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03.22.17

Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • JS package catalog npm frees its team software for open source devs

    npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.

    Those using npm to manage private packages still have to pay. “This lets us decouple the paid features from the team management features,” said npm cofounder Isaac Schlueter in a phone interview with The Register.

    Orgs, or Organizations, depending upon where one looks on the inconsistent npm website, costs $7 per month per user. There’s also a sensible requirement for at least two users. Otherwise it’s not much of an organization.

  • A new (slow) open source JPEG algorithm makes images 35% smaller and looks better than older compression systems

    Guetzli is Google’s new free/open JPEG compression algorithm, which produces images that are more than a third smaller in terms of byte-size, and the resulting images are consistently rated as more attractive than traditionally compressed JPEGs. It’s something of a web holy grail: much smaller, better-looking files without having to convince people to install a plugin or browser makers to support a new file-format.

  • Open source: The new normal in enterprise software

    Open source software — that is, software that gives users permission to modify, copy and distribute its source code and is either freely distributed or licensed — used to be viewed as the red-headed stepchild of enterprise software.

    “It took time for enterprise to come on board,” said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange, a German open-source company specializing in open-source email software. “If you go back 10 years, [proprietary software from] Microsoft, IBM dominated the architecture of enterprise software, but that is changing.”

  • Blender Making Progress On Its Realtime PBR Engine

    F
    Eevee is the codename for the Blender project to implement a realtime engine with physically-based rendering (PBR) within Blender 2.8.

    This realtime, PBR-based engine is aiming to deliver high-end graphics with a responsive realtime view-port. The developers working on “Eevee” have made progress with lighting, materials, and other features.

  • Chef automation survey: what shape is the continuous enterprise?
  • Cloud Foundry connects open-source standards for quicker code development

    Tech businesses are discovering a powerful truth: building custom code is no fun. It takes time, it’s a distraction from working on core products and it’s likely someone out there already did it better. The real solution is for a company to integrate mature and tested products into their own systems, but that can be a job in itself.

    Open-source software, built around specific abstract standards, can help simplify the work involved. Cloud Foundry is an organization dedicated to creating and maintaining an open-source abstraction platform to speed up software development.

  • IBM’s cloud dreams soar on the wings of AI, open source
  • IBM launches cloud-based blockchain service for Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM also announced availability of blockchain governance tools and new open-source developer tools aimed at shortening the time it takes to build with Hyperledger Fabric.

  • 10 Vendors Jumping on the Kubernetes Bandwagon
  • From supply chain to equity, seven real-world uses of the blockchain today

    A blockchain is a digital ledger that is available for all parties to see, providing transparency across the chain – and businesses in financial trading, insurance, and supply chain management are all taking notice.

  • Events

    • Two open source secure email services

      As much we all complain about email, for most of us, email is still our primary conduit for online communication. That said, numerous hacks and revelations about government surveillance have made it clear that email is also one of the most vulnerable of those conduits.

      What you send via email is your business and yours alone. Besides you and the recipient, no one else should be reading that message. Not hackers, not government agencies, and definitely not nosy siblings or friends.

    • 33C3 – Event Report

      I recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3). The event, as its name suggests, was chaotic. Let me give you two hints: twelve thousand (12000) participants, plus twenty-four (24) hours unrestricted access to the venue.

    • LibrePlanet free software conference returns to MIT this weekend, March 25-26

      LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2017 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels.

      In accordance with the theme “The Roots of Freedom,” the conference’s sessions will examine the roots of the free software movement, including the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and the community’s focus on security and privacy protections. Other sessions will explore new ideas and current work that has arisen from those roots, reaching in to activism, the arts, business, and education.

      Keynote speakers include Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author Cory Doctorow, Changeset Consulting founder Sumana Harihareswara, and Free Software Foundation founder and president Richard Stallman.

    • ZTE’s Approach to Digital Transformation with Software-Defined Networking

      The dawn of new services such as 5G, IoT, AR/VR, e-commerce, connected cars,and more, is driving us to digitalization — a massive transition that also requires the network to change.

    • Easier Persistent Memory Programming with Extensions to libstdc++ and libc++

      Persistent memory, unlike volatile memory, retains its contents even if the server has a power failure. However, as Tomasz Kapela, Software Engineer at Intel, points out during his LinuxCon Europe 2016 talk, persistent memory is hard to achieve. Since persistent memory programming is non-trivial, they have been focused on making it easier for the end user and for applications to use persistent memory correctly.

    • Persistent Memory Extensions to libstdc++/libc++ by Tomasz Kapela, Intel
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromium Rolls Out Enhanced GTK3 Theme Support

        Chromium is sporting greater GTK3 support in its latest daily development snapshots. Developers have begun building the browser with proper GTK3 theme integration enabled by default. I know: hardly ground breaking, but as Chromium (and its more popular sibling, Google Chrome) are widely used by Ubuntu users, it’s a change worth a note.

      • Chrome 58 Beta: IndexedDB 2.0, an improvement to iframe navigation, and immersive full screen for PWAs

        The IndexedDB 2.0 standard is now fully supported in Chrome, making it simpler to work with large data sets in the browser. IDB 2.0 features new schema management, bulk action methods, and more standardized handling of failures.

      • Chrome 58 Beta Supports IndexedDB 2.0, New Developer Features

        Google developers are busy today not only with the Android O Developer Preview but the Chrome team has delivered the first public beta for the upcoming Chrome 58.0.

        The Chrome 58 beta adds full support for IndexedDB 2.0, improvements to iframe navigation by adding a new sandbox keyword to control iframe top navigation behavior, immersive full-screen support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), and various other developer changes.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla has proposed ‘Obsidian’, a low-level GPU API for the web

        So it looks like after Vulkan for desktop and mobile, the web may be getting a low-level API for interactions with the GPU. They are calling it Obsidian right now (temporary name) and they state it’s not a specification just yet, as they are looking to gather feedback.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3.1 is out

      Last week, LibreOffice released version 5.3.1. This seems to be an incremental release over 5.3 and doesn’t seem to change the new user interface in any noticeable way.

      This is both good and bad news for me. As you know, I have been experimenting with LibreOffice 5.3 since LibreOffice updated the user interface. Version 5.3 introduced the “MUFFIN” interface. MUFFIN stands for My User Friendly Flexible INterface. Because someone clearly wanted that acronym to spell “MUFFIN.” The new interface is still experimental, so you’ll need to activate it through Settings→Advanced. When you restart LibreOffice, you can use the View menu to change modes.

  • Programming/Development

    • anytime 0.2.2

      A bugfix release of the anytime package arrived at CRAN earlier today. This is tenth release since the inaugural version late last summer, and the second (bugfix / feature) release this year.

    • GitLab 9.0 released with Subgroups and Deploy Boards

      Today we are releasing GitLab 9.0, 18 months after releasing 8.0. We’ve made significant advances to GitLab during this period, shipping a version every single month on the 22nd. Let’s quickly recap how far we’ve come since 8.0, and see those features dovetailing into today’s 9.0 release. Or jump ahead to 9.0 features.

    • Suggests != Depends

      A number of packages on CRAN use Suggests: casually.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

      That work, he said, is proceeding on three separate fronts, the first of which is the kernel itself. He has been working for the last five years to try to prepare the kernel for 2038. Much of that work involves converting 32-bit timestamps to 64-bit values, even on 32-bit systems. Some 32-bit timestamps also show up in the user-space API, which complicates the issue considerably. There is a plan for the enhancement of the user-space API with 2038-clean versions of the problematic system calls, but it has not yet gotten upstream. One recent exception is the statx() system call, which was merged for 4.11; statx() will serve as the year-2038-capable version of the stat() family of calls. There are quite a few other system calls still needing 2038-clean replacements, though.

Leftovers

  • Amid boycott, Google changes ad policy to give advertisers more control

    Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler explained in a blog post how the company will revamp its advertising policies to give companies more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network. Schindler also signals a new epoch for Google and YouTube, one in which the company will focus more effort on preventing hate speech on its online video platform.

  • 2 new tools for creating more accessible projects

    Accessibility has been an afterthought in development for far too long. The result has been costly retrofitting, the risk of inaccessible solutions, and unhappy users.

    We are where we are because developers often ignore accessibility in hopes that it will resolve on its own.

    But solutions should be accessible by all—including the blind, deaf, those with cognitive disabilities and more. This is especially important considering the 1 billion people (including the aging population) with disabilities, the proliferation of new technology, and new industry standards. Further, it’s more than just the right thing to do. It is required by any organization working with the U.S. government, and increasingly, those in the private sector too.

  • Science

    • 5 big ways AI is rapidly invading our lives

      Open source projects are helping drive artificial intelligence advancements, and we can expect to hear much more about how AI impacts our lives as the technologies mature. Have you considered how AI is changing the world around you already? Let’s take a look at our increasingly artificially enhanced universe and consider the bold predictions about our AI-influenced future.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 99 in Stretch cycle
    • Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework

      The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity. Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House.

      Homeland security advisor Thomas Bossert stated that the President’s budget will include an increase in federal funding to combat cyber threats, and that the administration’s priorities vis-à-vis cybersecurity are to modernize and centralize the existing system. To this end, the Administration intends to partner with business, including Silicon Valley, and state and local governments, on cybersecurity.

    • Firefox gets complaint for labeling unencrypted login page insecure

      The operator of a website that accepts subscriber logins only over unencrypted HTTP pages has taken to Mozilla’s Bugzilla bug-reporting service to complain that the Firefox browser is warning that the page isn’t suitable for the transmission of passwords.

      “Your notice of insecure password and/or log-in automatically appearing on the log-in for my website, Oil and Gas International, is not wanted and was put there without our permission,” a person with the user name dgeorge wrote here (the link was made private shortly after this post went live). “Please remove it immediately. We have our own security system, and it has never been breached in more than 15 years. Your notice is causing concern by our subscribers and is detrimental to our business.”

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Customer security awareness: alerting you to vulnerabilities that are of real risk
    • Cisco’s WikiLeaks Security Vulnerability Exposure: 10 Things Partners Need To Know

      Cisco’s security team has discovered that hundreds of its networking devices contain a vulnerability that could allow attackers to remotely executive malicious code and take control of the affected device.

      “We are committed to responsible disclosure, protecting our customers, and building the strongest security architecture and products that are designed through our Trustworthy Systems initiatives,” said a Cisco spokesperson in an email to CRN regarding the vulnerability.

      Some channel partners of the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant are already advising customers on how to bypass the critical security flaw. Here are 10 important items that Cisco channel partners should know about the security vulnerability.

    • Linux had a killer flaw for 11 years and no one noticed

      One of the key advantages of Open sauce software is that it is supposed to be easier to spot and fix software flaws, however Linux has had a local privilege escalation flaw for 11 years and no-one has noticed.

      The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2017-6074, is over 11 years old and was likely introduced in 2005 when the Linux kernel gained support for the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP). It was discovered last week and was patched by the kernel developers on Friday.

    • 6 Hot Internet of Things (IoT) Security Technologies
    • Microsoft Losing Its Edge

      However, despite these improvements in code cleanness and security technologies, it hasn’t quite proven itself when faced with experienced hackers at contests such as Pwn2Own. At last year’s edition of Pwn2Own, Edge proved to be a little better than Internet Explorer and Safari, but it still ended up getting hacked twice, while Chrome was only partially hacked once.

      Things seem to have gotten worse, rather than better, for Edge. At this year’s Pwn2Own, Microsoft’s browser was hacked no less than five times.

    • Microsoft loses the Edge at hacking contest

      And for every hack perpetrated against Edge, there was a corresponding attack against the Windows 10 kernel, indicating that it has a way to go in terms of security, according to Tom’s Hardware.

    • Wikileaks: Apple, Microsoft and Google must fix CIA exploits within 90 days

      The 90-day deadline is the same that Google’s own Project Zero security group provides to companies when it uncovers flaws in their software. If a company has failed to patch its software accordingly, Project Zero publishes details of the flaw whether the vendor likes it or not.

    • NTPsec Project announces 0.9.7
  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] Lucknow encounter: Are moderate {sic} Indian Muslims losing Lucknow to the Islamic State now?

      Given that the congratulatory letter was issued by a senior teacher in India’s leading madrasa—Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow— it clearly reflected a sharp turnaround in the attitude and approach of the Lucknow-based clergy towards the emergence of a global Islamic caliphate. However, in his letter, Nadwi was only a spokesperson of the petro-dollar-funded Wahabi seminaries in India.

    • India could strike Pakistan with nuclear weapons if threatened, says expert

      In February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years. India hand Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars besides the 1999 Kargil hostilities.

    • Former NZ defence minister admits civilians were killed in bungled special forces raid

      The former New Zealand defence minister has admitted for the first time that civilians were killed during a bungled raid by New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan in 2010.

      For years, New Zealand politicians and military commanders denied this, claiming that the people killed were insurgents responsible for an earlier attack on the troops.

      Today’s comments by the former minister, Wayne Mapp, come less than 24 hours after the launch of an explosive new book Hit and Run by investigative reporters Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager.

      The book claims the controversial operation killed six civilians and wounded 15.

    • Why would Google take sides in Syria’s Civil War?

      This morning, an apparently innocuous AP article eventually led me to the question, “Why would Google take sides in Syria’s civil war?”

      The article announced that Google was getting involved in protecting “news organizations and election-related sites” from cyberattacks and hacking though Jigsaw, a research arm of Google and Alphabet Inc.

    • What They Won’t Tell You About the American Military
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • In a letter to the editor, CIA Public Affairs Director corrected the record with a lie of omission

      In 1981, the CIA took exception with newspapers reporting that Frank Sturgis was a former CIA employee. Herbet Hetu, the Agency’s then-Director of Public Affairs, had such a problem with the reporting that he wrote to the editors of several newspapers to try to issue a correction. The first letter, dated January 6, 1981, was sent to the editor of The Washington Star objecting to an article that had been published that day.

    • Whoops: The DOJ May Have Confirmed Some of the Wikileaks CIA Dump

      The US government says it wants to keep some of the now-public documents out of court because they contain classified material, suggesting that they could be authentic.

      Last week, the US government may have confirmed the authenticity of a number of CIA documents concerning the agency’s hacking operations, but not in the way you might expect.

      Judging by a recent court filing, at least some of the CIA files Wikileaks published earlier this month are genuine, because the government pushed back against having them admitted in court due to the documents’ classified content.

      “The government is not able to declare non-government records as classified, unless they are taking ownership of the records themselves,” Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney, told Motherboard in an email.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • [Old] `I Don`t Recall` Marks Excerpts Of Reagan Testimony
    • Ivanka Trump has West Wing office and will get access to classified information [iophk: "somehow the word nepotism is missing from the entire article"]
    • Ivanka Trump getting West Wing office in White House ‘like a coup’, says former Labor secretary Robert Reich

      Shaun King, a senior justice writer and activist, simply called the news “disturbing”

    • Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data

      An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

      The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.

      But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

      The challenges to CrowdStrike’s credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year’s hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

    • 5 congressional staffers in criminal probe over unauthorized computer access

      Five people employed by members of the House of Representatives remain under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz employed at least one of those under investigation.

      The criminal investigation into the five, which includes three brothers and a wife of one of the men, started late last year, as reported by Politico in February. The group is being investigated by US Capitol Police over allegations that they removed equipment from over 20 members’ offices, as well as having run a procurement scheme to buy equipment and then overcharge the House.

      House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week Capitol Police are receiving additional help for the investigation. “I won’t speak to the nature of their investigation, but they’re getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that, this is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources,” Ryan said.

    • Trump ex-aide Paul Manafort ‘offered to help Putin’

      US President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to assist President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Arkansas Legislators Want To Make Corporate Whistleblowing Illegal

      Another “ag gag” law is in the works in Arkansas. These bills are brought under the pretense of safety — both for the person supposedly breaking them, as well as for the employees of the entity “trespassed” upon. The unspoken aim of these laws is to prevent whistleblowing, and they often spring into existence after someone has exposed horrible practices at local businesses — in most cases, the mistreatment of animals. The other consequence of most of these laws — unintended or not — is to deter employees from speaking up about questionable business practices, as there often is no exception carved out for employees of the companies protected by these laws.

      Kaleigh Rogers of Vice reports another ag gag bill has passed the Arkansas state House and is on its way to a Senate vote. And once again, the bill’s wording would deter whistleblowing and make journalistic efforts a civil violation.

    • Twitter suspends 376k more accounts linked to ‘terrorism’

      Twitter said Tuesday it suspended 376,890 accounts in the second half of 2016 for “promotion of terrorism,” an increase of 60 percent over the prior six-month period.

      The latest suspensions bring the total number of blocked accounts to 636,248 from August 2015, when Twitter stepped up efforts to curb “violent extremism,” the company announced as part of its latest transparency report.

    • UK’s Piracy Blocklist Now Exceeds 3,800 URLs

      By now, most UK Internet users have gotten used to pirate sites being blocked by their ISPs. Internet providers have been ordered to block a wide variety of torrent, direct download and streaming portals that offer copyright-infringing content. The full list uf URLs, which includes several reverse proxies, has now swelled to more than 3,800 according to one of the ISPs involved.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Adobe buddies up with Microsoft for new ways to mine your data

      Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms.

      Microsoft has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) offering, Dynamics 365, but is weak in marketing automation, while Adobe lacks a CRM product to compete with Salesforce, so it makes sense for the two companies to integrate.

      A new piece announced at the Adobe Summit under way in Las Vegas is that Adobe Campaign – which manages cross-channel campaigns across web, mobile, email and print – is integrated with Dynamics 365.

    • The CIA’s New Guidelines Governing Publicly Available Information

      On January 18, 2017, the CIA declassified and released new internal Central Intelligence Agency Activities: Procedures Approved by the Attorney General Pursuant to Executive Order 12333, approved by the Attorney General under Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333. These new guidelines will be known as Agency Regulation (AR) 2-1 when they take effect on March 18, 2017. They will replace AR 2-2, including Annexes A and B, which were originally issued in 1987, most recently revised in 2012, and released to the public in 2015. The new CIA guidelines were part of a larger effort by the Obama administration, commenced before 2013 and completed two days before President Trump’s inauguration, to update Intelligence Community (IC) guidelines.

    • With appeals ruling, the United States has effectively outlawed file encryption

      An appeals court has denied the appeal of a person who is jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt files. The man has not been charged with anything, but was ordered to hand over the unencrypted contents on police assertion of what the contents were. When this can result in lifetime imprisonment under “contempt of court”, the United States has effectively outlawed file-level encryption – without even going through Congress.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Should You Have Any 4th Amendment Rights In An Airport?

      For many years, we’ve written about the craziness of the so-called “border search exception” to the 4th Amendment, in which the US government has insisted that the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply at the border, and thus it’s allowed to search people at the border. The initial reasoning was — more or less — that at the border, you’re not yet in the country, and thus the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply yet. But that’s expanded over time — especially in the digital age. Perhaps, back when people just had clothes/books/whatever in their luggage, you could understand the rationale for allowing a search, but today, when people carry laptops and handheld electronic devices that basically store their whole lives, the situation is a lot scarier. Unfortunately, (with just a few small exceptions) the courts have simply taken the historical ability to search luggage at the border and expanded it to cover electronic devices. Then, things got even more ridiculous, when Homeland Security decided that anywhere that’s within 100 miles of the border could be “close enough” to count as a “border search,” making the “border search exception” apply. That’s… messed up.

    • Sex slave’s rescue in Riyadh reveals widening web of traffickers in India

      Of an estimated six million Indian migrants in the six Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman, domestic workers are among the most exploited, campaigners say.

      “Housemaids are treated like cattle here. This woman didn’t even know where she was when I asked her location. She kept crying to be saved. India should ban sending housemaids to the Gulf,” Sriniwas said.

    • The International Women’s Peace Group hosts a seminar for BAN FGM
    • Saudi ‘prisoner of conscience’ ordered to pay $270,000 fine

      His sentence was extended to ten years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in 2015.

    • Aceh’s latest tourist attraction? Dozens of Malaysian tourists come to watch public caning in Banda Aceh

      On Monday, dozens of tourists from Malaysia came by bus to visit the Lamteh Mosque in Banda Aceh to witness a dozen people getting publicly caned for crimes ranging from gambling to ikhtilat (the intermingling of men and women who are not married).

      Among the tourists was a Malaysian State Senator from Klanten, Dato Dr Johari bin Mat, who said that he respected Aceh implementation of Islamic law and use of public canin to ensure security and public order.

    • ‘Multilingual Society’: German Educators Call for Compulsory Arabic in Schools
    • UK follows US on cabin device ban [iophk: “in 7th gen Intel“]

      The devices were listed as: laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone and travel printers/scanners.

    • WATCH: Lucknow girl thrashes molesters with police baton

      When police stood as mute spectators in Lucknow, a girl decided to take law in her hands and ensured that she teaches her molesters a lesson.

      A group of girls were allegedly eve-teased by a bike-borne gang in Gautam Palli area on Sunday night. However, the police standing there didn’t come to their rescue, that is when the girls from the group snatched the baton from the cops and thrashed the men on bike.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • From bad to worse: the del Castillo Report on the European Electronic Communication Code

      To understand what it’s about, let’s step back a little.

      Since 2002, the regulation of telecommunication has been based on a group of European directives called “the telecom package”. The second revision of this package (the first was in 2009) began in September 2016 with the publication by the European Commission of a draft bill for a European Code of Electronic Communication. This massive bill of more than a hundred articles aims to recast and reform the current telecom package. It is now being negotiated at the Council of the European Union, and a report just had been published at the European Parliament. This report published by the MEP Pilar del Castillo (ES – EPP) will be discussed in the coming months.

    • IPv6 and CGNAT

      Today I ended reading an interesting article by the 4th spanish ISP regarding IPv6 and CGNAT. The article is in spanish, but I will translate the most important statements here.

      Having a spanish Internet operator to talk about this subjet is itself good news. We have been lacking any news regarding IPv6 in our country for years. I mean, no news from private operators. Public networks like the one where I develop my daily job has been offering native IPv6 since almost a decade…

  • DRM

    • Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

      Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

    • W3C moves to finalize DRM standardization, reclassifies suing security researchers as a feature, not a bug

      The World Wide Web Consortium has announced that its members have until April 19 to weigh in on whether the organization should publish Encrypted Media Extensions, its DRM standard for web video, despite the fact that this would give corporations the new right to sue people who engaged in legal activity, from security researchers who revealed defects in browsers to accessibility workers who adapted video for disabled people to scrappy new companies who come up with legal ways to get more use out of your property.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Italian Supreme Court rules that mere reproduction of Vespa image may amount to counterfeiting

      Italian online IP resource Marchi & Brevetti has just reported a very interesting and recent decision of the Criminal Section of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) regarding the crime of counterfeiting within Article 474 of the Italian Criminal Code.

    • Trademarks

      • The Changing Perspective Of Well-Known Trademarks In India

        The innovative advertisements of famous trademarks we come across remind us of the image they have created in our minds and the quality of the respective products or services they reflect. Millions are spent by the owners of such marks to build their reputation and maintain their popularity in this competitive globalised world.

    • Copyrights

      • University Puts 20,000 Lectures Behind A Registration Wall In Response To DOJ Pressure On Website Accessibility Compliance

        Back in 2012, a federal court ruled US websites were “places of public accommodation.” The ruling (overturned on appeal) came in a lawsuit brought against Netflix by the National Association of the Deaf. It seems like an obvious conclusion — more people get their information, news, and entertainment from the web than other sources. But the ruling had plenty of adverse consequences, especially for smaller, less profitable purveyors of online content.

      • Supreme Court Cheers on Copyright Separability

        In a new Copyright decision, the Supreme Court has modified the doctrine of separability that allows for copyright of works of authorship associated with useful articles.

      • US Supreme Court holds cheerleading uniforms eligible for copyright protection

        The US Copyright Act, §101 states that “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features” of the “design of a useful article” can be protected by copyright as artistic works if those features “can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

      • US Supreme Court finds cheerleading uniform designs copyright eligible

        The Supreme Court has held that the designs in a cheerleading uniform satisfy the test for copyright protection in its Star Athletica v Varsity Brands ruling. Observers say the decision provides a standard test to be applied to the separability analysis

      • Unpaywall: The Browser Add-on That Finds (Legal) Free Copies Of Academic Papers You See As You Browse The Web

        Techdirt has just written about ResearchGate, which claims to offer access to 100 million academic papers. However, as we wrote, there’s an issue about whether a significant proportion of those articles are in fact unauthorized copies, for example uploaded by the authors but in contravention of the agreement they signed with publishers. The same legal issues plague the well-known Sci-Hub site, which may deter some from using it. But as further evidence of how the demand for access to millions of academic papers still locked away is driving technical innovation, there’s a new option, called Unpaywall, which is available as a pre-release add-on for Chrome (Firefox is promised later), and is free. It aims to provide access to every paper that’s freely available to read in an authorized version.

      • Leaked Text: Is EU Tempted By Too Many Safeguards Limiting The Scope Of Blind Treaty?

        As the ratification by the European Union of an international treaty creating an exception to copyright for visually impaired people nears, a leaked text shows that the directive implementing the treaty in the EU might come with safeguards limiting the scope of the treaty, allegedly pushed by the publishing industry.

        The leaked document (from the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU to the Permanent Representatives Committee), seen by Intellectual Property Watch, is the latest draft proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and the Council. The directive would be on “certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.”

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