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09.22.19

Links 22/9/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.7, Lennart’s Latest Plan

Posted in News Roundup at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation

        • Linux Foundation Hosting Open Source Project on UAS Interoperability

          The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit technology consortium, plans to host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project, which is designed to enable “trusted, secure and scalable” interoperability among unmanned aircraft system (UAS) service suppliers (USSs) to advance “safe, equitable and efficient” drone operations, the foundation has announced.

          Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations: Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation.

          Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic, the Linux Foundation explains. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS traffic management to support increasing and diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers, or USPs) assists drone operators with conducting safe and compliant operations.

        • #CFSummit2019: Open Source Community Witnesses High-Velocity Of Change

          This time last week, The Hague, The Netherlands welcomed over 700 people all attending the 2019 European Cloud Foundry Summit.

          While last year, the theme was very much tailored around pushing enterprise-ready platform-as-a-service portfolio, as it continues to strike closer relationships with the world’s biggest cloud service providers, but this year, the summit took a more forward-thinking approach with its ‘Building the Future’ theme.

    • Applications

      • 5 Popular Free and Open Source Accounting Software
      • 5 Best TrueCrypt Alternatives – Open source encryption apps

        If you want to protect your data from prying eyes, then you need to encrypt it. Previously many of us relied on Truecrypt to do this, however, as the popular encryption app was mysteriously discontinued, we have created this article to give you five alternatives to TrueCrypt.

        If you are serious about security, then you will do this yourself rather than using a third-party to do it for you. This is what is meant by end-to-end encryption (e2ee).

        But even if you are using e2ee, how do you know that the software is not doing something untoward? Such as secretly sending your encryption keys back to its developers, or creating a backdoor in the encryption.

        The only guarantee we can have against this is the use of open-source code. Only if a program can be freely examined to ensure it does what it is supposed to (and only what it is supposed to) can we place a reasonable amount of confidence in it.

      • Shotcut 19.09.14

        Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor for Windows, Mac and Linux. Major features include support for a wide range of formats; no import required meaning native timeline editing; Blackmagic Design support for input and preview monitoring; and resolution support to 4k.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Has Another Wayland Fractional Scaling Fix, Other Improvements

          Following last week’s Akademy 2019 developer conference in Milan, KDE developers this week not only released the Plasma 5.17 beta but they’ve been busy with a ton of other bug fixing and improvements.

          Some of the KDE improvements made this past week include:

          - KSysGuard now adds per-process network traffic information.

          - Better handling for multiple audio playback or recording devices.

        • KMyMoney 5.0.7 released

          The KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.0.7 of its open source Personal Finance Manager.

          This release becomes necessary due to the new regulations of the PSD2 which affects the online banking availability for German users. To make KMyMoney compatible with them, especially the Strong Customer Authentication part, KMyMoney had to be adapted to updated APIs of the Gwenhywfar and AqBanking libraries which provide the banking protocol implementations. KMyMoney now requires a Gwenhywfar minimum version of 4.99.16 and an AqBanking version of 5.99.32.

        • Roman Gilg: Political activism in KDE [Ed: Roman Gilg is wrong. Climate change is science. It is not politics. AstroTurfing by oil giants tried for decades to warp it into a partisan 'political identity issue'.]

          At the very beginning of this blog I mentioned that I might not only talk about technical topics but also about political or philosophical ones. Until now I successfully managed to avoid that but over three years later this is the first article about such a topic.

          It is though directly related to me being part of the KDE community and my work on KDE software. In the last few weeks I noticed a rise in political activism in KDE what I see critical. The climax was two days ago an official endorsement of the Global Climate Strike on KDE’s social media accounts. Why this straw broke the camel’s back and how if at all I think KDE can be political, I will expand upon in the following.

    • Distributions

      • Systemd

        • Debian May Need To Re-Evaluate Its Interest In ‘Init System Diversity’

          “Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman has shared his August 2019 notes where he outlines the frustrations and issues that have come up as a result of init system diversity with some developers still aiming to viably support systemd alternatives within Debian,” reports Phoronix…

        • Lennart Talks Up systemd’s SD-Boot + Boot Loader Specification

          In addition to announcing systemd-homed for better user home directories, Lennart Poettering also used this year’s All Systems Go conference to drum up support for systemd’s boot efforts around SD-Boot and the Boot Loader Specification.

          systemd-boot/sd-boot is systemd’s UEFI boot manager formerly known as Gummiboot. SD-Boot continues picking up new functionality and at least optional usage by more distributions. The Systemd Boot Loader Specification (also known as the FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification) meanwhile is trying to assist use-cases around dual/multi-boot operating system setups and related use-cases with drop-in file handling, standardized configuration files and the like.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • State of DevOps 2019 Survey, Sponsored by CloudBees, Shows Higher Percentage of Top-performing DevOps Teams Use Open Source Software

        CloudBees, the enterprise DevOps leader powering the continuous economy, highlighted recent findings in the 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report. The survey was conducted by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), a pioneer in helping organizations achieve high DevOps and organizational performance with data-driven insights, and Google Cloud, and sponsored by CloudBees and others. The results showed that a higher percentage of top performing teams in enterprise organizations are using open source software. Additionally, the proportion of Elite performers (highest performing teams) nearly tripled from last year, showing that DevOps capabilities are driving performance.

      • The Internet Relies on People Working for Free

        When you buy a product like Philips Hue’s smart lights or an iPhone, you probably assume the people who wrote their code are being paid. While that’s true for those who directly author a product’s software, virtually every tech company also relies on thousands of bits of free code, made available through “open-source” projects on sites like GitHub and GitLab.

        Often these developers are happy to work for free. Writing open-source software allows them to sharpen their skills, gain perspectives from the community, or simply help the industry by making innovations available at no cost. According to Google, which maintains hundreds of open-source projects, open source “enables and encourages collaboration and the development of technology, solving real-world problems.”

      • Obsidian Systems’ end-to-end coverage of Open Source Week 2019

        Leading South African open source firm and provider of OS technology and services Obsidian Systems has confirmed its Diamond Sponsorship of the acclaimed and much-anticipated Open Source Week, managed by the organisers of PyConZA, LinuxConfZA and PostgresConfZA tracks.

      • npm, Inc. Announces Leadership Change

        npm, Inc., the open source JavaScript developer tools provider and operator of the world’s largest software registry, today announced its CEO, Bryan Bogensberger , has resigned effective immediately to pursue new opportunities.

        npm’s Board of directors have commenced a search for a new CEO. The company’s leadership will be managed collaboratively by a team comprised of senior npm executives.

      • What does upstream and downstream development even mean?

        If you’ve ever dealt with (in any shape or form) open source software, chances are pretty good you’ve heard the terms upstream and downstream. These terms are actually more important to open source development than you might think.

        But what do they even mean?

        I’m going to explain it to you.

      • Being open about open source

        IMS MAXIMS broke new ground in 2014 when it made the code for its big hospital IT systems open source.

      • Sharing Is Caring, Says Firm That Made Its Tech Open-Source

        Usually when law firms develop legal technology, either it’s to make a profit or it’s free to further the firm’s branding as a legal expert in the platform’s practice area. But Travers Smith bucked that trend when it announced last week that it was releasing its email management system MatMail as open-source software.

      • Inspur Open-Sources TF2, a Full-Stack FPGA-Based Deep Learning Inference Engine

        Inspur has announced the open-source release of TF2, an FPGA-based efficient AI computing framework. The inference engine of this framework employs the world’s first DNN shift computing technology, combined with a number of the latest optimization techniques, to achieve FPGA-based high-performance low-latency deployment of universal deep learning models. T

      • Developer pulls critical code from tech company after ICE contract revealed

        On Thursday, software engineer Seth Vargo pulled his open source “Chef Sugar” project from Github, as well as the Ruby package library, RubyGems. Vargo made the decision to pull the code, which had millions of downloads, after learning that Chef, a company that provides an “automation platform” for infrastructure management, had a software contract with ICE.

      • Microsoft poses threat to Germany’s digital sovereignty, warns study

        Germany’s ministry of the interior asked management consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, to produce a “Strategic market analysis on reducing dependence on single software providers”.

        In the 34-page document released yesterday, researchers conclude that “at all levels” the German government is “strongly dependent” on very few software providers.

        And that is particularly true for Microsoft, whose Office and Windows programs are running on 96% of public officials’ computers.

        This dependence results in “pressure points in the federal government, that work in opposition to the government’s [stated] strategic IT goals,” the report notes. Concerns about information security at Microsoft could “endanger the country’s digital sovereignty”.

      • Chef roasted for tech contract with family-separating US immigration, forks up attempt to quash protest

        DevOps darling Chef had a nightmare Thursday after it emerged the software biz had inked a deal with US immigration, which sparked protest and a baffling counter-response.

        Here’s how it went down. Earlier this week, Chef, an app configuration specialist, was publicly called out for selling $95,000 (£75,000) of licenses to Uncle Sam’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the controversial agency best known for its recent hits I Separated Asylum-Seeking Families At The Border and What’s A Concentration Camp. The one-year software supply deal, brokered by a reseller, kicked off in August.

        Open-source programmer and DevOps guru Seth Vargo, deeply unhappy with this arrangement, yanked offline some of his Ruby Gems – software packages for Ruby devs – that made Ruby-based Chef a lot easier to use. In particular, he took down the popular and useful Chef-Sugar, which over the years has racked up more than 20 million downloads.

      • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

        To achieve the requisite capabilities while keeping the experimental solution cost-effective for practical usage, our test system used an architecture comprised of open source Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra, and our Anomaly Detection application. Beyond the performance, scalability, and affordably Kafka and Cassandra provide, both Open-source data technologies also offer a particularly high degree of compatibility and pair well together.

      • A Developer Deletes His Code to Protest Its Use by ICE

        Computer server management software is usually pretty boring. But when that software is sold to a federal agency that separates families and detains children, even esoteric technology can become the center of controversy.

        On Monday, activist Shanley Kane highlighted a contract between Seattle-based software company Chef and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Chef develops and sells open source software for configuring servers and cites Alaska Airlines, Google, Facebook, and Capital One as customers.

        The ICE contract created a minor stir on Twitter, but by Thursday morning, Chef hadn’t made a public statement about the controversy. Discouraged by the company’s silence, former Chef employee Seth Vargo removed several Chef-related open source tools that he had hosted on two code repositories. They included Sugar, a tool designed to make it easier to work with Chef’s software that’s widely used by Chef customers, though it’s not clear if ICE uses it. “I have removed my code from the Chef ecosystem,” Vargo wrote on the code hosting site GitHub. “I have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent my source [code] from being used for evil."

      • Open-source control system alternatives

        Though the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) continues to receive the lions share of coverage as defining “the” open system, it is, in fact, not the only approach or option for the application of open technologies for the control domain.

        OPAF is somewhat constrained on how open they can be because they have backwards compatibility as a starting point, which to some extent limits them to using traditional and “less open” (consortia-sponsored) protocols such as OPC, FieldComm, Profibus, etc. to ensure compatibility and vendor support. They’re also working on how to convert all their existing applications and IP to the new virtual environment.

        [...]

        Building on the latent momentum for small, low-cost microcontrollers, Hilscher has introduced its Industrial Raspberry Pi 3 using Node-Red as the development/integration environment and Docker containers to design and connect with the rest of the world.

        Node-RED is a Java-script programming tool for connecting hardware devices, APIs and online services by providing a browser-based flow editor that makes it easy to virtually “wire” together flows that can be then deployed to the runtime in a single click.

      • China

      • Databases

      • CMS

        • Automattic raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation from Salesforce Ventures

          Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce and soon Tumblr, has closed a $300 million funding round at a $3 billion post-money valuation. The Series D round has a single investor, Salesforce Ventures.

          Funding rounds are something special for Automattic . While the company has been around for nearly 15 years, it hasn’t raised a ton of money. It closed a $160 million Series C round back in 2014 and raised little money before that.

      • Funding/Currency

        • Poloniex continues to support open-source development; donates to Grin General Fund

          Released in January 2019, privacy-focused cryptocurrency Grin was previously in the news for its hard fork in July 2019. The hard fork in question, focused on maximizing miner decentralization and usability.

          The cryptocurrency has been solely reliant on crowdfunding and previously in March 2019, the coin received an anonymous donation of 50 BTC.

          But, the aspect that makes this privacy-focused cryptocurrency stand out is its involvement with Mimblewimble. Grin is the first application on the Mimblewimble protocol, which was created to bolster the scalability and privacy of digital assets. Litecoin’s Charlie Lee has been steering the silver coin towards Mimblewimble, going on to hire a developer from Grin to explore Litecoin’s capabilities with the protocol.

        • Square Crypto Hires Lightning, Libra Developers for ‘Bitcoin Dream Team’

          Square Crypto, the division of the publicly traded payments company that focuses exclusively on bitcoin, just announced three new hires to work on open source projects.

        • Open Source Bitcoin Payment Processor Receives a Grant From Square Crypto

          Bringing cryptocurrency payments to a larger audience is no easy feat. Many companies are trying to do so, albeit to little or no avail. Square Crypto, the branch of Square, which focuses on the cryptocurrency industry, is trying to change that aspect. Their recent investment in BTCPay Server shows there may be a bright future ahead for crypto payments on a global scale.

        • MyHbarWallet launches the first browser-based, open source wallet for hbars

          Today, MyHbarWallet.com launched, and is excited to support the Hedera™ Hashgraph community. Out of the box, users can initiate the account creation process, load existing accounts, and create accounts on behalf of requestors.

          MyHbarWallet was influenced by MyEtherWallet (MEW), the top wallet for the Ethereum blockchain. We wanted to make the experience of using Hedera familiar for those who are already active in the cryptocurrency space.

          The team behind MyHbarWallet is the same core team actively contributing to the open source Hedera software development kits (SDK). MyHbarWallet was built using Vue.js.

        • Tidelift and the Python Software Foundation partner to support widely used Python web development libraries

          The Python Software Foundation and Tidelift today announced a partnership to support the community-driven Pallets Projects, a collection of Python web development libraries downloaded millions of times each month. Tidelift now provides recurring income to the team of developers behind these vitally important open source libraries to help ensure they are maintained to commercial standards. The collaboration also enables Pallets maintainers to deliver maintenance, security, and license assurances to Tidelift's managed open source subscription customers, ensuring the libraries work well with their applications.

        • Investors’ Interest in AI, Open Source Software Remains High

          DataRobot, which automates the process of creating machine learning models, announced a $206 million Series E round led by Sapphire Ventures that values the company at more than $1 billion. GitLab, which lets software developers collaborate on projects, announced a $268 million Series E round led by Goldman Sachs and Iconiq, at a $2.75 billion valuation.

      • BSD

        • Homura Is A Windows Game Launcher For FreeBSD - Supports Steam, Origin, UPlay + More

          While FreeBSD doesn't see much in the way of game ports besides compatibility with open-source games/engines, FreeBSD's Linux binary compatibility layer for years has allowed running Linux games on FreeBSD and there is also Wine support for FreeBSD to handle Windows software. Thanks to those efforts, it's possible to make a FreeBSD gaming box.

          Homura is a newer open-source project focused on providing a Windows game launcher for FreeBSD systems. Homura is akin to CrossOver or Lutris and wraps around Wine/WineTricks and makes it easy to deploy various Windows games and gaming services under FreeBSD.

      • FOSDEM

        • The Hardware FOSDEM Uses To Carry Out Linux Video Recordings Of Their Event

          Not only is FOSDEM one of the best open-source/Linux events in the world for those who make the journey each February to Brussels, but they also for years now have done a masterful job at recording the different talks and developer room sessions. Each year gets better both for the event itself as well as the video recordings even with FOSDEM operating on a very limited budget due to the event being free to attend. For those curious about the hardware/software setup powering their video setup, here's an interesting blog post.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Software Defined Drones and the Path to Standardization and Scale in the Drone Industry

          Sartori is the co-founder of Auterion – they’re the Red Hat of the drone industry, serving as a distributor and enabler for open source software for drones. He’s a proponent of open source, and a believer that open source software is the key to scalability in the drone industry. There’s data and history to support the idea. As drone manufacturing giant DJI is often compared to Apple, open source drones are frequently compared to Android – and Sartori points out that Android is based on open source Linux, and as more than 87 percent of phones are now Android, that makes it the most used software in the world.

        • ITP Renewables releases free open-source modelling platform for the energy transition

          ITP Renewables has released Version 1 of open-CEM, a free of charge open source modelling tool for the National Electricity Market (NEM). The tool can be used by policy makers, project developers, investors and the public to run scenarios of the development of the NEM out to 2050. The project’s aim is to provide a transparent and well-informed analysis of technology and policy options for the NEM as Australia proceeds through the energy transition.

          Open-CEM was developed in conjunction the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne, software developers ThoughtWorks and the US Strategy Energy Analysis Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

        • Open Data

          • 10 NLP Open-Source Datasets To Start Your First NLP Project

            There has been significant growth in natural language processing (NLP) over the last few years. The demand for advanced text recognition, sentiment analysis, speech recognition, machine-to-human communication has led to the rise of several innovations. According to industry estimates, the global NLP market will reach a market value of US$ 28.6 billion in 2026 and is expected to witness CAGR of 11.71% across the forecast period through 2018 to 2026.

        • Open Access/Content

          • Arcadia Fund grant to support open-source publishing across UC campuses

            The Educopia Institute and California Digital Library, or CDL, received a $2.2 million grant in August in support of the Next Generation Library Publishing project, or Next Gen.

            The grant was bestowed by the Arcadia Fund, a charity that supports environmental, cultural heritage and open-access projects. The Next Gen project is said to enhance the UC system’s open-access publishing infrastructure by providing noncommercial tools that support the dissemination of knowledge, according to a CDL press release.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • OpenLeg – The Open Source Robot Leg

            There’s an old saying about standing on the shoulders of giants, but how about doing so with an open source leg? Well, your robots might do so at least, thanks to OpenLeg, a new open source project for building robot legs. Created by [Joey Byrnes], this started out as a senior project for a course at the University of Illinois. The idea is to create a robot leg that others can use to build four-legged robots that can amble around the neighborhood, much like those built by Boston Dynamics.

          • New microscopes unravel the mysteries of brain organization

            The secret of capturing exquisite brain images with a new generation of custom-built microscopes is revealed today in Nature Methods. The new microscopes, known as mesoSPIMs, can image the minute detail of brain tissue down to individual neurons that are five times thinner than a human hair, and can uncover the 3D anatomy of entire small organs, faster than ever before. MesoSPIMs provide new insights into brain and spinal cord organization for researchers working to restore movement after paralysis or to investigate neuronal networks involved in cognition, pleasure, or drug addiction.

          • New open-source microscope may help paralysis patients

            Scientists have developed a new generation of custom-built microscopes that significantly improve brain tissue imaging, an advance that could help find better treatment for patients with paralysis.

            The microscopes, known as mesoSPIMs—short for 'mesoscale selective plane-illumination microscopes'—can image brain tissues down to the minute details of individual neurons which are five times thinner than a human hair, the study noted.

            The researchers added that they can uncover the 3D anatomy of entire small organs, faster than ever before using the new microscope.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • American drowns after proposing to his girlfriend underwater in Tanzania
    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Microsoft Operating Systems BlueKeep Vulnerability

        BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) exists within the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) used by the Microsoft Windows OSs listed above. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to perform remote code execution on an unprotected system.

        According to Microsoft, an attacker can send specially crafted packets to one of these operating systems that has RDP enabled.[1] After successfully sending the packets, the attacker would have the ability to perform a number of actions: adding accounts with full user rights; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or installing programs. This exploit, which requires no user interaction, must occur before authentication to be successful.

    • Falco founder: Kubernetes security has to do better than “don’t worry – OH MY GOD”

      It’s almost a year since Sysdig’s behavioral activity monitoring tool Falco entered the sandbox of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). We talked to the company’s new chief open source advocate Kris Nova and co-founder Loris Degioanni to check in about the project’s progress and talk about the state of Kubernetes security and open source licensing in general.

      Falco was first introduced to the public back in May 2016. It’s no secret that security wasn’t exactly a top priority when Kubernetes was developed, so Falco was set up to tackle some of the challenges the orchestrator introduced to the modern infrastructure stack.

      [...]

      Moving the project into the CNCF in October 2018 was the logical next step for Degioanni. “In order to be cloud-native and to actually be placed as a part of the stack of the next generation of infrastructures, you want to be part of the CNCF nowadays.”

      But the foundation has strict rules on what projects must do to make it to the next stage, so the first months in the sandbox were mostly spent setting up processes and work on Falco’s own infrastructure. With Nova, who spent quite some time on the Kubernetes project, now on board, this trajectory is likely to continue.

    • Australian not-for-profit's encryption solution to privacy breaches

      One of the main aspects of addressing or curing the privacy breach epidemic is to gain back control and management over personal data. Where we see the aspect of giving back consumer some control, all of the control, and the accountability for their personal data that's stored on digital space, and what we developed is a set of tools that allows an entire economy of consumers, businesses and marketers to interact in harmony and in a way move the world to a more privacy aware interaction.

    • Open source breach and attack simulation tool Infection Monkey gets new features

      Guardicore, a leader in internal data center and cloud security, unveiled new capabilities for its Infection Monkey that make it the industry’s first Zero Trust assessment tool.

    • Patch now: 1,300 Harbor cloud registries open to attack [Ed: What they mean by “open to attack” is “needs patching”. Typical ZDNet.]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pelosi: Trump is turning a "blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s continued violence" by sending troops

      Pelosi also emphasized Saudia Arabia's “continued assault on countless men, women and children,'' as well as criticizing the president for “turning a blind eye” to the “continued violence against innocent Yemenis, as well as its horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its gross abuses of human rights, which represent a moral and humanitarian crisis.

      "The United States cannot enable more brutality and bloodshed," she continued.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • My Captivity in the Kurdish Dungeons of Iraq

      I had traveled to Iraq the previous month hired by a German television producer to portray the lives of a handful of Spanish and German militiamen enlisted in a gerilla affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and based on the Yazidi region of Sinyar.

      I did my job and, instead of continuing with them the trip to Rojava, I took some time in the Nahla Valley. Five days I spent in that Christian fief seeing old friends before receiving a call from northern Syria. I was offered to interview the family of a Spanish jihadist from the Daesh with whom no journalist had spoken. The offer was irreproachable. I knew it's the kind of story that would find a place in El Mundo.

    • Julian Assange: justice denied

      TECHNICALLY, Julian Assange is supposed to be released from his prison cell at HMP Belmarsh on Sunday.

      Yet a British court ruled last week that he has to remain in prison after the custody period of his current jail term ends due to his “history of absconding.”

      Assange is no longer a serving prisoner but someone facing extradition. Why is Assange actually being held prisoner?

      Well, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer tells me that Assange’s case is not about law, but rather politics.

      He says: “Trying to win any aspect of this case in the judicial arena has been a losing game for almost a decade because, from the outset, this case has been decided politically. His right to a fair trial has been systematically violated by all involved states.

  • Environment

    • Most Greenlanders feel effects of climate change

      The climate crisis is part of daily life near the North Pole for most Greenlanders, with 75% saying they have felt it themselves.

    • “Listen to the Kids”: Millions Turn Out for Global Climate Strike
    • New York City Climate Strike in Photos

      The global climate strikes took place before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. The opening session of the summit is on Sept. 21, with the fitting kickoff: Young People at the Frontlines. Greta Thunberg will be addressing the assembly on Sept. 23.

    • 'We're Not Through': After Biggest Climate Protest in History Draws 4 Million Worldwide, Campaigners Prepare for Week of Action

      "September 20th was a demonstration of intent, of 4 million people who took time off from work or school to say that they are ready to move on and make the changes we need."

    • Climate Strike Activists Rally for Their Future
    • Q&A: Michael Mann on Coverage Since 'Climategate'

      Michael Mann's work as a press critic began in earnest a decade ago. Ahead of the 2009 international climate-change summit in Copenhagen, hackers stole email correspondence between Mann and other climate scientists from a computer server at the University of East Anglia. Climate-change deniers used portions of the emails, freed from context, to attack the credibility of Mann, whose “hockey stick” graph charting the rapid rise of the Earth’s temperature since industrialization would become an emblem of the climate fight. Coverage of what news outlets called “Climategate” saved space for Mann’s critics; such choices emphasized conflict out of all proportion with the scientific consensus on a warming planet. In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, his 2012 book, Mann called such false balance and sympathetic framing “a sweet victory for climate change deniers.” 

    • On Panic and Hope: No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference

      That stark photo of Greta Thunberg's solitary, obstinate climate strike was a mere year ago. This week, four million people joined her in the largest climate strike ever to declare, "Like the sea, we rise."

    • Youth Trumps Fossils

      This is a moment. Perhaps it’s not the moment—since there have been others before it and more will surely follow—but it’s certainly a moment that will help determine the future of life on this planet.

    • Youth Leaders at U.N. Demand Radical Action on Climate Change

      Fresh off the climate strike that took hundreds of thousands of young people out of classrooms and into the streets globally, youth leaders gathered at the United Nations on Saturday to demand radical moves to fight climate change.

    • Why Detroit Could Be the Engine for the Green New Deal

      In Detroit, more than 8,000 residents live in what has been called one of the most polluted ZIP codes in the state. Located in the city’s southwest corner, 48217 is known for its persistently poor air quality, where hundreds suffer from asthma, cancer, and other related health issues. The surrounding area has 26 industrial sites whose greenhouse gas emissions are being

    • Jeff Bezos expanded Amazon’s climate change pledge. His workers want more

      Amazon ships 10 billion items to consumers around the world each year using fossil-fuel-burning planes, trucks and other vehicles. The company also has hundreds of distribution and fulfillment centers — including several in Southern California — along with a network of data centers, including those used by Amazon Web Services, or AWS, a “cloud” provider of data storage, web hosting and other computer services to businesses.

    • Amazon’s Sweeping Climate Plan Is Full of Gaping Holes

      At first glance, it’s a remarkable spate of announcements, especially for a retailer whose business relies on making billions of deliveries by vehicle. But as is usually the case with such corporate pledges, it raises as many questions as it answers. Amazon, after all, has made major promises like this before—in 2014, it pledged to power all of its operations with clean energy, then idled for years around the halfway mark, announcing no new plans until employee pressure and critical reports of its progress apparently spurred it to (re)action. As Bezos notes in the press conference, Amazon is only running at 40 percent renewable energy today, five years later.

    • ‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outpace Predictions

      The United Nations aviation body forecasts that airplane emissions of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, will reach just over 900 million metric tons in 2018, and then triple by 2050.

      But the new research, from the International Council on Clean Transportation, found that emissions from global air travel may be increasing more than 1.5 times as fast as the U.N. estimate. The researchers analyzed nearly 40 million flights around the world last year.

    • Energy

    • Overpopulation

      • US Kid Population Shrinking Faster than Expected [iophk: younger people can see that the country is becoming more unlivable and adjusting their plans accordingly]

        Sixty years ago, children accounted for more than one-third — 36% — of the U.S. population. Today, that number is 22% and shrinking faster than anticipated.

        The U.S. Census Bureau had not expected the kid population to drop that low until 2030, but the reality hit more than a decade ahead of projection.

        Last year, the U.S. birth rate dropped to its lowest number in 32 years. The births of 3,788,235 babies in 2018 is a 2% drop from 2017. That’s the lowest number of babies born in the U.S. since 1986.

  • Finance

    • Yoga Teachers Are Unionizing to Heal the Wellness Industry

      One of the nation’s top yoga studio chains takes its name from a simple slogan. The company calls itself YogaWorks, according to its website, because yoga works for every body. But that inclusive message, employees say, doesn’t extend to the company’s labor practices — and in order for it to live up to its lofty ideals, it must change. Now they’re ready to force it to try.

    • Lira, eToro’s New Open-source Programming Language

      eToro, the global multi-asset investment company, has today released the details of Lira, a new open-source programming language for financial contracts. Lira is the first step in bringing the $500 trillion OTC derivatives market onto the Blockchain by introducing a new formal contract language.(i)

      Lira is a domain-specific language that can be used to write OTC financial contracts for assets currently on the Ethereum blockchain. It is both secure and easy to programme whilst guaranteeing self-executing global settlement and automated trade reporting and monitoring. It’s easy tracking and compression will enable better collateral requirement efficiencies.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Reiterating Call for Impeachment, Warren Accuses Congress of Complicity in Trump's Continued Abuses

      "A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes," Warren tweeted. "Today's news confirmed he thinks he's above the law. If we do nothing, he'll be right."

    • The Rise of the Entitled Millennial Politician

      Millennials are getting old. Our bones are starting to creak, we get more random aches and pains, we get hangovers infuriatingly easily, and going to bed early increasingly sounds like a wonderful Friday night plan.On the other hand, we are also reaching the age of power and influence. And so the world is getting a taste of the most obnoxious type of millennial personality:

    • Trump Says He Had 'Perfectly Fine' Call With Ukraine Leader

      President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the center of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.

    • If the Facts Come Out, it Could Spell the End for Joe Biden

      The Joe Biden-friendly Establishment media has mounted a full-court press to “prove” that Biden is, well, not a crook.

      The stakes are extremely high, Biden is vulnerable, and media players are using to a faretheewell the old adage about the best defense being a good offense. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal are desperately trying to steal the ball and get ahead in the publicity game. But time is about to run out, and pre-emptive propaganda is unlikely to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. IF the facts do come out and IF they are reported, Biden’s presidential hopes may suffer a mortal blow.

      [...]

      Will U.S. voters have any way of putting these dots together, and also in discerning, for example, how much truth there may be in charges that Vice President Biden pressed hard for the ouster of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin, who was canned after investigating corruption at Burisma Holdings Ukrainian gas company of which Hunter Biden was a board member? If the truth does come out, no one will have to rely on remarks from the likes of Rudy Giulinai, one of Trump’s lawyers, who has called the episode “an astounding scandal of major proportions.” That may be hyperbole but, still, the damage to Biden could be fatal.

      And so, damage control is in full swing today at the Times, the Post, the Journal and other “usual suspects,” with the Times winning the laurels with its Editorial Board, no less, weighing in with “What did Trump tell Ukraine’s president?” There have also been op-eds by Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Anne Applebaum, Greg Sargent and (my favorite), George T. Conway III and Neal Katyal at the Post, whose headline is: “Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Bookseller Jailed in Iran for Selling a Bible

      Mustafa Rahimi, who was seized by government security agents, was fined and given the prison sentence on 11 June and then bailed, only to be summoned to jail a few days later.

      Reports varied as to whether Rahimi was sentenced to six months and one day or three months and one day

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • It’s Scarily Easy To Track Someone Around A City Via Their Instagram Stories

      As ubiquitous surveillance intersects with social media data trails, it has become incredibly easy to identify individuals in public places. By cross-referencing just one hour of video footage from public webcams with Instagram stories taken and shared in Times Square, BuzzFeed News was able to confirm the real names and identities of a half dozen people.

  • Monopolies

    • Bill Gates: if we break up Big Tech, we'll just have more bad companies

      Gates wants us to believe that Tech is Different, and that anyone who runs a tech company will be so intrinsically rapacious and villainous that they will behave as he did when he was growing Microsoft; but the reality is that Gates and his fellow monopolists past and present are totally unexceptional in their willingness to cheat and bully their way to dominance. They're no less and no more rotten than Carnegie or Rockefeller or the Sacklers. The thing that let these garden-variety sociopaths get away with their bad behavior was not their exceptional brilliance: it was the state's deliberate decision to let them get away with it.

      Gates's prescription is for governments and tech companies to create state monopolies, a new kind of industrial constitutional monarchy, in which companies like Microsoft (and Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, etc) are guaranteed eternal rule over their sectors, in exchange for suffering themselves to be draped in golden chains by a regulatory aristocracy drawn from their own executive ranks, who will ask them to exercise noblesse oblige and throw some crumbs to us peasants laboring in their digital fields.

    • Intellectual Property in the Information Age: American & Chinese Perspectives

      Innovation is widely seen as a key driver of economic success in the 21st century — and therefore a key driver of national power. And while the secret sauce that yields a highly innovative economy is difficult to identify, let alone replicate, robust and broad intellectual property (IP) protection is widely believed to be an essential component. This paper compares the international IP policy of the two largest powers in the world: the U.S. and China. The U.S. is the world’s leading proponent of strict IP regulation. China, by contrast, has long been seen, by the West at least, as the world’s leading IP scofflaw. Yet Chinese observers — indeed, many observers around the world — believe the US is an IP bully that pushes inappropriate legal standards on other nations in an effort to serve the narrow interests of a few key domestic constituencies. There is substantial (though shrinking) divergence in how the US and China approach IP today, and this contrast reflects major differences in national interest and economic conditions. At the same time, American history itself suggests that convergence in IP law and policy will continue to occur, and may well accelerate, as the Chinese economy expands and matures. National power is a function of economic size but also innovation. Unlike the Cold War, when the US and Soviet economic spheres had little economic contact, the US and China are deeply economically intertwined. Those pervasive economic ties define the relationship. Yet the two states remain politically and militarily competitive — increasingly so under the Xi and Trump administrations — and while true conflict is not on the immediate horizon, its prospect drives substantial concern in the US over China’s acquisition of American IP and innovations, the expansion of Chinese tech firms such as ZTE and Huawei, and its overall approach to IP protection.

    • Patents and Software Patents

      • Whether the Court should overrule its precedents recognizing the “abstract idea” exception to patent eligibility under the Patent Act of 1952.

        The patented inventions at issue are used by professional stock-market traders buying and selling in a dynamic electronic marketplace. The patents generally relate to user interfaces (UIs) designed to improve accuracy and speed of offers and bids while also dynamically displaying market-depth (pending offers/bids at higher/lower prices). U.S. Patents 7,904,374, 7,212,999, and 7,533,056. These inventions do not make the computer itself run faster or improve the computer’s internal processing or signalling. Rather, the improvement is seated in user interaction. In its decision, the Federal Circuit characterized the improvement as “focused on improving the trader, not the functioning of the computer.” And, according to the court, such improvements were effectively non-technological abstract ideas. “We conclude that the claims are directed to the abstract idea of graphing bids and offers to assist a trader to make an order.”

        In its petition for writ of certiorari, Trading Technologies challenges the Federal Circuit’s conclusion that an inventive concept cannot lie in the improved user-functionality and also directly challenges the Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. decision and its progeny. (Note that on the first-point, the Federal Circuit has an inconsistent set of opinions).

      • Jury Verdict on Patent Eligibility (or its Underlying Factual Foundations)

        Earlier this week, the jury returned with an interesting verdict in PPS DATA, LLC v. Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (E.D. Tex. Sept 2019). In the case, PPS sued Jack Henry for infringing its patented method of centrally processing remotely deposited checks. [...] The jury also sided with the defendant on infringement — finding none.

      • Does the PTAB Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) get Chevron Deference?

        Facebook filed successive petitions against several of the patents and then requested joinder under § 315(c). The PTAB granted those requests. The final written decision cancelled some claims three of the patents, but upheld claims in all four.

      • University Patenting: Is Private Law Serving Public Values?

        As privatization of publicly funded university research has grown, so too has the steady undercurrent of public criticism of academic patenting from both inside and outside the academy. During debates over the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980, which standardized federal policy to allow grant recipients to patent resulting inventions, Senator Russell Long called it “one of the most radical and far-reaching giveaways” he had seen. In his 2003 Universities in the Marketplace, former Harvard president Derek Bok worried that “the lure of the marketplace” might cause universities to compromise their core values. Jennifer Washburn’s 2005 University, Inc. lamented commercialization as a “foul wind [that] has blown over the campuses of our nation’s universities” since 1980 in pursuit of benefits that are “vastly overblown.” In 2019, freshman congresswoman (and Twitter sensation) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her first committee hearings to question why the public is “putting tons of money in the development of drugs that then become privatized, and then they receive no return on the investment that they have made.”

        What return does the public receive for the tax dollars spent on R&D, primarily at universities? Does privatizing this research through patent law in fact serve public values? From this social welfare perspective, could the Bayh–Dole framework be improved? In this symposium contribution, we seek to tackle these questions, including by identifying the key empirical questions that must be resolved to answer them. In short, we conclude the benefits of university patenting may justify the costs where licensees need exclusivity to undertake the costs of commercialization. For the substantial portion of university patenting that is not necessary for commercialization, evidence of other plausible benefits is not yet sufficient to justify the costs. Much of the data needed to investigate these plausible benefits — and related costs — rests in the hands of universities and federal grant agencies. Unless defenders of university patenting develop this evidence, university patenting should be curtailed in ways discussed further below.

      • Patent Accidents: Questioning Strict Liability in Patent

        Accidental infringement of patent rights is a pervasive and growing problem in the Information Age. As IP rights proliferate and expand in scope, it is becoming increasingly easy for companies and individuals to inadvertently infringe patents. When such accidental infringement occurs, patent law holds the infringer strictly liable. This contrasts with many areas of tort law where defendants are only liable if they act negligently.

        This Article questions the normative desirability of strict liability in patent infringement cases. Assuming the primary value of patent law is utilitarian, the Article poses the research question: What liability rule will maximize social welfare? The Article answers the question theoretically by applying economic models of accidents developed in tort law literature. The research finds that a negligence rule is preferable. Unlike strict liability, negligence liability will encourage both patentees and technology users to take reasonable measures to prevent accidental infringement, and thus minimize the social cost of patent accidents. Therefore, the Article recommends reforms to the liability rule in direct patent infringement cases. Defendants should be liable for accidental patent infringement only when they fail to adopt reasonable care to avoid the infringement.

      • Apple defeats speaker patent case at Fed Circuit

        Apple Inc won an appeals court decision on Friday that likely finishes off a patent infringement case brought against it by an audio technology firm founded by “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas.

        The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that early versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad do not infringe patents on small profile speakers asserted by Slot Speaker Technologies Inc.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • House Judiciary Committee Doesn't Want 'DMCA-Style' Safe Harbor in Trade Agreements

        The House Judiciary Committee is concerned that including DMCA-style safe harbors in new trade agreements could become problematic. The Copyright Office is evaluating the effectiveness of the DMCA and may soon propose changes. That will be much more complex if the 20-year-old language is included in new trade deals, as is the case with the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

      • MPA America Quietly Takes Over Yet More 'Pirate' IPTV Domains

        Takedowns of big 'pirate' sites and services usually come with some fanfare and publicity but behind the scenes more subtle moves are afoot. The list of domains quietly being taken over by the recently-rebranded MPA America and/or the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment continues to grow but with no formal announcements to match.

Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other ‘Open’ Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, IBM, Microsoft at 1:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Openwashing Report part II

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Conferences that call themselves “open” something are sometimes nothing but an attack on openness (not to mention freedom) and promotion of FUD about Free/Open Source software (FOSS); there’s an ample set of examples to that effect

THIS weekend, just like this past week, there’s much attention being paid to the same old scam which is “Open Core”, fetishised by people who care about money a lot more than they care about freedom. Simon Phipps (OSI) commented about it some days ago; he’s against it. It’s because of some stupid summit set up by foes of Software Freedom.

“Who else was there? Microsoft and several of its proxies, companies that profit from attacking and slandering Open Source, e.g. Snyk and WhiteSource.”One can typically tell the motivation of an event based on who chooses to sponsor (i.e. bankroll) it. The Open Core Summit is no exception; Remember Microsoft with its “Open Cloud” charade. Who was actually there? The chief of the Linux Foundation, who told the crowd that “Open Source loves Microsoft…”

Who else was there? Microsoft and several of its proxies, companies that profit from attacking and slandering Open Source, e.g. Snyk and WhiteSource. One can rest assured that FUD about “Open Source” will carry on as long as companies look to destroy (or hijack) it.

Days ago we caught this report. It exposes GitHub as a threat because it attracts dumb employees who use it to upload sensitive data. Did the media blame Microsoft? No, it never does. Notice how corporate media loves playing along with the Microsoft lie — the intentional lie that GitHub is somehow separate from Microsoft. This is designed to entrap people and harm them. Same for Facebook with WhatsApp and Instagram. Or Google with YouTube…

“Notice how corporate media loves playing along with the Microsoft lie — the intentional lie that GitHub is somehow separate from Microsoft.”Citing BNNBloomberg, one reader told us about it yesterday. “Here’s a fun one,” the reader said, citing this report from David George-Cosh. “The Bank of Nova Scotia “inadvertently” uploaded sensitive login credentials to an open source repository…”

As the article put it: “The Bank of Nova Scotia is working to remove internal computer code reportedly containing sensitive login credentials for some online services that was inadvertently uploaded to an open-source repository.” (of Microsoft)

Remember that Microsoft is currently being sued by Capital One over a similar incident. GitHub is reckless about what’s hosted and served through it. Disclaiming liability is a classic pattern of Microsoft behaviour across a broad spectrum of its activities. Later on Microsoft says Open Source is a risk and a danger; whose fault is it though?

“That’s just classic FUD; this is the sort of thing that fills up Microsoft-run ‘open’ events. It’s all about attacking FOSS and making it look bad.”Analytics India Magazine, a Microsoft-friendly site, has just published this piece of FUD. Citing an-anti FOSS firm which is Microsoft connected they try create the stigma that so-called ‘technical debt’ is a uniquely FOSS issue (like they do “security” and “licensing”).

That’s just classic FUD; this is the sort of thing that fills up Microsoft-run ‘open’ events. It’s all about attacking FOSS and making it look bad.

There’s another new corporate ‘summit’ with lots of openwashing; it’s led by Alluxio.

Going back to the BNNBloomberg article, here’s what it says: “The Register, a U.K.-based technology website, reported on Wednesday that a Canadian IT worker discovered the uploaded source code on Github, a website that hosts programming code that is freely available for other programmers to access.

“The code contained information related to the bank’s backend systems as well as code related to Scotiabank’s mobile apps for its Central American and South American customers, the website said.”

“Open Core is just proprietary software with openwashing-themed marketing.”Whose fault is it? Or rather, if Microsoft serves this data, is it exempted from accountability?

Speaking of The Register, that same reader noted: “Now some crap about open core…”

We mentioned this in Daily Links. To quote: “Analysis On Thursday, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, companies building open-source code gathered to figure out how to survive having Amazon, Google, and Microsoft sell their software as a service without paying for the privilege.

“The confab has a name, the Open Core Summit, where “Open Core” refers to the marketing strategy of offering a core service for free and charging for complementary capabilities. Presumably, “Freemium Summit” didn’t pass muster.

“The inaugural conference is focused on helping commercial open-source organizations develop viable business models. It’s organized by OSS Capital, a venture-capital firm founded by entrepreneur Joseph Jacks and given street cred through the presence of board partner Bruce Perens, one of the pioneering figures in the open-source movement.”

“So they sponsor turning FOSS into proprietary software. In ‘the cloud’…”Open Core is just proprietary software with openwashing-themed marketing.

And “note the next paragraph links to the final Stallman interview,” our reader said, quoting “whatever those [sic] may be…”

Here’s the part in question, using words like “partisans”: “Free Software partisans describe open source as a development methodology without the Free Software movement’s moral and philosophical aspirations, whatever those may be. Distinctions aside, a common thread in the two intermingled communities continues to be figuring out how to get paid for code offered under a permissive license.”

Fun quote from the article: “Open-source licenses like Apache 2.0 have no requirement to compensate those actually crafting such software.”

Compensate? Seriously?

Here’s the full context: “Several of the companies attending, such as Elastic, have become poster children for the peril of cloud-provider parasitism. Open-source licenses like Apache 2.0 have no requirement to compensate those actually crafting such software. So, mostly, the cloud giants that deploy services based on open-source projects don’t bother to pay outsiders who improve and maintain the code.”

“Those are not FOSS companies; they’re proprietary software.”And here’s more: “If you ask nicely, these companies may sponsor your conference, as AWS has done for the Open Core Summit. At the same time, it’s tempting to see a certain zero-sum symbolism in the conference’s morning donut service, “brought to you by AWS,” not to mention interstitial music cues like Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer and Imagine Dragons’ Whatever It Takes.”

So they sponsor turning FOSS into proprietary software. In ‘the cloud’…

As the article notes, “in March, Amazon Web Services debuted its fork of the Elastic project, all the while insisting it’s not a fork.

“During the lunch break, a co-founder of a prominent open-source project pointed to AWS’s banner for its Open Distro for Elasticsearch as “a giant f– you” to the open-source companies in attendance.”

The “article includes this note,” the reader noted: “Editor’s note: we are happy to clarify that Ben Golub described open-source software as a loss leader, and not Upbound CEO Bassam Tabbara as first reported.”

“Proprietary software giants sponsoring “open” things is matter of tossing ‘slush funds’ to improve perceptions.”Lightbend participates in this nasty conference that promotes proprietary software under the guise of ‘open’. It even issued this press release to brag about it; these openwashing attacks on Free software’s legitimacy (showing how the licence is ‘worked around’ in ‘the cloud’) is nothing to brag about. It should be a source of shame. But Lightbend keeps paying to spread this. Larry Augustin also sold us all out by joining Amazon AWS (his former employer SugarCRM has betrayed all customers by becoming proprietary software as well… whereupon the fork SuiteCRM came to their rescue). From the press release: “Brewer joins panelists Larry Augustin, VP Amazon Web Services (formerly CEO of SugarCRM) and Scott Collison, CEO Anaconda…”

Those are not FOSS companies; they’re proprietary software.

Proprietary software giants sponsoring “open” things is matter of tossing ‘slush funds’ to improve perceptions. Mac Asay does this all the time at such companies (now Amazon/AWS).

“IBM wants to stay proprietary; it can leverage Red Hat to pretend otherwise. Microsoft does more or less the same thing.”There’s also this new press release [1, 2] entitled “Top five open source-powered solutions to mitigate the impact of natural disasters announced as finalists in Call for Code global coding challenge” (“Call for Code” is not the same as “Call for Open Source Code”).

Just like AWS, “open source-powered” means “exploits FOSS but remains proprietary software itself” because it’s not about freedom but leveraging freedom to deprive others.

The “Call for Code 2019 is focused on creating solutions to help mitigate the effects of natural disasters and help communities better prepare and respond to the needs of survivors…”

IBM is OK with it being proprietary; it is, after all, just a PR stunt for them. IBM wants to stay proprietary; it can leverage Red Hat to pretend otherwise. Microsoft does more or less the same thing.

Openwashing Report: ‘Open Source’ Without Any or Most of the Benefits

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The cheapening of the term “Open Source” continues; sooner or later everything out there will be called “open” irrespective of what it really is

FOR well over a month we’ve written Openwashing Reports every weekend. Eventually we might have lots of examples we can cluster together based on common themes. Eventually we may get a list or a ‘catalogue’ of openwashing patterns that can be presented concisely in a wiki page. This is work in progress. This weekend we’ve split the Openwashing Report into 4 parts. We also have a guest contributor to this series. There’s growing interest in the subject, particularly in light of events like Stallman’s ‘exit’. There an upsurge of “Open Core” a.k.a. "Enterprise Edition" etc. (dual-licensing) and we need to keep up with these emergent threats, at the very least by explaining them.

“Eventually we may get a list or a ‘catalogue’ of openwashing patterns that can be presented concisely in a wiki page.”“Open Source” in 2019 does not mean what it meant in 2009 and in 1999. The de facto definition or what people perceive it to be changes over time. According to the Linux Foundation, which is no longer about Linux, Microsoft is king.

Sometimes “open source” means nothing; sometimes it means Microsoft’s proprietary software. Sometimes ‘open source’ comes to mean just “something you can replace”, as in this new example (“Teams to discuss ‘open source’ parts idea for 2021″).

Readers question what they nowadays read about “open source” or “open-source” or “Open Source”. As one reader put it: “Is this open source? (“Open-source” parts proposed as F1 standardisation alternative by Adam Cooper)

“Sometimes “open source” means nothing; sometimes it means Microsoft’s proprietary software”“The FIA has proposed an “open-source” alternative…”

“I think it’s a really good idea, where teams publish their design on the FIA website and all teams can see what they’re using and pick and choose the bits that they want to.”

From the article: “The FIA has proposed an “open-source” alternative to standard Formula 1 parts for 2021 that would see teams sharing their designs for certain elements of the car.

“The governing body has been keen to introduce standard parts as cost-saving measure, with several items having gone to tender.”

That’s an odd slant on what Open Source originally meant, either in the intelligence context or software. Notice how they use scare quotes around “open-source” and add a dash. They know that they’re ‘torturing’ this term.

Our reader had caught this before we did. Some readers report this stuff to us. They’re not too happy.

“Notice how they use scare quotes around “open-source” and add a dash. They know that they’re ‘torturing’ this term.”Surveillance code is being spun as “open”, war is being marketed as “open”, and here’s a new example from Google (“Google simplifies open-source software with Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes”).

One of the more troubling patterns we’ve come across is “open” code that cannot run freely. “Open” but runs only on proprietary platforms? Apparently that has become rather common, especially on iOS and Windows. If your so-called ‘open’ stuff requires proprietary software to merely execute, then you must be wasting your time developing it. How about “Exadel Launches Adobe Experience Manager Authoring Toolkit as Open Source Tool for Digital Marketing Community”? Adobe is a foe of Software Freedom; why not support the Free software alternatives to it? To quote: “The Toolkit supports an automatic yet versatile and extendable generation of UI elements for AEM authors and provides a next-gen authoring experience in Adobe’s Coral UI-powered environment.”

But it’s proprietary. So the code basically steers people away from freedom.

“It’s unfortunate to see that a lot of so-called ‘open’ programs are designed to run only under Windows. What is being accomplished?”Here’s another new example of so-called ‘open’ code that runs only on proprietary software, Windows, with its back doors (the protocol itself and the operating system). The headline says “New open source tool helps prevent brute force and ransomware attacks”. It’s called Cameyo and it is also hosted by Microsoft (GitHub, the proprietary software trap), which puts the NSA back doors in there in the first place. What good is ‘security’ software on top of a platform designed to not be secure? Here’s another new example. It’s so-called ‘Open-Source’ which has neither source code (for now) nor disclosure date and can only run on Windows with NSA back doors. What kind of farcical security can this thing really offer? And here’s a third new example, MobaXterm. What good is an SSH client that only runs on a platform with NSA back doors? Users expose private keys etc.

Things to look out for nowadays aren’t just the licences but also supported platforms. It’s unfortunate to see that a lot of so-called ‘open’ programs are designed to run only under Windows. What is being accomplished?

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Patent Extremism is Not Normal and Not an Innocent Mindset

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s EPO is run by fanatics

Theories of extremism
Reference: Theories of extremism

Summary: Reflection upon the sad state of the European patent system and how media turns a blind eye to it; worldwide, in general, the discussion about patents is being warped by the litigation giants, whose sole goal is to maximise the number of lawsuits/shakedowns (personal gain)

SITES like Watchtroll are no longer cited here; not even in Daily Links. We refuse to link or send traffic to lies; it’s counterproductive. We found some new examples of such lies just before the weekend. They’s still smearing judges and courts, notably the Federal Circuit. They tried to diminish the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), but the Supreme Courts (SCOTUS) defended it, whereupon some in Watchtroll began attacking SCOTUS as well (or pertinent Justices). I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’ve written lots of things about GNU/Linux since I was about 20 and there’s no ‘Microsoft equivalent’ of Watchtroll. It’s a really, really malicious site. The way they speak of judges is, to our understanding or by our fair interpretation, a form of extremism akin to “religion” (patentism). Any time a judge rules in a way they do not favour — as happens more often these days — that makes the judge an “infidel,” unlike they, the “true believers…”

“The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).”Generally speaking, the litigation industry can be exceptionally malicious; it’s defending malicious patent trolls and demonising actual scientists who create something, dubbing them “efficient infringers” etc. (even the CCIA complained about this misguided term a few days ago).

To the trolls’ lobby, no doubt, sites like Techrights are “malicious”; they call us all sorts of names, but that lacks substance to rest on. Their argument boils down to, “they criticise what we do, hence bad!”

The same is true for the autocrats from Munich, who half a decade ago decided to block Techrights not because it told lies but because it told the truth, backed by hard and indisputable evidence (often leaked documents).

“Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.”Don’t forget former EU official António Campinos, who Battistelli put in charge of the European Patent Office (EPO) to continue lots of abuses, censorship (including of Techrights) and promotion of software patents in Europe, not to mention patents on life and nature. Those are illegal patents. And they muzzle, sometimes by sending out lawyers in order to threaten, those who expose the illegal acts.

The EPO’s repeated efforts to intimidate Techrights were certainly counterproductive as they motivated us to dig even deeper. Some sites, such as IP Kat, ran away with their tail between their legs when similar tactics were attempted on them. This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.

“This makes not only the EPO look awful; it makes the EU look bad (there’s a growing connection). I’m pro-EU, so it saddens me even more.”Readers should be very concerned that European media isn’t covering EPO scandals; it doesn’t do that anymore. The EPO threatened and bribed major publishers and we know at whose expense (the bribes and the legal bills). Is this something we the European people should tolerate? I think not. The EPO scandals helped highlight abuses at various other bodies and even the media.

“Cristiano Ronaldo sick of fame” (an actual news headline right now) is somehow a hot story. But not the Portuguese autocrat of EPO — the one who keeps breaking the rules and sheltering corruption. Apparently the media isn’t interested in covering corruption, so instead it writes some nonsense about a footballer (they know what people click more on). It’s rather frustrating. I’ve nothing against football (I went to a match with my mother yesterday, seeing Manchester City’s historic 8-0 victory), but what happens at the EPO is a lot more important. Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.

One EPO insider has just retweeted: “Justice in #Portugal! A number of high profile individuals investigated for #corruption, #taxevasion & #moneylaundering, including ex PM Sócrates, ex #BES CEO Salgado, acting judge Rangel, remain free. While @RuiPinto_FL, the #whistleblower of #footballleaks, remains in jail.”

Maybe the international media should focus on that instead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Or perhaps it should write about illegal patents on plants and seeds. It’s happening right now in Europe and almost nobody talks about it. Mainstream media isn’t highlighting the absurdity of it!

“Billions of euros are at stake as well as the future of Europe.”We saw a bunch of articles about it, but they always come from small sites like [1, 2]. Shouldn’t the fact that it’s a major European debate rationalise greater and broader media coverage? Does only FIFA (football) get the limelight when there’s a scandal? What this episode helps show is a debased and corrupt EPO that disregards our elected officials. This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.

Two days ago Brian Cordery of Bristows (source of endless UPC nonsense) relayed — through Sarah Blair — the lie that “UKIPO’s position [is] that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation.”

No. It cannot even start without the UK.

Here’s the full paragraph: “The UK ratified the Unified Patents Court (“UPC”) and continues to give its full support to it. It is the UKIPO’s position that the UPC would be benefit from the UK’s participation. The UPC is dependent on Germany’s ratification which it is currently pending.” (pending rejection)

Well, “UK ratified” as in some minister ratified. One of many who had this role in recent years, including “former UK IP minister Jo Johnson” as Team UPC has just put it (AIPPI’s event is already stacked with our unelected Pry Minister’s family).

“This is also an EU issue because of the prospects — however low — of an EU-wide enforcement framework.”It’s a real shame that Techrights is one of the last remaining sites to cover EPO abuses. We’re still watching these things closely (as close as possible) and everything we see suggests no improvement at all. Global Legal Chronicle has just mentioned this opposition to potentially bogus European Patents. “Jones Day,” it said, “is representing The Samvardhana Motherson Group and its subsidiaries in bringing opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and German Patent and Trademark Office (“GPTO”) relating to camera image processing technologies for drive assistance systems, including augmented reality features and gesture based human machine interfaces.”

This is a very lengthy and potentially expensive process. It’s happening or becoming necessary because the EPO nowadays grants patents far too quickly, in big numbers. In Twitter the EPO lies about such patents, equating them with “property” (which they're not) as if to deny these grants would be “theft”. Here’s the latest example of IP (“Aye Pee”) propaganda, conflating patents with something that does not even exist! The EPO nowadays enjoys the company of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu, who uses the same propaganda terms and buzzwords. He has just spoken to Team UPC for an interview in which he sides with bribed politicians looking to help the litigation ‘industry’ (bribery source) he came from; he also uses the AI (“HEY HI”) buzzword as a synonym for many software patents. No doubt Iancu is the very “swamp” material corrupt Trump said he would “drain”; did anyone seriously believe Trump?

“It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).”“I applaud members of Congress, particularly Senators Tillis and Coons, for taking on this issue,” Andrei Iancu is quoted as saying, “referring to the work on possible legislation to amend Section 101 of the US Patent Act,” according to the author.

Does this sound familiar? It’s worth noting that Coons also attempted to do this in 2017 and 2018, i.e. under Trump (who constantly distracts the media from such major scandals by manufacturing his own).

Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • When was the last time you used Windows?

        Are friends and family constantly asking you to troubleshoot issues with their Windows or Mac device? Being the resident support technician in your home is an important job. Like any responsible technology steward, you are going to try your best to help out. However, it might be quite a challenge if it has been a while since you last used such an operating system.

        How long has it been since you last used Windows? Before using Linux, were you primarily a Mac user? Or, are you using Windows or Mac now either at home or work?

        Take our poll by selecting the Windows version you last remember using. If the term, “windows” only reminds you of those glass panels that let sunlight inside, you are probably a long-time Linux user.

        Leave us a comment and share your story about how you started using Linux.

      • Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop, a follow-up

        I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details.

        Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version.

        However, that proved impossible. In spite of removing most of the software installed on the machine, Windows was incapable of cleaning up enough disk space to allow the installation of Windows 10 version 1903 to proceed. The installed 32GB eMMC drive simply is no longer large enough to allow the updates to install. This was true even when I manually downloaded the update and tried to install from an external drive.

        It is remotely possible wiping the hard drive and performing a clean install might have worked, but the prospect of being forced to do so every year was not appealing. So being forced to choose between running an out of date version of Windows or wiping the hard drive and installing Linux, I chose to try the latter.

    • Server

      • The use of open source software in DevOps has become strategic for organizations of all sizes

        A higher percentage of top performing teams in enterprise organizations are using open source software, according to a survey conducted by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and Google Cloud. Additionally, the proportion of Elite performers (highest performing teams) nearly tripled from last year, showing that DevOps capabilities are driving performance.

      • Kubernetes Project Releases Version 1.16

        SUSE, and the SUSE CaaS Platform team in particular, congratulates the Kubernetes Project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation on the release of Kubernetes 1.16.
        The most major change in this release is actually a feature that is already in widespread use. Custom Resource Definitions (CRD) are a major foundation of Kubernetes extensibility and are used by many features and projects; however, they have been in beta since version 1.7, over two years ago. They finally graduate to general availability (GA) and stable status in this release, meaning that anyone using the current version of the feature and its API can expect compatibility for any future 1.x release as well as any 2.x release yet to come.

      • Kubernetes 1.16 Offers New Promise for IPv6 Cloud Native Deployments

        Kubernetes, for the un-initiated is a container orchestration platform that is deployed and supported in all the major public cloud provides and is also widely used on-premises as well. Every new Kubernetes update has features that are in alpha, beta and those that have reached general availability. In the 1.16 update, for networking professionals there is one alpha feature that stands above all others : IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack.

        “If you enable IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack networking for your Kubernetes cluster, the cluster will support the simultaneous assignment of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses,” the Kubernetes feature documentationstates.

        The dual stack will support both Kubernetes Pods, which represent a set of running containers; as well as Kubernetes Services, which provide a way to abstract an application running on a set of Pods as a network service. The Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) that defines the dual-stack feature, notes that Kubernetes has provides support for IPv6-only clusters as alpha features since the Kubernetes 1.9release which debuted in December 2017.

      • No, Kubernetes is Not the New OpenStack, Says Canonical

        It’s easy to think of Kubernetes as the great disruptor of earlier generations of cloud-native platforms, such as OpenStack. But that view would be just as wrong as assuming that Kubernetes and containers have totally killed off old-school virtual machines. That’s what Stephan Fabel of Canonical had to say in an interview about the past, present and future of Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies within the enterprise.

        [...]

        As a result of these differences, Fabel says OpenStack and Kubernetes each serve distinct types of workloads. For example, OpenStack might appeal to telcos, which are “more prone to adopting configuration management type approaches, where workloads have to be stateful and long-running.” Kubernetes, meanwhile, is better-suited for workloads that are deployed as REST- or HTTP-based services.

        To help prove his point about the continued relevance of OpenStack, Fabel says Canonical is on track to witness “the most commercial activity in OpenStack” ever in the coming quarter, with business coming from a variety of verticals. Clearly, Fabel says, OpenStack remains a go-to solution for enterprises of many different stripes.

      • Introducing Maesh: A Service Mesh for Kubernetes

        On September 4th, 2019, Containous, a cloud infrastructure software provider, released Maesh, an open-source service mesh written in Golang and built on top of the cloud native edge router Traefik. Maesh promises to provide a lightweight service mesh solution that is easy to get started with and to roll out across a microservice application.

      • IBM

        • OpenShift Commons Gathering in Milan 2019 – Recap [Slides]

          On September 18th, 2019, the first OpenShift Commons Gathering Milan brought together over 300 experts to discuss container technologies, operators, the operator framework and the open source software projects that support the OpenShift ecosystem. This was the first OpenShift Commons Gathering to take place in Italy.

          The standing room only event hosted 11 talks in a whirlwind day of discussions. Of particular interest to the community was Christian Glombek’s presentation updating the status and roadmap for OKD4 and CoreOS.

          Highlights from the Gathering induled an OpenShift 4 Roadmap Update, customer stories from Amadeus, the leading travel technology company, and local stories from Poste Italiane and SIA S.p.A. In addition to the technical updates and customer talks, there was plenty of time to network during the breaks and enjoy the famous Italian coffee.

        • Powering the hybrid cloud on next-generation hardware: Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System Z and LinuxONE

          For more than five years we have been driving our technology strategy around the idea that the future of enterprise IT does not reside solely in an enterprise datacenter or in the public cloud. Instead the next wave of computing is built on a blend of these technologies and infrastructure: in short, the future is hybrid. The value of hybrid clouds comes from the choice it delivers, pairing the control of the corporate datacenter alongside the scale and flexibility of public clouds. We strongly feel, however, that the most valuable hybrid clouds are those that offer not only a choice of deployment type and location, but also a choice of the underlying architecture and the capacity to run on multiple public clouds.

          [....]

          With RHEL available on Z15 and LinuxONE III, this helps pave the way for the rest of Red Hat’s hybrid cloud portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, to emerge on IBM enterprise platforms. We’re pleased to continue our work with IBM in bringing the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform to their next-generation systems.

        • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 Marks End of Short-Term Support

          Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 is the last release that will only be supported for a year, as the company moves to a new model to support the open-source cloud platform.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #377 · Listener Feedback

        Our first giveaway. In this episode: hidden gems, Banshee abandoned, FreeOffice issues, back to Ubuntu MATE for accessibility, and NTP and hardware clock.

      • Test and Code: 88: Error Monitoring, Crash Reporting, Performance Monitoring – JD Trask

        Tools like error monitoring, crash reporting, and performance monitoring are tools to help you create a better user experience and are fast becoming crucial tools for web development and site reliability. But really what are they? And when do you need them?

        You’ve built a cool web app or service, and you want to make sure your customers have a great experience.

        You know I advocate for utilizing automated tests so you find bugs before your customers do. However, fast development lifecycles, and quickly reacting to customer needs is a good thing, and we all know that complete testing is not possible. That’s why I firmly believe that site monitoring tools like logging, crash reporting, performance monitoring, etc are awesome for maintaining and improving user experience.

        John-Daniel Trask, JD, the CEO of Raygun, agreed to come on the show and let me ask all my questions about this whole field.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B – A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

        The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input.

        The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request.

      • F2FS Linux 5.4 Changes Sent In With Case-Insensitivity, Get/Set Label Support

        While most of the other Linux file-systems are seeing mostly mundane changes for the Linux 5.4 feature work, the F2FS activity is fairly notable.

        Most notably, F2FS now has case-folding/case-insensitive support. The F2FS case-insensitive support is based upon the recent addition to the EXT4 file-system and allows for per-directory case-insensitive file/folder look-ups. On a per-directory basis (such as for Wine and other use-cases), Unicode-based case-folding can be enabled if desiring this functionality. This F2FS support for Linux 5.4 case-folding includes a port of the recent EXT4 case-folding optimization to allow for faster look-ups.

      • Linux 5.4 Kernel Adds Driver For The Mysterious Pensando Ionic Network Hardware

        Little is publicly known about stealth networking startup Pensando Systems, which is founded by former Cisco executives. They’ve been ramping up efforts since early 2018 but to date their web-site hasn’t launched nor formally introduced any products, but they now have a networking driver in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • Linux 5.4 Prepares IBM POWER For The Ultravisor / Secure Virtual Machines

        The PowerPC/POWER architecture changes were sent in today for the ongoing Linux 5.4 merge window. This time around are some interesting POWER changes with work on their means of secure virtual machines.

        The Linux 5.4 kernel for POWER is bringing initial support for running on a system with an Ultravisor, which is IBM’s approach for code running underneath a hypervisor and used for protecting guests from attacks by the hypervisor. Similarly, Linux 5.4 brings support for building a kernel to run as a Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) — a guest running within an Ultravisor-ed environment.

      • Systemd-homed: Systemd Now Working To Improve Home Directory Handling

        Kicking off today in Berlin is the annual All Systems Go conference focused on systemd and other user-space components. Systemd lead developer Lennart Poettering presented on systemd-homed as a new component to systemd that is focused on improving home directory handling.

        Improving the Linux handling of user home directories is the next ambition for systemd. Among the goals are allowing more easily migratable home directories, ensuring all data for users is self-contained to the home directories, UID assignments being handled to the local system, unified user password and encryption key handling, better data encryption handling in general, and other modernization efforts.

      • Linux 5.3.1

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.1 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.3.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.3.y

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

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

      • Linux 5.2.17
      • Linux 4.19.75
      • Linux 4.14.146
      • Linux 4.9.194
      • Linux 4.4.194
      • DM-Clone Target Added To Linux 5.4 For Efficient Remote Replication Of A Block Device

        Added to the device mapper (DM) code with the Linux 5.4 kernel is an interesting addition that benefits those wanting to carry out some interesting use-cases around remote replication of block devices.

        As explained in the original patch proposal for dm-clone, “dm-clone produces a one-to-one copy of an existing, read-only device (origin) into a writable device (clone): It presents a virtual block device which makes all data appear immediately, and redirects reads and writes accordingly. The main use case of dm-clone is to clone a potentially remote, high-latency, read-only, archival-type block device into a writable, fast, primary-type device for fast, low-latency I/O. The cloned device is visible/mountable immediately and the copy of the origin device to the clone device happens in the background, in parallel with user I/O.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • DXVK 1.4 Released With Updates Against Direct3D 11.4, Other Improvements

          In time for any weekend gaming is the release of DXVK 1.4 as the latest big update to this Direct3D 11 over Vulkan implementation to boost the D3D11 Windows gaming performance with the likes of Wine and Valve’s Steam Play (Proton).

          With DXVK 1.4 the Direct3D interfaces have been updated against D3D11.4, the latest D3D11 revision shipped by Windows 10 Build 1903. This update brings new API features but DXVK isn’t yet supporting some of the optional features like tiled resources and conservative rasterization.

        • Nouveau Finally Lands SPIR-V Support As Part Of OpenCL Push

          Going back to December 2017 we’ve been tracking the Red Hat led effort on improving Nouveau’s OpenCL compute support that involves adding NIR/SPIR-V support and improvements to the Clover Gallium3D state tracker. To much surprise, this morning the SPIR-V support for this open-source NVIDIA driver was merged for Mesa 19.3.

        • SHADERed 1.2 Shader Tester Adds Compute Shader Support

          SHADERed is a cross-platform utility designed for creating and testing HLSL and GLSL shaders. This week marked the version 1.2 release of this Windows/Linux program for helping to test and evaluate shaders.

    • Applications

      • Safe Eyes – protect your eyes from eye strain

        Many people who regularly use computers suffer from eye strain and fatigue. Looking at a monitor for a long time can strain your eyes or can make any other problems you are having with your eyes seem more apparent. There is also research to show that late-night exposure to bright lights can affect sleep quality. This can be mitigated by reducing blue-light exposure.

        Some monitors offer various eye care technologies including flicker-free technology, and an ultra-low blue light filter with different filter settings. But even if your display offers eye care technology and it’s well designed e.g. offering hotkeys that let you easily adjust filter settings. there’s still a good case to use a software solution as well. This is because the software typically offers more flexibility, such as the ability to automatically adjust the backlight and screen temperature based on the ambient brightness in your surroundings, or on a time schedule.

        There are lots of simple steps you can take to reduce eye strain and fatigue. These include adjusting the brightness, contrast settings, and text size displayed, as well as minimizing glare, and ensuring your room has proper lighting. Taking regular breaks is also very important. This is where Safe Eyes can help. It’s a clone of EyeElo, Windows proprietary software designed to protect your eyes.

      • PulseAudio 13.0 released with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD support

        Pulse Audio has received a significant update accompanying several enhancements, bug fixes, and other additions that are sure to improve the sounds of your system.

        Before we delve into its latest version, it only makes sense to introduce PulseAudio to our readers who are unfamiliar with it. As you would have guessed by its name, PulseAudio deals with the system sounds and allows the user to manage them better. Apart from that, the program also comes with some complex functionalities, like allowing the user to mix various sounds into one and transfer the audio to another speaker. You will find PulseAudio in most of the Linux distributions out there and mobile devices as well. Now that we’re done with its introduction let’s see what the new PulseAudio 13.0 has in store for us.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A Total War Saga: TROY coming to macOS and Linux in 2020

        Feral Interactive today announced that A Total War Saga: TROY, the historical strategy game inspired by the Trojan war, will be released for macOS and Linux next year, shortly after the Windows release. Developed by Creative Assembly and published by SEGA for Windows PC, TROY is the third entry in the Total War Saga series of standalone games inspired by great turning points of history, along with THRONES OF BRITANNIA and FALL OF THE SAMURAI, also brought to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive.

      • DXVK 1.4 released boosting this Vulkan layer to support D3D 11.4

        Developer Philip Rebohle has pushed out another major release of DXVK, the Vulkan to D3D layer used together in Wine and Steam Play.

        Boasting a new feature set that pumps up the available Direct3D support to 11.4. However, certain optional features are not currently supported like Tiled Resources, Conservative Rasterization and Rasterizer Ordered Views but they may be added if ever needed. This should fix a crashing issue with Plants vs Zombies – Battle for Neighborville, which requires at least D3D 11.3.

        Additionally, support for DXGI (Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure) was boosted up to version 1.5 which allows applications/games to check for HDR support but DXVK itself does not currently support HDR. Some games seem to need the interface for HDR to be there even if not used. You should also find the Rockstar Game Launcher working better with this update to DXVK, with new support for GDI interop with DXGI surfaces. Although the launcher does need some other Wine fixes due to a bug in Wine’s Direct2D support.

      • Zombie Night Terror | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play
      • Police Stories attempts to offer a different take on the top-down shooter genre

        Police Stories from Mighty Morgan and HypeTrain Digital is officially out now and after a very short delay the Linux version has also been released too.

        A slower, more tactical top-down shooter that isn’t all about going in loud? Certainly sounds interesting and it does look good. It released on the 19th with the Linux support appearing a day later. Early reports on it are good, with nearly 200 user reviews on Steam giving at a “Very Positive” rating overall so we might be onto a winner here.

      • How to Install FlightGear 2019.1.1 in Ubuntu 19.04/18.04

        FlightGear flight simulator 2019.1 was released almost two months ago. Not it’s finally made into PPA for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04, Linux Mint 19.x and their derivatives.

        FlightGear 2019.1 contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bug-fixes. See the changelog for details.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: a metric avalanche of amazing things

          Get ready for a massive load of improvement! And it’s all pretty darn shiny too because in addition to a ton of work on apps, we polished up Plasma to be as smooth as a marble for the 5.17 beta version (numbered 5.16.90), which is now available. The final product is due to be released in about a month, and as you’ll see, KDE contributors have been hard at work making it as awesome as humanly possible! A few things have slipped until the Plasma 5.18 LTS release, but that’s okay because it means 3 more months to polish them up.

          Oh, one more thing before we begin: like Kate, Okular is now also available on the Microsoft store! This work is so important because Windows users who become accustomed to using free open source software on Windows are more easily able to switch to a fully FOSS platform, like a Linux distro running KDE Plasma.

        • [Kate] External Tools Plugin is Back

          Back in 2011, we decided to remove the External Tools plugin in Kate for the KDE 4.8 release, since it was unmaintained and we got more and more bugs that were not fixed. However, over the years, we got many requests (and complaints) to bring this plugin back to life, since it was very useful to start little helper scripts with just a shortcut, via the command line, or the menu.

          The good news is that for the KDE Applications 19.12 release, the External Tools plugin will be back! And it is much improved compared to the previous version.

        • KDE applications on Windows

          One of the new goals of KDE is to spread the use of the applications created by the KDE community. This doesn’t only include the use of them on Linux & other Unix-like operating systems, but Windows, too.

        • KItinerary Command Line Extractor

          The KItinerary data extraction engine recently got a command line interface, which can be pointed at any file KItinerary can consume (HTML, PDF, plain text, iCal, Apple Wallet passes, etc) and which then outputs JSON-LD according to the schema.org data model with the information that could be found in there. Adding this has been motivated by two separate goals: Increasing extractor robustness, and easing integration into 3rd party applications.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

          NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner.

        • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

          And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.

    • Distributions

      • 5 Key Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld 2019

        2. Autonomous Linux OS

        Oracle has extended the promise of the autonomous database to its flagship Linux operating system. The company claims that Oracle Autonomous Linux, along with the new Oracle OS Management Service, is the first and only autonomous operating environment that helps greatly reduce complexity and human error to deliver increased cost savings, security, and availability for customers.

        Autonomous Linux is based on Oracle Linux, an OS that’s binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which allows Red Hat customers to easily port applications to Oracle Cloud.

        The new Linux OS from Oracle automates patching and upgrades even while the system is running. This automation reduces unnecessary and costly downtime to applications. Since it reduces human errors, it achieves higher availability and an increased system and application reliability.

        Oracle has also introduced Oracle OS Management Service, a highly available Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service that enables customers to automate server management.

      • New Releases

        • Lakka 2.3 with RetroArch 1.7.8

          After almost a year of hiatus, the team is proud to release Lakka 2.3, featuring new platforms, new cores, and of course RetroArch 1.7.8.

          As always, you can update through the Online Updater, or by visiting the download page of your platform here on the website.

        • Parrot 4.7 release notes

          We are proud to announce the release of Parrot 4.7, which represents an important step forward for our project.

        • Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ officially released, here are new features

          Just a week after Manjaro announced that they would soon be a company, they officially released their latest distro, Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya,’ to the delight of Linux enthusiasts worldwide.

          Manjaro 18.1.0 ‘Juhraya’ was in development for six months, with an early controversy of whether the Manjaro team would replace FOSS office suite LibreOffice in favor of FreeOfficeX, which is proprietary.

          After much feedback from the Manjaro community, the Manjaro developers dropped the plan, or in other words made both the communities happy. With Juhraya, Manjaro users can choose between the two (or choose no Office Suite at all).

        • EndeavourOS 2019.09.15 Released and What’s New

          Bryan Poerwoatmodjo has announced the new release of EndeavourOS’s 2019.09.15.

          EndeavourOS is an Arch Linux based distribution with a pre-configured Xfce desktop.

          Arc-x-icons is a complete and updated version of the Arch icon package that was previously used.

          The new EndeavourOS Welcome Launcher allows you to open basic system commands and a hardware setup information wiki page with a single click.

          Nvidia-installer is now installed by default, it also installs dkms drivers.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Updated Installation Media Released

          The PCLinuxOS project has announced the release of updated installation media for PCLinuxOS.

          This release carries the version number 2019.09 and has a fully updated system until September 15, 2019.

          The simple update notifier has been reworked and it will notify system updates. Also, you can update from the applet using apt-get.

          Added small improvements to live media startup scripts.

          Virtual Box Testing Media is also included in the installation media, allowing users to quickly test an ISO on the fly without creating a permanent VM in the virtual box.

          It provides KDE Plasma, MATE and Xfce desktop environments.

      • Fedora Family

      • Debian Family

        • Porting Storm to Python 3

          We released Storm 0.21 on Friday (the release announcement seems to be stuck in moderation, but you can look at the NEWS file directly). For me, the biggest part of this release was adding Python 3 support.

          Storm is a really nice and lightweight ORM (object-relational mapper) for Python, developed by Canonical. We use it for some major products (Launchpad and Landscape are the ones I know of), and it’s also free software and used by some other folks as well. Other popular ORMs for Python include SQLObject, SQLAlchemy and the Django ORM; we use those in various places too depending on the context, but personally I’ve always preferred Storm for the readability of code that uses it and for how easy it is to debug and extend it.

          It’s been a problem for a while that Storm only worked with Python 2. It’s one of a handful of major blockers to getting Launchpad running on Python 3, which we definitely want to do; stoq ended up with a local fork of Storm to cope with this; and it was recently removed from Debian for this and other reasons. None of that was great. So, with significant assistance from a large patch contributed by Thiago Bellini, and with patient code review from Simon Poirier and some of my other colleagues, we finally managed to get that sorted out in this release.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

          Canonical’s Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

        One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don’t even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world.

        But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you?

        Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they’ll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

      • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

        A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don’t meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high — and its on marketers to reach it.

        [...]

        In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations.

        The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

      • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

        ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months.

        ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

      • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

        Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers.

        Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector.

        Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

      • Events

        • SUSECON 2020 Call for Papers Is Now Open

          SUSECON is all about sharing the latest technical advances, best practices, customer experiences, and visions for the future. True to our “open” culture, we invite all customers, partners, engineers, developers, community members, and business leaders to submit a session proposal for you to share your expertise.

        • Akademy 2019 is over.

          This year Akademy was a little bit different for me. I joined MBition recently to push Open Source and, giving the kind of activity and technologies we use, KDE is an community we can learn a lot from. We have many things in common.

          MBition decided to sponsor the event at the Supporter level and my colleague Julia König came with me for a couple of days to learn more about these kind of events and this community in particular.

          We attended to the welcome event, the sponsors dinner and the first days of talks together. During the second day of talks, I introduced the company to the attendees during the sponsors talk.

          It was also great to see my former employer, Codethink Ltd, as sponsor once again.

        • KDE Mindmap – Akademy 2019

          Akademy is over. =/ And now that I have a little of time I will talk to you about a Birds of Feather that I’ve hosted during the Milan edition of Akademy that was the Mindmap of the community.

          Since I’ve joined KDE I don’t have a clear picture what the structure of the community looks like. And that’s why I hosted this BoF to try to fix that.

        • All the right ingredients in Paris

          Next week, Collaborans will be in Paris to participate in this year’s editions of Embedded and Kernel Recipes, organized by hupstream.

          Taking place on September 23 & 24, Embedded Recipes is a conference about open source solutions in the embedded world, wether it’s latest developments, contributions, tools or platforms. This year, as the very first speaker on the programme, Collaboran Julian Bouzas will be kicking things off with a look at PipeWire, the new framework for handling audio and video streams on Linux. You can read more about his talk below.

        • Early registration for Raleigh Licensing Seminar extended until September 25th

          We have extended the early registration period of the upcoming Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE), to Wednesday, September 25th. The CLE will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 16th, 2019.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 78 Beta: a new Houdini API, native file system access and more

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 78 is beta as of September 19, 2019.

          • Chrome 78 Hits Beta With Native File System API, Much Faster WebSockets

            Google on Friday released the Chrome 78 web-browser beta following last week’s release of Chrome 77.

            Chrome 78 Beta is coming with a new Houdini API or more formally known as the CSS Properties and Values API Level 1, which lets developers register variables as fully custom CSS properties and can better handle animations and other use-cases.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 69 dropped support for <keygen>

            With version 69, firefox removed the support for the <keygen> feature to easily deploy TLS client certificates.
            It’s kind of sad how used I’ve become to firefox giving me less and less reasons to use it…

          • [Mozilla] Restricting third-party iframe widgets using the sandbox attribute, referrer policy and feature policy

            Adding third-party embedded widgets on a website is a common but potentially dangerous practice. Thankfully, the web platform offers a few controls that can help mitigate the risks. While this post uses the example of an embedded SurveyMonkey survey, the principles can be used for all kinds of other widgets.

            Note that this is by no means an endorsement of SurveyMonkey’s proprietary service. If you are looking for a survey product, you should consider a free and open source alternative like LimeSurvey.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Native widgets on mobile for Online – prototype

          In the desktop suite we have the sidebar which is a context dependant feature improving user performance eg. in chart editing. Unfortunately it’s not the perfect UI for a mobile clients, so the new concept is to tunnel the UI description to the browser and create native widgets there.

      • CMS

        • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

          Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding.

          Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014

          “This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014,” Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. “It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web.”

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.1-BETA1 Now Available

          The first BETA build of the 12.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

        • FreeBSD 12.1 Beta Released With Security Fixes, Pulls BearSSL Into Base

          FreeBSD 12.0 is already approaching one year old while FreeBSD 12.1 is now on the way as the next installment with various bug/security fixes and other alterations to this BSD operating system.

          FreeBSD 12.1 has many security/bug fixes throughout, no longer enables “-Werror” by default as a compiler flag (Update: This change is just for the GCC 4.2 compiler), has imported BearSSL into the FreeBSD base system as a lightweight TLS/SSL implementation, bzip2recover has been added, and a variety of mostly lower-level changes. More details can be found via the in-progress release notes.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Weekly Roundup: The Passion Of Saint iGNUcius Edition

          It was early in 2001 and I was at MIT to meet and work with the nice people from Spindletop, a nascent computer hardware designer/reseller with a tiny office in the basement of a Cambridge strip-mall building, right beneath a fitness center. (Seems like a curious detail to include, doesn’t it? Will it be relevant later?) I was running a webhosting co-op at the time. The idea was that Spindletop would provide the hardware while I would provide what we now call “cloud space” for their various websites and downloads. The software that ran the computers would be Debian GNU/Linux, an operating system based on the idea of near-absolute freedom.

          Dealing with GNU/Linux meant dealing with Richard Stallman, the eccentric genius who had guided the creation of pretty much everything but the Linux kernel itself. I say “eccentric”, but what I’m really saying is that Stallman is mentally ill. I don’t know the correct words to describe that illness, but it manifests itself in dozens of different ways, from extreme hydrophobia (fear of water!) to various disturbing habits of phraseology, communication, and physical behavior. Nobody who knows Stallman thinks he is sane. By the same token, nobody would doubt his intelligence. He’s the only person I have ever met in person who struck me as being measurably smarter than I am, which sounds horrifyingly egotistical but is probably more a reflection of my choice in fellow-travelers.

          Stallman agreed to eat dinner with me on the condition that he be permitted to order my meal and that I eat the whole thing without complaint. I wouldn’t have dinner with a resurrected John Coltrane under those conditions but there were plenty of great jazz musicians and there is only one Richard Stallman. The meal was an utter nightmare, of course. Everything he picked had the texture, and taste, of Jell-O made from dog vomit. I told myself that if G. Gordon Liddy could burn his own finger down to the tendon that I could finish a five-course “authentic” Chinese meal. Having done so, I managed to extract some absolutely brilliant ideas from him about software design and programming principles. “Come back to my office,” he suggested, and we headed out to walk over towards the MIT Media Lab. About ninety seconds into our walk, it started to rain. Just a light sprinkling, not build-the-ark stuff. Stallman screamed like a teenage girl, pulled his dashiki (yes!) over his head, and ran in waddling fashion towards MIT.

          Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the Media Lab to find him huddling on the other side of the door, shaking. “Why did you not run?” he asked, in a whining monotone. “Is it because you are heavy?” (I was 195 pounds at the time; lighter than Stallman, half a foot taller.)

          “Yes,” I replied, “my weight prevents rapid locomotion.” Stallman nodded in satisfied fashion. Two hours later, in the middle of demonstrating some bizarre Bulgarian folk dance, he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “I would be happier if you were not in the office.” He did not stop dancing. I took this as my cue to leave.

          I mention all of this so you know precisely the sort of person who is in the middle of being crucified for “defending Epstein’s rape island” by his institutional rivals.

          “Wait,” some of you are saying, “that’s right! Jeffrey Epstein had a rape island! I’d forgotten all about it, what with Epstein’s convenient suicide and some remarkably media-friendly mass shootings occurring right as justice was about to be quote-unquote handed out!” Funny how that works. Perhaps it’s because Mr. Epstein had a full list of powerful and notable friends. One of those friends, apparently, was MIT artifical-intelligence savant Marvin Minsky, who is alleged to have had sex with a 17-year-old girl on the island.

          When asked to give his thoughts on the matter, Stallman responded like any 110-octane autism-spectrum genius would: by questioning the terminology involved. He suggested that the correct word for Minsky’s alleged statutory rape was not “sexual assault”, noting that

          a) Minsky had no way to know the girl was 17, not 18 ;
          b) she had been coerced by Epstein out of Minsky’s presence and might well have appeared to be entirely willing.

          In true Stallman fashion, this was

          a) absolutely correct from a logical perspective;
          b) mind-blowingly stupid from a perspective of The Current Year.

          It’s no different from the thousands of logical but emotionally uncomfortable things he has said and written over the past forty years. Stallman has no way to understand how people feel about something; he doesn’t feel that way. The community of actual computer scientists and clued-in tech people has long accepted this because — and I cannot emphasize this enough — Richard Stallman is responsible for computing as we know it.

        • MIT president Rafael Reif is suddenly at the center of a storm

          “Rafael knows MIT as well as anybody can know it. More importantly, MIT knows him,” said Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University’s president and a former MIT chancellor who has known Reif as a friend for decades. “He is a person of extraordinary decency. I have full faith and confidence in him.”

          Harvard is also conducting a review of its own Epstein gifts and entanglements.

          The troubles at MIT boiled over after The New Yorker revealed earlier this month that Epstein was far more involved at the university than initially disclosed and that MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and others had kept those ties hidden.

          In the weeks since, the controversy has broadened. Ito, whom Reif hired, and MIT scientist Richard Stallman have resigned from the university. MIT has hired a law firm to review the Epstein ties. Reif has acknowledged that he signed a letter when he was just weeks into his presidency thanking Epstein, who was then a convicted sex offender, for a donation and that top university officials knew about efforts to take Epstein’s money and keep the gifts anonymous.

          Last week more than 60 female faculty members signed a stinging letter urging Reif to improve the culture of MIT and questioned the administration’s commitment to gender equity.

          “How can MIT’s leadership be trusted when it appears that child prostitution and sex trafficking can be ignored in exchange for a financial contribution?” the letter said.

          Reif, who earned about $1.1 million in 2016, declined to be interviewed for this story. The controversy appears to have hit him hard.

        • Software Activist Resigns From MIT After Defending Epstein, Pedophilia

          Stallman made the announcement on his blog, writing “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.” He simultaneously stepped down from his roles as president and board director at the Free Software Foundation, which he founded in 1985.

          Mechanical engineer and MIT alum Selam Jie Gano published emails Stallman sent to a MIT CSAIL mailing list earlier this month. In the emails, Stallman tried to defend the reputation of deceased MIT professor Marvin Minsky, whom Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with during a trip to the Virgin Islands when she was 17.

        • Software Freedom Day

          As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you!

          We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

          Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering “How spicy should a jalapeño be?.” the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers.

          Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

      • Programming/Development

        • Codementor: Can We Do Machine Learning without python, absolutely No… Read this…

          Python has become, go programming language Around the World. From many Software companies to Consumer-based Companies.

        • Code it, ship it, own it with full-service ownership

          Software teams seeking to provide better products and services must focus on faster release cycles. But running reliable systems at ever-increasing speeds presents a big challenge. Software teams can have both quality and speed by adjusting their policies around ongoing service ownership. While on-call plays a large part in this model, advancement in knowledge, more resilient code, increased collaboration, and better practices mean engineers don’t have to wake up to a nightmare.

          This four-part series will delve into the concepts of full-service ownership, psychological safety in transformation, the ethics of accountability, and the impact of ownership on the customer experience.

        • ML with Python: Part-1

          Now, We are comfortable with Python and ready to get started with Machine Learning (ML) projects. But, Where to go next? Can we directly dive into coding ML projects? Please follow along to know the answer…..

        • Simple rules of good programming

          Hi guys, I work as a programmer for more than 15 years and was using many different languages, paradigms, frameworks and other shit. And I want to share with you my rules of writing good code.

          [...]

          Code review can be as good as it can be bad.
          You can organize code review only if you have a developer who understand 95% of the code and who can monitor all updates without wasting to much time. In another situation, it will be just time consuming and everyone will hate this.

          On this part got too many questions so describe this more deeply. Many people think that code review it’s a good way of teaching new guys, or teammates who work on a different part of code. But the main target of code review it’s maintaining code quality, and not teaching. Let’s imagine that your team making code for controlling a cooling system for nuclear reactor, or space rocket engine. And you made huge mistake in very hard logic, and then you are giving this for code review to the new guy. How do you think what would be the risk of an accident? — On my practice more than 70%.

          A good team is where each person has own role and responsibility for the exact piece of work. If someone wants to understand another piece of code then he goes to a person responsible for it and asks her. Impossible to know everything and better excellent understand a small piece of code than all but on 30%.

        • Hone advanced Bash skills by building Minesweeper

          I am no expert on teaching programming, but when I want to get better at something, I try to find a way to have fun with it. For example, when I wanted to get better at shell scripting, I decided to practice by programming a version of the Minesweeper game in Bash.

          If you are an experienced Bash programmer and want to hone your skills while having fun, follow along to write your own version of Minesweeper in the terminal. The complete source code is found in this GitHub repository.

        • Java 13 Delivers Features That Improve Productivity, Efficiency

          At its CodeOne conference, Oracle explains how the rapid release cycle for Java has yielded innovation, as Java SE 13 is officially launched.

        • A Novel About Java & Open Source – Meet The Author Of “Emmy In The Key Of Code”

          “Emmy in the Key of Code” is novel written by Aimee Lucido, a software engineer who works at Uber. It’s about Java and music. Oracle invited Lucido to speak at the Oracle OpenWorld/Code One event. We sat down with her to talk about her book and what inspired her to write it.

        • Intellectual property Law and Coding

          In the world of software, good code is a necessity, and great code can make the difference between a startup succeeding and failing. But how do you protect coding innovations that may be novel or unique?

          Intellectual property law, or IP law, is the main legalistic framework that can answer many of those questions and more. Any business, and perhaps more crucially, any individual coder, should be aware of their options when it comes to maintaining the rights to their work. Here, we delve into some of the most important things to know about IP law and coding.

        • LLVM 9.0.0 released
          It's my great pleasure to announce that LLVM 9 is now available.
          
          Get it here: https://llvm.org/releases/download.html#9.0.0
          
          This release is the result of the LLVM community's work over the past
          six months (up to trunk r366426 plus commits on the branch). Some
          highlights include:
          
          - Support for asm goto, enabling for example the mainline Linux kernel
          for x86_64 to build with Clang
          - The RISCV-V target is no longer experimental, but built by default
          - Experimental support for C++ for OpenCL
          
          as well as many bug fixes, optimizations, and diagnostics improvements.
          
        • Icecream 1.3 and Icemon 3.3 released

          A new version 1.3 of the distributed C/C++ compilation tool Icecream has been released. To accompany it, version 3.3 of the GUI monitor Icemon has been released as well.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: digest 0.6.21

          A new version of digest is just now arriving at CRAN (following a slight holdup over one likely spurious reverse dependency error), and I will send an updated package to Debian shortly as well.

          digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, and spookyhash algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a fairly widely-used package (currently listed at 795k downloads) as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation.

        • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (cxcv) stackoverflow python report
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?

        The Sidewalk Museum of Congress (SMoC) located outside 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall’s office at 200 E. Iron Ave., Salina, KS, 67401 is an anti-status-quo palette of dissent against the status quo of establishment politics and its allied mainstream media, and of elite museum spaces. This resistance space has every color and no logo. SMoC is the palette, the media, the planter, and the engaging (or not) audience harvester.

      • Unhappy India

        Not very long ago (Sept 2, 2019), India launched a rocket to the far side of the moon. It carried a lunar lander that fell silent following the landing attempt four days later. Had it survived, India would have become the fourth country in the world to accomplish the feat. Still, the partial success was a matter of pride. There have been other signal achievements including a doubling of GDP in the past decade. Then, why are Indians unhappy?

      • Radical Education

        For most of our existence, we shared the Earth in common. That is, there was no private property, nor, in fact, much consciousness of ourselves as individual beings, separate from one another and separate from the natural world of which we were a part. It is only during the last few hundred years that most of the commons has disappeared, converted into private property, embedded in a new mode of production—capitalism.

    • Hardware

      • Noctua NH-L9a-AM4: A Very Low-Profile AMD Ryzen Cooler

        When looking for a heatsink with a small stature for an AMD APU mini PC build for HTPC / file storage use-cases (more on that build in the next day or two), the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 fit the criteria and so I went with that given the success with the many Noctua heatsinks we have used over the years. For those potentially interested in the NH-L9a-AM4 for an AMD APU like the new Ryzen 5 3400G or for lower-end Ryzen CPUs, I ran some benchmarks with this cooler.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • New Linux Cryptojacker Can Mask CPU Usage and Fake Network Activity [Ed: It's not "Linux" but something that can be installed and run on it]

        Cryptojacking is a lucrative venture for malware developers, but it comes with a problem. Cryptojackers take up a lot of the processor’s resources which makes the attack very noticeable for the victim. One strain of cryptojacker has developed a way to avoid detection by masking the tell-tale signs from the user.1 The Arrival of Skidmap Skidmap is a Linux-based malware which mines cryptocurrency on computers and servers without the owner’s permission. What makes Skidmap so dangerous is its wide range of advanced features that make it a pain to locate and stop.

      • [Slackware] Chromium critical security update

        Earlier this week I already provided a Chromium update in my Slackware repository. That update addressed a critical security issue in the media playback plugin whereby an attacker was able to take over your computer remotely, simply by letting you load an infected page.

        But then another critical vulnerability was discovered and two days ago a new Chromium source was released to take care of this security hole in the User Interface code. The new version of Chromium is 77.0.3865.90 and of the four mentioned vulnerabilities on the website, one is a remote-takeover issue.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War

        John Bolton tried his best.

      • ‘Total Massacre’ as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan

        Amnesty International said the bombing “suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life.”

      • Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity

        Here, in the village of Stryszow in Southern Poland, you can hear the funeral ceremonies from the farmhouse on the hill where I reside during my time in this Country. The mournful cadences of the undertaker match the dull mechanical tolling of the church bell, as friends and relatives of the deceased, mostly in black, walk slowly and solemnly down the high street following the funeral cortege.

      • DR Congo: Warlord Sought by ICC Killed

        The death in the Democratic Republic of Congo of a rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court highlights the need to bring justice for his forces’ many victims.

      • No Justice 3 Years After DR Congo Massacre

        Three years ago, Congolese security forces shot dead at least 66 protesters, rocking Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Three years later, nothing has been done to hold senior officials responsible to account.

      • How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East

        Late on the night of July 14, 1958, I navigated our KC-97 aerial tanker to refuel a lone B-52 on a secret radio-silence mission near the Arctic Circle. On our way home, our number three engine conked out as we approached the Gaspé Peninsula. We got permission to make an emergency landing at Loring, the big B-52 base in northern Maine. As soon as we touched down, we were ordered to clear the runway. Suddenly the squawking of Klaxon horns pierced the night. Jeeps flashing red lights materialized out of the darkness and sped to the row of giant B-52s on standby alert, each loaded with thermonuclear bombs. Flight crews raced from the jeeps to the planes. One after another, the B-52s started their eight engines, taxied out, and launched into the black sky.

      • No War for Saudi Oil!

        Even if US intelligence decisively shows that some of the drones and cruise missiles used in the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields originated in Iran, a decision to go to war with Iran would be inexcusable and insupportable.

      • El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence

        On August 3, 2019 a white supremacist walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and murdered 22 people and injured dozens more. Shortly before the attack, he posted online comments complaining about a “Hispanic invasion.” He later told authorities that he was specifically targeting “Mexicans.” Just a few days before the El Paso massacre, another shooting in Gilroy, California left 3 dead and many more injured. The murderer in this case had online postings about invading “hordes of mestizos” and recommended that people read a white supremacist favorite “Might is Right” which, among other things, exalts the racial superiority of Anglo Saxons.

      • The Police State’s Language of Force

        Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.

      • ‘How Could They Do This to Us?’ Ask Afghan Farmers After Reporting Reveals Officials Knew Civilians Were in Area of Lethal US Drone Strike

        “This is just one of the horrors of endless war.”

      • The Saddest Story of All: The Imperial Debris of War

        I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I am the mother of two young children. So when I imagine what life must be like there after 18 years of war, my mind conjures up the children most vividly — the ones who have been affected by the conflict — and their parents.

      • Trump to Be Presented With Options to Attack Iran: Reports

        The range of options the Pentagon will present the president with include military actions as well as political and economic moves.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Small Town Values

        A few weeks ago, another young man was shot to death in Michigan City, Indiana. He was the fourth or fifth in the past several months (no on really keeps count, especially when the victim is black). Here, in the shadow of the nation’s third-largest city, poor and working class people slave away at low-paying service sector jobs that provide no benefits, seasonal wages (at best), and no future. The ghosts of Neoliberalism and Deindustrialization continue to haunt our small town.

      • Working in America: Paychecks for Silence

        Let us begin with just a few recent and disturbing statistics about working in America. First, most Americans (nearly 78%) live paycheck to paycheck, which makes them vulnerable to abuse and bullying by employers. Second, a 2018 Harris Poll found that “seven in ten employers (70 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates during hiring process,” and another seven percent was planning to do so as of 2018. This means that on top of working under inhumanely precarious and insecure conditions, average American employees are also being watched online and offline by authoritarian employers to make sure they are conforming to their demands. Based on more than 12 years of work experience, observation, and collecting insights from many friends, colleagues, and total strangers, I find that most American workplaces operate in ways that makes it almost impossible for anyone to speak truth to power or challenge the status quo and be able to thrive or advance in their career. “If you dare to open your mouth, you basically ruin your career,” is one of the most common lines I hear from people when I ask them about what usually stops them from saying or doing what they see as the right thing to do. Here, we must ask, is there a dictatorship worse than this reality? Is there any difference between being ruled by authoritarian leaders and authoritarian employers? A bigger concern is that America goes around the world toppling “authoritarian” or “dictator” regimes, while most American corporations and institutions act as dictatorships squeezing life out of their employees/citizens. It is important at this time to start connecting between countries ruled by single dictators and others ruled by dictators who own and manipulate the job market.

      • Another Nail In the Coffin Of Corporate Sovereignty, As Massive Asian Trade Deal RCEP Nears Completion Without It

        Remember RCEP? The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a massive trade deal being negotiated by most of South-East Asia — including China and India. Although still little-known, it has been grinding away in the background, and is drawing closer to a final agreement. Almost exactly a year ago Techdirt noted that there were some interesting rumors that corporate sovereignty — officially known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) — might be dropped from the deal. A story in The Malaysian Reserve confirms that is the case…

      • What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America

        Earlier this year, a number of wealthy parents, celebrities, and college prep coaches were accused of offering large bribes to elite universities in order to get their children into schools they didn’t qualify for. Federal prosecutors charged at least 50 people in the criminal investigation named “Operation Varsity Blues.”

      • Sanders Hits Back at Rich Biden Donor: ‘The Democratic Party I Represent Is the Party of the Working Class, Not Billionaires’

        “We are going to make the changes that we need in this country when the working people of America stand up to the corporate elite, not take their money.”

      • ‘Secretary of Corporate Interests’ More Like It, Say Critics of Trump’s Anti-Worker Labor Nominee

        “With Scalia in charge, Trump’s Department of Labor would go even further down the path of siding with big corporations over workers and the American people.”

      • The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric

        The poverty rate in the United States fell to 11.8 percent in 2018, according to data released last week by the Census Bureau — the lowest it’s been since 2001. But this estimate significantly understates the extent of economic deprivation in the United States today. Our official poverty line hasn’t kept up with economic change. Nor has it been modified to take into account widely held views among Americans about what counts as “poor.”

      • Trump Singles Out California’s Homeless for Abuse

        President Donald Trump, along with his father, Fred Trump, were the defendants in a 1973 lawsuit brought by the Justice Department, in which housing and civil rights activists laid bare the Trumps’ practices of turning away black renters. “It was front-page news,” The New York Times stated in 2016, “and for Donald, amounted to his debut in the public eye.”

      • Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection

        Washington is awash with proposals for a new regulatory agency centered on Silicon Valley. Often lost in that important conversation is the fact that the executive branch already has some positions with a direct focus on the technology sector, though they are limited in scope and scattered across the alphabet-soup of agencies. Perhaps no tech-focused bureaucrat has the president’s ear quite like the Chief Technology Officer. The CTO is the White House’s top advisor on anything to do with technology and innovation, tasked with explaining the latest developments and guiding the thinking of the most powerful politician on earth.

      • Teachers and Walmart Workers Top List as Sanders Campaign Hits 1 Million Individual Donors

        With 99.95 percent of those who gave still able to do so again, 2020 candidate says record milestone—reached faster than any other campaign in history—”is astonishing.”

      • Captains of Industry
      • Charter Schools Were Never a Good Idea. They Were a Corporate Plot All Along

        America has been fooled by the charter school industry for too long.

      • Corporate America’s Latest Bill of Goods

        One of the major themes in U.S. politics over the past decade or so has been the enormous influence that corporate America has over our political and economic life. Since the financial crisis erupted 10 years ago, populism has taken hold of the public imagination, and popular anger seems to have reached new heights as inequality has risen and corporations have grown more powerful.

      • MIT’s Epstein scandal kept student Mani Mengiste up at night — so she decided to fight aback

        It was only the first week of the fall semester, but the scandal, which had been steadily brewing all summer, struck a nerve. In August, the university had admitted to accepting $800,000 from Epstein over the course of roughly 20 years, but this was a new punch to the gut.

        “We enabled a child sex trafficker,” she told Insider. “How can I not be disgusted? He used [the] MIT name to protect himself. He used connections that he may have made here to protect himself. He associated himself with faculty that I respect — with us.”

        Epstein, who essentially acted as a broker between MIT’s affluent donors and the school, had secured millions for MIT’s Media Lab from tech giants like Bill Gates. That prospect sickened her.

      • ‘Am I as brave as I think I am?’ MIT Media Lab student Arwa Mboya on the aftermath of a scandal

        It’s been another hard week at MIT. Our campus has been divided by revelations of inappropriate fundraising, coverups, and the harboring of far too many tech geniuses who seemingly put their own interests and careers over the safety of women, among other marginalized groups.

        As a chaplain to students and faculty at the Institute, but also as an opinion writer on the ethics of technology who is supposed to be on sabbatical from the chaplaincy to focus on the writing, I’ve been torn all week as to what to say. If you don’t know what a chaplain is, and you would hardly be alone in any ignorance there, it is a position that emphasizes confidentiality and trust. I know there are a lot of people on MIT’s campus who are scared, sad, and hurting for various reasons, and I wouldn’t want any of them to feel less able to speak with someone like me because I’ve chosen to speak out publicly.

        At other times, in the midst of other campus controversies, I’ve personally opted to remain relatively silent, leaning into the part of my job that is, officially, one of quiet service to a university as a whole. I’ve been critical of a lot of big institutions over the years, including much of religion, but also a lot of organized atheism.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Punching Through Bad Headlines

        I’ll be honest: Writing a weekly opinion column about the environment during the Trump era is depressing — and boring. Every week is the same: “Trump did something harmful to the environment. That’s bad. He should stop. Here are the catastrophic things that will happen if we don’t take care of our planet.”

      • Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?

        Many Muslims follow the traditional 40-day grieving period, but Kashmir has been grieving for decades. Now, 46 days later, even the grief is helpless, and soon the voices of outside support will fade. Today, too, Indian sympathy for the state is a quid pro quo. “They are one of us,” say the hashtag supporters, completely ghosting the plot. There is barely any acknowledgement of their right to be independent of the country. “I stand with Kashmir” is the slogan, not “I stand with Kashmir to be free”.

      • Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?

        Home Minister Amit Shah of the BJP now bats for Hindi as the unifying language that India requires.

      • Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?

        For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

      • To Avoid Repeat of 2016 Disenfranchisement, Sanders Urges Gov. Cuomo to Sign Bill That Would Extend NY Voter Registration Deadline

        “In 2016, countless voters across the state of New York were disenfranchised by the state’s arcane and inexcusable early party affiliation deadline,” said Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      • Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency

        Early this month, workers at the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management gathered to discuss a Trump administration plan that would force some 200 people to uproot their lives or find other jobs.

        With a vague plan that keeps changing as officials describe it — and no guarantees that Congress would fully fund their relocations — the employees were being detailed to distant locations in the West like Grand Junction, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada. Many career staff saw the move as part of a wider Trump administration effort to drive federal employees out of their jobs. Acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney has described that approach as a “wonderful way to streamline government.”

      • Here We Go Again: Neoliberal Centrists Are Anointing One of Their Own—and It Could Cost Us

        The post mortem on the latest Democratic debate tells us all we need to know. The fix is in. Choose your so-called liberal media—New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, MSNBC, or any of the other members of the neoliberal media mafia—and you’ll be told either that Biden did well, that he was the “winner,” or that he at least avoided any major gaffes. A few non-traditional news

      • A Rebellion for the Wild West

        Christopher Ketcham’s “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West” is a politically explosive and beautifully written chronicle of the ongoing struggle to preserve publicly owned land in the West. This is home to iconic endangered species such as the grizzly bear, the wolf, and the wild horse. Much of the left is rightfully fixated on the horrifying prospects of Bolsonaro giving the green light to ranchers, miners, oil companies and farmers to ravage the Amazon rainforest. Now it is time that we took a stand against the same kind of devastation taking place on American soil. If it was up to Donald Trump and the “liberal” Democrats like Obama who paved the way for him, all of the land that had been protected under successive presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon (yes, that’s right) will face the same fate.

      • Here’s what we know about the Siberian shaman who set out to battle Putin’s evil spirit, and how police finally got to him

        For half a year, Yakutsk resident Alexander Gabyshev had been walking on foot toward Moscow, thousands of miles and six time zones west of his hometown. Gabyshev describes himself as a “warrior shaman,” and he plans to defeat “Putin the Demon” at the conclusion of his journey. Along his path to Moscow, the shaman gave speeches at multiple protests, attracted a group of companions who walk with him along Russia’s highways, and became a subject of energetic discussion and meme production nationwide. On September 19, officials arrested Gabyshev and sent him for a brief psychiatric evaluation. He also reportedly faces felony extremism charges. These developments have prompted leading newspapers around the world to write about Gabyshev. Meduza is also looking at this man’s story and the life events that led him to where he is now.

      • The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power

        This essay attempts to explain the root causes of the current developing political and Constitutional crisis in the United States as the economy moves toward concentration of capital and wealth reflected by and organically linked to concentrated political power. The crisis includes lawlessness at national and international levels: violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the rising frequency of mass shootings, increasing crime and incarcerations, corruption, violation of UN Charters, agreements, and state sovereignty, termination of trade and arms treaties, ending agreements and conventions, illegal wars, foreign-election meddling, surveillance, and more.

      • Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway

        As a general rule, a functional government is better than a dysfunctional one. Nevertheless, the bipartisanship everyone supposedly yearns for is crap. This is obvious.

      • Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World

        The emergence in recent years of the economic and military powers in countries like China, Russia and India has given rise to theories and hopes of a multipolar world that could temper the heavy-handed unilateral/unipolar policies of the United States on a global level. Such hopes are further buoyed by the fact that these rising poles of economic development have instituted a number of regional international organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the Eurasian Economic Union that incorporates Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

      • Trump Urged Ukraine to Investigate Biden’s Son

        President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism

        Being a mouthy genderfuck internet personality, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing some pretty caustic shit online and I’ve generally come to except it. After the sixth or seventh time being threatened with gang rape by yet another alt-right troglodyte, the shock runs a little thin. I’ve actually become rather skilled at the digital-jujitsu that’s become a necessity for existing as an openly trans person online. I’ve even made a few hideous friends on the far-right in the process. Generally speaking, most trolls are either childish pranksters or sadistic psychopaths. If you keep a razor sharp tongue and a sense of humor, either one can be handled with relative ease. This isn’t to say that they aren’t despicable human garbage or that words don’t hurt, but there are things far worse than hate speech online and I personally have never felt more dehumanized or offended as a queer person than I have by the way Facebook treated me this past week, all in the name of policing hate speech and patronizing marginalized creatures like myself.

      • Should The Media Voluntarily Embrace A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’?

        It should be no secret that I’m not at all a fan of the right to be forgotten, which is a European concept, as currently employed, that allows people to get old news stories about them removed from search engines (there’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic explanation). To me, it seems like an attempt to bury history and facts, and that’s dangerous. We’ve also seen too many cases of people trying to abuse it to hide spotty historical records that deserve to remain public. However, the excellent Radiolab podcast a few weeks back had a fascinating episode exploring the idea of the news media voluntarily agreeing to “forget” certain stories. More specifically, last year, Cleveland.com adopted a policy that would let people apply to be “forgotten” by the online news publication. They invited Radiolab folks to be present for one of the meetings where the staff debates applications.

      • Chuck Yeager Sues Airbus For Mentioning That Chuck Yeager Broke The Sound Barrier

        When it comes to intellectual property, the culture of ownership has grown so large that it threatens to consume itself. Still, while we have an overly permissive USPTO and European trademark offices that facilitate this insane notion that all language is meant to be owned, there are still, blessedly, some rules. One of those rules is that, on the topic of trademark and publicity rights, people and companies are allowed to state facts. It is not infringing on anyone’s rights to state such facts. That is all the more the case when the facts in question are historical facts.

      • Content Moderation At Scale Especially Doesn’t Work When You Hide All The Rules

        For quite a while now, we’ve pointed out that doing any serious content moderation on major internet sites is laughably difficult, if not impossible. Whether done in a purely automated format, or with real human oversight, everything ends up boiling down to just how much collateral damage are we all willing to accept when sites attempt to enforce moderation rules. Even when sites attempt to communicate the rules to the public in a somewhat transparent fashion, such as Facebook, it all inevitably goes to the kind of hell that includes nixing accounts for sharing what is purely art.

      • Innocent Users Have the Most to Lose in the Rush to Address Extremist Speech Online

        Big online platforms tend to brag about their ability to filter out violent and extremist content at scale, but those same platforms refuse to provide even basic information about the substance of those removals. How do these platforms define terrorist content? What safeguards do they put in place to ensure that they don’t over-censor innocent people in the process? Again and again, social media companies are unable or unwilling to answer the questions.

        A recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing regarding violent extremism online illustrated this problem. Representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter each made claims about their companies’ efficacy at finding and removing terrorist content, but offered very little real transparency into their moderation processes.

      • YouTube Reverses Position, Decides Top Creators Can Remain Verified

        YouTube said it would remove verified status from many large accounts. Creators were baffled and upset. And then YouTube changed its mind.

        [...]

        Many YouTubers, some with millions of followers, made their disappointment public. “Been doing YouTube for 5 years, I post 2 videos a week, 950,000 subscribers … YouTube emails me today that my channel has been ‘unverified’ because the verified badge is only for well known channels with a large following,” the YouTuber Sierra Schultzzie posted on Twitter.

        Caryn Marjorie Jones, a 19-year-old who goes by CutieCaryn on YouTube, said that she was heartbroken when she got the email. “It’s just a little sign but it’s something I’ve worked years to get and to develop this fan base, so for it to be taken off was alarming and hurtful and I feel really emotionally impacted.”

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The FBI Tried To Get A Secure Phone Company To Create A Backdoor In Its Encrypted Network

        Not a great week for the FBI, encryption-wise. The same week it was revealed the FBI’s encrypted communications system was cracked by the Russians, a report by Joseph Cox of Motherboard details the agency’s failure to punch a hole in a phone company’s encrypted network.

      • Tech Companies Are Leading The Fight Against Child Porn While The FBI And DOJ Complain About Encryption Helping Child Abusers

        We hear so much from law enforcement agencies about how much tech companies — and their encryption offerings — are turning America into a lawless frontier where the criminals always win and the cops are eternally hamstrung. We mainly hear this from two law enforcement agencies in particular: the FBI and the DOJ.

      • California Senate Passes Statewide Ban On Facial Recognition Tech Use By Law Enforcement

        San Francisco has already banned the use of facial recognition tech by local law enforcement. Oakland did the same thing a couple of months later. Pretty soon, it’s not going to matter where you are in California. If you’re a law enforcement agency, facial recognition tech is off-limits. Here’s the latest news on the biometric front from the EFF.

      • Facebook’s Social Media Council Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

        Facebook took big step forward this week in its march to create an “oversight board” to help vet its more controversial takedown decisions, publishing more details about how it will work. Both Facebook and its users will be able to refer cases to the Board to request its review. Is this big step a big deal for online speech?

        Maybe not, but it’s worth paying attention. A handful of tech companies govern a vast amount of speech online, including the platforms we use to get our news, form social bonds, and share our perspectives. That governance means, in practice, making choices about what users can say, to whom. Too often—on their own or under pressure—the speech police make bad choices, frequently at the expense of people who already struggle to make their voices heard and who are underrepresented in the leadership of these companies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Noblesse the Sleaze

        Trump is enormous; this is true, in all ways of the word, but certainly in terms of an enormous lack of empathy for others. But America is (and always has) selected for and advanced those with sociopathic traits. A touch of sociopathy seems to be an affliction ideally suited to a nation that covets individual success over the benefits of the whole. A nation with a staggering homeless population and epidemic medical bill-induced bankruptcies would not be considered a success when viewed in its entirety, but the nation is quite adept at turning out billionaires, so there’s that.

      • Film, Music and Elections in Germany

        After the elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, and before the election in Thuringia on October 26th, the various German parties are sorting out the results. In Saxony, where the Christian Democrats (CDU) lost strength but stayed in the lead, they are trying to patch up a difficult coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, their only option without their tabooed LINKE (Left) and Alternative for Germany (AfD) – the far, far right. In Brandenburg, the SPD also lost feathers and must now decide whether to stay with the LINKE plus the Greens – both would now be necessary to barely reach that needed majority, or to replace the LINKE with the CDU and, necessary here too, the Greens.

      • Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time

        In the 1963 horror-thriller, The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock wants his viewers to understand the world from the point-of-view of birds. Angry birds. Birds angry at humans. The question is: Why? Why are the birds angry? Why have they gone amok, seeding chaos, and what will be the solution?

      • Teachers Should Join the Student Strikes

        On September 20th millions of students across the globe are taking a stand with student strikes – demanding action on climate change so they, and our grandchildren may survive and thrive.  Now, adults have been called on to join the strikes. We believe educators should be the first to join them. | By Jessica Garraway, David Boenke

      • In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times

        I was recently accused on social media of offering up “flowery words” after posting a short call to non-violent activism. I would like to assure all that although non-violence may have the sound of flowery words, these words are also a call to what may be the best strategy and the bravest strategy for living with and responding to a world that has been in the fits of some power struggle or another, throughout the extent of its entire written and I oral history. The struggle for human rights is not new to us here in the year of 2019, although the conditions and environment in which the struggles exist may be.

      • Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”

        Much of the prison literature I have read expresses a legitimate bitterness about the political forces that led to the inmate’s incarceration. I can’t imagine writing without such anger if I were the one imprisoned. I wouldn’t have such control over my emotions, such tranquility in the face of the horrible environments that exist in virtually all prisons in the world, except in the Scandinavian countries that are almost always more enlightened than we are in the United States. Nor would I be able to stop cursing the head off at the government that has incarcerated me. But these characteristics are largely missing from Turkish writer’s Ahmet Altan’s I Will Never See the World Again.

      • Britain Should Practice What It Preaches

        In light of the United Kingdom government’s decision to suspend parliament, apparently to avoid scrutiny just weeks before it risks crashing out of the European Union without a deal, the Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka suggested that the Commonwealth should investigate Britain.

      • Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry

        Mars Petcare US—purveyor of pet products including Whiskas®, Greenies™, Sheba®, Cesar®, and Iams™—is a division of the $35 billion Mars (M&Ms) chocolate empire.

      • American Psychopathy

        There seems to be two branches of what I see as a drive toward global domination, global hegemony, by the ruling class. One is the Trump phenomenon and the narratives and political actions that accompany his presidency (often in the background). Second is the new ruling corporate control of environmentalism.

      • Kenya: Abusive Evictions in Mau Forest

        Kenyan authorities have not investigated abuses by security officials during the forced evictions of thousands of people from Mau Forest in July, 2018 and now are planning more evictions, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • “Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies

        Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Proud Boys, and various white power groups have been rallying in Portland, Boston, Berkeley, Charlottesville, and Gainsville. Mass shootings and numerous hate crimes targeting immigrant/Latinx/Black/Muslim/Jewish people are on the rise. Four junior women of color U.S. representatives are under constant racist, xenophobic, and misogynist attack. In fact, Rep. Ilhan Omar has received so many death threats she has had to hire private security. Last fall Brett Kavanaugh had a privileged white boy tantrum in front of a national audience, egged on by white male senators equally outraged by challenges to their entitlement. These are the latest signs that the United States is again gripped by white resentment. While this is certainly not a new cultural phenomenon, we have yet to deeply explore what makes the last decade unique.

      • Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex

        In 2010, Barbara G. Brents and Teela Sanders published a pioneering study, “Mainstreaming the Sex Industry: Economic Inclusion and Social Ambivalence,” that argued, “mainstreaming of the sex industry is invariably linked to wider patterns in leisure consumption, travel, and the hedonistic search for relaxation and pleasure.”  They announced the establishment of the sexually “new normal.”

      • The Modern Machiavelli Who Predicted Trump’s Rise

        Early in the Mueller investigation, President Trump rankled at then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to circle the wagons on his behalf. “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” the president asked, name-checking his unscrupulous mentor, lawyer and fixer.

      • Here’s What to Expect From Chicago City Council’s Ticket Reform

        I’m happy to report this week that the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved a pretty major set of reforms to the city’s system of ticketing and debt collection. You may know that I have been, em, a little obsessed with said system for almost two years, when I first joined the ProPublica Illinois team and began reporting on why so many people were filing for bankruptcy over ticket debt.

        On Wednesday, my pal Elliott Ramos from WBEZ Chicago — with whom I’ve worked on these stories since last summer — and I watched as aldermen voted 49-1 in favor of the reforms. It was a good morning.

      • Egypt: Respect Right to Peaceful Protest

        Egyptian authorities should protect the right to peaceful protest in upholding Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance.

      • Indian Democracy Is Being Dismantled Piece by Piece

        There were some notable differences between the swearing-in ceremonies of the Hindu-supremacist government of Narendra Modi in its first victory on May 26, 2014, and its re-election on May 30, 2019.

      • Jazz is Activism

        Jazz is activism: it requires training, commitment, belief, and action. It is brought to life through fire, resolve, imagination. Now practiced by peoples of all colors and tongues around the globe, jazz was born of African-American musical traditions and the lived experience of oppression. Music of the church and of the fields voiced hopes for a better tomorrow whether in the North or in heaven.

      • Jailed Russian actor Pavel Ustinov is released from jail to await next week’s appeals hearing

        Moscow City Court Judge Yulia Manerkina decided on Friday to release Pavel Ustinov on his own recognizance, following a request from the District Attorney’s Office. Ustinov was recently sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for allegedly injuring a National Guardsman when he was arrested at a protest on August 3. Ustinov’s appeals hearing will take place on September 26.

      • FSB Academy official is sentenced to four years in prison for stealing and selling off the school’s computer parts

        A senior technician at the Federal Security Service’s Academy has been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing and selling off computer parts. According to the newspaper Kommersant, warrant officer Airat Khairullin spent two years working in the FSB Academy’s foreign-languages department, where he disassembled hundreds of computers and sold the components through free classified ads on the websites Youla and Avito. 

      • At retrial, Russian hacker says treason-convicted ex-cop forced him to rob bank accounts

        Dmitry Popelysh, who together with his twin brother stole more than 12 million rubles ($187,920) from various bank clients, has complained to federal investigators that he was forced into illegal hacker activity, a source who witnessed Popelysh’s courtroom testimony told the news agency RBC. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Ponders Dumping DirecTV After Investor Backlash, But It’s Not Likely To Help

        As we just got done noting, investors have finally started to grumble about AT&T’s obsession with merger mania (aka “growth for growth’s sake”). AT&T, you’ll recall, spent more than $150 billion to acquire Time Warner and DirecTV in a bid to dominate the streaming video and online advertising space. But the deals saddled AT&T with so much debt, it forced the company to raise rates despite rising competition, driving many of these customers to the exits. Oh, and AT&T’s being sued by other investors for allegedly lying about it. It has also largely bungled its TV branding in general.

    • Monopolies

      • The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Precedential Opinion Stressing That Design Patents Cover Articles of Manufacture

          In a case of first impression, the Federal Circuit held that “claim language can limit the scope of a design patent where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears nowhere in the figures.” Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 2018-2214 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 12, 2019).

          In the particular case, Curver Luxembourg, SARL (Curver), filed suit against Home Expressions Inc. (Home Expressions) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging infringement of U.S. design patent no. D677,946 (the ’946 patent) for making and selling baskets incorporating Carver’s claimed “Y” pattern. Defendant Home Expressions filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion arguing noninfringement in view of the ’946 patent being limited to chairs. The district court agreed with the defendant and granted the motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a plausible claim of design patent infringement. Curver appealed to the Federal Circuit.

          [...]

          This case offers up a good lesson to applicants seeking to secure design patent protection and enforce their rights against third parties. BakerHostetler routinely helps clients develop and execute effective strategies involving design patents along with other forms of intellectual property.

        • What is this Appeal About? Secrecy at the Federal Circuit

          In the lawsuit, Balsam sued Frontgate for infringing its patents covering an artificial Christmas tree. Frontgate brought-in the manufacturer UCP for indemnification. Balsam then settled with Frontgate (without notifying UCP) and in a manner that left UCP liable for infringement. The confidential information is apparently related to the settlement between Balsam and Frontgate whose contents were designated as “Highly Confidential – Outside Attorneys’ Eyes Only” in the district court litigation. In its briefing, Balsam identified the settlement terms as “highly confidential, sensitive information.”

          The Federal Circuit has asked the parties to “show cause” as to why the under seal opinion should remain under seal with briefing due by October 3. The Federal Circuit has a particular rule limiting confidential marking to 15-words. Fed. Cir. R. 28(d)(1). “A party seeking to mark confidential more than fifteen words in any brief must file a motion with this court establishing that the additional confidentiality markings are appropriate and necessary pursuant to a statute, administrative regulation, or court rule.” Id.

          I have included the redacted sections from UCP’s brief (BELOW) and I really can’t see how it can only be 15 words that are redacted. Note that the rule does allow for “repeating the marked words” without recounting. But, there are more than 15 lines of text marked confidential with usual average of 10+ words per line.

        • Board of Regents of the University of Texas System v. Boston Scientific Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          A question of sovereign immunity, which has come before the Federal Circuit in many guises of late (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Regents of the University of Minnesota v. LSI Corp.), arose again in Board of Regents of the University of Texas System v. Boston Scientific Corp. earlier this month. And as has happened thus far in this spate of these cases, the Court did not recognize the immunity as advanced by the State, in this case asserted over the question of proper venue.

          The case arose when the University of Texas sued Boston Scientific for infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 6,596,296 and 7,033,603 directed to implantable drug-releasing biodegradable fibers. These fibers are useful, inter alia, for producing implantable stents impregnated with therapeutic agents. The University of Texas (UT) filed suit in the Western District of Texas, and Boston Scientific successfully moved to transfer the lawsuit to the District of Delaware. It was undisputed that Boston Scientific is a Delaware corporation having its principle place of business in Massachusetts. Moreover, the corporation “does not own or lease any property or maintain a business address in the Western District of Texas,” and its 46 employees all worked from home. Under settled Supreme Court (TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC) and Federal Circuit law (In re Cray Inc.), venue was clearly improper in Texas.

        • New PatentlyO Law Journal Essay: Implementing Apportionment

          On August 15, 2019, Time Warner filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court seeking to vacate a $139.8 million damages verdict. That amount represents approximately 5% of Time Warner’s monthly subscriber revenue ($1.37 per subscriber per month). Time Warner argues that this award is too much given the contribution the patented feature made to its infringing service. At its core, the damages portion of the petition is asking the Supreme Court to provide guidance that will ensure that damages verdicts rely on apportionment principles and provide clarity in how they achieve this.

          [...]

          As with many issues in patent law, this is easier said than done. How do courts ensure that a patentee’s expert opinion on the ultimate damages figure is based on apportionment principles? How do we know if the jury verdict reflects those same principles?

      • Trademarks

        • IPEC refers unregistered design questions to CJEU

          The parties agreed that the relevant toys were first shown to the public at the “Mega Show” trade fair in Hong Kong in October 2017. They were later exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in January 2018, the first time that they were shown to the public in the EU. The parties also agreed that exhibition at the Mega Show was sufficient for the design to have become known in the normal course of business to circles specialising in the sector concerned, operating within the EU (therefore falling within Article 7(1) of the Design Regulation). This, argued PMS, destroyed the novelty of the UCDs, because the UCDs only would have qualified for protection when they were first made available to the public within the EU i.e. in Nuremberg in January 2018.

          In light of Gautzsch, we know that it is possible for Article 7(1) to be engaged to destroy novelty even if the relevant act of publication after registration, exhibition, use in trade or disclosure occurs outside of the EU. The debate therefore focused on whether the event of disclosure that would trigger protection as a UCD should also be treated in the same way as a potentially novelty-destroying disclosure (given the substantially identical wording of Article 7(1) and Article 11(2) regarding commencement of protection). Or, in other words, can a design first be disclosed (in a manner specified under the Design Regulation) geographically outside of the EU and yet qualify for protection as a UCD by virtue of the same disclosure that was outside of the EU?

          There is no direct CJEU authority on this question. Article 110(a), which was added in connection with the 2003 accession to the EU by several states, seems to suggest a narrow, EU-centric approach to first disclosure….

          [...]

          The judge noted that were he to determine the application and therefore leave it to an appeal court to make a reference to the CJEU, given the continuing uncertainty regarding Brexit it is eminently possible that the Court of Appeal would no longer be entitled to make a reference. This reference may have more important Brexit-related implications, however. If a design must first be disclosed within the EU in order to attract UCD protection, designers are likely to be more careful about where they first display their designs. For example, if Brexit happens, London Fashion Week, the 2019 edition of which just concluded, might lose shows to Paris or Milan.

      • Copyrights

        • Massive Legal Bills Force TVAddons’ Adam Lackman Towards Bankruptcy

          After being targeted by massive legal action in 2017, TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is still hoping to put up a fight against several major Canadian media companies. The huge costs incurred so far are proving crippling and with bankruptcy always just round the corner, defeat by default is rarely far away. It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar to Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde.

        • Piracy Boosts Sales of Some Manga Comics, Research Shows

          Publishers of Manga comics are working hard to shut down any and all pirate sites. With the planned shutdown of Manga Rock they have a major victory in sight. Interestingly, however, research shows that taking down all pirated content may not be in their best interests. As it turn out, piracy increases the sales of some comics books.

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