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10.19.18

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

Posted in News Roundup at 12:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Suddenly Linux runs in Android

    Yes, Android is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. But once you’ve got Android running, you can utilize this app to get Linux running inside Android. But why, you might be asking – why would you want to do that? If you have to ask, you might just want to turn back now. With this app, users are able to run Debian or Ubuntu, games like Adventure or Zork, and Math systems like Gnuplot, Octave, and R.

    UserLand allows one Session at a time and can also monitor filesystems. If you’re looking for a graphical interface, and not just a command line system, you might want to take a peek at the operating system Android. In other words: This is mostly just for fun, and a sort of proof of concept – but it has so much potential!

  • Desktop

    • Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won’t love this

      Microsoft loves Linux. Unless you are a Linux user who happens to want to use Teams. In that case, you probably aren’t feeling the love quite so much.

    • Chrome OS Linux support to gain folder sharing, Google Drive, more

      Chrome OS has been shaping up to be the all-in-one system, combining the best of Google’s ecosystem, including Android apps, with the power of Linux apps. The latter is still in beta phase with improvements and new features in every update. Today we take a look at some of the features coming soon to Chrome OS Linux apps.

      Chrome OS first gained its Linux app support, also known as Crostini, with version 69. While it’s certainly not flawless, the support has been groundbreaking, enabling everything from full photo editors to Android Studio on Chrome OS. With upcoming versions of Chrome OS, Google is working to smoothen the rough edges of Crostini to make it easier to use.

  • Server

    • Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens on using open source for competitive advantage in the public cloud

      As all three continue to vie for the affections of CIOs, how they market their respective public cloud propositions to enterprise IT buyers has subtly shifted over time.

      For evidence of this, one only has to look at how little fuss the big three now make about rolling out price cuts for their services compared to several years ago, when one provider announcing a price drop would not only make headlines, but prompt its competitors to publicly follow suit too.

      This in itself is indicative of the fact enterprises expect more from providers than just access to cheap commodity IT services these days, and that ongoing cost reductions are simply an accepted part of using cloud, Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens, tells Computer Weekly.

  • Kernel Space

    • KUnit: A new unit testing framework for Linux Kernel

      On Tuesday, Google engineer Brendan Higgins announced an experimental set of 31 patches by introducing KUnit as a new Linux kernel unit testing framework to help preserve and improve the quality of the kernel’s code.

      KUnit is a lightweight unit testing and mocking framework designed for the Linux kernel. Unit tests necessarily have finer granularity, they are able to test all code paths easily solving the classic problem of difficulty in exercising error handling code.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 18.2.3 Coming This Week With Fixes/Workarounds For Several Steam Play Games

        Igalia’s Juan Suarez Romero as the Mesa 18.2 series release manager is putting the finishing touches on the 18.2.3 point release to benefit Steam Play / Proton / Wine games.

        This latest bi-weekly point release to the Mesa 18.2 stable series has over three dozen patches queued so far and several of them are for fixes/workarounds to different games. Those affected games include Rage, Yakuza, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, ARMA 3, and No Man’s Sky.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 OpenCL, CUDA, TensorFlow GPU Compute Benchmarks

        Here are the first of our benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that launched this week. In our inaugural Ubuntu Linux benchmarking with the GeForce RTX 2070 is a look at the OpenCL / CUDA GPU computing performance including with TensorFlow and various models being tested on the GPU. The benchmarks are compared to an assortment of available graphics cards and also include metrics for power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar.

      • Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks – 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10

        Intel sent over the Core i9 9900K as their first 9th Gen Coffeelake-S CPU hitting store shelves today. With the embargo on that now expired, let’s have a look at how well this eight-core / sixteen-thread processor performs under Linux.

        The Core i9 9900K is Intel’s new answer for competing with the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, but does come at a higher price point of $499 USD. While the Core i9 9900K is a Coffeelake refresh, rather than being six cores / twelve threads, they are matching AMD’s precedent set by the Ryzen 7 processors in having eight cores / sixteen threads. This 14nm 8C / 16T processor has a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz with a turbo frequency at 5.0GHz, a 16MB L3 cache and supports dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

      • Intel Core i9 9900K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Gaming Benchmarks

        Complementing the just-published Intel Core i9 9900K Linux benchmarks with the launch-day embargo lift are the Linux gaming benchmarks… This article is looking at the Linux performance between the Core i9 9900K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X in a variety of native Linux games as well as comparing the performance-per-Watt. So if you are a Linux gamer and deciding between these sub-$500 processors, this article is for you.

        If you didn’t yet read the main article that features a 15-way CPU comparison on Ubuntu 18.10 with the Linux 4.19 kernel, here is a recap of this new Coffeelake refresh CPU. The Core i9 9900K is an eight-core / sixteen-thread processor with 3.6GHz base frequency and 5.0GHz turbo frequency. This 14nm CPU has a 16MB L3 cache, dual channel DDR4-2666 support, and a 95 Watt TDP. There is also the onboard UHD Graphics 630, but if you’re a gamer, that isn’t going to cut it. The Core i9 9900K is launching at $499 USD.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kraft Version 0.82

        A new release of Kraft, the Qt- and KDE based software to help to organize business docs in small companies, has arrived.

        A couple of days ago version 0.82 was released. It mainly is a bugfix release, but it also comes with a few new features. Users were asking for some new functions that they needed to switch to Kraft with their business communication, and I am always trying to make that a priority.

        The most visible feature is a light rework of the calculation dialog that allows users to do price calculations for templates. It was cleared up, superflous elements were finally removed and the remaining ones now work as expected. The distinction between manual price and calculated price should be even more clear now. Time calculations can now not only done in the granularity of minutes, as this was to coarse for certain usecases. The unit for a time slice can now be either seconds, minutes or hours.

      • Working on QML Book

        Do you remember QML Book? It started as a project between me and Jürgen Bocklage-Ryannel where we tried to fix the problem that there is no QML book out there.

        Back in the Qt 5.2 days, we spent wrote about a year. Unfortunately, the project has mainly been sitting idle since then. I’ve poked at issues every now and then, and Jürgen has done various fixes as well.

        Thanks to The Qt Company, this is changing. This autumn, it sponsors me to work on the project. The current plan is to add a chapter to Qt Quick Controls 2, and to update the entire contents to Qt 5.12 and Qt Creator 4.8. By doing so, many of the remaining bug reports will be resolved.

      • Cleaning up the KDE Store

        In August of last year, i wrote a blog entry about my experience at Akademy 2017 in the amazing Almería, and in that blog entry, amongst many other things, i wrote about an effort which had been slowly brewing, conceptually, for about a year by then: Tagging support in the Open Collaboration Services API. Now, what does that have to do with the KDE Store, you might say? Well, that is the API used by the KNewStuff framework to interface with the store, and that in turn is what is used in the many various places in our software which show shiny, new content for downloading (or to put it in a different way: used by our software to let users Get Hot New Stuff).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Android Integration Extension For Gnome GSConnect v13 Stable Released

        The latest GSConnect v13, released today, is a rewrite with with changes to the architecture, settings and default behavior, and it requires Gnome Shell 3.28 or 3.30. The new version includes redesigned settings, Do Not Disturb mode, quick reply from notifications, and other features and improvements.

        GSConnect is a complete KDE Connect protocol implementation written in GJS for Gnome Shell, which integrates Android devices with your Gnome desktop. Using it, you can easily send files between your Gnome desktop and Android smartphone, sync the clipboard or notifications between the two devices, browse files wirelessly on your Android device from your desktop, and much more.

  • Distributions

    • IPFire Hardened Linux Firewall Distribution Is Now Available on Amazon Cloud

      IPFire maintainer Michael Tremer announced the availability of a new version of the open-source hardened Linux firewall distribution and intrusion detection and prevention system.

      IPFire 2.21 Core Update 124 is now available with Linux kernel, OpenSSH, and Unbound hardening. It ships with Linux kernel 4.14.72 LTS, a release that improves support for network adapters and enables built-in kernel security features to further harden IPFire against various attack vectors, and Unbound 1.8 DNS proxy hardened to reduce the load on DNS servers.

      This is also the first release of IPFire to add support for booting in EFI (UEFI) mode on x86_64 computers that support the standard. However, the developers noted the fact that to benefit of EFI support, users will have to reinstall IPFire.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Tumbleweed Gets New Versions of KDE Applications, Krita, Apache Subversion

        Since last week’s openSUSE Tumbleweed update, there were two snapshots released that brought KDE users a newer version of Applications 18.08.2 and all Tumbleweed users could update to Linux Kernel 4.18.13.

        Last week brought newer versions of KDE’s Plasma 5.14 and Frameworks 5.50.0, and this week the arrival of Applications 18.08.2 came in snapshot 20181015. Applications 18.08.2 contained only bug fixes and translation updates. Among the key bug fixes was the dragging of a file in Dolphin that no longer accidentally triggers inline renaming; KCalc again allows both ‘dot’ and ‘comma’ keys when entering decimals and a visual glitch in the Paris card deck for KDE’s card games was fixed. Snapshot 20181015 had a few other updated packages like the open source painting program krita 4.1.5, which fixed a missing shortcut from the Fill Tool tooltip and a change of importing SVG files as vector layers instead of pixel layers. The ibus-table 1.9.21 update, which is an engine framework for table-based input methods, migrated IBusConfig to GSettings; non-gnome users have a Draw InputMode text instead of icon into panel. The 4.18.13 Linux Kernel was also included in the snapshot and fixed an unexpected failure of nocow buffered writes for Btrfs after snapshoting when a user is low on space; the newer kernel also added support for Apple Magic Keyboards. Python-jedi 0.13.1 removed Python 3.3 support. The Apache version-control package subversion 1.10.3 fixed conflict resolver crashes and endless scan in some cases.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GSoC 2018 report

        One of my major contributions to Debian in 2018 has been participation as a mentor and admin for Debian in Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

        Here are a few observations about what happened this year, from my personal perspective in those roles.

        Making a full report of everything that happens in GSoC is close to impossible. Here I consider issues that span multiple projects and the mentoring team. For details on individual projects completed by the students, please see their final reports posted in August on the mailing list.

        [...]

        Google encourages organizations to put project ideas up for discussion and also encourages students to spontaneously propose their own ideas. This latter concept is a significant difference between GSoC and Outreachy that has caused unintended confusion for some mentors in the past. I have frequently put teasers on my blog, without full specifications, to see how students would try to respond. Some mentors are much more precise, telling students exactly what needs to be delivered and how to go about it. Both approaches are valid early in the program.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) released

            Codenamed “Cosmic Cuttlefish”, 18.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition
            of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a
            high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at
            work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

            The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 4.18 based Linux kernel,
            our default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.2 with glibc 2.28, and we’ve
            also updated to openssl 1.1.1 and gnutls 3.6.4 with TLS1.3 support.

            Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 LTS brings a fresh look with the community-driven
            Yaru theme replacing our long-serving Ambiance and Radiance themes. We
            are shipping the latest GNOME 3.30, Firefox 63, LibreOffice 6.1.2, and
            many others.

            Ubuntu Server 18.10 includes the Rocky release of OpenStack including
            the clustering enabled LXD 3.0, new network configuration via netplan.io,
            and iteration on the next-generation fast server installer. Ubuntu Server
            brings major updates to industry standard packages available on private
            clouds, public clouds, containers or bare metal in your datacentre.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Officially Released

            It should come as no surprise, but the official release of Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available with the announcement just hitting the wire.

          • Infographic: Snaps in numbers

            Coinciding with the release of Ubuntu 18.10 today, we have celebrated the exceptional adoption of snaps by sharing the infographic below. From popular snaps to daily installs, this infographic demonstrates where, when and why users are installing and adopting the secure, Linux application format. For more commentary around these numbers, check out this recent blog. Alternatively, start installing your chosen snaps.

          • Ubuntu 18.10:Multi-cloud,new desktop theme & enhanced snap integration

            Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 18.10, focused on multi-cloud deployments, AI software development, a new community desktop theme and richer snap desktop integration.

            “Ubuntu is now the world’s reference platform for AI engineering and analytics” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “We accelerate developer productivity and help enterprises operate at speed and at scale, across multiple clouds and diverse edge appliances.”

            This year, the financial services industry has engaged significantly with Canonical and Ubuntu for infrastructure efficiency on-premise and to accelerate their move to the cloud. The push for machine learning analytics and of fintech efforts around blockchain, distributed ledger applications and cryptocurrencies are current drivers of Ubuntu investments and deployments.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E32 – Thirty-Two Going on Spinster

            This week we interview Daniel Foré about the final release of elementary 5.0 (Juno), bring you some Android love and go over all your feedback.

            It’s Season 11 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

          • Canonical have released some statistics from the Ubuntu installer survey

            When installing Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical’s installer will offer to send some statistics to them. Canonical have now released some of this. One thing to note, is that this data does not include Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, cloud images or and any other Ubuntu derivatives that don’t include the report in their own installer.

            They’ve had some good results from it, with 66% of people sending them their data. It’s a nice start, but I think they really need to do some separation of physical and virtual machines, since it seems they’re merged together which will skew a bunch of the data I would imagine.

          • Ubuntu “User Statistics” Published, But It’s A Letdown To Data Junkies

            Canonical managed to announced on the same-day as the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” debut their goal for this cycle of opening up their software/hardware survey results that began with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop installations. Those initial results are now available but the available data and analytic capabilities are rather underwhelming.

          • Canonical Launch Ubuntu User Statistics Website

            Canonical has launched an official webpage to relay Ubuntu user statistics collected by the Ubuntu report tool.

            The company had shared a few early findings from its data collection tool earlier in the year, but we’ve had to wait until now to get the full set via a fancy-pants website.

            And they were worth the wait.

            All of the info that makes up the Ubuntu user statistics report was collated from non-identifiable system data that users who installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS explicitly opted in to share.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is now ready to download
          • 18 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’
          • Ubuntu 18.10 released, here’s our review of changes it brings
          • Ubuntu 18.10 released (new default theme, performance improvements)
          • Ubuntu Linux 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is finally available for download!
          • Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel
          • Ubuntu 18.10 Is Out With a New Theme and Snappier Desktop Performance

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available. This releases features a shiny new theme named “Yaru,” which was originally scheduled for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The new GNOME 3.30 improves desktop performance, too.

            Most of the improvements in Cosmic Cuttlefish are low-level things you can’t see. As usual, this means a lot of package upgrades. Ubuntu 18.10 features the Linux kernel 4.18, GNOME 3.30 desktop, and LibreOffice 6.1.2. Under the hood, this new release boasts a “state of the art toolchain” featuring various new versions of system software, from glibc 2.28 to GCC 8.2 and OpenSSL 1.1.1.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Released, Includes Gnome 3.30 And New Default Yaru Theme

            Ubuntu 18.10, codenamed Cosmic Cuttlefish, is available for download. This release will be supported for 9 months (after which you’ll have to upgrade), and brings improvements ranging from updated Gnome to version 3.30 to a new default Gtk and icon theme called Yaru.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” Due Out Today, Arm Launches IoT-Focused Mbed Linux, GitHub’s New Security Features, MongoDB Announces New Server Side License and Google to Charge for Apps on Android Handsets Sold in Europe

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” expected to be released today. According to Phoronix, the biggest change for users will be the revised default theme for the GNOME Shell experience, now known as “Yaru”. Ubuntu 18.10 will also have the Linux 4.18 kernel, “which means better hardware support, various performance improvements, and other optimizations compared to Ubuntu 18.04′s Linux 4.15″.

          • New Things on Ubuntu 18.10: GNOME 3.30, More RAM Friendly, Yaru Theme, and More

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” released today Thursday, 18 October 2018 with the new user experience and latest desktop technology, including, GNOME 3.30, GTK+3.30, and Yaru Theme. The most shocking, but pleasing thing is it got reduced in RAM usage down to only ~800MiB after freshly installed (already lower than 1GiB)! It brings the latest Snappy with the rapidly increasing and growing Snapcraft.io App Store platform. It comes as the most user friendly operating system for PC and laptop with 9-month support lifespan (October ’18-July ’19). This traditional welcome article sums up some details and information in brief about this latest version. Download, install, give it a try, and enjoy 18.10!

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

            Canonical announced today the general availability of Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), the most recent version of the Linux-based operating system featuring all the latest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software products.

            Dubbed Cosmic Cuttlefish, Ubuntu 18.10 has been in development during the past six months, during which it received numerous improvements over previous releases. Ubuntu 18.10 features the latest GNOME 3.30 desktop environment and it’s powered by the most recent and advanced kernel, Linux 4.18.

            Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) will be supported by Canonical for the next nine months with software updates and security patches. It’s now available to download as Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio flavors.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 is Released. Here’s What’s New

            The Latest installment of Ubuntu – Cosmic Cuttlefish – 18.10 is released and available for download.

            Ubuntu 18.10 code named ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is released after 6 months of development efforts. The latest release of Ubuntu comes with some major feature updates and latest software. This release is a short term release and would be receiving updates and security fixes till July 2019.

          • Snaps for Linux are a massive success

            One of the big knocks against Linux-based operating systems is lack of software. The truth is, there are countless excellent programs for both productivity and fun. One fair criticism, however, is fragmentation between distributions. For end users, it can be difficult installing an app that isn’t designed for their distro. And yeah, that has been a pain point for years.

            Thankfully, Canonical — maker of Ubuntu — aimed to alleviate that problem with Snaps. These containerized packages can be installed on pretty much any Linux distribution, making things easier for both users and developers. But has the organization’s standard been a success? Apparently, very much so. As a way to celebrate yesterday’s release of Cosmic Cuttlefish, Canonical shares the following infographic.

          • Canonical releases statistics showing “exceptional adoption of snaps”

            Canonical has revealed some statistics pertaining to its relatively new snap packages. The firm stated that there are now more than 4,100 snaps available, several of which we’ve reported on, they include the Opera web browser, PowerShell Core, Slack, the Kotlin programming language, Plex, Firefox Quantum, Microsoft’s VoIP client – Skype, the popular music streaming service – Spotify, and Visual Studio Code.

            Impressively, snaps are seeing 100,000 installs every day on cloud, server, container, desktop and on IoT devices, which works out to around three million installs each month. Of course, these statistics don’t only take into account snap installs on Ubuntu, but other distributions too. Canonical said that snaps are supported on 41 Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, Fedora, and many more.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Released: All Flavors Download Links, Torrents, and Checksums

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” just released yesterday 18 October 2018. I wrote the short welcome review here, and now this article lists all download links of Ubuntu and 7 Official Flavors including torrents. I include a brief how to download below as well just in case it’s your first experience with Ubuntu. Last but not least, I list all MD5SUM values of them in the end so you can verify your downloads. Happy downloading, happy installing, and happy running with Ubuntu. Good luck!

          • Ubuntu 18.10 released with new desktop theme

            Canonical released a new version of the organization’s Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution; Ubuntu 18.10, called Cosmic Cuttlefish, comes with a new community desktop theme, improved snap desktop integration, multi-cloud computing optimizations and other improvements.

            Ubuntu 18.10 will be supported for nine months; organizations and users who require long term support should stay with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead which is supported for five years.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ releases with focus on AI development, multi-cloud and edge deployments, and much more!

            Yesterday (on 18th October), Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu 18.10 termed as ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’. This new release is focussed on multi-cloud deployments, AI software development, a new community desktop theme, and richer snap desktop integration.

            According to Mark, the new release will help accelerate developer productivity and help enterprises operate at a better speed whilst being scalable across multiple clouds and diverse edge appliances.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Studio 18.10 Released

              The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish”. As a regular release, this version of Ubuntu Studio will be supported for 9 months.

              Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

            • Ubuntu MATE: Ubuntu MATE 18.10 Final Release

              Ubuntu MATE 18.10 is a modest, yet strategic, upgrade over our 18.04 release. If you want bug fixes and improved hardware support then 18.10 is for you. For those who prefer staying on the LTS then everything in this 18.10 release is also important for the upcoming 18.04.2 release. Oh yeah, we’ve also made a bespoke Ubuntu MATE 18.10 image for the GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2.

            • Ubuntu MATE 18.10 is Now Available for the GPD Pocket Laptop

              Announced alongside the standard Ubuntu MATE 18.10 release, project lead Martin WImpress has unveiled a set of bespoke images built specifically for use with the GPD Pocket machines, in both their first and second-gen guises.

              The 7-inch crowdfunded portables have proven a big hit thanks to their canny combination of decent specs, high-res touch-screen, and intimately sized proportions.

            • Ubuntu 18.10 Flavors Released, Ready to Download

              Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish, the latest version of Ubuntu, is now available to download and so too are freshly spun images for it crop of community-based flavors.

              New stable versions of Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Xubuntu and Kubuntu are ready to download, all based on Ubuntu 18.10.

              Read on to learn about the biggest changes these updates bring and to snag a download of them to try for yourself.

            • Kubuntu 18.10 is released today

              Kubuntu 18.10 has been released, featuring the beautiful Plasma 5.13 desktop from KDE.

              Codenamed “Cosmic Cuttlefish”, Kubuntu 18.10 continues our proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

              The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

              Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.18-based kernel, Qt 5.11, KDE Frameworks 5.50, Plasma 5.13.5 and KDE Applications 18.04.3

            • Kubuntu 18.10 Released with Snap Integration in Plasma Discover, KDE Plasma 5.13

              Kubuntu developer Rik Mills informs us on the general availability of the Kubuntu 18.10 release as part of the Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) operating system series launch by Canonical the other day.

              Continuing the project’s tradition to offer users the latest KDE technologies with every new major release, Kubuntu 18.10 ships with the KDE Plasma 5.13.5 desktop environment by default, along with the latest KDE Applications 18.04.3 software suite, KDE Frameworks 5.50 software suite, and Qt 5.11 software development framework.

              Just like Ubuntu 18.10, the Kubuntu 18.10 operating system is powered by the latest Linux 4.18 kernel by default, which provides better hardware support, especially for AMD users. Furthermore, Kubuntu 18.10 comes with Snap integration in the Plasma Discover graphical package manager.

            • Xubuntu 18.10 released!

              The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 18.10!

              Xubuntu 18.10 is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until July 2019. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Braiins OS: An Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware

    The company behind Slush Pool recently rolled out the initial release of its ASIC miner firmware: Braiins OS. The operating system is advertised as “the very first fully open-source, Linux-based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices,” an alternative to the factory-default firmware that comes with most popular mining hardware.

    Upon visiting the project’s website, visitors are greeted with a clear message, a mantra that resonates with its related industry’s ethos: “Take back control.”

  • Cryptoexchange Coinbase open sources its security scanner tool Salus

    The renowned United States-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase always focuses on the security of its platform. Moreover, it has developed novel solutions to implementing security protocols to further strengthen their security. Furthermore, just recently, they announced that they are listing their security scanner execution tool, Salus as open source.

  • Crypto Exchange Coinbase Open-Sources Its Security Scaling Tool

    U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is making a recently developed automated security scaling tool available to the public.

    Called Salus, after the Roman the goddess of safety and well-being, the program can automatically choose to run and configure different security scanners and issue a report on the results, according to a Thursday blog post from Coinbase developer Julian Borrey.

    Available as an open-source tool on GitHub from today, Salus is said to offer the advantage of being able to centrally coordinate security scans across a large number of software storage repositories, avoiding having to configure a scanner for each different project.

  • Announce: dnsmasq-2.80

    I just published dnsmasq-2.80, available at

    http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/dnsmasq-2.80.tar.gz

    Changelog attached below.[...]

  • To BeOS or not to BeOS, that is the Haiku

    Back in 2001, a new operating system arrived that promised to change the way users worked with their computers. That platform was BeOS and I remember it well. What I remember most about it was the desktop, and how much it looked and felt like my favorite window manager (at the time) AfterStep. I also remember how awkward and overly complicated BeOS was to install and use. In fact, upon installation, it was never all too clear how to make the platform function well enough to use on a daily basis. That was fine, however, because BeOS seemed to live in a perpetual state of “alpha release.”

  • HarfBuzz 2.0 Released For Advancing Open-Source Text Shaping

    The HarfBuzz open-source text shaping library that is used by GNOME, KDE, Firefox, LibreOffice, Chrome OS, Java, and countless other desktop applications has reached version 2.0.

  • 5 open source intrusion detection tools that are too good to ignore

    As cybersecurity professionals, we try to prevent attackers from gaining access to our networks but protecting perimeters that have grown exponentially with the rise of mobile devices, distributed teams, and the internet of things (IoT) is not easy. The unpalatable truth is that sometimes the attackers are going to get through and the cost of a data breach grows the longer it takes you to uncover the attack.

    By employing a solid intrusion detection system (IDS) backed up by a robust incident response plan, you can reduce the potential damage of a breach.

  • How Open Source Marketers Can Leverage Community For Success

    If you’re an open source marketer, you have some unique challenges to overcome. Not only does one of your primary audiences — developers — shy away from marketing, despite the fact open source needs it (as I wrote about previously), but you must let go of the traditional mindset that your job is to differentiate the product from its competitors. Products built on open source differentiate themselves, of course, but when you’re talking about the open core, that’s just not how it works.

  • Petter Reinholdtsen: Release 0.2 of free software archive system Nikita announced

    This morning, the new release of the Nikita Noark 5 core project was announced on the project mailing list. The free software solution is an implementation of the Norwegian archive standard Noark 5 used by government offices in Norway.

  • Events

    • Take Our Cloud Providers Survey and Enter to Win a Maker Kit

      The Linux Foundation has been commissioned to survey FOSS developers and users about their opinions, perceptions, and experiences with 6 top cloud solution and service providers that deploy open source software. The survey examines respondents’ views of reputation, levels of project engagement, contribution, community citizenship and project sponsorship by six major cloud product and services providers.

    • The top 13 Linux and open source conferences in 2019

      No matter how small your budget, there’s a Linux or open source conference you can afford—and should attend.

      By the end of 2018, I’ll have spent nine weeks at one open source conference or another. Now, you don’t need to spend that much time on the road learning about Linux and open source software. But you can learn a lot and perhaps find a new job by cherry-picking from the many 2019 conferences you could attend.

      Sometimes, a single how-to presentation can save you a week of work. A panel discussion can help you formulate an element of your corporate open source strategy. Sure, you can learn from books or GitHub how-tos. But nothing is better than listening to the people who’ve done the work explain how they’ve solved the same problems you’re facing. With the way open source projects work, and the frequency with which they weave together to create great projects (such as cloud-native computing), you never know when a technology you may not have even heard of today can help you tomorrow.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • WebRender newsletter #26

        Here comes the 26th issue of WebRender’s newsletter.

      • Getting serious about political ad transparency with Ad Analysis for Facebook

        Do you know who is trying to influence your vote online? The votes of your friends and neighbors? Would you even know how to find out? Despite all the talk of election security, the tech industry still falls short on political ad transparency. With the U.S. midterm elections mere weeks away, this is a big problem.

        We can’t solve this problem alone, but we can help by making it more visible and easier to understand. Today we are announcing the release of our experimental extension, Ad Analysis for Facebook, to give you greater transparency into the online advertisements, including political ads, you see on Facebook.

      • Introducing Spoke: Make your own custom 3D social scenes

        Today we’re thrilled to announce the beta release of Spoke: the easiest way to create your own custom social 3D scenes you can use with Hubs.

        Over the last year, our Social Mixed Reality team has been developing Hubs, a WebVR-based social experience that runs right in your browser. In Hubs, you can communicate naturally in VR or on your phone or PC by simply sharing a link.

        Along the way, we’ve added features that enable social presence, self-expression, and content sharing. We’ve also offered a variety of scenes to choose from, like a castle space, an atrium, and even a wide open space high in the sky.

      • Encrypted SNI Comes to Firefox Nightly

        Firefox Nightly now supports encrypting the TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) extension, which helps prevent attackers on your network from learning your browsing history. You can enable encrypted SNI today and it will automatically work with any site that supports it. Currently, that means any site hosted by Cloudflare, but we’re hoping other providers will add ESNI support soon.

      • If you build it (together), they will come…

        Mozilla and the Khronos Group collaborate to bring glTF capabilities to Blender

        Mozilla is committed to the next wave of creativity in the open Web, in which people can access, create and share immersive VR and AR experiences across platforms and devices. What it takes though is an enthusiastic, skilled and growing community of creators, artists, and also businesses forming a healthy ecosystem, as well as tool support for web developers who build content for it. To overcome a fragmented environment and to allow for broad adoption, we need the leading content format to be open, and frameworks and toolsets to be efficient and interoperable. Ensuring that tools for creation, modification and viewing are open to the entire community and that there aren’t gatekeepers to creativity is one of the main working areas for Mozilla’s Mixed Reality (WebXR) Team. Building on its “Open by Design” strategy Open Innovation partnered with that team around Lars Bergstrom to find neat, yet impactful ways to stimulate external collaboration, co-development and co-funding of technology.

      • Mozilla Productivity Tip: Managing try pushes

        I tend to do a lot of try pushes for testing changes to Gecko and other stuff, and by using one of TreeHerder’s (apparently) lesser-known features, managing these pushes to see their results is really easy. If you have trouble managing your try pushes, consider this:

        Open a tab with an author filter for yourself. You can do this by clicking on your email address on any of your try pushes (see highlighted area in screenshot below). Keep this tab open, forever. By default it shows you the last 10 try pushes you did, and if you leave it open, it will auto-update to show newer try pushes that you do.

      • Opus 1.3 Released – One Of The Leading Lossy Open-Source Audio Codecs

        Opus 1.3 features improvements to allow using SILK with bitrates down to around 5kb/s, wideband encoding down to 9kb/s, improved Ambisonics support, better security hardening, a new speech/music detector, and more.

      • Introducing Opus 1.3

        The Opus Audio Codec gets another major update with the release of version 1.3 (demo).

        Opus is a totally open, royalty-free audio codec that can be used for all audio applications, from music streaming and storage to high-quality video-conferencing and VoIP. Six years after its standardization by the IETF, Opus is now included in all major browsers and mobile operating systems. It has been adopted for a wide range of applications, and is the default WebRTC codec.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.2 Launches February 2019, May Drop Support for 32-bit Linux Builds

      The second major update to the LibreOffice 6 series, LibreOffice 6.2, is expected to arrive next year, in early February, and it may be the first release of the acclaimed and free office suite to drop support for 32-bit Linux builds. This means that 32-bit LibreOffice releases won’t be available on the Linux platform anymore.

      While The Document Foundation assures Linux users in the preliminary release notes for LibreOffice 6.2 that Linux x86 (32-bit) compatibility will not be removed from existing LibreOffice versions, the company noted the fact that no new builds will be produced for the Linux x86 platform starting with a future version.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • MidnightBSD Hits 1.0! Checkout What’s New

      A couple days ago, Lucas Holt announced the release of MidnightBSD 1.0. Let’s take a quick look at what is included in this new release.

    • OpenBSD 6.4 Released – Disables SMT/HT By Default, Updates Radeon DRM

      Adding to the exciting release day is Theo de Raadt releasing OpenBSD 6.4 as the newest version of this BSD operating system known for its security mindfulness.

      Exciting us from a technical standpoint and for anyone using OpenBSD on the desktop is a newer Radeon DRM display driver, but it’s still very dated compared to what is found in the mainline Linux kernel. Their Radeon DRM driver is now synced against the Linux 4.4.155 LTS upstream state that then provides mode-setting support for various GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics cards as a new feature to OpenBSD… But newer GPUs and the many other open-source AMD improvements past Linux 4.4 haven’t made their way into the OpenBSD world yet. Even still, Radeon graphics remain among the best supported options for what is available to OpenBSD users. The Radeon DRM code is also now available for 64-bit ARM OpenBSD users.

    • OpenBSD 6.4
    • OpenBSD 6.4
    • OpenBSD 6.4 Released

      Rather than reproducing the full list of new features here, we refer readers to the official OpenBSD 6.4 page.

      [...]

      Security enhancements include unveil(2), MAP_STACK, and RETGUARD. Meltdown/Spectre mitigations have been extended further, and SMT is disabled by default.

    • OpenBSD Foundation gets a second Iridium donation from Handshake!
    • Announce: OpenSSH 7.9 released

      OpenSSH 7.9 has just been released. It will be available from the
      mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing/Legal

    • MongoDB introduces the Server Side Public License for open source

      Recently, a group of disgruntled developers and companies took to the Commons Clause as a way to protect their open-source work. However, this caused great controversy within the open-source industry because the clause added restrictions to open-source licenses, therefore violating the accepted definition of open source as well as the guidelines for the Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) approved open-source licenses, according to Vicky Brasseur, vice president of the OSI.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • UTSA creates web-based open source dashboard of North Pole

        UTSA professors Hongjie Xie and Alberto Mestas-Nuñez examine images of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

        Xie along with Xin Miao at Missouri State University started working on the project five years ago. Now the National Science Foundation has given the green light in the way of funding to develop the online system which uses high resolution imaging either obtained on-site, via satellites, or via airborne monitoring.

        The system will allow the scientific community the ability to readily extract detailed information of various ice properties including submerged ice, ice concentration, melt ponds or ice edge—the boundary between an area of ice and the open sea. The on-demand database will be dynamic and allowed to include new algorithms as well as additional datasets as they become available. Currently, the cloud-based system holds about a terabyte of images but that number will surely grow. The earliest dataset is from 1998 from the Sheba expedition which conducted 13 flights over the Beaufort Sea. Now researchers will include close to 1760 declassified images.

      • Open Access Is the Law in California

        Governor Jerry Brown recently signed A.B. 2192, a law requiring that all peer-reviewed, scientific research funded by the state of California be made available to the public no later than one year after publication.

        EFF applauds Governor Brown for signing A.B. 2192 and the legislature for unanimously passing it—particularly Assemblymember Mark Stone, who introduced the bill and championed it at every step. To our knowledge, no other state has adopted an open access bill this comprehensive.

        As we’ve explained before, it’s a problem when cutting-edge scientific research is available only to people who can afford expensive journal subscriptions and academic databases. It insulates scientific research from a broader field of innovators: if the latest research is only available to people with the most resources, then the next breakthroughs will only come from that group.

        A.B. 2192 doesn’t solve that problem entirely, but it does limit it. Under the new law, researchers can still publish their papers in subscription-based journals so long as they upload them to public open access repositories no later than one year after publication.

  • Programming/Development

    • How to use Pandoc to produce a research paper

      This article takes a deep dive into how to produce a research paper using (mostly) Markdown syntax. We’ll cover how to create and reference sections, figures (in Markdown and LaTeX) and bibliographies. We’ll also discuss troublesome cases and why writing them in LaTeX is the right approach.

    • LLVM Continues Working On Its Transition From SVN To Git

      In addition to LLVM’s multi-year effort on re-licensing their code, some developers also remain hard at work on officially migrating the project from an SVN development workflow to Git.

      For the past few years LLVM has been wanting to move from SVN to Git. While there are read-only Git copies of the LLVM repositories already and it’s been that way for a while, officially moving over their code-bases to Git has proven to be a challenge for preserving all of the branches, keeping accurate commit messages, etc, for a sane transfer process. This is just like the complex process of moving the GCC compiler over to Git as well.

    • Enterprise Java caretakers float new rules of engagement for future feature updates

      The Eclipse Foundation, saddled with oversight of Java EE last year after Oracle washed its hands of the thankless business of community governance, wants to revise the process by which enterprise Java – rechristened Jakarta EE when Oracle declined to grant use of its Java trademark – gets improved.

      Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, on Tuesday posted a draft of the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process (EFSP), seeking community review and comment. The intent is to replace the Java Community Process (JCP), the current system for evolving the technical specifications related to Java technology, as least as it applies to the enterprise flavored brew of Java.

      The need to replace the JCP for Jakarta EE arises from intellectual property concerns. As software developer Richard Monson-Haefel observed over the summer, “Unfortunately, Oracle was not able to donate all of the Java EE 8 specification documents (e.g. JMS, EJB, Servlet) because these specifications were developed under the Java Community Process and included the efforts of hundreds of people, many of who are not Oracle employees.”

Leftovers

  • Did I Make a Mistake Selling My Social-Media Darling to Yahoo?

    I was working a day job at Morgan Stanley, so I couldn’t fix Del.icio.us during the day. I would go home to the Upper West Side, eat dinner, and then work on the site. I’d build a feature, think, That seems to work, and fall asleep and wake up, and I’d have rolled out a broken feature, so no one could save anything. It was very haphazard. I moved the site from one server to two servers over New Year’s Eve, when I figured there would be the lowest traffic. On New Year’s Eve, I was at my mother’s house and porting the site to new hardware. Good times.

    I went to Union Square Ventures in the beginning of 2005 to raise money. The site was coming apart at the seams. It was down for something like two out of every five minutes. I could not keep up with keeping it alive, and I had an inkling that I maybe had something bigger on my hands.

    We raised $1 million on $3 million in early 2005, and we just kept building. We were in a closet-size office in Union Square Ventures because landlords didn’t want to talk to us. We started to try to raise money again toward the end of the year, but it didn’t go well. People say VC is pattern matching, and we were so far out of the pattern that no one could really evaluate us. We got one or two term sheets, but they were small.

  • Science

    • ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

      There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”

      But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New US Law Requires Reporting Of Biologic, Biosimilar “Pay-for-Delay” Pacts

      The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act became effective in the United States on 10 October. Among other things, it extends to biologic and biosimilar products a 2003 law requiring drug manufacturers to notify US antitrust authorities of patent settlement agreements. The idea is to cut down on so-called “pay-for delay” tactics which can slow the introduction of cheaper medicines into the market.

  • Security

    • Open source web hosting software compromised with DDoS malware [Ed: CBS hired Catalin Cimpanu for him to have a broader platform with which to associate "Open Source" with security issues (does he say "proprietary" when it's proprietary, too?). Microsoft has long financed efforts to associate FOSS/copyleft with security issues and stigmatise it with licensing terror.]
    • Commission tried to hide details of ‘WiFi4EU’ glitch

      The European Commission has tried to hide information related to technical problems its free wifi fund portal suffered, by claiming that it was “out of scope”.

      It released documents to EUobserver following an access to documents request – but heavily redacted some of the key papers.

      However, one of the documents has been leaked and published online. A comparison between the leaked version and the one released by the commission clearly shows that the commission went too far with its redactions.

    • The Flawed System Behind the Krack Wi-Fi .Meltdown

      “If there is one thing to learn from this, it’s that standards can’t be closed off from security researchers,” says Robert Graham, an analyst for the cybersecurity firm Erratasec. “The bug here is actually pretty easy to prevent, and pretty obvious. It’s the fact that security researchers couldn’t get their hands on the standards that meant that it was able to hide.”

      The WPA2 protocol was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which acts as a standards body for numerous technical industries, including wireless security. But unlike, say, Transport Layer Security, the popular cryptographic protocol used in web encryption, WPA2 doesn’t make its specifications widely available. IEEE wireless security standards carry a retail cost of hundreds of dollars to access, and costs to review multiple interoperable standards can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

    • Security updates for Friday
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sues Ecuador for ‘violating his rights’

      Julian Assange is launching legal action against Ecuador, accusing its government of violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

      It comes after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange, who has been living inside the country’s London embassy for more than six years.

      Baltasar Garzon, a lawyer for WikiLeaks, has arrived in Ecuador to launch the case, which is expected to be heard next week in a domestic court.

      WikiLeaks claims Mr Assange’s access to the outside world has been “summarily cut off” and says Ecuador has threatened to remove the protection he has had since being given political asylum.

      The site said Ecuador’s government has refused to allow a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner and prevented several meetings with Mr Assange’s lawyers.

  • Finance

    • Trump’s Tax Law Failed to Kill Off Corporate America’s Prized Dodge

      U.S. corporations have largely abandoned the contentious deals that allowed them to shift their addresses abroad for a lower tax rate. Yet a key part of the transactions is continuing quietly even after President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

      The 2017 tax law was designed to stop traditional inversions, which had brought scrutiny and negative publicity for companies that moved their headquarters overseas, as well as to halt the flow of valuable intellectual property to low-tax countries. For companies that invert, the address change is generally the final step so they can more easily access the cash they’ve generated after years of shifting IP overseas.

      Most firms are continuing with business as usual when it comes to their IP since the law’s provisions aren’t enticing enough for them to keep it at home, according to interviews with eight tax experts who advise large public corporations. They disclosed the details of the conversations they’re having with companies, but declined to identify the specific clients.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Secretive Organization Quietly Spending Millions on Facebook Political Ads

      Over just two weeks in September, a limited-liability company calling itself News for Democracy spent almost $400,000 on more than 16 million impressions for a network of 14 Facebook pages that hadn’t existed until August. This represented the second-largest political ad buy on Facebook for the period, trailing only Beto O’Rourke’s Texas Senate campaign and substantially overshadowing the third-place spender, the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to an analysis by a team at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, led by Damon McCoy.

    • A new kind of dark money on Facebook is influencing elections

      How unknown parties are exploiting loopholes in Facebook’s ad archive

    • Twitter’s Dated Data Dump Doesn’t Tell Us About Future Meddling

      Twitter dropped an almost unfathomably large archive of tweets connected to two alleged influence campaigns on Wednesday. The trove included over 9 million tweets associated with 3,841 accounts connected to Russia’s notorious Internet Research Agency, or IRA, as well as more than a million tweets attributed to a network of 770 Iranian propaganda-pushing accounts. Twitter has never before released an archive of this size. But researchers tell WIRED that it says more about the past than it does about present or future threats Twitter should be wary of with important midterm elections less than three weeks away.

    • The Decline Of Congressional Expertise Explained In 10 Charts

      When Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify earlier this year, the world was shocked by Congress’s evident lack of basic technological literacy. For many, this performance illustrates the institution’s incompetence. After all, if our elected representatives have trouble understanding how Facebook works, how capable are they of understanding the complexities of the federal government, or crafting legislation across a range of technical subjects?

      For those of us who live and work in the “swamp,” the Zuckerberg hearings were no great surprise. Just this year, we’ve seen Congress struggle with technology issues such as quantum computing, cryptocurrencies, and the governance of online platforms. Indeed, it seems effectively incapable of tackling major technology policy issues such as the debate over online privacy, election cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence.

      This state of affairs is the product of decades of institutional deterioration, sometimes referred to as the “big lobotomy.” While scholars of American government may offer various books or white papers chronicling this decline, the pattern is evident from a few trends that this post will highlight.

    • Twitter Trolling Becomes Harder With This Change of Policy

      Social media is full of trolls but Twitter is a cesspool of toxic insects that attack anything and everything, It is a safe haven for toxic people but trolling on Twitter will be harder to do now when Twitter is changing some of its policy.

      Over the years Twitter has been highly criticized for the way it handles trolls, and other people who spread hate, harass. But since the start of 2017, Twitter has made efforts to deal with such issues. Through the policy update, rules changes, and better enforcement, the company is trying to create a safer space for all of its users.

    • Trump’s Tangled Relationship With Saudi Arabia — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra

      The disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate has brought renewed attention to what’s been true for years: The United States — and its president — has an important, and extremely complicated, relationship with Saudi Arabia.

      Trump has been doing business with Saudis for years, even bragging during his presidential campaign about the large amount of money Saudi buyers paid for his apartments.

      [...]

      In this “Trump, Inc.” podcast extra, WNYC’s Charlie Herman talks with The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and Joe Nocera from Bloomberg Opinion about all the ways Saudi Arabia is intertwined with U.S. business interests, including those of the president himself.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Why we should all hate the hate-crime laws

      If a hate crime is about how hurt somebody feels, then how can the subjective reaction of one group be considered more important than another? It is surely not for you or I to deny the personal feelings of any man or woman, goth or grandmother. Equality demands that all must be protected from whatever they deem offensive or hateful.

    • [Old] Saudi Arabia bans journalist for criticising Donald Trump

      After Mr Khashoggi criticised Mr Trump’s Middle East policies at a Washington think-tank on 10 November, an official Saudi spokesman said he did not represent the Kingdom in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.

    • [Old] Saudi journalist banned from media after criticising Trump

      Khashoggi’s weekly column in Al Hayat newspaper was not published this week, although it has appeared every Saturday for almost five years. His last tweet appeared on 18 November.

    • Journalist’s tweets caused irreparable loss to MJ Akbar’s reputation: Lawyer

      During the hearing, senior advocate Geeta Luthra, who represented Akbar in the court, referred to tweets of Priya Ramani and said the journalist’s tweets caused irreparable loss to MJ Akbar’s reputation built over 40 years.

      “Articles in international and national media quoted these defamatory tweets. Tweets are defamatory unless Ramani proves anything,” Luthra told the court adding “Priya Ramani has tweeted defamatory tweets against complainant. Her second tweet was clearly defamatory and liked by 1200 people. “

    • UK porn law’s latest guidelines fail to answer critics

      “The policy is completely full of holes,” Jim Killock, executive director of the UK’s Open Rights Group, told The Verge. “It puts too much power in the hands of companies, [and] if teenagers in particular have any incentive to get around these controls, they will.”

    • Big Tech Snuffing Free Speech; Google’s Poisonous ‘Dragonfly’

      If the big social media companies choose what to publish and what not to publish, they should be subject to the same licensing and requirements as media organizations.

    • As Predicted, Australian Government Looks To Creep Site Censorship Into Search Censorship

      Earlier this year, we discussed Australia’s Department of Communications asking for feedback on the effectiveness of its site-blocking policy after it had been in place for several years. The copyright industries both local and foreign leapt at the chance, making two divergent claims. Claim one: site-blocking is working really, really well and should be continued. Claim two: site-blocking is being vastly undermined by, you guessed it, Google, and the government should extend site-blocking into search-blocking as a result. We made the point at the time that this type of thing occurs like clockwork: you open the door to some censorship and those cheering it on will attempt to expand it further.

      Well, after collecting its feedback, the Australian Department of Communications has come out with proposed amendments to Australian copyright law that would, you guessed it again, force search engines to censor links to so-called “pirate sites.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘The Media Continue to Promote a Narrative of Dependency’ – CounterSpin interview with Teresa Basilio on Puerto Rico communications

      Advocates and activists are calling on FCC chair Ajit Pai to appoint an independent commission to examine the causes for communications failures in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, just over a year ago. Over 95 percent of cell sites were knocked out of service, hindering rescue and recovery efforts. Days after the storm, no TV and only a handful of radio stations could function. And the restoration has been painfully slow.

      The coalition of groups also urged the agency to convene public hearings in Puerto Rico, so that commissioners could “hear directly from Puerto Ricans on how their lives were impacted” by the lack of a resilient communications infrastructure.

    • Meet Edward Blum, the Man Who Wants to Kill Affirmation Action in Higher Education

      Activist Edward Blum has been trying to destroy race-conscious college admissions for a long time.

      In a federal lawsuit that went to trial this week, the organization Students for Fair Admissions is challenging Harvard University’s admissions practices, arguing that the consideration of race in the process violates the Equal Protection Clause.

      So what’s at stake in this case? A lot.

      Just two years ago, in Fisher v. the University of Texas, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the consideration of race as part of a holistic admissions process, a practice known as affirmative action, is consistent with the Equal Protection Clause. The district court already dismissed this claim citing Fisher.

      But make no mistake about it — the engineer behind this litigation is intent on sowing divisiveness amongst communities of color in an effort to dismantle diversity programs and civil rights protections that benefit all people of color. Students for Fair Admissions is the creation of Edward Blum. Blum is not a lawyer, but he has a long history of crafting legal attacks on civil rights.

      After losing a congressional election in the early 1990s, Blum, who is white, challenged the Texas redistricting process as discriminating in favor of African-American and Latinx voters. While his success in that case, Bush v. Vera, was limited to particular districts, among his other challenges to the voting rights, Blum was behind Shelby v. Holder. That case gutted important protections in the Voting Rights Act with drastic effects for voters of color. His attacks on laws and policies designed to promote the equality of people of color are not limited to voting rights. Blum also crafted the unsuccessful challenge to race-conscious college admissions programs in Fisher v. University of Texas.

    • Louisiana Court Declares State’s Non-Unanimous Jury Verdict Scheme Unconstitutional, Motivated By Racial Discrimination

      A district court in Louisiana ruled the state’s use of non-unanimous juries is unconstitutional and violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

      The court found the “non-unanimous jury verdict scheme in Louisiana was motivated by invidious racial discrimination.”

      “All cases that are currently pending trial and all cases on direct review must now be adjudicated subject ot a unanimous jury requirement,” the court ordered. However, prior cases and convictions may not be challenged.

      According to the state’s constitution and a section of the state’s criminal code, cases involving capital punishment require a unanimous decision by jurors.

      But in cases where the punishment is “necessarily confinement at hard labor,” only 10 of 12 jurors are required to find a defendant guilty. Cases where imprisonment is only a possible outcome require an even lower threshold—six jurors.

      The ruling comes as Louisiana residents vote on Amendment 2, a ballot initiative that would “require the unanimous agreement of jurors, rather than just 10 of 12 jurors, to convict people charged with felonies.”

    • DOJ Rings Up Another Leaker, Nailing Financial Investigation Official For Handing Docs To Buzzfeed

      So much for going dark. Presumably the information obtained with the pen register order was enough to secure a warrant to search a cellphone and flash drive owned by Edwards. “Reporter-1″ is likely Jason Leopold, who wrote or co-wrote every article named in the DOJ complaint. This also means the DOJ likely has a whole bunch of conversations between a journalist and his source, although obtaining them from the source makes it far less of a First Amendment issue.

    • In a Case that Rocked Alabama, a Man With Intellectual Disability Is Spared Death

      Almost a decade after his death sentence, the state agreed Lam Luong could not be executed and joined the defense in asking to change the sentence.

      This week, in one of the highest profile cases in Alabama history, longtime ACLU client Lam Luong was resentenced to life in imprisonment without parole, nine years after he was sentenced to death. Luong’s life was spared because experts hired by both the state of Alabama and the defense agreed that he met the criteria for intellectual disability.

      Luong, born during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese woman and a Black American serviceman, was convicted and sentenced to death in the spring of 2009 for the murder of his four young children on the Dauphin Island Bridge in Alabama.

      In 2002, the Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the execution of persons with intellectual disabilities. There was no question that Luong met the criteria. Almost a decade after his original conviction and death sentence, the state finally agreed that Luong could not be executed and joined the defense in asking to change his sentence.

    • Ohio Prisons Uphold Year-Long Communications Ban Against Incarcerated Activist Who Supported National Prison Strike

      Ohio state prison officials denied an appeal by Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan against the one-year restriction placed on his phone and email use after he spoke publicly in support of the 2018 prison strike.

      The restrictions—and the case that led to them—are yet another example of the lengths prison officials will go to police the political speech of prisoners and punish those who express support for protest, particularly the prison strike movement.

      Shadowproof repeatedly requested phone transcripts the prison’s administrative disciplinary body cited as evidence that Hasan was fomenting a riot. Ohio prison officials categorically refused to provide them, even in redacted form, citing exemptions in state open records laws.

      Hasan is prohibited from making phone calls or using email until August 13, 2019, unless the warden intervenes.

      He is currently on death row in connection with the 1993 rebellion known as the Lucasville Uprising, which began as a protest by Muslim prisoners against an attempted forced medical procedure by prison officials that violated their religious beliefs. As such, he is already subject to significant isolation. By forbidding him from using phone and email—his two primary connections to the outside world—that isolation will intensify.

      Hasan denied the charges against him, rebutting them and criticizing the disciplinary process in an appeal filed August 22. He maintained the restrictions will not deter him from speaking out for human rights for incarcerated people and exercising his right to speech and protest.

    • Louisiana’s Infamous Angola Prison Goes on Trial

      Angola prison is home to horrific constitutional violations that threaten the health and welfare of people incarcerated in the facility.

      In November 2012, Shannon Hurd, who was serving a life sentence for stealing $14, began losing weight and experiencing flu-like symptoms. His symptoms worsened, and he developed a pain in his side. But doctors at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as “Angola,” repeatedly dismissed his medical complaints.

      He did not receive medical care in the weeks that followed. He did not receive medical care in the months that followed. And as he waited for basic medical care, a disease was spreading in his system.

      In the end, Hurd waited three devastating years before he was finally tested and diagnosed with kidney cancer. At that point, the tumors had already spread to his brain. Kidney cancer is generally treatable if it’s caught early. This was not the case here. By the end of 2015, Shannon had lost over 60 pounds. He was often numb in his fingers and feet.

      Denied medical parole requests by prison officials, Shannon died in prison in March 2017. He was just 42 years old.

    • Mississippi Law Enforcement Performed $200,000 Worth Of Illegal Forfeitures Because It ‘Didn’t Realize’ Law Had Changed

      Now, this could be a legitimate excuse. But not for a narcotics director who probably had plenty to say about the impending demise of the most profitable part of the state’s asset forfeiture program. He could not have been completely “unaware.” After all, here he is announcing the roll out of a website listing state forfeiture actions as mandated by the same law Dowdy now claims he didn’t know much about.

      It might be a legitimate excuse for a federal official who may not know the legislature included a sunset provision that gave legislators a chance to kill the passed law before it went into effect. Some efforts were mounted to roll back the reforms, but they both died without moving forward.

      Because law enforcement can’t follow the law, lots of people will be getting their stuff back. The Tampa Bay Times article says the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics is offering to return $42,000 worth of property it illegally seized — a phrase that makes its effort sound far more magnanimous than the reality: relinquishing stolen property.

    • FBI Whistleblower Who Disclosed Documents On Profiling And Informant Recruitment Is Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

      Former FBI special agent Terry Albury was sentenced to four years in prison for retaining and releasing documents to a media outlet on the FBI’s racial profiling, surveillance, and informant recruitment practices.

      He accepted an agreement in April, where he pled guilty to two counts of violating the Espionage Act. Both offenses are felonies.

      Albury was the only black agent in the region for most of the time that he worked for the FBI’s terrorism squad in Minnesota. He was a special agent in the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office from 2012 to August 28, 2017.

      His defense attorneys asserted Albury’s unauthorized disclosures to the Intercept were an “act of conscience, of patriotism, and in the public interest.” They were made for “no personal gain whatsoever.”

      “The documents at issue advanced the discourse necessary in a free society about how to maintain the delicate balance between freedom and security,” his attorneys added. “He was endeavoring to resolve what for him became an insurmountable moral conflict between his role as an FBI agent sworn to uphold the written law and his personal commitment to social justice and human rights.”

      The federal court in Minnesota was urged to approve a sentence, where Albury was placed on probation.

    • Explore Racial Disparities in Hundreds of Illinois Schools and Districts

      This week, ProPublica launched “Miseducation,” an interactive database where you can search, examine and compare racial disparities in thousands of schools and school districts across the United States. The tool — based on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection program — measures these disparities in four ways: enrollment in advanced classes, student discipline, gaps in academic achievement and level of segregation at the district and state level.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • U.S. Patent Damages

      For most patent owners, the amount of recoverable damages for patent infringement is a primary driver when deciding when to bring, defend, or settle patent litigation. The potential damages from litigation also drives (offensive and defensive) licensing decisions and freedom-to-operate analyses (when balancing design-around costs). US patent law guarantees a prevailing patent owner at least “a reasonable royalty.”1 However, determining the potential damages (both before and during litigation) can prove complex, particularly for the multi-component products common in today’s global marketplace. is because courts seek to compensate patent owners for the value of the patented improvement, which is oft en less than the value of the overall product.2Difficulty arises when attempting to determine the value attributable to a subcomponent instead of the whole product, especially when there is no established market for just the infringing subcomponent.3To address this, courts require patent owners to apportion the value of the patented feature relative to the overall product to avoid overcompensating a patent owner for an invention that contributes only a portion of the overall value of a final product.

    • Trademarks

      • SLCC/FanX Gets A Stay On $4 Million In Legal Fees For SDCC Pending Appeal

        The whole saga of the trademark dispute between the famous San Diego Comic-Con comics convention and the smaller Salt Lake Comic Con has been a long and stupid one. Despite everyone with a working brain knowing that the term “comic-con” is both generic and descriptive, SDCC has a trademark on the term that it managed to wield like a legal sword attempting to slay SLCC. While a jury trial returned only a $20k judgement, the court then awarded $4 million in legal fees in favor of SDCC, arguing that SLCC’s legal team attempted to jam up the trial process and timeline with its tactics. After all of this, SLCC changed its name to FanX, a whole bunch of other conventions proactively changed their own names, and FanX promised to appeal everything.

        But it was an open question if SLCC/FanX would survive long enough for the appeal to take place. A $4 million dollar payout to SDCC, according to SLCC, would simply have crippled it and put it out of business altogether. This was the argument made to the appeals court, in which SLCC/FanX asked for a stay on the payments pending the appeal process. Fortunately, the court agreed to delay the attorney’s fees payments.

    • Copyrights

      • Streaming Exclusives Will Drive Users Back To Piracy And The Industry Is Largely Oblivious

        As you probably have noticed, there’s a growing tide of streaming video services popping up to feed users who want a cheaper, more flexible alternative to traditional cable. By and large this has been a very good thing. It’s finally driving some competition for bumbling apathetic giants like Comcast, forcing them to at least make a feeble effort to improve customer service. It also reflects a belated admission by the broadcast industry that you need to compete with piracy (instead of say, suing the entire planet and hoping it goes away) by offering users access to cheaper, flexible viewing options.

        But the gold rush into streaming has come with a few downsides. Studies have suggested that every broadcaster on the planet will likely have their own streaming service by 2022. In a bid to drive more subscribers to their service, said broadcasters are increasingly developing their own content, or striking their own content exclusivity deals, and then locking that content in an exclusivity silo. For example, if you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery, you need to shell out $6 a month for CBS All Access. Can’t miss House of Cards? You’ll need Netflix. Bosch? Amazon Prime. The Handmaid’s Tale? Hulu.

        Again, on its face this impulse makes perfect sense: you want the kind of content that drives users to your platform. And at first it wasn’t all that noticeable, because there were only a handful of services. Even if you subscribed to four of them, you still probably were saving money over your traditional cable bill.

        The problem is, as more and more companies jump into the streaming market, users are being forced to subscribe to an ocean of discordant services to get access for the content they’re looking for. As users are forced to pony up more and more cash for more and more services, it’s going to start defeating the purpose of ditching over-priced, traditional cable. But instead of going back to cable, back in March we noted how users are just as likely to consider piracy.

      • CJEU rules that family life does not trump copyright protection

        The owner of an internet connection used for copyright infringement through file-sharing cannot escape liability by naming a family member who may have used the connection, the CJEU holds

      • Bell and Rogers Ask Government to Simplify Site Blocking and Criminalize Streaming

        Earlier this month, Canadian telco regulator CRTC denied a controversial site blocking proposal put forward by the FairPlay coalition. This came as a major disappointment to Bell and Rogers, two of the main proponents of the plan, who are now trying to tackle various piracy issues through a revision of the Copyright Act.

      • Accused Pirate Can’t Escape Liability By Pointing at a Family Member Without Detail

        The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the right to a private family life doesn’t shield accused file-sharers form potential liability. This means that an accused pirate can’t hide behind other family members who may have committed the infringements, without providing more detail. Doing so would harm the fundamental rights of copyright holders.

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

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fair trial

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

EUROPE’S patent system is under attack. It’s under attack from lawyers, who try to hijack the system, taking it away from scientists and technologists (the same thing, incidentally, has been happening at the USPTO, partly due to Trump's awkward appointment this year). Underhanded tactics have been used by a cabal of lawyers to basically undermine the very purpose of patent systems. All they want is lots and lots of lawsuits; for that (litigation galore) they need lots and lots of low-quality — even invalid — patents to be granted and circulated, e.g. among patent trolls.

“There are pressures to grant even software patents in Europe, irrespective of the EPC (the founding document).”It has already become incredibly hard to be a potent patent examiner at the EPO. There are pressures to grant even software patents in Europe, irrespective of the EPC (the founding document).

Regarding “Inventiveness of the cocktail,” a new IP Kat comment said last night (the comments are as usual better than the posts): “According to an English translation of the German description: “Surprisingly, it has been found that this cocktail obtained in this way has a very rounded, mild fruity taste that meets the taste of many”. The EPO Examiner did not raise an inventive step objection, or ask for evidence of the technical effect.”

Blaming the examiners… as if EPO examiners still have time to properly examine patent applications under their corrupt management. They don’t have quality; they just have targets (quantified not in terms of quality). The EPO is basically ‘fast-tracking’ justice and putting it under the control of people who mock and attack justice. People like Battistelli and António Campinos, whose financial past offers room for speculations about whether they belong behind bars.

Last night the EPO again promoted software patents, this time in its Web site rather than its Twitter account (warning: epo.org link). For the first time in a while they’re promoting “computer-implemented inventions” (software patents) and UPC. To quote one paragraph:

EPO staff gave presentations on the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, Patent Cooperation Treaty Strategy, projects being undertaken by the IP5 (the forum of the five largest intellectual property offices), substantive patent law harmonisation, standard essential patents, Early Certainty and computer-implemented inventions (CII) in view of developments relating to Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. The US members updated Office staff on current developments in US patent legislation and litigation.

Instead of meeting with scientists they meet a bunch of US lawyers. The EPO is a rogue institution that digs its own grave. It keeps showing who it really works for and it’s not scientists.

IAM and a partner law firm have meanwhile paid to repost a celebratory post about EPO pushing fake patents on software under the guise of “AI”. They must be excited by the prospect of all those abstract patents that are null and void (yet are still being granted by the EPO).

The best these people can hope for now is someone corrupt like Battistelli taking over the UPC and overriding all of Europe’s patent courts. Can that happen? Well, never underestimate what criminals from the EPO (with a proven history of serious crime) can accomplish. Not even the Alexandre Benalla scandal can hold them accountable, so what can?

Is UPC dead? “Maybe, maybe not (so quickly),” one reader told us this morning, taking note of the latest ‘paper’ (PDF) from Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna. Published in English and German, the introduction says:

This article tries to provide answers to some of the questions raised in relation to the constitutional complaint against the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court in Germany.

Never underestimate team UPC’s ability to totally corrupt the political system (basically buying outcomes in Germany).

According to the last couple of paragraphs from the author, Germany might be face a true crisis if Team UPC corrupted the courts like it did the German political system. To quote:

After all, is the outcome of the proceedings already know in certain circles, even before the BVerfG has announce its decision? If this were the case, the significance of the ensuing state political implications could hardly be overestimated. Or are all these just once more astonishing “coincidences”, as they have already been repeatedly observe in the context of the European patent reform?

You be the judge.

If they ever get their way, they hope that Battistelli will be the (chief) judge.

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