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10.02.19

Links 2/10/2019: Huawei MateBook on Sale With GNU/Linux, Release of GNU Screen 4.7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • GNU/Linux Communities at Mastodon Social Network

      Mastodon is a Twitter-like social network but unlike Twitter, it’s free software-based and federated. In order to support adoption of Mastodon, I make this list of GNU/Linux and FLOSS communities at Mastodon we can follow and talk to. As Mastodon is mostly new thing for everybody, below you can also learn most used terminology such as fediverse, toot (‘tweet’), boost (‘retweet’), etc. Let’s go!

      So you now know both. And if a community website shows a Mastodon logo, see KDE’s below for example, it means they have Mastodon, you can follow and talk to them there.

      Talking about terminology, while every Twitter user says tweet and retweet, every Mastodon user says toot and boost. In both, we also use follow, unfollow, and followers. But only in Mastodon we say federation and instance, meaning unlike Twitter, Mastodon is decentralized (no central company control) and we can register new account at any Mastodon server provided by any organization. A Mastodon user can follow and talk to user in any instance because in Mastodon not only users are connected but servers are also connected, that is federation.

    • Microsoft Surface Duo shows Linux is the future — not Windows

      Windows is a massive failure — in the mobile world, at least. Microsoft should have been a dominant force in smartphones and tablets, but no, it let Apple and Google eat its lunch with iPhone and Android. While Windows 10 is still a decent enough desktop operating system that keeps chugging along, Windows Phone died a bloody death — consumers barely paid attention to it. Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile were utter embarrassments for Microsoft.

      What can Microsoft do to save its mobile dreams? Turn to Linux, of course. Yes, with the upcoming Surface Duo smartphone (you can read about the dual-screen device here), Microsoft will be using the Linux-based Android operating system. This is a smart business move, but it must be absolute hell for the Microsoft faithful — if Bill Gates was dead, he would be spinning in his grave.

    • Desktop

      • Huawei MateBook series Linux version goes on sale today

        Huawei recently released the Linux version of its MateBook series. Now, the Huawei MateBook series Linux version is officially available for purchase. This series includes the MateBook 13, MateBook 14 and MateBook X Pro, starting at 5399 yuan ($755). According to the official introduction, the Linux system is an open-source operating system, usually used by developers or people who know the system.

    • Server

      • Top 20 Best Linux Mail Server Software and Solutions in 2019

        The E-mail has proved to be the fastest and reliable communication medium of our time. From businesses to individuals, we all rely on e-mails due to the convenience they offer. If you ever wondered how computers send these seemingly simple messages over the network, then follow us through this guide. At the heart of e-mail communication, there are mainly two software components, namely the mail server and mail client. The mail server is responsible for transmitting e-mails from node to node on a network, typically the Internet. And the client allows users in retrieving these mails. In this guide, we’ll solely focus on Linux mail server. Check out our another guide to learn more about various Linux mail clients.

      • No Matter What You’ve Heard, the Docker Container Ship Is Not Sinking

        According to some press reports around a leaked memo from Docker’s CEO to its employees, the open source company that all but invented the container technology boosting cloud growth for the last five years or so is facing hard times. Although the memo does indicate that the company is needing some cash to tide it over or help it expand, the situation doesn’t seem to indicate that the Docker container can’t weather the storm.

        “As shared at the last all hands (meeting), we have been engaging with investors to secure more financing to continue to execute on our strategy,” Rob Bearden, Docker’s CEO since May, wrote in an email sent to company employees. “I wanted to share a quick update on where we stand. We are currently in active negotiations with two investors and are working through final terms. We should be able to provide you a more complete update within the next couple of weeks.”

      • IBM

        • What is CentOS 8 Stream

          CentOS is one of the best and most popular server operating system. It is basically a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS has the same set of tools and softwares as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS just does not come with any commercial support from Red Hat as in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). If anything goes wrong on your CentOS server, you fix it yourself or hire someone to fix it in your place, no official support.
          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 was released in May, 2019. If you’re like me, waiting for the new CentOS release, then this is your lucky day. CentOS 8 released a few days ago. You can download CentOS 8 from the official website of CentOS.

          When I heard the news (Release of CentOS 8), I visited the official website of CentOS to download CentOS 8. I surprisingly found a link to CentOS 8 Stream. What CentOS 8 Stream is for? Why a new CentOS 8?

        • Apache Camel Language support in CodeMirror

          In a previous article, I mentioned the growing set of supported IDEs/editors for the Apache Camel language. I’m happy to announce that this set has grown again. It is now possible to use CodeMirror with Apache Camel. CodeMirror is a lightweight, embeddable editor for web browsers.

        • [IBM's James Bottomley] Retro Engineering: Updating a Nexus One for the modern world

          A few of you who’ve met me know that my current Android phone is an ancient Nexus One. I like it partly because of the small form factor, partly because I’ve re-engineered pieces of the CyanogneMod OS it runs to suit me and can’t be bothered to keep upporting to newer versions and partly because it annoys a lot of people in the Open Source Community who believe everyone should always be using the latest greatest everything. Actually, the last reason is why, although the Nexus One I currently run is the original google gave me way back in 2010, various people have donated a stack of them to me just in case I might need a replacement.

          However, the principle problem with running one of these ancient beasts is that they cannot, due to various flash sizing problems, run anything later than Android 2.3.7 (or CyanogenMod 7.1.0) and since the OpenSSL in that is ancient, it won’t run any TLS protocol beyond 1.0 so with the rush to move to encryption and secure the web, more and more websites are disallowing the old (and, lets admit it, buggy) TLS 1.0 protocol, meaning more and more of the web is steadily going dark to my mobile browser. It’s reached the point where simply to get a boarding card, I have to download the web page from my desktop and transfer it manually to the phone. This started as an annoyance, but it’s becoming a major headache as the last of the websites I still use for mobile service go dark to me. So the task I set myself is to fix this by adding the newer protocols to my phone … I’m an open source developer, I have the source code, it should be easy, right …?

        • Quay V3.1 Release Update with Bill Dettelback and Tom McKay – OpenShift Commons Briefing

          In this briefing, Bill Dettelback, Red Hat’s Quay Engineering Manager and Tom McKay, Engineer Lead for Quay walk through Quay v3.1’s features, give a short demo of the new features and discuss the road map for future Quay releases, including a progress update on the open sourcing of Quay.

        • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Announcement: Change of Venue

          This week of September 30th marks my last week at IBM, and I couldn’t be more excited to be moving on to the next phase of my career by joining a great team at Facebook! Yes, yes, I am bringing with me my maintainership of both Linux-kernel RCU and the Linux-kernel memory model, my editing of “Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?”, and other similar items, just in case you were wondering. ;-)

          Of course, it is only appropriate for me to express my gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful colleagues at IBM, before that at Sequent, and more recently at Red Hat. Together with others in the various communities, we in our own modest way have changed the world several times over. It was a great honor and privilege to have worked with you, and I expect and hope that our path will cross again. For those in the Linux-kernel and C/C++ standards communities, our paths will continue to run quite closely, and I look forward to continued productive and enjoyable collaborations.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 318.5 – Syncing Files

        In our Innards section, we cover backups like Rsync, Nextcloud and some underlying storage.

      • Linux Lockdown, CentOS Stream, Patent Trolls, Ubuntu, Lakka, KDE Plasma | This Week in Linux 83

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ll talk about the new Lockdon feature in the Linux Kernel that is coming. We’ve got a lot of Distro News this week with Red Hat announcing CentOS Stream, SolydXK 10, Lakka 2.3.1. Ubuntu has revealed their plans for the 32-Bit Support in Ubuntu going forward.

      • 10/01/2019 | Linux Headlines

        A major release for Google’s popular ML library TensorFlow, new web dev video shorts from Mozilla, faster Rust builds, and a LibreOffice anniversary competition.

      • Fresh Install Feels | LINUX Unplugged 321

        What makes a fresh install of Linux perfect? We ask our panel and share a few tools, tips, and habits that make our Linux installs perfect.

        Plus the big little updates coming to Ubuntu MATE, some Pi pontification, and some significant changes for Wireguard.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Reveals USB 4 Linux Kernel Support Patches

        Intel revealed USB4 patches to the Linux kernel mailing list on Tuesday. If approved, these patches will provide basic USB4 support to the Linux kernel.

        The USB Implementers Forum first announced USB4 specs in early September. Some of the new features include 40 Gbps maximum speed, some backward compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 devices and USB Type-C Port support. Here you’ll find everything we know about USB4.

        Phoronix initially reported on the patches. There are 22 total to help provide USB4 support. The new support code is essentially re-using the kernel’s Thunderbolt drive.

        A big concern is the lack of proper power management support. The new code does, however, provide DisplayPort, PCIe and USB 3.x tunneling. You can also expect P2P networking and other fundamental components.

      • A New Linux Memory Controller Promises to Save Lots of RAM

        Slab allocation is a form of memory management, within the Linux kernel, used with the intention of making memory allocation of objects efficient. This type of memory management reduces fragmentation caused by allocations and deallocations. Slab allocation retains allocated memory for reuse upon subsequent allocations of similar objects and provides a lower overhead cost of object initialization.

        Slab allocation involves a cache for a certain type/size of object. That cache has a number of pre-allocated “slabs” of memory, chunked into fixed sizes that are suitable for specific objects. Within the kernel, there’s a slab allocator that manages the chunks such that when it (the kernel) receives a request to allocate memory for an object, it can satisfy that request with a free chunk from an existing slab.

      • Intel Sends Out Initial USB 4.0 Support For The Linux Kernel

        Intel open-source engineers have sent out their initial patches wiring up USB 4.0 support for the Linux kernel.

        Volleyed just a few minutes ago to the Linux kernel mailing list were the initial 22 patches providing the basic USB 4.0 support. USB 4 support in its present form was less than four thousand lines of new kernel code. The bring-up isn’t too dramatic and the L.O.C. delta relatively small since USB4 is based on Thunderbolt and thus re-using the kernel’s existing Thunderbolt driver code.

        It was just last month that the USB 4.0 specification was officially published. USB 4.0 allows two-lane operation on existing Type-C cabling and up to 40 Gbps on certified cables while retaining backwards compatibility with USB3/USB2 and Thunderbolt 3.

      • A New Slab Memory Controller For Linux
      • Graphics Stack

        • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Focusing On Bettering The Arm Midgard Support

          While there hasn’t been too much to write on it in recent weeks, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver within Mesa for Arm Midgard/Bifrost graphics continues chugging along. The latest work on it is switching over to a new scheduler for Midgard.

          If using a Midgard GPU, a.k.a. the Mali T604 through T880, that seems to be the recent focus of lead Panfrost developer Alyssa Rosenzweig.

        • GCC Is Potentially Months From Seeing Radeon OpenMP 4.5 / OpenACC 2.6 GPU Offloading

          At last month’s GNU Tools Cauldron was an update on the Radeon GCN back-end state for the GCC compiler, which is likely to see more code land around year’s end.

          Merged for GCC 9 was the initial Radeon GCN back-end for targeting AMD GPUs from the GNU Compilers Collection as an alternative to their long-standing AMDGPU LLVM compiler support. With GCC 9 the Radeon GCN support was limited, but for next year’s GCC 10 support it should be in better shape. They have a path forward to make it quite capable, but it might not all land in time for GCC 10.

    • Benchmarks

      • GeForce RTX SUPER Linux Compute Performance – 18 GPU NVIDIA OpenCL Comparison

        Last week we began our belated NVIDIA GeForce RTX SUPER benchmarking by looking at the RTX 2060 / 2070 / 2080 SUPER Linux gaming performance in a 26-way graphics card comparison. For those more interested in the RTX SUPER graphics cards for their OpenCL compute performance potential, these benchmarks today are for you.

        This article provides a look at the compute performance potential for these newest NVIDIA graphics cards. Given the workloads and AMD still not providing any Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) support for their newest Navi graphics cards, this comparison is just looking at the NVIDIA compute potential between the Maxwell / Pascal / Turing line-ups. You can treat this as a reference comparison and for those curious about the generational power efficiency / performance-per-Watt and other metrics.

      • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K Performance In 400+ Benchmarks

        Given the recent AMD “ABBA” Ryzen 3000 boost fix, the upcoming release of Ubuntu 19.10 powered by Linux 5.3, here is a fresh round of AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K benchmarks in a side-by-side matchup . It’s just not any comparison but our largest i9-9900K vs. 3900X comparison ever: 112 gaming benchmarks and 321 system/CPU benchmarks carried out for our most extensive look yet at how these ~$500 CPUs are competing in this fierce race.

        This round of Core i9 9900K vs. Ryzen 9 3900X benchmarking was done while both systems were running the latest daily release of Ubuntu 19.10 powered by the Linux 5.3 kernel, which itself brought some nice performance-related work over previous kernels. Ubuntu 19.10 is also now running GNOME 3.34.0 that can make a difference for some gaming benchmarks while its default driver stack is currently on Mesa 19.1.6.

        The Core i9 9900K was running with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard and the Ryzen 9 3900X with the ROG CROSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard, both boards using their very latest public BIOS releases as of testing. Both systems were tested with the same GSKILL 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, 280GB Intel Optane 900p NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card. The RX Vega 64 was used over the Radeon RX 5700 series due to Ubuntu 19.10′s older Mesa build not having Navi support and the Navi support in general still maturing and recommended for use with Mesa 19.3-devel, so with this not being a graphics card comparison anyhow, the RX Vega 64 was the safer and more accurate card to use for this round of testing.

    • Applications

      • OverGrive is the Linux Google Drive client you’ve been waiting for

        If there’s one piece of advice I always give Google Drive power users it’s that they should make sure to back up their data. Period. Yes, it should be assumed that Google has your back. After all, they are a massive company, storying enormous amounts of data in the cloud. However, you simply never know when disaster might strike. And it does strike. Should that occur, you’ll be relieved to know you have a backup copy of your data.

        But how do you backup a Google Drive cloud account? For Windows and macOS users, there’s the official Google Drive desktop client. For Linux users, there are a few options, many of which are not truly viable for business or other types of Google Drive power users. That brings me to Insync. I’ve been using that tool for quite some time, with fairly good results. However, upon upgrading from version 1.x to 3.x, my Insync license was invalidated. Being the paranoid person I am (and always wanting to make sure I have a backup), I sent them a message with the assumption they wouldn’t get back to me right away. And so, I went in search of a replacement.

      • Cairo Dock review – The dock is in the detail

        Cairo Dock is feature-rich, no scratch that, feature-ultra-rich dock software that allows you to adorn your desktop with any number of docks, however custom and fancy you like, replete with their own individual behavior, animations, themes, icons, and applets. Not for the weak or the impatient. But it surely does more than pretty much any other dock program out there. Very cool.

        And yet, therein lies its weakness. Most people, if they need a dock, only want something simple and elegant. They want consistent behavior and pleasant, integrated theming. When it comes to using an Xfce desktop that has a dock-like behavior, Cairo provides the best (and only viable results), but it’s also super-complicated and there are some outstanding visual issues that you just can’t work around easily. In general, Cairo does wonders, it’s a really mighty dock tool, but it’s perhaps too powerful for its own good. Still, I think it’s definitely worth using and testing, and I hope it will remain around, and maybe even get some fresh, modern themes. We’re done.

      • Cawbird is a GTK Twitter Client for Linux (That Should Look Very Familiar)

        The Corebird Twitter client for Linux was one of my favourite desktop apps so I was pretty bummed when Twitter API changes effectively put the app out of action last year.

        But nothing is ever really “gone” in open source, is it?

        And lo, the soul of Corebird (its code) lives on in the regenerated form of Cawbird, a Corebird fork with big ambitions for the future.

        In this post we take a look at Cawbird, how it differs from Corebird, and how you can install it in Ubuntu to try it out for yourself.

      • File Commander is an open source file manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

        We have seen some retro-like file managers in the past. Let’s take a look at File Commander, another file management tool.

        Its interface may look familiar if you have used Total Commander or any of the other “commanders” that are available. In fact the developer has mentioned it is inspired by Total Commander, and it kind of looks cleaner without the toolbars.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The huge sounding EVERSPACE 2 from ROCKFISH Games is now live on Kickstarter

        The day is upon on us as the massive new space shooter with deep exploration, EVERSPACE 2, is now live on Kickstarter.

        Following on from the original which supports Linux, as we wrote about before ROCKFISH Games will be continuing to support Linux with this much expanded sequel.

      • Midweek tip – Lethal League is an amusing competitive projectile fighting game available on Linux

        Here’s a game that we’ve never really talked about here but that ends today. The competitive projectile fighting game, Lethal League, is a huge amount of fun. Developed by Team Reptile, it originally released on Steam back in 2014. They actually later released a Linux version much later in the middle of 2015.

        I’m not entirely sure how we missed properly covering such a fantastic game. Seriously, it’s a riot! You and three others face off in a simple arena with an anti-gravity ball floating around you need to smack into others. The idea alone is somewhat hilarious and the gameplay is fantastic.

      • Valve are doing their own big charity sale for One Gamer Fund

        Much like Humble are doing with the Humble One Special Day Bundle 2019, Valve have just launched their own charity sale for One Gamer Fund.

        One Gamer Fund is a partnership between seven charities: Games for Change, Take This, Stack up, The AbleGamers Charity, Child’s Play, IGDA Foundation and the Global Game Jam. More info about the organisation can be seen on the official site.

      • Dying Light has another update with a new enemy and previously exclusive weapons open to everyone

        Techland have once again updated their fantastic open-world Zombie action game Dying Light, this time with a few new bits for everyone to play with.

        Like the last content update which added in the Silver Hazmat Zombie, Dying Light 1.2 gives us another new enemy with the Gasmask Demolisher. A powerful variant of probably the biggest enemy in the game so if you come across it be sure you’re fully stocked up medkits. They’re not a common infected type, so they may take a bit of finding. If you head to Old Town, they can be found in more closed-off arena-like areas.

      • A Beginner’s Guide To Playing Games On Linux, Part 1: Enjoying Your Steam Library

        I’m a Linux advocate, but I’m also a realist. Anyone who tells you it’s possible to play “everything” on Linux simply isn’t telling the truth. Are there literally thousands of Windows-exclusive titles that will run on the majority of Linux distributions without hassle? You bet. Plus there are thousands of native Linux titles.

        Yes, you can even play the majority of games from EA’s Origin, Ubisoft’s UPlay and Blizzard’s Battle.net platforms. Typically, you’ll find that games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, Gears 5 and other releases that incorporate certain DRM (Denuvo) and anti-cheat tools (Easy Anti-Cheat) will present the biggest headaches. For now, these are unplayable – although Valve and Codeweavers are working diligently on solutions.

        My advice is this: If you’ve considered jumping from Windows to Linux but gaming is holding you back, make the switch and keep your Windows installation (this is called dual-booting). You’ll enjoy spending the majority of your time on a responsive, privacy-respecting operating system that doesn’t slow down over time, never plagues you with unexpected updates or constant nags, and lets you truly personalize every aspect of your desktop.

        For those games that just won’t run on Linux? Boot back into Windows. I certainly won’t judge you on that, because sometimes I do the same thing for those games I simply can’t live without.

        Ok, now that expectations have been set, let’s start the journey.

      • Steam Linux Marketshare Ticks Up Higher For September

        The Steam Linux marketshare measurement for September ticked up slightly and to the highest point we have seen in a a number of months.

        Valve is reporting the Steam Linux marketshare for the past coming in at 0.83%. It’s still below the 1% threshold that Steam on Linux has been battling for a while, but at least one of the better numbers. In comparison, one year ago the September 2018 numbers were at around 0.71%.

      • The clever Steam ‘Deep Dive’ experiment has a big update with a new matching system

        One of the current experiments in Steam Labs is called Deep Dive, which Valve worked with game developer Lars Doucet to create. It’s a really cool idea and it got a nice big update recently.

      • Athenaeum, the FOSS game launcher and updater has a big new release

        Athenaeum, which is described as a “libre replacement for Steam” by the developer just recently had a big new release out.

        Okay, so what exactly does it do? It’s basically a front-end for Flathub and so all games are installed using Flatpak. Quite a handy application though, a little nicer than using the command-line or browsing the Flathub website directly. It may eventually grow into something bigger but for now it seems to do the basic job of managing FOSS games quite nicely.

      • Paradox are updating Crusader Kings II to bring 64bit support, plus a new Paradox game coming

        After being quiet about it for a while, Paradox are once again updating their rather old strategy game Crusader Kings II.

        The last patch for this 2012 grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio and Paradox Interactive was back in June and that was quite small. However, it did have a major update only in May with Crusader Kings II: 3.2 Iron Century.

        Now we have a brand new update currently available for Beta testing 3.2.2, which brings full 64bit support for Crusader Kings II. Something important to note is that when the update is live, Paradox will no longer support 32bit for Crusader Kings II. If you own it, you can opt into the open Beta for it on Steam and report issues to help make the Linux version nice and stable.

      • Party-based tactical RPG ‘Zoria: Age of Shattering’ is launching for Linux this November

        Build a party of strong heroes and deal with all the horrors that await in the fantasy world of Zoria. The Steam page recently went live, it looks good and it’s coming to Linux.

        Currently in development by Tiny Trinket Games, who previously released the positively rated Azuran Tales: Trials which did not have Linux support so it’s fun to see them do Linux for their brand new game. On Steam it already has system requirements up and they confirmed Linux on Twitter too.

      • Skeletal Dance Party has another big free update coming out for Halloween

        Well this is quite appropriate isn’t it? Skeletal Dance Party, an amusing game about raising the dead and dancing is getting a big free update this month for Halloween.

      • The Humble One Special Day Bundle 2019 has a solid Linux selection

        Humble are once again doing a game bundle in support of SpecialEffect’s One Special Day fundraising event, a really great charity worth supporting and the Linux games in the bundle are a good choice too.

      • The super relaxing building and crafting RPG ‘Littlewood’ now has a Monster card game

        Not played it yet? Littlewood was inspired by the likes of Animal Crossing, Dark Cloud and some classic bits of Runescape. It could also be compared with Stardew Valley, although it does have a very different look and feel a lot of the basics are the same. Littlewood is one of those reasonably rare super sweet experiences that can help you relax as you just zone out and appreciate the joyful atmosphere of it.

      • Psyonix have announced what is replacing Rocket League loot boxes and it sounds reasonable

        One change I am particularly happy about is Rocket League removing all loot box gambling and Psyonix have now announced it’s happening in December along with what will replace it.

        When writing about their original announcement back in August, I suggested they might replace loot boxes with a still randomized system but you would see the contents and an item shop. Guess what? I was right.

        Instead of loot boxes, they will have a Blueprint system. It will be a random drop and possibly have special attributes but you know exactly what it is. There will also be a dedicated rotating item shop to buy items from, with a new Credits premium currency that will be used for basically everything including making items from Blueprints, upgrading to the Premium Rocket Pass and buying from the shop.

      • 3 command line games for learning Bash the fun way

        Learning is hard work, and nobody likes work. That means no matter how easy it is to learn Bash, it still might feel like work to you. Unless, of course, you learn through gaming.

        You wouldn’t think there would be many games out there to teach you how to use a Bash terminal, and you’d be right. Serious PC gamers know that the Fallout series features terminal-based computers in the vaults, which helps normalize the idea of interfacing with a computer through text, but in spite of featuring applications more or less like Alpine or Emacs, playing Fallout doesn’t teach you commands or applications you can use in real life. The Fallout series was never ported to Linux directly (although it is playable through Steam’s open source Proton. The modern entries into the Wasteland series that served as predecessors to Fallout, however, do target Linux, so if you want to experience in-game terminals, you can play Wasteland 2 and Wasteland 3 on your Linux gaming PC. The Shadowrun series also targets Linux, and it features a lot of terminal-based interactions, although it’s admittedly often overshadowed by blazing hot sim sequences.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kube 0.8.0 is out!

          After a waaaaaay to long “break” I have finally tagged another release.

          The largest change in this release is the addition of the calendar view, which is not only useful, but also marks an important milestone in our development roadmap; We finally have all the pieces together from a technology perspective.

          The work done so far solves most of the important challenges, but there are also definitely a couple of holes in it still, such as no drag and drop support.

        • Test Plasma 5.17 Beta

          Plasma 5.17 Beta is out for testing and it needs you to give it a try. Do the panels show up where they should? Can you control your media players from the task manager? Do the obscure plasmoids you like still work? Download the KDE neon Testing edition ISO now to give it a try.

        • The Planet is on Reddit

          For many years planet.kde.org was the goto page for news around KDE. This is still the case nowadays – many KDE contributors have their blog synchronized to talk about all sorts of KDE related cool stuff.

          However, what changed significantly is how these blogs are discussed afterwards.

          In the old days each blog typically had its own comment section. Nowadays, blogs may still have this comment section, but most of the time the blogs are discussed in the respective reddit subgroup. For instance, a popular subreddit is reddit/r/kde. There, you can find many KDE developers as well as many KDE users, giving direct feedback, asking questions, sometimes mentioning bug reports. While KDE of course has a dedicated bug tracker bugzilla that should be used, discussing a bug or wish on reddit often reaches a broader audience, putting some focus on specific bugs.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GUADEC 2019

          Meeting my fellow GNOMies is something I look forward to every year. For eight years now I have traveled to participate in GUADEC and returned home with my head thinking of next year’s edition of the conference.

          This year, I was busy with lots of activities, but still, I managed to chill with the friends I work with online throughout the whole year. Putting faces into new names is also something very pleasant in these opportunities.

          In the pre-registration party, I hosted a “Newcomers dinner“. Not many people could attend because of their personal travel plans, but those that participated were excited about being at the conference and getting to know so many cool people.

          Besides that, it was the first GUADEC that we had a trained Code of Conduct Incident Response Team. We did an extensive training workshop with Otter Tech. Highly recommended!

          Right at the first talks day, I hosted the interns’ lightning talks, that thanks to the amazing local team, are recorded and available online. The audience (and myself) were enthusiastic about hearing from the interns. After a few years of organizing these activities, I can still remember myself being an intern and giving my lightning talk back in 2012. Time flies!

        • VDA 0.90 Beta 1 Released

          Vala Data Access library has reached a 0.90 Beta 1 release.

          VDA provides a set of interfaces to wraps database connection, execution of SQL commands and access to returned values of the queries. Read the previous introduction post.

        • Ismael Olea: A new time and life next steps

          Since the beginning of my career in 1998 I’ve been related with Linux and opensource in me or other way. From sysadmin I grow to distro making, hardware certification and finally consulting, plus some other added skills. Parallel I developed a personal career in libre software communities and got the privilege to give lots of talks particularly in Spain and Ibero-America. That was a big time. All this stopped in 2011 with the combination of the big economic crisis in Spain and a personal psychological situation. All lead me to go back from Madrid to my home city, Almería, to look for health recovering. Now, after several years here I’m ready to take a new step and reboot my career.

          Not all this time has been wasted. I dedicated lots of hours to a new project which in several senses has been the inverse of the typical practices in opensource communities. Indeed, I’ve tried to apply most of them but instead in the world-wide Internet now with a 100% hyper-local focus. This mean working in the context of a medium-small city (less than 200k inhabitants) with intensive in-person meetings and Internet communications support. Not all the results has been as successful as I pretended, probably because I kept very big expectations; as Antonio Gramsci said «I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will» :-) The effort was developed in what we named HackLab Almería and some time ago I wrote a recap about my experience. To me was both an experiment and a recovering therapy.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Arch Family

        • First Arch Linux ISO Powered by Linux Kernel 5.3 Is Now Available for Download

          The Arch Linux 2019.10.01 ISO snapshot for October 2019 has been released and it features a brand-new kernel, namely Linux 5.3, which hit the streets last month on September 15th with many new features, including support for the Intel Speed Select to more easily tune some Xeon servers and support for AMD Radeon Navi GPUs in the AMDGPU driver.

          The Linux kernel 5.3 series also introduces support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs, support for 16 millions new IPv4 addresses in the 0.0.0.0/8 range, support for the flexible and lightweight ACRN embedded hypervisor, support for using the clamping mechanism in power-asymmetric processors, as well as support for the umwait x86 instructions for a more power efficient userspace.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Beta Installation and Overview

          I like what Canonical has done with the 19.10 Beta Linux distro and look forward to the final release later this month. During my limited testing, I encountered no issues, problems, or errors. While I’m happy with my current Linux distro, I can easily see myself switching to Ubuntu 19.10 should I ever have any issues.

          It’s easy to see why the Ubuntu distro is always in the top five most popular Linux distros on distrowatch.org.

          I will definitely use it as the distro I install for family, friends, and clients looking to move away from Windows and take the Linux plunge. It is a stable, viable distro for Linux newbies and experts alike.

          According to the Ubuntu wiki, the official release date for Ubuntu 19.10 – Eoan Ermine is set for October 17, 2019.

        • Ubuntu Server team update (Sprint edition) – 23 September 2019

          Last week the Canonical Ubuntu Server team as well as nearly all the other engineering teams were in Paris having a sprint. This is a week long time for the teams to come together face to face. During the time large pushes on various efforts are made, the teams review processes and procedures, and make decisions for how work will be done for the next 6 months.

          I do not expect there to be too many replies to this thread since we were all in a room talking to each other for the most part, but I invite the team to provide some decisions that were made or other things that they were able to accomplish during their time last week.

        • PHP 7.3 Is In Ubuntu 19.10, PHP 7.4 Hopefully Will Make It Into Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          One of the benefits of upgrading to Ubuntu Server 19.10 this month is for a newer version of PHP7 providing new features and better performance. While that took close to one year to land PHP 7.3 in Ubuntu 19.10, it looks like next spring’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be pulling in PHP 7.4 that is shipping later this year.

          Bryce Harrington is back working at Canonical following the demise of Samsung’s Open-Source Group. Bryce shared that over the past month he’s been transitioning Ubuntu over to PHP 7.3. At the end of September, PHP 7.2 was finally able to be removed from the Eoan archive.

        • Linux Mint Shares Update on Its New “Modern” Logo
        • Linux Mint new logo revealed, LMDE 4 to be named Debbie

          The Linux Mint Monthly newsletter for September has been posted, and we’ve gotten to know some crucial details about the future of Linux Mint and LMDE 4.

          For those of you who don’t know, Linux Mint releases a newsletter each month for updating its users about what’s currently going on in the Mint world.

          One of the main highlights of this month’s progress is a new logo. Yes, you read correctly, the Mint team has been working on creating a new logo for its brand that has the same old ‘LM’ shape. The letters are joined together, and there is no surrounding leaf. You can have a look at some of the different variations of the new logo in the following image…

        • IBM and Canonical work together in financial services

          Yes, IBM bought Red Hat, but as Chris Wright, Red Hat’s CTO, recently told me, “We’re fundamentally a separate entity from IBM.” Want proof of that? In NYC, Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, and Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM Z and LinuxONE, jointly hosted an event for senior IT financial services executives.

          There, they told the managers about the advantages of running financial services on mainframe cloud systems based on Ubuntu Linux. Why? After all, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) runs just as well on the Z series as Ubuntu Linux. In an interview, Shuttleworth explained, “Customers want the security of the mainframe and the flexibility of Ubuntu. Some ask for Ubuntu and Z and IBM gives them that option.”

          Even after the Red Hat acquisition, “We’re comfortable working with IBM,” said Shuttleworth “We continue to have active projects with Z, Power, and IBM Cloud. Ubuntu is growing in all these platforms.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud 17 Features Remote Wipe

        Nextcloud 17 is now available with a number of security features including remote wipe, a collaborative text editor and significant updates to secure view like enforcable watermarks based on tags, groups and more.

      • Events

        • Updates: ActivityPub Conference, and more

          First of all, ActivityPub Conf happened and was a big success! The video team got things recorded an uploaded so you can watch talks from the event, including my keynote (the audio quality is a bit messed up on this one, the others are better) and Mark Miller’s keynote. The other talks were all also very excellent; I’m not going to iterate them all here because you can already go watch them! I think you will find there are many thematic threads between the videos.

          We had about 40 people at the event; the first day was spent on talks and the second day was an “unconference” where groups self-organized to discuss various topics of mutual interest. One common thread was about the kinds of directions I’ve been pushing for in Spritely: distributed encrypted storage (Datashards, with Serge Wroclawski leading the conversation on that), object capabilities (OcapPub), stamps, etc. It was interesting to watch from the start to the end of the unconference day; particularly, the Pleroma folks were there and gave a lot of feedback. Towards the start of the day I think there was much more skepticism, but towards the end we were hearing belief and interest that these kinds of things could and should be implemented and would be of real use to fediverse participants. Lain of Pleroma in particular expressed that it helped to realize that even though I’m presenting all these ideas, they don’t need to be implemented all at once; we can take them on piecemeal, and incrementalism is a perfectly valid approach. (Also “OcapPub” sounds like a new protocol, whereas it’s really just a way-to-use ActivityPub mostly as it already exists. Maybe time for a new name for that?)

          Anyway, ActivityPub Conf was a massive success; thank you everyone who came and participated. It’s clear after APConf to me just how much of a difference getting folks together can make. For those who couldn’t make it, let’s thank the video team (DeeAnn Little, Sebastian Lasse, Markus Feilner) for getting those videos up!

          On the topic of Datashards, we have a website and a nice logo now (courtesy of mray, who also made the ActivityPub logo). Serge Wroclawski (co-host with myself of Libre Lounge) has been increasingly helping with the project; before ActivityPub Conference and Rebooting Web of Trust we worked to make sure both of our implementations could talk to each other (Serge’s Python implementation and my Racket implementation). At RWoT we showed a demo where I “beamed” the death star plans to Serge’s computer. (We used the same content storage server, I uploaded the death star plans, rendered the QR code on my laptop, Serge scanned the QR code from his laptop, downloaded the file and showed off the plans from his computer… with the storage server having no idea about the contents of the data we were storing there!) People really liked that demo; we have had conversations about whether Datashards may serve as a foundational system for some other tools being made in that space; more later. In the meanwhile, I’m happy we have two applications in two different languages successfully being able to read and write each others’ immutable datashards updates; the next step is making sure that mutability works the same.

        • Christopher Allan Webber: ActivityPub Conf 2019 Speakers

          Good news everyone! The speaker list for ActivityPub Conf 2019 is here! (In this document, below, but also in ODT and PDF formats.)

        • Join us in Boston to fight DRM and get crafty! October 9 & 12

          The International Day against DRM (IDAD), organized yearly by the Defective by Design campaign, is promising to be an exciting day of protest against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). This year we are standing up for readers’ rights against the restrictive behavior of DRM-encumbered textbooks and digital learning environments from groups like Pearson, and our protestors will collect at the Pearson Education offices in Boston on October 12th, 2019.

          The day’s success is dependent on the amount of people showing up, and, of course, on the visuals that we provide to supplement our message. And so, we’re inviting you to our sign-making party at 17:30 on October 9th, at the Free Software Foundation (FSF) office in downtown Boston! We will provide refreshments, art materials, and instructions to make your own protest signs, so all you have to do is join in the fun!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Why is CSS so Weird?

            CSS is the design language of the web — one of three core web languages — but it also seems to be the most contentious and often perplexing. It’s too easy and too hard, too fragile and too resilient. Love it or hate it, CSS is weird: not quite markup, not quite programming in the common (imperative) sense, and nothing like the design programs we use for print. How did we get here?

            I’ve seen some people claim that “CSS is for documents” — as though HTML and JavaScript weren’t also originally for documents. The entire web was for documents, but that hasn’t stopped us from pushing the medium to new extremes. This is a young platform, and all the core languages are growing fast, with CSS advancing leaps and bounds over the last few years.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 306

            Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Friend of Add-ons: B.J. Herbison

            Please meet our newest Friend of Add-ons, B.J. Herbison! B.J. is a longtime Mozillian and joined add-on content review team for addons.mozilla.org two years ago, where he helps quickly respond to spam submissions and ensures that public listings abide by Mozilla’s Acceptable Use Policy.

            A software developer with a knack for finding bugs, B.J. is an avid user of ASan Nightly and is passionate about improving open source software. “The best experience is when I catch a bug in Nightly and it gets fixed before that code ships,” B.J. says. “It doesn’t happen every month, but it happens enough to feel good.”

          • Docker, some notes

            We converted webcompat.com to Python 3, which included reconfiguring a couple of things on the server itself with nginx, uwsgi and so on. Let’s say modernizing everything. As an aside, I would say that our unit tests made the code conversion to python 3 quite smooth. That was a good surprise. In the process, I started to wonder if it would make it easier for us to switch to Docker and containers. These are my notes trying to educate myself about the topic. They are probably naive for some of the readers but might be useful for others. They will also become handy for this 2019Q4 OKR.

      • Databases

        • PostgreSQL 12 Due Out Tomorrow With Better Performance

          Tomorrow is when PostgreSQL 12.0 should meet the world for this popular open-source SQL database server.

          PostgreSQL 12.0 furthers their never-ending quest for better performance. Some of the optimizations for PostgreSQL 12 include better space utilization and read/write performance for B-tree indexes, better partitioning performance, automatic inlining of common table expressions, reduced WAL overhead, and other work.

      • CMS

        • The Month in WordPress: September 2019

          Early in September, version 5.2.3 of WordPress was released as a security and maintenance release. Sixty-two individuals contributed to its 29 fixes and enhancements.

          The security issues fixed in this release owe thanks to numerous people who disclosed them responsibly. You can read more about the vulnerability reporting process in the Core handbook.

          Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • Call for testing: OpenSSH 8.1

          OpenSSH 8.1p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This is a bugfix release.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Nomenclature: poke, Poke and pickles

          GNU poke is a pretty new program and it introduces many a new concept. As people are starting to join the development, I think it is a good idea to clarify how I call things. The idea is for everyone to use the same nomenclature when referring to pokeish thingies. Otherwise its gonna get very confusing very soon!

          First of all we have poke, the program. Since “poke” is a common Engligh word, when the context is not clear we either use the full denomination GNU poke, or quote the word using some other mean.

        • GNU Screen v.4.7.0
          I'm announcing availability of GNU Screen v.4.7.0 
          This release 
            * Adds support for SGR (1006) mouse mode 
            * Adds support for OSC 11 
            * Updates Unicode ambiguous and wide tables to 12.1.0 
            * Fixes: 
            - cross-compilation support (bug #43223) 
            - a lot of manpage fixes and cleanups 
          Release is available for download at: 
          
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/screen/
          
          or your closest mirror (may have some delay) 
          
          https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/screen/
          
          Please report any bugs or regressions.
          
          
        • Screen Command – Beginners Guide to Terminal Multiplexing

          The Linux Screen utility allows you to run several login sessions inside a single terminal display. There are many benefits to using screen like the ability to detach and reattach sessions, and allowing remote processes to continue after you have disconnected from a system. This is known as terminal multiplexing.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python 3.8.0rc1

          This release, 3.8.0rc1, is the final planned release preview. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-10-14, the scheduled release date for 3.8.0, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release.

        • Python 3.8.0rc1 is now available

          Python 3.8.0 is almost ready. After a rather tumultuous few days, we are very happy to announce the availability of the release candidate:

          https://www.python.org/downloads/release/python-380rc1/

          This release, 3.8.0rc1, is the final planned release preview. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-10-14, the scheduled release date for 3.8.0, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release.

        • Python 3.7.5rc1

          Python 3.7.5rc1 is the release candidate preview of the fifth maintenance release of Python 3.7. The Python 3.7 series is the latest major release of the Python language and contains many new features and optimizations.

        • Python 3.7.5rc1 is now available for testing

          Python 3.7.5rc1 is now available for testing. 3.7.5rc1 is the release preview of the next maintenance release of Python 3.7, the latest feature release of Python. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-10-14, no code changes are planned between now and the final release. This release candidate is intended to give you the opportunity to test the new security and bug fixes in 3.7.5. We strongly encourage you to test your projects and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and, thus, its use is not recommended for production environments.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #388 (Oct. 1, 2019)
        • QBSP for TechNexion boards added to downloads

          In the past we have been talking about what is QBSP here: https://www.qt.io/blog/2018/12/14/board-support-package-commercial-build-enablers-qt-partners and from the official documentation here: https://doc.qt.io/QtForDeviceCreation/qtdc-qbsp.html

          We are happy to announce that our Hardware Technology partner TechNexion has just released new Qt Board Support Packages (QBSP) for their hardware platforms. The QBSP’s are now available also for TechNexion iMX8MQ and iMX8M-Mini boards for Qt 5.12 LTS and Linux hosts. You can find them through your Qt Account under account.qt.io/downloads.

        • 9 Organizational Test Practices Guaranteed to Lower Quality and Customer Satisfaction

          Another device for distracting from quality is requiring test automation for every feature. It guarantees that your Test organization spends most of its time doing software development instead of test engineering.

          The goal should change from validating a product attribute, to counting how many automated tests ran to verify it.

          Rather than thinking through the test breakdown that validates various code paths or fundamentals of a function, engineers will spend time and resources executing multiple iterations of the same test. It leads to higher counts.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • One Member/One Vote: Health Care Workers Show How To Endorse, Democratically

        At the national, state, and even local level, union political endorsements are often made with insufficient membership involvement.

      • Early Detection and Preventive Intervention in Schizophrenia: From Fantasy to Reality

        Scientific progress in understanding human disease can be measured by the effectiveness of its treatment. Antipsychotic drugs have been proven to alleviate acute psychotic symptoms and prevent their recurrence in schizophrenia, but the outcomes of most patients historically have been suboptimal. However, a series of findings in studies of first-episode schizophrenia patients transformed the psychiatric field’s thinking about the pathophysiology, course, and potential for disease-modifying effects of treatment. These include the relationship between the duration of untreated psychotic symptoms and outcome; the superior responses of first-episode patients to antipsychotics compared with patients with chronic illness, and the reduction in brain gray matter volume over the course of the illness. Studies of the effectiveness of early detection and intervention models of care have provided encouraging but inconclusive results in limiting the morbidity and modifying the course of illness. Nevertheless, first-episode psychosis studies have established an evidentiary basis for considering a team-based, coordinated specialty approach as the standard of care for treating early psychosis, which has led to their global proliferation. In contrast, while clinical high-risk research has developed an evidence-based care model for decreasing the burden of attenuated symptoms, no treatment has been shown to reduce risk or prevent the transition to syndromal psychosis. Moreover, the current diagnostic criteria for clinical high risk lack adequate specificity for clinical application. What limits our ability to realize the potential of early detection and intervention models of care are the lack of sensitive and specific diagnostic criteria for pre-syndromal schizophrenia, validated biomarkers, and proven therapeutic strategies. Future research requires methodologically rigorous studies in large patient samples, across multiple sites, that ideally are guided by scientifically credible pathophysiological theories for which there is compelling evidence. These caveats notwithstanding, we can reasonably expect future studies to build on the research of the past four decades to advance our knowledge and enable this game-changing model of care to become a reality.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Hackers Turn to OpenDocument Format to Avoid AV Detection

        Attackers have a new obfuscation technique that uses the OpenDocument file format for sneaking payloads past antivirus software.

        Past macro-based attacks have relied on malware hitching a ride with .docx, .zip, .jar and many other file formats. But researchers at Cisco Talos said that because these attempts are nearly certain to be red flagged by endpoint protection, hackers are turning to the OpenDocument (ODT) format to avoid detection.

        “The use of the ODT file format shows that actors are happy to try out different mechanisms of infection, perhaps in an attempt to see if… these documents have a higher rate of infection or are better at avoiding detection,” wrote Cisco Talos researchers Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres on Monday.

      • Decades-Old Code Is Putting Millions of Critical Devices at Risk

        Today Armis, the Department of Homeland Security, the Food and Drug Administration, and a broad swath of so-called real-time operating system and device companies disclosed that Urgent/11, a suite of network protocol bugs, exist in far more platforms than originally believed. The RTO systems are used in the always-on devices common to the industrial control or health care industries. And while they’re distinct platforms, many of them incorporate the same decades-old networking code that leaves them vulnerable to denial of service attacks or even full takeovers. There are at least seven affected operating systems that run in countless IoT devices across the industry.

      • [Older] Danish hearing aid firm slashes forecasts after breach [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Demant, the maker of Oticon-branded hearing aids, explained in a statement issued late last week that it is still in the process of recovering from an unspecified “cyber incident” that occurred on September 3 and disrupted the manufacture and distribution of its products.

        The Danish firm responded to the attack by “shutting down IT systems across multiple sites and business units” in order to contain the problem. Even though it acted promptly, and data backup was largely intact, its business was nonetheless severely affected.

      • [Older] #1278700: Hearing aid manufacturer hit by cyber attack slashes profits by $95 million [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Details remain sketchy, but the fact that the company shut down IT systems across multiple sites and business units around the world – and that they claim this helped contained the problem – suggest that the firm’s systems were infected by malware, potentially ransomware.

      • [Older] Demant Group Companies Hit by Cyber Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Companies in the Demant Group, which include hearing aid manufacturers Oticon, Sonic Innovations, and Bernafon, were the victims of a cyber attack that affected their IT infrastructure on September 3. The group was forced to shut down its IT systems across multiple sites and business units to contain the issue last week, causing some companies in the group to come to a virtual standstill relative to digital ordering and communications.

      • FDA warns of potential cyber vulnerabilities in internet-connected medical devices

        The vulnerabilities, referred to by the agency as URGENT/11, have the potential to harm operating systems for medical devices connected to communications networks like Wi-Fi and equipment such as routers and phones.

        According to the FDA, the cyber vulnerabilities could allow a remote actor to “take control” of the device, leading to a change in function, information leaks or causing the device to stop functioning

      • Malvertiser exploited Chrome and WebKit flaws to display over one billion dodgy ads

        According to researchers, malvertising campaigns by eGobbler typically last for a few days. In that period, eGobbler buys advertisements on genuine services but embeds malicious code in its adverts to perform unauthorised activity on users’ browsers.

      • When LexisNexis Makes a Mistake, You Pay For It

        But consumer lawyers and privacy advocates worry the problem with mixed files and other data errors is likely to get worse. A Government Accountability Office report in 2013 noted “a vast increase” in the number and types of companies that collect and sell consumer data—often called data brokers—and suggested Congress consider stronger regulation of the industry, which includes LexisNexis. More than five years later, the regulatory landscape hasn’t changed much, but the industry has continued to grow and evolve.

        These days, Rapp says, it’s almost impossible to avoid being tracked by data brokers—not just LexisNexis. “If you have a pulse, you have a report,” he says.

        Data brokers “operate in a legal vacuum” when it comes to many kinds of consumer data, says Lydia de la Torre, a data protection law professor at Santa Clara University who has worked with companies including eBay and PayPal on privacy issues. Although lawmakers have recently proposed a series of federal regulations to protect consumers from the industry, de la Torre isn’t optimistic any will pass in the near term.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and CentOS 6 Receive Important Kernel Security Update

        Marked by the Red Hat Product Security as having a security impact of “Important,” the new Linux kernel security patch addresses a buffer overflow flaw (CVE-2019-14835) discovered in Linux kernel’s vhost (virtual host) functionality, which apparently could allow a privileged guest user to escalate his/her privileges on the host system by passing descriptors with invalid length during migration.

        “A buffer overflow flaw was found in the way Linux kernel’s vhost functionality that translates virtqueue buffers to IOVs, logged the buffer descriptors during migration. A privileged guest user able to pass descriptors with invalid length to the host when migration is underway, could use this flaw to increase their privileges on the host,” reads Red Hat’s security advisory.

      • Linux security hardening checklist

        This tutorial enumerates initial security measures both for desktop users and sysadmins managing servers. The tutorial specifies when a recommendation aims to home or professional users. Despite there is not deep explanation or instructions to apply each item at the end of each you’ll find useful links with tutorials.

      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (openssl and openssl1.0), Fedora (expat, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, and phpMyAdmin), openSUSE (nghttp2 and u-boot), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (rh-nodejs8-nodejs), Slackware (libpcap), SUSE (bind, jasper, libgcrypt, openssl-1_0_0, and php7), and Ubuntu (clamav).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Bigots Welcome on America’s Police Forces

        Prison guard Geoffery Crosby was a member of more than 50 extremist groups on Facebook, including scores of racist groups dedicated to the Confederacy. Missouri Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Crites was – and still is – posting anti-Muslim rants on his personal Facebook page. In Georgia, despite warnings from his chief, Abbeville police Officer Joel Quinn continues to post a steady stream of conspiracy theories and right-wing memes on Facebook, including recently sharing an anti-Semitic meme.

      • Ex-Dallas Officer Who Killed Neighbor Found Guilty of Murder

        A white former Dallas police officer who shot her black unarmed neighbor to death after, she said, mistaking his apartment for her own was convicted of murder Tuesday in a verdict that prompted tears of relief from his family and chants of “Black Lives Matter” from a crowd outside the courtroom.

      • Sheep’s blood, live fire, and burpees Russian state journalist submits legal complaint following mandatory training camp for war correspondents

        RIA Novosti journalist Svyatoslav Pavlov has asked Russia’s Investigative Committee to open a criminal case after he was beaten during a training camp for war correspondents. Pavlov gave interviews to the independent outlets Mediazona and Open Media after submitting his complaint.

      • An Unpopular Article

        This article is probably unpopular. The point of this blog is not to make you agree, but to make you think; if I did not express views which are not the view of the majority, there would be no point in writing at all. This is not an applause seeking echo chamber of popular sentiment.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • No, Indonesian students are not taking to the streets only to fight sex ban

        Not just sex

        The revision of the RKUHP is only one among several problematic bills the students are protesting against and the criminalization of pre- and extramarital sex is the least of several concerns regarding the bill.

        The students have seven demands in total encompassing several issues. Political scientist Amalinda Savirani from Gadjah Mada University said despite some criticisms of the movement’s many demands, the varied nature of those demands could help the movement gain followers and momentum.

        Here are the seven demands: [...]

    • Environment

      • Government Asked To Treat Climate Like It Was A Multinational

        THE IRISH people have begun a last ditch attempt to get the government to treat the issue of climate change with the urgency it requires, hitting upon the idea of persuading them to think of the ailing planet like it was a tax dodging multinational firm only nominally based in Ireland.

        “We tried the whole ‘hey, wouldn’t it be an idea to not destroy the planet’ angle, but the government just wouldn’t bite,” explained one climate activist who has now officially registered Climate Corp as a letter box company in Dublin’s docklands.

        Those behind the strategy think that if the government was to provide the climate with the same special treatment as it affords multinational corporations it would immediately bend over backwards changing legislation or turning a blind eye to anything that could get in the way of reducing carbon emissions, pollution or preserving and enhancing biodiversity.

        “We were foolish to ask politicians to look into their children’s eyes and face up to how by spinelessly standing by and doing nothing but paying lip service to climate action would rob kids of a future,” conceded the activist.

      • Canada: Blind Eye to First Nation Water Crisis

        The next Canadian government needs to compensate Neskantaga First Nation for the costs associated with evacuating the community after a water infrastructure failure, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also have a mechanism to deal with major infrastructure failures in remote First Nations communities.

      • Here’s Our Best Opportunity to Save the Oceans — and Ourselves
      • Rugby stars are losing their Pacific islands

        Whatever happens on the pitches, rugby stars from the Pacific islands face a battle back home to save their ancestral lands from rising sea levels.

      • One Warm Day in September: the Climate Strike and Its Meaning for Activism

        Last Friday was a beautiful fall day. The air was crisp and the sun was hot as I marched with friends and around 10,000 Nova Scotians who understand that we, as a species, are in deep trouble. Catastrophic climate change, which I have been writing about for years, stands to threaten our species, as well as every other species on earth, with extinction. This is not hyperbole, it is based on the current scientific consensus. But on that day indigenous, people of colour, people of all faiths and none, families, the elderly, working people, LGBTQ. All of us put aside any differences and came together.

      • The Word Nobody Wanted to Say at the UN Climate Action Summit

        The leaders of more than 70 countries have made a promise that sounds nothing short of revolutionary. By 2050, they say they will reach “net zero,” putting no more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than can be somehow canceled out.

        While the net zero buzzword was as ubiquitous at last week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit as the presence of teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the details of how the countries would reach their ambitious goals were elusive. There was little talk of eliminating the use of fossil fuels, a drastic but economically tricky and politically painful step that would guarantee those emissions reductions.

      • Energy

        • How the Saudi Oil Field Attack Overturned America’s Apple Cart

          In many ways it doesn’t really matter who — Houthis in Yemen? Iranians? Shiites in Iraq? — launched those missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia. Whoever did it changed the rules of the game, and not just in the Middle East. “It’s a moment when offense laps defense, when the strong have reason to fear the weak,” observes military historian Jack Radey.

        • Whistle-blower Reveals Flawed Construction at North Dakota Gas Plants Where Massive Spill Was Downplayed

          “The safety culture is embarrassing,” said Lehto, who has described to DeSmog the discovery of dozens of loose bolts along critical sections of piping, and other improperly set equipment, deficiencies he attributes to the frenzied rush of the oil boom that has dominated the state’s landscape and economy. “North Dakota is basically a Petrostate,” said Lehto, who worked at the two plants between 2015 and 2016. “There is regulatory capture, and sure that happens in other areas, but nowhere is it more extreme than in North Dakota.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • MoveOn’s Phony New Campaign for ‘Protecting Whistleblowers’

        All of a sudden, MoveOn wants to help “national security” whistleblowers.

      • Richard Holbrooke: Present at the Demise of U.S. Foreign Policy

        President Barack Obama and the Guardian described him as “a true giant of American foreign policy.” Others, including the Economist, described him as the most influential and effective American diplomat of his generation. Richard Holbrooke was certainly present at most of the hot spots of his era: a young diplomat serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War as well as part of the United States negotiating team in Paris; ambassador to Germany during its reunification; the leader who held out the carrot and brandished the stick that finalized the Dayton Agreement ending the Bosnian War, and the special representative of the United States to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      • Jacques Chirac and the Art of Being Vague

        The tributes have been dripping in heavy praise: former French president Jacques Chirac and mayor of Paris, the great statesman; the man who said no to the US-led war juggernaut into Iraq; the man loved for being loved. Many of these should have raised the odd eyebrow here and there. “We French have lost a statesman whom we loved as much as he loved us,” claimed current French president Emmanuel Macron.

      • Why are Key House Democrats Giving Betsy DeVos a Free Ride?

        Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before the House Education and Labor Committee five months ago. She sat down, cleared her throat, and proceded to dodge basic yes-or-no questions about everything from transgender rights to literacy programs to arming teachers for several hours. Through her evasiveness, and the many issues Democrats wanted to bring up, there was barely any discussion of the trillion dollar student loan crisis, a calamity chaining down a whole generation’s opportunity, and which is now larger than both credit card and auto loan debt. Over $1.4 trillion of the $1.5 trillion debt is part of the federal government’s student loan portfolio, which the Education Department oversees.

      • Hong Kong Protester Shot as China Marks Its 70th Anniversary

        In a fearsome escalation of violence, Hong Kong police shot a protester in the chest at close range Tuesday, leaving the teenager bleeding and howling on the ground. Tens of thousands joined anti-government demonstrations that spread across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory in a challenge to Beijing’s dominance as the Communist Party celebrated 70 years in power.

      • Official is stabbed and killed in Moscow at the Central Office of Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee

        An unidentified man has stabbed an official in Moscow at the Central Office of Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee. The attack took place on Tuesday afternoon at the building’s front security desk, the agency told TASS. The assailant was arrested immediately, but his motives are unknown, at the time of this writing.

      • Ten Recent Democratic Primary Polls Good for Bernie Sanders Ignored by the Conventional Wisdom

        The conventional wisdom for the Democratic Primary right now is that Senator Bernie Sanders is fading while Senator Elizabeth Warren is rising into a two-way race with former Vice-President Joe Biden. Nate Silver made the case after Debate 3 (September 12) in article form and has continued, via Twitter, to cherry-pick polls to fit this beatified narrative.

      • Chris Hedges: Democrats Cast Their Lot With Elites on Impeachment
      • Playing the Trump Card in Ukraine

        Yes, we all detest Trump and would be gladdened and relieved to see the last of those orange-yellow tresses now defiling the pure White House! Therefore: impeachment – olé!

      • The Most Harrowing Lesson of ‘Ukrainegate’

        Amid the impeachment furor, don’t lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.

      • Kamchatka governor offers opposition leader Navalny the chance to govern an ultra-remote northern village

        Vladimir Ilyukhin, the governor of the Kamchatka peninsula, has offered prominent opposition politician Alexey Navalny the opportunity to become the mayor of one of the peninsula’s remote villages. Leading a northern rural community in the peninsula, which is accessible only by air or sea transportation to its southern cities, would allow Navalny to “radically improve his knowledge of Kamchatka” and “receive invaluable leadership experience,” Ilyukhin said.

      • Who’s Afraid of Impeachment? On Presidential Investigation and a 2020 Backlash

        There has been quite a bit of prophesizing among pundits in the news media, on the right and elsewhere, and even among some on the left with which I’ve spoken, in which critics confidently maintain that impeachment is a “gift” to Trump, dividing the nation, but mobilizing and energizing Trump’s base, thereby handing the election to Trump. These claims are almost entirely based on fear and conjecture, not on actual evidence. If we look back to the limited history of this country’s use of impeachment against presidents in modern times, there is little evidence to draw from one way or another, and certainly no cases that are equivalent to this one, in terms of telling us how impeachment will impact an election that is so far into the future – an entire year from now.

      • Beyond Impeachment: Remove This Regime from Below

        The impeachment of Donald J. Trump is coming. What to make of it? It’s hard not to enjoy watching the Malignant One (Trump) squirm and lash out like a wounded animal. There is no public humiliation too great for this sorry excuse for a human being, this racist, sexist, eco-cidal and fascist bastard who endangers the world with his presence in its most powerful office. Trump’s noxiously racist, sexist, Nativist, plutocratic, corrupt, and environmentally disastrous regime has done great damage to basic democratic and human norms, civilizational decency, social justice, and prospects for a decent future. All of that and more makes it impossible for any self-respecting leftist or progressive not to want to see him disgraced and removed. The Trump-Pence regime must be forced out of office as soon as humanly possible.

      • Who Would FDR Endorse?

        During her speech at Washington Square Park in New York last week, which drew a massive crowd of both supporters and curious bystanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren evoked the legacy of Frances Perkins, the longest-serving secretary of labor and first female member of the presidential Cabinet.

      • Relaying Views of US’s Top General, Newsweek Sees No Need for Countervailing Facts

        Lazy, one-sided reports like Newsweek’s “NATO Superiority Over Russia Has ‘Eroded,’ Forcing Alliance to Create New Strategy, US General Says” (9/18/19), by David Brennan, are a major reason why US officials are still taken seriously when they demand further investments in the military/industrial complex and the strengthening of an unnecessary military alliance like NATO.

      • Doxxing the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong

        Since late August, an anonymous website has been publishing the personal details of pro-democracy protesters, journalists and politicians in Hong Kong. Building on our team’s earlier analysis of the state-backed information campaign targeting the Hong Kong protests, I took a look at how this site has been spread on Twitter.

      • 2 years since Catalan Independence Referendum, an update

        You may remember Catalonia held an Independence referendum 2 years ago, lots of things have happened since then, I’m going to try to summarize, if you’re interested in my initial reaction read my blog from that very same day.

        On October 27 2017, following the referendum results, the Parliament of Catalonia declared Independence by a majority of 70 out of 135 MPs. That was mostly ignored by every single country in the world. A few hours later the Spanish government used bigger-army-diplomacy (AKA article 155 of Spanish Constitution) to decide that the Parliament of Catalonia would be suspended and new elections would happen in Catalonia on December 21.

        On November 2nd 2017, a judge put most of the Catalan government in jail with the charges of “you’ve been terribly bad”.

        They still remain in jail awaiting for trial results (trial finished a few months ago).

        Notable exceptions of government officials not in jail are president Carles Puigdemont and Ministers Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín, that exiled themselves to other European countries. Spain has tried several times to get European countries to extradite them to Spain because “they’ve been terribly bad”, but that has failed every single time, so they ended up revoking the extradition requests.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Federal Court Blocks South Dakota’s Pro-Pipeline, Anti-First Amendment ‘Riot Boosting’ Law

        When the protests of the Keystone XL pipeline project took off, state legislators (and prosecutors) tried to find some way to curb protected First Amendment activity. These efforts started with federal agencies like the CBP and FBI, which did what they could to make life difficult for protesters and journalists covering the protests.

      • Facebook now blocks all links to The Pirate Bay

        Torrents are not illegal. People can use them to share any type of content with other users. But with its legal troubles and reputation as a place to trade copyrighted TV shows and movies, it makes sense that Facebook wouldn’t want any connection to the site.

      • Facebook blocks The Pirate Bay all over again

        Facebook share buttons aren’t really in style any more, so it’s no surprise that they’ve also left The Pirate Bay site too. But at some point in the intervening decade, Facebook unblocked the ability to share URLs on-site, presumably when piracy dropped out of the news again.

        But now the block is back, and if you try and post a link, you’re given an error where you’re informed that the post “goes against our community standards.” The same apparently happens with other well-established torrent sites.

        This time around the ban seems a bit more far-reaching: not only does it also apply to links shared in private Facebook Messenger channels, but it also blocks all URLs, rather than just links to specific torrents as before.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Documents Show The FBI Is Targeting Financial Institutions, Credit Reporting Agencies, And Universities With NSLs

        We’ve written several times before about the FBI and its unnatural love for National Security Letters. NSLs make the FBI tick. They’re super handy, too. The FBI issues them to itself and then hands them to a variety of third parties, eliminating any judicial oversight. The fact that third parties are recipients make the Fourth Amendment (mostly) irrelevant. These work so well the FBI has used NSLs to get info the FISA court has already said it can’t have.

      • Elizabeth Warren Has Mark Zuckerberg Thoroughly Spooked

        When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress last year, it was apparent that “lawmakers still don’t really understand how Facebook works,” as Kurt Wagner wrote in Recode. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., brought printouts of Facebook groups. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked how the social network is able to make money despite being a free service, seemingly oblivious to the news that the internet contains ads, Morgan Sung pointed out in Mashable.

      • Mark Zuckerberg: We will “go to the mat” to fight Elizabeth Warren if she tries to break up Facebook [iophk: she consistently neglects to remember Microsoft on her list]
      • Zuckerberg Can’t Escape Lawsuit Over Bikini Photo-Finder App

        Six4Three made a Facebook app — Pikinis — that allowed users to find photos their friends had posted of people in bikinis. Six4Three accused Facebook of destroying its business when it cut off its users’ access to the “friends” data.

        The legal fight has dragged on for four years, spanning across the Atlantic as Facebook accused Six4Three of breaching a court order to keep documents in the case sealed. Some of those documents, which contained information suggesting Facebook had considered selling access to users’ data, ended up being publicized by a committee of the U.K. Parliament.

      • Read the full transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s leaked internal Facebook meetings

        On October 1st, The Verge published text and audio from recent internal meetings at Facebook where CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered tough questions from employees who are concerned about the company’s future. In two July meetings, Zuckerberg rallied his employees against critics, competitors, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among others.

        To provide more context around Zuckerberg’s remarks, The Verge is publishing expanded transcripts from the two meetings below. In them, Zuckerberg discussed his plan to beat TikTok, why he wants to keep absolute control of the company, and what employees should tell friends who have a dim view of Facebook. Each question below was asked by a different Facebook employee.

      • Top EU court rules web sites must have ‘active consent’ to store cookies

        Judges ruled that a box that a user “must deselect to refuse his or her consent” is not sufficient to meet EU requirements for consent of cookie storage. They also determined that users must be told how long cookies will be stored and whether they can be accessed by third parties.

      • Online Users Must Actively Consent to Cookies, EU Court Rules

        Tuesday’s case has its origins in Germany in 2013, when a company called Planet49 organized a lottery for promotional purposes. To access the website, people faced a pre-ticked box that would allow placing cookies — tiny pieces of code that allow advertisers to track users as they surf the internet — on their computer.

        A consumer protection organization challenged this as unlawful before a German court, which in 2017 sought the EU judges’ guidance on the scope of consent under the bloc’s data protection rules. To refuse consent, users had to un-tick the box.

      • ISPs and Governments Don’t Seem to Like Security and Privacy-enhancing DNS over HTTPS (DoH)
    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Censored 2020: Through the Looking Glass with Andy Lee Roth – The Project Censored Show

        Project Censored’s co-director Andy Lee Roth is Mickey’s guest, and their topic is the new edition of Project Censored’s annual book, “Censored 2020: Through the Looking Glass”  The annual Censored books are best know for their lists of “top 25 censored stories,” but include many other features as well.

      • Saudi Arabia: Provide Justice for Khashoggi Killing

        Following the Saudi government’s belated admission of responsibility for the October 2, 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it should move promptly to provide justice for its role in the crime and release jailed government critics, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • One year without justice for Washington Post columnist Khashoggi

        The Committee to Protect Journalists today reiterated its demand to the U.S. and U.N. for transparency and justice for Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and said that it was dismayed by the lack of accountability in the journalist’s murder.

        Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. A CIA report concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the journalist’s murder, according to The Washington Post. The Crown Prince has denied the allegations, including in a September 29 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

      • One year on, murder of Jamal Khashoggi still haunts Saudi Arabia

        The killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year drew renewed scrutiny Tuesday to the kingdom, as his son and a U.N. investigator spoke out ahead of the anniversary of his death.

      • Khashoggi’s fiancée calls for justice: ‘Jamal did no wrong to his country’

        After initial denials, the official Saudi narrative blamed the murder on rogue operatives. The public prosecutor said the then-deputy intelligence chief ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a royal insider who became an outspoken critic, but the lead negotiator ordered him killed after discussions for his return failed.

        Saud al-Qahtani, a former top royal adviser whom Reuters reported gave orders over Skype to the killers, briefed the hit team on Khashoggi’s activities before the operation, the prosecutor said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Trump Administration Issues Dozens of Corrections to Its Error-Riddled Immigration Rule

        Two weeks before a sweeping new immigration policy is set to take effect, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a 25-page set of corrections to the final version of the “public charge” rule, including fixes to substantive errors that ProPublica wrote about in August.

        Immigrant advocates said the extent of the corrections to the rule, which will make it harder for low-income migrants to enter the U.S., underscores their contention that the Trump administration aggressively pushed major policy changes without taking sufficient time to ensure clarity and precision.

      • Polish Police Protect Pride March Amid Anti-LGBT Crackdown

        Police in Lublin, Poland took action to protect participants in a pride march last Saturday from anti-LGBT protesters, who, according to a media report, tried to stop the march and attack the marchers with eggs.

      • Nepal: Release Report on 2015 Protest Violence

        The government of Nepal should make public, as pledged, the report of the commission that investigated deadly violence involving police and protesters in 2015.

      • An Inmate Needed Emergency Medical Help. The Jail’s Response: See if She Has Insurance.

        When the administrator of the Washington County Jail in southwest Alabama answered the phone on the evening of June 20, 2016, he learned of a health emergency playing out in the jail he oversaw.

        A 43-year-old inmate named Tracie Weaver had been vomiting for hours and her blood pressure was dangerously high, a dispatcher told then-jail administrator Arthur Ray Busby.

      • Iran: Schools Shut Out Children with Disabilities

        Children with disabilities face discrimination and significant barriers in getting an education.

      • Up to seven years in prison for a two-page column Read Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva’s full statement on the case accusing her of ‘justifying terrorism’

        On October 1, several Russian-language news sources organized to express solidarity with Svetlana Prokopyeva, a journalist who is facing charges of “justifying terrorism.” She may be sentenced to as many as seven years in prison for a column she wrote about an October 2018 suicide bombing at the local Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Arkhangelsk, Russia. Prokopyeva wrote an open letter about her case that was published simultaneously in the independent news outlets Ekho Moskvy, Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd, Takie Dela, Snob, MBK Media, 7×7, Pskovskaya Gubernia, MOKh, and Wonderzine. Meduza has also published the letter in Russian, and it is translated in full below.

      • Investigation into Ivan Golunov’s arrest stalls, after detectives are reassigned to go after opposition demonstrators

        The investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the arrest of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov (who was briefly charged with intent to distribute illegal narcotics) has reportedly stalled. A source told the news agency Interfax that the case has slowed because the investigative team reviewing the arrest has been reassigned to help facilitate the prosecution of several opposition demonstrators charged with a variety of crimes during Moscow’s summer protests.

      • EU brings in ‘right to repair’ rules for appliances

        From 2021, firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting, and they will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years.

        The rules apply to lighting, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.

      • The best way to eradicate poverty in America is to focus on children

        [...] About 18.5m people have only half that amount and are mired in deep poverty. Children are the likeliest age group to experience poverty—there are nearly 13m of them today, or 17.5% of all American children.

        In international comparisons, that makes America a true outlier. When assessed on poverty relative to other countries (the share of families making less than 50% of the national median income after taxes and transfers), America is among the worst-performing in the OECD club of mostly rich countries (see chart). Despite its higher level of income, that is not because it starts with a very large share of poor people before supports kick in—it is just that the safety net does not do as much work as elsewhere. On this relative-poverty scale, more than a fifth of American children remain poor after government benefits, compared with 3.6% of Finnish children.

      • Gilead Resembles an Islamic Theocracy, not Trump’s America

        There’s another contemporary parallel that also gets scant attention. Gilead’s system of pseudo-theocratic totalitarian control in both her novels and in the MGM/Hulu versions does not accurately reflect what is happening in America today; it mirrors what is happening in most Islamic countries, a fact that Atwood and her admirers are too politically correct to notice.

        Obscuring one’s individual identity, masking one’s face, sequestering women at home, may have been true of many previous cultures and regimes. However, in this day forced face veils (niqab) and burqas (head, face, and body bags) are mainly realities for women in Muslim countries and communities in the West. In Iran in July, three women were sentenced to a total of 55 years between them for protesting against the veil.

    • Sport

      • Marathoners Wilt in Qatar’s Oppressive Heat

        Nearly half the athletes participating in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Sunday pulled out of the race in what The Telegraph described as “shocking scenes of multiple athletes collapsing in distress.”

      • World’s Most Famous Track Coach Is Banned for 4 Years for Doping Violations

        The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation of Alberto Salazar, the most prominent track coach in the world, backed by Nike, the most powerful company in track, took so long that many wondered publicly if it had died out with a closed-door whimper.

        But Monday night, more than four years after the agency launched its investigation of medical misconduct and rules violations within Salazar’s prestigious Nike Oregon Project, an arbitration panel delivered perhaps the most resounding blow in track: It ruled that the renowned coach had violated anti-doping rules and will be banned from the sport for four years.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Hidden Fees Mean US Cable & Broadband Bills Can Be 45% Higher Than Advertised

        For years we’ve talked about how the broadband and cable industry has perfected the use of utterly bogus fees to jack up subscriber bills, a dash of financial creativity it adopted from the banking and airline industries. Countless cable and broadband companies tack on a myriad of completely bogus fees below the line, letting them advertise one rate — then sock you with a higher rate once your bill actually arrives. These companies will then brag repeatedly about how they haven’t raised rates yet this year, when that’s almost never actually the case.

      • Telcos And Rupert Murdoch Pushing Nonsense Story That Google Helping Keep Your Internet Activity More Private Is An Antitrust Violation

        There are all sorts of reasons and ways to hate on big internet companies these days, but as we’ve warned, some of them are in conflict with one another — though that doesn’t seem to stop those who keep pushing the narrative forward from blindly repeating them anyway. The latest is a positively bonkers article in the Wall Street Journal arguing that Google’s (somewhat middle of the road) support for DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is potentially an antitrust violation worthy of Congressional action.

      • Court Says FCC Can’t Stop States From Protecting Net Neutrality

        Today a federal appeals court delivered a decidedly mixed decision in the FCC’s ongoing quest to kill net neutrality and telecom sector oversight. On the one hand, the new 2-1 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit backs much of the FCC’s Orwellian-named “Restoring Internet Freedom” order, which not only repealed the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules, but gutted much of the agency’s authority over broadband providers. That decision shoveled any remaining telecom oversight to an FTC that experts say lacks the authority or resources to actually police giants like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast (the whole point).

      • Court: FCC Can Dump Net Neutrality, but States Can Set Own Rules

        The Federal Communications Commission could dump rules that keep internet providers from favoring some services over others, but couldn’t bar states like California from enacting their own prohibitions, a federal court ruled.

      • D.C. Circuit Offers Bad News, Good News on Net Neutrality: FCC Repeal Upheld, But States Can Fill the Gap

        Users, advocates, and service providers have been waiting for months to find out whether an appellate court will bless the Federal Communications Commission’s effort to repeal net neutrality protections, and whether the FCC can simultaneously force the states to follow suit. The answer: yes, and no.  Bound by its interpretation of Supreme Court precedent, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the FCC’s repeal wasn’t sufficiently irrational to be struck down (many Internet engineers might disagree) but, having abandoned the field, the FCC can’t prevent states from stepping in to protect their own users.

        We’re disappointed. The FCC is supposed to be the expert agency on telecommunications, but in the case of the so-called “Save the Internet Order,” it ignored expertise and issued an order based on a wrong interpretation of the technical realities of the Internet. But we’re very pleased that the court’s ruling gives states a chance to limit the damage.

    • Monopolies

      • Elizabeth Warren Wants Congress To Be Smarter About Tech… While Grossly Overstating Google & Facebook’s Market Power

        So, this is good! Elizabeth Warren has announced that she supports bringing back the Office of Technology Assessment.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Back Out of the Deference Labyrinth—a Response to Prof. Golden

          The backdrop for this case is a major pendulum swing at the Supreme Court: for nearly twenty years, the Court has been pulling back on the leeway given to agencies.

          [...]

          I agree with that principle as far as the Supreme Court has taken it—that is, agencies with “traditional” and “unitary” structure may interpret “genuine ambiguity” in statutes and regulations by adjudication (but not gap-fill), and interpretations by those “traditional unitary” tribunals may be entitled to Chevron or Auer deference.

          I don’t agree with the extensions beyond those two limits, as the PTO would like, and as Prof. Golden suggests. Remarkably, neither gives more than the briefest consideration to the single closest case of the Supreme Court, Martin v. Occupational Safety & Health Rev. Comm’n, 499 U.S. 144, 154 (1991). The Martin court thought that split authority was a big deal, at least for Chevron purposes. Martin is remarkably prescient at predicting the PTO’s and Prof. Golden’s arguments and very choice of agencies as analogies.

        • Guest post by Prof. Chien: Comparative Patent Quality and the Prior Art Gap

          As Congress charts its path for the rest of the year, many in the patent community are eagerly awaiting new legislation on patentable subject matter. But to the extent that the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence can be understood as a clumsy response to the proliferation of weak patents, reversing these decisions will not address the underlying root causes of poor patent quality. It is therefore crucial to address the question raised at a recent Hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property: how can the quality of US patents be ensured?

          This post focuses on an aspect of patent quality that, though receiving scant focused attention by scholars (with some exception, such as the excellent work of Professor Steve Yelderman, now clerking at the Supreme Court), comes up in the examination of over 90 percent of all patent applications.[1] No other issue comes close: the USPTO reports that only about a third of office actions include a rejection based on 35 U.S.C. § 112 and just 11% percent receive a rejection based on § 101. The aspect is the robustness of prior art vetting under §§ 102 (novelty) and 103 (nonobviousness). Below I argue that policymakers should pay more attention to the patent system’s most important tool for ensuring a patent’s quality: not § 101 or inter partes review, but prior art.

          [...]

          These papers validate and quantify what Director Iancu has called, the “gap between the prior art found during initial examination and the prior art found,” in this case, in inter partes review. Non-patent literature (NPL) is not being cited by US examiners in the majority of cases, and US examiners are citing it less than European examiners. Within a random sample, 3.2% of the prior art relied upon by a U.S. Examiner (as provided in an 892 Form) was non-patent literature while the comparable rate in European Patent Office cases (as an X or Y reference in the search report) was 20%.[2]

        • Honeywell Int’l v. Arkema Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Today, in Honeywell Int’l v. Arkema Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated a combined Final Written Decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board in two post-grant review proceedings finding that claims 1-20 of U.S. Patent No. 9,157,017 were unpatentable. The Federal Circuit also remanded to the Board to authorize Honeywell International Inc. to file a motion seeking leave to petition the Director for a Certificate of Correction.

          The ’017 patent, which is owned by Honeywell and which is directed to fluoroalkene compounds used in refrigeration systems and other applications, recites a chain of priority applications dating back to 2002, all of which were incorporated by reference into the ’017 patent. During prosecution of the application that issued as the ’017 patent, Honeywell filed a preliminary amendment in which it cancelled all of the claims included in the original application and added new claims directed to different subject matter (i.e., automobile air conditioning systems), but failed to make corresponding amendments to the list of priority applications.

          [...]

          The Court determined that by requiring Honeywell show that the requirements of § 255 had been met before authorizing Honeywell to file a motion for leave to seek a Certificate of Correction from the Director, the Board abused its discretion. The Court also pointed out that the Board lacked the information necessary to make a reasoned decision, and failed to provide an explanation or a reasoned basis for its decision, which impeded meaningful review on appeal. Moreover, the Court pointed out that it could “find nothing in the record, or in the Board’s conclusory decision, that warrants denying Honeywell’s request to file a motion for leave to petition the Director for a Certificate of Correction correcting the priority chain of the ’017 patent.”

          The Court therefore concluded that the Board had erred in rejecting Honeywell’s request to file a motion for leave to petition the Director for a Certificate of Correction, and vacated the Board’s Final Written Decision. The Court also remanded to the Board, indicating that on remand the Board should authorize Honeywell to file a motion seeking leave to petition the Director for a Certificate of Correction, and then review Honeywell’s motion for leave to evaluate whether prejudice to Arkema requires accommodation.

      • Trademarks

        • Liverpool FC Denied ‘Liverpool’ Trademark Due To Its Geographic Significance

          Over the past couple of months, we have been discussing Liverpool FC, of the Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for “Liverpool” in a few soccer-related market designations. Despite the narrow scope of the application, the whole thing was still silly, given that “Liverpool” is purely geographic in nature, not to mention that there are several other independent Liverpool-area soccer clubs that would suddenly be infringing on Liverpool FC’s trademark if granted. Interestingly, there was also a rather severe backlash from the public, including from Liverpool fans themselves, who organized a protest against the club.

        • Liverpool FC fails in attempt to register LIVERPOOL as trade mark

          Apparently, and logically, this was on the basis that Liverpool is more “geographically significant” as a city than other place names that have previously been trade marked [unfortunately the IPO's full reasons are not available for perusal]. Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham (Hotspur) Football Clubs, for example, have managed to register several trade marks each for their respective area names. Fair enough, you might say: these are the names of areas; not of entire cities. But Southampton Football Club has managed to register SOUTHAMPTON as an EU trade mark…

          LFC has said it doesn’t plan to appeal the decision. This seems sensible, given that the application upset everyone from Liverpool supporters to the Mayor of Liverpool. But of greater interest to this GuestKat is that there seems to be an additional application for LIVERPOOL lurking (and indeed now published) that has gone unnoticed by the press. The original application, covering classes 9, 16, 25, 28, 35, 38, 41 and 43 was divided into two applications on 1 August 2019, around a week after the public backlash began. One was refused following examination, but the “child” application (covering classes 9, 25 and 28 only) was published for opposition on 9 August 2019 and appears still to be pending on the register.

      • Copyrights

        • ISP Bahnhof Must Log Subscriber Data, But ‘Copyright Mafia’ Won’t Get Any

          Swedish Internet service provider Bahnhof is known as a champion of user-privacy but, in line with other Swedish ISPs, it now has to store IP-address logs for at least 10 months. The company ensures, however, that the “copyright mafia,” a term it uses to describe copyright trolls, won’t get access to the data. In addition, Bahnhof is offering a six-month free VPN trial for those who want to ensure their privacy.

        • Mega.nz and Openload Blocked in Brazil Following Court Order

          File-hosting giant Mega.nz has been blocked by some ISPs in Brazil following a ruling from the São Paulo Court of Justice. The New Zealand-based platform believes that the Court has been misled but it’s not the only site affected. Several other domains are listed by the Court, including one apparently operated by Openload, one of the world’s biggest cyberlockers.

        • Russia Anti-Piracy Agreement Expires, Now Relies on Goodwill of Search Engines

          The anti-piracy memorandum signed by rightsholders and major Internet companies in Russia has expired. This means that search engines no longer have to remove allegedly-infringing content from their indexes. Whether they will continue to do so in advance of legislation compelling them to do so now appears reliant on goodwill.

EPO Releases Decision Regarding G 2/19 (the ‘Haar Question’) in a Language Only About 10% of Member States Speak

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What a classy move!

Document dump
Reference: Document dump

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) discloses its controversial judgment in a relatively minimal form and in a language that suits people in Germany and Austria; they don’t want people to notice that all EPO judgments for a number of years were likely illegal (in defiance of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”))

THE PREVIOUS POST ended with a mention of the “Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO,” by which the EPO hopes to grant software patents through buzzwords. But there’s an even worse aspect; the judges of the EPO lack independence and the EPO isn’t doing anything to correct this.

“…the judges of the EPO lack independence and the EPO isn’t doing anything to correct this.”Promoted via Lexology was this new article by Potter Clarkson LLP’s Tony Proctor. He wrote about the EPO’s Boards of Appeal, which have no independence whatsoever (this whole system is rogue now), and this is what he had to say about “Changes to the Rules of Procedure of the EPO Boards of Appeal”: (notice nothing at all is being done regarding much-needed autonomy)

The rules governing the appeals process at the European Patent Office are being changed, with the aim being to speed up the appeals process and the expected effect being to reduce flexibility for appellants. Here we discuss the expected knock-on effects on first instance proceedings, particularly oppositions, as well as on existing and new appeals.

There’s still high-level EPO corruption that ensures judges are indebted to (and afraid of) the Office — the very authority that they were created to scrutinise rather than guard. Just published in German was this decision with “full reasoning in G2/19″. Why only in German? Big Phrama blogger Rose Hughes (Patent Attorney at AstraZeneca) wrote: “This Kat is therefore currently forced to rely on the EPO summary.”

The EPO is, as usual, making it harder for people to see its coverup of sheer corruption, subversion of justice and so on. When the case went on the EPO posted a whole bunch of distractions. The EPO was gaming the media and nobody but us covered it at the end. “The appeal was considered inadmissible,” as noted below:

The EPO has announced the issue of the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s full reasoning in referral G 2/19. As previously noted on IPKat, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) had previously released their decision in G 2/19 but had not published the decision (EPO press release).

The referral originated from the Board of Appeal decision T 831/17. The appeal related to a case in which a third party had submitted observations pursuant to Article 115 EPC that a patent application (EP2378735) lacked clarity. Clarity is not a ground for opposition. The third party was therefore not able to oppose the subsequently granted patent on the same ground.

In order to pursue their clarity objection to the now granted patent, the third party filed an appeal against the decision to grant. The appeal was considered inadmissible. The Board of Appeal also referred the question to the EBA of whether the right to oral proceedings in appeal proceedings is limited if the appeal is evidently inadmissible. The referral also asked the question of whether the relocation of the Boards of Appeal to outside Munich contravened a party’s right to be heard.

Prior to the decision, the Haar/Munich aspect of the referral was covered by IPKat here, and the oral proceedings issue was covered in more detail here. The referral attracted a number of amicus curiae, including submissions from EPI and CIPA.

[...]

The G 2/19 decision is currently only available in German. This Kat is therefore currently forced to rely on the EPO summary. Stay tuned to IPKat for further commentary once an English translation becomes available.

This is pretty astounding. For a number of years the EPO issued a lot of judgments in a court whose existence (in this particular form) violates the EPC and they refuse to even deal with that issue.

“The EPO bullies its staff. The majority of them have rather severe stress, many need to seek professional help and a large proportion develop physical problems that are chronic.”This is typical EPO. It’s a bully, a thug, and a foe of justice. Just ask its own staff; no, not the mythical staff the EPO has just promoted (“How do our #patent examiners work?”).

The EPO bullies its staff. The majority of them have rather severe stress, many need to seek professional help and a large proportion develop physical problems that are chronic. The EPO is no place to work and it’s not hiring. It’s also outsourcing the jobs.

Incidentally, retweeted by EPO a short while ago was this tweet from Saudi Arabia: “The bilateral meeting between @SAIPKSA and the European Patent Office(EPO)was held today in Geneva.The two sides reviewed aspects of cooperation in the field of patents and the opportunities of enhancing the strategic partnership between the sides.”

“Even EPO staff that complains isn’t being listened to. It’s like these people don’t matter because they interfere with ‘Big Litigation’ agenda.”I responded by saying that it makes perfect sense for EPO to have alliances with countries that chop people like me to pieces and put them in tandoori ovens (for speaking about injustices like those in EPO).

Sadly, most if not all of the above issues are no longer discussed by the media. The EPC being violated should be front page news, but somehow that’s being ignored. What do so-called ‘law’ firms speak about? Nothing but marketing or shameless self-promotion; in this particular case we have Paul Calvo and Fei Sha (Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.) citing the EPC as if it still matters at the EPO. But it doesn’t. They would be wiser to point out EPO violates the European Patent Convention (“EPC”) every day. From their new article:

The Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office (EPO) permit the use of post-filing experimental data in a limited manner to support the scope of objected claims. However, reliance on post-filing data differs when claims are objected to for insufficiency of disclosure or lack of inventive step.

Sufficiency of Disclosure

Article 83 of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”) requires European patent applications to “disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.” A single example may suffice, but for claims that cover a broad field, a patent application must disclose multiple examples or describe alternative embodiments or variations extending over the technical area encompassed by the claims. If a patent specification lacks disclosure of tangible proof that the claimed concept can be put into practice, post-published documents can confirm the teachings of a patent application, but cannot be used to “cure” an insufficiency in disclosure.[1]

For example, if a patent disclosure provides no guidance as to how to perform a particular aspect of a claimed invention, post-published documents that later show how such performance is accomplished cannot “cure” the insufficiency.[2] In addition, if a patent specification provides only a vague indication of possible medical use for a yet-to-be-identified chemical compound, post-published documents containing details as to the identity and medical use of the compound cannot remedy the insufficiency of disclosure.[3] However, where an application lacks such explicit data, but discloses a technical concept that is plausible in view of common general knowledge at the relevant filing date, post-published documents may be used to support sufficiency of disclosure.[4]

Notice how they examine little details while ignoring all the big questions and the severe issues; this has become so typical that it’s almost sickening. Even EPO staff that complains isn’t being listened to. It’s like these people don’t matter because they interfere with ‘Big Litigation’ agenda.

The EPO Keeps Breaking the Law While Trying to Legalise What’s Illegal

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Map

Summary: The ‘new’ and ‘improved’ EPO isn’t trying to obey the law but instead to justify breaking it; this renders the concept of European justice cursory or symbolic at best

THE LAWLESSNESS of the European Patent Office (EPO) is becoming a liability for the EU because EU officials — not only former ones like António Campinos — actively participate in it. Battistelli started much of this toxic culture or put it on steroids; Campinos maintains that same supply of steroids, in effect perpetuating the same culture and abuses.

“Battistelli started much of this toxic culture or put it on steroids; Campinos maintains that same supply of steroids, in effect perpetuating the same culture and abuses.”As one might expect, the EPO is still repeating a bunch of laughable lies along with an EU agency, EUIPO, as recently as today and yesterday [1, 2]. For over a week now the EPO has been repeating its Big Lies every single day. So did EUIPO. The latest tweet to that effect: “How do trade marks, patents, registered designs, copyright and other IP rights impact Europe’s economy and employment? Read our new study for further insights…”

Notice they’ve added “copyright” to the mix; neither the EPO nor EUIPO deal with that. But let’s not let such pesky facts get in the way…

“It’s that same old nonsense from Managing Intellectual Property (Managing IP).”One of the EPO’s megaphones has just published this piece about “the IP Corporate Strategy Summit in London” (lawyers reconvene with new buzzwords and lies, trying to justify illegal software patents and such nonsense in the litigation capital of the world).

See the text: “AI, IP finance…Industry 4.0…”

It’s that same old nonsense from Managing Intellectual Property (Managing IP). IBM too played a role, being the software patents lobbyist it has long been in every single continent (sans Antarctica; nobody to blackmail/sue there). To quote:

“There is a fair amount of scepticism, however, when you talk with Francis Gurry at WIPO about AI,” she said.

Panellists also discussed the possible use for blockchain in IP. Kevin Fournier, IP lawyer at IBM in Winchester…

How very typical of IBM. As we noted yesterday, the EPO keeps using these buzzwords to promote software patents and IBM plays a considerable role in it. Here comes a Tuesday reminder that EPO is formalising and facilitating such illegal rules that enable illegal patent grants. “The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority 2019 are now available online for preview. They enter into force on 1 November 2019,” it said.

In the next post we’ll explain and show how the EPO basically ‘legalises’ what’s illegal and unconstitutional (in violation of its founding document, the EPC).

Increasing Transparency (Operational and Technical) at Techrights

Posted in Site News at 12:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Code and IRC logs

Enter the IRC channels now

Transparency

Summary: Publication of IRC logs to return to being a daily occurrence (that used to be done on a daily basis more than a decade ago, then weekly, monthly, 3 times per year); there’s more time-sensitive information which may or may not be useful for non-lurkers

TECHRIGHTS turns 13 next month. The IRC channels are almost as old as that. They’ve always been logged and transcripts published (sometimes sans IP addresses) because we choose a maximal — provided it’s safe — level of transparency. A lot is included in these logs and they can be searched.

“They’ve always been logged and transcripts published (sometimes sans IP addresses) because we choose a maximal — provided it’s safe — level of transparency.”In 2015 or thereabouts we published almost no logs for over a year. That was due to the intense atmosphere at the European Patent Office (EPO); Office spies were trying to identify sources of ours (whistle-blowers), but as far as we know they always failed. Over a year later we caught up with all the logs; on very rare occasions when something very sensitive gets published we redact. It’s extremely rare and it typically involves just rubbing out a name or address. It happens at most once or twice a year.

Back in the early days we published logs every single day (or night); even if that meant bring groggy late at night just to get it ‘out there’. Over time these releases became less frequent because the process is time-consuming. Some of the discussions that we nowadays have in IRC are important and if they age they become less relevant. So Techrights will try to get back to 2009/2010 and post logs on a daily basis again (as it had done since the very beginning). We’ll try our best to publish IRC logs on a daily basis, not 3 times a year. This requires some coding and a daily routine. Somebody also volunteered to help.

“So Techrights will try to get back to 2009/2010 and post logs on a daily basis again (as it had done since the very beginning)”The coding isn’t particularly sophisticated; it’s mostly automation of processing and workflow. There may be some bugs (yet to be discovered) at first. At one point we’ll put together the code and post it online, perhaps weeks after we resume Techrights IRC logs’ publication on a daily basis; we want to iron out some bugs. There are other bits of code that we developed to help write and run Techrights; there may be a public repository for it some time soon.

There are many new regulars in the IRC channels. Some (but not all) of that is related to recent events, notably the witch hunt against Richard Stallman (RMS)

“We believe that increased transparency can reduce the chance of misunderstandings and suspicion.”“As someone else rather recently alluded to,” an associate of ours wrote, “and as mentioned in the other message, CoC == Malleus Hackerum [based upon Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger]. The goal is not to help anyone but simply to shutdown any and all proponents of Software Freedom under the false mask of helping someone else because the CoCs always have been applied very selectively. This has been shown again and again where ever CoCs have been forced into projects. But as we see with both RMS and Guido Van Rossum, it is possible to kick out the leader without a CoC.”

We believe that increased transparency can reduce the chance of misunderstandings and suspicion. For those wishing to know what goes on behind the scenes these logs offer insight.

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