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10.06.19

The Free Software Foundation’s Mission Could Use Outside Help

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last night: The Free Software Foundation Will Be Far Stronger With Richard Stallman Back On Its Board

Cannons

Summary: Free software advocacy is very important because Software Freedom has suffered severely in recent years; it’s possible to campaign for Software Freedom at many levels as such campaigning is not a monopoly

Less than a month prior to the RMS ‘incident’ (mailing list post taken somewhat out of context or intentionally distorted by hostile media) we published "Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates" (seeing that the FSF had grown tired, lost morale and had people looking for excuses to dethrone Stallman, who still supports the FSF). This wasn’t too surprising as we had heard rumours to that effect; the swords weren’t out just yet, only concealed, waiting for the right timing, moment or the opportunity (piggybacking a lynch mob). The Free Media Alliance wrote the series “Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic” because there was a growing perception that a coup may be imminent (after brewing for months).

“Think of it as “social control media” without/sans the “control” and with more freedom instead.”Software Freedom has long been a federated ‘enterprise’, with branches or chapters of the FSF in Latin America, Europe, India and more (lesser known ones). Here’s a new list of several more (without association/affiliation/connections to the FSF) and a guide (work in progress) on how to further decentralise Free software advocacy.

Hours ago we learned that the Free Media Alliance prepares yet another article on this matter. The intention is not to replace FSF* but to bolster its goals and add “fire power” towards these goals. Think of it as "social control media" without/sans the "control" and with more freedom instead. That includes free speech — something that everyone including Richard Stallman deserves (not everyone at FSF agrees).

Linux Foundation: Firing All GNU/Linux-Oriented Journalists and Giving Jobs to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With a budget of about $100,000,000 per year (no tax to pay) the Linux Foundation pays only a few developers

Linux Foundation fellows

Summary: The degree of service to GNU/Linux is very low (and proportionally decreasing) at the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, which gives more jobs to Microsoft (GitHub) than to Linux

THE lack of commitment to Software Freedom necessitates affirmative action. Corporations might talk about “Linux” and “Open Source”, but they want GNU and its licence to go away along with the “F” word (freedom).

“The LF won’t mind seeing GNU/Linux deteriorating; all that matters to LF management is the LF; they even have their own logo which has nothing to do with Tux.”This is not a new problem, but several events over the past year, starting with Torvalds taking a ‘break’ and culminating in the ousting of Stallman, ought to alarm those of us who care about (and use) GNU/Linux.

A gentle reminder is in order; it’s a reminder that, amid the GNU/RMS/FSF storm, the Linux Foundation (LF) continues to outsource virtually EVERYTHING to Microsoft GitHub while rejecting GPL/copyleft. Jim Zemlin has lost his appetite for “Linux”. There’s simply more money in selling Linux to Microsoft or outsourcing the LF to Microsoft via GitHub.

What does the LF still do for Linux? It pays the salaries of half a dozen people who code. See above (not all are Linux hackers).

What else does the LF do for Linux except 'diluting' the brand? Not much. Not anymore.

We already miss the old Linux.com. After nearly 2 decades as a news site Zemlin’s PAC, the LF, fired all the staff and all the editors. Not due to lack of funds, just lack of interest in Linux (and they never ever made a statement about this!).

Linux.com should have been kept running. Instead it became spammy and Google News recently delisted it (maybe 4-8 weeks ago, it’s difficult to say when exactly).

The LF won’t mind seeing GNU/Linux deteriorating; all that matters to LF management is the LF; they even have their own logo which has nothing to do with Tux. That right there says quite a lot.

The Free Software Foundation Will Be Far Stronger With Richard Stallman Back On Its Board

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, EFF, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Super Stallman
Image credit: The Fall Of Stallman by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith) at PCLinuxOS Magazine

Summary: Looking back at three weeks of misinformation, we insist that Stallman should have his membership — if not position — in the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board reinstated

THE FSF lost its main identity and asset. Deep inside it knows it. It lost its founder, who emphasises this role of his in his E-mail signature these days. He lost his place there not for technical reasons. Brendan Eich suffered a similar fate at Mozilla for something not work related (which had happened nearly a decade earlier). Have any lessons been learned since then?

“Brendan Eich suffered a similar fate at Mozilla for something not work related (which had happened nearly a decade earlier).”Our habitual contributor figosdev is writing a HOWTO regarding federation of Free software advocacy (work in progress) and a week ago on the LibrePlanet mailing list someone announced a thing called FSForce (The Free Software Force, sounding similar to FOSSForce but completely unrelated to it).

Adrienne G. Thompson’s reply said “I too have explicitly noted in previous posts that “[T]he Free Software Foundation has not broken but maintains the relationship with Software Freedom Conservancy that has promoted the persecution of Richard Stallman,” nominating SFC President and FSF Board member Bradley Kuhn “Best Director” for the internet drama “The Backstabber” in the upcoming FSF Resign Awards.”

“Well, much of the criticism of Richard Stallman, RMS, was disguised as that (“he has been there too long”, “he’s sexist” and so on); he’s trying to mend things and he told me repeatedly that he had stepped down due to pressure from outside the FSF, not inside it, as a matter of personal will under great media strain.”We should add that trying to disguise criticism of technical groups using parallel accusations of “sexism”, “racism”, “intolerance”, “old” (incumbent) is nothing new, as if technical matters are to be tackled using identity politics. Microsoft apparently does this to Google. So why stop there?

Well, much of the criticism of Richard Stallman, RMS, was disguised as that (“he has been there too long”, “he’s sexist” and so on); he’s trying to mend things and he told me repeatedly that he had stepped down due to pressure from outside the FSF, not inside it, as a matter of personal will under great media strain. I personally prefer to see the FSF going back to the way it was a month ago, preferably without the people who dethroned RMS with outside pressure (not entirely outside as one of them is also on the FSF’s Board). I don’t need to repeat the name quoted above, but let’s just say that this is the person who wrote the most damaging press release.

What this whole sad episode serves to show is misuse of media; Alessandro Ebersol put it like this in his new article:

In fact, who really had ties with that citizen Epstein was Bill Gates, who, according to emails obtained exclusively from The New Yorker, Epstein would have instructed Bill Gates to donate $2 million to a MIT research lab in October 2014. The directors of MIT Media Lab delivered the emails, and they clearly link Gates to Epstein.

However, this connection goes beyond donation, as both Gates and Epstein had a common interest in eugenics, a perverted form of science that seeks to genetically improve the human population by getting rid of undesirable ones (who was also interested in that? Hmmm, ahhh, that Austrian guy!)

We can even speculate that the attack on Stallman’s person was a way to get the public’s attention diverted away from Gates, who really had a connection with Epstein.

The proprietary software people (workers, hence proponents, defending their wallets and banks accounts basically, not morality) generalise and stigmatise FOSS people as sexist even though the ‘inventor’ of proprietary stuff, Bill Gates (remember that infamous letter he wrote), is the real connection to Epstein and pedophilia. Why aren’t Microsoft employees issuing a call/petition to “remove Gates”?

Talk about projection…

A reader has, in the meantime, told us about the Microsoft propagandist (anti-Google, privacy-washer of Microsoft surveillance) whom the EFF foolishly gave an award several weeks ago. That person is, apparently, nowadays attacking everyone, using the EFF’s award as a ‘budge’ of credibility. The EFF has moved in really a bad direction, in essence rewarding privacy abusers from Microsoft. Why? Don’t ask me! The EFF’s demise may be a subject for another day — it barely says anything about patents for a number of months now. Its most prominent person in that ‘department’ moved to Mozilla earlier this year.

“The proprietary software people (workers, hence proponents, defending their wallets and banks accounts basically, not morality) generalise and stigmatise FOSS people as sexist even though the ‘inventor’ of proprietary stuff, Bill Gates (remember that infamous letter he wrote), is the real connection to Epstein and pedophilia. Why aren’t Microsoft employees issuing a call/petition to “remove Gates”?”“Read that article,” said a reader to us, “and the linked-to one by Danah Boyd, then read my comment [...] and ask yourself if there’s anything controversial in it, except the one thing, it contradicts the house dogma. And in the main article they manage to link Jeffrey Epstein to scientists, tech innovators and the Nobel Prize winners. What the fuck does raped, trafficked or harassed got to to with technology or me or you?”

Speaking for myself alone, I can’t help but feel like they’re mimicking some of these same old stunts, e.g. in LibrePlanet (we wrote about CoC matters associated with it several times in the past and an FSF person confirmed what we had heard to be true). Those who don’t comply with a corporate agenda are being painted as sexist. Ask Torvalds why he was pushed out of kernel development a year ago. Ask him what he actually said that was sexist (or can be somehow interpreted as such).

Links 6/10/2019: Vulkan Rendering Improved in GTK4 and EasyOS 2.1.5 Released

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Short Topix: Julian Assange To Remain Jailed Pending Extradition To U.S.

        Say what? Microsoft Windows 11 running a Linux kernel? What’chu smokin’? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wrote such a speculative article for ComputerWorld.

        And actually, it makes perfect sense. Look at the unmitigated disaster that the Windows 10 updates have been. Week after week after week, we hear about how the Windows 10 updates have wrecked users computers or have otherwise gone seriously awry. Most (if not all) Linux users are Windows refugees, usually fleeing from the lack of desktop choice under Windows, the never-ending assault of virii and virus scanners, the endless battle with malware, etc., etc., etc. The list is nearly as long as the number of Linux users.

        Replacing the NT kernel, which is basically rotten, with the Linux kernel is certainly doable. Vaughan-Nichols makes the argument that using the Linux kernel that is passionately and enthusiastically upkept by an army of programmers from around the world makes perfect sense. He goes on to argue that many Windows users won’t even have to be aware that Windows is running on a Linux kernel, as Windows can still be made to look like Windows. But the insides, the very core, will get an upgrade in stability and security.

        Sure, it sounds crazy. But who could have predicted that Microsoft would go from wanting to bury Linux and calling it a cancer under Steve Ballmer, to expressing love for Linux under Satya Nadella? Who could have predicted that Microsoft would open its extensive patent library to Linux and the FOSS community — for free?

        Vaughan-Nichols goes on to point out that Microsoft could release its own version of Linux today, if it chose to. There’s nothing to stop them. But Microsoft developers have been busy laying the groundwork with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), mapping Linux API calls to Windows, and vice versa.

    • Server

      • Intellectual Property Or Open Source?

        The SAP partner community still follows the software license model, and many of them are raising concerns regarding their intellectual property. And rightly so; after all, their livelihood is at stake.
        An important discussion is happening inside the SAP community right now: intellectual property or open source?

        For years, SAP’s ERP has been a black box. Most SAP partners make their living off of selling add-ons for the system. These add-ons have to be licensed and customers must pay maintenance fees. It’s profitable business for SAP partners, and customers can enjoy good service and cost-efficient offers.

        [...]

        Fact of the matter is that the software licensing business is changing. Therefore, Business Application Programming Interface (SAP BAPI) should be transferred to SAP Cloud Platform and Github as app. These kinds of apps could not only be open source, but they could also be further developed and optimized with tools like Mendix (listed as SAP Cloud Platform for Rapid Application Development by Mendix in SAP’s pricing list).

      • IBM

        • Open Source is the Building Block for Digital Transformation

          According to Damien Wong, Vice President and General Manager, Asian Growth and Emerging Markets, Red Hat, both IBM and Red Hat believe that the multi-cloud approach is the way forward and they aim to become the leading hybrid and multi-cloud provider.
          “Red Hat is still Red Hat. We are true to our principals. We keep our own brand and keep Red Hat developer programs. We remain neutral and independent. And yes, we will compete with IBM.”
          Having said that at a media session during the Red Hat Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Damien added that innovation today needs to be scaled safely. And one of the best ways to that is with open source. By being able to share ideas and innovations, organisations and developers will be able to overcome the challenges of discovery and creation.

          [...]

          “This is a clear endorsement of our strategy being the right one. If you are leading in a race, and no one is chasing you, you’re probably going the wrong direction. But if others are catching up, you are on the right path. This is the right direction and with everyone playing catch up, it’s only a great thing for the community. Participation and robust collaboration among commercial competitors will make it stronger.”

        • TOKAI Group Adopts Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated for Fully-Managed Enterprise Kubernetes

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that TOKAI Group, a group of consolidated subsidiary companies under TOKAI Holdings Corporation, has selected Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated as its overall development and operations infrastructure. With the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform as its primary container platform, TOKAI Group has used the platform to integrate the disparate web applications built by its respective group companies.

        • Submissions Open for 2020 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that submissions are being accepted for the 14th annual Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award.

          The Red Hat Certified Professional (RHCP) of the Year Award recognizes the hard work, expertise and ingenuity of a current Red Hat Certified Professional. The award program is open to holders of a current Red Hat certification or Certificate of Expertise in eligible countries. The certification must also be current during the 2020 Red Hat Summit event.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • USB 4.0 support patches for the Linux kernel issued with 40 Gbps transfer rate

        There were 22 first patches on the Linux kernel mailing list that provided basic support for USB 4.0. USB 4 support in its current form consists of less than four thousand lines of new code in the kernel. The boot process is not too dramatic as USB4 is based on Thunderbolt and therefore reuses the existing Thunderbolt driver code in the kernel.

        As we approach the release of USB 4, which will have speeds similar to Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps), PCIe compatibility and DisplayPort within the USB-C form factor, there are already drivers that support the new standard and ensure that the release and transition to the latest USB version run smoothly.

      • Linux Foundation

        • View from the airport: Linux Open Networking Summit 2019

          When it comes to the future of networking, the Linux Foundation is headed for the edge
          Networking enthusiasts descended onto the Belgian city of Antwerp last week to attend the Open Networking Summit 2019, where we were treated to talks from key figures in all avenues of the networking industry. While there were more sessions than I could ever have hoped to attend, I chose to get swept up in the edge computing side of things, a topic which thoroughly stole the spotlight for the three-day affair.

          Arpit Joshipura, GM of networking at the Linux Foundation, kicked things off with his Monday morning keynote. He front-loaded the event with a very positive prediction for edge computing: that the industry’s revenue will overtake cloud by 2025 and will go on to be four times bigger than the cloud industry ever was or will be.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon RADV “ACO” Performance On Mesa 19.3 Looking Good

        With the ACO shader compiler back-end merged for Mesa 19.3 as of mid-September and more improvements merged since then, it’s now very easy to try out this alternative to AMD’s longstanding AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end. ACO, which is developed by Valve and their contractors outside of AMD, is looking quite good not only for quicker shader compilation (more punctual game load times) but also helping the performance of some Vulkan-powered games. Here are our latest ACO benchmarks.

    • Applications

      • Top 10+ Best Library Management Software for Linux in 2019

        Library management software refers to a modern and flexible system that enables maintaining the database for operating a library efficiently. It lets users manage and access various library resources through an automated system. Linux includes a wide range of applications for maintaining books and records smartly. In this article, I tried to pick the most easy-to-use and intuitive web-based library automation software for both beginners and professionals.

      • Repo Review: QPhotoRec

        QPhotoRec is a handy tool for recovering lost data from damaged or corrupted storage devices, or files you may have just accidentally deleted. Despite its name, QPhotoRec can recover many different kinds of files from FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4, ReiserFS, and HFS+ file systems.

      • Values of the world, unite! – Offsets in Poke

        Early in the design of what is becoming GNU poke I was struck by a problem that, to my surprise, would prove not easy to fix in a satisfactory way: would I make a byte-oriented program, or a bit-oriented program? Considering that the program in question was nothing less than an editor for binary data, this was no petty dilemma.

        Since the very beginning I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to achieve: a binary editor that would be capable of editing user defined data structures, besides bytes and bits. I also knew I needed some sort of domain specific language to describe these structures and operate on them. How that language would look like, and what kind of abstractions it would provide, however, was not clear to me. Not at all.

      • Vim :Gbrowse support for Pagure

        As software developers and sysadmins, we tend to communicate with other people much more than we could have ever imagined (when choosing this career path mainly as a way to escape the society). Particularly, we discuss semi-real, self-invented computer problems that supposedly need to be solved and that involves mentioning some existing pieces of code.

        Let’s imagine your colleague asks where in the codebase is implemented some functionality. Unless you have an eidetic memory, you need to switch to your IDE and do a little of detective work to find out. Now, there is the boring part – explaining someone else what you are looking at. Only if there was a way for them to just see your editor. Instead, you are left with only two options, one more dull than the other.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Recently Used ioslave

          With D7446 landing, the new ioslave recentlyused:/ ioslave will become user visible with KDE Frameworks 5.63. This differential revision adds two entries “Recent Files” and “Recent Locations” to the place panel (in dolphin and open/save dialogs)

          It leverages the ioslave recentlyused:/ introduced in D22144, allowing to access KActivity data. KActivity is the service that provides “recent” elements to kickoff menu and is activity aware as the name suggests.

          [...]

          When working on this new feature, It was a great time to improve KActivity. So I allowed KActivity to ingest data from gtk applications in differential D23112.

          I want to thank Ivan Lukić for building KActivity service and library and reviewing most of this work. And I want to thank all the other reviewers involved.

        • This week in KDE: apps, apps apps!

          It’s been a big week for Dolphin with some new features, plus various improvements for other apps. Among them, KDE developer Christoph Cullmann went on a High DPI rampage and and fixed visual glitches in Kate and Okular on Windows when using a High DPI scale factor, and made great progress towards fixing the infamous line glitches in Konsole when using fractional scaling. Though still not quite perfect, it’s much better now.

          Beyond that, a bunch of great things are in development which I can’t announce yet, but I guarantee that you’ll like them once they land in the coming weeks!

        • KDE Kicked Off October With Dolphin Improvements, Continued HiDPI Work

          KDE developers spent the first week of October working on improvements to their Dolphin file manager, seemingly never-ending work on HiDPI support, and a variety of other enhancements for this leading open-source desktop.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Incremental present in GTK4

          When working with graphical applications, there are multiple constraints and techniques applied in order to reduce the number of pixels that are being uploaded to the GPU, swapped on screen, or being manipulated. Even with highly optimized GPUs, the massive number of pixels we have to deal with (a 1080p monitor, for example, has 2 million pixels!) forces everyone to have some level of scrutiny.

          When it comes to Linux compositors and clients, a widely adopted technique is regional rendering. GTK tracks which parts of the window actually changed and only redraws that part; then sends this information to the compositor so that the compositor itself can redraw only the new contents of the window.

          Fortunately, the entire graphics stack is well optimized for doing that! When using EGL, we can use eglSwapBuffersWithDamageEXT(), which receives a list of rectangles representing the parts of the window that changed. Mutter also uses a similar API after compositing the desktop.

        • GTK4 Now Allows More Efficient Usage With Its Vulkan Renderer

          This week the GTK 4.0 development code picked up support for making use of the VK_KHR_incremental_present extension with its Vulkan renderer in order to allow much more efficient behavior.

          VK_KHR_incremental_present is akin to EGL’s eglSwapBuffersWithDamageEXT behavior in being able to specify changed regions of the display for updating, rather than resorting to updating the entire screen. Up to now, each time the entire contents of the GTK4 windows when rendered via their new Vulkan renderer would be updated.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS version 2.1.5 released

          There are some bug fixes, but the big news is the incorporation of the ‘nm-applet’ GUI tray applet, for network management. The source is patched so as to integrate with EasyOS. In particular, it can be popped-up by clicking on the “connect” icon on the desktop — after booting 2.1.5, try it!

          Networkmanager is now better integrated, so that the user can switch between the older network management systems, such as SNS and PupDial. The Connection Wizard is still available by right-clicking on the “connect” icon, or in the Setup menu.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: oulik.jan

          My father of 91 uses Linux as well. (Lubuntu) With Windows, he often picked up a virus or other malware, and he has been running Linux virus free since six years now. He is very happy with Lubuntu.

          My brothers were in the beginning quite negative about my father using Lubuntu, but now they tend to be neutral about it.

          I tried to convince some friends of mine to use Linux, but they perceive it to be too complicated and too different.

          Only two friends of mine like it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Desktop ZFS Install Support Lands In Ubiquity Installer

          Merged into Ubiquity on Friday was the last minute work on adding a ZFS file-system option to the guided partitioning setup of Ubiquity. This allows Ubuntu 19.10 users to deploy Ubuntu atop a root ZFS file-system install in an easy-to-use manner and making use of Ubuntu’s growing ZFS On Linux support. This ZFS integration work on the Ubuntu desktop has been one of the features we’ve been looking forward to about this month’s Ubuntu 19.10 release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Google Has Been Developing “libgav1″ As New AV1 Decoder

        While there exists DAV1D as one of the most promising AV1 decoders to date, Google has been developing libgav1 as its own AV1 decoder and focused on Arm-powered Android devices but also x86_64 desktop CPUs as well.

        Google made its first libgav1 code drop on Friday for this AV1 decoder focused on AV1 profile 0 and profile 1 content. GAV1 is focused on decoding IVF files and so far features the likes of Arm NEON and x86 SSE4.1 CPU optimizations.

      • DAV1D vs. LIBGAV1 Performance – Benchmarking Google’s New AV1 Video Decoder

        With the surprise code drop of Google developing a new open-source AV1 video decoder as “libgav1″, I set out this Saturday to run benchmarks on various systems for seeing how the performance is looking for this CPU-based decoder in relation to the more well known DAV1D decoder.

        Libgav1 is now available alongside the many other video encoders/decoders for benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite with OpenBenchmarking.org. I fired up a number of different Linux systems so far in seeing how the performance compares with a wide array of AMD and Intel processors.

      • James Bottomley: Why Ethical Open Source Really Isn’t

        Ethics itself is the actual process by which philosophical questions of human morality are resolved. The job of Ethics is to give moral weight to consequences in terms of good and evil (or ethical and unethical). However, ethics also recognizes that actions have indivisible compound consequences of which often some would be classified as unethical and some as ethical. There are actually very few actions where all compound consequences are wholly Ethical (or Unethical). Thus the absolute position that all compound consequences must be ethical rarely exists in practice and what people actually mean when they say an action is “ethical” is that in their judgment the unethical consequences are outweighed by the ethical ones. Where and how you draw this line of ethical being outweighed by unethical is inherently political and can vary from person to person.

        To give a concrete example tied to the UN Declaration of Human Rights (since that seems to be being held up as the pinnacle of unbiased ethics): The right to bear arms is enshrined in the US constitution as Amendment 2 and thus is protected under the UNDHR Article 8. However, the UNHDR also recognizes under Article 3 the right to life, liberty and security of person and it’s arguable that flooding the country with guns precipitating mass shootings violates this article. Thus restricting guns in the US would violate 8 and support 3 and not restricting them do the opposite. Which is more important is essentially a political decision and where you fall depend largely on whether you see yourself as Republican or Democrat. The point being this is a classical ethical conundrum where there is no absolute ethical position because it depends on the relative weights you give to the ethical and unethical consequences. The way out of this is negotiation between both sides to achieve a position not necessarily that each side supports wholeheartedly but which each side can live with.

        The above example shows the problem of ethical open source because there are so few wholly ethical actions as to make conditioning a licence on this alone pointlessly ineffective and to condition it on actions with mixed ethical consequences effectively injects politics because the line has to be drawn somewhere, which means that open source under this licence becomes a politicized process.

        [...]

        I hope I’ve demonstrated that ethical open source is really nothing more than co-opting open source as a platform for protest and as such will lead to the politicization of open source and its allied communities causing huge societal harm by removing more of our much needed unpolarized venues for discussion. It is my ethical judgement that this harm outweighs the benefits of using open source as a platform for protest and is thus ethically wrong. With regard to the attempts to rewrite the OSD to be more reflective of modern society, I content that instead of increasing our ability to discriminate by removing the fields of endeavour restriction, we should instead be tightening the anti-discrimination clauses by naming more things that shouldn’t be discriminated against which would make Open Source and the communities which are created by it more welcoming to all manner of contributions and keep them as neutral havens where people of different beliefs can nevertheless observe first hand the utility of mutual collaboration, possibly even learning to bridge the political, cultural and economic divides as a consequence.

      • The Hippocratic License: A new software license that prohibits uses that contravene the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
      • An Open Source License That Requires Users to Do No Harm
      • Chef outage fuels technology ethics debate

        An increasingly fraught U.S. political scene has collided with technology ethics the last two years, and directly affected enterprise IT users last month when a politically motivated code deletion caused a service outage for some Chef software customers.

        On Sept. 17, Seth Vargo, a Google staff engineer who also worked as a relief engineer for Chef from 2013 to 2014, deleted RubyGems that made up the Chef-Sugar utility he’d contributed from open source repositories. Chef-Sugar offers a leaner domain-specific language for Chef recipes than the default that makes Chef easier to use. Vargo deleted the gems from a repository on RubyGems.org, some internal Chef build systems and what Chef CTO Corey Scobie described as “a few” customer deployments that had dependencies on those gems which caused Chef Infra runs to stop working.

      • NHSX will not develop new standards, says senior tech advisor

        If you were wondering how NHSX will be developing new standards to speed up innovation, its senior technology advisor, Terence Eden, has a very blunt answer for you. They won’t.

        “Developing standards takes a huge amount of time, effort and money and those are three things which we don’t have,” he told delegates at the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) event in London today.

        Instead, NHSX will look for the best international open standards which are already in use.

        “We want to be able to buy software from around the world and we want our software to integrate with other health systems. We can’t take a parochial attitude to data and integration anymore,” Eden said.

        And as for developers who approach NHSX with closed standard solutions, Eden has an even blunter response: “They will get a firm but polite refusal and it might not be that polite.”

        The NHS does not want to be beholden to repeatedly buying from the same suppliers, he explained.

      • NGINX Announces New Versions of Open Source, Commercial, and Partner Solutions, Helping Businesses Evolve Apps for the Digital Era

        This year’s updates are different, though – not only because of specific new features and functions, but because we’re now supported by the breadth and depth of F5. Collectively, these updates represent a bold extension to our vision.

        But first, let’s explain why these updates are needed in today’s fast‑paced, digital era.

        Three Waves of Digital Transformation Organizations are at a digital tipping point. The pressure to grow revenues, compete on a global scale, and keep costs in check requires a digital‑first approach. But the evolution to a digital business doesn’t happen overnight. Digital transformation is a journey.

      • Multi-Cloud on the rise and Open Source disrupting the modern application stack
      • Cruise Open Sources DSL Framework for Kubernetes

        The bulk of the contributions being made to the open source Kubernetes ecosystem come from IT vendors. However, as IT organizations become more familiar with the platform, many of them are starting to make significant contributions.

        Case in point is Cruise, a startup building autonomous vehicles, which has launched Isopod, an open source domain-specific language (DSL) framework designed to make it easier to configure multiple Kubernetes clusters.

        Charles Xu, a software engineer at Cruise, says Cruise has employed Isopod to migrate add-ons and add new ones to multiple Kubernetes clusters. The result has been 80% faster rollouts and a 60% reduction in code size, thanks to reuse.

        Instead of relying on YAML files, Isopod renders Kubernetes objects as Protocol Buffers (Protobufs) that can be consumed by the Kubernetes application programming interface (API). Kubernetes objects and cluster targets are scripted in Starlark, a Python dialect created by Google. Isopod extends Starlark with runtime built-ins to access services and utilities such as Vault secrets management, Kubernetes apiserver, HTTP requester, Base64 encoder and UUID generator to replace CLI dependencies. Isopod also uses a separate runtime for unit tests to mock all built-ins.

      • Confluent adds free tier to Kafka real-time streaming data cloud service

        When Confluent launched a cloud service in 2017, it was trying to reduce some of the complexity related to running a Kafka streaming data application. Today, it introduced a free tier to that cloud service. The company hopes to expand its market beyond large technology company customers, and the free tier should make it easier for smaller companies to get started.

        The new tier provides up to $50 of service a month for up to three months. Company CEO Jay Kreps says that while $50 might not sound like much, it’s actually hundreds of gigabytes of throughput and makes it easy to get started with the tool.

      • Cloudera’s Shaun Bierweiler: Open Source Software Facilitates Customization, Integration in Support of Gov’t Mission

        In addition, the nature of the software enables it to support backward-compatible application programming interfaces as well as newer programs and apps.

      • All You Need to Know About an Open Source Software

        Open source is simply a term that refers to something people transform and simply share because its design is publicly accessible. The term open source is derived from the context of software development so that it can map a certain approach to creating computer programs.

        Open source software has been a dominant powerhouse acting behind the development of the internet. Whilst there are quite a number of free software programs out there, most of them are branded. This simply means that the development company owns the codes. The good thing about open source software is that it enables you to edit, and at the same time, adapt the source code as you see fit.

        [...]

        If you have this open source alternative, there is no need for you to pay for Office. Libre Office is a full suite of office software that encompass some exceptional apps for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, as well as database.

        With this all your documents will just look as sharp and professional and they will be no different from paid for software. The good thing is that there are quite a number of templates available at your disposal to download.

      • Advantages of open source software compared to paid equivalents

        Thanks to the internet revolution, the software industry has been one of the fastest-growing and highest-performing sectors over the last two decades. Innovation continues to push technology forward, creating new opportunities for startups to enter the market and break new ground.

        In the old days, software companies would develop products designed to run on desktop computers. That changed with the shift to cloud computing, where companies rely on hosting providers to manage their infrastructure and data centre needs.

        One major decision that enterprises face is whether to invest in open source technologies or go through a commercial route instead. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the key benefits of open source software and look at how they can support company growth.

      • Startup Uses Open Source to Help Cities Crunch Mobility Data

        As shared scooters, bikes and cars have proliferated through city streets across the U.S., local governments have been eager to get their hands on data about how people are using all those new options.

        That’s easier said than done. There are quite a few companies operating in the space, with varying levels of eagerness to share data, and privacy concerns to boot.

        With the emergence of data standards like the Mobility Data Specification that came out of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and others, it’s become more feasible. And that’s where Lacuna, a relatively young startup based in Palo Alto, Calif., is angling to make a name for itself.

      • Takeaway from MLOps NYC: Open Source Frameworks Need TLC
      • Why AT&T’s Latest Open Source Contribution Matters

        AT&T has made a lot of contributions to the open networking community during the past few years, but last week’s donation has “milestone” written all over it.

        The operator announced Friday it had submitted its specifications for a distributed disaggregated chassis (DDC), based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 processors, to the Open Compute Project (OCP), the open source body launched by Facebook, Intel and Rackspace in 2011 and which started focusing on how to reduce the cost of networking hardware in 2013.

      • Deutsche Telekom calls for MNO unity to avoid open source cost and chaos

        Breezy statements about the necessity of the multivendor, cloud-native 5G network are a thing of the past. These goals remain central in the discussions of the largest operators, but they are more focused on the huge challenges of moving to reality – while many tier two players are watching from the sidelines, evaluating simpler options, such as cloud-hosted services, that may emerge over the coming years.

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: DroneAid

        This week’s SD Times open-source project of the week is an IBM hackathon winning project that uses visual recognition to detect and count SOS icons on the ground from drone streams overhead to help first responders plot rescue actions.

        DroneAid was developed by developer Pedro Cruz after he witnessed Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and saw how people in rural areas desperately wrote signs seeking food and water so that planes and helicopters could see their messages.

        “I thought that drones could be the perfect solution for rapidly assessing damages from the air and they could help with capturing images that could then be processed by AI computer vision systems,” Cruz wrote in a blog post that described the steps that were necessary to complete the project.

      • Drones for Good: DroneAid Goes OpenSource

        Perhaps one of the most inspiring Drones for Good stories we’ve heard in the last few years is that of Pedro Cruz, a Puerto Rican native who responded to the devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria by creating DroneAid, a tool designed to communicate SOS signs on the ground to first responders, during a Call for Code Hackathon. Now a full-time IBM developer, Pedro Cruz is bringing DroneAid to the open source community – making it available to as many people as possible.

      • Hurricane Maria survivor designs DroneAid open source disaster relief tool

        Pedro Cruz spent weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in September 2017 helping bring food and water to people trapped in remote areas.

        He quickly realized he could use an airborne drone to help, using its video connection to read dozens of messages painted on the ground asking rescue crews to bring water, food or medicine.

        It wasn’t until nearly a year after the hurricane devastated the island territory in September 2017 that Cruz figured out a way to connect his drone to disaster aid through a computerized visual recognition tool.

      • Welcome to the Fediverse

        If you’re looking for social media options where the user has more control, you’ll find a range of options to explore in the Fediverse, including the popular Mastodon.

        Despite what it may seem, despite its promise of unbridled communication possibilities and its supposed gift of giving voice to the traditionally voiceless, current social media is a walled garden at best, although a slimy cesspit with bars over the top would be a more apt description.

        The problem with the current social media status quo is that the platform does not have your interests at heart. The companies that run proprietary social media platforms gradually introduce more and more restrictive terms of service, package your personal data and sell it off to other companies and governments, make their algorithms more manipulative, and so on.

        [...]

        One discovery Cruz made early on was that artificial intelligence computer vision systems needed to read a standard set of icons asking for assistance instead of reading handwritten messages on the ground in various languages through optical character recognition. He settled on eight different icons—such as SOS, OK, food, water, medicine—drawn from a recognized set of icons used by the United Nations. They can be printed on mats that are distributed prior to a storm or spray-painted or drawn by hand.

      • Web Browsers

      • Databases

        • Open Source databases increasing in popularity

          Another surprising stat was the way that organisations are using multi-cloud. Not only are they running large numbers of database instances, they are doing so across multiple cloud platforms. Yonkovit’s believes that this is an extension of their concern about vendor lock-in by cloud vendors. That concern seems to also be impacting the take-up of the cloud vendors own DBaaS offerings.

          Yonkivit also talked about the challenge that smaller companies face when it comes to contributing to open source.

        • Percona Tunes Monitoring Platform For ‘Living Breathing’ Databases

          Modern enterprises run on information in the form of data, so they buy databases. Databases are nice solid chunky pieces of software that, once installed, neatly store away all the company’s operational and transactional information in easy-to-find predesignated areas… so after initial deployment, they pretty much look after themselves.

          Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. Databases are living breathing things that need to change and adapt to a variety of factors all the time. Here’s a selection of eight popular reasons that your firm’s information backbone might need to change…

        • Percona customers talk about database challenges

          At Percona Live in Amsterdam, the Open Source database company has released details from its latest customer survey. The results are interesting and suggest that the database market is less rigid, stable and predictable than you might think. They also show a propensity for larger customers to have more database instances than staff.

        • Percona details ‘state’ of open source data management

          Open source database management and monitoring services company Percona has laid down its state of open source data management software survey for 2019.

          Surveys are surveys and are generally custom-constructed to be self-serving in one sense or another and so convey a message set in their ‘findings’ that the commissioning body (or in this case company) has wanted to table to media, customers, partners and other related bodies.

          This central truth being so, should we give any credence to Percona’s latest market assessment?

        • Percona packages PostgreSQL alongside existing MySQL and MongoDB products

          PostgreSQL is among the most popular database management systems, but market share is a slippery thing to measure, depending on whether you mean revenue, developer activity, or actual deployed databases.

          The developer-focused StackOverflow puts PostgreSQL second after MySQL, with Microsoft SQL Server third and Oracle way down at 8th. DB-Engines on the other hand, which measures general discussion, puts Oracle top, followed by MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL 4th.

          Open-source company Percona’s distribution, announced at its Percona Live event in Amsterdam, is based on PostgreSQL 11.5, supplemented by several extensions. The pg_repack extension reorganises tables with minimal locks. The PostgreSQL Audit Extension (pgaudit) provides tools for audit logs to meet compliance requirements. And backup and restore is provided by the pgBackRest extension.

        • Database Diversity: The Dirt, the Data

          Companies are using an increasingly eclectic mix of databases, a survey of 836 enterprise database users from around the world conducted by Percona reveals — with the vast majority of respondents using more than one type of open-source database.

          The survey comes as the overall database market – worth some $46 billion at the end of 2018 – continues to fragment: there are now over 40 companies with revenues of $100 million-plus in the commercial open-source ecosystem.

        • The state of open source databases in 2019: Multiple Databases, Clouds, and Licenses

          The Open Source Data Management Software Survey was undertaken by Percona, a company offering services for open source databases, to capture usage patterns and opinions of the people who use open source databases. The survey, unveiled today at Percona’s Open Source database conference in Amsterdam, included 836 of them from 85 countries, which means it’s a good way to get insights.

        • Percona Announces Enhanced Version of Award-Winning Open Source Database Monitoring and Management Platform, For Faster Performance Issue Resolution
        • Interview: MongoDB cofounder Eliot Horowitz – ‘I’d like to see a fair fight with the cloud providers’

          Horowitz discusses MongoDB’s licensing and how he wants to see more VC money being ploughed into core open source

        • ArangoDB Extends Open Source Solution with ArangoML Pipeline
        • Kafka Spawns Open-Source KarelDB
      • CMS

        • Acquia Acquired for $1B, WordPress 5.3 on the Horizon, More Open Source News

          Acquia has announced an agreement to receive a majority investment from Vista Equity Partners, which essentially translates into the investment company purchasing Acquia for a colossal $1 billion. The investment will enable the open-source digital experience company to continue growing its presence in the digital experience platform space. “Vista shares our belief that the DXP market is ripe for disruption and we are excited to partner with them to accelerate our plans,” said Michael Sullivan, Acquia CEO.

          Acquia’s press release noted that Acquia will “continue to operate independently”.

          This announcement came shortly after being named to the 2019 Forbes Cloud 100 for the fourth consecutive year and acquiring the first enterprise-grade, low-code Drupal website builder.

        • Daily Buzz: Drupal’s Big Buyout
        • WordCamp Philly returns this weekend in all its open-source, community-powered glory

          In an age where the internet’s attention is hyper focused on the most recent tweet, only to be distracted the next minute, WordPress’ decade-long staying power can be attributed to its diverse and dedicated open-source community.

          WordPress values and strives to grow its community, and one of the ways it does that is through WordCamps. Philadelphia is home to one of the oldest WordCamps in the United States, and the annual daylong event is returning this weekend, Oct. 5 and 6, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

        • People of WordPress: Alice Orru

          Alice Orru was born in Sardinia, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. As a child, she dreamt of becoming a flight attendant, traveling the world, and speaking many foreign languages.

          Unable to meet the height requirements of her chosen profession, Orru ended up choosing a different path in life, following the Italian mantra: “You have to study something that will guarantee a stable and secure job for life.”

          The unemployment rate in Sardinia is very high, a challenge shared throughout the surrounding islands. In addition to that, Alice wasn’t that keen on having the same job all her life, as her parents had.

          When Orru was 22 she moved to Siena, Tuscany, to finish her studies. That is when she created her first personal blog. The website was built on an Italian platform named Tiscali, which she later migrated to WordPress.com.

          After 2 years in Tuscany Orru moved to Strasbourg, France. She studied French and worked several jobs while living there. Her first serious job was in Milan – working 40 hours/week in the marketing department of a large, international company. She found herself surrounded by ambitious colleagues and a boss who constantly requested extra —unpaid— working hours per day.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • GNU Guix maintainer collective expands

          In July, we—Ricardo Wurmus and Ludovic Courtès—called for volunteers to join us in maintaining Guix. We are thrilled to announce that three brave hackers responded and that they’re now officially co-maintainers! The Guix maintainer collective now consists of Marius Bakke, Maxim Cournoyer, and Tobias Geerinckx-Rice, in addition to Ricardo and Ludovic. You can reach us all by email at guix-maintainers@gnu.org, a private alias.

          [...]

          With now five people on-board, we’ll probably be able to improve some of our processes and be able to scale better.

        • Analysis: The Fall Of Stallman

          Richard Stallman sent emails to an MIT CSAIL mailing list earlier this month. In the emails, Stallman tried to defend the reputation of late MIT teacher Marvin Minsky, with whom Epstein’s victim Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to have sex during a trip to the Virgin Islands at the age of 17. Well, Stallman argued, on that MIT mailing list that using the term rape would be very serious (defending the memory of his former teacher, and, I believe, friend).

          Now Stallman is a man almost completely detached from our reality. Anyone who knows him says he’s almost an Asperger, so his opinions should not be taken so seriously given his background.

          [...]

          The VICE website put it this way: “Famous computer scientist Richard Stallman described Epstein’s victims as “totally willing””.

          And, such headlines and articles were reproduced ad-infinitum on the internet, amplifying a very poorly told story.

          Well … what exactly does this really have to do with what he wrote?

          In defending his former teacher, and getting into this discussion of a notorious pedophile, Stallman has already made a mistake. He should not have gotten involved in this, but, as the media described him, it was a colossal attack on Stallman’s person, a 100x worse mistake.

          To say that Stallman defended Epstein for comments he made about his former teacher are from an oceanic distance. And, he commented, angrily on his blog, about the injustices he suffered online.

          Unfortunately, his defenses were forgotten, and all the media preferred the scandal to the truth.

          And an online campaign at has put pressure on him to leave, and has succeeded. He did not resist the pressure and resigned from both the MIT and the FSF.

          [...]

          Negative. It never happened. In fact, who really had ties with that citizen Epstein was Bill Gates, who, according to emails obtained exclusively from The New Yorker, Epstein would have instructed Bill Gates to donate $2 million to a MIT research lab in October 2014. The directors of MIT Media Lab delivered the emails, and they clearly link Gates to Epstein.

          However, this connection goes beyond donation, as both Gates and Epstein had a common interest in eugenics, a perverted form of science that seeks to genetically improve the human population by getting rid of undesirable ones (who was also interested in that? Hmmm, ahhh, that Austrian guy!)

          We can even speculate that the attack on Stallman’s person was a way to get the public’s attention diverted away from Gates, who really had a connection with Epstein.

          Now, let’s move a little away from the passion that this theme arouses. Let’s look at the Stallman person. And, let’s think for a moment.

        • DO NOT MAKE FREE SOFTWARE AS YOUR SOURCE OF INCOME, IT WILL MAKE YOU WEAK, POLITICALLY

          When Richard Stallman began Free Software Foundation in 1984 there was nobody to help him. There is no money. So he cannot recruit anybody to work for the foundation. So he volunteered for that work saying himself “Stallman dont need any money so recruit him!”. Rest of the 2 decades nobody cared about free software. So there was no job opportunity was there with free software. Most of the work happening was voluntary work. Nobody has issues with politics of free software.

          After 1990s when the first running free system became alive then people started noticing the movement. Gradually more are more systems became free software and employment opportunity with free software increased. It became part of mainstream economy. Now there is a whole lot of people find their living on free software.

          That became a problem to free software politics. Now if you say something open, then you may loose job, or project or removed from group. Dont worry, its happens diplomatically that you yourself never going to notice it. Everybody knows this. So people keep quite. Do the work and go home.

          Those who are confident on their skills may have independent opinion and they express that too. But there is a catch. How you get confidence in your skill? You have to work hard on the technical side. If spend more time on technical stuff you tries to avoid or ignore the ‘other’ things, means the politics. “Oh politics is a mean thing. We have more important real work there”. So you end in as a follower of your boss or puppet of corporate media who spreads all pseudo issues like identity politics.

          For example, I talked about the issue of Stallman’s resignation. I think its wrong. FSF should not accept his resignation. But people I talked dont care these issues. They says people come and go, what they are interested is to find technical solutions of the problems.

          I can see the pressure in their life. In this 21st century after 2008 crash and with this gig economy etc finding a living is very difficult. So people are taking the easiest paths. So do the FSF.

          [...]

          If users want software that chains them lets give them that. If they want free software lets give them that. Software engineers and companies dont have a say in that. What ever the demand they just provides that.

          In this case users are driving the system. Only users need to be educated about their rights. I knows its a difficult thing. But in this case money cannot corrupt the system.

        • Against sfconservancy, we call for Stallman to step UP from his positions in the free software movement

          Against sfconservancy, we call for Stallman to step UP from his positions in the free software movement. Software Freedom Conservancy Does Not and Cannot Speak for the Free Software Movement.

          Richard Stallman have defended firmly and blamelessly free software for decades with rigorous and strict adherence to free software, without drifts or nuances opensourcist, FOSSist or similar in which many people and groups of the free software environment fall, and this (and nothing else) is what should be valued to judge whether a person does well its role of leading an idea or movement. We may or may not agree with his personal statements on issues other than free software, but we have always seen he make it clear when he talk about free software as a reference person on the subject, and when he talk as a ordinary person called Richard about issues that are not free software, avoiding mixing the personal and the professional.

          Additionally, accept his resignation means giving the reason to those who believe in “perfect people” and idolize people to turn to hate them if they do something wrong, a dualistic perspective of people (the good ones and the bad ones) who feed nefarious discourses of groups pitted against each other, source of conflicts and wars. Considered the current regrettable tendency to judge a person’s role in one topic, by his personal statements in other topics, this sets a bad precedent. Since the perfect people don’t exist, then nobody can be a reference person on any subject. We strongly publicly criticize the regrettable role he has played Software Freedom Conservancy on it.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open-source radiotelemetry technology has potential to revolutionize wildlife research

          Biologists and ecologists monitor wildlife to learn more about their behaviors, but tracking small creatures can be challenging, time-consuming and costly. Through a National Science Foundation grant, a multidisciplinary team at Northern Arizona University—led by Michael Shafer, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Carol Chambers, professor of wildlife ecology; and Paul Flikkema, professor of electrical engineering—has developed technology that could revolutionize the way this research is conducted through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Better yet, the scientists are sharing what they have learned in a paper appearing in Methods of Ecology and Evolution, a peer-reviewed journal published by the British Ecological Society.

          “We want to help people who study wildlife better track small animals that have been tagged with tiny tracking devices, and we want other labs to take what we’ve learned and improve on it so that biologists have cost-effective tools that best suit their needs,” Shafer said.

          [...]

          As part of the NSF grant requirements, Shafer and his team are sharing how they created the device and what they have learned. In the published paper, Shafer, Flikkema and graduate students Gabriel Vega and Kellan Rothfus provide instructions and a list of the exact materials they used, such as the model of motors, the software they developed and all the other hardware specifications. The team also shared the information on a new website.

          By sharing exactly how they constructed their device, Shafer and his team hope that other labs and life scientists will adapt the technology to meet a suite of research needs.

          “If scientists are looking for a really small animal on the ground, the antenna can be configured straight down, but if they are looking for a songbird in a tree, obviously, the antenna should scan outward,” Shafer said. “There’s a learning curve, and the users will need to use what they know about animal behavior as they configure the device to work best for them. They will need to experiment with it.”

        • Open Data

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Mobile braille keyboard available as open source

            Bachelor student Johannes Střelka-Petz has designed a portable Braille keyboard for the blind and visually impaired. OSKAR, the prototype’s name, is an open source project. The blueprints and program code are freely available online.

            When blind and visually impaired people use a computer, they use a braille keyboard which is based on their own tactile writing system. This new braille keyboard has the advantage of haptic symbols. This option is not yet available for smartphones.

          • Amazing Open Source Quadruped Capable Of Dynamic Motion

            The more we read about [Josh Pieper]’s quadruped, the mjbots quad A0, the more blown away we are by his year of progress on the design. Each part of the robot deserves its own article: from the heavily modified brushless motors (with custom planetary gears) to the custom motor driver designed just for this project.

            [Josh], realized early on that the off-the-shelf components like an ODrive just weren’t going to cut it for his application. So he designed his own board, took it through four revisions, and even did thermal and cycle testing on it. He ended up with the compact moteus board. It can pump out 400 Watts of peak power while its 3Mbit control protocol leaves plenty of bandwidth for real time dynamic control.

          • A low-cost, open-source, computer-assisted microscope

            Low-cost open labware is a good thing in the world, and I was particularly pleased when micropalaeontologist Martin Tetard got in touch about the Raspberry Pi-based microscope he is developing. The project is called microscoPI (what else?), and it can capture, process, and store images and image analysis results. Martin is engaged in climate research: he uses microscopy to study tiny fossil remains, from which he gleans information about the environmental conditions that prevailed in the far-distant past.

          • A new blueprint for microprocessors challenges the industry’s giants

            risc-v offers computer architects a way to standardise their sockets and plumbing without having to gain permission from (and pay royalties to) either of the monopolists—for any company or individual may download it from the internet. It was originally written by computer scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, who wanted an instruction set that they could use for publishable research. Commercial producers of isas were reluctant to make theirs available, so the academics decided to buckle down and write their own.

            The result, risc-v, made its debut in 2014, at the Hot Chips microprocessor conference in California. It is now governed by a non-profit foundation. Though there are no formal royalties, the foundation does solicit donations as pro bono publico gestures from firms that employ risc-v architecture—for what was once a tool for academics is now proliferating commercially.

            There are three reasons for this proliferation. The most obvious is that the lack of royalties means using risc-v is less costly than employing a commercial isa. If the final product is a high-price object like a smartphone, that may not be a huge consideration. But for cheaper devices it is. Moreover, as chips are built into a growing range of products, such as home appliances, city infrastructure and factory equipment, it makes business sense to keep them as cheap as possible.

            A second, more subtle advantage is that, unlike chips based on proprietary designs, those involving risc-v can be used without lengthy and expensive contractual negotiations. It can take between six months and two years to negotiate a licence to use a chip design involving a commercial isa. In the world of computing, especially for a cash-strapped startup, that is an eternity.

          • 5 Startups Driving The Future Of Open Source Industry

            SiFive was founded in 2015 by the designer of RISC-V, which is an open-source hardware instruction set architecture based on established reduced instruction set computer principles. SiFive is one of the new players in the chip/semiconductor industry and has managed to raise total funding of $89.59 million to date, according to a source.

            The company creates open-source chip platform and also brings software automation to the semiconductor industry. Furthermore, with its open-source platform, SiFive has taken chip designing to a whole new level. The company is also coming up with an open-source chip design tool silicon chips. All you would need to do is choose a template that suits your application, create variations using a rich library of IP, run your application code on virtualized chips, order the chips and you will receive sample chips within weeks.

      • Programming/Development

        • CMake 3.15.4 landed in FreeBSD

          We (and this is a “we” that means “I pushed a button, but other people did all the real work”) just landed the latest CMake release, version 3.15.4, in the official FreeBSD ports tree.

          This is part and parcel of the kind of weekly maintainence that the KDE-FreeBSD group goes through: building lots of other stuff. We’re happy to be responsible for code that hundreds of other ports depend on, but it brings a bunch of extra work with it. I probably build gcc and llvm a few times a week just testing new KDE bits and pieces (because in between those tests, the official ports for other parts, like those compilers, have updated as well).

        • Intel OpenCL Stack Updated Against LLVM/Clang 9.0

          This Intel open-source compute runtime continues to be heavily invested in by Intel ahead of their Xe graphics hardware expected next year. This compute stack continues offering OpenCL 2.1 currently on Broadwell through Icelake hardware. Using an LLVM-based compiler stack continues working out well for them while on the graphics side they continue with their own compiler back-end and as revealed this week are developing the new Intel “IBC” back-end for OpenGL and Vulkan. At least Intel has the resources to sufficiently maintain multiple compiler back-ends for their different stacks.

        • How to Convert Strings into Integers in Python
        • Casual Python, Part 9
        • Norbert Preining: RIP (for now) Calibre in Debian

          The current purge of all Python2 related packages has a direct impact on Calibre. The latest version of Calibre requires Python modules that are not (anymore) available for Python 2, which means that Calibre >= 4.0 will for the foreseeable future not be available in Debian.

        • Parasoft Uses Java for New AI-Powered UI Testing Solution for Open Source
        • 9 Tutorials To Become A Pro In Open-Source Machine Learning Framework
  • Leftovers

    • Paper or Email? Shoppers Are Clinging to Their Printed Receipts

      “Consumers prefer and trust paper and there is a very real worry about data security that needs to be considered,” said Greg Selfe, campaign manager for Choose Paper, a group formed last month to advocate for paper over digital as green groups target the slips.

    • Science

      • Deep learning powers a motion-tracking revolution

        A surge in the development of artificial-intelligence technology is driving a new wave of open-source tools for analysing animal behaviour and posture.

        [...]

        Di Santo was investigating the motions involved when fish such as skates swim. She filmed individual fish in a tank and manually annotated their body parts frame by frame, an effort that required about a month of full-time work for 72 seconds of footage. Using an open-source application called DLTdv, developed in the computer language MATLAB, she then extracted the coordinates of body parts — the key information needed for her research. That analysis showed, among other things, that when little skates (Leucoraja erinacea) need to swim faster, they create an arch on their fin margin to stiffen its edge.

        [...]

        DeepPoseKit offers “very good innovations”, Pereira says. Mathis disputes the validity of the performance comparisons, but Graving says that “our results offer the most objective and fair comparison we could provide”. Mathis’ team reported an accelerated version of DeepLabCut that can run on a mobile phone in an article posted in September on the arXiv preprint repository.

        Biologists who want to test multiple software solutions can try Animal Part Tracker, developed by Kristin Branson, a computer scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, and her colleagues. Users can select any of several posture-tracking algorithms, including modified versions of those used in DeepLabCut and LEAP, as well as another algorithm from Branson’s lab. DeepPoseKit also offers the option to use alternative algorithms, as will SLEAP.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • My Patients Deserve Medicare for All

        When I signed my letter of intent to medical school, I signed up to work with patients, not insurance companies. I wanted to be part of a team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists — working together to make sick people feel better.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Reproducible Builds in September 2019

        In these reports we outline the most important things that we have been up over the past month. As a quick refresher of what our project is about, whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious changes, most software is distributed to end users or servers as precompiled binaries. The motivation behind the reproducible builds effort is to ensure zero changes have been introduced during these compilation processes. This is achieved by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

      • Mind Your Step, Part 2

        This is the second installment of this new series. At the end of the last issue, I had discussed fake email addresses. This past month I collected a series of fake addresses used as the apparent sender of a series of fake emails.

        Mail handler applications such as SpamAssassin determine what is a legitimate email and what is a fake email by examining the header information contained in the email.

        There are two mechanisms that are used to be sure that what gets sent out from your email account really did come from your email account.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Human Rights Defenders Condemn Iraqi Government After Security Forces Kill at Least 44 People in Anti-Corruption Protests

        “Instead of meeting these protests with arbitrary and excessive force, authorities must address protesters’ grievances and the root causes of the unrest in a sustainable manner.”

      • The First Smartphone War

        By “most” I mean that this war was photographed the most widely, the most democratically, if you like, by the most diverse array of participants, from the most angles, with the most devices. The war against the Islamic State was the first smartphone war. News organizations and government organs were there, but they were responsible for only a portion of the images of the combat and its surroundings. The other images, the great majority of them, the ether and the cloud only know how many millions of images, were shot with phone cameras by the people who really had to live through the combat. In the other major urban battles of this war, citizens had cleared out. Not Moslawis, not immediately at any rate. They stayed through the firefights and the mortar barrages and the air strikes and the car bombs, and they were constantly shooting pictures and video on their phones. So too were the soldiers, and, of course, were the jihadis, and anyone in the world who wanted to could tune into the fighting. Some days in Mosul, it seemed the fighting was conducted as much in selfies and GIFs as in bullets and bombs.

      • A Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Could Kill Twice As Many People As WWII, Study Finds

        Starvation is likely because the explosions would cause fires that could, between them, release 16 million to 35 million tons of soot into the atmosphere. This soot would absorb solar radiation and heat the air, which would then cause the smoke to rise further, blocking our sun’s light so that 20 to 35 percent less would fall on the Earth. This would trigger a period of global cooling—resulting in a nuclear winter—that would see surface temperatures drop 3.6 F to 9 F to levels not seen on Earth since the last ice age. We could also see global precipitation levels plummet 15 to 30 percent, affecting some regions more than others, the study’s authors conclude.

        As a result, they predict 15 to 30 percent less vegetation growth and a 5 to 15 percent decline in ocean productivity worldwide.

        “Such a war would threaten not only the locations where bombs might be targeted but the entire world,” said Robock.

      • Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe

        The nuclear arsenals of Britain, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan are thought (1–3) to lie in the range of ~100 to 300 warheads each (Fig. 1). Although the use of these weapons by any of these countries could produce a regional, and likely global, disaster, India and Pakistan are of special concern because of a long history of military clashes including serious recent ones, lack of progress in resolving territorial issues, densely populated urban areas, and ongoing rapid expansion of their respective nuclear arsenals. Here, we examine the possible repercussions of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan circa 2025 in which cities are one class of target, either by direct or collateral targeting. These repercussions have not been investigated previously. Because of the near-term regional effects of nuclear blast, thermal radiation, and prompt nuclear radiation, we find that perhaps for the first time in human history, the fatalities in a regional war could double the yearly natural global death rate. Moreover, the environmental stresses related to climate changes caused by smoke produced from burning cities could lead to widespread starvation and ecosystem disruption far outside of the war zone itself.

      • Paris police killings: Attacker showed signs of ‘radicalisation’

        An attacker who killed four people at the police headquarters in Paris adhered to a radical version of Islam, anti-terrorist prosecutors have said.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Tulsi Gabbard Says She Would Drop Julian Assange Charges and Pardon Edward Snowden
      • El País: Spanish Firm Spied for CIA on Assange Inside Ecuadorian Embassy

        The Spanish newspaper El País has revealed the CIA worked with a Spanish private security company to spy on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had sought political asylum. Assange lived in the embassy from 2012 until April, when he was arrested by British authorities. Ecuador had hired the firm — Undercover Global SL — to protect the embassy, but the firm reportedly also secretly handed over audio and video to the CIA of meetings Assange had with his lawyers and others. The firm installed secret video cameras inside the embassy and placed microphones in the embassy’s fire extinguishers and in the women’s bathroom. The head of the firm is now being investigated by Spain’s National Court.

      • The Plight of The Whistleblower

        As shown with Theranos and countless others, artificial and misleading press coverage, predatory PR campaigns, suppressive lawyers, and the resultant hype is all that really matters to technopolies while products of substance seem to have become an afterthought. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s Windows Vista, a folding phone that no one asked for, or bunk blood testing machines invented by a blonde dial-tone, technopolies are going to penetrate markets with their pointless products via manipulating public perception to the best of their ability which often exceeds their engineering capacity. Sadly, programming people is much more cost-effective than programming computers at times, hence why so many firms have ad budgets that exceed their R&D spending.

        [...]

        Unlike Theranos, mainstay technopolies have suites of legitimate products that negate distance for consumers and businesses alike while rendering the mere notion of telepathy obsolete. Although we obtain a substantial advantage from many of these products, the benefits come at a steep cost and the same products are simultaneously being leveraged against its beneficiaries for nefarious purposes. In turn, their disadvantages dwarf their advantages in comparison and result in a net loss when measured by their negative impact on the overall health of our planet and our collective sustainability; you know, the very things that ethics are meant to preserve.

        Aside from being incredibly wasteful, many of the products engineered by technopolies also serve as a honeypot for the personal information of its users while simultaneously providing a platform for the most manipulative of actors to leverage the same information against their user base as a means of targeting them more effectively for ad and propaganda campaigns. Mining our information as if it were gold and oil, technopolies have inverted am advanced understanding of the human psyche and monetized our personal data in ways that few can comprehend, let alone see the offense; hence why their methods are so effective. As exhibited by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, the same methods have been perverted even further to gaslight unsuspecting user bases on compromised political candidates and their dimwitted ideologies in a manner that was previously reserved for the realm of fiction.

        [...]

        Technopolies also find ways to honeypot the journalists too. Those covering their beat positively often get treated like royalty with privileged access, especially at their grandiose corporate events. Some like Zac Bowden of Windows Central and presumably others have even signed NDAs with Microsoft as if they were a vendor. Meanwhile, outlets like Thurrott, The Verge, ZDnet, and Windows Central seem to have realized that shilling and acting like a megaphone for technopolies such as Microsoft can be incredibly lucrative and focus almost exclusively on glorifying them because of this. Meanwhile, the few covering the tech industry objectively are kept at a distance or are blacklisted entirely.

        Sure, technopolies get flogged publicly on occasion by some of these same outlets, but not proportionately. There are hundreds if not thousands of fluff pieces for every article that actually holds them accountable. Damning articles are heavily diluted and buried by a never-ending onslaught of needless articles with a positive spin. No differently than their regulation, media outlets that live and die off ad-revenue appear to object sparingly for no other purpose besides that of perpetuating the illusion of objectivity and gladly serve as stenographers for the powerful.

    • Environment

      • Palm oil from ‘orangutan capital of world’ sold to major brands, says forest group

        Palm oil from an illegal plantation inside an Indonesian rainforest home to endangered orangutans has found its way into the supply chains of major consumer brands including Unilever and Nestle, according to a U.S.-based environmental group.

        A Rainforest Action Network (RAN) investigation showed Asia-based palm oil traders Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and Musim Mas Group bought oil from two mills that sourced palm fruit from a small, privately-owned plantation on Sumatra island.

        The plantation is inside the protected Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, in a high-priority conservation area and critical wildlife habitat, dubbed the “orangutan capital of the world”.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Jackdaw birds can tell humans apart — and remember which ones are violent

          In a new study published in Royal Society Open Science, researchers at the University of Exeter observed 34 jackdaw bird houses. To observe whether they have specific calls to warn each other about dangerous humans, the researchers, who wore full-head latex masks throughout the experiment to avoid the birds becoming familiar with the experimenters, approached the wild jackdaw nests. During the approach, scientists played a recording of a threatening warning call or a non-threatening call, also known as a contact call. The recorded calls were obtained during the 2014–2016 breeding seasons.

        • The Dangerous Life of an Anthropologist

          Both Chagnon and Harris agreed that anthropology’s move away from being a scientific enterprise was dangerous. And both believed that anthropologists, not to mention thinkers in other fields of social sciences, were disguising their increasingly anti-scientific activism as research by using obscurantist postmodern gibberish. Observers have remarked at how abstruse humanities research has become and even a world famous linguist like Noam Chomsky admits, “It seems to me to be some exercise by intellectuals who talk to each other in very obscure ways, and I can’t follow it, and I don’t think anybody else can.” Chagnon resigned his membership of the American Anthropological Association in the 1980s, stating that he no longer understood the “unintelligible mumbo jumbo of postmodern jargon” taught in the field. 14 In his last book, Theories of Culture in Postmodern Times, Harris virtually agreed with Chagnon. “Postmodernists,” he wrote, “have achieved the ability to write about their thoughts in a uniquely impenetrable manner. Their neo-baroque prose style with its inner clauses, bracketed syllables, metaphors and metonyms, verbal pirouettes, curlicues and figures is not a mere epiphenomenon; rather, it is a mocking rejoinder to anyone who would try to write simple intelligible sentences in the modernist tradition.”

    • Finance

      • 4 Homeless Men Beaten to Death With Pipe in New York City

        A homeless man wielding a long metal pipe rampaged through New York City early Saturday attacking other homeless people who were sleeping, killing four and leaving a fifth with serious injuries, police said.

      • How Local Communities Can Tackle the Death Gap

        Rich Americans are much more likely to live into their 70s or 80s than poor Americans, new research shows.

      • Oasis Trade launch brings DeFi applications together in one place

        The Maker Foundation yesterday launched Oasis Trade, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Oasis Trade is a non-custodial, permissionless platform. Its order book is fully on-chain, it’s completely decentralized, and it uses open-source software.

        Right now, all users can do on Oasis Trade is trade Basic Attention Token, 0x Coin, Augur, and Ethereum, against Dai, Maker’s crypto that’s pegged to the US dollar.

      • Ripple’s Xpring makes host of updates to XRP ledger and Interledger

        Ripple’s Xpring team, which launched as a grant program for projects utilizing the cryptocurrency XRP, has now expanded its remit within Ripple. Xpring now has 32 employees, including nine new engineers, and will be aggressively building out the developer toolkit for the XRP blockchain—making it easier to integrate XRP into applications.

      • ChainFront API service for blockchain apps now open source
      • Italy prosecutors open Netflix tax evasion investigation: source

        Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into alleged tax evasion targeting U.S. streaming service Netflix, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

        Prosecutors in Milan say Netflix should pay taxes in Italy despite the fact that is has no physical presence locally because of the digital infrastructure it uses to stream content to 1.4 million users in the country, the source said.

        The source confirmed a report in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

      • India must look beyond the narrow definition of bitcoin as a cryptocurrency

        The fate of India’s cryptocurrency ecosystem has been in limbo for a while.

        In April 2018, the country’s central bank cut off the community’s ties with the financial system by barring banks from dealing with crypto exchanges. In July this year, an inter-ministerial panel, set up to study bitcoins, led by the top bureaucrat Subhash Chandra Garg, recommended imprisonment for those who even hold cryptocoins.

        Yet, a steering committee report by the finance ministry, released in September, recommended a softer approach, citing the importance of blockchain technology, which powers cryptocurrencies, to fintech.

        The uncertainty arising from the lack of a legal framework for the sector has taken its toll. It is important to take a fresh look at bitcoin, and see it not just as a cryptocurrency, but also a computer network and a technology protocol.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Lyricism of the Trump

        When the lyrical muse sings, the creative pen dances..—Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium

        [...]

        A response to an admonition for conduct engaged in by the child that the child thinks the adult has completely misunderstood, is to tell the parent that he or she is “dumb as a rock.” That is especially appropriate if the adult the child is addressing has enjoyed a successful career. An example of its proper usage is given by the trump’s description of Rex Tillerson, the former president of Exxon and, for many months, the Secretary of State in the trump playroom. To explain his dislike of Mr. Tillerson, the trump said Mr. Tillerson was “dumb as a rock.” To emphasize his point the trump said, in another meeting, that Mr. Tillerson was “lazy as hell.” In another closed door meeting the trump told those present that former vice-president, Joe Biden, was also “dumb as a rock” and in a very recent meeting described him as “stone cold crooked.” Any of those pejoratives would be useful for a child retorting to a parent or other adult by whom, the child believes, he or she had been wronged.

      • Bernie’s Heart. And Ours.

        Along with being where all blood goes, the heart is an enduring metaphor. As Bernie Sanders recovers from a heart attack, now might be a good time to consider some literal and symbolic meanings. Bernie immediately used his heart trouble to advance a central mission.

      • Episode 48 – Exploring Socialist America – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts are Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon explore socialism in America. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • Ukrainegate Is Impeachable. But So Is Putting Kids in Cages

        President Trump’s Ukraine scandal has resulted in growing support for impeachment—as it should. But as Congress begins to get serious about holding Trump accountable, it must not lose sight of the kids in cages.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out White House Aides Reportedly ‘Horrified’ by Trump Conduct: ‘History Will Judge Them by What They Did. And the Answer Is Nothing’

        “With respect to the betrayal of our country, it doesn’t matter much how these aides felt.”

      • Another ‘Economic and Racist Attack’ as Trump Moves to Bar Immigrants Who Can’t Afford Costly Private Health Insurance

        “Donald Trump is panicking, and using cruel attacks on immigrants to distract and sow fear.”

      • Second Intel Whistleblower Reportedly Considering Coming Forward With ‘More Direct Information’ on Trump-Ukraine Talks

        “It’s raining whistleblowers.”

      • Because Trump ‘Has Chosen Path of Defiance, Obstruction, and Cover-Up,’ Democrats Subpoena White House for Ukraine Documents

        “We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position,” wrote Democratic chairmen of three key committees, “but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena.”

      • Warren Dismisses Top Staffer for Inappropriate Behavior

        Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign has dismissed its national organizing director following “multiple complaints” of inappropriate behavior.

      • ‘Most Implausible Alibi I’ve Ever Heard’: Trump Ridiculed for Blaming Rick Perry for Ukraine Call

        “So the call was perfect. But the call was also Rick Perry’s idea and Trump didn’t want to do it. And Rick Perry is leaving the administration soon. Weird.”

      • 19 Killed in Protests in Iraq Despite Calls for Calm

        BAGHDAD — Iraqi protesters pressed on with angry anti-government rallies in the capital and across several provinces for a fifth day Saturday, setting government offices on fire and ignoring appeals for calm from political and religious leaders. Security agencies fatally shot 19 protesters and wounded more than three dozen in a sustained deadly response that has claimed more than 80 lives since the upheaval began.

      • Iraqi protesters return to streets as death toll nears 100

        The semiofficial Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, affiliated with the parliament, put the death toll at 94. It said nearly 4,000 people have been wounded since Tuesday, when mostly young demonstrators spontaneously initiated the rallies to demand jobs, improvements to electricity, water and other services, and an end to corruption in the oil-rich nation.

      • The Art of Name-Calling

        It is easy, when getting caught up in impeachment talk, crude behavior towards women, assaults on integrity, and other  trump behavior, to overlook one useful didacticism that he has provided to the very young in this country. It is the art of addressing parents (or other adults) with whom a child has become very angry.  It can be used, as the trump has shown, whether or not the anger is deserved. What is clear is that if a parent (or other adult) has earned the child’s wrath, that wrath can best be given, as the trump has shown, by the ageless tradition of name calling. There is no better tutor in that art than the trump.

      • Privileging White Skin: Monetizing the Class Struggle with Chelsea Handler

        My wife and I watched a new Netflix documentary, “Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea” on a day Pres. Trump retweeted words that his ouster via impeachment would spur a civil war. In her 64-minute documentary, Chelsea Handler interviews whites about their skin-color privilege, with a running commentary on the winners and losers of whiteness.

      • A Criminal Trump, GOP Complicity, and Hitler’s “Chimera of Conscience”

        “I emancipate man from the humiliating chimera which is called conscience. Conscience, like education, mutilates man. I have the advantage of not being restrained by any considerations of a theoretical or moral nature.” This from a speech in 1941 where the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin ostensibly quoted Adolf Hitler to exhort those gathered to take the same advice.

      • The Obstructionist Senate

        Americans are disgusted that Washington has become dysfunctional, even as Americans struggle with ever greater challenges — from stagnant wages and growing inequality to catastrophic climate change to soaring health-care costs to a decrepit and dangerously aged infrastructure.

      • NY Times Opinion Section Gets CDA 230 Wrong AGAIN!

        What the fuck is up with the NY Times when it comes to reporting on important laws about the internet? While they did, thankfully, publish Sarah Jeong’s piece mocking everyone for failing to read Section 230 and totally misrepresenting it, they have since published three separate stories that completely get Section 230 wrong — often in embarrassing ways. First there was the laughable piece by Daisuke Wakabayashi that claimed that Section 230 is what made hate speech legal online — leading to the NY Times having to run a hilarious correction saying “oops, we actually meant the 1st Amendment.” Then the NY Times opinion section let internet-hater Jonathan Taplin publish an anti-internet screed. Taplin has a history of misguided histrionics about copyright law, and it appears that he must have had an anti-DMCA safe harbor screed ready to go… but since everyone was hating on Section 230 (which is very different than DMCA 512) they just tried to swap it in… in a way that made no sense at all.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Taiwan flag emoji disappears from latest Apple iPhone keyboard

        The Republic of China flag emoji has disappeared from Apple iPhone’s keyboard for Hong Kong and Macau users. The change happened for users who updated their phones to the latest operating system.

      • EU Continues To Muck Up The Internet: Approves Broad Filtering/Censorship Requirements

        Yes, it’s time for this week’s edition of “how is the EU fucking up the internet.” Over the summer we wrote about an important case in front of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), warning that the Advocate General’s recommendations would lead to mass filtering and censorship of the internet, seemingly going against existing law and precedent that supports freedom of expression and which says that automated filtering violates human rights. Welp. So much for that. Glawischnig-Piesczek v. Facebook is really, really bad. If you don’t recall, the case dealt with an Austrian politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, who got really upset for comments on Facebook that called her a “lousy traitor of the people,” a “corrupt oaf,” and a member of a “fascist party.” While one may regret this level of political discourse, it is pretty typical. I mean, that last one is basically a part of Godwin’s Law, which shows just how common it is for such an accusation to be thrown around. However, Glawischnig-Piesczek sued Facebook. In the US, thanks to Section 230, Facebook clearly wouldn’t be liable for such statements. In Europe, with the much less strict E-commerce Directive, an Austrian court not only found that Facebook must remove such content, but that the block should be global and that “equivalent content” must also be blocked.

      • Have Associated Newspapers made a Royal error publishing Megan Markle’s private letter?

        Meghan Markle, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex is suing the Mail on Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers, after they published a private letter from Meghan to her father earlier this year.

        In a press release, the lawyers for The Duchess of Sussex said that they have taken legal action over the “intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband. Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda”.

        [...]

        In the press release from the lawyers acting for the Duchess of Sussex, they claim that Associated Newspapers published “false and deliberately derogatory stories”. In the press release from Prince Harry, he adds that the letter was published in an intentionally “destructive manner…by strategically omitting selected paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words…” Associated Newspapers have stated that they “categorically deny that the duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”

        If they did edit the letter, however, this could give rise to claims under moral rights. In particular, the author of a work has the right to object to derogatory treatment of their work. According to section 80(2) of the CDPA 1988, this includes adding to or deleting from a work, as well as alteration or adaptation which amounts to distortion or mutilation of the work, or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author.

        In addition, this would open up the opportunity for a claim in defamation. If they letter was unedited then it cannot be defamation since the contents was true. However, if the information was manipulated, as the Royals argue, to deliberately mislead the public to the derogatory effect Markle, a claim would be possible.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The ‘Sports Illustrated’ Layoffs Are What Happen When We’re Ruled by Vampires

        Now Sports Illustrated is being taken from all of us in an ugly and ruthless manner. The organs of the magazine are being harvested by a private equity firm that is out for blood and taking no prisoners. Half the staff has been laid off by the new owners, a consortium of vampiric thugs called The Maven Group. TheMaven cut a deal to license SI in June after Meredith Corporation, the magazine’s previous owner, sold the brand to Authentic Brands Group for about $110 million.

        According to Jacob Bogage of The Washington Post, “Close to 40 percent of the publication’s editorial staff is set to be replaced by an army of low-wage freelancers. The CEO of the SI’s ownership group calls it ‘awesome.’” As Pulitzer Prize–winning writer David Maraniss put it, “The corporate dismemberment of Sports Illustrated is more than an unfortunate sports story; it’s an unforgivable crime against a living legacy of literate writing.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Surprise! Buzzfeed Links Bogus Net Neutrality Comments Directly To Broadband Industry

        We’ve long discussed how the Pai FCC’s net neutrality repeal was plagued with millions of fraudulent comments, many of which were submitted by a bot pulling names from a hacked database of some kind. Millions of ordinary folks (like myself) had their identities used to support Pai’s unpopular plan, as did several Senators. Numerous journalists like Jason Prechtel have submitted FOIA requests for more data (server logs, IP addresses, API data, anything) that might indicate who was behind the fraudulent comments, who may have bankrolled them, and what the Pai FCC knew about it.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Samsung’s Blockchain SSD Patent Could Disrupt Crypto Mining

          Patent wars — i.e., battles between corporations or individuals to secure patents for litigation — are certainly not new. They have been widely practiced in the tech ecosystem since the times of Alexander Graham Bell at the turn of the 20th century, who was involved in over 600 lawsuits.
          Any great invention from the past century has a history of some kind of patent war, but the digital age has accelerated this phenomenon. From the PC wars between Apple and Microsoft to the smartphone wars of the past decade, patents have been used for both offensive and defensive measures.
          It has been clear since the beginning that blockchain would see an increasing interest from corporations, which would turn to securing their patents as soon as possible. In just over a year, IBM has tripled the number of blockchain patents secured in the United States to over 100, while Alibaba leads the way with over 260 patents related to blockchain.
          The number of global blockchain patent filings now considerably outpaces the patent filings for other technologies. However, Samsung has stayed relatively restrained with blockchain. That is, until it registered for a programmable blockchain SSD.

        • SK, LG clash over scope of patent accord

          The battery feud between SK Innovation and LG Chem has been further escalating into a mud fight as the former has delivered an immediate riposte to the latter’s additional lawsuit over patents of electric vehicle (EV) batteries describing its actions as a breach of bilateral accord.

          SK has claimed that LG Chem’s latest move violated a prior legal agreement in which the two agreed not to file lawsuits, the energy arm of SK Group said Sunday.

          The tit-for-tat move, the latest development of the months-long legal feud over batteries for EVs since April, indicates the slim chances of the two parties finding a compromise.

          On Sept. 26, LG filed a pair of lawsuits with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and a U.S. court in Delaware against SK and its U.S. subsidiary SK Battery America for allegedly infringing on LG’s patents on battery-making technologies.

          SK said LG Chem breached the covenant not to sue, an agreement they made in 2014 after LG filed a patent infringement lawsuit with a local patent court against SK in 2011, alleging its safety-reinforced separator (SRS) technology was violating its patent.

          Then, the local patent court dismissed LG’s litigation as the technology lacked novelty and the two companies agreed not to file lawsuits on the matter.

        • Continental accuses Avanci patent pool of “conspiracy” to “boycott[] suppliers so [patentees] can collect hold-up royalties downstream”

          The most interesting allegation is that of an “overarching conspiracy to boycott upstream suppliers like Continental.” Continental describes itself as “a user of the standards impacted by Defendants’ illegal boycott.” Elsewhere, the alleged boycott is labeled “collusive.” According to Continental, “the conspiracy consists of multiple means and agreements, all intended to achieve a single cohesive purpose—boycotting suppliers so Defendants can collect hold-up royalties downstream.”

          Continental argues that neither Avanci’s status as a pool that doesn’t hold patents of its own nor the fact that its agreement doesn’t explicitly preclude its contributors form direct license agreements with upstream suppliers like Conti provide antitrust immunity. There doesn’t appear to be a safe harbor like that for Avanci, but there also isn’t a wealth of case law in place for holding pools responsible. Conti cites to a February 2015 pretrial decision in Zenith Electronics, LLC v. Sceptre, Inc. in the Central District of California, to a 1999 decision by the FTC (In Re Summit Technology, Inc.), and a DOJ paper according to which certain pool agreements require antitrust scrutiny. So this case before Judge Koh is almost a seminal case; at a minimum, a pivotal one.

          [...]

          Furthermore, given that their own representation to the court (in paragraph 145 of their first amended complaint against Avanci et al.) is that their client became aware of Sharp’s German litigation campaign on or about June 3 (which is consistent with a mid-August Juve Patent article according to which the German legal community had then already been aware of it for some time), I don’t understand why they brought their antisuit motion against Avanci, Nokia and two other defendants the following week instead of first adding Sharp to the case (which they finally did about 50 days after becoming aware of Sharp’s first complaint against Daimler). There definitely wasn’t a sense of urgency with respect to Nokia. While a first hearing in Munich on June 5 was dreadful for Daimler and, by extension, Continental, the court scheduled the actual trial for February 2020. At the earliest, Nokia will be able to obtain an injunction after a December 10 Mannheim trial. Judge Koh was right to dismiss the antisuit motion without prejudice. Conti does have a timing problem with respect to Nokia, but that’s because of the dates of the relevant complaints, not of the antisuit motion.

          On Halloween, the Munich Higher Regional Court will hear Conti’s appeal of Nokia’s anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”). If the German appeals court finds that AAIIs are categorically impossible, then Conti will win, but should the appeals court make this subject to a case-by-case determination, then Nokia will probably benefit from Conti’s slowness, hesitancy, and the unreasonable scope of the original antisuit motion (which wasn’t limited to just preventing Nokia from enforcing injunctive relief against Daimler cars that come with Conti telematics control units, but was meant to bar Nokia from any such assertions against Daimler regardless of supplier and remedies sought).

        • Supreme Court Long Conference – Patent Law

          The Supreme Court is back in session and is holding its first conference – the Long Conference – on October 1, 2019. The court is scheduled to consider whether to grant certiorari in a number of important patent cases:

          Obviousness: Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. v. Roxane Laboratories, Inc., No. 18-1280 (When should the objective indicia of nonobviousness be discounted based upon alleged “blocking” by an existing prior patent). This case is supported by five additional friend-of-the-court briefs
          Obviousness: Senju Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. v. Akorn, Inc., No. 18-1418 (Whether no-opinion judgments comply with 35 U.S.C. § 144; Whether objective evidence of non-obviousness must be considered before cancelling claims as obvious).

          [...]

          Covered Business Method Review: IBG LLC v. Trading Technologies International, Inc., No. 19-120 (what is a “technological invention” under the CBM review program).

        • Industry takes stance on automatic patent injunctions as German Ministry of Justice considers reform of the patent law

          Injunctions, proportionality and the proposed reform were discussed during the annual GRUR conference, which took place last week in Frankfurt am Main. This Kat was unfortunately unable to attend himself, but one of the participants told him that the debate followed familiar lines. Judge Peter Meier-Beck, until recently the president of the Bundesgerichtshof’s patent senate, explained that in his view the Heat Exchanger decision provides a sufficiently adequate framework to prevent disproportionate patent injunctions. This position sounds familiar to the one taken by his colleague, Judge Klaus Grabinski, earlier this year at a conference on the subject in Munich [see Katpost here].

          Also on the panel was Mr Popp of BASF, who suggested modifications to the procedural framework of the patent act that would more liberally allow stays of enforcement, for instance where validity or infringement of the patent is in doubt. Mr Popp argued that increased digital connectivity and the increase of patent density in different markets mean the world looks different now than it did a hundred years ago, and that an automatic injunction regime is consequently outdated. These, too, are familiar arguments.

          The conference participant I spoke to put it well: all stakeholders in the debate have a known position and they stick to it. Thus, the German automotive industry favours insertion of an explicit proportionality test in §139 of the Patent Act [one wonders if this is strictly necessary, since national courts are under an obligation to interpret their laws in conformity with EU law, including art. 3(2) Enforcement Directive: see e.g. C-212/04 Adeneler, par. 111]. On the other side are innovator companies in the telecom industry, which argue that, if anything, they need injunctions faster and more reliably to combat hold-out behaviour in the SEP-licensing context [I linked to a joint letter by four of these companies to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in a recent post here]. Judges tend towards the latter position, academics towards the former; and other industries find themselves somewhere in between.

          All in all, no new avenues for reform or compromise were put forward, and it looks like we will have to wait until the draft amendment bill is published to see how the controversy develops.

          [...]

          In sum, the debate seems to have reached something of an impasse where familiar arguments are repeated, no new evidence is adduced and everybody is waiting for something to happen. It could be that the German patent law reform will provide the breakthrough. Or change could come from Brussels instead: the repeated mandate of Commissioner-designate Goulard to review European IP policy suggests we can expect more guidance or even legislative proposals from the Commission in the coming years.

          This Kat, however, doubts the legislator will be a catalyst for major change to the injunction regime. As the German reform process shows, industry has a strong stake in patent law and interest groups will try to influence the legislator to make changes beneficial to them—especially where there is uncertainty surrounding the optimal rule, as is the case with the injunction regime. And because industry interests are generally divided when it comes to patent law, with some sectors favouring more protection and others less, patent laws reflect a balance between these interests, as e.g. Dan Burk and Mark Lemley have argued [here]. Radical change is not to be expected from the legislator.

        • US Pressure and Changing Dynamics of India’s Patent Policy

          The Office of the United States Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 Report this April and India continues to be on the Priority Watch List for a record 27th time. The USTR through its annual report identifies those countries, which it considers to be having inadequate intellectual property (IP) protection for US industries, including pharmaceutical industries. The Report, every year as a custom, demands stringent IP standards and enforcement in third world countries to undermine the competitors of these US behemoths.

          The Special 301 Report, driven majorly by demands from lobbyists for multinational pharmaceutical corporations, is the most effective mechanism that the US government employs to pressure countries like India to amend their laws and policies to favour US industries at the cost of not only the local industry but also right to health of people. The US initiate retaliatory action(s) against such countries via trade sanctions in the form of prohibitory tariffs, which causes countries on the list to be wary of the annual report. Further, it provides for a range of country listings, remedies and possible investigations to strong-arm other countries to surrender to US demands.

      • Trademarks

        • New decision of the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal addresses interface between new safety regulation for packaging of pharmaceuticals and parallel imports

          These mandatory safety features are a key measure of the Falsified Medicines Directive which is part of the EU’s strategy to strengthen the security of the supply chain of medicines. The safety features are implemented through a delegated regulation that came into application on 9 February 2019 (this new system applies in all EU/EEA Member States, except for Greece and Italy, who have until 2025 to adjust their respective national systems). The unique identifier and the anti-tampering device on the packaging of the medicines will guarantee medicine authenticity for the benefit of patients, and will strengthen the security of the medicine supply chain, from manufacturers to distributors to pharmacies and hospitals. The unique identifier will be uploaded for each individual medicine to a central EU repository, where depending on the source, wholesalers will have to scan medicines at different points in the supply chain to verify their authenticity (pharmacies and hospitals will thus be able to check the information in this repository before providing them to patients).

          Although the above stated security measures and the concerns for patient safety versus raising numbers of falsified medicines are important and introduced for obvious reasons, they also raise interesting questions concerning their interface with rules concerning parallel import of pharmaceuticals, the rights of the trademark holder and the way in which these are to be preserved in the new system. The case in the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal concerned a request for preliminary injunction of the parallel importation of Novarti’s pharmaceuticals VOTIRENT, TYVERB, MEKINIST, TAFINLAR, GILENYA, AFINITOR, REVOLADE and TASIGNA.

          [...]

          The Court of Appeal, overruled the decision of the Patent and Market Court (Court of first instance) in the same case and reversed the preliminary injunction prohibiting importation of Novarti’s listed pharmaceuticals (with a penalty of 1.000.000). This decision may not be appealed

        • AWS faces Elasticsearch lawsuit for trademark infringement

          Elasticsearch has sued AWS for trademark infringement and false advertising in connection with the cloud giant’s recently released version of the widely used Elasticsearch distributed analytics and search engine.

          Elasticsearch Inc., or Elastic, is based on the open-source Lucene project and Elastic serves as originator and primary maintainer. Tensions flared in March when AWS, along with Expedia and Netflix, launched Open Distro for Elasticsearch. The release is fully open source compared with Elastic’s version and was actually prompted by Elastic’s weaving too much proprietary code into the main line over time, according to AWS.

        • Open Source Search Firm Accuses Amazon of Trademark Infringement

          O’Melveny & Myers is representing search engine Elasticsearch in a complaint that alleges Amazon is willfully infringing its mark by promoting competing search and analytics products.

      • Copyrights

        • US House Judiciary Committee votes to amend small-claims copyright bill (CASE Act) as Senate Judiciary issues favorable report on the bill

          Nearly two months ago, this Kat excitedly reported that the US Senate Judiciary Committee had voted to report a small-claims copyright bill (the CASE Act) to the Senate without amendment. The bill stems from an extensive report by the US Copyright Office considering the establishment of a copyright small-claims as a possible remedy to the deficiencies of enforcement in federal district courts, particularly as it affects individual copyright owners.

          Last month, the Judiciary Committee delivered its report to the Senate; only two days prior, the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary had voted to report the bill with amendments to the legislature. While we await proposed amendments in the House, let’s explore the Senate report, which addresses a variety of advantages and remedies to potential drawbacks of the bill.

          [...]

          On a positive note, the CASE Act appears to be advancing far more smoothly through the 116th Congress than the 115th, where it died in committee. This Senate report shows bipartisan favor for the bill and addresses many of the concerns that could otherwise hinder its legislative progress.

          On a precursory note, the House Judiciary Committee will recommend amendments to the bill in its report to the legislature; it remains to be seen whether or not these amendments will substantially alter the bill. Both forms of the bill will be voted upon by their respective houses of legislature and then enter a process of reconciliation. If the bills are successfully reconciled, the resulting bill is presented to the President for signature. That future remains in sight for the CASE Act; this Kat will keep watch as legislative deliberation and voting approaches.

        • LEGO Upsets Fans by Taking Down Homebrew 3D Print Designs

          LEGO is protecting its intellectual property by targeting fan-made 3D print designs on Thingiverse, Cults3D, and elsewhere. The company hasn’t explained its motivations yet, but many people point out that going after homebrew creations from some of the biggest LEGO fans might not be the best strategy.

        • As RIAA Targets Yet More YouTube-Ripping Sites, Here’s the State of Play

          The RIAA has obtained yet another subpoena at a court in the United States in an effort to identify the owners of YouTube-ripping sites. It’s the latest in a long line of similar attempts in recent times but is the practice paying off? Today we take a look at the status of the sites previously targeted to see what effect, if any, the RIAA’s efforts have had on them.

IRC Proceedings: July 28th – September 30th, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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IRC addendum: Logging interrupted by technical filesystem incident (missing parts here)

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Enter the IRC channels now

The EPO’s Endgame: Robbing EPO Staff to Enrich Private Companies

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO’s Financial Measures Are About Robbing the Staff of the EPO

EPO buildings
There’s always money, but not for the workers (source document [PDF])

Summary: The EPO takes its war on staff up another notch/gear, based on a bunch of lies that give the impression of a financial crisis (even though the EPO has billions of euros in the bank)

THE ‘shy’ and ‘polite’ EPO President António Campinos has let the mask slip on Friday, as we showed in the previous post (internal communication citing the bogus ‘study’, his false pretext for impending cuts). He says there’s a financial danger, but somehow there’s always plenty of money for private, external companies like Serco [1, 2] and 'nazi companies'. There’s also money for parties, for a private pub; also new buildings! So obviously someone is lying and faking a crisis here. Is the end goal a total and complete privatisation?

In making sense of the leak (internal communication) the following parts from the so-called ‘study’ may help:

I take away from staff obligations and pass that money to private hands, for-profit corporations

Why make a living by hard work when stealing money from obligations to staff is so much easier?

EPO Leak: António Campinos Announces Impending Cuts While Outsourcing to Private Firms Like Serco

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Months ago: The Corrupt EPO Apparently Hides Its Serco Outsourcing Deal

Cover-up: Serco’s Censorship of Media or EPO’s Censorship of Media? Either Way, There’s a Profound Media Crisis in Europe.

What Campinos also did at EUIPO (while silencing critics): ‘Efficiency’ in Action: António Campinos is Sending Jobs Abroad, Then Gagging Critics

Financial Measures Comm

Summary: EPO President António Campinos cites a bogus ‘study’ to justify more so-called ‘reforms’ that are certain to negatively affect staff, stakeholders, and Europe at large

The EPO’s ‘Solution’ to Being Caught Granting Illegal Patents is to Punish Those Who Show That

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Silencing the truth again

When Exposing A Crime Is Treated As Committing A Crime, You Are Being Ruled By The Criminals Themselves.

Summary: The EPO has made it official; cover-up by the ‘new’ and ‘improved’ management of President António Campinos is preferred, rather than actually tackling the severe problem that continues to exacerbate

IT should hardly be surprising, given what we’ve seen over the years, that the European Patent Office (EPO) is scuttling those who showed EPO had gone out of control. The EPO is a rogue institution.

We heard rumours to that effect in some blog comments and publications, but now it seems pretty much confirmed, with the details published yesterday as follows:

In a post dated Mai, 15th, Märpel wrote that our internal quality control (DQA) noticed that compliance decreased from 85% to 75% in 2018:

http://rip-kat.blogspot.com/2019/05/survey-2.html

The consequence, apparently, is that DQA will be reorganised. Märpel fears that the re-organisation might break the thermometer instead of breaking the fever. All present DQA auditors will start moving back to DG1 this autumn and it appears to be the intention that the unit will be totally re-staffed in 2020. New auditors will be assigned to DQA for two years, extendable to three at the discretion of the appointing authority.
President Campinos said that the challenge facing the Office is to increase compliance. Mark this words.

So the EPO rewards people for participating in misconduct while punishing the rest. It does the same to media and academia. Lies lead to “success”, whereas integrity and sincerity are career killers. Take note, judges of the appeal boards; facts don’t interest the EPO and you get punished for adhering to them. So just be obedient ‘tools’ of the patent maximalists in charge.

We’ve long known that António Campinos is a ‘gentler’ lawless thug than Battistelli. He pretends to be ‘kind’ and ‘understanding’ while he does illegal things, including his advocacy of software patents in Europe and prior EUIPO scandals. When Campinos does bad things it’s an ‘accident’ or ‘unfortunate’ error. It must be a misunderstanding!

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