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10.20.19

Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Samsung will kill Linux on Dex with the upcoming Android 10 update

      Around two years ago, Samsung officially announced that they will be bringing full-fledged Linux support for Samsung Dex. The company later started testing Linux on different Galaxy devices. Earlier this year, Samsung added more devices to the program which was in beta at the time.

      Now, out of nowhere, Samsung has decided to kill the Linux on Dex project. As per an email received by 9to5Google, Samsung plans to kill the project with the release of Android 10 Beta. Samsung has sent out emails to all the Beta testers today informing them about the change.

    • Samsung ends Linux on DeX beta with the Android 10 update

      DeX is a feature on the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab S series that differentiates Samsung’s flagship smartphones and tablets from the company’s competitors. DeX, which debuted back in 2017 with the Samsung Galaxy S8, lets users access a desktop mode UI, with support for Android apps, when connected to a monitor. Initially, DeX required a special accessory in the form of the DeX Station and later the DeX Pad, but with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung made it work with any HDMI to USB Type-C cable, which means that it no longer required any specialized hardware. This significantly improved its versatility. The one real competitor to Dex is Huawei’s Easy Projection feature, which can also work wirelessly. However, Samsung still had a leg up over its Huawei thanks to the Linux on DeX feature.

      Linux on DeX enabled the user to get a full-fledged desktop GNU/Linux environment up and running on the smartphone in DeX mode. Specifically, Linux on DeX supported a modified version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for ARM64. Linux on DeX was first shown off all the way back at SDC 2017, and the company finally released a beta for download a year later. The feature was intended for developers and not for regular users, as only ARM64 packages could be used on Linux on DeX. It allowed developers to compile, build, and test Android apps on their smartphone itself. Max used Linux on DeX extensively on the Galaxy Note 9 and noted that it pushed the limits of the hardware at that time.

    • Samsung won’t support Linux on DeX once Android 10 arrives

      If you’ve been using Linux on DeX (aka Linux on Galaxy) to turn your Samsung phone into a PC, you’ll need to make a change of plans. Samsung is warning users that it’s shutting down the Linux on DeX beta program, and that its Android 10 update won’t support using the open source OS as a desktop environment. The company didn’t explain why it was shutting things down, but it did note that the Android 10 beta is already going without the Linux option.

      The decision leaves users in a tough spot. This not only gave Linux fans a way to run their preferred computing platform from their phone, it was the only option that provided a full-fledged desktop OS (in this case, Ubuntu Linux). If you use Android 10, you’ll have to revert to the considerably more limited DeX-optimized Android interface. While that should work for people who just want a larger canvas for their Android apps, it won’t help if you were using Linux as a productivity tool.

    • Samsung ends Linux on DeX without ever releasing a stable version

      In an email to the testers, Samsung has announced that it is ending the Linux on DeX beta program. It will no longer provide support for future OS and device releases, including the Android 10 beta. The team behind the app hasn’t offered any reasons for the shutdown of the program but thanked users for the interest and feedback.

      Samsung announced the Linux on DeX app nearly a year ago as an experiment to augment the capabilities of its DeX platform. It enables select Galaxy devices to run full Linux OS in DeX mode when connected to an external monitor (or on the device’s display if it’s a tablet). The app has been in beta for the past year, and the company is now ending the program without releasing a stable version.

    • Desktop

      • High schoolers in charge? How one school gave up control and won

        So we chose a different way — the open source way — and as a result, we’ve saved our technology budget more than $1 million.

        But the cost savings are just the beginning. More importantly, our decision to adopt 4,000 Linux-powered laptops empowered our students in remarkable ways.

        Here at Penn Manor School District, we’ve gained much more by using Linux and other open source software. And by infusing open principles and practices into our learning environment alongside open technologies, we’ve cultivated a vibrant and inclusive learning community for all students.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Why Red Hat supports standards and open source

          Red Hat may be synonymous with open source and the developer community, but the company also actively participates within industry standards processes. For example, it is working closely with the operator-led Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT), which was initiated in the LFN open source community but has now been embraced by the GSMA, as an attempt to harmonise on the many varied NFV infrastructure solutions and architectures. Furthermore, Red Hat supports the move for greater alignment in NFV software platform domain.

        • Overview of Node-RED 1.0 Release

          Low-code, visual-based programming environments are opening doors for new types of application developers. At the same time, new event-driven architectures are making such environments more responsive.

          Node-RED, a visual flow-based programming tool, is one such environment attuned to these new development styles. After years of refinement, the open source Node-RED recently hit maturity with a 1.0 release.

          I chatted with Nicholas O’Leary of IBM, who has pioneered the development of Node-RED. In this article, we’ll discover what this new release encompasses. We’ll also peek into the history of Node-RED, look into some fascinating IoT use cases and estimate the future Node-RED roadmap.

        • Girls Who Code wins IBM’s first $50K Open Source Community Grant

          Girls Who Code were the winners of the first $50,000 IBM Open Source Community Grant. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of women working in computer science.

          Girls Who Code helps girls to learn more about computer science through after-school classes and summer courses. Along with the advancement of IT knowledge, women also gain confidence in their capabilities.

        • IBM launches grant to promote diversity in the open source community

          Announced at this week’s All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC, the grant — which will be awarded quarterly — will see the winner receive $25k in cash and $25k in Cloud Credits in order to support their efforts dedicated to education and skill building for women, minorities, and/or under-served communities.

          The inaugural grant is going to Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization working to increase the number of women working in computer science.

          [...]

          Other finalists in this quarter’s grant competition were Outreachy (Organized by the Software Freedom Conservancy), which sets up three-month paid internships on open source projects for people who ordinarily might not have those opportunities. And PyLadies, an international mentorship group of the Python Software Foundation, helping women become active in the Python open-source community.

        • Ex-IBM Director Joins Open-Source Blockchain Platform

          ennifer Trelewicz, the former Director of the Systems & Technology Laboratory at IBM, has just joined the open-source and fully decentralised blockchain software, Credits.

          According to AMB Crypto, Trelewicz has taken the post of Chief Business Officer, under which she is responsible for the external business sector of the firm.

        • IBM Group Sales Down Again But Cloud And Open Source Business Is Positive

          Third quarter results at IBM showed group sales were down 3.9% to $18bn, although revenue from the acquired Red Hat was up a handy 20%.

          That group drop though masked progress being seen in the cloud, with Cloud & Cognitive Software up 7.8% to $5.3bn. This part of the business includes cloud and data platforms that include Red Hat offerings, cognitive applications and transaction processing platforms.

          The Global Technology Services segment – that includes infrastructure and cloud services and technology support services – was down 4.1% to $6.7bn. And Global Business Services, which includes consulting, application management and global process services was up 2.2% to $4.1bn – with consulting actually up 5% when broken down.

        • IBM Poised for Another Sales Slide Despite Red Hat Deal: What to Watch

          International Business Machines Corp. is expected to report third-quarter earnings after the market closes Wednesday. The results, which follow a string of quarterly revenue declines, will be the company’s first since it closed its $34 billion purchase of open-source software giant Red Hat. Here’s what to look for:

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel’s Cloud Hypervisor 0.3 Adds Block Device Offloading, Paravirtualized IOMMU

        Intel developers have been working on the Cloud Hypervisor that is written in Rust and built atop KVM as an open-source VMM designed for running modern cloud workloads while being focused on just supporting modern software/interfaces and relying upon para-virtualized (VirtIO) devices without legacy support. This week marked a new release of this forward-looking KVM-based hypervisor solution.

      • Linux 5.4 Lands A Number Of Memory Management Fixes

        While mid-way through the Linux 5.4 development cycle with RC4 due out on Sunday, a number of memory management fixes just hit the mainline kernel.

        Andrew Morton’s pull request was merged on Friday night and he noted, “Rather a lot of fixes, almost all affecting mm/”

        Indeed there were memory management fixes in this pull ahead of 5.4-rc4. Changes include a zRAM race condition fix, avoiding access to uninitialized memory maps, allow dropping transparent huge-pages (THP) from the page cache, and other fixes in this area including the possibility of a kernel crash.

    • Applications

      • Five best screen recorders for Linux

        Screen recording comes in handy when creating a video tutorial, recording gameplay, live streaming or even something cool you just did and want to showcase it to others. Uses of a screen recorder are diverse and there are a ton of reasons to have one installed on your PC. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of five best screen recorders for Linux which include some basic as well as some advanced screen recorders.

      • Firefox to get page translation feature, like Chrome

        Firefox’s page translation feature will work offline, with a local library, rather than cloud-based translation services.

      • OBS Studio 24.0.3

        OBS Studio is software designed for capturing, compositing, encoding, recording, and streaming video content, efficiently. It is the re-write of the widely used Open Broadcaster Software, to allow even more features and multi-platform support. OBS Studio supports multiple sources, including media files, games, web pages, application windows, webcams, your desktop, microphone and more.

      • Proprietary

        • FAA asks Boeing why it hid test pilot’s discovery of ‘egregious’ 737 Max issues

          The Federal Aviation Administration is demanding answers from Boeing after receiving a 2016 electronic message exchange in which a test pilot talks of unknowingly having lied to regulators and discloses “egregious” problems with the flight control system that figured in two 737 Max crashes.

          FAA Administrator Steve Dickson sent a terse letter Friday to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg requesting to know why the messages had only been delivered the day before, not months ago when Boeing had uncovered them. “I expect your explanation immediately,” he writes.

        • Why Kids’ Programming Will Be a Major Battleground in the Streaming Wars

          It’s not that children are suddenly allergic to SpongeBob. (According to Parrot Analytics, Mr. SquarePants and his underwater antics remain the most in-demand children’s content in America.) But as Juenger puts it: The traditional American TV industry is “entering a period of prolonged structural decline,” as viewers migrate to platforms that feature fewer or no ads.

          Saturday mornings, years ago relinquished by broadcasters, are now threatening to evaporate from the grip of cablers as well. This will prove to be a fertile area for existing streamers, as well as the soon-to-launch over-the-top offerings from Apple, Disney and WarnerMedia, among others. All of them are hungry for subscribers and eager to keep them shelling out monthly dollars.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 4.18 Released With Fix For League of Legends

        Fresh off yesterday’s Wine 4.18 release, Wine-Staging 4.18 is now available for those preferring the more experimental blend of Wine that incorporates various testing patches atop Wine.

        Wine-Staging 4.18 is still around 850+ patches atop upstream Wine though not a lot of new patches over the past three weeks. Like with Wine 4.18, the staging release isn’t too big either due to many Wine developers having been away last week for WineConf in Toronto.

    • Games

      • Stellaris: Federations and Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack announced at PDXCON

        PDXCON is now in full swing and the announcement are being handed out like candy. First up, Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio have announced Stellaris: Federations and Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack.

      • Crusader Kings III announced for release next year, to be more welcoming to new players

        As I suggested they would when setting Crusader Kings II permanently free (but not the DLC), Paradox Interactive have announced Crusader Kings III.

        “Crusader Kings III is a grand medieval simulator where you are free to live out any plausible ruler fantasy that we could think of – but not without challenge.” says Henrik Fåhraeus, the Game Director. “Seeing its predecessor explode in popularity was very satisfying, especially considering that user friendliness was never our primary goal. Now we have a chance to address an even larger audience.”

      • Prison Architect – Psych Ward: Warden’s Edition expansion announced (plus another coming)

        I think we all saw this coming when Paradox Interactive picked up the rights to Prison Architect, with Double Eleven taking on further development. The first proper DLC has been announced at PDXCON named Prison Architect – Psych Ward: Warden’s Edition.

        Psych Ward was previously a console exclusive DLC, so it’s good to see it make it onto PC. However, it does include new added features not in the original DLC and it will launch along side a free content update for everyone. It’s not exactly a small pack either, it actually sounds like it’s going to be adding quite a bit to the game. Paradox also gave it a release date of November 21, so you won’t exactly have long to wait to really find out.

      • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal brings more classic ‘Mechs and new weapon systems, releasing in November

        Even more news from PDXCON! Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive have now properly announced the BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal expansion to bring more destruction.

      • Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance expansion and a significant free update announced

        Paradox Development Studio and Paradox Interactive are expanding another of their grand-scale strategy games, with Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance announced during PDXCON.

        Not just that, as they usually do they also confirmed a “significant” free content update will be released to all players. The free update will include a reworking of the resistance system, interface improvements to battleplans and air operations plus many other “quality of life improvements”.

      • Bioshock 1 & 2 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Bioshock 1 & 2 running through Steam play.

      • Continuing the Counter-Strike 20th anniversary Valve put out skins, plus a possible Operation and update coming

        After starting off the celebration for Counter-Strike turning 20 back in June with the retro version of Dust II, Valve have now added a refreshed version of the map Cache and a themed Weapon Case and Sticker Capsule.

        We’re expecting some bigger updates to come but let’s go over what they’ve already done.

        [...]

        VNN’s Tyler McVicker also released another of his highly speculative videos talking about lots of other things that could be pointing to a new operation. With a possible update coming that may include: custom Danger Zone modes, a new Danger Zone map, new Danger Zone weapons, co-op missions, hats and other wearable items, player taunts and more being speculated on.

        I personally hope Valve do put out a big update, since their celebration so far has been a bit lacklustre. An old map, a refreshed map and some skins you have to pay for. Not exactly big or exciting really so far. Speaking personally again, I’m still very much enjoying Danger Zone so if they do expand it again I will be quite pleased.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 development phase starting

        In the 4.14 cycle we tried to do a 1:1 port of what used to be our Gtk2 desktop environment, avoiding visual changes. In the 4.16 cycle we plan to harmonize the appearance of certain elements that either became inconsistent through the port or already were inconsistent before (e.g. toolbars or inline toolbars).

        We will also play with client-side decorations where we feel it makes sense (for instance replacing the so-called XfceTitledDialog, that is used for all settings dialogs with a HeaderBar version). Before anyone gets too excited (both positively or negatively): It is not planned to redesign more complex applications (like Thunar) with Headerbars in 4.16. We will however try to keep the experience and looks consistent, which means gradually moving to client side decorations also with our applications (please note that client side decorations are not the same as HeaderBars!). Through this change e.g. “dark modes” in applications will look good (see the part about the Panel below).

        Now before there is a shitstorm about this change I would kindly ask everyone to give us time to figure out what exactly we want to change in this cycle. Also, switching to client-side decorations alone is not a big visual departure – feel free to also dig through the client-side decorations page if you want to read/see more on this.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • Some New Operating Systems on Distrotest that Caught My Attention!

        Distrotest is one site that provides a variety of Linux distributions that can be run directly on the browser. Or you can also run it on a remote desktop client application, for example using Remmina. So, you can try various linux distributions online without having to install it or make a live CD.

        when I visited the distrotest. Apparently, there have been many new systems added. However, there are several new systems that caught my attention.

      • Forbes Raves Upcoming Linux Desktop Will ‘Embarass’ Windows 10 and macOS

        The article points out that Deepin is also a stand-alone desktop environment for any current Linux distribution — and that it’s one of the 248 operating systems available for online testing at DistroTest.net.

      • deepin Linux 20 looks incredible

        recently sold my MacBook Pro for a few reasons, but probably most importantly, macOS just wasn’t wowing me anymore. While Apple’s desktop operating system is good for basic users, it is far too limited for the more hardcore. Ultimately, I found my productivity was negatively impacted by macOS — my workflow with Windows 10 and various Linux distributions was simply better.

        Of course, with all of that said, macOS is much prettier than Windows 10 — even Microsoft would confess to that. But is it more attractive than desktop Linux distributions? Well, that depends on the desktop environment. While there are plenty of beautiful DEs and launchers for Linux, only one really surpasses macOS in the looks department — deepin.

      • Arch Family

        • [From Arch] `base` group replaced by mandatory `base` package – manual intervention required

          The base group has been replaced by a metapackage of the same name. We advise users to install this package (pacman -Syu base), as it is effectively mandatory from now on.

          Users requesting support are expected to be running a system with the base package.

        • [From Arch] Required update to recent libarchive

          The imminent release of pacman 5.2 brings build tools with support for compressing packages with zstd. To install these packages you need libarchive with support for zstd, which entered the repositories in September 2018. In order for zstd compressed packages to be distributed, we require all users to have updated to at least libarchive 3.3.3-1. You have had a year, so we expect you already did update. Hurry up if you have not.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Theme Updates, Offline Upgrades Headline New Additions to Pop!_OS 19.10

          Offline upgrades are now live on Pop!_OS 19.04, bringing faster, more reliable upgrades. When an upgrade becomes available, it is downloaded to your computer. Then, when you decide to upgrade to the newest version of your OS, the upgrade will overwrite the current version of your software. However, this is not to be confused with an automatic update; your OS will remain on the current version until you yourself decide to upgrade.

          To upgrade to 19.10 from a fully updated version of Pop!_OS 19.04, open the Settings application and scroll down on the sidebar menu to the Details tab. In the About panel of the Details tab, you will see a button to download the upgrade. Once the download is complete, hit the button again to upgrade your OS. This will be the standard method of upgrading between Pop!_OS releases going forward.

        • Pop!_OS 19.10 Released With Tensorman Tool For Tensorflow Management, GNOME 3.34
        • Ubuntu 19.10 brings Linux kernel 5.3, improvements for Raspberry Pi 4

          Ubuntu 19.10—the 31st release of the consumer-focused Linux distribution—was released on Thursday, powered by GNOME 3.34 and version 5.3 of the Linux kernel, which includes support for AMD Navi GPUs, as well as Intel Gemini Lake CPUs and VIA/Zhaoxin x86 CPUs.

          Other Linux distributions typically shy away from providing copyrighted code embedded into the ISO image due to legal or philosophical reasons, though Canonical is shipping NVIDIA GPU drivers out-of-the-box to ease configuration and improve performance for users of NVIDIA GPUs for gaming as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) applications.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • npm is moving back to its developer roots, founder says

        Everyone has an opinion on what NPM should do next, both as a company (npm, Inc.) and as the package manager (npm) made essential by Node.js. That’s not surprising: More than 11 million JavaScript developers use npm (and associated npm registry) to build their applications, whether they use Node.js or not. It’s also not a particularly easy question to resolve, given the turmoil npm Inc. has experienced over the past year, what with the introduction (and eventual departure) of CEO Bryan Bogensberger and employee unrest in his wake.

        Talking to npm founder and Chief Open Technologies officer Isaac Schlueter, however, the right strategy for “building a sustainable engine behind an open source labor of love” might well be a return to npm’s roots.

      • Open source community should help fight fake news

        That’s the view of Aroma Rodrigues, a full-time Python developer at a major bank in India and a part-time software activist. She told delegates at last week’s PyConZA 2019, part of SA’s Open Source Week, that they can and should be doing more to use their skills for social good.

        [...]

        For example, the US-based Knight Foundation, which was established to promote excellence in journalism, examined more than 10 million tweets from 700 000 Twitter accounts before, during and after the 2016 US presidential election. The study found that identified clusters of Twitter accounts linked back to more than 600 fake and conspiracy news sites repeatedly, often in ways that seemed to be co-ordinated, or even automated, in order to sway public opinion one way or another.

      • Open source community should embrace the spirit of ubuntu

        In an interview with ITWeb at the conference, Nkosi pointed out that although open source was about community, “we are not using it as community”.

        [...]

        The word ‘ubuntu’ loosely translates to “I am because we are”. This, Nkosi asserted, was essentially the premise of open source software, which was about harnessing the collective power of the community.

      • How the top open source AI software drives innovation

        Open source software and tools have long been a mainstay of the computing ecosystem, especially over the past two decades. From the popularity of Linux in the enterprise server environment to the Firefox browser, open source has found a successful place in the computing hierarchy. It should come as little surprise that open source AI software is finding significant popularity and use within the machine learning and deep learning ecosystem, as well.

        In fact, much of the technology that powers AI is open source. This comes as a contrast to other enterprise technology, such as operating systems and databases that had their initial roots in closed, licensed software.

      • Catalan separatists have tooled up with a decentralized app for civil disobedience

        One of the first protest actions programmed by a new online activist group, calling itself Tsunami Democràtic, saw thousands of protestors coalescing on Barcelona airport Monday, in an attempt to shut it down. The protest didn’t quite do that but it did lead to major disruption, with roads blocked by human traffic as protestors walked down the highway and the cancelation of more than 100 flights, plus hours of delays for travellers arriving into El Prat.

        For months leading up to a major Supreme Court verdict on the fate of imprisoned Catalan political leaders a ‘technical elite‘ — as one local political science academic described them this week — has been preparing to reboot Catalonia’s independence movement by developing bespoke, decentralized high-tech protest tools.

        A source with knowledge of Tsunami Democràtic, speaking to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, told us that “high level developers” located all around the world are involved in the effort, divvying up coding tasks as per any large scale IT project and leveraging open source resources (such as the RetroShare node-based networking platform) to channel grassroots support for independence into a resilient campaign network that can’t be stopped by the arrest of a few leaders.

      • To Go Green, the Energy Industry Goes Open Source

        The European Union aims to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order last year calling for the state, the fifth-largest economy in the world, to go carbon neutral by 2045. Meeting these goals, or even the less ambitious goals set by other governments, will require utilities to buy more energy from sustainable sources like wind and solar power. That shift is already creating logistical challenges for utilities. Unlike more predictable sources of energy, the energy produced by a wind farm can vary from day to day, forcing utilities to offload excess supplies and make up for shortages. The solar panels on residential rooftops that feed into the grid pose their own challenges because the grid wasn’t designed to facilitate a two-way flow of energy.

        To meet those technological challenges, the energy sector is turning to open source software. Open source, which anyone can modify or share, helped power the rise of internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Ostensible competitors worked together to develop software like the data-crunching platform Hadoop because it enabled them to solve difficult computing problems. Now all sorts of companies, ranging from Microsoft to Walmart to JP Morgan Chase use and make open source software.

        But the energy industry has lagged behind others in using and creating open source software, says Loek Bakker, head of information management at Dutch energy distribution company TenneT. “The energy industry isn’t known for being innovative,” he says. “I think we’re quite a traditional industry.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR16 SPR1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release “16.1″ (SPR 1) is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). As noted, this is a pure security update and there are no user-facing changes; the big under-the-hood change of those is that we are now pulling entirely from 68ESR, including locale data, certificate roots and so forth. There is also a small update to the ATSUI font blacklist. Assuming no issues, it will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

          • Chris H-C: Four-Year Moziversary

            We gained two new team members, Travis and Beatriz. And with Georg taking a short break, we’ve all had more to do that usual. Glean‘s really been working out well, though I’ve only had the pleasure of working on it a little bit.

            Instead I’ve been adding fun new features to Firefox Desktop like Origin Telemetry. I also gave a talk at a conference about Data and Responsibility. Last December’s All Hands returned us to Orlando, and June brought me to Whistler for the first time. We held a Virtual Work Week (or “vorkweek”) a couple of weeks ago when we couldn’t find a time and the budget to meet in person, and spent it planning out how we’ll bring Glean to Firefox Desktop with Project FOG. First with a Prototype (FOGotype) by end of year. And then 2020 will be the year of Glean on the Desktop.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Unifying cloud storage and data warehouses: Delta Lake project hosted by the Linux Foundation

          Going cloud for your storage needs comes with some baggage. On the one hand, it’s cheap, elastic, and convenient – it just works. On the other hand, it’s messy, especially if you are used to working with data management systems like databases and data warehouses.

          Unlike those systems, cloud storage was not designed with things such as transactional support or metadata in mind. If you work with data at scale, these are pretty important features. This is why Databricks introduced Delta Lake to add those features on top of cloud storage back in 2017.

        • Open FinTech Forum Brings Together Technologists and Business Executives to Accelerate Development in Finance Sector

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the speakers and program for Open FinTech Forum taking place December 9, 2019 at the Convene Conference Center in New York.

        • LF Energy Brings Power System Leaders Together with Open Source Experts at Paris Summit to Implement the Grid of the Future

          LF Energy, a nonprofit, vendor-neutral initiative from The Linux Foundation, whose mission is to accelerate the energy and electricity sectors’ worldwide decarbonization goals through open-source technology, announced the full agenda for its first global summit, NOW TO NEXT – The Power of Together, as well as the addition of Alliander, EDP, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and Unicorn as new LF Energy members.

          NOW TO NEXT, which will be hosted in La Défense, Paris, on Nov. 4-5, will bring together leaders and innovators in the power and technology industries to discuss the global transition to clean energy. Industry leaders have realized that no one can meet decarbonization goals alone. Instead, we must work together to transition the 150-year-old power grid infrastructure to smarter and more efficient digital technologies that enable decentralized energy resources.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Percona Open Source Software Database Survey Reveals Shift Toward Diversity

          Percona, a leader in open source database software and services, today announced the results of its Open Source Software Database Survey. More than 830 members of the Percona community and customer base, representing small, medium and large companies from around the world, responded to questions regarding open source database usage and growth. The survey revealed that diverse tools and environments, including multiple databases and multi-cloud and hybrid environments, are transforming today’s datacenters.

      • Education

      • Healthcare

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • SOSA Consortium’s C4ISR Demonstrator System Shows Value of Open-Source Tech in Mil/Aero Apps

          Actually, these marketplaces have had some level of collaborative effort due to common development trends and regulatory compliance activity, but nothing like the kind of active open environment that exists in other spaces. The military community is specifically reluctant to adopt more open development methods due to the secretive nature of military capability disclosure. Yet there are areas in core platform development that can benefit from an open-source approach.

        • New WSO2 Identity Server Release Provides a Hassle-Free Configuration Model and RESTful APIs for Self-Service IAM

          Digitally driven businesses face unprecedented complexity in protecting not only their own data and privacy but that of globally distributed customers, partners and employees using a variety of personal computing and mobile devices. WSO2 offers several new capabilities to help enterprises address these demands with the latest release of WSO2 Identity Server for identity and access management (IAM). Using WSO2 Identity Server, IT organizations now have an open source, API-driven, developer friendly solution for modernizing application security and delivering an enhanced user experience that encourages adoption.

        • Winding Tree and Travel Forward to host open-source Hackathon

          Key industry leaders such as Air France, KLM, and Etihad Airways have participated in Winding Tree’s previous two #HackTravel hackathons, one in Prague in December 2018, and the second most recently in Lisbon in July 2019.

        • SalesAgility announces 7th UK Open Source Awards, 2020

          SalesAgility are delighted to announce that the 7th UK Open Source Awards (UKOSA) will take place on Thursday May 21st 2020. We’re also delighted to announce that once again they’ll be held in the Edinburgh University Computing faculty’s Informatics Forum.

          The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the innovation, diversity, collaboration and creativity that are core components of Open Source software creation and maintenance. Previous winners have included contributors from several NHS healthcare projects, the Gnome project, Collabora (LibreOffice) and students from Edinburgh and Aberystwyth Universities.

        • How Google and Facebook do code analysis

          Facebook has reported target “fix rates” (how often developers fix the bug flagged by a tool) of 70% to 80%, and Google strives for greater than 90% fix rates for its ErrorProne code analysis tool. By only deploying tools with high fix rates, these companies maintain the trust of developers and ensure that they continue to act on important issues found by these tools. But how do you know whether a new tool meets this threshold?

          The best approach is to be data-driven. The developer tooling groups at these companies collect data on which bugs are getting fixed and support explicit developer feedback on tool results. This data is constantly monitored to flag tools that are underperforming so they can improve or remove them.

        • Weekly Wrap: AWS Makes It Rain, Extends Credits to Open Source Projects
        • AWS Makes It Rain, Extends Credits to Open Source Projects
        • AWS tempts open source projects with promo credit sweeteners

          Principal Open Source Technologist Arun Gupta and Operations Manager Vicente explained the initiative in a blog post mentioning the credits were typically used for testing, storage, or CI/CD purposes. First beneficiaries include the Rust and Julia programming languages, Java community project AdoptOpenJDK, Java component repository Maven Central, and a couple of projects hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

        • AWS’ open source entreaties now include cloud credits

          AWS will offer promotional cloud credits to open source project maintainers that meet certain criteria. The move comes after repeated tensions with some companies.

        • Is AWS sponsoring Rust? Only a bit – and so is Microsoft Azure

          AWS has announced its “Sponsorship of the Rust project”, causing some initial excitement in the community. However, in reality it only amounts to a year of AWS “promotional credits.”

          “We’re really excited to announce that AWS is sponsoring the Rust programming language,” reads a statement by David Barsky (engineer on Rust runtime for Lambda), Arun Gupta (open source technical evangelist), and Jacob Peddicord (open-source engineer).

        • Groundbreaking CloudCO Demo at Broadband World Forum 2019 Made Possible by UNH-IOL’s Role as Open Broadband Lab

          The intention of the OB-Labs initiative is to demonstrate an open framework for cloud-based broadband for carriers globally, and bring the promise of SDN and NFV to fruition. The demo at BBWF 2019 was built from a combination of open source from the OPNFV, ONAP, and Open Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) projects and products from Nokia, Altice Labs, DZS, and VMware. A first of its kind demonstration, this implementation truly shows the power of a well-defined architecture and the agility of an open community.

        • flexiWAN Announces Global Channel Partner Program for MSPs, SIs and VAR Offering SD-WAN Services
        • Mavenir Swings for Big Leagues With OpenRAN
        • Beware Systems Integrator Lock-In, Open Source Dependency

          Broadband World Forum 2019 — Kings can be tyrants, but at least they give you an easy target to punch when something goes wrong and revolution follows. Telcos in a perpetual huff about the ruling trio of Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia could be in for a more slippery autocracy with the emergence of systems integrators, a cabal of tiny vendors and some unwieldy open source platforms.

          Operators are worried, too. “Yes,” said BT’s Simon Fisher when asked during a panel session here if there is a danger of going from one form of lock-in to another. “You are squeezing complexity and cost into the software side of the business.”

          [...]

          “I guess the fear is that because ONAP is open source it will be easier for bad actors to explore (than a commercial solution) and, if widely adopted, worthwhile trying to hack,” noted Crawshaw.

        • Broadband Forum, ONF create virtualisation and open source roadmap

          A new agreement between Broadband Forum (BBF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is set to ease the path to automated and open virtualised access networks.
          The roadmap sets forth how operators seeking to effectively use virtualisation and open source to increase agility can leverage open source and standardisation projects side-by-side to ease their migrations to automated access networks and enable seamless co-existence.
          As the broadband industry embarks on the next phase of broadband deployment, numerous new business opportunities are emerging that require rapid service instantiation, often across disparate, software-defined networks, and leveraging third-party applications.

        • Broadband Forum and ONF collaborate on automation and virtualization in access networks

          In yet another example of open source groups working together, the Broadband Forum and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced on Monday that they have signed an agreement to mutually drive automation and virtualization across access networks.

          Over the past several years, open source communities and standards development organizations (SDOs) have started to collaborate with each other in order to speed up the development of new applications and services while not duplicating each other’s efforts.

        • Broadband Forum and ONF Ease the Path to Automated and Open Virtualized Access Networks

          As the broadband industry embarks on the next phase of broadband deployment, numerous new business opportunities are emerging that require rapid service instantiation, often across disparate, software-defined networks, and leveraging third-party applications. To take advantage of this untapped potential, operators are looking to interconnect different parts of their network with open source solutions and systems from various suppliers.

        • Microsoft to Reward Hackers for Finding Bugs in Open Source Election Software [Ed: This clearly spreads Microsoft propaganda. Microsoft puts back doors in election systems, so at the same time it tries to spin itself as the solution to security with its proprietary software

          Fair elections are the lifelines of democracy, but in recent years election hacking has become a hot topic worldwide.

        • Sotabench: Benchmarking Open Source Models Directly From GitHub [Ed: No, you cannot do proper studies with only data from Microsoft because it is biased by design; many FOSS projects reject proprietary software such as GitHub]

          Machine learning research resource Papers with Code last week introduced Sotabench, a free and open website created to benchmark and rate the performance of state-of-the-art open source models from GitHub. Papers with Code is an open platform that aggregates ML papers, code, and evaluation tables and metrics from sources such as arXiv and GitHub.

        • Kansai University Research: Kansai University Researcher is Awarded Prestigious Prize for the Development and Advancement of Open Source Data Mining Technology for Business and Product Marketing
        • Alfresco Named a Leader in Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Content Applications, According to IDC MarketScape
      • Funding

        • Ripple invests in Swedish open source start-up Towo Labs

          Towo Labs, a Swedish startup aimed at simplifying ‘crypto self-custody’, has announced an investment from Xpring, Ripple’s developer initiative.

          Xpring is described as an initiative by Ripple that will invest in, incubate, acquire and provide grants to companies and projects run by entrepreneurs.

          [...]

          All open source code contributions will be subject to the normal code and security reviews of the involved repository maintainers.

        • French open-source CMS startup Strapi raises $4 million in seed funding

          Strapi, a Paris, France-based open-source CMS, raises $4M in seed funding to deliver on its vision of making content accessible to any platform while offering the only fully open-source, JavaScript-based, community-powered and 100% customizable Headless CMS which is entirely free for developers.The round was led by Accel and Stride.vc. Notable angel investors and open-source experts, Solomon Hykes (Founder of Docker), Guillermo Rauch (Founder of Cloudup, Socket.io, Next.js and Zeit.co) and Eli Collins (Ex-CTO at Cloudera), also participated in this round.

        • Headless CMS company Strapi raises $4 million

          Strapi has become quite popular in the headless CMS space, with 500,000 downloads and 250 contributors to the open-source project. The first version was released on GitHub in 2015.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.1-RC2 Now Available
          -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
          Hash: SHA256
          
          The second RC build of the 12.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          
          Installation images are available for:
          
          o 12.1-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-RC2 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.1-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.1-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.1-RC2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.1-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 PANDABOARD
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.1-RC2 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.1-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-RC2 aarch64 RPI3
          o 12.1-RC2 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.1-RC2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          system.
          
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/12.1/
          
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/12.1" branch.
          
          A summary of changes since 12.1-RC1 includes:
          
          o The loader.efi had been updated to use ioalign for compliance with
            UEFI specification 2.7A.
          
          o A null pointer dereference bug had been fixed.
          
          o A fix to SCTP to reset local variables to their initial values had
            been added.
          
          o The ixgbe(4) driver had been updated to prevent a system crash when
            configuring EEE on X500EM_X devices.
          
          o The sdhci(4) driver had been updated to fix a boot issue on Beaglebone
            SoCs.
          
          A list of changes since 12.0-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.1
          release notes:
          
          https://www.freebsd.org/releases/12.1R/relnotes.html
          
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.1-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/12.1-RC2/
          
          The partition layout is:
          
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          
          https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
          
          To boot the VM image, run:
          
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0186d6a5fbc8766f2
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0b6bef3551f1b0f70
            eu-west-3 region: ami-062495360178ede5e
            eu-west-2 region: ami-0ccfe49c85e5f8cc0
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0e2730782e7462f98
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-053ddd72fc1feb00a
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-06cd2e1981334f254
            sa-east-1 region: ami-08acf6b9b1df41f34
            ca-central-1 region: ami-064249d804369c668
            ap-east-1 region: ami-020c406cb2f52030b
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-08264f040bf980098
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0da02f500e46cac8f
            eu-central-1 region: ami-05458e84d05b820e8
            us-east-1 region: ami-06f6cbd134064befb
            us-east-2 region: ami-0cfe92105f4fee6a8
            us-west-1 region: ami-0bb63fac9c5ec153a
            us-west-2 region: ami-00a29b19544968928
          
          FreeBSD/aarch64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0ea4448b9b547107c
            ap-south-1 region: ami-07a9fd713466fe63f
            eu-west-3 region: ami-02e84241865e90f54
            eu-west-2 region: ami-0b707024f9aadb94f
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0abf12b852be4e776
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-086547036e5a47816
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-038017fcbf85e7669
            sa-east-1 region: ami-0da52f30dd7d86ef5
            ca-central-1 region: ami-092ee6a89213c15a2
            ap-east-1 region: ami-0db28099cf79bf65d
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0852402b94d58adf8
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-01f869cc877cef54f
            eu-central-1 region: ami-04d008006fdb7e720
            us-east-1 region: ami-0411db3e8715d4352
            us-east-2 region: ami-01e68c35d7ddcac3e
            us-west-1 region: ami-02dcdcd99bf7fde1f
            us-west-2 region: ami-09ce8334b595dff30
          
          === Vagrant Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
          
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-12.1-RC2
              % vagrant up
          
          === Upgrading ===
          
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 12.1-RC2
          
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          continuing.
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
        • FreeBSD 12.1-RC2 Has Update For UEFI 2.7A, Various Bug Fixes

          We are getting mighty close to the release of FreeBSD 12.1 as the next installment of FreeBSD 12 for 2019. It’s looking like FreeBSD 12.1 will indeed be ready to set sail in early November.

          FreeBSD 12.1 finally provides the LLVM OpenMP library (libomp) as part of the base compiler set, the LLD linker is now also used by i386, BearSSL has made it into the base system, and a variety of other package updates / new hardware support / improvements for FreeBSD 12.1.

      • Licensing/Legal

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • SDSC Launches Open-Source ‘SeedMeLab’

          Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego have launched an open-source software called SeedMeLab, which provides a host of features for researchers across all disciplines to manage and disseminate their data products internally and externally from a personalized and branded data cloud with full ownership and control.

          Under development and rigorous testing for past five years, SeedMeLab is a result of $1.3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) award to create a set of web-based building blocks that lets scientists seamlessly share and access preliminary results and transient data from research on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices. SeedMe is short for ‘Swiftly Encode, Explore and Disseminate My Experiments.’

          “Offered as an open-source software or a managed service from SDSC, SeedMeLab eliminates content fragmentation—that is data, its context, and its discussion—and enables quick reference of data/research context that’s critical during research phase and very useful for long tail use of data products” said SDSC Visualization Group leader Amit Chourasia, principal investigator for the project. “SeedMeLab also boosts team productivity by facilitating knowledge transfer between lab members in a sustained way, and it is now available for researchers to overcome data management gaps that have been an issue in the past. SeedMeLab is an important stepping stone for researchers to realize FAIR data management in practice.”

        • Open Data

          • Senate Bill Would Open Some Weather Agency Models to the Public

            A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate Tuesday would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which collects and models scientific data for weather forecasting purposes, to make certain operational weather models publicly available.

            Under the Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers, or LEGEND Act, NOAA would also “periodically review innovations and improvements” to operational models made by third parties and the public. The bill would give NOAA’s administrator authority to utilize certain outside innovations.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Ploopy is an open-source trackball kit (pre-order one or build your own)

            These days there are plenty of ways to interact with computers including mice, touchpads, touchscreens, and pens (and keyboards, of course). But one option that’s largely fallen by the wayside is the trackball.

            While a handful of companies continue to offer “trackball mouse” accessories that are basically mice with a rolling wheel in the side, there aren’t many decent standalone options.

          • Shapeshifter – An Open Source Drum Machine

            Shapeshifter’s design is open-source, with everything available on Github for the curious musical tinkerers out there. The device is built around a PCB with only through-hole components, making assembly easy for even the least experienced enthusiasts out there. A Teensy 3.6 is then slotted into the socket on the board, providing 180MHz of grunt to run the show. It’s an excellent choice, as the Teensy platform has a huge range of libraries which make it simple to work with audio.

            Being open-source, not only is it a cinch to make your own, but there’s plenty of room to remix the design to your personal tastes. There’s even a breadboarding area and the capability to add an expansion card for even more possibilities. Some users have even gone so far as to add displays and filter mods to really open things up.

          • Speeding the Idea-to-Prototype Process with the Arduino Open-Source Ecosystem
          • Open-Source Arm Puts Robotics Within Reach

            In November 2017, we showed you [Chris Annin]’s open-source 6-DOF robot arm. Since then he’s been improving the arm and making it more accessible for anyone who doesn’t get to play with industrial robots all day at work. The biggest improvement is that AR2 had a closed-loop control system, and AR3 is open-loop. If something bumps the arm or it crashes, the bot will recover its previous position automatically. It also auto-calibrates itself using limit switches.

            AR3 is designed to be milled from aluminium or entirely 3D printed. The motors and encoders are controlled with a Teensy 3.5, while an Arduino Mega handles I/O, the grippers, and the servos. In the demo video after the break, [Chris] shows off AR3’s impressive control after a brief robotic ballet in which two AR3s move in hypnotizing unison.

          • Makr Mirror open source Raspberry Pi smart mirror

            Makr Mirror is an open source smart mirror created to provide a “customisable out of the box experience”. The smart mirror It has been launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available to back with earlybird pledges starting from $649, providing a fully finished Raspberry Pi smart mirror with shipping available throughout the United States. Watch the project video below to learn more about the Makr Mirror and its inspiration to provide a fully open source and extensible smart mirror.

          • BCN3D renews commitment to open source releasing files for Sigma & Sigmax R19 3D printers

            Releasing the news into the community, BCN3D asked RepRap pioneer Richard Horne, better known as RichRap, for his input. Deemed a “step beyond” the usual release of machine CAD files by the open source advocate, Horne says ““This release of the Sigma R19 and the Sigmax R19 source files also comes [with] an even greater gift to the open source hardware community, this being the inclusion of the designs and information that BCN3D use to manufacture, test and assemble all aspects of the machine during production.”

            “With this level of commitment to the open source hardware movement,” Horne adds, “it allows others to learn and further benefit from the R19 project and it’s journey from design to stable production 3D printers.”

          • Intel And AMD’s Biggest Cloud Threat May Be An Open X86 Instruction Set

            Meanwhile, academics at Berkeley created the new RISC-V (pronounced “risk-five”) open source instruction set, which is being commercialized by the RISC-V Foundation. Many current and potential Arm server processor designers are evaluating the potential for RISC-V based server processors. They include some large IaaS clouds, like Alibaba Group and Google, plus some chip companies not currently in the server processor design business, like NVIDIA.

          • Open Source VR – Heads-On with HTC Vive Cosmos

            Depending on your position, VR is either dead or dying, or just waiting on that eureka technological leap to fully realise its promised potential. HTC’s Vive Cosmos headset, released this month, might just be that virtual reality saviour. And we got a complete heads-on experience with it.

      • Programming/Development

        • Some Tesla EV’s Control Screens Went Dark as Excessive Logging killed the eMMC Flash

          Despite wear-leveling techniques, eMMC flash memories tend to wear out over time as they have limited write cycles.

        • AMD Zen 2 Improvements For LLVM Have Been Held Up For Months By Code Review

          Back in February for LLVM Clang 9.0 was the initial AMD Zen 2 “znver2″ enablement, but like the GCC support at the time it was the very basics. With time GCC picked up Zen 2 scheduler improvements and other work while sadly in the case of LLVM the improvements are still pending.

          Back in August, AMD’s Ganesh Gopalasubramanian sent out the znver2 scheduler model for LLVM for Zen 2 CPUs but a focus on the EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors. “There are few improvements with respect to execution units, latencies and throughput when compared with znver1. The tests that were present for znver1 for llvm-mca tool were replicated. The latencies, execution units, timeline and throughput information are updated for znver2.”

        • Python Add Lists

          This tutorial covers the following topic – Python Add lists. It describes various ways to join/concatenate/add lists in Python. For example – simply appending elements of one list to the tail of the other in a for loop, or using +/* operators, list comprehension, extend(), and itertools.chain() methods.

          Most of these techniques use built-in constructs in Python. However, the one, itertools.chain() is a method defined in the itertools module. You must also see which of these ways is more suitable in your scenario. After going through this post, you can evaluate their performance in case of large lists.

        • StackOverflow Report: (cxcix) stackoverflow python report
      • Standards/Consortia

        • Digital pollution

          You couldn’t just roll down the street leaving huge piles of garbage everywhere you go, making life slower for everyone as they climb over your mountains of junk, just to get on with their life. You’d feel bad about it, right?

          That’s how I feel about the digital things we put out into the world: websites, apps, and files.

          I prefer coding everything by hand, because I don’t like the huge piles of garbage that the automated generators create. These programs that generate a website, app, or file for you spit out thousands of lines of unnecessary junk when really only 10 lines are needed. Then people wonder why their site is so slow, and they think it’s their phone or connection’s fault.

        • Open Cybersecurity Alliance: An Open Source Initiative for Enabling Improved Interoperability

          The Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA) project, an OASIS Open Project with IBM Security and McAfee as the initial contributors, is comprised of global, like-minded cybersecurity vendors, end users, thought leaders and individuals from around the world who are interested in fostering an open cybersecurity ecosystem and solving the interoperability problem. This would be done via commonly developed code and tooling, using mutually agreed-upon technologies, standards and procedures.

        • Open Cybersecurity Alliance: In Pursuit of Interoperability

          The new alliance was formed under the auspices of OASIS, a consortium driving the development, convergence and adoption of open standards. It was launched as an OASIS Open Project on Oct. 8.

        • what it can learn from nature – open standards – in bio diversity vs monoculture efficiency (why one system to rule them all is a bad idea)

          common (GPL licenced?) formats (rtf, pdf, odt, doc) protocols (http, https, imap) standards yes – but no mono culture of software (one vs many mail providers, one vs many operating systems, one vs many Text Editors, one Mail program/server vs many Mail server).

          Software mono culture means: a more fragile system with central point(s) of failure affecting the whole planet (Spectre Meltdown) = insecurity = instability = bad for the whole ecosystem.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Best open-source tools for Red Teaming

        A good starting point for building a Red Team toolkit is downloading and installing Kali Linux, as many of the tools mentioned here are included in the default distribution. From there, additional tools can be acquired and added to address specific use cases. When building a toolkit, it’s important not to focus on the network side of the assessment to the exclusion of the physical aspects. A Red Team is also likely expected to try physical attack vectors against the customer’s security and needs to have the appropriate tools for that part of the work as well.

      • What is a zero-day vulnerability?

        Chances are pretty good you’ve heard the term zero-day vulnerability. The term conjures up images of post-apocalyptic landscapes, where technology has either hit a singularity-level madness, or has reverted back to the days of CRT monitors and green screens. Max Headroom has returned and sand is the new currency.

        Or not.

        Truth be told, zero day is not even remotely as ominous. It is, however, quite serious. In fact, of all the known vulnerabilities, zero day can often pose the most risk. Why? The reason is in the very definition.

      • Trump Campaign Website Left Open to Email Server Hijack

        “The problem is that many developers fail to disable the debug mode after going live, exposing back-end website details like database locations, passwords, secret keys and other sensitive info,” they said.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”

        Current events concerning Turkey and the Kurds in Syria remind me of a conversation I had with a US Air Force colonel almost 17 years ago in a courtroom in Des Moines.

      • Blasts in Afghan Mosque Kill 62 as UN Says Violence Across Country Causing ‘Unprecedented’ Level of Civilian Casualties

        “Civilian casualties are totally unacceptable, especially in the context of the widespread recognition that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

      • Mexico Gunbattle Underscores How Government Has Ceded to Cartels

        The Mexican city of Culiacan lived under drug cartel terror for 12 hours as gang members forced the government to free a drug lord’s son, but in many parts of Mexico, the government ceded the battle to the gangs long ago.

      • America’s Syria Debacle Is Not Trump’s Alone

        Rarely have two sides fought over an issue so ferociously only for both to get it so wrong. First, U.S. President Donald Trump announced almost a year ago that he would be pulling U.S. ground troops out of Syria. He failed to do so. And then, last week, he blessed an invasion into northern Syria by Turkey, which he is now punishing through sanctions for its conduct.

      • Thousands in Germany, France Protest Turks’ Push Into Syria

        Thousands of people in the German city of Cologne and in the French capital demonstrated Saturday against Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria.

      • Bolsonaro Helping to Fuel Explosion of Violence Against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

        On the same day that President Jair Bolsonaro made his anti-indigenous speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Brazil’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) released its annual report, “Violence Against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.” The data collected are from 2018, but the report also includes preliminary information for 2019, and the findings are alarming.

      • Trump Blows It Big Time in Syria

        In less than two weeks, President Donald Trump has managed to create a massive and avoidable crisis in Syria. By greenlighting the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, Trump’s policy forced more than 160,000 Syrians to flee their homes. And guess who emerged as the political and military winners? Russia, Iran, and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

      • Turkey Accused of War Crimes After Suspected White Phosphorus Use Against Kurds in Syria

        Multiple sources have reported that white phosphorus-loaded munitions are believed to have been dropped in the border town of Ras al-Ayn after images and video surfaced of civilians, including children, suffering gruesome burns associated with the chemical.

      • Japan: Hold Myanmar to Account for Atrocities

        The Japanese government should publicly hold Myanmar to account for military atrocities committed against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. It should discourage Japanese investment that would benefit the military or at the expense of minority groups.

      • Lebanon: Security Forces Use Excessive Force Against Protesters

        Lebanon’s security forces used excessive and unnecessary force against protesters in downtown Beirut on October 18, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The Internal Security Force’s riot police fired tear gas at thousands of largely peaceful protesters, including children, in downtown Beirut. The army cleared the areas, sometimes using excessive force, as riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at fleeing protesters.

    • Environment

      • Don’t count on capitalism to defeat climate change

        As “United in Science” put it, current efforts need to be “roughly tripled to be aligned with the 2o C goal and increased fivefold to align with the 1.5o C goal” adopted by the 2016 Paris Agreement (emphasis added).”

        Hence we are confronted by the damage already resulting from climate change: more intense and frequent extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods, droughts, forest fires, and heat waves; rising sea levels that threaten the homes, lives and livelihoods of millions of people; and melting ice caps and permafrost, among others.

      • ‘A Real Movement Boost’: Sam Waterston and Jane Fonda Among Those Arrested Demanding Green New Deal in DC

        This was Waterston’s first-ever time being arrested. The climate crisis, he said, is “worth it.”

      • Right Wing Attacks on Greta Thunberg: How Low Can They Go? Canada’s Extremist Network ‘The Rebel’ Tries for the Prize

        My colleague Mat Hope recently laid out an extensive map of the “free market” lobbyist network behind the attacks on Greta Thunberg, including Canada’s far-right propaganda outlet masquerading as journalism, The Rebel.

      • Energy

        • Our Tax System Rewards Polluters

          Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who sparked student protests across the globe, had this to tell the UN General Assembly in New York: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.” | By Charlie Simmons

        • We’re Not “Polarized” Everywhere. In Maine, Democracy and Green Energy Win Big

          How often I hear that in “polarized” America rural voters will reject a green agenda out of hand. For them, green means liberal, tree-hugging snobs, unconcerned about the struggles of real working people.But last week that frame busted for me when I had a chance to speak with Chloe Maxmin, a 27 year-old Maine legislator.Never heard of Chloe Maxmin? | By Frances Moore Lappé

        • Ohio’s Fascist Pro-Nuke Attack on Democracy Comes Due on Monday

          A terrifying series of gestapo-style assaults, petiton buying, bribery, mass media manipulation and systematic intimidation has smacked into the attempt of Ohio citizens to repeal a billion-dollar bailout for two dangerously failing atomic reactors on Lake Erie. The unprecedented assault threatens the referendum process in Ohio and across the nation. 

        • California Can Expect Blackouts For A Decade, Says PG&E CEO

          PG&E has come near universal criticism for its lack of planning in shutting off power and its failure to adequately handle customers’ questions while the outages lasted. PUC president Marybel Batjer blasted utility officials saying, “what we saw play out by PG&E last week cannot be repeated.”

          During the blackouts, Johnson admitted that his company had not been prepared for the impact of the outages, including the crashing of the utility’s website and call centers being overwhelmed with customers’ concerns.

        • How to make use of all of a tree

          Metsä is ultimately controlled by a co-operative belonging to more than 100,000 families who have each owned large chunks of the forest for generations. For every tree harvested, four saplings are planted. These are allowed to grow for a few years and are then thinned to encourage the best specimens to develop vigorously. The thinnings, however, are not wasted. They are sent to the mill. The mature trees, meanwhile, are harvested when they are between six and ten decades old. The consequence of this husbandry, according to Finland’s Natural Resources Institute, is that the annual growth of trees in Finland exceeds the volume of felling and natural loss by over 20m cubic metres, despite the increasing demand for wood.

          As for the mill itself, Metsä’s stated aim is to make best use of every part of a tree, both to maximise the value of its wood and, where possible, to continue to lock up its carbon. To this end, besides the bread-and-butter business of turning out planks and plywood, the firm has come up with several new ideas. Three are of particular interest. One is a better way of converting wood pulp into fibre that can be turned into textiles. A second is to produce plastic-free cardboard cartons which can be used as food containers and then recycled. The third is to find employment for lignin, a by-product of the pulping process which is, at the moment, usually burned.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Obama’s Endorsement of Trudeau Highlights Class Unity of the 1 Percent

        Former US President Barack Obama endorsed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bid for re-election.For the centrist status quo liberals, this is a moment of elation. Two tried-and-tested leaders that have respect on the international stage for being progressive heartthrobs, supporting each other against a mounting Conservative opposition. Sounds great.Except, it isn’t.

      • Gabbard Fires Back at Clinton Suggestion That She’s Russia’s Pawn

        It’s Hillary Clinton vs. Tulsi Gabbard on the sidelines of the 2020 presidential race.

      • Where Are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?

        The British political philosopher, John Stuart Mill, was a man of many pithy phrases. Possibly his most widely quoted assertion is that “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”This quote fits the Trump age perfectly. Where are you, Barack Obama? Obama is still polling higher than any other politician, active or

      • Only One View at The View: Biden Not So Bad

        When the then–Democratic frontrunner stopped by the table of The View on April 26 for his first interview since announcing his presidential run, he was afforded an honorific rarely applied to US vice presidents: “The legendary Joe Biden!”

      • Boris Johnson Insists He’ll Stand Firm Against Brexit Delay

        A defiant Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that he would resist attempts to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond the end of the month, after Parliament postponed a decision on whether to back his Brexit deal and ordered the government to ask the EU for more time.

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs Bernie Sanders at Packed NYC Rally

        “With Alexandria, with Ilhan, and others on board, we’re going to put together a coalition that is going to win and win big,” Sanders said ahead of the event.

      • “There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades

        It was not an isolated occurrence. Three days earlier, in the last 10 minutes of trading, someone bought 82,000 S&P e-minis when the index was trading at 2969. That was nearly 4 a.m. on September 11 in Beijing, where a few hours later, the Chinese government announced that it would lift tariffs on a range of American-made products. As has been the typical reaction in the U.S. stock markets as the trade war with China chugs on without any perceptible logic, when the news about a potential resolution of it seems positive, stock markets go up, and when the news about the trade war appears negative, they go down.

      • The Antidote to Trump’s Corrupt G7 Deal? Impeachment and Conviction

        President Donald Trump no longer sees fit even to pretend that he is constrained by the law or the U.S. Constitution.It’s hard to imagine a more blatant violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions than the president steering foreign governments to stay at his luxury resort.

      • Jill Stein Challenges Hillary Clinton to Debate After ‘Russian Asset’ Smear

        “It’s past time to give the American people the real debate they deserved in 2016.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trilogues on terrorist content: Upload or re-upload filters? Eachy peachy.

        On 17 October 2019, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission started closed-door negotiations, trilogues, with a view to reaching an early agreement on the Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online.

        The European Parliament improved the text proposed by the European Commission by addressing its dangerous pitfalls and by reinforcing rights-based and rights-protective measures. The position of the Council of the European Union, however, supported the“proactive measures” the Commission suggested, meaning potential “general monitoring obligations” and in practice, automated detection tools and upload filters to identity and delete “terrorist content”.

      • Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters

        A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Friday sent letters to two tech giants over accusations that they were censoring pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong to protect business interests in China.

        Members of the House and Senate panned both Apple and Acitivison Blizzard over actions they said suppressed “criticism of the Chinese government in hopes of gaining higher profits.”

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Marshall Faculty Member, Alumna to Present at Forensics Conference [Ed:
        They call it “open source”, but it is surveillance]

        Odom and Brunty also authored a paper on their research, titled “Forensic Inspection of Sensitive User Data and Artifacts from Smartwatch Wearable Devices,” which was accepted for publication in the November 2019 issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. The full article is available to read at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14109.

      • Open-source DNA: an unprecedented crime buster or privacy nightmare?
      • New Open Source Platform Lets Cops Remotely Identify Drones

        From public safety reconnaissance to data-gathering to delivery, potential uses for drones are adding up faster than legalized uses. Without the technical ability to remotely locate and identify all drones in a given vicinity, and thereby avoid safety and privacy concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration has put a moratorium on flying drones at night, above people or beyond a visual line of sight without special permits.

      • Execs Could Face Jail Time For Privacy Violations

        “Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences,” said Wyden, in a press statement. “A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government.”

      • In the hands of police, facial recognition software risks violating civil liberties

        Facial recognition uses artificial intelligence to track objects and faces; anticipates what’s important to the user; and scans images against databases with millions of faces. It’s touted as one of the most exciting advancements in tech.

        But limited information about how it’s being used by law enforcement, and a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability from the very companies that develop and sell it, mean we need to consider its dangers, including its proven racial and gender bias. In some circumstances, it’s easy to see how the technology could potentially cost a life.

      • Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook

        Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., reminded Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg what her father stood for after Zuckerberg invoked the civil rights leader while defending the social media company on Thursday.

        During a speech in Washington, D.C., defending the platform, Zuckerberg twice referenced the civil rights era and MLK when advocating for “free expression” on Facebook, drawing a sharp response from Bernice King.

      • Report: Home builders ditch Nest products after Google takeover

        Google’s “Nest” smart home division has seen major upheaval this year, and according to a report from Bloomberg, the changes aren’t sitting well with residential builders that formerly integrated Nest projects into their construction projects.

        This year, we finally started seeing results from Nest’s 2018 demotion from a standalone Alphabet company to a merger with Google. “Nest” is no longer a line of products developed by a company or division and now seems to be a general-purpose sub-brand for any of Google’s smart home devices. We’ve seen several existing product lines be rebranded from “Google” to “Google Nest” like the Google Nest Mini (formerly the Google Home Mini), the Google Nest Hub (formerly the Google Home Hub), the Nest Wifi (formerly Google Wifi), and the Google Nest Learning Thermostat (formerly the Nest Learning Thermostat).

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Gawker-Killer Charles Harder is Now Stalking CNN for Trump After a Bias Exposé

        The threatened lawsuit marks Trump’s latest attack on the media, which has included efforts to smear journalists and news outlets; take away White House press passes; and previous threats of legal action. Trump has yet to actually file a lawsuit against any of his media foes, however—and experts suggested Friday that should he actually follow through this time around, he likely won’t be successful. “This is an absolutely ridiculous letter,” lawyer Ted Boutrous, who represented CNN in their successful lawsuit against the Trump administration, wrote on Twitter. “No serious lawyer would ever think of sending such a frivolous letter making such a baseless threat.” First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams told Mediaite that the lawsuit would be a “self-evident non-starter,” given that “CNN’s decisions as to what to cover and how to do so are fully protected by the First Amendment.” National security lawyer Bradley Moss suggested that the potential lawsuit is more of “a PR stunt being pursued for political reasons” than an actual attempt to win damages, saying that even if the lawsuit’s claims were “viable”—which Moss says is “doubtful”—“the purpose of any such lawsuit is no doubt completely untethered to the idea of ‘winning’ in court.” “This threat of a possible lawsuit is nothing more than pure theatrics, pure and simple,” Moss told Mediaite.

      • “More Aggressive, a Bit More Salacious, and a Bit Less Risk Averse”: An American Sun Is Rising to Take On the Mail—And News Corp.’s Own Post

        There’s a British tabloid war brewing in New York. Rupert Murdoch’s famously fearsome Sun has been plotting a U.S. incursion, laying the groundwork for a Manhattan-based digital American edition that aims to capitalize on the momentum that the über-salacious sensation sheet has been enjoying in its native market. The news trickled out via a job posting, for a head of audience, first noticed on Wednesday by U.K. trade publication the Press Gazette. Several sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed it to me independently, one of them noting, “It is fairly self-evident that there are some plans to better serve the U.S. audience of the Sun.” The job advertisement calls those plans “ambitious.” Another source said, “The intention is to start pretty small, as a toe-in-the-water exercise, and see how far they can push it. I don’t think you’ll see a super-grandiose launch with a lot of hubris. It’s not gonna be like the Daily,” Murdoch’s similarly ambitious but ultimately failed iPad “newspaper,” which lifted off with a splashy event at the Guggenheim in 2011 starring Murdoch and Apple’s Eddy Cue.

      • Pakistan Denies Entry to Director of a Journalism Watchdog

        Steven Butler, the Asia program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, was traveling to Pakistan to attend a human rights conference when he was stopped upon entry in the eastern city of Lahore. While Mr. Butler had a valid Pakistani visa, immigration officials told him that the interior ministry had put him on a “stop list” before confiscating his passport. Mr. Butler was forced onto a flight to Doha, Qatar, where he was then placed on another plane to Washington, D.C., C.P.J. said in a statement.

        “Pakistani authorities’ move to block Steven Butler from entering the country is baffling and is a slap in the face to those concerned about press freedom in the country,” said Joel Simon, C.P.J.’s executive director. “Pakistani authorities should give a full explanation of their decision to bar Butler from entering and correct this error. If the government is interested in demonstrating its commitment to a free press, it should conduct a swift and transparent investigation into this case.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Uncredited article published verbatim

Discontent

Summary: “…assuming that autistic people are all the same isn’t only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings.”

Wilson Bustos recently said on the guix-devel mailing list: “IMHO, We want [deep] diversity, that means thinking diversity not only ‘gender diversity’…” He’s concerned about the attacks on Richard Stallman, and that’s where the context of this article begins. But this is not only about Stallman.

Richard Stallman is not diagnosed with AS, as far as I know. There is speculation about whether he is autistic, even in the biography of him that was republished by the Free Software Foundation. He definitely shows symptoms of being on the autistic spectrum.

“We are fond of pointing out that women are important to computing and computing history, and that’s very true — many important computing pioneers are female, including some of the most important pioneers.”A slightly more detailed knowledge of what autists go through would help the Free software community a great deal. This is not only beneficial for people with autism, it helps everyone understand — sometimes when previously unknown things become more familiar, they are less frustrating too.

We are fond of pointing out that women are important to computing and computing history, and that’s very true — many important computing pioneers are female, including some of the most important pioneers. Their contributions are nothing short of priceless. The same can be said of people with AS, or autism spectrum. If we want more of their contributions, it will help if we stop working to shun and mischaracterise them.

This article will be full of generalisations, because those generalisations will help you become more familiar with the things people with autism go through on a daily basis.

“…assuming that autistic people are all the same isn’t only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings.”The single most important thing to know about autism though, is that no matter how similar all people with autism may seem to you, autists in reality vary greatly. Yes, there are traits that can clue you in to someone possibly being autistic. Stallman for example, has many of those traits. But assuming that autistic people are all the same isn’t only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings.

Three are several common terms that have entered the public awareness; people generally use them with good intentions, but they don’t always know what they’re saying or implying. “High-functioning autism” or HFA is one of these. Most people seem to think of “High-functioning autism” as being able to “act like a regular person.” For illustration, let’s compare that to someone who is in a wheelchair.

“We’ve even come far enough socially that most people won’t make the condescending faux pas of saying “like a normal person” to refer to someone who walks on two legs.”“High-functioning autism” is a term that may prove useful in some professional contexts, but a lot of people aren’t going to take it as a compliment. You probably don’t mean it in a condescending way, but picture someone in a wheelchair… Here’s a fact about people in wheelchairs: some of them can stand up and walk. I once saw a friend do it. He can get up and make it a few yards forward before he has to sit down again. What if we called him a “High-functioning wheelchair user?” Does that mean people who can’t stand up are “Low-functioning wheelchair users?” Or perhaps he was a Superuser. In everyday use, this term is just useless and condescending.

As for my generally wheelchair-bound friend, since he isn’t paralyzed — couldn’t he just, you know, “try harder” and “walk like a normal person?” No, because he isn’t in a wheelchair out of laziness. In the same way that you can’t wave your arms hard enough to fly, he can’t move his legs enough to walk “like a normal person.”

“Another group of people we try to be more understanding of these days is the LGBTQ+ group.”We’ve even come far enough socially that most people won’t make the condescending faux pas of saying “like a normal person” to refer to someone who walks on two legs. Sure, on average, two is the number of fully-working legs that you would typically find on people. That’s tricky to dispute. But at some point we decided that being in a wheelchair didn’t disqualify you from being referred to as a “normal person,” because in the ways that really count, people in wheelchairs are basically like you and me. Isn’t that nice?

Now I’ve been careful to avoid it as much as possible, but we are on the verge of getting politically correct. You may think I’m about to tell you that political correctness is the solution to all this, that this is an article about “how to properly talk about autistic people” and how to avoid being offensive.

But for people who know what it’s like to be held to social standards they may never fully comprehend (for some it’s a mystery) or manage (for some it’s just impossible, as hard as that is to believe) this is not going to be an article that pushes political correctness — just better understanding. Rather than than tell you to be inoffensive, I’m going to have you imagine that you have a friend who is autistic — and you’ve always wanted to be a better friend but didn’t know how. Replace “friend” with “coworker” or “family” if it applies to you.

“One thing that transgenders and autists factually have in common is a higher suicide rate.”Another group of people we try to be more understanding of these days is the LGBTQ+ group. This is not actually a single group, but it is often beneficial to advocate LGBTQ+ rights at the same time, due to some commonalities. Hey, LGBTQ+ have a rainbow, autists have a spectrum; and I’ve typically supported PFLAG over HRC for example, because although HRC has that really cool “[=]” logo, they sort of sold out transgenders years ago, and PFLAG is much cooler as far as I know.

One thing that transgenders and autists factually have in common is a higher suicide rate. This definitely isn’t a contest, I don’t know which suicide rate is higher. I know that both have a significantly higher suicide rate than average. While I don’t know the exact reasons that transgenders have a higher rate of suicide, they often deal with lots of bullying and isolation and fear. This is in fact, also true (to whatever degree) for autists.

“Autistic people are people, and autistic people have autism.”Just as HRC is known for selling out transgenders at one point, Autism $peaks (sometimes spelled mockingly with a dollar sign, like with Micro$oft) is known for selling out autistic people. Many autistic people prefer self-advocacy, and point out that “Autism $peaks doesn’t listen.” Part of the reason you may feel you know more about autism than you do, is because of A$ promoting a misunderstanding of people with autism. A better organisation is ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. You can take their advocacy over this introductory article; they know more about this stuff than I do.

By the way, is it “autistic people?” Or “people with autism?” I honestly don’t know, if you’re referring to an individual or a closely-knit group that have a preference you might ask. I don’t think there is consensus on this. I’ve never gotten in trouble for saying either, and to me this sounds like a matter of mere political correctness. Autistic people are people, and autistic people have autism.

“Here’s another fun fact: just as not every gay person wants to be “outed” and would prefer to choose whether to “come out” or not, not every person who is autistic wants to be “outed” either.”Identity is a funny thing — nobody wants to be “reduced” to their autism, and yet for very many it is certainly part of their identity. You may encounter a similar feeling with someone who doesn’t want to be reduced to their homosexuality, even though they feel it is an important part of who they are.

Here’s another fun fact: just as not every gay person wants to be “outed” and would prefer to choose whether to “come out” or not, not every person who is autistic wants to be “outed” either. I’ve known people on the spectrum who consider themselves “closeted.” Why? Because they know how they get treated (differently) once they are outed, even by people closest to them who would never, ever want to do that on purpose. But it’s subconscious and mostly due to simply making countless assumptions about an individual.

So, with every trait mentioned here, remember: just because many people are similar in some particular way, doesn’t mean it’s true about the autist you know.

“For example, we have typical sizes for doors. If we want those doors to accommodate wheelchairs, we have a different standard for that.”In fact if you make a list of every person you know, and their good and bad points, you may find that some of their strenghts can be weaknesses and vice versa: like someone who you admire for being forward and “telling you straight” how they feel, can also be someone you worry about saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Is this a good or a bad trait? It’s both, depending on the situation. It would be nice if people were perfect, and all their “good and bad” traits only manifested as “good” traits. But if we are really fair, nobody is perfect, and sometimes we take the good with the bad.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have standards, of course. For example, we have typical sizes for doors. If we want those doors to accommodate wheelchairs, we have a different standard for that. Sometimes our standards are created without fully understanding the needs of people that will be subjected to them. They could be very good standards in most contexts, but it’s probably also good to realise that some standards really don’t work in all situations.

“More things about autists: some can’t talk. Other have “selective mutism.” It’s difficult to understand selective mutism until you understand how incredibly overwhelming it can be to be autistic.”Standards still exist, but “Universal standards” are harder, if not impossible. Something to think about, when you’re building a community (or a door.) Maybe your standards do too much to exclude autists. Maybe your policies are more about ejecting people you don’t know how to work with, and you tell people “we’ve done everything we can to work with them.” Do you really know that for a fact, or have you simply tried every idea you (or your team) were able to think up on your own?

More things about autists: some can’t talk. Other have “selective mutism.” It’s difficult to understand selective mutism until you understand how incredibly overwhelming it can be to be autistic. Have you ever had a panic attack? Some panic attacks can be so intense that you feel like it’s necessary to go to the E.R., like you’re going to have a heart attack or can’t breathe.

“Some panic attacks can be so intense that you feel like it’s necessary to go to the E.R., like you’re going to have a heart attack or can’t breathe.”Would you be angry at someone in that situation if they got very loud, or stopped being polite? I hope I wouldn’t. Let’s be fair to ourselves, too — we have all these pre-conceived notions of what appropriate behavior is. When people don’t act that way, we feel like they’ve let us down or disrespected us, or simply weren’t raised properly. How much we are willing to tolerate that sort of thing varies, but we tend to think of society, of civilization as something that has certain standards of behavior that don’t include meltdowns and panic attacks.

We don’t appreciate when these standards are not followed, but we recognize certain crises or emergencies as exceptions. If people run around screaming, we tell them to calm down immediately. If their child is looking out the window of a burning building, we are probably more compassionate due to the circumstances. If someone is hearing impaired but still vocalises, we realise that they probably don’t have full control over their volume, for reasons that are likely obvious.

In fact we are already compassionate towards people with certain disorders that affect their behavior and cause them to be louder or act less the way we expect, when we can recognize the signs of those disorders. Because autism is such a broad spectrum and because of masking or being closeted, we don’t always know if someone is acting out because they are overwhelmed and having a meltdown, or because they are simply being unreasonable.

“Because autism is such a broad spectrum and because of masking or being closeted, we don’t always know if someone is acting out because they are overwhelmed and having a meltdown, or because they are simply being unreasonable.”It’s here that everybody should pause for a minute, and consider the phrase “Look, this is no excuse — I have friends that are autistic and they act better than this.” They’re really not all the same, and you’re not a doctor anyway. (Even if you were, qualified doctors don’t always agree. They deal in medicinal tablets, not stone ones.)

Now consider an old cop show where they’re interrogating a suspect. A variety of techniques are used in an interrogation, such as shining a bright light into the face of the suspect. The officers may yell and/or threaten the person they want information from. They may lie or try to confuse the person. All of these techniques are designed to create a great deal of stress, to get a person to lose more and more control of themselves so it’s more difficult to lie.

For many people on the spectrum, their life can be like this the majority of the time, if not constantly in some situations. In many “otherwise normal” situations, they may have great difficulty sleeping, concentrating, hearing words, speaking, relaxing, working, or walking. Plus, not every trait common among autists is actually autism — autism has several co-morbidities, such as OCD and dyslexia.

“Some people can read at the age of 2, without ever formally learning or being taught. Don’t worry, your child isn’t possessed. They’re probably just on the spectrum.”Other traits associated with autism include dysgraphia, hyperlexia and dyspraxia. Since you may not have heard all of these (it is assumed you have heard of dyslexia and OCD) here are some very quick introductions to these terms:

Dyspraxia: difficulty moving. At its simplest and mildest level, this could be a general clumsiness, extreme difficulty dancing, or even just walking in a way that is “a little off” (and don’t think this can’t affect people’s perception of a person.) “Oh, he’s a bit weird.” “Yeah, why does he walk like that?” This doesn’t mean the person with dyspraxia is clumsy in every way. They may manage to become a dancer or learn martial arts, and simply never be cut out to open a coffee shop (because they drop too many things.)

“Some things that can create interrogation-like stress in people with autism: noises, distractions, lights (which are far brighter for them than for you) and crowds of people.”Hyperlexia: reading at an early age. Some people can read at the age of 2, without ever formally learning or being taught. Don’t worry, your child isn’t possessed. They’re probably just on the spectrum.

Dysgraphia: welcome to Hell, if you’re going to have to spend a lot of time doing handrwriting. Remember that guy who wasn’t paralyzed and could walk several feet out of his wheelchair? Let’s say dysgraphia is sometimes a bit like that, but with writing. Have you ever noticed that a lot of doctors have terrible handwriting? That could be dysgraphia.

Remember, if you’re reading this (and you’re not the website owner) then you’re probably not a doctor. These are useful things to learn, and useful to know if you have a child that could be autistic, but it’s best to talk to people who know more about these things than just start guessing all the time. Sadly, it can be hard to find a doctor who is very familiar with all of these issues. That’s why groups like ASAN are so important.

“They may find writing or written communication much easier than talking, because the former acts as a buffer and gives them more time to process.”Some things that can create interrogation-like stress in people with autism: noises, distractions, lights (which are far brighter for them than for you) and crowds of people. Even clothing can be horribly uncomfortable, stuffy, itchy and incredibly distracting. When someone with autism finally finds something comfortable to wear, they may not in be in a hurry to put on anything else. Ever wonder why so many technicians and coders wear old T-shirts? Well, we don’t want to feed too many stereotypes at once.

Extraneous details can be a distraction, you may find someone on the spectrum acting a bit “bossy” about how much information you give them, even if they seem to recite entire books at you.

People with autism are often powerful processors of large amounts of information, but their inputs can be flooded (like someone holding down a key on an old PC until the keybuffer is full and it starts beeping.) They may find writing or written communication much easier than talking, because the former acts as a buffer and gives them more time to process.

“And of course, many autistic people are good with computers, and we probably want them assisting us with their gifts.”You know how when you walk into a crowd you can still hear the person you’re talking to, because you can single a voice among many out? To some degree, not every person can do that. They still hear every single voice and may pick out some words, in a great din. The crowd may not seem deafening to you, but they will cover their ears. They’re not exaggerating — it can be like banging pots and pans. If you want them to hear you in that kind of noise, it may be necessary to step outside.

Some people with autism are gifted musicians. Many enjoy doing impressions or love telling jokes. Some are talented writers — a list of the “top 10 alleged autistics in history” (too early to likely gain a diagnosis) includes Lewis Carroll, the author of “Alice in Wonderland.” And of course, many autistic people are good with computers, and we probably want them assisting us with their gifts.

But since it’s terrible to simply exploit people for their talents, as the tech industry so often does — remember, these are people. You may not look at them and see people who have overcome great odds, you may not think they have overcome anything if they don’t manage their daily life exactly as you do. But it’s also very likely they worked very, very hard just to be around other people in lighting, acoustics and climate they have no control over because they’re out in public, with you. They could be overwhelmed a great deal of the time, and still manage to put that aside and share some of the things they love with you — computers, music, a hobby, some bit of knowledge that you never knew.

“Some people are simply hell-bent on getting autists to communicate better — if we expect them to, the least we can do is try to offer the same in kind.”Again, maybe you have no interest in treating someone autistic like a friend. Maybe you’d rather treat them as a “nuisance” and simply be left alone. The purpose of this article isn’t to prove anything, it’s just to shed light on a subject that is often terribly misunderstood. And if you do have a friend who is autistic, this may help you understand better.

Failing that, if you do have a friend on the spectrum and you want to be the best friend to them that you can, you can visit the ASAN website at autisticadvocacy.org or maybe ask your friend, and try to turn down the skepticism that results when someone you know says “it’s really loud and bright in here.” And you look around with your own senses, and have no idea what they’re talking about. Some people are simply hell-bent on getting autists to communicate better — if we expect them to, the least we can do is try to offer the same in kind.

Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by Jagadees.S

Some freedom rocks

Summary: The concept of “Freedom of Choice” and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of “Freedom”

Freedom of choice is a popular idea. Mostly it is associated with markets. Usually when we hear the word “freedom” market automatically comes into our minds. We distribute things through the market. We, the consumer, buy things by paying money to the sellers in the market. If you want soap, you can go to the market and ask for a soap. Shopkeepers give you one when you pay money.

What’s in a market

Let’s say that initially there is only one company that produces one type of soap which is available in the market. For you it doesn’t matter. After all, the purpose of soap is clean your body. Sometimes it causes you skin allergy or some other issues. You may stop or reduce its use or you may find a workaround to fix/address the issue. Life goes on. Then, after some time, a new company comes up with a new kind of soap. You will be happy to test it and will have found it’s better than the first one. So now you have the ‘freedom’ to choose the new product that’s in the market.

Later a 3rd company comes into the picture. Now there is competition in the market. More and more products appear in the market. Companies are using advertisement to promote their product. Initially they were telling the properties of the product. But now they are selling a lifestyle. You buy a product that has your favorite star as brand ambassador. You want to be with that specific class of people. It’s beautifully mentioned in the book No Logo.

But in some communities people don’t have the ability to choose products as they’re absent from the market. There, the government is distributing goods as a ration, or limited bases. Sometimes it may be with good intentions that with limited resources they are trying to provide maximum utilization, with intended justice to all. Sometime the rulers may be looting and nothing will be left for people.

Whatever the reason, you see 2 types of market. That makes you think, “which is better?” Market with choice or market without choice? That becomes the million-dollar question to most. Of course all people will support a market with choice. Problem solved. Everything is fine. All of you people, go home.

Reality of Market Freedom

This is the propaganda of the ruling class, intended to hide the facts and distract us from the real freedom. They always do this. Invert ideas that empower people. Lot of things happen when you say “freedom” to mean freedom to choose.

First of all, your action is only a choice between a number of things. You don’t have a say. Just choose whatever is available. That makes you just a passive subject. For that you have to pay. That part, most of the time, will not be visible. Those who provide the choices become more important than others. You worship them. Protecting the integrity of them becomes a responsibility for you. They can exert pressure on you. These things all happen invisibly. You will not realise it.

If you consider “freedom” the ability to choose or opportunity to choose a product in the market, then you are undermining the very meaning of freedom. It makes us old passive slaves who just obey the rulers. There is no question about the product, there are no questions about its content, no questions about its price, no questions about the market. All we can do is choose one or another. It’s a dictatorship.

So freedom is not an ability to choose.

What is Freedom?

Initially all are free within the limits of nature. Then human institutions like slavery and religion impose restrictions and limits upon humans. After that the word “freedom” comes into existence. People want to break that chain, as everyone wishes to be an independent person who can do whatever s/he wants, just like the ruling class. Meaning, all should get the same opportunity to define the society.

Freedom is not a buying process. It’s the ability, for example, to define what buying is, define what the market is, define what the product is, even define what money is. But the reality is that we are living in times where we don’t even have the right to know what content is in the foods we eat.

So please don’t get so easily fooled by these games — or words created by the ruling class. Freedom is about people’s power in the society. Not the 1%. It’s about who is in charge.

Fight for freedom is a never-ending task

Why?

Because the ruling class will always try and perpetually tries to undermine it for their self interest.

They already came in 100s of groups and companies with 100s of different tactics. Most of the time a freedom-loving majority could not understand these attacks. This is true for the Free software movement as well as other freedom movements experienced. In the case of the Free Software Foundation, it came to such a low level that they fired their own founder based on some lies.

So, we should understand that our freedom is not somebody else’s charity or favour. It’s a result of our painful struggle for it. To keep the freedom as it is we need always be vigilant and active. Do not get fooled by the tricks they play to enslave us. Free software’s freedom is not a freedom of choice. It’s the freedom of users to take control of software. Let’s unite to defend software users’ freedom. Long live the 4 freedoms of software.

Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing ‘Market Share’

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Partial reply to “Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement” (published two days ago)

Summary: “The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the “free beer” side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the “free beer” part of free software.”

THIS is a guest post. Its stance or views do not necessary reflect or agree with ours.


First, I’d like to share my answer to the title: “Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

“The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers.”No, but yes. It shouldn’t be A dictator, but the (primary) author of each and every project should be, and stay, a dictator.

Should we try to build some kind of community “in the user interest” that drives the free software movement (one or many communities) and we will re-create the Debian case, with a social contract stating (point 4) “Our priorities are our users and free software” but finally get a small set of people dictating how the others should use software. By the developers or simple users does not make any difference, as you state in your post, developers are users. And they are the only ones interested (if excluding those financially interested) in ruling any kind of community.

On the other hand, when the primary author keeps the power over his project, the project keeps its initial direction (the one set by the author at the start), and when another guy wants to do it differently, one makes a fork, with a new name.

When a community takes hold of a piece of software, then the primary target can gets lost and we run into stupid things like current iptables Debian package installing nftables instead… while a “nftable” package should have been created (I think there are many more examples, but this is a recent one I ran into) or companies sneaking in and ruling the project.

Then I do not agree with this point (and according to what you wrote, you do not completely agree, but do not completely disagree either):

“Techies should not dictate the Free software movement. The Free software movement is for Free software users. Not developers.”

“From my experience, users do not care about software freedom, they care about software that they do not even notice, and they are willing to pay for this.”No.

First, as you state, developers are users. And the developers of one tool should always be users of the tool.

And second, and maybe the most important one: users do not care about software or software freedom, and not even much about user freedom.

That’s my everyday experience.

The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the “free beer” side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the “free beer” part of free software.

Should you try to sell either your free software or your time as free software developer in order to feed your family and you become a “f***ing capitalist” to a lot of said free software supporters?

From my experience, users do not care about software freedom, they care about software that they do not even notice, and they are willing to pay for this.

If you start saying “hey, this is open source!” they have already run away, even if you are not selling the software. Maybe because you are “selling” free software advocacy (listen to my free software advocacy and you get a free software).

It’s strange, but if you try to sell an open source product (software or anything else), you do not even sell it to freedom enthusiast.

You even have to pay (at least spend time to ask them) for them to use it.

If you sell or give a product, then people are interested, and it may happen that some of them will be freedom enthusiasts. And as a freedom enthusiast, you can open-source your product.

“Simply using Firefox, LibreOffice or Thunderbird is most of the time asking too much from them.”I learnt it the hard way.

Many many people say they are interested in their freedom, concerned about Google or Microsoft using their data and so on, but when you tell them they can use an alternative like Linux, they fly away.

Simply using Firefox, LibreOffice or Thunderbird is most of the time asking too much from them.

Firefox is widely used not because it’s free or because it protected users’ freedom, but because at one time it had become much better than its competitors, and presented as such, and not as a “freedom-oriented” solution.

There are very few free software users who are not developers, and fighting for them is losing the game, while fighting for us, developers, will bring better software.

At first GNU and Linux had been made by developers for developers. This made it a very powerful system.

As you say, the problem is that companies are now trying to drive open source projects in their interest, and their interest is not freedom, it is users (getting more users).

If we have the same target (or goals), there’s much more chance to have the same results than to get back to freedom concerns.

Well, I think I wrote much more than I thought I would at first, but here it is.

Article’s licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taistoism

Summary: A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined

THE #techrights IRC chats and various communications outside IRC have advanced to the point where we can now better understand who and what interacts regarding Software Freedom so far this autumn. Several people have even fed entire mailing lists into algorithms that can analyse the contents. It is work in progress. People believe that there’s something going on, they assume that it is partly coordinated, but in order to make sense of it or ‘reverse-engineer’ it — so to speak — we need to learn the unknowns (or what’s not publicly visible), e.g. one company instructing another, a company instructing staff or vice versa.

“People believe that there’s something going on, they assume that it is partly coordinated, but in order to make sense of it or ‘reverse-engineer’ it — so to speak — we need to learn the unknowns (or what’s not publicly visible), e.g. one company instructing another, a company instructing staff or vice versa.”Andrew Tanenbaum (creator of MINIX) said to the press just over a decade ago: “A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me. It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this.”

One researcher of ours is finding money trails leading directly to Microsoft among those who slandered Richard Stallman (maliciously attributing to him positions he does not have at all!). We don’t want to reproduce here the claims that are false, but let’s just say those claims have been incredibly ruinous and only corrected very, very belatedly (after persistent pressure). Apologies cannot undo the harm and retractions don’t tend to be seen as much as the earlier (defamatory) claims. This researcher might have more to show at a later date.

“Also, I’ve mentioned before,” he noted, “the political cult Microsoft uses tactics which overlap strongly with previous political movements.”

“Apologies cannot undo the harm and retractions don’t tend to be seen as much as the earlier (defamatory) claims.”He cites Taistoism, asserting that this describes how Microsoft is attacking GNU/Linux and Free software at this moment in time. He further explained: “The means to fight them would be similar. This includes the fight by proxy occurring against all FOSS projects via Malleus Hackerum (CoC) and, especially their fight against RMS and FSF. Notice that Malleus Hacerkum is used to get their people on each and every project, no matter how small, mostly by displacing or breaking the key contributors and founders.”

European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So software is just A.I. or hey hi!

Summary: The world’s patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents

ALL the patent maximalists have left now is numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. Big numbers. A number of what exactly? Patents. Yes, entries on some computer system. One single computer in an ordinary desk can contain all those entries. A supercomputer can generate this much text in less than one second. What good are patents whose quality doesn’t matter? Whose practical utility is questionable? What does this system even strive for? Ask WIPO, whose sole obsession is seeing a rise in numbers, even if much of that rise is attributable to low-quality patents from China — patents that WIPO staff cannot even grasp because few people there can read Mandarin!

“Ask WIPO, whose sole obsession is seeing a rise in numbers, even if much of that rise is attributable to low-quality patents from China — patents that WIPO staff cannot even grasp because few people there can read Mandarin!”WIPO is a symptom of a broader problem because today’s leadership of the European Patent Office (EPO) and Trump’s chosen leadership for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are truly appalling. Not only Iancu by the way! António Campinos — like Battistelli — totally lacks background in science, yet he has the audacity to meddle in legal cases regarding the fate of software patents in Europe (yes, he has already meddled in an upcoming legal case). Can Mr. Campinos even explain how a computer works? Are his computer skills limited to use of Microsoft Office? Regardless, António Campinos continues to post pointless photo ops while breaking the law every single day. He just proves that he’s no different; he’s another Battistelli. He still ‘rides’ his ‘grace period’.

The latest EPO puff piece mentions Cambodia (warning: epo.org link) with no European Patents at all [1, 2]. It’s about EPO and WIPO, best known to WIPO employees for its abuses against employees. “To strengthen international co-operation on patents,” the EPO wrote, “a delegation from the EPO met with representatives of IP offices from around the world on the fringes of the Assemblies of the Member States of the WIPO in Geneva last week and signed a number of agreements.”

In the carefully-prepared statement which glorifies Campinos (less qualified than most EPO examiners!) the EPO has also just amplified the "hey hi" hype: “EPO representatives also participated in an event organised by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry at which the implications of Artificial Intelligence for the global intellectual property system were discussed.”

“António Campinos continues to post pointless photo ops while breaking the law every single day. He just proves that he’s no different; he’s another Battistelli.”There are two aspects to this buzzword in the context of patents; one is automatically-generated patent applications (using algorithms) and another is patents on algorithms with some “logic” in them (that would be pretty much every algorithm with a conditional statement, i.e. a decision, in it). This is more of that sickening propaganda of the UN/WIPO. They seem to have become so fascinated by if not obsessed with fashionable buzzwords — to the point where they’ve facilitated patents on just about anything. This problem is well recognised inside and outside patent offices, but few seem courageous enough to talk about it, especially in the media which is by far the biggest culprit (mindlessly spreading these buzzwords and superficial hype).

One need not look far to find those complicit in the scourge of misinformation. Days ago at IP Kat Hayleigh Bosher published some nonsense about “Artificial Intelligence”, saying that “Chapter 2 focuses more specifically on the unique factors of AI, elaborating on AI as a legal phenomenon.”

AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI, AI…

“This problem is well recognised inside and outside patent office, but few seem courageous enough to talk about it, especially in the media which is by far the biggest culprit (mindlessly spreading these buzzwords and superficial hype).”Just keep repeating that nonsense…

The lawyers are totally exploiting buzzwords and hype to further their litigation agenda

Here’s another new example of patent hype with “hey hi” slant, this time in the Wall Street Journal ( Jared Council’s “Can an AI System Be Given a Patent?”) and a new cartoon (“‘Artificial’ Intelligence”). Over at Law360 they’re disguising bogus, bunk, fake software patents as “hey hi!” (“Self-Driving Vehicles’ Neural Networks Present IP Conundrum”). To quote: “Artificial intelligence has been dubbed the fourth industrial revolution. In part, the development of AI has been spurred by our desire for automation, and there is no better nexus of these two areas than in the automotive industry, where the holy grail of automation is self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles.

“The lawyers are totally exploiting buzzwords and hype to further their litigation agenda ““There are already vehicles available that implement a degree of automation — Tesla Inc. was first to market with its autopilot feature, and many of the more traditional manufacturers are following suit with their own implementations.”

Notice the addition of another buzzword in the first sentence: “fourth industrial revolution.”

The EPO paid European media to spread this nonsense as well; it even made abbreviations for it (4IR, not TFIR). Then it bragged — in inward and outward publications — that the South Korean media copied or rather parroted this propaganda (we covered that at the time). It’s important to take note of the patent offices’ active role in dissemination of such nonsense.

They’re then calling “hey hi” any algorithms with some “logic” in them. They rewrite examination guidelines accordingly, knowing that applicants would get the request for algorithm monopolies OK’ed by the examiners, as per the new guidelines (applicants also get major discounts if they're Microsoft customers with OOXML).

“They’re then calling “hey hi” any algorithms with some “logic” in them.”Notice what’s happening at the USPTO right now. Michael Borella, a proponent of software patents (litigation is his ‘business’), writes about the Office crafting new tricks for getting fake patents or software patents courts would almost certainly throw out. So does Dennis Crouch, a longtime proponent of software patents with ties to Watchtroll. To quote Borella: “Under Dir. Iancu, the USPTO has taken a seemingly broader view of eligibility than the Supreme Court, albeit much narrower than before Bilski, Alice, and Mayo. In January 2019, the PTO published a set of Patent Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG). On October 17, 2019, the PTO released a new set of revisions based upon public comments. “All USPTO personnel are expected to follow the guidance.””

So just like at the EPO he compels examiners to basically break the law or deviate from caselaw; those guidelines are likely not legal. Iancu, the corrupt Trump appointee, 'does a Battistelli' by deviating from the law. Here’s more from Borella and his colleagues:

Early today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released an update to its January 2019 Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance. Unlike the January Guidance, which represented a significant change in how the USPTO applies § 101 in examination and PTAB proceedings, this October Update is primarily an effort to clarify issues brought up by public comments on the January Guidance. While not exactly much ado about nothing, the October Update provides few changes to USPTO’s stance on § 101.

The USPTO basically breaks the law. Responding to a tweet from Crouch, Benjamin Henrion wrote [1, 2]: “When does someone submit them to court? This is reopening the floodgates of software patents without a mandate. Better copy the European Patent Convention art52 exceptions, including computer programs.”

“Welcome to the post-law patent regime. It no longer even pretends to adhere to law.”“The EPO brags about copying its flagrant violations of the law to other continents,” I responded, “America included…”

So the EPO’s “hey hi” hype has officially spread to the USPTO, as was the practice of basically ignoring courts and ignoring the law. They grant illegal patents.

Speaking of buzzwords like “AI” and “4IR”, how about other hype waves? Just several days ago Frances Wilding and David Lewin (Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP) published in Mondaq (original [PDF]) this “Review Of Blockchain Patenting At The EPO” and to quote:

The two charts show similar paths of increase in the numbers concerned, though the numbers for European patent applications are on a smaller scale. So far a total of just over 400 European patent applications which mention the term “blockchain” anywhere have been published and just over 190 European patent applications which mention the term “blockchain” in the claims have been published. It seems reasonable to expect that further European “blockchain” applications will feed continued growth in published European patent applications even beyond the estimate made for the full year of 2019.

Liars and charlatans are riding hype waves and set up events to hype up these things even further in the context of patents; throw some words like “blockchain” into a patent application and patents on algorithms are magically ‘OK’? Welcome to the post-law patent regime. It no longer even pretends to adhere to law.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:23 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

“The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Managing IP lying

Summary: Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation

ALMOST everything that the European Patent Office (EPO) says or “tweets” is a lie. Almost everything! António Campinos and Battistelli are professional liars with a track record to prove it. It makes them ‘perfect fits’ for a patent office that deceives, breaks the law, and then cover that up. Perfect!

Let’s look at some new examples and examine them.

“The EPO bribes scholars and it bribes media (publishers). It manufactures co-called ‘events’ with phony ‘panels’ that are crafted (pre-selected or filtered) for overall bias.”The EPO’s communications department is perfectly happy to lie to everyone. This newly-promoted video is a lie because the EPO supports patent trolls and law firms at the expense of inventors. It also assists non-European monopolies/giants. 3.5 weeks later the EPO still pushes this rigged propaganda about who benefits from patents. Industries that can afford to buy or make monopolies for themselves pay significantly higher wages, no doubt, but at whose expense? How many of these firms are even European? They’ve just spoken about “SMEs” yet again and then added: “Our staff’s professional development is highly important to us. We’re focused on equipping them to reach their full potential and guide them as they increase their capabilities, skills and competencies.”

This is a shameless and deliberate lie. Just ask any member of (EPO) staff. The very opposite is true.

The EPO has meanwhile promoted its forums for the first time in ages. “The forums are a joke with just about 1,000 threads in 5 years,” I told them, “or about one per two days. It’s a “dead zone” and an embarrassment to something that’s Europe’s second-largest body.”

The EPO is hardly being listened to. Watch how many “likes” or “RTs” it attracts in Twitter. Hardly any. They barely ever receive comments. We suspect that many of the so-called ‘followers’ are paid-for fakes — a subject we covered here several times in the distant past.

The EPO therefore relies on outside help with the lies. The EPO bribes scholars and it bribes media (publishers). It manufactures co-called ‘events’ with phony ‘panels’ that are crafted (pre-selected or filtered) for overall bias. We know who profits from these lying platforms; it’s the likes of IAM and Managing IP. We need to call them out on it.

In recent days Managing IP published many articles about this thing called “London IP Week” and posted tweets like this: “In a lively discussion at a London IP conference, a licensee and licensor debated the merits of the German injunction system and what ‘non-discriminatory’ means in the context of FRAND…”

FRAND is a lie. Every letter in this acronym is a deliberate lie, crafted by the litigation and trolling ‘industry’ for spin (distorting public discourse). Do the above participants feel any remorse about perpetuating these lies? They are complicit. They profit from the lies. Be sure to also see articles like this new one about trademarks. This is classic Managing IP dishonesty, treating everything like the only people who exist in this world (or whose voice counts) are lawyers! They even defended this position to me, stating very clearly that they write for lawyers. “Lawyers reflect on the ideal qualities for whoever replaces Mary Boney Denison, who is retiring as USPTO commissioner for trademarks at the end of this year,” says the summary. What do non-lawyers say? That doesn’t matter. There’s also this “SkyKick TM opinion”. Similarly, and predictably, whenever they cover patents they only take into account one side of the ‘argument’ (business). To them, only people who profit from litigation count. Sadly, this perfectly describes today’s EPO management as well. A long time ago it quit caring about science; instead it became all about litigation, looking for ways to spur law firms’ activity. In the next post we’ll explain how that relates to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the granting of software patents in Europe.

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