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08.06.19

Links 6/8/2019: RPCS3 Update and KDevelop 5.4 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Help Us Improve: SUSE Documentation Survey

        Documentation is an essential part of any product. For many years now, you hear me repeating this over and over again. There is no product which is so simple to use and maintain, that it doesn’t require any description, introduction or examples. This is especially true for enterprise software which covers many use cases. Most software solutions only become usable thanks to detailed documentation. If you work in an IT department and you are responsible for a functioning environment and smooth processes, missing or poor documentation can impact your daily work and even the success of your business.

      • Microsoft hikes cost of licensing its software on rival public clouds, introduces Azure ‘Dedicated’ Hosts [Ed: Microsoft Tim about Microsoft suffocating/strangling its own ‘clients’ because Microsoft has a losses issue]
    • Kernel Space

      • Google Engineers Get Windows Booting When Kexec’ed Under Linux [Ed: Waste of Google's time and money. Google has already banned Microsoft Windows for security reasons (the OS is designed to not be secure)]

        An interesting summer internship at Google has led to an experimental effort to get Microsoft Windows running via Kexec from Linux. The engineers involved have been implementing enough of the EFI Boot Services to be able to kexec Windows from Linux.

        Kexec has traditionally just been used for loading and booting alternative Linux kernels from a running kernel using this system call in order to minimize system downtime. Kexec is also used by the likes of Raptor’s POWER9 systems for booting the system from Petitboot.

      • Graphics Stack

        • GNOME 3.34 Now Supports Starting XWayland On-Demand

          One of the long-time work-in-progress patch series has been realized in time for next month’s GNOME 3.34 release… Mutter when acting as a Wayland compositor will allow starting XWayland on-demand, or rather only running it when needed to handle an X11 client/application.

          This work allows for GNOME Shell to be started without requiring XWayland for initialization and to only start-up the XWayland server when there are clients looking to actually use it.

        • Valve’s ACO Compiler, Zink, FreeSync & Other Topics To Be Talked About At XDC 2019

          We’re less than two months out until the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC) and the featured presentations for this three-day event have now been announced.

          XDC 2019 will be held in Montréal, Canada from 2 to 4 October.

        • AMD Posts A New Slide Deck Outlining The RDNA Architecture

          Last week AMD published their RDNA instruction set architecture documentation. That’s a bit heavy reading unless you are a driver developer or low-level engine developer, but for those wanting a bit of a higher-level look at AMD’s new RDNA graphics architecture, today they uploaded a new slide deck.

    • Applications

      • Top 15 Best Linux Log Viewer & Log file Management Tools

        If you are a Linux lover, you must have some knowledge about Linux log viewer tools. Log viewer gives you a full visual history of everything happening in your Linux system. In logs file, we will have each and every piece of information such as application log, system log, event log, script log, rewrite log, and process ID, etc.

        [...]

        LOGalyze does its job quite impeccably with the focus on log management. Also, it has the usability of network observation which comes with the package. When it comes to processing all of your log information in a single place, LOGalyze comes helpful. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to support your requirement or not, because it goes with the Linux/Unix servers, network devices and as well as windows hosts.

      • syntreenet 1.0.0b4

        Syntreenet facilitates easy development of any finite domain formal theory possible in any language described by a Parsing Expression Grammar.

        It provides a knowledge base in the form of a performant and scalable production system, where rules and facts interact to produce new rules and facts. Facts in this context are the top productions in the provided PEGs, and rules are fundamentally composed of a set of those facts as conditions and another set of facts as consecuences.

      • 3 tools for doing presentations from the command line

        Tired of creating and displaying presentation slides using LibreOffice Impress or various slightly geeky tools and frameworks? Instead, consider running the slides for your next talk from a terminal window.

        Using the terminal to present slides sounds strange, but it isn’t. Maybe you want to embrace your inner geek a bit more. Perhaps you want your audience to focus on your ideas rather than your slides. Maybe you’re a devotee of the Takahashi method. Whatever your reasons for turning to the terminal, there’s a (presentation) tool for you.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 continues to show off amazing progress, June’s report is up

        The RPCS3 team continue hacking away at their code for this impressive PlayStation 3 emulator and they’ve reached another milestone.

        With all the work going into it, they’ve finally managed to get to the stage where the amount of titles classed as “Playable” has become the largest. With Playable hitting 1,339 titles although it’s likely bigger now, as they said their testers took a bit of a break. The amount of titles classed as “Nothing” (completely broken) is now only at 2!

      • RPCS3 Sony PlayStation 3 Emulator

        Welcome to June’s Progress Report! This month saw a wide variety of… bzzzt we interrupt this broadcast for an important announcement!

        RPCS3’s progress reports are written solely by volunteers and we’re looking for more dedicated writers to help us write them. If you have the knowledge, time and are willing to help, please apply here. And secondly, we have recently added functionality that makes it possible to unlock the framerate limit of many games. While this exciting new feature doesn’t work on every game, some big titles such as Uncharted 1-3, The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption and more are able to go over their framerate cap of 30FPS for the first time! We require the help of the community to submit test results for as many games as possible to determine the effectiveness of the feature. For more details, please click here.

      • Sweet indie RTS “The Fertile Crescent” adds female villagers, better AI and improved performance

        Currently free during Alpha, The Fertile Crescent looks a bit like a retro Age of Empires and the development team continue advancing it.

        A recent update to the game a little over a week ago, added in some rather impressive improvements to it. This includes female villagers with voicing, much improved performance, a considerably improved AI, the ability to use the mini-map to move units, buildings and units that are damaged will show a health bar, Swordsman attacks should work properly and lots of other bug fixes.

      • The upcoming forgotten video game world “Village Monsters” has a new trailer

        Village Monsters lets you step into a video game world, one long-forgotten and it finally has a new trailer to show off all the progress that has been made.

        Something we highlighted here on GOL back in May, the last trailer was actually from 2017 so it was long overdue a better look at it. If you found Stardew Valley a bit too sweet, perhaps the strange run-down world of Village Monsters might be more you thing?

      • Triangulum is a minimalist logic puzzle game now out with Linux support

        Perhaps you need something new to relax with while you’re having a coffee break or you want to test your mind a little, without much stressing. Triangulum could fit there.

        This new minimalist logic puzzle game from N5 Games has a nice simple style to it, with gameplay that looks really interesting and not very demanding of you. All you’re doing is clicking triangles, to move points around the board to increase your score. It sounds simple, but it looks like it can get a bit complicated later on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDevelop 5.4 released

          We are happy to announce the availability of KDevelop 5.4 today featuring support for a new build system, a new scratchpad feature, analyzer support from Clang-Tidy plus a bunch of bug fixes and wee improvements.

          Projects using the new rising star in the build system scene, Meson, can now also be managed with KDevelop, thanks to the work of Daniel Mensinger.

          Current features are:

          Native support for Meson projects (configuring, compiling, installing)

          Support for KDevelop code autocompletion (plugin reads Meson introspection information)

          Initial support for the Meson rewriter: modifying basic aspects of the project (version, license, etc.)

        • Interview with Ray Waysider

          It’s free (obviously) but apart from that it’s also a very intuitive program. So rich in features and it’s easy to set it up to your own personal taste. I have Photoshop installed on my PC as well as Krita but I just find Krita so comfortable to use and so capable of doing anything I want that I’ve hardly used Photoshop since I installed Krita.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora Family

        • CPE Team at Flock

          Flock is just around the corner and the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team will be there to join our Community at our annual event. We are also going to be presenting some talks around work that we are involved with and we have one hackfest ready. Let’s go look at what we have in our sleeves for you and hopefully you will join us at these sessions!

      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 6 – 2019.08 Run Through

          In this video, we look at Sparky Linux 2019.08, and the first snapshot of Sparky 6. Enjoy!

        • Debian ‘Buster’ 10.1 coming in September

          Debian is by far my best choice for a server as I love the stability and dependability. As per Debian lists announcement ,the will release Debian 10.1 on 7th of September 2019. Along with this there is going to be a release for Debian 9.10 as well. As per official Debian , they will try to release a stable release every 2 months . The release was delayed because of the Debian conference 2019

          Debian 10 released earlier had the following included.

        • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.07

          This month I was allocated 17 hours. I also had 2 hours left over from Juney, which makes a total of 19 hours. I spent all of them on the following tasks/ issues.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • YCET wins accolades at Libre Office online test

        The quest for a technologically aware faculty base was satiated to a large extent on Friday by the online examination of Libre Office for spoken Tutorial Project of IIT Bombay which was held at YCET for the Department of Applied Sciences.

      • Events

        • Reflecting On IndieWeb Summit: A Start

          Another Summit first, also inspired by XOXO (and other conferences like Open Source Bridge), color-coded lanyards for our photo policy. Which was a natural lead-in for the heads-up about session live-streaming and where to sit accordingly (based on personal preference). Lastly, pronoun pins and a huge thanks to Aaron Parecki for arranging the logistics of all those materials!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Socorro Engineering: July 2019 happenings and putting it on hold

            As of August 1st, we’ve switched to Mozilla Location Services. We’ll be auditing that project, getting it back into a healthy state, and bringing it in line with current standards and practices.

            Given that, this is the last Socorro Engineering status post for a while.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn PHP

          PHP has been at the helm of the web for many years. It is an extremely popular, interpreted scripting language that is ideally suited for web development in part because it has an approachable syntax and supports different operating systems. This language powers millions of web sites on the net and is extremely well supported by its user community.

          PHP is also used as a general-purpose programming language. PHP code can be executed with a command-line interface (CLI) and to implement standalone graphical applications. CLI PHP programs often automate common tasks such as testing, deployment, and application administration. The language offers a very complete set of object-oriented programming features as well as support for functional programming. The latest TIOBE Index (August 2019 at time of writing) ranks PHP in 8th place, behind Java, C, C++, C#, Python, Visual Basic .NET, and JavaScript.

          The language is released under a non-copyleft free software license / open source license. The latest stable version adds lots of new features.

        • Using Twitter with Python and Tweepy

          Twitter is a popular social network that people use to communicate with each other. Python has several packages that you can use to interact with Twitter. These packages can be useful for creating Twitter bots or for downloading lots of data for offline analysis. One of the more popular Python Twitter packages is called Tweepy. You will learn how to use Tweepy with Twitter in this article.

          [...]

          The first thing that you need to do is create a Twitter account and get the credentials you will need to access Twitter. To do that, you will need to apply for a developer account here.

        • Weekly Python Exercise is a PyCon Africa 2019 bronze sponsor

          I’ve attended two Python conferences so far this year: PyCon (in May, in Cleveland, Ohio) and EuroPython (in July, in Basel, Switzerland). Both were fantastic; I was happy to be a sponsor at PyCon in the US, and to give my “practical decorators” talk at both conferences.

        • Is Perl going extinct?

          Is there an endangered species list for programming languages? If there is, Command Line Heroes suggests that Perl is somewhere between vulnerable and critically endangered. The dominant language of the 1990s is the focus of this week’s podcast (Season 3, Episode 4) and explores its highs and lows since it was introduced over 30 years ago.

          [...]

          So, if Perl was doing so well in the ’90s, why did it start to sink? The dot-com bubble burst in 2000, and the first heady rush of web development was about to give way to a slicker, faster, different generation. Python became a favorite for first-time developers, much like Perl used to be an attractive first language that stole newbies away from FORTRAN or C.

          Perl was regarded highly because it allowed developers to solve a problem in many ways, but that feature later became known as a bug. Python’s push toward a single right answer ended up being where many people wanted to go. Conor Myhrvold wrote in Fast Company how Python became more attractive and what Perl might have done to keep up. For these reasons and myriad others, like the delay of Perl 6, it lost momentum.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Scientists Push For Law to Designate, Protect Geological Sites in India

        In the absence of significant laws to protect India’s geological sites and fossils from being exploited, a group of scientists will on Tuesday present a draft bill to legislators, requesting for a national agency that will designate and safeguard such sites in the country.

        The science journal Nature reported that Delhi’s Indian National Science Academy and Lucknow’s Society of Earth Scientists will begin the concerted process of lobbying for the first such law in India to conserve its significant resources and protect them from mining and related misuse. The proposed bill is called the Geoheritage (Conservation and Promotion Bill), 2019.

        The journal quoted Satish Tripathi, a geologist with the Lucknow Society who advised on the bill, as having said that while a few sites of geological significance are protected by local laws, most have no such advantage. This legal vacuum exposes India’s “couple of hundred(s)” of geological locations to rampant human manipulation.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Picking the FB50 smart lock (CVE-2019-13143)

        The lock pairs to a phone via Bluetooth, and requires the OKLOK app from the Play/App Store to function. The app requires the user to create an account before further functionality is available. It also facilitates configuring the fingerprint, and unlocking from a range via Bluetooth.

        We had two primary attack surfaces we decided to tackle — Bluetooth (BLE) and the Android app.

      • What is a computer worm? How this self-spreading malware wreaks havoc

        A worm is a form of malware (malicious software) that operates as a self-contained application and can transfer and copy itself from computer to computer.

        It’s this ability to operate autonomously, without the need for a host file or to hijack code on the host computer, that distinguishes worms from other forms of malware.

      • Unpatched KDE vulnerability disclosed on Twitter [Ed: CBS hired Catalin Cimpanu to attack GNU/Linux in its tabloid ZDNet like he had done at cesspool site Bleeping Computer. Now he trash-talks KDE, based on a mere “tweet”, because of a bug that affects few people while ignoring, as usual, Windows back doors.]
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Why I Turned Down an AWS Job Offer

        Fascinating. As I’ve stated already, these clauses are non-enforceable in California and have been since 1850 when the state was formed (this point is often cited as why Silicon Valley is even a thing). Not to belabor the point, but AWS has many employees in California already, and so does Google—as does nearly every other tech company of note. They’ve done all right for themselves. Further, any employee subject to one of these agreements who moves to California finds themselves no longer bound.

        I get that you want to “protect your business.” I want to be able to feed my family when I eventually leave the company.

    • Environment

      • A Crashed Israeli Spacecraft Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon

        The Beresheet lunar lander carried thousands of books, DNA samples, and a few thousand water bears to the moon. But did any of it survive the crash?

      • Energy

        • Nuclear power somehow always makes a loss

          Two new studies together make an eloquent case against nuclear power: that its civilian uses are inseparable from nuclear warmaking, and that it is always uneconomic and has to be subsidised by taxpayers.

          The first report, by the Berlin-based German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), says that private economic interests have never played a role in nuclear power; instead the military have always been the driving force behind their construction. The report’s title sums up its contents: High-Priced and Dangerous: Nuclear Power is not an option for the Climate-Friendly Energy Mix.

          The researchers calculate, after analysis of the 674 nuclear power plants built since the 1950s, that on average they make a loss of €5 billion (US$5.6 bn) each, and that is without taking into account the cost of getting rid of their radioactive waste.

          The report does not simply investigate the past. It also looks ahead, reviewing the industry’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations, and particularly the small modular reactors (SMRs) in which the US, Canada, Russia, China and the UK are currently investing huge amounts of development money. The researchers conclude that they too are doomed to be an expensive failure.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange’s father speaks to the WSWS: “Julian’s resolve is fierce”

        John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father and a leading campaigner for his freedom, spoke to the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) in Sydney yesterday about the conditions of his son’s imprisonment in Britain and the fight to prevent his extradition to the US. The WikiLeaks founder faces the prospect of 175 years in a US jail for his role in exposing American war crimes.

      • Two Guerrero state journalists killed in one week in Mexico

        Mexico is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists. According to CPJ research, at least three journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work in 2019. CPJ is investigating four other killings, not including the two in Guerrero, to determine whether the motive was related to the journalists’ work.

      • Right to Information: Dangerous knowledge

        Information commissioners had security of tenure and high status under the RTI Act, 2005, which empowered them to carry out their functions autonomously and direct even the highest offices of the land to disclose information. The commissioners had a fixed tenure of five years (subject to retirement at 65 years), and the salaries, allowances and other terms of service for commissioners of the Central Information Commission and chiefs of the state information commissions were on par with election commissioners. The salary of an election commissioner equals that of a Supreme Court judge, which is decided by Parliament. The recent amendments, which empower the central government to determine the tenure, salaries, allowances and other terms of service of all information commissioners, erode the autonomy of the commissions, and will effectively convert them into the proverbial caged parrots’.

        Every year, nearly six million applications are filed by citizens across the country, making the Indian RTI law the most extensively used transparency legislation in the world. People have successfully used the law to access information about their basic rights and to expose corruption and abuse of power. With no evidence to suggest that the law in its original form hindered its implementation in any way, the amendments are inexplicable.

      • IAS officer in custody for killing journo in accident

        Police came under severe criticism as it took them nearly nine hours to collect the blood sample of the officer for medical examination, even as eyewitnesses told the police and the media that Venkitaraman was found drunk behind the wheels.

      • Silencing expression

        Press freedom was a fundamental pillar of modern civilisation. Nearly all countries, save the communist bloc and dictatorial regimes, ensured special protection for the media in their constitutions. There used to be a competition of sorts to highlight media freedoms in developing countries to gain respectability in the international fora. Jailing a newsperson was rare and closing down a media outlet even more so. Sadly, not anymore.

      • An escalating crackdown on critical comment is under way

        Another issue here is that many media house owners don’t want to annoy powerful politicians, judges and generals. For them, the bottom line is what counts, not abstract ideals like the freedom of speech.

        But Khan is not the only politician to benefit from a fawning media driven by the search for higher ratings and increased circulation. The reality is that the public prefers flamboyant figures like Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Imran Khan to grey, anonymous politicians.

        However, while Trump and Johnson are regularly lambasted on liberal TV channels, in newspapers and in social media, we in Pakistan are witnessing an escalating crackdown on critical comment. Opposition voices are being stifled as interviews with prominent politicians are pulled in mid-sentence. Editors are more careful than ever to avoid giving offence to power centres like the executive, the judiciary and the security establishment.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Social media bots pose threat ahead of 2020

        Paul Barrett, the deputy director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University’s Stern School of Business, the author of a recently finished report on disinformation, told The Hill that Russians and other state actors continuing to “stir dissent and division” on social media.

      • Japan cancels exhibition of South Korea’s ‘comfort women’ statue after threats of violence

        The statue – a girl in traditional South Korean clothes sitting on a chair – symbolises “comfort women”, who were forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels during World War II.

        Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, who heads the organisers, said they received a number of threatening e-mail messages, phone calls and faxes against the exhibition.

      • Germany pursues justice for survivors of Yazidi genocide

        For renowned international criminal lawyer Lars Berster of the University of Cologne, the case is crystal-clear: The actions of IS against the Yazidis constitute genocide. The decisive factor, he says, is the perpetrators’ objective: “They must aim to destroy a national, ethnic or religious group, in whole or in part, and IS’ intention to exterminate was very visible.”

      • Saudi Arabia changed its guardianship laws, but activists who fought them remain imprisoned

        Inside the kingdom, as women’s rights activists have called for changes, many have been imprisoned, and some have allegedly been tortured. One such activist, Loujain al-Hathloul, was imprisoned on the eve of a heralded change to Saudi Arabia’s restrictions on women driving. She remains in prison where she is facing treason charges and has allegedly been tortured by a top lieutenant to bin Salman.

        Human rights activists cautiously praised the changes while calling for activists like al-Hathloul to be released.

      • Canadian resident escapes Iran after 11 years of detention

        Saeed Malekpour, a web programmer from Victoria who had permanent resident status in Canada, was arrested in Iran in 2008 and accused of setting up a website that was used to post pornography. Malekpour maintained his innocence and said he was tortured in prison to force a confession to crimes against Islam.

        He was sentenced to death in 2010.

      • ICE: Iraqi refugee used family as shield before capture in Redford Township

        Driver said Al-Sadoon has spent most of his life in Michigan and has six U.S. citizen children. She said he cut his tether because he could not accept returning to Iraq.

        “This is as close to a death penalty case as I have ever had. His brother returned to Iraq four years ago and no one has ever heard from him,” Driver said after court.

        Al-Sadoon’s wife, Belqis Florido, attended the court hearing with two of their children and said her husband has been at their home in Redford Township since cutting the tether. Florido said her husband was hugging his children who were clinging to him when police stormed into their home to arrest him, and he was not using them as shields.

      • ICE comes for Michigan’s Chaldean Christians

        During the summer of 2017, more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, including 114 from Michigan, were swept up in raids following President Trump’s travel ban, which bars entry into the U.S. from seven countries, including Iraq. Many of the Iraqi nationals arrested were Chaldean Christians who had been forced to flee Iraq after facing religious persecution. If they are sent back, they will almost certainly be discriminated against and perhaps even killed.

      • Triple Talaq bill is all about establishing gender equality, correcting a historic wrong: Amit Shah

        Passing the bill in the Parliament shows the government’s relentless effort to give social dignity, respect and honour to women in India. Shah adds that this also brings down the mask of Congress which has always treated the Muslim community as a vote bank. He says that the triple talaq perpetuated the deep-rooted inequality which had very little concern for women’s self-respect.

        Welcoming the support for the triple talaq bill from the non-NDA parties, Union Home Minister urged the other parties rise above political differences and support it so that it helps India progress as a nation as well as society.

      • IFP shocked by MEC’s encouragement of corporal punishment

        The party says the MEC should apologise and withdraw her comments encouraging parents to implement corporal punishment.

      • Avoiding burnout: 4 considerations for a more energetic organization

        In both personal and organizational life, energy levels are important. This is no less true of open organizations. Consider this: When you’re tired, you’ll have trouble adapting when challenges arise. When your energy is low, you’ll have trouble collaborating with others. When you’re feeling fatigued, building and energizing an open organization community is difficult.

        At a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently formalized its definition for burnout, this issue seems more important than ever. In this article, I’ll address the important issue of managing daily energy—both at the personal and organizational levels.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘Enough is enough’: Cloudfare terminates 8chan, an online meeting place for ‘extremist hate’

        Cloudfare will cut off services for 8chan at midnight PDT, CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement, though he noted that another network provider could bring 8chan back online. That’s what happened in 2017, when Cloudfare booted The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi message board.

      • Terminating Service for 8Chan

        Unfortunately, we have seen this situation before and so we have a good sense of what will play out. Almost exactly two years ago we made the determination to kick another disgusting site off Cloudflare’s network: the Daily Stormer. That caused a brief interruption in the site’s operations but they quickly came back online using a Cloudflare competitor. That competitor at the time promoted as a feature the fact that they didn’t respond to legal process. Today, the Daily Stormer is still available and still disgusting. They have bragged that they have more readers than ever. They are no longer Cloudflare’s problem, but they remain the Internet’s problem.

      • Cloudflare Cuts Support for ‘Cesspool of Hate’ 8chan After Shooting

        Prince’s statement comes as Cloudflare is planning an initial public offering later this year. The San Francisco-based company provides technical, performance, and security services to website owners, including protection from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Without its assistance, 8chan may become more vulnerable to being taken offline by such brute-force methods.

      • Cloudflare to revoke 8chan’s service, opening the fringe website up for DDoS attacks

        Cloudflare has kicked other hateful sites off its services before, most notably the Daily Stormer, a Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi and white supremacist website and message board. However, a Cloudflare competitor stepped up to replace their services when they were revoked nearly two years ago, and the website is still available today.

      • Cloudflare Ditches 8chan. What Happens Now?

        Cloudflare provides infrastructural support, like content delivery services and DDoS protection, to 19 million online properties. Revoking that support can effectively shut a site down, at least until it finds a new provider. But the company has long maintained that it should not serve as an arbiter of speech online, with one notable exception: Cloudflare severed ties with the white supremacist site the Daily Stormer two years ago.

      • RIAA Asks Cloudflare to Unmask Owner of Turbobit

        Turbobit, one of the longest-standing file-hosting sites on the Internet, is being targeted by the RIAA which wants Cloudflare to unmask its owner. Interestingly, two other sites detailed in the subpoena are accused of hosting tracks featuring hip hop artist Swizz Beatz. The coincidental loop-around here is that Beatz was once listed as the CEO Megaupload, another one of the RIAA’s file-hosting targets.

    • Monopolies

      • EBay is suing Amazon for “racketeering” and anti-competitive practices

        EBay is suing Amazon for an alleged “conspiracy” to steal high-volume sellers off its platform through its user messaging system, the New York Times reported Thursday. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District of California, says Amazon exhibited “a pattern of racketeering activity” and its employees conspired to “infiltrate and exploit eBay’s internal member email system using fraud and false pretenses.”

        The alleged scheme — of Amazon employees creating fake eBay accounts and then messaging successful eBay sellers and recruiting them to Amazon— is nearly identical to the one described in the lawsuit eBay filed against Amazon in the same court in October of last year, which is currently in arbitration.

      • Uber and Lyft Hate This Bill

        Assembly Bill 5, which passed the state Assembly in May 59 to 15 and now awaits a vote in the Senate, would provide clear guidelines to determine who is and is not an employee—and thus who is entitled to labor protection and benefits under state laws. AB5 would codify a recent landmark state court ruling, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, which established a three-part test to determine whether someone would be considered an independent contractor or an employee of a company under California’s labor law. That ruling’s “ABC test” determines whether an individual is an independent contractor by asking (a) if the individual works independently, (b) if the individual performs work outside the firm’s usual operations, and (c) if the individual is “customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature” as the job they do for the company. Enshrining this legal standard could accord employee status to most rideshare drivers, as well as many others who work on a contract or project basis, such as musicians, plumbers, and delivery drivers.

      • Proposed Bill Wants Tech Companies To Pay Out the Nose if DOJ Inquiry Uncovers Antitrust Violations [iophk: Microsoft, the worst violator, is not even named]

        The two Democrats call it the “Monopolization Deterrence Act,” Reuters reported. This legislation would grant the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission the ability to levy civil penalties when companies break antitrust law, up to 15 percent of the company’s total U.S. revenue or 30 percent of its U.S. revenue in affected markets.

      • Senators seek ‘serious’ fines for antitrust violations

        The “Monopolization Deterrence Act” by the Democratic senators would allow the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to seek civil penalties for monopolization offenses under U.S. antitrust law, Klobuchar’s office said in a statement.

      • Klobuchar Leads Letters Pressing Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department on Antitrust Investigations into Large Tech Companies

        We understand that, under its internal policies, the FTC typically refrains from commenting on nonpublic investigations, but these circumstances are far from typical. The significant public interest in and allegations surrounding the business conduct of Big Tech and the leaks concerning the clearance process relating to potential investigations of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have made these matters highly unusual. Accordingly, we respectfully request answers to the following questions: [...]

      • Jeff Bezos sold another $990 million worth of Amazon shares at the end of last week

        On Thursday and Friday last week, Bezos, the CEO of the e-commerce giant, sold 531,852 shares, or about 1% of his total stake, for $990 million, according to documents he filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also donated another 268 shares — worth nearly $500,000 — to an unnamed nonprofit organization.

      • Amazon price alerts are leading sellers to raise prices on Walmart or risk losing perks

        Amazon is not going so far as to openly demand its third-party sellers raise prices, according to Bloomberg. In some cases, Amazon may want the seller to lower the prices of its items on Amazon.com to match the prices on Walmart and elsewhere. Walmart also encourages its sellers to match prices across platforms. But Walmart isn’t as influential as Amazon’s Marketplace, which is the dominant online platform in the US for third-party sellers.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Lord Kitchin: life at the UK Supreme Court

          “I think it is reason, but without losing your humanity,” says Lord Kitchin when asked about his approach to UK Supreme Court cases. “It must primarily be analytical, but obviously your experience and sensitivities as a person can be brought to bear.”

          Sitting in his office at the court, Kitchin is talking through a range of topics, from the dos and don’ts at trial, to how the justices operate, to the “enormous fun” he has had as a judge and barrister.

          For IP specialists, all eyes are on the Unwired Planet v Huawei trial, which will be heard in October. The FRAND dispute has generated a lot of attention – from as far afield as China – and the court’s decision could have a highly significant global impact on this field.

        • Celgene Corp. v. Peter (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          The Federal Circuit affirmed a determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that two patents owned by Celgene Corp. were invalid in Celgene Corp. v. Peter decided last week. In rendering its decision, the Court also addressed on the merits Celgene’s argument that retroactive invalidation of its patents under the inter partes review (IPR) procedures introduced into U.S. patent law by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act is unconstitutional because its patents were granted before enactment of these IPR procedures and thus amounted to a taking under the Fifth Amendment. The Court had avoided such constitutional challenges in earlier cases, most recently in Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. IBG LLC, 921 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2019), on the grounds that in that case, TT’s counsel had insufficiently raised and supported the argument. Here, the Court found that Celgene’s efforts had been “sufficiently thorough” as “a single constitutional issue [that] received thorough briefing from the parties and [was] addressed extensively at oral argument” for the panel to render a decision. Predictably, that decision was to find that IPRs pass constitutional muster.

          [...]

          CFAD’s obviousness contentions regarding the ’501 patent asserted in support three scientific references on how to safely administer three teratogenic drugs: thalidomide, isotretinoin (Accutane®), and clozapine. For the “enhanced” system claimed in the ’720 patent, CFAD asserted the thalidomide package insert; U.S. Patent No. 5,832,449; a scientific reference on “controlling and monitoring access to thalidomide”; and another scientific reference regarding mechanisms and significance of transfer of chemicals to animal and human semen. Using rationales applying this art in varying combinations, the Board found that CFAD had established obviousness of all claims in the IPR except claim 10 of the ’720 patent. When CFAD declined to join Celgene’s appeal, the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office intervened under 35 U.S.C. § 143.

          The Federal Circuit opinion was written by Chief Judge Prost, joined by Judges Bryson and Reyna. On the merits regarding the ’501 patent, the panel rejected Celgene’s arguments on three points: “(1) its finding that the prior art satisfies the ‘computer readable storage medium,’ limitation, which rises and falls with a claim construction argument; (2) its finding that it would have been obvious to counsel male patients about the risks of teratogenic drugs; and (3) its findings on secondary considerations.” On the first point, Celgene argued that the term should be limited to a centralized computer readable storage medium, which the Federal Circuit rejected because that was not what was recited in the claims of the ’501 patent nor was that how the computer readable storage medium was described in the specification. The panel also agreed with the PTAB that neither the prosecution history nor extrinsic evidence argued by Celgene supported this construction of the term. In assessing the correctness of the Board’s claim interpretation, the panel relied on the canon of claim construction that use of the indefinite article (a or an) in conjunction with the open claim term “comprising” indicates “one or more” of a particular term (here, the computer readable storage medium). Nothing in the claim language, specification, nor prosecution history supported any exception to this general rule for construing claim terms, nor was there an unambiguous disclaimer of a non-centralized computer in the record, in the panel’s opinion. And the panel also affirmed the Board’s refusal to allow Celgene’s extrinsic evidence to “trump the persuasive intrinsic evidence in this case.”

        • Patent infringement in public procurement? Still awaiting an answer [Ed: European Patent EP0868002B1 from the EPO (is it even valid, as per independent court?)]

          In the latest patent law case by the Patent and Market Court of Appeal at the Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden, PMT 360-18, the Court overturned the ruling of the Patent and Market Court, thereby rejecting a claim of contributory infringement of European patent EP0868002B1 in connection with submission of a public tender. The infringement claim was rejected on the ground that the patent in question is invalid due to a lack of inventive step.

          Contributory infringement occurs when a third party provides another party with the necessary preconditions (a method, a device, materials) in order to commit patent infringement (e.g., under Chapter 1 3§2 in the Swedish Patent Law). In this case, contributory infringement was alleged in connection with a tender concerning delivery of VSCs to a plant providing for transfer of high voltage direct current, such that the VSCs were to be combined with polymer-insulated cables in accordance with the patent.

          In ruling that the alleged infringed patent was invalid due to lack of inventive step, the Patent and Market Court pointed to prior art, consisting of a previous patent that covered a converter connection for conversion between AC and DC, especially at high voltage DC. From this piece of prior art, it was clear how VSCs can be used to alter the feeding direction of electric effect through the voltage network without altering shifting polarization.

      • Copyrights

        • Industry Groups Share Anti-Piracy Wish List With US Government

          Several industry groups, including the MPAA, have shared their views on how to curb piracy with the US Department of Commerce. According to the submission, the Government can help to combat piracy by taking a variety of actions, including criminal investigations against key players and better copyright protections in trade agreements.

        • European Court Of Justice Rules On Three Big Copyright Cases

          Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled on three separate cases regarding copyright, and exceptions to copyright. We had covered two of these cases back in the summer of 2017 and we finally have rulings. Two of the rulings are… not good. One is okay. We’ll save the best for last.

          The first of the cases, the Pelham case, was about whether or not sampling was infringing in Germany. This case actually goes back to the turn of the Millennium. In fact, all the way back in 2012 we wrote about how this (then) 12-year-old case had finally come to an end. If only. It involved a German rapper in the late 90s using 2 whole seconds of a 1977 Kraftwerk song “Metall auf Metall.” The question was whether or not such a tiny sample could be infringing. At the heart of the case was the ever-present conflict between copyright and freedom of expression. And here, the court said copyright trumps freedom of expression and creativity, even when it’s a tiny 2 second music sample. The only exception is if you somehow distort the sample so that it’s not recognizable.

        • Gigi Hadid Instagram copyright infringement case dismissed

          Readers may have been following the case of Gigi Hadid and her Instagram post here and here. Where the model was sued by Xclusive for posting a picture of herself on her social media account that was taken by a photographer represented by the Xclusive agency.

          The case raised some interesting arguments around the relationship between celebrities and paparazzi and the use of the resulting images, particularly what amounts to fair use in these circumstances and whether the celebrity has a stake in the copyright of the image, or at least an implied licence. [Discussed in more detail here].

          [...]

          Moreover, the Court declined to grant Xclusive leave to amend its complaint should its copyright application be approved in the future (citing Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 18-CV-10956 (JMF), 2019 WL 1454317 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 2, 2019).

          No doubt, this won’t be the last Instagram infringement case, but for now the questions raised by this case remain unanswered!

        • US Senate Judiciary Committee approves small-claims copyright bill (CASE Act) and reports its to legislature without amendment [Ed: This is not going to help the mythical, much-stigmatised "Small Guy". This will help copyright trolls and large corporations bully the "Small Guy" 'on the cheap']

          Rather than bringing claims in Federal District Court, the CASE Act provides for a Copyright Claims Board to render decisions in small-claims copyright cases; the Board would consist of three officers appointed by the Librarian of Congress. These officers would have the authority to render decisions in copyright claims and award monetary relief. However, they may only hear claims of infringement, misrepresentation, declarations of non-infringement, and counterclaims. Claims are reviewed by Copyright Office attorneys assigned to the Copyright Claims Board for approval before being served upon defendants.

          [...]

          Although the opt-out option may limit the effectiveness of the Copyright Claims Board, it also reduces risks for possible unwitting infringers; the CASE Act may prove an effective means of addressing inequities in US copyright enforcement without disrupting US copyright law too severely. This Kat will keep his paw on F5 as we wait for the US Senate and House of Representatives to consider the bill.

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