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09.10.19

Links 10/9/2019: Krita 4.2.6, Ubuntu 19.10 to Boot Faster

Posted in News Roundup at 3:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Best Practices for Using Container Technology in Government

        Far from a passing fad, containers are a logical outgrowth of the huge success of virtualization and can help to solve a wide range of operational problems, including deployment, scalability and patching.

        Government IT managers with a broad portfolio of existing applications should explore how to take advantage of the benefits of container technology. When moving from one computing environment to another, applications may not always run as programmed. But containers collect code and all related dependencies into one virtual package so that an application runs smoothly wherever it’s deployed, from one cloud to another.

        Here are some best practices for optimizing container use to achieve quick wins in your environment.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Quay 3.1 Features Repository Mirroring

          Red Hat has announced the availability of the latest version of Red Hat Quay — a distributed, highly available container registry for enterprises. Red Hat Quay 3.1 builds on the focus to help users store, build and deploy their images in a more secure way across diverse enterprise environments and to leverage several new backend technologies, the open source company said.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • SMLR 314 Let’s Talk About Pie

        Tony Bemus, Tom Lawrence, Phil Porada and Jay LaCroix Sound bites by Mike Tanner

      • LHS Episode #301: Pi-Star Deep Dive Part 1

        Welcome to Episode 301 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts have an in-depth talk with Andy Taylor, MW0MWZ, the author and maintainer of the Pi-Star project. Pi-Star is a Linux operating system and application suite for single-board computers which creates a hotspot for digital VHF and UHF operation. We quickly discover this topic requires more than one deep dive so this will be the first in a series on Pi-Star and digital operation.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.14

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.14 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.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 4.19.72
      • Linux 4.14.143
      • Linux 4.9.192
      • Linux 4.4.192
      • Linux Foundation

        • The Reactive Foundation Launches To Support Next Phase of Software Architecture

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members and includes the successful open source RSocket specification, along with programming language implementations.

          The aim of reactive programming is to build applications that maintain a consistent user experience regardless of traffic on the network, infrastructure performance and different end user devices (computers, tablets, smartphones). Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure.

          [...]

          “With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Another Navi 14 Workstation GPU Patch Turns Up For “Pro-XLM”

          Yesterday we reported on two Navi 14 device IDs being added for “workstation SKUs” while today a third has appeared.

          Yesterday were 0×7341 and 0×7347 being added for the AMDGPU driver as Navi 14 parts and the patch message acknowledging they are for workstation parts. To date AMD has not announced any Navi-based workstation products. The Navi 14 GPU is widely believed to be a low-end GPU akin to a Polaris successor and competing with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1600 Turing series. This is while AMD continues to evolve Vega for workstation/compute purposes too.

        • Intel’s Gallium3D Driver Gains Optimization For Helping With Java OpenGL Performance

          In our recent Mesa 19.2 benchmarks of Intel’s old and new (Gallium3D) OpenGL Linux drivers one of the rare areas where the new “Iris” driver performed behind the classic driver was with “j2dbench” that stresses the Java OpenGL pipeline. At the time it was unknown why the new driver was performing subpar for this Java graphics test, but now at least there’s one optimization so far in addressing that shortcoming.

        • AMD Linux Improvements Pending Around FreeSync Low Frame Rate Compensation

          Sadly too late for the upcoming Linux 5.4 merge window, but for Linux 5.5 it looks like there will be a FreeSync improvement around low-frame-rate compensation.

          Sent out this morning were 25 new AMDGPU DC patches. Of these “display core” patches, there are various fixes and continued work on the Adaptive Backlight Management (ABM) but exciting us the most is the FreeSync work.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Intel SVT-VP9 Performance Boost Across 10 Intel/AMD Systems

        As a follow-up from this weekend’s article about Intel’s SVT-VP9 video encoder running much faster on AVX2 CPUs from both Intel and AMD, here are the results now before/after for ten different systems with this open-source CPU-based VP9 video encoder.

    • Applications

      • Top 10+ Best Network Inventory Software for Linux

        Network inventory software refers to the online tools, which deal with the hardware and software resources of a network, including the operational issues. Using this type of software, it becomes easier for administrators to know about the infrastructure components and their configuration systems. Also, it helps to keep the physical record of the network assets or equipment smartly. The components can be Firewalls, Routers and Switches, Storage Area Network, DNS, Servers, Load Balancers, SMTP, VPN, and more.

      • Proprietary

        • SPEC releases new version of CPU benchmark suite

          The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) today released an updated version of the SPEC CPU 2017 benchmark suite. Version 1.1 provides full support for power measurement, clarifies run rules, and fixes minor software bugs.

          The SPEC CPU 2017 benchmark suite has been accepted worldwide as a new standard for CPU performance measurement since its introduction in June 2017. Nearly 14,000 SPEC CPU 2017 performance results have been accepted and published on the SPEC website since that time, and thousands of results have been reported in the trade press and used in marketing collateral.

        • Here’s How Vivaldi for Android Protects Your Privacy and Keeps Your Data Secure

          After announcing the Vivaldi for Android mobile web browser, Vivaldi Technologies shared with us some details on how they managed to build a secure and privacy-aware browser on Android.
          We all know that Google’s Android mobile operating system ships with a built-in web browser core, which is based on the same code that Google Chrome was built it. This internal browser core lets users view basic web pages when setting up their Android device for the first time.

          Once the device is all set up, most probably the user has installed his favorite web browser app from the Play store. This is where Vivaldi for Android comes to fill the gap, as it’s not using Android’s built-in browser core, which makes it secure and privacy-aware.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Growing Pains, a platformer where you’re constantly growing is now on Linux

        Growing Pains, a platformer where you’re growing constantly as you rush to finish each level before getting stuck is now available on Linux.

        Originally released on Steam by Smudged Cat Games back in 2014, they didn’t actually have any plan to bring it to Linux. However, game porter Ethan Lee recently updated two other Smudged Cat Games titles (Adventures of Shuggy and Gateways) and they announced on Twitter that they ported Growing Pains “just because”—okay then!

      • The non-linear hack-n-slash platformer Blasphemous is still coming to Linux but it’s delayed

        After successfully crowdfunding on Kickstarter back in 2017, Blasphemous is now out but sadly the Linux version is currently delayed.

        There seemed to be no mention of this before, which likely would have been quite frustrating if you were a Kickstarter backer. Speaking about it when queried on Steam, the publisher Team 17 said it is coming but they have no current date for when that will happen. The developer, The Game Kitchen, have also today put out a Kickstarter update post to mention “Due to circumstances out of our control, Mac and Linux are not going to be publicly available at launch, but they will be really soon.”.

      • Another great progress report is up for the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3

        Another report to show of the incredible progress on the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 is up. This time covering July, as they continue to catch up on all the work done.

        Compatibility continues slowly improving with 1,347 games now being classed as actually playable. Sounds like quite a busy cycle, with a lot of pull requests being merged from both regular and new contributors.

        There’s been some major improvements to the Gran Turismo series like headlights and taillights being correctly rendered, rainbow texture corruption caused by poor handling of non-linear textures was solved and further improvements to their MSAA implementation. Coverage Sample Anti-aliasing (CSAA) is also now implemented, which fixes foliage in titles like Gran Turismo 6, Gran Turismo Academy and also GTA V.

      • Progress Report: July 2019

        Welcome to July’s Progress Report! Firstly we would like to apologise for the delay in publishing this report. RPCS3’s progress reports are solely written by volunteers and a few of our regular writers could not contribute to this report due to personal commitments. If you hate seeing RPCS3’s reports get delayed and would like to contribute to them, please apply here.

        July was an absolute whirlwind of development that saw 60 pull requests merged from both our regular developers as well new contributors. That’s almost 2 pull requests merged everyday! This month, Nekotekina focused on improving TSX performance while kd-11 implemented a second round of bug-fixes that improved multiple AAA titles. On the other hand, eladash ironed out new features to help games go beyond their existing framerate caps and GalCiv implemented microphone support to finally allow RPCS3 to better emulate SingStar and other similar titles. Ohh and let’s not forget the surprise progress made with Metal Gear Solid 4 as well! There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump straight into it.

      • Kerbal Space Program will continue to be upgraded with a new version on the way

        While Kerbal Space Program 2 has been announced (sadly not for Linux), developer Squad is not finished with the original and several big improvements are on the way.

        In a recent announcement which talks a little about the KSP 1.8 update, they detailed some fun sounding changes. The Unity game engine is going to be seeing an update which will bring in things like updated graphics APIs, a new PhysX version with performance and precision improvements, GPU instancing to improve rendering performance and incremental garbage collection to reduce frame rate stutters. Basically, it should feel a lot smoother overall.

      • Challenging and stylish platformer Celeste has the Farewell update released

        Bringing in plenty of new free content as a last gift, Celeste Chapter 9: Farewell is now officially out.

        As a reminder, this free content update is the last it will receive and it’s a big one. Bringing in 100+ new levels and 40+ minutes of new music from Lena Raine. Prepare for a tough gaming session though, as the design of these levels might just be the most difficult yet. If you wish to see everything, the full changelog can be found here.

      • Rockfish confirm EVERSPACE 2 will not go exclusive to the Epic Store, Steam is the “best platform” for indies

        In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Rockfish CEO Michael Schade confirmed that EVERSPACE 2 will not be going the Epic Store exclusive route.

        As a reminder, Rockfish already confirmed Linux support to GamingOnLinux on Twitter. Naturally though, a worry amongst Linux gamers has been if they decided to go with Epic Games on their store which currently doesn’t support Linux. Thankfully, that’s not going to happen.

      • Slay the Spire’s fourth character is available for Beta testing

        Get ready to do some more deck building, as Slay the Spire now has a fourth character available for some testing in a new Beta. Currently, the fourth character can be tried by opting into the standard Beta on Steam, which is different to the other Beta for an upgraded LibGDX.

        To actually access the new character, you need to have first unlocked the third character and beat the standard game. Not exactly an easy task, although on a dry run without a save today it took me about two hours to unlock the second and third character. Going through once more to unlock the fourth is another matter though, you’re probably looking at 4-5 hours to get it from a new save. However if you’ve already beaten it and have the third character this new one should auto unlock.

      • The incredible and chaotic Streets of Rogue is getting a level editor and probably Steam Workshop too

        Streets of Rogue just recently had a post-release update to enhance this chaotic rogue-lite some more. It’s also going to get even more fun with what the developer has planned.

        Perhaps the most exciting thing was buried at the bottom of the update notes, which mentions “Work on level editor”. Curious about that, I spoke to the developer on Twitter where they said they were “hoping” to do Steam Workshop support but they will release a level editor first.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GSConnect Update Lets You Control Android Music Apps from Your Desktop + More

        A new version of the GSConnect extension for GNOME Shell desktops is now available, and it’s packing a couple of nifty changes.

        If you’ve not heard of GSConnect before then it’s best to think of it as a bridge between Android and Ubuntu.

        As when the GSConnect extension is installed locally and paired with an Android phone running the KDE Connect Android app, a bunch of neat integrations are possible e.g., transfer files to and from Android, sync clipboard, send and receive SMS, see Android notifications, and even use a phone touchscreen as a trackpad for the desktop!

      • GSConnect Updated With Command Line Interface, Wayland Clipboard Support (Experimental)

        GSConnect v25 (quickly followed by v26 to fix a single issue) was released a few hours ago, and is already available on the Gnome Extensions website. The new version brings support for controlling remote media players, experimental clipboard support under Wayland and CLI scripting interface, and more.

        So what’s GSConnect? It’s an implementation of KDE Connect (which integrates with the KDE Plasma desktop) for Gnome Shell.

        After pairing your Android device that has the KDE Connect app installed with your desktop via GSConnect, you’ll be able perform various actions between the Android device and your desktop computer: transfer files, mirror the clipboard and notifications, remote control media players, send and receive SMS, use Android as a remote keyboard and mouse input, launch commands on the computer from Android, and more.

        Newer GSConnect versions require Gnome Shell 3.28, 3.30 or 3.32.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.2.6 released

          A bit later than expected, because of a regression found during beta testing, we’re releasing Krita 4.2.6. Over 120 people have participated in the beta test survey, so this is something we’ll repeat for the next release.

        • KIOFuse – Final Report

          The GSoC coding period is now over and it is only appropriate that it is discussed what has been achieved and what needs to be done to see KIOFuse officially included in as a KDE project, allowing the 75324 bug report to be finally closed after a whole 15 years! Before I continue, I’d like to thank my mentors, Fabian Vogt (fvogt) and Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan (chinmoyr) for all their support and advice during the course of GSoC. I’d also like to thank various reviewers of upstream code who quickly reviewed and merged code that I submitted. My previous posts (here and here) have discussed the work accomplished in May/June in detail.

          Currently the way KIOFuse works is that I/O is implemented on top of a file-based cache, in particular, on temporary files. Reading and writing occurs on the temp file. Flushing works by calling KIO::put, which sends the data in our cache to the remote side via a TransferJob. However, whilst this is happening, there’s nothing stopping write requests coming in for that same node, which marks the cache as dirty. Once the job is done, we check if the node is dirty. If it is, we start another TransferJob, as it would be incorrect to say that the node is flushed. If this scenario keeps occurring, we’d never reply with a successful flush. A simple solution, which doesn’t guarantee that this scenario doesn’t occur but can decrease its likelihood, is as follows: every time a chunk of data is requested by the TransferJob we check if the node is dirty. If so, if it is less than 85% complete, restart the job, otherwise let it finish. The patch for this can be found here.

          Another task was to refresh the attributes of nodes after a while. Currently, the existence of nodes is only checked lazily, i.e. if lookup or readdir are called. For each new node found (or created) the stat struct (the node’s attributes) is filled with the values from KIO::UDSEntry. However, this is only done once and any changes on the remote side are not noticed. One could always refresh the attributes on every lookup but that may be overzealous, and so the solution chosen was to do a KIO::listDirin readdir if it hasn’t been called on that node in the last 30 seconds. The patch for this can be found here.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Allan Day: Towards a UX Strategy for GNOME (Part 2)

          This post is a part of a short series, in which I’m setting out what I think could be the beginnings of a UX strategy for GNOME. In this, the second post, I’m going to describe a potential GNOME UX strategy in high-level terms. These goals are a response to the research and analysis that was described in the previous post and, it is hoped, point the way forward for how GNOME can achieve new success in the desktop market.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Archman Xfce 2019-09 is Released with Some Improvements and a Number of Bug Fixes

          Talliana has announced the new release of Archman XFS 2019-09 on September 05, 2019 and named it “Lake with Fish”.

          In this release you will see a 70% centered panel at the bottom of the screen. With this panel’s smart hiding feature, the entire screen will be in your use.

          Also, window tasks are grouped as icon in the panel.

          To make the distro more elegant, they used the Surf Arch icon by default instead of the Papyrus icon set.

        • Linux From Scratch (LFS) Stable Version 9.0 Released

          Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own custom Linux system, entirely from source code.

          The Linux From Scratch community announces the release of LFS Version 9.0 on Sep 01, 2019.

          Toolchain updates to glibc-2.30, and gcc-9.2.0 is a major changes in this release.

          In total, 33 packages were updated since the last release.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Community Blog: Flock to Fedora ’19

          Attending a tech conference is not what I’ve experienced before, but I’m sure I’ll keep doing so forever. Flock ‘19 was an amazing one to start with, meeting a flock with same interest always gets you an amazing time. I’ll be sharing down some of the things that I took away from Flock to Fedora ‘19

          The community planned a tonne of talks for everyone to attend, unfortunately, it was impossible to attend all of them. These are the talks that I decided to attend.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Switching to a Full Light Theme, Ditching Dark Headerbars

          The de-facto Ubuntu artwork team, made up of community enthusiasts hacking on the Yaru GTK theme, have been given the nod to invert the light Yaru theme’s header bar colour.

          It means that windows which which currently looks like this:

          Think it looks a lot like Adwaita, the upstream GNOME GTK theme? That’s because in a roundabout way the Yaru theme is the Adwaita theme, just with a batch of medications.

          Dark header bars and positive accent colours were used to give the Adwaita base an Ubuntu flavoured topping.

          But no more.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 To Boot Faster Thanks To LZ4 Compression

          Ubuntu’s kernel team has decided to switch to LZ4 kernel image compression beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 in order to speed-up the boot times.

          After evaluating the different compression options for the kernel image, the Ubuntu developers decided to make use of LZ4 on supported architectures for the kernel image and initramfs. Even with slower rotational storage, the much faster decompression times of LZ4 should yield benefit.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Will Boot Faster Thanks to LZ4 Compression

          Ubuntu 19.10 boot times from installation media will be faster thanks to the use of LZ4 decompression for kernel and initramfs.

        • Colin King: Boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

          The early boot requires loading and decompressing the kernel and initramfs from the boot storage device. This speed is dependent on several factors, speed of loading an image from the boot device, the CPU and memory/cache speed for decompression and the compression type.

          Generally speaking, the smallest (best) compression takes longer to decompress due to the extra complexity in the compression algorithm. Thus we have a trade-off between load time vs decompression time.

          For slow rotational media (such as a 5400 RPM HDD) with a slow CPU the loading time can be the dominant factor. For faster devices (such as a SSD) with a slow CPU, decompression time may be the dominate factor. For devices with fast 7200-10000 RPM HDDs with fast CPUs, the time to seek to the data starts to dominate the load time, so load times for different compressed kernel sizes is only slightly different in load time.

          The Ubuntu kernel team ran several experiments benchmarking several x86 configurations using the x86 TSC (Time Stamp Counter) to measure kernel load and decompression time for 6 different compression types: BZIP2, GZIP, LZ4, LZMA, LZMO and XZ. BZIP2, LZMA and XZ are slow to decompress so they got ruled out very quickly from further tests.

        • Machine Learning Operations (MLOps): Deploy at Scale

          Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning adoption in the enterprise is exploding from Silicon Valley to Wall Street with diverse use cases ranging from the analysis of customer behaviour and purchase cycles to diagnosing medical conditions.

          Following on from our webinar ‘Getting started with AI’, this webinar will dive into what success looks like when deploying machine learning models, including training, at scale.

        • Ubuntu’s Snapcraft Snap Creator Tool Will Soon Get a Windows Installer
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Józef Kucia, Wine developer and founder of Vkd3d has passed away

        This morning we have some sad news to share that CodeWeavers announced last night, as Wine developer Józef Kucia has sadly passed away.

        Kucia was the founder of Vkd3d, a Direct3D 12 to Vulkan layer used with Wine as well as being a direct contributor to Wine, Mesa and Debian.

      • A Tragic Loss

        This past month, we here at CodeWeavers and the wider Wine community suffered a devastating loss. Our friend and colleague, Józef Kucia, died at the age of 28.

        Józef first contributed to Wine in March of 2012, showing remarkable skill with Wine’s D3D technology. He became a key contributor to Wine, submitting over 2,500 patches. He also contributed to other open source projects including Mesa and Debian. Józef founded and led the vkd3d project and provided insight and guidance to the Vulkan working group.

        Józef joined CodeWeavers in 2015, and quickly became one of our most valued employees.

      • Get your business up and running with these open source tools

        After serving as a CIO in higher education and government for nearly nine years and in senior IT leadership positions for most of my 20-year career, I decided to change gears. I had always found the most joy in coaching, advising, and mentoring IT leaders. At various CIO roundtable events and CIO forums, I often helped new CIOs and IT directors “get their feet under them,” and I decided I wanted to do more of that.

        So I created my own company! At IT Mentor Group LLC, I partner with CIOs and IT leaders to advise on strategic planning and organizational development. To help build up organizations, I also offer an IT Leadership Development training program to provide skills and tools for current and emerging IT leaders.

        Since I have always been an open source software advocate, I decided to run my business using open source where possible. And yes, you really can operate a business using open source software.

      • Forking the syllabus (and three other ways to hack education this year)

        Students everywhere are returning to school this season. But what kinds of schools are they returning to?

        Are their classrooms organized like industrial-era factory floors, built around ideals like mass standardization and tailored for maximum efficiency? Or do they look more like agile, networked learning communities?

        Are they acting like passive receptacles for data? Or are they collaboratively shaping what and how they learn—and connecting their lessons to projects and contexts outside the classroom?

        In other words: Do their classrooms function the same way they have for roughly 100 years? Or are they becoming more open, preparing students for the more participatory and dynamic world they’re about to enter?

      • OSI Seeks Faculty (YOU!) to Teach New Open Source Courses

        The OSI is fortunate to include in our membership, board alumni, and business partners some of the world’s most renowned innovators and recognized leaders in Open Source Software. Together the OSI community represents every facet of open source, including technical development, business practices, community management, as well as licensing and related legal issues. As more organizations leverage Open Source Software, employers are seeking talent well-versed in open source methods, culture, and management practices to ensure that their investments in open source projects provide the desired benefits for the company, while aligning with the values of, and contributing to, open source communities.

      • Lesson plans for an open education

        Are they listening passively from the back of the room? Or are they collaboratively shaping what and how they learn as their teachers connect their lessons to projects and contexts outside the classroom?

        Are they submitting large projects in high-stakes gambits for definitive grades? Or are they releasing their materials for assessment early and often, airing their mistakes, gathering useful feedback, and iterating their way to success?

        In other words: Do their classrooms function the same way they have for roughly 100 years? Or are they becoming more open? Do their teachers have the freedom to prepare them for the more participatory and dynamic world they’re about to enter?

      • Kubernetes literally everywhere, smoking hot Java, and more industry trends

        As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • ONF Open Sources Stratum, Basis for Its Next-Gen SDN Stack
      • Events

        • Purism at GUADEC 2019

          GUADEC 2019 took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, and some of Purism’s team members were there. This year’s program was excellent, with plenty of interesting presentations; among them, Tobias Bernard’s talk about adaptive patterns and GNOME apps that work well across different form factors, from phones to desktops. Below is a video of his talk, which we think you should really watch when you have a chance–and here are the slides.

        • SUSECON 2020 Registration is Now Open!

          At SUSECON ’20 you will access a vast amount of technical knowledge and training as you participate in activities that enhance your skills, introduce you to new technologies, and pave the way for you to interact with peers and experts from around the world.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: CASE Act Threatens User Rights in the United States

            This week, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2426). While the bill is designed to streamline the litigation process, it will impose severe costs upon users and the broader internet ecosystem. More specifically, the legislation would create a new administrative tribunal for claims with limited legal recourse for users, incentivizing copyright trolling and violating constitutional principles. Mozilla has always worked for copyright reform that supports businesses and internet users, and we believe that the CASE Act will stunt innovation and chill free expression online. With this in mind, we urge members to oppose passage of H.R. 2426.

            First, the tribunal created by the legislation conflicts with well-established separation of powers principles and limits due process for potential defendants. Under the CASE Act, a new administrative board would be created within the Copyright Office to review claims of infringement. However, as Professor Pamela Samuelson and Kathryn Hashimoto of Berkeley Law point out, it is not clear that Congress has the authority under Article I of the Constitution to create this tribunal. Although Congress can create tribunals that adjudicate “public rights” matters between the government and others, the creation of a board to decide infringement disputes between two private parties would represent an overextension of its authority into an area traditionally governed by independent Article III courts.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR emulator extension

            We are happy to announce the release of our WebXR emulator browser extension which helps WebXR content creation.

          • Firefox security tips: Understand how hackers work

            Forget about those hackers in movies trying to crack the code on someone’s computer to get their top secret files. The hackers responsible for data breaches usually start by targeting companies, rather than specific individuals. They want to get data from as many people as possible so they can use, resell or leverage it to make money.

          • Firefox’s Test Pilot Program Returns with Firefox Private Network Beta

            Like a cat, the Test Pilot program has had many lives. It originally started as an Add-on before we relaunched it three years ago. Then in January, we announced that we were evolving our culture of experimentation, and as a result we closed the Test Pilot program to give us time to further explore what was next.

            We learned a lot from the Test Pilot program. First, we had a loyal group of users who provided us feedback on projects that weren’t polished or ready for general consumption. Based on that input we refined and revamped various features and services, and in some cases shelved projects altogether because they didn’t meet the needs of our users. The feedback we received helped us evaluate a variety of potential Firefox features, some of which are in the Firefox browser today.

            If you haven’t heard, third time’s the charm. We’re turning to our loyal and faithful users, specifically the ones who signed up for a Firefox account and opted-in to be in the know about new products testing, and are giving them a first crack to test-drive new, privacy-centric products as part of the relaunched Test Pilot program. The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and we will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release.

          • In the US? You Can Try Firefox’s New VPN Feature

            Not only has Mozilla suddenly revived its (much missed) Test Pilot program, but it’s using it to check the tyres on a really interesting new feature: a VPN.

            The new Test Pilot site is currently home to ‘Firefox Private Network’, a beta product that, the company says, is near release.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • Public Services/Government

        • FLOSS Penetrating Department of Defense? It’s Classified

          FLOSS is penetrating the government sector of countries throughout the world. That holds true right here in the good ole U.S.A. A world that was intent on utilizing proprietary software is slowly changing its tune. The United States has not been as progressive in this area as some other countries, but over the course of the last few years, it has finally decided to jump on the train. The benefits are just too hard to ignore. While this topic is wide ranging, the focus of this piece will be on the Department of Defense (DoD) in particular.

          If there is any area of government where one would assume FLOSS would have a hard time penetrating, it would appear the DoD would be at the top of the list. After all, security is the foremost thought in any of those individuals minds. The software that the DoD uses is scrutinized to the nth degree. Thus, one might think they would favor proprietary solutions. Luckily, the DoD has seen the light and realized that one not need to only look at closed systems. This was all assisted by the Federal Source Code Policy in 2016. The policy pushed government entities to review open source alternatives. As a result, the DoD launched the Code.mil project in 2017 on GitHub. According to the code.mil site, the goal is to foster open collaboration with the developer community around the world on DoD open source projects. While this continues to be a work in progress, it showcases the interest of the DoD to participate in the FLOSS world.

      • Programming/Development

        • Java finally goes all in on open source with the Jakarta EE 8 release

          Java being fully open-sourced has been a long, long time coming. While Sun open-sourced some of Java as long ago as November 2006, actually using Java in an open-source way was… troublesome. Just ask Google about Android and Java. But for Java in the enterprise things have changed.

          On September 10, The Eclipse Foundation announced the full open-source release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specifications and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs).

          This comes after Oracle let go of most of Java Enterprise Edition’s (JEE) intellectual property. Oracle retains Java’s trademarks though — thus Java EE naming convention has been changed to Jakarta EE. But for practical programming and production purposes Jakarta EE 8 is the next generation of enterprise Java.

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Specifications; Completes Transition to Eclipse Foundation as the New Home for Open Source Cloud Native Java

          The Eclipse Foundation today announced during the JakartaOne Livestream virtual conference the release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specifications and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This release provides a new baseline for the evolution and innovation of enterprise Java technologies under an open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process. As a result, Java vendors, developers, and customers alike now have a foundation for migrating mission-critical Java EE applications and workloads to a standard enterprise Java stack for a cloud native world. This release represents a major milestone for the world’s leading innovators in cloud native Java, including Fujitsu, IBM, Oracle, Payara, Red Hat, Tomitribe, and dedicated independent community members who are collaborating at the Eclipse Foundation to advance Jakarta EE, the successor to Java EE.

        • The New Features Of LLVM 9.0 & Clang 9.0 – Includes Building The Linux x86_64 Kernel

          The LLVM 9.0 release is running a few weeks behind schedule but should be out in the days ahead along with other LLVM sub-project releases like Clang 9.0. Here’s a look at what’s on tap for this half-year update to the LLVM compiler infrastructure.

        • A bug found in Glibc limits modern SIMD instructions to only Intel, inhibiting performance of AMD and other CPUs

          Yesterday, Mingye Wang reported a bug in the Glibc, GNU C Library. According to him, the dl_platform detection performs “cripple AMD” in the sysdeps in Glibc. The dl_platform check is used for dispatching SIMD (Single instruction, multiple data) libraries.

          Explaining the bug in detail, Wang writes, that in 2017, Glibc got the capability to transparently load libraries for specific CPU families with some SIMD extensions combinations to benefit the x86 users. However, this implementation limits two “good” sets of modern SIMD instructions to only Intel processors that prevent competitor CPUs with equivalent capabilities to fully perform, something that should not work in any free software package.

        • Find the maximum gap between the successive numbers in its sorted form from a Python list

          Given a Python list consists of plus or minus numbers, we need to sort that list then find the maximum gap between the successive numbers in that list regarding of its sign.

        • LEGB? Meet ICPO, Python’s search strategy for attributes

          When it comes to variables, Python has a well-known search strategy, known by the acronym “LEGB.” Whenever you mention a variable — and by “variable,” I mean a name that could be referencing data, a function, or a class — Python tries to find it in four different places: The local (function) scope, the enclosing function’s scope, the global scope, and finally in the “builtins” namespace.

          Variable scoping seems both boring and annoying, but it actually explains a lot about Python’s design. It’s really worth learning about, and won’t take much of your time. Indeed, I have a free e-mail course on the subject; you’re welcome to subscribe.

          But what about attributes? How does Python search for those?

        • Layering security throughout DevOps

          The DevOps movement has changed how we integrate and publish our work. It has taken us from slow, sometimes yearly, release cycles to daily (or even hourly, in some cases) releases. We are capable of writing code and seeing our changes in production almost instantly. While that can give our customers and us a warm and fuzzy feeling, it can also provide an opening for malicious attackers.

          DevOps was an amazing first step to break down walls and support fast responses to market changes and customer demands, but there is still an important wall we need to break, one important group we need to bring into the fold: security operations (SecOps).

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Fortran

          Fortran (Formula translation) is a multi-paradigm programming language invented by John Backus of IBM in the 1950s. It is particularly notable for innovation; it was the first high-level language, using the first compiler.

          The language is designed to be simple to understand, yet retains the efficiency in execution as assembly language – about 80% as efficient as assembly/machine code. Fortran is machine independent, and a problem oriented language. It is often used in the scientific community, particularly among physicists, and is designed for scientific numerical computing. Fortran allows for high parallelization, it’s easy to optimize, and lends itself particularly well to computationally intensive fields such as finite element analysis, numerical weather prediction, computational physics, computational chemistry, and computational fluid dynamics.

          Fortran has evolved over time, with various standards including Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and Fortran 95. More recent revisions are Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008. Since Fortran 9x, it has many structured programming features, dynamic memory, operator overloading, and primitive objects. It is both the language of the past, the current, and the future (high-performance computing is unlikely to cast aside Fortran). Despite its age, Fortran is still very much alive and kicking. Fortran has a vast number of libraries of code.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Power Outage For Federal Court Computer System Screws Up Three Months Worth Of Job Applications?!?

        For years, we’ve talked about what a total joke the federal courts’ PACER system is. That’s the computer system the federal courts use for accessing court documents. It acts like it was designed in about 1998 and hasn’t been touched since (and even when it was designed, it wasn’t designed well). But that’s not the only fucked up computer system that the federal courts use. A few years back when I was an expert witness in a federal case, I had to make use of a different US court website just to get paid by the government — and while it’s been a few years, I still remember that it required you to use Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer! It had lots of other issues as well.

      • How The Cyber Insurance Industry’s Bottom Line Is Fueling Ransomware

        The past decade or so has seen an explosive upward trend for the cyber insurance industry. Given the rise of malware, particularly of ransomware, it’s perhaps not surprising that an insurance market sprouted up around that reality. It’s gotten to the point that those of us who’s day to day business is managing client networks in the SMB space are now regularly fielding requests for how to obtain cyber insurance.

      • Potential ‘Mirai-style botnet’ could be created via Telestar Digital Radio vulnerabilities

        Two security holes in popular IoT products, relating to telnet, open ports and weak hardcoded passwords reminiscent of the methods used by the Mirai botnet, reveal just how vulnerable IoT devices remain

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (docker.io, icedtea-web, and trafficserver), openSUSE (opera), Red Hat (bind, firefox, go-toolset:rhel8, kernel, nghttp2, and polkit), SUSE (buildah, curl, java-1_7_1-ibm, and skopeo), and Ubuntu (freetype, memcached, python2.7, python3.4, and python2.7, python3.5, python3.6, python3.7).

      • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 135 Released

        Michael Tremer has announced the new release of IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 135 on Sep 04, 2019.

      • Exim patches a major security bug found in all versions that left millions of Exim servers vulnerable to security attacks [Ed: If only we saw similar headlines about Microsoft Windows each time a hole was found in Photoshop...]

        A vulnerability was found in all the versions of Exim, a mail transfer agent (MTA), that when exploited can let attackers run malicious code with root privileges.

      • KeePass Password Safe 2.43

        KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

        KeePass is really free, and more than that: it is open source (OSI certified). You can have a look at its full source and check whether the encryption algorithms are implemented correctly.

      • Live Patching Case Study of GESIS

        You can save time and resources by using Live Patching. GESIS is one of the many organizations who achieved excellent results using SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching. Here we outline some of those results so you can make an assessment about how these can apply to your environment.

      • Linux Kernel flexcop_usb_probe Function NULL Pointer Dereference Vulnerability [CVE-2019-15291]

        A vulnerability in the Linux Kernel could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.

        The vulnerability is due to a NULL pointer dereference condition that exists in the flexcop_usb_probe function, as defined in the drivers/media/usb/b2c2/flexcop-usb.c source code file of the affected software.

        An attacker with physical access to a targeted system could exploit this vulnerability by inserting a USB device that submits malicious input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause a DoS condition on the system.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Secret to Living Longer Is Being Rich, Study Reveals

        The top 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the 150 million Americans in the bottom 60% of the country’s wealth distribution, according to a January working paper from University of California at Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman.

      • What’s the True Unemployment Rate in the US?

        The real unemployment rate is probably somewhere between 10%-12%. Here’s why: the 3.7% is the U-3 rate, per the labor dept. But that’s the rate only for full time employed. What the labor dept. calls the U-6 includes what it calls discouraged workers (those who haven’t looked for work in the past 4 weeks). Then there’s what’s called the ‘missing labor force’–i.e. those who haven’t looked in the past year. They’re not calculated in the 3.7% U-3 unemployment rate number either. Why? Because you have to be ‘out of work and actively looking for work’ to be counted as unemployed and therefore part of the 3.7% rate.

      • Is Labor Coming Back to Life?

        This past Saturday was the annual Labor Day Parade in New York City. They don’t have it on the actual holiday anymore – too many people are more interested in a long, late summer weekend in the mountains or at the beach.

      • Poverty in America a Literal ‘Death Sentence,’ Says Sanders, Following Devastating GAO Report

        “If we do not urgently act to solve the economic distress of millions of Americans, a whole generation will be condemned to early death.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Troll factories? So 2016. How the Moscow government diversified its online election interference strategies this summer

      Shortly before Sunday’s elections to the Moscow City Duma, a mass of Russian-language news sites and social media accounts began posting about what they called “Lanovoy’s list.” The outlets all claimed that Vasily Lanovoy, a popular award-winning actor, had compiled a list of the candidates he believed should be elected to the City Duma in every precinct. The idea of such a list was not new: After opposition candidates were blocked en masse from running for the Moscow City Duma, liberal activists led by Alexey Navalny began promoting a “Smart Vote” campaign, which recommended candidates in Moscow’s precincts who were allowed to run but who are not favored by the city’s current regime. Lanovoy’s list was clearly a pro-regime alternative to the Smart Vote strategy, but there was a catch: Vasily Lanovoy soon announced that he hadn’t created the list at all. Meduza discovered that the websites and social media pages that had posted the fake list were all controlled by companies with close ties to Moscow City Hall. Our investigative division followed those ties into a rabbit hole of online state propaganda that makes troll factories look like old news.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • YouTube Lets Indonesian Government Block Satirical Video That Criticizes The Indonesian Government

      Recent protests in West Papua have made things uncomfortable for the Indonesian government. The protests were triggered by recordings of Indonesian military personnel taunting Papuans and calling them racial slurs. The Indonesian government responded to the protests by shutting down internet access and seeking to arrest a prominent West Papua civil rights lawyer for allegedly spreading “fake news.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Appeals Court Says An IP Address Is ‘Tantamount To A Computer’s Name’ While Handing The FBI Another NIT Win

      Fortunately, this profoundly-wrong conclusion is buried inside a decision that’s merely off-base. If it was the crux of the case, we might have witnessed a rush of copyright trolls to the Eleventh Circuit to take advantage of the panel’s wrongness.

    • Watering Holes and Million Dollar Dissidents: the Changing Economics of Digital Surveillance

      Recently, Google’s Project Zero published a report describing a newly-discovered campaign of surveillance using chains of zero day iOS exploits to spy on iPhones. This campaign employed multiple compromised websites in what is known as a “watering hole” attack. The compromised websites would automatically run the chain of exploits on anyone who visited, with the aim of installing a surveillance implant on the device. Google didn’t reveal the names of the websites or indeed who was being targeted but it soon became clear through other reporting that the likely target of this campaign was the Uyghur community, a Turkic Muslim minority in China facing mass detention and other harsh crackdowns perpetrated by the Chinese government with the most repressive policies coming into place in recent years.

      Security company Volexity followed up the week after with detailed reports of similar website exploit chains targeting Android and Windows devices, again hosted on websites with a primarily Uyghur readership. This week, another publication confirmed that the Chinese government had compromised several international telcos in order to perform yet more invasive surveillance on expatriated Uyghurs.

    • Targeting PATRIOT Act Provision, Rights Groups Urge House Dems to Block NSA From Collecting Americans’ Phone Records

      “Mass surveillance is wrong and dangerous to our democracy.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • New Abortion Laws Contribute to Sexist Environments That Harm Everyone’s Health

      Nine states have passed laws in 2019 alone that restrict abortion at the earliest stages of pregnancy. Those of us who study public health are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for negative health consequences of these kinds of policies on women.

    • A lucky few dozen Here are the prisoners Moscow and Kyiv traded over the weekend

      On September 7, Russia and Ukraine each traded 35 prisoners. Two planes simultaneously landed in Moscow and Kyiv, freeing dozens of criminal suspects and convicts, among whom were Crimea filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and Russian state journalist Kirill Vyshinsky. Meduza runs down the list of exchanged prisoners.

    • Kremlin refuses to release list of freed prisoners despite explicit promise to do so

      Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has refused to respond to questions about exactly which individuals the Ukrainian government released to Russia as part of a September 7 prisoner exchange.

    • Judge Reinstates Nationwide Halt on Trump Asylum Policy Plan

      A U.S. judge in California on Monday reinstated a nationwide halt on the Trump administration’s plan to prevent most migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    • ‘Victory’: Federal Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction on Trump Effort to Block Asylum Seekers at Southern Border

      “Before today’s decision, entire parts of this country had essentially become asylum-free zones, where people in search of safety would be arbitrarily barred from asylum based on where they happened to cross the border.”

    • Boris Johnson,Voice of the People? Give Me a Break.

      …famous cultural theorist Stuart Hall was on to something when he remarked that “the disorderly thrust of political events disturbs the symmetry of political analysis.”

    • Investigation Uncovers Mass Purging Of Phoenix Police Department Misconduct Records

      There’s nothing about American policing that police unions can’t make worse. A powerful obstacle standing in the way of accountability and transparency, police unions ensure Americans remain underserved by their public servants.

    • There is But One Race: Human

      Want to blame something for differences in skin color, blame the sun. It’s all in the melanin.

    • Mamphela Ramphele: Do we have a permissive atmosphere for lawlessness in South Africa?

      Last week former president Thabo Mbeki, an elder in our midst, commented that: “There is trouble, trouble, trouble everywhere. Lawlessness suggests that South African society had a permissive atmosphere that allows for this kind of crime.”

      So where does this permissive atmosphere for lawlessness originate from? How does a society which has human rights embedded in its Constitution, and one that prides itself in Ubuntu, find itself in an atmosphere that permits lawlessness?

      We neglected a number of rituals at the beginning of our transition to democracy. First, coming out of a human rights abusive apartheid system we should have deliberately undertaken cleansing ceremonies beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process, to acknowledge that we have been polluted by our ugly past, and to then commit to invest in promoting healing of the wounds of divisions and humiliation of the majority by a minority.

    • Madonsela: ‘Calls for death penalty won’t solve femicide’

      Professor Thuli Madonsela says there needs to be more investment in the prevention of gender based violence.

      The country is still reeling from a spate of murders and attacks on women and children with many calling for drastic action.

      Madonsela warns that steps like reinstating the death penalty will not address the problem.

    • How have we unlearnt our liberty in just 25 years?

      Milan Kundera, a French author and thought leader born in then Czechoslovakia, penned these words in the darkest period before the fall of the oppressive Soviet regime.

      We might benefit from reflecting on his wisdom at this time in the life of our nation.

      As we reel from the combined onslaught of brutal violence against women and children, and widespread public violence and contempt in our cities that is destroying livelihoods, properties and human lives, we need to ponder how we got to this place.

      How have we unlearnt our liberty in just 25 years?

      How did a people that mobilised effectively and successfully against a brutal apartheid regime erase their memories of that victory?

      How did a people that built a vibrant social movement based on reawakening their consciousness of who they are as men, women and young people with a rich heritage lose their sense of identity as Africans?

      How did a people that invested in the solidarity of all freedom-loving citizens across the divide-and-rule tactics of the enemies of freedom allow themselves to erase the memories of this heroism?

      How did a people that organised poor communities across the country into powerful street committees, ward councils, village councils, women’s movements, youth groups, civic organisations, faith-based communities and workers’ unions – against all odds – become passive spectators of the looting of state resources and become complicit in xenophobic and femicidal acts?

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter Spectrum Once Again ‘Competes’ By… Raising Prices

      When Charter Communications (Spectrum) proposed merging with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016, the company repeatedly promised that the amazing “synergies” would lower rates, increase competition, boost employment, and improve the company’s services. Of course like countless telecom megamergers before it, that never actually happened. Instead, the company quickly set about raising rates to manage the huge debt load. And its service has been so aggressively terrible, the company almost got kicked out of New York State, something I’ve never seen in 20 years of covering telecom.

  • Monopolies

    • Patents and Software Patents

      • Patent Trolls Are Not Useful

        That opinion came in a case brought by the notoriously litigious firm ATL, which claimed (incredibly) that labeling them a patent troll was legal defamation, rather than a statement of opinion. Their argument effectively boiled down to the idea that an opinion was only an opinion when it was labeled as such: in other words, unless a writer said “I think” or “it is my opinion that” before making a statement, it could be construed as a statement of fact, and therefore was defamatory.

        It doesn’t take a genius to spot the logical hole in this absurd misreading of libel law, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court was quick to spot it, and point it out. They noted, for instance, that the term “patent troll” was not a term with clearly defined parameters, but was rather a subjective assessment of a firm’s legal practice, and therefore clearly opinion, rather than a maliciously false statement of fact. There was no way, in other words, to “objectively verify” whether someone was a patent troll. Moreover, it was obvious that simply saying “I think” before a statement didn’t mean it couldn’t be defamatory. “It is my opinion that ATL’s founder flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express more often than Bill Clinton” would, for instance, obviously be a defamatory statement. Though, as the kids say, “big if true.”

        [...]

        At the risk of avoiding defamation lawsuits by ATL, let me put this in terms even they will recognize as opinion – albeit well-founded opinion. It is my very, very well-considered opinion that this effort is one of the most transparent attempts to legally enshrine intellectual property oligarchy in recent memory. I think that the firms who support this effort – ATL no doubt among them – are maliciously twisting the meaning of words in order to not have to earn their bread. I feel that rent-seeking garbage institutions and their rent-seeking cronies in Congress should learn that words mean things – you know, words like “defamation,” “opinion,” and “useful.” And if they don’t like what those words mean, I feel they should consider that it’s not defamatory to hold the same opinion as the American people: that folks who try to change the rules when they lose are most certainly not useful.

      • UKIPO releases application figures

        The number of patent applications filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) in 2018 saw a year-on-year decrease of 5 percent, while trademark and design applications saw 12 and 26 percent increases, respectively.
        According to the 2018 report from the UKIPO, the office received 20,931 patent applications in 2018, of which 12,061 (57 percent) were registered.

        The largest majority of patent applicants were based in the UK, followed by China, Japan, Germany and the US.

        Furthermore, according to the International Patent Classification (IPC), the most prolific industries filing patent applications last year were transport, mining and electricity. This is supported by the UKIPO identifying the most frequent applicants to be Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Ford, Halliburton Energy Services and Dyson.

      • STRONGER Patents Act of 2019

        Upcoming Hearing: September 11, 2019 held by the Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee with testimony from: Bradley Ditty (InterDigital); Prof. Mossoff (Scalia Law); Prof. Cotter (Minnesota); Dan Lang (Cisco); Josh Landau (CCIA); and Eb Bright (ExploaMed). [Written testimony will be available on the Hearing website sometime on the 11th.]

        [...]

        A group of law professors have submitted a letter to Congress arguing against the STRONGER Patent Act. The core argument of the letter is that the inter partes review (IPR) system “has proven to be a robust and efficient check on patent validity, and has had a positive impact across industries, including high-tech, Main Street, and pharmaceuticals, where invalid patents can keep drug prices high.”

      • Senate to Hold STRONGER Act Hearing

        The Subcommittee is holding hearings at 2:30 pm (ET) on Wednesday, September 11th in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, with a panel of witnesses comprising legal academics and patent counsel from (predominantly) high-tech industry representatives. The hearings will be available for later viewing on the Subcommittee’s website.

        It is impossible (not to say foolhardy) to try to predict the fate of this or any of the patent-related bills percolating in the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. While conventional wisdom counsels that Congressional consideration of patenting matters is both consistent with its proper role (after all, the Patent Clause is in Article I of the Constitution) and a welcome relief from judicial fiat regarding patents, the STRONGER Act (and the perceived need for it) just as strongly suggests that the patent community sometimes needs to be careful about what it collectively wishes for; after all, the AIA was the culmination of more than a decade of Congressional efforts to reform U.S. patent law and these efforts have had not entirely welcome consequences. As always, the best advice for patent-savvy citizens is to contact your Congressional representatives, in each House. At least you will know you did your part to change U.S. patent law for the better.

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