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09.13.19

Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        TROUBLED TECH TITAN Huawei has had a fairly lousy year so far, and as yet, there’s no end in sight.

        Fortunately, Huawei is taking some decisive action, at least in China, as it widens the appeal of its near-universally acclaimed MateBook series of laptops with a range powered by Linux.

      • Huawei launches MateBooks running Linux in China

        The last MateBook launch in the US was cancelled following the decision to add Huawei to the so-called “Entity List” of companies banned from trading with the US without a special licence.

        Up until then, the Shenzhen company had been churning out some of the best laptops of the last few years, and now, the MateBook 13 is available running a lovely shiny Linux distro.

      • Huawei is Now Selling Linux Laptops

        If you follow tech news, you must have heard of Huawei. It’s a Chinese multinational company in telecommunication and consumer electronics.

        A prominent player in the telecom sector, Huawei has been marred with controversy. It’s been long seen as a dubious front by the Chinese government to spy on other countries through its massive telecom infrastructure.

        Earlier this year, the US government imposed a ban on Huawei that sparked a trade war between China and United States of America. Google banned Huawei from using Android and other Google services like Play Store, Gmail etc on Huawei devices. It is still not clear if the ban is in affect or not.

      • Huawei now sells MateBook laptops in China running Linux

        Ever since Huawei was put on the US’ blacklist, the future of its products has been put into question. The company has more or less bragged about its self-sufficiency in terms of hardware components but software, especially mobile, is a different story. The company has been reportedly looking for alternative operating systems to put on its devices and it seems it may have settled on Linux for some of its laptops being sold in China.

      • Huawei Starts Selling Laptops With Linux Preinstalled

        Huawei is now selling the Matebook 13, Matebook 14, and Matebook X Pro to consumers in China with Deepin Linux preinstalled. “Deepin is a Chinese-domestic distribution, with their own desktop environment — appropriately also called Deepin,” notes TechRepublic.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • 10 edge computing myths, debunked

          Edge computing can mean different things to different technology leaders – from “anything that’s not in the cloud” to “the practice of capturing, storing, processing, and analyzing data nearest to where the data is generated.” As important as knowing what edge computing is, however, is understanding what it is not.

          [...]

          “Edge can vary based on computing, storage, and where you engage streaming data,” says Jason Mann, VP of IoT at SAS. It will also vary based on your point of view, adds Hopkins. The enterprise edge will look different than a cloud vendor’s or a telco’s edge.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: Reducing friction in Southeast Asia banking and more

          Wondering how Red Hat is helping its customers to succeed? Last month we published six customer success stories that highlight how we’ve helped customers gain efficiency, cut costs, and transform the way they deliver software. Read on to find out how Ascend Money, Heritage Bank, Generali Switzerland, and others have worked with Red Hat to improve their business.

          [...]

          To improve the efficiency of its application processes, Ascend Money decided to migrate its legacy applications to a standardized platform using Red Hat technology. With assistance from Red Hat Consulting, Ascend Money moved both its legacy applications and new cloud-native services to OpenShift Container Platform, providing a single platform for IT and developers to collaborate across cloud environments.

        • OpenShift 4.2 Disconnected Install

          In a previous blog, it was announced that Red Hat is making the OpenShift nightly builds available to everyone. This gives users a chance to test upcoming features before their general availability. One of the features planned for OpenShift 4.2 is the ability to perform a “disconnected” or “air gapped” install, allowing you to install in an environment without access to the Internet or outside world.

        • Develop with Node.js in a container on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          In my previous article, Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 in a container on RHEL 7, I showed how to start developing with the latest versions of languages, databases, and web servers available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, even if you are still running RHEL 7. In this article, I’ll build on that base to show how to get started with Node using the current RHEL 8 application stream versions of Node.js and Redis 5.

          From my perspective, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 application streams in containers is preferable to using software collections on RHEL 7. While you need to get comfortable with containers, all of the software installs in the locations you’d expect. There is no need to use scl commands to manage the selected software versions. Instead, each container gets an isolated user space. You don’t have to worry about conflicting versions.

          In this article, you’ll create a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Node.js container with Buildah, and run it with Podman. The code will be stored on your local machine and mapped into the RHEL 8 Node.js container when it runs. You’ll be able to edit the code on your local machine as you would any other application. Because it is mapped via a volume mount, the changes you make to the code will be immediately visible from the container, which is convenient for dynamic languages that don’t need to be compiled. This method isn’t the way you’d want to do things for production, but it gets you started developing quickly and should give you essentially the same development inner loop as you’d have when developing locally without containers. This article also shows how you can use Buildah to build an image with your completed application that you could use for production.

          Additionally, you’ll set up the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Redis application stream in a container that is managed by systemd. You’ll be able to use systemctl to start and stop the container just as you would for a non-container installation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Splitting Fun and Profit | User Error 74

        It’s another #AskError episode. The finances of social situations and FOSS projects, automated vehicles, and ways to cheer up.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E23 – Wing Commander

        This week we’ve been playing Pillars of Eternity. We discuss boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10, using LXD to map ports, NVIDIA Prime Renderer switching, changes in the Yaru theme and the Librem 5 shipping (perhaps). We also round up some events and some news from the tech world.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 23 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Mark Johnson are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Applications

      • Sayonara Player – small, clear and fast audio player

        One of the traits I love about Linux is the breadth of open source available. And music players are no exception. There’s many excellent open source music players available ranging from sublime GUI software like Tauon Music Player to terminal based software such as musikcube. They are two of my favorite audio apps. But there’s always room for more.

        Sayonara Player is another quality music player. It’s under active development. It caught my eye for a number of reasons, not least its large range of features. Let’s see what it has to offer.

        The program is written in C++, supported by the Qt framework. It uses GStreamer as its audio backend.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Mayhem in Single Valley sounds like quite a unique adventure, coming to Linux this year

        Mayhem in Single Valley from developer Fluxscopic seems like an adventure not to be missed and it’s releasing later this year, sometime in the “Fall”, with Linux support.

        It’s a stylish top-down action adventure, mixing in combat and puzzles with a focus on “family and everyday struggles”. It’s quite an exaggerated tale, one where the craziest things you might read about happen a lot more frequently. You play as Jack, a local “troublemaker” who makes a series of major discoveries before he’s supposed to leave home.

      • Join Open Jam 2019 to build open source indie games

        On September 27th, dozens of indie developers will come together virtually to develop video games using open source software. This date marks the third annual Open Jam, a three-day, 80-hour online game jam dedicated to indie developers building playful games and advancing the world of open source game development.

      • The FOSS strategy game 0 A.D. seems to be coming along very nicely

        Things on the news front for the FOSS RTS game 0 A.D. have been quiet recently but they certainly haven’t been sitting on their hands, a lot of work has been going on in the background.

        A game that’s a real pleasure to watch grow, easily one of the most professional looking FOSS games around that may one day rival much bigger RTS games.

        Since releasing Alpha 23 last year, the team haven’t really said much. That changed yesterday, with the release of a brand new progress report. The silence on a lot of FOSS project news at times is quite understandable though, pulling together information on everything going on can be quite time consuming when people just want to get things done.

      • Hello Games continue fixing up Linux issues for No Man’s Sky in Steam Play

        While not available for Linux, No Man’s Sky can be run through Steam Play and it appears Hello Games continue to keep an eye on it.

        In a recent article, I highlighted the fact that the developer put in a fix for SteamVR on Linux even though the game is not supported there. Not only that, NVIDIA (certain generations anyway) needed a fix applied to get it working properly.

        Here we are less than a month later and it appears that manual fix for NVIDIA is no longer needed. Not just that, their latest experimental update released yesterday notes that it fixed “a Linux driver issue.”. If you wish to try it, use the password “3xperimental” on the Beta tab of the games properties on Steam.

      • Don’t Starve Together updated, Woodie gets a refresh with a new animated short plus a new Beta

        Creepy and stylish co-op survival game Don’t Starve Together from dev Klei has another update available and it sounds great.

        This time around the character Woodie went through a bit of a refresh including two brand new transformations, giving different specializations. You can also trigger random transformations by consuming Monster Meat (or prepared dishes like Monster Lasagna), with specific transformations done by consuming one of the three new craftable idols made with Monster Meat. There’s some other strange changes too, like Woodie being forced into a random transformation on each full moon, Woodie no longer needs to eat wood and so on.

      • Beautiful open-world action adventure Pine is releasing next month

        3D open-world action adventure game Pine from Twirlbound and Kongregate is going to officially release on October 10th.

        Sounds like an incredible intriguing game, a world where Humans are seemingly not top of the chain and so you will encounter all sorts of creatures.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Catfish 1.4.10 Released

        The best Linux graphical file search utility keeps getting better! The latest release features a new preferences dialog, a polished user interface, and significantly improved search results and performance.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Squish – Test automation tool for our HMI build with Qt

          When test engineers hear about test automation the first word that comes to mind is of course Selenium which is the most popular testing library that helps us writing scripts for web applications. There are also ready solutions for mobile apps like Appium, Robotium, Espresso, UI Automator and others. The challenge is when we have some project-specific technologies that are not as easy to automate as web applications. But while using Qt we have some advantage over other non-web applications because there is some ready solution that we can use.

          The goal of the project was to build a digital cockpit system for car sharing solutions with navigation as the main feature, where the user agrees on advertisements while choosing a cheaper subscription. Advertising can suggest purchasing coffee to the driver, which can be ordered through our application from the navigation screen, then we add a coffee stop to the destination point. We also included the HVAC module and menu where the driver can switch between different screens (music player, settings, 3D model of a car, phone, weather view). To build this we were using Qt Application Manager, QML, MapBox, Qt 3D Studio and server written in python that was using OSRM.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 Released With New Features & Performance Improvements

          The latest version of GNOME dubbed “Thessaloniki” is here. It is an impressive upgrade over GNOME 3.32 considering 6 months of work there.

          With this release, there’s a lot of new features and significant performance improvements. In addition to the new features, the level of customization has also improved.

        • GNOME 3.34 released — coming soon in Fedora 31

          Today the GNOME project announced the release of GNOME 3.34. This latest release of GNOME will be the default desktop environment in Fedora 31 Workstation. The Beta release of Fedora 31 is currently expected in the next week or two, with the Final release scheduled for late October.

          GNOME 3.34 includes a number of new features and improvements. Congratulations and thank you to the whole GNOME community for the work that went into this release! Read on for more details.

        • GNOME Games 3.34

          A year ago, Adrien Plazas stepped down as a maintainer, so Games 3.32.0 was released without an accompanying blog post, since I didn’t have a blog at the time. Now it’s time to make up for it with a blog post about 3.34.0.

          Savestates are a common feature in game emulators, that work similarly to snapshots in virtualization: emulator takes a full snapshot of RAM and storage, which can be loaded later to restore the game to the same exact state it was in when saved.

          The app has supported savestates for a long time: when you exit a game, a savestate is created. Then when you run it again, Games offers to restore that savestate or reset the game. However, there was no way to manage savestates during the game, or to have more than one savestate at a time.

        • The GNOME 3.36 Release Date is Set for Next March

          This date, along with other key dates in the GNOME 3.36 development cycle — technically GNOME 3.35 as only stable releases use even numbers — is revealed in the official GNOME 3.36 release schedule up on the GNOME wiki.

          The first GNOME 3.36 development snapshot, aka GNOME 3.35.1, is scheduled for release on October 12, 2019. A second development snapshot, GNOME 3.35.2, follows on November 23, 2019.

          More notable, the first GNOME 3.36 beta is tabled in for release at the beginning of February, with a second beta release arriving two weeks later, on February 15, 2020.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 1: WebKitGTK

          I’m a big fan of responsive touchpad gestures. For the last half a year (mostly January, February and during the summer) I’ve been working on improving gestures in many areas throughout GNOME. In this series I will do a (belated) overview.

          Late in the 3.32.x cycle, I saw a commit by Jan-Michael Brummer adding a back/forward swipe to Epiphany. It was really nice to finally have gestures, but it didn’t have any visual feedback. Less importantly, the direction was reversed, as if when scrolling with Natural Scrolling being off. I wanted to give a shot at improving it.

        • GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

          This morning I tagged the newest fwupd release, 1.3.1. There are a lot of new things in this release and a whole lot of polishing, so I encourage you to read the release notes if this kind of thing interests you.

          Anyway, to the point of this post. With the new fwupd 1.3.1 you can now build just the libfwupd library, which makes it easy to build GNOME Firmware (old name: gnome-firmware-updater) in Flathub. I tagged the first official release 3.34.0 to celebrate the recent GNOME release, and to indicate that it’s ready for use by end users. I guess it’s important to note this is just a random app hacked together by 3 engineers and not something lovelingly designed by the official design team. All UX mistakes are my own :)

        • Fwupd 1.3.1 Released With GNOME Firmware 3.34

          Richard Hughes has released GNOME Firmware 3.34, his new project formerly known as the GNOME Firmware Update as an alternative interface outside of GNOME Software for managing firmware updates on Linux. Additionally, Fwupd 1.3.1 is out with the newest firmware updating bits.

          GNOME Firmware 3.34 is the first official release of this new firmware updating UI and coming along with this week’s GNOME 3.34 release. GNOME Firmware is intended to be a power-user tool for upgrading/downgrading/managing firmware on the system while most users should be fine with just using the existing GNOME Software integration.

        • Back to GNOME development

          After writing my last blog post – a retrospection about my first 10 years of Free Software development – it made me want to contribute to GNOME again. I didn’t contribute much this past year (in short, too much stress). But I’m back, I hope my keen interest will continue.

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: Games and GSoC 2019

          GNOME Games has been participating in Google Summer of Code for many years, and this one is no exception. This time Andrei Lişiţă a.k.a. Yetizone was implementing a savestate manager.

          Andrei’s work involved redoing $XDG_DATA_HOME/gnome-games/ directory layout, writing a migrator for existing data, reworking the app to support having multiple savestates at once, implementing on-demand loading and saving, and implementing the UI.

    • Distributions

      • Applications, PostgreSQL, Zypper Packages Update in Tumbleweed

        The snapshots brought an update of KDE Plasma and Applications along with an update for the input framework ibus, two PostgreSQL versions and the command line package manager zypper.

        KDE Applications 19.08.1 improvements to Kontact, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Konsole, Step, and more arrived in snapshot 20190909. Several regressions in Konsole’s tab handling were fixed and olphin again starts correctly when in split-view mode. The updated of the anti-virus package clamav 0.101.4 address two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. The GNOME web browser package epiphany 3.32.5 fixed a memory corruption and broken web process extension connection when using WebKit trunk. An update of links 2.20.1 brought stability improvements and also addressed a bug when connected with tor would send real dns requests outside the tor network when the displayed page contains link elements with rel=dns-prefetch. The Plasma desktop received a minor update to 5.16.5 and fixed KWayland-integration builds with recent frameworks and Qt 5.13. Some notifications were changed in the new minor version and the some functionality was improved for current weather conditions. The qrencode 4.0.2 package improved support for cmake. The snapshot was trending at a rating of 84, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • Arch Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Here’s Ubuntu 19.10’s New Default Wallpaper

          The new desktop background for Ubuntu 19.10 was uploaded to a bug report on Launchpad where, as tradition dictates, it’s also available to download.

          As we’ve come to expect from Ubuntu wallpapers of late, the new drape bears an artistic depiction of the latest Ubuntu codename mascot, which for this release is an “Ermine”, or white stoat…

          Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ will be released on October 18, 2019. And as well as this wonderful new wallpaper it offers Linux Kernel 5.3, a light Yaru GTK theme and the all-new GNOME 3.34 release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What politics can teach us about open source

        It would be dangerous to oversimplify the parallels between these political approaches and the relationship between open source and closed source software. Even so, it is worth examining the impact and challenges for democracy in the context of ongoing debates about the role of open source, especially in enterprise IT environments.

        Democracy, particularly in the open source sense, is better than the autocratic, closed source model of software deployment. For closed source software vendors, a profit motive can ultimately be more influential than an interest in improving the software. More often than not, when deciding whether to invest in product innovation, commercial vendors will ask themselves at least one of these questions…

      • Events

        • Open Source at IBC 2019

          Showcasing two brand new Open Source software demonstrations featuring the Xilinx high-performance Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, and the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Creating privacy-centric virtual spaces

            We now live in a world with instantaneous communication unrestrained by geography. While a generation ago, we would be limited by the speed of the post, now we’re limited by the speed of information on the Internet. This has changed how we connect with other people.

            As immersive devices become more affordable, social spaces in virtual reality (VR) will become more integrated into our daily lives and interactions with friends, family, and strangers. Social media has enabled rapid pseudonymous communication, which can be directed at both a single person and large groups. If social VR is the next evolution of this, what approaches will result in spaces that respect user identities, autonomy, and safety?

            We need spaces that reflect how we interact with others on a daily basis.

          • Mozilla previews Firefox VPN, will charge for service at some point

            Mozilla has not hidden its desire to branch into new revenue territories to divest from the more-or-less-single-source of search engine royalties. In June, CEO Chris Beard and other Mozilla officials said that paid service subscriptions would roll out this fall, but assured users that the browser itself would remain free of charge. The VPN could be the first of several paid services pitched to Firefox users, or part of a larger all-in-one package; Mozilla hasn’t been clear about the form(s) this new revenue stream may take.

            Nor did Wood say how long her team will test Firefox Private Network. However, she did position this iteration of Test Pilot differently than before. “The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release,” she said.

          • Encrypted DNS could help close the biggest privacy gap on the Internet. Why are some groups fighting against it?

            Thanks to the success of projects like Let’s Encrypt and recent UX changes in the browsers, most page-loads are now encrypted with TLS. But DNS, the system that looks up a site’s IP address when you type the site’s name into your browser, remains unprotected by encryption.

            Because of this, anyone along the path from your network to your DNS resolver (where domain names are converted to IP addresses) can collect information about which sites you visit. This means that certain eavesdroppers can still profile your online activity by making a list of sites you visited, or a list of who visits a particular site. Malicious DNS resolvers or on-path routers can also tamper with your DNS request, blocking you from accessing sites or even routing you to fake versions of the sites you requested.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Anyone Can Build This Open Source, DRM-Free Kindle Alternative

            It’s harder to get an open source e-reader than you might think. Kindles are popular, but they lock you into Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon’s books come with digital rights protection and the company can remove them from your device whenever it wants. Those problems exist on tablets from Barnes and Nobles, Google, and Apple, too. When it comes to open source reading, there’s just no good options. The Open Book Project wants to change that.

      • Programming/Development

        • Fastest Python function to slugify a string

          The code is 7-8 years old and relates to a migration when MDN was created as a Python fork from an existing PHP solution.

          I couldn’t help but to react to the fact that it’s a list and it’s looped over every single time. Twice, in a sense. Python has built-in tools for this kinda stuff. Let’s see if I can make it faster.

        • Should you use “dot notation” or “bracket notation” with pandas?

          If you prefer bracket notation, then you can use it all of the time! However, you still have to be familiar with dot notation in order to read other people’s code.

          If you prefer dot notation, then you can use it most of the time, as long as you are diligent about renaming columns when they contains spaces or collide with DataFrame methods. However, you still have to use bracket notation when creating new columns.

        • Solving Sequence Problems with LSTM in Python’s Keras Library

          Time series forecasting refers to the type of problems where we have to predict an outcome based on time dependent inputs. A typical example of time series data is stock market data where stock prices change with time. Similarly, the hourly temperature of a particular place also changes and can also be considered as time series data. Time series data is basically a sequence of data, hence time series problems are often referred to as sequence problems.

        • How the Worlds of Linux and Windows Programming Converged

          Once upon a time, the world of developers was split into two halves: One half was composed of Windows developers, who created most of the productivity apps that powered PCs (and, occasionally, servers). The other half comprised Linux and Unix developers, whose work focused on server-side development. Today, however, as the worlds of Windows and Linux move ever closer together, the distinction between Windows and Linux developers is disappearing. Gone are the days when you had to specialize in one ecosystem or the other.

  • Leftovers

    • RIP Daniel Johnston
    • [Older] Photographer removes our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

      US photographer Eric Pickersgill has created ‘Removed’ a series of photos to remind us of how strange that pose actually is. In each portrait, electronic devices have been ‘edited out’ (removed before the photo was taken, from people who’d been using them) so that people stare at their hands, or the empty space between their hands, often ignoring beautiful surroundings or opportunities for human connection. The results are a bit sad and eerie–and a reminder, perhaps, to put our phones away.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Coast Guard issues warning on charging phone batteries after California boat fire

        A preliminary report on the Labor Day fire that destroyed the dive ship Conception near Santa Cruz Island could be issued as soon as Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The cause of the fire likely won’t be addressed, but NTSB members have said how batteries and electronics were stored and charged is being scrutinized.

        The Coast Guard said it has convened a Marine Board of Investigation to determine the cause of the blaze. But the bulletin noted that it does not have to await the board’s findings before taking “immediate and positive” action.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Treadmill of Magic Seeds and Broken Promises: Dismantling the Myth of Bt Cotton Success in India

        Political posturing aligned with commercial interests means that truth is becoming a casualty in the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops in India. The industry narrative surrounding Bt cotton is that it has been a great success. The current Modi-led administration is parroting this claim and argues its success must be replicated by adopting a range of GM food crops, amounting to what would be a full-scale entry of GM technology into Indian agriculture. Currently, Bt cotton is India’s only officially approved commercially cultivated GM crop.

      • Administration to Drop Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

        The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

      • Neonicotinoid Pesticides Have Caused A Huge Surge in the Toxicity of U.S. Agriculture

        Scientists are warning about a second Silent Spring after a new study found that U.S. agriculture is 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 20 years ago.

        A peer-reviewed study published in the journal PLOS One found that 92 percent of that toxic load can be attributed to neonicotinoids — the most widely used class of insecticides.

        Neonics, as they are commonly called, are 1,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT, the infamous pesticide exposed by Rachel Carson’s work in the 1960s, says Dr. Kendra Klein, a report co-author and senior scientist at Friends of the Earth.

        A big reason that neonics are so dangerous is that they persist in the environment — sometimes lasting up to 1,000 days. They remain in the soil and can be taken up by other plants. They’re also water soluble, so they wash into rivers, streams and wetlands. Their toxicity can build up in the environment and cascade from soil to plants, insects to birds.

        Neonics first hit the agriculture market in the 1990s and are mostly applied as a coating on seeds. They’re used on 140 different crops but most prevalently on corn and soybeans.

      • Harmful Algal Blooms: Regional Information

        If you live near the coast or the Great Lakes, you’ve probably experienced a harmful algal bloom — HAB for short. HABs occur when algae — simple photosynthetic organisms that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. Visit our new portal for region-specific HAB information, links, and resources.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once

        On July 3, employees at Arbor Dental in Longview, Washington, noticed glitches in their computers and couldn’t view X-rays. Arbor was one of dozens of dental clinics in Oregon and Washington stymied by a ransomware attack that disrupted their business and blocked access to patients’ records.

        But the hackers didn’t target the clinics directly. Instead, they infiltrated them by exploiting vulnerable cybersecurity at Portland-based PM Consultants Inc., which handled the dentists’ software updates, firewalls and data backups. Arbor’s frantic calls to PM went to voicemail, said Whitney Joy, the clinic’s office coordinator.

      • If you’re not using SSH certificates you’re doing SSH wrong

        None of these issues are actually inherent to SSH. They’re actually problems with SSH public key authentication. The solution is to switch to certificate authentication.

        SSH certificate authentication makes SSH easier to use, easier to operate, and more secure.

      • Your phone can be [cracked] – and there’s nothing you can do about it

        Finally, another benefit of Simjacker from the attacker’s perspective is that many of its attacks seems to work independent of handset types, as the vulnerability is dependent on the software on the UICC and not the device. We have observed devices from nearly every manufacturer being successfully targeted to retrieve location: Apple, ZTE, Motorola, Samsung, Google, Huawei, and even IoT devices with SIM cards. One important note is that for some specific attacks handset types do matter. Some, such as setting up a call, require user interaction to confirm, but this is not guaranteed and older phones or devices with no keypad or screens (such as IoT device) may not even ask for this.

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, dnsmasq, and golang-go.crypto), Mageia (docker, firefox, flash-player-plugin, ghostscript, links, squid, sympa, tcpflow, thunderbird, and znc), openSUSE (srt), Oracle (.NET Core, kernel, libwmf, and poppler), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (cri-o, curl, java-1_8_0-ibm, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-urllib3), and Ubuntu (curl and expat).

      • Microsoft Issues New Windows 10 Update Warning

        Meanwhile, the Windows Latest reports the Start menu stops working for some users who have upgraded to KB4515384 with Windows 10 delivering the following errors: “We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in” and “Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working”

      • Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 ‘security-only’ patches

        Two months ago, the July Win7 security-only patch was found to install telemetry software, triggered by newly installed scheduled tasks called ProgramDataUpdater, Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser, and AitAgent. As best I can tell, Microsoft never admitted that its security-only patch dropped a telemetry component.

        The August security-only update didn’t include that bit of snooping, so it looked like the July snooping was a one-off aberration.

        Now we’re learning that the September security-only patches for both Win 7 and Win 8.1 have this, shall we say, feature.

        [...]

        What information is Microsoft collecting? I don’t know. Telemetry is frequently downplayed as being largely uninteresting blobs of unattributed data. If that’s the case, why is Microsoft collecting it now, after all these years? It hasn’t even acknowledged (as best I can tell) that it’s collecting it via security-only patches.

      • Security Issues with PGP Signatures and Linux Package Management

        In discussions around the PGP ecosystem one thing I often hear is that while PGP has its problems, it’s an important tool for package signatures in Linux distributions. I therefore want to highlight a few issues I came across in this context that are rooted in problems in the larger PGP ecosystem.

        Let’s look at an example of the use of PGP signatures for deb packages, the Ubuntu Linux installation instructions for HHVM. HHVM is an implementation of the HACK programming language and developed by Facebook. I’m just using HHVM as an example here, as it nicely illustrates two attacks I want to talk about, but you’ll find plenty of similar installation instructions for other software packages. I have reported these issues to Facebook, but they decided not to change anything.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Spikes of Violence: Protest in West Papua

        Like Timor-Leste, West Papua, commonly subsuming both Papua and West Papua, remains a separate ethnic entity, acknowledged as such by previous colonial powers. Its Dutch colonial masters, in preparing to leave the region in the 1950s, left the ground fertile for a declaration of independence in 1961. Such a move did not sit well with the Indonesian desire to claim control over all Dutch Asia Pacific colonies on departure. There were resources to be had, economic gains to be made. The military duly moved in.

      • Moscow says reports about a CIA spy in the Kremlin are ‘classic propaganda’ generated by America’s upcoming presidential election

        Russia’s Foreign Ministry has formally appealed to Interpol, following media reports that a missing former Kremlin aide named Oleg Smolenkov is currently living in the United States.

      • Yemen Continues Its Descent into Hell

        There are really only two sides to the war in Yemen. There are the unarmed civilians. And there’s everyone else. The civilians are losing. Badly.

      • Netanyahu Risks Triggering an Unwinnable War to Avoid Losing Election
      • Russian agency adds student protester and YouTuber Egor Zhukov to blacklist of extremists and terrorists

        Egor Zhukov, a video blogger and a student at the Higher School of Economics, has been added to a list of extremists and terrorists maintained by Russia’s finance monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring. Zhukov was charged with mass rioting in the so-called “Moscow case” after he participated in election protests this summer. Those accusations were later dropped and replaced with charges of calling for extremism. The current case against Zhukov is based on his YouTube videos.

      • John Bolton’s Living Obituary

        “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” —John Bolton, in his Yale University 25th reunion book 

      • Iran-Linked Cybergroup Phishing Universities, Group Warns

        The group, likely seeking academic data and intellectual property [sic], have attempted to steal login credentials from employees at universities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Switzerland after sending their targets phony library-themed emails, said Secureworks, a cybersecurity company…

      • Climate Change Will Create 1.5 Billion Migrants by 2050 and We Have No Idea Where They’ll Go

        Climate change—which the U.S. Department of Defense called a “threat multiplier”—can exacerbate poverty, conflict, and instability, which already plague impoverished nations like Honduras. According to new research from Stanford University, the economic gap between the richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without climate change.

        The International Organization for Migration projects that between 25 million and 1.5 billion people will have to leave their homes by 2050. The poorest and smallest nations are the ones who are least likely to contribute to climate change, but they will be the first to be forced to migrate.

      • Police recovers arms cache during raid in central London

        The British Police has reportedly found a significant arms cache, including a sniper rifle, a silencer and tracer rounds linked to the banned terrorist group al-Muhajiroun in a Coventry, The Observer reported.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Prosecution Against Julian Assange: Where Presidential Candidates Stand

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been jailed in London’s Belmarsh Prison since April 11, when Ecuador authorities revoked his political asylum in their embassy and British authorities arrested him.

        The United States government had Assange arrested for extradition on charges of violating the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit a computer crime that stem from the disclosures from U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning that were published in 2010.

    • Environment

      • Climate change poses major risk to flood insurance program, experts warn

        Subcommittee Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said the Financial Services Committee has had to “deal with the issue of flooding repeatedly.”

      • Residents of a Siberian Town With Black Snow Are Pleading for Asylum in Canada

        Nikitina Irina Alexandrovna is from the Siberian town of Kiselyovsk, where inky black snow, a toxic byproduct of coal mining, has rendered it a nightmare-scape. Industrial waste covers homes, schools, and vehicles in a shroud of contaminated dust. The miasma of pollution is so pervasive that locals find it coming out of their mouths.

        Now, more than a dozen Kiselyovsk residents, including Alexandrovna, are asking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accept them as environmental refugees, as CBC News first reported.

      • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Seeks to Intervene on Proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Expansion

        Standing Rock attorney Timothy Purdon said if it’s granted intervenor status, the tribe would be allowed to cross-examine the company and call witnesses. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement that the “proposed pipeline expansion magnifies the potential disaster in the event of an oil spill. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe looks forward to expressing its concerns during the upcoming PSC hearing.”

      • Tribe leading DAPL lawsuit makes final case for shutdown, more environmental study

        “This illegal and dangerous pipeline must be shut down,” Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement.

        Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas fear a pipeline spill into the Missouri River would contaminate water they rely on for drinking water, fishing and religious practices. Thousands of pipeline opponents from around the world who took up their cause flocked to southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to protest the project. Some clashed with police, resulting in 761 arrests in a six-month span.

      • Bahamians look for loved ones as 1300 missing after Dorian

        They scan social media, peer under rubble, or try to follow the smell of death in an attempt to find family and friends.

      • The Four Storms of the Apocalypse: Katrina, Sandy, Maria and Dorian.

        The history of the United States remains shrouded in the fog of myth and overlain by the mists of time. Here in the stygian gloom, its founding looms as the triumph of freedom over tyranny; its slaveholding the reasonable exploitation of an inferior race; its civil war the singular triumph of a great president; its period of reconstruction proof that former slaves were not ready to take their place in the country’s democratic institutions; and in Jim Crow a return to the natural order. Here, the great wealth of this country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is viewed as the result of American entrepreneurial genius and technical wizardry rather than its founding on the flagellated backs of African slaves.

      • ‘Holy Smokes, This Thing Could Get HUGE’: NYC Public Schools to Let Students #ClimateStrike

        “They are finally treating the crisis like a crisis,” said 14-year-old New Yorker and climate striker Alexandria Villaseñor.

      • Nonviolence Denial Is As Dangerous As Climate Denial

        Persistent willful ignorance of necessary knowledge can be deadly. This is true of denial of climate collapse. It is also true of denial of the tools and power of nonviolent action. As evidence and knowledge pile up in each case, denial of the facts looks more and more intentional, reckless, and malevolent, or intentionally, recklessly, and malevolently manufactured by propagandists.

      • ‘We Must Be Bolder Than Ever’: Labor Federation Representing 30 Million Workers Calls on All Unions to Join Global Climate Strike

        “We cannot let the vital idealism of this new generation be poisoned by cynicism and doubt. This is our last chance. They are our last chance. We must stand with them.”

      • Energy

        • The Koch Brothers Are Even Worse Than You Think

          The phrase “The Koch Brothers” has become a shorthand for the insidious spread of radical right-wing power in America. But even those of us who devoured Jane Mayer’s book “Dark Money,” as well as the work of other journalists who illuminated the reach of billionaires Charles and the recently deceased David Koch, including their massive network of conservative and libertarian Political Action Committees and the lobbying efforts of those PACs, might have only a glimmer of an idea of the size and scope of Koch Industries. The business is headed by Charles (David was a shareholder, but not involved in day-to-day affairs), and it’s what gave the brothers their money and influence.

        • [Older] Leaked Audio Shows Oil Lobbyist Bragging About Success in Criminalizing Pipeline Protests

          Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted “model legislation” that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

          AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

          “We’ve seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017,” said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. “We’re up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet.”

        • [Older] Oil Companies Persuade States to Make Pipeline Protests a Felony

          The companies, including Koch Industries Inc., Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Energy Transfer Partners LP — whose Dakota Access project in North Dakota was targeted three years ago — lobbied state legislatures to effectively outlaw demonstrations near pipelines, chemical plants and other infrastructure. Nine states have gone along so far, in some cases classifying the activities as felonies. More are considering measures.

          The lobbying campaign, documented in state disclosures and other records reviewed by Bloomberg News, has raised concerns about corporate influence muzzling free speech.

        • Fracked Gas Well Blowout in Louisiana Likely to Burn for the Next Month

          A fracked natural gas well in northwest Louisiana has been burning for two weeks after suffering a blowout. A state official said the fire will likely burn for the next month before the flames can be brought under control by drilling a relief well.

        • Greenpeace Shuts Down Houston Ship Channel to Protest Oil Exports as Democratic Candidates Arrive in Texas for Debate

          Today, as Democratic presidential contenders arrive for a major debate this evening in Houston, 22 activists from Greenpeace sought to shut down what they called the country’s “largest fossil fuel thoroughfare,” the Houston Ship Channel, by rappelling from the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown, Texas.

          Greenpeace said the rappellers plan to stay in place for 24 hours, through tonight’s Democratic debates.

    • Finance

      • Tax Dodging 101: the Aircastle Model

        Aircastle Ltd. is not a household name, but if you’ve flown on South African Airways, KLM, or any of more than 80 other airlines, you’ve probably traveled on an airplane the Connecticut-based company owns and manages.

      • Angry Birds Maker Rovio Plummets After Profit Outlook Is Cut

        The Finnish game-maker now sees an adjusted operating profit margin of 5% to 8% in 2019 compared to a previous forecast of 9% to 11%. It also reduced its revenue outlook slightly as older games bring in less cash and brand licensing fails to reach expectations.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • That Time EFF Got A Copyright Takedown Demand Of Its Own Artwork

        Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration (shown in the banner above) violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet (cropped screenshot shown below). The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. For those interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a link from EFF can be very beneficial to their page ranking. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.

      • EFF to Third Circuit: Off-Campus Student Social Media Posts Should be Entitled to Full First Amendment Protection

        Special thanks to legal intern Maria Bacha who was the lead author of this post.

        EFF, Student Press Law Center (SPLC), Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment (PaCFA), and Brechner Center for Freedom of Information filed an amicus brief in B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to close a gap in the law to better protect off-campus student speech.

      • ‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’: New York Times deletes tweet about 9/11 after outrage

        Is political correctness in the modern, woke world going out of hands, where one can’t call a spade a spade? All such questions were raised on Twitter when one of world’s top news outlet New York Times tried to play coy about who really were behind the Twin Tower attack on 11th September 2001, where over 3000 people were killed.

        In a shocking tweet, New York Times said that, “‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’.

      • These States Are Pushing Laws to Restrict Protests on College Campuses

        According to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law’s US Protest Law Tracker tool, at least four states are currently considering campus anti-protest laws, including Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina. The bills mostly require punishments in the form of suspension or expulsion for students, faculty, or community members who disrupt visiting speakers at public colleges and universities.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Encryption Working Group Releases Paper To ‘Move The Conversation Forward’

        One of the frustrating aspects of the “debate” (if you can call it that) over encryption and whether or not law enforcement should be able to have any kind of “access” is that it’s been no debate at all. You have people who understand encryption who keep pointing out that what is being asked of them is impossible to do without jeopardizing some fairly fundamental security principles, and then a bunch of folks who respond with “well, just nerd harder.” There have been a few people who have suggested, at the very least, that “a conversation” was necessary between the different viewpoints, but mostly when that’s brought up it has meant non-technical law enforcement folks lecturing tech folks on why “lawful access” to encryption is necessary.

      • DNA analysis leads to charges in 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protest

        BCI agents gathered evidence after the incident. Included in that evidence were two cigarette butts that were sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis. In August, the BCI was notified that the DNA profile from one of the butts was a match for Malcolm, whose DNA sample was on file from a previous arrest.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • 12 Journalists Have Been Killed In Mexico This Year, The World’s Highest Toll

        This year, Mexico surpassed Syria to become the deadliest country for journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

        Many consider that overall levels of violence and impunity in Mexico are the biggest problems facing Mexican journalists. But press advocates say the president’s harsh rhetoric toward the media isn’t helping the situation.

        So far this year, 12 journalists have been killed, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission. Some press rights groups put the number even higher, according to their own reporting criteria.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Kazakhstan: Feminist Group Denied Registration

        An appeals court in Kazakhstan on September 3 upheld a decision denying Feminita, a national feminist initiative, registration as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The group’s focus includes the rights of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. 

      • ‘We’ll get by somehow’ Following attacks on social media, Mothers of Beslan committee cancels fundraising efforts for terrorism victims

        The Mothers of Beslan committee has decided to cancel its planned fundraising efforts for those injured in the Beslan school siege 15 years ago. Aneta Gadieva, the vice chair of the committee, told The Caucasian Knot about the cancellation on September 9.

      • South Africa: Punish Xenophobic Violence

        The South African police should take swift action to end xenophobic attacks targeting African foreign nationals.

      • NFL’s Depression-Era Ban on Black Players Lingers On in the Owners Box

        The National Football League season opened last week with a full slate of games.

      • Kickstarter fires two union organizers, potentially breaking labor laws

        The company reportedly fired employee Taylor Moore, who was one of the organizers, on Thursday morning. Last week Clarissa Redwine, who had also been involved in the union effort, was fired, too.

        It is illegal to fire employees for being involved in unionization efforts in the United States.

      • Creator of Stanford Prison Experiment on Trump’s camps: It’s how Nazi guards behaved

        Psychologist Philip Zimbardo became famous for examining the mass psychology and group dynamics of human authority, violence and evil in his landmark 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo has also explored similar questions in his numerous books, most notably “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.”

        I recently spoke to Zimbardo about Donald Trump’s concentration camps, how ICE and Border Patrol and other Trump enforcers rationalize their cruelty against migrants and refugees, and what these inhumane policies reflect about our president’s mental health. Zimbardo also discussed the way Trump’s supporters are attracted to his cruelty because of their cult-like relationship with him — a relationship that represents a dire threat to the safety of our country and the future of our democracy.

        This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

      • Saudi Princess Found Guilty of Having Worker Beaten in France

        Princess Hassa bint Salman, who was tried in absentia, was given a 10-month suspended sentence Thursday and fined $11,000 on charges of armed violence and complicity to hold someone against their will.

        The only daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reportedly became angry when she thought the plumber, Egyptian-born French national Ashraf Eid, had photographed her inside her home.

        Eid said he was summoned to fix a sink in the princess’ bathroom in September 2016. He claimed she saw him take photos of the bathroom, which he needed for his work, and accused him of taking the photos in order to sell them.

        The indictment said she ordered her bodyguard Rani Saidi to beat and humiliate Eid.

      • Rape Emergency Declared In Sierra Leone, Then Lifted. Did Anything Change?

        With the emergency now lifted and no funds earmarked, activists are now questioning if — and when — promises like government-sponsored psychosocial support and health care will be realized. Within the government, the focus on sexual assault cases has swung from big initiatives to small changes that can be made by parliament. The body is currently considering a new version of the 2011 Sexual Offenses Act, which, if passed, would make Bio’s call for a life sentence for anyone who has sex with someone under 18 a formal part of the country’s law.

        That could be a problematic law in a country where, according to U.N. data analyzed by Save the Children, which works in Sierra Leone, 13% of the country’s girls are married by age 15, and 39% by age 18.

      • Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.

        But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it.

        “The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop,” Judge April Newbauer wrote in a decision in a case involving a gun the police discovered in car they had searched after claiming to have smelled marijuana.

      • LeDuff: A Combat Marine learns the real war is at home in Detroit

        According to independent audits of the city’s finances, Detroit is spending nearly $50 million less on public safety (inflation-adjusted) than it did the year of the bankruptcy when we took all those cuts to public safety. There are one-third fewer firefighters manning rigs on any given day, according to the union. In July alone, it was published in the police officers’ union newspaper that 33 patrol cops had resigned. The pay and morale are miserable.

        Scenes of the recent crimes on West Lafayette Boulevard downtown. (Photo: Google Street View)

        So every time we take a public dollar and give it to a cheapskate billionaire sports team owner who does not share the profits, we get less public safety and more worn-out beat cops beating it for better-paying jobs in the suburbs.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T’s Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T

        AT&T’s efforts to dominate the online streaming (and advertising segment) has had a bit of a rocky start. After spending more than $150 billion to acquire both DirecTV and Time Warner in recent years, AT&T’s been losing subscribers hand over fist anyway. Part of the problem is that the company acquired so much debt in the course of the deal (AT&T is among the most indebted companies in the world), AT&T’s been forced to raise rates on subscribers. Given the rise in streaming competitors, those users are wisely just heading for the exits.

    • Monopolies

      • Intellectual Property Is Neither Intellectual, Nor Property: Discuss

        Well over a decade ago I tried to explain why things like copyright and patents (and especially trademarks) should not be considered “intellectual property,” and that focusing on the use of “property” helped to distort nearly every policy debate about those tools. This was especially true among the crowd who consider themselves “free market supporters” or, worse, “against government regulations and handouts.” It seemed odd to me that many people in that camp strongly supported both copyright and patents, mainly by pretending they were regular property, while ignoring that both copyrights and patents are literally centralized government regulations that involve handing a monopoly right to a private entity to prevent competition. But supporters seemed to be able to whitewash that, so long as they could insist that these things were “property”, contorting themselves into believing that these government handouts were somehow a part of the free market.

      • Confuse, Then Blame the Public: Facebook Dodges Regulation With Wall Street’s Tactics

        Facebook fulfilled an old promise last month in the most Facebook way possible: by sounding nice on paper and glossing over the details. Their new privacy tools are a laughably inefficient and insufficient set of measures, because fundamentally, they’re not trying to actually solve the stated problem: Facebook’s surveillance-based business model. It’s more proof that forcing individuals to protect themselves from the abuses of giant corporations is a cruel fantasy. This collective problem will require a collective solution. It’s about time regulators stepped in to do something about it.

      • Uber and Lyft launch anti-labor misinformation campaign in response to historic California bill

        “They have been doing this from the very beginning of AB5,” Stack-Martinez said. “It is not surprising they are providing misleading fear-mongering tactics… we see this every time workers fight back and begin to win.”

      • France Says It Will Block Facebook Libra in Europe

        The French minister has previously expressed concerns over Libra’s threat to national currencies, saying after the cryptocurrency’s debut in June that “It is out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”

      • Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency will be blocked in Europe, France says

        Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee told Financial News: “To me, [Libra] suggests that Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country.

        “It’s a global organisation that doesn’t have physical boundaries but basically has a global community who are solely under the oversight of Mark Zuckerberg.”

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • USPTO Increases Limit on Accepted Requests for Track I Examination [Ed: So it won’t only PENALISE you for not using Microsoft formats! Now it’s also giving a FAST LANE for rich people’s applications!]

          The Office implemented the prioritized examination provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in September 2011 (see “USPTO Implements Prioritized Examination Track under AIA”). The AIA had set forth a prioritized examination fee of $4,800 (since reduced to $4,000), which applicants must pay in addition to filing, search, and examination fees (including any applicable excess claims and application size fees) and processing and publication fees (the prioritized examination fee for small entities is reduced by 50%). In addition, the AIA specified that to be eligible for prioritized examination, an application must contain (or be amended to contain) no more than 4 independent claims and no more than 30 total claims. The AIA also limited the number of requests for prioritized examination that the Director may accept to 10,000 per fiscal year.

          [...]

          In its latest notice, the Office notes that the number of requests for prioritized examination has increased steadily over the last few years to the point that the limit of 10,000 requests for prioritized examination that may be accepted in any fiscal year will be reached if the limit is not increased. The Office also notes that the number of applications accepted for prioritized examination will remain a small fraction of the approximately 650,000 applications and requests for continued examination that the Office examines per fiscal year. Thus, the Office has determined that the Track I program may be further expanded to permit more applications to undergo prioritized examination while maintaining the ability to timely examine all prioritized applications.

        • Huawei is trying to sell all its 5G patents to a Western buyer in a bid to placate Trump and dodge national security concerns

          Huawei is trying an unusual tactic to try to break its deadlock with the US government. It’s offering to sell the rights to all its 5G patents in a one-time-only offer.

          Huawei’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, told The Economist’s Hal Hodson that the company was offering to bundle up its 5G patents, licenses, code, and technical blueprints in a one-off transaction.

          The idea would be to create a rival for the Chinese tech giant. “A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival,” Ren told Hodson.

      • Trademarks

        • THE Ohio State University Loses Its Trademark Application For ‘THE’

          Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing a ridiculous trademark application filed by the Ohio State University for the word “the.” This entire episode has been a painful reminder of the fallout of the permission culture that has risen up out of strict IP enforcement and an overly-permissive USPTO. The idea that so common a word could be locked up by a public university for any market designation is, ahem, patently absurd. So absurd, in fact, that even OSU alumnus and college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit thought the whole thing was silly.

      • Copyrights

        • Nintendo Sues RomUniverse for Mass Copyright Infringement

          Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular pirate site RomUniverse. The game company accuses the site of brazen and mass-scale copyright infringement of its games and hopes to shut it down. RomUniverse, which also offers pirated ebooks and movies, sells paid memberships to those who want unlimited downloads.

        • Meet Our Growing Tech Team!

          Timid Robot Zehta, Core Systems Manager

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    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  29. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  30. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable


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