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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 2 hours 51 min ago

Professor Siegfried Broß Again Complains About the Situation at the EPO and Issues With the UPC

Thursday 26th of October 2017 06:29:06 PM

Failure of European media should alarm also those outside the EPO

Summary: In spite of the suspicious absence of real coverage/journalism regarding the Unitary Patent (as opposed to puff pieces penned by Team UPC), voices come out in opposition of the Unitary Patent and comments continue to be deleted (usually by Team UPC, which orchestrates a media blackout on UPC matters)

Professor Siegfried Broß is no stranger to the EPO scandals. Being retired probably means that he has more time to study the situation and earlier this year he wrote a very long article about it (in German).

“Being retired probably means that he has more time to study the situation and earlier this year he wrote a very long article about it (in German).”Broß is loved by EPO employees and it’s easy to see why; he says the truth about Team Battistelli (comparing what Battistelli has made of the EPO to “Guantánamo Bay”). He, unlike many in his profession (in active service), speaks truth to power.

Earlier today a pro-UPC blog (Kluwer Patent Blog) published this new interview with Broß. It is already being discussed by Team UPC (see here for example) and the introduction is as follows: “European states lack awareness of their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and have established associations such as the EPO and the UPC, without anyone accounting for guarantees with regard to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Professor Siegfried Broß said this in an interview with Kluwer IP Law about the constitutional complaint that has been filed against German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Broß is a former judge of the Xth Civil Panel of the Federal Court of Justice (1986-1998), responsible among others for patent cases, and of the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC, 1998-2010).”

“He, unlike many in his profession (in active service), speaks truth to power.”Broß clarifies that he has nothing to do with the UPC complaint and has in fact never spoken to the complainant, who is also German. Looking down at the comments section, it is already disrupted (again) by the same anti-SUEPO commenter whom we prefer to ignore.

Don’t expect Team UPC to draw much attention to this interview. They reject or hide what does not suit their agenda. Earlier today, for example, Fiona Nicolson from Bristows did some more spin. “Another draft Statutory Instrument (The Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017) is currently before the UK Parliament,” she wrote. Actually, the UPC is pretty much abandoned here and it was removed off the agenda (Bristows did not report that, it preferred for nobody to notice).

Censorship and omissions are very commonplace when it comes to UPC matters. We have already caught, on numerous occasions, IP Kat and Kluwer Patent Blog censoring comments that were hostile towards the UPC. They always have their excuses ready, but it happened so many times that it’s clearly not attributable to technical errors.

IP Kat itself is having credibility issues, having decided to nuke almost 40 comments and make a blanket statement about them. There are new comments being posted about censorship of comments (we can imagine that these too may be filtered). Among them:

All very well, Merpel. But why delete all of the comments and not just the “offensive” ones?

I had not forgotten the “rules” for posting on EPO-related matters. Indeed, I took great care to follow them. So I am particularly offended that my comments were deleted. Could you please therefore extend me the courtesy of restoring them (as well as all of the other comments that comply with the “rules”)?

Here is another example:

Does this count as a personal attack on an identifiable individual?

“The current EPO President Benoît Battistelli has been attacking all parts of the EPO with ruthless efficiency. The strands of this are almost too numerous to enumerate, but Merpel will attempt a brief summary. (Most of the posts on this topic are labelled “Eponia” so a search on this should reveal to any keen readers the majority of Merpel’s posts.)

A Board of Appeal member remains in limbo having been suspended, but the Enlarged Board of Appeal three times (showing admirable and rare backbone) having declined (also noted here) to propose his removal from office.
The staff representation has been emasculated, and the main staff union SUEPO has been constantly under attack, with four of its officers either sacked or demoted on dubious charges (see posts here and here).
The Boards of Appeal have likewise been emasculated and banished to Haar, approved by the AC last October, seemingly in retaliation for the lack of compliance of the Enlarged Board of Appeal with the President’s wishes.
Examination quotas have been continually increased for Examiners, and while the mantra about “quality not affected” is often raised, there is actually no proper assessment of examination quality, with many reports that it is suffering. The astonishing 40% increase in granted patents in 2016 has been widely reported, although this is presumably partly due to the changed examination priorities which, inter alia, involve progressing rapidly to grant cases that are clearly allowable.
The social situation at the EPO has deteriorated with repeated amendments to the employment regulations, and the atmosphere between Examiners and managers grows increasingly toxic.”

The last comment says this:

“The overwhelming majority of comments were purely libellous ad hominem attacks on a man that has not even taken office.”

That is simply NOT true. Those very few posts that would fall into that category could have easily moderated out.

For anyone interested in making up their own mind, the original posts are hosted as a PDF a the (rather opinionated) Techrights site.

People are always safe to comment in Techrights. We delete logs so we cannot comply with searches and we never ever deleted even a single comment. Alternatively, get in touch with us in the usual ways. Our intention is to help inform staff and stakeholders — something which mainstream media in Europe is evidently unwilling to do (with few exceptions every now and then).

Speaking of mainstream media in Europe, someone sent us this new article about “Battistelli a la culture,” to quote the sender, who said s/he had “[p]icked this [in the] morning in the news…”

Can anyone translate it for us please? It’s in French. We try not to rely on anything automated. It might help to know what Battistelli plans to do when his term is finished.

The European Commission Has Essentially Invalided Many European Patents (EPs) for Being Out of Scope; Are Software Patents (CII) Next?

Thursday 26th of October 2017 05:47:49 PM

Summary: Now that the European Commission openly intervenes in matters pertaining to the EPC and granted patents, will it belatedly revoke all these software patents (granted over the years by the EPO)?

IT is no secret that the EPO grants software patents in Europe. We have been writing about this for many years and insiders now speak about this anonymously; they’re not happy about it, nor are they pleased with the systematic decline in quality of EPs.

“Are software patents next on the agenda? Will European software patents finally be eradicated?”Yesterday, AA Thornton & Co’s Alex Hughes wrote about EPO changes, but not EPO scandals. They never mention the scandals. They’re afraid to rock the boat. Instead, Hughes wrote about “EPO Guidelines for Examination 2017″ and concluded with the following portion about intervention by the European Commission (which makes EPO feel like more of an EU institution):

The Guidelines have also been updated to reflect amended Rules 27 and 28 which came into force on 1 July 2017. These rules are discussed here in detail and concern the exclusion of products exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes following the Notice of the European Commission from November 2016.

Are software patents next on the agenda? Will European software patents finally be eradicated?

Barbara Rigby from Dehns also wrote about the subject (earlier today under the title “Changes to EPO Guidelines”) and here is what she said:

Products of essentially biological processes Section G-II, 5.2-5.5

The Guidelines have been updated to reflect the amendments to Rules 27 and 28 EPC that came into effect as of 1 July 2017 (with retrospective effect). Thus, the Guidelines set out that plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are excluded from patentability under Article 53(b) EPC.

It’s about time they also excluded everything the EPO calls “CII” (basically software patents by another name). Sadly, however, there’s heavy lobbying and earlier today IAM mentioned Microsoft AstroTurfing groups such as ACT (Association for Competitive Technology) and IP Europe. It’s about the European Commission DGs and here is the relevant part:

In its report PaRR states that the DGs squaring off against each other include, on one side, Competition and on the other Internal Market and Industry, and Research. The former backs calls from users of SEPs, including companies represented by the BigTech-sponsored, US-based ACT The App Association, for a prohibition on use-based licensing of SEPs; while the latter are supportive of the position taken by the likes of IP Europe – whose members include Nokia, Ericsson, Orange and the Fraunhofer Institute – which claims use-based licensing is the only way to fairly reward companies that invest billions in R&D and to incentivise them to develop standards that allow interoperability. With 5G on the horizon and the IoT on everyone’s mind, this is a live and highly important debate.

The term “IoT”, as we explained before, is just a Trojan horse and a buzzword; they’re trying to sneak software patents tax into just about every device out there.

The EPO is Breaking the Law and Its Employees Cannot Speak About It (Updated)

Thursday 26th of October 2017 08:30:34 AM

Like popes who suppress information about abuse

Summary: A truly extraordinary situation at the EPO, where laws are being violated in the name of so-called ‘production’ and truth is treated as “defamation” and attacked vehemently

SUEPO has just, for the first time in fact, mentioned denial of holidays by the EPO. We have been writing about it since early September and now there is this text about it in German [PDF].

SUEPO refers to it in English as “Abolishment of German National Public Holidays at the European Patent Office. Kurzgutachten zu den Rechtsfragen – For more information, read here. (German) The Europea [sic] Patent Office above national law.” It says this while referring to this page from the site of the EPO. (warning: epo.org links may be a privacy risk)

Surely the staff is extremely upset about this. Some people thought about actions they might take, such as not showing up or demanding double pay for that day. Since the EPO cannot be sued (immunity), Battistelli will quite likely get away with it. He intends to do this again and again (3 times at least) and not because it’s some critical situation like missed deadlines; his right-hand bulldog has already admitted that this is all about increasing so-called ‘production’ (i.e. granting more low-quality patents, faster). But perhaps what’s most horrible about this is that staff is unable to speak out against it. The media isn’t listening and when comments are posted they get deleted. As someone (John) put it in our comments a few minutes ago:

The ipkat article reads (cite):
“The overwhelming majority of comments were purely libellous ad hominem attacks on a man that has not even taken office.”
The man who has not even taken office can only be Campinos. I don’t remember any particular comments about Campinos in the comments, do you?

There is a similar comment about it in Kluwer Patent Blog. To quote:

We now know that the deletion of comments on the IPKat thread was deliberate:

http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/ipkat-comment-moderation-policy_25.html

We are reminded that EPO-related comments on IPKat must follow strict rules. However, it is immensely disappointing (to say the least) no attempt was made to remove only those comments that transgressed the rules.

As to whether it is correct for Merpel to assert that “The overwhelming majority of comments were purely libellous ad hominem attacks on a man that has not even taken office”, readers can judge for themselves:

http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/censored-by-ipkat.pdf

By my count, a total of 3 (out of 34) comments could reasonably be characterised as referring to “the character, motive, or other attribute” of Mr Campinos. Of those, only two go in any way beyond mere mention of facts regarding his background… and, in any event, seem pretty mild by the standards of blog posts even in the civilised world of IP. So, not quite an “overwhelming majority” of problematic comments, then? Unless, of course, you believe that a 6% level of (mild) “opinion-based” comments qualifies as such.

So, it seems that we are back to my initial comment – that strange things are indeed afoot in the world of (reporting on) the EPO.

“Amazing indeed,” Dr. Thorsten Bausch called it. Bausch has been brave enough to say the truth, using his own real name.

The above is based on a PDF of a printout, which we published before IP Kat was forced to admit that it had censored all the comments. Watch this comment from yesterday (posted in another context in IP Kat): “My comment was not really that serious, as it was really intended to establish whether all of my comments (as opposed to just those relating to the EPO) were getting “censored”.”

The context of this comment was a discussion which involves the EPC — something which Battistelli neither respects nor follows (just as he flagrantly violates national laws and disregards holidays). The latest comment mentions the EPC explicity:

Well, I read the decision, and it appears logical, but have one overrding question, and I hope somebody can answer it.

In 3.1.1.3 it says ‘The successor in title ….must prove that it indeed owned…’

It is especially the requirement TO PROVE that bothers me. Where does this come from. What is its basis under the EPC? I don’t see it.

If both the original owner and the successor in title certify that the transfer was effected on date X, to their satisfaction, and in a form which they found acceptable, what is the basis for a third party, or EPO, to doubt an effective transfer, and where is their basis to require proof.

As a summary this decision is nice…but still, I’d like to have seen a legal basis for the right of others to demand PROOF.

Well, lawlessness is the new norm and lawfulness at the EPO is a thing of the past. Get used to it or do something about it. It’s the EPC which granted the EPO powers to give (and profit from) patents; these powers are now being grossly misused. Revoke it.

As a lot of the media has been compromised (using money and threats) it’s hard to know what’s true about the EPO and UPC. Using soothing terms like “balance”, professional journalists (i.e. salaried to follow their publisher’s agenda) they often repeat lies from the EPO and habitually ignore the voices of EPO employees. This has been going on for years. This is why we have been so eager to write about the subject.

Update: SUEPO has just self-censored the above (could be due to threats or something else), so we are making a local copy of the PDF.

Big Blow for the Unitary Patent (UPC) as Even Patent Professionals Say “It’s Dead”

Thursday 26th of October 2017 07:38:33 AM

Summary: Issues for the UPC have become too much for momentum to be gained anywhere across Europe, resulting in decay and perhaps abandonment

THE EPO NO longer speaks about the UPC. It has not said anything about 2 months of additional delays, knowing that it quite likely dooms the UPC as a whole (not just in the UK).

“The UPC won’t go anywhere from here. It’s too late and Battistelli is leaving.”Don’t ask Team UPC about it. It’s an echo chamber where everyone is lying to everybody else; they tell each other what they want to believe rather than what is true.

Earlier this week WIPR wrote about the latest development; the article is quoting only the microcosm, not UPC opponents or any businesses (i.e. echo chamber, as usual). Here is the background to it all:

The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has extended the comment period on the credibility of a challenge to the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

In June, the court announced it was delaying the ratification of the UPC Agreement because of a constitutional complaint brought by an individual.

According to German news site Juve, Düsseldorf-based attorney Ingve Stjerna filed the complaint.

Dr. Alex Robinson wrote about it as well. He has a stake in it and he explained that a “delay until 2019 or 2020 now looks likely, assuming that the BVerfG ultimately gives the UPC Agreement the OK…” (which is their best case scenario). To quote’s Robinson’s post:

After expiry of the deadline, the BVerfG will first of all decide whether the complaint is admissible. If the complaint is deemed admissible, a decision on the merits will follow. No firm timetable is known yet, but a decision on admissibility is expected in early 2018. If the case is admitted, a decision on the merits is unlikely before the second half of 2018 at the earliest. Given that some of the grounds of complaint include an allegation that the Agreement is contrary to European law, a referral to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on points of European law cannot be ruled out. If this takes place, a delay until 2019 or even 2020 for the final decision might be expected.

“In other words, post-Brexit,” Dr. Luke McDonagh remarked it.

The UPC won’t go anywhere from here. It’s too late and Battistelli is leaving.

“It’s pretty astounding what Team UPC firms got away with. They manipulated the media, politicians, and even their paying clients. Now they have neither credibility nor UPC.”David Pearce (better known as “Tufty the Cat” from back in his IP Kat days) has just said the UPC is “dead”.

He said similar things before.

Robinson just refuses to accept this; he responded with “UK participation, at least, seems less likely by the day. And even if it goes ahead, without UK in European firms are questioning value [] Don’t want to prejudge merits of case. But a long delay seems assured, at least.”

Just say it: the Unitary Patent is stuck and likely forgotten about. Good riddance. It was an affront to society. We wrote literally hundreds of articles about it. It’s pretty astounding what Team UPC firms got away with. They manipulated the media, politicians, and even their paying clients. Now they have neither credibility nor UPC.

Links 25/10/2017: New Linux Report, Qt 5.10 Beta 2, CAINE 9.0

Thursday 26th of October 2017 04:11:03 AM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • ASUS PRIME Z370-A Running Great On Linux

      For those looking at assembling a new system around Intel’s 8th Gen Core “Coffee Lake” CPUs, the motherboard I’ve been conducting most of my Linux tests from has been the ASUS PRIME Z370-A. A few weeks of use with this motherboard, I’m happy with this Intel Z370 motherboard.

    • Linux Laptops Get a Boost from Hacker Board Projects

      Recently, Linux desktop usage has grown from 2.14 percent to 3.23 percent according to NetMarketShare. Much of this increase appears to have come from Linux-based Chromebooks, which are likely undercounted due in part to their widespread use in schools.

      Yet, there are signs of Linux desktop life beyond Google’s Chrome OS, which exists in a somewhat parallel universe to mainstream Linux. Ubuntu, for example, continues to expand into the mainstream, although at a grindingly slow pace. As with Chrome OS, most of the action is happening in lower end laptops, often emerging from hacker board projects. The newly shipping Olimex Teres-A64 and upcoming Reform laptop, for example, are based on open hardware and software. Two of the most popular new low-end Linux laptops — the newly revised Pi-top and Kano products — are hackable Raspberry Pi based kits aimed primarily at education.

    • Flash Drive-Sized VLC Adapter Plays Nice With Linux Laptops

      VLC pioneer PureLiFi has announced the LiFi XC, a USB stick-sized dongle that lets tablets and laptops connect to the internet via visible light.

      Teased earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, the LiFi XC is about three times smaller than the bulky LiFi X dongle and roughly 14 times smaller than the huge Li-Flame proof of concept product launched in 2014.

  • Server
    • Containers will oust VMs and storage arrays, says Red Hat

      Red Hat launches storage delivered via containers and predicts a future in which costly and inflexible storage hardware and pricey hypervisors will be a thing of the past

    • What’s your DevOps problem?

      Back in August, Jason Hibbets asked whether I had any interest in building a DevOps community on Opensource.com. The obvious answer was an astounding YES! Jason and I have assembled a fantastic consortium of DevOps minds to write on Opensource.com. But, one thing I’ve always wanted was a way to ask smart people hard questions and get an actual answer. Joining this DevOps community and my desire to get help led to the idea for a Dear DevOps community column.

    • Xen 4.10 RC1 Now Available For Testing

      The first release candidate is now available for the upcoming Xen 4.10 hypervisor update.

      Among the changes being worked on the past several months for the Xen 4.10 hypervisor are NVIDIA Tegra SoC support, Xen transport for the 9pfs back-end, various para-virtualized driver updates, memory bandwidth allocation and L2 cache allocation technology support.

    • OPNFV Euphrates Debuts Providing Kubernetes Integration

      The OPNFV Euphrates release is the fifth since the project was initially launchedin September 2014. “Euphrates brings a deeper level of maturity to the platform,” Tapio Tallgren, chair of Technical Steering Committee (TSC), OPNFV, and lead software architect, Nokia’s Mobile Architecture Unit stated.

      When OPNFV first launched containers were in their infancy and so too was the Kubernetes container orchestration project, but that’s no longer the case in October 2017. One of the key new features in OPNFV Euphrates is integration with container technologies, including Kubernetes.

    • OPNFV Euphrates release addresses open-source NFV testing, interoperability

      OPNFV has released OPNFV Euphrates, the project’s fifth platform release, focused on enabling service providers to accelerate network functions virtualization (NFV) transformation via open-source NFV.

    • OPNFV ‘Euphrates’ Initiates the Cloud Native NFV Journey
    • Introduction To Univention Corporate Server

      Today, I want to introduce Univention Corporate Server (UCS), an enterprise Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux and built by Univention. Let me begin with Univention, the organization behind UCS. Univention builds Open Source software for organizations to make the access to applications and devices for their members as easy as possible. Basically, this involves three core topics:

    • Google Partners with Cisco for Hybrid Cloud Powered by Kubernetes

      Cisco and Google announced a new partnership on Oct. 24 in a bid to help enable a hybrid cloud solution that uses Cisco hardware on-premises and Google Cloud Platform.

    • Cisco and Google partner on new hybrid-cloud approach: Goodzilla

      On Oct. 25, Cisco and Google announced a new technology partnership, which went by the internal name Goodzilla. This will enable Cisco customers to run and move their applications between Cisco-powered data centers and the Google Cloud Platform in a new kind of hybrid cloud.

      The glue that will bind them together: Kubernetes and Istio.

      Kubernetes is an open-source container manager. Originally developed by Google as Borg, today, it’s controlled by the The Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It has quickly become the most popular container orchestration program. Except for Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s available on all major public clouds and works with all containers.

  • Audiocasts/Shows
    • Linux PulseAudio Doesn’t Suck | For The Record

      Linux PulseAudio Doesn’t Suck (that much). Despite what you may hear elsewhere, there are aspects of PulseAudio that make it pretty interesting. PulseAudio seen here on Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for example, provides a ton of useful functionality.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linus Torvalds Releases Subsurface 4.7.1 Dive Planner Update with New Map Widget

      Among the changes implemented in the Subsurface 4.7.1 update, we can mention a new map widget that deprecates the rotating globe, the ability for the green gas icon to change when switching to EAN100, as well as better support for importing dive data from Datatrak, Shearwater desktop, DL7, and other third-party formats.

      The data planner component was improved as well in this release with user-friendly cylinder handling, faster planning for long decompression times, compute plan variations, the ability to print delta pressure in results for minimum gas calculations, and support for identifying overlapping dives when calculating dive plans.

    • Announcing Subsurface 4.7.1
    • Who’s building Linux in 2017?

      It’s 2017 and Linux rules the computing world. Don’t believe me? The Linux Foundation reports that Linux runs 90 percent of the public cloud workload, 82 percent of the world’s smartphones, 62 percent of the embedded market, oh and a mere 99 percent of the supercomputer market. All that rests on the Linux kernel. In its 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report, Jonathan Corbet, Linux kernel developer and editor of LWN.net, and Greg Kroah-Hartman, stable Linux kernel maintainer, report on Linux’s recent evolution.

      This report was released at the invitation-only Linux Kernel Summit in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2005 and adoption of Git version control system, 15,637 developers from over 1,400 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel. Since last year, over 4,300 developers from more than 500 companies have contributed to the kernel. Of these, 1,670 contributed for the first time, or about a third of contributors.

    • The Linux Foundation Releases Annual Kernel Development Report
    • VMwRare Upgrades Linux Foundation Membership to Platinum
    • Linux data-sharing licences: So, will big data hogs take the plunge?

      With its new open data licensing framework, announced on Tuesday, the Linux Foundation has created legal frameworks around sharing raw, unorganised data to tempt generous companies, nonprofits, government agencies and researchers to do so.

    • Please Welcome the Community Data License Agreement

      Those who have followed the spread of open source software (OSS) know that a bewildering thicket of OSS licenses were created in the early days. They also know that although the Open Source Initiative was formed in part to certify which of these documents should be permitted to call itself an “open source software license,” that didn’t mean that each approved license was compatible with the other. Ever since, it’s been a pain in the neck to vet code contributions to ensure that an OSS user knows what she’s getting into when she incorporates a piece of OSS into her own program.

    • Oracle Could Still Make ZFS A First-Class Upstream Linux File-System

      For many years Linux storage enthusiasts have dreamed of having the ZFS file-system part of the mainline Linux kernel. But since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems that outlook has looked much more bleak that they would re-license the ZFS kernel code under a license compatible with the upstream GPLv2 Linux kernel. But an Oracle engineer presented today that the ZFS Linux dream might still come true.

    • Open ZFS File-System Running On Windows
    • Cloud Native Computing Foundation adds two open-source security projects

      The other project that CNCF has taken under its wing is called The Update Framework. Created by New York University professor Justin Cappos, TUP is the specification on which Notary is based. Developers can use the technology to equip their own software with capabilities for fending off attempts to corrupt code. A group of automakers, for example, has created a version of TUP for securely patching car systems.

    • CNCF Brings Security to the Cloud Native Stack with Notary, TUF Adoption

      The Cloud Native Computing Foundation continues to vigorously build its portfolio of open source cloud-native technologies. CNCF’s Technical Oversight Committee voted to accept both the Docker-developed Notary trusted content framework and the specification Notary was built on, TUF, as the 13th and 14th hosted projects, respectively.

      The organizations announced the new members at the Open Source Summit Europe, being held this week in Prague.

    • CNCF Brings In Notary, The Update Framework to Boost Container Security

      The Cloud Native Computing Foundation on Oct. 24 announced that it is expanding its project roster with the addition of the Notary container trust project and The Update Framework security effort.

      The Notary project was originally developed by Docker and provides a content signing framework to help verify the cryptographic integrity of a container application image. Notary makes use of The Update Framework (TUF), which is a specification for enabling secure software updates.

    • OpenChain Project Welcomes Comcast as a Platinum Member
    • VMware makes cloud commitment to open source Linux

      The company’s open source contributions include support for The Linux Foundation projects like Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Cloud Foundry, Open Container Initiative, Open vSwitch, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), EdgeX Foundry and IO Visor, as well as projects such as OpenStack.

    • 2017 State of Linux Kernel Development
    • Report: Interest in the Linux kernel remains strong

      The Linux Foundation is releasing its 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report to examine progress that has been made to the Linux kernel as well as who is using and contributing to it. This year’s report details Linux kernel 4.13, with a focus on 4.8 to 4.13.

      The Linux kernel forms the core of the Linux operating system. The kernel is used to manage hardware, run user programs and maintain security. “The kernel is a relatively small part of the software on a full Linux system (many other large components come from the GNU project, the GNOME and KDE desktop projects, the X.org project, and many other sources), but it is the core which determines how well the system will work and is the piece which is truly unique to Linux,” the report states.

    • Graphics Stack
      • AMDGPU-PRO 17.40 Yields Huge Speed-Up For Radeon Mining Performance
      • Intel Has More DRM Code For Testing: Cannonlake Fixes, GuC/HuC’ing

        Intel has already landed a lot of new Intel DRM code in DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 4.15 cycle while one final batch is now ready for testing.

        Intel has been planning the past few days to squeeze in one more feature batch into Linux 4.15. Normally David Airlie cuts off the merge window to DRM-Next of new feature material when hitting the -RC6 stage of the current kernel cycle, but Intel is planning on squeezing in this last pull in the next few days. Linux 4.14-rc6 was just released this morning, but then again with 4.14 we will likely see a RC8 release, so the late adds by Intel likely won’t cause much of an issue. Plus Intel’s DRM driver stack goes through pretty good QA.

      • Mesa 17.3 With RADV Vulkan Running Great With Polaris, Starts To Outperform AMDGPU-PRO

        Yesterday I posted some fresh benchmarks of the RX Vega between the AMDGPU+RadeonSI/RADV open-source vs. AMDGPU-PRO drivers, which showed the pure open-source driver stack performing admirably well for the latest-generation AMD graphics architecture and the community-driven RADV Vulkan driver was even performing nicely. Due to how well RADV has matured during the Mesa 17.3 cycle, here are some benchmarks using a Radeon RX 580 “Polaris” graphics card showing off its more mature support for Vulkan.

      • OpenGL 4.6 Didn’t Make It For Mesa 17.3, But It’s Getting Close

        Next month’s Mesa 17.3 release won’t have OpenGL 4.6 that debuted this summer, but they are getting close to supporting this latest version of the OpenGL graphics API.

        OpenGL 4.6 was released back in July with the big addition being the Vulkan/SPIR-V ingestion support and that’s what has held up OpenGL 4.6 from being officially supported by mainline Mesa.

      • Marek Begins Working On Possible OpenGL Compatibility Profile For Mesa

        Well known open-source AMD graphics driver developer Marek Olšák has sent out patches offering ARB_compatibility support with OpenGL 3.1.

      • Feral Adding AMD_shader_info To RADV Vulkan Driver

        As further sign of Feral Interactive continuing to pursue Vulkan for their Linux games, a Feral developer today posted a patch for implementing the brand new AMD_shader_info extension for the RADV Mesa driver.

        Alex Smith of Feral posted the patch today wiring in AMD_shader_info. This AMD-developed shader information extension debuted just days ago with the Vulkan 1.0.64 update. This Vulkan extension provides a means of querying information about a compiled shader from the shader disassembly to statistics, but the extension itself places no mandates about what is exposed.

      • Freedreno Works On Context Priority Support, Plumbs Into Gallium3D

        There’s been a theme recently with the open-source graphics drivers of working on priority scheduling support from AMDGPU priority scheduling for VR use-cases and tied into RADV to Intel also allowing context priority support that in turn is exposed through EGL. The Freedreno driver has also been working on a context priority implementation.

        Rob Clark of the Freedreno project this week posted new patches for implementing context priority support for his Gallium3D driver with supported Qualcomm Adreno hardware and on a supported kernel with the MSM DRM code. The work also includes some generic Gallium3D plumbing for adding a new capability for drivers that want to expose per-context priorities. This Gallium3D driver implementation allows for low, medium, and high context priorities or for all non-Freedreno drivers right now just doesn’t expose the cap.

      • Mesa’s OpenGL KHR_no_error Support Is Now “Done”

        Mesa’s support for the OpenGL KHR_no_error extension is now treated as “done” for all drivers.

    • Benchmarks
      • RadeonSI/RADV Mesa 17.3 + AMDGPU DC vs. NVIDIA 387.12 Linux Gaming Performance

        With Mesa 17.3 now having been branched for its stable release next month and that bringing much improved RADV Radeon Vulkan performance and more mature RX Vega support along with a ton of other improvements, here is a fresh comparison of the newest open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver code compared to the latest NVIDIA Linux driver on a range of graphics cards.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • 10 Best Icon Themes For Linux

      One of the coolest things you can do to your Linux desktop is tweaking it to suit you. One key part of the tweaking process is to change your icon theme and you probably are going to want to do this as some distros ship some displeasing icon themes. Fortunately, the Linux community provides a ton of themes that you can use to turn your Linux desktop around and looking good. Let’ take a look at some ten awesome available for your desktop.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • Plasma 5.11.2

        Thursday, 24 October 2017. Today KDE releases a Bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.11.2. Plasma 5.11 was released in October with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

      • Second KDE Plasma 5.11 Point Release Changes DPI Font to 96 on Wayland

        The KDE Project announced today the second point release of the KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment, versioned 5.11.2, a minor maintenance update that fixes a total of 15 bugs.

        Coming only one week after the first point release, KDE Plasma 5.11.2 addresses various issues reported by users in the Plasma Discover package manager, as well as the System Settings, Plasma Desktop, Plasma Workspace, Plasma Networkmanager (plasma-nm), Plasma Addons, and KDE GTK Config components.

      • KDE Plasma 5.8.8 LTS Desktop Environment Released with Various Improvements

        The KDE Project is announcing today the release and immediate availability for download of the eighth maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment.

      • Qt 5.10 Reaches Its Second Beta Milestone

        Qt 5.10 is up to its second beta milestone ahead of its expected stable debut by the end of November.

        The Qt 5.10 Beta 2 milestone is coming out on time, giving hope that Qt 5.10.0 will be officially released as scheduled on 30 November rather than being delayed as has become common for Qt5 releases.

      • Qt 5.10 Beta2 available

        Qt 5.10 beta2 is now available. Instructions how to get the release are here: https://wiki.qt.io/How_to_get_snapshot_via_online_installer.

        Please take a tour and and test the release. And please make sure all issues which must be fixed before final Qt 5.10.0 release are visible in rc blocker list (https://bugreports.qt.io/issues/?filter=18957#)

        Diff to first beta can be found as an attachment.

      • Falkon – New browser under the KDE Umbrella

        It is worth noting that the package is a “git snapshot” and is mid re-branding (it still refers to QupZilla in many places), there are many bugs/issues and the software is no-where near release quality.

      • KDE Promo Activity Report – September 28, 2017

        This is just a quick round-up to keep you in the loop and point you to KDE Promo activities that you can join.

        If you missed the previous report, or just want to refresh your memory, you can read it here.

      • GCompris Qt for Raspberry Pi

        This version for Raspberry Pi was made possible thanks to the new “light” mode that we’ve been working on (read the previous post to learn more about this new rendering mode).

        It was built and tested on Raspberry Pi 3, where it works good. Since it was not tested a lot yet, this first package is considered beta. Please report any issue you may experience with it. If you can try it on a Pi 2, please let us know the result. It was also not tested on Pi 1, but those probably don’t have enough cpu and/or ram to run it.

      • Many thanks to Linode

        Behind the scenes with Kubuntu, we build packages, then test and finally release to our users. We mostly rely on the building services provided by Canonical on Launchpad, but also are lucky enough to have services donated by some third parties. A lot of our developers are working on quite slow internet connections and when working with large source-code tarballs this takes a very long time, is painful and quite honestly leads to developers burning out.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • Empowering individuals of the community – The board takes action

        This blog post is intended for GNOME Foundation members or people interested in part of our budget management. I have good news for you, the board has decided new policies to empower the individuals of our community!

      • Retro-GTK Has An Exciting Future Ahead With Many Improvements For Libretro Gaming

        GNOME developer Adrien Plazas has written a blog post about some of the big work items he’s engaged in for retro-gtk, the GNOME user-interface for running various libretro cores / game emulators.

      • Multi-threaded raw video conversion and scaling in GStreamer

        As a small helper object for this kind of processing model, I wrote GstParallelizedTaskRunner which might also be useful for other pieces of code that want to do the same.

        In the end it was not much work, but the results were satisfying. For example the conversion of 1080p to 4k video in the v210 color format with 4 threads gave a speedup of 3.2x. At that point it looks like the main bottleneck was memory bandwidth, but I didn’t look closer as this is already more than enough for the use cases I was interested in.

  • Distributions
    • New Releases
      • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.11 Desktop, Latest KDE Apps & Frameworks

        The KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment was released only two weeks ago, and it already arrived on a number of GNU/Linux distribution, but now Chakra GNU/Linux users can install it too, the latest version of packages being 5.11.1.

        The KDE Plasma 5.11.2 maintenance update arrive today as well, but it could take a while until it hits the repositories of Chakra GNU/Linux, which now contain the latest KDE Applications 17.08.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.39.0 software stacks.

      • antiX-17 released

        A very quick announcement for now, just to let you all know that antiX-17 “Heather Heyer” is now available.

        Get the various iso files from here for now.

      • CAINE 9.0 “Quantum” is out!

        CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is an Italian GNU/Linux live distribution created as a Digital Forensics project
        Currently the project manager is Nanni Bassetti (Bari – Italy).
        CAINE offers a complete forensic environment that is organized to integrate existing software tools as software modules and to provide a friendly graphical interface.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family
      • Rough Edges of the ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 LXQt

        LXQt is a desktop environment that is under heavy development. Unfortunately, there are still some rough edges in it.

        ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 is not the first distribution from that team to feature LXQt. But you still can feel these rough edges here and there.

        It generally feels OK. The only major issue I can name is a problem with video playback on one of the tested sites. But there were many smaller issues. All-in-all, I would say that ROSA R9 LXQt is still a distribution for those who like to get their hands dirty, who like to help developers and who like some challenges. It is not a distribution for newbies, but a a good distribution for real Linux fans to have fun with.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
      • SUSE Has Been Working On An In-Kernel Boot Splash Screen For Linux

        While Plymouth has become widely-used as a bootsplash screen on most Linux systems these days and is much better off than the RHGB days, SUSE has sent out initial patches as part of their proposal for having a new in-kernel bootsplash system.

      • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications Coming to the IBM Cloud

        SUSE® today announced that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications will be available as an operating system for SAP® solutions on the IBM Cloud. In addition, IBM Cloud is now a SUSE Cloud Service Provider, giving customers a supported open source platform that makes them more agile and reduces operating costs as they only pay for what they use.

    • Slackware Family
      • Netsurf, a lightweight browser, works on the framebuffer too

        Someone asked me to build a package for Netsurf. I had never heard of Netsurf before. It turns out that Netsurf is a cross-platform web browser which also runs on Linux. Its rendering engine is written from scratch, therefore the browser does not share code with any of the big browsers. Netsurf is actively developed and has a healthy community. A new version was released last week – 3.7.
        Functionally speaking, this browser is not as versatile or capable as other modern browsers, but its advantage is that it is small, fast, suited for low-end hardware, and more importantly: it works on the Linux framebuffer. This means that you can have a basic graphical web browser on your server console. It looks better than “links -g”.

      • Plasma5 Wayland works on Slackware

        Last year August 2016 I experimented with Wayland, the alternative to the X Window system. My goal was to see if it is possible to run a Plasma5 desktop session on a Wayland compositor instead of using X.Org.
        There was one big showstopper at the time. Kwin_wayland has a dependency on the ‘logind’ DBus API and at that time last year, this API was only provided by systemd-logind. Luckily, someone treated the logind component of systemd similarly to its udev component. Where Slackware already uses “eudev” which is a standalone udev source extracted from the systemd source, there’s also “elogind” which is the standalone logind sourcecode, extracted from systemd sourcecode. With some difficulty I managed to create a Slackware package for elogind and everything compiled. I just could not get a working Wayland session.
        As it turns out today, that failure to get Wayland working was an omission on my side… more on that later.

    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Derivatives
        • Proxmox 5.1 Update Rebases the Virtual Environment to Debian 9.2, Linux 4.13

          Arriving more than three months after Proxmox VE 5.0 release, Proxmox VE 5.1 is a point release adding updated components based on the upstream repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 9.2 “Stretch” operating system, along with the Linux 4.13 kernel series and the latest Ceph 12.2 “Luminous” and ZFS 0.7.2 releases.

          “Proxmox VE 5.1 comes with production-ready Ceph cluster packages. The virtualization platform integrates Ceph v12.2 Luminous, the long-term stable release of the software-defined storage solution. Users can now implement Ceph clusters as distributed storage solution in production,” reads today’s announcement.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • Beavering away at the brilliantly bionic 18.04 LTS

            Congratulations to Team *Buntu on the release of our Artful Aardvark 17.10, featuring all your favourite desktop environments, kubernetes 1.8, the latest OpenStack, and security updates for 9 months, which takes us all the way to our next enterprise release, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

            A brumous development cycle always makes for cool-headed work and brisk progress on the back of breem debate.

            As always, 18.04 LTS will represent the sum of all our interests.

            For those of you with bimodal inclinations, there’s the official upstream Kubernetes-on-Ubuntu spell for ‘conjure-up kubernetes’ with bijou multi-cloud goodness. We also have spells for OpenStack on Ubuntu and Hadoop on Ubuntu, so conjure-up is your one-stop magic shop for at-scale boffo big data, cloud and containers. Working with upstreams to enable fast deployment and operations of their stuff on all the clouds is a beamish way to spend the day.

            If your thing is bling, pick a desktop! We’ve defaulted to GNOME, but we’re the space where KDE and GNOME and MATE and many others come together to give users real and easy choice of desktops. And if you’re feeling boned by the lack of Unity in open source, you might want to hop onto the channel and join those who are updating Unity7 for the newest X and kernel graphics in 18.04.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Dubbed as the “Bionic Beaver,” Launches April 26, 2018
          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Is The “Bionic Beaver”
          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Is Named ‘Bionic Beaver’
          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is Called ‘Bionic Beaver’

            The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS name has been revealed — say hello to ‘Bionic Beaver’!

            Announcing the name with his trademark alliterative flair set firmly to full, Mark Shuttleworth says the 18.04 LTS release will “represent the sum of all our interests.”

          • Mark Shuttleworth reveals Ubuntu 18.04 LTS codename

            In the past couple of days, Canonical released its latest version of Ubuntu 17.10, now it’s time for the company to look ahead to its next release 18.04 LTS (Long Term Support). As will all versions before it, 18.04 will carry a goofy codename with it. The company’s CEO, today, announced that the upcoming release will be dubbed “Bionic Beaver”.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Will Likely Ship With Linux 4.15

            Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the recently named “Bionic Beaver”, will most likely be shipping with a Linux 4.15-based kernel.

          • Display Network Traffic in the Ubuntu Panel with NetSpeed

            If you’re running Ubuntu 17.10 (or any distro that uses GNOME Shell) you can do so easily by installing a network monitor GNOME extension.

            A wealth of network monitor extensions are available for GNOME Shell (and by extension, excuse the pun, Ubuntu too) including ‘netmonitor‘ and ‘simple net speed‘.

            But one of my favourites (because of its sheer simplicity) is the perfectly titled NetSpeed.

          • Why Did Ubuntu Drop Unity? Mark Shuttleworth Explains

            Ubuntu’s decision to ditch Unity took all of us — even me — by surprise when announced back in April.

            Now Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth shares more details about why Ubuntu chose to drop Unity.

            And the answer might surprise…

            Actually, no; the answer probably won’t surprise you.

          • Canonical founder explains why they abandoned the Unity project for Ubuntu

            Back in April, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, in a move that shocked everyone, announced that the company was ending support for Unity in Ubuntu. For the uninitiated, Unity was the company’s plan to build a converged Linux desktop that would work on mobile devices, desktops, and even TVs. Its latest release, Ubuntu 17.10, marks the first version of the OS to ship without Unity, employing GNOME instead. After several months of speculation, Shuttleworth has finally outed the rationale behind the decision.

          • Shuttleworth explains killing off Unity

            Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has been telling the world+dog why he killed off Unity and it is all about getting busy, ready for an IPO.

            The Unity desktop was introduced back in 2011 and while Shuttleworth was rather keen on it, other Ubuntu fans were not.

          • Ubuntu Server Development Summary – 24 Oct 2017
          • Cinergy makes significant digital signage savings using Ubuntu Core

            Based in Dallas, Texas, Cinergy operates a chain of three cinema entertainment centres (CECs) with ambitious expansion plans. CECs are an all in one entertainment venue incorporating cinemas, restaurants, bowling and other activities such as escape rooms. With so many activities to communicate including the latest promotions and film times, Cinergy’s digital signage set up needs to be efficient, secure and effective.

          • What to Expect from the Ubuntu 17.10 Release

            One of the hottest events this month for Linux/Ubuntu users is the release of Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark). For those who are not fans of Ubuntu and Linux in general, this might be just one more release to miss, but this is a release you should take note of. The major news here is that this is the first release since Canonical decided to move away from Unity. But there is more!

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Codename and Release Date are Out Now!

            This is not surprising considering the logic behind the codename and versioning of Ubuntu releases. All Ubuntu releases are codenamed with two words, both starting with the same letter. The first word of the codename is an adjective and the second word is usually an endangered species and sometimes mythical characters. The release codenames are in incremental order as well.

          • What The Press Is Saying About Ubuntu 17.10
          • Rumble in the (open) jungle, Ubuntu 17.10

            Canonical has announced the release of the Ubuntu 17.10 operating system featuring a new GNOME desktop on Wayland and new versions of KDE, MATE and Budgie to suit a range of tastes.

          • Flavours and Variants
            • Configure and Secure Linux Mint

              After finishing installing Linux Mint, you might think you’re all set and ready to go. And while Linux Mint does have some great software pre-installed, there is still some some things you need to configure and lock down. In this article, I’ll share my configuration and security setup that I recommend if you’re running Linux Mint.

            • Should You Use Linux Mint’s Debian or Standard Edition?

              At first, users might wonder why Linux Mint offers both its Ubuntu-based Linux Mint Standard Edition and the Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Since Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu all derive from the Debian repositories, isn’t the family resemblance too close to bother?

              To the casual user, the choice may appear to be no more than the result of Linux Mint trying to accommodate as many users as possible. However, depending on your needs and preferences, you may find that one edition suits your needs more than the other.

              In general, the two editions have much in common. Both the Debian and the standard editions are available in 32- and 64-bit downloads that default to the Cinnamon or Mate desktops. Both use the same installer, and both open for the first time on desktops with similar wallpapers and tools. Both, too, can add other desktop environments from the Mint repositories that they both share. According to Linux Mint, LMDE is faster than the standard edition, but in practice the difference is slight enough that many users probably never notice.

              However, look closer, and the differences start to appear — although these difference have changed over the years. For example, it is no longer true that the LMDE is a rolling release — one that adds new packages as they become available, rather than waiting for a general release — although LMDE 1 was.

              Also, contrary to a widely circulating story, LMDE 2 is fully capable of using Ubuntu PPA repositories for packages in development. The PPAs simply have to be added as a package source in /etc/apt/. Alternatively, their packages can be downloaded and installed using the dpkg command. Since Debian and Ubuntu have been different distros for well over a decade now, you may find that some packages from PPAs are not compatible with Debian, but these cases are relatively rare, particularly if you stick to productivity applications rather than core system components.

            • Preparing for Xubuntu 18.04

              Xubuntu 17.10 was just released, but planning for Xubuntu 18.04 – the next long-term support (LTS) release – began quite some time ago. For our users, LTS releases mostly mean a system that is going to be more stable and supported for longer. For us contributors, this means a bunch of things.

              As a repercussion of the longer support cycle and the sought out stable nature of the LTS releases, we do not want to introduce (too many) new components, libraries or other technical changes, as each change has regression potential. This is also a delicate balancing act between getting bugs fixed but keeping enough things as they are.

            • Linux Mint Will Discontinue Its KDE Edition

              The Linux Mint crew has confirmed today they will be discontinuing future releases of their KDE spin following next month’s Linux Mint 18.3 release.

              Linux Mint 18.3 will be the last version of this Ubuntu-derived distribution to feature a dedicated KDE Plasma Edition.

              They are dropping their KDE support as the Linux Mint team envisions themselves as a “production distribution…a complete desktop operating system”, and as part of that focus on their own Cinnamon Desktop Environment. But they will continue their support for Cinnamon-like desktops include MATE and Xfce where their custom tools still play nicely.

            • Monthly News – October 2017
            • Linux Mint 18.3 is Adding “Full Support” For Flatpak

              Linux Mint 18.3 will have “full support” for Flatpak, the ‘next-gen’ app distribution format for Linux, the project has announced in its latest monthly newsletter.

            • Buh-bye! Linux Mint finally kills its pointless KDE Edition

              Linux Mint is a fine Ubuntu-based operating system, although I am not sure it needs to exist anymore. After all, its popularity is largely thanks to the historic disdain for Canonical’s Unity desktop environment. With the Unity DE now dead, fewer people will seek out the alternative that is Mint.

              While both the Cinnamon and Mate versions of Linux Mint are decent choices for computer users, there was one version that was always utterly bizarre — the KDE Edition. Don’t get me wrong, KDE is a fine environment, but Kubuntu already exists. Having a version of Mint using KDE was redundant and confusing. Thankfully, today, the Linux Mint team announces it is finally killing the KDE edition.

  • Devices/Embedded
Free Software/Open Source
  • 7 open source alternatives to Dreamweaver

    Not all that many years ago, pretty much every webpage on the Internet was, at some level, designed painstakingly by hand. It was tough, and before CSS really took hold and became well supported across most common browsers, it often involved hacking a layout together by using HTML tables in a way they were never really envisioned to support.

    While some designers developed workflows completely based around manual editing of raw HTML files, the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor began to emerge as a tool of empowerment to millions of amateur and professional designers who didn’t know, or at least hadn’t mastered, the art of hypertext markup.

  • Open Source Virtual Signaling? Or, Why Do You Really Like Open Source?

    Open source software is everywhere these days — from Microsoft to government agencies to (maybe) your car. In a world where open source is so pervasive, I can’t but wonder: Do the myriad companies that now push open source really believe in it, or is it mere virtue signaling?

    This is a fair question to ask. Many of the companies that are now very publicly promoting open source were once antithetical to open source.

  • 7 years of open source: GitHub, Puppet, DataStax, Severalnines
  • Adjoint joins open source blockchain movement

    Adjoint, developer of smart contracts and distributed ledger technology for the financial industry, announced today the release of their open source platform Uplink.
    Adjoint will use this platform to propel development of domain-specific applications in the financial sector across banking, capital markets, insurance, asset management, and commodities trading.

  • Quit making these 10 common resume mistakes

    You can’t update what you can’t find. Too many people end up rewriting their entire resume from scratch because they lost the file. Do yourself a huge favor: Use a version control system for your resume and all other important files. Version control: It’s not just for code. I use GitLab for this purpose, but GitHub, BitBucket, or any other version control service will also work very well. Not only will your file stay safe and backed up, it’s also stored offsite in case of disaster or hard drive crash. Also recommended: If you use a version control service, have a private repository for your resume. Few people want to receive a pull request on their own resume.

  • Events
    • Automation within the Developer Experience Team

      Many companies that provide an API also include SDKs. At SendGrid, such SDKs send several billions of emails monthly through SendGrid’s Web API. Recently, SendGrid re-built their seven open source SDKs (Python, PHP, C#, Ruby, Node.js, Java, and Go) to support 233 API endpoints, a process which I’ll describe in my upcoming talk at APIStrat in Portland.

      Fortunately, when we started this undertaking, Matt Bernier had just launched our Developer Experience team, covering our open source documentation and libraries. I joined the team as the first Developer Experience Engineer, with a charter to manage the open source libraries in order to ensure a fast and painless integration with every API SendGrid produces.

  • Web Browsers
    • Chrome
      • Chrome 62 for Android Brings Accelerated Downloads, Viewing/Copying of Passwords

        A few moments ago, Google promoted its latest Chrome 62 release to Android devices, giving users a heads up of what to expect the next time they update their favorite web browser.

        Google Chrome 62 was promoted last week to the stable channel for Mac, GNU/Linux, and Windows devices, a rather smaller update that introduces a more aggressive “Not secure” warning for websites that are still using the HTTP protocol instead of the more secure HTTPS one, along with support for OpenType Variable Fonts.

  • Databases
    • SQLite Release 3.21.0 On 2017-10-24
    • SQLite 3.21 Picks Up F2FS Atomic Write Support

      SQLite 3.21 is now out as the newest feature release for this widely-used embedded database library.

      The first feature up for SQLite 3.21 when running atop the Flash-Friendly File-System and with SQLite built with batch atomic write enabled, it now supports the atomic-write capabilities of F2FS. This mode should yield “greatly reduced” transaction overhead. F2FS is the first file-system supporting batch atomic write behavior for SQLite and then doesn’t write to the rollback journal for making transactions up to twice as fast while reducing SSD wear and tear.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • Flexibility, Choice, and Open Source Drive Oracle’s Cloud Focus

      Developer ecosystems grow and thrive in a vibrant and supported community – something Oracle believes in, has invested in, and continues to invest in with projects including EE4J, OpenJDK, MySQL, GlassFish, Java, Linux, PHP, Apache, Eclipse, Berkeley DB, NetBeans, VirtualBox, and Xen. This required significant investment in resources for developing, testing, optimizing, and supporting these open source technologies. As a Platinum member of the Linux Foundation and a member since day one, Oracle participates in a number of other Linux Foundation projects, including the Open Container Initiative (OCI), Xen Project, Hyplerledger, Automotive Grade Linux, and the R Consortium.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • Funding
  • BSD
    • pfSense 2.4.1-RELEASE Now Available

      We are excited to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.4.1, now available for new installations and upgrades!

      pfSense software version 2.4.1 is a maintenance release bringing security patches and stability fixes for issues discovered in pfSense 2.4.0-RELEASE.

      pfSense 2.4.1-RELEASE updates and installation images are available now!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • FSFE Newsletter – October 2017

      The EU is currently revising its copyright rules in its proposal for the EU Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, so that they may be more suitable for the modern digital age. Instead of recognising the realities of how different content is being shared online, the current EU Copyright Directive proposal, and in particular its Article 13 targeted at online hosting providers, threatens our ability to access public code repositories and share code online. The new rules enshrined in Article 13 intend to introduce new obligations for code hosting platforms in order to prevent any possible copyright infringement: if they do not implement these, the platforms will end up being directly liable for their users’ activity. [...]

    • Glibc 2.27 Will Premiere With Many Optimizations

      When glibc 2.26 was released in August it was a noteworthy release with plenty of optimizations and introduced its own per-thread cache. With the next installment of the GNU C Library there will also be many more optimizations.

      A few days back I wrote about more functions receiving FMA optimizations including powerf/logf/exp2f/log2f. That article also mentioned how replacing some old Assembly versions of functions with generic C code has also resulted in significant performance improvements. That’s not all.

    • Intel Pushes More GCC Patches For New Instructions On Icelake Processors

      Intel has published more patches for supporting new instruction set extensions that will debut with “Ice Lake” processors when launched in late 2018 or early 2019.

      Besides Intel recently landing CET support in GCC as the Control-flow Enforcement Technology, their compiler engineers have been working on supporting the other instruction set extensions coming with Icelake processors, which is the successor to the next-gen Cannonlake CPUs.

  • Public Services/Government
    • Public Money, Public Code: Show Your Support For Free Software in Europe

      The global movement for open access to publicly-funded research stems from the sensible proposition that if the government has used taxpayers’ money to fund research, the publication of the results of that research should be freely-licensed. Exactly the same rationale underpins the argument that software code that the government has funded to be written should be made available as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Public Money, Public Code is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) that seeks to transform that ideal into European law.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
  • Programming/Development
    • PredictionIO, open-source software for building machine learning apps, gets Apache top-level status

      The Apache Software Foundation said today that it’s designating open-source machine learning software first developed by Salesforce.com Inc. as its latest top-level project.

    • Open-Source ML Server Gets Apache Promotion

      The pace of machine learning technology development got another boost this week with the announcement that an open source platform donated last year by Salesforce has been promoted by the Apache Foundation.

      Apache PredictionIO, designated a “top-level” project on Tuesday (Oct. 24), aims to democratize machine learning by giving developers a full stack for creating intelligent applications that could be deployed in production “without having to cobble together underlying technologies,” said Simon Chan, founder of Prediction IO who now services as senior director for Salesforce’s AI initiative called Einstein.

    • Eclipse Foundation Prepares to Open Source Java EE as EE4J

      Milinkovich also noted it will take time to get all this accomplished and interaction with the Java community still needs to be defined. Eclipse has created the ee4j-community mailing list and developers are encouraged to provide feedback and to contribute.

    • Android Studio 3.0 Released With Kotlin Support, Java 8 Features

      Google today has pushed out Android Studio 3.0 as the latest stable release of this integrated development environment for their mobile operating system.

    • Databricks Delta, SciPy 1.0, and Neo4j’s Native Graph Platform
    • 4 steps to solving any software problem

      These are the steps I take to solve problems when coding, and the ones I try to impart to students and junior developers when I’m helping them with an issue. I’d like to see more coding education programs—whether in academic computer science, bootcamps, or self-paced tutorials—provide their own instructions on this process. The exact process will depend on the person, the organization, and the work they’re doing—but knowing how to solve problems is a foundational skill to being a programmer. If you work with students or less experienced developers, see what you can do to help them develop this skill.

Leftovers
  • Health/Nutrition
  • Security
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Singapore freezes private car ownership to fight congestion

      Singapore is capping the number of private passenger cars allowed on its streets, the city’s transportation regulator announced on Monday.

      Singapore is a city of 5.6 million people packed into an area smaller than New York City. Like any big city it has to worry about traffic congestion, but as a sovereign city-state it is able to take more extreme measures than most cities.

      To own a car in Singapore, you need a certificate of entitlement from the Singapore government. The supply is limited, and certificates are distributed by auction. Each year, the government sets a target for the growth of private vehicles and auctions off a corresponding number of certificates. Next year, the growth target will be zero.

  • Finance
    • Congress Votes to Overturn CFPB Arbitration Rule

      Congress overturned a rule by an Obama-appointed financial regulator that would have made it easier for consumers to sue banks in groups, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote in the Senate.

      The 51-50 vote handed the financial industry its most significant legislative victory since President Donald Trump took office and was a rebuke of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who pressed ahead with his agenda in defiance of Republicans.

    • FAO Calls On WTO Ministerial Conference To Protect Small Farmers

      As the biennial World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference is drawing closer, a number of stakeholders are pushing for their priorities to be heard. For its part, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called on WTO members to protect smallholder farmers.

      In a 24 October press release, FAO director general José Graziano da Silva said ongoing international trade negotiations should focus on global trade agreements, harmonised food safety standards and measures that benefit rather than harm poor family farmers in the developing world.

    • No Progress On WTO Appellate Body Appointments As Ranks Thinning

      The imbroglio which might cause a major impediment to the World Trade Organization’s functioning is thickening as the United States continues to block the selection process to fill vacancies in the WTO Appellate Body, according to sources.

      The WTO Appellate Body is a standing body of seven members appointed by the WHO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), who hear appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought by WTO members, according to the WTO.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Pence breaks tie as Senate votes to repeal banking rule

      Vice President Pence cast the final vote to break a 50-50 tie. The banking industry had been lobbying hard to roll back the regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau had moved to ban most types of mandatory arbitration clauses found in the fine print of agreements consumers often enter into when opening a checking account or getting a credit card.

    • Jeff Flake’s full speech announcing he won’t run for re-election

      None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. If we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us. Without fear of the consequences, and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal.

    • Jeff Flake’s Call of Conscience Will Not Be Answered by Soulless Republicans

      If a president is dangerous, he should be checked and balanced by Congress. But this Republican Congress still chooses partisanship over principle.

    • The “Nuclear Option” In The United States Senate

      This is the final proof that USA needs more than a “two-party” system. Clearly there are more than two views on just about everything and the dispossessed politically are not participating in the so-called democracy of USA. The Democrats have an extremely liberal wing pushing for single-payer healthcare. The Democrats have a centrist group who mostly seek individual liberty and support for the disadvantaged. The GOP have a centrist group who mostly seek individual liberty and want to curtail government to a large extent. The GOP also have an extreme group who want to return to the Stone Age of government where it was about armies and holding territory and little else. Why aren’t there four parties or more representing four segments of society? Isn’t that more democratic than having a tyrant in the Oval Office and a bunch of sycophants in the Senate? There isn’t even a hint of “bipartisan” legislative action there, just constipation.

    • Under Trump, U.S. Passport Value for Global Travel Is Plummeting
  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Russian Site-Blocking Chiefs Under Investigation For Fraud

      A scandal is emerging in Russia after several officials of Russian site-blocking body Rozcomnadzor were charged with fraud. Those arrested include the watchdog’s spokesman and top lawyer, both of whom have been placed under house arrest. It’s alleged that the telecoms authority ‘employed’ ghost staff whose salaries were actually paid to existing employees, on top of their own money.

    • Facebook ‘pay to play’ test leaves publishers panicking

      In a nutshell, the experiment is a localised test taking place in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka that splits brand content into its own ‘Explore’ tab, leaving the News Feed for personal (friends and family) and sponsored posts.

    • What’s Worse: Censorship By Government Or Google?

      he First Amendment was crafted in an era when the government was the most powerful entity on Earth. That’s no longer necessarily true.

      Sure, when it comes to physical power, the government reigns supreme. Nobody can compete with an institution legally allowed to possess tanks, hellfire missiles, and nuclear bombs. But in the arena of information, agencies like the CIA and FBI no longer remain unchallenged. Instead, internet companies like Google and activist websites like Wikileaks have become the global gatekeepers of knowledge.

    • ‘Cinema and post-censor censorship’

      With the BJP objecting to “incorrect references” in Vijay’s Mersal, here’s a look at some films that hit a roadblock due to objections raised by political parties and groups, before and after they hit the screens.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • ‘The Bureau Is Once Again Profiling Black Activists Because of Their Beliefs and Their Race’

      Demonstrations continue in St. Louis, Missouri, over the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first degree murder charges in the 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. Very likely some protesters would tell you they are distraught and angry, not just about this case, but about the undeniable fact that US law enforcement rarely pay any penalty for murdering black people, whatever the circumstance. According to an FBI intelligence assessment recently leaked to Foreign Policy, that may make those people “black identity extremists.”

    • We Sued for Records About Trump’s Muslim Bans. Here’s What We Found Out.

      You may remember that shortly after the first Muslim Ban was announced, public confusion erupted about whether or not it applied to lawful permanent residents (LPRs). But it wasn’t only the public that felt confused — top government officials did, too. These documents reveal deep confusion among DHS agencies on this question.

      Hours after the first Muslim Ban came down on January 27, Acting Commissioner of CBP Kevin McAleenan wrote to officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ask, “Was it your understanding that the EO was intended to apply to LPRs?” Gene Hamilton, senior counselor to DHS, responded, “They should generally be provided the case-by-case exemption . . . provided that it is in the national interest to do so.” And McAleenan replied, “Understood. We want to faithfully and quickly execute the EO, but want everyone to know that this guidance changes our status.” In other words, Hamilton’s answer is not what McAleenan expected. Indeed, reflecting this, McAleenan’s estimate of affected travelers more than tripled from 175 to 600-800 individuals per day upon hearing that LPRs should be included in the estimate.

    • Robert Scoble: I didn’t sexually harass women as I lacked power over them

      In a Wednesday blog post, Robert Scoble, the Silicon Valley pundit who was recently publicly accused of sexual assault and harassment, now claims that he didn’t sexually harass anyone because they were never his employees.
      “I don’t have employees, I don’t cut checks for investment,” he wrote. “None of the women who came forward were ever in a position where I could make or break their careers. Sexual Harassment requires that I have such power.”

      [...]

      Joanna Grossman, a law professor at Southern Methodist University who has written extensively on this issue, told Ars that Scoble’s understanding of the law is “just wrong.”

      “Power in general isn’t what matters,” she said. “There is no requirement that the harasser have power or any specific relationship with the person.”

      Another law professor, Susan Carle, of American University, told Ars that Scoble’s claims are only correct in a very narrow sense—Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law that specifically deals with an employee-employer relationship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Health Group Challenges Gilead Patents In The US On Grounds Of Lack Of Novelty

      A health advocacy group today announced that it has challenged a set of United States patents for a hepatitis C medicine. The group says drug maker Gilead Sciences has obtained unmerited patents for sofosbuvir, blocking millions of US patients from affordable treatment.

      The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) filed the first-ever set of US patent challenges against sofosbuvir with the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The group challenged six patents, arguing that sofosbuvir’s patents do not meet patentability criteria such as novelty and non-obviousness, according to a press release.

    • Teva v Gilead: Swiss court bashes ECJ on SPC “mess”

      As reported on the SPC Blog, on 3 October 2017, the Swiss Federal Patent Court issued a judgment confirming the validity of Gilead’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) for a composition containing tenofovir disoproxil with emtricitabine (marketed as TRUVADA). The UK arm of the same dispute has led Arnold J to refer a question to the ECJ (“What are the criteria for deciding whether ‘the product is protected by a basic patent in force’ in Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation?”, [2017] EWHC 13 (Pat)).

      Teva (or rather Mepha, its Swiss subsidiary) sought a declaration of invalidity of Gilead’s Swiss SPC for the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine. It did not attack the validity of the base patent EP 915 894. Neither was it disputed that a generic of TRUVADA would infringe the (expired) base patent and that Gilead’s SPC was therefore valid under the infringement test.

      The base patent explicitly mentions tenofovir disoproxil, but not emtricitabine. Teva argued that Switzerland should abandon the infringement test traditionally employed (BGE 124 III 375 – Fosinopril) in favour of the ECJ’s “core inventive advance” test. Applied to the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine, this would lead to the nullity of the SPC (Arnold J concurs).

    • Qatar WTO Dispute Case: IP Issue Or National Security?

      The United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week blocked the first request by Qatar for a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel to rule on measures by UAE that Qatar alleges interfere with trade in goods and services and with protection of Qatar’s intellectual property rights. Neighbouring countries say they have taken actions out of concern that Qatar is providing financial support for terrorist groups.

    • Epson delete competing Ebay ink listings citing patent claims

      Epson are alleging that certain compatible ink cartridges infringe their patents B2433473 and amendment GB2465293. The alleged infringement concerns the alignment of chip contacts on their cartridges. So far, we know Epson have issued takedowns against compatible cartridges T16 XL; T18 XL; T24 XL; T26 XL; T27 XL; T29 XL; T33 XL plus T0715 XL; T0797 XL; T0807 XL.

      [...]

      At this stage, we cannot know if there is any merit to the Epson’s claim that these compatible cartridges infringe their patents but using patents in this way would undermine the legal regime that protects production of compatible products, including components, such as ink cartridges. That would be extremely bad for consumers.

    • Copyrights

IP Kat Admits It Was Its Own Choice to Censor (Delete) Many Comments About the European Patent Office

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 04:20:21 PM

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) can only be mentioned in a positive way/context in IP Kat, as Battistelli and his cronies may celebrate deletion of comments critical of them

THE subject many people speak of at the EPO this week is censorship. Freedom of expression is a pretty fundamental right.

“The censorship was deliberate and not a technical error.”SUEPO has just published the above letter from USF, which long ago started observing the abuses at the EPO. The corresponding page is in French and the image was published in PDF form by SUEPO. We are keeping a copy of it just in case.

“This latest commentary from IP Kat merely helps show (or reinforce the perception) that EPO controls the media.”As a reminder to our readers, the EPO has already threatened publishers, blogs, politicians and much more. Even SUEPO’s Web site got censored (using threats). That was 2 years ago; it may have happened again since then. The EPO is a lunatic bully, a perfect embodiment of its “king”, so insecure with inferiority complex.

Yesterday, someone wrote to a brave blogger (who did not hide behind a pseudonym like IP Kat bloggers): “Thorsten, it is indeed still possible that there is an “innocent” explanation. However, let me say that it is becoming increasingly hard to believe in such a version of events. I mean, are we to understand that it is merely coincidence that “technical” problems only affect one post, which post just happens to be on a topic previously affected by a moratorium on reporting?”

This was said in relation to censorship at IP Kat — a subject we wrote a number of posts about earlier this week. It turns out that we were right. At around 10AM today “Merpel” (whoever uses that name right now) admitted that this was not an accident. The censorship was deliberate and not a technical error. Here is how this was justified: “On all posts relating to the European Patent Office, however, the right to post pseudonymously has been abused in recent times. On Merpel’s post welcoming the new president of the EPO, the situation got out of hand. The overwhelming majority of comments were purely libellous ad hominem attacks on a man that has not even taken office. This led the IPKat team to decide to remove all comments on said post (IPKat did not receive any legal threats).”

By admitting that the blog did not receive legal threats (which the EPO does issue sometimes) it basically says that its censorship wasn’t the fault of EPO management. When “Merpel” uses the words “purely libellous ad hominem attacks” it basically uses the same vague accusations made by EPO management (they censor Techrights using such vague accusations, without even providing a single example of libel).

“The technical issues aside, there are many human rights issues. Why does the media barely cover these?”All sorts of politicians and horrible people have negative things written about them. A functioning society needs that. Would IP Kat deem that too “libellous ad hominem attacks”? Can IP Kat not see that what goes on at the EPO merits harsh words?

This latest commentary from IP Kat merely helps show (or reinforce the perception) that EPO controls the media. Watch how effective it really is. Remember that IP Kat used to harshly criticise the EPO until the EPO blocked the blog (for a day); that’s when self-censorship started.

The EPO is a truly authoritarian regime whose very existence at the heart of Europe harms everything around it. It poisons the media, too.

“That’s classic self-censorship and they publicly admitted it.”“Presumably,” said this comment earlier today, “the EPO’s current obsession with assignments requiring proof of the right of the signatory to bind the relevant party will also be applied to assignments of priority.”

The technical issues aside, there are many human rights issues. Why does the media barely cover these?

Earlier on Mark Schweizer from IP Kat wrote about the EPO. But nowadays when the blog IP Kat writes about the EPO’s Board of Appeal it’s about a ruling; it has said nothing about its exile to Haar (weeks ago). Here is what Schweizer wrote:

This is quite important – the EPC’s substantive requirements for a valid transfer, namely that the right of priority as such be assigned, cannot be circumvented by the argument that the applicable national does not foresee an independent priority right. Whether this is correct is certainly open to question.

In sum, T 1201/14 provides an excellent summary of the EPO’s case law on the transfer of priority rights, but does not clarify which national law applies to the transfer of the priority right. It should make practitioners acutely aware that the EPC, despite appearances to the contrary, does contain substantive requirements for the transfer which apply irrespective of the applicable national law.

Maybe Schweizer could also remark on Battistelli’s gross departure from the EPC, which no longer seems to matter. But no… IP Kat already announced earlier this year that it would, as a matter of principle, abstain from commenting on such matters. That’s classic self-censorship and they publicly admitted it.

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