Mississippi Rewrites Its Unconstitutional Ban On The Use Of Meat Words By Vegan Food Producers

        Mississippi legislators — apparently guided by “threatened” cattle farmers — decided to rewrite its product-labeling laws. It enacted a statute forbidding producers of non-meat products from using meat-associated terms to describe their products. This unconstitutional requirement was put in place to supposedly reduce customer confusion, but the labels targeted made it clear their products — hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. — contained zero meat.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)
      • Pen-testing duo cuffed for breaking into courthouse that hired them

        Later, the County official discovered that the two men were in fact, hired by the state court administration to try to “access” court records through “various means” to find out potential security vulnerabilities of the electronic court records.

        The state court administration acknowledged that the two men had been hired, but said they were not supposed to physically break into the courthouse.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Library-Themed University Phishing Attack Expands to Massive Scale

        The domains are associated with a group of Iranian cyberattackers collectively known as Cobalt Dickens or Silent Librarian. As Threatpost recently reported in a post on the group’s attack tactics, the attackers are looking to use fake, library-themed landing pages to steal students’ credentials, then use those to steal and resell intellectual property, move laterally within organizations, conduct internal phishing and more.

        New details from Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) researchers this week show that in total, Cobalt Dickens is actively targeting at least 380 universities in more than 30 countries. Many universities have been targeted multiple times, the firm said.

      • Rwandans Charged With Murder of Exiled Critic

        South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority has issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Colonel Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014.

      • Bangladesh: Internet Blackout on Rohingya Refugees

        New telecommunications and internet restrictions on Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh will disrupt critical humanitarian and emergency services.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
      • This game uses troll tactics to teach critical thinking

        Enter Finnish Public Broadcasting Company, Yle, which is hoping to harness the engagement power of gamification to accelerate awareness and understanding of troll tactics and help more people spot malicious internet fakes. It has put together an online game, called Troll Factory, that lets you play at being, well, a hateful troll. Literally.

        The game begins with a trigger warning that it uses “authentic social media content” that viewers may find disturbing. If you continue to play you’ll see examples of Islamophobic slogans and memes that have actually been spread on social media. So the trigger warning is definitely merited.

      • Photojournalist who snapped ‘Tank Man’ image dies aged 64

        A film roll of the image was smuggled out of China and the photo later appeared on the front pages of global newspapers. In China, however, the image remains highly taboo and any information about the crackdown is heavily suppressed.

      • Julian Assange to stay in prison over absconding fears

        Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled.

        He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail conditions.

        But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.

        The Australian, 48, is fighting extradition to the US over allegations of leaking government secrets.

      • The London Upper Tribunal rejects La Repubblica’s appeal on the Assange documents

        The press does not have the right to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange case. That is what judge Edward Mitchell finally ruled in an appeal taken to the London Upper Tribunal by la Repubblica, after we have spent the last four years trying to access the full documentation to investigate the Assange case and factually reconstruct it.

        In an extremely technical judgement just made public and which the judge himself characterises as “unusually long”, Mitchell rejects our legal arguments and states that he believed public knowledge of Mr Assange’s case would not have increased if it was known that the CPS held information from the US State Department or Department of Justice. A rather incredible argument considering that the entire Assange case revolves around the role of the United States authorities, who want to get their hands on the WikiLeaks founder, extradite him to the US and jail him for life: establishing whether the British and US authorities discussed this possibility from the very beginning is crucial.

        Julian Assange is currently in the high-security prison in Belmarsh in London. He is in very precarious condition and in fact is still in Belmarsh’s health unit. Last July the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said he is “gravely concerned” about his situation. Assange is awaiting the extradition hearing, after US authorities indicted him for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act for the publication of secret US government documents. A crucial extradition hearing is supposed to be held in February 2020 in London. If the founder of WikiLeaks is extradited to the US, he risks 175 years in jail: it would be the first time in US history that a journalist has ended up in jail for his work.

    • Environment
    • Finance
      • Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy

        As someone who has been a union member since I was a Marine with the American Servicemen’s Union until I retired last year as a Teamster as well as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, I have lived the reality of mistreatment of workers in the United States.

      • The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx

        The first installment of Michael Heinrich’s three-volume biography of Karl Marx titled “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society” is now available from Monthly Review Press. In keeping with MR’s long-time tradition as a movement rather than an academic press, the cloth edition is $34.95 and the eBook is only $19.95. Given the renewed attention to Karl Marx since the financial crisis of 2008, it will help us understand how his life and thought evolved. Heinrich is a consummate scholar of Marxism, best known until now for his 2012 “An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital”, also available from MR.

      • Spooked by Facebook’s Libra, euro zone to step up work on public cryptocurrency

        The 19-country bloc is also united in pursuing a tough regulatory approach should Libra seek authorizations to operate in Europe. It is also considering a common set of rules for virtual currencies, which are currently largely unregulated.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Super-Delegated and Relegated

        After reading a number of recent articles by Norman Solomon in which he seems to be chronically bristling under his democrat identity, his frustration with his party keeps reminding me why the democrats and republicans are both wastes of energy.

      • RCMP Attempt to Silence Critics of Trudeau Foreign Policy

        On Tuesday two RCMP agents came to my house. Two large men in suits asked for me and when my partner said I wasn’t there they asked who she was.

      • Hong Kong’s Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes get a protest makeover

        The tops often have intricate Chinese character designs detailing the brand or the filling inside.

        But Suen’s mooncakes have different kinds of messages printed on them such as “Hong Kong People”, “No withdrawal, no dispersal” and “Be Water”.

        All are chants heard on Hong Kong’s streets in the last three months, as huge crowds come out to protest eroding freedoms after two decades of rule by Beijing.

      • Of Course It’s an Impeachment Inquiry

        Let’s clear things up: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she’s “not answering any more questions about a possible inquiry, investigation, and the rest” because “there is nothing different from one day to the next.”

        But something new did happen on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority voted to open an “investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with regard to President Donald J. Trump.” In so doing, they established guidelines for pursuing an inquiry—with committee chair Jerry Nadler noting, correctly, that “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms.”

      • Voters would back temporary government of national unity to avoid no deal, poll finds

        Voters would back the creation of a temporary government of national unity to avoid a no-deal Brexit, according to a new poll.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Privacy/Surveillance
      • Danish News Round-Up: Facebook data centre opens ahead of schedule

        There was no red ribbon, but a big blue button, as Facebook’s new 400 million kroner data centre officially opened in Odense yesterday – several months ahead of schedule.

      • Microsoft is thrusting its hidden telemetry app at Windows 7 and 8.1 users again [iophk: noxious payloads piggybacked onto "security" updates]

        Microsoft is up to its old tricks again, sneaking in some cheeky telemetry software with an update.

        Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have once again been greeted this month with a ‘security only’ update rollup which actually hides some telemetry spyware within, designed to allow Microsoft to keep tabs on your usage.

      • Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution

        Up close, the result will be a steady stream of quotidian benefits. Some will arise from convenience. Microchipped clothes could tell washing machines how to treat them. Smart traffic systems will reduce waiting times at traffic lights and better distribute cars through a city. Some will be the sorts of productivity improvements that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. Data from factory robots, for instance, will allow algorithms to predict when they will break down, and schedule maintenance to ensure that does not happen. Implanted sensors will spot early signs of illness in farm animals, and micromanage their feeding. Collectively, those benefits will add up to a more profound change: by gathering and processing vast quantities of data about itself, a computerised world will allow its inhabitants to quantify and analyse all manner of things that used to be intuitive and inexact.

        One way to understand the IoT says Martin Garner at CCS Insight, a firm of analysts, is by analogy with another world-changing innovation. Over the past century electricity has allowed consumers and businesses at least in the rich world, access to a fundamental, universally useful good—energy—when and where they needed it. The IoT aims to do for information what electricity did for energy.

      • ‘If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed’

        Snowden: I hope not. But look, if I had wanted to live a safe life, I would still be sitting in Hawaii in paradise with the woman I love collecting a huge paycheck to do almost no work. But what makes a life? It’s not just who we think we are, it’s the choices we make. If I can’t return home to my country, I will at least know that I made it better. And no matter what happens, that’s something I can live with.

      • In ‘Permanent Record,’ Edward Snowden Says ‘Exile Is An Endless Layover’

        So what’s changed since Snowden’s revelations?

        The law, for one. In 2015, Congress passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which prohibits the bulk collection of the phone records of American citizens, addressing one of Snowden’s major complaints. Now the government must get a court warrant to look at individual phone records.

        Also, ordinary citizens have become much more aware of how governments and private companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google may collect personal data. This has, in turn, has led to the much wider use of encryption.

        “2016 was a landmark in tech history, the first year since the invention of the Internet that more Web traffic was encrypted than unencrypted,” writes Snowden.

      • Edward Snowden’s memoir reveals some (but not all)

        The press, he notes, mostly missed a story that was squatting right out in the open. Why else would the NSA build what was originally called the Massive Data Repository, a colossal data-storage facility in the Utah desert? He cites an unclassified presentation given by Ira Hunt, then the chief technologist at the CIA, in which he blithely told a crowd of conference attendees and journalists that “it is nearly within our grasp to compute on all human-generated information”, and that the spooks could eavesdrop on every one of their communications and track their smartphones even when they were switched off. Appalled by the power and intrusiveness of a mass-surveillance system that had been developed without public consent, Mr Snowden says, he began organising one of the largest leaks in the history of American spying.

        This is Mr Snowden’s account of an episode that still provokes powerful emotions. He says mass surveillance directly contradicts both the spirit and letter of America’s constitution, which is designed to protect its citizens from an over-mighty government. His former employers decry him as a traitor. Western officials have alleged that China and Russia have managed to decrypt some of the cache of documents he took, something that, on Mr Snowden’s telling, should be impossible. For now at least, the truth remains unknowable.

      • Australia is considering mimicking the UK’s failed porn block policy

        According to the report, the committee intends not only to examine how age verification works on gambling sites, but also to look specifically at the UK version from the Digital Economy Act 2017.

        They’ll have to make do with looking at the Act, because the actual policy hasn’t been enacted yet, already missing two deadlines and last seen with the promise of a revised roll out before 2020. Our bet is closer to “the 1st of Never”, but trust whichever source you prefer.

      • Denmark Releases 32 Prisoners Convicted Because Of Flawed Mobile Phone Tracking Data

        A few weeks ago, Techdirt wrote about Denmark reviewing 10,000 court verdicts because of errors in mobile phone tracking data that was offered as evidence in those cases. At that time, it wasn’t clear how many of the group were affected by the unreliable data. However, the Guardian reports that 32 people have already been freed. Given the large number of cases involved, it seems unlikely that many have been reviewed in such a short space of time. If that’s the case, it is possible that quite a few more verdicts will be overturned, and more people released. Companies providing mobile phone services in Denmark are naturally keen to distance themselves from this mess. Jakob Willer, speaking on behalf of the country’s telecoms industry association, said it was not their job to provide evidence:

      • Google’s smart home ecosystem is a complete mess

        A few days ago, I tried and failed to install Google’s smart smoke detector — the Nest Protect — at the CNET Smart Home. After nearly two hours on the phone with the help desk, the Nest App and device still refused to connect. Why? Well, I finally discovered, a problem on the iOS version of the Nest App won’t allow a Nest Protect to be installed after a Nest Hub Max, Google’s shiny new smart display. Eventually, following a suggestion from Google, I had to dig up an old Android-based Galaxy Note 6 to properly install the smoke detector.

        If Google’s own smart home products act like embarrassed step-siblings, many erstwhile Works with Nest gadgets seem like they won’t even visit for the holidays anymore. And it’s not their fault: It turns out Google is a terrible parent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
    • Civil Rights/Policing
        • Amazon-owned Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for part-time workers

          Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, and the grocery chain currently employs roughly 95,000 people. Amazon, on the other hand, is worth nearly $910 billion, making it the third most valuable company on the planet behind Apple and Microsoft, both of which passed trillion-dollar market valuations over the past 12 months.

          Despite running only the third most valuable company, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person, with a net worth north of $115 billion, thanks to the sheer volume of Amazon shares he owns as the company’s sole CEO since its creation in 1994.

        • The 2 Instagram influencers detained in Iran are held in a prison where people are reportedly threatened with dismemberment, forced to eat dirt, and sleep on cockroach-infested floors

          Jolie King and Mark Firkin are being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, The Times of London, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Persian-language Manoto TV reported. Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to confirm the location.

        • Michigan has a smart idea for fixing gerrymandering. Conservatives want to crush it.

          Political operatives are much more likely to seek deadlock and push the issues to Michigan courts, where Republicans have a majority on the state Supreme Court. Indeed, conservative law professor and former 10th Circuit judge Michael McConnell recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court arguing that the patronage cases do not apply to judges because judges are policymakers. McConnell is trying to get the Court to reinstate a rule requiring partisan balance on Delaware’s courts, which are appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate. The same reasoning applies to Michigan’s commission; the commissioners are policymakers and the state can decide to achieve balance and exclude party insiders.

        • Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch ‘Sort Of Hacked The Constitution’

          “No one becomes a whistleblower because they want to,” he said. “No one becomes a whistleblower because it has a happy ending.”

          Snowden warned that wide-scale data collection continues. He recalled the moment the light clicked: He was in a Best Buy, looking at “smart” refrigerators and stoves, when it dawned on him that the manufacturers, not the purchasers and owners, were the ones ultimately in control.

          “Where this data that your refrigerator was collecting, that your phone was collecting, that the government was collecting — where all of this data was going was intentionally hidden from us,” he said. “We are no longer partner to our technology, in large part, just as we are increasingly, unfortunately, no longer partner to our government, so much as subject to them. And this is a dangerous trend.”

        • Joie-de-Job: Staying High, at Work

          On listening to Alabama Shakes frontwoman and three-time Grammy winner Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” an early release from her debut solo album Jamie due out next Friday, I thought of Matsuo Bansho’s sixteenth-century haiku: “Beginning of all art / a song when planting a rice field / in the country’s inmost part.” Perhaps implied in those three lines is the fulfillment of work done not just in the natural world, but in harmony with it. Bansho’s voice calls from a vanished time before our separation from that world.

        • Hempress Sativa: “Rastafari Should be Protected”

          Hempress Sativa is one of the most dynamic and talented performers – male or woman – in reggae music today. Currently at work on her sophomore album following her extremely impressive debut “Unconquerebel” – and its dub version with legendary sound engineer Scientist (“Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub”) – Hempress Sativa is a spiritual, powerful, deeply conscious Rastafari singer. Born into a musical family, she grew up surrounded and nurtured by some of the biggest names in Jamaican music.

        • As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students

          This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students.

          During the past decade, the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign has become a destination for students from China and has enrolled more Chinese undergraduates during some years than any university in the U.S. There are 569 freshmen from China this year, about 7.4% of the class, according to university data released this week. Overall, there are 5,825 U. of I. students from China, including more than 3,000 undergraduates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • Comcast Sues Maine For Demanding It Sell TV Channels À La Carte

        Over the last few years, telecom giants have increasingly been trying to claim that pretty much any effort to hold them accountable for their terrible service (or anything else) is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Historically that hasn’t gone so well. For example, courts generally laughed off ISP lawyer claims that net neutrality violated their free speech rights, quite correctly highlighting that ISPs are simply conduits to information, not acting as editors of available speech through their blocking or filtering of available information.

      • Disney’s Bob Iger Resigns From Apple’s Board as Companies Launch Competing Streaming Services

        But while the two companies had long been intertwined at the helm, plans to launch competing streaming services were increasingly putting Apple and Disney at odds. Disney is set to launch its Disney Plus service on November 12, whereas Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1.

        As the two companies enter the global streaming market, they aren’t just competing for consumer dollars, but also for programming rights. By some reports, Apple has allocated as much as $6 billion for Apple TV Plus content.

      • MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

        Even with MoviePass’ evident demise, the service has spurred theater chains including AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark to launch their own rival subscription plans. Last month, AMC said its Stubs A-List program, which lets subscribers see three movies weekly for $19.95 a month, had hit 900,000 subscribers.

      • MoviePass is shutting down September 14th

        According to Helios and Matheson, MoviePass was too far gone to save. “On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” reads the release.

    • Monopolies
      • Patents and Software Patents
        • Curver v. Home Expressions Advances Design Patent Law

          In today’s Curver v. Home Expressions decision, the Federal Circuit resolved several outstanding questions regarding design patents. In particular, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that a design can be claimed, untethered from a specific article of manufacture to which it is applied. It also rejected the notion that the verbal portion of a design patent—the title and the claim, in particular—are irrelevant to analyzing the scope of the right.

          Citing work from Prof. Sarah Burstein, one of the foremost scholars of design patents, the opinion stated that a design per se, untethered from any specific article, would create difficulties for the public in identifying the scope of what the design patent protects, as well as for the Patent Office in creating a reasonable scope within which to search for prior art. Again citing Prof. Burstein, the court also noted that a rule that ignores the title and claim language of a design patent makes those components meaningless—surplusage that “would provide no useful information at all.”

        • Looney Coons meets resistance to ill-conceived STRONGER Patents bill that would increase patent troll litigation, harm high-tech innovators

          Over at IPWatchdog they have a summary of this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (video recording) on the STRONGER Patents Act, a bill primarily (but not exclusively) put forward and promoted by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.). They place a little more emphasis on quotes from those supporting the bill, but they do acknowledge a “sharp split on injunctive relief, IPR [PTAB inter partes reviews] fixes.”

          The bill’s name stands for “Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience,” but there’s nothing positive to say about its content other than recognizing the creativity that went into the derivation of this marketing-friendly acronym and the fact that there is widespread consensus one should end USPTO fee diversion. While the tertiary item on “assisting small businesses in the U.S. patent system” sounds good, it’s useless and amounts to diversionary tactics.

          Like many–if not most–legislative proposals, “STRONGER” is a misnomer, and those opposing the pillars of that reactionary and harmful proposal stressed that stronger enforceability of patents doesn’t mean a stronger innovation economy. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation accurately stated, that bill “would make bad patents stronger than ever.” In a Washington Examiner op-ed, the R Street Institute’s Charles Duan proposes that “Congress should look for solutions that enhance not the strength of patents, but the strength of patent correctness.”

        • State Rights; Sovereign Immunity; and the Patent System

          UMN sued LSI and Ericsson for infringing several of its semiconductor related patents. U.S. Patents 5,859,601, 7,251,768, RE45,230, 8,588,317, 8,718,185, and 8,774,309. Those two companies then petitioned the USPTO for inter partes review (IPR) of the asserted claims. The PTAB then dismissed the proceedings – holding that 11th Amendment sovereign immunity applied to IPR proceedings. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit reversed – holding that sovereign immunity does not protect state-owned patents from being cancelled by the PTAB.

          A key Supreme Court precedent on-point is Fed. Mar. Comm’n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743 (2002) (FMC) (presumptive state immunity even in administrative adjudications). Here a major difference is that we have property-rights at stake that create special in rem jurisdiction potential and that UMN has already attacked the IPR petitioners by suing them for infringement, creating potential waiver.

        • Japanese courts slow to adopt information technologies

          It has been pointed out that Japan is behind Singapore, China, South Korea and other countries in the adoption of IT for proceedings. In Japan, there is a saying “Knocking on a strong stone bridge before crossing it”. It means to be excessively cautious. Today’s Japan seems not to be able to cross the bridge before everyone else cross it.

          My concern is that Japan may be not able to change its current situation until it recognize the fact that Japan is behind other countries, especially China and Korea. I’m afraid that innovative people around the world will not want to partner with a country or companies that have such a mindset.

        • Article 3(a) just keeps on giving: AG Opinion in SPC referrals C-650/17 and C-114/18

          The Advocate General (AG) has issued his opinion in SPC Referrals C-650/17 (Royalty Pharma) and C‑114/18 (Sandoz). Both referrals seek clarification over whether an SPC may be granted to a specific, individualised, embodiment of the product claimed by the basic patent. The referrals particularly relate to the correct interpretation of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009). Article 3(a) states that an SPC shall be granted for a product “protected by a basic patent in force”. C-650/17 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to functional claims, and C‑114/18 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to claims specifying a Markush formula. In his opinion, the AG is clear that Article 3(a) should be interpreted for these types of claims according to the test provided in the CJEU decision C-121/17 (Teva).

      • Trademarks
        • Liverpool FC Fans Plan Protest Of Their Own Club Over Trademark Issue

          It was only a few weeks back that we were discussing Liverpool FC, a soccer team playing in the UK Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for “Liverpool”, the city in which it plays. While the club has made a point of reminding the public that its application is quite narrow, limited specifically to products and services revolving around soccer, that same public has pointed out there are both other indpendent soccer clubs in the city that would technically be infringing on that applied-for mark and that there is a culture of independent retailers selling fan gear that would get caught up in this as well. Liverpool FC, meanwhile, maintains that it wouldn’t go after either group, but instead are interested only in protecting its fans from mass-makers of counterfeit apparel and the like.

        • Tempting to trade mark the Olympics: Beware of reputation

          With several attempts to trade mark the name of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, Dutch-based Tempting Brands is on track to clash with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

          [...]

          In April every year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the IP community celebrate ‘World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s theme was ‘Reach for Gold: IP and Sports’. The Director-General of WIPO, Dr Francis Gurry, emphasised that “Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the financial model of all sporting events worldwide.” As any observant Kat will know there is no better example of this than the Olympic Games.

          The Olympic Games remains one of the most well-known sporting events in the world, which alternate every two years with the Summer games set for Tokyo in 2020 and the Winter games in Beijing in 2022. In order to protect its brand and reputation, the IOC relies on the Nairobi Treaty, as well as national legislation (in Australia: Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987), to protect its Olympic marks and insignia.

      • Copyrights
        • Rojadirecta Puts Up Defense But Can’t Escape ISP Blockade

          A Danish court has ordered Internet provider Telenor to block access to the famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta. The order was requested by local anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen and Spanish football league La Liga. Rojadirecta, which filed its objections on paper without success, has yet to decide whether it will appeal.

        • Brazzers Wants Cloudflare to Identify YesPornPlease Uploaders

          MG Premium, a company operated by adult giant Mindgeek, is attempting to find out who is pirating its Brazzers-branded content. In a DMCA subpoena application filed in Washington, the company wants Cloudflare to reveal who is behind thousands of ‘pirate’ uploads on YesPornPlease.com – one of the world’s largest porn sites – in some cases dating back to 2016.

        • Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, UK Parliament Says

          The saga of loot boxes continues. This time, it’s Parliament weighing in, with the UK’s governing body releasing a report from its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on the issue of loot boxes in games and how they should be handled by regulatory bodies.

          The big takeaway? As many people have insisted for a while now, the report suggests that loot boxes—wherein you spend real money for the chance to get a thing you want—are gambling. And, specifically, as Rock Paper Shotgun explains, this committee thinks they should be regulated under UK gambling law since they are “games of chance played for money’s worth.” If this regulation happens, it could have pretty big ripples. We’ll be following this one.

Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the ‘Norm’ in Europe

Saturday 14th of September 2019 04:06:02 PM

The European Patent Office keeps spitting on the laws which govern it (EPC)

Summary: Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole ‘patent bubble’ lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)

35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the EPC at the European Patent Office (EPO) ought to have prevented all sorts of crazy abstract patents or patents on things in nature; but António Campinos follows Battistelli‘s footsteps and only ever strives to increase so-called ‘production’ as measured by things like number of patents granted. This means that bogus European Patents are being granted.

“Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”
      –Benjamin HenrionIn response to something we wrote some days ago about Koch v EPO [1, 2, 3, 4] Benjamin Henrion of FFII joked about the FCC (Germany’s Constitutional Court): “Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”

Given that the EPO already grants lots of software patents in Europe, one wonders if the EPO is bound by the EPC and Europe’s political system. As recently as days ago the EPO mentioned Fröhlich, a booster of illegal software patents. “Michael Fröhlich,” it said, “our Director European & International Legal Affairs, PCT, will be talking about the most efficient filing strategies at this event. It’s being held in various European cities…”

Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents. We’ve mentioned Fröhlich several times over the years, e.g. in relation to “blockchain” patents.

“Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents.”Lawlessness isn’t limited to the EPO itself. As we’ve shown here many times before, it extends to ILO — a subject we shall revisit some other day. They hide the lawlessness using all sorts of legal maneuvering. It would be good for all EPO staff to become familiar with these tricks. As Henrion put it just before the weekend: “Software patents are excluded from the EPC art52, but the EPO grants them anyway. And even if this case makes jurisprudence in Belgium on that topic, the EPO will ignore it and continue to pollute the market with those pesky patents.”

Henrion also took note of some more propaganda from Bardehle Pagenberg; they constantly promote these illegal patents — something they try to specialise in. Here’s Bardehle Pagenberg’s Bastian Best pushing their sales pitch into hubs right now. So does Kilburn & Strode LLP, which we wrote about earlier today (same hubs).

“Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever.”Misleading headlines can now be found in Lexology (original here by Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Thomas Hamer and Matthew Woodhill). It’s a marketing piece by which they try to advance/push fake patents into Europe (where these patent are illegal), riding hype waves and buzzwords such as “AI”. To quote: “A recent report by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) puts the 2018 market size for the video game industry in Europe at €21bn, with a year-on-year growth of 15%. It’s therefore no wonder that the biggest players in the industry want to protect the next generation of hand-held controllers, software and consoles. By looking at publication and grant data for applications at the EPO over the last 10 years, we can observe the technological trends in this time and try to predict what the future might have in store for gamers. [...] The third patent trend: using AI and machine learning (ML) to dynamically improve gameplay.”

Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever. Surely they know this, but they just don’t care. Neither does the EPO, whose management actively encourages applicants to call all sorts of things “AI” and then pressures examiners to grant.

Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to ‘Globalise’ a System of Monopolies on Everything

Saturday 14th of September 2019 03:45:58 PM

Summary: Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide

DAYS ago the European Patent Office (EPO) had a meeting with the litigation ‘industry’ instead of scientists. This is rather ‘normal’ these days; António Campinos — like Battistelli — always meets non-scientists like himself. He also puts them in management around him (it’s a lot worse than in the USPTO ). He refuses to face actual scientists except when they’re on stage to receive an award, whereupon it’s an opportunity to make the EPO seem less defunct… or a patent office for science (in the service of “Invention”). The EPO wrote about its latest meetings (warning: epo.org link) just two days ago. To quote: “The EPO also held bilateral meetings with the Swedish, Finnish and Danish national intellectual property offices to discuss how the EPO can further support them in strengthening the local innovation system. They discussed co-operation activities set out in the EPO’s Strategic Plan related to IT tools, knowledge sharing, quality and aligning practices. In addition, activities aimed at raising IP awareness among SMEs and researchers, as well as deploying measures that help bring inventions to market were addressed.”

“They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these.”These NPOs (national patent offices) are mostly lawyers unless they speak to examiners, which of course they don’t. They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these. Mirage News then published “Heads of IPO, EPO and USPTO discuss global patents system” (taking patent maximalism global). We wrote a lot about this roughly a decade ago, based on Wikileaks’ Cablegate. Here’s what these people have in mind:

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Chief Executive Tim Moss hosted intellectual property (IP) leaders at a patent showcase event in London on 13 September.

Tim met with Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrei Iancu and European Patent Office (EPO) President, António Campinos.

Topics discussed included their visions for the future of the global patent system, the transformation taking place within IP offices and the cooperation between them. They also shared thoughts on how these developments will benefit users of the global patent system.

The heads of offices met a selection of the UK’s top IP professionals and groups representing the biggest users of the UK patent system.

Notice the role of Tim Moss and António Campinos, who manages the former colleague of Moss. They speak (in this article) of a “global patent system.” Pretty astounding considering the utter mess the EPO has become! European media may choose not to cover it anymore and IP Kat too was threatened into silence (it used to cover EPO scandals before censoring all comments about Campinos), but the cracks are on the surface and some of the latest comments at IP Kat bring up concerns, e.g.

To avoid that everyone is forced to apply the simple take home message from this case, we can ask the EPO to automatically include a sentence like “we intend to pay the fee code XXX mentioned above” in the generated 1038E sheet, when a specific fee code XXX is chosen. The EPO was capable introducing to automatically pre-tick the box “examination is hereby requested”….

That’s a pretty minor ‘scandal’ compared to many of the rest. Here’s a new comment by “Not everything feasible is to be done”; it’s about the EPO granting patents on life itself in defiance of instructions from the EU and irrespective of impact on public health:

That the CRISPR Scientist defends its position and wants to promote the technique is understandable. But not everything which is technically feasible should be done.

Look at the burden the present generation imposes on future ones when it comes to dealing with waste from atomic power plants. Energy generation in atomic plants might be CO2 neutral as such, but what about the waste? It is there for many many more generations!

As long as it is not demonstrated up to the hilt that using this gene editing tool is safe, any gene modification is to be equated with that obtained for GMO and has to be characterised as such.

From what one reads, even here by the CRIPR scientist himself, this is far of being the case, and the EU is right in not have wool pulled over its eyes.

That nature allows to obtain gene modifications by selection and or breeding is one thing. Simply wanting to accelerate the process by some magical tool is not correct as long as it is not possible to foresee the long term consequences of it.

When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents — those same patents that are then used to sue farmers who dare not use RoundUp (and merely get ‘contaminated’).

“When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents…”There’s too much ugly stuff on the surface and beneath it. As one person put it this morning, pointing to our recent article about EPO-Serco: “Internet Censorship. News. Irony. British prisons management company SERCO have been hired by the EU to censor unwanted political opinions and deplatform unwanted media sources. SERCO are also the arbiters and custodians of EU patents. Nothing to see here.”

Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli ‘Metastasising’ in Private Law Firms

Saturday 14th of September 2019 03:05:16 PM

EPO revolving doors totally acceptable when you serve Team Battistelli

Summary: The EPO’s Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect

“REAL SOON NOW!”

That’s what Team UPC wants us to think of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). They keep telling me stuff like this in Twitter, but evidence suggests otherwise. I choose not to reply; they try to provoke for a response they can somehow take out of context. It’s an entrapment and opponents of the UPC call it that. They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.

“They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.”Unitary Patent (UP) rebuttals are necessary; there’s lots of propaganda to come shortly from Team UPC, i.e. from people whose entire career for about a decade was advocacy of UPC (for personal gain in the monetary sense). Lots of new FUD is afoot, no doubt about it, and it’s connected to corrupt EPO officials like António Campinos or like Benoît Battistelli. They stand to gain from the UPC, even if the people of Europe stand to lose. The European Patent Office is just some empty vessel for them — something with which to propel and boost interests of the litigation ‘industry’. If the Office dies in the process, so be it; they don’t really care. If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.

“If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.”As we shall explain in a later post, Lexology was recently bombarded with lots of shameless self-promotion by a firm with special EPO connections. Lexology is connected to IAM, the EPO’s prime propaganda machine.

Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Carrollanne Lindley wrote some days ago (to be boosted by Lexology) that UPC “would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU [and] becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.”

“Uncertain” as in dead? Here is the whole paragraph which is relevant:

​Patents. Clients should be reassured that the implication of Brexit for patents is less substantial as there is little post grant pan-European patent law (in fact the only post grant pan-European law is relatively rare and is at the level of the Court of Justice of the European Union). The European Patent Convention (EPC) is not an EU body. The future of an EU Unitary Patent (UP) and an EU Unitary Patent Court (UPC) that would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.

“Clients”…

This is news? This is what now counts as ‘news’ (in Google News, owing to Lexology as a gateway)?

Private firms’ promotional messages to “Clients” are not news. They’re sales pitch. It’s marketing.

But pressing on, around the same time we saw Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack with his own puff piece (apparently they’ve paid Lexology to promote their stuff, as it shows up everywhere lately).

“As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly).”Wait, did we say “Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack”?

Yes, that’s the EPO’s Albert Keyack.

As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly). Now comes UPC advocacy (i.e. lies) from what became the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP. He wrote:

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019 (‘Exit Day’).

[...]

What about the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (the UPC Agreement)?

As of mid-2019, 16 EU member states (including the UK) have ratified the convention related to the new pan-European patent (Unitary Patent) and pan-European patent court (Unified Patent Court). The EPO, which is not an EU institution, would administer both the granting of these patents and the courts. All that remains for the new system to take effect is the required ratification by Germany (although ratification is currently under consideration by the German Constitutional Court). IP owners would not be able to use the Unitary Patent system to protect their inventions within the UK, and it is unclear whether post-Brexit rulings by the new court would or would not be enforceable within the UK. The UPC Agreement, once enacted, will be available to protect inventions within the 25 (of 28) EU member states that have joined, but rights holders will still be able to obtain equivalent UK patents (enforced in UK courts) to protect their inventions in the UK from either European patent applications designating the UK filed at the EPO, or UK national patent applications filed at the UK IPO – exactly the system in place today.

Notice that optimism. So he has basically already decided that UPC will come “real soon now” (not a direct quote) and somehow the UK leaving the EU would not be an issue at all. This is great propaganda from one of Battistelli’s own ‘chefs’…

“Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently “re-appointed as UK IP Minister” as well.”If the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP is such a liar, how much better can their lawyers be? Probably the same ‘gene pool’ as Alan Johnson and Edward Nodder of Bristows LLP. They’ve been doing ‘damage control’ after the UK’s ‘IP Minister’ resigned again (that's four times in 3 years!) — revealing the extent of the chaos UPC hopefuls are facing. Just before the weekend Nodder wrote: “Chris Skidmore re-appointed as UK IP Minister [..]. Mr Skidmore was previously IP Minister between 5 December 2018 and 25 July 2019.”

Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently "re-appointed as UK IP Minister" as well. What a mess; it’s all nepotism and corruption. Over and over again. No consequences; no investigation, let alone punishment.

“Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!”As the FFII’s President has just put it (in reply to an EU chief): “The “rule of law”, but the EPO cannot be sued in court for maladministration. Can you explain how the Unitary Patent is compatible with the treaty then?”

It’s incompatible and unconstitutional. I also responded by saying: “At the same time the corrupt EPO threats to sue me, several times, for exposing its corruption…”

If this is what the EU boils down to under the EPO regime (remember that UPC — unlike the EPO — is an ‘EU thing’), then Team UPC liars and nepotists are becoming a credibility threat to the EU. They’re in effect fracturing Europe, not uniting it. Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!

More in Tux Machines

OSS: Cisco Openwashing, GitLab Funding, Amazon Openwashing, Chrome OS Talk and More Talks

  • Why Open Source continues to be the foundation for modern IT

    Open source technology is no longer an outlier in the modern world, it's the foundation for development and collaboration. Sitting at the base of the open source movement is the Linux Foundation, which despite having the name Linux in its title, is about much more than just Linux and today is comprised of multiple foundations, each seeking to advance open source technology and development processes. At the recent Open Source Summit North America event held in San Diego, the width and breadth of open source was discussed ranging from gaming to networking, to the movie business ,to initiatives that can literally help save humanity. "The cool thing is that no matter whether it's networking, Linux kernel projects, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects like Kubernetes, or the film industry with the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), you know open source is really pushing innovation beyond software and into all sorts of different areas," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation said during his keynote address.

  • GitLab Inhales $268M Series E, Valuation Hits $2.75B

    GitLab raised a substantial $268 million in a Series E funding round that was more than doubled what the firm had raised across all of its previous funding rounds and pushed its valuation to $2.75 billion. It also bolsters the company’s coffers as it battles in an increasingly competitive DevOps space. GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said in an email to SDxCentral that the new Series E funds will help the company continue to move on its goal of providing a single application to support quicker delivery of software. It claims more than 100,000 organizations use its platform. “These funds will help us to keep up with that pace and add to that with our company engineers,” Sijbrandij explained. “We need to make sure every part of GitLab is great and that CIOs and CTOs who supply the tools for their teams know that if they bet on GitLab that we’ll stand up to their expectations.”

  • Amazon open-sources its Topical Chat data set of over 4.7 million words [Ed: openwashing of listening devices without even releasing any code]
  • How Chrome OS works upstream

    Google has a long and interesting history contributing to the upstream Linux kernel. With Chrome OS, Google has tried to learn from some of the mistakes of its past and is now working with the upstream Linux kernel as much as it can. In a session at the 2019 Open Source Summit North America, Google software engineer Doug Anderson detailed how and why Chrome OS developers work upstream. It is an effort intended to help the Linux community as well as Google. The Chrome OS kernel is at the core of Google's Chromebook devices, and is based on a Linux long-term support (LTS) kernel. Anderson explained that Google picks an LTS kernel every year and all devices produced in that year will use the selected kernel. At least once during a device's lifetime, Google expects to be able to "uprev" (switch to a newer kernel version). Anderson emphasized that if Google didn't upstream its own patches from the Chrome OS kernel, it would make the uprev process substantially more difficult. Simply saying that you'll work upstream and actually working upstream can be two different things. The process by which Chrome OS developers get their patches upstream is similar to how any other patches land in the mainline Linux kernel. What is a bit interesting is the organizational structure and process of how Google has tasked Chrome OS developers to work with upstream. Anderson explained that developers need to submit patches to the kernel mailing list and then be a little patient, giving some time for upstream to respond. A key challenge, however, is when there is no response from upstream. "When developing an upstream-first culture, the biggest problem anyone can face is silence," Anderson said. Anderson emphasized that when submitting a patch to the mailing list, what a developer is looking for is some kind of feedback; whether it's good or bad doesn't matter, but it does matter that someone cares enough to review it. What the Chrome OS team does in the event that there is no community review is it will have other Chrome OS engineers publicly review the patch. The risk and worry of having Chrome OS engineers comment on Chrome OS patches is that the whole process might look a little scripted and there could be the perception of some bias as well. Anderson noted that it is important that only honest feedback and review is given for a patch.

  • Open Source Builds Trust & Credibility | Karyl Fowler

    Karyl Fowler is co-founder and CEO of Transmute, a company that’s building open source and decentralized identity management. We sat down with Fowler at the Oracle OpenWorld conference to talk about the work Transmute is doing.

  • What Is Infrastructure As Code?

    Rob Hirschfeld, Founder, and CEO of RackN breaks Infrastructure As Code (IaC) into six core concepts so users have a better understanding of it.

  • Everything You Need To Know About Redis Labs

    At the Oracle OpenWorld conference, we sat down with Kyle Davis – Head of Developer Advocacy at Redis Labs – to better understand what the company does.

Programming: Java, Python, and Perl

  • Oracle Releases Java 13 with Remarkable New Features

    Oracle – the software giant has released Java SE and JDK 13 along with the promise to introduce more new features in the future within the six-month cycle. The Java 13’s binaries are now available for download with improvements in security, performance, stability, and two new additional preview features ‘Switch Expressions’ and ‘Text Blocks’, specifically designed to boost developers’ productivity level. This gives the hope that the battle of Java vs Python will be won by the former. Remarking on the new release, Oracle said: “Oracle JDK 13 increases developer productivity by improving the performance, stability and security of the Java SE Platform and the JDK,”. [...] Speaking of the Java 13 release, it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 along with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE). The director of Oracle’s Java SE Product Management, Sharat Chander stated “Oracle offers Java 13 for enterprises and developers. JDK 13 will receive a minimum of two updates, per the Oracle CPU schedule, before being followed by Oracle JDK 14, which is due out in March 2020, with early access builds already available.” Let’s look into the new features that JDK 13 comes packed with.

  • 8 Python GUI Frameworks For Developers

    Graphical User Interfaces make human-machine interactions easier as well as intuitive. It plays a crucial role as the world is shifting.

  • What's In A Name? Tales Of Python, Perl, And The GIMP

    In the older days of open source software, major projects tended to have their Benevolent Dictators For Life who made all the final decisions, and some mature projects still operate that way. Guido van Rossum famously called his language “Python” because he liked the British comics of the same name. That’s the sort of thing that only a single developer can get away with. However, in these modern times of GitHub, GitLab, and other collaboration platforms, community-driven decision making has become a more and more common phenomenon, shifting software development towards democracy. People begin to think of themselves as “Python programmers” or “GIMP users” and the name of the project fuses irrevocably with their identity. What happens when software projects fork, develop apart, or otherwise change significantly? Obviously, to prevent confusion, they get a new name, and all of those “Perl Monks” need to become “Raku Monks”. Needless to say, what should be a trivial detail — what we’ve all decided to call this pile of ones and zeros or language constructs — can become a big deal. Don’t believe us? Here are the stories of renaming Python, Perl, and the GIMP.

  • How to teach (yourself) computer programming

    Many fellow students are likely in the same boat, the only difference being that the vast majority not only that don’t list computer science as one of their passions (but more as one of their reasons for not wanting to live anymore), but they get a very distorted view of what computer science and programming actually is.

    Said CS classes tend to be kind of a joke, not only because of the curriculum. The main reason why they are bad and boring is the way they are taught. I am going to address my main frustrations on this matter together with proposed solutions and a guide for those who want to start learning alone.

  • [Old] Perl Is Still The Goddess For Text Manipulation

    You heard me. Freedom is the word here with Perl.

    When I’m coding freely at home on my fun data science project, I rely on it to clean up my data.

    In the real world, data is often collected with loads of variations. Unless you are using someone’s “clean” dataset, you better learn to clean that data real fast.

    Yes, Perl is fast. It’s lightening fast.

Server: Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule, IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu and SUSE on Cloud Foundry Foundation and More LF

  • Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule and Expected Features

    This is a continually updated article to inform you about Ubuntu 19.10 release date, features and other important things associated with it. The development for Ubuntu 19.10 is nearing its end and it’s time to look at what new features and improvement this new release brings. Ubuntu 19.10 is an important release because it will set the course of development for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (long term support). I have always felt that the LTS version release takes a lot of features from its predecessor. In other words, Ubuntu 19.10 will be a glimpse of the features you would be getting in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu

    Enterprises today need the most secure, and flexible system to support their initiatives, and for that system to grow and evolve for tomorrow. The latest LinuxONE system was designed to support mission-critical initiatives and allow enterprises to be innovative as they design and scale their environment. LinuxONE III provides features for advanced data protection and privacy, enterprise resiliency and scalability, and cloud enablement and integration. Reliability and continuity are critical to the success of any business. With this release, they’ll benefit from up to 10:1 consolidation for key workloads, and up to 190 cores and 40TB of memory. And with 99.999%* availability and up to 7.4x better resilience, enterprises can confidently run and scale their business-critical workloads. The new LinuxONE III provides the highest levels of availability and scalability, so business-critical workloads run flawlessly, recover quickly, and grow seamlessly.

  • Project Quarks: Native Cloud Foundry for Kubernetes

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Vlad Iovanov of SUSE gave a keynote demo of Project Quarks, the project that integrates Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, by packaging the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime as containers instead of virtual machines. Vlad explains the current capabilities of Quarks, with a look at its future as a Kubernetes Operator. It’s a fairly technical topic, but Vlad uses creative diagrams and an understandable demo to show the power of Quarks. Cloud Foundry Foundation has posted all recorded talks from CF Summit EU on YouTube. Check them out if you want to learn more about what is happening in the Cloud Foundry world! I’ll be posting more SUSE Cloud Application Platform talks here over the coming days. Watch Vlad’s talk below...

  • Broad Deployment Of Cloud Foundry Almost Double In Just 2 Years

    As businesses embark on their digital transformation journey, developers are driving innovation across cloud native environments for building into the future. According to a recently released report by Cloud Foundry Foundation, 45 percent of user respondents describe their Cloud Foundry use as “broad” compared to 30 percent in 2018 and 24 percent in 2017. The report also revealed that 39 percent of developers are deploying applications in less than one day. What points out towards a healthy and growing community of developers is the fact that almost one in five respondents started using Cloud Foundry in just the last 12 months.

  • The Linux Foundation to Host Open Source Project for Drone Aviation Interoperability

    The Linux Foundation today announced it will host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project to enable trusted, secure and scalable interoperability between UAS Service Suppliers (USSs) that advances safe, equitable and efficient drone operations. Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS Traffic Management (UTM, also referred to as U-Space) to support rapidly increasing and highly diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers orUSPs) assist drone operators to conduct safe and compliant operations. USSs can provide service in overlapping airspace and share data when required to support services such as a strategic deconfliction of flight plans and remote identification and industry is developing standards for this data sharing through organizations such as ASTM International. The InterUSS Project provides a forum for collaboration and development of standards-compliant, open source implementations that facilitate communication in the UTM/U-Space environment.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox and kernel), Debian (thunderbird), Fedora (curl), openSUSE (curl and python-Werkzeug), Oracle (kernel and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-nginx114-nginx), SUSE (curl, ibus, MozillaFirefox, firefox-glib2, firefox-gtk3, openldap2, openssl, openssl1, python-urllib3, and util-linux and shadow), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and wpa).

  • SGX and security modules

    Software Guard Extensions (SGX) is a set of security-related instructions for Intel processors; it allows the creation of private regions of memory, called "enclaves". The aim of this feature is to work like an inverted sandbox: instead of protecting the system from malicious code, it protects an application from a compromised kernel hypervisor, or other application. Linux support for SGX has existed out-of-tree for years, and the effort of upstreaming it has reached an impressive version 22 of the patch set. During the upstreaming discussion, the kernel developers discovered that the proposed SGX API did not play nicely with existing security mechanisms, including Linux security modules (LSMs).

  • GitHub acquires Semmle to help developers spot security vulnerabilities [Ed: Company in NSA PRISM pretends to care about security (and also, Microsoft now uses GitHub to change people's code without asking the developers)]

    Software hosting service GitHub has acquired Semmle, a code analysis platform that helps developers discover security vulnerabilities in large codebases.