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04.18.19

Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Entroware Linux laptops introduced with NVIDIA TRX and 9th Gen Intel CPUs

      UK-based computer company Entroware has updated its range of Linux laptops with 8th Gen Intel CPUs as well as NVIDIA RTX graphics. The companies Proteus, Athena, Zeus, and Helios have all received hardware updates in the form of with latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics and 8th and 9th Gen Intel CPUs.

      The Athena, Helios, and Zeus Linux laptops received Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060/2070/2080 graphics cards featuring up to 8GB memory. Although the Zeus laptop can only be purchased with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card, while the Helios laptop now has a 16GB RAM option and the Proteus Linux laptop a 8GB RAM and 120GB SSD options.

    • USB Support In Chrome OS 75 Will Make Linux Incredibly Versatile

      Chrome OS Linux instances are on the cusp of becoming immensely more useful and versatile based on a recent change spotted by Keith I Myers in the beta-specific Developer Channel following an update to version 75.0.3759.4. That’s because while the update inevitably introduced some new bugs that will need to be squashed before a final release, it also included full support for USB devices on the Crostini side of the equation.

    • Old computer? Linux can give it a new lease on life

      The operating system is called Linux and was created in 1991 by Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He released Linux as open source which meant that any good programmer could tinker with it and improve upon the original. Today Linux is a popular free alternative for Windows and Mac computers and used by millions of people. The beauty is that Linux requires much less processing power and memory than Windows and is perfect for older computers.

  • Server

    • Deploying Services in Kubernetes

      In my opinion, services are the most potent resource provided in Kubernetes. A service is essentially a front-end for your application that automatically re-routes traffic to available pods in an evenly distributed way. This automation is a relief for administrators because you no longer have to specify exact IP addresses or hostnames of the server in the client’s configuration files. Having to maintain this while containers are being moved, shifted and deleted would be a nightmare.

    • The Future of Cloud Providers in Kubernetes

      Approximately 9 months ago, the Kubernetes community agreed to form the Cloud Provider Special Interest Group (SIG). The justification was to have a single governing SIG to own and shape the integration points between Kubernetes and the many cloud providers it supported. A lot has been in motion since then and we’re here to share with you what has been accomplished so far and what we hope to see in the future.

    • Pod Priority and Preemption in Kubernetes

      Kubernetes is well-known for running scalable workloads. It scales your workloads based on their resource usage. When a workload is scaled up, more instances of the application get created. When the application is critical for your product, you want to make sure that these new instances are scheduled even when your cluster is under resource pressure. One obvious solution to this problem is to over-provision your cluster resources to have some amount of slack resources available for scale-up situations. This approach often works, but costs more as you would have to pay for the resources that are idle most of the time.

      Pod priority and preemption is a scheduler feature made generally available in Kubernetes 1.14 that allows you to achieve high levels of scheduling confidence for your critical workloads without overprovisioning your clusters. It also provides a way to improve resource utilization in your clusters without sacrificing the reliability of your essential workloads.

    • Understanding Anthos: Google’s multi-cloud bid to define the next 20 years of enterprise IT

      In response, Google has brought to market a multi-cloud-enabling platform called Anthos, which it claims can help enterprises containerise their applications so they can run in the Amazon and Microsoft public clouds, as well as traditional on-premise datacentre environments, with minimal modifications.

      [...]

      “Once a platform is high quality and open and gets traction, it actually stays around for a long time,” he said. “So Linux will last another 20 years because, unless [the underlying] hardware deeply changes, it’s a good solution and continues to be a good solution. If Anthos is high quality and broadly adopted, it will last for 20 years.”

      Hölzle added: “This is a natural successor to Linux. If you pick Linux as your operating system, you can pick any hardware below and any software above because pretty much any software runs on this.”

    • Red Hat: Give Everyone the Data They Need, When They Need It
  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 526: Ionic

      Ionic Framework is the free, open source mobile UI toolkit for developing high-quality cross-platform apps for native iOS, Android, and the web—all from a single codebase. Build with intuitive UI components that accelerate app development, and can be deployed virtually anywhere.

    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 805
    • The Xfce Surprise + Entroware Ares Review | Choose Linux 7

      Jason leaves the warm embrace of GNOME and finally tries Xfce for 24 hours. What happened took him by surprise!

      Then we dive into some hardware talk about the latest All-In-One Linux PC from Entroware, which packs in a lot of quality for the price. But are there any downsides?

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS On Linux 0.8.0 RC4 Up For Testing WIth TRIM, Native Encryption, Direct I/O

      The ZFS On Linux (ZoL) crew released version 0.8-RC4 of their Linux file-system port today as the newest pre-release for this massive feature update.

      ZFS On Linux 0.8 is shaping up to be a massive update with native encryption capabilities, direct I/O, sequential scrub, device removal, Python 3 compatibility work for Pyzfs, pool checkpoints, and other work introduced in earlier test releases.

    • Rethinking race-free process signaling

      One of the new features in the 5.1 kernel is the pidfd_send_signal() system call. Combined with the (also new) ability to create a file descriptor referring to a process (a “pidfd”) by opening its directory in /proc, this system call allows for the sending of signals to processes in a race-free manner. An extension to this feature proposed for 5.2 has, however, sparked a discussion that has brought the whole concept into question. It may yet be that the pidfd feature will be put on hold before the final 5.1 release while the API around it is rethought.
      The fundamental problem being addressed by the pidfd concept is process-ID reuse. Most Linux systems have the maximum PID set to 32768; if lots of processes (and threads) are created, it doesn’t take a long time to use all of the available PIDs, at which point the kernel will cycle back to the beginning and start reusing the ones that have since become free. That reuse can happen quickly, and processes that work with PIDs might not notice immediately that a PID they hold referred to a process that has exited. In such conditions, a stale PID could be used to send a signal to the wrong process. As Jann Horn pointed out, real vulnerabilities have resulted from this problem.

      A pidfd is a file descriptor that is obtained by opening a process’s directory in the /proc virtual filesystem; it functions as a reference to the process of interest. If that process exits, its PID might be reused by the kernel, but any pidfds referring to that process will continue to refer to it. Passing a pidfd to pidfd_send_signal() will either signal the correct process (if it still exists), or return an error if the process has exited; it is guaranteed not to signal the wrong process. So it would seem that this problem has been solved.

    • Making slab-allocated objects movable

      Memory fragmentation is a constant problem for memory-management subsystems. Over the years, considerable effort has been put into reducing fragmentation in the Linux kernel, but almost all of that work has been focused on memory management at the page level. The slab allocators, which (mostly) manage memory in chunks of less than the page size, have seen less attention, but fragmentation at this level can create problems throughout the system. The slab movable objects patch set posted by Tobin Harding is an attempt to improve this situation by making it possible for the kernel to actively defragment slab pages by moving objects around.
      Over the course of normal operation, the kernel allocates (and sometimes frees) vast numbers of small objects in memory. The slab allocators are designed to make these allocation operations efficient; they allocate whole pages, then parcel out the smaller objects from there. Sets of pages (“slabs”) are set aside for objects of a fixed size, allowing them to be efficiently packed with a minimum of overhead and waste. Linux users can choose between three slab allocators: the original allocator (simply called “slab”), SLUB (the newer allocator used on most systems), and SLOB (a minimal allocator for the smallest systems).

      For a window into how the allocator on a given system is working, one can look at /proc/slabinfo. On your editor’s system, for example, there are currently 338,860 active dentry cache entries, each of which requires an object from the slab allocator. A dentry structure is 192 bytes on this system, so 21 of them can be allocated from each full page. Thus, a minimum of 16,136 pages are needed to hold these objects; on the system in question, 16,461 are actually used for that purpose. There are thus over 300 pages allocated beyond what is strictly needed, which is actually a relatively low level of overhead; it can get a lot worse.

    • Managing sysctl knobs with BPF

      “Sysctl” is the kernel’s mechanism for exposing tunable parameters to user space. Every sysctl knob is presented as a virtual file in a hierarchy under /proc/sys; current values can be queried by reading those files, and a suitably privileged user can change a value by writing to its associated file. What happens, though, when a system administrator would like to limit access to sysctl, even for privileged users? Currently there is no solution to this problem other than blocking access to /proc entirely. That may change, though, if this patch set from Andrey Ignatov makes its way into the mainline.
      The use case that Ignatov has in mind is containerized applications that, for one reason or another, are run as root. If /proc is mounted in the namespace of such a container, it can be used to change sysctl knobs for the entire system. A hostile container could take advantage of that ability for any of a number of disruptive ends, including perhaps breaking the security of the system as a whole. While disabling or unmounting /proc would close this hole, it may have other, unwanted effects. This situation leads naturally to the desire to exert finer-grained control over access to /proc/sys.

      In recent years, one would expect such control to be provided in the form of a new hook for a BPF program, and one would not be disappointed in this case. The patch set adds a new BPF program type (BPF_PROG_TYPE_CGROUP_SYSCTL) and a new operation in the bpf() system call (BPF_CGROUP_SYSCTL) to install programs of that type. As can be inferred from the names, these programs are attached by way of control groups, so different levels of control can be applied in different parts of the system.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Move Data to the Cloud with Azure Data Migration[Ed: The Linux Foundation promotes Microsoft today, linking to a longtime Microsoft booster, Simon Bisson, to help Microsoft and the NSA. Was this included in the membership fees of Microsoft?]
      • Network Service Mesh Project Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation

        Network Service Mesh should not be confused with Istio, which is a different open source effort that is providing a service mesh that can work in cloud native environments, including the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Istio is an increasingly popular approach for service mesh, that now has multiple commercial vendors supporting it and providing their own supported implementations.

        With a service mesh, networking connectivity and security policies are managed and deployed in a fabric that can span multicloud environments.

        Networking in Kubernetes can be achieved with different approaches, including the use of the Container Networking Interface (CNI), which enables plugins to different networking technologies and vendor hardware. Network Service Mesh does not require users to have a new version of Kubernetes or a specific Container Networking Interface (CNI) plugin.

      • Fluentd Graduates From Cloud Native Computing Foundation

        Fluentd has become the sixth project to graduate from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), following in the footsteps of Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, CoreDNS and containerd.

        Fluentd is also one of the latest project to graduate from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

    • Graphics Stack

      • More Icelake Graphics Fixes Are On The Way With The Linux 5.2 Kernel

        Intel’s open-source developers sent in another pull request this morning to DRM-Next of additional feature material they are planning on having in the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel.

        Already for this next kernel in previous pull requests they staged the Elkhart Lake graphics support, promoted Gen11 / Icelake out of being experimental graphics along with other Gen11 graphics fixes, and a variety of other fixes and low-level improvements.

      • Stable Steam Client Gets Vulkan Pipeline Collection, Better NTFS, Steam Play Fixes

        On Wednesday night Valve issued their latest stable Steam client update and carries much of the work we’ve seen out of their recent beta releases.

        This Steam client update is notable for Linux users in that Steam Play configuration settings are now exposed in Big Picture Mode, the important fix for 0-byte downloads / missing data files for Steam Play titles, Steam Overlay issues, automatic update issues with these titles relying upon Proton, and other Steam Play bugs.

      • GLAMOR Sees More Improvements For What Will Eventually Be X.Org Server 1.21

        We haven’t been seeing as much GLAMOR activity these days but then again the pace of X.Org Server development has certainly slowed up in recent years. GLAMOR as a reminder allows for X.Org Server 2D acceleration to happen in a generic manner via OpenGL / GLES and has been a common area for improvement.

        There hasn’t been much to report on GLAMOR’s development in recent months with it generally working out well already on X.Org Server 1.20, at least for desktop systems with modern OpenGL drivers. Eric Anholt of Broadcom on Wednesday landed the latest GLAMOR code into X.Org Server Git.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 19.04 Radeon Linux Gaming Performance: Popular Desktops Benchmarked, Wayland vs. X.Org

        Leading up to the Ubuntu 19.04 release, several premium supporters requested fresh results for seeing the X.Org vs. Wayland performance overhead for gaming, how GNOME Shell vs. KDE Plasma is performing for current AMD Linux gaming, and related desktop comparison graphics/gaming metrics. Here are such benchmarks run from the Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” while benchmarking GNOME Shell both with X.Org and Wayland, Xfce, MATE, Budgie, KDE Plasma, LXQt, and Openbox.

        Using a Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card with the stock Ubuntu 19.04 components were used for this desktop graphics/gaming benchmark comparison. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with the Linux 5.0 kernel, Mesa 19.0.2, and X.Org Server 1.20.4 as the most prominent components for this comparison. GNOME Shell 3.32.0, Xfce 4.12, MATE 1.20.4, KDE Plasma 5.15.4, Budgie, LXQt 0.14.1, and Openbox 3.6.1 are the prominent desktop versions to report. KDE Plasma with Wayland wasn’t tested since on this system I wasn’t able to successfully start the session when selecting the Wayland version of Plasma from the log-in manager. The Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card was running from the common Core i9 9900K used by many of our graphics tests with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard, 16GB of RAM, Samsung 970 EVO 256GB NVMe SSD, and a 4K display.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 2019 Toulouse [KDE] PIM sprint report

        There were a number of those, the most important ones being about food, of course.
        Among the topics of lesser importance: turning some PIM libraries into KF5 frameworks (that’s just their way to dump more work on me, clearly… but it also means a lot of cleanup work for Volker, first), outreach to the Plasma Mobile PIM team, how to increase the number of attendees for this kind of sprint, how to make it easier to start contributing to KDE PIM, how to blog more often about progress.

        In terms of the actual work done, the list is quite long, here is my view on things.

      • Some theming fixes to arrive with Plasma 5.16

        One of the things which makes Plasma so attractive is the officially supported option to customize also the style, and that beyond colors and wallpaper, to allow users to personalize the look to their likes. And designers have picked up on that and did a good set of custom designs (store.kde.org lists at the time of writing 454 themes

      • Qt 5.9.8 Released

        Qt 5.9.8 is released today. As a patch release Qt 5.9.8 does not add any new functionality, but provides security fixes and other improvements.

        Compared to Qt 5.9.7, the new Qt 5.9.8 contains multiple security fixes, updates to some of the 3rd party modules and close to 20 bug fixes. In total there are around 130 changes in Qt 5.9.8 compared to Qt 5.9.7. For details of the most important changes, please check the Change files of Qt 5.9.8.

      • digiKam 6.1.0 is released

        Dear digiKam fans and users, after the first digiKam 6 release published in February 2019, we received lots of user feedback to consolidate this important stage of this project started 2 years ago. We are proud to quickly announce the new digiKam 6.1.0, with plenty of new features and fixes.

      • KDE: Applications 19.04

        The KDE community is happy to announce the release of KDE Applications 19.04.

        Our community continuously works on improving the software included in our KDE Application series. Along with new features, we improve the design, usability and stability of all our utilities, games, and creativity tools. Our aim is to make your life easier by making KDE software more enjoyable to use. We hope you like all the new enhancements and bug fixes you’ll find in 19.04!

      • KDE Applications 19.04 Released
      • KDE Applications 19.04 Available for all Distros Through the Snap Store
      • Kubuntu 19.04 is released today
      • KDE Applications 19.04 Open-Source Software Suite Has Been Officially Released
      • KDE Applications 19.04 Released With Many Dolphin Improvements, Better KMail & Konsole
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.32.1 Released With Many Fixes

        While missing the GNOME 3.32.1 point release that shipped last week, GNOME Shell and Mutter today experienced their 3.32.1 updates with a variety of fixes.

        GNOME Shell 3.32.1 fixes avatar scaling on the login screen, fixes the Alt+Esc switcher, multiple desktop zoom fixes, supporting stick-to-finger workspace switch overview gestures, and a variety of other fixes and clean-ups.

      • GNOME Shell 3.32.1
      • Mutter 3.32.1
  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • At Least 27% Of Gentoo’s Portage Can Be Easily LTO Optimized For Better Performance

        entooLTO is a configuration overlay for Gentoo’s overlay to make it easy to enable Link Time Optimizations (LTO) and other compiler optimizations for enabling better performance out of the Gentoo packages. GentooLTO appears to be inspired in part by the likes of Clear Linux who employ LTO and other compiler optimization techniques like AutoFDO for yielding better performance than what is conventionally shipped by Linux distributions. The GentooLTO developers and users have wrapped up their survey looking at how practical this overlay configuration is on the massive Portage collection.

        The initial GentooLTO survey has been going on since last October and they have collected data from more than 30 users. The survey found that of the Gentoo Portage 18,765 packages as of writing, at least 5,146 of them are working with the GentooLTO configuration.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Tumbleweed Snapshots Deliver Curl, Salt, FFmpegs Packages Updates

        Mozilla Firefox had a minor release of version 66.0.3 in the latest Tumbleweed 20190415 snapshot. The browser addressed some performance issues with some HTML5 games and provided a Baidu search plugin for Chinese users and China’s Internet space. The command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols, curl 7.64.1 fixed many bugs and added additional libraries to check for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) support. The update of libvirt 5.2.0 dropped a few patches and added several new features like Storage Pool Capabilities to get a more detailed list XML output for the virConnectGetStoragePoolCapabilites Application Programming Interface (API) and libvirt also enabled firmware autoselection for the open-source emulator QEMU. The newest salt 2019.2.0 package in Tumbleweed enhanced network automation and broadened support for a variety of network operating systems, and features for configuration manipulation or operational command execution. Salt also added running playbooks to the 2019.2.0 release with the playbooks function and it includes an ansible playbooks state module, which can be used on a targeted host to run ansible playbooks, or used in an orchestration state runner. The snapshot was trending at a 95 rating at the time of publishing this article, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • My Kind of SUSE Support

        Another SUSECON has come and gone, and what an event it was! If you follow us on social media, you’ve seen the amazing, informative and inspiring keynote speakers, pictures of the great parties and videos of people from all over the globe who share our enthusiasm for open source.

      • Operating SUSE Cloud Application Platform for the Swiss Federal Government

        The recent SUSECON in Nashville had hundreds of great sessions, including 11 on SUSE Cloud Application Platform. The one I was most looking forward to was by our partner, Adfinis SyGroup AG, telling their early adopter’s story about implementing SUSE Cloud Application Platform for the Swiss Federal Government. In addition to attending their session, I was able to sit down with Nicolas Christener (CEO/CTO) and Lucas Bickel (Software Engineer) and have a long conversation on about it.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora vs Ubuntu – Differences and Similarities

        Two of the most popular (yet different) Linux distros are Fedora and Ubuntu. There are quite a lot of differences and similarities between the two. For beginners, they may seem the same or very similar, but read our comparison and you’ll learn more about Fedora and Ubuntu and how they correlate to each other.

      • Stories from the amazing world of release-monitoring.org #4

        The Future chamber was lit by hundreds of candles with strange symbols glowing on the walls. In the center of the chamber stood I, wearing the ceremonial robe and preparing for the task that lies before me.

        Somebody opened the doors, I turned around to see, who that could be. “Oh, a pleasant surprise, traveler. Stand near the door and watch this, you will love it.” I focused back to my thoughts and added. “Today I will show you the future that is waiting for this realm, but first we need to see current situation to understand the changes.”

      • What syslog-ng relays are good for

        While there are some users who run syslog-ng as a stand-alone application, the main strength of syslog-ng is central log collection. In this case the central syslog-ng instance is called the server, while the instances sending log messages to the central server are called the clients. There is a (somewhat lesser known) third type of instance called the relay, too. The relay collects log messages via the network and forwards them to one or more remote destinations after processing (but without writing them onto the disk for storage).A relay can be used for many different use cases. We will discuss a few typical examples below.
        Note that the syslog-ng application has an open source edition (OSE) and a premium edition (PE). Most of the information below applies to both editions. Some features are only available in syslog-ng PE and some scenarios need additional licenses when implemented using syslog-ng PE.

      • Rafał Lużyński: New Japanese era

        1 December 2017 the Emperor of Japan Akihito officially announced that he would abdicate on 30 April 2019. From 1 May his successor Naruhito will rule which will also begin a new era in the Japanese calendar. This is rather unusual event because so far emperors ruled until their death. Obviously, this made the moment of the era change difficult to predict. The emperor’s decision will help the country prepare for the change.

        Although the Gregorian calendar (the same as in many countries around the world) is known and used in Japan, the traditional Japanese calendar is also used with the years counted from the enthronement of an emperor. Each period of an emperor’s rule is called an era and has its own proper name. For example, the current era is named Heisei (平成), at the time of writing we have 31 year of Heisei era.

        On 1 April, one month before the beginning of the new era its name was announced. It will be named Reiwa (令和). As we know it we can adapt computers and other devices displaying dates automatically.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • First Look: Ubuntu 19.04: What’s New? [Video]

            Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ is (very nearly) here, serving as latest version of the Ubuntu operating system — but what’s changed?

            Well, honestly: not much. The Disco Dingo dances to a subtle beat, favouring modest evolution over dramatic dance floor revolution.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ Has Arrived: Downloads Available Now!

            Unlike Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, this will not be supported for 10 years. Instead, the non-LTS 19.04 will be supported for 9 months until January 2020.

            So, if you have a production environment, we may not recommend upgrading it right away. For example, if you have a server that runs on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – it may not be a good idea to upgrade it to 19.04 just because it is an exciting release.

            However, for users who want the latest and greatest installed on their machines can try it out.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 Released As A Big Linux Desktop Improvement Thanks To GNOME 3.32

            The Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” has been officially released as the latest non-LTS, six-month installment to Ubuntu Linux.

            Ubuntu 19.04 on the desktop front is a big step forward thanks to the use of GNOME 3.32. GNOME 3.32 has turned out superb and offers better performance, better Wayland support, CPU/GPU handling improvements, fractional scaling for HiDPI displays, and many other improvements.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 comes refreshed with the Linux 5.0 kernel

            The heart of the Linux desktop beats on with the latest release of Canonical’s Ubuntu distribution: Ubuntu 19.04. But, in addition, the server version comes ready with the latest cloud and container tools.

            Now, if you’re using Ubuntu in production, you probably should stick with the Long Term Support Ubuntu 18.04. After all, it comes with ten years of support. But there’s a lot of tempting goodness in Disco Dingo, Ubuntu 19.04′s playful moniker.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) released

            Codenamed “Disco Dingo”, 19.04 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 5.0 based Linux kernel,
            our default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.3 with glibc 2.29, and we’ve
            also updated to openssl 1.1.1b and gnutls 3.6.5 with TLS1.3 support.

          • Ubuntu Linux 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ is finally available for download

            Christmas. Thanksgiving. Ubuntu release day. What do those three things have in common? They are days that cause many people to get excited. Back in the day, computer users would get excited about a new version of Windows too, such as Windows 95, XP, and 7 to name a few. Since Windows 8, however, Microsoft’s new operating systems are hardly a reason for celebration. New versions of Ubuntu, the extremely popular Linux-based operating system, does pique the interest of many, including yours truly.

            Today, Linux users around the world should celebrate, as Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” is finally here! Following the Beta release, the stable version is now available for download. Keep in mind, version 19.04 is not LTS (Long Term Support), meaning it is only supported until January 2020.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Is Now Available to Download

            Six months in development, the Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) opertating system is finally here and you can download it right now for Desktop and Server, as well as all official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio.

            The Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) release is powered by the most recent Linux 5.0 kernel series and ships with some of the latest software releases and GNU/Linux technologies, including the GNOME 3.32, MATE 1.22, and KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environments, LibreOffice 6.2 office suite, and Mozilla Firefox 66 web browser.

          • Disco Dingo brings usual Ubuntu trademark tweaks

            Ubuntu is now under the control of this platoon and I expect discipline. It’s understood that the barracks will be visited by Major Update today, so FAAAAALL IN!

            Now, we’ve had a dossier from Commander Shuttleworth which gives details of exactly what you can expect during Major Update’s visit.

            Firstly, let’s deal with cypher execution. This is a .04 release. That means it’s not Long Term Supported, but rather the most cutting edge offering yet from Ubuntu.

          • Xubuntu 19.04 Is Ready With To Provide Its Updated Lightweight Xfce Desktop Experience

            While it may not seem like a big release with Xfce 4.14 having yet to materialize, the Xubuntu developers have been doing a fine job providing a nice upgrade with Xubuntu 19.04 for those appreciating a lightweight, GTK-based desktop environment built around Ubuntu.

            Xubuntu 19.04 is available today as part of the Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” launch and it ships with the very latest Xfce package releases, new wallpapers/artwork, GIMP has been re-added to the ISO after a four year hiatus, LibreOffice Impress now ships on their ISO, and various settings changes. Most notably though is just all of the latest Xfce packages released over the past six months on the road towards Xfce 4.14.

          • Disco Dingo fever: Ubuntu 19.04 has an infrastructure bent, snappier GNOME and another stupid name

            Pull on those flares and perch atop your most precipitous platforms – Canonical has emitted Ubuntu 19.04, aka “Disco Dingo”, with its sights set firmly on infrastructure.

            Although, as this is not a Long Term Support (LTS) version, enterprises are likely to hold off a while – the Dingo is only getting support until January 2020. If you need LTS, then Ubuntu recommends sticking with 18.04 LTS instead.

            However, if you cannot wait to get your hands on the new shiny, there are all manner of toys in the box with which to play.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 Released With Plenty Of Features, Download Link

            Ubuntu 19.04 is officially available out for the public. Ubuntu 19.04 will be supported for 9 months until January 2020. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with the latest GNOME desktop 3.32.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 Released: Download For Linux 5.0, GNOME 3.32 And More Features

            Ubuntu 19.04 comes with its fair share of significant changes. So, let’s discuss some of the important ones. Most of these changes are related to the default Ubuntu Desktop version that ships with GNOME shell.

          • What’s New In Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)

            Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) will be released today. Read on if you want to see what new features and improvements are included with this new Ubuntu release.

            This Ubuntu version is supported until January 2020. For a longer supported release, use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead, which is supported until April 2023.

          • Xubuntu 19.04: The Exhaustive Update

            Xubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” is just around the corner. It features numerous updates and an updated snapshot of Xfce 4.14 development. If you want to see all the changes, you’ve come to the right place!

          • Ubuntu MATE 19.04 Final Release

            Let’s rip that band-aid off and get this over quickly. Ubuntu MATE 19.04 is shipping with MATE Desktop 1.20. Albeit, the latest maintenance release of MATE Desktop 1.20 with some of the bug fixes and new features from MATE Desktop 1.22 included. In fact, the version of MATE Desktop being shipped in 19.04 is derived from the same MATE packages that will feature in the upcoming Debian 10 (Buster) release.

            You may be wondering why we’re not shipping MATE Desktop 1.22? The answer, stability. MATE Desktop 1.22 introduces some underlying API changes in core components and while all first party MATE Desktop applications are compatible with the changes and completely stable, some third party applications are not. Some third party applications are big crashers now and we’ve not been able to fix them in time.

          • 15 Things I Did Post Ubuntu 19.04 Installation

            Ubuntu 19.04, codenamed “Disco Dingo”, is well on its way. I’ve been on Ubuntu 19.04 since its first Alpha, and this has been a rock solid release as far I’m concerned. Changes in Ubuntu 19.04 are more evolutionary though, but availability of the latest Linux Kernel version 5.0 is significant. New wallpapers are pretty great too.

          • Ubuntu Server development summary – 16 April 2019

            The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A New Snapshot is now here for Feren OS 64-Bit and 32-Bit (Cinnamon)!

              It’s been 3 months since the last Snapshot, so… if you don’t know what that means: It calls for a New Feren OS Snapshot, and it’s now released for the 64 Bit Architecture and the 32 Bit Architecture… To also celebrate this, this snapshot brings forth a whole bunch of improvements and more importantly changes to make the experience even better than before!
              This release comes with a serious set of changes and improvements over the January 2019 Snapshot, most being significant and others being too insignificant to be properly listed here. This announcement post is a summary of most of these changes.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ecuador: Immediately release software developer Ola Bini

    As an evidence, the General Prosecutor presented a number of digital devices, such as laptops, iPads, iPods, USB cables, and encrypted USB data storage devices, literature as well as travel patterns and payments for Internet services.

    ARTICLE 19 is concerned that the arrest and illegal detention of Ola Bini is part of a crackdown against the community of developers who build digital security technology tools which enable Internet freedoms and secure communication online.

  • Enterprises Are Driving The Adoption Of Open Source: Red Hat Report

    While ‘open source’ may still be an unknown term among the masses, the enterprise world has gone full monty with open source.

    I have not met a single enterprise customer that doesn’t use open source. In fact, we are reaching a point where people are not using the term open source as much, as that’s the way the default way to write software.

    I recall my interview with the former Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO, Sam Ramji, who said that within the next five years, we may not even use the term open source. That’s actually already happening.

  • Zstd 1.4 Brings Even Better Compression / Decompression Performance

    The engineers at Facebook maintaining Zstandard “Zstd” as a speedy real-time compression algorithm debuted version 1.4.0 on Tuesday with some notable improvements.

    Zstd 1.4 stabilizes its advanced API, which allows finer tuning of compression/decompression parameters for advanced use-cases. Exciting us the most out of the new Zstandard is continuing to evolve the compression and decompression performance.

  • VLC media player may be returning to Huawei handsets

    Now, it appears that the Huawei P30 range has access to download VLC from the Play Store, which either suggests that VideoLAN is working towards reinstating the app, or that it just hasn’t got round to updating the Play Store block to cover the new phone yet. It’s still blocked on older models.

  • Events

    • Red Hat Summit 2019 Labs: Emerging technology roadmap

      Red Hat Summit 2019 is rocking Boston, MA, May 7-9 in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Everything you need to know about the current state of open source enterprise-ready software can be found at this event. You’ll find customers talking about their experiences leveraging open source in their solutions, creators of open source technologies you’re using, and hands-on lab experiences relating to these technologies.

      This hands-on appeal is what this series of articles is about. In previous articles, we looked at labs focusing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Integration and APIs, and cloud-native app development. In this article, we’ll look at labs in the “Emerging Technology” track.

      The following labs can be found in the session catalog online, by searching on title or filtering on “instructor-led labs” and “emerging technology.”

    • Red Hat Summit 2019 Track Guide: Emerging Technology

      From optimizing existing IT infrastructure to executing on their digital transformation goals, enterprises have a lot to think about – especially when emerging technologies may soon be disrupting entire industries. In our annual Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook, we asked customers what they are keeping an eye on in 2019. Blockchain, edge computing and developer productivity tools are top three. In other words, it’s all about security, data insights and application development in a world where developers rule the school.

    • Khmer Translation Sprint 3
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Chris H-C: Distributed Teams: A Test Failing Because It’s Run West of Newfoundland and Labrador

        When Firefox starts up the first time, it doesn’t know where it is. And it needs to know where it is to properly make a first guess at what language you want and what search engines would work best. Google’s results are pretty bad in Canada unless you use “google.ca”, after all.

        But while Firefox doesn’t know where it is, it does know is what timezone it’s in from the settings in your OS’s clock. On top of that it knows what language your OS is set to. So we make a first guess at which search region we’re in based on whether or not the timezone overlaps a US timezone and if your OS’ locale is `en-US` (United States English).

        What this fails to take into account is that United States English is the “default” locale reported by many OSes even if you aren’t in the US. And how even if you are in a timezone that overlaps with the US, you might not be there.

      • Fluent 1.0: a localization system for natural-sounding translations

        Fluent is a family of localization specifications, implementations and good practices developed by Mozilla. It is currently used in Firefox. With Fluent, translators can create expressive translations that sound great in their language. Today we’re announcing version 1.0 of the Fluent file format specification. We’re inviting translation tool authors to try it out and provide feedback.

      • Mark Surman: Getting crisper about ‘better AI’

        As I wrote a few weeks back, Mozilla is increasingly coming to the conclusion that making sure AI serves humanity rather than harms it is a key internet health issue. Our internet health movement building efforts will be focused in this area in the coming years.

        In 2019, this means focusing a big part of our investment in fellowships, awards, campaigns and the Internet Health Report on AI topics. It also means taking the time to get crisper on what we mean by ‘better’ and defining a specific set of things we’d like to see happen around the politics, technology and use of AI. Thinking this through now will tee up work in the years to come.

        We started this thinking in an ‘issue brief’ that looks at AI issues through the lens of internet health and the Mozilla Manifesto. It builds from the idea that intelligent systems are ultimately designed and shaped by humans — and then looks at areas where we need to collectively figure out how we want these systems used, who should control them and how we should mitigate their risks. The purpose of this brief is to spark discussions in and around Mozilla that will help us come up with more specific goals and plans of action.

      • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
      • Mozilla reacts to European Parliament plenary vote on EU Terrorist Content regulation

        As the recent atrocities in Christchurch underscored, terrorism remains a serious threat to citizens and society, and it is essential that we implement effective strategies to combat it. But the Terrorist Content regulation passed today in the European Parliament is not that. This legislation does little but chip away at the rights of European citizens and further entrench the same companies the legislation was aimed at regulating. By demanding that companies of all sizes take down ‘terrorist content’ within one hour the EU has set a compliance bar that only the most powerful can meet.

        Our calls for targeted, proportionate and evidence-driven policy responses to combat the evolving threat, were not accepted by the majority, but we will continue to push for a more effective regulation in the next phase of this legislative process. The issue is simply too important to get wrong, and the present shortfalls in the proposal are too serious to let stand.

      • Mark J. Wielaard: Valgrind 3.15.0 with improved DHAT heap profiler

        Julian Seward released valgrind 3.15.0 which updates support for existing platforms and adds a major overhaul of the DHAT heap profiler. There are, as ever, many refinements and bug fixes. The release notes give more details.

        Nicholas Nethercote used the old experimental DHAT tool a lot while profiling the Rust compiler and then decided to write and contribute A better DHAT (which contains a screenshot of the the new graphical viewer).

      • Valgrind 3.15 Released With Overhauled DHAT Profiler

        Valgrind 3.15 has been released, the programming utility famous for catching memory leaks and helping with memory debugging/profiling.

        Valgrind 3.15 most notably overhauls DHAT, their Dynamic Heap Analysis Tool. DHAT looks at how programs are using heap allocations and is able to identify possible leaks, excessive turnovers, excessive transients, useless/underused allocations, and blocks with inefficient layouts.

      • A better DHAT

        DHAT is a heap profiler that comes with Valgrind. (The name is short for “Dynamic Heap Analysis Tool”.) It tells your where all your heap allocations come from, and can help you find the following: places that cause excessive numbers of allocations; leaks; unused and under-used allocations; short-lived allocations; and allocations with inefficient data layouts. This old blog post goes into some detail.

        In the new Valgrind 3.15 release I have given DHAT a thorough overhaul.

        The old DHAT was very useful and I have used it a lot while profiling the Rust compiler. But it had some rather annoying limitations, which the new DHAT overcomes.

        First, the old DHAT dumped its data as text at program termination. The new DHAT collects its data in a file which is read by a graphical viewer that runs in a web browser. This gives several advantages.

  • Databases

    • SQLite Release 3.28.0
    • SQLite 3.28 Released With More Feature Additions, Performance Enhancements

      SQLite 3.28 is now the latest version of this widely-used, embed-friendly cross-platform database library.

      As is the case for most SQLite releases, new features and performance enhancements are the principle changes. SQLite 3.28 presents enhanced window functions, enhancements to its TCL interface, various CLI improvements, new API additions, security improvements to its tokenizer, more robust handling against corrupt database files, and various fixes.

  • LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation releases LibreOffice 6.2.3

      The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2.3, the third bug and regression fixing release of the LibreOffice 6.2 family, targeted at tech-savvy individuals: early adopters, technology enthusiasts and power users.

      LibreOffice’s end users are helped by a global community of volunteers: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

      LibreOffice users are invited to join the community at https://www.libreoffice.org/community/get-involved/, to improve LibreOffice by contributing back in one of the following areas: development, documentation, infrastructure, localization, quality assurance, design or marketing.

    • LibreOffice 6.2.3 Office Suite Released with More Than 90 Bug Fixes

      LibreOffice 6.2.3 is here about a month after the release of LibreOffice 6.2.2 to add another layer of bug fixes and improvements to various of the components included in the beloved open source office suite used by millions of computer users worldwide. LibreOffice 6.2.3 contains a total of 92 changes to make your LibreOffice experience more stable and reliable.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 8.0 released

      This release contains mitigation for a weakness in the scp(1) tool
      and protocol (CVE-2019-6111): when copying files from a remote system
      to a local directory, scp(1) did not verify that the filenames that
      the server sent matched those requested by the client. This could
      allow a hostile server to create or clobber unexpected local files
      with attacker-controlled content.

      This release adds client-side checking that the filenames sent from
      the server match the command-line request,

      The scp protocol is outdated, inflexible and not readily fixed. We
      recommend the use of more modern protocols like sftp and rsync for
      file transfer instead.

    • OpenSSH 8.0 released

      OpenSSH 8.0 has just been released. It will be available from the
      mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
      includes sftp client and server support.

      Once again, we would like to thank the OpenSSH community for their
      continued support of the project, especially those who contributed
      code or patches, reported bugs, tested snapshots or donated to the
      project. More information on donations may be found at:

      http://www.openssh.com/donations.html

    • OpenSSH 8.0 Released – Addresses SCP Vulnerability, New SSH Additions

      Theo de Raadt and the OpenBSD developers maintaining OpenSSH today unveiled OpenSSH 8.0.

      OpenSSH 8.0 does have an important security fix if you use scp for copying files to/from remote systems. Up until now when copying files from remote systems to a local directory, SCP was not verifying the filenames of what was being sent from the server to client and that could allow a hostile server to create or clobber unexpected local files with attack-controlled data regardless of what file(s) were actually requested for copying from the remote server.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gnuastro 0.9 released

      I am happy to announce the 9th stable release of GNU Astronomy
      Utilities (Gnuastro).

      Gnuastro is an official GNU package consisting of various command-line
      programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
      (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
      command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
      list of Gnuastro’s library, programs, and a comprehensive general
      tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
      links below respectively:

      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html

      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html

      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html

      Many features have been added and Gnuastro has become much more stable
      with the many bugs that were found and fixed (see [1], below). The most
      interesting new feature may be that Gnuastro now also installs scripts
      (with this naming convention: `astscript-*’). Since Gnuastro’s
      programs are designed to be highly modular, they are relatively
      low-level. With this new feature, it is now very easy to include
      common higher-level operations within Gnuastro also, for example to
      call multiple programs together, or use a single program’s outputs in
      a special way. With version 0.9, only one script is installed (as
      described in [1]), but because of their high-level nature, we expect
      many more to be added soon. If you commonly run several Gnuastro
      programs together for a certain operation, please share it with us so
      we add it as a script for everyone to use.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Is Open Source Part of Your Search Stack?

      We are now seeing a new trend in the industry: product vendors integrating with selected open source projects to deliver specific capabilities, along with a licensed proprietary commercial platform that delivers the user experience. This lets software developers utilize the best open source technology under the hood for specific functions, along with smaller set of code that delivers the user experience and capabilities.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Best Programming Tools for Tutoring Kids

      Have you ever noticed how easily children use TVs, tablets, and other smart devices? It used to surprise me how quick kids are to find their way on smart devices not any longer because I now understand that such operations will be like their second nature because it is the era they have been born into – technology. In light of this information, it is never too early to start introducing them to computing and programming concepts.

      The world’s advancement is partly dependent on technology and you can never tell how useful the skills they develop from playing programming-inclined games and reading related material will be to them.

    • Red Hat Developer Toolset 8.1 Beta now available

      Red Hat Developer Toolset augments Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the latest, stable versions of GCC that install alongside the original base version.

    • Red Hat Software Collections 3.3 Beta: New and updated components

      Red Hat Software Collections supply the latest, stable versions of development tools for Red Hat Enterprise Linux via two release trains per year. We are pleased to introduce three new and two updated components in this release, Red Hat Software Collections 3.3 Beta.

    • Red Hat Extensions for Microsoft Visual Studio Code receive 3.8 million installs

      Since the introduction of open source more than 20 years ago, software development has undergone significant shifts. Open source development has enabled new programming languages (see Go, Rust, etc.); and as a result, IDEs that are designed to be used with multiple languages are increasingly useful. In addition, enterprises can feel mounting pressure to compete in the digital economy, which can increase developer requirements to produce more microservices and cloud-native applications – and doing it faster. The ability for developers to optimize use of their favorite tools can be essential towards improving developer productivity.

    • Tutorial: Text Classification in Python Using spaCy
    • Sum the factorial of a list object with python
    • Reverse a number with Python
    • Selenium Using Python: All You Need to Know
    • Introduction to Generators in Python
    • Catalin George Festila: Update python modules of 3.73 version.
    • Testing metrics thoughts and examples: how to turn lights on and off through MQTT with pytest-play

      In this article I’ll share some personal thoughts about test metrics and talk about some technologies and tools playing around a real example: how to turn lights on and off through MQTT collecting test metrics.

      By the way the considerations contained in this article are valid for any system, technology, test strategy and test tools so you can easily integrate your existing automated tests with statsd with a couple of lines of code in any language.

      I will use the pytest-play tool in this example so that even non programmers should be able to play with automation collecting metrics because this tool is based on YAML (this way no classes, functions, threads, imports, no compilation, etc) and if Docker is already no installation is needed. You’ll need only a bit of command line knowledge and traces of Python expressions like variables["count"] > 0.

    • Python’s dynamic nature: sticking an attribute onto an object
    • How to Work With a PDF in Python

      The Portable Document Format or PDF is a file format that can be used to present and exchange documents reliably across operating systems. While the PDF was originally invented by Adobe, it is now an open standard that is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). You can work with a preexisting PDF in Python by using the PyPDF2 package.

    • Positional-only parameters for Python

      Arguments can be passed to Python functions by position or by keyword—generally both. There are times when API designers may wish to restrict some function parameters to only be passed by position, which is harder than some think it should be in pure Python. That has led to a PEP that is meant to make the situation better, but opponents say it doesn’t really do that; it simply replaces one obscure mechanism with another. The PEP was assigned a fairly well-known “BDFL delegate” (former BDFL Guido van Rossum), who has accepted it, presumably for Python 3.8.

    • A backdoor in a popular Ruby gem

      Finding ways to put backdoors into various programming-language package repositories (e.g. npm, PyPI, and now RubyGems) seems like it is becoming a new Olympic sport or something. Every time you turn around, there is a report of a new backdoor. It is now apparently Ruby’s turn, with a new report of a remote-execution backdoor being inserted, briefly, into a popular gem that is installed by some sites using the Ruby on Rails web-application framework.

      The bootstrap-sass gem provides a version of the Bootstrap mobile-centric JavaScript library for Sass environments. It can be easily added to web sites, so it is included in many. As with much of the web-application development today, these kinds of dependencies are often picked up automatically, built into cloud or container images, and deployed into production with little or no human supervision. Unfortunately, bootstrap-sass was backdoored by persons unknown in late March.

      The backdoor was discovered quickly, less than a day after the release was made, according to a timeline in a Snyk blog post about the flaw. Version 3.2.0.2 of bootstrap-sass gem was removed from the RubyGems repository, presumably by the malicious actor(s), sometime prior to March 26. That was done to cause users to pick up a new version, 3.2.0.3, that was published on RubyGems on March 26. It contained the backdoor.

    • Qbs 1.13 released

      We are happy to announce version 1.13.0 of the Qbs build tool. This is the last version to be released under the auspices of the Qt Company, but certainly not the least.

      Qbs projects can now make use of pkg-config modules. Syntax-wise, the same dependency mechanism as for Qbs’ own modules is used. For instance, on a typical Linux machine with an OpenSSL development package installed, the following is enough to let a Qbs project build against it…

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Elsevier’s Presence on Campuses Spans More Than Journals. That Has Some Scholars Worried.

      Scholars are beginning to discuss the idea of Elsevier-as-monolith at conferences and in their research. Not only are librarians and researchers speaking openly about the hefty costs of bulk subscriptions to the company’s premier journals, but they’re also paying attention to the products that Elsevier has acquired, several of which allow its customers to store data and share their work.

    • A College President Stands Up for Academic Freedom

      What happens when university students call on authority figures to censor students or staff at institutions of higher education? At Yale such students have been awarded prizes, at the University of Missouri they’ve been successful in forcing administrators to resign, at Claremont they were able to force their president to implement a long list of demands, and at Evergreen State College a throng of students were allowed to take control of the campus while harassed faculty sought refuge off-campus. At other colleges around America, and even on campuses in the U.K., Canada and Australia, university administrators have met illiberal student mobs with a parade of mealy-mouthed platitudes and prostrations. This pattern of weakness has been dismaying for all people who value academic freedom and open inquiry. This week, however, a line has been drawn by David Yager, President of Philadelphia’s University of Arts (UArts). In response to students calling for the censorship of Camille Paglia—one of the most admired humanities scholars in the world—he articulated a full-throated defence of intellectual freedom, showing administrators of supposedly superior universities what real leadership looks like.

  • Hardware

    • Intel says it will exit the 5G phone business as Apple and Qualcomm strike multiyear deal

      It’s likely Intel’s decision here was what prompted Apple and Qualcomm’s decision to settle — which came as quite a surprise since it happened just as lawyers were presenting opening arguments at the latest courtroom trial that began yesterday in Southern California. But it’s unclear when Intel came to this decision, or when it informed Apple, and Intel declined to comment. Either way, phone manufacturers like Apple will need to look elsewhere for their 5G radios now, and that means Intel just ceded that business to Qualcomm.

  • Security

    • State-sponsored actor targets Mideast, North Africa using DNS hijacking

      A new cyber threat campaign that is claimed to be targeting public and private entities, including national security organisations in the Middle East and North Africa, has been discovered by Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group.

      Researchers Danny Adamitis, David Maynor, Warren Mercer, Matthew Olney and Paul Rascagneres said in a detailed blog post that the campaign, which they had christened Sea Turtle, had kicked off probably in January 2017 and was continuing.

    • Cisco: These are the flaws DNS hijackers are using in their attacks

      Cisco has warned that state-backed hackers are attempting to manipulate domain name systems (DNS) by using a combination of spear phishing and a number of known software flaws.

      “DNS is a foundational technology supporting the internet. Manipulating that system has the potential to undermine the trust users have on the internet. That trust and the stability of the DNS system as a whole drives the global economy. Responsible nations should avoid targeting this system,” the Cisco Talos researchers said.

    • ‘Sea Turtle’ Campaign Focuses on DNS Hijacking to Compromise Targets

      For at least two years, a highly capable threat actor has been running a campaign that relied on DNS hijacking to reach their targets. In the operation, at least 40 public and private organizations in 13 countries have been compromised.

      The domain name system (DNS) is the service that allows us to access websites by typing domain names instead of IP addresses in a browser’s address bar. It translates the names into the numerical destination of the server hosting the web page we want to load.

      Access to DNS records enables an attacker to replace the addresses of a target’s name servers so that they point to their own infrastructure. Once in control of the name servers responsible for handling requests for IP addresses associated with web domains, the threat actor can direct victims to content on malicious servers.

    • The wave of domain hijackings besetting the Internet is worse than we thought

      The report was published Wednesday by Cisco’s Talos security group. It indicates that three weeks ago, the highjacking campaign targeted the domain of Sweden-based consulting firm Cafax. Cafax’s only listed consultant is Lars-Johan Liman, who is a senior systems specialist at Netnod, a Swedish DNS provider. Netnod is also the operator of i.root, one of the Internet’s foundational 13 DNS root servers. Liman is listed as being responsible for the i-root. As KrebsOnSecurity reported previously, Netnod domains were hijacked in December and January in a campaign aimed at capturing credentials. The Cisco report assessed with high confidence that Cafax was targeted in an attempt to re-establish access to Netnod infrastructure.

    • New Windows Zero-Day Vulnerability Grants Hackers Full Control Over PCs [Ed: The NSA already had these permissions. Now everyone has these.]

      According to the latest Kaspersky Lab Report, a Windows Zero-Day vulnerability is serving as a backdoor for hackers to take control of users’ PCs.

      The latest exploit utilizes a use-after-free attack and has a technical name CVE-2019-0895. The exploit is found in win32k.sys and grants hackers Local Privilege meaning they’re able to access resources usually outside of users’ capabilities.

    • New zero-day vulnerability CVE-2019-0859 in win32k.sys
    • AP Exclusive: Mysterious operative haunted Kaspersky critics

      He also asked Giles to repeat himself or speak louder so persistently that Giles said he began wondering “whether I should be speaking into his tie or his briefcase or wherever the microphone was.”

      “He was drilling down hard on whether there had been any ulterior motives behind negative media commentary on Kaspersky,” said Giles, a Russia specialist with London’s Chatham House thinktank who often has urged caution about Kaspersky’s alleged Kremlin connections. “The angle he wanted to push was that individuals — like me — who had been quoted in the media had been induced by or motivated to do so by Kaspersky’s competitors.”

    • Feds: Saint Rose grad used ‘killer’ device to fry computers

      In 2016, College of Saint Rose graduate assistant Vishwanath Akuthota said he believed there was a “lot of opportunity” for him at the school.

      On Monday, federal prosecutors said he took advantage of a different kind of opportunity — access to campus — when he destroyed dozens of computers at a cost of more than $50,000.

    • Student Uses “USB Killer” To Fry $58,000 Worth of Computers
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • I Made a Promise to Assange if this day ever came I would Fight for Him

      Anyone who has followed WikiLeaks for as long as I have knows that, if there ever was a time to fight for Assange, it is now.

      I made a promise not only to myself but to him as well a long time ago that, if this day ever came, that I would fight against any attempts to bring him to America.

      I really hope that everyone, despite what they think of him as a person, can look beyond the personality and understand what is at stake here for the future of journalism, the right to know about wrongdoing of powerful entities, such as humans, or their husks of an authority.

    • Sell Out: How Corruption, Voter Fraud and a Neoliberal Turn Led Ecuador’s Lenin to Give Up Assange

      The images of six Metropolitan police officers dragging Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London have provoked rage by citizens around the world. Many have warned that his extradition to the US for trial on conspiracy charges – and possibly much more if federal prosecutors have their way – will lead to the criminalization of many standard journalistic practices. These scenes were only possible thanks to the transformation of Ecuador’s government under the watch of President Lenin Moreno.

      Since at least December 2018, Moreno has been working towards expelling Assange from the embassy. The Ecuadorian president’s behavior represents a stunning reversal from the policies of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, the defiantly progressive leader who first authorized Assange’s asylum back in 2012, and who now lives in exile.

      While Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Jose Valencia, blamed his government’s expulsion of Assange on the Australian journalist’s “rudeness,” the sell out is clearly a byproduct of Moreno’s right-leaning agenda.

  • Finance

    • Africa’s Amazon Is Set for a New York IPO as Online Retail Takes Off

      Less than 1 percent of retail sales in Jumia’s African footprint are conducted online compared with almost 24 percent in China, the company said in the filing, citing Euromonitor International data. That makes the continent ripe for internet sellers as more Africans adopt smartphones and get access to mobile broadband. Jumia’s revenue jumped by almost 40 percent last year to 130.6 million euros ($147.3 million).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Is America’s media divide destroying democracy?

      In some ways, the talk about Americans trapped in news echo chambers may be exaggerated. That’s because the people who routinely bemoan the other side’s “fake news” are also the most dedicated partisans – and a relatively small share of the population. Yet this doesn’t mean biased or distorted information has little effect.

    • Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends, leaked documents show

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data, according to about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents largely spanning 2011 to 2015 and obtained by NBC News.

      The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

      In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.

    • 15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook

      Then he shifted to his next idea of a global menace: Google and Facebook. “Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” he said. “The owners of the platform giants consider themselves the masters of the universe, but in fact they are slaves to preserving their dominant position … Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered.”

    • London cops switch off wifi in the tube to make it harder for climate protesters to organise

      London’s climate protesters are organised under the banner of Extinction Rebellion (previously), one of the world’s most effective and important climate change action groups. 300 Extinction Rebellion protesters have been arrested in London this week, as they have shut down “main roads, bridges, and Tube stations.” Extinction Rebellion’s demands include zero emissions by 2025.

    • UK police shut off Wi-Fi in London Tube stations to deter climate protestors

      The spokesperson says the shutdown is ongoing and would be “reviewed throughout the day.” They did not say exactly which stations were affected.

      Shutting down Wi-Fi at London Tube stations is an unusual move for the British Transport Police. It’s not clear to what degree it would stop climate protestors from coordinating, as the vast majority of DLR stations (the line targeted today by Extinction Rebellion) are above ground and have access to mobile networks.

      It’s also not clear what procedures police have to follow in order to effect a shutdown. A spokesperson for Virgin Media, the ISP that provides Wi-Fi in London Tube stations said only that the company had received an instruction from the police and had to comply.

    • 5 Stupid, Stupid Ways Social Media Is Destroying The World

      Ironically, the number of people visiting a site can destroy what made it popular in the first place.

    • Jack Dorsey Is Captain of the Twittanic at TED 2019

      Dorsey didn’t address any of these incidents specifically at TED. In fact, his answers lacked specificity overall. When he was asked pointed questions, he evaded them, as he often does. Rodgers asked him how many people are working on content moderation on Twitter—a number the company has never published, and Tuesday continued the vagueness streak.

    • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Explained Why She’s Imposed “Little Rules” on Her Social Media Usage

      “I personally gave up Facebook,” Ocasio-Cortez shared, “which was kind of a big deal because I started my campaign on Facebook, and Facebook was my primary digital organizing tool for a very long time.” She said she still maintains some accounts and agreed that Facebook’s audience tends to skew older, before speaking more broadly about social media.

      “I actually think that social media poses a public health risk to everybody,” AOC said. “There are amplified impacts for young people, particularly children under the age of 3 with screen time. But I think it has a lot of effects on older people. I think it has effects on everybody: increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.”

    • On the eve of a contentious election, Twitter suspends the accounts of progressive activists

      Today, Alberta is having one of its bitterest, hardest-fought elections, with far-right/xenophobic elements on the upswing through the United Conservative Party, led by Jason Kenney, who has been awfully cavalier about the white nationalists in his party.

      On the literal eve of the election, Twitter suddenly — and without explanation — removed the accounts of many prominent progressive activists who’d been campaigning against the UCP.

    • Twitter suspends UCP critics before election

      “I feel like this is a way to silence some of the more vocal non-UCP supporters,” said Leung, who has expressed support on Twitter for NDP candidate Julia Hayter in Calgary-Edgemont, where he grew up.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Another month’s mental test for FB user jailed 10 years for insulting Islam

      Alister pleaded guilty before Sessions Court judge Jason Juga on March 8 to uploading offensive materials about Islam on social media.

    • TikTok Brings Chinese-Style Censorship to America’s Tweens

      The music video app owned by the Chinese startup Bytedance is like Facebook—but with a younger audience, more data mining, and different ideas about free speech.

    • UK gov’s porn block will now come into force on 15 July

      The so-called “porn block” was originally set to arrive in April 2018, then at the end of 2018, and most recently on 1 April this year. Likely after Googling “porn block problems,” the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) failed to meet this seemingly-unironic April Fools’ target.

      We now have yet another launch date that will likely also be missed, with the DCMS confirming on Wednesday that the bongo-site-block will be rolled out nationwide from 15 July.

    • Porn sites must age-verify British users starting July 15

      The mandate applies to porn sites globally. Sites that fail to comply with the rules will be put on an official blacklist of non-compliant porn sites. British ISPs will be required to block access to these sites, and payment processors will be required to deny them payment services.

    • To hell with model code of conduct, says Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut

      He went on to say that his blood boils when someone tries to “intimidate” him with the model code of conduct.

    • German court dismisses comedian’s case against Merkel

      Following the broadcast, a furious Erdogan demanded Böhmermann be prosecuted under Germany’s “lese majeste” law, which forbids insulting foreign heads of state. The criminal investigation against him was dropped in late 2016, but a separate civil court case banned certain “defamatory” verses of the poem.

      German lawmakers scrapped the “lese majeste” law altogether in 2017.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • 1.5M Users’ Contacts Uploaded By Facebook Without Their Consent

      As part of its habit (which seems to die hard), Facebook has been found uploading contact details of around 1.5 million users without their knowledge while it asked users of his or her email passwords.

      The new revelation suggests that since 2016, Facebook has been “unintentionally” accumulating users’ contacts, and uploading them onto the platform when users sign up.

    • Facebook confirms it’s working on an AI voice assistant for Portal and Oculus products

      The first of the those two divisions is the AR/VR hardware group responsible for developing the Portal video chatting device, and that division now also includes the remnants of Facebook’s disbanded Building 8, a secretive division formerly run by former DARPA director and Google employee Regina Dugan, who left the company in late 2017. The second division is now known as Facebook Reality Labs, run by video game pioneer Michael Abrash, who became a Facebook employee by way of Oculus and now holds the title of chief scientist at the VR company.

      It seems the Facebook AI assistant is being jointly built by both teams, with Snyder seemingly holding positions at both divisions. Whatever the eventual purpose, it’s clear Facebook is treating its growing family of hardware devices as conduits for a shared vision for the future, one in which AI is layered throughout Facebook-owned platforms and not restricted to singular products.

    • Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri

      Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

    • Leaked docs suggest Zuckerberg gave his mates access to Facebook data

      4,000 pages of leaked company documentation from 2011-2015 show in a variety of formats that Facebook’s strategy involved using the power of that data in the way it dealt with partner organisations.

      Some companies were given preferential access to the Information Graph, whilst others were penalised with reduced access, that could potentially mean the difference between a service that works, and a service that doesn’t.

      In other words, rather than out-and-out sell access to the data, it has opted to drip feed it to companies it likes, as a reward for compliant behaviour, which is about as creepy as it gets.

    • Facebook Poised to Fight Disclosure of U.S. Privacy Assessments

      As part of a 2011 settlement settling charges that Facebook deceived users when it said they could keep their data private, the company had to submit to privacy assessments every other year for 20 years to document that it had enough controls to protect user data. Facebook hired PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to conduct the reviews. In three reports that the FTC has made public, with dozens of pages blanked out, PwC concluded the privacy program was working.

      Questions about the accuracy and thoroughness of those checkups have arisen amid a string of scandals and missteps in how the world’s largest social media site has been handling user data.

    • Public, Council Were in the Dark on Police Access to ‘Smart’ Streetlights

      City officials billed the streetlight sensors and cameras as a means of gathering atmospheric data and analyzing traffic and pedestrian flow to better understand the city’s infrastructure needs. The devices’ use as a crime-fighting tool never came up. But that’s what the approximately 3,000 cameras raised high above San Diego street corners have become.

      Since August, the San Diego Police Department has been accessing the raw video footage with permission from City Hall and using its contents in dozens of criminal investigations, as the U-T reported. Some of that footage could appear at a trial scheduled to begin later this month, according to police.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘Shrouded in secrecy’: Saudi women activists due back in court

      He said that following her arrest Ms Hathloul had been taken to a secret detention facility near the maximum security prison of Dhahban in Jeddah. There, she told her family, she was taken down to a basement and subjected to waterboarding and electrocution.

      He named Saud al-Qahtani, a close confidant of the Saudi Crown Prince, as the man who oversaw her torture, allegedly laughing as he threatened to have her raped and murdered.

    • The Copenhagen Post

      The zones encompassed are Nørrebro/Nordvest, Tingbjerg, Urban Planen and Christianhavn, and the police measure will last until April 23.

    • DeepMind becomes the second Alphabet company to disband an AI ethics panel

      More crucially, delegates were concerned that Google and DeepMind couldn’t be completely independent, which created a risk to privacy.

    • Leaked Docs Show Qatari Charity Funds MB, Tariq Ramadan in Europe

      The spending serves Qatar’s political goal of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, analysts told the journalists in their accompanying documentary, a portion of which has been posted online. The Brotherhood aims to control people’s public and private lives, they said, and to obtain political power with the end goal of establishing their caliphate.

      Qatar Charity may be best known in the West for its funding of terrorist operations.

      French intelligence reported in 2013 that Qatar Charity funded an al-Qaida linked terrorist group in Mali called Ansar Dine. It also helped finance the 1998 al-Qaida bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

      Qatar Charity has legitimized itself through partnerships with mainstream Western charities including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, the documentary said.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Bad bots now account for one in five internet traffic requests

      So-called ‘bad bots’ now account for one in five net requests – 20.4 per cent of internet traffic. That’s up 20 per cent in two years.

    • FCC chairman moves to block China Mobile from entering the US

      Senior FCC officials said that they believed China Mobile to ultimately be owned by the People’s Republic of China and, if supported in the US, could lead to Chinese government-led espionage on US consumers. The officials also said that the Commission will not be pursuing a mitigation agreement because of these threats and a lack of trust between both the US and China. China Mobile presented a possible mitigation agreement to the administration, but it was rejected by both the executive branch and the FCC.

    • Bendgate 2.0: Samsung’s $2,000 foldable phone is already breaking

      Since the Galaxy Fold folds in half, the flexible OLED display quickly forms a visible crease in the middle. People were worried about the durability of folding a display in half like this, and it looks like Steve Kovach of CNBC has experienced everyone’s worst fear: his Galaxy Fold display broke right along the fold crease—all the pixels in the folding area went black and the screen started flickering like crazy.

    • Galaxy Fold Is Suffering From The Most Obvious Issue – Broken Screen
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Patent Prior Art Inherency Requires More Than Mere Possibility

      A finding that prior art inherently disclosed elements of claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,802,310 was not supported by substantial evidence; the Federal Circuit therefore reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s conclusion that the ’310 patent was unpatentable as obvious. Personal Web Technologies, LLC v. Apple, Inc., No. 2018-1599 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2019). This precedential opinion arose from an inter partesreview (IPR) proceeding, but will be of interest to patent prosecutors, inasmuch as inherency is often used (and misused) by patent examiners.

    • Another Delayed Patent Eligibility Decision

      Once again, a district court in California urged parties to improve their pleadings before deciding patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In Kajeet v. Qustodio, CV18-01519 JAK (Feb. 28, 2019), the Central District of California granted, without prejudice, a motion to dismiss a complaint for patent infringement under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6).

      Plaintiff Kajeet, Inc. asserted U.S. Patent Nos. 8,712,371, 8,630,612, and 8,667,559, directed toward rule enforcement for mobile devices, against Defendant Qustodio, LLC. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), alleging that the claims of the asserted patents were ineligible under § 101. Defendant analogized the claims to those in Bascom Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, arguing that the concepts embodied in the claims were well-known and conventional, failing the second part of the two-part Alice v. CLS Banktest. Plaintiff provided an expert declaration to support that the claims were directed to a technical improvement that would satisfy the second part of the Alice test.

    • Factual Dispute Precludes Summary Judgment on Alice / § 101 Motion

      Finding that competing expert declarations raised a factual question concerning whether claims recited an inventive concept, a Delaware magistrate judge found that a summary judgment motion for invalidity of claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,490,123 under 35 USC § 101 and the Mayo/Alice test should be denied. S.I.SV.EL. Societa ltaliana per lo Sviluppo Dell’Elettronica S.p.A v. Rhapsody International Inc., Civil Action No. 18-69-MN-CJB (March 12, 2019). A defense expert said that there was no novelty in an ordered combination recited in the claims, and the plaintiff’s expert said there was. This was enough for the court to deny the summary judgment motion.

      The ’123 patent is directed to “generating a user profile on the basis of playlists.”

    • PTAB: Derivatives Trading Patent Claim Passes Alice Test, Opinion Designated “Informative”

      The PTAB only very rarely designates a decision as “informative,” which it does according to a strictly defined “Standard Operating Procedure.” The “informative” designation means that, while the decision “is not binding authority,” it is deemed to “provide the Board’s general consensus on recurring issues and guidance to examiners, appellants, patent owners, or petitioners in areas where parties routinely misapply the law.”

      [...]

      As reflected by the fact that three-judge panel in Smith was actually split 2-1, one might question the “general consensus” that Smith is purported to represent. Nonetheless, the lesson here hardly need be stated – the PTAB has gone out of its way to state a broadening view of § 101 and patent-eligibility.

    • Attorney Fees for Suing on Patent that “Looks Like Alice”

      After dismissing a lawsuit alleging infringement of US Patent No. 9,569,755 (“Financial Management System”), Delaware’s Judge Richard Andrews has awarded attorney fees under Octane Fitness and 35 U.S.C. § 285, finding an exceptional case because claims of the ’755 patent were so clearly ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Mayo/Alice abstract idea test. Finnavations LLC v. Payoneer, Inc., Civil Action No. 1: 18-cv-00444-RGA and 1: 18-cv-00445-RGA (Mar. 18, 2019).

      [...]

      Some courts have awarded attorney fees against plaintiffs who asserted patents later found to be ineligible under § 101, where other courts have declined to award fees for Alice invalidity. Regardless, decisions such as this highlight that, even with the uncertainty that continues to attend patent-eligibility, some cases are clear cut.

    • Specification Provides Insufficient Structure for MPF Claim

      Plaintiff Nichia Corp.alleged infringement of United States Patents Nos. 7,901,959, 7,915,631, 8,309,375, and 7,855,092 by Defendant VIZIO Inc. After a claim construction hearing, VIZIO filed a motion for summary judgement which the court granted-in part and denied-in-part. This post addresses the Court’s grant of summary judgment for VIZIO finding claims 1 and 12 of the ‘092 patent to be indefinite under 35 U.S.C. §112(6) for lack of sufficient structure in the specification for the claim term “control unit.”

    • Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) is Patent-Eligible

      The District of Delaware recently denied a motion to dismiss based on lack of patent-eligible subject matter, under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test, in claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,333,806 directed to two-way radio communications utilizing either a computer network or the Internet. RICPI Communications LLC, v. JPS Interoperability Solutions, Inc., No. 18-1507-RGA (D. Del. Mar. 18, 2019). The ‘806 patent was eligible because “the computer network or internet connection serve[d] as one claim element of a concrete system for two-way radio communication.” Additionally, “‘the particular arrangement of elements recited in the ‘806 patent improves the manner in which two-way radios may establish communication by allowing them to do so over a computer network.”

    • Courts Don’t Follow the PTO’s § 101 Patent-Eligibility Guidance so Why Should You?

      The Federal Circuit’s recent dicta in a non-precedential decision stating that it need not give deference to the USPTO’s 35 U.S.C. § 101 patent-eligibility guidance highlights the challenges faced by patent applicants. In Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, No. 2018-1218 (Fed. Cir. April 1, 2019), the court affirmed a District Court’s grant of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss based on invalidity of claims of US Patent Nos. 9,575,065 and 9,581,597, as “invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as directed to an ineligible natural law.”

      The patent owner argued, among other things, that, under Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134 (1944), the District Court should have given “appropriate deference to subject matter eligibility guidance published by the PTO,” specifically “Example 29,” published on May 4, 2016. Judge Lourie, writing for the court, explained that

    • Prior to settlement, Apple got Qualcomm’s German fake patent injunction lifted: appeals court deemed it likely flawed

      Days before the sudden settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, a German appeals court had preliminarily annulled the latter’s most significant courtroom victory over the former, as I found out today. After months of briefing and in-depth analysis, the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court) granted a motion by Apple to stay the enforcement of a Germany-wide patent injunction Qualcomm had obtained from the Landgericht München I (Munich Regional Court). Apple had worked around that injunction anyway, and its effects were as minimal as they were short-lived. But the implications for patent enforcement in Germany–a sizable market in which injunctions have so far (change may be coming soon) been granted as a near-automatic legal remedy.

      Blogs are opinion platforms, and my outspokenness and willingness to make sometimes daring predictions position me as a particularly opinionated blogger on patent matters. In fact, patent professionals sometimes share my posts on LinkedIn saying that they disagree with my views but find useful information here–which is perfectly fine, and it would be a surprise if a former anti-software-patent campaigner’s positions were perfectly congruent with those of people whose job it is to prosecute or enforce patents.

    • Copyrights

      • DSM Directive Series #4: Article 17 obligations … in a chart

        One of the seemingly most complex -if nothing else, due to its length – provisions is what is now Article 17 (formerly, Article 13) of the DSM Directive, on “Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers”.

      • EU Copyright Directive faces implementation battle on several fronts

        The European Council’s April 15 adoption of the EU Copyright Directive sets a two-year implementation deadline, while some member states remain opposed to the update

      • Demonoid Founder ‘Deimos’ is Believed to Have Passed Away

        The founder of Demonoid, one of the most iconic torrent trackers in history, is believed to have passed away. Deimos suddenly disappeared without a trace last summer. According to information reviewed by Demonoid’s staff, he was likely the victim of a tragic accident.

      • As the EU Copyright Directive was approved, Germany admitted it requires copyright filters, putting it on a collision course with the EU-Canada trade deal

        And right on cue, as soon as the Directive was passed, European Commissioners who’d argued for the Directive and insisted that filters would not be required changed their tunes, saying that filters would be inevitable. The French government — who were so committed to the Directive that they dropped their opposition to a Russian gas pipeline to get it passed — also immediately announced that they would pass a law mandating filters.

        Here’s where it gets weird and interesting: Back in 2016, Canada and the EU agreed to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, a dirty-as-fuck gift to large corporations, incorporating an extensive and restrictive chapter on copyright and the internet as well as an Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause that gives corporations standing to sue governments to overturn laws that interfere with their profits.

        Guess what? CETA bans EU and Canadian governments from making tech companies liable for their users’ copyright infringements, [...]

      • Will the EU Parliament uphold or reject “terror filters” on April 17?

        The European Parliament will vote on its position on the terrorism regulation this week on Wednesday, 17 April. After this position is adopted, the next European Parliament will start trilogue negotiations with the Council, which has already rubber-stamped the Commission proposal, including mandatory upload filters.

        Call your MEPs (consult the list here) and ask them:

        1. Support the amendments proposed by Greens/EFA (Amendment 157), S&D (Amendment 160) and GUE (Amendment 164) to delete the strict one hour deadline

        2. Don’t support amendments which would undo the wins for a free internet by re-introducing upload filters or referrals!

        Due to the incredible pressure to pass this legislation before the European Parliament election, not even a debate on the proposal is planned. Time pressure is no reason to pass a law that has fundamental flaws and would be a threat to our fundamental rights online!

      • Top Film Director Sees Piracy as Most Successful Form of Distribution

        In many countries it can still be a challenge to access some films through legal channels. If that’s the case people can pirate them instead, legendary German film director Werner Herzog says. According to the movie industry veteran, piracy has been the most successful form of distribution worldwide.

      • Germany: Upload Filters Can Only Be Prevented “As Far As Possible”

        Much of the debate preceding the vote on the new EU Copyright Directive had proponents stating that since so-called “upload filters” weren’t explicitly mentioned in the text, opponents must be scaremongering to suggest they will become a reality. In a statement in the wake of Monday’s Council vote, Germany now says that not only are they “likely” but they can only be prevented “as far as possible.”

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