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11.07.19

Links 8/11/2019: Rust 1.39.0 and KDE Applications 19.08.3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Stunning Desktop Linux OS Deepin v20 Has A Release Date

        Minutes ago I wrapped up an interview with Wuhan Deepin Technology CTO Raphael Zhang and Deepin Development Manager Hualet Wang, and their answers were full of surprises and welcome news. Before I publish the full interview, I wanted to reserve this space for a cool announcement: Deepin v20 is heading into beta status mid-December and is expected to officially launch January 2020.

        Deepin is both a desktop Linux distribution and standalone desktop environment, but the former has been making serious waves lately. Beginning with its recent Huawei partnership, which sees the Chinese device manufacturer shipping various MateBook laptops in China with Deepin preinstalled.

      • System76 Darter Pro (darp6) first looks

        I received my new Darter Pro (darp6) yesterday as my new ‘work’ laptop.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Quarkus: Modernize “helloworld” JBoss EAP quickstart, Part 1

          Quarkus is, in its own words, “Supersonic subatomic Java” and a “Kubernetes native Java stack tailored for GraalVM & OpenJDK HotSpot, crafted from the best of breed Java libraries and standards.” Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) quickstarts are a good starting point for understanding how to modernize brownfield Java EE 8 applications that run on JBoss EAP.

          It’s important to note that both Quarkus and JBoss EAP rely on providing developers with tools based—as much as possible—on standards. If your application is not already running on JBoss EAP, there’s no problem. You can migrate it from your current application server to JBoss EAP using the Red Hat Application Migration Toolkit. After that, the final and working modernized version of the code is available in the https://github.com/mrizzi/jboss-eap-quickstarts/tree/quarkus repository inside the helloworld module.

        • ‘Biggest piece is culture:’ Stop chasing technology, start changing your agency
        • ‘Biggest piece is culture:’ Stop chasing technology, start changing your agency

          Technology is changing rapidly, from centralized to distributed, from waterfall to agile, from Unix to Linux. And many times, federal agencies are finding themselves struggling to keep up and implement the solutions that improve their workflows and offer their customers the best experience.

          “Balancing modernization and innovation is the difficult part,” said David Cohn, Cloud Native SME at Red Hat. “Existing stuff, you need to update it. You need to be faster. How do you bridge it all together? That’s the glue, this agile integration.”

          Federal agencies often cite a lot of unique obstacles to modernization: strict budgetary constraints, unique mission requirements, bureaucratic red tape, the need to protect classified or otherwise sensitive data. They also tend to be more risk averse than private industry.

        • How automation can boost your security compliance

          Maybe you implement a CI system for an application using Jenkins or for the infrastructure using Ansible. That might take a few days on a single project. Then you might add a stage to your CI pipeline to do things such as static code analysis.

          As you automate each step of your CI pipeline, you should also automate the creation of compliance audit documentation as well, in each step. You will become more efficient and knowledgeable with the successful implementation of each of these steps, paving the way to expand automation further and further.

        • Migrating your applications to Openshift 4

          If you’re looking for a path to upgrade your Red Hat OpenShift 3.7+ cluster to OpenShift 4.2, you’re in luck. The Cluster Application Migration tool (CAM) was built to migrate stateful and stateless applications from a source cluster to a destination cluster.

          The initial intent of this tool is to address the OCP 3.7+ to OCP 4.2+ upgrade scenarios. That said, as requested by many Openshift users, it will also be possible to use this tool to migrate applications between OCP4 clusters.

          This tool is based on two popular open source projects: Velero and Restic.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • ZFS Isn’t the Only Option | Self-Hosted 5

        Getting your storage setup just right often takes making painful mistakes first. We share ours, our current storage setups, when ZFS is not the tool for the job, and what you should consider when protecting your data.

      • 2019-11-07 | Linux Headlines

        Google joins forces to better protect Android from malware, Yubico announces its first security key with a fingerprint reader, Microsoft starts shipping HoloLens 2, and Google takes Cardboard VR open source.

      • OSI Burrito Guy | BSD Now 323

        The earliest Unix code, how to replace fail2ban with blacklistd, OpenBSD crossed 400k commits, how to install Bolt CMS on FreeBSD, optimized hammer2, appeasing the OSI 7-layer burrito guys, and more.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E31 – Ikari Warriors

        This week we’ve been moonlighting on all the podcasts and live streaming to share Ubuntu bug reporting skills. We discuss Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 4, Debian’s new homepage, elementary updates and Fedora 31. We also round up some events and our picks from the tech news.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 31 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

        Knowing what is happening on the network they manage is essential to most network administrators. This is why network monitoring tools were created. They let managers keep a watchful eye on the network while also providing much-needed assistance when troubleshooting issues. And with the ever-growing popularity of Linux in the data center, we thought we’d have a look a some of the very best Linux network monitoring tools.

        As we often do, we’ll begin by defining network monitoring. We’ll explain what it is and what benefits it can bring. We’ll follow-up by introducing the Simple Network Management Protocol. After all, it is the underlying technology used by most network monitoring tools. We’ll also explain in some detail how SNMP is used to calculate network bandwidth usage while keeping our explanation as non-technical as possible. Next, we’ll briefly talk about Linux and talk about the advantages of using it as a network monitoring platform. This will bring us to the core of our discussion the actual Linux network monitoring tools. We’ll review a handful of the best tools we could find that will run on Linux.

      • Rewriting large parts of Beast and Bse

        Last Tuesday Beast 0.15.0 was released. This is most probably the last release that supports the Gtk+ Beast UI. We have most of the bits and pieces together to move towards the new EBeast UI and a new synthesis core in the upcoming months and will get rid of a lot of legacy code along the way.

        For a bit of background, we started the migration to C++ some 10+ years ago, but really moving the code away from a GObject and GParamSpec type system and a GValue based IPC system proved to take much longer than originally anticipated. In addition, the Beast synthesis facilities (many of which were introduced ca 20 years ago) are far from state of the art by modern standards. In particular the way synthesis modules have to be manually connected and how basic synthesis devices still have to be created from scratch with Mono voice modules feels very inefficient.

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Edge Coming to Linux

          For the longest time, any Linux user needing to work with a Microsoft browser had few options. There was always IEs4Linux, but that option tended to install out-of-date, buggy versions of the software. Users could also run a version of Windows within a virtual machine, but that meant actually running Windows.

        • Microsoft Edge For Linux “Confirmed” By Microsoft

          icrosoft has now officially confirmed that its revamped Chromium-based Edge browser will be arriving on Linux machines in the coming future. The confirmation was made during the State of Browser: Microsoft Edge session at the Ignite conference in Orlando.

        • SPanel Review – a Great cPanel Alternative by Scala Hosting

          All in all, it’s a great control panel for first-time users and it’s a great alternative to cPanel. Considering that the panel itself is free and pricing at Scala Hosting and VIVACOM is pretty cheap, you’ll save big if you migrate.

          You should all at least try it out. It’s pretty cheap, cloud servers at Scala Hosting start at $12 per month. If you use a coupon you can get it down to below $10.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The OGRE Open-Source 3D Graphics Engine Is Working On Vulkan Support

        The OGRE open-source 3D graphics engine that is used by many games as well as different simulation / educational / interactive / visualization software is working on enabling Vulkan API support.

        OGRE supports a wide range of platforms from Linux to Windows and all major mobile platforms as well as EmScripten-enabled web browsers while the newest work for broadening the 3D high-performance graphics support is to enable use of the high performance, cross-platform Vulkan graphics API.

      • OVERKILL begin updating PAYDAY 2 again with a patch and new DLCs out now

        PAYDAY 2 development is officially back on and OVERKILL have today released an update with some free content, plus new DLC.

        This latest update brings some more customization options into the game, with a new Outfits system. In the Armour menu, there’s now a new tab where you can change your clothes. They also threw in a few for everyone including: Tactical BDU, Raincoat, Scrubs, Winter Camo Parka, Tuxedo and a Murkywater Uniform.

      • Alwa’s Legacy the successor to Alwa’s Awakening announced with a Kickstarter campaign

        Alwa’s Awakening was released back in 2017 to some rather good reviews, so Elden Pixels are back with the successor Alwa’s Legacy.

        Much like the first game, it’s a 2D action adventure. This time though, it’s slightly less retro looking with much improved visuals. Still pixel art but they’re combining this with plenty of modern effects. In Alwa’s Legacy, there’s no exact path you have to follow as it’s a non-linear adventure, one that they say rewards your exploration. Just like their first game, Alwa’s Legacy will also support Linux with a release planned on both Steam and GOG.

      • City-building builder Kingdoms and Castles expands again with new buildings and resources

        As the small team behind the excellent city-builder Kingdoms and Castles work towards adding in rival AI, they’ve released another meaty update.

        In this update they’ve introduced a Fish resource to give you a chance at getting more food, along with a Fishing Hut and Fishmonger so you have a full production chain. Apples are now their own unique resource, instead of magically turning into grain when stored in the Granary so they added the Produce Storage building to keep them fresh. Your peasants also now need to eat Apples on top of other food types to get max health.

      • AMD Details 3rd Gen Threadripper, Ryzen 9 3950X + Their New $49 USD CPU

        Pardon this brief article today as somewhat on paternity leave this week, but for the 25 November launch day will be all the interesting Linux-isms to talk about compatibility and performance. Being detailed today is the Ryzen 9 3950X, the first of the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors, and even a new budget Athlon desktop processor.

      • AMD announce their third-gen Threadripper processors and a 16 core flagship Ryzen 9

        Today, AMD announced when you will be able to get your hands on their third-generation Threadripper processors if you’re after a crazy amount of cores. On top of a new 16 core flagship Ryzen 9.

        First up, we have the third-generation Threadripper on the also new sTRX4 socket if you’ve got plenty of cash and you want a serious upgrade. AMD said that while the pin count is the same as the previous generation Threadripper, “the mapping of those pins to voltage or data will be different this time ’round” so you cannot use a third-gen Threadripper in an older socket or a previous generation in the new sTRX4 socket.

      • Christopher Allan Webber: Terminal Phase: building a space shooter that runs in your terminal

        Well it’s most of one, anyway. It’s a prototype that I built as a test program for Spritely Goblins.

        I’ve satisfied the technical needs I had in building the program; I might still finish it as a game, and it’s close enough where making a satisfying game rather than just a short demo is super feasible, but I’ve decided to see whether or not there’s actually enough interest in that at all by leaving that as a milestone on my Patreon. (We’re actually getting quite close to meeting it… would be cool if it happened!)

        But what am I, a person who is mostly known for work on a federated social web protocol, doing making a game demo, especially for a singleplayer game? Was it just for fun? It turns out it has more to do with my long term plans for the federated social web than it may appear.

        And while it would be cool to get something out there that I would be proud of for its entertainment value, in the meanwhile the most interesting aspects of this demo to me are actually the technical ones. I thought I’d walk through what those are in this post, because in a sense it’s a preview of some of the stuff ahead in Spritely. (Now that I’ve written most of this post, I have to add the forewarning that this blogpost wanders a lot, but I hope all the paths it goes down are sufficiently interesting.)

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Alexandre Franke: Journées Du Logiciel Libre in Lyon

          Seven months ago I had the chance to attend JDLL, a really nice French speaking FLOSS conference that occurs every year since 1998 in Lyon. It was my fifth attendance (I went in 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2016) so I already knew what to expect, but it grew a fair bit since my first one. Back then it was only two talk tracks, one workshop track and a dozen of booth, now they are at five tracks, one or two workshops at the same time depending on the time of the day, and a sports hall full of booths.

          Speaking of booths, given the strong GNOME contributor presence in Lyon we have had a table there for a long time. Bastien took care of coordinating, registered for us and arranged for the event box to be shipped. We were four volunteers and took turns sitting behind the table and answering questions from visitors. The audience is quite different from most FLOSS conferences and many barely know what Linux is, so the most common question was what GNOME was.

          Another difference from the usual conference is that there is a strong connection to other ethical concerns that are dear to the heart of many FLOSS enthusiasts. Not too far from ours was a booth for a worker union (targeted at people working in the software industry). Vegetarian friendly food was available. Some of the articles for sale here and there were pay what you want. The main theme for that edition (visible in some of the talks) was sustainable development.

          I spent most of Saturday behind the booth and it was not too busy. In contrast Sunday was a packed day. The venue was opening at 10:30. We showed up, set up, and not too long after that it was already noon and time to have lunch. Adrien and I held a newcomer workshop at 13:00. We had three attendees and while we were not able to get them to the point of running an app they built themselves because of network issues, we managed to give them an extensive tour of the workflow, Builder and Gitlab. Hopefully they had everything they needed to get started by the end of the hour.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Void Linux Alpha Image Available

          Project Trident is pleased to announce a new Alpha-quality image of the new version based on Void Linux is now available on the download page.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • GhostBSD 19.09 – Based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE and Using MATE Desktop 1.22

          GhostBSD 19.09 is the latest release of GhostBSD. This release based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE while also pulling in TrueOS packages, GhostBSD 19.09 also has an updated OpenRC init system, a lot of unnecessary software was removed, AMDGPU and Radeon KMS is now valid xconfig options and a variety of other improvements and fixes.

          GhostBSD 19.09 continues using the MATE desktop 1.22 by default, but also providing a community Xfce desktop image. GhostBSD 19.09 switches to LightDM as its display/log-in manager, supports ZFS now when using the MBR mode in the installer, drops gksu, and has a number of bug fixes especially to its installer among other packages.

        • KDE NEON 20191031 overview | The latest and greatest of KDE community.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of KDE NEON 20191031 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Fedora Family

        • Bodhi 5.0.0 released
        • Tuning your bash or zsh shell on Fedora Workstation and Silverblue

          This article shows you how to set up some powerful tools in your command line interpreter (CLI) shell on Fedora. If you use bash (the default) or zsh, Fedora lets you easily setup these tools.

        • Accommodating Flock in the release schedule

          Jiří Konečný posted a request on the devel list a few weeks ago—he wanted to require a successful compose before the release is branched from Rawhide. As often happens, it’s not as simple as it seems on the surface, and the discussion eventually came around to not branching right after Flock.

          This, too, isn’t as simple as it might seem. Changing one milestone in the schedule has impacts on the remaining milestones. We can make changes, of course, but we want to make sure we’re aware of the potential side effects. After discussing this with Mohan Boddu of the release engineering team, I have a few possible alternatives.

      • Debian Family

        • Shirish Agarwal: A tale of unfortunate coincidences and incidents

          I went back to the vendor with my old stock SMPS and it worked but found that grub2 menu was missing. It was just plain booting to windows 10. I started a thread at debian-user trying to figure out if there was some issue at my end, maybe some grub variable had got lost or something but the responses seemed to suggest that something else had happened. I also read through some of the UEFI documentation on wikipedia and web, I didn’t go to much depth as that would have been distracting as the specification itself is evolving and is subject to change. I did find some interesting bits and pieces but that is for a later date perhaps. One of the things I remembered from my previous run-ins with grub2 issues is that supergrub2 had been immensely useful. Sadly though, the version which I tried as stable was dumping me to grub rescue instead of the grub menu when I used the ISO image on a thumb drive. I could have tried to make a go for it but was too lazy. On an off-chance I looked at supergrub2 support and did find that somebody else also have had the same exact issue and it was reported. I chimed in and tried one of the beta versions and it worked which made me breathe easier. After getting into debian, I tried the old $ sudo update-grub which usually fixed the issues. I again tried to boot without using the help of the usb disk but failed as it again booted me into MS-Windows environment.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical partners with NVIDIA to accelerate enterprise AI adoption

          Canonical and NVIDIA say they have formed the new alliance in response to the challenge enterprises face in adopting and integrating AI and ML into their operations effectively, at scale and with minimum complexity.

          Given how AI workloads have become increasingly advanced and the compute power required to support them has exponentially increased, the companies are now offering Ubuntu 18.04 LTS certified on the NVIDIA DGX-2 AI system. The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS update with NVIDIA DGX-2 AI system certification will enable containerised and cloud-native development of GPU-accelerated workloads…

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Starter Pack Applications

          This is my Ubuntu 19.10 recommendation list of useful applications for beginner users. With this list, you will know many programs for different purposes, for example Kdenlive for video editing and TuxMath for kids learning math. I present you here 10 different categories from Multimedia to Programming with at least 3 applications each. I mention preinstalled applications with star (*) sign on its names in case some of you still don’t know them. In the end, I present ways for you to install all of them either by automatic way or manual. I hope this will be useful for everybody. Enjoy Eoan Ermine!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenIndiana Hipster 2019.10 is here

        We have released a new OpenIndiana Hipster snapshot 2019.10. The noticeable changes:

        IPS was switched to Python 3 and updated to August 2019 OmniOS CE version.
        More OI-specific applications have been ported from Python 2.7 to Python 3.5
        DDU binary blobs were rewritten, driver database was update
        A lot of packages were updated.

      • OpenIndiana Hipster 2019.10 Released For Advancing Open-Source Solaris

        OpenIndiana Hipster 2019.10 is the new operating system release out today and it switches the IPS packaging system to Python 3 and updated against what’s found in OmniOS CE 2019.08. Additionally, more OpenIndiana specific software has migrated from Python 2.7 to Python 3.5.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome OS 78 rolling out: Split browser/device settings, YouTube for Android PiP, more

            Chrome is getting another cross-device sharing feature after “Send this page” widely rolled in September. With “click-to-call,” you can right-click on phone number links — like tel:800-800-8000 — to have them sent to your Android device. It’s quicker than manually entering those digits or transferring via email.

            Chrome OS 78 will separate browser and device settings. The former is accessible directly at chrome://settings and what opens when clicking “Settings” at the bottom of the Overflow menu in the top-right corner of any browser window. It opens as a tab and provides web-related preferences. Meanwhile, chrome://os-settings opens as its own window, and can be accessed from the quick settings sheet. It provides device options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Assistant in a white Material Theme UI with an icon in the launcher/app shelf.

          • Chrome OS 78 Rolling Out With Picture-In-Picture Support For YouTube, Split Browser/Device Settings, More

            The latest version of Chrome OS, version 78, adds separate browser and device settings, click-to-call, and picture-in-picture support for YouTube. It also introduces virtual desktop support for the operating system with a feature called Virtual Desks.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of the TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification

          The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification. At the end of the process, ODF Version 1.3 will be submitted to ISO to become a standard. The final approval is expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

          Editing of ODF Version 1.3 Committee Draft has been sponsored by the Community of ODF Specification Maintainers (COSM), a project launched by The Document Foundation in 2017 with the donation of a seed of euro 10,000 to get the COSM project started, plus up to euro 20,000 to match each euro donated by other stakeholders.

          So far, the COSM project has been backed by Microsoft, Collabora, the UK Government Digital Services, CIB, the European Commission’s StandICT project and Open-Xchange. The money has been used to pay an editor to finalize the ODF 1.3 specification and manage it through the OASIS review and ratification process.

          Major new features of ODF 1.3 are digital signature and OpenPGP-based XML encryption of documents, plus several improvements to features already available in ODF 1.2 like new polynomial and moving average regression types for charts, a new specification for number of decimal digits in number formatting, a special header/footer style for first page of documents, contextual spacing for paragraphs, additional type argument values for the WEEKDAY function, and the new text master template document type. Most of these new features have been contributed by developers at CIB, Collabora, Microsoft and The Document Foundation.

        • [LibreOffice] QA Report: October 2019
      • Container

        • Red Hat Advances Java on Kubernetes Project

          Red Hat today achieved a 1.0 milestone in its efforts to make an instance of Java available for Kubernetes via the open source Quarkus project.

          Mark Little, vice president of engineering for Red Hat, says Quarkus 1.0 advances an effort to create a more efficient means for building and deploying Java applications on Kubernetes by reducing the size of the Java virtual machine (JVM). The JVM used today assumed that the JVM would include the code required to write once and deploy anywhere. However, in a container environment, portability issues are addressed by Docker containers and Kubernetes. That creates an opportunity to shrink the JVM in a way that will make Java applications running on Kubernetes run faster, notes Little.

        • Kinvolk Announces Commercial Support and Update Service for Flatcar Container Linux

          Kinvolk, the Kubernetes Linux experts, today announced the general availability of the Kinvolk Flatcar Container Linux Subscription, delivering the industry’s first and only commercially-supported, seamless in-place upgrade path for CoreOS Container Linux users. Included in the subscription is a new managed update service that enables fine-grain control and visibility of Flatcar Container Linux deployments at any scale.

        • Diamanti Raises $35 Million

          Kubernetes infrastructure company Diamanti has closed $35 million in Series C funding. Led by ClearSky, the funding round saw participation by current investors CRV, DFJ, Goldman Sachs, GSR Ventures, and Northgate Capital.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • LibrePlanet returns in 2020 to Free the Future! March 14-15, Boston area

          LibrePlanet provides an opportunity for community activists, domain experts, and people seeking solutions for themselves to come together in order to discuss current issues in technology and ethics.

          “LibrePlanet attendees and speakers will be discussing the hot button issues we’ve all been reading about every day, and their connection to the free software movement. How do you fight Facebook? How do we make software-driven cars safe? How do we stop algorithms from making terrible, unreviewable decisions? How do we enjoy the convenience of mobile phones and digital home assistants without being constantly under surveillance? What is the future of digital currency? Can we have an Internet that facilitates respectful dialogue?” said FSF’s executive director, John Sullivan.

          The free software community has continuously demanded that users and developers be permitted to understand, study, and alter the software they use, offering hope and solutions for a free technological future. LibrePlanet speakers will display their unique combination of digital knowledge and educational skills in the two day conference, as well as give more insights into their ethical dedication to envision a future rich with free “as in freedom” software and without network services that mistreat their users. The FSF’s LibrePlanet 2020 edition is therefore aptly named “Free the Future.”

        • New RYF Web site: It’s now easier to support companies selling devices that Respect Your Freedom

          The Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification program helps to connect users with retailers who respect their rights. Retailers in the program sell devices that come with freedom inside, and promise to always ensure that their users are not directed to proprietary software at any point in the sale or ownership of the device. When we launched the program in 2010, we had no idea how quickly the program would grow.

          In 2012, when we announced the first certification, we hosted information about the program and retailers as a simple page on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Web site. With only one retailer selling one device, this was certainly satisfactory. As the program grew, we added each new device chronologically to that page, highlighting the newest certifications. We are now in a place where eight different retailers have gained nearly fifty certifications, including the recently announced Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. With so many devices available, across so many different device categories, it was getting more difficult for users to find what they were looking for in just a plain chronological list.

        • Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite Mainboard now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

          Thursday, November 7th, 2019 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

          While these are the first devices from Raptor Computing Systems to receive RYF certification, the FSF has supported their work since 2015, starting with the original Talos crowdfunding effort. Raptor Computing Systems has worked very hard to protect the rights of users.

          “From our very first products through our latest offerings, we have always placed a strong emphasis on returning control of computing to the owner of computing devices — not retaining it for the vendor or the vendor’s partners. We hope that with the addition of our modern, powerful, owner-controlled systems to the RYF family, we will help spur on industry adoption of a similar stance from the many silicon vendors required to support modern computing,” said Timothy Pearson, Chief Technology Officer, Raptor Computing Systems, LLC.

        • Free Software Foundation Certifies Talos II With Respecting Your Freedom

          The Free Software Foundation’s “Respect Your Freedom” program has tended to mostly endorse products like old motherboards re-flashed with Coreboot/Libreboot along with dated networking products and obscure products like USB microphones and USB to parallel printer port cables. But today comes the Free Software Foundation’s most prominent RYF endorsement.

        • GNU Binutils Adds Bits For AMD Zen 2′s RDPRU + MCOMMIT Instructions

          GNU Binutils with its “Gas” assembler has now added the rest of the instructions supported by the AMD Zen 2 microarchitecture that previously were unsupported by this piece of the GNU toolchain.

          RDPRU and MCOMMIT are the two instructions for Zen 2 added to Binutils by SUSE’s Jan Beulich. RDPRU has been covered multiple times on Phoronix and is for reading a processor register typically limited to privilege level zero. This allows for registers like MPERF/APERF to be easily read at user-level.

      • Programming/Development

        • Announcing Rust 1.39.0

          The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.39.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          [...]

          The highlights of Rust 1.39.0 include async/.await, shared references to by-move bindings in match guards, and attributes on function parameters. Also, see the detailed release notes for additional information.

        • Rust 1.39 Released With Async-Await Support, Attributes On Function Parameters

          Rust 1.39 is out today as the latest stable update for this popular programming language.

          Most prominent with Rust 1.39 is async-await support to allow functions to “pause” generally for I/O or other purposes and then to resume functionality.

        • Rust 1.39.0 released

          Version 1.39.0 of the Rust language is available. The biggest new feature appears to be the async/await mechanism, which is described in this blog post: “So, what is async await? Async-await is a way to write functions that can ‘pause’, return control to the runtime, and then pick up from where they left off. Typically those pauses are to wait for I/O, but there can be any number of uses.”

        • Async-await on stable Rust!

          On this coming Thursday, November 7, async-await syntax hits stable Rust, as part of the 1.39.0 release. This work has been a long time in development — the key ideas for zero-cost futures, for example, were first proposed by Aaron Turon and Alex Crichton in 2016! — and we are very proud of the end result. We believe that Async I/O is going to be an increasingly important part of Rust’s story.

          While this first release of “async-await” is a momentous event, it’s also only the beginning. The current support for async-await marks a kind of “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP). We expect to be polishing, improving, and extending it for some time.

          Already, in the time since async-await hit beta, we’ve made a lot of great progress, including making some key diagnostic improvements that help to make async-await errors far more approachable. To get involved in that work, check out the Async Foundations Working Group; if nothing else, you can help us by filing bugs about polish issues or by nominating those bugs that are bothering you the most, to help direct our efforts.

        • Support lifecycle for Clang/LLVM, Go, and Rust in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

          The Go and Rust languages continue to evolve and add new features with each compiler update, which is why so many users are interested in getting the latest versions of the compilers. At the same time, these compilers are designed to remain compatible with older code. So, even as we advance to newer versions of Go and Rust within the RHEL 8 application streams, you should not need to update your codebase to keep it compilable. Once you’ve compiled your valid code using the Go or Rust application stream, you can make the assumption that it will continue to compile with that stream for the full life of RHEL 8.

          We are excited to continue to bring you the latest and greatest in new compiler technologies. Stay tuned to the Red Hat Developer blog to learn more about what you can do with LLVM, Go, and Rust.

        • PHP version 7.2.25RC1 and 7.3.12RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.12RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.25RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 29 or remi-php72-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • “How to Give a Talk” and “Building Video Games for Fun with PyGame”
        • You can use a C++11 range for loop over a static array
        • NPM today stands for Now Pay Me: JavaScript packaging biz debuts conduit for funding open-source coders

          NPM Inc, maintainer of the widely used JavaScript package manager npm, has taken a step toward fulfilling a promise made in August to help open-source developers seek compensation for their labor.

          Despite its own solvency concerns, the biz on Tuesday deployed code changes that add a “funding” command to the latest version of the npm command-line tool, namely v6.13.0. Henceforth, developers creating packages for the JavaScript runtime environment Node.js can declare metadata that describes where would-be donors can go to offer financial support.

          Doing so involves adding a funding field to package.json, a file that lists various module settings and dependencies. The funding field should be a URL that points to an online funding service, like Patreon, or payment-accepting website.

        • Python overtakes Java to become second-most popular language on GitHub after JavaScript [Ed: Microsoft Tim pretends, as usual for Microsoft boosters, that everything in FOSS is to be judged by a proprietary software platform owned and controlled by Microsoft]
  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Cubbit NAS is an IoT datacenter-trojan for your home

        Cubbit is a network-attached storage (NAS) device with a built-in partially peer-to-peer-powered backup and redundancy plan. Each file you store on your Cubbit is also encrypted and stored on other Cubbit customer’s Cubbits.

        The Cubbit device itself is quite expensive, but there’s no monthly subscription fee past the initial investment. However, a closer inspection of Cubbit’s business model will make you say no, thank you!

        I’ll start by discussing some technical details about the core customer-facing product. Cubbit has made some assumptions about how their product will be used, which may become a problem in the future. I’ll then move on to talk about the business they want to operate out of your home.

        Each Cubbit comes with 2 TB of storage. However, only 1 TB is made available to the customer. 0,5 TB is reserved to serve as redundancy for other customers’ data. I’ll get back to their plans for the remaining 0,5 TB later.

      • Allwinner H6 VC200-OS Processor is a Cheaper Version Allwinner H6 SoC without PCIe, GbE, Camera…
    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Reproducible Builds in October 2019

        In our monthly reports we attempt outline the most important things that we have been up to recently. As a reminder on what our little project is all about, whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious changes most software is distributed to end users or servers as precompiled binaries. Reproducible builds tries to ensure that no changes have been made during these compilation processes by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (squid), Fedora (chromium, libssh2, and wpa_supplicant), openSUSE (chromium), Red Hat (ansible, chromium-browser, openstack-octavia, patch, qemu-kvm-rhev, sudo, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (sudo), SUSE (bluez, gdb, php72, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (cpio and rygel).

      • Russian IT Security Updates
      • Linux users warned to update libarchive to beat flaw [Ed: If users do not download malicious, dodgy files and then execute these, that might be fine. Same for macros in documents. It's not a major or critical issue.]

        The bug is identified as CVE-2019-18408, a high-priority ‘use-after-free’ bug when dealing with a failed archive.

        No real-world exploits have been detected but if one existed, it would attempt to use a malicious archive to induce a denial-of-service state or arbitrary code execution.

      • What it means to be a maintainer of Linux seccomp

        Recently I was named a libseccomp co-maintainer. As a brief background, the Linux kernel provides a mechanism – called SECure COMPuting mode or seccomp for short – to block a process or thread’s access to some syscalls. seccomp filters are written in a pseudo-assembly instruction set called Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF), but these filters can be difficult to write by hand and are challenging to maintain as updates are applied and syscalls are added. libseccomp is a low-level userspace library designed to simplify the creation of these seccomp BPF filters.

        [...]

        In August my co-maintainer, Paul Moore (Cisco), and I attended the Linux Security Summit (LSS) conference in San Diego. We presented a tutorial on the “Why and How of libseccomp”

        Paul opened up the 90-minute session with an entertaining retelling of the history of seccomp, libseccomp, and why it has evolved into its current form. I took over and presented the “how” portion of the presentation with a comparison of white- vs. blacklists, common pitfalls like string filters and parameter filtering.

        But the bulk of our tutorial was how to actually write a libseccomp filter, so with a tremendous amount of help from the audience, we wrote a filter by hand and debugged several troublesome issues. Full disclosure: I wanted to highlight some of the challenges when writing a filter, but as Murphy’s Law would have it, even more went awry than I expected. Hijinks didn’t ensue, but thankfully, I had an engaged and wonderful audience, and together we debugged the filter into existence. The live writing of code really did drive home some of the pitfalls as well as outline methods to overcome these challenges. Overall, things didn’t go exactly as I had envisioned, but I feel the talk was a success. Thanks again to our wonderful audience!

      • Telegram from HongKong – why privacy matters – Telegram aus HongKong – warum man die Daten von Bürgern schützen muss

        The EU data protection law GDRP is bugging a lot of companies costing millions and billions in changes to their systems.

        It is a first step but still too many EU citizens rely on privacy invasive services from Facebok(WhatsApp) and Google.

        Will we compute in the next 10 years on free hardware without spying chips?

        Will we compute on free software without spying backdoors?

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • ‘Vindication’ for Climate Activists as UK Court Rules London Ban on Extinction Rebellion Protests Unlawful

        “XR protesters have been raising the alarm about the climate crisis. We need to listen to that alarm, not outlaw it.”

      • Energy

        • The Never-Ending Curse of Coal

          Last week Murray Energy, one of the largest coal mining corporations in the nation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That makes it the fifth coal company to do so in the last year. While the owners made millions, they are bailing into bankruptcy and leaving behind massive environmental disasters, crushed communities and unfunded pension debts — all of which are now looking for taxpayer dollars to somehow remedy.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • As Fires Rage in World’s Largest Rainforest, NASA Warns ‘Human Activities Are Drying Out the Amazon’

          One scientist said that “if this continues, the forest may no longer be able to sustain itself,” which would seriously hamper efforts to limit global temperature rise and avert climate catastrophe.

        • Fungus Among Us: Researchers Map Lineages of Chytrid Fungus Affecting Sierra Nevada Frogs

          First identified in Australian frogs in the late ‘90s, this disease has since been detected on every continent besides Antarctica, spurred in part largely by human activities.

          Roland Knapp, a research biologist at UC Santa Barbara’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (S.N.A.R.L.) and Cherie Briggs, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, have collaborated with other researchers from numerous institutions to better understand the genetic lineage of the fungus responsible — batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd — and trace its migration across the globe.

          In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team detailed their methods for genotyping Bd DNA samples from skin swabs, as well as their discovery of BdASIA3, a divergent lineage of the fungus.

    • Finance

      • Inflation Inequality and the Poverty Measure

        For over half a century, the United States has measured income poverty by comparing a family’s income to a standardized dollar amount (a “poverty line”) that varies by family size. For a family of four, this poverty line was initially set at $3,104 in 1963.

      • Amazon’s Major Money Dump in Seattle’s City Council Election Seen as ‘Dangerous and Ominous Development’

        “It’s supposed to be a democratic process and it’s not a democratic process when Amazon can contribute that much to basically a small election.”

      • Neoliberalism’s Children Rise Up to Demand Justice in Chile and the World

        Uprisings against the corrupt, generation-long dominance of neoliberal “center-right” and “center-left” governments that benefit the wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of working people are sweeping country after country all over the world.

      • Who Owns Silicon Valley?

        Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. While it’s known that a handful of tech companies are huge employers, what’s less obvious is that these firms are also some of the Valley’s biggest landowners. We spent nearly a year looking at half a million property records to figure out – Who Owns Silicon Valley? This series was produced by KQED, The Mercury News, NBC Bay Area, Renaissance Journalism and Telemundo 48 Área de la Bahía. It is part of Reveal’s Local Labs initiative, which supports lasting, sustainable investigative collaborations across the country.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Shirish Agarwal: August Landmesser, a photograph, twitter and move to mastadon

        Now, the photograph is about a gentleman called August Landmesser, a german national who according to Wikipedia was imprisoned, eventually drafted into penal military service and eventually killed in action according to Wikipedia . This erupted as a row in twitter as the gentleman while known for his anti-establishment views has been in all aspects a gentleman on twitter. His twitter account was suspended under the view of ‘hateful imagery’ . While one could argue that it was done right, but he was not only the only one, over the last several days, lot of people on the left-side of the spectrum, sane voices have been suspended while some twitters even after giving rape or death threats on twitter from the right, no action has been taken.

        So two things happened, while Advocate Hegde was reinstated over the hue and cry, he put the cover back up and was again suspended and now has served a notice to Twitter Inc. where the senior counsel is being represented by Mr. Panjal Kishore. While I don’t want to get into the legal notice itself, I would say it makes for some pretty interesting reading and makes some very valid points. The poem of poet Gorakh Pandey in its english translation provides icing on the cake. The counsel representing Dr. Hegde also points to constitutional law and previous judgements as well as references Alexander Meiklejohn and some of the statements he made in his work ‘Political Freedom’ . The notice also reminds about Article 19 (1) (a) which ensures each person the right to free speech while restraining the Govt. The gentleman also goes on to talk about censorship and its practise and asks the courts to direct twitter Inc. to unblock him while at the same time issue some guidelines which follow both in spirit and form what Article 19 was all about.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Why is the Duma working to mandate pre-installed Russian-made apps on all devices sold in Russia? The answer isn’t as simple as you’d think.

        On November 5, Russia’s State Duma approved the first reading of a new bill that would obligate non-Russian producers of smartphones, computers, and smart TVs to pre-install Russian-made apps on their devices. If it ultimately becomes law, the bill will likely take effect on July 1, 2020. Under the legislation, the executive branch of the Russian government would determine which applications electronics companies would have to pre-install. However, companies that do not comply with those recommendations would only face a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($3,130), a pittance for an international giant like Apple or Google. The sponsors of the new bill include legislators from all of the Duma’s political factions. They have argued that mandating the installation of certain apps would provide a necessary convenience boost for elderly consumers. However, other sources told Meduza that the bill was actually a Kremlin initiative tied to Russia’s efforts to make its Internet traffic less dependent on the World Wide Web.

      • China’s New Cryptography Law: Still No Place to Hide

        This three class system ignores the way cryptography is normally implemented. The most important cryptography systems are not commercial systems. Most systems are based on the Gnu Privacy Guard system. This is a completely open system. The source code is generally available to the public. You can download the source code here. It is not conceivable that the organizations that offer GPG systems will cooperate with the PRC government in obtaining review and certification of their product when their whole focus is to allow companies and individuals to hide their information from the government. Cooperation with any government would be contrary to that principle.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Time to ‘Break Facebook Up,’ Sanders Says After Leaked Docs Show Social Media Giant ‘Treated User Data as a Bargaining Chip’

        “As I have been saying the privacy frame is bullshit,” said another critic. “Facebook is all about criminal behavior to monopolize ad money.”

      • Novelty of Cripps Pink Apples under Council Regulation on Community Plant Variety Rights

        Cripps Pink is a sweet, crisp and crunchy variety of apple that was developed by Mr John Cripps (‘the breeder’), a researcher in the Plant Industries division of the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (‘the Department’), by crossing Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties. This case is about the novelty of the Cripps Pink variety (Malus Domestica Borkh species) as assessed under the Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 of 27 July 1994 on Community Plant Variety Rights (OJ 1994 L227, ‘the Basic Regulation’). Dr Titilayo Adebola, Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen, with research interests in international intellectual property, plant variety protection and geographical indications kindly provides the following review:

        Upon application for a Community plant variety on 29 August 1995, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) initially informed representatives of the Department that the Cripps Pink variety failed to fulfil the novelty condition under Article 10 of the Basic Regulation. This was because the application form for the Community plant variety right stated that the Cripps Pink apple trees were first marketed within the European Union (in France) in 1994 and first marketed outside the European Union (in Australia) in 1988. In response, the Department submitted that 1988 should be considered to be the date of the first plantings in Australia for experimental purposes. The relevant date for calculating novelty as required under Article 10 of the Basic Regulation was July 1992, which was the date when the Cripps Pink apple trees were first marketed in the United Kingdom under the trade name ‘Pink Lady.’ Following the Department’s submission, the CPVO granted Community plant variety right No 1640 to the Cripps Pink variety on 15 January 1997.

        [...]

        From the foregoing, the applicant’s first, second and third orders were rejected. Consequently, the action was dismissed in its entirety and the applicant was ordered to pay the costs. As it stands, the Department holds valid Community plant variety rights for the Cripps Pink variety. The case furnishes noteworthy lessons on Community plant variety rights, including the following. In construing the novelty condition, varieties planted for experimental purposes are immaterial while the grace periods provided under Articles 10 and 116 of the Basic Regulation are applicable. Finally, the case suggests that the CPVO adopts a facilitative approach to the grant of Community plant variety rights.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • “Travel Trailer” Preamble has Meaning — Case Rolls Back to the PTO

          This is a nice short USPTO claim construction case. Heartland RV (Thor Indus.) filed its patent application back in 2012 claiming a movable-wall-structure for a travel trailer. In the example given in the patent, the wall might divide the back “garage portion” of the trailer from the front “living quarters.” The wall can then be adjusted according to the size of your ride.

          [...]

          The examiner rejected issued initial and final rejections in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The PTAB then sided with the examiner in its 2018 decision — holding that the claims were anticipated by two old prior art references. Claim 1 by U.S. Patent No. 4,049,311 (Dietrich); and Claim 2 by U.S. Patent No. 2,752,864 (McDougal).

      • Trademarks

        • Rolling to a stop – Jaguar Land Rover shape trade mark rejected, this time by the UKIPO

          Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) applied to register six 3D shape trade marks for their Land Rover Series 1, Series 2, Defender 90 and Defender 110 (the latter two including shapes with rear mounted spare wheels) in a range of classes of goods. Whilst initial queries were raised as to the viability of the registration, the applications were permitted to be published for opposition purposes. Ineos Industries (which had applied in the past to invalidate a (different) Land Rover registered design, and proven successful) opposed the trade mark applications, on the following grounds:

          (i) the shapes were not capable of being registered;
          (ii) lack of inherent distinctiveness/descriptive in nature;
          (iii) the shapes had become customary in the established practice of trade of the goods;
          (iv) the shapes resulted from the nature of the goods themselves and/or are necessary to achieve a technical result and/or give substantial value to the goods themselves;
          (v) registration would be contrary to public policy; and
          (vi) that the applications were filed in bad faith.

          [...]

          When it comes to 3D TM applications for vehicles, the example from Jaguar Land Rover v OHIM of Land Rover’s application for ‘apparatus for locomotion by air and/or water’ has typically arisen as an example of what may constitute a ‘significant departure from the norms or customs of the sector’ – this has been raised multiple times in case law. As Floyd LJ surmised in the London Taxi Court of Appeal case, “put crudely, the makers of the Range Rover could have registered the shape for a plane or a boat but not for a car.”

          However, consideration that an application of this kind might be in bad faith has not considered as often as distinctiveness. Lots of things have happened since the Lindt chocolate rabbit case, and the CJEU decision in Sky is keenly awaited to also clarify this point (see IPKat analysis of AG Tanchev’s recent Opinion here).

          Finally, substantial value still remains somewhat an obscure concept. As Floyd LJ wondered in London Taxi: should one take into account or ignore the fact that consumers will recognise the shape? In the present judgment, there was examination of the wording of Hauck v Stokke (which said the target public’s perception of the shape was a factor to be considered). It was also raised that since the prices of the Land Rovers were similar to competitor’s products whilst lacking the benefits of modern automotive design, it could be attributed to the appeal of the ‘iconic’ shape to consumers. However, there was no engagement with Floyd LJ’s question above (or to the case of London Taxi at all in relation to the substantial value points raised), thus leaving the matter undecided. It seems like we will have to wait a lot longer before substantial value will be properly addressed again…

MIT Suggestions

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, Humour at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously: The Only Person Punished for the Gates-Epstein Connection/Affairs Seems to be Richard Stallman and Now the Libel Resumes

How do we deflect blame away from MIT and Bill Gates paying MIT through Epstein? Blame Stallman. Lie about Stallman. Admit the truth.

Summary: Sometimes things are too ugly to talk oneself out of; so a distraction is urgently needed

Quick Mention: Some Dutch Media Covers Dutch EPO Protest

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This morning: It Feels Like EPO Management is Trying to Distract the Media and the Staff From Today’s Big Protest

This afternoon: PR ‘Innovation’: Bombarding the Media With Puff Pieces to Distract From EPO Staff Actions Against Corrupt Management

3 years ago (EPO money to control Dutch media): Battistelli’s European Patent Office Broadens FTI Consulting Contract to Undermine the Media, Wastes Millions of Euros

Hague EPO protest
Via: “Medewerkers octrooibureau weer in opstand om angstcultuur: ‘President gaat de dialoog niet aan’ | #msservicesglobal #Nieuws #media #rijswijk #DenHaag #NEWS #EuropeesOctrooibureau #protest #Demonstratie #politiek #patents #Europe”

Summary: Signs that the EPO’s attempts to distract the media (or from the media) aren’t 100% effective; workers get their voice heard by some Dutch people

Well done, Dutch media (some of it anyway). Covering what António Campinos (EPO) tried hard to prevent the media from even touching/mentioning.

Will some Dutch-speaking people/workers translate this article into English? Are more such articles on the way?

Honderden medewerkers van het Europees Octrooibureau hebben donderdagmiddag voor de Portugese ambassade gedemonstreerd. Het personeel van het in Rijswijk gevestigde bureau wil dat de nieuwe president, de Portugees António Campinos, met het personeel in gesprek gaat. Binnen de organisatie heerst volgens de demonstranten al jaren een angstcultuur en gebeurt er te weinig om dit te doorbreken.

The EPO ‘Patent Factory’ Likes the IAM Copy-Paste Factory

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rushed examination, bad patents, and framing of patent challenges (scrutiny of dubious patents) as “attacks” so as to invert the narrative

When the EPO says it cares about patent quality. But what it actually means by 'quality' is speed of examination.

Summary: The rushed examination of patents and the push towards a litigation ‘fast track’ (UPC, EU-wide ramifications in one fell swoop) are serving to show that due process and the rule of law are the last things that matter to the EPO’s management

THE litigation ‘industry’ relies on a handful of propaganda platforms which it is funding. Those include Managing IP, IAM and JUVE. They’re indebted to their sponsors/subscribers, i.e. litigation ‘enthusiasts’ (i.e. those who profit from lawsuits).

IAM is once again confirming it is a lying propaganda arm of corrupt management at the European Patent Office (EPO) by releasing this puff piece from IAM’s Bridget Diakun (“Data Reporter”), who is just pasting in the EPO’s charts and stuff; no need for actual reporting, just copy-pasting "SME"-themed EPO-sponsored lies. We didn’t overlook the fact that quite a few writers left IAM in recent years. They get some money from the worst patent trolls and law firms; but who wants to write lies for a living? Not exactly a pleasurable job, except for sociopathic minds.

“They get some money from the worst patent trolls and law firms; but who wants to write lies for a living? Not exactly a pleasurable job, except for sociopathic minds.”IAM also repeats the false narrative of patents “surviving” as if challenging bogus patents is an “assassination” attempt (IAM later had this promoted by its parent company). Jacobacci & Partners (Italy) says: “Clarifying previous case law, the Supreme Court has stated that when two semi-identical European and Italian patents exist for the same invention and the European patent is rejected by a final decision, Italian courts are free to ignore the European decisions and conclude that the Italian patent remains valid under Italian law.”

“The injustice would spread everywhere, even inside courtrooms that are seemingly separate from the EPO (but not in practice; they’d possibly be managed by a lawless thug like Battistelli).”Imagine Italian law overridden by something like UPC and some imaginary Milan court applying laws that magically permit software patents in Europe, just like António Campinos and his appointer. Even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is reluctant to allow such patents because of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and American courts that apply it. The EPO just ignores its own law and if it gained leverage over the courts too, it would be chaotic. The injustice would spread everywhere, even inside courtrooms that are seemingly separate from the EPO (but not in practice; they’d possibly be managed by a lawless thug like Battistelli). Speaking of the EPO and the UPC, there are some new comments about Ingve Stjerna's latest paper from Team UPC [1, 2] (“Ingve Stjerna: Examination of the compatibility of the Unified Patent Court Agreement with the German Grundgesetz and EU law was deficient”). Look inside the article to find people refusing to believe that the FCC will issue a decision any time soon. This whole thing is dead in the water and Brexit isn’t happening either, at least for now.

“Companies are nonetheless presuming validity — to the point of paying money for press release that instead of celebrating actual products celebrate mere patents.”In the meantime the EPO makes promises about European Patents becoming — prospectively — “unitary”. It’s an empty promise and the above publishers admit a decline in the number of applications. They don’t typically admit such things. What would happen if the EPO stopped receiving a lot of work or was forced to significantly lower fees? The EPO is already heading in a potentially bad direction because it is lowering patent quality and granting loads of invalid patents (IPs). Companies are nonetheless presuming validity — to the point of paying money for press releases that instead of celebrating actual products celebrate mere patents. Here, as one example, is a press release from yesterday (Wednesday):

IRLAB announced today that drug candidates IRL942 and IRL1009 have been granted composition of matter patents in the US and Europe from respective authorities. The preclinical drug candidates are currently undergoing preparatory steps to meet the regulatory requirements for obtaining permission to conduct clinical phase I studies. Securing the intellectual property rights is an important step in protecting the results of the company’s research and strengthens the projects’ position and commercial potential.

Drug candidates IRL942 and IRL1009 stem from IRLAB’s P001 research program and are derived from the proprietary research platform ISP. IRL942 and IRL1009 are intended for treatment of mental and cognitive decline as well as declining motor skills linked to neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. In several recently conducted preclinical studies, the drug candidates’ show increased nerve cell signaling and improved cognition in behavioral studies.

Here are a few copies of the other paid-for press release from Wednesday [1, 2]:

Compugen Ltd. (CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and leader in predictive target discovery, announced today that The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a new patent covering the composition of matter and use of COM902, its immuno-oncology therapeutic antibody targeting TIGIT.

EPO Patent No. EP3347379, titled “Anti-TIGIT antibodies, anti-PVRIG antibodies and combinations thereof,” relates to the composition of matter of COM902, alone or in combination with a second antibody targeting an immune checkpoint, including PD-1 and PVRIG (specifically COM701). The patent further relates to COM902 for use in treating cancer by activating T cells, a key driver of immune stimulation and cancer immunotherapy treatments.

This patent, EP3347379, has not been tested in an actual court and examiners themselves berate the quality of the work, rightly blaming it on pressure, lack of time and ‘production’ targets.

PR ‘Innovation’: Bombarding the Media With Puff Pieces to Distract From EPO Staff Actions Against Corrupt Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Distracted cats won’t cover the real story

A distraction

Summary: The media is not touching — not even remotely — stories regarding unrest at the EPO (even if SUEPO puts such stories out there for the public to see); instead it’s all just Public Relations (PR) of the EPO’s dictatorship

THE European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have issued 'damage-controlling' puff pieces as EPO staff marches to the Portuguese embassy to protest the policies of António Campinos — at times even worse policies than Battistelli‘s. He’s faking a crisis to destroy staff whilst outsourcing jobs. He’s also blocking legal challenges to Battistelli’s illegal policies.

“The EPO is a shrine of Campinos now, as is the Twitter account.”Let’s look at what the EPO is doing today and has done so far this week (as the protest in The Hague became imminent). On Tuesday the EPO was promoting invalid patents (IPs) under the guise of “digital fields!” See who’s talking there! See what the EPO did for the ‘hero’ Campinos [1, 2, 3, 4]. The EPO is a shrine of Campinos now, as is the Twitter account. Here he is talking about “AI” (computer-generated applications) [1, 2] and then about patents as “technical problem” (often codeword/s for software patents in Europe). To quote the tweet: “We assess inventions based on whether they solve a technical problem. It’s not up to us to decode on prices of final products, says EPO President António Campinos at #websummit”

Yes, so-called ‘Web’ Summit, where software patents’ boosters were presented as ‘experts’. Why does the EPO even grant such patents? As of last Friday, examiners are now virtually forced to grant these if it says “AI”. Here’s a new example involving European Patents: “Philips and Wiko compete over mobile phone patents” by Konstanze Richter. The number of the patents are in the article and Benjamin Henrion said “Philips is a troll, enforcing patent over “method for priority-based queuing and assembling of packets in mobile communication”…”

Well, these are algorithms that should not be granted any patents (monopolies on them). From the article: “The judges in Karlsruhe recognised a violation of the slightly restricted version of the SEP by Wiko’s German subsidiary. They therefore sentenced the defendant to information and accounting. However, the court rejected the claim of the plaintiff Philips for injunctive relief (case ID: 6 U 183/16). The judges thus agreed with Wiko’s objection that the Dutch licence offer was not FRAND-compliant.”

“Well, these are algorithms that should not be granted any patents (monopolies on them).”The site’s editor wrote: “There’s been another setback for @Philips in Germany. In the ongoing battle over mobile phone patent, the Dutch company lost one #implementation #patent. It also failed to obtain an injunction against Wiko in infringement proceedings…”

So-called ‘implementation’ patent. Welcome to the world of nonsensical semantics. Did they try “hey hi” (AI)?

“And they announced this only a week later, a day or so before a big protest — the first such protest in a year and a half?”Going back to the EPO, here it is publishing another “news” item (warning: epo.org link); they’ve published at least 5 press releases in just 2 days — more than they typically do in a whole month! Based on our research, this ‘fluff’ has resulted in news ‘saturation’ with more noise (PR) than signal. The Azerbaijan-based “Trend News Agency” prepared puff pieces like this one regarding Georgia and there’s another one from Khmer Times in Cambodia. That’s just copy-paste ‘journalism’ from the EPO’s own mouth and with the EPO’s photo ops! “Cambodia and the European Patent Office last week bolstered ties with the signing of a new cooperation agreement to increase awareness of patents and intellectual property in the Kingdom.”

And they announced this only a week later, a day or so before a big protest — the first such protest in a year and a half?

This is what the EPO has just published:

An EPO delegation including António Campinos, EPO President, Nellie Simon, Vice-President Corporate Services, and several expert examiners took part in Web Summit in Lisbon between 4 and 6 November. The summit is the world’s largest technology event, drawing 70 000 visitors from 160 countries. This year is the first in which the Office was invited to lead a panel discussion and host an exhibition area.

President Campinos was joined by Dr Keigham J. Gabriel, President and CEO at Draper Lab, and Carmela Troncoso, Head of Security & Privacy Engineering at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), for a panel discussion on the topic “Patenting the future: The next big invention”. The panel noted that intellectual property and in particular patents have played a major role in innovation, and that without this protection, scientific advancement is stifled.

There are quite a bunch of lies in there; Henrion might assess the whole video from the event for further scrutiny of the claims/assertions.

The EPO is meanwhile also retweeting this self-promotional stuff about its event with patent trolls’ front groups. Joe Doyle from EI is their megaphone of choice, revealing that the EPO has a ‘taste’ for litigation, not innovation. But we all knew that already, right? The EPO then published its fifth puff piece in two days (warning: epo.org link) to say: “On 4 and 5 November 2019 the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) held their first-ever joint conference focussed on the importance of IP to high-growth firms. The top-level hybrid conference and training event was attended by around 300 participants from 34 nations and organised in Dublin by the EPO’s European Patent Academy with the support of the government agency Enterprise Ireland. The event provided a platform for decision makers and IP managers at high-growth tech companies (namely start-ups and more classical SMEs) as well as their stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem to learn about business strategy and IP management.”

“…there’s plenty printed based on the EPO’s own words with its own promotional material such as photos.”Obviously, as expected, nobody in the media (not even blogs!) covered the EPO protest from a fortnight ago (in Munich). Nobody even mentions what happens today in The Hague. But there’s plenty printed based on the EPO’s own words with its own promotional material such as photos.

Links 7/11/2019: Canonical Collaborates With NVIDIA and Tor Browser 9.0.1 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Applications

      • Proprietary

        • Report Suggests Rampant Negligence In Uber Self Driving Car Fatality

          Earlier this year you might recall that a self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona killed a woman who was trying to cross the street with her bike outside of a crosswalk. The driver wasn’t paying attention, and the car itself failed to stop for the jaywalking pedestrian. Initial reporting on the subject, most of it based on anonymous Uber sources who spoke to the paywalled news outlet The Information, strongly pushed the idea that the car’s sensors worked as intended and detected the woman, but bugs in the system software failed to properly identify the woman as something to avoid:

        • Re-Licensing Sentry

          For example, this past year, we’ve had to deal with funded businesses plagiarizing or copying our work to directly compete with Sentry. This has included taking marketing content from our website, plagiarizing our documentation and framing it as their own, or straight-up copy/pasting our product visuals. Their defense? “Well, it’s free open-source, and we can do that.” These businesses are not using Sentry to improve how they develop software; they’re lifting its code and assets to build their closed-source products to compete directly with us.

        • Asus router app exposed user data to the wilds of the internet

          The web-based AsusWRT allows users to create a private WiFI network within their home network, offering a graphical user interface to make doing so a doddle. It also connects to Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

          This all sounds fine and dandy, but vpnMentor reported that a vulnerability had been discovered by some anonymous security [researchers] and prompted it to do some digging as Asus had not been informed about the vulnerability.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Varnish Cache on CentOS 8
      • How to add a user to your Linux desktop

        Adding a user is one of the first things you do on a new computer system. And you often have to manage users throughout the computer’s lifespan.

        My article on the useradd command provides a deeper understanding of user management on Linux. Useradd is a command-line tool, but you can also manage users graphically on Linux. That’s the topic of this article.

    • Games

      • Fast-paced shoot and loot FPS Black Ice adds a big new area and grenade launchers

        I already had trouble deciding what weapons to keep in Black Ice and now they’ve gone and added in grenades and grenade launchers? I need more slots. You can pry my Tron-like disc weapon out of my cold dead digital hands.

        What is Black Ice? It’s a first-person shooter than can be played solo or in co-op/pvp that has a cyberspace theme, with you running around hacking into servers. It has a huge amount of loot to find, with lots of varied weapons.

        The Volcanyon update just went live, adding in a huge new area also called the Volcanyon. It’s a dense area, full of servers to hack in a rather vertical way. New quests came with it, all of which lead up to the Volcano which the developers said they’re working on next.

      • Co-op real-time strategy game A Year Of Rain for Linux is a “TOP Priority”

        Daedalic Entertainment just released their brand new co-op focused competitive RTS, A Year Of Rain, into Early Access and they confirm that a Linux version is a high priority.

        A Year Of Rain is a traditional RTS in the style of others like Starcraft, Warcraft and plenty more featuring a mix of base building, resource gathering, unit recruiting and of course lots of battles.

      • Dead Cells gets bigger again with a new mini-biome and mutations

        The brilliant rogue-lite, metroidvania inspired, action-platformer Dead Cells has another awesome content update available now.

        Released yesterday, the Corrupted Update brings with it a brand new mini-biome the Corrupted Confinement. This is an optional area, mirroring Prison Depths. You get access to it from the Toxic Sewers, and it will lead to either the Ancient Sewers or the Ramparts. Worth trying too, as there’s a guaranteed cursed chest at the beginning.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Partners with Nvidia to Certify Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on NVIDIA DGX-2 AI

          Canonical and Nvidia have formed a new alliance to prove that the adoption and implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning isn’t a major challenge for enterprises due to the fact that AI-based workloads require greater compute power, security, and flexibility. As such, they’ve certified Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for NVIDIA DGX-2 AI systems to help organizations take advantage of AI’s vast potential.

          The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS update with NVIDIA DGX-2 AI system certification will allow for containerized and cloud-native development of GPU-accelerated workloads due to NVIDIA DGX-2 AI systems deliver 2 petaFLOPS of AI performance. The combination of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and NVIDIA DGX-2 allows data scientists and engineers to work faster and at a greater scale while using their preferred operating system.

        • Canonical collaborates with NVIDIA to accelerate enterprise AI adoption in multi-cloud environments and at the edge

          Enterprises currently face the challenge of how to adopt and integrate AI and ML into their operations effectively, at scale and with minimum complexity. In tandem, today’s AI workloads have become increasingly advanced and the compute power required to support them has exponentially increased.

          Canonical and NVIDIA have collaborated to help enterprises accelerate their adoption of AI and ML with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS certified on the NVIDIA DGX-2 AI system. This combination brings unprecedented performance, flexibility and security to enterprises’ AI/ML operations. With the ability to run the entire line of DGX systems either stand-alone or as part of a Kubernetes cluster on Ubuntu, enterprises can unlock containerised and cloud-native development of GPU-accelerated workloads.

          The NVIDIA DGX-2 offers unprecedented levels of compute, with 16 of the world’s most advanced GPUs delivering 2 petaFLOPS of AI performance. With the combination of DGX-2 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, data scientists and engineers can move faster and at a greater scale using their chosen operating system, allowing them to deliver portable AI workloads on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge.

          “Ubuntu is the preferred AI and ML platform for developers and the No. 1 operating system for Kubernetes deployments on-premises and in the public cloud. This collaboration with NVIDIA enables enterprises to enhance their developers’ productivity and incorporate AI more quickly through development stages to production,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “The combination of DGX-2 and Ubuntu helps organisations to realise the vast potential of AI, allowing them to develop and deploy models at scale via the world’s most powerful AI system.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My first open source contribution: Keep the code relevant

        Previously, I explained the importance of forking repositories. Once I finished the actual “writing the code” part of making my first open source pull request, I felt excellent. It seemed like the hard part was finally over. What’s more, I felt great about the code that I wrote.

        One thing that I decided to do (which turned out to be an excellent choice) was to use test-driven development (TDD) to write the code. Using TDD was helpful because it gave me a place to start, and a way to know if what I was doing actually worked. Because my background was in building web apps, I rarely ran into the problem of writing code that didn’t have a tangible, visible output. The test-first approach helped me make the leap into working on a tool where you can’t evaluate your progress manually. The fact that I had written a clear test also helped me ultimately get my pull request accepted. The reviewer highlighted the test in his comments on my code.

      • A guide to open source for microservices

        Microservices—applications broken down into smaller, composable pieces that work together—are getting as much attention as the hottest new restaurant in town. (If you’re not yet familiar, dive into What Are Microservices before continuing here.)

        However, if you have moved on from “Hello, World” and running a simple handful of microservices, and are building hundreds of microservices and running thousands of instances, you know there is nothing “micro” about them. You want your instances to increase when users increase and decrease when users decrease. You want to distribute requests effectively between instances. You want to build and run your services intelligently. You need a clear view of the service instances that are running or going down. How can you manage all of this complexity?

      • Open source serves as source of innovation, not threat: OIN CEO

        Open source used to be considered to be dangerous and destabilizing by many tech titans. Microsoft, Motorola and Nokia were some of those who were seen as antagonistic toward the open source movement.

        Their dazzling successes with proprietary services and products had apparently blinded them from seeing a new wave of innovation driven by open source.

        Some of the tech firms sunk into oblivion while some have seen their presence decline to a significant level.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 9.0.1

            Tor Browser 9.0.1 is the first bugfix release in the 9.0 series and aims to mostly fix regressions and provide small improvements related to our 9.0 release. Additionally, we are adding a banner on the starting page for our fundraising campaign Take Back the Internet with Tor.

      • Programming/Development

        • 6 Excellent Free Books to Learn TeX

          TeX is a system for typesetting documents. It’s a powerful low-level markup and programming language that creates professional quality typeset text. The system was developed by Donald Knuth at Stanford University with the purpose of enabling anyone to generate high-quality books, and to develop a system that yields the same results whatever computer is used.

          TeX has many strengths including its portability, flexibility, and the fact that it is free software. But being free would mean little if TeX was not highly proficient at typesetting professional looking mathematical and scientific text, complex documents, and handling multiple languages. TeX produces results equal in quality and appearance to those produced by the finest traditional typesetting systems.

        • Tabs or spaces for indentation? Statistics on 3.8 million Perl files created in 24 years

          How are things in the real world? What is actually used?

          It’s easy enough to find out. Need to take source codes of programs, to calculate what characters are used and look at the results.

          This article is the result of a little research about the use of tabs and spaces in the world of Perl programming language. There is a huge repository which stores Perl libraries CPAN. I downloaded all the versions of all libraries which are now on CPAN (there were about 135 thousand) and decided which characters are used for indentation.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Small computers find an industrial niche

        When Eben Upton developed the Raspberry Pi in 2012, he expected the no-frills, single-board computer to appeal mainly to schoolchildren. Consumers had other ideas. Margaret Harris spoke to him about how simple computers like the Raspberry Pi are becoming integral parts of the emerging industrial Internet of Things

      • Once a physicist: Eben Upton

        In my first year at Cambridge, the course was around 25% computer science, 25% physics, 25% materials science and 25% maths for physics. I enjoyed the experimental parts of the course, and especially the weekly sessions at the Cavendish lab. But the second year was two lots of physics, plus maths for physics, and after that it became clear that I was an engineer more than I was a physicist, so I moved across to engineering.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Fishy Business of Seafood Fraud – Validated Independent News

        Oceana purchased 449 fish in 24 different states, and found that one-third of shops and restaurants were selling fish that had been mislabeled in one way or another. The study used DNA testing to compare the purchased fish with fish whose identity was known with certainty. Using DNA testing, Oceana found that 26% of the fish in restaurants was mislabeled, 24% in smaller markets, and 12% from supermarkets. Sea bass (55%) and snapper (42%) were the most commonly mislabeled fish.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Forever Wars

        Politicians and pundits in the West and jihadists have something in common. Both see the conflict between the West and Muslim worlds through the grand thesis of a “clash of civilizations”. Some see it as a forever war. I think this approach is a grave mistake. It oversimplifies a complex problem that warrants closer analysis.

      • Quid Pro Blowback: Did Erdogan Trade Baghdadi For Rojava?

        It’s all over the news. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. But I’m a muckraker and telling you what you know is the first half of my job. Baghdadi is dead! The terrifying Cobra Commander of Uncle Sam’s latest jihad Frankenstein, the Ayatollah of the fearsome Islamic State, the world’s deadliest Salafi super-villain, is dead. Dead as a doornail, as our ever-tactful commander in chief put it. Apparently he died like Rerun in the opening of What’s Happening, running and stumbling down a lantern-lit tunnel, flailing his arms all about as he sobbed hysterically, only stopping to blow him and his children to smithereens with a suicide vest once his lungs were empty and his britches were full. This is the official story at least and the mainstream media seems more than happy to put down their impeachment pitchforks just long enough to parrot its Hollywood details with the unblinking innocence of a child. Brave, dick-swinging, red meat-eating American heroes, flying fearlessly into the heart of darkness on their Apache choppers to wright all the wrongs and settle the score. This time there’s even dog so extrajudicial slaughter can be fun for the whole family. But as the days go by, this fable grows more and more suspect to all but the most deluded daydream believers.

      • US Army Launches Virtual Reality Recruitment Campaign – Validated Independent News

        As Simon Chandler reported for Truthout, VR is poised to become “the globe’s propaganda medium par excellence.” Virtual reality allows content creators to present a “world” that appears to be real, in which real memories are formed. VR’s ability to create real memories, has “powerful implications for affecting the mind’s association with certain concepts and situations,” Don Ludden, a VR and augmented reality expert who works for the Bose Corporation, told Truthout.

      • UK lawmakers warn of ‘alarming evidence’ of Chinese meddling on university campuses

        British lawmakers have warned of what they say is “alarming evidence” of Chinese influence on university campuses, and the potential risks to academic freedom of UK institutions targeting partnerships in China.

        The United Kingdom is the latest country to warn of potential meddling by Chinese authorities in the education system, after years of universities aggressively targeting students from China — who pay significantly more than British or European students.

      • The Pentagon Won’t Acknowledge Hundreds of Military Bases

        According to the Pentagon’s official inventory of bases, the Department of Defense (DoD) “manages a worldwide real property portfolio” that spans 45 foreign countries. All told, there are 514 official “DoD sites” overseas, the majority of them in Germany (194 sites), Japan (121 sites), and South Korea (83 sites). This list, however, has never included mention of even one base in Syria—or, for that matter, any of the well-known US garrisons, large and small, in Afghanistan or Iraq.

        The common estimate of foreign US military bases is actually around 800. Such a count is little more than an educated guess because of the cloak of secrecy the Pentagon has thrown over the subject. To obfuscate things further, the military employs a plethora of euphemisms to avoid calling US military outposts like Castle Black precisely what they are.

      • Foreign Money Flows Into US Politics

        A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, has made it more difficult to track foreign backing for U.S. political activity. The 2010 decision barred the government from limiting political spending and fundraising by nonprofit organizations, including PACs. The result, say critics, has been a flood of “dark money” that is difficult to track in American politics.

    • Environment

      • Brazil cancels ban on sugarcane farming in Amazon

        The ban on the crop, which Brazil uses to make ethanol, had been put in place under a 2009 decree, which Bolsonaro and his economic and agriculture ministers overturned.

        By repealing the measure, the government “exposes two fragile ecological areas to the predatory and economically unjustifiable expansion of cane and throws away the international sustainability image that Brazilian ethanol built with difficulty,” said Observatorio do Clima, a coalition of local environment groups.

      • Russia Ups the Ante in the Arctic

        The Kremlin’s growing assertiveness is aimed to position Russia as the dominant power in the Arctic with an eye on untapped offshore oil and gas reserves, which are becoming more accessible because of warming temperatures, retreating polar ice and rising sea-levels, say Western analysts.

      • More Than 11,000 Scientists Declare ‘Climate Emergency’

        More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have declared a climate emergency in a new report that calls for six urgent actions to confront the climate crisis. Warning the public about the effects of climate change is a “moral obligation” of the scientific community, according to the paper, which was published on Tuesday in the journal BioScience.

        “We have joined together to declare a climate emergency because the climate change is more severe and accelerating faster than was expected by scientists,” said co-lead author William Ripple, a distinguished professor of ecologist at Oregon State University, in an email.

      • 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’ caused by climate change

        Phoebe Barnard, one of the lead authors of the report and the chief science and policy officer at the Conservation Biology Institute, a nonprofit science group, told CNN the report makes it clear “there’s no more wiggle room” for policymakers.

        “Posterity will remember them badly for dismissing climate change as a serious threat to our civilization,” she said.

        It’s not the first time thousands of academics united to urge people to take action on climate change. More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries published a letter in 2017, warning that “human beings and the natural world are on a collision course.”

      • Trump’s Greatest Dereliction of Duty—His Disgraceful Denial of Climate Change

        The Trump administration’s announcement that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is a largely symbolic move, but it is nevertheless another reminder of President Trump’s greatest folly: his disgraceful denial of the threat posed by catastrophic climate change. No matter who wins the Democratic presidential nomination, Trump’s open hostility toward any action on climate will elevate it to a defining issue in the 2020 campaign. Voters will choose between a president and Republican Party proud of systematic resistance to any action on climate, and a challenger and Democratic Party dedicated to historic efforts to limit the already costly threat to life as we know it.

      • Order to ban Extinction Rebellion protests in London ‘unlawful,’ court rules

        London’s Metropolitan Police issued a revised Section 14 order last month when thousands of protesters took to the city’s streets, stating that “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ … must now cease their protest(s) within London.”

        The police imposed the four-day ban on October 14 — the final week of the movement’s two-week campaign of civil disobedience in the city — making all public assemblies associated with the movement across London illegal.

        Judges ruled that the Section 14 legislation, made law in 1986, did not cover separate assemblies.

      • Rising heat drives hungry people to hospital

        When the heat is on, hospital admissions rise for already undernourished and hungry people. As the mercury rises, so do the case loads.

      • The First Step to Averting Climate Catastrophe

        Here we are, a full three decades after NASA scientist James Hansen raised the specter of a looming climate crisis with Congress, looking at the first generation of severely impacted youth and telling them they’re right: We have completely squandered their future. For too long, our dominant culture has practiced unsustainable growth and consumption, ushering in the end of a habitable planet and with it civilization as we know it. Those most impacted are the communities who have contributed the least to climate change, a direct extension of the settler colonization project that has unfolded across the globe over hundreds of years.

      • Dams and the Green New Deal: Why the Silence?

        Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with. Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough.

      • A Scary Year for Climate Change

        One year ago, the international scientific community could hardly have expected that Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, would become one of its greatest allies. Since beginning her weekly “School Strike for the Climate,” the petite 16-year-old has skillfully used her public appearances and powerful social media presence to push for bolder global action to reduce carbon emissions.

        “Again and again, the same message,” she tweeted recently. “Listen to the scientists, listen to the scientists. Listen to the scientists!”

        [...]

        In November, the United States’ Fourth National Climate Assessment, produced by government and outside experts, reinforced the gloom-and-doom message of the October IPCC report. “Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth,” it warned. The Trump administration’s attempt to minimize media coverage of America’s climate report card by releasing it on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, backfired: The congressionally mandated report got double coverage as both an environmental and a political story.

        The dire news didn’t abate as 2018 drew to a close. A December report from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that emissions from fossil fuel-powered electricity, transportation, and other sources are “a major contributor to health-damaging air pollution, which every year kills over seven million people.” It called extreme weather events linked to human-caused climate change “a clear and present danger to health security” and concluded the health benefits of addressing climate change “far outweigh the costs of meeting climate change goals.”

        Just as the disastrous future impacts of climate change were coming into clearer focus, we also received sobering news about the present. Last December, the Global Carbon Project projected that carbon dioxide emissions worldwide reached an all-time high in 2018, up more than two percent after three years of almost no growth. A January 2019 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report estimated an increase of nearly 3 percent in 2018 energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, the largest jump since 2010 — reversing a trend that had seen three consecutive years of decline. The EIA estimated that total U.S. emissions would fall in 2019, and that prediction appears to be bearing out, due to a drop in coal consumption. However, total global carbon dioxide emissions will see a rise again for 2019, says Stanford University’s Rob Jackson, who chairs the Global Carbon Project’s Scientific Steering Committee.

      • Storms and Rising Seas Threaten Coastal Ecosystems — Here’s What We Can Do
      • Senators’ Fossil Fuel Investments Drive Conflicts of Interest on Climate Change – Validated Independent News

        The Sludge report was based on the senators’ personal financial filings as of August 16, 2019. Fossil fuel combustion accounted for about 76% of the greenhouse gases emitted in 2017, according to a June 2019 report from the US Energy Information Administration.

      • An Open Letter to Climate Activists in the Northwoods…and Beyond

        From a talk delivered November 1, 2019.  Northern Michigan University Sonderegger Symposium:  Anishinaabek: East, South, West, North.  Marquette, MI.  

      • Energy

      • Overpopulation

        • Scientists declare climate emergency, establish global indicators for effective action

          6) Population. Stabilize a global human population that is increasing by more than 200,000 people a day, using approaches that ensure social and economic justice.

        • World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

          To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live, in ways that improve the vital signs summarized by our graphs. Economic and population growth are among the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion (Pachauri et al. 2014, Bongaarts and O’Neill 2018); therefore, we need bold and drastic transformations regarding economic and population policies. We suggest six critical and interrelated steps (in no particular order) that governments, businesses, and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change. These are important steps but are not the only actions needed or possible (Pachauri et al. 2014, IPCC 2018, 2019).

    • Finance

      • Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife reportedly owns part of one of Russia’s biggest microfinance companies

        Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, Lyudmila Putina, is a co-owner of the microfinance company “KarMani,” according to a report by the website Sobesednik. The outlet says Lyudmila Shkrebneva (Putina’s maiden name) owns the company “InteriorServices,” which in turn owns the firm “Meridian.” In 2018, she reportedly acquired a seven-percent share in the Cyprus offshore company “Carmoney CY LTD,” which owns KarMani.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump’s Big Move
      • As Maine Goes

        Maine’s election of Safiya Khalid as the first Somali-American on the Lewiston City Council made national news, as it should. But Khalid’s victory is just part of a heartening trend in the country’s whitest state, where “from away” once meant hailing from the next town.

      • After Racist Attacks, Former Refugee Makes History as First Somali-American Elected to City Council in Lewiston, Maine

        “You might smear us. You might hurl racist attacks at us. But we will always rise up to serve our communities.”

      • Despite Front Seat to Last Four Decades of US Politics, Biden Repeats Claim That GOP ‘Epiphany’ Coming Soon

        “Make it stop.”

      • Far Left? Not in This Democratic Party

        America has lots of leftists. Forty percent of voters say that they would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist one.

      • Democrats Are Becoming the Party of Permanent War
      • Breaking! Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Story is Highly Unprofessional!
      • Twitter’s Decision To Ban Political Ads Is A Moderation Choice Itself That Likely Will Backfire In Its Own Way

        Last week we wrote about Twitter’s decision to ban all political ads, most likely in response to watching all the shit being flung at Facebook for its decision to not fact check political ads. We focused on the fact that the “costs” of content moderation can sometimes be so high as to make any related revenue just not worth it. However, in that post we did mention that no matter what, there would be criticism of this decision and follow-on decisions concerning what is, and what is not, a “political” advertisement.

      • Voter Suppression Widespread as 1,688 Polling Places Closed since 2013 – Validated Independent News

        As Ludwig’s Truthout report explained, until Shelby vs. Holder, the Voting Rights Act required nine states and jurisdictions in six other states to notify voters of any planned poll closures ahead of time; local election officials also had to prove to elections overseers in the Justice Department that voting changes would not discriminate against voters of color. The “preclearance” section of the Voting Rights Act had been implemented to counter long histories of voter discrimination, sometimes dating back to the Jim Crow era, in those states and jurisdictions.  (Project Censored previously covered how Shelby vs. Holder led to suppressed voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.)

      • Jane Fonda: The sooner we move beyond Trump the better
      • First Public Trump Impeachment Hearings Set for Next Week

        Democrats announced Wednesday they will launch public impeachment hearings next week, intending to bring to life weeks of closed-door testimony and lay out a convincing narrative of presidential misconduct by Donald Trump.

      • Press Watch: Every Trump story is about the same thing: His ruthless, limitless power grab

        The critical mass of evidence that Donald Trump accepts no limits when it comes to serving his own interests has increasingly emboldened mainstream political journalists to situate the drip-drip of new revelations within the master narrative of Trump’s presidency: That he has consistently distended and abused the powers of his office.

        That is essential context, because it explains the otherwise inexplicable — and because it ineluctably calls attention to the post-Trump imperative to rebuild and reinforce the constitutional barriers to presidential tyranny that Trump and his accessories in the Republican Party have so profoundly corroded.

      • ABC News Defends Its Epstein Coverage After Leaked Video Of Anchor

        A newly surfaced video of an ABC News anchor’s unguarded remarks about the network’s coverage of the late Jeffrey Epstein has thrown ABC on the defensive.

        In a leaked video posted Tuesday by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas, news anchor Amy Robach expresses her frustration to a colleague over ABC’s failure to broadcast her interview with a key accuser of Epstein.

        Robach complains that the network “quashed” her interview, suggesting that ABC had yielded to threats from powerful forces, including Buckingham Palace. Prince Andrew is among those men whom the accuser alleges Epstein trafficked her to for sex. The prince’s representatives have denied that claim.

      • ABC News denies that it killed Jeffrey Epstein reporting

        The video — leaked on YouTube by conservative provocateur James O’Keefe — shows Robach at an anchor desk talking to a producer about a 2015 interview she conducted with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts that implicated Britain’s Prince Andrew, attorney Alan Dershowitz and former President Clinton. O’Keefe said that the tape was recorded in August and that it was provided by an ABC employee.

        The most damning claim from Robach is that ABC News would not run the reporting because it feared losing access to coverage of the British royal family.

        “I’ve had the story for three years,” Robach said in the video. “I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.’ Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview [Kate Middleton and Prince William] that we quashed the story.”

        Robach is also seen speculating that Epstein, who committed suicide while incarcerated, according to law enforcement officials, was actually killed. “So do I think he was killed? A hundred percent, yes I do,” she said. “He made his whole living blackmailing people.”

      • GitLab ponders block on Russia, China employees in sensitive jobs after customer “concern”

        The support engineer page reads, “In e-group on Monday October 15, 2019 we took the decision to enable a ‘job family country-of-residence block’ for team members who have access to customer data. This is at the expressed concern of several enterprise customers, and also what is becoming a common practice in our industry in the current geopolitical climate.” The countries in question are China and Russia.

        The pages discuss how the company can avoid making offers to individuals based in those countries, and prevent current team members moving to them, while “remaining in a role that prohibits it.” This is a particular problem for GitLab as the firm’s entire workforce works remotely.

      • GitLab plans to ban hires in China and Russia due to espionage concerns

        GitLab is a popular code hosting platform GitLab that is currently used by several major tech companies including IBM, Sony, NASA, Alibaba, Oracle, Invincea, Boeing, and SpaceX.

        The news was confirmed by Eric Johnson, VP of Engineering at GitLab, companies using GitLab fear that employees in China and Russia could operate under the control of their governments to steal their projects and to spy on their activities. The final decision on the “Support Engineer Job family country-of-residence block” will be announced on November 6.

      • Sorry, pundits: The problem isn’t “polarization” — Republicans have lost their damn minds

        These stories are tough, because, in one sense, it’s technically true that the vote and the polling shows that Americans are deeply divided, by party identity, on the issue of impeachment. But that framework misses the larger story: The reason for this deep division is that Republicans, both voters and their representatives, have completely abandoned any respect for democracy and rule of law, choosing instead the cult of personality around a flagrant criminal. It ignores that Democrats value the truth and Republicans are awash in lies. It equates the two sides in a way that is not justified by looking at the bigger picture.

        The “both sides” frame, in other words, hides the fact that this situation is very a one-sided problem.

      • Google Considers Changing Its Political Advertising Policy

        It’s not clear if those plans would see Google rule out campaign ads altogether, as Twitter Inc. did, or limit them in some way, such as restricting the ability to target specific audiences. Alphabet Inc.’s Google gets a tiny fraction of sales from campaign ads on Search, YouTube and across the web.

        A Google spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier on Wednesday.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Kansas City Votes to Remove King’s Name From Historic Street

        Kansas City voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved removing Dr. Martin Luther King’s name from one of the city’s most historic boulevards, less than a year after the City Council decided to rename The Paseo for the civil rights icon.

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Apologizes And Unblocks Critic Who Sued Her

        Right after Donald Trump lost the case against him for blocking people on Twitter, we noted that Dov Hikind, a critic of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched a similar lawsuit against her for blocking him. Again — because it’s important to repeat — the court rulings in the Trump case made it clear that politicians who used Twitter for part of their job representing the public could not block people, as that’s a violation of the 1st Amendment. The specific criteria laid out by the courts were that (1) if you’re a public official, and (2) using social media (3) for official purposes (4) to create a space of open dialogue, then you cannot block people from following you based on the views they express.

      • Blizzcon: Blizzard Apologizes For Banning Blitzchung, Keeps Him Banned, More Fallout Ensues

        The fallout from Blizzard’s complete bungling of several eSports competitors taking public stances in support of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong has been both brutal and ongoing. As a reminder, professional Hearthstone player Blitzchung made relatively mild statements on a Blizzard stream backing the protests, leading to Blizzard yanking his prize money from an event and then issuing him a 1 year ban from competition. Others joined him in those comments afterwards, resulting in more bans. Soon after that, Blizzard returned Blitzchung’s prize money and reduced his ban to 6 months, apparently believing the outrage that had ensued was over 6 months of the bans, rather than the fact that Blizzard would ban players for this kind of speech at all. Congress started making noise, calling on Blizzard to behave better, while at least one advertiser bailed on Blizzard entirely.

      • Devin Nunes Demands Satirical Internet Cow Stop Making Fun Of Him… Or Else

        Rep. Devin Nunes remains super angry about a satirical internet cow. Earlier this year, we wrote about his lawsuit against the satirical cow on Twitter (and against Twitter itself) as well as a bunch of other lawsuits Nunes has been filing against critics in the intervening months. The cases appear to be fairly obvious SLAPP lawsuits; that is lawsuits that are designed solely to silence critics, rather than based on any legitimate legal basis. As we’ve noted, the venues in which Nunes has focused his lawsuits (mostly Virginia, and now Iowa) have either weak or non-existent anti-SLAPP laws. Tragically, the original case, against two satirical Twitter accounts, including one called “Devin Nunes’ Cow” (a satirical reference to Nunes’ oft-repeated claim of being a California dairy farmer, even as his family farm has uprooted itself to Iowa) was not thrown out by the judge on jurisdictional grounds, allowing the case to move forward.

      • The [Internet] is getting less free

        Free speech and privacy on the [Internet] declined globally for the ninth consecutive year according to the Freedom on the Net 2019 report by bipartisan watchdog and think tank Freedom House.

        The report’s authors cite two main reasons for the decline: increased online election interference — by government and civilian actors alike — and increased government surveillance, both of which are spreading on social media platforms. These are topics that continue to dominate the news cycle, whether it’s Facebook’s ad policy that allows politicians to spread lies or Amazon’s growing relationships with police departments that use its Ring smart doorbells and associated social media products to surveil communities. Freedom House recommends increased transparency and oversight of these platforms in order to stop the situation from getting worse.

      • Facebook, Instagram Ban ‘Sexual Use’ Of Eggplant, Peach, Sweat Drops Emojis

        Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by the same company and share the same community standards, quietly released updates to their guidelines over the summer, stating that using an eggplant, peach or sweat drops emoji in a sexual manner could get a user banned, CBS affiliate KLAS reported.

      • EMOJI CHECK: Facebook and Instagram ban ”sexual” use of peach and eggplant emojis

        Battle of the emojis: Facebook and Instagram have waged a war sort of speak against sexually interpreted emojis, so think twice before dropping an eggplant, peach, or sweat drops on someone’s post.

        During the summer of 2019, Facebook and Instagram updated the company’s Community Standards language regarding what type of sexual expression that is allowed on the platforms, so now, the social media channels will remove posts containing what they describe as “commonly sexual emojis or emoji strings,” according to an updated section of the company’s Community Standards.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • FTC Takes Action Against Stalkerware Company Retina-X

        The FTC recently took action against stalkerware developer Retina-X, the company behind apps Flexispy, PhoneSheriff, and Teenspy. The FTC settlement bars Retina-X from distributing its mobile apps until it can adequately secure user information and ensure its apps will only be used for “legitimate purposes.” But here’s the problem: there are simply no legitimate purposes for secret stalking apps.

        Retina-X, and its own James N. Johns Jr., seem to have come to the FTC’s attention not necessarily for making stalkerware, but for making stalkerware poorly. The company has suffered multiple security breaches over the past several years, including attacks from “vigilante hackers” who deleted petabytes of the company’s data—essentially, data that stalking app users had collected through spying on spouses, children, employees, and other targets. The FTC alleged that the poor security was a deceptive practice, which the FTC has authority to regulate under Section V of the FTC Act.

      • Virtual(ly) Private Network: NordVPN’s Breach and the Limitations of VPNs

        The popular VPN provider, NordVPN, recently announced a server breach  at a third-party data center. NordVPN reassured users that its key services were not impacted, but some user logins from this breach were found to have been leaked and were used to try to access users’ accounts.

        News of the breach has inspired questions around which tool is best for safety and security online. With commercial VPNs now saturating the market and many people being more concerned with their privacy, it’s important for users to know how VPNs work, and what their limitations are. VPNs can be useful in a user’s safety toolset, but there are some fundamental capabilities that are critical to understand: what VPNs do, what VPNs don’t do, and how a VPN service can better protect their users.

      • Cops Now Using Warrants To Gain Access To DNA Services’ Entire Databases

        Cops have discovered a new source of useful third-party records: DNA databases. Millions of people have voluntarily handed over personal information to a number of services in exchange for info on medical markers or distant family members.

      • ACLU Sues DOJ Over Facial Recognition Documents

        It’s no secret the federal government is using facial recognition tech. The DHS wants to use it at all ports of entry (including airports) on pretty much every traveler. Amazon wants every government agency possible to buy its version of the tech, even as the company (and the agencies it hopes to supply) undergo Congressional investigations. And the FBI’s facial recognition database has been growing steadily since 2014, outpacing required Privacy Impact Assessments and the FBI’s willingness to vet the accuracy of its search tools.

      • Facebook admits 100 developers had improper access to Groups member data

        “We know at least 11 partners accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days,” said Facebook’s head of platform partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis. “Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted.”

        Facebook has kept tight-lipped on the names of the developers, so there’s not likely to b much of an external witch hunt for them by privacy-paranoid types. And the whole situation seems rather minor compared to other privacy borks Facebook has suffered in recent years.

      • Twitter Insiders Allegedly Spied for Saudi Arabia

        In charges released Wednesday, the Justice Department accused two former Twitter employees, Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah, of abusing their internal system privileges to spy on target users and pass the information they collected to Saudi Arabia. The criminal complaint also alleges that it was trivial for them to do so—a chilling reminder of how much damage an insider can cause.

        The court documents, first reported by The Washington Post, also reference a third suspect, Ahmed Almutairi, who allegedly worked as an intermediary between the Twitter insiders and the Saudi government. Alzabarah and Almutairi are both Saudi citizens, while Abouammo is a United States citizen. He was arrested in Seattle on Tuesday.

      • DOJ charges former Twitter staff with spying for Saudi Arabia, digging into MBS critics’ accounts

        The Department of Justice is charging former Twitter employees with espionage on allegations of improperly accessing the accounts of people who were critical of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including specifically Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

        One of the suspects has been arrested.

      • Twitter Ex-Employees Accused of Spying on Saudi Dissidents

        Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah each worked for the company from 2013 to 2015. The complaint alleges that Alzabarah, a site reliability engineer, improperly accessed the data of more than 6,000 Twitter users.

        Abouammo, who handled media partnerships for the Middle East region, is alleged to have received $300,000 from a Saudi official as well as a Hublot watch, valued at least at $20,000. Abouammo is accused of repeatedly accessing the private information of a prominent critic of the Saudi government, including an email address and phone number.

        Even after leaving the company, Abouammo allegedly contacted friends at Twitter to facilitate Saudi government requests, such as for account verification and to shutter accounts that had violated the terms of service. Abouammo, an American citizen, was recently arrested in Washington state.

      • ‘Game-Changer’ Warrant Let Detective Search Genetic Database

        Last week, however, a Florida detective announced at a police convention that he had obtained a warrant to penetrate GEDmatch and search its full database of nearly one million users. Legal experts said that this appeared to be the first time a judge had approved such a warrant, and that the development could have profound implications for genetic privacy.

        “That’s a huge game-changer,” said Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University. “The company made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that’s been overridden by a court. It’s a signal that no genetic information can be safe.”

      • India deploys security, social media monitors ahead of divisive temple verdict

        India has deployed thousands of additional security forces and roped in about 16,000 “digital volunteers” to sanitise social media of inflammatory posts ahead of a crucial Supreme Court verdict on a disputed religious site.

        Hindus and Muslims have for decades been bitterly divided over the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya, a city in the northern Uttar Pradesh state that Hindus believe is the birthplace of their god Ram.

        Tensions boiled over in 1992 when Hindu zealots destroyed the mosque, sparking religious violence that killed 2,000 people.

        India’s top court is expected to hand down its ruling on competing claims to the site’s ownership before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17.

      • Edward Snowden says Facebook, Amazon and Google engage in ‘abuse’

        Six years after leaking documents about the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance activities, Edward Snowden believes the world is changing. He recognizes that people are more aware of privacy problems and angrier about them than ever, but he still seems to want people to take more time to understand the specific “abuse” being committed against them.

        “People are quite frequently mad at the right people for the wrong reasons,” he said, speaking via video link at Web Summit in Lisbon on Monday. Snowden hit out at big tech companies, saying they make populations vulnerable by collecting data and allowing it to be accessed by governments.

        “These people are engaged in abuse, particularly when you look at Google and Amazon, Facebook and their business model,” he said. “And yet every bit of it, they argue, is legal. Whether we’re talking about Facebook or the NSA, we have legalized the abuse of the person through the personal.”

      • Snowden Warns of Web Giants’ ‘Irresistible Power’

        Technology has given [Internet] giants “irresistible power” when they work in concert with governments, whistleblower Ed Snowden told the Web Summit that opened in Lisbon on Monday.

        “When we see government and corporations working in concert… they become the left and right hands of the same body. What we see is the concentration of power,” he told the European celebration of startups and new technologies gathering high-tech entrepreneurs and investors.

        “If you create an irresistible power… how do you police the expression of that power when it is used against the public rather than for it?” he asked, speaking by video link from Russia where he has lived since 2013.

      • Faustian bargain? Edward Snowden blames it on tech giants Facebook, Google and Amazon for leaking private data to governments

        “I think as much as we see anger rising, and as much we see the awareness of problems beginning to develop, people are quite frequently mad at the right people for the wrong reasons, as they see this increasing predation on all of us publicly, whether we are talking about government or corporate entities.” He added, “These people (Facebook, Google and Amazon) are engaged in abuse. Their business model is abuse. And yet every bit of it, what they argue is legal.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Star of Russia’s Libertarian Party is summoned for questioning amid rumors that he’s being investigated for ‘lewd acts’

        Two days after he announced that he’s stepped down from the Libterartian Party’s federal committee, video blogger Mikhail Svetov has been summoned for questioning by Russia’s Investigative Committee. He told the website MBK Media that the document didn’t explain why he was wanted for questioning, but the Telegram channel 112 and the television network REN-TV report that Svetov is apparently being investigated for supposedly lewd acts.

      • Stop Mass (Police) Shootings, Relax Qualified Immunity

        Gun violence, generally, is hard to brush under the rug. But when it’s violence at the hands of police, it’s much easier. This is scary, because police are more than twice as deadly as mass shooters. In a U.S. Appeals court decision filed on October 21, the government granted more police officers complete impunity under the standing policy of “qualified immunity,” which protects government officials, like police, from being held liable for crimes they commit and damage they cause on the job. It’s a disastrous decision, and an enormous loss for due process.

      • Police Officers Implicated in Online Hate Groups as Facebook Profits – Validated Independent News

        As Nick Statt wrote in an article published by The Verge in June 2019, “The unifying thread to all of these Facebook groups is that they are frequented and sometimes founded and operated by active and retired police officers, and that they actively recruit other police officers to join.”

      • NYPD’s Secret Gang Database Targets Minorities and Children – Validated Independent News

        Some of NYPD’s high-profile cases have been connected to this database. These include cases that the NYPD has pursued in cooperation with federal agencies in which suspects were indicted under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, statutes. RICO statutes govern criminal interference in interstate or international commerce and they enlarge the civil and criminal consequences of many state and federal crimes.

      • How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups

        Last November, a top Trump appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development wrote a candid email to colleagues about pressure from the White House to reroute Middle East aid to religious minorities, particularly Christian groups.

        “Sometimes this decision will be made for us by the White House (see… Iraq! And, increasingly, Syria),” said Hallam Ferguson, a senior official in USAID’s Middle East bureau, in an email seen by ProPublica. “We need to stay ahead of this curve everywhere lest our interventions be dictated to us.”

      • Cambodia: Let Opposition Leaders Return

        The Cambodian government should permit exiled opposition leaders to return to Cambodia and freely resume political activities.

      • Panamanians Protest Proposed Ban on Marriage Equality

        “They are gay and they cannot enter,” said legislator Jairo “Bolota” Salazar on October 29 about a group of protesters outside the Panamanian National Assembly, as he barred them from entering the building.

      • Russian Criminal Investigation Launched Over Video of a Gay Man Talking to Children

        This week, investigative authorities in Moscow opened a criminal investigation into alleged sexual assault of children in connection with a video in which Russian kids ask a gay man questions about his life.

      • Funeral Killings Ahead of New Round of Guinea Demonstrations

        The government of Guinea should ensure a speedy and independent investigation after three people were allegedly shot dead this week in clashes with security forces. The alleged killings occurred during a funeral procession on November 4 to mourn those killed during an earlier round of anti-government protests.

      • Black Man Tortured And Wrongly Imprisoned For 26 Years Sues Chicago Police Who Were Associates Of Jon Burge

        A lawsuit was filed in Chicago against police officers who were closely associated with Jon Burge, the disgraced commander who oversaw a regime of torture employed to coerce confessions. The regime spanned from the early 1970s to the 1990s.

        Arnold Day, a 46 year-old black man, was only 18 when police arrested him in 1992. Officers forced him to sign two false confessions. He was wrongfully convicted of armed robbery and murder in 1994.

      • Why do countries with more democracy want less of it?

        Why are people so fickle about something so fundamental? Mr Claassen reckons that the introduction of certain liberal aspects of democracy—such as the protection of individual rights and checks on executive power—may dampen support for it. These features may be more difficult for the public to accept than principles such as majority rule (which even some authoritarian regimes embrace). The study is a reminder that support for democracy cannot be taken for granted. Although it may be better than any alternative form of government that has been tried from time to time, it is still far from perfect.

      • The Terrorization of Katie Hill

        In her farewell speech, Hill said, “I am leaving because of the thousands of vile, threatening e-mails, calls, and texts that made me fear for my life and the lives of the people that I care about. Today is the first time I’ve left my apartment since the photos taken without my consent were released, and I’m scared.”

        This was an extraordinary moment. A woman—prominent, articulate, still powerful enough to command a national audience, even though she had just given up her congressional seat—stood on the floor of Congress and said that she feared for her life, and that this was one of the reasons she was leaving her job. She cited other reasons, too. She said that she didn’t want any congressional investigation into her own conduct to overshadow the investigation that really matters: the one into President Trump’s behavior in office. This was fairly standard fare. When Al Franken gave up his Senate seat, he mostly denied the allegations that brought him down; instead, he claimed to be resigning because his ability to do his job had been impaired. Like Hill, he sounded both defiant and heartbroken. Unlike Hill, he didn’t sound scared. Public humiliation, unevenly applied standards, and wrenching choices are among the consequences of being accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era. Terror is reserved for the women.

      • A divided Bolivia in crisis: Sources that can help you understand the conflict

        Following the presidential elections on October 20, 2019, intense protests in Bolivia — some involving civic strikes and blockades of roads in major cities — have generated much uncertainty. The protests have also resulted in violent clashes between supporters of incumbent President Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party and citizens mobilized by the annulment of the presidential elections and suspected fraud to defend their voting rights.

        On the night of October 20, with the preliminary vote count showing Morales with a narrow lead over Civic Community’s (CC) Carlos Mesa, the transmission of vote count announcements was abruptly suspended for more than 20 hours. When the announcements resumed the next day, in what the Organization of American States (OAS) called an “inexplicable” shift, the results showed Morales clearly in the lead.

        [...]

        The electoral audit initiated by the OAS on October 31 was accepted by Morales’ administration, but not by Mesa, who demanded that the election be annulled. He took the opportunity to remind the public that, according to the Political Constitution of the State, and in light of Bolivian citizenry’s refusal, in a February 2016 referendum, to agree to modify the constitution, it was, in fact, illegal for Morales to seek a third term in office.

        This situation left Bolivian society politically polarized. Protesters in the streets, members of neighborhoods and communities, as well as the leadership of the police and armed forces found themselves divided between allegiance to the government and opposition to the alleged electoral fraud.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • 5G Is Not A ‘Race,’ And We’re Incapable Of Determining Winners Even If It Was

        By now you’ve probably been informed that the next-generation of wireless broadband technology is going to revolutionize everything. Much like they did with 3G and 4G, wireless carriers have repeatedly hyped the fifth-generation (5G) wireless standard, insisting that the technology will somehow usher forth a “societal transformation” that’s going to have a magical, cascading impact on everything, and everyone.

      • Freedom House: Thanks to social media, [Internet] freedom is down for the the ninth straight year

        The report surveys 65 countries (covering 87% of the world’s [Internet] users), and in 38 of them Freedom House says that social media has been used by political leaders who “employed individuals to surreptitiously shape online opinions” that mixed “authentic users’” views with “fraudulent or automated accounts.”

        The report describes how social media has been mined by intelligence services who engaged in “the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data on entire populations,” creating a “sharp global increase in the abuse of civil liberties and shrinking online space for civic activism.”

      • The Crisis of Social Media

        Internet freedom is increasingly imperiled by the tools and tactics of digital authoritarianism, which have spread rapidly around the globe. Repressive regimes, elected incumbents with authoritarian ambitions, and unscrupulous partisan operatives have exploited the unregulated spaces of social media platforms, converting them into instruments for political distortion and societal control. While social media have at times served as a level playing field for civic discussion, they are now tilting dangerously toward illiberalism, exposing citizens to an unprecedented crackdown on their fundamental freedoms. Moreover, a startling variety of governments are deploying advanced tools to identify and monitor users on an immense scale. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2019.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix will no longer be available on some Samsung devices

        Some Roku users have also begun receiving notifications that their devices will no longer have access to Netflix come December, with Roku also citing “technical difficulties”.

        The announcement comes after Netflix revealed in October it is looking into ways of limiting password sharing on the streaming service.

    • Monopolies

      • California Reveals It’s Been Investigating Facebook

        Over the last two months, nearly every state and territory has announced investigations into the market dominance of Facebook, Google, or both. Missing from those probes was the place Big Tech calls home: California.

        The Golden State’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, has been curiously silent as his peers made plans to examine the biggest tech firms in his backyard. Becerra’s supposed inaction garnered him a wave of negative local press, and last week led The New York Times to wonder what, exactly, his office was up to.

        On Wednesday, California’s top cop finally revealed he has actually been very busy investigating Facebook, in an inquiry that has lasted for over a year. At a press conference announcing a new lawsuit, Becerra said Facebook has refused to fully cooperate with his probe. “We make our work public when there is a legal action to make public, otherwise we do not discuss our investigations,” he said.

      • The woman who tracks ‘dark’ Instagram accounts

        After the story had been published, Annemarte was approached by a young woman who told her that there were at least 10 other girls in the same Instagram network who had also taken their own lives.

        Realising she had stumbled across a far bigger story, the journalist tried to make contact with the secretive network. At first she set up a dummy profile using dark, gloomy but non-violent images to connect with other girls.

        Annemarte was surprised at how quickly Instagram recommended dozens of profiles for her to follow, which were sharing self-harm and suicide material.

      • Uber shares plunge after loss widens on rising costs

        Uber Technologies Inc. posted a wider third-quarter loss as costs soared at the ride-hailing company, sending its shares down 4.4 percent in after-hours trading, Reuters reports.

      • Facebook Libra is Architecturally Unsound

        What is laid bare for the world to see is an architecturally schizophrenic code artifact claiming to be a new reliable platform for global payment infrastructure. Yet the actual implementation diverges from this goal in bizarre ways when one actually dives into the codebase. I’m sure there is an interesting story about the internal corporate politics of this project and as such I thought it apt to do some diligence on what I see as a truly strange set of architectural choices that break the entire system and put consumers at risk.

        I won’t pretend to have an objective opinion about Facebook as a company. Few people in tech view the company in a positive light anymore. Reading through the publications released, it is clear there is a fundamental deception in the stated goal and implementation of the project. Put concisely, this project will not empower anyone. It is a pivot from a company whose advertising business is so embroiled in scandal and corruption that it has no choice but to try to diversify into payments and credit scoring to survive. The clear long term goal is to act as a data broker and mediate consumers access to credit based on their private social media data. This is such an utterly terrifying and dystopian story that should cause more alarm than it does.

        The only saving grace of this story is the artifact they open sourced is so hilariously unsuited for the task they set out to do it can only be regarded as an act of hubris. There are several core architectural errors in this project: [...]

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Call for input: do you know of any cases in the PC industry in which SEP holders refused to license component makers or based their royalties on the end product?

          What you find in the headline is not meant to be a rhetorical question. While I’m personally unaware of any case in the personal computer industry (with just one exception that I’ll state in a moment) in which a standard-essential patent (SEP) holder insisted on the end product (desktop computer or laptop) being the royalty base and/or refused to grant an exhaustive license to component makers, I can’t rule out that there have been such cases in that huge and decades-old industry. That’s why I’m asking for your help. Input from readers has previously been very helpful, such as in connection with privateering (patent transfers from to non-producing entities).

          My focus is on mobile devices, and I’ve looked at PC-related patent litigation only when countersuits targeting personal computers were brought in retaliation for mobile patent suits. In one such case, an absurd letter by Motorola Mobility to Microsoft entered the public record: Motorola wanted 2.25% per unit from Microsoft and explicitly stated that “the royalty is calculated based on the price of the end product (e.g., each Xbox 360 product, each PC/laptop, each smartphone, etc.) and not on component software (e.g., Xbox 360 system software, Windows 7 software, Windows Phone 7 software, etc.).” To put this into perspective, on most PCs that royalty rate would have been roughly at a level with Microsoft’s entire income from selling a Windows OEM license. Motorola made that outlandish demand in a letter, but limited its royalty demand to 2.25% of the selling price of Windows in Judge James L. Robart’s now-famous FRAND case as well as in a similar proceeding (that led nowhere before the parties withdrew all pending claims) before the Mannheim Regional Court. Motorola even denied the undeniable later on–apparently they realized they had been a bit too crazy, fortunately just temporarily.

          Video codec patents are one example of a category of SEPs for which patentees could theoretically have insisted that the royalty base should be the end product. Graphics and memory standards are another example.

        • Component-Level SEP Licensing: final conference program as PDF
        • Cloudflare: Here’s how we defeated a law firm trolling us over a $1 tech patent

          By some accounts, Blackbird Technologies was in 2016 among the top 10 of active US ‘patent trolls’ – the colloquial term for companies that buy patents but don’t actively produce services or products, otherwise known as non-practicing entities (NPEs).

          As reported by ArsTechnica at the time, Blackbird Technologies in 2017 also sued Netflix, Soundcloud, and Vimeo over patents for an idea to let a consumer buy something online, and automatically customize and ship a CD with data on it. Netflix was targeted because it let consumers download content and watch it offline.

          [...]

          The overall goal of Project Jengo was to put a dent in the patent-troll business model and make it more expensive for similar NPEs to file patent claims on operating companies.

          Cloudflare vowed to fight Blackbird’s patent claim and set up a bounty to offer “awards for crowdsourced prior art that could be used to invalidate any of Blackbird’s patents, not just the one asserted against Cloudflare”.

          It also filed complaints to bar associations because it believed Blackbird only paid $1 for the patent on paper but intended to share any gains from litigation with the seller. That practice was unethical, according to Cloudflare.

        • Philips and Wiko compete over mobile phone patents

          The subject of the most recent infringement dispute between Philips and Wiko at the Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe was European patent EP 1 815 647, which protects a method for priority-based queuing and assembling of packets in mobile communication. The rights had been maintained by the Federal Patent Court in June (case ID: 5 Ni 38/16), but remained an SEP.

          The judges in Karlsruhe recognised a violation of the slightly restricted version of the SEP by Wiko’s German subsidiary. They therefore sentenced the defendant to information and accounting.

          However, the court rejected the claim of the plaintiff Philips for injunctive relief (case ID: 6 U 183/16). The judges thus agreed with Wiko’s objection that the Dutch licence offer was not FRAND-compliant.

      • Copyrights

        • Court Denies Entry of Default Motion Against Torrent Site YTS, Cautions Attorney

          A Hawaiian federal court has denied a motion for entry of default against torrent site YTS. The request, which came from the makers of the movie Hellboy, was denied because the underlying copyright infringement complaint failed to name a defendant other than “John Doe”. Soon after, the attorney handling the case was cautioned for summoning a person and company, who were not named defendants.

        • Court Orders ‘Ethical’ Torrent Giant TNTVillage to Stop Piracy Activity
        • Join EFF for Aaron Swartz Day This Weekend at The Internet Archive

          Join EFF and others on November 9 at the Internet Archive for Aaron Swartz Day—an annual event to celebrate Aaron Swartz’s legacy as an activist, programmer, entrepreneur, and political organizer.

          Aaron’s life was cut short in 2013, after he was charged under the notoriously draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for systematically downloading academic journal articles from the online database JSTOR. Federal prosecutors have for years stretched the law beyond its original purpose of stopping malicious computer break-ins, instead pushing for heavy penalties for any behavior they don’t like that involves a computer.

The GNOME Foundation’s Potentially Useless Defense Strategy is an OIN-Styled ‘Fix’ and Not a Software Patents Fix (Abolition)

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Red Hat at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”

Richard Stallman

They get attacked by software patents. And they don't use Alice.

Summary: The anti-Stallman club known as ‘GNOME Foundation’ is not interested in tackling software patents as a whole. What does that tell us about the situation we’re in?

THE short series about the defamation of Richard Stallman (RMS) isn’t over yet. The media defamed him repeatedly for about a month (yet again earlier this week) and Stallman was in contact with us. Whether he wants to make further comment/s on the subject will depend on him.

“We’re not bashing McGovern, but we worry about his predecessors at this prestigious position; they’re are from SFC (also anti-RMS), Peters (now Microsoft), and de Icaza (also Microsoft).”One thing we continue to research is the controversial announcement or media statement from GNOME Foundation, signed by Neil McGovern, who has called himself “Politico and geek, GNOME Executive Director, Cambridge CAMRA press officer, Ex-Debian Project Leader. Views are own etc.” (His personal Web site is nowhere as active.)

We’re not bashing McGovern, but we worry about his predecessors at this prestigious position; they’re are from SFC (also anti-RMS), Peters (now Microsoft), and de Icaza (also Microsoft). Neil McGovern, known better for his anti-RMS rant, is a credible person, but the context he’s in requires him to adopt particular positions.

His media statement, which is two months old (and put a lot of pressure on RMS), has caused a bit of controversy within GNOME itself. Some GNOME people have distanced themselves from it, even in the open. There are blog posts to that effect. Even in GNOME’s own Web site!

As we recently noted (in relation to OIN and IBM), there's an element in this 'community' that does not want software patents to go away. Instead it wants pertinent patents to be challenged based on something like prior art. A reader has just pointed out to us Free software [sic] is under attack. How you can help. (w/ Neil McGovern) from @TheLinuxGamer on LBRY.tv” (a new video interview).

Our reader adds that it’s about “software patents versus Shotwell, though they are mistakenly referred to only as “patents” there; strategy might be a bit misguided since it is not going after software patents in general but instead choosing to play whac-a-mole against one single troll at a time; they also naively plan to recover costs from the troll, which is probably just a shell company anyway; perhaps you could correspond with them…”

I personally will not bother, but I invite readers to do so. I’ve criticised the ‘GNOME Foundation’ in the distant past, so its chief is not likely to talk to me. Well, seeing what he wrote and with predecessors like these, McGovern merely continues a decade-long pattern of trying to overthrow or at least discredit RMS. His employment history in the UK and his work for Debian isn’t something to be mocked or belittled. He’s not a bad person. But his employer and the people who now surround him may be bad influence. The Foundation isn’t so credible; we wrote many articles about this back in 2009. They’re even close to Microsoft (and they will never point out the troll’s connections to Microsoft [1, 2, 3]). The Foundation raises other concerns. It is also deeply connected to IBM through Red Hat (many GNOME developers are salaried by Red Hat), probably the foremost influence source — one which as we noted before wishes 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice to go away, and for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to issue IBM with tens of thousands of software patents, not to be overturned and invalidated in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) with Federal Circuit affirmation of these invalidations. This is the biggest downside of IBM’s acquisition/takeover and it has been our main concern regarding Red Hat (the reasonable patent policy being cast aside).

This approach from the GNOME Foundation must be pleasing not just for IBM but also Microsoft, now an OIN member. Days ago Microsoft Tim belatedly expressed satisfaction about OIN getting involved. OIN is in the ‘business’ of teaching FOSS people to tolerate rather than eliminate software patents and days ago it added another high-profile Japanese member (in our Daily Links).

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:42 am by Needs Sunlight

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