EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

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.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  2. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  3. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  4. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  5. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  6. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  7. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  8. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  9. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  10. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  11. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  12. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  13. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  14. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  15. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  17. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  18. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  19. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  20. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  21. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  22. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  23. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  25. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  26. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  27. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  28. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

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



  29. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

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



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

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


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts