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08.12.19

Spreading False Rumours or What’s Most Likely Lies (Falsehoods) Won’t Help Restore Justice at the EPO

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This past weekend: The EPO is Still Violating the EPC Every Day

The hearsay
Not everything one hears is true; there ought to be a verification process. It otherwise helps the EPO’s censorship agenda.

Summary: EPO management lies to everyone routinely (to courts, to the press, to staff and so on); it’s not helping when lies or baseless hearsay are spread about EPO management as it helps Team Campinos censor/block/slander sites that expose EPO corruption (under he guise/pretext that these sites are disseminating lies; Campinos, by the way, has blocked Techrights for over a year without explanation, just like a truly insecure autocrat)

BASELESS hearsay in the European Patent Office (EPO) isn’t helpful. Take for instance this fourth anonymous comment about some rumour regarding Battistelli being Elodie Bergot‘s father. R.I.P. Kat is generally reliable, but the comment in “More scandals” lends credibility to claims of defamation being weaponised against Office management. Crime in the EPO is real and very much profound. The attack on the law itself is undeniable. We’re not even talking about patent quality and scope (a decade ago we worried only about software patents in Europe) but literal crimes committed by the management. These people are truly above the law. There’s no need to make up scandals about Bergot, who would exploit it to just abuse staff some more (as revenge). Battistelli already has two daughters; Bergot isn’t one of them.

“There’s no happiness, no justice, and no compliance with the most basic laws in today’s EPO.”Lies typically come from Office management and its corrupt media. Consider this new SPC framework ‘survey’; imagine another round of hogwash like everything they did for EPO management, Team UPC etc. How many lies have these people spread and who benefited from these lies? This patent zealots’ think tank (‘publisher’), Managing IP, will of course ask only lawyers and law (litigation) firms; nobody else will count or ‘matter’. It’s like EPO management limiting who’s being asked questions for its ‘studies’ (to give the false impression of happiness). Or constantly spreading a bunch of lies about independence of EPO judges. It’s all hogwash; see G 2/19 from last month. There’s no happiness, no justice, and no compliance with the most basic laws in today’s EPO. It might even get worse this winter. AA Thornton’s Stuart Greenwood refers to himself, the author, as a third person (in the headline!) right here, having just commented on Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal in a site owned by IAM‘s owner. Of course it’s a bunch of shallow dross because the site exists only to serve law firms. Check their business model. It’s not pretty.

Let the EPO’s management and the likes of IAM keep their monopoly on lying, otherwise they might give the illusion of parity when it comes to dishonesty (stigmatising their critics).

Links 12/8/2019: LXD 3.16 and GCC 9.2

Posted in News Roundup at 1:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Vagrant Boxes with openSUSE Tumbleweed – Check it Out!

        As part of the SUSE Developer Engagement, we recently kicked off the activity to automatically produce and validate Vagrant boxes for the openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution. The creation of Vagrant boxes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is currently work in progress. We will update you as soon as they are available for consumption.
        But for now, we are happy to announce that the infrastructure to automatically build, version and validate Vagrant box images is ready to use – and we are already producing Vagrant boxes for libvirt and Virtualbox – for openSUSE Tumbleweed.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Episode #225: Can subinterpreters free us from Python’s GIL?

        Have you heard that Python is not good for writing concurrent asynchronous code? This is generally a misconception. But there is one class of parallel computing that Python is not good at: CPU bound work running the Python layer.

        What’s the main problem? It’s Python’s GIL or Global Interpreter Lock of course. Yet, the fix for this restriction may have been hiding inside CPython since version 1.5: subinterpreters.

      • IRL (podcast): The 5G Privilege

        ‘5G’ is a new buzzword floating around every corner of the internet. But what exactly is this hyped-up cellular network, often referred to as the next technological evolution in mobile internet communications? Will it really be 100 times faster than what we have now? What will it make possible that has never been possible before? Who will reap the benefits? And, who will get left behind?

        Mike Thelander at Signals Research Group imagines the wild ways 5G might change our lives in the near future. Rhiannon Williams hits the street and takes a new 5G network out for a test drive. Amy France lives in a very rural part of Kansas — she dreams of the day that true, fast internet could come to her farm (but isn’t holding her breath). Larry Irving explains why technology has never been provided equally to everyone, and why he fears 5G will leave too many people out. Shireen Santosham, though, is doing what she can to leverage 5G deployment in order to bridge the digital divide in her city of San Jose.

      • Podcast.__init__: Learning To Program In Python With CodeGrades

        With the increasing role of software in our world there has been an accompanying focus on teaching people to program. There are numerous approaches that have been attempted to achieve this goal with varying levels of success. Nicholas Tollervey has begun a new effort that blends the approach adopted by musicians and martial artists that uses a series of grades to provide recognition for the achievements of students. In this episode he explains how he has structured the study groups, syllabus, and evaluations to help learners build projects based on their interests and guide their own education while incorporating useful skills that are necessary for a career in software. If you are interested in learning to program, teach others, or act as a mentor then give this a listen and then get in touch with Nicholas to help make this endeavor a success.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 4.9.189

        I’m announcing the release of the 4.9.189 kernel.

        All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.4.189
      • Graphics Stack

        • Stepping Towards Better VR Headset Support On Wayland

          Sway and WLROOTS creator Drew DeVault on top of his several open-source projects has also been working on improving the VR infrastructure support on Wayland as part of contract work for Status.im. The secure communication company is looking to build a Wayland-driven VR workspace but for that the VR headset support on Wayland needs to be improved.

          One of the areas DeVault has been focusing on improving/implementing has been around DRM leasing support on Wayland, similar to the DRM leasing work done by Keith Packard a few years back when initially plumbing better VR head-mounted display support on the X.Org side for Valve. Drew recently proposed a new Vulkan extension for acquiring a Wayland display, similar to the existing Xlib display extension.

        • Vulkan 1.1.119 Already Released With Another New Extension

          It was just yesterday that Vulkan 1.1.118 was released with two new extensions while now this Monday morning Vulkan 1.1.119 was released as a third extension was accidentally left out of yesterday’s weekly revision.

    • Benchmarks/AMD

      • AMD EPYC Rome Still Conquering Cascadelake Even Without Mitigations

        With last week’s dramatic EPYC “Rome” launch where AMD has blown past Intel Xeon “Cascadelake” performance in a majority of server benchmarks, helping the successful launch of these Zen 2 server processors has been Intel’s repeated delays of 10nm/Icelake CPUs and also the Spectre / Meltdown / Zombieload / Foreshadow mitigations. Out of curiosity, I’ve run some unmitigated benchmarks for the various relevant CPU speculative execution vulnerabilities on both the Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascadelake and AMD EPYC 7742 Rome processors for seeing how the performance differs.

        As a reminder, both Cascadelake and Rome offer up different hardware architectural improvements for mitigating against their respective mitigations. Cascadelake no longer requires software mitigations for L1TF/Foreshadow, MDS, Meltdown, and some Spectre variants. But for Spectre V1 it still requires the __user pointer santisifcation, Spectre V4 “speculative store bypass” has mitigations for SSB via Seccomp and Prctl, and Spectre V2 has some hardware protections but still needs IBRS IBPB with conditional return stack buffer (RSB) filling.

      • AMD Ryzen 3000 Series Playing Nicely With Latest Linux Distros Following BIOS Updates

        One month ago we were told that AMD released a BIOS fix to their motherboard partners for addressing the systemd boot issue with Ryzen 3000 series processors that stems from an RdRand instruction issue. Finally over the past week we’ve seen motherboard vendors pushing out BIOS updates for the prominent motherboards and indeed this takes care of the issue.

        With the likes of the ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi and many other motherboards, since the start of August the updated BIOS releases have begun appearing. In the case of at least ASUS, they are also explicitly mentioning the fix as “Supports Ubuntu 19.04 and other Linux distros.”

    • Applications

      • LXD 3.16 has been released

        The LXD team is very excited to announce the release of LXD 3.16!

        This release includes a number of new features, configuration options and improvements to the command line tool.

        Behind the scenes, a lot of work has gone into reworking the infrastructure used for container devices with the nic, infiniband and proxy devices having switched over to the new logic. This should result in much cleaner code that is easier to debug, better tests and more thorough error handling and configuration validation.

        Enjoy!

      • Nathan Wolf: Back In Time for Data Backups on openSUSE | Retrospective

        The lack of data security is something that has recently affected some municipal governments in a negative way. Atlanta in 2018 was attacked with a ransomware and demanded $51,000 before they would unlock it. Baltimore was hit a second time this past May [2019]. I am not a security expert but in my non-expert opinion, just keeping regular backups of your data would have prevented needing to spend a ransom to get your data back. It would also help to run openSUSE Linux or one of the many other Linux options on the desktop to reduce the impact of a user induced damage due to wayward link-clicking.

        If you are interested in keeping your personal data ?safe,? offline backups are an absolute requirement. Relying only on Google Drive, Dropbox, Nextcloud or whatever it may be is just not not adequate. Those are a synchronizing solution and can be a part of your data-safekeeping strategy but not the entirety of it.

        I have been using Back In Time as my backup strategy, in this time, I have only had to restore a backup once but that was an elected procedure. Back In Time is great because it is a Qt based application so it looks good in KDE Plasma

      • Use Duplicati to Backup Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint Desktop & Server [Ed: Sadly, C# and puts files in surveillance services]

        Duplicati is full-featured, open source backup software, which can run on Linux, MacOS, Windows and Synology. It allows you to back up local files and directories to the cloud (such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc) in encrypted form and schedule automated backups. This tutorial is going to show you how to install and use Duplicati on Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

      • Top 20 Best Plotting Tools for Linux for Creating Scientific Graphs

        Plotting tool refers to computer software, which helps to represent a data set in a scientific nature. It is an essential tool for academics, scientists, and engineers as well. Besides this, you can use these applications to prepare presentations. Fortunately, like the other platforms, Linux is also enriched with a lot of plotting tools. Most of the applications we listed in this article are open source. Also, you will get them for free. They offer some advanced features through the paid version.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Going Retro with an Altair 8800 Emulator: Introducing the Altair-Duino

        At the dawn of [microcomputing] time came the Altair 8800. This 65 pound behemoth of a computing system was essentially the very first personal microcomputer. Based on the Intel 8080 CPU, the Altair was designed and sold by MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), an electronics company from Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1974. The original computer was sold as a build-it-yourself kit and piqued the interest of many hobbyists worldwide. Most notably, it caught the attention of a young William Gates and Paul Allen. It was the Altair that allowed both aspiring businessmen to not only build a minimal version of the BASIC programming language for the machine but to also start Microsoft.

        The Altair was nothing more than a box. No display. No keyboard. Just a series of switches and LEDs fixed to its front panel. It didn?t do much of anything until hobbyists found things to do with it. They expanded on the original design and added floppy disk systems, teletypes, they wrote software, and more.

      • Underworld Ascendant for Linux still coming, should be this month

        While the Underworld Ascendant team didn’t manage to hit their previous release estimates for the Linux version, it looks like it’s finally there.

      • Valve confirmed developers now need to contact them to change their release date

        As an update to an article we posted recently about Valve seeming to need confirmation of release date changes on Steam, Valve have now confirmed this.

        If you’re not keeping up and to save you a quick click: Some developers were constantly changing their release date, even if they had no intention of releasing on that new date. It affected pages like the upcoming releases list and made their games always show up near the top.

      • Hard sci-fi space sim Rings of Saturn has entered Early Access on Steam

        After launching on itch.io with a hybrid Early Access/Crowdfunding model, the hard sci-fi space sim Rings of Saturn (full name—ΔV: Rings of Saturn) is now available with Linux support on Steam in Early Access.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce Desktop 4.14 Officially Released! Ported to GTK3

        After 4 years and 5 months of development, Xfce 4.14 was finally released today. Xfce 4.14 sees all core components ported to Gtk3 and GDBus, most components received GObject Introspection support.

      • Xfce 4.14 Desktop Officially Released, This is What’s New

        It’s been in development for over 4 years, but this weekend finally saw the long-awaited release of Xfce 4.14.

        Xfce 4.14 is the latest stable version of this lightweight desktop environment, and sees all core components ported to GTK3, most gain GObject introspection support, and everything else benefit from refinement and bug fixes.

        For instance, the window manager xfwm4 now supports Vsync, works better with HIDPI monitors, and leverages XInput2. It also boasts better integration with proprietary Nvidia drivers, and sports a new default theme.

        There’s an improved tasklist plugin available for the Xfce panel utility, now sporting grouped window indicator. This joins a new per-panel “icon-size” setting and a new default clock format.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 2019 Sprint

          Officially, on Friday the 2019 Krita Sprint was over. However, most people stayed until Saturday… It’s been a huge sprint! Almost a complete convention, a meeting of developers and artists.

    • Distributions

      • openSUSE News: New 4.0.2 Version of Uyuni is Released

        Contributors of Uyuni Project have released a new version of Uyuni 4.0.2, which is an open-source infrastructure management solution tailored for software-defined infrastructure.

        Uyuni, a fork of the Spacewalk project, modernizing Spacewalk with SaltStack, provides more operating systems support and better scalability capabilities. Uyuni is now the upstream for SUSE Manager.

        With this release, Uyuni provides powerful new features such as monitoring, content lifecycle management and virtual machine management.

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed ? Review of the weeks 2019/31 & 32

        As you certainly know, there are more snapshots tested than we release in the end. In the last two weeks, for example, we tested 9 snapshots. Of those, only 4 made it to the mirrors and to you ? the users. During the last two weeks, these were snapshots 0726, 0730, 0805 and 0806.

      • Communities in the distrowatch.org top 20

        Only well-funded corporate sponsored Linux distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE) have all categories checked. That doesn’t mean that anyone is getting paid. I believe this means that employees are probably the chief contributors and that means there are more people putting in resources to help.

        Some distributions are “Pat’s distribution”. Pat’s group owns it and Pat doesn’t want a steering committee or any other say in how the distro works. Though contributions by means of bug reports may be accepted.

        A few distributions “outsource” resources to other distributions. Elementary allows Stack Exchange to provide their forum. Parrot Linux refers users to the Debian wiki. Mint suggests that you put in bug reports with the upstream provider unless it is a specific Mint create application.

        There are a few Linux distributions that leave me scratching my head. How is this in the top 20 distros on distrowatch? There’s nothing here and the forum, if there is one, is nearly empty. Who uses this?

      • Reviews

        • Zorin OS 15 | Review from an openSUSE User

          One of those distributions there is a lot of buzz about and I have mostly ignored for a significant number of years has been Zorin OS. I just shrugged my shoulders and kind of ignored its existence. None of the spoken or written selling points really stuck with me, like a warm springtime rain trickling off of a ducks back, I ignored it.

          I think that was a mistake.

          Instead of just acting like I know something about it, I made the time to noodle around in this rather nice Linux distribution. My review on Zorin OS is from the perspective of a deeply entrenched, biased openSUSE user. I won?t pretend that this is going to be completely objective, as it absolutely is not. So take that for what it?s worth.

          Bottom line up front and to give you a quick escape from the rest of this blathering, I was pleasantly surprised by the Zorin OS experience. It is a highly polished experience molded with the Gnome Desktop Environment. It is such a nicely customized and smooth experience, I had to check twice to verify that it was indeed Gnome I was using. Although I am exceptionally satisfied with using openSUSE Tumbleweed with the Plasma desktop, the finely crafted distribution gave me pause and much to think about. So much so, I had to think about some of my life decisions. This was such an incredibly seamless and pleasant experience and I could easily recommend this for anyone that is curious about Linux but doesn?t have a lot of technical experience. I would put this right up next to Mint as an approachable introduction to the Linux world.

        • [Older] Bodhi Linux 5.0 | Review from an openSUSE User

          Linux is a fun thing and trying out other distributions can result in a myriad of experiences. Some distributions concentrate on user experience or mostly the technical underpinnings. Some distributions put their own feel while others minimize their modifications. I am a long time openSUSE user and am perfectly content with all that it has to offer, not just as a distribution but as a project in its totality. As a part of the Big Daddy Linux Community, there is an optional weekly challenge to try out a Linux distribution. My process for this is to put it in a VM first and then go to ?bare metal? for further testing if my initial experience is compelling enough and I have the time.

          The latest challenge is Bodhi Linux it is built on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS but targeting machines with fewer resources. The Bodi Linux Project offers forums for help and advice, they have a wiki to help with configurating the system, and offer a live chat through Discord to get help or just get to know members of the community. Unfortunately, I didn?t notice any IRC options. I downloaded the ISO from here. There are few different options from which to choose. I went with the ?AppPack? ISO as it has more applications bundled in it. For more information on choosing the correct ISO for you, see here.

          Bottom Line Up Front, Bodhi Linux is well put together and the Moksha Desktop is a crisp, low resource, animated (almost excessively) environment that is worthy of giving it a spin. This distribution is certainly worth the time, especially if you have an older system you want to keep going a little longer. The Moksha Desktop looks good and is more functional than GNOME so that is already a leg up on many distributions.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Gentoo Family

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Project is Planning to Rebuild Fedora Packages Using Modern CPU Architecture

          There was an important discussion opened up in the Fedora developer mailing list on 22 July 2019 about x86-64 micro-architecture update.

          Fedora currently uses the original K8 micro-architecture (without 3DNow! and other AMD-specific parts) as the baseline for its x86_64 architecture.

          This is updated a decade back and last updated on 2003. Due to this, performance of Fedora is not as good as it could be on current CPUs.

          So, they are planning to rebuild Fedora packages using modern CPU micro-architecture to something more recent.

          The Fedora Project is planning to add this features starting from Fedora 32.

          After preliminary discussions with CPU vendors, they came to the conclusion to use AVX2 as the new baseline. AVX2 support was introduced into CPUs from 2013 to 2015.

          Along with AVX2, it makes sense to enable certain other CPU features which are not strictly implied by AVX2, such as CMPXCHG16B, FMA, and earlier vector extensions such as SSE 4.2.

        • Flathub, brought to you by…

          Mythic Beasts is a UK-based “no-nonsense” hosting provider who provide managed and un-managed co-location, dedicated servers, VPS and shared hosting. They are also conveniently based in Cambridge where I live, and very nice people to have a coffee or beer with, particularly if you enjoy talking about IPv6 and how many web services you can run on a rack full of Raspberry Pis. The “heart” of Flathub is a physical machine donated by them which originally ran everything in separate VMs – buildbot, frontend, repo master – and they have subsequently increased their donation with several VMs hosted elsewhere within their network. We also benefit from huge amounts of free bandwidth, backup/storage, monitoring, management and their expertise and advice at scaling up the service.

          Starting with everything running on one box in 2017 we quickly ran into scaling bottlenecks as traffic started to pick up. With Mythic’s advice and a healthy donation of 100s of GB / month more of bandwidth, we set up two caching frontend servers running in virtual machines in two different London data centres to cache the commonly-accessed objects, shift the load away from the master server, and take advantage of the physical redundancy offered by the Mythic network.

          As load increased and we brought a CDN online to bring the content closer to the user, we also moved the Buildbot (and it’s associated Postgres database) to a VM hosted at Mythic in order to offload as much IO bandwidth from the repo server, to keep up sustained HTTP throughput during update operations. This helped significantly but we are in discussions with them about a yet larger box with a mixture of disks and SSDs to handle the concurrent read and write load that we need.

          Even after all of these changes, we keep the repo master on one, big, physical machine with directly attached storage because repo update and delta computations are hugely IO intensive operations, and our OSTree repos contain over 9 million inodes which get accessed randomly during this process. We also have a physical HSM (a YubiKey) which stores the GPG repo signing key for Flathub, and it’s really hard to plug a USB key into a cloud instance, and know where it is and that it’s physically secure.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Julia and Jeff discover the ease of snaps at the Snapcraft Summit

          Julia is an open source, high-level, general-purpose, dynamic programming language designed for numerical analysis and computational science, launched in 2012. It solves the “two language” problem: developers can use Julia for both computational and interactive work, instead of needing to work with two different languages which can often slow down development times. Use cases include machine learning and other branches of artificial intelligence. Julia’s Jeff Bezanson was at the 2019 Snapcraft Summit in Montreal and told us about Julia’s involvement with snaps and other package managers.

          Packages are an important part of the integrated environment that Julia offers with ease of integration and performance optimisation being key features. An invitation to the Snapcraft Summit was how Jeff discovered snaps which corresponded to a key goal for Julia of using standard distribution channels and multiple Linux distributions. Snaps offered a solution to the problems that arose when using the package managers of different distributions, because of Julia’s numerous dependencies on specific versions of other software. “Snaps seemed like exactly the answer as it lets us use whatever dependencies we need. It’s a perfect distribution mechanism for us,” Jeff states.

        • Issue #2019.08.12 – The Kubeflow Machine Learning Toolkit
        • Canonical adds ZFS on root as experimental install option in Ubuntu

          Canonical is expanding Ubuntu’s support for ZFS, an advanced file system originally developed by Sun Microsystems.

          Ubuntu’s support is based on the ZFS on Linux project, which itself is based on code ported from OpenSolaris, Sun’s open-source operating system. It is licensed under Sun’s Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

          Ubuntu Eoan (19.10, due in October) will ship with ZFS on Linux 0.8.1. Features include data integrity checks, built-in RAID, vast capacity thanks to being 128-bit, built-in encryption, deduplication and copy-on-write cloning, built-in compression, and efficient checkpoints which let you snapshot a storage pool and recover it later. There is also TRIM support for SSDs.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 will now support experimental ZFS root file-system install option

          In order to make the basic and advanced concepts of ZFS easily accessible and transparent to users, Ubuntu is developing a new user space daemon, called zsys, which is a ZFS system tool. It will allow multiple ZFS systems to run in parallel on the same machine, and have other advantages like automated snapshots, separating user data from system and persistent data to manage complex zfs dataset layouts.

          Ubuntu is designing the system in such a way that people with little knowledge of ZFS will also be able to use it flexibly. Zsys’s cooperation with GRUB and ZFS on Linux initramfs will yield advanced features which will be made official by Ubuntu, later on.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.3 Boosts Document Performance, Fixes Security Bugs

          Major update improves loading and saving times for complex documents, improves compatibility with Microsoft Office formats and adds new features

          LibreOffice, the open source alternative to Microsoft Office, has improved file loading times and added new features in the major version 6.3 release.

          The project, which began in 2010 as a fork of OpenOffice, is developed by The Document Foundation and now aims to release major updates every six months, with the last coming in February. Version 6.2 introduced a tabbed ribbon-like interface option.

          Two of the suite’s components, Writer and Calc, now load and save files significantly faster, and a security issue that could have allowed documents to auto-run arbitrary system commands has been fixed.

          Developers targeted files known to present performance problems, such as Writer ODT files with large numbers of bookmarks and documents with large tables or embedded fonts, and performance on these has now been improved.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • GNU Radio 3.8.0.0 released

          Dear most patient SDR community to ever expect a release,

          Witness me!

          Tonight, we release GNU Radio 3.8.0.0.

          It’s the first minor release version since more than six years, not without

          pride this community stands to face the brightest future SDR on general purpose

          hardware ever had.

          Since we’ve not been documenting changes in the shape of a Changelog for the

          whole of the development that happened since GNU Radio 3.7.0, I’m afraid that

          these release notes will be more of a GLTL;DR (git log too long; didn’t read)

          than a detailed account of what has changed.

      • Programming/Development

        • Firebird high-level native client for Node.js / TypeScript updated to v1.0.0
        • PyDev of the Week: Raphael Pierzina

          This week we welcome Raphael Pierzina (@hackebrot) as our PyDev of the Week! Raphael is a core developer of pytest, a popular testing framework for Python.

        • Poll: Where is your coding happy place?

          Your environment is everything, especially when you’re coding. Decisions about what text editor or IDE you’ll be using are critical to productivity. But what about your environment beyond the screen?

          With the right tools and a supportive team, you can code anywhere. Are you the type that needs a souped-up desk with multiple monitors? Your favorite workstation could either be in the comfort of your own home, or you need to commute to an office or co-working space. On the contrary, you are a minimalist nomad, thriving off your laptop and the hope for the battery to outlast your focus.

          Even with an optimal stationary set-up, it is nice to have a change of scenery to get the creative juices (or coffee) flowing. Do you have a favorite cafe with the perfect coder-friendly environment? No purchase necessary at the nearest library, train station, or park shelter. When the internet connection is strong enough, do you ever code outdoors?

        • Change python string to lower or upper case

          In this article, we will create a function which will take in a string and then change the word within that string to either all uppercases if most of the words within that string are uppercase or all lowercases if most of those words are either lowercase or the word counts for the uppercase word and lowercase word are equal.

        • Intel Tiger Lake Support Added To The LLVM Clang 10 Compiler

          We have seen Intel’s compiler gurus contributing new enablement patches for Tiger Lake support with GCC 10 due out next year while now they have also landed their initial Tiger Lake support into the LLVM Clang 10 code compiler also due out in H1’2020.

          With the newest LLVM/Clang compiler code as of overnight, -march=tigerlake is now supported for targeting this Icelake successor to be manufactured on a 10nm+ process.

        • GCC 9.2 Released With Bug Fixes & AMD Zen 2 Improvements

          The GNU toolchain crew released today GCC 9.2 as the newest stable release to their compiler stack.

          GCC 9.2 offers up just bug/regression fixes over the original GCC9 (GCC 9.1) stable release from back in May. One notable item back-ported though from GCC 10 are the AMD Zen 2 improvements for the “-march=znver2″ with the new scheduler model and updated cost table for yielding more performant binaries when targeting for these latest-generation EPYC/Ryzen processors.

        • GCC 9.2

          The GNU project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the release of GCC 9.2.

          This release is a bug-fix release, containing fixes for regressions in GCC 9.1 relative to previous releases of GCC.

        • How I built a Python text app
        • Erik Marsja: Repeated Measures ANOVA in R and Python using afex & pingouin

          In this post we will learn how to carry out repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in R and Python. To be specific, we will use the R package afex and the Python package pingouin to carry out one-way and two-way ANOVA f or within subject’s design. The structure of the following data analysis tutorial is as follows; a brief introduction to (repeated measures) ANOVA, carrying out within-subjects ANOVA in R using afex and in Python using pingouin. In the end, there will be a comparison of the results and the pros and cons using R or Python for data analysis (i.e., ANOVA).

        • Efficient string copying and concatenation in C

          The design of returning the functions’ first argument is sometimes questioned by users wondering about its purpose–see for example strcpy() return value, or C: Why does strcpy return its argument? The simple answer is that it’s due to a historical accident. The first subset of the functions was introduced in the Seventh Edition of UNIX in 1979 and consisted of strcat, strncat, strcpy, and strncpy. Even though all four functions were used in the implementation of UNIX, some extensively, none of their calls made use of their return value. The functions could have just as easily, and as it turns out, far more usefully, been defined to return a pointer to the last copied character, or just past it.

          The optimal complexity of concatenating two or more strings is linear in the number of characters. But, as mentioned above, having the functions return the destination pointer leads to the operation being significantly less than optimally efficient. The functions traverse the source and destination sequences and obtain the pointers to the end of both. The pointers point either at or just past the terminating NUL (‘\0′) character that the functions (with the exception of strncpy) append to the destination. However, by returning a pointer to the first character rather than the last (or one just past it), the position of the NUL character is lost and must be computed again when it’s needed. This inefficiency can be illustrated on an example concatenating two strings, s1 and s2, into the destination buffer d. The idiomatic (though far from ideal) way to append two strings is by calling the strcpy and strcat functions as follows.

        • Your Guide to the Python Print Function

          If you’re like most Python users, including me, then you probably started your Python journey by learning about print(). It helped you write your very own hello world one-liner. You can use it to display formatted messages onto the screen and perhaps find some bugs. But if you think that’s all there is to know about Python’s print() function, then you’re missing out on a lot!

          Keep reading to take full advantage of this seemingly boring and unappreciated little function. This tutorial will get you up to speed with using Python print() effectively. However, prepare for a deep dive as you go through the sections. You may be surprised how much print() has to offer!

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Climate Deniers Launch Personal Attacks on Teen Activist

        Greta Thunberg, at age 16, has quickly become one of the most visible climate activists in the world. Her detractors increasingly rely on ad hominem attacks to blunt her influence.
        Thunberg gained prominence after she began skipping some days of school to protest climate inaction outside Swedish parliament. She spearheaded the school walkouts that saw more than a million children across the globe leaving their classrooms to demand action on global warming.
        She has addressed world and U.N. leaders and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Later this month, she’ll sail across the Atlantic Ocean in a 60-foot yacht powered by solar panels and underwater turbines on her way to participate in the U.N. climate talks in New York (see related story).
        But the success of Thunberg — who describes herself on Twitter as a “16 year old climate activist with Asperger” — remains a sore point for those who reject mainstream climate science and some who have helped shape or encourage the Trump’s administration rollback of climate policy.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Class Action Lawsuits Hopes To Hold GitHub Responsible For Hosting Data From Capital One Breach

        Weird legal theory, but one that could possibly to be stretched to target some of the $7.5 billion Microsoft paid to acquire GitHub. But it takes a lot of novel legal arguments to hold a third party responsible for content posted by a user, even if the content contained a ton of sensitive personal info.

        The lawsuit [PDF] alleges GitHub knew about the contents of this posting since the middle of April, but did not remove it until the middle of July after being notified of its contents by another GitHub user. The theory the law firm is pushing is that GitHub was obligated to scan uploads for “sensitive info” and proactively remove third-party content. The lawsuit argues GitHub is more obligated than most because (gasp!) it encourages hacking and hackers.

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (fusiondirectory, gosa, kconfig, kernel, pango1.0, and python-django), Fedora (aubio, icedtea-web, java-1.8.0-openjdk, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, libslirp, openqa, os-autoinst, and upx), Gentoo (JasPer, libvncserver, and redis), Mageia (cyrus-imapd and php), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (chromium-browser, cockpit-ovirt, Red Hat Virtualization, and rhvm-appliance), SUSE (ImageMagick, libvirt, python, and wireshark), and Ubuntu (poppler).

      • KDE Linux Desktops Could Get Hacked Without Even Opening Malicious Files [Ed: Hacker News misleading. You actually do need to open a malicious file from an untrusted source. This is similar to the macros issue and to a lesser degree JavaScript.]

        If you are running a KDE desktop environment on your Linux operating system, you need to be extra careful and avoid downloading any “.desktop” or “.directory” file for a while.

        A cybersecurity researcher has disclosed an unpatched zero-day vulnerability in the KDE software framework that could allow maliciously crafted .desktop and .directory files to silently run arbitrary code on a user’s computer—without even requiring the victim to actually open it.

      • Recognizing basic security flaws in local password managers

        If you want to use a password manager (as you probably should), there are literally hundreds of them to choose from. And there are lots of reviews, weighing in features, usability and all other relevant factors to help you make an informed decision. Actually, almost all of them, with one factor suspiciously absent: security. How do you know whether you can trust the application with data as sensitive as your passwords?

        Unfortunately, it’s really hard to see security or lack thereof. In fact, even tech publications struggle with this. They will talk about two-factor authentication support, even when discussing a local password manager where it is of very limited use. Or worse yet, they will fire up a debugger to check whether they can see any passwords in memory, completely disregarding the fact that somebody with debug rights can also install a simple key logger (meaning: game over for any password manager).

        Judging security of a password manager is a very complex task, something that only experts in the field are capable of. The trouble: these experts usually work for competing products and badmouthing competition would make a bad impression. Luckily, this still leaves me. Actually, I’m not quite an expert, I merely know more than most. And I also work on competition, a password manager called PfP: Pain-free Passwords which I develop as a hobby. But today we’ll just ignore this.

        So I want to go with you through some basic flaws which you might encounter in a local password manager. That’s a password manager where all data is stored on your computer rather than being uploaded to some server, a rather convenient feature if you want to take a quick look. Some technical understanding is required, but hopefully you will be able to apply the tricks shown here, particularly if you plan to write about a password manager.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Ocean heat waves damage reefs and kill coral

          Heat extremes on the high seas are on the increase, with ocean heat waves disturbing ecosystems in two hemispheres and two great oceans, US scientists report.

          And these same sudden rises in sea temperatures don’t just damage coral reefs, they kill the corals and start the process of reef decay, according to a separate study by Australian researchers.

          Andrew Pershing of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they examined data from 65 marine ecosystems over the years 1854 to 2018 to work out how frequently ocean temperatures suddenly rose to unexpected levels.

        • Saving Coral Reefs — with Sex

          Visitors walk slowly through a room of dimmed lights and glowing tanks that bring the mysteries of the sea into plain view. The Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is home to 900 different species — everything from brightly colored reef fish to prickly sea urchins, even an albino alligator named Claude.

          But some of the most exciting things to see are out of the public’s view.

          In a specially constructed darkroom in one of the labs, scientists are coaxing corals to spawn and studying how to increase the chances of survivorship for baby corals. It’s all part of a larger effort to give threatened reefs — and all the species that depend on them — a fighting chance.

    • Finance

      • Binance Trust Wallet launches desktop client for Mac, Windows and Linux to come within weeks
      • New Report Further Clarifies Foxconn’s Wisconsin Deal Was An Unsustainable Joke

        It hasn’t taken long for Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s once-heralded Foxconn factory deal in Wisconsin to quickly devolve into farce. The state originally promised Taiwan-based Foxconn a $3 billion subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a Wisconsin LCD panel plant that created 13,000 jobs. But as the subsidy grew to $4.5 billion the promised factory began to shrink further and further, to the point where nobody at this point is certain that anything meaningful is going to get built at all.

        Reports last fall detailed the ever-shrinking nature of the deal, and how Foxconn was using nonsense to justify its failure to follow through, claiming it was building an “AI 8K+5G ecosystem” in the state to somehow make everything better. But the buildings Foxconn have purchased remain largely empty and the lion’s share of the company’s promises unfulfilled, despite mounting taxpayer cost.

        Fast forward to this week, when an analysis of the cost impact of the downsized project basically concluded what most knew all along: the deal was never going to work as structured, and throwing taxpayer funds at Foxconn isn’t likely to pay dividends.

      • Brexit: The Rubik’s Cube of British Politics

        For most of the last two years, the conventional wisdom on Brexit has been that a no-deal Brexit was impossible because it was certain to be blocked by a Remain-majority House of Commons. For the last few months, however — roughly since it became clear that Boris Johnson was about to be elected Tory leader and prime minister — the conventional wisdom has changed to the view that a no-deal Brexit is now unstoppable.

        In both cases, the conventional wisdom was and is wrong. The best approximation to the truth is that both these outcomes are possible but that there are large obstacles in the way of either: A no-deal Brexit is at risk because a majority of MPs want to block it at all costs; the blocking of a no-deal Brexit is at least as difficult because MPs earlier voted by a huge majority to legislate an automatic no deal if Parliament couldn’t agree on a deal, and now there is no apparent majority for any available deal.

        As I’ve argued before, Brexit is now the Rubik’s Cube of British politics.

        Naturally, both sides of the debate hanker after some bold move, unforeseen by all, that would settle the issue in their favor. In the last week, each has proposed cutting the Gordian Knot in a different way. How plausible are their solutions?

        Consider, first, the idea proposed by Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, the brain-heavy Dominic Cummings: The prime minister, if he lost a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons while pursuing a no-deal outcome, would simply dissolve Parliament and declare a general election on a date after October 31 so that Brexit would occur automatically.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Farmers dump manure outside French lawmakers’ offices in CETA protest

        The offices of two lawmakers from Emmanuel Macron’s LaREM party in Toulouse in the southwest of the country have been vandalised by famers inToulouse, just the latest in a number of incidents over the past week. In the case of Monique Iborra, tonnes of manure were dropped outside her offices, while the office of Corinne Vignon was blocked using concrete blocks. Manure was also dumped outside police headquarters.

        According to the farmers of the FDSEA farmers union, they had invited the ten deputies of Haute-Garonne region for a debate on the CETA agreement.

        However, none of the deputies responded and, according to Christian Mazas, head of the regional branch of the union, they decided to visit the deputies.

    • Monopolies

      • Utynam’s Heirs: SCOTUS, Swift and more

        The US Supreme Court has struck down a provision in the Lanham Act which bans the registration of “immoral and scandalous matter” because it violates the First Amendment. The opinion was written by Justice Elena Kagan and delivered on June 24. According to the Supreme Court, the USPTO should not have refused designer Erik Brunetti’s application to register the trademark ‘Fuct’ for his clothing line on the basis of immorality. Brunetti avers that the mark is an acronym for “Friends U Can’t Trust”.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Brazil: Sanofi`s Patent covering leflunomide is considered invalid

          The Federal Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reversed the trial court decision to determine the invalidity of Brazilian patent PI 9708108-6, owned by Sanofi-Aventis (case Cristalia Ltda v. Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland Gmbh). This patent claimed a combination of leflunomide and teriflunomide. The decision was published on August 24, 2018.

          In 2015, the Brazilian generic company Cristalia filed an invalidity lawsuit before the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro against Sanofi. Cristalia argued the lack of inventive activity of the patent and that leflunomide has been available for decades, so its combination would be obvious for a person having ordinary skills in the art.

          Sanofi filed a reply seeking the dismissal of the lawsuit. The defendant provided data showing the increase of the therapeutic action of the drug with the combination of the two pharmaceutical compounds in the quantities claimed (leflunomide at the concentration of 2 to 20 mg and teriflunomide in the proportion of 0.3% to 50% of the second in relation to the first).

          [...]

          The Appellate Court unanimously declared the patent invalid. The reporting Appellate Judge Gustavo Arruda Macedo accepted the conclusions of the expert report. Moreover, in his opinion, Hon. Judge Macedo transcribed an excerpt of the opinion prepared by the Federal Prosecution Office in order to reject the application of the Principle of Legal Certainty:

          “Although the judiciary should observe the necessary legal certainty that must guarantee the business activity in the country, it is also certain that the matter concerning the patent of drugs affects the right of the collectivity to the broad access to health treatments and supply of medicines at economically reasonable levels. Such right of exclusivity on the exploitation of the patent, therefore, can only be exercised for a given time and in the face of the fulfillment of various requirements for the granting of exclusivity “.

          The case creates a relevant precedent: even if the judge is free to evaluate the evidence, it is not possible to decide entirely against the evidence produced in the records.

Links 12/8/2019: Xfce 4.14 and Lemur 4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Watch a Drone Take Over a Nearby Smart TV

        “The lack of security means we can broadcast with our own equipment anything we want, and any smart TV will accept it,” Cabrera says. “The transmission hasn’t been at all authenticated. So this fake transmission, this channel injection, will be a successful attack.”

      • Digging through the past

        Something else I spotted: in 2004 I was working on KPilot as a hobby project (alongside my PhD and whatever else was paying the bills then), so there’s lots of links to the old site.

        Problem is, I let the domain registration expire long ago when Palm, Inc., the Palm Pilot, and KDE 4 ceased to be a going concern. So, that domain has been hijacked, or squatted, or whatever, with techno bla-bla-bla and recognizable scraps of text from the ancient website. Presumably downloading anything from there that pretends to be KPilot will saddle you with plenty of malware.

      • NordVPN Adopts the WireGuard Protocol on Linux

        NordVPN introduced NordLynx technology, built around the WireGuard protocol. The technology combines WireGuard’s high-speed connection and NordVPN’s custom double Network Address Translation (NAT) system. WireGuard’s ability to secure users’ privacy often comes up as a point for discussion, as it does not dynamically assign IP addresses to everyone connected to a server. Therefore, it’s required to store at least some user data on the server, compromising their privacy.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The US Navy will replace its touchscreen controls with mechanical ones on its destroyers

        The US Navy will replace the touchscreen throttle and helm controls currently installed in its destroyers with mechanical ones starting in 2020, says USNI News. The move comes after the National Transportation Safety Board released an accident report from a 2017 collision, which cites the design of the ship’s controls as a factor in the accident.

      • Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan

        Yet we should remember this: No matter how deft the diplomacy that papers over a pullout, wars are either won or lost. For years, the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies have vowed to outlast us and drive us out. Now, we’re getting ready to leave and they are getting ready to rule. What would you call that?

      • Belgian Organization Cancels Volunteer Projects in Morocco Following Media Controversy

        Bouworde has been working in the Taroudant region of Morocco for more than 15 years, sending groups of young volunteers from Belgium to work on infrastructure projects like water canals, schools, and a women’s center in the area.

        However, following significant media attention in Morocco this week, the organization has chosen to cancel its upcoming volunteering projects.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Sikh charity urges journalists to stop using term ‘Asian’ to describe grooming gangs

        The guide, published in June, says: “British Sikh and Hindu groups have consistently objected to the use of the word ‘Asian’ to describe those convicted in sexual grooming gang cases like in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford and Telford.”

        An NSO spokesperson told Press Gazette that the charity wanted the “misleading practice” stopped altogether.

      • Guest blog: Reporting on Sikhism

        The guide provides the reporting press with the contact details for national Sikh organisations, who can assist time pressured reporters with snappy timely quotes and with accuracy. Finding reputable resources on items in the news or under public discussion is not always easy, and this is as true for religion as any other subject of public interest.

    • Environment

      • Turkey’s state-run TRT censors child calling attention to controversial gold mine project

        Turkish state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) has censored comments by a young girl calling attention to the environmental risks associated with a controversial gold mine project in Turkey’s northwest.

        Children’s station TRT Çocuk cut short a live phone call with a nine-year-old girl as she began to address the construction of a gold mine to be run by Canada-based intermediate gold producer Alamos Gold in Turkey’s north-western Çanakkale province, news website Gazete Karınca reported on Saturday.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Our Vanishing World: Rainforests

          Rainforests are a crucial feature of Earth’s biosphere. Apart from being critical to Earth’s climate and vital carbon sinks, the major player in Earth’s hydrological (water) cycle, a massive producer of oxygen and home to most of the world’s species, rainforests are the home of a large indigenous human population. They are also the source of many vital resources, including medicines, used by humans around the world.

          However, the vast range of ecological services that rainforests have provided ongoingly for the 400 million years of their existence, and which have been critical to the survival of homo sapiens since we first walked the Earth 200,000 years ago, are not measured and valued by accountants and economists: Have you ever seen a balance sheet or set of national accounts that includes an entry for ‘Value of ecological services taken from nature and on which life and our entire production of goods and services depend’?

          Because these services have been available without the need for human management or intervention, and given the primitive conception of accounting and economics that humans use, the ecological services of rainforests are given no monetary value. Hence, essential ecological services are treated as worthless by virtually everyone in the industrialized world. As a result, modern industrialized humans have decided to systematically destroy the rainforests in order to extract a vast amount of short-term profit for the benefit of a few and the temporary satisfaction of many. So if we do not value ecological services such as oxygen and water generation as well as climate and weather-moderating capacities, what is it that we do value by destroying rainforests?

    • Finance

      • “All migrants must earn at least £36k a year if they want to live in UK after Brexit”, Priti Patel told

        A report from the right-wing think-tank set to be published tomorrow warns that record levels of low-skilled immigration in recent years have pushed wages down for those born in the UK on lower salaries.

        But it has already been slammed by commentators.

        Author Emma Kennedy said: “So let me get this straight. When we have a DIRE shortage of nurses, our EU nurses are returning home in droves, Priti Patel wants to raise the threshold for migrants wanting to work here to £36,700?

        “Who do Brexiters think is going to look after our sick? Dogs with sad eyes?”

        The Centre for Social Justice report says the Home Office could exempt key sectors like the NHS to allow workers making less than £36,700 to continue to come to the UK to work.

      • Blockstream Has 3x The Hashpower of Entire Bitcoin Cash Network

        Top clients include Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology (FCAT). Fidelity is a financial firm which increasingly throws itself into the blockchain industry.

        Blockstream employs BetterHash, an improved mining management software by long-time Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo. Corallo plays another important role in Bitcoin development as the maintainer of Bitcoin’s Ubuntu repository. Interestingly, Corallo and Blockstream CSO recently had a spat on Twitter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Nova Scotia looking to build ‘100% China-friendly’ website to promote trade, sidestep censorship

        Nova Scotia is continuing its bid for an amiable trade relationship with China, with plans for a promotional website built specifically to fit the country’s strict [Internet] censorship laws.

        Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) — the agency responsible for developing the province’s business interests — put a call out Friday morning for web developers to create a Chinese website to launch by the start of November 2019.

        [...]

        The New York Times, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Guardian, NBC News, the Globe and Mail and, as of recently, the Toronto Star are all unreachable in China.

      • Ukrainian Court Penalizes News Outlet for Calling Far-Right Group ‘Neo-Nazi’

        A court in Kyiv ruled in favor of a Ukrainian far-right nationalist group, C14, in its defamation suit against the internet TV station Hromadske.TV after the outlet published a tweet referring to C14 as a “neo-Nazi” group.

        The judge accepted C14’s claim that the tweet caused reputational damage and ordered Hromadske to retract the statement and pay a fine.

        The August 6 decision caused outrage among Ukraine’s human rights activists and journalists – and rightly so.

      • Why You Can’t Have Cultural Diversity Without Cultural Distinctions

        In the last few years, several British actors and comedians have made Twitter waves, criticizing their country’s stance toward multiculturalism and free speech. Recently, John Cleese gave fodder to the professionally outraged by declaring matter-of-factly that some cultures are preferable to others. Rowan Atkinson has opined that criticism of a belief system that engages in abhorrent practices is not only reasonable, but necessary. In saner times, these opinions would have been self-evident and their articulation unnecessary.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • FDNY warns of major data breach possibly affecting more than 10,000 patients

        The FDNY admitted Friday that an employee’s personal hard drive was ripped off and thousands of EMS patients may have had their information compromised — five months after learning of the theft.

        The theft affected 10,253 people who were treated or taken to the hospital by FDNY EMS ambulance between 2011 and 2018 — including 2,988 whose social security numbers might have been exposed, the FDNY said.

      • The Exxon Valdez of cyberspace

        Oil firms’ insistence on their supply chains speaking the same language, and loudly, on safety is also worth emulating. [Attackers] increasingly infiltrate large corporations by first penetrating the defences of smaller suppliers and piggybacking on the communications systems which link the two. This is made easier by the fact that many firms treat hacks like gonorrhoea, an embarrassing affliction no one wants to admit even if speaking about it would stop its spread. Some call it a tragedy of the cyber-commons.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • [Older] Chile’s Walmart Workers End Strike After Winning Pay Raise

        Walmart has been criticized in various countries for labor exploitation and U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently condemned them for paying ‘starvation wages’.

      • ”A Tsunami of Atheism”

        Iran’s moral guardians are concerned: while Islam is increasing in political importance throughout the Arab world, people in the Islamic Republic of Iran are leaving the mosques in droves. As Ali Sadrzadeh found out, young people seem especially susceptible to the attractions of sects or Christianity

      • Pakistan: Catholic charity decries forced conversions to Islam

        “Every year at least a thousand girls are kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert to Islam, even forced to marry their tormentors,” according to Tabassum Yousaf, a Catholic lawyer linked to the St. Egidio community.

        To draw attention to the issue, the papal foundation ACN is hosting a press conference in Karachi on Thursday, which will see the attendance of Cardinal Joseph Coutts and several Muslim leaders.

        The phenomenon of forced conversions hits Pakistan’s religious minorities, especially Christians and Hindus.

      • Mass shootings have Latinos worried about being targets

        When Michelle Otero arrived at an art show featuring Mexican-American women, the first thing she did was scan the room. Two exits.

    • Monopolies

      • Tokyo and Osaka district courts to start Intellectual Property mediation service

        The purpose of this service is to solve an IP dispute quickly through a discussion between both parties, by advice or opinion from a mediation committee which consists of three members – a judge in the IP division and two experts such IP attorneys.

        This mediation tries to draw a conclusion in 3 to 6 months (within three times mediation meetings). The mediation committee discloses impression of the case. But also it may suggest the parties to solve the dispute through a lawsuit when the issue is complicated. In order to draw a conclusion quickly, both parties are required to submit all necessary documents (including evidence) prior to the first mediation meeting. The mediation is closed to the public, including the existence of a request for mediation.

        [...]

        However, it has an advantage in the involvement of an active judge in mediation meetings. The parties can know what decision the court is likely to make, in a short period of time and at a low cost. Therefore, it may become a useful tool especially for SMEs.

      • Remembering Shamnad Basheer

        Shamnad Basheer was one of the handful of people in the IP world who was larger than life. Kat readers who wish to take in the entirety of Shamnad’s accomplishments are invited to read the attached. Permit this Kat to mention the highlights.

        Shamnad came from the Indian state of Kerala in southwest India. He studied law, graduating with Honors from the National Law School of India University Bangalore, a national higher education initiative to create a special setting for legal education in India. He first turned to the private sector, practicing IP law at the firm of Anand and Anand in Delhi. From there, he made his way to Oxford, earning a BCL with Distinction and in turn an MPhil and DPhil in law.

        Already writing and lecturing to international renown, he inter alia taught at George Washington University in Washington, DC, before settling in for a number of years at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata as the Ministry of HRD Chaired Professor of Intellectual Property.

        Along the way, he created SpicyIP, which is recognized as a leading IP blog worldwide and serves as the window into all things IP in India (not infrequently, as expressed in Shamnad’s deeply felt and strongly worded posts). Shamnad joined this Kat in co-editing a book for Oxford University Press, in between teaching (for which he won numerous awards), guest lectureships, articles, book chapters, reports, and IP legal advocacy, especially in copyright and in a noted intervention in the landmark Novartis patent case.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Amgen Inc. v. Coherus BioSciences Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last month, in Amgen Inc. v. Coherus BioSciences Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware dismissing a complaint filed by Amgen Inc. and Amgen Manufacturing Ltd. against Coherus BioSciences Inc. for failure to state a claim. Amgen had filed suit against Coherus for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,273,707.

          [...]

          Citing PODS, Inc. v. Porta Stor, Inc., 484 F.3d 1359, 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2007), the Federal Circuit also noted that “where a patent applicant sets forth multiple bases to distinguish between its invention and the cited prior art, the separate arguments [can] create separate estoppels as long as the prior art was not distinguished based on the combination of these various grounds.” The Court concluded that “Amgen did not rely on the combination of its asserted grounds to distinguish Holtz,” and that “while Amgen did assert multiple reasons for why Holtz is distinguishable, our precedent instructs that estoppel can attach to each argument.” The Court therefore determined that in the instant case, “prosecution history estoppel applies to the ‘particular combinations’ ground regardless of the other two arguments Amgen made.”

          Amgen also argued that prosecution history should not apply in the instant case because the response filed prior to allowance of the claims did not contain the argument that Holtz failed to disclose the particular claimed salt combinations. Explaining that “[t]here is no requirement that argument-based estoppel apply only to arguments made in the most recent submission before allowance,” the Federal Circuit stated that “[w]e see nothing in Amgen’s final submission that disavows the clear and unmistakable surrender of unclaimed salt combinations made in Amgen’s [earlier] response.” The Federal Circuit therefore determined that the District Court did not err in determining that prosecution history estoppel barred Amgen from succeeding on its infringement claim under the doctrine of equivalents, and affirmed the District Court’s order dismissing Amgen’s complaint for failure to state a claim.

      • Trademarks

        • SportFuel is running on empty after losing appeal: US 7th Circuit Court affirms that Gatorade’s slogan, “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” is fair use.

          Gatorade began using the term “Sports Fuel” to describe its products in 2013. In 2016, Gatorade adopted the slogan, “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” and sought to register the slogan as a trademark with the USPTO.

          [...]

          In order to successfully assert a fair use defense under the Lanham Act, a party must show that the alleged infringement “is a use, otherwise than as a mark … which is descriptive of and used fairly and in good faith only to describe the goods or services of such party.”

          The district court determined that Gatorade (1) had not used “Sports Fuel” as a trademark, (2) its use was descriptive its goods, and (3) it used the mark fairly and in good faith, and thus successfully raised the fair use defense.

          The 7th Circuit reviewed each of these prongs individually, but did not consider the likelihood of confusion, as they affirmed the district court’s ruling.

Openwashing Report: Perceptions Twisted to the Point Where ‘Open Source’ Becomes Meaningless

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 3:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The substitution of the term “Free” (as in libre) with “Open” is proving to be costly; The “Open Source” people, who sought to make “Free software” obsolete, have totally lost control of the brand, which is nowadays misused to the point of being ‘throwaway’ marketing blanket

THE Linux Foundation and several other so-called ‘foundations’ don’t exist to serve the purposes they claim to support. We recently wrote several articles about how the “Linux Foundation” — Linux only in name — had been reduced to openwashing as a service (example here).

Days ago it seemed like prpl Foundation is something similar; is it just another openwashing foundation/PR front? Mind this press release [1, 2]. They speak of “cloud” and “standards”. Code isn’t even mentioned. As with the Linux Foundation, companies are just buying a ‘badge’ (like the “Linux” trademark for their lapel). Here’s a good example of it about SCADA: “Also look at who else is supporting these open source SCADA applications, such as members of Linux or Eclipse Foundations.”

“We’re quite troubled to see a bunch of people enriching themselves by abusing and selling away the perception of “open”; it’s misleading marketing, it’s reputation laundering or — as we like to call it — openwashing.”That’s just proprietary software; merely paying membership fees to the Linux Foundation and Eclipse Foundation won’t change that. We’re quite troubled to see a bunch of people enriching themselves by abusing and selling away the perception of “open”; it’s misleading marketing, it’s reputation laundering or — as we like to call it — openwashing. Cheapening of the term “open source” (sometimes with a dash as in “open-source”) shows that it isn’t the same as Free software. See “DigiFi Launches the World’s First Open-Source Loan Origination System” (notice the dash). This has nothing to do with open source and it is a clear if not deliberate distortion of the term. It was published days ago. So was “Sustainable beauty brand Beauty Kitchen says open-source collaboration must happen” (dash again). How about this one. An “open-source T-shirt design,” it says (again with a dash). The term open source (or “Open Source”) has never been so broad! Almost completely meaningless. Here’s another nonsensical buzzwords salad that includes openwashing, AI-washing and cloudwashing: “BlazeMeter Continuous Testing Platform harnesses power of multi-cloud, open source, AI-enabling organisations to achieve agility at enterprise scale” (BlazeMeter threw lots of buzzwords into this title/headline).

Where are we going? Where is “Open Source” headed? The brand doesn’t seem to mean very much anymore. Real FOSS is lost in a cloud of noise.

“The Open Source Initiative doesn’t seem too bothered by this.”Last but not least, it turns out that Datical pays sites to post this spammy press release [1, 2] in which Datical presents itself as “open source” while pushing proprietary software (“enterprise edition”); misuse and distortion of the term “open source” (or “Open Source”) is a case of openwashing and it has stretched the de facto definition to the point of being pretty meaningless. The Open Source Initiative doesn’t seem too bothered by this.

Openwashing Report: Microsoft’s Proprietary Software is ‘Open’, Surveillance is ‘Open’, Real Open Source® is ‘Dangerous’ and Paid Media Celebrates the Term’s Distortion

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The attack on the legitimacy and credibility of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) carries on; we’re supposed to celebrate proprietary software (deeming it “open”) while fearing actual FOSS and striving to make it more proprietary (whereupon it becomes “stronger”)

THIS is the very first of what's going to become a weekly (or biweekly) feature. We’ve had such features before, e.g. our weekly OpenSUSE summaries more than a decade ago. Our goal here is to show the erosion of the Open Source brand, courtesy of companies hostile towards it (and still eager to just misuse the brand). This isn’t about any company in particular; if Microsoft gets mentioned a lot, it’s likely because it’s by far the biggest offender in that regard. We’ll start with Microsoft.

Microsoft

InfoQ publishes quite a few Microsoft puff pieces, but it’s not alone. Last week it said that “Microsoft Research open-sourced TensorWatch, their debugging tool for AI and deep-learning.”

“…if Microsoft gets mentioned a lot, it’s likely because it’s by far the biggest offender in that regard.”If you release code of a little bit of the whole as “open-source”, then it might make it a case of openwashing of what you keep secret and proprietary. It’s not Free software and it’s hardly even Open Source. Microsoft isn’t alone in this. Here’s a new example from Google, “Google’s AI Team Open-Sources Brain Mapping Visualisation Technology” (similar to the above).

Google wants surveillance to ‘seem’ or ‘feel’ ethical, so it resorts to openwashing tactics. IBM does this also. It still wants people’s medical records (a serious privacy violation committed here before).

“Google wants surveillance to ‘seem’ or ‘feel’ ethical, so it resorts to openwashing tactics.”Sadly, the above from Microsoft, a PAC member, was promoted by Linux.com (noted elsewhere earlier this month) by this PAC. It calls itself the “Linux Foundation” and it’s in the business of openwashing. As a result of this, as we noted a week ago, people who search for "Linux" will get the opposite of that. It’s a Microsoft marketing tactic and it’s one that ZDNet helped with about a week ago. This technology tabloid of CBS had a piece entitled “Linux to get Teams client? Microsoft says ‘stay tuned’,” seeking to associate proprietary software from Microsoft with Linux (in the “open source” section). Later in the week ZDNet also published “Enterprise vendors increasingly dominate the open source software scene”. To quote: “Everyone has been enamored with cloud computing in recent years, but it’s another software revolution that has made cloud so ubiquitous and accessible — open source software. The interesting news is that the open source revolution, chugging along for two decades now, is still going strong — to the point where it’s now a huge industry, led by large, non-open-source vendors.”

ZDNet means to say that proprietary software giants increasingly control the term “open source” and it’s based on very biased data: “The consultancy’s analysis of GitHub participation also finds Microsoft to be the largest contributor of talent and expertise to the open source space.”

So this whole ZDNet piece is based on Microsoft data alone; we’re supposed to believe that any FOSS project that isn’t controlled by Microsoft (hosted on GitHub) does not exist or does not count. This has become a common problem with today’s media.

“…we’re supposed to believe that any FOSS project that isn’t controlled by Microsoft (hosted on GitHub) does not exist or does not count. This has become a common problem with today’s media.”Meanwhile, over at Analytics Insight, in a truly bloated page (over 20 MB for one article!), there’s this piece entitled “7 Best Free and Open Source Business Intelligence Tools”. Why is proprietary software from Microsoft listed under “Free and Open Source”? Is this a joke or something? How bad is media becoming?

Also, promoted by Linux.com the other day was this ZDNet article that is similar to few others, e.g. [1, 2]. There’s a profound issue here; corporate media should very well understand that GitHub is proprietary software, but it won’t stop filing more of that proprietary code of this Microsoft trap under “Open Source” sections; that distorts the meaning of “open” anything. We worry that Linux Foundation people keep openwashing GitHub, which is actually proprietary software. Isn’t that in direct defiance of the Foundation’s stated goals? Sure it is.

DeepCode

We’ve meanwhile noticed this couple of new articles about DeepCode. “To use it,” said one article, “developers connect DeepCode with their GitHub or Bitbucket accounts…”

“So basically, DeepCode is a facilitator of Microsoft lock-in.”So DeepCode is shilling Microsoft’s trap and proprietary software. To quote another article: “The bot is now free for enterprise teams of up to 30 developers, open source software, and educational use. Developers get started by connecting DeepCode with their GitHub or Bitbucket accounts…”

Need to become Microsoft serfs to get service? So basically, DeepCode is a facilitator of Microsoft lock-in. Will Microsoft pays them for this betrayal? We’ve seen similar things over the years and took note of them in daily links. We’re led to assume that FOSS projects and developers don’t exist or don’t count unless Microsoft controls them. Never mind the racist and bigoted nature of the platform. Here’s one more article about it. DeepCode is just a big trap. Avoid DeepCode. It’s proprietary, too.

Surveillance… is OPEN!

Days ago proprietary software giant Amazon was openwashing its surveillance operations, just like Google and Facebook do. Check out this piece about PartiQL. Similarly, Facebook outsourced a little bit of code to Microsoft’s proprietary software trap (GitHub) and media thus rushed to paint Facebook as “moral” or “ethical”. This is classic(al) openwashing and its intended effect. MediaNama said “Facebook to open source technologies to curb spread of abusive content” (double marketing). We saw more such openwashing from the site managed by a former editor of ZDNet. In prior weeks there were dozens of puff pieces of this kind (about Facebook).

Open… is DANGEROUS!

We’re supposed to also think that being open and transparent is a great risk. Arun Balakrishnan published this piece (copy of something he had published months prior) entitled “The looming threat of malicious backdoors in software source code”. This is the problem with proprietary software where, unlike what one does with FOSS, code cannot be audited by end users. Then there was Sonatype combining the rude language of Donald Trump and Microsoft to come up with appalling FUD against FOSS: “Activate Your Shield Against Open Source Invasions”

“All sorts of FUD pieces (against FOSS) are nowadays syndicated and inserted into Google News by Security Boulevard — a site created by a manic anti-FOSS person.”We’ve mentioned these because both of the above were pushed by an anti-FOSS site, Security Boulevard, which was founded by a longtime FOSS basher. It does nothing original; it just amplifies/repeats anti-FOSS pieces. It’s pushing lots of Black Duck FUD pieces, as recently as days ago. It’s like a front group of that firm and the ‘sibling’ White Source. That site seems to exist mostly/solely to attack FOSS. It’s pretty damning when one considers who created the site. Is Microsoft meddling with the media here?

All sorts of FUD pieces (against FOSS) are nowadays syndicated and inserted into Google News by Security Boulevard — a site created by a manic anti-FOSS person. And “these are the Microsoft shills’ talking points,” a reader told me days ago (about the above). The connection between these firms to Microsoft and less directly even to the Linux Foundation should disturb everyone.

Mac Asay and the Sold (Out) Press

Meanwhile, there’s more FUD from Mac Asay, whose employer, Adobe, pays the media for paid placements, e.g. in IDG. We’ve mentioned Asay many times in the past. He had sought employment at Microsoft and he’s the one who brought Microsoft to OSI more than a decade ago (we did not forget). So anyway, Adobe pays media companies and now its employee spreads anti-FOSS rhetoric. He does so in CBS too (does Adobe pay them too?).

“IDG was sold to China (a firm that doesn’t care about publishing), which fired almost all the staff, and now it’s selling away its credibility.”It gets yet worse. Check out [1, 2, 3] and ignore the headline. Mac Asay doesn’t want readers to know it, but his employer Adobe paid this publisher (IDG) to post his spin pieces, which the publisher posted in at least three domains this past week! He says “Open source has never been stronger”; what he means to say is that the closing of “open source” is a strength; it’s a reversal of the truth. We greatly worry that IDG now makes money by taking funds from proprietary software giants (such as Microsoft and Adobe). It then lets them warp/distort/hijack the narrative of FOSS, mostly by telling us that openwashing is fantastic. Deception is the business model. Here’s another new example from IDG. “The DBA’s Guide to the Cloud, Open Source and DevOps” is the title, but it’s not actually an article, it’s not journalism. “SPONSOR: QUEST SOFTWARE” says the top of the page. So IDG is just selling space. IDG was sold to a company in China (a firm that doesn’t care about publishing), which fired almost all the staff, and now it’s selling away its credibility. It’s one form of liquidation.

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