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07.16.18

Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat’s GPL Compliance Group Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Warehouse Clearance Sale! Librem laptops starting at $999

      We sometimes get asked whether we will sell previous Librem models at a discount. The fact is that we normally don’t have a lot of Librem laptops lying around–the current stock sells out quickly and we order new batches. However, we also sometimes offer more than one type of Librem 13 or 15 laptop so customers can pick which hardware appeals most to them. Most recently this happened when we offered you the choice of i5 vs. i7 CPU and the choice of adding on a TPM chip. The demand for the i7 CPU and TPM chips were overwhelming to the point that both the i7 and TPM chip are now standard on our entire product line.

  • Server

    • How The Update Framework Improves Software Distribution Security

      In recent years that there been multiple cyber-attacks that compromised a software developer’s network to enable the delivery of malware inside of software updates. That’s a situation that Justin Cappos, founder of The Update Framework (TUF) open-source project, has been working hard to help solve.

      Cappos, an assistant professor at New York University (NYU), started TUF nearly a decade ago. TUF is now implemented by multiple software projects, including the Docker Notary project for secure container application updates and has implementations that are being purpose-built to help secure automotive software as well.

    • IBM’s new Nabla containers are designed for security first

      Companies love containers because they enable them to run more jobs on servers. But businesses also hate containers, because they fear they’re less secure than virtual machines (VM)s. IBM thinks it has an answer to that: Nabla containers, which are more secure by design than rival container concepts.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research distinguished engineer and top Linux kernel developer, first outlines that there are two kind of fundamental kinds of container and virtual machine (VM) security problems. These are described as Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) and Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP).

    • [Podcast] PodCTL #42 – Kubernetes 1.11 Released

      Like clockwork, the Kubernetes community continues to release quarterly updates to the rapidly expanding project. With the 1.11 release, we see a number of new capabilities being added across a number of different domains – infrastructure services, scheduling services, routing services, storage services, and broader CRD versioning capabilities that will improve the ability to not only deploy Operators for the platform and applications. Links for all these new features, as well as in-depth blog posts from Red Hat and the Kubernetes community are included in the show notes.

      As always, it’s important to remember that not every new feature being released is considered “General Availability”, so be sure to check the detailed release notes before considering the use of any feature in a production or high-availability environment.

    • Red Hat Looks Beyond Docker for Container Technology

      While Docker Inc and its eponymous container engine helped to create the modern container approach, Red Hat has multiple efforts of its own that it is now actively developing.

      The core component for containers is the runtime engine, which for Docker is the Docker Engine which is now based on the Docker-led containerd project that is hosted at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Red Hat has built its own container engine called CRI-O, which hit its 1.0 release back in October 2017.

      For building images, Red Hat has a project called Buildah, which reached its 1.0 milestone on June 6.

  • Kernel Space

    • PDS 0.98s release

      PDS 0.98s is released with the following changes

      1. Fix compilation issue on raspberry pi.
      2. Minor rework and optimization on balance code path.
      3. Fix wrong nr_max_tries in migrate_pending_tasks.

      This is mainly a bug fix and minor optimization release for 4.17. The rework of balance code doesn’t go well, it actually make more overhead than current implement. Another rework which based on current implement is still on going, hopefully be included in next release.

    • PDS-MQ CPU Scheduler Revised For The Linux 4.17 Kernel With Minor Optimizations

      Alfred Chen announced this week the release of PDS-mq 0.98s, his latest patch-set of this CPU scheduler against the Linux 4.17 upstream code-base and includes minor optimization work and bug fixes.

      The PDS scheduler stands for the “Priority and Deadline based Skiplist multiple queue scheduler” that is derived from Con Kolivas’ former BFS scheduler with Variable Run Queue (VRQ) support. PDS design principles are to be a simple CPU process scheduler yet efficient and scalable. PDS-mq differs from Con Kolivas’ current MuQSS scheduler.

    • Add infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events in vkms simulated by hrtimer

      Since the beginning of May 2018, I have been diving into the DRM subsystem. In the beginning, nothing made sense to me, and I had to fight hard to understand how things work. Fortunately, I was not alone, and I had great support from Gustavo Padovan, Daniel Vetter, Haneen Mohammed, and the entire community. Recently, I finally delivered a new feature for VKMS: the infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events.

      At this moment, VKMS have regular Vblank events simulated through hrtimers (see drm-misc-next), which is a feature required by VKMS to mimic real hardware [6]. The development approach was entirely driven by the tests provided by IGT, more specifically the kms_flip. I modified IGT to read a module name via command line and force the use of it, instead of using only the modules defined in the code (patch submitted to IGT, see [1]). With this modification in the IGT, my development process to add a Vblank infrastructure to VKMS had three main steps as Figure 1 describes.

    • The State Of The VKMS Driver, Preparations For vBlank & Page Flip Events

      One of the exciting additions to look forward to with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle is the virtual “VKMS” kernel mode-setting driver. The driver is still a work-in-progress, but multiple developers are working on it.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • NIR Continues To Be Prepped For OpenCL Support

        Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat several months ago has been working on Nouveau NIR support as stepping towards SPIR-V/compute support and this summer the work very much remains an active target.

      • Nouveau Gallium3D Moves Closer Towards OpenGL 4.5 Compliance

        While the RadeonSI and Intel i965 Mesa drivers have been at OpenGL 4.5 compliance for a while now, the Nouveau “NVC0″ Gallium3D driver has been bound to OpenGL 4.3 officially.

        This Nouveau Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA “Fermi” graphics hardware and newer has effectively supported all of the OpenGL 4.4/4.5 extensions, but not officially. Originally the NVC0 problem for OpenGL 4.4 and newer was the requirement of passing the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite (CTS), which at first wasn’t open-source. But now The Khronos Group has made it available to everyone as open-source. Additionally, the proper legal wrangling is in place so the Nouveau driver could become a conforming Khronos adopter under the X.Org Foundation without any associated costs/fees with Nouveau being purely open-source and primarily considered a community driver.

      • NVIDIA 390.77 Linux Driver Brings Updated Kernel Support, Fixes

        NVIDIA released today the 390.77 Linux driver, the latest in the 390 “long-lived” driver branch, for those not using the short-lived 396 bleeding-edge driver series.

        With the NVIDIA 390.77 Linux driver release it now works with up through the Linux 4.17 stable kernel series. Additionally, there are several pressing bug fixes.

      • Igalia Aligns Latest Patches For Giving Intel’s Mesa Driver OpenGL 4.6

        Igalia developers have been very involved with the Intel open-source developers on getting the long-awaited OpenGL 4.6 support into the “i965″ Mesa driver. As has been the case for a while, out-of-tree patches can allow this to happen but with the Mesa 18.2 branching soon, it doesn’t look like this will materialize ahead of this next release.

    • Benchmarks

      • Comparing Latencies and Power consumption with various CPU schedulers

        The low-latency kernel offering with Ubuntu provides a kernel tuned for low-latency environments using low-latency kernel configuration options. The x86 kernels by default run with the Intel-Pstate CPU scheduler set to run with the powersave scaling governor biased towards power efficiency.

        While power efficiency is fine for most use-cases, it can introduce latencies due to the fact that the CPU can be running at a low frequency to save power and also switching from a deep C state when idle to a higher C state when servicing an event can also increase on latencies.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Catfish 1.4.6 Released, Now an Xfce Project

      It’s a great day for fans of the fast and powerful Catfish search utility. With the 1.4.6 release, Catfish now officially joins the Xfce family. Additionally, there’s been some nice improvements to the thumbnailer and a large number of bugs have been squashed.

    • Catfish Search Utility Joins The Xfce Project

      The Catfish search utility now officially lives under the Xfce umbrella.

      Catfish is a GTK3-based and Python 3.x written program for searching for files on the system. Catfish has long been common to Xfce desktop systems and complementary to the Thunar file manager. The Catfish 1.4.6 release was made this weekend and with this version has now officially become part of the Xfce project.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications 18.08 branches created

        Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.08 release to them :)

        We’re already past the dependency freeze.

        [...]

        August 16: KDE Applications 18.08 Release

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Petr Kovar: GUADEC 2018

        Back from GUADEC, held in the beautiful Andalusian city of Almería, Spain, from 6th July through 11th July, 2018, I wanted to share a few notes wrt documentation and localization activities at the conference and during the traditional post-conference hacking days.

      • GUADEC18 Developer Center BoF Part 1: The Developer Experience

        At this year’s GUADEC lightning talks I spontaneously announced and arranged a Developer Center BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. We were six attendants who met together Wednesday the 11th September. I think it is important that we communicate our doings to the rest of the community, so I will make a few short blog posts based on our meeting notes and my own thoughts on the subject.

      • GSoC 2018: Safe Shared Access to Cairo Image Surfaces

        I’m working on librsvg, a GNOME SVG rendering library, to port the SVG filter effects and related infrastructure from C to Rust. Librsvg uses Cairo, a 2D graphics library, for most of its drawing operations. Cairo can draw to a number of different surfaces like XCB and Xlib windows and pixmaps, PDF documents and PostScript files.

      • Have you ever commented while angry?

        Here’s my proposal (feature request for GitLab / irssi? 😉): if I feel heated when writing a reply, I will take 5 minutes before hitting the send button. I expect when I come back that I’ll look like the bad guy, some re-wording will happen, and the world will become a little bit less bad than it would have.

  • Distributions

    • DistroWatch The Best Website For Distro Hoppers

      The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001.

      DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc.

      The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed: a Linux Distro review

        The bittersweet result: I may be free of the operating system release cycle, but have spent far more time fussing over my rolling distro than I ever would have fussed to upgrade from point release A to point release B. openSUSE impresses, but I probably should have (sigh …) adopted their point release distro Leap instead, or stood pat with Mint. (Although I’ll likely Tumble from here on in, now that I’ve hacked my way through the worst of the Tumbleweed learning curve.)

        If also tempted by the Tumbleweed bleeding edge: Dost thou know how to make and restore a disk image, either via the fabulous free Clonezilla or a commercial equivalent? Canst thou partition a disk, and, perhaps, fix a broken boot loader? I’ll dare to name these skills as entry bars for Tumbleweed adoption, especially the first one. I figured out how to do this stuff, still judge my knowledge as barely adequate to drive Tumbleweed daily. (Although one can install the Tumbleweed ISO in a virtual machine, fiddle to one’s heart’s content.)

    • Slackware Family

      • The oldest, active Linux distro, Slackware, turns 25

        For many early Linux users, Slackware was their introduction. One user told me her first Linux install was Slackware—and she had to use a hex editor to fix the partition tables so that Slackware would install. Support for her hardware was added in a later release. Another got his start building the data center that would power one of the first internet-enabled real estate sites. In the mid-1990s, Slackware was one of the easiest distributions to get and didn’t require a lot of effort to get IP masquerading to work correctly. A third person mentioned going to sleep while a kernel compile job ran, only to find out it had failed when he woke up.

        All of these anecdotes would suggest a hard-to-use operating system. But Slackware fans don’t see it that way. The project’s website says the two top priorities are “ease of use and stability.” For Slackware, “ease of use” means simplicity. Slackware does not include a graphical installer. Its package manager does not perform any dependency resolution. This can be jarring for new users, particularly within the last few years, but it also enables a deeper understanding of the system.

        The different take on ease of use isn’t the only thing unique about Slackware. It also does not have a public bug tracker, code repository, or well-defined method of community contribution. Volkerding and a small team of contributors maintain the tree in a rolling release called “-current” and publish a release when it meets the feature and stability goals they’ve set.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Amazon Linux AMIs Now Support Amazon’s SSM Agent

            As of July 2018, Amazon’s Linux AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) that are based on either the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating systems now come pre-installed with the AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent), an Amazon software designed to run on hybrid or Amazon EC2 instances in public and private clouds on AWS (Amazon Web Services).

            “With this new feature release, AWS Systems Manager Agent is installed by default on all instances launched or built from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (2018.07 and later) and 18.04 LTS (all versions) AMIs,” said Amazon. “By having the agent pre-installed, you can quickly start using AWS Systems Manager features such as Run Command, State Manager, Inventory and Patch Manager.”

          • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 536

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 536 for the week of July 8 – 14, 2018.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Cassandra at 10: Making a community believe in NoSQL

    Ten years ago this month, when Lehman Brothers was still just about in business and the term NoSQL wasn’t even widely known, let alone an irritant, Facebook engineers open-sourced a distributed database system named Cassandra.

    Back then, the idea that huge numbers of companies would need a scalable database was almost laughable – and that grip of traditional relational database systems is reflected in the mythical moniker given to what would become one of the first of many databases designed to run on a cluster of machines.

    Named after the Greek figure who was cursed to utter the truth but was never believed, Cassandra might seem an odd choice for a system whose raison d’être is believability – but it delivered a nice dig at the stalwarts of the RDBMS world… and their trust in a false Oracle.

  • Google Launches Jib, Automated Container Packaging for Java Apps

    Google has released software that could automate the packaging of a Java program so that it can be run in the cloud-native environment.

    Jib is an open-source Java “containerizer,” one that handles all the steps of packaging your application into a container image, according to Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen, two Google engineers who co-wrote a blog post announcing the new technology.

    Created over two decades ago at Sun Microsystems, Java was introduced as a “write once, run anywhere” programming language, where all the code would be packaged in a JAR file, and run by a Java Virtual Machine on any platform. The requirements for running code anywhere have expanded with the introduction of containerization, however. Few shops are Java-only these days, and many are turning to containerization for true application portability,

  • WSO2 Summer 2018 Release Brings Agility to Secure Microservices Integration
  • New Operations in Mexico Extend WSO2’s Reach Across Latin America
  • How Open Source Became The Default Business Model For Software
  • 10 Best Kodi Addons You Should Install In 2018 | Legal Addons

    Kodi is one of the most popular media player software which enables you to access videos, music, and pictures via the internet or local storage on a host of platforms. Managed by XBMC foundation, Kodi is an open source software. However, its reputation has been soiled by labeling it as a piracy bearer, and that is why many ask “Is Kodi legal?” You can read more about Kodi and whether it is legal or not here.

  • Summer of Code: Plan for the grand finale

    To get that done, I have to polish up my smack-openpgp branch which has grown to a size of 7000 loc. There are still some minor quirks, but Florian recommended to focus on the big picture instead of spending too much time on small details and edge cases.

    I also have to release pgpainless to maven central and establish some kind of release cycle. It will be a future challenge for me personally to synchronize the releases of smack-openpgp and pgpainless.

  • Pharmaceutical industry gets first open source platform for Level 4 serialization

    Pharmaceutical companies today for the first time have an open source alternative for level 4 serialization with the launch of QU4RTET, a platform that provides them with new flexibility, transparency and affordability as they comply with global drug anti-counterfeiting laws.

  • Kontron Uses Open Source to Move Beyond Bare Metal

    Kontron, a company known for its embedded computing technology, is leveraging virtualization and open source to become a direct supplier to large service providers, promising to integrate hardware and operating system software with best-of-breed virtual network functions.

    That new sales strategy has evolved to support containers, particularly as they fit at the edge of the network, which for Kontron AG is the cell tower. In May, Kontron announced that its integrated SYMKLOUD open source platform now supports the latest versions of OpenStack for virtual machines and bare metal, as well as Kubernetes v1.10 for Docker and containers, via its distribution partnership with Canonical.

  • Open Source Expands In Finance With The FINOS Platform
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Popular Firefox extensions now available in 7 new locales

        Firefox is available in over 90 languages, giving millions of people around the world access to the web in words they understand. Our community of translators and localizers do this because they believe that the web belongs to everyone, not just those who speak a popular tongue.

      • No Longer Lost in Translation

        You might have noticed that while Firefox supports 90 languages, many extensions and their listings on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) are only available in English.

        At present, we don’t have a way to connect extension developers with the translation community at scale, and Pontoon, Mozilla’s tool for localizing products and websites, currently only supports translating the AMO site itself.

        What we do have, however, is a desire to make translation resources available, a longstanding and active community of localizers, and friends on Mozilla’s Open Innovation team who specialize in putting the two together. Part of Open Innovation’s work is to explore new ways to connect communities of enthusiastic non-coding contributors to meaningful projects within Mozilla. Together with Rubén Martín, we ran a campaign to localize an initial group of top Firefox extensions into the 7 most popular languages of Firefox users.

      • Measuring Localization Time (in CI)

        As we all know, measuring things is a good way to get concrete information. Now that Firefox CI is fully on Taskcluster this was a good opportunity to measure and see what we can learn about timing in localization tasks.

        The code that generated the following charts and data is viewable in my Github repo, though as of this writing the code is rough and was modified manually to help generate the related graphs in various configurations. I’m working on adjusting them to be more general purpose and have better actual testing around logic.

      • Mozilla Reps Community

        The Reps program is working to prepare the ground for Mission Driven Mozillians and there are different tasks and issues to face for that.

        The most important point for the Reps Council is the Roles of Reps inside the communities. We know that in Mozilla there are a lot of international communities, local community and project specific communities, and we need to understand and be ready to support all of them.

      • QMO: Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday Results
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Synopsys ARC HS4x Processors Now Supported By GCC

      The GCC 8 compiler brought the Synopsys ARC CPU target while for the GCC 9 release is going to be support for the company’s HS4x processors.

      Merged today to mainline GCC is support for the HS4x CPUs within the ARC target. Adding this newer generation of ARC processors to the GNU Compiler Collection code-base was just a few hundred lines of code with building off the existing target code.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A Movement Builds as a Diverse Group of 14 Additional Leaders Seek Greater Predictability in Open Source Licensing

      Today’s announcement demonstrates the expanded breadth and depth of support for the GPL Cooperation Commitment. Companies adopting the commitment now span geographic regions, include eight Fortune 100 companies, and represent a wide range of industries from enterprise software and hardware to consumer electronics, chip manufacturing to cloud computing, and social networking to automotive. The companies making the commitment represent more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 corporate contributors.1

    • ARM: Arm joins industry leaders in commitment to fair enforcement of open source licenses

      Today, Red Hat announced that several leading technology companies, including Arm, are joining a diverse coalition of organizations that have come together to promote greater predictability in open source license enforcement. Alongside Amazon, Canonical, Linaro, Toyota, VMware and many others we have committed to ensure fair opportunity for our licensees to correct errors in compliance with their GPL and LGPL licensed software before taking action to terminate the licenses.

    • Debian “stretch” 9.5 Update Now Available, Red Hat Announces New Adopters of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Now Available, Latte Dock v0.8 Released and More

      Red Hat announced that 14 additional companies have adopted the GPL Cooperation Commitment, which means that “more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 contributors” are now represented. According to the Red Hat press release, these commitments “reflect the belief that responsible compliance in open source licensing is important and that license enforcement in the open source ecosystem operates by different norms.” Companies joining the growing movement include Amazon, Arm, Canonical, GitLab, Intel Corporation, Liferay, Linaro, MariaDB, NEC, Pivotal, Royal Philips, SAS, Toyota and VMware.

    • Collaboration in open source license enforcement — a community movement is happening

      “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”

      This was Abraham Lincoln speaking in the mid-1800s but his advice is still relevant today. Litigation is almost always a poor tool for fostering collaboration, whether among neighbors or software developers.

      In approaching the topic of open source license enforcement, it is important to consider Lincoln’s advice. Collaboration during open source license enforcement is a key to successful compliance just as it is an important element to success in the software development process. In assessing license enforcement tactics, you need to ask whether they will foster greater collaboration in open source software development. If the ultimate result of excessive or abusive enforcement is that developers and enterprises are turned off from participating in upstream open source communities, the ecosystems will wither and we all suffer as a result.

    • GPL Cooperation Commitment gets more support for open source licensing

      Red Hat has announced its open source license enforcement initiative is making new strides. As part of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, 14 new companies have joined the effort to promote greater predictability for GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses.

      “Through this initiative, we hope ultimately to increase participation in the use and development of open source software by helping to ensure that enforcement, when it takes place, is fair and predictable,” according to the commitment’s website.

    • The Global IP Exchange: Human ingenuity and open source technology

      He said: “Customers do increasingly care about open source, and if you don’t comply you are at risk of upsetting authors, as well as litigation and injunctions.”

      “If you’re just distributing internally, then you’re fine, but as soon as it leaves your company, then you’ve triggered an obligation.”

      For those who don’t comply, he warned that either the licensor, or the Free Software Foundation will find out.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Collaborative World Shaping: Why Open-Source Tech Matters in a For-Impact Future

      How many lives could be saved if there was a way to vastly cut down inefficiency and through bureaucracy, by problem solving at a global scale? Could technology help us reach more individuals in need more meaningfully, substantially helping people affected by disasters – in less time?

      The technology is already out there – but not enough people know about it.

      In 2017, Hurricane Irma—the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean—made landfall; with widespread, “catastrophic” damage, disaster relief organizations were overwhelmed. “A lot of traditional means of crisis response are very top down, and they didn’t really kick in — we saw headlines about how the Red Cross didn’t show up to shelters,” said Greg Bloom, a community organizer and civic hacker who knew he had to step in to assist.

    • The First Open-Source Smart Contract Platform to be Started by Rootstock

      RSK Labs, formerly known as Rootstock, an Argentinian startup building the first open-source smart contract platform with a 2-way peg to Bitcoin.RSK Labs CEO Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar on Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain and Crypto Industry Challenges.

      Even though at this point of time the 2-way peg security of the RSK blockchain is still relying on a group of third parties called ‘Federation’, in the future the developers promise to bring a “trustless” automatic peg. How fast this happens to some degree depends on the overall miners support.

      The company says its goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling Ethereum-like smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability, and this past January after almost two years of development its mainnet dubbed Bamboo was finally launched.

    • Creality’s Ender 3 3D Printer is Now Fully Open Source

      Creality3D, founded in 2014, is a 3D printer manufacturer based in China, offering more than 20 products. Their popular Ender 3 was recently voted “Best 3D Printer Under $200” by All3DP (review here).

      Now, the company is making their most popular 3D printer, the Ender 3, completely open source.

      This makes it the first Open Source Hardware Association certified 3D printer in China. This means not just a few files have been shared, but all hardware, CAD files, board schematics and firmware files are available. You can find the updated versions on the company’s GitHub page.

    • Charité’s researchers integrate open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’

      Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are pleased to announce that ‘The Virtual Brain’ neuroinformatics platform has joined the EU’s Flagship ‘Human Brain Project’. With financial support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Charité’s researchers are now integrating their open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’. This will provide participating researchers with a research infrastructure that promotes efficiency and reproducibility. The researchers will focus on refining the theoretical underpinnings of the computer models used, developing efficient simulation technology, and working on neuroinformatics solutions that enhance the reproducibility of studies.

  • Programming/Development

    • Opinion: GitHub vs GitLab

      So, Microsoft bought GitHub, and many people are confused or worried. It’s not a new phenomenon when any large company buys any smaller company, and people are right to be worried, although I argue that their timing is wrong. Like Microsoft, GitHub has made some useful contributions to free and open-source software, but let’s not forget that GitHub’s main product is proprietary software. And, it’s not just some innocuous web service either; GitHub makes and sells a proprietary software package you can download and run on your own server called GitHub Enterprise (GHE).

      Let’s remember how we got here. BitMover made a tool called BitKeeper, a proprietary version control system that allowed free-of-charge licenses to free software projects. In 2002, the Linux kernel switched to using BitKeeper for its version control, although some notable developers made the noble choice to refuse to use the proprietary program. Many others did not, and for a number of years, kernel development was hampered by BitKeeper’s restrictive noncommercial licenses.

      In 2005, Andrew Tridgell, working at OSDL, developed a client that bypassed this restriction, and as a result, BitMover removed licenses to BitKeeper from all OSDL employees—including Linus Torvalds. Eventually, all non-commercial licenses were stopped, and new licenses included clauses preventing the development of alternative version control systems. As a result of this, two new projects were born: Mercurial and Git. Created in a few short weeks in 2005, Git quickly became the version control system for Linux development.

      Proprietary version control tools aren’t common in free software development, but proprietary collaboration websites have been around for some time. One of the earliest collaboration websites still around today is Sourceforge. Sourceforge was created in the late 1990s by VA Software, and the code behind the project was released in 2000.

    • Is BDFL a death sentence?

      A few days ago, Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language and Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL) of the project, announced his intention to step away.

      Below is a portion of his message, although the entire email is not terribly long and worth taking the time to read if you’re interested in the circumstances leading to van Rossum’s departure.

    • Thoughts on Guido retiring as BDFL of Python

      I’ve been programming in Python for almost 20 years on a myriad of open source projects, tools for personal use, and work. I helped out with several PyCon US conferences and attended several others. I met a lot of amazing people who have influenced me as a person and as a programmer.

      I started PyVideo in March 2012. At a PyCon US after that (maybe 2015?), I found myself in an elevator with Guido and somehow we got to talking about PyVideo and he asked point-blank, “Why work on that?” I tried to explain what I was trying to do with it: create an index of conference videos across video sites, improve the meta-data, transcriptions, subtitles, feeds, etc. I remember he patiently listened to me and then said something along the lines of how it was a good thing to work on. I really appreciated that moment of validation. I think about it periodically. It was one of the reasons Sheila and I worked hard to transition PyVideo to a new group after we were burned out.

    • How to Setup Python Virtual Environment on Ubuntu 18.04

      Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for many different programming projects(Web – Mobile – Desktop).

      Easy to set up, and written in a relatively straightforward style with immediate feedback on errors, Python is a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. Python 3 is the most current version of the language and is considered to be the future of Python.

      This article will guide you through installing Python 3 on your local Linux machine and setting up a programming virtual environment via the command line. This article will explicitly cover the installation procedures for Ubuntu 18.04, but the general principles apply to any other distribution of Debian Linux.

    • How expensive is globbing for sources in large projects

      Since we have the measurement script, let’s use it for something more interesting. Modules are an upcoming C++ feature to increase build times and a ton of other coolness depending on who you ask. The current specification works by having a kind of “module export declaration” at the beginning of source files. The idea is that you first compile those to generate a sort of a module declaration file and then you can start the actual compilation that uses said files.

      If you thought “waitaminute, that sounds exactly like how FORTRAN is compiled”, you are correct. Because of this it has the same problem that you can’t compile source files in an arbitrary order, but instead you must first somehow scan them to find out the interdependencies between source (not header) files. In practice what this means is that instead of single-phase compilation all files must be processed twice. All scan operations must be done before any compilation jobs can start because otherwise you might start to compile a file before its dependencies are fully processed.

      The scanning can be done in one of two ways. Either the build system scans the sources meaning it needs to understand the syntax of source files or the compiler can be invoked in a special preprocessing mode. Note that build systems such as Ninja do not do any such operations by themselves but instead always invoke external processes to do their work.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • CIA collaborated with Gülen – Lobbyist

      Turkey’s public enemy number one, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, has U.S. politicians on his payroll and a history of cooperation with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, London-based lawyer Robert Amsterdam told Turkish news channel A Haber in a filmed interview on Monday.

      Amsterdam, on retainer by the Turkish government to lobby internationally against Gülen, discussed the fruits of his activities, which he said had accelerated legal repercussions against Gülen’s organisation in the United States and raised awareness about the group.

    • UK ‘complicit in killing civilians and risks being prosecuted over illegal drone operations’, major report suggests

      British military personnel could be prosecuted for killing civilians in drone strikes and risk becoming complicit in alleged war crimes committed by the US, an inquiry has found.

      A two-year probe by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones revealed that the number of operations facilitated by the UK in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia has been growing without any public scrutiny.

      As well as launching its own strikes, the Ministry of Defence is assisting operations by the US and other allies that could violate both national and international law, it said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

      The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.

      There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum.

    • Pamela Anderson Defends Assange and Putin: ‘Everything Is So Anti-Russia’
    • Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Being Romantically Linked to Julian Assange: ‘It Is Sexism’
    • Pamela Anderson Thinks ‘The World Of Julian’ Assange
    • Pamela Anderson Stands Up for Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin
    • Pamela Anderson: Americans are programmed to blame Russia when things go wrong
    • DoJ claims Assange colluded with the Russians in the US elections

      The Justice Department’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian military intelligence officers undermines those denials. And if the criminal charges are proved, it would show that WikiLeaks (referred to as “Organization 1” in the indictment) received the material from Guccifer 2.0, a persona directly controlled by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU, and even gave the Russian hackers advice on how to disseminate it.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (First, The Good News On Platform Jurisdiction)

      Like the anti-SLAPP statute does for unmeritorious litigation Section 1987.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows for mandatory recovery of fees for unmeritorious unmasking subpoenas that courts quash. Unfortunately, like robust anti-SLAPP laws, not all states have such a provision, which is another reason why it’s important that platforms not be exposed to these other jurisdictions simply because they may have completed the purely ministerial task of registering with the Secretary of State or having some users there and not any more substantive connection. Platforms are in the business of facilitating speech, and they should be able to choose which laws to expose themselves to that will give them the best ability to do it.

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (Now, The Bad News On Journalist Protection)

      On the other hand, both anonymous speech and free press cases affect the interests of third parties and both vindicate important First Amendment rights upon which public discourse depends

    • Leyonhjelm: Censorship is treating us all like children

      Free speech involves both the freedom to communicate and the freedom to receive communications. Yet the Commonwealth restricts what we can read, watch, play and listen to.

      This hurts those Australians who would choose to read, watch, play or listen to censored material. It also does nothing for other Australians, who would have a clear option if this censorship was not present: we can choose to not read, watch, play or listen to the material. Free speech involves no obligation to listen.

      One of the three free speech bills I recently introduced in the Senate seeks to remove the ban on publications, films and computer games on the grounds that they offend against standards of morality, decency and propriety.

    • Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of ‘problematic’ literature of the past

      From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise.

      But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present.

      “Why is Ma so scared of Native Americans? Where does prejudice come from in pioneers? What prejudices do we still have today?” Melissa Scholes Young, an associate professor in the writing studies program at American University, offers as questions to explore the cultural landscape and significance of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

      [...]

      Dr. Gilboa said it’s wrong to censor authors for “accurately reflecting their time and history” even when their prose clashes with the ideals of the modern enlightened age. A far better response, she said, is to talk directly to children about the issues in question with the proper values and context.

    • Chinese island eyes oasis from web censorship for foreigners

      China’s Hainan island has proposed allowing foreign visitors access to censored websites such as YouTube and Facebook, a double standard that has raised cries of indignation from the country’s internet users.

      The province, known as China’s Hawaii thanks to its resorts and tropical beaches, is set to become the country’s largest free trade zone and hopes to attract increased investment in hi-tech industries, as well as more tourist dollars.

      Part of that effort includes making the island more hospitable to foreign tourists through such steps as instituting visa-free travel and making it easier to use foreign credit cards.

      [...]

      Chinese internet users wanting to view the proposal will struggle to find it, after the Hainan government quickly removed the document from its website.

    • University of Kansas caved to ‘censorship’ over blackened American flag art, civil liberty groups say

      Three civil liberties groups sent a letter to the University of Kansas demanding that the school reinstate a piece of artwork, a blackened American flag collage, meant to represent political polarization in the United States, after the Kansas governor ordered its removal last week.

      “Censorship won last week, but today, we’re fighting back for the First Amendment,” said Will Creeley, senior vice president for legal and public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, according to a press release Monday. “The law is clear: The government can’t censor artistic expression just because powerful people don’t like it. Artistic freedom is especially important at our public colleges and universities, and we’re proud to stand with the ACLU of Kansas and the National Coalition Against Censorship in its defense.”

    • NCAC Joins FIRE and the ACLU Urging the University of Kansas to Restore American Flag Artwork

      NCAC has joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas in a letter to the University of Kansas (KU) strongly urging it to take a stand against censorship by restoring a public artwork that the university removed last week. The artwork, “Untitled (Flag 2),” by artist Josephine Meckseper, is part of a nationwide public art program, “Pledges of Allegiance,” organized by Creative Time and featuring 16 artworks that incorporate flags that address a variety of themes and topics by artists around the world.

    • University Refuses to Apologize for Desecrated, Anti-Trump American Flag
    • Civil liberties groups now demanding that KU put flag art back on flag pole
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oregon Supreme Court Adopts Use Restrictions on Nonresponsive Data for Computer Warrants

      As regular readers know, I have argued in my academic writing that the Fourth Amendment should be interpreted to impose use restrictions on nonresponsive data seized pursuant to a computer search warrant. In a new decision, State v. Mansor, the Oregon Supreme Court appears to have adopted my approach under Oregon’s state equivalent of the Fourth Amendment.

      Let me start with some context. Computer warrant searches require the government to find a needle in an enormous electronic haystack. When the police execute a warrant to search for and find the needle of evidence, they usually need to seize the haystack first to search it. I have argued that a warrant to seize the needle should allow the police to seize the haystack to search for the needle. But there’s a catch: The government should ordinarily not be allowed to use whatever else they find in the haystack. If the warrant is only to seize a needle, the police can only take away and use the needle, unless there are exigent circumstances exposed by the discovery of other evidence. The nonresponsive data — other evidence that may exist in the haystack but is not described in the warrant — ordinarily can’t be used. For the details of my view, see this article.

    • Oregon Supreme Court Sets Up New Limits For Digital Device Searches

      Searching digital things isn’t like searching physical things. But a majority of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence relies on making inapt comparisons between houses/papers and devices capable of holding several housefuls of papers, communications, photos, etc.

      Guidelines for digital searches are an inexact science. Given the nature of these searches, there’s clearly room for abuse. It’s almost inevitable. Access must be granted to an entire device (computer, phone, hard drive) to find what’s sought as evidence. Files aren’t named incriminating.docx so files must be opened to determine their contents. In almost all digital searches, law enforcement gets the haystack and then goes looking for needles.

    • Everything That’s Wrong With Social Media Companies and Big Tech Platforms, Part 3

      I’ve written two installments in this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here). And while I could probably turn itemizing complaints about social-media companies into a perpetual gig somewhere — because there’s always going to be new material — I think it’s best to list only just a few more for now. After that, we ought to step back and weigh what reforms or other social responses we really need. The first six classes of complaints are detailed in Parts 1 and 2, so we begin here in Part 3 with Complaint Number 7.

    • FBI Wish List: An App That Can Recognize the Meaning of Your Tattoos

      We’ve long known that the FBI is heavily invested in developing face recognition technology as a key component in its criminal investigations. But new records, obtained by EFF through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, show that’s not the only biometric marker the agency has its eyes on. The FBI’s wish list also includes image recognition technology and mobile devices to attempt to use tattoos to map out people’s relationships and identify their beliefs.

      EFF began looking at tattoo recognition technology in 2015, after discovering that the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the FBI, was promoting experiments using tattoo images gathered involuntarily from prison inmates and arrestees. The agencies had provided a dataset of thousands of prisoner tattoos to some 19 outside groups, including companies and academic institutions, that are developing image recognition and biometric technology. Government officials instructed the groups to demonstrate how the technology could be used to identify people by their tattoos and match tattoos with similar imagery.

      Our investigation found that NIST was targeting people who shared common beliefs, with a heavy emphasis on religious imagery. NIST researchers, we discovered, had also bypassed basic oversight measures. Despite rigid requirements designed to protect prisoners who might be used as subjects in government research, the researchers failed to seek sign-off from the in-house watchdog before embarking on the project.

      Following our report, NIST stopped responding to EFF’s FOIA requests. The agency also rushed to retroactively alter its documents to downplay the nature of the research. In a statement issued to the press, NIST denied our findings, claiming that its goal was simply to evaluate the effectiveness of tattoo recognition algorithms and “not about the many complex law enforcement policies or approaches that may be related to images of tattoos.”

    • ‘Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states’ — Declassified documents show the pitch to lure National Security Agency Data Center [Ed: Violating the Constitution makes you unpatriotic, not patriotic]

      In January 2006, David M. Winberg wrote a two-page paper lobbying the National Security Agency to build a computing center at Camp Williams.

      Winberg, a Utahn with a long history with the NSA, lauded the technical advantages of the site. Then he used the last paragraph to promote Utahns as a whole.

      “Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states,” Winberg wrote. “The people of Utah are committed to the principles and practices of maintaining and improving our national security.”

    • German Police searches Tor-supporters Zwiebelfreunde on flimsy bases

      On 20 June, searches were carried out1 at the homes of several board members of the German association “Zwiebelfreunde”. All their computers and storage media (hard drives, USB keys) were seized by the German police.

      The reason? These three people are supposedly “witnesses” in an ongoing investigation into a blog calling for anti-fascist protests in Augsbourg, in Germany. The Police consider that this blog calls for violent actions.

      And the link between this blog and Zwiebelfreunde? Hold onto your hat. The email address associated with the blog is hosted by the American organisation Riseup. And Zwiebelfreunde collects donations on Riseup’s account. It’s hard to imagine Google’s hardware being seized by the Police if the people behind the blog had chosen Gmail.

      It’s a bit as if La Quadrature du Net’s offices, as well as the homes of its leaders, had ben searched because of an account created on mamot.fr, La Quadrature’s Mastodon instance.
      It doesn’t make sense.

      This is clearly an attack on Zwiebelfreunde, which for years has been promoting and facilitating the use of privacy-protecting tools such as those of the Tor project. It helps collect funds for these projects, in this case Riseup.
      The money raised by Zwiebelfreunde is used in particular to develop the tools and services provided by Riseup, to reimburse travel expenses and to maintain RiseUp’s Tor infrastructure.

    • DOJ Tells Ron Wyden About The Times It Has Collected Journalists’ Communications; Leaves Some Facts Out

      The Trump Administration — much like the administration before it — has declared war on leakers. The government prefers to selectively leak info using anonymous sources, but only the sort of leaks that serve its political/PR purposes. Everything else — no matter how much the leaked info serves to better inform the public — is the target of investigations and prosecutions.

      Jeff Sessions claims this administration has opened three times as many leak investigations as Obama’s. If so, it will rack up unprecedented numbers. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have decided it’s OK to target journalists’ communications to hunt down leakers, an act that strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment.

      An indictment against James Wolfe, a longtime Senate Intelligence Committee advisor, was put together by harvesting emails and other private communications between Wolfe and various reporters. This document confirmed what was already suspected by Ron Wyden, who demanded late last year the DOJ turn over information on its targeting of journalists’ communications.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why There Must Never Be a Speech and Assembly Tax

      In Massachusetts, rally organizers are burdened by unlawful charges.

      A historic level of activism and protest has been seen in our nation’s streets and public parks over the past two years. These protests reflect the profound importance of our constitutional right to peaceful assembly: People come together, voice their dissent, and organize for change. The right to join with neighbors in protest is core to the First Amendment and critical to a healthy and vibrant democracy.

      On Jan. 20, 2018, thousands of people gathered on Cambridge Common in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the second Women’s March. As in hundreds of other cities around the world, the Cambridge event was organized in protest of the Trump administration’s attacks on the civil rights of women and other marginalized people. The event was peaceful, with a light police presence.

      And yet, Cambridge event organizers were billed for thousands of dollars for police details and emergency medical services. They were also told to expect additional invoices for police from neighboring cities and towns and the local transit system.

      Despite successfully completing the permitting process and paying permit application fees before the event, organizers were told less than two weeks before the event that they could be additionally charged for public safety services. That discussion happened after the organizers mentioned to police that there could be counter-protesters present at the event.

      Charging rally organizers for public safety services as a condition for granting permits deters political participation — plain and simple. Most event organizers would think twice about coordinating a protest if they thought they might owe $4,000, like the Cambridge Women’s March organizers ultimately owed. In fact, the Cambridge organizers flagged the bills to the ACLU for that very reason. They feared the impact of the city’s practices on the exercise of free speech of all who seek permits for the Cambridge Common and other public parks.

    • A Baby Was Separated From Her Uncle at the Border. Three Months Later, Her Mother Is Still Trying to Get Her Back.

      Sendy Karina Ferrera Amaya opened her mouth, and a gloved hand gave each cheek a perfunctory brush with a cotton swab.

      Fifteen seconds, and the $429 DNA test she’d paid for was over. “Eso es todo,” the lab technician said last Thursday. That was it. Ferrera, 25, gave a tentative smile and walked out to join her fiancé. Squeezing his hand as they drove away, she allowed herself to hope. To imagine her curly-haired 1-year-old daughter wrapped in her arms, much bigger and more wiggly than last time she held her. Maybe next week, she would finally be reunited with Liah, whose name she wore around her neck like a talisman.

      Even though the Trump administration is under a court order to reunite children who were separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy, Ferrera has no idea what that means for her family. Liah had traveled from Honduras with her uncle in mid-April. Ferrera was in the U.S. already, having entered undetected months earlier.

    • CIA Mind Control Survivors Seek Restitution From Canadian Government

      More than 40 years after the notorious MK Ultra program became public knowledge, the CIA’s mind-control program is still shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions. Now, Canadians who became non-consenting test subjects in experiments are seeking closure for the inhumane LSD and electroconvulsive therapy research that left hundreds of psychiatric patients permanently scarred. Despite the well-documented cases of patients who suffered lifelong consequences as a result of the inhumane experiments, the Canadian government has neither accepted responsibility nor apologized for its role in the CIA project.

    • Black Lives Matter Is Still Here—and Avoiding the Mistakes of Their Predecessors

      The fifth anniversary of the founding of Black Lives Matter (BLM) makes me think back 50 years, not five. Shortly before he was killed, Martin Luther King lamented that the gains of the civil rights movement had come at “bargain rates” because it cost America nothing to integrate lunch counters and buses or give Blacks the right to vote.

      King knew that the real fight—against systemic forces such as the criminalization of African-Americans—lay ahead. As a 10-year-old growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I did not understand—I just saw what looked like visible progress until King was killed, and it seemed like the progress not only stopped, it rolled back.

      The young activist started at 26 and was dead at 39. Richard Nixon’s nefariously designed “war on drugs” came next, fueling the over-policing and mass incarceration of Black bodies.

    • Inside the Family Separation Legal Drama

      Federal court blocks government from deporting any families it separated, lambasts HHS official for ‘exasperating declaration

      The federal judge who ordered the Trump administration to reunite the nearly 3,000 children it separated from their parents has temporarily blocked the government from deporting any of the families it reunites until at least July 23.

      The ACLU had requested the temporary restraining order due to concerns that families may have been coerced into agreeing to voluntarily return to countries where they may be in danger because they believed that was the only way they could get their children back. We wanted to make sure that parents would have time to consider their options and be fully informed of their rights before making their decision.

      The ruling came after a rollercoaster few days in which Judge Dana Sabraw both praised the administration for its good faith and compliance with court orders, then lambasted it for fundamentally misunderstanding what it was being asked to do.

      On Friday, July 13, when Judge Dana Sabraw held a status conference on the government’s efforts to reunite the children by the July 26 deadline, he seemed pleased with the progress.

      [...]

      “It is clear from Mr. Meekins’s Declaration that HHS either does not understand the Court’s orders or is acting in defiance of them,” Judge Sabraw said. He added that Meekins appeared to be providing cover for the government’s “lack of foresight and infrastructure necessary to remedy the harms” caused by separating families and that HHS appeared to be “operating in a vacuum, entirely divorced from the undisputed circumstances of this case.” Judge Sabraw then ordered the government to submit its plan for reunifying the children with their parents, which the government did on Sunday.

    • In New York, Intolerance Has Become Routine

      It is just a snapshot, but it makes for a plenty ugly picture all the same: The New York City Commission on Human Rights surveyed more than 3,000 Muslim, Jewish and Sikh residents of the city late in 2017 and found striking rates of racially and or religiously motivated assault, harassment and workplace discrimination.

      Some 38 percent of those surveyed said they had been verbally harassed or taunted because of their race or faith. Nearly 10 percent said they had been the victim of an actual physical assault. A similar percentage of those surveyed said they had seen their property vandalized or otherwise defaced.

      Lurking in those broad numbers are some more specific outrages: 18 percent of Sikhs surveyed said they had been denied service by a local business; roughly 6 percent of those surveyed who said they wore religious garments reported having had someone try and tear those garments off them.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ajit Pai Pretends To Care About Identity Fraud That Plagued Net Neutrality Repeal

      You’ll of course recall that during the net neutrality repeal the FCC’s public comment process was flooded with bogus comments in support of (and in a few instances in opposition to) the FCC’s plan. Many of these comments came from a bot that filled the proceedings with fake comments in perfect alphabetical order, something that should have been pretty easy to prevent (had the FCC actually wanted to). Many of the comments came from people that had their identities lifted to support the repeal (like myself), while other commenters were, well, deceased.

      Nobody’s been able to yet confirm who was behind the identity fraud and bot attack, in part because the FCC actively blocked a law enforcement investigation attempting to find out. The general consensus is that “somebody” (either ISP-linked outfits or some group of partisans) was hoping to erode trust in the comment process to try and downplay the massive public backlash to the repeal. But it should also be noted that this is a problem that extends beyond the FCC, and has impacted other major policy decisions at major agencies government wide.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A complex patent trail shows how NPE litigation might be developing in China

      Over the past couple of years, several major NPEs have announced big Chinese portfolio acquisitions. But a new litigation in Beijing shows that this is not the only way foreign assertion entities are affecting the market here – some patents formerly owned by now-defunct NPEs are re-emerging in Chinese lawsuits. Xiaomi’s strong smartphone sales and its IPO in Hong Kong have put a bull’s-eye on its back. It is facing down lawsuits from Ericsson in India and Coolpad in China, having recently beaten an SEP assertion by KPN.

    • Expect closer supervision of US biologics settlements in wake of Humira ‘reverse payment’ concerns

      Two US senators have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine patent settlements involving biologic and biosimilar producers, echoing calls from patient advocacy groups. Raising particular concerns about AbbVie’s recent high-profile Humira agreements, the legislators have cast doubt on the legitimacy of settlements that have otherwise been interpreted as a triumph of the Illinois entity’s patent strategy. But whether or not the FTC decides to inspect the Humira settlements, rights owners should expect an increase in legal, regulatory and public scrutiny of such deals in the future.

    • If runway models are performers…is France in breach of its international obligations?

      In a recent post, this GuestKat explored the possibility for runway models to claim performers’ rights under UK law (here), concluding that runway models could make a reasonable claim for performer’s rights protection under several legal bases. One such basis relies on the definition of “protected performers” under the Rome Convention and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) [as interpreted here]. International treaty or no international treaty, the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) in the UK are arguably broad enough to fit runway models within the scope of performers’ rights (see also, Richard Arnold (2016) para 2.17). As such, invoking the Rome Convention and WPPT is most germane in the face of a narrow [conservative?] interpretation of the CDPA.

    • Interview: All Via’s saying is give peace a chance

      Joseph Siino, president of patent pool manager Via Licensing, tells Managing IP about his peace plan to end wireless patent wars, the impact of China and the coming challenges of 5G technology

    • Copyrights

      • More than a million Europeans spoke out to stop internet-destroying censorship rules, but the fight’s not over

        Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.

        The July 5 vote means that the European Parliament will debate these clauses in September. In the meantime, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes scurrying around as members of parliament and giant corporations lay out their forces for the fight in September.

      • A Key Victory Against European Copyright Filters and Link Taxes – But What’s Next?

        Against all the odds, but with the support of nearly a million Europeans, MEPs voted earlier this month to reject the EU’s proposed copyright reform—including controversial proposals to create a new “snippet” right for news publishers, and mandatory copyright filters for sites that published user uploaded content.

        The change was testimony to how powerful and fast-moving Net activists can be. Four weeks ago, few knew that these crazy provisions were even being considered. By the June 20th vote, Internet experts were weighing in, and wider conversations were starting on sites like Reddit.

        The result was a vote on July 5th of all MEPS, which ended in a 318 against 278 victory in favour of withdrawing the Parliament’s support for the languages. Now all MEPs will have a chance in September to submit new amendments and vote on a final text—or reject the directive entirely.

        While re-opening the text was a surprising set-back for Article 13 and 11, the battle isn’t over: the language to be discussed on in September will be based on the original proposal by the European Commission, from two years ago—which included the first versions of the copyright filters, and snippet rights. German MEP Axel Voss’s controversial modifications will also be included in the debate, and there may well be a flood of other proposals, good and bad, from the rest of the European Parliament.

        There’s still sizeable support for the original text: Article 11 and 13′s loudest proponents, led by Voss, persuaded many MEPs to support them by arguing that these new powers would restore the balance between American tech giants and Europe’s newspaper and creative industries—or “close the value gap”, as their arguments have it.

        But using mandatory algorithmic censors and new intellectual property rights to restore balance is like Darth Vader bringing balance to the Force: the fight may involve a handful of brawling big players, but it’s everybody else who would have to deal with the painful consequences.

      • The MEP behind Europe’s proposed copyright censorship proposal can’t explain all the copyrighted images in his social media

        Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it’s not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they’re notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone from posting copyrighted material in the first place (even if they have the right to do so under fair dealing, and even if that means that a lot of legitimate material gets accidentally blocked).

        Voss’s explanations for this proposal have been incoherent and technologically illiterate, so maybe it’s no surprise that he turns out to be a serial copyright infringer whose social media feeds for the past two years include at least 17 images from major German news agencies, used without permission.

        Buzzfeed Germany found the images; then they asked Voss, who had insisted that Article 13 had been proposed to end the posting of copyrighted images where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author” whether he’d paid the photographers whose work he’d used without permission.

      • Guy In Charge Of Pushing Draconian EU Copyright Directive, Evasive About His Own Use Of Copyright Protected Images

        There’s one person who wields more power than anyone to shape the awful EU Copyright Directive: the MEP Axel Voss. He’s the head of the main Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) that is steering the Directive through the European Parliament. Voss took over from the previous MEP leading JURI, Therese Comodini Cachia, after she decided to return to her native Malta as member of the national parliament. Her draft version of the Directive was certainly not perfect, but it did possess the virtue of being broadly acceptable to all sides of the debate. When Voss took over last year, the text took a dramatic turn for the worse thanks to the infamous “snippet tax” (Article 11 of the proposed Directive) and the “upload filter” (Article 13).

        As Mike reported a couple of weeks ago, Voss offered a pretty poor defense of his proposals, showing little understanding of the Internet. But he made clear that he thinks respecting copyright law is really important. For example, he said he was particularly concerned that material is being placed online, where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author.” Given that background, it will probably come as no surprise to Techdirt readers to learn that questions are now being asked whether Voss himself has paid creators for material that he has used on his social media accounts…

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    35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) -- like the European Patent Convention (EPC) on the Grant of European Patents -- stresses patent quality and scope; will patent offices get things right before it's too late or too expensive to undo?



  3. Data Engine Technologies (DET) Just One Among Many Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls That Pick on Microsoft's Biggest Competitors

    Lawyers' articles/blog posts continue to obscure the fact that Data Engine Technologies is merely a satellite or unit (one among many) of patent trolling giant Acacia Research Corp., connected to Microsoft and sporting a long history of lawsuits against GNU/Linux



  4. Alice/Mayo and Hatch-Influenced US Patent Office

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seems to be serving those who pay the most to define the scope or limits of patenting; this means that even nature and life are being 'privatised' (or turned into someone's "intellectual" property)



  5. Funded by the Public to Prey on the Public: The Absurdity of Patent Sales and 'Enforcement' by Government

    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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