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04.17.18

Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft’s ‘Embrace’

Posted in News Roundup at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Mainline Linux Kernel Almost Ready For Finally Supporting Unprivileged FUSE Mounts

      While the Linux 4.17 merge window officially closed yesterday with the release of Linux 4.17-rc1, FUSE maintainer Miklos Szeredi is now trying to get his changes added.

      With FUSE (File-Systems in User-Space) updates being uncommon these days, Miklos forgot about sending them into the Linux 4.17 merge window but today is trying to get them added.

    • Microsoft built its own custom Linux kernel for its new IoT service [Ed: After Microsoft repeatedly violated the GPL and while Microsoft is blackmailing companies for using Linux. The 'new Microsoft': we exploit you while we attack you while lying about it and paying those who would otherwise complain about it.]

      At a small press event in San Francisco, Microsoft today announced the launch of a secure end-to-end IoT product that focuses on microcontroller-based devices — the kind of devices that use tiny and relatively low-powered microcontrollers (MCUs) for basic control or connectivity features. Typically, these kinds of devices, which could be anything from a toy to a household gadget or an industrial application, don’t often get updated and hence, security often suffers.

    • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Linux 4.17 Development, Teases the Linux 5.0 Release

      Two weeks after the launch of Linux kernel 4.16, Linus Torvalds kicked off the development cycle of the Linux 4.17 kernel series by releasing the first Release Candidate (RC) build.

      At the end of every Linux kernel development cycle, the merge window opens for the next release, in this case, Linux 4.17. Now, two weeks later, the merge window is closed, and public testers can start downloading, compiling, and installing the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel on their favorite GNU/Linux distributions.

    • Linus Torvalds says Linux kernel v5.0 ‘should be meaningless’

      Following the release of Linux kernel 4.16, Linus Torvalds has said that the next kernel will be version 5.0. Or maybe it won’t, because version numbers are meaningless.

      The announcement — of sorts — came in Torvalds’ message over the weekend about the first release candidate for version 4.17. He warns that it is not “shaping up to be a particularly big release” and questions whether it even matters what version number is slapped on the final release.

    • Linus Torvalds Wants Linux Kernel 5.0 To Be “Meaningless” And “Unpredictable”

      If you follow Linux kernel development closely, you must be knowing that major version transitioning, i.e., jump from Linux 2.0 to 3.0 and 3.0 to 4.0, has taken place in the past at every two million Git objects. This made perfect sense to make a transition to Linux v5.0 at 6 million Git objects landmark.

      [...]

      The announcement post also contained some information on Linux 4.17-rc1 release. He mentioned that apart from dropping many older and outdated architectures, the kernel development team is also adding support for a new architecture: nds32 (Andes Technology 32-0bit RISC architecture).

      Interestingly, this release is also historic as for the first time the team has removed more lines than it added. Again, that’s due to dropping a number of architectures.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation LFCS: James Medeiros

        I spent my formative years glued to the CRT screen of my 486. In 1997 I was 12 years old and had discovered the local, text-only FreeNet — my portal to the world’s collective knowledge via 2400 baud modem. I quickly became familiar with the Lynx browser and eventually found the Schoolnet MOO (an object-oriented MUD which is still running today) where I made fast friends and began to explore basic coding in the environment. In high school, I was fortunate enough to have a fabulous teacher who gave us free time to experiment with installing our choice of operating systems on machines with swappable hard drives. My first Linux distribution was Mandriva (Mandrake at the time), but I’ve only recently made the switch to Linux as my primary OS.

      • FOSSology Turns 10 – A Decade of Highlights

        FOSSology turns ten this year. Far from winding down, the open source license compliance project is still going strong. The interest in the project among its thriving community has not dampened in the least, and regular contributions and cross-project contributors are steering it toward productive and meaningful iterations.

        An example is the recent 3.2 release, offering significant improvements over previous versions, such as the import of SDPX files and word processor document output summarizing analysis information. Even so, the overall project goal remains the same: to make it easier to understand and comply with the licenses used in open source software.

        There are thousands of licenses used in Open Source software these days, with some differing by only a few words and others pertaining to entirely different use universes. Together, they present a bewildering quagmire of requirements that must be adhered to, but only as set out in the appropriate license(s), the misunderstanding or absence of which can revert rights to a reserved status and bring about a complete halt to distribution.

      • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Stefano Stabellini

        I started contributing to Xen Project in 2008. At that time, I was working for Citrix in the XenServer product team. I have been contributing every year since then, that makes it 10 years now!

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA & Valve Are Among Those Backing X.Org’s XDC2018

        This year’s X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC2018) has already received some big name sponsors.

        XDC2018 is happening in La Coruña, Spain with the event being organized by the Igalia folks who are also the platinum sponsors for the event. XDC2018 is running from 26 to 28 September and is the annual gathering of X.Org / Mesa / Libinput / Wayland developers to discuss development efforts and big ticket items to be worked on over the year ahead.

      • TI Posts Open-Source DRI3 WSEGL Plug-In For PowerVR SGX Graphics

        Texas Instruments is still dealing with Imagination Tech PowerVR SGX GPUs and has now posted an open-source DRI3 WSEGL plug-in for getting this binary blob to work with 3D acceleration under an X.Org Server using Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3.

        Tomi Valkeinen of Texas Instruments has posted this DRI3 WSEGL implementation for allowing Imagination’s PowerVR SGX driver to work with 3D acceleration under X11 using DRI3. WSEGL is the buffer API used by the PowerVR SGX driver.

      • Vulkan 1.1.73 Released With Fixes

        Vulkan 1.1.73 is out as the latest minor refinement since last month’s big Vulkan 1.1 update.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Integrate Your Android Phone With Gnome Shell Without KDE Dependencies With GSConnect

      Shell extension, it also provides integration with Nautilus (Files), Google Chrome and Firefox. Using the browser extension, you can easily share links with devices connected to GSConnect, either directly, to the device browser, or by SMS.

      As for GSConnect Android integration features, they are pretty much identical to those available with the original KDE Connect application, like.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kdenlive: Video Editing in France and Spain

        The Kdenlive team, creators of KDE’s non-linear video editor, will be holding their next sprint at the Carrefour Numérique in the Cité des Sciences in Paris next week.

        The sprint will run from the 25th to the 29th of April, and two days will be open to the public. On Friday, 27th of April, from 4pm to 6pm the event will be open to anyone interested in getting involved. You can meet the team and learn how you can contribute to the project. On Saturday, 28th of April at 2.45pm, there will be a public presentation. You can discover Kdenlive as used by professional editors and learn about the new features.

        Just in case you can’t make it to Paris, but can get to the south of Spain: directly after the sprint, the team will fly to Seville to participate in the Libre Graphics Meeting.

      • Modern Akonadi and KMail on FreeBSD

        For, quite literally a year or more, KMail and Akonadi on FreeBSD have been only marginally useful, at best. KDE4 era KMail was pretty darn good, but everything after that has had a number of FreeBSD users tearing out their hair. Sure, you can go to Trojitá, which has its own special problems and is generally “meh”, or bail out entirely to webmail, but .. KMail is a really great mail client when it works. Which, on Linux desktops, is nearly always, and on FreeBSD, iswas nearly never.

      • Qt 5.12 schedule proposal & proposal for release process change
      • Qt 5.12 Will Likely Ship In November, Might Drop Alpha/Beta Tags

        With Qt 5.11 already due to ship at the end of next month, Qt developers have begun discussing the follow-on Qt 5.12 release to ship in late 2018.

        Qt Release Manager Jani Heikkinen has been structuring the Qt 5.12 schedule. At this point the tentative soft branching is in the middle of August, the Qt 5.12 feature freeze would be around 20 August, and the final release would be planned for the end of November.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Developer tools

        A while ago, I wrote about using GNOME Builder for GTK+ work on my Fedora Atomic Workstation. I’ve done this with some success since then. I am using the nightly builds of GNOME Builder from the sdk.gnome.org flatpak repository, since I like to try the latest improvements.

      • Tobias Bernard: Joining Purism

        I’m very happy to announce that I’ve joined Purism. It’s awesome to be working for a company that not only cares about software freedom, but also has Ethical Design as a core principle. My role there is UI/UX designer on the Librem 5, a phone built from the ground up to run free software and GNU/Linux.

      • Purism Hires GNOME Developer For Librem 5 UI/UX Designer

        Purism’s latest hire to work on the Librem 5 privacy-minded Linux smartphone effort is a UI/UX designer who has long been involved with GNOME.

        GNOME interaction designer Tobias Bernard is joining Purism as a UI/UX designer for the Librem 5 smartphone. This German free software advocate believes the Librem 5 has more potential than Ubuntu Touch or Firefox OS due to its freedom and privacy focus and using a full GNU/Linux stack rather than mixing with Android drivers.

      • Bassel Khartabil Free Fellowship, GNOME 3.28.1 Release, New Version of Mixxx and More

        GNOME 3.28 is ready for prime time after receiving its first point release on Friday, which includes numerous improvements and bug fixes. See the announcement for all the details on version 3.28.1.

  • Distributions

    • Best Linux Distro for Programming

      Linux-based operating systems (often called Linux Distributions, or just Distros) are quite popular among programmers and developers since their announcement in the 90s. The Linux kernel itself is designed to be flexible and open for modifications and contributions, thus it can run on any hardware. The same principle is applied to almost the whole software stack above the kernel that constitutes the Linux Distribution as a complete product. In general, it is designed from programmers for programmers and freely available to everyone.

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla Live Disk Cloning OS Gets New Massive Deployment BitTorrent Mechanism

        The open source and freely distributed Clonezilla Live disk cloning and imaging live system recently received a new stable release that adds several new features, enhancements, and other changes.

        Clonezilla Live 2.5.5-38 is now the latest stable release of the live system based on the open-source partition and disk imaging and cloning Clonezilla software. It’s synced with the software repositories of the Debian Sid operating system series and uses a recent kernel from the Linux 4.15 branch.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Weekly Roundup 2018 – Weeks 14 & 15

        Many thanks for your patience! This is turning into a bi-weekly roundup lately, but we’ll try to get it back on track very soon.

        Team leader elections are happening: Donald and Filip continue to lead Atelier, Papoteur leads Docteam, Yuri leads i18n and the process is underway for all teams. We’ll know the make-up of the Council in the coming days – thanks to Marja for the updates. After that, we’ll be finding out the new composition of the Board. All should be in place by early May.

        The Great Plasma Update is almost there: it includes updates of the KF5, Plasma, KDE applications, LXQT and the underlying QT stacks. It’s currently waiting for the LXQT stack to be fixed. It’s a massive number of packages. We’re hoping it will be moved into updates within the week. Once that’s done, Mageia 6.1 will happen soon after.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Download now hosted at OSDN

        After a period of testing in close cooperation with OSDN’s CEO Shuji Sado, Manjaro is proud to announce that all our Official and Community ISOs and torrents have found a new home on OSDN‘s Japan-based servers, using their just recently launched File Storage service.
        Sofar we are extremely happy with transfer rates and stability and, above all, OSDN’s truely outstanding personal, highly competent and friendly support.

        Current download links to our install media can of course be found on the Download Page as usual.

    • Red Hat Family

      • What developers need to know about security

        DevOps doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be an expert in both development and operations. This is especially true in larger organizations in which roles tend to be more specialized. Rather, DevOps thinking has evolved in a way that makes it more about the separation of concerns. To the degree that operations teams can deploy platforms for developers (whether on-premises or in a public cloud) and get out of the way, that’s good news for both teams. Developers get a productive development environment and self-service. Operations can focus on keeping the underlying plumbing running and maintaining the platform.

      • State of Functions-as-a-Service on Kubernetes (OpenShift Commons Briefing)

        FaaS, or serverless as some call it, is a promising compute paradigm suitable for event-driven scenarios. In this briefing, Red Hat’s Michael Hausenblas and Brian Gracely reviewed the current open source offerings for FaaS on Kubernetes (Apache Open Whisk, kubeless, OpenFaaS, etc.) and discussed the pros and cons, on an architectural level and a user experience (UX) point of view. They also covered the topic FaaS vs. containers from a developers as well as an operators perspective.

      • Istio Dark Launch: Secret Services

        “Danger is my middle name” is great for spies and people of mystery, but when it comes to deploying software, boring is better. By using Istio with OpenShift and Kubernetes to ease your microservices into production, you can make deployment really, really boring. That’s good.

      • Red Hat Set to Host Largest Red Hat Summit to Date, May 8-10 in San Francisco

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the agenda and keynote speakers for Red Hat Summit 2018, one of the industry’s premier enterprise open source technology conferences. The 14th annual Red Hat Summit is expected to welcome thousands of attendees from around the world to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, May 8-10. Event details and registration are live at https://www.redhat.com/en/summit/2018.

      • Events on the horizon: Previewing 41 events (Charlotte Venture Challenge, Red Hat Summit & more)

        Plenty of technology and life science events are on tap for May, and we suggest you pencil them into your calendar.

        If you’re interested in events coming up in the immediate future, check out our separate roundup of April events happening in the Triangle and in other metros throughout North Carolina. These columns accompany our interactive calendar, along with a separate list of Triangle meetups.

      • A look at VDO, the new Linux compression layer

        Probably not – there is no such thing as ‘too much storage’. For a long time, we have used userland tools like gzip and rar for compression. Now with Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO), all required pieces for a transparent compression/deduplication layer are available in the just-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5. With this technology, it is possible to trade CPU/RAM resources for disk space. VDO becoming available is one of the results of Red Hat acquiring Permabit Technology Corporation in 2017. The code is available in the source RPMs, and upstream projects are getting established.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the release team: full steam ahead towards buster

        We are about halfway through the buster development cycle, and a release update was overdue.

      • Debian 10 “Buster” Should Be Out Around Mid-2019, Debian 12 Is “Bookworm”

        The Debian release team has put out their latest information concerning the upcoming Debian 10 “Buster” release.

        The Debian Release Team is currently planning for a transition freeze on 12 January 2019, a soft-freeze on 12 February 2019, and a full freeze around 12 March 2019. With that said, they are thinking the official Debian 10.0 “Buster” release will happen around the middle of next year.

        Beyond that, for Debian 11 “Bullseye” meanwhile they are hoping to introduce more automated quality assurance (QA) testing with continuous integration, auto packaging tests, etc. Based on past release timing, Debian 11.0 will likely be out in 2021.

      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2018

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • My LTS work in March

        So in March I resumed contributing to LTS again, after 2 years of taking a break, due to being overwhelmed with work on Reproducible Builds… Reproducible Builds is still eating a lot of my time, but as we currently are unfunded I had to pick up some other sources of funding.

      • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #155
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s New in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Since Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            It’s been almost two years since the April 21, 2016 release of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series, which already received four of five scheduled maintenance updates, the last one being Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS, launched last month on March 1, 2018.

            While Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS brought up-to-date kernel and graphics stacks from the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) release, there’s been a lot of changes happing in Ubuntu since the initial release and we bet that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users would want to know what they get if they’ll upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS later this month.

          • BotsAndUs build a social robot on Ubuntu

            As robotics become increasingly prevalent in all sectors and expand outside the manufacturing industry, it is no surprise that IDC predicts worldwide spending on robotics to reach $103bn in 2018. A UK based startup, BotsAndUs, are looking to capitalise on this opportunity and have created an advanced social robot – Bo – primarily for use in hospitality and retail scenarios. Bo has already been used in numerous scenarios and by some large brands including BT and Etisalat as well as being trialled in large UK shopping centres such as Lakeside.

            Creating a social robot that also has AI capabilities for advanced face to face interaction is no easy feat especially when a combination of hardware and software, including a RealSense Depth camera system and ROS, needs to be seamlessly integrated. For that reason, BotsAndUs required a widely supported and versatile OS so turned to Ubuntu to build Bo.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 523
          • Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Carlo

            I am Carlo, I am an Linux user since 2007 and Linux Software Developer since 2010.

            I mainly do embedded software development, I worked for the Automotive industry and now for the Mobile Telecommunication one, so pretty far from my contribution here on Communitheme, but I love to learn and experiment new things in (sometimes totally) different areas, that’s why I have some knowledge of front-end development which is responsible for my presence here.

          • Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Stefan Eduard

            As discussed last week when unveiling the communitheme snap for ubuntu 18.04 LTS, here is a suite of interview this week on some members of the core contributor team shaping this entirely community-driven theme.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Samsung embraces open source on path to network virtualization, automation

    Samsung is raising its profile in the North American radio infrastructure business, and that includes support for operators’ efforts to use open standards.

    Samsung is one of the vendors contributing to the xRAN Forum, which last week announced the release of a new specification that opens up competition in the Baseband Unit (BBU) and Remote Radio Units/Heads (RRUs/RRHs) that go into the eNodeB. Samsung Electronics America was also selected by Verizon earlier this year to assist in its 4G LTE Open RAN initiative, where it’s supplying gear that includes RRHs and BBUs.

    According to Alok Shah, VP of networks strategy, business development and marketing at Samsung Electronics America, Samsung has long believed in the importance of open ecosystems.

  • Should Your Business Switch to Open Source?

    I’ve had the pleasure of talking with small business owners in the past about moving their business over to open source technologies. I’ve also heard officers of major corporations speak on the same topic, typically in a conference setting.

    The overall point that was shared between the two business types is that in order to switch an enterprise environment to a completely different enterprise environment (software specifically), there needs to be a cause or an identifiable reason why switching to open source software makes sense.

  • How to develop the FOSS leaders of the future

    Do you hold a critical role in a free and open source software project? Would you like to make it easier for the next person to step into your shoes, while also giving yourself the freedom to take breaks and avoid burnout?

    Of course you would! But how do you get started?

    Before you do anything, remember that this is a free or open source project. As with all things in FOSS, your succession planning should happen in collaboration with others. The Principle of Least Astonishment also applies: Don’t work on your plan in isolation, then spring it on the entire community.

  • ReactOS Is Adding Support for Windows 10 and 8 Apps, NTFS Driver

    Coming more than four months after version 0.4.7, ReactOS 0.4.8 is here with numerous improvements to the user experience and a bunch of new features that should please fans of the Microsoft Windows alternative. First, this release finally makes the “auto-hide,” “always on top,” and “toggle lock” options work as expected.

    Support for balloon notifications in the system tray area has been added, along with automatic removal of icons of terminated process. The user experience optimizations continue with the ability to select multiple icons on the desktop, and it’s now possible to view the capacity of local or attached drivers, as well as of folders and dirs.

  • Windows 10 apps on an open-source OS? ReactOS gains experimental support for latest Windows software [Ed: Developing using FOSS to help run proprietary software]

    ReactOS is a free and open-source, Windows-compatible OS that looks similar to Windows XP — now with experimental support for Windows 10 software.

  • Minds aims to decentralize the social network

    Decentralization is the buzzword du jour. Everything – from our currencies to our databases – are supposed to exist, immutably, in this strange new world. And Bill Ottman wants to add our social media to the mix.

    Ottman, an intense young man with a passion to fix the world, is the founder of Minds.com, a New York-based startup that has been receiving waves of new users as zealots and the the not-so-zealous have been leaving other networks. In fact, Zuckerberg’s bad news is music to Ottman’s ears.

  • Top 5 Open Source Projects For Programmers and Developers

    Are you serious as a software developer? Want to reach heights and explore your knowledge of software development. Then, you are at the right place and reading the right article. As a developer or a fresher, you can self-learn lot of technologies by contributing to the open source projects which allow everyone to tweak and submit code.

    With this, you can boost your resume and generate opportunities for higher levels. There are many advantages while you contribute to the open source projects.

  • Best open source ecommerce software

    So, why go open source? If you want total control and absolute customisation, open source software lets you inspect, copy and alter that software to make the perfect package for you.

    It’s ideal for businesses not wanting to be locked into a massive vendor that calls all the shots.

  • Events

    • curl up 2018 summary

      The event that occurred this past weekend was the second time we gathered a bunch of curl enthusiasts and developers in the same physical room to discuss the past, the present and the future from a curl perspective.

      Stockholm, Sweden, was the center of gravity this time when Goto 10 hosted our merry collective. Spring has finally arrived here and as the sun was out a lot, it made it a lovely weekend weather wise too. As a bonus, the little coffee shop on the premises was open all through both days. Just for us!

      [...]

      Several people asked me about next year already. I certainly hope we can run another curl up in 2019, but I don’t know yet where this should happen. Ideally, I would like to move it around to different countries to give different people the ability to show up easier, but I also value having a local “host” that can provide the room and facilities for us.

    • Speak at Open Source Summit NA: Submit Your Proposal by April 29

      Submit a proposal to speak at Open Source Summit North America taking place August 29-31, in Vancouver, B.C., and share your knowledge and expertise with 2,000+ open source technologists and community members. Proposals are being accepted through 11:59pm PDT, Sunday, April 29.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Apply to Join the Featured Extensions Advisory Board

        Are you an extensions enthusiast? Do you want to help people find excellent ways to improve their browsing experience? If so, please consider applying to join our Featured Extensions Community Board!

        Every six months, we assemble a small group of dedicated community members to help nominate and select new featured extensions for addons.mozilla.org (AMO) each month. Their picks help millions of Firefox users discover top-quality extensions.

      • Build your own web things with the Things Framework

        A web thing has a Web Thing Description which describes the device’s capabilities, and exposes a Web Thing REST API and/or WebSocket API, so that it can be monitored and controlled. The Thing Description provides machine-readable metadata about a device and its available properties, actions and events. The Web Thing API lets a client read and write its properties, request actions and subscribe to its events.

        You can get started today by turning Android things into web things using our Java web thing library, or if you prefer to build things with Python or NodeJS, we also have you covered there. We have some early examples of how to build web things using WiFi-enabled microcontrollers like the ESP8266, and a serial gateway adapter for chipsets with more constrained resources. We’re releasing these libraries at a very early stage of development so that you can provide us with feedback and help us to help you build better web things.

        In the coming days we’ll be blogging about how to use each of these new web thing libraries, to help you get hands-on building your own devices.

        These are still experimental technologies in the process of standardisation at the W3C, but we hope our early open source implementations will help developers try out the Web of Things and help us to improve it.

      • Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14, April 20th

        We are happy to let you know that Friday, April 20th, we are organizing Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Search Suggestions, Site Storage Redesign UI and Web Compatibility.

      • WebRender newsletter #18

        WebRender’s 18th newsletter is here, with its usual share of bug fixes and a few performance improvements. Just after the previous newsletter was published, Patrick Walton landed an experimental integration of pathfinder’s text renderer in WebRender, that can draw native-looking text on Mac using the GPU. The pathfinder integration is taking shape although it is behind a compile time flag for now and there’s some work left to support native-looking text on Windows and Linux.

      • Rust pattern: Rooting an Rc handle

        I’ve decided to do a little series of posts about Rust compiler errors. Each one will talk about a particular error that I got recently and try to explain (a) why I am getting it and (b) how I fixed it. The purpose of this series of posts is partly to explain Rust, but partly just to gain data for myself. I may also write posts about errors I’m not getting – basically places where I anticipated an error, and used a pattern to avoid it. I hope that after writing enough of these posts, I or others will be able to synthesize some of these facts to make intermediate Rust material, or perhaps to improve the language itself.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Some Native GTK Dialogs in LibreOffice

      When the GTK3 backend is active in current LibreOffice master (towards 6.1) some of the dialogs are now comprised of fully native GTK dialogs and widgetery. Instead of VCL widgetery themed to look like GTK, they’re the real thing.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Research on the sustainability of participation in FSFE

      I’m a sociologist and I currently work as a researcher at IT University of Copenhagen, where I am responsible for “Infrastructuring SuStainable Playbour“ (ISSP): a project I received funding for from the EU/H2020 framework, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action – Individual Fellowship fund.

      This project investigates the sustainability of collaborative spaces, as commons, and it focuses on participants’ continuous contribution to the maintenance and development of such ‘places’.

      The research involves three case studies, and I think that the community of volunteers and supporters contributing to FSFE constitutes a very interesting case to focus on: FSFE is an enduring non-profit organization that, since more than 15 years, is working for raising awareness and promote Free Software at different levels and in different ways. FSFE is also a distributed network of people, who contribute their time and effort to this goal and, as such, is vital to the organization.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Israeli Government Shifting Its Software Code to Open Source

      The Israeli government will gradually shift its software code to open source, meaning that it will be available to members of the public to use and modify the software, point out vulnerabilities and propose improvements. It will also be available for use in development apps.

      The move follows a cabinet resolution to that effect from October 2014 and directives to all government ministries on the issue have been completed are now in effect.

      The resolution applies to the government’s main web portal, gov.il, but other government services are also being encouraged to open their source code. The rationale is that the code was developed at public expense and should therefore be accessible to members of the public.

    • German government goes open source with cloud firm Nextcloud

      Nextcloud, the open source file sync and online collaboration technology, has announced it will be supplying the German federal government with a private, on-premises cloud platform as part of a three-year contract.

      The Federal Information Technology Center (ITZBund), which manages IT services for the federal government, has been running a pilot of 5,000 users with Nextcloud since October 2016 and after a tender for a private cloud was won by Computacenter, the Nextcloud technology will now be rolled out to 300,000 users in ministries and other federal agencies.

    • MoJ creates open source analytics platform

      The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has begun to use a new analytical platform for data in its decision making.

      A private beta version is now being used by more than 50 analysts, and as the basis for a number of new tools.

  • Programming/Development

    • Top 5 Open Source Projects For Programmers and Developers

      Are you serious as a software developer? Want to reach heights and explore your knowledge of software development. Then, you are at the right place and reading the right article. As a developer or a fresher, you can self-learn lot of technologies by contributing to the open source projects which allow everyone to tweak and submit code.

    • Apache Subversion 1.10.0 released

      Version 1.10 of the Subversion version-control system is out. Improvements include a new interactive resolver for merge conflicts, better path-based authorization, LZ4 compression, and more; see the release notes for details.

Leftovers

  • What your organization needs: A Silicon Valley-like ecosystem

    All organizations manage a fundamental tension between stability and efficiency on the one hand and innovation, adaptation, and change on the other. They’re usually biased towards the former—with not enough of the latter. And on top of that, every year new surveys tout the broad lack of engagement among most employees.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dozens Of NGOs Oppose Proposed EU Watch List On IP Rights

      A wide-ranging list of international nongovernmental organisations today issued a letter to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström opposing a proposal to establish a “watch list” of countries deemed failing to protect European intellectual property. The groups raised concern that the list would violate World Trade Organization rules on intellectual property, have a chilling effect on developing countries’ public health initiatives, and lead to expanded and untenable levels of IP enforcement.

      [...]

      A key concern of the NGOs is that a 21 February “Commission IPR report” on which the watch list initiative is based “conflates counterfeiting and piracy with the legitimate use of the flexibilities of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).” The 1994 TRIPS agreement established standards for WTO members to protect IP rights, but built in flexibility for developing nations to be able to ensure they can act in the public interest, such as the ability to issue compulsory licences to make available needed medicines that are under patent and unaffordable.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pence’s NSA pick withdraws

      US Vice President Mike Pence’s pick for his National Security Adviser has withdrawn after his hiring created tensions in the administration, the media reported.

      “Tonight Jon Lerner informed the Vice President that he was withdrawing from coming on board as National Security Adviser and the Vice President accepted his decision,” CNN quoted Alyssa Farah, Pence’s press secretary, as saying after the withdrawal on Sunday night.

      “Vice President Pence holds Jon Lerner in the highest regard and expressed his deep gratitude for Jon’s willingness to consider joining our team.”

      A Republican source told CNN that the news of Lerner’s hiring by Pence had created “a big damn mess”.

      Earlier on Sunday, Axios news reported that President Donald Trump attempted to block Pence from hiring Lerner because of his “never Trump” views.

    • Robert Fisk Reports Head of Douma Clinic Denies Chemical Weapons Attack

      Robert Fisk is one of the very few excellent investigative journalists still employed in the UK. He is twice winner of the British Press Awards‘ Journalist of the Year prize, and seven time winner of the British Press Awards’ Foreign Correspondent of the Year. He is extremely smart and knows the Middle East very well. He has just made his way – not accompanied by Russian or Syrian government officials – to Douma and this is what he reports.

    • On Believing MI6

      The SNP is attempting to be all things to all men by attacking the government for not having a parliamentary vote on the attack on Syria, while accepting the British establishment narrative. I am not sure if Blackford is saying there should have been a vote because he missed the chance to vote for the war, or if he is going to accept that the attack was illegal in international law.

      Nicola Sturgeon joined Boris Johnson on day one of the Salisbury attack in blaming Russia with no evidence and cheering for Britnat jingoism. Blackford promotes the entirely dodgy Douma narrative. The SNP leadership could not be more divorced from the views of its own grassroots membership.

      This cannot last.

    • Living in Goebbels Land

      So a tiny independent radio station in Ireland managed to interview Robert Fisk on the ground in Douma, but none of the British mainstream broadcast media today has him on, despite the political fallout from our Syria bombing attacks being the main news story everywhere? Meantime MSM propagandists including Richard Hall (BBC), Dan Hodges (Mail) and Brian Whitaker (Guardian) and many more queue up to denounce Fisk on twitter from their cosy armchairs.

      It bears repeating that the information on the alleged gas attacks – which raises great doubt but which Fisk himself does not claim as definitive – is not the most important part of Fisk’s article. The Hell of rule under the jihadists that we in the West are arming, funding, training, “military advising” and giving air support, alongside Saudi Arabia and Israel, is the indisputable and much more important element of Fisk’s report, as is the clear evidence he provides that the White Helmets are part of the jihadist factions.

    • Anatomy of a Chemical Attack

      Analyzing certain aspects of the brief timeline between the date of the alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Duma on April 7 and the date of the U.S. air strikes on April 13 in supposed retaliation, reveals a very curious sequence of events.

      On April 8, a day after chlorine gas was allegedly used, President Donald Trump (with no time for investigation) blamed Syrian government forces for what he called a “mindless CHEMICAL attack” and warned there would be a “big price to pay.” He did not elaborate. In a series of tweets, Trump held Russia and Iran, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chief sponsors, responsible.

      On April 11 (at 3:57 AM), President Trump tweeted: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

    • Missile Attack on Syria: a Salute to the “Russia-gate” Faithful

      Politicians, pundits and activists who’ve routinely denounced President Donald Trump as a tool of Vladimir Putin can now mull over a major indicator of their cumulative impact: The U.S.-led missile attack on Syria before dawn Saturday is the latest benchmark for gauging the effects of continually baiting Trump as a puppet of Russia’s president.

      Heavyweights of U.S. media — whether outlets such as CNN and MSNBC or key newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post — spent most of last week clamoring for Trump to order air strikes on Syria. Powerful news organizations have led the way in goading Trump to prove that he’s not a Putin lackey after all.

      One of the clearest ways that Trump can offer such proof is to recklessly show he’s willing to risk a catastrophic military confrontation with Russia.

      In recent months, the profusion of “war hawks, spies and liars” on national television has been part of a media atmosphere that barely acknowledges what’s at stake with games of chicken between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Meanwhile, the dominant U.S. news media imbue their reporting with a nationalistic sense of impunity.

    • Syrian ‘Chemical Victims’ Suffered from Dust Inhalation, Reports Say

      We are now being told (and I assure you I am not making this up) that if the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons doesn’t find evidence that the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapons attack in Douma last week, it’s because Russia hid the evidence.

      “It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” reports U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward. “It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation.”

      I guess the idea is that this international top-level investigative team on which tremendous credibility has been placed by the western world can be thwarted by Russians showing up with a Hoover and spraying some Febreze in the air like a teenage stoner when mom comes home? I’m not sure, but given the immense dearth of evidence we’ve been seeing in support of the establishment Douma narrative and the mounting pile of evidencecontradicting it, it sure does sound fishy.

      Now that the jihadist-occupied suburb of Douma has been retaken by the Syrian government, western journalists have been allowed in to poke around and start asking questions, and so far it isn’t looking great for the propaganda machine.

    • Australia joins US, UK, to blame Russia for net attacks

      The US Computer Emergency Response Team issued a statement overnight, which it said came jointly from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, wherein similar claims were made about attacks on sites in those countries. The US advisory said the attacks in question dated back to 2015.

    • US and UK blame Russia for ‘malicious’ cyber-offensive

      The US and UK, in a joint statement, said the cyber-attack was aimed not just at the UK and US but globally. “Specifically, these cyber-exploits were directed at network infrastructure devices worldwide such as routers, switches, firewalls, network intrusion detection system,” it said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Restrictions lifted on commercial radio station advertising

      Previous rules had limited ads to just [sic] 20 percent of total air time.

    • White House Chief of Staff Contradicts White House Claim on VA Shakeup

      White House chief of staff John Kelly contradicted the White House’s claims about David Shulkin’s departure as secretary of veterans affairs, a discrepancy that could lead to legal challenges of decisions made by Shulkin’s interim successor.

      In a private meeting last week with major veterans groups, Kelly repeatedly said that the decision to remove Shulkin was President Donald Trump’s, according to several people who were present or briefed on the meeting. The White House has insisted that Shulkin resigned, disputing his assertion, in media appearances, that he was fired. (Whether voluntarily or not, his tenure as VA secretary ended on March 29.)

    • Report Says Former FBI Official Andrew McCabe Lied About Self-Serving Leaks To Journalists

      The Inspector General of the FBI has released a report detailing the incidents leading up to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s firing. Whether or not these were the reasons the White House chose to can him isn’t confirmed, but the report [PDF] does show there was plenty of justification for his termination.

      According to the report, McCabe violated FBI policy multiple times during the investigation process with dishonest or misleading answers while under oath. On top of that, his unauthorized disclosure of the status of a Clinton Foundation investigation to a Wall Street Journal reporter violated department policy on media relations.

      The leaks appear to have been McCabe’s damage control efforts. The Wall Street Journal had already published an article detailing McCabe’s involvement in his wife’s unsuccessful 2015 state senate campaign. During this run, McCabe’s wife received $675,000 from a political action committee run by the state’s governor (Terry McAuliffe) who had “long-standing ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.”

    • Billion-Dollar Blessings

      How Jerry Falwell Jr. transformed Liberty University, one of the religious right’s most powerful institutions, into a wildly lucrative online empire.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Bad News For ‘Privacy Shield’: As Expected, EU’s Top Court Will Examine Legality Of Sending Personal Data To US

      Last October, Techdirt wrote about an important decision by the Irish High Court in a case concerning data transfers from the EU to the US. The original complaint was brought by Max Schrems in the wake of revelations by Edward Snowden back in 2013 that the NSA had routine access to user information held by companies like Facebook. As the post explained, the judge found that there were important legal issues that could only be answered by the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The High Court said that it intended to refer various questions to the CJEU, but has done so only now, as Schrems explains in an update on the case (pdf). He points out that the eleven questions sent to the CJEU (found at the end of the document embedded below) go further than considering general questions of law:

    • How Facebook let a friend pass my data to Cambridge Analytica

      There is an unwitting mole amongst my friends. Without my permission, they passed my personal information to a Facebook app called “This Is Your Digital Life”, which eventually ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, the company famed for using questionable tactics in an effort to influence election campaigns.

    • “Not too fond of Facebook”: A dating app removes its linked-profile requirement

      Bumble, a Tinder-like dating app that launched in 2014 with a “women send the first message” twist, announced plans on Monday to remove its Facebook credential requirement effective tomorrow, April 17. Should new users want to join Bumble or if existing users want to de-link their Facebook accounts, they will simply have to confirm a phone number.

    • Bumble drops Facebook login requirement

      Bumble’s privacy page notes a laundry list of information the service “may collect” via Facebook. “If you register or login to the App using your Facebook account, you are authorizing us to access certain Facebook account information,” the TOS reads, “including information you make available via Facebook, your friends list, relationship status, current location and those friends you have in common with other Bumblers.”

      The new process being introduced later this week will let users sign up using only their phone number for verification. While Facebook’s recent privacy concerns may not have had a tremendous impact on its user base, Bumble is likely to be one of several high-profile services rethinking its relationship with the social network.

    • Bumble will allow users to log in without Facebook

      Tinder, Match, and OkCupid already offer phone number login methods, but many users are still dependent on Facebook for the apps to work. Earlier this month, dozens of Tinder users who were logged in via Facebook were booted off the app due to a bug prompted by Facebook’s new privacy fixes.

    • Bumble’s new login lets you date and dodge Facebook’s data trap

      This simple act gave Bumble access to Facebook account information, including, according to its privacy policy, “your friends list, relationship status, current location and friends you have in common with other Bumblers”. Bumble also used the information on Facebook – including friends, photos and “likes” – to match its users with potential partners.

    • Exclusive: FBI Investigated Former CIA Chief Michael Hayden in Secret-Spilling Case

      The FBI sought a search warrant for the email account of former CIA and NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden in 2012, according to a newly unsealed court filing. The warrant application was part of a broader Obama-era investigation into a leak of classified information to the press. Another official later pleaded guilty in connection to the disclosure.

      The targeting of Hayden’s AOL email account drives home just how aggressively the Obama administration pursued leaks, in this case following a relatively thin lead all the way to the private email account of a retired four-star general. Hayden served as director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, and later led the CIA until his retirement on 2009.

    • FBI sought search warrant for CIA, NSA chief Michael Hayden’s private email account: Report

      The FBI filed an application for a search warrant in 2012 for an email account belonging to Michael Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency and CIA, demonstrating the breadth of the Obama administration’s efforts to pursue leaks of classified information to the press.

    • Obama’s FBI investigated former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden for ‘leaking classified information to the press about cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities’
    • Did Facebook Just Start The Blame Game? Says Google Also Sucks Your Data
    • A Casino Was Hacked Thanks To The Internet Of Broken Things & A Fish Tank Thermometer
    • Protecting Email Privacy—A Battle We Need to Keep Fighting
    • Cyber security agency writes to UK telcos warning of Chinese ZTE national security risk [Ed: soon we'll see which telecom companies work for the spies by excluding from the market products that are harder to spy on]
    • Cyber Defence Watchdog Claims China’s ZTE “Poses Risk to UK Security”
    • UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear
    • China’s ZTE ‘poses risk to UK security’
    • UK Telecoms Firms Warned Not to Use Kit and Services from China’s ZTE
    • ZTE Folly May Spur Chinese Chip Push

      “ZTE’s execution of a text-book study in contrition, reflection and reform has helped it build goodwill in America,” I said then.

    • White House Bans US Firms From Selling Parts To China Telecom Giant ZTE

      While it’s becoming increasingly clear that the US and China aren’t trying to work out a “deal” on trade like Larry Kudlow and other members of the Trump administration have suggested – only to meet with denials from the Chinese – the White House isn’t letting up on the pressure, Reuters reported.

      To wit, the Trump administration has banned American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom-equipment manufacturer Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp. after accusing the company of lying during a settlement negotiation, according to Bloomberg.

    • ZTE can no longer buy Qualcomm chips after US ban

      The US Department of Commerce just announced a ban on American exports to the Chinese smartphone maker ZTE. That means American companies like Dolby and Qualcomm won’t be able to export any parts to ZTE for up to seven years. The loss of Qualcomm is particularly damaging, as it severely restricts ZTE’s options for devices in the US market.

    • U.S. ban on sales to China’s ZTE opens fresh front as tensions escalate

      The United States has banned American firms from selling parts to China’s ZTE Corp for seven years, a potentially devastating move for the telecoms equipment maker and exacerbating tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

      The action, first reported by Reuters, comes at a time when the two countries have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars in tariffs in recent weeks, fanning worries of a full blown trade war that threatens global supply chains as well as business investment plans.

    • U.S. Cuts Off China’s ZTE From American Tech for Seven Years

      The Commerce Department determined ZTE, which was previously fined for shipping telecommunication equipment to Iran and North Korea, subsequently paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in the illegal conduct, failed to issue letters of reprimand and lied about the practices to U.S. authorities, the department said.

    • Cops Can Unlock Your iPhone’s 6-Digit Passcode By Guessing It In Just 11 Hours

      Almost a month has passed since the security firm Malwarebytes leaked the images of the so-called iPhone unlocking hardware GrayKey Box – a boon for the security agencies.

      The company named GrayShift developed the black box. The device comes in $15,000 and $30,000 variants with the former being geofenced and having an unlocking count of 300.

    • There Is No Going Dark: Another Vendor Selling Tool That Cracks All iPhones

      The FBI continues to push its “going dark” theory. It’s not interested in the truth. It would rather have a legislative mandate or a string of favorable court decisions than utilize options vendors have made available. These are the candles the FBI will forgo to publicly curse the darkness. A recent Inspector General’s report made it crystal clear: those charged with finding a way to crack open the San Bernardino shooter’s cell phone slow-walked their search in hopes of ending up with a judicial mandate forcing Apple to crack its own encryption.

      The complaints about the darkness continue, even as vendors like Cellebrite have shown they can crack any iPhone given enough money and time. There are solutions out there, but the FBI doesn’t want them. Cellebrite isn’t the only company with an iPhone crack for sale. As Joseph Cox reports for Motherboard, another device has surfaced that can brute force its way past iPhone lock screens. The FBI may continue its disingenuous push for weakened encryption, but law enforcement agencies around the nation are more than willing to pay for a solution that doesn’t involve Congressional reps or federal judges.

    • Mark Zuckerberg May Not Be The Programming Whiz You Thought

      However, digging up Zuckerberg’s performance as a programmer revealed that he isn’t the genius we believed him to be. His performance on TopCoder, a site where coders get ranked on their coding skills, is quite mediocre actually.

    • Here Are Some Ways Washington Could Rein In Facebook

      Some lawmakers have started to talk about reining in the size of the tech Goliaths. The 20-year dry spell in U.S. monopoly cases has led economists and even some tech experts to conclude that enforcement has been too timid, with negative economic effects. Facebook and Google control more than half of U.S. internet mobile ad spending. Facebook’s share of mobile social-media traffic, including its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram units, is about 75 percent, by one estimate. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, pressed Zuckerberg during the hearing about whether his company has any competitors. “You don’t think that you have a monopoly?” Graham said. “It certainly doesn’t feel that way to me,” Zuckerberg responded.

    • ‘Suspicious’ Groups Paid for Most of Facebook’s Politically Divisive Ads, Researchers Find

      One-sixth of those ad buyers with little background information were linked to Russia, according to the study released Monday. Researchers examined 5 million ads encountered from Sept. 28 to Nov. 8, 2016, by about 9,500 volunteers, who were chosen to represent the demographics and partisan affiliations of U.S. voters. The ads were captured by special software in the participant’s web browsers.

    • Zuckerberg to meet with European digital chief

      Andrus Ansip, European Commission vice president in charge of digital issues, will also meet with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and top officials from Netflix and Twitter in San Francisco according to Ansip’s public calendar.

    • Facebook’s AI Predicts Your Future Actions And Uses It To Serve Ads: Report

      During his Congress hearings, Mark Zuckerberg shed a little light on his plans to use artificial intelligence to combat the issue of fake news and hate speech on his platform. What he didn’t tell the world was how his company is already using AI to increase its advertising revenues.

    • Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document

      Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted in March, Facebook has been attempting to make a moral stand for your privacy, distancing itself from the unscrupulous practices of the U.K. political consultancy. “Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do,” wrote Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, just a few weeks before founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hit Capitol Hill to make similar reassurances, telling lawmakers, “Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good.” But in reality, a confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the two companies are far more similar than the social network would like you to believe.

    • Cambridge Analytica scandal ‘highlights need for AI regulation’

      The goal is not to write the principles directly into legislation, Clement-Jones said, but rather to have them as a broad guiding beacon for AI regulation. “For instance, in the financial services area it would be the Financial Conduct Authority” that actually applied the principles, “and they would be looking at how insurance companies use algorithms to assess your premiums, how banks assess people for mortgages, and so on and so forth.

    • Headlines About ‘The Dark Web’ Are Usually Nonsense

      Think critically when news outlets report about private data “showing up on the dark web,” because it probably doesn’t mean what you imagine.

    • China is breeding its population to select for governmental obedience in “Social Credit Score” program

      By making people who are obedient to the government a more reliable and attractive partner who has access to far better services and schools, China is breeding its population to select for government obedience.

      This is the bigger picture. And China is known for taking a very long-term view of things — where the West looks quarter-by-quarter, China looks century-by-century.

    • Going Through US Border Security With Nothing to Hide

      The following steps for what I call a “clean pass”, as far as I can see, violate no laws. I cannot guarantee that they will let you get through unscathed or that CBP still won’t confiscate your devices. If you’re not a US citizen, I don’t know how far your rights extend and whether you would be required to divulge some of your cloud information, although in a 2017 response to questions by Senator Ron Wyden the CBP said it’s authority was restricted to content physical on the device. So proceed at your own discretion. Lastly, this guide should work while traveling to other countries as well.

    • Draining The Data Swamp: Who Owns The “Virtual You”?

      Zuckerberg dodged extremely serious questions. Who owns “the virtual you?” Zuckerberg’s response was that you own all the “content” you upload, and can delete that content any time you want. Yet the heart of the matter is the advertising profile Facebook builds on each user. That simply cannot be deleted. And the user cannot alter it in any way.

    • Commentary: Sweden Actually Protects its Residents’ Data. America Should Take Note.

      Are you prepared to leave these matters to 30-year-old CEOs? The stakes are huge. If we get this right, AI could offer us safer workplaces, better health care, freedom from drudgery, and fewer language barriers. It could bring us a world where people and machines work together to reach fairer decisions—about hiring, scholarships, loans, and so much more.

      But it could all go so badly wrong. Imagine a hospital that’s as cavalier with your data as Facebook. Or a college admissions officer who’s as lax about algorithmic bias as Google’s ad-targeting system—which, according to a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, showed online ads for high-paying executive jobs five times as often to men as to women. That’s the treacherous path we’re walking now.

    • Facebook snubs Swedish government meeting

      “We never confirmed our participation. These topics are too important to not be properly addressed by people with subject matter expertise, and therefore we were grateful to instead welcome representatives from the Swedish Government at our International Headquarters in Dublin on Wednesday. In a full day of meetings, the Minister of Digitalization (sic) received detailed briefings on both our approach to hate speech, privacy controls, and Facebook’s work to protect the integrity of the Facebook platform around the Swedish elections,” Christine Grahn, Public Policy Manager for Facebook Sweden, wrote.

    • The Zuckerberg Hearings Were Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Debut

      According to most of the people I spoke to, Facebook’s challenge at the hearings can be reduced to two issues. First off, the general population, including many of our elected representatives, just doesn’t understand how the company works. Second, Facebook is one of a crop of network effect businesses powered by the rise of the internet. Because these businesses operate differently from those in more traditional industries, they must be regulated differently. Congress, and by extension regulators, don’t understand enough about these businesses to regulate them, and risk further entrenching their power by attempting.

    • Facebook data scandal fails to dent revenue from advertising

      Advertiser spending on Facebook was up by an average of 43pc year-on-year over the weeks following the data row, according to advertising analysts.

    • Hey Facebook, I’m Quitting You—and It’s Not Just About Cambridge Analytica

      Everybody from Silicon Valley snobs to frustrated watchdogs rolled their emoji eyes at the spectacle. Those who had hoped to see a perp walk instead watched Zuckerberg stroll to the bank: Facebook’s share price climbed 4.5 percent the next day. The strongest regulatory threat to emerge was the happy CEO’s offer to write some new rules himself. `

    • Facebook ad feature claims to predict user’s future behaviour
    • Pavel Durov: A VPN Does Bypass Russia’s Telegram Ban
    • Russia to ban Telegram messenger over encryption dispute

      Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said the ban would be enforced soon but would not say exactly when, TASS reported. Roskomnadzor later added Telegram to its register of banned websites, paving the way for it to be blocked.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Who Polices the Immigration Police?

      Early one winter morning last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were scouting the last-known address of a fugitive they had labeled Target #147 when they happened upon Isabel Karina Ruiz-Roque.

      A turkey farmworker for over a decade, Ruiz-Roque had kept her head down and her record clean, never once encountering los ICEs, as she called them. Then two federal agents rapped on her car window and flashed a photo of the immigration fugitive they believed to be her York County neighbor. Ruiz-Roque, 34, said she did not know the woman, and they told her not to worry, that she was not their target.

    • California Can Reduce the Number of Police Shootings. Here’s How.

      Those figures are alarming, but even more shocking were the sentiments expressed by Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood in a recently-unveiled video from 12 years ago. During a meeting with the county’s Detention Officers Association, Youngblood told the audience that it is better financially for the county when his deputies kill someone rather than injure them.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The California Senate Utilities Committee’s Net Neutrality Analysis Might as Well Have Been Written by AT&T

      S.B. 822, Senator Scott Wiener’s net neutrality bill, is currently pending in the California legislature. It’s a bill that prioritizes consumers over large ISPs, creating strong net neutrality protections. Unsurprisingly, AT&T and the rest of the giant telecom companies don’t like it. And unfortunately for Californians, the report on the bill issued by the California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications parrots several misleading arguments by the large ISPs.

      S.B. 822 does a lot of things, but the biggest objections AT&T has—and which the committee seems to be comfortable agreeing with—are with provisions that cut into their bottom line. S.B. 822 bans blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization for any ISP looking to get money from the state. ISPs want paid prioritization because it would let them charge companies extra for faster connections. ISPs argue that if they can’t make more money that way, they’ll have to charge customers more. ISPs also want to be given taxpayer money without these requirements. The committee’s recommendations play right into the ISPs’ hands, even though they don’t make sense.

    • Ajit Pai made Elizabeth Pierce his “broadband advisor,” and now she’s been arrested for a $250,000,000 fraud

      According to the charge sheet, Pierce raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Quijntillion from investors after forging contracts and lying about future revenues.

    • Busting Two Myths About Paid Prioritization

      Eight out of 10 Americans support net neutrality, which makes opposing it a bad look for both politicians and corporate PR. So everyone says something along the lines of being in favor of net neutrality or an Internet Bill of Rights. Every time, however, giant Internet service providers (ISPs) and the politicians on their side, leave room for paid prioritization.

      Paid prioritization allows ISPs to charge for some Internet services to be sped up, while all the rest are slowed down. One of the common ways to describe it is that it creates Internet “fast lanes.” A better analogy is that ISPs get to charge protection money from large Internet companies in a classic “That’s a nice Facebook you have there, shame if something happened to it” fashion.

    • AT&T and cable lobby are terrified of a California net neutrality bill

      AT&T and the lobby group that represents Comcast, Charter, Cox, and other cable companies have been making their displeasure known to lawmakers in advance of hearings on a bill that could impose the toughest net neutrality law in the nation. The California bill implements the FCC’s basic net neutrality rules from 2015, but it also bans paid zero-rating arrangements in which home or mobile Internet providers charge online services for data cap exemptions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Guest Post by Professor Chien: Inequality, Innovation, and Patents

      Just over a week ago, the United States proposed tariffs on over 1,000 Chinese imports in response to various intellectual property grievances. China responded with a number of proposed counter-tariffs. One of the most notable, as well as unfortunate, aspects of China’s proposed tariffs—which heavily target American soybeans and pork—is that harms to U.S. producers would apparently disproportionately fall on certain Midwestern states that had previously benefited from access to Chinese markets.

      I argue in a new working paper focused on the often-overlooked question of how innovation is distributed among various settings that just as trade creates winners and losers, so too does patented innovation. Advances in the accessibility and quality of open patent data, largely made possible by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist, provide a way to explore distributional questions that have long been at the heart of the patent system. Specifically, the data can give insight into the participation of small and independent innovators, the role of foreigners, and geographic and corporate concentration of patenting. It has also allowed recent discussions regarding who becomes an inventor and the extent to which innovation creates or destroys jobs.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Apparently Silently Shut Down Its Legal Movies Search Engine

        In 2015, with much fanfare, the MPAA released its own search engine of sorts as WhereToWatch.com. The idea behind the site was to combat the argument that people pirate films because there are too few legal alternatives. The MPAA built the site to show where those legal alternatives do in fact exist. Left unaddressed, of course, were questions about how useful and convenient those alternatives were, how users had to navigate through a myriad of restrictive policies for those legal alternatives, and how terrible Hollywood must be in promoting its legal alternatives if the only thing needed to stop all this piracy was an MPAA search engine.

        On top of that, WhereToWatch served as something of an excuse for many draconian polices the MPAA was pushing for all along. By being able to point to the search engine as “proof” that all kinds of legal alternatives to piracy were readily available, the MPAA argued that policies such as “notice and staydown” as well as site-blocking were legitimate pursuits. Somewhat predictably and with a heaving helping of irony, WhereToWatch received multiple DMCA takedown notices for its search results, demonstrating how perilous DMCA takedowns have become.

      • After Removing US From Negotiating Process, Now Trump Suddenly Wants US Back In TPP

        The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is deeply unpopular with Americans for a variety of reasons (some of which we’ll discuss below). Because of its unpopularity, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton denounced the agreement during their campaign for the Presidency. Trump’s denunciation seemed a lot more genuine — he’s argued against free trade and in favor of protectionism for quite a long time. Clinton’s denunciation was highly suspect, as she had long been a supporter of the TPP, and many people expected that, if elected, she’d flip flop back to support the agreement. Of course, she didn’t get elected… but now it’s apparently, Trump who has flip flopped to now supporting TPP.

      • Microsoft Denies Piracy Extortion Claims, Returns Fire

        Last year the Rhode Island-based company Hanna Instruments accused Microsoft and the Software Alliance of trying to extort money via baseless piracy claims. In their reply, the two organizations deny these allegations, showing that Hanna’s own evidence reveals that it used unlicensed product keys.

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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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


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