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12.14.16

Links 14/12/2016: CrossOver 16, GNOME 3.23.3, and KDevelop 4.7.4 released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Voice of the Masses: What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

    So 2016 is almost over, and we’ll soon be recording our last podcast of the year. We could use this time to reflect on the last 12 months, but isn’t it far more exciting to think about the future? The answer is yes.

    On that basis, we want to hear from you: what Linuxy or FOSSy thing are you most looking forward to in 2017? Perhaps it’s a new release of your favourite distro, or an update to a killer app that you depend on. (Gimp 2.10, anyone?) Maybe you hope to see Linux grab 3% of the desktop market share, or something else entirely. Simply input your musings into the comment box below and we’ll read out the best in our podcast, fuelled by Glühwein and plenty of Christmas cheer.

  • Server

    • CoreOS Linux Rebranded as Container Linux, as Kubernetes Goes Self-Service

      CoreOS is coming full circle, bringing established capabilities to its Tectonic platform, which provides a commercially supported distribution of the open-source Kubernetes container management system.

    • How Getting Your Project in the CNCF Just Got Easier

      Managing and making sense of these new, cloud-native architectures is something that the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) aims to help make easier for developers worldwide. On today’s episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, we talk with CNCF Executive Director Dan Kohn and CNCF Chief Operating Officer Chris Aniszczyk about the direction of the CNCF and cloud-native computing as a whole. The interview took place at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon, which took place last month in Seattle.

    • Open Source Helps Drive Cloud Adoption Says 2016 Future of Cloud Survey

      Scalability, agility, cost, and innovation are the main factors driving cloud adoption, according to the 6th annual Future of Cloud Computing study released today by North Bridge Venture Partners and Wikibon analysts. And, this year, mobile and open source are twice as likely to be cited as a drivers for cloud computing as they were in 2015.

    • New survey reveals a surge in cloud-first adoption strategies

      Infrastructure-as-a-service is close behind, with 58 percent of respondents using it for at least some computing task and 53 percent for storage. Platform-as-a-service has the lowest adoption rate (45 percent) but is expected to grow the fastest, with planned usage increasing by 19 percent over the next two years on top of 33 percent growth in just the past year.

    • Of automation and autonomy: Open-source tool automates cloud deployment (with layovers)

      The more processes developers and engineers can automate, techies say, the faster and more advanced their applications will become. However, certain processes are not yet ripe to have human brains taken completely out of the equation. Deploying code to the cloud is one of those tasks that benefit from a mix of automation and human oversight — does this open-source tool strike the perfect balance?

      Dianne Marsh, director of engineering tools at Netflix Inc., spoke about the open-source cloud tool she helped create, called Spinnaker, a Continuous Delivery platform. Her efforts on the technology were recognized at CloudNOW, the 5th Annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Innovation Awards. CloudNOW is a non-profit consortium of leading women in cloud computing and converging technologies.

    • Guide to the Open Cloud: The State of IaaS and PaaS

      The Linux Foundation recently announced the release of its 2016 report “Guide to the Open Cloud: Current Trends and Open Source Projects.” This third annual report provides a comprehensive look at the state of open cloud computing. You can download the report now, and one of the first things to notice is that it aggregates and analyzes research, illustrating how trends in containers, microservices, and more shape cloud computing. In fact, from IaaS to virtualization to DevOps configuration management, it provides descriptions and links to categorized projects central to today’s open cloud environment.

    • Monitoring Those Hard-to-Reach Places: Linux, Java, Oracle and MySQL

      Today’s IT environments are increasingly heterogeneous, with Linux, Java, Oracle and MySQL considered nearly as common as traditional Windows environments. In many cases, these platforms have been integrated into an organization’s Windows-based IT department by way of an acquisition of a company that leverages one of those platforms. In other cases, the applications may have been part of the IT department for years, but managed by a separate department or singular administrator.

      Still, whether it’s a perception of required specialization, frustration over these platforms’ many version permutations or just general uncertainty and doubt, Linux, Java, Oracle and MySQL create mass monitoring confusion and are routinely considered “hard to reach” for even a seasoned IT professional. This problem goes both ways (when monitoring Windows is actually the unnatural element) but for the most part, IT shops are primarily Windows-based and consistently struggle to monitor these more niche platforms.

    • AWS Sets Cloud Networking Example For IT Organizations

      Industry standard servers have played a big role in reducing the cost of networking across the enterprise. But there is a fair amount of nuance that needs to be appreciated to understand how to achieve that goal. One of the best examples is the way Amazon Web Services offloads network services from industry standard servers.

      AWS has the largest amount of x86 server infrastructure on the planet. But even with all that infrastructure, AWS spent several million dollars developing its own network infrastructure to offload networking functions from those servers. At the recent AWS re:invent 2016 conference, James Hamilton, vice president and distinguished engineer for AWS, described how AWS is employing custom 25G routers and 10G network interface controller (NIC) cards based on commodity processors to scale networking services in the cloud.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Linux 4.9, Mint Plasma 5.8, Year in Games

        Clement Lefebvre blogged Sunday of Plasma 5.8 LTS coming to Linux Mint. He said thanks to the Kubuntu team Mint users can upgrade through the Kubuntu repositories or wait for Mint 18.1. He said 18.1 could be delayed if necessary if 5.8.4 isn’t ready by earlier estimates. For those wanting to help test, Lefebvre posted the instructions. He further stated that if not for the Kubuntu team, there’d probably be no KDE version for Mint. The Kubuntu team is also looking for testers using that distro as well.

      • KDE Plasma 5.8

        Second, because Kubuntu is an essential part of what we provide with Mint KDE. I know some of you mistakenly think we could base on top of Neon, or simply package KDE ourselves but realistically, we cannot. Our KDE community is small, packaging KDE represents a huge commitment and because Plasma 5 is still reaching maturity it’s a continuous process which cannot get frozen for an entire 2 years. At the same time, we have high expectations, stability is important to us and if we do something it has to work. With this in mind, if it wasn’t for Kubuntu and their Backport PPA, I don’t think there would be a KDE edition in Linux Mint.

      • Kubuntu and Linux Mint doing Plasma 5.8 testing
      • KDevelop 4.7.4 released

        Hello!

        I have the pleasure to announce the new stable release of KDevelop 4.7.4. This is a bug fix release increasing the stability of our (older) KDE4 based branch.

        The most important fix and the main reason for this release is making the KDE4 branch compatible with behavior changes in code generated by GCC6 which lead to crashes in KDevelop (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=360707).

      • KDevelop 4.7.4 Open-Source IDE Improves GCC 6 Support, Fixes Long-Standing Bugs

        Today, December 13, 2016, the development team behind the open-source and cross-platform KDevelop IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software announced a new maintenance update for the older stable KDevelop 4.7 series.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Improving notifications in GNOME

        Like a lot of people, I was really happy with the big notification redesign that landed in 3.16. However, I’ve been itching to return to notifications for a little while, in order to improve what we have there. Prompted by some conversations we had during the Core Apps Hackfest last month, I finally got around to spending a bit of time on this.

      • GNOME 3.23.3 released

        GNOME 3.23.3, the second development release in the GNOME 3.24 cycle,
        is now available. Major changes include gnome-settings-daemon 3.23.2,
        which splits plugins out into separate helper daemons instead of
        running all of the code in process, and gjs 1.47.3, which now depends
        on SpiderMonkey 31 instead of SpiderMonkey 24 and is an important first
        step towards upgrading to a secure and supported JavaScript engine. We
        now have new parallel-installable *mm packages based on the new
        libsigcplusplus 3.0 API/ABI, which also paves the way to use GTK+ 4
        from C++, although GTK+ 4 and the new gtkmm are not yet included in
        this release due to problems with a dependency. We have temporarily
        downgraded NetworkManager to the latest stable release due to a build
        issue. gnome-shell is upgraded to version 3.23.2.

      • GNOME 3.23.3 Released
      • GNOME 3.23.3 Desktop Environment Released, Paves the Way for Using GTK+ 4

        We’ve just been informed by GNOME Project’s Michael Catanzaro about the general availability of the third development release in the GNOME 3.24 desktop environment cycle.

      • GNOME Music 3.24 App to Use Grilo for Storing Metadata, Get Major Revamp

        The GNOME development team have released the third snapshot of the upcoming GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, due for release next year on March 22, and includes a new unstable build of GNOME Music, versioned 3.23.3.

        At the very end of last week, long-time GNOME developer Georges Basile Stavracas Neto wrote an interesting blog post about the future of the GNOME Music app, a music player distributed as part of the GNOME Stack, from where it results that the open-source software project needs a total revamp.

      • Overview of the VP9 video codec

        When I first looked into video codecs (back when VP8 was released), I imagined them being these insanely complex beasts that required multiple PhDs to understand. But as I quickly learned, video codecs are quite simple in concept. Now that VP9 is gaining support from major industry players (see supporting statements in December 2016 from Netflix and Viacom), I figured it’d be useful to explain how VP9 works.

      • A Nice Overview Of The VP9 Codec By A GNOME Developer

        For those interested in learning more low-level details about Google’s open-source, royalty-free VP9 video codec, GNOME developer Ronald Bultje has provided a nice overview.

        If you are looking for some nighttime technical reading, Bultje’s lengthy blog post covers the impact of VP9, its approach to video coding, and its algorithms for offering better performance over older video codecs.

      • GNOME’s Epiphany 3.23.3 Web Browser Disables HTTPS Everywhere By Default

        Epiphany 3.23.3 was tagged on Monday as the newest development release of this web-browser update being aligned for GNOME 3.24.

        Epiphany 3.23.3 has disabled its experimental HTTPS Everywhere support by default and it’s also disabled by default the experimental Firefox Sync support. While disabled by default, the Firefox Sync support was improved in this release with better error handling. There were also improvements for its HTTPS Everywhere support, but still not good enough for keeping it on by default yet.

      • Latest Epiphany Snapshot Disables Firefox Sync and HTTPS Everywhere by Default

        As part of the third development release of the GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, versioned 3.23.3, the team responsible for the open-source Epiphany web browser just released a new unstable build.

        Yes, we’re talking about Epiphany 3.23.3, which seems to be a major milestone implementing lots of bug fixes and general improvements. First off, it appears that this build disables the experimental Firefox Sync and HTTPS Everywhere functionalities by default, but they’ll most certainly make a comeback before the final release hits the streets.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linux Kernel 4.9 Now Live for Linux Lite 3.2 Users, Here’s How to Install It Now

        Linux Lite developer Jerry Bezencon informs Softpedia today about the availability of the recently released Linux 4.9 kernel for users of the Linux Lite 3.2 operating system.

        We know that you’re currently enjoying your brand-new Linux Lite 3.2 installation with all of its awesome new features and improvements, but if you’ve ever dreamed of having the latest Linux kernel packages installed for some reason, you can now install Linux kernel 4.9, but only if you’re running the 64-bit edition of the OS.

      • Rockstor Announcing 3.8.16
      • Proxmox VE 4.4 released

        We’re excited to announce the release of Proxmox VE 4.4! The new version of our virtualization software contains great improvements, especially increasing usability, reliability and scalability.

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • How an open leader achieves work/life balance

        Becoming an open leader means becoming attuned to the intricate ways that complex and ever-moving systems structure our daily lives. As I’ve argued, open leaders are masters of balancing multiple parts of those systems strategically—not only as part of various projects at work, but also in other aspects of their lives.

      • Popular CentOS Linux server gets a major refresh

        CentOS doesn’t get many headlines. But it’s still the server Linux of choice for many hosting companies, data centers, and businesses with in-house Linux experts. That’s because CentOS, which is controlled by Red Hat, is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone. As such, it reaps the benefits of RHEL’s business Linux development efforts without RHEL’s costs.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Receives Security Certification
      • Enterprise Linux 7.1 meets NIST crypto standards
      • Red Hat Completes FIPS 140-2 Certifications for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

        -Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 has received nine Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 security certifications from the U.S. federal government’s National Institute of Standards and Practices (NIST). These certifications, achieved in 2016, emphasize Red Hat’s focus on delivering a more secure foundation for mission-critical systems, building upon Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1’s recent achievement of a Common Criteria security certification at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+ as the first certified operating system to offer Linux Container Framework Support.

      • KeyBank Goes Cloud-Native, Builds a DevOps Practice and Chooses Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fedora 25 – The Trail Blazer that is Blazing Fast

          Not long after being released to the wild, I decided it was time to retire old faithful Ubuntu GNOME in favour of Fedora 25 on my main laptop (an Optimus equipped machine). The Ubuntu install had served me very well indeed, but with Fedora’s latest offering featuring the latest stable version of GNOME and Wayland now being used by default, it was a rabbit hole I decided to delve into…

          In reality, the whole process is not quite so dramatic. When replacing one Linux distro for another, as long as you do all the usual sane backups and the distro you are replacing your old one with does all things you need it to, it’s not such a big deal. After all, it’s essentially one Linux for another Linux and most of your usual apps and tools will be available in one way or another.

          Still, replacing a perfectly stable install of Ubuntu GNOME that had served me well for a good two years (even surviving a few Ubuntu version upgrades in the process) for both work and play probably seems a bit risky for a fresh new version of Fedora. And let’s be honest, when it comes to new releases of Fedora, you never know quite what you are going to get. But in a way, that is part of the fun of it. Perhaps, I also had an itch for adventure.

          So, how did Fedora 25 fare and how is it still faring, in my everyday use? Read on…

        • More Fedora 26 Change Proposals: Ruby, Golang 1.8, Go PIE, ZF3

          While the changes need to be cleared by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo), the latest proposals look like they’re relatively safe to assume they’ll be accepted for this next major Fedora Linux release due out in 2017. The latest feature talk includes:

          - Golang 1.8. The Go Language v1.8 release is due out in February so should be safe to land for Fedora 26 in providing the latest Go support.

        • Fedora Docker Layered Image Build Service Now Available

          It is with great pleasure that the Fedora Project Announces the availability of the Fedora Docker Layered Image Build Service to the Fedora Contributor Community!

          With this announcement we open the availability of the Docker Layered Image Build Service for the Docker Layered Images. The Fedora Cloud WG has been the primary maintainers of this project on GitHub. But now the service is available in dist-git as official components of Fedora. From there we will extend an invitation to all Fedora Contributors to maintain Docker Layered Image Containers for official release by the Fedora Project. Currently this effort is to enable the Fedora Cloud/Atomic Working Group goals of targeting Fedora Atomic Host as a primary deliverable to power the future of Cloud. This is also to enable the Fedora Modularity work be delivered as Containers in the future as Fedora becomes fundamentally more modular in nature.

        • F25 Release Event Samos – Event Report

          I started with an introduction to the distribution and to the project as a whole. I explained the plethora of options being offered to our end users (Fedora Spins, Fedora Labs, Alternate Architectures). I passed the torch to Zacharias, who briefly spoke about Fedora.next before giving an in-depth look at the latest features. We then discussed about contribution opportunities.

        • Fedora-Based OLPC (One Laptop per Child) Linux OS 13.2.8 Is Out with Sugar 0.110

          OLPC (One Laptop per Child) OS developer James Cameron announced the availability of a new stable update for the Fedora-based GNU/Linux operating system used by default on those low-cost, connected OLPC laptops designed for children.

          OLPC OS 13.2.8 is now the latest version of the distribution, and while it’s shipping with the newest Sugar 0.110 interface as default desktop environment, it appears to be based on a very old Fedora release, namely Fedora Linux 18, which was launched almost four years ago, on January 15, 2013.

        • Fedora 23 to be discontinued

          If you are a user of Fedora and particularly Fedora 23, then you should consider upgrading to newer version before December 20th, 2016. Fedora 23 will be officially discontinued and there won’t be an further support after that. According to sources after December 20th, neither there will be any updates in repositories nor any new package will enter the repositories. Fedora 23 won’t receive any security fix or bug fix.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • SalentOS 1.0 – Minimal Debian

          The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 processor architecture. The download for the 64-bit build is 1GB in size. Booting from the downloaded ISO brings up a graphical desktop environment, running on the Openbox window manager. When the system first starts up, a window appears and asks us to select our preferred language from a list of two-letter language codes. The default language is English (gb).

          Once our language has been selected, we are free to explore the Openbox-powered interface. A panel at the top of the display holds the distribution’s application menu, a handful of quick-launch buttons, a task switcher and the system tray. The background rotates between wallpapers, with most of the background images displaying landscape scenes. When we decide we want to install the distribution we can launch the system installer from a quick-launch button on the panel at the top of the screen.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Longtime Ubuntu Developer Martin Pitt Leaving Canonical, Joining Red Hat
          • Another Veteran Ubuntu Member Is Leaving Canonical

            Well, this is a bit strange and hopefully just developers looking to recharge and find new endeavors for 2017 as opposed to any exodus, but just hours after writing about Martin Pitt leaving Canonical to join Red Hat, another longtime Ubuntu developer is leaving the company too.

            Martin Pitt had been at Canonical for 12.5 years while the other developer leaving was there for 11 years: Daniel Holbach. Daniel had been with Canonical since 2005 and served as a developer on the desktop team, founded Ubuntu’s community teams, and then in the past few years had been working in community management and related community/relations areas.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • “Ultra Minimal” Ubuntu Budgie Is Coming, Uses “220MB Or Less Of RAM”

              The Ubuntu Budgie developers are working on an Ultra Minimal version of their Linux distribution that’ll consume less than 220MB RAM. This version is expected to ship without any standard applications or a RAM-intensive desktop environment. To tell you more about this upcoming release, we’ve contacted the developers for more information.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nextcloud 11 Launches with Two-Factor Authentication, Performance Improvements
  • Nextcloud 11 sets new standard for security and scalability

    We’re proud to release a huge milestone: Nextcloud 11, delivering a wide range of security and scalability improvements with a number of important features on top. This release provides you the most secure solution for keeping your data under control we’ve delivered yet.

  • Nextcloud adds security and scalability to its private cloud offering

    The latest version of Nextcloud adds business security and scalability improvements to its small business cloud.

  • KDE and Nextcloud Developers Discuss Integration of Nextcloud in KDE Plasma

    On December 13, 2016, Nextcloud’s Jos Poortvliet reveals that the company behind the popular self-hosting cloud server forked from ownCloud is currently in discussions with the developers of the KDE Plasma desktop to deeply integrate Nextcloud.

    It appears that back in July 2016, Nextcloud founder Frank Karlitschek and community manager Jos Poortvliet, along with long-time KDE developers Kai-Uwe Bergmann and Martin Gräßlin gathered together in Stuttgart to discuss the steps they need to take for a deeper integration of Nextcloud in KDE Plasma.

  • How 30,000 people helped pick the new Bash logo

    I agree, and a problem I see in the open source community centers on collaborating on artwork, logos in particular. I don’t think it’s a platform limitation (GitHub, etc.), I think it’s a lack of art directors. By definition an art director is someone who is responsible for the visual style and images created for a project. An art director creates the overall design and directs others who are part of the project to develop artwork or layouts.

    To have any success as an art director in open source I’ve found the following characteristics are needed: an eye for design, open mindedness, and patience. To help illustrate this point, I’ll present two projects where I have made art direction contributions. One was a failed attempt, the other was a success.

  • Students and professors work across the aisle during Election Night Hackathon

    At the peak of the event, nearly 140 students, faculty, staff, and local citizens filled the MAGIC Center and overflow work spaces. Dan Schneiderman, the event’s coordinator and the FOSS@MAGIC Research Associate and Community Liaison, led the event on a high note with a brief kick-off ceremony. Hackers were provided with a list of resources for building applications related to civic hacking. Shortly after the start, attendees began to discuss project ideas to work on throughout the night. Professors and alumni provided mentorship, advice, and help for students planning projects.

  • Open source and the software supply chain

    Grasping the nuances of hardware supply chains and their management is straightforward—you essentially are tracking moving boxes. Managing something as esoteric as resources for building software with a variety of contributions made by the open source community is more amorphic.

    When thinking about open source platforms and supply chains, I thought of the supply chain as a single process, taking existing open source components and producing a single result, namely a product. Since then, I’ve begun to realize that supply chain management defines much of the open source ecosystems today. That is, those who know how to manage and influence the supply chain have a competitive advantage over those who don’t do it as well, or even grasp what it is.

  • Events

    • Top open source conference picks for 2017

      Many of you reading this will be fans of open source who would love to get out and meet open source leaders, companies, and users at conferences. With most of us having to prioritize conferences either due to budgetary or family reasons (or both), knowing which events we should prioritize can be difficult.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 50.1.0 Lands in Ubuntu’s Repos, Multiple Security Vulnerabilities Fixed

        Today, December 13, 2016, Canonical published a new USN (Ubuntu Security Notice) advisory to inform users of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system about the availability of Mozilla Firefox 50.1.0 in the software repositories.

        Mozilla released the Firefox 50.1.0 web browser a couple of days ago, and it looks like they patched a total of 13 security vulnerabilities, which could have been used by an attacker to crash the application or run programs as your login if the users were to open a malicious website.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Major Hadoop Survey Finds Complexity Challenges, Predicts Move to Simplicity

      How much traction are Hadoop and other Big Data tools getting in enterprises? That depends on which studies you put credence in. Onet report from Snowflake Computing, a cloud data warehousing company, found that nearly two thirds of the respondents said that they believe Hadoop will not have any impact on their legacy data environments.

      However, Syncsort, focused on Big Iron to Big Data solutions, has announced the results from its third annual Hadoop survey, showing that as users gain more experience with Hadoop, they are building on their early success and expanding the size and scope of Hadoop projects.

      You can download the Hadoop survey results for 2017 now.

      According to the survey, the number one role of Hadoop continues to be increasing data warehouse capacity and reducing costs (cited by 62% of respondents) but the number of organizations using it for better, faster analytics is on the rise (49.4% of respondents, up from 45.5% last year). As the ways in which they are using Hadoop and the benefits they expect to achieve are evolving, there are several key trends to watch in 2017.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Some GTK3/Wayland/OpenGL Improvements For LibreOffice

      Some LibreOffice commits today caught our attention as exciting for those using Wayland and also interested in GTK3/OpenGL.

      First up, LibreOffice has switched from using GLEW to Epoxy. GLEW, of course being the OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library. Epoxy, meanwhile, being the newer library for handling OpenGL function pointer management with GLX/WGL/EGL support, OpenGL ES 1/2/3, and OpenGL 4.4 core/compatibility support.

  • Education

    • Dedicated FOSS Computer Lab at IIT Bombay

      While colleges and universities in the United States try to figure out whether their campus needs a FOSS computer lab, no such hesitation occurs in smart higher education institutions overseas. In this short video, hear from Professor Shyama Iyer about the FOSS tools taught at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Geography & open source

      The best way to understand Boundless it to compare it to Red Hat. Red Hat provides support and training for an open source operating system called Linux. In a similar vein, Boundless provides assistance with geographic information provided by the open source community. Some people compare it to having an “insurance policy” when you dive into the world of open source.

    • Most Member States support OGP Paris Declaration

      Most of the EU Member States support the Open Government Partnership Paris Declaration agreed on last week at the OGP Summit in Paris, France. In signing the declaration, countries say they will pursue further open government reforms, emphasising citizen participation. The conference brought together representatives of 80 governments and hundreds of civil society organisation from around the world.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Khronos Group Announces New Standards Collaboration for VR Integration

      It’s no secret that at this early point in the lifecycle of VR that there are many different platforms, solutions and paths to choose from when it comes to content and standards for motion and control. Due to the range of APIs created for game engines and different VR solutions, such as Steam VR, Oculus, OSVR, Daydream etc., it can be difficult for developers to create one-application-fits-all software. As a result, their software typically ends up specializing for a particular VR solution over others. This can arguably limit industry growth at the expense of differentiation.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • AMD Reveals More Zen CPU Details, Officially Known As Ryzen, No Linux Details Yet

      AMD’s Zen New Horizon event is going on right now. For those missing out on the livestream, here are my live details so far on Zen, or now officially known as Ryzen.

      Here are my highlights, check back for updates.

      - They have “met or exceeded” their goals at AMD for Zen. Beating performance goals of 40%+ instruction per clock improvement.

    • AMD ‘Ryzen’ is the official name of the Zen processors, more details released today

      They announced that Ryzen ‘Summit Ridge’ will be on their AM4 platform, which will support DDR4 memory, USB 3.1 v2, NVMe storage and PCIe v3. It will have 8 cores, 16 threads with a base clock of at least 3.4 GHz+ (they may tweak that higher at release). It will boost higher, but they haven’t said how high. This is wrapped up in a neat 95W TDP package, so that’s not bad at all for what it does.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Supreme Court declines to hear biologic drug patent fight

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case over whether companies that make copycat versions of biologic drugs must wait six months after winning federal approval before bringing them to the market.

      The justices opted not to take up Apotex Inc’s appeal of a July federal appeals court ruling that could delay the Canadian generic drug maker’s launch of so-called biosimilar versions of California-based Amgen Inc’s Neulasta, used to fight infection in cancer patients.

      Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002, Neulasta is one of Amgen’s top-selling products, accounting for $4.7 billion of its nearly $21 billion in sales last year.

      Biologic drugs like Neulasta are made using living cells. Unlike traditional drugs, biologic drugs cannot be copied exactly to make generic versions. A 2010 federal law, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, allows companies to seek approval to sell near-copies called biosimilars.

    • Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban

      Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a 20-week abortion ban into law on Tuesday, making the state the 18th to do so.

      At the same time, the governor vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy― before many women even realize they’re pregnant. Nicknamed the “heartbeat bill,” it would have threatened doctors with up to a year in jail if they performed an abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat. The law would have been the most extreme anti-abortion restriction in the country.

      Ohio’s Republican-controlled House and Senate passed both the six-week ban and the 20-week ban last week. Kasich, who strongly opposes abortion rights despite his reputation as a moderate, was expected to sign the 20-week ban.

    • UAEM Targets Accessible Medicines, R&D Financing, Publicly Funded Research

      Last month’s annual Access to Medicines (A2M) Week, 14 to 20 November, saw a creative collection of activities and events organized by students across UAEM’s network in Europe and North America, as well as in Brazil and India. Events included a photo competition, campaign videos, film screenings, interdisciplinary panel discussions, webinars, pub quizzes and a “Run against Resistance”. Public performances, presentations and flash mobs with students in white coats made powerful statements on university campuses and communities during the week according to UAEM.

    • Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study

      The world’s most widely used insecticides harm the ability of bees to vibrate flowers and shake out the pollen to fertilise crops, according to preliminary results from a new study.

      Some flowers, such as those of crops like tomatoes and potatoes, must be shaken to release pollen and bumblebees are particularly good at creating the buzz needed to do this. But the research shows that bumblebees exposed to realistic levels of a neonicotinoid pesticide fail to learn how to create the greatest buzz and collect less pollen as a result.

      The research is consistent with previous work that has shown neonicotinoid pesticides reduce learning and memory in bees. A moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids on flowering crops was put in place in Europe in 2013 and will be reviewed next year.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Putin’s Great Patriotic Pseudoscience

      Now the Kremlin is investing in academic kooks and conspiracies.

    • Lockheed Martin Loses Nearly $4 Billion In Market Value After Trump Tweets F-35 Program Cost Is ‘Out Of Control’

      Shares of Lockheed Martin fell Monday, wiping out nearly $4 billion of the company’s market value, as President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that making F-35 fighter planes is too costly and that he will cut “billions” in costs for military purchases.

      Trump didn’t mention any specific company in his tweet, but Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed makes the F-35 one-seat fighter aircraft and is a major U.S. defense contractor.

      “The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th,” Trump tweeted.

    • Navy’s newest destroyer was held up by seawater leaking into machinery

      After two unscheduled stops for repairs, the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000), the US Navy’s new stealthy all-electric-powered destroyer, arrived at its new home port in San Diego on December 8. The ship also brought along new details about the source of its engineering woes. Zumwalt’s propulsion issues, which caused the ship to have engineering failures off Norfolk, Virginia, and while transiting the Panama Canal, were caused by seawater getting into the ship’s lubrication system for its huge electric motors.

      US Naval Institute News’ Sam LeGrone reports that the root cause of the engine failures was seawater contamination in the lube oil for the bearings of Zumwalt’s Advanced Induction Motors. Rather than being driven by dedicated gas turbine engines, the Zumwalt’s motors are powered by electricity from the gas turbine generators that also power the rest of the ship. The power plant is the first of its kind in a Navy ship, and it could generate enough power to allow Zumwalt to be later refitted with directed energy weapons or electromagnetic railguns.

    • Fresh details, charges emerge in Pizzagate DC shooter’s case

      The story began when DC’s Metropolitan Police Department arrested 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch on allegations of assault with a dangerous weapon. The feds took over the case on Tuesday and have charged Welch with Interstate Transportation of a Firearm with Intent to Commit an Offense, which carries a maximum 5-year term. Welch appeared in federal court in Washington, DC, on Tuesday and asked for a lawyer. He remains jailed until at least Friday, when a detention hearing is scheduled.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Greater New York City Region Must Plan for “Permanent Flooding”

      The Greater New York City region has done good work in the years since Superstorm Sandy to consider storm-related flooding, but a new report by the Regional Plan Association found that the more pernicious threat of sea-level rise needs more attention.

      The report breaks sea-level rise into “what-if” scenarios for 1-, 3- and 6-foot sea-level rise increments in the tri-state region. It finds that many of the major resilience policies, plans and projects under development fall short of addressing the long-term, existential threat of permanent flooding from sea-level rise.

      It’s “long past the point where sea-level rise can be ignored in the hope that future technology will provide an easy solution,” said the association, an independent urban research and advocacy organization for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

    • EU easing of fishing quotas raises fears over dwindling stocks

      British fishing fleets will be allowed to catch greater quantities of cod, haddock and sole next year, after Europe’s ministers approved a new fishing quota that will cheer fish and chip shops but has alarmed scientists concerned over dwindling stocks.

      The European Union’s fisheries council reached an agreement in the early hours of Wednesday morning, in what may be one of the last such quota divisions in which the UK takes part if supporters of a hard Brexit have their way.

      Scientists warned that the EU catch limits for 2017 were above their recommendations, in contravention of the reforms to the common fisheries policy that are supposed to ensure levels of catch are sustainable by 2020. Nearly two-thirds of European fish stocks are overfished and 85% are below healthy levels.

  • Finance

    • Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

      The United States is rapidly declining on numerous fronts — collapsing infrastructure, a huge gap between haves and have-nots, stagnant wages, high infant mortality rates, the highest incarceration rate in the world — and it continues to be the only country in the advanced world without a universal health care system. Thus, questions about the nature of the US’s economy and its dysfunctional political system are more critical than ever, including questions about the status of the so-called American Dream, which has long served as an inspiration point for Americans and prospective immigrants alike. Indeed, in a recent documentary, Noam Chomsky, long considered one of America’s voices of conscience and one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, spoke of the end of the American Dream. In this exclusive interview for Truthout, Chomsky discusses some of the problems facing the United States today, and whether the American Dream is “dead” — if it ever existed in the first place.

    • Amazon Warehouse Workers Have Resorted To Sleeping In Tents

      Amazon factory workers in Britain are sleeping in tents close to one of the company’s largest UK warehouses because they can’t afford the commute to work, Scottish newspaper The Courier has reported.

      Amazon maintains one of its giant packaging warehouses, known as fulfilment centers, near the town of Dunfermline in Scotland. Over the weekend, The Courier said it had seen at least three tents in woodland close to the Dunfermline warehouse, and spoke to one Amazon worker who was staying in a tent.

      According to the newspaper, the worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said that they couldn’t afford to pay to travel to work and back from their home in Perth—around a 60 mile round trip. While Amazon pays its Scottish staff above the minimum wage in Britain, workers can be pushed to work up to 60 hours a week. The company provides a bus transport for workers, but this can cost up to £10 a day, more than an Amazon worker’s initial hourly pay of £7.35 ($9.30).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trumpism Poses the Most Dire Threat to Academic Freedom in Recent Memory

      Thanks to the principle of academic freedom, professors have unusual space in American society to challenge the powerful without fear of retribution. For this reason the right has always resented professors, and for decades it has targeted them as subversives. The election of Donald Trump and the rise to power of the extremist ideologues surrounding him, like Steve Bannon and Rudolph Giuliani, make this a frightening moment for those academics who see fighting for a more just world as part of their job.

      In 2012, I found myself the target of a hate campaign after saying a few intemperate things about the National Rifle Association and American gun culture in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I was upset not only because of the horrors of the event itself—a shocking one for many Americans—but because in 1998 my high-school Spanish teacher in Springfield, Oregon, had been murdered by her son before shooting up his own high school. How many people had to die before anything was changed? Noting on Twitter that I would like to hold NRA leadership accountable for its promotion of high-powered firearms, I said that I wanted to see “Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.” This was obviously a metaphor, but thanks to a right-wing website called Campus Reform, which “monitors” leftists on college campuses, demagogues such as Michelle Malkin started a campaign to have me fired. Hundreds of phone calls and e-mails poured into the university. Luckily, I work on a unionized campus and nothing came of the campaign.

    • Electoral College voters under intense pressure

      The 538 delegates to the Electoral College will gather at governors’ offices and statehouses across the country Monday to make President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton official.

      The results aren’t expected to deviate much from Election Day, when Trump won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232.

      Despite media coverage, social media chatter and announcements from a handful of electors who have made their protest votes public, it’s unlikely that electors will defect in significant numbers.

      Even so, scattered groups of liberals are using every means at their disposal — lawsuits, petitions, and public and private pressure — to try to convince 37 GOP electors to peel away from Trump to deprive him of the 270 votes needed for victory.

    • Twitter will not be at Trump’s tech summit

      Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO and cofounder, initially told Re/code he was not invited to Trump’s tech summit in New York. Dorsey then said he was unsure about being invited. According to a source, Twitter was indeed left off the list.

      Nu Wexler, a spokesman for Twitter, said the company had nothing to share beyond Dorsey’s comments.

      The snub stands out, considering the role Twitter played in Trump’s campaign and in his presidential transition efforts so far.

    • ICC Named UN Observer – Big Business Gets A Seat At The UN Table

      The ICC has significant activities related to intellectual property enforcement, research, and digital economy. It hosts BASCAP, the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy.

    • Intelligence Officer Who Personally Met the Democratic Email Leaker Confirms Leaker Is with AMERICAN Intelligence Service … Not Russia

      In other words, Murray – a close friend of Julian Assange – says he knows for a fact that there were no hacks at all … instead, an American insider leaked the information to Wikileaks.

    • Oliver Stone: DNC Hack Was ‘Inside Job,’ Not Russia

      During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, director Oliver Stone accused the Democratic National Committee of hacking itself. Asked by the host what he makes of the reports that Russian hackers breached the DNC’s email server and fed information to WikiLeaks in an attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election, Stone called that idea a “great fiction.” The director, currently promoting his biopic of Edward Snowden, said the intelligence experts he has spoken with indicated that the DNC hack was “probably an inside job.” He went on to specify that he believed the hack was perpetrated by Democrats within the committee. The revelations from the hack led directly to the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other high-level officials.

    • Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources

      The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

      While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

      The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as “ridiculous” in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.

    • Turnaround in public opinion on latest Wikileaks

      The release of John Podesta’s emails has proven embarrassing for the Hillary Clinton campaign, particularly the revelation of the contents of her secret speeches to banks and her aides’ strategizing over her own e-mail scandal, among other issues. Thanks to ongoing controversies surrounding Donald Trump, Clinton has largely managed to avoid having to engage with the issue, but reports from intelligence agencies suggest that the leaks may have a broader, geopolitical relevance: Russian intelligence services are suspected of being behind the hacking of Podesta’s email account.

      YouGov’s latest research shows that public attitudes towards Wikileaks is very different in 2016 compared to 2010. According to Pew Research Center, in 2010 60% of Americans who are aware of the emails thought that the release of State Department cables harmed the public interest, but in 2016 only 28% believe that the release of John Podesta’s emails harms the public interest. The shift is most pronounced among Republicans, 75% of whom say that the cable releases were harmful, while only 12% say that the email leak is harmful.

    • Pragmatism is a winner for Romanian Left

      Romania is one of the few countries in Europe where the Left still wins elections. But the key to the Social Democrats’ (PSD) success is their lack of leftist ideology — or rather, their willingness to promise voters in the EU’s second-poorest country to give them what they want.

      With 95 percent of the votes counted on Monday, the PSD got slightly more than 45 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections on Sunday. That is expected to give the party 251 seats out of the total of 464 of the Romanian parliament.

      The National Liberals (PNL) came in second, obtaining around 20 percent of the votes. These results put it on course to get 98 seats in the parliament.

    • Don’t Certify Electors and Electoral College Vote Without Full Recount

      The American people deserve to know that the outcome of this election is actually valid.

      We are tired of hearing the pundits say that the election is over and there is nothing we can do when there are significant questions raised by the recounts that have been going on in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well issues raised in a recent lawsuit seeking a recount in Florida.

      Hillary Clinton has garnered almost 3 million more popular votes than Donald Trump. The polls and exit polls in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania showed Clinton was the winner. The recount efforts by the Stein campaign have revealed that many votes remained uncounted at the time those three states were called for Trump. These efforts have also raised many concerns about the validity of the outcome even before the CIA reported the intent of the Russians to influence the results of the election. Under these circumstances it is absolutely imperative that there be a full recount and investigation into potential hacking in these states, before the electors are certified and the votes of the Electoral College counted.

      While states generally have been granted the right to set the rules of the election and terms of re-counts, what has happened to the efforts in the three states is alarming. In each state there have been substantial outcome determinative questions raised by the initial investigations but there have been many objections raised and appeals filed. The Stein efforts are not technically over but they may have hit a roadblock.

    • Michigan to Audit ‘Significant’ Mismatches in Detroit Vote

      Michigan’s elections bureau ordered an investigation Monday into substantial ballot discrepancies in a small portion of Detroit’s voting precincts, after the discovery of a polling place where 300 people voted but only 50 ballots were properly sealed in a container.

      Since learning of the issue last week during Michigan’s presidential recount, state officials have learned of similar “significant mismatch” problems at roughly 20 of Detroit’s 490 precincts, said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. He said there is no reason to think votes were not counted and the differences would not have affected Republican Donald Trump’s narrow victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state.

      Clinton won 95 percent of Detroit’s vote.

      Detroit elections officials told the state that in the one precinct, the 250 missing ballots were left in the tabulator bin, “but we want to verify this,” Woodhams said. It was not immediately clear what caused the inconsistencies in other precincts.

    • Stein Ends Recount Bid, but Says It Revealed Flaws in Voting System

      Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, on Tuesday closed her long-shot bid to recount the votes in three battleground states, saying that the effort encountered bureaucratic hurdles and revealed deep shortcomings in the elections system.

      “We do not have a voting system we can trust, and the recount was essentially stopped in its tracks,” Ms. Stein said in a conference call with reporters.

      Since finishing a distant fourth in the Nov. 8 election, Ms. Stein has played a prominent role as she pushed for recounts while saying, without proof, that the vote may have been hacked. Her lawyers doggedly pursued recounts in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where Donald J. Trump led Hillary Clinton by a combined margin of roughly 75,000 votes.

    • Greg Palast: By Rejecting Recount, Is Michigan Covering Up 75,000 Ballots Never Counted?

      Investigative reporter Greg Palast has just returned from Michigan, where he went to probe the state’s closely contested election. Trump won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes out of nearly 4.8 million votes cast. Green Party presidential contender Dr. Jill Stein attempted to force Michigan to hold a recount, but a federal judge ordered Michigan’s Board of Elections to stop the state’s electoral recount. One big question remains: Why did 75,335 ballots go uncounted?

    • Jill Stein announces plans for leftover recount money

      Included in that $7.4 million estimate is just under $4.5 million for state filing fees, $1.6 million for legal fees, $212,500 for staff salaries, $364,000 for consultants and $353,618 for administrative expenses.

      Stein’s campaign is planning to reach out to each of its 161,000 donors and ask them to vote on which “non-partisan election reform and voting rights organizations” will receive the leftover money. The campaign did not immediately release a list of possible organizations, but said it will do so “in the coming weeks” when it begins surveying donors.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Uber creepy: Ex-staffer reveals drivers spied on exes, politicians and, er, Beyoncé

      TWENTY FIRST CENTURY TAXI FIRM Uber is again under inspection for doing what people would rather it did not do, with an ex-worker having claimed that the company’s systems have been routinely used to infringe on customers’ privacy.

      In fact, says the Guardian, people including Beyoncé were victim to the bad rules around customer information data management, that also lead to people keeping an eye on old lovers and political peoples using a system called “God View”.

      The Guardian links to another report, this one on the Centre for Investigative Reporting’s (CIR) Reveal project website. It has access to documents from a court case in October when this was all coming to a head thanks to a chap with a great name who blew the whistle.

    • As Trump Presidency Looms, Digital Activists Brace for a Fight for the Internet

      Donations have doubled since the election as supporters turn to the EFF to defend the Internet during a Trump presidency. Even though the President-elect has yet to make formal policy pronouncements, his comments about surveillance and apparent hostility to the tech sector are causing many in Silicon Valley to fear the worst.

      [...]

      Those old battles include ones over the role of clandestine programs that permitted mass collection of Americans’ phone and Internet records. While the Justice Department halted some of those programs after NSA-contractor Edward Snowden exposed them, Cohn points out that Trump’s attorney general and CIA director nominees have said they would reinstate them. She also notes the CIA nominee, Rep. Mike Pompeo, has proposed to expand the collection of “social data,” which is often held by companies like Facebook and Instagram.

    • UNESCO Report Backs Right To Encryption In ‘Golden Age Of Surveillance’

      The United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has released a report on encryption, taking the perspective of human rights.

      “What ultimately matters, from a human rights perspective, is that cryptographic methods empower individuals in their enjoyment of privacy and freedom of expression, as they allow for the protection of human-facing properties of information, communication and computing. These properties include the confidentiality, privacy, authenticity, availability, integrity and anonymity of information and communication,” the report said in its recommendations.

      Among issues addressed in the report is protection of metadata, by which a person’s behaviour on the internet is trackable, and ensuring strong encryption without backdoors in a “golden age of surveillance” brought about by the internet.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • How the Obama administration laid the groundwork for Trump’s coming crackdown on the press

      In the summer of 2009, less than a year after President Obama took office, one of the first orders of business for the newly empaneled Senate Judiciary Committee was passing a long-stalled federal ‘media shield’ bill, which would finally provide a uniform level of protection to reporters who get subpoenaed to testify against their sources in court.

      The bill, which had previously been scuttled by Republican Congress, now had strong support in a Democratic Congress, and seemingly, a newly-elected Democratic president, who had co-sponsored an almost identical bill when he was a senator.

      But just as it looked like the bill would sail through Congress and make its way to the president’s desk, it was stopped in its tracks. President Obama suddenly reversed course from his previous position and announced he would oppose the bill if the Senate didn’t carve out a giant national security exception that would make the important protections within it all but meaningless.

    • Sharia-compliant bank opens in Scotland

      Al Rayan Bank has opened an office in Glasgow making it the first wholly Sharia-compliant retail bank in Scotland.

      Scottish customers will now have access to a large range of Islamic retail banking products, which include Sharia-compliant home and property finance products for the Scottish market.

      Al Rayan’s Glasgow branch was opened by Sultan Choudhury, chief executive officer of Al Rayan, and Keith Leach, chief commercial officer.

    • Trial of Jakarta governor Ahok begins as hundreds of Islamic hardliners protest

      The much anticipated blasphemy trial of Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has opened amid tight security and mobs of Islamic hardliners chanting for his arrest.

      Hundreds of protestors, some dressed in white Muslim garb, gathered outside the court in the Indonesian capital for the first day of the trial, demanding the governor be jailed for allegedly insulting Islam.

    • ‘Rebel’ Saudi Arabia woman who posted photo without head scarf is arrested

      Saudi police have arrested a young woman who tweeted a picture of herself outdoors without the body-length robes and head scarf that women in the kingdom are required to wear.

      A woman identified as Malak al-Shehri posted a picture of herself on Twitter in a jacket and multi-colored dress last month after announcing that she would leave her house without her abaya, a long loose-fitting robe, and headscarf.

      The tweet caused a backlash with many calling for Shehri – whose first name means angel, which was also her moniker online – to be executed with the hashtag “We demand the arrest of the rebel Angel Shehri.”

    • Free Raif Badawi

      Saudi Arabia should free Raif Badawi; we urge readers to support a message calling for his release

    • Europeans overestimate Muslim population: poll

      People in France, Italy, Belgium, Poland and Germany vastly overestimate both the number of Muslims living in their countries now and how many will be living in them in 2020, according to an Ipsos MORI study released Wednesday.

      The French believe Muslims make up 31 percent of the population, while in reality they account for 7.5 percent. Survey respondents said Islam would be the religion of 40 percent of the country in 2020, far in excess of the 8.3 percent demographers estimate.

    • 73-year-old man with dementia fatally shot by Bakersfield police

      An unarmed 73-year-old man whose family said was in the initial stages of dementia was shot and killed early Monday by a Bakersfield police officer, authorities said.

      Police responded about 12:30 a.m. to a report of a man brandishing a handgun in the 7900 block of Silver Birch Avenue, a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the city, Bakersfield police Sgt. Gary Carruesco said.

      [...]

      Police said the call was prompted by a report of a man with a firearm, but investigators canvassed the area after the shooting and did not recover a gun, Carruesco said. Police searched the family’s home and cars and did not recover a firearm, Rogelio Serna said.

    • Unarmed 73-year-old man with dementia shot dead by US police

      A 73-year-old Latino man suffering from the early stages of dementia has been shot dead by a US police officer.

      Francisco Serna was unarmed and standing in a neighbour’s driveway when police in Bakersfield, California received reports of a man brandishing a gun.

      Sergeant Gary Carruesco told KBAK-TV and the Los Angeles Times that police arrived at about 12.30 am and when a witness pointed to Mr Serna, an officer fired several rounds and killed him.

      The Kern County coroner said Francisco Serna was declared dead at the scene in Bakersfield at about 1.15am local time on Monday.

      Bakersfield Police Department said the officer who shot Mr Serna had been placed on administrative leave while the incident was being investigated.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Saying Goodbye to Net Neutrality Under Trump

      News organizations that like to have obituaries written and ready to go to bed well before a death actually occurs might want to go ahead and assign someone the task of writing an obit for Net Neutrality. Without a doubt, one thing that’s sure to happen when Trump begins his weekly commute to the Oval Office is an end to the legal principle that Internet service providers should treat all Internet traffic equally.

      Commissioner Ajit Pait, the man most likely to be appointed Trump’s head of the FCC, at least on an interim basis, pretty much put that icing on the cake last week. Speaking before a luncheon celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Free State Foundation, a “bipartisan think tank” that advocates “free market, limited government, and rule of law,” Pait said, “On the day that the Title II Order was adopted, I said that ‘I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future Commission. But I do believe that its days are numbered.’ Today, I am more confident than ever that this prediction will come true.”

      ISPs, of course, don’t like Net Neutrality any more than big business likes any regulation — other than those that benefit them. They claim it places a burden on them and that they need the ability to prioritize traffic so that “important” traffic can be put in the fast lane while not so important traffic is relegated to the slow lane. Net Neutrality, they say, would cost them money on the equipment needed to give all traffic equal footing.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music Industry Groups In Harmony In Calling For Support From Trump

        A wide array of music industry groups, from Christian to classical, rhythm & blues to movie soundtracks, and everything in between sent a letter to United States President-Elect Donald Trump urging him to take their intellectual property rights into consideration when he meets with technology industry leaders on 14 December.

      • Academic publishing houses lose appeal against Delhi University & photocopy shop

        Academic publishing houses, OUP and CUP have suffered yet another defeat in their litigation against Delhi University and a photocopy shop when a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court ruled against them in an appeal on December 9, 2016.

        The crux of the lawsuit was whether the practice of photocopying copyrighted material and compiling them in course-packs was copyright infringement under Indian law. Given that universities and students have been photocopying copyrighted material for several years without any restrictions, the lawsuit had provoked an angry backlash from students and academics – both of whom then organised themselves into an association and intervened in the case.

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  25. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  26. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  27. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  29. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  30. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)


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