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06.20.17

Links 20/6/2017: Chuwi Lapbook, Linux 4.12 RC6, Mesa 17.1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 13 reasons why you need Linux in your life

    It’s a busy monday morning. You’re working non stop on that overdue report. Meanwhile, you might even have a couple of episodes you missed being downloaded. Just when you’re about to finish things off, all of a sudden your screen goes off. The blue screen of death. Oh how I hate that wretched screen. If only there was a way around this. Sure you can scan for viruses and malfunctioning softwares. Worst case scenario would be to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows. But one fine day, I thought of going for an alternative. I decided to give Linux a try.

  • Is IoT the Future of Linux?

    With Canonical refocusing on becoming profitable and new technologies, some among us have found ourselves pondering where Linux is headed in the future and whether or not IoT (Internet of Things) is the future of Linux? This article aims to address both issues head on.

  • Desktop

    • How to install Linux on a Chromebook (and why you should)

      Chromebooks are one of the most secure devices you can give a non-technical end user, and at a price point few can argue with, but that security comes with a privacy trade off: you have to trust Google, which is part of the NSA’s Prism programme, with your data in the cloud.

      Even those who put their faith in the company’s rusty “don’t be evil” mantra may find Chromebook functionality limiting—if you want more than Google services, Netflix, some other Web apps, and maybe the Android app store, then you’re out of luck.

      Geeky users willing to engage in some entry-level hackery, however, can install Linux on their Chromebook and unleash the Power of Torvalds™.

      [...]

      Crouton installed in less than half an hour on our 2016-era Acer Chromebook (buy here), and runs in a chroot side-by-side with Chrome OS.

      [...]

      If running Linux in a chroot doesn’t do it for you, then Gallium OS is worth a look. Optimised for Chromebook hardware, Gallium is based on Xubuntu and includes integrated touchpad mouse drivers.

    • Chuwi Lapbook 12.3 Surfaces at GearBest

      The super-friendly folks at Chinese computer company Chuwi just poked me with news that the Chuwi LapBook 12.3 is now available on GearBest at a reduced price for a limited time only.

    • Top 3 Best Linux Laptops/Ultrabooks For 2017

      Nowadays, more and more laptops replace personal computers in everyday life. A laptop is that kind of a gadget, which fully replaces PC, but the one you can easily take with you on vacation, in the park, or to the office. Laptops are small, functional, high-powered, and low cost. The strong sides only. The market of technologies confirms the statement that laptops definitely win in this long-term battle with desktop computers. So, the winner is obvious. Now it is time to make a right choice only. So, if you want to avoid a sorry choice in 2017, pay attention to the new generation of Linux laptops.

    • How to choose the best Linux distro for your laptop

      The smart notebook user shouldn’t overlook Linux. The question is: which distro should you pick to run on your laptop?

      Experienced users may recommend Arch Linux for fast performance, Debian for stability and Ubuntu for its collection of user-friendly, pre-installed apps.

      If that’s not enough choice to make your head spin, Slackware is also very popular amongst people with older laptops, although it’s only really suitable for advanced users.

  • Server

    • The Evolution of the Standard COTS Server in Modern Data Centers [Ed: COTS is a buzzword that expands into two more buzzwords (that are in it); reject marketing slant that subjugates geeks and 'consumers']

      Standardization on x86 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers within the data center has been a movement for some time because the architecture offers versatility, cost-savings, easier integrations, more attractive maintenance and management profiles, and, overall, a lower total cost of ownership than a proprietary hardware approach. But there are new requirements that are driving data center server choices these days, namely the need to support carrier virtualization, programmability, and the massive data sets that come with machine learning and advanced, real-time analytics.

    • Federated Kubernetes with on-prem Clusters and Juju

      In this post we discus our efforts to setup a Federation of on-prem Kubernetes Clusters using CoreDNS. The Kubernetes Cluster version used is 1.6.2. We use Juju to deliver clusters on AWS, yet the clusters should be considered on-prem since they do not integrate with any of the cloud’s features. The steps described here are repeatable on any pool of resources you may have available (cloud or bare metal). Note that this is still a work in progress and should not be used on a production environment.

    • [Older] CoreOS Brings Kubernetes-as-a-Service to Enterprise

      CoreOS today said it added features to its enterprise container-orchestration platform that include Kubernetes-as-a-service.

      The upcoming Tectonic 1.6.4 will allow enterprises to deploy and manage the latest version of upstream Kubernetes across bare metal, public-, private-, and hybrid-cloud environments. The container company says this gives enterprises the flexibility of running their applications on the cloud, without cloud vendor lock-in.

    • The 10 fastest supercomputers on the planet

      The United States and China continue to lead the pack in terms of total number of systems, with 169 and 160 respectively, though the US is no longer represented in the top three – the first time since 1996.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Development Release: Exo 0.11.3

      Xfce 4.14 development has been picking up steam in the past few months. With the release of Exo 0.11.3, things are only going to get steamier.

    • Xfce Settings 4.13.1 Released

      Xfce Settings 4.13.1 is the new release to talk about. Xfce Settings 4.13.1 is the project’s second release of the GTK3-based settings area. The update brings new settings, improved display settings around Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) connections, various fixes, and other code improvements.

    • Development Release: Xfce Settings 4.13.1

      The second release of the GTK+ 3 powered Xfce Settings is now ready for testing (and possibly general use). Check it out!

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Brooklyn 0.1 is out there: full Telegram and IRC support

        I’m so happy to announce that a first stable version of Brooklyn is released!

      • KDE Brooklyn Chat Bridge Sees Its First Release

        Brooklyn is a new project within the KDE camp that’s being developed this summer via Google Summer of Code.

        Brooklyn is being worked on this summer by Davide Riva via GSoC under the KDE umbrella. Brooklyn aims to be a protocol-independent chat bridge to/from various chat systems. So far Brooklyn supports Telegram and IRC while other platforms/protocols are to be supported by Brooklyn’s modular architecture.

      • Wayland Session Added to KDE Neon Unstable Developer Edition

        Wayland is installed by default in the latest builds of KDE Neon Developer Edition. The Ubuntu-based software stack — it doesn’t like to be called a distribution, remember — is shipping the next-gen display server protocol as part of the default install for the unstable branch of its developer edition…

      • New updates in KIO file ioslave
      • GSoC: Weekly Blog

        I started porting Cantor’s Qalculate backend to QProcess and during the first week I worked on establishing connection with Qalculate, for which we use qalc and some amount of time was spent parsing the output returned by qalc

      • Kdenlive – refactoring preview and news

        We are very happy to announce the first AppImage of the next generation Kdenlive. We have been working since the first days of 2017 to cleanup and improve the architecture of Kdenlive’s code to make it more robust and clean. This also marked a move to QML for the display of the timeline.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Improving the Search of Nautilus

        This summer I’m really glad to be working again on Nautilus as part of Google Summer of Code. This time, the goal of the project is to improve the Search. Currently, it misses some features that would make searching easier and there are also some performance issues.

        So far I worked on Full Text Search. This could be done until now, but from Desktop Search (tracker-needle). Since one of the main functions of Nautilus is searching files, it makes sense for it to include this feature.

      • Are You Using Gnome Desktop? Then Try T4G-V2 Theme And You Will Love It

        Gnome desktop is being accepted again by Ubuntu community after the announcement of Unity-8 is going to be buried. I am not going to talk about this new again since we already did and this post is about theme. T4G-V2 theme is created by a guy from gnome-look named “paulxfce”, this theme is heavily modified version of popular Arc theme but with transparency items. This theme is specifically targeting Gnome desktop and do not expect it to work on other desktops, if you are using Gnome 3.20 and up versions then you are lucky to have it on your desktop. It offers bigger header-bars, window-frameless, transparent elements (all gnome-3 window backgrounds have transparency), graphical elements redone (new option/check-buttons; switch-buttons), added shadows beneath the header-bars.

      • Redoing File Operation Management in Nautilus

        This will serve as a sort of introduction to my project, as well as being a progress update.

        Hi, I’m Ernestas and this summer I’m working on Nautilus as part of Google Summer of Code. The goal of the project is to have all I/O operations (i.e. file management, the cache, thumbnailing, searching) managed under a single entity with a capped worker thread count.

      • First Public Presentation of the Fedora + GNOME group

        A group of students from different universities have gathered together to learn Linux in deeply. We have started with the GNOME Peru Challenge on Fedora 25, that basically consists in fixing a bug. To achieve that, we have follow an empiric schedule that includes, installation of Fedora 25, use GNOME apps such as Pomodoro, Clock, Maps, and others such as GIMP, building some modules, working with Python to finally see GTK+.

      • GNOME Fractional (and multi-monitor) Scaling Hackfest, the report

        As previously announced, few days ago I attended the GNOME Fractional Scaling Hackfest that me and Red Hat‘s Jonas Ådahl organized at the Canonical office in Taipei 101.
        Although the location was chosen mostly because it was the one closest to Jonas and near enough to my temporary place, it turned out to be the best we could use, since the huge amount of hardware that was available there, including some 4k monitors and HiDPI laptops.
        Being there also allowed another local Canonical employee (Shih-Yuan Lee) to join our efforts!

        As this being said I’ve to thank my employer, for allowing me to do this and for sponsoring the event in order to help making GNOME a better desktop for Ubuntu (and not only).

      • The first weeks of GSoC

        Over the next 2 weeks I’ll be continuing migrating the cloud providers library to use gdbus-codegen as well as adding support for the cloud providers API to the GtkPlacesSidebar.

      • GNOME Tweak Tool 3.25.3

        Today I released the second development snapshot (3.25.3) of what will be GNOME Tweak Tool 3.26.

        I consider the initial User Interface (UI) rework proposed by the GNOME Design Team to be complete now. Every page in Tweak Tool has been updated, either in this snapshot or the previous development snapshot.

        The hard part still remains: making the UI look as good as the mockups. Tweak Tool’s backend makes this a bit more complicated than usual for an app like this.

      • GNOME Tweak Tool Now Lets You Move the GNOME Application Menu out of the Top Bar

        A new development snapshot of GNOME Tweak Tool is available to download, and it surfaces yet another really useful GNOME feature.

  • Distributions

    • [Older] This Week In Solus – Install #45
    • Reviews

      • Swimming with SharkLinux

        One project which caught my attention recently is SharkLinux, an Ubuntu-based distribution which claims to offer a number of interesting features. The distribution’s website reports that SharkLinux is built on Ubuntu’s 16.04 LTS release, but maintains a rolling release development cycle. SharkLinux ships with the MATE desktop and reportedly installs software updates automatically in the background. The project’s website also mentions that users can perform administrator tasks using the sudo command with no password requirement and common package management commands have been aliased to easy to remember short-cuts.

        This may seem like an unusual collection of features, or at least I thought so, but I believed I saw the potential in SharkLinux for a distribution I could give to less technical users. An operating system which automatically gets security updates, doesn’t need to be re-installed and which does not prompt for a password when performing configuration tasks seemed like a good idea for less technical relatives.

        I downloaded the 1.5GB ISO for SharkLinux and booted from it. The SharkLinux live disc brings up a MATE desktop with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. The MATE wallpaper shows us a close up image of an open shark’s mouth and the project’s logo. An icon on the desktop can be used to launch the project’s system installer. The default theme is mostly dark blue and grey, reminding me of the Windows desktop environments of the 1990s.

      • [Older] Chakra Linux 2017 – See What’s new

        Chakra Linux 2017.03 “Goedel” is the latest release of Chakra Linux. As we know, Chakra GNU/Linux is an open-source operating system originally based on Arch Linux and the KDE Plasma desktop environment and implements a half-rolling release model for the repositories.

    • New Releases

      • TheSSS 22.0 Linux Server Out with Kernel 4.9.13, Apache 2.4.25 & MariaDB 10.2.6

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is informing us today about the release and immediate availability for download of TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) 22.0 operating system.

        TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) is one of the smallest and lightweight Linux-based operating systems designed to be used as an all-around server system for home users, but it’s also suitable for deployment in small- and medium-sized businesses looking for a quick and painless way of distributing files across networks.

        Based on the upcoming 4MLinux Server 22.0 operating system, the TheSSS 22.0 release is here with an up-to-date LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB and PHP) server suite that consists of the Linux kernel 4.9.13 LTS, Apache 2.4.25, MariaDB 10.2.6, and PHP 7.0.19 (PHP 5.6.30 is available as well as an alternative for those who need it) components.

      • New SparkyLinux Tool Notifies Users About New Updates Right on Their Desktops

        Users of the Debian-based SparkyLinux operating system have a new tool to play with, namely an in-house built utility that notifies them when new updates are available for their systems.

      • Manjaro 17.0.2-rc2 released (G,K,X)

        Manjaro Gellivara was a great release! Now we are proud to announce our second release candidate of v17.0.2, which fixes a lot of issues we had with our original release of Gellivara. It took us almost another two months to prepare this updated release. This time we ship ISO images of XFCE, KDE and our Gnome edition for 32 and 64 bit systems.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE release Container-as-a-Service Platform

        Unless you’ve been living under an SCO UnixWare server you know that Docker, and other container technologies, are taking over IT. SUSE, the major European Linux company, also saw this coming, so it’s releasing its all-in-one Linux and container platform: SUSE Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) Platform.

        SUSE’s not the first to try this approach. CoreOS Container Linux gets that honor. But CaaS is providing a solid SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES)-based container platform for modern enterprises turning to containers for their IT needs.

      • Website About People of openSUSE Ends Hiatus

        Interviews with people involved in the openSUSE Project have returned and new pages will be added in the future highlighting individuals involved in the community project.

        The first interview to be posted after a five-year hiatus was posted in November of 2016 and highlights Dominique Leuenberger, who is at VLC contributor and release manager for openSUSE Tumbleweed.

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed now full of PIE
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Edu 9 “Stretch” Released as a Complete GNU/Linux Solution for Schools

        The Debian Edu GNU/Linux distribution (also known as Skolelinux) has been updated today to version 9 based on Debian the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system.

        Debian Edu 9 “Stretch” comes hot on the heels of Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Debian GNU/Hurd 2017 releases, providing an out-of-the-box, stable and reliable environment of a fully configured school network. It’s designed to be deployed as a school server where users and machines can be added using the GOsa web-based interface, allowing them to have a desktop environment of their choice installed, along with access to over 60 educational apps.

        “The Debian Edu school server provides an LDAP database and Kerberos authentication service, centralized home directories, a DHCP server, a web proxy and many other services. The desktop contains more than 60 educational software packages and more are available from the Debian archive. Schools can choose between the desktop environments KDE Plasma, GNOME, LXDE, MATE and Xfce,” reads the release notes.

      • Debian GNU/Hurd 2017 Released, It’s Mostly Based on the Debian 9 Stretch Sources

        Debian GNU/Hurd maintainer Samuel Thibault was pleased to announce today the release and immediate availability for download of the Debian GNU/Hurd 2017 operating system.

        Mostly a snapshot of the Debian Sid (Unstable) development distribution, Debian GNU/Hurd 2017 is here to bring users pretty much the same stability and reliability that the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” offers. However, please note that this is not an official Debian release, but an official Debian GNU/Hurd port.

      • Debian 9 ‘Stretch’ is finally here — download the Linux-based operating system now

        Debian is a very popular Linux-based operating system, but its development does not exactly move at a breakneck pace. In other words, it tends to focus on stability rather than bleeding edge. In fact, the development of Debian 9 “Stretch” has been going on for over two years!

      • Debian9 release party in Tokyo

        We celebrated Debian9 “stretch” release in Tokyo (thanks to Cybozu, Inc. for the place).

      • Debian 9 KDE
      • Debian 9 Stretch Stable Is Released! Check Out The New Features

        Debian 9 Stretch has been released two years after the last major release Debian 8 codenamed Jessie. Before we see Debian 9 features, let me add an anecdote about those funny sounding code names.

      • Debian 9 ‘Stretch’ GNU/Linux Distro Released — Here Are The New Features And Download Links
      • Debian 9 Stretch operating system released
      • Debian devs dedicate new version 9 to the late Ian Murdock
      • Debian 9 released after 26 months of development
      • Debian 9 Edu (Skolelinux) Released — A Complete Linux Distro For Students And Schools
      • alioth needs your help
      • AIMS Desktop 2017.1 released

        The AIMS desktop is a Debian-derived distribution aimed at mathematical and scientific use. This project’s first public release, based on Debian 9, is now available. It is a GNOME-based distribution with a bunch of add-on software. “It is maintained by AIMS (The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences), a pan-African network of centres of excellence enabling Africa’s talented students to become innovators driving the continent’s scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.”

      • MariaDB replaces MySQL in new Debian release

        The Debian GNU/Linux Project has released version 9 of its Linux distribution, named Stretch, which will be supported for the next five years.

        The release came after 26 months of development. Debian releases are named after characters from the film Toy Story.

        A project statement said the release was dedicated to Debian founder Ian Murdock who died on 28 December 2015.

      • MariaDB Replaces MySQL as the Default in Debian 9

        “We are excited to see MariaDB Server as the default in Debian 9,” said Roger Bodamer, Chief Product Officer at MariaDB Corporation. “The MariaDB development team worked closely with the Debian community to make the transition from MySQL to MariaDB seamless, delivering the most stable and secure open source database possible. With Debian’s adoption of MariaDB as its default MySQL variant, we expect further growth and engagement from our global community, which now has a reach of more than 60 million developers.”

      • Debian GNU/Hurd 2017 released!
      • How to upgrade from Debian Linux 8 Jessie to Debian 9 Stretch using command line over ssh based session
      • PoC: use Sphinx for debian-policy
      • Debian 9 ‘Stretch’ Linux has arrived

        Since its start in 1993, Debian has been one of the most important Linux distributions. Fourteen years later, its developers has released its latest version, Debian 9 Stretch, to solidify its reputation as a top Linux.

        People have used Debian for so long for numerous reasons. The one that’s most important to free software fans is that the operating system, thanks to the Debian social contract, must be free software. More pragmatic users love it because of its stability. As a result, Debian is popular both for desktop users and server administrators. This stability has also led it to being the foundation of Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions.

      • Debian 9 Stretches Linux Distribution Forward

        The new distribution has been dedicated to Debian’s founder Ian Murdoch, who passed away in December Debian2015. The Stretch release is the first major update for Debian since “Jessie” (Debian 8) was released in April 2015.

      • Derivatives

        • TeX Live 2017 hits Debian/unstable

          The last two changes are described together with other news (easy TEXMF tree management) in the TeX Live release post. These changes more or less sum up the new infra structure developments in TeX Live 2017.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Outs Major Security Updates for All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases

            Canonical released major kernel security updates for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems patching up to eleven vulnerabilities across all of the supported architectures.

          • [Older] Testing Yunit on Debian Unstable ( Virtual machine )
          • Ubuntu 17.10 to Improve Secure Boot for Booting Windows from GRUB, Enable PIE

            Canonical’s Steve Langasek presented the first edition of the Ubuntu Foundations Team weekly newsletter with some exciting information about the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system.

            The first Alpha builds of Ubuntu 17.10 are almost here, due for release next week on June 29, 2017, for opt-in flavors, so the Ubuntu developers are working around the clock to add various new features, such as PIE (Position Independent Executables) support enabled by default for better security, as well as some other improvements in many areas of interest like Secure Boot.

            “PIE is now enabled across all architectures by default in Artful. Targeted rebuilds have been done of packages which would break reverse-build-dependencies due to not being compiled with PIE,” says Steve Langasek. “The rest of the archive will now pick up PIE support on i386, armhf, and arm64 over the development cycle with rebuilds.”

          • Mission Reports

            Well, taking just over 60 days to write again is not generally a good sign. Things have been incredibly busy at the day job. Finding out that a Reduction In Force is expected to happen in late September/early October also sharpens the mind as to the state of the economy. Our CEO at work is somewhat odd, to say the least. Certain acts by the CEO remain incredibly confusing if not utterly baffling.

            In UK-slang, I guess I could probably be considered a “God-botherer”. I’ve been doing work as an evangelist lately. The only product though has been the Lord’s Kingdom. One of the elders at church wound up with their wife in a local nursing home due to advanced age as well as deteriorating health so I got tasked with conducting full Sunday services at the nursing home. Compared to my day job, the work has been far more worthwhile serving people in an extended care setting. Sadly it cannot displace my job that I am apparently about to lose in about 90 days or so anyhow thanks to pending actions of the board and CEO.

          • Canonical Wants to Add Hardware Accelerated Video Playback by Default to Ubuntu

            In his latest report, Canonical’s Will Cooke reports on the efforts the Ubuntu Desktop team is making to enable hardware-accelerated video playback for the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) by default.

            According to Will Cooke, the team’s goal right now is to lay the groundwork for a solution that would enable hardware-accelerated playback of video files by default, with a focus on making it work on Intel graphics cards. Suppor for Nvidia and AMD Radeon GPUs should come at a later time thanks to Canonical’s new testing infrastructure.

          • More Unity Desktop Features Coming to Dash to Dock

            More features familiar to users of the Ubuntu Unity desktop could be making their way to Dash to Dock, a popular desktop dock GNOME extension.

          • Distributing KeePassXC as a snap

            KeePassXC, for KeePass Cross-Platform Community Edition, is an extension of the KeePassX password manager project that incorporates major feature requests and bug fixes. We are an active open source project that is available on all Linux distributions, Windows XP to 10, and Macintosh OSX. Our main goal is to incorporate the features that the community wants while balancing portability, speed, and ease of use. Some of the major features that we have already shipped are browser integration, YubiKey authentication, and a redesigned interface.

          • MAAS Development Summary – June 12th – 16th

            The purpose of this update is to keep our community engaged and informed about the work the team is doing. We’ll cover important announcements, work-in-progress for the next release of MAAS and bugs fixes in release MAAS versions.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Xen open source project: Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

    Under guidance of the Linux Foundation, the Xen project lives on as the hypervisor supporting major cloud providers and enterprises.

  • Open source design needs better collaboration tools

    Despite the rising awareness and acceptance of UX design, in particular on the web, it has failed to gain much traction in open source software. If for argument’s sake, we take UX design to have started in 1995 when Don Norman started work for Apple as a “user experience architect”, even though it has a longer history, then the fact that design has failed to make much impact in the open source world for over 20 years suggests that there are structural and systemic barriers that make design and open source development as compatible to each other as oil and water.

  • Why Open Source will Overtake Proprietary Software by 2020

    Is proprietary software dead? Maybe not entirely, but pretty soon, its place in the enterprise will be greatly diminished due to the rapid adoption of innovative open source alternatives. While proprietary tools often boast small, yet stable, customer bases, open source software can claim passionate, loyal followings that only keep growing.

  • Why the last thing open source needs is more corporate oversight

    That same survey, however, would have us believe that developers live in fear of open source, shuddering at open source vulnerabilities exposing their code, open source “infecting” proprietary software, and more.

    [...]

    Get that? Open source is all about developers, and developers speak code, not corporate. This is why so many vanity foundations, set up as a facade for corporations to control code but appear not to, don’t end up succeeding. To succeed, open source needs to be about code, not the whims of a corporate sugar daddy.

    In short, open source continues to do amazingly well precisely because open source review boards aren’t stunting its growth. It’s thriving even as corporations can’t figure out efficient ways to monetize it directly. That’s the point. It’s always been a way for developers to get stuff done with minimal corporate bureaucracy. It’s time to celebrate that and not continue trying to shove it into a corporate cubicle.

  • Using open source tools to play Dungeons and Dragons

    Initially, I went back to the old pencil and paper tools, just like back in 1980, to prepare for gaming sessions. Quickly, though, my work as a sysadmin and open source user changed how I prepare and run my campaign, the series of play sessions run by a DM that create the world and the challenges the other player characters (PCs) confront in AD&D or the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

  • Univa Contributes Universal Resource Broker to Open Source Community

    The Universal Resource Broker is a software solution that allows distributed application frameworks written for Apache Mesos to run seamlessly on Univa Grid Engine. Making URB available as an open-source project opens the door to continued innovation, enabling community contributors to build adapters to additional workload managers and application frameworks. In addition to open-sourcing the project, Univa is extending URB to support Kubernetes clusters as well.

  • Chinese tech giant Alibaba joins key open-source cloud computing foundation

    Kicking off a week in which it plans to encourage American businesses to invest in China, Alibaba Group announced plans to give something back to the cloud computing community: Alibaba Cloud is now a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

  • Events

    • Open Source Summit Bring Diverse Voices to Keynote Lineup

      As Jim Zemlin announced at last year’s LinuxCon in Toronto, the event is now called Open Source Summit. The event now combines LinuxCon, ContainerCon, and CloudOpen conferences along with two new conferences: Open Community Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit. And, this year, the OSSummit will take place between September 11-14 in Los Angeles, CA.

      Traditionally, the event starts off with a keynote by Zemlin where he gives an overview of the state of Linux and open source, And, one highlight of the schedule is always a keynote discussion between Zemlin and Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux and Git.

    • ODPi Webinar on DataOps at Scale: Taking Apache Hadoop Enterprise-Wide

      2016 was a pivotal year for Apache Hadoop, a year in which enterprises across a variety of industries moved the technology out of PoCs and the lab and into production. Look no further than AtScale’s latest Big Data Maturity survey, in which 73 percent of respondents report running Hadoop in production.

    • dgplug summer training 2017

      This is the 10th year of the training. Our goal is to bring in more upstream contributors to various FOSS projects. Through this training we show the path of becoming an upstream contributor. The training lasts for almost 3 months, sessions are generally at 19:00 IST onwards. This year there will be live view of terminals where participants will be able to see what the trainer is doing on the computer.

    • dgplug summer training 2017 is on
    • Call for Speakers Now Open for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2017

      The conference theme this year is “Championing Open Source Databases,” with sessions on MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB and other open source database technologies, including time series databases, PostgreSQL and RocksDB. The 2017 conference will feature a range of in-depth discussions and hands-on tutorials for three formal tracks — Developer, Business/Case Studies and Operations.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Have You Taken the LibreOffice Features Survey?

      A new survey aims to help LibreOffice learn which features of the popular open-source office suite users use the most.

    • Survey on LibreOffice features

      Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free, and having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. In order to steer the development and to focus on the more important aspects we prepared a survey that investigates how often some features are used.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • News and e-press echos after EUPL v1.2 publication

      The publication of the new EUPL v1.2 has been echoed widely across Europe, starting with the official Europa.eu: “The European Commission has released a new version of the European Union Public Licence (EUPL), a tool for publishing any copyrighted work as open source. The licence is legally consistent with the copyright law of all EU countries and is especially well-suited for public administrations sharing IT solutions.”

      If the licence is especially suited for public sector, it is also widely used by the private sector. In fact, the majority of the 15.000 EUPL licensed works are distributed by economic actors, developers and enterprises.

      In Germany, the announcement was promptly commented by IfrOSS, the German Institute for legal questions on free and open source software (EU-Kommission veröffentlicht neue EUPL-Version). Pro-Linux.de focuses on the extended compatibility of the EUPL (i.e. with the GPL v3) and point out that in various European Member States like The Netherlands, France, Spain etc. the licence has been selected for distributing, when convenient and applicable, software applications made by governments.

    • Romania opens new procurement portal for testing

      A demo-version of Romania’s future eProcurement portal is available for testing by contracting authorities and companies. The purpose of the public test is to check the system’s performance and security, and get suggestions for improvements from users.

      The live-demo should let users become familiar with the new site and services, the country’s Agency for the Digital Agenda (AADR) and the Public Procurement Agency (ANAP) announced.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Metsä Wood Launches ‘Open Source Wood’

      Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction. By creating an open innovation platform around modular wood construction, Metsä Wood’s aim is to connect the local wood construction industry with global knowledge to facilitate collaboration and growth.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Access Policy In International Organisations

        Open access is “part of the DNA” of international intergovernmental organisations, Charlotte Beauchamp, head of editorial and design at the World Intellectual Property Organization, said during a workshop last week. Representatives of different international organisations described during the workshop the increasing use of an open access policy by their organisations.

        A workshop on International Organizations and Open Access was organised on 12 June during the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017 (WSIS Forum 2017), which took place from 12-16 June.

  • Programming/Development

    • 3 great reasons to embrace rejection

      In 2006, I downloaded the Bazaar version control system and a bunch of Ubuntu code, made changes locally, then abandoned my project. Later, around 2009, Hibernate creator Gavin King gave a talk to our local Java User Group. I was interested in giving back to the project because we used it for work, but after downloading Hibernate’s source and looking at the bug repository, I found myself intimidated once again. I was worried the response to my code submission would fall along the lines of, “Who let this woman with the craptastic code ever think she should submit code to us?!?!” Then I imagined a banned list shooting across the open source community IRC channels with my name on it.

    • Not rebasing an old feature branch

      Ultimately, my aim was to provide an interface, at the code level, for developers (rather designers) to improve the GUI of video effects. GStreamer effects are very beautifully handled in Pitivi, the main focus was to use this existing underlying infrastructure on top of which a way of easily adding custom UI for effects had to be setup.

      One of the ways of stopping ‘duplication of effort’ in Open Source projects is to document everything, even failed/blocked attempts. Thanks to nekohayo (previous maintainer at Pitivi) opening task T3263, his work from 2013 towards providing such an interface is now up and running again.

    • Why Git Is Worth the Learning Curve

      Distributed version control systems like Git help developers collaborate and deploy faster and more easily. See why the learning curve is well worth it to use Git.

    • Resources for getting started with Python and machine learning

      Are you interested in machine learning and want to learn how to program? That’s why I started learning to code. In this article, I’ll share a few of the best resources that helped me advance from building my first program to building my first neural network.

    • PHP 7.2 Slated For Fedora 27

      A new feature proposal would ensure Fedora 27 ships with the latest PHP release at the time.

    • General Catalyst, Founder Collective fund the creators of open source programming language

      The creators of the programming language Julia, several of whom have connections to MIT and Harvard, have raised $4.6 million from General Catalyst and Founder Collective for a startup that aims to commercialize the open source code, a type of business that is becoming more common in the Boston area.

      Julia Computing builds professional software tools to make it easier for organizations, especially i

Leftovers

  • [Older] Why we’re betting against real-time team messaging [iophk: “many UIs designed for addiction not action. *cough* Microsoft *cough*”

    This post is the story of why we stopped using Slack. It’s also the story of how we had the (possibly) crazy idea that we could contribute something fundamentally different to an already cluttered team communication market. Something for teams like ours with the audacity to think that maybe there’s more to work than keeping up with group chat…

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • Intel: Joule’s burned, Edison switched off, and Galileo – Galileo is no more

      Intel has discontinued three of its offerings for the Internet of Things and embedded device markets.

      The chipmaker said in a series of low-key product updates that it would be killing off the Edison [PDF], Galileo [PDF] and Joule [PDF] compute modules and boards over the second half of the year.

      The notices mark an ignoble end for three lines that were once seen as key to Chipzilla’s IoT and connected appliance strategies.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Thousands of women were raped during Rwanda’s genocide. Now their children are coming of age

      Angel was 11 the last time her mother tried to kill her. She remembers the handful of rat poison pellets, the urging: “Take this”. She screamed until a neighbour rushed over and pulled her away. That was a decade ago, before the counselling, and now Angel’s mother is bending over her shoulder, pouring her a cup of black tea. They share a bed, a concrete house without electricity and a history that horrified the world.

      Over a hundred days in 1994, genocide devastated Rwanda, an East African country the size of Belgium. The assailants claimed roughly 800,000 lives and raped an estimated 250,000 women, which, according to one charity’s count, produced up to 20,000 babies.

      Angel is part of this generation in the shadows. These young people are now stepping into adulthood, coming to terms with an identity no parent would wish on a child. Yet they are defying expectations that tragedy would define their lives.

    • ‘Hero’ imam praises group that saved Finsbury Park suspect from angry crowd

      An imam hailed as a hero for preventing bystanders from attacking the suspected Finsbury Park mosque attacker has praised the “calm and collected” group who helped him keep the peace.

      Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam at the Muslim Welfare House, arrived shortly after the suspect was wrestled to the ground. “By God’s grace we managed to surround him and protect him from any harm,” Mahmoud said at a press conference in north London on Monday afternoon.

    • Guns kill nearly 1,300 kids in the US per year, and suicides are on the rise

      Nearly 1,300 children aged 0 to 17 are killed by gun shots each year in the US, and nearly 5,800 more suffer from non-lethal gunshot wounds, researchers estimate in a study published Monday in Pediatrics.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Julian Assange cancels planned ‘special announcement’

      “Under advisement, he cancelled the announcement to assure negotiations proceeded in an open and constructive manner because it is essential there is a resolution as soon as possible to what the UN stated is illegal and arbitrary detention.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Three-quarters of the world’s population could face deadly heatwaves within next 80 years, scientists warn

      But they warned this figure could rise to an estimated 74 per cent by the end of the century if carbon emissions continued at high levels. And even the “most aggressive” programme of greenhouse gas reductions would still see more than 47 per cent of the population affected by deadly heatwaves by 2100, the researchers estimated.

    • How to Protect the Environment Where It’s Worked by Human Hands

      This region’s working landscapes have never been much associated with the loftiest ideals of environmentalism. Though John Muir, the eccentric wanderer and father of the conservation movement, trekked along the Mississippi Valley in his youth, he was ultimately more focused on protecting unpopulated Western wilderness than in places that were plowed, fished, mined, or otherwise heavily worked by human hands. But arguably, the ranching, farming, and fishing landscapes of Middle America, and the people who manage them, play as important a role in America’s environmental health as wide-open wilderness does.

    • Studies say ARPA-E, EPA programs have worked well, contrary to political rhetoric

      An independent review of ARPA-E and a graduate study program offered by the EPA has found that the two embattled, federally funded grant programs are necessary, contrary to claims made by Washington.

    • EPA chief Scott Pruitt met fossil fuel industry bosses but no environmentalists in first weeks in office

      Scott Pruitt, the climate science-denying head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, met with a string of fossil fuel industry representatives during his first weeks in office – but no environmental groups – according to a copy of his diary obtained under Freedom of Information laws.

    • Thin ice: Vanishing ice only exacerbates a bad, climate change-fueled situation

      Most people view our planet’s vanishing ice as a symptom of climate change. And if they pay a bit more attention, some people might even be aware of some of its effects, including sea level rise and the opening up of the Arctic to shipping. But ice is also an active player in the Earth’s climate—it doesn’t only respond to warming by melting. Changes in our planet’s ice are capable of feeding back on the climate system, creating further consequences for the globe.

      The regions of our planet where temperatures fall below the freezing point are characterized by ice and snow, lots of ice and snow. Across land masses, seas, and oceans, roughly 70 percent of the fresh water exists as ice. But now, in response to the warming of our planet, that entire system is changing.

    • Your spoiled kitty is descended from hard-working barn cats

      One answer comes from a paper published today in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. Researchers analyzed DNA extracted from the teeth and bones of over 200 cats. These remains span 9,000 years, and trace back to places from Viking graves to modern Angola. They found that cats spread in two waves — one from the Near East, and one from Egypt — traveling on ships to arrive in new places.

      Before Grumpy Cat and Maru, there were farmers in the Near East (areas like Iran and Turkey) who stored grain. Grain attracts rats, and rats attracted — well, not cats, exactly, but their wildcat ancestor, Felis silvestris lybica. These farmers, noticing that these wildcats were useful for keeping down the rat population, were probably the first to domesticate the felines, which then spread to Europe by 4400 BCE.

  • Finance

    • Media-Shy Tencent Billionaire Joins Debate on Hong Kong’s Future

      In an unusual move, Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s billionaire founder Pony Ma has chosen to convene a summit of government academics and business chieftains in Hong Kong days before the 20th anniversary of its return to China. The head of the country’s biggest corporation wants to fire up a debate about an issue that’s fomented protests and fears about Beijing’s agenda: how to entwine the self-run former British colony with the mainland.

    • Jack Ma Woos Mom and Pop Shops in U.S. Jobs Push

      Still, entrepreneurs like Wolf are the sellers Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma wants to woo when he arrives in Detroit this week for his company’s Gateway conference. The two-day event is drawing thousands of U.S. business owners, from farmers to managers of more established brands, to learn how to succeed in China through Alibaba. For Ma, it’s following through on a promise he made to U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year to create one million jobs in the U.S.

    • Apple world’s largest IT vendor with US$218 billion in revenue: Gartner

      Apple sits on top of a new global ranking list as the largest IT vendor with more than US$218 billion in IT revenue — approximately $79 billion larger than the number 2 vendor, Samsung Vendor Group — according to a newly published report.

    • Defence to move files from data centre after Chinese investment
    • Australian Defence files to be moved out of privately owned data hub after Chinese buy-in

      The Defence Department will terminate its relationship with a Sydney data centre in 2020 and move its secret files back into a government-owned hub, because a Chinese consortium bought half of the centre’s parent company.

    • Brexit: Whatever happened to the “row of the summer”?

      On Friday this blog asked whether there had been a UK government u-turn on “sequencing” in the Brexit negotiations, which started today.

      Sequencing is (or at least was) important for the UK.

      Article 50 envisages two agreements: an exit (or divorce) agreement, dealing with issues related to the departure, and an agreement on future relations, which for the UK essentially means trade.

      The UK want(ed) both to be negotiated together, in parallel.

    • Barclays Bank and former boss John Varley charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by SFO

      Barclays and four former directors including ex-chief executive John Varley have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud during the £11.8bn emergency fundraises the bank undertook to avert a bailout during the financial crisis.

      The Serious Fraud Office said that the bank, Mr Varley, former star banker Roger Jenkins, ex-wealth division head Thomas Kalaris, and former global co-head of finance Richard Boath had been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in the lender’s dealings with Qatari investors who backed a £4.5bn cash call undertaken in June 2008.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • President Trump wants a ‘sweeping transformation’ of government tech, he says at a White House meeting with execs [Ed: And he put former Microsoft in charge]

      Among the invitees Monday included the leaders of Adobe, Akamai, Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm, as well as some of Silicon Valley’s leading investors, like Peter Thiel, who previously advised Trump during his presidential transition. Opening the day’s events, Jared Kushner — one of Trump’s top advisors — emphasized that the government’s tech troubles are legion.

    • Trump seeks tech’s help for government IT overhaul

      The meeting was the first of the American Technology Council, a group of tech CEOs whose goal is modernizing the government’s “technology infrastructure.” The meeting marked the beginning of the White House’s “technology week,” aimed at pushing Trump’s policies in that area.

    • Facebook and Twitter being used to manipulate public opinion – report

      Propaganda on social media is being used to manipulate public opinion around the world, a new set of studies from the University of Oxford has revealed.

    • Computational Propaganda Worldwide: Executive Summary

      The Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has researched the use of social media for public opinion manipulation. The team involved 12 researchers across nine countries who, altogether, interviewed 65 experts, analyzed tens of millions posts on seven different social media platforms during scores of elections, political crises, and national security incidents. Each case study analyzes qualitative, quantitative, and computational evidence collected between 2015 and 2017 from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.

    • LIVE: Naomi Klein on Winning the World We Need

      Watch live on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30pm EST as Naomi Klein joins Brit Marling to discuss Klein’s latest book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need.

    • Trump Is Appointing Racist Fake-News Purveyors to the Federal Bench

      This was too much for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who made it clear he thinks Schiff was nominated because of his far-right views, particularly on the rights of corporations, which Schiff appears to think are near-absolute. “To have you say that that’s a door that you are closing, and that a whole new Damien Schiff is going to emerge in black robes, and all of the things you’ve said in the past don’t matter and aren’t things you can be held accountable for—when those are exactly the flags that you sent up that got you in that seat here in the first place,” Whitehouse said.

    • GOP Data Firm Left The Personal Data Of 198 Million American Voters On Openly-Accessible Amazon Server

      A GOP data firm has accepted responsibility for leaving the personal data of 198 million Americans (aka: most of the country’s voting populace) openly accessible on an Amazon server in the biggest voter data leak in global history. Deep Root Analytics, the owner of the data, has long been contracted by the Republican National Committee to measure voter opinions on a wide variety of issues, from health care to gun control. As part of their contract with the RNC, the group pulls voter information from a wide variety of sources, ranging from Reddit to the Karl Rove super PAC American Crossroads.

      This data, which includes religious affiliation and ethnicity, is then utilized to help craft PR efforts and other messaging, as well as to determine turnout and voter preferences. And, according to analysis of the data and previous profiles of the company like this one over at Ad Age, this firm was hugely influential in getting Donald Trump’s “populist” message out to voters during the last election cycle.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • After Terror Attacks, Britain Moves to Police the Web

      After deadly terrorist attacks and a nationwide election, Britain is once again focusing on a controversial plan: to regulate the internet.

    • Canada introduces Orwellian speech code on gender pronouns

      This is very interesting – and worrying. Many countries have hate speech laws stating what you can not say. But this is a law dictating what people must say! Truly Orwellian.

    • Google now actively works against extremist YouTube videos

      Google knows there’s a lot of extremist and hate-filled content on YouTube and it’s now doing more to stop those videos from gaining traction. In a blog post yesterday, Google laid out four new steps it will take to work against extremist videos on YouTube, and most of those steps expand on current systems the company has in place to identify, flag, demonetize, and essentially hide hate-filled videos.

    • Supreme Court Reminds US Government That Hate Speech Is, In Fact, Free Speech

      We’ve written a few times now about the case involving the band “The Slants” and their fight against the US Patent and Trademark Office concerning whether or not the band could trademark its own name (and, yes, this case is indirectly tied to the fight over whether or not the Washington Redskins can keep its team name trademarked). The key issue is a part of trademark law — §1052(a) — that says that the USPTO can deny trademarks if they “disparage… or bring into contempt or disrepute… persons, living or dead.” When we first came across this case, a few years back, I argued that this clause did not violate the First Amendment. My argument, originally, was that a failure to grant a trademark was not restricting speech in any way (in fact, it was the opposite — it was allowing more speech, since the registered trademark could no longer be used to block the speech of others).

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Czech Rep. to implement its ‘Data Boxes’ in schools

      The Czech Republic’s eDocument system Datove Schranky (Data Boxes) will be implemented for all schools, the country’s Interior Ministry has announced. The web-based system for secure access to government documents will be set up for all schools that do not already use the system.

    • There Is No ‘Going Dark’ Problem

      Former FBI Director James Comey made plenty of headlines with his insistence cellphone encryption would be the end of law enforcement as we know it. Comey’s assertions made it seem as though regular police investigative work was no longer of any use and that any and all evidence pertinent to cases resided behind cellphone passcodes.

      He insisted the problem would only get worse in the future. If not put to an end by legislated backdoors or smart tech guys coding up “safe” holes in device encryption, we may as well accept the fact that no criminal committing more than a moving violation would ever be brought to justice.

      Default encryption does pose a problem for law enforcement, but it’s nowhere near as insurmountable as Comey has portrayed it. Multiple FOIA requests handled through MuckRock have shown law enforcement still has several phone-cracking options at its disposal and doesn’t seem to be having many problems recovering evidence.

    • Man To Spend 180 Days In Jail For Turning Over Non-Working Password

      The protections of the Fifth Amendment are running up against technology and often coming out on the losing end. Court rulings have been anything but consistent to this point. So far it appears password protection beats fingerprints, but not by much.

      It all comes down to the individual court. Some view passwords as possibly testimonial in and of themselves, and side with defendants. Others view passwords as something standing in the way of compelled evidence production and punish holdouts with contempt of court charges.

      That’s what’s happening to a Florida man suspected of child abuse. He claims he’s given law enforcement his phone’s password already, but prosecutors claim the password failed to unlock his phone. They believe his phone holds evidence of the physical abuse alleged — a claim that seems a bit less believable than those made about child porn viewers and drug dealers.

    • The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak

      In what is the largest known data exposure of its kind, UpGuard’s Cyber Risk Team can now confirm that a misconfigured database containing the sensitive personal details of over 198 million American voters was left exposed to the internet by a firm working on behalf of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in their efforts to elect Donald Trump. The data, which was stored in a publicly accessible cloud server owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal information compiled by DRA and at least two other Republican contractors, TargetPoint Consulting, Inc. and Data Trust. In total, the personal information of potentially near all of America’s 200 million registered voters was exposed, including names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as “modeled” voter ethnicities and religions.

    • GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voter

      Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon servers.

    • The Scarily Common Screw-Up That Exposed 198 Million Voter Records

      A conservative data firm called Deep Root Analytics owns the database, and stores it on an Amazon S3 server. As Chris Vickery, cyber-risk analyst with security firm UpGuard, discovered earlier this month, all of that data was open to anyone who found it not because of clever hacking or complicated internet forces, but because of a simple misconfiguration. Think of it as leaving your valuables in a high-end safe with the door propped open.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • TSA Mouth Breathers Prove Their Worthlessness: Bag Starts Smoking In “Security” Line; TSA Workers Do Nothing

      Hilariously, oily liar Nico Melendez, the TSA spokesspinner, really shows his stuff — claiming that the TSA workers (they are not officers) “reacted immediately.”

      In fact, he said this: “…officers reacted as they’ve been trained, decisively and immediately.”

      I guess he didn’t realize they had tape revealing what an artiste du bullshit he is.

    • ‘Smoking bag’ at LAX checkpoint prompts TSA policy questions

      Passengers were making their way through an LAX checkpoint on Tuesday afternoon when they spot one bag that started to smoke!

      Those passengers left that checkpoint very concerned after they say that airport officials seemed confused about the whole thing.

      Now we’re asking questions about the airport and the response.

      Lucas Mroczkowski was at the checkpoint to catch a plane to the East Coast. At that time no one knows why the bag is smoking…and the way Mrosekowski describes it, no LAX official seemed too concerned about it either.

    • Did somebody illegally record Guantánamo legal meetings? Southcom investigates

      The commander of the U.S. Southern Command has ordered an investigation into claims that somebody was illegally recording attorney-client meetings at Guantánamo from September 2015 to April 2017, a discovery that prompted a general to warn war court defense attorneys that their privileged communications were at risk.

      The episode is the latest in a long string of defense lawyers’ complaints about government interference into their privileged work — from the CIA’s having the clandestine capacity to mute court audio to FBI agents trying to turn defense team members into informants to the discovery of listening devices that looked like smoke detectors in legal meeting rooms.

    • There’s a constitutional right to use social media, Supreme Court says

      The US Supreme Court on Monday declared as unconstitutional a 2008 North Carolina law barring registered sex offenders from accessing commercial social media sites where minors may become members or create personal pages or profiles.

      The justices ruled that the law, used to prosecute more than 1,000 registered sex offenders, was a breach of the First Amendment because “cyberspace” amounted to the “modern public square.” The court said the North Carolina law, which bars sex offenders from sites like Facebook and Twitter, “enacts a prohibition unprecedented in the scope of First Amendment speech it burdens.”

      [...]

      The high court noted that a “fundamental principle”—even one available to convicted sex offenders, is the First Amendment right to access “places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more.”

      Those places, the court concluded, include “Cyberspace.”

    • South Carolina Sheriffs Less Interested In Enforcing Laws Than Taking Stuff

      It’s not like we need any more evidence showing asset forfeiture has almost nothing to do with enforcing laws or breaking up criminal organizations. But law enforcement agencies just keep generating damning data.

      The Charleston Post and Courier’s article on the subject runs under an innocuous title that seems to put the blame on the federal government for the asset forfeiture sins of local police, but the article tells a completely different story. The officers and officials quoted in the story make noises about taking down criminals, but the greedy devil is in the details.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cable lobby tries to stop state investigations into slow broadband speeds

      Broadband industry lobby groups want to stop individual states from investigating the speed claims made by Internet service providers, and they are citing the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules in their effort to hinder the state-level actions.

      The industry attempt to undercut state investigations comes a few months after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary that claims the ISP defrauded and misled New Yorkers by promising Internet speeds the company knew it could not deliver.

    • FCC net neutrality comments could publicise your email address

      “You are filing a document into an official FCC proceeding. All information submitted, including names and addresses, will be publicly available via the web.”

    • ‘Confusing’ FCC privacy policy exposes net neutrality commenters’ emails

      A conservative watchdog group used the loophole in the FCC’s privacy policy that makes commenters’ emails addresses public.

    • 80% Of Cord Cutters Leave Because Of High Cable TV Prices, But The Industry Still Refuses To Compete On Price

      A new study from Tivo (pdf) notes that nearly half of current pay TV subscribers are considering cutting the cord this year. That’s not particularly surprising given the fact that the first quarter set cord cutting records, and the second quarter is expected to be significantly worse. Similarly unsurprising is the fact that of these defecting customers, roughly 80% of those departing say they’re doing so because traditional cable TV service is simply too expensive…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO TK Committee Agrees To Continue Work, But Real Outcome Depends On October Assembly

      A recommendation to continue the work of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on the protection of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and folklore is on its way to the organisation’s annual General Assembly in October. However, the details of the mandate are left for the General Assembly to discuss, such as the mandate and the work programme of the committee for the next two years.

    • Revised Articles Protecting Folklore Head To WIPO General Assembly, For Better Or Worse

      Delegations this week agreed on a revised set of draft articles aiming to protect traditional cultural expressions (folklore) from misappropriation, typically for commercial interests. However, several proposals made by the United States, some of which were supported by the European Union, were seen by others as defying the purpose of the potential treaty.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Roku Sales Banned in Mexico Over Piracy Concerns

        A Mexican court has ordered local retailers to stop importing and selling Roku media players, as these allow the public to access pirated content. In addition, several banks are prohibited from processing payments that are linked to piracy services on the Roku platform.

      • BPI Breaks Record After Sending 310 Million Google Takedowns

        The BPI has reached yet another landmark after ‘piracy’ takedowns sent to Google smashed through the 300 million barrier. The music industry group says that it has now sent more than 310 million requests to delist infringing URLs but informs TF that a takedown and staydown regime could really help to bring volumes under control.

      • Supreme Court turns down EFF’s “Dancing Baby” fair use case

        The Supreme Court has decided not to take up the case of Lenz v. Universal, a ten-year-old copyright lawsuit initiated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that helped determine the boundaries of “fair use.”

        Today’s order leaves standing an earlier ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. EFF called that ruling a “strong precedent,” while at the same time acknowledging it did not go far enough.

      • Supreme Court Won’t Hear Dancing Baby Case… Despite Gov’t Admitting ‘Serious Legal Error’

        Supreme Court Won’t Hear Dancing Baby Case… Despite Gov’t Admitting ‘Serious Legal Error’
        from the dancing-without-end dept

        Sometimes I think purgatory must be filing a lawsuit over a wrongful DMCA takedown notice. I’m pretty sure that’s how Stephanie Lenz feels. After all, she’s been fighting against Universal Music issuing a bogus DMCA takedown against her dancing baby, and I’m pretty sure that “baby” will be graduating high school before too long. Last we’d checked in, the Supreme Court was debating hearing the appeal in the case, and had asked the White House to weigh in. The White House responded last month with a truly bizarre argument, agreeing that the 9th Circuit’s ruling contained a “significant legal error” but said that this case was “not a suitable vehicle for correcting that mistake.”

        Whether it was for that reason or for no reason at all, the Supreme Court has now decided not to hear the appeal, meaning that the case is back (once again) in District Court, where it may actually go to trial to determine if Universal Music knew that the video was fair use when it issued the initial takedown.

        As we’ve discussed time and time again, this particular case is an important one, if Section 512(f) of the DMCA — the part that says you cannot file bogus DMCA takedowns — is to have any teeth. The problem, right now is that there are piles upon piles of abusive DMCA takedowns, targeting all sorts of content that is perfectly legitimate and non-infringing. Yet, because there is basically no punishment for issuing such takedowns, they continue. Unfortunately, this particular case keeps coming out with “mixed bag” rulings that probably won’t help very much in the long term. While we may have hoped that the Supreme Court would clear things up and make sure 512(f) actually does its job, it appears that’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

      • Copyright Troll RightsCorp Ramps Up Its Efforts To Get ISPs To Push Its Payment Demands On Users

        Remember Rightscorp? This is the wannabe “friendlier” copyright troll, that sends smaller bills than the traditional copyright trolls. Over the years, it’s actually struggled to make any money… and has struggled with some of its more bizarre legal theories. Unfortunately, in late 2015, one of Rightscorp’s partners got a big ruling against Cox, arguing that Cox violated the DMCA by not properly terminating repeat infringers (as we noted at the time, this was based on a tortured interpretation of the law. The case is still winding its way through the appeals process, but Rightscorp and its partners have continued to push forward, using the ruling in that BMG v. Cox case to pressure others. At least one other ISP has already been sued.

      • The Pirate Bay Isn’t Affected By Adverse Court Rulings – Everyone Else Is

        The Pirate Bay has provoked more copyright lawsuits and adverse legal rulings than any other Internet platform yet it remains steadfastly online today. Somewhat amazingly, The Pirate Bay has never been seriously affected by any of these processes. The same cannot be said about everyone else.

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    Links for the day



  5. “US Inventor” is a “Bucket of Deplorables” Not Worthy of Media Coverage

    Jan Wolfe of Reuters treats a fringe group called “US Inventor” as though it's a conservative voice rather than a bunch of patent extremists pretending to be inventors



  6. Team Battistelli's Attacks on the EPO Boards of Appeal Predate the Illegal Sanctions Against a Judge

    A walk back along memory lane reveals that Battistelli has, all along, suppressed and marginalised DG3 members, in order to cement total control over the entire Organisation, not just the Office



  7. PTAB is Safe, the Patent Extremists Just Try to Scandalise It Out of Sheer Desperation

    The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which gave powers to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) through inter partes reviews (IPRs), has no imminent threats, not potent ones anyway



  8. Update on the EPO's Crackdown on the Boards of Appeal

    Demand of 35% increases from the boards serves to show that Battistelli now does to the 'independent' judges what he already did to examiners at the Office



  9. The Lobbyists Are Trying to Subvert US Law in Favour of Patent Predators

    Mingorance, Kappos, Underweiser and other lobbyists for the software patents agenda (paid by firms like Microsoft and IBM) keep trying to undo progress, notably the bans on software patents



  10. Patent Trolls Based in East Texas Are Affected Very Critically by TC Heartland

    The latest situation in Texas (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in particular), which according to new analyses is the target of legal scrutiny for the 'loopholes' it provided to patent trolls in search of easy legal battles



  11. Alice Remains a Strong Precedential Decision and the Media Has Turned Against Software Patents

    The momentum against the scourge of software patents and the desperation among patent 'professionals' (people who don't create/develop/invent) is growing



  12. Harm Still Caused by Granted Software Patents

    A roundup of recent (past week's) announcements, including legal actions, contingent upon software patents in an age when software patents bear no real legitimacy



  13. Links 18/11/2017: Raspberry Digital Signage 10, New Nano

    Links for the day



  14. 23,000 Posts

    23,000 blog posts milestone reached in 11 years



  15. BlackBerry Cannot Sell Phones and Apple Looks Like the Next BlackBerry (a Pile of Patents)

    The lifecycle of mobile giants seems to typically end in patent shakedown, as Apple loses its business to Android just like Nokia and BlackBerry lost it to Apple



  16. EFF and CCIA Use Docket Navigator and Lex Machina to Identify 'Stupid Patents' (Usually Software Patents That Are Not Valid)

    In spite of threats and lawsuits from bogus 'inventors' whom they criticise, EFF staff continues the battle against patents that should never have been granted at all



  17. The Australian Productivity Commission Shows the Correct Approach to Setting Patent Laws and Scope

    Australia views patents on software as undesirable and acts accordingly, making nobody angry except a bunch of law firms that profited from litigation and patent maximalism



  18. EPO 'Business' From the United States Has Nosedived and UPC is on Its Death Throes

    Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot further accelerate the ultimate demise of the EPO (getting rid of experienced and thus 'expensive' staff), for which there is no replacement because there is a monopoly (which means Europe will suffer severely)



  19. Links 17/11/2017: KDE Applications 17.12, Akademy 2018 Plans

    Links for the day



  20. Today's EPO and Team UPC Do Not Work for Europe But Actively Work Against Europe

    The tough reality that some Europeans actively work to undermine science and technology in Europe because they personally profit from it and how this relates to the Unitary Patent (UPC), which is still aggressively lobbied for, sometimes by bribing/manipulating the media, academia, and public servants



  21. Links 16/11/2017: WordPress 4.9 and GhostBSD 11.1 Released

    Links for the day



  22. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) is Rightly Upset If Not Shocked at What Battistelli and Bergot Are Doing to the Office

    The EPO's dictatorial management is destroying everything that's left (of value) at the Office while corrupting academia and censoring discussion by threatening those who publish comments (gagging its own staff even when that staff posts anonymously)



  23. EPO Continues to Disobey the Law on Software Patents in Europe

    Using the same old euphemisms, e.g. "computer-implemented inventions" (or "CII"), the EPO continues to grant patents which are clearly and strictly out of scope



  24. Links 16/11/2017: Tails 3.3, Deepin 15.5 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot Have Just Ensured That EPO Will Get Even More Corrupt

    Revolving door-type tactics will become more widespread at the EPO now that the management (Battistelli and his cronies) hires for low cost rather than skills/quality and minimises staff retention; this is yet another reason to dread anything like the UPC, which prioritises litigation over examination



  26. Australia is Banning Software Patents and Shelston IP is Complaining as Usual

    The Australian Productivity Commission, which defies copyright and patent bullies, is finally having policies put in place that better serve the interests of Australians, but the legal 'industry' is unhappy (as expected)



  27. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Defended by Technology Giants, by Small Companies, by US Congress and by Judges, So Why Does USPTO Make It Less Accessible?

    In spite of the popularity of PTAB and the growing need/demand for it, the US patent system is apparently determined to help it discriminate against poor petitioners (who probably need PTAB the most)



  28. Declines in Patent Quality at the EPO and 'Independent' Judges Can No Longer Say a Thing

    The EPO's troubling race to the bottom (of patent quality) concerns the staff examiners and the judges, but they cannot speak about it without facing rather severe consequences



  29. The EPO is Now Corrupting Academia, Wasting Stakeholders' Money Lying to Stakeholders About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court/Unitary Patent (UPC) is a dying project and the EPO, seeing that it is going nowhere fast, has resorted to new tactics and these tactics cost a lot of money (at the expense of those who are being lied to)



  30. Links 15/11/2017: Fedora 27 Released, Linux Mint Has New Betas

    Links for the day


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