IRC Proceedings: May 20th, 2019 – July 27th, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: May 20th, 2019 – May 26th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: May 27th, 2019 – June 1st, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: June 2nd, 2019 – June 8th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: June 9th, 2019 – June 15th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: June 16th, 2019 – June 22nd, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: June 23rd, 2019 – June 29th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: June 30th, 2019 – July 6th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: July 7th, 2019 – July 13th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: July 14th, 2019 – July 20th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: July 21st, 2019 – July 27th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: March 25th, 2019 – May 19th, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: March 25th, 2019 – March 31st, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: April 1st, 2019 – April 7th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: April 8th, 2019 – April 14th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: April 15th, 2019 – April 21st, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: April 22nd, 2019 – April 28th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: April 29th, 2019 – May 5th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: May 6th, 2019 – May 12th, 2019



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IRC Proceedings: May 13th, 2019 – May 19th, 2019



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Enter the IRC channels now

Microsoft’s War on the Right to Repair (One’s Own Computers) Makes Lundgren an ‘Enemy’ to Microsoft

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Microsoft’s Declaration of War on Recyclers

  • Part 4: Microsoft Being Microsoft, Bullying Everyone Who Reduces Microsoft’s Profits
  • You are here ☞ Part 5: Microsoft’s War on the Right to Repair (One’s Own Computers) Makes Lundgren an ‘Enemy’ to Microsoft
  • Part 6: Damage Control Mode: Satya Nadella Fleeing Lundgren After Realising What Microsoft Had Done
  • Part 7: Slander and Libel From Microsoft (Demonising the Victim)
  • Part 8: Similar High-Profile ‘Bargains’ (Aaron Swartz and Marcus Hutchins)

The Legal Aftermath

Pending review and research

Microsoft killed RightToRepair

Summary: Microsoft killed legislation that allows people to repair their own computers and gadgets (that they paid full price for), so why not also destroy the life of a prominent recycler who helps hardware repairs at a vast scale (reducing demand for new electronics with new Microsoft Windows licences)?

TECHRIGHTS recently embarked on this series which may seem like old news even though some of the material is new. There’s new information and all material has rock-solid sources. We’ll also be posting proof, evidence, court material etc. There’s no lack of it. The Washington Post’s coverage of the Eric Lundgren case dealt with what happened last year and the year before that (see “Eric Lundgren, ‘e-waste’ recycling innovator, faces prison for trying to extend life span of PCs” and “How did this advocate of e-waste reuse end up behind bars?). The Verge explained that by attacking Eric Lundgren Microsoft very well knew that it attacked everyone who recycled old PCs (“E-waste guru going to prison says cracking down on refurbishers is ‘harmful to society’). The Verge, formerly edited by Bill Gates, unfortunately ended up amplifying Microsoft. On the same day it published a headline that contained Microsoft’s deliberate lie (‘he was counterfeiting Windows software’). Even Microsoft knew this was false, but again, this is Microsoft. Facts don’t matter. Only profits matter. As we shall explain in a moment, Microsoft’s attack on Lundgren was very much consistent with the company’s disdain if not sheer hatred of recycling in general. Lundgren and Microsoft are philosophically and ethically opposed.

“I currently support #RightToRepair,” Eric Lundgren told me after I had asked him about Software Freedom, e.g. use of GNU/Linux on recycled machines. “I currently support PIRG.” To quote the site: “Most of us have dozens of electronic devices in our lives, from smart phones and home computers, to inkjet printers and flat screen TVs. Things don’t last like they used to—a tiny broken part or outdated software can mean the end of the road, and the life spans seem to get shorter and shorter. This endless cycle of make, use, replace, and throw away may be good for the electronics companies’ bottom line, but when we stop and consider the impacts on the environment, and the threat to our health, it just makes no sense.

Scroll down a just a little bit to find “TELL MICROSOFT: DON’T PUNISH RECYCLERS” (PIRG supports Lundgren in return, sending the love back). Lundgren is extremely popular among recyclers, but Microsoft defamed him to that effect (trying to portray him as a foe or a threat to the recyclers’ world). We’ll come to that later in this series. The demonisations were rather outlandish and way beyond insulting. Lundgren still thinks about suing over it. These psychological attacks (fabricating things and making up stuff to dehumanise the victim) have long-lasting effects.

To quote that page (the relavent part): “Microsoft pressed criminal charges against Eric Lundgren for making restore disks that allow people to fix old computers—even though the software on those disks is available online for free. We need to stand up for repair—or risk a chilling effect on repair and refurbishing, a key strategy to reducing electronic waste.”

It cannot be stressed strongly enough that recyclers support Lundgren; Microsoft tried driving a wedge between him and other recyclers. Did that work? Not exactly, but it served to show just how evil Microsoft still is. The only lesson here is that Microsoft would do anything to destroy critics. Last month we presented many other examples (Microsoft phoning people’s bosses, trying to get these people fired because of their stance on Microsoft). Microsoft is a bully incorporated into company form. It acts like a violent cult.

Further down PIRG tell “Eric Lundgren’s Story”:

Eric Lundgren is a recycling entrepreneur, and has made it his mission to extend the life cycle of used electronics. At age 19, he started a company that takes discarded electronics and rebuilds them into new, functional devices, thereby diverting working electronics from landfills. He even built the world’s longest-range electric car out of electronic waste, or e-waste, and set the world record for distance on a single charge.

Lundgren developed a strong passion for this cause in his twenties when he decided to follow America’s exported e-waste. He witnessed the harmful and toxic effects e-waste landfills had on people living in China, India and Africa at that time. It was clear that we needed to do more to keep toxic e-waste to a minimum.

But, Lundgren is heading to prison for providing restore disks that allow people to fix their old computers. Even though this software is given to everyone who buys a computer with a licensed operating system and can be downloaded for free, Microsoft decided to press criminal charges against Lundgren for planning distributing the disks to help people keep their own computers running longer. Eric did put the Microsoft logo on the disk, which is a copyright violation, but since the software is available for free, it’s not clear how Microsoft could claim this is criminal violation. Why not just ask that he take their logo off the disks, which he would surely have agreed to do?

While this is an extreme example, it could set a dangerous precedent and result in a chilling effect on electronic refurbishing across the globe. We’re standing up for repair by calling on Microsoft to work with people who recycle—not criminalize them.

Together, we can make sure Eric is last person who faces prison for doing what we all need to do more of—repair and reuse.

“Best to be guided by your heart’s conviction,” Lundgren told me. He wants justice. He also wants to recycle. Both things can take a lot of time and effort, endless energy, leading to fatigue. Mental exhaustion may seem inevitable, but Lundgren is surrounded by a lot of supportive people, who love him and want to help him. They give him hope and motivation. Microsoft was unable to change that (it tried hard). Worse — Microsoft is just making more enemies. Its attacks on Lundgren will backfire in a very big way.

“Microsoft fights the right to repair,” I told Lundgren. “The site Motherboard [among others] covered how Microsoft fought this legislation…”

“That is true,” he responded. “The founder of #RightToRepair told me all about it.”

And “that was months ago,” I continued, so “you probably could not read that at the time” (Lundgren was still in prison).

A lot of the media focused on Apple’s role (fighting the ‘Right to Repair’), e.g. [1, 2]. Lundgren heard all about it by now. He also mentioned the CEO of IFixIt.com. They have their rants about Microsoft-branded hardware (notoriously difficult to repair).

Cory Doctorow covered the issue back in April, a year after Lundgren’s time behind bars had commenced (Not just Apple: Microsoft has been quietly lobbying to kill Right to Repair bills). “I like Cory Doctorow,” Lundgren noted. “He is a smart dude!”

It’s also well within his ‘ballpark’. He wrote about digital obsolescence for decades. One article of interest comes from PIRG and is entitled “Microsoft named as stopping “Right to Repair” in Washington”. We linked to it at the time (when it was new). Here are some key passages:

In an interview on iFixit’s Repair Radio, Morris, who was the original sponsor of the bill last year, claimed that “word on the street” was that big tech companies, specifically Microsoft, “marshaled forces to keep the bill from moving out of the House Rules committee.”
Rep. Morris further claimed that, while he didn’t see the “smoking gun,” “there was a tax proposal here…to pay for STEM education.” Furthermore, “in exchange for Microsoft support[ing that tax,] having Right to Repair die…” was a condition, as well as another privacy policy Microsoft wanted to advance.
He shed some light on the kinds of things Microsoft lobbyists were doing, saying that last year, “Microsoft was going around telling our members that they wouldn’t sell Surface Tablets in Washington any longer if we passed the bill.”
In our own conversations about the opposition to Right to Repair in Olympia, Microsoft’s full-throated opposition was often brought up by legislators, and it was to clear to us that the company was lobbying extensively against the bill, and was the most high-profile opponent.
Across the country, large manufacturers like Microsoft and Apple tend to do much of their public opposition to Right to Repair through trade associations. Microsoft is among the manufacturers represented by trade groups like CompTIA, Consumer Technology Association, Information Technology Industry Council and the Entertainment Software Association, which are all active opponents to Right to Repair reforms.
These trade associations can mask the role of an individual company, but are one of the key ways the opposition works to defeat pro-consumer Right to Repair legislation. But the behind-the-scenes targeting of Right to Repair by Microsoft seemed to play a more significant role in the bill’s demise.

Microsoft has a complicated recent history on repair

Last year, electronics recycler Eric Lundgren went to prison for duplicating Dell restore discs, software meant to help fix old computers and that is free to download. Microsoft faced intense scrutiny for their actions in that case.
In response, U.S. PIRG delivered more than 11,000 petitions to Microsoft offices, calling for greater accountability for electronic waste disposal and easier access to the tools and information needed to repair products.
The case also brought attention to several other ways Microsoft makes it difficult for people to reuse its products: lobbying against Right to Repair laws, violating warranty regulations by attempting to forbid independent repair in warranty clauses and “void warranty if removed” stickers, and making several products which are notoriously difficult (if not impossible) to repair.
On the other hand, Microsoft has taken steps to help computer recycling and reduce waste, making a new operating system that runs smoothly on older devices, reducing the need for new upgrades. That’s no small step, and iFixit praised it at the time.

“According to State Rep. Jeff Morris, Microsoft played a leading role,” PIRG said (a role in killing the bill). Here’s the video in which it’s covered:

On occasions I asked Lundgren about rejecting Windows and just putting GNU/Linux on computers instead. “I’m all hardware via Recycling,” he emphasised. “Don’t really know too much about software.”

Links 4/8/2019: Many Openwashing Examples, Dragonchain ‘Goes Open Source’

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Kubernetes shows promise for managing martech compatibility across platforms

        The system was originally developed by Google, given to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and is now becoming the containerizing standard for most cloud-based business apps. The goal of the platform is to allow more concise, customized management of assets and services across a multitude of environments. In an increasingly globalized business model, this ability is imperative to remaining viable.

        The architecture is constructed in layers, with the main server acting as the master among a cluster of machines that make up the infrastructure of that particular network. Each machine within this grouping is assigned a specific function, with the master server acting as the main control and switchboard. It receives requests from end-users, exposes API, performs health checks on nodes within the network of servers and schedules tasks to whichever server is designated to complete them.

      • IBM

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation

        • Amazon Web Services, Rodeo FX and MovieLabs Join Academy Software Foundation

          The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a neutral forum for open source software development in the motion picture and media industries, today announced that Amazon Web Services has joined the Foundation as a Premier member, Rodeo FX as a General member, and MovieLabs as an Associate member. The announcement comes on the heels of the ASWF’s earlier announcement today of Netflix joining the organization.

        • Open Source projects are proving their value in Movies & Media

          The Academy Software Foundation is the Linux Foundation’s foray into open source for the motion picture and media industries, in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars organisation).

          Launched nearly a year ago, the Academy Software Foundation is attracting attention and projects and claims to have doubled its membership over the past year.

          The LF has just announced that Netflix has just joined the Foundation as a member and has also announced that OpenTimelineIO has been accepted as a Foundation-hosted project and is one of the first projects Netflix will contribute to as a member.

          Initially created by Pixar Animation Studios, OpenTimelineIO (OTIO) is an Open Source API and interchange format that facilitates collaboration and communication of editorial data and timeline information between a studio’s Story, Editorial, and Production departments all the way through Post-Production. More on this here.

        • With Zowe, open source and DevOps are democratizing the mainframe computer

          The venerable mainframe computer is experiencing a surprising but well-deserved resurgence, as the organizations that depend on these systems realize how important they are for digital initiatives and for hybrid information technology strategies in general.

          IBM Corp. – the sole remaining purveyor of mainframe systems – continues to invest in the platform, and Big Blue’s latest iteration, the z14 (pictured), is a masterpiece of scalability, reliability and security, as is its core operating system, z/OS.

        • Hyperledger Adds 11 New Members

          Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, today welcomed 11 new members to its expanding enterprise blockchain community. The announcement comes as Hyperledger members from around the world are meeting in Tokyo, Japan, at the annual Hyperledger Member Summit, a two-day event dedicated to community-driven planning, training and networking.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Iris Gallium3D Driver Now Has Better OpenGL Compatibility Profile Support

          Intel’s modern “Iris” Gallium3D driver has exposed GLSL 4.60 compatibility (the shading language requirements for OpenGL 4.6) but when creating an OpenGL compatibility context it’s been at 1.40 for the old OpenGL 3.1 requirements. Fortunately, the compatibility mode now too exposes 4.60 support.

          Now when creating a compatibility profile context with the Iris Gallium3D driver, GLSL 460 is there matching what is exposed by the core context rather than from the dated OpenGL 3.1 days.

    • Applications

      • Drawing An Alternative To “Microsoft Paint” For Linux

        If you have used Windows in past or you still use MS Windows, you may know that MS Paint is very handy tool. Linux doesn’t have its own paint or photo editing application, few Linux distributions include such application developed by 3rd party.

        ‘Drawing’ is a simple basic image editor, which functions similar to Microsoft Paint but targets the Linux desktop. It is open-source and available for free under license GNU GPL v3. We may not be able to get everything done with this application but we can use it for screenshot editing, basic image editing and so on.
        Drawing supports popular image formats such as JPG, PNG, and BMP. Using this application you can quickly add call-outs, text on memes, and other basic operations such as crop, scale, flip, saturate, and rotate etc. The selection tool allows you to define an area (rectangle or free), which you can move, cut, copy, paste, edit with canvas tools, export, open as a new image, etc.

      • Xtreme Download Manager is an open source download accelerator for Windows, macOS and Linux

        Most people prefer to use their browser’s built-in download manager. Whether you’re using Firefox, Edge, Chrome, or something else, a basic tool to manage downloads is always included.

        The built-in download manager works but it lacks features that full-blown download managers offer. Let’s say you download a large file; if the download completes without errors, great, but if you run into any errors (server-side issue, or your internet connection), your browser will simply stop the download with a failed tag next to the filename. There may be no way to resume the download and you’ve to start it from scratch.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Monado Open-Source OpenXR Implementation Seeing Driver Work On PSVR, OSVR, Razer Hydra

        Monado as an open-source implementation of the Khronos OpenXR standard for AR/VR devices continues taking form though isn’t quite ready yet for end-users.

        Monado was announced earlier this year as an open-source OpenXR implementation that would support VR/AR devices handled by OpenHMD. Given the release of OpenXR 1.0 this past week during SIGGRAPH, consulting firm Collabora who has been working on Monado provided a status update on the effort.

      • Khronos releases OpenXR 1.0 for AR/VR, backed by Epic, Microsoft, and Oculus

        Four months after the Khronos Group debuted a provisional OpenXR specification for AR and VR platforms, seeking industry input, it’s kicking off Siggraph today with the official release of OpenXR 1.0 — an open, royalty-free, cross-platform standard supported by major hardware and software companies. The specification will enable extended reality applications to run with less device-specific customized code across multiple platforms, including those from Epic Games, Microsoft, Oculus, and Varjo, while enjoying the benefits of hardware acceleration.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 82

          I know I say this a lot… but it’s been yet another big week for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! We also have major features in development–one of which I think will be very popular and I hope to be able to announce it next week.

        • KDE System Settings Now Shows Basic Hardware/Software Details, Wayland Improvements

          There is one month to go until KDE’s annual Akademy developer conference in Milan while open-source contributors to this desktop environment remain hard at work over the summer on making various improvements.

          With KDE Plasma 5.17, basic system software/hardware information will now be displayed on a System Information tab within KDE System Settings. This information was already available within KInfoCenter for showing the CPU/memory and prominent software versions but has now been added to the KDE System Settings so it is more prominent.

        • Generating generic questions for calendar activity.

          One of the tasks for GSoC 2019, was adding multiple datasets to calendar activities, but along with the task I also planned on adding another inprovement to the activity. The activity initially used hardcoded questions and answesr regarding calenders.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Debian’s DebConf 19 Slides & Video Presentations

          Debian’s annual developer conference, DebConf, wrapped up last week in Curitiba, Brasil. The slide decks and video recordings for many of those presentations are now available.

          DebConf 19 featured talks ranging from Spectre/Meltdown concerns to Debian containers and cloud, the state of RDMA support within Debian, music and games, and a variety of other topics.

          There is a Git repository collecting the slides from DebConf 2019 but sadly many of the talks do not have their material uploaded yet.

        • Debian GSoC Kotlin project blog: Packaging Dependencies Part 2; and plan on how to.

          Hey all, I had my exams during weeks 8 ad 9 so I couldn’t update my blog nor get much accomplished; but last week was completely free so I managed to finish packaging all the dependencies from pacakging dependencies part 1. Since some of you may not remember how I planned to tackle pacakging dependencies I’ll mention it here one more time.

          “I split this task into two sub tasks that can be done independently. The 2 subtasks are as follows:
          ->part 1: make the entire project build successfully without :buildSrc:prepare-deps:intellij-sdk:build
          —>part1.1:package these dependencies
          ->part 2: package the dependencies in :buildSrc:prepare-deps:intellij-sdk:build ; i.e try to recreate whatever is in it.”

          This is taken from my last blog which was specifically on packaging dependencies in part 1. Now I am happy to tell all of you that packaging dependencies for part 1 is now complete and all the needed pacakges are either in the new queue or already in sid archive as of 04 August 2019. I would like to thank ebourg, seamlik and andrewsh for helping me with this.

        • MATE 1.22 landed in Debian unstable

          Last week, I did a bundle upload of (nearly) all MATE 1.22 related components to Debian unstable. Packages should have been built by now for most of the 24 architectures supported by Debian (I just fixed an FTBFS of mate-settings-daemon on non-Linux host archs). The current/latest build status can be viewed on the DDPO page of the Debian+Ubuntu MATE Packaging Team [1].

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Want to test a Windows 10 alternative? Here’s how to install Linux Mint 19.2

          Once you’re settled on which edition you want, you’ll need to pick an architecture: 32-bit or 64-bit. Most people should opt for the 64-bit edition on computers manufactured after 2007, however, if it doesn’t boot or you know your computer doesn’t support 64-bit operating systems then download the 32-bit version.

          Once you’ve made a decision head over to the Linux Mint download page and select the version you want. It’s recommended that you download your ISO image as a torrent because this will verify the integrity of the file on the fly giving you added security. Note that downloading Linux Mint as a torrent is perfectly legal anywhere in the world, although torrenting has a bit of stigma due to piracy, you’re only breaking the law when you download copyrighted material that was not intended to be shared via torrents so Linux Mint is fine to torrent. If you’d rather download it directly from a mirror there are also lots of sources to choose from but you’ll have to verify the downloaded file manually.

        • Open Source: Where is it going? – Global Banking & Finance Review

          By Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical – the publisher of Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Software developer imprisoned in Iran after developing open-source software is now free

        Saeed Malekpour, the open-source software developer, is back home in Canada after facing ten years of imprisonment in Iran.

        The story of Saeed Malekpour broke hearts of many sympathizers from all over the world. A smart programmer and a loyal son, he was imprisoned in 2008 after arriving in Iran from Canada where he studied coding and worked as a freelancer. During that period, he wrote a piece of software used by some companies to upload videos.

        Saeed was kidnapped by a group of unknown individuals who claimed to be representatives of “Revolutionary Guards Cyber Counterattack”. They told him that his software was used to upload and share porn on the internet and that, as the developer, it was his fault. He was accused of all sorts of crimes including crimes against the regime in Iran, offending the supreme leader, and even blasphemy.

      • SAS and open source are bigger and stronger together, SAS executive says

        Global analytics software provider, SAS, is providing its customers more and more interactivity with open source tools and platforms…

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: T1

        The web is enabling all types of systems and solutions to connect to the Internet, but the tools available today do not cover the entire ecosystem. According to Thomas Pornin, author of the BearSSL library and security consultant at NCC Group, embedded systems are becoming a challenge because most programming languages are geared towards web applications or servers and don’t take into account the constraints of these systems.

        To address this situation, Pornin is developing a new programming language that aims to provide better support in constrained environments with very little RAM.

        The key features of the language, T1, are that it’s embeddable within C-based applications in bare metal systems; it offers lightweight coroutines with strong guarantees on maximum stack usage; and it has a predictable memory layout for easier integration with hardware. It is also type-safe and memory-safe by default and offers generic metaprogramming and flexible object-oriented support.

      • Smarter Grid Solutions releases open source OpenFMB device simulator

        Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) has released its first open-source OpenFMB device simulator, which has been designed to integrate clean energy into the grid.

        With its new device, the company expects to fast-track the development, testing and adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) that use the OpenFMB messaging and data model.

        SGS chief technology officer Bob Currie said: “We have been working with OpenFMB and its underlying technologies for two years.

      • Apache exec talks prudent open source software project usage

        Open source software is a mainstay for enterprise applications. Aside from special cases, such as those for highly regulated businesses, most apps contain open source components. It’s more efficient and economical to rely on code from the open source community for many processes within an application than to build all your own.

        Any two open source software projects, however, can have vastly different origins and levels of maintenance. Sometimes, an open source project can get so large that it becomes a virtual house of cards; where a piece of software with many consumers only has a few contributors who support and maintain it. Other times, developers will communicate the potential vulnerabilities that exist within open source software projects, but leave it up to organizations that rely on it to make the necessary changes to combat them.

        And those are not the only challenges that face the community. Technology companies gobble up open source software projects, and some of these vendors consume more than they contribute. So, how will the open source philosophy continue to thrive and the community continue to innovate as it deals with looming technical and existential threats?

      • Baidu open sources ERNIE 2.0, a continual pre-training NLP model that outperforms BERT and XLNet on 16 NLP tasks

        Today Baidu released a continual natural language processing framework ERNIE 2.0. ERNIE stands for Enhanced Representation through kNowledge IntEgration. Baidu claims in its research paper that ERNIE 2.0 outperforms BERT and the recent XLNet in 16 NLP tasks in Chinese and English. Additionally, Baidu has open sourced ERNIE 2.0 model.

        In March Baidu had announced the release of ERNIE 1.0, its pre-trained model based on PaddlePaddle, Baidu’s deep learning open platform. According to Baidu, ERNIE 1.0 outperformed BERT in all Chinese language understanding tasks.

      • Kubos and Ruag partner to provide computer systems for megaconstellations

        Open source spacecraft software developer Kubos is working with Ruag Space to offer high-performance and scalable computer systems to meet the growing demands of satellite megaconstellations.

        The two companies announced July 31 an agreement to work together to offer constellation developers “ready-to-fly” computer systems, with Kubos providing its KubOS operating system and Ruag Space its satellite computing hardware.


        “KubOS is the Android of space systems,” said Marshall Culpepper, chief executive of Kubos, referencing Google’s Android operating system for smartphones. “By combining it with a wide range of powerful hardware platforms, it can bring incredible value to its end users.”

      • Dragonchain Goes Open Source

        Developers of popular blockchain Dragonchain has made its project fully open. From now, anyone can download the core of blockchain platform under an open-source license.

      • Dragonchain Open Sources Its Blockchain Platform

        Dragonchain, a blockchain technology company, today released their core blockchain platform under an open source license. With this release, Dragonchain will be able to drive adoption among enterprises and developers looking to build their own blockchain based applications. The open source code gives both enterprises and developers access to blockchain innovations, along with the resources to continue innovating with Dragonchain by contributing code. Dragonchain believes this is a necessary step to further drive adoption and understanding of blockchain technology around the world.

      • FlexiWAN’s open source SD-WAN available for download in public beta release

        Zmora brought flexiWAN to light in April, and since then more than 800 telcos, managed service providers, system integrators and enterprises have contacted him to request information or to conduct proof-of-concept (PoC) trials.

      • flexiWAN’s SD-WAN Open Source Beta Ver 0.1 Now Available for Download

        flexiWAN can be installed on any virtual machine, bare metal or cloud platform (e.g. AWS), or on dedicated hardware (e.g. Silicom hardware that can be ordered here and shipped directly to facilities throughout the world).

      • flexiWAN Open Source SD-WAN Enters Public Beta

        Israel-based startup flexiWAN released the first public beta of its open source SD-WAN platform alongside the announcement of dedicated hardware courtesy of Silicom.

        The company made waves earlier this year when it announced plans to join the SD-WAN space with an open architecture. Now the software — still targeted at enterprise and service providers interested in conducting proof-of-concept deployments — is available for public consumption.

      • When Open Source Software Comes With a Few Catches

        Offering the same software under two different licenses, known as “dual licensing,” is controversial in the open source community. The Open Source Initiative doesn’t consider the SSPL, or any of these other newly adopted licenses, to be open source licenses.

      • SaaS/Back End

        • Cloudera Update: Open source route seeks to keep big data alive

          Cloudera has had a busy 2019. The vendor started off the year by merging with its primary rival Hortonworks to create a new Hadoop big data juggernaut. However, in the ensuing months, the newly merged company has faced challenges as revenue has come under pressure and the Hadoop market overall has shown signs of weakness. Against that backdrop, Cloudera said July 10 that it would be changing its licensing model, taking a fully open source approach. The Cloudera open source route is a new strategy for the vendor. In the past, Cloudera had supported and contributed to open source projects as part of the larger Hadoop ecosystem but had kept its high-end product portfolio under commercial licenses.

      • Databases

        • Redgate acquires (but commits to widening) open source Flyway

          Database development company Redgate has been to the shops.

          The Cambridge, UK-based firm has bought eggs, fresh bloomers (no, the bread kind) and, direct from the meat counter, a US$10 million portion (i.e. all of it) of cross-platform database migrations tool, Flyway.

          Redgate’s mission in life is to enable the database to be included in DevOps, whatever database its customers are working on.

        • NuoDB 4.0 beats drum for cloud-native cloud-agnosticism

          Distributed SQL database company NuoDB has reached its version 4.0 iteration… and aligned further to core open source cloud platform technologies.

        • Neo4j charts tighter grip on graph data-at-rest

          A graph database is a database designed to treat the relationships between data as equally important to the data itself — it is intended to hold data without constricting it to a pre-defined model… instead, the data is stored showing how each individual entity connects with or is related to others.

        • Open source databases are not just about the licensing dollar

          The majority of organizations now use technology in ways that are quite different from ten years ago. The concept of using pre-built solutions or platforms hosted remotely is nothing new: mainframes and thin terminals dominated the enterprise from the 1970s until the arrival of the trusty desktop PC.

          The cloud has also shifted our notions of how and why we pay for technology solutions. Commercial and proprietary platforms designed to be installed on-premises were, just a few years ago, accompanied by a hefty up-front bill for licenses. Today, paying per seat, per gigabyte throughput, or even per processor cycle, is becoming standard.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Manjaro Linux Team Responds To LibreOffice Versus FreeOffice In Upcoming Version 18.1

          The announcement first dropped quietly — and without any explanation — on the Manjaro Linux forum. An outpouring of criticism followed, mainly triggered by disappointment that a distribution perceived as mostly embracing free and open source software would replace LibreOffice (which is largely considered the go-to, pre-installed office suite on Linux) with a proprietary competitor.

          To hear the reasoning behind this decision directly from Manjaro lead Philip Müller, you can listen to Linux Unplugged beginning at 13:42. The main takeaway is that the team believes FreeOffice delivers the best overall compatibility with Microsoft Office, and Müller emphasized that no money had been exchanged (yet) as a result of the partnership.

          For the time being, I’m going to bypass my own commentary on this and jump straight to the good news, but feel free to listen to the upcoming episode of my podcast Linux For Everyone to hear this discussed in depth.

          Originally, Manjaro announced that FreeOffice would ship by default with new installations of the Arch-based distribution. But the team obviously absorbed and took to heart all the feedback, coming up with a solution that we can all appreciate: choice.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Open Source Licensing and Turkish Law

          Open source is a type of licensing agreement that allows users to freely modify a creative work, use such work in variety of ways, and integrate the…

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Wolfe’s Neck and partners launch open-source soil health platform

          The platform, OpenTEAM, is the first open-source technology system in the world to address soil health and mitigate climate change, according to a news release.

        • An Open Modeling Approach to Support Energy and Climate Policy

          “The goal of our project is to examine deep decarbonization pathways and policies for the United States,” DeCarolis says. “The model will be developed with input from a team of academics with deep expertise in energy systems and policy, and will also seek feedback from the broader community of modelers, analysts, and planners. What’s more, all of the model code and data developed under this project will be publicly accessible for all to use.”

        • Henkel to open source recyclability tool

          “We want to promote open collaboration, and accelerate the transition to a circular economy,” says Dr. Thorsten Leopold, Head of International Packaging Development for Home Care products at Henkel. “This can only succeed if all participants along the value chain cooperate – especially with clear definitions and consistent evaluations. By sharing our assessment tool, we want to contribute to the recyclability of packaging.”

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Open Source DIY Telescope Prime Features Raspberry Pi and 3D Printed Parts

            While the majority of us are not astronauts, there is a tool that can be used in your home to make you feel like you’re just a little bit closer to the stars – the telescope. Five years ago, a group of UK researchers from the University of Sheffield, including physicist Mark Wrigley, were inspired by NASA’s Juno spacecraft to create their own DIY telescope, the PiKon, using 3D printing and a Raspberry Pi. Now, a pair of Polish scientists have followed in their footsteps with their own parametric, open source, DIY telescope with 3D printed parts.
            Aleksy Chwedczuk and Jakub Bochiński wanted to help popularize astronomy by making their own semi-professional, yet affordable, telescope model for at-home use, for which people can then download the files and create on their own. Chwedczuk and Bochiński call their creation the Telescope Prime, and created the first prototype in just eight hours. The initial prototype was then used to take pictures of the moon, and the final version was finished in less than three months.

          • Open Source Smart Display Takes The Long Way Around

            Thanks to the relatively low cost of the Raspberry Pi and high resolution LCD screens, “smart displays” have become a favorite project of those looking to clear out their parts bins. Just hook the Pi up to the screen, setup some software, and you’ve got yourself a digital bulletin board for your home that can show your schedule, the weather, etc. Build it into a mirror, and you’ve got yourself at least double Internet points.

            But when [John Basista] started planning his own smart display, he decided to take the path less traveled. He’s entered the resulting open source project into the 2019 Hackaday Prize, and we’re very excited to see where it goes from here. Even in these early days he’s already made some great strides, with nary a Raspberry Pi in sight.

          • October is Open Hardware month 2019

            October 2019 will be officially the open hardware month this year and the official website is now taking applications from event organisers. “October is Open Hardware Month! We are providing resources and asking you, the community, to host small, local events in the name of open source hardware. Tell us about your October event by filling out the form below.”

            “The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) aims to foster technological knowledge and encourage research that is accessible, collaborative and respects user freedom. OSHWA’s primary activities include hosting the annual Open Hardware Summit and maintaining the Open Source Hardware certification, which allows the community to quickly identify and represent hardware that complies with the community definition of open source hardware. Host your event in October, then come to the official OSHWA event March 13th, 2020! This Open Hardware Summit will mark our 10 year anniversary of Summits. Your event will be featured on OSHWA’s Open Hardware Month page provided you have followed OSHWA’s rules listed on the “Do’s and Don’ts” page.”

          • Alibaba’s Semiconductor Subsidiary Will Utilize Open-Source RISC-V Core

            The international processor market is complicated, but one inarguable fact is that there is an increasing demand for processors. China’s goliath supplier, Alibaba, has just announced that their chip subsidiary, Pingtouge, will utilize an open-source architecture, RISC-V, rather than Arm.

          • Alibaba reveals processor based on RISC-V architecture

            “Pingtouge said its processor achieves 7.1 Coremark/MHz at a frequency of 2.5GHz on a 12nm process node, which is 40 percent more powerful than any RISC-V processor produced to date.”

            The new chip was made known at the Alibaba Cloud conference in Shanghai. Don’t count on any intent to serve simple devices like home appliances. Instead, taller ambitions are for IoT areas that require high-performance computing such as 5G, AI, networking, gateway, self-driving automobile, and edge server, said reports.

          • Alibaba’s 16-core RISC-V is the fastest open source CPU yet

            Over in China, where trade tariffs, restrictions and political moves by the USA are kindling the need for more home-grown or open source computer components, an Alibaba subsidiary called Pingtouge Semiconductor has announced the Xuantie 91 processor. The new Xuantie 91 targets infrastructure for artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and internet of things (IoT) as well as autonomous vehicles, and is based upon the RISC-V open source CPU architecture.

            According to a report published by New Electronics, the 16-core Xuantie 91 processor is built on the 12nm process. Running at 2.5GHz, it is claimed to be 40 per cent more powerful than any other RISC-V processor produced to date. The specific metric quoted to demonstrate its superiority is a 7.1 Coremark/MHz. The previous RISC-V champ (with a score of 5.1 Coremark/MHz) was the SiFive U74.

          • University of Michigan Ann Arbor’s Robotics Institute partners to built open-source prosthetics

            The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has partnered with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to create an open-sourced artificially intelligent prosthetic leg.

      • Programming/Development

        • GopherCon 2019: Go 2 update, open-source Go library for GUI, support for WebAssembly, TinyGo for microcontrollers and more

          Last week Go programmers had a gala time learning, networking and programming at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina as the most awaited event GopherCon 2019 was held starting from 24th July till 27th July. GopherCon this year hit the road at San Diego with some exceptional conferences, and many exciting announcements for more than 1800 attendees from around the world.

          One of the attendees, Andrea Santillana Fernández, says the Go Community is growing, and doing quite well. She wrote on her blog post on the Source graph website that there are 1 million Go programmers around the world and month on month its membership keeps increasing.

          Indeed there is a significant growth in the Go community, so what did it have in store for the programmers at this year’s GopherCon 2019:

        • Everything you need to know about TensorFlow, a Google-created project that’s helping companies like Uber, Twitter, and Airbnb put AI in their apps

          TensorFlow is an open source machine learning tool created by Google. Now, it’s used by Uber, Twitter, NASA, and more. Here’s why it’s so popular.

        • Tenth week of GSoC: git-annex and datalad

          In the last weeks Alex, Mainak and I were working on making the mne-study-template compatible with the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS). This process involved testing the study template on many different BIDS datasets, to see where the template is not yet general enough, or where bugs are hidden.

          To improve our testing, we wanted to set up a continuous integration service that automatically runs the template over different datasets for every git commit that we make. Understandably however, all integration services (such as CircleCI) have a restriction on how much data can be downloaded in a single test run. This meant we needed lightweight solutions that can pull in only small parts of the datasets we wanted to test.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn SQL

          Structured Query Language (SQL) is a specialized programming language originally developed by IBM in the early 1970s. The language is designed specifically for accessing and manipulating data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS).

        • GCC 10′s LTO Will Make Use Of Available CPU Cores By Default

          Currently when passing “-flto” for enabling Link-Time Optimizations with the GCC compiler, it defaults to using a single core/thread for carrying out the optimizations and code generation. There has been support for specifying a number of threads to use for carrying out this link-time work in parallel while finally in GCC 10 that is being enabled by default.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • DARPA to Present Open-Source, Secure Voting System at DEF CON 2019 [Ed: But DARPA is a prominent back doors proponent. Be suspicious.]
      • EU bug bounty equips FileZilla with fresh round of security patches

        A European Union (EU) supported bug bounty program has helped FileZilla fix numerous security issues, founders of the open source software application announced this week.

        The batch of bugs included one that caused filenames to be interpreted as commands within versions of the FTP client, an issue that was fixed within 24 hours, according to FileZilla founder Tim Kosse.

        A second patched security issue was threatening the application’s memory security if a “custom external LIP address resolver sent invalid chunk sizes”, Kosse explained, resulting in the FileZilla application crashing if enabled by default.

      • Buttercup is an open source password manager for Windows, macOS, Linux, Firefox and Chrome

        There is no shortage in supply when it comes to password managers, but not all of them are open source.

        Buttercup is a free password manager, which is open source and offers cross-platform support. Open source, at least in theory, gives everyone the opportunity to check the source code of applications or services to make sure they are clean, and to compile the applications manually.

      • 6 Challenges In Using Open Source Cybersecurity Tools [Ed: Mentions Equifax but that's a clear case of neglect by a company (for many months), not FOSS developers; proprietary software is a lot worse. Hospitals are being shut down because of Microsoft Windows and its NSA back doors. Not because of FOSS.]

        When it comes to cybersecurity, tools and infrastructure matter a lot in order to battle notorious threats. Companies across the world have of late understood the importance of having strong cybersecurity and are trying every possible tool or software to make it better.

        There are two types of tools — open-sourced and closed-sourced. While most of the companies have been using closed sourced security tools, open-source tools today have also started to gain significant attention and usage. Companies are leveraging open-source productivity software, tools for administrators and developers, and even code libraries that they use to build their own software.

      • 5 experimental cybersecurity trends your business needs to know about [Ed: Again the old Microsoft script which spreads illusions that proprietary software lacks bugs and back doors.]

        Enterprises are increasingly adopting open source software, which also increases the risk of exposure to open source security vulnerabilities, according to CB Insights.

      • The Challenge of Securing Open Source Applications [Ed: Yet another self-promotional piece from a company looking to 'monetise' buds in FOSS or fear of FOSS]
      • What We Can Learn from the Capital One Hack

        On Monday, a former Amazon employee was arrested and charged with stealing more than 100 million consumer applications for credit from Capital One. Since then, many have speculated the breach was perhaps the result of a previously unknown “zero-day” flaw, or an “insider” attack in which the accused took advantage of access surreptitiously obtained from her former employer. But new information indicates the methods she deployed have been well understood for years.


        I’m not holding out much hope that we will get such detail officially from Capital One, which declined to comment on the record and referred me to their statement on the breach and to the Justice Department’s complaint against the hacker. That’s probably to be expected, seeing as the company is already facing a class action lawsuit over the breach and is likely to be targeted by more lawsuits going forward.

        But as long as the public and private response to data breaches remains orchestrated primarily by attorneys (which is certainly the case now at most major corporations), everyone else will continue to lack the benefit of being able to learn from and avoid those same mistakes.

    • Finance

      • Miko Matsumura: Open-Source is a Competitive Matrix of Consent

        His expertise in crypto and blockchain ventures has earned him a number of positions as a token advisor and speaker at some of the most prominent industry events, including Finance Magnates’ own Barcelona Trading Conference that took place in July 2019. There, Matsumura delivered a speech entitled “Uncertainties and Inevitabilities: The Rise of Open Source Money.”

        Recently, we spoke to Matsumura about his concept of the “extraction economy”, how software is eating the world, and how open-source is eating software.
        The “Extraction Economy”

        The dawn of smartphones, instantaneous communication, and apps has fueled a new kind of economy: some refer to this as the “gig” economy; others (rather cutely) refer to it as the “sharing” economy. Others still, who see a more sinister side of the way the world works nowadays, call it the “surveillance” economy.

      • Investors Can Now Trade Ether and British Pounds on the Same Blockchain

        Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, London-based LAB577, led by ex-RBS innovation lead Richard Crook, is rolling out its first platform offering, the Digital Asset Shared Ledger (DASL, pronounced “dazzle”). DASL is built on top of the Corda Network, the open-source blockchain system created by R3, a bank consortium that once personified the “blockchain, not bitcoin” ethos of 2015-2016.

      • US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

        Implementing a Bitcoin ban may not be as easy as some cryptocurrency skeptics think.

      • Square Crypto Lead: ‘The Product We’re Focusing on Is Bitcoin’

        That was the message Monday during a Twitter ask-me-anything (AMA) with the head of Square’s crypto team, Steve Lee.

        The unit’s playful Twitter account fielded questions from its followers as well as crypto-community luminaries. With tweets signed simply “Steve,” it was Lee’s first set of public remarks on the team’s broad objectives since being hired in June.

      • WeBank Held Inaugural FinTech Day and Released Full Range of Open-Source Financial Technologies

        WeBank’s inaugural FinTech Day was held on July 26th, 2019 in Shenzhen with the theme of ‘Open Source Ecosystem: Unlocking Infinite Potential and Propelling Open Innovations’. For the first time, WeBank introduced in full the innovation progress and open source path in the field of FinTech. It launched 10 applications and modules of its open source solutions as well as kicking off FinTech accelerator ‘WeAccelerator’.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Engineering Grad’s Clever Electronic Cap Decoration Almost Caused A Bomb Scare

        Cevik got his hat back, but Moss said bomb technicians took apart the Arduino device as a precaution. “I don’t really care that much because it wasn’t that expensive and that’s their job to make sure the community’s safe and that sort of thing,” Cevik said.

      • The Dream of Open Borders Is Real—in the High Arctic

        Written in the aftermath of the war, the Svalbard Treaty is both of and ahead of its time. Its architects stipulated that the territory cannot be used for “warlike” purposes. They included one of the world’s first international conservation agreements, making Norway responsible for the preservation of the surrounding natural environment. The treaty also insists that the state must not tax its citizens more than the minimum needed to keep Svalbard running, which today typically amounts to an 8 percent income tax, well below mainland Norway’s roughly 40 percent.

      • Hong Kong protesters clash with police, throw Chinese flag into harbour

        A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 under the framework of “one country, two systems,” which promises the city certain freedoms not afforded to mainland residents. In recent years, however, some Hong Kong residents have accused Beijing of chipping away at their autonomy through the arrests of booksellers and activists.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why I Want to Start a Free Speech Trade Union

        What I have in mind is a British Solidarnosc (although it won’t be called that, obviously), a membership organization for people who earn a living through writing or performing, primarily for the purpose of expressing ideas. (A bit like PEN before it was captured by the ‘woke’ Left.) So membership will be open to academics, intellectuals, columnists, pundits, novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, songwriters, comedians, and so on—“writers of any stripe,” in Ferguson’s phrase. And not just those who’ve achieved some professional standing in those fields, but those with ambitions to do so—students as well as practitioners, even older schoolchildren. After all, it’s on university campuses and in high schools that so much contemporary censorship takes place.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Mindgeek Asks Cloudflare to Unmask Tube Site Uploaders

        MG Premium, a company operated by Mindgeek, is trying to unmask people who uploaded their videos to several ‘tube’ sites. Via DMCA subpoena applications filed in a Washington federal court, the porn giant is seeking to obtain the identities of users on Waxtube, Vivud, Veporns, Tubezx, and others. The subpoenas are directed at Cloudflare, so it’s open to question whether the CDN company will be of much help when it comes to identifying uploaders on third-party sites.

      • 5G Is Here—and Still Vulnerable to Stingray Surveillance

        At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next week, a group of network communication security researchers will present findings on flaws in the 5G protections meant to thwart the surveillance devices known as stingrays. Also called “IMSI catchers” after the international mobile subscriber identity number attached to every cell phone, stingrays masquerade as legitimate cell towers. Once they trick a device into connecting to it, a stingray uses the IMSI or other identifiers to track the device, and even listen in on phone calls.

      • Cops Are Offering Ring Doorbell Cameras in Exchange for Info

        While El Monte’s rewards program is fairly unique, the police department’s relationship with Ring isn’t. According to one memo uncovered by Gizmodo earlier this week, over 225 other police departments have entered into contractual partnerships with the surveillance company, which was acquired by Amazon last year for over $800 million. Some departments have given out free or discounted Ring devices to the community, and city governments are also subsidizing Ring products using taxpayer money, according to reporting from Motherboard. Ring says it didn’t pay for the doorbells given out in El Monte, and the police department did not return a request for comment.

      • Facebook to Put Its Name on Instagram, WhatsApp Brands

        The changes in wording will appear in the apps’ log-in screens and in the Apple iOS and Google Play stores, for now, according to a Facebook spokeswoman. The Information earlier reported the rebranding. Facebook said in March they were testing the new names.

      • Instagram and WhatsApp will add ‘from Facebook’ to their names

        The new titles will appear in the title for both apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. On your device’s home screen, the name for each will mercifully remain the same (for now). But it’s also very likely that you’ll see “from Facebook” on the splash screen for both apps. Facebook already made this exact change with Oculus.

      • Privacy campaigners want to stop Amazon’s Ring doorbell police deal

        That, unsurprisingly, is not enough reassurance for privacy groups: “If a police department wanted to install surveillance cameras on all of our front doors, they would have to get permission from elected officials and the public,” the petition says. “Amazon has found the perfect end-run around the democratic process.

      • London pub uses AI to serve drinks in the right order

        DataSparQ has made an “AI Bar”, that uses facial recognition software to identify the order people arrive at, and tells the bar staff who to serve first. No more 25-minute waits, only to be pipped to the post by that jerk who pushed in and ordered six hard-to-make cocktails.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Police: Arlington Officer Killed Woman While Shooting At Dog

        The officer and other emergency workers in Arlington responded Thursday to a welfare check concerning the woman who appeared to be passed out in a grassy area behind the plaza. The barking dog, which residents said was small and resembled a beagle, ran toward the officer as he was calling out to the woman.

      • North Korea Hostage Freed by Trump Details CIA Work, Prison Torture

        Kim Dong Chul was one of three American citizens released from North Korean prisons and returned to the U.S. in 2018.

      • UN Says Assange Is at Risk of Being Tortured in USA

        The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer warned that Julian Assange is at risk of being tortured in case that he is extradited to the United States, where he would be prosecuted for the dissemination of classified government documents, it was reported on Monday.

        Such concern was conveyed by the senior UN official in letters sent in May -now made public- to the governments of the United States, Britain, Ecuador and Sweden, after the WikiLeaks founder was visited in jail.

      • US, Sweden and Britain dismiss UN finding that they tortured Assange

        UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer last weekend publicly released detailed letters he sent to the governments of the United States, Britain, Sweden and Ecuador in May, documenting their responsibility for the “psychological torture” inflicted upon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a result of a decade-long political persecution.


        Melzer’s letters were sent in late May, following his visits with Assange at Britain’s Belmarsh Prison on May 9 and 10. They were dispatched shortly before the public release of a summary of his findings that Assange had been subjected to unprecedented “public mobbing” and vilification, along with a denial of his fundamental legal and human rights.

      • Torture, brutal silencing & permanent censorship threaten freedom of expression

        “And even if we chose to let you live out the natural term of your life, still you would never escape from us. What happens to you here is forever. Understand that in advance. We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back. Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling.

        Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”
        ― George Orwell, 1984

        This story began just as a man’s voice told me it would on November 17, 2004. It was a voice that I would recognize to be that of former DAS detective, Jose Alexander Sanchez.


        Here I am, 18 years later, just hours away from knowing the decision made by the Second Specialized Criminal Judge of Bogota, Nidia Angelica Carrero Torres regarding the request submitted by Emiro Rojas Granados, one of the main names at the other end of my story, to prohibit me from speaking, giving interviews, informing or attempting to write just 280 characters about my case.

        Rojas Granados, a former DAS deputy director, under investigation due to my accusations that pointed to a cover-up that misled for four years the investigations into the killing of journalist Jaime Garzon Forero.

        The investigation into Rojas Granados kicked off, thanks to my insistence to the prosecution.

      • US wants to ‘make an example’ of Assange in jail, UN expert claims

        The United States government has promised that Julian Assange will get a fair trial on espionage charges, rejecting the accusation of a United Nations expert that the administration “intends to make an example of him” with excessive charges and jail time.

        It has challenged the assessment of the expert, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, that Assange would “be exposed to a real risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” if he ended up in a US jail.

        But Melzer has warned that extradition to the US would severely and dangerously worsen Assange’s already fragile psychological state.

      • Trump passed on Petraeus for top White House positions over ‘red flags’ like his opposition to torture, according to leaked documents

        The vetting documents, published by Axios on Sunday, consist of the Trump transition team’s research into dozens of candidates for cabinet and senior administration officials

        Those documents include vetting profiles on Petraeus, who was for a time under consideration for Secretary of State and National Security Adviser; James Mattis, who Trump nominated to serve as Secretary of Defense; and John Kelly, who served as Secretary of Homeland Security before transitioning to the West Wing as Trump’s Chief of Staff.
        According to Axios, Trump “reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them,” with giant red subheadings covering topics like:

      • Egypt must not sentence to death a young man forcibly disappeared and tortured at 17

        The Egyptian authorities must not resort to the use of the death penalty to punish a young man who was arrested while under the age of 18, said Amnesty International, ahead of an expected verdict in his case on 22 June.

        Karim Hemada was arrested aged 17 during a raid on his home in Giza in January 2016. He was forcibly disappeared for 42 days, and during this time, he reported being tortured with electric shocks to extract a forced confession according to documents sent to the Minister of Interior and the Public Prosecutor and information obtained by Amnesty International. His case was referred to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, on 6 June to seek his non-binding opinion for application of the death penalty.

      • Journalists silent on Assange’s plight are complicit in his torture and imprisonment

        When Julian Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrested by police doing the bidding of the US government, most Western journalists sneered, sniggered, and lined up to publicly wash their hands of him.
        Op-eds and think pieces declaring that Assange was “not a journalist” came in thick and fast. Smug hacks belittled his appearance on Twitter. They eagerly shared salacious rumors about his personal habits. Many bought the line that it was his alleged “misbehavior” which prompted Quito to suddenly expel him after seven years — and they defended the Trump administration when it levelled a charge of conspiracy to hack a government computer, arguing that it really wasn’t such a big deal. He wasn’t in their club, so there was little need to defend him.

        This nonchalant response to the arrest of perhaps the most consequential journalist and whistleblower of our time was exactly the one British and US authorities relied upon — and they were not disappointed. The indifference of the media on both sides of the Atlantic to Assange’s plight was like a flashing green light for authorities to step things up, which of course they did, announcing 17 new charges in May.

        It was at this point that mainstream journalists suddenly began to perk up. Now, since the new charges related to the actual publication of classified material, this was all beginning to look a little bit sketchy. If Assange could be persecuted for publishing classified documents, why couldn’t a journalist from the New York Times? And, so came the tepid defenses of Assange, offered up out of pure self-interest. The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News and a whole host of others suddenly felt compelled to take a stand. Even fervent Assange hater Rachel Maddow defended “the WikiLeaks guy” on MSNBC.

      • UN Rapporteur on torture says Assange could die in prison

        Last week, someone who claimed to be a prisoner sent a cell phone video of Assange to Gateway Pundit reporter Cassandra Fairbanks via Twitter. Gateway Pundit, RT and Ruptly published it online, but none of the corporate media did. Fairbanks said she had decided to publish it and summarize what she knew about it after seeing that the account tweeting it at press had tweeted it at CNN. She said she imagined that CNN and other mainstream outlets would publish it with all the usual smears and disinformation, but that they wouldn’t want to source Gateway Pundit or the Russian government outlets RT and Ruptly. She also reported that her source said Assange had become a celebrity prisoner and that other prisoners wanted to meet and talk to him as soon as he arrived.

      • New Assange Charges Could Have Chilling Effect On Media Outlets
      • Hong Kong’s ‘open source’ protests where everyone has a say in what to do is unprecedented

        On Tuesday afternoon (July 30), dozens of protesters showed up at the arrival hall of Hong Kong’s busy airport, holding up freshly printed signs with information on recent protests that had escalated into clashes with the police.

      • Open source of distraction

        Pilot fish is a software developer who hates open offices. And who can blame him? Concentration is pretty much impossible when every little noise from six cubicles down gets amplified on the way to your ears. Nonetheless, he’s working in an open office, coping as best as he can, until an insurmountable obstacle to concentration shows up: A new developer nearby compulsively whistles show tunes. Loudly. All day long.

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • [Guest post] The Pride rainbow flag and its IP protection history

          Under the EU legal framework and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), a colour combination is registrable as a trade mark if the subject matter of protection is represented in a clear and precise manner (article 4(b) EUTMR), in line with the requirements set out by the CJEU in the Sieckmann decision (i.e. the subject matter of protection must be represented in a clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner). Furthermore, in order to comply with article 7(1)(a) EUTMR, the EUIPO requires a “reproduction of the colour combination that shows the systematic arrangement of the colour combination in a uniform and predetermined manner” in accordance with the CJEU finding that the “mere juxtaposition of two or more colours, without shape or contours, or a reference to two or more colours ‘in every conceivable form’, […] does not exhibit the qualities standards of precision and uniformity […]” (see here and a recent Katpost on the application of this principle).

          However, the clear representation of the subject matter is not the only requirement to successfully obtain an EU trade mark registration. In order to be distinctive (article 7(1)(b) EUTMR) the EUIPO requires colours combinations: not to constitute simply a “decorative element of the goods or comply with the consumer’s request (e.g. colours of cars or T-shirts)”; not to derive from the nature of the goods; to have a technical function; not to “be usual in the market (e.g. colour red for fire extinguishers, various colours used for electric cables)”; not to “indicate a particular characteristic of the goods. Additionally, “a colour combination should also be refused if the existence of the colour combination can already be found on the market”.

      • Copyrights

        • 5 Places to get Open Source/Royalty Free Images

          Pretty much any image you see on the Internet can be subject to copyrights. Copyrights mean that you are not allowed to use, redistribute, share or modify the image in any commercial or non-commercial activity unless stated as such by the copyright owner.

        • Retired Police Officer Wants $48,773 from Copyright Troll

          A retired police officer in his 70s, who was falsely accused of sharing several adult films via BitTorrent, wants the copyright holders to pay up. After both parties failed to reach an agreement, the man asked the adult content producer to drop the case. The ex-cop isn’t letting things go without a victory.

        • uTorrent Desktop Client Will Stop Working on New Mac OS

          Mac users who plan to upgrade to Catalina, the latest version of Mac OS, won’t be able to use the desktop version of uTorrent. Both uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline are not compatible with the new operating system and users will be automatically upgraded to the browser-based “Web” clients instead.

        • Elsevier threatens others for linking to Sci-Hub but does so itself

          I learned this morning that the largest scholarly publisher in the world, Elsevier, sent a legal threat to Citationsy for linking to Sci-Hub. There are different jurisdictional views on whether linking to copyright material is or is not a copyright violation.

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        • Katy Perry and her collaborators must pay $2.7 million for copying Christian rap song

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Rumour: Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg Said to Have Died

Posted in Patents, Rumour at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Erich Spangenberg

Summary: Erich Spangenberg, today’s most notorious patent troll, is said to have died

“Sad to hear that Erich Spangenberg has died,” Gatlin McArthur‏ wrote yesterday. “He certainly had an impact on the patent world…”

In the same sense Stalin had an impact on the 20th century. Spangenberg literally destroyed many people’s lives, never mind businesses he destroyed (businesses don’t have feelings).

“Death does’t merit praise or silence.”Tweets are usually like hearsay, but Erich Spangenberg is possibly dead because Gatlin McArthur‏ is from within his ‘network’ (voices in support of patent trolls). Also, a day later this tweet has not been removed. We don’t want to guess what killed Spangenberg, but he was not very old, so it could be suicide, accident, or drug overdose. Or the tweet may be wrong.

Ray Niro is also dead (since 2016), just like his business. He created a culture of blackmail, especially in the US, costing the economy untold billions. Niro is considered to be the father of patent trolling. That’s his sole ‘innovation’.

Spangenberg helped the European Patent Office (EPO) illegally promote software patents in Europe. We wrote about it months ago. This disgusting patent troll had sent me death wishes. Months later guess who’s said to be dead. If true, now he can decorate his grave with money he extorted from people who actually needed it. Maybe the family deserves condolences, but Spangenberg deserves no sympathy, only condemnation. Death does’t merit praise or silence. Everyone dies eventually and bad people deserve to be remembered for their bad legacy.

Microsoft Being Microsoft, Bullying Everyone Who Reduces Microsoft’s Profits

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 1:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Microsoft’s Declaration of War on Recyclers

  • You are here ☞ Part 4: Microsoft Being Microsoft, Bullying Everyone Who Reduces Microsoft’s Profits
  • Part 5: Microsoft’s War on the Right to Repair (One’s Own Computers) Makes Lundgren an ‘Enemy’ to Microsoft
  • Part 6: Damage Control Mode: Satya Nadella Fleeing Lundgren After Realising What Microsoft Had Done
  • Part 7: Slander and Libel From Microsoft (Demonising the Victim)
  • Part 8: Similar High-Profile ‘Bargains’ (Aaron Swartz and Marcus Hutchins)

The Legal Aftermath

Pending review and research

The WannaCry Hero Deserves a Pardon, Not a Conviction and analogy of Marcus Hutchins
Reference: The WannaCry Hero Deserves a Pardon, Not a Conviction

Summary: People who serve society the most (to the chagrin of some corporations and secret vested interests) are being put in prison or threatened with life in prison (i.e. death); Eric Lundgren is a classic example of that because his work reduces consumption/sales

THE incredible story of Eric Lundgren is one that Microsoft hoped — if not prayed — would go away by now. It’s one of Microsoft’s ‘skeletons in the closet’. We’re opening this closet. We sensed the stench from the outside and it is a lot worse when one takes a mere peek inside. Lundgren has been released and he has a lot to say. He has so much to show. Unlike 1.5 years ago, there’s none of that immense stress of a courtroom clocking legal bills (about a million bucks), facing potentially decades behind bars. Now it’s time to spill the beans. The record needs to be set straight. It must.

We’re angling or planning to start presenting legal documents soon. The story presented in prior parts reveals 1. media manipulation; 2. distortion of court processes; 3. lies told to court and 4. defamation in media (defamation of an already-vulnerable and poorly-funded defendant).

As Mr. Lundgren put it, the problem with these court documents is that they show “no one in the room knew what a “Restore CD” was… or worse — they knew and convicted me anyway.”

As The Verge put it in April 2018, E-waste recycler must serve 15-month sentence for selling discs with free Microsoft software (free as in gratis).

There are at least half a dozen aspects to cover in this case. The injustice is multifaceted and rather breathtaking. Thankfully, court documents are a written documentation and maybe transcriptions too can help show the lying, the distortion, the mobbing. There was character assassination and outright defamation (intentional). If the story stays in our news cycle for weeks/months, making a difference when it comes to public opinion, then at least we can clear the person’s name. He will never get his life back, but why live in shame too? Microsoft on the Issues — Microsoft’s nefarious lobbying blog — defamed him under the guise of “The facts” (that’s in the title!). It led to puff pieces such as Microsoft defends conviction of e-waste recycler over piracy (they actually used the word “piracy”). That’s how Engadget portrayed him, comparing him to a murderer at high seas (false equivalence from Hollywood); An e-waste recycler is going to jail for ‘pirating’ Windows was another headline from the same publication. Putting aside the propaganda term “pirating”, this isn’t what actually happened. For a lot of people who look up “the facts”, however, defamatory material like “the facts” from Microsoft on the Issues will become visible. Are they reading about a recycler looking to reduce waste on this planet? Or a pirate who attacks ships/boats, possibly holding as hostages (or killing) crew members?

“The truth is in the details,” Lundgren told me this weekend. “I did NOT copy or distribute MSFT [Microsoft] License.”

See Hackaday’s The Eric Lundgren Story: When Free Isn’t Free or “E-waste warrior slapped with 15-month sentence for flogging Windows restore discs“. These aren’t installation CDs but “restore discs”.

“Nothing was sold,” Lundgren insisted. “It was just the freeware Restore-CD that no-one sells.”

The last version of Windows that I used was Windows 98 and I remember receiving such CDs, twice even (the vendor sent me more). So I had two sets of CDs for the same laptop, which had come with a licence to use Windows.

“It did not cost MSFT a dime,” Lundgren continued. “They already sold the product that I was trying to help consumers legally use.”

This isn’t even a new practice! Compaq gave me that laptop with the restore CDs, even several times (they sent me more later). This was perfectly legal. The purpose of these CDs was crystal clear. Having more restore CDs does not imply having more copies of Windows. It’s like a ‘factory reset’ utility.

Over time it seems increasingly clear that Microsoft just decided to bully a person and make his life miserable. Microsoft violated and corrupted the process at many levels and each represents a major scandal on its own (or in its own right). We’re increasingly convinced that they made an example of Lundgren in order to, at the very least, scare other recyclers (who think of doing something similar). More than a decade ago we wrote many articles on how they did similar things in other countries such as Oman and China. Now they do this in the US, at risk of the media getting hostile. They make ‘examples’ of people, sending them to jail for years just to set some legally-unsound precedent.

This whole case is totally insane!

“Dell wanted nothing to do with this,” Lundgren told me. “They refused to be involved. (These were Dell Restore CD’s) I went to those in charge at Dell, I was told that if anything I helped provide free tech-support.”

Herein we see another strand of scandals; the very person who was spreading Windows and providing gratis support is being thrown in prison by the very same companies/people he was helping. We wrote about the absurdity of it several times a decade ago (in relation to other countries). Microsoft is ascribing value to ‘freebies’ — to the point of criminalising those who legally pass these around and maintain the network effect, cementing the Microsoft monopoly/monoculture.

“There are many more points to discuss,” Lundgren stressed. Perhaps the simplest analogy that can be used here is putting people in prison for passing around discount vouchers/coupons; people who use these merely give more business to the shops, which still make a profit (in spite of discounts).

How was this court outcome reached?

“Judge threw out my expert witness and retired right after my case,” Lundgren told me. “Judge T.K. Hurley.”

It gets yet worse. “My lawyer shut down his practice and became a Judge Magistrate right after my case,” he continued.

We’ve seen it before in other cases and places. Appointment of judges isn’t always a ‘clean’ process and the ‘reward’ system does not necessarily reward legal success or absolute integrity. We have examples that were covered in the patent realm (so-called ‘IP’). Live and learn…

There’s a reason why someone like Bill Gates can commit so many crimes and never spend a night in prison. His father is well connected; he runs one of the biggest law firms in the country. He helps super-rich clients. Lundgren? Nope, he just mostly helps poor people. In future parts we’ll shed light on Lundgren’s positive contribution to society and thus the injustice of this persecution (bogus claims, defamation, and prosecution by the firm of pseudo-philanthropist Bill Gates).

“My legal battle cost $870,000 USD. (+) $50,000 Court Fine (+) 15 Month Prison Sentence (+) Felony,” Lundgren explained. So unless you’re a millionaire it renders you a prisoner for life. Financially indebted, unable to pursue work and so on.

Now that he’s out of jail (for a non-crime), Lundgren is trying to put back pieces of his life. His grandfather who had raised him died several days ago, so he is grieving with relatives. “I am currently creating an AI Platform to offer ‘National Free Home Recycling’,” he told me. ” It will be completed within the year and should aggregate & recycle more eWaste than all recyclers today. (Currently 18% of eWaste is Recycled & 82% is Exported or leaching toxic chemicals into our water table via landfills)…”

This is what Lundgren has done (almost) his entire adult life. He lives to do this. “I recently found an article done when I was (17) years old in “Business Pulse Magazine” where I am saying the EXACT same thing that I am saying today!

“It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s been 17 Years and my story hasn’t changed.. Still fighting for the same thing.”

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