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09.13.18

Links 13/9/2018: Compiz Comeback, ‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm’

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Windows 10 Tries to Push Firefox and Chrome Over the Edge

      Windows 10 now “warns” you not to install Chrome or Firefox when you download them. It’s just one of the many annoying ways Microsoft pushes Edge, which only has 4% market share despite Microsoft’s increasing desperation.

      Microsoft will probably start using this “app recommendations” feature to push other apps in the future, too. Imagine Windows warning you not to install LibreOffice because you could pay for Office 365 instead.

    • Microsoft: You don’t want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

      Microsoft really wants you to use Edge in the latest Windows Insider builds, and the software giant is not afraid to let you know it.

      Windows Insider Sean Hoffman took to Twitter last night to express his displeasure at a pop-up shown by Windows 10 when he attempted to install an alternative browser. When he ran the Firefox installer, a pop-up showed up suggesting perhaps he’d like to stick with Edge. It is safer and faster, after all (according to Microsoft).

      Hoffman, running build 17744.1004, the current slow ring version of the next release of Windows 10, pulled no punches in his reaction.

    • Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

      Google’s Chrome OS tanks crept a little further onto Microsoft’s manicured enterprise lawns with hints that Windows file-share support will arrive out-of-the-box in an upcoming version of Chrome OS.

      Those brave enough to be on the Canary version of Chrome 70 already have the functionality, assuming the preview software stays upright long enough to connect. The code uses the Samba project’s libsmbclient to access the file shares.

      Veteran Windows blogger Paul Thurrott spotted a posting on Google+ by “Chromium Evangelist” François Beaufort indicating that the functionality was inbound. In the post, Beaufort linked to a Chromium code commit with the text: “Set NativeSmb flag to enabled by default – Network File Shares for ChromeOS will be available by default starting in M70.”

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Academy Announces Acquisition of Jupiter Broadcasting

      Linux Academy, a leading provider of hands-on online training in Linux and cloud technologies, today announced it has acquired Jupiter Broadcasting, a podcasting network covering Linux, security, privacy, community and other open source content, to further strengthen its contributions to the open source and free software industry. Linux Academy will acquire Jupiter Broadcasting’s shows, assets, and employees.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation

      • Going to Hyperledger school

        Hyperledger (or the Hyperledger project) is an umbrella project of open source blockchains and related tools.

        The project was founded by the Linux Foundation at the end of 2015 with the intention of encouraging the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

      • Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Fluorine Release Brings Streamlined Support for Cloud, Edge and WAN Solutions

        The OpenDaylight Project, the leading open source platform for programmable, software-defined networks, today announced its ninth release, OpenDaylight Fluorine. The latest version brings major advancements for solution providers through key enhancements to the platform, including simplified packaging to speed solution development and enhanced capabilities for key use cases.

      • OpenDaylight Advances Open Source Software Defined Networking in Fluorine Release

        OpenDaylight is made up of a collection of different networking capabilities that can be combined into an architecture to enable a complete SDN platform. Among the new features in OpenDaylight Fluorine, the Service Function Chaining (SFC) project supports Network Service Headers (NSH) for accelerated service delivery. The BGP and Path Computation Element Protocol (BGPCEP) for IP Transport has been improved to enable better SD-WAN use cases for inter-data center connectivity.

        Optical transport also gets a boost in the OpenDaylight Fluorine release, with the debut of the TransportPCE project, which is a reference implementation of Open ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer). The TransportPCE project enables network operators to configure their WDM (Wavelength-Division Multiplexing) equipment such that it can handle requests coming from an SDN controller.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Khronos Talks Up The New Vulkan Memory Model

        Released this past weekend was Vulkan 1.1.84 and one of the newly introduced extensions was
        VK_KHR_vulkan_memory_model.

        This extension for the Vulkan Memory Model deals with memory synchronization and other traits when dealing with memory accesses by shaders in GLSL or SPIR-V.

      • NVIDIA Rolls Out Tesla T4 GPUs, DRIVE AGX Xavier & Clara Platform

        NVIDIA used their GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Japan that’s happening this week to announce a slew of new offerings and technology advancements.

      • RADV Finally Picking Up Support For Conservative Rasterization

        The RADV Mesa-based Radeon Vulkan driver is picking up support for another extension.

        Back in January with the Vulkan 1.0.67 release one of the new extensions introduced was VK_EXT_conservative_rasterization. The Vulkan conservative rasterization mode allows for over-estimation or under-estimation in limiting the rasterization process and providing more certainty over the expected rendering behavior.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

    • Wallapatta – A Beautiful Markdown Editor with Layout Support

      If you have been following our posts then it must be clear to you by now that there is no shortage of note-taking apps in the open-source community and the note-taking app category includes Markdown editors.

      We have written about a couple already and today, it is with pleasure that we introduce to you such an app with a layout inspired by the design handouts of Edward R. Tufte Wallapatta.

      Wallapatta is a modern open-source and cross-platform Markdown editor with an emphasis on design and clear writing.

    • Curlew: Still Great Multimedia Converter That Uses FFmpeg for Ubuntu/Linux Mint

      Right now there are handful of multimedia converters available for Linux. It is an free and open-source application that converts to plenty of formats using FFMpeg and avconv. It is written using Python programming language and GTK3 for GUI. Currently has ability to convert more than 100 different formats.
      Curlew multimedia converter is around from quite sometime and known to have some extra features such as: ability to show file information(duration, progress, approx size, duration etc.), preview file before conversion, convert part of specified file, attach subtitles to videos, show errors in details if occurs, allow to skip files or remove during conversion process, and fairly simple user interface. It is available for all currently supported Ubuntu 18.04/16.04/14.04/Linux Mint 19/18/17 and other Ubuntu based distributions.

    • Happy birthday Kiwi TCMS
    • ScreenCloud: The Screenshot++ App

      ScreenCloud is an amazing little app, that you don’t even know you need. The default screenshot procedure on desktop Linux is great (Prt Scr Button) and we even have some powerful screenshot utilities like Shutter. But ScreenCloud brings one more really simple yet really convenient feature that I just fell in love with. But before we get into it, let’s catch a little backstory.

      I take a lot of screenshots. A lot more than average. Receipts, registration details, development work, screenshots of applications for articles, and lot more. The next thing I do is open a browser, browse to my favorite cloud storage and dump the important ones there so that I can access them on my phone and also across multiple operating systems on my PC. This also allows me to easily share screenshots of the apps that I’m working on with my team.

      I had no complaints with this standard procedure of taking screenshots, opening a browser and logging into my cloud and then uploading the screenshots manually, until I came across ScreenCloud.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine maintenance release 3.0.3 is now available.

      • Wine 3.0.3 Ships With 50+ Bug Fixes

        If you are a user of the Wine stable releases rather than the bi-weekly Wine development releases or Wine-Staging (or now Proton too), Wine 3.0.3 is out today as the latest version.

      • Wine’s VKD3D Lands An Initial Vulkan Pipeline Cache

        The Wine project’s Direct3D 12 to Vulkan API translation layer has implemented a basic Vulkan pipeline cache that may help with performance.

        Józef Kucia of CodeWeavers who has been leading much of the VKD3D development landed this initial pipeline cache. Earlier today he posted the initial patch series on the Wine mailing list and already has merged the patches laying out this inline caching implementation.

      • Valve have now pushed out all the recent beta changes in Steam Play’s Proton to everyone

        For those of you sticking with the stable channel of Steam Play’s Proton system, Valve have today rolled out all the recent beta changes for everyone.

        Previously, you had access to Proton 3.7-3 which was what everyone used by default and you could also use the “Compatibility tool” dropdown in the Steam Play options section to switch to a beta to have the latest updates. Valve must now consider all the changes stable enough, as Proton 3.7-6 is now the default. There’s another beta channel now, which is still currently at 3.7-6 but it should remain where the latest changes go.

        There’s quite a lot of improvements included since the initial release, like: automatic mouse capturing in fullscreen windows by default, performance improvements, certain game compatibility improvements, an updated build of DXVK, more display resolution support and so on. You can see the full changelog here.

      • Some Linux Gamers Using Wine/DXVK To Play Blizzard’s Overwatch Reportedly Banned

        Multiple individuals are reporting that they have been just recently banned by Blizzard for playing their games — seemingly Overwatch is the main title — when using Wine with the DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan translation layer.

        Blizzard support has said they are not banning Linux gamers for using these “emulation” techniques but not officially supported.

        However, per this Reddit thread with one of the users writing into Phoronix, there have been recent bans to Linux gamers and the only expressed common denominator seems to be the use of Wine and DXVK.

    • Games

      • Life is Strange: Before the Storm is now officially available on Linux

        Life is Strange: Before the Storm, the three-part prequel to the original Life is Strange ported to Linux by Feral Interactive is now available. After very much enjoying the first game, I can’t wait to dive into this!

        While the original was made by DONTNOD Entertainment, this time around it was developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix.

      • Life is Strange: Before the Storm Is Out Now for Linux and macOS

        UK-based video games publisher Feral Interactive announced today the availability of the Life is Strange: Before the Storm adventure video game for the Linux and macOS platforms.

        Developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix, Life is Strange: Before the Storm was launched on August 31, 2017, as the second installment in the BAFTA award-winning franchise. The all-new three-part standalone story features new and beautiful artwork set three years before the events of the first Life is Strange game.

      • Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Is Now Out For Linux

        Feral Interactive released today Life is Strange: Before the Storm for Linux and macOS.

        Life is Strange: Before the Storm is the latest in this episodic game series from Deck Nine and ported to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive. Before the Storm was released for Windows in late 2017.

      • Forsaken Remastered adds Vulkan support to the Linux version

        For those who love testing out games with Vulkan, do take a look at Forsaken Remastered which was updated last night for Linux to add in Vulkan support. To enable it, simply load the game and go into the video options where it will now let you pick your graphics API.

      • Build the aquarium you always wanted in Megaquarium, out now for Linux

        Megaquarium is like theme park for those who love fish and it’s now officially available with same-day Linux support. Developed by Twice Circled, who were responsible for the rather good Big Pharma which also has a Linux version. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        As someone who is fascinated by ocean life, I often visit our local aquarium to learn a little and take it all in. This is probably why Megaquarium speaks to me on a level other such tycoon builders don’t.

      • Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor has come a long way since the Kickstarter, Early Access soon

        Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor, as the name might suggest, has you building drones, which you can directly control or give them some autonomous features. The closed alpha is extremely promising and a lot of fun to play with.

      • Puzzle game BFF or Die is out with Linux support, interesting in both singleplayer and local co-op

        BFF or Die is an interesting puzzle game from ASA Studio that I was testing before release (key provided by the developer), one that offers a decent experience if you’re alone or if you have friends around for some local co-op.

        [...]

        The design is pretty good, while the early levels are naturally as easy as breathing, the later levels certainly get a lot more interesting when many more gameplay elements start coming together. Especially tricky when you think you’ve mapped out the level in your brain and new enemies appear to throw a spanner in the works, even more so in single-player when you’re controlling a light to see what’s around independently of your movement.

      • Unity 2018.3 Beta Promotes Vulkan Editor No Longer Experimental, Various Linux Fixes

        The first public beta of the Unity 2018.3 game engine is now available for testing and evaluation.

        Unity 2018.3 beta is shipping today with various workflow improvements, improvements to the Shader Graph, drops their legacy particle system, and other changes. From their overview there isn’t all that much to get excited about by Linux gamers…

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A Look at KDE’s KAlgebra

        Many of the programs I’ve covered in the past have have been desktop-environment-agnostic—all they required was some sort of graphical display running. This article looks at one of the programs available in the KDE desktop environment, KAlgebra.

        You can use your distribution’s package management system to install it, or you can use Discover, KDE’s package manager. After it’s installed, you can start it from the command line or the launch menu.

        When you first start KAlgebra, you get a blank slate to start doing calculations.

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Desktop Reaches End of Life, KDE Plasma 5.14 Arrives October 9

        KDE Plasma 5.13.5 arrived a week ago, on September 4, 2018, as the last point release for the short-lived KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment series, which won’t receive further updates or security fixes. It brought a total of 35 changes across various core components and apps.

        “Plasma 5.13 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important,” reads the announcement.

      • Plasma 5.14 Beta Updates Discover, KWin and Adds New Widgets

        Thursday, 13 September 2018. Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.14.

        Plasma is KDE’s lightweight and full featured Linux desktop. For the last three months we have been adding features and fixing bugs and now invite you to test the beta pre-release of Plasma 5.14.

        A lot of work has gone into improving Discover, Plasma’s software manager, and, among other things, we have added a Firmware Update feature and many subtle user interface improvements to give it a smoother feel. We have also rewritten many effects in our window manager KWin and improved it for slicker animations in your work day. Other improvements we have made include a new Display Configuration widget which is useful when giving presentations.

      • KDE Plasma 5.14 Desktop Environment Enters Beta with New Features, Improvements
      • KDE Plasma 5.14 Beta Brings Many Improvements, Especially Wayland Polishing

        The KDE community has released the beta of the upcoming Plasma 5.14 desktop update.

      • KStars on Microsoft Store

        I’m glad to announce that KStars is now available on Microsoft Store in over 60 languages! It is the first official KDE App to be published by KDE e.V on the MS Store.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Google Code-in 2018 and Wikimedia: Mentors and smaller tasks wanted!

        Google Code-in will take place again soon (from October 23 to December 13). GCI is an annual contest for 13-17 year old students to start contributing to free and open projects. It is not only about coding: We also need tasks about design, documentation, outreach/research, and quality assurance. And you can mentor them!

      • Give Your Ubuntu a Fresh Look Using Canta Theme and Icons

        We have seen some cool themes earlier, like Paper, Arc themes which comes with Dark and light version. However none of them having the Green as base color.

        Canta theme is a Green color based GTK theme which is available for GTK 2 and GTK 3 based desktop environments. You can install in in latest Ubuntu GNOME Shell along with all distributions which supports GTK 2 and 3.

        This theme comes with 11 variants classifying in base, light, dark, round, square and compact version for each.

      • Former Compiz Developer Creating New Window Animation Library

        Sam Spilsbury who was the former Compiz lead developer at Canonical and involved in the Unity desktop shell development is creating a new library spun out of Compiz.

        Since leaving Canonical six years, he’s spent a good portion of that time since working for Endless Computer on their GNOME Shell driven Linux desktop environment. Initially he wrote a “libwobbly” library at Endless for implementing support for “wobbly windows” and other animation logic spun out of the former Compiz code.

      • libanimation for everyone

        Something I worked on when I first started at Endless was the rather interesting task of “making Wobbly Windows from Compiz work on GNOME-Shell”.

        This task is interesting in the sense that GNOME-Shell doesn’t really work in the way that the wobbly plugin for Compiz wanted it to. There is the “Wobbly Windows” extension for the shell, but that was sort of out for Endless, since we didn’t want to rely on the extensions mechanism and that extension also didn’t quite work the way I had come to know and love.

        What I really wanted to do with this project was replicate the same smooth wobbly windows from Compiz in the shell itself.

        Where do you even start on such a project? The first hard part is trying to get the math to work and knowing that you have the math working. Thus, libwobbly was born – a library that reimplements the same math that Compiz itself used, allowing callers to create a 3×3 mesh of springs representing the physical effect of “wobbly” windows and providing functions to interpolate into that 3×3 mesh. Then, we used libwobbly in our fork of GNOME-Shell along with ClutterDeformEffect and a bridge to get the same, buttery smooth wobbly windows in GNOME-Shell.

      • Wobbly Windows Are Making a Comeback

        Wobbly windows and other desktop effects might be making their way BACK to the Ubuntu desktop, all thanks to a new project by a former Compiz developer.

        If your first formative steps with Linux took place in the latter part of the last decade then a) you have my mutual sympathy on being old (sucks, doesn’t it?) and b) there’s a good chance you used wobbly windows and other OTT effects on your own Ubuntu desktop.

        This particular superfluous desktop effect even made my list of five things we all miss about Ubuntu.

      • Remember Linux’s Wobbly Window Animation? It Might Come Back!

        Remember playing around with wobbly windows in Linux? That animation, and a few more, might be coming back soon.

        Linux users loved playing with Compiz, a window manager that added all kinds of animations to the Linux desktop. Perhaps the most famous were the wobbly windows, which brought a tactile feel to moving windows around. It was great fun.

      • Fractal contribution report: improvements for the context menu

        These past weeks, I’ve been mainly working on my side project (rlife) but I’ve also done some small improvements for the context menu in Fractal.

        [...]

        I also have an open MR for hiding the option to delete messages in the context menu when the user doesn’t have the right to do so (i.e. for the user’s own messages or when it has the right to do so in the room (e.g. for moderators or owners)). It’s pending for now because there are work done to reliably calculate the power level of a user given a certain room.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • We mostly protect against script kiddie attacks

        The recent efforts on improving the security of different areas of Gentoo have brought some arguments. Some time ago one of the developers has considered whether he would withstand physical violence if an attacker would use it in order to compromise Gentoo. A few days later another developer has suggested that an attacker could pay Gentoo developers to compromise the distribution. Is this a real threat to Gentoo? Are we all doomed?

        Before I answer this question, let me make an important presumption. Gentoo is a community-driven open source project. As such, it has certain inherent weaknesses and there is no way around them without changing what Gentoo fundamentally is. Those weaknesses are common to all projects of the same nature.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2018

        I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 8 hours from July. I worked only 5 hours and therefore carried over 18 hours to September.

      • TeX Live contrib updates

        It is now more than a year that I took over tlcontrib from Taco and provide it at the TeX Live contrib repository. It does now serve old TeX Live 2017 as well as the current TeX Live 2018, and since last year the number of packages has increased from 52 to 70.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Robots that run Ubuntu

            The home for innovators, Ubuntu is a place where developers can create what previously lived solely in the realms of fiction. The internet of things, the cloud, and robots are world changing technologies and they’re all running Ubuntu.

            With an estimated worldwide spending figure of $103bn by 2020, according to IDC, the field of robotics is one of those transformative industries that is really gaining traction, and it’s not just the manufacturing industry that’s using them, robots are everywhere.

            From collecting tennis balls, to social robots, agriculture and retail. Robots are making our lives easier and it turns out that a large amount of them are an Ubuntu robot.

            Don’t just take my word for it though, below is a list of of just some of the cool and brilliant ways Ubuntu is being used in the field of robotics.

          • Key considerations when choosing a robot’s operating system

            Whether it be down to technological advances, rising market demand or just the ‘cool’ factor, the increase in robotics is happening and across numerous industries from healthcare, industrial to retail. According to IDC, worldwide robotic spending, encompassing hardware, software and related services, is set to reach US$230.7bn by 2021.

            Much like the wider internet of things (IoT) industry, this trend has inevitably seen an increase in the amount of robots being produced from both new start-ups and more established organisations.

            Any robotics manufacturer needs to consider how their OS will influence both the speed and efficiency of development and then how that performs in production to provide a stable yet supportable product in the long run. These considerations are even more important in such a fast-moving and competitive market.

          • Fresh Snaps from August 2018

            Another month passes and we’ve got a collection of applications which crossed our “desk” (Twitter feed) during August 2018. We have a mix of social tools, music creation and curation software, password storage systems, developer tools and some fun too. Take a look down the list, and discover something new today.

          • Financial services: escaping the burning platform

            The financial services industry is standing on a burning platform, it’s time to jump to safety or suffer the consequences.

            The platform in this picture is the legacy infrastructure that dominates their IT organisations. From ageing servers and a dwindling workforce that’s even capable of running these monoliths, the pressure to change, for many, would have already forced a leap to safety.

            Unfortunately for banks, that’s not the only pressure they are under. Challengers have emerged where there were none before and changes in regulation are forcing a dramatic rethink of how infrastructure can be approached and what technologies are available for them to use. Compounded by a growing demand from customers for services that are modern, always-on, safe, and simple to use, and you’ve got a perfect storm that FS is having to navigate.

          • Leading the Vanilla design system

            We currently have 47 websites from marketing to cloud applications under our suite of products here at Canonical, the Vanilla squad are working through migrating these sites to our latest release.

            We’ve completed 60% of the migration and are making good headway. Once complete, our codebase will be unified across our sites making it easier for our front-end developers to jump between projects. And from a design perspective we will have a consistent look and feel.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu Switching To VLC, KDE 5 LibreOffice Frontend

              Lots of changes are happening in the Lubuntu camp.

              It’s been busy in the Lubuntu space recently, the Ubuntu derivative that’s historically shipped with the LXDE desktop environment. Most notably, Lubuntu 18.10 switching to LXQt by default over LXDE, while the LXQt spin has been experimental up to this point.

              Lubuntu is also planning to switch to Wayland and as part of that to port Openbox to run on the Mir-Wayland code. But this work isn’t happening overnight but rather is a goal to have done by Lubuntu 20.10 in 2020.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Create and publish video with open source Kaltura editor

    Video has long been an integral part of education—back in the day, movies shown on huge reel-to-reel projectors were wheeled into classrooms to supplement teaching. Today, even the youngest students demonstrate their knowledge with multimedia video presentations recorded and edited on smartphones or Chromebooks, the “flipped classroom” (where students watch video lectures for homework and do assignments in class) is taking hold in K-12 schools, and professors make live video recordings of their classes available online for motivated students who want to review a lecture they attended (or for lazy learners who can’t quite make it to their morning biology class).

    Video software-as-a-service provider Kaltura offers a platform that helps businesses, cloud TV providers, and—increasingly—educators make video available to their audiences. The company started in 2006 as a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform for open video collaboration. Of the company’s beginnings, Zohar Babin, Kaltura’s vice president of platform and growth, says, “we built a platform where people from all around the world could collaborate to create online video shows. The platform would enable anyone to integrate video into their show and have the ability to edit and publish episodes all via the browser.”

  • The (awesome) economics of open source

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Consider how changed a world we live in today when The Economist openly questions the bulk behavior of capitalists as evil bureaucratic rent-seekers and suggests that perhaps Karl Marx has something to teach after all. But the world remains stubbornly the same, as expert after supposed expert attempts to argue that open source software makes no economic sense and that a company like Red Hat cannot, therefore, exist (the latest example being this article on Medium.com).

    Arrgh!

    W. Edwards Deming said “experience teaches nothing without theory,” so I’m going to explain the theory that I believe underlies the 30+ years of experience I’ve witnessed in the world of successful open source software. A disclaimer: I didn’t develop this theory. Credit goes to Ronald Coase (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1991), Oliver Williamson (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2009), and others. And indeed, I was unaware of this theory when I started Cygnus Support, the world’s first company to provide commercial support for free software back in 1989. But I did joke, in all seriousness, that someday an economist would win the Nobel Prize in Economics for explaining the theoretical basis of that company. Open source exceeded expectations yet again when not one, but two economists were so honored. And so I begin with a lengthy paraphrase of Coase’s Nobel Prize lecture to set up the theory.

  • 5 Open-Source Trends to Watch

    Open-source software use in business has come a long way since the first LinuxWorld Conference & Expo was held in San Jose, California, in March 1999. Linux had been around as an operating system since its invention in 1991 by Finnish-American developer Linus Torvalds, but its use in business computing was just beginning to germinate by the early 2000s.

    Fast-forward to 2018. Open-source software powers the internet, much of the world’s cloud computing infrastructure, thousands of companies around the globe and a wide range of technologies, including software used in motor vehicles, consumer devices, in-home systems and more. Channel partners are increasingly involved in open source today, selling services, offering advice and helping clients use open source effectively.

    And despite that phenomenal growth, millions of developers continue to devote countless hours to projects. By the end of 2017, more than 24 million developers in more than 200 countries had contributed to some 67 million GitHub project repositories. Many more projects are also used by more developers on code repositories offered by GitLab, Bitbucket, SourceForge and others.

    For almost every customer software need, there is likely an open-source project working on the problem.

    With all of this activity around the world, some open-source trends could become even more important to partners in the future.

  • YouTube Begins Rolling Out AV1 Support In Beta

    YouTube has begun transcoding videos into the new royalty-free AV1 video codec.

    So far just a handful of videos are available with this AV1 beta support on YouTube. The Google company is supporting AV1 in MP4 within the Media Source for Chrome 70+ and the newest Firefox Nightly builds as of today. The Firefox Nightly support also requires media.av1.enabled and media.mediasource.experimental.enabled preferences enabled.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Focus with GeckoView

        Firefox Focus is private browsing as an app: It automatically blocks ads and trackers, so you can surf the web in peace. When you’re done, a single tap completely erases your history, cookies, and other local data.

      • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: DNS over HTTPS (DoH) – Testing on Beta

        DNS is a critical part of the Internet, but unfortunately has bad security and privacy properties, as described in this excellent explainer by Lin Clark. In June, Mozilla started experimenting with DNS over HTTPS, a new protocol which uses encryption to protect DNS requests and responses. As we reported at the end of August, our experiments in the Nightly channel look very good: the slowest users show a huge improvement, anywhere up to hundreds of milliseconds, and most users see only a small performance slowdown of around 6 milliseconds, which is acceptable given the improved security.

      • WebRender newsletter #22

        The closer we get to shipping WebRender, the harder it is for me to take the time to go through commit logs and write the newsletter. But this time is special.

        Yesterday we enabled WebRender by default on Firefox Nightly for a subset of the users: Desktop Nvidia GPUs on Windows 10. This represents 17% of the nightly population. We chose to first target this very specific configuration in order to avoid getting flooded with driver bugs, and we’ll gradually add more as things stabilize.

      • Mozilla Begins Slowly Enabling WebRender For Some Users

        One of the Mozilla technologies we have been most excited about in recent years is WebRender, the Rust-written restructuring of the graphics/GPU code.

        WebRender was developed with Servo in mind but was developed externally and as a GPU-based renderer for web content. Those unfamiliar with WebRender can see their existing project Wiki.

  • Databases

    • Brisbane open-source database specialist Open Query acquired by Catalyst IT Australia

      Queensland-based open-source database expert Open Query has been acquired by Catalyst IT Australia, the local arm of New Zealand-born open-source technology integrator.

      Open Query delivers training and support for MySQL, MariaDB, Percona XtraDB and related open source technologies, and offers system administration and security services.

      Open Query’s flagship service offering is the support and maintenance of databases on the aforementioned open-source platforms, with offerings spanning initial health checks and ad-hoc consulting, to subscription-based proactive support and remote database monitoring.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.1 Gets First Point Release with More Than 120 Bug Fixes

      Coming more than a month after the launch of the major LibreOffice 6.1 series, which introduced a revamped and much faster image handling feature, a new Page menu and reorganized Draw menus, a new icon theme for Windows users, new Online Help pages, and a much-improved LibreOffice Online, LibreOffice 6.1.1 adds more than 120 bug and regression fixes.

      “LibreOffice 6.1.1 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users,” said The Document Foundation. “For any enterprise class deployment, TDF maintains the more mature LibreOffice 6.0.6, which should be sourced from a company providing a Long Term Supported version of the suite.”

  • Healthcare

    • Open-source software may aid brain imaging to find disease treatments

      Researchers say the open-source software, called PySight, acts as a photon counting add-on for laser scanning microscopes. Because it can image deep into tissue, a laser-based technique known as multiphoton microscopy is often used to study the rapid activity of neurons, blood vessels and other cells at high resolution over time. The method uses laser pulses that excite fluorescent probes, eliciting the emission of photons, some of which are detected and used to form 2D and 3D images.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.2 comes with Security & Stability Enhancements as well as USB 3.0 Support

      NetBSD has come out with a new release for the 7.x series. The second feature update of NetBSD 7, NetBSD version 7.2, comes with a few new features and enhancements including, most prominently, the support of the USB 3.0 device as well as improvements for the Linux emulation. The latest release also supports the Raspberry Pi 3 computer range, adapting the release to be compatible for running on those devices, and the release ramps up updates for several drivers to make all of this possible.

      The release announcement for the NetBSD 7.2 states that this update incorporates substantial bug fixes and enhancements for overall improvement of the stability and security of NetBSD. The update also introduces new features such as the few mentioned above and other fixes in binary compatibility for ancient NetBSD executables. The iwm(4) driver for Intel Wireless 726x, 316x, 826x, and 416x has also been incorporated and a legacy network adapter has been improved to resolve a setup interruption found in the Hyper-V VMs.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • LibreJS 7.17 released

      GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman’s article The JavaScript Trap*. LibreJS is a free add-on for GNU IceCat and other Mozilla-based browsers. It blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is free and/or trivial.

  • Public Services/Government

    • How to save 11 million Euros by switching to open-source software

      In 2003, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows NT4 desktop operating system. As a result, Munich’s city government had to migrate over 15,000 personal computers (PCs) to a new operating system. This made the disadvantages of dependence on big proprietary software providers obvious to local policy makers.

      In 2004, the City Council decided to migrate its PCs to Linux, a free and open-source operating system, to achieve more independence and stimulate the local economy by using local developers for the migration. The choice for Linux was made despite the fact that Microsoft’s CEO personally offered Munich a 90 percent discount on new software. The project, called LiMux, took seven years to complete and saved Munich over 11 million euros ($12.3 million). Other advantages include more flexibility in software management, better security, and a lower number of support calls.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Evaluating Open Source Software to Build a Connected Autonomous Vehicle [Ed: Muckraking as usual, lawyers from Mayer Brown LLP (Marjorie H. Loeb, Richard M. Assmus, Linda L. Rhodes and Paul A. Chandler) make FOSS sound scary, dangerous legally. It wasn’t so long ago that Black Duck, Microsoft’s anti-copyleft front, told the media that if automobiles adopted FOSS, vehicles would start crashing. CBS/ZDNet posted that crap for them.]

      The varying OSS licenses may conflict with each other, which can frustrate an automaker’s license compliance. To comprehensively assess the risk that any combination of OSS blocks may infringe or violate the license terms, one must first identify and trace the use of OSS throughout, which may involve analyzing thousands of files or lines of code contributed from numerous sources. To maintain compliance, significant due diligence is required both at the outset and each time code is changed or altered. To complicate matters further, the use of automated software development tools, which pull pieces of OSS from the Internet, may make it difficult to identify applicable license requirements before those pieces become an integral part of the code base. While scanning software and solutions may help identify embedded OSS, significant analysis is still required to evaluate the provenance of the OSS and whether its intended use raises license compliance or related concerns.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Data

      • What We Mean When We Say “Data Portability”

        “Data portability” is a feature that lets a user take their data from a service and transfer or “port” it elsewhere. This often comes up in discussions about leaving a particular social media platform and taking your data with you to a rival service. But bringing data to a competing service is just one use for data portability; other, just-as-important goals include analyzing your data to better understand your relationship with a service, building something new out of your data, self-publishing what you learn, and generally achieving greater transparency.

        Regardless of whether you are “porting” your data to a different service or to a personal spreadsheet, data that is “portable” should be easy to download, organized, tagged, and machine-parsable.

        EFF supports users’ legal right to obtain a copy of the data they have provided to an online service provider. Once you move beyond that, however, the situation gets more complicated. Data portability interacts, and sometimes even conflicts, with other digital rights priorities, including privacy and security, transparency, interoperability, and competition. Here are some of the considerations EFF keeps in mind when looking at the dynamics of data portability.

      • Hortonworks plans to revamp Hadoop and its big data tools with cloud best practices in mind

        One big disadvantage that comes with a hybrid cloud strategy is forcing your developers to learn and understand the different techniques required by cloud providers and on-premises software vendors for lots of applications. Hortonworks, the company behind several tools for big-data darling Hadoop, plans to revamp its software over the next few years in order to make modern cloud-native development practices part of its on-premises tools, giving hybrid cloud developers one less thing to worry about.

        Hortonworks plans to announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative Monday, kicking off the project that will allow customers running Hadoop and Hortonworks tools on their own servers to take advantage of newer infrastructure ideas that have become popular since the big-data analysis software was created, said Arun Murthy, co-founder and chief technical officer of Hortonworks. It’s yet another sign that while self-managed servers aren’t disappearing as fast as people once thought they might, the infrastructure concepts of the cloud-native era are going to eventually become de facto standards.

  • Programming/Development

    • Bugs Ahoy: The Next Generation

      Bugs Ahoy’s time is over, and I would like to introduce the new Codetribute site. This is the result of Fienny Angelina’s hard work, with Dustin Mitchell, Hassan Ali, and Eli Perelman contributing as well. It is the spiritual successor to Bugs Ahoy, built to address limitations of the previous system by people who know what they’re doing. I was thrilled by the discussions I had with the team while Codetribute was being built, and I’m excited to watch as the project evolves to address future needs.

    • Announcing Rust 1.29

      The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.29.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

    • HHVM ending support for PHP

      The HHVM project has announced that the Hack language and PHP will truly be going separate ways. The HHVM v3.30 release, due by the end of the year, will be the last to support code written in PHP.

    • Why Python is so popular with developers: 3 reasons the language has exploded

      Python is the fastest-growing programming language in the world, as it increasingly becomes used in a wide range of developer job roles and data science positions across industries. But how did it become the go-to coding language for so many tasks?

      “Python is very popular because of its set of robust libraries that make it such a dynamic and a fast programming language,” said Kristen Sosulski, clinical associate professor of information, operations, and management sciences in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, and author of Data Visualization Made Simple. “It’s object-oriented, and it really allows for everything from creating a website, to app development, to creating different types of data models.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Top Official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Resigns After Failing to Disclose Industry Ties

      Dr. José Baselga, the chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned on Thursday amid reports that he had failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from health care companies in dozens of research articles.

      The hospital’s chief executive, Dr. Craig B. Thompson, confirmed the resignation.

      The revelations about Baselga’s disclosure lapses, reported by The New York Times and ProPublica last weekend, have rocked Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, in recent days. Its top executives scrambled to contain the fallout, including urgent meetings of physician leaders and the executive committee of its board of directors.

    • Brazilian Supreme Court Refuses To Judge Its Biggest Case On IP And Access To Medicines, And Benefits Big Pharma With Undue Monopolies

      The Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) has mysteriously cancelled the judgment of the most important case regarding intellectual property and health ever to be decided by the court. On 28 June, the date of the judgment was set for 6 September. The cancellation occurred on the eve of the judgment, something very rare in the practice of the Court. The lack of decision on the case only benefits the transnational companies awarded with hundreds of undue monopolies. Just a few days before, the President of the STF – judge Carmem Lucia – had a meeting with Interfarma, the association of multinational pharmaceutical companies in Brazil .

      [...]

      The direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) questions the validity of a mechanism (known as “pipeline”) of the Brazilian patent law which allowed for the revalidation of patents granted in other countries that were already in the public domain in Brazil. Those were patents covering alimentary or chemical-pharmaceutical substances, which were excluded from patentability in the country prior to 1996.

      The main argument for invalidation is that those patents are not promoting the social interest and the technological and economic development of the country, as determined by the Brazilian Constitution when it talks about the grant of temporary privilege of use for industrial creations (article 5, XXIX). There are patents whose priority date goes back as far as 1977, and all of them were already part of the public domain, as national legislation of the time did not allow for their private appropriation by the granting of patents.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Destabilization’ is a CIA euphemism for ‘overthrow’

      THE situation has suddenly gotten more complex and menacing, not because President Duterte says so, but because our political vocabulary has suddenly morphed from “amnesty” to “destabilization.”

      In a wink, we have been transported to the world of the spooks, the intelligence community. The language or lingo here is “CIA-ese,” says William Safire, the language maven. (See list of CIA-ese below.)

      If you know a fraction of what I have learned (from books, reports, DVDS, etc.) about the world of intelligence and the games that spooks play, you will sit up straight when you hear President Duterte declare that there is a destabilization plot against his government that is targeted to unfold on September 21, 2018, the anniversary of Martial Law.

      You will listen and you will study the mountain of information before you. Then you will watch the calendar and become enraged.

    • In City That Once Banned Drones, Evanston Police Crafted A Secret Drone Policy

      Evanston police quietly maintained an unreleased internal policy regarding the use of drones, according to a document obtained by Lucy Parsons Labs.

      The document [PDF], entitled “Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Operations” and dated July 25, 2018, lays out departmental guidelines for the use of drones. It is included in the department’s standard policy manual.

      The Evanston Police Department’s policy was created without public knowledge or debate in a community that was an early leader in preventing the rush to drones by law enforcement.

      In May 2013, the Evanston City council passed a resolution banning drones for two years. That ban specifically included police, stating, “Police departments have begun to deploy drone technology absent any regulation on the appropriate use of such technology, although the Evanston Police Department has not.” That moratorium expired in 2015.

      Since the lapse of Evanston’s drone ban, police use of drones has become a major concern among civil rights and police accountability activists. Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently pushed to give the Chicago Police Department drones.

      Emanuel’s plan would have allowed police to fly military-style surveillance technology over any gathering of more than 100 people. The legislation stalled but only after a concerted effort by advocates and activists.

      Yet, in Evanston, police use of drones largely faded from local politics.

    • Trump Asked Saudi Arabia for $4 Billion to Fund Anti-Assad CIA Op in Syria, New Book Reveals

      According to journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Fear”, one of Trump’s biggest goals is to acquire foreign funds to finance CIA operations in foreign nations.

      U.S. investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in White House”, a White House tell-all, amidst other shocking revelations, enlightens its readers about Trump administration’s negotiation with Saudi Arabia regarding funding a CIA operation in Syria.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Belongings of WikiLeaks associate found in Norway
    • The CIA had a SECRET report on Soviet superstitions

      The report, classified for 60 years, details familiar fears such as black cats and more involved customs, such as road bucket etiquette

    • Norwegian police find canoe belonging to missing Dutch cyber security expert

      Police in Norway say they have found a collapsible canoe which belongs to missing Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis.

      The canoe was found a day after several other items owned by Kamphuis turned up on the coast, east of Bodo where he was staying when he disappeared. He is known to have bought a canoe to use in the Norwegian fjords.

      Norwegian television station TV2 also claims that a fisherman found Kamphuis’ identity papers close to where the canoe was found. Police have declined to comment on the other findings.

      Kamphuis was last seen in Bodo on August 20 and should have returned to the Netherlands on August 22. On September 6 a witness told police he had spotted the missing man in Denmark.

    • Norway police find missing WikiLeaks associate’s kayak

      Norwegian police on Thursday said they have found a kayak they believe belonged to a missing WikiLeaks associate who disappeared in mysterious circumstances three weeks ago.

      The police released a photo of a white foldable kayak they believe Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis bought just before going on a holiday in Norway.

      Kamphuis, 47, has not been seen since leaving his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo August 20.

      His disappearance has triggered a wave of conspiracy theories on social media, ranging from CIA and Russian involvement to a mission to carry out a secret project for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      However police said they were examining three theories: a voluntary disappearance including a possible suicide, an accident or a crime.

    • Norway police find missing WikiLeaks associate’s kayak
  • Finance

    • Video: Dayton and the America Left Behind

      The many woes of the Rust Belt and the industrial heartland have been frequently dissected since the election of Donald Trump (and less often, before it). Even as large portions of the country thrive, unemployment, poverty and opiate addiction continue to ravage huge swaths of the nation, including Dayton, Ohio.

      Once a backbone of the U.S. auto industry, the city has never recovered from the loss of its stalwart employers. Dayton is the laboratory through which reporter Alec MacGillis, as part of a collaboration between ProPublica and Frontline, examined an America that is suffering even as the nation’s economy booms. In addition to showing the searing human cost of a long-term economic collapse, MacGillis reveals a divide that is rarely acknowledged. Beyond the often chronicled gap between urban and rural in the U.S., there is a growing chasm between cities — those that have soared in a winner-take-all society, and those that have been left behind.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Breitbart leaks video of Google executives’ candid reaction to Trump victory

      But the bombastic responses ignored the substance and true tenor of the meeting, which was more measured and less partisan than Breitbart implied.

    • That Time CNN Staged A Fake Interview With A Syrian Child For War Propaganda

      Now imagine one of your friends says he can see everything in the room perfectly, and starts describing the different things that he sees in a confident, assertive tone of voice. You know for a fact that there’s no light in the room, so you are doubtful that your friend is able to see any better than you are, but one by one your other friends start talking about the objects in the room as though what he is saying is true. After a while your group starts telling you you’re crazy and evil because you remain skeptical of your first friend’s ability to see the room in pitch darkness, despite his assertive tone of voice and despite the fact that everyone else believes it.

    • Idlib, Youtube and the War on Information

      San Bruno-based video sharing website YouTube shut down multiple Syria-based accounts last Saturday in attempts to enforce media blackouts against Syrian state and their allied forces.

      [...]

      The termination came as Syria, with Russian assistance, waged a campaign to liberate Idlib, destroying rebel military equipment and bases, and incurring heavy losses from the terrorists. A day prior, SANA reported on the collaboration between militants from the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the White Helmets to identify key locations, where sarin and chlorine gas has been shipped, to launch a potential chemical weapons attack.

      Meeting on Thursday in Jisr al-Shughour, the groups contended between al-Najia, a countryside region of Jisr al-Shughour, al-Hamawsh, and Kafr Nubbul as potential sites to launch a chemical attack from, according to the sources.

      The account terminations have been carried out allegedly to muddle footage and coverage of another chemical attack waged by rebels, with the intent of framing Damascus and thus providing the justification for the US and its allies to strike Syria. Conveniently enough, YouTube’s media blackout came as Syria, with Russian assistance, launched strikes against over 100 opposition military targets.

    • ‘We are stuck with (vote rigging) ED junta, make it work’ argue Cross – how, GNU fog has never cleared

      Zimbabwe is in a serious economic and political mess with unemployment a nauseating 90% and political paralysis as neither the ruling party, Zanu PF, nor the whole opposition camp led by MDC have a clue what to do. The root cause of the mess is the country’s failure to hold free, fair and credible elections.

      Zanu PF has created a de facto one-party dictatorship that has stifles all public debate and democratic competition forcing all the competent individuals to shy away from politics leaving the space to be filled with corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs. Where one expected quality fish all we get is frogs, crocodiles and, at best, mudskippers!

    • Ex-NSA chief wishes Trump had pressed Putin on Russian election attacks

      The former Director of the National Security Agency, retired Admiral Mike Rogers, said Tuesday that he thought President Donald Trump should have taken the opportunity to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly in Helsinki, Finland over Russia’s election meddling.
      “I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of,” Rogers said at an event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on the relationship between the presidency and the intelligence community.
      In July, Trump met one-on-one with Putin, a meeting he did not ask his top intelligence officials — including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — for advice on, Coats later revealed.

      During a press conference with the Russian leader, Trump undermined the US intelligence community’s universal conclusion that Russia had made attempts to attack the 2016 US presidential election, through digital interference and other methods.

    • Trump supporter demanded to see a list of impeachable offenses; someone happily obliged
    • ProPublica’s User’s Guide to Democracy: Political Advertising

      To help us both out, I tapped ProPublica’s reporters who cover election security, voting access, political ads, online misinformation, campaign cash flows and Congress; asked them a ton of questions; and stripped down what I learned to the most essential parts. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share these lessons with you, one step at a time.

      You can follow along here, on our website, or you can sign up to receive this info by email. One reason you might want to get the emails: I worked with our data team to pick out specific information that is relevant to each voter who signs up. In each email, we’ll give you a closer look at your specific state or representatives. (Plus, we’ll send you reminders about Election Day and give you tips on working with your newly elected representatives after the big day!)

    • The Strange Russian Alibi

      Like many, my first thought at the interview of Boshirov and Petrov – which apparently are indeed their names – is that they were very unconvincing. The interview itself seemed to be set up around a cramped table with a poor camera and lighting, and the interviewer seemed pretty hopeless at asking probing questions that would shed any real light.

      I had in fact decided that their story was highly improbable, until I started seeing the storm of twitter posting, much of it from mainstream media journalists, which stated that individual things were impossible which were, in fact, not impossible at all.

      The first and most obvious regards the weather on 3 and 4 March. It is in fact absolutely true that, if the two had gone down to Salisbury on 3 March with the intention of going to Stonehenge, they would have been unable to get there because of the snow. It is therefore perfectly possible that they went back the next day to try again; and public transport out of Salisbury was still severely disrupted, and many roads closed, on 4 March. Proof of this is not at all difficult to find.

    • Agency Takes Back Instructions to Residents in Brooklyn Housing Project to Stay Home on Primary Day

      Hundreds of residents of the Marlboro Houses near Coney Island in Brooklyn received notices from the New York City Housing Authority telling them to remain home on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a routine lead inspection. That left residents scrambling for a way to comply with NYCHA’s directive and to vote in the New York state primary election, which runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      But according to Jasmine Blake, a spokesperson for NYCHA, the agency scheduled inspections on primary day by mistake, and residents should go vote.

      [...]

      Jones said residents in his mother’s complex, who are largely people of color, improvised after receiving the notices, offering to watch one another’s apartments while they went out to vote. Still, the entire situation struck Jones as “a problem that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

      Blake said the agency will not schedule inspections for November’s general election.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Spanish actor detained after ridiculing ‘God and the Virgin Mary’
    • Censorship of Burlington School Newspaper May Have Violated Law

      Burlington High School principal Noel Green may have violated state law when he ordered student journalists to take down a story posted to the school newspaper’s website.

      Monday night the Register broke the news that the state has been investigating school guidance director Mario Macias, who is accused of unprofessional conduct and could lose his educators license for nearly a year.

    • Burlington HS student journalists say school censored them

      Student journalists at Burlington High School say their school principal censored them by ordering their news article be taken down from their website.

      This week, the Burlington High School Register, a student newspaper, broke news that the Secretary of Education recommended the high school’s director of guidance, Mario Macias, have his license suspended for 364 days.

    • Why libraries are standing up against censorship
    • Offline: Activists and Technologist Still Face Grave Threats for Expression

      A decade ago, before social media was a widespread phenomenon and blogging was still a nascent activity, it was nearly unthinkable outside of a handful of countries—namely China, Tunisia, Syria, and Iran—to detain citizens for their online activity. Ten years later, the practice has become all too common, and remains on the rise in dozens of countries. In 2017, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that more than seventy percent of imprisoned journalists were arrested for online activity, while Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 press freedom barometer cited 143 imprisoned citizen journalists globally, and ten citizen journalists killed. While Tunisia has inched toward democracy, releasing large numbers of political prisoners following the 2011 revolution, China, Syria, and Iran remain major offenders, and are now joined by several countries, including the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

    • Actual Research On Political Bias In Search Results Would Be Useful, But So Far It Doesn’t Show Anything

      A few weeks back, we explained why claims of political bias in moderation by tech companies was not accurate at all. I recognize this has upset people who seem to have staked their personal identity on the idea that big internet companies are clearly out to get them, but we like to deal in facts around here. Of course, soon after that post went up, PJ Media editor Paula Bolyard put out an article — using what she admits isn’t anything close to a scientific study — to make dubious claims of bias in Google searches for Trump news.

      There were all sorts of problems with her methodology (including using Google search, rather than Google News, and using an extraordinarily sketchy ranking of how liberal or conservative certain publications were). But the bigger issue, as we noted in another post this week was that it showed a fundamental misunderstanding of how search engines work. It was not — as some commenters who clearly did not read the article claimed — that algorithms are perfect and show no bias (because they obviously do). But that the search algorithm boosts sites that are more popular, and if you looked at the sites that Bolyard’s test showed as appearing in her search results were… larger sites. And those included typically “conservative” news sites such as the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. In other words, Google wasn’t biasing based on political viewpoint, but on popularity of the news site itself. Which… is how Google has worked since basically the beginning.

      Unfortunately, our President did what our President does, and took Bolyard’s confusing mess (as amplified by Lou Dobbs on Fox News) and claimed that it was now proven that Google biases its search results against conservatives. He’s since posted a video claiming that Google didn’t link to a live stream of his state of the union address — a claim that has already been proven to be 100% false.

    • Manafort’s Daughter’s Lawyer Wants Twitter To Vanish Tweets Linking To Text Message Database

      The leak of text messages sent and received by Paul Manafort’s daughter might be old news, but new wrinkles keep appearing. Originally obtained by hackers, the texts have been perused by journalists, resulting in articles discussing Manafort’s apparent complicity in violence in Ukraine. The full set of texts has been around since at least early 2017, but no searchable database of the texts themselves existed publicly.

      Apparently, Wikileaks had the full dataset in searchable form but refused to release it. FOIA/transparency activist Emma Best decided to call out Wikileaks on its perceived duplicity (the dumping of the Podesta/DNC emails but not the release of the Manafort text messages) and made the database publicly available. As she wrote then, the likelihood of the text message dump leading to further issues for Manafort’s daughter was minimal, given that it had been more than a year since it became public knowledge their phones had been hacked.

    • Google Fights In EU Court Against Ability Of One Country To Censor The Global Internet

      Where one can be at least marginally sympathetic to the French regulator’s argument, it is in the issue of circumvention. If Google is only required to suppress information in France, then if someone really wants to, they can still find that information by presenting themselves as surfing from somewhere else. Which is true. But that limited risk — which would likely only occur in the very narrowest of circumstances in which someone already knew that some information was being hidden and then went on a quest to search it out — is a minimal “risk” compared to the very, very real risk of lots of truthful, historical information completely being disappeared into nothingness. And that is dangerous.

      The broader impact of such global censorship demands can easily be understood if you just recognize that it won’t just be the French looking to memory hole content they don’t like. Other governments — such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran — certainly wouldn’t mind making some information disappear. And if you think that various internet platforms will be able to say “well, we abide by French demands to disappear content, but ignore Russian ones,” well, how does that work in actual practice? Not only that, but such rules could clearly violate the US First Amendment. Ordering companies to take down content that is perfectly legal in the US would have significant ramifications.

      But, it also means that we’re likely moving to a more fragmented internet — in which the very nature of the global communications network is less and less global, because to allow that to happen means allowing the most aggressive censor and the most sensitive dictator to make the rules concerning which content is allowed. And, as much as people rightfully worry about Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey deciding whose speech should be allowed online, we should be much, much, much more concerned when its people like Vladimir Putin or Recep Erdogan.

    • Illinois Department Of Corrections Sued For Censoring Book On Attica Uprising

      The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) was sued by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author for allegedly censoring her nonfiction book, “Blood In The Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.”

      Heather Thompson ordered her book from Amazon and had it sent to three inmates. One inmate received the book while the other two inmates received censorship notices without any explanation.

      By coincidence, the lawsuit was filed by Sidley Austin LLP and the Uptown People’s Law Center on the anniversary of the massacre at Attica Prison.

    • Daniel Pocock: What is the difference between moderation and censorship?

      Some people complained that my last blog didn’t provide evidence to justify my concerns about censorship. I’d like to thank FSFE management for helping me respond to that concern so conclusively with these heavy-handed actions against the community over the last 48 hours.

      The collapse of the fellowship described in my earlier blog has been caused by FSFE management decisions. The solutions need to come from the grass roots. A totalitarian crackdown on all communications is a great way to make sure that never happens.

      FSFE claims to be a representative of the free software community in Europe. Does this behaviour reflect how other communities operate? How successful would other communities be if they suffocated ideas in this manner?

    • Facebook Expands Fact-Checking to Include Photos and Videos in a Bid to Fight Misinformation

      Facebook has always placed a priority on fighting misinformation and since the last two years, efforts in this area have become extensive. In order to achieve this, Facebook administration works with independent, third-party fact-checkers that rate and reviews the accuracy of content on the website. Up until now these fact-checkers focused on articles only. Today Facebook announced that it is expanding its fact-checking to include photos and videos as well for all of their 27 partners around the world. This move is aimed at identification of misinformation faster than before.

    • The Weekly Standard’s Kavanaugh Fact Check Was Correct
    • Liberal Media Whine After Facebook Fact Checks Them: ‘Censorship!’
    • Facebook blocked the spread of a liberal article because a conservative told it to
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FDA approves heart monitor in new Apple Watch

      Apple on Wednesday unveiled its latest Apple Watch, which includes an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) app that will allow users to record and monitor their heart activity.

    • UK mass surveillance ruled unlawful in landmark judgment

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) today ruled that the UK’s mass interception programmes have breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

    • GCHQ can access ‘the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet’, says civil liberties director

      Silkie Carlo has said that GCHQ have programmes that can collate “the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet” as the European Court found the Government’s mass surveillance violated human rights.

      Ms Carlo, the Director of Big Brother Watch told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “GCHQ, which is a UK intelligence agency, have a programme called Karma Police that is effectively a catalogue of the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet.

      “That includes us domestically in the UK as well.

      “They also had a programme called Black Hole which was a repository of over one trillion events including internet histories, email messenger records, search engine queries and social media activity.

    • GCHQ data collection violated human rights, Strasbourg court rules

      GCHQ’s methods in carrying out bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled in a test case judgment.

      But the Strasbourg court found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal.

      It is the first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations.

      The long-awaited ruling is one of the most comprehensive assessments by the ECHR of the legality of the interception operations operated by UK intelligence agencies.

      The claims, which had already been heard by the UK’s investigatory powers tribunal, were brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups, privacy organisations and journalists, including Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch.

    • European Court Of Human Rights: UK Surveillance Revealed By Snowden Violates Human Rights

      Yet another vindication of Ed Snowden. Soon after some of the documents he leaked as a whistleblower revealed that the UK’s GCHQ was conducting mass surveillance, a variety of human rights groups filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights. It’s taken quite some time, but earlier today the court ruled that the surveillance violated human rights, though perhaps in a more limited way than many people had hoped.

      At issue were three specific types of surveillance: bulk interception of communications, sharing what was collected with foreign intelligence agencies, and obtaining communications data (metadata) from telcos. The key part of the ruling was to find that the bulk interception of communications violated Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (roughly, but not exactly, analogous to the US 4th Amendment). It was not a complete victory, as the court didn’t say that bulk interception by itself violated human rights, but that the lack of oversight over how this was done made the surveillance “inadequate.” The court also rejected any claims around GCHQ sharing the data with foreign intelligence agencies.

    • After many opsec fails, Russia seeks to ban soldier social media spoilers

      The draft bill states that “servicemen are prohibited to place in mass media, and the Internet information (including photos, video, geolocation data and other information) about yourself and other servicemen disclosing the department they belong to, information about their official activities or service activities of other military personnel, the activities of military units, organizations and units in which they perform military service, and their place of deployment, except for cases provided for by regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Pussy Riot activist hospitalized, band members suspect poisoning

      A member of Russian feminist punk band and activist group Pussy Riot has been hospitalized in Moscow, according to band members, who suspect he has been poisoned.

    • Pussy Riot member who invaded pitch during World Cup has been hospitalised: Russian reports

      Ekho Moskvy radio and online news portal Meduza reported on Wednesday that Pyotr Verzilov has been in emergency care since late Tuesday.

    • Tech Firms Face Hefty Fines Under New EU Terror Rules

      Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and other tech firms could be slapped with fines as high as 4 percent of annual revenue if they fail to remove terror propaganda from their sites quickly enough under new European Union legislative proposals unveiled Wednesday.

    • EU considers fining tech companies over extremist content

      “One hour is the decisive time window, when the greatest damage can take place,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament during his state of the union address Wednesday.

      Under the proposed rules, companies that don’t remove content within the one-hour timeframe face steep fines rising to as much as 4 percent of their global revenue for the previous year.

    • Corporate Sovereignty On The Wane, As Governments Realize It’s More Trouble Than It’s Worth

      As with NAFTA and CETA, it seems that the nations involved in RCEP no longer regard corporate sovereignty as a priority, and are willing to weaken its powers in order to reach agreement on other areas. Once the principle has been established that ISDS can be watered down, there’s nothing to stop nations proposing that it should be dropped altogether. Given the astonishing awards and abuses that corporate sovereignty has led to in the past, that’s a welcome development.

    • The Anonymous Anti-Trump Op-Ed Inadvertently(?) Exposes Real Danger

      On September 5, the New York Times published an op-ed supposedly written by an anonymous official within president Donald Trump’s administration. The snobbish and self-serving hit piece paints Trump himself as dangerously immature, incompetent, and unstable, while reassuring us that “adults in the room” are working tirelessly to keep his worst impulses in check and save the republic without tedious formalities like invoking the 25th Amendment and removing him from power.

      The op-ed itself was a jejeune and mediocre example of a time-honored American pastime, talking smack about one’s boss behind his back. On its own terms, it deserved at most a brief period of public mockery before fading away to something less than an historical footnote.

      But then Trump responded swiftly and decisively from his favorite bully pulpit, Twitter.

      “TREASON?” he thundered. “If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”

      In a few short outbursts, Trump managed to confirm all the op-ed’s worst characterizations of his temperament and mental state.

    • UK MP Thinks Secret Online Groups Are The Root Of All Evil Online, Promises To Regulate ‘Large Online Groups’

      It’s always fascinating to me when people try to condense the complex and varied reasons why people sometimes behave badly into a single factor for blame. This is especially true online. A commonly misdiagnosed “problem” is anonymity, despite the fact that studies show anonymous online users tend to be better behaved in online flame wars, than those using their real names.

      British Member of Parliament Lucy Powell has come up with her own simplistic and ridiculous explanation for why people are bad online and has a plan to do something about it. In her mind, the real problem is… “large secret online groups.” She’s written a whole Guardian opinion piece on it, as well as given a Parliamentary speech on it, not to mention making the rounds to snippet of the actual proposal (the full bill hasn’t been placed online as far as I can tell as I type this), it appears that she wants to ban secret groups over 500 members, requiring that for any online group that has more than 500 members, the moderators and administrators would be legally required to publish public information about the group (she insists not the members), but also “to remove certain content.” What kind of content isn’t explicitly stated, which should set off all sorts of censorship alarm bells.

      In her speech to Parliament, she mentions racism, revenge porn, jokes about the holocaust, and conspiracy theories as the types of content she’s concerned about. Also… um… bad advice for autistic parents? It seems kind of all over the map. Which is why most people find this all so ridiculous. First off, you can’t stop people from saying stupid stuff. That’s just asking for the impossible. But it’s even more ridiculous to argue that non-public groups of over 500 individuals now suddenly are going to be legally liable for censorship of amorphous “bad content.”

    • The War on Raspberries

      On a recent visit to the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, I was taken slightly aback by the questions from young adults who knew nothing at all about Thatcher’s destruction of the coal mining industry or its motives. It is hard to realise that for an 18 year old today the miners’ strike is as chronologically distant an event as Dunkirk was to me.

      My whole adult life has been defined by the changes initiated by Thatcher and continued by Tories and New Labour. It is hard to remember now the world where your employer could not, by law, sack you just because they wanted to, and where you could get state protection from rapacious landlords charging unfair rents. The destruction of heavy industry in order to destroy the strength of organised labour, and the privatisation of the monopoly utilities for the profit of the rich, was a transformation that is at the root of the mass misery we live amongst today.

      There was one small and forgotten part of Thatcher’s attack on traditional working class lifestyle that you probably had to be in Dundee to remember. The war on berry pickers. The soft fruit of the Carse of Gowrie and the Tay Valley is an important part of the Scottish economy. There is currently much concern as to how, post-Brexit, labour is to be found to pick the fruit. Government proposals to issue visas for the purpose are an order of magnitude below what is needed, and local labour remains difficult to attract.

      It did not used to be difficult, until around 1980 the Tories launched an extraordinary campaign to drive pickers out of the fields. Berry pickers, they decided, were an unacceptable part of the informal economy and were not declaring their income on benefits claims. Suddenly teams of besuited benefits inspectors started appearing among the raspberry canes demanding social security numbers. People signing on for the broo had to produce their hands for inspection for berry stains. There was a campaign in the rabidly Tory Courier newspaper which even alleged that Tayside berry pickers were a major source of funding to the IRA!

    • A Smith College Employee Called the Police on Me for Eating Lunch While Black

      A student opens up about experiencing racial profiling at Smith College and what she expects Smith to do to address it.

      Enrolling in Smith College a year ago was a dream come true. But rarely has a dream so swiftly turned into a nightmare. As I begin my sophomore year, I’m returning to a new slate of classes and to unsettling memories that I wish I could shake.

      This summer, I was racially profiled — an all-too-common experience for Black people in America. But unlike most people who are targeted for simply existing in their skin, my story of harassment went viral.

      It happened on July 31, when I was working on campus for a program that encourages high school girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I was proud to remain on school grounds instead of taking a full summer vacation like many of my peers. As the first person in my family to attend college, every moment at a prestigious institution like Smith was a reminder that my mother’s hard work had paid off.

    • A Second Chance for Separated Families

      The Trump administration agrees to allow separated families to apply for asylum under proper procedures.

      The fight over the asylum rights of families who had been separated by the Trump administration took what could be a critical turn late last night. Following weeks of negotiation, parties in three lawsuits — including the ACLU’s class-action lawsuit, which first blocked the family separation policy and forced the government to reunite families — brokered an agreement that, if approved by the judge, will allow hundreds of parents to re-apply again for asylum in the U.S. after being turned down previously.

    • Police Officers At A Tactical Disadvantage Bravely Tase 87-Year-Old Woman Into Submission

      I understand the only way out of this debacle is going straight through it, but it’s astounding the chief is actually trying to present this as a dynamic situation in which officers were at a tactical disadvantage. It was two (2) officers against a 5’2″ 87-year-old woman who didn’t speak English. It seems they could have regained the high ground by walking at a normal rate of speed around her. And if it looked like she might charge them, they could have walked slightly faster. (And it’s your own damn fault you “contained” her on the high ground.)

      But we’re supposed to be grateful she was only tased. Chief Etheridge twice suggests she could have been shot. First, she might have been “accidentally” shot because an officer might have pulled a gun for god knows what reason…

    • ‘What happened to Mayberry?’ asks relative of 87-year-old Georgia woman police used stun gun on

      The police chief of a small Georgia town is defending an officer who deployed a stun gun on a “smiling” 87-year-old woman, saying she refused to comply with numerous commands to put down a kitchen knife she was using to cut dandelions.

      But relatives of the octogenarian, Martha al-Bishara, say police failed to use good common sense to prevent the incident from quickly escalating to a use-of-force confrontation in Chatsworth that landed their diminutive matriarch in handcuffs.

      “We have nothing but love for this county, but within that context, we think that what happened is absolutely ridiculous,” al-Bishara’s grandson, Timothy Douhne, a 24-year-old medical student, told ABC News on Wednesday. “If they had calmed down, deescalated the situation, listened a little bit, we wouldn’t be having this issue right now. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Nine No-Nos of Patent Licensing (1970)

      I’m thinking about the USDOJ’s “Nine No-Nos” of Patent Licensing. These were the subject of an important set of remarks in 1970 by then Bruce Wilson (USDOJ) on antitrust considerations for patent and know-how license agreements. At the time, the DOJ considered these all per-se antitrust violations. US Antitrust Law has really relaxed since then, and for the most part these are no longer per-se violations. That said, they still represent cautionary signs of potential antitrust trouble — especially if coupled with actual market power.

    • One year after telling judge its house was on fire, Qualcomm spends tens of billions on stock buybacks

      Today Qualcomm proudly “announced that it has entered into accelerated share repurchase agreements (ASR Agreements) with each of Bank of America, N.A., Citibank, N.A. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to repurchase an aggregate of $16 billion of Qualcomm’s common stock, with an initial delivery to Qualcomm of approximately 178 million shares in the aggregate”. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf notes that the company is “continue to execute on [its] previously announced $30 billion stock repurchase program.”

      A few days ago, Qualcomm’s stock hit $70 for the first time in three years.

      It’s just that all this good news is in stark contrast to what Qualcomm’s lead counsel, Cravath’s Evan Chesler, told Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California about a year ago when Qualcomm was seeking a preliminary injunction requiring four Apple contract manufacturers to make royalty payments prior to a final ruling on the Apple v. Qualcomm dispute. Judge Curiel didn’t buy Qualcomm’s “irreparable harm” theory and denied the motion. The course of events since–showcased by this week’s news on Qualcomm’s stock price and the share repurchase programm–clearly has validated the judge’s decision. It means Qualcomm has tens of billions to distribute, but claimed that Apple, through its contract manufacturers, withholding half a billion a quarter would put the whole company in jeopardy.

    • How a Global Patent Market Could Spur Growth

      If developed and developing countries’ national patent systems were integrated into the trade system, the result would be greater specialization among inventors and, with it, faster technological innovation and productivity growth. Yet under current arrangements, World Trade Organization member states do not honor foreign inventors’ claims to their own innovations. More than ever, the world needs a new framework of trade rules to facilitate the exchange of ideas across borders.

      Economic growth is essentially driven by growth in productivity, which, in turn, is driven by the creation of new technologies. In today’s world, such innovations will increasingly be developed as a result of coordination among inventors across companies and countries. Yet productivity growth has been sluggish for more than 50 years, owing significantly to gaps in trade rules, intellectual-property mercantilism through “forced technology transfer,” and the weakening of national patent systems. These factors have shut out grassroots inventors.

    • Lobbying in an Autocracy: Intellectual Property and Medical Equipment Firms in China

      As a direct consequence of the globalization the willingness of foreign investments massively increased. Businesses see opportunities to gain sustainable competitive advantages by expanding and outsourcing sub-divisions into other countries (Pei, 2005). But this also implies that businesses not only need to meet and deal with the existing market conditions, but also often need to deal with a different political environment. Policies, legislation and legal forces differ from country to country, and become one of the key concerns for international acting firms. This is especially true for intellectual property protection. Since decades, and as globalization of industry continues, intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) emerged as the key issue of global innovation policy (Archibugi and Filippetti, 2010). With the international development of economies and growing trade opportunities, the protection of IPR is getting more and more important (Wang, 2004). To establish a worldwide IPR standard have become one of the core businesses of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO supports country authorities to design effective and appropriate IPR regimes (Maskus, 2000). As IPR can be used as policy tool to ensure adequate return on investment, firms are eager to take a stand in this process (Greenhalgh and Rogers, 2007), but this will not be as easy as originally thought, at least not in an totalitarian state like China. Doing business in a totalitarian state significantly differs from running business in a democracy. Business law seems to be rather vague in totalitarian states, and businesses tend to be rather excluded from policy shaping and decision-making processes (Weil, 2016). In order to succeed and survive, firms need to build allies and find business partner (Kazmi et al., 2013).

    • Copyrights

      • Sony Finally Admits It Doesn’t Own Bach and It Only Took Public Pressure

        Here’s the thing about different people playing the same piece of music: sometimes, they’re going to sound similar. And when music is by a composer who died 268 years ago, putting his music in the public domain, a bunch of people might record it and some of them might put it online. In this situation, a combination of copyright bots and corporate intransigence led to a Kafkaesque attack on music.

        Musician James Rhodes put a video of himself playing Bach on Facebook. Sony Music Entertainment claimed that 47 seconds of that performance belonged to them. Facebook muted the video as a result.

        So far, this is stupid but not unusually stupid in the world of takedowns. It’s what happened after Rhodes got Sony’s notice that earned it a place in the Hall of Shame.

        One argument in favor of this process is that there are supposed to be checks and balances. Takedown notices are supposed to only be sent by someone who owns the copyright in the material and actually believes that copyright’s been infringed. And if a takedown notice is wrong, a counter-notice can be sent by someone explaining that they own the work or that it’s not infringement.

      • European Parliament backs copyright changes

        MEPs voted on a series of changes to the original directive, the most controversial parts are known as Article 13 and Article 11.

        Article 13 puts the onus on web giants to take measures to ensure that agreements with rights holders for the use of their work are working.

        Critics say that would require all internet platforms to filter content put online by users, which many believe would be an excessive restriction on free speech.

        Article 11 is also controversial because it forces online platforms to pay news organisations for the use of their content.

      • German Supreme Court refers questions to CJEU in YouTube copyright case

        The questions to the CJEU concern whether YouTube has primary liability for videos uploaded without the permission of right holders, with the German judges also suggesting the platform acts as a neutral intermediary for the purposes of copyright

        The German Supreme Court has released a statement on the YouTube copyright case, suspending proceedings and referring a number of questions to the CJEU.

      • BREAKING: FCJ refers case regarding YouTube’s liability for damages to the CJEU

        A lawsuit between music producer Frank Peterson and YouTube (and Google) that has been ongoing since 2009 did not come to an end today. The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) decided to stay the proceedings and refer several questions to the CJEU, regarding (once again) the question of platform liability and the right of communication to the public.

      • Conan O‘Brien’s complete late-night TV archive will be posted online in January

        The announcement does not include clarification of exactly where this video archive will be hosted, which could prove slightly complicated since that 25-year span includes work for both NBC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast) and TBS (a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner). Whether that means the full archive will land on a network-specific video hub, on YouTube, or on O’Brien’s own Team Coco site remains to be seen, as the announcement didn’t include further details.

      • EU Parliament Adopts Controversial ‘Upload Filter’ Proposal

        In a plenary vote, the European Parliament backed a slightly amended version of the original Article 13 proposal, one that would still result in an indirect upload filter requirement for many Internet services. Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda regrets the outcome of the votes. However, the opposition’s fight is not over yet.

      • EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’

        The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching, and take a long time to settle. The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive’s text.

      • EU adopts automatic censorship filters to thunderous applause
      • What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament

        Today’s vote was not the end of Europe’s copyright fight. Under the European Union’s convoluted process for approving legislation, the proposal will now become the subject of a three-way negotiation involving the European Parliament, the Council of the Europe Union (representing national governments), and the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch). If those three bodies agree to a final directive, then it will be sent to each of the 28 EU member countries (or more likely 27 thanks to Brexit) for implementation in national laws.

        That means that European voters who are concerned—or excited—about this legislation still have a few more months to contact their representatives, both within their national governments and in the European Parliament.

      • Abstraction, Filtration, and Comparison in Patent Law

        This essay explores how copyright’s doctrine of abstraction, filtration, and comparison is being used in patent law, and how that use could be improved. This test, which finds its roots in the 1930′s but wasn’t fully developed until the 1990′s, is one that defines scope for determining infringement. The copyrighted work is abstracted into parts, from ideas at the highest level to literal expression at the lowest. Then, unprotected elements are filtered out. Finally what remains of the original work is compared to the accused work to determine if the copying was illicit.

        This sounds far removed from patent law, but there is a kinship, though perhaps one that is not so historic and a bit hidden. The essence of the test is determining protectable subject matter. These same needs permeate patent law as well. This essay explores how the test is implicitly used and should be explicitly used.

        With design patents, the test might apply as it does in copyright, with functional elements being filtered out during infringement. Current precedent allows for this filtering, but not clearly or consistently. With utility patents, the abstraction, filtration, and comparison happen earlier, during the test for patentable subject matter. Here, the comparison is with what is conventional or well known. The essay concludes by discussing why the application is different for design and utility patents.

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