EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.06.18

Links 6/4/2018: New Fedora ISO, Next Ubuntu Reaches Final Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • ​Want to profit from your underused servers? Overclock has an idea

      Akash is a blockchain-powered, open, and decentralized compute marketplace, which enables you to monetize your business’s underused server capacity. With up to 85 percent of the world’s compute capacity sitting unused in data centers, there’s a lot of compute out there.

    • 5 Things to Know Before Adopting Microservice and Container Architectures

      We definitely consider ourselves early adopters of containers, and we started packaging services in them almost as soon as Docker released its first production-ready version in the summer of 2014. Many of the customers I talk with are just now beginning — or thinking about beginning — such journeys, and they want to know everything we know. They want to know how we make it work, and how we architected it. But part of the process, I like to stress, is that they need to know what we learned from where we struggled along the way.

    • Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry: Better Together

      Industry veterans have cast predictions far and wide on what to expect in 2018. And while we can’t ensure every prediction will come true, many would agree that the container industry will continue to grow as it maintains support for businesses looking to leverage new technologies and platforms. In fact, the application container market is projected to grow from $762 million in 2016 to $2.7 billion by 2020 according to 451 Research.

      With this explosive growth, it’s easy to understand why some individuals are seeing Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry as competitive projects. The reality? While there is some functional overlap between the two, they ultimately serve complementary purposes that work toward the same goal. By taking approaches that leverage both projects, organizations are actually making it easier to manage their entire cloud environment.

  • Kernel Space

    • F2FS File-System Gets A Lost & Found, Performance Enhancements

      The explicitly flash-focused F2FS file-system is the latest noteworthy pull request on its way to the mainline Linux 4.17 kernel.

      F2FS maintainer Jaegeuk Kim says most of this past round of development was focused on performance tuning and critical bug fixes for low-end devices. But there’s also some new features and we surely love any and all performance work.

    • Razer’s Blade Stealth Multi-Touch To Be Supported By Linux 4.17

      The HID subsystem updates have been submitted for the Linux 4.17 merge window and that set of driver updates includes a variety of new product support.

      Perhaps most significant is that the Razer Blade stealth laptop will now have working multi-touch support with Linux 4.17. Multi-touch should be squared away thanks to an independent contributor while we still wait to see how Razer’s Linux laptop play will eventually pan out.

      The HID updates for Linux 4.17 also include supporting the third-generation Wacom Intuos BT, a ~$100 USD pen tablet. Additionally there is support for the NSG-MR5U and NSG-MR7U Sony remote controls.

    • New Sound Drivers & UAC3 Ready To Play On Linux 4.17

      Longtime Linux sound system maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE has sent in his album of updates for the Linux 4.17 kernel.

      First and foremost with the Linux 4.17 sound updates is the USB Audio Class 3.0 support we previously wrote about on Phoronix. USB Audio Class 3.0 (UAC3) is a 2016 audio-over-USB specification promoted as “USB Audio over USB Type-C” and brought power management improvements, additional interrupt sources, new descriptors, and other changes while still maintaining backwards compatibility with UAC2. UAC3 is now supported by the mainline Linux kernel plus for the existing UAC2 support they now have working jack detection.

    • Some 4.16 and -stable development statistics

      The 4.16 development cycle is shaping up to be a relatively straightforward affair with little in the way of known problems and a probable release after nine weeks of work. In comparison to the wild ride that was 4.15, 4.16 looks positively calm. Even so, there is a lot that has happened this time around; read on for a look at who contributed to this release, with a brief digression into stable kernel updates.

      As of this writing, 1,774 developers have contributed 13,439 non-merge changesets during the 4.16 development cycle. That work grew the kernel by about 195,000 lines overall. By recent standards, 4.16 is a relatively calm cycle, and certainly calmer than the 14,866-changeset 4.15 cycle. Still, that is quite a bit of work to integrate in nine weeks.

    • Energy-aware scheduling on asymmetric systems

      Energy-aware scheduling — running a system’s workload in a way that minimizes the amount of energy consumed — has been a topic of active discussion and development for some time; LWN first covered the issue at the beginning of 2012. Many approaches have been tried during the intervening years, but little in the way of generalized energy-aware scheduling work has made it into the mainline. Recently, a new patch set was posted by Dietmar Eggemann that only tries to address one aspect of the problem; perhaps the problem domain has now been simplified enough that this support can finally be merged.

      In the end, the scheduler can most effectively reduce power consumption by keeping the system’s CPUs in the lowest possible power states for the longest time — with “sleeping” being the state preferred over all of the others. There is a tradeoff, though, in that users tend to lack appreciation for saved power if their systems are not responsive; any energy-aware scheduling solution must also be aware of throughput and latency concerns. A failure to balance all of these objectives across the wide range of machines that run Linux has been the bane of many patches over the years.

    • Read-only dynamic data

      Kernel developers go to some lengths to mark read-only data so that it can be protected by the system’s memory-management unit. Memory that cannot be changed cannot be altered by an attacker to corrupt the system. But the kernel’s mechanisms for managing read-only memory do not work for memory that must be initialized after the initial system bootstrap has completed. A patch set from Igor Stoppa seeks to change that situation by creating a new API just for late-initialized read-only data.

      The most straightforward way to create read-only data is, of course, the C const keyword. The compiler will annotate any data marked with const, and the linker will ensure that it is placed in memory that ends up being marked read-only. But const only works at build time. The post-init read-only data mechanism, adapted from the grsecurity patch set, takes things a step further by marking data that can be made read-only once the system’s initialization process has completed. Data structures that must be set up during boot, but which need not be modified thereafter, can be protected in this way.

      Once initialization is completed, though, the (easy) ability to create read-only data in the kernel goes away. At that point, any additional memory needed must be allocated dynamically, and such memory is, by its nature, dynamic. So, while a kernel subsystem may well allocate memory, fill it in, and never change it again, there is no mechanism in place to actually block further modifications to that memory.

    • Linux Kernel Developer: Steven Rostedt

      Linus Torvalds recently released version 4.16 of the Linux kernel. These releases typically occur every nine to ten weeks, and each one contains the work of more than 1,600 developers representing over 200 corporations, according to the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report, written by Jonathan Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman. In this series, we’re highlighting some of the developers who contribute to the kernel.

      Steven Rostedt, Open Source Programmer at VMware, maintains the Real Time Stable releases of the Linux kernel, among other things. Rostedt is one of the original developers of the PREEMPT_RT patch and began working on it in 2004 with the goal of turning Linux into a real-time designed operating system. He is also the main author, developer, and maintainer of Ftrace, a tool designed to help developers find what is going on inside the kernel. According to the Ftrace wiki, the tool can be used for debugging or analyzing latencies and performance issues that take place outside of user-space.

    • Linux 4.17 Gets PhoenixRC Flight Controller Support & PS/2 Mouse Improvements

      From several of the pull requests covered on Phoronix this week for the in-progress Linux 4.17 kernel, there are many areas seeing improved hardware/device support with this next kernel upgrade, including the input drivers.

      Last month I wrote about Phoenix RC Flight Controller support coming to Linux. That flight controller is modelled after radio controllers for model airplanes/helicopters/drones and designed for the Phoenix RC model aircraft/drone simulator on Windows, but thanks to a passionate independent developer, is now being supported on Linux. I was surprised by the interest indeed in this driver/controller support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • DXVK 0.41 Released, Slightly More CPU Efficient & Offers A Heads-Up Display

        DXVK 0.41 is now available as the library for Wine users to have Direct3D 11 implemented over Vulkan for generally allowing higher performance than Wine’s own D3D11-over-OpenGL layer.

        DXVK continues making great progress for getting D3D11 over Vulkan. DXVK 0.41 improvements include a slight reduction to the overall CPU overhead, better GPU saturation for deferred contexts, and a configurable HUD. There are also bug fixes to get better in spec with SPIR-V and fixes for the games World of Warships and Nier: Automata, among other fixes.

      • NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 8.1 Released, Now Supports Real-Time HEVC 4K @ 60 FPS

        NVIDIA has released a new version of their Video Codec SDK that serves as CUDA-based, cross-platform video encode and decode functionality that ultimately succeeds their VDPAU Linux video decode stack for GPU video coding needs.

      • Panfrost Project Getting “Half-Way Driver” To Gallium3D

        Alyssa Rosenzweig who has been leading the charge recently on the open-source Mali T700 GPU driver that was called “Chai” but has been renamed to “Panfrost” is now pursuing a “half-way driver” approach to testing their knowledge of the hardware’s command stream.

      • Work Is Underway To Upstream LLVM Clang’s CUDA Toolchain For AMDGPU/HIP

        A long available tool has been AMD’s ROCm HIP that allows converting CUDA code to portable C++ code that in turn can be executed on Radeon GPUs. There is now work on getting the upstream LLVM Clang compiler’s CUDA toolchain support to also support HIP.

        HIP’s hipify tool can convert CUDA code to HIP for execution on NVIDIA/AMD GPUs. HIP also consists of a portable C++ language for execution across GPU vendors. Those not familiar with HIP can learn more via its ROCm tool repository.

        What initially got me digging into the LLVM/Clang upstreaming work was seeing on Thursday: [CUDA] Add amdgpu sub archs. Clang’s CUDA code now not only listing NVIDIA GPU micro-architectures but also the Radeon GPU generations backed by the LLVM AMDGPU compiler back-end.

      • NVIDIA Xavier Support Being Brought Up With Linux 4.17, Other New ARM Boards Too

        There’s a lot of ARM work that has built up for the Linux 4.17 development cycle.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Subutai Blockchain Router v2.0, NixOS New Release, Slimbook Curve and More

      NixOS released version 18.03 “Impala” yesterday. Highlights include “core version changes: linux: 4.9 -> 4.14, glibc: 2.25 -> 2.26, gcc: 6 -> 7, systemd: 234 -> 237″; “desktop version changes: gnome: 3.24 -> 3.26, (KDE) plasma-desktop: 5.10 -> 5.12″; the Nix package manager now defaults to 2.0 and more.

    • NixOS 18.03 Switches To Linux 4.14, GCC 7 & Other Package Updates

      For fans of the NixOS Linux distribution that makes use of the Nix package manager, version 18.03 “Impala” is now available.

    • Arch Family

      • Bluestar Gives Arch Linux a Celestial Glow

        Using most any Arch Linux distro usually involves balancing the desire for hands-on control of the operating system from scratch against the attraction of convenient installation and maintenance processes. Bluestar Linux is one of the few Arch distros that gets the balancing act right.

        Bluestar Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution that features up-to-date packages, an impressive range of desktop and multimedia software in the default installation, and a live desktop DVD. The live session capability is one of Bluestar’s more enticing qualities.

        The live session feature lets you easily check out its operation on your own hardware before actually installing the OS to your hard drive. Even better, the installation uses the Calamares installer for a smooth, automated setup. Most other Arch installations require manual installations that involve a command line nightmare. Often that leaves hopeful users frustrated when critical components fail to work on their gear.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Open Brand Project—we asked for help, and we got it.

        The Open Brand Project is a collaborative effort to evolve our corporate logo and brand system. A cross-functional team of in-house designers collaborating with Pentagram, a well-known international design consultancy, are working together to simplify and modernize our logo.

      • Unified Container Monitoring and Security on OpenShift with Sysdig

        The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform helps developers easily and quickly develop, build, and deploy container-native applications in nearly any infrastructure, public or private. But as you move from development to a large scale production environment, monitoring and security take center stage.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • F27-20180404 updated Live isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated 27 Live ISOs, carrying the 4.15.14-300 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save about 929 MB of updates after install. (for new installs.)

        • Yum Command Line Options
        • DNF 3: better performance and a move to C++

          It has only been a few years since DNF replaced Yum as the default Fedora package-management tool; that was done for Fedora 22 in 2015, though DNF had been available for several earlier Fedora releases. Since that time, DNF development has proceeded; it started a move from Python/C to all C in 2016 and has made multiple releases over the years. From an outsider’s perspective, no major changes seem necessary, which makes the announcement of DNF 3, and a move to C++, a bit surprising to some.

          For many years, Yum was the package-management front-end for many RPM-based distributions, including Fedora and RHEL. But it suffered from poor performance and high memory use; part of that was attributed to its iterative dependency solver. DNF was meant to fix those problems. It uses the libsolv dependency resolution library developed by openSUSE, by way of the hawkey library.

          Though it wasn’t a perfect drop-in replacement for Yum, DNF did replace it. But, even though DNF performed better, often much better, than its predecessor, the project continued to focus on making it faster. Ultimately, that’s a large part of the reasons behind DNF 3.

        • Fedora 28 beta is ready for you to test

          Fedora 28 has just been released in its beta version. That means it isn’t likely to be completely free of bugs and that you have a chance to participate in ensuring that it’s ready to go public on May 1.

          This news won’t be particularly surprising to the more enthusiastic Fedora users. Fedora’s release cycle is a fairly regular after all. Every six months, more or less, a new Fedora release is published. Many Fedora users have come to expect to see them around May Day and Halloween each year. Yet, while not surprising, the news is still exciting because of a number of new and enhanced features.

        • Fedora To Decide What To Do About GNOME 3.28′s Auto-Suspend Default

          While Ubuntu developers have decided to no longer enable auto-suspend by default as set with the new GNOME 3.28 desktop when running on AC power, Fedora developers are still debating the issue.

          While there is certainly overlap between Fedora/RedHat developers and those working on GNOME, including those that sanctioned this upstream change during the GNOME 3.28 cycle, the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) has now been summoned to voice their opinion on the matter as well as the Fedora Workstation special interest group.

    • Debian Family

      • My Free Software Activities in March 2018
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E05 – High Five – Ubuntu Podcast
          • Google Cloud Poaches Ubuntu’s VP of Product

            After being at Canonical for a decade (aside from a brief stint at Gazzang), Dustin Kirkland who most recently served as the company’s VP of Product, is joining Google.

            Dustin Kirkland managed the product teams for Ubuntu server, cloud, desktop and IoT the past five years while he’s been an open-source developer since the late 90′s and continues to maintain many Ubuntu packages himself. Dustin is a highly-skilled developer and manager while now he will be focusing his efforts on the Google Cloud.

          • The Nextcloud Box: a review of building an IoT device with snaps

            In 2016, Canonical, Nextcloud and WDLabs introduced the Nextcloud Box, the first IoT style device running with snaps out of the box. Besides sales of nearly 2K boxes before Western Digital shut down their research division WDLabs late last year, the snap been extremely popular with some days hitting over 10,000 downloads. Its installed base is estimated to be over 8000, making it a popular way to run a private cloud. Read our guest blog by Nextcloud’s Jos Poortvliet on to learn more about Nextcloud, the Box and how snaps help thousands of Nextcloud users keep their data under their control.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Final Beta Released, Available for Download Now

            Canonical released today the beta development version (a.k.a. Final Beta) of its upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, along with the second beta for opt-in flavors.

            While many of the opt-in Ubuntu flavors participated in last month’s beta release, this is the first time Ubuntu 18.04 LTS gets a public beta build that users can actually download and install on their personal computers if they plan on becoming early adopters ahead of the official release later this month.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu Bionic Beaver Final Beta has been released!

              Lubuntu Bionic Beaver Final Beta (soon to be 18.04) has been released!

              Thanks to the hard work of the Lubuntu team, we are pleased to announce the final beta!

            • Xubuntu 18.04 Community Wallpaper Contest Winners!

              The Xubuntu team are happy to announce the results of the 18.04 community wallpaper contest!

              We want to send out a huge thanks to every contestant; last time we had 92 submissions but now you all made us work much harder in picking the best ones out with a total of 162 submissions!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who really owns an open project?

    Differences in organizational design don’t necessarily make some organizations better than others—just better suited to different purposes. Any style of organization must account for its models of ownership (the way tasks get delegated, assumed, executed) and responsibility (the way accountability for those tasks gets distributed and enforced). Conventional organizations and open organizations treat these issues differently, however, and those difference can be jarring for anyone hopping transitioning from one organizational model to another. But transitions are ripe for stumbling over—oops, I mean, learning from.

  • Nginx gets granular on managed microservices

    Open source at its heart and essentially a web server technology, Nginx (pronounced: engine X) is the company that would like to have its name capitalised in the media but can’t, because it’s not an acronym.

  • Slack competitor Spectrum released as open source group messaging platform

    Spectrum, a group communication platform that launched last year, has gone fully open source, according to an announcement from developer Max Stoiber. The software, which is hosted on GitHub, is licensed under a 3-clause BSD license.

    In contrast to other commercial projects in which open sourcing is a goodwill gesture prior to the end of active development—such as with the opening of webOS following the abrupt discontinuation of the HP TouchPad—Spectrum appears very much ready to react to tickets and pull requests on GitHub. Spectrum’s existing hosted option will continue to be offered even after the release of the code.

  • Netflix open source FlameScope CPU tool helps developers debug performance issues

    Netflix’s cloud performance engineering team has released FlameScope, a performance visualization utility that allows programmers and system administrators to analyze CPU activity by generating a subsecond-offset heat map in which arbitrary spans of time can be selected by the user for further analysis by selecting a portion of the heat map, for which a flame graph is generated for corresponding block of time.

  • Huawei Unveils Open Source DMM Project That Redesigns the Protocol Stack Container in Networking

    At the 2018 Open Networking Summit North America, Huawei introduced the new Dual Modes, Multi-Protocols, Multi-Instances (DMM) open source project—a protocol stack framework—which elevates different protocol stacks for networking application developers. DMM is a Fast Data Project and a part of the FD.io community, which is tailored for open source software and aims to provide high-performance networking solutions. Leveraging Huawei’s expertise in providing cost-effective network solutions to customers, DMM will make it possible to use diverse protocol stacks for different apps, as well as simplify the process of developing a new protocol stack. This new framework will provide the enterprise industry with a more open, pluralistic, and reliable networking solution.

  • Events

    • FOSSASIA experience

      I spend most of my time at the Debian booth. People swing by the booth and they talked about their experience with Debian. It was fun to meet them all. Prior to the conference I created a wiki page to coordinate Debian booth at exhibition which really helped.

      I met three Debian Developers – Chow Loong Jin (hyperair), Andrew Lee 李健秋 (ajqlee) and Héctor Orón Martínez (zumbi). Andrew Lee and zumbi also volunteered at Debian booth from time to time along with Balasankar ‘balu’ C (balasankarc). Hyperair was sitting at HackerspaceSG booth, just two booth across from us.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Facebook Container extension now includes Instagram and Facebook Messenger

        To help you control the amount of data Facebook can gather about you, we have updated the Facebook Container extension to include Instagram and Facebook Messenger. This way, users of these sites, can also benefit from the tracking protections of the Facebook Container.

      • What Makes a Great Extension?

        We’re in the middle of our Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge and we’ve been asking ourselves: What makes a great extension?

        Great extensions add functionality and fun to Firefox, but there’s more to it than that. They’re easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to find. If you’re building one, here are some simple steps to help it shine.

      • Results of the MDN “Internal Link Optimization” SEO experiment

        Our fourth and final SEO experiment for MDN, to optimize internal links within the open web documentation, is now finished. Optimizing internal links involves ensuring that each page (in particular, the ones we want to improve search engine results page (SERP) positions for, are easy to find.

      • Why Fluent Matters for Localization

        In case you don’t know what Fluent is, it’s a localization system designed and developed by Mozilla to overcome the limitations of the existing localization technologies. If you have been around Mozilla Localization for a while, and you’re wondering what happened to L20n, you can read this explanation about the relation between these two projects.

        With Firefox 58 we started moving Firefox Preferences to Fluent, and today we’re migrating the last pane (Firefox Account – Sync) in Firefox Nightly (61). The work is not done yet, there are still edge cases to migrate in the existing panes, and subdialogs, but we’re on track. If you’re interested in the details, you can read the full journey in two blog posts from Zibi (2017 and 2018), covering not only Fluent, but also the huge amount of work done on the Gecko platform to improve multilingual support.

      • Mozilla VR Blog: Progressive WebXR

        Imagine you wanted to have your store’s web page work in 2D, and also take advantage of the full range of AR and VR devices. WebXR will provide the foundation you need to create pages that work everywhere, and let you focus on compelling User Experiences on each of the devices.

        In a recent blog post, we touched on one aspect of progressive WebXR, showcasing a version of A-Painter that was adapted to handheld AR and immersive VR. In this post, we will dive a bit deeper into the idea of progressive WebXR apps that are accessible across a much wider range of XR-supported devices.

        The WebXR Device API expands on the WebVR API to include a broader range of mixed reality devices (i.e., AR/VR, immersive/handheld). By supporting all mixed reality devices in one API, the Immersive Web community hopes to make it easier for web apps to respond to the capabilities of a user’s chosen device, and present an appropriate UI for AR, VR, or traditional 2D displays.

      • uBlock Origin is Back-to-Back March Addonness Champion

        It’s been three weeks and we’ve almost run out of sports metaphors. We’re happy to announce that after three rounds and thousands of votes you have crowned uBlock Origin March Addonness champion for the second year in a row!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing/Legal

    • ​Symantec may violate Linux GPL in Norton Core Router

      For years, embedded device manufacturers have been illegally using Linux. Typically, they use Linux without publishing their device’s source code, which Linux’s GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) requires them to do. Well, guess what? Another vendor, this time Symantec, appears to be the guilty party.

      This was revealed when Google engineer and Linux security expert Matthew Garrett was diving into his new Norton Core Router. This is a high-end Wi-Fi router. Symantec claims it’s regularly updated with the latest security mechanisms. Garrett popped his box open to take a deeper look into Symantec’s magic security sauce.

      What he found appears to be a Linux distribution based on the QCA Software Development Kit (QSDK) project. This is a GPLv2-licensed, open-source platform built around the Linux-based OpenWrt Wi-Fi router operating system.

  • Programming/Development

    • How to create an impact map for teams

      Give impact mapping a try and let us know how it works for you. You can use any mind map software to create your first impact map, but you might prefer to start with pen and paper and sticky notes, or even a nice clean whiteboard.

    • Is Python a Good Choice for Entrerprise Projects?

      If you follow me for a long time, you know I’ve been doing Python for more than ten years now and even wrote two books about it. So while I’m obviously biased, and before writing a reply, I would also like to take a step back and reassure you, dear reader, that I’ve used plenty of other programming languages those last 20 years: Perl, C, PHP, Lua, Lisp, Java, etc. I’ve built tiny to big projects with some of them, and I consider that Lisp is the best programming language. 😅 Therefore, I like to think that I’m not overly partial.

Leftovers

  • UW Stationery in LaTeX

    Unfortunately, they only provide them in Microsoft Word DOCX format.

  • Trends Are Over: How Bots Made Social Stats Basically Useless

    The piece is written for journalists but it applies to users as well. Never assume things like follower counts, product ratings, retweets, likes, or shares mean much of anything, because these numbers are easily gamed. Focus on ideas and credibility, not arbitrary statistics, when determining whether something is legit.

  • Science

    • Falling Research Productivity

      The rate at which research productivity has fallen in semiconductors is significantly higher than in other areas of the economy (6.8% vs. 5.3%) [Page 46]:

    • Union of Concerned Scientists accuses USDA chief of ‘sidelining science’

      The report highlights the Agriculture Department’s (USDA) decision to roll back rules on school meals and to lobby in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency undoing a ban on a pesticide known to cause nerve damage in children.

    • Introduction: A New Quantum Revolution

      Peanut butter and chocolate. Rice and soy sauce. Milk and cookies. When two good things get together, they can create something even better.

      That’s the case with quantum information—the marriage of quantum physics and computing theory. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has contributed to much of its history and is helping to shape its future.

      “We have been there from the beginning,” says NIST physicist Carl Williams, who has directed much of the agency’s efforts in this field since the early 2000s. “We can now see quantum information moving from a purely scientific field to a technological one.”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Intel won’t be patching the Spectre V2 flaw in its older chips any time soon

      Intel might not be able to fix the second version of the Spectre flaw that affects more than 230 models of its processors, due to how difficult it is to remove the vulnerability.

      The microcode revisions to fix the Spectre Varian 2 flaw in chips from the Bloomfield Xeon, Clarksfield, Gulftown, and Yorkfield families of chips to name a few, are marked as stopped due to several reasons.

    • Matthew Garrett Elaborates More On Lockdown + Secure Boot Pairing

      A few days back we covered the heated exchange on the kernel mailing list over the path being pursued by the Linux kernel “lockdown” patches. Those back and forth messages between Google’s Matthew Garrett and Linus Torvalds have now spilled over into a blog post by Garrett.

      Linus Torvalds isn’t against the kernel lockdown patches, he just is against it being explicitly enabled with UEFI SecureBoot and can’t be easily turned off in that scenario. Matthew Garrett has written a blog post to lay out the case for UEFI SecureBoot with the lockdown functionality.

    • Public Hearing on IoT Risks

      The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC, Commission, or we) will conduct a public hearing to receive information from all interested parties about potential safety issues and hazards associated with internet-connected consumer products. The information received from the public hearing will be used to inform future Commission risk management work. The Commission also requests written comments.

    • Hacking your brain(scan): [Windows] security bugs in EEG software open hospitals to attack

      Today, Cisco’s Talos security research group revealed five security vulnerabilities in NeuroWorks, a Windows-based software that is used in multiple electroencephalogram systems sold by Nautus. The Windows-based Natus Xltek NeuroWorks 8 software uses hospitals’ Ethernet networks to connect to EEG devices and integrate with patient data systems, and it is vulnerable to attacks that could allow remote code execution—allowing an attacker to gain access to the data on the device and to other systems on the hospital network—and denial of service. The systems hosting the software could then be used to stage wider attacks on hospital networks.

    • Cyberattack Bleeds Into Utility Space With Billing Delays

      At least five U.S. pipeline companies have said their electronic communications systems were shut down over the past few days, with four confirming the service disruptions were caused by a cyberattack. Energy Transfer Partners LP, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s Eastern Shore Natural Gas and the TransCanada Corp.-operated Portland Natural Gas Transmission System were among the companies affected by data outages, while Oneok Inc. said it disabled its system as a precaution.

    • European flights delayed after computer borkage hits Eurocontrol

      The Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) appeared to be the culprit. By going squiffy, it makes it harder for air traffic controllers to compare the demand for airspace in different parts of its jurisdiction making it harder to take action to avoid an ‘air jam’.

    • Nitrokey Digital Tokens for Linux Kernel Developers

      The Linux Foundation IT team has been working to improve the code integrity of git repositories hosted at kernel.org by promoting the use of PGP-signed git tags and commits. Doing so allows anyone to easily verify that git repositories have not been altered or tampered with no matter from which worldwide mirror they may have been cloned. If the digital signature on your cloned repository matches the PGP key belonging to Linus Torvalds or any other maintainer, then you can be assured that what you have on your computer is the exact replica of the kernel code without any omissions or additions.

    • Nitrokey UG Announces Partnership with The Linux Foundation to Empower Kernel Developers with Nitrokey USB Keys
    • Vendor selection: What needs to be in a good policy [Ed: This article contains toxic FUD. Badmouths FOSS for #security because "buzzword", does not mention that proprietary software has back doors.]

      “Open-source code is widely used in application development, which is fine, but OSS libraries are often updated in response to security evens (e.g. Heartbleed), so knowing what open-source code is in a product is critical to being able to maintain it,” Horvath said.

    • Research Reveals That 21% of Open Source Serverless Applications Have Critical Vulnerabilities [Ed: Boosting a self-promotional press release that uses bizarre methods to categorise based on a buzzword]
    • Records breaches cost US$8bn, ransomware the main culprit

      The number of records breached dropped nearly 25% globally in 2017, but ransomware breaches still cost organisations US$8 billion, with human error responsible for two-thirds of compromised records.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Knobs and Knockers

      So given that the weapon itself is not firm evidence it was Russia that did it, what is Boris Johnson’s evidence? It turns out that the British government’s evidence is no more than the technique of smearing nerve agent on the door handle. All of the UK media have been briefed by “security sources” that the UK has a copy of a secret Russian assassin training manual detailing how to put nerve agent on door handles, and that given the nerve agent was found on the Skripals door handle, this is the clinching evidence which convinced NATO allies of Russia’s guilt.

    • What Did Israel Bomb in the Syrian Desert in 2007?

      In September 2007, in the dark of night, warplanes crossed the Syrian border and bombed a covert nuclear reactor. Recently, Israel took responsibility for the bombing mission that obliterated the Syrian reactor.

      The Israeli announcement was unnecessary if it was intended to be an admission of responsibility. The origin of the bombers had never been a mystery. As early as 2008, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh began a report on the bombing with the line “Sometime after midnight on September 6, 2007, at least four low-flying Israeli Air Force fighters crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a secret bombing mission.” Even the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report on the bombing said that the building had been “destroyed by Israel in September 2007.”

      That the nuclear reactor was bombed by Israeli planes is clear. That the building the Israeli planes bombed was a nuclear reactor is far less clear.

    • Coming Attraction: Lunatic Loose in West Wing

      As Uber-Hawk John Bolton prepares to take over as national security adviser on Monday, Ray McGovern looks back at when Bolton was one of the “crazies” in the George W. Bush administration.

    • Taking a Long Look Backward to Explain a Police Killing in Sacramento

      In Sacramento, California, on March 18, police bullets killed Stephon Cark, an unarmed black man. The police misbehaved, but the real culprit was racial hatred, evident already in the recent wave of police killings of mostly black men.

      Stephon Clark died as did black people who died at the hands of Klu Klux Klan raiders during the Reconstruction era,(1) as did thousands of blacks lynched over the course of decades, as did so many killed in dozens of massacres carried out by white people between the Civil War and the 1920s. (2)

      Activists and potential victims sought relief from the long terror campaign. On December 9, 1948 the UN General Assembly approved its “Convention on … the Crime of Genocide.” Responding, the left-leaning Civil Rights Congress in 1951 delivered a 240-page petition to the General Assembly. Its title was: “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government against the Negro People.”

    • Porton Down failure to ascribe novichok blame makes intelligence key factor in justifying claims against Russia

      Such overwhelming dependence on intelligence, most of it unknown to the public, has inevitably led to comparison with the fake intelligence which was used to justify the Iraq invasion

    • What will be the blowback for UK government after Libya revelations?

      The revelation that the British government likely had contacts with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martyrs Brigade during the 2011 war in Libya – groups for which the 2017 Manchester bomber and his father reportedly fought at that time – raises fundamental questions about the UK’s links to terrorism.

      Indeed, a strong case can be made for a devastating conclusion: that the UK is itself a de facto part of the terrorist infrastructure that poses a threat to the British public.

      Foreign minister Alistair Burt told Parliament on 3 April that: “During the Libyan conflict in 2011 the British government was in communication with a wide range of Libyans involved in the conflict against the Gaddafi regime forces. It is likely that this included former members of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and 17 February Martyrs Brigade, as part of our broad engagement during this time.” This is the first time the government has admitted to having contacts with these groups at that time.

    • Gaza Protesters Murdered by Israeli Forces

      The latest Israeli slaughter of Gazans falls into the category of shooting fish in a tank. Indeed, as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the longest occupation in modern history and demanded their historical Right to Return, last Friday, March 30, Israeli snipers raised their rifles repeatedly and, from behind a wide-buffer and an electrified fence, opened fire on the Palestinians.

    • Trump Backs Off Plan to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Syria as General Says “Hard Part” Is Still Ahead

      President Trump has backed off his plan to soon withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration would not put an “arbitrary timeline” on withdrawal. Earlier this week, Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, said, “The hard part, I think, is in front of us.” Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports U.S. forces have been spotted setting up front-line positions outside the strategic northern town of Manbij, where U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces are facing off against Turkish-backed Syrian fighters.

    • ‘The Doves Are Hawks and the Hawks Are Super-Hawks’

      “Everybody got it wrong“ is the dominant corporate media refrain on the war on Iraq. Officials had intelligence that no one could have suspected was flawed. Reporters were swayed by persuasive government evidence. And alas, it went awry.

      The clear-eyed remember that not everyone got it wrong. There were plenty of people who said the Iraq invasion, besides being illegal, besides being based on deceit, would be a human rights, political and ecological disaster. Those people just weren’t on television.

      Who was? An endless round robin of retired military and intelligence officials, with reporters fawning over them rather than challenging them. As Cokie Roberts, then of ABC News’ This Week, put it to David Letterman, “I am, I will just confess to you, a total sucker for the guys who stand up with all the ribbons on and stuff, and they say it’s true and I’m ready to believe it.” It’s hard to picture a TV journalist making such a statement today—or is it?

      We’re joined now in studio by Jeff Cohen; he’s associate professor of journalism and director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. He’s also co-founder of the group Roots Action, author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media, and the founder of FAIR. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Jeff Cohen.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador Wants Less Julian Assange and More Foreign Investors [Ed: Wall Street media having a go at Wikileaks]

      Before he launched a major economic reform on April 2, Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno cushioned it with a disclaimer: “Under no circumstances,” he said, would the plan “affect the poorest, neediest sectors” of the country. At least one needy sector is already upset, however. A few days earlier, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost his internet connection at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he’s been holed up since seeking refuge in 2012 against extradition to Sweden to face an investigation, subsequently dropped, for alleged sexual assault.

    • A Hard Transparency Choice: What is WikiLeaks? [Ed: Attacks on Wikileaks]
    • Silencing Assange an ‘Attack on Information’ – Danny Glover

      For more than a week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been barred from the online community after the Ecuadorian embassy in London cut off his internet access.

      According to the embassy, the decision to eliminate Assange’s internet privileges came about after the 46-year-old Australian violated an agreement that stated he would not interfere with Ecuador’s relationship with other countries.

      [...]

      “It’s part of the attack on information,” Glover told show hosts Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan. “It’s part of the attack on something that was revealed… something that revealed what is happening in life… we are so disengaged.”

    • What It Was Really Like Working For WikiLeaks

      Plenty of women are whistleblowers, and plenty more work for the organisations that aid them. So why do we rarely hear about these women? And who are they?

      In 2010, British journalist Sarah Harrison, then in her mid-20s, began working for WikiLeaks, the website created by Julian Assange to help expose large-scale injustices and cover-ups. It was the year that the site received and published some of its most explosive information to date; the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan War Diary and Cablegate were a collection of classified documents that were leaked out of the American military by Chelsea Manning, including a video showing the killing of civilians in a 2007 Baghdad airstrike. It was also the same year that Julian Assange was accused of sexual assault by two women in Sweden.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Adorable baby elephant GIGGLES with joy while playing game with its keeper

      This is the rare moment a beautiful baby elephant was filmed GIGGLING with joy during a game with a keeper.

      The six-month-old calf was being entertained by her park carer at Maevang Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand , at the time – and appears to be having the time of her life.

      As the keeper drags a basket along the ground in the footage, the elephant can be heard giggling before playfully running around the enclosure.

  • Finance

    • Debunking “But Bitcoin is like the early Internet!”

      The Internet, and the various protocols that made up the early Internet, solved its use cases. It was adaptable to all manner of exciting and unforeseen new use cases because it started from a foundation of basically working.

      Bitcoin has failed every aspiration that Satoshi Nakamoto had for it. As I note in chapter 2 of the book, Satoshi said in his release notes for Bitcoin 0.1:

    • Elsevier reports 40% gender pay gap

      Elsevier has reported a median pay gap of 40.4%, more than twice the UK average of 18.4% and the highest yet reported by a publisher. The company’s mean pay gap stands at 29.1%, also well over the UK average of 17.4%.

      Bonuses are awarded to a higher percentage of men (56.5%) than women (45.7%), and the bonuses are higher for men, with a median bonus pay gap of 47.5% and a mean of 30%.

    • Brexit Doesn’t Have to Mean Deleting Domains

      The European Commission dropped a surprise announcement last week that following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (“Brexit”), British domain owners may no longer be entitled to keep their “.eu” domain names. Not only will it no longer be possible for United Kingdom residents or organizations to register or renew these domain names, but the remaining period for which existing domain names have been registered could also be cut short as soon as Brexit occurs—which is currently scheduled for March 30, 2019. Unless a transitional arrangement is negotiated in the meantime, this could mean the loss of the content associated with over 300,000 domain names.

      The availability of a special domain name may seem like a relatively minor inconvenience compared to some of the other likely outcomes of Brexit for the United Kingdom, including effects on the cost of good and services, incomes, and migration levels. But unlike most of those changes (and as significant as those are), the deletion of .eu domain names would carelessly impact the expressive content of thousands of domain owners, along with the ability for unknown millions of users to use the websites and other services hosted at those domains.

    • David Miliband urges Labour to back new Brexit referendum in latest intervention in UK politics

      David Miliband has urged Labour to back calls for a new referendum on Brexit in the latest in a series of prominent interventions in domestic politics.

      Labour’s former foreign secretary said the only way to “avert the damage of Brexit” was to give the public another say on the final deal, setting himself at odds with his party’s official stance on leaving the European Union.

      He joins former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable in calling for another vote on Brexit – something both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have ruled out.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Woman fired after flipping off Trump’s motorcade sues former employer

      A crowdfunding campaign for Briskman created after she lost her job raised more than $30,000 in its first three days.

    • Cyclist who lost job after giving Trump the middle finger sues former employer

      The Herndon-based company then forced her to resign, claiming that her posting of a photo of the incident on her Facebook page (which did not mention her association with Akima) violated the company’s social media policy.

      [...]

      Akima did not respond to phone calls or emails requesting comment.

    • The woman who got fired for flipping off President Trump just sued her former employer

      It’s called “autocratic capture” he said. And it happens in countries like Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Hungary, and Thailand, where the private sector helps silence dissent because it’s good for business, Kistler said.

      “There’s no reason to believe that it cannot happen here as well,” he said, “and we should be particularly worried about autocratic capture in Virginia, where so many businesses rely on government contracts.”

    • Virginia woman fired for flipping off President Trump’s motorcade is suing her former employer

      “It is un-American to let the government use your own tax dollars to buy your off-duty obedience,” she said.

    • Carles Puigdemont released on bail by German court

      A court in northern Germany decided Thursday to release ousted Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont from detention on bail of €75,000.

      The court will still evaluate Spain’s extradition request for Puigdemont, but not based on Spain’s charge of rebellion. The court found this charge to be “inadmissible” because such an offense in Germany would have to include “violence,” which the court said “is not the case here.”

      Thus, the remaining charge of misuse of public funds will be considered in the extradition decision.

    • How to build a progressive movement in a divided country

      Whether it’s assault rifles, racial justice, immigration or fossil fuels, the US is rocked by conflicting narratives and rising passions. In a recent national poll, 70 percent of Americans say the political divide is at least as big as during the Vietnam War.

      In December, I completed a year-and-a-half book tour in over 80 towns and cities in United States. From Arizona to Alaska to North Dakota to Georgia, I heard a worry in common from people active in struggles for justice. They talk about the political polarization they see around them.

      Many assume that polarization is a barrier to making change. They observe more shouting and less listening, more drama and less reflection, and an escalation at the extremes. They note that mass media journalists have less time to cover the range of activist initiatives, which are therefore drowned out by the shouting. From coast to coast activists asked me: Does this condition leave us stuck?

      My answer included both good news and bad news. Most people wanted the latter first.

    • CounterSpin interview with Karen Hobert Flynn on Census and citizenship

      So people are alarmed when they see—for the first time since 1950—that this administration wants to put a citizenship question in the census, without any kind of testing.

    • EPA chief accused of dumping agent who refused to misuse sirens in traffic: Report

      Embattled Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has a new public relations mess on his hands regarding the possible misuse of emergency sirens in heavy traffic.
      President Trump can add the reassignment of EPA Special Agent Eric Weese to a growing list of stories that threaten to derail messaging for his environmental agenda. Mr. Pruitt is accused of replacing the 16-year veteran — previously the lead agent in charge of his security detail — after he rebuffed efforts to abuse the use of emergency sirens.
      CBS confirmed its story with multiple sources on Thursday after viewing a letter by Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Tom Carper of Delaware.

    • Members of Congress Set to Question Mark Zuckerberg Have Received Money From Facebook PAC

      Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is scheduled to testify before Congress on April 10 and April 11 about the social network’s role in up to 87 million people’s compromised information during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to NPR. A potential conflict: Members of congressional committees who will question Zuckerberg have been recipients of massive campaign contributions from Facebook’s Political Action Committee (funded by Facebook employees) and individual Facebook employees, according to findings by the Campaign for Responsive Politics, as reported by USA Today.

    • Facebook a big contributor to the committees in Congress that will question Mark Zuckerberg

      On the House committee, Republicans got roughly twice as much as Democrats, counter to the broader trend in Facebook campaign gifts. Of the $7 million in contributions to all federal candidates tied to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network, Democrats got 65% to Republicans’ 33%.

    • The Question Only Mark Zuckerberg Can Answer Before Congress

      That may be. But if Facebook wants to truly explain why all this has happened—why terrorists have been radicalized on Facebook, why fake news has proliferated, why foreign actors can buy political ads, and why data gets passed around with minimal oversight—Zuckerberg is the only person qualified to provide the real answer: This is how Facebook was designed to work.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How YouTube creators get paid for ads and why some have been angry

      If you were an established YouTube star with millions of followers, the policy didn’t change things. But smaller channels on the edges of YouTube’s thresholds were shut out, as this Guardian piece from January details.

      Although YouTube acknowledged in January a significant number of channels would be affected by the change, it said 99% of affected channels were making less than $100 per year in the last year.

    • Finland’s ISPs Begin Censoring Websites on Government Blacklist

      To this end, the NBI has curated a list of 1,600 websites that allegedly contain child pornography. Unfortunately, allegedly is the operative word, as such blacklists are notorious for their inaccuracy.

      To wit, analysis of a previous version of the NBI’s blacklist found that fewer than one percent of the flagged sites contained material classifiable as child pornography, and fewer than four percent even contained links to illicit sites.

    • Russia Says Facebook Removing A Russian Agency’s Pages Is ‘Censorship’

      The Russian government called Facebook’s removal of accounts, pages and ads from the Internet Research Agency “censorship.”

      Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news outlets Thursday the move is hostile toward Russian mass media and that the government finds it regretful.

      Facebook announced Tuesday it removed 138 Facebook pages and 70 accounts linked to the IRA — the organization that meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Facebook also removed 65 Instagram accounts.

    • Kremlin blasts blocking of Russian media in social networks as censorship

      Earlier, Google News service terminated the transmission of FAN content starting from October 26, 2017 without giving any reasons. The Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor asked the company for explanations, adding that the FAN was an officially registered Russia mass media. The suspension was canceled in the evening of November 4, 2017.

    • Kremlin Cries ‘Censorship’ Over Facebook’s Purge of Russian ‘Troll Factory’
    • Media Warn of ‘Russian Bots’—Despite Primary Source’s Disavowal

      One could forgive the average reader for thinking reporters covering bots had been replaced by bots. The formula is something we’ve seen a million times now: After a controversial story breaks, media outlets insist that “Russian bots” used the controversy to “sow discord” or “exploit tensions”; a “Russian bot dashboard” is offered as proof. (These “dashboards” let one see what Russian bots—automated online persona controlled by the Kremlin—are allegedly “pushing” on social media.)

      The substance of the concern or discord is underreported or ignored altogether. Online conflict is neatly dismissed as a Kremlin psyop, the narrative of Russia interference in every aspect of our lives is reinforced, and one is reminded to be “aware” of Russian trolls online.

      [...]

      Another benefit of the “Russian bots agitate the American public” stories is they prevent us from asking hard questions about our society. After a flurry of African-American Twitter users alleged a racist double standard in the coverage of the Austin bombings in March (which killed two people, both of them black), how did NPR address these concerns? Did it investigate their underlying merit? Did it do media analysis to see if there was, in fact, a dearth of coverage due to the victims’ race?

      [...]

      Nothing to see here! There’s a problem in our society—systemic racism in American media—and rather than an examination of whether it’s affecting coverage here, what the listener gets is yet another boilerplate story about “Russian bots,” the degree, scope and impact of which is wholly unknown, and likely inconsequential. Hesitant to cite Hamilton 68 by name (perhaps because its co-founder mocked this very kind of story a few weeks prior), NPR reporter Ewing simply cites “dashboards and online tools” as his source.

      Which ones? It doesn’t really matter, because “Russian bots support X” reports are a conditioning exercise more than a story. The fact that this paint-by-numbers formula is still being applied weeks after the primary source’s co-founder declared himself “not convinced on this bot thing” and called the story “overdone” demonstrates this. The goal is not to convey information or give the reader tools to better understand the world, it’s to give the impression all unrest is artificially contrived by a foreign entity, and that the status quo would otherwise be rainbows and sunshine. And to remind us that the Enemy lurks everywhere, and that no one online without a blue checkmark can be trusted.

    • Facebook deletes hundreds of Russian ‘[astroturfer] factory’ pages
    • Kremlin Calls Facebook’s Removal Of Russian Pages And Ads Censorship

      The Kremlin is crying foul on Facebook, accusing the social media giant of censorship after it took down more than 200 pages and accounts that were run by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency — the “troll factory” that is under indictment for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

    • Kremlin Calls Facebook’s Removal Of Russian Pages And Ads Censorship
    • Kremlin calls Facebook’s removal of Russian media accounts censorship
    • Kremlin Calls Facebook’s Removal of Troll Farm ‘Censorship’
    • Mind Manipulation? No, Censorship By Copyright Is The REAL Threat To Elections
    • More Governments Granting Themselves Extra Censorship Powers With ‘Fake News’ Laws

      Fake news is apparently everywhere. All over Europe, legislators and officials are trying to regulate content with “fake news” legislation and directives, as though the term could somehow be narrowly-defined enough that regulation could even have a positive effect. All these new laws and demands for cooperation from tech companies are sure to generate plenty of negative effects, not the least of which is these laws will become tools for censorship and a super-easy way to silence dissent.

      It’s not just a European thing. It’s happening in nations around the world. Countries already known for heavy-handed control of the internet are using “fake news” to seize even more control of news outlets and communications platforms. Countries generally viewed as more generous with their rights are lining themselves up for authoritarian mission creep by setting themselves up as the final arbiter of real/fake news.

    • LET TOMMY TWEET

      Britain’s broadsheet press has recently gone into meltdown over the easily debunked Cambridge Analytica conspiracy theory, in which shady data-miners are alleged to have manipulated the political views of the masses via Facebook. Yet a recent attempt to control political discussion by another social-media giant was met largely with a shrug. Yes, when it came to Twitter’s permanent ban on right-wing rabble-rouser and ex-English Defence League frontman Tommy Robinson, these worriers about the political power of Silicon Valley didn’t protest; if anything, they cheered.

    • Iranians under regime censorship perplexed by YouTube shooter’s gripes

      he Iranian-American woman who opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters this week appears to have lashed out after she felt the company had censored her often bizarre videos— a motive that many found perplexing in Iran, where YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are blocked.

      Nasim Aghdam, who posted videos under the online name Nasime Sabz, opened fire at YouTube on Tuesday, wounding three people before killing herself. Her father said she was angry at the video-sharing website because it had stopped paying for her videos, which promoted exercise, animal rights, and a vegan diet.

    • Behind the Fig Leaf—a Story of Sin, Censorship, and the Catholic Church

      Consider the fig leaf: a little piece of foliage that’s shielded the genitals of famous biblical figures and nude sculptures for centuries. It’s a plant that’s become synonymous with sin, sex, and censorship. And in large part, we have art history—and the artists determined to portray nudity even when it was considered taboo—to thank for that.

      Take Michelangelo’s famous sculpture David (1501–04), a muscular, starkly naked depiction of its namesake biblical hero. The work scandalized the artist’s fellow Florentines and the Catholic clergy when unveiled in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria in 1504. Soon after, the figure’s sculpted phallus was girdled with a garland of bronze fig leaves by authorities.

    • How Coded Language And Emojis Are Helping China’s Feminists Skirt Censorship

      Women in China are covertly resisting government crackdowns on discussions over their Me Too movement with a clever workaround.

      The phrase “rice bunny” (米兔), pronounced as “mi tu,” has popped up on social media networks after censors removed posts that mentioned sexual harassment or the hashtag #MeToo. While those phrases are heavily monitored, Rice Bunny isn’t.

      In addition to the rice and bunny emojis, social media users also use the phrase in popular hashtags #米兔不能忘# (“Rice Bunny Never Forget”) and #米兔在中国# (“Rice Bunny In China”). Social media users have used them in campaigns, forums and various accounts on platforms like Weibo and WeChat to discuss topics such as opportunity inequality, domestic violence and sexual harassment. The new phrase is harder for censors to follow, as “rice” and “bunny” are both common enough words that banning them from a platform would be too difficult.

    • Bible rewrite helps stoke censorship fears in China

      Catholic groups fear further censorship of religious books, including a state-sponsored re-working of the Bible, and materials both physically and on the internet after China’s government banned online Bible sales.

      They are concerned that Beijing will bring its heavy internet censorship squarely into the world of religious literature.

      Hong Kong academic Ying Fuk-tsang believes that President Xi Jinping’s “new era” will target online circulation of the Bible, religious books and other religious publications.

      “With the implementation of the revised regulations on religious affairs, the religious world on the internet will surely become a target in the next wave of rectification,” said Ying, director of the divinity school of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    • Donald Trump, social media and coming of digital censorship

      t is unclear when the madness will end. Just some days ago, the US government announced that it planned on asking all visitors applying for a visa to release their telephone numbers, email addresses and social media history.

      The move, yet to be confirmed, is not altogether surprising. It follows President Donald Trump’s campaign promise of more intense vetting of foreigners in the quest for better security. The latest proposal comes six months after the Trump administration first announced that applicants for immigrant visas would be asked for social media accounts.

      This means that some 14 million people who apply for a US visa each year will be subjected to the new rule. These are tourists, spouses, parents, professors and activists who will – above and beyond the disclosure of private details like salary, assets and bank account details – show their social media history before they are allowed to visit the US.

    • Making the world safe through censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook Scans Your Messenger Conversations and Sometimes Humans Read Them

      The Facebook news feed is public and Messenger is private…right? Not quite: Facebook routinely scans your Messenger conversations, and in some cases human employees may review them.

    • License Plate Reader Company Says Public Records Requests For ALPR Documents Are Just Clickbait

      It turns out the most oppressed demographic in this country is the one with power, guns, unions, extra rights, and plenty of civil immunity. Law enforcement agencies around the country currently besieged by public records requests are having their fears assuaged and brows unfurrowed by the nation’s largest provider of automatic license plate reader technology.

      Earlier this year, the EFF and public records clearinghouse MuckRock joined forces to file approximately 1,000 public records requests with agencies partnering with Vigilant. Apparently this influx of up to one additional records request per agency has pushed law enforcement to its limits. Vigilant Solutions has stepped up to let law enforcement officers know it has their back during this ongoing national nightmare.

    • Surveillance Valley – a review

      Most of us have heard that the Internet started as a research project initiated by the ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency under the US military conducting advanced research, especially focusing on counter-insurgency and future war scenarios. A common version of this story is that the Internet was originally intended to be a decentralized network, a network with no central hub necessary for its operation, where individual nodes might be taken out without disrupting the traffic, which would just reroute itself through other nodes. A TCP/IP network may indeed work like that, but the true origins of the Internet are far darker.

      In the 1940′s and 50′s, Norbert Wiener’s theory of cybernetics became very popular. Wiener was a mathematician who worked for the American military during WWII. The gist of cybernetics is that all systems maintain themselves through feedback between their elements. If one could understand the nature of the feedback that keeps them stable, one could predict their future behaviour. The beauty of this theory is that systems could consist of human beings and machines, and it did not in fact matter if a given element was one or the other; as the systems were supposed to stabilize naturally just like ecosystems, it should be possible to set down mathematical equations they’d need to fulfill to serve their role in the system.

    • DHS Says Rogue Stingrays Are In Use In Washington, DC; Also Says It Hasn’t Done Anything About It

      In 2014, security researchers discovered a number of cell tower spoofers in operation in the DC area. Some may have been linked to US government agencies, but there was a good chance some were operated by foreign entities. This discovery was published and a whole lot of nothing happened.

      Three years later, Senator Ron Wyden followed up on the issue. He sent a letter to the DHS asking if it was aware of these rogue Stingray-type devices and what is was doing about it. As was noted in the letter, the FCC had opened an inquiry into the matter, but nothing had ever come of it. As the agency tasked directly with defending the security of the homeland, Wyden wanted to know if anyone at the DHS was looking into the unidentified cell tower spoofers.

    • DHS Confirms Presence of Cell-site Simulators in U.S. Capital

      The Department of Homeland Security has finally confirmed what many security specialists have suspected for years: cell-phone tracking technology known as cell-site simulators (CSS) are being operated by potentially malicious actors in our nation’s capital.

      DHS doesn’t know who’s operating them or why, or whether these fake cell towers are installed elsewhere in the country. While EFF has its hunches, one thing is for certain: the federal government and cell-service providers have been sitting on their hands for far too long. Now is the time to fix the underlying problems with our worldwide cellular communications infrastructure.

      In November 2017, Sen. Ron Wyden sent DHS a letter [PDF] demanding information regarding the use of CSSs by foreign spies in Washington, D.C. In March, DHS finally responded that it had indeed observed “anomalous activity…. That appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers.” Although this information was reported to other federal agencies, DHS investigators did not validate or attribute the activity to anyone or any specific device.

    • Zuckerberg Is Still The Best Person To Run Facebook, According To Zuckerberg

      The Cambridge Analytica fire has tarnished Facebook’s reputation like nothing else. Its boss is being continually being asked to justify the actions of the company in the past and what’s coming in the future.

    • Homeland Security uncovers surveillance devices in Washington DC

      A senior DHS official, Christopher Krebs, said in the letter that the agency had “observed anomalous activity” that was “consistent” with IMSI catchers in Washington DC, but it wasn’t sure who was behind the spying. The DHS also noted it needed more funding to better detect these devices.

    • Recent improvements to Tor

      We may need Tor, “the onion router”, more than we ever imagined. Authoritarian states are blocking more and more web sites and snooping on their populations online—even routine tracking of our online activities can reveal information that can be used to undermine democracy. Thus, there was strong interest in the “State of the Onion” panel at the 2018 LibrePlanet conference, where four contributors to the Tor project presented a progress update covering the past few years.

      According to panelist Nathan Freitas of the Guardian project, many people are moving from virtual private networks (VPNs) to Tor. And in turn, the open research done by the Tor community is being used by VPN providers to improve their own security. Some background here may be useful: a lot has been heard over the past few years about VPNs. Worries about snooping have led businesses and individuals to install them, but they weren’t really designed for anonymous Internet use. Their goal is not to prevent attackers from knowing that person A communicated with person or site B—which is crucial connection information that anonymous Web users are trying to hide—but just to encrypt the communications themselves. VPNs are also designed to be integrated into organizations’ internal networks, more than for standalone use on the Internet.

    • Giving every Tor Hidden Service a IPv6 address
    • Facebook: It wasn’t 50M hit by Cambridge Analytica breach, but rather 87M

      While the calls themselves and SMS message contents were not captured, the time of messages and the time and length of phone calls was recorded by Facebook. Schroepfer said that Facebook will now delete all call and SMS logs older than one year.

    • Facebook Now Says Data Leak Affected 87 Million Users, Not 50 Million

      Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer has now confirmed that Cambridge Analytica had access to data on 87 million users — mostly from the United States.

      Previous reports had estimated this figure to be around 50 million people, whose data may have been shared with analytics firm. It’s not the first time when the social networking giant has had to publicly increase previous estimates of its blunders on the platform.

    • Facebook Admits: It Scans All Messages And Photos You Send On Messenger

      Earlier this week, in an interview with Vox, Mark Zuckerberg tried to answer some hard questions put in front of him. In the same process, he ended telling about the ethnic cleansing issue in Myanmar and how Facebook detected people’s sensational messages sent via Messenger.

      This sparked some obvious questions regarding Facebook’s Messenger-related data policies. Now we have answers as a result of Facebook’s statements given to Bloomberg.

    • Number of Facebook Users Snared by Cambridge Analytica Rises to 87 Million, Social Media Giant Reveals

      The company is reeling from news that a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm used ill-gotten data from millions of users to try to influence elections. Facebook says as many as 87 million people may have had their data accessed — an increase from the 50 million disclosed in published reports.

    • Facebook Says Data on Most of Its 2 Billion Users Is Vulnerable
    • Facebook Inc. said data on most of its 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly, giving fresh evidence of the ways the social-media giant failed to protect people’s privacy while generating billions of dollars in revenue from the information.

    • Facebook Exposed 87 Million Users to Cambridge Analytica

      In mid-March The New York Times, along with The Guardian and The Observer, reported that Cambridge Analytica and its British counterpart SCL had harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users through an app called thisisyourdigitallife, which offered personality quizzes. At the time, when Facebook users installed apps connected to the platform, they also exposed data from many of their friends to the app developer. When the news broke, Facebook confirmed only that 270,000 people had downloaded that app, but until now had never refuted reports that 50 million users’ data had been accessed.

    • Facebook now thinks 87 million had data shared with Cambridge Analytica

      Facebook said it now thinks up to 87 million people, mostly in the United States, may have had their data improperly shared by political targeting firm Cambridge Analytica.

      And many more — most users, in fact — probably had their public information scraped by outside companies, it says.

    • All 2 billion Facebook users’ data may have been scraped: CTO

      In a blog post, chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer wrote: “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way.”

    • Facebook’s Zuck isn’t keen on adopting GDPR-style privacy rules globally

      Adopting GDPR on a global scale would likely be a massive headache for Facebook as it would need to do some serious policy changes and potentially change how it currently stores data.

      Furthermore, data is Facebook’s moneymaker so if it suddenly gave its global audience of some 1.5 billion people the option to have the data it holds on them deleted, the social network could lose its largest source of revenue in one fell sweep.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Says He’s Still the Best Person to Run Facebook, Despite Its ‘Huge Mistake’ With the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal[Ed: PR/‘damage control’ strategy right now is to pretend it was an accident, an error, that it’s apologising and ‘sorry’. But those were not mistakes; that is Facebook's business model, it’s not an accident at all.]
    • Mark Zuckerberg wants to democratize Facebook — here’s what happened when he tried

      Zuckerberg has long talked about Facebook as a new kind of nation, and his comments have played into a larger debate over how to give users a stake in the platforms they populate. But it’s worth remembering that years ago, Facebook did try to become a democracy — and nobody showed up.

    • The Cambridge Analytica scandal hasn’t stopped Facebook’s quest to make Stories happen

      These tests include making the Facebook camera the default option when a user chooses to update their profile status; making Stories the default sharing destination any time a user uses the Facebook camera’s Snapchat-style augmented reality features; and floating a window of Facebook Stories with large preview tiles right at the top of News Feed.

    • Facebook refuses to promise GDPR-style privacy protection for US users

      Privacy advocacy groups have been urging Facebook and its Silicon Valley competitors such as Alphabet Inc’s Google to apply EU data laws worldwide, largely without success.

    • Facebook will release more data about election interference, but only after the election [iophk: "shut it down now"]

      Amid growing pressure to remove bad actors from Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that the company would likely release more information about problematic content posted to the service during elections. But to ensure the accuracy of the data, Zuckerberg said, the reports will likely come after the elections are over. The move could help government officials, academic researchers, and concerned citizens understand whether Facebook’s increased attention to abuse is working — but the timing could make it harder for grasp what’s happening when it arguably matters most.

    • Facebook: Public Data of Most Users Probably Has Been Scraped

      The scrapers were at it long enough, Zuckerberg said, that “at some point during the last several years, someone has probably accessed your public information in this way.”

    • 3 tests show Facebook is determined to make Stories the default

      Facebook isn’t backing down from Stories despite criticism that it copied Snapchat and that Instagram Stories is enough. Instead, it’s committed to figuring out how to adapt the slideshow format into the successor to the status update. That’s why today the company is launching three significant tests that make Facebook Stories a default way to share.

    • Whatever happened to investigative journalism?

      Many mind-numbing questions are still being asked about the details of Facebook data farming and the role of firms such as Cambridge Analytica. However, one big question raised by ‘Datagate’ is not being asked nearly enough: whatever happened to investigative journalism?

    • The Supreme Court fight over Microsoft’s foreign servers is over

      Both the government and Microsoft agree that the newly passed CLOUD Act renders the lawsuit meaningless. In US v. Microsoft, federal law enforcement clashed with Microsoft over the validity of a Stored Communications Act warrant for data stored on a server in Dublin. The CLOUD Act creates clear new procedures for procuring legal orders for data in these kinds of cross-border situations. In last week’s motion to vacate, DOJ disclosed that it had procured a new warrant under the CLOUD Act.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • [Older] ‘Let him go’: Wife of jailed blogger Raif Badawi begs Saudi prince to free him during UK trip

      Badawi was jailed in 2012 for writing about freedom of speech. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, of which he has so far endured 50 – which nearly killed him.

      [...]

      According to advertising experts, Saudi Arabia has spent upward of $1 million on a pro-Saudi advertising blitz across the UK capital – and it is hard to miss, complete with larger-than-life billboards on major arterial roads, advertising in newspapers and vehicle-mounted billboards as well as social media sundries. The campaign, designed to promote a prince “bringing change to Saudi Arabia” and “opening Saudi Arabia to the world,” does not seem to have worked. According to surveys, one in three Britons said they didn’t want the prince to come.

    • [Older] Los Angeles Press Club to honour jailed blogger Raif Badawi with Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism

      His wife, Ensaf Haidar, will receive the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism at a June 24 gala on his behalf. She now lives in Sherbrooke, with their three children.

    • Leading AI researchers threaten Korean university with boycott over its work on ‘killer robots’

      More than 50 leading AI and robotics researchers have said they will boycott South Korea’s KAIST university over the institute’s plans to help develop AI-powered weapons. The threat was announced ahead of a UN meeting set in Geneva next week to discuss international restrictions on so-called “killer robots.” It marks an escalation in tactics from the part of the scientific community actively fighting for stronger controls on AI-controlled weaponry.

    • Teenage MS-13 Gang Informant Heads Into Final Asylum Hearing

      Henry, who faces deportation to El Salvador, at an ICE detention center in Manhattan (Demetrius Freeman for ProPublica)

      Henry had finished his overnight shift in the jail cafeteria on Tuesday and was lying on his bunk listening to Spanish rap when he was called up to the administrative office. Immigration officials wanted to offer him a chance to be moved into protective custody. Henry had been waiting on this offer for the eight months he had been in jail, an informant locked up with the same gang members he informed on. But now, he was unsure whether to accept the extra protection.

      The call came in response to a story published Monday by ProPublica and New York Magazine. It detailed Henry’s recruitment into the gang MS-13 as a child in El Salvador, his journey to the U.S. to plead for asylum at 15, and his decision to become an informant at 17. For nearly a year, he helped police and the FBI arrest members of his gang clique on Long Island until immigration enforcement arrested him last August for gang ties, using the same information he gave police. Labeled a snitch, he faces deportation to a country overrun by the gang that has marked him for death. Today is his final immigration hearing.

    • We Took on Our School’s Sexist Dress Code, and We Won

      As youth activism rises across America, a high-school senior discusses her peers’ recent victory over sex discrimination.

      Student organizing is gaining momentum across America — the National School Walkout is proof that a change is happening among young people, and it’s happening fast.

      High school students are making a difference on issues, and in communities, of all different sizes. In fact, students in my school district achieved a huge victory just last week. By standing up against a sexist dress code across different high schools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, we showed how student activism anywhere can start off small and then achieve big changes.

      I am a member of the Women’s Empowerment Club at Indian Trail High School, which engages in activism to make our school a fairer and more equal learning environment. This year, we agreed on the need to take aim at our school district’s sexist dress code.

    • Google Should Not Help the U.S. Military Build Unaccountable AI Systems

      Thousands of Google staff have been speaking out against the company’s work for “Project Maven,” according to a New York Times report this week. The program is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to deploy machine learning for military purposes. There was a small amount of public reporting last month that Google had become a contractor for that project, but those stories had not captured how extensive Google’s involvement was, nor how controversial it has become within the company.

      Outcry from Google’s own staff is reportedly ongoing, and the letter signed by employees asks Google to commit publicly to not assisting with warfare technology. We are sure this is a difficult decision for Google’s leadership; we hope they weigh it carefully.

      This post outlines some of the questions that people inside and outside of the company should be mulling about whether it’s a good idea for companies with deep machine learning expertise to be assisting with military deployments of artificial intelligence (AI).

    • Recordings Capture Cops Discussing Department’s Most Rotten Apple

      Accountability begins at home. But nothing happens if no one’s willing to make the first step. Officers who witnessed another officer’s brutal act had plenty to say about it, but apparently not to anyone who mattered.

      Recordings obtained through records requests by NJ.com contain three hours of candid conversations between officers about the actions of Cataret, New Jersey police officer Joseph Reiman. Reiman is a military veteran and the mayor’s youngest brother. Officer Joseph Reiman is also responsible for 20% of the department’s force deployment.

    • Cops say fellow officer crossed line in bloody arrest. Here are the candid conversations.

      One officer described a chaotic scene when he arrived at an arrest last year to find a bruised 16-year-old cuffed and face down in a bed of rocks with “blood all over the f—–g place.”

      A second described his appalled reaction on seeing the injured teen at Carteret police headquarters. Another said the incident was “indefensible.”

    • Ethiopia Backslides: the Continuing Harassment of Eskinder Nega

      On March 25, bloggers, journalists and activists gathered at a private party in Addis Ababa—the capital of Ethiopia—to celebrate the new freedom of their colleagues. Imprisoned Ethiopian writers and reporters had been released in February under a broad amnesty: some attended the private event, including Eskinder Nega, a blogger and publisher whose detention EFF has been tracking in our Offline series.

      But the celebration was interrupted, with the event raided by the authorities. Eskinder, together with Zone 9 bloggers Mahlet Fantahun and Fekadu Mehatemework, online writers Zelalem Workagegnhu and Befiqadu Hailu, and six others were seized and detained without charge.

      The eleven have now finally been released, after 12 days of custody. It remains a disturbing example of just how far Ethiopian police are willing to go to intimidate critical voices even in a time of supposed tolerance.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • More Colorado Towns Vote Down A Comcast State Law Hamstringing Broadband Competition

      For years we’ve discussed how incumbent ISPs like Comcast have spent millions of dollars quite literally writing and buying shitty, protectionist laws in more than twenty states. These laws either ban or heavily hamstring towns and cities from building their own broadband networks, or in some cases from even engaging in public/private partnerships. It’s a scenario where ISPs get to have their cake and eat it too: they get to refuse to upgrade their networks in under-served areas (particularly true among telcos offering DSL), but also get to write shitty laws preventing these under-served towns from doing anything about it.

      ISPs and beholden lawmakers shoveled these bills through state legislature without much challenge. But as deployments like Google Fiber began highlighting how these laws actually harm efforts to improve competition (especially restrictions on public/private partnerships, essential in lower ROI areas), passing such legislation has become more challenging. In some states, that has forced companies like AT&T to try and hide competition-killing provisions in unrelated traffic or other bills.

      This dance of dysfunction has been particularly interesting in Colorado, however. While lobbyists for Comcast and CenturyLink managed to convince state leaders to pass such a law (SB 152) in 2005, the legislation contains a provision that lets individual Colorado towns and cities ignore the measure with a simple referendum. With frustration mounting over sub-standard broadband and awful customer service, more than 86 cities and towns and more than 30 counties have already overturned the law as it applies to their localities.

    • FCC Commissioner Says Her Agency Is Now Just A Giant Rubber Stamp For Sinclair Broadcasting

      If you’ve been napping, the Ajit Pai run FCC has been busy gutting decades-old media consolidation rules just to grease the skids for Sinclair’s planned $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune. The deal, if completed, would give Sinclair ownership of 230 broadcast stations, reaching 72% of the public with what’s generally considered facts-optional “news” on a good day. Consumer advocates and media watchdogs have been warning about the negative impact such media consolidation has on competition and local reporting for decades, largely to yawns and eye rubs from many in the tech sector.

      The importance of limits on media consolidation have seen renewed attention as the United States tries to get a hold of its previously-ignored disinformation problem(s). Last week Deadspin published a video highlighting how Sinclair forces its reporters to parrot factually-dubious commentary in a relatively creepy fashion, much of it blasting any critical reporting on the Trump administration as “fake news”:

    • ESPN To Combat Cord-Cutting By Putting Once Kinda Free Content Behind A New Paywall

      ESPN3 comes along with many cable television packages that include ESPN’s TV channels. The content for ESPN3 has always been the sort that isn’t popular enough to air on the channels, but which might interest some customers. College games and niche sports make up the bulk of the lineup. But now ESPN will remove some of that content and put it behind a $5/month paywall, asking customers used to getting this content free, bundled with their cable subscription, to instead pay another $60 per year for it. Same content, more money, all while further reducing the value of an ESPN cable subscription, where ESPN still makes most of its money.

  • DRM

    • To do in LA, April 24: come hear EFF and friends on the Right to Repair, freedom to tinker and the right to know

      A law intended to stop people from making off-brand DVD players now means that security researchers can’t warn you about dangers from the cameras in your bedroom; that mechanics can’t fix your car; and that your printer won’t take third party ink.

      It’s been 20 years since Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Section 1201 of that long, gnarly hairball of a law bans “circumvention” of any kind of copyright lock. Originally that meant you couldn’t tweak your DVD player to play out-of-region discs, nor descramble the cable channels you haven’t paid for.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Appeals Court Rules That GTA5 Didn’t Infringe On Lindsay Lohan’s Likeness Rights

        While there are absolutely far too many Techdirt posts featuring celebrity(?) Lindsay Lohan in these pages, most of them deal with one specific issue: her lawsuits against Take Two Interactive. At issue was a character Lohan insisted infringed on her likeness rights because the character is a drunk driver, public-fornicator, and has a backstory as a child actress. If Lindsay wants to insist that her own history lines up with that sort of backstory, I guess I won’t argue with her, but the character has many other aspects that clearly have nothing to do with Lohan. Instead, the character is a parody of the sort the GTA series is famous for, with the target in this case being young celebrity stars and starlets. Coming along for the ride was Karen Gravano, who participated in a reality show about the wives of reported mobsters. Gravano sued over another character in the series with her filings essentially mirroring Lohan’s. Take Two won both lawsuits, both on First Amendment grounds and due to the court finding that the characters were composite parodies, not representations of either Lohan or Gravano. Both plaintiffs appealed.

    • Copyrights

      • Filters are for coffee and water, not copyright.

        It would be the largest internet filter Europe has ever seen – reading every single piece of text uploaded to the internet, and watching every video. An algorithm will decide whether what you want to post will be seen or not.

        In practice, the vague wording of the draft Directive would make a huge number of online platforms uncertain about whether or not they are breaking the law. This means that many platforms are likely to err on the side of aggressive filtering rather than getting embroiled in long and extremely expensive legal battles.

        Not all user-generated content sites are Google/Youtube. Many fringe culture sites, like LGBTQ+ dating apps are smaller operations that would sooner limit their users’ activities rather than risk being taken to court. Wouldn’t this homogenise the rich cultural landscape that we benefit from in the EU? Surely, in this age of fierce fighting for gender equality, we shouldn’t be allowing new laws that unfairly restrict the activities of minority groups.

      • Sony Stands to Reap Almost $1 Billion Gain From Spotify Stake

        The sum reflects proceeds from the sale of Spotify stock Tuesday, when the streaming service went public, as well as the higher value of Sony’s remaining stake in the company following the listing, according to a regulatory filing. Sony sold 17 percent of its holdings.

      • Police Assisted By MPAA Shut Down Pirate TV Box Sellers

        Police in Florida have announced the arrest of a couple said to be involved in a ‘pirate’ TV box operation. The pair sold Android boxes utilizing third-party Kodi addons while promising customers “Free TV For Life”. The operation was backed up by brazen and in some cases bizarre online advertising campaigns, yet zero effort was spent trying to conceal identities.

      • ISP Books Partial Victory Against RIAA in Piracy Lawsuit

        The piracy liability case between the RIAA and Internet provider Grande Communications continues, but only based on the contributory infringement claim. Texas District Court Judge Lee Yeakel fully adopts the earlier recommendation from the Magistrate Judge, despite objections from both the RIAA and Grande.

      • PrimeWire Becomes Unusable After Malicious Ad ‘Takeover’

        Popular pirate streaming link site Primewire has become unusable. Instead of directing visitors to copies of the latest TV-shows and movies, the site points them to malicious advertisements. Whether this is intentional or the result of a hostile takeover is unknown.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  2. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  3. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  4. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  5. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  6. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  7. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  8. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  9. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  10. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  11. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  12. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions



  13. 'Transaction' Complete: Former EPO Executive From Belgium Takes the Seat of António Campinos at EU-IPO

    Rumours that Belgium made a back room deal with Battistelli may be further substantiated with the just-confirmed appointment of Archambeau



  14. EPO Abuses Against People With Disabilities Followed by Legal Bullying?

    The new President of the EPO is not (at least not yet) obeying court rulings from ILO; The above move seems like an attempt to derail ongoing cases at the ILO’s Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT), i.e. yet more strong-arming



  15. Weeks Later António Campinos Still in Noncompliance With the Courts (ILO's Tribunal)

    'report card' for the ever-so-intransparent (or nontransparent) new President of the EPO, who does not even bother obeying court rulings



  16. Links 13/7/2018: Kube 0.7.0, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Reviewed

    Links for the day



  17. Constitutionality and CJEU as Barriers, the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is Already Moot in the United Kingdom

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't going anywhere and the UK merely "explores" what to do about it; for Team UPC, however, this means that the UK "confirms intention to remain in Unitary Patent system after Brexit" (clearly a case of deliberate misinformation)



  18. It's Not About EPO 'Backlog' But About Faking 'Production' by Lowering Standards

    Remarks on the EPO dropping all pretenses of genuine care for patent quality; it's all about speed now, never mind if wrongly-granted patents can cause billions in damages across Europe (a lot of that money flows towards patent law firms)



  19. Links 12/7/2018: GTK+ 4.0 Plans, OpenBSD Gains Wi-Fi “Auto-Join”

    Links for the day



  20. The Anti-35 U.S.C. § 101 Lobby Pushes Old News Into the Headlines in an Effort to Resurrect/Protect Software Patents

    The software patenting proponents (law firms for the most part) are still doing anything they can -- stretching even months into the past -- in an effort to modify the law in defiance of Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rulings



  21. Thomas Massie and Marcy Kaptur Are Promoting the Interests of Patent Trolls and Patent Lawyers While Calling That “Innovation”

    Remarks on the ongoing effort to promote patent trolls’ interests under the guise of “helping small businesses” — a very misleading propaganda pattern that we have been finding in Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying at the EPO



  22. Links 12/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4 RC, Curl 7.61.0

    Links for the day



  23. Texas: When Trade Secret 'Damages' Are Almost 1,000 Times Higher Than Patent 'Damages'

    It's possible to deal with conflicts and disputes using means other than patents; a new trade secret misappropriation case and a new study from Ofer Eldar (Duke Law) and Neel Sukhatme (Georgetown Law) bring examples from Texas



  24. Cellspin Soft Will Likely Need to Pay the Accused Party's Lawyers Too After Frivolous Litigation With Patents Eliminated Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Pursuing bogus (questionable) patents and going even further by asserting them in court can be worse than a waste of time and money; it can actually cause the target of assertion to be compensated (legal fees) at the plaintiff’s expense — a critical fact largely ignored by the patent ‘industry’



  25. The Lack of Genuine, Honest Discussion About Patent Quality Means That Under António Campinos Software Patents Will Continue to be Granted, Campinos Strives to Make Them 'Unitary'

    The agenda of the litigation 'industry' is still being served by the existing EPO administration; this is a problem because not only do they grant patents on just about anything but they also attempt to broaden litigation jurisdiction



  26. Links 11/7/2018: Xen 4.11, Ubuntu Infographics, Lockbox and Notes

    Links for the day



  27. Links 10/7/2018: Wine 3.12, FreeNAS 11.2 Beta, GNU Helps Journalism

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Trolls Rally/Advertise Thomas Massie's Bill to Abolish PTAB and Promote Software Patents in the US

    Vocal patent maximalists (or think tanks of the litigation 'industry') want us to think that the US is too restrictive when it comes to patents (the opposite is true) and tries to change the law so as to plague/saturate the system with patent lawsuits they stand to gain from at the expense of practicing companies



  29. The Demise of East Texan Courts and the Ascent of PTAB, Alice and a SCOTUS-Compliant CAFC May Mean That US Software Patents Are Officially 'Dead'

    Companies come to grips with the need to divest and distance themselves from abstract patents; such patents are simply not tolerated by courts anymore (even if patent offices continue granting many such patents for the sake of profit)



  30. Signs of Upcoming Changes at EPO: Raimund Lutz, Željko Topić and Other 'Team Battistelli' Folks Are Being Replaced

    Vice-Presidents of DG1, DG4 and DG5 are being replaced just over a week after the Campinos tenure began (decisions actually made last week); Might this suggest the imminent implosion of so-called 'Team Battistelli'?


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts