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09.14.19

Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Clear Linux Is Being Used Within Some Automobiles

      Intel’s speedy Clear Linux distribution could be running under the hood of your car.

      While we’re fascinated by the performance of Intel’s open-source Clear Linux distribution that it offers meaningful performance advantages over other distributions while still focused on security and offering a diverse package set, we often see it asked… who uses Clear Linux? Some argue that Clear Linux is just a toy or technology demo, but it’s actually more.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Agile project management: 10 reasons to use it

          On the road to change, you’ll encounter fear and loathing. People will undoubtedly cling to old ways of working. Successfully making it to the other side will require commitment, passionate change agents, and unwavering leadership. You might wonder – is it really worth it?

          Leaders who have made the switch to agile project management say that it has delivered benefits both large and small to their organizations, from the rituals that bring their team together – like daily stand-ups – to the results that make their business stronger – like better end products and happier customers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Improve memset
        
        since the merge window is closing in and y'all are on a conference, I
        thought I should take another stab at it. It being something which Ingo,
        Linus and Peter have suggested in the past at least once.
        
      • An Improved Linux MEMSET Is Being Tackled For Possibly Better Performance

        Borislav Petkov has taken to improve the Linux kernel’s memset function with it being an area previously criticzed by Linus Torvalds and other prominent developers.

        Petkov this week published his initial patch for better optimizing the memset function that is used for filling memory with a constant byte.

      • Kernel Address Space Isolation Still Baking To Limit Data Leaks From Foreshadow & Co

        In addition to the work being led by DigitalOcean on core scheduling to make Hyper Threading safer in light of security vulnerabilities, IBM and Oracle engineers continue working on Kernel Address Space Isolation to help prevent data leaks during attacks.

        Complementing the “Core Scheduling” work, Kernel Address Space Isolation was also talked about at this week’s Linux Plumbers Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The address space isolation work for the kernel was RFC’ed a few months ago as a feature to prevent leaking sensitive data during attacks like L1 Terminal Fault and MDS. The focus on this Kernel ASI is for pairing with hypervisors like KVM as well as being a generic address space isolation framework.

      • The Linux Kernel Is Preparing To Enable 5-Level Paging By Default

        While Intel CPUs aren’t shipping with 5-level paging support, they are expected to be soon and distribution kernels are preparing to enable the kernel’s functionality for this feature to extend the addressable memory supported. With that, the mainline kernel is also looking at flipping on 5-level paging by default for its default kernel configuration.

        Intel’s Linux developers have been working for several years on the 5-level paging support for increasing the virtual/physical address space for supporting large servers with vast amounts of RAM. The 5-level paging increases the virtual address space from 256 TiB to 128 PiB and the physical address space from 64 TiB to 4 PiB. Intel’s 5-level paging works by extending the size of virtual addresses to 57 bits from 48 bits.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Interview with the Cloud Foundry Foundation CTO

          In this interview, Chip Childers, the CTO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation talks about some hot topics.

        • Research Shows Open Source Program Offices Improve Software Practices

          Using open source software is commonplace, with only a minority of companies preferring a proprietary-first software policy. Proponents of free and open source software (FOSS) have moved to the next phases of open source adoption, widening FOSS usage within the enterprise as well as gaining the “digital transformation” benefits associated with open source and cloud native best practices.

          Companies, as well as FOSS advocates, are determining the best ways to promote these business goals, while at the same time keeping alive the spirit and ethos of the non-commercial communities that have embodied the open source movement for years.

        • Linux Foundation Survey Proves Open-Source Offices Work Better
      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 Released

          Radeon ROCm 2.7.2 is now available as the newest update to AMD’s open-source GPU compute stack for Linux systems.

          ROCm 2.7.2 is a small release that just fixes the upgrade path when moving from older ROCm releases, v2.7.2 should now be running correctly. This release comes after the recent ROCm 2.7.1 point release that had corrected some components from properly loading the ROC tracer library.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 4.16 Brings Rendering Fix For A Number Of Direct3D Games

        Based off yesterday’s release of Wine 4.16, the Wine-Staging 4.16 update out today is more prominent with a number of new patches introduced to this experimental/testing flavor of Wine for running Windows games/applications on Linux.

        Wine-Staging 4.16 brings a tentative fix for this six year old bug report about Direct3D 9 rendering issues. The functionality can be enabled via a new “multiply_special” registry key to workaround issues with Final Fantasy XIV, The Witcher 2, Darkness II, Need for Speed Shift 2, Resident Evil 4, and other games.

    • Games

      • Kind Words, a pretty sweet experience about sending and receiving anonymous letters

        Developer Popcannibal (Make Sail, Girls Like Robots) just released an updated version of the Humble Original Kind Words with Linux support. Originally released in July’s Humble Monthly as an original game, Popcannibal did some tweaks and released it this week on Steam.

      • Dead Rising 4 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

        Dead Rising 4 running through Steam play.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11-4 has been released into the wild

        Get ready for another weekend full of testing games, as Valve and CodeWeavers have put out a fresh official build of Steam Play Proton for your pleasure.

      • Village building sim with god powers Rise to Ruins to leave Early Access next month

        Developer Raymond Doerr has announced their village building sim Rise to Ruins will leave Early Access on October 14th.

        A game regular GamingOnLinux readers will most likely be familiar with, since I’ve written about it quite a few times when checking up on development. The progress on it and how it’s grown has been astonishing. Coming from such a basic village builder into a highly engrossing mix of village building, god sim and tower defense all in one it’s great. The current trailer is a little old but it gives you a reasonable idea:

      • Weekend Deals: grab DiRT Rally completely free to keep and more not to miss

        Just a quick one really on some excellent deals going on right now, including two games you can grab completely free to keep.

        On Steam you can currently pick up DiRT Rally with 100% off, so if you don’t own it you can add it to your Steam Library and keep it forever. It’s really challenging but also incredibly fun, give it a go! Additionally, the THE GREAT GEOMETRIC MULTIVERSE TOUR, an indie FPS is also 100% off on Steam. Both deals should end on Monday, 16th at 5PM UTC.

        Also a reminder about Deep Rock Galactic, it’s fantastic in Steam Play and it’s having a free weekend with a big sale.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62.0

          KDE Frameworks are over 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks web page.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.62 Released With KWayland Additions & Other Improvements

          KDE Frameworks 5.62 is out today as the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE libraries complementing the Qt5 tool-kit offerings.

        • Back from Akademy 2019 in Milan

          The last week I was in Milan with my wife Aiswarya to attend Akademy 2019, the yearly event of the KDE community. Once again it was a great experience, with lots of interesting conferences and productive BoF sessions (“Birds of a Feather”, a common name for a project meeting during a conference).

          On Sunday, we presented our talk “GCompris in Kerala, part 2”. First, Aiswarya told some bits of Free-Software history in Kerala, gave examples of how GCompris is used there, and explained her work to localize the new version of GCompris in Malayalam (the language of this Indian state). Then I made a quick report of what happened in GCompris the last 2 years, and talked about the things to come for our next release.

        • Akademy was a blast!

          I attended my first ever Akademy! The event was held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy this year. And the experience was splendid. During the 2 day conference, I had the opportunity to talk at the Student Showcase, where all of the SoC students presented their work to the community. There were about 8 students, and everyone gave a good briefing on their project.

          My project this summer was with Kdenlive, the open source non linear professional video editor. I proposed to revamp one of the frequently used tools in the editor, called the Titler tool, which is used to create title clips. Title clips are video clips that contain text and/or images that are composited or appended to your video (eg: subtitles). The problem with the titler tool as it is, is that it uses QGraphicsView to describe a title clip and QGraphicsView was deprecated since the release of Qt5. This obviously leads to problems – upstream bugs crawling affecting the functionality of the tool and an overall degradation in the ease of maintenance of the codebase. Moreover, adding new features to the existing code base was no easy task and therefore, a complete revamp was something in sights of the developer community in Kdenlive for a long time now. I proposed to rework on the backend for the period of GSoC replacing the use of XML with QML and use a new rendering backend with QQuickRenderControl, along with a new MLT module to handle the QML frames. I was able to cover most of the proposed work, I seek to continue working on it and finish evolving the titler tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell + Mutter Patches Pending For Wayland Fullscreen Compositing Bypass

          There’s an exciting patch set to GNOME Shell and Mutter now pending for finally wiring up the full-screen unredirected display / full-screen bypass compositing for helping the performance of full-screen games in particular on Wayland.

          GNOME on X11 has long supported the full-screen compositing bypass so the window manager / compositor gets out of the way when running full-screen games/applications. That support under Wayland hasn’t been in place and thus there is a performance hit for full-screen Wayland-native software. But now thanks to Red Hat’s Jonas Ådahl, that infrastructure now appears to be ready.

    • Distributions

      • Slackware Family

        • September Edition of Plasma5 for Slackware

          After a summer hiatus during which I only released new packages for KDE Frameworks because they addressed a serious security hole, I am now back in business and just released KDE-5_19.09 for Slackware-current.

          The packages for KDE-5_19.09 are available for download from my ‘ktown‘ repository. As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. On my laptop with slackware64-current, this new release of Plasma5 runs smooth.

      • Debian Family

        • Releasing Slax 9.11.0

          New school year has started again and next version of Slax is here too :) this time it is 9.11.0. This release includes all bug fixes and security updates from Debian 9.11 (code name Jessie), and adds a boot parameter to disable console blanking (console blanking is disabled by default).

          You can get the newest version at the project’s home page, there are options to purchase Slax on DVD or USB device, as well as links for free download.

          Surprisingly for me we skipped 9.10, I am not sure why :)

          I also experimented with the newly released series of Debian 10 (code name Buster) and noticed several differences which need addressing, so Slax based on Debian 10 is in progress, but not ready yet. Considering my current workload and other circumstances, it will take some more time to get it ready, few weeks at least.

        • Slax 9.11 Released While Re-Base To Debian 10 Is In Development

          Slax 9.11 pulls in all the package updates and fixes from Debian 9.11. Meanwhile the lead developer is working on a presumably “Slax 10″ that is rebased against Debian 10. But there are a number of issues still needing to be addressed and as such that next major Slax release is still some time out from being released.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 14 Essential Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

          You probably already know a stack of keyboard shortcuts already because general actions like copy (ctrl + c), paste (ctrl + v), and undo are the same across all operating systems and throughout most (if not all) software.

          So in this post we focus solely on a set of Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts you might not know about, as well as those that you might, but always forget to use!

          Read all the way to the end for a bonus tip on how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu for your favourite apps and CLI tools — and to download our newbie-friendly Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Xabber Server v.0.9 alpha is released

        After almost three years of research, planning and development we’re proud to present the first public version of Xabber Server. Server is licensed under GNU AGPL v3 license, source code is available on GitHub. It is a fork of superb open source source XMPP server ejabberd by ProcessOne, with many custom protocol improvements an an all-new management panel.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Noted MIT Computer Scientist Defends Jeffrey Epstein in Leaked Emails

          Richard Stallman is a noted alumnus of MIT who remains listed as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). In the world of free software, he’s considered one of the earliest pioneers. He also helped develop the GNU Project, which has had a significant impact on the development of computers and technology.

          Now for the bad part — and it’s really, really bad: Stallman has some very troubling opinions on the subject of Jeffrey Epstein, along with a host of related subjects. MIT graduate and engineer Selam Jie Gano was the first to raise the alarm about this, with a long post on Medium quoting an email Stallman recently sent to the CSAIL mailing list and exploring other deeply dodgy things he’s said and done in the past.

        • MIT Students Think President L. Rafael Reif Should Also Resign Over Taking Jeffrey Epstein’s Money

          Last week, Media Lab director Joi Ito resigned after admitting that he had also taken Epstein’s money to fund his personal investments. Both Ito and Reif insist that they simply thought Epstein was a convicted sex offender and didn’t know he was a sex trafficker. Meanwhile, over on the MIT email listserv, computer scientist Richard Stallman is asking if maybe Epstein’s victims aren’t to blame for all this.

        • MIT scientist says Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre was ‘entirely willing’: report

          Stallman allegedly blasted the email out Thursday to a mailing list for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, according to an MIT alumni who leaked the message, Selam Jie Gano.

          Stallman was apparently responding to an email alerting students of an anti-Epstein protest at MIT.

          The university has come under fire after Giuffre’s allegations and revelations its highly acclaimed Media Lab accepted donations from Epstein.

        • It’s time to talk about post-RMS Free Software

          Richard Stallman has once again managed to demonstrate incredible insensitivity[1]. There’s an argument that in a pure technical universe this is irrelevant and we should instead only consider what he does in free software[2], but free software isn’t a purely technical topic – the GNU Manifesto is nakedly political, and while free software may result in better technical outcomes it is fundamentally focused on individual freedom and will compromise on technical excellence if otherwise the result would be any compromise on those freedoms. And in a political movement, there is no way that we can ignore the behaviour and beliefs of that movement’s leader. Stallman is driving away our natural allies. It’s inappropriate for him to continue as the figurehead for free software.

        • Bison 3.4.2 released [stable]
          Bison 3.4.2 is a bug fix release of the 3.4 series.  It fixes a number of 
          hard-to-find bugs, mostly discovered by fuzzing. 
          In Bison 3.4 a particular focus was put on improving the diagnostics, which 
          are now colored by default, and accurate with multibyte input.  Their format 
          was also changed, and is now similar to GCC 9's diagnostics. 
          Users of the default backend (yacc.c) can use the new %define variable 
          api.header.include to avoid duplicating the content of the generated header 
          in the generated parser.  There are two new examples installed, including a 
          reentrant calculator which supports recursive calls to the parser and 
          Flex-generated scanner. 
          See below for more details. 
          ================================================================== 
          Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts an annotated 
          context-free grammar into a deterministic LR or generalized LR (GLR) parser 
          employing LALR(1) parser tables.  Bison can also generate IELR(1) or 
          canonical LR(1) parser tables.  Once you are proficient with Bison, you can 
          use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in 
          simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. 
          Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars 
          work with Bison with no change.  Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to 
          use Bison with little trouble.  You need to be fluent in C, C++ or Java 
          programming in order to use Bison. 
          Here is the GNU Bison home page: 
          
          https://gnu.org/software/bison/
          
          ================================================================== 
          Here are the compressed sources: 
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz   (4.1MB) 
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz   (3.1MB) 
          Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]: 
          
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig
          
          
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-3.4.2.tar.xz.sig
          
          Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: 
          
          https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html
          
          [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the 
          .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file 
          and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this: 
            gpg --verify bison-3.4.2.tar.gz.sig 
          If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, 
          then run this command to import it: 
            gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0DDCAA3278D5264E 
          and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command. 
          This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: 
            Autoconf 2.69 
            Automake 1.16.1 
            Flex 2.6.4 
            Gettext 0.19.8.1 
            Gnulib v0.1-2844-g03add7eb9 
          ================================================================== 
          NEWS 
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.2 (2019-09-08) [stable]
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            In some cases, when warnings are disabled, bison could emit tons of white
            spaces as diagnostics.
          
            When running out of memory, bison could crash (found by fuzzing).
          
            When defining twice the EOF token, bison would crash.
          
            New warnings from recent compilers have been addressed in the generated
            parsers (yacc.c, glr.c, glr.cc).
          
            When lone carriage-return characters appeared in the input file,
            diagnostics could hang forever.
          
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4.1 (2019-05-22) [stable]
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            Portability fixes.
          
          * Noteworthy changes in release 3.4 (2019-05-19) [stable]
          
          ** Deprecated features
          
            The %pure-parser directive is deprecated in favor of '%define api.pure'
            since Bison 2.3b (2008-05-27), but no warning was issued; there is one
            now.  Note that since Bison 2.7 you are strongly encouraged to use
            '%define api.pure full' instead of '%define api.pure'.
          
          ** New features
          
          *** Colored diagnostics
          
            As an experimental feature, diagnostics are now colored, controlled by the
            new options --color and --style.
          
            To use them, install the libtextstyle library before configuring Bison.
            It is available from
          
          https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/
          
            for instance
          
          https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/libtextstyle-0.8.tar.gz
          
            The option --color supports the following arguments:
              - always, yes: Enable colors.
              - never, no: Disable colors.
              - auto, tty (default): Enable colors if the output device is a tty.
          
            To customize the styles, create a CSS file similar to
          
              /* bison-bw.css */
              .warning   { }
              .error     { font-weight: 800; text-decoration: underline; }
              .note      { }
          
            then invoke bison with --style=bison-bw.css, or set the BISON_STYLE
            environment variable to "bison-bw.css".
          
          *** Disabling output
          
            When given -fsyntax-only, the diagnostics are reported, but no output is
            generated.
          
            The name of this option is somewhat misleading as bison does more than
            just checking the syntax: every stage is run (including checking for
            conflicts for instance), except the generation of the output files.
          
          *** Include the generated header (yacc.c)
          
            Before, when --defines is used, bison generated a header, and pasted an
            exact copy of it into the generated parser implementation file.  If the
            header name is not "y.tab.h", it is now #included instead of being
            duplicated.
          
            To use an '#include' even if the header name is "y.tab.h" (which is what
            happens with --yacc, or when using the Autotools' ylwrap), define
            api.header.include to the exact argument to pass to #include.  For
            instance:
          
              %define api.header.include {"parse.h"}
          
            or
          
              %define api.header.include {<parser/parse.h>}
          
          *** api.location.type is now supported in C (yacc.c, glr.c)
          
            The %define variable api.location.type defines the name of the type to use
            for locations.  When defined, Bison no longer defines YYLTYPE.
          
            This can be used in programs with several parsers to factor their
            definition of locations: let one of them generate them, and the others
            just use them.
          
          ** Changes
          
          *** Graphviz output
          
            In conformance with the recommendations of the Graphviz team, if %require
            "3.4" (or better) is specified, the option --graph generates a *.gv file
            by default, instead of *.dot.
          
          *** Diagnostics overhaul
          
            Column numbers were wrong with multibyte characters, which would also
            result in skewed diagnostics with carets.  Beside, because we were
            indenting the quoted source with a single space, lines with tab characters
            were incorrectly underlined.
          
            To address these issues, and to be clearer, Bison now issues diagnostics
            as GCC9 does.  For instance it used to display (there's a tab before the
            opening brace):
          
              foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type
               expr: expr '+' "number"        { $$ = $1 + $2; }
                                                   ^~
            It now reports
          
              foo.y:3.37-38: error: $2 of ‘expr’ has no declared type
                  3 | expr: expr '+' "number" { $$ = $1 + $2; }
                    |                                     ^~
          
            Other constructs now also have better locations, resulting in more precise
            diagnostics.
          
          *** Fix-it hints for %empty
          
            Running Bison with -Wempty-rules and --update will remove incorrect %empty
            annotations, and add the missing ones.
          
          *** Generated reports
          
            The format of the reports (parse.output) was improved for readability.
          
          *** Better support for --no-line.
          
            When --no-line is used, the generated files are now cleaner: no lines are
            generated instead of empty lines.  Together with using api.header.include,
            that should help people saving the generated files into version control
            systems get smaller diffs.
          
          ** Documentation
          
            A new example in C shows an simple infix calculator with a hand-written
            scanner (examples/c/calc).
          
            A new example in C shows a reentrant parser (capable of recursive calls)
            built with Flex and Bison (examples/c/reccalc).
          
            There is a new section about the history of Yaccs and Bison.
          
          ** Bug fixes
          
            A few obscure bugs were fixed, including the second oldest (known) bug in
            Bison: it was there when Bison was entered in the RCS version control
            system, in December 1987.  See the NEWS of Bison 3.3 for the previous
            oldest bug.
          
      • Public Services/Government

  • Leftovers

    • Farmers, chefs fight to save classic ingredients in Mexican cuisine

      She says her mission is to save the “saberes y sabores” — the knowledge and flavors — of traditional Mexican food.

      Climate change is just one of the threats facing the ingredients of Mexico’s renowned cuisine, which was named an essential part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010.

      [...]

      According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which launched a campaign last month to save Mexico’s classic ingredients, six out of every 10 chiles consumed in the country today come from Chinese seeds.

      But now some farmers and chefs are fighting back to save Mexico’s indigenous chiles, beans, tomatoes, gourds, maize and more.

    • Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in admissions scandal, possible sign of what’s to come for others charged

      “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT scores in the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy and well-connected parents.

      Huffman, 56, became the first of 34 parents to be sentenced in the case. She was also given a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year of supervised release.

      Before sentencing, she tearfully described her daughter asking why Huffman didn’t trust her.

      “I can only say I am so sorry, Sophia,” Huffman said. “I was frightened. I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have inflicted more damage than I could ever imagine. I now see all the things that led me down this road, but ultimately none of the reasons matter because at the end of the day I had a choice. I could have said no.”

    • Science

      • As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

        Pew found that 95 percent of U.S. teens age 13 to 17 use a smartphone and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” More than half said they spend too much time on their phones. Another survey found teens were on their phones nearly nine hours a day.

        Almost a fourth in the Pew survey said social media had a “mostly negative effect” on their lives.

        A third study, from the University of San Diego, concluded that students frequently on their cellphones were twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as low-level users of cellphones.

        Some experts suspect that obsessive cellphone use may in fact be a physiological addiction, as the brain releases the chemical dopamine – part of the brain’s pleasure circuitry – with each digital notification.

      • I Won’t Buy My Teenagers Smartphones

        Now that my oldest is in ninth grade, it occurs to me that this decision not to buy him the one thing that every other kid has might be the most subversive, countercultural gesture of my entire life. I’m a total conformist. I follow the rules. I return my library books on time or pay the fine. My husband is a captain in the Navy—certainly not countercultural. As soon as the first baby came along, we bought a minivan. We’ve never been out there trying to make any bold statements. And yet, when it comes to allowing my teenagers access to smartphones, I am apparently a rebel. Is resisting this ubiquitous technology really worth it?

        For me, it is. I believe that a smartphone too accessible, given too early, and in the wrong hands is at best an addictive distraction and at worst a handheld siphon draining away children’s youth one beep, one swipe, one notification at a time.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • N.Y. Finds $1B in Hidden Transfers by Family Behind OxyContin

        The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $1 billion to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.

      • Medicaid’s Dark Secret

        She soon learned that the rumors held some truth. Medicaid, the government program that provides health care to more than 75 million low-income and disabled Americans, isn’t necessarily free. It’s the only major welfare program that can function like a loan. Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.

      • Thousands of Poor Patients Face Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt

        Over the past few months, several hospitals have announced major changes to their financial assistance policies, including curtailing the number of lawsuits they file against low-income patients unable to pay their medical bills.

        Investigative reports have spurred the moves, and they prompted criticism from a top federal official.

      • After Being Sued, Mississippi Rewrites Its Unconstitutional Ban On The Use Of Meat Words By Vegan Food Producers

        Mississippi legislators — apparently guided by “threatened” cattle farmers — decided to rewrite its product-labeling laws. It enacted a statute forbidding producers of non-meat products from using meat-associated terms to describe their products. This unconstitutional requirement was put in place to supposedly reduce customer confusion, but the labels targeted made it clear their products — hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. — contained zero meat.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Pen-testing duo cuffed for breaking into courthouse that hired them

        Later, the County official discovered that the two men were in fact, hired by the state court administration to try to “access” court records through “various means” to find out potential security vulnerabilities of the electronic court records.

        The state court administration acknowledged that the two men had been hired, but said they were not supposed to physically break into the courthouse.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Library-Themed University Phishing Attack Expands to Massive Scale

        The domains are associated with a group of Iranian cyberattackers collectively known as Cobalt Dickens or Silent Librarian. As Threatpost recently reported in a post on the group’s attack tactics, the attackers are looking to use fake, library-themed landing pages to steal students’ credentials, then use those to steal and resell intellectual property, move laterally within organizations, conduct internal phishing and more.

        New details from Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) researchers this week show that in total, Cobalt Dickens is actively targeting at least 380 universities in more than 30 countries. Many universities have been targeted multiple times, the firm said.

      • Rwandans Charged With Murder of Exiled Critic

        South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority has issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Colonel Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014.

      • Bangladesh: Internet Blackout on Rohingya Refugees

        New telecommunications and internet restrictions on Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh will disrupt critical humanitarian and emergency services.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • This game uses troll tactics to teach critical thinking

        Enter Finnish Public Broadcasting Company, Yle, which is hoping to harness the engagement power of gamification to accelerate awareness and understanding of troll tactics and help more people spot malicious internet fakes. It has put together an online game, called Troll Factory, that lets you play at being, well, a hateful troll. Literally.

        The game begins with a trigger warning that it uses “authentic social media content” that viewers may find disturbing. If you continue to play you’ll see examples of Islamophobic slogans and memes that have actually been spread on social media. So the trigger warning is definitely merited.

      • Photojournalist who snapped ‘Tank Man’ image dies aged 64

        A film roll of the image was smuggled out of China and the photo later appeared on the front pages of global newspapers. In China, however, the image remains highly taboo and any information about the crackdown is heavily suppressed.

      • Julian Assange to stay in prison over absconding fears

        Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is to remain in prison when his jail term ends because of his “history of absconding”, a judge has ruled.

        He was due to be released on 22 September after serving his sentence for breaching bail conditions.

        But Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there were “substantial grounds” for believing he would abscond again.

        The Australian, 48, is fighting extradition to the US over allegations of leaking government secrets.

      • The London Upper Tribunal rejects La Repubblica’s appeal on the Assange documents

        The press does not have the right to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange case. That is what judge Edward Mitchell finally ruled in an appeal taken to the London Upper Tribunal by la Repubblica, after we have spent the last four years trying to access the full documentation to investigate the Assange case and factually reconstruct it.

        In an extremely technical judgement just made public and which the judge himself characterises as “unusually long”, Mitchell rejects our legal arguments and states that he believed public knowledge of Mr Assange’s case would not have increased if it was known that the CPS held information from the US State Department or Department of Justice. A rather incredible argument considering that the entire Assange case revolves around the role of the United States authorities, who want to get their hands on the WikiLeaks founder, extradite him to the US and jail him for life: establishing whether the British and US authorities discussed this possibility from the very beginning is crucial.

        Julian Assange is currently in the high-security prison in Belmarsh in London. He is in very precarious condition and in fact is still in Belmarsh’s health unit. Last July the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said he is “gravely concerned” about his situation. Assange is awaiting the extradition hearing, after US authorities indicted him for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act for the publication of secret US government documents. A crucial extradition hearing is supposed to be held in February 2020 in London. If the founder of WikiLeaks is extradited to the US, he risks 175 years in jail: it would be the first time in US history that a journalist has ended up in jail for his work.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy

        As someone who has been a union member since I was a Marine with the American Servicemen’s Union until I retired last year as a Teamster as well as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, I have lived the reality of mistreatment of workers in the United States.

      • The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx

        The first installment of Michael Heinrich’s three-volume biography of Karl Marx titled “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society” is now available from Monthly Review Press. In keeping with MR’s long-time tradition as a movement rather than an academic press, the cloth edition is $34.95 and the eBook is only $19.95. Given the renewed attention to Karl Marx since the financial crisis of 2008, it will help us understand how his life and thought evolved. Heinrich is a consummate scholar of Marxism, best known until now for his 2012 “An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital”, also available from MR.

      • Spooked by Facebook’s Libra, euro zone to step up work on public cryptocurrency

        The 19-country bloc is also united in pursuing a tough regulatory approach should Libra seek authorizations to operate in Europe. It is also considering a common set of rules for virtual currencies, which are currently largely unregulated.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Super-Delegated and Relegated

        After reading a number of recent articles by Norman Solomon in which he seems to be chronically bristling under his democrat identity, his frustration with his party keeps reminding me why the democrats and republicans are both wastes of energy.

      • RCMP Attempt to Silence Critics of Trudeau Foreign Policy

        On Tuesday two RCMP agents came to my house. Two large men in suits asked for me and when my partner said I wasn’t there they asked who she was.

      • Hong Kong’s Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes get a protest makeover

        The tops often have intricate Chinese character designs detailing the brand or the filling inside.

        But Suen’s mooncakes have different kinds of messages printed on them such as “Hong Kong People”, “No withdrawal, no dispersal” and “Be Water”.

        All are chants heard on Hong Kong’s streets in the last three months, as huge crowds come out to protest eroding freedoms after two decades of rule by Beijing.

      • Of Course It’s an Impeachment Inquiry

        Let’s clear things up: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she’s “not answering any more questions about a possible inquiry, investigation, and the rest” because “there is nothing different from one day to the next.”

        But something new did happen on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority voted to open an “investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with regard to President Donald J. Trump.” In so doing, they established guidelines for pursuing an inquiry—with committee chair Jerry Nadler noting, correctly, that “Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms.”

      • Voters would back temporary government of national unity to avoid no deal, poll finds

        Voters would back the creation of a temporary government of national unity to avoid a no-deal Brexit, according to a new poll.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Danish News Round-Up: Facebook data centre opens ahead of schedule

        There was no red ribbon, but a big blue button, as Facebook’s new 400 million kroner data centre officially opened in Odense yesterday – several months ahead of schedule.

      • Microsoft is thrusting its hidden telemetry app at Windows 7 and 8.1 users again [iophk: noxious payloads piggybacked onto "security" updates]

        Microsoft is up to its old tricks again, sneaking in some cheeky telemetry software with an update.

        Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have once again been greeted this month with a ‘security only’ update rollup which actually hides some telemetry spyware within, designed to allow Microsoft to keep tabs on your usage.

      • Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution

        Up close, the result will be a steady stream of quotidian benefits. Some will arise from convenience. Microchipped clothes could tell washing machines how to treat them. Smart traffic systems will reduce waiting times at traffic lights and better distribute cars through a city. Some will be the sorts of productivity improvements that are the fundamental drivers of economic growth. Data from factory robots, for instance, will allow algorithms to predict when they will break down, and schedule maintenance to ensure that does not happen. Implanted sensors will spot early signs of illness in farm animals, and micromanage their feeding. Collectively, those benefits will add up to a more profound change: by gathering and processing vast quantities of data about itself, a computerised world will allow its inhabitants to quantify and analyse all manner of things that used to be intuitive and inexact.

        One way to understand the IoT says Martin Garner at CCS Insight, a firm of analysts, is by analogy with another world-changing innovation. Over the past century electricity has allowed consumers and businesses at least in the rich world, access to a fundamental, universally useful good—energy—when and where they needed it. The IoT aims to do for information what electricity did for energy.

      • ‘If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed’

        Snowden: I hope not. But look, if I had wanted to live a safe life, I would still be sitting in Hawaii in paradise with the woman I love collecting a huge paycheck to do almost no work. But what makes a life? It’s not just who we think we are, it’s the choices we make. If I can’t return home to my country, I will at least know that I made it better. And no matter what happens, that’s something I can live with.

      • In ‘Permanent Record,’ Edward Snowden Says ‘Exile Is An Endless Layover’

        So what’s changed since Snowden’s revelations?

        The law, for one. In 2015, Congress passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which prohibits the bulk collection of the phone records of American citizens, addressing one of Snowden’s major complaints. Now the government must get a court warrant to look at individual phone records.

        Also, ordinary citizens have become much more aware of how governments and private companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google may collect personal data. This has, in turn, has led to the much wider use of encryption.

        “2016 was a landmark in tech history, the first year since the invention of the Internet that more Web traffic was encrypted than unencrypted,” writes Snowden.

      • Edward Snowden’s memoir reveals some (but not all)

        The press, he notes, mostly missed a story that was squatting right out in the open. Why else would the NSA build what was originally called the Massive Data Repository, a colossal data-storage facility in the Utah desert? He cites an unclassified presentation given by Ira Hunt, then the chief technologist at the CIA, in which he blithely told a crowd of conference attendees and journalists that “it is nearly within our grasp to compute on all human-generated information”, and that the spooks could eavesdrop on every one of their communications and track their smartphones even when they were switched off. Appalled by the power and intrusiveness of a mass-surveillance system that had been developed without public consent, Mr Snowden says, he began organising one of the largest leaks in the history of American spying.

        This is Mr Snowden’s account of an episode that still provokes powerful emotions. He says mass surveillance directly contradicts both the spirit and letter of America’s constitution, which is designed to protect its citizens from an over-mighty government. His former employers decry him as a traitor. Western officials have alleged that China and Russia have managed to decrypt some of the cache of documents he took, something that, on Mr Snowden’s telling, should be impossible. For now at least, the truth remains unknowable.

      • Australia is considering mimicking the UK’s failed porn block policy

        According to the report, the committee intends not only to examine how age verification works on gambling sites, but also to look specifically at the UK version from the Digital Economy Act 2017.

        They’ll have to make do with looking at the Act, because the actual policy hasn’t been enacted yet, already missing two deadlines and last seen with the promise of a revised roll out before 2020. Our bet is closer to “the 1st of Never”, but trust whichever source you prefer.

      • Denmark Releases 32 Prisoners Convicted Because Of Flawed Mobile Phone Tracking Data

        A few weeks ago, Techdirt wrote about Denmark reviewing 10,000 court verdicts because of errors in mobile phone tracking data that was offered as evidence in those cases. At that time, it wasn’t clear how many of the group were affected by the unreliable data. However, the Guardian reports that 32 people have already been freed. Given the large number of cases involved, it seems unlikely that many have been reviewed in such a short space of time. If that’s the case, it is possible that quite a few more verdicts will be overturned, and more people released. Companies providing mobile phone services in Denmark are naturally keen to distance themselves from this mess. Jakob Willer, speaking on behalf of the country’s telecoms industry association, said it was not their job to provide evidence:

      • Google’s smart home ecosystem is a complete mess

        A few days ago, I tried and failed to install Google’s smart smoke detector — the Nest Protect — at the CNET Smart Home. After nearly two hours on the phone with the help desk, the Nest App and device still refused to connect. Why? Well, I finally discovered, a problem on the iOS version of the Nest App won’t allow a Nest Protect to be installed after a Nest Hub Max, Google’s shiny new smart display. Eventually, following a suggestion from Google, I had to dig up an old Android-based Galaxy Note 6 to properly install the smoke detector.

        If Google’s own smart home products act like embarrassed step-siblings, many erstwhile Works with Nest gadgets seem like they won’t even visit for the holidays anymore. And it’s not their fault: It turns out Google is a terrible parent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

        • Amazon-owned Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for part-time workers

          Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, and the grocery chain currently employs roughly 95,000 people. Amazon, on the other hand, is worth nearly $910 billion, making it the third most valuable company on the planet behind Apple and Microsoft, both of which passed trillion-dollar market valuations over the past 12 months.

          Despite running only the third most valuable company, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person, with a net worth north of $115 billion, thanks to the sheer volume of Amazon shares he owns as the company’s sole CEO since its creation in 1994.

        • The 2 Instagram influencers detained in Iran are held in a prison where people are reportedly threatened with dismemberment, forced to eat dirt, and sleep on cockroach-infested floors

          Jolie King and Mark Firkin are being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, The Times of London, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Persian-language Manoto TV reported. Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to confirm the location.

        • Michigan has a smart idea for fixing gerrymandering. Conservatives want to crush it.

          Political operatives are much more likely to seek deadlock and push the issues to Michigan courts, where Republicans have a majority on the state Supreme Court. Indeed, conservative law professor and former 10th Circuit judge Michael McConnell recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court arguing that the patronage cases do not apply to judges because judges are policymakers. McConnell is trying to get the Court to reinstate a rule requiring partisan balance on Delaware’s courts, which are appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate. The same reasoning applies to Michigan’s commission; the commissioners are policymakers and the state can decide to achieve balance and exclude party insiders.

        • Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch ‘Sort Of Hacked The Constitution’

          “No one becomes a whistleblower because they want to,” he said. “No one becomes a whistleblower because it has a happy ending.”

          Snowden warned that wide-scale data collection continues. He recalled the moment the light clicked: He was in a Best Buy, looking at “smart” refrigerators and stoves, when it dawned on him that the manufacturers, not the purchasers and owners, were the ones ultimately in control.

          “Where this data that your refrigerator was collecting, that your phone was collecting, that the government was collecting — where all of this data was going was intentionally hidden from us,” he said. “We are no longer partner to our technology, in large part, just as we are increasingly, unfortunately, no longer partner to our government, so much as subject to them. And this is a dangerous trend.”

        • Joie-de-Job: Staying High, at Work

          On listening to Alabama Shakes frontwoman and three-time Grammy winner Brittany Howard’s “Stay High,” an early release from her debut solo album Jamie due out next Friday, I thought of Matsuo Bansho’s sixteenth-century haiku: “Beginning of all art / a song when planting a rice field / in the country’s inmost part.” Perhaps implied in those three lines is the fulfillment of work done not just in the natural world, but in harmony with it. Bansho’s voice calls from a vanished time before our separation from that world.

        • Hempress Sativa: “Rastafari Should be Protected”

          Hempress Sativa is one of the most dynamic and talented performers – male or woman – in reggae music today. Currently at work on her sophomore album following her extremely impressive debut “Unconquerebel” – and its dub version with legendary sound engineer Scientist (“Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub”) – Hempress Sativa is a spiritual, powerful, deeply conscious Rastafari singer. Born into a musical family, she grew up surrounded and nurtured by some of the biggest names in Jamaican music.

        • As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students

          This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students.

          During the past decade, the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign has become a destination for students from China and has enrolled more Chinese undergraduates during some years than any university in the U.S. There are 569 freshmen from China this year, about 7.4% of the class, according to university data released this week. Overall, there are 5,825 U. of I. students from China, including more than 3,000 undergraduates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Sues Maine For Demanding It Sell TV Channels À La Carte

        Over the last few years, telecom giants have increasingly been trying to claim that pretty much any effort to hold them accountable for their terrible service (or anything else) is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Historically that hasn’t gone so well. For example, courts generally laughed off ISP lawyer claims that net neutrality violated their free speech rights, quite correctly highlighting that ISPs are simply conduits to information, not acting as editors of available speech through their blocking or filtering of available information.

      • Disney’s Bob Iger Resigns From Apple’s Board as Companies Launch Competing Streaming Services

        But while the two companies had long been intertwined at the helm, plans to launch competing streaming services were increasingly putting Apple and Disney at odds. Disney is set to launch its Disney Plus service on November 12, whereas Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1.

        As the two companies enter the global streaming market, they aren’t just competing for consumer dollars, but also for programming rights. By some reports, Apple has allocated as much as $6 billion for Apple TV Plus content.

      • MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

        Even with MoviePass’ evident demise, the service has spurred theater chains including AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark to launch their own rival subscription plans. Last month, AMC said its Stubs A-List program, which lets subscribers see three movies weekly for $19.95 a month, had hit 900,000 subscribers.

      • MoviePass is shutting down September 14th

        According to Helios and Matheson, MoviePass was too far gone to save. “On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” reads the release.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Curver v. Home Expressions Advances Design Patent Law

          In today’s Curver v. Home Expressions decision, the Federal Circuit resolved several outstanding questions regarding design patents. In particular, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that a design can be claimed, untethered from a specific article of manufacture to which it is applied. It also rejected the notion that the verbal portion of a design patent—the title and the claim, in particular—are irrelevant to analyzing the scope of the right.

          Citing work from Prof. Sarah Burstein, one of the foremost scholars of design patents, the opinion stated that a design per se, untethered from any specific article, would create difficulties for the public in identifying the scope of what the design patent protects, as well as for the Patent Office in creating a reasonable scope within which to search for prior art. Again citing Prof. Burstein, the court also noted that a rule that ignores the title and claim language of a design patent makes those components meaningless—surplusage that “would provide no useful information at all.”

        • Looney Coons meets resistance to ill-conceived STRONGER Patents bill that would increase patent troll litigation, harm high-tech innovators

          Over at IPWatchdog they have a summary of this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (video recording) on the STRONGER Patents Act, a bill primarily (but not exclusively) put forward and promoted by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.). They place a little more emphasis on quotes from those supporting the bill, but they do acknowledge a “sharp split on injunctive relief, IPR [PTAB inter partes reviews] fixes.”

          The bill’s name stands for “Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience,” but there’s nothing positive to say about its content other than recognizing the creativity that went into the derivation of this marketing-friendly acronym and the fact that there is widespread consensus one should end USPTO fee diversion. While the tertiary item on “assisting small businesses in the U.S. patent system” sounds good, it’s useless and amounts to diversionary tactics.

          Like many–if not most–legislative proposals, “STRONGER” is a misnomer, and those opposing the pillars of that reactionary and harmful proposal stressed that stronger enforceability of patents doesn’t mean a stronger innovation economy. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation accurately stated, that bill “would make bad patents stronger than ever.” In a Washington Examiner op-ed, the R Street Institute’s Charles Duan proposes that “Congress should look for solutions that enhance not the strength of patents, but the strength of patent correctness.”

        • State Rights; Sovereign Immunity; and the Patent System

          UMN sued LSI and Ericsson for infringing several of its semiconductor related patents. U.S. Patents 5,859,601, 7,251,768, RE45,230, 8,588,317, 8,718,185, and 8,774,309. Those two companies then petitioned the USPTO for inter partes review (IPR) of the asserted claims. The PTAB then dismissed the proceedings – holding that 11th Amendment sovereign immunity applied to IPR proceedings. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit reversed – holding that sovereign immunity does not protect state-owned patents from being cancelled by the PTAB.

          A key Supreme Court precedent on-point is Fed. Mar. Comm’n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743 (2002) (FMC) (presumptive state immunity even in administrative adjudications). Here a major difference is that we have property-rights at stake that create special in rem jurisdiction potential and that UMN has already attacked the IPR petitioners by suing them for infringement, creating potential waiver.

        • Japanese courts slow to adopt information technologies

          It has been pointed out that Japan is behind Singapore, China, South Korea and other countries in the adoption of IT for proceedings. In Japan, there is a saying “Knocking on a strong stone bridge before crossing it”. It means to be excessively cautious. Today’s Japan seems not to be able to cross the bridge before everyone else cross it.

          My concern is that Japan may be not able to change its current situation until it recognize the fact that Japan is behind other countries, especially China and Korea. I’m afraid that innovative people around the world will not want to partner with a country or companies that have such a mindset.

        • Article 3(a) just keeps on giving: AG Opinion in SPC referrals C-650/17 and C-114/18

          The Advocate General (AG) has issued his opinion in SPC Referrals C-650/17 (Royalty Pharma) and C‑114/18 (Sandoz). Both referrals seek clarification over whether an SPC may be granted to a specific, individualised, embodiment of the product claimed by the basic patent. The referrals particularly relate to the correct interpretation of Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009). Article 3(a) states that an SPC shall be granted for a product “protected by a basic patent in force”. C-650/17 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to functional claims, and C‑114/18 asks how Article 3(a) should be applied to claims specifying a Markush formula. In his opinion, the AG is clear that Article 3(a) should be interpreted for these types of claims according to the test provided in the CJEU decision C-121/17 (Teva).

      • Trademarks

        • Liverpool FC Fans Plan Protest Of Their Own Club Over Trademark Issue

          It was only a few weeks back that we were discussing Liverpool FC, a soccer team playing in the UK Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for “Liverpool”, the city in which it plays. While the club has made a point of reminding the public that its application is quite narrow, limited specifically to products and services revolving around soccer, that same public has pointed out there are both other indpendent soccer clubs in the city that would technically be infringing on that applied-for mark and that there is a culture of independent retailers selling fan gear that would get caught up in this as well. Liverpool FC, meanwhile, maintains that it wouldn’t go after either group, but instead are interested only in protecting its fans from mass-makers of counterfeit apparel and the like.

        • Tempting to trade mark the Olympics: Beware of reputation

          With several attempts to trade mark the name of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, Dutch-based Tempting Brands is on track to clash with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

          [...]

          In April every year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the IP community celebrate ‘World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s theme was ‘Reach for Gold: IP and Sports’. The Director-General of WIPO, Dr Francis Gurry, emphasised that “Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the financial model of all sporting events worldwide.” As any observant Kat will know there is no better example of this than the Olympic Games.

          The Olympic Games remains one of the most well-known sporting events in the world, which alternate every two years with the Summer games set for Tokyo in 2020 and the Winter games in Beijing in 2022. In order to protect its brand and reputation, the IOC relies on the Nairobi Treaty, as well as national legislation (in Australia: Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987), to protect its Olympic marks and insignia.

      • Copyrights

        • Rojadirecta Puts Up Defense But Can’t Escape ISP Blockade

          A Danish court has ordered Internet provider Telenor to block access to the famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta. The order was requested by local anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen and Spanish football league La Liga. Rojadirecta, which filed its objections on paper without success, has yet to decide whether it will appeal.

        • Brazzers Wants Cloudflare to Identify YesPornPlease Uploaders

          MG Premium, a company operated by adult giant Mindgeek, is attempting to find out who is pirating its Brazzers-branded content. In a DMCA subpoena application filed in Washington, the company wants Cloudflare to reveal who is behind thousands of ‘pirate’ uploads on YesPornPlease.com – one of the world’s largest porn sites – in some cases dating back to 2016.

        • Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, UK Parliament Says

          The saga of loot boxes continues. This time, it’s Parliament weighing in, with the UK’s governing body releasing a report from its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on the issue of loot boxes in games and how they should be handled by regulatory bodies.

          The big takeaway? As many people have insisted for a while now, the report suggests that loot boxes—wherein you spend real money for the chance to get a thing you want—are gambling. And, specifically, as Rock Paper Shotgun explains, this committee thinks they should be regulated under UK gambling law since they are “games of chance played for money’s worth.” If this regulation happens, it could have pretty big ripples. We’ll be following this one.

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  18. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  20. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  23. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  24. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  25. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  26. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  28. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  29. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes



  30. 'Priceless' Tickets to the EPO's Back End and Team UPC

    CIPA's and the EPO's event (later this week) is more of the same; the EPO exists not to serve European businesses but a bunch of law firms and their biggest clients (which usually aren't even European)


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