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06.29.19

The New (Staged and Scripted) Video of António Campinos Feels Like a Drunken Satire

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All they could come up with after so many takes and editing is another Battistelli-like buffoon

António Campinos drunken satire

Summary: The EPO released a self-promotional video that is already being ridiculed for its content and style; what has the EPO become if not a phony pretender that lies about everything without qualm?

French-speaking (born and educated in France) European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos, whose English is hardly better than Battistelli‘s and whose videos are equally awkward (new video here with only ~300 views and unwelcoming comments), now mimics Battistelli’s ‘cheap suit’ — or car salesperson — marketing spiel. This is perhaps what inevitably happens when people get a job based on their connections rather than qualifications, skills etc. And those are people who represent Europe around the world…

After Campinos come a bunch of lies like these (don’t laugh, the job title is “Communication”, a more modern term/newspeak for PR):

EPO Communication

April 1st is nine monthsaway, so this must be very early delivery.

Director Iancu and President Benoît Battistelli Disappeared

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Luciferistelli

Summary: Granting software patents only harms the perceived legitimacy of all patents; we take note of Iancu’s conspicuous absence from the spotlight/limelight in recent months and also Battistelli’s conspicuously (and uncharacteristically) low-profile attitude since one year ago as confidants get arrested

AT THE START of the year USPTO Director Iancu launched his now-failed assault on 35 U.S.C. § 101. Earlier this year Coons did the same after he had received some more bribes from law firms (like Iancu’s). Where are we now? Same place we were a year ago. In yesterday’s daily links we showed the latest from Anticipat, an anti-Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) outfit. It no longer focuses on inter partes reviews (IPRs) and Federal Circuit decisions. Like Janal Kalis, it now focuses on examiners who follow Iancu’s poor guidelines, which judges won't follow. In the courts, based on our readings (we rarely write about it anymore), software patents continue to perish. The same thing happens to European software patents in spite of EPO Presidents like Campinos and Battistelli allowing such patents.

Is it just us or has anybody else noticed that Iancu no longer makes public appearances, including interviews? This is actually a positive sign. If he became camera-shy, then that means he’s in effect hiding from critics, which grew in number. In recent months we saw groups that front for technology companies openly blasting him (as we had done for years). The same can be said about Battistelli, who has been virtually ‘in hiding’ at CEIPI (refusing to even respond to media queries). He can literally be arrested if he opens him mouth, joining his body/buddy Alexandre Benalla.

The Campaign to Oust Linus Torvalds and Other Microsoft Critics at the ‘Linux’ Foundation

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 2:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft would rather have its longtime friend, Greg (from Novell), in charge of Linux

From LinuxCon & CloudOpen North America in New Orleans, LA. A roundtable discussion on the Linux Kernel from maintainers Tejun Heo, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Sarah Sharp and Linus Torvalds. The session is moderated by Ric Wheeler.
Source with context (video)

Summary: Things aren’t too rosy at the ‘Linux’ Foundation where Linus Torvalds is increasingly being marginalised (thanks in part to Microsoft-friendly media) and propped up to replace him are those who worked on Hyper-V (proprietary software for Windows) and similar Microsoft-centric projects at the Microsoft-occupied Novell

FAMILIAR tactics necessitate familiar reactions and responses. The corporate media keeps shaming Torvalds for exercising free speech while ignoring much worse words from Microsoft executives including Bill Gates (who bribes the media to paint himself as a Saint). Is there a well-planned strategy here? Just earlier today we wrote about Microsoft ousting critics by embarrassing them in front of their employers (or blackmailing the employers into firing them).

“This is Greg K-H (Kroah-Hartman) almost inviting Microsoft. He has been attacking various GNU/Linux vendors but not Microsoft.”Over the past decade or more Slashdot hasn’t been a friend of Linux (it was partly composed by Microsoft boosters) and we’re noticing a pattern there. Yesterday it said something about a Microsoft move “which if approved would allow Microsoft to tap into private behind-the-scenes chatter about vulnerabilities, patches, and ongoing security issues with the open-source kernel and related code…”

This is Greg K-H (Kroah-Hartman) almost inviting Microsoft. He has been attacking various GNU/Linux vendors but not Microsoft. We’ve mentioned this in our daily links after several articles about the matter, notably The Register’s and Slashdot’s (which links to it). In the Fediverse someone told me: “A glance at the changelog for the 5.0.15 Linux kernel is peppered with his sign-offs, often along with Greg Kroah-Hartman, a fellow at the Linux Foundation. It was therefore not surprising to see Kroah-Hartman vouch for Levin. Kroah-Hartman pointed out that Levin has full write permissions to the stable kernel trees, and applauded Microsoft’s application to sign up.”

“So GKH has ‘non-existent tolerance for #ZFS’ (licensed under a free licence!) but he’ll clap for Microsoft?”

He worked for Novell on Microsoft stuff, such as Hyper-V (proprietary software for Windows). He’s potentially trouble for reasons that we last covered some days ago. As one comment put it [1, 2]: “You’re assuming Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they’ve decided it’s easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites.”

A quick Google search shows that coverage has been mostly limited to the above sites and some readers wrote to us about it (after we had filed it under openwashing and chose to move on rather than dwell on character assassinations).

This was discussed yesterday in our IRC channels, as well. To quote a portion:


<__martin__> greetings, do you dr. roy think it’s meant to be a warm-hearted effort or eee smear tactic?
<MinceR> why do people still expect anything microsoft ever does to be benign?
<MinceR> i guess words speak louder than actions after all
<XRevan86> MinceR: It’s big. Inate trust in the authority.
<MinceR> who made those criminals an authority?
<XRevan86> * innate
<schestowitz> anyway, see the comments in The Register
<__martin__> cite: Just more infiltration, entryism. They try to sell Windows and Azure. See comments on this article, e.g.: “You’re assuming #Microsoft has good intentions. Instead, they’ve decided it’s easier to suck the marrow from the bones if they can sneak inside the host under a flag of truce, like many other common parasites.”
<schestowitz> I saw some yesterday
<__martin__> thx I see now (=
<XRevan86> MinceR: Money, money, money; always sunny, in the rich man’s world.
<schestowitz> people aren’t stupid
<schestowitz> but companies like Red Hat and Canonical are controlled by Microsoft cash now
<schestowitz> Zemlin PAC also
<schestowitz> Azure money and all


Curiously enough Slashdot decided to cover ‘news’ from one week ago. Hours ago it published “Tech Press Rushes To Cover New Linus Torvalds Mailing List Outburst” (that’s exactly what Slashdot does here as well, it’s “by EditorDavid”). Torvalds publicly complained that his interviews are being nitpicked by the likes of Slashdot for something insulting or ‘scandalous’ that he said (because such headlines ‘sell’).

Is this part of the effort to remove Torvalds? Look who wrote the two cited articles (the only ones we saw); they’re Microsoft boosters. Are they trying to sanitise the Linux Foundation for corporations like Microsoft, getting rid of charismatic people who simply, after provocation, say that unwanted code (for technical reasons) is like cow’s feces?

If that’s the intention, this isn’t a new strategy; but now with the CoC there’s more ammo with which to shame and even scare Torvalds. They try to lower his impact.

From Slashdot (this afternoon):

“The thing is,” reports the Register, “crucially, Chinner was talking in the context of specific IO requests that just don’t cache well, and noted that these inefficiencies could become more obvious as the deployment of PCIe 4.0-connected non-volatile storage memory spreads.”

Here’s how Chinner responded to Torvalds on the mailing list. “You’ve taken one single statement I made from a huge email about complexities in dealing with IO concurrency, the page cache and architectural flaws in the existing code, quoted it out of context, fabricated a completely new context and started ranting about how I know nothing about how caches or the page cache work.”

The Register notes their conversation also illustrates a crucial difference from closed-source software development. “[D]ue to the open nature of the Linux kernel, Linus’s rows and spats play out in public for everyone to see, and vultures like us to write up about.”

It’s very much slanted against Torvalds and so are the comments. The cited articles are from Linux bashers (with history to that effect). So Torvalds is bad because he mentioned poo, unlike Microsoft putting “boobs” inside the kernel (yes, Linux) — not even a sackable offense by Microsoft's exceptionally sexist standards.

“The LF case is very important,” one person told us. “I think it has driven home the problem of entryism. However, while all that was/is happening, the various FOSS projects are tied up with CoC fiascos.”

We recently mentioned Richard Stallman being silenced similarly [1, 2].

EPO Staff, Lawyers and Courts Are Growing Tired of the Debased Patent Office and Administrative Council

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They all know they’re being lied to in so-called ‘reports’ and ‘studies’

Skeleton Study/Pile of 'reports' and 'studies'

Summary: The realisation that the EPO isn’t performing well keeps spreading further and the EPO hasn’t evaded scrutiny even from past allies; something has got to change, but diplomatic immunity and lack of oversight from the Administrative Council (paid to turn a blind eye) may mean that in a lot of senses the EPO is already defunct or dead

THE latest daily links contain news about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and outcomes from American courts such as the Federal Circuit, sometimes appeals of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs). We’ve left out all the rants from Watchtroll because they show borderline lunacy; those are attacks on the government, on judges, and on courts. 35 U.S.C. § 101 opponents are completely losing it. Nothing goes their way anymore. Almost nothing. Even their relatively recent (in Senate about a month ago) stacked ‘hearings’ aren’t having any effect, just as we expected all along, so sites like Watchtroll now lean on the far right, hoping that relatively radical elements can somehow dismantle the courts. We promised to no longer focus on the USPTO and instead focus on the European Patent Office (EPO), where things are a lot worse because António Campinos promotes software patents in Europe, just like Battistelli. As expected, the Administrative Council is absolutely fine with it. Campinos gives away EPO money to keep it that way. We shall get to that in a moment.

“The patent office that used to be about science (rather than piggybacking the reputation of actual scientists in some annual ‘festival’) is turning to marketing and buzzwords.”Longtime readers are aware that half a decade ago EPO management blocked access to Techrights (in all branches) and a year later sent me several threatening letters, realising that blocking staff from reading truthful information wasn’t enough and that it was worth trying to frighten me, too. They later did the same thing to IP Kat and it worked, as we shall note later on in this long article. The sociopaths who run the Office evidently forgot that in a sense they represent Europe as a whole, so these tactics of theirs, which might be expected in a country like China or Russia, damage the EU’s reputation. As a hardcore supporter of the EU myself, these experiences weakened but did not obliterate my support for the EU. I still support the EU (and I oppose Brexit), so the way I look at it, correcting the EPO is part of the effort of repairing the EU and appeasing its worst critics.

I am not an opponent of patents. I am certainly not an opponent of patent examination and I could probably be an examiner myself. I am a strong proponent of good patent examination and strict limits on patent scope. Last weekend we mentioned patents on air and water as examples of bad patents. Such patents would serve almost nobody; they’re outright tyranny or a form societal feudalism (charging people to just breathe or drink water, the element of life).

It has been saddening to see that 5 years down the line and nearly 4,000 articles later the EPO isn’t quite repairing itself. Sure, some people have left and high-profile people like Kongstad have reportedly been fired. But those who replace them aren’t much better. Moreover, the policies remain more or less the same. Patent scope isn’t improving but only getting worse. The patent office that used to be about science (rather than piggybacking the reputation of actual scientists in some annual ‘festival’) is turning to marketing and buzzwords. It’s run by utterly clueless people whose career track record has more connections (nepotism, past employers) than technical substance. “Tribalism” best describes the culture of today’s high-level EPO management. It’s a clique.

A few days ago Isobel Finnie and Joanna Rowley (Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP) wrote about "hey hi", citing the UK-IPO and WIPO alongside the EPO (WIPR amplified them a lot throughout this conference, as did Bristows at IP Kat [1, 2]). To quote what Finnie and Rowley wrote in/through Mondaq:

On 1 February 2019 the UK IPO issued a notice that brings welcome news for biotech innovators wanting to use the services of the UK IPO. Searches on all UK initial patent filings in the biotech sector should be sped up, and for some applicants significant cost savings should be available in connection with subsequent European or PCT applications claiming priority from that UK patent filing.

[...]

Unfortunately, due to backlogs at the UK IPO, applicants in the field of biotech2023nology have had to wait longer than 6 months to receive the UK IPO’s search results. To tackle this backlog and to ensure that the UK IPO can continue to issue search reports quickly, the UK IPO announced on 1 February 2019 that they have signed a co operative searching agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO). Under this agreement, the EPO will perform 200-300 searches per year for UK applications relating to biotech inventions. The agreement will last for at least two years and is based on similar co-operation agreements which already exist between the EPO and other EPC contracting states including Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco and San Marino.

The EPO does not do the job it’s supposed to do (examination) properly, based on its own examiners, who are denied the time (or required capacity) because of corrupt management that’s cheating and faking ‘production’. Why would the UK-IPO want anything to do with this?

“The EPO does not do the job it’s supposed to do (examination) properly, based on its own examiners, who are denied the time (or required capacity) because of corrupt management that’s cheating and faking ‘production’.”A Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP colleague, Kirwin Lee, then wrote about “Blockchain Patentability In Europe And China” (spicing up patent applications with hype waves in order to get illegal software patents). To quote:

As blockchain is increasingly being recognised as a disruptive technology that could revolutionise a wide range of industries including finance, logistics, and data services, it continues to be one of the hottest topics in IP in 2019. Blockchain patenting is rapidly taking off in global economies such as China and the US, and the number of patent filings in this area is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the coming years.

To explore the implications of blockchain for patent applicants and stakeholders, the European Patent Office (EPO) held a blockchain patenting conference on 4 December 2018 at The Hague to discuss topics related to the challenges of searching blockchain and legal issues associated with blockchain, as well as how the EPO and other jurisdictions examine blockchain patent applications.

Having carefully read the above, as well as the IP Kat pieces (two parts from patent maximalists who took over the blog), we regret to say that things only get worse because 1) there’s an attempt to automate examination using inferior and unproven methods (marketed as “hey hi”); 2) qualified and experienced examiners aren’t being valued anymore and 3) abstract software patents are being disguised as “hey hi” or “blockchain” or whatever (many other hype waves and buzzwords). Yesterday in our daily links we showed a large law firm discussing how to twist software patents as “autonomous vehicles”. There are about a dozen such sound bites that the EPO nowadays uses to justify patents on algorithms; it just never uses the term “software patents” and the closest it gets to it is “computer-implemented”. They consciously avoid particular terms. As such…

Meanwhile we keep observing the pushback from European courts (nothing like the UPC because they’re national courts). Here’s Potter Clarkson LLP’s Sheena Linehan on the UK Supreme Court, which is rather strict about patents and has thrown out many European Patents lately. Does the EPO even pay attention to these decisions? Patent value or legal certainty will collapse if this goes on. It happened years ago in the US and as a result of that the number of lawsuits collapsed. Last year the number of granted US patents also decreased.

“Meanwhile we keep observing the pushback from European courts (nothing like the UPC because they’re national courts).”Sadly, the EPO isn’t interested in law, justice, and facts. Months ago the EPO only asked for feedback from patent maximalists (the form lacked an option for members of the public) and then, just before the weekend, it spreads this nonsense in relation to another survey: “Thank you to all who contributed! The European #Patent Register survey reveals a 93% satisfaction rate…”

That’s like a survey among wolves (regarding the rights of sheep). This was from Patent Information News (Issue 2 | 2019) (warning: epo.org link), which was first published about a week ago.

“That’s like a survey among wolves (regarding the rights of sheep).”Then came the so-called “four-year strategic plan”, which we mentioned the other day. The EPO’s plan was promoted by INPI and then retweeted by the EPO (“Le nouveau plan stratégique 2023 de l’ @EPOorg, récemment adopté, comprend 5 objectifs majeurs. Une présentation complète ici”). INPI and the EPO have many overlaps, including in their Twitter accounts. The same is true for EUIPO (for similar reasons).

Max Walters, a person who understands many of these matters, did a good piece about it and it was entitled “Lawyers urge EPO for quality as new plan branded “propaganda”” (even they aren’t buying it). To quote:

Lawyers who have regular dealings with the EPO are sceptical about the office’s four-year strategic plan – given its alleged focus on speed over quality – and call for more clarity over staff relations

The EPO says that granting patents in a timely manner and placing an increased focus on staff engagement will be its major policies for the next four years, though regular users of the system are unconvinced …

“Reportedly,” Kluwer Patent Blog said yesterday, “part of the AC meeting 26 and 27 June 2019 in Munich was dedicated to a discussion of the Staff Engagement Survey carried out by Willis Towers Watson, which was very negative for the EPO management. The communiqué of the AC meeting hasn’t yet been published. That will probably happen soon here.”

A commenter in Kluwer Patent Blog has meanwhile looked at the so-called ‘strategy’ and shared his/her findings:

The EPO’s Strategic Plan makes for grim reading. (https://www.epo.org/about-us/office/strategy.html)

Despite the attempts to obscure the true meaning of objectives with excessive use of “management speak”, certain points stand out even at a glance, as illustrated below.

STATEMENT: “Development plans will gradually increase the capabilities of staff under the new employment framework, by defining a policy to also enhance staff competencies and performance over the first ten years of their employment (five year contract + five year contract), with tailored training and development. Both contract renewal and a permanent employment offer will be subject to the application of transparent and objective criteria, such as individual performance, operational needs and long-term financial sustainability”.
TRANSLATION: In the future, the EPO will offer few, if any permanent contracts to examiners. It will also reduce overheads by minimising the number of experienced (for which read “expensive”) examiners.

STATEMENT: Staff members are represented at the EPO by staff representatives directly elected at local and central levels. In order to facilitate collective bargaining and build consensus, the framework in which the EPO management and these staff representatives interact will be reviewed to ensure efficiency and avoid the duplication of efforts.
TRANSLATION: We will pick a structure for interacting with staff representatives that makes it even harder for collective bargaining to have any perceivable impact upon our policies.

STATEMENT: The topics subject to discussion will be identified before the start of each calendar year to allow for sufficient preparation and increase the likelihood of achieving constructive outcomes that are acceptable to all stakeholders.
TRANSLATION: We want to be able to delay discussion of new policies until those policies have already become firmly established.

STATEMENT: The unions enjoy a significant level of recognition at the Office, which covers freedom of association, the right to call strikes, the right to call for a general assembly that can also be organised on Office premises, and access to communication channels such as in the intranet, noticeboards and leaflet distribution. To formalise the framework of relations between the Office and the unions, a memorandum of understanding will be discussed based on national and international best practices. Among other things, the right to strike will be revisited as part of the discussion.
TRANSLATION: We don’t like strikes and will try to further limit the circumstances under which they can be called.

STATEMENT: Finally, the Office aims to ensure that internal means of redress are a last resort, to avoid a proliferation of proceedings on the same topic, to encourage the withdrawal of appeals which have become irrelevant and to promote respect for the scope of the internal appeals system. The effectiveness of internal mechanisms of redress is an important condition for the Office’s immunity from jurisdiction and its operational independence.
TRANSLATION: We cannot believe that we actually lost some important cases at the ILO. To stop this happening again, we intend to pressure complainants into giving up before the ILO hears their cases.

STATEMENT: As the Office brings its backlog under control, the EPO will be more exposed to variations in demand. This calls for a more dynamic business model to ensure increased productivity and more effective management of incoming work.
Greater adaptability and flexibility among examiners and formalities officers will constitute a major element of this dynamic business model. It will therefore be crucial to identify emerging trends early, so that if a staff member needs to change technical field, proper training can be offered well in advance.
TRANSLATION: Short term contracts will become essential to making our workforce more flexible. Oh, and that old-fashioned idea of ensuring that applicants get their cases examined by someone who might understand the technology involved? Yeah, we’re not really too bothered about that any more. Allocation of examiners will be based more upon who happens to have spare capacity at the time.

I could go on … at great length. But the general message seems to be reduce overheads, pay lip service to quality, continue to turn a deaf ear to both internal and external complaints, and ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for jollies for management (and for tame regulators). Grim reading indeed!

Some of the latest comments here are revealing, yet European media refuses to debunk these lies of the EPO (refuted by the EPO’s own staff). Here’s another: “A step forward after forcing examiners to sit together in open space offices would be to have a lector of novels, like in Cuban cigar factories. Even better, in order to save money by removing the human reader, one could introduce modified radios which can only tune in on approved frequencies (like in North Korea): channel 1: Battistelli speeches, channel 2: Campinos speeches. Oh, we have such great times before us!”

“Some of the latest comments here are revealing, yet European media refuses to debunk these lies of the EPO (refuted by the EPO’s own staff).”Based on coverage from World Intellectual Property Review, it looks like the Battistelli methods are still in place. Will the EPO keep bribing nations and their NPOs (or NPO heads) to play along/participate in the illegal agenda of EPO management? Seems so.

Notice this “catalogue of cooperation projects”:

The European Patent Office (EPO) is to seek closer alignment with its member states, as well as other European and international institutions.

Yesterday, June 27, the EPO set out its Strategic Plan 2023 in which it identified strengthened cooperation with other patent bodies as a key objective.

The report said the EPO would put forward a new “catalogue of cooperation projects” with member states, aimed at simplifying IT infrastructure and promoting the convergence of practices between patent offices.

In the report, the EPO said it would propose a new funding structure for co-operation initiatives with member patent offices, whereby the EPO would provide 80% of the funding for such schemes. The remaining 20%, to be borne by the member states, could take the form of a “contribution in kind”.

[...]

EPO president António Campinos said the plan was a “clear vision of how we want our office to look in the future, and how we plan to achieve it”.

“We intend to be a more adaptable and agile organisation that can support inventors everywhere with improved and more responsive services,” he added.

The vision of the EPO (that its management has) is an illegal one; it involves lots of unqualified examiners, illegal and fake patents, as well as bonuses to those responsible for the corruption (cuts for the rest). To make matters worse, the EPO hopes to bypass courts and judges, in effect making a leapfrogging pipeline for litigation, not innovation.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?”

“It makes the EPO come across as an enemy of science. Such an impression would not be incorrect.”This is Marco Schulze (Nightlabs Gmbh) quoted by Benjamin Henrion before the weekend because it was World SME Day. The EPO just doesn’t seem to care about SMEs; instead it exists to serve small- and medium-sized trolls. As we noted some months ago, the EPO made arrangements to collaborate with LESI. No kidding! The EPO is working with front groups of patent trolls and retweeted by EPO before the weekend were these three tweets [1, 2, 3] which congratulate trolls’ agenda. This was retweeted by EPO: “EBTC team attending a training session organised by the EPO @EPOorg and LES @LESIntl on “Succeeding at Technology Commercialisation and Negotiation” on 27th June 2019 in Basel, Switzerland…”

Also retweeted by EPO: “It is often a good idea to shift perspectives to get the full image. @EPOorg and @LESIntl workshop for tech commercialization for #SME .”

Not SMEs but trolls. Why does the EPO make it so obvious that it’s attacking Europe’s interests and liaising with patent trolls of the whole world? Does the EU need an EPO like this? No. It makes the EPO come across as an enemy of science. Such an impression would not be incorrect.

Microsoft Making Critics Unemployed (or Trying to)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft bullying

Summary: These cult-like tactics of Microsoft are some of the many reasons geeks don’t trust the company; this has not changed (they recently did this to me)

OVER the years we covered some examples and documented scenarios wherein employment was at risk because of criticism of Microsoft. The last example we gave was as recent as 9 days ago although the story was told 9 years late. The modus operandi is familiar; the employer receives threats from Microsoft and in turn threatens staff critical of Microsoft (or their spouses). Microsoft tried something similar on me. Here’s another new example (albeit told too late): “in about 2000, I wrote an open letter to NZ’s parliament about their ill-advised consumption of proprietary software… here’s the letter (thanks to archive.org): https://web.archive.org/web/20101027202539/http://openz.org/open_letter.php and here’s the list of 435 NZers who’d signed it at the time: https://web.archive.org/web/20101028012632/http://openz.org/co-signers.php?umsSession=81fbb5c109354d0d4e7adc47be1cd54b – one of them worked for local gov’t and told me that Microsoft NZ had contacted his boss and informed them that they would lose their right to use the “all-of-gov’t”… [] Microsoft agreement… if he didn’t get his name taken of the list (It’s possible others similarly manipulated. but as I didn’t know many of these co-signers personally, I didn’t hear of any more). The guy I knew was livid – there were actually insinuations from his boss at the council that he’d lose his job if he didn’t get his name scrubbed from the list… [] but it’s still on there… and he no longer works for gov’t.”

This is the corporate equivalent of doxing and it shows that Microsoft actively spies on critics with the intention of undermining them, destroying their lives.

Links 29/6/2019: EU Approves IBM-Red Hat, RC3 of FreeBSD 11.3

Posted in Site News at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU/Linux

  • Delphi RAD tool (remember that?) gets support for Linux desktop apps – again

    Hands On Texas software house Embarcadero Technologies has said it will license FmxLinux for Delphi, allowing developers to compile desktop applications for 64-bit Linux. FmxLinux is a toolchain for compiling Linux desktop applications using Embarcadero’s Linux compiler for Delphi, which is also part of the RAD Studio bundle. FmxLinux was developed by a third party, Eugene Kryukov. It has been licensed under “a long term distribution agreement,” says Embarcadero’s Marco Cantu in the announcement this week. Embarcadero is a division of Idera Software. RAD Studio is already a cross-platform development tool, with support for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. RAD Studio 10.2, released in 2017, included an LLVM-based Linux compiler for server applications, but not desktop. The new agreement completes the picture by adding desktop GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications.

  • EU approves IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat

    The European Commission has unconditionally approved IBM’s $34 billion takeover of open-source software maker Red Hat. In a statement, the European Commission said that following an investigation, it concluded that the proposed deal “would raise no competition concerns”. Since IBM doesn’t stand among the top two companies in the cloud computing market, and isn’t dominant in any sector in which Red Hat is also present, there was no reason for regulators to believe that the merger would raise competition concerns. “During its investigation, the Commission assessed the impact of the proposed transaction on the markets for middleware and system infrastructure software, where the activities of IBM and Red Hat overlap,” the Commission said in its statement.

  • Long-term Device Use

    It seems to me that Android phones have recently passed the stage where hardware advances are well ahead of software bloat. This is the point that desktop PCs passed about 15 years ago and laptops passed about 8 years ago. For just over 15 years I’ve been avoiding buying desktop PCs, the hardware that organisations I work for throw out is good enough that I don’t need to. For the last 8 years I’ve been avoiding buying new laptops, instead buying refurbished or second hand ones which are more than adequate for my needs. Now it seems that Android phones have reached the same stage of development. 3 years ago I purchased my last phone, a Nexus 6P [1]. Then 18 months ago I got a Huawei Mate 9 as a warranty replacement [2] (I had swapped phones with my wife so the phone I was using which broke was less than a year old). The Nexus 6P had been working quite well for me until it stopped booting, but I was happy to have something a little newer and faster to replace it at no extra cost. Prior to the Nexus 6P I had a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for 1 year 9 months which was a personal record for owning a phone and not wanting to replace it. I was quite happy with the Note 3 until the day I fell on top of it and cracked the screen (it would have been ok if I had just dropped it). While the Note 3 still has my personal record for continuous phone use, the Nexus 6P/Huawei Mate 9 have the record for going without paying for a new phone. A few days ago when browsing the Kogan web site I saw a refurbished Mate 10 Pro on sale for about $380. That’s not much money (I usually have spent $500+ on each phone) and while the Mate 9 is still going strong the Mate 10 is a little faster and has more RAM. The extra RAM is important to me as I have problems with Android killing apps when I don’t want it to. Also the IP67 protection will be a handy feature. So that phone should be delivered to me soon. Some phones are getting ridiculously expensive nowadays (who wants to walk around with a $1000+ Pixel?) but it seems that the slightly lower end models are more than adequate and the older versions are still good.

  • Full Circle Magazine #146
  • Desktop

    • Linux computer seller System76 is having a massive summer sale

      Do you need a new laptop or desktop, but don’t know what to buy? Don’t worry; this is a pretty common dilemma. While you can, of course, look into a Mac or Windows 10 computer, you should consider Linux too. A computer running, say, Ubuntu, can be great for productivity, education, creation, and more. Best of all, many top-tier Linux programs, such as GIMP and LibreOffice are totally free. And yes, your favorite web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome will run on Linux too. If you are open to the idea of buying a computer running a Linux-based operating system, you should definitely check out System76. Not only are its laptops and desktops of high quality, but its customer service is unrivaled. If you ever need help, you can contact an actual human being that is based in the USA. The support representatives aren’t just reading off a script either — these people are truly knowledgeable.

  • Server

    • How to explain service mesh in plain English

      In short, service mesh tools like Istio can reduce the operational burden of managing microservices-based applications, and in particular traffic between services, which could otherwise involve significant and often unsustainable manual work. As Red Hat CTO Chris Wright wrote earlier this year, “Alongside serverless, we see the service mesh concept taking off. A service mesh is essentially platform-level automation for creating the network connectivity required by microservices-based software architectures.” That’s a good, concise definition. We asked a variety of other IT leaders and practitioners to share their own clear-cut definitions to help boost your service mesh IQ, in part because it’s likely to come up in more discussions around containers, microservices, hybrid cloud, and other topics. Let’s start with some quick definitions:

    • How to write a sysadmin job description
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A Look At What’s On The Table For Linux 5.3 Features

      With the Linux 5.2 kernel due to be released in a few weeks and that marking the opening of the Linux 5.3 merge window, here is a look at some of the likely features coming to this next version of the Linux kernel. Based upon our close monitoring of the different “-next” Git branches of the Linux kernel and mailing lists, here is a look at what you’re likely to see merged with Linux 5.3 in July. Linux 5.3 will then debut as stable in September.

    • Systemd Now Allows Custom BPF Programs To Be Loaded On Cgroups

      Systemd now allows loading of custom BPF programs for network traffic filtering that are applied to all sockets created by processes of a given systemd unit. The motivation for this stems from a feature plan drawn up last year for having systemd install BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter) programs into cgroups. The benefit of this is associating a BPF program for IP filtering with a unit file so systemd can install them once a cgroup is setup.

    • Linux 5.3 To Support The $1,500 Wacom MobileStudio Pro Tablet

      In addition to the latest Wacom Intuos Pro Small drawing tablet to be supported by the Linux 5.3 kernel, the high-end (circa $1,500 USD) Wacom MobileStudio Pro tablet is also set to now be supported by this next kernel cycle. MobileStudio Pro support on Linux with the existing Wacom driver ended up being incredibly quite simple and just adding the new device IDs. That support is now queued into the “-next” branch ahead of the Linux 5.3 merge window opening in July. At $1,500, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro ends up being an actual premium tablet computer as opposed to just a drawing tablet device as is most Wacom products.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Waypipe Offers A Transparent Wayland Proxy For Running Programs Over The Network

        Waypipe is a transparent Wayland proxy and the latest of several different projects aiming to make it easy running Wayland clients over a network similar to X11′s capabilities. Waypipe runs both on the client system and the “server” system and takes up the job of emulating shared files on each end of the connection, parsing and forwarding of protocol messages, etc. Waypipe supports shared memory and DMA-BUF.

      • It’s Becoming Easier To Develop New Wayland Extensions For Mir

        The Mir 1.2 release was aiming to make it easier to develop Mir servers with custom Wayland extensions easier, but in dog feeding the work, Canonical’s long-time Mir developer Alan Griffiths realized some shortcomings in the experience.

  • Applications

    • Cook: package hardening asymptote

      On his blog, Kees Cook looks at some graphs of package hardening efforts in Ubuntu and Debian, noting that they have nearly completely flattened out over the last few years. He wonders what might be the next hardening feature on the horizon and speculates some on that: “What new compiler feature adoption could be measured? I think there are still a few good candidates… How about enabling -fstack-clash-protection (only in GCC, Clang still hasn’t implemented it). Or how about getting serious and using forward-edge Control Flow Integrity? (Clang has -fsanitize=cfi for general purpose function prototype based enforcement, and GCC has the more limited -fvtable-verify for C++ objects.) Where is backward-edge CFI? (Is everyone waiting for CET?)”

    • <16 Best Free Linux Chemistry Tools/a>

      Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. It is an extremely vivacious science which deals with a molecular scale and atomic interpretation of the world we live in, helping us to understand that world. Chemistry is regarded as the central science, given its close links with physics and engineering, with biology and medicine, and with geology and earth science. There are a number of different branches of chemistry. These include organic chemistry which studies the structure, properties, reactions, and composition of carbon-based compounds, and inorganic chemistry which deals with non-carbon compounds. Another important subdiscipline is physical chemistry which deals with the relations between the physical properties of substances and their chemical formations studying, in particular, atomic, subatomic, macroscopic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems. Chemistry is found in many different areas including all spheres of industry, research, teaching, forensic science, public health and much more. Moreover, at a fundamental level we are all chemists. Each time we breathe, boil a kettle, or strike a match, a chemical reaction takes place. We develop and function as a consequence of chemical processes taking place in our body. Chemistry therefore plays a significant role in everyone’s lives. Science really prospers and advances when individuals share the results of their experiments with others in the scientific community. There is a certain logic that scientific software should therefore be released under an open source license. This article focuses on selecting the best open source software for chemistry. Hopefully there will be something for interest here for all budding chemists.

    • Proprietary

      • History Will Not Be Kind to Jony Ive

        But history will not be kind to Ive, to Apple, or to their design choices. While the company popularized the smartphone and minimalistic, sleek, gadget design, it also did things like create brand new screws designed to keep consumers from repairing their iPhones.

        Under Ive, Apple began gluing down batteries inside laptops and smartphones (rather than screwing them down) to shave off a fraction of a millimeter at the expense of repairability and sustainability.

      • Apple has a generational succession problem, and Jony Ive’s departure is the tip of the iceberg

        Jony Ive’s coming departure from Apple underscores the firm’s attempts to shift from hardware to software. [...]

        [paywall]

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Slimbook & Kubuntu – Combat Report 9

        My overall impression of the Slimbook and its Kubuntu Beaver operating system remains unchanged. I’m rather happy with my choice. That said, there are some glaring bugs and rather annoying niggles that should be fixed. It’s the kind of things that can really ruin the experience and harm the user’s loyalty long-term. Not being able to print (which usually happens when you DO need to), or having your phone connectivity not work are exactly the problems that block the adoption of Linux among ordinary folks. No one wants to put up with system errors, especially when other operating systems out there offer a more streamlined experience. I’m not saying Windows is flawless, but in general, I have fewer problems with my production Windows machines than with my Linux ones. Small things. But important things. Plasma is constantly getting better, but some of the improvements do need to trickle back into the LTS release, because having good features for five years is awesome, but having long-term bugs is dreadful. That would be all from yours humbly this time. Stay tuned for future chapters in this neverending adventure.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Zorin OS Review

        Zorin OS is an Ubuntu based Linux distribution. Zorin OS has one ultimate goal in mind of providing a Linux alternative to Windows users. Zorin OS is also a very good Linux distribution for people who are new to Linux. Zorin OS is fast, powerful, secure. Zorin OS also does not track your activities. Zorin OS respects your privacy.

    • New Releases

      • Project Trident 19.06 Available

        This is a significant package update for the repository, not just for applications, but also for some of the base system packages. There are a lot of changes from upstream FreeBSD and TrueOS in this release, from additional “-bootstrap” base packages to the renaming of the “zol” flavor of base packages to “nozfs”, as the “zol” version of the ZFS packages was also renamed to “openzfs”. In addition to this, a ton of the default settings from upstream TrueOS were changed. We have tried to track down and re-enable every setting which Project Trident needed from TrueOS, but if you find some functional regression (particularly when it comes to which kernel modules are loaded by default), please let us know so that we can track that down and re-enable any additional settings as needed.

    • Fedora

      • Update on EPEL-8 Status

        EPEL packages are built inside of the Fedora Projects’ build infrastructure. This is done by downloading the packages from Red Hat’s public Content Delivery Network (CDN), and then having the Fedora artifact build system (koji) use the release as an external build channel. Koji looks at packages in a different way than other build commands like ‘mock’ do. Where mock is meant to just build packages, koji is designed about auditing the entire lifecycle of a package. In other words, if you want to know how a package in Fedora 12 was built and all its children interacted over time in the buildroots… you can do that with enough work and the koji databases. With mock you have a couple of log files which tell you what was pulled into a buildroot but how those were built would require you finding their log files, etc etc. A developer can also download those packages and look at them to see what was in them and how they were built. The strength of koji is that you can have a credible chain of builds to know where things came from. However this doesn’t work too well with building packages for EPEL where koji doesn’t know where the RHEL kernel came from. Koji uses mergerepo to look at the external packages provided, determines the src.rpm they would come from and determines what the latest version it would use from each. From this it creates a ‘buildroot’ which it will use to build packages from. This has worked pretty well for building packages from RHEL-5,6, and 7. The major downside has been where someone built a package with the same src.rpm name which koji then decides is the master no matter if a newer version shows up in RHEL.

      • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-26
    • Debian Family

      • Diversity and inclusion in Debian: small actions and large impacts

        The Debian Project always has and always will welcome contributions from people who are willing to work on a constructive level with each other, without discrimination. The Diversity Statement and the Code of Conduct are genuinely important parts of our community, and over recent years some other things have been done to make it clear that they aren’t just words. One of those things is the creation of the Debian Diversity Team: it was announced in April 2019, although it had already been working for several months before as a welcoming space for, and a way of increasing visibility of, underrepresented groups within the Debian project.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

    • Devices/Embedded

    Free Software/Open Source

    • Killing four myths about open source in financial service

      Although historically competitive, financial firms have only just begun to adopt “open innovation” strategies akin to what other industries have done over the last two or three decades. But what exactly are they? To clear up the confusion, this approach really means to leverage open source technology and standards to lower costs and reduce time-to-market for products and services. It also leads to the attraction and retention of top talent. As a recent example, Goldman Sachs recently stated its plans to release proprietary code on GitHub, a web-based hosting service for software developers using this technology. However, many financial services decision-makers have yet to fully grasp the power of open source collaboration for their businesses. Financial institutions on both the buy- and sell-side still suffer from ingrained misconceptions about legal issues or compete-at-all-costs mindsets across their technology stacks. This can stifle a move to a more collaborative strategy that can lead to tangible, improved long-term results. Open source is a collaborative software development model whereby code is made publicly available and maintained by a decentralised community of developers. While its origins are rooted in individual passion, this technology has risen to a mainstream commercial business model. For example, today the size of open source database market is $2.6 billion, or 7.6% of the entire market according to Gartner. And trends continue to point to an unstoppable growth with the global open source services market estimated to be at $32.95 billion by 2022, according to MarketsAndMarkets.

    • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Darren Hart | Sr Director / Open Source Technology Center At VMware

        In this interview, Darren Hart, Sr Director / Open Source Technology Center at VMware talks about how Open Source has democratized the development of new platforms.

      • Microsoft Seeks To Join the Official Linux-Distros Mailing List [Ed: See the comments here. People are not as foolish as Microsoft hoped, in spite of the expensive lying campaign of Microsoft.]
      • Microsoft is seeking to join Linux private security board [Ed: EEE. Classic EEE. Who welcomes it? The Novell facilitator of Microsoft, Greg K-H. Now in the "Linux" Foundation.]

        The application was made by Sasha Levin, and if approved would allow the Redmond giant to be part of private discussions on vulnerabilities and ongoing security issues. One of the criteria for membership is to have a Unix-like distro that makes use of open source components, and Levin mentioned Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and Azure Sphere, which are still in public preview and slated for general availability in 2020.

    • BSD

      • FreeBSD 11.3-RC3 Now Available
        The third RC build of the 11.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
        
        Installation images are available for:
        
        o 11.3-RC3 amd64 GENERIC
        o 11.3-RC3 i386 GENERIC
        o 11.3-RC3 powerpc GENERIC
        o 11.3-RC3 powerpc64 GENERIC64
        o 11.3-RC3 sparc64 GENERIC
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 BANANAPI
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 BEAGLEBONE
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 CUBIEBOARD
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 CUBIEBOARD2
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 RPI-B
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 RPI2
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 PANDABOARD
        o 11.3-RC3 armv6 WANDBOARD
        o 11.3-RC3 aarch64 GENERIC
        
        Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
        console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
        freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
        the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
        to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
        system.
        
        Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
        
        https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/11.3/
        
        The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
        
        If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
        system or on the -stable mailing list.
        
        If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
        system, use the "releng/11.3" branch.
        
        A summary of changes since 11.3-RC2 includes:
        
        o Regression fix in mountd(8) (PR 238725)
        
        o Regression fix in NAT64LSN.
        
        A list of changes since 11.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/11.3
        release notes:
        
        https://www.freebsd.org/releases/11.3R/relnotes.html
        
        Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
        updated on an ongoing basis as the 11.3-RELEASE cycle progresses.
        
        === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
        
        VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
        architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
        (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
        
        https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/11.3-RC3/
        
        The partition layout is:
        
            ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
            ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
            ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
        
        The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
        formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
        respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
        
        Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
        loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
        virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
        
        https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
        
        To boot the VM image, run:
        
            % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
        	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
        	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
        	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
        	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
        	-netdev user,id=net0
        
        Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
        
        === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
        
        FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
        
          eu-north-1 region: ami-07d990eaeb497323d
          ap-south-1 region: ami-001b7b067fd8e781d
          eu-west-3 region: ami-01052697e06e3a45e
          eu-west-2 region: ami-0cfee448feeb2a851
          eu-west-1 region: ami-0ce7400d6a08a9862
          ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0b16c2014116bd358
          ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0818328d0efcec703
          sa-east-1 region: ami-077fc22d100770c52
          ca-central-1 region: ami-0c414f2c140fd13cb
          ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0f5fe631ff1d2578a
          ap-southeast-2 region: ami-06bf072735d282208
          eu-central-1 region: ami-0a1cbb609ac331456
          us-east-1 region: ami-05a73406ad7ece248
          us-east-2 region: ami-0a21294420f709f19
          us-west-1 region: ami-0bb877ce5c712ad4f
          us-west-2 region: ami-0a231251af9d35604
        
        === Vagrant Images ===
        
        FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
        be installed by running:
        
            % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.3-RC3
            % vagrant up
        
        === Upgrading ===
        
        The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
        systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
        FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
        
        	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.3-RC3
        
        During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
        merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
        performed merging was done correctly.
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
        The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
        continuing.
        
        	# shutdown -r now
        
        After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
        userland components:
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
        It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
        especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
        FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
        other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
        into the new userland:
        
        	# shutdown -r now
        
        Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
        stale files:
        
        	# freebsd-update install
        
      • FreeBSD 11.3-RC3 Available

        The third RC build for the FreeBSD 11.3 release cycle is now available. ISO images for the amd64, armv6, arm64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, and sparc64 architectures are available on most of our FreeBSD mirror sites.

      • Cameron Kaiser: And now for something completely different: NetBSD on the last G4 Mac mini (and making the kernel power failure proof)

        I’m a big fan of NetBSD. I’ve run it since 2000 on a Mac IIci (of course it’s still running it) and I ran it for several years on a Power Mac 7300 with a G3 card which was the second incarnation of the Floodgap gopher server. Today I also still run it on a MIPS-based Cobalt RaQ 2 and an HP Jornada 690. I think NetBSD is a better match for smaller or underpowered systems than current-day Linux, and is fairly easy to harden and keep secure even though none of these systems are exposed to the outside world.

    • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • GNU Web Translation Coordination – News: Malayalam team re-established

        After more than 8 years of being orphaned, Malayalam team is active again. The new team leader, Aiswarya Kaitheri Kandoth, made a new translation of the Free Software Definition, so now we have 41 translations of that page! Currently, Malayalam the only active translation team of official languages of India. It is a Dravidian language spoken by about 40 million people worldwide, with the most speakers living in the Indian state of Kerala. Like many Indian languages, it uses a syllabic script derived from Brahmi.

    • Programming/Development

      • Bash Error Handling

        There are no try … catch blocks in bash for exception and error handling to say. So, how do you even start to handle errors in a way that none will escape and wreak havoc in the background hidden by silent a foreground that only appears okay. Finally, there is a definitive guide for bash error handling. I have outlined the foundation needed to handle any error in bash.

      • PyCharm Debugger Tutorial

        If you are a new python user and are looking for an environment specifically for Python development, integration, and debugging, PyCharm IDE can be best suited. It is available for all major operating systems, with a commercial and freemium license along with free community edition to start with.

      • Data science computation hara-kiri

        Beautiful algorithm, great results, all looks fine and seems to work, but… problem. It takes forever. We all have been through this. You may think: “it is only a proof-of-concept”. Or you may think, efficiency-wise, “python should not be used in the first place”. Well. Actually, it isn’t that bad if you know what methods you should use or rather which ones you shouldn’t.

      • ListenData: Importing Data into Python

        This tutorial explains various methods to read data into Python. Data can be in any of the popular formats – CSV, TXT, XLS/XLSX (Excel), sas7bdat (SAS), Stata, Rdata (R) etc. Loading data in python environment is the most initial step of analyzing data.

      • How to read CSV file with pandas

        This tutorial explains how to read a CSV file in python using read_csv function of pandas package. Without use of read_csv function, it is not straightforward to import CSV file with python object-oriented programming. Pandas is an awesome powerful python package for data manipulation and supports various functions to load and import data from various formats. Here we are covering how to deal with common issues in importing CSV file.

      • Return the highest volume of traffic during peak hour

        In this article, we are going to create a function which will return a list of tuples that consist of a particular hour and the highest traffic volume for that particular hour. The stat has been taken every 10 minutes in each hour. For example, at 4.00pm the total numbers of traffics that pass through a junction for every 10 minutes are as follows: [23, 22, 45, 66, 54, 33]. The traffic volume measurement in this example will begin at 4.00pm and end at 8.00pm. Below is the solution to this problem.

      • In Rust we trust: Brave smashes speed limit after rewriting ad-block engine in super-lang

        Software engineers working on the Brave browser have rewritten the browser’s ad blocking engine in Rust and seen massive speed increases as a result. In a blog post on Wednesday, Brave Software performance researcher Andrius Aucinas and chief scientist Ben Livshits said that rewriting Brave’s built-in ad blocker in Mozilla-spawned Rust resulted in an average 69x improvement in the amount of time required to process web requests. The previous iteration of its ad blocking engine was already optimized C++. The speed up was mainly due to algorithmic changes with the added bonus of Rust’s low overhead and memory safety. Rust, a next-gen C/C++-like systems language designed to be fast, safe, and secure, recently celebrated four years in official release and, for each of those years, it has been the most loved programming language in Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey.

    Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Angela Merkel: Glyphosate Use Will Eventually End

        “The resulting trial focused not on ascertaining the truth regarding the state of the science, causation, and compliance with legal duties, but instead on vilifying Monsanto in the abstract,” Bayer said in motions filed with the court, according to Reuters. Bayer’s next glyphosate trial will start this summer in St. Louis, the former headquarters of Monsanto. The company will likely be embroiled in lengthy-litigation for years to come. Major shareholders criticized Bayer’s position. They accused Bayer of mismanaging the glyphosate issue and disapproved of management, according to Reuters. Even though Bayer maintains that scientific-evidence proves glyphosate’s safety and efficacy, governments around the world have started to ban its use. Therefore, Bayer has responded to the demands of the market and said it would invest more than $5.5 billion in researching alternative herbicides. “While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering more choices for growers,” Bayer said, as Reuters reported.

      • Glyphosate use will eventually end, Merkel says

        Use of Bayer’s contested weedkiller glyphosate, the subject of more than 10,000 lawsuits in the U.S. over claims it causes cancer, will eventually die out, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the country’s lower house on Wednesday. Merkel’s view is seemingly at odds with that of Bayer, which acquired the pesticide along with its takeover of U.S. seed maker Monsanto, which earlier this month said it saw a future for the product.

      • Bayer Roundup Legal Adviser Known for Fighting, Not Settling

        After getting pummeled with more than $2.2 billion in damages in the first three trials over its Roundup weed killer, Bayer AG needs to step it up on defense. Enter John Beisner. The veteran lawyer who has guided companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. in their fights against multibillion-dollar product-liability lawsuits was tapped to advise Bayer executives how to up the company’s game against allegations that Roundup causes cancer.

    • Security

      • Community Impact of OpenPGP Certificate Flooding

        I wrote yesterday about a recent OpenPGP certificate flooding attack, what I think it means for the ecosystem, and how it impacted me. This is a brief followup, trying to zoom out a bit and think about why it affected me emotionally the way that it did. One of the reasons this situation makes me sad is not just that it’s more breakage that needs cleaning up, or even that my personal identity certificate was on the receiving end. It’s that it has impacted (and will continue impacting at least in the short term) many different people — friends and colleagues — who I know and care about. It’s not just that they may be the next targets of such a flooding attack if we don’t fix things, although that’s certainly possible. What gets me is that they were affected because they know me and communicate with me. They had my certificate in their keyring, or in some mutually-maintained system, and as a result of what we know to be good practice — regular keyring refresh — they got burned. Of course, they didn’t get actually, physically burned. But from several conversations i’ve had over the last 24 hours, i know personally at least a half-dozen different people who i personally know have lost hours of work, being stymied by the failing tools, some of that time spent confused and anxious and frustrated. Some of them thought they might have lost access to their encrypted e-mail messages entirely. Others were struggling to wrestle a suddenly non-responsive machine back into order. These are all good people doing other interesting work that I want to succeed, and I can’t give them those hours back, or relieve them of that stress retroactively.

      • Nokia disowns CTO’s comments about Huawei’s ‘sloppy’ 5G kit

        The firm’s chief technology officer Marcus Weldon warned: “That means being wary of adding Chinese vendors into network infrastructure, as long as these security vulnerabilities are either provably there or likely to be there based on past practices.”

        Wheldon, referring to recent research from Finite State which saw it uncover back doors in more than 55 per cent of Huawei devices, added: “We read those reports and we think okay, we’re doing a much better job than they are.

      • Nokia distances itself from boss’s warning over Huawei 5G kit

        In the UK, Huawei equipment has been subject to close scrutiny by a unit staffed by GCHQ. It has produced reports severely critical of the security of some software, although it has not found backdoors in the firm’s products.

      • An IoT worm Silex, developed by a 14 year old resulted in malware attack and taking down 2000 devices

        Larry Cashdollar, an Akamai researcher, the first one to spot the malware, told ZDNet in a statement, “It’s using known default credentials for IoT devices to log in and kill the system.”

      • 14-year-old creates dangerous malware, starts bricking thousands of IoT devices
      • Huawei Gets ‘Green Signal’ From Trump To Resume Trade In US

        The possibly lifiting of the ban doesn’t come as a surprise. Last month, President Trump gave an unsatisfactory explanation of the Huawei ban and hinted that it could end soon. Huawei is currently on 90-day temporary license in the US which was issued immediately after the ban was announced.

      • Trump Says He’ll Allow China’s Huawei to Buy From U.S. Suppliers

        President Donald Trump said he’ll allow Huawei Technologies Co. to buy products from U.S. suppliers, in a concession to China after talks with the country’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday. “U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” Trump said at a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. “We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.” The Commerce Department last month moved to blacklist Huawei, cutting it off from U.S. suppliers, though many companies have managed to skirt the restrictions. Trump met with Xi on Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and agreed to pause the trade war between their countries.

      • The Infrastructure Mess Causing Countless Internet Outages

        The patchwork problem was on full display with the Cloudflare incident this week. Pennsylvania steel company Allegheny Technologies uses two internet providers for connectivity. It received accidental, inaccurate routing information from one provider, a small Midwest ISP, and unintentionally passed it on to its other provider, Verizon. The smaller ISP started the routing error, but Verizon—an internet backbone behemoth with massive resources—also had not implemented the BGP filters and authentication checks that would have caught the mistake. Without these protections in place, Verizon’s other customers worldwide, including Cloudflare, experienced outages and failures. Verizon did not return a request for comment about the incident.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Patently-O Software Law Bits & Bytes: Do Not Track Act of 2019 by Grant Harrison

        : Do Not Track Act of 2019 is, in its simplest form, a way to regulate data collected by big tech companies. The bill would require the FTC to create a program that, upon request by the user, sends a “Do Not Track Signal” to websites and online applications. The Do Not Track Act of 2019 is an adaptation of its formers, with the new add on of regulating this for all of the internet activity, not just web browsers. The bill would require the FTC to create a program that, upon request by the user, sends a “Do Not Track Signal” to websites and online applications

      • Apple Pay Launches in 13 More European Countries, Sparkassen and Volksbanken in Germany Later This Year

        Apple Pay now also appears to support a number of popular bank cards across Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia.

      • The Global Data War Heats Up

        At issue is how countries view data. Do companies own the information? Does an individual own it? Does a government have access to it? The problem is that governments across China, India, the European Union, Japan, and the United States have philosophical differences on how they view these issues. These are not merely technical problems, but deep divides that may not be possible to bridge. Add to this the fact that this conversation is taking place as the United States and China are locked in a rivalry focused on technology—and, by extension, data. Taken together, this means that the rules for who controls data—and therefore harnesses their value—are part of a bigger geopolitical competition that will shape the 21st century.

      • Govt considers switch to a homegrown chat app

        India is considering developing and using a chat application similar to WhatsApp and other homegrown secure communication networks, at least for government agencies, to insulate the country from future vulnerabilities stemming from geopolitical developments, two officials said.

      • India reportedly wants to build its own WhatsApp for government communications

        The move to step away from foreign communication apps, if it comes to fruition, won’t be the first time a nation has attempted to cautiously restrict usage of popular messaging apps run by foreign players in government offices.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • U.S. Meteorologists ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over 5G Roll-Out

        U.S. weather forecasters are the latest group to sound the alarm that the race to introduce 5G technologies may have adverse consequences. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. meteorologists called the potential for 5G mobile technologies to disrupt communication between weather satellites “deeply concerning,” according to the BBC.

      • US meteorologists worried over 5G roll-out

        Signals from weather satellites could be disrupted by 5G mobile data networks in the US, meteorologists have warned. US forecasters have expressed concerns about 5G radio interference before, but now a group of scientific bodies has written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the issue. The joint letter, spotted by news site The Register, says the situation is “deeply concerning”. It asks for an auction of radio spectrum for 5G uses to be delayed. Interference caused by increased communications activity could delay the reporting of important weather information to the public – for example during hurricanes – according to the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. They argued that the weather networks they rely on are “crucially important for public safety and scientific research”.

      • “Deeply concerning”: 5G mobile networks may jam weather satellite signals, meteorologists say

        A Federal Communications Commission proposal to share a radio spectrum band relied on by weather forecasting services with mobile companies has been opposed by meteorological experts.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Supreme Court Refusal to Hear Investpic Signals Death for Most Software Patent Applications [Ed: Watchtroll’s latest terrible rant from Burman York (Bud) Mathis III shows that even the most radical people admit software patents are kaput in the US. They attack the courts and judges now.

        The Investpic v. SAP America case (Supreme Court Dkt. No. 18-1199), which is the 44th patent eligibility case to be considered for certiorari since the notorious Alice Corp. decision, was announced earlier this week. Cert. denied. Unlike almost any other case, the Investpic decision represents a hostility to the patent rights of software developers based on capricious foundations.

      • Earlier Start of International Preliminary Examination

        As of 1 July 2019, Rule 69.1(a) PCT will be amended to provide for the International Preliminary Examining Authority to start the international preliminary examination upon receipt of the demand, instead of waiting until the expiration of the applicable time limit for filing a demand. This means that applicants will no longer need to expressly request that the international preliminary examination should start before the expiration of the applicable time limit under Rule 54bis.1(a) PCT in Box No. IV, item 4 of the PCT Chapter II Demand Form (version valid until 30 June 2019; version as of 1 July 2019), but rather only in the opposite case, i.e. in cases where to the applicant wishes to postpone the start of international preliminary examination until the expiration of the time limit for filing a demand (3 months from the date of transmittal to the applicant of the ISR or 22 months from the priority date). In other words, if the demand is filed early, applicants can assume that the EPO acting as IPEA will be able to start with examination of the application immediately upon receipt of the demand. This can be of importance when an applicant is interested in timely receiving a Written Opinion under PCT Chapter II, e.g. in view of parallel pending application(s); or when an applicant would like to have a positive Written Opinion as soon as possible, e.g., in view of licensing negotiations. As such, this amendment will surely be welcomed by applicants.

      • Copyrights

        • 10 Best Sites To Watch Hindi Movies Online For Free In 2019 [Legal Streaming]

          Bollywood releases the highest number of movies per year among all the entertainment industries across the world. So it isn’t a surprise that the majority of Indians are movie buffs. While many of us prefer watching movies in theaters and television, others watch Hindi movies online. However, not all of them are legal as they offer pirated content or torrents that stream Bollywood movies illegally. I know that downloading pirated movies seem like a convenient option for many, but such activities can attract a penalty. Besides, you always risk malware attacks while attempting to stream or download Hindi movies from such websites. This is why I have compiled a list of the best sites to watch Bollywood movies online for free and legally in 2019. Before moving ahead, do take a look at our other lists where you can watch some more awesome movies, TV series, and songs for free to get your daily dose of entertainment!

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