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10.09.19

Links 9/10/2019: EasyOS 2.1.6, OpenSSH 8.1, Qt 5.14.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What are Linux containers?

      Programs used to be made by creating large monolithic scripts, however, a lot has changed in the last two decades. There are now prominent methods in manufacturing applications that use small, self-contained programs in tandem to add extra functionality to hardware.
      Linux containers (LXC) are an operating system (OS) level virtualization method that allows for multiple isolated Linux systems to run on the single Linux kernel of a control host. Meaning that these programs are isolated in individual user-spaces and operate at the OS level. These containers are self-contained and lightweight, holding very few components, making them a powerful tool for adding applications to a system without worrying about dependency errors.

      Developers can use containers to package an application with the libraries, dependencies and other files it needs to run, without the host needing to install extra assets. In this way, containers can be installed and work on any Linux system that supports container functionality regardless of configuration

    • Server

      • Kubernetes communication, SRE struggles, and more industry trends

        As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • Introducing a Tech Preview of Containerized Ceph on Kubernetes

        We have been hard at work to bring a containerized version of Ceph to Kubernetes, and we are very excited to announce that we are releasing a technical preview of our project to run SUSE Enterprise Storage (powered by Ceph) on SUSE CaaS Platform (powered by Kubernetes). We leverage the most modern, powerful application management framework to make Ceph lifecycle management easier, and we provide an easy way for SUSE CaaS Platform users to get Kubernetes-native persistent storage for their Kubernetes cluster backed by enterprise-grade software-defined storage.

        [...]

        The good news is that work on Rook and Ceph-Rook integration is a concentrated effort upstream. There are many eyes—and many fingers—working to make Ceph better on Kubernetes. We at SUSE are in a good position to make sure that Ceph and Rook work upstream will meet the unique needs of our customers, and we are thrilled that our customers and their needs are able to make upstream better.

      • Designing an open source machine learning platform for autonomous vehicles

        Self-driving cars are one of the most notable technology breakthroughs of recent years. The progress that has been made from the DARPA challenges in the early 2000s to Waymo’s commercial tests is astounding. Despite this rapid progress, much still needs to be done to reach full autonomy without humans in the loop – an objective also referred to as SAE Level 5. Infrastructure is one of the gaps that need to be bridged to achieve full autonomy.

        Embedding the full compute power needed to fully automatise vehicles may prove challenging. On the other hand, relying on the cloud at scale would pose latency and bandwidth issues. Therefore, vehicle autonomy is a case for edge computing. But, how to distribute and orchestrate AI workloads, data storage, and networking at the edge for such a safety-critical application? We propose an open-source architecture that will address these questions.

        [...]

        In order to implement an open-source machine learning platform for autonomous vehicles, data scientists can use Kubeflow: the machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes. The Kubeflow project is dedicated to making deployments of machine learning workflows simple, portable and scalable. It consists of various open-source projects which can be integrated to work together. This includes Jupyter notebooks and the TensorFlow ecosystem. However, since the Kubeflow project is growing very fast, its support is soon going to expand over other open-source projects, such as PyTorch, MXNet, Chainer, and more.

        Kubeflow allows data scientists to utilize all base machine learning algorithms. This includes regression algorithms, pattern recognition algorithms, clustering and decision making algorithms. With Kubeflow data scientists can easily implement tasks which are essential for autonomous vehicles. These tasks include object detection, identification, recognition, classification, and localisation.

      • SUSE drops OpenStack Cloud

        For years, SUSE, the European Linux and open-source company, was one of the OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud program’s champions. No longer. SUSE has decided to cease production of new versions and to discontinue sales of SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

        This comes only a few months after SUSE OpenStack Cloud 9 was released. This was based on the OpenStack Rocky. release and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 SP4. It was also the first release to integrate HPE’s Helion OpenStack. SUSE had acquired HPE cloud assets three years earlier.

        Why the sudden shift? SUSE stated, “SUSE is focusing on and increasing our strategic investments in the application delivery market and its opportunities in order to align with technology trends in the industry and, most important, with our customers’ needs. So SUSE will be working more on its Kubernetes-based application delivery offerings, SUSE Cloud Application Platform and SUSE CaaS Platform.” SUSE also hinted there would be “future technology acquisitions.”

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Satellite Ask Me Anything Q&A from June and August 2019

          This blog covers the questions and answers during the June and August 2019 Satellite Ask Me Anything (AMA) calls.

          For anyone not familiar, the Satellite AMAs are an “ask me anything” (AMA) style event where we invite Red Hat customers to bring all of their questions about Red Hat Satellite, drop them in the chat, and members of the Satellite product team answers as many of them live as we can during the AMA and we then follow up with a blog post detailing the questions and answers.

        • What is Red Hat Universal Base Image?

          Back in May, we launched the Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI), targeted at developers building containerized applications for the cloud. Since then, we have published an extensive FAQ covering topics ranging from how often UBI is updated, to how the end user license agreement (EULA) allows you to redistribute applications built on it. These are all great fundamental topics to cover, but people still seem to have a lot of questions around what UBI is and what it isn’t.

          If you are a developer and you are trying to figure out whether UBI is right for you, it might be easier to start by first explaining what it isn’t.

        • DevConf.CZ and Open TestCon CfPs open

          DevConf.CZ is looking for workshops, discussion sessions, and presentations, with a variety of length options available. This large community conference has tracks for a variety of topics including community, IoT, cloud/containers, microservices, networking, desktop, and documentation. And like in years past, there is a dedicated Fedora track. If you weren’t ready to give a presentation at Flock — or if you want to give it to a broader audience — this is your chance. You can submit proposals through the DevConf.cz CfP portal through 1 November.

        • New and Improved CVE Pages

          In a previous blog post, we mentioned the ongoing work to overhaul our CVE pages and we are happy to announce those changes are now live. If you navigate to any CVE from our Red Hat CVE Database or an external source like a search engine, you’ll be presented with the new user interface that displays important information and metadata about a specific CVE that is relevant to Red Hat’s products.

        • Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4: Driving Innovation through Collaboration

          Red Hat is focused on delivering a storage product that rounds out the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform ecosystem through enterprise-ready data services for the hybrid cloud. Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4 makes it easy for applications — traditional as well as emerging workloads — to consume storage resources, enabling developers to focus on innovation and reducing Time to Market.

        • How automating insights can accelerate efficiencies in banking

          For financial services firms, the effort to do more with less seems like a never-ending goal. Now, with advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cognitive computing, and other modern initiatives to streamline legacy processes and help reduce costs, the effort is gaining renewed ground.

          Automation in banking began in earnest decades ago. In the early 1950s, Bank of America began working with Stanford Research Institute to develop a computer-based check processing system and machine-readable checks that would help the bank more efficiently handle the growing amount of paperwork involved in bookkeeping.

          At the time, banks struggled to keep up with the flow of paper and the manual check-clearing processes involved with billions of checks being written each year. Engineers developed Electronic Recording Machine, Accounting (ERMA), and the M/CR, or magnetic-ink character recognition check coding system. Then in the late 1960s, automated teller machines (ATMs) came onto the scene, fundamentally impacting banking servicing.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #148
      • 2019-10-08 | Linux Headlines

        NVIDIA joins the Blender foundation, a new cybersecurity alliance is launched to better integrate security products, Thunderbird makes plans for official OpenPGP support, and some mixed news for console enthusiasts.

      • Just Enough VPN | LINUX Unplugged 322

        We reveal our secrets for bridging networks with WireGuard and Linux-powered networking.

        Plus the future of OpenPGP in Thunderbird, a disappointing update for the Atari VCS, and a shiny new Spotify client for your terminal.

      • mintCast 319 – New Mumble

        First up, in our Wanderings, I talk Dynamic DNS, Tony is writing articles, Moss test drives EndeavourOS, Josh visited Media City, and Joe relaxes with fiction.

        Then, our news: CentOS 8 and Mumble 1.3 are released, Ubuntu 19.10 is almost here, the GNOME Foundation and Docker navigate rough seas, and more.

      • A Chat with Angela Fisher | Jupiter Extras 21

        Brent sits down with Angela Fisher, Executive Producer at Linux Academy, Jupiter Broadcasting co-founder, co-host of many JB productions including The FauxShow, and Tech Talk Today, among others. We touch on a variety of topics including the early beginnings of Jupiter Broadcasting, the origins of Brunch with Brent, aswell as many that are closer to her heart – from painting to parenting.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3.5

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.5 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.3.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.3.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.2.20
      • Linux 4.19.78
      • Linux 4.14.148
      • Linux 4.9.196
      • Linux 4.4.196
      • Linux Foundation

        • Extreme hands StackStorm workflow automation to Linux group

          Extreme Networks has handed control over StackStorm to The Linux Foundation, giving the open source organization a workflow automation platform that it can add to its other technologies aimed at service providers.

          Extreme said this week it believed the foundation’s cadre of open-source developers could speed up StackStorm workflow development and adoption in the tech industry.

          “After careful consideration and consultation with the StackStorm community, we’ve decided this promising open-source platform will be better served in the open market where it will provide a basic building block for new automation solutions we never thought possible,” Eric Broockman, chief technology officer at Extreme, said in a statement.

        • Making The IoT More Open: A Common Framework For IoT Edge Computing With EdgeX Foundry

          The internet of things (IoT) is a diverse space, but it’s also fragmented by design, whether it’s consumer IoT or industrial IoT. In 2015, Dell started working on a project called Project Fuse to weave together the diverse and fragmented world of IoT. The idea was to build the right architecture for IoT and edge computing.

          The team working on the project quickly realized that they needed to extend the cloud-native principles — things like microservice-based architectures and platform independence — as close as possible to the device edge so that there would be more flexibility in how solutions are devised. In order to succeed, the project needed to be vendor-neutral, interoperable and open.

      • AMD

        • RadeonSI Adds Zeroing vRAM Workaround To Help Rocket League Players

          For those annoyed by random textures appearing when launching the popular Rocket League game with the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, a workaround has landed in Mesa 19.3-devel Git while also marked for back-porting to currently supported stable series.

          This corruption encountered when firing up Rocket League is another case of where the Unreal Engine powered game is expected its video memory to be cleared out. It’s similar to what has plagued other games with needing a workaround so RadeonSI Gallium3D will zero out the vRAM prior to making it available to the game.

        • Linux 5.5 To Advertise RDPRU Support For AMD Zen 2 CPUs Via /proc/cpuinfo

          RDPRU is one of the new instruction set extensions of AMD “Zen 2″ CPUs that is for reading a processor register that is typically limited to privilege level zero. RDPRU allows for reading select registers at any privilege level. With Linux 5.5, the RDPRU presence will be advertised by the CPU features.

          It’s still up to user-space for making use of RDPRU, but for software checking from /proc/cpuinfo to see the availability of RDPRU as a supported CPU feature, Linux 5.5 is finally set to advertise it for the Zen 2 CPUs with the Ryzen 3000 series and AMD EPYC 7002 series.

    • Applications

      • Book Squire Is Ten Years Old

        I choose Python for the first version. I got the logging in, navigating of the Library site and the scraping of account data working as a script. Then decided to built it into an application running under the then new Google App Engine platform. That worked for a while just fine. Over time I added a database to store user information and an email notifications feature with nightly reports delivered when accounts had notable events worth mentioning.

        After working on a few Django applications I decided to move Book Squire to Django and host it on a VPS. Here it stayed for many years working well except for the random updates made to the Library site which broke the parsing of the pages.

        Eventually, the Library upgraded there system in a significant way. Actually made it somewhat user friendly. Still it didn’t support multiple cards and you had to click around a bit so Book Squire was reworked and it continued on.

        For my latest update to Book Squire I’ve rewritten it in Clojure. The latest version is much cleaner internally and suspect the maintenance going forward will be easier. The old Python code did suffer overtime as refactoring was never justified enough because it just worked.

      • Matt Fleming: isolcpus is deprecated, kinda

        A problem that a lot of sysadmins and developers have is, how do you run a single task on a CPU without it being interrupted? It’s a common scenario for real-time and virtualised workloads where any interruption to your task could cause unacceptable latency.

        For example, let’s say you’ve got a virtual machine running with 4 vCPUs, and you want to make sure those vCPU tasks don’t get preempted by other tasks since that would introduce delays into your audio transcoding app.

        Running each of those vCPU tasks on its own host CPU seems like the way to go. All you need to do is choose 4 host CPUs and make sure no other tasks run on them.

        How do you do that?

      • Using the Elgato Stream Deck on Linux just got a whole lot easier with streamdeck_ui

        If you’re a livestreamer, video creator or anything like that then the Elgato Stream Deck seems like an incredible useful bit of kit. However, it doesn’t have official Linux support. Not so much a problem now.

        The Stream Deck is a handy little pad with a bunch of LCD buttons, that allows you to configure each button to some sort of action and image. You could use it to one-touch launch an animation, show your contact details on screen, switch to a difference scene in OBS Studio and so on. There’s a huge amount you can do with it and not having Linux support was a shame.

        Announcing the release of streamdeck_ui on their blog, developer Timothy Crosley hooked into the also open source Python Elgato Stream Deck Library project to create a fully featured interface for working with the Stream Deck hardware on Linux.

      • Top Photo Metadata Editors (Updated 2019)

        A metadata editor is computer software which allows users to view and edit metadata tags interactively and save them in the graphics file. So, metadata is information that is part of the image file and contains information about the image itself and the creation of the image. It can set textual information such as title, description, exposure time, ISO value, focal length, and copyright. Some modern digital cameras and camera phones are GPS enabled and they can save the location co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) with the photographs. Metadata editors can also set geolocation information by browsing a map or setting coordinates directly, which is particularly useful for cameras without GPS. There are many reasons why users might wish to modify metadata of photographs.

        This “metadata” is embedded into photographs using the standard Exif format that can easily be read by image editing programs as well as online photo sharing websites like Flickr.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of the finest metadata editors available for Linux. We have whittled the available range down to the top 6 superior tools for metadata management.

      • Proprietary

        • Opera jumps on tracking blocker bandwagon

          Details about the ad-tracking mechanism were surprisingly sparse. Unlike Mozilla, which has repeatedly detailed its efforts to curtail tracking, Opera did not describe what kinds of trackers – there are many – it would block.

        • Microsoft is battling yet another faulty update for Windows 10

          The next day, a recent patch (KB4524147) was reissued after causing its own unique brand of borkage, which was the cause of anguish in just about everywhere you can possibly imagine.

          To make it worse, the patch that was supposed to fix printer spooling issues, basically, didn’t, and yet managed to bring the problem to a wider audience of users previously unaffected.

          Meanwhile, if that’s not enough to boil the blood, the problems with the Start Menu, first encountered after the widely reported CPU/Cortana bug are back, with users now finding themselves getting “critical error” messages that can only be fixed by a reboot.

        • Adobe to deactivate accounts for all Venezuelan users due to US sanctions
        • Adobe is cutting off users in Venezuela due to US sanctions

          In the document, Adobe explains: “The U.S. Government issued Executive Order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between U.S. companies, entities, and individuals in Venezuela. To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela.”

          Users will have until October 28th to download any content stored in their accounts, and will lose access the next day. To make matters worse, customers won’t be able to receive refunds for any purchases or outstanding subscriptions, as Adobe says that the executive order calls for “the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.”

        • Adobe shuts down Photoshop in Venezuela

          Adobe has moved to a subscription-only model for the latest versions of its products meaning users will not be able to buy standalone versions.

        • Adobe Will Cancel All Subscriptions in Venezuela to Comply With U.S. Sanctions

          Users will not get any refunds, according to a notice published to Adobe’s website, and the tech giant says that the sanctions won’t allow it to issue refunds even if they wanted to.

          “We are unable to issue refunds,” Adobe says on its site. “Executive order 13884, orders the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.”

        • ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors 5.4 goes toe-to-toe with online version

          ONLYOFFICE developers made the recent online suite updates available for all desktop users. Free open-source ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors v.5.4.1 is released with lots of enhancements.

        • The BlueMail Email Client is Now Available for Linux

          The app boasts support for IMAP, Exchange & POP3 as well as all the leading web-mail providers and private mail server configurations.

          “With this expansion to Linux, BlueMail is now able to serve a large professional market. Users can benefit from a single, modern user experience across all of their devices without compromising on premium features, security, or privacy,” Blix Inc, makers of BlueMail say.

          Until today I had never heard of this app or service — but I’m probably alone because the BlueMail Android app has over 5,000,000 installs (yes, 5 million), and there are iOS and Windows versions available too.

          “We set out to make the best email experience from day one and the response from customers has been extremely positive. Developing a platform for Linux was the next step,” Dan Volach, co-founder at Blix, adds.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Indivisible, the action RPG platformer from the creator of Skullgirls is out now

        It’s been a long road, after being announced back in 2015 with a successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo it very much delivers. Honestly, I don’t know where to really start with Indivisible. It’s blown me away. This might be one of the most colourful and gorgeously designed games I’ve played in a very long time. It reminds me of the first time I played Bastion, it looks incredible.

      • Top 7 Best PSP Emulators for Android Device in 2019

        Gaming companies have produced special games for Playstation which are not often available for Android. So, it has become a great problem for them who love to play new and updated games but cannot afford a PlayStation. But technology doesn’t stay silent and has introduced us to new technology. It is the PSP emulator. You can easily run your favorite PSP games on your Android device using this PSP Emulators.

        [...]

        Here, you will find 7 innovative PSP emulators for Android. So, whatever devices you are using, you can use it if it is compatible with the PSP game you are going to run. So, just read out the important features to understand the specifications and choose the best PSP emulator for your device.

      • 8-bit inspired, flip-screen, twin-stick-shooter ‘Cecconoid’ is out with Linux support

        Triple Eh? Ltd yesterday released Cecconoid, an 8-bit inspired twin-stick shooter with a flip-screen mechanic where you go through a series of rooms and blow everything up.

      • Looking to make 2D games? Perhaps the Orx game engine might be suitable for you

        One we’ve never covered before at all is the free and open source Orx. A lightweight, plugin-based, data-driven and extremely easy to use 2D-oriented game engine.

        There’s tons of game engines out there, quite a lot of them open source too. Recently we covered GDevelop, Godot Engine and ct.js so here’s another one that might take your interest. Designed to be fully cross-platform across Linux, MacOS, Windows and mobile devices the feature list it offers is rather impressive.

      • Developed on Linux, the train transportation sim ‘Hexa Trains’ is out now

        After an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, solo developer Bram Stolk has released Hexa Trains on Steam. Developed on Linux, this unusually styled transportation sim certainly looks interesting. Note: Key provided to our Steam Curator.

        Stolk is the same developer who previously made The Little Crane That Could, which released back in 2015 on Steam and it ended up rather popular on mobile. Nice to see a familiar name return with something completely different. Hexa Trains is all about railroads, building up a successful and smooth transport service across a planet as you link stations across it to various resource buildings.

      • GGPO, a rollback networking SDK for peer-to-peer games has gone open source

        Oh how I do love to see more projects go open source! GGPO, a rollback networking SDK for peer-to-peer games that’s designed to help hide network latency in fast-paced games that requires precise inputs is now on GitHub.

        Created originally by Tony Cannon, one of the founders of the Evolution Championship Series (EVO), GPPO is a well-known middleware in the fighting game scene. It’s used in a number of games including Skullgirls, Brawlhalla, Fantasy Strike, Dragon Ball: Zenkai Battle, Killer Instinct and the list goes on. Cannon announced the change in licensing on Twitter earlier today.

      • The roadmap for upcoming updates to UnderMine sound great with lots of new encounters coming

        UnderMine hasn’t been out for long but it’s already becoming a regularly game I play, this gameplay loop is sweet and it’s about to get a lot more interesting.

        The developer, Thorium, recently showed off their roadmap of what’s coming up with the next update “Cursed Update” coming out this month. It’s going to add in another new NPC, legendary relics, new achievements, changes to Boss Battles, around 30 new items, 20+ new encounters to spice up your runs, a promise of “Halloween Surprises”, Russian language support and more to be announced.

      • Fantasy tavern management sim ‘Crossroads Inn’ to release on October 23rd

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the fantasy tavern management sim with “RPG elements” Crossroads Inn will be releasing this month on Steam and GOG.

        What’s really interesting about Crossroads Inn is how it will have two entirely different game modes. There’s a Sandbox mode that will have you build your own tavern, hire staff, manage the business and so on. While the Campaign mode will have a “rich story” to play through full of “large-scale drama full of political intrigues, vivid characters, treacherous NPC’s and dangerous quests”.

      • Mac and Linux Support Added to The Hunter & The Beast DLC for Total War: Warhammer II

        Feral Interactive and Creative Assembly have released their latest DLC pack for Total War: Warhammer II. The DLC came out on PC last month, but has just received Mac and Linux support as well.

        The Hunter & The Beast adds the forces of Markus Wulfhart and Nakai The Wanderer to the game, along with new units, legendary items, and quest chains. You can check out a trailer above.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Improving Plasma’s Rendering (Part 1/2)

          Many parts of Plasma are powered by QtQuick, an easy to use API to render shapes/text/buttons etc.
          QtQuick contains a rendering engine powered by OpenGL making full use of the graphics card keeping our drawing super fast, super lightweight and in general amazing…when things work.

        • KDE + Qt 5.14 To Better Behave With Context Loss Around NVIDIA’s Driver

          Currently when resuming from systemd suspend or switching back to the KDE desktop from an alternate VT, it’s possible with the NVIDIA proprietary driver to see screen corruption or leakage of previous screen contents to areas of the lock screen / desktop. This annoying issue is now being better addressed with Qt 5.14.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.34.1 Deliver On Their Prominent Fixes

          There weren’t out in time for yesterday’s formal GNOME 3.34.1 point release, but GNOME Shell and Mutter have out their prominent point releases today that are exciting on the correction front.

          GNOME Shell 3.34.1 is heavy on the fixes. Prominent work there includes allowing the editing of app folder names, making menu animations more consistent, improving performance when enabling/disabling all extensions, fixing screen dimming on idle, crash fixes, and a variety of animation fixes. There is also the code for Wayland fullscreen compositing bypass and other fixes.

        • GNOME 3.34 Desktop Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Mass Adoption

          Released last month on September 12th, the GNOME 3.34 “Thessaloniki” desktop environment introduced many new features and enhancements, such as support for custom folders in the application overview, visual refreshes for several apps and the desktop itself, as well as lots of performance improvements.

          Now, almost a month later, GNOME 3.34.1 has been released as the first of many to come maintenance updates to make the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment more stable and reliable, but also to encourage GNU/Linux distributions to adopt it in their software repositories as lots of bugs have been squashed. A complete list with all the changes included in GNOME 3.34.1 are available here.

        • Tobias Mueller: Talking at ARES 2019 in Canterbury, UK

          The opening keynote was given by Alistair MacWilson from Bletchley Park. Yeah, the same Bletchley Park which Alan Turing worked at. He talked about the importance of academia in closing the cybersecurity talent gap. He said that the deficit of people knowing anything about cybersecurity skills is 3.3M with 380k alone in Europe, but APAC being desperately short of 2.1M professionals. All that is good news for us youngsters in the business, but not so good, he said, if you rely on the security of your IT infrastructure… It’s not getting any better, he said, considering that the number of connected devices and the complexity of our infrastructure is rising. You might think, he said, that highly technical skills are required to perform cybersecurity tasks. But he mentioned that 88% of the security problems that the global 5000 companies have stem from human factors. Inadequate and unfocussed training paired with insufficient resources contribute to that problem, he said. So if you don’t get continuous training then you will fall behind with your skill-set.

          There were many remarkable talks and the papers can be found online; albeit behind a paywall. But I expect SciHub to have copies and authors to be willing to share their work if you ask. Anyway, one talk I remember was about delivering Value Added Services to electric vehicle charging. They said that it is currently not very attractive for commercial operators to provide charging stations, because the margin is low. Hence, additional monetisation in form of Value Added Services (VAS) could be added. They were thinking of updating the software of the vehicle while it is charging. I am not convinced that updating the car’s firmware makes a good VAS but I’m not an economist and what do I know about the world of electric vehicles. Anyway, their proposal to add VAS to the communication protocol might be justified, but their scenario of delivering software updates over that channel seems like a lost opportunity to me. Software updates are currently the most successful approach to protecting users, so it seems warranted to have an update protocol rather than a VAS protocol for electric vehicles.

    • Distributions

      • Advanced Encryption Options Land in the YaST Partitioner

        As you may know, so far the YaST Partitioner offered an “Encrypt Device” checkbox when creating or editing a block device. If such box is marked, the Partitioner asks for an encryption password and creates a LUKS virtual device on top of the device being encrypted.

        LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) is the standard for Linux hard disk encryption. By providing a standard on-disk-format, it facilitates compatibility among distributions. LUKS stores all necessary setup information in the partition header, enabling to transport or migrate data seamlessly. So far, there are two format specifications for such header: LUKS1 and LUKS2. YaST uses LUKS1 because is established, solid and well-known, being fully compatible with the (open)SUSE installation process and perfectly supported by all the system tools and by most bootloaders, like Grub2.

        You should not fix what is not broken. Thus, in most cases, the screen for encrypting a device has not changed at all and it still works exactly in the same way under the hood.

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Buster-series version 2.1.6 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 2.1.6, 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.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Linux wisely kills 32-bit version

          I fondly remember building my first-ever 64-bit computer with an AMD 3200+ processor. While it seems like only yesterday, the reality is, that was more than 15 years ago! Yes, 64-bit consumer chips have been around that long, showing how asinine it is for operating systems to still support outdated 32-bit hardware in 2019. Shockingly, Microsoft has 32-bit Windows 10, while countless Linux distributions support the antiquated hardware too. Sigh.

          Thankfully, the good folks that develop the excellent Fedora Linux distribution have finally had enough. Beginning with the upcoming version 31 of the operating system, i686 32-bit processor support is being dropped by the Fedora Project. While it absolutely is the correct decision, there will undoubtedly be whining from some vocal crybabies in the Linux community. After all, for some Linux users, the act of complaining seems to be a popular pastime.

        • Fedora to drop support for 32-bit Linux with Fedora 31

          Linux distributions have slowly but steadily started dropping support for 32-bit (i686) machines, and Fedora looks to be the latest distro to shed the past. Fedora 31, set to release on October 29, will no longer support 32-bit Linux.

          In a post on the Fedora Wiki, Justin Forbes (the maintainer of the Fedora kernel) said that the team behind the Linux distro would “stop producing i686 bootable images.” Forbes reasons that “most x86 hardware support 64bit (sic) these days.” Forbes also referred to the lack of community development since the release of Fedora 27, when 32-bit development was moved to a “community-supported” status.

        • rpminspect-0.7 released, bug fixes and a new integration test suite

          rpminspect-0.7 has been released. The main things in this release are a new integration test suite and many bug fixes. There is one new user feature and that’s the -t or –threshold option.

          The -t option lets you control the result code that triggers a non-zero exit code from rpminspect. By default, this is set to VERIFY. But you could set it to BAD or INFO or any other valid result code in the program. The result code specified by this option means that any result in rpminspect at that code or higher will trigger a non-zero return code. Combined with the -T option, this can be a useful tool for some types of CI system integration.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.09

          This month I was allocated 10 hours and carried over 9.5 hours from August. Unfortunately, again I didn’t find much time to work on LTS issues, partially because I was travelling. I spent 5 hours on the task listed below. That means that I carry over 14.5 hours to October.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The State of Robotics

          The Ubuntu robotics team presents, The State of Robotics. A monthly blog series that will round up exciting news in robotics, discuss projects using ROS, and showcase developments made by the Ubuntu robotics team and community. Every day, people make contributions to the world of robotics. And every day, work goes unnoticed that could change the course of projects across the globe. This could be anything from a software patch to putting the final touches on a ROS enabled robot dog. But no longer. The hope here is that this will become a highlight reel and a community piece where folks will be able to find out what’s going on in the world of ROS and Ubuntu robotics.

          This, our first instalment, will be heavy on the Ubuntu robotics’ teams work. But in the future, if you are working on a project using ROS and or Ubuntu and you want us to talk about it, let us know. Send a summary of your work to robotics.community@canonical.com, and it might feature in next month’s blog! Now, let’s discuss September.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Makes It So Easy To Have Your Desktop Running Off A ZFS File-System

          As we reported this weekend, the Ubuntu desktop installer “Ubiquity” has landed the much anticipated ZFS install support. That’s now propagated through to the Ubuntu 19.10 daily ISOs and does indeed make for a quick and easy setup of Ubuntu Eoan running off a root ZFS file-system.

          This work landed just a week ahead of next week’s official Ubuntu 19.10 debut. For Ubuntu 19.10 the Ubiquity installer allows an “experimental” option of doing a full-disk install of Ubuntu 19.10 with ZFS as the root file-system rather than the default EXT4. For the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS cycle they are expected to work on exposing more of the advanced partitioning features with ZFS. Also, Canonical developers are still working on their Zsys bits and other ZFS On Linux integration improvements.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Devs Engage in Soul-Searching on Future of Open Source

        Companies can choose to build on open source and maintain its balance, said Nousiainen. The future of open source depends on the viewpoints of the potential collaborating organizations.

        Issues arise, however, when developers or companies monopolize open source code or use it only for personal gain. Those actions, which alter the original purpose of open source licensing, sparked the current debate.

        While open source software is available for public use, Nousiainen said, developers should remember that the work they do is for the benefit of all.

      • Introducing Collapse OS, a z80 kernel that can be designed with “scavenged parts and program microcontrollers”

        There is a new operating system in the market which is designed in anticipation of the collapse of the current economic system – Collapse OS. The goal of this project is “to be as self-contained as possible.” With a copy of this project, its developer Virgil Dupras says, a capable person will be able to easily build and install Collapse OS without external resources. It will also be possible to build a machine with an exclusive design, and from discarded parts with low-tech tools.

        Dupras believes that the global supply chain will collapse before 2030 and post-collapse, it would be difficult to reproduce most of the electronics due to lack of supply chain. This will make it impossible to bootstrap the new electronic technology and thus limit its growth. At this point, Dupras says, Collapse OS can prove to be a good “starter kit”. He affirms that this operating system can be designed from “scavenged parts and program microcontrollers” with sufficient RAM and storage.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 71: new kiosk mode for the browser

            Mozilla plans to integrate kiosk mode functionality in version 71 of the Firefox web browser that users of the browser may launch from the command line.

            First requested more than 17 years ago, work on integrating a kiosk mode in the Firefox web browser started five months ago. Current Firefox Nightly versions support the new mode already.

            Kiosk mode refers to a special display mode that launches the browser without interface elements in fullscreen. It is different from the browser’s fullscreen mode that users can activate with a tap on the F11-key on the keyboard. F11 switches the browser to fullscreen and removes interface elements by default, but these can be displayed by moving the mouse to the top; additionally, another tap on F11 exits fullscreen mode again and restores the default browsing mode.

        • Future OpenPGP Support in Thunderbird

          The Thunderbird developers have announced that they will implement OpenPGP support in Thunderbird 78 [1]. Support for Thunderbird in

          I’d like to explain in the following paragraphs what this will mean for Enigmail, and why this is an inevitable step.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • 8 tech freebies: Firewall, cloud storage, Office software and more

        LibreOffice is a set of open source software that’s equivalent to Microsoft Office. It lets you save and open documents in Microsoft formats and do everything Microsoft Office lets you do, like type in documents, set up spreadsheets and create presentations.

        If you’d like access to Microsoft Office, you can get the free trial of Office 365 for a month or you can try Office Online, a cloud-based version of the Microsoft Office Suite available to those with Microsoft accounts. Whichever software you get, you’ll have some amazing office capabilities without paying any money at all.

    • CMS

      • Steve Kemp: A blog overhaul

        All in all the solution was flexible and it wasn’t too slow because finding posts via the SQLite database was pretty good.

        Anyway I’ve come to realize that freedom and architecture was overkill. I don’t need to do fancy presentation, I don’t need a loosely-coupled set of plugins.

        So now I have a simpler solution which uses my existing template, uses my existing posts – with only a few cleanups – and generates the site from scratch, including all the comments, in less than 2 seconds.

        After running make clean a complete rebuild via make upload (which deploys the generated site to the remote host via rsync) takes 6 seconds.

      • WordPress 5.3 Beta 3

        WordPress 5.3 Beta 3 is now available!

        This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

    • Funding

      • Nvidia starts funding Blender development

        Blender is an open-source, 3-D creation suite that specializes in modeling, simulation, animation, rendering, and video tracking. With a tag line of ‘Blender, made by you,’ the makers acknowledge the fact that developers belonging to different fields have taken part in the development of this software. You can get to know more about the latest version of Blender by clicking here.

        It is also worth mentioning that Nvidia now resides at the Patron level of the Blender Foundation Development Fund, which means that it has to give at least $120k of fundings per year. Accordingly, Blender announced that they would be hiring two developers from the finances they will get from Nvidia. Also, these developers will be working on Blender itself and improving support for GPUs made by Nvidia.

    • BSD

      • Announce: OpenSSH 8.1 released

        OpenSSH 8.1 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      • OpenBSD crossed 400,000 commits

        Sometime in the last week OpenBSD crossed 400,000 commits (*) upon all our repositories since starting at 1995/10/18 08:37:01 Canada/Mountain. That’s a lot of commits by a lot of amazing people.

    • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

      • thoughts on rms and gnu

        Yesterday, a collective of GNU maintainers publicly posted a statement advocating collective decision-making in the GNU project. I would like to expand on what that statement means to me and why I signed on.

        For many years now, I have not considered Richard Stallman (RMS) to be the head of the GNU project. Yes, he created GNU, speaking it into existence via prophetic narrative and via code; yes, he inspired many people, myself included, to make the vision of a GNU system into a reality; and yes, he should be recognized for these things. But accomplishing difficult and important tasks for GNU in the past does not grant RMS perpetual sovereignty over GNU in the future.

      • GNU Health HMIS 3.6 Release Candidate 1 is out !

        We are pleased to announce the initial release candidate for the upcoming GNU Health HMIS server !

      • Ludovic Courtès (Guix) accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime

        It is in contradiction to GNU Kind Communication Guidelines: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.html where by it says: “The only political positions that the GNU Project endorses are (1) that users should have control of their own computing (for instance, through free software) and (2) supporting basic human rights in computing.”

        My domain gnu.support is not connected or sponsored by FSF, neither it is part of GNU project. It is there to publish my opinions or maybe opinions of other people, I am welcoming opinions on every page of this domain.

        I have asked Ludovic Courtès to state the facts that will prove and evidence their statement “that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to.” — as such statement is baseless, fact-less, pure generalization and rumour.

      • Mark J. Wielaard: Software does not, by itself, change the world

        Andy Wingo wrote some thoughts on rms and gnu. Although I don’t agree with the description of RMS as doing nothing for GNU, the part describing GNU itself is spot on…

      • GNU Project developers object to Richard M Stallman’s continued leadership

        Sergey Matveev, a free-software supporter, wrote on a GNU mailing list that he was shocked about attacks and insults to Stallman — as shown by some developers asking him to leave the GNU Project.

        Stallman himself appeared to have resigned from the Gnu Project when he resigned from the FSF. But this announcement was deleted. It’s suspected his website had been hacked. Stallman, himself, has not said what happened.

    • Programming/Development

      • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #389 (Oct. 8, 2019)
      • Solving Python Error- KeyError: ‘key_name’

        As per Python 3 official documentation a key error is raised when a mapping (dictionary) key is not found in the set of existing keys.

        This error is encountered when we are trying to get or delete the value of a key from a dictionary and that key doesn’t exist in the dictionary.

      • Webinar Preview: Project Setup for React+TS+TDD

        Earlier this year we announced a twelve-part in-depth tutorial on React, TypeScript, and Test-Driven Development (TDD) in PyCharm. For the most part it highlights PyCharm Professional’s bundling of WebStorm, our professional IDE for web development.

      • Get Started With Django: Build a Portfolio App

        Django is a fully featured Python web framework that can be used to build complex web applications. In this course, you’ll jump in and learn Django by example. You’ll follow the steps to create a fully functioning web application and, along the way, learn some of the most important features of the framework and how they work together.

      • Python-compatible IDEs: What is It and Why Do You Need It?

        There is no better way to build in Python than by using an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They not only make your work much easier as well as logical; they also enhance the coding experience and efficiency.

        Sure, everyone knows this. However, the problem is, how do you pick the best environment for Python development when there are so many options? This often becomes an issue that beginner developers have to face.

        In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the best IDEs for Python that are popular among coders and a few other options that are worth considering. But before we delve into it, let’s first explain what an IDE means.

      • 5 lesser used Django template tags

        We already know how to use for, if-else, filter and url template tags in Django. We can also create custom template tags in Django if any requirement is not getting fulfilled with existing tags.

        Here we are introducing you with 5 Django template tags which are lesser-known and used by beginner Django developers.

      • Data Cleaning Pocket Primer

        If you have worked with any data then you will know that the time it takes to get meaningful results is usually dominated by the time it takes to get the data into a form where it can be analyzed. Data cleaning is a major task and there are lots of books on the topic, but mostly they assume that you are using a programming language that you are also going to use for the analysis.

        This particular book doesn’t do that. Instead it takes a look at what you can achieve using just the command line tools in Linux and Mac OS commands. This is an interesting idea, but you have to want to work this way for the book to be of much use to you. If you want to use R, say, then you need a book that does data cleaning in R.

      • PyCon ES 2019 Alicante Highlights

        Last weekend it was Pycon time again, my 6th one so far. This time closer to home: Alicante.

        I had an awesome time, meeting a lot of nice people, watching interesting talks and getting inspired overall to keep learning more Python.

      • Python for NLP: Neural Machine Translation with Seq2Seq in Keras

        This is the 22nd article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. In one of my previous articles on solving sequence problems with Keras, I explained how to solve many to many sequence problems where both inputs and outputs are divided over multiple time-steps. The seq2seq architecture is a type of many-to-many sequence modeling, and is commonly used for a variety of tasks such as Text-Summarization, chatbot development, conversational modeling, and neural machine translation, etc.

        In this article, we will see how to create a language translation model which is also a very famous application of neural machine translation. We will use seq2seq architecture to create our language translation model using Python’s Keras library.

        It is assumed that you have good knowledge of recurrent neural networks, particularly LSTM. The code in this article is written in Python with the Keras library. Therefore, it is assumed that you have good knowledge of the Python language, as well as the Keras library. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.

      • Find the position of the only odd number within a list with Python

        In this example, we will write a python function that will return the position of the only odd number within the number list. If there is no odd number within that list then the function will return -1 instead.

      • Python 2.7.17rc1

        Python 2.7.17 release candidate 1 is a prelease for a bugfix release in the Python 2.7 series.

      • Python 2.7.17 release candidate 1 available

        A release candidate for the upcoming 2.7.17 bug fix release is now available for download.

      • Wing Python IDE 7.1.2 – October 7, 2019

        Wing 7.1.2 adds a How-To for using Wing with Docker, allows disabling code warnings from the tooltip displayed over the editor, adds support for macOS 10.15 (Catalina), supports code folding in JSON files, adds optional word wrapping for output in the Testing tool, and fixes about 25 minor usability issues.

      • Pytest-cov support for who-tests-what
      • Why to choose Rust as your next programming language

        Choosing a programming language for a project is often a complicated decision, particularly when it involves switching from one language to another. For many programmers, it is not only a technical exercise but also a deeply emotional one. The lack of known or measurable criteria for picking a language often means the choice digresses into a series of emotional appeals.

        I’ve been involved in many discussions about choosing a programming language, and they usually conclude in one of two ways: either the decision is made using measurable, yet unimportant criteria while ignoring relevant, yet hard to measure criteria; or it is made using anecdotes and emotional appeals.

      • Start developing in the cloud with Eclipse Che IDE

        In the many, many technical interviews I’ve gone through in my professional career, I’ve noticed that I’m rarely asked questions that have definitive answers. Most of the time, I’m asked open-ended questions that do not have an absolutely correct answer but evaluate my prior experiences and how well I can explain things.

        [...]

        When I was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, most of my computer science courses were taught in Java. And as an enterprise developer working for different companies, I have mostly worked with Java to build various enterprise-level applications. So, I know Java, and most of the time I’ve developed with Eclipse. I have also used the Spring Tools Suite (STS), which is a variation of the Eclipse IDE that is installed with Spring Framework plugins, and IntelliJ, which is not exactly open source, since I prefer its paid edition, but some Java developers favor it due to its faster performance and other fancy features.

        Regardless of which IDE you use, installing your own developer IDE presents one common, big problem: “It works on my computer, and I don’t know why it doesn’t work on your computer.”

      • Qt 5.14.0 Beta1 Released

        I am happy to announce that Qt 5.14.0 Beta1 is released today. We will release updates as Beta N regularly until we are ready for RC. Current estimation for RC is 12th November 2019, see the schedule from 5.14 wiki.

        Beta1 (and later releases) can be installed by using online installer. Commercial users can find the online installer from their Qt Account and Opensource users from qt.io download page. Separate Beta1 source packages are also available in Qt Account and download.qt.io.

      • Qt 5.14 Rolls To Beta Stage With Graphics API Independent Scenegraph Renderer

        Qt 5.14 is an exciting update with the initial API-independent scenegraph renderer for Qt Quick that supports Vulkan, Metal, Direct3D 11, and still OpenGL fallbacks. The Vulkan support for Qt continues maturing. Qt 5.14 also has continued HiDPI improvements, a threading overhaul to Qt 3D, Qt Multimedia now supports GStreamer OpenGL, updated Qt WebEngine, Qt Quick Timeline introduction, and many other changes.

    • Leftovers

      • Why Navigation Apps, Working Properly, Can Make Traffic Flows Worse — And What To Do About It

        Techdirt has just written about how advanced digital technology can be used for less-than-benign purposes, simply because it is a tool that can be applied in both good and bad ways. A fascinating analysis by Jane Macfarlane in IEEE Spectrum explores something similar: how new technology being used as designed, and with only the best intentions, can nonetheless give rise to potentially serious problems. The article is about how the increasingly-popular navigation apps like Waze, Apple Maps, and Google Maps are “causing chaos
”…

      • Science

        • The 2019 Medicine Nobel
        • Meet the 2019 Nobel laureates in medicine

          Semenza in the early 1990s discovered that EPO functions like other genes and requires a nearby piece of DNA to activate to it. Semenza found that levels of the piece of DNA, which he called hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), rise when cells are deprived of oxygen and then HIF-1 enters the nuclei of the EPO to activate it. Once the EPO gene is activated, the bone marrow produces high levels of red blood cells to make up for the low levels of oxygen.

          Ratcliffe and Kaelin then conducted research to determine what regulates HIF-1 and independently discovered a protein, called Von Hippel Lindau (VHL), which destroys HIF-1 when there are normal oxygen levels. The researchers surmised that VHL can’t survive when oxygen levels dip too low, allowing the HIF-1 to survive and activate the EPO gene.

      • Health/Nutrition

        • Feds to Investigate Hospital Alleged to Have Kept Vegetative Patient Alive to Game Transplant Survival Rates

          The federal agency that oversees transplant programs said it would investigate Newark Beth Israel Medical Center after ProPublica reported that the hospital was keeping a vegetative patient on life support for the sake of boosting its survival rate.

          The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “takes allegations of abuse and mistreatment seriously,” spokeswoman Maria LoPiccolo said in an email on Monday. “CMS is actively monitoring the situation and is in close communication with” New Jersey’s Department of Health, she added. The department said Friday that it was reviewing the allegations.

      • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

        • Security updates for Tuesday

          Security updates have been issued by Debian (openjpeg2, openssh, and xen), openSUSE (dovecot23, jasper, libseccomp, lxc, putty, and singularity), Red Hat (bind, kernel, polkit, python, and wget), and Ubuntu (unbound).

        • Five myths about password managers

          Password managers are the most recommended tool by security experts to protect your online credentials from hackers. But many people are still hesitant to use them. Here’s why password managers are safe, secure and your best defense against password-hungry cyber criminals.

        • Analysis of A New Golang Ransomware Targeting Linux Systems

          During the past two months, I have been working on reverse engineering malware written in Golang. Go, also known as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled programming language designed at Google that is becoming more popular within the malware development community. In this blog, I will analyze a newly found Golang ransomware targeting Linux systems.

          [...]

          Next, let’s start dynamic debugging in debugger. Here, I use Radare2 as the debugger. Radare2 is able to analyze stripped Go binary and restore symbols by issuing an analysis command – which is why I chose Radare2 as the debugger for this project instead of GDB in Linux.

        • Government urges Windows, Linux and Mac users to update over VPN flaw

          UK & US governments warn Windows, macOS & Linux users to update systems following discovery of multiple advanced persistent threat (APT) groups using a VPN exploit to remotely control computers.

        • Critical Security Issue identified in iTerm2 as part of Mozilla Open Source Audit

          A security audit funded by the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) has discovered a critical security vulnerability in the widely used macOS terminal emulator iTerm2. After finding the vulnerability, Mozilla, Radically Open Security (ROS, the firm that conducted the audit), and iTerm2’s developer George Nachman worked closely together to develop and release a patch to ensure users were no longer subject to this security threat. All users of iTerm2 should update immediately to the latest version (3.3.6) which has been published concurrent with this blog post.

          Founded in 2015, MOSS broadens access, increases security, and empowers users by providing catalytic support to open source technologists. Track III of MOSS — created in the wake of the 2014 Heartbleed vulnerability — supports security audits for widely used open source technologies like iTerm2. Mozilla is an open source company, and the funding MOSS provides is one of the key ways that we continue to ensure the open source ecosystem is healthy and secure.

          iTerm2 is one of the most popular terminal emulators in the world, and frequently used by developers. MOSS selected iTerm2 for a security audit because it processes untrusted data and it is widely used, including by high-risk targets (like developers and system administrators).

      • Defence/Aggression

        • Betrayal Is American Foreign Policy
        • After US Withdrawal, Turkey Announces Troops Are In Place for Planned Offensive Against Kurds in Syria

          “There are huge concerns about the security ramifications this operation could have. It’s very difficult to predict when any military operation might start.”

        • Pakistan’s Khan To Visit ‘Staunch Partner’ China This Week

          China, which also has border disputes with India, has warned New Delhi not to take any unilateral step aimed at changing the status of the disputed Himalayan region.

          Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-led India have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of which were over control of Kashmir, which is claimed by both countries in its entirety.

        • Iran Says Russian Journalist Held In Visa-Violation Case

          The journalist was arrested from her hotel room on October 2, the diplomatic mission said, while Yuzik’s ex-husband, journalist Boris Voitsekhovsky, claimed she was suspected of having ties to Israeli intelligence services.

        • “WORLD TAKE NOTE!”: Genocide of Christians in Nigeria

          As Sister Monica Chikwe recently explained, however, “It’s tough to tell Nigerian Christians this isn’t a religious conflict since what they see are Fulani fighters clad entirely in black, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and screaming ‘Death to Christians.’”

        • The Death Penalty is Barbaric and Ineffective

          October 10 is World Day Against the Death Penalty. That the U.S. continues to use this broken and antiquated system of (in)justice is reprehensive in so many ways, but among the most important is the issue of sentencing people to death row wrongfully and executing people who did not commit the offenses that resulted in those sentences. As a Floridian, I am highlighting here the case of James Daily. Not because Florida is the only state in which the system is frequently wrong, but in the hopes that his very legitimate claims of innocence may be heard by others who can help save a life.

        • Trump Talks Tough With Journalists But Lets Real Strongmen Like Turkey’s Erdogan Walk All Over Him

          Last week during the visit of the Finnish president, Trump acted out with a journalist, James Mason of Reuters who asked him a simple question. What exactly did Trump want from Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky during the notorious July telephone call? Trump did a bad de Niro impression, asking him, “You talking to me?” And then he browbeat the poor man going on about how

        • Critics Warn ‘Deeply Chilling’ Betrayal by Trump Paves Path for Turkish Slaughter of Kurdish Allies

          “One way in which Trump is very consistent and stable when it comes to American presidential norms over the decades is betraying Kurds.”

        • Counting the Dead Through the Fog of War in Afghanistan

          During one week in late September, U.S.-led forces killed at least 70 civilians in two incidents in Afghanistan. A U.S. drone strike on September 19th killed at least 30 farmers harvesting pine nuts in Nangarhar province. Then on September 23rd, at least 40 civilians, including women and children, were reported killed in a combined U.S.-Afghan attack on a village in Taliban-controlled territory in southern Helmand province.

        • Education is a Neglected Casualty of Wars and Displacements

          One of the neglected consequences of the recent wars and civilian conflicts in many parts of the world is their effect on people’s education, particularly children’s education. Because of the close connection between education and health, these events have had a severe effect on people’s health –particularly on children- and on the countries’ development.

        • Iraq is in Revolt

          Iraq is poised at a turning point in its modern history as its people wait to see if the government curfew and close down of the internet will end the ongoing demonstrations.

        • In His Great and Unmatched Wisdom: WTF GOP?

          Bonkers City. Having made the wildly capricious, universally excoriated “decision” to abandon Kurds in Syria who long fought with us against ISIS, Cadet Foggy Bone Spurs went on Twitter to assure us that in his “great and unmatched wisdom,” if NATO ally Turkey tries to slaughter the Kurds as many fear…

        • In His Great and Unmatched Wisdom: WTF GOP?

          Bonkers City. Having made the wildly capricious, universally excoriated “decision” to abandon Kurds in Syria who long fought with us against ISIS, Cadet Foggy Bone Spurs went on Twitter to assure us that in his “great and unmatched wisdom,” if NATO ally Turkey tries to slaughter the Kurds as many fear…

        • Trump Just Tweeted He Has ‘Great and Unmatched Wisdom.’ Seriously.

          Just wow. Possibly, said one observer, the “dumbest moment of the Trump presidency.”

      • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Environment

        • Time to Rebel

          Monday, Oct. 7. marks the start of what the British-based group Extinction Rebellion is calling the International Rebellion. Thousands of people will occupy the centers of some 60 cities around the globe, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris and New York, to stage nonviolent occupations of bridges and roads for at least a week.

        • How Fossil Fuels Pollute STEM Education

          Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has a message for policy makers: “Listen to the scientists.”

        • Climate Change, Extinction and Other Frights: October’s Scariest Environmental Books
        • Science counts humankind’s carbon output

          We leave the planet’s volcanos far behind on greenhouse gas emissions: humankind’s carbon output can exceed theirs by 40 times – to our cost.

        • We Need Biodiversity-Based Agriculture to Solve the Climate Crisis

          The Earth is living, and also creates life. Over 4 billion years the Earth has evolved a rich biodiversity — an abundance of different living organisms and ecosystems — that can meet all our needs and sustain life.

        • The New Age of Protest

          Led by young people, climate strikers blocked traffic on two mornings at the end of last month in Washington, DC. On the first day, protestors chained themselves to a boat three blocks from the White House, and 32 activists were arrested. On the second day, activists targeted the EPA and Trump International Hotel. It was a not-so-subtle suggestion to commuters stuck in their cars on those mornings to think more favorably about public transportation or telecommuting. It was also a potent reminder, as Congress remains polarized on so many issues, that some paralysis is healthy in the nation’s capital.

        • A Tale of Two Feet

          Since 1959, land surveyors and other geospatial professionals have had two standards to measure the length of a foot — the U.S. survey foot and the international foot. Both have been supported by NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. And they’re not exactly equal.

          The difference between the two measurements is very small and barely noticeable in everyday use and is a function of their relationship to the standard meter. A U.S. survey foot is expressed as a fraction — 1200/3937 meters — while an international foot is expressed as a decimal, exactly 0.3048 meters. That’s a difference of only one one-hundredth of a foot per mile.

          But when you begin to measure or use coordinates that span hundreds or thousands of miles, that minor difference can reach a few to several feet. In such cases, accidentally confusing the two types of feet can severely impact the precise coordinates and measurements used in engineering, surveying, mapping, agriculture, and other industries that depend on accurate positions.

        • Sian Berry, candidate for London mayor, speech to Autumn conference, Newport, 2019

          If a Green Mayor had taken over from Boris Johnson in 2016, and not Labour and Sadiq Khan.

          We’d have cancelled the Garden Bridge straight away. We would not have supported, then reviewed and then dithered over Boris Johnson’s waste of a vanity project like our current Mayor.

          We would have saved tens of millions of pounds for London.

          We’d have cancelled the £1 billion Silvertown road tunnel vanity project too, which our current Mayor still supports, saving tens of millions more in its costs so far.

        • ‘Get On the Streets. And Bring Everybody’: Extinction Rebellion Kicks Off Two Weeks of Global Action

          “We only get one planet and so we’re here to try and defend it.”

        • The Story of Plastic: New Film Exposes the Source of Our Plastic Crisis
        • Rebellion grows against climate emergency

          Global protestors disrupt traffic and target government buildings to protest at the lack of action to halt the climate emergency.

        • Instead of Explaining Greta Thunberg, Debate Her Claims

          What is Greta Thunberg’s superpower?

        • Now It’s a Snap to Donate Your Old Lego Bricks

          Now Lego has an answer: You can box up your unused Lego bricks, slap on a prepaid label, and ship them away. The mass redistribution is being facilitated by Give Back Box, a logistics company started in an effort to reuse discarded shipping materials.

          The biggest challenge in the process, says Give Back Box founder Monika Wiela, will be sorting and cleaning all the pieces. Her company will collect the bricks at its facility in Alabama, where workers will then separate out the broken bricks and machine wash the rest. The goal is to make the donated toys seem like new, as opposed to grimy hand-me-downs. It’s all part of the effort to encourage people to embrace this sort of reuse.

        • Energy

          • Finnish Utility Fortum to Gain Majority Stake in Germany’s Uniper [iophk: suckers saddled with even more stranded assets now]

            Fortum Oyj agreed to buy stakes in Uniper SE from two activist investors in a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) deal that will give it majority ownership and end the longest takeover saga in the European utilities industry.

          • Coal and bitumen: Why the Norwegian pension fund is ditching the oilsands

            KLP, which has assets of about $94 billion, has sold its stocks in oilsands companies.

            In its evaluation of the oilsands, the pension fund came to the conclusion that the oil production in the Fort McMurray region was akin to the coal industry in its harmful impacts to the environment.

            “Both are very high in emissions in producing the energy or fuel and we’ve decided to treat them similarly,” said Jeanett Bergan, KLP’s head of responsible investment during a phone interview with CBC News from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

            “We are seeing a lot of signs in society that say ‘This is not what the future will look like.’”

        • Finance

        • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

        • Censorship/Free Speech

          • 19. Censorship of Al Jazeera Documentary Exposes Influence of Pro-Israel Lobby – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2018-2019

            An undercover reporter for Al Jazeera became an intern at the Israel Project, a pro-Israeli organization in Washington, DC, in order to research and document what a November 2018 Electronic Intifada article summarized as “the efforts of Israel and its lobbyists to spy on, smear and intimidate US citizens who support Palestinian human rights, especially BDS,” the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

          • Hong Kong students don surgical face masks in school to protest against mask ban

            The students, approached by local media outside their schools, said they were doing so to voice their disagreement with the mask ban, to express solidarity with a fellow student who was shot and injured by police during protest, and to show support for the five demands of the movement, media outlet HK01 reported.

          • Celebrating Dissent in Amsterdam

            Many of the participants would be well known to those who follow CFI’s international advocacy, including Sarah Haider and Muhammad Syed of the Ex-Muslims of North America; Ali Rizvi, author of The Atheist Muslim; Freedom From Religion Foundation copresident Annie Laurie Gaylor; singer-songwriter Shelley Segal; and many more, with more than 50 speakers hailing from 30 countries. Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Halsema, opened the festival by welcoming “heretics, infidels, and renegades.”

          • De Balie #CelebratingDissent Festival was an Astounding Success

            Consisting of a mixture of intense, probing conversations, comedy, art, poetry and dance performances, films, lectures and protest, the weekend was an education in the issues facing dissenters fighting religious constraints and the religious-Right. The work of ex-Muslims and women campaigners was particularly evident.

          • Demanding the unconditional immediate release @RusthumRussso

            Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba was arrested by police in the Maldives earlier this week on charges of “insulting Islam” on social media. @RusthumRussso Tweeted police raising the alarm on multiple death threats against him; instead he was arrested and taken into custody. No further information has been given by the police and his place of detention is unknown. No lawyers have agreed to represent him so far and according to local sources, lawyers are reluctant to do so especially in light of several murders by Islamists, including of journalists and bloggers.

          • This magazine is certified halal

            In an effort to boost exports and pose as pious, Indonesia’s lawmakers have expanded the scope of certification yet further, however. They have approved a law requiring all consumer goods to be certified as halal from October 17th. Ms Widiahtuti suspects that, in practice, the law will be applied only to certain products, but that is only an assumption. “The scope is very general. What is the limit?” she wonders. Ms Widiahtuti may have to decide whether pianos and vibrators are godly goods after all.

          • Twitter Rakes in Cash From Anti-Immigrant Bigots

            The group’s name is bland enough: Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR). It doesn’t explain its specific position on immigration—it could want to expand or limit it, but the word reform doesn’t tell us anything either way. That meaningless name is helpful for evading scrutiny, which is perhaps why, as Alex Kotch reports in Sludge, the “prominent anti-immigrant organization has spent $934,000 on Twitter ads, and Twitter sees no problem with this.”

          • Russia Censors LGBT Online Groups

            A Saint Petersburg court ruled last week that two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social media groups violated Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law and ordered the sites shuttered.

          • Vietnam: New Arrest for Facebook Postings

            Vietnamese police arrested a pro-democracy activist on September 23, 2019 based on his Facebook postings, Human Rights Watch said today. 

          • EFF to First Circuit: First Amendment Protects Right to Secretly Audio Record Police

            The First Amendment protects the public’s right to use electronic devices to secretly audio record police officers performing their official duties in public. This is according to an amicus brief EFF filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case, Martin v. Rollins, was brought by the ACLU of Massachusetts on behalf of plaintiffs who are challenging the constitutionality of the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping statute, which prohibits the secret audio recording of all conversations, even those that are not private.

            The First Circuit had previously held in Glik v. Cunniffe (2011) that Glik had a First Amendment right to record police officers arresting another man in Boston Common. He had used his cell phone to openly record both audio and video of the incident. The court also held that this did not violate the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping statute.

          • Russia’s Justice Ministry blacklists Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation as a ‘foreign agent’

            Russia’s Justice Ministry has added Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) to its list of so-called “foreign agents.” In a statement published on its website, the agency said only that an audit in Moscow has determined that Navalny’s nonprofit organization “performs the functions of a foreign agent.”

            In a tweet, FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov said the organization is “funded exclusively by citizens of the Russian Federation,” and maintained that it’s never accepted foreign money. Zhdanov calls the Justice Ministry’s decision “just the latest attempt to strangle FBK.”

        • Privacy/Surveillance

          • Edward Snowden’s Memoirs

            Ed Snowden has published a book of his memoirs: Permanent Record. I have not read it yet, but I want to point you all towards two pieces of writing about the book. The first is an excellent review of the book and Snowden in general by SF writer and essayist Jonathan Lethem, who helped make a short film about Snowden in 2014. The second is an essay looking back at the Snowden revelations and what they mean. Both are worth reading.

          • Elizabeth Warren suggests, without evidence, that Facebook changed its political ad rules after meeting with Trump [iophk: corporate tweets in place of official channels of communication :(]

            “Trump and Zuckerberg met at the White House two weeks ago. What did they talk about?” Warren said in one tweet. “After that meeting, Facebook quietly changed its policies on ‘misinformation’ in ads, allowing politicians to run ads that have already been debunked by independent, non-partisan fact-checkers. Put another way, Facebook is now okay with running political ads with known lies,” the next tweet read.

          • 36 Civil Rights Groups Demand End to Amazon’s Partnerships with Police

            When Ring partners with police, the company provides police with a tool called the Law Enforcement Neighborhoods Portal. This tool is an interactive map that shows the approximate location of all Ring camera owners in the area, and allows police to request footage directly from residents, streamlining the process of voluntary evidence sharing.

            As reported by Motherboard, police then have to make an exchange. Some police have to promote Ring either implicitly, through only speaking about Ring in company-approved statements and providing download links to Ring’s “neighborhood watch” app, Neighbors. Others must promote it explicitly, by signing agreements stipulating that police must “encourage adoption” of Ring cameras and Neighbors.

            The open letter points out that some cities subsidize discounts on Ring cameras. As reported by Motherboard, some cities have paid up to $100,000 of taxpayer money in order to fund these discount programs.

          • Twitter admits two-factor login phone numbers were used for advertising

            User data that Twitter cannot sell ended up in an advertising product that lets Twitter monetize such data without revealing it directly to third parties. Inadvertantly.

        • Twitter says it misused phone numbers, email addresses for ad targeting

          The disclosure – which apparently came a month after it was resolved by Twitter – is only the latest instance in which a tech company has used phone numbers for advertising purposes.

          Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Facebook is “prohibited” from using phone numbers obtained for security purposes for advertising as part of the agency’s record-shattering $5 billion settlement with the company.

        • Twitter ‘inadvertently’ used email addresses for ads

          Unusually, the company is not proactively contacting customers directly to inform them of the breach.

          The company would not say when it discovered the issue, but said it had addressed the problem “as of September 17” – 21 days ago.

          The firm said it was “no longer using phone numbers or email addresses collected for safety or security purposes for advertising”.

        • 1. Justice Department’s Secret FISA Rules for Targeting Journalists – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2018-2019

          Since 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has processed requests by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies for electronic surveillance, physical searches, and other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. Holder’s pair of memos spell out the circumstances for processing FISA applications that target “known media entities” or “known members of the media.” As Cora Currier reported for the Intercept, the secret rules “apply to media entities or journalists who are thought to be agents of a foreign government, or, in some cases, are of interest under the broader standard that they possess foreign intelligence information.” Ramya Krishnan, a staff attorney with the Knight Institute, told the Intercept, “There’s a lack of clarity on the circumstances when the government might consider a journalist an agent of a foreign power.” For example, because RT America registered with the Department of Justice as a “foreign agent” in November 2017, reporters working for RT America—and their sources—could be subject to FISA court-ordered surveillance. For its part, RT reported that the details specified in the memos suggested that it was “highly likely” that both the Trump and Obama administrations had surveilled journalists that they considered to be “foreign agents.”

        • 25. Google Screenwise: Consenting to Surveillance Capitalism – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2018-2019

          The app’s users earn from ten cents to $1.00 per survey, or an estimated $50–100 per year. Dozens of third-party blog posts and YouTube videos targeted at Opinion Rewards users share the best ways to earn quick money in large sums from the program. The questionable ethics behind Opinion Rewards, however, does not lie in the legitimacy of the program’s payments, as users are “rewarded” through the trusted online company PayPal, but in the exchange that Google offers.

        • FBI Director Deploys Straw Men While Calling For The End Of Straw Men Arguments In The Encryption War

          The DOJ’s anti-encryption summit went off without a hitch. And why wouldn’t it? No one who had anything good to say about encryption was invited. The only speaker without a history of criticizing encryption was John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted,” who detailed the kidnapping of his son — an event that took place long before encryption was viewed as an impediment to law enforcement.

        • Deputy Attorney General Rosen: Companies Like Facebook Are Making Everyone Less Safe By Offering Encryption

          The federal government’s anti-encryption push is starting to turn into a really weird movement. Yanking pages from the FOSTA playbook, Attorney General William Barr threw an anti-encryption party featuring him, FBI Director Chris Wray, Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen, and some overseas critics of secure communications.

        • Why you need to use a VPN when using WiFi at coworking spaces like WeWork

          Coworking spaces like WeWork have become very popular over the last decade and are popping up all over the place. The increase of internet remote work has made coworking offices feasible in hundreds of countries around the world. As a tech worker nowadays, it’s almost impossible not to have considered working remotely – possibly from home or possibly from a coworking space. For the entrepreneurial types, coworking space offers a cheap first office address on top of seemingly endless networking opportunities. It’s no wonder that millions of workers around the world are now accustomed to doing all of their working hours at coworking spaces. In most cases, that means that all of their company’s trade secrets and sensitive information flow across the coworking space’s internet.

      • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Civil Rights/Policing

        • Bahrain: Prisoners Denied Medical Care

          Bahrain’s authorities are failing to provide adequate medical care to high-profile prisoners, Human Rights Watch and the Bahrain Institution for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said.

        • 22. Violence Rises after End of Mandated Monitoring in California’s Juvenile Detention Centers – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2018-2019

          Until 2016, California’s Division of Juvenile Justice was under court-mandated monitoring as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that charged the agency for abuse of detainees and failure to provide adequate medical care or rehabilitation. In early 2016, the agency was commended for groundbreaking improvements in its treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

        • Everyone in France Should Have a Right to a Family

          All women in France are one step closer to achieving equality when it comes to family planning.

        • The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You

          The overall tax rate on the richest 400 households last year was only 23 percent, meaning that their combined tax payments equaled less than one quarter of their total income. This overall rate was 70 percent in 1950 and 47 percent in 1980.

        • Stand with the witches, heretics and blasphemers

          CEMB defends the rights of those who leave or criticise Islam. Becoming an atheist is part and parcel of freedom of conscience and criticism of Islam or blasphemy is an integral part of free expression. Islam, like any other belief system, has to be open to criticism. Criticism of religion and the sacred has been integral to changing the world for the better. On an individual level, people should be able to leave a religion or say what they think without fearing for their lives. Unfortunately, for many, there are serious threats for doing just that. Blasphemy and apostasy are punishable by death in over a dozen countries under Sharia. Even here in Europe, ex-Muslims can face shunning, abuse, honour-related violence and threats from family and others for thinking out loud. Accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ further silence those who are merely fighting to live and think as they choose without shame, apology or fear.

          When one can be killed for it, dissent – and especially the celebration of dissent – becomes a necessity both for resistance and change but also for one’s survival. Ask any closeted LGBT person what it felt like to come out of the closet and be okay with who you are. It’s the same for ex-Muslims. Many risk everything to come out. For most the risks are worth it so they can live lives of their own choosing, however imperfect.

        • 30 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1989

          Three decades ago, a number of uprisings took place around the world, with unhappy citizens taking to the streets—and in some cases, taking up arms—to try to change or remove their governments. A student-led pro-democracy demonstration in China’s Tiananmen Square was violently crushed in June, while hundreds of thousands of anti-Communist protesters in Czechoslovakia were able to bring about a nonviolent “Velvet Revolution.” It was also the year of the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, the inauguration of President George H. W. Bush, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and much more. Photographers were also busy documenting the lives of Harrison Ford, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Menudo, and many others. Take a step into a visual time capsule now, for a brief look at the year 1989.

        • 2019 Shortlist Announced, Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize, 3 October 2019

          We have a fantastic shortlist for the inaugural joint Emma Humphreys and Centre for Women’s Justice awards. Please join us in congratulating all our nominees [...]

        • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Camp America’ By 93PUNX

          The Trump administration has received widespread criticism for its anti-immigration policies. That includes the heartless act of separating children from their parents at the border.

          Some, such as Fox News Laura Ingraham and ICE director Matthew Albence, tried to defend the indefensible caging of children by comparing the detention centres to summer camps. But would they feel the same if this was happening to their children?

        • Moscow prosecutor sues to make opposition leaders pay National Guard troops who arrested their protesters

          Moscow’s lead prosecutor has submitted a five-million-ruble ($76,550) lawsuit against Alexei Navalny, Lyubov Sobol, and other prominent opposition activists. While the lawsuit’s existence was already publicly known, neither its amount nor its purpose had previously been reported. MBK Media wrote from the Cheremushkinsky Court that the state is seeking five million rubles to cover salary costs for the Russian National Guard troops who were deployed to arrest opposition protesters over the summer. Some of that sum is also intended to cover fuel costs.

        • An Unseen Victim of the College Admissions Scandal: The High School Tennis Champion Aced Out by a Billionaire Family

          On a Monday morning in April 2017, students at Sage Hill School gathered in its artificial-turf quadrangle, known as the Town Square, to celebrate seniors who were heading to college as recruited athletes. The 10 honorees lined up behind an archway adorned with balloons. One by one, they stepped forward as their sports and destinations were announced. Patricia Merz, the head of the private high school in Newport Coast, California, placed a lei in the appropriate college’s colors around each student’s neck.

          Most of the students were recruits to low-profile Division III programs. Only three had committed to play Division I college sports. Two were the captains of Sage Hill’s girls’ volleyball and girls’ soccer teams, bound for Columbia University and the University of Denver, respectively. The other, Grant Janavs, played tennis. As his shirt and blue-and-gray lei both showed, he would attend Georgetown, the elite Catholic university in Washington, D.C.

        • Working With The Private Sector And Hundreds Of Law Enforcement Agencies, ICE Has Assembled A Massive Surveillance Network

          The New York Times has published a lengthy report on ICE’s surveillance network it uses to hunt down undocumented immigrants all over the country. The report is based on the results of public records requests, which show ICE’s ability to utilize social media networks, dozens of law enforcement databases, and a bunch of private sector options to find the people they’re looking for.

        • Northeast Syria: Boys, Men Held in Inhumane Conditions

          A Kurdish-led armed group backed by the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is detaining thousands of Syrian and foreign men and boys in severely overcrowded informal detention centers in northeast Syria.

        • Judge Rules, Winnemem Wintu and WATER Prepare for Appeal in Siskiyou County CEQA Lawsuit
        • Appeals Court Denies Qualified Immunity For Transit Cop Who Arrested A Journalist For Taking Pictures Of EMS Personnel

          Last year, a federal court offered its sympathies — but only limited recourse — to a photographer who suffered a bogus “stop photographing us” arrest at the hands of a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) cop.

        • France Should Hold Firm Against Saudi Abuses

          During the last session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 25 countries, including 15 from the European Union, supported an Australian-led joint statement highlighting serious human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. But despite stated principles and commitment to multilateralism, France is not among them.

        • Because What Kevin McAleenan’s DHS Does Speaks “Louder Than His Words,” Activists Boo Him Offstage

          When the protesters began shouting the names of children who died in federal immigration custody, McAleenan walked offstage.

        • Global Efforts Needed to Free Detained Children

          A new global study on children deprived of their liberty should prompt United Nations member countries to take steps to dramatically decrease the number of children detained and confined.

        • Be the future – 5 simple ways political parties can protect digital rights

          It’s October; temperatures are falling, nights are lengthening, and once again we are four weeks away from a potential no-deal Brexit.

      • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

        • Political Operatives Are Faking Voter Outrage With Millions Of Made-Up Comments To Benefit The Rich And Powerful

          The rise of political impersonation threatens a core aspect of US democracy: the process by which federal agencies canvass public opinion before enacting new regulations. The process is not the same as voting, and the results aren’t binding — but they provide a forum for public debate, and officials are obliged to consider all viewpoints submitted, making them a crucible for lobbying by powerful interests.

          The internet has made it possible for these consultations to be conducted virtually, vastly extending their reach in an apparent leap forward for digital-era democracy. But there’s little stopping anyone from submitting statements under fake — or misappropriated — identities.

          The anti–net neutrality comments harvested on behalf of Broadband for America, the industry group that represented telecommunications giants including AT&T, Cox, and Comcast, were uploaded to the FCC website by Media Bridge founder Shane Cory, a former executive director of both the Libertarian Party and the conservative sting group Project Veritas. Cory has claimed credit for “20 or 30” major public advocacy campaigns in recent years, including, he says, record-setting submissions to the IRS, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and “probably a handful of others.” On Media Bridge’s website, the company has described itself as having expertise in “overwhelming government agencies” with avalanches of public submissions, and has publicly dubbed its approach to marshaling comments the “Big Hammer.”

        • Former FCC Boss Wheeler Says New Court Ruling Won’t Stop Net Neutrality

          Obama’s first FCC boss Julius Genachowski was a bit of a wishy washy mess, supporting any number of conflicting ideas at any given time depending on the audience he was talking to. And while his second term pick, Tom Wheeler, initially raised eyebrows given his history of lobbying for early-era telecom companies, he wound up being one of the better FCC bosses in agency history. Granted telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast might disagree, since he was one of the only FCC bosses in recent history actually willing to stand up to them in any meaningful way.

      • Monopolies

        • Patents and Software Patents

          • USPTO amends patent term adjustment after Supernus

            The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has amended its rules on patent term adjustment (PTA) to bring them in line with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling in Supernus Pharma v Iancu in January this year.

            In a Federal Register notice published on Friday, October 4, the office said that the Federal Circuit had ruled that a “reduction of patent term adjustment must be equal to the period of time during which the applicant failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution of the application”.

            “The office is proposing to revise the provisions pertaining to reduction of PTA for alignment with the Federal Circuit decision in Supernus,” the notice said.

            In Supernus, the Federal Circuit concluded that the USPTO had miscalculated the correct PTA for the pharma company’s patent covering an “osmotic drug delivery system” (US number 8,747,897).

          • Escalation: Continental seeking anti-anti-antisuit (yes, 3x ‘anti’) temporary restraining order against Avanci, Nokia, Sharp, others

            In July, Nokia surprised everyone by obtaining an anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) preventing automotive supplier Continental from pursuing a U.S. antisuit injunction against Nokia in an effort to shield Continental customer Daimler from Nokia’s ten (and possibly other) German patent infringement suits. When that news broke, a few people in the industry were already wondering about whether the next level of escalation would be an anti-anti-antisuit motion. In fact, there is historic precedent for that, though it’s rare.

            Here we go–a couple of hours ago, Continental brought a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), asking Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to bar within a matter of hours–ex parte, i.e., without a hearing–Avanci, Nokia, Sharp, Conversant (which has very recently become the third and latest Avanci member to sue Daimler for patent infringement, as I reported earlier today), and Optis from seeking another AAII against Continental in Germany.

            Today’s TRO motion renews the original pursuit of a U.S. antisuit injunction against those defendants, but now also includes Sharp. About a month ago, Judge Koh had denied the previous motion without prejudice, explicitly allowing renewal (but didn’t want to entertain multiple motions in a row).

            I’ve criticized Continental’s lawyers very harshly. I thought the original motion was overbroad. They were seeking to shield Daimler even from lawsuits targeting cars that don’t come with an accused Continental component, which I described as behaving like a class-action plaintiff without meeting the requirements for a class action; they failed to clarify at the time that they didn’t mean to enjoin Sharp, which wasn’t a defendant when the original motion was brought and when defendants had to respond to it (but by now Sharp has been added to the case–and presumably been properly served, too); and they originally wanted to prevent patent assertions against Daimler regardless of remedies sought.

          • Conversant joins fellow Avanci contributors Nokia and Sharp in suing Daimler, asserting former Nokia patent in Munich

            The automotive patent wars keep escalating. Conversant Wireless Licensing, a wildly unsuccessful (see 1 and 2) privateer that owns a portfolio of patents it received from Nokia, has become the third and latest–but possibly not even the last–contributor to the Avanci IoT patent pool to sue car maker Daimler for patent infringement.

            A filing made today by Continental, one of Daimler’s suppliers of telematics control units, in the Continental v. Avanci et al. FRAND/antitrust case in the Northern District of California (Judge: Lucy H. Koh), reveals that Conversant filed a patent infringement complaint against Daimler with the Munich I Regional Court over EP2934050 on an “apparatus and method for providing a connection” on August 13, 2019. The original complaint merely seeks an accounting of Daimler’s sales of infringing products, but Conversant could add a request for injunctive relief anytime (the patent is set to expire in early 2021).

            [...]

            Continental has attached Conversant’s complaint to a declaration in support of a motion for a temporary restraining order today. I’ll blog about that TRO motion, which involves an anti-anti-antisuit provision, right after this post. But in closing let me show you Conversant’s complaint:

          • Supreme Court 2019-2020: Introduction to the Term’s Patent Cases

            The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in NantKwest (attorney fees for PTO in §145 actions) – and I provided my expectation that the Court will affirm the Federal Circuit’s no-attorney-fees holding. The Court has one other patent case on the merits calendar Thryv, Inc., fka Dex Media, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP, No. 18-916 (appellate jurisdiction over challenge to PTO’s finding of no time-bar under §315(b)). Click-to-Call is set for oral arguments December 9, 2019.

            [...]

            Note here that a couple of cases asking Berkheimer style questions were denied — suggesting the likely outcome in Berkheimer.

            Speaking of Section 101 — there are a number of pending petitions on the subject. We are particularly waiting for the Solicitor General to provide the Supreme Court with its input in Berkheimer and Vanda. I had expected those to be filed by this week — they are not yet filed.

        • Trademarks

          • GSK fails in purple inhaler passing off claim against Sandoz and Vectura (…and breathe)

            If you ever wanted to know more about the complex authorisation, prescribing and reimbursement systems and guidelines governing asthma and COPD treatments and their marketplace more generally, but were afraid to ask, this is your lucky day: enjoy paragraphs 8 to 155 of the judgment. For the sake of brevity, all that you really need to know is that both the Seretide Accuhaler and AirFluSal Forspiro are prescription-only medicines (POMs), the promotion of POMs to patients is highly restricted, and prescriptions are normally (and increasingly) written by brand name, not generically. This is because pulmonary-delivered products are not necessarily bioequivalent, and different inhalers have different modes of actuation and (potentially) variations in the dose delivered.

            The parties agreed that informal colour conventions have developed in the UK in relation to certain types of inhaler (e.g. blue for SABA relievers), but Glaxo did not agree with the Defendants that such a convention had developed in respect of purple for salmeterol/fluticasone. The several other salmeterol/fluticasone combination inhalers launched in the UK since 2015, however, all featured purple and/or pink elements.

        • Copyrights

          • Beijing Internet Court: whether a short video is original or not has nothing to do with its length

            Launched in September 2016, Douyin rapidly gained huge popularity. By December 2018, Douyin had 250 million average daily active users and 500 million monthly active users in China (source: 2018 Douyin big data report).

            The success of Douyin is no surprise. It provides a much easier way for users to express themselves: no computer or laptop is required – a mobile phone and an app are sufficient – and users can freely add music or ‘special effects’ from an in-app library to make their video more appealing. In addition, Douyin videos are normally maximum 15 seconds in length, which allows users to post or view videos much faster than on other video sharing apps.

            [...]

            In May 2018, ‘Black Face V’, a popular ‘Douyiner’ with 26.37 million followers, posted a 13-second video entitled ‘I want to tell you’ on Douyin, in which the watermarks of ‘Douyin’ and ‘ID: 145651081’ were embedded.

            Later on, an individual with ‘ID451670’ re-uploaded the same video on Huopai, without showing the said two watermarks, and provided download services. The plaintiff argued that the video made by ‘Black Face V’ should be subject to copyright protection, the result of which meant that the defendants’ unauthorised distribution and watermark-removal amounted to infringement.

          • Landmark Russian Anti-Piracy Agreement Extended Until End October 2019

            A landmark anti-piracy agreement that saw search engines in Russia voluntarily delete allegedly-infringing links officially ran out last Monday. It now appears that the parties have reached a new agreement that will extend the initiative until the end of October with an option to continue to the end of the year.

          • Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit

            Epic Games has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against a minor who it accused of promoting and selling “Fortnite” cheats. The terms of the agreement remain confidential but the website where the cheats were sold has disappeared and the kid’s YouTube channel has gone quiet.

          • Music Piracy Continues To Drop Dramatically, But The Industry Hates To Admit That Because It Ruins The Narrative

            This was wholly predictable, of course. Back in 2015, we released a detailed analytical report showing that the absolute easiest and most effective way to reduce piracy was to to enable more and better licensed services that actually gave users what they were seeking for reasonable prices and fewer restrictions. The data in that report showed that focusing on greater legal enforcement had no long term effects on piracy, but more and better authorized services did the trick every time. Then, earlier this year, we released another report showing that the music industry is in the midst of a massive upswing thanks almost entirely to the rapidly increasing success of licensed music streaming platforms. It was incredibly dramatic to look at the numbers.

          • If You Think Google Is Too Dominant And Needs More Competition… You Should Actually Support Its Petition Concerning API Copyrights

            Last week, we wrote about the confusion of both the US’s Solicitor General and Oracle’s lead litigator, Annette Hurst, in insisting that APIs are no different than software (and even that they’re executable, which they are not). But, what’s kind of incredible in this case is that, even as Oracle is so obsessively focused on bringing down Google, if it actually wanted to help bring it down, it should want to lose this case.

          • Copyright Trolls Targeted Over 100,000 IP-addresses in Sweden
          • Popular IPTV Smarters App Removed From Google Play Following Complaint
          • Meet Our First CC Certificate Scholarship Recipients!

            Today, we are proud to highlight our first 10 CC Certificate Scholarship recipients. The CC Certificate provides an-in depth study of Creative Commons licenses and open practices, uniquely developing participants’ open licensing proficiency and understanding of the broader context for open advocacy.

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    OpenChain Specification/OpenChain Project and Automated Compliance Tooling (ACT) are yet more examples -- the latest of many -- of the Linux Foundation being outsourced to Microsoft, not only for code but also documentation and hosting



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 12, 2019



  7. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  8. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  9. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  10. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  11. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  12. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  14. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  15. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  16. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  17. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  20. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  21. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  22. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  23. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  24. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  25. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  27. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  28. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019


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