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07.14.17

Links 14/7/2017: KDE Ships KDE Applications 17.04.3, Toward Go 2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux to the rescue: How I introduced my organization to Linux

    In 1998, I managed the server administration group for the new web team at the University of Minnesota. The U of M is a very large institution, with over 60,000 students across all system campuses. Until then, the university managed its student records on an aging mainframe system. But that was all about to change.

    The mainframe was not Y2K compliant, so we were working to set up a new student records system delivered by PeopleSoft. The new system was a big deal to the university in many ways, not only for modernizing our records system but also for offering new features. Yet it lacked one key feature: You couldn’t register for classes from your web browser.

  • Desktop

    • Consolidating the Linux Desktop App Story: An Idea

      When I joined Canonical in 2006, the Linux desktop world operated in a very upstream way. All distributions used the Linux kernel, all used X, and the majority shipped either GNOME, KDE, or both.

      The following years mixed things up a little. As various companies pushed for consumer-grade Linux-based platforms (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora, Elementary, Android etc), the components in a typical Linux platform diversified. Unity, Mir, Wayland, Cinnamon, GNOME Shell, Pantheon, Plasma, Flatpak, Snappy, and others entered the fray. This was a period of innovation, but also endless levels of consternation: people bickering left, right, and center, about which of these components were the best choices.

      This is normal in technology, both the innovation and the flapping of feathers in blog posts and forums. As is also normal, when the dust settled a natural set of norms started to take shape.

      Today, I believe we face an opportunity to consolidate around some key components, not just to go faster, but to also avoid the mistakes of the past.

    • Revive a PowerPC Mac Running Linux

      I’m about to show you how to turn that old Mac hardware you have into something useful. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ancient PowerBook G4 or a slightly more recent model of MacBook. Just because it can’t run the latest and greatest version of macOS doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to put it out to pasture. In this article, I’ll show you how you can revive a PowerPC Mac running Linux, like I’m doing on the PowerBook G4 I’m using to write this article.

    • PC shipments hit the lowest level in a decade [iophk: "Microsoft is dependent on OEM sales of Microsoft Orifice and Microsoft Windows"]

      PC shipments are at their lowest levels since 2007, Gartner says.

  • Server

    • It’s an ever more open world. How containers and open source will transform the data centre beyond recognition

      The value of open source is changing business roadmaps previously built on fixed terms. More control, end of vendor lock-in and constant updates are just some of the benefits of the open world, Abby Kearns, executive director at the Cloud Foundry Foundation tells João Marques Lima.

    • Observability for Cloud Native

      Although JSON/YAML Kubernetes manifests are straightforward to read and write, they are not always the best way to manage applications on your cluster. If you have a complex, production system and want to modify its deployment with existing approaches, you may experience significant operational costs.

    • Decentralizing Your Microservices Organization

      Adaptability — the ability to quickly and easily change — has become a primary goal for modern businesses and has put pressure on technology teams to build platforms that are easier and less costly to change. Working in such environments, these teams have been attracted more and more to the microservices style of software architecture. What attracts them is the promise of a method for expediting changes to software, without introducing unnecessary danger to the business.

    • Google Cloud Platform expands to London

      With 43 zones, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the globe’s largest public cloud, but Google is working hard to match AWS. On July 13, Google opened its latest region, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) London (europe-west2).

      This is Google tenth region and joins its existing European region in Belgium. The London GCP center will have three zones. It will offer compute, big data, storage, and networking service.

      Google expects its new region to greatly improve network performance for British Isles and Western Europe clients. In cities such as London, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam, Google’s performance testing shows 40-percent to 82-percent reductions in round-trip time latency when serving customers from London compared with the Belgium region.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 4.12 Expected to Land in openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch Linux Very Soon

      The Linux 4.12 kernel was recently marked as stable on the kernel.org website by maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman as it received its first point release, which means it’s time for OS vendors to integrate it in their GNU/Linux distributions.

      We couldn’t help but notice that Arch Linux developers have just added earlier today the Linux 4.12.1 kernel in the testing repositories, which means that it won’t be long until the popular GNU/Linux distribution is powered by Linux kernel 4.12, and it also looks like openSUSE Tumbleweed will get the Linux 4.12 kernel soon.

    • Linux Kernel 4.12 Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Production Use

      Ten days after it has been unveiled by Linus Torvalds, the Linux 4.12 kernel just received its first point release, as announced a few hours ago by Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman.

      You’re reading it right, Linux kernel 4.12.1 is here, which means that the Linux 4.12 kernel series is now ready for production use, and OS vendors can start downloading the source tarballs, compile it for their supported hardware architectures, do some testing to see if everything works well, and then push the update to the software repositories for users to update their installations.

    • Open Container Initiative Specifications Near 1.0 Completion

      The Linux Foundation’s Open Container Initiative (OCI) has reached a major milestone with the approval of one of the cornerstone specifications that defines and enables container interoperability.

      OCI originally was chartered under the name Open Container Project in June 2015 and was renamed OCI in July 2015. The project is a multi-stakeholder effort bringing together rivals in th container space to help define key specifications to help the container market succeed and interoperate.

      The two primary efforts that OCI has been working on are the runtime specification and the image format specification.

    • Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain Ready for Prime Time

      It’s been well over a year since the Linux Foundation first announced the Hyperledger Project, but it appears that Hyperledger Fabric, the meat and bones of the project, has reached production-ready status with the release of version 1.0 on Tuesday. The project’s promise was to develop an open source enterprise grade blockchain application, initially based on OpenBlockchain, which was contributed by IBM.

    • Open Security Controller Waiting for Developer Interest

      On June 28, the Linux Foundation announced the Open Security Controller Project for the orchestration and automation of software-defined network security functions used to protect east-west traffic within data centers. It’s not a new project, Intel has been working on it for some time, and made it the subject of a presentation at February’s security focused RSA Conference in San Francisco. What is new is that it’s now an open source project under the care and guidance of the Linux Foundation, sponsored by Huawei, McAfee, Nokia’s Nuage Networks, Palo Alto Networks, and of course, Intel.

    • Changes That You Won’t Find In Linux 4.13

      The Linux 4.13 merge window is nearing the end and while there is a lot of new features/changes, there is some functionality that you won’t find in this next version of the upstream Linux kernel.

    • Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

      At 0240 GMT* precisely on Friday, July 14, an epoch-defining moment will happen. And only real nerds – along with Reg readers – will know what that moment is.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 17.1.5 Graphics Stack to Improve Float64 Support for AMD Radeon GPUs, More

        Mesa developer Andres Gomez announced that the fifth point release of the Mesa 17.1 stable graphics stack for GNU/Linux operating system is coming soon with a bunch of performance improvements and bug fixes.

        Mesa 17.1.5 seems to be a major update adding a lot of changes. For users of AMD Radeon GPUs, the update improves Float64 support by implementing 64-bit packing and unpacking, fixes various issues in the NIR to LLVM translation with image atomic names, repairs VRAM allocation size’s limit, as well as the Factorio game.

      • Intel’s Linux Driver Team Jumps On Vulkan 1.0.54 Changes

        While the Intel Linux OpenGL driver had been slow to adapt to new versions of the specification from The Khronos Group, times have changed and with the Vulkan API they are doing a darn fine job in keeping up with the latest revisions to the specification.

      • NVIDIA Releases 381.26.08 Vulkan Beta Driver With New Extensions

        NVIDIA has once again managed a same-day driver update for matching a new Vulkan release.

        With today’s significant Vulkan 1.0.54 update, NVIDIA has released the 381.26.08 Linux beta and 382.81 Windows beta drivers.

      • DRI3 v1.1 Revised For Modifiers And Multi-Plane Support

        Louis-Francis Ratté-Boulianne of Collabora has sent out his second version of patches for DRI3 v1.1, the first significant update to the Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3.

      • Codeplay & Google Release Tool To Compile OpenCL C To Vulkan

        Google and Codeplay have developed a new open-source tool for compiling OpenCL C code to Vulkan compute shaders.

        This new tool, clspv, allows compiling a subset of the OpenCL C language to target the Vulkan API. At this stage clspv is considered a prototype and relies upon the very latest LLVM and Clang code — it mostly comes down to being a set of LLVM passes to turn it into SPIR and then SPIR-V for consumption by Vulkan.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • 7 New Features & Improvements Coming to the Budgie Desktop

      Budgie desktop is emerging as a real cult favourite among Linux enthusiasts, who appreicate its modern UI, lightweight feel and frequent development updates.

      Ahead of Budgie 11, which will see the desktop shell rewritten in Qt from feather to tail, there’s going to be a major new update to the current GTK+ version, tentatively tagged as Budgie 10.4.

      And boy, what a release it is shaping up to be.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Ships KDE Applications 17.04.3

        Today KDE released the third stability update for KDE Applications 17.04. This release contains only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

        More than 25 recorded bugfixes include improvements to kdepim, dolphin, dragonplayer, kdenlive, umbrello, among others.

      • KDE Applications 17.04 Software Suite Reaches End of Life with the 17.04.3 Build

        Today KDE released the third stability update for its KDE Applications 17.04 software suite, which contains a bunch of improvements for various of the supported KDE apps.

        That’s right, we’re talking here about KDE Applications 17.04.3, which is not only the third maintenance update to the stable series but also the last, thus marking the end of life of the KDE Applications 17.04 software suite. It contains more than 25 bug fixes, along with several updated translation.

      • KaOS 2017.07 Linux Distro Brings Latest Calamares Installer, KDE Plasma 5.10.3

        The developers of the independently-developed KaOS GNU/Linux operating system announced today the release and immediate availability for download of the KaOS 2017.07 updated installation medium for the July 2017.

        Every month, the KaOS devs push a new, up-to-date Live ISO image of their GNU/Linux distribution, which is built around the latest KDE and Qt technologies. And this time is no different, as KaOS 2017.07 incorporates the recently released KDE Plasma 5.10.3 desktop environment, KDE Applications 17.04.3 software suite, and KDE Frameworks 5.36.0, all built on the Qt 5.9.1 application framework.

      • The KDE Components Not Yet Ported To KDE Frameworks 5

        With the beta of KDE Applications 17.08 due next week, which is the last cycle where Qt4/kdelibs4-dependent components are still permitted, KDE developer Christoph Feck has generated a list of KDE software not yet ported over to Qt5/KF5.

        It’s with KDE Applications 17.12 where only Qt5 / KDE Frameworks 5 applications will be bundled with finally closing the door to Qt4/KDE4 programs that have yet to be ported.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: July 14, 2017

        GDM has now replaced LightDM. We’re working on the transition between display managers to make sure that users are seamlessly transitioned to the new stack. We’re doing regular automated upgrade tests to make sure everything keeps working, but we’re keen to get your bug reports.

      • Ubuntu 17.10: Continued Work On VA-API, Switching To GDM

        Will Cooke of Canonical has posted the latest weekly status update concerning happenings for the desktop on Ubuntu 17.10.

        As part of the transition to the GNOME Shell desktop by default, GDM has replaced LightDM as the log-in display manager. They’ve also demoted around 70 packages from their desktop ISOs to help lighten up the weight.

      • Canonical Working Lately on Packaging More GNOME Apps as Snaps for Ubuntu Linux

        Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop director Will Cooke is back this week with another update on what’s going on with the development process of the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system.

        It looks like Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop and Snappy teams are putting a lot of effort lately on packaging as much GNOME apps to the Snap universal binary format as possible, by using the gnome-3-24 platform Snap they created recently. With this, they want to make possible the sharing of common libraries between GNOME apps, which automatically translates to smaller Snaps and easy maintenance of them.

      • Is Terminix The Best Tiling Terminal Emulator on Linux?

        Terminix (aka Tilix) is a tiling terminal emulator for the GNOME desktop. It’s featured, fast and frequently recommended — here’s why you should try it too.

  • Distributions

    • Nova, the Cuban Linux Distro, Looks Seriously Good

      Nope, me neither. But a brief click about the interwebs tells me that it’s an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution developed in Cuba by students at the University of Informatic Sciences (UCI)

      The open-source OS aims to replace Microsoft Windows on computers within the country as, says Hector Rodriguez, Director of UCI, “[t]he free software movement is closer to the ideology of the Cuban people”.

      I’m not here to talk politics though. I’m here to talk prettiness.

      ICU Student Manuel Alejandro tweeted us some screenshots of Nova OS 6.0, the first major update to the OS since 2015 — and it looks really good.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Workstation 26 is out

          We managed to get Fedora Workstation 26 out the door this week which I am very happy about. In some ways it was far from our most splashy release as it mostly was about us improving on already released features, like improving the Wayland support and improving the Flatpak support in GNOME Software and improving the Qt integration into GNOME through the QtGNOME platform.

          One major thing that is fully functional now though and that I have been testing myself extensively is being able to easily install the NVidia binary driver. If you set up the repository from Negativo17 you should be able to go install the Nvidia driver either using dnf on the command line or by searching for NVidia in GNOME Software, and just install it without any further work thanks to all the effort we and NVidia have been putting into things like glvnd. If you have a workstation with an NVidia card I would say that you have a fully functional system at this point without any hacks or file conflicts with Mesa.

        • Fedora Planning To Make NVIDIA Driver Easier, Full HDR Support On Linux

          With the fantastic Fedora 26 release out the door, Red Hat’s Christian Schaller has recapped some of the highlights during the Fedora 26 development and a look ahead.

          Fedora 26 jives very well with the NVIDIA proprietary driver thanks to GLVND, the easy access to the Negativo17 repository, etc, but Christian says they are still working to make it even easier. He wrote, “We do plan on listing the NVidia driver in GNOME Software soon without having to manually setup the repository, so soon we will have a very smooth experience where the Nvidia driver is just a click in the Software store away for our users.” Of course, by default, they will continue to use the Nouveau driver but it will be drop dead easy to switchover.

        • What’s new in the Anaconda Installer for Fedora 26 ?

          Fedora 26 is available now, providing a wide range of improvements across the entire operating system. Anaconda — the Fedora installer — has many new features and improvements implemented for Fedora 26. The most visible addition is the introduction of Blivet GUI, providing power users an alternate way to configure partitioning. Additionally, there are improvements to automated installation with kickstart, a range of networking improvements, better status reporting when your install is under way, and much more.

    • Debian Family

      • TeX Live contrib repository (re)new(ed)

        It is my pleasure to announce the renewal/rework/restart of the TeX Live contrib repository service. The repository is collecting packages that cannot enter TeX Live directly (mostly due to license reasons), but are free to distribute. The basic idea is to provide a repository mimicking Debian’s nonfree branch.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Makes It Easier to Use Bluetooth Speakers

            Ubuntu will automatically switch sound output to Bluetooth when you connect a Bluetooth speaker, soundbar or headset.

            Connecting a compatible USB audio device will also see the sound output auto-switch to that device.

            While most Bluetooth speakers, headsets and USB audio devices already well with Ubuntu you typically have to dive into the system’s sound settings and manually select the device for audio output.

            In a world where Android and iOS smartphones automatically switch to Bluetooth devices when connected, requiring manual user input is not only a little old-fashioned but may, to users otherwise unaware, appear broken.

          • Ubuntu Foundations Development Summary: July 13, 2017
          • Ubuntu OpenStack Dev Summary – 13th July 2017
          • Flavours and Variants

            • System76 Might Make Their Own OS Installer, Will Ship Automatic Firmware Updates

              Linux laptop vendor System76 has provided a status update on their activities around their Pop!_OS Linux distribution.

              System76 developers continue working on this Ubuntu fork and they have been focusing on more GNOME patches from the desktop side. They also mentioned they are considering writing a new operating system installer. So far they have been hacking on Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer, but they are getting the feeling now that it’s over-complicated. They are hoping for a very quick and easy install process with all of the initial user-setup being punted off to GNOME’s first-run helper.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Introducing Facade: An Easy Way to Track Git Repo Contributions

    I call the project Facade (Figure 1). The meaning is twofold: First, this was originally conceived as a “FOSS Anomaly Detector” (F.O.S.S.A.D.), which would allow you to see how contribution patterns changed over time. Second, it allows you to see behind your speculations about the project, and get an informed view of who is doing the development work, based upon real data.

  • Open Source Onsen UI Mobile Framework Targets Vue.js Development

    Vue.js is a hot JavaScript framework, which of late has been featured among the top trending tools on GitHub and on StackShare, which describes it as “a library for building interactive Web interfaces. It provides data-reactive components with a simple and flexible API.”

    [...]

    Like Onsen UI (which has a GitHub repository), Vue.js is also open source and also available in its own GitHub repository, with nearly 60,000 stars, leading a Monaca spokesperson to note that 2017 has been called “the year of Vue.js.”

  • Baltimore shows open source mapping projects in 8th annual Data Day

    The annual Baltimore Data Day is back Friday, and this year the activism-oriented event will include an interactive workshop on open source mapping that was requested by community members earlier in the year.

  • Events

    • Open Source Summit North America announces additional keynote speakers

      The Linux Foundation has announced additional keynote speakers for Open Source Summit North America, taking place September 11-14 in Los Angeles, CA.

      The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit is the premier open source technical conference in North America, gathering 2,000 developers, operators and community leadership professionals to collaborate, share information and learn about the latest in open technologies, including Linux, containers, cloud computing and more.

    • Tips and top presentations from Write the Docs Portland 2017

      Imagine a room full of smart, funny, and quirky people who all love documentation, technology, and… food. Put all that together and you have Write the Docs (WTD) in Portland—a community conference where documentarians meet to discuss the things we love the most.

    • Talking at GPN 2017 in Karlsruhe, Germany

      Although the GPN is an annual event, I haven’t managed to go very often. Last time has already been a while. It’s a pity, because the event is very cute. The location is just amazing which makes being there really fun. It’s a museum hosting many things from our digital world. If you visit only one thing in Karlsruhe, go and visit it. In fact, we tried to organise a small excursion during GUADEC last year. Bloomberg also has an article about the event.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open-source world resurrects Oracle-free Solaris project OmniOS

      The open-source community has fought back and resurrected the development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free non-proprietary variant of Solaris, which had been shelved in April.

      The development of OmniOS, a distribution of Illumos derived from Sun’s open-source flavor of Solaris, was killed after five years of work by web applications biz OmniTI.

      It was hoped OmniOS would be community-driven, simple to use, and fast to install and operate. However, the project was axed, as the project failed to make any cash out of the development and a community failed to emerge. Consequently all work stopped and support contracts were not renewed.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Association and Project Lead Statement Regarding Larry Garfield

      We recognize that events and conversations earlier this year surfaced many concerns and needs within the community. One in particular is related to Larry Garfield’s role within Drupal. After several conversations with Larry, and careful consideration, we can now provide an update to this situation, our decisions, and Larry’s role moving forward.

      We thank you for your patience while we spent many hours meeting with Larry and outside experts to resolve this matter. We recognize that actions were taken quickly before, which resulted in poor communication, and we wanted to avoid this happening again. We made sure to provide the proper time and attention these conversations needed before releasing this follow-up post.

      We know our poor communication in the past led to frustration with us and pain for others. For that, we are sorry. We want to learn from this and improve. We listened to the community’s request to provide more streamlined, clear, and easy-to-follow communication. So, this post includes a statement from Dries Buytaert, as Project Lead, followed by a statement from Megan Sanicki, Executive Director of the Drupal Association.

      [...]

      Larry’s subsequent blog posts harmed the community and had a material impact on the Drupal Association, including membership cancellations from those who believed we doxed, bullied, and discriminated against Larry as well as significant staff disruption. Due to the harm caused, the Drupal Association is removing Larry Garfield from leadership roles that we are responsible for, effective today.

      [...]

      As long as Larry does not harm or disrupt the project, he will continue to be a member of the community as an individual contributor. However, we reserve the right to remove Larry’s individual contributor roles if that is not the case. Also, we recognize that situations can change over time, so the Drupal Association will revisit these decisions in two years.

      I recognize that my communication to Larry and with the community did not provide transparency into this situation and I apologize for the pain and confusion that caused. Our advisors told us not to share these details in order to protect all parties pending evaluation from authorities. Also, when Larry shared these details during the appeal process, he asked us to keep them confidential. It is my hope that this statement provides the clarity that many have been requesting.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming/Development

    • Git 2.14 Starts Getting Aligned For Release

      Junio Hamano has today announced the first preview release of Git 2.14 version control system in the form of Git 2.14-rc0.

    • [ANNOUNCE] Git v2.14.0-rc0

      An early preview release Git v2.14.0-rc0 is now available for testing at the usual places. It is comprised of 675 non-merge commits since v2.13.0, contributed by 53 people, 14 of which are new faces.

    • Toward Go 2
    • Google Developers Begin Planning For Go 2 Programming Language

      The Google team responsible for the Go programming language have begun publicly discussing plans and ideas for the Go 2.0 programming language.

      It’s going to be a long road to Go 2.0 and they are not abandoning Go 1.x. At this stage, the developers are mostly hearing feedback about what works and what doesn’t for the Go language. From there, they can begin better formulating feature plans and roadmaps for the lengthy Go 2 development cycle ahead.

    • Analyzing GitHub, how developers change programming languages over time

      Have you ever been struggling with an nth obscure project, thinking : “I could do the job with this language but why not switch to another one which would be more enjoyable to work with” ? In his awesome blog post : The eigenvector of “Why we moved from language X to language Y”, Erik Bernhardsson generated an N*N contingency table of all Google queries related to changing languages. However, when I read it, I couldn’t help wondering what the proportion of people who effectively switched is. Thus, it has become engaging to deepen this idea and see how the popularity of languages changes among GitHub users.

    • Which Spark machine learning API should you use?

      But what can machine learning do for you? And how will you find out? There’s a good place to start close to home, if you’re already using Apache Spark for batch and stream processing. Along with Spark SQL and Spark Streaming, which you’re probably already using, Spark provides MLLib, which is, among other things, a library of machine learning and statistical algorithms in API form.

    • Sorry, Golang 2 probably won’t add your ‘missing’ feature

      The official Golang blog has provided the first concrete details about the next version of Google’s Go language, which is used to create popular applications like Docker and Kubernetes, as well as to incrementally replace critical internet infrastructure.

      But Golang devs waiting for immediate word about generics, or other pet features they’ve long been waiting to see added to the language, are going to walk away disappointed.

Leftovers

  • LinkArchiver automatically submits links to the Internet Archive

    Links shared on Twitter can be preserved in perpetuity with no effort on the user’s part.

  • Science

    • Why Do Republicans Suddenly Hate College So Much?

      Trump’s innovation maybe wasn’t to bash college so much as to ignore it. Previous candidates, in both parties, paid at least lip service to the idea of expanding educational opportunities and retraining workers whose jobs were eliminated by changes in the U.S. economy.

    • The Smoking Gun – Is IP research the next tobacco scandal?

      Google’s response to the report, published Tuesday, is critical of the report’s methodology as being too broad. It also notes that industry funding of academic research is widespread. It points out an extreme irony – the report itself does not disclose its own funding. This Fortune article suggest that the Campaign for Accountability’s work on Google (the Google Transparency Project) is at least part funded by Oracle. (The investigative journalism by the WSJ does not suffer the same problem.) The Emperor may need new clothes.

    • Scrap dealer finds Apollo-era NASA computers in dead engineer’s basement

      NASA told the family of the deceased that it was not in the junk removal business. “No, we do not need the computers,” NASA told the family of the deceased. “We have no use for [them].”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 3P Project Enables Radical Change In R&D For TB Treatment

      The 3P Project plans to distribute monetary prizes and grants for research and development of new treatment for TB, Brigden said. The intellectual property and the data resulting from the R&D will be pooled together and made available via licences, and the final costs of the medicines will be delinked from the costs of R&D, she said.

    • Event Looks At UN High-Level Panel On Medicines Access, SDGs And Policy Coherence

      An event on 17 July at the United Nations in New York will address the “UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines: Advancing Health-Related SDGs through Policy Coherence.”

      The High-Level Panel issued its report late last year and has stirred numerous discussions about needed change to ensure developing countries can properly use international trade law to access medicines.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Finnish defence technology supplier granted export licence to UAE

      Robonic, a Tampere-headquartered supplier of launch systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, was granted a licence to export two launch systems to the United Arab Emirates on Monday despite the opposition of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

    • Corbyn Defied Media Rules by Linking UK Wars to Terrorism

      When a terrorist killed 22 at a May 22 concert filled with young people in England’s Manchester, most journalists—especially US ones—assumed it would help the struggling Conservative Party and its standard-bearer, Prime Minister Theresa May, win the snap election she had called for June 8, just 17 days ahead.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • A whistleblower plays by the rules at CIA, and finds ‘nothing gets done’

      When wayward contract employees at the CIA began pilfering snacks from vending machines back in 2013, the Office of the Inspector General sprang into action. Surveillance cameras went up, the culprits were nabbed, and all lost their jobs.

      From start to finish, the case of the $3,314.40 in stolen snacks lasted two months.

      When more serious allegations of wrongdoing arise at the CIA, though, inspectors may be far less speedy, especially when their findings could embarrass the Langley, Va., spy agency.

    • The CIA’s Secret 2009 Data Breach, Revealed For The First Time

      In a security breach never before made public, a CIA employee disclosed highly classified government source code to a contractor who was not authorized to receive it — an incident that the agency’s internal watchdog warned “could have caused irreparable damage.”

      For America’s national security agencies, contractors pose a particular danger. They have been responsible for some of the most damaging national security leaks, from Edward Snowden’s release of National Security Agency files, to the ongoing Wikileaks dump of classified CIA source codes for the tools the CIA uses to hack into mobile phones, computers, Wi-Fi networks, online chat and calling services, and more. And last month, the intelligence contractor Reality Winner was charged with leaking a top-secret NSA document about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

      This newly disclosed release of classified material appears to have been contained, but it shows how difficult it is to completely protect classified information. The breach took place in 2009, and details about it were revealed in a heavily redacted February 18, 2010, CIA inspector general’s report obtained by BuzzFeed News in response to a two-year-old Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump says ‘something could happen’ on climate accord

      President Donald Trump held the door open to a reversal of his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord on Thursday, but did not say what he would need in return to persuade him to do so.

      Trump, who has made few friends in Europe with his rejection of the 2015 Paris agreement and his “America First” trade stance, met with French President Emmanuel Macron as both leaders sought common ground to reset an awkward relationship.

    • Virginia utility agrees to install two offshore wind turbines for study

      This week, Virginia utility Dominion announced that it would partner with Danish firm Dong Energy to build two offshore wind turbines as test cases for a commercial-sized installation.

      Currently, the US only has one 30MW commercial offshore wind farm off Block Island in Rhode Island. Renewable energy proponents have sought to expand offshore wind’s reach for years in the hope it would re-create the low-cost energy boom that has occurred in the US with onshore wind. The offshore resource has a lot of promise—turbines can be built bigger out at sea, so they can generate more power, and wind is generally less variable.

    • A diesel emissions test you can’t game? We try it out

      Diesel is a dirty word in the auto industry these days. The fuel was once viewed—particularly in Europe—as a potential savior, since diesel engines offer much better fuel economy and emit much less CO2 per mile than engines that run on gasoline. But that changed once Volkswagen Group was caught cheating its emissions tests, resulting in billions of dollars of fines and a loss of public trust. Automotive-component maker Bosch had a hand in the mess, too—it provided the code on the Engine Control Units in VW Group’s offending diesels. The supplier ultimately paid out several hundred million dollars in settlement in the US, although it was not required to admit any wrongdoing.

    • A RECORD NUMBER OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS WERE MURDERED IN 2016

      A record number of environmental activists were murdered around the globe in 2016, according to a new report released today by the watchdog group Global Witness—nearly four a week.

      Last year, 200 environmentalists across 24 countries were murdered—up from 185 across 16 countries in 2015—and 40 percent of those killed were indigenous activists. The deadliest country for environmentalists was Brazil, with 49 slayings, followed by Colombia, where, according to the report, the recent peace deal between the government and the guerrilla group, the the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, may have exacerbated environmental conflicts.

    • Ravens ignore a treat in favor of a useful tool for the future

      If humans, chimps, gorillas, and orangutans can all do something, but monkeys can’t, that tells a certain evolutionary story: it suggests that the ability emerged sometime after the apes split off from the monkeys on our evolutionary tree. But if a bird comes along with that ability, it throws the whole story off course. Corvids—a family of birds that includes ravens, jays, and crows—seem to delight in doing just that.

      Humans pretty obviously plan for the future, from packing a brown bag lunch to saving for retirement. Other apes also seem to be able to plan for the short-term future, at least up to one night. Monkeys don’t. But a paper in Science this week reports a small group of corvids succeeding at future-planning tasks. That points to a complex evolutionary story.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Securing Elections Remains Surprisingly Controversial
    • Is Bernie Sanders Really The Democratic Front-Runner?
    • The Trump Family’s Explanations Are Straining Credulity to Its Breaking Point

      As an American statesman once said, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice—can’t get fooled again.” The Trump family has little love lost with the Bush family, but the president, his son, and their aides and legal team would do well to heed the 43rd president’s mangled maxim, as they continue to offer an increasingly implausible story to the public about a meeting involving a Russian lawyer, Donald Trump Jr., and his brother-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

      The account that the Trumps are offering is implausible on three counts. First, it is challenging to believe on its face, as I wrote earlier this week, that Trump Sr. would never have been told about the meeting. Second, the continued flow of new revelations itself suggests that whatever story the principals are peddling should be considered incomplete by default. Finally, the specifics of the string of new revelations about who attended the meeting and when it came to light make the story seem increasingly improbable.

      [...]

      Surprisingly, given his penchant for improvisation, the president’s story on the meeting—that he had no idea at the time, and was only informed in the last week—is the one account that has remained consistent throughout the twists and turns of the story of the June 9 meeting. Everything else has changed. Trump Jr.’s story has repeatedly been proven incomplete. Kushner’s explanation is challenging. Isikoff claims Trump’s lawyers knew of the meeting before. Given the pattern of the last few days, it is hard to see why anyone would assume that the public has received a full and honest reckoning of the June 9 meeting—or why anyone would give Trump Jr. and the White House the benefit of the doubt.

    • Ivanka Inc.

      The first daughter talks about improving the lives of working women. Her father urges companies to “buy American.” But her fashion line’s practices collide with those principles – and are out of step with industry trends.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Opponents Hope to Mislead California’s Legislators Before They Vote on Broadband Privacy Next Week
    • Trump voter commission releases voter complaints — and their personal data

      The Trump administration has published over a hundred emails submitted to the White House’s election integrity commission — and not everyone’s happy.

      The document, posted late Thursday in an unredacted form, is available directly from the White House’s website.

      It follows a request by the administration to submit comments from the public by email to the voter integrity commission, which was set up through an executive order signed by President Trump earlier this year. The commission is focused on investigating alleged reports of voter fraud and improper voting, despite a recent report that showed the average American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

    • DHS Goes Biometric, Says Travelers Can Opt Out Of Face Scans By Not Traveling

      The DHS has decided air travel is the unsafest thing of all. In the wake of multiple fear mongering presidential directives — including a travel ban currently being contested in federal courts — the DHS has introduced several measures meant to make flying safer, but in reality would only make flying more of a pain in the ass.

    • US border agents: We won’t search data “located solely on remote servers”

      In a new letter, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has answered some questions posed months ago by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) about the agency’s policies when it comes to searches of digital devices at the border. However, that letter appears to have raised even more questions.

      As Ars reported previously, there is a very broad exception to the Fourth Amendment at the border that allows officials to conduct warrantless searches. If your device is locked or encrypted and you refuse to assist agents’ attempts to open it, the device can be seized.

    • DHS, CBP Admit They Have No Legal Authority To Access Americans’ Social Media Accounts

      Since at least 2009, the DHS has asserted a legal right to copy/search the contents of anyone’s electronic devices at the border. Its privacy assessment said no one has much privacy, at least not near US borders. Building on years of judicial national security deference, the DHS has recently expanded its searches of electronic devices, eliminating most of its adherence to the Fourth Amendment in the process. If your devices wander into the country’s Constitution-free zones, you can expect to suffer diminished expectations of privacy.

    • How many Americans are swept up in the NSA’s snooping programs?

      Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper famously (or infamously) told Congress the National Security Agency did not “wittingly” collect data on Americans. That turned out to be false.

      More recently, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the current director of national intelligence, Dan Coats whether the government could use Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “to collect communications it knows are entirely domestic.”

    • Australian laws aim to force decryption to fight crime

      Australia is set to announce laws to force companies like Google and Facebook to decrypt messages sent by suspected terrorists and other criminals.

    • Aussie Prime Minister Says The Laws Of Math Don’t Apply In Australia When It Comes To Encryption

      Oh boy. It’s no secret that the Australian government — led by George Brandis (who has made it abundantly clear he has no clue what a VPN is or what metadata is) — is pushing strongly for mandated backdoors to encryption. At this point, it’s beating a dead horse, but this is a very, very bad idea for a whole host of reasons — mainly having to do with making absolutely everyone significantly less safe.

    • UK spookhaüs GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption says Australian A-G

      British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) can crack end-to-end encrypted messages sent using WhatsApp and Signal, according to Australian attorney-general George Brandis.

      Brandis made the claim speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s AM program, on the occasion of Australia announcing it would adopt laws mirroring the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act. Brandis said the proposed law will place “an obligation on device manufacturers and service providers to provide appropriate assistance to intelligence and law enforcement on a warranted basis where it is necessary to interdict or in the case of a crime that may have been committed.”

    • Not for the first time, Microsoft’s fonts have caught out forgers

      I was confused for a few moments today, after one of my colleagues asked me if I’d heard about “fontgate.”

      “Fontgate?” I queried.

      “Pakistan either loves or hates Calibri,” I was unhelpfully informed.

      Apparently, there were some forged documents, and the forgery was detected by the use of Microsoft’s Calibri. But I was confused; this sounded like a story from years ago. Why was it in the news now?

      On further reading, one thing became clear about Calibri’s popularity in Pakistan: while opponents of the government may indeed be fans, the Sharif don’t like it.

    • Border Patrol Says It’s Barred From Searching Cloud Data on Phones

      U.S. border officers aren’t allowed to look at any data stored only in the “cloud” — including social media data — when they search U.S. travelers’ phones, Customs and Border Protection acknowledged in a letter obtained Wednesday by NBC News.

    • Biometrics catches violent fugitive 25 years on the run

      While we’re not at an Orwellian point in time yet with biometrics, facial-recognition technology is being used for good, no matter how scary the technology sounds. Consider that Nevada authorities have announced that biometrics was behind the arrest of a violent criminal who escaped from prison 25 years ago. It’s another in a string of arrests in which biometrics essentially paved the way for a bad guy’s capture.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Judge, lawyer unions condemn proposed traffic offence changes: “No presumption of innocence”

      Unions representing legal experts have slammed proposed legal changes that would transfer the burden of proof from the prosecutor to the accused when it comes to traffic offences.

    • TASER LOBBYIST QUIETLY APPOINTED TO TOP IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT JOB

      THOMAS BLANK, A FORMER lobbyist and Republican official, was recently appointed to serve as the chief of staff to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency charged with investigating and enforcing immigration-related matters for the Department of Homeland Security.

      There was no public press release and no announcement to mark the senior appointment. Rather, the only official acknowledgement of Blank’s new post was found through a quiet update to the ICE leadership website this week.

      “Thomas Blank’s appointment as Chief of Staff for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was finalized on Wednesday, July 12,” said ICE Assistant Director for Public Affairs Liz Johnson, in a statement to The Intercept.

    • Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

      Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month.

      On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.)

      More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Some were let go over the next few weeks, but the bulk of the 200+ still face 10–80 years in federal prison for “felony rioting.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Defending Net Neutrality: Millions Rally to Save the Internet, Again

      We’re fighting for net neutrality, again, because it is crucial to the future of the internet. Net neutrality serves to enable free speech, competition, innovation and user choice online.

      On July 12, it was great to see such a diversity of voices speak up and join together to support a neutral internet. We need to protect the internet as a shared global public resource for us all. This Day of Action makes it clear, yet again, that net neutrality it a mainstream issue, which the majority of Americans (76% from our recent survey) care about and support.

    • A Comcast billing nightmare affects woman caring for her sick father

      Amie Stepanovich‏ has been shuttling back and forth between Washington, DC, and Ohio, where her father is “very sick and currently in the hospital and unable to speak for himself,” she wrote in a series of tweets yesterday. Stepanovich has power of attorney for her father and wants to reduce his Comcast bill, which costs “quite a lot” of money each month.

      But when she called Comcast last weekend, a company rep “told me they couldn’t handle [the] request on [the] phone because I wasn’t authorized,” she wrote.

    • 3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million to Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008

      The group found that Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have spent $572 million on attempts to influence the FCC and other government agencies since 2008.

    • The FCC says net neutrality destroys small ISPs. So has it?

      Dolgenos, of Cruzio, says she fears the FCC’s deregulatory tendencies will push the ISP industry even closer to monopoly or duopoly. If more small providers are forced out, she says, the big ISPs will try to make more money off their existing customer base instead of continuing to expand. “How are we going to service rural or semi-rural?” Dolgenos asks. “There’s no reason to do it if you have to put a line a mile up a road to reach four houses. It’s just not going to happen.”

    • Why you should care about Net Neutrality

      When folks discuss the idea of net neutrality, there are a lot of terms around legislation like “Title I” and “Title 2” and regulatory bodies like the FCC and FTC that are discussed. I’ve linked to articles that dig into this in detail below. While those are interesting pieces of information, I’d like to spend time on why this is a matter of philosophy and principle and why this discussion is very important.

    • Ajit Pai not concerned about number of pro-net neutrality comments

      One day after a large protest of his plan to gut net neutrality rules, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was asked if the number of pro-net neutrality comments submitted to the FCC might cause a change in course.

      In response, Pai maintained his stance that the number of comments is not as important as the content of those comments.

    • Charter Spectrum ‘Competes’ With New $20 Streaming TV Service Featuring $6 In Entirely Bogus Fees

      You may have noticed that things aren’t going particularly well for the traditional cable TV industry. Ratings for many channels are in free fall, the rate at which customers are cutting the traditional TV cord is accelerating, and the number and quality of competing streaming services is only growing. Cumulatively, this has forced many previously myopic cable and broadcast executives to stop denying the obvious and to candidly admit there’s an actual market (r)evolution afoot, even if most of them still aren’t quite exactly sure how to adapt to it.

      And while the headlines are often filled with dire warnings about traditional cable TV being “doomed,” that’s not really true. Cable operators still lay claim to somewhere around 98 million paying customers. And keeping these users from fleeing to competing streaming services really isn’t that complicated. These companies just don’t want to do what’s necessary. Namely, listen to their customers, offer more flexible and convenient services, shore up their atrocious customer service, and finally begin seriously competing on price.

    • Historic Day of Action: Net Neutrality Allies Send 1.6 Million Comments to FCC

      When you attack the Internet, the Internet fights back.

      Today, the Internet went all out in support of net neutrality. Hundreds of popular websites featured pop-ups suggesting that those sites had been blocked or throttled by Internet service providers. Some sites got hilariously creative—Twitch replaced all of its emojis with that annoying loading icon. Netflix shared GIFs that would never finish loading. PornHub simply noted that “slow porn sucks.”

      Together, we painted an alarming picture of what the Internet might look like if the FCC goes forward with its plan to roll back net neutrality protections: ISPs prioritizing their favored content sources and deprioritizing everything else. (Fight for the Future has put together a great collection of examples of how sites participated in the day of action.)

  • DRM

    • If you’re worried about Net Neutrality, you should be worried about web DRM, too

      Even if we have an open, neutral network we’re still at risk from big incumbents using choke-points to decide what legal activities are and are not acceptable on the web. These companies have lobbied the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) into standardizing DRM for video in a way that makes a handful of giant companies into judge, juror and executioner for new services and tools online.

    • Net Neutrality Won’t Save Us if DRM is Baked Into the Web

      But overbroad and badly written laws like Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) upset this balance. DMCA 1201 bans tampering with DRM, even if you’re only doing so to exercise the rights that Congress gave you as a user of copyrighted works. This means that media companies that bake DRM into the standards of the web get to decide what kinds of new products and services are allowed to enter the market, effectively banning others from adding new features to our media, even when those features have been declared legal by Congress.

    • Notice to the W3C of EFF’s appeal of the Director’s decision on EME

      On behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I would like to formally submit our request for an appeal of the Director’s decision to publish Encrypted Media Extensions as a W3C Recommendation, announced on 6 July 2017.

      The grounds for this appeal are that the question of a covenant to protect the activities that made DRM standardization a fit area for W3C activities was never put to the W3C membership. In the absence of a call for consensus on a covenant, it was improper for the Director to overrule the widespread members’ objections and declare EME fit to be published as a W3C Recommendation.

      The announcement of the Director’s decision enumerated three ways in which DRM standardization through the W3C — even without a covenant — was allegedly preferable to allowing DRM to proceed through informal industry agreements: the W3C’s DRM standard was said to be superior in its accessibility, its respect of user privacy, and its ability to level the playing field for new entrants to the market.

      However, in the absence of a covenant, none of these benefits can be realized. That is because laws like the implementations of Article 6 of the EUCD, Section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and Canada’s Bill C-11 prohibit otherwise lawful activity when it requires bypassing a DRM system.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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