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06.13.18

Links 13/6/2018: Cockpit 170, Plasma 5.13, Krita 4.0.4

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Former Munich Mayor Warns Against Negative Effects Of City’s Re-Migration To Microsoft

    The former mayor of Munich, Christian Ude (Social Democratic Party), clashed with the new head of IT of the Bavarian capital over the city’s re-migration from Linux to Microsoft at an event organised by the Green Party yesterday.

  • Linux Gets Loud

    Linux is ready for prime time when it comes to music production. New offerings from Linux audio developers are pushing creative and technical boundaries. And, with the maturity of the Linux desktop and growth of standards-based hardware setups, making music with Linux has never been easier.

    Linux always has had a place for musicians looking for inexpensive rigs to record and create music, but historically, it’s been a pain to maintain. Digging through arcane documentation and deciphering man pages is not something that interests many musicians.

    Loading up Linux is not as intimidating as it once was, and a helpful community is going strong. Beyond tinkering types looking for cheap beats, users range in experience and skill. Linux is still the underdog when it comes to its reputation for thin creative applications though.

  • Desktop

    • CodeWeavers Demo a Windows app Running on a Chromebook using Linux and Wine

      As you may know Google is bringing Linux apps to Chromebooks — but did you realise that the feature could pave the way for Windows apps, too?

      Yup, we’re talking Wine, the Windows software compatibility that is a staple part of the Linux app ecosystem.

      Be it for Adobe Photoshop or games like Fortnite and WoW, Wine is the go-to fudge when you need an app that lacks a native Linux equivalent.

    • Here are all the Chromebooks that run Android and Linux apps

      In May of 2016, Google first announced that it would be releasing updates to Chrome OS that would allow Android apps on Chromebook. While the rollout of suppport for Android apps on Chromebook devices has been slow, there are now a healthy number of first and third-party devices that can run the hundreds of millions of apps available from the Google Play Store. In May 2016, Google revealed that it would also start adding Linux app support to Chromebooks by lacing them in a Debian-based virtual machine. The company’s own Pixelbook is the first Chromebook that can run Linux apps, although just in a preview release.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 and Spin 13 may be first Chromebooks to ship with day-1 Linux app support

      Google revealed Linux app support for Chromebooks at this year’s I/O conference, but at the time the only supported device was the first-party Pixelbook. The 2nd device to get the feature was Samsung’s ARM-powered Chromebook Plus, and other recently released devices Like HP’s Chromebook x2 haven’t had Linux app support at all. But, if a recent commit is any indicator, Acer’s Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 may be the first Chromebooks to run Linux apps from day 1, no update necessary.

    • Linux apps on Chromebooks makes running Windows apps easier

      Now that Google is allowing users of (some) Chromebooks to run Linux applications alongside Chrome apps, there’s an odd side effect: it’s also easier to run some Windows applications.

      CrossOver from CodeWeavers is a utility that adds a compatibility layer to Mac and Linux that allows you to install and run some Windows applications on those platforms. A few years ago the developers of CrossOver released an Android version that could run on Chromebooks that support Android apps.

    • Chromebooks with Linux can run Windows apps but it’s not easy

      It really seems that Chrome OS is being groomed to be the one OS that runs them all. Well almost all. In addition to its native Chrome-based platform, it now supports Android through Google Play Store and, just recently, Linux. Because of those two, it is also possible to run Windows programs to some extent. CodeWeavers, which develops software for running Windows programs on Mac and Linux, has just shown what could be a better way to run those same programs on a Chromebook.

    • Upcoming Chrome OS Files ‘refresh’ highlights Android, Linux files w/ redesigned navigation

      Earlier this month, Google began testing a way to surface files created by Android apps in the Chrome OS Files application. Given upcoming Linux support, the company is now planning a broader “Navigation UI Refresh” for how users view and manage files in Chrome OS.

      This “Refresh” — currently targeted for Chrome OS 69 — is centered on the navigation drawer of the Files app. At the moment, this list of folders is cluttered and becoming increasingly so in light of Android apps and soon Linux software generating user-created files, like PDFs, images, and more.

    • Chromebook Files app getting revamped to better organize Android and Linux apps

      Chrome OS has got a ton of love from Google lately. We’re seeing the OS gain native support for Linux apps starting with the Google Pixelbook and the Samsung Chromebook Plus, and possibly the upcoming Acer Chromebook 13 and Acer Chromebook Spin 13. The interface is also receiving touch optimizations for tablets and detachables like the HP Chromebook X2 and Acer Chromebook Tab 10. Then there’s the Google Material Theme revamp that’s in testing. Now, it seems that the Chromebook Files app will be getting some major structural changes to help users keep track of all their Downloads, Google Drive files, Android apps, Linux apps, and more.

    • Chrome OS Getting Better Organization For Linux/Android Apps

      Chrome OS is getting better organization for Linux and Android apps in the near future by way of an improvement to the Files app on Chromebooks. The improvement is coming via some changes to the app that Google is currently in the process of working on and eventually implementing so that it can push the changes out to users. The rework of sorts will see a new file tree show up in the app labeled as “my files,” under which users will be able to see Linux Files and Linux Drive under their own sub-menu that is separate from the Android apps.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 Will Support Linux Apps on Day One

      Acer’s recently announced Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 appear to be the first Chromebooks to ship with support for Linux apps out-of-the-box at launch.

      Google already announced that it worked on implementing support for Linux apps on Chrome OS during the Google I/O conference last month, and the first Chromebook to run Linux apps is Google’s Pixelbook, as expected, and the functionality was later discovered to be available on the Samsung Chromebook Plus as well.

    • Living the Linux Laptop Lifestyle Revisited

      One Cause at a Time revisits the advantages – and experiences – working with a Linux-powered laptop…

  • Server

    • How Red Hat Linux is helping reclaim the fastest supercomputer title for the US

      All the world’s fastest supercomputers now run Linux, so it’s no surprise that the US Department of Energy’s Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratories runs Linux. Specifically, it runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

      Of course, Summit’s 200-petaflop speed — that’s 200 quadrillion (peta-) floating point operations per second (flops) — comes largely from its hardware. How fast is that? By comparison, China’s Sunway TaihuLight, the official fastest supercomputer in the world, according to November 2017′s Top 500 list, has a speed of 93.01 petaflops.

    • Docker Advances Container Platform for the Multicloud World

      DockerCon 18 kicked off here on June 13 with Docker Inc. making a series of announcements that aim to further advance container adoption by enterprises.

      Docker announced it is enhancing its flagship Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) with a new federated application management capability that enables enterprises to manage and deploy containers across a multicloud infrastructure. The company is also improving its Docker Desktop application for developers with new template-based workflows for building container applications.

      “Federated application management shows how Docker Enterprise Edition can be used to provide a consistent, uniform secure environment across which you could manage applications on multiple clusters, whether they’re on premises or in the cloud,” Docker Chief Product Officer Scott Johnston told eWEEK.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.17.1 Kernel Released

      For those that prefer waiting until the first point release of a new kernel series before upgrading, Linux 4.17.1 is out today.

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the Linux 4.17.1 kernel today barely a week and a half since 4.17.0 made its initial debut. It’s largely been quiet on the 4.17 front with 4.17.1 containing just a handful of bug fixes affecting PCI, network, and other minor driver fixes representing a bulk of the changes. Only about one hundred lines of code was shifted around for this initial point release and none of the fixes are security related.

    • Fingerprint reader support, the second coming

      Fingerprint readers are more and more common on Windows laptops, and hardware makers would really like to not have to make a separate SKU without the fingerprint reader just for Linux, if that fingerprint reader is unsupported there.

      The original makers of those fingerprint readers just need to send patches to the libfprint Bugzilla, I hear you say, and the problem’s solved!

      But it turns out it’s pretty difficult to write those new drivers, and those patches, without an insight on how the internals of libfprint work, and what all those internal, undocumented APIs mean.

      Most of the drivers already present in libfprint are the results of reverse engineering, which means that none of them is a best-of-breed example of a driver, with all the unknown values and magic numbers.

    • Video: Linus Torvalds Explains How Linux Still Surprises and Motivates Him

      Linus Torvalds took to the stage in China for the first time Monday at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China 2017 in Beijing. In front of a crowd of nearly 2,000, Torvalds spoke with VMware Head of Open Source Dirk Hohndel in one of their famous “fireside chats” about what motivates and surprises him and how aspiring open source developers can get started. Here are some highlights of their talk.

    • Linux 4.9.108
    • Linux 4.4.137
    • Linux 3.18.113
    • MIPS Changes Pulled Into The Linux 4.18 Kernel, Not Any NanoMIPS Or Intel GRX500

      The MIPS architecture updates have been submitted for the Linux 4.18 kernel merge window.

      The MIPS updates in Linux 4.18 don’t include any new Spectre or security features, but does include some new intrinsics, Year 2038 improvements, various fixes, and more.

    • DM Writecache Target Merged For Linux 4.18, Helping Databases & More

      There is at least one interesting feature with the just-merged Device Mapper (DM) changes for the Linux 4.18 kernel.

    • Intel Skylake Xeon Systems Get HWP Iowait Boosting With P-State On Linux 4.18

      Intel Skylake Xeon Scalable servers may see greater performance when upgrading to the in-development Linux 4.18 kernel.

      Last month we covered P-State Powersave Improvements May Help Boost I/O Performance. That work is about yielding better I/O performance when using the P-State CPU frequency scaling driver particularly with the powersave governor that is the common default. The work was found to significantly improve some I/O workloads like Dbench by 50%, FIO/Tiobench by about 10%, 15% for SQLite, and about 10% for x264 video encoding.

    • More XFS Fixes Readied For Linux 4.18

      Last week was the main XFS file-system pull request for Linux 4.18 while submitted on Tuesday was a secondary batch of updates targeted for this next kernel version.

    • KVM Changes For Linux 4.18 Bring Many Microsoft Hyper-V Additions, x86 Bug Fixes

      KVM maintainer for the Linux kernel, Paolo Bonzini, on Tuesday submitted the feature updates for the Kernel-based Virtual Machine in Linux 4.18.

    • Linux Foundation

      • ONAP’s Second Code Release, Beijing, Enables the Software to Use Kubernetes

        The O​pen Network Automation Platform (ONAP)​ project today issued its second software release — Beijing. It includes more support for containers and some functionality for service providers to deploy ONAP across geographically dispersed data centers.

        The ONAP project gave clues that it was working with the container orchestrator Kubernetes in March when the two projects conducted a joint demonstration at the Open Networking Summit (ONS).

      • ONAP ‘Beijing’ Paves Way for Cloud-Native Network Functions

        The Linux Foundation’s LF Networking group announced availability for the second version of ONAP, or the Open Network Automation Platform that is codenamed “Beijing,” which is being used by AT&T and several other large carriers to manage and automate network traffic and security.

        Beijing follows “Amsterdam,” which was a first release late last year that integrated the code bases from two other carrier orchestration projects, one from AT&T and the other from the largest providers in China, said LF Networking General Manager Arpit Joshipura, in an interview with eWEEK.

      • ONAP Beijing release targets deployment scenarios

        Deployability is the name of the game with the Linux Foundation’s latest Open Network Automation Platform architecture.

        Central to the ONAP Beijing release are seven identified “dimensions of deployability,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation. These seven deployability factors comprise usability, security, manageability, stability, scalability, performance and resilience.

      • R Consortium is soliciting your feedback on R package best practices

        With over 12,000 R packages on CRAN alone, the choice of which package to use for a given task is challenging. While summary descriptions, documentation, download counts and word-of-mouth may help direct selection, a standard assessment of package quality can greatly help identify the suitability of a package for a given (non-)commercial need. Providing the R Community of package users an easily recognized “badge” indicating the level of quality achievement will make it easier for users to know the quality of a package along several dimensions. In addition, providing R package authors and maintainers a checklist of “best practices” can help guide package development and evolution, as well as help package users as to what to look for in a package.

      • Session Agenda Announced for The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit North America [Ed: Another "Linux" event has been infiltrated by Microsoft. So while Microsoft is blackmailing Linux users and bribes officials to dump GNU/Linux it's now "part of us".]

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the schedule of sessions and speakers for Open Source Summit North America, taking place August 29-31 in Vancouver, BC, including expanded pre-event lighting talks, workshops and tutorials on August 28.

      • Open Source and Standards Organizations Collaborate to Enable Digital Transformation

        TM Forum Catalyst projects showcased during the recent Digital Transformation World event in Nice France have highlighted the value of combining open source with open standards and contributed valuable improvements to The Linux Foundation’s Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Beijing Release, availability of which was announced on the 12th June.

      • Linux Foundation seeking ONAP rollout boost

        The Linux Foundation unveiled the second software release of its Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project, which it said delivers improvements in terms of scalability and ease of deployment.

        ONAP Beijing also includes enhancements covering security and performance in real-world deployments, new training for Virtual Network Functions (VNF) developers and backing for operators commencing rollouts.

        Mazin Gilbert, chair of ONAP’s Technical Steering Committee and VP of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs, said in a statement the upgrades are another step toward “establishing ONAP as the de facto standard for automation”.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland’s Weston 5.0 Moved Up To An August Release

        Following the recent discussions of moving Wayland’s Weston compositor to a 4-month release schedule and possibly doing away with time-based Wayland releases itself, Weston 5.0 will now be coming out in August.

        Feature development on Weston is as busy as ever while Wayland (libwayland) is quite mature and not seeing too much churn. Upstream Wayland developers now appear to be in agreement to carrying out the next Weston release at least on a four-month release cycle.

      • Librem 5 progress report #14

        On the nuts and bolts level, our phone shell (phosh) has seen several usability improvements mostly around the lockscreen. One important change is that the lockscreen unlocking has been switched to PAM to better handle the PIN to lock the device. There have also been some additions to the code to better handle multiple outputs (screens). Also, Libhandy is our “handy” UI library for developing GTK+ apps. There has been a recent addition of an arrows widget (HdyArrows) to indicate swiping direction which will be very useful to many applications, especially the lockscreen. Additionally, libhandy has seen some bug fixes and a slight rework of the keyboard handling support. Since graphics are important, we have added Etnaviv support to weston-simple-dmabuf (a Wayland client to test Linux DMA-BUF protocol implementations). We also extended it’s NV12 format support. It’s being used over here to test wlroot’s linux-dmabuf implementation which we wrote a couple of weeks ago. We’d like to especially thank the wlroots and Weston projects for their code reviews, recommendations, and support.

      • Librem 5 Continues Working On Its Wayland Software Stack, Testing Vibration Motors, Chargers

        Purism has published their latest progress report on the Librem 5 privacy-minded Linux-powered smartphone that they still hope to begin shipping next January.

      • Intel Developers Working On HDCP Content Protection Protocol For Wayland [Ed: This is basically “Linux Vista”. First Web DRM (EME). Now LF sells out as well.]

        With Intel’s DRM kernel driver now supporting HDCP for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection with work done by Intel and Google developers, there is now work underway for allowing HDCP to work in a Wayland-based environment.

        As with the work done on the Direct Rendering Manager side, these Wayland patches aren’t enforcing any restrictions on users by itself but is simply making the support available should any applications come along that wish to enforce HDCP usage on the Linux desktop.

      • VFIO Adds Sample Mediated Device Display Drivers

        The VFIO framework that allows exposing direct device access to user-space in a secure, IOMMU-protected fashion is gaining some new sample drivers in Linux 4.18.

    • Benchmarks

      • Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

        Last month Samsung introduced the 970 Series solid-state drives with the mainstream 970 EVO models and 970 PRO models for professionals/enthusiasts. The 970 Series moves to a 64-layer flash and uses a five-core Phoenix controller. For those curious about the Samsung 970 EVO performance under Linux, I have carried out some quick benchmarks to show off its potential under Ubuntu.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Hands on: KDE Plasma 5.13.0 review

        The good people of the KDE Foundation have just released the latest version of the Plasma desktop environment. Plasma 5 has been in active development since July 2014 and is maintained as a separate software project which follows its own release schedule. It has an excellent reputation for rich graphics, an intuitive and customizable interface, as well as excellent performance.

        However, the Plasma team hasn’t relied only on its reputation in this latest version: clear effort has been made to enhance the desktop environment with more features and a smoother running experience.

      • Plasma 5.13, a new version of KDE’s desktop environment, is here

        Feature-wise, Plasma 5.13 comes with Browser Integration. This means both Chrome/Chromium and Firefox web browsers can be monitored and controlled using your desktop widgets. For example, downloads are displayed in the Plasma notification popup, so even if your browser is minimized or not visible, you can monitor the download progress. Likewise with media playing in a tab: you can use Plasma’s media controls to stop, pause and silence videos and audio playing in any tab – even the hidden ones. This a perfect solution for those annoying videos that auto-start without your permission. Another Plasma-browser feature is that links can now be opened from Plasma’s overhead launcher (Krunner), and you can also send links directly to your phone using KDE Connect.

      • Plasma 5.13 Out

        The newly released and extremely elegant Plasma 5.13 is now available in KDE neon User Edition. We’ve also gone ahead and included Qt 5.11 and KDE Frameworks 5.47 to get a billion bugs fixed and improve printing support.

      • GSoC :: Coding Period – Phase One (May 14th to June 12th): Initial implementation of typewriter annotation tool in Okular

        The phase one of the coding period is now completed and I’m done with the initial implementation of typewriter annotation tool in Okular along with writing the integration tests for the same. I have created the revision on Phabricator and it is currently under review. Some review comments by my mentor are still to come.

        As per the agreed timeline, I have implemented the fully functional typewriter tool that creates the annotation with the transparent background in all the supported document formats and the text input UI in the current implementation is the popup QInputDialog window which is in accordance with the inline note.

      • Krita 4.0.4 released!

        Today the Krita team releases Krita 4.0.4, a bug fix release of Krita 4.0.0. This is the last bugfix release for Krita 4.0.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Path to Cloud-Native Trading Platforms

        The Red Hat Performance Team, along with our partners Solarflare and Supermicro, have been working together to leverage the latest technologies and features in the container orchestration space to demonstrate that it is possible to containerize extreme low-latency applications without any degradation in performance. The team used the well-known STAC-N1™ benchmark from STAC® (the Securities Technology Analysis Center), to prove out the technology.

      • Red Hat Responds to New Speculative Execution Vulnerability, Patches Coming Soon

        Red Hat is the top open-source software company known for their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system, and they’re always quick to address newly discovered security vulnerabilities that not only affect its enterprise-ready operating system but the entire Open Source and Free Software community.

        Many modern microprocessors leverage the “lazy restore” function for floating point state (FPU), which is used when needed for improving the overall performance of the system when saving and restoring the state of apps in the internal memory when switching from one application to another.

      • Maxta MxSP dons its Red Hat for container storage

        Maxta MxSP hyper-converged infrastructure is expanding integration with Red Hat. The software-only vendor has added support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, which is built on Red Hat Container Native Storage with GlusterFS file system.

      • Red Hat Introduces Fuse 7, Buildah 1.0 to Ease App Development

        Today’s topics include Red Hat launching Fuse 7 and Buildah 1.0 for advanced application development, and a new ENCRYPT bill to create national encryption rules.

        Red Hat is boosting its application development efforts with Fuse 7 and Buildah 1.0, which will help developers build and integrate cloud-native container applications.

        With version 7, Red Hat is augmenting its Fuse cloud-native integration platform with a hosted low-code integration platform as a service called Fuse Online, allowing developers to create container-native integrated apps or APIs for OpenShift.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • FESCo Election: Interview with Till Maas (till)

          This is a part of the FESCo Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Thursday, June 7th and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018.

        • Fedora 28 on Raspberry Pi 3 B+

          The Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ (RPi 3 B+) is the latest available in the Raspberry Pi series, released in mid-March 2018. RPi 3 B+ has some nice features and improvements over the previous RPi 3 B. They include faster 1.4 GHz processor clock speed, Gigabit Ethernet speed, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi support, and Bluetooth 4.2.

          Fedora 28 was released soon after the RPi 3 B+. The good news is it supports the RPi 3 B+, as well as the RPi Model B versions 2 and 3. Images are available to download for both ARMv7 (32-bit) and aarch64(64-bit). This article will show you how to get wifi running on the RPi 3 B+.

        • [Week 4] GSoC Status Report for Fedora App: Amitosh
        • Bodhi 3.8.1 released
        • Flatpak in detail

          At this point, Flatpak is a mature system for deploying and running desktop applications. It has accumulated quite some sophistication over time, which can make it appear more complicated than it is.

          In this post, I’ll try to look in depth at some of the core concepts behind Flatpak, namely runtimes and extensions.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Policy call for participation — June 2018

        I’d like to push a substantive release of Policy but I’m waiting for DDs to review and second patches in the following bugs. I’d be grateful for your involvement!

        If a bug already has two seconds, or three seconds if the proposer of the patch is not a DD, please consider reviewing one of the others, instead, unless you have a particular interest in the topic of the bug.

      • Microsoft fixed the Open R Debian package

        Thanks Microsoft for the quick fix, it is good news that those playing with Open R will not be left with a hosed system.

      • Google Summer of Code 2018 with Debian – Week 4

        After working on designs and getting my hands dirty with KIVY for the first 3 weeks, I became comfortable with my development environment and was able to deliver features within a couple of days with UI, tests, and documentation. In this blog, I explain how I converted all my Designs into Code and what I’ve learned along the way.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian variant offers safe homeland for systemd haters

          The Devuan project has released a v2.0 ASCII version of its Devuan fork of Debian that replaces the systemd init with OpenRC, and let’s you load other inits of your choice. The release supports several major Linux hacker boards.

          The Devuan project was announced in 2014 as a Debian fork for those who prefer other init systems to Red Hat’s systemd. Since then, systemd has seen even greater adoption in Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, which last year replaced its Upstart init in favor of systemd as part of its retreat from its Unity8/Mir desktop and convergence initiative. Yet Devuan has persisted, and has now released a more mature, Devuan v2.0 ASCII version of its systemd-free Debian distro.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 451 Research benchmarks public and private infrastructure cost

            451 Research’s latest report, ‘Busting the myth of private cloud economics ’, found that Canonical’s managed private OpenStack offering, BootStack, delivers private cloud with a TCO that matches public clouds. For multi-cloud operations, enterprise can benefit from a cost effective infrastructure by combining competitive public cloud services with Canonical’s managed private OpenStack cloud on-premise.

          • Private Cloud May Be the Best Bet: Report

            News flash: Private cloud economics can offer more cost efficiency than public cloud pricing structures.

            Private (or on-premises) cloud solutions can be more cost-effective than public cloud options, according to “Busting the Myths of Private Cloud Economics,” a report 451 Research and Canonical released Wednesday. That conclusion counters the notion that public cloud platforms traditionally are more cost-efficient than private infrastructures.

            Half of the enterprise IT decision-makers who participated in the study identified cost as the No. 1 pain point associated with the public cloud. Forty percent mentioned cost-savings as a key driver of cloud migration.

            “We understand that people are looking for more cost-effective infrastructure. This was not necessarily news to us,” said Mark Baker, program director at Canonical.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Users Can Now Install Mesa 18.1.1 to Improve Their Linux Gaming

            Implementing OpenGL 3.1 with ARB_compatibility on RadeonSI, r600, NV50, NVC0, Softpipe, LLVMpipe, and SVGA graphics drivers, the Mesa 18.1 graphics stack series debuted on May 18, 2018, with support for new OpenGL extensions, including GL_EXT_semaphore, GL_EXT_semaphore_fd, GL_ARB_bindless_texture, and GL_ARB_transform_feedback_overflow_query.

            Additionally, it adds support for the GL_EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch and GL_EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch_non_coherent extension for the Intel i965 OpenGL graphics driver, support for the GL_KHR_blend_equation_advanced extension for the RadeonSI graphics driver, and enables disk shader cache support for the Intel i965 OpenGL graphics driver by default.

          • Mesa 18.0.5 Being Prepped For Ubuntu 18.04 While 18.1.1 Going Into X-Updates

            When Ubuntu 18.04 LTS shipped in April, it shipped with a near-final release candidate of Mesa 18.0. Coming down the pipe now to “Bionic Beaver” desktop users is Mesa 18.0.5.

            Canonical’s Timo Aaltonen who wrangles the X/Mesa packages has been working on getting the Mesa 18.0.5 point release out into the 18.04 Bionic archive and also an updated GLVND package to ease the transition for users that may be upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04. Those updates are in the process of landing.

          • Status of Ubuntu Mesa backports

            It’s been quite a while since the last post about Mesa backports, so here’s a quick update on where we are now.

            Ubuntu 18.04 was released with Mesa 18.0.0 which was built against libglvnd. This complicates things a bit when it comes to backporting Mesa to 16.04, because the packaging has changed a bit due to libglvnd and would break LTS->LTS upgrades without certain package updates.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 4 open source augmented reality SDKs

    Advancements in augmented reality (AR) technologies have unearthed possibilities that previously were restricted to our imaginations. Today, it’s possible to use sophisticated computer-produced vision to augment our physical environment in entirely new and captivating ways.

    The resulting boom has led developers to seek out the best open source AR software development kits (SDKs) to build the next big AR-powered applications and games. This includes people like Swizec, who has spent the past 10 years working in AR and developing apps like the projects shown on LiveEdu.tv.

  • Why Open Source Needs Marketing (Even Though Developers Hate It)
  • ASIFA-Hollywood Continues Commitment To Open Source Animation Technology

    “The last few years, there have been incredible advancements in the quality of open source software solutions for artists,” says Danny Young, ASIFA-Hollywood board member. “Open Source software development is more than ever serving as a counterweight to put fantastic free technology in the hands of anyone who is curious enough to explore it. By supporting ASIFA-Hollywood, you make projects like this possible. So, thank you, ASIFA membership!”

  • Events

    • Little community conferences

      This last weekend I was at FOSS Talk Live 2018. It was fun. And it led me into various thoughts of how I’d like there to be more of this sort of fun in and around the tech community, and how my feelings on success have changed a bit since the early years.

      [..].

      Philosophical thoughts, admittedly, so how are they relevant? Well, if your goal is to get 50% of people on earth using your choice of OS then everything you do needs to be big, splashy, impressive. There’s not much room left in there for doing stuff just for the joy of it. But if what you have is already good then you’re no longer constrained to change it, just to enjoy it. And that’s what I meant about smaller conferences. Nobody showed up to FOSS Talk Live to hand out business cards, or even to make contacts. None of the podcasts are seeking their break-out into television. It’s done for joy. I like joy. Beethoven wrote music about it. I’d like there to be more joy and less striving in people’s lives, if we can manage it; the actual business of your life is hard and annoying and unpleasant sometimes, or maybe all the time. Having the things we do for fun actually be fun sounds like a good plan. FOSS Talk Live and Fusion feel so welcoming, so friendly; a place where, fine, we can unabashedly talk about tech without embarrassment, but equally there’s no pressure. It’s just nice. I’d like there to be more of that. Let’s work out how.

    • FOSS Talk Live 2018

      Saturday 9th June 2018 marked FOSS Talk Live 2018, an evening of Linux UK podcasts on stage at The Harrison pub near Kings Cross, London. It’s in its third year now, and each year has improved on the last. This year there were four live shows: Late Night Linux, Ubuntu Podcast, Linux Voice, and what we affectionally call the “Drunken Mashup Show” containing Joe from Late Night Linux, Dave Megins-Nichols from Geek News Radio, Marius Quabeck from Nerdzoom.de and… me, representing Bad Voltage. It was jolly good fun.

  • Web Browsers

    • Improving extension transparency for users

      We strive to ensure choice and transparency for all Chrome users as they browse the web. Part of this choice is the ability to use the hundreds of thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store to customize the browsing experience in useful and productivity-boosting ways. However, we continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly — and the majority of these complaints are attributed to confusing or deceptive uses of inline installation on websites. As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension. When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation.

    • Now You Can’t Install New Chrome Extensions From Websites, Only Chrome Store

      Apart from its own feature set, tons of browser extensions are what make Google Chrome stand different from other web browsers. Just like it has for Android, Google maintains a dedicated storefront for Chrome users to find and install their favorite extensions.

      The extension developers can also make users install Chrome extensions from their websites as well – a method called inline installation. This is to save users’ time and efforts of visiting the Chrome Store and installing the extension from there. But Google says inline installation could be used for abusing and deceiving users.

    • Add a Dark Mode to Every Website With This Browser Extension

      Chrome/Firefox: Your monitor is basically a lightbulb, which is why white backgrounds are hard on the eyes. Dark Reader is a browser extension that turns bright websites dark, sparing your retinas.

    • Mozilla

      • WITHIN creates distribution platform using WebVR

        Virtual Reality (VR) content has arrived on the web, with help from the WebVR API. It’s a huge inflection point for a medium that has struggled for decades to reach a wide audience. Now, anyone with access to an internet-enabled computer or smartphone can enjoy VR experiences, no headset required. A good place to start? WITHIN’s freshly launched VR website.

        From gamers to filmmakers, VR is the bleeding edge of self-expression for the next generation. It gives content creators the opportunity to tell stories in new ways, using audience participation, parallel narratives, and social interaction in ever-changing virtual spaces. With its immersive, 360-degree audio and visuals, VR has outsized power to activate our emotions and to put us in the center of the action.

        WITHIN is at the forefront of this shift toward interactive filmmaking and storytelling. The company was one of the first to launch a VR distribution platform that showcases best-in-class VR content with high production values.

      • This Week in Rust 238
      • What do you think are the most interesting/exciting projects using Rust?

        Jonathan Turner suggested I write up the responses as a blog post, and here we are.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Apache vs Nginx Performance: Optimization Techniques

      Some years ago, the Apache Foundation’s web server, known simply as “Apache”, was so ubiquitous that it became synonymous with the term “web server”. Its daemon process on Linux systems has the name httpd (meaning simply http process) — and comes preinstalled in major Linux distributions.

      It was initially released in 1995, and, to quote Wikipedia, “it played a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web”. It is still the most-used web server software according to W3techs. However, according to those reports which show some trends of the last decade and comparisons to other solutions, its market share is decreasing. The reports given by Netcraft and Builtwith differ a bit, but all agree on a trending decline of Apache’s market share and the growth of Nginx.

    • Openstack Foundation branches out to ‘open source infrastructure’

      Changes are underway at the Openstack Foundation, with the community branching out from the open source cloud platform to the umbrella of ‘open infrastructure’.

      Openstack is the catch-all term for a series of open source cloud infrastructure components, ranging from bare metal provisioning (Ironic) to networking (Neutron) and compute (Nova), to name just a few.

      Originally emerging from a joint project between Rackspace and NASA, Openstack has travelled through various development models – such as the ‘big tent’ [link] approach, which essentially said that anything from any vendor could ‘be’ Openstack.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Collabora Office 6.0

      Today we release Collabora Office 6.0 – the Migrator’s Choice with great features to smooth our customers’ migration to an Open Source office suite as well as a hugely improved set of features and enhancements.

  • Education

    • Locks in the classroom – 2018

      For the sixth year now, our grade nine students have been doing 3D modeling using Blender. We ran late this year, but the final locks were finished a couple of weeks ago, and they’re finally ready for publishing.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Lands Support For pNFS

      For FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT in development there is now kernel support for pNFS while the user-space components are landing soon for this Parallel NFS support.

      Present since the NFS v4.1 protocol in 2010 has been the ability to provide scalable, parallel access to files across multiple servers via the pNFS extension. Since yesterday’s FreeBSD SVN code, the pNFS kernel-side support has been merged for their NFS v4.1 server.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing/Legal

    • CPTPP jeopardises the future of open source software: OSIA

      Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA) is calling upon the federal government to scrap the CPTPP (Comprehensive & Progressive agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership) over provisions that could decimate the Australian open source community.

      As the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade conducts its inquiry into the revised international trade agreement that incorporates most of the original TPP’s provisions, OSIA has called for Australia to withdraw from the deal before it is ratified.

      The open source software peak body has identified loosely worded clauses within the chapter on electronic commerce that could have major impacts on creators and users of open source software.

      The offending section is Article 14.17 of the CPTPP, which prohibits requirements for transfer or access to the source code of computer software. OSIA argues that the exceptions within this article are far too narrow and ‘carelessly worded’, leaving them entirely susceptible to interpretation.

    • Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP

      The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is an enormous (roughly 6,000-page) treaty between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was signed in Chile on March 8, 2018. So far, only Mexico and Japan have ratified it. CPTPP is almost identical to the original TPP, which included those 11 countries plus the United States. In early 2017, the US withdrew from the treaty, which its President had previously described as a “terrible deal”.

      CPTPP has many provisions of concern to the FOSS industries and communities in those countries. Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA) has raised a number of those issues with an Australian Senate committee’s inquiry into CPTPP (see “CPTPP could still destroy the Australian FOSS industry” and “Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade regarding the ‘Comprehensive & Progressive agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership’”). The figure below shows the likely consequences of one such provision, Art. 14.17 in the Electronic Commerce Chapter, which deals with transfer of or access to source code.

    • Conservancy Welcomes Racket as its Newest Member Project

      Software Freedom Conservancy and the Racket community are pleased to announce that Racket is Conservancy’s newest member project. Racket is a general-purpose programming language as well as the world’s first ecosystem for developing and deploying new languages. Racket comes with special support for novices and for on-boarding beginners. Several popular online learning platforms include Racket courses. The Realm of Racket is also a great place for programmers who want to become familiar with the basics of the language.

      Racket was launched in 1995 as an educational environment. It is still widely used by educators, but it has also grown into a programmable programming language. As such, it is often used to quickly prototype embedded (domain-specific) languages. Its innovative features have influenced the development of Clojure and Rust, many other languages. Development is ongoing with this summer bringing big internal changes as the project prepares to move from a C-based run-time system to one based on Chez Scheme.

  • Programming/Development

    • Qt Contributors’ Summit 2018 wrap-up

      Qt Contributors’ Summit 2018 is over. Two days of presentations and a lot of discussions during presentations, talk of Qt over coffee and lunch and in restaurants in the evening.

    • Qt 6.0 Might Be Coming After Qt 5.14, Could Depend Upon C++17

      Since last year there has been more talk and early planning around the eventual Qt 6.0 milestone. It’s looking now like Qt 6.0 might happen after Qt 5.14, or likely in 2020.

      Last year there were developer discussions about starting Qt6 work after Qt 5.11, which was released at the end of May. Previous discussions of Qt6 have entailed QIODevice support, a Qt Quick scene graph, improved accessibility, and a Vulkan back-end for Qt Quick.

    • Qt For Python 5.11 Released As The First Official Build

      The past few months The Qt Company has been overhauled PySide2 as Qt For Python, a big improvement to the Python bindings to the Qt tool-kit. Out today is Qt For Python 5.11 as the first official release under the new branding.

    • Qt for Python 5.11 released

      As the version tag implies, it is based on Qt 5.11 and therefore the first release that supports the Qt 5 series. At large the project will follow the general Qt release schedule and versions. Although this is still a Technical Preview we will support the release with the usual support pattern (except the compatibility one). Unfortunately, earlier versions of Qt than 5.11 are not supported. It is available for open source and commercial Qt for Application Development users. Note that there is only one package for commercial and open source users. We hope we can receive plenty of feedback on what works and what does not. We want to patch early and often.

    • Python 3.7 Release Candidate Arrives, Final Expected At The End Of June

      Python 3.7.0 RC1 is available today as the last step prior to issuing this next feature release of Python 3 at month’s end.

      The Python 3.7.0 release candidate was issued today along with the Python 3.6.6 RC1. The current plan is to release both of these new Python versions on 27 June unless some blocker bugs come about that would delay the release.

    • Python 3.7.0rc1

      This release, 3.7.0rc1, is the final planned release preview. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2018-06-27, the scheduled release date for 3.7.0, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release.

Leftovers

  • students, suicides, pressures and solutions.

    There are also perceived career biases that people have, believing that Computer Science is better than being a lawyer, even though IT layoffs have become a new normal. In the above specific case, it was reported that apparently the student who killed himself wanted to be a lawyer while the family wanted him to do CS (Computer Science).

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Patients Wait in Limbo as St. Luke’s Heart Transplant Program Reviews Its Problems

      Earlier this month, when Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston announced it was temporarily suspending its renowned heart transplant program, it threw the care of dozens of patients into limbo, including some who have yet to hear directly from the hospital.

      Now those patients are left waiting to learn if the troubled program will restart Friday, at the end of a two-week internal review, or if it is in store for a much longer overhaul.

      Daniel Reed is among them. He and his wife, Nelly, traveled to Houston last weekend from their home, six hours away in the Rio Grande Valley, to search for a short-term apartment where she can stay after he receives a new heart. They were surprised to learn from a reporter that the hospital had put the transplant program on hold after three of the nine patients to receive a heart transplant in 2018 died.

      “I sort of feel like we’ve been left in the dark,” Nelly Reed said.

  • Security

    • Work a command-line interface in Linux with these permissions and prompts

      The command-line interface is an integral part of the Linux management environment. With sudo permissions and remote connectivity, working with a command line is easy.

    • Android Devices With Misconfigured ADB, a Ripe Target for Cryptojacking Malware

      Poorly configured Android devices, where the Android Debug Bridge is left enabled, have become an attractive target for hackers. According to researchers, adversaries are using the common misconfiguration to install cryptojacking malware on a wide selection of Android-based IoT devices ranging from maritime computer systems, TVs, DVRs and some mobile phone models.

      Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is an Android OS developer function that, when enabled, allows remote users to access a Unix shell to conduct command line device maintenance. According to researcher Kevin Beaumont, thousands of Android type devices ship with ADB enabled, allowing hackers to remotely access them.

    • Microsoft reveals which Windows bugs it might decide not to fix

      The Register sometimes hears from security researchers who feel that Microsoft has not responded to bug reports with appropriate haste. This document and its eventual finalised successor should help to explain such incidents to researchers. It’s also of interest to end-users because by explaining bugs that Microsoft won’t rush to fix it offers some more detail about the risks that come with running Windows.

    • Intelligence agency National Cyber Security Centre is working with Dixons Carphone on huge data breach

      The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, said today it is working with Dixons Carphone on mitigation measures, after the retailer said it was investigating a data breach involving 5.9m payment cards and 1.2m personal data records.

      The company announced earlier on that there was an attempt to compromise 5.9m cards in one of the processing systems of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores.

    • Spy agency investigates Dixons Carphone bank card data breach
    • Want to Break Into a Locked Windows 10 Device? Ask Cortana (CVE-2018-8140)
    • Cortana Flaw Lets Hackers Access Data, Reset Password On Locked Windows 10 PCs

      Security researchers have found a critical flaw in Windows 10 where Cortana can be manipulated into executing Powershell commands on locked devices.

      Attackers can misuse this vulnerability to retrieve confidential data, reset the password, log into a device, and even execute codes from above the lock screen. The only sense of satisfaction is that it requires physical access to the device.

    • Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4284835 Might Be Failing to Install as Well

      Windows 10 April 2018 Update has received a new cumulative update as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday cycle, and although it seemed to install correctly at first, it looks like some users are now hitting issues with this new release.
      Windows 10 cumulative update KB4284835 brings several important fixes and it resolves a bug causing the April 2018 Update to fail with a black screen on a number of systems.

      Microsoft says it’s aware of just one known issue in this cumulative update, but as it turns out, KB4284835 fails to install in some cases, eventually causing an infinite loop where the update is listed as successfully installed, only to be re-offered again after every boot.

      There are several posts on reddit pointing to such an issue, and for the time being, no workaround appears to be available. Manually installing the update does not correct this behavior.

    • Intel LazyFP vulnerability: Exploiting lazy FPU state switching
    • CVE-2018-3665: Lazy State Save/Restore As The Latest CPU Speculative Execution Issue

      The latest speculative execution vulnerability affecting modern CPUs has now been made public: Lazy State Save/Restore, a.k.a. CVE-2018-3665.

      This vulnerability concerns saving/restore state when switching between applications. The newly-disclosed vulnerability exploits lazy-state restores for floating-point state when context switching, which is done as a performance optimization, to obtain information about the activity of other applications on the system.

    • Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets to apps – modern Linux, Windows, BSDs immune

      A security flaw within Intel Core and Xeon processors can be potentially exploited to swipe sensitive data from the chips’ math processing units.

      Malware or malicious logged-in users can attempt to leverage this design blunder to steal the inputs and results of computations performed in private by other software.

      These numbers, held in FPU registers, could potentially be used to discern parts of cryptographic keys being used to secure data in the system. For example, Intel’s AES encryption and decryption instructions use FPU registers to hold keys.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Serious Security: How three minor bugs make one major exploit

      More insecure webcams! Inattention to IoT security! Who would have thought?

      Unfortunately, cybersecurity still seems to sit way down in Nth place for many vendors when they start programming their latest and greatest Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

      In this case, the bugs are in a family of webcams – and not just any old webcams, but security webcams.

    • Thousands of Android Devices Shipped with their Debug Port Exposed [Ed: Repeat from earlier. This is FUD. Thousands among over a billion and it's a misconfiguration issue rather than a bug.]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Democrats Put Partisanship Before Prospects for Peace

      When Richard Nixon returned to Washington after his historic 1972 trip to China, he was welcomed with strong support from Democrats.

      “From the initial Congressional reaction, it was apparent that the President, home from his China trip, would find broad bipartisan support for his move toward closer relations with Peking,” The New York Times reported on Feb. 29, 1972.

      Even Democratic Senate leaders Edward Kennedy and Mike Mansfield praised Nixon’s diplomatic gamble.

      Forty-six years later President Donald Trump took a similar political risk in agreeing to the first ever summit with a North Korean leader. Cautious optimism emerged from the summit that peace on the Korean peninsula may finally be within reach 65 years after a truce silenced the guns of the Korean War.

    • Former CIA Officer Urges Caution After Summit: North Korea Has ‘Long History of Double Dealing’

      Former CIA officer Daniel Hoffman said that the historic agreement between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un was not conducted like any other summit.

      Hoffman, a Fox News contributor, said that what summits usually consist of are “a lot of pages and a lot of details.”

      The president and the North Korean leader signed a document on Tuesday stating that Pyongyang would work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

    • Trump ‘Is Way Out of His Depth’: Former CIA Director Explains How Trump Completely Botched the North Korea Summit

      As President Donald Trump portrays his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a major success, actual experts in foreign policy and diplomacy have a very different perspective.

      “I don’t think he knows much about, quite frankly, anything when it comes to foreign affairs, national security, even a thing like the war games,” said former CIA Director John Brennan of Trump on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” on Tuesday.

      Trump said after the summit that the United States would no longer conduct its joint war games with the South Korean military, but many experts feel this would be a terrible concession.

    • Ex-CIA chief: Trump made ‘pretty significant concession’ by stopping war games with South Korea

      “But John, that is the only concession that was made in yesterday’s talks,” Hayden said. “The North Koreans did not come with anything new.”

    • ‘Very Disappointing’: Ex-CIA Deputy Chief Nails Why Prior Agreements with NK Were ‘Stronger’ And ‘More Encompassing’ than Trump’s

      Bruce Klinger, the former Central Intelligence Agency deputy division chief for Korea, on Tuesday called Donald Trump’s “historic” agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “disappointing,” arguing the six-results of the party talks that took place between 2003 and 2007 were “stronger” and “more encompassing” than this new accord.

    • Ex-CIA officer: Trump’s Korea proposal weaker than Bill Clinton’s

      Conservative scholar and former CIA officer Bruce Klingner says President Trump’s proposal for denuclearization with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday is weaker than the terms offered by former President Bill Clinton during his administration.

      “This is very disappointing. Each of the four main points was in previous documents with NK, some in a stronger, more encompassing way. The denuke bullet is weaker than the Six Party Talks language. And no mention of CVID, verification, human rights,” Klingner, who is now a Northeast Asia senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation said in a tweet.

    • The Wounds of the Drone Warrior [Ed: Once again the NY Times paints the drone assassins -- people who sit in rooms and kill people far away -- as the poor and depressed victims worthy of sympathy]
    • Why Do US Media Only Worry About One Authoritarian’s Nukes?

      The world waits with bated breath as a “mad king” descends on Singapore, his finger itching to press the launch button and totally destroy his adversaries. Few disagree that a “radical and absolutist” dictator who can “use the power of the state to suppress the opposition while shielding itself from all potential sanction or limitation” should not have access to a possibly world-ending arsenal of nuclear weapons.

      “Surrounded by a clique of sycophants who are willing to justify any course he might take,” there is little stopping this impulsive ruler from making a sudden, cataclysmic decision that could forever alter the course of human history. Indeed, “a party organized around a single extreme personality seems like a brittle proposition.” With this “cult of personality” in place, his people will be dragged unwittingly and hopelessly into the nuclear abyss along with him.

    • Intentions Matter More Than Weapons

      The fascinating, elaborately choreographed diplomatic pas de deux in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un mesmerized the world over two days. Most pundits look at the (perhaps more than) half empty glass of water on the table. Indeed, most Democrats and all Trump-haters refuse to grant the summit any worth lest it lend strength to Trump’s political power. The high priests of denuclearization (an admittedly arcane discipline) are parsing the agreement; so far they have found very little of nuclear substance.

      Yet instant gratification in the quest for immediate and complete denuclearization of North Korea is highly unrealistic given the dark layers of past conflict. Worse, evaluating the summit by the degree of denuclearization achieved is truly naive in geopolitical terms. This step taken at the summit, like it or not, is just that, a first but very significant step along a long and important road. This first step indeed may never be succeeded by a second—but the chances are good that it will. How it will all come out in the end is anybody’s guess.

      Yet the calming of the rabid language and ferocity of threats between the U.S. and North Korea over decades must be considered a major accomplishment in itself. It was not necessarily destined to happen at all. You don’t reach settlements against a backdrop of escalating rage. The emergence of a new civility and the de-demonization of the other party is an vital prerequisite for any further progress. Without it you have nothing.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Outcome of Assange Case Could Undermine the Rights of Millions

      LONDON – As the sixth anniversary of his extended stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London approaches, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is faced with increasingly limited options. Barred from communicating with the outside world and from receiving most visitors, Assange’s only hope of avoiding extradition to the United States on trumped-up espionage charges comes down to the governments of the two countries of which he is a citizen: Australia and Ecuador.

      In an unexpected move last week, the Australian government sent officials to meet with Assange and later confirmed that Australia would finally extend consular assistance to the Australian-born journalist after years of failing to do so and even threatening to revoke his Australian passport. The Australian government, in the past, has attempted to argue that it can do little to help Assange’s situation, asserting that it was “unable to intervene in the due process of another country’s court proceedings or legal matters.”

    • UK judge orders Operation Blue Star-related files to be made public

      In 2014, UK government documents declassified under the 30-year rule to make such material public had revealed that British military advice was given to Indian forces prior to Operation Blue Star.

      A UK judge has ordered the declassification of documents that are expected to shed further light on Britain’s involvement in Operation Blue Star in 1984, dismissing the British government’s argument that the move could damage diplomatic ties with India. Judge Murray Shanks, who presided over a three-day hearing of the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) in London in March, ruled yesterday that a majority of the files relating to the period must be made public and rejected the UK government’s argument that declassifying the Downing Street papers would damage diplomatic ties with India.

      The judge, however, did accept that one file marked ‘India: Political’, from the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), could contain information that relates to British spy agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and therefore the Cabinet Office was entitled to rely on a technicality that exempts such material from the Freedom of Information (FOI) request appeal.

    • Make Operation Bluestar-related files public, orders UK judge

      A UK judge has ordered the declassification of documents that are expected to shed further light on Britain’s involvement in Operation Bluestar in 1984, dismissing the British government’s argument that the move could damage diplomatic ties with India.

      Judge Murray Shanks, who presided over a three-day hearing of the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) in London in March, ruled on Monday that a majority of the files relating to the period must be made public and rejected the UK government’s argument that declassifying the Downing Street papers would damage diplomatic ties with India.

      The judge, however, did accept that one file marked “India: Political”, from the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), could contain information that relates to British spy agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and therefore the Cabinet Office was entitled to rely on a technicality that exempts such material from the Freedom of Information (FOI) request appeal.

    • Artists Tony Garnett, Davide Dormino and Costantino Ciervo demand freedom for Julian Assange

      The support for Mr Assange is just. He should be free to go about his business like any other citizen or legal visitor.

      The threat of arrest for breaking his bail conditions should be withdrawn.

      British Security, working with American Security, threatens to use his arrest in order to extradite him to America. They wish to make an example of him.

      Therefore defending Mr Assange is part of the fight for freedom, for the rights of the individual against state oppression.

    • Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

      The CFPE calls on teachers, academics and students to attend the Sydney demonstration and to participate in vigils being held around the world on June 19. Educators internationally must stand with, and for, Julian Assange and his freedom.

      The malicious, anti-democratic treatment of the courageous journalist by the Australian, US, Swedish, British and now Ecuadorian governments, is of a piece with the general assault on freedom of speech, Internet censorship, and the drive to authoritarianism and war.

      Moreover, the very US, British and Australian governments that are desperate to silence Assange, are also carrying out a relentless assault on the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

      Universities everywhere are being corporatised and militarised, while public school teachers and students are being subordinated to business requirements through high-stakes testing, the narrowing of curricula and the never-ending assault on teacher wages, conditions and jobs. The vast majority no longer has the basic social right to a fully resourced, high quality, enlightened education, which lies at the very foundation of a democratic society.

    • Julian Assange Has Been Living at the Ecuadorian Embassy—6 Years Later Unexpected Visitors Show Up

      Last Thursday, two Australian government officials visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

      According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this is the first time Australian consular officials visited Assange at the embassy.

      Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, who accompanied the officials said: “Julian Assange is in a very serious situation. He remains in the embassy because of the risk of extradition to the US.”

    • New report reveals Assange under 24/7 surveillance in Ecuadoran embassy

      On Monday, the Spanish newspaper El Diario exposed previously unknown facts about the Ecuadoran government’s illegal surveillance of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. For the last year of his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the government of both current president Lenín Moreno and predecessor Rafael Correa “spied on every movement of Julian Assange in its embassy in London,” El Diario reports.

      The El Diario report is based on new documents obtained from UC Global Security Consulting, the firm contracted by the Ecuadoran government to spy on Assange under the guise of “protecting” him.

    • Ecuador Explores ‘Non-Traumatic’ Way Out For WikiLeaks’ Assange

      Valencia said Ecuador is negotiating with authorities in the United Kingdom, where Assange has been granted political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012, but with increasing restrictions.

      An agreement is being sought, he told Associated Press: “One that encourages an exit, that we do not want to be traumatic… we do not want it to be an exit that may cause dissonance with international law.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Can flying drones save whales trapped in fishing gear?

      From mapping coral to delivering medical supplies, unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are proving to be good for all sorts of tricky tasks. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has teamed up with a California-based nonprofit to see if drones can help save the lives of whales that have become entangled in fishing gear.

      It’s not a small problem. Each year more than 300,000 cetaceans, including whales and dolphins, sustain injuries or die after getting caught up in crab trap ropes, discarded fishing nets and other plastic debris from commercial fishing operations. Humpback whales and right whales are especially vulnerable because of their protruding pectoral fins.

  • Finance

    • AT&T Defeats DOJ In Merger Fight, Opening The Door To Some Major Competitive Headaches

      In a ruling (pdf), U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon stated that the government failed to make its case that the merger would harm AT&T’s competitors, most of which are now trying to keep pace in the streaming video space. Consumer advocates have routinely warned that AT&T will use its greater leverage to make must-have content (like Time Warner owned CNN or HBO) significantly more costly for companies hoping to compete with AT&T’s own TV services, including its newish streaming video effort, DirecTV Now.

      That a company with a thirty-year history of anti-competitive behavior will likely use this greater leverage to behave badly shouldn’t have been a particularly hard case to make, suggesting that DOJ lawyers may have flubbed key components of its case. The DOJ sued to thwart the deal last November, and while the agency claimed it was to protect consumers, the incongruity with other Trump administration consumer policies (like, well, everything) have fueled speculation that Trump’s disdain for Time Warner owned CNN, or his close relationship with Rupert Murdoch may have colored the DOJ’s decision to sue.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Spiked Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Cartoonist Speaks Out

      Cartoonist Rob Rogers’ section on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website has remained static for the past week, displaying the same “Trade War” cartoon since last Tuesday (6/5/18). Before that, six of his cartoons in a row were killed (FAIR.org, 6/6/18), all of which criticized President Donald Trump or satirized US racism.

      Since his most recent cartoon was published, Rogers has opted to take personal days off, saying he has not heard from his editors since the spate of spikings, and the conflict has yet to be resolved.

      Rogers told FAIR he believed the publishing of Tuesday’s cartoon created an illusion of resolution: “When they finally printed the trade cartoon it kind of looked like, ‘OK, everything’s back to normal,’ but it wasn’t.”

      In the past, he said, the editorial process had felt freer and more collaborative. Rogers has been a cartoonist for the Post-Gazette since 1993. For many years, he would simply submit the cartoon and it would appear in the paper, but in the past decade, he began sending emails to his editors for approval of what he planned to work on on a given day.

    • Comcast has formally announced its plan to make Rupert Murdoch even wealthier
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • High School Student’s Speech About Campus Sexual Assault Gets Widespread Attention After School Cuts Her Mic

      It’s that time of year when kids are graduating from high school, and the age old tradition of the valedictorian speech is happening all around the country. While exciting for the kids, families and other students, these kinds of speeches are generally pretty quickly forgotten and certainly tend not to make the national news. However, in nearby Petaluma, California, something different is happening, all because a bunch of spineless school administration officials freaked out that the valedictorian, Lulabel Seitz, wanted to discuss sexual assault. During her speech, the school cut her mic when she started talking about that issue (right after talking about how the whole community had worked together and fought through lots of adversity, including the local fires that ravaged the area a few months back). Seitz has since posted the video of both her mic being cut off and then with her being filmed giving the entire speech directly to a camera.

    • Egyptian Khaled Yousef’s ‘Karma’ to be shown in cinemas during ‘Eid’ after censorship controversy

      A controversial new Egyptian film had its license both withdrawn and returned on the same day after the ban sparked widespread anger.

      “Karma” tackles many subjects regarded as very controversial in Egypt, such as inter-faith marriage between Muslims and Christians, the changing of religion to get married, and corruption.

      The Central Administration for the Control of Audiovisual Works, which is the body responsible for authorizing films in cinemas, withdrew the movie’s screening certificate on Monday, before swiftly performing a U-turn and reinstating it.

    • French President Pushing ‘Fake News’ Bill That Would Demand Decisions From Judges In 48 Hours

      France’s government will likely be following Germany’s into the halls of speech regulation infamy. Germany’s new “hate speech” law backed 24-hour removal demands with hefty fines to ensure social media platform compliance. This has prompted proactive enforcement by Twitter and Facebook, resulting the removal of content that doesn’t violate the law, along with the removal of satire’s life support.

      The French government is already eyeballing a carbon copy of this hate speech law. But it’s willing to do Germany one better: it wants to regulate “fake news.” This push comes from new president Emmanuel Macron, who’s decided to make his personal beef with fake news a public concern. A false story about offshore accounts owned by Macron made its way around the internet during his presidential campaign, prompting him to declare war on “fake news” if he was elected.

      He’s been elected, and now appears to be abandoning the base that thought he would be less radical and more reasonable than many of his opponents.

    • North Korea’s state media ditches censorship in favor of celebrating a huge propaganda win

      North Korean state media broke form and has run two days of stories on Kim Jong Un’s trip to Singapore, including a huge spread on his meeting with President Donald Trump.

      Only hours after Kim made a surprise appearance visiting popular tourist attractions in Singapore on Tuesday night, and posing for what is believed to be Kim’s first public selfie, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper splashed 14 photos of the reclusive leader’s travels across its front page.

    • Open Rights Group victory in Supreme Court web blocking challenge

      Open Rights Group acted as an intervener in this case. We argued that Internet service providers (ISPs) as innocent parties should not bear the costs of website blocking, and that this was a long-standing principle of English law.

      Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

      “This case is important because if ISPs paid the costs of blocking websites, the result would be an increasing number of blocks for relatively trivial reasons and the costs would be passed to customers.

      “While rights holders may want websites blocked, it needs to be economically rational to ask for this.”

    • Victory for Open Rights Group in Supreme Court web blocking challenge

      The Supreme Court ruled today that trade mark holders must bear the cost of blocking websites which sell counterfeit versions of their goods, rather than passing those costs on to Internet service providers.

      This decision comes in the case of Cartier v BT & Others, in which the jeweller Cartier sought a court order requiring ISPs to block websites which sold goods infringing their trade marks. ORG have been intervening in the case along with help from solicitor David Allen Green.

    • UK Supreme Court rules ISPs shouldn’t pay blocking order costs

      In Cartier v BT, the court rules internet service providers are “innocent intermediaries” that do not have to bear the costs of blocking access to websites making infringing goods available for sale

      Internet service providers shouldn’t pay blocking order costs, the UK Supreme Court ruled today.

    • BREAKING: UK Supreme Court rules that ISPs do NOT have to pay implementation costs in Cartier case

      Similarly to Arnold J at first instance, Kitchin LJ in the Court of Appeal observed that it was implicit in Recital 59 of the InfoSoc Directive and Recital 23 of the Enforcement Directive that it would be “entirely appropriate for a national court to order that the costs of implementation of any such injunction should be borne by the intermediary”.

      The Court of Appeal also approved of Arnold J’s proper consideration of the economic impact of website blocking orders upon the businesses of the ISPs, and that these could either bear these costs themselves or pass them on to their subscribers in the form of higher subscription charges.

      The decision of the Court of Appeal contains however the dissent of Briggs LJ (as he then was) on the issue of cost allocation. In his view, “the cost burden attributable to the implementation of a particular blocking order should fall upon the rightholder making the application for it.” The reason why that should be that case is a domestic one.

      It is true that both the Enforcement Directive and the InfoSoc Directive provide that rightholders should have the possibility of applying for an injunction against an intermediary who either carries a third party’s infringement of a protected work in a network (in copyright cases) or whose services are being used by a third party to infringe the rightholder’s industrial property right (in relation to trade marks). In both cases, however, the conditions and modalities relating to such injunctions, or the conditions and procedures relating to such injunctions should be left to the national law of the Member States.

    • Cambodia’s New Online Media Directive Criticized as ‘Censorship’

      A group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has criticized a Cambodian government working group set up to monitor and “control” online news.

      A statement signed by 117 NGOs condemns the creation of the group. It was formed through a “prakas” — a declaration issued by a government minister.

      The working group was formed by Cambodia’s ministries of information, interior and posts and telecommunications. A government announcement last week said the working group is aimed at “controlling all dissemination of information” found to “threaten the defense and security of the nation.”

    • Vietnam Tightens Grip on Internet With Data-Storage Law

      Vietnam’s plans to vigorously police the internet took a step forward Tuesday when it adopted a cybersecurity law that requires internet companies such as Facebook and Google to store their Vietnam-based users’ data on servers in the country.

    • Vietnam Parliament Passes Cyber Law Denounced in Street Protests

      Vietnam’s National Assembly has passed a cybersecurity law requiring companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. to store all data of Vietnam-based users in the country and open local offices.

      The measure has drawn rare dissent from some lawmakers and government leaders as well as local tech groups, who sent a petition to the legislature that warned it would hurt the economy. Demonstrators on Sunday protested nationwide against the bill, saying it would limit free speech.

    • Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns

      Vietnamese legislators on Tuesday passed a contentious cybersecurity law, which critics say will hurt the economy and further restrict freedom of expression.

      The law requires service providers such as Google and Facebook to store user data in Vietnam, open offices in the country and remove offending contents within 24 hours at the request of the Ministry of Information and Communications and the specialized cybersecurity task-force under the Ministry of Public Security.

    • Vietnam’s new law tightens control of the internet

      Vietnam is taking a leaf out of China’s book when it comes to regulating the internet.

      Legislators in Vietnam have approved a law requiring global tech firms with operations in the country to keep user data there, Reuters reported Tuesday. In addition, social media companies like Facebook will have to remove offending content from their platforms within one day of receiving a request from authorities.

    • Vietnam lawmakers approve cyber law clamping down on tech firms, dissent

      Vietnamese legislators approved a cybersecurity law on Tuesday that tightens control of the internet and global tech companies operating in the Communist-led country, raising fears of economic harm and a further crackdown on dissent.

    • Vietnam’s new tech laws may stifle online dissent
    • Vietnam’s new cyber security law draws concern for restricting free speech
    • Vietnam’s new cyber law ‘will curb freedom of expression’
    • Viet Nam: New Cybersecurity law a devastating blow for freedom of expression
    • Disney says it didn’t censor a gay kiss at E3
    • Censorship, the un-American freedom
    • Censorship doesn’t work
    • Petaluma High learns censorship doesn’t work
    • Exclusive — McCarthy: Conservatives Will Not Be Silent About Online Censorship [Ed: Right wingers feel repressed in social control media which makes them emboldened to go 'underground' and paint themselves -- typically the bigots -- as the victims facing "white genocide" or whatever]
    • Region-based lockouts of documents are censorship

      Geographic restrictions are the antithetical to the founding principles of the Internet and cryptocurrency. The Internet was founded on egalitarian principles, that people benefited from collaboration and sharing information, and that people could organize without having to belong to organizations.

      Cryptocurrencies were founded on slightly different principles, but they have some overlap. Rather than being founded on egalitarian optimism, Bitcoin was founded on the idea that a weakness of the monetary system is its reliance on trust between parties in transactions. The idea is that the system should instead find all parties equally untrustworthy, verify through digital signatures recorded in a shared ledger. This wasn’t created for members of any one country, it was created for everyone, as one of Satoshi’s papers said: “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The state of encryption: How the debate has shifted

      Susan Landau, a former distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems and now a professor at Tufts. I had an opportunity to check in with her at a recent event in Washington, D.C.

      She has a new book, Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age, which is well worth reading for both long-time and new followers of computer security and encryption. As I’ve written previously, the debate has shifted (see The US government bids adieu to Clipper Chip and Encryption back doors: Is there more to this debate?).

      In this interview, Susan explains how and why that shift has occurred.

    • New AI Technology Can ‘See’ Through Walls And Track People’s Movement
    • England World Cup squad told they will be soft targets for Russian hackers
    • Exclusive: U.S. counterspy warns World Cup travelers’ devices could be hacked
    • Exclusive – U.S. counterspy warns World Cup travellers’ devices could be hacked
    • Spy bosses modify phones of England team to combat scary Russia during World Cup
    • England’s World Cup 2018 camp gets ring of CYBER steel as boffins shield players’ phones from Russian hackers
    • World Cup fans warned not to bring electronic devices to Russia over hacking fears
    • The NSA knew about cellphone surveillance around the White House 6 years ago

      As I was stealthily gathering government secrets for the 2013 book I wrote about national security, a source of unimpeachable reliability tipped me off to a big one. The source told me that, in the course of a National Security Agency “information assurance” exercise, the agency discovered cellphone site emulators and even infrastructure around the White House and in downtown Washington, D.C., that did not belong to any companies actually licensed to install them.

    • UK Security Minister Says Only A Drivers Licence For The Internet Can Bring Back Online Civility

      Whoa, if true. In the US, cops do this all the time. I’m sure UK cops do it as well, so this may have been nothing more than a couple of cops chatting to each other for all anyone knows. Even if this went down exactly the way Wallace portrays it, the institution of an internet ID card isn’t going to magically make it impossible for 45-year-olds to pretend they’re 12. It won’t even make a dent.

      What it will do is harm the internet and its users. The only services that will be able to comply will be the largest. Forums and discussion groups, hosted on free platforms and maintained by members, won’t be able to cover the cost or provide the manpower. If anyone’s concerned about the dominance of the major social media platforms, regulation like this isn’t the answer. It will only further cement their dominance.

      And there are plenty of legitimate reasons to maintain online anonymity. In the eyes of officials like Wallace, anonymity is an admission of guilt. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear,” except for people like undercover journalists, journalists’ sources, dissidents, opponents of authoritarian governments, people who don’t like being pre-doxed by their service provider, security researchers, government employees, people who don’t like being blackmailed, critics of powerful people or corporations, kids who want to keep sexual predators from knowing they’re kids… the list goes on and on.

    • Legislators Reintroduce Pro-Encryption Bills After FBI Destroys Its Own ‘Going Dark’ Narrative

      But the biggest change in the last couple of years — a time period during which this legislation hasn’t moved forward — is the FBI’s self-own. Forced to account for its growing number of locked devices given the multiple options available to crack the phones or obtain evidence located in the cloud, the agency finally decided to take a look at all the phones it had amassed. And it found it didn’t have nearly as many as it had claimed. The 8,000 phones turned out to be somewhere between 1,000-2,000 (likely around 1,200 devices). The FBI blamed it on faulty software and has begun issuing corrections to the many, many public statements it published about the “going dark” problem.

      Given the FBI’s disastrous discovery, the time would seem to be perfect to push forward with pro-encryption legislation. A new bill is on the way — likely a carbon copy the 2016 proposal. It should pair nicely with another bill introduced in May, which would prevent federal agencies or courts from demanding companies create backdoors or otherwise weaken their encryption. The only exception would be for mandates or court orders stemming from CALEA, which would limit assistance demands to the interception of communications (with wiretap warrants), not the contents of locked devices.

    • Apple Restricts App Developers From Sharing Users’ Contacts And Other Data [Ed: Apple says that only Apple is going to send people’s personal data, e.g. to the NSA (PRISM)]
    • Facebook Says Its VPN App Tracks Users, Could Get Banned From The App Store

      With the new policies in effect, the iPhone maker will be able to limit how developers use information about Apple device owners’ friends and other contacts and prevent sharing of data extracted without explicit consent.

    • Apple’s App Store Privacy Crackdown May Hurt Facebook’s Onavo

      Apple Inc.’s new rules for app developers limit their ability to harvest user contact data, but they also could hurt a key app owned by Facebook Inc. called Onavo Protect.

      The iPhone maker’s updated App Store Review Guidelines ban applications that “collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing.” This could give Apple grounds to remove the Onavo app, although the software is still available despite the rules kicking in last week.

      Onavo Protect, when installed on an iPhone or Android device, uses a virtual private network to scan incoming and outgoing internet connectivity. It also gathers information about users’ devices, their location, apps installed on the gadgets and how people use those apps, what websites they visit, and the amount of data used, Facebook wrote in answers to Congressional questions that the social network operator posted online Monday.

    • Facebook Tells Congress It Hasn’t Used Eye Tracking Patents
    • Facebook DENIES it’s building eye-tracking software despite holding two patents for the technology
    • Facebook denies building eye-tracking software but says if it ever does, it will keep privacy in mind
    • Facebook might start tracking the movement of your eyes

      Facebook has said it may develop eye-tracking tools that will add a new layer to the way it monitors its 2.2 billion monthly users.

      Facebook said it has explored the technology in a deluge of written answers to US Congress following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in April over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. CNBC first spotted the disclosure in the 229-page document.

      Senators spotted two patents containing references to eye-tracking software: One titled “Dynamic eye tracking calibration” and the other “Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery.” They asked how Facebook intends to use the technology.

    • Facebook denies building eye-tracking software

      Facebook denied building eye-tracking software in its response to questions from Congress released Monday but said if it ever did build out the technology, it would take privacy into account.

      The social media company holds at least two patents for detecting eye movements and emotions, which it said “is one way that we could potentially reduce consumer friction and add security for people when they log into Oculus or access Oculus content.” Oculus is a virtual reality platform that Facebook bought in 2014.

      The company provided a written response to unanswered questions from Congress on its data use, privacy policy and its ad-based business model. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about its technologies and potential uses by lawmakers during an appearance before Congress in April.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • North Carolina Bill Would Make Prescription Records Available to Police Without a Warrant

      America’s opioid epidemic is a grave public health issue, one that experts and a growing national consensus say we need to approach with solutions based in science and treatment. Unfortunately, some lawmakers haven’t gotten the memo and want to continue with the failed and inhumane strategies of the past: harsher penalties, overcriminalization, and the erosion of people’s rights.

      The latest example comes from North Carolina. A new proposal ostensibly aimed at combatting the opioid crisis would give local law enforcement sweeping, unprecedented power to look through a person’s entire history of prescription drug use if they are under investigation for any drug crime, even possessing a tiny amount of any controlled substance.

      Like in most states, in North Carolina people’s prescription records are stored in two places: at the pharmacy itself and in the state’s Controlled Substance Reporting System, a secure database that tracks controlled substance prescriptions in order to give doctors better information about their patients’ needs. State law currently imposes restrictions on law enforcement access to both of these sources in order to safeguard patients’ private medical information against unjustified search.

    • Police pay Nicky Hager ‘substantial damages’ for unlawful search of his home in hunt for Dirty Politics hacker

      Nicky Hager has accepted a police apology and payment of “substantial damages” after the unlawful search of his home during the investigation into the hacking that led to the Dirty Politics book.

      The settlement revealed police had sought information claiming Hager was suspected of criminal behaviour, including fraud.

      “Police accept that they had no basis for such allegations,” the settlement document read.

      “Police apologise unreservedly for these breaches of his rights and have agreed to pay Mr Hager substantial damages and a contribution towards his legal costs.”

    • Chinese Regime Tightens Social Media Control With Investigation on College Students

      Recent events have revealed how China’s internet companies and higher education collude with censorship authorities to closely monitor citizens on social media.

      On June 9, China Digital Times, a U.S.-based website that closely monitors internet censorship in China, first revealed a public bulletin announcement posted by an unnamed college in China for all its students to read. Four students, listed with their full names and class, were placed under investigation by local police for “inappropriate” online behavior.

      The notice was dated June 7, and issued jointly by the school’s security office, student affairs department, and graduate students department.

    • One Woman Who Knew Her Rights Forced Border Patrol Off a Greyhound Bus

      Ms. Smalls immediately reacted. According to a description she posted on Facebook, she stood up and loudly said, “This is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. You don’t have to show them *shit*!!!” She then used Google Translate to repeat her message in Spanish, reassuring the Spanish-speaking woman sitting beside her and probably countless other fellow passengers.

      Border Patrol agents boarded the bus and started to ask the passengers for their “documentation.” Ms. Smalls stood up again and shouted, “You have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything! This is harassment and racial profiling! We are not within 100 miles of a border so [these agents] have no legal right or jurisdiction here!”

      Ms. Smalls’ simple and courageous act of resistance was enough. The Border Patrol agents, realizing that they would face an uphill battle, immediately retreated, telling the driver to continue on.

    • Minnesota City’s Ordinance Illegally Targets People of Color in Rental Housing

      The city of Faribault created a “crime-free housing program” for rental properties even though crime rates remained the same.

      Faribault, Minnesota, is a small city about an hour’s drive from Minneapolis. It has a landmarked, historic downtown and a wool mill that’s been in operation since 1865. But in the 21st century, Faribault is changing.

      In 2000, Black people made up less than 3 percent of Faribault’s population. By 2016, Faribault was more than 9 percent Black. Faribault’s growing Somali community has been the source of much of this shift. By 2016, there were 10 times more people of Somali ancestry in Faribault than there had been in 2000. But non-immigrant Black Minnesotans are discovering Faribault — with its good employment opportunities and low cost of living — too.

      [...]

      One neighbor even told Thelma to her face that Thelma should “go back where she came from.” In response, the police labelled Thelma and her family “problem tenants.” They threatened Thelma’s landlord with criminal prosecution under the ordinance unless she kicked Thelma and her family out. In a matter of months, Thelma’s family lost their home.

    • State Appeals Court Finds Government’s Actions In Craigslist Sex Sting ‘Outrageous’ And ‘Repugnant’

      Our courts will let the government get away with almost anything. Although judges have expressed immense amounts of displeasure at the ATF’s sting operations involving fictitious drug stash houses, it has seldom resulted in reversed convictions. To “shock the conscience,” the government must cross lines courts are very reluctant to draw. Running a child porn website for a few weeks doesn’t do it. Neither does taking a trucking company’s truck and employee and returning both full of bullet holes after a sting goes south.

      Very occasionally, the government will find its way across this line. Eric Goldman has uncovered one of these rare cases. It involves a child sex sting operation perpetrated by a law enforcement agency, during which the undercover officer refused to leave a “target” alone after he repeatedly made it clear he wasn’t looking to buy sex from an underage female.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • California’s Net Neutrality Bill Has Strong Zero Rating Protections for Low-Income Internet Users, Yet Sacramento May Ditch Them to Appease AT&T

      California’s net neutrality bill, S.B. 822, is often referred to as the “gold standard” of state-based net neutrality laws. The bill tackles the full array of issues the FCC had addressed right up until the end of 2016 before it began repealing net neutrality. One such issue is the discriminatory use of zero rating, where ISPs could choose to give users access to certain content for “free”—that is, without digging into their data plans. ISPs can use zero rating to drive users to their own content and services to the detriment of competitors.

      The FCC found that both AT&T’s and Verizon’s use of zero rating appeared to be in violation of the 2015 Open Internet Order, only to have those findings and investigations terminated as one of the first acts of President Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The core issue is the fact that companies like AT&T were simply exempting their own affiliated services from their datacaps in a blatant effort to drive wireless Internet users to their preferred products. Undoubtedly, AT&T’s recent victory over the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit that sought to prevent the giant telecom company from becoming even bigger with Time-Warner content will result in even greater levels of self-dealing through discriminatory zero rating policies.

    • Senators Wyden and Schatz Wants To Know Why The FCC Made Up A DDOS Attack

      So we’ve been noting how (thanks to FOIA requests) the FCC has been caught completely making up a DDOS attack in a bizarre, ham-fisted attempt to downplay public opposition to their net neutrality repeal. In short, agency e-mails confirm agency staffers routinely fed false claims to gullible reporters that the FCC website outages caused by John Oliver’s coverage of the repeal were the result of a malicious attack, then used those false claims to further prop up the bogus narrative. The goal was apparently to try and downplay massive public backlash to what Americans overwhelmingly believe to be shitty, corruption-fueled policy.

      Not too surprisingly, the FCC has gone radio silent in response to press inquiries on this from numerous press outlets. For such a normally chatty agency, that suggests that FCC lawyers are well aware that this entire fracas could prove to be legally problematic, given the repeated false DDOS claims to the reporters, press, and public (pdf). Most of the e-mails provided so far via FOIA requests are heavily redacted, suggesting there’s likely much more to this story that’s going to emerge over time.

    • ‘Transparent’ FCC Doesn’t Want To Reveal Any Details About Ajit Pai’s Stupid Resse’s Mug

      One of FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s claims about how he’s changed the FCC is that he’s making it more transparent. And, to be fair, he did make one key change that his predecessors failed to do: which is releasing the details of rulemakings before they’re voted on. That was good. But in so many other ways, Pai has been significantly less than transparent. And this goes all the way down to incredibly stupid things, like his silly stupid giant Reese’s coffee mug.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Video: Indigenous Peoples Seek To Be Involved In World Trade Organization To Defend Rights

      Indigenous peoples are losing their genetic resources and traditional knowledge and need to be involved in negotiations on World Trade Organization intellectual property rules and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, representatives told a conference on the subject last week. In a podcast and video interview with Intellectual Property Watch below, the indigenous representatives explain their case.

      [...]

      At the WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the regular request by many member governments to invite the CBD on an ad hoc basis to present the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization has been firmly opposed by the United States.

      At issue is the mandatory disclosure of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in patent applications.

    • Major Emerging Economies Push To Revive Discussions On Genetic Resources Misappropriation At WTO

      Efforts by developing countries to prevent the misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge have thus far been fruitless at the World Trade Organization.

    • Copyrights

      • Top German Publisher Says: ‘You Wouldn’t Steal A Pound Of Butter… So We Need A Snippet Tax’

        Last week, Mike provided a virtuoso excoriation of the European publishers’ shameless demand to be given even more copyright control over tiny snippets of news stories as part of the awful EU copyright directive. As that post pointed out, the publishers’ “mythbuster” did nothing of the sort, but it did indicate a growing panic among the industry as more critical attention is brought to bear on the ridiculous “snippet tax” — Article 11 of the proposed new EU copyright law — which has already failed twice elsewhere. The German site Über Medien — “About Media” — offers another glimpse of publishers trying desperately to justify the unjustifiable (original in German).

        [...]

        The fact that the head of German’s biggest publisher resorts to the old “you wouldn’t steal a car/pound of butter/carton of milk” rhetoric shows just how vanishingly thin the argument in favor of a snippet tax really is. It’s time for the EU politicians to recognize this, and remove it from the proposed copyright directive, along with Article 13′s even-more pernicious upload filter. EU citizens can use the new SaveYourInternet site to contact their representatives. Ahead of the important EU vote on the proposed law early next week, now would be a really good time to do that.

      • Please Write to Your MEPs to Stop EU Copyright Directive from Seriously Harming the Internet

        Next week, a crucial vote will be held by the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament (JURI). It concerns the proposed copyright directive, which is moving through the EU’s legislative process. Unfortunately, there are two extremely dangerous elements in the current text that will harm the Internet in the EU if passed: basic details about them can be found in this post I wrote for Ars Technica. A third element needs a tweak.

        As the Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda explains, it currently looks as if the two bad elements will be accepted by JURI. But the vote is close, and EU citizens have an important opportunity to ask their representatives to influence the outcome of that vote. I urge you to do so, and soon.

        You can use the free services WriteToThem, or a new site called SaveYourInternet, to send an email to your MEPs in just a few seconds. The latter site offers some text you can use about one of the problematic parts of the copyright directive, Article 13. However, you may wish to urge your representative to fight against the other bad idea, Article 11. Both of these are explained in the text below, which is what I have sent my MEPs.

      • EU digital copyright rule changes receive mixed reception

        The draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was not supported by some countries and also provoked mixed reactions from the IP industry – particularly around Article 13, known as the value gap proposal

      • EU Expected To Pass Censorship Machines, Link Tax On June 20

        The European Union and the U.S. Congress are working on reforms to their respective copyright laws, some of which have been deemed too extreme by critics. The EU, for instance, would like force websites to enable “upload filters” and to pay for linking to other websites, while the U.S. Congress would like to extend copyright to 144 years from the already quite long 70 years + life.

      • The EU’s terrible copyright proposal will “carpet bomb” the whole world’s internet with censorship and surveillance
      • Memes In Rescue: New Law Of EU Could Put Light-Hearted Entertainment To An End
      • Spanish Soccer App Was Spying on Fans To Narc on Bars

        La Liga, an app for Spanish soccer fans, was spying on fans using otherwise unnecessary GPS and microphone permissions to identify bars showing the game without a license.

      • Popular Spanish Soccer Mobile App Has Been Turning Users Into Piracy-Spotters Via Mobile Devices

        As readers here will already know, the GDPR is now in full swing in Europe, with all of its crippling and stupid regulation in the name of personal privacy. It’s a hilariously overly broad law that has had the happy coincidental effect of forcing companies that store personal data to at least be more upfront about how they are using that data. This effect has caused some to embrace the GDPR as wholly good, which is exactly the wrong conclusion to draw. Instead, the GDPR swings way too far in the direction of users controlling their personal data mostly by reaching way too far and keeping its language as vague and broad as possible, something that is already causing chaos in the digital marketplace.

        And, yet, it cannot be ignored that the revelations of just how users’ data are being abused by some bad actors keep coming. The latest of these concerns the mobile app for La Liga, Spain’s most popular soccer league. La Liga recently revealed, having its hand forced by the GDPR, that users of its mobile app were unwittingly part of La Liga’s spy network for uncovering unauthorized broadcasts of soccer matches at public venues.

      • Ending The Memes: EU Copyright Directive Is No Laughing Matter

        On Friday, I wrote about all of the many problems with the link tax part of the proposed EU copyright directive — but that’s only part of the problem. The other major concern is around mandatory upload filters. As we discussed with Julia Reda during last week’s podcast, the upload filters may be even more nefarious. Even the BBC has stepped up with an article about how it could put an end to memes. While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s only just a bit exaggerated. Despite the fact that the E-Commerce Directive already makes it clear that platforms should not be liable for content placed on their platforms by users absent any notice and that there can be no “general monitoring” obligation, the proposal for Article 13 would require that all sites have a way to block copyright-covered content from being uploaded without permission of the copyright holder.

        As per usual, this appears to have been written by those who have little understanding of how the internet itself works, or how this will impact a whole wide variety of services. Indeed, there’s almost nothing that makes any sense about it at all. Even if you argue that it’s designed to target the big platforms — the Googles and Facebooks of the world — it makes no sense. Both Google and Facebook already implement expensive filtering systems because they decided it was good for their business to do so at their scale. And even if you argue that it makes sense for platforms like YouTube to put in place filters, it doesn’t take into account many factors about what copyright covers, and the sheer impossibility of making filters that work across everything.

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    Government or US Government-funded entities are looking to tax private companies using patents that were actually funded by the public; in practice this helps private firms or insiders (individuals) personally gain from something that the public subsidised and should thus be in the public domain



  6. Lockpath Patents Demonstrate That the US Patent Office -- Unlike US Courts -- Keeps Ignoring 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice

    35 U.S.C. § 101 isn’t being entirely followed by examiners of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); in fact, evidence suggests that mathematics are still becoming monopolies of private firms — something which should never happen



  7. The Eastern District of Texas and Its Patent Trolls Affinity Not a Solved Issue

    The American patent system continues to distribute monopolies on algorithms and some of these cause litigation to reach courts that are notorious for intolerance of 35 U.S.C. § 101, resulting in unnecessary payments to lawyers and patent trolls



  8. More 'Blockchain' Nonsense in Pursuit of Bogus, Nonsensical Software Patents

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is still granting abstract software patents because words like "blockchain" get mentioned in the applications; companies that do this hope to shield themselves from disruptive technology and possibly facilitate future patent blackmail



  9. A Warning About MPEG-G, the Latest Software Patents Trap That Threatens Innovation Everywhere

    Combining patents on software and on life, MPEG-G assembles a malicious pool with malignant ramifications for bioinformatics



  10. MIT and the Prior Art Archive Perpetuate Existing Problems

    Large companies with many tens of thousands of patents (each) would have us believe that broadening access/reach of prior art (e.g. to patent examiners) would solve the issues; This may very well work for these large companies, but it overlooks the broader picture



  11. Links 20/10/2018: Mesa 18.2.3 Released, FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 1

    Links for the day



  12. Unified Patents Demolishes Some More Notorious Patent Trolls and Offers Bounties to Take Down More of Them

    Even though the new management of the US patent office treats patent trolls as a non-issue, groups that represent technology firms work hard to improve things (except for the litigation zealots)



  13. The Identity Crisis of the European Patent Office, Wrongly Believing It Exists to Serve Lawyers and Patent Trolls Outside Europe

    The European Patent Office doesn’t even feel like it’s European anymore; it’s just an international patent office that happens to be based (primarily) in Munich; insiders and outsiders alike need to ask themselves what these ‘European’ officials (employing firms outside Europe) have turned the Office into



  14. Links 19/10/2018: OpenBSD 6.4 and OpenSSH 7.9 Released

    Links for the day



  15. Ingve Björn Stjerna Has Just Warned That If Team UPC and the European Patent Office Rigged the Proceedings of the German Constitutional Court, Consequences Would be Significant

    The EPO is back to mentioning the Unified Patent Court and it keeps making it abundantly clear that it is only working for the litigation 'industry' rather than for science and technology (or "innovation" as they like to euphemise it)



  16. Links 18/10/2018: New Ubuntu and Postgres

    Links for the day



  17. It's Almost 2019 and Team UPC is Still Pretending Unitary Patent (UPC) Exists, Merely Waiting for Britain to Join

    Refusing to accept that the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) has reached its death or is at a dead end, UPC proponents — i.e. lawyers looking to profit from frivolous litigation — resort to outright lies and gymnastics in logic/intellectual gymnastics



  18. IAM and IP Kat Are Still Megaphones of Battistelli and His Agenda

    IAM reaffirms its commitment to corrupt Battistelli and IP Kat maintains its stance, which is basically not caring at all about EPO corruption (to the point of actively deleting blog comments that mention such corruption, i.e. 'sanitising' facts)



  19. The EPO Under António Campinos Relaxes the Rules on Software Patenting and the Litigation 'Industry' Loves That

    EPO management, which is nontechnical, found new terms by which to refer to software patents -- terms that even the marketing departments can endorse (having propped them up); they just call it all AI, augmented intelligence and so on



  20. Links 17/10/2018: Elementary OS 5.0 “Juno” Released, MongoDB’s Server Side Public Licence

    Links for the day



  21. Improving US Patent Quality Through Reassessments of Patents and Courts' Transparency

    Transparency in US courts and more public participation in the patent process (examination, litigation etc.) would help demonstrate that many patents are being granted — and sometimes asserted — that are totally bunk, bogus, fake



  22. Ask OIN How It Intends to Deal With Microsoft Proxies Such as Patent Trolls

    OIN continues to miss the key point (or intentionally avoid speaking about it); Microsoft is still selling 'protection' from the very same patent trolls that it is funding, arming, and sometimes even instructing (who to pass patents to and sue)



  23. Links 1610/2018: Linux 4.19 RC8, Xfce Screensaver 0.1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Judge-Bashing Tactics, Undermining PTAB, and Iancu's Warpath for the Litigation and Insurance 'Industries'

    Many inter partes reviews (IPRs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) leverage 35 U.S.C. § 101 against software patents; instead of putting an end to such patents Director Iancu decides to just serve the 'industry' he came from (a meta-industry where his firm had worked for Donald Trump)



  25. 'Cloud', 'AI' and Other Buzzwords as Excuses for Granting Fake Patents on Software

    With resurgence of rather meaningless terms like so-called 'clouds' (servers/hosting) and 'AI' (typically anything in code which does something clever, including management of patents) the debate is being shifted away from 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101); but courts would still see past such façade



  26. Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Patents Properly and Our New Hosting Woes

    A status update about EPO affairs and our Web host's plan to shut down (as a whole) very soon, leaving us orphaned or having to pay heavy bills



  27. Links 15/10/2018: Testing Ubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates, KaOS 2018.10 Released

    Links for the day



  28. USPTO FEES Act/SUCCESS Act Gives More Powers to Director Iancu, Supplying Patents for Litigation 'Business' and Embargo (ITC)

    Corruption of the US patent system contributes to various issues which rely on the extrajudicial nature of some elements in this system; companies can literally have their products confiscated or imports blocked, based on wrongly-granted patents



  29. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Decides That USPTO Wrongly Granted Patents to Roche

    Patent quality issues at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — motivated by money rather than common sense — continue to be highlighted by courts; the USPTO needs to raise the bar to improve the legal certainty associated with US patents



  30. Even Judge Gilstrap From Texas is Starting to Accept That Software Patents Are Invalid

    Amid new lawsuits from Texas (e.g. against Citrix) we’re pleased to see that even “reprehensible” Rodney Gilstrap (that’s what US politicians call him) is learning to accept SCOTUS on 35 U.S.C. § 101


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