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01.14.17

Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Tired of Windows? Switching to Linux Will Be Easy If You Know This

      Linux sounds intimidating, but it’s essentially just another operating system. When you buy a pre-built PC, it arrives with an operating system pre-installed, usually Windows or Mac. But Linux distros such as Ubuntu are just as capable as Windows.

      The process of installing Linux is rather simple. But actually using Linux is a bit different. There are many incentives for migrating from Windows to Linux. For instance, Linux variants often use less RAM or offer a lightweight environment.

      Overall, there’s simply more choice. If you’re tired of Windows, switching to Linux will be pretty easy if you know these things.

    • A first Look at the Samsung Chromebook Plus

      Based on this video, it appears as if this Chromebook from Samsung would be a great machine with GNU/Linux installed on it.

  • Server

    • Many IT Pros Ask for Linux and Cloud Training

      A significant share of technology professionals said they encounter barriers in getting necessary, regular training on Linux and cloud systems, according to a recent survey from the Linux Academy. Very few reported that their IT department has such an advanced grasp of these topics that it requires little training. Many, in fact, would like to get up to speed on Linux, DevOps and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. However, time constraints, budget limitations and inadequate employer support are keeping these workers from getting the training they need. It doesn’t help that, thanks to the shortage of available talent, it’s taking two months or longer to fill open job vacancies that demand Linux or cloud skills. “The advancement of [open source and cloud] technologies is clearly outpacing the pool of professionals who are able to service and manage them,” said Anthony James, founder of the Linux Academy. “By the time professionals receive the training they need, the technologies have progressed, making their training obsolete. This underscores not only the need for access to timely and affordable training, but also for companies to further invest in their employees’ skills.” Nearly 890 IT professionals took part in the research.

    • New framework uses Kubernetes to deliver serverless app architecture

      A new framework built atop Kubernetes is the latest project to offer serverless or AWS Lambda-style application architecture on your own hardware or in a Kubernetes-as-a-service offering.

      The Fission framework keeps the details about Docker and Kubernetes away from developers, allowing them to concentrate on the software rather than the infrastructure. It’s another example of Kubernetes becoming a foundational technology.

    • A Story of a Microservice: Lessons from the Trenches

      A lot has been written about microservices over the years, but we feel that not many of these articles have presented real-life and long-term experiences of building and maintaining microservices. In this blog post we aim to address this shortcoming.

      Microservices are loosely coupled, independently deployable applications that are focused on fulfilling a single cohesive responsibility. The microservices mindset encourages continuous deployment cycles, promotes choosing the right tool for each job, and helps to build a highly fault-tolerant architecture that can be evolved and scaled on a fine-grained level. Implementing a microservice architecture requires a substantial investment in an automated deployment infrastructure.

  • Kernel Space

    • Laptop Mode Tools 1.71

      I am pleased to announce the 1.71 release of Laptop Mode Tools. This release includes some new modules, some bug fixes, and there are some efficiency improvements too. Many thanks to our users; most changes in this release are contributions from our users.

    • Laptop-Mode-Tools 1.71 Adds VGA Switcheroo Support, Kbd-Backlight

      For those using Laptop-Mode-Tools to conserve power consumption when running on battery or using it to be more power efficient on your desktop or server, a new version is now available.

      Laptop Mode Tools 1.71 adds new modules for vgaswitcheroo and kbd-backlight. This package update also revives the Bluetooth module, has some wireless/WiFi changes, AC/battery determination improvements, fixes, and other smaller improvements.

    • Amdocs Joins Forces with Linux Foundation to Accelerate OpenECOMP Adoption in Open Source
    • Amdocs Joins Forces with Linux Foundation to Accelerate OpenECOMP Adoption in Open Source

      Amdocs to contribute key modules to OpenECOMP to help accelerate the industry uptake of common SDN and NFV standards and faster service delivery architectures

      ST. LOUIS, Jan. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amdocs (NASDAQ:DOX), the leading provider of digital customer experience solutions, today announced that it will partner with the Linux Foundation to accelerate the global adoption of the open source Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, this new project will make ECOMP open source available to service providers and cloud developers in 2017.

    • Amdocs Will Contribute Modules to OpenECOMP
    • Amdocs Aids Linux Foundation in Open Source ECOMP
    • Blockchain will secure global derivatives trading

      Starting next year, one of the major providers of financial-markets infrastructure will begin using blockchain, the cryptographic software underlying bitcoin and other digital currencies, to help settle post-trade transactions in credit derivatives. It’s the first use of the breakthrough technology to undergird the global financial system.

      The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, in a release this week, said it would “re-platform” its existing Trade Information Warehouse, which automates record keeping and payment management for about 98 percent of all credit derivative transactions globally — or about $11 trillion a year.

    • Why IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Believes in Blockchain

      Close attention has been paid in the wake of Donald Trump’s historic victory in the US presidential election to bitcoin, which rose on safe-haven demand in reaction to Trump’s victory and uncertainty in global markets also related to Brexit’s looming impact.

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.41 LTS Update Comes With Improved Radeon, Nouveau And Power PC

      Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch gives us the impression that he doesn’t need any sleeps whatsoever as he is delivering update after updates at a timely interval. The latest update is the Linux 4.4.41 kernel and has brought Linux OS users a wide array of interesting features.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Etnaviv Gallium3D Driver Lands, Premiering With Mesa 17.0

        In time for this weekend’s feature freeze of Mesa 17.0, the Etnaviv Gallium3D driver has landed in Mesa Git after years of work on this reverse-engineered, open-source driver stack.

      • Intel ANV Vulkan Driver Lands Last Minute HiZ Improvements

        Some more exciting last minute work landing in Mesa Git before this weekend’s Mesa 17.0 branching are the potentially performance-improving HiZ work within the Intel Vulkan driver.

      • Google releases ‘Draco’ 3D graphics open source compression library on GitHub

        Google is a significant contributor to the open source community. This is notable, as the company is wildly successful and its products are used by many. It incorporates open source code in its offerings, and then contributes back too. The search giant’s visibility lends credibility to open source ideology.

        Today, Google announces yet another open source project. Called “Draco,” it is a compression library designed for 3D graphics. The project can dramatically reduce the size of 3D graphic files without significant visual impact to the person viewing.

      • Introducing Draco: compression for 3D graphics

        3D graphics are a fundamental part of many applications, including gaming, design and data visualization. As graphics processors and creation tools continue to improve, larger and more complex 3D models will become commonplace and help fuel new applications in immersive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Because of this increased model complexity, storage and bandwidth requirements are forced to keep pace with the explosion of 3D data.

      • Google Announces “Draco” For 3D Graphics Compression

        Google’s Chrome Media team has developed Draco as an open-source compression library designed for 3D graphics.

      • Fedora 25 Switching Over To Using GLVND For Mesa, Happier NVIDIA Driver Installation

        A Mesa update coming down the pipe for Fedora 25 Linux users will see GLVND support enabled by default.

        GLVND, of course, being the OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch library. This is the NVIDIA-led effort that was also supported by upstream Mesa/X.Org developers for in effect a “new OpenGL Linux ABI” for allowing multiple Linux OpenGL drivers to happily co-exist on the same system. This makes things much easier than having different drivers overwriting the libGL files, complications with driver installation/uninstall, etc. It was long overdue but finally was seeing upstream support in 2016.

      • Wayland 1.13 Planned For Release Next Month

        Wayland 1.13 has been in development since September while the plans today were firmed up for releasing it in February.

      • Tegra/Nouveau Render-Only Gallium3D Support
      • Building Mesa from source, a guide

        If you are using Mesa (FOSS OpenGL/Vulkan drivers on Linux), you can be in situation when it introduces some new features upstream, but it didn’t make it into your distribution yet and it can take quite a long time for that to happen. Certain games can become playable with that change, or it can be a performance optimization that speeds up already working games, or may be you simply want to test the newest Mesa itself – either way, you might be interested in running the latest development version of Mesa for various reasons. At the same time you don’t want to mess up your system with an unstable graphics stack.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kdenlive 16.12.1 released with Windows version

        We are proud to announce the first maintenance release for the 16.12 cycle. Besides the usual bugfixes and usability improvements this release also marks the official release of the Windows port.

      • More Raspberry Pi, Linux Pressure, Plasma 5.9

        Jonathan Riddell announced the latest KDE Plasma today to “kick off 2017 in style.” While announcing Plasma 5.9 Beta, Riddell assured users that 5.8 LTS would continue to receive bug fixes. Weird thing to say for a developmental release. Relatedly, neon 20170112 was uploaded but not announced. In other news, Mint 18.1 took another one on the chin today at The Reg mainly for it’s old base and Update Manager. Jamie Watson tested other distributions on his Raspberry Pis, this time Fedora, Manjaro, and Ubuntu MATE and Robin “Roblimo” Miller said Windows users should be grateful to Linux. That followed a similar themed story from the other day where a developer claims Valve Linux choice forced Microsoft to beef up Windows gaming support. It was another interesting day in the land of The Penguin.

      • New Qt 5.8 rc snapshot for testing

        All known blockers should be fixed in these packages and we are targeting to release Qt 5.8.0 Tue 17th January if nothing really serious found during testing. So please inform me immediately if there is some new blocker in the packages.

      • Qt 5.8 Hoping To Release Next Week, Last Minute Test Builds

        Qt 5.8.0 will hopefully be released in the days ahead.

        The Qt Company has issued new Qt 5.8.0 release candidate snapshots this week for testing. The developers believe all official blocker bugs should be fixed with this release but are encouraging last minute testing. If nothing major is discovered, Qt 5.8.0 will be released next week on 17 January.

        Those wanting to test what could be the final builds of Qt 5.8 can find them via this Qt mailing list post. Since then some bugs have been pointed out, but it’s not clear yet if they’ll be promoted to being blocker bugs and thereby potentially delaying next week’s release.

  • Distributions

    • Best Linux Distributions for New Users

      Ah, the age-old question…one that holds far more importance than simply pointing out which Linux distribution is a fan-favorite. Why is that?

      Let me set the stage: You have a user—one who has, most likely, spent the majority of their time in front of either a Windows or Mac machine—and they’ve come to you for an alternative. You want to point them in a direction that will bring about the least amount of hiccups along the way and highlight the power and flexibility of Linux.

    • AryaLinux 2017 Drops 32-Bit Support, Adds MATE 1.17 and Linux Kernel 4.9

      AryaLinux has received its first release in 2017, and it looks like it’s a good one. AryaLinux is both a builder for those who want to create their own GNU/Linux distribution from scratch, and a computer operating system.

    • AryaLinux 2017 – Release Notes

      AryaLinux 2017 comes with package updates, the latest Linux kernel and updated build scripts to build system from scratch. Here are the features of this release…

    • AryaLinux 2017 is now available for public

      AryaLinux is an Indian Linux distribution which is made using Linux From Scratch guide. This distribution uses alps as package management. Few hours ago Arya team released AryaLinux 2017 in Xfce and MATE editions. There are various changes made in this release and lots of new updates are included too.

      According to official announcement, AryaLinux will be released in 64-bit only from now on. So guys if you want to test this distro then you better have newer hardware. Linux kernel is updated to 4.9. Mate is now updated to 1.17. LibroOffice is updates to 5.2.3. Simple screen recorder is returned with Qt5. Parole and Exaile are made default media and audio player respectively.

    • New Releases

      • OpenELEC 7.0 Gets First Point Release, Improves SolidRun’s CuBox-i4Pro Booting

        The last days of 2016 brought us the OpenELEC 7.0 operating system for embedded devices, such as Raspberry Pi, which was based on the Kodi 16.1 open-source media center and allows users to transform those devices in HTPC (Home Theater PC) units.

      • New User Distros, Powered By Linux, No Opera for You

        There are many companies who use or offer Linux and today Linux and Ubuntu rounded up 10 of the biggest. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen offered his suggestions for which distros might suite particular users of certain other operating systems. From Windows 7 to Mac, he found an Ubuntu-derivative for each. Yep, “there’s a distribution for everyone,” as long as it’s Ubuntu. OMG!Ubuntu! reported today that Opera won’t be providing new conceptual browser to Linux users, because they claim it’s being developed “just for fun.” Remember who else once said that? In other news, Canonical today plugged Dell’s new Ubuntu laptops, Ubuntu Budgie announced a wallpaper contest, and MakeUseOf made use of Linux versus Windows today to illustrate how easy it can be to switch.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Linux Arrives On Windows 10

        Sr. Product Manager SUSE Linux Enterprise SUSE, Hannes Kühnemund, has written a blog post and described how to run openSUSE Leap 42.2 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 on Windows 10. Now, by running simple commands, the users can install SUSE Linux distributions in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). The company has also prepared a detailed blog post and described the whole procedure. For those who don’t know, by default, Microsoft enabled Ubuntu within WSL.

      • OpenSUSE comes to Windows 10. Plus, can you trust WhatsApp?

        This is the first in a weekey series I’m calling ‘weekly roundup’ in which I will highlight some of the hottest stories of the week from the world of Linux and open source. This week, I want to call your attention to some excciting Windows 10/openSUSE news and alert you to a backdoor vulnerability in WhatsApp that allows messages to be intercepted.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8 kernel security update

        There are a fair number of outstanding security issues in the Linux kernel for Debian 8 “jessie”, but none of them were considered serious enough to issue a security update and DSA. Instead, most of them are being fixed through the point release (8.7) which will be released this weekend. Don’t forget that you need to reboot to complete a kernel upgrade.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Social network App.net to shut down, open-source its platform

    The next (and last) step for App.net is to offer all its infrastructure as open source. Previously, the company open-sourced key projects that ran on top of the service, such as the alpha microblogging client, but not its full underlying platform. One possibility is for App.net to go in the same direction as Diaspora—with the ability to be self-hosted, in much the same manner as a WordPress installation.

  • Open Source Helps Drive Citizen Engagement With Minimal Cost

    Open source software drives innovation. People with great ideas have the ability to develop software and make it available for others to use. Agencies receptive to using open source software can take advantage of this innovation, learning new ideas about how technology is used and deployed.

    For example, DevOps is a relatively new field in the federal market and there are number of open source tools that enable its implementation that will automate the task of code verification, automated testing, deployment, etc. thereby increasing adoption.

    A typical starting point for developing a citizen engagement platform is a web content management solution (WCMS). An engagement platform developed on a WCMS allows an organization to create and publish content that is engaging to the audience and available to anyone on any device.

    Some technologies, such as Drupal, have also extended their capability to integrate other open source technologies like JavaScript frameworks and search engines. They can be further leveraged to create the ideal experience that is needed for today’s audiences that use varying devices. Further, this content can be revised as often as needed without any need for IT involvement.

  • D-Wave open sources quantum app development software

    To foster a quantum software development ecosystem, the company created qbsolv, which lets developers build higher-level tools and applications leveraging the D-Wave quantum systems without the need to understand the complex physics of quantum computers.

  • Pantek, Metisentry merge to build on open source IT expertise

    Two local IT services firm that specialize in open source technologies have merged.

  • Hedge fund firm Man AHL says open sourcing software helps attract best developer talent

    A commonly held view of hedge funds is of secretive organisations that jealously guard the tools that make them money. Contrary to this is the trend among certain firms to open source their software and invite collaboration from the developer community.

    Firms that have blazed a trail in the open sourcing of this sort of technology are the likes of AQR, which kick-started the Pandas libraries project, and Man AHL, which has open-sourced its Arctic data storage system.

    Arctic powers Man AHL’s vast financial market data store and is built on top of the open-source no-SQL database MongoDB. The Arctic codebase was made available on GitHub back in 2015.

  • Software Company Anahata Announces Management Restructuring
  • Software Company Anahata Appoints Ambarish Mohan as the Head of Open Source
  • Apache Beam Graduates to Help Define Streaming Data Processing

    Open-source effort originally developed from code contributed by Google moves from the Apache incubator to become a Top Level Project

    The open-source Apache Beam project hit a major milestone on Jan.10, graduating from the Apache Incubator and officially becoming a Top Level Project. Beam is a technology that provides a unified programming model for streaming as well as batch data processing.

    The Apache Incubator is an entry point for new projects into the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with graduation marking a level of maturity and adherence to established policies and processes.

    “Graduation is an exciting milestone for Apache Beam,” Davor Bonaci, Vice President of Apache Beam, said in a statement. “Becoming a top-level project is a recognition of the amazing growth of the Apache Beam community, both in terms of size and diversity.”

  • Yahoo Open Sources Tool for Continuous Delivery at Scale

    For the past year, we’ve taken note of the many open source projects focused on Big Data and infrastructure technology hat have been contributed to the community. Some of these are real difference makers–strong enough for new startup companies to align around them with business models focused on them. While the Apache Software Foundation has has announced many of these, some of the bigger tech companies are contributing as well.

    Yahoo recently open sourced a distributed “publish and subscribe” messaging system dubbed Pulsar that’s capable of scaling while protecting low latencies. Yahoo uses Pulsar to drive several of its own in-house applications. And now, Yahoo is open sourcing Screwdriver.cd, an adaption of its Continuous Delivery build system for dynamic infrastructure.

  • Events

    • State of the Union: npm

      Ashley Williams kicked off her colorful “paint by number” keynote at Node.js Interactive by explaining that npm is actually a for-profit company. Npm makes money by selling its enterprise services and, apart from the amounts required to run the everyday operations of a regular company, its revenue is invested in running the npm registry.

    • KEYNOTE: State of the Union: npm by Ashley Williams, npm

      In this keynote, Ashley Williams, Developer Community and Content Manager, discusses how npm works as a service and shares some of the remarkable numbers associated with the registry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Market Researchers Herald Big IoT Future

        Early last year, Mozilla announced that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next big opportunity for its open source software platform. “The Internet of Things is changing the world around us, with new use cases, experiences and technologies emerging every day,” wrote officials in a post. “As we continue to experiment in this space, we wanted to take a moment to share more details around our approach, process and current projects we’re testing.”

        We’ve heard similar predictions from several companies, and now two recent studies are confirming that the Internet of Things (IoT) is poised for huge growth.

        Studies from International Data Corporation (IDC), and one from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), confirm that worldwide IoT spending is set to skyrocket.

      • Rust severely disappoints me

        I wanted to like Rust. I really did. I’ve been investigating it for months, from the outside, as a C replacement with stronger correctness guarantees that we could use for NTPsec.

        I finally cleared my queue enough that I could spend a week learning Rust. I was evaluating it in contrast with Go, which I learned in order to evaluate as a C replacement a couple of weeks back.

  • Education

    • Oviedo university studies to increase open source

      The University of Oviedo in Asturias, one of Spain’s autonomous communities, is studying ways to increase its use of free and open source software, reports La Nueva España, a newspaper. Using free and open source software will help to avoid the use of unlicensed software, the university management is quoted as saying in December.

      The university is also looking into using free software solutions to reduce academic plagiarism.

      The newspaper notes how Asturia’s one and only university is at the bottom end of the annual ranking of universities that use free software (Ranking de Universidades en Software Libre, RuSL.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • There’s A New Port Of RISC-V For GCC

      For those following the progress of the RISC-V open-source and royalty-free processor ISA, a new port of the GNU Compiler Collection for this architecture is now available.

      Palmer Dabbelt of UC Berkeley previously mentioned a few months ago their GCC RISC-V code was held up due to university lawyers due to upstream GCC contributions requiring copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation, which upset the university. But it seems they’re past that now as Palmer announced this week the new RISC-V port for GCC.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FSFE: H2020 funded software should be free

      Software that is developed in research projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme should be published under a free software licence, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The advocacy group wants to know how much of the H2020 budget is spent on paying for proprietary software licences.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The State of Open Source Licensing [Ed: Stop relying on Black Duck for information; was created as anti-GPL company.]

      Copyleft licenses, for example, of which the GPL is the most notable variant, are committed to the freedom of the source code. Code governed by a copyleft license asks for reciprocity from consumers; if changes to the code base are made and distributed (we’ll come back to that word), they must be released and shared under the original terms. Permissive licenses, on the other hand, are built around freedom for the developer: permissively licensed assets impose few if any restrictions on downstream users, and require no such reciprocity. Both communities are strongly committed to freedom; the difference lies in what, precisely, is kept free.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Renault Is Planning To Release Its Hardware As An Open-Source Automotive Platform

        Auto maker Renault is developing an open-source platform based on the Twizy that is a compact and lightweight electric vehicle with the bodywork parts removed. The POM will be made available to start-ups, independent laboratories, private customers and researchers, enabling third parties to copy and modify existing software in order to create a customizable electric vehicle. Renault has partnered with B2B company OSVehicle to develop and sell this open-source platform to the community. Bringing together entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and engineers, they will make it easier for them to build, share, distribute and modify the hardware designs of electric vehicles.

  • Programming/Development

    • A 5 year old girl vs. CoderDojo

      In early December’16 together with my 5 year old daughter we visited an introductory workshop about the Hello Ruby book and another workshop organized by Coder Dojo Bulgaria. Later that month we also visited a Robo League competition in Sofia. The goal was to further Adriana’s interest into technical topics and programming in particular and see how she will respond to the topics covered and the workshops and training materials format in general. I have been keeping detailed notes and today I’m publishing some of my observations.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Senate Takes Major Step Toward Repealing Health Care Law

      Senate Republicans took their first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, approving a budget blueprint that would allow them to gut the health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.

      The vote was 51 to 48. During the roll call, Democrats staged a highly unusual protest on the Senate floor to express their dismay and anger at the prospect that millions of Americans could lose health insurance coverage.

      One by one, Democrats rose to voice their objections. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington said that Republicans were “stealing health care from Americans.” Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon said he was voting no “because health care should not just be for the healthy and wealthy.”

    • Nutella maker fights back against fears over cancer-causing palm oil

      Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, has hit back at claims that palm oil used in their hazelnut and chocolate spreads could cause cancer.

      In May, the European Food Standards Authority warned that the contaminants found in the oil’s edible form are carcinogenic. It warned that even moderate consumption of the substances represented a risk to children and said that, due to a lack of definitive data, no level could be considered safe.

      Palm oil is found in hundreds of household name food brands including Cadbury’s chocolate, Clover and even Ben & Jerry’s, but Nutella has so far faced the brunt of a consumer backlash.

    • Flint water town hall leaves residents discouraged

      Flint residents hoping for some major news about the safety of their long-troubled drinking water got something less than that at a town hall meeting Wednesday.

      Government officials contend that city water reaching homes continues to improve in terms of proper lead, copper, alkaline and bacteria levels. They described Flint as very much like other American cities.

      Yet the distance between Flint residents and the ability to trust their water and those in charge of it appears wide. Before the start of the meeting, Flint resident Tony Palladino Jr. was realistic.

    • House Clears Path for Repeal of Health Law

      The House cleared the way on Friday for speedy action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, putting Congress on track to undo the most significant health care law in a half-century.

      With a near party-line vote of 227 to 198, the House overcame the opposition of Democrats and the anxieties of some Republicans to approve a budget blueprint that allows Republicans to end major provisions of President Obama’s health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

      President-elect Donald J. Trump, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other Republican leaders now face a much bigger challenge: devising their own plan to ensure broad access to health care and coverage while controlling costs. While their party is far from a consensus on how to replace the health care law — under which more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance — they will need votes from Democrats in the Senate to enact a robust replacement plan.

      Republicans have argued that Americans have been crushed by soaring premiums and other unintended effects of the law, which was adopted without any Republican votes.

    • Teen Vogue features Free Press photographer’s Flint water journey

      Detroit Free Press photographer and Flint resident Ryan Garza has captured stunning, insider photos of the Flint water crisis.

      Now his images are being showcased by Teen Vogue magazine.

      In an essay for the magazine, Garza offers a personal account of rashes, foul-smelling water and memorable Flint residents whose stories he has shared since the city switched from Detroit water to Flint River water in 2014.

    • Officials: More than 30 months into Flint crisis, water still unsafe to drink

      On Wednesday, officials held a town hall meeting in Flint to deliver some good news and some bad news about the city’s water crisis. The good: Flint’s water quality is improving. The bad: The crisis isn’t over.

      Officials are still urging Flint residents to use bottled water and filters on their home faucets. They said it will take roughly three years to replace all of the city’s lead water pipes — a job for which they have not yet secured funding.

      The good news is that officials say that during the last six months of water sampling, 90 percent of homes have indicated average lead readings of 12 parts per billion, below the federal threshold of 15 ppb.

      But more than 30 months into the crisis, good isn’t good enough for many frustrated residents.

    • Woman killed by superbug resistant to every available antibiotic after visit to India

      A woman has died after suffering from a superbug that was resistant to every available type of antibiotic.

      The 70-year-old returned to the US state of Nevada in August 2016 after an extended trip to India, where she was reportedly been hospitalised multiple times.

      Although she was admitted to a hospital’s acute care ward shortly after her return, she died in September after her infection proved resistant to 26 different antibiotics.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • New Windows backdoor targets intelligence gathering

      New versions of the MM Core Windows backdoor are being used to provide a channel into victims’ machines for the purpose of intelligence gathering, according to Carl Leonard, principal security analyst at Forcepoint Security Labs.

      The new versions were found by members of the Forcepoint investigations team.

      MM Core, which is also known as BaneChant, is a file-less advanced persistent threat which is executed in memory by a downloaded component. It was first reported in 2013 with the version 2.0-LNK and used the tag BaneChant in the network request sent to its command-and-control centre.

      A second version, 2.1-LNK, found shortly thereafter, had the network tag StrangeLove.

      Forcepoint researchers Nicholas Griffin and Roland Dela Paz, whose write-up on MM Core was provided to iTWire, said the two new versions they had found were 2.2-LNK (network tag BigBoss) and 2.3-LNK (SillyGoose).

    • Implementing Medical Device Cybersecurity: A Two-Stage Process

      Connectivity is ubiquitous – it’s moved beyond an overhyped buzzword and become part of life. Offering ever-advancing levels of access, control, and convenience, widespread connectivity also increases the risk of unauthorised interference in our everyday lives.

      In what many experts believe was a world first, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson recently issued a warning to patients on a cyber-vulnerability in one of its medical devices. The company announced that an insulin pump it supplies had a potential connectivity vulnerability. The wireless communication link the device used contained a potential exploit that could have been used by an unauthorised third party to alter the insulin dosage delivered to the patient.

    • Dockerfile security tuneup

      I recently watched 2 great talks on container security by Justin Cormack from Docker at Devoxx Belgium and Adrian Mouat from Container Solutions at GOTO Stockholm. We were following many of the suggestions but there was still room for improvement. So we decided it was good time to do a security tuneup of our dockerfiles.

    • FTC Sues D-Link For Pretending To Give A Damn About Hardware Security

      If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that the so-called Internet of Things isn’t particularly secure. Hardware vendors were so excited to market a universe of new internet-connected devices, they treated things like privacy, security, and end-user control as afterthoughts. As a result, we’ve now got smart TVs, smart tea kettles, WiFi-connected barbies and all manner of other devices that are not only leaking private customer data, but are being quickly hacked, rolled into botnets, and used in historically unprecedented new, larger DDoS attacks.

      This isn’t a problem exclusive to new companies breaking into the IoT space. Long-standing hardware vendors that have consistently paid lip service to security are fueling the problem. Asus, you’ll recall, was dinged by the FTC last year for marketing its routers as incredibly secure, yet shipping them with easily-guessed default username/login credentials and cloud-based functionality that was easily exploitable.

      The FTC is back again, this time suing D-Link for routers and video cameras that the company claimed were “easy to secure” and delivered “advanced network security,” yet were about as secure as a kitten-guarded pillow fort. Like Asus, D-Link’s hardware also frequently ships with easily-guessed default login credentials. This frequently allows “hackers” (that term is generous since it takes just a few keystrokes) to peruse an ocean of unsecured cameras via search engines like Shodan, allowing them to spy on families and businesses in real time.

    • The eight security backdoors that helped kill faith in security

      With the news of WhatsApp’s backdoor granting Facebook and government agencies access to user messages, fears over users’ privacy issues are sure to be at an all-time high for WhatsApp’s 1 billion users.

      Backdoors in computing equipment are the stuff of legend. A decade ago a security expert informed me with absolute certainty that a prominent non-US networking company had designed them into its products for years as a matter of course as if nobody much cared about this fact. Long before the average citizen had heard the letters NSA, it struck me at the time as extraordinary suggestion. It was almost as if the deliberate compromise of an important piece of network equipment was a harmless novelty.

    • Hacker group Shadow Brokers retires, dumps more code as parting gift

      The Shadow Brokers claimed to have held even more valuable cyber tools in reserve and offered to sell them to the highest bidder in an unorthodox public auction. On Thursday, they said their sales effort had been unsuccessful and were therefore ceasing operations. “So long, farewell peoples. The Shadow Brokers is going dark, making exit,” the group said according to a screenshot of the webpage posted Thursday on the news website CyberScoop.

    • Suspected NSA tool hackers dump more cyberweapons in farewell

      The hacking group that stole cyberweapons suspected to be from the U.S. National Security Agency is signing off — but not before releasing another arsenal of tools that appear designed to spy on Windows systems.

    • Shadow Brokers announce retirement, leak NSA Windows Hacking tools as parting gift
    • The Shadow Brokers Leaves the Stage with a Gift of So-Called NSA-Sourced Hacking Tools
    • Shadow Brokers group bids adieu, dumps hacking tools before going silent
    • ‘It Always Being About Bitcoins’: Shadow Brokers Retire
    • Hacking Group ‘ShadowBrokers’ Release NSA Exploits, Then Go Dark
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Giuliani to advise Trump administration on cybersecurity

      President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced Thursday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani “will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cybersecurity problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector.”

      Giuliani is the CEO of Giuliani Partners, an international security consulting firm. The group recently struck a deal with BlackBerry to offer companies and governments cybersecurity support.

    • Swan Song from a “Reluctant” Hawk

      President Obama will deliver his Farewell Address tonight to a capacity crowd in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. It’s the right venue for the speech, the president explained last week, because Chicago is “where my career in public service began.”

      Indeed, it’s the city where, as a young state senator in 2002, Obama gave an antiwar rally speech railing against the “dumb,” “rash” rush to war in Iraq; and where, as a presidential candidate five years later, he promised to “turn the page on the imperial presidency” and usher in “a new dawn of peace.” And yet, 2008’s “peace candidate” will leave office as the first two-term president in American history to have been at war every day of his presidency, having dropped over 25,000 bombs on seven countries in 2016 alone.

    • Yet Another Lawsuit Hopes A Court Will Hold Twitter Responsible For Terrorists’ Actions

      So, this is how we’re handling the War on Terror here on the homefront: lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit against social media platforms because terrorists also like to tweet and post stuff on Facebook.

      The same law firm (New York’s Berkman Law Office) that brought us last July’s lawsuit against Facebook (because terrorist organization Hamas also uses Facebook) is now bringing one against Twitter because ISIS uses Twitter. (h/t Lawfare’s Ben Wittes)

      Behind the law firm are more families of victims of terrorist attacks — this time those in Brussels and Paris. Once again, any criticism of this lawsuit (and others of its type) is not an attack on those who have lost loved ones to horrific acts of violence perpetrated by terrorist organizations.

      The criticisms here are the same as they have been in any previous case: the lawsuits are useless and potentially dangerous. They attempt to hold social media platforms accountable for the actions of terrorists. At the heart of every sued company’s defense is Section 230 of the CDA, which immunizes them against civil lawsuits predicated on the actions and words of the platform’s users.

    • Teenage boy killed in Malmö shooting

      A teenage boy has died after being shot in the Rosengård district of southern Swedish city Malmö on Thursday evening.

      The boy was found injured at a bus stop in the area just before 7pm. He was taken to hospital, but police later confirmed that he had died from his injuries at 7.27pm.

      The boy was born in 2000 and was only 16. His relatives have been informed by the police.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Rex Tillerson’s Jaw-Dropping Testimony Just Completely Disqualified Him

      Rex Tillerson’s witless, contradictory, and obfuscatory testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed fears that the ExxonMobil CEO is too conflicted, too ill-prepared, and too disengaged from accepted understandings with regard to diplomacy, sustainable development, and human rights to be seriously considered for the position of secretary of state.

      But the most unsettling exchange took place after an initial round of questioning by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. The veteran member of the Foreign Relations Committee asked what should have been a simple concluding question.

      Tillerson’s response was incredible.

      Senator Menendez: “For all of these answers you’ve given me, does the president-elect agree with you?”

  • Finance

    • Lost generation: Millennials are earning 20 percent less than their boomer parents

      Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

      With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

      The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

      The generational gap is a central dilemma for the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, who essentially pledged a return to the prosperity of post-World War II America. The analysis also hints at the issues of culture and identity that divided many voters, showing that white millennials — who still earn much more than their blacks and Latino peers — have seen their incomes plummet the most relative to boomers.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • We all knew about this: The leaked dossier on Donald Trump’s Russia ties had been circulating in D.C. for months

      It was a bombshell story, emerging on the eve of Donald Trump’s first news conference as president-elect: U.S. intelligence officials had presented Trump with unsubstantiated claims that Russia had amassed compromising personal and financial allegations about him.

      The purported Russian efforts were described in a newly released and uncorroborated dossier produced in August. But they had circulated more widely in Washington in October — following early reports and opaque warnings from elected officials that something was afoot involving the Kremlin and Trump.

      In October, Mother Jones magazine described how a former Western spy — assigned to look into Trump’s Russian ties for a private American firm — had presented his findings to the FBI in August. Those findings, the magazine said, were produced for political opposition research and said that Russian intelligence had compromised Trump during his visits to Moscow — information that, if true, could be used to blackmail him or undermine his presidency.

    • WikiLeaks Docs Reveal Obama Believed Intelligence Community Lacked ‘Credibility’ In 2008

      Barack Obama believed the U.S. intelligence community lacked sufficient “credibility” in 2008, according to leaked documents from the Obama 2008 transition team.

      According to the documents, which were made public by anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks last fall but have gone largely unnoticed until now, one of Obama’s goals for his administration was to “restore credibility” that he believed the intelligence community needed but didn’t have.

    • Trump NSA director arranges telephone talks between Trump and Putin as Russia thaw on fast track
    • Trump adviser had 5 calls with Russian envoy on day of sanctions
    • Trump Adviser Spoke With Russian Ambassador On Day Sanctions Announced
    • Rudy Giuliani To Head Up Trump’s Cybersecurity Team As The Internet Laughs At Giuliani’s Security Bona Fides

      Our soon-to-be American President has made quite a show about bolstering the country’s efforts for cybersecurity. The “cyber”, as he is wont to call the issue, is claimed to be in disrepair and requires brave new minds to protect the country’s computer systems from hacks and attacks from outside forces. We’ve already discussed in the past how depressing it is to learn just how little actual computer science knowledge exists floating in the minds of our elected leaders and their top-level appointees. There is an opportunity to get very smart, very well-educated people on matters of cybersecurity involved in government.

    • Dems ‘outraged’ with Comey after House briefing

      A number of House Democrats left Friday’s confidential briefing on Russian hacking fuming over the actions of FBI Director James Comey and convinced he’s unfit to lead the agency.

      “I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him,” Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said as he left the meeting in the Capitol.

      “Some of the things that were revealed in this classified briefing — my confidence has been shook.”

      Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, delivered a similar condemnation.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Media censorship of unrest in Mexico continues, but why?

      The people of Mexico have had enough of government corruption, drug cartel influence, and high prices. Since the New Year, millions of Mexican citizens have taken to the streets to protest. Some of those protests are turning violent. Government attempts to quell the violence have failed. Border crossings have been closed several times due to protests. As the situation worsens, a baffling media blackout continues.

    • Slavic Scholar Compares Putin’s Censorship to Soviet Era Speech Restrictions

      A Slavic scholar and alumna spoke at the Seminary Co-Op Wednesday on Russian censorship and her “love affair with Russian.”

      Marianna T. Choldin returned on Wednesday to Hyde Park to discuss her most recent memoir, Garden of Broken Statues, with fellow alumna Judith E. Stein.

    • Streisand Effect Derails Man’s Analog Plan To Buy Up All The Newspapers Detailing His DWI Arrest

      The concept of buying up all the newspapers in town to avoid some embarrassing story or picture of oneself is old humor. The concept, featured in sitcoms of yester-yore, relies on a couple of things: newspapers being the single source of a story or photo and for news stories to not travel quickly nor beyond the insular community in which they occurred. Because of that, the joke doesn’t really work in a hyperconnected world with digital media.

      This was a lesson painfully learned by Joseph Talbot of Newark, it seems. Talbot, an otherwise apparently well-respected businessman, was arrested recently for driving while intoxicated. Understandably, he was embarrassed upon learning that news of his arrest had been written up in the local newspaper. His solution was to deploy the sitcom-level chicanery previously discussed.

    • German hosts will bar critical journalists from European far-right summit

      German organizers of a meeting of European right-wing populist and anti-immigration parties said on Thursday they would bar a number of journalists they deem hostile, sparking protests from media groups.

      The Alterative for Germany (AfD) plans to meet France’s far-right chief Marine Le Pen, Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders and Italy’s Matteo Salvini of the Northern League on January 21st in the western city of Koblenz.

      The AfD’s Marcus Pretzell, a co-organiser of the conference for some 1,000 delegates, announced that all publicly funded media would be barred, reported German news agency DPA.

    • Over 5,500 Academics Arrested in Turkey since Rule of Law Suspended

      Scholars At Risk report that the pressure on Turkish academics has persisted into the 2017 as a new decree was issued dismissing over 600 scholars and more than 100 administrative personnel from higher level educational institutions.

    • Mocha, MTRCB, and censorship

      No one has so far come forward to formally question and ask the courts to stop President Duterte’s appointment of Mocha Uson as member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

      It could be done, especially if critics of both the President and Uson could present arguments and bases for her disqualification and ineligibility. They could even formally appeal to the President first, if they are really serious.

      But it is both difficult and self-defeating for the critics to make such a legal move, if it would be based on the arguments and bases they have so far been able to present.

    • Porn censorship laws and age checks breach human rights and threaten privacy, says UN official

      Age verification checks to prevent children from accessing pornography are a breach of human rights, a UN official has warned.

      David Kaye, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said that amendments to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill could violate international law on freedom of speech.

    • “Hate crime” reporting risks becoming a tool for censorship

      In the weeks following the EU referendum there was a spike in reported “hate crime” incidents, where people feel they have been badly treated on account of their race, religion, gender or sexuality. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, suggested this was a good thing: the Government’s data gathering was obviously working and “more victims are finding the confidence to come forward to report these crimes,” she said.

    • Outcry over ‘hate’ report for Govt minister’s speech
    • Amber Rudd defends comments about foreign workers
    • Free Speech Advocates, Publishers Wrestle With Questions Of Censorship
    • Doug Lamborn takes part in Ferguson artwork fight that pits censorship versus sensitivity
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Chelsea Manning Describes Bleak Life in a Men’s Prison

      Most mornings at 4:30 a.m., half an hour before the “first call” awakens inmates at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas, an alarm rings within an 80-square-foot cell. Inmate 89289, slightly built with close-cropped hair, rises to apply makeup and don female undergarments and a brown uniform before the still-slumbering men in the adjacent cells stir.

      That is the routine for Chelsea Manning, America’s most famous convicted leaker and the prison’s most unusual inmate. She is serving the longest sentence ever imposed for disclosing government secrets — 35 years — and her status as a celebrity of sorts and an incarcerated transgender woman presents continuing difficulties for the military.

      During the day, Ms. Manning, who was an Army intelligence analyst known as Bradley Manning when she disclosed archives of secret military and diplomatic files to WikiLeaks in 2010, builds picture frames and furniture in the prison wood shop. In the evenings, before the 10:05 p.m. lockdown, she reads through streams of letters, including from antisecrecy enthusiasts who view her as a whistle-blower.

    • ‘I escaped death by reciting from the Koran’

      When five armed Islamist militants stormed a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 1 July 2016, 29 people lost their lives. Emerging from the appalling, bloody debris are stories of immense courage. There are also unanswered questions about what happened to some of those who died.

      It was about 20:45 on a Friday evening just before the Islamic festival of Eid. The restaurant – the Holey Artisan Bakery and O’Kitchen in Gulshan, Dhaka’s leafiest, most exclusive area – was filling up, mostly with Japanese and Italian customers.

      Suddenly, the five young militants burst in shooting and began hacking at the diners with sharp weapons.

    • Teenage refugee ‘stabbed and kicked to death’ by Muslim gang on New Year’s Eve in Germany

      The 15-year-old Yazidi refugee, named only as Odai KH due to privacy laws, had fled the horrors of Syria to Luessum, a neighbourhood of the German city of Bremen.

      The attack took place during a fight that broke out on New Year’s Eve at around 2am on Lüssumer Heide.

      The boy was described as being a “cheerful lad who was full of dreams” and wanted to escape the “cruel violence and ethnic cleansing” so left to start a new life with his family, and applied for asylum in Germany in 2015.

    • A fifth social activist has been reported missing in Pakistan, alarming rights groups

      A fifth Pakistani social activist has gone missing from the capital Islamabad, a colleagues said on Wednesday, days after four other campaigners disappeared in a way that has alarmed supporters of free speech.

      Samar Abbas, president of the Civil Progressive Alliance of Pakistan (CPAP), an anti-extremism activist group, went missing on Saturday, according to Talib Raza, who worked with him at the Karachi-based organisation.

      Abbas’s brother, also named Talib, told local media on Wednesday that his brother had vanished over the weekend.

      “The family waited for a few days to inform people. When the stories about other activists disappearing started emerging, it became clear what was going on,” Raza told Reuters.

    • New US law says kids can walk to school by themselves

      After years of documenting instances in which parents and kids are terrorized by law enforcement and child welfare authorities because the kids were allowed to be on their own in public places, the Free Range Kids movement has gotten some justice: a new Federal law gives its official okey-doke to parents who let their kids get to school on their own.

      Section 8542 of the Every Student Succeeds Act specifically does not limit “a child from traveling to and from school on foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child have given permission” nor does it “expose parents to civil or criminal charges for allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and from school by a means the parents believe is age appropriate.”

    • Court Says Tossing A Flashbang Grenade Into A Room With A Toddler Is ‘Unreasonable’ Police Behavior

      The Evansville (IN) Police Department has seen a drug bust go up in a cloud of flashbang smoke. A search warrant for drugs and weapons, based on an informant’s tip, was executed perfectly… if you’re the sort of person who believes it takes a dozen heavily-armed officers, a Lenco Bearcat, and two flashbangs to grab a suspect no one felt like arresting when he was outside alone taking out his trash. (via FourthAmendment.com)

      The state appeals court decision [PDF] hinges on the deployment of a flashbang grenade into a room containing a toddler. Fortunately, in this case, the toddler was only frightened, rather than severely burned. But it was this tossed flashbang that ultimately undoes the PD’s case. The evidence is suppressed and the conviction reversed.

    • Islamic extremists get local official in Yogyakarta removed because he is Catholic

      The authorities in Bantul Regency (Yogyakarta special province), central Java, removed from office Yulius Suharto, head of Pajangan sub-district, following a massive lobbying campaign launched on social media by Islamic extremist groups and radical Muslims who targeted him because he is Catholic.

      The decision to dismiss the sub-district chief was made on Monday as a result of the unrelenting campaign against the official (pictured).

      In a statement, the authorities state that the decision is backed by scores of officials and citizens in Pajangan, ostensibly opposed to a Catholic holding the top office in the civilian administration of a predominantly Muslim area.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New FCC report says AT&T and Verizon zero-rating violates net neutrality

      Just a week and a half before he is set to leave office, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has issued a new report stating that the zero-rated video services offered by AT&T and Verizon may violate the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

      Assembled by the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the report focuses on sponsored data programs, which allow companies to pay carriers to exempt exempt their data from customers’ data caps. The programs have always been controversial, but the issue has grown particularly urgent in recent years, as carriers have bought up media companies and launched aggressive new mobile video packages.

    • Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: Net Neutrality’s Not Dead

      Republicans have been fighting to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules since before they were even passed in 2015. They may finally get their wish. The party will soon control the White House, both houses of Congress, and the FCC itself. But on the eve of his resignation as chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, who ushered in the rules, says it’s not too late to save net neutrality.

      “Vigilance to protect things that we enjoy today must be our watchword,” said Wheeler in a speech at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, today. The Obama appointee plans to resign his post on Inauguration Day next week.

    • Killing net neutrality at FCC is “not a slam dunk,” departing chair says

      In his final speech before leaving the Federal Communications Commission, Chairman Tom Wheeler today made the case for why net neutrality rules are working and said that Republican commissioners won’t necessarily have an easy time overturning the rules.

      “Contrary to what you might have heard, reversing the Open Internet rules is not a slam dunk,” Wheeler said at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. “The effort to undo an open Internet will face the high hurdle, imposed by the Administrative Procedure Act, of a fact-based showing that so much has changed in just two short years that a reversal is justified.”

    • Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of net neutrality

      The outgoing head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, used his final public speech to make a closing argument for maintaining net neutrality, the signature achievement of his time at the agency.

      “The overarching goal of the new policies was to promote a thriving broadband ecosystem, and that’s exactly what has happened,” Wheeler said.

      Under Trump, Republicans will regain a majority at the FCC and have already made clear their intention to begin pushing back on, if not completely rewriting or wiping out, the Open Internet Order that established net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ARIPO Lines Up IP Enhancing Activities For 2017 [Ed: The idea that Africa is ‘behind’ or ‘less developed’ BECAUSE it doesn’t have “IP” (or lots of patents) is ludicrous to the extreme]

      “In spite of this development, Africa has however not fully exploited the IP system for the benefit of its people. Uptake of intellectual property is still very low on the continent,” he said, adding that of the 2.57 million patent applications that were filed worldwide in 2013, Africa contributed only 0.6 percent.

    • US Issues Updated Antitrust Guidelines For Licensing Of IP

      The United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission today released updated antitrust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property.

      The guidelines are for the public and businesses to better understand the enforcement approach of the federal antitrust agencies. The update followed a comment period based on a draft made available in August.

    • WIPO Green Platform Expanding With Experts Database, Seeks Experts [Ed: greenwashing]

      The World Intellectual Property Organization internet platform WIPO GREEN is expanding by building a database of experts meant to help technology seekers find green technology specialists to provide their service and expertise.

      WIPO GREEN, “The Marketplace for Sustainable Technology,” is an internet platform established in 2013. According to WIPO, “it brings together a wide range of players in the green technology innovation value chain, and connects owners of new technologies with individuals or companies who might be looking to commercialize, license or otherwise distribute a green technology.”

    • Copyrights

      • Advertisers Promise to Boycott Pirate Sites After Police Visit

        The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit says that it visited several companies found to be advertising on pirate sites. The visits, made alongside FACT, IFPI, BPI and PRS, resulted in promises from the organizations to stop advertising on 1,232 pirate sites.

      • Study: Content owners should communicate with pirates

        A research study in the International Journal of Business Environment suggests that content providers must take a pragmatic view based on social consensus to persuade illicit downloaders that their behaviour is economically and ethically unacceptable behaviour among their peer group or other social group to which they belong.

        According to Eva Hofmann of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK and Elfriede Penz of the Institute for International Marketing Management, at Vienna University of Economics and Business, in Austria, the unauthorised sharing of digital content is well-entrenched in popular culture. However, they have discerned a difference in the way those downloading pirated content and the legal downloaders decide on how to obtain the content they desire from the Internet.

      • New Study Essentially Suggests That Publishers Should Do CwF + RtB Instead Of Going Legal To Combat Piracy

        We have talked about the power of connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy, along with using public shaming, as tools for combating piracy in its various forms. Tools far better, in fact, than twisting in litigious winds hoping that the construct of law will be sufficient to curb natural human behavior… and finding out that it isn’t. What these routes offer content producers is a way to ingratiate themselves with their fans, building a community that not only wants to buy content themselves, but also will decry any attempt to pirate that content by others. Morality is shaped by the herd, in other words, so having the herd on your side finds content producers a powerful ally.

        But philosophy like that doesn’t penetrate industry in and of itself. Perhaps, then, data and academic studies may. The International Journal of Business Environment recently released just such a study suggesting that content providers are far better off reaching out and connecting with fans, including those pirating their works, rather than trying to fight piracy legally.

      • Germany tries to cripple “right to read” EU Marrakesh Treaty legislation for visually-impaired persons with a “publishers compensation right”

        The German Permanent Representation to the EU has proposed to MEPs and to the Council to include in the draft Directive for implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty an article that would grant economic compensation to secondary rightsholders such as publishers. This would greatly weaken the “right to read” objectives of Marrakesh Treaty as an exception to copyright for print-disabled persons. Germany proposes to integrate “article 12” of the European Commission´s new general copyright proposal draft that has not yet been considered by the European Parliament which says: “Member States may provide that where an author has transferred or licensed a right to a publisher, such a transfer or a licence constitutes a sufficient legal basis for the publisher to claim a share of the compensation for the uses of the work made under an exception or limitation to the transferred or licensed right.”

      • Panels Present Importance Of Fair Use In South Africa’s Draft Copyright Amendment

        “Fair use” was at the heart of discussions between intellectual property stakeholders at a recent workshop called to discuss the revised draft copyright amendment bill of South Africa.

        The one-day workshop, held in Cape Town on 6 December was the first of two IP sector workshops that brought together academics, activists and IP practitioners to discuss the merits and demerits of the copyright amendment bill and its anticipated revisions. The second one-day workshop was held in Johannesburg the same week on the 8th of December.

        The draft copyright amendment bill, was published in the government gazette by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTi) in July 2015. This opened a public submissions process into the bill which ran until 16 September 2015. During this period, government called a one day conference in Johannesburg to further inform the refinement process of the bill (IPW, Africa, 28 August 2016).

      • Google Removes MEGA Frontpage From Search Results

        Google has removed the homepage of the popular cloud storage service Mega from its search index. The surprise move, which is the result of an inaccurate DMCA takedown notice from a movie company, directly impacts the site’s incoming search traffic.

      • UK ‘Piracy Warnings’ Are Coming This Month; Here’s How it Works

        This month UK Internet providers will start their long-awaited piracy alerts campaign. With help from copyright holders and support from the Government, ISPs will send email notifications to subscribers whose connections are allegedly being used to pirate content. Today we take a look at what’s in store.

      • BREIN Reveals Anti-Piracy Tactics and Achievements

        BREIN pulled 231 illegal sites and services offline, for example. This includes 84 linking sites, 63 streaming portals, and 34 torrent sites. Some of these shut down completely and others were forced to leave their hosting providers.

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