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08.05.17

Links 5/8/2017: Git 2.14 and EFL 1.20

Posted in News Roundup at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Understanding Docker Adoption Patterns

      Ilan Rabinovitch, Director of Technical Community at Datadog, will be giving a talk at Open Source Summit NA titled “Docker Adoption Patterns” based on information gathered through Datadog’s research.

      Rabinovitch has years of experience leading infrastructure and reliability engineering teams at companies such as Ooyala and Edmunds.com and is also a co-founder of open source community events such as SCALE, Texas Linux Fest, and DevOpsDay LA. Here, Rabinovitch shares all the reasons why you need to attend his talk.

    • What is Photon OS, and why would I use it in my data center?

      The Photon OS was designed to provide a lightweight, open source Linux container host runtime optimized for VMware platforms, including vSphere 5.5, vSphere 6, vCloud Air, VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Pro. In effect, vSphere users can employ Photon to use containers most efficiently in VMware environments. The Photon OS runtime is compatible with other container formats, including Docker, Rkt and Garden runtimes. For example, Photon allows you to migrate and run containers already developed and deployed on Docker platforms in vSphere environments.

    • PiCluster v2.0 brings better container management for Docker deployments

      Linux Toys has announced PiCluster 2.0. The new version of the open source container management tool is written in Node.js and is designed to deliver an upgraded experience through cleaner CSS and JQuery dialogue windows.

      The new version of PiCluster brings automatic container failover to different hosts. It fixes reported errors in npm build dependency as well as utilises enhancements on the CSS front to deliver a fresh look to the web console of the tool. Additionally, users can now deploy container management without Internet access by using the web server to deliver required libraries.

    • Site Reliability Engineer: Don’t fall victim to the bias blind spot

      To ensure websites and applications deliver consistently excellent speed and availability, some organizations are adopting Google’s Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) model. In this model, a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) – usually someone with both development and IT Ops experience – institutes clear-cut metrics to determine when a website or application is production-ready from a user performance perspective. This helps reduce friction that often exists between the “dev” and “ops” sides of organizations. More specifically, metrics can eliminate the conflict between developers’ desire to “Ship it!” and operations desire to not be paged when they are on-call. If performance thresholds aren’t met, releases cannot move forward.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • The Story of the Last Linux Action Show

      The final episode of the Linux Action Show was a really special time, and during a special event. Friends from all over the world joined us for one big goodbye party.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux x86 ORC Stack Unwinder

      If your Linux machine crashes, kernel developers want to know the execution path that led to the crash because it helps them to debug and fix the root cause. A stack unwinder’s job is to figure out how a process reached the current machine instruction. This sequence is known as a stacktrace or callgraph. It is a list of functions that were entered (but not exited) on the way to the current instruction.

      [...]

      Until version v3 of the patch series the unwinder went by the name “undwarf”. After Poimboeuf said he wasn’t tied to the name, Ingo Molnar suggested some alternatives that were riffs on the ELF, DWARF tune. Poimboeuf took the Middle Earth theme and ran with it, finally settling on ORC aftering reading the Middle-earth peoples article on Wikipedia: “Orcs, fearsome creatures of medieval folklore, are the Dwarves’ natural enemies. Similarly, the ORC unwinder was created in opposition to the complexity and slowness of DWARF.” The backronym of ORC is “Oops Rewind Capability”.

    • The ORCs are coming

      There are a few reasons for wanting the ability to get proper stack traces out of the kernel, including profiling, tracing, and debugging kernel crashes. Historically, the kernel’s tracebacks have been unreliable for a number of reasons, most of which have been fixed in recent years. Now it seems likely that the 4.14 kernel will include a new mechanism that should put our traceback problems behind us — for now.

      The state of the kernel’s call stack can be surprisingly hard to interpret. Normally, it is made up of normal C function calls, but then assembly-language code, interrupts, processor traps, etc. tend to confuse the picture. A confusing stack can, naturally, cause the “unwinder” code that tries to derive the current call chain from that stack’s contents to do strange things; as a result, the kernel has long eschewed any sort of complicated unwinding code. For the most part, developers who deal with kernel tracebacks have learned to cope with occasional bad data.

    • Facebook Looking To Add Zstd Support To The Linux Kernel, Btrfs

      Zstd (also known as Zstandard) is a lossless data compression developed by Facebook that has been open-source since last year. This BSD-licensed compression algorithm aims to offer compression similar to zip/gzip but with faster speeds both for compression and decompression. Facebook developers are now looking at adding this support to the Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 WSL: Ubuntu vs. openSUSE Leap Performance

        Following my recent Windows 10 WSL CPU scaling benchmarks to see how well Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux for running native Linux binaries compared to various distributions, I did a comparison of Ubuntu and openSUSE on WSL compared to running these distributions bare metal.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • EFL 1.20 is out

      After a whole lot of development over in Enlightenment land, finally EFL 1.20 is out. Over 1600 commits since 1.19 from over 60 different authors.

      We’ve been improving our code quality. Coverity has been scanning our code now for several years, and we’ve worked hard to pay attention and address issues brought up there. We’re now down to 0.03 bugs per 1000 lines of code. As a comparison Qt gets 0.72 bugs per 1000 lines of code, glib gets 0.44, whilst the Linux kernel gets 0.47 and OpenSSL gets 0.32. Note that these numbers to go up and down each scan. This does not mean EFL is bug-free. Far from it. But we are paying attention to catching bugs and issues that can be caught and fixed. We take improving code stability seriously.

    • Enlightenment EFL 1.20 Released
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • How KDE’s Vast Open-Source Community Has Been Developing Technologies to Bring Reliable, Monopoly-Free Computing to the World for 20+ Years

        In 1996, Matthias Ettrich found himself frustrated with the absence of a user-friendly, inexpensive work environment for the Linux operating system. Most people employing Linux at the time were running it on Unix; however, the platform didn’t offer a workspace that presented an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that was both effective and easy on the eyes.

        Matthias had the idea and the basic framework for an improved alternative in mind, but he knew he’d need help to create the platform. So he posted a call to action asking the Linux development community to join him, and, thus, KDE was born. Matthias’s note eventually resulted in the creation of KDE’s flagship product, Plasma — a cross-device, customizable work environment that gives users full control over workflows.

      • Neon CI was down, Why?

        This post is public service announcement regarding the KDE Neon infrastructure.

        Earlier we KDE neon developers decided that we should build the armhf and/or arm64 packages on Neon CI itself instead of the different Plasma Mobile specific Jenkins Instance. First step to make this happen was the adding ARM architecture in the KDE Neon package archive. We are using the Aptly for serving the packages.

      • ISO Image Writer Alpha 0.2
      • Akademy 2017: it’s great to be part of KDE.

        I am pleased with the Akademy Awards this year. All were well deserved but I am specially happy of the one received by Cornelius Schumacher for his contributions throughout many years to KDE. I am specially proud of having shared with him two years at the KDE e.V. Board of Directors, having him as leader (President). The award received by the KDE representatives in the Free Qt Foundation was well deserved too. Olaf and Martin has done a terrific job over the years to ensure Qt remains open no matter who develops it. KDE needs to promote more the relevance of this foundation and the benefits for the entire KDE and Qt ecosystems. Thanks Olaf and Martin.

      • Akademy 2017.. and 2018!

        The talks were genuinely informative, I especially enjoyed the wonderful future we will see in Plasma Mobile, and how we can enlarge our (developer) community by supporting further international writing systems. Features of new C++ releases were shown, we got on overview on how we can make use of functional constructs and got some insight into debugging QML. There were so many informative talks, I unfortunately can’t list all of them!

      • [Video] Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2.0

        Introducing The Updated Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2 for KDE Plasma Desktop.

      • Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2.0 & My First Akademy

        I’d like to start this blog by thanking the KDE e.V. and the awesome KDE community for giving me the opportunity and sponsoring my travel to showcase and present my work on Mycroft at KDE Akademy, 2017 in Almeria, Spain this year. It was a very insightful experience where I got to learn about other interesting projects in KDE and also an awesome opportunity to meet other community members. I also got the chance to hold a Birds of a Feather session on Mycroft on the desktop where I gained some very valuable feedback and talk opportunities for integrating with other interesting projects to which I look forward too.

      • Keyboard Layouts the way Sun Microsystems Intended Them

        Anyway, I still use the Sun keyboard most of the time, but it is a decade old by now, and starting to show its age. And sometimes I use other hardware, like the KDE Slimbook, which has the control-key in the wrong place (next to the penguin, or meta-key). I have had a setxkbmap + xmodmap script that I have used since forever, but really that it a bit foolish: there are KDE settings to achieve the same thing.

      • GSoC-Second month analysis
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • 6 reasons why GNOME is still the best Linux desktop environment

        I’ve been using Linux for about 15 years now, trying multiple desktop environments along the way. For the majority of my career, I was a diehard KDE Plasma user (starting with version 2.x). I stuck with Plasma for the majority of the 4.x series, eventually moving on due to stability issues. I’ve tried Xfce, MATE, Openbox, and many others, but ever since I switched to GNOME 3, I’ve never looked back. It’s a responsive and stable environment that allows me to focus on my work with minimal distractions.

      • Zukitwo and Zukitre Themes Available for Ubuntu/Linux Mint

        Since many of us heard that Ubuntu is making Gnome desktop its default desktop again, many creators got motivation to make eyecandy stuff again for Ubuntu. Zuktiwo and Zukitre themes are not new in the market and quite famous among users who are using Linux from sometime, the initial release of this pack was way back in 2011. These themes give light and grayish look to the desktop, the basic aim of these themes to enhance the look of GTK and Gnome-Shell just like many other great Gtk themes. Both themes works perfectly under all resolutions bigger screens and with smaller screens. These themes supports latest GTK 3.22/3.20/3.18 and Gnome Shell 3.24/3.22/3.18. Zukitre and Zukitwo themes supports GTK 3 and GTK 2 based desktop environments such as Gnome Shell, Gnome Classic, Gnome Fallback, Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, Budgie, Pantheon, etc.

      • Obsidian Gtk Themes Looks Amazing On Gnome Desktop

        If you are looking for dark themes for your Linux desktop then you are on the right page. Obsidian themes looks great and gives your desktop a dark bluish and greenish flavor. Gtk theme is based on Adwaita-Maia and it has Gnome Shell theme as well, it is currently compatible with Gtk 3.20/3.22/3.24 versions and only works fine in Gnome Desktop, this pack is pretty simple and elegant. If you find any issues with this theme then report it to developer and hopefully it will get fixed in the next update. If you are using other distribution you can directly download theme from its page and install it manually in ~/.themes folder or /usr/share/themes/. You can use Gnome-tweak-tool to change themes.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 22.1 STABLE released.

        This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.9.40. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.27, MariaDB 10.2.7, and PHP 7.0.21 (see this post for more details). Additionally, some popular programs (Chromium, Java, PeaZip, SMTube) have been updated, too.
        The 4MLinux ISO is about 100 MB bigger (than it used to be) due to the changes in the 4MLinux initrd image, which now includes the full set of the Linux firmware to provide better support for modern Ethernet and WiFi cards.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Slackware Family

      • New build server was ordered

        OK, so I got frustrated too many times when waiting for packages that were compiling. My current build machine with its AMD ‘Athlon II X4 640’ CPU and 8 GB of RAM, is now 5 years old and obviously no longer quite fit for the tasks I need it to perform. Compiling Chromium for 64bit Slackware in a virtual machine took more than 24 hours last week (yes, for a single package). Basically, that convinced me to empty my stash of donated funds (thanks to all of you Slackware supporters) and order the most powerful midi tower I could buy for that money. What else is that money for, after all. Well, beer perhaps 🙂

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Do live Debian images have a future?

        Background: we released live images for Stretch using new tooling, namely live-wrapper. It is better than what we had before (live-build) in a number of ways, particularly in terms of build reliability and some important new features (e.g. UEFI support). But it’s also less mature and has seen less testing. There have been bugs because of that. I have fixes for most of the ones I know about [1], and I’m still working on more bugfixes yet.

      • Debian Might Abandon Their Live Images

        Debian developers are evaluating whether to continue producing “Debian Live” images or not. Should they go away, there would no longer be a Live DVD/CD/USB environment to try out the operating system short of going through the Debian Installer process.

        Due to the quality of Debian Live images lacking, upstream developers are weighing whether to remove them from future releases. This would just leave the Debian Installer images available.

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 3 Offers Easy Anonymity for All

          If you’re seriously concerned about privacy, you want to ensure you’re doing all the right things and not leaving behind a trace of what you’ve browsed. There are many reasons for this—some good, some bad. I’d like to focus on the good (naturally). In the past few years, it has become clear that tracking web histories is not a myth. Businesses, governments—anyone with the skills can make use of your browsing history. That is the very reason why technology like Tor has recently gained popularity.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Phew, Ubuntu 17.10 Will Have a Desktop Dock (Of Sorts)

            If you were worried Ubuntu 17.10 would use a vanilla GNOME Shell desktop, you can relax. Ubuntu says the release will have a desktop dock.

          • Canonical Releases New Linux Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.04 LTS

            Canonical released new Linux kernel security updates for Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems, as well as updated HWE (hardware enablement) kernels for Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and the recently released Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS maintenance update.

            Available for 64-bit and 32-bit hardware architectures, as well as for Raspberry Pi 2, the new kernel updates patch a total of four security issues affecting the Linux 4.10 and 4.4 LTS kernels of Ubuntu 17.04 and 16.04 LTS, as well as their derivatives, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu Budgie, and Ubuntu Kylin.

          • Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS Officially Released with Linux Kernel 4.10 from Ubuntu 17.04

            Canonical launched the third point release of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series, Ubuntu 16.04.3, which brings updated kernel and graphics stacks.

            Powered by the Linux 4.10 kernel and Mesa 17.0 graphics stack from Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS is here for those who want to install the long-term supported Xenial Xerus series of operating systems on new computers which were or weren’t supported by Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS or a previous point release. However, Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS doesn’t ship with support for 32-bit PPC architectures.

          • Canonical releases Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS with new kernel

            Canonical has released the latest point release (or service pack in Microsoft language) for Ubuntu. Ubuntu 16.04.3 rolls all the updates the operating system has received into the ISO to save users having to re-install all the available updates. In addition, 16.04.3 ships with a new Hardware Enablement (HWE) stack which includes an updated kernel.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” Preview Part 1: How It Looks

            Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” is currently in pre-release stage (development version) and planned to be released on October 2017. This release would bring huge changes to mention some: changing user interface from Unity to GNOME, login screen from LightDM to GDM, many functional changes, and a still-unknown new future. I write this article as part one to give you overview about how Artful desktop looks. I wish the best and better future for Ubuntu by heading to this direction.

          • Kubuntu 16.04.3 LTS Update Available

            The third point release update to Kubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) is out now. This contains all the bug-fixes added to 16.04 since its first release in April 2016. Users of 16.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bug-fixes. In addition, we suggest adding the Backports PPA to update to Plasma 5.8.7. Read more about it:

          • Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS released
          • Ubuntu Server Development Summary – 4 Aug 2017
          • Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark Release Schedule

            Ubuntu 17.10, which is codenamed the Artful Aardvark, is currently penciled in to ship on 19th October, 2016. The release date Ubuntu 17.10 has now been firmed up as are the other development milestones leading up to the mid-October, after a long time Ubuntu making Gnome its default desktop environment, Ubuntu community can help iron this transition from Unity to Gnome by testing pre-release version.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OPNFV’s role in NFV testing and the road to 5G

    OPNFV has emerged as the go-to platform for testing and interoperability assurance for NFV and its many components, a role that is set to becoming more important as the industry transitions towards 5G. As Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Prodip Sen points out, 5G standardisation is about much more than just faster speeds, but also a key enabler of unprecedented features such as network slicing, which ultimately rely on NFV.

  • Heptio releases two open source projects for Kubernetes operations

    Heptio announced two new open source projects designed to improve Kubernetes operations, regardless of where a developer runs a cluster.

    The first project is Heptio Ark, a utility for managing disaster recovery, specifically for Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes, writes Craig McLuckie, founder and CEO of Heptio. It gives users a way to backup and restore applications and Pos from a series of checkpoints.

    “Not only does this tool make it easy to create backups of all cluster objects (pods, services, replica sets, etc.), but it also coordinates volume snapshotting in a way that maintains pod associations,” writes McLuckie. “You can then use a single command to quickly restore the entire cluster, or just a subset of it.”

  • Heptio Launches Open Source Projects to Foster Use of Kubernetes

    Heptio launched a pair of open source projects designed to assist the deployment and management of Kubernetes container orchestration.

    The company’s Ark project is set as a utility for managing disaster recovery. Heptio said the focus was on Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes, with a configurable way to backup and restore from a series of checkpoints.

  • Heptio Releases Two New Tools to Make Kubernetes Easier to Manage

    Kubernetes, the open-source system for automating the deployment and scaling of containerized applications, does its job really well. It groups an application’s containers into logical units for easy management and discovery, scales all the way from local testing to truly global production, and runs pretty much anywhere.

    At the same time, the platform can be intimidating to implement — particularly for new users configuring their first-ever system running on Kubernetes. Kubernetes is quickly becoming the de facto standard for software container orchestration, but accessing it remains a challenge for anyone who is not a hardcore systems engineer.

    Heptio, founded by Kubernetes co-creators Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, is a company that aims to make the platform more accessible. “Our mission is to make Kubernetes more naturally accessible to developers who aren’t necessarily deep back end engineers, and help it become more integrated into the fabric of enterprise IT,” said Heptio CEO McLuckie in an interview.

  • Former Vuze developers launch new open-source torrent client without any ads or bloat

    Vuze, a once very popular BitTorrent client previously known as Azureus, was created by a group of developers back in 2003 when the BitTorrent protocol was still a relatively new technology. Written in Java and available on Windows, Linux, OSX, and Android, Vuze had always received mixed reception, as some praised its countless features, while others saw the client as bloated, a view that some people have also formed about uTorrent lately, when compared to other, more streamlined clients. Lately, development of the client has stalled completely, which is the result of two of the project’s core developers leaving the company and starting a new open source torrent client.

  • Toast Wallet is a Free and Open Source Wallet Solution for XRP Users

    Ripple users have been looking for some alternative XRP wallet solutions. It is somewhat strange to learn so few options are available at this point in time. Toast Wallet is a new open source XRP wallet for multiple platforms and operating systems.So far, it seems to be well-received but always do your own research when dealing with third party software solutions. Alternatives are always in high demand, though.

  • IncludeOS: a unikernel for C++ applications

    Is it truly an efficient use of cloud computing resources to run traditional operating systems inside virtual machines? In many cases, it isn’t. An interesting alternative is to bundle a program into a unikernel, which is a single-tasking library operating system made specifically for running a single application in the cloud. A unikernel packs everything needed to run an application into a tiny bundle and, in theory, this approach would save disk space, memory, and processor time compared to running a full traditional operating system. IncludeOS is such a unikernel; it was created to support C++ applications. Like other unikernels, it is designed for resource-efficiency on shared infrastructure, and is primarily meant to run on a hypervisor.

    Frequently, virtual machines end up running a full server operating system, though the entire instance is devoted to running only a few applications or even just one. However, every running instance on a physical machine means a full set of services and binaries that’s unnecessarily replicated. Unikernel developers take the opportunity to aggressively pare down the operating system to a bare minimum. Unikernels are at the extreme end of the possible answers to the question “how small can you make an operating system?” A unikernel is an instance of a single program “baked together” with a small library that provides the operating system and acts as an interface to the (virtual) hardware.

  • Haiku monthly activity report – 07/2017

    Time for another monthly report! It covers hrev51254-hrev51346

  • Haiku OS Continues Work On 64-bit Support, Software Updater

    Fans of the BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system will see a lot of work going into the open-source OS over the summer.

  • Events

    • GUADEC + Unconferences | 2017

      This year’s GUADEC was amazing. I’m really happy I could attent it this year (even though my tasks are accumulating and I’m really afraid to look at my emails again…). I’m still in Manchester so, if anyone wants to meet me and buy me a tea, do get in touch!

    • Back from GUADEC

      After spending a few days in Manchester with other fellow GNOME hackers and colleagues from Endless, I’m finally back at my place in the sunny land of Surrey (England) and I thought it would be nice to write some sort of recap, so here it is:

    • Why to support community driven FOSS events

      FLOSS event offerings have exploded in the last few years. You can find everything from very elite, invitation-only pricey events to small, local meetings that are open to everybody. Almost every company that migrates from being an Open Source consumer to a contributor becomes a conference sponsor, which is positive.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox fights back

        Inside Mozilla, CEO Chris Beard and his team are preparing to outmaneuver Google’s Chrome browser. The battle begins in November, with their release of Firefox 57.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3.5 Office Suite Released with Over 120 Bug Fixes, Update Now

      The Document Foundation announced the general availability for download of the fifth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.3 office suite series for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

      Even if LibreOffice 5.4 was launched as the latest and most advanced, as well as the last point release of the LibreOffice 5 office suite series, The Document Foundation still updates the LibreOffice 5.3 branch with bug fixes, and it now released LibreOffice 5.3.5.

    • LibreOffice 5.3.5 available for download

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.3.5, the fifth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.3 family, targeted at enterprises and individual users in production environments.

    • Oracle Reportedly Laying Off More Solaris & ZFS Staff

      The mystery around the future of Solaris, ZFS, and SPARC continues with Oracle reportedly letting go of more developers and other staff members.

      Months ago they already canned Solaris 12 amid other questions about Solaris’ future as well as that of their flagship ZFS file-system. Their SPARC CPU efforts have also been unclear.

    • TDF Dashboard: an open window on LibreOffice development

      Developed by Bitergia, the Dashboard is based on information retrieved from publicly available data sources, such as Git, Gerrit and Bugzilla repositories, or mailing lists archives. All tools used to retrieve, store, analyse and visualize data from repositories are based on free, open source software. The key component is GrimoireLab, a software development analytics toolset.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Learn Android development with this drag-and-drop framework

      When I started doing classroom-based research involving computers in the late 1990s, the first thing I had to do was bring some computers into a classroom. My adviser had gotten a grant for six first-generation Bondi Blue iMacs to be installed at the middle school where we doing our research. As soon as we entered the school carrying those inviting gumdrop-shaped machines, my worries about finding participants evaporated.

      Computers anywhere, especially in middle school classrooms, were still relatively uncommon back then, and we were able to parlay their novelty into direct engagement with our educational intervention.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Onus on State to undertake developmental work

      Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) for all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will be declared by October, 2017 and accordingly Action Plan has been prepared.

    • EMVCo Sets Up New Mobile Payment QR Code Standard

      We know that quick response (QR) codes have been a fairly large part of the mobile payments concept for some time now, particularly in developing nations where the infrastructure isn’t quite up to the smartphone-based version. That notion took a great leap forward as EMVCo released new documents detailing a standardization protocol for QR-based mobile payment systems.

Leftovers

  • GSoC: Reworking the Structure behind Documentation Cards

    Another couple of weeks have gone by and since finalizing the design of the documentation cards, I have focused more about the underlying structure and testing.

    There has been a lot of work put in the gathering and parsing of the information from devhelp so it make sense to make it accessible not just to documentation cards. So documentation provider IdeDocumentation was created to provide the information to any plug in that can make use of it. Now it only gets information from Devhelp but in future it will make it easy to append any other provider of documentation. There is now no reason for the Documentation cards to be part of the Devhelp plugin anymore and it can be plugin on it’s own using the IdeDocumentation to get the information.

  • Science

    • How Canada became an education superpower

      When there are debates about the world’s top performing education systems, the names that usually get mentioned are the Asian powerhouses such as Singapore and South Korea or the Nordic know-alls, such as Finland or Norway.

      But with much less recognition, Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings.

      In the most recent round of international Pisa tests, Canada was one of a handful of countries to appear in the top 10 for maths, science and reading.

      The tests, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are a major study of educational performance and show Canada’s teenagers as among the best educated in the world.

      They are far ahead of geographical neighbours such as the US and European countries with strong cultural ties like the UK and France.

  • Hardware

    • Ryzen-Test & Stress-Run Make It Easy To Cause Segmentation Faults On Zen CPUs

      With running a number of new Ryzen Linux tests lately, a number of readers requested I take a fresh look at the reported Ryzen segmentation fault issues / bugs affecting a number of many Linux users. I did and still am able to reproduce the problem.

      For those that missed our earlier article on the matter from early June, heavy workloads can cause problems on Ryzen, in particular segmentation faults while there have also been reports of some stability problems.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage

      After getting ahold of the genetic blueprints for molecular weapons, relatively harmless bacteria transformed into one that can cause anthrax—in places and animals where the original anthrax bacteria doesn’t. And it’s wreaking havoc.

      Using data collected over a 26-year period, researchers found that this strange version of anthrax is running rampant in tropical rainforest habitats of Sub-Saharan Africa, killing off broad swaths of mammals. In fact, researchers estimated this week in Nature that this “rainforest anthrax” could wipe out chimpanzee populations in the Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park within the next 150 years. It’s currently associated with nearly 40 percent of all chimp deaths there. And researchers are just getting started on understanding risks to humans, which have so far been thought to be low.

    • Monsanto’s lawyers forgot to ask a court to suppress damning evidence about cancer and corrupt science

      Monsanto is facing over 100 lawsuits in a Federal district court in San Francisco brought by people who attribute their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to exposure to glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer, and as part of the discovery process, it submitted internal documents to the court that detailed shenanigans in the company’s internal science and its dealings with regulators and the press.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • DebConf17 Key Signing Party
    • Keysigning!
    • Faster reference-count overflow protection
    • A Solution to Hackers {sic}? More Hackers {sic}

      In other words: What if the problem we face is not too many bad hackers {sic}, but too few good ones?

    • Russian man sentenced to almost four years prison in US prison for ‘botnet fraud’

      Maxim Senakh, of Veliky Novgorod in Russia, was arrested in Finland in 2015 and extradited to the USA to face charges. He pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced in Minnesota this month.

    • Staying Secure with Open Source [Ed: Let's talk about "Staying Secure with" proprietary software, where the code is all secret so you cannot see the bugs]

      Why did Heartbleed fail? One reason, while OSS may have more eyeballs on it, it suffers from inconsistent coding methodology.

    • Researchers say WannaCry operator moved bitcoins to “untraceable” Monero

      On Wednesday, the 52.2 bitcoins in the wallet were drained out over nine transactions, as detected by a bot created by Quartz’s Keith Collins. Neutrino researchers traced the moved bitcoins to wallets associated with Monero.

    • What is the Kronos trojan and what is Marcus Hutchins accused of?

      Neither the indictment, nor the Department of Justice announcement, say how they connected him to the malware.

    • The Indictment Against Malware Researcher Marcus Hutchines Is Really Weird

      So, yesterday, we wrote a quick post about recently-famous malware research Marcus Hutchins (famous for accidentally stopping the WannaCry attack) being detained by the FBI as he left Defcon. An hour or so later, we updated it with the details of the indictment which had been released. That had my quick response, which noted that the “evidence” didn’t seem very strong. It just claims (without anything else) that Hutchins wrote the Kronos malware, and most of the indictment and most of the activity focuses on a second defendant (whose name is redacted) who apparently was out selling the malware. I was planning to write up a more thorough look at the indictment and its problems today, but last night, Orin Kerr beat me to it, and he (famed lawyer, law professor and former assistant US attorney) has a bit more expertise in the subject, so let’s work off of his analysis.

    • WannaCry ‘hero’ to plead not guilty to accusation he wrote banking malware [iophk: "none of these even mention Microsoft Windows(tm)"]

      Marcus Hutchins, the celebrated security professional who was arrested Wednesday on federal charges he helped create and distribute malware that steals banking credentials, will be released from detention pending $30,000 bail, according to Las Vegas reporter Christy Wilcox and other news outlets.

    • Judge sets $30K bail in banking malware case for hacker who helped stop WannaCry attack

      “This is excellent news,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley. “The indictment is remarkably shallow even by indictment standards, which is disappointing because it adds considerable uncertainty and fosters distrust with the general security community.”

    • Security researcher who neutralized WCry to be released on $30,000 bond

      Marcus Hutchins, the celebrated security professional who was arrested Wednesday on federal charges he helped create and distribute malware that steals banking credentials, will be released from detention pending $30,000 bail, according to Las Vegas reporter Christy Wilcox and other news outlets.

    • Army tells troops to stop using DJI drones immediately, because cyber

      But now all of those drones are getting pulled from service, as the result of classified findings in a May study by the Army Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, as well as a Navy memorandum citing “operational risks” in using DJI drones. The memorandum ordering the ban was obtained by Small UAS News.

    • US Army calls for units to discontinue use of DJI equipment

      According to a U.S. Army memo obtained by sUAS News, the U.S. Army Research Lab and U.S. Navy have concluded that there are operational risks associated with DJI equipment, a move that was run up the flag pole last month but kept under wraps.

    • US Army reportedly asks units to stop using DJI drones, citing cybersecurity concerns

      The memo notes that the Army had issued over 300 separate releases authorizing the use of DJI products for Army missions, meaning a lot of hardware may have been in active use prior to the memo, which is dated August 2nd, 2017.

    • Siemens, DHS warn of “low skill” exploits against CT and PET Scanners

      The Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) has issued an alert warning of four vulnerabilities in multiple medical molecular imaging systems from Siemens. All of these systems have publicly available exploits that could allow an attacker to execute code remotely—potentially damaging or compromising the safety of the systems. “An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit these vulnerabilities,” ICS-CERT warned.

      Siemens identified the vulnerabilities in a customer alert on July 26, warning that the vulnerabilities were highly critical—giving them a rating of 9.8 out of a possible 10 using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. The systems affected include Siemens CT, PET, and SPECT scanners and medical imaging workflow systems based on Windows 7.

    • Announcing Our 2017 Security Audit Results

      A few months ago, we hired an independent security research firm to conduct an audit on the encryption specification used by Standard Notes. In building out our product, we spent a lot of time making sure our encryption is as strong and fool-proof as possible. While it’s easy for one to feel confident of their own work, a security audit is a must for any privacy-focused project to assure the developers and customers alike that data being encrypted and transferred is done safely and securely.

    • 20 Docker security tools compared

      There are quite a few Docker security tools in the ecosystem, how do they compare? This is a comprehensive list of Docker security tools that can help you implement some of the container security best practices.

      Is Docker insecure? Not at all. Actually features like process isolation with user namespaces, resource encapsulation with cgroups, immutable images and shipping the minimal software and dependencies reduce the attack vector providing a great deal of protection. But, is there anything else we can do? There is much more than image vulnerability scanning and these are 20 container and Docker specific security tools that can help.

    • Is Your Business Vulnerable to Cyberattack?

      If you still believe that to be the case, you must have been living under a rock for the last year or so. Cyber attacks have increased in scale and sophistication, but they have also increased in frequency. The WannaCry ransomware event from earlier this year was the largest cyber attack in history, impacting over 200,000 devices in 150 countries including hospitals in the UK, a large telecom corporation in Spain, FedEx in the US and even the Russian government.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Remembering the Gulf of Tonkin, and the Consequences of Wanting to Believe

      “American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression,” was the Washington Post headline some 53 years ago, on August 5, 1964.

      The front page of that day’s New York Times reported: “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”

      Of course, as historians now acknowledge, there was no “second attack” by North Vietnam—no “renewed attacks against American destroyers.”

      But as activist, author and FAIR associate Norman Solomon has described, including in the film War Made Easy, US journalists reported those official claims as absolute truths, ignoring countervailing evidence and opening the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War and the deaths of over 50,000 Americans and millions of Southeast Asians.

    • ON THE BEACH 2017. THE BECKONING OF NUCLEAR WAR.

      This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the “national security” managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them “the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • America’s stores are closing. Why isn’t that raising a jobs alarm?

      A similar phenomenon is happening all across the country. An estimated 5,300 retail locations have closed through June 20, according to one estimate – nearly triple the rate from a year ago. That makes 2017 poised to surpass the number of closings in 2008, in the depth of the Great Recession.

    • Help to Buy report hits housebuilder shares

      Housebuilders were the biggest fallers on the 100 share index throughout Friday after a report raised the prospect of the government’s Help to Buy scheme being wound down early.

      The scheme – which aims to help first-time buyers – is to be reviewed, according to a report in Property Week.

      Among the housebuilders on the FTSE 100, Barratt fell almost 5% and Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey about 4%.

    • IT outsourcers get most H-1B visas, pay the least

      Major IT outsourcers in the United States obtain the lion’s share of H-1B visas but pay wages that are below average, according to figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    • Brexit could leave Britain with a bare larder, farmers warn

      Britain must increase home-grown food production and build stronger supply chains to face Brexit uncertainties, the National Farmers Union has said.

      In an annual calculation to draw attention to the UK’s decline in food self-sufficiency, the NFU said the national larder would be bare this Sunday if Britain opted for a cliff-edge departure from Europe and imports became unavailable.

      Such is the reliance on imported food that Britain does not even produce enough of staples including potatoes, beef, milk and cheese to feed the nation for an entire year,it found.

    • Ethereum: Perils and Potential

      The world of Ethereum, to be sure, has an element of the eccentric.

      Ethereum is a technology started 24 months ago by a 21-year-old college dropout, Vitalik Buterin. Among the facts listed on his slender bio: in 2011 he won third place in a high school programing competition. Yet Ethereum is now supported by JP Morgan Chase and a bevy of tech titans. The market cap of its currency, Ether, hovers around $20 billion – down from its $37 billion cap a month ago.

      There are Ethereum cryptocurrency miners who rent Boeing 747s to rush delivery of the super-charged graphic cards they need for their rigs. Ethereum is promoted by the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, which sounds like a group Spock himself would have enjoyed.

    • E-commerce RCEP Chapter: Have Big Tech’s Demands Fizzled?

      Over the past month, trade officials of the ASEAN group of countries and its six biggest trading partners have been frantically working to finalize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Expected to be ratified later this year, the RCEP is the largest mega-regional trade treaty currently being negotiated, and the first to include norms and rules on e-commerce.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Senate Seems More Willing To Push Back Against Trump Than The House — Why?
    • Plans to form East Timor government in disarray as Xanana Gusmao quits party presidency

      Mr Gusmao has been leading East Timor’s negotiations with Australia over a maritime border between the two countries that will decide the future of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea.

      With East Timor’s income from existing oil and gas projects drying up in a few years, East Timor could be broke within a decade unless Greater Sunrise is developed.

    • Speculation over a political campaign heats up as Zuckerberg hires former Clinton pollster

      Benenson was a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, and also a chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016, as Politico reported. Benenson’s company, Benenson Strategy Group, “will be conducting research for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” the philanthropy organization headed by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

    • Facebook is starting to put more posts from local politicians into people’s News Feed

      The feature will appear, at most, once per week, and only for users who follow at least one local, state or federal representative from their area. Facebook knows who your local reps are if you handed over your address to use the company’s voting plan feature — or its “Town Hall” feature, which helps people find and follow their elected officials.

    • Opinion: The fakers’ little lies are eating our brains

      The story was piffle. And despite appearances, it was not on The Local. Someone had cloned The Local, using a similar web address, and had published the story. Reuters and other international media had picked it up and re-reported it, citing The Local. The story didn’t sound outlandish and its apparent appearance in mainstream media gave it credibility.

    • Putin Nemesis Mikheil Saakashvili Is Now a Man Without a Country

      Fourteen years ago a group of protesters burst through the doors of the Georgian Parliament while Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was giving a speech. Shevardnadze was a legendary Soviet foreign minister, but under his tenure Georgia had become a failing state rife with corruption.

      The protesters carried no weapons. Instead they held out roses as a sign theirs was a peaceful revolution. They were led by a charismatic young idealist and reformer named Mikheil Saakashvili.

    • The Real Problem With the BBC

      Mainstream media debate this summer focused on the fact that some extremely overpaid women at the BBC are not overpaid to quite the same extent as some extremely, extremely overpaid men. This is reminiscent of the fuss over the US having a male kleptocratic president, when it could have had a female kleptocratic president.

      Personally I support the notion that pay should be equalised at the BBC – provided it is equalised down at the top and up at the bottom.

      But the real problem of massive salaries at the BBC is one the media entirely missed. The BBC has 98 bureaucrats who are each paid more than the Head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the UK’s Ambassador to the European Union. What is more, this great store of ludicrously overpaid non-jobs is simply an additional resource for pillaging public funds by the right wing political class.

    • Of Venezuela and Hypocrisy

      Over the years, Chavez racked up real achievements in improving living standards for the poor and in providing health and education facilities. He was widely popular and both he and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, also racked up very genuine election victories. Maduro remains the democratically elected President.

      But the dream went sour. In particular it fell foul of the tendency of centrally planned economies to fail to get the commodities people want onto shop shelves, and to the corruption that goes with centralisation. The latter was certainly not worse than the right wing corruption it replaced, but that does not diminish its existence.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How Hulk Hogan & Peter Thiel Almost Made Sure That The Story Of R. Kelly’s ‘Cult’ Stayed Unpublished

      I recognize that not everyone agrees that the jury verdict against Gawker in the case brought by Hulk Hogan was a disaster for the First Amendment. I disagree. As we explained, even if you dislike Gawker and believe that it was a terrible smut rag that deserved to go out of business, the lawsuit presented a clear blueprint via which the famous and wealthy could attempt to silence any publication — even those doing legitimate reporting. We, somewhat obviously, are feeling the rather direct effects of that ourselves, given that we’re facing a lawsuit filed by the same lawyer who represented Hogan.

      But, here’s yet another example of the chilling effects created by the Hogan verdict directly. You may have heard, recently, about a fairly astounding story, reported by famed music reporter Jim DeRogatis, that the singer R. Kelly was “holding women against their will in a ‘cult.’”. The story is quite incredible and detailed. It was published in Buzzfeed which, despite its reputation for viral videos and top 10 gif lists, has been publishing some amazing reporting over the past few years.

    • Should the Koala Bear the Brunt of Censorship?

      The University of California San Diego (UCSD), a public university, attempted to do something similar when it defunded certain student organizations in a thinly veiled attempt to censor one organization’s opinions. The Koala, a satirical newspaper funded by student activity fees, published an article mocking “safe places” that sparked controversy on campus and debate in the school’s student government. In response, the student government enacted a “Media Act” that defunded all student-printed media organizations, in order to prevent the The Koala from publishing further articles that contradicted the student government’s political sensibilities.

      [...]

      The lower court misread well-established jurisprudence regarding the scope of such forums, and failed to consider the evidence of viewpoint discrimination prevalent in the school’s Media Act. Not only does this rule have a discriminatory effect, but also it constitutes unconstitutional retaliation in direct response to the controversy surrounding The Koala’s article.

      In addition, the Supreme Court has established that student activity fee programs are required to respect viewpoint-neutrality, in order to ensure that political bias does not stifle speech. UCSD has violated all of these core constitutional principles in pursuit of political correctness and the comfort of ideological homogeneity.

    • Censorship and celebration at La Mama

      Inspired by New York’s La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, founder Betty Burstall was confident that Melbourne performers and audiences wanted and needed a place for progressive music, poetry and film too.

      La Mama nurtured local talent and rode the international wave of social and cultural change in the late 1960s to provide a platform for alternative voices in the arts. In a company newsletter from October 1969 this vision was expanded: La Mama would be a theatre to make possible “a new audience-actor relationship. It was informal, direct, immediate. It was also a playwrights’ theatre…where you could hear what people now were thinking and feeling.”

      [...]

      La Mama encompassed many more facets of the Melbourne avant-garde arts scene. Neo Kyma refers to a movement in Greek music that found popularity in the 1960s and 70s, extending well into the 1980s in Australian Greek communities. For around five years, Christos and Tasos Ioannidis played Greek and ployethnic music at La Mama.

    • Anti-Social Media: Anti-Semitism and Censorship on the Rise

      Social media’s bane has become more prominent, too, and in ways that I had never expected. First, let me address the rising Anti-Semitism. I frequently post pro-Israel statements on my media profiles. I do not apologize for being a Zionist, and a vocal supporter of the only stable democracy in the Middle East. Enduring the Obama Administration, I wished that Benjamin Netanyahu were my president. Fortunately, President Trump has forged a renewed, stronger relationship with Israel.

    • Eric Trump accuses Twitter of censorship

      President Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, on Friday accused Twitter of censoring one of his tweets.

      In a tweet on Friday, the president’s son tweeted out a screenshot of a tweet posted earlier on Friday that read “Jobs Jobs Jobs!!!” followed by several American flag emojis. The tweet also retweeted another user’s tweet that included a Drudge Report link about Friday’s jobs report.

      Eric Trump’s tweet was hidden for some viewers behind a standard Twitter warning, which was depicted in the screenshot. The grey warning box reads: “This tweet is not available because it includes potentially sensitive content.”

    • Keeping China’s Soundscape in Check: Censorship in Chinese Popular Music
    • Google Turning into Censorship Engine

      Andre Damon of the World Socialist Web Site joins RT America’s Natasha Sweatte to explain why he believes his site and other progressive sources are being unfairly targeted.

      A note to our readers. Global Research is also affected by the Google algorithm.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Georgia To Roll Out Tens Of Thousands Of CCTV Cameras With Real-Time Facial Recognition Capabilities

      It’s not clear whether those tens of thousands of CCTV systems will all be equipped with real-time facial recognition, or only some of them. But even the immediate roll out of facial recognition to 400 CCTV cameras is substantial, especially for a country with fewer than four million inhabitants. It’s hard not to see this as a test-bed for other, much bigger countries, which will doubtless be watching Georgia’s experience with interest. Some have already started their own trials: ZDNet reports that at least two of Australia’s police forces — the Northern Territory Police and South Australia Police — have 100s of CCTV cameras with real-time facial recognition features. There’s also a small-scale trial employing vehicle-mounted cameras with similar capabilities being conducted by UK police in Wales. All of the examples mentioned here use the NeoFace Watch system from NEC, which the company claims is able to process multiple camera feeds, and to extract and match thousands of faces per minute.

    • People’s internet browsing histories including porn viewing habits and drug purchases can easily be bought online

      The data is supposed to be anonymised, and gathering such data is against the law. But it continues to happen and is sold easily online.

    • Your Web History Can Be Traced Even After Anonymity, According To Researchers

      A team of German researchers shared that an individual’s secret web history and habit can be traced. Surprisingly, even after it goes under anonymity, it can be revealed. Security experts Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes did their research with 3 million Germans, out of which some were public personalities.

    • Once Again With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ Data Isn’t Really Anonymous

      For years, the companies that hoover up your internet browsing and other data have proclaimed that you don’t really have anything to worry about, because the data collected on you is “anonymized.” In other words, because the data collected about you is assigned a random number and not your name, you should be entirely comfortable with everything from your car to your smart toaster hoovering up your daily habits and selling them to the highest bidder. But studies have repeatedly shown that it only takes a few additional contextual clues to flesh out individual identities. So in an era of cellular location, GPS, and even smart electricity data collection, it doesn’t take much work to build a pretty reliable profile on who you are and what you’ve been up to.

      The latest case in point: German journalist Svea Eckert and data scientist Andreas Dewes recently descended upon Defcon to once again make this point, releasing a new report highlighting how “anonymous” browsing data is anything but. The duo found it relatively trivial to obtain clickstream browsing data from numerous companies simply by posing as a fake marketing company, replete with a website filled with “many nice pictures and some marketing buzzwords.” Ironically, some of this data was gleaned from companies that profess to offer you additional layers of privacy, including “safe surfing” tool Web of Trust.

    • The Curious Case Of Ex-NSA Inspector General George Ellard

      The DoD and NSA IG’s have clear conflicts of interest when employees from within their own ranks are implicated in potential criminal wrongdoing. PPD-19 was supposed to be the answer to such conflicts of interest, but it’s lack of teeth from an enforcement standpoint renders it a badly flawed remedy for an extremely serious integrity problem.

    • Reality Winner update: Judge sides with feds on evidence clampdown

      The federal judge presiding over the case of accused National Security Agency leaker Reality Winner has come down on prosecutors’ side in a dispute over rules of evidence, which defense attorneys have said could jeopardize her right to a fair trial.

      In a ruling Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps said defense attorneys cannot talk about classified information in open court, even if it has already been published in the news media. Epps granted prosecutors’ motion for a protective order designed to keep an alleged leaker from leaking further, and to force those defending her to tread lightly, lest they leak by accident.

    • Judge sides with prosecution in Reality Winner NSA leak case

      A federal judge has sided with prosecutors in the case against former Fort Gordon contractor Reality Winner, finding that her defense team should be muzzled from speaking about any information deemed classified by the government, even if it has been widely reported in local, national and international media publications.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Jeff Sessions Suggests He’s Steering The DOJ Towards Prosecuting More Journalists

      Jeff Sessions and the DOJ are back to threatening leakers again. It seems counterproductive, considering each new threat of leak investigations does little to stem the steady flow of leaks. But the new DOJ boss seems ready to go further than his predecessors.

      Having already expressed an interest in taking care of Obama’s unfinished business by going after Wikileaks, Sessions now appears to be headed towards threatening journalism and the First Amendment itself. This would be a new direction for the Justice Department. A 2013 report by the DOJ stated it was unwilling to consider the punishment of journalists during leak investigations, except as a last resort.

    • Five Years after the Wisconsin Sikh Temple Tragedy, Much Work Remains to Protect Religious Freedom

      The horror of the shooting shook Sikh communities around the country and faith-based communities and advocacy organizations planned vigils in solidarity, proclaiming “We are all Sikhs.” The refrain recognized that when one faith community is targeted for violence or harassment, it is an attack on religious freedom for all.

      Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the Oak Creek tragedy. As we join Sikh communities and allies in remembering the victims, we also recognize that much work remains to ensure that Sikh communities, and all faith communities, enjoy full religious liberty, free from fear of violence and harm.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Journalist Sues FCC For Hiding Details About Its Alleged, Phantom DDOS Attack

      The problem: security experts saw no evidence that claim was true in publicly available logs, and saw none of the usual indicators preceding such an attack. And the FCC ever since has been bizarrely cagey, refusing to provide any evidence whatsoever supporting its claim. The FCC was subsequently prodded by several Senators as to the nature of the attack, but the FCC still refused to share any real data, despite agency boss Ajit Pai repeatedly, breathlessly insisting he would be a stalwart defender of transparency at the agency.

      And when Gizmodo recently filed a FOIA request for anything regarding the nature of the attack, the FCC first released seventeen pages of nonsense, before admitting it had no documented “analysis” proving an attack as previously claimed. When additional websites began to point out that the FCC’s behavior here was a little odd, the agency sent out a strangely-punchy press release lambasting news outlets for being “irresponsible.”

    • Ajit Pai’s anti-net neutrality plan gets the facts and law wrong, lawmakers say

      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to undo the rules “impermissibly ignores the Commission’s core mandate to fully consider the public interest before taking action,” violating the commission’s obligations under the Communications Act, the Democrats wrote in an FCC filing opposing Pai’s plan. The lawmakers also questioned Pai’s independence from President Donald Trump.

    • How Congress’ Attempt To Break CDA230 Could Kill Airbnb

      Earlier this week, we wrote about a dangerous bill to punch a giant hole in Section 230 of the CDA. We spent a lot of time in that post detailing how problematic the bill is and how it would actually be counterproductive to the stated goal of stopping human trafficking. But, beyond just being counterproductive to the stated goal, the bill would likely create fairly massive negative consequences for tons of internet companies. If anyone used any part of that company’s products and services for trafficking, it would open up companies not just to liability, but to costly legal action, even if they’re eventually vindicated.

      And I wanted to dig into one example: Airbnb. As we’ve discussed in the past, Airbnb relies heavily on CDA 230, because otherwise, any time anything went wrong with an Airbnb hosted place, Airbnb would face potentially crippling lawsuits. And I’m thinking about Airbnb specifically, because of a recent ruling that Eric Goldman pointed out, in which Airbnb’s largest competitor VRBO was saved by CDA 230. You can go over to Eric’s blog to read the details, but the really short version is that someone booked a “luxury resort” via VRBO for a ridiculous sum of money, and the rental units never happened. The victims targeted VRBO with the lawsuit, but the court has none of it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Def Leppard Claims Music Piracy Is Bringing Younger Audiences To Its Concerts

        The last time we checked in with 80′s rock band Def Leppard, the band was busy “forging” its own songs as a way to release its own back catalog without having its label cash in off of it. So bad was the relationship with Universal Music, apparently, that re-recording all of that music was the better option compared with having to deal with the label. So, one might wonder how the band views illicit music downloads then, amidst its anger at its label for not paying them properly.

      • Monkey selfie animal rights brouhaha devolves into a settlement

        It appears that another animal will have to take over the fight being waged by Naruto, an Indonesian macaque monkey who is the named plaintiff in a lawsuit weighing whether animals have a right to own property. In this instance, it’s about whether animals can own US copyrights.

        Naruto, via his self-appointed lawyers from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is in the process of dropping his lawsuit over the now infamous monkey selfies. That’s according to a Friday legal filing with the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is being asked to hold off on issuing a ruling that everybody believes is going to go against Naruto.

        About every conceivable joke has been made about this Planet of the Apes-styled litigation that we’ve been following for two years now. A lower court judge had already ruled against Naruto, stating that monkeys cannot own US copyrights even if they snapped the picture (which actually happened in this case).

      • Court Won’t Drop Case Against Alleged KickassTorrents Owner

        An Illinois federal court has denied a motion to dismiss the criminal case against alleged KickassTorrents owner Artem Vaulin. Among other things, the defense argued that torrent files themselves are not copyrighted content. The court decided, however, that the US Government’s case is strong enough, so it will move forward.

      • New administrative notice-and-takedown procedure in Greece

        Via Katfriend Yannos Paramythiotis (Paramythiotis & Partners) comes the news that Greece has recently adopted a new administrative procedure to tackle online copyright infringements.

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    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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