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04.07.18

Links 8/4/2018: KDE Applications 18.04 Release Candidate, Features Approval For Fedora 29

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Slimbook Curve: Enjoy Using Linux On This 24″ Curved Screen All-In-One Powerhouse

      Slimbook has added another machine to their PC lineup which lets people experience Linux on quality machines. Their latest offering is an All-In-One desktop computer called Slimbook Curve.

      As the name suggests, it lets you use your favorite Linux distro on a 24-inch FHD curved screen display that is enclosed in a beautiful aluminum body. Slimbook Curve comes with all the features and enough power a regular user would want from their PC.

  • Kernel Space

    • Submitting my first patch to the Linux kernel

      I started using Linux three years ago while attending university, and I was fascinated to discover a different desktop environment. My professor introduced me to the Ubuntu operating system, and I decided to dual-boot it along with Windows on my laptop the same day.

      Within three months, I had completely abandoned Windows and shifted to Fedora after hearing about the RPM Package Manager. I also tried running Debian for stability, but in early 2017 I realized Arch Linux suits all my needs for cutting-edge packages. Now I use it along with the KDE desktop and can customize it according to my needs.

    • PCI, Crypto & Other Updates Head Into Linux 4.17

      We are at the end of the first (and busiest) week of the two-week long Linux 4.17 kernel merge window. There have been many articles on Phoronix about the big highlights of this next kernel version while here are some of the smaller change-sets that came about this week.

    • Thunderbolt Updates Head Into Linux 4.17, Adds USB/SL4 Security Level

      Greg Kroah-Hartman’s char/misc pull this week included a fair amount of Thunderbolt support improvements for the forthcoming Linux 4.17 kernel.

      Thunderbolt changes queued for Linux 4.17 include support for the new Intel Titan Ridge controller, support for a USB-only SL4 security level, prevent crashes when the ICM firmware is not active, support for a pre-boot ACL, handling for rejected Thunderbolt devices, and other error handling improvements and Thunderbolt related fixes.

    • POWER Updates For Linux 4.17 Drop POWER4 CPU Support

      In addition to Linux 4.17 dropping eight obsolete CPU architectures, this next kernel release is also doing away with POWER4 CPU support.

      The IBM POWER4 architecture dates back to 2001 for RS/6000 and AS/400 computers with just above 1.0GHz clock frequencies, dual cores, and around a 115 Watt TDP. POWER4 was succeeded by POWER5 in 2004. While POWER4 and POWER4+ support is removed, PowerPC 970 and POWER5 and newer support remains.

      It turns out back in 2016, the POWER4 CPU support was accidentally broken and with no one noticing the past two years, developers have decided to just do away with this older PowerPC architecture. This frees up some maintenance burden and “blocked use of some modern instructions.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • “The Forge” Rendering Framework Adds Linux/Vulkan Support

        The Forge, a cross-platform rendering framework developed by Confetti, a graphics research think-tank and consulting company, has rolled out Linux and Vulkan support.

        The Forge rendering framework supports Windows 10 with DirectX 12 and Vulkan, as well as the new DirectX Ray-Tracing API. There is also Metal 2 support on iOS/macOS, preliminary Android Vulkan support, PS4 and Xbox One console support, and now PC Linux support in the form of Vulkan graphics officially supported on Ubuntu.

      • DXVK, the Vulkan compatibility layer for Direct3D 11 and Wine has a fresh release reducing CPU overhead

        Since there’s a lot of excitement around DXVK we’ve been following it closely and a fresh release made it out last night.

        For those who don’t remember it, DXVK is the compatibility layer for running Direct3D 11 games in Wine using Vulkan. It’s a very promising project, with a lot of people having fun with it already on Linux.

      • Vulkan 1.1.72 Released With Three New Extensions

        Vulkan 1.1.72 is now available, which for simple terms is really “Vulkan 1.1.2″ except for the patch number having not been reset when Vulkan 1.1 was launched last month.

        Vulkan 1.1.72 has several documentation fixes and other corrections/clarifications. But of course what has most of our interest are three new extensions. The new extensions are VK_AMD_shader_core_properties, VK_NV_shader_subgroup_partitioned, and VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing.

      • Sway 1.0 Reaches Alpha For This Popular Wayland Compositor

        The Sway Wayland Compositor that is known for its compatibility and inspiration from the i3 tiling window manager is nearly out with its version 1.0 release.

        Sway 1.0 Alpha was released this Saturday evening as the first step towards the big 1.0 milestone. This release is now based on the wlroots Wayland compositor library and the code-base itself to the compositor was completely overhauled. In the process, the NVIDIA proprietary driver support was also removed.

      • NVIDIA Preparing To Drop Fermi Support From Their Mainline Drivers

        NVIDIA is in the process of retiring GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” GPU support from their mainline graphics drivers on Windows and Linux/BSD/Solaris.

        Yesterday NVIDIA announced that critical security updates for Fermi series GPUs will continue through January 2019, but after that be cut off while for now they will still be issuing “Game Ready Driver” (Windows) drivers with Fermi support included.

      • VKVG: Vulkan Vector Graphics With A Cairo-Like API

        The latest nifty open-source Vulkan project we have come across worthy of a shout-out is VKVG. VKVG is short for Vulkan Vector Graphics and is a C library for drawing 2D vector graphics using the Vulkan graphics API.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 7 Performance On Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Six Linux Distributions

        Our latest Windows vs. Linux benchmarking interest has been seeing how the AMD Ryzen 7 performance compares with the latest operating systems / Linux distributions. We have recently posted some Windows 10 vs. Windows WSL vs. Windows Linux benchmarks, relative Spectre/Meltdown mitigation impact tests on Windows vs. Linux, and other benchmarks but has mostly been done with Intel or server hardware. For those curious, today’s tests were done with an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 platform.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Ships Release Candidate of KDE Applications 18.04

        April 6, 2018. Today KDE released the release candidate of the new versions of KDE Applications. With dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.

        Check the community release notes for information on tarballs and known issues. A more complete announcement will be available for the final release

        The KDE Applications 18.04 releases need a thorough testing in order to maintain and improve the quality and user experience. Actual users are critical to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers simply cannot test every possible configuration. We’re counting on you to help find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please consider joining the team by installing the release candidate and reporting any bugs.

      • KDE Applications 18.04 Release Candidate Arrives
      • Community Data Analytics: Now in Technicolor!

        So let’s revisit our “whole year 2017 for all of KDEPIM” (that is the parts in KDE Applications, in Extragear and in Playground) with more colors!

        Firstly, this gives us the weekly activity using the “Magma” palette and a linear interpolation of the colors between the minimum and maximum commit counts…

        [...]

        This time we don’t even need to zoom in to spot the code KDEPIM contributors in 2017. With the color coding, we see right away again that Laurent Montel, Daniel Vratil and Volker Krause are the core contributors. It’s much less guess work than the last time, we’re backed by the color coded centrality metric now. We can also better see that Allen Winter, Sandro Knauß and David Faure are very central too, something that we missed the last time.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Canta Is An Amazing Material Design GTK Theme

        Canta is a complete Material Design theme. It uses pastel colors in a beautiful blend, with round buttons, tabs, and corners. Subtle, unobtrusive transparency is used sporadically, giving Canta a stylish look.

      • 12 Best GTK Themes for Ubuntu and other Linux Distributions

        For those of us that use Ubuntu proper, the move from Unity to Gnome as the default desktop environment has made theming and customizing easier than ever. Gnome has a fairly large tweaking community, and there is no shortage of fantastic GTK themes for users to choose from. With that in mind, I went ahead and found some of my favorite themes that I have come across in recent months. These are what I believe offer some of the best experiences that you can find.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • MX Linux: A Mid-Weight Distro Focused on Simplicity

        MX Linux makes transitioning from just about any desktop operating system simple. Although some might find the desktop interface to be a bit less-than-modern, the distribution’s primary focus isn’t on beauty, but simplicity. To that end, MX Linux succeeds in stellar fashion. This flavor of Linux can make anyone feel right at home on Linux. Spin up this mid-weight distribution and see if it can’t serve as your daily driver.

    • New Releases

      • What’s New in Enso OS 0.2.1

        Enso OS 0.2.1 is the latest release of Enso Linux Distribution 0.2 series. This release features Xfce 4.12 series as default desktop environment, include the Panther application launcher, which it can resizing itself on change of the screen resolution. Also Plank dock installed by default.

        Based on Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS and using Linux Kernel 4.4, which means that it offers support for the latest hardware components available on the market. Galal now includes a new windows switcher that lists the active windows in a much more easy to read manner that is more familiar to users than was previously implemented. Enso greeter now applies a nice blur effect onto the set background which was kindly taken from the Deepin project

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • OpenShift Commons Briefing: Introduction to Quay with Joey Schorr (Red Hat)

        In this briefing, Red Hat’s Joey Schorr gave a in-depth introduction on and demonstration of Quay, CoreOs’ Application Registry for Kubernetes with OpenShift. Quay is an container registry for building, storing, and distributing your private containers to your servers.

      • Latest CRIU for CentOS COPR

        The version of CRIU which is included with CentOS is updated with every minor CentOS release (at least at the time of writing this) since 7.2, but once the minor CentOS release is available CRIU is not updated anymore until the next minor release. To make it easier to use the latest version of CRIU on CentOS I am now also rebuilding the latest version in COPR for CentOS: https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/adrian/criu-el7/.

      • Kerberos Sidecar Container

        The challenge facing this team was how best to implement the Kerberos client for processes running in containers, and how to ensure that the authentication remained valid for long running processes.

        For those not familiar with Kerberos, it is essentially a protocol for authentication, commonly used to allow users or systems to connect to other systems. Tickets are used to authenticate, avoiding the storing, or sending, of passwords, and it is based on symmetric key cryptography.

      • Red Hat Summit 2018: Develop Secure Apps and Services

        Red Hat Summit 2018 will focus on modern application development. A critical part of modern application development is of course securing your applications and services. Things were challenging when you only needed to secure a single monolithic application. In a modern application landscape, you’re probably looking at building microservices and possibly exposing application services and APIs outside the boundaries of your enterprise. In order to deploy cloud-native applications and microservices you must be able to secure them. You might be faced with the challenge of securing both applications and back-end services accessed by mobile devices while using third party identity providers like social networks. Fortunately, Red Hat Summit 2018 has a number of developer-oriented sessions where you can learn how to secure your applications and services, integrate single-sign on, and manage your APIs. Session highlights include:

      • Red Hat scripting languages for beta: adds Ruby 2.5, Perl 5.26; updates PHP 7.1.8

        Twice a year, Red Hat distributes new versions of compiler toolsets, scripting languages, open source databases, and/or web tools, etc. so that application developers will have access to the latest, stable versions. These Red Hat supported offerings are packaged as Red Hat Software Collections (scripting languages, open source databases, web tools, etc.), Red Hat Developer Toolset (GCC), and the recently added compiler toolsets Clang/LLVM, Go, and Rust. All are yum installable, and are included in most Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions and all Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions. Most Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset components are also available as Linux container images for hybrid cloud development across Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, etc.

      • Red Hat adds/updates web tools for beta: HAProxy 1.8, Varnish 5.0, Apache httpd 2.4

        Twice a year, Red Hat distributes new versions of compiler toolsets, scripting languages, open source databases, and/or web tools, etc. so that application developers will have access to the latest, stable versions. These Red Hat supported offerings are packaged as Red Hat Software Collections (scripting languages, open source databases, web tools, etc.), Red Hat Developer Toolset (GCC), and the recently added compiler toolsets Clang/LLVM, Go, and Rust. All are yum installable, and are included in most Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions and all Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions. Most Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset components are also available as Linux container images for hybrid cloud development across Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, etc.

      • New Red Hat compilers toolsets in beta: Clang and LLVM, GCC, Go, Rust

        Twice a year, Red Hat distributes new versions of compiler toolsets, scripting languages, open source databases, and/or web tools, etc. so that application developers will have access to the latest, stable versions. These Red Hat supported offerings are packaged as Red Hat Software Collections (scripting languages, open source databases, web tools, etc.), Red Hat Developer Toolset (GCC), and the recently added compiler toolsets Clang/LLVM, Go, and Rust. All are yum installable, and are included in most Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions and all Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions. Most Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset components are also available as Linux container images for hybrid cloud development across Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, etc.

      • Red Hat open source databases in beta: Adds PostgreSQL 10, MongoDB 3.6; updates MySQL 5.7

        Twice a year, Red Hat distributes new versions of compiler toolsets, scripting languages, open source databases, and/or web tools, etc. so that application developers will have access to the latest, stable versions. These Red Hat supported offerings are packaged as Red Hat Software Collections (scripting languages, open source databases, web tools, etc.), Red Hat Developer Toolset (GCC), and the recently added compiler toolsets Clang/LLVM, Go, and Rust. All are yum installable, and are included in most Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions and all Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions. Most Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset components are also available as Linux container images for hybrid cloud development across Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, etc.

      • OpenShift Commons Briefing: CyberArk Conjur Secrets Management on OpenShift

        In this briefing, Naama Schwartzblat and Kumbirai Tanekha (CyberArk) discuss and demo how to securely inject secrets into your applications and manage machine identities with CyberArk Conjur. Kumbirai Tanekha and Naama Schwartzblat,the lead developers on Conjur both of whom worked directly on the Conjur-OpenShift integration. They demonstrated how secrets can be managed and delivered securely to applications running in OpenShift without developer impedance, and how OpenShift security policy for secrets and machine identity can be managed as code.

      • CentOS 7.4 upgrade – Still got it

        The upgrade of CentOS to 7.4 (1708) worked fine. I did hit a few snags, but they were entirely due to my own use of third party sources. Once I had that ironed out, the process was robust. Even my extra programs were correctly carried over, all except Skype. Not bad, given that I have a beautiful, slick, and fully functional desktop with ten years of stability and support.

        Now, not all is golden. The old kernel 3.X is not as fast as the new 4.X stuff, and you can feel it. CentOS is pretty nimble, but modern distros are nimbler. And Plasma 5 is superior to KDE 4. Which is in fact my next project. See if I can get a custom kernel running and perhaps even grab Plasma. I’m not in the mood for excessive manual labor and compilations, but this might be doable.

        All in all, for those comfortable with running a somewhat conservative server distro with top-notch stability and many years of updates, and who do not mind not having always the latest and greatest stuff, CentOS 7.4 makes for an almost ideal candidate. Actually, the ideal candidate would have kernel 4.15 and Plasma, but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, 18 months of neglect have got nothing on CentOS. Linux on.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Early Features Begin Receiving Approval For Fedora 29

          Today was another weekly Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo). We had been looking forward to this meeting for a decision on the GNOME auto-suspend by default behavior but there wasn’t a quorum and that topic was then diverted until next week. But there were also early Fedora 29 features approved this week.

        • Improved Flathub Website Makes It Easier to Find Flatpak Apps

          It just got a whole heap easier to find and install Flatpak apps on Linux distros like Ubuntu.

          A new version of the Flathub website is now live on Flathub.org, albeit in beta.

          The improved front-end to what is the de facto Flatpak app store offers search, browsing and install options.

          It’s packed with app descriptions, screenshots, browsable categories, search, meta info, and a beautifully fluid design.

        • Fedora 28 : Golang by JetBrains .
    • Debian Family

      • Debian & Stuff — Montreal Debian Meeting

        Today we had a meeting of the local Montreal Debian group. The last meetings we had were centered on working on finishing the DebConf17 final report and some people told us they didn’t feel welcome because they weren’t part of the organisation of the conference.

        I thus decided to call today’s event “Debian & Stuff” and invite people to come hack with us on diverse Debian related projects. Most of the people who came were part of the DC17 local team, but a few other people came anyway and we all had a great time. Someone even came from Ottawa to learn how to compile the Linux kernel!

      • Derivatives

        • Debian GNU/Linux Operating System Is Now Supported on 64-bit RISC-V Hardware

          If you want to use the Debian GNU/Linux operating system on 64-bit RISC-V devices, you should know that there’s now an official port for the RISC-V 64-bit (riscv64) architecture in Debian infrastructure.

          The announcement comes from developer Manuel Fernandez Montecelo, who said that after a few weeks of hard work, he and his team managed to do an official 64-bit RISC-V bootstrap, which is now available in Debian Project’s debian-ports infrastructure for those who want to download packages on their RISC-V devices.

          “We’ve been working in the last few weeks to do a (second) bootstrap of Debian for RISC-V, and after a few weeks of hard work it is now bootstrapped and has been imported into the Debian infrastructure, in particular, debian-ports,” said Manuel Fernandez Montecelo in the announcement.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04 Gives Nautilus a Striking New Look

            There’s a rather large visual change in Ubuntu 18.04 that I’ve only just noticed.

            It’s not because the change in question is subtle or easy to miss. It’s because I have only just booted up a copy of the Bionic Beaver thanks to the release of Ubuntu 18.04 beta 2.

          • Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ Beta 2 now available

            Ubuntu Linux 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” is almost here — it is due on April 26. In the interim, today, the second — and final — beta becomes available. Bionic Beaver is very significant, as it is an LTS version, meaning “Long Term Support.” This is important to those that prefer stability to bleeding edge and don’t want to deal with the hassle of upgrades. In other words, you can install 18.04 and be confident that it will be supported for 5 years. In comparison, non-LTS Ubuntu versions get a mere 9 months.

            There is plenty to be excited about with Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ Beta 2, including the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment — Beta 1 did not include GNOME at all. Of course, all the other DE flavors are available too, such as KDE and Xfce. The kernel is at 4.15, which while not the most current version, is still quite modern. Also included is LibreOffice 6.0 — an essential tool that rivals Microsoft Office. Wayland is available as a technical preview, although X remains the default display server — for now.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 Final Beta Available to Download

            USB thumb drives at the ready as the Ubuntu 18.04 beta download is now available for testing.

            This release marks the first official testing snapshot of what will become Ubuntu 18.04 LTS later this month.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Final Beta Released
          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Final Beta released

            The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the
            Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop, Server, and Cloud products.

            Codenamed “Bionic Beaver”, 18.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition
            of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a
            high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard
            at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

            This beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop,
            Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu
            Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavours.

            The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD
            build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of
            18.04 that should be representative of the features intended to ship
            with the final release expected on April 26th, 2018.

          • 10 Reasons To Use Ubuntu Linux

            Ubuntu Linux is the most popular open source operating system. There are many reasons to use Ubuntu Linux that make it a worthy Linux distro. Apart from being free and open source, it’s highly customizable and has a Software Center full of apps.

            There are numerous Linux distributions designed to serve different needs. Being an open source software, Linux allows the developers to pick its code and create something new and exciting.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver “Final Beta” Released: Download Now

            Almost two weeks are left for Ubuntu’s next long-term release Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver to arrive for Linux fans. Canonical has announced its Beta 2 release, a near-final build showcasing the changes that’ll arrive with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

          • Canonical Releases Major Linux Kernel Update for Ubuntu 17.10 for Raspberry Pi 2

            Canonical released a major Linux kernel update for Ubuntu 17.10 for Raspberry Pi 2, addressing various security vulnerabilities that were previously patched for 64-bit and 32-bit architectures earlier this week.

            The security advisory mentions a total of 21 security vulnerabilities fixed for linux-raspi2, the Linux kernel for Raspberry Pi 2 on Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating systems, including a race condition that could lead to a use-after-free vulnerability in Linux kernel’s ALSA PCM subsystem, and a use-after-free vulnerability in the network namespaces implementation.

            The update also addresses a race condition in Linux kernel’s OCFS2 filesystem and loop block device implementations, as well as a null pointer dereference in the RDS (Reliable Datagram Sockets) protocol implementation. Most of these flaws could allow a local attacker to crash the vulnerable system by causing a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Xubuntu Zesty Aardvark upgrade

              The Xubuntu upgrade process worked rather well. First, I was able to work around the Zesty EOL quirks, and that’s an important one, but I expect Ubuntu (and friends) to offer a seamless GUI mechanism. Users should not have to wonder how to get an upgrade underway. Then, the actual upgrade was successful, especially considering I had an UKUU kernel, lots of third-party repos, and that all of this runs in a complex eight-boot UEFI configuration.

              Post boot, we had a single error, but nothing after that. Smooth sailing. Good performance, Meltdown and microcode stuff notwithstanding, good hardware support, lots of nice programs and sweet looks all over the place. Fewer niggles than with Kubuntu 17.10, meaning the dev teams had time to polish all those beta-quality rough edges that were unleashed onto unsuspecting users. This leaves my Xubuntu instance ready and waiting for the LTS in April. That will be an interesting experience, I’m sure. But if you’re wondering, you can safely attempt to update, and by now, Aardvark has reached a usable state, so you will have none of those tribulations like I did when I tested early on. Oh me, the sacrificial goat lover of the Linux world. Commence, brave people!

            • Ubuntu Studio 18.04 Bionic Beaver Beta is released!

              The beta of the upcoming release of Ubuntu Studio 18.04 is ready for testing.

              You may find the images at cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntustudio/releases/bionic/beta-2/. More information can be found in the Beta Release Notes.

            • Ubuntu MATE 18.04 Beta 2

              We are preparing Ubuntu MATE 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) for distribution on April 26th, 2018 With this Beta pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version.

            • Kubuntu Bionic Beaver (18.04 LTS) Beta 2 Released!
            • A Preview to Kubuntu 18.04 from the Beta 2

              Kubuntu 18.04 Beta 2 is here! It arrived today at Friday, April 6, 2018 in an announcement from Steve Langasek on Ubuntu Announce mailing list. Here’s the summary after I installed it freshly on my laptop: the memory usage is only about 370MiB when idle, new dark themes, new wallpaper, new applications (Firefox 59, LibreOffice 6.0, KDE Applications 17.12.3), Muon is here again along with Plasma Discover (both are software center). This will be a good news for every Kubuntu user who is waiting for the latest LTS version of Kubuntu.

            • Getting Started with Linux Mint? Focus on These Three Tools

              About 18 months ago I switched to Linux Mint Cinnamon, and at this point, it’s hard for me to imagine using any other OS.

              I have already told you about things I like in Linux Mint. In this article, I hope to further explain why Linux Mint has become my go-to operating system.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Haiku monthly activity report – 03/2018

    Hrishi Hiraskar (one of our GSoC applicants) reworked the management of the shutdown phase. This revolves around both launch daemon and the BRoster, which collaborate together to coordinate system shutdown. Things must happen in a specific order to make sure all apps are properly terminated (leaving the user a chance to save his work if not done yet), and only then, system servers are stopped. There were some problemw with the existing implementation where it would be possible to start an application while another one was waiting for a save, and it could eventually lead to loss of work (a little unlikely, but still). We now have a better shutdown process which will make sure everything happens in the correct order.

  • BeOS-Inspired Haiku OS Continues Chugging Along With Driver Improvements, UI Changes

    The open-source Haiku operating system that is still striving for compatibility with BeOS had another busy month.

  • Substratum: An Open Source Network for Computing Power

    As centralized entities like Facebook and Google continue to be exposed for their improper handling of user data and questionable censorship, many are beginning to second guess their online habits. Add to that the exceedingly blatant government interference with actions like the repealing of Net Neutrality, and it becomes clear that new, decentralized alternatives need to be developed.

  • Goofy learns to fish: Why good documentation matters

    No matter what type of project you’re working on, you can’t expect users to fully understand it on their own. That’s where documentation comes in. Docs can be anything from simple procedures to thorough user stories. Sure, a web UI can sometimes speak for itself (and the best ones do), but I’m sure you’ve seen tales of readers questioning basic UI paths or squirming about doing anything on the command line.

  • Coreboot Lands Updated ME_Cleaner, Purism TPM & Other Updates

    A number of improvements to Coreboot were merged to Git master overnight.

    The latest improvements now in the Coreboot Git tree include:

    - ME_Cleaner v1.2 for aiming to strip out and disable the Intel Management Engine support. ME_Cleaner 1.2 adds support for the HAP/AltMeDisable bit, support for selective partition removal, wiping ME6 Ignition firmware images, adding a man page, a new Python setup script, and various other changes.

    - The Purism Librem Skylake laptop support now has TPM support following the company recently started shipping all their new laptops with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) present and enabled.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Rust Team All Hands in Berlin: a Recap

        Last week we held an “All Hands” event in Berlin, which drew more than 50 people involved in 15 different Rust Teams or Working Groups, with a majority being volunteer contributors. This was the first such event, and its location reflects the current concentration of team members in Europe. The week was a smashing success which we plan to repeat on at least an annual basis.

        The impetus for this get-together was, in part, our ambitious plans to ship Rust, 2018 edition later this year. A week of work-focused facetime was a great way to kick off these efforts!

        We’ve also asked attendees to blog and tweet about their experiences at the #RustAllHands hashtag; the Content Team will be gathering up and summarizing this content as well.

      • Proposal: Knowledge Base Spring Cleaning at SUMO – June 2018
      • Firefox Performance Update #5

        And here we are with another Firefox Performance Update!

        This performance update is brought to you by perf.html! perf.html is our web-based profile analysis tool. We use it to analyze profiles gathered with the Gecko Profiler Add-on which helps us figure out why Firefox is feeling slow or sluggish. It’s probably the most important performance tool in our toolbox.

      • MDN Changelog for March 2018
      • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 1

        In the spirit of This week in Firefox/Rust/Servo, we’ve decided to start sharing weekly updates on the progress of the Mozilla Mixed Reality team. Late last year, we brought together all of the people working on Virtual and Augmented Reality at Mozilla to work in our new Mixed Reality program.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ZeMarmot, main contributor of GIMP 2.10.0-RC1!

      Two weeks ago, we released GIMP 2.10.0-RC1! This is our first release candidate before the stable release GIMP 2.10.0. Yes, you heard it well, the release you have been waiting for, for 6 years, is just around the corner!

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Matthew Garrett Calls on Symantec to Share Its Code, EFF Questions Google’s Work on Project Maven and More

      Linux kernel developer, free software activist and Google engineer Matthew Garrett discovered that Symantec is using a Linux distro 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” (if true, this means Symantic needs to share the Norton Core Router’s code). So, Garrett tweeted “Hi @NortonOnline the Norton Core is clearly running Linux and the license requires you to distribute the kernel source code so where can I get it?”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Mainstream academia embraces open source hardware

        Twenty years ago, even staunch proponents of free and open source software like Richard Stallman questioned the social imperative for free hardware designs. Academics had barely started to consider the concept; the number of papers coming out annually on the topic were less than could be counted on someone’s fingers.

  • Programming/Development

    • Best Programming Language

      Python wins Best Programming Language again this year in Linux Journal’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s easy to use, powerful and versatile with a really large and active community. Having that supportive community ensures that developers of all skill levels easily can find the support and documentation they require, which feeds Python’s popularity. It certainly helps that Python has something like a corporate sponsor. Python is recognized as an official language at Google, running on many of its internal systems and showing up in many Google APIs. In fact, Google’s developer website offers free Python classes, videos and exercises.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Efforts to standardize tracing through OpenTracing

      Industry efforts toward distributed tracing have been evolving for decades, and one of the latest initiatives in this arena is OpenTracing, an open distributed standard for apps and OSS packages. APMs like Lightstep and Datadog are eagerly pushing forward the emerging specification, as are customer organizations like HomeAway, PayPal and Pinterest, while some other industry leaders – including Dynatrace, NewRelic, and App Dynamics – are holding back from full support. Still, contributors to the open-source spec are forging ahead with more and more integrations, and considerable conference activities are in store for later this year.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft Might Start Showing Ads in Windows 10 Mail App

    The latest update for the Mail app in Windows 10 appears to include something that nobody expected: a small ad in the lower left corner that recommends users to “Get Office 365.”
    By the looks of things, only a small number of users get this new button in their Mail app, judging from this discussion on reddit. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to trigger the ad to show up, but the Get Office 365 banner is only displayed when the left pane isn’t collapsed.

    Mail doesn’t show any banner on Windows 10 for me, even after updating to the latest version of the app, which is 17.9126.21425.0 and was released today.

  • Office 365 Services Hit by Outage, Outlook, Skype, OneDrive Down – April 6, 2018

    Microsoft’s Office 365 is down once again, with users in Europe reporting issues connecting to their accounts. Services like Outlook, Skype, and OneDrive are currently not available.
    While Microsoft hasn’t released a statement to acknowledge the problems, DownDetector seems to point that several European countries are affected. Parts of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, and Latvia are most affected.

    Somewhat surprising is that Microsoft’s Office 365 service health page claims “everything is up and running” with all services that users indicate to be down, including Outlook, OneDrive, and Yammer said to be running properly.

    Some users reveal that Exchange clients work correctly, and only the web access appears to be impacted by the outage. Others point out they’re not able to login to Skype and their password is being refused. Several said that they can send emails but not receive anything.

  • Office 365 goes down across Europe, again

    Users attempting to access Office 365 email are reportedly being greeted with an ‘AADSTS90033′ error message, alongside the unhelpful warning: “Service is temporarily unavailable. Please retry later.”

    The AADSTS90033 error message is typically displayed under normal circumstances when a user cannot get a token from Azure for the services they need to access.

  • Security

    • Important Kernel Update for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Patches 39 Security Vulnerabilities

      After releasing a major kernel update for the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system series on both 64/32-bit and Raspberry Pi 2 devices, Canonical released an important kernel update for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) systems.

      The new kernel update published earlier this week addresses a total of 39 security vulnerabilities for the long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series and its official derivatives, including Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio.

    • Another day, another breach: At what point does storing passwords in plaintext become criminally negligent?

      News of the Finnish breach (Google Translate) arrived yesterday, and while there isn’t a lot of details, we learn two important things: the leak was relatively big (the third largest in Finland), and cleartext passwords with usernames leaked, because they had hundreds of thousands of passwords stored in cleartext.

      …and they had passwords stored in cleartext.

      This is so bad security, it should not exist anywhere, period. It should not even be taught in a coding class as an intermediate step on the way to how to do it the right way.

      You don’t store passwords in cleartext because of two reasons combined:

    • Storing passwords in cleartext: don’t ever

      This year I’ve implemented a rudimentary authentication server for work, called Qvisqve. I am in the process for also using it for my current hobby project, ick, which provides HTTP APIs and needs authentication. Qvisqve stores passwords using scrypt: source. It’s not been audited, and I’m not claiming it to be perfect, but it’s at least not storing passwords in cleartext. (If you find a problem, do email me and tell me: liw@liw.fi.)

      This week, two news stories have reached me about service providers storing passwords in cleartext. One is a Finnish system for people starting a new business. The password database has leaked, with about 130,000 cleartext passwords. The other is about T-mobile in Austria bragging on Twitter that they store customer passwords in cleartext, and some people not liking that.

      In both cases, representatives of the company claim it’s OK, because they have “good security”. I disagree. Storing passwords is itself shockingly bad security, regardless of how good your other security measures are, and whether your password database leaks or not. Claiming it’s ever OK to store user passwords in cleartext in a service is incompetence at best.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • One-Fifth of Open-Source Serverless Apps Have Critical Vulnerabilities [Ed: One-Fifth of [buzzword] Apps [sic] need to be updated. Problem solved. With proprietary software you have back doors that cannot be fixed]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘The Business of War’: Google Employees Protest Work for the Pentagon

      Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.

      The letter, which is circulating inside Google and has garnered more than 3,100 signatures, reflects a culture clash between Silicon Valley and the federal government that is likely to intensify as cutting-edge artificial intelligence is increasingly employed for military purposes.

    • Phyllis Bennis on Gaza Massacre, Pam Vogel on Sinclair Propaganda

      This week on CounterSpin: As we record, Ha’aretz is saying the death toll is now 19 Palestinians killed by Israeli military, with hundreds more injured, on March 30, during a protest near the fence along border between Israel and the occupied region of Gaza. Israeli media offer a more complicated understanding of events than US media, who seem to suggest that there’s an “Israeli” position and a “Palestinian” position, but no actual reality worth trying to discern. We’ll talk about the Gaza protests with Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of, among other titles, Understanding the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict.

    • An Extremely Boring Video. Do Not Watch It.

      I have managed to get hold of a copy, which you can see here, of my lengthy interview with Sky News about the Skripals yesterday, which Sky refused to put online because they allege I was boring. With the warning you might therefore be very bored, you may watch it if you wish.

      [...]

      My perspective on the interview itself was that the interviewer became aggressive and sarcastic, increasingly shrill as the apparent effort to discredit me was not going well, and resorting eventually to asking about any old extraneous matter but the Skripals. I strongly suspect it was not me being boring, but the strange performance by Kay Burley, which motivated Sky to bury the interview.

      But you must judge for yourself.

      It is my policy when invited by journalists, to give considered and courteous answers to the particular questions which they ask. This is as opposed to what politicians do, which is to spout pre-prepared soundbites irrespective of what they are asked.

    • US Isn’t Leaving Syria—but Media Lost It When Possibility Was Raised

      At a rally in Cleveland last week, President Donald Trump said that the US will get out of Syria “very soon.” It is now clear that the 4,000 US troops currently occupying Syria (Washington Post, 10/31/17) will in fact stay in Syria (Independent, 4/4/18), even though keeping troops in another country in defiance of that country’s government is a violation of international law. Yet the very possibility of US withdrawal from Syria rendered apoplectic journalists who are convinced of the legitimacy of Washington’s domination of the country—international law be damned.

      Some writers want America to occupy Syria to weaken Russia. In the Washington Post (3/30/18), Josh Rogin claimed that “there are a lot of good arguments for maintaining an American presence in Syria after the fall of the Islamic State,” but stressed that the “larger US mission in Syria” was necessary for “stopping Russia from exerting influence over the region.”

      Michael Gerson, writing in the same paper (4/2/18), was concerned that a US departure “would leave Russia as the undisputed power broker at the heart of the Middle East,” a dubious claim in a region that includes Saudi Arabia (whose military budget by some counts exceeds Russia’s) as well as nuclear-armed Israel, both close US allies.

      CNN ran two articles that made the same point about Russia, with Dan Merica and Jim Acosta (3/30/18) writing “Trump Promise to Get Out of Syria ‘Very Soon’ Could Be a Win for Russia,” and Zachary Cohen and Ryan Browne (3/31/18) telling readers “that most foreign policy experts agree that” the void left by US forces in the event of a withdrawal “would likely be filled by Russia.” The Syrian government’s alliance with Russia supposedly justifies Washington’s occupying Syria, in defiance of international law. Partnership with Russia is unacceptable; only submission to the US is permissible.

    • UK’s Russia Narrative: A Verdict in Search of a Crime

      Two weeks ago, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson was asked by a German journalist how the UK government could be so very certain so very early on that the Kremlin was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury.

      “When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory, they were absolutely categorical,” Johnson replied. “I asked the guy myself, I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he said: ‘There’s no doubt.’ So we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”

      The “action that we have taken” include the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom, a cold war escalation in which they were joined by many allied governments around the world in the largest collective ejection of Russian diplomats in world history. It would also include Johnson’s personal campaign to unite the EU behind a more aggressive stance against Russia.

    • Why Saudi Arabia’s next leader is courting LA’s entertainment execs

      Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman held a summit in Beverly Hills to sell local entertainment executives on expanding into the long closed-off country.

    • FBI Lies and Cover-Up Derail Biggest Terrorism Case Since 9/11

      The FBI suffered another debacle last Friday when an Orlando jury returned a not guilty verdict for the widow of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 in his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June 2016. The biggest terrorism case of the year collapsed largely thanks to FBI misconduct and deceit.

      Noor Salman was charged with material support of a foreign terrorist organization and lying to the FBI about knowing about her husband’s pending attack on the nightclub. The FBI vigorously interrogated her for 18 hours, threatening her with the loss of custody of her infant son unless she signed a confession. Salman, who reportedly had an IQ of only 84, initially denied any knowledge but relented and signed a statement composed by an FBI agent.

    • Trump is right about Syria: It’s time to leave

      In fact, the war has failed to accomplish anything other than to destroy Syria, destabilize Europe, and bleed the United States. Around 500,000 are estimated to have died in the war, with 10 million displaced. Assad is still in power, and Iran and Russia are still his allies. America’s efforts, in short, have been a disaster.

    • Getting Ready for Nuclear War

      John Bolton is to assume the appointment as President Trump’s National Security Adviser on April 9. On February 28 he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “it is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first,” which would undoubtedly lead to explosion of at least one nuclear device by whoever might remain alive in the Pyongyang regime after the US attack. In a macabre echo of the alleged link between Iraq and Al Qaeda before the US invasion, Bolton said on March 23 that “Little is known, at least publicly, about longstanding Iranian-North Korean cooperation on nuclear and ballistic-missile technology. It is foolish to play down Tehran’s threat because of Pyongyang’s provocations.”

      Link and bomb, and get ready for yet more war.

      On August 9, 2017 President Trump tweeted “My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • #ReconnectJulian: Fmr intelligence officers & whistleblowers urge Ecuador to end Assange isolation

      WikiLeaks supporters are calling on Ecuador’s government to restore Julian Assange’s communication privileges, arguing that jamming his phone and internet access violates his rights, a former CIA officer and whistleblower told RT.
      In late March the government of Ecuador decided to cut off Julian Assange from the outside world by blocking his phone and internet access, over the WikiLeaks editor’s tweets in support of Catalonian independence from Spain. The move sparked massive outrage from Assange supporters, who view the action as a violation of free speech. Earlier this week, a group of WikiLeaks activists delivered a letter to the Ecuadorian government, urging the country’s authorities to restore Assange’s access to the outside world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Climate Truth: a Plan for Sustainability

      There is a practical path for tackling climate change, for organizing from your house to your neighborhood, city, state and beyond. It’s clear. It’s simple. It’s 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year as a goal and a measure for global sustainability.

      3 tons is the basis for personal and collective action and planning on all levels. It is, and must become, the acceptable local and global standard first measuring where we are, sustainable or endangered, and as a guide to reaching sustainability.

      3 tons per person per year of carbon dioxide emissions is a simple number. In the global aggregate, 21 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, more or less, is the sustainable global limit for natural cycles to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels level. A gigaton is a billion tons. This means that 21 gigatons is about 3 metric tons per person per year , or 6,612 pounds per year for all of us. 3 tons per person per year of carbon dioxide from primary energy consumption equal to 70 gigajoules or 19,443 kilowatt hours a year was set as a sustainable global target for all by the U.N. In 2011. Remember that 3 tons per person per year number. That’s the target we need to keep in mind if we are to stop and then reverse the steady march toward climate catastrophe.

    • How Standing Rock Is Leading by Example on Renewable Energy

      The Trump administration quickly overturned the December 2016 decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to halt the construction of the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline — almost as quickly as Trump took office. Subsequent challenges in court failed to prevent the pipeline from being completed and going into operation. Rather than concede defeat, Water Protectors have shifted their focus and efforts to battling the oil and coal industry on different fronts.

      On the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the Water Protector camps are no longer standing, but some organizers who lived and organized in those camps are now shaping the movement to shift the reservation away from its dependence on fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

    • Wipeout: Human role in climate change removed from science report

      National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science.

    • Court Rules EPA Unlawfully Delayed Environmental Racism Investigations for Decades

      A federal court ruled this week that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Civil Rights Act by delaying investigations into environmental discrimination complaints for years, even decades. For plaintiff Phil Schmitter, a priest and social justice activist from Flint, Michigan, the ruling is a bittersweet victory that was a long time coming.

      Schmitter’s story begins in the early 1990s, long before drinking water contaminated with dangerous levels of lead would turn Flint into an international symbol of environmental racism. At the time, Schmitter and other advocates living in a predominantly Black neighborhood on the outskirts of Flint were fighting a proposal to build a scrap wood incinerator nearby.

  • Finance

    • Whats the Difference Between a Bitcoin Wallet and an Exchange?

      A Bitcoin wallet is basically a software program in which you store Bitcoin. An exchange lets you convert “real money” like US dollars to Bitcoin. Exchanges also provide a wallet—but you don’t necessarily have full control of that wallet.

      We’re not recommending you invest in Bitcoin. But, if you’re putting money into Bitcoin—or you’re just interested in how it works—you should know this stuff.

    • India Bans Entities From Dealing In Crytocurrencies Like Bitcoin; New Cryptocoin On The Way

      The arrival of cryptocurrencies allowed people to make money in new ways. Some became multi-billionaires, and some with an unfortunate fate lost Bitcoins worth $100 million in landfills.

      However, this atypical form of money has started to see a downfall after ballooning and shocking the world last year. The unstable nature and the fact that cryptocoins are unregulated have concerned companies and governments.

    • HUD Long Neglected These Residents. Now As They Move Out, Some Feel HUD Let Them Down Again.

      For years, residents of public housing complexes here were stuck living in aging and neglected buildings with inoperable heat, leaky ceilings, broken windows, mold, mice, roaches, and frequently clogged toilets and sinks.

      And for years, federal authorities failed to step in despite regular financial reviews and building inspections that should have flagged problems and prompted corrective action much sooner.

      But the solution once the Department of Housing and Urban Development finally faced the scope of the decay in Illinois’ most southern city has turned out to be every bit as thorny and painful.

      Last spring, HUD announced it would shutter two sprawling World War II-era family housing complexes in Cairo and help residents move out. Ten months later, HUD officials delivered similar news to residents of two more public housing complexes in the nearby village of Thebes.

      All told, nearly 500 people, half of them children, are being forced to find new homes.

    • In Small-Town America, the Public Housing Crisis Nobody’s Talking About

      It’s a Sunday morning in late February at the tiny Baptist church atop the hill in Thebes, a remote village of about 400 people in the southernmost part of Illinois. I’m here for a story assignment, but to know people is to worship with them. Faith is as much a part of these small communities as the rivers that run outside their doorsteps.

      My heart twists seeing the church’s sign out front that reads, “Pray for America.”

    • Puerto Rico to dismantle its statistics agency in the midst of radical shock doctrine project
    • Ecuadorean Villagers May Still Triumph Over Chevron

      Michael Krauss, a lawyer who teaches “ethics” at a law school named after the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, recently posted a blog on the Forbes website entitled “The Ecuador Saga Continues: Steven Donziger now owes Chevron more than $800,000” (Forbes 3/14/2018). [1] Steven Donziger is one of the lawyers representing thousands of indigenous residents of Ecuador’s oil-rich Amazon whose battles with Texaco (which merged with Chevron in 2001) began over twenty-five years ago.

      Kraus says that Chevron has basically triumphed over evil: “appalling behavior” by Chevron’s enemies, he wrote, led to a “corrupt Ecuadorean court ruling” that ordered the company to pay $9 billion USD in damages for Texaco’s pollution of the Ecuadorian amazon from 1964 to 1990. “The war here is largely over.” declared Krauss. “Chevron has triumphed and what’s left is a kind of mopping up. A big part of that mopping up occurred on February 28, 2018, when United States District Court Judge Kaplan disposed of Chevron’s petition to be awarded court costs.” Krauss has written numerous blog posts on Forbes’ website cheering Chevron in this case. Here is one responseto him worth reading.

    • Quit Rates Jump to 17 Year High in March

      The percentage of unemployment due to people who voluntarily quit their jobs jumped to 13.1 percent in March, the highest level since May of 2001.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Those Who Die in Palestine: Those With Dead Souls Here

      I cannot imagine the cold viciousness it must take to work on the Guardian newspaper, where on the homepage the small headline of the latest six Palestinians to be shot dead, is way below the larger headline of the several hundredth article associating Jeremy Corbyn with anti-Semitism, on the basis of the quite deliberate conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel

    • Huge Surge in Political Activism, Engagement Has Direct Ties to Trump Presidency, Poll Finds

      The Trump administration has given way to an unusually engaged public, with one in five Americans reporting in a new survey that they’ve attended a protest or rally since 2016—and 70 percent of those who rallied said they disapproved of President Donald Trump and his policies.

      The poll, by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, showed that political activism is new for many. About 19 percent of those who have demonstrated in the past two years said they had never been to a protest before 2016.

    • Cut-throat competition distorts democracy in India

      Indian national congress and BJP supporters during campaign on bye-elections. Shaukat Ahmed/Press Association. All rights reserved.Commenting on democracy in Great Britain, a north European journalist attributed its ills to “too much competition”. His own country is accustomed to a much gentler version of the democratic order.

      If he were to come to New Delhi and read just a day’s newspapers, he would find that in the case of India, his diagnosis is confirmed. Cut-throat competition afflicts democracy in India. Global warming is tracked by instruments but there are no instruments to measure the rise in sectarian hatred recorded by newspaper headlines. One such front-page headline may be sampled here: “As communal heat rises, BJP allies in Bihar rally together”. The same daily carries as many as ten reports related to sectarian animosity and violence.

    • Trump sends National Guard to the border: All that to appease Ann Coulter?

      Everyone has noticed by now that Donald Trump is no longer even attempting to stick with the script, evidently feeling that he’s been ill-served by people who observe political norms and common definitions of what it is to be a president of the United States. He’s starting trade wars, declaring an abrupt withdrawal from Syria and attacking businessmen who also own newspapers he wants to quash. He’s been animated and energized by this newfound freedom to “tell it like it is” as he did on Thursday at a tax forum in West Virginia, where he claimed to be the first president in 40 years to deliver on taxes because only he had the guts to demand “tax cuts” instead of tax reform.

      As is now the required ritual at any meeting where Trump appears, other speakers at the forum dutifully flattered and praised him. One attendee was nearly crying as she thanked him for the tax cuts, saying, “Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for fighting for us.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Censorship machines are coming: It’s time for the free software community to discover its political clout

      The starting point for this legislation was a fight between big corporations, the music industry and YouTube, over money. The music industry complained that they receive less each time one of their music videos is played on a video platform like YouTube than they do when their tracks are listened to on subscription services like Spotify, calling the difference the “value gap”. They started a successful lobbying effort: The upload filter law is primarily intended to give them a bargaining chip to demand more money from Google in negotiations. Meanwhile, all other platforms are caught in the middle of that fight, including code sharing communities.

      The lobbying has engrained in many legislators’ minds the false idea that platforms which host uploads for profit are necessarily exploiting creators.

    • Indian Government Enacts, Abandons ‘Fake News’ Law In Less Than 24 Hours
    • Cali Lawmakers Pushing For 72-Hour Bot Removal Requirements For Social Media Companies

      Hertzberg’s bot must have been made to “misinform and exploit users,” at least according to its own Twitter bio. And yet, the account’s tweets appear to disseminate actual correct info, like subcommittee webcasts and community-oriented info. It’s good the bot is transparent. But it’s terrible because the transparency immediately follows a line claiming automated accounts are made apparently solely to misinform people.

      Plenty of automated accounts never misinform or exploit users. Techdirt’s account automatically tweets each newly-published post. So do countless other bots tied into content-management systems. But the bill — and bill creator’s own words — paint bots as evil, even while deploying a bot in an abortive attempt to make a point.

      Going on from there, the bill demands sites create a portal for bot reporting and starts the removal clock when a report is made. User reporting may function better than algorithms when detecting bots spreading misinformation (putting bots in charge of bot removal), but this still puts social media companies in the uncomfortable position of being arbiters of truth. And if they make the “wrong” decision and leave a bot up, the government is free to punish them for noncompliance.

    • Japanese Government Seeks To Circumvent Its Own Constitution To Censor ‘Pirate’ Sites

      With site-blocking regimes now fully in vogue, far too many governments are getting in on this censorious party. In the cases of most governments, there is leeway in the overall legal structure to do this sort of thing, even if it is wholly unadvised and typically comes with disastrous results. But when Japan announced recently that it is considering site-blocking of so-called “pirate sites” in order to help its anime and manga industries, many familiar with Japanese federal law raised an eyebrow.

    • Japan Seeks to Outmaneuver Constitution With Piracy Blocking Proposals

      There is no legal basis for site-blocking in Japan and the country’s constitution forbids censorship of any kind. Later this month, however, the government looks set to present proposals to local ISPs demanding that they start blocking pirate sites. According to local reports, Japan’s penal code allows for direct action when “averting present danger.”

    • Not All Canadian ISPs Are Pro Site Blocking

      Several of the largest Canadian telecommunications companies including Bell and Rogers are in favor of a national pirate site blocking scheme. However, not all ISPs are eager to implement such measures. Several smaller ISPs, including TekSavvy, warn that the proposal will be costly and ineffective while violating current legislation.

    • DOJ Seizes And Shuts Down Backpage.com (Before SESTA Has Even Been Signed)

      So here’s a Friday evening surprise: the DOJ has just seized Backpage.

      [...]

      It notes that additional information will be provided soon, and we’ll update this post when that occurs. But first, there are a few important things to note. Before and after SESTA was voted on by Congress, we noted that while supporters of SESTA kept pointing to Backpage as the reason we needed to change CDA 230, there were two reasons why we thought it was premature to make such a change. The first was that there was a court in Massachusetts considering whether or not Backpage had lost its CDA 230 immunity by being an active participant in creating trafficking ads. And the second, more important, one was that there were many reports claiming that a DOJ grand jury was investigating Backpage, and nothing in CDA 230 stopped that from happening (federal crimes are exempt from CDA 230).

      Last week the Massachusetts court ruled that Backpage had lost its CDA 230 immunity for at least one victim, and this week a court in Florida ruled the same thing (though for dubious reasons).

    • Two Cuban Actors Together in Life and Censorship

      Eduardo Martinez and Lola Amores play the leading roles in Cuba’s latest award-winning fiction feature movie. However, in spite of Santa y Andres’ (2016) international success (the first movie they shared scenes in), it hasn’t been shown at any Cuban movie theater or on national TV.

      The film didn’t go down well with the Ministry of Culture and Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), and maybe even higher up. It tells the story about the affectionate relationship Santa, a 30-year-old rural woman, had with Andres, the homosexual writer who needed to be monitored because he was accused of being counter-revolutionary and subversive. Stories like that are still taboo in Cuba’s public sphere.

    • Ethiopians worried about internet censorship

      Ethiopian officials have restricted internet access in major cities across the country.

      Millions of Ethiopians living outside the capital Addis Ababa have not had access to the Internet for nearly a year, and the government explanation for the prolonged cut is still awaited.

      The situation has brought negative consequences on the economy.

      “We lost our daily income. As you can see, there are no customers. When there was Internet connection, people came here and used the Internet, downloaded files, printed and copied documents. We stopped providing all these services,“cyber cafe owner, Kale Alemayehu said.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • DHS defends media-monitoring database, calls critics “conspiracy theorists”

      Earlier this week, Bloomberg Law uncovered a Department of Homeland Security job listing for a “media monitoring services” request to keep tabs on over 290,000 “global news sources” and develop an extensive database for an unconfirmed number of “media influencers.” After news outlets reported about the amount of data sought by this job listing, DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton issued a response on Friday to verify its legitimacy and allege that the data project’s aims will be “standard practice.”

    • Homeland Security to Compile Database of Journalists, Bloggers

      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to monitor hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top “media influencers.”

      It’s seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify “any and all” coverage related to the agency or a particular event, according to a request for information released April 3.

      The data to be collected includes a publication’s “sentiment” as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation. No value for the contract was disclosed.

    • DC’s Stingray Mess Won’t Get Cleaned Up

      “This was very expensive, controlled technology a decade ago, but today a motivated hobbyist can pull it together using open source software and hardware with a few hundred dollars,” says Ang Cui, CEO of the internet of things security firm Red Balloon. “We can try to legislate the use of the technology, but criminals have access to it and they are going to use it. The real solution is to build technology that mitigates against IMSI catchers and stingrays.”

    • Facebook Is Tracking Me Even Though I’m Not on Facebook

      I don’t use Facebook. I’m not technophobic — I’m a geek. I’ve been using email since the early 1990s, I have accounts on hundreds of services around the net, and I do software development and internet protocol design both for work and for fun. I believe that a globe-spanning communications network like the internet can be a positive social force, and I publish much of my own work on the open web.

      But Facebook and other massive web companies represent a strong push toward unaccountable centralized social control, which I think makes our society more unequal and more unjust. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is one instance of this long-running problem with what I call the “surveillance economy.” I don’t want to submit to these power structures, and I don’t want my presence on such platforms to serve as bait that lures other people into the digital panopticon.

      But while I’ve never “opted in” to Facebook or any of the other big social networks, Facebook still has a detailed profile that can be used to target me. I’ve never consented to having Facebook collect my data, which can be used to draw very detailed inferences about my life, my habits, and my relationships. As we aim to take Facebook to task for its breach of user trust, we need to think about what its capabilities imply for society overall. After all, if you do #deleteFacebook, you’ll find yourself in my shoes: non-consenting, but still subject to Facebook’s globe-spanning surveillance and targeting network.

    • To #DeleteFacebook or Not to #DeleteFacebook? That Is Not the Question

      Since the Cambridge Analytica news hit headlines, calls for users to ditch the platform have picked up speed. Whether or not it has a critical impact on the company’s user base or bottom line, the message from #DeleteFacebook is clear: users are fed up.

      EFF is not here to tell you whether or not to delete Facebook or any other platform. We are here to hold Facebook accountable no matter who’s using it, and to push it and other tech companies to do better for users.

      Users should have better options when they decide where to spend their time and attention online.

      The problems that Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal highlight—sweeping data collection, indiscriminate sharing of that data, and manipulative advertising—are also problems with much of the surveillance-based, advertising-powered popular web. And there are no shortcuts to solving those problems.

      Users should have better options when they decide where to spend their time and attention online. So rather than asking if people should delete Facebook, we are asking: What privacy protections should users have a right to expect, whether they decide to leave or use a platform like Facebook?

      If it makes sense for you to delete Facebook or any other account, then you should have full control over deleting your data from the platform and bringing it with you to another. If you stay on Facebook, then you should be able to expect it to respect your privacy rights.

    • Zuckerberg Can Delete Messages From Recipient’s Inbox, You Cannot!

      A couple of days ago, it was revealed that Facebook scans all the messages and videos you send through messenger. As if this wasn’t enough to breach user’s trust, there is another report which confirms that Facebook deletes Mark Zuckerberg’s messages from inboxes of people while you cannot do the same to yours.

      TechCrunch has reviewed an email receipt from three sources which proves that the messages they received from Facebook’s CEO have been wiped out from their FB inboxes, while their sent texts still show up in the conversation thread.

    • Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data

      However, the company proposed using a common cryptographic technique called hashing to match individuals who were in both data sets. That way, both parties would be able to tell when a specific set of Facebook data matched up with a specific set of patient data.

    • Facebook admits Zuckerberg wiped his old messages—which you can’t do

      While deleting the messages may not have been illegal, it is going to raise some eyebrows. For weeks, Facebook has faced criticism for appearing to put its own financial interests ahead of the privacy interests of users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now we’re learning that Facebook has essentially created a two-tier system of privacy for Messenger users: Zuckerberg and a handful of other Facebook executives enjoy a limited “retention period” of their messages, whereas the embarrassing messages of ordinary users live on as long as their recipients want to keep them.

    • News of Facebook’s secret tool to delete executive messages caps days of chaos

      TechCrunch reported late Thursday that Facebook has been using a secret tool to delete messages sent by its executives from the inboxes of their recipients, without disclosing the deletions to the recipients or even recording there was ever a message in the first place.

      Effectively, this means if you send Mark Zuckerberg a Facebook message, he has a copy for ever. But if he sends you one, he can reach into your inbox and pluck it out of existence.

    • Over 1.5 billion personal medical and financial records exposed online in ‘staggering’ leak

      These files were discovered over the first three months of 2018, with the firm finding over one and a one and a half billion (1,550,447,111, to be exact) files open across a number of misconfigured file-sharing services, dwarfing 2016′s Panama Papers leak.

      The worrying thing for those of us in the UK was that the security researchers said a whopping 36 per cent of those exposed files were located in the European Union.

    • Facebook: If you want to buy a political ad, you now have to be “authorized”

      Under what criteria Facebook would “authorize” ad buyers, the company did not say directly in the post. However, Beth Gauthier, a Facebook spokeswoman, told Ars by email that there will be a three-step process for authorization.

    • Facebook to verify major page owners

      The move is designed to prevent users who run pages using fake accounts from hiding their true identity.

    • Facebook Moves to Get Ahead of Congress With Issue-Ad Change

      Facebook will hire more people to enforce the new advertising policy before the 2018 midterm elections. The company also said it would require managers of popular Facebook pages to have their identity verified.

    • Here Are the Notable People Who Deleted Their Facebook Profiles

      The list of protesters continues to grow as Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify to U.S. lawmakers next week. The dissenters include Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, as well as red-carpet regulars Will Ferrell, Cher, Rosie O’Donnell, Jim Carrey and the band Massive Attack. The number of daily #DeleteFacebook mentions in mainstream newspapers topped out at 1,700 two weeks ago but remains above 300, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    • Facebook Officials Head to Europe to Respond to Data Scandal

      The company has been refining its response in the wake of revelations that data on as many as 87 million people, most of them in the U.S., may have been improperly shared with research firm Cambridge Analytica. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who will testify at U.S. congressional hearing next week, has changed tack by communicating directly with the press in interviews, and a group conference call late on Wednesday.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO PROTEST THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES AS STOLEN WEALTH

      Amy McQuire tears away the facade on the Commonwealth Games currently under way in Australia, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Australia has a long history of presenting a sunny, sporty picture of itself, complete with Indigenous icons and ‘celebrating’ native people. There is rarely a hint of the greatest theft of land in recorded history and the brutality that accompanied it, especially in Queensland, the bloodiest state, and which goes on today.

    • Teen Who Faced Deportation After He Informed on MS-13 Gets Temporary Reprieve

      What was on track to be a routine deportation hearing in a New York City immigration courtroom Thursday turned into an hours-long administrative battle and a detailed airing of a teenager’s reasons for informing on his gang, MS-13.

      Amid a flood of attention brought to the case by a ProPublica and New York magazine report published Monday, Judge Thomas Mulligan declined to issue a ruling. Instead, he gave the teen’s lawyer a list of evidence and testimony he wants to see before deciding the case in May. The judge seemed to be sketching a path to a successful asylum claim, and mentioned an alternative defense if asylum cannot be supported.

      Henry, who asked that his last name be withheld, helped police and the FBI arrest his fellow gang members on Long Island. He worked with law enforcement for about a year, until immigration authorities arrested him last August, using his own disclosures about gang membership to justify his deportation. As a known informant, deportation likely means death for Henry, whose cooperation with police is spelled out in an unsealed Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo. After eight months in detention with MS-13 members threatening his life, his case was looking so hopeless that he decided to go public ahead of his final hearing.

    • Supreme Court Says Shooting A Non-Threatening Person Without Warning Is Just Good Police Work

      The Ninth Circuit’s opinion stripped the officer of his immunity. This decision reestablishes it. And it reminds cops de-escalation rarely needs to be considered as a tactic because the courts will have their back in almost every case. While the presence of a knife suggests some sort of objective danger, the person experiencing the threat was Hughes’ roommate, not the cops on the other side of the fence. (And she testified she did not feel threatened.) It took only 60 seconds for one officer to resort to deadly force, based solely on the fact that Hughes refused to immediately drop the knife.

      The presence of a weapon changes the math a little, but it shouldn’t change it so much as to dismiss this appeal with an unsigned opinion and zero input from the engaged parties. The dissenting opinion [PDF], written by Justice Sotomayor (and joined by Justice Ginsburg) points out the “threatening” situation used to justify the shooting wasn’t all that threatening — not even for other officers on the scene.

    • In Moscow region, campaigners against a landfill site are being arrested

      Russian government media watchdog Roskomnadzor has brought a lawsuit against the messaging service Telegram, where our useful OVD-Info bot has its home. There will now follow a court case and an appeal, after which, if the court takes the side of the government agency, the Telegram messenger will be blocked. There is still time to hook up to a VPN, but you had better not wait too long. And, by the way, people are also being prosecuted for reposts on Telegram.

    • America’s Gun Problem is a Police Problem

      In the wake of a crisis, proposals for reform are often radical and ill-conceived. Seattle radio host John Carlson’s gun reform proposal, outlined in theWall Street Journal, boils America’s violent crime problem down to one issue; people who shouldn’t have guns do. But Carlson’s proposals ignore the role of police violence in criminals’ decisions to use guns.

      Carlson writes that only 11 percent of America’s gun crimes are committed with legal weapons. That means most of America’s gun crimes, including mass shootings, could be prevented simply by applying the existing laws designed to prevent dangerous and irresponsible people from obtaining guns. For instance, the Parkland, Florida shooting could have been prevented by simply following FBI protocol.

      But Carlson wants to take even stronger action to reduce the number of illegal firearms on the street. By imposing mandatory minimum four-year sentences for illegal possession of firearms, Carlson says criminals will avoid stealing guns or using them to commit crimes.

    • ‘The Tories cut, we bleed’: the story of Women’s Lives Matter in Doncaster

      Women’s Lives Matter protest. Photo: John Fuller. All rights reserved.“The Tories cut, we bleed,” said Joyce Sheppard, 68, an active member of the Women’s Lives Matter campaign in Doncaster, a former coal mining town in South Yorkshire, in the north of England.

      The Women’s Lives Matter campaign is a movement across South Yorkshire which originated in Doncaster in 2016, after the closure of the town’s Women’s Aid domestic violence service, one of many organisations that have been impacted by government funding cuts.

    • When we can’t agree to fight against neo-Nazis, we’ve reached a new low

      For anyone wondering about the state of American politics in 2018: A U.S. congressman was just publicly accused of spreading Russian propaganda and “holding Putin’s dirty laundry.” The congressman’s crime? Trying to prevent American weapons from going to neo-Nazis.

      Late last month, Congress authorized a massive aid package to Ukraine. The package contained a provision whose inclusion was supported by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). The provision bars U.S. aid from going to the 3,000-strong Azov Battalion, a unit of the Ukrainian National Guard with a heavy neo-Nazi contingent and a long record of horrific human rights abuses, according to the United Nations and Human Rights Watch. In response, Hill contributor Kristofer Harrison published an essay denying the neo-Nazi elements of Azov and accusing Khanna of being a Russian stooge.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Congress’s Biggest Opponent of Net Neutrality Is Getting Destroyed in Midterm Election Polls

      Blackburn was at the forefront of the attack on popular net neutrality protections last December, blasting attempts to protect a healthy, open and competitive [I]nternet as “socialistic.” Blackburn also played a starring role in helping the GOP dismantle important broadband privacy protections at the FCC before they could even take effect last March.

    • Ex-Obama FTC Boss Now Lobbying For Comcast, Trying To Prevent States From Protecting Consumers

      While the Trump FCC has certainly taken protectionism, corruption and cronyism to an entirely new level, it’s important not to forget that Trump and Ajit Pai are just products of the country’s long established bipartisan dysfunction when it comes to revolving door regulators, and it’s going to take more than just ejecting Trump and Pai to repair the underlying rot that has allowed them to blossom.

      Case in point: former Obama FTC boss Jon Leibowitz, who has long professed himself to be a “privacy advocate,” has spent much of the last few years lobbying for Comcast while at Davis Polk. That has included making a myriad of false claims about ongoing, EFF-backed efforts to protect broadband consumer privacy in California.

      In an endless wave of op-eds (where his financial conflicts of interest are almost never disclosed to the reader), Leibowitz has been busy insisting that rampant ISP privacy abuses are a “nonexistent problem,” and that strong state and FCC oversight of ISPs are unnecessary because the FTC will somehow rush in to save the day in the wake of efforts to neuter the FCC, kill net neutrality, and embolden massive anti-competitive telecom duopolies.

    • Ajit Pai’s “Harlem Shake” video preparations must remain secret, FCC says
    • FCC Withholds Ajit Pai’s Emails Regarding The Infamous ‘Harlem Shake’ Video

      Last December, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai starred in a “PSA” produced by The Daily Caller. In the video, Pai addressed all the “trolls” in the net neutrality debate, reassuring the public that they will still be able to enjoy things on the internet after its repeal. To illustrate this, Pai does the absolute polar opposite of an enjoyable thing on the internet: the Harlem Shake.

    • Twitter changes may bring major issues for third-party apps (updated)

      If you use a third-party Twitter app like Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Talon or Tweetings, you might lose a couple of key features when Twitter replaces developer access to User and Site streams with a new Account Activity API this coming June. The folks who created the apps mentioned above have created a new website to explain that, as a result, push notifications will no longer work and timelines won’t refresh automatically.

      The third-party devs say that when their apps open a connection to Twitter, currently, they get a continuous stream of updates. Push notifications, they say, is done on their own servers, which generate the messages you see on your devices. Timeline updates use that stream directly on your mobile or desktop apps. The new Account Activity API is currently in beta, but developers haven’t been given access. Even if they had been, say the devs, push notifications are limited to 35 Twitter accounts at the standard level, and there’s no pricing given for Enterprise-level service. The developers say that they need to deliver notifications to “hundreds of thousands of customers.”

      [...]

      Update 4/6/18 4:00PM ET: This afternoon, Twitter announced it has delayed the scheduled June 19th date for switching to the new Account Activity API. “As always, we’re committed to providing ample time to migrate,” the company’s developer account explained in a series of tweets. “We will provide at least 90 days notice of deprecation date from when the Account Activity API becomes generally available to all developers. More specifics on timing to come.” Additionally, Twitter says it offers a guide for developers to migrate to the new API.

    • Twitter API overhaul threatens to seriously shaft apps… again

      Twitter’s planned discontinuation of its streaming APIs in June has third-party developers worried that a replacement service won’t be available in time to prevent their Twitter apps from breaking.

      The makers of Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific have joined together to create a webpage expressing their concerns and to rally developers and customers to urge Twitter to respond.

      The Register asked Twitter for comment, but all we heard were crickets.

      Twitter, even more than Facebook, has a history of pulling the rug out from under developers’ feet. The company has repeatedly encouraged developers to build software clients on its platform, only to change its platform rules and capabilities as it tried to figure out a viable business plan.

    • API changes will break Tweetbot and Twitteriffic alerts and streaming, Twitter not yet sharing new solution ahead of June deadline [U]

      Hopefully the bump from today’s coverage pressures Twitter to stop sabotaging third-party apps and communicate with developers about how to move forward — even if subscriptions are required in the future to sustain apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific.

      Without a proper Twitter for Mac client, indie apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific with support for timeline streaming is essential for my workflow and TweetDeck simply isn’t a reliable alternative.

    • Twitter postpones platform change that would cut off third-party apps

      However, we don’t know exactly when this change will come. In response to the furor on Twitter, the company has announced it is “delaying the scheduled June 19th deprecation date.” In a thread, the developer relations account further said the company it “will provide at least 90 days notice from when the Account Activity API becomes generally available” and that “more specifics on timing [are] to come.”

    • Twitter says it won’t break third-party Twitter apps June 19

      In a reversal from a statement made in December 2017, Twitter said it will delay its plan to pull support for Twitter apps like Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings and Twitterrific. The microblogging service would stop these apps’ ability to push notifications and update post timelines starting on June 19, effectively crippling these non-Twitter apps.

      “Today’s update to last year’s announcement is focused on making sure developers have ample time to migrate to the new API,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

    • Twitter poised to kill all third-party apps like Plume and Talon

      What’s the point of using a third-party Twitter app if you can’t get notified when someone tweets at you and have to refresh your feed manually?

    • Twitter can’t decide if it wants to kill third-party apps

      Twitter’s complicated relationship with developers is about to get a whole lot worse.

      That’s because the company can’t seem to make up its mind on whether it wants to keep third-party Twitter clients around.

    • Future Twitter developer changes will impact notifications & streaming on third-party apps

      Third-party Twitter clients are often handicapped by the platform by a limit of 100,000 users for new developers and are not able to implement features found in the official client. The latest restriction threatens to impact fundamental features like push notifications and automatic timeline refresh.

    • It’s time to think about nationalising Twitter

      The first thing I did when I switched on my computer the other day – in fact, the first thing I’ve done every time I’ve switched on my computer in as long as I can remember – was boot up Twitter. Only this time, I couldn’t.

      I had locked myself out of my account. The phone number listed for the site’s two-factor authentication was no longer my number. Shit, I thought. Shit, shit shit shit. The near-panic I felt from losing that connection surprised me: it turned out I was a junkie, and I had robbed myself of my fix. I was adrift, disconnected, cut off from the body cultural.

    • How to Gopher

      When I think about the work that goes into putting a simple web page or text file on the [I]nternet, I realize how inaccessible the [I]nternet is for most people. As I write this, there is no commercial interest in Gopher. Many, myself included, hope it stays that way. This means that there’s no one trying to make all of this push-button-simple so that they can make a buck off of you on the back end. I think that if more regular folks feel like they own a piece of the [I]nternet, they will be more likely to resist policies and practices that aim to disenfranchise them.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mobile Terminal: LG Patents Foldable Phone With Dual Screens, Headphone, & Batteries

      A new wave of ‘foldable smartphones’ has hit the tech industry with several tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Oppo and Huawei already working on it.

    • Copyrights

      • The EU copyright reform and the legacy of CJEU case law: lip service?

        I am attending what every year is a great conference in one of the greatest cities: the Fordham IP Conference in New York City. Now in its 26th edition, every year this event gathers IP enthusiasts from all over the world to “Learn. Debate. Have Fun.”

        Yesterday I was part of a panel moderated by Ted Shapiro (Wiggin) and composed of Shira Perlmutter (USPTO), Giuseppe Mazziotti (TCD), and Jerker Rydén (National Library of Sweden). The session was devoted to discussing the state of the EU copyright reform debate.

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