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09.26.19

Links 27/9/2019: Richard Stallman Head of GNU Project, /e/ Now Selling in Europe

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Lenovo admits ThinkPad CPU throttling problem when running Linux, fix in development

        CPU performance is tricky to test these days, as CPUs of the same type can deliver vastly different performance numbers depending on the cooling and other outside conditions.

        With recent ThinkPad laptops from Lenovo, it turns out that one of these outside conditions is the place where the laptop is used: The systems use the Intel “Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework” (DPTF) to regulate the CPU performance based on if the system is used on a desk or on the users lap. On the desk, the CPU can reach much higher clock-rates, which leads to higher outside temperatures. On the lap, the CPU is limited to its basic TDP, enabling lower temperatures.

        This sounds like a useful feature. The problem is that it only works correctly when Windows is installed, as DPTF requires several drivers to work. With an alternative operating system like any Linux based OS, it won’t function correctly. The system is unable to recognize in which mode it should run and the CPU is locked down to the lower “Lap mode” performance.

        That is why many ThinkPad & Linux users have been complaining about a lower than expected CPU performance in Lenovo’s own support forum. After more than a year of complaints, Lenovo has finally admitted to this issue and thankfully also presented the prospect of a solution: The Chinese manufacturer will develop a firmware update for recent ThinkPad laptops that will basically emulate the Intel DPTF function on systems like Linux.

      • The seriously powerful, six-core Dell XPS 13 goes on sale starting on October 1

        Dell also announced that the new Developer Edition of the XPS 13, which will come with Ubuntu 18.04 installed and have the option for the six-core Core i7.

      • Finally We See XFCE 4.14 and GNU/Linux Distros with It

        Now after Plasma 5.16 in June and a month before GNOME 3.34 in September, actually, in silent, the latest XFCE 4.14 released at 12 August 2019 after four years of development. Congratulations to XFCE Developers and especially Simon Steinbeiss and here’s my short overview of latest XFCE I was waiting since 2015. I’m also looking for right time to write my own review next time. Here we go!

        [...]

        I’m writing this when I’m very busy with teaching in my online class and distributing USB pendrives. I’m very happy with them. And because we now have latest Plasma, latest GNOME, and latest XFCE, I surely am happy too and I hope I have more time to review XFCE 4.14 soon. It’s a great experience for me to manually search between distros (especially openSUSE) and make use of Repology.org to find latest XFCE on them. I hope this simple post helps out a lot for everybody.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • IBM brings blockchain to Red Hat OpenShift; adds ApacheDB for hybrid cloud customers

          IBM continued its Red Hat and open-source integration work this week by adding Red Hat OpenShift support to its blockchain platform and bringing a Kubernetes Operator for Apache CouchDB along side its hybrid-cloud services offering.

          The ability to deploy IBM Blockchain on Red Hat OpenShift, the company’s flagship enterprise Kubernetes platform, means IBM Blockchain developers will have the ability to deploy secure software, either on-premises, in public clouds or in hybrid cloud architectures.

        • Red Hat Elevates Enterprise Automation with New Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an expansive, enterprise-grade solution for building and operating automation at scale. With Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, organizations can accelerate collaboration between teams for improved operational efficiencies, reduced risk and a consistent user experience across infrastructure and technology domains.

          Recently named a Leader by Forrester Research in the Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2019, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform integrates Red Hat’s powerful automation suite consisting of Red Hat Ansible Tower, Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Network Automation along with new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based capabilities and features designed for organization-wide effectiveness. Regardless of whether an organization is just beginning its digital transformation journey through automation or is working to expand automation across more use-cases and domains, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform provides the tools needed to more quickly implement automation without starting from scratch.

        • Command Line Heroes season 3, episode 7: Talking to Machines: LISP and the Origins of AI
        • Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst: ‘We’re optimized for innovation, not efficiency’

          Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst isn’t about to change his management style anytime soon – even with a new boss in charge.

          At least, that was the impression he gave when he appeared as the keynote speaker at the Raleigh Chamber’s annual meeting on Friday.

          A little more than two months after the open source firm merged with IBM in a $34 billion deal, he hinted at an existing clash of culture between the two tech giants, albeit in jest.=

          “Not to pick on my new employer, but it’s funny. I’ll say we should start to do this in front of someone from IBM, and they’re off doing it. And then I’ll say it at Red Hat, and [they’ll say] he was just off his rocker that day,” he told the 700-strong crowd gathered in the main ballroom of the Raleigh Convention Center.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux 5.3, Oracle Autonomous Linux, AMD Breaks World Records, Microsoft – Destination Linux 140
      • 09/26/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Hacktoberfest is back with more prizes for open source developers, Amazon’s got new Echo devices and a new wireless protocol to boot, and the Python community has a new Code of Conduct.

        Plus the Free Software Awards have a new category, and Android 10 Go has arrived.

      • Watch: The First Privacy and Security-Focused Librem 5 Linux Phone in Action

        Purism has published today a video of the first ever privacy and security-focused Librem 5 Linux smartphone that roll of the assembly line.

        Purism has just kicked off the shipping process of its Librem 5 Linux smartphone on September 24th, which will be released in batches until Q4 2020, and now the hardware manufacturer known for its privacy and security-focused Linux-powered laptops has shared a video of the first-ever Librem 5 Linux smartphone.

        As you can see in the 37 second video attached at the end of the article, the Librem 5 Linux phone works pretty well and it kinda looks an Android smartphone. Purism has showcased web browsing, app switching, messages, contacts, and the PureOS software store from you can install more apps.

    • Applications

      • 4 great WhatsApp alternatives for Linux users

        Many people use WhatsApp every day to communicate with family and friends. Unfortunately, if you’re using Linux, you cannot take part in these conversations, as WhatsApp does not have an official app for the platform. Instead, you have to make do with its web interface which falls short in terms of features. Additionally, in some countries, Whatsapp is simply blocked or frequently subject to censure. In many cases, it’s just easier to use a different app. Here are 4 great WhatsApp alternatives for Linux users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Steam Fixes Up Handling For Games With Vulkan Async Compute

        A Steam beta update out today is notable for Linux gamers to avoid possible GPU crashes and corruption of the Steam overlay.

        Valve engineers worked out recent GPU crashes and overlay corruption stemming from games making use of Vulkan asynchronous compute capabilities.

        One of the affected titles for this was DOOM (2016) running under Steam Play that makes use of async compute and causing problems for gamers.

      • OFF GRID, a game about stealth and hacking the planet is delayed into 2020

        OFF GRID from developer Semaeopus is a very promising game about sneaking around and hacking everything. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in November last year it’s progressing nicely.

        However, sometimes progress comes at a cost. They’ve decided to push the release back from December 2019 until sometime next year. There’s multiple reasons for that including a change in team members, picking a more suitable date to launch an indie game and so on. Something that also caught my eye is what they said about expanding the game, with “OFF GRID is intended to grow and become an ongoing universe post release, and for this to happen we want to make the biggest splash possible.”—so either it will gain some big expansions/updates or they’re hoping for followup titles if it has a good release.

      • What’s that? Another Steam Client Beta update? With a Linux platform filter? Yes it is

        Valve have released the fourth Beta update for the Steam Client since the new Library design dropped and it’s a good one.

        When the new Steam Library released in Beta for everyone to try on September 17th, it came with a lot of fun new features. However, it also got rid of a few that were necessary. For starters, the option to view games only on Linux or MacOS were removed but today they return…and in style too!

        For Linux, we now have this sweet little Tux icon to click and have all non-Linux games hidden. The position is a tiny bit off, but at least it exists again. However, if you’ve enabled Steam Play for all titles it does nothing, since you’re opting to show them all of course. You can get around that with option Valve added some time ago to force Proton/Steam Play on games if you do wish to have a list filtered for Linux games (steps on doing that in this article).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kim | KDE Plasma Graphics Service Menu

          There comes a time when I realize I want to be lazy about something and one of those things is converting images. Sure, I could be a super nerd and do a batch conversion of images in the terminal but today was not that day. I wanted Dolphin, the Plasma default file manager to do the work for me. I remembered in a kind of vague, dream like haziness remember Dolphin or Konqueror doing this long ago. So, it was time to do some Web-Search-Foo and figure things out. After a bit of time, I came upon something called Kim. It is described as, “A very useful images KDE service menu”. That was worded kind of funny… so I would describe it, “A very useful service menu for basic manipulation of images.”

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Leave GNOME alone: This patent troll is asking for trouble

          You might ask how is being able to import photos and organize them patentable? Or at least be patentable in a patent dating from 2008? I believe Xerox PARC’s Superpaint was importing images in 1973, and in the 35 years between those dates, there were just a few photo programs (Photoshop in 1988 comes to mind) that could import and sort images. If it’s the wirelessly transmitting images that’s the sticking point, it sure looks like Nikon was the first in 2005, with the Coolpix P1 and P2.

          But the ways of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are strange and wondrous to behold when it comes to researching prior art.

          Be that as it may, this is far from the first time Rothchild, in true patent troll fashion, has sued companies for misusing its eponymous patent. Indeed, according to a 2015 RPX Corp report, Leigh Rothchild, the patent’s creator, had filed the single largest number of lawsuits as non-practicing entities (NPEs) — companies that don’t produce products but profit purely from patent lawsuits — with lawsuits against 141 defendants.

        • Mythical Troll Attacks GNOME

          This week, RPIL filed a lawsuit against the GNOME Foundation, claiming the Shotwell photo manager infringes its patent. Here’s what Rothschild claims to have invented in 2008:

          4. A method performed by an image-capturing mobile device, comprising:

          receiving a plurality of photographic images;

          filtering the plurality of photographic images using a transfer criteria wherein the transfer criteria is a subject identification of a respective photographic image within the plurality of photographic images, wherein the subject identification is based on a topic, theme or individual shown in the respective photographic image; and

          transmitting, via a wireless transmitter and to a second image capturing device, the filtered plurality of photographic images.

          That’s right. Rothschild thinks he was the first to come up with receiving a bunch of photos on a phone, filtering them based on a topic or theme, and transmitting them wirelessly to someone else’s mobile device.

          That’s probably not patentable subject matter under the Alice § 101 test. It’s probably not even valid under § 102 or § 103—I was doing exactly this on my MacBook using Lightroom when it was released in 2007, more than a year before the filing of the RPIL patent. A MacBook is an image-capturing mobile device, but even if it isn’t, porting that kind of software from a laptop to a smartphone is obvious. This is a clear example of the kind of patent that never should have been granted that IPR was designed to deal with.

          [...]

          Given GNOME’s limited revenues, RPIL probably doesn’t expect GNOME to fight the case, nor does it expect a large judgment if they do. Instead, RPIL is likely hoping for a nuisance-value settlement—a payment of $50,000 or $100,000 to make the case go away. (Of course, that would still be a third of GNOME’s yearly revenue, a significant burden on their educational mission.)

          And the situation could be even worse. If the STRONGER Patents Act were to pass—which seems less likely after the strong criticism of the bill at a recent hearing—then trolls like RPIL would be incentivized to go after small companies and foundations like GNOME. RPIL could try to get GNOME to file a relatively weaker IPR due to its limited resources—and then turn around and sue larger entities, using GNOME’s petition to block their patent from challenges by better funded litigants. The end result would be to increase bottom-feeder litigation like this and the cost of litigation for everyone in the patent system.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux distro for developers

        Linux powers the backbone of the internet, mobile devices, and now cloud computing systems.

        Because of this it’s often essential for techies to be able to work directly in a Linux environment, especially for operating servers and for developing software that runs on them.

        While Linux has a reputation for being primarily for coders and programmers, over the past couple of decades there have been moves to provide versions of Linux that are more friendly to ordinary users, such as by providing more of a graphic user interface (GUI) and be less reliant on command line use.

        However, at its core Linux still remains important for development use, and there are specific distros available that care less for newbies from Windows and are configured specifically for various technical uses.

        Here we’ll look at the main Linux distros used by software developers, and feature the best of them.

      • Top tips for using the Kali Linux pen testing distribution

        Jim O’Gorman: Number one, regardless of what you’re doing, you’re going to want to have access to Unix and Linux-based tools. Otherwise, it’s like trying to do an assessment with one arm tied behind your back and your eyes closed — it’s going to be extremely difficult.

        If you take it as a given that you need access to these Unix, open source-based tools as part of your assessment, then the question is: What platform are you going to use? Kali is the de facto standard platform for assessment services, especially when you’re running Linux.

        With the heritage that we have, there’s been kind of an evolution of what was originally in a lot of these pen testing platforms, when we were focused on just a collection of tools. That was the whole point: Here, you have your tools and away you go. We’ve evolved long past that now. That’s a given: The tools are there, they’re updated and they’re there. That’s kind of like the price of entry.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Tiny USB stick SBC features dual crypto chips

        F-Secure’s security-focused, open-spec “USB armory Mk II” USB stick SBC runs Linux on an NXP i.MX6 ULZ with dual crypto chips, 16GB eMMC, dual USB Type-C ports, and Bluetooth 5.0.

        Since Inverse Path launched its security-oriented USB Armory USB-stick back in 2014, we have not seen anything quite like it until this week when a second generation version successful launched on Crowd Supply. The $149 USB armory Mk II SBC is now offered by security company F-Secure Foundry, which acquired Inverse Path in 2017.

      • Compact Arm/Linux IoT protocol conversion gateway has crypto chip

        Advantech has launched a rugged “WISE-710” IoT protocol gateway that runs Linux and its WISE-PaaS/EdgeLink stack on the i.MX6 DualLite and offers a crypto chip, 2x GbE, mini-PCIe, 3x serial/CAN, DIO, and optional analog and temperature interfaces.

        Advantech previewed its WISE-710 gateway back in May and has now announced its release on Design World. The 100 x 70 x 36mm “industrial protocol gateway” runs Ubuntu 16.04 or the optional Yocto 2.1 on the tried-and-true NXP i.MX6 DualLite, which has shipped on earlier Advantech embedded computers such as its UBC-220.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • /e/ is selling Google-free Android phones (in Europe)

          It’s hard to develop a new smartphone operating system from scratch. But forking one is another story.

          So when developer Gaël Duval wanted to create a smartphone operating system that emphasized privacy, he started with Android… and then stripped all the proprietary Google services he could.

          The result is a platform he calls /e/ which is a fork of a fork (it’s based on LineageOS and uses microG as an alternative to Google Mobile Services). While a public beta of the /e/ operating system has been available since last year, at the time you had to install it on a phone yourself.

        • Google Announces Android 10 (Go Edition) for Low-End, Entry-Level Smartphones

          Google has announced the general availability of the Go edition of its latest Android 10 mobile operating system for low-end, entry-level smartphones.
          Android Go is a special variant of the Linux-based Android mobile operating system optimized for low-end devices with 1 GB of RAM or less and a less powerful processor. The first version of Android Go launched two years ago as part of the Android Oreo (8.0) series, and now it’s in its third release.

          Android 10 Go edition comes packed with new and redesigned apps to offer the Android community the power of the latest Android 10 operating system on more affordable Android smartphones. It introduces smaller app sizes and twice as more local storage out of the box, along with the ability to control stored content.

          “With smaller app sizes, more storage space, and way more control over how your content is stored, it’s easy to see the ways Android 10 (Go edition) helps you save,” said Google. “Brand new apps designed for lighter updates and downloads help create more space while significantly improving performance. That’s what we call a win, win.”

          Moreover, Android 10 Go edition also improves the File management app to help you more easily and quickly clean up and free up space on your device with smart suggestions, find files much faster by using filters, as well as to share files offline at high speeds.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SVT-AV1 0.7 Released For Speedy AV1 Video Encoding With More AVX2/AVX512 Optimizations

        The engineers maintaining Intel’s open-source Scalable Video Technology (SVT) encoders today released SVT-AV1 0.7 as the newest feature update to their speedy AV1 video encoder.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • William Lachance: Metrics Graphics: Stepping back for a while

            Just a note that I’ve decided to step back from metrics graphics maintenance for the time being, which means that the project is essentially unowned. This has sort of been the case for a while, but I figured I should probably make it official.

            If you follow the link to the metrics graphics repository, you’ll note that the version has been bumped to “3.0-alpha3”. I was this close to making one last new release this afternoon but decided I didn’t want to potentially break existing users who were fine using the last “official” version (v3.0 bumps the version of d3 used to “5”, among other breaking changes). I’d encourage people who want to continue using the library to make a fork and publish a copy under their user or organization name on npm.

          • Firefox and Tactical Tech Bring The Glass Room to San Francisco

            From the tech boom to techlash, our favorite technologies have become intertwined with our daily lives. As technology is embedded in everything from dating to driving and from the environment to elections, our desire for convenience has given way to trade-offs for our privacy, security, and wellbeing.

            The Glass Room, curated by Tactical Tech and produced by Firefox, is a place to explore how technology and data are shaping our perceptions, experiences, and understanding of the world. The most connected generation in history is also the most exposed, as people’s privacy becomes the fuel for technology’s incredible growth. What’s gained and lost — and who decides — are explored at the Glass Room.

            The Glass Room is in a 28,000 square-foot former retail store, located at 838 Market Street, across from Westfield San Francisco Centre, in the heart of the Union Square Retail District. It will be open to the public from October 16th through November 3rd. The location is intentional, meant to entice shoppers into the store and help them leave better equipped to make informed choices about technology and how it impacts their personal data, privacy, and security.

      • CMS

        • Long-Needed Date/Time Improvements Land in Core

          After more than a year and several WordPress updates, an overhaul of the core Date/Time component concluded. WordPress 5.3 will ship with fixes for long-standing bugs and new API functions.

          Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko spearheaded this project and worked through most of the issues in his WP Date fork of WordPress. Much of his work toward addressing the problems with this core component goes back further with the initialization of his WPDateTime project.

      • BSD

        • TinyOS: An Operating System for Wireless Sensors

          TinyOS is an open-source, BSD-based operating system which uses the nesC programming language to control and manage wireless sensor networks (WSN). The sensor devices (called motes) in such networks are characterized by low power, limited memory and very small form factor.

          TinyOS was first written by Jason Hill at the University of Berkeley in 2000. It is a completely free and open-source software.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Richard Stallman To Continue As Head Of The GNU Project

          He hadn’t elaborated any further on his GNU plans moving forward besides that he intends on remaining at the front of the GNU Project. But perhaps with more time on his hands now with having resigned from the FSF and MIT, maybe we’ll be seeing more code contributions from Stallman to the likes of GNU Hurd.

        • FSF Blogs: GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases in September!

          bison-3.4.2
          datamash-1.5
          emacs-26.3
          findutils-4.7.0
          gama-2.07
          gdb-8.3.1
          gnubg-1.06.002
          libgcrypt-1.8.5
          lightning-2.1.3
          linux-libre-5.3
          mes-0.20
          parallel-20190922
          texinfo-6.7
          wget2-1.99.2
          For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

        • FSF Blogs: Submit a session proposal for LibrePlanet 2020 conference: Free the Future by Nov. 20

          Over the last decade, LibrePlanet has blossomed from a small gathering of FSF members into a vibrant multi-day event that attracts a broad audience of anyone interested in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet 2019 had almost a thousand people participate around the world, both online and in-person, for workshops and talks centered around the theme of “Trailblazing Free Software.” To stay up to date about everything LibrePlanet 2020, visit https://www.libreplanet.org/2020.

          Many picture the future of software bringing about a dystopian world because of the daily encroachments on user rights. Even in our own homes, we are not shielded from technology companies listening to every word we say through their proprietary “smart” personal assistants. The thirst for user data gleaned through nonfree software and unethical network services like Amazon and Facebook seems to be unquenchable, and they require strong resistance.

          Surveillance developments are becoming more and more unsettling because of the use of facial recognition by state and county agencies. The FBI is planning to actively monitor our social media activity in the name of “safety.” Can free software help defend our rights?

        • After Saying Sex with Minors Is Not Always Sexual Assault, MIT Scientist Resigns [Ed: Coverage bumped up again, seemingly with a new headline]
      • Programming/Development

        • Write Better Code With Our New Advanced Functions Python Course

          Writing better code isn’t always front-of-mind when it comes to learning data science — we’re often more concerned with just getting the code to work, and making sure the analysis is sound.

          But to work as part of an effective data science team, you’ve got to be able to write code that’s readable, maintainable, testable, and debuggable, not just code that’s functional.

          That’s why we’re happy to announce we’ve just launched a new course in our Python Data Scientist path called Functions: Advanced.

          It’s an in-depth Python functions course that’s designed to show you how to write better code using functional programming. If you’re working in data — or aspire to work in data — this course covers critical skills for making your code easier to read, maintain, test, and debug.

        • compile rust hello world for arm7
        • Haskell, Erlang, and Frank walk into a bar and begin new project to work in Unison

          At the Strange Loop conference in St. Louis, Missouri, earlier this month, Paul Chiusano, founder of Unison Computing, gave the audience a tour of Unison, an emerging programming language designed for building distributed systems.

          Created by Chiusano, Arya Irani and Rúnar Bjarnason, Unison was inspired by Haskell, Erlang, and Frank, a trio of functional programming languages. It’s an open source statically typed functional programming language and it’s currently in public alpha testing.

          Chiusano, in his presentation at the conference, said Unison is based on a core technical ideal. “In Unison, we’re going to identify definitions not by their name but by a hash of their content,” he explained.

          Programmers commonly define functions by giving them names like “foo” or “bar.” You can do that in Unison too, but the way the language keeps track of those names – which are just metadata in Unison – is by associating them with a 512-bit SHA3 content hash of the implementation of that function.

        • Webinar Recording: “10 Tools and Techniques Python Web Developers Should Explore” with Michael Kennedy

          Our friend Michael Kennedy joined us yesterday for a webinar on tips every Python web developer could benefit from. As is usual with his webinars, it was a lot of fun, very well-prepared, and packed a ton of useful information. The recording is now available as well as his repository of examples.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Top 20 Best Bug Bounty Programs on Internet in 2019

        A bug bounty program is a reward program that inspires to find and report bugs. The main goal of the program is to identify hidden problems in a particular software or web application. Reporters get paid for finding more bugs in order to improve the performance. There are several giant companies which run bug bounty programs for the betterment of the software and websites.

      • False Accusations Against Linux Security Continue

        For the past two years, ever since the release of dozens of NSA created Windows hacking tools in 2017, there have been an ever increasing wave of ransomware attacks against Windows computers. During this time, I have written several articles explaining in detail how hackers use hidden back doors in the Windows operating system to take over and lock up Windows computers. I ended each of these articles by urging folks to protect their data by replacing the poorly designed Windows operating system with the free and much more secure Linux operating system as this is really the only way to protect your computer, your data and your business from a ransomware attack.

        It is surprising that despite these ever increasing Windows Ransomware attacks, the value of Microsoft stock has continued to increase to the point where Microsoft is now a trillion dollar corporation. I understand that Microsoft spends billions of dollars on marketing and promoting itself. But one would think that eventually the truth would come out that Windows is not a secure operating system. However, instead of exposing the truth about Windows Security Flaws, the corporate media is engaged in a relentless campaign of making a series of false accusations against Linux claiming that Linux also suffers from security problems.

        [...]

        Trend Micro is a Microsoft “Gold Partner.” None of the so-called news articles that repeated the Skidmap hoax note either of these facts. But I think it is relevant when it comes to assessing their credibility.

        Now for the actual allegations. The headline for all of these articles is some version of the following: “Skidmap Linux Malware Uses Rootkit Capabilities to Hide Cryptocurrency Mining”

        This sounds very high tech. The reader is likely to know that Cryptocurrency Mining is Bit Coin Mining. You likely have heard that hackers can and do take over Windows computers all the time and use them for Bitcoin mining. So if hackers can do this to Windows computers, it seems at least plausible that hackers could also take over Linux computers and use them for bitcoin mining. This only sounds plausible because most readers have no idea that there are huge differences between the security of Linux computers versus the lack of security of Windows computers.

        [...]

        By default, there aren’t any crontab jobs on any Linux computer. In fact, you would need to authorize the addition of any tasks by entering your root user password.

        This is an example of the difference between Windows and Linux. Windows puts Microsoft in control of your updates through automatic updates remotely controlled by Microsoft (and whatever hackers also know about this backdoor and use it to remotely control your computer – while Linux puts you in control of your updates and all other changes on your computer. Hopefully, you can see now why the Trend Micro claim is complete and utter nonsense.

        [...]

        These are not Russian hackers. They do have a Command and Control Center. But it is not located in Moscow. Instead, it is located in Virginia and is run by NSA hackers that are pretending to be Russian hackers.

        That’s right. This entire scam is being funded by literally billions of your hard earned tax payer dollars. This is how you can get a company with thousands of servers in 20 locations around the world without any need to make any kind of profit.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Boys in the Boots

        Pakistan’s generals should be happy men. They are the self-appointed guardians of the state with an iron grip on the country. Instead of a social welfare democracy seen by the founding fathers, Pakistan has become a national security state. Sixty years after the coup d’état that brought General Ayub Khan to power in 1958, the civilian leadership is also entirely servile to the military now. Ayub’s, first of many missteps, was his short-lived 1962 constitution, imposing a presidential dictatorship, which caused irreparable harm to the country.

      • Silencing Our Veterans: a Bridge Too Far

        It has now been four years since the “Hoffman Report” presented extensive evidence of secret collaboration between leaders of the American Psychological Association (APA) and psychologists working for the Department of Defense (DOD). According to that independent review, the goal of collaboration was to ensure that APA ethics policies would not prevent psychologists from participating in war-on-terror detention and interrogation operations at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere—operations that the International Committee of the Red Cross once described as “tantamount to torture.”

      • Are We Approaching the End of Super Imperialism?
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • This Lawyer Fought Housing Segregation. Now Wealthy Suburbanites Want to Fire His Firm.

        For much of the past 13 years, attorney Timothy Hollister has battled local elected officials here on behalf of a developer who wants to build more affordable housing in one of America’s wealthiest towns.

        The fight, he has said, is a microcosm of a statewide debate in Connecticut, where exclusionary zoning requirements have resulted in some of the most segregated neighborhoods in the nation. Private developers have been allowed to open just 65 affordable housing units in this posh village over the last three decades.

      • 12 MYTHS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA

        On a single night in January 2018, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development collected nationwide data to determine there are now about 553,000 homeless people across the country—or nearly the same number as the entire the population of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

        While that is an improvement on the estimated 647,000 homeless Americans in 2007, it also reflects a lingering inability to solve a four-decade-old national crisis.

        What exactly caused the American homeless rate to reach and sustain such heights? Some have cited the shutting of mental hospitals in the 1970s. Others have pointed to the lack of safety nets for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

        Still others have called out urban housing prices and cuts in government subsidies for affordable housing. Blaming the homeless, too, is not uncommon—bad choices, substance abuse, or a preference for life on the street are all popular explanations.

        Two-thirds of all homeless are single adults, while families and unaccompanied youths make up the rest. Most “self-resolve,” or exit homelessness within a few days or weeks—in fact, only about 16% are chronically homeless. And while there are 190,000 visible homeless people each night on the street in the United States, many more live in shelters or are otherwise hidden from public view—sleeping in cars, for example.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Current Whistleblower Scandal Shows (Again) That The Official Channels Are Useless

        The official channels for whistleblowing are meant to deter whistleblowers. Just look at what has happened to the whistleblower currently at the center of accusations against President Trump. Despite raising concerns urgent enough the IC’s Inspector General felt compelled to notify Congress, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence decided the allegations were too sensitive to be shared with its oversight.

      • The Best People: White House Emailed Talking Points Meant For Surrogates To Dems, Tried To Recall Email Afterwards

        At the time of this writing, I’ll go ahead and assume that anyone reading this is now fully immersed in Ukraine-Call-Gate or whatever we’re calling this potentially impeachment-inducing scandal Donald Trump has managed to build for himself. What started as a murky story surrounding the administration flatly ignoring the law in handling a mysterious whistle-blower complaint has since been clarified in the extreme. What happened essentially is that the whistle-blower raised alarms over several occurrences, one of which was a call that occurred between Trump and the recently elected Ukrainian President in which Trump reportedly pushed his counterpart to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his potential 2020 rival. Then, for reasons that are beyond me, Trump released an unredacted “rough” transcript of the call, which demonstrates that he did that very thing. You’re going to hear a great deal of obfuscation over the next days and weeks about what the transcript shows. Go read it for yourself. Trump asked Ukraine, while withholding aid money at the time, to investigate the Bidens.

      • Will Biden Be a Rerun of 2016 Tragedy?

        Joe Biden is a throwback to an earlier time. Much of it could be called “the Clintonite era”— when Democratic presidential contenders openly cozied up to the wealthy by appearing at one high-dollar fundraising event after another. A time when they served up (consultant-approved) language about “feeling the pain” of “working families” . . . without identifying any corporate villains or transformative policies to fix the rigged system.

      • The Bidens, Trump, Kiev and Impeachment

        The impeachment drive is quickly gathering steam, and who can have any sympathy for that man in the Oval Office?

      • Impeachment Isn’t the High-Stakes Gamble Pelosi Thought
      • Trump claims markets will crash if he is impeached [Ed: Corporate media as Trump megaphone. What journalism should be like: Trump makes incorrect assertion, based on these facts we’ve checked. Job requirements for so-called ‘journalists’ today: paste in tweets, add headline. Note that these tweets may also be false statements; one need not even correct them or fact-check.]

        President Trump claimed early Thursday morning that stock markets would crash if he were impeached.

        “If they actually did this the markets would crash,” the president tweeted, just hours before the acting director of national intelligence’s public testimony before Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Jerks ‘Reporting’ Women Who Swipe Left On Them In Tinder, Once Again Highlighting How Content Moderation Gets Abused

        We keep trying to highlight (over and over and over again) how content moderation at scale is impossible to do well for a variety of reasons — and one big one is the fact that assholes and trolls will game whatever system you put in place — often in truly absurd ways. The latest example of this is that guys who are pissed off about women who reject them after meeting through Tinder are “reporting” the women in the app, trying to get their accounts shut down.

      • Lousiana’s Terrible Criminal Defamation Law Again Being Used To Unconstitutionally Target A Critic Of Law Enforcement

        Louisiana’s stupid, unconstitutional criminal defamation law remains on the books despite the state’s highest court reaching this conclusion nearly forty years ago…

      • France: Press for Rights in Libya Talks

        Global leaders should ensure that human rights concerns and accountability are integral to talks for a political settlement between warring factions in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

      • Hard Lessons in Cameroon

        Teachers in open societies around the world push their students to think critically about current events. But those in Cameroon might be thinking twice after one of them was arrested for doing just that.

      • Black comedy about Nazi Germany ‘Jojo Rabbit’ will not air in Russia

        Twentieth Century Fox’s branch for the Commonwealth of Independent States has reported to the Russian film news outlet Kinoreporter that the company does not plan to distribute Taika Waititi’s film Jojo Rabbit in Russia. Twentieth Century Fox did not explain the reasoning behind that decision.

      • Google removes news previews in France to avoid paying publishers

        Google has announced that it will not pay publishers in France for search results, and will instead show stripped back results for News. That will happen next month when France enforces new rules base on Europe’s controversial copyright law. “We will no longer display an overview of the content in France for European press publishers, unless the publisher tells us that it’s okay,” said Google in a blog. It added that publishers will get new webmaster settings that will allow them to specify how much information they want to preview in News results.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Normal Intrusions: Globalising AI Surveillance

        They all do it: corporations, regimes, authorities. They all have the same reasons: efficiency, serviceability, profitability, all under the umbrella term of “security”. Call it surveillance, or call it monitoring the global citizenry; it all comes down to the same thing. You are being watched for your own good, and such instances should be regarded as a norm.

      • WARP is not a VPN for privacy

        You may have heard earlier this year that Cloudflare was planning a mobile VPN called WARP. Today, 9/5/19, Cloudflare has officially opened its WARP “VPN” feature on its popular 1.1.1.1. DNS encrypting app to the public – and it’s important to note that WARP is NOT private. What most people don’t notice is that the app passes along your IP address to the destination. Cloudflare first announced their WARP VPN on April 1st of 2019 when they also started a public waitlist. WARP was built on technology which Cloudflare first got its hands on when they acquired Neumob in 2017. More specifically, WARP is a Wireguard VPN. That doesn’t mean that the Wireguard technology, which is powerful and promising, can’t still be intentionally misconfigured to pass along the user’s IP address – or other “random” user-specific identifier – to the destination.

      • Carnegie Experts Should Know: Defending Encryption Isn’t an “Absolutist” Position

        In the digital world, strong encryption is how private conversations stay private. It’s also what keeps our devices secure. Encryption is under a new set of attacks by law enforcement, who continue to seek a magic bullet—a technological backdoor that could circumvent encryption, but somehow not endanger privacy and security more broadly. But that circle can’t be squared, and at this point, the FBI and DOJ know that. That’s why as the government has pushed forward with this narrative, it’s been increasingly backed by false claims. 

        Now, a group of prominent academics and policy makers has signed on to a deeply misguided report that attempts to re-frame the debate along the lines that law enforcement agencies have long urged. The paper is the work of a small group convened by the Carnegie Institute for Peace, which claims to seek a more “pragmatic and constructive” debate about the “challenges” of encryption. Unfortunately, the report begins with the premise that the “problem” to be solved is that law enforcement agencies sometimes can’t access encrypted devices, then suggests those who disagree with the premise hold “absolutist” positions. It goes on to endorse a version of the discredited “key escrow” scheme that, as we have explained before, just won’t work. 

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Books and Movies That Made Us Better Journalists

        Early last year, we asked ProPublica Illinois readers what they wanted to know about how we do our work. Thoughtful, challenging questions have been rolling in ever since, and we’ve been answering them in an occasional series of columns. In this column, reporting fellow Lakeidra Chavis writes about the books, articles and movies that have inspired the journalists in our newsroom.

        Would you recommend any specific books and/or other sources to an interested person who is not in a position to attend journalism school? —David Weinkrantz

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • From Extinguished to Distinguished

        In 1973, at age 46, my character was assassinated and I was forcibly retired by The United Methodist Church’s then Southern New England Conference after performing the marriage of two male members of Boston’s Old West Church, where I had been minister for eight years. On September 18, 2019, forty-six years later, at almost 93 years of age, Boston University School of Theology, a major institution in New England United Methodism, honored me as one of its three 2019 Distinguished Alumni/ae. Upon learning that I was being so honored, my wife, Eva, who was beside me all those years, said, “From extinguished to distinguished” – then added, “But you were never extinguished.”

      • The End of Asylum?

        It was unforgettable.

        [...]

        This is the distorted result of Remain in Mexico — officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — in which the administration forces asylum seekers from Central America to stay in Mexico to await their court dates, rather than allowing them to stay with sponsors in the United States.

        In Mexico these migrants have nearly no access to family members, lawyers, or other support. Shelters and employment are woefully inadequate.

        This child, a U.S. citizen, faced the heart-wrenching choice of either staying in the United States motherless, or remaining in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, with his mother, who was seeking refuge in the United States after fleeing violence in Honduras.

      • Robin Vos Punches Wisconsin Students and Teachers in the Face. Asks, how they got a Black Eye?
      • Rep. Mark Takano Introduces Bill That Would Keep Companies From Blocking Defendants’ Access To Evidence

        When the government doesn’t want to talk about its law enforcement tech, it dismisses cases. The FBI has done this on several occasions. First, it told local law enforcement to dismiss cases rather than discuss Stingray use in court. Then it did the same thing with its homegrown malware in child porn cases.

      • Guinea: A Decade Later, No Justice for Massacre

        Families of victims of the September 2009 massacre by Guinea’s security forces are still awaiting justice 10 years later, six human rights groups said today. The groups released a video to mark the massacre’s tenth anniversary featuring victims pleading for the trial to go ahead.

      • Don’t Be Fooled by Venezuela’s Seeming Change of Heart

        The Venezuelan government is trying hard to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) members that it is committed to working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to improve human rights in Venezuela. Its astute political maneuvering should not be a substitute for genuine accountability for Venezuelan victims.  

      • Protests in Egypt Show Trump’s Wrong about al-Sisi

        At the United Nations General Assembly meetings this week, US President Donald Trump praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a “great leader” who has brought Egypt out of “turmoil.” His praize came days after widespread protests erupted in numerous Egyptian cities.

      • Chinese Authorities Call For Internet Companies To Add Bias To AI Algorithms — In Order To ‘Promote Mainstream Values’

        Techdirt has been tracking the worsening online surveillance and censorship situation in China for many years now. The latest move concerns the currently hot area of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s a sector that the Chinese government understands better than most Western governments, and which it has made one of its technology priorities. The authorities in China know that AI in the form of algorithms is increasingly deployed to optimize and customize Web sites. They have realized that this fact gives them an important new lever for controlling the online world. As South China Morning Post reports, the Cyberspace Administration of China has released its draft regulations on “managing the cyberspace ecosystem”, which include the following:

      • John Yoo Crushes The Testicles Of Logic

        There’s no pit of professional shame you won’t be able to dig yourself out of if you’re willing to sing the virtues of unbridled presidential authority, even in times like these. Especially in times like these.

        It worked for Alberto Gonzales. It worked for Ken Starr, who managed to retain his standing after not one but two professional embarrassments. It’s worked for Rudy Giuliani … well, more or less. And it’s working for John Yoo, who recently took to the pages of the New York Times to warn readers of the mortal danger to the institution of the presidency if the House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump.

        The Berkeley Law professor is best known for his 2003 “Torture Memo,” written when he was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Yoo advised President George W. Bush that torture of enemy combatants held overseas was entirely permissible, and if not, then “necessity or self-defense could provide justifications for any criminal liability” that might attach to a soldier charged with doing bodily harm to a prisoner.

        He might have added that unflinching embrace of Federalist Society dogma is a pretty good defense, too. Because instead of being shunned from polite society, he is now blessing America with his views on impeachment. We’ve all been breathlessly awaiting the opinion of a guy who thinks the president has the inherent authority to “torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child,” right?

      • Xenophobia is un-African and a violation of the spirit of ubuntu

        “I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape. I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their actions, they remain, still, part of me. In my veins course the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom. I am the grandchild who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk…

        “I come of those who were transported from India and China. Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that I am an African!”

        The words of then deputy president Thabo Mbeki addressing the UN University on 9 April 1998 were a call on Africans to realise their importance and become equipped for development shaped for equal economic activity and good living.

        Although Mbeki’s plea stopped short of suggesting practical ways to develop, his intentions were pure and must receive the respect they deserve. The right to development is a basic right contained in the fabric of international human rights. He had superior insight into the importance of brotherhood and neighbourliness. In congruence with the African Renaissance, he warned against intolerance towards outsiders.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Courts Shoot Down Yet Another FCC Proposal For Being Factually Sketchy

        As the net neutrality fracas made clear, Ajit Pai’s FCC has been widely criticized for playing a bit fast and loose with the facts (read: disregarding facts entirely) as it rushes to eliminate most meaningful oversight of media and telecom giants (and the arguably broken markets they inhabit). For example, the net neutrality repeal was based in large part on bogus data directly copied from telecom lobbyists with zero real effort to disguise that fact.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Nerf unveils “DRM for darts”

        Hasbro’s got a new foam dart gun, the $50 Nerf Ultra One blaster, and to make sure that owners of this toy arrange their affairs to the benefit of Hasbro’s shareholders, the company has engineered a digital rights management system that detects and refuses to fire third-party darts, which sell by the hundreds for just a few bucks (the official darts are $10 for 20), which means that party organizers running Nerf wars will have to scale back their ambitions or shell out like crazy.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Cert petition, amicus brief criticize Federal Circuit for vitiating damages apportionment requirement: Time Warner Cable v. Sprint

          Both the petition and the amicus brief place particular emphasis on a 135-year-old Supreme Court ruling: In Garretson v. Clark (1884), the top U.S. court stated that “the [prevailing] patentee [seeking damages] must in every case give evidence tending to separate or apportion the defendant’s profits and the patentee’s damages between the patented feature and the unpatented feature.” And the highest court in the land added that “such evidence must be reliable and tangible, and not conjectural or speculative.” In that case, the patent-in-suit read on an improved mop head, but not the cleaning device as a whole.

          Interestingly, it was also in the late 19th century when it became law that a prevailing design patent holder was entitled to an unapportioned disgorgement of infringer’s profits. A typical example of a design patent-infringing product at the time was a carpet. In the Apple-Samsung dispute, there was a strong policy argument that today’s highly multifunctional products had to be analyzed and treated differently from 19th-century products. But in the Garretson utility patent case, apportionment already came into play even though it was a no-tech (not even a low-tech) product by today’s standards. Undoubtedly, what was already warranted in the Garretson mop-head case is hugely more relevant in the smartphone era.

          There’s some indication that the Supreme Court may have felt last year that the question of apportionment at least potentially warranted another look: on April 4, 2018, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to express the views of the federal government on the cert petition in EVE-USA, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp.–but before the DOJ responded to this CVSG, the petition was withdrawn as a result of a settlement.

        • Design Patent Obviousness: How to Pick a Primary Reference

          Gamon Plus’s two design patents at issue here are directed to particular aspect of a design for a gravity feed can dispenser. U.S. Design Pats. D612,646 and D621,645. Campbell’s filed IPR challenges after Gamon sued for infringement. After initiating the IPRs, the PTAB eventually concluded decided that the claimed design had not been proven obvious. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded — holding that the Board had improperly excluded a prior art reference (Linz) as a “primary reference” for the obviousness analysis.

          [...]

          Design patents are governed by the same obviousness statute – Section 103 – and follow the same Graham v. John Deere inquiry. The inquiry as restated by the Federal Circuit is whether it would have been obvious to PHOSITA to have “combined teachings of the prior art to create the same overall visual appearance as the claimed design.” Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. 2012). In Apple, the court also provided a methodology of first beginning with a primary reference — a single reference whose “design characteristics … are basically the same as the claimed design” i.e., creates “basically the same visual impression.” See Durling v. Spectrum Furniture Co. (Fed. Cir. 1996); In re Rosen, 673 F.2d 388 (CCPA 1982)

          [...]

          On remand, the Board will need to reconsider obviousness. In addition, the Federal Circuit ordered the Board to “also consider the non-instituted grounds for unpatentability consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in SAS.

          [...]

          Another pending appeal has to do with a utility patent that is part of the same patent family. As part of the IPR, Gamon cancelled claims 1-16, and the PTAB agreed that the rest of the challenged claims were OK (not proven unpatentable). Campbell’s appeal is pending before the Federal Circuit.

      • Copyrights

        • .To Registry Must Identify Owner of Fmovies and Other ‘Pirate’ Domains

          Movie company Millennium Films is increasing the pressure on several ‘pirate’ sites. To protect the rights to its film “London Has Fallen,” Millennium obtained a subpoena requiring the .To registry to hand over information it has on the owners of streaming sites FMovies.to, Yesmovies.to and Cmovieshd.to, as well as torrent site iBit.to.

        • Alleged Mangamura Admin Arrested By Japan During Deportation Flight

          The alleged former operator of Mangamura, a now-defunct site blamed for causing billions of dollars in losses to the Japanese manga industry, has been arrested by Japanese police. Romi Hoshino was previously detained in the Philippines but was arrested Tuesday aboard a deportation flight to Japan.

        • The Differences Between Copyright And Possession: Gilda Radner Interview Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed For Lack Of Registration

          Over the years, we’ve written about a few legal disputes regarding the question of who (if anyone) holds the copyright on an interview. That question was potentially at issue in a dispute over some audio recordings of comedian Gilda Radner being interviewed by journalist Hillary Johnson. Johnson was apparently hired by publisher Simon & Schuster in 1987 to interview Radner (who was already dealing with the ovarian cancer that would eventually lead to her death), in order to help Radner write an autobiography. Radner’s brother, Michael, kept the tapes of the interview, and they were “found” recently, and used in a recent documentary about Radner. According to the film’s director, Lisa D’Apolito, Michael Radner had handed over boxes of Radner’s stuff to her to use for the film.

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