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10.21.19

EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax ‘Studies’ to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

At the EPO people are rewarded for breaking the law and punished for protecting the law

Sebastian Bauer in an EPO protest

Summary: Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC

THE EPO’s staff is going to demonstrate tomorrow, as we reported yesterday (just short of a strike which takes longer to prepare because of obnoxious rules requiring authorisaion and a voting process). It has become pretty clear that EPO workers are willing to put their career at risk just to ensure that the EPO starts obeying the law. That takes courage and we respect those who will attend. I myself sometimes protest at work (at great risk to myself) and sometimes it works. Don’t fall for the illusion that you’re powerless and protests have no impact. They certainly do, especially when they become ‘contagious’ (coworkers/colleagues join in).

“Examiners of the EPO are meanwhile being manipulated into granting such patents in defiance of the law (EPC) that governs the Office.”As longtime readers are aware, our original problem with the EPO concerned software patents (going back to articles we wrote more than 12 years ago). The issue has not been tackled at all! Since the Parliamentarians voted against such patents (2005) things have only gotten worse and yesterday we saw Bardehle Pagenberg once again pushing this agenda. In the media even. Surely they know these are not legal and they spend their money on software patents advocacy. Examiners of the EPO are meanwhile being manipulated into granting such patents in defiance of the law (EPC) that governs the Office. Impending guidelines (in effect within days) misuse buzzwords and compel examiners to grant. This is illegal. Workers of the EPO are, in effect, pressured to break the law or risk unemployment — a position I’m well familiar with having confronted some managers on privacy and security issues in the recent past.

“Well, it’s plausible that the EPO just breaks the law in pursuit of endless ‘growth’ (a growth in easily-granted monopolies).”It’s very clear that the EPO’s management dislikes patent quality. It sees real quality (not pendency) as an obstacle, so it does not do proper patent examination anymore. It limits what examiners are allowed to do in preparation of a rejection. So anything that supports a grant (the number of grants nearly doubled in just a few years) is seen as “OK”. Yesterday the EPO tweeted: “What’s the EPO’s practice when it comes to plausibility?”

Well, it’s plausible that the EPO just breaks the law in pursuit of endless ‘growth’ (a growth in easily-granted monopolies).

The EPO then tweeted: “Ever wondered what the #blockchain patenting landscape looks like in China?”

“The EPO’s top-level management invited serial extortionists from another continent to promote this sham. What does that say about the EPO? It’s a fiasco.”Remember that EPO management invited notorious patent trolls with these software patents ("blockchain") to EPO panels. The EPO’s top-level management invited serial extortionists from another continent to promote this sham. What does that say about the EPO? It’s a fiasco.

Having just posted more photo ops of António Campinos, the EPO thinks it can magically sidestep all these scandals. “Look, our president shook hands with someone! And we took a photo! Hence success!!”

“EPO staff has a moral dilemma; what to protect? One’s career or the law? By protecting the latter they can also protect the former, but it won’t be easy. There are risks to be taken and compromises to be made.”As usual, for 4 weeks now (today marks exactly four week), the EPO still promotes that same sham (lying) 'study' it paid for. Who does the EPO try to impress? Who even believes this nonsense? Certainly not the EPO’s own workers.

It ought to have become apparent that nothing at all has changed under Campinos. It’s Battistelli by another name with seemingly — on the surface at least — different temperament.

EPO staff has a moral dilemma; what to protect? One’s career or the law? By protecting the latter they can also protect the former, but it won’t be easy. There are risks to be taken and compromises to be made.

Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Samsung’s Kills Off Its Ace ‘Linux on DeX’ Project

      The nifty bit of tech, which went by the name ‘Linux on Galaxy’ during its formation, enabled owners of certain Samsung devices to run a fully functional version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as an ‘app’.

      The idea was that users would put their Samsung smartphone or phablet in the DeX dock accessory to connect to external monitor, mouse and keyboard and use their device like a traditional desktop PC.

      And while the tech never left beta, it worked well enough for many.

    • Linux on DeX Won’t Be Available on Android 10 as Samsung Scraps the Initiative

      Desktop mobile convergence was talked a lot a few years with the hope that smartphones would eventually be used as a phone while on the go, and an efficient desktop or laptop replacement….

    • 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…

    • Samsung Discontinues DeX Linux Program, Dropping It Altogether In Android 10

      Back in 2017, Samsung introduced DeX as a feature of its then flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ that allowed users to extend the functionality of their devices to connected displays by placing them on special dock stations.

      Short for “desktop experience”, DeX mostly delivered on that premise, expanding on a vision that others, like Microsoft and its Continuum software, had already introduced the world to.

      Today, DeX still exists, with expanded support for newer devices and even more features (users could use their devices as touch pads, for example).

    • Samsung ends Linux on DeX project eleven months after its inception

      Samsung has created Linux on DeX to leverage the capabilities and capabilities of its high-end smartphones. Linux on DeX was the pinnacle of this ambition, but will now be discontinued with Android 10.

      Information is being shared by Samsung itself with developers. Will this feature of Samsung smartphones continue to make sense in the future?

    • 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.

    • By confirming the demise of Linux on DeX, did Samsung confirm Android 10 for Tab S4 and Note 9?

      When the Beta was released in November last year, there were 2 devices on the program: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4. It’s possible that they’re targeting newer devices that were added to the program. Specifically the S10 range and S5e tablet which were able to join the Beta at a later time.

      As part of entry to the program you register your device, so Samsung know exactly what device I’m using for the program when they sent that email.

      One thing is pretty clear though – Samsung’s at least talking about Android 10 for the Tab S4 and that’s pretty cool.

    • Samsung discontinues its Linux on DeX beta

      Samsung DeX was introduced with the Galaxy S8 series as a facility that expands the UI of those phones and its successors into a desktop environment. It may prove worthwhile for many users, particularly as it no longer depends on separate-purchase accessories such as the DeX Pad. Samsung had also offered the opportunity to run Linux through this connection. However, it is now abandoning the beta in question.

      This DeX function existed as a beta and enabled the user to run a certain modification of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for ARM64. It was mainly directed at developers, who may have been able to build Android apps using their premium Galaxy smartphones and a monitor. It is compatible with Android 9.0 (Pie); however, that seems to be as far as it will go.

      Samsung has reportedly suspended the Linux on DeX beta. This is apparently connected to the migration to One UI 2.0, the OEM’s official skin for Android 10. The beta will be incompatible with this ROM; furthermore, the Korean company has allegedly stated that rolling back to One UI 1.0 (based on Pie) will not be possible on Galaxy devices.

    • Samsung discontinues Linux on DeX with Android 10 rollout

      Samsung has ended its Linux on DeX beta program despite not yet launching a stable version of the Android alternative, bringing the Linux project that would have provided users with another software option to a close.

      In an email sent to testers, the South Korean tech giant said it would no longer provide support for the program for future operating systems and devices.

      This means there will be no further updates to the app or the current version of Ubuntu being used.

      The announcement coincides with the rollouts of Android 10 and the new updated OS from Google, which do not provide Linux on DeX support.

      “We would like to thank users for their support and interest in the Linux on DeX (LoD) beta program,” the company said in a statement to ZDNet.

      “We have decided to close the beta program which will end support for LoD on Android 10. Samsung is committed to offering innovative mobile experience and will continue to explore better mobile productivity.”

    • Goodbye, Ubuntu: Samsung Kills Off Linux on DeX Project

      Back in 2018, the South Korean smartphone manufacturer decided to push things to the next level with its DeX project and enable a full version of Linux on top of Android.

      Samsung DeX is a special feature that allows flagships like the Galaxy S and Note to connect to larger screens using dedicated hardware and boost the productivity side of Android with mouse and keyboard support. Technically, Samsung DeX allows an Android phone to become an almost fully-featured PC that is connected to a bigger screen. A PC running Android, that is.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Disney+ Currently Won’t Work On Linux Systems Due To Tightened DRM

        For those hoping that the Disney+ streaming service would work on Linux in conjunction with a modern web browser, sadly that is not set to be the case. While the likes of Netflix and Hulu can play from Linux desktop web browsers, Disney’s tightened Digital Rights Management around their new service doesn’t allow for Linux support with current browsers.

        Disney+ is Disney’s long talked about video on-demand streaming service that will officially launch next month in the US, Canada, The Netherlands, and other markets. Well known open-source/Linux developer Hans de Goede has been part of the test circle for the platform and sadly it does not bode well for Linux users.

      • Disney+ streaming uses draconian DRM, avoid

        First of all, as always my opinions are my own, not those of my employer.

        Since I have 2 children I was happy to learn that the Netherlands would be one of the first countries to get Disney+ streaming.

        So I subscribed for the testing period, problem all devices in my home run Fedora. I started up Firefox and was greeted with an “Error Code 83″, next I tried Chrome, same thing.

        So I mailed the Disney helpdesk about this, explaining how Linux works fine with Netflix, AmazonPrime video and even the web-app from my local cable provider. They promised to get back to me in 24 hours, the eventually got back to me in about a week. They wrote: “We are familiar with Error 83. This often happens if you want to play Disney + via the web browser or certain devices. Our IT department working hard to solve this. In the meantime, I want to advise you to watch Disney + via the app on a phone or tablet. If this error code still occurs in a few days, you can check the help center …” this was on September 23th.

      • Disney+ doesn’t work on Linux yet due to tightened Digital Rights Management

        Linux developer, Hans de Goede, has revealed that Disney+ doesn’t work on Linux machines due to tightened Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls that the company has opted to use. According to de Goede, the problem doesn’t only occur in Firefox but the issue arises in Google Chrome too. Apparently, it’s caused by Disney choosing level three security in the Widevine content decryption module (CDM), while Linux, and several Android devices, only support level one.

        It’s unclear whether Linux users will be able to enjoy Disney content via the subscription service in the future. The firm is aware of the issue and that it’s IT department is “working hard to solve this”. The confirmation of the problem was received by Disney on September 23 and as of yesterday afternoon (European time), the issue has still not been resolved.

    • Desktop

      • Forbes Raves Upcoming Linux Desktop will enclose Windows 10 and macOS

        Forbes senior employee Jason Evangelho dedicated an entire article to an upcoming update for a Sino-domestic Linux distribution:

        If you haven’t paid attention to a bit of Linux desktop distribution called Deepin, it’s time to put it on your radar. Remember that Huawei Deepin chose to ship on their MateBook laptop lineup. Remember that Deepin Cloud Sync (for system settings) is a great, progressive feature that every Linux distro must use. Remember that the retractable control center from the future looks like something sexy and sensible. But looking at 2020, Deepin is absolutely breathtaking.

        This is without a doubt the nicest desktop environment I have ever seen … For me, the UX is more intuitive and pleasant than macOS and Windows 10. And luckily a quick setting can also transform Deepin into the traditional Windows or macOS desktop paradigm’s that you are already familiar with. Hell, even the installer is a relief.

      • Differences between Windows and Linux operating systems. The fundamental differences that are worth knowing

        If you haven’t explored the world of computers a lot, you probably use Microsoft Windows, which is undoubtedly the most popular operating system out there. Due to its widespread popularity, most users don’t know about the existence of other operating systems at all or don’t know a lot about other great operating systems, like Linux. There is no doubt, Microsoft Windows is the most versatile operating system out there that cater to the needs of almost all users, Linux used to be a great choice among developers, testers, and for the geeks. But time has changed, and Linux too caters to the needs of all types of users out there.

        Windows and Linux are different in multiple aspects, and I will talk about most of them here. Well, I will not go into intense depth, while talking about the differences, and will keep the comparison as simple as possible. After knowing the differences, I’m sure you will once think about switching from Windows to Linux, for the set of conveniences it has to offer. Both Windows and Linux are operating systems for computers, and thus, I will say a few words about, what an operating system is, before talking about the differences. This will help you to comprehend and interpret the differences, in an even better way.

        [...]

        While on the other hand, Linux is free to use and you can simply download it from the official website computer and get started. The Linux distributions, which are the different versions of Linux available, come under the GPL license, which means you can even modify Linux to use it as per your requirements. I will talk about the open-source nature later in the article. However, there are some commercial versions or distributions of Linux available out there, where some packages are not available for free. But for the most part, Linux-based distributions or operating systems are free to use, unlike Windows.

    • Server

      • Migrating from Docker to Podman

        If you use Docker, you may or may not have already heard of Podman. It is an alternative container engine, and while I don’t have much knowledge of the details, there are a few reasons why I’m switching:

        Podman runs in rootless mode, i.e., it does not need a daemon running as root;
        Podman supports new things like cgroupsv2 (coming in Fedora 31);
        Docker (actually moby-engine) is difficult to keep up-to-date in Fedora (which may correlate with point 2), and people seem to complain about this (though I’ve not cared too much.)

      • Fairwinds Helps Cloud-Native Applications Run Optimally with New Open Source Tool for Resource Allocation
      • IBM

        • CentOS 8.0-1905

          CentOS is a community-run project which builds its distribution from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The project’s goal is to provide a binary compatible, nearly identical experience to Enterprise Linux, but without the commercial support provided by Red Hat. This makes CentOS an attractive option for people who want to have a distribution with long-term support and the same technology Red Hat provides, but feel they do not need vendor support. I reviewed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8), briefly covering the distribution’s installer, software and settings management, several of its Workstation features, and a few of its server technologies, such as Cockpit. I ran into several issues during that experience – some of them relating to documentation, some dealing with permission problems, some due to missing applications in the official repositories – and I was curious to see if CentOS would provide the same experience, problems and all. One could assume so given CentOS uses the same source code, but CentOS has its own website and repositories so I thought it would be worth giving it a test run and seeing what differences, if any, I could spot. In particular, I planned to focus on the strengths and weaknesses I observed in the conclusion of my RHEL 8 review.

          Before I get to my experiences with CentOS 8.0.1905, I feel it is worth mentioning that CentOS is now available in two branches: CentOS Linux, the traditional, fixed release operating system based on RHEL; and CentOS Stream. The new Stream branch is described as a rolling release platform which will fit in somewhere between Fedora and RHEL. The idea appears to be that software and concepts will get their initial testing in Fedora. Then Red Hat will fork a version of Fedora to be the basis of a future RHEL release. Changes and improvements that would normally be made internally within Red Hat prior to the next RHEL will become available for the public to try and comment on in CentOS Stream. Ideally, the plan here seems to be that this will give a larger portion of the community a chance to try new ideas and report issues, giving Red Hat more feedback and a chance to polish their commercial offering.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4-rc4
        This release cycle remains pretty normal. In fact, the rc's have been
        a bit on the smaller side of the average of the last few releases, and
        rc4 continues this, if only barely.
        
        The stats all look fairly normal too. About half is drivers, with
        networking being the bulk of it, but there's stuff all over the place:
        drm, input, block, md, gpio, irqchip...
        
        The networking backlog shows up outside of drivers too, with core
        networking changes being about a third of the non-driver part of the
        patches. But there's the usual arch updates (arm64, x86, xtensa), and
        a noticeable chunk of mm fixes from Andrew. And the rest is
        miscellaneous all over - Documentation, core kernel, filesystems, gdb
        scripting, tools.
        
        But none of it is really all that big or looks all that scary or unusual.
        
        Shortlog appended so that you can scroll through it and get a feeling
        for the details.
        
        I'm traveling this week before Open Source Summit Europe, but if
        things stay this calm it shouldn't even be noticeable.
        
        Linus
        
      • Linux 5.4-rc4 Arrives As Another Normal Release Candidate
      • Graphics Stack

        • Open-Source C.A.S. Vulkan Layer – Similar to Radeon Image Sharpening But For Any GPU

          AMD’s Radeon Image Sharpening feature is designed to improve image quality with minimal performance costs. However, it is only supported by Radeon Polaris / Vega / Navi graphics cards and only under Microsoft Windows 10. An independent open-source project has implemented contrast adaptive sharpening support for Vulkan that is similar to Radeon Image Sharpening but will work for any Vulkan-enabled GPU — including NVIDIA GPUs.

        • MSM+Freedreno Driver Stack Adding Support For The Adreno 510 GPU

          While the MSM+Freedreno open-source graphics driver stack already supports the Adreno 500 and 600 series, one of the GPUs not seeing support until now was the basic Adreno 510. Kernel patches are pending for A510 enablement while the Mesa support was already merged.

          The Adreno 510 is the graphics processor within the Snapdragon 650, 652, and 653 models and used in lower-end devices. With the kernel and Mesa patches, the Adreno 510 is now working on the likes of the Sony Xperia X and X Compact smartphones.

        • AMD Lands Greater Direct State Access Support Within Mesa

          Landing this week in Mesa 19.3-devel were more functions being implemented around the big OpenGL EXT_direct_state_access extension.

          OpenGL’s direct state access functions are intended to allow more OpenGL state to be accessed/updated directly aside form the selector commands. Using EXT_direct_state_access allows for various efficiency improvements.

    • Applications

      • Proprietary

        • USB-C Has Finally Come Into Its Own

          Even so, the road has been bumpy. Just because USB-C can do all these things doesn’t mean that it always does. Take charging. While the body that governs USB protocol, the USB Implementers Forum, sets a Power Delivery standard, manufacturers have come up with their own unique implementations as well. Qualcomm has Quick Charge, Samsung has Adaptive Fast Charging, and so on. The result, as nicely detailed by Android Authority earlier this year, is a landscape where you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get, especially once you reach for a third-party cable. Your phone will still charge, just not as fast as advertised if all of the involved components aren’t built for the same spec. And in extreme cases, some dodgy cables have been capable of frying devices altogether by drawing too much power for a specific task.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Need an easy way to manage a Linux game server? LinuxGSM is great and recently passed 100 supported titles

        A project that perhaps isn’t as well known as it should be: LinuxGSM makes managing Linux game servers easy and they recently hit a fun milestone.

        It supports running servers for games like 7 Days to Die, Barotrauma, various Counter-Strike versions, Don’t Starve Together, Minecraft and a ton more. Starting way back sometime in 2012, the lead developer Daniel Gibbs emailed in to notify us that they recently hit a huge milestone for the project as it now supports over 100 different games.

        There’s a number of other ways to run game servers but the point of LinuxGSM is that each game is tweaked and tested by them, with an easy to run installer and script to manage all parts of it. Running updates, getting notifications sent to various places like Discord, Telegram, Email and more when it’s having issues is simple to setup.

      • Boxtron, the Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox brings more improvements in another update

        The Speedy Staging 0.5.3 of Boxtron is out, further improving this Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox gaming on Linux.

        As a reminder of the what and why: Just like how Proton enables you to play Windows games in the Linux Steam client, Boxtron is a tool that can be manually added to the Linux Steam client to run a native version of DOSBox. It’s supposed to give you the best experience possible with DOS games on Steam. Rather than running them through Proton you get lower input lag, working Steam integration, better fullscreen support and so on.

      • You can now grab the Gotrek and Felix DLC for Total War: WARHAMMER II free

        Just a quick tip for Total War: WARHAMMER II fans this Monday morning, as you can now grab the previously White Dwarf Magazine exclusive DLC Gotrek and Felix for free.

        While they’re only for Total War: WARHAMMER II, if you own both Total War: WARHAMMER titles they are also available in the expansive Mortal Empires campaign.

      • Humble Monthly will be changing to Humble Choice later this year

        If you’re interested in getting a bunch of games each month, the Humble Monthly has at times been quite generous with the selection. Things are about to change, with it being renamed to Humble Choice with new options.

        Currently, you pay a set fee of $12 a month (or less for more months) and get at least one game to play early. Then at the end of each month, they give you a bunch more games ranging between 7-11. That’s changing sometime later this year with Humble Choice. As the name suggests, it does seem to actually give you a little more control. Games are revealed upfront instead of being a mystery and you pick the ones you want from a larger list.

      • Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars content pack in addition to the big Livy update

        One piece of PDXCON news missed from yesterday: Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars Content Pack along with the upcoming Livy Update.

        Paradox Development Studio sure are busy. Not only are they working on multiple Stellaris expansions, Crusader Kings III and Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance they’re also trying to turn around the rough launch of Imperator: Rome. Another big free patch is coming out named Livy which will include: a new character experience system, a rework of the family system, a procedurally generated mission system, a map with greater details including showing war on the map with burning cities and more not yet announced. It’s going to be big!

      • Five-or-More Modernisation: It’s a Wrap

        As probably most of you already know, or recently found out, at the beginning of this week the GSoC coding period officially ended, and it is time for us, GSoC students, to submit our final evaluations and the results we achieved thus far. This blog post, as you can probably tell from the title, will be a summary of all of the work I put into modernising Five or More throughout the summer months.

        My main task was rewriting Five or More in Vala since this simple and fun game did not find its way to the list of those included in the Games Modernisation Initiative. This fun, strategy game consists of aligning, as often as possible, five or more objects of the same shape and color, to make them disappear and score points.

        Besides the Vala rewrite, there were also some other tasks included, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, as well as keeping the view and logic separated and updating the UI to make this game more relatable for the public and more fresh-looking. However, after thoroughly discussing the details with my mentor, Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), more emphasis was placed upon rewriting the code to Vala, since the GSoC program is specifically designed for software development. However, slight UI modifications were integrated as to match the visual layout guidelines.

      • Five-or-More Modernisation: Now You Can Properly Play It

        As Google Summer of Code is officially drawing to an end, all of my attention was focused towards making the Five or More Vala version feature-complete. As you probably already know from my previous blog post, the game was somehow playable at that time, but it was missing some of the key features included in the old version.

        So what’s new this time? First and foremost, you can surely notice the game board now sports a grid, which wasn’t there until now. On the same note, there are also animations used for clicking a piece on the board, for an improved gaming experience. For further accessibility, some header bar hints are available at different stages in the game: at the start of any new game, at the end of each game, as well as whenever there is no clear path between the initial position and the cell indicated by the user for the current move.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 To Drop GTK2 Support, Explore Some Client-Side Decorations

        Prominent Xfce developer Simon Steinbeiß has shared more of the group’s plans for the planned 2020 release of Xfce 4.16.

        After the much belated Xfce 4.14 release, the developers are working hard to release about one year from now while ultimately striving to get on a six-month release cadence.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: fixing all the things

          Plasma 5.17 was released this week to glowing reviews! As with most new releases, our loyal users wasted no time in finding all the bugs we missed! So you know what that means, right? We all burned the midnight oil fixing the problems you found, and Plasma 5.17.1 will be released in just a few days with everything we’ve knocked out so far (detailed below) so never fear!

        • KDE Continues Seeing A Lot Of Bug Fixes, Continued Tweaks Around System Settings

          KDE developers remain busy this autumn on addressing bugs in the recent KDE Plasma 5.17 release and tackling early feature work for Plasma 5.18. Plus work on KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Applications is as busy as ever.

        • Working around the Wrong Cursor bug

          This is a long-known bug with countless Reddit/Forum/… posts with often the correct answer how to fix it.

        • RFC – Git Client Integration

          At this year’s KDE conference Akademy we discussed how to evolve Kate over the next years. One of the areas we want to improve is better git integration out of the box. Currently, Kate ships the Projects plugin, which automatically detects and loads your file structure from your git repository. If a project is loaded, then the Search & Replace plugin allows to search&replace in all project files. In addition, the Quick Open feature also supports opening files from the currently active project – all explained here.

          However, the Projects plugin does not provide any real git integration: You can neither pull nor push, commit, diff, etc. If at all, additional git functionality is available only via external tools like gitk or git-cola (e.g. available in the context menu).

          This is something we would like to change by having really nice git integration.

        • Calamares grabs onto things

          I’ve been working on Calamares, the Universal Linux Installer, for a little over two years – following up in the role Teo started. It’s used by Neon (for the dev version, not the user version) and Manjaro and lots of other Linux distributions. I’ve typically called it an installer for boutique distro’s, as opposed to the Big Five.

          Well, Debian 11 has plans. And lubuntu uses it as well (and has for over six months).

          Those seem pretty big.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.35.1 RELEASED
          GNOME 3.35.1 is now available. This is the first unstable release
          leading to 3.36 stable series.
          
          If you want to compile GNOME 3.35.1, you can use the official
          BuildStream project snapshot. Thanks to BuildStream's build sandbox,
          it should build reliably for you regardless of the dependencies on
          your host system...
          
        • GNOME 3.35.1 Released As The First Step Towards GNOME 3.36
    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 30.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.19.69. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.41, MariaDB 10.4.7, and PHP 7.3.9 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Happy 15th Birthday, Ubuntu!

          October 20, 2019, marks the 15th anniversary of the release of Ubuntu 4.10, the first ever version of Ubuntu, a desktop Linux distribution that has arguably helped change the computing landscape for the better.

          That’s really not hyperbole, either; Ubuntu’s achievements extend well beyond its immediate orbit.

          And the best bit? Ubuntu is still going strong today, 15 years on from its first formative foray into the feral winds of free and open source software!

          Although Ubuntu is far more than “just” another desktop Linux distro these days, as its dominance and vision leading in key markets (and in whole new markets it has helped to create) is proof of, it had a humble beginning…

        • Pop!_OS 19.10 Released Based on Ubuntu 19.10

          Pop!_OS 19.10 is now available to download and install.

          Pop!_OS 19.10 (as you won’t be surprised to hear) is based on the latest Ubuntu 19.10 release.

          As such, the distro inherits many of Ubuntu 19.10’s key selling points, such as GNOME 3.34, Linux 5.3, better Wayland support, and access to an updated archive of software, tools, and so on.

          But that’s not all.

          This update to the Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, which is available to ship preinstalled on System76 range of laptops and desktop PCs, has a couple of homegrown improvements up its sleeve, too.

        • System76 releases Pop!_OS 19.10 with GNOME 3.34, Tensorman

          Pop!_OS 19.10 features a customized GNOME 3.34 desktop environment with a minimal amount of clutter on the desktop so as not to distract the user and allows them to focus on their work. The distro’s target user base includes engineers, computer scientists, and developers.

          System76’s newly released distro, based on the recently released Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine,” includes a multitude of various enhancements and changes that include customized drivers, user interfaces, and more.

          Some of these changes include a rebased default theme on Adwaita, updated sound effects, and a sleek new dark mode.

          Pop!_OS 19.10 also has a new upgrade process for Pop!_OS 19.04 users. The new version automatically downloads to the user’s system, but unlike an automatic update, the OS will stay at 19.04 until the user chooses to upgrade.

        • What’s New In Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’

          Canonical has reached one more step close to an LTS release by releasing Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’. Eoan Ermine has been released with some new features and overall system improvements.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Review: Another Retrofitting Release

          So you have seen the most important aspects about Ubuntu 19.10 so far. Unless you are motivated for change, there’s no need right now to upgrade to the new release, as you can wait 6 months till 20.04 gets released, which will be an LTS release supported for 10 years (up to 2030).

          However, if you are a GNOME lover and want to enjoy the latest release of it, along many other pieces of software, then it’s perfectly OK to upgrade to the new release as long as you don’t use Chromium as your web browser. For post-installation instructions, review our things to do after installing Ubuntu post.

        • Happy 15th Birthday Ubuntu Linux! The Amazing Tale of A Distro

          We all know the history of Linux, which has brought a massive change in the tech world. Linux as a kernel got success as it is open source. This open source system has given birth to many distro or distributions, which helped to take this kernel to the vertex of success. Among all those Distros, Ubuntu Linux rules the distro world.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source technology, enabling innovation

        One of the most exciting projects to come out of the open source revolution is Kubernetes, a tool helping companies running their software on cloud services. It enables them to get the most out of the processing power they’re paying for by identifying machines that are being underutilised. So, if the software detects that a machine is not being optimised, it will load it up with another task so it’s working as hard as it can.

      • Linux Foundation

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Help! They’re about to obliterate us!

          Don’t let Yahoo fool you, with what they say, “Oh, just click here and download your content.” It’s not that simple. They have been breaking things to prevent us from leaving for years, and they are not making it easy now either. We live in a broken interface, and rescuing our content, especially quickly, is not at all easy.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Continuous endnotes in Writer

          What you can see is that endnotes unconditionally start after the end of the document content in Word, while endnotes are unconditionally on separate endnote pages in Writer. The new ContinuousEndnotes layout compatibility flag in Writer allows rendering endnotes the Word way.

          This new flag is enabled by default for DOC files, disabled otherwise.

          All this is available in LibreOffice master (towards 6.4), so you can try it out right now, if interested.

        • [LibreOffice] AutoCorrect Dialog

          In addition to an better placement the Word Completion Tab should be now easier to understood.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • [Older] GNS Technical Specification Milestone 1/4

          We are happy to announce the completion of the first milestone for the GNS Specification. The objective is to provide a detailed and comprehensive guide for implementors of the GNU Name System. The initial milestone consists of documenting the cryptographic principles of GNS data structures. This includes the specification of the GNS record wire and serialization formats as well as internationalization.

        • GNUnet project invited to ICANN66

          We are delighted to announce that ICANN has invited the GNUnet project to speak at the next ICANN Annual General Meeting. We have been invited to join a panel discussion on Emerging Internet Identifier Technologies in order to share our ideas and work on the GNU Name System (GNS). ICANN generously offered to cover travel and accomodation.

          The meeting will take place in Montreal between 2 – 7 November. The panel will tentatively be help on November 6th.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • [libre-riscv-dev] power pc
            So as you know, the RISCV Foundation is seriously impeding progress. There
            is huge momentum around RISCV itself, however as far as open *innovation*
            is concerned, the sheer arrogance of the Foundation in failing to respect
            the combination of Libre goals and business objectives has us completely
            isolated from key critical resources such as the closed secret lists and
            wiki.
            
            We cannot even get access to documentation explaining how to propose new
            extensions.
            
            I have been considering for some time to reach out to MIPS and PowerPC.
            Yesterday I wrote to the OpenPower Foundation and was really surprised and
            delighted to hear back from Hugh Blemings, whom I worked with over 20 years
            ago.
            
            I outlined some conditions (no NDAs, open mailing lists, use of
            Certification Marks and Compliance Suites) and he replied back that this
            was pretty much along the lines of what they were planning.
            
            I will have a chat with him some time, in the meantime I found the spec:
            
            https://openpowerfoundation.org/?resource_lib=power-isa-version-3-0
            
            It is eeenooormous, however Hugh reassures me that they want to break it
            into sections.
            
            Why would we even consider this?
            
            The lesson from RISCV is really clear: if the ISA is set up as a cartel,
            Libre innovation is not welcome.
            
            If we had a goal to just *implement* a *pre existing* Extension, there
            would be no problem.
            
            It is the fact that we wish to implement entirely new extensions, for CPU
            and GPU *and* VPU purposes, but not as a separate processor (which would be
            classified as "custom") that is the "problem".
            
            So starting at page 1146, we need to work out how to shoe horn a ton of
            stuff into the ISA, as well as fit 16 bit compressed in as well.
            
            L.
            
          • Libre RISC-V Open-Source Effort Now Looking At POWER Instead Of RISC-V

            Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton of the Libre RISC-V project isn’t fond of the RISC-V Foundation in not respecting their “Libre goals” and the foundation’s business interests have the Libre RISC-V crew without access to the foundation’s private mailing lists and other resources. LKCL wrote, “We cannot even get access to documentation explaining how to propose newextensions.” He doesn’t appear to have any criticism of the architecture itself but rather how the organization stewarding it is treating the effort / community collaborations not ranking high compared to their commercial/business members.

            So while RISC-V may be open-source in nature, Luke is looking at other alternatives like the open-source POWER ISA under the OpenPOWER Foundation as well as the recently opened MIPS ISA. MIPS and POWER have become more open following the increasing successes around RISC-V.

      • Programming/Development

        • Introducing your friends to automation (and overcoming their fear)

          Another fear that I face often from friends is that they don’t know any programming languages, and believing that if they don’t know how to code, then they can’t do automation. While I think we can all agree that knowing Bash, Python, Perl, or even PowerShell is useful when defining these processes to reduce human interaction, it is not always needed.

          Today we have the tools at our disposal to implement such processes without the absolute need to know a traditional programming language. For example, tools like Red Hat Ansible Tower and Azure DevOps let us take advantage of already created playbooks or plugins. Rarely do we see where one tool fits all, but just getting started with one tool is sometimes enough to get a feel for automation. In turn, that beginning is enough to gain confidence and see the true benefits of automating, which encourages us just enough to try learning something new.

        • Python 2.7.17 released

          Python 2.7.17 is now available for download. Note Python 2.7.17 is the penultimate release in the Python 2.7 series.

        • Python 2.7.17

          Python 2.7.17 is a bug fix release in the Python 2.7.x series. It is expected to be the penultimate release for Python 2.7.

        • Python 3.7.4 : Usinge pytesseract for text recognition.
        • Started a newsletter

          I started a newsletter, focusing on different stories I read about privacy, security, programming in general. Following the advice from Martijn Grooten, I am storing all the interesting links I read (for many months). I used to share these only over Twitter, but, as I retweet many things, it was not easy to share a selected few.

        • Indent datastructure for trees

          It is a preorder traversal of the conceptual tree, aggregating (depth, name) tuples into a list to form what I am calling the indent tree datastructure as it captures all the information of the tree but in a different datastructure than normal, and can be extended to allow data at each node and might be a useful alternative for DB storage of trees.

        • Daniel Silverstone: A quarter in review – Nearly there, 2020 in sight

          I have worked very hard on my Rustup work, and I have also started to review documentation and help updates for the Rust compiler itself. I’ve become involved in the Sequoia project, at least peripherally, and have attended a developer retreat with them which was both relaxing and productive.

          I feel like the effort I’m putting into Rust is being recognised in ways I did not expect nor hope for, but that’s very positive and has meant I’ve engaged even more with the community and feel like I’m making a valuable contribution.

          I still hang around on the #wg-rustup Discord channel and other channels on that server, helping where I can, and I’ve been trying to teach my colleagues about Rust so that they might also contribute to the community.

          So initially an ‘A’, I dropped to an ‘A-’ last time, but I feel like I’ve put enough effort in to give myself ‘A+’ this time.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppGSL 0.3.7: Fixes and updates

          A new release 0.3.7 of RcppGSL is now on CRAN. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using the Rcpp package.

          Stephen Wade noticed that we were not actually freeing memory from the GSL vectors and matrices as we set out to do. And he is quite right: a dormant bug, present since the 0.3.0 release, has now been squashed. I had one boolean wrong, and this has now been corrected. I also took the opportunity to switch the vignette to prebuilt mode: Now a pre-made pdf is just included in a Sweave document, which makes the build more robust to tooling changes around the vignette processing. Lastly, the package was converted to the excellent tinytest unit test framework.

        • Styled output in Poke programs

          I just committed support for styling in printf. Basically, it uses the libtextstyle approach of having styling classes that the user can customize in a .css file.

        • Codeplay Launches Open-Source ‘SYCL Academy’ To Learn This Increasingly Popular Standard

          While SYCL has been around for five years as a Khronos standard providing a single-source C++ programming model for exploiting OpenCL, it has yet to reach its prime but demand for it is picking up with Intel working to upstream their SYCL back-end in LLVM, SYCL becoming part of their programming model with oneAPI and Xe Graphics, and other vendors also jumping on the SYCL bandwagon. Codeplay has now provided an open-source SYCL learning code for those interested in this higher-level alternative to straight OpenCL programming.

        • Open-Source Build and Test Tool Bazel Reaches 1.0

          Derived from Google’s internal build tool Blaze, Bazel is a build and test tool that offers a human-readable definition language and is particularly aimed at large, multi-language, multi-repositories projects. Originally open-sourced in 2015, Bazel has now reached 1.0.

          One of the major implications of reaching version 1.0 for Bazel is the promise of greater stability and backward-compatibility guarantees. This has been a historical pain point for Bazel users, who often found themselves in the situation of having to rewrite part of their build rules due to frequent breaking changes in Bazel or its ecosystem. Accordingly, the Bazel team has committed to following semantic versioning for future Bazel releases, meaning only major versions will be allowed to include breaking changes. Furthermore, the team committed to maintaining a minimum stability window of three months between major versions.

        • DevOps Deeper Dive: DevOps Accelerates Open Source Innovation Pace

          That rate of innovation has increased dramatically in the last few years. However, much of that innovation would not have been possible if large swaths of the open source community hadn’t been able to employ best DevOps practices to collaborate, said CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey.

          [...]

          None of this shift has been lost on IT vendors. As the demand for proprietary code slackened, many found it profitable to offer support services for open source software. The more there is to consume, the more the support services contracts grew. Now every vendor from IBM to small IT services providers such as Fairwinds has launched open source projects that help drive demand for IT services expertise.

          “There’s pain around integrating a lot of disparate open source projects,” said Robert Brennan, director of open source software for Fairwinds. “Organizations may be getting software for free, but there’s usually not a lot of help around.”

          Now almost every IT vendor in the world is making software engineers available to work on open source projects. All that talent focused on open source projects has led to the development of new platforms such as Jenkins, GitHub, Kubernetes and, more recently, a raft of smaller projects. With the rise of containers and cloud-native applications, open source software projects are entering another era that will see many of those same software engineers leveraging DevOps practices more broadly to drive even more innovative projects at increasingly faster rates.

        • Find your next developer from open source communities

          Meanwhile, demand for data scientists is rising as companies seek AI-based solutions to stay competitive. Demand is reflected in salary offers. Companies competing to hire and retain data experts are offering on average more than US$100,000, making it one of the most highly paid professions in the States.

          For companies lacking the budget to hire or train in-house staff to fill the role, they may find themselves struggling with maintaining technological infrastructure or moving forward with plans for digitization.

          Therefore, open source learning and further development of communities could be the solution to this gap.

          An IBM grant to support open source communities such as Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization offering coding lessons for women in the US, is a step forward to filling in a shortage of software developers.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Why Taking Responsibility for Our Carbon Emissions Means Promoting the Right to Repair

        In our global system of production, consumption and premature disposal, using products for longer should be considered a pillar of global climate justice, and in an even broader sense, environmental justice.Saturday 19 October 2019 marks the third International Repair Day, and the theme this year is “Repair for Future”. | By Janet Gunter

      • The Most Important Right-to-Repair Hearing Yet Is on Monday

        The Massachusetts state legislature is holding a three-hour hearing on the Digital Right to Repair act, a bill that would require electronics manufacturers to sell repair parts and tools, make repair guides available, and would prevent them from using software to artificially prevent repair.

        So far this year, 19 other states have considered similar legislation. It hasn’t passed in any of them. But Massachusetts is one of the most likely states to pass the legislation, for a few different reasons. Most notably, the legislation is modeled on a law passed unanimously in Massachusetts in 2012 that won independent auto shops the right to repair, meaning lawmakers there are familiar with the legislation and the benefits that it has had for auto repair shops not just in Massachusetts but around the country.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Key to Saving Family Farms Is in the Soil

        Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability…

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Patch Awaited For A Critical Four-Year-Old Linux WiFi Vulnerability

        Linux users unknowingly remained vulnerable to a serious security flaw for almost four years. Recently, a researcher highlighted a critical Linux WiFi vulnerability that could allow system compromise. The bug existed for four years and still awaits a patch.

        Reportedly, there is a security vulnerability affecting millions of Linux users. The vulnerability primarily affects the Realtek driver (rtlwifi) allowing an adversary to compromise the targeted system. As discovered by the researcher Nico Waisman, the Linux WiFi vulnerability existed for about four years.

      • 6 top OSINT tools: Find sensitive public info before hackers do

        The same OSINT tactics used for spycraft can now be applied to cybersecurity. Most organizations have vast, public-facing infrastructures that span many networks, technologies, hosting services and namespaces. Information can be stored on employee desktops, in legacy on-prem servers, with employee-owned BYOD devices, in the cloud, embedded inside devices like webcams, or even hidden in the source code of active apps and programs.

      • 3 steps toward improving container security

        As developers increasingly make use of containers, securing them becomes more and more important. Gartner has named container security one of its top 10 concerns for this year in this report, which isn’t surprising given their popularity in producing lightweight and reusable code and lowering app dev costs.

        In this article, I’ll look at the three basic steps involved in container security: securing the build environment, securing the underlying container hosts, and securing the actual content that runs inside each container. To be successful at mastering container security means paying attention to all three of these elements.

        If you step back a moment, container security isn’t all that different from ordinary application security. If you replace the appropriate words in the above paragraph, you could have written this post 10, 20, or even 30 years ago with a few other modifications. But containers do have a few oddities and new twists that are worth highlighting. To get started, I suggest you listen to the recorded talk by Red Hat’s Dan Walsh about general container security considerations.

      • Good guy, Microsoft: Multi-factor auth outage gives cloudy Office, Azure users a surprise three-day weekend

        Microsoft is battling to fix its knackered multi-factor authentication system that today blocked customers from logging into their Microsoft 365 and Azure services.

        The Redmond giant confirmed on Friday an unspecified glitch prevented customers in North America from receiving the multi-factor auth (MFA) codes they need to sign into their cloud-based accounts. Obviously, those not using MFA are not affected.

        Though Azure and Microsoft 365 MFA users initially were locked out, by mid-day US Pacific Time, Azure was said to be working again, leaving 365 subscribers trying to log in high and dry.

        “We’ve taken multiple actions to mitigate impact and are working to validate service restoration,” Microsoft told Microsoft 365 aka Office 365 customers. “In parallel, we’re continuing to review system logs and service telemetry to better understand the underlying root cause.”

      • Update Warning Issued For Millions Of Microsoft Windows 10 Users

        At this stage, it isn’t clear what is the cause with users citing BSOD failures with cldflt.sys, Affinity applications and more but all have found that uninstalling KB4517389 fixes the problem, which pins the source squarely on this already troubled update. Needless to say, the problem with a BSOD bug is you may not be lucky enough to get back to your desktop to do this.

        If you are, then navigate to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed updates > KB4517389 > Uninstall

        KB4517389 has already rolled out to millions of users but for hundreds of millions who have not received it yet, use Microsoft’s Show or Hide updates tool to block it from installing on your PC.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.S. Troops Leaving Syria for Iraq, Not Home as Trump Claims

        —While President Donald Trump insists he’s bringing home Americans from “endless wars” in the Mideast, his Pentagon chief says all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group.

      • Pity the Kurds

        I stood on the wind-swept Kalowa Hill in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya as Pershan Hassan, a stocky 53-year-old woman, clambered quickly up the dirt track leading to where a mass grave was being excavated. She clutched a framed black-and-white picture of a boy. She pushed her way through the crowd that was looking down at the unearthed remains of dozens of bodies. Suddenly, she let out a gasp of pain and recognition as she saw the skeletal remains of her 13-year-old son, Shafiq. A faded blue blindfold was wrapped tightly around his skull. The casings from spent bullets were scattered around his dark brown bones.

      • Turkey’s Attack on Kurds in Syria ‘Biggest Ethnic Cleansing Operation in the 21st Century,’ Says Top Commander

        He told NBC: “This agreement will kill millions of Kurds and the expulsion from their land of millions of Kurds. It will be the biggest ethnic cleansing operation of the 21st century and its happening right in front of the American army’s eyes.”

      • Turkish forces commit war crimes in Syria offensive – fresh evidence

        Amnesty gathered witness testimony between 12 and 16 October from 17 people, including medical and rescue workers, displaced civilians, journalists and humanitarian workers, as well as analysing and verifying video footage, and reviewing medical reports and other documentation.

        The information provides damning evidence of indiscriminate attacks in residential areas – including attacks on a home, a bakery and a school – carried out by Turkey and allied Syrian armed groups. It also reveals gruesome details of a summary killing in cold blood of a prominent Syrian-Kurdish politician, Hevrin Khalaf, by members of Ahrar Al-Sharqiya, part of the Syrian National Army, a coalition of Syrian armed groups equipped and supported by Turkey.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition

          My friend Marianne Goldscheider, who is 87, suffered a broken hip in July, 2018 and then, in June 2019, it happened again. When she broke her hip the first time, she was running, with her son, on a football field. After the second break, when she fell in her kitchen, she recalls her only desire as she was placed on a stretcher. “I just wanted ‘the right pill,’” she says.

        • Natural Gas vs. Renewable Energy: Beware the Latest Gas Industry Talking Points

          The natural gas industry is on an aggressive public relations tear to convince Americans that for decades to come, it is the “bridge” between coal and renewable energy.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ocasio-Cortez Backs Sanders at Packed NYC Rally

        “I am back,” Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Saturday, as he spoke to over 25,000 people at a rally in New York City that featured Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed the Vermont senator’s White House bid.

      • U.K.’s Johnson Asks EU for Brexit Delay He Doesn’t Want

        British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pressing ahead to try to win parliamentary backing for his new Brexit deal as the European Union considers his grudging request to extend the looming Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Chinese Censorship of US Media: New Spin on an Old Tactic

        With China now the world’s largest economy, US media companies are increasingly looking at the country’s 1.4 billion consumers with dollar signs in their eyes. But access to this media market comes with one big rule: Don’t upset the Chinese government. This is most evident in the realm of blockbuster movies, where films that could run afoul of Chinese state censors are amended, rewritten or scrapped. But other media or media-dependent industries have come under the sway of the Chinese government and its massive market power.

      • AOC and Ted Cruz call out Apple for dropping Hong Kong app in joint letter

        In two letters, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sharply criticized Apple and Blizzard over their recent actions in China.

        The first, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, expresses “strong concern” over the company’s decision to remove an app used by Hong Kong protesters from its App Store. The app, called HKMap, tracked police presence and was used by pro-democracy activists, but was removed earlier this month after Apple claimed it was being used for criminal activity. The app’s developers said there was no evidence of that, and Apple has been slammed for the move.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Hong Kong Again in Chaos as Protesters Defy Ban

        Hong Kong streets descended into chaotic scenes following an unauthorized pro-democracy rally Sunday as protesters set up roadblocks and torched businesses and police responded with tear gas and a water cannon.

      • A UN Treaty Guarantees Youth Rights Everywhere on Earth—Except the United States

        Fifteen kids from a dozen countries, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, recently brought a formal complaint to the United Nations. They’re arguing that climate change violates children’s rights as guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global agreement.

      • Unveiling a State-by-State Plan to End our Mass Incarceration Crisis

        The United States locks up more of its people than any other nation in the world. A whopping 2.2 million people are living behind bars in this country on any given day. Our national incarceration rate is four times that of Australia, five times that of the United Kingdom, and six times that of Canada.

      • Cambodia: Wave of Opposition Arrests

        The Cambodian government should cease arresting and detaining former opposition party members and rights activists for exercising their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today in launching its updated webpage of political prisoners.  

      • Mark Zuckerberg’s Promise to Respect Free Expression Is So Far Just Empty Words

        But, to free expression advocates like me, Zuckerberg’s speech feels like empty words in the absence of any concrete changes to the company’s questionable policies on speech. Just this month, the company announced controversial exceptions to its fact-checking policies and prohibition on hate speech for politicians, effectively creating a separate and higher tier for those whose words have more power to harm than those of ordinary citizens. Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg—himself a former politician—stated that he didn’t believe it would be “acceptable to society at large to have a private company … become a self-appointed referee for everything that politicians say.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Judicial imperialist Birss rewound 3,000 years to crown himself King Solomon of FRANDland–dethronement is nigh: Unwired Planet v. Huawei

          First things first: CONGRATULATIONS to now-Lord Justice Richard Arnold, who was sworn in a few days ago as a new IP judge at the UK Court of Appeal. For the time being, Justice Colin Birss is now the only (at least the only well-known) patent-specialized judge at the court below, the England & Wales High Court (EWHC). Some thought Justice Birss was going to be promoted sooner, but Lord Justice Arnold, whom I listened to earlier this year, is far more likely to bring balance to the appeals court.

          Who knows–maybe the decision-makers read Justice Birss’s Unwired Planet v. Huawei ruling, which came down to letting a SEP holder enforce an injunction only because the defendant declined to enter into a global (as opposed to UK-specific) portfolio license on terms dictated by the UK court, is not just an outlier. It was and, until overruled, continues to be outrageous. If considered, that one would have done nothing to boost his chances. But what’s easily ten times worse is that the UK Court of Appeal affirmed it.

          The next four days–Monday through Thursday–the Supreme Court of the UK, which granted the equivalent of a cert petition by Huawei, will hold a hearing that is the last chance to dissuade the UK judiciary from going further down Disaster Road.

          Unlike in the U.S. or Germany, where hearings by the top court for patent infringement cases are focused on narrow legal questions and take only a couple of hours, the Supreme Court of the UK will look at this in great depth and from many angles. While Unwired Planet is where things went awry first, that appeal was consolidated with Conversant v. ZTE.

          [...]

          The fact that Justice Birss set a global base royalty rate with a potential for further increases based on the status of local SEPs held by the same party doesn’t solve the problem that Unwired Planet might simply not be entitled to a single cent in some places (or, if not to nothing, to much less than what Justice Birss determined).

          Justice Birss based his coercive approach on the fact that real-world negotiations typically result in global portfolio licenses. But even when a court of law analyzes what would or might happen in the real world, a court will never have the full breadth of options available that private parties do when they negotiate with each other. There must be limits as to what can be imposed on someone against his will.

        • FR – MERMET V. CHAVANOZ INDUSTRIE – THE LARGEST EVER PATENT INFRINGEMENT DAMAGES AWARD IN EUROPE (€25,000,000) OVERTURNED ON APPEAL; PATENT HELD INVALID FOR LACK OF NOVELTY BECAUSE OF A PUBLIC PRIOR USE; NO “MORNING-AFTER PILL” AVAILABLE TO ERASE IT

          On 12 September 2019, the cour d’appel de Lyon (court of appeal) overturned a judgment handed down on 8 September 2016 by the tribunal de grande instance de Lyon (court of first instance) which found Chavanoz’s patent EP 0 900 294 valid and infringed by Mermet.

          The patent is for a composite yarn comprising a core composed of a continuous yarn made of glass and a coated sheath composed of a matrix consisting of PVC, and a fire-retarding filler incorporated into and distributed within the said matrix; such yarn is used for making solar protection fabrics (sunscreens).

          In first instance, the tribunal set the damages to be paid by Mermet to Chavanoz at more than €25,000,000, the largest ever patent infringement damages award reported in Europe.

        • Claiming a Process Rather than a Mere Principle

          The patent first came before the Supreme Court in 1873 in Mitchell v. Tilghman, 86 U.S. 287 (1873). In that decision, the Supreme Court limited the claim scope to be confined to the particular method described in the specification that used very high heat (612° Fah) for a short time (10 minutes) and thus, a process operating at a lower temperature (only 400° Fah) for much longer (several hours) did not infringe.

      • Trademarks

        • Chile vs Peru: the battle over ‘Pisco’ continues

          The Peruvian Ministry of External Relations has issued a Press Release stating that Peru will appeal to the ruling of the Court of First Instance of Thailand against the registration of a Chilean association that intends to use the term Pisco.

        • Trademark case: Cervejaria Petropolis SA v. Ambev S.A., USA

          In a non-precedential decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that the mark FUSION had been abandoned by Brazil-based beverage company Cervejaria Petropolis SA (“CP”), the party which had acquired the mark in October 2011. Although CP recorded its acquisition of the FUSION mark with the USPTO, it failed to establish use or intent to resume use during three consecutive years. Therefore the TTAB was correct in granting the petition of competitor Ambev S.A. to cancel the mark due to abandonment (Cervejaria Petropolis SA v. Ambev S.A., October 10, 2019, Wallach, E.).

      • Copyrights

        • A European perspective on paparazzi photographs of celebrities and lawsuits against celebrities over the posting of photographs of themselves

          Over the past few months several media outlets have been reporting on a series of copyright lawsuits filed in the US against celebrities over their social media (in particular: Instagram) feeds [Katposts by Hayleigh here, here, and here].

          Whilst some of these lawsuits concerned fairly straightforward issues, that is the publication of third-party photographs portraying third parties [eg, Versace publishing a photograph of Jennifer Lopez wearing Versace: here; or super-model Gigi Hadid posting a picture of her boyfriend Zayn Malik: here], others are potentially more intriguing in that they relate to the publication by celebrities of photographs of themselves.

          [...]

          The first aspect to clarify in a case in which the photograph at issue is a paparazzo photograph would – or, more likely, should – be whether, indeed, a work of this kind could even enjoy copyright protection at all.

          It is apparent that the concept of originality mandated by EU law (or, rather, case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)) requires (way) more than just skill, labour or effort, that is all elements that might be present in a photograph taken by a paparazzo who has waited for a long time for the target celebrity to arrive in a specific place, etc.

          What the CJEU case law mandates is that the work at issue is ‘its author’s own intellectual creation’, in the sense that it is the result of ‘free and creative choices’ and ultimately carries the author’s own ‘personal touch’.

        • Copyright as a “censorship right”?! A critical evaluation of two current preliminary ruling proceedings of the CJEU

          The situation is always the same: a press company publishes an article that contains copyrighted content. The author is upset by the reporting, but deliberately avoids the obvious option of seeking injunctive relief under press law. Such a claim for injunctive relief would be accompanied by a balancing of interests between the right of personality of the person concerned and the conflicting fundamental right of freedom of information of the general public. Especially where the reporting contains information relevant to democracy, the civil courts will often give priority to freedom of information according to established constitutional jurisprudence, taking into account its “absolutely constituent significance” for a free democratic state. On the other hand, according to the Gies-Adler decision (file no. I ZR 117/00) of the German Federal Supreme Court (“BGH”), there is no balancing of interests in copyright law beyond the codified exceptions and limitations. The person concerned will therefore assert a right to an injunction under copyright law. To exaggerate: he relies on copyright law in order to achieve a goal rooted in a complaint relevant to press law, so as to avoid the balancing of interests in press law. If none of the exceptions and limitations of copyright applies, his injunctive relief will be granted, even if there is a particularly urgent need for information on the part of the public regarding the information to be suppressed.

        • Tips Industries v. Wynk Music: A Case of Statutory Mis-Interpretation?

          In Tips Industries Limited v. Wynk Music Limited & Anr., J. Kathawala of the Bombay High Court held inter alia, that the scheme for statutory license under Section 31D of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 does not cover internet broadcasters. Divij’s previous post covered the background of this dispute. With respect to internet broadcasting, he covered how the High Court read the full scheme of Section 31D with Rules 29 & 31 of the Copyright Rules, 2013 to limit statutory licenses to radio and TV broadcasters.

          In my opinion, the Bombay High Court has erred on 3 counts – first, Section 31D does not discriminate over the medium of broadcast; second, legislative commands in Section 31D do not affect the powers of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) and third, the lack of qualification to “broadcast” in Section 31D(1) shows that the Parliament has no intention to discriminate between broadcasters.

        • ‘Sharing is Caring’ Once Described Piracy But Things Have Probably Changed

GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 4:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Once upon a time people used landlines a lot

Very healthy communication

Summary: The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it’s how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else

“I thought you might find this interesting,” one reader told us, sharing some figures about the Debian mailing lists, which don’t exactly thrive. The reader was a very avid fan of Debian, saying to us that “Debian was my favourite distro of all time,” but now this reader isn’t using it anymore.

It’s wrong to judge a distro or a community surrounding a distro based on mailing lists, but here’s a list of unique debian-user posters (with at least 2 posts) by year:

2011  990 users
2012 1000 users
2013  899 users
2014  832 users
2015  810 users
2016  695 users
2017  702 users
2018  (insufficient data)

The reader noted that “it hasn’t updated since the middle of 2018 (so the 2018 data isn’t accurate)” and it’s also worth remembering that Ubuntu came around, basing everything on Debian. Other distros too may have ‘diluted’ somewhat from the Debian activity, albeit not the Debian codebase, repositories etc.

Moreover, it might be possible to explain this by saying that people use other means of communication these days (social control media has become more popular over the past decade).

“Some people wrongly measure the size and importance of GNU, Linux and various other Free software projects based on the number of people lurking in IRC channels or chatting in mailing lists.”A lot of people may easily mistake this for lack of popularity, lost momentum and maybe even blame systemd or some other old canard. Judging by what I see in my everyday life (and work), at the back end Debian is absolutely huge. A lot of the repositories used may be Canonical’s (for Ubuntu), but much of the heavy lifting is based upon or derived from Debian.

Some people wrongly measure the size and importance of GNU, Linux and various other Free software projects based on the number of people lurking in IRC channels or chatting in mailing lists. That totally fails to account for various dynamics, such as GNU/Linux becoming so mainstream that people no longer go ‘online’ for support, the names keep changing (e.g. Android, AWS) and many Web pages are behind walled gardens (e.g. online support). Fewer things tend to break. How many people even use newsgroups/USENET anymore? How many use phones and chat ‘apps’? How many pay for some company (such as ours) to support and maintain their servers? None of that ends up being ‘spilled’ online (or some mailing lists). A lot of activity, communications included, lands in pull requests of public and private repositories. As for the media? It’s dying. It’s dying a fast death and it has nothing to do with GNU/Linux (that’s true across the entire spectrum, also outside technology).

Here’s more of the above. It’s “something I did a year or two ago,” our reader said, limiting the search to the debian-user mailing list:

year | users w/ >1 posts | top post count / top poster

1994 --- 22 6 Ian A Murdock (founder)

1995 --- 40 26 Bruce Perens (dpl)
1996 --- 225 76 Bruce Perens
1997 --- 592 93 Bruce Perens

1998 --- 942 104 Kent West

1999 --- 782 56 Pollywog

2000 --- 1099 199 kmself
new york times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/19/business/yourmoney/barbarians-at-the-digital-gate.html

2001 --- 2273 524 Karsten M. Self (kmself)
2002 --- 2839 1443 Colin Watson (dev since 2001)
https://raphaelhertzog.com/2010/11/25/people-behind-debian-colin-watson/

2003 --- 2929 2061 Paul Johnson
2004 --- 3009 1310 Paul Johnson
("proud debian admin and user" -- from sig)

2005 --- 2409 568 Roberto C. Sanchez (dev, apt expertise)

2006 --- 1876 679 Andrew Sackville-West (debian dev? sw engineer)

2007 --- 1418 1115 Ron Johnson
2008 --- 1222 1168 Ron Johnson

2009 --- 921 417 Boyd Stephen Smith Jr.
https://symcbean.blogspot.com/2014/03/warning-bbwc-may-be-bad-for-your-health.html

2010 --- 536 582 Camaleón
2011 --- 990 2081 Camaleón
2012 --- 1000 2500 Camaleón

2013 --- 899 1297 Ralf Mardorf (ubuntu wiki editor)

2014 --- 832 936 Brian

2015 --- 810 1018 Lisi Reisz (computer consultant)
2016 --- 695 827 Lisi Reisz

2017 --- 702 530 tomas

2018 --- 264 237 David Wright

Even if the above mailing list became completely unused, that would still not say very much, except perhaps something about mailing lists in general. Yahoo is currently shutting down a huge, decades-long archive. That’s just what happens over time. GNU/Linux is slowly but surely adapting. Long live Debian and distros based on Debian.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:56 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

Samsung Does Not Say Why It’s Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 1:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux infestations are being uncovered in many of our large accounts as part of the escalation engagements.”

Microsoft Confidential

Summary: It’s not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform

OVER the weekend (weird timing) we saw many articles [1-15] about a promising project/product being canned without a single reason given.

We do not and cannot pretend to know what happened. We can, however, remind readers what happened when ASUS in Taiwan put GNU/Linux as the default operating system on millions of small and affordable laptops because we wrote a lot about it at the time (one decade ago):

Also pay close(r) attention to Microsoft's reaction to Huawei preinstalling GNU/Linux. Historically, those who believed Microsoft’s claims of “love” were severely harmed at the end. “I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows,” Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée said. “You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.” Ray Noorda, Novell’s founder, said of Gates and Ballmer: “One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave.” ESR said that “when Microsoft brings you flowers, they’re likely to end up decorating your grave one way or another.”

“Let’s see if South Korea’s government will move to GNU/Linux as planned.”Pay careful attention to what https://www.linux.com/news/ (yes, linux dot com slash news) now redirects to. Yes, redirects! It’s all Windows. Mission accomplished? Is the Linux Foundation a Windows company after Microsoft started paying it?

Let’s see if South Korea's government will move to GNU/Linux as planned. Even under Nadella's so-called 'leadership' the company keeps attacking GNU/Linux behind closed doors, using likely illegal tactics and knowing that governments no longer enforce the law against Microsoft. Too busy focusing on "GAFA", owing to Microsoft’s lobbying and black PR campaigns…

Need we remind readers that Microsoft already used patent extortion (and an actual lawsuit) against Samsung to compel Samsung to preinstall Microsoft ‘apps’ on Android phones? That’s leverage. Will Samsung soon announce that it’s selling Windows/Microsoft phones with Android? Not just a ‘Microsoft edition’ of Samsung phones (sold at Microsoft’s site)? We covered all this before.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Samsung discontinues ‘Linux on DeX’ program, removing support w/ Android 10

    Late last year, Samsung and Canonical partnered on an app that allowed select Galaxy phones to run a full Linux desktop on top of Android. Less than a year later, Samsung has announced that they’re discontinuing the Linux on DeX program, coinciding with the update to Android 10.

    One of the sci-fi-style dreams that many of us have had since the onset of smartphones is the idea of plugging your phone into a desktop-size monitor to get a desktop-style experience. Through the years, many have attempted it in earnest, and the latest offering from Samsung brought an interesting approach.

  2. Samsung Calls It Quits on the ‘Linux on DeX’ Project

    Samsung DeX, if you have heard of it, allows the users to turn their Galaxy phones into desktop PCs simply by connecting a monitor and other peripherals. The company made DeX more welcoming and useful for Galaxy flagship users by partnering with Canonical earlier last year. It made it possible for users to run a full Linux desktop instance on its DeX-supported flagship phones.

    This was an amazing feature for developers and users who didn’t really like carrying a laptop with them. They could rely on their Galaxy flagship (including the Galaxy S and Note-series) for a desktop-like experience, running Ubuntu on the move. However, the response to Linux on DeX seems to have been lackluster and Samsung has decided to shutter this project.

  3. Samsung is discontinuing Linux support on Dex

    Samsung goes on to explain that starting with its Android 10 beta ROMS, already rolling out on certain devices, Linux support will be removed from Dex altogether. This does make us wonder if, perhaps, the third-party OS emulation setup Samsung was employing to get Linux to work in the first place somehow breaks certain rules or security policies Google implemented with the latest Android version.

    Regardless of whether or not this is the case, if you are currently using Linux on Dex, you definitely want to start keeping regular backups of your data. Since, given current developments even staying on Android 9 and not updating your phone’s Android OS still might not be a sure-fire way to keep the feature running.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Samsung’s Kills Off Its Ace ‘Linux on DeX’ Project

    The nifty bit of tech, which went by the name ‘Linux on Galaxy’ during its formation, enabled owners of certain Samsung devices to run a fully functional version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as an ‘app’.

    The idea was that users would put their Samsung smartphone or phablet in the DeX dock accessory to connect to external monitor, mouse and keyboard and use their device like a traditional desktop PC.

    And while the tech never left beta, it worked well enough for many.

  9. Samsung ends Linux on DeX project eleven months after its inception

    Samsung has created Linux on DeX to leverage the capabilities and capabilities of its high-end smartphones. Linux on DeX was the pinnacle of this ambition, but will now be discontinued with Android 10.

    Information is being shared by Samsung itself with developers. Will this feature of Samsung smartphones continue to make sense in the future?

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Samsung Discontinues DeX Linux Program, Dropping It Altogether In Android 10

    Back in 2017, Samsung introduced DeX as a feature of its then flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ that allowed users to extend the functionality of their devices to connected displays by placing them on special dock stations.

    Short for “desktop experience”, DeX mostly delivered on that premise, expanding on a vision that others, like Microsoft and its Continuum software, had already introduced the world to.

    Today, DeX still exists, with expanded support for newer devices and even more features (users could use their devices as touch pads, for example).

  13. By confirming the demise of Linux on DeX, did Samsung confirm Android 10 for Tab S4 and Note 9?

    When the Beta was released in November last year, there were 2 devices on the program: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4. It’s possible that they’re targeting newer devices that were added to the program. Specifically the S10 range and S5e tablet which were able to join the Beta at a later time.

    As part of entry to the program you register your device, so Samsung know exactly what device I’m using for the program when they sent that email.

    One thing is pretty clear though – Samsung’s at least talking about Android 10 for the Tab S4 and that’s pretty cool.

  14. Samsung discontinues its Linux on DeX beta

    Samsung DeX was introduced with the Galaxy S8 series as a facility that expands the UI of those phones and its successors into a desktop environment. It may prove worthwhile for many users, particularly as it no longer depends on separate-purchase accessories such as the DeX Pad. Samsung had also offered the opportunity to run Linux through this connection. However, it is now abandoning the beta in question.

    This DeX function existed as a beta and enabled the user to run a certain modification of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for ARM64. It was mainly directed at developers, who may have been able to build Android apps using their premium Galaxy smartphones and a monitor. It is compatible with Android 9.0 (Pie); however, that seems to be as far as it will go.

    Samsung has reportedly suspended the Linux on DeX beta. This is apparently connected to the migration to One UI 2.0, the OEM’s official skin for Android 10. The beta will be incompatible with this ROM; furthermore, the Korean company has allegedly stated that rolling back to One UI 1.0 (based on Pie) will not be possible on Galaxy devices.

  15. Samsung discontinues Linux on DeX with Android 10 rollout

    Samsung has ended its Linux on DeX beta program despite not yet launching a stable version of the Android alternative, bringing the Linux project that would have provided users with another software option to a close.

    In an email sent to testers, the South Korean tech giant said it would no longer provide support for the program for future operating systems and devices.

    This means there will be no further updates to the app or the current version of Ubuntu being used.

    The announcement coincides with the rollouts of Android 10 and the new updated OS from Google, which do not provide Linux on DeX support.

    “We would like to thank users for their support and interest in the Linux on DeX (LoD) beta program,” the company said in a statement to ZDNet.

    “We have decided to close the beta program which will end support for LoD on Android 10. Samsung is committed to offering innovative mobile experience and will continue to explore better mobile productivity.”

EPO: It’s Only Getting Worse

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 12:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Inhaling Seagull’ meme

Alain Pompidou, Alison Brimelow, Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos

Summary: Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents

It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Such protests and the general uproar are motivated by the need to protect the law. Examiners wish to restore lawfulness and the law is on their side.

UK protest and uproar

2008 EPO protest:


Summary: Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is as bad as ever. The examiners are generally good people, but their managers ruin their lives with unrealistic expectations and guidelines that breach the law. A decade ago we spoke about software patents in Europe, not quite foreseeing the impact of Battistelli becoming President a year later. Things have gone downhill from there (not that things were rosy beforehand, but we generally felt rather sympathetic towards Brimelow and provided constructive criticism).

“Just because the EPO decided to formally grant some European Patent doesn’t instantaneously mean that this patent is legitimate.”Just like 35 U.S.C. § 101 (and 102 along with 103) in the US, here in Europe we have laws that limit patent scope as well as deal with prior art and obviousness. Just because the EPO decided to formally grant some European Patent doesn’t instantaneously mean that this patent is legitimate. Many are not. We sometimes call these patents “fake patents” or Invalid Patents (IPs) — a term first recommended to me by the FSF's acting/interim President, Alex Oliva.

Here’s a brand new examples where a €25,000,000 ruling gets ‘wiped’ or removed off the map after the European Patent is deemed invalid. In EPLAW’s own words: (last week)

On 12 September 2019, the cour d’appel de Lyon (court of appeal) overturned a judgment handed down on 8 September 2016 by the tribunal de grande instance de Lyon (court of first instance) which found Chavanoz’s patent EP 0 900 294 valid and infringed by Mermet.

IP Kat‘s Kan He has just taken a note of it, adding:

In the EPlaw Patent blog, Pierre Véron reports on the appeal decision in the Mermet v. Chavanoz industrie case in France. The first instance court had awarded the plaintiff the largest ever amount in Europe for damages in a patent infringement case (€25,000,000). The court of appeal overturned this decision on the ground that the patent is invalid due to lack of novelty – Chavanoz had sold the patented product before the priority date of the patent.

This is the kind of mess patent applicants will increasingly have to deal with; defendants too. They spend a fortune in courts only to eventually realise they spent ages arguing over patents which were bunk, invalid, bogus, worthless…

We wholeheartedly support EPO examiners who stand up for (or guard) the EPC. They want patent quality back and they want to do their job according to the law, not according to lawless management.

We’ve been hearing for a while about the tipping point and now it’s official. There’s also a formal letter:

Dear colleagues,

Last week, EPO staff in Munich gathered in a General Assembly against the 17 financial measures proposed by Mr Campinos and has u nanimously adopted (ca. 700 attendees) a resolution which has now been transmitted to him and to the delegates of the Administrative Council.

SUEPO is convinced that the proposed reforms will be unfavourable for the EPO. They will further demotivate staff that is already suffering from an excessive work pressure combined with a lack of recognition of the efforts made. The punitive measures are likely to lead to an exodus. We have already seen a significant lowering of the average retirement age as older staff heads for the most obvious exit, but also younger staff is likely to leave when faced with considerably reduced benefits and a total lack of career perspectives. At the same time the EPO’s ability to hire new employees “of the highest standard of ability” (Art. 5 ServRegs) will suffer. Patent quality will suffer as a consequence. Mr Battistelli did a lot of damage to the EPO. Will Mr Campinos finish the job?

On 23 and 24 October the EPO Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) will meet. During that meeting Mr Campinos will present this new attack on staff as “necessary adjustments”.
SUEPO invites staff to show Mr Campinos and the BFC its opinion on the finance report and on the reforms. Next demonstration: Wednesday 23 October 2019

SUEPO Munich

Campinos is just another Battistelli. He might even be worse. There was almost a strike just under a year after he had joined. Battistelli lasted much longer before strikes. We made this observation about half a dozen times before, namely that staff grows tired of Campinos a lot faster than it got tired of Battistelli. Here are some older articles of interest:

RIP Kat added the following letter regarding “Battistelli’s inheritance”. Here it is with some highlights added:

Mr Battistelli’s inheritance

In his final publication “Modernising the EPO for excellence and sustainability (https://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2018/20180611.html)” Mr Battistelli bragged that: “Thanks to an ambitious series of reforms, the EPO of today is a vastly different organisation … We are more competitive, more efficient, more financially secure and ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.”

According to the above publication, during Mr Battistelli’s tenure examiner production increased by 36% and the number of grants increased by 82% (!). In the same period the operating surplus of the EPO increased to about 470 million Euro/year, i.e. almost 25% of the EPO’s annual operating budget. These results were obtained thanks to the efforts of staff. For this staff was “rewarded” with reforms that have led to a considerable loss of rights, including the loss of permanent appointment for new staff, and a reduction of various benefits, in particular a significant reduction in career progression. The single-minded focus of Mr Battistelli on efficiency led to a generally recognised loss of quality in the patents granted (https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/legal-commentary/open-letter-suggests-epo-patent-quality-problem/). His extremely harsh social practices devastated staff morale (http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2018/06/21/tarnished-legacy-epo-president/). When Mr Campinos took over as the next President he announced that quality and dialog with staff were among his priorities.

Déjà vu all over again

The communication style of Mr Campinos is certainly softer than that of Mr Battistelli. He has shown himself ready to talk with and listen to ordinary staff. But he did not distance himself from, or change anything to, Mr Battistelli’s reforms. And now staff is again confronted with the message that the EPO is in dire straits, requiring another massive (23-32%) increase in productivity in DG1 and unprecedented financial sacrifices of staff as a whole. How is that possible?

Mr Campinos has tried to explain the need for further increases in productivity and for his punitive reforms with yet another financial study (https://www.epo.org/modules/epoweb/acdocument/epoweb2/377/en/CA-46-19_en.pdf). The financial study is a hoax. As we have pointed out before, it is based on totally unrealistic assumptions, among which a 20-year complete freeze infee income while costs continue to rise. When we pointed at the many inconsistencies the reaction of Mr Campinos was “I don’t care, I will go ahead anyway.” This is typical for the “social dialog” that we experience at the moment. Mr Campinos is happy to talk with the staff representation, but that will not change anything.

What next?

SUEPO is convinced that, if anything, the proposed reforms will be unfavourable for the EPO. The announced measure will further demotivate staff that is already suffering from an excessive work pressure combined with a lack of recognition of the efforts made. The punitive measures are likely to lead to an exodus. We have already seen a significant lowering of the average retirement age as older staff heads for the most obvious exit, but also younger staff is likely to leave when faced with considerably reduced benefits and a total lack of career perspectives. At the same time the EPO’s ability to hire new employees “of the highest standard of ability” (Art. 5 ServRegs) will suffer. Patent quality will suffer as a consequence. Mr Battistelli did a lot of damage to the EPO. Will Mr Campinos finish the job?

The next demonstration

On 23 and 24 October the EPO Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) will meet. During that meeting Mr Campinos will present this new attack on staff as “necessary adjustments”.
SUEPO invites staff to show Mr Campinos and the BFC its opinion on the finance report and on the reforms.

Please note the date:

Next demonstration: Wednesday 23 October 2019

We’ll try to cover that as best we can, maybe with photographs included (with faces obscured, as usual). The world needs to understand what’s going on at the EPO because European pundits ignore it and intentional media certainly isn’t covering any of that. That’s intentional. We know that because when we contact publishers/journalists the reaction is self-explanatory. They’re very much complicit and some of them receive money from the EPO (surely a misuse of EPO budget that contributes to corruption of the media). EPO workers don’t protest because they’re “greedy” but because they value the law. It’s not about money.

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