08.30.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 30/8/2018: Foundations of Free Software Growing, Mesa 18.2 RC5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Open source hypervisor technical support, update considerations

      Even though open source software itself is completely free to obtain and use, effective hypervisor technical support options for production environments might cost money.

      [...]

      Ultimately, an open source hypervisor might lack a meaningful development roadmap. Features, compatibilities and optimizations might take years to arrive, if ever, depending on the skills and objectives of the developer community. And effective technical support options might cost money, even though the open source software itself is completely free to obtain and use. This means it’s extremely important for potential adopters to perform extensive due diligence testing before adopting an open source hypervisor.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Performance Cost Of Spectre / Meltdown / Foreshadow Mitigations On Linux 4.19

      One of the most frequent test requests recently has been to look at the overall performance cost of Meltdown/Spectre mitigations on the latest Linux kernel and now with L1TF/Foreshadow work tossed into the mix. With the Linux 4.19 kernel that just kicked off development this month has been continued churn in the Spectre/Meltdown space, just not for x86_64 but also for POWER/s390/ARM where applicable. For getting an overall look at the performance impact of these mitigation techniques I tested three Intel Xeon systems and two AMD EPYC systems as well as a virtual machine on each side for seeing how the default Linux 4.19 kernel performance — with relevant mitigations applied — to that of an unmitigated kernel.

    • Linux Foundation on Track for Best Year Ever as Open Source Dominates

      Zemlin noted that Linux now represents 100 percent of the supercomputer market, 90 percent of the cloud, 82 percent of the smartphone market and 62 percent of the embedded systems market. He added that in every market Linux has entered, it eventually dominates.

      The Linux Foundation in 2018 is about much more than Linux and is home to the world’s largest SSL/TLS certificate authority with Let’s Encrypt. It is also home to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which runs the Kubernetes container orchestration project.

      Zemlin noted the Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux project is now backed by 12 major auto vendors and is slated for production in millions of vehicles worldwide. The Hyperledger project is another Linux Foundation led effort, which is developing enterprise blockchain technologies.

    • Linux Kernel Developer Criticizes Intel for Meltdown, Spectre Response

      At the Open Source Summit North America here on Aug. 29, Greg Kroah-Hartman warned attendees about the severe impact the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities could have on them, as well as detailed how Linux kernel developers are dealing with the flaws.

      Kroah-Hartman is one of the world’s leading Linux kernel developers, with responsibility for maintaining the stable Linux kernel, and is employed by the Linux Foundation as a Fellow. During his talk, Kroah-Hartman detailed the root impact and the response of Linux kernel developers for seven variants of Meltdown and Spectre, though he saved his strongest criticism for Intel’s initial disclosure.

      “Jann Horn discovered the first issues in July of 2017, but it wasn’t until Oct. 25 of last year that some of us in the kernel community heard rumors of the flaw,” he said. “That’s a long time, and we only heard rumors because another very large operating system vendor told Intel to get off their tails and tell us about it.”

    • Supporting the NDS32 Architecture

      It looks like there’s no controversy over this port, and it should fly into the main tree. One reason for the easy adoption is that it doesn’t touch any other part of the kernel—if the patch breaks anything, it’ll break only that one architecture, so there’s very little risk in letting Green make his own choices about what to include and what to leave out. Linus’s main threshold will probably be, does it compile? If yes, then it’s okay to go in.

      The situation may start to become interesting if other parts of the kernel begin offering special behaviors for the NDS32 architecture, and if those behaviors start deviating too far from other architectures. For example, some architectures have special memory managing features that the kernel proper can take advantage of. Once NDS32 starts influencing code in other parts of the kernel, that likely would be the time Green’s patches start to get a lot more scrutiny.

    • Linux kernel 4.18: Better security, leaner code

      The recent release of Linux kernel 4.18 followed closely by the releases of 4.18.1, 4.18.2, 4.18.3, 4.18.4, and 4.18.5 brings some important changes to the Linux landscape along with a boatload of tweaks, fixes, and improvements.

      While many of the more significant changes might knock the socks off developers who have been aiming at these advancements for quite some time, the bulk of them are likely to go unnoticed by the broad expanse of Linux users. Here we take a look at some of the things this new kernel brings to our systems that might just make your something-to-get-a-little-excited-about list.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Solving License Compliance at the Source: Adding SPDX License IDs

        Accurately identifying the license for open source software is important for license compliance. However, determining the license can sometimes be difficult due to a lack of information or ambiguous information. Even when there is some licensing information present, a lack of consistent ways of expressing the license can make automating the task of license detection very difficult, thus requiring significant amounts of manual human effort. There are some commercial tools applying machine learning to this problem to reduce the false positives, and train the license scanners, but a better solution is to fix the problem at the upstream source.

        In 2013, the U-boot project decided to use the SPDX license identifiers in each source file instead of the GPL v2.0 or later header boilerplate that had been used up to that point. The initial commit message had an eloquent explanation of reasons behind this transition.

      • Yocto Project Welcomes New Members, Advances Open Source Embedded Systems Through Momentum

        The Yocto Project, an open source collaboration project that helps developers create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products, today announces continued growth with two new platinum members, an upcoming project release and ongoing community engagement.

        The Yocto Project provides a flexible set of tools and a space where embedded developers worldwide can share technologies, software stacks, configurations, and best practices to create tailored Linux images for embedded and Internet of Things (IOT) devices. The Yocto Project launched in 2011 and currently has over 22 active members.

      • Arm and Facebook join Yocto Project

        Arm and Facebook have joined Intel and TI as Platinum members of the Yocto Project for embedded Linux development. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation announced 47 new Silver members.

        The Linux Foundation’s seven-year old Yocto Project was originally an Intel project, and the chipmaker has continued to nurture it over the years. Yet, the Yocto Project’s collection of open source templates, tools, and methods for creating custom embedded Linux-based systems was quickly embraced by the Arm world as well as x86. Now, the technology’s presence in Arm Linux has been reinforced at the membership level with Arm and Facebook joining Intel and Texas Instruments as Platinum members. In other news, the Linux Foundation announced 51 new Silver and Associate members (see farther below).

      • Google Hands Off Kubernetes to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Kinetica Joins Automotive Grade Linux, NordVPN Releases NordVPN Linux App, Storj Labs Announces The Open Source Partner Program and Update on Librem 5 Phone

        Google is handing over control of the Kubernetes project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. According to the TechCrunch post, Google is providing the foundation $9 million in Google Cloud credits to help cover the costs of building, testing and distributing the software.

      • Going Deeper and More Distributed, Linux Introduces Two New Projects

        There seems to be no stopping the Linux Foundation these days, as their support of open source code and positively disrupting entire industries continues, this week with the announcement of two new projects: Angel and Elastic Deep Learning (EDL).

        This comes at a time when the world’s largest telecom and technology companies are joining the Foundation and contributing substantial projects and source code; in the case of these latest projects, they surfaced as part of the LF Deep Learning Foundation, introduced in March of this year. LF Deep Learning is an umbrella organization to support open source innovation in AI, ML and deep learning.

        AT&T and Tech Mahindra were among the founding members of Deep Learning and donated their Acumos AI project to get a big and growing party started. Acumos is a platform for the development, discovery and sharing of AI models and AI workflows, and is being leveraged by heavyweight co-founders Amdocs, Huawei, Nokia, ZTE, Tencent and Baidu.

      • Corporate Open Source Programs are on the Rise as Shared Software Development Becomes Mainstream for Businesses

        “Almost every organization today uses open source code and it has become table stakes for most businesses, even though it’s not always fully understood at the executive or strategic level,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Co-Founder of the TODO Group at The Linux Foundation. “The results of the Open Source Program Management Survey point to a growing awareness by decision makers of the need for formal open source programs and policies to manage how open source code is used and produced, as well as an increasing understanding of how it can be strategically integrated into a company’s business plans.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD ROCm 1.8.3 Released To Fix Breakage With Latest Ubuntu 18.04 Kernel

        While still waiting on the ROCm 1.9 release to happen, version 1.8.3 of the Radeon Open Compute stack was released for Linux systems.

        This latest point release to ROCm 1.8 comes just to fix a build regression against the latest Ubuntu 18.04 kernel update.

      • mesa 18.2.0-rc5

        The fifth release candidate for the Mesa 18.2.0 is now available.

      • Mesa 18.2-RC5 Released With Another

        Mesa 18.2 will be slipping into September with two open Intel driver bugs still blocking the official release.

        Andres Gomez of Igalia announced the fifth release candidate of Mesa 18.2 on Thursday. There are 23 bugs part of the RC5 release. But a SynMark performance regression and OpenGL Piglit test case failure both with the Intel driver stack are blocking the official 18.2.0 release, which was originally talked about for last week.

      • Introducing freedesktop.org GitLab

        This is quite a long post. The executive summary is that freedesktop.org now hosts an instance of GitLab, which is generally available and now our preferred platform for hosting going forward. We think it offers a vastly better service, and we needed to do it in order to offer the projects we host the modern workflows they have been asking for.

        In parallel, we’re working on making our governance, including policies, processes and decision making, much more transparent.

    • Benchmarks

      • pvmove speed

        The left part is with pvmove. The right part, two and a half times as fast, is with… tar piping to tar.

        Oh well, I remember the days when pvmove was 1–2 MB/sec. But it’s still not very impressive :-)

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • My experience in Akademy.

        And there I was: Flying the longest flight I’ve ever flown. The journey had started two years ago, when I joined Nitrux. I was a very excited about it! After lots of lines of code (and days, too), I was traveling to Guatemala City, expectant about how would Akademy was going to be like. After landing on Alajuela, again on Madrid, and finally on Vienna, I found myself amazed. I was there! I was there!

        Akademy started for me on august 14, because of a delay on my flight. That day I assisted to the Maui Project BoF, which was lead by my friend Camilo, and to the Kirigami BoF. Both of them were great, as I met awesome people in there and I learnt a bunch of interesting things about Kirigami. After that, I walked by the streets of Vienna with my good friend Uri.

      • Improve your C++ code in KDevelop with Clang-Tidy

        You might be aware of Clang-Tidy, the clang-based C++ “linter” tool which allows static analysis of your code, including fixing it automatically where possible.
        And you remember the introduction of the “Analyzer run mode” with version 5.1 of KDevelop, the extensible cross-platform IDE for C, C++, Python, PHP and other languages.

        [...]

        Learn more about the kdev-clang-tidy plugin from its README.md file, e.g. how to build it, how to package it, how to use it, where to report issues, and what the planned roadmap is.

        The latest released kdev-clang-tidy version is currently also included in the Nightly AppImage builds of the current stable KDevelop code version (which already switched to the 5.3 branch).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Work Started This Summer On Adding System Power Information To GNOME-Usage

        GNOME’s Usage application that allows visualizing processor, memory, disk, and network usage may soon be able to report your system’s power consumption data.

        Student developer Aditya Manglik spent the summer participating in Google Summer of Code 2018 where he had been working on implementing a power panel within the GNOME-Usage program. The goal was to provide power metrics backed by UPower for being able to report per-application power usage (percentage), hardware devices consuming the most power, and displaying this all nicely inside gnome-usage.

        The concept is akin to Intel’s PowerTop but for nicely displaying all available system power consumption data — based upon what’s supported by the system hardware, etc — via the GNOME-Usage utility.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Zorin OS 12.4 Core and Ultimate – The Biggest Release Yet

        Zorin OS is a material-inspired, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS-based GNU/Linux distro that offers users the ability to customize their desktop in any way they like.

        It is powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel, and ships with the Zorin Desktop 2.0 desktop environment which is a major revamp given that it comes with an advanced universal search functionality, richer notifications, and support for advanced display features on modern PCs, among others.

        According to the release statement, this release is the biggest the OS has ever seen. This version 12 comes in two variants, Core and Ultimate, and according to its release announcement, it is “the biggest release in the history of Zorin OS” with over a year of planning and development.

        It has 4 editions that you can pick according to your needs and they are Core, Lite, Ultimate, and Business.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE builds momentum with innovative open source offerings

        Jay Lyman, principal analyst for 451 Research, said, “Over the past few years, SUSE has expanded its portfolio into new areas, such as storage, cloud, containers and application delivery. With new independence and backing from Swedish private equity (PE) firm EQT Partners, SUSE is answering market demand for a neutral, yet comprehensive hybrid cloud platform that supports multiple public and private clouds as well as on-premises infrastructure integration with software such as its SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.”

      • SUSE Builds Momentum with Innovative Open Source Offerings, Revenue Growth and Commitment to Enterprise Customers

        SUSE® is an open source pioneer that has provided enterprise-grade software to tens of thousands of organizations for more than 25 years. As SUSE prepares to embark upon its next phase of corporate development as a stand-alone company*, it continues to grow and build momentum with its core products, emerging solutions, communities and partners while expanding its presence in new market segments. SUSE is better positioned than ever before to shepherd enterprises through the demands of digital transformation with open source innovation and expertise in software-defined infrastructure, application delivery and cloud technologies.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E25 – The Wrong Side of Twenty-Five – Ubuntu Podcast

            This week we’ve been upgrading a Steam box. We discuss Steam Play beta and Proton, Google’s salty disclosure of security issue in the Android installer for Fortnite, and Windows 95 being available for all the things. We also round up the community news.

          • Recommended GNOME Shell Extensions for Ubuntu 18.04

            Continuing tradition, here’s my list of nice GNOME Shell Extensions for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. They are Extensions (handy extensions enable/disable switcher), AlternateTab (remove grouping in Alt+Tab), NetSpeed (show internet speed) Focusli (innovative focus-while-working tool), and 7 more. Happy installing and be more productive!

          • The enterprise deployment game-plan: why multi-cloud is the future

            It wasn’t too long ago that hybrid cloud was the go-to strategy for enterprises, garnering the attention of CIOs and CTOs around the world.

            And it’s clearly here to stay. Analyst firm 451 Research estimates that 69% of enterprises will be running hybrid IT environments by 2019, while Gartner predicts that 90% of organisations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities by 2020.

            But the world of cloud is changing. In recent months, hybrid cloud has been overtaken by its close relative ‘multi-cloud’, with 79% of businesses already admitting to working with more than one cloud provider. For those who are prepared to embrace a mix of providers across both public and private platforms, multi-cloud is now widely considered to be the future of cloud computing.

          • Ubuntu Guide: How To Install Nvidia Drivers And Play Windows Games On Linux
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Enlightenment Has Limits in Bodhi Linux

              Bodhi Linux is elegant and lightweight. It is worth putting this distro through its paces. It will not please every power user, but it offers a nice change of pace.

              This distro can be a productive and efficient computing platform. Bodhi is very easy to use. It has a low learning curve. New Linux users can get acquainted right away.

              Bodhi’s minimum system requirements are a 500mhz processor with 256 MB of RAM and 5 GB of drive space. You will get better performance from a computer with a 1.0ghz processor powered by 512 MB of RAM and 10 GB of drive space.

              The installation routine is driven by the Ubiquity Installer. No surprise there since Bodhi is based on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Pixvana VR Video Streaming Tech Is Now Open Source

    Pixvana today announced that it’s no longer keeping a tight grip on it’s high-resolution VR video streaming technology. The company believes that releasing an open-sourced version of its SPIN Play SDK should spur app developers to adopt its technology and push adoption of immersive video formats.

    Pixvana’s video streaming technology is a cloud-based system with a drag and drop interface that allows developers to import 360-degree and 180-degree video content in both mono and stereo configurations at up to 16K resolution. The open-source SPIN Play SDK and Apache 2.0 library is compatible with the Unity engine, which should enable developers to adopt the platform rapidly and with ease.

    The SPIN Play SDK offers support for VR-native playback projections and Field of View Adaptive Streaming, which reduces the bandwidth requirements by delivering only the image within the user’s current field of view.

  • Pixvana Open-Sources SDK to Advance VR Video Streaming Apps

    Pixvana, a company that powers the future of XR storytelling and immersive media, today announced that it is open-sourcing its software development kit (SDK), allowing third-parties to incorporate Pixvana’s cloud-services and VR video streaming technology with their own publishing infrastructure to create high-quality branded VR video applications.

  • Pixvana Open-Sources its VR Video Streaming SDK

    Pixvana is a company focused on immersive media and XR storytelling by way of its SPIN Play platform. Today, it has announced the open-sourcing of its software development kit (SDK) for third-parties to use.

  • Why Open Source Works for the Renewable Energy Sector
  • EPFL’s Blue Brain Project open sources interactive visualization tool — RTNeuron

    The aim of the Blue Brain Project is to build accurate, biologically-detailed, digital reconstructions and simulations of the rodent brain. The supercomputer-based reconstructions and simulations built by the project offer a radically new approach for understanding the multi-level structure and function of the brain.

  • Airbnb Open-sources MvRx for Android App Development in Kotlin

    MvRx (pronounced “mavericks”) help Android developers implement common features and integrating their apps properly with the OS. MvRx is written in Kotlin and powers all Android development at Airbnb, writes Airbnb engineer Gabriel Peal.

  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 18.08

    With Genode 18.08, we enter the third episode of the story of Sculpt, which is our endeavor to shape Genode into a general-purpose operating system. In the first two episodes, we addressed early adopters and curious technology enthusiasts. Our current ambition is to gradually widen the audience beyond those groups. The release reflects this by addressing four concerns that are crucial for general-purpose computing.

    First and foremost, the system must support current-generation hardware. Section Device drivers describes the substantial update of Genode’s arsenal of device drivers. This line of work ranges from updated 3rd-party drivers, over architectural changes like the split of the USB subsystem into multiple components, to experimental undertakings like running Zircon drivers of Google’s Fuchsia project as Genode components.

  • Genode OS 18.08 Brings Support For Intel CPU Microcode Updating, Newer Linux Drivers

    The Genode Operating System Framework is out with its latest release as well as an updated SculptOS that they are forging as their general purpose operating system.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Changing Our Approach to Anti-tracking

        Anyone who isn’t an expert on the internet would be hard-pressed to explain how tracking on the internet actually works. Some of the negative effects of unchecked tracking are easy to notice, namely eerily-specific targeted advertising and a loss of performance on the web. However, many of the harms of unchecked data collection are completely opaque to users and experts alike, only to be revealed piecemeal by major data breaches. In the near future, Firefox will — by default — protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites.

      • Lunchtime brown bags

        Over the Summer I’ve come to organise quite a number of events in Mozilla’s London office. Early Summer we started doing lunchtime brown bags, where staff give a 10 ~ 15 minute informal talk about what they are currently working on or a topic of their interest.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • The Commons Clause – For Good or Bad

      The current debate about the Commons Clause, and other attempts to place restrictions on open source licences, is dividing opinion. But before taking sides first we need to understand what the Commons Clause does and why it is necessary.

      According to the README.md on its GitHub repo the Commons Clause is a Licence Condition contributed by FOSSA, a company which offers open-source licence management and drafted by Heather Meeker, a lawyer specializing in open source software licensing, including IP strategy, compliance, transactions, and disputes.

      The Commons Clause can be added as a commercial restriction on top of an open source licence to transition an existing open source project to a source availability licensing scheme, which means that while the source can be viewed, and in some cases modified, it is no longer fully open source. The restriction it imposes is that it denies the right to sell the software.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Challenges in Maintaining A Big Tent for Software Freedom

      In recent weeks, I’ve been involved with a complex internal discussion by a major software freedom project about a desire to take a stance on social justice issues other than software freedom. In the discussion, many different people came forward with various issues that matter to them, including vegetarianism, diversity, and speech censorship, wondering how that software freedom project should handle other social justices causes that are not software freedom. This week, (separate and fully unrelated) another project, called Lerna, publicly had a similar debate. The issues involved are challenging, and it deserves careful consideration regardless of how the issue is raised.

      One of the first licensing discussions that I was ever involved in the mid 1990s was with a developer, who was a lifelong global peace activist, objecting to the GPL because it allowed the USA Department of Defense and the wider military industrial complex to incorporate software into their destructive killing machines. As a lifelong pacifist myself, I sympathized with his objection, and since then, I have regularly considered the question of “do those who perpetrate other social injustices deserve software freedom?”

      I ultimately drew much of my conclusion about this from activists for free speech, who have a longer history and have therefore had longer time to consider the philosophical question. I remember in the late 1980s when I first learned of the ACLU, and hearing that they assisted the Klu-Klux Klan in their right to march. I was flabbergasted; the Klan is historically well-documented as an organization that was party to horrific murder. Why would the ACLU defend their free speech rights? Recently, many people had a similar reaction when, in defense of the freedom of association and free speech of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the ACLU filed an amicus brief in a case involving the NRA, an organization that I and many others oppose politically. Again, we’re left wondering: why should we act to defend the free speech and association rights of political causes we oppose — particularly for those like the NRA and big software companies who have adequate resources to defend themselves?

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Software created using taxpayers’ money should be Free Software

      It might seem obvious that software created using tax money should be available for everyone to use and improve. Free Software Foundation Europe recentlystarted a campaign to help get more people to understand this, and I just signed the petition on Public Money, Public Code to help them. I hope you too will do the same.

    • Major Open Source Project Revokes Access to Companies That Work with ICE [iophk: "former open source now ... however, it is their code and they can change the license"]

      On Tuesday, the developers behind a widely used open source code-management software called Lerna modified the terms and conditions of its use to prohibit any organization that collaborates with ICE from using the software. Among the companies and organizations that were specifically banned were Palantir, Microsoft, Amazon, Northeastern University, Motorola, Dell, UPS, and Johns Hopkins University.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • California Bill Is a Win for Access to Scientific Research

        The California legislature just scored a huge win in the fight for open access to scientific research. Now it’s up to Governor Jerry Brown to sign it.

        Under A.B. 2192—which passed both houses unanimously—all peer-reviewed, scientific research funded by the state of California would be made available to the public no later than one year after publication. There’s a similar law on the books in California right now, but it only applies to research funded by the Department of Public Health, and it’s set to expire in 2020. A.B. 2192 would extend it indefinitely and expand it to cover research funded by any state agency. EFF applauds the legislature for passing the bill, and especially Assemblymember Mark Stone for introducing it and championing it at every step.

        A.B. 2192’s fate was much less certain a few weeks ago. Lawmakers briefly put the bill in the Suspense File, a docket of bills to be put on the back burner because of their potential impact on the California budget. Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee removed A.B. 2192 from the file after EFF explained that its fiscal impact would be negligible.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Lulzbot hints at SLA 3D printer addition to open source FFF portfolio

        Lulzbot, the open-source brand of the FDM 3D printers from Colorado-based manufacturer Aleph Objects, has hinted the development of an stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer in its latest newsletter.

        The newsletter heading states: “Wash Away Your 3D Printing Preconceptions: We’ve got the cure for the common printer—our newest solution will be released this September! We’re laser focused on the fine details, get on our wavelength to get the info first.”

      • LulzBot Teases New Open Source SLA 3D Printer, Coming September

        Hot on the heels of the release of its LulzBot Mini 2 desktop FDM 3D printer this summer (check out our full review here), LulzBot appears to be readying some new hardware.

        Teased in a fun email newsletter that packs more stereolithography puns than you could shake a resin-covered stick at, LulzBot posits a “cure for your high-resolution 3D printing needs.“.

        Such a system would mark a whole new direction for a company which, to date, has focused solely on fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers.

      • Open source RISC-V implemented from scratch in one night

        Developed in a magic night of 19 Aug, 2018 between 2am and 8am, the darkriscv is a very experimental implementation of the opensource RISC-V instruction set.

  • Programming/Development

    • Federated CI

      In the modern world, a lot of computing happens on other people’s computers. We use a lot of services provided by various parties. This is a problem for user freedom and software freedom. For example, when I use Twitter, the software runs on Twitter’s servers, and it’s entirely proprietary. Even if it were free software, even if it were using the Affero GPL license (AGPL), my freedom would be limited by the fact that I can’t change the software running on Twitter’s servers.

      If I could, it would be a fairly large security problem. If I could, then anyone could, and they might not be good people like I am.

      If the software were free, instead of proprietary, I could run it on my own server, or find someone else to run the software for me. This would make me more free.

      That still leaves the data. My calendars would still be on Twitter’s servers: all my tweets, direct messages, the lists of people I follow, or who follow me. Probably other things as well.

      For true freedom in this context, I would need to have a way to migrate my data from Twitter to another service. For practical freedom, the migration should not be excessively much work, or be excessively expensive, not just possible in principle.

      For Twitter specifically, there’s free-er alternatives, such as Mastodon.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Indian Government Aims to Take Down Predatory Journals

      Universities in India have until August 30 to present a “white list” of recognized journals to the University Grants Commission, a government body that provides funding and maintains higher-education standards in the country. In previously submitted recommendations, universities have included predatory journals, publishers that charge high fees for low-quality or no peer review.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • How to Roll a Strong Password with 20-Sided Dice and Fandom-Inspired Wordlists

      Here’s the not-so-secret recipe for strong passphrases: a random element like dice, a long list of words, and math. And as long as you have the first two, the third takes care of itself. All together, this adds up to diceware, a simple but powerful method to create a passphrase that even the most sophisticated computer could take at least thousands of years to guess.

      In short, diceware involves rolling a series of dice to get a number, and then matching that number to a corresponding word on a wordlist. You then repeat the process a few times to create a passphrase consisting of multiple words.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘We Were Guinea Pigs’: Soldiers Explain What Nuclear Bomb Blasts Feel Like

      After World War II, the UK, USSR, and US detonated more than 2,000 atomic bombs. In Britain, 20,000 soldiers witnessed atomic blasts conducted by their own government. Only a few of them are still alive today and the nuclear glow of the mushroom cloud they witnessed still haunts them. “Nuclear detonations, that was the defining point in my life,” Douglas Hern, a British soldier who experienced five nuclear bomb tests, told Motherboard.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Natural Gas Industry Again Beats a Tiny West Virginia County That Wanted to Control Its Destiny

      A West Virginia county, whose elected leaders have vocally resisted natural gas industry operations, has again been told by a federal judge that it must allow the work to proceed.

      U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver ruled Wednesday that Fayette County commissioners can’t use their county’s local zoning ordinance to block a compressor station proposed as part of a huge natural gas transmission pipeline. The federal Natural Gas Act, he said, trumps any local zoning rules when it comes to regulating pipelines and associated compressor stations.

      It’s the second time in two years that Copenhaver has overruled efforts by Fayette leaders to protect their county from what they view as negative effects of the ongoing boom in West Virginia’s natural gas industry.

      “I am disappointed in the decision, but I’m not surprised,” Fayette County Commission President Matt Wender said. “It’s very unfortunate that local governance is being ignored to the preference of the natural gas industry.”

  • Finance

    • India replaced its currency to wipe out illegal money stashes. The central bank says it didn’t work.

      Now, newly released data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows that 99.3 per cent of high-value notes in circulation – worth around US$216 billion (S$295 billion)) – came back to the banks. That means that those illicit hoards that the government was hoping to flush out of the system were not in the form of cash and are still out there.

    • Vox Sentences: A NAFTA by any other name
    • Senators Seek Answers From HUD About Public Housing Crisis in East St. Louis

      Illinois’ Democratic senators are asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to detail what steps the agency is taking to address problems plaguing public housing apartments in East St. Louis, including mice, mold, leaky ceilings and security concerns.

      In a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said they were “concerned HUD is failing to use its oversight authority” to ensure decent, safe conditions for residents living in properties owned and managed by the East St. Louis Housing Authority.

      The letter, sent last week, cites findings from an investigative report published by The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica this month that detailed ongoing problems a year after HUD gave the housing authority back to local control after a 32-year federal receivership.

      At a ceremony in the city last September, Carson praised HUD’s work to improve the local agency, which houses nearly 4,000 residents, more than half of them children. At the time, he declared that residents “and the future of our children” were no longer at risk in East St. Louis.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump’s latest misleading attack on Google, explained

      In a statement given to The Verge, a Google spokesperson clarifies that the company promoted neither former President Barack Obama nor Trump’s inaugural SOTU addresses in 2009 and 2017, respectively. That’s because they were not technically State of the Union addresses, but “addresses to a joint session” of Congress, a tradition set back in 1993 so that new presidents didn’t have to immediately deliver SOTU addresses after holding office for just a few weeks. Google resumed promoting Obama’s SOTU address in 2010 and continued to do so through 2016, as he held office for all six of those years.

    • FBI refutes Trump claim that Clinton’s private email server was hacked by China

      A June report from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General noted that the FBI had found no evidence of any compromise of Clinton’s mail servers—though full forensic analysis of the servers wasn’t possible, because one (an Apple server) had been disposed of by the time of the investigation.

    • Senate Intel invites Alphabet CEO to testify, rejecting company offer of VP instead

      The panel said it had invited executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google to testify, and that only Google has failed to confirm.

    • Imagine if the BBC Were Honest

      The BBC refuses to answer my Skripal questions to Mark Urban on the grounds they have no legal obligation, instead giving a “statement”. That correspondence follows below. But I want you first to imagine a World in which the BBC and Mark Urban were honest and independent, and imagine these were the answers to my questions:

      1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why? My interviews with Sergei Skripal were on a strictly off the record basis and I felt honour bound not to mention them until I could obtain his permission.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Mapping The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most

      Across the world, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, internet shutdowns and deliberate slowdowns are becoming more common and they generally occur when someone (usually a government) intentionally disrupts the internet or mobile apps to control what people do or say.

    • Google’s Leadership Still Needs To Give Details About Project Dragonfly: Googlers Can Still Help

      Earlier this week, we joined with Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Article 19, and 10 other international human rights groups in a letter to Google’s senior leadership, calling on the company to come clean on its intentions in China – both to the public, and within the company.

      A little background: it’s been almost a month since The Intercept first broke the story that Google was planning to release a censored version of its search service inside China. Since that time, very little new information about the effort, known as Project Dragonfly, has come to light. Over 1,400 employees have asked Google to be more transparent about the search giant’s plans, but at an all-hands meeting executives only responded with generalities before the conversation was cut short. Google certainly hasn’t provided the public with any details, leaving many in the human rights community to continue wondering how Google plans to avoid becoming complicit in human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

      Google still owes both audiences—Google employees and the public—an explanation.

    • Why People Named “Wiener,” “Butts,” and “Dikshit” Have Trouble Creating Accounts Online

      Trolls delight in making up “hilarious” fake names, so websites try to filter certain words for new accounts. What if your real name contains one of those words?

      Natalie Weiner, a writer for SB Nation, was recently filtered by just such a system.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Australian Gov’t Likes Intrusive Border Device Searches Just As Much As The US Does

      Hague had no reason to be treated with extra suspicion, but extra suspicion was there all the same, simply because the random selection process told border officers to be as intrusive as possible. He asked officers a reasonable question — if you search my other belongings in public because I’m a randomly selected “threat,” why can’t you search my devices out in the open. There was, of course, no response.

      Other questions about the Border Force’s handling of the contents of Hague’s devices also went unanswered. Officers refused to say whether data would be copied and/or retained, as well as refusing to explain what they were looking for.

      Why did the Border Force perform this intrusive search? Because it can.

    • Facebook Watch rolls out globally in bid to take on YouTube

      Facebook will take a healthy 55 per cent share of ad revenue, leaving 45 per cent for creators. That might seem a little stingy at first, but Facebook Watch potentially gives them access to an audience some 1.5 billion-strong.

    • Data Backed Up from WhatsApp to Google Drive Will Be ‘plaintext’

      According to a recent announcement by Google, Android and iOS users will now be able to backup their Whatsapp data on Google Drive without worrying about storage space. This feature would help save storage space on your Google Drive and will secure your data.

      But secure will it be? Because Google confirmed earlier that your Whatsapp data won’t be encrypted on Google Drive. Yes, the data will be stored without any form of encryption that Whatsapp users have grown accustomed to.

      From November 12 onward, Whatsapp data stored on Google Drive won’t be counted toward your allocated storage quote, Google confirmed. Google isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart, in fact, Facebook and Google have come to an agreement regarding Whatsapp data storage on Google Drive.

    • Extension enhances privacy of all embedded YouTube videos

      Get better privacy for embedded YouTube videos with the Privacy Enhanced Mode for Embedded YouTube Videos extension for Firefox.

      Websites like to embed YouTube videos in marketing materials, blog posts, and news stories. It’s much cheaper to offload the bandwidth costs required for hosting high-quality video on a large company like YouTube, and most users get a good experience on most devices most places in the world. It’s a win–win situation, right?

      The elephant in the room is the data collection that happens through embedded content. When embedding a video, you also invite third-parties to track and record information about the interests and movements of people who visit the page. I urged people to stop embedding content over privacy concerns back in 2014. The European Parliament made websites responsible for the data harvesting that happens on their sites (even by third-parties) with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    • Open Rights Group and the3million launch judicial review challenging the Data Protection Act’s immigration exemption

      Human rights organisations have launched a judicial review challenging the UK Government over the inclusion of a specific clause in the Data Protection Act 2018 which, they argue, would unnecessarily restrict the rights of millions of people across the country for the purpose of ‘effective immigration control’.

      [...]

      Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group said:

      “The Government’s hostile environment may have been renamed, but its policies are clearly still here. Restricting the rights of millions to their personal data in immigration processes risks inaccurate data being used to make life altering decisions. Open Rights Group can’t allow that to pass without challenge.

      The Government is trying to avoid necessary accountability, and remove responsibilities to treat people fairly. This challenge aims to keep fairness and accountability in the immigration system.”

    • 300,000 Finns have stopped using Facebook since April, says social media blogger

      Facebook has lost users particularly in the 30–39 age group, but its popularity seems to be on the decline in all age groups, according to data collected from the advertising tools of Facebook by Pönkä.

      He stresses that he is referring specifically to users who no longer seem to use the service actively, rather than users who have deleted their account altogether.

    • Facebook ‘founder’ claims social media site has caused ‘countless deaths’ by failing to protect users

      Aaron Greenspan, who won a confidential pay-out from Facebook after claiming he came up with the concept for the social network first, has reopened his feud with Mark Zuckerberg by claiming the social media boss sacrificed safeguards on cyberbullying, extremists and data security to pursue growth at all costs.

      In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Greenspan said Mr Zuckerberg had ignored his warnings and instead designed the platform to be as addictive as tobacco in order to recruit and keep users.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Indian Police Adding Pre-Crime Software To Their Long List Of Snooping Tools

      Lots of tech is being deployed by law enforcement around the world — often far in advance of thorough testing, privacy impact assessments, or public input. Biometric scanning, facial recognition software, cell site simulators, social media monitoring tools, and, of course, “predictive policing.”

      The last one on the list brings together a bunch of data and tells cops where to go to stop crime before it happens. Pre-crime is no longer relegated to sci-fi movies providing chilling glimpses of a totalitarian future. It’s here now and it’s converting certain neighborhoods into instant probable cause.

      The Chicago PD is only one of several agencies using the software to generate “heat lists” of citizens in need of arresting. There may be no criminal activity occurring when patrols begin, but the algos say it’s inevitable, so off the cops go to round up people who may be likely to commit crimes.

    • Marines Move to Tackle Racial Extremists in the Corps

      The United States Marine Corps has taken steps to combat racial extremists in its ranks, issuing an updated order emphasizing that participation in white supremacist and other groups is prohibited and encouraging service members to report fellow Marines involved with such groups.

      The actions come after an active-duty Marine was documented taking part in last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and two others were arrested after hanging a racist banner off a building in North Carolina.

      [...]

      Like every branch of service, the Marine Corps has regulations that bar its members from participating in racial extremist groups, but the updated policy clarifies language on prohibited conduct, chiefly by explicitly identifying “supremacist” activity as forbidden. It also consolidates many previous orders, a large number of which haven’t been updated in years, and aims to tighten accountability when rules of conduct are violated. The updated policy encourages service members who see their peers engaging in prohibited behavior to report them through various channels.

    • Federal Data Shows Public Schools Nationwide Are a Hotbed of Racial Injustice

      A new series of reports from the ACLU and UCLA Civil Rights Project reveal glaring racial disparities in school discipline

      Many students heading back to school are being greeted by more police and metal detectors, but few, if any, counselors — this is especially true for students of color. Beyond having more police officers who could be armed, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reportedly considering a plan to allow states to buy guns for teachers using federal funds.

      Despite the research demonstrating that harsh “school safety” and disciplinary measures are detrimental to students of color, public schools across the country are enhancing efforts to lockdown classrooms, partly in response to the Parkland school shooting that shook the nation.

      As state legislatures take up the Trump administration’s call for increasing “law and order” with more school police, and as DeVos considers whether to undo the Obama administration’s reforms to curb racial bias in school discipline, it’s important to take a close look at what’s happening in schools. A series of reports produced by the ACLU with UCLA (Center for Civil Rights Remedies, Civil Rights Project) analyzes new data from the U.S. Department of Education, collected from all 96,000 public schools in the country. Part I of our publication focuses on the 11 million days of school students lost to suspension in the 2015-16 school year.

      Dramatic disparities exist at the school, district, state, and national level. Black students were just 15 percent of students nationally, but they accounted for 45 percent of all of the days lost due to suspension. This discipline gap contributes to the achievement gap. The 11 million days of lost instruction translates to over 60,000 school years, over 60 million hours of lost education, and billions of dollars wasted in a single school year.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC can define markets with only one ISP as “competitive,” court rules

      The FCC voted last year to eliminate price caps imposed on some business broadband providers such as AT&T and Verizon. The FCC decision eliminated caps in any given county if 50 percent of potential customers “are within a half mile of a location served by a competitive provider.”

    • What To Expect During the Root KSK Rollover

      After the root KSK rollover begins (currently planned for 11 October 2018), a very small percentage of Internet users are expected to see problems in resolving some domain names. There are currently a small number of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) validating recursive resolvers that are misconfigured, and some of the users relying on these resolvers will experience problems. This document describes which users will see problems and, among them, what kinds of issues they will see at various times.

    • Comcast Is Trying To Ban States From Protecting Broadband & TV Consumers

      The shorter version: the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom order effectively cripples the FCC’s ability to protect consumers, then shovels any remaining enforcement authority over to the FTC, which is ill-equipped to actually police the telecom market. Predicting that states would then try to jump in and fill the oversight accountability vacuum (which is precisely what started happening on both net neutrality and privacy), ISPs have also been urging both the FCC and the FTC to ban states from doing so.

      This is all being done under the pretense that blind deregulation of the telecom sector magically results in greater industry investment and broader deployment. But as we’ve explained countless times, that’s not how the U.S. telecom sector works. With neither competition nor reasonable government oversight to constrain it, natural monopolies like Comcast are simply free to double down on all their worst behaviors.

    • That Time Telco Lobbyists Sent Me All Their Talking Points About Trying To Shift The Blame To Internet Companies

      It’s not every day that big telco lobbyists email me their internal documents about how they’re going to try to shift all the negative press about themselves and try to flip it onto internet companies. But it did happen yesterday. In what was clearly a mistake a top exec at the telco’s largest lobbying organization, USTelecom, emailed a 12 page document of talking points yesterday, asking the recipients to “review the document for accuracy and other thoughts” in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week. I found it a bit odd that I would be on the distribution list for such an email — especially when 13 of the 15 recipients of the email were US Telecom employees. And me. The one other non-US Telecom person works at a firm that provides “subject matter experts” and “in-depth legal analysis.”

      The talking points are not all that surprising, if you’re at all familiar with the telco industry, so there aren’t really any huge smoking guns here, but they do cover a huge range of issues, from net neutrality, competition, privacy, cybersecurity, and more. Amusingly, on the net neutrality front, there’s a section on “Verizon Throttling Fire Responders.” Tragically, that appears to be one of the few sections in the document that they hadn’t yet filled in yet — perhaps because the industry still doesn’t have a good response to Verizon throttling fire fighters in California as they were battling wildfires.

    • The lang= attribute in HTML

      Non-native english speaking blind people have their default speech language typically set to their native language. When they end up browsing to a site in english (or any language other than their native one for that matter) the screen reader starts to read english with pronounciation from their native language. While some people start to understand such speech output after a while, it is really a pain to work with. Of course, you can switch to a different speech language manually, but that takes time, and people end up not doing it in a lot of situations.

      Some screen readers have automatic language detection implemented, but it fails to work correctly in many cases, which is why most users have autodetection actually turned off.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Document On Traditional Knowledge, Folklore At WIPO; Chair Calls For New Conceptual Approach

      The protection of traditional knowledge and folklore against misappropriation is a topic that has been occupying World Intellectual Property Organization delegates for close to two decades. This week a new draft document, presenting a proposed revision of a set of draft articles of potential treaties, was released by a drafting team. As some countries are keen on preserving their original language and ideas, the committee chair called for delegates to move on with their work, and lift themselves above how the patent and copyright system works.

    • How Not To Freak Out When Someone Copies Your Product

      One of the things we’ve talked about for decades at Techdirt is that companies need to not freak out so much when someone copies their product — whether physical or digital. There are some who believe you need to stop copying at any cost. That always seemed silly for multiple reasons. First, if you have something people want, it’s going to get copied. At some point you have to do something of a cost benefit analysis of whether or not it’s truly worth it to go crazy stopping every copy. Second, if you truly created the original, then you have a leg up on any copycat, in that you have a much better understanding of just about everything: you understand the customers better, you’ve built up brand loyalty and you understand the hidden reasons why people like your product. So you’ll almost certainly continue to innovate above and beyond any copycats. Third, many efforts to stop copycats end up punishing your actual customers, saddling them with a worse product because you’re so overly concerned about copying. This is a story of a company that has gone in the other direction.

      For the last year or so, I’ve been telling a bunch of people about my exercise regime (my coworkers are sick of hearing about it). It began two years ago when I saw a Kickstarter project for Monkii Bars 2 — a suspension training system not unlike TRX (if you’re familiar with that), but a lot more portable. If you spend time on Kickstarter, there are a ton of exercise equipment products there, but nearly all of it looks like most late night infomercial crap (also, I noticed that most of them are based in LA, which perhaps isn’t too surprising). Most of them look snazzy, but also are likely to be the kinds of things that no one ever uses for more than a week. The Monkii bars didn’t look like that at all, though. First, it was from a Colorado company, and the team who made it seemed more like the kind of people I’d actually hang out with, rather than the folks who pitch most exercise equipment. More importantly, though, something about the way the Monkii Bars worked just seemed like a perfect way to get a workout. For whatever reason, I knew that they wouldn’t be a “use it for a week and forget about it” kind of thing (though, I did still at least worry a little bit they would turn out that way).

    • Trademarks

      • Unpacking the S-shape Benelux mark invalidation

        A Netherlands court has invalidated a shape mark for packing peanuts registered in 1994, once again illustrating the difficulty in obtaining and maintaining such registrations in Europe – even those that are old and well-established

    • Copyrights

      • The Mystery Of Columbia Pictures DMCAing Its Own Leaked Promotional Posters For Its ‘Holmes And Watson’ Movie

        It’s no secret that the DMCA process is often abused. Typically, this abuse takes the form of one entity issuing a takedown notice not over true copyright concerns, but rather to either silence speech it doesn’t like or to harm a competitor. It’s a very real problem. But sometimes the misuse of the DMCA takedown process takes a turn towards the bizarre.

        [...]

        That explanation makes more sense than any other out there, including the idea that Columbia Pictures would want to nuke its own advertising material that had begun to go viral. The company isn’t talking, which is unhelpful. But if that is the explanation, it should be clear that this sort of thing is not what the DMCA process is for and there can be consequences for innocent internet users that are suddenly having DMCA strikes against them, including on social media.

      • ‘Perma.cc’: is the fight against “link rot” copyright compliant?

        From news outlets to academic writing, publishing online is now part of the mainstream amongst publishers. It is relatively inexpensive, instantaneous and reaches readers worldwide. But the dynamism of internet publications does have one inconvenient– “link rot”.

        ‘Link rot’ refers to the decoupling of the hyperlink (or URL) with the webpage with which it was originally associated, rendering the link useless. While you may not be familiar with the phrase link rot itself, undoubtedly you will have experienced some of its most irritating symptoms: ‘page error 404’, ‘The URL you requested was not found’ or ‘Oops! Something wrong happened’. Research shows that, on average, a staggering 50% of links will be decoupled from their original content, i.e. turned to rot, two years following publication (see here and here).

      • Yandex Has Less Than 48 Hours to Tackle Piracy or Get Blocked

        Russian search giant Yandex is facing a copyright crisis. Late last week the Moscow City Court handed down a ruling that required Yandex to remove links to pirated content owned by Gazprom-Media. On Monday, that instruction was reiterated by telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor. If Yandex does not take action by Thursday, its video platform will be blocked by the country’s ISPs.

      • US and Mexico Modernize Copyright Protection in New Trade Deal

        The US Government has reached a new trade agreement with Mexico. The preliminary deal provides strong and effective copyright protection and enforcement, including criminal sanctions against movie cammers. It will also “extend” the minimum copyright term to 75 years, an issue that triggered quite a bit of confusion.

      • Public Knowledge Responds to President Trump’s Outrageous Copyright Giveaway

        “The inclusion of a copyright term extension in the trade agreement announced today is a staggeringly brazen attempt by the entertainment industries to launder unpopular policies through international agreements. Not only would a copyright term extension never survive domestic debate, but it also violates the instructions Congress gave in trade promotion authority, which directed the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate intellectual property provisions consistent with existing law. This is a slap in the face to the public interest, to consumers, and to Congress.

      • Google and Oracle’s $8.8 Billion Copyright Clash to Go to Supreme Court [iophk: "incorrect: Java has a license and the API is part of that"]

        The case revolves around Google’s use of Java APIs (without a licence) to enable Java programmers to build Android apps. When Oracle bought the rights to Java in 2009, it fired the starting gun on the case. Those who have taken similar steps – which are common – could face a wave of litigation if Oracle wins.

      • EU Copyright Directive – who pays the bill for the upload filter?

        Social media companies and content sharing apps could have to foot the bill for a vast automated copyright protection scheme under the most recent EU proposal to update copyright law. For those who remember, this is Hadopi on steroids. It’s a proposal that, history tells us, is unlikely to be workable.

      • Lending Emulations?

        Video games are an important cultural artifact. Unlike books, movies, and even music, national libraries and other archives typically don’t have organized programs to collect and preserve them, much less make them available to scholars. AFAIK the Internet Archive’s accessible collections of console and arcade games are unique among established archives, but they lack Nintendo’s catalog. Figuring out a way for institutions to preserve this history without undue legal risk is important.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  2. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  3. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  4. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



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    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  6. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  8. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  9. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  10. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  11. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  13. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  14. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  15. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  16. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  18. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  19. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  20. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  21. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  22. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  23. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  24. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  26. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  27. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  28. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  29. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  30. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)


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