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07.20.17

Links 20/7/2017: Qt Creator 4.4 Beta, Libgcrypt 1.8.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Raptor Is Going To Launch A New POWER9 Linux System

      Raptor Engineering who does Coreboot development work and is known for their previous Talos Secure Workstation system to provide a fast and fully libre workstation is going to be launching a new POWER-based workstation.

      Meet the Talos II. Raptor Engineering is teasing the Talos II workstation, which they say will not rely upon crowdfunding unlike the earlier effort and will also cost “far less” than the original Talos. Pre-orders are to open next month while they say this POWER9 system should be shipping in Q4. Details shared so far are dual IBM POWER9 CPUs, five PCI-E slots, fully owner controllable, and workstation performance at competitive pricing.

    • Pop! OS Linux from System76 is a rare DIY distro from a hardware vendor

      Pop! OS is more than just another Linux distro. Many Linux OSes borrow from other OSes in one way or another but add their own spin to the OS in question–like a different desktop environment, for example. Pop! OS is not much different in this respect, except that it’s developed by System76, a company that sells laptops and desktops preloaded with Ubuntu. Well, for now. System76 recently released an Alpha version of its own Ubuntu-based operating system, dubbed Pop! OS. The company has set the first official release for Pop! OS for October 19.

  • Server

    • SUSE Partners with Supermicro for OpenStack Cloud Hardware

      Server vendor Supermicro has entered into a global partnership with Linux vendor SUSE that will benefit customers with new integrated OpenStack cloud hardware.

    • The truth about sysadmins

      You’ve probably heard many stereotypes about system administrators and the job itself. Like most stereotypes, they have varying levels of accuracy, so it’s worth digging a little deeper if you’re considering a career change.

      Here’s the truth about are some of the things you may have heard about network and system administration.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • PulseAudio and Systemd | Unleaded Hangout

      Today on Unleaded, Brandon and Joe join me to discuss PulseAudio, systemd and whether or not adoption of these technologies is the end of all things good in the Linux world.

    • Warning, NSFW: “Book Reading: Linux is Badass” – Lunduke Hour – July 19, 2017
    • FLOSS Weekly 442: Hyperledger

      Hyperledger is a project to maintain a platform for distributed ledger projects and the toolkits at apps that support and use them. It’s intended for building private systems where everyone participating can be identified, so does not have an associated proof-of-work token or the “cryptocurrency” aura that goes with it.

      It may be the tool that finally re-decentralises the Internet. By taking away the shiny gold, people can finally see the power of a distributed ledger whose authority is established by consensus rather than heirarchy. The book Simon mentions, “The Myster of Capital” by Hernando de Soto, is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

  • Kernel Space

    • Systemd vs. the Linux Kernel

      The incident began with a patch to the Linux kernel intended to limit the actions of binaries run with another user’s privileges, especially root. Different tactics and timings were brainstormed, as often happens on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. Then, in the middle of the discussion, Linux creator Linus Torvalds made a comment apparently about how systemd complicated the effort to find the best solution, showing that the old animosity between Linux kernel and systemd developers was still very much alive, several years after it had peaked.

      “You all presumably know why,” Torvalds wrote, and probably most regular contributors to the kernel did. However, for others, the explanation is not all clear — all the more so because it is not what many suppose or perhaps hope.

      As you may remember, systemd, now maintained by Red Hat, became standard in most major Linux distributions over the last few years. It is a replacement for init, the first process that runs when a system is started, and the parent of all other processes. It has also been a seemingly been a source of annoyance for many core kernel developers, for an assortment of technical and personal reasons.

    • The Open Container Initiative launches version 1.0 of its container specs

      It took a while, but the Open Container Initiative (OCI) today announced the launch of the 1.0 versions of both its container runtime and image specs for software container. The two-year-old open source foundation was established by Docker and other leaders in the container ecosystem to be the guardian of exactly these specifications, which are basically the industry standards for container formats and runtimes.

      Docker kicked off much of the work on these specs when it donated the codebase of its container runtime to the OCI. Over time, the technical community also added a spec for the container image format to the project, as well. Today, the OCI has more than 40 members, which include virtually every major tech company that plays in the cloud space (think AWS, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware), as well as a number of container-focused startups like Rancher and Wercker.

    • Unity Rules As OCI Launches 1.0 Container Spec

      After a two-year effort, the Open Container Initiative has its image specification and runtime spec ready for vendors and container users.

      Container advocates remember why a Unix application can’t run on all versions of Unix. They know why a virtual machine can’t run with just any hypervisor. Different vendors tweaked the underlying mechanics in the code just enough to distinguish their version from all others, imposing a mind-numbing complexity on customers.

    • Open Container Initiative (OCI) Releases v1.0 of Container Standards
    • Open Container Initiative specifications reach 1.0

      Today marks a major milestone in the evolution of Linux containers – the Open Container Initiative (OCI) has released 1.0 versions of the image format and runtime specifications. We’re excited to see the realization of the work that’s a result of the industry coming together around a set of common, open standards for container technology.

      With the OCI v1.0 specifications, we have taken a major step toward establishing standards for container deployment. This helps communities and vendors to innovate, while still retaining compatibility between container implementations where it really matters.

    • Containers consolidation: Open Container Initiative 1.0 released
    • OCI 1.0 spec finds common ground among container image, runtime foes
    • Open Container Initiative Specifications Reach 1.0 Milestone
    • Open Container Initiative Specifications are 1.0
    • Linux’s EdgeX IoT Group Adds Members, Forms Governing Team

      The Linux Foundation’s open source Internet of Things (IoT) group, EdgeX Foundry, is growing its membership and establishing its governing board that will guide business decisions and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members. In addition, the group has launched a series of technical training sessions designed to help developers get up to speed on the project.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel 545s 512GB SSD Benchmark On Linux
      • Benchmarking LLVM/Clang’s New AMD Zen Scheduler Model

        Just prior to LLVM 5.0 being branched yesterday, the AMD Zen scheduler model finally landed in LLVM and has the potential of boosting the performance of generated binaries targeting AMD’s Zen “znver1″ architecture. Here are some benchmarks of LLVM Clang 4.0 compared to the latest LLVM Clang compiler code when testing with both generic x86-64 optimizations and then optimized builds for the first-generation Zen CPUs, tested on a Ryzen 7 processor.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Family – Implementing Grid layout

        In my last post, I talked about adding a grid layout to the activity. The inspiration of this layout was to remove the trial and error method of selecting (x,y) positions of a node and to implement a more efficient method of positioning the nodes. Along with that, the distance between two generations and nodes could also be maintained in a homogeneous manner, keeping the layout similar throughout the activity.

      • Qt Creator 4.4 Beta released

        We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.4 Beta!

      • Qt Creator 4.4 Enters Beta

        The Qt Company has announced the first public beta of the Qt Creator 4.4 integrated development environment.

      • Gsoc Week 5 , 6 , 7
      • Oware – Single player

        There are also some changes in my GSoC plan. I thought of working on computer activity after oware earlier when I made my proposal but with discussions with my mentors we came to a conclusion that musical activities are more important for a child. So I would be working on musical activities now which includes play piano and note names activity which were started in the branch Play piano and were earlier to be done in my last month. My aim would be to complete both these activities.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Settings Continues Looking Better With Its New WiFi Panel

        Georges Stavracas’ latest work on GNOME is the new WiFi panel for the GNOME Settings area.

      • GSoC Report 2

        I am still implementing the latest changes so I couldn’t add the working gifs/videos in this post. (well! I’m working on GNOME Games so I tend to play on it sometimes too :P)

        I’ll try to finish gamepad mapping system and gamepad reassignment for GUADEC, so we can see the live demo.

      • GNOME Games 3.26 To Feature UI Improvements, New Features
      • The Path to GNOME Games 3.26

        Games presents your games collection and if everything goes as expected, it does so without the need of any input from you. From an implementation point of view it sounds simple to do, just ask Tracker “Hey, gimme all the games” and it’s done. If only it was that simple! The system has no idea which files represent games and which doesn’t, but it can associate a MIME type to each file thanks to shared-mime-info. shared-mime-info already had a few video game related MIME types and we added a lot more such as application/x-genesis-rom.

      • GNOME Games 3.26 Snags Some Serious Power Ups

        The GNOME Games apps one of my favourite core GNOME apps, so I’m stoked to learn it’s getting a big power up for its next stable release due in September.

      • GNOME Shell 3.25.4 Adds Meson Build System Support

        With the GNOME 3.25.4 development milestone this week, new versions of GNOME Shell and Mutter are among the packages checked-in for release.

        GNOME Shell 3.25.4 as the latest development step towards GNOME 3.26 includes some GDM fixes, improved handling of extension errors, improved tablet rings/strips configuration, fixes many bugs, and perhaps most notably adds support for the Meson build system. GNOME Shell is now the latest component supporting the Meson build system as an alternative to Autotools and friends. For now Autotools is still supported by GNOME Shell, but eventually it may be dropped per the bug report discussion.

      • GTK+ 3.91.1 Toolkit Released

        We are one step closer to the release of GTK4 with today’s GTK+ 3.91.1 tool-kit release.

        GTK+ 3.91.1 adds redone event delivery and focus handling and grabs, the prelight state is now automatically set on widgets, a new GtkCenterBox widget, native file chooser support on macOS, Wayland improvements, and more than a dozen bug fixes.

      • GNOME Is Finally Getting an Improved Control Center, Meet the New Wi-Fi Panel

        GNOME developer Georges Stavracas is teasing us again with the beautiful new design of the GNOME Control Center application that could be soon implemented in the popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions.

        Now that Ubuntu is switching back to the GNOME desktop by default with the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) release, due on October 19, 2017, GNOME gets a lot of attention lately from both the Linux and GNOME communities. And it looks like the revamped Control Center is a hot topic these days.

  • Distributions

    • Meet Nitrux: The Most Beautiful Linux Distribution Ever

      If there is something called the most beautiful Linux distribution, Nitrux is a serious contender for the top position.

    • New Releases

      • Quirky Xerus64 8.2 final

        This is it, the final official version 8.2 release of Quirky Linux Xerus series. This is for PCs with x86_64 (64-bit) CPUs.

      • Puppy Linux Fork Quirky 8.2 Out with Linux Kernel 4.11, Ubuntu 16.04.2 Packages

        Puppy Linux developer Barry Kauler announced today the release and immediate availability for download of Quirky Linux 8.2 “Xerus” operating system that uses Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) binary packages.

        Built using the woofQ Quirky Linux build system and binary packages from the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Quirky Linux 8.2 is fully compatible with all of the software repositories of Ubuntu Linux. The system is now powered by the Linux 4.11.11 kernel that’s patched with AUFS support.

    • Arch Family

      • Netrunner Rolling Is Back After One and a Half Years, It’s Based on Arch Linux

        After one and a half years of silence, the Netrunner Rolling series make a comeback today with the release of version 2017.07, based on Arch Linux and Manjaro operating systems.

        By our count, Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 is here sixteen months after the Netrunner Rolling 2016.01 release, which was unveiled on February 27, 2016, and it’s an up-to-date version with all the latest GNU/Linux technologies. The good news is that it’s here to stay, and will receive regular updates 3 or 4 for times a year.

    • Red Hat Family

      • How open is your organization?

        The Open Organization maturity model is a framework any organization can use to become more transparent, inclusive, adaptable, collaborative, and communal. It outlines steps that individuals, teams, and organizations can take to critically examine their organizational practices and chart their progress toward becoming a more open organization. You’ll find it online—both at Opensource.com and on GitHub.

      • Executive Spotlight Interview with Lynne Chamberlain, VP of Business Dev. for Red Hat

        ​Red Hat has grown from $500M to $3B in revenues during this time and Paul Smith’s Public Sector Organization has been a key contributor. ​

        ​We started the Federal Business Development group to pursue government programs in the DOD, Intel, and Civilian Agencies. Today the organization captures both Federal and SLED programs, and supports our System Integrators through a premier partner program. The Business Development organization working with the top 20 System Integrators has successfully teamed to win major programs within Public Sector. Our continual growth of 30%+ YOY, through closing Open Source solutions that include: Linux, Cloud, Containers, Storage, middleware and management software. I have been fortunate to lead the BD organization to include 26 Capture/Alliance Managers, System Architects and BD Marketing.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 25 Receives Last Set of Live ISO Respins, Now with Linux Kernel 4.11.8

          Ben Williams, Fedora Ambassador and founder of the Fedora Unity Project, announced for the the Fedora Respins-SIG project the availability of a new set of updated Fedora 25 Live ISO respins.

          Tagged with build number F25-20170718, the new Fedora 25 Live ISO respins contain all the security patches and software updates that have been released through the official Fedora repositories since the last versions of these unofficial Live ISO updates, specifically build F25-20170704.

        • New version of buildah 0.2 released to Fedora.
        • Three must haves in Fedora 26

          I’ve been using Fedora ever since it came out back in 2003. The developers of Fedora and the greater community of contributors have been doing a amazing job in incorporating features and functionality that subsequently has found its way into the downstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions.

          There are lots to cheer Fedora for. GNOME, NetworkManager, systemd and SELinux just to name a few.

          Of all the cool stuff, I particularly like to call out three must haves.

        • Things To Do After Installing Fedora

          Fedora releases a new version in approximately every 6 months. Each now version is supported with updates for 13 months in total. The distribution is a good place to get the latest stable software and technologies consistently.

          If you are a new Fedora user, you may be wondering about what to do after installation. The guide will help you through this part. No matter the supported Fedora version you use, you can apply everything on this list.

        • New to Fedora: wordgrinder
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.9.5 beta released

          The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 2.9.5

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • “Don’t run this on any system you expect to be up” they said, but we did it anyway

            This is the story of how we upgraded over 2000 Ubuntu production servers – turning over millions an hour – by installing the operating system in memory, wiping the root disk and reinstalling the OS back on disk from RAM. We did it, there was zero data loss and it saved us lots of time and money in support. It also took months of careful planning and many many tests.

          • Condensing Your Infrastructure with System Containers

            When most people hear the word containers, they probably think of Docker containers, which are application containers. But, there are other kinds of containers, for example, system containers like LXC/LXD. Stéphane Graber, technical lead for LXD at Canonical Ltd., will be delivering two talks at the upcoming Open Source Summit NA in September: “GPU, USB, NICs and Other Physical Devices in Your Containers” and “Condensing Your Infrastructure Using System Containers” discussing containers in detail.

            In this OS Summit preview, we talked with Graber to understand the difference between system and application containers as well as how to work with physical devices in containers.

          • Support for Ubuntu 16.10 Ends Tomorrow

            It’s almost time to bid bon-voyage to one of the most boring exciting releases of Ubuntu there’s ever been. Yup, Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak hits end of life (EOL) tomorrow, July 20. Released on October 13, 2016, Ubuntu 16.10 is a short-term releases with a 9-month support cycle.

          • Ubuntu Artful Desktop July Shakedown – call for testing

            We’re mid-way through the Ubuntu Artful development cycle, with the 17.10 release rapidly approaching on the horizon.

          • Atom Text Editor Can Now Be Installed Using Snapd in Ubuntu

            Atom is an open-source and free text/source code editor for Linux, Mac and Windows developed by GitHub, written in Node.js and embedded Git control. Atom is based on Electron and built using web technologies (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js integration.). It is known as hackable text editor because it can be deeply customized and its functionality can be extended using packages built and maintained by community. It can also be used as an integrated development environment (IDE).

          • WeChat Is Now Available As Snap For Ubuntu 16.04+

            WeChat is a free messaging service, it’s initial release was back in 2011 and by 2017 it was one of the largest standalone messaging service by monthly active users. It has applications for all platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. The Linux version of the application is based on electron and available as snap package for Ubuntu versions. This desktop version allows you to chat and share files just like you can on the mobile versions.

          • Clarification and changes to release upgrades

            I’ve recently made some changes to how do-release-upgrade, called by update-manager when you choose to upgrade releases, behaves and thought it’d be a good time to clarify how things work and the changes made.

            When do-release-upgrade is called it reads a meta-release file from changelogs.ubuntu.com to determine what releases are supported and to which release to upgrade. The exact meta-release file changes depending on what arguments, –proposed or –devel-release, are passed to do-release-upgrade. The meta-release file is used to determine which tarball to download and use to actually perform the upgrade. So if you are upgrading from Ubuntu 17.04 to Artful then you are actually using the the ubuntu-release-upgrader code from Artful.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • AN INTRODUCTION TO LINUX Mint 18.2

              While the rest of the Linux World is wrangling over fast changing paradigms and the plethora of new Linux Distributions that are popping up everywhere, Linux Mint just keeps on plodding along. They keep change to a minimum and endeavor to maintain a consistent user experience while still improving it. The latest version, Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” was officially released just days before this writing and it’s very good, indeed. The best Linux Mint yet.

              I didn’t choose to support Linux Mint exclusively through the EzeeLinux Project. It chooses me. So many folks have asked for help getting started with Linux Mint over the last couple of years that I finally decided to focus on it and promote it for new users. It has proven itself to be a great place for newcomers to Linux to start and it also offers the kind of stability that people who want to use a computer to get stuff done. I keep close tabs on the Mint project’s progress and I downloaded and installed the ISO for 18.2 as soon it as it was announced. I was blown away by how polished it was in this very early form and the final release is rock solid. I have already upgraded most of my personal machines and I also have helped many EzeeLinux community members to upgrade… No one has reported any major issues thus far.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • China-based EasyStack claims world’s first open source AI cloud platform

    China-based open source cloud computing solutions provider EasyStack claims it has launched the world’s first open source AI cloud platform that supports GPU and FPGA heterogeneous computing, after having raised the single largest round of open source sector funding earlier this year.

    The platform is an OpenStack AI cloud platform designed to support big data and artificial intelligence technologies. The platform had previously received R&D funding support from the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park’s Leading Edge Reserve Program.

  • The 10 Coolest Open-Source Products Of 2017 (So Far)

    This year has seen no slowdown in momentum for the open-source technologies movement. Open-source innovations are continuing to drive forward the larger tech industry as a whole, as developers and enterprises embrace open ways of approaching application development, IT infrastructure automation and other business-critical functions. During the first half of 2017, vendors with major new offerings in open source included industry giant Red Hat as well as up-and-comers such as Docker, Puppet and Mesosphere.

  • Open source tools set to help parallel programming of multicores

    Multicore AssociationThe Multicore Association, the processor standards body with a focus on multicore processor implementations, has announced the availability of an enhanced implementation of its Multicore Task Management API (MTAPI) integrated into an open source framework called Embedded Multicore Building Blocks (EMB2).

    The MTAPI takes care of task scheduling and execution on embedded parallel systems. While the EMB2 provides generic building blocks for compute-intensive applications, such as image recognition, big data analysis, that require parallelism on homogeneous or heterogeneous multicore platforms.

  • AMD EPYC Platform Security Processor Code Will Not Be Open Source

    AMD EPYC has been getting some bad word of mouth due to what Intel has been trying to portray but much has been cleared out in the official presentation. Many users that are worried about security have asked AMD to open source the AMD EPYC Platform security processor code. That will not be the case according to AMD.

    AMD EPYC Platform security processor is designed to keep the user safe from attacks because the OS can’t see what the PSP or IME is doing. Similarly, the user will also not know what the chips are doing. That is all great if the chip is keeping the user safe but it also means that if the defenses are breached then the user will not realize that as well.

  • Open Source: To Use Or Not To Use (And How To Choose)

    You’d like to use open source software, but you’re not sure what criteria you should use when deciding whether to rely on it for a specific project or not. I have a long, complicated history with open source software.

  • Japanese Online Giant GMO Launches Open Source Blockchain Project

    Internet giant GMO Internet Inc. of Japan today announced the launch of the GMO Blockchain Open Source Software Project (GMO Blockchain OSS). The system will allow users to develop programs using blockchain as open source. In a first attempt by the company using this platform, the company has developed an open source medical record sharing system and launched it on July 6th, 2017.

  • Events

    • 3 Reasons to Attend Open Source Summit NA

      Open Source Summit (formerly LinuxCon + Container Con) is almost here. It’s undoubtedly the biggest Linux show in North America that brings open source projects together under the same roof. With the rebranding of LinuxCon as the Open Source Summit, it has further widened its reach and includes several co-hosted events.

      Three big reasons to attend this year include: Celebrities, Collaboration, and Community. Here, we share what some past attendees had to say about the event.

    • #AnsibleFest London 2017 videos now available

      If you missed out on going to #AnsibleFest in London last month don’t worry, you can catch up on some of the things you missed in the videos.

    • Free and open-source software is changing the way we view infrastructure: FOSSCON 2017

      Free and open-source software is all around us today, becoming part of our lives in ways we might never know. In the early days FOSS was primarily a hobbyist alternative, but today it has become ubiquitous, making its way into our phones, our cars, our schools, government, offices and even home appliances.

      This year at FOSSCON we’re seeing a new trend as FOSS explodes into the infrastructure space. While hardware is still largely closed behind the walls of patents and trademarks, virtual infrastructure means we are abstracted from the underlying hardware, and more and more infrastructure is being built on top of flexible, open and scalable FOSS solutions.

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Blog about my blog

      I want to try it again, and this time I decided to create a self-hosted blog. Something that runs on my own server and with httpd, the web server that I wrote for OpenBSD.

      [...]

      i That’s why I decided to write my articles, including this one, in Markdown and use another tool such as lowdown to generate the XML pages for sblg.

    • AMD Zen Scheduler Model Lands In LLVM, Makes It For LLVM 5.0

      It was coming down to the wire for the new AMD Zen scheduler model in LLVM 5.0 but now it’s managed to land just hours before the LLVM 5.0 branching.

      The new Zen “znver1″ scheduler model for LLVM was published by AMD in patch form last week and now this morning it’s been merged to mainline LLVM. Funny enough, thanks to an Intel developer with commit rights to LLVM due to the AMD contributor not having access.

  • Programming/Development

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Joined By Mastercard, Cisco, Et Al.

      On July 18, 2017, the EEA announced its latest additions. Over the last two months, 35 organizations, among them credit card giant Mastercard and technology conglomerate Cisco Systems, have become new members in the EEA. A complete list is available below.

      Initially, some redditors expressed confusion since Mastercard was not listed in the official EEA press release. However, according to Andrew Keys, head of global business development at ConsenSys, “Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website.”

    • Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Becomes World’s Largest Open-source Blockchain Initiative

      The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) announced today that 34 organizations have joined the Blockchain industry group since late May. This brings the total membership to over 150 organizations added since the group’s launch in February of this year.

    • ​Cisco among the 34 new members of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

      Blockchain is a type of digital ledger technology originally conceptualised to facilitate the trading of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. In a nutshell, blockchain allows for the tracking of digital assets so that a level of trust and consensus can be established, and previous transactions agreed upon.

    • Cipher Becomes First Ever OPC Certified Linux Connector

      RtTech Software is proud to announce the recent OPC Foundation Certification of its Cipher Embedded OPC UA Linux Connector. OPC is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space. The OPC Foundation is responsible for the development and maintenance of this standard.

Leftovers

  • The poison of academia.edu

    This is about he same you pay for Netflix, or some other streaming service. If you remain on the free side, what remains for you to do is SNS-like stuff, and uploading your papers so that academia.edu can make money from it.

    [...]

    Seeing what they are doing I think it is high time to request removal of the domain name.

    [...]

    In contrast to LinkedIn, which also offers paid tier, but keeps the free tier reasonably usable, academia.edu has broken its promise to “accelerate the world’s research” and even worse, it is NOT a “platform for academics to share research papers”. They are collecting papers and sell access to them, like the publisher paywalls.

    I consider this kind of service highly poisonous for the academic environment and researchers.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • “Atypical” mad cow disease detected in Alabama

      An 11-year-old cow in Alabama tested positive for an “atypical” strain of the prion disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Government wants crowds to be a ‘sensor’ for terrorist threats

      One of the areas it will focus on is improving surveillance.

      The Government believes that doing so will lead to potential threats in public places being spotted more quickly, and terrorists being caught before they’ve had the chance to act.

    • Missile Defense Will Protect You From North Korea, Say USA Today’s Missile Defense-Funded Sources

      Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the “N. Korean nuke threat”: “North Korea’s rapid march to develop a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of striking the United States” is simply asserted in the lead, and later on the claim that “North Korea may be only a year or so away” from having missiles that “can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead” is backed up only by “according to US estimates.”

      On the “US missile defense plans,” USA Today does have sources—mostly sources with a direct financial connection to the US missile defense program.

      There’s Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS), who tells USA Today‘s Oren Dorell that “Missile defense buys you time and opens windows.”

      [...]

      That’s all the quoted sources that the article has, aside from five words from Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association, who says that building a missile interception system could create “increased risk of arms racing” with Russia and China. It’s the only note in the article that isn’t completely gung ho about missile defense—and it comes, uncoincidentally, from the only source in the article whose paycheck doesn’t at least partially depend upon missile defense contractors.

    • Lockheed Martin blows past estimates, raises its forecast
    • Bernie Sanders on how to avoid war with North Korea
    • Moscow spooks return to Hungary, raising NATO hackles

      NATO allies are worried about expanding Russian intelligence operations in Hungary.

      While Western officials have often criticized the government in Budapest for backsliding on democracy, they’ve tended to praise it for a steadfast commitment to NATO. But officials from allied countries say Russia increasingly sees Hungary as an operational backdoor into Europe.

    • Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow

      President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

      The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.

      Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.

    • Number of terrorist attacks around the world is down, despite Trump’s fear-mongering

      What’s left of the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday the number of terrorist attacks worldwide and deaths from such attacks dropped in 2016 for the second straight year. The global downward trend is attributed to decreases in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen.

      The report singles out Iran as the top sponsor of state-funded terrorism, with Syria and Sudan also cited as top problematic supporters.

      You can access the full report and related statements here.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Google’s confidentiality rules discourage whistleblowers, US labor official warns

      But Herold’s comments and the DoL’s recent filings – along with interviews with former Google workers and a separate federal complaint against the company – paint a picture of a workplace where employees have allegedly been subject to overly broad and illegal confidentiality policies and threatening messages from managers that have intimidated them into staying silent about wrongdoing.

    • Why the Ninth Circuit Got It Wrong on National Security Letters and How We’ll Keep Fighting

      In a disappointing opinion issued on Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld the national security letter (NSL) statute against a First Amendment challenge brought by EFF on behalf of our clients CREDO Mobile and Cloudflare. We applaud our clients’ courage as part of a years-long court battle, conducted largely under seal and in secret.

      We strongly disagree with the opinion and are weighing how to proceed in the case. Even though this ruling is disappointing, together EFF and our clients achieved a great deal over the past six years. The lawsuit spurred Congress to amend the law, and our advocacy related to the case caused leading tech companies to also challenge NSLs. Along the way, the government went from fighting to keep every single NSL gag order in place to the point where many have been lifted, some in whole and many in part. That includes this case, of course, where we can now proudly tell the names of our clients to the world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Daimler to offer software update for 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesels in EU

      On Tuesday evening, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler released a statement saying that it would voluntarily recall three million Mercedes-Benz diesels in the EU to offer a software update that would improve emissions control system performance.

    • UK threatens to return radioactive waste to EU without nuclear deal

      Britain has warned the EU that it could return boatloads of radioactive waste back to the continent if the Brexit talks fail to deliver an agreement on nuclear regulation.

      In what is being taken in Brussels as a thinly veiled threat, a paper setting out the UK position for the negotiations stresses the right “to return radioactive waste … to its country of origin” should negotiations collapse.

      The UK paper, detailing the British government’s hopes for future cooperation once it leaves the Euratom treaty, at the same time as leaving the EU, further stresses the “strong mutual interest in ensuring close cooperation in the future”.

    • France’s response to Trump may make it a climate science hub

      Most world leaders reacted with horror to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords. French President Emmanuel Macron responded with what was largely considered a troll: a short address in which he invites scientists and entrepreneurs to move to France and “make our planet great again.” But it turned out to be more than just a troll; France has put research funding on the table and has apparently been drawing lots of interest from scientists.

      Macron’s invitation was more than simply a troll from the start. It involved Business France, a government agency that’s dedicated to promoting French businesses overseas. The organization put together a Make Our Planet Great Again website, in which it declared “France has always led fights for human rights. Today, more than ever, we are determined to lead (and win!) this battle on climate change.”

  • Finance

    • Trump Hotels Hit By 3rd Card Breach in 2 Years

      Maybe some of you missed this amid all the breach news recently (I know I did), but Trump International Hotels Management LLC last week announced its third credit-card data breach in the past two years. I thought it might be useful to see these events plotted on a timeline, because it suggests that virtually anyone who used a credit card at a Trump property in the past two years likely has had their card data stolen and put on sale in the cybercrime underground as a result.

    • Provident Personal Credit fined for sending 1m spam texts

      A West Yorkshire credit company has been fined £80,000 by a government watchdog after bombarding consumers with nearly 1m nuisance texts in six months.

    • Sliding sterling hits Sports Direct profits hard

      Profits at Sports Direct plunged by nearly 60 per cent to £113.7m in the year to the end of April, as the falling pound drove up costs faster than the company was able to put up prices.

      Founder and chief executive Mike Ashley said the retailer would try to “conservatively manage” currency volatility. Group revenues were still up by 11.7 per cent from the previous year.

    • Home Office volunteers no data on EU migrants in work

      A Home Office minister has refused to say whether the British government has ever made use of EU-wide immigration rules that allow people to be expelled from a country if they are not working or actively seeking employment.

      Lady Susan Williams admitted that the UK’s interpretation of the European directive governing the free movement of workers was “more than generous” in comparison with other European countries.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Why are right-wing outlets acting outraged at BBC salaries? It’s not because of gender equality

      If the BBC was to become a subscription service, as many right-wingers would like, it would be so much easier for media barons to add even more money to their vast fortunes. The best way to attack an organisation is to cherry-pick shocking stories and give them prominence, while downplaying anything good it does

    • Citing Recusal, Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Hired Sessions
    • Interior official says he was reassigned because of climate work

      A senior Interior Department official has filed a whistleblower complaint against Trump administration political appointees, claiming he was reassigned within Interior because of his work on climate change.

    • House Dems question Ivanka Trump’s security clearance

      A group of House Democrats want to know if first daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump concealed knowledge of her husband’s meetings with Russian officials when she was applying for a security clearance.

    • Mitch McConnell Is the Biggest Loser

      It’s tempting to use the photos of Donald Trump sitting in a fire truck Monday afternoon, as the GOP’s plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act went up in flames, to symbolize the way Republicans have so far bungled their party’s top legislative priority. The photos are ridiculous. But while our unfit president didn’t do much to advance the Senate bill—he was hosting a dinner with top GOP supporters of the bill Monday night, and then they were blindsided by the defection of two conservatives, Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran—the real fault lies with the steely, shifty, heavy-handed approach of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

      Widely considered a brilliant tactician, in fact McConnell has never had to craft conservative legislation that would survive in the real world, as long as President Obama stood ready with his veto pen. Now, with control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, Republicans have had to confront the anti-government derangement that animates the party’s right wing—while so-called moderates and even some conservatives come to terms with the ways that their constituents increasingly rely on government assistance, especially the ACA, and don’t want any part of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s fantasies of a world without Medicaid.

    • The Circular Firing Squad Isn’t Amusing Anymore

      Notwithstanding the addictive daily drama of leaks, tweets, and resistance, there are major issues that exist separate and apart from the 24-hour news cycle. These long-term problems are as salient in the digital moment as they were in the analog ’60s.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • After yearbook Trump censorship debacle, N.J. school names new advisor

      A month after Wall High School suspended its yearbook advisor for scrubbing three Donald Trump references from this year’s edition, district officials have chosen someone else to oversee the annual publication.

      Social studies teacher and boys basketball coach Matt Kukoda will take on that job for the upcoming school year, according to APP.com.

    • Another state protects student journalists from censorship and retaliation by administrators

      When lawmakers are deciding where they will focus their time and energy, almost no one thinks “I’m going to make sure that protections for student journalists don’t fall through the cracks at the end of the session.”

      Well, Arizona Republican State Sen. Kimberly Yee is an exception, but the onetime high school journalist who was censored by her principal couldn’t convince her state executive that censorship is a bad thing.

    • WhatsApp messages are being blocked in China

      The 19th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party that convenes in the fall will only worsen matters, as the Chinese regime often follows a pattern of cracking down more severely just before an official event so that all looks good on camera and nothing controversial gets captured.

    • Facebook’s WhatsApp Blocked in China Amid Censorship Push

      WhatsApp is not responsible for the blockage, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company declined to comment.

    • Chinese government tells Tencent, Baidu to improve censorship

      Companies must close offending accounts and find ways to strengthen content auditing to avoid any similar problems in the future or face financial penalties or potential closure.

    • China’s cyber watchdog orders top tech platforms to increase self-censorship

      China’s top cyber authority ordered the country’s top tech firms to carry out “immediate cleaning and rectification” of their platforms to remove content deemed offensive to the Communist Party and the country’s national image, it said on Wednesday.

      The watchdog held a meeting with representatives from firms including Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Sohu.com Inc, on Tuesday where it gave them a list of specific errors, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement on social media.

    • Researchers Say Chinese Government Now Censoring Images In One-To-One Chat

      It looks like China is continuing to set the gold standard for internet censorship. For a long time, the Great Firewall has been actively censoring content based on keywords. Activists and dissidents have worked around this filtering by placing text in images, but that doesn’t appear to be working nearly as well as it used to.

    • China Orders Top Tech Companies to Increase Self-Censorship

      China’s top cyber authority ordered the country’s top tech firms to carry out “immediate cleaning and rectification” of their platforms to remove content deemed offensive to the Communist Party and the country’s national image, it said on Wednesday.

      The watchdog held a meeting with representatives from firms including Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Sohu.com Inc, on Tuesday where it gave them a list of specific errors, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement on social media.

    • China orders tech firms to ramp up censorship
    • Poor Pooh faces censorship in China over resemblance to Jinping

      Winnie the Pooh, the world-beloved cuddly, honey-loving teddy bear has become the latest victim of China’s drive towards online censorship. A fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne has been banned from China’s cyberspace. Chinese internet user recently discovered that they could no longer make posts associated with Winnie the Pooh on social media platform and the reason for doing so is equally bizarre.

    • China blocks Facebook’s WhatsApp in censorship drive
    • WhatsApp is being targeted by China’s censors, experts say
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Encryption At The Centre Of Mass Arrests: One Year On From Turkey’s Failed Coup

      Privacy International is particularly concerned that suspicion of membership of the Gülen movement is based on the use of encryption, specifically a freely available messaging service called Bylock which the government claims is the communication tool of choice for Gülen supporters and was used to organise the coup. There is very little information about Bylock; it is not widely known among security experts or outside of Turkey, it is no longer available from any app store and its origins and developer are something of a mystery.

    • Best VPN services of 2017: Reviews and buying advice

      Since it takes research to find out if a VPN service has a history of good or bad behavior, we’ve done the legwork to find the best VPN out there. In order to win our seal of approval, the service has to protect online privacy; allow you to keep anonymity; offer a good variety of locations from which to direct your traffic; offer fast, reliable performance; and provide an easy-to-use interface.

    • Facebook Challenged by Activist Who Broke EU-U.S. Data Pact

      Schrems returned to the court that backed his earlier argument that the user data of EU citizens was not sufficiently protected when shipped to the U.S. This time, the 29-year-old privacy activist is hoping for the EU Court of Justice’s green light to bring an Austrian-style collective suit against Facebook with claims from around the EU and beyond.

    • Austrian activist, 25,000 supporters seek right to bring class-action suit against Facebook

      Schrems’s lawsuit concerns alleged violations of privacy by Facebook through its use of personal data and tracking of users on external pages, among other things.

    • Facebook Ireland fights Max Schrems over class action suit

      Unlike the Irish case, which deals mainly with US mass surveillance, the Austrian case is focused on the commercial misuse of personal data by Facebook.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Oversight Board Finds NYPD Officers Still Violating Citizens’ Right To Film Police

      The New York Civilian Complaint Review Board has just released a report [PDF] indicating NYPD officers are slow learners when it comes to recognizing citizens’ right to record police officers. It’s not that these officers have never been told. They have. The NYPD’s “Finest Order” was handed down in 2014, telling officers citizens had a First Amendment right to film police. It’s a response to a 2012 order by the Washington DC PD and a First Amendment lawsuit filed that year. It followed this up with internal policy changes two years later. And yet, problems persist.

    • Third Circuit Declares First Amendment Right to Record Police

      The First Amendment protects our right to use electronic devices to record on-duty police officers, according to a new ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Fields v. Philadelphia. This right extends to anyone with a recording device, journalists and members of the public alike. And this right includes capture of photos, videos, and audio recordings.

    • Cop’s body cam films him planting drugs—he obviously didn’t know it was recording

      The officer’s alleged trickery was revealed by the fact that his body cam retained footage for 30 seconds before it was activated to begin recording. During that time, according to the footage and the Baltimore public defender’s office, Officer Richard Pinheiro puts a bag of pills in a can in an alley and walks out of the alley.

      [...]

      The Baltimore public defender’s office said the officer in question is a witness in as many as 53 other active cases, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    • Police body cam footage ‘shows officer planting drugs’
    • What This American Family Went Through at the Border Was Clearly Unconstitutional

      Two officers then took Sagal’s son, who was 14 years old at the time, into a separate room and patted him down. They told him to remove his clothes for a strip search, which he refused to do.

    • Barrett Brown receives second post-release subpoena

      Less than a month after the US Attorney’s office sent a subpoena to The Intercept, demanding records of communication and payment between Barrett Brown and the news outlet, Barrett has received another subpoena, this time addressed to Writers House, his literary agency. As noted upon his release, Barrett signed a book deal for a forthcoming “combination memoir and manifesto.”

    • Connecticut Latest State To Add A Conviction Requirement To Its Forfeiture Laws

      Civil asset forfeiture continues to be curbed by legislatures around the country. Belatedly realizing the harm done to citizens by opportunistic law enforcement, lawmakers have been engaged in serious reform efforts over the past few years. Some have fallen apart on the way to approval, thanks to harmful concessions to powerful law enforcement lobbies. Other have made it through intact, potentially ending years of abuse.

    • N. Korean defectors show locations of mass graves using Google Earth

      Much of what happens in North Korea remains hidden from the outside world. But commercial satellite imagery and Google Earth mapping software are helping a human-rights organization take inventory of the worst offenses of the North Korean regime and identify sites for future investigation of crimes against humanity.

    • The UK Granted Spy Tech Export to Turkey Amid Its Massive Crackdown on Dissent

      The UK is a prolific exporter of surveillance technology, ranging from IMSI-catchers that can monitor mobile phones to internet mass surveillance equipment.

      Now, according to newly published data from the UK’s Department for International Trade, the country granted a license to export surveillance technology to Turkey earlier this year. That in itself may not be very surprising—the UK has greenlit surveillance exports to Turkey in the past—but the license comes at a time when Turkey is undergoing a particularly potent wave of crackdowns and oppression against dissent, including the incarceration of journalists and human rights defenders.

    • DOJ Boss Promises The Return Of Everything That Didn’t Work During The Last 40 Years Of Drug Warring

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t much interested in the “justice” side of the Department of Justice. Instead, it appears he’d like to throw on his letterman’s jacket and head back to his glory days as a hard-nosed, 1980s-vintage drug warrior. Things were better when Sessions was a federal prosecutor in Alabama, ringing up drug convictions at a rate four times the national average.

      The word “reactionary” is thrown around a lot when describing Trump and his cabinet. But in Sessions’ case, the term fits. Violent crimes rates have fallen steadily since the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, drug prices have dropped and purity has increased, despite four decades of harsh enforcement and trillions of dollars being thrown at the problem. Devil weed — gateway drug and longtime conspirator in the violation of American women by filthy non-whites — is now a socially and medically-accepted drug, legal in several states.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Why is Comcast using self-driving cars to justify abolishing net neutrality?

      Cars of the future need to communicate wirelessly, but they don’t need the internet to do it

    • EFF to FCC: Tossing Net Neutrality Protections Will Set ISPs Free to Throttle, Block, and Censor the Internet for Users

      FCC Plan to Scuttle Open Internet Rule ‘Disastrous’ For the Future of the Internet, Experts Say

      Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the FCC to keep in place net neutrality rules, which are essential to prevent cable companies like Comcast and Verizon from controlling, censoring, and discriminating against their subscribers’ favorite Internet content.

      In comments submitted today, EFF came out strongly in opposition to the FCC’s plan to reverse the agency’s 2015 open Internet rules, which were designed to guarantee that service providers treat everyone’s content equally. The reversal would send a clear signal that those providers can engage in data discrimination, such as blocking websites, slowing down Internet speeds for certain content—known as throttling—and charging subscribers fees to access movies, social media, and other entertainment content over “fast lanes.” Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T supply Internet service to millions of Americans, many of whom have no other alternatives for high-speed access. Given the lack of competition, the potential for abuse is very real.

    • Network Engineers Speak Out for Net Neutrality

      Today, a group of over 190 Internet engineers, pioneers, and technologists filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission explaining that the FCC’s plan to roll back net neutrality protections is based on a fundamentally flawed and outdated understanding of how the Internet works.

      Signers include current and former members of the Internet Engineering Task Force and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ committees, professors, CTOs, network security engineers, Internet architects, systems administrators and network engineers, and even one of the inventors of the Internet’s core communications protocol.

      This isn’t the first time many of these engineers have spoken out on the need for open Internet protections. In 2015, when the EFF and ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief defending the net neutrality rules, dozens of engineers signed onto a statement supporting the technical justifications for the Open Internet Order.

      The engineers’ statement filed today contains facts about the structure, history, and evolving nature of the Internet; corrects technical errors in the proposal; and gives concrete examples of the harm that will be done should the proposal be accepted.

    • White House gives thumbs up to overturning net neutrality rules

      The Trump administration supports the Federal Communications Commission effort to overturn net neutrality rules passed during the Obama years, a White House spokesperson said yesterday.

      “The previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on ISPs through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power,”White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters yesterday. “We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.”

    • Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, 7/18/2017

      And, finally, yesterday Sean was asked about the administration’s position on the concept of net neutrality, and he said we’d get back to you. The administration believes that rules of the road are important for everyone — website providers, Internet service providers, and consumers alike.

      With that said, the previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on ISPs through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power. We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules, and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.

    • FCC refuses to release text of net neutrality comments under FoI request

      It’s a week on from the net neutrality Day of Action and for the first time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is showing its hand. And it’s not a very helpful one.

    • Trump Administration announces support for FCC net neutrality rollback

      The Trump Administration has officially thrown its support behind the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) net neutrality rolback – the quest to destroy net neutrality rules in America. Even up until earlier this week, Press Secretary Sean Spicer had been declining to comment on the President’s stance on net neutrality – as is appropriate given the FCC’s mandate as an independent governmental organization. However, the government’s plan for net neutrality rules now has support from the very top and includes plans to reintroduce significantly weaker net neutrality rules through Congress.

    • AT&T Tricked Its Customers Into Opposing Net Neutrality

      As most of you probably noticed, last week saw a massive, online protest against FCC boss Ajit Pai’s plan to completely ignore consumer welfare and gut popular net neutrality protections. Giant ISPs like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon responded to the protest in the way they’ve always done: by comically insisting that the press somehow got it wrong, and these companies actually really love net neutrality — despite a decade of documented anti-competitive behavior, and the fact they’ve spent millions upon millions of dollars trying to kill any meaningful neutrality protections.

      [...]

      Make no mistake: AT&T doesn’t care about healthy internet competition, level playing fields, or consumer welfare. Its goal is to gut all meaningful oversight of one of the least liked, and least competitive industries in America, and replace it with the policy equivalent of fluff and nonsense. And while there’s still many folks that somehow believe that blindly deregulating companies like Comcast will magically result in good ISP behavior and telecom utopia, history has shown us time and time again that logic only tends to make the problem worse.

    • EFF Highlights How ISPs Are Lying To Californians To Try And Kill New Broadband Privacy Protections

      When AT&T, Verizon and Comcast convinced lawmakers to kill broadband consumer privacy rules earlier this year, everybody in this chain of campaign-cash dysfunction got notably more than they bargained for. As with net neutrality, the relatively-modest privacy protections had broad bipartisan consumer support (our collective disdain for Comcast magically bridges the partisan divide). As a result, when the FCC’s rules died, more than a dozen states rushed in to craft their own privacy rules that largely mirror the discarded FCC protections.

      And while that creates the problem of multiple, potentially discordant (or just plain bad) state laws, that’s probably something the broadband industry should have thought about before paying Congress to axe the FCC’s privacy rules.

      Obviously worried that states would step up and protect consumers where the FCC will not, ISP allies like Marsha Blackburn quickly got to work trying to pass new federal regulation that pretends to address privacy concerns, but is being designed primarily to pre-empt state efforts on this front. FCC boss Ajit Pai, who has previously defended protectionist ISP-written state laws as a “states rights” issue, suddenly turned on a dime here, stating he would be exploring ways to use FCC authority to keep states from protecting consumer privacy in the wake of repealing the FCC’s privacy rules.

  • DRM

    • New Research Estimates Value of Removing DRM Locks

      My co-authors and I at the University of Glasgow are investigating how restrictions on interoperability imposed by Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems might impact the market for goods. We are doing this as part of a larger project to better understand the economics of DRM and to figure out what changes would likely occur if the laws were reformed. Our recent working paper is titled ‘How much do consumers value interoperability: Evidence from the price of DVD players’. [Open Access here]

      We use price data scraped from Amazon.com on all consumer DVD players listed since 2010 to analyse whether there is an increase in willingness-to-pay for players that have features related to interoperability. These features of interest include things like the lack of region controls, the ability to play legacy disc formats, and the ability to play new open file formats like Xvid. At first, DVD players might seem like an antiquated technology for such a study, but the product has many advantages: locked and unlocked players coexist side by side in the market and there are hundreds of competing devices on sale with similar capabilities, facilitating statistical analysis.

    • Librarians Call on W3C to Rethink its Support for DRM

      The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has called on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to reconsider its decision to incorporate digital locks into official HTML standards. Last week, W3C announced its decision to publish Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)—a standard for applying locks to web video—in its HTML specifications.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Do Last Week’s European Copyright Votes Show Publishers Have Captured European Politics?

        Three European Parliament Committees met during the week of July 10, to give their input on the European Commission’s proposal for a new Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. We previewed those meetings last week, expressing our hope that they would not adopt the Commission’s harmful proposals. The meetings did not go well.

        All of the compromise amendments to the Directive proposed by the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) that we previously catalogued were accepted in a vote of that committee, including the upload filtering mechanism, the link tax, the unwaivable right for artists, and the new tax on search engines that index images. Throwing gasoline on the dumpster fire of the upload filtering proposal, CULT would like to see cloud storage services added to the online platforms that are required to filter user uploads. As for the link tax, they have offered up a non-commercial personal use exemption as a sop to the measure’s critics, though it is hard to imagine how this would soften the measure in practice, since almost all news aggregation services are commercially supported.

      • Alleged copycat video game studio threatens lawsuits over “unreal information”

        A Chinese video game studio accused of making a very similar version of League of Legends has recently fired back in a statement, saying that “some media and competitors who have spread the unreal information and rumors against us, [and] we reserve the right to protect ourselves and pursue legal actions.”

        The company, Moonton, which makes the Magic Rush and Mobile Legends games, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

      • Moonton Responds To Copyright Infringement Suit From Riot Games By Threatening The Press With Lawsuits

        While we often talk about oversteps regarding copyright protectionism and lawsuits in these here pages, it’s not as though there aren’t understandable disputes that exist. Likewise, while we often detail bad actions by aggressors on copyright issues, it’s not as though those on the defending side of that coin are always virtuous in the way they handle the dispute. The issue of game and mobile application cloning serves as a good ecosystem to show plenty of examples of both, with the latest dust-up between Riot Games and Shanghai Moonton Technology offering a specific look at how a party on the defense from a copyright claim can get everything wrong.

      • With Release of NAFTA Negotiating Objectives, Our New Infographic Makes Sense of It All

        In EFF’s comments to the USTR about what its negotiating objectives should be, we urged it not to include new copyright rules in NAFTA, because of how this would prevent the United States from improving its current law or adapting to technological change. We also expressed the need for caution about including some of the new digital trade (or e-commerce) rules that big tech companies have been asking for, for similar reasons, and because the trade negotiation process notoriously lacks the balance that would be required for it to negotiate a sound set of rules.

      • Several TVAddons Domains Transferred to Canadian Lawfirm

        Last month, leading Kodi addon repository TVAddons shut down in the wake of a lawsuit filed in the US by satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network. Just over a month later and with no other news surfacing, TF has now discovered that several recent and historical TVAddons’ domains have been transferred to a Canadian law firm.

      • Court: Warner Bros Needs Stronger Evidence Against Alleged BitTorrent Pirate

        In Germany, several major Hollywood studios are actively pursuing alleged BitTorrent pirates, charging hundreds of euros for illegally downloaded movies and TV-shows. While this is common practice, a local court recently clarified that the copyright holders must provide solid evidence if they want their claims to hold.

      • Facebook Says It Will Start Testing a Subscription-Based News Product in October

        Brown said Facebook will begin testing a subscription-based news product in October, which will direct users to publishers’ homepages where they can purchase digital subscriptions, adding that the feature’s paywall will make access to those publishers’ content subscription-only after users have accessed 10 articles, Lazaroff reported.

      • Facebook is going to let publishers start charging readers to view stories

        While details are still be ironed out, Facebook is currently telling publishers they’ll be able to show at least 10 free articles per month before the paywall kicks in. Payment and financial details haven’t been determined, but publishers will have full access and control of their subscriber data.

      • Facebook Exec Campbell Brown: We Are Launching a News Subscription Product

        The feature appears to be built on top of Facebook’s Instant Articles, which aggregates stories from hundreds of publishers based on a reader’s interests and preferences. In addition to steering readers to a publisher’s home page to consider taking out a digital subscription, Facebook plans to erect a paywall which would require readers to become subscribers of the platform after they’d accessed 10 articles, Brown said.

      • Facebook will allow paywalled Instant Articles later this year

        According to Brown, the new subscription option is in response to requests from publishers who have been lobbying the company for a paywall for shared articles on Facebook. The new subscription service will reportedly begin tests in October, although details are still slim — including whether or not Facebook will share in the revenue from subscriptions purchased through the application.

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  14. BlackBerry Has Turned Into a Patents and Licensing Company

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  15. European Patent Office Continues to Paint a Rosy UPC Picture Even Though the UPC May Already be Dead

    The European Patent Office (EPO) doesn't let facts get in the way as another week passes with UPC promotion and further staff repressions



  16. Tax Evasion by Patent Boxes and Lies About Small Businesses (SMEs) in the Corporate Media

    The lobbying effort of the patent 'industry' -- and its largest beneficiaries -- paints its own perks as something that's intended for their small/minuscule competitors (whom they actually attempt to misrepresent and crush)



  17. Links 15/9/2017: Mesa 17.2.1 RC, Wine 2.17, WordPress to Ditch React Over Patents

    Links for the day



  18. The UPC Fantasy is Going Nowhere as Complaints and Paperwork Pile Up

    Many submissions and complaints about the Unitary Patent have time to arrive before the end of October as a decision on the matter seems as distant as 2018



  19. At Event of EPO SLAPP Firm, a Suggestion That the UPC Should be Scrapped Because It's Stuck

    Just like the TPP, the UPC is now in a potentially fatal deadlock, so people with a stake in the outcome consider starting again (almost from scratch)



  20. Watchtroll Helps the EPO Peddle Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't happening; the EPO, however, keeps on pretending that it can already operate as though the UPC got the green light



  21. Links 14/9/2017: Plasma 5.11 Beta, Q4OS 1.8.8, Orion

    Links for the day



  22. Links 13/9/2017: Blender 2.79, Qt 5.10 Alpha, GNOME 3.26 “Manchester”, Parrot 3.8

    Links for the day



  23. Amazon's Infamous Patent is Dead and the World's Richest Man Failed to Fulfill His Promise on Software Patents

    Amazon continues piling up a lot of software patents even though its founder once pretended (only after enormous public backlash) that he would pursue far shorter terms for software patents



  24. EPO Gets Together With Patent Radicals to Promote Software Patents

    Watchtroll, a widely-known site of patent extremists with the agenda of promoting software patents, gets together with the EPO for a puff piece in the form of an "exclusive" interview



  25. Patent Boxes Are for Tax Avoidance, But in the Land of Tax Avoidance (Switzerland) No Avoidance for Software Patents

    The world leader in European Patents (EPs) refuses to acknowledge software patents or barely respects these



  26. Latest Attempts to Blow Air Into the Sails of the Sinking Unitary Patent (UPC)

    A survey of the latest media mentions and interpretations of the UPC, which don't quite stack up when compared to reality



  27. Links 12/9/2017: Linux 4.13.1, digiKam 5.7.0

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Maximalism Duo: Watchtroll and Patently-O Now Conjoined and Mutually Referencing One Another

    Radical sites like Watchtroll are spreading their ideology and harassment tactics to sites such as Patently-O, run by Dennis Crouch from the University of Missouri School of Law



  29. Complaints About Google Patents, R3 Patents, and the EFF's Campaign of Exposing/Disarming Patent Trolls

    A mix of interesting developments surrounding patents, including a nasty campaign by Dominion Harbor Group to smear patent reformers



  30. Latest Assaults on PTAB and More PTAB Bashing, This Time by Anticipat

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which helps eliminate patents granted in error (a lot of software patents), is still besieged by the patent 'industry'


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