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

07.30.18

Links 30/7/2018: Linux Kernel 4.18 Plans, Linux Foundation Growth

Posted in News Roundup at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Ditching Windows: Here’s How Ubuntu Updates Your PC And Why It’s Better
    • GPD Pocket 2 Crowdfunding Campaign Goes Live

      Nevertheless, a passionate Linux community has built up around the original GPD Pocket (which now works much better with Linux distros like Ubuntu thanks to improved hardware support in the latest Linux kernel) — and that community support will no doubt ensure the new model is kitted out with a capable community-based Linux distro too.

    • Build your own Chrome/Linux operating system with Chromium OS and Crostini

      Google is slowly starting to add support for running Linux applications on Chromebooks. But as I discovered when I tested Linux apps on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 recently, it’s still a work in progress. The feature also isn’t available for all Chrome OS computers yet.

      That could change in the not-too-distant future. Right now you need to be running Chrome OS in the developer channel in order to enable Linux app support. There are signs that Linux app support could hit the Chrome OS beta channel this week, and it could graduate to the stable channel by the time Chrome OS 69 is released later this year.

    • Germans swing another putsch against Linux [Ed: This isn't a technical decision. It cannot be technical. I reckon some politicians/suits had too many dinners with Microsoft and maybe bribes too (like the Munich saga)]

      As initially reported by Heise, the state’s tax authority has 13,000 workstations running OpenSuse — which it adopted in 2006 in a well-received migration from Solaris — that it now wants to migrate to a “current version” of Windows, presumably Windows 10.

    • With DaaS Windows coming, say goodbye to your PC as you know it

      Now Microsoft, which helped lead that revolution, is trying to return us to that old, centralized control model.

      Forget that noise. If Microsoft continues on this course, soon your only real choices if you really want a “desktop” operating system will be Linux and macOS. Oh, you’ll still have “Windows.” But Windows as your “personal” desktop? It will be history.

    • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Now Ships With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

      The sales figures for laptops would have you believe there’s only really two operating systems available: laptops running Windows 10 and Apple’s MacBook range running macOS. But there’s a third option in the form of Linux, and one of the most well-known computer companies ships a premium laptop running a version of it.

      That company is Dell, and the XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop just got updated and certified to ship with the latest (extended support and stability) version of Ubuntu. Before now, the XPS 13 Developer Edition shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but Dell worked with Canonical to certify Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) on the XPS 13, meaning there will be no driver problems from first boot, it will just work, which is great news for anyone using this laptop as an excuse to try

    • The Dell XPS 13 9370 now available with Ubuntu Linux 18.04 onboard

      The Intel Core i7-8550U-powered Dell XPS 13 9370 ultrabook is now available with Ubuntu Linux 18.04 onboard. The first XPS 13 Developer Edition arrived more than five years ago and back then it had Ubuntu 12.04 installed. The new XPS 13 Developer Edition is only available in the US for now, but Europe and Canada will follow soon.

    • Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu 18.04 Preinstalled Now Available, GCC Conversion to Git Update, Lubuntu Shifts Focus, OpenMW Team Releases Version 0.44.0 and Serverless Inc Announces New Framework and Gateway

      Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preinstalled is now available. According to Canonical’s blog post, this launch marks the “the first availability of Ubuntu’s latest LTS on a major OEM’s hardware since its release in April. Canonical and Dell have worked together to certify Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on the XPS 13 to ensure a seamless experience from first use.” You can purchase one in the US via Dell.com, and they will be available in Europe in early August.

    • Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition now ships with Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS

      LINUX FANS CAN WE GET A ‘HUZZAH’? because Dell has finally pulled up its trousers and released a Developer Edition of the 2018 XPS 13.

      The 9379 model, in case you’re asking, will arrive running Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS, the latest version of the non-Windows 10 operating system. For developers and people who worship at the church of Torvalds, that should be a boon as previous Developer Editions of the XPS 13 have come with the outdated Ubuntu 16.04.

      And if you can’t shell out for a Developer Edition XPS 13 this time around, which will set you back something in the area of £1,300 for a decently-specced model, Dell has plans to keep knocking out XPS machines with Ubuntu.

    • Linux apps will now run better on low-memory Chromebooks

      Earlier this year, Linux apps on Chrome launched on the Pixelbook, a speedy Chromebook with 8GB RAM. Since then, dozens of devices have received support from low-end to high-end, and even ARM Chromebooks too. A recent Chromium commit introduces better resource management for Linux apps on Chrome OS by dynamically managing RAM – great news for low-memory Chromebooks.

    • Microsoft boosts Office 2019 price by 10% [Ed: With proprietary software and so-called 'cloud' you're not in control of your finances, let alone your data, your PC etc.]

      Microsoft plans to raise the price of its perpetually-licensed Office suite by 10% in October.

  • Server

    • An Interview with Heptio, the Kubernetes Pioneers

      I recently spent some time chatting with Craig McLuckie, CEO of the leading Kubernetes solutions provider Heptio. Centered around both developers and system administrators, Heptio’s products and services simplify and scale the Kubernetes ecosystem.

  • Kernel Space

    • EROFS File-System Merged Ahead Of Linux 4.19 Kernel

      Adding to the list of great stuff for Linux 4.19 is the introduction of the EROFS file-system.

      EROFS is a new Linux file-system being developed at Huawei that is catering itself for possible use in Android devices. EROFS isn’t intended to replace EXT4/F2FS or so, but rather is a read-only file-system designed to be extendable with features like built-in compression and better than existing read-only file-system offerings.

    • Linux Kernel 4.18 Slated for Release on August 5 as Linus Torvalds Outs Last RC

      Linus Torvalds announced over the weekend the seventh and last Release Candidate (RC) milestone in the development cycle of the forthcoming Linux 4.18 kernel, and teased us with the final release for next week.

      Linux kernel 4.18 RC7 is now available for public testing, and Linus Torvalds reports that there’s nothing out of the ordinary in this build except for some minor bug fixes, signaling that this is the last Release Candidate in the upcoming Linux kernel series, which could debut at the end of this week, on August 5, 2018.

      “Nothing particularly odd happened this last week – we got the usual random set of various minor fixes all over. About two-thirds of it is drivers – networking, staging and USB stands out, but there’s a little bit of stuff all over (CLK, block, GPU, NVMe),” said Linus Torvalds. “So unless something odd happens, this should be the last RC for 4.18.”

    • Lazy TLB Improvements Heading To Linux 4.19

      The lazy TLB mode as a way to delay translation look-aside buffer updates will be improved upon with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel.

      The first change queued ahead of the Linux 4.19 kernel merge window is leaving the lazy TLB mode at page table free time. As explained by that commit, “speculative memory accesses while in lazy TLB mode can crash a system, when a CPU tries to dereference a speculative access using memory contents that used to be valid page table memory, but have since been reused for something else and point into la-la land. The latter problem can be prevented in two ways. The first is to always send a TLB shootdown IPI to CPUs in lazy TLB mode, while the second one is to only send the TLB shootdown at page table freeing time.”

    • Linux Foundation

      • The Linux Foundation welcomes 22 new members

        The Linux Foundation announced the addition of 17 Silver members and 5 Associate members. In addition to joining the Foundation, many of the new members joined Linux Foundation projects like Automotive Grade Linux, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Hyperledger, JS Foundation, and LF Networking.

      • Twenty-Two Organizations From AI, Automotive, Blockchain, Cloud and More Join The Linux Foundation and Invest in Open Source Technology

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the addition of 17 Silver members and 5 Associate members. Linux Foundation members help support development of the shared technology resources, while accelerating their own innovation through open source leadership and participation. Linux Foundation member contributions help provide the infrastructure and resources that enable the world’s largest open collaboration communities.

        “We are thrilled to see so many organizations continue to reinforce their commitment to open source with investments in the community and a wide variety of important projects,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “The variety of industries growing their participation in open source, from automotive companies to universities, is truly inspiring.”

      • Open Source Networking Jobs: A Hotbed of Innovation and Opportunities

        As global economies move ever closer to a digital future, companies and organizations in every industry vertical are grappling with how to further integrate and deploy technology throughout their business and operations. While Enterprise IT largely led the way, the advantages and lessons learned are now starting to be applied across the board. While the national unemployment rate stands at 4.1%, the overall unemployment rate for tech professionals hit 1.9% in April and the future for open source jobs looks particularly bright. I work in the open source networking space and the innovations and opportunities I’m witnessing are transforming the way the world communicates.

        Once a slower moving industry, the networking ecosystem of today — made up of network operators, vendors, systems integrators, and developers — is now embracing open source software and is shifting significantly towards virtualization and software defined networks running on commodity hardware. In fact, nearly 70% of global mobile subscribers are represented by network operator members of LF Networking, an initiative working to harmonize projects that makes up the open networking stack and adjacent technologies.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Freedreno’s MSM DRM Driver In Linux 4.19 Getting “DPU1″ Support For SDM845+ Support

        Freedreno lead developer Rob Clark at Red Hat has sent in his batch of feature updates to DRM-Next ahead of the imminent Linux 4.19 kernel development cycle kicking off.

        This MSM driver for providing Direct Rendering Manager / Kernel Mode-Setting for Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs continues maturing and does continue seeing new code contributions from Qualcomm/CodeAurora, Google developers, etc.

      • XWayland Now Makes Sure DRI3 Gets Turned On For GLAMOR

        Landing last week in the X.Org Server Git code is a change to ensure DRI3 gets enabled when using GLAMOR acceleration for XWayland.

        On X.Org Server 1.20 there has been the possibility of blank outputs with texture-from-pixmap being broken when using XWayland. This has also been found at times to happen with the modesetting DDX too outside of XWayland.

      • Vulkan 1.1.82 Released With VK_NV_device_diagnostic_checkpoints

        Just weeks ahead of SIGGRAPH 2018, Vulkan 1.1.82 is now available as the latest specification update to this year’s Vulkan 1.1 graphics/compute API.

        As is customary for these Vulkan point releases, most of the changes in Vulkan 1.1.82 deal with minor documentation corrections/improvements and other small enhancements.

      • libinput now has ReadTheDocs-style documentation

        libinput’s documentation started out as doxygen of the developer API – they were the main target 4 years ago. Over time, more and more extra documentation was added and now most of it is aimed at users (for self-debugging and troubleshooting or just to explain concepts and features). Unfortunately, with doxygen this all ends up in the “Related Pages”. The developer API documentation itself became a less important part, by now all the major compositors have libinput support and it doesn’t change much. So while it needs to be there, most of the traffic goes to the user documentation (I think, it’s not like I’m running stats).

      • Libinput 1.12 Is Going To Be A Big Release For Bettering Linux Input

        While libinput 1.11 was released less than two months ago, the first release candidate of Libinput 1.12 is now available for what is going to be a big release.

        Lead libinput developer Peter Hutterer of Red Hat has issued the first release candidate of what he says is “probably going to be a longer RC cycle than usual” in preparing for big new changes.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita in the Windows Store: an update

        We’ve published Krita in the Windows store for quite some time now. Not quite a year, but we’ve updated our Store listing almost twenty times. By far the majority of users get Krita from this website: about 30,000 downloads a week. Store downloads are only about 125 a week. Still, the income generated makes it possible for the Krita maintainer to work on Krita full-time, which would not have been possible otherwise.

        That’s good, because combining a day job and working on Krita is a sure recipe for a burn-out. (Donations fund Dmitry’s work, but there aren’t enough donations to fund two people at the same time: we have about 2000 euros per month in donations.)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Back from GUADEC 2018

        Been a while since GUADEC 2018 has ended but subsequent travels and tasks reduced the time to write up a quick summary of what happened during this year’s GNOME conference.

      • GUADEC Thoughts

        This month I had the amazing opportunity to attend GUADEC, the GNOME community conference in Europe! The GNOME Foundation generously sponsored this trip as part of my Google Summer of Code project and I can’t thank them enough!

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPFire Hardened Linux Firewall Distribution Gets Major Update, Here’s What’s New

        IPFire 2.21 Core Update 122 is now available to download as a drop-in replacement to the three-months-old IPFire 2.19 Core Update 120 and finally bump the version number from 2.19 to 2.21. However, this being a major update, it was split into two parts, so you’ll have first to install the IPFire 2.19 Core Update 121 to be able to run the IPFire 2.21 Core Update 122 release.

        “Please note, that we have split this update into two parts. First, you will need to install IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 121 and then, the second part will automatically be installed after. Please be patient and let the system complete the update. When everything is done, please reboot into the new kernel,” said Michael Tremer in today’s announcement.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia Roundup 2018 – Weeks 28-30, an Anniversary, RMLL and more

        Astonishing numbers of people in the northern hemisphere have been vacationing, harvesting, fighting fires – but there’s still a heap of work happening. Thanks, Mageians!

        Mageia 6.1 is getting closer all the time, and in the meantime, some of you might have noticed that the Mageia 5->6 update is now available through the systray icon – it’s been enabled once more. To have it work, you need to re-enable “check for new releases” in the Updates Frequency settings in Mageia Control Centre. You’ll also see a different version of the tray icon – instead of the blue circle with the down arrow, you’ll see the orange circle with a round arrow. This is to let you know that Mageia 5 is now officially out of date.

        Some info from the QA team: if you’re upgrading from KDE4 to Plasma, there could be some issues with older video cards. If you’re not sure, make certain before you update that you have another, non-KDE desktop environment installed – XFce is usually problem-free. Log in to that non-KDE environment before you begin the update.

        As with all larger updates, if you’re using a laptop, connect to AC power and make sure you have plenty of disk space available and a reliable internet connection.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Gnocchi 4.3.0 released

        This new release minor release of Gnocchi has been a bit longer than usual, but here it is!

      • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #170
      • DebConf 18 – Day 1

        This year’s DebConf happens to be the first in Asia, in Hsinchu, Taiwan. And also for me the first DebConf I ever participated. I arrived on Saturday night from Japan, and will try to report a bit about what is going on here.

        [...]

        After the coffee break I attended the Debian Science and Debian R BoF, where Andreas Tille reported about packaging activities in these areas. As a regular R user I brought up the same topic about middle-ware in the R session, because I often suffered from unpacked/outdated packages. Andreas presented his packaging scripts that allows creating/updating packages in the blink of an eye. Here of course thanks goes to large part to the CRAN, where there are extremely strict regulations what can be uploaded, which reflects easy packaging. CTAN (the TeX archive) unfortunately historically does not have such a strict set of rules, which makes packaging much more painful.

      • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (May and June 2018)

        The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

        Andre Bianchi
        Simon Quigley
        Andrius Merkys
        Tong Sun
        James Lu
        Raphaël Halimi
        Paul Seyfert
        Dustin Kirkland
        Yanhao Mo
        Paride Legovini

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • National Cyber Security Centre publish Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Security Guide

            Last week the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) in the UK issued their latest publication which gives advice on how to configure Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in accordance with their security best practices.

            The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)is the UK government department responsible for providing guidance on Information Security to the UK public and private sectors as well as responding to online security incidents and securing networks.

            They have published many advisories on topics such as Multi Factor authentication for online services, security reviews of Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 as well as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

          • UK Government Publishes List of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Security Tips

            The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) has issued a new report full of advice on how to improve the security of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

            The NCSC is a (relatively new) section of the UK government responsible for issuing security advice to the public, businesses and private sector stakeholders on how to avoid computer security threats.

            It’s also responsible for co-ordinating a response to any major online security incidents or breaches.

          • Ubuntu Linux-based Lubuntu no longer focusing on old hardware after move to LXQt

            Ubuntu is a great Linux distribution, but understandably, the GNOME desktop environment isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, there are many flavors of the operating system with alternative DEs, such as Xubuntu with XFCe and Kubuntu with KDE. Ultimately, with so much choice, you should have no problem finding a version of Ubuntu that best meets your needs and wants.

            One popular Ubuntu flavor is Lubuntu. If you aren’t familiar, it uses the lightweight LXDE desktop environment which makes it a good choice for older hardware. In fact, one of the focuses of the Lubuntu developers is to support aging computers. When Lubunu 18.10 is released in October 2018, it will ditch LXDE for the newer LXQt. Despite it also being a desktop environment that is easy on resources, the Lubuntu developers are planning to drop their focus on old hardware after the transition.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu 18.04 — MATE and Budgie editions

              The Budgie desktop, at least in Ubuntu, is a curious thing. On one hand it appears to cater to relative novices to Linux with all the emphasis on install help in the beginning. On the other, there’s quite a reliance on keyboard shortcuts. Despite MATE upping its game with the various layout options in tweak tool, Budgie appears more modern, stylish and has kept the focus on on-line integration of the GNOME Shell. With the Raven side-panel on the right it reminds me of early mock-ups of GNOME 3 which featured a side panel with notifications, a calendar and all sorts of options.

              The Budgie edition appeared more solid for everyday use. I did not experience the crashes or weird behaviour of panel applets that had plagued the MATE desktop, probably induced by frequent layout changes. The Budgie edition also did not throw as many unexpected error messages at me and hibernate worked.

              Budgie also suffered from the delayed shutdown of systemd jobs but not as frequently as the MATE edition. It has been suggested this is due to the operating system not being able to find swap or a missing swap partition. I cannot confirm this. I completed both installations the same way as a custom setup and while the hibernate option was available in Budgie it was not in the installed MATE edition. Hibernate and resume from swap worked in Budgie but still stop job delays occurred here as well. This was mostly the case after running for longer periods of time under heavy load and when the laptop had been running hot, through multimedia use or with browser tabs like Google Drive or Google Docs open which alone topped 225MB use of RAM. Power and CPU usage were about equal for given tasks, but Budgie consumed far more memory from the start.

              As to the choice of desktop, you will know your preferences. Budgie seems more integrated and, with that, more stable at the moment and overall this edition made a better impression. It also presents a lot of options under the hood of which I could only scratch the surface for this review. I for my part am not going to keep any release of Bionic Beaver around for long although I like both desktops. It is just too buggy and running too hot to be used as a long-term stable operating system.

            • Linux Mint 19 “Tara” More Powerful And Stable

              Linux Mint is popular with many users as a Windows alternative because the distribution is so down to earth. The creators calmly present meaningful novelties of Linux Mint 19 “Tara”, which help in everyday life, such as a timeshift function and auto-updates.
              Ubuntu is probably the most popular Linux variant, but Linux Mint is also very popular among users. This is now in brand new version 19, codenamed “Tara”. Because often the question arises as to whether Linux Mint is better or Ubuntu, one has to say in advance that Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and therefore there are many similarities. What sets Linux Mint apart: It’s an unobtrusive distribution that puts meaningful functions into the foreground for users.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Hortonworks Helps JIDO Implement Enterprise Data Mgmt Platform; Shaun Bierweiler Comments

    The Defense Department’s Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization has collaborated with Hortonworks to implement an enterprise information technology platform equipped with the Hadoop data management software and other open-source tools, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

    The report noted the use of such open-source tools has helped JIDO to focus more on the deployment of mission capabilities to warfighters than the infrastructure.

  • Summer of Code: Smack has OpenPGP Support!

    I am very proud to announce, that Smack got support for OpenPGP for XMPP!

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Marcia Knous: Farewell Gerv

        I worked with Gerv all the way back to his days as a Mozilla intern. He had a significant impact on the Mozilla Project in so many ways, and will be sorely missed. He was a community-centric Mozillian who was involved in licensing, governance, Bugzilla, and so many other areas.

      • New Features in Screenshots

        As part of our Screenshots release on July 26, 2018, we thought we’d update you on a few new features that we think you’ll find especially useful.

        We shipped a simple image editor a few months ago to enable users to annotate and crop their shots. Now we are expanding the editor with three more features: undo, redo, and text.

      • Free your mind and move your biggest files with the WeTransfer extension for Firefox

        When you’re in the zone, be it creative or analytical, anything you can do to stay there is an asset. It’s part of why we build and design Firefox to be powerful, efficient and easy to use. It’s also why extensions can be a magic powerup for keeping you in flow online. They help you get more done in the browser, saving your brain from taxing context switching.

      • Mozilla GFX: WebRender newsletter #21

        Hi there, WebRender’s newsletter is here, delayed again by some vacation time sprinkled with a fair amount of the traditional “I’m busy” excuse. It’s been a while so there is a lot below (without counting the items I probably missed in the overwhelming amount of stuff that went into WebRender and Gecko since the last newsletter.

        One of the highlights this time is something I have been focusing on for a while, building on the async scene building infrastructure to move blob image rasterization off of the render backend thread. Instead of lazily rasterizing blob images in the critical path we now eager rasterize a subset of the blobs asynchronously during scene building. This makes sure expensive blob rasterization never prevent us from producing 60 frames per second during scrolling.
        The other highlight is that we started gathering telemetry numbers on the nightly population that opted into WebRender, and these numbers are very positive, even in areas that we haven’t spent any time optimizing yet.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC’s Conversion To Git Is Still Turning Out To Be A Massive Headache

      Remember earlier this month when GCC’s long in the works conversion from SVN to Git was being held up by the lack of RAM on Eric S Raymond’s system? Well, it turns out that’s just part of the problem.

      While earlier this month he thought he solved the last technical bug that was blocking the repository conversion and just needed more DDR4 RAM so his software could handle the complete GCC conversion into Git, that wasn’t entirely the case. Recently he provided another update that began with, “That light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be an oncoming train.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Applications Open for Federal OER Grant

        The U.S. Department of Education’s first grant for open educational resources, totaling $5 million, will be awarded in late September to between one and three applicants, the department announced today in a call for proposals published in the Federal Register.

        In an effort to develop OER content that can be disseminated to the widest possible audience for the largest possible savings, the department plans to award grants to one, two or three consortia that each include at least three higher education institutions, subject matter and technology experts, and an advisory group of at least five employers or work-force representatives.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Linux Boots On “Shakti” — India’s First Ever RISC-V Based Silicon Processor

        RISC-V Workshop in Chennai, India, hosted by The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), achieved a significant milestone by booting Linux on its first ever RISC-V based silicon chip processor named Shakti (Project Page). The team, which is sponsored by the Western Digital, aims to create a critical mass of CPU architects in India, according to the project lead (Via: Hacker News, Twitter). Open-Source, patent-free domestic CPU production is well on the cards, according to experts.

      • In Open Hardware, “Free as in Beer” Matters

        Richard M. Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation, is famously fond of distinguishing between “free as in freedom” and “free as in beer.” Free software, he is pointing out, is a matter of philosophy and politics, not price, and the implication is that “free as in freedom” is by far the superior of the two. Yet as open hardware spreads, reduced costs — if not always no cost — is starting to seem just as important as licensing, both for manufacturers and for handling situations that normal business is unable to handle.

        To some degree, the same is true in software. Admittedly, though, it is less true than it used to be, because, in the last decade, online services such as Google Docs have diminished the attractiveness of gratis free software. For users who little about free licenses and often care less, proprietary services can seem just as convenient as local hardware or free services, all the more so because they carry a well-known brand name. However, cost remains a major factor in business, where freely available source code can reduce development costs and bring products more quickly to market.

        With open hardware, the business advantage sometimes remains. For instance, much of the development of autonomous cars is open source, a fact that is not widely advertised. More often, though, the situation is different from that of free software. Hardware has costs like manufacturing, shipping, and storage that software does not — at least, not to the same extent. In fact, for years, these costs were a major obstacle to the development of open hardware and seemed impossible to overcome. While a hobbyist can contribute to software development for the price of a computer and an Internet connection, the cost of contributing to hardware used to be beyond most people’s — and many small business’ — ability to pay.

  • Programming/Development

    • 7 Python libraries for more maintainable code

      It’s easy to let readability and coding standards fall by the wayside when a software project moves into “maintenance mode.” (It’s also easy to never establish those standards in the first place.) But maintaining consistent style and testing standards across a codebase is an important part of decreasing the maintenance burden, ensuring that future developers are able to quickly grok what’s happening in a new-to-them project and safeguarding the health of the app over time.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • Excessive heat from late-2013 MacBook Pro under macOS 10.14 ‘Mojave’

      I initially ignored the problem and attributed it to either the higher ambient temperature caused by the heatwave sweeping across Northern Europe or some preview-release specific issue. However, as the forth beta release came and went I started to look into the issue in more detail.

      The processor temperature, measured with the Intel Power Gadget, when the computer was under no load and idling (processor utilization under 5 %) was stuck at around 70℃. The high base temperature makes the machine hot to the touch, and also causes thermal throttling of the processor when you actually want to get something done.

      I thought that the internals fans or air passages might be blocked by dust and debris. The machine would get hot mere minutes after boot, and it sounded like the fans operated normally. However, this model MacBook Pro has received a meager iFixit repairability score of 1 out of 10 and I didn’t even want to attempt to take it apart if I could avoid it.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New York City Launches Initiative to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Maternal Death

      In response to alarming racial disparities, New York City announced a new initiative last week to reduce maternal deaths and complications among women of color. Under the new plan, the city will improve the data collection on maternal deaths and complications, fund implicit bias training for medical staff at private and public hospitals, and launch a public awareness campaign.

      Over the next three years, the city will spend $12.8 million on the initiative, with the goal of eliminating the black-white racial disparity in deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth and cutting the number of complications in half within five years.

      “We recognize these are ambitious goals, but they are not unrealistic,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, New York City’s deputy mayor for health and human services. “It’s an explicit recognition of the urgency of this issue and puts the goal posts in front of us.”

      The city’s health department is targeting nearly two dozen public and private hospitals over four years, focusing on neighborhoods with the highest complication rates, including the South Bronx, North and Central Brooklyn, and East and Central Harlem. Hospital officials will study data from cases that led to bad outcomes, and staff will participate in drills aimed at helping them recognize and treat those complications.

      Health department officials approached SUNY Downstate Medical Center in May to serve as a pilot site for many of the new measures.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • The MalwareTech Case Resets to Zero: A Dialogue Wherein the Government Repeats “YouTube” Over and Over

      Yesterday, the government responded to Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech)’s renewed challenges, submitted two weeks ago, to the superseding indictment the government used to replace its previous crappy-ass indictment and thereby set the motions process almost back to zero. Here’s my abbreviated summary of what Hutchins argues in the renewed motions, with the government response.

    • Malware Attacks Exploit Open Source MDM Software to Compromise iPhones and Apps [Ed: How to make a problem with proprietary software (iOS) sound like it’s about FOSS]
    • Advanced Mobile Malware Campaign in India uses Malicious MDM [Ed: The original from Cisco did not even mention FOSS]
    • How a Bunch of Lava Lamps Protect Us From Hackers [sic]

      Here’s how it works. Every time you log in to any website, you’re assigned a unique identification number. It should be random, because if hackers [sic] can predict the number, they’ll impersonate you. Computers, relying as they do on human-coded patterns, can’t generate true randomness—but nobody can predict the goopy mesmeric swirlings of oil, water, and wax. Cloudflare films the lamps 24/7 and uses the ever-changing arrangement of pixels to help create a superpowered cryptographic key. “Anything that the camera captures gets incorporated into the randomness,” says Nick Sullivan, the company’s head of cryptography, and that includes visitors milling about and light streaming through the windows. (Any change in heat subtly affects the undulations of those glistening globules.)

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Vivienne Westwood designs T-shirt in support of Assange

      Vivienne Westwood has designed a new T-shirt in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      The T-shirts display a slogan which reads “I fought the law”.

      Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than six years, believing he will be extradited to the US if he leaves.

    • Activist Publishes 11,000 Private DMs Between Wikileaks and Its Supporters [Ed: What many people now call Wikileaks "DMs" are not actually DMs and aren't from staff of Wikileaks but some random people in a chat. But never let negative spin go to waste or facts get in the way. I've seen things like that done before. Assange stigma manufacturing in progress. Give me 11,000 of anything and I’d manage to nitpick it to find just about anything. They generalise to demonise Wikileaks and Assange.]

      Wikileaks is possibly the most opaque transparency organization. The group, founded by Julian Assange, sometimes hides its true motives, and has not published any information about its own finances in years, despite amassing tens of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.

      Now, an activist who has developed an adversarial relationship with the group has published over 11,000 Wikileaks Twitter direct messages.

    • WikiLeaks’ Twitter Chats Exposed as 11,000 Private Messages Posted Online [Ed: “Note that the logs appear to have been modified as can be seen by coversational holes (e.g search for ‘Norton’) but are useful in other ways,” Wikileaks has responded]
    • 11,000 Wikileaks Twitter DMs Have Just Been Published For Anyone To Read
    • Activist publishes 11,000 Wikileaks Twitter direct messages | TheHill
    • Assange’s fate is all but sealed

      Credible reports suggest that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is about to be thrown to the wolves. Ecuador, the country that has fought hard on his behalf for so long, is set to show him the door. As soon as he steps out he will be arrested by British police when extradition to the US will loom large. Dozens of protests were held around the world in June calling for his release and large demonstrations are planned in the event of his imminent eviction, though, sad to say, people power will not prevail against the big guns pointing in his direction.

      Lest we forget this Australian-born computer programmer turned investigative journalist has not been charged with any crime. He has been vilified merely for doing his job, exposing secrets, including war crimes, that powerful governments wanted kept hidden from public view, just as newspapers in democratic countries are committed to doing.

      [...]

      Since then this Australian-Ecuadorean dual-national has been a virtual prisoner living in a small office space without access to natural light or exercise, an existence that has been severely detrimental to his health and mental well being as confirmed by his lawyers who assert his health is being irreparably damaged.

      Despite various precedents when Swedish officials conducted such interviews abroad, in this instance, they refused to do so until November 2016. Sweden also refused to guarantee that he would not face extradition to the US but finally closed the book on its investigation last year when hopes were raised that the UK would allow Assange to walk, only to be dashed.

    • Lenin Moreno Sees ‘a Way out’ in Assange’s Case

      “Ideally, we would debate with Mr. Assange and his lawyer whether he would be willing to accept the conditions that the United Kingdom is submitting for the possibility of an exit,” he said during an interview with Spanish daily El Pais, during an official visit in Madrid.

      “If this happens, we believe there would be a sentence he would have to complete for having violated the principle of presenting himself formally before the British law. And once this would be done, he could right after this enjoy the right to be extradited to a country where he does not run any risk,” added Moreno.

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012. He was granted asylum by former president Correa to help Assange avoid extradition to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for espionage and treason.

    • Assange under increased threat

      Spec­u­la­tion has been rife over the last couple of weeks that Juli­an Assange may be handed over to the Brit­ish by a new and pusil­lan­im­ous Ecuadori­an gov­ern­ment, thereby breach­ing its pledge to grant Assange polit­ic­al asylum and the pro­tec­tion due to a cit­izen of Ecuador. Here’s my take…

    • Julian Assange looks for deal to end ‘diplomatic isolation’

      Julian Assange walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012 to claim political asylum. He has been there ever since — a total of 2,230 days — rarely seeing daylight. But multiple sources say his situation is now untenable and he may soon leave, whether he wants to or not.

      The question is: what will happen to Assange as and when he does walk out of his bolt-hole around the corner from Harrods?

    • Ecuador: Want guarantee for Assange’s safety

      British and Ecuadorian authorities have held discussions over the future of Julian Assange, the Ecuadorian president said on Friday, fueling speculation that the WikiLeaks founder may soon be stripped of the country’s diplomatic protection in London.

  • Finance

    • The current likelihood of various Brexit outcomes

      Nobody knows what will happen with Brexit.

      Nobody: no politician, no businessperson, no official, no pundit, no diplomat, no thinktanker, no citizen.

      Nothing is so certain as to constitute knowledge.

      One day, of course, when we know the outcome, there will be commentators who assert that what happened was inevitable all along. But, as of now, those commentators cannot predict what that outcome will be.

      All we have are best guesses – assessments of probabilities and possibilities.

    • Trump relents on EU car tariffs, as US-China fight derails Qualcomm deal

      In what the EU chief called a “major concession,” U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing car tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers, easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war.

      After a meeting at the White House, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the talks would also seek to “resolve” U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and Europe’s retaliatory duties – marking a step back from Trump’s signature import protections for American metals producers.

      The breakthrough came as the bitter trade dispute between the United States and China appeared to claim a major casualty, with China not approving U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc’s (QCOM.O) takeover of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O), likely shutting the door on the $44 billion deal.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Ubiquity of Evil

      I had served as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Poland, and bumped up startlingly against the history of the Holocaust in that time, including through involvement with organising the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen – until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil. Of course, I am not comparing the scale of what happened to the Holocaust – but evil can operate on different scales.

      I believe I see it again today. I do not believe that the majority of journalists in the BBC, who pump out a continual stream of “Corbyn is an anti-semite” propaganda, believe in their hearts that Corbyn is a racist at all. They are just doing their job, which is to help the BBC avert the prospect of a radical government in the UK threatening the massive wealth share of the global elite. They would argue that they are just reporting what others say; but it is of course the selection of what they report and how they report it which reflect their agenda.

    • ‘Mission Critical’: How the CIA and KGB pumped propaganda into India during the Cold War

      As the Cold War gained momentum, Jawaharlal Nehru’s socialist India was a CIA target as well. Recall that Nehru had remained silent when the Soviets invaded Hungary in October 1956 but had admonished the British, French and Israelis for their invasion of Egypt during the Suez crisis a week later. This was enough for the Americans to make India a country of interest in the Cold War and differentiate it from Pakistan. India’s participation in the Bandung Conference in 1955 that helped the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement was also viewed with extreme suspicion in Washington, DC and other Western European capitals.

      Jayaprakash Narayan, at that time honorary president of the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s India chapter and a staunch anti-communist, had condemned Nehru for his silence on Hungary. Eventually, the two broke off and JP became Nehru’s strident critic. Earlier, young JP, upset with the way the freedom movement was meandering in India in the 1920s, had gone to the US. He returned in 1929 after an eight-year stay during which he saw the dark side of capitalism. Minoo Masani, a freedom fighter and later a member of the rightist Swatantra Party, was another prominent Indian member of the Congress for Cultural Freedom.

    • Colorado billboard replaces letter in ‘GOP’ with communist symbols

      Grand Junction sits squarely in Trump country.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How free expression is suppressed in Saudi Arabia

      Unlike other figures the Saudi authorities have targeted, such as the writer Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for allegedly “insulting Islam”, Mr Khashoggi is hardly a dissident. Before he left, he was generally seen as close with the royal court, and even today describes the idea of regime change as “ridiculous”. Mr Khashoggi’s troubles began after he gave a speech to an American think-tank shortly after Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory. He argued that Saudi Arabia should be “rightfully nervous about a Trump presidency” at a time when the kingdom was cosying up to the president-elect. Shortly thereafter, he was informed by Saudi officials that he could no longer write or tweet. After hearing stories of friends and colleagues prevented from leaving the country and even imprisoned, he decided to leave.

    • iOS Censorship Raises Concerns About Technological Censorship Of Taiwan Due To Chinese Pressure

      NEWS THAT A bug in Apple’s iOS caused phones to crash when they typed the word “Taiwan” raises that Taiwan should become more aware of technological threats from China going forward, as well as from western tech companies that self-censor to please China. In particular, the bug was caused by Apple removing the ROC flag emoji for phones whose Apple IDs were set to China, leading the ROC flag emoji to instead appear as an empty character.

      As should be obvious, Apple would go to such steps to placate China, for fear that the Chinese government would take offense to the ROC flag emoji if it were available to Chinese users. This would, after all, suggest that Apple considers Taiwan a country, which China certainly does not.

    • In the Age of Censorship, What Do We Owe the Beat Generation?

      The journey for the Beat Generation from an underground literary movement into the mainstream reflects the power of a few individuals with similar ideals to trigger lasting change. The genesis of the group began as an alliance of a group of American writers and poets, in Columbia University in New York City, back in the 1940s. The basis of the movement was dissatisfaction with the social conventions of the time. And now, as the movement nears its diamond jubilee, let’s look back at some of the landmarks that led to the present-day adoption of the Beat ideals into contemporary culture.

      The 1950s led to the coining of the term “Beat Generation” by American writer Jack Kerouac. Emerging from the conversation about the nature of generations, i.e. the “golden generation” etc., Kerouac referred to his generation as the beat generation, a way to signal the circumstances that the generation, or more specifically the writers, found themselves in. They loathed that they were expected to express themselves within the confines of society, citing the loss of freedom in literary discourse and expression.

    • P2P Network to Stop Private Data Breaches and Censorship Via New Protocol, DApp Platform

      A major cryptocurrency exchange says the world is on the brink of a data crisis, and is launching a digital cooperative designed to give users total control over their personal information.

      CoinBene has announced it is listing the Internet of People (IoP) — a digital cooperative community which aims to allow users to build “a new generation of DApps” with full control of personal information, eliminating censorship and obstruction by governments and large companies.

      IoP says its protocols and “people first” principle are essential in a world where data breaches occur daily, with large corporations harvesting far more information than they need. As well as attacking the state of the internet — and arguing the online world has failed to stay true to the web’s original goal of connecting people — IoP says that cryptocurrencies have so far worsened this particular problem instead of resolving it, with ICO funding models “trumping the values which crypto was built on.”

    • Devin Nunes looking for ‘legal remedies’ against Twitter censorship
    • Twitter’s censorship problem looks like it’s here to stay. Why Conservatives should brace themselves.
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • At least two malls are using facial recognition technology to track shoppers’ ages and genders without telling

      A visitor to Chinook Centre in south Calgary spotted a browser window that had seemingly accidentally been left open on one of the mall’s directories, exposing facial-recognition software that was running in the background of the digital map. They took a photo and posted it to the social networking site Reddit on Tuesday.

      The mall’s parent company, Cadillac Fairview, said the software, which they began using in June, counts people who use the directory and predicts their approximate age and gender, but does not record or store any photos or video from the directory cameras.

    • Trump Team Knocks Google, Facebook’s Door Over Internet Privacy Laws

      The lack of any federal law to analyze how companies like Facebook and Google collect data and monetize it has started itching America. According to a report by The Washington Post, Trump administration is holding talks with leading Silicon Valley companies including Google and Facebook to establish a set of laws to prevent data leaks and to safeguard web users.

    • Try Blocking Amazon’s Cloud And Feel Instant Regret [Ed: Far too much of the world's Web traffic now goes through the CIA's leading tech partner; the 'cloud' propaganda campaigns contributed to this. Digital imperialism.]

      Amazon’s cloud computing service AWS (Amazon Web Services) is used by leading websites and services including Netflix, Airbnb, Slack, Expedia, and more. So, other than our tons of purchases, AWS is also a major contributor in making Jeff Bezos the richest person in the world.

    • Kentucky City Uses the Terrorism Excuse to Keep the Details of Its Surveillance Equipment Secret

      The public has a right to know how Lexington, Kentucky, is using tax dollars to surveil public spaces.

      The Kentucky attorney general and a state judge have already told the Lexington’s police department to release documents about its 29 surveillance cameras. But instead of simply adhering to the good-government practices of transparency and public oversight, the city is pressing ahead with absurd arguments in an effort to hide basic information.

      It started last summer when a local resident noticed that new surveillance cameras had been installed in a public park without prior notice. With the help of the ACLU of Kentucky, privacy activist Michael Maharrey filed an Open Records Act request with the Lexington Police Department to learn several things, including the types of surveillance technologies the department owns and operates, the camera models deployed, operator’s manuals, and department policies on data storage and sharing.

    • Report: NSA to Transfer ‘Sharkseer’ Cybersecurity Program to DISA

      The National Security Agency will hand over to the Defense Information Systems Agency a cybersecurity program that helps protect Defense Department networks against malware and zero-day threats, Fifth Domain reported Saturday.

      Natalie Pittore, an NSA spokeswoman, told Fifth Domain that the Sharkseer program “better aligns” with DISA’s mission.

      A defense budget deal reached by congressional appropriators July 23 contains the transition effort.

    • Data Protection Bill Series: Quick overview of India’s draft data protection law

      The first part of this series provides a quick overview of the important features of the Personal Data Protection Bill (the Bill). This will be followed by a detailed analysis of the various chapters in the Bill.

    • Maggie Haberman: Why I Needed to Pull Back From Twitter

      After nearly nine years and 187,000 tweets, I have used Twitter enough to know that it no longer works well for me. I will re-engage eventually, but in a different way.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • When hackers target a conference code of conduct
    • No Hope For Fascists

      I waited to publish this until I was out of the US, and doing so has the added advantage of it not surfacing until the frenzy has died down a bit. I’m writing this to explain why we did what we did, how we did it, and how we all (you included) might be able to act in such a way again.
      I am the hat-stealer from HOPE XII. If you don’t have context, you may want to read the Unicorn Riot article or Motherboard article first (the Parallax article as of 2018-07-24 seems to misrepresent the events and their ordering).

    • Cops Lose Qualified Immunity After Arresting Man For A Snarky Facebook Comment

      Three cops have just had their qualified immunity stripped by an appeals court for turning an innocuous, snarky Facebook comment into an arrest. It wasn’t all the officers’ fault. A “helpful” citizen playing internet telephone forwarded the comment to someone who happened to be married to a police officer and everything went from bad to worse to unconstitutional from there.

      [...]

      Medlin then forwarded the screenshot to two other cops and they all decided to find Ross and arrest him when they started their next shift. This was handled as badly as possible by all three officers. Ross was approached at work by a plainclothes officer presenting himself as a customer. When he stepped out from behind the counter to speak to this person, he was arrested.

    • The investigation of the Century: CIA’s secret Detention Site Black in Romania where al-Qaeda terrorists were tortured. Ex-PMs and Presidents called in for questioning

      Former PM Adrian Nastase attended a hearing at the General Prosecutor’s Office, one month ago, as part of an ongoing investigation regarding CIA’s detention sites in Romania, according to legal sources quoted by Agerpres newswire.

      Nastase reportedly told prosecutors that he didn’t know anything about the existence of such detention facilities in Romania.

      In the same case, prosecutors have also heard ex-presidents Ion Iliescu and Traian Basescu. Ioan Talpes, ex-presidential counselor, former senator and former head of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), was also asked about these sites.

      At the end of May, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concluded that the CIA operated a secret detention center in Romania between September 2003 and November 2005. The court ordered the Romanian state to pay EUR 100,000 to Guantanamo detainee Abd Al Rahim Husseyn Muhammad Al Nashiri. Al Nashiri was detained in Romania at the ‘Detention Site Black’ for 18 months, between April 2004 to at the latest November 2005.

    • Federal Judge Rules That Albuquerque’s Asset Forfeiture Created an Unconstitutional Profit Incentive

      A federal judge has ruled that Albuquerque’s civil asset forfeiture program violated residents’ due process rights by forcing them to prove their innocence to retrieve their cars. Under civil forfeiture laws, police can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner isn’t charged with a crime.

      The city of Albuquerque “has an unconstitutional institutional incentive to prosecute forfeiture cases, because, in practice, the forfeiture program sets its own budget and can spend, without meaningful oversight, all of the excess funds it raises from previous years,” U.S. District Judge James O. Browning wrote in an order filed Saturday. “Thus, there is a ‘realistic possibility’ that forfeiture officials’ judgment ‘will be distorted by the prospect of institutional gain’—the more revenues they raise, the more revenues they can spend.”

    • Motherhood in the Age of Fear

      delete

      Women are being harassed and even arrested for making perfectly rational parenting decisions.

    • How Three-Stooges Dumb Is Our New Aviation “Security” Measure?

      This is stuff is just laughably bad — like a multiple choice test for slow-witted behavioral profilers looking to ferret out people doing normal human things in airports and on planes.

    • To Reunify Families, DNA Testing Should Be the Last Resort

      Last week, the Trump administration failed to satisfy a court order to reunify thousands of parents and children who were inhumanely separated at the U.S. border. In addition to the terrible and lasting trauma that the separations have already inflicted, the family reunification process has raised the specter of an additional set of civil liberties concerns: mass DNA collection and testing.

      The government created chaos by taking children from their parents without thinking about how those families would later be reunified. The lack of recordkeeping and tracking has made it difficult to pair children with their parents. Our priority right now is to make sure these families are reunified as quickly as possible. But this goal can be achieved while respecting the civil liberties of these families.

      Mandatory DNA testing by the government raises significant issues of privacy and bodily intrusion, which is why the ACLU has argued that its use in the family reunification process should only be as a last resort and with stringent safeguards attached.

    • Feds want reimbursement for Gwinnett sheriff’s $70K muscle car

      The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding reimbursement for the nearly $70,000 that Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway spent on the high-powered sports car he drives to and from work.

      In a recent letter to Conway, the DOJ characterized the sheriff’s purchase of a Dodge Charger Hellcat — a 707-horsepower muscle car that some have called the fastest sedan ever built — as “extravagant.”

      The federal government previously approved the purchase, which used asset forfeiture funds, but are now questioning if the Hellcat is being used for its stated purpose.

    • DOJ Tells Sheriff To Give It Back The $70,000 In Forfeiture Funds He Spent To Buy Himself A New Sports Car

      You have to screw up pretty badly to step on the DOJ’s toes hard enough for it to notice when it comes to asset forfeiture. After the briefest of reforms under Eric Holder, new AG Jeff Sessions reactivated the federal forfeiture escape hatch, allowing law enforcement agencies to skirt local reform efforts by having their seizures “adopted” by the feds.

      According to proponents of forfeiture, it’s a valuable tool that cripples drug cartels. That far more seizures take place than convictions or even arrests is glossed over by fans of forfeiture who honestly (or more likely, dishonestly) believe taking money from motorists during pretextual stops somehow has an effect on the international drug trade.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cord Cutting Accelerates Faster Than Expected, As Cable Still Refuses To Compete On Price

      As we just got done noting, roughly 5.4 million Americans are expected to cut the TV cord this year, thanks largely to the rise in cheaper, more flexible streaming TV alternatives. And while some traditional cable TV providers have responded to this challenge by competing on price and offering their own cheaper streaming alternatives (AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish’s Sling TV), most of the cable and broadcast sector continues to double down on the very things causing this shift in the first place. Like a refusal to invest in customer service, an obsession with mindless merger mania, and seemingly endless price hikes.

      Companies like Comcast have tried to stall this natural evolution by striking marketing partnerships with Netflix and including Netflix in their set top boxes, in the apparent hopes that users won’t get rid of traditional cable if they’re already getting Netflix as part of their monthly cable, broadband, and phone bundle.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • #IPSC18 Preview: Patents & Innovation

      The 18th Annual IP Scholars Conference is next week (Aug. 9-10) at Berkeley Law, and it includes over 140 academic talks given in six parallel tracks. It’s not a great format for deep substantive engagement, but it’s my favorite conference for getting an overview of what the IP academic community is working on. Of course, you can only see one-sixth of the projects, so if you want a taste of everything: I just read all the abstracts for this year’s conference and wrote one sentence on each of them.

    • CJEU clarifies meaning ‘basic patent’ in SPC dispute

      The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has clarified when a product is ‘protected by a basic patent’ within the meaning of article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation.

    • Intellectual property post Brexit: the UK’s proposals

      The White Paper recognises that intellectual property is one particular area where the UK and EU economies are closely linked. For this reason, it will explore options to ensure close cooperation after exit, including participation in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and unitary patent system. The UK will work with other contracting states to ensure that the UPC Agreement can continue on a firm legal basis.

    • Copyrights

      • Fair-Use Champion Stephanie Lenz, European Digital Rights Leader Joe McNamee, and Groundbreaking Content-Moderation Researcher Sarah T. Roberts Win EFF’s Pioneer Awards

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is honored to announce the winners of its 2018 Pioneer Awards: fair use champion Stephanie Lenz, European digital rights leader Joe McNamee, and groundbreaking content moderation researcher Sarah T. Roberts. The ceremony will be held September 27th in San Francisco.

        This year’s Pioneer Awards will be dedicated to Internet visionary and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, who died earlier this year. EFF has renamed the statuette awarded to winners the “Barlow” in recognition of the indelible mark he left on digital rights. The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be one of Barlow’s many friends, Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation with Barlow, and is known for his years of work advocating for government transparency, including his release of the Pentagon Papers. Tickets for the Pioneer Awards are $65 for current EFF members, or $75 for non-members.

      • On the Joys and Perils of YouTube

        For want of a social aspect to my technology addiction, of late I have been recording video content and placing it on YouTube. It has been an interesting endeavor, because it involves skills that I heretofore have never trained. How does one look good on camera? What does one do with one’s hands? What it the efficient way to record and edit video. What is the right way to do lighting and audio? It has been fun so far, largely because the videos I’ve recorded still look so amateurish. That I will be able to learn and progress at something new enchants me.

        YouTube is an amazing platform, and the result of untold man-years of effort. The voice recognition involved in the automatic closed captioning is impressive.

        But as any graybeard GNU-ster will attest, placing you content solely in the hands of a faceless evil corporation like Google is unwise, since I am not their customer. Their advertisers are their customers, and their users are just free content creators and a source of training data for their AI. So, in parallel, I’ve been revisiting the idea of resurrecting my website.

      • Sony Finds Itself In Court After Bullying Film Studio Over Supposed ‘Slender Man’ Copyright Infringement

        The last time we discussed Slender Man on this site, it was when two young girls stabbed their friend and blamed it on this internet ghost story, leading to the site Creepypasta feeling it needed to remind everyone that fiction is fiction and not the writings of a Satanic cult. Only briefly discussed in those writings was the origin of the Slender Man meme, which started as a Lovecraftian ghost story on the Something Awful forums by Eric Knudsen, who produced two photoshopped images of people being stalked by a faceless slender creep-bomb and added some fake quotations to make something of a story out of them. From those two photos and brief captions, the internet essentially took over, building entire stories and lore around Slender Man to the point where the whole thing is a wildly popular internet meme and ghost story staple.

        So of course Sony Pictures bought the rights to the story from Knudsen and will now presumably ruin it all in a major motion picture. And that would be only mildly irritating, except Sony is also trying to bully a smaller studio, Phame Factory, out of producing its own horror movie, claiming it now has the copyright and trademark rights for Slender Man. This has resulted in Phame Factory suing Sony to get a court to declare its work not infringing.

      • Prince’s label claims video of fans singing “Purple Rain” is copyright infringement

        Mere hours after the passing of Prince, thousands of fans gathered in downtown Minneapolis to pay homage to the funk icon with a massive “Purple Rain” singalong. As with any event of this magnitude, video footage and photos were immediately shared far and wide via social media by those in attendance celebrating Prince’s life and mourning his death.

        Despite these harmless intentions, Universal Music, which owns rights to “Purple Rain”, has taken action against one of these videos, filmed by Star Tribune reporter Aaron Lavinsky. According to Universal, the footage violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA).

      • Universal Right Back At It Issuing A DMCA For A Reporter’s Video Of Prince Fans Singing ‘Purple Rain’

        In the Lenz v. Universal case, otherwise known as the Dancing Baby DMCA case, it can hardly be argued otherwise than the whole saga was wildly irritating and painfully lengthy. Years of fighting over a person’s child dancing to seconds’ worth of Prince music on video resulting in years of litigation would be bad enough. As Cathy Gellis noted in our last post on the case, the fact that the whole thing ended in a settlement before a court could answer whether or not Universal Music should be punished for issuing a DMCA without even considering whether it would be Fair Use or not only supercharged the frustration levels of everyone who realized how stupid this whole thing was. Cathy’s point in that post was in part that it was awful that the public couldn’t even get the payoff of precedent for Fair Use considerations in this whole stupid thing.

        Which brings us to the present, mere weeks later, when Universal Music is right fucking back at it, having DMCA’d a journalist’s video of Prince fans in public singing Purple Rain shortly after he died.

      • The Real World Impact of the Copyright Registration Prerequisite

        Just before the summer recess, the Supreme Court snuck in a certiorari grant that I don’t think has received much attention in proportion to its importance–Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC. The issue is seemingly simple: before filing a lawsuit, a copyright owner must register the copyright. But what does it mean to register the copyright? Simply file the application, or actually receive the registration certificate.

        I’d say this question is one of the most practically important IP questions the Court has faced in the last decade. When I was in active practice, I would estimate that a quarter to a third of our clients did not have a registration at the time they wanted to sue, and we relied on the Ninth Circuit’s permissive “application is enough” rule to get a case filed (and sometimes seek injunctive relief). The alternative was to file and wait, sometimes months or even more than a year, to get a registration. (I’ve read that pendency is now about six to eight months). Alternatively, one can pay $800 for an expedited registration within 10 days.

        Why might someone not file a registration well in advance of suing? First, because they don’t have to. The post-Berne Convention adoption amendments from 1989 allow copyright to vest from the time of fixation. Indeed, in order to maintain compliance with Berne, the pre-filing registration requirement only applies to U.S. Works. Foreign works may sue at will–more on this later.

        More practically, there are plenty of reasons why one might not file. In an era of mass digital photography, it would be ridiculously expensive to register every work in case one was infringed; it is far more efficient to see if anyone infringes, and then register that work. In software, new versions are created all the time–almost literally so in software as a service platforms. It would be impossible to file a new derivative work registration for every single released version, especially for open source (though I bet Microsoft does it).

      • Google Categorically Refuses to Remove The Pirate Bay’s Homepage

        It’s hard to spot consistent trends in the mass influx of DMCA takedown notices Google receives. One thing is pretty clear though, the search engine consistently refuses to remove The Pirate Bay’s homepage from its index. This, despite dozens of attempts from a wide variety of copyright holders over the years.

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

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

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. From the Eastern District of Texas (US) to Australia Patent Quality Remains a Problem

    Patents on anything from thoughts to nature/life (in the US and in Australia, respectively) demonstrate the wildly wide range (or spectrum) of patents nowadays granted irrespective of their impact on innovation



  2. Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 and PTAB Are Here to Stay and Even Their Critics (Patent Maximalists) Have Come to Accept That

    Taking stock of the latest PTAB news and rants; the latter has become scarce because efforts to undermine PTAB have all failed



  3. Patent Trolls Roundup: Conversant Wireless Licensing (Formerly Core Wireless) and Blackbird 'Technologies' Still Prey on Real Companies

    A quick recap of recent decisions and motions, which serve to show that patent trolls can be beaten, avoided, and sometimes even 'disarmed'



  4. Links 19/8/2018: Skrooge 2.15.0, Wine 3.14, End of Akademy 2018

    Links for the day



  5. David Ruschke, the PTAB's Chief, is Moving So the Patent Maximalists Push Their Anti-PTAB Agenda

    As the chief judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) moves elsewhere at the USPTO there are those who hope that a replacement will undo PTAB inter partes reviews (IPRs), which generally improve the quality of granted patents



  6. If David Chiles Turned the USPTO Into a 'Microsoft Shop' That Might Explain Three Days (or More) of Outages

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is having profound technical issues; some already point their fingers at David Chiles, alleged to have been hired/promoted for the wrong reasons



  7. Links 17/8/2018: GNU/Linux From ASUS, Debian at 25, Lubuntu Plans

    Links for the day



  8. Links 16/8/2018: MAAS 2.4.1, Mesa 18.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  9. USPTO Craziness: Changing Rules to Punish PTAB Petitioners and Reward Microsoft for Corruption at ISO

    The US patent office proposes charging/imposing on applicants that are not customers of Microsoft a penalty; there’s also an overtly and blatantly malicious move whose purpose is to discourage petitions against wrongly-granted (by the USPTO) patents



  10. The Demise of US Software Patents Continues at the Federal Circuit

    Software patents are rotting away in the United States; it remains to be seen when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will truly/fully honour 35 U.S.C. § 101 and stop granting such patents



  11. Almost Two Months After the ILO Ruling Staff Representative Brumme is Finally Back on the Job at EPO

    Ion Brumme gets his position at the EPO back, owing to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILO-AT) ruling back in July; things, however, aren't rosy for the Office as a whole



  12. Links 15/8/2018: Akademy 2018 Wrapups and More Intel Defects

    Links for the day



  13. Antiquated Patenting Trick: Adding Words Like 'Apparatus' to Make Abstract Ideas Look/Sound Like They Pertain to or Contain a 'Device'

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) still maintains that abstract ideas are not patent-eligible; so applicants and law firms go out of their way to make their ideas seem as though they're physical



  14. Open Invention Network (OIN) Member Companies Need to Become Unanimous in Opposition to Software Patents

    Opposition to abstract software patents, which even the SCOTUS and the Federal Circuit nowadays reject, would be strategically smart for OIN; but instead it issues a statement in support of a GPL compliance initiative



  15. President Battistelli 'Killed' the EPO; António Campinos Will 'Finish the Job'

    The EPO is shrinking, but this is being shrewdly disguised using terms like "efficiency" and a low-profile President who keeps himself in the dark



  16. Links 14/8/2018: Virtlyst 1.2.0, Blender 2.8 Planning Update, Zorin OS 12.4, FreeBSD 12.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  17. Berkheimer Changed Nothing and Invalidation Rates of Abstract Software Patents Remain Very High

    Contrary to repetitive misinformation from firms that 'sell' services around patents, there is no turnaround or comeback for software patents; the latest numbers suggest a marginal difference at best — one that may be negligible considering the correlation between expected outcomes and actions (the nature of risk analysis)



  18. Lockton Insurance Brokers Exploiting Patent Trolls to Sell Insurance to the Gullible

    Demonstrating what some people have dubbed (and popularised) "disaster capitalism", Lockton now looks for opportunities to profit from patent trolls, in the form of "insurance" (the same thing Microsoft does)



  19. Patent Lawyers Writing Patent Law for Their Own Enrichment Rather Than for Innovation

    We have become detached from the original goals and come to the point where patent offices aren't necessarily run by people qualified for the job of advancing science and technology; they, unlike judges, only seem to care about how many patents get granted, irrespective of their quality/merit



  20. Links 13/8/2018: Linux 4.18 and GNU Linux-libre 4.18 Arrive

    Links for the day



  21. PTAB is Loathed by Patent Maximalists Because It Can Potentially Invalidate Thousands of Software Patents (More Than Courts Can Handle)

    The US patent system has become more resistant to software patents; courts, however, are still needed to invalidate such patents (a potentially expensive process) because the USPTO continues to grant these provided some fashionable buzzwords/hype waves are utilised (e.g. "facial recognition", "blockchain", "autonomous vehicles")



  22. Gene Quinn and 'Dallas Innovates' as Couriers of Agenda for Patent Trolls Like iPEL

    Failing to hide their real purpose and malicious agenda, sites whose real purpose is to promote a lot of patent litigation produce puff pieces, even for patently unethical trolls such as iPEL



  23. Software Patents, Secured by 'Smart' and 'Intelligent' Tricks, Help Microsoft and Others Bypass Alice/Section 101

    A look at the use of fashionable trends and buzzwords to acquire and pass around dubious software patents, then attempting to guard these from much-needed post-Alice scrutiny



  24. Keep Boston (and Massachusetts in General) From Becoming an Infestation Zone for Patent Litigation

    Boston, renowned for research and innovation, has become somewhat of a litigation hotbed; this jeopardises the state's attractiveness (except perhaps to lawyers)



  25. Links 12/8/2018: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mesa 18.1.6 Release Notice, New Linux Imminent

    Links for the day



  26. Thomas Massie's “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018” (RALIA) Would Put the US Patent System in the Lions' (or Trolls') Mouth Again

    An anti-§ 101 and anti-PTAB bill from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) strives to remove quality control; but by handing the system back to patent trolls he and his proponents simply strive to create more business of litigation, at the expense of innovation



  27. EPO-Style Problem-Solution: Tackling Backlog by Granting Lots of Low-Quality (Bogus) European Patents, Causing a Surge in Troll/Frivolous Litigation

    The EPO's lack of interest in genuine patent quality (measuring "quality" in terms of speed, not actual quality) may mean nothing but a litigation epidemic; many of these lawsuits would be abusive, baseless; those harmed the most would be small businesses that cannot afford a legal defense and would rather settle with those who exploit questionable patents, notably patent trolls



  28. Links 11/8/2018: PGP Clean Room 1.0, Ring-KDE 3.0.0, Julia 1.0

    Links for the day



  29. Propaganda Sites of Patent Trolls and Litigators Have Quit Trying to Appear Impartial or Having Integrity

    The lobbying groups of patent trolls (which receive money from such trolls) carry on meddling in policy and altering perception that drives policy; we present some new examples



  30. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Still Try to Undermine Inter Partes Reviews (“IPRs”), Refusing to Accept Patent Quality

    The patent maximalists in the United States, seeing that the USPTO is moving away from patent maximalism, is desperate for a turnaround; prominent patent maximalists take it all out on PTAB


CoPilotCo

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

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

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

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts