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06.21.19

The Linux Foundation’s New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wim Coekaerts

Summary: The Linux Foundation is boosting the Microsoft boosters (as above) and calls that “community”

More and more people, including very high-profile GNU/Linux publishers/advocates/developers, regularly ask us about the Linux Foundation (index in our wiki). Even as recently as last night. All the feedback is generally positive, i.e. they agree with what we say. I wrote about the demise of Linux.com in my blog the other day. Notice how the Foundation hasn’t said a single thing. Very secretive. Larry Augustin, who we’re told gave the Foundation control over the site, did not respond to my question about it.

“…perhaps the Foundation deemed it worthy/tactful to say something about “community” in a press release’s headline without demoting but actually promoting yet more corporate elements.”A relatively short time ago “LINUX.COM EDITORIAL STAFF” suddenty showed up (whoever that is). They haven’t posted a single article since April and this one too isn’t an article but a link. Is there any staff? Their staff told us that all writers and editors were, in effect, laid off or sacked. The staff (unnamed) linked to this new press release of the Foundation. According to this, the Linux Foundation Board (i.e. lots of proprietary software companies including Microsoft and Oracle) “Elects Longtime Community Members to Chair and Vice Chair”. Who are they? Community members? Not really. One millionaire comes from Oracle and until about a year ago he had worked for Microsoft. To be fair, it’s not clear why he left quite so fast, going back to his former employer, which isn’t FOSS-friendly either. Anyway, that’s the Vice Chair Wim Coekaerts. He worked for Microsoft. The Chair is Nithya Ruff, who is hardly “community”; she is a millionaire corporate executive (see career history). She hops from one proprietary giant to another.

We know some people who may know more about Coekaerts and his time at Microsoft because they spoke to him about it. But nobody wants to share information (they sort of acknowledge, but refrain from saying anything more). Why did he join? Why did he leave? Why does the Foundation call corporate people “community”? It just doesn’t want to understand what the GNU/Linux community really is. It can’t. There’s no community element in the Board anymore. Money talks. The Board is compromised. The likes of Oracle and Microsoft basically elected people who better suit their agenda and are unlikely to antagnise. In the Foundation’s own words:

The Linux Foundation today is announcing its new Board Chair Nithya Ruff and Vice Chair Wim Coekaerts, both of whom bring a long history of contribution, collaboration and developer advocacy to their new positions. Both existing board members, these new roles will allow them to deepen their stewardship and support for Linux and open source projects across industries.

How so? The Foundation now has “community” leadership that is only community by name. One of the two decided to go work for Microsoft and it’s an actual decision. It’s a choice, as nobody is born this way.

Our guess is as good as anybody else’s; perhaps the Foundation deemed it worthy/tactful to say something about “community” in a press release’s headline without demoting but actually promoting yet more corporate elements. They just don’t get it, do they?

Links 21/6/2019: GNOME 3.33.3, 32-Bit Support Further Neglected, DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Wayfire Brings Compiz Bling Back to the Linux Desktop

    Miss those crazy Compiz effects of old? If you’re a Linux user of a certain vintage you likely do — but hey: nothing is gone forever in open-source! Wayfire is a promising open-source project attempting to resurrect some of the Compiz-era coolness and bring to the modern Linux desktop via Wayland. We’re talking wobbly windows, over the top window animations, and, of course, a revival of the famous 3D cube — but all implemented in a way that doesn’t demand oodles of system power. In fact, Wayfire aims to be lightweight in performance but a heavyweight in eye candy — which is pretty sweet!

  • Cool Sites That Discuss About Linux, Ubuntu, and Foss!
  • Pinebook Pro, the $199 Linux Laptop, Gets Keyboard & Bluetooth Spec Bumps

    Pine64, the company behind a range of popular single-board computers, have shared some more details on the upcoming PineBook Pro Linux laptop. [...] As well as working on the PineBook Pro the fine Pine64 folks are also working on a $79 Linux-based tablet with detachable keyboard: the PineTab. And, like its clam-shell cousin, it too is getting an upgrade of over what was originally planned. The PineTab will now ship with 64GB eMMC (up from 32GB). It’ll also boast an M.2 adapter for user expansion and connectivity options…

  • Desktop

    • The 2019 System76 Oryx Pro, Full Review!
    • Google won’t be making its own Android or Chrome OS tablets any more

      A spokesperson from Google said: “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets. For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate.”

    • Google’s officially done making its own tablets

      A couple of clarifying points here: First, none of this has any impact on Pixel phones. Pixel phones and Pixel computers are two different departments, and the roadmap in question is related exclusively to the latter. (The same applies to the various Google Home/Nest products. What we’re talking about today has absolutely zero impact on any that stuff.)

      And second, when Google talks about a “tablet,” it means a device that detaches completely from a keyboard base or doesn’t even have a physical keyboard in the first place — not a swiveling two-in-one convertible like the Pixelbook. The Pixelbook, with its attached keyboard and 360-degree hinge, falls under Google’s definition of “laptop.” Blurred lines, baby.

  • Server

    • CNCF Releases Kubernetes 1.15

      SUSE congratulates the Kubernetes team for the release of Kubernetes 1.15. This new release focuses on two themes: Continuous Improvement and Extensibility. In regard to Continuous Improvement, the project has focused not just on features, but on the rest of the product development process: improving test coverage, ensuring that current stable features do not “decay” as new capabilities are added, maturing existing features, and cleaning up the bug backlog.

    • Red Hat’s last quarterly report?

      Soon, IBM will complete its acquisition of Red Hat for $34-billion. But, Red Hat’s not resting on its laurels waiting. The company announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 ended May 31, 2019. With first quarter total revenue of $934 million, up 15 percent year-over-year in USD, or 18 percent in constant currency, Red Hat did quite well. Still, Wall Street expected Red Hat to report net income of $162.4 million, or 87 cents a share, on sales of $931.6 million after the market closes on Thursday, based on a FactSet survey of 14 analysts. In reality, Red Hat GAAP net income for the quarter was $141 million, or $0.76 diluted earnings per share. Non-GAAP adjusted net income for the quarter was $186 million, or $1.00 diluted EPS. Not bad. Not bad at all.

    • Linux Runs on All of the Top 500 Supercomputers, Again!

      As per the latest report from Top 500, Linux now runs on all of the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world. The previous number was 498 as remaining two supercomputers ran Unix. Top500 is an independent project that was launched in 1993 to benchmark supercomputers. It publishes the details about the top 500 fastest supercomputers known to them, twice a year. You can go the website and filter out the list based on various criteria such as country, OS type, vendors etc. Don’t worry. I am going to list some of the most interesting facts from this report. But before let’s discuss why Linux is the preferred choice of an operating system for supercomputers.

    • How a service mesh helps manage distributed microservices

      A service mesh brings security, resiliency, and visibility to service communications, so developers don’t have to

    • RHEL 8: ‘the foundation for digital transformation’
    • 7 infrastructure performance and scaling tools you should be using

      Sysadmins, site reliability engineers (SREs), and cloud operators all too often struggle to feel confident in their infrastructure as it scales up. Also too often, they think the only way to solve their challenges is to write a tool for in-house use. Fortunately, there are options. There are many open source tools available to test an infrastructure’s performance. Here are my favorites.

    • Future of CRDs: Structural Schemas

      Authors: Stefan Schimanski (Red Hat) CustomResourceDefinitions were introduced roughly two years ago as the primary way to extend the Kubernetes API with custom resources. From the beginning they stored arbitrary JSON data, with the exception that kind, apiVersion and metadata had to follow the Kubernetes API conventions. In Kubernetes 1.8 CRDs gained the ability to define an optional OpenAPI v3 based validation schema. By the nature of OpenAPI specifications though—only describing what must be there, not what shouldn’t, and by being potentially incomplete specifications—the Kubernetes API server never knew the complete structure of CustomResource instances. As a consequence, kube-apiserver—until today—stores all JSON data received in an API request (if it validates against the OpenAPI spec). This especially includes anything that is not specified in the OpenAPI schema.

    • Redis 5 now available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

      Red Hat Software Collections supply the latest, stable versions of development tools for Red Hat Enterprise Linux via two release trains per year. As part of the latest Software Collections 3.3 release, we are pleased to announce that Redis 5 is now generally available and supported on RHEL 7. The new Red Hat Software Collection includes Redis 5.0.3. Redis 5 is an open source in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache and/or message broker. This version provides multiple enhancements and bug fixes over version 3.2 distributed with an earlier Red Hat Software Collections release. Most notably, the redis-trib cluster management tool has been implemented in the Redis command-line interface. The primary addition in Redis 5 is Streams—a new log-like data structure for storing multiple fields and string value with automatic sequencing. For detailed changes in Redis, see the upstream release notes for version 4.0 and version 5.0.

    • Mentoring new system administrators

      While this article is geared toward senior system administrators taking a more active role in the development of newer team members, those readers who are new might find interest in a different view of the world of working with newer systems administrators. As a system administrator who has been in the role for a long time, it’s easy to shake a proverbial cane at those newer team members who bother you with inane questions lacking the technical detail needed to provide a complete answer. It would be so easy to gruffly utter a few words to get them to go away, or point out the lack of specificity of the question in such a way as to make them feel so small that they won’t talk to you again. I’ve been there, and—being frank—done exactly that. I was recently reading a discussion forum where there was an administrator who appeared inexperienced and, apparently, all on his or her own to figure things out. That caused me to think back to my first system administration job, and realize how thankful I am that when I started, I had someone senior who was willing to invest time in helping me become better. This better didn’t come in the form of drilling me with commands or syntax, but with a more Socratic method to help me develop skills that I use almost every day. When I first started with the group, whenever I hit an issue, I would go down to Chris’ office with my notepad and pencil and ask him about the problem (sometimes multiple times a day). After about a week of this, I came into his office, as usual, to ask about a system call or something. He didn’t look at me and put his hand up, signaling me to stop. After he finished whatever it was he was working on, he turned to me and said, “What research have you done about this question? Man pages? Google searches? -h output?” I said, “No, I just came down here to ask you.”

    • SUSE now member of iRODS, Sponsor of User Group Meeting

      This month, SUSE became a member of the iRODS (integrated Rule-Oriented Data System) consortium which is an open source data management software used by research organizations and government agencies worldwide. [...] iRODS UGM will host 25+ presentations from the user community and the core development team, including use case presentations, live demonstrations, and open discussions about requested iRODS features. They anticipate an audience of 150 participants representing dozens of academic, government, and commercial institutions.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E11 – 1942

      This week we’ve been to FOSS Talk Live and created games in Bash. We have a little LXD love in and discuss 32-bit Intel being dropped from Ubuntu 19.10. OggCamp tickets are on sale and we round up some tech news. It’s Season 12 Episode 11 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Episode 21: From Mac to Linux

      Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Linux Journal Editor at Large, Petros Koutoupis, about moving from Mac to Linux.

    • Delete Your Community | User Error 68

      Two #AskError specials in a row! Advice for our younger selves, leaving communities, our listening habits, and hoarding. Plus the most serious question that’s ever been asked on the show, and more.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Google’s Graphics API Debugger 1.6 Adds Stadia Support

        Google’s GAPID, also known as the Graphics API Debugger, continues serving as an interesting open-source and cross-platform Vulkan debugger. On Thursday version 1.6 of GAPID was released. The GAPID 1.6 release adds Stadia support so developers working on porting their games to run on Google’s cloud gaming service can use GAPID for debugging any Vulkan problems.

      • Intel Graphics Driver Ready For HDR Support In Linux 5.3, Other Last-Minute Features

        While there still is a few weeks until the Linux 5.2 kernel will debut and thus the opening of the Linux 5.3 merge window, due to DRM-Next halting new feature code from merging prior to that point, in preparation Intel open-source developers sent in their final batch of feature work aiming for Linux 5.3. Intel developers already had sent in multiple feature updates for 5.3 while Wednesday was their last scheduled update.

      • RadeonSI Gets Some Tidying Ahead Of Navi/GFX10 Support (Radeon RX 5700 Series)

        Well known open-source AMD developer Marek Olšák sent out a set of eight RadeonSI Gallium3D patches this morning that appear mostly mundane and namely come down to some minor code alterations. This work though is in stepping towards the actual Navi/GFX10 support we expect to be dropped incredibly soon. The eight patches alone aren’t anything to get excited about just prep work. At least the eighth patch for renaming/re-documenting cache flush flags does make mention of changes with the GFX10 hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • Optane SSD RAID Performance With ZFS On Linux, EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, F2FS

        This round of benchmarking fun consisted of packing two Intel Optane 900p high-performance NVMe solid-state drives into a system for a fresh round of RAID Linux benchmarking atop the in-development Linux 5.2 kernel plus providing a fresh look at the ZFS On Linux 0.8.1 performance. Two Intel Optane 900p 280GB SSDPED1D280GA PCIe SSDs were the focus of this round of Linux file-system benchmarking. EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, and F2FS were tested both on a single Optane SSD and then in RAID0 and RAID1 with two of these high performance drives. Additionally, ZFS On Linux 0.8.1 was tested on this system both with a single drive and in RAIDZ. For putting the Optane SSD performance in reference, there is also a standalone result provided of a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe SSD with EXT4. In case you missed out earlier Optane 900P benchmarks on Linux from 2017, see them here for this still very competitive SSD. While there are now the 905P SSDs, the 900P models remain available and cheaper hence why going for those when picking up two of them for this round of Linux RAID testing. All of the file-systems were tested using the Linux 5.2 Git kernel and running with their stock/default mount options. The EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID was tested using Linux MD RAID while the Btrfs and ZFS RAID were using their file-system’s native RAID capabilities.

      • The Latest Linux 5.2 + Mesa 19.2 Radeon Performance Against NVIDIA With Mid-Range GPUs

        With the Linux 5.2 kernel a few weeks out from its stable release and now being in the middle of the Mesa 19.2 development cycle for the RADV Vulkan and RadeonSI OpenGL drivers, here are some fresh results looking at the latest open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver stack compared to the latest NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver. In this article the focus is on the mid-range (Polaris) line-up against the NVIDIA competition while similar tests on the high-end are currently being carried out. These mid-range Linux GPU gaming benchmarks are intended to provide some fresh figures with the current open-source RadeonSI/RADV performance compared to NVIDIA. Beyond the upcoming high-end tests, next month of course is the Radeon RX 5700 series launch where we’ll be providing launch-day Linux benchmarks. The mid-range cards tested for today’s comparison included the Radeon RX 560, RX 570, RX 580, and RX 590. On the NVIDIA side was the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1650, GTX 1660, and GTX 1660 Ti.

  • Applications

    • Linux productivity: Why it’s needed and the top 10 apps

      People choose Linux for a variety of reasons, be it as hobby machines, trying out new things, or due to professional requirements. It’s becoming easier than ever to use a Linux OS, with positive news coming out every day, such as Chromebooks being able to run Linux apps and new Linux distributions coming out weekly. All of this is leading to more Linux adoption across the world, from offices to home computers.

    • Goodvibes – internet radio player

      Why do I love internet radio? There’s no sign-up or subscription charges. There’s a huge range of stations available from around the world. If you like classical music, pop music, folk music, news, talk radio, and much more, internet radio has something for everyone wherever you live (providing you have a net connection). I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews of internet radio players. These reviews examined odio, Shortwave, Radiotray-NG, PyRadio, StreamTuner2, and Curseradio. I’ve been dabbling with another internet radio player, which carries the moniker Goodvibes. Goodvibes is billed as a lightweight internet radio player offering a simple way to access your favorite radio stations. Goodvibes is written in C and builds with Meson. The core building blocks are provided by GLib, the HTTP segments are handled by LibSoup, the audio part is delegated to GStreamer, and the graphical user interface is written with GTK+.

    • Why this developer wrote a quick and responsive music player

      I wrote recently that “GogglesMM has been one of my favorite players for quite some time now.” So, when I was thinking about interviewing developers who build and maintain open source music players, Sander Jansen came quickly to mind. Sander is the developer and maintainer of Goggles Music Manager (GogglesMM), a very fine open source music player that’s particularly well-suited to getting the music stream from the computer to the digital-analog converter (DAC) in a very transparent fashion. In my first article in this series, I interviewed Juan Rios, creator of the Guyadeque music player; the following is an edited version of my conversation with Sander.

    • Top 10 screenshot and image annotation tools for Linux you should try out

      From explaining some little thing to our friends or colleagues, to keeping the evidence of some important thing we come across in our digital lives, we all take screenshots once in a while, and sometimes, we even need to take screenshots back-to-back for certain requirements. Most operating systems we come across has some inbuilt tools to capture screenshots, but sometimes we need something more than just what the inbuilt tool has to offer. Depending upon the platform, we can all download some programs to capture screenshots in exactly the way we want, but choosing the best one isn’t going to be a piece of the pie. So if you are on Linux, which is a complex platform for most users, you will also need a decent screenshot capturing tool for your requirements. Talking about Linux, which is open-source, each distribution, aka. distro, come with its own screenshot capturing tool, and you might not be satisfied with the default one. In most cases, the default screenshot capturing tool will not offer all the functionalities you need from it, and that is the point when you need a better one.

    • Tauon Music Box is a Minimally Minded Music Player with Neat Micro Modes

      The app is not trying to compete with the full-blown, feature-filled, all-in-one music apps like Rhythmbox, Amarok and Guayadeque. And I’m not spotlighting it because I think it’s the best music player for Linux. Instead, the app serves a niche and ticks a few boxes (minimal, lightweight, responsive design) that make it worth knowing about. Built in Python, Tauon uses the proprietary BASS Audio Library for playback. This decision won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (and earlier versions used FFMPeg) but it does mean the app is able to play pretty much anything you throw at it, including Flacc.

    • Proprietary

      • Vivaldi browser blocks abusive ads, improves profile management and more

        At Vivaldi, we continue to focus on our two hallmarks – privacy and customization. We are always looking to enhance what a browser should provide, and the latest version of Vivaldi has a handful of new features that do just that. We’ve improved security by blocking advertisements on sites with abusive ad practices. There are new ways to navigate quicker, customize user profiles along with overall improvements that add more flexibility to Vivaldi’s intuitive user interface.

      • Vivaldi 2.6 Released with Improved Security & User Profile

        Vivaldi web browser released new stable version 2.6 today with improved security, profile management and more.

      • Browse the Web More Securely with Vivaldi Browser 2.6

        Vivaldi 2.6 released with improvements and new features. Vivaldi is free and open source cross platform web browser. Vivaldi is fairly new in web world where Chrome, Firefox, Opera are already playing. Vivaldi is a Chromium based browser targeted to the technical users than generic users having a minimal UI, icons and tabs. Here’s a quick rundown of Vivaldi’s features.

      • Vivaldi to give abusive sites the middle finger with built-in ad blocking

        Amid Google’s huffing and puffing over ad blockers, an update to Chromium-based browser Vivaldi puts privacy squarely in its sights. The release, version 2.6, is not quite the feature-fest of previous builds, but contains a couple of standout tweaks to please those fed up with advertisers and online trackers, and others who like things just so.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Vengeful Heart, a revenge-themed visual novel styled like old PC-98 visual novels

        It takes something a little different to get me interested in a Visual Novel since it’s not my usual preference and Vengeful Heart is one such game. It’s a tale of capitalism, companionship and cyberpunk with a focus around revenge. Built with Ren’Py, Vengeful Heart has a seriously good style going for it based on the classics from the PC-98, a retro line-up of Japanese 16-bit and 32-bit personal computers manufactured by NEC.

      • The Latest Linux Kernel Appears To Be Causing Connectivity Issues For Steam

        If you are planning to enjoy some Linux gaming this week via Steam, you may want to think twice about upgrading to the latest Linux kernel Git code or even the newest stable point releases. A number of Steam Linux users are reporting of connection troubles when upgrading to the latest Linux kernel releases, including the likes of Linux 5.0.0-17 on Ubuntu or 5.1.12-arch1-1-ARCH on Arch Linux, among other kernel combinations and distributions. A number of users are reporting issues with connecting to Steam following a kernel upgrade in recent days.

      • New website, new company, new partners, new code

        As a freelancer I am contracted by Valve to work on certain gaming-related XServer projects and improve KWin in this regard and for general desktop usage. In the XServer there are two main projects at the moment. The technical details of one of them are currently discussed on a work-in-progress patch series on Gitlab but I want to write accessible articles about both projects here on the blog as well in the near future. In KWin I have several large projects I will look into, which would benefit KWin on X11 and Wayland alike. The most relevant one is reworking the compositing pipeline. You can expect more info about this project and the other ones in KWin in future blog posts too.

      • Survival adventure game ‘Failed State’ has entered Early Access

        After a promising demo way back in 2017, Failed State has finally entered Early Access on Steam with same-day Linux support.

      • Himno – The Silent Melody announced, as a standalone combat expansion of the first peaceful game

        After the success of the peaceful platformer Himno, David Moralejo Sánchez and GrabTheGames have now formally announced the next game Himno – The Silent Melody. I was very impressed with the atmosphere in the original, but I couldn’t help wanting to fight something so it sounds like Himno – The Silent Melody is exactly what I want from a sequel.

      • Event Horizon – Frontier will have you continually upgrade and defend a space station

        Pavel Zinchenko’s new game Event Horizon – Frontier looks like a pretty sweet mix of 2D space action, with base defence and it’s releasing soon with Linux support. It’s set in the same universe as the previous game, Event Horizon, which was released late last year which also has Linux support.

      • Cecconoid, an 8-bit inspired “flick-screen” twin-stick-shooter that looks awesome is coming to Linux

        Developer Triple Eh (previously made Lumo), are now working on an 8-bit inspired twin-stick shooter called Cecconoid. It’s soaked in retro and it looks awesome!

      • Albion Online’s seventh major post-launch update ‘Percival’ to launch on July 10th

        Albion Online is going to get bigger once again and the Percival actually sounds like it’s going to be pretty good, especially if you’re a solo player. For starters, the new randomized dungeon feature is finally going to have a version for solo players! Just like the version for groups they will spawn at random throughout the world of Albion. You will be able to use dungeon maps to unlock higher tiers, for a bigger challenge and better loot too. That makes me happy, as Albion is far too geared towards bigger groups, nice to see solo players get some attention this time.

      • War not bloody enough? The Reign of Blood DLC for Total War: THREE KINGDOMS might change your mind

        Creative Assembly has announced the Reign of Blood effects pack that’s coming to Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and it looks quite brutal. The developer says it will enable you to experience “the battlefields of ancient China in gruesome detail” if that’s your thing. For the campaign it will include event-pictures depicting blood and gore, along with blood effects for battle-resolution combat animations between characters. For the battles it will add dismemberment, charred bodies, blood spray and…you get the idea.

      • Sweet survival base-builder ‘MewnBase’ has another update out, continues looking fun

        Not as serious as other survival games, MewnBase from developer Cairn4 has a sweet style and you’re a space cat because why not.

      • Daedalic Entertainment’s new RTS “A Year Of Rain” will be coming to Linux

        This is really exciting news, as a huge fan of such RTS games, Daedalic Entertainment’s “A Year Of Rain” looks really good and it turns out they’re going to support Linux. Interestingly, back when it was first announced in March I did email Daedalic to ask about Linux support. They told me then, that they didn’t really have any answer on it. However, it seems things have changed and they’ve decided Linux will be supported. On Steam, the developer said it’s planned and it seems it may even happen during the Early Access period.

      • Evan’s Remains, a beautiful-looking puzzle platformer with visual novel elements plans Linux support

        Evan’s Remains from Matías Schmied and Whitethorn Digital is a new one to capture my interest. Blending a rather atmospheric puzzle platformer, with a little visual novel flair and it’s planned for Linux.

      • Dota Underlords from Valve is now in open beta for Linux, mobile too

        Valve are doing some really impressive work with Dota Underlords, their new strategy game that everyone can now try. As a quick reminder on the gameplay: you go through rounds, picking heroes and placing them on the board, then you fight against the choices of other players and neutral enemies for loot. The actual battles are done by AI, with the tactical part based on your choices and positioning. You lose health based on the amount of enemy heroes left if they beat you and it’s the last player standing to win. It’s free and will remain free to play, with some sort of optional Battle Pass likely to come for cosmetic items in future. They have a lot more planned for it including: daily challenges, a level up system, a tournament system, seasonal rotation for heroes and more. They said that during the Open Beta Season, it will regularly see new features and updates.

      • Colourful city-builder ‘ISLANDERS’ has officially released for Linux and it’s really lovely

        I don’t think I’ve hit the buy button on Steam that quickly in a while, as ISLANDERS, a colourful city-builder is now officially out for Linux. Developed by GrizzlyGames, ISLANDERS is a minimalist strategy game for those who don’t have hours to invest in resource management. Released back in April, the Linux version arrived yesterday along with a big update that also adds in a Sandbox Mode and the ability to undo your last building placement which sounds handy.

      • Roguelike deck-building game ‘Nowhere Prophet’ releasing on July 19th, looks very interesting

        Deck-building card-based games really are all the rage now! I’m okay with this, as I love them and I am excited to see what more developers do with it. Nowhere Prophet is one that looks great and it’s out next month. Developer Sharkbomb Studios and publisher No More Robots have now confirmed the release date of July 19th. We got confirmation back in April, that Linux will be supported too. Set on planet Soma, this science-fiction post-apocalypse game mixes in two distinct modes of play. The first is the travel system, with you facing encounters across a procedurally generated map (so the game is different each time). If you enter combat, it switches into the turn-based card game mode.

      • Dead Cells “Fear The Rampager” update is live and it continues being awesome

        Still one of my top games, Dead Cells just got another big free update “Fear The Rampager” so it’s time to jump back in for one more run. The big addition this time is the introduction of The Rampager. A new foe to challenge you that’s currently haunting a variety of biomes in Boss Stem Cell 3 and higher.

      • Heroes of Hammerwatch updated and the Witch Hunter expansion is out now

        Crackshell have expanded their rogue-lite action-adventure game Heroes of Hammerwatch with a free update along with the great sounding Witch Hunter expansion. First up, the free update available for everyone adds in a few new features including new dungeon mechanics, companions, new drinks and a new statue if you have the Pyramid of Prophecy DLC. Additionally the free update has some performance improvements, more chest room variations, enemies can now be killed by poison and plenty of other balance changes.

      • My Friend Pedro | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        My Friend Pedro running through Steam play.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The [kdenlive] Titler Tool – Onward with the 3rd week

        Hi! It’s been 3 weeks (more than that actually, couldn’t update yesterday due to some network glitches I was facing here) and the progress so far has been good – let’s get into it! In the last week’s blog, I had reasoned why the rendering part is being developed as a library rather than directly starting the work with the framework (MLT) and the one advantage, was that the testing process becomes a whole lot easier. And that’s exactly what I have been doing the last week – writing the test module for the library, i.e. writing unit tests and it has been quite interesting as it gave me a perspective on how the code can break at points. The crucial concept of unit tests is to be able to make sure that there is no regression – meaning your code will do some particular things that it is supposed to do when we know it works, and at whatever point in the future, it will for sure do these certain things when it is working – Nice, eh? Unit testing, as the name suggests, is testing of the units – we take each functional unit of a code (or simply a function/method) and we test certain characterstics and make sure that these conditions are fulfilled. An example being that I can pick from one my unit tests is the the case of the method QmlRenderer::initializeRenderParams(…)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.33.3 RELEASED!
        GNOME 3.33.3 is now available. Please try it out, test it, improve it.
        
        I'm the one sending this email but this release has really been made
        thanks to the others members of the Release Team; thanks Matthias,
        Abderrahim and Michael Catanzaro! (and of course you developers for
        release new versions of the modules)
        
        If you want to compile GNOME 3.33.3, you can use the official
        BuildStream project snapshot. Thanks to BuildStream's build sandbox, it
        should build reliably for you regardless of your host system:
        
        https://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.33.3/gnome-3.33.3.tar.xz
        
        The list of updated modules and changes is available here:
        
        https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.3/NEWS
        
        The source packages are available here:
        
        https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.3/sources/
        
        WARNING!
        --------
        This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is
        buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
        purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development
        status.
        
        For more information about 3.33, the full schedule, the official module
        lists and the proposed module lists, please see our 3.33 wiki page:
        
        https://www.gnome.org/start/unstable
        
        Cheers,
        Javier Jardón
        GNOME Release Team
      • GNOME 3.33.3 Released With Sysprof Profiling Integration, Other Improvements

        GNOME 3.33.3 is out this morning as the latest development release in the trek towards the very exciting GNOME 3.34 desktop update due out this September. Notable to GNOME 3.33.3 is the Sysprof profiling integration working its way through the key components like GJS and GTK. This Sysprof profiling integration is for developers to ultimately help optimize GNOME for better performance for end-users.

      • GNOME’s Mutter Begins Landing Transactional KMS Support

        Adding to the excitement of GNOME 3.34 and the many changes being worked on is Mutter seeing the initial merging of transactional kernel mode-setting (KMS) support. This effort that has already been going on for months is about adopting a transactional API for Mutter so that it can make use of the Linux kernel’s atomic KMS API. All of the key Linux DRM/KMS drivers these days support the atomic API (and is a requirement for merging of new drivers) but so far not many Linux desktop user-space components have switched over to using the new APIs.

      • A Quick Look at GNOME Shell 3.34’s Newly Improved Theme

        GNOME’s design team have made a number of changes designed to bring the shell theme in sync with the default Adwaita GTK theme, which was dramatically revamped for the release of GNOME 3.32 earlier this year. The improvements headed to the desktop are likely to feature in the upcoming GNOME 3.34 release, due September. Just don’t get too excited.

  • Distributions

    • Kali Linux Vs. Linux Mint: Which One Should You Pick?

      At the end of it, it comes down to not only the user’s preference but also the use-case. Mint has many advantages, being easy-to-use, low-powered, accessible and easily installable. However, it does come with the pitfalls of Ubuntu-based distributions such as network settings being saved or noisy traffic on networks. On the other hand, Kali has a high number of advantages for those looking to use an OS for hacking and penetration testing. It comes with a steep learning curve and is definitely not made for everyone. However, its set of tools and utilities, along with its base architecture security, is paramount to hackers. All in all, it depends on what the user is using it for. In case of looking for a Linux distro similar to Windows in properties and use-case, Linux Mint is recommended. For a robust platform used for penetration testing and hacking, Kali Linux is robust and dependable.

    • Reviews

      • With Regolith, i3 Tiling Window Management Is Awesome, Strange and Easy

        Regolith Linux brings together three unusual computing components that make traipsing into the i3 tiling window manager world out-of-the-box easy. Much of the focus and attraction — as well as confusion — for newcomers to the Linux OS is the variety of desktop environments available. Some Linux distributions offer a range of desktop types. Others come only with a choice of one desktop. i3 provides yet another option, but it is a much different choice that offers an entirely new approach to how you interact with the operating system. Window managers usually are integrated into a full-fledged desktop system. Window managers control the appearance and placement of windows within the operating system’s screen display. A tiling window manager goes one step further. It organizes the screen display into non-overlapping frames rather than stacking overlapping windows. The i3 tiling window manager in Regolith Linux serves as what essentially becomes a standalone pseudo desktop. It automatically arranges windows so they occupy the whole screen without overlapping.

    • New Releases

      • Security-Oriented Alpine Linux 3.10.0 has been released and check what’s new

        Alpine Linux community proudly announced the new release of Alpine Linux 3.10.0 on 19 June, 2019. It’s a first stable release of v3.10 series. Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox.

      • Security-Oriented Alpine Linux Receives Serial & Ethernet Support for ARM Boards

        Alpine Linux 3.10.0 has been released and it is now available as the latest and most advanced stable version of the security-oriented operating system based on the musl libc libraries, and using the powerful and open-source BusyBox utility for general system administration. It brings the cross-desktop LightDM display manager, the Ceph distributed object store and file system, and iwd (iNet wireless daemon) as a replacement for wpa_supplicant, though Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) support isn’t working in this release. It also adds serial and Ethernet support for ARM boards.

      • Kwort Linux 4.3.4 is out, check what’s new

        Kwort Linux team proudly announced the new release of Kwort Linux 4.3.4 on 16 June, 2019. It’s CRUX-based distribution featuring with Openbox window manager and offering a own package manager called kpkg. Kwort is a modern, small (included only useful applications) and fast Linux distribution that is designed especially for power users as it doesn’t offer any installer script. And users needs to follow the official instruction to install the system manually.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • MX GNU/Linux, A Desktop Mix of Mepis and Antix without Systemd

        MX is an interesting desktop GNU/Linux based on Debian but without Systemd. It’s powered with simple and user friendly interface thanks to XFCE Desktop. It’s actually very lightweight, shipped with a lot of MX own tools (including remastering and tweaking ones), available in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. The latest version, MX-18 “Continuum”, equipped with ability to search and install Flatpak applications. Last but not least, MX exists as collaboration between two big communities, Mepis and antiX, hence the name MX since 2008 up to today. I hope you enjoy my overview below introducing several good points of MX.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Is Also Making Plans To Move Away From 32-Bit Support

        In addition to Ubuntu planning to drop 32-bit packages with their 19.10 release, the OpenMandriva development team is another high profile Linux distribution drafting plans to eliminate their 32-bit support. OpenMandriva’s plans to drop 32-bit are much more conservative than Canonical with planning for these changes by the October release of Ubuntu 19.10. In the case of OpenMandriva, they will gradually reduce their exposure to 32-bit in hopes of weening users to 64-bit where possible.

      • OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 released, here are the new features

        OpenMandriva LX is a free Desktop Operating System that was created to capture the interest of first time and advanced users alike while still stimulating their creative developmental minds. OpenMandriva has announced the release of their latest build, called OMLx 4.0 which comes with new and exciting changes. With this release, users will see several significant changes that are readily visible, and many changes that are not immediately visible.

    • Fedora

      • Making Fedora 30

        Although Fedora 29 released on October 30, 2018, work on Fedora 30 began long before that. The first change proposal was submitted in late August. By my count, contributors made nine separate change proposals for Fedora 30 before Fedora 29 shipped. Some of these proposals come early because they have a big impact, like mass removal of Python 2 packages. By the time the proposal deadline arrived in early January, the community had submitted 50 change proposals.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V 64-bits: Why it matters and roadmap

        Last month, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo, a Debian contributor and developer talked about the Debian GNU/Linux riscv64 port at the RISC-V workshop. Debian, a Unix-like operating system consists of free software supported by the Debian community that comprises of individuals who basically care about free and open-source software. The goal of the Debian GNU/ Linux riscv64 port project has been to have Debian ready for installation and running on systems that implement a variant of the RISC-V (an open-source hardware instruction set architecture) based systems. The feedback from the people regarding his presentation at the workshop was positive. Earlier this week, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo announced an update on the status of Debian GNU/ Linux riscv64 port. The announcement comes weeks before the release of buster which will come with another set of changes to benefit the port.

      • Debian GNU/Linux riscv64 port in mid 2019
      • Derivatives

        • Tails 3.14.1 is out

          This release is an emergency release to fix a critical security vulnerability in Tor Browser. It also fixes other security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • I386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10)

            Last year, the Ubuntu developer community considered the question of whether to continue carrying forward the i386 architecture in the Ubuntu archive for future releases. The discussion at the time was inconclusive, but in light of the strong possibility that we might not include i386 as a release architecture in 20.04 LTS, we took the proactive step to disable upgrades from 18.04 to 18.10 for i386 systems, to avoid accidentally stranding users on an interim release with 9 months of support instead of letting them continue to run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with its 5 years of standard support. In February of this year, I also posted to communicate the timeline in which we would take a final decision about i386 support in 20.04 LTS, namely, that we would decide in the middle of 2019. The middle of 2019 has now arrived. The Ubuntu engineering team has reviewed the facts before us and concluded that we should not continue to carry i386 forward as an architecture. Consequently, i386 will not be included as an architecture for the 19.10 release, and we will shortly begin the process of disabling it for the eoan series across Ubuntu infrastructure.

          • Canonical planning to drop 32bit support with Ubuntu 19.10 onwards

            As you might have heard by now, Canonical has made the decision to drop 32bit support from Ubuntu 19.10 onwards. Writing on the mailing list, as well as this post on Ubuntu’s Community Hub, Canonical gave a reminder that the decision isn’t coming without warning. It was proposed last year and it was followed up with another post detailing a final decision to be made in the middle of 2019. So here we are, the decision seems to have been made. The problem isn’t hardware, as likely around 99% of people nowadays have a 64bit capable computer. Going by our own statistics, from what 2,254 users told us only 4 are using a 32bit Linux distribution. The issue then, is mainly software and libraries needed to actually run 32bit applications. This is where it sounds like there’s going to be plenty of teething issues, with a number of people not too happy about the decision.

          • Wine Developers Appear Quite Apprehensive About Ubuntu’s Plans To Drop 32-Bit Support

            It’s looking like the plans announced by Canonical this week to drop their 32-bit packages/libraries beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 will be causing problems for the Wine camp at least in the near-term until an adequate solution is sorted out for providing their 32-bit Wine builds to Ubuntu users. Wine and Steam are among the few prominent Linux software packages still prominently living mostly in a 32-bit world. Valve certainly has the resources to come up with a timely solution especially with Ubuntu being the most popular Linux distribution used by Steam and they can move on with shipping their own 32-bit Steam Runtime libraries and other changes as needed. For the upstream Wine project it might be a bit more burdensome providing 32-bit Wine packages for Ubuntu.

          • Wine Developers Concerned With Ubuntu Dropping 32-bit Support With Ubuntu 19.10

            Ubuntu’s solution for using Wine on 32-bit going forward, which is to publish applications as snaps, or use an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS based LXD container that has full access to multiarch 32-bit WINE and related libraries, was also discussed by the Wine developers, with Vincent Povirk of CodeWeavers saying that there’s no point putting much effort into this temporary solution. The maintainer of the Wine OBS repository also mentioned that he has no interest in maintaining so many libraries. So what’s the solution for all of this? Not building Wine packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and later releases, or using the Steam runtime for the Wine packages seem to be the answers, but no final decision has been made yet. Ubuntu is not the first Linux distribution to go with 64-bit only releases. openSUSE leap did this as well, but it continues to provide all the 32-bit libraries needed to build and run Wine. From what the Ubuntu announcement and FAQ says about dropping the 32-bit x86 architecture, it’s looks like there are no plans for doing something similar in Ubuntu.

          • Parallel installs – test and run multiple instances of snaps

            In Linux, testing software is both easy and difficult at the same time. While the repository channels offer great availability to software, you can typically only install a single instance of an application. If you want to test multiple instances, you will most likely need to configure the remainder yourself. With snaps, this is a fairly simple task. From version 2.36 onwards, snapd supports parallel install – a capability that lets you have multiple instances of the same snap available on your system, each isolated from the others, with its own configurations, interfaces, services, and more. Let’s see how this is done.

          • Snappy Now Lets You Install Multiple Versions of the Same Snap App

            Developers will now find it easier to install multiple versions of the same Snap app on the same system. Snappy, the cross-distro app packaging and distribution format, has gained a new, albeit experimental “parallel install” feature. When enabled the feature makes it easy to install multiple instances of the same Snap app on the same system, each with its own config and permissions set. But it gets even better. As well as supporting parallel installs of the same Snap, and letting users configure them independently of each other, the feature also lets developers change the release channel of each install separately. This means, for instance, one could install the latest VLC stable release twice, then switch one of them over to the –edge channel to test something (or play a very nerdy game of spot the difference).

          • Vanilla Framework 2.0 upgrade guide

            We have just released Vanilla Framework 2.0, Canonical’s SCSS styling framework, and – despite our best efforts to minimise the impact – the new features come with changes that will not be automatically backwards compatible with sites built using previous versions of the framework. To make the transition to v2.0 easier, we have compiled a list of the major breaking changes and their solutions (when upgrading from v1.8+). This list is outlined below. We recommend that you treat this as a checklist while migrating your projects.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The state of open source translation tools for contributors to your project

    In the world of free software, many people speak English: It is the one language. English helps us cross borders to meet others. However, this language is also a barrier for the majority of people. Some master it while others don’t. Complex English terms are, in general, a barrier to the understanding and propagation of knowledge. Whenever you use an uncommon English word, ask yourself about your real mastery of what you are explaining, and the unintentional barriers you build in the process.

  • Open Source Could Be a Casualty of the Trade War

    When I heard that ARM was to stop doing business with Huawei, I was a little bit puzzled as to how that worked: ARM is a British company owned by a Japanese conglomerate; how was the US able to extend its influence beyond its citizens and borders? A BBC report indicated that ARM had concerns over its US origin technologies. I discussed this topic with a friend of mine who works for a different non-US company that has also been asked to comply with the ban. He told me that apparently the US government has been sending cease and desist letters to some foreign companies that derive more than 25% of their revenue from US sources, threatening to hold their market access hostage in order to coerce them from doing business with Huawei.

  • Huang: Open Source Could Be a Casualty of the Trade War

    Bunnie Huang writes about the escalating trade wars and how they could be harmful to the open-source community. “Because the administrative action so far against Huawei relies only upon export license restrictions, the Linux Foundation has been able to find shelter under a license exemption for open source software. However, should Huawei be designated as a ‘foreign adversary’ under EO13873, it greatly expands the scope of the ban because it prohibits transactions with entities under the direction or influence of foreign adversaries. The executive order also broadly includes any information technology including hardware and software with no exemption for open source.”

  • Preparing the bzip2-1.0.7 release

    From bzip2-1.0.1 (from the year 2000), until bzip2-1.0.6 (from 2010), release tarballs came with a special Makefile-libbz2_so to generate a shared library instead of a static one. This never used libtool or anything; it specified linker flags by hand. Various distributions either patched this special makefile, or replaced it by another one, or outright replaced the complete build system for a different one.

  • Bzip2 Is About To See Its First Real Update In Close To A Decade

    The Bzip2 open-source compression program is about to see its first real release since September 2010. This new version brings new build systems, security fixes, and much more. Earlier this month we wrote about Bzip2 seeing a revival under new maintainership. With Federico Mena-Quintero having taken the reigns from Bzip2 creator Julian Seward, he’s busy working on this imminent 1.0.7 release as well as longer-term plans like potentially porting parts of the program to Rust.

  • Kids can be so crurl: Lead dev unchuffed with Google’s plan to remake curl in its own image

    Google is planning to reimplement parts of libcurl, a widely used open-source file transfer library, as a wrapper for Chromium’s networking API – but curl’s lead developer does not welcome the “competition”. Issue 973603 in the Chromium bug tracker describes libcrurl,”a wrapper library for the libcurl easy interface implemented via Cronet API”. Cronet is the Chromium network stack, used not only by Google’s browser but also available to Android applications.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • ntpd auto time setting

      Summary: make sure you have at least one constraint source configured and use no options. ntpd will set the clock if needed, even if you machines has no battery backed up clock and is running a DNSSEC validating resolver.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guile: GNU Guile 2.2.5 released

      We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.5, the fifth bug-fix release in the new 2.2 stable release series. This release represents 100 commits by 11 people since version 2.2.4. It fixes bugs that had accumulated over the last few months, notably in the SRFI-19 date and time library and in the (web uri) module. This release also greatly improves performance of bidirectional pipes, and introduces the new get-bytevector-some! binary input primitive that made it possible.

    • mailutils @ Savannah: Version 3.7

      This version introduces a new format for mailboxes: dotmail. Dotmail is a replacement for traditional mbox format, proposed by Kurt Hackenberg. A dotmail mailbox is a single disk file, where messages are stored sequentially. Each message ends with a single dot (similar to the format used in the SMTP DATA command). A dot appearing at the start of the line is doubled, to prevent it from being interpreted as end of message marker.

    • GNU Parallel 20190622 (‘HongKong’) released

      GNU Parallel 20190622 (‘HongKong’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/ GNU Parallel is 10 years old in a year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.

    • 18 letters from readers that we loved

      In the news article titled ‘What’s in a Name?’ in the November 2002 issue, Linux was addressed as “Linus Torvalds’ operating system” and you mentioned that Richard Stallman wants it to be ‘renamed’ as GNU/Linux. The OS we know today as Linux was born out of the GNU project, conceived by Stallman in 1984. It is very strange how Torvalds, who only contributed in creating the kernel, is today considered to be the creator of the entire Linux system. The whole ideology behind the Linux OS remains concealed from the users—that of software created free, by and for the masses. In that context, I think there is complete justification in calling the system GNU/Linux to give credit where it is due.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Finally, An Open Source Multimeter

        This build is based on the STM32F103 microcontroller, uses an old Nokia phone screen, and unlike so many other multimeters, this thing is small. It’s very small. More than small enough to fit in your pocket and forget about it, unlike nearly every other multimeter available. There’s one thing about multimeters, and it’s that the best multimeter is the one that you have in your hands when you need it, and this one certainly fits the bill.

  • Programming/Development

    • Getting Started with Rust: Working with Files and Doing File I/O

      This article demonstrates how to perform basic file and file I/O operations in Rust, and also introduces Rust’s ownership concept and the Cargo tool. If you are seeing Rust code for the first time, this article should provide a pretty good idea of how Rust deals with files and file I/O, and if you’ve used Rust before, you still will appreciate the code examples in this article.

    • PyCharm 2019.2 EAP 4

      This week’s Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm can now be downloaded from our website.

    • The First Step in Contributing to Open Source Projects

      I’ve been “programming” in Python for a while now, enough to be dangerous as they say. I’ve learned enough to be able to help others from time to time, but new enough that I still get distracted by the next shiny package I hear about on a podcast. I recently decided that, to help progress me further and to give back a little, I would help contribute to a package. I’ve heard the call to arms a few times, “Update the documentation, fix the bugs, build new features!”. It’s the Emerald City of the open source world. Being able to give back to the community that gives me something I enjoy so much was something that couldn’t be ignored. But where to start? PyPI has over 100,000 packages, how does one just randomly pick one? Do I pick a well known product? Surely they can always use the help, but the large packages are so refined. With dozens of contributors already helping how could I possibly add something of value? Is it better to go for a smaller package? Find one that still needs work?

    • Python Pandas : Drop columns from Dataframe
    • What’s the difference between PyQt5 and PySide2?
    • #135 macOS deprecates Python 2, will stop shipping it (eventually)
    • For Loop – Python Programming
    • EuroPython 2019: Beginners’ Day Workshop
    • Java and JavaScript remain the most popular programming languages

      That’s according to State of Developer Ecosystem report out of JetBrains, which saw the firm survey 7,000 coders about key industry trends. The main takeaways are that Java is the most popular primary programming language; JavaScript is the most used overall; Go is the most promising; and Python is the most studied. 69 per cent of developers (nice) have used JavaScript over the past 12 months, followed by HTML/CSS (61 per cent), SQL (56 per cent), Java (50 per cent), Python (49 per cent) and Shell scripting languages (40 per cent).

    • Candy Tsai: Outreachy Week 5: What is debci?

      After being asked sooo many times what am I doing for this internship, I think I never explained it well enough so that others could understand. Let me give it a try here. debci is short for “Debian Continuous Integration”, so I’ll start with a short definition of what “Continuous Integration” is then!

    • Token Based Authentication for Django Rest Framework

      Django is of the popular web development framework based on python having a large community and is used by many top websites presently. And Django Rest Framework, one of the most popular python package meant for Django to develop rest api’s and it made things really easier from authentication to responses each and everything.

    • Report from February 2019 ISO WG21 C++ Standards Committee Meeting

      The February 2019 ISO C++ meeting was held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. As usual, Red Hat sent three of us to the meeting: I attended in the SG1 (parallelism and concurrency) group, Jonathan Wakely in Library, and Jason Merrill in the Core Working Group (see Jason’s report here). In this report, I’ll cover a few highlights of the meeting, focusing on the papers that were discussed. The first part of the week in SG1 was spent primarily on papers related to the Executors proposal (p0443). First up was “Integrating executors with the parallel algorithms” (p1019). SG1 also saw this paper at the Fall WG21 meeting in San Diego (see my Fall 2018 trip report). Much of the discussion around this paper in Kona centered on whether supplying an executor to an algorithm required that the algorithm must execute on the supplied executor. Currently, execution policies are just hints to the algorithm, and the algorithm is free to ignore the hint (e.g., some algorithms have no profitable parallelization, or parallelization may not be profitable for small input ranges, so an algorithm may ignore the user’s request for parallelization). We also spent some time trying to get a clearer definition of what counts as a Thread of Execution (ToE) in the context of p1019 (e.g., does a ToE imply TLS? What about fibers, SIMD lanes, etc.?) and the standard parallel algorithms, as well as how exceptions might be handled. Currently, exceptions in parallel algorithms terminate the calling program. The consensus was that we’d like to aim for executors supplied to algorithms to require that the algorithm strictly execute on the supplied executor. The author was asked to work on a subsequent revision of the paper with this guidance in mind. No conclusions were reached on the topic of exception propagation or what specifically constitutes a ToE in this context. Next, there was a brief discussion on an experience report I wrote for the Fall meeting (p1192). I had no new information on this paper for Kona but expect to bring either an update or a new paper based on work I will be doing to replace the default execution backend of the libstdc++ implementation of parallel algorithms from Intel’s Thread Building Blocks to a backend based on OpenMP.

    • 3D – Interactions with Qt, KUESA and Qt Design Studio, Part 1

      I’m a 3D designer, mostly working in blender. Sometimes I come across interesting problems and I’ll try to share those here. For example, trying to display things on low-end hardware – where memory is sometimes limited, meaning every polygon and triangle counts; where the renderer doesn’t do what the designer wants it to, that sort of thing. The problem that I’ll cover today is, how to easily create a reflection in KUESA or Qt 3D Studio. Neither KUESA or Qt 3D Studio will give you free reflections. If you know a little about 3D, you know that requires ray tracing software, not OpenGL. So, I wondered if there would be an easy way to create this effect. I mean, all that a reflection is, is a mirror of an object projected onto a plane, right? So, I wondered, could this be imitated?

    • GCC Is Looking At Zstd For Compressing Its LTO Data

      The latest use-case for the increasingly popular Zstd compression algorithm could be employment by the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) for compressing its link-time optimization (LTO) data. GCC currently makes use of Zlib for compressing the mass amount of data that comes about during the link-time optimization phase of the compiler process. But now SUSE developers have initiated the discussion over using Zstd in its place — either requiring Zstd or making it optional and falling back to Zlib if not present on the system.

    • Linear Regression in Python

      Linear Regression is a supervised statistical technique where we try to estimate the dependent variable with a given set of independent variables. We assume the relationship to be linear and our dependent variable must be continuous in nature.

    • Announcing GitLabracadabra 0.2.1

      Mid-October I started at work a tool in Python to create and update our projects hosted in our GitLab instance.

    • Kubernetes 1.15 Releaased, Offensive Security Reveals the 2019-2020 Roadmap for Kali Linux, Canonical Releases a New Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 LTS, Vivaldi 2.6 Now Available, and Mathieu Parent Announces GitLabracadabra

      Mathieu Parent today announces GitLabracadabra 0.2.1. He started working on the tool to in Python to create and update projects in GitLab. He notes that “This tool is still very young and documentation is sparse, but following the ‘release early, release often’ motto I think it is ready for general usage.”

    • Let’s Build A Simple Interpreter. Part 15.

      Before moving on to topics of recognizing and interpreting procedure calls, let’s make some changes to improve our error reporting a bit. Up until now, if there was a problem getting a new token from text, parsing source code, or doing semantic analysis, a stack trace would be thrown right into your face with a very generic message. We can do better than that. To provide better error messages pinpointing where in the code an issue happened, we need to add some features to our interpreter. Let’s do that and make some other changes along the way. This will make the interpreter more user friendly and give us an opportunity to flex our muscles after a “short” break in the series. It will also give us a chance to prepare for new features that we will be adding in future articles.

Leftovers

  • Waymo takes its self-driving car ambitions global in partnership with Renault-Nissan

    Waymo has locked in an exclusive partnership with Renault and Nissan to research how commercial autonomous vehicles might work for passengers and packages in France and Japan.

  • California has let two Chinese startups offer robotaxis to the public

    While more than 62 companies hold the permits to test autonomous vehicles in California, very few are actually allowed to transport people in those cars. Zoox passed a new milestone when it received the first green light to provide robotaxi services in the state six months ago. Now AutoX and Pony.ai have joined the exclusive club, bringing the number of participants in the pilot program to three.

  • Self-driving car startup Argo AI is giving researchers free access to its HD maps

    The aim, the Ford Motor-backed company says, is to give academic researchers the ability to study the impact that HD maps have on perception and forecasting, such as identifying and tracking objects on the road, and predicting where those objects will move seconds into the future. In short, Argo sees this as a way to encourage more research and hopefully breakthroughs in autonomous vehicle technology.

  • The OS/2 Operating System Didn’t Die… It Went Underground

    One problem with building things using state-of-the-art techniques is that sometimes those that look like they will be “the next big thing” turn out to be dead ends. Next thing you know, that hot new part or piece of software is hard to get or unmaintained. This is especially true if you are building something with a long life span. A case in point is the New York City subway system. Back in the 1990s the transit authority decided to adopt IBM’s new OS/2 operating system. Why not? It was robust and we used to always say “no one ever got fired for buying IBM.” There was one problem. OS/2 was completely eclipsed by other operating systems, notably Windows and — mostly — has sunk from the public view. [Andrew Egan’s] post covers just how the conversion to a card-based system pushed OS/2 underground all over the Big Apple, and it is an interesting read. The choice of OS/2 might seem odd today. However, you have to remember the operating system landscape back then. Unix wasn’t very commercial, for the most part, and the commercial versions like Xenix and SCO were often encumbered with odd and changing licensing arrangements. MSDOS was hardly suitable for any sort of reliable system, with a patchwork of hacks to get more memory, and multitasking including early versions of Windows which were little more than shells over MSDOS.

  • NZ’s Termius raises $2.7m in seed round backed by Silicon Valley VCs

    Termius has developed an SSH client system to allow secure login into a remote computer. The startup said its system is used by more than 11,000 network engineers and DevOps — from companies such as SpaceX, Disney, and Cisco — as they manage their IT infrastructure.

  • Science

    • This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish

      Using individual-level responses from the 2017 American Community Survey assembled and published by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, we found the most common language spoken at home in each state, excluding English and Spanish.

    • The Charter School Industry’s Dishonest Attack on Bernie Sanders

      A 2008 analysis of 47 studies conducted from 1999 to that year found that “on the whole, charters perform similarly to traditional public schools.” A 2009 16-state study found that only 17 percent of charters outperformed traditional schools in math, while 46 percent showed no significant difference, and 37 percent actually underperformed public schools. A 2013 follow-up 27-state study found improved results for charters, but that study has been sharply criticized on technical and substantive grounds. And that is despite the fact that charter schools can “cream” enrollments in ways that traditional public schools cannot—for example, by imposing restrictive admission criteria, steering away less desirable students, and pushing out poorly performing ones.

      Unsurprisingly, therefore, charter schools are more racially segregated than their traditional public-school counterparts. An AP analysis of charter schools nationally found that “While 4 percent of traditional public schools are 99 percent minority, the figure is 17 percent for charters. In cities, where most charters are located, 25 percent of charters are over 99 percent nonwhite, compared to 10 percent for traditional schools.”

    • No, Your Kid Isn’t Growing Horns Because Of Cellphone Use

      This week, the Washington Post grabbed plenty of attention for a story that claimed that kids are actually growing “horns” because of cell phone use. The story, which leans on 2016 and 2018 research out of Australia, was cribbing off of this more nuanced piece by the BBC on how skeletal adaptation to modern living changes are kind of a thing. The Post’s more inflammatory take was accompanied by a wide variety of other stories proclaiming that today’s children are growing horns and bone spurs because they use their durn cellphones too much! [...] The problem is that while the research did find that human skeletons are shifting and changing in the modern era due to postural and other behaviors, they weren’t able to prove that cellphones were the culprit. There’s a wide variety of modern human behaviors that could influence skeletal shifts, from watching television and reading books to terrible posture resulting from a lack of meaningful exercise. Only a few reporters could be bothered to note that at no point did the researchers directly, actually link the “horns” to cellphone use.

  • Hardware

    • Apple might shift ’15 to 30 per cent’ of production out of China

      So says Nikkei, which reports that Apple has asked its suppliers to size-up the cost implications of shifting 15 to 30 per cent of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia; currently, approximately 90 per cent of all Apple products are assembled in China.

    • Apple explores shifting some production out of China: report

      Apple is thinking of making major changes in its supply chain and has asked its major suppliers to analyse the costs that would be involved in moving between 15% and 30% of production from China to countries like India, Vietnam, Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

      Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

    • Nitrates in Tap Water: What Parents Need to Know

      A new Environmental Working Group (EWG) study published in Environmental Research found that nitrate, one of the most common contaminants of drinking water, may cause up to 12,594 cases of cancer per year, but that’s not its only danger: It can pose unique health risks to children. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your family safe.

    • U.S. Air Quality Is Headed the Wrong Way

      After four decades of improving air quality, the U.S. has started to take a step backwards, as the number of polluted days has ticked upwards over the last two years, the Associated Press reported. Federal data shows there were 15 percent more days with unhealthy air over the U.S. in 2017 and 2018 than there were on average from 2013 through 2016, according to the AP. In that four-year span, Americans had the fewest number of polluted days since 1980.

    • US air quality is slipping after years of improvement

      Over the last two years the nation had more polluted air days than just a few years earlier, federal data shows. While it remains unclear whether this is the beginning of a trend, health experts say it’s troubling to see air quality progress stagnate. There were 15% more days with unhealthy air in America both last year and the year before than there were on average from 2013 through 2016, the four years when America had its fewest number of those days since at least 1980.

    • America’s Skies Have Gotten Clearer, but Millions Still Breathe Unhealthy Air

      When asked about climate change, President Trump often shifts the focus to America’s “clean air.” “We have the cleanest air in the world in the United States and it’s gotten better since I’m president,” he said again this month while meeting with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland. America’s air is much cleaner than it used to be, but it’s still not “the cleanest.” And recent data suggests that air pollution is ticking back up.

    • Maine and Vermont Pass Plastic Bag Bans on the Same Day

      Governors in Vermont and Maine signed bills on Monday that will ban plastic bags in their states next year, The Hill reported. The Maine ban will go into effect next Earth Day, April 22, 2020. The Vermont ban, which extends beyond plastic bags and is the most comprehensive plastics ban so far, will go into effect in July 2020. The wait time is designed to give businesses time to adjust to the ban.

    • Maine, Vermont pass plastic bag bans on same day

      Governors in Maine and Vermont on Monday signed bills into law that ban single-use plastic bags, making them the fourth and fifth states to pass such legislation. Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a measure that says “a retail establishment may not provide a single-use carry-out bag to a customer at the point of sale or otherwise make single-use carry-out bags available to customers.” However, the law provides some exceptions, such as when pharmacies provide bags for transporting medications or when pet stores offer bags for carrying fish or insects. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation that similarly prohibits food establishments from providing plastic carryout bags but also bars polystyrene food service products and plastic straws from being distributed to customers. The law includes exemptions similar to the ones in Maine’s statute.

  • Security

    • John Deere’s Promotional USB Drive Hijacks Your Keyboard

      “The device itself, it’s pretty ingenious, actually,” the Reddit user said. “It’s an HID-compliant keyboard that, when connected detects what platform it’s on and automatically sends a keyboard shortcut to open a browser, and then it barfs the link into the address bar.”

    • New Variant of the Houdini Worm Emerges

      WSH RAT is currently being offered as a subscription, at $50 per month. The malware operators are actively marketing the malware as compatible with all Windows XP to Windows 10 releases, featuring automatic startup methods, and various remote access, evasion, and stealing capabilities.

    • Debian’s Intel MDS Mitigations Are Available for Sandy Bridge Server/Core-X CPUs

      The Debian Project recently announced the general availability of a new security update for the intel-microcode firmware to patch the recently disclosed Intel MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) vulnerabilities on more Intel CPUs. Last month, on May 14th, Intel disclosed four new security vulnerabilities affecting many of its Intel microprocessor families. The tech giant was quick to release updated microcode firmware to mitigate these flaws, but not all the processor families were patched.

    • Canonical Outs New Linux Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS

      Canonical released a new Linux kernel live patch for the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series to address the recently disclosed TCP Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerabilities. Coming hot on the heels of the recent Linux kernel security updates published earlier this week for all supported Ubuntu releases, the new Linux kernel live patch is only targeted at Ubuntu versions that support the kernel live patch and are long-term supported, including Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

    • Firefox Users Warned to Patch Critical Flaw

      Mozilla is urging users of its Firefox browsers to update them immediately to fix a critical zero-day vulnerability. Anyone using Firefox on a Windows, macOS or Linux desktop is at risk. The vulnerability, CVE-2019011707, is a type confusion in Array.pop. It has been patched in Firefox 67.0.3 and Firefox ESR 60.7.1. Mozilla announced the patch Tuesday, but the vulnerability was discovered by Samuel Groß of Google Project Zero on April 15. Mozilla implemented the fix after digital currency exchange Coinbase reported exploitation of the vulnerability for targeted spearphishing attacks. “On Monday, June 17, 2019, Coinbase reported a vulnerability used as part of targeted attacks for a spear phishing campaign,” Selena Deckelmann, senior director, Firefox Browser Engineering, told TechNewsWorld. “In less than 24 hours, we released a fix for the exploit.”

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Jelle Van der Waa: Mini DebConf Hamburg 2019

      The reproducible builds project was invited to join the mini DebConf Hamburg sprints and conference part. I attended with the intention to get together to work on Arch Linux reproducible test setup improvements, reproducing more packages and comparing results. The first improvement was adding JSON status output for Arch Linux and coincidently also OpenSUSE and in the future Alpine the commit can be viewed here. The result was deployed and the Arch Linux JSON results are live. The next day, I investigated why Arch Linux’s kernel is not reproducible.

    • Rogue Raspberry Pi allowed hackers to infiltrate NASA’s systems [iophk: "article is missing any relevant details, lack of bureaucracy was not the cause here unlike what is asserted]

      That’s according to a recent audit by the agency’s Office of Inspector General, which reveals a number of security weaknesses affecting its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The report claims that multiple IT security control weaknesses “reduce JPL’s ability to prevent, detect and mitigate attacks targeting its systems and networks” while “exposing NASA systems and data to exploitation by cybercriminals”.

    • NASA Lab Hacked Using A $25 Raspberry Pi Computer

      Raspberry Pi is a teeny-tiny device that can be tinkered with to gain deceptively high capabilities. This has been proved by a recent report which confirmed that a NASA lab was hacked using a Raspberry Pi. The breach occurred in April 2018 where NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was hacked and 500MB of data from major mission systems was stolen. [...] Apparently, the system administrators did not consistently update the inventory system while adding new devices to the network.

    • Hacking Hardware Security Modules

      This highly technical presentation targets an HSM manufactured by a vendor whose solutions are usually found in major banks and large cloud service providers. It will demonstrate several attack paths, some of them allowing unauthenticated attackers to take full control of the HSM. The presented attacks allow retrieving all HSM secrets remotely, including cryptographic keys and administrator credentials. Finally, we exploit a cryptographic bug in the firmware signature verification to upload a modified firmware to the HSM. This firmware includes a persistent backdoor that survives a firmware update.

    • The looming threat of malicious backdoors in software source code

      The history of backdoors in source code has largely been about managing insider threats. For example, a rogue developer looking to sabotage the organization. What’s changed is that increasingly well-funded nation-state attackers can afford to take a much longer-term view. This means writing useful code with backdoors planted deep inside it, making the code widely available, and waiting to see who adopts it.

    • A Florida city paid a $600,000 bitcoin ransom to hackers who took over its computers — and it’s a massive alarm bell for the rest of the US [iophk: "Windows TCO"]

      A Florida city’s council voted to pay a ransom of $600,000 in Bitcoin to [crackers] that targeted its computer systems — and the payout is a sign of how unprepared much of the US is to deal with a coming wave of cyberattacks.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Critical Firefox vulnerability fixed in 67.0.3
    • DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 Released To Fix TTM & OpenSSH Problems

      There are two primary and separate bug fixes in DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 around OpenSSH and TTM. The OpenSSH issue is a SSHD configuration issue for the SSH daemon. The TTM bug is a lockup issue that could come about when using the Radeon DRM graphics driver with this Radeon/TTM code ported over to DragonFlyBSD from the Linux kernel. That’s it for DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1, which is on top of the many great additions in version 5.6 like HAMMER2 by default, a VM rework / performance improvements, and other enhancements.

    • Google Accidentally Releases July 2019 Pixel Update In June

      Some owners of Pixel 3A and 3A XL devices had a happy, or rather surprising, moment when they realized that Google goofed-up badly. As posted on Reddit, Google accidentally released a build of the monthly security update meant for July 2019. It is 79.8MB in size and comes with a label that says “CONFIDENTIAL INTERNAL ONLY.” This clearly means it’s an internal build and not meant for public release.

    • 100 Million Dell [Microsoft Windows-laden] PCs At Risk Due To Criticial Bug In ‘SupportAssist’ Software

      The SupportAssist software comes pre-loaded on most Dell laptops and desktops. It’s used to check for different hardware and software issues that could arise over the course of time on Dell machines. For example, it can be used to test whether the battery is in a healthy condition or not. Unfortunately, the innocent-looking SupportAssist could open doors for attackers who can use it to achieve privilege escalation on Dell machines running Windows 10. The vulnerability was discovered by security firm SafeBreach Labs, the firm told Fossbytes in an email.

    • Bird Miner: This Cryptominer Malware Emulates Linux To Attack Macs [Ed: Attributing dumb people installing malicious files on their disk to "Linux".]

      One of the biggest disadvantages of using pirated software is the increased risk of letting your computer get infected with malware. Cybercriminals often bundle the cracked versions of paid software on piracy websites with adware and cryptominer to earn free cash. So, if you’re installing such programs from unknown sources, the chances of you getting hacked are pretty good. The same attack vector is being used by hackers to distribute a new Mac cryptocurrency miner named Bird Miner. As Malwarebytes’ official blog explains, Bird Miner has been found to be bundled with a cracked installer of a software named Ableton Live, which is a tool for high-end music production.

    • New Mac cryptominer Malwarebytes detects as Bird Miner runs by emulating Linux

      A new Mac cryptocurrency miner Malwarebytes detects as Bird Miner has been found in a cracked installer for the high-end music production software Ableton Live. The software is used as an instrument for live performances by DJs, as well as a tool for composing, recording, mixing, and mastering. And while cryptomining is not new on Mac, this one has a unique twist: It runs via Linux emulation.

    • Understanding Public Key Infrastructure and X.509 Certificates

      Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) provides a framework of encryption and data communications standards used to secure communications over public networks. At the heart of PKI is a trust built among clients, servers and certificate authorities (CAs). This trust is established and propagated through the generation, exchange and verification of certificates. This article focuses on understanding the certificates used to establish trust between clients and servers. These certificates are the most visible part of the PKI (especially when things break!), so understanding them will help to make sense of—and correct—many common errors. As a brief introduction, imagine you want to connect to your bank to schedule a bill payment, but you want to ensure that your communication is secure. “Secure” in this context means not only that the content remains confidential, but also that the server with which you’re communicating actually belongs to your bank.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 10 key findings from the report into Jamal Khashoggi’s killing

      The first independent report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has finally been released. Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur, has laid out in detail evidence that suggests not only did Saudi officials at the highest level plan and carry out the killing, but that they carefully planned how best to hide the murder from the international community.

      Here are the report’s key findings: [...]

    • The Khashoggi report is a wake-up call for UN and US

      Given these findings, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres should immediately launch a criminal investigation, as the Committee to Protect Journalists requested last November, and comply with the recommendations of its independent expert. Similarly, Congress should assert its oversight role in the face of resistance from the administration by demanding that intelligence related to the murder be publicly released and impose sanctions on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

      The report by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, labels the hesitancy of Guterres to intervene without an official invitation from Turkey “absurd” and advises that he should be able to establish a criminal probe on his own volition. A criminal investigation would clarify culpability and legal liability in a way that a human rights inquiry like this one does not. Guterres has made tepid comments on the case but failed to strongly and consistently condemn the ongoing impunity or demand meaningful accountability.

    • Senate votes to block Trump’s Saudi arms sale

      Under the AECA, lawmakers can block an arms sale with only a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes normally needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

      House Democrats have pledged they will also pass resolutions blocking the sale.

      Neither chamber is expected to be able to muster the two-thirds votes necessary to override all-but-guaranteed vetoes from Trump in response.`

  • Jamal Khashoggi Was My Fiancé. His Killers Are Roaming Free.

    But Washington hasn’t done enough to bring Jamal’s killers to justice. His loss was still fresh in the minds of the Democrats and Republicans I met. Individually, they all expressed their sympathies and spoke to me about how perhaps some progress might be made in the days ahead.

    Yet I sensed that they also felt embarrassed: No solid action has been taken yet.

  • Saudi arms sale verdict a ‘stunning rebuke’ for the government, says Green co-leader

    Responding to this morning’s decision of the Court of Appeal on the case brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) against the government over Saudi arms sales, Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said: “The Court of Appeal verdict is a stunning rebuke for the government. “It has failed in a basic legal obligation to make a systematic assessment of the past violations of human rights law, as it should have done before granting export licences.

  • Airlines cancel and divert flights passing over Iran after it shot down a US drone

    United, British Airways, Qantas, and Lufthansa are among the carriers now avoiding Iranian airspace, as tension in the region escalate.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Swedish Prosecutor Will Not Appeal Court Ruling on Julian Assange Detention

      On June 3, the Uppsala District Court said the investigation could proceed without Assange being ordered detained.

    • UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer Becomes One of Assange’s Most Vocal Advocates

      The UN Rapporteur admitted that he had been reluctant to investigate Assange’s case, not because he felt that Assange was a “bad actor” but rather because he had been “affected by the same misguided smear campaign as everybody else.” But as he delved deeper into the case he found that Assange had been subjected to a “relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation,” during which time no government involved tried to intervene or protect him.

    • John Pilger urges participation in SEP (Australia) rallies to defend Assange

      In my career, there has never been a more important case. If we lose Julian and Chelsea Manning to the dungeons of a rogue America, once-liberal societies will never be the same again; democracies will be in name only.

    • Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis calls for campaign to free Assange

      Assange is now in Belmarsh High Security Prison where he is deprived of the means to adequately prepare for the full hearing that will decide next February, whether he is extradited to the US to face a 175-year sentence for publishing the truth.

      The US now reveals there are indeed further charges and targets associated with this investigation. They will be determined to shut down WikiLeaks and intimidate anyone associated with the organization. And the persecution of Chelsea Manning continues as they are able to deprive her of her freedom though she was released from jail by President Obama and though she is clear she has nothing more to say.

    • French workers, “yellow vest” protesters support fight to free Julian Assange

      “I think this situation with Assange is very grave,” Stéphane said. “He is someone who has denounced horrible things in the interests of the people. He has to be freed, a person like that who has informed us of the dictatorial turn being taken around the world. He is a policeman actually, a policeman for the people against the crimes of the governments. I see him as like a guardian angel, or a smoke detector. I did not know before the crimes that he exposed. That has to be shared everywhere.”

      “I did not even know anything about him until a few weeks ago,” he explained. “I saw him on the television a couple months ago when they pulled him from the embassy, and asked myself, ‘who is that?’” Stéphane then researched and found out what Assange had done.

    • Tapes of Spaniards’ attempt to extort Julian Assange: “This material is worth €3m”
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Greenland ice sheet is melting unusually fast
    • Himalayan melt rate doubles in 40 years

      The Himalayan melt rate is now thawing glaciers on whose water many millions of lives depend twice as fast as just four decades ago, researchers say. One scientist thinks the glaciers may have lost a quarter of their mass in the last 40 years. A new, comprehensive study shows the glaciers’ melting, caused by rising temperatures, has accelerated significantly since the turn of the century. The study, which draws on 40 years of satellite observations across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, shows the glaciers have been losing the equivalent of more than 20 inches (about half a metre) of ice each year since 2000, twice the amount of melting recorded from 1975 to 2000. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, is the latest to show the threat that climate change represents to the water supplies of hundreds of millions of people living downstream across much of Asia.

    • Himalayan Glacier Melt Has Doubled Since 2000, Satellites Show

      The glaciers of the Himalayas are melting twice as fast as they were in the year 2000, a study published Wednesday in Science Advances found.

    • Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years
    • Rising Temperatures Ravage the Himalayas, Rapidly Shrinking Its Glaciers

      The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, concluded that the glaciers have lost a foot and a half of ice every year since 2000, melting at a far faster pace than in the previous 25-year period. In recent years, the glaciers have lost about eight billion tons of water a year. The study’s authors described it as equivalent to the amount of water held by 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools. The study adds to a growing and grim body of work that points to the dangers of global warming for the Himalayas, which are considered the water towers of Asia and an insurance policy against drought. In February, a report produced by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development warned that the Himalayas could lose up to a third of their ice by the end of the century, even if the world can fulfill its most ambitious goal of keeping global average temperatures from rising only 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels.

    • How Social Media Supports Animal Cruelty and the Illegal Pet Trade

      Whether you find it fascinating or disquieting, people recognize the inherent similarities between us and our closest primate relatives, especially the great apes. As a primatologist I regularly field questions ranging from how strong gorillas and chimpanzees are (very) to whether monkeys throw poop (not yet observed in the wild) to how smart they are (let’s just say I can’t compete with their puzzle-solving abilities). Interspersed with the fun and interesting facts I share about primates, I also try to help people become more discerning consumers of animal photos, videos and other content, especially on social media. A little bit of context can help people avoid unintentionally supporting wildlife trafficking or other harmful practices through a like or a share. We’ve all seen images and videos of primates that go viral — a chimpanzee bottle-feeding a baby tiger, a monkey having makeup applied, slow lorises eating rice balls and holding tiny umbrellas. Most recently, widely circulated videos have shown juvenile chimpanzees dressed in clothes and hugging former caretakers or scrolling through Instagram on a smartphone. Whether due to their similarities to us or to the fact that most of our animal experience is with domesticated species, many viewers erroneously believe these pictures and videos are not only cute and innocuous but that they depict animals in positive, healthy situations.

    • Trump’s EPA Signs ‘Deadly’ Clean Power Plan Replacement

      Former coal lobbyist and Trump-appointed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a rule Wednesday that officially replaces the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with a new regulation that Wheeler said could lead to the opening of more coal plants, the Associated Press reported.

    • Amid urgent climate warnings, EPA gives coal a reprieve

      Amid scientists’ increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants in a move it predicted would revitalize America’s sagging coal industry. As miners in hard hats and coal-country lawmakers applauded, Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler signed a measure that scraps one of President Barack Obama’s key initiatives to rein in fossil fuel emissions. The replacement rule gives states more leeway in deciding whether to require plants to make limited efficiency upgrades. Wheeler said he expects more coal plants to open as a result. But one state, New York, immediately said it would go to court to challenge the action, and more lawsuits are likely. The EPA move follows pledges by candidate and then President Donald Trump to rescue the U.S. coal industry, which saw near-record numbers of plant closings last year in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and renewables. It’s the latest and one of the biggest of dozens of environmental regulatory rollbacks by his administration.

    • US scraps prison plan for abandoned coal mine

      Eastern Kentucky’s hills are interrupted by jarring flats of bare rock: the aftermath of mountaintop removal mining, which uses explosives to destroy and harvest coal-rich peaks. These hills are also home to four federal prisons — and until this week, an abandoned mountaintop mine in Letcher County, Kentucky, was expected to house a fifth. This week, 21 federal prisoners who had sued the bureau over the site’s alleged health hazards won a surprise victory when the US Bureau of Prisons (BOP) abruptly pulled out of the proposed 1,200-bed penitentiary. Read more: As Germany phases out coal, villages still forced to make way for mining The plaintiffs — who are serving sentences ranging from one year to life imprisonment, and are incarcerated across the United States on charges including firearm and drug possession — argued in the suit that the site had been inadequately tested, that it was likely unsafe, and that the BOP had violated federal environmental laws by failing to notify them before making its decision.

    • In Upstate New York, Fossil Fuels Will Turn Into Solar and Data

      Lisa Marshall isn’t your typical activist. For one thing, she’s not into crowds. “I don’t really like rallies,” Marshall, a mom of three from upstate New York, said. “They’re a little stressful — not my favorite thing.” Marshall, who has two degrees in earth science, remembers being concerned about fossil fuels when New York activists began to push Governor Cuomo to ban fracking in the early 2010s. But she didn’t know the best way to become involved. “At that time, one of the main strategies, which was very effective in New York, was to just show up wherever [Cuomo] was and make sure he had no peace from the activist community until he banned fracking,” she said. “It just was very overwhelming.” Then, at one of her first organizing events for the activist group Mothers Out Front, Marshall realized that organizing wasn’t just about making noise. “They handed out a form, with what we might be interested in doing [to help],” she said. “The form said, ‘Are you interested in research?’ I don’t want to go to a rally, but research? Sign me up.”

  • Finance

    • Facebook’s Crypto Association Holds Talks With Major Banks

      Dante Disparte, the head of policy and communication for the Libra Association, said the group is in touch with banks both in the U.S. and abroad that he declined to identify. Libra wants big lenders involved as founding members and as banking partners to help hold and manage its currency reserve, he said.

    • Banks Spend $1 Trillion on Digital, But Few Benefit, Study Says

      Just 19 banks among the 161 largest retail and commercial banks that the consulting firm examined have been focusing enough on digital strategies to “make the shift to a different sort of bank,” Accenture said in the report, released Thursday. And those that did were rewarded for their efforts, the firm said.

    • Slack Hustles to Avoid Day One Pop as Next Unicorn to List

      Investors got their first hint of how things are going when Slack’s reference price was set at $26 per share on Wednesday. Unlike the offering price paid by investors in a traditional IPO, the reference price doesn’t establish the valuation, though it’s partly based on recent trading in private markets. Its main purpose is to provide a starting point to allow trading to begin under New York Stock Exchange rules.

    • Facebook’s new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics [iophk: "zuckerbucks"]

      She hit the company over its history of privacy breaches, alleged violation of consumer protection laws and ongoing data privacy controversies. Waters called for a “moratorium … until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action” and said she is planning to call Facebook executives before her committee.

      Facebook’s toughest critics are seizing on the project with the company already facing a slew of other concerns over its market powers and privacy protections.

    • Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to One Day Rival the Greenback

      Facebook, which announced the project with 27 partners, is already under wide-ranging regulatory scrutiny over how it handles users’ private data. Growth of its main platform has plateaued in some major markets and crypto payments would be a way to turn messaging – across WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram — into a business that complements its advertising operation, which generates almost all of its revenue.

    • Facebook’s Calibra is a secret weapon for monetizing its new cryptocurrency

      It’s called Calibra, and it’s a new subsidiary of Facebook the company is launching to build financial services and software on top of the Libra blockchain. At first blush, Calibra resembles a fairly standard payments company — but its tight integration with Facebook’s enormous user base could give it a significant advantage over any rivals. Thanks to its proximity to the technical development of Libra, and its ability to leverage WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, Calibra could very well become Facebook’s next big thing.

    • Amazon fires back at Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that it pays workers ‘starvation wages’

      Ocasio-Cortez said she was concerned that Bezos’ “being a billionaire is predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of their ability to access health care, and also if his ability to be a billionaire is predicated on the fact that his workers are taking food stamps.”

    • Aac Technologies : Mr. Wang Weizhong Visited AAC Tampere Imaging R&D Center

      Mr. Benjamin Pan, AAC’s Executive Director and CEO, disclosed that AAC will launch in-depth prospective researches on sensors, imaging algorithms, user experience to establish an one-stop vertically-integrated base with comprehensive R&D capabilities and industry supply capacity, which enable AAC to become a world leader in both optics technology development and manufacturing making Shenzhen a major optics innovation city.

    • Bodies in Seats

      In May, I traveled to Florida to meet with these Facebook contractors. This article is based on interviews with 12 current and former moderators and managers at the Tampa site. In most cases, I agreed to use pseudonyms to protect the employees from potential retaliation from Facebook and Cognizant. But for the first time, three former moderators for Facebook in North America agreed to break their nondisclosure agreements and discuss working conditions at the site on the record.

      [...]

      She added: “It’s a sweatshop in America.”

    • What’s the future for cash? Target register outages prove physical loot still has its place

      If anything, the checkout register outages at Target stores over the weekend were a reminder that point-of-sale machines aren’t foolproof, and nothing beats cash when technology fails.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Deepfakes of Canadian politicians emerge on YouTube

      These particular examples were clearly meant to be humorous rather than deceptive — for example, one video pasted Andrew Scheer’s face over an old public service announcement from Pee-wee Herman.

      But these clips demonstrate that the technology is easy to use — and there is more than enough footage of Canadian politicians to make it possible to fake their likeness and mislead voters ahead of the October election.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Only 2% of journalists think there is no censorship in Ukraine

      The poll was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation from May 3 to June 14, 2019, at the request of the Zmina Human Rights Center with the support of Freedom House Ukraine. A total of 127 journalists were interviewed.

    • Sudan’s Internet Outage

      Sudanese authorities shut down the Internet around the same time that they violently broke up an opposition sit-in seeking civilian rule. The protesters are gone, but the Internet is still down.

    • Sudanese beat internet blackout

      Since the beginning of the demonstrations in December that led to President Omar al-Bashir’s dismissal by the army in April, the protest had succeeded in mobilizing largely through social networks.

    • In Sudan, internet users find ways to beat blackout

      Internet on mobile phones and fixed land connections has been widely cut across Sudan since the violent dispersal of a protest camp outside army headquarters on June 3 that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

    • Ideology and Facts Collide at Oberlin College

      Our political and media cultures are suffering the effects of too many opinion-havers and too few fact-finders. This can make it difficult to figure out what is going on in a story and to distinguish fact from partisan or ideological bias, especially when those biases flatter our own. The recently concluded libel trial involving Oberlin College offered a demonstration of this phenomenon on the part of both the defendants and much of the media covering the case. On June 7, an Ohio jury found that Oberlin College had libelled a local shop, Gibson Bakery and Market, as racist, and awarded the family business hefty damages. The case aroused a great deal of interest in legal, academic, and civil rights communities, which in turn produced a great deal of commentary, much of which was tendentious, speculative, and/or uninformed.

    • Shadowbans: Secret Policies Depriving Sex Workers of Income and Community

      Since AEE/AVN, other sex workers have publicly addressed shadowbanning. The day after International Whores’ Day on June 2, NYC-based Dominatrix Mistress Blunt tweeted, “It’s really upsetting that when I go to tweet about #IWD everyone is #shadowbanned and I can’t find them to tag and I can’t livestream important speeches because I’ve been banned from that feature too.” Sex workers are finding that Twitter and other platforms have shadowbanned a significant portion of our community. Shadowbanning is the increasingly common practice of social media platforms silently censoring a user’s content without either the user or her potential followers knowing. In the The Economist, the anonymous writer G.F. describes Twitter shadowbanning: [...]

    • UK age checks for online porn delayed after bureaucratic cock-up

      Apologising for the delay, Wright emphasized that government remains committed to the policy.

      “This is not a change of policy or a lessening of this government’s determination for these changes to come about,” he said.

    • UK government quietly cancels “age verification” system that would have compiled a database of every Briton’s sexual fantasies

      This plan was so stupid, it burned. First of all, kids in the UK could simply avail themselves of a VPN and handily evade the No Sex Please We’re British scheme. Second of all, anyone foolish enough to partake of this scheme would be voluntarily compiling a database of kompromat that when — not if, when — it leaked could be used to comprehensively compromise them from a[rse|ss]hole to appetite.

      The only reason that the British public was not furious about this was that no one knew it was in the offing: the scheme was meant to go into effect on July 15, but as of March, 76% of the country didn’t know about it.

    • Google was grilled about China and other hot-button topics during its investor meeting

      Google CEO Sundar Pichai gave a presentation about the company at the start of the meeting, but sat silently on-stage during the 30-minute Q&A portion as his lieutenants fended off queries on hot-button topics like censorship in China.

    • Quillette’s “Antifa Journalists” List Could’ve Gotten Me Killed

      The day after it was published, the article made its way to notorious white supremacist forum Stormfront, and I soon found out what was meant by “further study.”

    • Young Pakistani blogger hacked to death in Islamabad suburb

      Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Pakistani authorities to shed all possible light on yesterday’s murder of Muhammad Bilal Khan, a popular blogger on religious issues, who was lured to a location in a residential suburb of Islamabad and was then hacked to death.

    • Why This Revenge Porn Activist Is Selling Nudes to Get to DEF CON

      When three of the five members of the Badass Army’s technical team—a group of activists working against revenge porn—were granted scholarships to attend the world’s largest hacking conference, the group didn’t want to leave the other two behind. So they got creative.

    • A Sex Toy Company Is Suing the NYC Subway for Censorship

      Now, the sex toy company is suing the MTA for refusing to run its ads, saying that the transit authority is infringing on its first amendment rights, and for censoring its work while allowing male sex toys and libido products to advertise.

      It’s a double-standard, the company says, that allows male-focused wellness products like Hims to run sexually suggestive, phallic ads on the subway unhindered by the MTA, while ads for female wellness like Dame, or period underwear company Thinx, face a struggle to get approved even when their imagery is amorphous and vague.

    • Self-Described Feminist Loses Lawsuit Against Twitter For Banning Her Account

      A California court has tossed a self-described feminist’s lawsuit against Twitter for being kicked off the platform. [h/t Adam Steinbaugh] Meghan Murphy was banned from Twitter for violating the terms of use with tweets stating “men aren’t women tho” and “how are transwomen not men?” She also posted tweets referring to certain transgender women as “men,” which contained personal information about their previous male identities. Twitter gave several warnings to Murphy that these tweets violated its Hateful Conduct Policy before banning her completely. Murphy then sued, filing a putative class action lawsuit against the social media service that alleged a variety of contractual violations. She alleged the updated Hateful Conduct Policy hadn’t been enacted at the point she was accused of violating it — specifically the additions that made targeting or “deadnaming” transgender people a violation of the rules.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Australian Home Affairs Minister Says Government Still Considering Spying On Its Own Citizens

      Nothing’s too much to sacrifice for the greater good of Australia. Not even Australians. A series of police raids on journalists has raised questions about how far the government will go to control what Australian citizens know about their government’s activities. Three separate raids targeted leaks that revealed, among other things, possible war crimes committed by Australian soldiers and the government’s plans to place its own citizens under surveillance by expanding the power allotted to the Australian Signals Directorate. The unintentional side effect of government raids designed to discourage further reporting on government secrets is the government is now confirming one of the leaks it targeted.

    • Can’t Have Copyright Enforcement Without Destroying Privacy Protections

      Last week, Tim Geigner wrote about the Spanish soccer league, La Liga, getting hit with a GDPR fine because its mobile software just happened to sneakily include a surreptitious surveillance feature, turning on users’ microphones to try to capture who was watching/listening to unauthorized broadcasts of matches. I wanted to write a little more on this, inspired by a comment from Professor Annemarie Bridy, who pointed out that anti-piracy enforcement goes hand-in-hand with surveillance…

    • HMD Global is moving all Nokia user data to Finland to better protect it

      The data will begin being stored in Finland starting with the new Nokia 4.2, Nokia 3.2, and Nokia 2.2, after which data from previous devices will be stored in Hamina after Android Q is released to the public. Nokia anticipates that all the data will have been migrated to Finland in 2020. Previously, user data from Nokia phones was stored in HMD Global servers in Singapore, which was managed by Amazon Web Services.

    • Nokia user data will be stored in Finland for better security: HMD Global

      In a press release, HMD Global said that it plans to move user data like phone activation and mobile performance data to the Google Cloud Platform on Finnish servers in Hamina, Finland. HMD wants to move usage data and certain other data that the company collects to optimise user experience from Google server’s in other regions around the world to the Finnish data center.

    • Welcome to the age of Surveillance Capitalism (you are already in it – like it or not)

      We are all tradable data points now. We have sleepwalked into allowing Big Tech to have access to our personal data and now they have so much of it, that they claim to know what you are going to do next.

      Creepy or what? How did this happen?

    • Lawmakers Express Privacy Concerns About Facebook’s Libra

      In Libra, regulators are grappling with something of a regulatory octopus, a single protocol with many tentacles. There’s the Geneva-based Libra Association, of which Facebook is just one member, along with companies like Uber, Spotify, PayPal, and Visa. The association will oversee the Libra currency, backed by real money, as well as the blockchain platform that allows Libra to be sent around the world. In theory, members will then build their own Libra products, each of which will need to conform to local rules where they operate. For Facebook, that’s in the hands of its new subsidiary, Calibra, which is building a wallet that will be integrated throughout its platforms, starting with Messenger and WhatsApp.

    • Big Brother Comes to Belgrade

      The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei last August described this incident (with some alterations of dates and key details) as a case study for the Safe City project that the firm is implementing in Serbia. The Chinese company claims that its Safe City project will shorten police investigation times, improve arrest and apprehension rates, deter organized crime, and reduce overall crime rates. The study has since been taken down from the company’s website amid a public outcry in Serbia about how the surveillance system will affect the lives of Serbian citizens.

      Huawei’s surveillance system includes installing 1,000 high-definition cameras, which use facial and license plate recognition software, in 800 locations across the Serbian capital over the next two years. At the beginning of the year, Serbia’s minister of internal affairs, Nebojsa Stefanovic, announced that the project would soon begin and that it would cover every significant street and passageway in Belgrade.

    • It’s Time to Switch to a Privacy Browser

      If you want to push back against online tracking, you’ve got several options to pick from when choosing a default browser. These are the browsers that put user privacy high on the list of their priorities.

    • Pre-owned Nest Cams have a bug that let previous owners spy on you

      Update: …and it’s fixed. A Google spokesperson said: “We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We’ve since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there’s no need to take any action.”

    • More Kodi Add-On Repos Shut Down in Wake of UK Arrest

      Following the news that an organized crime police unit in the UK has arrested the developer of a Kodi add-on, several popular add-ons and repos have shut down. Supremacy fell last week and has now been followed by 13 Clowns, Maverick TV, Overeasy, and possibly more.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • That viral photo of the Hong Kong protests is not what it seems

      A stunning nighttime image purporting to show thousands of people amassing Sunday on the streets of Hong Kong to protest a controversial extradition bill has been widely shared on social media platforms.

      The problem is that the image was heavily edited — cropped and mirrored — to multiply the size of the crowd and make it look perfectly symmetrical. It’s also mislabeled, as the original photo was taken a week earlier at another anti-extradition rally.

    • Google’s Troubles Encroach on Alphabet’s Shareholder Meeting

      Underscoring shareholders’ concerns, the company’s cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were both no-shows and Google CEO Sundar Pichai didn’t answer any questions. All the proposals failed after a few minutes of ceremonial voting, an expected outcome given that Alphabet’s board recommended votes against each and that Page and Brin control 51 percent of the company’s voting power, despite owning 13 percent of its stock.

    • Alphabet’s Annual Meeting Draws Protests on Multitude of Issues

      Shareholders filed proposals asking Alphabet management to scrap non-compete agreements, claw back compensation from executives who were found to have harassed employees and put an employee representative on its board.

    • Hong Kong police attack journalists with batons, tear gas amid protests

      According to local and international media reports, local sources who spoke to CPJ, and a representative from the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), a nongovernmental trade union, who described complaints the association has received to CPJ via messaging app, police actions against journalists on June 12 included: [...]

    • ‘Do it!’ Photographer who taunted Hong Kong police during protests goes viral

      On Twitter, some users noted that the photographer was less likely to face repercussions from his actions because he was not a Hong Kong native.

      He “is probably only safe because he’s clearly foreign,” one user wrote. “Not sure the same happy ending would have been the result if he were Chinese and screaming these words “DO IT! DO IT” in Chinese.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Dish To Buy Parts of T-Mobile To Save Sprint Merger, But It’s Not Likely To Help

      We recently noted that the DOJ seemed to have shifted its thinking and is now likely to approve T-Mobile’s highly problematic $25 billion merger with Sprint. Why? As it stands, the merger would eliminate one of just four major US wireless competitors, dramatically reducing any incentive to compete on price and inevitably resulting in layoffs. So T-Mobile lobbyists have launched a hail Mary pass: they’re proposing spinning off a part of the company and potentially selling it to a competitor like Dish Network. This would create a new fourth carrier to (theoretically) help offset any potential competitive harm.

    • Writing HTML in HTML

      Now, there’s nothing wrong with Jekyll or Hugo; it’s just interesting that HTML doesn’t even get a mention. And of course, I’m not criticizing Drew; I think the work he’s doing is great. But, just like me and you, he is a child of his time.

      That’s why I’m writing this blog post – to turn the tide just a little bit.

    • Ajit Pai promised that killing Net Neutrality would spur investment and improve service: a year later, service and investment have declined

      Veteran telcoms journalist Rob Rogoraro digs into Pai’s claims in depth, finding them to be baseless: since the slaughter of Net Neutrality, investment and service are worse, and prices are higher.

    • 30 years since Australia first connected to the internet, we’ve come a long way

      When Australia joined the global internet on June 23, 1989 – via a connection made by the University of Melbourne – it was mostly used by computer scientists. Three decades later, more than 86% of Australian households are connected to the internet. But it was a slow start. At first, network capacity was limited to very small volumes of information. This all changed thanks to the development of vastly more powerful computers, and other technologies that have transformed our online experience.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Qualcomm elaborates on its theories of irreparable harm from immediate enforcement of FTC’s antitrust remedies

      Accordingly, the reply brief focuses on the requirements to (re)negotiate agreements, to sell chips to unlicensed customers, and to extend exhaustive SEP licenses to rival chipset makers. Those requirements flow from the first two provisions of the injunction the FTC secured–the only ones with respect to which Qualcomm, according to the FTC and also in my observation, even attempted to make an irreparable-harm argument in its original motion. As for any potentially renegotiated license agreements, Qualcomm insists that any harm could not be undone should Qualcomm prevail on appeal. Qualcomm labels as a “red herring” the FTC’s argument that Qualcomm would still obtain “fair value” for its SEPs. Qualcomm says the problem is not that those new agreements would be negotiated without the well-known “No License-No Chips” kind of leverage, but “because of the need to negotiate in the shadow of an Order that declares—erroneously, in Qualcomm’s view—that Qualcomm’s typical licensing terms are unreasonable.” The latter is, by the way, what I told CNN within less than 24 hours of the ruling. Qualcomm is concerned about licensees stopping royalty payments “under valid contracts” (though Judge Koh’s order obviously serves to invalidate many such agreements), “even if temporarily,” and mentions Huawei as an example.

    • ABA Issues Opinion on Dividing Contingent Fees with Prior Counsel

      The American Bar Association’s committee on professional ethics issues ethics opinions interpreting the ABA Model Rules, which are similar to (almost) all state rules, as well as the PTO’s disciplinary rules. Its opinions are not binding, but they hold sway. The ABA released Formal Opinion 487 (June 18, 2019), addressing how successor counsel should divide fees with predecessor counsel (from a different firm) who have contingent fee agreement with successor counsel’s client in the case. The opinion provides some helpful guidance on what can be — given the literal language of the fee splitting rules — some thorny issues.

    • Supreme Court End of Term Updates

      The Supreme Court decided only two patent cases this term. [...] In many other countries, litigation losers commonly pay the attorney fees of the victor. One argument against that approach is an access-to-justice problem — parties without much money will not be able to find representation if there is a good chance that they’ll have to pay the other-side’s attorney fees upon losing. In its amicus brief supporting the Government, R Street (Charles Duan) argued that only rich pharmaceutical companies are bringing these cases. “There is thus little reason to believe that those additional expenses will greatly affect the strategic calculus of those patent applicants likely to make legitimate use of § 145.” As R Street‘s brief outlines, § 145 are used rarely — usually for the most potentially valuable pharmaceutical patents – with top lawyers handling the case (such as Irell & Manella). The real shift from the outcome may come from the USPTO — if it knows someone else is footing the bill, the USPTO may fight these cases harder.

    • Get fresh ex parte PTAB decisions delivered to your inbox [Ed: Anticipat failed. Failed pretty badly; Could not crush IPRs at PTAB. No blog posts in ages. So now it’s exploring another business model akin to spam?]

      For those who like to stay current on the latest appeals decided by the PTAB, we have good news. Anticipat Email Recap just rolled out a major new feature. Now, rather than waiting for a particular decision date to be populated, you can get all the organized and curated decisions from the previous day delivered right when you start off the day. For some time, the USPTO published their appeals decisions in a somewhat reliable and timely manner. We could delivery recaps based on decision date, with some sort of a lag. But as the lag time grew larger and larger, much of the value of having these emails diminished. Now, you can see every decision that was published on efoia webpage–a less than 24 hour turnaround time.

    • Using a Technique in a Known Way is Usually Obvious

      In the inter partes review (IPR), the PTAB sided with the patentee UUSI — finding that Samsung had failed to prove the obviousness of UUSI’s U.S. Patent No. 5,796,183. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit has vacated that decision — holding that the Board’s findings of no motivation-to-combine or reasonable-expectation-of-success were not supported by the evidence. The patent is directed to multi-point capacitive sensing circuity – the type used for the multi-billion dollar touchscreen market. It’s 1996 priority date situates the invention before a substantial amount of prior art. However, Samsung identified several key prior art references, including U.S. Patent Nos. 5,565,658 (Gerpheide), 5,087,825 (Ingraham), and 5,594,222 (Caldwell). Obvious by Combination of References: Most often, obviousness is proven with a combination of references that collectively teach the claimed elements. In addition to providing the set of prior art references, the patent challenger must also show that a person of skill in the art (POSITA) would have a “motivation to combine” the references in the way claimed and that such a combination would have a “reasonable expectation of success.” In KSR v. Teleflex, the Supreme Court explained that the motivation to combine analysis is flexible and not bound to rigid limitations or requirements. The High Court explained: “[I]f a technique has been used to improve one device, and a person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that it would improve similar devices in the same way, using the technique is obvious unless its actual application is beyond his or her skill.” KSR.

    • FTC to the Rescue Regarding High Drug Prices and Patents [Ed: When patents on life/nature proponents like Kevin E. Noonan say "to the Rescue" they mean "to the grave"; he actively advocates killing poor people so that his law firm gets a lot richer .What sociopaths.]

      With regard to putative patent thicketing, this portion of the bill is draconian, proscribing patent thicketing as being prima facie noncompetitive behavior and presumptive violations of the FTC Act, with the drug maker bearing the burden of rebutting the allegation. Keeping in mind that the FTC will be empowered to bring these actions, these provisions encourage “fishing expeditions” by zealous bureaucrats, politically motivated by the popularity of efforts to reduce drug prices and garner the political benefits of being seen to be pursuing these ends (which makes this a strange statute for Republicans to be supporting, much less co-sponsoring). The anti-product hopping provisions seem both more targeted to apparent anticompetitive behavior and to require acts having the appearance of bad faith or sharp practice and provide the drug maker with the opportunity to establish the good faith basis for its activities.

    • Trademarks

      • General Court confirms invalidity of (one of the) adidas three-stripe mark(s)

        In 2014. adidas obtained an EUTM for the sign represented above, described as consisting of “three parallel equidistant stripes of identical width, applied on the product in any direction” for goods in Class 25 of the Nice Agreement. Also that year, Shoe Branding Europe filed an application for a declaration of invalidity of the EUTM pursuant to what is now Article 59(1)(a) EUTMR, in conjunction with Article 7(1)(b) therein. In 2016, the EUIPO Cancellation Division granted the application and held adidas’s EUTM invalid due to lack of distinctive character, both inherent and acquired through use. adidas appealed and, while it did not dispute the lack of inherent lack of distinctiveness, it submitted that its EUTM had acquired distinctiveness through use. The appeal was rejected, and adidas brought the matter before the GC.

      • EUIPO getting tough on distinctiveness after Adidas dealt three-stripe trademark blow say lawyers

        Reacting to the news that one of Adidas’s trademarks has been declared invalid, lawyers say the EUIPO and EU courts are hardening their stance on trademarks that have not acquired distinctiveness throughout the EU

    • Copyrights

      • Einthusan Alternatives: 5 Sites For Streaming Free Movies & TV Shows

        Hindi movies and Indian regional movies like Tamil movies and Telugu movies have their fans all over the world. If you’re living in an Asian country and want to watch Tamil and Telugu movies, Einthusan is a website where you can watch South Asian movies. Einthusan is a popular website to watch movies online. You can stream movies in different languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, and Chinese. Einthusan Hindi movies collection is a gem for those who are looking forward to watch underrated Hindi movies that are not available easily on other websites. It is a website to watch free movies and if you want an ad-free experience, you can also opt for the subscription which is a one-time charge that you need to pay.

      • Energy drink loses its fizz

        How can copyright assist brand owners in their enforcement efforts? A recent decision of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court goes to the heart of all this, as Katfriend Hugo Cox (Hamlins LLP) explains. [...] The judge speculated inconclusively on the defendants’ motive: perhaps they thought the claimant’s logo was too simple to attract copyright protection, or perhaps they thought trade mark clearance was all that mattered? In the end, this copyright judgment does not hinge on theoretical questions of copyright law, but on a damning assessment of character.

      • Yeezy Boost 350 shoes may be registered, says US Copyright Office Review Board

        Are trainers, even those with somewhat an iconic status, be eligible for copyright protection? Katfriend Riana Harvey (University of Southampton) takes a look at a recent decision of the US Copyright Office Review Board which answered this question in the affirmative.

      • Kodi Add-On Developer Arrested On Same Day as Popular Repo Goes Down

        Police in the UK say they have arrested a man in the north of England for developing and maintaining a Kodi add-on offering illegal streams. On the same day that the arrest took place, the popular Supremacy add-on went down in mysterious circumstances. Official sources have not linked the two events but there are some coincidences.

Leaked: Harassment of EPO Directors by Team Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dictators ad personam

Grand Theft EPO

Summary: “New BIT organisation and staff changes,” a novel kind of newspeak, means that Directors are being severely punished without due process at all (“hidden disciplinary measure without disciplinary proceedings”)

THE EPO‘s President António Campinos does everything he can to assure EPO staff that nothing has changed. Former colleagues from EUIPO have been given top jobs (just like Battistelli and INPI) and Directors are being mistreated. Years ago it was reported that several of them attended staff protests, foreseeing perhaps that only solidarity at all levels can combat graft and other forms of corruption at the top. Campinos persists with controversial if not illegal policies — not just appointments (nepotism) — such as promotion of software patents in Europe.

Directors were always in a difficult position because in order to keep their job they had to implement policies (from up above) in likely violation of the EPC. It was always a moral dilemma. Remember when Ciaran McGinley left?

“This will only get worse if Campinos feels like he can get away with patently false claims by which to get rid of staff (as he did at EUIPO a couple of years ago).”“Here is more evidence about institutional harassment at the EPO,” writes an insider. “During the recent reorganisation of the IT department, 18 Directors were nominated “Director ad personam and two Principal Directors “Principal Advisor”. Such treatment of managers is humiliating and qualifies as harassment. It also represents a hidden disciplinary measure without disciplinary proceedings. Not all of the now “ad personam” Directors previously worked in the IT department. The BIT reorganisation, following the IT study, was apparently used as a tool for harassing managers who were not involved in IT activities.”

Here is the formal proof with names of people scrubbed off:

New BIT organisation and staff changes 1

New BIT organisation and staff changes 2

For those not familiar with the names still shown above, those are former colleagues of Campinos. Postponing a strike ballot is likely far too generous considering this gross institutional abuse. This will only get worse if Campinos feels like he can get away with patently false claims by which to get rid of staff (as he did at EUIPO a couple of years ago).

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

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