09.27.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 28/9/2019: RPM 4.15.0, DXVK 1.4.1, Wine 4.17, SolydXK 10 and Ubuntu 19.10 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Dell’s six-core XPS 13 laptop goes on sale October 1st

        The latest version of Dell’s XPS 13 — which is available with 10th-generation Intel Core processors — will go on sale October 1st in North America. It’s the first six-core configuration for the system, which will come with Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04.

      • Lenovo To Address Linux Laptop Thermal Throttling, Lower Performance Against Windows

        For owners of recent Lenovo laptops that find frequent thermal throttling and ultimately lower performance compared to Windows, the company has formally acknowledged the issue and is working towards addressing the issue.

        There have been no shortage of complaints within the Lenovo Forums and elsewhere over Linux thermal/performance issues including some pointing towards the cTDP ends up being set lower on Linux than Windows. Some users are reporting their recent ThinkPads seeing as much as half the performance under Linux as they do with Windows.

    • Server

      • VMware vSphere vs Proxmox: Which is best for your business?

        Choosing a virtualisation tool can be tricky, so we’ve put two of the most popular side by side
        Customers are faced with a host of considerations when it comes to trying to decide on what virtualisation and containerisation software to use, and the differences between vendors are not always clear.

        In order to better inform buyers, we’ve decided to take a look at two of the best-known software packages out there, Proxmox and VMware vSphere, and break down what it is they do and how they may benefit your business.

      • KubeVirt Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation

        This month the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) formally adopted KubeVirt into the CNCF Sandbox. KubeVirt allows you to provision, manage and run virtual machines from and within Kubernetes. In joining the CNCF Sandbox, KubeVirt now has a more substantial platform to grow as well as educate the CNCF community on the use cases for placing virtual machines within Kubernetes. The CNCF onboards projects into the CNCF Sandbox when they warrant experimentation on neutral ground to promote and foster collaborative development.

        For our part, Red Hat has been a contributor and advocate for KubeVirt and we’ve been leveraging it to play with some technologies you may remember. At Red Hat Summit you watched us demonstrate the capabilities of a Kubernetes Native platform bringing together the capabilities of VMs, containers, networking and storage. If you’re an OpenShift customer you may have started to play with Container-native virtualization (CNV), available via tech preview — this uses KubeVirt under the hood.

      • Software Development, Microservices & Container Management – Part II – Why Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform?

        Lots of the developers, Solution Architects and Business Owners have doubts for Virtualization versus Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform; lots of questions are being discussed based on such doubts; Are containers and PaaS replacing Virtual Machines? What are the benefits Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform over a VM offering?

      • IBM

        • For CentOS, the hits keep coming, CentOS 8.0 released

          Today, the CentOS Linux project announced the release and availability of CentOS 8.0 (1905), fresh on the heels of their release of CentOS Linux 7.7 (1908) just a week ago.

          The CentOS 8 Linux distro is a derivative of the Red Hat Enterprise (RHEL) 8.0 source code. Red Hat Enterprise (RHEL) 8.0 was released earlier this year in May.

          CentOS 8 should not be confused with CentOS Stream, also released today. CentOS Stream is a “rolling preview” of future Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernels and features intended for developers and early adopters.

        • CentOS May Soon Take a Larger Role In RHEL Development

          The relationship between CentOS and Red Hat is important because CentOS has a huge installed base, mostly comprised of well-staffed enterprises wanting to take advantage of Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s rock-solid stability, but without the expense of a Red Hat support subscription.

        • RPM 4.15.0 released

          After “more than two years in development and half a year in testing”, version 4.15.0 of the RPM package manager has been released. It has a wide range of new features, including faster parallel builds; support for %elif, %elifos, and %elifarch statements in RPM spec files; new %patchlist and %sourcelist sections; experimental support for non-privileged operation in a chroot() environment; and, of course, plenty of bug fixes and such.

        • RPM 4.15.0 Release Notes

          General bugfixes and enhancements

          - Add support for rootless chroot-operations on Linux (experimental)
          - Add dummy database backend to better support systems without rpmdb (Debian)
          - Improve ARM detection, add armv8 support
          - Add architecture compatibility mapping between aarch64 and arm64
          - Documentation updates

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • ZFS On Linux 0.8.2 Released With Linux 5.3 Compatibility, Many Fixes

        ZFS On Linux 0.8.2 is out with fixes in order to provide compatibility with the brand new Linux 5.3 stable kernel while retaining support still going back to the Linux 2.6.32 days.

        With this being the first release since ZoL 0.8.1 back in June, there is a lot to be found in this point release to the ZFS On Linux file-system implementation.

      • Linux 5.4 Looks To Unify Way To Calculate The Size Of A Member Of A Struct

        It has surprisingly taken until the Linux 5.4 kernel in 2019 to potentially have a single unified way for calculating the size of a member of a struct within the kernel: Linux 5.4 is looking at adding a new sizeof_member macro for handling this purpose.

        Up until now there’s been three different ways to calculate the size of a member of a C struct with the existing macros of SIZEOF_FIELD, FIELD_SIZEOF, and sizeof_field… Well, with a proposed pull request that has been cleaned up now in Linux 5.4 with centralizing on a new macro called sizeof_member that the developers feel is more descriptive.

      • Linux 5.4 To Allow Adjusting Intel TCC Thermal Activation Offset For Better Performance

        In addition to adding Intel Icelake support to the kernel’s processor thermal / int340x code, there is an interesting change with the thermal management updates for Linux 5.4 to potentially boost the performance on Intel platforms.

        The change to the Intel’s int340x processor thermal device code allows for reading and adjusting the TCC offset. The TCC activation offset allows for setting the thermal offset in relation to the TjMAX value for when the thermal throttle activation behavior is triggered.

      • Linus Torvalds Hasn’t Yet Decided On “LOCKDOWN” Functionality For Linux 5.4

        The Linux 5.4 kernel merge window is set to close this weekend and as of writing it’s still yet to be decided by Linus Torvalds whether to accept the kernel “lockdown” functionality feature for this release.

        The Linux Lockdown functionality is about restricting access to the underlying hardware or features that could modify the running kernel image. Particularly for security conscious users and for applications like UEFI SecureBoot, this lockdown functionality is opt-in and really limit the bits that can be touched by the kernel. Among the limitations enforced in this lock-down mode is preventing hibernation support, blocking kernel module parameters that manipulate hardware settings, restricting access to CPU MSRs, blocking writes to /dev/mem even when root, and a variety of other safeguards.

      • Graphics Stack

        • TURNIP Vulkan Driver Is Back To Seeing Activity

          One of the lesser known Vulkan drivers within Mesa is TURNIP but at least this week it’s been seeing new activity after a recent lull of activity.

          TURNIP is the Mesa Vulkan driver that merged earlier this year for an open-source Vulkan driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware aiming to do what Freedreno Gallium3D has done for open-source OpenGL on these popular smartphone SoCs.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Benchmarks Of CentOS 8.0 & CentOS Stream On Intel Xeon / AMD EPYC

        With this week’s release of the much anticipated CentOS 8.0 as the community/free rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 as well as the surprise announcement of the bleeding-edge, rolling-release CentOS Stream, we have begun benchmarking these enterprise Linux distribution releases. Up today are our first tests of CentOS 7.7 against CentOS 8.0 and the early CentOS Stream state on Intel Xeon Cascadelake and AMD EPYC Rome servers.

        This is just the first of our CentOS 8.0 benchmarks over the past few days with more performance tests being worked on, including a cross-distribution comparison of the enterprise Linux x86_64 distributions and more. But for ending out the week, here is an initial look at the CentOS 8.0 performance for those that may be using the weekend downtime for upgrading from CentOS 7.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.4.1 Released With Workarounds For Batman: Arkham City, Hitman 2

        DXVK lead developer Philip Rebohle has done another weekly update to DXVK for helping weekend gamers have the best Steam Play / Proton experience.

        DXVK 1.4.1 is focused on fixing bugs and takes care of crashes within Direct3D 10 code, incorrect handling of the undefined primitive topology, and device loss errors are now forwarded to the games/applications.

      • DXVK 1.4.1 is out fixing issues with Batman: Arkham City, Hitman 2 and Ni no Kuni Remastered

        The fresh releases just don’t stop rolling off the production line recently. Developer Philip Rebohle announced the DXVK 1.4.1 update tonight to clear up some issues from the recent big release.

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 4.17 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – New version of the Mono engine with upstream fixes.
        – Support for DXTn compressed textures.
        – Initial version of the Windows Script runtime library.
        – Support for XRandR device change notifications.
        – Support for generating RSA keys.
        – Stubless proxies support on ARM64.
        – Various bug fixes.

      • Wine 4.17 Adds DXTn Compressed Textures, Windows Script Runtime Library

        Wine 4.17 has been uncorked for weekend testing as the newest bi-weekly feature development release of this open-source project for running Windows games/applications on Linux and other platforms.

        The key highlights for Wine 4.17 are an updated Mono engine to provide the latest fixes, DXTn compressed texture support, an initial implementation of the Windows Script runtime library, support for RandR device change notifications, support for generating RSA keys, stubless proxies for ARM64, and various bug fixes.

      • Wine 4.17 is out with new Mono, support for DXTn compressed textures and more

        Another Friday another tasty Wine development release is out with Wine 4.17, no pun this week as the bottle has run dry. What’s with that blanc look on your face? Ah screw it!

        Usually every two weeks, the Wine hackers pull together the recent work done into a fresh development build for everyone to try. They come with new features, bug fixes and quite possibly regressions that need finding. Eventually, Valve and CodeWeavers also pull newer releases into Proton for Steam Play.

    • Games

      • The absolutely crazy Streets of Rogue is now available on GOG

        If you prefer to pick up your gaming fix from the DRM-free store GOG, you’re in luck again. One of the best games all year, Streets of Rogue, is now available there too.

      • Chiaki, an open source PlayStation 4 Remote Play client is out and it works on Linux

        Streaming is all the rage now right? How about streaming your PlayStation 4 to your Linux box using Chiaki, a new open source Remote Play client. Note: To be clear, this is entirely a community effort and nothing to do with Sony.

        This was actually announced last month, so I’ve no idea how we entirely missed it until today. Earlier this month it had another release, adding in some helpful features and bug fixes and it seems to be coming along very nicely.

        Personally, my PS4 is constantly gathering dust. I much prefer everything about using my PC and my wonderful office compared to the cold and lonely living room. So to hear about Chiaki, well that’s possibly the highlight of my month.

      • Play Your PlayStation 4 Games Remotely On Your Linux Desktop With Chiaki

        PlayStation 4 has a feature called Remote Play that allows controlling (and playing games) remotely. Officially this feature only works on Windows or macOS, but thanks to Chiaki, you can use your Linux (and others) desktop to play games remotely on your PlayStation 4. Since the game is streamed to the computer, you don’t need a high performance graphics card, but there is a bit of lag.

        Chiaki is an unofficial, free and open source PlayStation 4 Remote Play Client for Linux, macOS and Windows, but there’s also work to get it working on Android. While not an official Sony software, Chiaki doesn’t require having a jailbroken PS4.

      • The WWI FPS ‘Tannenberg’ is free to play this weekend, plus all M2H games on sale

        If you’ve really wanted to try the WWI FPS Tannenberg you’re in luck, it’s free to download and play for a few days plus it’s on sale along side other games from M2H.

        Quite a fan of Tannenberg myself, it has some fantastic sound design and the open levels are great. Difficult though, as it’s somewhat focused on realism so you can’t just run across the map expecting to be able to dodge bullets.

      • An update on the status of Linux support for the sci-fi RPG ‘Encased’ now it’s in Early Access

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign in October last year, the sci-fi RPG Encased is now on Steam and GOG in Early Access. Here’s an update on when we might see Linux support.

        Linux was a noted platform they were planning to support and when we spoke to them back in March, they said Linux would not be available during Early Access but would be around the full release. Since it’s been a while and now it’s actually on Steam, users have been asking on the Steam forum about when Linux support will arrive.

      • Mindustry the Factorio-like tower-defense game is now on Steam

        Oh no, this is going to be very bad for my free time. It was bad enough with Factorio having a huge update recently and now Mindustry is available on Steam.

        While there’s going to be a lot of obvious comparisons to Factorio due to the production chains and mining, Mindustry still manages to come off quite unique despite the similarities. Mindustry has a much bigger focus on the action and it has a different more simplistic art style to it.

      • Testing the Gioteck WX-4 Wireless gamepad on Linux, pretty good for the price

        Always on the look out for new hardware that’s good and cheap, I recently came across the Gioteck WX-4 Wireless gamepad.

        Messing around with wires with the Logitech F310 was becoming a bit of a hassle, so I was looking around for something new to replace it. The Logitech F310 is a great wired pad, although I personally find the triggers far too stiff so I’ve wanted a different secondary pad for some time.

      • The Jackbox Party Pack 6 now has a release date and pre-orders are open

        In the mood to party? Need a fresh set of amusing games to entertain your guests with? Good news everyone! The Jackbox Party Pack 6 is releasing quite soon.

        As written about here on GamingOnLinux previously, Jackbox Games will be continuing their Linux support with this newest pack of games. Yesterday, they announced the Jackbox Party Pack 6 is releasing on October 17th.

      • Lovecraftian horror RPG Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones has launched

        With Linux support same-day as promised, Cultic Games and 1C Entertainment have launched their lovecraftian themed horror RPG named Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones.

        Pulling in direct inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Stygian is a turn-based RPG set in a broken and mysterious world. Like classic RPG titles, Stygian provides an open-ended narrative to unearth as characters cope with the warped reality of a world fallen to chaos mixed in with some turn-based combat.

      • Valve are expanding Steam Remote Play with defaults for popular games and a new API

        Steam Remote Play (previously in-home streaming), the feature of Steam that allows you to stream a game from one PC to another device sure is handy and Valve are giving it a bit more of a push now.

        While it’s been a feature of Steam for quite some time, Valve never really seemed to do a whole lot with it. That was, until they renamed it and allowed you to stream to many more devices and outside the home too.

        In a new blog post on Steam, Valve have announced they’ve given over 100 popular titles a default configuration. Valve said this has enabled them to learn more about how to build good touch controllers and they gave some examples. One of those is the Linux game Stardew Valley…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Meet KDE e.V.’s New Board

          Akademy 2019 brought the KDE community some exciting news and major changes. The new community-wide goals have been announced, and KDE contributors presented new ideas and projects they are working on.

          One important change that took place during Akademy 2019 is related to the KDE e.V., the foundation that legally represents the KDE community. Members of KDE e.V. elected two new members for the KDE e.V. Board. For the next couple of years, they will be the people who will legally represent the KDE community and manage the day-to-day running of KDE e.V.

          Let’s meet the new members of the KDE e.V. Board!

        • Akademy 2019!

          I gave a talk at the Student showcase about my works with KDE (I know it was way tooooo fast, even faster than Eminem could sing rap songs :p, but keeping time constraint in mind and my content, I had to wrap it up quickly), co-hosted the Student Programs BoF with Bhushan, Valorie and Caio where we discussed about upcoming GCi, GSoC and the future plans of SoK. Also discussed with Bhushan and other attendees from India about the future of conf.kde.in at the KDE India BoF.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Updating Featured apps without the need of an upgrade

          This is a quick note to demonstrate how a distribution can update it’s list of “Featured” apps without pushing a new OS upgrade to its users. It’s quite beneficial to have such a functionality in gnome-software so that the list of “Featured” applications can be updated frequently, making overall user experience a further more dynamic. Let’s go shopping!

          I will be focusing this post on updating the featured apps’ banner carousel that appears on the landing page of gnome-software. It displays various apps that are meant to be featured. The metadata for which apps are being featured lives in gnome-software.git tree; that means you can only update this list on gnome-software’s new release vis-a-vis a new OS release in cases of immutable OSes.

    • Distributions

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/37 – 39
      • Reviews

        • ArcoLinux Eases the Way for the Arch-Curious User

          like rolling up my sleeves to tinker with a variety of Linux distros, but some Linux families require more effort to set up and maintain than others.

          Seasoned Linux users who like the higher level of hands-on control that Arch systems provide rave about Arch’s superior reliability. Typical Linux users, however, often just want a configurable desktop that they can use without complicated setup and hands-on system maintenance demands.

          The building blocks approach ArcoLinux offers lets you start with a basic, easy-to-use desktop environment with enough default software to get you started. Then it lets you move through higher-level phases of functionality to master the Arch Linux platform.

          This method is not well suited for all Linux users, but it has several advantages if you are curious about using Arch-based Linux distros.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • Mageia infra maintenance

          On Sunday September 29th, 2019, starting around 12.00 UTC there will be maintenance on the infra in order to upgrade it to Mageia 7.

          That means Mageia websites, gitweb, svnweb, wiki, forum, mailinglists, mails to @mageia.org, … will be shut down…

      • Fedora Family

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Beta is Now Available to Download

          The Ubuntu 19.10 beta is pretty much feature complete at this point; all of the major changes and features on offer are both known and present.

          So yes: you can sample the Linux 5.3 kernel; bask in the glow of the new light Yaru GTK theme; enjoy GNOME 3.34; and get up close and personal with a clutch of new wallpapers.

          Ubuntu 19.10 will also boot faster than previous versions, and, on Intel hardware at least, offer a ‘flicker-free boot’ experience (for some users, caveats apply).

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Flavours Hit Beta, Here’s What’s New

          By now we now have a pretty solid idea of the sort of features and changes each Ubuntu spin is offering. I figured I’d assimilate all of that info into an easily digestible post like this rather than, er, well, just ignore the flavours until release day,

          So read on for a distilled debrief on what’s new in Ubuntu MATE 19.10, Ubuntu Budgie 19.10, Xubuntu 19.10, Kubuntu 19.10 and maybe even Ubuntu Studio 19.10 (no promises) — plus links to download the Ubuntu 19.10 beta releases for your own amusement.

          Let’s crack on!

        • Ubuntu Linux 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ Beta available for download

          Happy Friday, dear BetaNews readers! The weekend is nearly here, meaning you can take some time to do the things you want to do, rather than the tasks your boss assigns. For some, that means spending time with family, watching movies, or simply catching up on some rest. For others, it is the prime time to test a Linux distribution!

          Today, Canonical releases the official beta for the upcoming Ubuntu Linux 19.10. Code-named “Eoan Ermine,” it features Linux kernel 5.3. There are several great desktop environments from which to choose too, such as KDE Plasma, Budgie, and the default GNOME. Ubuntu 19.10 is not a long term support (LTS) version, sadly, so support for the stable release will only be a mere 9 months.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Beta Released – The Eoan Ermine Brings The Latest Linux Goods

          The Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” is now available in beta form with the official release being less than one month away.

          Ubuntu 19.10 is riding atop the Linux 5.3 kernel, ships with the GCC 9.2 compiler, Python 3.7.3 by default, and is making use of the GNOME 3.34 desktop by default.

          Participating in today’s beta besides Ubuntu itself is Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.

        • Kubuntu Eoan Ermine (19.10) Beta Released

          The beta of Eoan Ermine (to become 19.10) has now been released, and is available for download at:

          http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/19.10/beta/

          This milestone features images for Kubuntu and other Ubuntu flavours.

          Pre-releases of the Eoan Ermine are not encouraged for…

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Beta Is Now Available to Download for All Flavors

          Development on the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system kicked off at the end of April with the toolchain upload, soon after the release of the Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) operating system on April 23rd, and now, five months later, the beta version is available for public testing.

          Ubuntu 19.10 continues the development cycle of previous releases where Alpha builds are no longer baked for public testing. Only a beta is made available to the community before the final release hits the streets. The beta is usually good enough and featureful to be used on a daily basis.

        • Ubuntu MATE 19.10 Release Notes

          Ubuntu MATE 19.10 is a significant improvement over Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and 19.04. The theme of this release is to address as many “paper-cut” issues as possible. Every new feature in Ubuntu MATE 19.10 has been added to address bugs or poor user experience. Many long standing paper-cuts are finally resolved. Make yourself a cup of tea and get a slice of cake before reading on to find out what we’ve been working on for the last 25 weeks.

          We are preparing Ubuntu MATE 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) for distribution on October 17th, 2018 With this Beta pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version.

        • Lubuntu 19.10 Beta Released!

          We are pleased to announce that the beta images for Lubuntu 19.10 have been released!

          While we have reached the bugfix-only stage of our development cycle, these images are not meant to be used in a production system. We highly recommend joining our development group or our forum to let us know about any issues.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ Beta Available to Download

          The beta release of Ubuntu 19.10, codename “Eoan Ermine“, was announced today.

          This beta includes images for not only the Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavors.

          Ubuntu 19.10 includes Linux Kernel 5.3, Gnome 3.34, and GCC 9.2 compiler, Python 3.7.3 by default, and new light Yaru GTK theme.

        • Ubuntu Linux 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ Beta Available For Download

          Canonical today released the official beta for the upcoming Ubuntu Linux 19.10.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 tips for GNU Debugger

        The GNU Debugger (gdb) is an invaluable tool for inspecting running processes and fixing problems while you’re developing programs.

        You can set breakpoints at specific locations (by function name, line number, and so on), enable and disable those breakpoints, display and alter variable values, and do all the standard things you would expect any debugger to do. But it has many other features you might not have experimented with. Here are five for you to try.

      • What does an open source AI future look like?

        The recent announcement about Neuralink, Elon Musk’s latest startup, added to the buzz already in the air about where tech is taking us in the not-so-distant future. Judging by its ambitious plans, which involve pairing computers wirelessly with the human brain, Neuralink demonstrates that the future is now.

        And a big part of that future is open source artificial intelligence (AI). Rapid advancements have opened up a whole new world of possibilities that startups can take advantage of right now.

      • Events

        • Co-Conference Logo Competition for 2020

          The LibreOffice and openSUSE communities will have a joint conference next year in Nuremberg, Germany, and for this special co-conference, we are having a logo competition. The dates of the event are still being finalized, but there are some things we can do beforehand.

          A logo is essential for the conference and we want to visualize both communities during this co-conference as LibreOffice will celebrate its 10-year anniversary and openSUSE will celebrate its 15-year anniversary during the conference.

          The LibOcon logo should not be confused with the LibreOffice 10th anniversary logo contest, which will be announced separately via the LibreOffice blog.

        • 10 counterintuitive takeaways from 10 years of DevOpsDays

          Ten years ago, we started an accidental journey. We brought together some of our good friends in Ghent, Belgium, to discuss our agile, open source, and early cloud experiences. Patrick Debois coined the event #DevOpsdays after John Allspaw and Paul Hammond’s talk from Velocity 2009, “10+ deploys per day: dev and ops cooperation at Flickr” (which is well worth watching).

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Happy 9th Anniversary, LibreOffice

          Happy 9th Anniversary to LibreOffice, to the community of volunteer contributors – represented by The Document Foundation – and to every person who made the dream possible with a donation or a simple download. If you have developed, patched, localized, tested, triaged, documented, communicated, promoted, explained, supported, certified, trained or migrated either the software or the organizations deploying it or the people using it, you should celebrate. Together, we have been able to transform a dream into a reality.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Do we need to rethink what free software is?

          I don’t have solutions for these problems, and I don’t know for sure that it’s possible to solve them without causing more harm than good in the process. But in the absence of these issues being discussed within the free software community, we risk free software being splintered – on one side, with companies imposing increasingly draconian licensing terms in an attempt to prop up their business models, and on the other side, with people deciding that protecting people’s freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is more important than protecting their freedom to use software to deny those freedoms to others.

          As stewards of the free software definition, the Free Software Foundation should be taking the lead in ensuring that these issues are discussed. The priority of the board right now should be to restructure itself to ensure that it can legitimately claim to represent the community and play the leadership role it’s been failing to in recent years, otherwise the opportunity will be lost and much of the activist energy that underpins free software will be spent elsewhere.

          If free software is going to maintain relevance, it needs to continue to explain how it interacts with contemporary social issues. If any organisation is going to claim to lead the community, it needs to be doing that.

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

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

      • Programming/Development

        • 8 Excellent Java Natural Language Processing Tools

          Natural language processing (NLP) is a set of techniques for using computers to detect in human language the kinds of things that humans detect automatically.

          NLP is an exciting field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. It includes word and sentence tokenization, text classification and sentiment analysis, spelling correction, information extraction, parsing, meaning extraction, and question answering.

          In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.

          Many challenges in NLP involve natural language understanding. In other words, computers learn how to determine meaning from human or natural language input, and others involve natural language generation.

        • AdoptOpenJDK Introduces Quality Assurance Program

          AdoptOpenJDK has publicly released a suite of tests designed to ensure functional correctness, performance, and overall efficacy of each AdoptOpenJDK release.

          The AdoptOpenJDK Quality Assurance (AQA) aims to make the release more in line with expectations of enterprise customers, providing a consistent location for organizations looking to remain up to date on Java without cost. While Java is free, the Oracle JRE became a commercial product requiring a commercial license since Java 11. Users seeking to avoid this clearly-communicated and frequently-publicized change have sought alternative JREs, such as AdoptOpenJDK or the public GPL builds — both of which are available at no cost.

        • Python wheels, AI/ML, and ABI compatibility

          Python has become a popular programming language in the AI/ML world. Projects like TensorFlow and PyTorch have Python bindings as the primary interface used by data scientists to write machine learning code. However, distributing AI/ML-related Python packages and ensuring application binary interface (ABI) compatibility between various Python packages and system libraries presents a unique set of challenges.

          The manylinux standard (e.g., manylinux2014) for Python wheels provides a practical solution to these challenges, but it also introduces new challenges that the Python community and developers need to consider. Before we delve into these additional challenges, we’ll briefly look at the Python ecosystem for packaging and distribution.

        • 5 of the Best Programming Languages for IoT

          Unless you’re building the simplest of Internet of Things projects, chances are you’ll need to write some code at some point. You may be able to get by running someone else’s code if you’re building a common project, but for the most part, you’ll need to be acquainted with code.

          As with anything, you have a lot of choices when you’re choosing a programming language for your IoT project. A few things to consider are performance, the libraries available, and how easy it is to write and maintain code in the language. We’ve put together what we think are some of your best options.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: A look into building C++ modules with a scanner

          At CppCon there was a presentation on building C++ modules using a standalone dependency scanner executable provided by the compiler toolchain.

          [...]

          Is this the way C++ module building will work?

          Probably not, because there is one major use case that this approach (or indeed any content scanning approach) does not support: code generation. Scanning assumes that all source code is available at the same time but if you generate source code on the fly, this is not the case. There would need to be some mechanism of making Ninja invoke the scanner anew every time source files appear and such a mechanism does not exist as far as I know. Even if it does there is a lot of state to transfer between Ninja and the scanner to ensure both reliable and minimal dependency scans.

        • A fast and thread-safe pool allocator for Qt – Part 1

          A few months ago I was working on a fix for how QHostInfo sends results to the caller, which led me further to a small optimization of how we allocate memory for the arguments in QMetaCallEvent. We use objects of that type in queued signal/slot connections, and spending some time in that code reminded me how in Qt we have a pattern of allocating rather small, short-lived objects on the heap, sometimes rather frequently, and also in performance critical code paths. I was also inspired by Jedrzej’s investigations into QObject and QObjectPrivate allocations in his “fast pimpl” proof-of-concept implementation.

          So I started wondering whether we could allocate QEvent instances from a dedicated memory pool, using a specialized allocator.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Open source version of OPC UA spec for M2M launches

          OSADL announced OPC Foundation certification of its open source, C-developed “open62541” v1.0 implementation of the TSN-enabled OPC UA standard for M2M Ethernet communications. Kalycito has launched an open62541 starter kit that runs on a Linux-ready TQ gateway.

          You may have noticed an increase in products on LinuxGizmos that support Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), which is built into some new networking SoCs such as NXP’s Cortex-A72 based LS1028A. More recently we’ve seen products that claim to support the OPC Foundation’s TSN-enabled Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA), such as Advantech’s new WISE-710 gateway.

        • HTTP 1, 2, and 3 in a Nutshell
  • Leftovers

    • Judy Garland at the End of Her Rope and Her Rainbow

      Many over the age of 50 know Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale of “The Wizard of Oz.” Or perhaps the emotional cabaret singer celebrated as “The Elvis of the gays.”

    • Science

      • Number Theorist Fears All Published Math Is Wrong

        If these challenges can be overcome, Buzzard thinks that the software can have even broader effects beyond proof. Take for example the problem of search. Huge amounts of new results are published every year, at a breakneck pace, making searching through these proofs extremely important.

        Hales and Buzzard have pointed out that if all new paper abstracts were entered in Lean, then any mathematician could query the database of these abstracts for a precise Lean mathematical object and find out all that was known about it. To some extent, the inscrutable brains of the elders could be turned inside out.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Kentucky’s Abortion Law Forces Me to Humiliate My Patients

        I’m a doctor at the only abortion clinic in Kentucky. Providing safe, compassionate medical care has been my life’s calling, and my patients’ well-being is always my first priority. But Kentucky politicians — determined as usual to interfere with access to reproductive healthcare — are trying to force me to harm and humiliate the patients who entrust me with their welfare. That’s why I’m joining with the ACLU today to ask the Supreme Court to keep Kentucky lawmakers’ insulting, anti-abortion political agenda out of the exam room. 

      • Health Insurance Costs Surpass $20,000 Per Year, Hitting a Record

        “It’s as much as buying a basic economy car,” said Drew Altman, chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation, “but buying it every year.” The nonprofit health research group conducts the yearly survey of coverage that people get through work, the main source of insurance in the U.S. for people under age 65.

        While employers pay most of the costs of coverage, according to the survey, workers’ average contribution is now $6,000 for a family plan. That’s just their share of upfront premiums, and doesn’t include co-payments, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing once they need care.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dcmtk), openSUSE (rust), Red Hat (redhat-virtualization-host), and SUSE (ghostscript, nghttp2, and u-boot).

      • Interview With the Guy Who Tried to Frame Me for Heroin Possession

        Vovnenko first came onto my radar after his alter ego Fly published a blog entry that led with an image of my bloodied, severed head and included my credit report, copies of identification documents, pictures of our front door, information about family members, and so on. Fly had invited all of his cybercriminal friends to ruin my financial identity and that of my family.

        Somewhat curious about what might have precipitated this outburst, I was secretly given access to Fly’s cybercrime forum and learned he’d freshly hatched a plot to have heroin sent to my home. The plan was to have one of his forum lackeys spoof a call from one of my neighbors to the police when the drugs arrived, complaining that drugs were being delivered to our house and being sold out of our home by Yours Truly.

      • Some Voting Machines Still Have Decade-Old Vulnerabilities

        In three short years, the Defcon Voting Village has gone from a radical hacking project to a stalwart that surfaces voting machine security issues. This afternoon, its organizers released findings from this year’s event—including urgent vulnerabilities from a decade ago that still plague voting machines currently in use.

        Voting Village participants have confirmed the persistence of these flaws in previous years as well, along with a raft of new ones. But that makes their continued presence this year all the more alarming, underscoring how slow progress on replacing or repairing vulnerable machines remains.

      • Apple Mac Pro computers across Hollywood were mysteriously crashing, and it turned out a Google Chrome update was the culprit

        A mysterious wave of crashing Apple Mac Pro computers affected several film and TV editors in Los Angeles on Monday, and it was initially thought that video editing software Avid was to blame, according to Variety.

        Indeed, the crashing Macs appeared to be localised in Los Angeles, and those reporting the crashes commonly run the Avid video editing software.

        The incident caused editors to warn their colleagues to refrain from turning off their Mac computers running the Avid software, as they might not get the computers to turn back on. The industry appeared almost panicked.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Troops of the future may ditch night-vision goggles in favor of eye injections to see in the dark

        Nanoparticles would have an advantage over other night-vision technology if they could be safely injected into soldiers, Arizona State University engineering professor Braden Allenby said in an email Friday.

        “This might be a way to equip warriors with night vision directly, and because it is temporary, it might be less risky than permanent treatments such as genetically engineering warriors’ optical systems,” he said.

      • Philippine forces arrest Swedish, three Filipinos accused of bomb attack

        The Philippine security forces have arrested a Swedish national and three Filipinos who allegedly carried out the Sept. 7 bombing of a public market in Sultan Kudarat province in the southern Philippines that wounded eight people.

        Major Arvin Encinas, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said on Tuesday that Swedish citizen Hassan Akgun and three Filipinos were arrested on Monday afternoon in Bagumbayan village in Isulan town.

      • Drones sent from Pak for 7 to 8 times to deliver arms in Punjab: Police

        GPS-fitted drones capable of lifting up to 10 kg flew in from Pakistan seven to eight times to airdrop the cache of arms, ammunition and fake currency seized in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, a police probe revealed on Wednesday.

        It was the first incident reported in Punjab, in which drones were used to drop weapons and communication devices, among others, from across the border, an official said, adding that a half-burnt drone used in the operation was recovered from Tarn Taran.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Trump Abused Power

        A secret whistleblower complaint at the center of an impeachment inquiry alleges that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office to “solicit interference from a foreign country” in next year’s U.S. election. The White House then tried to “lock down” the information to cover it up, the complaint says.

      • New York Times Outs Individual Behind Ukraine Call Whistleblower Complaint, Sparks Outrage

        The New York Times sparked outrage when they outed the whistleblower, who filed a complaint alleging President Donald Trump solicited interference from Ukraine in the 2020 presidential election.

        “The whistleblower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” the Times published.

      • Richard Cohen: Gone but Not Forgotten

        That sums up Cohen’s career pretty well: It was his job to witness monumental matters; he didn’t actually see them, but wrote about them anyway—and got paid to do it.

      • Former US president Carter covered up Israeli nuclear weapons test, declassified documents suggest

        Tel Aviv has a policy of neither confirming or denying it holds nuclear weapons and Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

        In 1986 former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu leaked details of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme to the British press.

        He was subsequently lured to Italy where he was drugged by Mossad agents. Mr Vanunu was subsequently taken to Israel and jailed for 18 years in a trial held behind closed doors. The peace activist spent 11 years in solitary confinement and was released in 2004.

      • Blast From the Past

        The Vela controversy has continued for decades, but its details, involving sensitive scientific and political intelligence, remain mostly classified. In recent years, the state of the debate around the 1979 incident has changed dramatically. New detailed scientific analysis and new declassified documents have emerged in a manner that decisively support the view that the satellite known as Vela 6911 detected a nuclear detonation.

        Informing that view are a number of documents declassified in recent years, posted on the National Security Archive website, that reveal the high level of skepticism, anger and disagreement over the report from the U.S. government panel convened to study the incident, known as the Ruina Panel. We have published these documents in two electronic briefing books on the Vela incident, first in 2016 and then on the anniversary this month. In our view, the documents make clear that the true mystery of Vela is not whether the double flash showed a nuclear explosion but how top officials at the Carter White House collaborated to blur and conceal a politically uncomfortable truth.

        The archival files of Ambassador Gerard C. Smith, who served as a special presidential representative for nonproliferation matters from 1977 to 1980, were declassified in 2016. They include a great deal of new information on the Vela controversy within the U.S. government. Here are some of the highlights: [...]

      • Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange in London for the United States

        The judicial investigation into the director of UC Global S. L. and the activities of his company were ordered by a judge named José de la Mata, and they began weeks after EL PAÍS published videos, audios and reports that show how the company spied on the meetings that the cyberactivist held in the embassy.

        The secret probe is the consequence of a criminal complaint filed by Assange himself, in which he accuses Morales and the company of the alleged offenses involving violations of his privacy and the secrecy of his client-attorney privileges, as well as misappropriation, bribery and money laundering. The director of UC Global S. L. has not responded to calls from this newspaper in order to confirm his version of events.

        Morales, a former member of the military who is on leave of absence, stated both verbally and in writing to a number of his employees that, despite having been hired by the government of then-Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, he also worked “for the Americans,” to whom he allegedly sent documents, videos and audios of the meetings that the Australian activist held in the embassy. “We are playing in another league. This is the first division,” he told his closest colleagues after attending a security fair in the US city of Las Vegas in 2015 where he supposedly made his first American contacts.

        [...]

        After the installation of new video cameras at the beginning of December 2017, Morales requested that his technicians install an external streaming access point in the same area so that all of the recordings could be accessed instantly by the United States. To do this, he requested three channels for access: “one for Ecuador, another for us and another for X,” according to mails sent at the time to his colleagues. When one of the technicians asked to contact “the Americans” to explain the way that they should access some of the spying systems installed in the embassy, Morales would always be evasive with his answers.

        [...]

        Adelson has a close friendship with US President Donald Trump and is one of the main donors to the Republican Party. Among his security personnel is a former CIA chief. In 2018 an investigation by The New York Times revealed that Julian Assange became a target for CIA spying under the mandate of former director Mike Pompeo. Official sources admitted to the US newspaper that WikiLeaks was being investigated in search of alleged links between its founder and Russian intelligence.

      • Assange Behind Bars, by Felicity Ruby

        I have only ever known Julian Assange in detention. For nine years now, I have visited him in England bearing Australian news and solidarity. To Ellingham Hall I brought music and chocolate, to the Ecuadorian embassy I brought flannel shirts, Rake, Wizz Fizz and eucalyptus leaves, but to Belmarsh prison you can bring nothing—not a gift, not a book, not a piece of paper. Then I returned to Australia, a country so far away that has abandoned him in almost every respect.

        Over the years I have learned to not ask, ‘How are you?’, because it’s bloody obvious how he is: detained, smeared, maligned, unfree, stuck—in ever-narrower, colder, darker and damper tunnels—pursued and punished for publishing. Over the years I’ve learned to not complain of the rain or remark on what a beautiful day it is, because he’s been inside for so long that a blizzard would be a blessing. I’ve also learned that it is not comforting but cruel to speak of sunsets, kookaburras, road trips; it’s not helpful to assure him that, like me and my dog, he will find animal tracks in the bush when he comes home, even though I think it almost every day.

        It is the prolonged and intensifying nature of his confinement that hits me as I wait in the first line outside the front door of the brown-brick jail. At the visitor centre opposite I’ve been fingerprinted after showing two forms of proof of address and my passport. Sure to remove absolutely everything from my pockets, I’ve locked my bags, keeping only £20 to spend on chocolate and sandwiches. Despite the security theatre that follows, the money gets nicked at some point through no fewer than four passageways that are sealed from behind before the next door opens, a metal detector, being patted down and having my mouth and ears inspected. After putting our shoes back on, we visitors cross an outdoor area and are faced with the reality of the cage: grey steel-mesh fencing with razor wire that is about 4 metres high all around. I hurry into the next building before going into a room where thirty small tables are fixed to the floor, with one blue plastic chair facing three green plastic chairs at each.

        He sits on one of the blue plastic chairs.

        I hesitate now, as I always do, to describe him. That, too, I’ve learned: it’s a protective impulse against the morbid fascination of some supporters, and against others who delight in his suffering. His health was already deteriorating severely when he left the embassy. He confirms that he is still on the health ward, though he hasn’t seen specialists, which is obviously necessary after what he’s been through. He explains that he is transported in and out of his cell, where he is kept for twenty-two hours a day under so-called ‘controlled moves’, meaning the prison is locked down and hallways are cleared. He describes the exercise yard. It has writing on the wall that says, ‘Enjoy the blades of grass under your feet’, but there is no grass, only concrete. There’s nothing green, just layers of wire mesh above his head, and concrete all around.

      • Julian Assange: Private security firm ‘spied on WikiLeaks founder in Ecuadorian embassy for CIA’

        A Spanish private security company hired to protect the Ecuadorian embassy in London when Julian Assange lived there spied on the WikiLeaks founder for the US intelligence service, it has been claimed.

        A report in Spanish newspaper El Pais said the company, UC Global SL, allegedly handed over audio and video to the CIA of meetings Assange held with his lawyers.

        The company is being investigated over the claims by Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, said the report.

        Assange filed a criminal complaint himself, in which he accused the company of violating his privacy and the secrecy of his client-attorney privileges.

        El Pais said UC Global SL had failed to respond to requests for comment on the claims.

        In April, Assange was dragged out of the embassy after being handed over to the British authorities by Ecuador.

    • Environment

      • Goldman Sachs released a 34-page analysis of the impact of climate change. And the results are terrifying.

        The bank’s Global Markets Institute, led by Amanda Hindlian, warned of “significant” potential risks to the world’s largest cities, which are especially vulnerable to more frequent storms, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and storm surges.

        Cities generate about 80% of global GDP and are home to more than half of the world’s population, a share that Goldman says, citing the United Nations, is projected to reach two-thirds by 2050. About 40% of the global population lives within 100 kilometers of a coast, it says, and 1 in 10 live in areas less than 10 meters above sea level.

      • Mont Blanc glacier could melt, collapse, experts warn

        However, he warned that a chunk of the glacier is in danger of crashing into a valley parallel to the Courmayeur valley. The section of the glacier concerned weighs around 250,000 tons and is at risk of breaking away.

      • Two Generations of Climate Activists Dish About Making Powerful People Uncomfortable

        This week, Teen Vogue hosted 17-year-old indigenous Fridays for Future activist Xiye Bastida, 19-year-old Future Coalition executive director Katie Eder, and Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan at our office in lower Manhattan. The trio had a wide-ranging conversation on what generations of climate activists can learn from each other and why things feel different this time around.

      • The Limits of Debating Climate Change

        In a debate one side wins and the other side loses. How many debates end with the losing side agreeing that they were wrong? It doesn’t happen. And that is why the climate change debate is not converting deniers into believers. Each side on this issue is focused on rolling over the opposition.

      • Climate Strike/Auto Strike: Same Struggle, Same Fight

        Twenty years after turtles and teamsters teamed up to battle the WTO in Seattle, labor strikes and climate strikes are coinciding everywhere but in the media, and that’s dangerous. If history is any guide, any minute now, some two-bit pundit or shameless president will pit workers against environmentalists so as to distract us from the real problem: the rich and the greedy and a value system that only cares about profits.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Arsenic-Resistant Nematodes Found in Mono Lake

          Mono Lake in California is a salty, alkaline, arsenic-rich body of water known to be home to just two eukaryotes: brine shrimp and alkali flies. In a study published today (September 26) in Current Biology, researchers found eight more species residing in the lake and its sediments—all hardy, tiny nematodes. Culturing one species from the group Auanema in the lab revealed that the animals are capable of surviving 500 times the dose of arsenic that would kill a person.

    • Finance

      • Working Futures, An Anthology Of Speculative Fiction About The Future Of Work

        I’m excited to announce that next week we’ll be releasing a project that we’ve been working on for almost two years, since its original conception: Working Futures, an anthology of speculative fiction about the future of work. A year and a half ago, we asked folks here to help out and participate in a survey that would help us in working through a longer process to get people to better think about what the future of work might look like. As we noted then, there are plenty of reasonable concerns about the future of jobs and employment and, to date, there have mainly been two responses from people, neither of which has been particularly satisfying. There are those who’ve insisted that the future will be terrible and all the jobs will be automated away and we’ll have a vast hellscape remaining, and those who insist that these things generally work themselves out… but who never seem to provide any specifics.

      • WeWork shows why some venture capitalists are in a world of make-believe

        The saga will have three ripple effects: on fundraising, governance and the wider economy. Startups with no recognisable route to profitability will find it harder to get cash. Even before WeWork’s fiasco the taps were being tightened. In China the average volume of venture-capital deals has fallen from $28bn a quarter last year to $11bn a quarter this year, according to Prequin, a data provider. In America they fell from $32bn in the second quarter to $23bn in the third. Blitzscaling may become a dirty word. Cash-burning firms yet to join the rush to IPOs, such as micro-mobility ventures Bird and Lime, may find themselves stranded like their ubiquitous e-scooters. As regulators look increasingly askance at Big Tech, the very notion of blitzscaling raises competition and other concerns, which will make public investors yet more queasy. California’s recent efforts to categorise drivers for gig-economy firms as employees rather than contractors has added to the post-IPO sell-off of Uber and its rival, Lyft. [...]

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • With Impeachment (Slowly) Underway, Other Oversight is Still Needed

        Impeachment proceedings are officially underway, meaning that the tedious debate over whether or not to open an inquiry is (at least, hypothetically) behind us. Following revelations last week that President Trump has taken Congress’ refusal to impeach as a blank check, it is even becoming plausible that the days of Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous ongoing opposition to impeachment are numbered. This is not to say that the impeachment fight is over; questions about the substance and style of the inquiry remain. Democrats, however, have crossed a major milestone. With the majority of the caucus no longer tied up by whether to even open an  impeachment inquiry, it is time they turn their attention to the other, related oversight they have neglected. Only then will they begin to resemble the opposition party voters thought they were propelling to power last fall.

      • The Republican Party Is Going Down With Trump

        And notice what Trump did in his otherwise incoherent Wednesday press conference: Quite coherently, he implicated his vice president, Mike Pence, in the Ukraine mess. “I think you should ask for VP Pence’s conversation because he had a couple of conversations also.” Ouch. Message to Republicans: Don’t think impeachment gets you out of this. The whistle-blower’s complaint also reveals that Trump told Pence to cancel a trip to Zelensky’s inauguration. Trump is right about one thing: Pence is complicit in his corruption here.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Kazakh Government Takes Down 93k Websites To Site-Block A Single Massage Parlour

        Site blocking. When it comes to law enforcement and IP enforcement efforts, site blocking is the simple man’s solution to a very complicated problem. The claim that floats out there in the ether is something like: hey, if we discover sites are breaking the law in some way, we can just order ISPs to block access to the site and the problem’s solved. Despite that simplistic send up, the practice of blocking sites in this way inevitably leads to massive collateral damage and flat out abuse. And, yet, those that advocate for site blocking shrug their shoulders at this. After all, if you want to make an IP omelette, you have to break some percentage of the internet, right?

      • Being Designated A ‘Hate Group’ By The SPLC Isn’t Defamation, Says Federal Court

        The Southern Poverty Law Center has just escaped from a bogus defamation lawsuit brought against it by yet another displeased recipient of the SPLC’s “hate group” designation. (h/t Adam Steinbaugh)

      • European Court’s Decision in Right To Be Forgotten Case is a Win for Free Speech

        In a significant victory for free speech rights, the European Union’s highest court ruled that the EU’s Right to Be Forgotten does not require Google to delist search results globally, thus keeping the results available to be seen by users around the world.The EU standard, established in 2014, lets individuals in member states demand that search engines not show search results containing old information about them when their privacy rights outweigh the public’s interest in having continued access to the information. The question before the court was whether Google had to remove the results from all Google search platforms, including Google.com, or just the ones identified with either the individual’s state of residence, in this case Google.fr, or ones identified with the EU as a whole.The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) decided that the Right to Be Forgotten does not require such global delisting.

      • Moscow City Hall denies permit for ‘Immortal Gulag’ memorial march

        Moscow officials have declined to grant a permit for a memorial march organized by several Russian opposition parties. The “Immortal Gulag” march was to be modeled on the annual “Immortal Regiment” march, during which Russians carry portraits of relatives who died in the Second World War.

      • Not just about sex: Indonesia’s protests explained

        The most headline-grabbing issue is a proposed ban on extramarital sex, but the protests go far beyond that.

        They focus on corruption, plans to outlaw insulting the president and a toughening of blasphemy laws.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • DC Court: State Secrets Privilege Trumps Any Citizens’ Right To Know Whether Or Not Their Own Gov’t Is Trying To Kill Them

        The government can try to kill you without due process as long as it can successfully invoke state secret privileges. That’s the jist of the decision [PDF] just released by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the DC District Court.

      • EFF to HUD: Algorithms Are No Excuse for Discrimination

        The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is considering adopting new rules that would effectively insulate landlords, banks, and insurance companies that use algorithmic models from lawsuits that claim their practices have an unjustified discriminatory effect. HUD’s proposal is flawed, and suggests that the agency doesn’t understand how machine learning and other algorithmic tools work in practice. Algorithmic tools are increasingly relied upon to make assessments of tenants’ creditworthiness and risk, and HUD’s proposed rules will make it all but impossible to enforce the Fair Housing Act into the future.

        The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. The Act is one of several civil rights laws passed in the 1960s to counteract decades of government and private policies that promoted segregation—including Jim Crow laws, redlining, and racial covenants. Under current law, plaintiffs can bring claims under the Act not only when there is direct evidence of intentional discrimination, but also when they can show that a facially-neutral practice or policy actually or predictably has a disproportionate discriminatory effect, or “disparate impact.” Disparate impact lawsuits have been a critical tool for fighting housing discrimination and ensuring equal housing opportunity for decades. As the Supreme Court has stated, recognizing disparate impact liability “permits plaintiffs to counteract unconscious prejudices and disguised animus” and helps prevent discrimination “that might otherwise result from covert and illicit stereotyping.”

      • Russian man charged with smuggling nine kilos of cocaine into the Philippines (yes, where Duterte is) wins acquittal after three years in jail

        A Philippine court has acquitted Russian citizen Yuriy Kirdyushkin, who faced charges of carrying almost 10 kilograms of contraband cocaine into the country. Kirdyushkin’s attorney, Alexander Boikov, told the independent Russian television station Dozhd about the ruling. Kirdyushkin’s father, Sergey Kirdyushkin, confirmed that his son had been acquitted.

      • The Christchurch Call Comes to the UN

        On Monday, EFF participated in the Christchurch Call Leaders’ Dialogue at the UN General Assembly in New York in our capacity as a member of the Christchurch Call Advisory Network. The meeting, chaired by the leaders of New Zealand, France, and Jordan, featured speeches from a diverse array of government and tech company leaders, and updates to the Christchurch Call process, including the announcement of the advisory network and reforms to the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

        As we noted back in May, we have serious concerns about some elements of the Call, including the lack of clarity around the definition of “terrorism” and the language of “eliminating” terrorist and violent extremist content online. This summer, we co-authored a whitepaper that speaks to the latter concern; in particular, the fact that elimination—particularly without preservation—of some content has led to the erasure of key documentation used by human rights defenders in places like Syria and Ukraine. We have also been frustrated with the sidelining of civil society throughout much of this process, though we appreciate the New Zealand government’s efforts toward inclusion.

      • Russian gay couple targeted for adopting children requests asylum in United States

        Andrey Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, a Russian couple whose home was searched after investigators discovered that they had adopted children, have political refugee status in the United States. The Russian LGBTQ group Coming Out first reported the couple’s petition.

      • Criticism of earmarked maternity: May hit young female entrepreneurs

        Critics have attacked new EU’s rules on parental leave, arguing that they will disadvantage female entrepreneurs in Denmark because of the extended period of compulsory maternity leave.

        Kvinderådet, an umbrella organisation for all the Danish women’s associations, and SMVdanmark, an interest organisation for 18,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, pointed out that the EU’s new decision has flaws and fosters inequality.

        The previous scheme allowed Danish women to take a short leave and get back to their business.

      • Indonesia Has a Papua Problem

        As Indonesians were celebrating Independence Day on Aug. 17, a photo surfaced online, like pus leaking from a wound, and was widely circulated. It showed a Papuan man at a protest in Surabaya, a city on eastern Java, holding up a poster with the words, “If we are monkeys, then don’t force monkeys to fly The Red and White.” A few days before, an Indonesian national flag (red and white) in front of a dormitory for Papuan students had been torn down. The police, the army and some nationalist groups blamed the students, and a mob stormed the building. In a video recording of the scene, the crowd can be heard shouting, “Monkey.”

      • [Older] An Important Update from Chef

        While I and others privately opposed this and various other related policies, we did not take a position despite the recommendation of many of our employees. I apologize for this. I had hoped that traditional political checks and balances would provide remedy and that our relationship with our various government customers could avoid getting intermingled with these policies. However, it is clear that checks and balances have not provided relief to the fundamental issues of the policies in question. Chef, as well as other companies, can take stronger positions against these policies that violate basic human rights. Over the past year, many of our employees have constructively advocated for a change in our position, and I want to thank them.

        After deep introspection and dialog within Chef, we will not renew our current contracts with ICE and CBP when they expire over the next year. Chef will fulfill our full obligations under the current contracts.

      • Abortion decriminalised in New South Wales after fractious debate

        The legislation introduced by independent lawmakers had split the ruling centre-right state government and threatened the leadership of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

      • Legalizing Polygamy Will ‘Guarantee’ Women’s Rights in Russia, Moscow’s Muslim Leader Says

        The United Nations’ convention on ending discrimination against women says that polygamy should be discouraged and outlawed because such marriages are unequal and have negative impacts on women and children.

      • Indonesia has banned marriage for young girls

        One in five girls marries before reaching adulthood. One in twenty is wed before her fifteenth birthday. In Indonesia, which has the eighth-highest number of child brides in the world according to the UN, the phenomenon should soon be a thing of the past. This month the country’s parliament raised the minimum age at which girls can marry from 16 to 19. Legislators were spurred to act after the Constitutional Court ruled in December that it was discriminatory to mandate a lower minimum age of marriage for girls than for boys.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Decentralized Web Is Coming

        The goal is to build a better, more decentralized web.

        “There are so many different possible ways of decentralizing the internet, and what’s lacking is the legal right to interoperate and the legal support to stop dirty tricks from preventing you from exercising that legal right,” says Cory Doctorow, a science fiction author and tech journalist who’s been thinking and writing about the web since Tim Berners-Lee introduced it to the public in the early 1990s.

        Berners-Lee and other web pioneers intended for their creation to be decentralized and open-source. “The cyber-utopian view was not merely that seizing the means of information would make you free, but that failing to do so would put you in perpetual chains,” says Doctorow.

        There are many theories about why the web became centralized. Doctorow largely blames the abuse of intellectual property law to defeat the decentralized “free software” movement championed by the programmer and activist Richard Stallman. Stallman helped create the popular open-source operating system Linux after freely modifying Unix, Bell Labs’ proprietary system.

        But the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, became an impediment to the open and permissionless approach to software development. The law was intended to prevent duplication of copryrighted works and was eventually applied to all software. Breaking “digital locks” to learn from, interact with, and improve upon the code of dominant web platforms became a federal crime. It’s standard practice for today’s tech companies to shield their proprietary code from would-be competitors by wielding the power of an increasingly expansive intellectual property regime.

    • Monopolies

      • WeWork illustrates everything that’s wrong with the economy and with our capitalist system — and shows just how far that system has gone off the rails

        Engaging in such a strategy used to be illegal, and was known as predatory pricing. There are laws, like Robinson-Patman and the Clayton Act, which, if read properly and enforced, prohibit such conduct. The reason is very basic to capitalism. Capitalism works because companies that thrive take a bunch of inputs and create a product that is more valuable than the sum of its parts. That creates additional value, and in such a model companies have to compete by making better goods and services.

        What predatory pricing does is to enable competition purely based on access to capital. Someone like Neumann, and Son’s entire model with his Vision Fund, is to take inputs, combine them into products worth less than their cost, and plug up the deficit through the capital markets in hopes of acquiring market power later or of just self-dealing so the losses are placed onto someone else. This model has spread. Bird, the scooter company, is not making money. Uber and Lyft are similarly and systemically unprofitable. This model is catastrophic not just for individual companies, but for their competitors who have to *make* money. I’ve written about this problem before. Amazon has created a much less competitive and brittle retail sector. Netflix’s money-losing business is ruining Hollywood.

        Endless money-losing is a variant of counterfeiting, and counterfeiting has dangerous economic consequences. The subprime fiasco was one example. Another example was the Worldcom fraud in the late 1990s, which forced the rest of the U.S. telecom sector to over-invest into broadband. Competitors have to copy their fraudulent competitors. It’s a variant of Gresham’s Law, which says that “bad money drives out good.” If you can counterfeit something for cheap, the counterfeit will eventually take over the entire market and drive out the real commodity. That is what is happening in our economy writ large, a kind of counterfeit capitalism as ‘leaders’ like Neumann are celebrated and actual leaders who can make things and manage are treated like dogsh-t.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Patent case: Henny Penny Corporation v. Frymaster LLC, USA

          Substantial evidence supported the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s determination following inter partes review that a patent owned by Frymaster LLC for measuring cooking oil degradation in a deep fryer using a total polar materials (TPMs) sensor was not unpatentable as obvious, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held. The Board did not err in finding that additional complexity and decreased efficiency would have dissuaded a skilled artisan from integrating a prior art TPM sensor into a prior art apparatus for analyzing oil quality. Nonobviousness was also supported by evidence of industry praise highlighting the integrated innovative oil quality sensor in Frymaster’s electric fryers. Finally, the Board did not abuse its discretion by declining to consider an untimely argument made by the petitioner (Henny Penny Corporation v. Frymaster LLC, September 12, 2019, Lourie, A.).

        • Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          During prosecution of the application that issued as the ’077 patent, the USPTO issued a final Office action in which no claims were allowed, and the Examiner repeated the same § 103 rejections from the previous non-final Office action (and also presented new objections). Intra-Cellular responded on the three-month deadline, continuing to dispute the § 103 rejection using the same arguments that were previously found unpersuasive by the Examiner, and amending the claims to address other objections and rejections (including adding a new claim). The USPTO then issued an Advisory Action indicating that Intra-Cellular’s after-final response failed to overcome the § 103 rejection for “reasons of the record” (despite overcoming certain other rejections and objections). In the Advisory Action, the Examiner also suggested amending or cancelling certain claims to overcome the outstanding § 103 and § 112 rejections and new formality objection. Twenty-one days after filing its unsuccessful first response to the final Office action, Intra-Cellular filed a second response in which it overcame all outstanding rejections and objections by adopting the Examiner’s suggestions and cancelling or amending every rejected or objected to claim based on the Examiner’s positions. The USPTO issued a Notice of Allowance, and the ’077 patent was issued.

          In calculating PTA for the ’077 patent, the USPTO determined that the extra 21 days it took Intra-Cellular to file a successful response after the three-month deadline for responding to the final Office action constituted applicant delay. In particular, the USPTO determined that even though Intra-Cellular filed a response to the final Office action on the three-month deadline, that response did not constitute a proper “reply” under § 1.704(b). Intra-Cellular filed a complaint in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking judicial review of the USPTO’s PTA determination. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the USPTO, pointing out that “nothing in the plain language of the statute indicates that ‘reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution’ should be read to include an incomplete submission which fails to place the application in condition for allowance, but in some manner advances it closer to allowance.” Intra-Cellular appealed the District Court’s decision to the Federal Circuit.

          [...]

          The opinion also points out that “under Intra-Cellular’s interpretation, an applicant would be allowed to continue to liberally argue and make amendments without accruing applicant delay as long as it addressed all outstanding issues in the final Office action,” which “would give the applicant the benefits of an RCE (which re-opens prosecution) without the concomitant PTA reduction that comes with an RCE.”

          The opinion concludes by rejecting Intra-Cellular’s arguments against the permissibility of the Patent Office’s PTA determination, including that the USPTO’s PTA determination violates the Court’s holdings in Gilead Scis., Inc. v. Lee, 778 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2015), and Pfizer, Inc. v. Lee, 811 F.3d 466 (Fed. Cir. 2016); that the USPTO’s reading of the generic recitation of “reply” in § 1.704(b) to mean a “reply in compliance with § 1.113(c)” constituted “unfair surprise”; and that the USPTO’s interpretation conflicts with the USPTO’s promotion of various after-final “pilot” programs that encourage applicants to engage in further prosecution after a final Office action. The Federal Circuit therefore determined that the USPTO’s determination of applicant delay was supported by a permissible reading of the PTA statute, and found that the District Court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the USPTO.

      • Copyrights

        • Denmark Blocks Sci-Hub Plus Streaming, Torrent & YouTube-Ripping Sites

          Following legal action by anti-piracy group Rights Alliance and many rightsholders, 11 sites in various sectors have been deemed illegal. Among them are torrent site TorrentFunk, various streaming platforms, two YouTube-ripping services and popular scientific publication download sites Sci-Hub and Library Genesis.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  3. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

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  5. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

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  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

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  7. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

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  12. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

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  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

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  17. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

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  18. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

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  19. Media Coverage for Sale

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  24. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

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  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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  26. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

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  27. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

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  29. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

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  30. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

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