09.06.19

Links 6/9/2019: GNOME Shell 3.33.92, COBOL at 60

Posted in News Roundup at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Dell Makes It Easier to Find Its Growing Linux Range

        Dell. Blessed Dell. The computer giant is passionate about meeting the needs of Linux loving users with its “Project Sputnik” derived line of devices — and we love them for it!

        But while Dell might make the best Linux laptops available — not that I’ve been lucky enough to ever try one — they don’t seem to be the easiest Linux laptops to find for purchase.

        Trying to locate the “Ubuntu” option available on devices like the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition line is like a game of hide and seek. The relevant option crouching behind some random toggle on customisation page that takes three hundreds clicks and a page scroll to get to.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #300: The Weekender XXXIII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Command Line Heroes – New episode “Heroes in a Bash Shell”

        Shells make large-scale IT possible. They’re a necessary component to modern computing. But it might not have turned out that way without a lot of hard work from a developer at the Free Software Foundation named Brian Fox. Now, the Bash shell is shipped with almost every computer in the world.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E22 – Shadow of the Beast

        This week we’ve been playing with the GPD WIN 2. We interview Sarah Townson about Science Oxford and making fighting robots, bring you some command line love and go over all your feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 22 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • Librem 5 Unplugged | Jupiter Extras 11

        We react to the “ship date” of the Librem 5, and look back at when it was first announced.

        Then our take on what steps Pursim could take to turn this situation into a net postive.

      • Mobile Security Mistakes | TechSNAP 411

        We take a look at a few recent zero-day vulnerabilities for iOS and Android and find targeted attacks, bad assumptions, and changing markets.

        Plus what to expect from USB4 and an upcoming Linux scheduler speed-up for AMD’s Epyc CPUs.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Hyper – terminal emulator built with web technologies

        One of the reasons why I became hooked on Linux was the command line. The command line offers advantages day-to-day because of facets like its scalability, scriptability, simple design, and simple interface. At the command line, there’s so much power at my fingertips. Its continuing flexibility and power remain big draws to this day.

        It’s true that some people consider the command line to be arcane and obsolete. They prefer graphical interfaces. And for non-technical people and beginners, few dispute good graphical user interfaces make life easier. But who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?

        The power of the command line can be accessed on the desktop by using a terminal emulator. The terminal window allows the user to access a console and all its applications such as command line interfaces (CLI) and text user interface software. Even with sophisticated modern desktop environments packed with administrative tools, other utilities, and productivity software all sporting attractive graphical user interfaces, it remains the case that some tasks are best undertaken with the command line.

        The terminal emulator is a venerable but essential tool for everyone using the command line. There are so many terminal emulators available for Linux that the choice is, frankly, bamboozling.

        This article looks at Hyper, one of the newer terminal emulators available. It’s built with web technologies – JavaScript, HTML, CSS. The goal of the project is to create a beautiful and extensible experience for command-line interface users, built on open web standards. Hyper is based on xterm.js, a front-end component written in TypeScript.

        Hyper is cross-platform support running on Linux, macOS, and Windows. It boasts that it’s fully extensible. Let’s see how it fares.

      • Proprietary

        • FreeOffice Update Adds .ODT File Saving, Dark Mode

          An updated version of FreeOffice, the free Microsoft alternative for Windows, macOS and Linux, is now available to download.

          Among the notable changes which feature in FreeOffice revision 670 is an optional dark mode. If you’re into writing your essays and compiling your slideshows in the dark, do take advantage of that as, SoftMaker say, it can help reduce eye fatigue.

          TextMaker, the productivity suite’s word processor, is now able to save to the OpenDocument Text format (.odt) popularised by LibreOffice. Prior to today TextMaker could only open .odt file types, so this is a notable (and some say much needed) addition.

        • You can now use Apple Music on Linux without any hacks

          Apple Music is now available through a web browser, which means I’m pleased/obligated to report that you can now use the service on Linux!

          Users on Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other distros just need to load beta.music.apple.com in a modern web browser (sorry Lynx) and, et voila: the ability to stream Apple Music on Linux.

        • Here’s How To Easily Use Apple Music From Any Linux Distribution
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Linux Gaming On Steam Saw An Increase In The Month Of August 2019

        Linux Gaming on Steam increased to 0.08% of the total player base in the month of August 2019. The new data comes after the gaming client, Steam, released its survey for August.

        A lot of other data including the most popular OS, GPU and CPU were also revealed during the survey.

        [...]

        The mere increase in the player base of Linux might not seem impressive upfront but on a year-on-year percentage basis, this increase is significant. In August 2018, the player base was a mere 0.58% and now it is 0.22% more at 0.8%. The rise in the player base can also be credited with the release of Steam Play, which allowed a number of Windows games to be playable on Linux. Several developers also work really hard to make sure that popular games like DOOM and Borderlands 2 run natively on Linux without the need of any API like WINE. The number of native Linux games keeps increasing every month.

      • GTA: San Andreas is being remade (unofficially) in Unity and it supports Linux

        Have any fond memories of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? You might want to take a look at this new unofficial remake being made in Unity as it supports Linux.

      • Your pre-weekend look at what’s on sale and some free weekends

        It’s Friday, the weekend is on the way and you’re excited to start playing some games! Need something new? Got you covered. Note: a few picks from different stores, based on the current best deal.

        First up, a reminder that Humble Bundle are doing an excellent RPG Bundle currently with titles like HIVESWAP: Act 1, Deep Sky Derelicts, Tyranny, Pillars of Eternity plus a few others. You can also get Darkwood, Beholder 2, Butcher and more in their Spooky Bundle.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Setup Complete Qt Development Tools on KDE Neon

          Neon GNU/Linux recently gained more popularity and it is good to start Qt5 application development on it because Neon is an operating system built upon both latest Qt and KDE. With Qt5, you can create perfect and cross-platform GUI applications working on GNU/Linux and other OSes. Qt5 development here uses C++ language by default and gives you advanced user interface designer. And with Neon you can easily install and update latest Qt Software Development Kit (SDK) to support your development. This setup tutorial includes the IDE, framework (libraries), C++ compiler & debugger, complete documentation and examples, as well as other necessary programs. If last January I presented you Neon for Designers, then now is the time for Neon for Programmers. I hope this tutorial helps every new programmer in Qt. Happy hacking!

        • Mesa Gets One Line Fix To Help With KDE KWin Crashing

          Landing Thursday within Mesa 19.3 Git but marked for back-porting to the stable 19.1 and 19.2 series is an Intel driver fix to address an issue with KDE’s KWin sometimes crashing.

          The bug reports cite the KWin compositor crashing, sometimes at start-up, experienced by multiple users with the KDE KWin EGL back-end.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell 3.33.92
          About GNOME Shell
          =================
          
          GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3
          desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME
          Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware
          and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a
          visually attractive and easy to use experience.
          
          Tarball releases are provided largely for distributions to build
          packages. If you are interested in building GNOME Shell from source,
          we would recommend building from version control using the build
          script described at:
          
          https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GnomeShell
          
          Not only will that give you the very latest version of this rapidly
          changing project, it will be much easier than get GNOME Shell and its
          dependencies to build from tarballs.
          
          News
          ====
          
          * Animate pointer a11y pie timer [Jonas D.; !688]
          * Fix restarting shell in systemd user session [Benjamin; !690]
          * Misc. bug fixes and cleanups [Florian, Jonas D., Jonas Å., Will;
            !691, !689, !692, #1552, !698]
          
          Contributors:
            Jonas Ådahl, Benjamin Berg, Piotr Drąg, Jonas Dreßler, Florian Müllner,
            Will Thompson
          
          Translators:
            Daniel Șerbănescu [ro], Danial Behzadi [fa], Daniel Mustieles [es],
            Jiri Grönroos [fi], Asier Sarasua Garmendia [eu], Piotr Drąg [pl],
            Rūdolfs Mazurs [lv], Anders Jonsson [sv], Fran Dieguez [gl], Jordi Mas [ca],
            Matej Urbančič [sl], Zander Brown [en_GB], Ryuta Fujii [ja], Tim Sabsch [de],
            Fabio Tomat [fur], Pawan Chitrakar [ne], A S Alam [pa], Changwoo Ryu [ko],
            Aurimas Černius [lt], Daniel Rusek [cs], Marek Černocký [cs],
            Kukuh Syafaat [id], Goran Vidović [hr], Rafael Fontenelle [pt_BR]
          
          
        • Mutter 3.33.92
        • Last Minute Shell & Mutter Changes Ready For Testing Ahead Of GNOME 3.34

          GNOME Shell and Mutter today saw their v3.33.92 releases as their second and final release candidates ahead of next week’s GNOME 3.34 stable release. While usually things are very quiet at this stage, there have been some prominent last minute performance fixes.

          GNOME Shell 3.33.92 has fixed support for restarting the shell in the systemd user session, a new feature itself of the 3.33/3.34 cycle. There are also various mostly mundane bug fixes.

    • Distributions

      • Overview Of The Lightweight Linux Operating Systems
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • PHP on the road to the 7.4.0 release

          Version 7.4.0RC1 is released. It’s now enter the stabilisation phase for the developers, and the test phase for the users.

          RPM are available in the remi-php74 repository for Fedora ≥ 29 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS) and as Software Collection in the remi-safe repository (or remi for Fedora)

        • Fedora status updates

          Welcome to the first of a monthly set of updates on key areas within Fedora. This update includes Fedora Council representatives, Fedora Editions, and Fedora Objectives. The content here is based on the weekly updates submitted to the Fedora Council, published to the project dashboard.

          [...]

          The Fedora CoreOS team published a preview release on July 24. This was followed by 30.20190801.0, which successfully demonstrated a gradual rollout. The previous release runs on AWS’s us-east-1 region, bare metal, QEMU, and VMware. The team gave a talk at Flock and two talks at DevConf.us. Work is underway to fix issues like manual artifact signing and implement release streams and automatic updates.

      • Debian Family

        • Anonymous OS Tails Gets Fix for SWAPGS Variant of the Spectre Vulnerability

          Tails, the amnesic incognito live system built around the Tor technologies, also known as the Anonymous OS, has been updated to version 3.16 to address a critical security vulnerability and update core components.

          Tails 3.16 is now available and it ships with an updated Linux kernel to version 4.19.37-5+deb10u2, imported from the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system. Besides several other security fixes, the updated kernel is patched against the SWAPGS variant of the infamous Spectre vulnerability.

          Moreover, the Tails 3.16 release updates most of the firmware packages to improve support for newer hardware, including graphics, Wi-Fi, and others. It also updates the Tor Browser anonymous web browser to the latest 8.5.5 release, and removes predefined bookmarks from Tor Browser’s bookmarks toolbar.

        • Tails 3.16: Security release addresses multiple vulnerabilities

          Tails users have been urged to update to the latest version of the privacy-focused Linux-based operating system, which includes mitigations to numerous security vulnerabilities.

          Launched yesterday, Tails 3.16 includes fixes to previously disclosed bugs affecting the Linux kernel and certain Debian packages.

          Among the now-patched issues is the SWAPGS gadget vulnerability – a Spectre-like flaw that could allow an attacker to circumvent CPU memory security controls.

          The latest Tails release also addresses multiple security vulnerabilities impacting the Tor Browser, Thunderbird, and Libre Office, which come bundled with the OS.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Join the Linux App Summit in Barcelona!

          As many of you will know we, at KDE and together with GNOME, are organising the Linux App Summit (LAS for short). It will be in Barcelona between the 12th and 15th November.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 69 Is Available for All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

            The recently released Mozilla Firefox 69 web browser is now available for download from the official software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems.

            Mozilla officially launched the Firefox 69 web browser earlier this week with several new privacy and security features, such as the enablement of the Enhanced Tracking Protection by default to automatically block cryptominers, fingerprinters, and third-party tracking cookies.

            Firefox 69 also introduces a new Block Autoplay feature to automatically block video content from automatically playing, improves support for WebRTC conferencing services, and brings JIT support to ARM64 systems to improve the performance of Mozilla’s JavaScript Optimizing JIT compiler.

          • Mozilla Firefox 70 Enters Development with Extended Dark Mode Support, New Logo

            With the Firefox 69 out the door, Mozilla has kicked off development of the next major Firefox release, version 70, which brings exciting new features and various improvements.
            The Mozilla Firefox 70 web browser is now in the works and it looks like it’s already shaping up to be a great release that finally brings us the new logo Mozilla showcased earlier this summer. While Firefox 69 still ships with the old logo, after upgrading to Firefox 70, users will immediately notice the new logo on their desktop shortcut.

            Firefox 70 promises another revamp of the user interface on all platforms by extending the Dark Mode support to all built-in pages. What this means is that if you’re using Dark Mode on your operating system, Firefox 70 will show all internal pages, including the preferences, in dark, as you can see from the screenshot gallery below.

            Furthermore, users will notice a new Welcome to Firefox screen on the New Tab page to more easily get started, an updated and re-organized Firefox Accounts toolbar menu that gives them faster access to account features and services, and a more efficient compositor was implemented for macOS users, which dramatically reduces power consumption on most Mac machines.

          • Semantic Placement in Augmented Reality using MrEd

            In this article we’re going to take a brief look at how we may want to think about placement of objects in Augmented Reality.

            Designers often express ideas in a domain appropriate language. For example a designer may say “place that chair on the floor” or “hang that photo at eye level on the wall”.

            However when we finalize a virtual scene in 3d we often keep only the literal or absolute XYZ position of elements and throw out the original intent – the deeper reason why an object ended up in a certain position.

            It turns out that it’s worth keeping the intention – so that when AR scenes are re-created for new participants or in new physical locations that the scenes still “work” – that they still are satisfying experiences – even if some aspects change.

            In a sense this recognizes the Japanese term ‘Wabi-Sabi’; that aesthetic placement is always imperfect and contends between fickle forces. Describing placement in terms of semantic intent is also similar to responsive design on the web or the idea of design patterns as described by Christopher Alexander.

      • Databases

        • ArangoDB: Three Databases in One

          ArangoDB, a German database expanding its business in the United States, has released new capabilities in version 3.5 of its eponymous database management software to make it easier to query and search growing data sets across multiple data models.

          Multimodel databases take on the issue of effectively using data stored in different ways, but also of managing multiple databases, each with its own storage and operational requirements, including data consistency.

          With ArangoDB, data can be stored as key-value pairs, graphs or documents and accessed with one declarative query language. And you can do both at the same time — a document query and a graph query. The combination offers flexibility and performance advantages, explained Claudius Weinberger, CEO.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Open Source Is Poised To Have A Greater Impact On Security [iophk: marketeering]

          Falco, another open source security project, is a native runtime protection/detection tool for hosts and containers. It lives right in the container environment and can ascertain everything going on by watching system calls, obviating the need for agents in each container. It also provides rich out-of-box policies/rules that can be used to detect anomalous behavior in different levels, including the host, container and cluster levels.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Help defend the right to read: stand up against DRM on October 12th

          Defective by Design is calling on you to stand up against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019. This year we will be focusing specifically on everyone’s right to read, particularly by urging publishers to free students and educators from the unnecessary and cumbersome restrictions that make their access to necessary course materials far more difficult.

          For years, products incorporating Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) have been a plague upon the Web, and have gradually infiltrated nearly every aspect of digital society. New developments have reminded all of us that DRM is now more of a threat than ever. Many people were impacted by Microsoft’s Orwellian “ebook apocalypse,” in which thousands of books were forcibly deleted from ebook readers and smartphones. Recently we have seen DRM extend its sinister influence into education, especially in the form of “digital-first” textbooks that put onerous restrictions on students that forbid them from accessing the course materials they have bought, and the education that they deserve. The “Netflix of textbooks” model practiced by the major textbook publisher Pearson is a Trojan horse for education: requiring a constant Internet connection for “authentication” purposes, severely limiting the number of pages a student can read at one time, and secretly collecting telemetric data on their reading habits.

        • International Day Against DRM (IDAD) 2019

          Defective by Design is calling on you to stand up against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019. This year we will be focusing specifically on everyone’s right to read, particularly by urging publishers to free students and educators from the unnecessary and cumbersome restrictions that make their access to necessary course materials far more difficult.

          For thirteen years, we have used IDAD to mobilize actions that stand up for the freedom of users everywhere. This year, we’ll be continuing the fight by bringing in a round of in-person actions, guest bloggers, organizing tips, and a few surprises that you won’t want to miss. Follow along with us at the Defective by Design Web site, join the DRM Elimination Crew mailing list, and read about our past actions, such as last year’s IDAD, and our protest of the W3C’s decision to embed DRM into the core framework of the Internet.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Learn a new pandas trick every day!

          Every weekday, I share a new “pandas trick” on social media. Each trick takes only a minute to read, yet you’ll learn something new that will save you time and energy in the future!

        • Rotating Images in ReportLab

          There are times when you want to rotate images or other objects in ReportLab while creating a PDF. For example, you might want to rotate an image by 45 degrees for watermarking purposes. Or you might need an image that runs vertically along one of the edges of the PDF.

        • Pulumi 1.0 Brings Developers and Operators Together with Modern Infrastructure as Code

          Pulumi Corporation today announced the general availability of version 1.0 of its modern Infrastructure as Code platform. Pulumi 1.0 introduces new capabilities designed to help developer and operations teams overcome organizational silos and achieve best-in-class levels of productivity, reliability and security on any cloud using familiar programming languages and open source tools and frameworks. Since its founding in 2017, Pulumi has worked with thousands of end users and companies of all sizes — from startups to Global 2000 Enterprises — to deliver production workloads. The 1.0 milestone is a statement of the readiness of Pulumi’s platform for the most demanding applications and organizations.

        • Machine Learning in Healthcare: 5 Use Cases that Improve Patient Outcomes

          Machine learning is accelerating the pace of scientific discovery across fields, and medicine is no exception. From language processing tools that accelerate research to predictive algorithms that alert medical staff of an impending heart attack, machine learning complements human insight and practice across medical disciplines.

          However, with all the “solutionism” around AI and machine learning technologies, healthcare providers are understandably cautious about how it will really help patients and bring a return on investment. Many AI solutions on the market for healthcare purposes are tailored to solve a very specific problem, such as identifying the risk of developing sepsis or diagnosing breast cancer. These out-of-the-box AI solutions make it difficult or impossible for companies to customize their models and get the most out of their investment.

          Open-source data science allows healthcare firms to adapt models to address a variety of challenges using the latest machine learning technologies, such as audio and visual data processing. Using open-source tools, data scientists can custom-build applications in a way that meets healthcare IT’s strict requirements and improves patient care in a variety of settings, ultimately differentiating an organization from its competitors. Here are five machine learning use cases for the healthcare sector that can be developed with open-source data science tools and adapted for different functions.

        • COBOL turns 60: Why it will outlive us all

          I cut my programming teeth on IBM 360 Assembler. This shouldn’t be anyone’s first language. In computing’s early years, the only languages were machine and assembler. In those days, computing science really was “science.” Clearly, there needed to be an easier language for programming those hulking early mainframes. That language, named in September 1959, became Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL).

          The credit for coming up with the basic idea goes not to Grace Hopper, although she contributed to the language and promoted it, but to Mary Hawes. She was a Burroughs Corporation programmer who saw a need for a computer language. In March 1959, Hawes proposed that a new computer language be created. It would have an English-like vocabulary that could be used across different computers to perform basic business tasks.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Vulnerability round-up: Mozilla, Cisco and Samba issue security updates

        Mozilla, Cisco and Samba developmers yesterday issued security updates for their respective products, fixing a multitude of software vulnerabilities.

      • warning: implicit backdoor

        One way to slip malicious code into a project is to hack into their build server and just drop it in. Messy. Another way is to hack a trusted developer’s machine and alter the code there so that they commit it, but it might get spotted during code review. A third way is to become a developer, then yourself commit a seemingly innocuous patch containing an obfuscated backdoor. This is sneaky. Even better is to have somebody else intentionally commit the backdoor for you.

      • Yahoo Mail has been down for several hours [iophk: tweets in place of official communications :( ]

        Customers are finding that they can’t log in properly and instead of their emails, are greeted with a message reading “We are experiencing some technical details” with an error code of 15.

      • Windows 10 alert: Microsoft dealt another blow as users plagued by more PC problems

        Windows 10 was recently granted a new upgrade called KB4512941 that was supposed to resolve a number of known issues with the PC platform.

        However, following its debut many fans complained the software was responsible for causing high CPU usage.

        In particular, it was noted Microsoft’s esteemed virtual assistant, Cortana, was taking up to a whopping 90 percent of CPU usage in some instances.

        However, it seems this is not the only issue affecting those that have obtained the KB4512941 update.

    • Environment

      • Democratic Presidential Candidates Face 7 Hours of Tough Questions on Climate Change, From Fracking to Fossil Fuels

        CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a seven-hour long town hall on climate change with an unambiguous message of urgency on climate change.

        “This unprecedented town hall is dedicated to the climate crisis,” he said, “an issue many voters say needs aggressive action and some scientists say that action needs to happen now.”

        Many of the candidates offered multi-trillion dollar plans to address the crisis — as economists warn that the price of failing to act could be $69 trillion worldwide by the end of the century and U.S. firms forecast roughly $1 trillion in climate-related hits to their bottom lines over the next five years.

        But the highlight of the evening wasn’t the economics nor was it the candidates. It was the questions — a mix of queries from CNN reporters, video-taped messages, and those attending the town hall in person. The questions were often nuanced and detailed — and drew on understandings shaped by both personal experience and professional expertise.

    • Finance

      • Report: Jack Dorsey Has No Plans to Issue “Twitter Coin”

        Jack Dorsey has reiterated his support for Bitcoin in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, and says Twitter has no plans to create a private digital currency for that network.

      • Tackling Tax Havens

        Until the 2008 financial crisis, tax havens were generally seen as exotic sideshows to the global economy, Caribbean islands or Alpine financial fortresses frequented by celebrities, gangsters, and wealthy aristocrats. Since then, the world has woken up to two sobering facts: first, the phenomenon is far bigger and more central to the global economy than nearly anyone had imagined; and second, the biggest havens aren’t where we thought they were.

        Tax havens collectively cost governments between $500 billion and $600 billion a year in lost corporate tax revenue, depending on the estimate (Crivelli, de Mooij, and Keen 2015; Cobham and Janský 2018), through legal and not-so-legal means. Of that lost revenue, low-income economies account for some $200 billion—a larger hit as a percentage of GDP than advanced economies and more than the $150 billion or so they receive each year in foreign development assistance. American Fortune 500 companies alone held an estimated $2.6 trillion offshore in 2017, though a small portion of that has been repatriated following US tax reforms in 2018.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Jonathan Riddell: OpenUK Meets the Crumbling of UK Democracy

        This week I went to Parliament square in Edinburgh where the highest court of the land, the Court of Session sits. The court room viewing gallery was full, concerned citizens there to watch and journalists enjoying the newly allowed ability to post live from the courtroom. They were waiting for Joanna Cherry, Jo Maugham and the Scottish Government to give legal challenge to the UK Governement not to shut down parliament. The UK government filed their papers late and didn’t bother completing them missing out the important signed statement from the Prime Minister saying why he had ordered parliament to be shut. A UK government who claims to care about Scotland but ignores its people, government and courts is not one who can argue it it working for democracy or the union it wants to keep.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • A $170 Million Joke: Why the FTC’s ‘Record’ YouTube Fine for Collecting Kids’ Data Won’t Change Anything

        Two days—that’s how long it will take Google to earn enough to pay a record $170 million fine aimed at punishing the company for, in the words of a Federal Trade Commissioner, “bait[ing] children using nursery rhymes, cartoons, and other kid-directed content” on its YouTube channels.

        If people wonder why Big Tech doesn’t seem to take privacy seriously, the fine, announced on Wednesday by the FTC and New York’s Attorney General, is a good reason why. The penalty was levied under a law called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)—a law that forbids tracking what kids do online. Because it blatantly violated the law, Google has agreed to pay the $170 million fine.

    • Monopolies

      • Can Africa’s trade agreements handle regional integration?

        With respect to the recent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in South Africa, Nigeria (and other African countries such as Rwanda, Congo and Malawi) have condemned the attacks and are rumoured to have boycotted the World Economic Forum for Africa meeting holding in Cape Town because of the latest xenophobic attacks. Nigeria has also recalled its ambassador to South Africa. South Africa has condemned the attacks and have promised to bring perpetrators to book, with several persons arrested.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • At least five German Nokia v. Daimler patent infringement trials to take place between December 2019 and May 2020

          Continental was just forced by a German anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) to withdraw, in part, the U.S. antisuit motion it had brought in its San Jose FRAND/antitrust lawsuit against the Avanci patent pool firm and some of its contributors (especially Nokia and a couple of trolls Nokia fed with patents). As I explained in the post I just linked to, the scope of the withdrawal-in-part may give rise to an enforcement dispute. Considering that the Munich court wrote in its first AAII that German law doesn’t recognize antisuit injunctions, it appears fairly likely that the appeals court will lift that AAII pretty soon.

          Meanwhile the press offices of the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich have thankfully provided me with the numbers of the patents Nokia is asserting against Daimler in Germany and the hearing or trial dates to the extent they have been scheduled.

          [...]

          Three more German cases are pending with the Dusseldorf Regional Court, but no trials have been scheduled yet in any of them:

          case no. 4c O 17/19 over EP2087629 on “a method of transmitting data within a telecommunications system”

          case no. 4a O 26/19 over EP2087626 on “additional modulation information signaling for high speed downlink packet access”

          case no. 4a O 27/19 over EP1929826 on an “apparatus, method and computer program product to request data rate increase based on ability to transmit at least one more selected data unit”

        • Dallas Invents: 162 Patents Granted for Week of Aug. 27
        • Sovereign Indignity: Texas must Litigate its Infringement Case in Delaware

          UT sued Boston Scientific for patent infringement in its home district of W.D. Texas (Austin). BSC responded with a motion to transfer/dismiss on venue grounds — arguing that venue was improper under 28 U.S.C. 1400(b). BSC is not a Texas corporation and has no regular-and-established place of business in W.D. Texas. As such, the district court found venue improper and transferred the case to D.Delaware. (BSC does have a few dozen employees in W.D.Tex., all of whom work from home, but that did not create proper venue.)

          UT appealed the transfer — arguing sovereign immunity, sovereignty, and “State Dignity”. In particular, UT argued that an implicit exception to the venue statute allows for State of Texas has a right to sue for patent infringement in the state of Texas.

        • Chinese companies set sights on more licensing deals

          US-based IP dealmakers from Xiaomi and Via Licensing see Chinese companies gaining more sophistication in negotiation processes

      • Trademarks

        • International jurisdiction in online EU infringement cases: CJEU rules that targeting may serve establish jurisdiction

          More specifically, the question referred by the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) related to a situation in which the defendant is established and domiciled in Member State A (in this case, Spain) and advertised and offered for sales infringing goods on a website targeted at traders and consumers in Member State B (in this case, the UK). Could courts in Member State B have jurisdiction to hear a claim for infringement of an EU trade mark?

          In line with the Opinion of Advocate General Szpunar last March, today the CJEU answered in the affirmative.

          In the background proceedings, at first instance the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court held that it had no jurisdiction to hear such action. The Court of Appeal was unsure, so it referred the matter to the CJEU for guidance.

          It should be observed that, while the CJEU has already rule on matters of international jurisdiction relating to online infringements of national trade marks (Wintersteiger) and offline infringements of EU trade marks (Coty), the Court had not been given the chance – until AMS Neve – to rule on international jurisdiction in online EU trade mark infringement cases.

          [...]

          In a case like the one at issue, the ruling in L’Oréal prompts the conclusion that the infringing acts (advertising and offering for sale) “were committed in the territory where the consumers or traders to whom that advertising and those offers for sale are directed are located, notwithstanding the fact that the defendant is established elsewhere, that the server of the electronic network that he uses is located elsewhere, or even that the products that are the subject of such advertising and offers for sale are located elsewhere.” (para 47)

        • CJEU hands brand owners ‘maximum flexibility’ in jurisdictional challenge

          Lawyers say the CJEU has correctly ruled that trademark owners can bring cases in national EU courts even if the allegedly infringing actions took place elsewhere

          The Court of Justice of the European Union has today answered an important jurisdictional question, ruling that an EU trademark owner can bring an infringement action in a member state where it has sales…

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