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07.04.17

Links 4/7/2017: Market Share Debate is Back, Libinput 1.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Stats [From Microsoft-Connected Firm] Say Linux Marketshare Hit All-Time High Last Month

    Desktop Linux marketshare hit an all-time high last month, according to the latest data from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.

    The company report that Linux users made up 2.36% of tracked visits to websites it tracks last month, the highest the Linux figure has ever been.

  • Why Linux Marketshare Stats Are Wrong

    Every few months, new statistics about Linux users on desktop platform come out. The methodologies used for each one varies according to its provider. However, they all share one thing: Being wrong.

    Measuring number of users who use a certain operating system on desktop is totally different thing from servers or other devices. E.g for web servers, you may have a list of static IP addresses which you can analyze and try to reach. You may check hosting companies or huge enterprises for additional data. Lot of methodologies can be used.

    However, for desktop. It seems like most statistics providers don’t have any scientific methodology to rely on so far. What they depend on is that they try to make partnerships with some famous advertising networks (which include thousands of websites) and try to analyze the visitors of those websites to provide them with data.

    Such methodology is so far from being accurate. This article tells you why.

  • Desktop

    • Pop!_OS Linux Distribution Unveiled By System76

      system76 has this week announced the October 2017 availability of a new Linux distribution in the form of the Pop!_OS which is currently in its Alpha development stage.

    • Introducing: Guy Tux

      Meet Guy Tux: the one who will pave the way to a powerful open source revolution. Follow Guy Tux through his revolt against proprietary corporations and supreme control over the maker in all of us.

    • Nine Most Privacy-Loving Laptops You Can Buy Today Got Stamped By FSF

      In an announcement made last week, FSF has certified 15 devices including laptops, Wireless cards, Bluetooth adapters, printers, etc. RYF was first materialized in 2012 and till now the number of devices to get a green signal can count on our fingers.

      The list now has a total of six laptops which can tap their back, as FSF thinks they won’t cause a dent in people’s personal lives and allow them to control every bit.

  • Server

    • Three New Open Source Container Utilities By Oracle

      With the three new tools- Smith, Crashcart and Railcar, the Oracle is helping development teams build and operate containers. The tools are designed to tackle containerization challenges commonly faced.

    • IBM Using Docker and Kubernetes to Enable Watson Cognitive Computing

      IBM’s Watson computing platform is helping to enable a new era of what IBM calls “Cognitive Computing” with its powerful processing and analytics capabilities. Looking beyond the physical hardware behind IBM Watson, it is Docker containers that are helping IBM to deliver Watson services.

      In a video interview with eWEEK, Jason McGee, VP and CTO for IBM cloud platform discussed the intersection of Watson and containers.

      “All the Watson services run in Docker containers,” McGee said. “So we’re running many tens of thousands of containers that are basically the internal implementation for all the Watson APIs the run on (IBM) Bluemix.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.12 kernel lands: ‘Go forth and use it’ quoth Linus Torvalds

      As anticipated last week, version 4.12 of the Linux kernel landed Sunday amid a storm of … well, placidity, as it happens.

      Linus Torvald’s release announcement is suitably low-key for something he expected to land without fuss. “Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release”, he writes.

      The “just plain big” release has “also nothing particularly odd going on in the tree – it’s all just normal development, just more of it that usual.”

    • Linux Kernel 4.12 Released — These Are The 5 Biggest Features

      After the usual development process involving seven release candidates, Linus Torvalds has released Linux kernel 4.12. Regarding commits, probably, it’s the second biggest kernel release. The most significant feature of kernel 4.12 is the support for new AMD Vega graphics processors. You can go ahead and download the Linux kernel 4.12 tarball from kernel.org.

    • Massive Linux 4.12 kernel release brings AMD Vega support

      ATTENTION YOU ‘orrible lot! It is I, your leader, Colonel Kitten the Kernel Kitten.

      I have spent the last seven weeks as a sleeper agent awaiting instructions from Commander Torvalds. Which basically means I found a sunbeam on a window sill and no one shouted at me to move.

    • Linux Kernel 4.12 Released with BFQ, USB Type-C Manager, Much More

      Announcing the release on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) Linus Torvalds says: “Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real
      reason to delay the 4.12 release.”

      “As mentioned over the various rc announcements, 4.12 is one of the
      bigger releases historically.”

      He advises the mailing list recipients to “go out and use it.”

    • New UUID Subsystem For The Linux 4.13 Kernel

      The Linux 4.13 kernel will bring at least one new subsystem.

    • Heavy Staging Updates Submitted For Linux 4.13: 500+ Patches

      Greg KH has sent in the staging code updates for the Linux 4.13 merge window.

    • Linux 4.13 Adding Write Hints To Allow For Better NVMe Performance

      The block changes for the Linux 4.13 kernel include some interesting changes.

    • Mux Subsystem, Thunderbolt Updates Coming For Linux 4.13

      Greg KH has submitted pull requests of Linux 4.13 feature updates for the various subsystems he oversees, including the char/misc driver patches.

    • Hwmon Updates Submitted For Linux 4.13, Still No Ryzen/Epyc Temp Support

      The hwmon (hardware monitoring) subsystem updates have been submitted for Linux 4.13 and what’s sad about the pull request is what isn’t present.

    • Scheduler Improvements Set For Linux 4.13

      Scheduler improvements are en route for the Linux 4.13 kernel.

    • Linux just got one of its biggest kernel updates yet says Linus Torvalds

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds on Sunday announced the arrival of the Linux 4.12 kernel, which is notable for its size thanks to addition support for AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega graphics card.

      “Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release,” wrote Torvalds.

    • Linux 4.12
    • GNU Linux-libre 4.12 Kernel Released, More Driver Deblobbing

      The GNU Linux-Libre 4.12 kernel is now available and is the sanitized version of the Linux 4.12 kernel to ensure no binary-only firmware blobs are loaded or used by this trimmed down Linux kernel.

      The GNU Linux-Libre kernel continues to focus on “deblobbing” drivers and removing support for the kernel from any drivers relying upon proprietary firmware/microcode files, even if it means reducing hardware support or functionality.

    • GNU Linux-libre 4.12-gnu is now available
    • Linux 4.12 Kernel Debuts New Schedulers in Big Release

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds officially released the Linux 4.12 kernel on July 2, providing improved capabilities that will help improve the scalability and performance of Linux operating systems.

      The 4.12 kernel is the third major Linux kernel release of 2017, following the April 30th Linux 4.11 kernel release. In his release announcement,Torvalds commented on the large size of the Linux 4.12 release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [ANNOUNCE] libinput 1.8.0

        libinput 1.8 is now available. Only a bit of tidying up after the last RC,
        the only visible change for distributions is that the libinput debug-gui is
        now installed by default unless disabled.

        This is the last release off git master with autotools present, expect git
        master to be purged of autotools files very soon. The 1.8.x series will
        remain compatible with autotools.

      • Libinput 1.8 Released

        Peter Hutterer has released libinput version 1.8 for X.Org and Wayland systems as the generic input handling library.

      • Vulkan Support in Qt 5.10 – Part 3

        In the previous posts (part 1, part 2) we covered the introduction and basic Vulkan instance creation bits. It is time to show something on the screen!

      • AMD Vega FE reviews disappoint fans with humdrum gaming performance
      • AMD Radeon Vega Official Driver Support Comes To Linux Kernel 4.12

        All major Linux kernel releases carry a handful of special updates, but there are some that are still a lot more notable than others. Linux 4.12 is one of those kernels, with even Linus Torvalds stating that it’s one of the “bigger releases historically”. A big reason for that? Well, for starters, it include introductory AMD Radeon Vega support. This comes hot on the heels of AMD unleashing its Vega Frontier Edition to the world, and close to a month before the consumer variants launch at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles.

      • libinput and pressure-based palm detection

        I (finally!) merged a patchset to detect palms based on pressure into libinput. This should remove a lot of issues that our users have seen with accidental pointer movement. Palm detection in libinput previously used two approaches: disable-while-typing and an edge-based approach. The former simply ignores touchpad events while keyboard events are detected, the latter ignores touches that happen in the edge zones of the touchpad where real interaction is unlikely. Both approaches have the obvious disadvantages: they’re timeout- and location-dependent, causing erroneous pointer movements. But their big advantage is that they work even on old touchpads where a lot of other information is unreliable. Touchpads are getting better, so it’s time to make use of that.

      • RADV Vulkan Driver Now Exposes INT64 Support

        The RADV Radeon Vulkan driver now has support for 64-bit integers with shaderInt64 capability now being set.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE at Asian FOSS conferences

        It feels great to say that KDE has active contributors across the globe. Two KDE contributors recently presented talks in Asia about their work and encouraged new contributors to join us and get started.

      • GSoC’17-Week #3
      • KIO Stash – Shipped!

        Selecting multiple files in any file manager for copying and pasting has never been a pleasant experience, especially if the files are in a non-continuous order. Often, when selecting files using Ctrl+A or the selection tool, we find that we need to select only a subset of the required files we have selected. This leads to the unwieldy operation of removing files from our selection. Of course, the common workaround is to create a new folder and to put all the items in this folder prior to copying, but this is a very inefficient and very slow process if large files need to be copied. Moreover Ctrl+Click requires fine motor skills to not lose the entire selection of files.

        This is an original project with a novel solution to this problem. My solution is to add a virtual folder in all KIO applications, where the links to files and folders can be temporarily saved for a session. The files and folders are “staged” on this virtual folder. Files can be added to this by using all the regular file management operations such as Move, Copy and Paste, or by drag and drop. Hence, complex file operations such as moving files across many devices can be made easy by staging the operation before performing it.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lite Users Are the First to Get Linux Kernel 4.12, Here’s How to Install

      Not even a day after the release of the Linux 4.12 kernel, Linux Lite creator Jerry Bezencon announced today that users of his Ubuntu-based operating system can now install the new kernel version on their computers.

      The developer was quick to compile and optimize Linux kernel 4.12 for both 32-bit and 64-bit variants of his Linux Lite operating system, allowing users to install it on their existing installations with a straightforward command that you can find below. However, he warns users using the proprietary Nvidia graphics driver not to install the new kernel version.

    • New Releases

      • Rockstor Linux NAS Solution Now Offers Full Disk Encryption with LUKS

        Rockstor, the Linux- and Btrfs-based open-source storage operating system that supports features like CIFS/SMB, snapshots, and Copy-on-Write, has been updated recently to version 3.9.1.

        Rockstor 3.9.1 is the latest and most advanced version of the operating system, shipping with many improvements, under-the-hood optimizations, and some exciting new features like the ability to encrypt disk installations using LUKS and support for scheduling power management, and support for jumbo frames.

        “Disk encryption with LUKS is the biggest feature we’ve added and something the community has been wanting for a while. We’ve also added support for scheduling power management and jumbo frames just to name a few,” says Suman Chakravartula in the release announcement.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • The July 2017 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the July 2017 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 37

        We got a bug report about YaST not responding when a very long package changelog was displaying in the package manager. It turned out that some packages have a huge change log history with several thousands entries (almost 5000 for the kernel-default package). That produces a very long table which takes long time to parse and display in the UI.

        The solution is to limit the maximum number of displayed items in the UI. You cannot easily read that very long text anyway, for such a long text you would need some search functionality which the YaST UI does not provide.

        Finding the limit, that magic number, was not easy as we want to be backward compatible and display as much as possible but still avoid that pathological cases with a huge list.

      • Fujitsu and SUSE unveil ‘SUSE Business Critical Linux’ support
      • Fujitsu & SUSE unveil Linux service – as global adoption & demand increases

        The Japanese information and communication technology giant Fujitsu has teamed up with SUSE to offer a new premium Linux service – SUSE Business Critical Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • My free software activities, June 2017

        This is my monthly Debian LTS report. This time I worked on Mercurial, sudo and Puppet.

      • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, June 2017

        I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 5 hours. I worked all 20 hours.

      • My free software activities, June 2017

        This is my monthly Debian LTS report. This time I worked on Mercurial, sudo and Puppet.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Switching from Unity to Gnome-Shell: first challenges

            I work at Canonical, on the desktop team. The team works on Ubuntu Desktop, publishing a release every six months containing the fruits of our efforts — or at least those ones that are ready enough for real people to use.

            For the next release (out in October), we were given a big task. Switch the desktop environment from Unity to GNOME Shell. Make the switch as smooth as possible for our users, but at the same time respect upstream’s design decisions. That sounds like a good thing: if you are led by the upstream team, then there should be less to change downstream, right? This is something that the Ubuntu Desktop has had a reputation for in the past.

          • The Challenges In Ubuntu Switching To The GNOME Desktop

            While Ubuntu 17.10 daily ISOs have already transitioned to GNOME Shell by default, they are still working through refinements to the GNOME interface and user experience for suiting their preferences for the Ubuntu desktop and ensuring the users will enjoy GNOME on Ubuntu as the new default experience. Unity 7, meanwhile, will still remain within the Ubuntu archive for those wishing to install it atop Ubuntu 17.10.

          • Folder Color Now Works With More Icon Themes, Includes More Color Options

            A couple of weeks back we spotlighted Folder Color, a simple app that makes it easy to change folder color on Ubuntu.

            Great timing it turns out as the app has just picked up a brand-new release that adds support for more icon themes and includes more color options by default.

            The app is now able to work with any theme that ships with folder color options, like the La Capitaine icon set we recommended in our tutorial on how to make Ubuntu look like a Mac.

            If you long to color code your Home directories, add emblems to specific folders, or prioritize your work in traffic light color pockets, this app lets you.

          • AZLOGICA use Ubuntu Core for customised IoT agricultural solutions

            Shrimps are now considered as the most lucrative seafood product with demand growing from consumers due to their high nutritional value. This is reflected in the export figures with the two largest exporters of shrimps, Ecuador and India, seeing increases of 7.6% and 10.8% respectively in the first half of 2016. Due to their perishable nature, it is imperative for shrimp producers to maximise their profitability and reduce the risk of wasted stock either from theft, unfavourable weather conditions or a sub-optimal production environment – particularly with increasing demand and high revenue opportunities at stake.

          • How Canonical approaches the IoT market with Ubuntu Core

            The Internet of Things has enjoyed major growth in recent years, as more and more of the world around us gets smarter and more connected.

            But keeping all these new devices updated and online requires a reliable and robust software background, allowing for efficient and speedy monitoring and backup when needed.

            Software fragmentation has already become a significant issue across the mobile space, and may threaten to do so soon in the IoT.

          • Designing build.snapcraft.io

            In January, I was presented with a design challenge. Many open-source software developers use GitHub. Let’s make it as easy as possible for them to build and release their code automatically, as a snap software package for Ubuntu and other Linux systems. The result is now available to the world: build.snapcraft.io.

          • Canonical Design Team: June’s reading list
          • Snap Apps Now Appear as ‘Editor’s Picks’ in Ubuntu Software

            It’s now even easier to find Snap apps in Ubuntu Software. The latest stable update to Ubuntu Software in Ubuntu 17.04 (and up) ships with a number of Snap friendly improvements, including spotlighting a selection of Snap apps under the ‘Editor’s Picks‘ section on the home page of the software store app.

          • Ubuntu Developer Shares His Thoughts on the Unity to GNOME Shell Transition

            According to Ubuntu developer Iain Lane, the Ubuntu Desktop team over at Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux-based operating system, has a very big task to accomplish this year for the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 release.

            As you are aware, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth decided to stop the development of the Unity 8 desktop environment, along with the company’s Ubuntu Phone/Tablet and Convergence visions, as well as to no longer support its Unity 7 interface in future Ubuntu releases.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • How to turn Kubuntu into a perfect desktop

              Here’s a little wannabe guide. Shiny, happy, full of adjectives and superlatives but no laxatives. With a good reason. I’m psyched, and this without ingesting any chemicals. The reason being, the very recent Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus is a mighty good little distro, and I’m pleased to actually be using it on a daily basis, something that hasn’t happened with KDE for at least 5-6 years.

              To commemorate this revolutionary moment, we have this little pimping guide, akin to my many other pimping guides, which should help you make your Kubuntu into a mean, lean productivity machine. Let’s see what you can or should do. Voluntary, optional and fun.

            • Download Links for Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya”

              Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” has been released at Sunday 02 July 2017. This including Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE, and KDE editions. I show here download links as well as torrent links, plus some mirrors, release notes links, and of course the checksum table. Enjoy this user-friendly GNU/Linux OS and share it with your friends. You can download them all right now!

            • Linux Mint 18.2 out now and ready for download
            • Linux Mint 18.2 arrives: Here’s what to look out for
            • Linux Mint 18.2 released
            • Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Released: Download Cinnamon, KDE, Xfce, And MATE Editions Now
            • Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Ubuntu-based distro is here with Cinnamon, Mate, KDE, and Xfce

              Another day, another distro! Today, Linux Mint 18.2 achieves stable release. While the usual desktop environments, Cinnamon and Mate, are available immediately, so too are both KDE and Xfce. It is nice to see all four of these flavors released at once, as sometimes the Mint Team opts to stagger them.

              Code-named “Sonya,” this operating system is based on Ubuntu 16.04 which is a long term support version. This means Linux Mint 18.2 will be supported until 2021. The kernel is fairly modern at version 4.8. To further highlight the continuing death of optical media, the excellent Brasero is no longer being included by default.

            • Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon: Quick Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint is one of the operating systems that release the new versions regularly. However, dislike Ubuntu and Fedora releases, Linux Mint only releases “when ready”, more like the Debian operating system.

              The most recent release of Linux Mint was named Sonya and has the version number 18.2. This is the third release in the Linux Mint 18 series that is based on Ubuntu 16.04. It saw the light on the 2nd of July 2017.

            • Linux Mint 18.1 Users Can Now Upgrade to Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya,” Here’s How

              He promised that it would be only a matter of days until the upgrade path to the recently released Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” operating system is open to users of Linux Mint 18.1 “Sarah,” and today Clement Lefebvre made an official statement.

              Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” launched the other day for all its officially supported flavors, including Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, and Xfce, and while it was made available for download to those who wanted to reinstall or deploy the operating system on new computers, the upgrade path from Linux Mint 18.1 wasn’t open.

            • How to upgrade to Linux Mint 18.2

              It is now possible to upgrade Linux Mint 18 and 18.1 to version 18.2.

              If you’ve been waiting for this I’d like to thank you for your patience.

              Upgrading to 18.2 is relatively easy.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ars spends too much time trying to work in Haiku, the BeOS successor

    And it started with such promise, too. Haiku, the open-source successor to the late and lamented BeOS—that late, lamented operating system of the 1990s developed at Apple refugee Jean-Louis Gassée’s Be Inc. BeOS was intended to compete with the “classic” Apple MacOS and with Microsoft Windows; by 1996, Gassée was jockeying to get Apple to acquire his company and make BeOS the basis of the next-generation Macintosh operating system. But then along came some guy named Steve Jobs, with a company called NeXT. And the rest, as they say, is history. Be Inc. was eventually acquired by another doomed company (Palm) and dissolved.

    Haiku (initially “OpenBeOS,” but changed because of copyright assertions by Palm) was launched in 2001 to create an operating system that was binary-compatible with applications written for the ill-fated BeOS. It uses the same C++ API as BeOS, but it is a re-implementation of that API, so it shares virtually none of the code of the original BeOS. As it has evolved, Haiku has taken two diverging roads: a 32-bit version that retains backward compatibility, and a 64-bit version that is more forward-looking but breaks backward compatibility because of compiler issues. That’s because the 32-bit version, (like BeOS before it, is based on Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC) 2.

  • Goodbye To Bob Chassell

    It’s fortunately more common now in Free Software communities today to properly value contributions from non-developers. Historically, though, contributions from developers were often overvalued and contributions from others grossly undervalued. One person trailblazed as (likely) the earliest non-developer contributor to software freedom. His name was Robert J. Chassell — called Bob by his friends and colleagues. Over the weekend, our community lost Bob after a long battle with a degenerative illness.

  • The problem with software before standards

    By any measure, the rise of open source software as an alternative to the old, proprietary ways has been remarkable. Today, there are tens of millions of libraries hosted at GitHub alone, and the number of major projects is growing rapidly. As of this writing, the Apache Software Foundation hosts over 300 projects, while the Linux Foundation supports over 60. Meanwhile, the more narrowly focused OpenStack Foundation boasts 60,000 members living in more than 180 countries.

    So, what could possibly be wrong with this picture?

    What’s missing is enough awareness that, while open source software can meet the great majority of user demands, standing alone it can’t meet all of them. Worse yet, too many members of the open source community (business leads as well as developers) have no interest in making use of the most appropriate tools available to close the gap.

  • Why can’t we have the Internet of Nice Things? A home automation primer

    This is where Home Assistant comes into play. Home Assistant is an open source home automation hub that can be installed on a variety of devices—from full Linux systems, to some network-attached storage (NAS) environments, or even a Raspberry Pi. The project made great early decisions, such as writing in Python, which has made it easy for hundreds of people to add device support to the platform. The UI is based on Polymer, the Google library implementing the Web Components standard, so it looks clean and attractive out of the box. The internal state and event model are clean, which makes automating interactions between different components easy.

  • MuleSoft Announces Open Source API Console v4

    I am excited to announce a new version of our open source API console. The 4.0 release comes with a completely new and responsive UI, improved capabilities for trying out your API, and additional tools to integrate automated builds into your CI/CD pipeline.

  • Events

    • Looking back at the history of dgplug and my journey

      During a session of the summer training this year, someone asked about the history of DGPLUG and how I started contributing to it. The story of the dpglug has an even longer back-story about my history with Linux. I’ll start with there, and then continue with the story of dgplug.

    • Cockpit Virtual Hackfest Wrapup

      Last week a bunch of us met up in Karlsruhe in Germany to work on virtual machines support in Cockpit. We had some specialists there who helped us get up to speed with VMs. Tons of pull requests opened, designs put together. Some of the changes are already merged and released in Cockpit 144.

      Marek helped all of us understand how Redux stores and models data. The oVirt folks are using Redux a lot in front end code and want to be able to share code. Marius managed to reconcile Redux with our dialog and promise code.

    • The linux.conf.au 2018 CFP is open

      The call for presentations for the 2018 linux.conf.au event is now open. “linux.conf.au is one of the best-known community driven Free and Open Source Software conferences in the world. In 2018 we welcome you to join us in Sydney, New South Wales on Monday 22 January through to Friday 26 January.” The submission deadline is August 6.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Kids Coding: Simple Java

      I recently got my son (9) started on “real” programming with text files and the command line. Here are some notes about that. It’s still early in this experiment so I can’t claim that it’s a great idea, but its kind of working so far. There are so many web sites and product to get kids started in programming, but very little to move them past the basics into something more expansive. They risk getting obsessed but not then staying obsessed.

      I learned programming because that is what you did with computers when I was a child. I kept learning programming because I could make the computer do new and interesting things. The problem now is that computers do amazing things without any programming and it requires massive experience and effort to achieve equally impressive results. So we must create a simpler environment which lets the child feel good about creating and understanding something more straightforward. It should be a path to real programming, not another island in a chain.

    • Java 9 gets go-ahead but Red Hat abstains from vote

      Oracle has confirmed the release date for the new Java 9 platform, with September 21 named as the day that developers can finally get their hands on the much anticipated update.

      Previously Oracle had struggled to get Java 9 approved by the Java Community, with members including IBM having concerns regarding compatibility with the new modular system. However, this most recent vote secured approval for Oracle, with all members of the community process voting “yes” for the platform – apart from Red Hat who chose to abstain from the vote.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Book review: ‘OPEN’ explores broad cultural implications of openness

      What he found online wasn’t a group of self-pitying people or folks sharing dubious “cures.” Instead, Price discovered individuals coming together to form communities to share diagnoses, information, tips, and support. The experience led Price to further explore open—what it is and what it means. The result of that exploration is OPEN, a look at “how we’ll work, live, and learn in the future.”

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Winamp’s woes: How the greatest MP3 player undid itself

    MP3s are so natural to the Internet now that it’s almost hard to imagine a time before high-quality compressed music. But there was such a time—and even after “MP3″ entered the mainstream, organizing, ripping, and playing back one’s music collection remained a clunky and frustrating experience.

    Enter Winamp, the skin-able, customizable MP3 player that “really whips the llama’s ass.” In the late 1990s, every music geek had a copy; llama-whipping had gone global, and the big-money acquisition offers quickly followed. AOL famously acquired the company in June 1999 for $80-$100 million—and Winamp almost immediately lost its innovative edge.

  • Science

    • Aztec tower of skulls turns out to be no myth

      An ongoing excavation in the heart of Mexico City, once the great Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, has revealed a legendary tower inlaid with hundreds of skulls. This tower was first described by Europeans in the early 16th century, when a Spanish soldier named Andres de Tapia came to the city with Hernan Cortez’ invading force. In his memoirs, de Tapia described an “edifice” covered in tens of thousands of skulls. Now his account is corroborated by this historic find.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • More UK nurses and midwives leaving than joining profession

      More nurses and midwives are leaving the profession in the UK than joining it, for the first time since 2008, figures show.

      The number registered in the UK fell by 1,783 to 690,773, in the year to March.

      The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said the downward trend had been most pronounced among British workers. Many leavers cited working conditions.

      But the government said there were now 13,000 more nurses working in hospitals in England than in 2010.

    • World’s Most Effective HIV Drug Rolled Out In Africa In Generic Version

      On 28 June, the government of Kenya and drug pricing and innovation mechanism Unitaid unveiled the new first-line drug in an effort to accelerate access to better antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for her people living with HIV. It becomes the first country in Africa to introduce the generic version of drug.

  • Security

    • Linux: A Hacker’s Preference

      Even though other types of operating systems also have their advantages, the needs of a person will vary from one point to the other.

      In brief, factors that can determine the type of OS a person will use are similar to age demographics or job descriptions.

      And for this reason, you usually won’t find a hacker using Windows, as it limits their activities because the OS isn’t open source.

    • NFS and Samba Explored – Unleaded Hangout

      Which is best and which file sharing method does the crew from the Hangouts use? We explore! Plus, Hangouts decides that I’m not yellow today! FTW! Also, for our $3 and up Patreons, the audio RSS feed is out of the oven and ready!

    • WikiLeaks reveals CIA targeting Linux users with OutlawCountry malware
    • WikiLeaks reveals CIA malware for hacking Linux computers
    • Security updates for Monday
    • Let’s Encrypt Has Issued 100 Million Certificates

      This evening, the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority issued its hundred millionth digital certificate. This is a remarkable milestone in just a year and a half of public operation; Let’s Encrypt is likely now either the largest or second-largest public CA by volume of certificates issued.

      Let’s Encrypt was created by Mozilla, the University of Michigan, and EFF, with Cisco and Akamai as founding sponsors, and is operated by the Internet Security Research Group, a non-profit organization. (See also the thoughts of Josh Aas, ISRG’s executive director, on reaching this milestone.)

      Free certificates from Let’s Encrypt allow web sites to offer secure HTTPS connections to their users, protecting the privacy and security of those connections against many network-based threats. EFF continues to help develop the Boulder software that Let’s Encrypt uses internally, as well as Certbot, Let’s Encrypt’s recommended software for obtaining and installing certificates on web servers.

    • Linux Bug Gets Squashed Two Years After Being Introduced

      The cycle in which ideas turn into software is getting shorter and shorter. By and large, this is a good thing as new functions are delivered to users faster than ever before. But one of the consequences is software bugs are introduced and sometimes missed. I suspect part of the reason is testing cycles are being squeezed. This is part of the root cause, I think, as to why a two year old bug was introduced into Linux.

    • Malicious ReplyTo
    • Is it Time to Can the CAN-SPAM Act?

      The “CAN” in CAN-SPAM was a play on the verb “to can,” as in “to put an end to,” or “to throw away,” but critics of the law often refer to it as the YOU-CAN-SPAM Act, charging that it essentially legalized spamming. That’s partly because the law does not require spammers to get permission before they send junk email. But also because the act prevents states from enacting stronger anti-spam protections, and it bars individuals from suing spammers except under laws not specific to email.

    • AA downplays breach that exposed details of more than 100,000 customers

      Car insurance outfit the AA has suffered a major data breach that has exposed the personal information – including partial credit card data – of more than 100,000 customers.

    • The AA Exposed Emails, Credit Card Data, and Didn’t Inform Customers

      However, an exposed server contained sensitive information on over 100,000 AA customers, in many cases including partial credit card data, according to a database obtained by Motherboard. Judging by interviews with victims, the AA never directly informed affected customers either, even though the company says it knew about the breach in April.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Norway to ban the use of oil for heating buildings by 2020

      The Scandinavian country, which is the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East, will wholly stop the use of both oil and paraffin to warm buildings from 2020 onwards.

      The country, which hopes to ban the sale of all fossil fuel-based cars by 2025, has made a concerted effort to introduce policies which shrink domestic emission of greenhouse gases.

    • Global drop in wildfires results in lower emissions but threatens life on the savannah – Cosmos

      The number of bush and grass fires across the globe has declined by almost a quarter in less than two decades – but that’s not necessarily all good news.

      Using data from several satellites gathered over the past 18 years, researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in the US state of Maryland, found the total area burnt each year has dropped by about 24%.

  • Finance

    • Three things about Brexit

      Since the referendum vote last summer for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, three things have become apparent.

      First, Brexit will be complex, not simple.

      Second, the UK government is not (or is not currently) equal to the task of Brexit.

      Third, regardless of the difficulties, the UK government is in any case making it worse for itself, to the extent it seems almost that it is self-sabotaging the whole process.

    • Government home ownership schemes most likely to help the rich, report warns

      Government schemes designed to help more people get on the UK housing ladder have little impact on improving social mobility as better-off buyers are most likely to benefit from the support, a report has found.

      Research by the Social Mobility Commission reveals that many low-cost home ownership schemes are beyond the reach of almost all families on average earnings, prompting warnings that the UK housing market is “exacerbating inequality and impeding social mobility”.

      Those benefiting from low-cost home ownership schemes, such as Help to Buy, earn more than one and a half times the national working age median income, according to the findings.

    • How the student loan industry is helping Trump destroy american democracy

      However, the untold story of student loan debt in the United States is that it is being used as a form of economic terrorism designed not only to redistribute wealth from everyday Americans to the elite, but to undermine and degrade American democracy as a whole.

    • Tom Friedman Mourns a Trade Deal He Doesn’t Understand

      This is, of course, wrong. First, and most importantly, all the provisions on items like human trafficking, child labor and trading in endangered wildlife depended on action by the administration. In other words, if the TPP had been approved by Congress last year, we would be dependent on the Trump administration to enforce these parts of the agreement. Even the most egregious violations could go completely unsanctioned, if the Trump administration opted not to press them. Given the past history with both Democratic and Republican administrations, this would be a very safe bet.

      In contrast, the provisions on items like violations of the patent and copyright provisions or the investment rules can be directly enforced by the companies affected. The TPP created a special extra-judicial process, the investor/state dispute settlement system, which would determine if an investor’s rights under the agreement had been violated.

      Friedman also bizarrely seems to be claiming that increased intellectual property restrictions will benefit US workers. These forms of protectionism (yes, folks, patent and copyright protection are protectionism—even if you like them) are directly antithetical to the interest of most US workers. It means that foreign countries will pay more money to Microsoft for its software and Pfizer for its drugs. This means that they will have less money to buy US manufactured goods. This is pretty straight and simple economics; in other words, way over the head of Thomas Friedman. (He wrongly uses the term “free trade” in reference to the TPP four times. This is a propaganda term used to sell the deal. It is not accurate, since the increased protections in the pact likely more than offset the tariff reductions in the deal.)

    • Brexit: Remain would win if new EU referendum vote were held tomorrow, poll finds

      The outcome of the Brexit referendum would be reversed if it was held tomorrow, a poll suggests.

      The Survation survey showed a clear majority of Britons (54 per cent) would vote to Remain in the European Union if another referendum was held, while 46 per cent would back Brexit.

      As Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom signalled a more consultative approach, the Survation survey also showed just over half want a cross-party coalition of parties to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU, compared to less than a third who think it should fall to the Tory minority Government alone.

    • Brexit: Minister appointed to negotiate Britain’s withdrawal wants European Union ‘wholly torn down’

      In a speech to a right-wing think tank, minister Steve Baker said the EU should be “wholly torn down”, before branding it an “obstacle” to world peace and “incompatible” with a free society.

      Tory MPs warned Mr Baker’s appointment could now risk the UK’s ability to secure good Brexit terms, while Labour said it was “extraordinary” and raised a major question about the Prime Minister’s judgement.

    • Donald Trump considers dropping heating benefit to leave low-income Americans out in the cold

      The summer air is sizzling as the Fourth of July approaches, yet 86-year-old Richard Perkins already worries about how he’s going to stay warm this winter.

      President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating heating aid for low-income Americans, claiming it’s no longer necessary and rife with fraud. People needn’t worry about being left in the cold, he says, because utilities cannot cut off customers in the dead of winter.

    • Bank of England steps up scrutiny of lenders

      The Bank of England is stepping up its scrutiny of banks and other lenders on credit cards, personal loans and car purchases amid fears they are being lulled into a false sense of security by the current economic backdrop.

      Threadneedle Street is writing to the firms it regulates after reviewing the consumer credit sector, where lending is growing at 10.3% a year – outpacing the 2.3% rise in household income.

      The bank is calling on firms to look at the terms under which they are granting 0% balance transfers on credit cards and the basis on which they are issuing personal loans, and to consider the impact of a fall in value of a car when providing vehicle finance.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A Cry of Defiance and Not of Fear for July 4th: Impeach!
    • The Hackers Russia-Proofing Germany’s Elections

      This wasn’t just a prank. The hackers, several of them associated with the Hamburg collective known as the Chaos Computer Club, or CCC, also proved they could manipulate votes that the computers had recorded. As a result, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court struck down the nation’s use of voting computers, citing CCC by name in its ruling. Oh, and this was in 2006.

    • We now have a climate change sceptic in charge of environment, a man who hates Europe in charge of Brexit, an NHS enemy in charge of health and a PM who hates human contact

      I’m not a politician. I’m barely a pundit. I’m a taxpayer. I’m a dad. I’m an immigrant. I’m someone who lives in the UK, in the British countryside, and commutes into an area recently targeted in a terror attack. I’m writing this post because a baffled and frustrated Facebook status update I published piqued the interest of the comment editor, and so here we are.

      With that said, I’m wondering if others share my bafflement by some of the appointments made to the cabinet following the election.

      We now have a health secretary who is hated by (and seems to want to privatise) the health service, an environment secretary who once tried to remove climate change from the curriculum, a Brexit secretary who hates Europe, a home secretary who is indifferent to civil liberties, and a prime minister who dislikes human contact, and will seemingly sign a deal with literally anyone to preserve her tenuous hold on power.

    • U.S. no longer a ‘friend’ in Merkel election program

      In their campaign program for the German election, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have dropped the term “friend” in describing the relationship with the United States.

      Four years ago, the joint program of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), referred to the United States as Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe.

      The 2013 program also described the “friendship” with Washington as a “cornerstone” of Germany’s international relations and talked about strengthening transatlantic economic ties through the removal of trade barriers.

    • Trump’s name to be scrubbed from high-rise building in Toronto

      The Trump name is to be scrubbed from the Toronto skyline after the new owner of a high-rise hotel and condo development reportedly paid millions of dollars to Donald Trump’s company to break off a branding contract.

      The US firm JCF Capital said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with Trump Hotels to buy out its management contracts. While the Toronto hotel, which opened in 2012, was not owned by Trump, contracts inked with the building’s developer, Talon International Development, saw the project license the Trump brand and managed by a Trump-owned company.

    • Foisting Blame for Cyber-hacking on Russia

      Cyber-criminal efforts to hack into U.S. government databases are epidemic, but this ugly reality is now being exploited to foist blame on Russia and fuel the New Cold War hysteria, reports Gareth Porter.

    • Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?

      The plan for Democrats to run against Russia may be falling apart.

      After squandering much of the last six months on faulting Russians for the horrific presidency of Donald Trump…

      After blaming America’s dire shortfalls of democracy on plutocrats in Russia more than on plutocrats in America…

      After largely marketing the brand of their own party as more anti-Russian than pro-working-people…

    • Should Media Expose Sources Who Lied to Them?

      If an anonymous source knowingly and maliciously feeds a media outlet false information, should they continue to be granted anonymity? If media continue to protect the deceptive source’s identity, doesn’t that ensure the continuance of a disinformation conveyor belt?

    • Donald Trump has made conspiracy theories great again

      Donald Trump’s political career was birthed of a conspiracy theory: The much-debunked idea that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

      Trump, beginning around 2011, seized on the issue — which had been percolating in the fever swamps on the far right since Obama won — and used it to cast himself as the lone voice among conservatives willing to stand up to Obama (and political correctness).

    • If Trump tries a ‘sneak’ visit to Britain, he’ll see how much he is despised

      Donald Trump was keen, it is said, to be driven in the Queen’s gold-plated carriage down the Mall to Buckingham Palace during his state visit to the UK. He fancied having tea with Kate Middleton and a tour of the Churchill rooms. And golf of course. Such a visit has been postponed because it would cause such massive protests and policing problems. Despite Theresa May and Trump’s fumbled hand-holding, he is not welcome here. So unwelcome that if he wants to come, it will be a “sneak” visit. Yes, this is on the cards.

      After he attends the G20 summit in Hamburg this week, before Bastille day on 14 July, for which he may be in France, there is a gap in his diary, and there are expectations he may use that time to visit Scotland. He would have to give 24 hours’ notice, and there would be a low-key meeting with May.

      So if he is not lauded on the streets of London, he will have to be protected from the public if he wants to visit his golf courses in Scotland. This is the unbelievable reality of the American president, and like most things to do with Trump, it seems frighteningly unreal. As the gap between Trump’s self-image and how he is seen by others grows ever wider, this gulf becomes a dark and dangerous place full of fantasies of violence, vengeful and malevolent.

    • Apollo 11 hero Buzz Aldrin looks bemused as Donald Trump gives speech about space

      Donald Trump was flanked by world-renowned astronauts as he signed an executive order re-launching America’s National Space Council.

      He was joined at a press conference by David Wolf, Benjamin Alvin Drew and, most famously, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin – the second man on the moon.

      But, as President Trump made a somewhat vague speech about the importance of exploring space, Mr Aldrin failed to conceal his bewilderment.

      As the President took to the stand, he said: “We are going to lead again like we have never led before.

    • The Tories must rein in Rupert Murdoch and block the Sky deal

      Rupert Murdoch wields enormous power through his global network of media companies, particularly in Australia, the US and the UK. He’s adept at leveraging commercial dominance to win political influence, which leads to the removal of legislative or regulatory barriers to further expansion. It’s a tested formula, but it’s hard to discern how the rest of us benefit. What a pleasant surprise it would be to see his ceaseless expansion thwarted. I’m not holding my breath.

      The culture secretary’s statement that she’s minded to refer Fox’s bid for Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority is no surprise. But Theresa May’s secret meeting with Murdoch in New York last year makes me worry we are about to see another Murdoch stitch-up that Karen Bradley may be powerless to stop. The pattern of behaviour has become familiar. A Murdoch company offers concessions – in this case guaranteeing the autonomy of Sky News by creating a separate editorial board; the government insists they don’t go far enough; the company returns with another proposal; the government waves the deal through.

    • Donald Trump accused of ‘running scared’ over plan to sneak into UK with 24 hours’ notice to dodge protests

      Donald Trump has been accused of running scared after it emerged that he could visit the UK in a matter of weeks with as little as 24 hours’ notice, to prevent people from organising protests.

      Columnist and co-founder of Stop Trump Coalition Owen Jones said: “Donald Trump is so cowardly he thinks he can sneak into the country to avoid protests.

      “We have to prove him wrong. We’re asking Britain to be on standby to take to the streets with just hours’ notice if necessary.”

    • Chris Christie boldly soaks up rays on beach he shut to public

      Even for a US state governor with six months left in office and an approval rating of just 15%, it was an unusually bold move.

      First, you order a government shutdown that closes all state parks and beaches on the eve of the 4 July holiday weekend.

      Then you take a police helicopter to the coast and spend a good chunk of Sunday soaking up the rays with your family on a pristine stretch of sand that – thanks to your order – you have entirely to yourselves.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • As online defamation cases grow, cartoonists face self-censorship and rejection

      TERRORISM, armed conflict, drug trafficking and child soldiers. These are some of the subjects that Myanmar cartoonist Maung Maung Phaung Tain gets nervous about.

      He wasn’t always so worried, but a spike in online defamation cases under the current National League for Democracy government has put him on edge.

      The number of cases has increased since the NLD came to power in March 2016, raising concerns about a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Myanmar.

    • Germany’s €50m fines for social media companies threaten freedom of speech, experts warn

      German politicians have voted in favour of fines of up to €50m for social media companies that regularly fail to swiftly remove illegal content from their platforms.

      The new law comes into force in October and compels firms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to take down obviously criminal material within 24 hours and to assess content that is not clearly unlawful within seven days.

    • Parachinar and censorship

      How, for one, is it acceptable that for 7 days, the Pakistani electronic media blatantly refused to cover mass protests in the aftermath of an attack that targeted and killed nearly a 100 Shia Turis and constituted the seventh such attack in Parachinar in just 6 months? Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect basic human empathy for the victims by media moguls, but surely our ratings-obsessed television channels could have thought it worth their while to cover non-stop protests by thousands? Some of course chose self-censorship; but the fact that some committed journalists were turned away at the gates of Kurram Agency only deepens the suspicion that state censorship was involved. The reason protestors were able to get their voices across to the civilian and military leadership was their use of social media to circumvent the mainstream media blackout.

    • Theresa May compared to ‘Chinese dictator’ by her own extremism watchdog over online crackdown

      Theresa May has been compared to a Chinese dictator by her own counterterrorism watchdog, over her online extremism crackdown.

      The Prime Minister plans to fine technology firms including Google and Facebook if they ‘don’t do enough’ to prevent extremist content being shared on their platforms.

      Max Hill QC was appointed by the government as independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in February.

      But he hit out at May’s policy of imposing financial penalties on tech companies if they don’t do enough to combat online hate.

    • Watchdog likens May’s internet fines threat to Chinese censorship

      The terrorism legislation watchdog has likened Theresa May’s proposals to punish companies such as Facebook and Google for failing to tackle extremist propaganda to China’s strict regime of internet censorship.

      Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said internet companies should be “brought firmly onside” rather than threatened with fines.

    • LiveJournal’s Goat Mascot Is Back to Protest the Site’s Russian Censorship

      The Russian-owned blog community LiveJournal previously banned “political solicitation,” part of a decade-long effort to censor Russians who were using the platform to criticize the government. Now, LiveJournal’s former comic artist has returned from an eight-year absence… bringing back LiveJournal’s “Frank the Goat” one more time to protest the site’s abuses from the inside.

    • First application of the parody exception in Canadian law – long live Deckmyn!

      Readers will remember that back in 2012 Canada introduced a parody exception into its own law. Yet, until now the scope of the exception was not entirely clear, lacking judicial application.

      From IPKat friend and parody expert Sabine Jacques (University of East Anglia) comes the news that a Canadian court has just interpreted s29of the Canadian Copyright Act, and also considered the case of trade mark parodies.

      [...]

      The Federal Court’s outcome regarding the trade mark infringements was expected. In the absence of a specific parody exception under trade mark legislation, courts have struggled to recognise lawful uses in trade mark parodies. This case demonstrates the strong protection granted to trade mark owners to protect their marks, bringing to the fore a possible real risk that trade mark protection becomes absolute without adequate legislative limitations applicable in some circumstances.

    • Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men from Hate Speech But Not Black Children
    • The Necessity Of Context In Hip-Hop Censorship

      It reminded me of an infamous Kanye West interview from almost twelve years ago. During a visit to Canada’s Flow 93.5, Ye voiced his opinion on the phrase “white girl” being censored on ‘Gold Digger’. He argued that the line “when he get on, he leave yo’ ass for a white girl” was less of an insult and more social commentary. An intelligent observation more than a stereotype. The conversation about the video ended up revolving around Ye walking out of the room after being constantly interrupted by DJ Hollywood Rich but the point should not be diminished.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Germany suggests Facebook shakes down its members with social extortion racket

      Social network privacy problem Facebook is being investigated by German regulators because of suggestions that users are terrorised into sharing their data because of a fear of missing out on the social experience if they do not.

    • Facebook investigated by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office over claims it ‘extorts’ personal data from users

      In the eyes of the Cartel Office, Facebook is “extorting” information from its users, said Frederik Wiemer, a lawyer at Heuking Kühn Lueer Wojtek in Hamburg. “Whoever doesn’t agree to the data use, gets locked out of the social network community,” he said. “The fear of social isolation is exploited to get access to the complete surfing activities of users.”

    • Facebook free to track every aspect of your online lives – judge says so

      A US district judge in San Jose, California, has thrown out a lawsuit that sought to hold Facebook accountable for tracking users after they had logged out of Facebook.

    • Facebook beats privacy lawsuit in U.S. over user tracking [iophk: “economic is the only metric now?”

      In a decision late on Friday, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said the plaintiffs failed to show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that they suffered any “realistic” economic harm or loss.

      [...]

      Davila said the plaintiffs cannot bring their privacy and wiretapping claims again, but can try to pursue a breach of contract claim again. He had dismissed an earlier version of the 5-1/2-year-old case in October 2015.

    • Facebook can track your browsing even after you’ve logged out, judge says

      A judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking users’ web browsing activity even after they logged out of the social networking site.

      The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook used the “like” buttons found on other websites to track which sites they visited, meaning that the Menlo Park, California-headquartered company could build up detailed records of their browsing history. The plaintiffs argued that this violated federal and state privacy and wiretapping laws.

      US district judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, dismissed the case because he said that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy or suffered any realistic economic harm or loss.

      Davila said that plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private, for example by using the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out tool or using “incognito mode”, and failed to show that Facebook illegally “intercepted” or eavesdropped on their communications.

      “Facebook’s intrusion could have easily been blocked, but plaintiffs chose not to do so,” said Davila, who dismissed an earlier version of the five-year-old case in October 2015.

    • 6 Best VPN Services with Lifetime Subscription

      To protect your privacy when you are online at home or at a public place (such as an airport or a café), you may want to consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN. This guarantees that data transmissions from your network to the open Internet and are encrypted.

      Another advantage of using a VPN consists in being able to access social websites, VoIP applications, P2P services, and other type of media content that may be restricted by your ISP.

    • Snowden Leak Reveals NSA Traffic Shaping Tech That Diverts US Internet Routing For Spying

      Geopolitical borders have softened in various ways thanks to the prevalence of the Internet. An email sent by an American could cross multiple international borders before being received by another American. A recent study by the Century Foundation revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly utilizes various “traffic shaping” techniques to survey and store American communications.

    • Our surveillance future: pervasive, continuous facial recognition from wandering robo-cars and hovering drones

      As artificial intelligence is deployed more widely in real-life situations such as policing, with real-life consequences, we are clearly beginning to enter RoboCop territory. The O-R3 may not come equipped with any weapons today, but it is surely only a matter of time before a police force somewhere asks for them – and they are added. Once that happens, other law enforcement agencies will point to the precedent, and push to acquire similar surveillance capabilities. And so it goes on.

    • NHS illegally handed Google firm 1.6m patient records, UK data watchdog finds

      The Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust in London “failed” to comply with data protection rules when it gave 1.6 million patient records to Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind for a trial, the Information Commissioner’s Office has ruled as it ordered tighter guidelines.

    • Royal Free breached UK data law in 1.6m patient deal with Google’s DeepMind

      The ICO ruled that testing the app with real patient data went beyond Royal Free’s authority, particularly given how broad the scope of the data transfer was.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Officers Involved in the Laquan McDonald Case Were Indicted This Week. The Larger Fight for Police Reform That Will Protect Communities Remains.

      The indictment in Chicago is a reminder that far too many cases lack police accountability.

      For more than a year after 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times in 14 seconds on a Chicago street by Officer Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago Police Department claimed that McDonald had been assaulting officers Van Dyke, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney, forcing Van Dyke to step in and kill him. The police report stated that McDonald was lunging toward Van Dyke with a knife when Van Dyke shot him, and that Van Dyke, Walsh, and Gaffney were “victims” of McDonald. Detective David March, who was assigned to investigate the shooting immediately after it occurred, ultimately deemed it justified. I would say it was the ultimate betrayal of the trust between the police and the communities they are supposed to protect, but that betrayal happens every day in this nation when police kill unarmed Black men.

      “Do you actually think the police got together and made this up?” This is the rhetorical question people from Black and brown communities are always asked when they claim that police officers lie to protect each other. It is usually asked with at least a hint of sarcasm – we all know the police don’t do that. It is asked by judges, prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, and community members. And it was asked of the McDonald family.

      Then came the video. McDonald veers away from, not toward, the police. He was not slashing his knife at Van Dyke, Walsh, or Gaffney when Van Dyke began firing his weapon. The shooting continued as Mr. McDonald lay crumpled on the street. One might ask why it took prosecutors a year to charge Van Dyke with murder when the video so clearly contradicts the police account. One might ask why the “police as victims” story was the official version of the Chicago police department until the day the video was released more than one year later – especially since they had the video the entire time. (The shooting was on October 20, 2014, and the video was released on November 24, 2015.)

    • Theresa May sitting on report on foreign funding of UK extremists

      A report on the foreign funding of extremism in the UK was given to Downing Street last year, it has been revealed, but Theresa May is still to decide whether to make its findings public.

      The Green party co-leader, Caroline Lucas, said the delay in publishing the Home Office investigation, believed to focus on Saudi Arabia, “leaves question marks over whether their decision is influenced by our diplomatic ties”.

      Since the beginning of her premiership, May has sought to deepen the UK’s relationship with the Gulf, visiting Saudi Arabia as one of her first trips after triggering the formal Brexit process in March, a highly symbolic move.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Kill the Open Internet, and Wave Goodbye to Consumer Choice

      But at its heart, the issue rests on two simple realities: First, for more than a decade, the status quo in the US has been an open internet that supports thriving innovation among websites, apps, and new digital services. Second, innovators and consumers are dependent on a few large broadband providers that serve as gatekeepers to the internet.

    • Don’t Trust in Antitrust Law to Protect Net Neutrality

      Back in 2014, we considered many possible ways of protecting net neutrality that would not rely on the FCC, including antitrust law. Unfortunately, U.S. antitrust law is not up to the challenge.

      Antitrust law is an economic doctrine that gives little if any weight to freedom of expression and other noneconomic values secured by net neutrality. Antitrust law defines harm in terms of higher prices and diminished product quality. If antitrust law deems that a practice is not harmful to competition, it does not matter how much it represses speech, distorts access to knowledge, or intrudes on privacy. Antitrust law has no concept of the “gatekeeper” problem posed by an ISP’s control over your conduit to information.

      There are other reasons why antitrust isn’t an effective tool for net neutrality problems. Antitrust law is fundamentally about protecting competition, but the market for broadband is very different than the theoretical ideal contemplated by antitrust law.

      First, there is very little broadband competition to protect. More than 9 out of 10 Americans live in monopoly or duopoly markets for broadband according to the FCC. Even lower-speed wireless service is available from only a handful of carriers in most places, all of which oppose net neutrality and have pushed the boundaries of the existing Open Internet Order with throttling or pay-to-play zero-rating schemes.

    • Internet, Activate! Stand Up for Net Neutrality on July 12

      Two months ago, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan to abandon the agency’s commitment to protecting net neutrality. On July 12, let’s give the world a preview of what the Internet will look like if the FCC goes forward with its plan to dismantle open Internet protections.

      EFF is joining a huge coalition of nonprofits and companies in a day of action standing up for net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Medicines Patent Pool Nets WHO’s Kieny As New Chair

      Marie-Paule Kieny, fresh out of the World Health Organization, where she held the position of assistant director general for Health Systems and Innovation, will be the new chair of the Medicines Patent Pool, as of 1 September.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Office Proposes Modest Fixes to DMCA 1201, Leaves Fundamental Flaws Untouched

        The U.S. Copyright Office just released a long-awaited report about Section 1201, the law that bans circumventing digital restrictions on copyrighted works. Despite years of evidence that the social costs of the law far outweigh any benefits, the Copyright Office is mostly happy with the law as it is. The Office does recommend that Congress enact some narrow reforms aimed at protecting security research, repair activities, and access for people with disabilities.

        We’re sorry the Office didn’t take a stronger stance. Section 1201, part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, makes it illegal to circumvent any “technological protection measure” (often called DRM) that controls access to copyrighted works. It also bans the manufacture and sale of tools to circumvent those digital locks. Although it was pitched as a new legal protection for copyright holders to prevent infringement, the law has given major entertainment companies and other copyright owners lots of control over non-infringing uses of technology, allowing them to lock out competition in repair and re-sale businesses, and to threaten and silence security researchers. The law has some exceptions, but they are far too narrow and complicated.

      • US International Trade Administration Worries About Widespread Piracy

        The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration sees piracy as a significant threat to the media and entertainment sectors. According to the agency, there are grave piracy concerns in top export markets such as Canada, India, and Brazil. These issues can be addressed through solid copyright laws and increased enforcement, among other things.

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  2. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  3. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  6. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


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