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

04.29.19

After Killing the Independence of Apache Software Foundation (ASF) Microsoft Steals Its Soul, Too

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A death

Summary: Apache has become a prisoner of Microsoft, having technically liaised with Microsoft (and by extension NSA PRISM) for all code hosting and management

WE KNEW it would not end well. Half a decade ago we took note of a Microsoft employee (salaried by Microsoft) taking control of ASF — an eventuality that had worried us since (almost) the dawn of this site in 2006. Among the articles we wrote about it, in chronological order: (oldest first)

  1. Yesterday’s Microsoft Slashvertisement and Apache’s Trip to Redmond
  2. Microsoft Now Tries to Invade Eclipse, Apache (Updated)
  3. Microsoft Pays for a More Microsoft-Obedient Apache
  4. Microsoft Hates Apache, Wanted to Sue It, Now Wants to Ruin It
  5. Glyn Moody, Pam Jones: Apache Sponsorship Likely an Anti-GNU/Linux Move
  6. Embrace, Extend, and Apache
  7. Does Apache Show That Money Talks?
  8. Microsoft Starts the Media Charade Ahead of Apache Conference
  9. Microsoft’s Path of LAMP Destruction: From Novell to Apache (the L to the A)
  10. Haters of Software Freedom Inside Planet Apache

There are 4 new links about the latest development today [1-4], putting aside the old ones above. No doubt there’s a lot more to come. We’re supposed to think it’s all just an act of “love” rather than infiltration or entryism. GitHub has been a perfect facilitator in that regard. Who’s next? Microsoft is at war. It’s turning its competition (to IIS), Apache, into a subservient actor. Where are antitrust authorities? Nowhere to be seen. Keep telling us that “Microsoft loves Linux,” ‘Linux’ Foundation. You’re well paid to spread this lie and keep regulators away.

Haar is Where EPO Justice Came to Meet Euthanasia

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patents being granted due to that injustice also cause deaths

Killing angel

Summary: Justice remains absent in Munich (or Haar, which we’re supposed to believe is part of Munich); this means that invalid European Patents (which courts will deem invalid) may be granted for years to come and there’s a considerable human toll that large law firms are indifferent/apathetic towards

Earlier today IP Kat allowed (after moderation) this new comment. Occasional commenter The Convention (EPC) watchdog wrote about the European Patent Office (EPO) breaking the law or the EPC, noting that “nobody in and around Munich would agree that Haar is part of Munich, including the inhabitants of Haar.”

The comment in full:

As annonymous correctly states, comparisons are imperfect. This also applies to the City of London comparison. The City of London together with the 32 Boroughs is part of Greater London which is a common administrative unit and presumably it is the one competent for the essential local matters. There is no common unit for Munich and the Landkreis, the next higher level of administration is the district of Upper Bavaria, one of 7 districts building the Land Bavaria. More important may be the common understanding of the terms. No Londoner and no foreigner would think Westminster could be outside London. However, nobody in and around Munich would agree that Haar is part of Munich, including the inhabitants of Haar.

Further up in this thread they argue that the EPO’s corrupt President wasn’t allowed to send all the judges to Haar (after one of them had allegedly passed information about corruption — as a moral person should). This President’s ‘son’, António Campinos, has done absolutely nothing to fix this. Nothing. Hardly even lip service…

Why is this so major a problem? Well, the judges in question are being asked to deal with interpretation of the EPC (which was violated when they were sent to ‘exile’) as it relates to patents on algorithms (mathematics), nature and life. As long as they’re governed by wrath/fear of the Office, how can they do their job properly? There are empty rooms at the EPO’s main building in Munich while millions of euros get wasted each year renting space in Haar for these judges. This isn’t about independence but threats and collective punishment.

Patent maximalists, deep inside perhaps, couldn’t be happier. The last thing they want is a bunch of judges telling the EPO to its face, so to speak, that the EPC is being violated and many European Patents are bunk (as SUEPO claims).

Looking at the so-called ‘news’ over the weekend (all of this ‘news’ is composed by law firms, not journalists), we’re seeing Andrew Bentham of J A Kemp, a firm that aggressively promotes patents on nature. Bentham is moaning that the European Commission does something right, for a change, by banning patents on life and nature. This is what he wrote earlier this month (it has just resurfaced again): “Recent weeks have seen important developments in the debate on patent-eligibility of plants in Europe, with the EPO’s Boards of Appeal and its President, Administrative Council and member states pulling in opposite directions. The President has now referred questions, published today, to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, but the admissibility of the referral is uncertain, so it is unclear how or when the Enlarged Board will react. Applicants in this field will therefore face further delay and uncertainty. More generally, this is also a highly unusual, polarised situation that highlights the potential for conflict between different branches of the European patent system. Fortunately, however, this issue only directly affects some plant-related applications, not all that generally relate to plants in some way.”

Bentham also published today: “As reported recently, the President of the EPO has in the last few days referred questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal on the controversial issue of patent-eligibility of plants obtained by essentially biological processes. The referral is now pending as case G3/19 but it is uncertain at present whether or not this referral will be admissible in the absence of any clear conflict in the case law on this point. The Enlarged Board could do anything from rejecting the referral entirely to accepting it and reversing its “Broccoli and Tomatoes II” (G2/13 and G2/12) decisions from 2015, in which it held that, although essentially biological processes for the production of plants are patent-ineligible according to Article 53(b) EPC, the products of such processes are not ineligible just because the processes could not be patented. As a reaction, Rule 28(2) EPC was introduced in 2017 and has since then been used to reject claims “in respect of plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process”. In December 2018, EPO Technical Board of Appeal decision T1063/18 then held Rule 28(2) invalid as in conflict with Article 53(b) in light of Broccoli/Tomatoes II. This was then reinforced in case T2734/18. The President’s referral is held out as an attempt to clarify the law but in fact seeks to reverse this and demonstrate that Rule 28(2) is valid, such that plants obtained by breeding are not patent-eligible.”

Also mind Watchtroll’s Accelerating Generic Entry: A Proven Solution to the Problem of Prescription Drug Pricing (yesterday) and Amy Crouch’s (Simmons & Simmons, Team UPC) coverage of generics coming under attack from patents. We remind readers that almost each time this is done the net effect is very simple: poor ill people become casualties of corporate greed. Here’s the situation in Germany, as opposed to Britain (the UK Supreme Court recently threw out another European Patent):

Klaus Grabinski (Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe) started the discussion by outlining infringement of second medical use patents in German case law. An important difference from the approach taken by the UK Supreme Court in Warner Lambert v Generics is that in Germany second medical use claims (whether Swiss form or EPC 2000 form) are always purpose-bound product claims, rather than method claims.

Recent case law of the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal has extended the protection to forms of use beyond “manifest arrangements” when the use can be related to the protected purpose of the substance. This requires (i) that the substance is suitable for the protected second medical use, (ii) the use is of some significance and (iii) the implementer knows about it or “blinds himself” and in this way takes advantage of circumstances that allows the substance to be used for the protected purpose. In the recent Fulvestrant case it was found that there was no expectation of a future infringing use and therefore no injunctive relief was granted.

Unrestricted injunctive relief is not available when such an order would not only cover the second medical use but also use not protected by the patent. So how can the injunction be tailored to the second medical use alone? It is a controversial legal issue whether inclusion of a statement that the product must not be used for the second medical use in the patient information leaflet is compatible with EU law on the authorisation of medical products. Alternative injunctive relief that has been requested is only allowing marketing of a product after alleged the infringer has contacted professional associations of doctors or pharmacists, although at the moment there is no legal basis for requiring associations to comply and it entirely depends on their willingness to cooperate.

Amy Crouch (Simmons & Simmons), writing from this echo chamber of patent maximalists, in her next part talked about patents covering recipes of nature, as well as attempts to work around these ‘magic’ monopolies. It’s noteworthy that each and every one of these so-called ‘panels’ are stacked (patent maximalists only). To quote:

Moderator John Lee asked if life is simply much harder for a biosimilar? Brian thought that it is, yes, because so many of the relevant patents are process patents which makes the situation more complicated. After the dance is over, sometimes 30 different patents are listed – and that is in a normal situation rather than the even more extreme Humira patent thicket. The BPCIA is complicated, allowing patentees to assert so many patents and ultimately may be slowing down the uptake of biosimilars in the US as compared to Europe. A statutory fix may help but it is unclear what such a fix should be.

Biosimilar patents were covered here before; these aren’t necessarily patents on lifeforms but they are problematic as they cover things that can save lives (of lifeforms) and thus become a barrier to life itself.

Links 29/4/2019: Another Linux RC and Microsoft Uses GitHub to Devour the Apache Software Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 moments that shaped Linux history

    In August 2018, Opensource.com posted a poll with seven options asking readers: What was the most important moment in the history of Linux? I thought I would expand on the list and present 10 moments that I think have played an important part in shaping the history of Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS 75 brings VPN support to Linux apps

      Google has finally added VPN support for Linux apps on Chrome OS. Chrome OS 75.0.3770.10, which is currently in Dev channel, enables the support in Crostini. Both the native Linux VPN for Chrome OS and Android VPNs are supported, though the former is still a work-in-progress.

      In addition to VPN support, the latest release for Chrome OS also contains a few bug fixes, as well as new features. Chrome OS 75 is expected to hit the Stable channel in mid-June.

  • Server

    • Centos server vs Ubuntu server? Difference between these two Linux

      Do you have some plans to buy a virtual server or settings up your own, but can’t decide which Linux distribution to use? We have all experienced this kind of trouble. Especially when it comes to Linux distributions since the online space is full of different distributions and various types of flavours to choose from. However, choosing one of them can make people’s mind-boggling. However, for the server in commercial space, there are two major Linux distributions, CentOS and Ubuntu. But how to choose from these two is the main problem facing by administrators, beginners and professionals. After creating so many hands-on articles on Ubuntu and Centos, and having some experience with these two (and more) distributions, we decided to make a comparison between the Ubuntu and CentsOS server distribution.

    • Cumulus Networks shapes network visibility for data centers

      Cumulus Networks has released a new version of its network operations toolset NetQ, which analyses the health of data center networks.

      The tool, which provides real-time actionable insights and operational intelligence about the networks, can analyse data from the container, virtual machine, or host, as well as the switch and port.

      “Combined with the threat of network outages, the widespread adoption of microservices, containers and virtual machines has added a new layer of complexity in the data center, resulting in a strain on traditional networks and the need for operational simplicity within the data center. In order to ensure the data center network is behaving as intended, obtaining a holistic view of the network is critical,” the company explains.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Gaming News Punch – Episode 10

      Hooray for double digits, we made it! Welcome to episode 10 of the Linux gaming news punch, another quick weekly look at what’s been going on in the Linux gaming world.

      As always, audio feeds available too below the video!

    • Linux Action News 103

      Docker Hub gets hacked, Nextcloud 16 has a new feature to prevent hacks, and France’s ‘Secure” Telegram replacement gets hacked within an hour.

      Plus who is spending $30m a month on AWS? Docker on ARM, and some LinuxFest Northwest thoughts.

    • LHS Episode #282: LHS Distribution Deep Dive

      Hello and welcome to Episode #282 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode: In preparation for Hamvention 2019, LHS has released a newer version of the LHS Ubuntu-based distribution. This distribution has updated software packages and custom PPAs. We go in depth into what’s in the distribution, installation caveats, upgrade paths to the latest version of Ubuntu, desktop environment options and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope to see everyone in Ohio this May.

    • Going Linux #367 · Listener Feedback

      Audio feedback from Paul starts our episode. We get thanks and emails on printers, SSDs, Linux dock applications, and Linux in the wild.

    • Podcast.__init__: Probabilistic Modeling In Python (And What That Even Means)

      Most programming is deterministic, relying on concrete logic to determine the way that it operates. However, there are problems that require a way to work with uncertainty. PyMC3 is a library designed for building models to predict the likelihood of certain outcomes. In this episode Thomas Wiecki explains the use cases where Bayesian statistics are necessary, how PyMC3 is designed and implemented, and some great examples of how it is being used in real projects.

    • Episode #209: Inside Python’s new governance model

      We all got a bit of a shock to the system when Guido van Rossum decided to step down as the leader and top decider of the Python language and CPython runtime. This happened due to many factors but was precipitated by the so-called walrus operator (PEP 572).

      It’s been about 9 months since then, the Python community has responded and things are back on track. I’m excited to welcome Brett Cannon to this episode to give us an update on where we are and how we got here. He’s a frequent guest and Python core contributor and has the inside view of what happened.

    • Test and Code: Technical Interview Fixes – April Wensel

      Some typical technical interview practices can be harmful and get in the way of hiring great people. April Wensel offers advice to help fix the technical interview process.

    • GNU World Order 13×18
    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 143 – Security lessons from the phone book

      Josh and Kurt talk about the phone book (yeah, the big paper book people used to use). Kurt got one in the mail. While it’s certainly a relic from another time, there were security tips in it among other wild things.

  • Kernel Space

    • Older Apple Hardware To See More Featureful Thunderbolt Support With Linux 5.2

      For those running Linux on older Apple MacBook Pros and other Macs sporting Thunderbolt 1/2 controllers, there is better support for them coming with the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel cycle.

      Intel’s Mika Westerberg has finished up work on a number of Thunderbolt software connection manager improvements that principally benefit the older Apple hardware.

    • A Number Of Logitech Mouse/Keyboard Support Improvements Coming To Linux 5.2

      With next month’s Linux 5.2 kernel merge window there are a number of notable improvements queued up for improving the Logitech hardware support.

      Queued as part of the HID-Next tree for the Linux 5.2 kernel are several user-facing improvements primarily around wireless keyboard/mice support.

    • Linux 5.1-rc7

      If rc6 was bigger than I wished, it really does seem to have been just
      due to timing of pull requests. Because rc7 is tiny.

      Just under half of the patch is various kinds of networking changes: a
      mix of core networking, network drivers and some netfilter selftests.

      The rest is mostly the usual architecture fixes, filesystems, and
      other drivers (mostly rdma and gpu). And misc random changes
      (Documentation, tracing, some mm fixlets).

      But it’s all pretty tiny. Plus about 30% of the patches are marked for
      stable, so on the whole it really does feel like 5.1 is on target for
      a regular release next weekend.

    • Linux 5.1-rc7 Is “Tiny” Ahead Of The Official Kernel Debut Next Week
    • Linux 5.2 Optimization To Help With Unnecessary Cache Line Movements & TLB Misses

      VMware can be thanked for one of the performance optimizations coming with the upcoming Linux 5.2 kernel cycle.

      VMware engineer Nadav Amit was able to rework some of the kernel’s x86 TLB / memory management code to remove one of the structs from the stack. This in turn allows avoiding potential unnecessary cache line movements as well as the benefit of reduced TLB misses.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMDKFD Has A Big Batch Of Improvements For The Mainline Linux Kernel

        There hasn’t been much to report on recently for Radeon’s AMDKFD driver that serves as the kernel code for the Radeon GPU compute stack and part of the company’s ROCm offering. AMDKFD work hasn’t let up but has just been queuing for a while in the amd-kfd-staging Git branch and now there are a host of improvements to be mainlined.

        [...]

        The patches are out there for testing. It remains to be seen if this work will still get pulled into DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 5.2 cycle considering the period of new material to DRM-Next is largely over, but we’ll see if it squeezes in otherwise is delayed until Linux 5.3. As well, come Linux 5.3 hopefully we’ll see Navi support in tow.

      • AMD’s Navi GPUs Confirmed to Retain GCN Design

        AMD has already started developing drivers for Navi on the Linux platform. The latest bit of code shows Navi to continue the trend of GCN-based GPUs.

        [...]

        Phoronix claims Navi support is unlikely to be seen within the upcoming Linux 5.2 Kernel and may be held back until the Linux 5.3 Kernel release. The current release windows for Linux 5.3 stable is the September release. The Linux 5.3 kernel may be the first Linux kernel bringing mainstream Navi support, and assuming Navi releases sometime between May and July, we may not see much support for these GPUs until Linux 5.3 is released. Until then, Linux users may be required to jump through some hoops to get their shiny new Navi GPUs working properly.

      • AMD Rolls Out Gold Edition Ryzen & Radeon VII Products For 50th Anniversary

        Confirming recent leaks, AMD today announced the Ryzen 7 2700X Gold Edition and Radeon VII Gold Edition products in marking the 50th anniversary of Advanced Micro Devices.

        These two Gold Edition products will come with a game bundle of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and World War Z. Those aren’t native Linux games but at least can become relevant with Steam Play on Linux. The Gold Edition Ryzen 7 2700X features Lisa Su’s signature on the processor cover and gold “AMD50″ packaging. The Radeon VII Gold Edition meanwhile features a red shroud and gold AMD50 packaging.

      • Mesa Is About To Crack 2.7 Million Lines

        With Mesa 19.1 due to see its code branched this week and that marks the start of the feature freeze and release dance ahead of the official debut in late May, here are some development stats for the current state of the Mesa3D code-base.

        Mesa as of this morning is up to 110,452 commits from more than 900 different developers. In the Git repository are more than 6,300 files consisting of nearly 2.7 million lines — primarily of code but also documentation, build system scripts, etc.

    • Benchmarks

      • Fedora 30 Is Performing Great – Intel Core i9 & AMD Threadripper Benchmarks

        As the first of our benchmarks for Fedora 30 that is set to be released on Tuesday, here are some benchmarks comparing Fedora 29, Fedora 29 with current updates, and Fedora 30 on Intel Core i9 7980XE and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX HEDT platforms. Fedora 30 benchmarks on other systems are coming as well.

        I’ve been running the final Fedora 30 release candidate image on several different systems over the past few days. Across all the systems tested thus far, Fedora 30 has been running great and performing well. The out-of-the-box configuration for Fedora 30 is with the GNOME Shell 3.32.1 desktop on Wayland, Linux 5.0.9, Mesa 19.0.2, Python 3.7.3, and the GCC 9.0.1 compiler as the prominent components worth mentioning.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 68

        Welcome to week 68 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! Like many others, this one is full of nice little quality-of-life fixes that should make your experience of using KDE software nicer.

      • KDE Plasma 5.16 Will Stop Resetting Your HiDPI Scaling When Changing Displays

        KDE Plasma right now is affected by an annoying bug where connecting or disconnecting a monitor will end up resetting your HiDPI scaling factors. Fortunately, that is now fixed for Plasma 5.16.0.

        KDE’s HiDPI scaling support has been in good shape but an annoying bug is that anytime a display is connected/disconnected will lead to all display scaling be reset to a scaling factor of one.

      • Kate Language Server Protocol Client

        The Language Server Protocol (LSP) allows the integration of stuff like code completion, jump to definition, symbol search and more into an application without manual re-implementation for each language one wants to support. LSP doesn’t fully allow an integration like KDevelop or Qt Creator do with the libclang based tooling aimed for C/C++ but on the other side offers the possibility to interface with plenty of languages without a large effort on the client side.

        If one takes a look at some current LSP clients list, a lot of editors and IDEs have joined the LSP family in the last years.

        In the past I was always scared away to start implementing this in Kate, as no readily available library was around to do the low-level work for the client. Whereas you get some reference stuff for the JSON based protocol for JavaScript and such, for Qt nothing was around.

      • Krita Interview with Locke

        I’ve been hearing about Krita for a long time and desperately wanting to try it, but, as a Mac user I didn’t have access to the program until it became available at the end of last year. I went and downloaded it as soon as I found out there was a Mac version.

      • Privacy Sprint in Leipzig

        Our three main goals for the general direction we want to take KDE in the next couple of years are: Top-notch Usability and Productivity for Basic Software, Streamlined Onboarding of New Contributors, as well as Privacy Software. The first sprint dedicated to one of our goals, Privacy Software, took place in March in the City of Leipzig. It took place in the former “Fernsprechamt” (telephone exchange), quite a fitting location when it comes to privacy, isn’t it?

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • KaOS 2019.04

        As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.57.0, Plasma 5.14.4 and KDE Applications 19.04.0. All built on Qt 5.12.3.

        A new Glibc 2.29/GCC 8.3.0/Binutils 2.32 based toolchain is among the many changes to the base of the system. Updates to Systemd, LLVM, MariaDB, Protobuf, Mesa, Polkit and Qt required the rebuild of a large percentage of the KaOS repositories. The removal of Python2 from the KaOS repositories is ongoing, many more packages are now build on Python3 exclusively, goal is to be Python2 free by fall/early winter 2019.

        Highlights of KDE Applications 19.04 include an extensive re-write of Kdenlive as more than 60% of its internals has changed, improving its overall architecture, Dolphin introduces smarter tab placement and KMail comes with support for language tools (grammar checker).

      • Parrot 4.6 Linux Distro Released With Some Major Improvements

        Whenever we look for operating systems for hacking and security analysis purposes, Kali Linux’s popularity usually fades everything away. But there are a few contenders like Parrot Linux and BlackArch that holds a special place among them. Though some Windows-based options like Commando VM are also there, most of the security researchers prefer to go with the Linux-based distros.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Gael Duval, Father of User Friendly Linux, on Mandrake and /e/ Phone

        About a year ago I spent more than an hour “talking” with Gael Duval on Slack for an article that was intended for another publication. As that article ended up never being published, I decided to publish it here, because it offers an interesting glimpse at desktop Linux’s past, as well as a peek at one of the many things that might be in store for the future of mobile computing.

        The under 30 set might need to know that a couple of decades ago Gael Duval was a household name in Linux circles, even if he wasn’t quite as well known as Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, or Bruce Perens.

        Duval was the founder of what many consider to be the first user-friendly Linux distro, Mandrake, and as one of three co-founders of the French company MandrakeSoft, around the turn of the century brought the distro to something akin to rock star status among Linux users.

      • Interview with FOSSForce!
      • Using a Gaming USB Headset on Linux (OpenMandriva, Mageia, PCLOS, Fedora and Elive)

        I bought a new headset for my laptop two days ago. Since the store did not have many options available, I went for a Combat Argom Tech piece that is more expensive than the headsets that I normally buy.

        However, I did not pay attention to one detail: this headset does not have a plug to a standard headphone jack, but has a USB connection. When I plugged it to one of the USB ports of my laptop, which I booted with PCLinuxOS, the computer speakers reproduced sound but I could hear nothing with the headphones. I looked at the audio icon on the task bar, where there was an entry for “Multimedia headset [Gigaware by Ignition L.P.] and noticed that I could listen to sound by sliding the volume control, but there was no audio from YouTube videos and audio players. So, I clicked on the audio settings and selected the Multimedia headset option as default. This simple action solved the problem both on PCLinuxOS, Mageia 6, and Fedora 29:…

      • OpenMandriva Is Finding Great Success In Their Switch To Using LLVM’s Clang Compiler

        OpenMandriva remains among the few Linux distributions using the LLVM Clang compiler by default where possible in place of the GCC compiler. While at times it’s difficult in maintaining this combination, they continue to find great success in using Clang as their default compiler.

        OpenMandriva developer Bernhard Rosenkränzer presented at this month’s EuroLLVM conference on their use of LLVM Clang by default where nearly all Linux distributions remain with the GNU Compiler Collection.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Yury German: Gentoo Blogs Update

        This is just a notification that the Blogs and the appropriate plug-ins for the release 5.1.1 have been updated.

        With the release of these updated we (The Gentoo Blog Team) have updated the themes that had updates. If you have a blog on this site, and have a theme that is based on one of the following themes please consider updating as these themes are no longer updated and things will break in your blogs.

    • Arch Family

      • How to Conquer Your Fear of Arch Linux

        recent episode of a Linux news podcast I keep up with featured an interview with a journalist who had written a piece for a non-Linux audience about giving it a try. It was surprisingly widely read. The writer’s experience with some of the more popular desktop distributions had been overwhelmingly positive, and he said as much in his piece and during the subsequent podcast interview.

        However, when the show’s host asked whether he had tried Arch Linux — partly to gauge the depth of his experimentation and partly as a joke — the journalist immediately and unequivocally dismissed the idea, as if it were obviously preposterous.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Slackware Family

      • Libre Office 6.2.3 packages available

        I built and uploaded new packages for LibreOffice 6.2.3. A rebuild for Slackware-current was needed anyway because of the recent boost upgrade in -current, but I assume everyone knows that my boost-compat package will help you with the need for older library versions.

        The 6.2.3 release was just over a week ago, but I have not feeling well for a while and things move a lot slower these days. Updates will no longer have the same frequency I am afraid.

    • Fedora/Red Hat/IBM

      • Fedora 30: Let’s have an awesome release party!

        Fedora 30 is about to be out.It’s time to plan their activities around the release.

        The most common activity to do is organize release parties. A release party is also a great way for other contributors in the community to get involved with advocacy in their local regions. Learn how to organize a release party and get a badge for it in this article.

      • The Road to RHCA: The Grind, Defeat, and Triumph
      • Machine Learning At IBM | Animesh Singh Interview
      • Low Kian Seong: Some of the things I did not anticipate …

        The humongous sized enterprise grade software such as RTC (Rationale Team Concert from IBM) and UDevelop. They are used mainly for the development side for the development workflow. These guys are so big and bulky that you can’t even download and study them on your own laptop as you would while you were investigating the functionality of an OSS software or library. They are a real road block to coming up with good viable replacement. You cannot replace what you cannot study. Most of the developers hate these pieces of software for development they are clunky and hard to use but these guy are real juggernaut when it comes to ops side features. Basically we came to the conclusion that this software was chosen mainly to fulfil some ops side requirements not so much the whole flow or pipeline.

      • Fedora 29 : Install Inkscape with Flatpak Linux tool.
      • Fedora 29 : About poedit tool.
    • Debian Family

      • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS – April 2019

        Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) project, which extends the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

        In April, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability – I declared max 30h and got 17.25h.

        Most of my time was spent on frontdesk duties, in particular vulnerabilities (CVE) triaging, so other contributors quickly know what to work on.

        In all honesty I spent more time than assigned, as I took upon myself to dig how things work.

      • Derivatives

        • deepin 15.10 is here — download the most beautiful Linux distribution now!

          Windows 10 is a functional operating system, but goodness, it is not at all attractive. When I use Microsoft’s OS, I don’t get feelings of joy or happiness. Windows 10′s design is very bland and seemingly uninspired. By comparison, Apple’s macOS makes me very happy. And yes, appearance matters — a good user interface and design can motivate the user and help them to be more creative.

          As great as macOS is, there is a Linux distribution that rivals its beauty. Called deepin, this operating system is now based on Debian Stable (previously Debian Unstable), and provides an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous user interface. In fact, I am confident to say it is the most beautiful Linux distro. The newest version, deepin 15.10, is now available for download. It is chock full of bug fixes, and also, many new features. One of the most significant changes is dde-kwin is now the default window manager. Users should experience improved performance as a result.

        • deepin 15.10 – Secure and Stable Repository

          deepin is a Linux distribution devoted to providing beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users.

          deepin is an open source GNU/Linux operating system, based on Linux kernel and mainly on desktop applications, supporting laptops, desktops and all-in-ones. It preinstalls Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and nearly 30 deepin native applications, as well as several applications from the open source community to meet users’ daily learning and work needs. In addition, about a thousand of applications are offered in Deepin Store to meet users’ various requirements.

          Compared with deepin 15.9, deepin 15.10 introduces new functions such as files on desktop auto merge, wallpaper slideshow, separate switches for system sound effects, and supports dragging the tray icon out in fashion mode. In addition, many bugs are fixed and the existing functions are optimized.

          Besides that, deepin 15.10 is newly built and released using Debian stable repository, in this way, system stability and security is greatly improved, bringing users more stable and efficient experiences. The unstable repository will continue to be maintained for the next three months.

        • Deepin 15.10 Run Through

          In this video, we look at Deepin 15.10. Enjoy!

        • deepin 15.10 Is A Beautiful Linux Distro That’ll Make Windows Users Jealous

          Prior to the specific changes, let me tell you that Deepin Desktop Environment has its own fleet of polished applications. As a result, deepin 15.10 comes with about 30 native deepin apps. Feel free to try them out, uninstall them, or install any other preferred replacement. This availability of choice is the real beauty of an open source Linux distribution.

          As deepin 15.10 is built using the Debian stable branch, you can expect a rock-solid performance. It also ensures timely security updates and better stability.

          Compared to the deepin 15.9 version, deepin 15.10 ships with many new features like wallpaper slideshow, desktop auto merge, different switches for system sounds, etc.

        • Slax 9.9.0 released

          New Slax version 9.9 was released just few seconds ago. It contains updates for all core packages, most noticable is the update of Chromium web browser, which added 10 MB to the total ISO size for no apparent reason, unfortunately there is nothing we could do about it. Anyway, lets live with that and enjoy the new release! :]

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • A Standalone Video Player For Netflix, YouTube, Twitch On Ubuntu 19.04

            Snap apps are a godsend. ElectronPlayer is an Electron based app available on Snapstore that doubles up as a standalone media player for video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, Floatplane etc.

            And it works great on Ubuntu 19.04 “disco dingo”. From what we’ve tested, Netflix works like a charm, so does YouTube. ElectronPlayer also has a picture-in-picture mode that let it run above desktop and full screen applications.

          • [Older] Ubuntu 19.04 released with focus on IoTs, open infrastructure
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Ubuntu MATE 19.04

              Ubuntu and its family of community editions were updated just over a week ago with the releases of version 19.04. The new set of releases ship with version 5.0 of the Linux kernel and receive just nine months of support.

              A few weeks ago we ran a poll asking which member of the Ubuntu family should be the focus on this review and the winner (on the day the new version came out), by a thin margin, was Canonical’s main edition, Ubuntu itself. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with GNOME 3.32 which provides fractional scaling for the GNOME desktop along with using Python 3 as the default version of the Python language. The Alt-Tab behaviour has been changed to switch between windows instead of applications by default and there is a “safe graphics mode” available through the GRUB boot menu. These days Ubuntu and its community flavours use a merged-usr filesystem on fresh installs, consolidating executable files and libraries under the /usr directory. Otherwise not much has changed in the desktop edition of Ubuntu for this release.

              I downloaded Ubuntu’s 2GB ISO file and soon ran into two problems. The first was Ubuntu was unusually slow to boot, taking several minutes to get up and running. The second was the GNOME desktop was painfully slow to respond to input. During the flood of Ubuntu releases I had a chance to boot all eight flavours and found only Ubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin shared these performance issues. These problems have been reported elsewhere so I suspect this may be a driver-related issue. While these problems may be possible to trouble-shoot and may be fixed quickly, they made reviewing Ubuntu in a reasonable time frame difficult.

              The next most popular distribution in our poll was Kubuntu, but I briefly reviewed it about a month ago and (apart from shipping a slightly newer version of Plasma) it doesn’t look like much has changed since then. In fact, almost nothing new is listed in the release announcement, apart from a few minor package updates. Which brought me to the third most popular poll option: Ubuntu MATE.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Scientists Develop Software That Simulates Sound Of Stars

    Anyone can access and edit GYRE as an open-source program, and it plugs into another program called MESA, which facilitates the simulation of stars.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Facebook’s Ad Archive API is Inadequate

        Facebook pledged in February to release an ad archive API, in order to make political advertising on the platform more transparent. The company finally released this API in late March — and we’ve been doing a review to determine if it is up to snuff.

        While we appreciate Facebook following through on its commitment to make the ad archive API public, its execution on the API leaves something to be desired. The European Commission also hinted at this last week in its analysis when it said that “further technical improvements” are necessary.

        The fact is, the API doesn’t provide necessary data. And it is designed in ways that hinders the important work of researchers, who inform the public and policymakers about the nature and consequences of misinformation.

        Last month, Mozilla and more than sixty researchers published five guidelines we hoped Facebook’s API would meet. Facebook’s API fails to meet three of these five guidelines. It’s too early to determine if it meets the two other guidelines.

      • Robert O’Callahan: Goodbye Mozilla IRC

        I’ve been connected to Mozilla IRC for about 20 years. When I first started hanging out on Mozilla IRC I was a grad student at CMU. It’s how I got to know a lot of Mozilla people. I was never an IRC op or power user, but when #mozilla was getting overwhelmed with browser user chat I was the one who created #developers. RIP.

        I’ll be sad to see it go, but I understand the decision. Technologies have best-before dates. I hope that Mozilla chooses a replacement that sucks less. I hope they don’t choose Slack. Slack deliberately treats non-Chrome browsers as second-class — in particular, Slack Calls don’t work in Firefox. That’s obviously a problem for Mozilla users, and it would send a bad message if Mozilla says that sort of attitude is fine with them.

  • LibreOffice

    • New Help: Copy BASIC and PYTHON code to Clipboard on a Click

      The next release for LibreOffice will have a small but handy improvement for every macro developer, either experienced or beginner.

      Hover the mouse on BASIC and Python code in the new Help pages and a tip shows that when you click your mouse, the code exerpt is copied in the system clipboard. You can paste in the BASIC IDE (Integrated Development environment) or any other text application in your system.

    • XLSX interoperability: pivot tables-related improvements

      These changes allow our customers, and the whole LibreOffice user community, to enjoy better interoperability when using XLSX format. They will be available in LibreOffice version 6.3 later this summer; and they are immediately available for our customers in this week’s Collabora Office 6.0 update 28.

    • LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Roman Kuznetsov

      Your nickname in the LibreOffice project is “Kompilainenn” – where did that come from?

      Oh, it’s simple: one day I was trying to compile the Linux kernel for my old and slow PC. And I came up with my current nickname: Kompilainenn :D

      So tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, where you live, how to find you on social media, and what do you do in your spare time!

      I’m a member of The Document Foundation from Russia, and I live in Lipetsk – it’s an industrial metallurgical city. You can find me on Telegram as @Kompilainenn, and on IRC in the channel #libreoffice-ru on Freenode. I have a blog about LibreOffice in Russian: the blog has strange address with the prefix “anti”, but in reality the blog isn’t against LibreOffice ;-)

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD “Package Base” Is Now Ready For Testing – More Conveniently Update FreeBSD

      The developers at iX Systems continue to be on a roll this spring. Just days after announcing their new FreeBSD images built with “ZFS On Linux” for testing as the new FreeBSD ZFS implementation, this weekend they announced their new FreeBSD “pkgbase” images are now available for testing.

      While FreeBSD has long had the “pkg” utility for easily installing packages on FreeBSD, using Pkg to manage the FreeBSD base system hasn’t been possible.

    • Intel Continues Working On Their SYCL Compiler For Upstreaming To LLVM

      Back in January Intel made available their new open-source, LLVM-based SYCL compiler that they are looking to contribute to upstream LLVM. Their SYCL compiler will be used for single-source programming to target the company’s growing diverse range of devices and is part of their new “oneAPI” initiative. The SYCL support isn’t yet in upstream LLVM, but they are making progress while continuing to evolve the code.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Hellwig and VMware go in peace (for now)

      On February 28, 2019,the Hamburg Higher Regional Court dismissed Christoph Hellwig’s appeal of the Hamburg District Court’s dismissal. Mr. Hellwig, backed by Software Freedom Conservancy, announcedthat no further appeal will be lodged.

      Hellwig had claimed that the distribution of the VMware’s software Hypervisor vSphere VMware ESXi 5.5.0 constituted copyright infringement because it, being a derivative work of Linux, was not licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), nor was the complete corresponding source code of VMware’s product being offered. See an earlier IPKat post herefor more background of this suit.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Celebrating National Superhero Day with Tux, BSD, and more

      On National Superhero Day, how would some of our favorite open source tools and mascots look if they were superheroes? Granted, open source tools are already kind of like superpowers in their own right.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Bike Computer Exploration Uncovers a Hidden Android

        As a happy side-effect of the smartphone revolution, the world is now awash with tiny computers that are incredibly cheap thanks to the nearly unfathomable volumes in which their components are manufactured. They’re wouldn’t be a $10 Raspberry Pi Zero if the billions of smartphones that were pumped out before it hadn’t dropped the cost of the individual components to literal pennies. That also means that smartphone hardware, or at least systems that are very close to it, have started to pop up in some unexpected places.

        When [Joshua Wise] recently took ownership of a Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT bike computer, he wondered how it worked. With impressive list of features such as Internet connectivity, GPS mapping, and Bluetooth Low Energy support, he reasoned the pocket-sized device must have some pretty decent hardware under the hood. With some poking and prodding he found the device was powered by a MediaTek SoC and incredibly had a full-blown install of Android running in the background.

      • Noisy Workshop

        For that I was looking for a so called boom box to stream to from my mobile, simple, dirty and loud. Good that I was a proud awardee at the HiFiBerry Maker Contest 2017 with my TeakEar build, where I won a nice set of a RaspberryPi Zero with a little HiFiBerry MiniAmp, coming with all what is needed to make that working.

      • B-N girls explore tech opportunities at DigiGirlz Day

        Building video games and 3D printing brought a tech-focused DigiGirlz Day to Bloomington for the first time.

  • Programming/Development

    • A better solution to Java SE 11 removing JNLP

      The intermediate machine requirement was a pain; it meant I needed to carry two machines (not easy to manage when I’m on the road), or I needed to install a Windows virtual machine on my Linux laptop (not something I intend to do), or I needed remote access to a Windows desktop (the solution we eventually chose).

      Alan Bateman over at Oracle very kindly wrote to me to share a fourth alternative: Put the Windows version of OpenJDK 11 on the Linux development platform and build the custom Java 11 runtime from that. According to Alan, this has been possible since JDK 9; he notes that “there are a few limitations and the versions [between the Linux utilities and the Windows OpenJDK] need to match.”

      Since this would eliminate an onerous step outlined above, including the need to have remote access to the Windows desktop, I had to investigate further. To my surprise and delight, I was not one of those “few limitations” Alan mentioned—the approach works just fine for me. However, I did discover that the version of OpenJDK 11 in my Linux distro’s repositories was not “close enough” to the Windows OpenJDK 11 that I downloaded, so I also needed to obtain the same version of the Linux OpenJDK 11 and use its tools to create the Java 11 runtime.

    • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Neil Muller

      This week we welcome Neil Muller as our PyDev of the Week! Neil is an organizer for Cape Town Python User Group and PyCon ZA. He also speaks at conferences!

    • Awk utility in Fedora
    • Python 3.7.3 and memory_profiler python module.
    • Quick Hit: Scraping javascript-“enabled” Sites with {htmlunit}
    • Facebook Is JIT’ing C++ Code To Treat It Like A Crazy Fast Scripting Language
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Private Law, Conflict of Laws, and a Lex Mercatoria of Standards-Development Organizations [Ed: Patent FRAND is a fraud or a patent cartel that enables price-fixing and monopoly sharing]

      Technical standards created by industry standards-development organizations (SDOs) enable interoperability among products manufactured by different vendors. Over the years, SDOs have developed policies to reduce the risk that SDO participants holding patents covering the SDO’s standards will disrupt or hinder the development and deployment of these standards. These policies, including commitments to license standards-essential patents (SEPs) on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), gain transnational application given the international character of SDO activities and are most effectively interpreted and applied on the basis of private law (contractual) principles. However, SDO policies are typically embodied in an SDO’s governing documents, which are in turn regulated by the law of the jurisdiction in which the SDO is based. This somewhat arbitrary linkage of SDO policies to national and state law has created inconsistencies in their interpretation and threatens to spark jurisdictional competition in an unproductive race to the bottom. This paper poses the question whether it would be possible to decouple SDO policy interpretation from the patchwork of national and state laws that purport to govern such policies in favor of a common lexicon of interpretive principles derived from the shared understanding of SDO participants: a “lex mercatoria” of standardization.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business

      [...] Reportedly, the talks began last summer but stopped recently around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their patent dispute.

      Intel gained more of Apple’s business when it began supplying smartphone-modem chips while the iPhone maker feuded with Qualcomm. That legal battle over patent royalties raged on for years until Apple and Qualcomm were set to meet in court earlier this month. On the first day of the trial, the two companies announced they reached a deal “to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide.”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Too fast, too insecure: Securing Mongo Express web administrative interfaces
    • P2P Weakness Exposes Millions of IoT Devices

      The security flaws involve iLnkP2P, software developed by China-based Shenzhen Yunni Technology. iLnkP2p is bundled with millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including security cameras and Webcams, baby monitors, smart doorbells, and digital video recorders.

      iLnkP2P is designed to allow users of these devices to quickly and easily access them remotely from anywhere in the world, without having to tinker with one’s firewall: Users simply download a mobile app, scan a barcode or enter the six-digit ID stamped onto the bottom of the device, and the P2P software handles the rest.

    • Beware! Kodi Addons Come With Malware For Stealing Your Passwords [Ed: Installing random malicious program from the Net was never a wise idea. It's not a Kodi issue.]
    • Docker Hub Breached, Impacting 190,000 Accounts

      Docker is warning of a data breach that impacts some 190,000 users of its Docker Hub repository for container images.

      The breach was first reported by Docker late on April 26 in an email sent to Docker Hub users, revealing a data breach that was detected the day before, on April 25. Docker Inc. is the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Docker container technology that enables developers to build, package and deploy applications as containers. The Docker Hub is a popular repository for Docker users to find freely available Docker application images to run.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Hatred of One is Hatred of All: San Diego Synagogue Shooter had Attempted to Burn down Mosque

      One person is dead and three are wounded after a shooting at a synagogue in San Diego, which the mayor has branded a “hate crime.”

      The attack came a day after an Iraq War veteran was arraigned in Sunnyvale, Ca. in the north of the state for running over 8 persons, some of whom he incorrectly believed to be Muslims.

      Back to yesterday: a nineteen-year-old community college nursing student in the San Diego area turned himself into the police after confessing to shooting up the Chabad of Poway synagogue on Saturday as the congregation was commemorating Passover and preparing to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day (haYom haShoah) on May 1.

      The alleged shooter, John T. Earnest, had an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in his vehicle when police came to get him after he called them. After a shooter at two mosques in New Zealand killed 50 persons and wounded 50 others with a semi-automatic rifle, the New Zealand government banned these military-style weapons. The National Rifle Association lobby, which has been promoted by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin in order to divide Americans, and the Republican Party, have prevented sensible gun safety laws in the United States.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • 3 Reasons Why Plastic Pollution Is an Environmental Justice Issue

      Turtles, seabirds, seals, and whales are well-documented victims of plastic pollution — but when was the last time you saw a video of a person suffering in the grips of the global plastics crisis?

      You’d be forgiven if you believed humans were somehow immune to this tragedy, as their stories are so rarely shared. Our social media feeds are rightfully overflowing (at least mine is) with videos of turtles with straws jammed in their nostrils or photos of dead birds and whales with single-use plastics in their stomach. This coverage is heart-wrenching, and essential, but it fails to tell the whole story of the plastic pollution crisis.

      Both around the world and in our own country, waste often flows into the communities without the money or government support to protect themselves. We need to wake up to the fact that plastic pollution is a environmental justice issue.

    • None of the 2020 Frontrunners Go Far Enough on Climate

      2018 was the fourth warmest year ever recorded, with the only warmer years being 2015, 2016 and 2017. We are currently in the middle of what is on track to be the warmest decade since record-keeping began.

      The planet is already in the 6th Mass Extinction Event that we caused. Industrial civilization is injecting CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate 10 times faster than what occurred during the Permian Mass Extinction Event 252 million years ago that annihilated 90 percent of life on Earth. Our current extinction rate is 1,000 times faster than normal, and is higher than that of the Permian Mass Extinctions.

      The oceans have absorbed 93 percent of all the heat humans have added to the atmosphere. If the oceans had not absorbed that heat, global atmospheric temperatures would be 97 degrees Fahrenheit (97°F) hotter than they are today. Today’s carbon dioxide levels at 412 parts per million (ppm) are already in accordance of what historically brought about a steady-state temperature of 7°C higher. The oceans are now overheating, deoxygenating and acidifying.

      Since just 1970, 60 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles are gone, and nearly 90 percent of all large fish have been eliminated from the oceans.

      And things will only worsen, as the International Energy Agency announced that global carbon emissions set a record in 2018, rising 1.7 percent to a record 33.1 billion tons.

      Truthout decided to take a look at the leading presidential candidates’ climate disruption policies to see if they went far enough to address this global catastrophe.

    • Crawling to extinction: Singapore turtle haven fights for life

      Hundreds of turtles and tortoises, including rare and endangered species, face an uncertain future after their Singapore sanctuary – a Guinness World Record holder – was forced to relocate due to government redevelopment plans.

    • Oil Companies Will Be Bad Investments Within Five Years, Predicts Survey of European Fund Managers

      European fund managers are casting an increasingly skeptical eye towards the oil industry, concluding that the industry’s financial future looks grim, according to a new survey published by a London-based organization today.

      Just 18 percent of the responding fund managers, including representatives of firms based in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy, predicted that “oil companies will be good investments if their business is still focused on fossil fuels in five years’ time,” according to the survey, published by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) and the Climate Change Collaboration.

    • Cold-blooded sealife runs double heat risk

      When it comes to global warming, there may no longer be plenty of fish in the sea: new research suggests that cold-blooded sealife may be twice as likely to be at risk in its natural habitat as land-dwelling ectotherms.

      This finding is unexpected: the ocean is, in both area and volume, the single biggest living space on the planet. Fish that feel the heat can move towards the poles when temperatures get too high.

      But when US researchers took a closer look at the data available on the thermal discomfort zones – those moments when cold-blooded creatures begin to overheat and need to find a safe, cool place in which to lie low – those spiders and lizards that survive in the tropics and temperate zones actually stand a better chance of finding somewhere to hide, and thus living through heatwaves, than their marine cousins.

  • Finance

    • Globalization North and South: The Road to Nowhere.

      It was the same Thomas Mun who became the architect of what we might now call strategic trade policy. This was a development strategy based upon a number of economic policy inputs aimed at a systematic upgrading and development of the national economy to give it a system of competitive advantages in its trade with other nations. He postulated the following policies.

      Imported goods that can be produced domestically should be banned.

      [...]

      However, in the contemporary world and international trade terms what is called ‘free-trade’ is at the heart of the system – a system which was to become known as ‘globalization’ packaged and sold as an irresistible force of nature. Globalization is more-or-less neo-liberalism writ large. It has become an article of faith that free-trade was always and everywhere the best policy in spite of the fact that it was the mercantilist policies of a prior era which formed the basis of current liberal trade policy (see below). Globalization was codified in what became known as the ‘Washington Consensus.’ The new conventional wisdom was conceived of and given a legitimating cachet by political, business, media and academic elites around the world.

      However, many of the elements – if not all – of the Washington Consensus were hardly new, many dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries and perhaps beyond. It could be said that the newly emergent mainstream orthodoxy represented a caricature of an outdated and somewhat dubious political economy of yesteryear.

      The theory that free-trade between nations would maximise output and welfare was first mooted by Adam Smith, but its final elaboration was constructed by David Ricardo in his famous work The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation first published in 1817. Briefly, he argued that nations should specialise in what they do best and in this way world output would be maximised. The hypothetical example he used was England and Portugal and the production of wine and cloth, where he calculated that although Portugal had an absolute advantage in both cloth and wine production, England had a comparative advantage in cloth and should produce cloth, whereas Portugal should simply produce wine. It was asserted – though, since it was simply a model, no evidence was ever presented – that all would gain from this international division of labour.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Deeply Divided, Spaniards Vote With Eye on Far-Right’s Rise

      A divided Spain is voting in its third general election in four years, with all eyes on whether a far-right party will enter Parliament for the first time in decades and potentially help unseat the Socialist government.

      The incumbent prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, is set to win the most votes, but his Socialists seem far from scoring a majority in parliament to form a government on their own.

      The fragmentation of the political landscape is the result of austerity that followed a recession, disenchantment with bipartisan politics and the recent rise of far-right populism.

      Sánchez called Sunday’s ballot after a national budget proposal was rejected in the Lower Chamber by the center-right-conservative opposition and Catalan separatists pressing for self-determination in their northeastern region.

    • EDITORIAL: Avoid populist politics for good governance
    • Operation Take Down Bernie

      Joe Biden’s long-awaited announcement that he is running for President—in a highly produced video with a distracting piano soundtrack—officially knocked Bernie Sanders out of first place in the Democratic field. That’s a relief for a lot of establishment Dems, who have spent the last several weeks ramping up the hits on Bernie, as it has become increasingly clear that the plainspoken Democratic Socialist from Vermont has a credible shot at becoming the Democrats’ nominee in 2020.

      Sanders’s socialism is scary for an establishment that worries a lot about electability. More than that, his populist attacks on Wall Street, corporations, and the military-industrial complex, are a genuine threat to the most powerful interests in the country.

      Much of the opposition research on Sanders is familiar from the Hillary/Bernie primary in 2016: Bernie the Sandinista supporter, the serial monogamist, the author of some embarrassing but not really reprehensible statements supporting sexual liberation. But in recent weeks these tidbits have been appearing again in news stories across the country, as writers in The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and ThinkProgress work on taking Bernie down a peg.

      Eric Alterman led the charge in a March 28 Nation piece headlined “The Liberal Case Against Bernie Sanders.” Alterman argues that Sanders is the wrong candidate to try to beat Trump, enumerating positions like Sanders’s support for the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 1980s, and his criticism of U.S. support for a murderous rightwing military regime there. Alterman is quick to note that he doesn’t actually disagree with Sanders on such matters, but he nonetheless paints the candidate in lurid pinkish tones, suggesting that mainstream America is not ready to for his socialist views.

    • Missouri lobbyist’s ‘dark money’ group invokes Trump in campaign to change Title IX laws

      A Missouri lobbyist whose son was expelled from college following allegations of sexual misconduct is using Facebook ads featuring President Donald Trump to promote a bill that would change the way such cases are handled.

      Lobbyist Richard McIntosh created a “dark money” nonprofit to push a bill through the Missouri state legislature that would allow college students accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX to appeal to a state commission where his wife is the presiding and managing commissioner.

      The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the creation of Kingdom Principles, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that is not legally required to disclose its donors, incorporated by McIntosh last year. The nonprofit began advocating for changes to Missouri Title IX rules under the name “Missouri Campus Due Process Coalition.” Kingdom Principles has hired 29 lobbyists to push the bill, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

      The group spent $7,509 on Facebook ads collecting signatures framed as supporting proposed Trump administration reforms to Title IX rules that dictate how colleges and universities handle investigations of sexual misconduct allegations. The ads direct people to sign on in support of the state-level push to change Missouri’s laws. Each of the ads prominently features Trump’s image, framing support of the Missouri measure as support of “Trump’s due process protections” at the federal level.

      The Missouri proposal, which has hit a wall in the Missouri Senate, includes some similarities to federal Title IX reforms proposed by Education Secretary Betsy Devos in November 2018. For example, both would grant accused students the right to cross-examine accusers and both parties would be able to appeal decisions.

    • Comcast-Owned MSNBC in the Tank for Joe Biden’s Presidential Run

      Joe Biden finally announced on Thursday what everyone already knew. With the release of a three-and-a-half minute promotional video, the former vice president officially threw his name in the ever-expanding ring of Democratic primary contenders seeking to win the opportunity to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020. Biden has already seen his share of coverage, and was the second-most-mentioned Democratic candidate on cable news during the first three months of 2019.

      Biden has pledged that his 2020 campaign won’t take in any direct donations from lobbyists. But on the first night of his official candidacy, Biden hit the suburbs of Philadelphia to attend a $2,800 per person fundraiser at the home of David L. Cohen, the executive vice president and chief of lobbying for Comcast.

      Comcast, one of the biggest lobbying spenders in Washington, also owns MSNBC, which has showered Biden with favorable coverage both before and since his announcement.

      In March, Nevada lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Lucy Flores published an article in New York Magazine (3/29/19) that described how Biden inappropriately kissed her at a campaign event. Biden has quite a long history of awkward and inappropriate touching, kissing or groping of women and girls.

    • Trump and the San Diego Synagogue Shooting

      My mind was reeling. I was writing a column about Trump’s speech to the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis when I learned of yesterday’s (Saturday) synagogue shooting in California by a white supremacist.

      The connection between these two events was immediate and obvious to me, as I will briefly explain in a moment.

      A short time thereafter, I was treated to Trump’s brief response to the shooting, given on the White House lawn as he hurried off to his previously-scheduled Nuremberg-style rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

      The response was by Trump’s standards unusually measured and seemingly-decent. By Trump’s standards. Seemingly decent.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Slack Warns Investors It’s a Target for Nation-State [Espionage] [iophk: "rather a given since the product is closed source, closed protocol"]

      The S-1 filing does not claim that an attack from organized crime, nation-state, or nation-state affiliate actually happened. Rather, it just says that threats from these actors present an active risk to the company.

      [...]

      Now is a good time as ever to reiterate the following: Slack doesn’t have end-to-end encryption, and in some cases, it’s possible for your boss to download and read your entire Slack history without your knowledge. So assume anything you say on Slack could be held against you in court, and consider talking trash on Slack to be generally a bad idea.

    • The Snowden files: where are they and where should they end up?

      Last month, The Intercept shut down access to the Snowden documents both for internal and external research. But where are these files in the first place, and what should be their future destination? During a podcast interview last Monday, Snowden himself also commented on this issue.

    • I Wouldn’t Even Make My Worst Enemy, Who Happens to Be Mark Zuckerberg, Listen to 90 Minutes of Mark Zuckerberg Bloviating About, Uh, People, or Technology, or Something

      This conversation is, of course, part of Zuckerberg’s annual “challenge.” Where in past years he’s tried to learn a new language or get in shape, the way people do, this year he’s decided to do more talking with people, the sort of goal a beta-stage AI trying to pass the Turing test might set for itself. Is he getting closer to carrying on an engaging, human conversation? I don’t know, because every 40 seconds or so my brain switches off involuntarily while trying to follow a dialog with no direction or animus which addresses topics only in generalities about which neither participant has any sort of identifiable opinion.

      Can anyone who works directly with Mark confirm that he always talks this way? It’s fucking maddening, and if Facebook wasn’t one of the worst companies in history I’d almost feel sorry for you.

    • Google Staffers Share Stories of ‘Systemic’ Retaliation

      On Monday, two of those organizers, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, wrote an email saying Google had punished them because of their activism. The two asked staffers to join them on Friday to discuss the company’s alleged actions, and during the meeting they shared more than a dozen other stories of internal retribution that they had collected over the past week. Like many meetings at Google, participants could watch via a video live-stream and submit questions and comments.

    • Facebook’s U.S. Fine May Be Great Investment, EU Economist Warns

      Facebook Inc.’s potential fine of $3 billion to $5 billion from a U.S. privacy probe would be a “a great investment” if it allowed the company to corner a market and reap $50 billion in revenue a year, says the European Union’s chief antitrust economist Tommaso Valletti in a Twitter post.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Soon your driver’s license might not get you through airport security

      Congress may not be able to require states to change their ID standards, but the TSA, a federal agency, can refuse to let passengers with noncompliant IDs board flights. (Or, at least, it can ask them to provide another form of identification, like a passport, and deny them access if they don’t have it.) Since January 2018, TSA officers have been instructed to require passengers who don’t have Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses to show another form of identification if they want to get on their flight, a spokesperson said.

    • Rise in White Prisoners Shows Prison Racism Goes Beyond Disparities

      Writing from Attica prison shortly before the infamous 1971 rebellion, Sam Melville wrote to a friend that prison had changed him. “One thing is for certain,” he wrote, “when I emerge [from prison] … I won’t be a honky anymore.” Melville, who was incarcerated for bombing a number of U.S. military and corporate installations in New York City, had thrown his lot in with the Black and Puerto Rican radicals at Attica upon his arrival there. New York State Troopers shot him in the chest and let him bleed to death when they brutally retook Attica on September 13, 1971.

      Melville’s ruminations suggest a broader reimagining of how we understand the role of white prisoners in a system whose central feature seems to be its racism. Prisons are inescapably racist. Prisons do not just house victims of racism. Rather, they produce racism. Prisons use racism to govern and suppress their captives. Racism remains a strategic tool to ensure that prisoners distrust or attack each other rather than the institution itself. The centrality of racism to punishment has been the most salient feature of popular critiques of mass incarceration, including Ava DuVernay’s documentary, 13th, and Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

      Yet the mainstreaming of a liberal antiracist critique of prisons fails to explain how mass incarceration both works and changes over time. The statistical disparity between the number of Black and white people incarcerated has shrunk in recent years. Tepid reforms to the drug war and a growing leniency among many urban district attorneys to some nonviolent offenses have lowered the number of African Americans going to prison — even while Black people, as of 2016, remain incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white people. Meanwhile, the opioid crisis, with its suburban and rural geography, and hardline prosecutors in rural counties have contributed to a rise in the number of white people — especially white women — going to prison and jail. And nearly every single one of the 2.2 million people in prisons, jails and detention centers comes from the poor and working class. All of this is taking place in the context of stagnating wages and deteriorating social conditions that particularly impact people of color but have lowered the standard of living for all Americans.

    • Making America Great

      There is a lot of talk around about how to “make America great.” It seems to me common sense that if we really want to “make America great”, then we must be prepared to learn from societies that are doing better than we are. In business, medicine, and other fields, organizations take pride in discovering “best practices” and adopting them. This is one common way large organizations learn and evolve.

      So, what are the “best practices” among developed nations?

      Perhaps you have seen news stories about international studies that evaluate countries on their levels of happiness, equality, health, openness, freedom, opportunity, and being a good place to live. In just about every one of those rankings, the top countries turn out to be the Nordic nations of Scandinavia. They are the places where life expectancy tops the charts, where interpersonal trust and personal happiness abound, where people feel free and secure, where health care and quality of life are at their highest, where education is top-notch and free (or very inexpensive), where innovation and invention are widespread, where upward social mobility is most possible and most frequent, where crime and violence are low, and where poverty and inequality are minimal.

      In other words, the Nordic nations are an obvious place to look for “best practices.” So, what are these “best practices?” The best general term to describe the Nordic system is “social democracy, a term not often heard in the United States. Social democracy describes a system of democratic governance where the goal of government is to provide security and freedom for all by actively intervening in the economic marketplace to promote economic and social growth and distribution in ways that benefit everyone.

    • Artificial Intelligence Can Oppress the Poor and People of Color

      When we think of Artificial Intelligence we often think of intelligent robots who act and think like humans — the walking, thinking, feeling machines that we see in the movies. The advent of that kind of intelligent robot is so far off in the future, that we often don’t recognize the kind of AI already all around us. Or the effects it’s having on our lives. Courts, search engines, stores and advertisers all use Artificial Intelligence to make decisions about our behavior: to sell us products, but also to send us to prison or set bail. We look at one kind of decision made by AI, called a risk assessment, and why it’s had such an impact on the poor and people of color.

    • Black Workers Say Walmart’s Background Checks Are Racially Discriminatory

      When Walmart announced in January that it was “in-sourcing” its Elwood, Illinois, distribution center, workers were cautiously optimistic.

      Since it opened in 2006, the 3.4 million-square-foot warehouse has been operated by Schneider Logistics, a third-party contractor, which in turn hired workers through temp agencies. Walmart’s plan to absorb several of its outsourced warehouses nationwide meant an end to this web of subcontracting, which labor organizers charge is one of the company’s union-busting tactics.

      The retail giant also announced that it would rehire as many current warehouse workers as possible, with raises in starting pay and benefits. Mark Balentine, who has performed quality assurance in the Elwood warehouse for three years, says he was offered and accepted the same position as a Walmart employee. It came with a pay bump from $16.35 an hour to $18.65.

    • Native Peoples’ Bones Are Not Collectors’ Items. They Must Be Returned.

      How did the ghoulish practice of grave-digging become an “innocent hobby” for so many white people in the US?

      A recent FBI press release is a reminder that digging up and robbing Native American graves is still considered acceptable by many Americans and barely treated as a crime. Our dead, like butterflies pinned to a collector’s board, are treated as stuff for collectors and hobbyists. We are “artifacts.”

      On February 27, 2019, the FBI issued a press release and a unique request. The Bureau’s Art Crime Team is reaching out to tribes in the United States for help in repatriating approximately 500 sets of human remains looted from Native American burial grounds. The remains were found during a 2014 FBI raid on a vast collection of artifacts and antiquities from around the world held by Don Miller of rural Rush County, Indiana.

    • Another Shameful “Christening” at Bath Iron Works

      I was as sickened in 2016 as I am now by the deception and evil carried out in the name of “democracy” and “freedom” and “security”.

      What’s different for me this time around is a deepened focus on “connecting the dots” of permanent warfare, systemic violence and catastrophic climate change as symptoms of a disease, natural consequences of the unrestrained greed that’s part and parcel of our economic system.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter Spectrum Won’t Get Kicked Out Of New York State After ISP Promises To Suck Less

      Last summer, New York State took the historically-unprecedented step of voting to kick Charter Communications (aka Spectrum) out of New York State. Regulators say the company misled them about why it repeatedly failed to adhere to merger conditions affixed to the company’s $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, going so far as to falsify (according to the NY PUC) the number of homes the company expanded service to. The state has also sued the company for failing to deliver advertised broadband speeds, for its shoddy service, and for its terrible customer support.

      While the threat was largely unprecedented, there have been indications that this was largely just a negotiations tactic by the state. However sincere the threat was, it appears to have worked.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Another U.S. Patent Issued for CRISPR

      Last Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted (at long last) to the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and inventor Emmanuelle Charpentier a patent corresponding to the application-in-interference with the Broad’s patent estate, as U.S. Patent No. 10,266,850, to its CRISPR technology (where CRISPR is an acronym for Clustered Regularly lnterspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). The interference between the Broad Institute and the University of California/Berkeley over patents directed to CRISPR technology has been in the spotlight over the past few years (see “CRISPR Interference Declared”; “PTAB Decides CRISPR Interference — No interference-in-fact”; “PTAB Decides CRISPR Interference in Favor of Broad Institute — Their Reasoning”; “University of California/Berkeley Appeals Adverse CRISPR Decision by PTAB”; and “Berkeley Files Opening Brief in CRISPR Appeal”); the claims granted in the ’850 patent correspond to those patentably distinct from the Broad’s claims.

    • Trademarks

      • The Trade Mark Adventures of Zara: Fashion Markets Moving Fast

        On 27 April 2009, Mrs Zainab Ansell and Mr Roger Ansell (ZARA TANZANIA ADVENTURES) filed an application for registration of an EU trade mark for the figurative sign (shown right) in Classes 39 [e.g. travel and tourism], Class 41 [education and training relating to wildlife], and Class 43 [travel agency services].

        On 31 August 2009, the applicant, Industria de Diseño Textil, SA (Inditex) [ZARA] , filed a notice of opposition to the registration in respect of all the services based on its earlier marks, including the word mark ZARA, registered in Class 25, 35, 39 and 42. On 20 September 2011, the Opposition Division partially upheld the opposition in respect of all the services in Classes 41, 43 and in Class 39 except for railway, river and air transport, and rental of vehicles. Both Inditex and the Ansells appealed. On 5 July 2017 the Board of Appeal allowed the mark applied for to proceed to registration in respect of all the services in Classes 39 and 43.

      • Myanmar’s new trademark law leaves brand owners in the dark
      • The first non-traditional trademark registrations have been granted in Mexico
    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Proxy List For 2019 [100% Working TPB Mirror Sites]

        Downloading torrents has attracted negative publicity for a long time. Many people are still confused about the legality of it and the internet is flooded with questions like “Is torrenting illegal?”

        When it comes to downloading torrents, you need a torrent search engine, and The Pirate Bay is undoubtedly one of the best torrent search engines that you can use. However, the website has always irked original content creators and copyright watchdogs. It is the reason why The Pirate Bay has been pulled offline in many countries like the UK, India, France, and Australia.

      • Exploring the Interfaces Between Big Data and Intellectual Property Law [Ed: There is no "Intellectual Property Law". There's copyright law, patent law, trademark law, and trade secrets law. Those are very different things. "Big Data" typically means a form of surveillance.]

        This article reviews the application of several IP rights (copyright, patent, sui generis database right, data exclusivity and trade secret) to Big Data. Beyond the protection of software used to collect and process Big Data corpora, copyright’s traditional role is challenged by the relatively unstructured nature of the non-relational (noSQL) databases typical of Big Data corpora. This also impacts the application of the EU sui generis right in databases. Misappropriation (tort-based) or anti-parasitic behaviour protection might apply, where available, to data generated by AI systems that has high but short-lived value. Copyright in material contained in Big Data corpora must also be considered. Exceptions for Text and Data Mining (TDM) are already in place in a number of legal systems and likely to emerge to allow the creation and use of corpora of literary and artistic works, such as texts and images.

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

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

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

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

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts